Wednesday, March 2, Eyewitness News at 6

11:48 PM, Mar 1, 2011   |    comments
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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.

DEMOLITION OF THE MACON MALL'S EAST WING SHOULD START IN EARLY JUNE.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO JOHN GIBSON... MANAGING PARTNER OF MALL OWNERS... THE HULL STOREY GIBSON COMPANIES.
GIBSON SAYS INTERIOR RENOVATIONS ARE EXPECTED TO GET UNDERWAY NEXT MONTH.
HE WAS IN TOWN TODAY... AND TALKED ABOUT THE PLANNED CHANGES WITH RANDALL SAVAGE.
<<MACON MALL MANAGING PARTNER JOHN GIBSON SAYS DEMOLITION OF THE EAST WING HAS BEEN DELAYED....BUT IT COULD START THIS SPRING.
HE SAYS BUSINESSES NOW IN THE EAST WING SHOULD BE OUT BY THEN.
7:49:11 John Gibson, Managing Partner: We expect the East Wing will be vacant here within a couple of months and our hope is to begin the actual demolition probably around he first of June.
AND HE SAYS WORK INSIDE THE MALL....SHOULD START EVEN SOONER.
8:08 John Gibson, Managing Partner: We plan to start our interior mall renovation, we hope, around the first of April.
THAT'LL INCLUDE A COMPLETE FACELIFT.
8:15:26 John Gibson, Managing Partner: We're going to rework the skyline. We will rework the lights. We will rework paint and we expect to carpet the mall and we will have a complete makeover of that property.
AND HE SAYS THEY'VE ALREADY STARTED SPRUCING UP THE EXTERIOR.
4:11:17 John Gibson, Managing Partner: When we acquired the property, the landscaping had been neglected for many many years, so we've devoted a great deal of time and money to improving the landscape and parking lot lights.
AND HE SAYS THE OWNERS WANT TO MAKE THE MALL MORE SHOPPER AND FAMILY FRIENDLY.
3:28:18 John Gibson, Managing Partner: We want to promote in the minds eye of the community that the mall is a family shopping venue as opposed to a teen hangout.
RANDALL SAVAGE.. 13 WM... EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> GIBSON SAYS HIS SECURITY TEAM TREATS PEOPLE WITH RESPECT WHILE ENFORCING THE RULES AND REGULATIONS. HE SAYS HE HOPES THAT PEOPLE WILL SOON START THINKING OF THE MALL AS A SAFE PLACE TO SHOP AGAIN.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE ALLEN PEAKE SAYS THE HALLS OF FAME COULD GO DARK IN JULY... IF THE AUTHORITY BOARD DOESN'T MOVE QUICKLY.
PEAKE IS ONE OF TEN LEGISLATORS RECENTLY APPOINTED TO OVERSEE THE AUTHORITY BOARD.
BOFTA YIMAM SPOKE WITH PEAKE ABOUT WHY HE'S DISAPPOINTED IN THE BOARD.
ITS BECOMING AN OLD TUNE... THE FATE OF THE GEORGIA MUSIC HALL OF FAME. ONE THAT COULD TURN INTO A SAD SONG-QUICKLY.

Peake: there is a good possibility those buildings could be empty come July if there's not additional funding or additional proposal accepted by the authority."

STATE REPRESENtATATIVE ALLEN PEAKE WILL BE ONE OF TEN LAWMAKERS WHO WILL REVIEW THE AUTHORITY'S OPERATIONS. HE SAYS THEIR COMMITTEE WILL WORK TO MAKE SURE THE AUTHORITY FOLLOWS THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL GUIDELINES. PEAKE SAYS HE'S PUZZLED BY THE AUTHORITY'S LATEST MOVE... TO REJECT MACON.

Peake,
"What proposal was the best one on the table that calls the halls to be self-sufficient in the future and the only one that did that was Macon and so why they would reject that is just beyond me."

IN JANUARY... FOUR OF THE NINE HALL OF FAME AUTHORITY MEMBERS RANKED MACON AS THE BEST CHOICE BUT ONLY THREE VOTED TO KEEP THE MUSEUM HERE. EVALUATION BOARD CHAIRMAN ROBERT HIGHSMITH SAID MEMBERS GAVE LOW SCORES TO ALL FIVE CITIES...EXCEPT FOR THE THREE MACON MEMBERS WHO HOPED TO KEEP THE MUSEUM HERE.

