Friday, July 14, 2006

Murder suspect caught in Macon

Macon Telegraph, The (GA)
June 29, 2006

The Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested a man Wednesday in Macon who was wanted for a fatal Decatur shooting on Christmas 2002.

Kedrain Burdette was picked up inside a house on Adams Street Lane about 12:20 p.m., according to a news release from the U.S. Marshal's Office.

Burdette is accused of shooting Eric Hall to death at the Pin Ups adult night club in Decatur, the release stated.

Edition: HO
Page: B
Copyright (c) 2006 The Macon Telegraph

Monday, June 12, 2006

community garden harvest

The community garden is well under way with the first harvest of zucchini and yellow crook-necked squash this weekend.

It’s pretty exciting to have a dinner that was grown by your own hands!


yellow crook-necked squash

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Juneteenth Freedom Festival

June 17th, 2006
3 p.m.-9:30 p.m.

This annual commemoration of the end of slavery got its start in Galveston, Texas, where federal troops arrived to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation on June 19, 1865. Macon's celebration takes place in Tattnall Square Park, with craft vendors, kids' activities, live music and Civil War reenactors representing the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the all-black unit depicted in the film "Glory." 318-6265. Free.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

virtual community garden tour

Take a look at the fabulous beginnings of our Tatnall Square Heights Community Garden.

Can't wait to see how it develops! As a reminder all neighborhood residents are invited to participate in the community garden.

community garden leader

Our fearless community garden leader. Thanks Rudy for getting us started!

Did you know that Rudy is also an artist? Check out this groovy art for our community garden.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

the beginning

What do you do with a run down scrap of land in the middle of the city?

How about start a community garden?

All neighborhood residents are invited to participate in our Community Garden located in the historic Tatnall Square Heights neighborhood in picturesque Macon, Georgia. What started as a brilliant idea by one of our neighbors is turning into a little gem for our neighborhood. Housing renovations and the recently opened off-leash dog park at the corner of Chestnut and Adams streets had rehabilitated a neighborhood that was once on a major decline. We welcome you to stop by to see our beautifully restored neighborhood.

Here Comes the Neighborhood

Here comes the neighborhood: Phase 2 of Historic Macon homes are ready in Tatnall Square Heights
Macon Telegraph, The (GA)
April 1, 2006

Renell Bates plans to get her hands dirty this morning working on a community garden in the Tatnall Square Heights neighborhood she moved into Wednesday.

"Yeah, I'm like in a neighborhood that's got stuff going on and I'm invited," Bates said as she excitedly gave a tour of her new home on Tattnall Street.

The one-story brick house built in 1957 is one of 18 homes the Historic Macon Foundation has rehabilitated in her neighborhood, a couple of blocks east of Mercer University.

"I'm so excited, I tell you what. It's the first house I've ever bought on my own," Bates said as she pulled weeds in her front yard across from Tatnall Place - the site of five new homes built during the foundation's second phase of the project that began last year and is nearly complete.

The street was once littered with junk and served as a haven for crime, neighbors said.

"It's peaceful and quiet here now," said Fred Hollingsworth, who has lived in the house next to Bates since before the first wave of the revitalization began in 1999. "It used to be rough around here."

It took three years for the foundation to identify owners and purchase the Tatnall Place properties, which were littered with old tires and mattresses, said Bette-Lou Brown, executive director of the Historic Macon Foundation.

"This street was a problem," Brown said. "It was totally overgrown. It was a garbage dump."

A grant from the Peyton Anderson Foundation funded the infrastructure for the lots that allowed construction on the five new houses between Adams and Tattnall streets, she said.

Two of the homes, just a few blocks away from the Beall's Hill revitalization project between Mercer and The Medical Center of Central Georgia, already have been sold. Another house, built by local churches through Habitat for Humanity, will be dedicated next week. The remaining two homes, which border the Macon Dog Park, are for sale and will be featured in an open house Sunday from 2-5 p.m.

They were built under the Beall's Hill Urban Design and Architectural Guidelines, which won a Charter Award from the Congress for the New Urbanism in Pasadena, Calif., in June.

They are built on small lots in keeping with a "garden community" atmosphere, Brown said.

