Thursday, March 31, Eyewitness News at 6

5:57 PM, Mar 28, 2011   |    comments
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WE HAVE SOME BREAKING NEWS FROM DODGE COUNTY.
ONE PERSON IS DEAD....AFTER AN EXPLOSION AT A MECHANICAL SHOP.
THAT'S ACCORDIGN TO CAPTAIN TONY WINBORN OF THE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT.
HE SAYS IT HAPPENED AROUND 4-30 P-M AT THE SHOP ON WILL REEVES ROAD.
FIRE CREWS AND SHERIFFS DEPUTIES ARE STILL ON THE SCENE.
SO FAR...THEY'RE NOT RELEASING THE VICTIM'S NAME.
WE;LL HAVE MORE ON THIS STORY ON EYEWITNESS NEWS.

THE WARNER ROBINS MAN ACCUSED OF HIRING TWO MEN TO KILL HIS WIFE WAS DENIED BOND THIS MORNING.
FAMILY AND FRIENDS TOOK THE STAND FOR 55-YEAR-OLD JAMES E. CLEMENTS JUNIOR... ARGUING THAT HE BE RELEASED ON BAIL.
VANESSA RUFFES HAS MORE FROM THE COURT HEARING.
<<
Nats, attorney "Are you generally supportive of your father in the defense of this case?"
Clements "Yes sir. Very much"
attorney "Is it your understanding that the other people in your family are?"
Clements "Yes sir."

20-YEAR-OLD JORDEN ANNE CLEMENTS TOOK THE STAND AT HER FATHER'S BOND HEARING.
SHE AND OTHERS CLOSE TO JAMES E CLEMENTS JUNIOR DEFENDED THE 55 YEAR OLD... AGAINST CHARGES HE HIRED TWO MEN TO KILL HIS WIFE.

Attorney "Do you feel confident that he would be here in court if the judge let him out on bond?"
Clements "Absolutely he would be here."

DISTRICT ATTORNEY GEORGE HARTWIG ARGUED CLEMENTS WOULD BE A DANGER IF RELEASED...AND LIKELY TO FLEE.
IN A CROSS EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES... HE SAID CLEMENTS HAD PLANNED HIS WIFE JONI'S DEATH.

Nats Hartwig "Do you have any knowledge of him ever trying to make a silencer for a firearm out at the base? (No sir) Were you aware of the fact that he had drawings of a silencer in his toolbox at the base? (no sir)"

Standup "Judge Edward Lukemire denied bond on the grounds that Clements might try to intimidate witnesses coming forward in this ongoing investigation. Clements can reapply for bond in writing within thirty days."

AFTER THE DECISION... SISTER SHERRIE BUSSINEAU READ A PREPARED STATEMENT SAYING HER BROTHER IS INNOCENT... SHE DENIED THAT JAMES AND JONI CLEMENTS HAD A ROCKY MARRIAGE.

Sherrie Bussineau "There's no reason either of them would ever hurt each other."

JONI CLEMENTS'S LONGTIME FRIEND SAYS SHE DOESN'T KNOW WHAT TO BELIEVE... AND IS STILL BATTLING THE HEARTBREAK OF THE 47-YEAR-OLD'S DEATH.

Karen Allen "She's the victim in this case. And no amount of justice is going to bring her back."

VANESSA RUFFES 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> TWO OTHER MEN ARE CHARGED WITH THE FEBRUARY SHOOTING OF (JOHNNY) JONI CLEMENTS.
53 YEAR OLD ROBERT SYBERT WAS DENIED BOND DURING A HEARING LAST WEEK.
HIS SON.. 29 YEAR OLD RICHARD SYBERT IS THE ACCUSED SHOOTER.
HE WAS ARRESTED IN JACKSONVILLE AND IS AWAITING EXTRADITION TO GEORGIA.
DISTRICT ATTORNEY GEORGE HARTWIG SAYS HE PLANS TO PRESENT THE CASE TO THE GRAND JURY WITHIN 60 DAYS.