Standup, Bofta Yimam
"The Lieuteant Governor's office says they're not sure how soon they'll pick the five senators who'll serve on the legislators' committee. The deadline for the hall of fame authority's decision is April 30th "

PEAKE SAYS IT'S CRITICAL THE AUTHORITY ACT SWIFTLY.

Peake,
When we prepare the 2012 budget it's going to be tough to include a whole lot of money for the Halls of Fame on a going forward basis. So the authority us up against a deadline here and they need to make some tough decisions."

IF NOT THE CITY COULD LOSE THE HALLS... ALONG WITH THE PIECES OF HISTORY THAT SING INSIDE IT.

BOFTA YIMAM 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
THE HALL'S EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR LISA LOVE SAYS THEY CANCELED TODAY'S MEETING DUE TO A FAMILY EMERGENCY FOR CHAIRWOMAN KARLA REDDING.
BY EMAIL....KARLA REDDING TOLD US THAT HER MOTHER.....ZELMA REDDING... IS CURRENTLY HOSPITALIZED DUE TO AN ONGOING MEDICAL CONDITION.
ZELMA REDDING OF COURSE IS THE WIDOW OF MACON MUSICAL LEGEND OTIS REDDING.
KARLA REDDING SAID HER MOTHER IS IMPROVING EVERY DAY..AND APPRECIATES PEOPLE'S PRAYERS AND CONCERNS.

PEOPLE WHO WANT TO BE A PERRY POLICE OFFICER WILL NOW NEED SOME COLLEGE EXPERIENCE.
PUBLIC SAFETY DIRECTOR GEORGE POTTER SAYS APPLICANTS NEED AT LEAST 60 SEMESTER OR 90 QUARTER CREDIT HOURS..
HE SAYS THOSE STANDARDS USED TO BE "GUIDELINES" AND HE OCCASIONALLY MADE EXCEPTIONS FOR PEOPLE WHO HAD PREVIOUS LAW ENFORCEMENT EXPERIENCE.
NOW HE SAYS HE'S MAKING IT A FIRM RULE.
Potter "Studies all over the country show that police officers with higher education have less citizen complaints, they're more racially-tolerant, they have less disciplinary problems and they're easier to teach."
CURRENTLY... MACON POLICE... HOUSTON COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES... AND WARNER ROBINS POLICE MUST HAVE HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMAS OR G-E-D'S.

THE BIBB COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT ASKS FOR ONE AND A HALF YEARS OF COLLEGE EXPERIENCE... BUT PREVIOUS LAW ENFORCEMENT EXPERIENCE CAN BE SUBSTITUTED.
THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS IT'S CONSIDERING LOWERING THOSE EDUCATION AND PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE STANDARDS...
IT SAYS THAT'S BECAUSE NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE ARE APPLYING.
Sheriff Jerry Modena, "Primary thing was the money, again at 25,688 someone with an Associate's degree could certainly get a job paying more than what we were able to or setup to do."
MODENA SAYS HIS STAFF IS SHORT 25 PEOPLE.
THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE IS CONSIDERING GOING BACK TO ITS OLD STANDARDS.
THOSE REQUIRE THE APPLICANT TO BE AT LEAST 21 YEARS OF AGE... HAVE A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA OR G-E-D... AND PASS AN ENTRANCE EXAM.

TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL QUESTION ASKS... HOW MUCH EDUCATION SHOULD LAW ENFORCEMENT HAVE?
SO FAR 38 PERCENT OF VOTERS SAY HIGH SCHOOL OR G-E-D.
37 PERCENT SAY SOME COLLEGE.
AND 25 PERCENT SAY A COLLEGE DEGREE.
VOTE RIGHT NOW... LOOK FOR THE LINK TO THE QUESTION IN THE "DON'T MISS" BOX ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE.

