Monday, April 11, Eyewitness News at 6

10:39 AM, Apr 11, 2011   |    comments
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<<opening for eyewitness news at six>>
"I was thinking this guy was weird! Because why would he go up and rob three girls... for money?"
A WARNER ROBINS COUPLE IS ACCUSED OF STEALING MONEY FROM A CHILDREN'S LEMONADE STAND... WHILE THE GIRLS WERE RAISING MONEY FOR A CRITICALLY-ILL TWO YEAR OLD.
HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US...
I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
AND I'M FRANK MALLOY..
THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.
WE'LL HAVE MORE ON THAT STORY IN A MINUTE BUT FIRST...

GAS PRICES ARE STILL ON THE RISE ACROSS THE NATION... WITH PRICES HERE IN CENTRAL GEORGIA CREEPING TOWARDS THE THREE DOLLAR AND EIGHTY CENT MARK.
ACCORDING TO TRIPLE A... A GALLON OF REGULAR UNLEADED WILL COST YOU ABOUT 3-65 IN MACON... HOLDING STEADY FROM YESTERDAY'S PRICE.
THAT'S TEN CENTS MORE THAN A WEEK AGO.
ONE DUBLIN GROUP PLANS TO WORSHIP SATURDAY MORNING at the PUMP... PRAYING FOR A DROP IN HIGH GAS PRICES.
AS AMY AUBERT SHOWS YOU... WITH PRICES APPROACHING FOUR DOLLARS A GALLON... SOME DRIVERS SAY THEY'RE READY FOR ANYTHING THAT COULD SAVE A LITTLE GREEN.
<<
Nats

FOR THOMAS DIDONATO... THE COST OF FILLING UP HIS RED SEDAN... ISN'T WHAT IT USED TO BE.

Thomas Didonato, Dublin: "I can't see how a country like ours, that could put people on the moon like it's nothin' and people in outerspace like it's nothin' can't make some kind of fuel that would run in these cars that wouldn't cost very much money."

HE'S JUST ONE OF A LINE OF PEOPLE THAT WATCHED PUMP PRICES CREEP TO NEARLY FOUR DOLLARS A GALLON MONDAY.

Nats: "It's not a black issue, not a white issue, it's a green issue."

AN ISSUE THAT BEACON OF LIGHT CHRISTIAN CENTER'S PASTOR... MARSHALL MABRY... HOPES TO PUT AN END TO... THROUGH PRAYER.

Pastor Marshall Mabry, Beacon of Light: "If it doesn't drop down to nothin' but ten cents, I'm happy with that. But what I really want to believe God to do is drop down $1.50, hey, I'm glad with that, too."

if that happened... a gallon of gas...

Nats

...WOULD RUN YOU AROUND TWO BUCKS.

William Tanner, Dublin: "If the good Lord is listening it'll work."

Richard Clay, Dublin: "The more you trust in the Lord, the more you do for him, better it'll get."

PASTOR MABRY INVITES EVERYONE TO MEET PUMPSIDE SATURDAY... TO PRAY FOR THESE PRICES... TO DROP.

Pastor Mabry: "I wanna continue this to go from Dublin to Macon, from Macon to Atlanta, and across the country."

DIDONATO SAYS HE'S READY TO DO JUST ABOUT ANYTHING to shut tHE LID...

Nats

ON PRICES LIKE THESE.

Thomas Didonato: "Everybody prays for somethin', right? So you gotta pray for gas. I don't think He'll listen for that, but, ya know, if it works, it works."

AMY AUBERT... 13 WMAZ... EYEWITNESS NEWS.
PASTOR MABRY'S "PRAYERS AT THE PUMP" KICKS OFF AT 9 A-M THIS SATURDAY AT THE HILLCREST PARKWAY KROGER IN DUBLIN.
LET US HELP YOU KEEP UP WITH RISING GAS PRICES.
JUST HEAD OVER TO 13WMAZ DOT COM AND LOOK FOR THE "PAIN AT THE PUMP" LINK IN THE DON'T MISS BOX.
YOU'LL FIND RESOURCES TO HELP YOU FIND THE LOWEST GAS PRICES IN YOUR AREA... THE LATEST HEADLINES... TWEETS AND SOME OF THE IMPACT HIGH PRICES ARE HAVING AROUND THE NATION AND THE WORLD.

