LIVE VIDEO: Eyewitness News on CW    Watch
 

Monday, February 14, Eyewitness News at 11

11:48 PM, Feb 14, 2011   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +
  • FILED UNDER

 <<opening for eyewitness news at eleven>>
     GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
   AND I'M FRANK MALLOY..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11..


CONGRESSMAN AUSTIN SCOTT'S RECENTLY UNSEALED DIVORCE PAPERS SHOW HE AND HIS EX-WIFE LEIGH JORDAN TRADED ACCUSATIONS OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE DURING THEIR 2001 DIVORCE.
A MACON ACTIVIST HAS BEEN FIGHTING TO MAKE THE RECORDS PUBLIC FOR MONTHS... AND LAST WEEK... SCOTT AND JORDAN DROPPED THEIR OBJECTION TO IT.
VANESSA RUFFES HAS MORE ON WHAT'S IN THE RECORDS.<<
TIFT COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE BILL REINHARDT ORDERED THE CLERK OF COURT THURSDAY TO UNSEAL THE DOCUMENTS OF CONGRESSMAN SCOTT'S 2001 DIVORCE FROM EX-WIFE LEIGH JORDAN.
INSIDE THE more than 260 page FILE... DOCUMENTS SHOW THE FORMER COUPLE'S ATTACKS ON EACH OTHER'S abilityTO RAISE THEIR SON... WELLS SCOTT.
THE PAPERS SHOW DURING THE CUSTODY BATTLE... SCOTT ALLEGED JORDAN ABUSED ALCOHOL AND PRESCRIPTION DRUGS...
IN A DOCUMENT FILED FEBRUARY 27 2001 REQUESTING THAT BOTH PARTIES UNDERGO PSYCHOLOGICAL EXAMS... JORDAN ACCUSES SCOTT OF "STRANGE ERRATIC AND INCONSISTENT BEHAVIOR"... "SEVERE MOOD SWINGS"... USING ALCOHOL AS AN "ESCAPE DEVICE"... AND BECOMING INVOLVED WITH PORNOGRAPHIC MATERIALS.
WHAT FOLLOWS IS A SERIES OF TESTIMONIES... FROM JORDAN AND SCOTT'S FRIENDS AND FAMILY.
THE TESTIMONIES... WHICH MAKE UP ABOUT A THIRD OF THE DIVORCE FILE... DEFEND ONE OF THEM...OR THE OTHER....AND SAY THAT PERSON DID NOT HAVE SUBSTANCE ABUSE PROBLEMS.
LEIGH JORDAN DID NOT PROVIDE ANY EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT HER CLAIMS ABOUT PORNOGRAPHY... AND NONE OF THE OTHER DOCUMENTS ADDRESS THAT.
ACCORDING TO THE PAPERS... THE DIVORCE WAS GRANTED JUNE 2001... GIVING BOTH PARENTS SHARED RIGHTS TO THEIR CHILD.
CONTACTED MONDAY... CONGRESSMAN SCOTT WOULD NOT COMMENT... EXCEPT TO RELEASE A BRIEF STATEMENT SAYING THE DIVORCE IS A PERSONAL MATTER... AND WILL REMAIN THAT WAY. VANESSA RUFFES 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
>> SCOTT'S PAPERS WERE SEALED THREE YEARS AFTER THE DIVORCE... THROUGH A PHONE CONFERENCE WITH JUDGE GARY MCCORVEY.
 
    MACON CITY COUNCIL MET WITH SCRAP METAL DEALERS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT TODAY TO DISCUSS WHAT THEY CALL A SEVERE ISSUE.
     RECENT STATISTICS SHOW METAL THEFTS... SPECIFICALLY COPPER THEFT HAS SKY ROCKETED IN THE PAST YEAR.
     AS ELEANOR LISSITZYN EXPLAINS... COMMUNITY LEADERS ARE PROPOSING A NEW RULE THAT COULD HELP CURB THE PROBLEM.THIS HOUSE ON WINTON STREET WAS ONLY VACANT FOR TWO WEEKS BEFORE COPPER THIEVES BROKE IN...


