Friday, May 6, Eyewitness News at 6

8:49 PM, May 6, 2011   |    comments
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HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.
I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
AND I'M FRANK MALLOY..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.

GEORGIA REPUBLICANS ARE BUZZING...ABOUT A CONTROVERSY THAT PITS A POWERFUL STATE SENATOR...AGAINST A TRAMPOLINE SALESMAN.
ARCH ADAMS SAYS MACON'S CECIL STATON FIRED OFF E-MAILS AROUND THE STATE UNDER THE NAME OF BETH MERKLESON.
STATON SAYS HE DIDN'T DO IT.
BUT ADAMS WANTS PROOF.
HE TOLD LORRA LYNCH JONES HOW HE FOLLOWED THE TRAIL OF THE E-MAIL.
<<nats- music playin
ARCH ADAMS ADMITS A WEB-SITE HE DESIGNED SHOWING CECIL STATON WITH A WIG... DOESN'T EVOKE SERIOUS TALK.
Arch Adams: (22:27) "We tried to take a humerous angle."
BUT HE SAYS THE CONTENT HERE.... ISN'T A LAUGHING MATTER.
Arch Adams: (7:20) "Weve encouraged the senator to address these facts and tell us how it happened."
ADAMS SAYS IN APRIL HE AND A MASS LIST OF REPUBLICANS... RECIEVED E-MAILS FROM BETH MERKLESON.... A SELF PROCLAIMED "SENATE INSIDER."
Arch Adams: (2:56) "She e-mailed everyday for a week, and she was assailing the Lt. Governor on moral grounds."
Lorra Lynch: "The Merkelson emails accused Casey Cagle of alligning with Democrats during the legislative session to regain power; Authority the Republican Caucus... including Staton... sripped from Cagle last fall."
Arch Adams: (19:50) "The fact that the Lt. governor was on the verge, appeared to be on the verge of getting that control back, was a direct threat to Cecil Staton's power."
ADAMS SAYS HE DIDN'T SUSPECT STATON WAS INVOLVED... UNTIL HE SENT AN E-MAIL TO MERKLESON... AND THE RESPONSE CAME BACK SIGNED... "CECIL STATON."
Arch Adams: (13:58) "The theory was perhaps he signed his email address by mistake."
ADAMS THEN SENT TWO E-MAILS CONTAINING SEPERATE LINKS... ONE TO STATON.. ONE TO MERKLESON.
HE SAYS WITH IN 19 MINUTES... SOMEONE CLICKED ON BOTH LINKS... APPARENTLY FROM THE SAME I-P ADDRESS. THAT'S A NUMERICAL LABEL THAT IDENTIFIES DEVICES IN A COMPUTER NETWORK... AND THEIR LOCATION.
Arch Adams: (8:05) "If he was hacked or he was framed. This would be a far more fantastic story than what were dealing with. (cover 11:37) "I simply call on him to explain the facts of the case."
STD
>> ADAMS...A REPUBLICAN FROM NORTH GEORGIA ...SAYS HE GOT INTERESTED BECAUSE THE MERKELSON E-MAILS CRITICIZED HIS OWN SENATOR. HE SAYS HE DOESN'T KNOW STATON...AND HAS NO AX TO GRIND.
LAST MONTH....STATON TOLD US HE DIDN'T SEND THE E-MAILS..AND HE DIDN'T KNOW WHO DID. HE WAS NOT AVAILABLE FOR COMMENT TODAY AND HIS ATTORNEY DID NOT RETURN CALLS.
THE SENATE REPUBLICAN CAUCUS HIRED AN INDEPENDENT FIRM TO INVESTIGATE BUT IT'S NOT COMPLETE.

