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Monday, May 16, Eyewitness News at 6

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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.

SOME TROUBLING NEWS FOR SUMMER JOB SEEKERS..
IT MAY BE HARDER THAN EVER FOR HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE STUDENTS TO FIND WORK..
AS CANDACE ADORKA EXPLAINS... YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT RATES ARE SKY-HIGH... BUT ONE WARNER ROBINS TEEN SAYS THAT WON'T DISCOURAGE HER JOB SEARCH.
<<
SO FAR, ALEESA MOORE'S SUMMER HAS BEEN FILLED WITH READING AND LISTENING TO RECORDS.
"it's the latest brighteyes record."
SHE JUST WRAPPED UP HER FRESHMAN YEAR AT AUBURN UNIVERSITY AND WANTS TO SPEND THE SUMMER WORKING FOR THE FIRST TIME. SHE'S MAJORING IN SPANISH AND MICROBIOLOGY...BUT THIS SUMMER....SHE'LL TAKE ANY KIND OF JOB.
"i just really want something to do this summer, something productive."
UNFORTUNATELY, MOORE LIVES IN THE STATE WITH THE HIGHEST YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT RATE...
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SAYS 50-THOUSAND GEORGIANS BETWEEN 16 AND 19 YEARS OLD WENT WITHOUT JOBS LAST YEAR
BOB: "based on what we're experienceing in the economy, it's really not surprising."
BOB THOMPSON AT THE MACON CAREER CENTER SAYS JOBS THAT TYPICALLY GO TO TEENS ARE NOW GOING TO UNEMPLOYED ADULTS.
"In retail and stuff like that, a clerk or sales associate at one of the retail stores... Well now those positions may be filled by an adult."
MOORE SAYS SHE'S AFRAID IF THOSE UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS DON'T TURN AROUND, SHE'LL BE PART OF A BIGGER PROBLEM... AN INEXPERIENCED WORKFORCE.
"an actual job where there's money involved and you are singly held responsible, that's really one of the most effective ways you're gonna teach a young person how to be a good worker, how to contribute to society.
MOORE SAYS SHE'S BEEN LOOKING FOR 2 MONTHS, AND SENT OUT 8 APPLICATIONS... BUT SHE'S NOT READY TO GIVE UP.
"i think I have a lot to contribute, it's just a matter of finding where they want me to."
CANDACE ADORKA, 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> MOORE SAYS HER JOB HUNTING STRATEGY IS TO MEET EMPLOYERS IN PERSON AND FOLLOW UP ON HER APPLICATIONS...
BOB THOMPSON SAYS THAT KIND OF AGGRESSIVE JOB HUNTING IS KEY.... ALONG WITH NETWORKING.

STUDENTS AND TEACHERS AT BALDWIN HIGH SCHOOL SPENT TODAY REMEMBERING A MILLEDGEVILLE TEEN WHO DROWNED SUNDAY AFTERNOON.
AS AMY AUBERT SHOWS YOU... THOSE WHO KNEW 14-YEAR-OLD DEVIN SIMMONS... SAY HIS UPBEAT ATTITUDE... COULD LIGHT UP ANY ROOM...
<<
Nats, Teacher reading: "Devin was one of the funniest people I knew, he always made me smile."

MATH TEACHER... KERRI DIETRICH (DEE-TRICK)... REMEMBERS 14-YEAR-OLD DEVIN SIMMONS... WITH A SMILE.

Nats, Kerri Dietrich, Math Teacher: "He was never down on anyone, he was always making everyone laugh."

MONDAY... INSTEAD OF A REGULAR LESSON...

Nats, turning page

...INSIDE DIETRICH'S CLASSROOM... STUDENTS COPED WITH THE LOSS OF A FRIEND.

Kerri Dietrich, Math Teacher: "I had a whole group of us just up at the board, tearfully signing goodbyes and love yous."

SHE SAID BY 3RD BLOCK... THE CLASS SIMMONS WAS A PART OF... HER WHOLE BOARD WAS FULL.