THEY WENT TO EVERY OUTLET IN THE HOUSE... KNOCKED A HOLE IN THE WALL AND PULLED OUT THE COPPER WIRE... 
nats
COUNCILMAN VIRGIL WATKINS TOLD THE PUBLIC SAFTEY COMMITTEE MONDAY... SENARIOS LIKE this ARE HAPPENING ALL OVER THE CITY...
"It's kind of a domino effect. It starts with someone simply stealing that copper. They're only receiving $30 for it, but they've done $1,300 worth of damage."


 BUT HE'S HOPING A NEW INTIATIVE WILL HELP... 


HE SAYS HE'S BEEN WORKING WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT AND people in the industry TO DEVELOP WHAT HE CALLS A 'BLACKLIST' OF SUSPICIOUS PEOPLE WHO SELL SCRAP METAL.


WATKINS SAYS HE GOT THE IDEA AFTER REVIEWING A LIST OF NAMES OF PEOPLE SELLING METAL to dealers...
"I saw several names that stood out showing up mutiple times, in some instances twice a day."
HE SAYS WHEN HE COMPARED THE LIST WITH POLICE RECORDS... HE FOUND THAT SEVERAL OF THE REPEAT SELLERS HAD BEEN ARRESTED FOR METAL THEFT BEFORE... 
"It could be a person who is in the construction business who legitimately has access to this. But in my opinion most of the time that's not the case. That's just the excuse they're using."
CHIP KOPLIN SERVES ON THE MACON MIDDLE GEORGIA METAL THEFT COMMITTEE AND ALSO WORKS IN THE SCRAP METAL BUSINESS... HE SAYS THE BLACKLIST IS A GOOD IDEA... BECAUSE IT WILL HELP DEALERS BUY FROM LEGITIMATE SOURCES... BUT the legal system needs to do more...
"There are laws in effect that make these felonies, but unfortuneatly we can't get these people to stay in jail."
WATKINS SAYS THE BLACK LIST IS JUST ONE OF THE IDEAS THEY'RE WORKING ON PROTECT BUILDINGS LIKE THIS ONE... AND THAT IT WILL TAKE COMMUNITY WIDE COOPERATION TO PUT A DENT IN METAL THEFT...
STD
WATKINS SAYS HE'LL CONTINUE TO WORK WITH M.P.D AND SCRAP METAL DEALERS TO ESTABLISH THE CRITERIA FOR WHO WOULD END UP ON THE BLACKLIST...
AS PART OF THE PROPOSAL.... DEALERS WHO CONTINUE TO BUY FROM PEOPLE ON THE BLACKLIST COULD BE ISSUED CITATIONS BY MACON POLICE... 


TRAFFIC IS ONCE AGAIN FLOWING SMOOTHLY ALONG WATSON BOULEVARD TONIGHT BUT THAT WASN'T THE CASE THIS AFTERNOON..
WARNER ROBINS POLICE SPOKESWOMAN TABITHA PUGH SAID GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION CONTRACTORS STRUCK A GAS MAIN AROUND ONE O'CLOCK..
    THE BREAK FORCED POLICE TO SHUT DOWN WATSON BOULEVARD BETWEEN BRIARCLIFF ROAD AND PLEASANT HILL ROAD FOR SEVERAL HOURS..
WARNER ROBINS POLICE AND FIREFIGHTERS DIRECTED TRAFFIC THROUGH THE CONGESTED AREA.
SEVERAL BUSINESSES ALSO WERE EVACUATED AS A PRECAUTION.
TABITHA PUGH SAID REPAIR WORK WILL CONTINUE TOMORROW MORNING AROUND PARKWOOD DRIVE..
    MOTORISTS SHOULD USE CAUTION WHEN TRAVELING THROUGH THAT AREA..


     A SEWAGE SPILL THAT STARTED AT A STATE PRISON...IS CAUSING A STINK IN HELENA.
     THAT'S ACCORDING TO HELENA CITY OFFICIALS...WHO SAY 50 THOUSAND GALLONS OF SEWAGE SPILLED WHEN A MAIN LINE GOT CLOGGED AT TELFAIR STATE PRISON.
     RUSTY ASHLEY...THE WASTEWATER PLANT OPERATOR IN HELENA... SAYS THE SEWAGE FLOWED TO A NEARBY DRAINAGE DITCH...AND THEN INTO THE LITTLE OCMULGEE RIVER.
     HE SAYS THERE'S NO IMMEDIATE HEALTH THREAT TO PEOPLE...OR ANIMALS.
     HE SAYS THEY'LL TEST WATER QUALITY FOR THE NEXT YEAR...TO BE SURE THERE'S NO HEALTH THREAT.


