Wednesday, April 13, Eyewitness News at 11

10:41 AM, Apr 11, 2011   |    comments
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GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M FRANK MALLOY..
AND I'M LEAH JOHNSON..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.

A MILLEDGEVILLE MAN LIVING UNDER A FALSE IDENTITY... WILL BE SENT BACK TO MISSISSIPPI... TO FACE EIGHT-YEAR-OLD ASSAULT CHARGES.
AS AMY AUBERT EXPLAINS... THE JUDGE SAYS THE PROSECUTION WENT "ABOVE AND BEYOND" TO PROVE THEY HAD THE RIGHT MAN.
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Nats: "You wanna step this way?"

WHEN 73-YEAR-OLD JAMES THOMAS WALKED INTO A COURTROOM WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON... HE WAS STILL USING A DIFFERENT NAME.

Nats: "This man, introduced himself, as James Thomas--or James Kellums?"
"James Thomas."

SHELBA BROOKS LIVES BEHIND THE HOME WHERE THOMAS WAS ARRESTED.

Shelba Brooks, Gordon: "Our property line is behind the tree, we can't see it really, the little iron pipe, you see it back there?"

SHE SAYS... SHE HAD NO IDEA A FUGITIVE WAS SO CLOSE TO HOME.....UNTIL LAW OFFICERS SEARCHED THE WOODS FOR THOMAS...ONE DAY BACK IN FEBRUARY.

Shelba Brooks: "We never thought anything about him being back there."

Nats: "Do you have any fingerprints from Mississippi?"

TEN MATCHING FINGERPRINTS... LINKING JAMES THOMAS AND JAMES KELLUMS... SEALED THE DEAL.

Detective Goble: "He really has no argument, no two fingerprints in the world are alike, so it's hard to say you're someone when the fingerprint evidence says you're not."

DETECTIVE COREY GOBLE TOOK ON THE CASE BACK IN FEBRUARY FOLLOWING THOMAS' ARREST... HE SAYS FINGERPRINTS... AREN'T THE ONLY THING POINTING TO HIS IDENTITY.

Nats: "A triple-A card stating he's a loyal member since 1995."

THAT... ALONG WITH... CREDIT CARDS AND ID'S UNDER BOTH NAMES... AND A FAKE SOCIAL SECURITY CARD... THAT SAYS "JAMES KELLUMS."

SO WHEN THE JUDGE AGREED THE SUSPECT WAS REALLY JAMES THOMAS... AND SENT HIM ON HIS WAY TO MISSISSIPPI... SHELBA BROOKS SAYS THE WOODS BEHIND HER HOME... WILL BE QUIET NOW.

Nats, walking to woods.

AMY AUBERT... 13 WMAZ... EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> DETECTIVE GOBLE SAYS THOMAS FACES CHARGES OF SEXUALLY ASSAULTING A MINOR... FROM 2003... AND WILL RETURN TO MISSISSIPPI LATER THIS WEEK.
TO BE FAIR AND BALANCED... WE ASKED THOMAS' ATTORNEY... WILLIAM SMITH... FOR A COMMENT... BUT HE DECLINED.

CITY-WIDE RECYCLING COULD COME BACK TO MACON.
ACCORDING TO THE MAYOR'S OFFICE... THE CITY IS LOOKING FOR COMPANIES TO HELP BRING SOME GREEN TO THE CHERRY BLOSSOM CAPITAL... BY SETTING UP A PRIVATE RECYCLING PLANT.
AS ELEANOR LISSITZYN EXPLAINS... LAST NIGHT... COUNCIL HEARD FROM A COMPANY WHO SAYS THEY'RE READY TO GO... BUT SOME COUNCIL MEMBERS WORRY THE PLAN IS MOVING TOO QUICKLY.
THE CITY OF MACON DUMPS ONE HUNDRED TONS OF TRASH IN THE CITY LANDFILL EVERY DAY.

"It's not segregated."

ASSISTANT SOLID WASTE DIRECTOR LARRY DUNNING SAYS THEY DON'T RECYCLE ANY OF THE WASTE THAT COMES IN ON CITY TRUCKS... SO METALS AND PLASTICS END UP BURIED IN THESE GIANT HILLS.

A FLORIDA-BASED COMPANY NAMED SOUTHEAST RENEWABLES PITCHED A PLAN TO CITY COUNCIL TUESDAY NIGHT TO CHANGE THAT BY BUILDING A RECYCLING PLANT IN MACON.

THEY WANT A FIFTEEN YEAR CONTRACT GUARENTEEING THEM ALL OF THE STUFF THAT ENDS UP IN THESE CANS.

