Thursday, March 3, 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.

STATE SENATOR ROBERT BROWN SAYS HE HAS HIS OWN PLAN FOR MERGING MACON AND BIBB COUNTY.
HE CALLS IT A COMPLETE RESTRUCTURING OF THE CITY AND COUNTY.
BUT BROWN WON'T TALK ABOUT THE DETAILS FOR NOW.
BRITTINY BARBER AND RANDALL SAVAGE HAVE MORE ON BROWN'S NEWS CONFERENCE... IN TONIGHT'S TOP STORY.
A COMPLETE RESTRUCTURING OF THE MACON AND BIBB COUNTY GOVERNMENTS HIGHLIGHT STATE SENATOR ROBERT BROWN'S PROPOSED CONSOLIDATION BILL.
STATE SENATOR ROBERT BROWN'S PROPOSED CONSOLIDATION bill would completely RESTRUCTURe THE city of MACON AND BIBB COUNTY GOVERNMENTS,
BUT BROWN'S KEEPING DETAILS UNDER WRAPS FOR NOW.
BRITTINY BARBER AND RANDALL SAVAGE HAVE MORE ON BROWN'S ANNOUNCEMENT.
SENATOR ROBERT BROWN DISCUSSED HIS PROPOSED CITY-COUNTY UNIFICATION bill AT A PRESS CONFERNECE ON THURSDAY IN ATLANTA.
He says he may file it next week...or the week after.
BUT BROWN AVOIDED DETAILS.. SAYING HE WANTS TO DISCUSS HIS PROPOSAL WITH SENATOR CECIL STATON FIRST.
Take brown bite
Talks a bout a fair plan for a new macon
AT BROWN'S SIDE WAS MACON BAPTIST MINISTER WALTER GLOVER WHO SAYS HE'S REVIEWED BROWN'S bill.. LIKES IT.. AND WILL lobby voters to approve it.
Take glover bite
BROWN SAYS HE'S GIVEN SENATOR STATON A DRAFT OF HIS bill AND THE TWO AGREED TO KEEP IT BETWEEN THEM FOR NOW.
Take brown bite
SENATOR STATION ACKNOWLEDGED THAT HE'S REVIEWING BROWN'S PROPOSAL.. AND MAKING NOTES ON POINTS HE FEELS NEED DISCUSSION.
Take staton bite
REPORTING FROM THE STATE CAPITOL.. BRITTINY BARBER AND RANDALL SAVAGE... 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
EARLIER THIS WEEK.. THE STATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES APPROVED REPRESENTATIVE ALLEN PEAKE'S CONSOLIDATION PROPOSAL.
IT IS HEADED TO THE SENATE AND NEEDS BROWN AND STATON'S APPROVAL.
BROWN SAYS HE DOESN'T SUPPORT PEAKE'S PLAN.

TODAY MARKED THE THIRD TIME IN LESS THAN A YEAR THAT BIBB SCHOOL OFFICIALS HAVE CHARGED A STUDENT WITH BRINGING A WEAPON TO THE APPLING MIDDLE SCHOOL.
ONCE AGAIN TODAY...NO ONE WAS HURT.
BUT ELEANOR LISSITZYN TELLS US....THAT ONE APPLING MIDDLE SCHOOL PARENT SAYS ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
<eleanor recaps gun incident>
PANIAGUA (PAN-E-AGUA) SAYS SHE THINKS SCHOOL OFFICIALS NEED TO BEEF UP ECURITY.
SHE SAYS SHE WANTS TO SEE METAL DETECTORS IN SCHOOL...AND DRUG-SNIFFING DOGS.

THE ATLANTIC SUN BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT IS IN FULL SWING AT MERCER'S UNIVERSITY CENTER..
THAT'S WHERE WE FIND DARNAY TRIPP WHO'S LOOKING AHEAD TO TONIGHTS LATE GAME FEATURING THE HOME TOWN-TEAM..
HELLO DARNAY..
Darnay interviews Bob Hoffman/Mercer Head B-Ball coach
DARNAY TRIPP REPORTING LIVE FROM THE UNIVERSITY CENTER..
AGAIN - MERCER AND LIPSCOMB TIP TONIGHT AT NINE O'CLOCK..

adlib toss to ben
FOR YOUR THREE DAY FORECAST.. WE JOIN CHIEF METEOROLOGIST BEN JONES IN THE WEATHER CENTER.
ben gives three day forecast
THANKS BEN.. WE'LL TALK WITH YOU AGAIN IN JUST A FEW MINUTES.

ALSO AT THE GEORGIA CAPITOL TODAY....NEWT GINGRICH SAID HE IS LAUNCHING A WEBSITE TO EXPLORE A RUN FOR PRESIDENT.
GINGRICH SPOKE BRIEFLY CITING REASONS WHY HE AND HIS WIFE THINK IT *MAY* BE TIME TO SERIOUSLY CONSIDER A PRESIDENTIAL RUN.
We believe that it is possible, through the right policies, with the right values, to create dramatically more jobs with dramatically higher incomes. We believe it is possible to reestablish American exceptionalism as the core value of this country that has made it so unique and has attracted people from all over the world.
GINGRICH HAS NOT YET SET UP AN EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE...WHICH WOULD MAKE HIM AN OFFICIAL CANDIDATE.

