Tuesday, February 8, Eyewitness News at 11

8:42 PM, Feb 11, 2011   |    comments
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GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M FRANK MALLOY...
AND I'M LEAH JOHNSON....
  THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.


     TWO BIBB COUNTY TODDLERS ARE RECOVERING TONIGHT AFTER AN ACCIDENTAL SHOOTING AT THEIR HOME.
   SERGEANT SEAN DEFOE SAYS A THREE-YEAR-OLD BOY AND HIS ONE-YEAR-OLD SISTER WERE PLAYING IN THE LIVING ROOM WHILE THEIR PARENTS WERE IN THE BEDROOM.
     HE SAYS THE THREE-YEAR-OLD CLIMBED UP... REACHED ONTO A SHELF AND GRABBED A PISTOL.
     DEFOE SAYS AS THE CHILD ACCIDENTALLY PULLED THE TRIGGER AS HE WAS LOOKING AT THE GUN.
     A BULLET GRAZED HIS THUMB AND HIS SISTER'S KNEE.
     THE PARENTS TOOK THE CHILDREN TO AN AMBULANCE STATION... AND THE TODDLERS WERE TAKEN TO THE HOSPITAL.
     BOTH ARE IN STABLE CONDITION.
THE BIBB COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE IS INVESTIGATING THE SHOOTING.


       IT MAY BE THE CITY'S FIRST CLEAN AUDIT IN SEVEN YEARS... BUT CITY AUDITOR MILLER EDWARDS TOLD MACON CITY COUNCIL TONIGHT......THAT DOESN'T MEAN THE CITY'S FINANCES GOT A CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH... 
AS ELEANOR LISSITZYN EXPLAINS....COUNCIL MEMBERS GOT TO TALK WITH THE CITY'S AUDITORS ABOUT THEIR DIAGNOSIS... AND SOLUTIONS FOR THE FUTURE...MACON CITY COUNCIL GOT THE OPPORTUNITY TO ASK QUESTIONS OF THE CITY'S AUDITOR'S TUESDAY EVENING...
WITH DOZENS OF FINDINGS AGAINST THE CITY... MANY OF THEM REPEAT OFFENSES... COUNCIL MEMBERS ALL SEEMED TO WANT TO KNOW THE SAME THING...
"What kind of proposals are going to come to council so that we don't see thse same findings again next year?" nats of ellington 3/:48
MILLER EDWARDS OF MAULDIN AND JENKINS... THE CITY'S AUDITING FIRM... DESCRIBED TO COUNCIL HOW MANY OF THE FINDINGS WERE IN DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS... BUT HAD A SIMILAR THEME...
Edwards: "I talked about how the city was very fragmented.... very decentralized." 2/1:00
EDWARDS SAYS HE'S BEEN TELLING COUNCIL SINCE 2006 ABOUT A LACK OF OVERSIGHT IN THE CITY'S FINANCE DEPARTMENT...
"There is an automony given to these departments that I've seen in no other community of this size."
HE SAYS TOO MUCH AUTONOMY IN DEPARTMENTS THAT SPEND FEDERAL MONEY... LED TO A GENERAL SHIFT IN THE TYPES OF FINDINGS AGAINST THE CITY...
EDWARDS SAYS LAST YEAR THE FINDINGS WERE TYPICALLY DEALING WITH FINANCIAL RECORDS... BUT THIS YEAR SEVENTEEN OF THE CITY'S FINDINGS HAD TO DO WITH EXPENDITURES OF GRANT MONEY...
"That needs to change, you need to have a greater oversight presence."
"There has to be somebody whose charged with that responsibility."
BUT THERE WAS A SILVER LINING MONDAY NIGHT... EDWARDS SAYS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN YEARS THE CITY RECEIVED A CLEAN AUDIT..
"In this case, this year, the administration has something to be proud of."
HE SAYS WITH A MORE CENTRALIZED FINANCE DEPARTMENT GOING FORWARD... THE CITY'S FINANCES COULD START MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION...


STD
     THE AUDIT ALSO CONTAINED INFORMATION THAT THE ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT COULD HAVE MISSPENT ABOUT ONE MILLION DOLLARS... 
LAST WEEK.... MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT CALLED THE RULES THAT GOVERN THE SPENDING.....A  'GRAY AREA' THAT THEY'RE WORKING TO RESOLVE WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT...
     MILLER EDWARDS CALLED THE SPENDING POTENTIALLY  "UNALLOWABLE."
BUT HE DID SAY GRANT MONEY GUIDELINES CAN BE CONFUSING AND THAT MACON ISN'T THE ONLY COMMUNITY LOOKING TO THE FEDS FOR CLARIFICATION.


AT A TIME WHEN FINANCIAL PROBLEMS SEEM TO BE PUTTING THE BRAKES ON WHAT MOST SCHOOL DISTRICTS CAN DO... ONE CENTRAL GEORGIA DISTRICT PLANS TO START HIRING. 
THE HOUSTON COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVED A PLAN TODAY TO ADD 26 JOBS TO ITS STAFF NEXT SCHOOL YEAR.
ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT STEPHEN THUBLIN SAYS THE DISTRICT NEEDS MORE STAFF TO HANDLE ABOUT 300 MORE STUDENTS NEXT SCHOOL YEAR.
HE SAYS THE DISTRICT CAN AFFORD TO HIRE.. BECAUSE GOVERNOR NATHAN DEAL PROVIDED MORE MONEY FOR SCHOOLS THAN EXPECTED IN HIS NEW BUDGET.
NEW JOBS INCLUDE 18 HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS... 6 FOR MIDDLE AND ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS...AN ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL AND A CLERK FOR VETERANS HIGH SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS.
THUBLIN SAYS THEY COULD HIRE FROM THE MORE THAN 700 TEACHERS THAT CAME OUT TO LAST WEEK'S JOB FAIR.
Stephen Thublin, Assist. Superintendent for Finance and Business Operations: "That was really the reason for going ahead and asking the board to approve the positions today so that we can go ahead and hire the best of the best that came and applied with us."
    THUBLIN SAYS PRINCIPALS COULD BEGIN INTERVIEWING CANDIDATES THIS WEEK.
HIRING THE 26 NEW PEOPLE WOULD COST ONE POINT FIVE MILLION DOLLARS.