IN RETURN... THEY'RE OFFERING CASH... AT LEAST ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR...
AND A WAY TO EXTEND THE LIFE OF THE LANDFILL.. PROMISING TO REDUCE WASTE BY THIRTY PERCENT.

COUNCILWOMAN ELAINE LUCAS SAYS SHE'S WORRIED TUESDAY NIGHT'S MEETING GAVE SOUTHEAST RENEWABLES AN UNFAIR ADVANTAGE.

"I thought it was premature to for the mayor to bring in one company when we have local companies."

COUNCILWOMAN NANCY WHITE CALLED THE PROPOSAL A RISK FREE SOLUTION TO MACON'S WASTE PROBLEM... AND A SOURCE OF NEW REVENUE THAT THE CITY MAY FIND TOUGH TO TURN DOWN.

"I'm so excited I wish it started yesterday."

BUT WITH OR WITHOUT SOUTHEAST RENEWABLES... MACON WILL NEED A PLAN FOR THE FUTURE.

"Our land fill won't last forever."

WITHOUT A PLAN TO REDUCE WASTE... DUNNING SAYS THE LASTEST NUMBERS SHOW THE LANDFILL WILL CLOSE IN ELEVEN YEARS.

STD
MAYORAL SPOKESMAN CLAY MURPHY SAYS IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT PLANS TO SEND OUT A REQUEST FOR COMPANIES TO SUBMIT PLANS AND PROPOSALS FOR SETTING UP RECYCLING IN MACON.

STUDENTS WHO ENTER HIGH SCHOOL THIS FALL WON'T HAVE TO TAKE THE GEORGIA HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION TESTS.
THE STATE SCHOOL BOARD PASSED A PLAN TODAY THAT WOULD PHASE OUT THE TESTS ALTOGETHER.
UNDER THE NEW PLAN... STUDENTS MUST PASS ALL REQUIRED COURSES... AND END-OF-THE YEAR TESTS WILL COUNT FOR 20 PERCENT OF A STUDENT'S FINAL GRADE.

APRIL IS SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS MONTH... AND CENTRAL GEORGIANS ARE JOINING OTHERS FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO EDUCATE THEIR COMMUNITY.
STUDENTS AT MERCER DECORATED T-SHIRTS TODAY... AND PLAN TO MARCH DOWNTOWN TOMORROW.
AS CANDACE ADORKA FOUND OUT... THEY WANT PEOPLE TO SPEAK OUT AND GET INVOLVED.
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IT WASN'T HARD FOR SHERIA BROADNEX TO THINK OF A MESSAGE TO PAINT ON A T-SHIRT THAT RAISES AWARENESS ABOUT SEXUAL VIOLENCE....

"it says love is better than hate."

....BECAUSE A FEW OF HER FRIENDS ARE VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ATTACKS.

"This cause is important because there are plenty of people who go through it and are very quiet about it."

SHATTERING THAT SILENCE SURROUNDING SEXUAL VIOLENCE IS THE GOAL BEHIND SEXUAL VIOLENCE AWARENESS EVENTS.

Dottie Stafford, Crisis Line & Safe House of Central Georgia; "and once we're able to bring it out in the open and talk abotu it, it normalizes things for other people to say maybe its ok for me to speak out."

CRISIS LINE AND SAFE HOUSE OF CENTRAL GEORGIA IS PUTTING ON ANOTHER EVENT.... THURSDAY EVENING'S TAKE BACK THE NIGHT EMPOWERMENT MARCH AND CANDLELIGHT VIGIL.
STAFFORD SAYS IT'S A WAY TO SHOW SUPPORT AND SHARE INFORMATION.

"Getting involved is important because sexual assault can happen to anyone. 1 out of 6 women and 1 out of 33 men will experience it in their lifetime."

DARIUS HOGAN'S SHIRT SPEAKS TO THAT ONE MAN IN 33.

"whether you're 6'9, 6'2, 6'3, if it happened then it needs to be addressed because it's an issue. It doesn't matter what size you are, its wrong."

TAKE BACK THE NIGHT WILL GIVE VICTIMS AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES AND ENJOY A CANDLELIGHT VIGIL.
BROADNECK SAYS FOR HER, ATTENDING IS A NO-BRAINER.

"everybody wants a long walk, why not enjoy yourself and support the sisters or brothers... whomever... who are being assaulted.

CANDACE ADORKA 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS...

>> THE TAKE BACK THE NIGHT MARCH STARTS AT 7 P-M AT THE THIRD STREET PARK AND ENDS AT WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, VIEW THIS STORY ON OUR HOMEPAGE AT 13 W-M-A-Z-DOT-COM.

