HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
AND I'M FRANK MALLOY..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.
OUR TOP STORY TONIGHT... NEARLY TWO DAYS AFTER THE WINTER STORM SWEPT THROUGH CENTRAL GEORGIA... SOME PEOPLE ARE STILL EXPERIENCING DICEY ROAD CONDITIONS.
AMY AUBERT SHOWS YOU WHAT'S LEFT BEHIND ON SOME OF THE BACK ROADS... AND WHY THOSE LIVING THERE SAY... THEY'RE CONCERNED ABOUT VENTURING OUT.
Nats, ice falling.
AS TEMPERATURES ROSE TODAY... TREE BRANCHES COVERED IN A LAYER OF ICE... DRIPPED TO THE GROUND.
Nats, drips into puddles.
MORRIS HILLSMAN SAYS... HE'S BEEN OFF WORK FOR THE PAST TWO DAYS... BUT BRAVED THE ROADS ONLY ONCE TO PICK UP HIS SISTER FROM WORK.
Morris Hillsman, Fort Valley: "The road was real slippery so I did about 35 miles per hour goin' down and comin' back."
AND HE'S NOT THE ONLY ONE WHOSE CAR SLIPPED ON SLUSHY ROADS MONDAY.
Eva Warren, Fort Valley: "You have what you call black ice, you know, you can't really see that. So I wasn't going to endaNger my life, you know, you don't get that back."
EVA WARREN LIVES ON HIGHWAY 96...
Nat pop, truck
AND SAYS... SINCE THE STORM HIT... SHE'S HEARD SEVERAL FIRE TRUCKS AND AMBULANCES.
Eva Warren: "When I saw them go out, I knew then that the roads had to be awful."
Amy Aubert, Eyewitness News: "I spoke with some people who live on Firetower Road in Peach County who say they haven't left their home since the winter storm struck two days ago, but they say what they're most worried about is the ice dripping from these trees and creating puddles that could freeze over tonight."
Eva Warren: "If you're not careful and hit the wrong icicle and ice in the road, it could cause you to swerve and lose control."
PEACH COUNTY E-M-A SAYS ALL MAJOR AND SECONDARY ROADS ARE CLEAR... AND SAYS THEY'RE SAFE TO TRAVEL.
BUT WITH THE ICY REMAINS MELTING...
...SOME LIVING ON BACK ROADS SAY THEY'RE NOT CHANCING IT.
Morris Hillsman: "The only way I'm gonna get back on is if it's an emergency purpose, other than that, I'm not goin' anywhere."
AMY AUBERT... 13 WMAZ... EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> THE PEACH COUNTY E-M-A SAYS THE ROADS ARE CLEAR... BUT THAT A TRUCK HIT A PATCH OF BLACK ICE TODAY AND ROLLED OVER. THEY SAY IT'S SAFE TO TRAVEL... BUT IF YOU FIND YOURSELF ON A BACK ROAD...USE EXTRA CAUTION AND DRIVE SLOW.
A JOHNSON COUNTY WOMAN SAYS SHE'S SAFE...BUT WITHOUT A HOME...AFTER AN OAK TREE FELL THROUGH HER ROOF.
MARTHA NEAL SAYS ON MONDAY SHE HEARD A LOUD CRASH FROM THE BACK OF HER MOBILE HOME.
WHEN SHE WENT TO CHECK OUT THE PROBLEM... SHE FOUND A TREE HAD FALLEN THROUGH HER ROOF INTO THE BEDROOM.
ADRIAN FIRE CHIEF JESSE YAWN SAYS ICE CAUSED THE TREE TO UPROOT.
HE SAYS THIS IS SOME OF THE WORST WINTER WEATHER DAMAGE HE'S EVER SEEN.
Chief Jesse Yawn, Adrian Fire Department: "I have seen some trees fall onto houses and break through the roof but never to this extent this one came all the way through to the floor of the house."
NEAL IS WAITING ON HER INSURANCE ADJUSTER TO COME OUT BEFORE SHE DECIDES WHAT TO DO NEXT.
RIGHT NOW SHE'S STAYING WITH HER SISTER.
EMERGENCY CREWS IN HOUSTON COUNTY WERE STILL ON ALERT TO KEEP THE COUNTY'S ROADS SAFE TODAY.
