Thursday, January 6, Eyewitness News at 6

10:47 PM, Jan 6, 2011   |    comments
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 <<opening for eyewitness news at six>>
 HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
 AND I'M FRANK MALLOY..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.

A NEW FACE IS RUNNING FOR MACON MAYOR.
BIBB COUNTY FIREFIGHTER PAUL BRONSON (BRAWN-SON) SAYS HE ACTUALLY MADE THE DECISION TO RUN FOR THE SEAT LAST YEAR. 
HE'S CALLING HIS CAMPAIGN SLOGAN "CHANGING TOMORROW TODAY."
AS BOFTA YIMAM SHOWS YOU... BRONSON (BRAWN-SON) IS HOPING AN EARLY START----AMONG A POSSIBLE CROWDED FIELD OF BIG-NAMERS... WILL HELP HIM WIN.
NATS 

PAUL BRONSON SAYS HIS EXPERIENCE INSIDE THE CITY... PROMPTED HIM TO RUN FOR MACON'S TOP JOB.

Bronson,
"The city is hurting and as far as I'm concerned as a firefighter, the same way I fight fires, is the same way I want to put the fire out in the city of Macon."

THE 25-YEAR OLD BIBB FIREFIGHTER SAYS DON'T BE FOOLED BY HIS AGE..  THE RECENT FORT VALLEY GRAD... HOLDS THE POST OF  48TH BRIGADE LIEUTENANT... AND IS WORKING TOWARDS A MASTERS IN DIVINITY.  BRONSON SAYS HE ALSO TEAMED UP TO HELP SEARCH AND RESCUE EFFORTS AFTER HURRICANE KATRINA.   THE CANDIDATE SAYS HE'S A LEADER... THE CITY NEEDS FOR CHANGE.  

Bronson,
"If elected I'll communicate more with the citizens of Central Georgia, I want to be out there and see what else is going on first hand within the city."

AT THE TOP OF HIS AGENDA... A REVIEW OF CITY HEALTH AND RETIREMENT BENEFITS... FIXING THE PENSION PLAN...  AND INCREASING POLICE MANPOWER TO HELP REDUCE CRIME.   PLUS... THE MAYORAL HOPEFUL SAYS HE WANTS TO REVITALIZE DOWNTOWN AND BRING OUT-OF-STATE BUSINESSES TO THE AREA.. TO HELP BOOST JOS.

NATS Bronson 

MACON CITY CLERK JEAN HOWARD SAYS BRONSON... FORMER MACON MAYOR C-JACK ELLIS... AND FORMER MAYORAL CANDIDATE DAVID COUSINO (COO-SI-NO) HAVE TURNED DECLARATION OF INTENT FORMS... THAT ALLOW THEM TO RAISE MONEY FOR THEIR CAMPAIGN.

NATS FONT Jan.4 
Randall:  "As you said, your probably going to run."

MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT SAYS HE PLANS TO TOSS HIS NAME IN THE RACE. OTHERS MENTIONED IN THE POOL INCLUDE... SENATOR ROBERT BROWN... AND CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT MIRIAM PARIS.  

NATS Phone

FACING A POSSIBLE CROWDED FIELD OF BIG-WIGS... BRONSON SAYS HE PLANS TO TARGET SOCIAL MEDIA SITES... LIKE FACEBOOK...TO GET HIS NAME OUT.  PLUS.. HE SAYS HIS KNACK FOR LISTENING... AND OPEN-DOOR POLICY... WILL SET HIM APART..  

NATS 

BRONSON SAYS HIS EXPERIENCE ON PAPER MAY NOT MATCH UP WITH THE OTHERS... BUT SAYS THAT FACTOR... HASN'T HELD HIS DRIVE BACK BEFORE.

BOFTA YIMAM 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS 
CITY CLERK JEAN HOWARD SAYS MAYOR REICHERT WON'T NEED TO FILL OUT THE DECLARATION OF INTENT FORM... SINCE HE'S ALREADY IN OFFICE. 
REACHED BY PHONE... CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT MIRIAM PARIS SAID "I'LL MAKE THE DEICISON TO RUN... AS WE GET CLOSER TO QUALIFYING. RIGHT NOW... COUNCIL IS MY FOCUS."
CALLS TO SENATOR ROBERT BROWN.. ... WERE NOT RETURNED.

