HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
AND I'M FRANK MALLOY..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.
WE START WITH SOME BREAKING NEWS...THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE JUST VOTED TO REPEAL THE FEDERAL HEALTH CARE OVERHAUL.
BUT THAT BATTLE IS NOT OVER.
MEANWHILE... SOME LOCAL DEMOCRATS LAUNCHED A MOVE TO KEEP THE OBAMA PLAN.
RANDALL SAVAGE HAS MORE.
NATS "will you help us take action?"
A HANDFUL OF DEMOCRATS WORKED THEIR BLACKBERRY'S WEDNESDAY MORNING---
NATS "should not vote to repeal the affordable health care act."
THEY ASKED PEOPLE TO CALL CONGRESSMAN AUSTIN SCOTT... AND URGE HIM TO VOTE AGAINST REPEALING HEALTH CARE REFORM. 25-YEAR-OLD JUSTIN MCDANIEL CREDITS IT FOR HELPING HIM GET RE-ADDED TO HIS PARENTS PLAN... WHILE SEARCHING FOR A FULL-TIME JOB. MCDANIEL SAYS IT GIVES HIM PEACE OF MIND.... INCASE A MEDICAL PROBLEM POPS UP.
Justin McDaniel, Milledgeville
"really nice to know that at least it won't be financially devastating to my family."
SOME DEMOCRATS CALL THE WHOLESALE REPEAL OF THE ACT "IRRESPONSIBLE"... HURTING BUSINESSES... AND FAMILIES. MACON CITY COUNCILWOMAN AND BUSINESS OWNER... LAUREN BENEDICT SAYS THE PLAN IN PLACE HELPED HER KEEP EMPLOYEE INSURANCE COSTS AFFORDABLE.
Lauren Benedict, Macon City Councilwoman
"We slashed those costs by a third because of the tax credit and that has helped small businesses across the country providing health insurance now this year to employees when they didn't do it before."
BUT FORMER GOVERNOR SONNY PERDUE SAYS HE'S NOT SURE IT'S AFFORDABLE... FOR THE NATION OR INDIVIDUALS. HE CALLS IT IMPERATIVE... THAT THE HOUSE REPEAL THE LAW.
Sonny Perdue, Former Ga. Governor
"I think its a great goal for everyone to be insured, if that's their goal, but in America we have not forced people to do those kinds of things"
THE FORMER GOVERNOR SAYS HE DOESN'T AGREE WITH THE FULL HEALTH PACKAGE THAT PASSED LAST SPRING... BUT SAYS THERE ARE SOME FUNDAMENTAL THINGS THEY ALL AGREE ON.
"Over pre-existing conditions and those kinds of things that make sense and will improve access and cost of health care but that huge humungous bill was not the answer"
BENEDICT SAYS THEY ALL NEED TO FOCUS ON PRESSING ISSUES---
"jobs, jobs, jobs."
RANDALL SAVAGE REPORTING ALONGSIDE BOFTA YIMAM.... 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
THE STATE OF GEORGIA JOINED 20 OTHER STATES AND FILED A LAWSUIT LAST SPRING AGAINST THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
IT CHALLENGES THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE HEALTH CARE ACT.
MERCER LAW PROFESSOR DAVID (O-DELL) OEDEL IS WORKING ON THE STATE'S LAWSUIT.
HE SAYS WHETHER IT SHOULD BE REPEALED IS A POLITICAL MATTER... HE SAYS THEY'RE FOCUSED ON THE LEGALITY OF THE ACT... INCLUDING THE INDIVIDUAL'S CHOICE TO BUY INSURANCE.
David Oedel, Mercer Law Professor
"The individual mandate is that part of health care reform that says individuals have to purchase health care insurance even though individuals may not choose to, whether that's part of a cost they may not want to pay for or they don't believe in health care insurance and want to do it themselves or have their own kind of healing."
(O-DELL) OEDEL SAYS A FEDERAL JUDGE IN FLORIDA IS EXPECTED TO RULE IN THE NEXT SEVERAL WEEKS.
AFTER THAT... HE SAYS EITHER OR BOTH SIDES... WILL LIKELY APPEAL IT.
IT WILL THEN MOVE TO THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT COURT IN ATLANTA.
FORMER GOVERNOR SONNY PERDUE AND HIS WIFE MARY MOVED BACK TO CENTRAL GEORGIA A LITTLE MORE THAN A WEEK AGO.
TODAY... PERDUE MADE HIS FIRST PUBLIC APPEARANCE SINCE COMING HOME...SPEAKING TO THE PERRY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.
VANESSA RUFFES TALKED TO HIM ABOUT HOW HE'S SETTLING BACK INTO HIS BONAIRE HOME... AND WHAT ADVICE HE HAD FOR BUSINESS OWNERS LIKE HIM.
