Monday, February 7, Eyewitness News at 6

8:41 PM, Feb 11, 2011   |    comments
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 <<opening for eyewitness news at six>>
 HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US. I'M FRANK MALLOY..
 AND I'M LEAH JOHNSON... THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.


A NATIONWIDE SCAM THAT TARGETS THE ELDERLY... HIT HOME FOR A MILLEDGEVILLE WOMAN.
AMY AUBERT SPOKE WITH THE WOMAN WHO BECAME A VICTIM OF WHAT SOME CALL THE "GRANDPARENT SCAM."
SHE EXPLAINS HOW THE WOMAN SAYS...THE SCAMMERS TUGGED ON HER "HEARTSTRINGS"... TO GET NEARLY THREE GRAND.
<<
Nats, phone ringing


THE PHONE RINGS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT... AND THE VOICE ON THE OTHER END... IS YOUR GRANDSON... AND HE NEEDS HELP.


THAT'S WHAT SANDY GRIMES THOUGHT WAS HAPPENING... LESS THAN A MONTH AGO. 


Sandy Grimes, Milledgeville: "Because I had never heard of this scam, I took it as being real; my grandson was in trouble."


GRIMES SAYS THE NATIONWIDE HOAX IS KNOWN AS THE "GRANDPARENT SCAM."


THE CALLER... TOLD GRIMES IT WAS HER GRANDSON... MICHAEL... AND HE WAS ON A TRIP TO SPAIN WITH A FRIEND.. 


THE CALLER TOLD HER THEY WERE PULLED OVER FOR SPEEDING... AND THE COPS FOUND A DRUGS IN THE TRUNK.


Sandy Grimes: "He almost started crying, he said Grandmother, you know I don't take drugs. I said I know you don't, Michael."


GRIMES SAYS... THE CALL SEEMED CREDIBLE...BECAUSE MICHAEL HAD RECENTLY BEEN TO SPAIN. PLUS THE CALLER HER NICKNAME... ABOUT HER RECENT BATTLE WITH CANCER... AND HER HUSBAND'S RECENT JOB LOSS.


Sandy Grimes: "I couldn't figure out where they got the information."


HE TOLD HER HE WAS BEING HELD AT THE AMERICAN EMBASSY... AND NEEDED TWENTY EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS... FOR BOND.


BALDWIN COUNTY SHERIFF... BILL MASSEE... SAYS THE SCAMMERS USUALLY TARGET FAMILIES OF KIDS TRAVELING OVERSEAS... AND KNOW THE FAMILY DETAILS BEFORE PICKING UP THE PHONE.


Massee: "You're pullin' on the heartstrings of the grandparents that do not want their children in jail."


GRIMES SAYS... SHE WENT TO THE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT AFTER THE SCAMMERS ASKED FOR MORE MONEY... THE NEXT DAY.


Grimes: "After it's gone, you can't get your money back."


AMY AUBERT... 13 WMAZ... EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> GRIMES SAYS SHE LOST NEARLY THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS.
SHERIFF MASSEE SAYS THIS IS THE SECOND GRANDPARENT SCAM REPORTED IN MILLEDGEVILLE... AND HE SUGGESTS TALKING TO FAMILY MEMBERS TO MAKE EVERYONE AWARE OF THE SCAM.


     MILLEDGEVILLE POLICE SAY A GEORGIA MILITARY COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYER IS ACCUSED OF SEXUALLY ASSAULTING A WOMAN.
     POLICE CAPTAIN DRAY SWICORD SAYS 20-YEAR-OLD JAMAL RASHAD TYLER IS IN CUSTODY CHARGED WITH SEXUAL BATTERY.
    SWICORD SAYS THE ALLEGED ASSAULT HAPPENED AT THE COLLEGE STATION APARTMENTS IN MILLEDGEVILLE AROUND 3-30 YESTERDAY MORNING.
      HE SAYS THE VICTIM IS A 22-YEAR-OLD GEORGIA COLLEGE AND STATE UNIVERSITY STUDENT.
      POLICE SAY THEY'RE STILL INVESTIGATING AND INTERVIEWING POSSIBLE WITNESSES.


