Wednesday, May 4, Eyewitness News at 11

10:33 PM, May 4, 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 TENNESSEE MAN WAS ARRESTED TONIGHT AFTER A HIGH-SPEED CHASE THAT BEGAN IN MONROE COUNTY AND ENDED IN SOUTH BIBB COUNTY.
LIEUTENANT BRAD FREEMAN WITH THE MONROE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS FORSYTH POLICE OFFICERS TRIED TO PULL OVER 34-YEAR-OLD TODD RUSTON FOR SPEEDING ON INTERSTATE 75 SOUTH AROUND 9 P.M.... BUT RUSTON REFUSED TO STOP.
HE SAYS OFFICERS CLOCKED RUSTON AT MORE THAN100 MILES PER HOUR.
THE MONROE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE TOOK OVER THE CHASE AT THE I-75/I-475 JUNCTION. FREEMAN SAYS THEY CHASED RUSTON UNTIL THEY MANAGED TO FORCE HIM INTO A CONCRETE WALL NEAR HARTLEY BRIDGE ROAD.
SHERRIF'S DEPUTIES ARRESTED RUSTON AND CHARGED HIM WITH SEVERAL CRIMES INCLUDING RECKLESS DRIVING.
FREEMAN SAYS RUSTON IS ALSO WANTED IN DEKALB COUNTY FOR A D-U-I BENCH WARRANT.

BALDWIN COUNTY HAS LOST HUNDREDS OF JOBS IN RECENT YEARS THE VICTIM OF PRISON AND FACTORY SHUT DOWNS..
BUT TODAY TRIUMPH AEROSTRUCTURE COMPANY ANNOUNCED A MOVE IN THE OTHER DIRECTION..
THEY ANNOUNCED THEY'L BE ADDING JOBS AND AS ELEANOR LISSITZYN EXPLAINS THE NEWS MAY BE PART OF A WELCOME NEW TREND.
"We've taken some hard hits here."
DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ANGIE GHEESLING SAYS THE MILLEDGEVILLE AREA WENT THROUGH TOUGH TIMES AFTER MAJOR MANUFACTURING EMPLOYERS LIKE THE RHEEM COMPANY SHUT DOWN.

BUT GHEESLING SAYS WEDNESDAY'S NEWS THAT ANOTHER BIG EMPLOYER... TRIUMPH AEROSTRUCTURES... WILL ADD TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY JOBS TO THEIR WORKFORCE... IS THE KIND OF GOOD NEWS THEIR MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY HASN'T HAD IN A WHILE...
"With manufacturing not really making headlines these days I think it will give people hope about the economy."

MANY OF THE JOBS ACCORDING TO GHEESLING WILL BE ON THE PRODUCTION LINE... MAKING AIRPLANE PARTS.
"They probably some of the best paying jobs not just in Milledgevile, but the Baldwin County area."

TRIUMPH ALSO PLANS TO EXPAND THIS LOCATION BY ABOUT SIXTY THOUSAND FEET...
ACCORDING TO A PRESS RELEASE THE JOBS AND THE CONSTRUCTION ADD UP TO A SEVENTEEN MILLION DOLLAR INVESTEMENT.
"If there was any employer we could have picked to do well, we're definitely proud TriumpH decided to expand here."

SHE SAYS TRIUMPH IS NOT ALONE IN BRINGING GOOD NEWS TO THE AREA.
"All of are manufacturers here are in some kind of expansion mode so we're actually doing quite well."
SHE SAYS THE COMPANY WILL ADD THE JOBS GRADUALLY OVER THE NEXT COUPLE YEARS... THE SIGN OF A LONG TERM COMMITTMENT TO A COMMUNITY THAT'S HAD IT'S SHARE OF DISSAPOINTMENTS.

STD GHEESLING SAYS WHEN THE JOBS BECOME AVAILABLE THEY'LL BE POSTED ON THE COMPANIES WEBSITE.
SINCE THEY ALL WON'T BE FILLED AT ONCE... SHE SAYS... IT'S IMPORTANT TO CHECK BACK OFTEN FOR NEW POSTINGS.
SHE SAYS ALL APPLICATIONS MUST BE COMPLETED AND SUBMITTED ONLINE.