SELINDA HANSFORD WAS STILL ON THE JOB TODAY AT THE BIBB COUNTY COURTHOUSE.... EVEN AFTER SUPERIOR COURT JUDGES WITHDREW THEIR CONSENT OF HER APPOINTMENT AS BIBB COUNTY MAGISTRATE.
BRITTINY BARBER HAS BEEN FOLLOWING THIS STORY.
BRITTINY WHAT DID YOU FIND OUT TODAY?
FOUR SUPERIOR COURT JUDGES DID ISSUE AN ORDER WITHDRAWING APPROVAL OF SELINDA HANDSFORD'S APPOINTMENT....
BUT THAT ORDER DIDN'T KEEP HER AWAY FROM THE MAGISTRATES OFFICE TODAY.
NATS WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE JUDGES ORDER?
AS YOU CAN SEE HANDSFORD WAS IN HER OFFICE TODAY AT THE MAGISTRATE COURT...BUT HAD NO COMMENT ON THE JUDGES ORDER.
EARLY THIS AFTERNOON... WE SPOKE TO ONE CLERK WHO SAID HANDSFORD HAD NOT SIGNED OFF ON ANY WARRANTS TODAY.
HANDSFORD RESIGNED AS MAGISTRATE JUDGE FIVE YEARS AGO.
THAT WAS AFTER SHE WAS ACCUSED OF ILLEGALLY TAKING MONEY TO PERFORM WEDDINGS DURING HER WORK HOURS.
CHIEF MAGISTRATE JUDGE BILLY RANDALL RE-APPOINTED HER TO THE JOB MONDAY.
THE COUNTY'S FIVE SUPERIOUR COURT JUDGES SIGNED OFF ON IT.
JUDGE RANDALL ALSO WOULD NOT SPEAK TO US... BUT WE ASKED HIS SECRETARY IF HE PLANNED TO ACT ON THE JUDGES' ORDER TODAY.
 SHE SAID HE WOULD NOT.... AND THAT HE HAD NO FURTHER COMMENT. 
WE TALKED TO BIBB COUNTY CHAIRMAN SAM HART... HE SAID HE HAD NO COMMENT BECAUSE THIS WAS CONSIDERED A PERSONNEL MATTER.
COUNTY ATTORNEY VIRGIL ADAMS AGREED... AND DECLINED COMMENT.
FRANK... LEAH.
IT'S UNCLEAR WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.
BIBB COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY GREG WINTERS TELLS US IF SOMEONE PREFORMS THE DUTIES OF A MAGISTRATE WITHOUT BEING AUTHORIZED....
THEIR ACTIONS  COULD BE CHALLENGED AND OVERTURNED.

     GOVERNOR-ELECT NATHAN DEAL HAS SET UP A BLIND TRUST TO CONTROL HIS PERSONAL ASSETS WHILE HE'S IN OFFICE.
    THE REPUBLICAN ALSO SAYS HE PLANS TO KEEP CONTROL OF KEY PROPERTY SUCH AS HIS HOME AND LAND THAT HOUSED A FAILED SPORTING GOODS VENTURE.
     TIFTON-BASED ACCOUNTANT AND DEAL POLITICAL SUPPORTER JIMMY ALLEN WILL OVERSEE THE GOVERNOR'S ASSETS WHILE HE'S IN OFFICE.
     DEAL ALSO RESTRUCTURED A TWO-POINT-TWO MILLION DOLLAR LOAN THAT WAS DUE NEXT MONTH.
       ALLEN SAID DEAL AND HIS WIFE HAVE PAID OFF ABOUT 850 THOUSAND DOLLARS OF THAT DEBT... AND THE REST HAS BEEN REFINANCED AND IS DUE IN THREE YEARS.

     A JURY CONVICTED TWO MEN OF MISTREATING DOZENS OF DOGS IN WASHINGTON COUNTY.
    THAT'S ACCORDING TO DISTRICT ATTORNEY HEYWARD ALTMAN.
      THE CHARGES CAME AFTER A FEBRUARY RAID IN SANDERSVILLE...WHERE DEPUTIES SAID THEY FOUND DOZENS OF DEAD DOGS...AND 26 MORE THAT WERE STARVING AND FREEZING. 
      ALTMAN SAYS DERRICK DANIELS OF DEKALB COUNTY AND BILLY TAYLOR JUNIOR OF SANDERSVILLE WERE CONVICTED OF 26 MISDEMEANOR COUNTS OF ANIMAL CRUELY.
     HE SAYS DANIELS WAS SENTENCED TO FIVE YEARS IN STATE PRISON AND FIVE YEARS OF PROBATION.
     TAYLOR WAS SENTENCED TO ONE YEAR IN COUNTY JAIL AND NINE YEARS OF PROBATION. 
    ALTMAN SAID THE DOGS' INJURIES POINTED TO DOGFIGHTING...BUT PROSECUTORS COULDN'T PROVE THAT...SO THE JURY FOUND THEM NOT GUILTY ON TWO FELONY COUNTS.