"If you've read that book Who Moved My Cheese?... I can't find my cheese right now, but I'm going to unload boxes until I find my cheese and get it back to the right place for life."
GOVERNOR SONNY PERDUE SAYS GETTING NESTLED BACK INTO HIS BONAIRE HOME IS TAKING SOME TIME... BUT HE SAYS HE AND HIS WIFE MARY ARE ENJOYING REKINDLING OLD FRIENDSHIPS.
"It's been truly an honor to serve you. To represent Middle Georgia and to be able to come back home and to live and to worship and to do business among you."
BUSINESS WAS THE AT THE HEART OF HIS SPEECH TO FELLOW PERRY AREA BUSINESS OWNERS.
WHILE HE SAYS HE'S RETIRED FROM THE POLITICAL FRONT... PERDUE SAYS HE'S STILL KEEPING BUSY.
"We still have to stay involved in business. And we're continuing to expand those on several different fronts."
HE COMPARED HIS EIGHT YEARS AS GOVERNOR... TO BEING BOSS OF A COMPANY... AND PUT CUSTOMER SERVICE IMPROVEMENTS AS ONE OF HIS TREASURED ACCOMPLISHMENTS... AND SOMETHING OTHER BUSINESS OWNERS SHOULD STRIVE FOR.
"None of these things-- that you might recall-- was very sexy from a media point of view. Nobody cared about being the best managed state in the nation. But I tell you what, when you go to get your driver's license, you don't have to take off half a day from work you appreciate it."
PERDUE TOOK THE TIME TO APPRECIATE CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE ACROSS THE STATE... WHICH HE SAYS HELP GROW LOCAL ECONOMIES... AND MOVE THE STATE FORWARD.
BUT FOR NOW... HE SAYS... MOVING FORWARD FOR HIM... IS HAVING EVERYTHING BACK IN ITS PLACE.
"A lot of people say, I hope you're relaxing. But moving and unpacking is not that relaxing, but we'll get settled."
VANESSA RUFFES 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
PERDUE SAYS HE'LL "NEVER SAY NEVER"... BUT SAYS HE HAS NO PLANS TO RUN FOR ANOTHER PUBLIC OFFICE.
THE PERRY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE GAVE HIM A LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP.
A MACON WOMAN WAS SENTENCED TO THREE YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON AFTER ADMITTING SHE STOLE MORE THAN 600 THOUSAND DOLLARS FROM A CREDIT UNION..
48-YEAR-OLD LISA COX WAS SENTENCED AND ORDERED TO REPAY THE MONEY TODAY IN U-S DISTRICT COURT IN MACON..
SHE PLEADED GUILTY TO EMBEZZLEMENT AND KEEPING FALSE RECORDS.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO THE U-S ATTORNEY'S OFFICE.
COX WAS HEAD TELLER AT THE MIDSOUTH FEDERAL CREDIT UNION OFFICE ON MERCER UNIVERSITY DRIVE.
PROSECUTORS SAID SHE GAMBLED... TOOK A VACATION...PAID FOR A VEHICLE AND HELPED A RELATIVE BUY A HOME WITH THE MONEY.
THEY SAID SHE TRIED TO COVER HER TRACKS BY FILING FALSE RECORDS THAT SAID THE BANK'S VAULT HELD HALF A MILLION DOLLARS IN NICKLES..
A SIXTY-SIX YEAR OLD WOMAN DIED IN A DUBLIN CAR ACCIDENT THIS MORNING ... AND THREE OTHERS... WERE INJURED.
THATS ACCORDING TO DUBLIN POLICE CHIEF WAYNE CAIN.
CAIN SAYS IT HAPPENED AT VETERANS BOULEVARD AND HODGES STREET AROUND SEVEN THIRTY.
HE SAYS... THE GRANDMOTHER WAS TAKING HER TEN YEAR OLD GRANDCHILD TO SCHOOL... WHEN SHE CROSSED INTO THE WESTBOUND LANE OF VETERANS BOULEVARD AND WAS STRUCK BY A CAR.
CAIN SAYS THE CHILD IS IN STABLE CONDITION IN A MACON HOSPITAL.
THERE WERE TWO PEOPLE IN EACH CAR.
THE OCONEE RIVER RANKS AS ONE OF THE TOP TEN MOST ENDANGERED PLACES IN THE SOUTHEAST.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO THE SOUTHERN ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CENTER WHICH PUTS TOGETHER THE LIST EACH YEAR.
BRITTINY BARBER EXPLAINS WHY THE RIVER IS ENDANGERED..
Larry Cooper, Oconee, :"I've lived here i'd say 40 years."