Nats, Copelan walking

JOSH COPELAN... WITH GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES... SAYS SUNDAY... SIMMONS AND A FRIEND TRIED TO CROSS THE OCONEE RIVER UNDER THE HIGHWAY 22/24 BRIDGE... AN AREA HE SAYS... IS SOMETIMES SHALLOW ENOUGH TO WALK.

Josh Copelan, DNR: "They were down the river a little ways near the rock area, they had gone across, they were coming back southbound on the river; they were actually going to try to swim across."

Nats, water flowing

HE SAYS... SIMMONS DROWNED IN WATERS ABOUT 9 FEET DEEP.

Nats, turning memorial page

A MEMORIAL STANDS AT THE SCHOOL'S ENTRANCE... WHERE STUDENTS AND FRIENDS... WRITE MEMORIES AND GOODBYES... TO A MILLEDGEVILLE TEEN... WHO THEY SAY...WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.

Kerri Dietrich: "We would've given anything to have the chaos, and to have to tell him one more time to sit back in his seat, as opposed to what we had today, it was empty. The class was full, but it was empty."

AMY AUBERT... 13 WMAZ... EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> TEACHERS SAY THEY PLAN TO GIVE THE MEMORIAL AT BALDWIN HIGH SCHOOL... TO SIMMONS FAMILY... AFTER SCHOOL ENDS THIS WEEK.
ACCORDING TO BALDWIN COUNTY CORONER... JOHN GONZALEZ... THE AUTOPSY REPORT... SHOWS DEVIN DIED FROM AN ACCIDENTAL DROWNING.

MACON MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT...AND BIBB COUNTY CHAIRMAN SAM HART....ARE ASKING FOR YOUR IDEAS ON HOW TO SPEND SPLOST MONEY.
THEY'RE LAUNCHING A LISTENING TOUR OF THE CITY AND COUNTY...THAT STARTS THURSDAY.
THE TWO PLAN TO ASK FOR A SPLOST QUESTION IN NOVEMBER...PARTLY TO PAY FOR RECREATION IMPROVEMENTS.
BUT THEY WANT TO HEAR OTHER SUGGESTIONS FROM PEOPLE ON USING THE SPLOST FUNDS.
THEIR FIRST SESSION IS SCHEDULED FOR THURSDAY....AT 7 P.M.....AT THE EAST MACON PARK.
THAT'S ON OCMULGEE EAST BOULEVARD.
FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL SEVEN SESSION WITH HART AND REICHERT...YOU CAN LOK FOR THIS STORY AT 13WMAZ-DOT-COM.

THE CITY OF MACON OWES ABOUT A MILLION DOLLARS TO ITS GENERAL EMPLOYEES PENSION FUND
IF IT'S NOT PAID IN ABOUT SIX WEEKS...THE CITY COULD LOSE ELIGIBILITY FOR STATE FUNDING.
MACON CITY COUNCIL'S APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE TODAY IS DEBATING HOW BEST TO PAY THAT MONEY.
A RECENT STUDY SAYS THE CITY ISN'T PAYING ENOUGH TO THE PENSION FUND...AS REQUIRED BY LAW.
COUNCIL IS DISCUSSING A PLAN BY THE MAYOR'S OFFICE TO PAY THE FUND EIGHTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS A MONTH... OVER A FIVE YEAR PERIOD.

SPACE SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR LIFTED OFF FROM FLORIDA THIS MORNING... BEGINNING NASA'S NEXT TO LAST SHUTTLE MISSION.
THE MISSION WAS DELAYED TWICE IN THE PAST MONTH..
TODAY... ABOUT 45 THOUSAND PEOPLE WATCHED IT LIFT OFF FROM KENNEDY SPACE CENTER AROUND 9 A-M.
ENDEAVOUR IS SCHEDULED TO RETURN TO EARTH ON JUNE FIRST... AND ATLANTIS IS SET TO LIFT OFF ON THE FINAL SHUTTLE MISSION IN JULY.
AND TODAY'S 13 WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS...
SHOULD THE SPACE-SHUTTLE PROGRAM CONTINUE?
SO FAR 67 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES... IT SHOULD.
AND 33 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO IT SHOULD 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.