THE HOUSTON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS A WARNER ROBINS COUPLE STOLE MONEY FROM THREE GIRLS RUNNING A LEMONADE STAND.
21-YEAR-OLD AMBER UMBARGER WAS ARRESTED SATURDAY.
THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS THEY'RE STILL LOOKING FOR 20-YEAR-OLD GAGE ALLEN TURNER.
VANESSA RUFFES EXPLAINS WHY ONE OF THE GIRLS SAYS... THEY WEREN'T THE ONLY VICTIMS.
<<
"Right there where the tall grass is... right there."

13-YEAR-OLD CHELSEA EDWARDS SHOWS US WHERE SHE AND HER TWO FRIENDS SET UP THEIR LEMONADE STAND SATURDAY.

THE 7TH GRADER AT FEAGIN MILL MIDDLE SAYS IT WASN'T TOO LONG THOUGH... BEFORE A COUPLE SHOWED UP... AND SOURED HER FIRST BUSINESS EXPERIENCE.

"The man bent down and seen the money jar and he grabbed it."

THAT MAN... INVESTIGATORS SAY... WAS 20-YEAR-OLD GAGE ALLEN TURNER... THEY SAY HE AND HIS 21-YEAR-OLD GIRLFRIEND... AMBER UMBARGER SNATCHED THE CASH... AND RAN.

"He flew in the car and the girl was running after the car."

CHELSEA SAYS THE PAIR MADE OFF WITH 130 DOLLARS.... BUT WHAT'S WORSE SHE SAYS... THE MONEY WASN'T FOR HER.

"I was going to raise money from Logan Varnadoe... my cousin."

LOGAN... IS 2-YEARS-OLD... DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED.. AND HAS A RARE INTESTINAL DISORDER. LOGAN'S MOM... APRIL VARNADOE SAYS HER SON WILL BE SENT TO THE CINCINNATI CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL THIS WEEK FOR TREATMENT.

SHE HAD BEEN RAISING MONEY TO GO WITH HIM... AND CHELSEA WAS HELPING.

Varnadoe "My husband is having to take off work. We're going up there together with Logan, facing something very serious."

SINCE THE ROBBERY... CHELSEA SAYS NEIGHBORS HAVE PITCHED IN TO FILL A NEW MONEY JAR... BUT SAYS THE EXPERIENCE HAS LEFT A BITTER TASTE.

"why would he go up and rob three girls... for money?"

SHE VOWS TO START ALL OVER... BUT SAYS IT'LL BE A LONG TIME BEFORE SHE SETS UP SHOP HERE AGAIN.
VANESSA RUFFES 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>>
INVESTIGATORS SAY TURNER WAS LAST SEEN IN A SMALL WHITE CAR THAT COULD BE A 2010 HYUNDAI ACCENT.
THEY ARE STILL TRYING TO DETERMINE A MOTIVE FOR THE ROBBERY.
ANYONE WITH INFORMATION CAN CALL (478) 542-2085.
AGAIN..... THAT'S 478-542-2085.

WE HAVE AN UPDATE TO A STORY WE BROUGHT YOU EARLIER THIS MORNING AND LAST NIGHT ON EYEWITNESS NEWS.
WE WERE GIVEN THE WRONG NAME OF THE WOMAN WHO DIED IN A JONES COUNTY CAR ACCIDENT.
JONES COUNTY DEPUTY CORONER WILLIAM WRIGHT SAYS THE 16-YEAR-OLD WOMAN'S NAME IS CHIANTAE WRIGHT.
CORONER JERRY BRIDGES SAID THE FATAL CRASH HAPPENED AROUND 1 A-M ON NEW CLINTON ROAD... NEAR THE BIBB AND JONES COUNTY LINE.
HE SAYS THE DRIVER.. 18-YEAR-OLD JAQUAVIS WARE LOST CONTROL OF THE VEHICLE... CAUSING IT TO FLIP.
WRIGHT WAS A PASSENGER.
BOTH WERE PRONOUNCED DEAD ABOUT AN HOUR LATER.