A MOVE TO SAVE BIBB COUNTY TENS OF THROUSANDS OF DOLLARS IS ON HOLD.
A HANDFUL OF COUNTY EMPLOYEES ARE BANNED FROM TAKING THEIR WORK CARS HOME...
BUT AS CANDACE ADORKA EXPLAINS... THE COUNTY NEEDS MORE TIME TO IRON OUT THE DETAILS.
<<
BIBB COUNTY OFFICIALS SAY THE COUNTY STANDS TO SAVE MORE THAN 50 THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR IF ABOUT 16 EMPLOYEES LEAVE THEIR WORK CARS DOWNTOWN... INSTEAD OF TAKING THEM HOME.
****nats of meeting.
BUT DISTRICT ATTORNEY GREG WINTERS SAYS IT'S NOT THAT EASY.
"We all need to save money, any way we can however I don't want of hurt the productivity of this office."
WINTERS JOINED THE COUNTY SOLICITOR GENERAL AND THE SHERIFF TO TELL COMMISSIONERS THAT SOME STAFF MEMBERS NEED TO TAKE VEHICLES HOME.
"Sometimes folks have to be served with their subpoenas at night and sometimes we evidence we have to pick up in other places."
COMMISSINERS GAVE THE AGENCIES MORE TIME TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO BE PRODUCTIVE AND STILL SAVE MONEY.
SOLICITOR GENERAL OTIS SCARBARY SAYS ONE WAY MIGHT BE TO PICK ONLY A FEW DAYS TO TAKE THE CARS HOME
"My concern if you just do it a couple of times a week is that my investigator is going to have to leave his personall vehicle downtown at the courthouse and he really doesn't wanna do that because of possible security concerns there."
SO FOR NOW... ITS BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD.
"I really don't know but I'm gonna look at it real carefully and try to come up with a solution."
CANDACE ADORKA 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>>
COMMISSIONERS DID NOT SET A DEADLINE FOR THE AGENCIES TO COME UP WITH SOLUTIONS.
WINTERS SAYS IT WILL TAKE WEEKS TO COLLECT ALL THE INFORMATION HE NEEDS TO COME UP WITH A PLAN.

BYRON'S LANDMARK.. THE BIG PEACH... STILL LAYS IN RUINS AFTER A STORM ON APRIL 4TH.
BUT NOW... ITS OWNER SAYS HE PLANS TO RESURRECT IT..
WHEN THE BIG PEACH CRASHED LAST MONTH... NO ONE CLAIMED OWNERSHIP OF THE FRUIT
IT WAS BUILT IN 1987... BUT THE PROPERTY CHANGED HANDS SEVERAL TIMES.
RON HOWELL OF PRO REALTY KNEW HE OWNED THE ANTIQUE MALL BUILDING THAT SITS BELOW THE PEACH... AND NOW KNOWS AFTER LOOKING AT TAX RECORDS... THAT HE OWNS THE PIG PEACH TOO.
HOWELL SAYS INSURANCE WILL COVER MOST OF THE REBUILDING COSTS... AND "BYRON'S BETTER HOME TOWN" LEADERS WANT THE COMMUNITY TO HELP WITH THE REST.
Regina Mansfield, Byron: (1160/1:30) "If people are interested in kind of rallying around the Big Peach, they can always call the Better Hometown or find us on Facebook."
Frances McDaniel, Byron: (1169/1:40) "It's a landmark for Byron. Everybody looks for the Big Peach, and a lot of businesses here use it for their advertising."
HOWELL SAID HAD TO LEAVE THE PEACH LAYING ON THE GROUND... SO INSURANCE ADJUSTERS COULD CHECK IT OUT.
HE PLANS TO CLEAN IT UP IN THE NEXT WEEK... AND INSTALL A NEW ONE WITHIN THE NEXT 90 DAYS.

STORM SURVIVORS IN LAMAR AND MONROE COUNTIES CAN START APPLYING FOR FEDERAL AID THIS WEEK... ONLINE... BY PHONE... AND SOON -- IN PERSON.
FEMA SAYS FAMILIES AND BUSINESSES NEEDING HELP PAYING FOR REPAIRS... TEMPORARY HOUSING... OR OTHER DISASTER-RELATED EXPENSES MUST FILL OUT AN APPLICATION.
THERE ARE ABOUT 100 HOMES IN LAMAR... AND FIFTY IN MONROE... DAMAGED FROM TORNADOES THAT STRUCK LAST WEEK.
ONE LAMAR COUNTY MAN SAYS HE'LL NEED THE EXTRA HELP.
Michael Watson "We had hundreds, one hundred two hundred trees down and insurance doesn't pay for tree removal or things of that nature, unless it's on your house, and so any bills like that insurance doesn't cover, we're going to apply for help with those, like to help with cleanup."
THE HOTLINE FOR FEMA ASSISTANCE IS...
800-621-3362. AGAIN THAT'S 800-621-3362.
PEOPLE SEEKING HELP IN MONROE AND LAMAR COUNTIES... CAN APPLY IN PERSON AT THE FEMA ASSISTANCE OFFICE... IN BARNESVILLE... WHICH OFFICIALLY OPENS FRIDAY AFTERNOON.
THAT OFFICE IS LOCATED AT 118 ACADEMY DRIVE.
FEMA SAYS TO BRING AS MUCH DOCUMENTATION OF HOME- OR BUSINESS-OWNERSHIP AS YOU HAVE.