TOMORROW VOTERS WILL CAST THEIR BALLOT IN A SPECIAL ELECTION FOR THE HOUSE DISTRICT 136 SEAT.
JUDYE SELLIER... ROBERT DICKEY AND SHARON HOWARD SAY THEY HOPE VOTERS MAKE TIME FOR THEM AND GET TO THE POLLS. 
TODAY ALL THREE ARE MAKING THEIR FINAL CAMPAIGN PUSHES... EITHER WITH PHONE CALLS OR PUBLIC EVENTS.
THE SPECIAL ELECTION IS SET TO FILL THE SEAT OF THE LATE REPRESENTATIVE TONY SELLIER... WHO DIED IN NOVEMBER.
HOUSE DISTRICT ONE-36 INCLUDES CRAWFORD COUNTY AND PARTS OF BIBB... HOUSTON... LAMAR... MONROE... PEACH AND UPSON COUNTIES.
POLLS ARE OPEN TOMORROW FROM SEVEN A-M UNTIL SEVEN P-M.


ADVANCE VOTING IS NOW UNDER WAY TO PICK A NEW BLECKLEY COUNTY COMMISSIONER.
THE COUNTY HAS A SINGLE-COMMISSIONER FORM OF GOVERNMENT.
MIKE POLSKY STEPPED DOWN FROM THE JOB LAST YEAR.
NOW.... ROBERT BROCKMAN AND BARBARA WRIGHT ARE RUNNING TO REPLACE HIM.
YOU CAN HEAR BOTH CANDIDATES AT A FORUM. IT'S THURSDAY NIGHT AT 7...AT THE MIDDLE GEORGIA COLLEGE'S WALKER AUDITORIUM. 
VOTING ON THAT RACE WRAPS UP ON MARCH 15TH.


AFTER YEARS WORKING IN TELEVISION... ONE CENTRAL GEORGIA MAN SWITCHED CAREERS.. AND BEGAN PROMOTING PEACH COUNTY.
HIS FIRST DOCUMENTARY MOVIE... THE PEACH FARMERS...  IS NOW AN OFFICIAL SELECTION AT THIS WEEK'S MACON FILM FESTIVAL.
LAUREN DISPIRITO SHOWS YOU WHAT PERRY SWANSON SAYS INSPIRED HIM TO MAKE THE FILM... AND WHAT SOME WHO TOOK PART IN THE FILM SAY HAVING THEIR STORIES DOCUMENTED.. MEANS TO THEM.Nats Pearson and Perry talking (pearson is talking)


FOR GENERATIONS...THE TALES TOLD BY PEACH FARMERS LIKE AL PEARSON... HAVE BEEN MOSTLY ORAL HISTORY... PASSED DOWN THROUGH THE FAMILIES WHO FARM THE LAND NEAR FORT VALLEY.


Nats Pearson


PEARSON SAYS LAST YEAR... BUDDING FILMMAKER PERRY SWANSON CHANGED THAT.


Perry Swanson:"there's a story around every corner if you dig a little bit" 


WORKING IN HIS CRAWFORD COUNTY HOME STUDIO... THE FORMER MACON TV ANCHOR AND REPORTER... NOW PEACH COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESIDENT... FILMED MORE THAN  MORE THAN 30 HOURS OF FOOTAGE.


Nats Swanson narrating


HE SPENT COUNTLESS HOURS CREATING HIS FIRST DOCUMENTARY...*PEACH FARMERS*...AND FINISHED LAST JUNE.


movie clip - "during the first half of the peach industry, nearly 5 million peach trees covered the middle georgia landscape"


HE RECORDED MORE THAN A DOZEN INTERVIEWS ..  RECOUNTING THE GLORY DAYS.. FOR THE BELOVED STATE FRUIT.


Perry Swanson: "there was a lot of family history and a lot of real passion that these farmers had for growing a fruit that wasn't always kind"


Lauren DiSpirito, Eyewitness News: "Swanson's film tells the story of how commercial peach production got its start right here in Central Georgia, in the early part of the twentieth century, as many as 80 peach packing houses operated in this area, today, only a handful remain."


movie clip - "1955 we lost everything" duke lane sr.