IT LOOKS LIKE GEORGIA REPUBLICANS' OVERHAUL OF THE STATE TAX SYSTEM...IS DEAD FOR THIS YEAR'S SESSION.
A JOINT LEGISLATIVE PANEL SIGNED OFF ON THE BILL THIS MORNING...
BUT THEN THE HOUSE ADJOURNED THIS AFTERNOON WITHTOUT ACTING ON IT.
TODAY WAS THE LAST DAY THE BILL COULD PASS THROUGH THE HOUSE...AND MOVE ON TO THE STATE SENATE.
THE PLAN WOULD HAVE REDUCED THE STATE'S PERSONAL INCOME TAX RATE... BUT CRITICS SAID IT WOULD ALSO CAUSE A 130 MILLION DOLLAR DEFICIT.

THE FEDERAL BUDGET BATTLES ARE CONTINUING ON CAPITOL HILL.
NOW THAT LAWMAKERS HAVE A SPENDING DEAL FOR THIS YEAR... THEY'RE TURNING THEIR ATTENTION TO HOW THE NATION WILL SPEND MONEY NEXT YEAR.
WHITE HOUSE ADVISORS SAY PRESIDENT OBAMA COULD PROPOSE CUTS TO POPULAR PROGRAMS LIKE MEDICARE AND MEDICAID.
TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... SHOULD MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY BE CUT TO BALANCE THE FEDERAL BUDGET?
SO FAR 87 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO... THEY SHOULDN'T.
13 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES... THEY SHOULD.
VOTE NOW... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION IN THE "DON'T MISS" BOX ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.

SOME OF YOU ARE ALSO WEIGHING IN ON THE DEBATE ON FACEBOOK.
MILTON SUTHERLIN COMMENTED... "SURE... LET'S TAKE MORE AND MORE AWAY FROM THE LITTLE GUY AND KEEP GIVING TAX BREAKS TO THE POOR OLE MILLION- AND BILLIONAIRES."'
CINDY DANIELS SAID... "FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO CUT! THERE ARE THOSE OF US THAT HAVE NO HEALTH INSURANCE AT ALL...
SS AND MEDICARE SHOULD BE RAISED BEFORE THEY ARE CUT! WHY EVEN PROPOSE THIS!"
AND THOMAS MINTER WROTE... "NOT NECESSARILY CUT, BUT RESTRUCTURED. PEOPLE ARE LIVING LONGER. THE SYSTEM WASN'T DESIGNED THE WAY THINGS ARE NOW.
RESTRUCTURE OR LOSE IT ALL TOGETHER. IT'S YOUR CHOICE, BOYS AND GIRLS. THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT IT CAN'T BE CONTINUED "AS IS."
JOIN US ON FACEBOOK AND LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK... VISIT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ AND CLICK ON THE "LIKE" BUTTON TO BECOME A FAN.

A macon city council committee just approved an ordinance that would ban smoking in many public places.
The public safety committee approved the rule after more than an hour of discussion.
Before it takes effect.. the ordinance must get past another committee.. then go before full council.
Today the council committee approved some changes in the ordinance....to exempt some places from the ban...Like nursing homes...But not others....like parking garages and private clubs.
Eleanor lissitzyn will have more on that story on eyewitness news at 11.