"It's a wonderful neighborhood," Brown said. "The people who live here are the type of people who like to be outside and talking to their neighbors."

Bertha Robinson, who has lived on Chestnut Street for about 20 years, was enjoying Friday's warm weather on her porch with her sons.

The foundation put $25,000 into her home, which is surrounded by other homes the foundation has saved. Other homes have been built to fill in empty lots, Brown said.

Both Robinson and her son Johnnie, who was inspired to put in a concrete walk for his mother, say the neighborhood looks much better. They like their new neighbors.

"If we're out at the same time and we see each other, they always speak," she said.

Next door to Robinson, the foundation is restoring another home that was in bad shape.

The house, which is stripped down to its studs inside, also will be open Sunday.

"I didn't think they could save that house right there," Robinson said as contractors worked on the porch next door. "I thought they'd have to tear it down."

The foundation's main mission is to save homes, and two other restored homes will be featured in the open house.

Brown is especially proud of a two-story, 3,400-square-foot house at 1005 College St. the foundation converted back from four apartments to a single-family residence.

All of Historic Macon's homes in the neighborhood must be owner-occupied, single-family dwellings.

Once the foundation identifies properties to save, volunteer architects draw updated renovation plans.

"You have to give people what they're used to in a modern home," Brown said, as she noted the upstairs washer and dryer hook-ups and walk-in master closet in the $306,000 College Street house.

The renovated properties, with their tall ceilings and heart pine floors, all include updated kitchens and bathrooms.

Property tax rates are frozen at pre-rehabilitation levels for more than eight years and a $5,000 Georgia income tax credit is available, Brown said.

The new construction designs, which start at $129,000, meld into the existing neighborhood.

"People in Macon just don't know we are a neighborhood prototype," said Jim Barfield, president of the Historic Macon Foundation. "The National Trust for Historic Preservation sends people here from all over this country to look at our properties."

The Tatnall Square Heights project follows the foundation's work in adjoining Huguenin Heights.

Once the foundation completes the work in Tatnall Square Heights, it will chose another project, Brown said.

After houses are built on six vacant lots, Tatnall Square Heights will include 35 new and rehabilitated homes.

"By and large, once we finish with (the second phase) we won't be doing new construction unless we find another neighborhood that has gaps in its smile we need to fill in," Brown said.
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Page: a
Provided By: Knight-Ridder Digital
Index Terms: news
Location(s): Central Georgia; Pasadena, Calif; Georgia
Personal Name(s): Fred Hollingsworth; Bette-Lou Brown; Bertha Robinson; Jim Barfield
Organization Name(s): Historic Macon Foundation; Mercer University; Peyton Anderson Foundation; The National Trust for Historic Preservation
Copyright (c) 2006 The Macon Telegraph
Record Number: 200604010301KNRIDDERGAMACONT_web.TATNALL.HEIGHTS.0401

Macon Dog Park marks anniversary with contests, activities

Macon Dog Park marks anniversary with contests, activities
Macon Telegraph, The (GA)
October 30, 2005

Dogs will be dogs.

That's exactly what happens at the Macon Dog Park.

Every dog also has its day, and that day was Saturday at the first anniversary celebration of the opening of the park on Chestnut Street.

Plenty of pups partied until they were pooped.

All dogs arrive at the park on leashes, but are set free as soon as they get inside the gate.

For many, the first stop is the bulletin board, where potted pansies serve as a place to leave a canine calling card and sniff around to see who had come before.

A year ago, a city-owned 5.6 acre parcel of overgrown flood plain about a block from Tattnall Square Park became a fenced haven where dogs can roam free.

Amazingly, there are few incidents of aggression once the leashes come off.

"Everybody's on the same footing and don't need to defend," said Bette-Lou Brown, executive director of Historic Macon and one of the initial proponents of the project.

Shortly after Brown arrived at the park Saturday morning, her two dogs, Ada and Echo, were off running.

"They just love to get down here and race and chase and have fun," Brown said.

As new dogs entered the mix, a trio of large dogs got to know each other by forming a dog chain. In what looked like a toy train, they wound across the grass with noses butted up to the rear of the dog in front.

Dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds frolicked in the warm sun.

Daisy, Anne Meroney's soft-coated Wheaten Terrier, was muddy and matted from a romp in the creek.

"She is a mud dog in secret, or maybe she's a hog in secret," said Meroney. "She got down under the mud and wallowed in it."

A visit to the park is a treat for Daisy.

"She's on a leash all the time," Meroney said. "She's a high-energy dog and now she gets to run."

Mercer University student Michelle Sennotte lives in an apartment, so the park is the perfect place for her Husky mix, Lilly, who had three stuffed plush bone party favors in her mouth.

Sennotte laughed as Lilly picked up a fourth bone.

"She's the toy-hoarder," Sennotte said as her dog pranced around with a bounty of bones. "She likes the ones that squeak."

As dogs and their owners gathered for the judging of the costume contest, Allen Stutes, president of the Friends of the Macon Dog Park, was excited about the turnout for the celebration of the year-old park.

"We're still in the infant stages of what we want," said Allen Stutes. "The intent ultimately is to have (the park) groomed and maintained very much like Tattnall Square Park."

Landscaping plans show a future fenced portion of the park for smaller dogs to prevent them from getting over-powered by larger dogs.

Trees will be planted throughout the park.

The creek will be cleaned out, bordered with large rocks and covered with a bridge, Brown said.

Saturday's event also served as a fund-raiser for the park improvements.

Nonmembers of the Friends of the Macon Dog Park paid a $5 entry fee for the costume contest.

The judges looked over a field of super heroes, a devil dog and a construction canine - complete with yellow felt hard hat, tools and orange vest.

Owners got into the act, too.

Felicia Haywood, secretary of the Friend's group, was princess for a day in her royal blue velvet gown and golden crown. At her side was Ginger, her Finnish Spitz, who was a frog dog for a day.

But Linda Lester truly felt like a queen when her schnauzer, Zoe, who was dressed in a witch costume, was chosen top dog.

Lester, who was dressed as a black cat, posed Zoe with her prize.

"I feel like Miss America. This is amazing," she said. "I don't believe we won."

To contact Liz Fabian, call 744-4303 or e-mail


Contest winners

Macon Dog Park's dogs and people costume contest winners:

Grand prize: Witch and black cat - Zoe the schnauzer and Linda Lester

Second place: Batman and Superman - Niki the poodle and Maddie the black Labrador retriever, owned by Danny and Sheila Meadows

Third place: Elvis and the cast of Blue Hawaii - Buddy the chocolate Labrador retriever as Elvis, Sunshine the black Labrador retriever in her hula skirt with bikini top and Hobie the basset hound as a surfer dude - owned by Amy Braddock


For more information about Macon Dog Park, go to
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Provided By: Knight-Ridder Digital
Index Terms: local
Personal Name(s): Allen Stutes; Felicia Haywood; Linda Lester; Miss America; Liz Fabian; Sheila Meadows; Amy Braddock
Copyright (c) 2005 The Macon Telegraph
Record Number: 200510300301KNRIDDERGAMACONT_web.DOG.PARK.1030

A Place For Man's Best Friend

Macon Telegraph, The (GA)
October 31, 2004
Author: Gray Beverley, The Macon Telegraph

City officials and community leaders have unveiled what they hope is a de-leash-ous idea.

Joining Athens and several metro Atlanta communities, Macon has opened its first dog park, a place where the city's canine residents can play untethered and feel the wind rush across their backs without risk of a yank.

Moreover, organizers say the dog park will improve the quality of life of the city's human residents while fueling revitalization efforts in an up-and-coming neighborhood.

It's been a year since a group of local residents began the effort to turn an "overgrown, nasty" flood plain at Chestnut and Adams streets into a resource. The grand opening was Saturday.

"It (had) been a detriment to the neighborhood," said Bette-Lou Brown, executive director of Historic Macon Foundation, which has been transforming the Tatnall Square Heights area with new homes. "It's just been a negative, and now it's going to be a positive."

The project started with a city-owned 5.6-acre parcel, a drainage area that cannot be developed for residential use. The property is surrounded by a fence and split by Vineville Branch creek, making it ideal for a place where dogs can roam free.

