Thursday, January 20, Eyewitness News at 6

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 HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US. I'M FRANK MALLOY.
 AND I'M LORRA LYNCH-JONES... THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.


  SOME JOBS CUTS ARE COMING TO MACON'S BOEING PLANT... ELEANOR LISSITZYN SPOKE WITH BOEING SPOKESMAN AL STEWART TODAY TO FIND OUT WHAT IT COULD MEAN FOR OPERATIONS AT THE CENTRAL GEORIGA PLANT...


STEWART ESTIMATES PRODUCTION OF THE C-17 AIR CRAFT HAS A TWO HUNDRED MILLION DOLLAR IMPACT ON GEORGIA'S ECONOMY ANNUALLY... AND PROVIDES THIRTY THOUSAND JOBS NATIONALLY.


      GEORGIA'S UNEMPLOYMENT IS ON THE RISE.
     THAT'S ACCORDING TO NEW NUMBERS FROM THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR... WHICH SAYS THE STATE JOBLESS RATE HIT 10-POINT-2 PERCENT LAST MONTH.
      THAT HAS SOME OF YOU COMMENTING ON OUR 13WMAZ DOT COM FACEBOOK PAGE.
       ONE PERSON WROTE... "UNTIL GOVERNMENT GIVES BUSINESSES THE INCENTIVE TO INCREASE THEIR WORKFORCES IT IS ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE. 
ONE OF THE BEST INCENTIVES WOULD BE FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO GET THE HECK OUT OF THE WAY!
     AND SOMEONE ELSE COMMENTED... "EVERYONE ACTS AS IF WHAT WE NEED IS MORE JOBS TO HAVE ZERO UNEMPLOYMENT. IT'S NOT THE JOBS THAT MATTER, IT'S THE QUALITY OF THE JOBS THAT COUNT. ...    A JOB WITHOUT A PURPOSE IS POINTLESS. IT WOULD BE LIKE DIGGING A HOLE AND FILLING IT RIGHT BACK UP JUST TO SAY YOU ARE WORKING.
     JOIN US ON FACEBOOK AND LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK.
     VISIT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ AND CLICK ON THE "LIKE" BUTTON TO BECOME A FAN... THEN GET INVOLVED IN THE DISCUSSIONS.


   WHEELER COUNTY AUTHORITIES RIGHT NOW ARE SEARCHING FOR AN INMATE WHO ESCAPED FROM A WORK DETAIL...AT AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
   THAT'S ACCORDING TO THE OFFICE OF SHERIFF JAMES PEACOCK.
   THEY SAY THE INMATE TOOK OFF AROUND 2 P-M FROM THE COUNTY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL....ON SOUTH COMMERCE ROAD IN ALAMO.
   THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE HAD NO INFORMATION ON THE INMATE...BUT SAID THE SEARCH IS STILL UNDER WAY.
   WE'LL UPDATE THIS STORY AS SOON AS MORE INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE....AT 13WMAZ-DOT-COM.


BIG JOB FAIRS USUALLY BRING A BIG TURNOUT... AND FOR ONE OF THE LARGEST SCHOOL SYSTEMS IN CENTRAL GEORGIA... HOUSTON COUNTY'S TEACHER JOB FAIR IS NO DIFFERENT.
THIS YEAR'S FAIR IS COMING IN JUST TWO WEEKS...
AS VANESSA RUFFES EXPLAINS... THE SCHOOL SYSTEM SAYS IT CAN'T HIRE AS MANY IS IT HAS IN THE PAST... BUT IT STILL HAS ROOM FOR MORE.
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HOUSTON SCHOOLS ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT TIM HELMS SAYS THEY USUALLY WELCOME SEVEN HUNDRED PROSPECTIVE EDUCATORS TO THEIR ANNUAL JOB FAIR... AND THEY EXPECT NO FEWER THIS YEAR.


Helms "We have a chance to hire the best of the best... and at this job fair we'll have applicants that come from as far away as Ohio."