A JUDGE SAYS A NEW PROPOSAL COULD RELEASE LOW RISK CRIMINALS IN BIBB COUNTY WITHOUT THEM POSTING BOND/..
ASSISTANT CHIEF MAGISTRATE JUDGE WILLIAM SHURLING EXPLAINED THE DETAILS OF THE PROGRAM TO COUNTY COMMISSIONERS LAST WEEK.
BRITTINY BARBER SHOWS YOU HOW HE HOPES TO SAVE THE COUNTY MONEY.
<< ON A TYPICAL DAY....THE BIBB COUNTY JAIL HOUSES MORE THAN 900 INMATES.
ABOUT 150 OF THOSE FACE MISDEMEANOR CHARGES... AND A NEW PROPOSAL COULD GET THEM OUT OF JAIL WITHOUT PAYING CASH.
Judge William Shurling, Assistant Chief Magistrate: "A recognizance bond is where someone is released without an actually amount of cash being put up. You can still place serious conditions of no contact and a number of other conditions to protect the victim."
JUDGE WILLIAM SHURLING... AND THE MACON- BIBB COUNTY CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM COORDINATING COUNCIL... ARE WORKING TO SOLVE TWO MAIN PROBLEMS.
Judge Shurling, "The objective is to try to reduce the jail population and also to make sure that low level offenders could be let out of the jail."
SHURLING SAYS OFFENSES LIKE SHOPLIFTING OR DRUNK IN PUBLIC BE CONSIDERED LOW LEVEL OFFENSES... AND THAT THIS WOULD NOT APPLY TO PEOPLE FACING VIOLENT CHANGES.
SHERIFF JERRY MODENA SAYS HE'S SKEPTICAL BECAUSE HIS OFFICE HAS LOOKED INTO SOME OF THE IDEAS BEFORE.
Sheriff Jerry Modena, "WE've looked at these things and to understand that it is a complex problem that takes everyday looking at it."
BUT HE PLANS TO WORK WILL THE COURTS TO FIND A WAY TO SOLVE THE ISSUES OF JAIL CROWDING AND SAVING THE COUNTY MONEY.
Sheriff Modena:"It's going to take, we all working on it. I certainly welcome the more eyes and ears on the problem."
Judge William Shurling"The civil and magistrate court is not at odds with anybody of which I am aware of. we work with all of the courtS and we want to work with all of the governmental agencies including probation officers judges to see if we can bring about a new program for pretrial release.
BRITTINY BARBER 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.>>
JUDGE SHURLING SAYS THIS IDEA CAME TOGETHER ABOUT TWO WEEKS AGO...
HE PLANS TO SIT DOWN WITH THE SHERIFF AND OTHER AGENCIES INVOLVED TO COME UP WITH A MORE IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION BEFORE TESTING THE PROGRAM.

PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THE STATE SPENT TIME IN FORSYTH TO RECOGNIZE THIS WEEK AS NATIONAL VICTIMS' RIGHTS WEEK.
TODAY SEVERAL STATE AGENCIES LISTED AN EVENT CALLED VICTIMS VISITORS' DAY.
THE STATE BOARD OF PARDONS AND PAROLES AND THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS HELD THE EVENT AT TIFT COLLEGE.
VICTIMS MET WITH BOARD MEMBERS AND STAFF TO TALK ABOUT CASES THAT AFFECTED THEM.
OFFICIALS SAY VICTIMS' INPUT WILL AFFECT THE BOARD'S DECISION ON WHETHER TO GRANTI PAROLE.
ARTHUR CROOMS LOST HIS SISTER TO A VIOLENT CRIME TWENTY EIGHT YEARS AGO.
HE SAYS HE'S HOPING HIS INPUT WILL KEEP HIS SISTER'S MURDERER IN PRISON.
Arthur Crooms, Gray GA "It gives you somewhat peace of mind knowing you can talk to the parole board and state your case."
TWELVE STATE AGENCIES PARTICIPATED AND OFFERED SUPPORT TO VICTIMS AT THE EVENT.

HOUSTON COUNTY STUDENTS CAUGHT BULLYING THREE TIMES... WILL BE ASSIGNED TO ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS.
THAT'S JUST PART OF THE SYSTEM'S NEW POLICY ON BULLYING THAT THE BOARD COULD ADOPT TOMORROW.
ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT LINDA HORNE SAYS A COMMITTEE DRAFTED THE POLICY TO MEET STATE LAW.
LAWMAKERS WANT EVERY SYSTEM TO HAVE A BULLYING POLICY IN PLACE BY NEXT FALL.
IF APPROVED... THE MINIMUM PUNISHMENT FOR BULLYING WOULD BE COUNSELING.
HORNE SAYS SO FAR THIS SCHOOL YEAR.... THEY'VE DOCUMENTED 192 ACTS OF BULLYING.
THE MAJORITY HAPPENED AT THE ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOL LEVEL.


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