  A 70-YEAR-OLD WOMAN WAS MURDERED INSIDE HER CORDELE HOME YESTERDAY.
  THAT'S ACCORDING TO DANNY JACKSON.. SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE OF THE G-B-I'S AMERICUS OFFICE.
  JACKSON SAYS MAMIE EVELYN WRIGHT CALLED 9-1-1 AROUND 10:45 A-M YESTERDAY AND SAID SHE HAD BEEN SHOT AT HER HOME ON 13TH STREET.
  JACKSON SAYS EMERGENCY CREWS RESPONDED AND BROUGHT WRIGHT TO THE HOSPITAL WHERE SHE DIED WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON..
  HE SAYS THE CASE APPEARS TO BE A HOME INVASION.. BUT THEY ARE STILL INVESTIGATING AND DON'T HAVE A MOTIVE OR SUSPECTS.
  WRIGHT LIVED ALONE.

   THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES' WILDLIFE RESOURCES DIVISION WANTS TO CHARGE ADMISSION FOR VISITORS TO SOME POPULAR NATURAL AREAS. 
   THE D-N-R WILL HOLD A MEETING AT FRANKLIN SPRINGS CITY HALL TONIGHT TO GET PUBLIC COMMENTS ON THE FEES. 
   A STEERING COMMITTEE MADE OF PEOPLE ACROSS THE STATE INTERESTED IN CONSERVATION AND OUTDOOR RECREATION.... RECOMMENDED THAT THE DNR OFFER INDIVIDUALS A THREE-DAY PASS FOR $3 OR A YEARLY PASS FOR $19. 
    GROUPS OF UP TO 12 PEOPLE COULD BUY THREE-DAY PASSES FOR $10 OR A YEARLY PASS FOR $35. 
   THE DNR BOARD WOULD HAVE TO VOTE ON APPROVING THE FEES. 

      NEXT WEEK... YOU CAN ENJOY THE WORK OF ARTISTS FROM AROUND THE STATE OF GEORGIA.
      THAT'S JUST ONE OF THE EVENTS YOU'LL FIND ON THE MILLEDGEVILLE PAGE OF OUR "WHERE YOU LIVE" SECTION AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
   ALLIED ARTS AND THE PILOT CLUB OF MILLEDGEVILLE WILL HOST THE GEORGIA ARTISTS WITH DISABILITIES EXHIBITION OF WINNERS.
      THEY'LL KICK THINGS OFF WITH AN OPENING RECEPTION NEXT WEDNESDAY AT THE MARLOR ARTS CENTER ON NORTH WAYNE STREET.
      YOU CAN JOIN THEM FROM 7 A-M UNTIL 9 A-M.
      THE EXHIBIT FEATURES SIX MILLEDGEVILLE ARTISTS... AND IT WILL BE ON  DISPLAY UNTIL FEBRUARY 4TH.
    TO FIND MORE DETAILS ON THIS... OR ANY OTHER STORY IN YOUR AREA... JUST HEAD OVER TO THE "WHERE YOU LIVE" SECTION.
       YOU'LL FIND THE "CHOOSE WHERE YOU LIVE" BOX IN THE MIDDLE OF THE HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
       SELECT YOUR AREA... THEN CLICK "MORE NEWS" TO HEAD OVER TO THAT COMMUNITY'S PAGE.
       WHILE YOU'RE THERE... YOU CAN ALSO SHARE SOME OF THE PHOTOS YOU'VE TAKEN... AND BROWSE THE ONES FROM YOUR COMMUNITY.

ONE MACON GROUP SAYS THERE'S HIGH DEMAND FOR DOWNTOWN LOFT LIVING... BUT THE ECONOMY PUT A CHILL ON PLANS TO BUILD AND REDEVELOP MORE OLD BUILDINGS.
LAUREN DISPIRITO SHOWS YOU WHAT SOME SAY DRAWS PEOPLE TO THE CITY... AND WHY THEY SAY REVITALIZATION TAKES MORE THAN BRINGING IN BUSINESS AND EVENTS. 
Nats I love the exposed brick that's here, and the high ceilings and the steel beams that are exposed give it a lot of character.

MACON LAWYER BRIAN ADAMS SAYS HISTORIC FEATURES DREW HIM TO THIS DOWNTOWN LOFT.

Brian Adams, Macon: "they've modernized the kitchens and the bathrooms in a way that doesn't take away from the old feel."

HE GREW UP IN NORTH MACON ...BUT SAYS CONVENIENCE CONVINCED HIM TO MOVE FROM RIDGE AVENUE LAST OCTOBER.

Brian Adams, Macon: "I love being down here, I walk to work and my office is less than a block away."

Nats typing

NEW-TOWN MACON'S KRIS HATTAWAY SAYS A REVITALIZED DOWNTOWN NEEDS MORE PEOPLE LIVING THERE...AND ADAMS IS THE TYPE OF PERSON THEY HOPE TO ATTRACT.

Kris Hattaway, Director of Place, NewTown Macon: "this is younger singles and couples who are wanting to live in the urban center and also the baby boomers who are becoming empty nesters."