DONALD TRUMP SAYS HE'S NOT RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT.
TRUMP SAID IN A STATEMENT MONDAY THAT HE WON'T SEEK THE REPUBLICAN NOMINATION.
TRUMP HAS BEEN FLIRTING WITH A PRESIDENTIAL BID FOR MONTHS... TRAVELING TO EARLY PRIMARY STATES LIKE NEW HAMPSHIRE...AND SPEAKING OUT ON ISUSES LIKE PRESIDENT OBAMA'S BIRTH CERTIFICATE.
HE IS THE SECOND REPUBLICAN IN THREE DAYS TO SAY NO TO A WHITE HOUSE RUN.
MIKE HUCKABEE ANNOUNCED SATURDAY THAT HE WOULDN'T SEEK THE PRESIDENCY.

REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CONTENDER NEWT GINGRICH WANTS TO INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON ALZHEIMER'S RESEARCH.
HE SAYS THE MONEY WOULD BE A WISE INVESTMENT IN TAXPAYER DOLLARS... TO ELIMINATE A DISEASE THAT IS ON PACE TO COST THE GOVERNMENT SOME 20 TRILLION DOLLARS IN THE NEXT FOUR YEARS.
GINGRICH SAID TODAY THAT HE WANTS RESEARCHERS TO TELL HIM HOW MUCH MONEY THEY CAN USE TO CURE ALZHEIMER'S.
GINGRICH SAYS THE SPENDING... COULD ULTIMATELY SHAVE THE BUDGET.

GOVERNOR NATHAN DEAL IS LENDING HIS SUPPORT TO A NEW 140 MILLION DOLLAR HIGHWAY THAT WOULD GIVE TRUCKS EXPANDED ACCESS TO THE PORT OF SAVANNAH.
DEAL SAYS THE PROJECT IS IMPORTANT TO SAVANNAH'S SEAPORT... AND GEORGIA'S ECONOMY.
THE PROPOSAL CALLS FOR A THREE-MILE... FOUR-LANE HIGHWAY STARTING AT INTERSTATE 95 AND ENDING AT THE PORT'S MAIN GATE.
TRACTOR TRAILERS WOULD BE THE MAIN TRAFFIC ON IT.
CONSTRUCTION COULD START BY 2013.

AFTER 11 YEARS OF BATTLING FIRES... A DODGE COUNTY FIREFIGHTER HEARD HIS OWN ADDRESS ON THE SCANNER.
A FIRE DESTROYED HIS FAMILY'S HOME.
NOW HE'S LEFT TO START OVER.<<

Nats of Mark "Right there is the laundry room"

MARK SHEFFIELD SAYS HE BARELY RECONGNIZES THE HOME HE AND HIS WIFE HAVE LIVED IN FOR 10 YEARS.

Nats of Mark "That's what's left of our bathroom, closet, and bedroom area"

WHILE WORKING A SHIFT AT THE EASTMAN FIRE DEPARTMENT SUNDAY MORNING... SHEFFIELD SAYS HE OVERHEARD THEM ASKING FOR ASSISTANCE FROM A VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT TO RESPOND TO A FIRE ON HIS STREET.

Mark Sheffield "Deputy got on scene and came over radio, it was my house"

HE SAYS WHEN HE ARRIVED AT HIS HOME... HE COULDN'T BELIEVE HIS EYES.

Mark Sheffield "Total shock and disbelief. I've been to many house fires but never in your wildest dreams you go to your own house fire"

A HOUSE FIRE THAT LEFT NOTHING BUT ASH.

"One side of the house caved in and the roof had fell in. There was nothing left, everything was burning"

Nats of Little Girl Swinging

SHEFFIELD SAYS EVEN THOUGH THE FLAMES ENGULFED HIS HOME... IT COULD HAVE BEEN MUCH WORSE.

Mark "Thank the Good Lord. My two kids, one of them was over their grandma's and the other was over a friend's house. My wife was at a friend's house"

Nats of Mark

HE SAYS IT PUTS A WHOLE NEW PERSPECTIVE ON HIS LIFE NOW.