THE GEORGIA MUSIC HALL OF FAME STAYS IN
MACON... IF THE MONEY CAN BE FOUND TO KEEP THE MUSUEM OPEN FOR AT LEAST A YEAR.
BUT MACON MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT SAYS DON'T EXPECT THE CITY TO FUND IT.
BRITTINY BARBER SAT IN ON THE MEETING THIS MORNING... WHERE BOARD MEMBERS REJECTED THE FOUR CITIES PROPOSALS
SHE EXPLAINS WHAT'S NEXT FOR THE HALL OF FAME.
<< YOU CAN STILL HEAR THE SOUNDS OF THE GEORGIA MUSEUM HALL OF FAME IN DOWNTOWN MACON... AT LEAST FOR NOW.
THE HALL OF FAME AUTHORITY VOTED BY CONFERENCE CALL TO TURN DOWN ALL FOUR PROPOSALS FROM CITIES LOOKING TO HOST THE MUSEUM... BUT KEEP THE MUSEUM IN MACON FOR A YEAR IF THEY CAN FIND FUNDING.
MACON MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT SAYS DON'T COUNT ON IT.
Robert Reichert: Macon Mayor: "I doubt seriously we'd be willing to say oh well here's $250-thousand to help subsidize the thing for a year not knowing whether it's going to stay here for three years, one year...."
ANOTHER MAJOR FUNDING SOURCE.. WOULD BE THE PEYTON ANDERSON FOUNDATION.... PRESIDENT JUANITA JORDAN SAYS SHE HADN'T HEARD THE DETAILS OF THE DECISION... AND CAN'T SAY WHERE THEY STAND.
NATS
THE BOARD VOTED TO ACCEPT A PLAN FROM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR LISA LOVE.
Rose Lane: I make a motion to accept Lisa's contingency plan keeping the Hall of Fame open for at least one year as it is in Macon and graciously accepting the funding help from the city of Macon foundations.
SOME BOARD MEMBERS WERE SKEPTICAL OF THE MACON PLAN...AND THE HEAD OF THE MACON GROUP SAYS THEY'RE FIGHTING AN UPHILL BATTLE.
Mike Dyer: "It's hard for us to swallow this obvious bias on the authority of the to Georgia. you know that nothing can be successful outside of Atlanta that everything has to be in Atlanta, and that's very discouraging."
Charlie: "I think on the short what we have in front of us with Macon proposal we have to evaluate and say we can verify funds will cover any shortfall wh have to judeg that on possibly just a way to delay a decision we'd have to make eventually because i think three years from now we'll be having the same conversation.
NATS
BRITTINY BARBER 13WAMZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
>> THE HALL OF FAME AUTHORITY WILL MEET IN ABOUT A MONTH TO FINALIZE THEIR DECISION.
THEY'LL TAKE A LOOK AT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR LISA LOVE'S RESTRUCTURING ... WHICH WOULD EVENTUALLY GIVE THE MUSEUM'S COLLECTION TO THREE GEORGIA UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES.
THEY'LL ALSO REVIEW FUNDING. LISA LOVE SAYS THEY HAVE MONEY TO STAY OPEN THROUGH JUNE 30TH.

STATE SEN. ROBERT BROWN THINKS THE STATE SHOULD KEEP CONTROL OF THE GEORGIA MUSIC HALL OF FAME.
HE WROTE A LETTER THIS WEEK TO THE MUSIC HALL OF FAME AUTHORITY URGING THEM TO REJECT ALL FOUR PROPOSALS FROM CITIES THAT WANT TO HOST IT.
HE TOLD THEM MACON HAS ENOUGH MONEY TROUBLES WITHOUT TAKING ON THE BURDEN OF SUPPORTING THE MUSEUM.
HE WROTE....
MACON IS ONE OF THE POOREST CITIES IN THE COUNTRY AND IS BARELY ABLE TO SUSTAIN ITS CORE MISSION...
AND THAT MESSAGE...ANNOYED MAYOR REICHERT.
Mayor Robert Reichert:Macon: "Why he would denigrate the city of Macon as being a poor candidate where to locate the hall of fame i don't know. I have no clue what he was thinking and i think he's done a great disservice to the community by some of the comments in his letter."
BROWN ALSO WROTE THAT THE CITY SHOULDN'T USE SPLOST MONEY...TO SUPPORT A STATE INSTITUTION.