     A DODGE COUNTY WOMAN CONVICTED OF KILLING AN INFANT THREE YEARS AGO IS BACK IN CUSTODY AFTER BEING RELEASED FROM PRISON A YEAR EARLY.
     THAT'S ACCORDING TO CAPTAIN TONY WINBORN WITH THE DODGE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE.
   LAST MONTH... WE TOLD YOU HOW A CLERICAL ERROR IN THE DODGE SHERIFFS OFFICE FREED AMY ROGERS JONES FROM PRISON... A YEAR AHEAD OF TIME.
     DISTRICT ATTORNEY TIM VAUGHN FILED A MOTION ASKING A JUDGE TO SEND HER BACK TO PRISON... BUT THE JUDGE SET A HEARING FOR EARLY MARCH.
     TODAY... WINBORN SAYS ROGERS WAIVED THAT HEARING... AND TURNED HERSELF IN. HE SAYS...AFTER THEY TALKED FOR A COUPLE WEEKS...HER LAWYER AGREED SHE WAS RELEASED EARLY.
     VAUGHN SAYS JONES WILL REMAIN IN A STATE PRISON UNTIL THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS DECIDES TO RELEASE HER. 
    SHE WAS TAKEN TO METRO STATE PRISON IN ATLANTA THIS MORNING.


A LOG TRUCK ACCIDENT LEFT A MESS AT A MACON INTERSECTION THIS AFTERNOON.
THE TRUCK OVERTURNED AROUND 1:30 AT BROADWAY AND RAINES AVENUE....SLOWING TRAFFIC IN SOUTH MACON.
THE TRUCK WAS HEADED NORTH ON BROADWAY  TOWARD DOWNTOWN..
MACON POLICE SPOKESWOMAN JAMI GAUDET SAYS THE TRUCK SWERVED TO AVOID ANOTHER VEHICLE...AND JACK-KNIFED.
THE ACCIDENT SPILLED LOGS OVER THE BUSY INTERSECTION.
  NO INJURIES WERE REPORTED.


CONGRESSMAN AUSTIN SCOTT AND HIS EX-WIFE ANNETTE LEIGH JORDAN HAVE WITHDRAWN THEIR OBJECTION TO UNSEAL THEIR DIVORCE PAPERS... ACCORDING TO COURT RECORDS.
IN SEPTEMBER... MACON ACTIVIST AMY MORTON FILED A MOTION TO UNSEAL THE RECORDS OF THE 2001 DIVORCE.
RECORDS SAY SCOTT AND JORDAN HAVE DROPPED THEIR OBJECTION TO AVOID RACKING UP ATTORNEYS' FEES AND BOGGING DOWN THE COURT SYSTEM.
MORTON'S LAWYER CARMEL SANDERS SAYS THEY ARE NOW WAITING FOR A JUDGE TO APPROVE THEIR REQUEST TO UNSEAL THE PAPERS.


GEORGIA'S PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSIONER TIM ECHOLS IS HOSTING A SERIES OF ROUNDTABLES ON ALTERNATIVE FUELS THROUGHOUT THE STATE...WITH ONE SCHEDULED IN DUBLIN.
ECHOLS SAYS PEOPLE ARE INVITED TO MEET WITH ALTERNATIVE FUEL EXPERTS AND VIEW VEHICLES THAT RUN ON ELECTRICITY AND BIOFUELS.
HE SAYS THE PURPOSE OF THE ROUNDTABLE IS TO START SHIFTING GEORGIANS OFF THEIR "DEPENDENCE" ON FOREIGN OIL.
Tim Echols, PSC "Technology is growing, we've got the Vault, we've got the Leaf, these hybrids -- the Prius for example -- that runs on both just getting 40 miles plus to the gallon. So this is something that can save people money."
THE ROUNDTABLE IN DUBLIN WILL BE WEDNESDAY FROM 4 TO 6PM... AT (MA-SHAY) MAGE SOLAR... AT 720 INDUSTRIAL BOULEVARD.
ECHOLS SAYS OTHER ROUNDTABLES WILL BE HELD IN ATLANTA... ATHENS... SAVANNAH... AND AUGUSTA.