The park is open to all city residents at no charge. The city itself has spent little money on the project, installing a special gate, a garbage can and stepping up its schedule for mowing the land. Reginald Tabor, assistant director of the city's parks and recreation department, told City Council members that mowing probably will cost the city about $700 a year.

In his report, Tabor said the city's tree planting program might pay for about $400 in shrubs and two shade trees. The city also might have some money for benches and trash carts, the report stated.

Councilwoman Elaine Lucas said it's money well spent.

"Most communities are offering a place for animal lovers to take their animals," Lucas said Thursday. "I think Macon's moving forward by providing for more of the needs of our citizens."

Tabor said Friday that the facility "has really been promoted and requested by the community," and that creating a place for dogs and dog lovers probably will cut down on complaints about dogs at other city parks.

Brown praised city departments, like the parks and the public works departments, saying they "do everything they can to support positive projects."

Most of the park expenses will be paid by Friends of Macon Dog Parks, a not-for-profit group comprised of Brown and officials from Mercer University, area neighborhood associations, the Macon Kennel Club, the Heart of Georgia Humane Society and the local Habitat for Humanity. The group collects membership fees and donations, such as a $20,000 gift bequeathed by the late Reva Ann Dame.

Brown said that money likely will go toward a special water fountain for dogs and possibly toward a bridge to span the creek and a kiosk for dog-related information and deals. Otherwise, the group has about $250 on hand, she said.

Right now, the park is open only during daylight hours. Brown said a Mercer professor is working on the possibility of solar-powered lighting. Another professor is looking into taking used water from area washing machines to irrigate the grounds, Brown said. She said a grant-writing business class at Mercer is helping to secure additional funding.

Treating the soil for the animals' health probably will cost about $500 a year, Brown said.

More than two dozen volunteers have helped clean up the park, and future "planting parties" are being discussed. Eventually, Brown said, she'd like to divide the place to separate large and small dogs and, depending on this one's success, open additional dog parks in the city.

Organizers hope that canine "good citizenship" classes will be offered at the park as well as adoptions and clinics for inoculations and other health-related matters.

The park might be named "Tyler's Place," after Dame's dog. Brown said her group is considering raising money by selling other naming rights, such as for pavers at the park's entrance or on posts for a renovated fence.

"We can put Fido's name on a bench in a heartbeat!" she said.

What perhaps excites Brown the most is the impact she hopes the park will have on the surrounding blocks. Already, she says, boarded up brick buildings located next door have become homes. And there are plans for a row of new houses to border the park's eastern edge.

When a neighborhood shows signs of changing, people start thinking of good things to do for that neighborhood, Brown said.

The group's president, Allen Stutes, expects to take his black Labrador, Kirby, to the park near his home.

"It's been phenomenal," Stutes said of his time with the organization, "being able to be part of the community and meeting the people that are involved."

Stutes said he's visited a dog park in Athens and called others in California. He said one concern has been violence between dogs. But he said the statistics of such problems are "amazingly low."

All dogs must display a current rabies tag and have all other vaccines as required by local regulations. Other rules include no aggressive dogs or those in heat, no other types of animals and no more than three dogs per person.

For more information, visit, call 742-5084 or write P.O. Box 6649, Macon, Ga. 31208 or

To contact Gray Beverley, call 744-4494 or e-mail
Photo 2 by Megan Moore
Edition: HOME
Section: B
Page: 1
Copyright (c) 2004 The Macon Telegraph
Record Number: 0410310050

Breathing New Life into Downtown

Macon Telegraph, The (GA)
April 18, 2004
Author: Liz Fabian, Telegraph Staff Writer

More than 40 years ago, Marie and Bill Chapman moved into a grand old house with 14-foot ceilings and pine plank floors on Tattnall Street.

While their house was in excellent condition, the years and absentee landlords were much less kind to the surrounding wood-frame homes built between 1897 and 1930.

"We were here when it was the slums down the street," said Marie Chapman. "We just stayed here because we had a hedge to cover up some of the ugly things we didn't want to see."

