HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US. I'M FRANK MALLOY.
AND I'M LORRA LYNCH-JONES... LEAH JOHNSON IS OFF TONIGHT.
THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.
A NEARLY HALF A MILLION DOLLAR BUDGET SHORTFALL FOR THE CITY OF PERRY COULD MEAN JOB CUTS... AND PROGRAM CUTS ACROSS DEPARTMENTS.
FACING ONE OF THE BIGGEST SLASHES IN CITY FUNDING IS THE PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT...
THIS COULD BE THE LAST YEAR FOR PROGRAMS LIKE BASEBALL... SOCCER... FOOTBALL AND SWIMMING...
AS VANESSA RUFFES FOUND... RISING EXPENSES FOR THE CITY... COUPLED WITH NO SIGNS OF INCREASING REVENUE... MEANS ATHLETICS WILL LIKELY TAKE A HIT IN SOME WAY... AND SO WILL OTHER DEPARTMENTS.
STEVE GILES SAYS THE BALL FIELDS AT CREEKWOOD PARK ARE LIKE A SECOND HOME...
"I've coached baseball here. This is my 19th year. I have 5 kids, all five of my kids have grown up in the program."
FOR HIM... SPORTS ARE ABOUT MORE THAN ATHLETIC SKILLS.
"It teaches you a lot of life lessons... winning, losing.."
NOW... HE'S AFRAID ALL OF PERRY WILL BE LOSING... AS BUDGET CUTS FORCE HARD DECISIONS.
IN A WORST CASE SCENARIO -- IN THE PARKS AND REC DEPARTMENT... THE ENTIRE ATHLETICS PROGRAM GETS SCRAPPED.
SPORTS LIKE BASEBALL... BASKETBALL... FOOTBALL... AND SWIMMING GO AWAY.
MAYOR JIMMY FAIRCLOTH SAYS RISING HEALTH INSURANCE... ELECTRICITY... AND GAS PRICES... ARE FORCING THE CITY INTO A 465 THOUSAND DOLLAR BUDGET SHORTFALL.
HE SAYS PARKS AND REC ISN'T THE ONLY ONE THEY'RE EYEING... PUBLIC SAFETY AND PUBLIC WORKS MAY HAVE TO TRIM AS WELL.
Faircloth "Everybody's going to have to take a hit of some kind, but I wouldn't go out on the limb and say that all programs in the rec department will be cut because that decision simply hasn't been made yet."
CITY MANAGER LEE GILMOUR SAYS CUTTING ALL ATHLETIC PROGRAMS... AND ELIMINATING TWO FULL TIME AND ONE PART TIME REC POSITION WOULD SAVE THE CITY ABOUT 220 THOUSAND DOLLARS.
GILES ISN'T SURE IT'S WORTH IT... AND HOPES THE CITY CONSIDERS ALL OPTIONS BEFORE MAKING A CALL... IT CAN'T TAKE BACK.
"We'd be taking dreams away from kids. Once they go away I don't know if we can ever get them back."
>> MAYOR FAIRCLOTH SAYS THOSE DRASTIC CUTS ARE A WORST CASE SCENARIO... HE SAYS IT'S LIKELY THERE WILL BE SOME COMPROMISE... WHERE ALL DEPARTMENTS CUT A LITTLE.
THE CITY WILL HEAR BUDGET PRESENTATIONS FROM DEPARTMENT HEADS TONIGHT AND TOMORROW AT CITY HALL... THOSE ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
TOMORROW... IS WHEN PARKS AND REC DIRECTOR RICK KILGORE WILL SPEAK.
THAT IS AT 5... AT PERRY CITY HALL.
FAIRCLOTH SAYS THE CITY HAS TO HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING BEFORE FINALIZING THE BUDGET FOR NEXT YEAR...
IT WILL BE THE FIRST TUESDAY IN JUNE... THAT'S THE 7TH.
THE GEORGIA MUSIC HALL OF FAME INCHES CLOSER TO THE JUNE 30TH DEADLINE WHEN IT LOSES STATE FUNDING.... AND ITS FUTURE WILL STAY IN DOUBT FOR AT LEAST TWO MORE WEEKS,
THE HALL OF FAME SET A TWO WEEK DEADLINE TO LINE UP CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE COMMUNITY TO KEEP THE HALL OPEN IN MACON FOR AT LEAST A YEAR.