CHASING SUSPECTS...WALKING THE BEAT...AND WORKING LONG SHIFTS.
MACON POLICE CHIEF MIKE BURNS SAYS OFFICERS NEED ENERGY... AND FITNESS... TO DO THEIR JOB.
BURNS SAYS THE CITY IMPLEMENTED A MEDICAL FITNESS TEST THIS FISCAL YEAR.. AS PART OF ITS NEW INSURANCE POLICY.
HE SAYS THAT MOTIVATED HIM... TO ENFORCE THE LONG-TIME OFFICERS' PHYSICAL FITNESS TEST.
THIS TIME -- THERE ARE PENALTIES FOR FAILING.
BOFTA YIMAM HAS MORE.
NATS treadmill beep

CHRIS GARRISON DOESN'T MEASURE HIS WORKOUT IN DISTANCE--

NATS running

OR TIME....

"25 to 30 minutes"

BUT IN SWEAT.

"I normally start sweating the first five minutes"

THE 36-YEAR-OLD PUMPS ABOUT TEN HOURS INTO HIS WORKOUT... EACH WEEK... A STRONG COMMITMENT TO RAISING THE BAR.

Garrison
"You might find after the holidays, fourth of July, Thanksgiving Christmas you may put on a few unwanted pounds"

THE WARNER ROBINS FATHER GAINED AN EXTRA 20 POUNDS FROM LAST YEAR.

Garrison
" the last thing I want to do is have something happen to me because I wasn't in shape mentally and physically"

GARRISON IS A 15-YEAR MACON POLICE OFFICER. WORD OF A PHYSICAL FITNESS TEST WITH SEVERE PENALTIES... PUSHED HIM TO CRANK OUT A FEW EXTRA WORKOUTS.

Chief Burns
"We've always had a job related test, but I think we probly got a little slack"

CHIEF MIKE BURNS SAYS HE NOTICED LAST YEAR... SOME OFFICERS WHO COULD STAND TO SHED A FEW POUNDS.

Burns,
"Maybe 30 percent"
Bofta: Overweight?
Burns: It's their own health risk plus it could put citizens at risk if they can't do their job."

THE TEST INCLUDES SEVERAL PHASES--

Burns,
"you start off you run a quarter of a mile, have to run, can't walk, after jump over a chain link fence"

STANDUP
Chief Burns says there's no required time limit to finishing the test, but says officers must complete each phase"

OFFICERS GET THREE CHANCES TO PASS. IF THEY FAIL THE SECOND TIME... THEY COULD FACE DISCIPLINE... THE THIRD TIME... THEY COULD BE FIRED. AFTER THIS YEAR... OFFICERS WILL GET...JUST ONE CHANCE.

NATS "workin triceps"

GARRISON SAYS THE TEST MIRRORS WHAT THE DEPARTMENT WANTS IN ITS OFFICERS. THE CHIEF SAYS IT REFLECTS ON HIM TOO.

Bofta can you pass the test?
Chief: I can pass the test

BOFTA YIMAM 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
CHIEF BURNS SAYS THE TEST ALSO INCLUDES SPRINTS... CLIMBING THROUGH A WINDOW AND DRAGGING A DUMMY.
BURNS SAYS OFFICERS GET TWO HOURS A WEEK TO WORK OUT DURING THEIR SHIFTS...AND CAN ALSO USE THEIR LUNCH BREAKS.
OFFICER GARRISON SAYS HE PASSED THE TEST A FEW WEEKS AGO.

WARNER ROBINS POLICE ARRESTED A 15-YEAR-OLD AND CHARGED HIM WITH SHOOTING A 12-YEAR-OLD.
POLICE SPOKESWOMAN TABITHA PUGH SAYS CHARGES AGAINST THE TEEN INCLUDE AGGRAVATED ASSAULT.
PUGH SAYS THE SHOOTING HAPPENED AT A HOME ON TENNESSEE AVENUE YESTERDAY AFTERNOON.
SHE SAYS 12-YEAR-OLD TERRENCE ROUSE....WHO LIVED AT THE HOME...IS IN STABLE CONDITION AT THE HOSPITAL.
POLICE SAY THE TWO BOYS ARE ACQUAINTANCES....BUT THEY'RE INTERVIEWING THE VICTIM AND OTHERS TO LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED.