THE DOWNTOWN AREA OFFERS 400 APARTMENTS. IN THE MID 90S...THERE WERE JUST 25. 
THEY'RE NEARLY 95 PERCENT OCCUPIED... BUT HATTAWAY SAYS THEY COULD BE DRAWING IN MORE.

Lauren DiSpirito, Eyewitness News: "NewTown Macon says last year, developers put about 20 new downtown loft apartments on the market, but they say a 2008 study shows that demand may be much higher than that, possibly even enough to support nearly 200 new units each year, for the next five years."

Kris Hattaway, Director of Place, NewTown Macon: "The big problem has just been like many other things it's just the economy and financing being unavailable."

UNTIL THINGS IMPROVE...SHE SAYS... SHE'LL WORK TO SHOWCASE MACON'S EVENTS AND CHARACTER.

Kris Hattaway, Director of Place, NewTown Macon: "so that when the economy picks back up and we get the financing we need to get these projects off the ground we have no problem filling them.

ADAMS SAYS THEY CITY'S A GOOD PLACE TO LIVE. 

Brian Adams, Macon: "I have a dog and he likes it here, he misses the yard a little bit, but this for the time being for the short term makes a lot of sense for me."

HE SAYS IF MORE PEOPLE MOVED DOWNTOWN... BUSINESSES WOULD FOLLOW...AND MOVE MACON FORWARD.

LAUREN DISPIRITO
13 WMAZ
EYEWITNESS NEWS

NEW-TOWN MACON SAYS AVERAGE CITY RENT PRICES RANGE BETWEEN FIVE HUNDRED FIFTY AND 16 HUNDRED DOLLARS A MONTH.
YOU CAN VISIT OUR WEBSITE TO FIND OUT HOW ONE DOWNTOWN DEVELOPER PLANS TO TRANSFORM THE HISTORIC DANNEBERG BUILDING ON THIRD STREET INTO NEW HOUSING...AND WHY HE SAY HE HOPES TO PRESERVE MACON'S ARCHITECTURE. 
            LOOK FOR THIS STORY ON THE HOMEPAGE.

   TODAY'S 13 WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS...
     WILL MORE LOFTS AND APARTMENTS ATTRACT MORE PEOPLE TO LIVE IN DOWNTOWN MACON?
     SO FAR 64 PERCENT OF YOU SAY  NO... WHILE 36 PERCENT SAY YES THEY WILL.
   TO VOTE NOW.. VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT 13 WMAZ DOT COM.. AND LOOK FOR THE WEB POLL QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE.

IF YOU STILL HAVE YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE AND YOU'RE NOT SURE WHAT TO DO WITH IT..
       YOU CAN GET IT ALL CLEANED UP THIS WEEKEND.. WHILE SAVING SPACE IN MACON'S LANDFILL.
KEEP MACON-BIBB BEAUTIFUL'S "BRING ONE FOR THE CHIPPER" EVENT IS THIS SATURDAY.
YOU CAN BRING YOUR TREE TO CENTRAL CITY PARK FROM 9 AM TO 2 PM TO HAVE IT TURNED INTO MULCH.
            IN EXCHANGE FOR RECYCLING YOUR TREE... YOU'LL GET FREE SEEDLINGS WHILE SUPPLIES LAST.

      THIS MORNING... WE ASKED OUR FACEBOOK FANS WHAT THEY DID WITH THEIR CHRISTMAS TREES EACH YEAR.
      ELAINE CHAMBLESS REPLIED... "BRING IN THE NEW YEAR WITH A BIG BON FIRE WITH IT!"
DANA PETIT WROTE... "DUMP IT IN OUR FISHING POND...THE FISH LIKE HAVING SOMEWHERE TO HIDE."
KARAN SHUGART COMMENTED... "TRADE IT IN HERE IN WARNER ROBINS FOR A DOGWOOD TREE. TOLD MY SON HE COULD PUT BOTH OURS IN A FISH POND THIS YEAR!"
MATT KUTAY SAID "PUT IT IN THE STORAGE ROOM TIL NEXT YEAR."
      JOIN US ON FACEBOOK AND JOIN IN ANY OF THE OTHER DISCUSSIONS ON THE PAGE.
      BE SURE TO CLICK ON THE "LIKE" BUTTON AND BECOME A FAN... AND DON'T FORGET TO USE THE "SUGGEST TO FRIENDS" FEATURE SO YOU CAN INVITE YOUR FACEBOOK FRIENDS INTO THE CONVERSATIONS.

    THANKS FOR JOINING US.... WE'LL BE BACK TONIGHT AT 11.
BUT REMEMBER...THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ.COM !
   THE EVENING NEWS WITH KATIE COURIC IS UP NEXT.
   HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.

 

 

 

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