Tuesday, March 8, Eyewitness News at 6

11:42 PM, Mar 8, 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.

SOME CENTRAL GEORGIA VETERINARIANS ARE WORKING TO BUILD OPPOSITION TO A NEW STATE BILL.
THEY SAY THEY DON'T LIKE THE PROPOSAL OF A STATE SALES TAX ON THEIR SERVICES.
AS DOCTOR RUSTY BEAN TOLD RANDALL SAVAGE.. VETERINARIANS THINK THEY'RE BEING PICKED ON.
<<DOCTOR RUSTY BEAN OF PIEDMONT ANIMAL HOSPITAL IN GRAY SAYS VETERINARIANS OPPOSE THE PROPOSED SALES TAX NOT ONLY BECAUSE IT'LL INCREASE COSTS ACROSS THE BOARD.
BUT BEAN SAYS VETERINARIANS FEEL THEY'RE BEING SINGLED OUT.
4:39:25 Dr. Rusty Bean, Veterinarian:We are the only profession that was chosen for this specific tax. No dentist. No lawyers.No MD's. No optometrist. They are all not covered or proposed to be taxed.
IT'S PART OF A TAX OVERHAUL PACKAGE PUT TOGETHER LAST YEAR BY THE GEORGIA TAX REFORM COMMISSION..
THAT PLAN INCLUDES CUTTING THE STATE INCOME TAX FROM SIX TO FOUR PERCENT.. SLAPPING A STATE SALES TAX BACK ON GROCERIES..
AND TAXING CERTAIN SERVICES AND SALES.. LIKE BOATS.. AUTOS.. HAIRCUTS....AND TRIPS TO THE VET.
HE SAYS VETERINARIANS ARE BANDING TOGETHER TO OPPOSE THE PLAN...THAT'S NOW IN THE ASSEMBLY.
8:12:29 Dr. Rusty Bean, Veterinarian: Our state veterinary association has spoken with a lawyer and a lobbyist to try to make our voice known as a profession that this is an unfair practice.
HE SAYS THAT'S UPSETTING.
Dr. Rusty Bean, Veterinarian: If you're going to play, everybody needs to get the same ball and glove.
DOCTOR BEAN SAYS THE PROPOSED TAX WOULD INCREASE COSTS EVERYWHERE.
7:41:18 Dr. Rusty Bean, Veterinarian: It's a very extensive list of items that you're talking about, seven percent. But once again, if you're a business owner and you're getting your oil changed so to speak, he has those same costs incurred from his provider, so you're looking at more than seven percent being passed on.
AND VETERINARIANS ARE LETTING FOLKS KNOW THEIR POSITION.
5:02:15 Dr. Rusty Bean: Veterinarian: We as a group have been notifying businesses, clients, newspapers and now TV as far as what this tax would mean.
RANDALL SAVAGE.. 13 WMAZ.. EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> LAST YEAR.. STATE LAWMAKERS CREATED THE GEORGIA TAX REFORM COMMISSION AND ASKED IT TO COME UP WITH MAJOR TAX REFORM IDEAS.
A STATE SALES TAX ON VETERINARY SERVICES WAS INCLUDED IN THE COMMISSION'S RECOMMENDATIONS.
A BILL INCLUDING THE VETERINARY TAX HAS BEEN INTRODUCED IN THE STATE HOUSE... BUT HASN'T COME UP FOR DEBATE YET.

SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES FROM SEVERAL COUNTIES SPENT THE DAY SEARCHING BLECKLEY COUNTY SCHOOLS... AFTER A BOMB THREAT SHUT DOWN THE DISTRICT TODAY.
AMY AUBERT SPOKE WITH SOME STUDENTS WHO SAY... EVEN THOUGH THEY GOT THE DAY OFF... THEY'RE NOT AMUSED.<<
Alexius Woodfaulk, 9th grade: "I was like, 'Oh no, Oh my gosh, they're messin' up my education.'''

Mercedez Marshall, 12th grade: "People went to school thinkin' that it's a safe place to be, and it's not that safe anymore."

Kelsey Morris, 7th grade: "I actually think that's kind of childish and immature."

SEVENTH GRADER KELSEY MORRIS SAYS... WHEN SHE HEARD A BOMB THREAT CLOSED THE DISTRICT... HER MIND WAS RACING.

Kelsey Morris: "Is it gonna be all that serious? Are they gonna have to cancel school for a long time? Is there actually gonna be a bomb there?"

KELSEY'S MOTHER... PEGGY BOWMAN... SAYS THEY GOT THE CRISIS COMMUNICATION SYSTEM PHONE CALL AROUND SIX A-M... SAYING THE DISTRICT RECEIVED A BOMB THREAT... MONDAY NIGHT.

Peggy Bowman, Cochran: "I thought it was a prank, but if it was real, then it's too close for home."