THE FILM DESCRIBES THE PERIL OF A LATE FROST... AND SHOWS A YOUNG FUTURE U-S SENATOR....SAM NUNN LABELING PEACH CRATES.


PERHAPS IT'S MOST IMPORTANT MESSAGE... SWANSON SAYS... DESCRIBES THE IMPACT OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT'.


movie clip - blacks and whites didn't sit at the same tables to eat back in those segregated days"


SWANSON'S LOVE OF HISTORY... AND PRESERVING IT... EXTENDS BEYOND EDITING. 


Nats hammers case


HE EVEN BUILDS EACH DVD'S CASE... TO RESEMBLE A PEACH CRATE.


"they come to me and they tell me 'I did that, I remember that, I'm really glad you did that because I try to tell people what it was like'"


Nats Pearson talks


FARMERS IN THE FILM... INCLUDING PEARSON AND BILL MCGEHEE... SAY SWANSON'S WORK HELPS TO PRESERVE SHARED MEMORIES.


Bill McGehee, Genuine Georgia Group: "it's kinda neat to see that common bond expressed and how different people look at it."
Al Pearson: "I don't want to be the last Peach grower... I'm glad it's immortalized in this film."


SWANSON HOPES THE FILM PAVES THE WAY TO TELL MORE PEACH STATE STORIES.


"there's a lot of stories out there, there's more stories than are told in this film."


CAPTURING A GLIMPSE OF CENTRAL GEORGIA'S PAST... TO GIVE NEW LIFE TO OLD TALES.


LAUREN DISPIRITO
13 WMAZ
EYEWITNESS NEWS
PERRY SWANSON'S FILM IS AN OFFICIAL SELECTION OF THIS YEAR'S MACON FILM FESTIVAL.
YOU CAN SEE IT THURSDAY AT NOON... AND FRIDAY AT NINE A-M.
AND YOU CAN FIND EXTENDED INTERVIEWS WITH THE FILM'S PEACH FARMERS ... ON OUR WEBSITE... 13 WMAZ DOT COM.


      NEARLY 13 THOUSAND 800 PEOPLE HAVE JOINED US ON FACEBOOK AS FANS.
       AND EVERY NIGHT... WE'RE FEATURING ONE OF YOU AS OUR FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY.
      TONIGHT'S WINNER...
    ....TRAVIS FORD.
     CONGRATULATIONS TRAVIS... AND YOUR 13WMAZ MUG 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.


FLOWERS AND CHOCOLATES MAY HAVE BEEN GIVEN OUT TODAY... BUT A GROUP OF PERRY CHIROPRACTORS WILL SHOW LOVE BY GIVING THEIR HEARTS TOMORROW.
DOCTOR BRIAN GILLIS SAYS THE PERRY CHIROPRACTIC HEALTH CENTER WILL OFFER FREE SERVICES TOMORROW.
PATIENTS NEED ONLY TO BRING A FOOD DONATION THAT WILL GO TO PERRY'S LOAVES AND FISHES FOOD BANK.
GILLIS SAYS THIS IS THE 12TH YEAR FOR THE "DOCTORS WITH A HEART DAY"... AND HE HOPES ITS THE MOST SUCCESSFUL ONE YET.
Dr. Brian Gillis, Perry Chiropractic Health Center: (24:02)"Its a way to help supply the food bank, and keeps it local in our community. As I've discovered, there's a lot of people out there that have used Loaves and Fishes from time to time, and I just can't think of any better way to try to help out the community."
GILLIS SAYS THERE'S STILL SPACE FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT AN APPOINTMENT FOR "DOCTORS WITH A HEART".
AGAIN IT'S TOMORROW....
YOU CAN CALL 478-987-9666 FOR MORE INFORMATION.
THAT'S 478-987-9666.


    THANKS FOR JOINING US.... FIRST MORNIN COMES YOUR WAY AT 5 A-M.
   THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
 ON LETTERMAN TONIGHT:  SPORTS ILLUSTRATED SWIMSUIT MODELS AND TOM BROKAW
 HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.
























































Most Watched Videos