      HANCOCK COUNTY OFFICIALS COULD LIFT A BOIL WATER ADVISORY TONIGHT.
      THEY ISSUED THAT ADVISORY THIS WEEKEND.
      COUNTY TECHNOLOGY DIRECTOR ERNEST WARREN SAYS PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN SPARTA SHOULD BOIL THEIR WATER BECAUSE IT'S CLOUDY.
      CITY OFFICIALS SAY THAT COULD MEAN THE WATER MAY HAVE DISEASE-CAUSING PARASITES... VIRUSES OR BACTERIA.
      THEY SAY PEOPLE SHOULD USE BOILED OR BOTTLED WATER FOR DRINKING... MAKING ICE... BRUSHING TEETH... WASHING DISHES AND PREPARING FOOD.
     MAYOR WILLIAM EVANS JUNIOR SAYS TEST RESULTS WILL BE AVAILABLE TONIGHT..
      HE SAYS NO ONE HAS REPORTED GETTING SICK FROM THE WATER... BUT OFFICIALS ARE TAKING PRECAUTIONS TO KEEP PEOPLE SAFE.
     FOR MORE INFORMATION... CONTACT THE CITY OF SPARTA... AT 706-444-5753.... AGAIN THAT'S 706-444-5753.


    THE CITY OF EASTMAN HAS ORDERED A MAN TO REMOVE YARD SIGNS PROTESTING A NEARBY METHADONE CLINIC.
     POLICE CHIEF BECKY SHEFFIELD SAYS THE SIGNS IN ROBERT ROOKS' YARD VIOLATE A CITY ORDINANCE.
     SHE REFERRED QUESTIONS TO THE CITY MANAGER...WHO DID NOT RETURN OUR PHONE CALLS.
     THE CLINIC OPENED LAST YEAR NEAR THE DODGE COUNTY HOSPITAL. 
BUT ROOKS HAS LOBBIED THE CITY AND COUNTY TO GET RID OF IT.
     HE SAYS HE DOESN'T KNOW WHY HE'S BEING CITED...SINCE MANY PEOPLE IN TOWN HAVE YARD SIGNS.
      VARIOUS COURT DECISIONS OVER THE YEARS HAVE UPHELD PEOPLE'S FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS TO POST YARD SIGNS....AND OVERTURNED LOCAL LAWS THAT BAN THEM.


THE LEADERS OF MACON AND BIBB COUNTY TALKED ABOUT THE FUTURE TODAY.
MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT AND CHAIRMAN SAM HART SPOKE AT A LUNCHEON FOR MACON ROTARY CLUBS.
BRITTINY BARBER SAYS BOTH MEN AGREE THAT THE CITY AND COUNTY'S FUTURES WOULD LOOK BRIGHTER...IF THEY CAN MERGE.
<<NATS
MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT AND CHAIRMAN SAM HART DISCUSSED THE FUTURE OF MACON-BIBB COUNTY.
THEY SAY THAT INCLUDES MACON-BIBB CONSOLIDATION, WHICH THE STATE LEGISLATURE WILL ONCE AGAIN CONSIDER THIS YEAR. 
Mayor Robert Reichert: "The devil lies in the details. WE can all sit here and agree that consolidation is the best things since sliced bread but when you get down to some details they say I didn't realize it did that."
Chairman Sam Hart: "Consolidation shouldn't be one of those things that comes totally from the top. Instead we ought to get the public involved to say that the interest for consolidation come from the community."
WHICH EXCITED SOME AUDIENCE MEMBERS.
Ed Bond, Macon: "We have all the opportunities to  be successful now we just got to get everybody on the same page."
OTHERS WERE MORE SKEPTICAL.
Tom Sands, "For me it's all about execution and making it happen. We have great ideas, great people, but for some reason we aren't able to focus and make it happen. So I'm hoping by gathering we can leave with action plans."
SOME OF THOSE PLANS INCLUDE EXPANSIONS.
Robert Reichert:" Create I think a regional andl ogistical transportation hub that would include Middle Ga Regional Airport." 
AND ALSO CHALLENGES IN THE FUTURE
Sam Hart: "We still have a revenue gap we must close of approximately $8.8 million dollars."
BUT SOME SAY NOTHING'S TOO TOUGH FOR MACON AND BIBB COUNTY TO OVERCOME
Ben Hinson, Macon: "There are challenges everywhere, but Macon has such incredible opportunities."
NATS Sam Hart "We're going to selicit your help to get there."
THEIR COMMENTS ENCOURAGING OTHERS TO GET INVOLVED.
Buck Donnelly: "We as a community can't sit back and let the leadership do it by themselves. We've got to roll some sleeves up and get busy."
BRITTINY BARBER 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
>> FOR THREE YEARS THE TUBMAN MUSUEM HAS SPONSORED THE EVENT TO GIVE ROTARY MEMBERS A CHANCE TO HEAR DIRECTLY FROM THEIR LEADERS.
MEMBERS OF THE MACON ROTARY CLUBS... AND THE TUBMAN MUSEUM BOARD OF DIRECTORS ATTENDED.


          AT ONE POINT IN HIS LIFE... WASHINGTON COUNTY SHERIFF THOMAS SMITH WAS PARALYZED.
Sheriff Smith: "I still have those braces today in my bedroom. Days when i may get up grumpy or maybe in a bad mood I look at those braces and say things aren't so bad after all."
HE SPENT NINE MONTHS IN HOSPTIAL AFTER DEVELOPING GUILLIAN-BARRE (BAH-RAY) SYNDROME...  WHICH CAN PERMANENTLY DAMAGE THE NERVOUS SYSTEM.
SMITH SPENT MONTHS IN PHYSICAL THERAPY AND SUFFERED THROUGH SEVERAL SURGERIES TO REGAIN THE USE OF HIS LIMBS.
HIS MOTIVATION BROUGHT HIM FROM A HOSPITAL BED TO THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE.
BRITTANY BARBER SAT DOWN WITH HIM... SHE'LL SHARE HIS JOURNEY TONIGHT ON EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.
     AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN PERRY IS OPENING ITS FAMILY LIVING CENTER... TO HELP STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES.
      THAT'S JUST ONE OF THE STORIES YOU'LL FIND ON THE PERRY PAGE OF OUR 'WHERE YOU LIVE' SECTION AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
      KINGS CHAPEL ELEMENTARY WILL HAVE A GRAND OPENING AND RIBBON CUTTING NEXT MONDAY... FEBRUARY 14TH... AT 9 A-M.
      THE LIVING CENTER FEATURES A FULL KITCHEN... LAUNDRY ROOM... DINING ROOM AND LIVING AREA.
      THE HOUSTON COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION SAYS THAT WILL LET STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES ACQUIRE AND PRACTICE DAILY LIVING SKILLS.
    FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE CENTER OR TO SEE OTHER NEWS FROM YOUR AREA... VISIT THE 'WHERE YOU LIVE' SECTION AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
     LOOK FOR IT ON OUR HOMEPAGE... THEN CLICK 'CHOOSE YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD' TO SELECT YOUR COMMUNITY.
     FROM THERE... CLICK ON 'MORE NEWS' TO GO TO THAT PAGE.



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