OUR TOP STORY TONIGHT... ALL OF CENTRAL GEORGIA IS UNDER A WINTER STORM WATCH FOR SUNDAY INTO MONDAY..
CHIEF METEOROLOGIST BEN JONES IS IN THE WEATHER CENTER....
HE'S BEEN FOLLOWING THE SITUATION AND JOINS US WITH AN UPDATE.
The national weather service in peachtree city has issued a winter storm watch for all of central georgia from sunday evening through monday evening.
although the precipitation may start as a brief period of light snow late sunday evening...it should transition quickly to predominantly sleet during the overnight hours sunday. depending on how quickly this transition occurs...areas could receive up to 1 to 3 inches of snow and sleet accumulation through early monday.
after this time period...another transition to freezing rain is expected through monday afternoon and freezing drizzle from monday afternoon through late monday evening. there is potential for significant ice accumulation across the area although uncertainty in the forecast remains.
a winter storm watch means there is a potential for significant snow...sleet...or ice accumulations that may impact travel. continue to monitor the latest forecasts.
THANKS BEN.. WE'LL TALK WITH YOU AGAIN IN JUST A FEW MINUTES.
THE BIBB COUNTY E-M-A IS TAKING MEASURES TO PREPARE FOR POSSIBLE WINTER WEATHER THIS WEEKEND...
E-M-A DIRECTOR DONALD DRUITT JOINED US BY PHONE DURING EYEWITNESS NEWS AT FIVE TO TALK ABOUT WHAT HIS AGENCY IS DOING.
"At this time, the exact area where freezing rain may occur is pretty precise, we're several days away as the weather advisories will tell us, so at this point what I would tell people is to pay attention to the weather service, listen to the news and any updates that we need for our citizens to adheed to, we want them to get that information directly from the news service."
THE HOUSTON COUNTY E-M-A IS ALSO WORKING TO MAKE SURE PEOPLE LIVING THERE STAY SAFE THIS WEEKEND.
E-M-A DIRECTOR JIMMY WILLIAMS ALSO JOINED US BY PHONE DURING EYEWITNESS NEWS AT FIVE.... TO TALK ABOUT HOW THEY'RE PREPARING.
"All of our crews are making sure all of the chainsaws are operational, gas is topped off on all our emergency equipment, our salt and sand and other things are in our roads and bridges department and once we get all that ready, we'll just monitor the situation."
IF CONDITIONS GET ICY OR TREACHEROUS... AND YOU NEED TO DRIVE... YOU SHOULD OF COURSE BE CAUTIOUS AS YOU HEAD TO YOUR DESTINATION. DAVE COLEMANS WITH THE GEORGIA INSURANCE INFORMATIONS SYSTEM JOINED US VIA SKYPE... WITH ADVICE FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE TO GET ON THE ROAD.
Dave Colemans: "It's just not a good idea to be on the roads. If you have to go, it's important we think to drive very slowly if you can and certainly back off of what you would normally drive. It's very very easy to get into a rear-end collision this way, so we're hoping that people will be very cautious."
WE WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE THREAT OF WINTRY WEATHER... AND KEEP YOU UPDATED WITH THE LATEST FORECAST THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND RIGHT HERE ON 13WMAZ AND ON 13WMAZ-DOT-COM.
WILKINSON COUNTY DEPUTIES HEADED TO SAVANNAH TODAY TO PICK UP A 22-YEAR-OLD MURDER SUSPECT.
SHERIFF RICHARD CHATMAN SAYS ZACHARY BECK SHOT AND KILLED BUSINESSMAN RONNIE ROZIER AT HIS HOME YESTERDAY.
HE THEN DROVE TO SAVANNAH... POSSIBLY TO MEET FRIENDS.
BECK WAS CHARGED THIS MORNING IN SAVANNAH.
BOFTA YIMAM SHOWS YOU WHAT THE SHERIFF ATTRIBUTES TO THE SPEEDY ARREST... AND HOW FAMILY MEMBERS SAY THEY'LL REMEMBER ROZIER.
"It was very choscking, just total disbelief."
SONYA (SAHNYA) ROZIER CALLS THE MURDER OF HER COUSIN RONNIE ROZIER DISTURBING... BUT SAYS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF IT ALL---
"just the way he died he just didn't deserve it."