PEOPLE LIKE LARRY COOPER.... WHO LIVE IN THE TOWN WITH SAME NAME AS THE OCONEE RIVER.... FELT SURPRISED WHEN THEY FOUND OUT IT WAS ENDANGERED.
Larry Cooper, "It really bothers me that the river is threatened because i grew up fishing the river of course swimming in the river and spent a lot of time with my dad."
Brittiny Barber, Eyewitness News: "The Oconee made the list because of the proposed Plant Washington near Sandersville. REsearchers say the plant will use about 13 million gallons of water per day taking away a vital resource for the state."
Bob Strange, Oconee, "During the summer time it doesn't have that much water in it. Sometimes you can't even go up and down the river in a boat."
GFX- ACCORDING TO POWER FOR GEORGIANS EMC'S... THE GROUP PROPOSING TO BUILD THE PLANT...
IT WILL HAVE "A MINIMAL IMPACT IN THE OCONEE RIVER."
AND SOME OF THE WATER USED WOULD BE PUT BACK.
Willie James Williams, Oconee, "If they can treat it without hurting fish or nearby streams and neighbors... if they can do that I'm all in favor of it."
NATS OF TRAIN.
BUT OTHERS IN THIS SMALL TOWN FEEL DIFFERENTLY.
Larry Cooper, "I feel it's very important that we consider what it could do to our environment our water, our air, our plant life."
BRITTINY BARBER 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS." >>
THE GROUP SAYS THE OCONEE RIVER IS AN IMPORTANT SOURCE OF WATER FOR CENTRAL GEORGIA...AND THE HOME OF AN AT RISK SPECIES OF FISH.
GEORGIA'S CYPRESS FORESTS ALSO MADE THE LIST OF THE MOST ENDANGERED PLACES..
IT'S TAX TIME... AND YOU MAY BE EXPECTING A REFUND THIS YEAR.
IF YOU ARE.... SHERRI GOSS WITH ROSENBERG FINANCIAL GROUP HAS SOME MONEY SAVING TIPS FOR YOU.
SHERRI... WHAT'S NEW FOR THIS TAX SEASON?
Sherri: A number of things. First of all, the IRS isn't sending out any booklets for the first time this year. So, if you use paper forms to do your return you'll need to visit a post office or library to pick them up, or print them out from their website at irs.gov.
Next, if you've filed and used "Rapid Refund" in the past, you'll notice that not everyone will be offering this this year. The IRS has proposed banning rapid refunds all together as they are such a bad deal for the consumer. A rapid refund is where the preparer files your return, and gives you your refund in the form of a loan. The interest rate on this loan is about 24%, plus you pay additional fees. It's a big money-maker for the tax preparer, and a bad deal for you.
If you need your money fast, and your adjusted gross income was less than $58,000, go to the IRS website and e-file for free. You can file your federal and state returns, free of charge, and have your refund direct deposited within about a week.
Another new thing is for the 1 in 12 Americans who don't have bank accounts. About 600,000 people who do not have bank accounts will be offered a debit card that their refund would be loaded into. Paper checks cost the government about $1 each, and direct deposit only costs about 10 cents, so the IRS is moving away from paper checks.
If you itemize deductions, claim higher education as a deduction, or have educator expenses to deduct, you need to wait until the end of February to file, as the IRS is having to update their systems from the laws that were passed in December.IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS FOR SHERRI CALL HER AT 752-1374 OR EMAIL HER AT EYEWITNESSNEWS@13WMAZ.COM.
SHE'LL BE HERE UNTIL 6:30..
MACON AREA HABITAT FOR HUMANITY KICKED-OFF ITS ANNUAL PRICELESS GIFTS CAMPAIGN TODAY..
THIS YEAR'S THEME WILL BE "CHANGE FROM EVERY DOLLAR."
THEIR GOAL IS TO RAISE MORE THAN 300 THOUSAND DOLLARS TO IMPROVE HOUSING IN MACON. AND ITS A STORY THAT COMES STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART THE CAMPAIGN WILL WORK TO RAISE MONEY TO BUILD FIVE TO SIX AFFORDABLE HOMES IN THE LYNMORE ESTATES NEIGHBORHOOD.
MACON HABITAT HAS BUILT TWENTY QUALITY HOMES IN LYNMORE ESTATES, SINCE 2005
THE ORGANIZATION NOW HAS A GOAL OF BUILDING FORTY-SIX HOMES OVER THE NEXT THREE YEARS.
Harold Tessendorf/Executive Director Seeing people being able to take that next step for them to realize all that God has intended for them indeed is very gratifying, very motivating and Im humbled to be a part of it. . FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW YOU CAN DONATE OR VOLUNTEER....
PLEASE CONTACT 478- 745-0630 EXT. 306
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.