A MACON STATE SENATOR SPOKE ABOUT ALLEGATIONS THAT HE USED AN ASSUMED NAME TO TAKE EMAIL POTSHOTS AT SOME FELLOW REPUBLICANS.
A REPUBLICAN ACTIVIST SAYS STATON SENT EMAILS CRITICIZING LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR CASEY CAGLE AND SOME OF CAGLE'S SUPPORTERS UNDER THE NAME "BETH MERKLESON."
STATON SAYS HE'S NOT INVOLVED... AND HIS STAFF IS LOOKING INTO WHO'S RESPONSIBLE.
Republican State Senator Cecil Staton "I didn't do this, and so you know I have received some of those emails, I forwarded and some were forwarded to me from other members of our caucus that's the extent, that's all I know about it."
ACTIVIST ARCH ADAMS GAVE SENATE REPUBLICANS A REPORT THIS WEEK THAT SAID HE TRACKED THE MERKELSON EMAILS BACK TO STATON.
ADAMS HAS NOT RETURNED OUR PHONE CALLS.

TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL...
DO THE EMAIL ALLEGATIONS AGAINST SENATOR CECIL STATON HURT HIS CREDIBILITY.
SO FAR 65 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES.
35 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO.
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.

MACON'S COLLEGE HILL ALLIANCE IS LOOKING FOR IDEAS ON A GROCERY STORE FOR THE AREA.
THE ALLIANCE SAYS IT'S TRIED TO ATTRACT A STORE FOR YEARS... BUT BIG-NAME GROCERS DON'T WANT TO SET UP SHOP THERE.
LAST FALL... COLLEGE HILL GROUPS TALKED ABOUT CREATING A FOOD CO-OP... BUT LEADERS SAY THAT WOULDN'T BE FEASIBLE.
THEY HOPE TO BRING IN A STORE THAT SERVES LOCAL AND NAME-BRAND FOOD WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE.
STACEY HARWELL LEADS THE EFFORT.
SHE SAYS THEY PLAN TO GET INPUT ON A COMMUNITY MARKET AT A PUBLIC MEETING TOMORROW.
Stacey Harwell, Minister of Community Building, Centenary United Methodist Church: "We want this to have a uniquely Macon stamp on it in the way that a Kroger or a Publix or a Harris Teeter wouln't, those stores are great, we love shopping there, one of the problems with them though is you can't get to one where we sit right now unless you've got a car."
IF A MARKET COMES TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD... COLLEGE HILL GROUPS SAY IT'LL PROBABLY BE LOCALLY-OWNED INSTEAD OF A CHAIN STORE.
THEY'D LIKE TO HAVE A STORE UP AND RUNNING WITHIN 18 MONTHS.
YOU CAN SHARE YOUR OPINION AT A PUBLIC MEETING TOMORROW NIGHT.
IT STARTS AT 6-30... AT THE CENTENARY CHURCH FELLOWSHIP HALL ON ASH STREET.

YOU CAN JOIN THE GREAT HANG UP AND PLEDGE TO KEEP YOUR MIND ON THE ROAD AND OFF THE PHONE WHILE YOU'RE DRIVING.
JUST VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM... AND LOOK FOR THE PLEDGE UNDER THE "FEATURES" TAB ON THE HOMEPAGE.
YOU'LL FIND THE LINK TO SIGN THE PLEDGE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE PAGE.
IF YOU'VE SIGNED THE PLEDGE AND KEPT IT... OR IF YOU SIGNED AND *DIDN'T* KEEP IT... WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU.
EACH MONTH... WE SHARE YOUR STORIES DURING OUR GREAT HANG UP DAY.
JUST EMAIL US AT EYEWITNESS-NEWS AT 13WMAZ DOT COM TO LET US KNOW YOU'RE INTERESTED.

TONIGHT'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY...
CECILIA CRANDALL! CONGRATS... YOU'LL GET A 13WMAZ COFFEE MUG.
IF YOU WANT TO BE OUR FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY... VISIT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ AND CLICK THE "LIKE" BUTTON TO BECOME A FAN.
JOIN THE CONVERSATIONS AND WE PICK OUR FAN OF THE DAY RANDOMLY.

MACON POLICE HAVE ARRESTED A SUSPECT IN LAST NIGHT'S FATAL SHOOTING.
ACCORDING TO POLICE SPOKESWOMAN JAMI GAUDET... POLICE ARRESTED NINTEEN YEAR-OLD ANTONIO BROWNER OF MACON AT AROUND SEVEN P.M. THIS EVENING.
GAUDET SAYS THEY ARRESTED BROWNER IN SPAULDING COUNTY... WITHIN TWENTY FOUR HOURS OF THE DEATH OF FAMILY DOLLAR ASSISTANT MANAGER GARY BENNETT COLE JUNIOR.


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