HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US...
I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
AND I'M LORRA LYNCH-JONES...THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX... FRANK MALLOY HAS THE NIGHT OFF.
MACON'S TWO STATE SENATORS SAY THEY'VE AGREED ON A CONSOLIDATION PLAN FOR THE CITY AND BIBB COUNTY.
DEMOCRAT ROBERT BROWN AND REPUBLICAN CECIL STATON HELD A NEWS CONFERENCE IN ATLANTA TODAY TO DISCUSS THE BILL.
RANDALL SAVAGE WAS THERE... AND JOINS US FROM THE EYEWITNESS NEWSROOM WITH MORE.
THANKS RANDALL... HE'LL HAVE MORE ON CONSOLIDATION TONIGHT ON EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.
CITY AND COUNTY LEADERS ARE REACTING TO THE NEWS AS WELL...
BOTH MACON MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT AND BIBB COUNTY CHARIMAN SAM HART SAY THEY WERE EXCITED TO HEAR THAT STATON AND BROWN HAVE AGREED.
BOTH MEN SAY THEY'RE READY TO SUPPORT CONSOLIDATION EFFORTS ... BUT THEY SAY THEY DO HAVE SOME CONCERNS ABOUT THE DETAILS.
Reichert: "Obviously everybodys going to be concerned with whats the most efficent way to run for example, a hospital authority. A water and sewer authority. Whats the most efficent and effective way to run those."
Hart: "My big concerns still are that we reconcile the difference between the house and the senate. And two that this is put before the public and that theres a period that we provide education to the public in terms of the benefits.
CHAIRMAN HART SAYS HE'S CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC VOTERS COULD GET TO VOTE N 2012.
THE MOVE-IN DATE FOR THE NEW DODGE COUNTY JAIL REMAINS UP IN THE AIR.
CONSTRUCTION SHOULD WRAP UP IN THE NEXT MONTH... BUT THE COUNTY COMMISSION COULD DELAY THE MOVE-IN BECAUSE OF LACK OF FUNDING.
BRITTINY BARBER EXPLAINS THE PROBLEMS.
<< SINCE THE EARLY 1970'S.. THESE CELLS HAVE HOUSED INMATES IN DODGE COUNTY.
Sheriff Jeff Hinson: "The old jail we have now is very cramped. It's not up to date it's an old jail."
CONSTRUCTION ON THE NEW JAIL IS ALMOST COMPLETE... BUT THE SHERIFF MAY HAVE TO WAIT TO MOVE IN.
Sheriff Jeff Hinson: "They allowed us $662,000 this year to operate the jail off of. That's this jail and opening the new jail. It's not enough money. So, what they've proposed to do is wait til September to open."
BRittiny Barber, Eyewitness News: "The new jail will hold about twice the inmates as the old one, but with that comes the cost of adding personnel to the sheriff's office... costing the county some extra cash."
Chairman Dan McCranie: "WE knew we'd have more expense but we were thinking the design would be personnel efficient, but you know it's going to be more personnel I think than even we realized."
THE NEW JAIL REQUIRES A MINIMUM OF ABOUT 17 EXTRA PEOPLE ON STAFF....A COST OF MORE THAN 370 THOUSAND DOLLARS.
THE COUNTY MAY NOT HAVE THE MONEY TO BUDGET FOR THAT... SO COMMISSIONERS COULD DELAY OPENING UNTIL THEY FIND OUT ABOUT SALES AND PROPERTY TAX REVENUE.
Chairman Dan McCranie: "There's a lot of things we've been looking at trying to do as far as dealing with the sales tax figures that have dropped and the property values that have dropped. It's just effecting the county government a good bit"
FOR NOW... THE SHERIFF MAKES DO WITH THE OLD... AND WAITS TO MOVE INTO THE NEW.
Sheriff Jeff Hinson: "I'm not going to take a chance on my guys getting hurt because somebody didn't want to spend a dollar. I'm not going to take that chance."
BRITTINY BARBER 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS>> A SPLOST HELPED TO PAY FOR THE THE NEW JAIL.
RIGHT NOW... DODGE COUNTY DOESN'T HAVE ENOUGH ROOM IN THE CURRENT JAIL FOR ALL OF THEIR INMATES.
THEY HAVE TO HOUSE SOME IN SURROUNDING COUNTIES... COSTING ABOUT $35 A DAY PER INMATE.
JUST LIKE THEIR ANIMALS... THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF HOUSTON COUNTY NEEDED A HOME.