    FEDERAL OFFICIALS APPROVED PLANS FROM 26 GEORGIA SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN THE STATE'S "RACE TO THE TOP" GRANT. 
    THE 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. 


   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.


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 THE FIRE CAUSED SERIOUS DAMAGE AND IS STILL BEING INVESTIGATED.
NO ONE WAS HURT.


A CENTRAL GEORGIA GROUP HANDED OUT THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS TO LOCAL CHARITIES IN NEED TONIGHT.
MONEY RAISED FROM A SHOPPING EVENT CALLED MISTLE TOE MARKET IN PERRY WAS GIVEN TO DOZENS OF CHARITIES AT A RECEPTION THIS EVENING.
LISA HAYS, AN ORGANIZER OF MISTLE TOE MARKET SAYS THE HOLIDAY SHOPPING EVENT THEY HELD LAST YEAR HELPED THEM RAISE MORE THAN THIRTY-TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS.
SHE SAYS TONIGHT'S RECEPTION SERVED AS A CELEBRATION OF HOW THE COMMUNITY CAME TOGETHER TO HELP NON-PROFITS THROUGHOUT THE AREA.
"It's a great feeling and a great sense of pride to know that we've been able to assist families and children and other organizations in our communities and this is just the culminating event of the year."
HAYS SAYS MORE THAN 6 THOUSAND PEOPLE SUPPORTED MISTLE TOE MARKET WHICH IS HELD EVERY YEAR AT PERRY'S NATIONAL FAIR GROUNDS ON THE WEEKEND BEFORE THANKSGIVING.


     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.


REYNOLDS PLANTATION DEVELOPERS SAY THEY MAY HAVE TO SELL OFF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS WORTH OF ASSETS TO SATISFY CREDITORS. 
A LETTER SENT TO HOMEOWNERS AT THE DEVELOPMENT ON LAKE OCONEE SAYS A GROUP OF BANKS WANTS 45 MILLION DOLLARS BY APRIL. 
THE PAYMENT WAS REQUESTED WHILE THE DEVELOPMENT COMPANY WAS NEGOTIATING RENEWAL OF A LINE OF CREDIT. 
THE REYNOLDS PLANTATION INCLUDES LAKE SHORE IN GREENE AND PUTNAM COUNTIES ALONG WITH GATED COMMUNITIES, A GOLF ACADEMY AND SIX GOLF COURSES. 


     AN ELDERLY BRITISH WOMAN STOPPED A GANG OF THIEVES IN THEIR TRACKS.
     THE FEARLESS GRANNY LEAPED INTO ACTION WHEN SHE SAW THE SUSPECTS TRYING TO ROB A STORE. 
     CHARLIE D'AGATA SHOWS YOU THE AMAZING VIDEO.
NATS....BANGING


They thought it was going to be a simple smash and grab.


NATS UP...


Robbers armed with sledgehammers bashed the windows of a jewelery shop in central England.
but They didn't bargain for this: (woman running/circled on screen)
...across the street -- ANN TIMSON, an elderly woman in a red coat, came RUNNING to the rescue.


A production crew in the area on another story, caught the action.. as she started to do some bashing of her own .. with her handbag. 


even though they had helmets on -- and hammers in their hands. The stunned suspects went scrambling. 
Witnesses couldn't believe their eyes. 


(sot - SARAH-JANE BROWN/WITNESS) 
WE LOOKED OUTSIDE AND, GOD LOVE HER, SHE WAS RUNNING DOWN THE ROAD WITH HER HANDBAG IN THE AIR BANGING THEM ON THE BACK OF THE HELMET WITH THE HANDBAG. 


NATS UP - PEOPLE RUNNING OVER


One suspect didn't get far on his scooter. 
other witnesses bucked up the bravery to help pin the thieves down until police arrived. 
Cops arrested four of the six suspects on the spot. 
TIMSON TOLD POLICE maybe it was foolish to get involved- but somebody had to do something.
Officers say nobody was injured....


( back to smackdown)
Unless of course you count the bruised egos of the gang that took a smackdown from a senior. 
     TIMSON TOLD POLICE WHEN SHE FIRST SAW THE GANG - SHE THOUGHT THERE WAS A FIGHT GOING ON. 
      IT WAS ONLY WHEN SHE GOT CLOSER TO THEM THAT SHE REALIZED THEY WERE TRYING TO ROB THE PLACE. 


      IT'S TIME TO TAKE A LOOK AT TODAY'S 13WMAZ FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY.
      TONIGHT'S WINNER...
      TREVECCA HILL.
      CONGRATULATIONS TREVECCA... YOUR PRIZE IS IN THE MAIL.
       IF YOU WANT TO BE OUR FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY... IT'S EASY.
      VISIT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ AND CLICK THE "LIKE" BUTTON TO BECOME A FAN.
      THEN... JUST JOIN THE CONVERSATIONS.
      WE PICK OUR FAN OF THE DAY RANDOMLY.



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