BRITTINY BARBER HAS MORE ON WHY THE BATTLE OVER THE MUSEUM CONTINUES.
THE SOUNDS OF MUSIC COULD SOON FADE AT THE GEORGIA MUSIC HALL OF FAME....
A PLAN ALREADY IN PLACE WOULD MOVE THE MUSEUM COLLECTION TO THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA....
BUT MONDAY... THE STATE HALL OF FAME AUTHORITY VOTED TO PUT OFF THAT MOVE FOR TWO WEEKS....TO SEE IF SUPPORTERS OF THE HALL CAN LINE UP THE MONEY TO KEEP IT OPEN.
Brad Turner: "I'm seeing some room here for some negocaitions with on maocn's behalf .
THE PEYTON ANDERSON FOUNDATION OFFERED ABOUT 750-THOUSAND DOLLARS.... IF......THE HALL IS GUARANTEED TO STAY IN MACON FOR THREE YEARS... AND A NEW LOCAL GOVERNING BODY IS CREATED.
GFX BUT THE HALL OF FAME AUTHORITY BOARD CAME BACK WITH A COUNTER-OFFER.
THE MUSEUM WOULD STAY AT LEAST -ONE- YEAR... WITH -NO- NEW GOVERNING BODY.. AND THE BOARD WANTS TO BE SURE THERE'S THE MONEY TO PAY AN ESTIMATED 400 THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR IN RENT.
Robert highsmith: "All of the proposals don't contemplate paying market value of rent in the current hall of ame buiding"
AFTER THE BOARD DENIED MACON'S ORIGINAL PROPOSAL IN MARCH.... ANOTHER GROUP HAS STEPPED UP TO FIGHT TO KEEP THE MUSEUM IN CENTRAL GEORGIA.
NEWTOWN MACON IS NOW THE COORDINATOR BETWEEN THE AUTHORITY AND THE FOUNDATIONS... ACCORDING TO EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MIKE FORD.
Mike Ford: Newtown's roll in this is more an the coordinator and maybe a focus point but certianly the commitment have to come from the city and county and the other foundations"
STATE FUNDING FOR THE HALL OF FAME RUNS OUT ON JUNE 30TH... THAT'S PRECIOUS TIME TO TRY TO KEEP THE MUSIC PLAYING.
BRITTINY BARBER 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.>>
AUTHORITY MEMBERS SAY IF THEY CAN'T WORK OUT THE FUNDING DETAILS WITH THE ORGANIZATIONS IN TWO WEEKS... THEY'LL GO FORWARD WITH PLAN TO MOVE THE COLLECTION TO A LIBRARY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA.
PROGRESS ON THE NEW WARNER ROBINS LAW ENFORCEMENT CENTER INCHED FORWARD TODAY.
THE NEW REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY BOARD LEARNED THERE'S ABOUT FOUR MILLION DOLLARS IN THE BANK... FOR AN ESTIMATED FIVE-POINT-NINE MILLION DOLLAR PROJECT.
THE BOARD.... MADE-UP OF LOCAL BUSINESS OWNERS... BRIEFLY TALKED ABOUT POSSIBLE FINANCING OPTIONS.
THEY INCLUDE BONDS OR ASKING VOTERS TO APPROVE ANOTHER PENNY SALES TAX.
THE FOUR MILLION CURRENTLY SET-ASIDE... COMES FROM A 2006 SPLOST.
R-D-A EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GARY LEE SAYS A CONTRACTOR IS ABOUT TO START A SITE SURVEY ON THE L-E-C PROPERTY.
IT'S LOCATED BETWEEN WATSON BOULEVARD... MARSHALL AVENUE AND FIRST STREET.
Gary Lee, RDA Director: (17:50) "It will be a great opportunity for the city to show something going up in this area."
LEE DID NOT SET A TIME TABLE FOR CONSTRUCTION OF THE L-E-C.
THE R-D-A BOARD APPOINTED MEMBER... DOUG HAYES... AS THEIR POINT PERSON FOR THE L-E-C PROJECT.
HOUSTON COUNTY SCHOOLS' FINANCE DIRECTOR SAYS NEXT YEAR'S BUDGET... "ISN'T AS BAD AS THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS"... WITH NO FURLOUGHS OR CALENDAR ADJUSTMENTS.