DIRECTOR OF HOUSTON E-M-A JIMMY WILLIAMS SAID CREWS ALL OVER THE COUNTY APPLIED GRAVEL TO BRIDGES AND STEEP ROADS SHORTLY AFTER MIDNIGHT TO PREVENT ICING.
CHIEF WILLIAMS SAYS THE 911 CENTER REMAINS AT EMERGENCY LEVEL STAFFING.
SO FAR... WILLIAMS IS CLAIMING SUCCESS IN HOUSTON COUNTY DUE TO TEAMWORK.
Chief Jimmy Williams: Were very fortunate within our county government and our municipalities. We all get along and do whats best for the citizens. Them coming out and making the decisions and the stand on what we all were going to do helped us out quite a bit.
THE WINTER WEATHER GAVE STUDENTS A COUPLE OF UNEXPECTED DAYS OUT OF SCHOOL... BUT BIBB... AND HOUSTON COUNTY SCHOOLS SAY THEY PLAN TO RESUME TOMORROW.
A FEW OTHER SCHOOLS AND SCHOOL SYSTEMS WILL BE CLOSED FOR ANOTHER DAY.
JASPER... MONROE AND WASHINGTON COUNTY SCHOOLS... PIEDMONT ACADEMY IN MONTICELLO... AND GATEWOOD SCHOOLS IN EATONTON WILL BE CLOSED AGAIN WEDNESDAY.
THERE ARE NO CLASSES FOR PUTNAM COUNTY STUDENTS...BUT EMPLOYEES SHOULD REPORT AT 10 A-M.
ALSO... THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA IN ATHENS WILL BE CLOSED AGAIN ON WEDNESDAY..
TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL QUESTION ASKS... SHOULD SCHOOLS HAVE BEEN CLOSED TODAY?
SO FAR 74 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES.
26 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO... THEY SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN CLOSED.
VOTE RIGHT NOW... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE.
SCHOOL CANCELLATIONS ARE ALSO CAUSING SOME DEBATE AMONG OUR FACEBOOK USERS.
WE ASKED THEM WHAT THEY THOUGHT ABOUT THE WEB POLL QUESTION.
PEGGY BARFIELD GABRIEL SAID: "THE ROADS IN SOME AREAS ARE NOT SAFE.
WE LIVE WAY OUT IN THE COUNTRY AND IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY.
CLOSING THE SCHOOLS IS THE SAFEST FOR OUR PRECIOUS CARGO."
TYSHUNDRA WHEELER REPLIED:
MACON FREAKS OUT ABOUT THE THE SMALLEST WEATHER! THIS IS NOT ANYWHERE COMPARED TO WHAT OTHER STATES ARE GETTING AND LIVING LIFE."
JENNIFER HERNDON MUCHER WROTE... "THEY DON'T CLOSE ROADS EVERYWHERE ELSE BECAUSE THEY HAVE EQUIPMENT WE DON'T AND JUST BECAUSE US SOUTHERNERS ARE UNEXPERIENCED(BECAUSE WE GET NO SNOW) WE SHOULD RISK IT AND OUR KIDS LIVES FOR A DAY OF SCHOOL?"
AND STEPHANIE TOMPKINS COMMENTED: "ALTHOUGH OTHER STATES THINK WE ARE PUTTING ON A SHOW, WE ARE NOT ACCUSTOMED TO DRIVING IN SUCH CONDITIONS.
THIS IS DEFINITELY EXTREME WEATHER FOR CENTRAL GA. IT'S MUCH MORE THAN SNOW. I HAD MUCH RATHER MY CHILD HAVE TO MAKE UP THEIR SNOW DAYS THAN PLAN THEIR FUNERAL."
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A MACON MASSAGE-PARLOR WORKER WHO THREATENED TO SUE THE CITY FOR A HALF MILLION DOLLARS AFTER SHE WAS CHARGED WITH PROSTITUTION HAS PLEADED GUILTY TO REDUCED CHARGES.
IN A DOCUMENT FILED IN COURT TUESDAY,
SUN AH CHO PLEADED GUILTY TO GIVING A MASSAGE IN A PLACE OF PROSTITUTION.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO REBECCA GRIST, SOLICITOR IN BIBB COUNTY STATE COURT.