NEARLY TEN DAYS AFTER LAST WEEK'S STORMS ROARED THROUGH PARTS OF CENTRAL GEORGIA - SOME FOLKS REMAIN WITHOUT A PLACE TO LIVE.
TODAY FEMA OPENED ITS DOORS IN BARNESVILLE TO FFER THOSE PEOPLE A LITTLE HOPE.
AS AMY AUBERT EXPLAINS... SOME WHO LOST EVERYTHING... SAY THEY CAN SEE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL.
<<
Rhonda Edwards, Monroe County: "Our home is completely gone, the roof, just blown off, like it wasn't even attached."

FOR RHONDA EDWARDS... RELIVING THE APRIL 28TH TORNADO... IS A NIGHTMARE.

Rhonda Edwards: "All I heard was glass shatter, it was dark, you couldn't see nothin'."

BUT IT'S THE AFTERMATH... SHE SAYS... THAT SCARES HER MOST.

Rhonda Edwards: "My kids don't know we're homeless, they just know we can't go back home because it's destroyed."

THAT'S WHY... WHEN FEMA OPENED ITS DOORS IN BARNESVILLE FRIDAY MORNING... SHE ARRIVED EARLY.

AND SHE WASN'T THE ONLY ONE.

Nats: "High five. Thank you."

AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT LEFT MICHELLE BARKER WITH TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY 12 YEARS AGO... SHE DECIDED TO GIVE BACK.

Michelle Barker, Barnesville: "I have a pet therapy dog that I take to nursing homes and I also have a Paws for a Cause dog."

SHE SAYS... SHE LOST ONE OF HER ANIMALS... AND A HORSE TRAILER SHE USES TO TAKE HER TRAINED PETS ON VOLUNTEER TRIPS.

Michelle Barker, Barnesville: "I'm just looking for some kind of help for the people who fall between the cracks like I do."

FEMA WORKERS SAY PEOPLE STILL FACING THE AFTERMATH... NOW... HAVE A PLACE TO TURN.

Katy Pando, Georgia Emergency Management Agency: "The U.S. Department of Agriculture is here, Rural Development is here, Department of Community Affairs is here, and they're working to help find housing for people who may have been displaced."

THOSE WHO LOST EVERYTHING... SAY FEMA... HELPS GET THEM ON THEIR FEET AGAIN.

Rhonda Edwards: "We have to start all over, we have to work together and stand together as a community."

AMY AUBERT... 13 WMAZ... EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> FEMA REPRESENTATIVES SAY THEY'LL BE OPEN EVERYDAY FROM 7 A-M TO 7 P-M ....AS LONG AS PEOPLE NEED HELP.
YOU CAN ALSO APPLY FOR FEDERAL ASSISTANCE ON-LINE... JUST VISIT OUR SITE... 13 WMAZ DOT COM... FOR A LINK.

TONIGHT IN ATLANTA.....TWO TEACHERS FROM BIBB AND HOUSTON COUNTY SCHOOLS WILL FIND OUT....IF THEY'RE THE BEST IN THE STATE.
THEY'RE AMONG 10 FINALISTS TO BECOME THE 20-12 GEORGIA TEACHER OF THE YEAR.
HERE'S BETH (SHY-ROW) SCIARRO FROM NORTHSIDE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN HOUSTON COUNTY ON THE LEFT...WITH HER PRINCIPAL JODI CLARK.
AND JUST A FEW MINUTES AGO...BIBB COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT ROMAIN DALLAMAND... ON THE LEFT...GREETED THEIR FINALIST....(JAY-DONE) JADUN MCCARTHY. HE TEACHES AT NORTHEAST HIGH SCHOOL.
THE TEACHER OF THE YEAR WILL BE NAMED TONIGHT AT THE GEORGIA WORLD CONGRESS CENTER.
LAUREN DISPIRITO WILL INTRODUCE YOU TO THE STATE'S TOP TEACHER....TONIGHT ON EYEWITNESS NEWS AT ELEVEN.

OPENING CEREMONIES FOR THE BIBB COUNTY RELAY FOR LIFE BEGAN LESS THAN HALF AN HOUR AGO.
ELEANOR LISSITZYN IS AT AL SIHAH SHRINE PARK WITH A LOOK AT THE EVENT.
ELEANOR?
eleanor talks about the relay for life and talks with a cancer survivor Tabetha Reese
THANK YOU ELEANOR... WE'LL TALK TO YOU A LITTLE LATER IN THE SHOW.