STEPHEN THUBLIN WILL PRESENT THE BOARD OF EDUCATION WITH A PRELIMINARY BUDGET FOR THE 2011- 2012 FISCAL YEAR... AT A WORK SESSION TONIGHT.
THE BOARD MEETING IS TOMORROW AT ONE P-M. IN PERRY.
THUBLIN SAYS REVENUES ARE EXPECTED TO FALL SHORT OF EXPENDITURES.... BY ABOUT SEVEN AND A HALF MILLION DOLLARS.
HE SAYS THEY'LL USE MONEY FROM THE RESERVE FUND TO MAKE-UP THE DIFFERENCE.
THE BOARD ADOPTS NEXT YEAR'S BUDGET IN JUNE.
A TELFAIR COUNTY CAR ACCIDENT KILLED ONE PERSON AND INJURED A SECOND THIS WEEKEND.
THE GEORGIA STATE PATROL SAYS 28-YEAR-OLD JONATHON PIPER WAS TURNING ONTO GEORGIA HIGHWAY 30 FROM A DRIVEWAY AND HIT THE BACK OF A CAR DRIVEN BY 50-YEAR-OLD LISA CHURCHWELL.
THE G-S-P SAYS CHURCHWELL WAS KILLED IN THE ACCIDENT.
IT'S STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION.
BIBB'S NORTHEAST HIGH SCHOOL CELEBRATED SOME BRAGGING RIGHTS THIS AFTERNOON...
(CLAPPING) ... I DIDNT EVEN CRY AT THE CEREMONY.
TEACHERS AND STAFF AT NORTHEAST HIGH SCHOOL HONORED ONE OF THEIR OWN... GEORGIA'S NEXT TEACHER OF THE YEAR... JADUN ((ja-don)) MCCARTHY.
THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT NAMED MCCARTHY TO THE TOP HONOR AT A CEREMONY FRIDAY.
THEY CELEBRATED WITH CAKE AND TREATS... AND TALKED ABOUT MCCARTHY'S ACCOMPLISHMENTS...
STUDENTS ... STAFF AND COLLEAGEUES STOPPED MCCARTHY IN THE HALLS TO CONGRATULATE HIM.
HE TEACHES ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS AND ADVANCED PLACEMENT COURSES.
MCCARTHY GRADUATED FROM THE SAME HIGH SCHOOL WHERE HE NOW TEACHES...
ON THE NIGHT OF HIS GRADUATION FROM LAW SCHOOL... HE SAYS HE DECIDED TO BECOME A TEACHER INSTEAD.
TEACHERS SAY MCCARTHY'S HARD WORK INSPIRES THEM AND THEY'RE PROUD OF HIS ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO BIBB COUNTY'S EDUCATIONAL GROWTH.
Quintin Green, NORTHEAST PRINCIPAL:"it is an example for all the teachers in our schools that when you put excellent teaching before our students ... then all teachers can be great teachers."
ERICKA WRIGHT, ENGLISH TEACHER: "its definately different and its great to know that some from Macon area can acheive such a goal."
MCCARTHY TAKES OVER FOR THE STATE'S CURRENT TEACHER OF THE YEAR.. ON JULY FIRST... AND DURING HIS YEAR IN THE TOP SPOT... HE'LL GET TO MEET PRESIDENT OBAMA.
TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL QUESTION... DOES JADUN MCCARTHY WINNING TEACHER OF THE YEAR CHANGE YOUR OPINION OF BIBB COUNTY SCHOOLS?
SO FAR 90 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO.
10 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES.. IT DOES.
VOTE NOW... VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM AND LOOK FOR THE WEB POLL QUESTION IN THE "DON'T MISS" BOX ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE.
AFTER A SERIOUS BICYCLE ACCIDENT, A WARNER ROBINS WOMAN IS BACK ON HER TWO WHEELS.
AS CANDACE ADORKA EXPLAINS... SHE'S USING HER EXPERIENCE TO SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT COURTESY AND RESPECT WHEN SHARING THE ROAD.
"It's like you have to suit up for the game..."
JOAN FALDINE JUST CANT SHAKE THE BICYCLING BUG...
