Monday, May 16, Eyewitness News at 11

11:03 PM, May 16, 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.

WARNER ROBINS CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS SAY A DRAFT OF THE MAYOR'S 2012 BUDGET NEEDS SOME TWEAKING.
MAYOR CHUCK SHAHEEN PRESENTED IT TO COUNCIL TONIGHT... WITH A 900-THOUSAND DOLLAR DEFICIT.
HE EXPLAINED TO LORRA LYNCH JONES HOW HE PLANS TO FIND A BALANCE BEFORE THE JULY FIRST DEADLINE.
<<nats-
MAYOR CHUCK SHAHEEN CALLED FISCAL YEAR 2012... THE SECOND TOUGH BUDGET YEAR IN A ROW.
Chuck Shaheen: "We thought it would increase a little, but it hasnt."
SHAHEEN'S BUDGET SHOWS ABOUT 34-POINT-7 MILLION IN GENERAL FUND REVENUES... AND ABOUT 35-POINT-SIX IN EXPENDITURES.... A DIFFERENCE OF JUST OVER 884-THOUSAND DOLLARS.
Chuck Shaheen: "We will go back again and look at it, is this necessary, is this neccessary, is this necessary? We will cut 1,000 here, 1000 here and it will add up.
SHAHEEN SUGGESTED CUTTING FUNDING FOR OUT-OF TOWN EMPLOYEE TRAINING FIRST.
I looked today, we spent over 100000 on training. Were going to have to cut back.
HE SAYS HE WON'T SLASH PUBLIC SAFETY SPENDING... AND IS STILL TRYING TO FIND A WAY TO CREATE A PUBLIC SAFETY DIRECTOR'S JOB... A POSITION THAT WOULD PAY 70 TO 90 THOUSAND... AND OVERSEE THE POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS.
It's not in there now, if we can look back and find it, we will try to put it in there.
COUNCIL MEMBER JOHN WILLIAMS SUGGESTED PROMOTING FROM WITHIN... TO AVOID ADDED COSTS.
We won't go out and find someone, we'll hire from within the departments.
SHAHEEN SAYS THE BUDGET INCLUDES A HEALTHCARE COST HIKE FOR EXISTING EMPLOYEES... HE SAYS A ONE AND A HALF PERCENT COST OF LIVING INCREASE SHOULD OFF-SET THAT EXPENSE.
Its kind of a wash with that.
HOMEOWNERS CAN EXPECT A TAX INCREASE OF ABOUT 2 DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS A MONTH... FOR A 100-THOUSAND DOLLAR HOME.
You have the choice of laying off employees or increasing your millage rate to continue providing services to the citizens of Warner Robins.
CITIZENS CAN OFFER THEIR INPUT AT A BUDGET HEARING JUNE 6TH.
STD
>> ALSO MONDAY NIGHT... COUNCIL VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO BRING A SUNDAY ALCOHOL SALES QUESTION TO THE NOVEMBER BALLOT.
IF THE REFERENDUM PASSES... IT WOULD ALLOW PACKAGE SALES BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 12-30 P-M AND 11-30 P-M ON SUNDAYS.

THE CITY OF MACON OWES NEARLY A MILLION DOLLARS TO ITS GENERAL EMPLOYEES PENSION FUND.
TONIGHT - CITY COUNCIL'S APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE VOTED TO AUTHORIZE THE MAYOR TO WORK OUT A PAYMENT SCHEDULE WITH THE PENSION FUND BOARD .
COUNCIL AND THE BOARD NEED TO AGREE BY THE END OF JUNE ON HOW SOON THE MONEY WILL BE PAID OR THE CITY COULD LOSE ELIGIBILITY FOR STATE FUNDING.
THE MAYOR'S OFFICE FIRST PROPOSED PAYING THE FUND EIGHTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS A MONTH OVER A FIVE YEAR PERIOD.
BUT COUNCIL MEMBERS WERE WORRIED THAT THE BOARD WOULD REJECT THAT OFFER.
COUNCILMAN RICK HUTTO SAYS HE'S CONCERNED ABOUT MEETING THE JUNE 30TH DEADLINE.
"This all means that the general pension board has to approve and then council. The police and fire board has to approve, and then council. And then full council has to approve the entire budget. And then everything has to hinge on in November passing a big SPLOST that's going to save us all this money. That's a lot of dominoes."
ACCORDING TO THE MAYOR'S BUDGET PLAN... THE CITY WOULD USE SOME OF THE MONEY THEY WOULD SAVE BY TURNING CONTROL OF PARKS AND RECREATION OVER TO BIBB COUNTY TO PAY INTO THE PENSION FUND.
BUT THAT WILL ONLY HAPPEN IF VOTERS PASS A SPLOST IN NOVEMBER.

