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Wilkinson Man Must Pay $4.6 Million for EBT Fraud

A Wilkinson County man was ordered to pay $4.6 million in restitution in a five-year EBT card fraud conspiracy.

Elbert Eugene Shinholster was also sentenced Friday to 40 months in prison and three years supervised release.

That's according to Sue McKinney of the U.S. Attorney's office in Macon.

EBT cards are intended to provide healthy foods for the needy. But two years ago, Shinholdster and five other people were accused of conspiring to cash out the cards for money.

Wilkinson Sheriff Richard Chatman said an undercover investigation focused on Shinholster's Grocery & Meat Market in Irwinton and Northwind Mini-Mart in McIntyre.

Chatman said the store owners gave the cardholders a seventy/thirty split of the proceeds.

Investigators went undercover and cashed out cards at both businesses, according to Chatman.

He said investigators believe Shinholster's committed more than $4.5 million in fraud between 2006 and 2011.

Georgia Prep Football Poll


ATLANTA- Georgia high school football polls of the 2013 season with first-place votes in parentheses and won-loss record, total points and position last week at right:

Class A

Record Pts Prv

1. Eagle's Landing Christian (17) 5-0 170 1

2. Landmark Christian 7-0 149 2

3. Aquinas 6-0 138 3

4. Seminole County 6-0 113 4

5. Prince Avenue Christian 6-1 91 6

6. Johnson County 6-0 83 7

7. Marion County 6-0 70 8

8. Mount Paran Christian 5-1 53 9

9. Darlington 5-1 31 10

10. Mt. Pisgah Christian 6-0 25 NR


Others receiving votes: Irwin County 9, Emanuel County Institute 2, Calvary Day 1.


Annual Kaolin Festival Fills Downtown Sandersville

Washington County has been known as the Kaolin Capitol of the World for nearly 50 years, and on Saturday, people filled the streets of Sandersville to celebrate their heritage and connection to the kaolin mineral.

This year's festival's theme was "Come Play in the Clay." The theme serves as the backdrop of the festival and companies throughout Washington County submit their ideas for floats for the parade.

Many of the kaolin mining companies showcase the process of mining the mineral and also craft their own floats for the parade.

Following the parade, downtown Sandersville turns into a place of arts and crafts and music.

Charles Lee, the president of Washington County's Chamber of Commerce, says it takes about nine months to plan the festival, and his team of 50 people will start working on next year's event soon.

Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black Cooks Chicken and Dessert

Agriculture Comissioner Gary Black dropped by the studio today to whip up some smoked chicken and apple crisp for dessert.

The recipe for Gigi's Apple Crisp is as follows:

  • 6 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 sticks butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine apples, water and lemon juice in an lightly greased 8x8 inch baking dish. In a bowl combine oatmeal, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Pour in the butter and stir to make a crumbly mixture. Spread mixture evenly over apples, bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the topping is crisp and browned.

The Government Shutdown: Contacting your Federal Leaders

During the partial government shutdown and the rollout of the Affordable Healthcare Act, many have heard calls to "contact your congressional representative".

So how do you go about that, at a time when many government agencies and offices are hobbled by increased workloads and reduced staff?

13WMAZ Thursday went online and took to the phones to contact Washington offices for all congressmen representing Central Georgia as well as the state's two senators.  While we were at it, we checked out the White House's website too.

Frank Malloy explains what we found. 

Meanwhile, here are the phone listings for your representatives:

Rep. John Barrow (D) District 12- (202) 225-2823

Rep. Sanford Bishop (D) District 2- (202) 225-3631

Rep. Paul Broun (R) District 10- (202) 225-4101

Rep. Austin Scott (R) District 8- (202) 225-6531 



Shutdown: Meals on Wheels Funds Run Low

    Some Central Georgia seniors might also feel the effects of the shutdown soon.

    Meals on Wheels is funded mostly by the federal government, and it's on a tight budget. 

   After October 15, if the shutdown continues, directors of programs in Central Georgia plan to send out 30-day notices about reduced or terminated services.

     For example, that means more than 1,100 people in Bibb, Jones, Monroe, and Crawford counties are at risk of losing their meals. 

     Cynthia Gray is one of those people. 

     She's lived at McAfee Towers, a senior center, for the past two years. 

     Gray says she depends on the two meals she receives every weekday to survive.

Wrightsville Woman Helps Navigate Health Care Insurance

They're called Navigators and their role is to help steer people through the new healthcare insurance marketplace.

Tammy Allen is one of 12 certified University of Georgia Health Navigators in the entire state.
"Outreach and education specialists that will be informing people how to use the new marketplace," she says.

Under the new health care law, navigators help people learn about health insurance options. 

"We've had federal training, state training, and also the University of Georgia training," Allen says. 

She covers eleven Central Georgia counties: Jasper, Putnam, Jones, Baldwin, Bibb, Twiggs, Wilkinson, Peach, Houston, Laurens and Johnson.   

Allen says it's not overwhelming because she has the help of her local extension agencies.