Amy Aubert, Eyewitness News: "Bleckley County Sheriff, Harold Lancaster says the caller threatened anyone who sets foot on a Bleckley County school campus Tuesday. He says, after hearing the caller's voice, he suspects it was a juvenille, but says they're still investigating."

Sheriff Harold Lancaster, Bleckley County: "You can never take these things for granted, so you have to follow through and check on everything and make sure things are safe."

"NO SCHOOL TODAY" SIGNS HUNG IN THE DOORS... AND SEVERAL SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES SEARCHED THE BUILDINGS WITH TWO BOMB SNIFFING DOGS FROM DOOLY AND HOUSTON COUNTY.

AND WHILE KIDS SAY... THEY SPENT THE DAY OUTDOORS...

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THEY WOULD'VE RATHER BEEN IN THE CLASSROOM.

Alexius Woodfaulk, 9th grade: "It just means that today I wouldn't be able to put more grades in the book make my average go up higher."

AMY AUBERT... 13 WMAZ... EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> THE DOOLY COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS NO BOMBS WERE FOUND IN TODAY'S SEARCH... WHICH FINISHED UP AROUND FIVE O'CLOCK.
SHERIFF LANCASTER SAYS... A JUVENILE CONVICTED OF MAKING THE THREAT COULD FACE UP TO FIVE YEARS PROBATION.
BLECKLEY COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT CHARLOTTE PIPKEN SAYS... SCHOOLS WILL REOPEN TOMORROW... AND MAKE UP THE MISSED DAY ON MARCH 29TH.

TWO CHILDREN WHO WENT MISSING IN CRAWFORD COUNTY HAVE BEEN FOUND.
FOUR-YEAR-OLD JAGGER HAYES AND EIGHT-YEAR-OLD JEFFERY HAYES...WERE FOUND A HALF MILE FROM THEIR HOME... AT A FRIEND'S HOUSE.
CRAWFORD COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR GERRY GIBB SAYS THE CHILDREN WERE PLAYING GAMES WHEN POLICE FOUND THEM...BUT NO ADULTS WERE SUPERVISING.
GIBB SAID WHEN POLICE KNOCKED ON THE DOOR OF THE HOUSE...THERE WAS NO ANSWER.
LATER....THE OWNER OF THE HOUSE CAME HOME FROM WORK...AND SAW THEM.

THE PERRY FIRE DEPARTMENT AND AN APARTMENT COMPLEX HAVE RESPONDED TO A WOMAN'S COMPLAINT ABOUT HER THREE TRAPPED CATS.
KELLY LUCAS AND HER BOYFRIEND NICK TRICE SAY THE CATS WERE STRANDED INSIDE THEIR APARTMENT AFTER A FIRE ON FEBRUARY 18TH.
YESTERDAY... WE TOLD YOU THAT LUCAS WAS UNHAPPY THAT POLICE.... THE FIRE DEPARTMENT.... AND OWNERS OF THE HOUSTON COUNTY APARTMENT COMPLEX HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO HELP HER SAVE THE CATS.
BUT IN EMAILS TODAY... FIRE CHIEF JOEL GRAY AND THE APARTMENT MANAGER SAID THEY'VE DONE EVERYTHING THEY CAN TO HELP THE CATS GET OUT OF THE UNSTABLE BUILDING.
THEY SAY IT'S NOT SAFE FOR RESCUERS TO ENTER THE APARTMENT.
TO READ BOTH EMAIL STATEMENTS...LOOK FOR THIS STORY ON OUR HOME PAGE...13WMAZ-DOT-COM.

THE PERRY PUBLIC SAFETY DEPARTMENT IS GETTING A NEW PLACE TO TRAIN... AND IT SAYS THE BEST PART... IS THE COST TO TAXPAYERS IS VIRTUALLY NOTHING.
PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICIALS SAY THEY'RE USING PRISON LABOR... CONFISCATED DRUG MONEY... AND AN OUT-OF-USE COUNTY LANDFILL FOR SPACE FOR THE CENTER.
BOTH POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS WILL USE IT.
OFFICIALS SAY THE FIRING RANGE WILL BE MORE UP-TO-DATE AND LONGER THAN THE OLD ONE.
THE CENTER WILL ALSO HAVE A TRACK... OBSTACLE COURSE... AND "MOCK VILLAGE" WHERE FIREFIGHTERS CAN PRACTICE CONTROLLED BURNS.
Buck "Let the bad guys pay for our training... to do better work, and get them back behind bars."
OFFICIALS ESTIMATE THE CENTER WILL COST ABOUT 100 THOUSAND DOLLARS -- ALL PAID FOR WITH CONFISCATED DRUG MONEY.
THEY HOPE TO HAVE THE FIRING RANGE COMPLETE BY MAY... AND THE REST OF THE CENTER DONE BY THE END OF SUMMER.