WILKINSON COUNTY SHERIFF RICHARD CHATMAN SAYS 54-YEAR OLD RONNIE ROZIER.. SEEN IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS PHOTO TAKEN ABOUT 20 YEARS AGO... WAS SHOT AND KILLED AT HIS HOME ON PARKER SPRINGS CHURCH ROAD THURSDAY AFTERNOON. HE SAYS ROZIER WAS THE VICTIM OF A ROBBERY AND SAYS MONEY WAS TAKEN. NO ONE ELSE WAS AT THE HOME AT THE TIME.
Sheriff Richard Chatman
"We believe that he died immediately he was shot in different areas of his body particularly one or two of those shots incapacitated him."
THE SHERIFF SAYS 22-YEAR-OLD ZACHARY BECK IS CHARGED WITH THE MURDER. HE SAYS BECK KNEW ROZIER AND THE HOME SHOWED NO APPARANT SIGNS OF FORCED ENTRY. CHATMAN SAYS ROZIER'S WIFE FOUND HIM AROUND NINE-O-CLOCK. CHATMAN SAYS THE first CALL CAME IN AS A MEDICAL PROBLEM... SHORTLY AFTER INVESTIGATORS RULED THE DEATH A HOMICIDE. GBI CRIME SCENE TECHNICIANS WORKED THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING... COLLECTING EVIDENCE.
"Had people coming from all out of the woodwork saying they saw this and saw that and that's what helps us solve crimes."
LIKE MANY PEOPLE IN THE AREA... THE SHERIFF SAYS HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH THE MCINTYRE BUSINESSMAN COVERED 30 YEARS.
(SONYA) SAHNYA SAYS THAT'S NO SURPRISE... SINCE HER COUSIN'S PASSION FOR CONSTRUCTION WAS BUILT ON HIS LOVE FOR PEOPLE.
"could bring you to life, you could just have a conversation with him and joke around and he would make you laugh."
SHE SAYS ROZIER RECENTLY RETIRED FROM THE LONG-TIME FAMILY CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS... WITH PLANS TO SPEND MORE TIME WITH SOME OF THE LATEST ROZIER MEMBERS.
"He enjoyed being outdoors he just purchased a new Rhino and one of his favorite pastimes was to go outside with his grandchild."
THE SHERIFF SAYS THEY DON'T SEE MUCH VIOLENCE... AND SAYS HE'S GRATEFUL WHEN IT DOES STRIKE... THE COMMUNITY HELPS PULL TOGETHER A SWIFT ARREST.
BOFTA YIMAM 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
SHERIFF CHATMAN SAYS THEY RECOVERED THE MURDER WEAPON THIS AFTERNOON... A 40-CALIBER HANDGUN.
HE SAYS ROZIER'S BODY HAS BEEN SENT TO THE STATE CRIME LAB.
FAMILY MEMBERS SAY ROZIER IS SURVIVED BY HIS WIFE... THREE KIDS... AND ONE GRANDCHILD.
YOU COULD SOON SEE AN INCREASE IN HOW MUCH YOU PAY FOR FOOD AND CIGARETTES... BUT A DECREASE IN HOW MUCH YOU PAY IN INCOME TAXES.
THAT'S IF LAWMAKERS TAKE UP RECOMMENDATIONS RELEASED BY A STATE TAX COUNCIL TODAY.
VANESSA RUFFES HAS MORE ON WHAT THE SPECIAL COUNCIL ON TAX REFORM AND FAIRNESS SAYS SHOULD CHANGE IN GEORGIA'S TAX SYSTEM.
THE COUNCIL SPENT SIX MONTHS RESEARCHING AND GATHERING TAXPAYER INPUT AROUND THE STATE...
IT HAS COMPILED A LIST OF CHANGES IT THINKS THE TAX SYSTEM NEEDS IN ORDER TO COMPETE FOR BUSINESSES... AND GENERATE JOBS.
FIRST... IT WANTS TO REDUCE PERSONAL AND CORPORATE INCOME TAXES OVER TIME...
... CUTTING THE STATE'S 6 PERCENT RATE EACH YEAR... UNTIL IT REACHES 4 PERCENT BY 20-14.