FOR THREE YEARS... THE RESCUE GROUP WORKED WITHOUT A PLACE TO CALL THEIR OWN..... BUT THIS WEEK... THEY FINALLY FOUND ONE.
THEY SAY THE SPOT WILL HELP LEAD MORE PEOPLE TO ONE-OF-A-KIND PETS.
<<nats- "C'mon down here. C'mon."
DEE ALLISON CLAIMS FIVE HORSES...
nats (:35) "That's Jesse, that's General."
AND A FEW FOSTER PETS... (growling) INCLUDING HENRY... A FIVE POUND DOG... READY TO TAKE ON 15-HUNDRED POUND HORSES.
nats: (1:30) "He thinks they're big dogs. I want to get 'em. I want to go."
ALLISON ALSO HOSTS A SLIGHTLY SHYER PUP... RAMONA.
nats- (:20) "She can only see shadows and she's completely deaf."
INBREEDING CREATED THE GENETIC MISHAPS... BUT ALLISON SAYS IT'S NOTHING A LITTLE LOVE COULDN'T FIX.
nats- (:05) "She doesn't ever meet a stranger."
AND NOW A NEW OPPORTUNITY COULD HELP RAMONA AND HENRY FIND PERMANENT PLACES TO LIVE... FASTER.
Debbie Martin: (1:30) "Were going to be able to adopt out more, and were going to have room for more."
DEBBIE MARTIN... THE HOUSTON HUMANE SOCIETY DIRECTOR... SAYS DONATIONS ADDED UP.. FINALLY EQUALING ENOUGH TO RENT A SPACE.
(:50) "When people ask where are you located, we can finally tell them where we are."
THEY CAN COME TO CONSTITUTION DRIVE TO MEET DOGS LIKE EDITH...
nats- (:12) "She's a mess."
AND BRADLEY... THE THREE LEGGED WONDER DOG.
Debbie Martin: (1:50) "As you can see, that leg was broken. He had a broken rear leg as well."
HE'S NOW HEALED... AND LIKE THE OTHERS... BEGGING FOR A SPECIAL OWNER TO ACCEPT THEIR SPECIAL NEEDS.
nats- pouring water
Dee Allison: "We don't treat them like they have a handicap, so they don't know they're handicapped."
SHE SAYS THE ONLY EXTRA HELP THEY NEED ARE HOMES... PLACES WITH PEOPLE READY TO RETURN THEIR LOVE...
Dee Allison: "Thank you."
... AND NOT AFRAID OF KISS.
>> THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF HOUSTON COUNTY IS LOCATED AT 106 CONSTITUTION DRIVE... THAT'S OFF OSIGIAN BOULEVARD IN WARNER ROBINS.
MARTIN SAYS THEY'RE STILL WORKING ON A VOLUNTEER SCHEDULE... BUT PLAN TO OPEN FOR ADOPTIONS ON SOME NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS... BY MID-APRIL. YOU CAN CALL 478-599-0211 FOR MORE INFORMATION. AGAIN THAT'S 478-599-0211.
ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL SAFETY COUNCIL... THERE'S AN ACCIDENT CAUSED BY CELL PHONES OR TEXTING EVERY 26 SECONDS IN THE UNITED STATES.
WE WANT YOU TO HANG UP THE PHONE AND MAKE YOUR DRIVE A LITTLE SAFER.
IT'S GREAT HANG UP DAY HERE ON EYEWITNESS NEWS... AND WE'RE SHARING YOUR STORIES ABOUT WHY YOU DECIDED TO STAY OFF THE PHONE WHILE YOU'RE IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT.
ADENA SIMMONS FROM BONAIRE SAYS.... SHE MADE THE DECISION FOR HER CHILDRENS' SAKE.
I SIGNED THE PLEDGED BECAUSE OF A VIDEO I SAW WHEN MY DAUGHTER WAS TAKING DRIVERS ED LAST YEAR, I WILL NEVER FORGET, VERY GRAPHIC BUT VERY REAL. IT HIT ME THEN WHAT IS AT RISK TO BE DISTRACTED WHILE DRIVING. I NEVER WANT TO BE IN THE SITUATION OF THE PEOPLE I SAW IN THAT VIDEO, NOR DO I WANT MY CHILDREN TO GO THRU ANYTHING LIKE THAT, SO I KNEW IT WAS UP TO ME TO SET THE EXAMPLE FOR MY KIDS. AND I HAVE SLIPPED UP AND TALKED ON THE PHONE WHILE DRIVING, BUT NEVER TXT, SO TO HELP ME KEEP MY PLEDGE I HAVE STARTED LEAVING MY PHONE HOME IF I'M GONNA BE OUT JUST A SHORT BIT, OR TURN MY PHONE COMPLETELY OFF WHEN I'M HEADING OUT THE DOOR TILL I GET WHERE I AM GOING.