THE GEORGIA SENATE HAS APPROVED MAJOR CHANGES TO THE HOPE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM.
GOVERNOR NATHAN DEAL'S PLAN WOULD REDUCE CUT SCHOLARSHIPS FOR ALL BUT THE STATE'S
TOP-SCORING STUDENTS.
IT WOULD ELIMINATE PAYMENTS FOR BOOKS, FEES AND REMEDIAL CLASSES.
THE SCHOLARSHIPS WOULD BE FOR A FIXED AMOUNT...RATHER THAN RISE WITH TUITION.
THE BILL PASSED THE SENATE TODAY BY A 35 TO 20 VOTE.
THE HOUSE AND SENATE STILL NEED TO AGREE ON THE HOPE PLAN.

MACON'S CITY COUNCIL IS TALKING ABOUT THE FUTURE OF VACANT CITY HOUSES TODAY.
THE MAYOR'S OFFICE HOSTED A WORK SESSION WITH COUNCIL MEMBERS THIS AFTERNOON TO TALK ABOUT 23 CITY-OWNED VACANT HOUSES BUILT WITH FEDERAL GRANT MONEY. MACON MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT IS HERE WITH US TO TALK ABOUT THE SESSION... AND WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE CITY.

STUDENTS AT ALL FIVE HOUSTON COUNTY HIGH SCHOOLS WILL HAVE THE CHANCE TO LEARN ABOUT FARM LIFE NEXT YEAR.
THE COUNTY WILL ADD TWO SCHOOL FARMS TO ITS AGRICULTURE EDUCATION PROGRAM... ONE AT WARNER ROBINS HIGH... THE OTHER AT VETERANS HIGH.
LORRA LYNCH-JONES EXPLAINS IT'S BENEFITS.
<<nats- cow mooing
Rebecca Grantham: (:30) "Some people, they don't know what it's about, and they're like you do what in the morning at six? You go out to a farm why?
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Jacob Wilson: (1:20) "A lot of people think FFA is a lot of rednecks you know, a lot of rednecks workin on a farm, it's more than that."
TO JACOB WILSON... REBECCA GRANTHAM... AND RYAN POWELL... AG EDUCATION IS A WAY OF LIFE.
Ryan Powell: (1:40) "I've seen it change people. It really just has a positive effect."
ALL THREE JOINED HOUSTON COUNTY HIGH'S PROGRAM... NOT KNOWING IF HANDLING HEIFFERS WOULD FIT THEIR STYLE.
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NOW ALL THREE WANT COLLEGE DEGREES... THAT SPRING FROM THEIR LOVE OF DAIRY COWS.
Rebbeca Grantham: (2:10) "I'm interested in ag education. Hopefully, I'll be the person teaching people how to do this."
HOUSTON COUNTY SCHOOLS WANT TO CULTIVATE THAT INTEREST IN STUDENTS AT ALL FIVE HIGH SCHOOLS... BY ADDING TWO NEW FARMS... AT VETERANS AND WARNER ROBINS HIGH SCHOOLS.
Jacob Wilson: "It's a program every student should get a chance at."
956 STUDENTS ALREADY PARTICIPATE. NEXT FALL... THAT NUMBER SHOULD TOP ONE-THOUSAND... SAYS AG EDUCATION DIRECTOR... BARBARA WALL.
Barbara Wall: (1:04) "Interest is growing, Were actually adding two teachers this year in the ag area."
THE NEW PROGRAMS WILL START SMALL... AND GROW WITH STUDENT INVOLVEMENT.
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POWELL SAYS THAT'S LIKELY TO DEVELOP QUICKLY.
Ryan Powell: (:30) "I went from knowing nothing about dairy cows and showing, to just knowing everything and loving it to death."
HE SAYS IT'S HARD WORK... BUT ALL THE HOURS AND THE ANIMALS... FEED THE INTEREST IN AG.
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STD>> BARBARA WALL SAYS WARNER ROBINS AND VETERANS HIGH ALREADY OWN ENOUGH LAND FOR THE FARMS.... WITH ROOM TO EXPAND. SHE SAYS STUDENTS AND VOLUNTEERS WILL BUILD THE PENS AND BARNS... SO THERE'S LITTLE COST TO THE SCHOOL SYSTEM.

WARNER BROTHERS' DECISION TO FIRE CHARLIE SHEEN FROM 'TWO AND A HALF MEN' HAS RAISED SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SHOW'S FUTURE.
TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL QUESTION ASKS... WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN TO 'TWO AND A HALF MEN'?
SO FAR 13 PERCENT OF YOU SAY BRING BACK CHARLIE SHEEN.
26 PERCENT SAY REPLACE HIM.
AND 61 PERCENT SAY... TIME TO END THE SHOW.
VOTE NOW.... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION IN THE "DON'T MISS" BOX ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.

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