Cochran Municipal Building
Location in Bleckley County and the state of Georgia
|• Mayor||Gary Ates|
|• City Manager||Richard Newbern|
|• Total||4.7 sq mi (12.3 km2)|
|• Land||4.6 sq mi (11.9 km2)|
|• Water||0.2 sq mi (0.4 km2)|
|Elevation||341 ft (104 m)|
|• Estimate (2016)||5,036|
|• Density||1,123/sq mi (433.4/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0355210|
Cochran is named for Judge Arthur E. Cochran and was incorporated on March 19, 1869. Judge Cochran was largely instrumental in developing this section of Georgia through his work as president of the Macon & Brunswick Railroad, now the Southern Railway. Once known as Dykesboro, Cochran was settled by B. B. Dykes, who owned the site on which the town is built. The earliest settlers located here to work in the turpentine industry.
Cochran is home to Bleckley County High School and Middle Georgia State University. Three properties in Cochran are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: the Bleckley County Courthouse in Courthouse Square, the Cochran Municipal Building and School at the junction of Dykes and Second streets, and Hillcrest at 706 Beech Street.
Cochran, originally known as Dykesboro, was settled in the 1850s by B. B. Dykes. It was renamed Cochran in 1869 after Arthur Cochran, a railroad official who brought the Macon and Brunswick Railroad to town. In 1912, Cochran was designated seat of the newly formed Bleckley County.
Cochran operates under a Mayor-Council system of government, with the day-to-day business being handled by a city manager. The city manager is Richard Newburn. The office of Mayor is currently unoccupied, with Mayor Pro Tem Gary Ates assuming mayoral duties until a special election is held in March 2017. The Police Chief is Christopher S. Coley, and the fire chief is Glenn A. Lord.
In 2016, at a City Council meeting held on October 11th, Mayor Michael Stoy resigned from office, alleging that certain City Council members had participated in an illegal meeting. Since there was more than a year remaining in his term, a special election will have to be held to elect another Mayor.
In 2013, the city manager decided to terminate the employment of the police and fire chief, and replace them with a public safety director in order to save money, but rescinded his decision days later amidst public disapproval, and announced the appointment of a task force to look at the budget and advise him on choices.
In 2011, Mayor Cliff Avant was charged with felony theft for allegedly donating city-owned PVC pipe to a local church. He admitted the donation and the mistake of not having it declared surplus property by the city council. On the day of the trial, as a result of a plea deal, Avant resigned as mayor, and pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal trespass.
In 2008, some of the Cochran Police Force came under scrutiny for various acts of misconduct, which included child molestation charges. One officer was charged and another resigned after being investigated for interference with custody.
Cochran is located at (32.386646, -83.350684).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.7 square miles (12.3 km2), of which 4.6 square miles (11.9 km2) is land and 0.15 square miles (0.4 km2), or 3.63%, is water.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 5,150 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 48.1% Black, 47.3% White, 0.1% Native American, 1.6% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander and 1.0% from two or more races. 1.8% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,455 people, 1,632 households, and 1,055 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,090.5 people per square mile (420.6/km²). There were 1,851 housing units at an average density of 453.1 per square mile (174.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 55.31% White, 42.09% African American, 0.09% Native American, 1.41% Asian, 0.47% from other races, and 0.63% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.99% of the population.
There were 1,632 households out of which 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.6% were married couples living together, 23.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.3% were non-families. 31.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.10.
In the city, the population was spread out with 26.1% under the age of 18, 15.6% from 18 to 24, 23.4% from 25 to 44, 19.5% from 45 to 64, and 15.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 83.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $25,545, and the median income for a family was $35,854. Males had a median income of $29,434 versus $22,813 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,354. About 14.8% of families and 21.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.3% of those under age 18 and 23.0% of those age 65 or over.
Bleckley County School District
Bleckley County students in kindergarten to grade twelve are in the Bleckley County School District, which consists of a primary school, an elementary school, a middle school and a high school. The district has 151 full-time teachers and over 2,355 students.
- Bleckley County Learning Center
- Bleckley County Primary School
- Bleckley County Elementary School
- Bleckley County Middle School
- Bleckley County Success Academy
- Bleckley County High School
- Ronald Gray - convicted spree killer
- Amberle L. Husbands - writer of pulp-noir and science fiction short stories and novels
- Clarence Reid, a.k.a. Blowfly - musician and songwriter
- Ed Roberts - founder of MITS and creator of the Altair 8800 microcomputer, widely regarded as starting the microcomputer revolution
- Obie Walker - claimant of the World Colored Heavyweight Championship boxing title in the 1930s
- Austin Cook - Was the regional champion in 2016 for the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
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- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Hellmann, Paul T. (May 13, 2013). Historical Gazetteer of the United States. Routledge. p. 224. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
- "Cochran mayor discloses reason he resigns; council fires city clerk/election superintendent". macon.com. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
- "Cochran Backs Off on Public-Safety Changes". 13wmaz.com. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- "Cochran's Mayor Defends Himself On Theft Charge". 13Wmaz.com. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- "Cochran's Mayor Resigns After Guilty Plea". 13Wmaz.com. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- "Second Cochran Georgia Police Officer Morris Ross Arrested, Quits, Charged In Child Molestation Case - Officer Brent Powell Arrested Last Week". Bad Cop News. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
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- Georgia Board of Education[permanent dead link], Retrieved May 31, 2010.
- School Stats, Retrieved May 31, 2010.