HELMS SAYS THEY USE THE FAIR MOSTLY TO FILL POSITIONS WHEN TEACHERS RETIRE OR RESIGN.


Standup "Helms says they hope to hire about 80 teachers this year, which is a slight drop from what they did last year, and a severe drop from what they did a couple years before that."


HE SAYS THREE YEARS AGO... HOUSTON COUNTY HIRED ABOUT 230 TEACHERS.


BUT WHEN THE BUDGET TIGHTENED DRASTICALLY LAST YEAR... HE SAYS... THE SYSTEM ONLY HIRED 97.
HE SAYS THE BUDGET WILL BE LEAN AGAIN THIS YEAR... BUT NOT AS MUCH AS IT COULD HAVE BEEN.


"We had to let a lot of teachers go last year. But because we took those measures last year, we're not looking at such a difficult time as far as hiring new folks on, as we had last year."


HELMS SAYS THAT MEANS... THEY'RE ADDING NEW JOBS -- FIFTEEN TO TWENTY, TO COVER VETERANS HIGH SCHOOL'S RISING SENIOR CLASS.


HE SAYS CERTIFIED TEACHERS LOOKING TO WORK IN HOUSTON SHOULD COME TO THE FAIR... ARMED WITH SEVERAL RESUMES AND READY TO INTERVIEW.


Helms "Our board members are there. Our superintendent will be there. All of our assistant superintendents, our HR staff, and it's just a time that we kind of put our best foot forward."


AND HE SAYS THEY'RE LOOKING FOR JOB SEEKERS WHO PUT THEIR BEST FOOT FORWARD TOO.
VANESSA RUFFES 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> HELMS SAYS MANY AVAILABLE POSITIONS WILL COME FROM THE ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOL LEVEL.
THE JOB FAIR WILL BE SATURDAY... FEBRUARY 5TH AT WARNER ROBINS HIGH SCHOOL.
IT'S FROM 9 A-M UNTIL NOON.
BIBB COUNTY SCHOOLS WILL HAVE A RECRUITMENT FAIR MARCH 19TH AT WESTSIDE HIGH SCHOOL... ALSO FROM 9 TO NOON


THE BIBB COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD MET IN A SPECIAL CALLED MEETING MINUTES AGO... TO TALK ABOUT MAKING UP SNOW DAYS.
THE DISTRICT CANCELED TWO SCHOOL DAYS THIS MONTH... AFTER WINTER STORMS.
LAUREN DISPIRITO WAS AT THAT MEETING.
SHE JOINS US NOW BY PHONE... LAUREN WHAT DID THEY DECIDE?
        THANK YOU LAUREN... WE'LL HAVE MORE ON THIS STORY TONIGHT ON EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.


ITS A NEW DAY AT MERCER UNIVERSITY FOR THE ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT..
AS THEY CONTINUE TO MAKE STRIDES TOWARD THE RETURN OF FOOTBALL TO THE CENTRAL GEORGIA CAMPUS... AND JUST A SHORT WHILE AGO 
AT A NEWS CONFERENCE.. THEY RELEASED SOME BIG NEWS.
OUR MARVIN JAMES JOINS US LIVE FROM THE UNIVERSITY CENTER WITH THE DETAILS OF TODAYS ANNOUNCEMENT
UNDEFEATED SINCE 1942 HAS BEEN THE RALLYING CRY ON THE CAMPUS..
BUT COME 2013 THE BEARS WILL HAVE SOME COMPETION ON THE PLAYING FIELDS TO CHALLENGE THAT RECORD.
JUST LAST NOVEMBER ATHLETIC DIRECTOR JIM COLE ANNOUNCED THAT MERCER FOOTBALL WOULD BE RETURNING TO THE CAMPUS AFTER A NEARLY 70 YEAR LAYOFF.
AND TODAY SOME TWO MONTHS LATER COLE ANNOUNCED THEY HAVE HIRED THE HEAD FOOTBALL COACH... BOBBY LAMB.
NOW LAMB IS THE FORMER HEAD COACH AND PLAYER OF FURMAN UNIVERSITY..
HE SPENT 29 SEASONS AT FURMAN.. 9 OF THOSE AS THE HEAD COACH.  
HIS OVERALL RECORD AS A HEAD COACH IS 67-40..
AND HE MOST RECENTLY RESIGNED FROM FURMAN AFTER THE 2010 SEASON.
        HE TOLD US WHAT HE LIKES ABOUT THE CHALLENGE OF STARTING UP MERCER'S PROGRAM..
Bobby Lamb:...When you look at the dynamics of Macon Georgia we're the oonly show in town and if we cna get this thing rollin like we want to we can get the community surrounding this great city involved I thing we can have a great thing here.
COMING UP LATER IN SPORTS WELL HAVE MORE ON COACH LAMB MAKING MERCER HIS NEW HOME..AND HOW HE PLANS TO REBUILD THE ORANGE AND BLACK FRANK


YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO BE A HERO THIS FEBRUARY... FOR A FAMILY WHO LOST A CHILD TO BRAIN CANCER.
THE SOLOMONS STILL SUFFER EVERYDAY FROM THE LOSS OF THEIR FIVE YEAR OLD SON... BUT THEY'RE NOT LETTING THE PAIN KEEP THEM DOWN.
INSTEAD... THEY'RE ASKING YOU TO HELP THEM LIFT OTHER CHILDREN WITH CANCER UP.
<<nats-
LABRINA SOLOMON KEEPS A SMILE ON HER FACE... 
(15:12) "He loved to tell jokes."
AND IT'S THE MEMORIES OF JOSHUA WHO KEEP THE TWINKLE IN HER EYE.
Labrina Solomon: (15:12) "One of his favorite jokes, was 'what do you call a bee that got married?' He caught his honey."
HER LITTLE COMEDIAN KEPT SHE AND HER HUSBAND LAUGHING.... THROUGH AN ILLNESS THAT WAS ANYTHING BUT FUNNY.
SHE REMEMBERS THE FIRST SIGNS OF SICKNESS... ON A DAY TRIP TO ALABAMA. 
Labrina Solomon: (2:13) "The day trip turned into a five day stay in the hospital, where he was diagnosed. The type of tumor Joshua had, there is no cure, there's no efficient treatment."
ST. JUDE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL HELPED.... PROVIDING JOSHUA THE BEST CARE POSSIBLE... SAID SOLOMON.
Labrina Solomon: (1:40) "It was just like he was a rock star when we came to visit St. Jude. They loved him. He was loved by everyone that came in touch with him."
ST. JUDE DEDICATED A TEDDY BEAR IN JOSHUA'S HONOR... AFTER HIS DEATH AUGUST 14, 2009. HE WAS FIVE YEARS OLD.
Labrina Solomon: (5:10) "We don't want families to go through the type of pain, that we continue to go through on daily basis. That pain will never go away. We just want to help find a cure."
THEY'RE HOSTING A BIRTHDAY BASH FEBRUARY 5TH... THE DAY JOSHUA WOULD'VE TURNED SEVEN.
Labrina Solomon: (5:10) "Though he is gone, there are other children out there just like him battling cancer. We have rare forms of cancer. That they've been given no hope. We want to change that situation."
EVERYONE IS INVITED TO HELP. SHE SAYS A TICKET BUYS A CHANCE TO CELEBRATE A LIFE... AND THE POSSIBILITY OF SAVING ANOTHER. >>
JOSHUA'S BIRTHDAY BASH FOR A CURE IS SATURDAY FEBRUARY 5TH.
IT'S AT THE ANDERSON CONFERENCE CENTER ON EISENHOWER PARKWAY IN MACON.
IT STARTS AT 6 AND LASTS UNTIL ELEVEN P-M.
TICKETS ARE 45 DOLLARS EACH... AND INCLUDE A LIVE BAND... SILENT AUCTION... DINNER AND DANCING.
ALL PROCEEDS GO TO ST. JUDE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL.
CALL 478-361-3541 FOR TICKETS... AGAIN THAT'S 478-361-3541.


    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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