Celebrities eat M&T Meats, NASCAR track and more Middle Georgia news you need to know

Celebrities love the fresh meat offerings at this Hawkinsville butcher shop

M&T Meats, in Hawkinsville, Georgia, offers up a wide selection of various meats with an emphasis on customer service.
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M&T Meats, in Hawkinsville, Georgia, offers up a wide selection of various meats with an emphasis on customer service.

Missed the big stories from Middle Georgia over the last two weeks? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.

New law aims to protect renters

A new Georgia law will hopefully curb the number of evictions throughout the state caused by unresolved repair issues.

House Bill 346 can legally protect tenants who seek repairs to their housing from retaliation by their landlords, including rent hikes and eviction.

If a landlord begins eviction proceedings in retaliation to a tenant requesting repairs, the tenant can use that as a defense in court. If a landlord is unable to provide proof in court that an action was not retaliatory, the tenant may recover one month’s rent, plus $500, court costs and attorney’s fees.

Want to know more about the new law? Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reporter Allie Dean has more here.

Former Georgia NASCAR racetrack up for sale

If you’ve got $1.2 million, you could buy yourself a racetrack.

Middle Georgia Raceway in Byron is up for sale. Owner and developer Tim Thornton said the property on U.S. 41 includes about 61 acres. It is zoned general commercial and could be an industrial park or even a housing development.

However, the owner said he’d prefer to sell it to someone who will keep the track there and even bring back racing.

The property is pretty historical. Nine NASCAR races were held there from 1966 to 1971. Jimi Hendrix and The Allman Brothers Band were among the more than 30 musical acts who appeared at the Byron Pop Festival. The festival, held in a field adjacent to the track, was one of the largest public gatherings in the state of Georgia, according to a historical marker on the property.

Want to know more? Read here.

Dorian causes power outages, results in evacuations

Hurricane Dorian caused power outages and forced some residents to evacuate in coastal Georgia. But the storm spared much of the state as it remained offshore and tracked north toward the Carolinas.

Georgia Power crews from Middle Georgia traveled to the coast, and a Hurricane Dorian emergency shelter was set up at the South Bibb Recreation Center last week. The storm swamped parts of North Carolina. Dorian’s death toll in the Bahamas rose to 45 as of Monday morning, CBS reports.

Morgan Freeman eats sausage from this Hawkinsville butcher shop

M&T Meats, a family-run butcher shop in Hawkinsville, has shipped their coveted products to John Travolta, Burt Reynolds and Morgan Freeman.

That’s what owner Phil Mathis told The Telegraph last week. Nearly 100,000 pounds of meat products comes to the store each week from their local farms.

Want to know more? Read here.

Nick Wooten is the Southern Trends and Culture reporter for McClatchy’s South region. He is based in Columbus, Georgia at the Ledger-Enquirer but his work also appears in The (Macon) Telegraph and The Sun Herald in Biloxi.Before joining McClatchy, he worked for The (Shreveport La.) Times covering city government and investigations. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia.