Tuesday, February 8, Eyewitness News at 6

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 HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
 AND I'M FRANK MALLOY..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.


THE HOUSTON COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD SAYS THEY'LL BE HIRING SOON.
THEY VOTED TODAY to ADD 24 NEW TEACHERS... AND two OTHER JOBS FOR THE NEXT SCHOOL YEAR.
LAUREN DISPIRITO SHOWS YOU WHY THE BOARD SAYS IT'S ABLE TO HIRE... EVEN DURING TOUGH FINANCIAL TIMES.
locator font: 00-04 North Ave, Perry
IF YOU'RE AN OUT OF WORK EDUCATOR... YOU MAY WANT TO SET YOUR SIGHTS ON HOUSTON COUNTY.


Monica Smith, Northside High School, 05-09: "Shocked, happy, we really need the additional teachers."


HIGH SCHOOL COUNSELOR MONICA SMITH SAYS TUESDAY... THE SCHOOL BOARD'S DECISION TO HIRE 26 NEW PERSONNEL.. MOSTLY TEACHERS... CAUGHT HER OFF GUARD.


Lauren DiSpirito, Eyewitness News, 19-24: "According to the district's request, Houston would add 14 teachers to its high schools and 6 to its middle and elementary schools and Veterans High School would be able to hire an assistant principal, clerk and elective teachers all at a total cost of 1.5 million dollars."


SUPERINTENDENT ROBIN HINES SAYS THAT THE DISTRICT CAN AFFORD TO HIRE SHOWS GOOD DECISION MAKING. 
HE SAYS THEY SAVED FEDERAL MONEY ANTICIPATING STATE CUTS THAT DIDN'T COME.


Robin Hines, Superintendent, 43-49: "Where we're not where we want to be, we're able to cover our obligations easily we feel like."


THE NEW HIRES WOULD BEGIN WORK NEXT SCHOOL YEAR... FILL GAPS IN SCIENCE... WHERE THE STATE RAISED REQUIREMENTS... AND HELP HANDLE AN EXPECTED 300 MORE STUDENTS.


SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER AND PARENT ROBERT DAVIS SAYS MORE TEACHERS WILL ULTIMATELY HELP STUDENTS.


Robert Davis, School Resource Officer and Parent, 1:05-1:10: "I think it sends the message that Houston County is very serious about putting out good, educated students."


Monica Smith: "The state and the county is recognizing the issues instead of not listening to what's going on in the classroom and in the schools."


SMITH SAYS THE PLAN COULD ADD UP TO LIGHTER LOADS FOR SOME TEACHERS... AND BOOST MORALE.


LAUREN DISPIRITO 
13 WMAZ 
EYEWITNESS NEWS
ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT STEPHEN THUBLIN SAYS TO HIRE...THE DISTRICT COULD PULL FROM THE MORE THAN 700 TEACHERS who TURNED OUT FOR A RECENT JOB FAIR.
HE SAYS PRINCIPALS COULD BEGIN INTERVIEWING CANDIDATES THIS WEEK.


IN MARCH... NEARLY EVERY 11TH GRADE STUDENT IN THE STATE WILL TAKE GEORGIA'S HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION TEST.
FAILURE ON THAT TEST IS NOT OPTION IF STUDENTS PLAN TO GRADUATE.
LORRA LYNCH-JONES EXPLAINS ONE HOUSTON COUNTY SCHOOL'S APPROACH FOR IMPROVING STUDENTS SUCCESS.
<<nats- classroom
JUNIOR AT NORTHSIDE HIGH SCHOOL ANDREW EVERETT SAYS HE'S NOT NERVOUS ABOUT THE UPCOMING GRADUATION TESTS.... 
Andrew Everett: (39:45) "I havn't taken it before, so I'm not sure what it's going to be like, but it should be like every other standardized test. They've been testing us since kindergarten, so it should be just another test."
(TAKE GFX)
IT'S FIVE PARTS... LANGUAGE ARTS.. MATH... SCIENCE...  SOCIAL STUDIES.... AND WRITING.
STUDENTS MUST PASS ALL FIVE TO EARN THEIR DIPLOMA.
nats- 
TO HELP THEM GET READY... ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL... SONYA Peterman... SAYS THEY'LL OFFER AFTER SCHOOL TUTORING... TEST PREP DURING CORE CLASSES... AND ON-LINE RESOURCES.
TO MAKE SURE STUDENTS AND PARENTS KNOW ALL THE INFORMATION... THEY'RE ALSO HOSTING JUNIOR NIGHT.
Sonya Peterman: (31:30) "Were hoping students will leave understanding graduation requirements, importance of graduation, and information about post secondary education."
Peterman SAYS MORE PASSING GRADES ON THE TEST CAN ALSO IMPROVE  ADEQUATE YEARLY PROGRESS OR A-Y-P.NORTHSIDE DIDN'T MEET THE STANDARDS LAST YEAR.
nats-
THE EVENT WILL OFFER JUNIORS LIKE HOPE SIMMONS AND TONY NGUYEN COLLEGE REQUIREMENTS AND SCHOLARSHIP OPPORUNITIES.
Tony Nguyen: (40:59) "I'm kind of dependent on HOPE, but if there's other scholarships out there, I want to go for them."
Hope Simmons: (36:15) "I know what I want to do, but I don't know exactly where I want to go, so I can get information on different colleges, where they are, what they offer."
WITH AT LEAST A DOZEN COLLEGES ON HAND... SOME SAY IT WILL HELP NARROW THEIR SEARCH.
EVERETT SAYS HE'S ALREADY DECIDED.
Andrew Everett: (38:30) "I've had my heart set on Georgia Tech ever since, I was a little kid. I've been brainwashed by my parents."
STD
>> LAST SCHOOL YEAR... ABOUT 83-PERCENT OF HOUSTON COUNTY SENIORS GRADUATED.
THAT IMPROVED FROM ABOUT 81 PERCENT THE YEAR BEFORE. NORTHSIDE'S JUNIOR NIGHT STARTED JUST A FEW MINUTES AGO AT SIX IN THE AUDITORIUM.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE STATE'S HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION TESTS... AND COLLEGE PLANNING RESOURCES... GO TO 13-WMAZ DOT COM... AND LOOK FOR THIS STORY ON THE HOMEPAGE.

   TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... DOES YOUR SCHOOL DO ENOUGH TO PREPARE STUDENTS FOR COLLEGE?
     SO FAR 62 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO.
     AND 38 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES.
      YOU CAN VOTE RIGHT NOW... JUST LOOK FOR THE LINK TO THE WEB POLL QUESTION IN THE "DON'T MISS" BOX ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE.


    FEDERAL OFFICIALS APPROVED PLANS FROM 26 GEORGIA SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN THE STATE'S "RACE TO THE TOP" GRANT. 
    APPROVAL MEANS THE DISTRICTS WILL SOON RECEIVE THEIR FIRST INSTALLMENT OF MONEY FROM THE 400 MILLION DOLLARS THE STATE WON LAST YEAR. 
   THE PROGRAM IS DESIGNED TO GET STATES TO ADOPT INNOVATIVE MEASURES TO IMPROVE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND LOW-PERFORMING SCHOOLS. 
    THE PROGRAM IS EXPECTED TO SEND MORE THAN 16 MILLION DOLLARS OVER THE NEXT FOUR YEARS TO BIBB, PEACH, PULASKI AND TREUTLEN COUNTIES. 


A FIRE IN NORTHEAST BALDWIN COUNTY DESTROYED A HOME THIS AFTERNOON.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO BRANDON BARTH WITH THE BALDWIN COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT.
BARTH SAYS THE FIRE HAPPENED AT AROUND THREE O'CLOCK THIS AFTERNOON ON SPARTA HIGHWAY...
      HE SAYS... THE HOMEOWNERS WERE IN THE YARD WHEN THEY NOTICED FLAMES COMING FROM THE ROOF.
     VIEWER JAY BENTLEY SENT US THIS VIDEO.
BARTH SAYS THE MILLEDGEVILLE FIRE DEPARTMENT HELPED TO PUT OUT THE FLAMES.
HE SAYS THEY CAUSED SERIOUS WATER AND FIRE DAMAGE ... AND THE CAUSE IS STILL BEING INVESTIGATED.
NO ONE WAS HURT.


   THE WASHINGTON COUNTY SHERIFF SAYS HIS DEPUTIES RAIDED AN ILLEGAL NIGHTCLUB AND SHUT IT DOWN TWO NIGHTS BEFORE THE SUPER BOWL.
  SHERIFF THOMAS SMITH SAYS AROUND 6 P.M. FRIDAY... DEPUTIES AND OFFICERS FROM THE OCMULGEE DRUG TASK FORCE RAIDED THE BLUE MOON.
    HE SAYS IT'S A NIGHTCLUB ON PARSON LANE IN SANDERSVILLE.
   SMITH SAYS OFFICERS SEIZED ABOUT 2 THOUSAND DOLLARS WORTH OF ALCOHOL AT THE CLUB.
   HE SAID QUOTE... "THEY HAD JUST PURCHASED A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF ALCOHOL FOR THE SUPER BOWL... SO WE SORT OF RAINED ON THEIR PARADE." 
    SMITH SAYS OWNER WILLIE MOSES BROWN WAS ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF A FIREARM BY A CONVICTED FELON AND SELLING ALCOHOL WITHOUT A LICENSE.


     AN AUTOPSY TODAY...COULD NOT DETERMINE THE CAUSE OF DEATH FOR A TAYLOR COUNTY 17-YEAR-OLD.
     JESSICA MORRIS DIED EARLY SUNDAY AFTER GOING  TO A MACON NIGHTCLUB WITH FRIENDS.
     PEACH COUNTY CORONER KERRY ROOKS SAYS THE AUTOPSY COULD NOT FIND ANY NATURAL CAUSES...LIKE A HEART ATTACK OR ILLNESS.
     NOW HE SAYS THEY'LL HAVE TO WAIT FOR TOXICOLOGY TESTS...THAT WILL SHOW WHETHER SHE DIED FROM ALCOHOL....OR PILLS.
     HE SAYS THAT COULD TAKE THREE TO SIX MONTHS.
     THE GBI IS INTERVIEWING MORRIS'S FRIENDS AND WORKERS...AND AUTHORITIES HAVE NOT RELEASD THE NAME OFTHE NIGHTCLUB.


THE CITY OF EASTMAN SAYS A MAN USING YARD SIGNS TO PROTEST A LOCAL METHADONE CLINIC.... IS IN VIOLATION OF A CITY ORDINANCE.
ROBERT ROOKS SAYS HE OPPOSES THE SOUTHEAST GEORGIA TREATMENT CENTER BECAUSE THEY USE METHADONE TO HELP TREAT ADDICTS.
BRITTINY BARBER HAS MORE.
<<
Robert Rooks, Eastman, "Morally and religiously speaking I think that the methadone is not the way to get people off of drugs."
FOR SIX WEEKS THESE SIGNS POSTED IN ROBERT ROOKS FRONT YARD....  HAVE MADE A STATEMENT ABOUT A LOCAL CLINIC.
Robert Rooks, "I'm just expressing my opinion. I oppose the methadone clinic what it does to people."
MONDAY.. ROOKS WAS ISSUED A CITATION FROM THE CITY OF EASTMAN.... BECAUSE AN ORDINANCE PROHIBITS SIGNS AND BILLBOARDS AS AN ACCESSORY TO BUILDINGS.
James Wiggins, Rooks Attorney: "This is a constitutional issue. A right he has to put on his own property a sign." "
Brittiny Barber, Eyewitness News: "These five signs show Mr. Rooks opposition to the clinic ... But representatives say the clinic and their treatment are both safe and effective."
Angela Tillman, Southeast Georgia Treatment Center: "Some of our patients they were pregnant. They maintained through methadone, they came to counseling sessions and they did have two healthy babies. No complications or anything, so methadone is safe if the person uses it correctly."
REPRESENTATIVES SAY THE CLINIC PRIDES ITSELF ON HELPING PEOPLE WITH ADDICTIONS.
AND THAT THE DANGERS ASSOCIATED WITH METHADONE ARE USUALLY SELF INFLECTED.
Linda Stephens, Southeast Georgia Treatment Center: "If they came in and dosed and say they went out and took a coctail of pills. Yes it's harmful but it's not necessarily the methadone, but what they have done in addition to the methadone."
STEPHENS SAYS THESE CLINICS ARE HIGHLY REGULATED BY THE STATE PHARMACY BOARD AND METHADONE AUTHORITY
BUT ROOKS BELIEVES THE DANGERS STILL EXIST.
Robert Rooks: "Some of my friends and family members have been on it and I've seen all of them nod out from it, and we don't need these people going to get their and going on about their business under the influence."
BRITTINY BARBER 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
>> ROOKS HEARING ON HIS CITATION IS SCHEDULED FOR FEBRUARY 22TH..HE SAYS HE HAS NO PLANS TO TAKE DOWN HIS SIGNS. THE CLINIC SAYS ANYONE WITH QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT THEY DO CAN STOP BY OR GIVE THEM A CALL ANYTIME.


GEORGIA POWER AND THE ELECTRIC POWER RESEARCH INSTITUTE ARE WORKING TO SEE HOW GEORGIA'S WEATHER WILL AFFECT SOLAR PANELS.
ACCORDING TO GEORGIA POWER... SEVEN OF THE 50 PANELS INSTALLED AROUND THE STATE ARE LOCATED IN MACON.
THE COMPANY SAYS IT WILL MONITOR THE PANELS FOR 18 MONTHS TO SEE WHAT EFFECT THE STATE'S CLIMATE WILL HAVE ON THEM... AND HOW WELL THEY PRODUCE POWER.
TRAYVON LESLIE WITH GEORGIA POWER SAYS THE COMPANY HAS BEEN LOOKING INTO ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO PROVIDE ELECTRICITY TO CUSTOMERS.
LESLIE SAYS EACH PANEL COSTS ABOUT FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS....AND THAT GEORGIA POWER WILL BEGIN MONITORING THE LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF GEORGIA'S WEATHER ON THE SOLAR PANEL AFTER 18 MONTHS.


     ALL THIS WEEK ON EYEWITNESS NEWS AT FIVE... LORRA LYNCH-JONES IS DIVING INTO THE WORLD OF ELECTRONICS WITH TECH WEEK.
     TODAY... SHE BROKE DOWN THE BASICS OF COMPUTER SHOPPING FOR HOME USERS.
     SO WE ASKED OUR FACEBOOK FANS HOW TECH SAVVY THEY WERE.
     ONE PERSON REPLIED... "NO, NOT SO SAVVY!
I KNOW VERY LITTLE, AND I'M AFRAID TO VENTURE OFF TOO FAR, I GET LOST EASY... BUT I AM HERE TRYING!"
     SOMEONE ELSE WROTE... "I'M PLEASED TO BE A PART OF AN ALL-TECHNOGEEK FAMILY!"
     A THIRD PERSON COMMENTED... "NOT TOO TECH SAVVY, BUT LEARNIN' MORE EVERYDAY. 
I AM A WORK IN PROGRESS."
     AND A FOURTH PERSON REPLIED... I AM PRETTY GOOD BUT ANYTHING SERIOUS I CALL FOR HELP.
     JOIN THE CONVERSATION ON FACEBOOK... JUST VISIT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ.
      AND YOU CAN CHECK OUT TECH WEEK AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
      LOOK FOR TODAY'S SEGMENT ON OUR HOMEPAGE... AND DON'T FORGET TO JOIN LORRA TOMORROW WHEN SHE TRIES TO SHED A LITTLE LIGHT ON E-READERS.


    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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