THAT'S WHY I SIGNED THE GREAT HANG UP.
WE WANT YOU TO JOIN THE GREAT HANG UP AS WELL.
JUST VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM... AND LOOK FOR THE PLEDGE UNDER THE "FEATURES" TAB ON THE HOMEPAGE.
YOU'LL FIND THE LINK TO THE PLEDGE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE PAGE.
IF YOU'VE SIGNED THE PLEDGE AND KEPT IT... OR IF YOU SIGNED IT AND DECIDED NOT TO KEEP IT... WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU.
EACH MONTH... WE WILL SHARE YOUR STORIES ON EYEWITNESS NEWS.
JUST EMAIL US AT EYEWITNESS-NEWS AT 13WMAZ DOT COM TO LET US KNOW YOU'RE INTERESTED.
TODAY... WE ASKED OUR FACEBOOK FANS IF THEY THOUGHT GEORGIA'S BAN ON TEXTING WHILE DRIVING WAS WORKING.
MELISSA MACKER WROTE... "I DON'T REALLY UNDERSTAND THAT LAW BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY BEHAVIORS THAT TAKE YOUR ATTENTION AWAY FROM THE ROAD JUST AS MUCH AS TEXTING.... AND IT REALLY IS DIFFICULT TO ENFORCE.
PEOPLE NEED TO BE EDUCATED SO THEY'LL MAKE THE CHOICE ON THEIR OWN TO WATCH THE ROAD INSTEAD OF JUST WHEN THEY SEE A COP CAR.
CHERIE MOCK COMMENTED... "SIGNING A PAPER AND MAKING A LAW WILL NOT STOP PEOPLE FROM TEXTING.
IT WILL TAKE SOME HIGH-PRICED TICKETS AND SOME ACCOUNTABILITY TO SLOW IT DOWN."
AND PATTI LOWE JOY SAID... "NO... THE OTHER DAY I WAS DRIVING ON I-75 AND I SAW SOMEONE WITH THEIR IPAD PROPPED ON THE STEERING WHEEL AND THEY APPEAR TO BE READING THEIR IPAD."
JOIN US ON FACEBOOK AND LET US KNOW HOW YOU FEEL.
VISIT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ AND CLICK THE "LIKE" BUTTON TO BECOME A FAN.
TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL QUESTION ASKS... HOW OFTEN DO YOU USE YOUR CELL PHONE WHILE DRIVING?
SO FAR 29 PERCENT OF YOU SAY EVERY DAY.
50 PERCENT OF YOU SAY OCCASIONALLY.
AND 21 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NOT AT ALL.
VOTE NOW... VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM AND LOOK FOR THE QUESTION IN THE "DON'T MISS" BOX ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE.
ONE CENTRAL GEORGIA GROUP CELEBRATED A MILESTONE TODAY... WITH A SPECIAL DEDICATION.
Pause for nats=3 sec
"Thank you thank you thank you, god bless you"
NEW MACON HOMEOWNER MILTON WEBSTER THANKED HABITAT FOR HUMANITY VOLUNTEERS TUESDAY.
MORE THAN 75 PEOPLE HELPED REFURBISH A TAYLOR STREET HOME... SO THE ARMY VETERAN COULD MOVE OUT OF PUBLIC HOUSING AND INTO HIS OWN PLACE.
HABITAT LEADERS OFFICIALLY TURNED OVER THE KEYS AT A DEDICATION EVENT.
IT'S THE SEVENTY-FIFTH MACON AREA HABITAT HOME IN TWENTY-FIVE YEARS.
WEBSTER SUFFERED A DISABLING BITE FROM A BROWN RECLUSE SPIDER SIX YEARS AGO... SAYS HE DIDN'T THINK HE WOULD EVER OWN A HOME.
Milton Webster, homeowner "It's a dream come true, I'm still dreaming I can't believe it (laughs) I'm still I can't believe it, I'm still dreaming."
MACON AREA HABITAT FOR HUMANITY SAYS IT PLANS TO COMMEMORATE ITS 25TH ANNIVERSARY WITH EVENTS THROUGHOUT THE SPRING.