Mark Sheffield "so when I go to another fire, working, I can say "Hey I lost everything myself."

Nats of Friend Giving Him a Hug

SHEFFIELD SAYS HE LOST HIS HOME BUT NOT HIS HOPE AND LOVE FOR THE COMMUNITY THAT'S KEEPING HIM AND HIS FAMILY GOING.

Mark Sheffield, Dodge "We had a steady stream of friends offering clothes, money, anything they can offer. Words can not explain the gratitude and appreciation that I got for everybody that's come by"

Nats of Hug
>> THE DODGE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS SHEFFIELD HELPS WITH LOTS OF LOCAL GROUPS...INCLUDING WORKING AS DODGE COUNTY COORDINATOR FOR THE HOLIDAY CHARITY....KIDS YULE LOVE.

THIS WEEK IS FULL OF EVENTS HAPPENING AROUND CENTRAL GEORGIA.
ON WEDNESDAY.. IT'S FUN FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY AT THE GRAND OPERA HOUSE IN MACON.
A LIVE PRODUCTION OF MAX AND RUBY'S BUNNY PARTY GETS STARTED AT 6-30.
THE SHOW FOLLOWS BUNNY SIBLINGS MAX AND RUBY AS THEY PREPARE FOR A BIG SURPISE BIRTHDAY PARTY.
TICKET PRICES START AT $17-50.
FRIDAY YOU CAN ATTEND A CANDLELIGHT VIGIL HONORING POLICE OFFICERS WHO DIED IN THE LINE OF DUTY.
THE SERVICE BEGINS AT 7 P-M INSIDE THE MIDDLE GEORGIA TECHNICAL COLLEGE AUDITORIUM.
STATE SENATOR ROSS TELLSON IS SET TO SPEAK AT THE EVENT.
ADMISSION IS FREE.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THESE EVENTS AND FOR A LIST OF OTHER EVENTS.. HEAD OVER TO OUR AROUND TOWN SECTION AT 13 WMAZ DOT COM.
YOU'LL FIND IT ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE.

ON THIS WEEK'S EDITION OF THE MORNIN' GRIND... HANNAH COLEMAN FROM KOOL BEANS COFFEE JOINED US TO MAKE ONE OF THE SHOP'S SIGNATURE DRINKS.
SO WE ASKED OUR FACEBOOK FANS... IF THEY HAD A COFFEE SHOP DRINK THEY WISHED THEY COULD WHIP UP AT HOME.
JIMMY WROTE... "NOT A BIG COFFEE DRINKER... BUT IF I WAS... I WOULD MAKE A COFFEE MILKSHAKE."
JOJO COMMENTED... "I WOULD MAKE A DOUBLE CHOCOLATE FRAPPUCCINO... WHAT BETTER WAY TO WAKE YOU UP THAN COFFEE AND CHOCOLATE!"
JADE SAID... "I GUESS I'M JUST OLD FASHIONED! MAXWELL HAS BEEN MY FRIEND FOR SO LONG THAT I JUST DON'T WANT ANYTHING ELSE."
KRISTINA REPLIED... "ALL OF THEM. MY BUDGET WON'T ALLOW ME TO BUY ANY."
AND ANGELA SAID... "NOT SURE WHAT IT'S CALLED, BUT I MAKE AN ICE-COLD COFFEE WITH SHAVED ICE, A SCOOP OF ICE CREAM, SOME CHOCOLATE AND CARAMEL SYRUP, SUGAR, WHIPPED CREAM AND COFFEE..UMM SO GOOD."
JOIN US ON FACEBOOK AND LET US KNOW WHAT YOU WISH YOU COULD WHIP UP AT HOME... OR CHECK OUT THE LINK TO THIS MORNING'S RECIPE.
VISIT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ.
AND DON'T FORGET.... YOU CAN WATCH THE MORNIN' GRIND EVERY MONDAY AROUND 6:30 ON EYEWITNESS NEWS MORNIN'.

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