BALANCING THAT OUT... THE COUNCIL SAYS... IS ELIMINATING THE STATE TAX EXEMPTION ON GROCERIES... WHICH HAS BEEN AROUND SINCE 19-96.
THE REPORT SAYS THAT WOULD RAISE AT LEAST 472 MILLION DOLLARS
HOWEVER... IT'S RECOMMENDING KEEPING THE EXEMPTION FOR FOOD BOUGHT WITH FOOD STAMPS... AND THROUGH THE WOMEN...INFANT AND CHILDREN PROGRAM.
LOCAL LAWMAKERS ARE DIVIDED OVER THE REPORT.
REPUBLICAN REPRESENTATIVE ALLEN PEAKE SAYS THE RECOMMENDATIONS WOULD HELP STIMULATE ECONOMIC GROWTH AND DRAW MORE BUSINESSES TO GEORGIA.
DEMOCRATIC REPRESENTATIVE DAVID LUCAS SAYS... THEY UNFAIRLY SHIFT THE BURDEN TO MIDDLE- AND LOW-INCOME TAXPAYERS.
MACON BUSINESSMAN ROY FICKLING SAYS... WHO'S ON THE TAX COUNCIL SAYS... THERE'S ACTUALLY A LINE IN THE REPORT... SAYING THE GROCERY TAX DOES SHIFT THE BURDEN UNEQUALLY... BUT HE SAYS THAT'S BALANCED OUT BY THE INCOME TAX REDUCTION. THE COUNCIL ALSO WANTS TO RAISE THE CIGARETTE TAX FROM 37 TO 68 CENTS A PACK.
... AND ADD NEW TAXES ON CERTAIN SERVICES AND SALES.... LIKE BOAT AND AUTO SALES... OR HAIRCUTS AND SHOE REPAIRS.
OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS IN THE REPORT INCLUDE ESTABLISHING A TAX COURT AND NOT RE-ENACTING THE SALES TAX HOLIDAY.
THE TEN-PERSON SPECIAL COUNCIL ON TAX REFORM AND FAIRNESS IS MADE UP OF ECONOMISTS... BUSINESSMEN AND WOMEN... AND GOVERNOR SONNY PERDUE
IT LOOKS LIKE BIBB COUNTY WILL HAVE A NEW SHERIFF IN 2012...
...AND CHIEF DEPUTY DAVID DAVIS IS THE FIRST POTENTIAL CANDIDATE.
DAVIS TODAY SAID HE'S TAKEN OUT PAPERS TO RUN TO REPLACE HIS LONGTIME BOSS....JERRY MODENA.
HE SAYS MODENA DOESN'T PLAN TO RUN AGAIN....AFTER 10 YEARS ON THE JOB.
DAVIS SAID THEY'VE TALKED ABOUT HIS PLANS...AND THE SHERIFF SUPPORTS HIM.
DAVIS SAYS TAKING OUT PAPERS TO RAISE CAMPAIGN FUNDS IS THE FIRST STEP IN A LONG PROCESS....BUT RIGHT NOW HE PLANS TO RUN.
THE PRIMARY FOR THE SHERIFF'S RACE....IS IN JULY 2012.
WE'RE JUST A FEW DAYS AWAY FROM THE INAUGURATION OF GEORGIA'S NEXT GOVERNOR.
REPUBLICAN NATHAN DEAL WILL TAKE OFFICE ON MONDAY.
HE'LL SUCCEED GOVERNOR SONNY PERDUE... WHO COULDN'T RUN FOR RE-ELECTION AFTER SERVING TWO TERMS.
TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... WHAT KIND OF GOVERNOR DO YOU THINK NATHAN DEAL WILL BE?
SO FAR 24 PERCENT OF YOU SAY BETTER THAN PERDUE.
21 PERCENT OF YOU SAY WORSE THAN PERDUE.
AND 55 PERCENT OF YOU SAY ABOUT THE SAME.
YOU HAVE UNTIL MIDNIGHT TO VOTE... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
IF YOU'RE PLANNING TO BRAVE THE WINTERY MIX THIS WEEKEND TO GRAB A BITE TO EAT... YOU MAY WANT TO KNOW HOW YOUR FAVORITE SPOTS DID WHEN INSPECTORS DROPPED BY.