In 1998, the Historic Macon Foundation, formerly known as the Macon Heritage Foundation, took on the daunting task of resurrecting the Tattnall Square Heights neighborhood one house at a time.
From 2000 until 2003, the foundation restored 15 houses and built three new ones that look right at home with the existing one-story Queen Anne and late Victorian vernacular cottages. The 82-house neighborhood stretches along Tattnall and Chestnut streets on the northeast side of Tattnall Square Park.

The restoration project earned Historic Macon two awards from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation at their annual meeting Saturday in Savannah.

In addition to an award for excellence in rehabilitation, Historic Macon received the 2004 Marguerite N. Williams Award for having the greatest impact on preservation in the state of Georgia for the year.

"I was just blown away. I couldn't believe it," said Bette-Lou Brown, Historic Macon's executive director.

The project, which also is being considered for an award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, already has won over longtime residents of the neighborhood.

"When people who grew up in the neighborhood come by, they're really impressed," said Phil Dunwoody, a Mercer professor who, along with his wife, bought one of Historic Macon's new houses on Chestnut Street last fall.

Mercer University provided a total of $48,000 in incentive money for faculty and staff to purchase homes in the neighborhood.

Proximity to the campus helped sell the Dunwoodys on their home.

"I have a seven-minute walk door-to-door," Dunwoody said.

While his 2-year-old son Aron played on the front porch, his wife, Marlene, added new flowers to their planters Friday afternoon. They already had planted pale pink geraniums and lavender lantana behind the picket fence in the front yard.

In the once overgrown neighborhood, 90 percent of the yards are maintained now on a regular basis, according to Historic Macon.

Friendships are blooming too between neighbors who have little in common other than their address.

"It's a real diverse neighborhood racially and occupation-wise," Dunwoody said. "It's nice that way."

"Everything is quiet over here," said David Carson, 71, who inherited his Chestnut Street home from his aunt. "Everybody gets along like two peas in a pod."

Tranquility wasn't always the case. The crime rate has dropped 58 percent, according to Macon Police Department statistics released by Historic Macon.

"The crack houses are gone, and we don't have the break-ins," said Dianne Vaughn, manager for Eye Center of Central Georgia, built in the heart of the neighborhood in the mid-1980s.

The center donated $10,000 to support the project.

"It's so much more beautiful than it was. The neighbors take pride in their yards. The flowers are beautiful," Vaughn said.

Tony Pearson, 28, who bought a renovated house through Historic Macon, remembers what the area was like when he rented an apartment as a Mercer student.

"A lot of these neighborhoods you wouldn't feel safe walking in during the day," Pearson said.

He is now the technical director for Mercer's theater program, so Mercer's stipend incentive paid off for him when he chose a "fixer upper" at the corner of Adams and Chestnut streets.

"It was pretty rough looking, but you could see a lot of promise in it," Pearson said.

A brilliant rainbow hovered in the spray of the Chapmans' sprinkler late Friday afternoon as Jim Kenaston, 43, arrived home from work at Mercer.

He lives in the house next door to the Chapmans, built circa 1860, he said.

It had been such an eyesore that Marie Chapman said she reported it to the city of Macon.

Now it's restored to its former glory. The intricate lattice work on the front porch is a copy of the pattern on the Chapmans home, built about the same time.

Kenaston traced the history of the occupants of his house back to 1888. Most recently it was divided into two apartments, one housing eight people.

"I had heard this was basically a crack house," Kenaston said.

Historic Macon stipulates the houses must remain owner-occupied, single-family dwellings.

"By and large, people who live here take better care of a place," Kenaston said. "I think that's a strategy that works well."

The project far exceeded the goals of Historic Macon, which is continuing to identify at-risk properties for restoration.

"The historic fabric is so important to maintain because that's what gives a town its character," said Historic Macon's Brown, who is inspired by the awards.

"It gives you energy to move on in the future," she said. "I think everybody needs praise."

--- To contact Liz Fabian, call 744-4303 or e-mail
photo (5) Nick Oza/The Telegraph and Historic Macon
Foundation/SPecial to the Telegraph chart(1) Historic Macon Foundation
Edition: HOME
Section: A
Page: 1
Copyright (c) 2004 The Macon Telegraph
Record Number: 0404180141