THE COUNTY LINE DISPUTE THAT'S LASTED FOR MORE THAN A CENTURY IS STILL UNDER DEBATE.
AMY AUBERT IS IN ATLANTA FOR TODAY'S HEARING ON THE BIBB-MONROE COUNTY LINE... AND HAS THE LATEST FROM THE COURTROOM
The hearing opened this morning inside these doors, with a direct examination of Virgil Hammond, a surveyor and Monroe County witness.
In the examination, Hammond told the judge that he agrees with Terry Scarborough's 2008 survey and says there are several maps that indicate Scarborough's county line is correct.
But in a cross-examination, Hammond told a bibb county attorney that there quote, "can be map errors."
Hammond says he believes there was only one ferry, whch goes agianst Bibb's argument that there were two.
When hammond was shown documents from the 1800s mentioning multiple ferries, he said there could have been two ferries at some point in time....but he doesn;'t know whree and when they would have been.
Bibb argues there were two different ferries and that could be the confusion of county line confusion...one that was drawn in the late 1800s.
Bibb County Chairman Sam Hart says a final decison could take up to 30 days.
In Atlanta, I'm Amy Aubert, 13WMAZ News.
A FERRY SITE ON THE OCMULGEE RIVER WAS USED TO SET THE COUNTY LINE BACK IN 1823.
THAT'S WHY EXPERTS ARE TRYING TO PINPOINT ITS LOCATION....188 YEARS LATER.
LATE THIS AFTERNOON....THE SECOND WITNESS OF THE DAY... MONROE COUNTY SURVEYOR HUGH MERCER JUNIOR... TOOK THE STAND.
TESTIMONY IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR A FOURTH DAY...TOMORROW.
BIBB COUNTY CHAIRMAN SAM HART TOLD US THE DISPUTE HAS COST THE COUNTY..ABOUT 200 THOUSAND DOLLARS SO FAR.

MARCH IS WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH... AND WOMEN CAN FACE SOME UNIQUE FINANCIAL CHALLENGES.
SHERRI GOSS IS HERE TO EXPLAIN SOME OF THEM... AND LET YOU KNOW WHAT YOU CAN DO.
SHERRI... WHAT ISSUES DO WOMEN FACE THAT ARE DIFFERENT THAN MEN?

The first big deal is that women have historically earned less. Many times this is due to women being out of the workforce to care for children, or aging parents. On top of this, we live longer by an average of 7 years. And, the average age of most widows is 56. So, you combine less income, less savings, lower Social Security benefits, and living longer, and you can have a real problem.

Here is what I recommend women do--five things.

1. Understand the household income, expenses and the plan for paying off debt. Tracking spending for 30 days can help you understand the real financial situation you are in.

2. Research financial decisions before you make them, instead of depending on someone else. Know what your credit looks like, shop for the best deals, and research big purchases before you make them. Just because someone tells you you qualify doesn't mean it's right for you.

3. Be careful not to put everyone else first. If you want to help out your kids or grandkids, make sure you are still taking care of yourself first.

4. Have a plan for retirement. What will your income and expenses be? How sustainable is this plan for the long run?

5. Be prepared for the unknown. Think about the "worst case scenario" and what your life would be like if you became disabled, or lost your spouse.

Knowing where you stand financially, and taking the steps to protect yourself will ensure that you can handle what life brings. And, it will give you peace of mind.
IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS FOR SHERRI CALL HER AT 752-1374 OR EMAIL HER AT EYEWITNESSNEWS@13WMAZ.COM.
SHE'LL BE HERE UNTIL 6:30..

STUDENTS IN BIBB COUNTY JOINED MANY SCHOOLS AROUND THE WORLD IN CELEBRATING THE BIRTHDAY OF ONE OF THEIR FAVORITE AUTHORS.
IT'S A STORY THAT COMES.. STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART.
Nats "I do not like them Sam I AM"
SCHOOLS ALL ACROSS BIBB COUNTY ARE PARTICIPATING IN "READ ACROSS AMERICA DAY" IN HONOR OF DR. SEUSS 107TH BIRTHDAY.
VOLUNTEERS CAME IN FROM THE COMMUNITY AND HELP CELEBRATE THE FAMOUS AUTHOR'S BIRTHDAY BY READING TO DIFFERENT SCHOOLS IN THE AREA.
VOLUNTEERS AT INGRAM PYE ELEMENTARY READ TO THE STUDENTS A DR. SEUSS FAVORITE "GREEN EGGS AND HAM".
AFTER THEY READ TO THE CLASS THEY PASSED OUT CAT IN THE HAT STICKERS AND HATS.
JAYLEN ROBERTS SAYS HE ENJOYS READING AND LEARNING NEW THINGS.
Jaylen Roberts, 2nd Grader "I like to read because it will help you go up and get a good education"
Alva London,Media Specialist "Literacy is one of the most important thing we have in our nation, and once you learn to read you can make intelligent choices so that is why it is really important that the kids see that grown ups read past high school, men and women and once they see that they will appreciate it a little more" OTHER SCHOOLS PARTICIPATING IN THE EVENT ARE KING-DANFORTH, ST. PETER CLAVER, BURDELL HUNT ELEMENTARY, L. H. WILLIAMS, AND WALTER P. JONES.

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