LAST YEAR, CHO WAS CHARGED WITH PROSTITUTION AND SOLICITING SODOMY,
CHO WILL PAY A 1,000 DOLLAR FINE AND AGREE NOT RETURN TO BIBB COUNTY FOR 12 MONTHS.
CHO IS CURRENTLY IN CALIFORNIA.
CHO WAS ARRESTED LAST MARCH AFTER A RAID AT THE TOKYO SPA ON RIVERSIDE DRIVE.
HER LAWYER CLAIMED SEXUAL ASSAULT AND BATTERY BY THE OFFICER WHO ARRESTED HER.
GRIST WOULD NOT COMMENT ON WHETHER THE UNDERCOVER OFFICER'S ACTION AFFECTED THE CASE.
BIBB COUNTY SCHOOLS' INCOMING SUPERINTENDENT WRAPS UP HIS TIME IN ROCHESTER...MINNESOTA THIS WEEK.
ROMAIN DALLEMAND'S LAST DAY IN THE DISTRICT IS THIS FRIDAY. THAT'S ACCORDING TO ROCHESTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS SPOKESWOMAN JENNIFER POZANC.
LAST MONTH... THE BIBB COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD REACHED AN AGREEMENT TO HIRE DALLEMAND.
THEY AGREED TO PAY HIM AN ANNUAL BASE SALARY OF 198 THOUSAND DOLLARS... PLUS BENEFITS.
DALLEMAND IS SCHEDULED TO BEGIN WORK HERE ON FEBRUARY FIRST.
13WMAZ'S LAUREN DISPIRITO SPOKE TO DALLEMAND BY PHONE TUESDAY.
HE SAYS HE HAS NOT YET DECIDED WHEN HE'LL MOVE TO BIBB COUNTY.
MANY ISSUES FACE STATE LAWMAKERS AS THEY BEGIN THE 20-11 LEGISLATIVE SESSION UNDER THE GOLD DOME IN ATLANTA.
AMONG THOSE ISSUES......THE BUDGET.. IMMIGRATION REFORM.. EDUCATION.. CONSOLIDATION.. AND PACKAGE SALES OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ON SUNDAY.
RANDALL SAVAGE HAS MORE ON THE CONSOLIDATION AND SUNDAY SALES.
<<SOME STATE LAWMAKERS BELIEVE THE MOVE TO LEGALIZE PACKAGE SALES OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ON SUNDAYS MAY GAIN STRENGTH THIS SESSION.
IN RECENT YEARS.. FORMER GOVERNOR SONNY PERDUE VOWED TO VETO SUNDAY SALES IF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY APPROVED THEM.
BUT THIS YEAR.. NEW GOVERNOR NATHAN DEAL SAYS HE'D LET LOCAL GOVERNMENTS VOTE ON WHETHER TO ALLOW SUNDAY SALES.
UNDER CURRENT STATE LAW.. PACKAGE STORES.. SUCH AS CHERIO'S IN MACON.. AND GROCERY STORES AREN'T ALLOWED TO SELL ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ON SUNDAYS.. BUT THE LEGISLATURE COULD CHANGE THAT THISYEAR.
ALSO THIS YEAR.. STATE REPRESENTATIVE ALLEN PEAKE SAYS HE'LL AGAIN PROPOSE LEGISLATION THAT WOULD ALLOW MACON AND BIBB COUNTY VOTERS DECIDE WHETHER TO CONSOLIDATE THEOR CITY AND COUNTY GOVERNMENTS.
52:03 Allen Peake, State Representative: From my perspective, I think there's a time that we look at a different method of government for our community, and I think consolidation may be a good opportunity to evaluate.
A PEAKE CONSOLIDATION PROPOSAL MADE IT THROUGH THE HOUSE LAST YEAR.. BUT DIED IN THE SENATE.. SOME SAY BECAUSE SENATOR ROBERT BROWN DIDN'T SUPPORT IT.
1:46:26 Robert Brown, State Senator: I did not engage vigorously in the debate last time because I had not updated my homework. But I've done my homework. I will be ready. I'm going to defend my position.
IN THE PAST.. PEAKE INTRODUCED HIS PLAN AS LOCAL LEGISLATION.. WHICH NEEDED BROWN'S APPROVAL....BUT IF IT FAILS THIS YEAR AS LOCAL LEGISLATION.. PEAKE SAY HE'LL LOOK AT OTHER OPTIONS...LIKE GETTING IT THROUGH AS GENERAL LEGISLATION.