IT LOOKS LIKE ANOTHER GREAT WEEKEND IS AHEAD OF US... SO YOU MAY BE LOOKING TO DINE OUTDOORS.
BUT BEFORE YOU PICK A SPOT.... WE HAVE RESULTS OF HOW SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANTS DID... WHEN THE HEALTH INSPECTOR STOPPED BY.
AMY AUBERT JOINS US WITH THIS WEEK'S RESTAURANT RATINGS.
WE'RE BACK IN HOUSTON COUNTY THIS WEEK...STARTING OFF WITH OUR LOWEST SCORES FIRST....
HONG KONG BUFFET... AT 14-06 SAM NUNN BOULEVARD IN PERRY... SCORED A 65... THAT'S A "U"... DROPPING FROM A PERFECT SCORE... LAST TIME.
THE HEALTH INSPECTOR NOTED THAT HANDWASHING FACILITIES WERE NOT SUPPLIED AND ACCESSIBLE... WHICH IS A KNOWN RISK FOR FOODBORNE ILLNESS.
HE ALSO NOTED THAT THE FOOD WAS NOT SAFE... IN GOOD CONDITION... AND UNADULTERATED.
KIM'S KITCHEN AT 17-54 WATSON BOULEVARD... SCORED A 66... ALSO A "U"... COMING AFTER AN 86... OR A "B"... ON THE INSPECTION BEFORE.
THE HEALTH INSPECTOR NOTED TWO INSTANCES OF HANDWASHING FACILITIES NOT SUPPLIED AND ACCESSIBLE.
HE ALSO SAYS SEWAGE AND WASTE WATER WERE NOT PROPERLY DISPOSED... AND THE FOOD WAS NOT SEPARATED AND PROTECTED.
AND MALAYA FILIPINO AMERICAN RESTAURANT AT 17-46 WATSON BOULEVARD IN WARNER ROBINS... GOT AN 82... A "B"... THAT'S AFTER SCORING A 99... OR AN "A" THE LAST TIME AROUND.
ACCORDING TO THE INSPECTION REPORT... EMPLOYEES DID NOT FOLLOW PROPER EATING... TASTING... DRINKING... OR TOBACCO USE.
IT NOTES THAT'S A RISK FOR FOODBORNE ILLNESS.
THE REPORT ALSO SAYS EMPLOYEES DID NOT HAVE ADEQUATE PERSONAL CLEANLINESS AND FOOD WAS NOT HELD AT THE PROPER TEMPERATURE.
NOW FOR A LOOK THE TOP SCORES... AND THIS WEEK'S GOLDEN SPATULA NOMINEES...
2 GUYS AND A PIE PIZZERIA... AT 4-02 HIGHWAY 247 IN BONAIRE... WHIPPED UP BURGER KING AT 2-01 RUSSELL PARKWAY IN WARNER ROBINS... ALSO SERVED UP A PERFECT SCORE... AFTER A 96... AN "A"... LAST TIME. A PERFECT SCORE... COMING AFTER A 95... ON ITS LAST INSPECTION.
JOIN US AGAIN TONIGHT AS WE AVERAGE OUR NOMINEES PAST FOUR SCORES TO GIVE YOU THIS WEEK'S GOLDEN SPATULA WINNER....FRANK...LEAH?
FOR ALL YOUR BIBB AND HOUSTON COUNTY RESTAURANT RATINGS... GO TO OUR WEBSITE 13WMAZ DOT COM.
CLICK ON THE FEATURES TAB... AND SCROLL DOWN TO RESTAURANT RATINGS.

THE BIBB COUNTY RELAY FOR LIFE IS GOING ON ALL NIGHT TONIGHT.
LET'S CHECK IN WITH ELEANOR LISSITZYN AT SHRINE PARK.
ELEANOR.. WHAT'S GOING ON OUT THERE?
THANK YOU ELEANOR.
WE'LL HAVE MORE ON THE RELAY TONIGHT ON EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.

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