AMY AUBERT HAS THIS WEEKS RESTAURANT RATINGS.
THIS WEEK WE'RE IN BIBB COUNTY.
GOLDEN CORRAL AT 47-04 PRESIDENTIAL PARKWAY IN MACON SCORED A 74 OR "C"... THAT'S DOWN TWENTY ONE POINTS FROM THE 95 LAST TIME.
AN INSPECTOR FOUND THAT SOME OF THE TOPPINGS IN THE SALAD BAR WERE AT THE WRONG TEMPERATURE ... AND THREW THEM OUT.
HE ALSO FOUND ORGANIC DEBRIS ON DISHES IN THE DISH-STORING AREA.
THE RESTAURANT SCORED A 100 ON ITS REINSPECTION.
GREAT STEAK AND POTATO AT 36-61 EISENHOWER PARKWAY IN MACON SCORED A 66 OR A "U"... LAST TIME... THEY HAD A PERFECT SCORE.
AN INSPECTOR FOUND POTS AND PANS STORED ON THE FLOOR... AND HE FOUND COOKED CHICKEN SITTING IN A PAN WITH RAW BEEF.
ON RE-INSPECTION... GREAT STEAK AND POTATO SCORED A 99.
BACKYARD BBQ AND SOUL FOOD AT 26-83 HOUSTON AVENUE IN MACON SCORED A 61 OR "U"... THAT'S DOWN THIRTY NINE POINTS... FROM THE 100 THEY SCORED LAST TIME.
AN INSPECTOR FOUND THAT SOME WHITE POWDERS WERE NOT LABELED.
HE ALSO SAYS STAFF MEMBERS WEREN'T WEARING HAIR NETS.
ON RE-INSPECTION... THE RESTAURANT SCORED A 91.
NOW FOR A LOOK AT THE TOP SCORES OF THE WEEK...
TACO BELL AND PIZZA HUT AT 1-70 TOM HILL SENIOR IN MACON... GOT A PERFECT SCORE... AFTER GETTING A 100 LAST TIME... AS WELL.
A-P'S HIDDEN HIDEAWAY AT 42-74 BROADWAY IN MACON... ALSO SCORED TWO 100'S.
AND THE POWER STATION AT 10-15 RIVERSIDE DRIVE IN MACON... KEPT UP THE TREND... AND GOT DOUBLE PERFECT SCORES.
JOIN US AGAIN TONIGHT AS WE AVERAGE OUR NOMINEES PAST FIVE SCORES TO GIVE YOU THIS WEEK'S GOLDEN SPATULA WINNER....FRANK...LEAH?
FOR ALL YOUR BIBB AND HOUSTON COUNTY RESTAURANT RATINGS... GO TO OUR WEBSITE 13WMAZ DOT COM.
CLICK ON THE NEWS TAB.. THEN LOOK FOR FEATURES... THEN CLICK ON THE RESTAURANT RATINGS LINK.
THE MACON-BIBB COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT ADDED 14 FIREFIGHTERS TO ITS CREW TODAY.
THE RECRUITS TOOK THE OATH OF OFFICE AT A GRADUATION CEREMONY THIS AFTERNOON.. WHERE FAMILY MEMBERS PINNED THEM WITH THEIR BADGES.
MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT AND COMMISSIONER JOE ALLEN WERE ON HAND TO CONGRATULATE THE NEW FIREFIGHTERS.
THEY HIT THE STREETS ON SUNDAY MORNING....
BUT EVEN WITH THE ADDED MANPOWER... THE FIRE DEPARTMENT IS STILL ABOUT SEVEN SHORT OF BEING FULLY STAFFED.
Carell Rembert, Macon-Bibb County Firefighter, "I think with the training i received i'm ready to go to work today. I think Macon-Bibb County has trained me well to overcome anything that throws at me on the front line."
Chief Marvin Riggins, Macon-Bibb County, :"It's not up to full staff at this point and time buit hopefully in the spring we'll be able to reset and hopefully get us a new training class that will take us up to full capacity."
THE MACON-BIBB COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT GRADUATES TWO RECRUIT CLASSES A YEAR.
THEY TRAIN FOR ABOUT 12 WEEKS BEFORE STARTING THE JOB.
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.