RANDALL SAVAGE.. 13 WMAZ.. EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> LOCAL LEGISLATION MUST BE APPROVED BY A MAJORITY OF THE BIBB COUNTY LEGISLATIVE DELEGATION...INCLUDING BOTH SENATORS.
GENERAL LEGISLATION MUST BE APPROVED BY A MAJORITY OF STATE LAWMAKERS IN BOTH HOUSES.......EVEN IF SOME LEGISLATORS ARE OPPOSED.
BEFORE HE WAS A GOVERNOR... A U-S REPRESENTATIVE... AND A STATE SENATOR... NATHAN DEAL WAS WHAT SOME CALL... A "HOMEGROWN BOY" FROM SANDERSVILLE.
DURING HIS INAUGURATION AS GEORGIA'S 82ND GOVERNOR YESTERDAY... DEAL TALKED ABOUT HIS CENTRAL GEORGIA BACKGROUND.. AND HIS FIRST FIELD TRIP TO THE CAPITOL.
DEAL SAID A LOT HAD CHANGED FOR HIM SINCE THEN... BUT AS VANESSA RUFFES EXPLAINS... SOME FROM HIS HOMETOWN SAY ONE THING THAT'S STAYED CONSTANT IS DEAL'S SMALL-TOWN ROOTS.
"We knew somewhere along 6th or 7th grade that Nathan was destined to be governor... or something important like that."
FORMER WASHINGTON COUNTY COMMISSIONER TOMMY WALKER SAYS... A LOOK THROUGH THE OLD WASHINGTON COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL YEARBOOK PAINTS THE PICTURE OF A SERIOUS AND STUDIOUS YOUNG NATHAN DEAL.
"He was very smart, very smart. And he was dependable. In fact, he was voted most dependable in his senior year."
DEAL'S CLASSMATE FOR MORE THAN A DECADE... WALKER SAYS THE SON OF GEORGIA EDUCATORS WAS ALSO WELL-ROUNDED -- A CLASS OFFICER... IN DEBATE... QUARTET... FUTURE FARMERS OF AMERICA... AND BASKETBALL.
HIS PERSONAL MOTTO WAS "EVERY MAN STAMPS HIS VALUE ON HIMSELF."
Walker "But Nathan was not a nerd. We had some folks in our class that were smart, but some of them were nerds. And you'd say hello and they were stumped for an answer, but Nathan wasn't like that."
AFTER GRADUATION AND EVERYONE PARTED WAYS... WALKER SAYS DEAL WENT TO MERCER... THEN ENLISTED IN THE ARMY... HE CAME BACK AND PRACTICED LAW BEFORE RUNNING FOR STATE SENATE....AND THEN CONGRESS.
WALKER SAYS... WHEN HE HEARD DEAL WOULD RUN FOR GOVERNOR... IT ONLY SEEMED NATURAL.
"Everybody's very proud of him. You couldn't hardly go a block in this town without seeing a Nathan Deal sign."
STILL... HE SAYS THE BIGGEST CREDIT TO DEAL'S CHARACTER COMES AFTER THAT... BECAUSE EVEN AFTER RISING IN THE RANKS... HE SAYS DEAL STILL KEEPS IN TOUCH...
Nats, Walker on the phone with Deal
IT'S PROOF... HE SAYS... GEORGIA'S GOVERNOR DIDN'T LOSE HIS SMALL-TOWN ROOTS IN THE BIG CITY.
Nat pop, inauguration "i was a fifth grade student at Sandersville elementary school..."
AND HE SAYS IT SEEMS FITTING... THE MAN VOTED MOST DEPENDABLE IN HIS CLASS... WOULD ONE DAY HAVE THE ENTIRE STATE DEPENDING ON HIM.
VANESSA RUFFES 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> DEAL WAS SWORN IN YESTERDAY AT THE STATE CAPITOL.
THE SNOW STORM FORCED THE CEREMONY FROM THE STEPS OF THE CAPITOL TO THE HOUSE CHAMBER.
DEAL WILL GIVE HIS STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS TOMORROW AFTERNOON.