A MERCER CHINESE EXCHANGE STUDENT WAS FOUND DEAD TODAY...AND POLICE ARE CALLING IT SUSPICIOUS .
BIBB COUNTY CORONER LEON JONES SAID ROOMMATES FOUND 24-YEAR-OLD (QUAN ZHANG) TIQN ZHANG DEAD AROUND 4 TODAY AT THEIR APARTMENT ON SHAMROCK STREET.
THAT'S A BLOCK FROM CAMPUS.
THE STUDENT WAS LAST SEEN ALIVE TUESDAY NIGHT....
AND JONES SAID HE'S BEEN DEAD AT LEAST A DAY.
HE SAID THERE IS NO VISIBLE DAMAGE...BUT MACON POLICE DETECTIVE JOSEPH VAMPER SAYS THEY'RE CALLING IT A SUSPICIOUS DEATH.
THEY HOPE AN AUTOPSY TOMORROW WILL FIND THE CAUSE OF DEATH.

THE ATLANTIC COTTON MILLS OWNER AND DEVELOPER BOTH SAY THEY DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT METAL CUTTING THERE... THAT MAY HAVE CAUSED LAST THURSDAY'S FIRE.
LAUREN DISPIRITO JOINS US NOW.. WITH MORE.
MACON-BIBB FIRE CAPTAIN TOM MUSSELWHITE SAYS THE FIRE APPEARS TO BE ACCIDENTAL... BUT STARTED BY HUMAN HAND.
HE SAYS FOUR PEOPLE HAD PERMISSION TO WORK AT THE MILL.. BUT OTHERS WERE THERE... WITHOUT PERMISSION.
CHIEF MARVIN RIGGINS SAYS SPARKS FROM WORKERS CUTTING METAL LIKELY CAUSED THE BLAZE.
DEVELOPERS AND CITY LEADERS WERE CLOSE TO A DEAL WITH THE MILLS' OWNER... MERCER UNIVERSITY... TO BUILD MORE THAN 100 LOFT HOMES.
REACHED BY PHONE THURSDAY... DEVELOPER JIM SARI... WITH THE LANDMARK GROUP... SAYS HE DID NOT KNOW WORKERS WERE CUTTING METAL ... AND SAYS HE WOULD NOT HAVE APPROVED .. BECAUSE IT'S DANGEROUS WORK.
MERCER SPOKESMAN LARRY BRUMLEY SAYS THE UNIVERSITY GAVE PREVIOUS OWNER A.V. ELLIOTT PERMISSION TO REMOVE MACHINERY...AND THAT LANDMARK DID NOT OBJECT.
BUT BRUMLEY SAYS THE UNIVERSITY WAS ALSO NOT AWARE CREWS WERE CUTTING METAL THERE.
CHIEF RIGGINS SAYS UP TO 30 MINUTES MAY HAVE LAPSED BEFORE THE FIRE CREWS LEARNED OF THE BLAZE.
FIRE OFFICIALS PLAN TO HOLD A NEWS CONFERENCE MONDAY TO RELEASE AN OFFICIAL CAUSE.

THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN WARNER ROBINS IS HOLDING STEADY.
IT SITS AT 7.8 PERCENT... ACCORDING TO NEW NUMBERS FROM THE LABOR DEPARTMENT.
THE AREA ADDED 100 JOBS IN FEBRUARY... AND SAW FEWER LAYOFFS IN SOME AREAS.
THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR SAYS MANY OF THE JOBS IN WARNER ROBINS AND HOUSTON COUNTY CAME FROM THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT.... THAT INCLUDES CITY.. COUNTY AND PUBLIC SCHOOL POSITIONS.
DENISE MEDLIN CLAIMED ONE OF JOBS WITH THE COUNTY.
SHE WAS ONE OF MORE THAN 100 PEOPLE THAT APPLIED FOR A CLERK'S POSITION IN THE MAGISTRATE COURT.
THE COUNTY ALSO RECENTLY HIRED FOR A 9-1-1 OPERATOR... JUVENILE COURT CLERK... AN ENGINEER... TAX APPRAISER... AND TWO JOBS IN THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE.
MEDLIN SAYS SHE ACTIVELY SEARCHED FOR THIS JOB FOR FEW YEARS ON-LINE... AND NETWORKING.
Denise Medlin, Warner Robins: (19:10) "I was very vigilent because in the past, when I came to Georgia 13 years ago, it was one interview and I got the job. I felt like I was qualified, but now, because the unemployment rate was so much higher, there was a lot more competition out there."
IN MACON... THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR SAYS MOST OF THE JOBS CREATED CAME IN THE BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICE SECTOR.
ABOUT 100 OF THEM WERE IN THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY.

TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL QUESTION ASKS... DO YOU THINK THE JOB MARKET IN CENTRAL GEORGIA IS IMPROVING?
SO FAR 80 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO.
AND 20 PERCENT SAY YES... IT IS.
VOTE NOW... VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM AND LOOK FOR THE WEB POLL QUESTION IN THE "DON'T MISS" BOX ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE.

SEARCHING FOR A JOB THESE DAYS ISN'T EASY... BUT OUR PARTNER....CAREER BUILDER DOT COM HAS SOME ADVICE THAT CAN HELP EASE THE WAY.
EVERY WEEK... AS PART OF JOB MARKET THURSDAY... WE'LL SHARE SOME OF CAREER BUILDER'S TIPS FOR JOB SEEKERS.
TODAY... WE'RE TAKING A LOOK AT HOW TO BEAT THE JOB SEARCH BLUES.
FIRST... PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR THOUGHTS.
TRY TO HEAD OFF NEGATIVE THINKING AND REPLACE IT WITH A POSITIVE VIEW.
NEXT... SET SMALLER GOALS TO KEEP YOURSELF FOCUSED.
THIRD... TALK TO PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD AND REACH OUT TO PEOPLE YOU WANT TO GET TO KNOW.
AND FINALLY... TAKE A BREAK ONCE IN A WHILE.
KEEPING UP MOMENTUM IS IMPORTANT... BUT IT'S ALSO CRITICAL TO TAKE TIME OUT OF THE DAY TO DE-STRESS.
TO FIND OUT ABOUT JOBS AVAILABLE IN YOUR COMMUNITY... VISIT THE JOB MARKET THURSDAY PAGE ON 13WMAZ DOT COM.
LOOK FOR THE LINK IN THE DON'T MISS BOX ON THE HOMEPAGE.

WITH APRIL FOOL'S RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER... DOWNTOWN MILLEDGEVILLE IS READY TO CELEBRATE WITH JOKES... FUN... AND LAUGHTER.
IT'S A PART OF THEIR FIRST THEMED FRIDAY EVENT.
AS AMY AUBERT SHOWS YOU... TWO MIMES ARE TAKING OFF THEIR MASKS... AND SPEAKING LOUDLY... ABOUT "FOOLIN' AROUND DOWNTOWN."
<<
Nats, mimes

WHEN IT COMES TO REELING IN THE FUN... THESE COLLEGE STUDENTS... ARE PROS.

Phillip Webber, Savannah: "People's reactions and people's influence is definitely going to help it, and if they play, then we'll play."

FOR PHILLIP WEBBER... STREET PERFORMING IS NOTHING NEW... SO WHEN HE AND A FRIEND WERE ASKED TO PUT ON THEIR MIME HATS FOR FIRST FRIDAYS... THEY JUMPED AT THE CHANCE.

David Darnell, Macon: "I plan on hiding behind face paint and hopefully like a beret or something."

AND THE SILENT ROUTINE... ISN'T THE ONLY CARNIVAL ACT COMING TO MILLEDGEVILLE ON APRIL FOOL'S.

Nats

BRITTANY CURRY WORKS BEHIND THE COUNTER AT BLACKBIRD COFFEE... AND SHE SAYS THINGS LIKE FACE PAINTING... LIVE BANDS... AND BOUNCE HOUSES... ARE BOUND TO BRING ALL AGES... DOWNTOWN.

Brittany Curry, Blackbird Coffee: "The factor is going up and up and up every single day. It's like the temperature gets a notch or two warmer, you see a lot more people, you know, just get that itch to let that energy out."

MORE THAN THRITY DOWNTOWN BUSINESSES PLAN TO TAKE PART IN THE CELEBRATION... BUT FOR THE FIRST TIME... IT'S HITTING THE STREETS AS WELL.

Phillip Webber, Savannah: "It's just one more thing that Milledgeville is trying to do to build a community and build a family, and say, 'hey, let's celebrate first Friday every month.'"

WEBBER SAYS... BY "FOOLIN' AROUND DOWNTOWN" THEY'RE BRINGING THIS FIRST FRIDAY... TO LIFE.

AMY AUBERT... 13 WMAZ... EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>>
IN CASE OF RAIN... EVENT COORDINATORS SAY OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES WILL BE MOVED INSIDE PARTICIPATING VENDORS.
FIRST FRIDAY STARTS AROUND 6 P-M IN DOWNTOWN MILLEDGEVILLE AND WRAPS UP AROUND 8 P-M.

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