CLIF WILKINSON IS A POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR AT GEORGIA COLLEGE IN MILLEDGEVILLE..
HE JOINS US NOW TO TALK ABOUT NEWT GINGRICH AND THE PRESIDENCY..

WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU THINK... SO TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS...
CAN NEWT GINGRICH BE ELECTED PRESIDENT?
SO FAR... 63 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO.. HE CANNOT
WHILE 37 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES HE CAN.
TO CAST YOUR VOTE.. VISIT OUR WEBSITE.. 13WMAZ DOT COM.
LOOK FOR THE WEB POLL QUESTION IN THE DON'T MISS BOX ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE.

YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED INTERNET CAFES POPPING UP IN MACON.
SOME OFFER FAXING... COPYING... AND--- SWEEPSTAKES.
MAJOR CHARLES STONE SAYS THERE ARE AT LEAST SEVEN INTERNET CAFES IN THE CITY.
POLICE TOLD BOFTA YIMAM THAT THE BUSINESSES ARE NOT VIOLATING THE LAW... BUT THEY DO RAISE SOME RED FLAGS.
YOU CAN SPOT LURING ADVERTISEMENTS LIKE... GET CASH NOW... SWEEPSTAKES JACKPOTS AND T-V RAFFLES... OUTSIDE SOME INTERNET CAFES. BUT MAJOR CHARLES STONE SAY it's not a sure bet...that that means ILLEGAL ACTIVITY... LIKE GAMBLING.
Major Charles Stone, Macon Police
"We haven't had any problems at any of these locations, seem to be legitimate"
THEY PROMOTE INTERNET USE... INCLUDING PRINTING AND FAXING MATERIALS. BUT THE VETERAN INVESTIGATOR SAYS OFFERING SWEEPSTAKES... RAISES QUESTIONS.
Stone,
"Just the fact that it's got the association of gambling, sweepstakes as they call it, has got our attention."
STONE SAYS THE'RE NO SIGN THEY ARE VIOLATING GEORGIA LAW... BUT IS CHECKING WITH STATEWIDE AUTHORITIES TO BE SURE. STONE SAYS MAKING A CASE COULD BE A ROLL OF THE DICE...SINCE IT MAY BOIL DOWN TO TECHNICALITIES.
Stone,
"To do the operation in the open usually they have a way to try and skirt it they use the law to the advantage and they've used every bit of technology or terminology"
Bofta Yimam, Eyewitness News
"The internet cafes manager Charlie Elsheek says this is the way it works. He says people buy phone cards, and get points based on how much phone time they buy. He says those points then go towards a sweepstakes. He says it's a catchy way to reveal sweepstakes and definitely not gambling.
ELSHEE'S CAFE SELLS TEL-CONNECT PHONE CARDS. THEIR DISTRIBUTOR JULIUS KISS CALLS THE SWEEPSTAKES A PROMOTIONAL TOOL. HE SAYS GAMBLING WOULD REQUIRE THE PLAYER TO RISK SOMETHING OF VALUE... AND SAYS THEIR OFFER IS FREE TO ENTER. ODDS MANY CAN'T RESIST.
BOFTA YIMAM 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
GEORGIA LAW SAYS...in part...that A PERSON IS GAMBLING WHEN THEY MAKE A BET ... QUOTE..."UPON THE PARTIAL OR FINAL RESULT OF ANY GAME OR CONTEST ."

A NEW PROPOSED BILL WOULD REQUIRE SIX AND SEVEN YEAR OLD CHILDREN TO SIT IN A CAR BOOSTER SEAT.
SOME PARENTS SAY THAT'S TOO RESTRICTIVE WHILE OTHER SAY IT'S ABOUT SAFETY.
CURRENT GEORGIA LAW REQUIRES CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF SIX... TO RIDE IN A BOOSTER SEAT.
THE PROPOSED BILL THAT PASSED IN THE HOUSE AND SENATE... BUMPS THE AGE TO EIGHT.
FATHER OF TWO... DAN PERDUE SAID PARENTS SHOULD BE ABLE TO MAKE THEIR OWN DECISIONS.
GRANDPARENT...PRISCILLA JOHNSTON SAID THE LAW COULD KEEP MORE CHILDREN FROM GETTING HURT.
Priscilla Johnston, Perry: (2:00) "Just a little bit of time for the incovenience, could save your child's life. So yes, I think it's very important."
Dan Perdue, Perry: (:45) "I am not a big fan of them raising the age to eight years old for kids in the car and booster seats, and other devices. There's a point at which you have to balance practicality and people's needs with safety."
CHILDREN WHO WEIGH AT LEAST 40 POUNDS... OR ARE FOUR FEET NINE INCHES OR TALLER... WOULD BE EXEMPT.
FIRST TIME VIOLATORS WOULD BE FINED FIFTY DOLLARS.
THE FINE DOUBLES FOR THE SECOND OFFENSE.

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