"It's smooth. It's fun. It feels good and free."
EVEN AFTER A CAR HIT HER ON HOUSTON LAKE ROAD.
"And the car started right here and my arm was like this and I felt the tire get in my hand up over my head."
FALDINE SUFFERED A CONCUSSION BUT NO BROKEN BONES...JUST SEVERAL SCARS WHERE THE GRAVEL SCRAPED OFF HER SKIN... AND AN ALMOST PARALYZING FEAR.
"i'm so afraid i'm gonna get hit again...
OFFICIALS IN HOUSTON COUNTY SAY THERE HAVE BEEN SEVEN BICYCLE ACCIDENTS SO FAR THIS YEAR....
"With gas going up, you'll see a lot more bikes on the road."
MAJOR JOHN WAGNER WITH THE WARNER ROBINS POLICE DEPARTMENT SAYS MOTORISTS HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT CYCLISTS ARE MORE VULNERABLE.
"these bicycles are traveling quickly and they don't stop as quick and the momentum will throw then over the handle bars and with these high dollar bikes your clipped in to the pedals, it's tough to get out of those too so you're gonna go for a spill."
"Sharing a road is not like sharing a toy. It's a serious matter. Lives are at stake people are dying in bicycle accidents."
FALDINE SAYS NOT ONLY DRIVERS NEED TO BE AWARE.... CYCLISTS HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES TOO.
"i'm gonna turn around and make eye contact with that driver and let him know... i'm going this way ok?"
FALDINE SAYS SHE'LL KEEP RIDING... USING WHAT SHE CALLS HER MIRACLE TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT SHARING THE ROAD...ALL ON HER BRAND NEW BIKE.
"I'm naming this bike emmanuel. It means god with us."
CANDACE ADORKA 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
WARNER ROBINS POLICE SAY SUMMER IS A GOOD TIME TO REMIND YOURSELF ABOUT THE RULES FOR SHARING ROADWAYS...
CYCLISTS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO RIDE ON SIDEWALKS... THEY HAVE TO TRAVEL WITH TRAFFIC... NOT AGAINST IT... AND CARS NEED TO GIVE AT LEAST THREE FEET WHEN PASSING A CYCLIST.
IF YOU'RE IN SANDERSVILLE AND LOOKING FOR A FURRY FRIEND TO ADD TO THE FAMILY... WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO HELP.
JUST HEAD OVER TO THE NEW SANDERSVILLE PAGE IN THE "WHERE YOU LIVE" SECTION.
GO TO 13WMAZ DOT COM... AND SELECT "SANDERSVILLE" IN THE "WHERE YOU LIVE" BOX.
FROM THERE... CLICK "MORE NEWS" TO HEAD OVER TO THE PAGE.
SELECT "PETS" IN THE MENU BAR AT THE TOP... FOR A LOOK AT SOME POOCHES THAT COULD USE A FOREVER HOME.
THE MACON POLICE DEPARTMENT GAVE OUT 31 NEW CARS TO A SELECT FEW TODAY.
CAPTAINS CHOSE OFFICERS FOR THE NEW RIDES BASED ON THEIR FIELD PERFORMANCE.
Mayor Reichert: "To keep some of the older equipment on the road not only was it unsafe and unreliable it was also costing us an arm and a leg"
MACON MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT SAYS THE NEW PATROL VEHICLES ARE REPLACING CARS THAT ARE CLOSE TO FIFTEEN YEARS OLD.
THEY COME WITH ALL THE BELLS AND WHISTLES... LIKE TOP OF THE LINE LIGHTS... SIRENS... CAGES... AND GUN RACKS.
PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER JAMI GAUDET SAYS THE NEW EQUIPMENT WILL BENEFIT EVERYONE IN THE CITY.
Jami Gaudet, Public Information Officer, MPD "They need to be safe and when we need those officers at break neck speed to go to the site of an accident or to thwart crime we want the best of the best for the best of the best and we think those vehicles are that and we think these officers are that, we care very deeply about their safety as well as the public's saftety."
THE DEPARTMENT MADE THE PURCHASE AS PART OF A FIVE-YEAR PLAN THROUGH ITS CAPITAL ACCOUNT... WHICH IS USED TO PAY FOR BIG-TICKET ITEMS.