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What You Missed in Macon this Summer

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The Crisis Line & Safe House of Central Georgia (CL&SH) opened a new center in Macon this summer. Photo by Addison Robinson.

The Crisis Line & Safe House of Central Georgia (CL&SH) opened a new center in Macon this summer. Photo by Addison Robinson.

The Crisis Line & Safe House of Central Georgia (CL&SH) opened a new center in Macon this summer. Photo by Addison Robinson.

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The Macon Bacon played (and won) their first home game

The new collegiate summer baseball team — which includes Mercer University students Brandon Michie, Ben Brock, Sean McDermott and Alex Crotty — played their first home game at the sold-out, recently renovated Luther Williams Field in June. They defeated the Lexington County Blowfish 8-4.

The Bacon, who play as part of the Coastal Plain League, also won their inaugural game against the Savannah Bananas 10-6 at Savannah’s Grayson Stadium the week prior.

Their season will wrap up in August.

The Crisis Line & Safe House opened a center for survivors of domestic violence

The Crisis Line & Safe House of Central Georgia (CL&SH) opened a new center in Macon July 11 to house all of their sexual assault and domestic violence services under one roof. The organization will continue to maintain its crisis hotline and provide psychological counseling and emergency shelter for women and children, but will now offer all of these services and more at the new location (915 Hill Park).

The 24/7 center will staff nurses trained with the specific skills required to address situations of abuse, including the ability to perform “forensic exams,” according to The Telegraph. Staff will also provide comprehensive legal advocacy and assistance to survivors in need.

CL&SH will continue to connect male survivors with off-site resources.

Bragg Jam held their 20th music festival downtown

For two decades, the community music festival has taken over downtown Macon the last weekend in July to highlight southern artists across several venues. Bragg Jam includes a kids festival and an open-air arts market supporting over 70 vendors and food trucks alongside the music.

This year was the first that Bragg Jam hosted a full five-venue concert crawl on Friday night.

Headliners included Athens indie-rock group Family and Friends, Nashville country-rock band The Wild Feathers, and country singer-songwriters Canaan Smith and Riley Green. Altogether, Bragg Jam reports featuring more than 80 artists over two days and around 20 stages.

Jittery Joe’s in Mercer Village closed its doors

The beloved coffee shop served its final customers July 29, days after a sudden Facebook post announced plans for a new business to occupy the space a month later.

Mercer alumnus Shane Buerster will renovate the coffee shop to house a brick-and-mortar component to his social entrepreneurship company, Z Beans Coffee, which he started in 2016 after a Mercer on Mission trip to Ecuador.

The Cluster covered Jittery Joe’s closing and Buerster’s vision for Z Beans in an article for the first issue.

Mike Pence visited town to support a gubernatorial candidate

Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Macon to lead a political rally July 21 in support of Republican gubernatorial candidate Secretary of State Brian Kemp, days before the runoff election pitting Kemp against his opponent, Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle.

Pence landed at the Macon Regional Airport and traveled to the Wilson Convention Center on Coliseum Drive for the rally, during which he delivered a speech endorsing Kemp. About 1,000 people attended, some traveling to Macon from other Georgia cities, according to The Telegraph.

Pence’s visit came shortly after Kemp received a tweeted endorsement from President Donald Trump. Athens-based Kemp defeated Gainesville’s Cagle in the runoff election July 24 and will face Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams in November.

So did Jeff Sessions, but some Maconites protested

United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions held a press conference Aug. 9 at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia to address state law enforcement and attorneys on reducing violent crime.

Reducing national crime rates starts at a local level, Sessions said. He announced that Georgia will receive a $100 million grant to fund services that support victims of violent crime.

This money comes from a newly-approved $3.4 billion federal budget designed to help crime victims recover. Sessions said that $3.3 billion of that fund will come from fines paid by criminals, not taxpayers, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

A group of about 30 Macon residents gathered in protest of Sessions’ appearance. Protestors included members of local organization Georgia Women And Those Who Stand With Us, who oppose President Trump’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy, and LGBTQ+ activists who view Sessions’ emphasis on “religious liberty” as disguised homophobia.

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What You Missed in Macon this Summer