A MACON GROUP WANTS YOU TO HELP THEM SUPPORT THE TUSCALOOSA DISASTER.
SINCE SATURDAY.. THE MACON IMPACT ON TUSCALOOSA GROUP... HAS COLLECTED BAGS OF ITEMS.
SO FAR THEY SAY THE'VE RAISED 12-HUNDRED DOLLARS IN CASH.
19-YEAR OLD MADELINE JACKSON IS A FRESHMAN AT THE UNIVERISTY OF ALABMA.
SHE SAYS THEY HOPE TO FILL AN 18-WHEELER FULL BY FRIDAY NIGHT.
JACKSON SAYS THEY'VE COLLECTED 20 PERCENT OF WHAT THEY NEED....BUT CONFIDENT THEY'LL REACH THEIR GOAL
Madeline Jackson
"It's just awesome to watch how people respond I mean the littlest things, we had banners made for Macon Impact for Tuscaloosa and the guy that made the signs he just gave em' to us and instead of us paying for the signs he donated em' and wrote us a 500-dollar check"
YOU CAN DONATE AT EMMANUEL CHURCH ON FOSTER ROAD... OR ACE HARDWARE...ON RIVERSIDE DRIVE... UNTIL FRIDAY AT EIGHT P-M.
ORGANIZER WENDY CHANDLER SAYS ALL ITEMS WILL BE GIVEN TO THE CITY OF TUSCALOOSA... AND CASH WILL BE USED TO BUY HEAVY EQUIPMENT... LIKE CHAINSAWS.

THE CITY OF MACON ONCE AGAIN...IS DEMOLISHING BLIGHTED HOMES...AS PART OF THEIR ONGOING CLEANUP PLAN.
THEY STARTED A NEW ROUND OF DEMOLITIONS TODAY.
CITY CREWS DESTROYED THIS HOUSE ON BELMONT AVENUE AS FIREFIGHTERS WASHED AWAY THE LINGERING DUST.
MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT SAYS THE PROCESS TO SEIZE THE HOMES AND TEAR THEM DOWN IS SLOW....BUT HE HOPES TO BRING A SENSE OF HOPE TO THE COMMUNITY...
SOME NEIGHBORS TOLD US THEY'RE PLEASED.
neighbor "feel good about it really good"
neighbor "I feel good about it, its something they should have did because the houses have been just sitting and not doing nothing with them."
REICHERT SAYS THEY'VE DEMOLISHED HUNDREDS OF HOMES SINCE HE TOOK OFFICE...BUT ARE STILL WORKING THEIR WAY THROUGH THE CITY'S LIST.
THEY PLAN TO TEAR DOWN ONE HUNDRED HOMES THIS YEAR...AND ONE TWENTY HOUSES NEXT YEAR.

TODAY'S 13 WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS...
ARE BLIGHTED HOMES HURTING PROPERTY VALUES IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD?
SO FAR.. IT'S AN EVEN SPLIT... 50 PERCENT OF YOU SAY THEY ARE HURTING VALUES.. WHILE 50 PERCENT SAY THEY ARE NOT.
TO VOTE NOW.. VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT 13 WMAZ DOT COM.. AND LOOK FOR THE WEB POLL QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE INSIDE OF THE DON'T MISS BOX.

TONIGHT'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY....
BILLIE LEE HERRINGTON!
YOU'LL GET A 13WMAZ COFFEE MUG.
IF YOU WANT TO BE OUR FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY... IT'S EASY.
VISIT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ AND CLICK THE "LIKE" BUTTON TO BECOME A FAN.
THEN... JUST JOIN THE CONVERSATIONS.
WE PICK OUR FAN OF THE DAY RANDOMLY.

IT'S THE FIRST WEDNESDAY OF THE MONTH... AND THAT MEANS IT'S TIME FOR DEL WARD TO SIT DOWN WITH ANOTHER DISTUNGUISHED CENTRAL GEORGIAN.
HERE'S THIS MONTH'S PERSONAL PROFILE..

THE FOLKS AT Y-96 JOIN THE HERO ARMY EVERY YEAR FOR THE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL OF CENTRAL GEORGIA.
Folks our kids are our future.
(Frank) Oh, just heard the bell ring.
OUR OWN FRANK MALLOY TEAMED UP WITH D-J LEE FOUNTAIN TO TALK TO LISTENERS THIS MORNING.
THE STATION HAS DEDICATED ITS STAFF TO THE CAUSE FOR THE LAST ELEVEN YEARS.
.... AND THIS LITTLE GUY IS WHO FOLKS ARE SUPPORTING ...
THIS BABY IS SURVIVING AT ONE POUND ONE POINT FIVE OUNCES.
LAST YEAR... FOLKS PLEDGED 53-THOUSAND DOLLARS TO THE EFFORT
THE CHILDREN'S MIRACLE NETWORK HOSPITALS TELETHON HAPPENS THE FIRST WEEKEND IN JUNE RIGHT HERE ON 13WMAZ.

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