CLASSMATES OF A 14-YEAR-OLD MILLEDGEVILLE BOY WHO DROWNED SUNDAY AFTERNOON... ARE PAYING TRIBUTE... TO A FRIEND... THEY SAY WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN.
BALDWIN COUNTY CORONER JOHN GONZALEZ SAYS. DEVIN SIMMONS AND A FRIEND WERE WALKING ACROSS A PART OF THE RIVER THAT'S SOMETIMES SHALLOW ENOUGH TO CROSS WHEN SIMMONS GOT INTO TROUBLE.
SEARCH TEAMS RECOVERED HIS BODY AROUND 6:45 SUNDAY NIGHT.
TEACHERS AT BALDWIN COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL SAY THE 9TH GRADER WAS LOVED BY MANY WHO WILL MISS HIS BUBBLY PERSONALITY.
Kerri Dietrich, Math Teacher: "Everybody knew Devin, it seemed like. And so we've had our share of crying together, sharing our memories, and laughing at the different things that Devin would do to make us smile."
BALDWIN HIGH SCHOOL CREATED A MEMORIAL FOR DEVIN.
THEY'LL DONATE THE ITEMS TO SIMMONS' FAMILY AFTER THE SCHOOL YEAR ENDS.

A WARNER ROBINS MAN IS IN THE HOUSTON COUNTY JAIL ACCUSED OF HAVING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY ON HIS COMPUTER.
A POLICE NEWS RELEASE SAYS.... 21-YEAR-OLD HOWARD SMITH WAS ARRESTED FRIDAY... SIX WEEKS AFTER A RAID AT HIS HOME ON SPRINGFIELD LANE.
HE'S CHARGED WITH THREE COUNTS EACH OF POSSESSING AND DISTRIBUTING CHILD PORN.
LAST APRIL.... POLICE RAIDED A SECOND HOME THAT SAME DAY AS PART OF A STATEWIDE PORNOGRAPHY SWEEP.
POLICE SPOKESWOMAN TABITHA PUGH SAYS THAT CASE IS STILL BEING INVESTIGATED.

GEORGIA BUSINESSMAN AND LIKELY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE HERMAN CAIN SAYS HE WOULD BENEFIT THE MOST FROM DONALD TRUMP'S DECISION NOT TO SEEK THE REPUBLICAN NOMINATION.
CAIN SAYS HE WASN'T SURPRISED BY TRUMP'S DECISION BECAUSE HE NEVER THOUGHT THE REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER WOULD ENTER THE RACE.
HE SAYS THE ANNOUNCEMENT MEANS HE'S THE ONLY CANDIDATE WHO CAN ARGUE THAT HIS BUSINESS BACKGROUND MAKES HIM THE MOST QUALIFIED OF THE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL FIELD.

IT COULD BE A TOUGH SUMMER FOR SOME GEORGIA TEENS WHO WANT TO WORK...
THE U-S BUREAU OF LABOR AND STATISTICS SAYS GEORGIA LAST YEAR HAD THE NATION'S HIGHEST YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT RATE - 36 PERCENT.
THAT MEANT 50-THOUSAND TEENS WERE UNEMPLOYED.
18-YEAR-OLD ALYSA (AH-LEE-SAH) MOORE IS HOPING SHE WONT BE PART OF THOSE NUMBERS THIS SUMMER.
SHE'S BEEN LOOKING FOR HER FIRST PART-TIME JOB FOR 2 MONTHS.
SHE SAYS SHE HOPES THE YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS WILL TURN AROUND... OR ELSE THE WORKFORCE OF THE FUTURE WON'T BE PREPARED.
"Of course an actual job where there's Money involved and you're 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." BOB THOMPSON AT THE CAREER CENTER IN MACON SAYS A GOOD STRATEGY FOR FINDING A JOB IS THE SAME.. REGARDLESS OF YOUR AGE...
YOU HAVE TO NETWORK AND BE AN AGGRESSIVE JOB HUNTER.

A DODGE COUNTY FIREFIGHTER WHO GIVES TO HIS COMMUNITY...NOW NEEDS HELP HIMSELF.
MARK SHEFFIELD AND HIS FAMILY LOST THEIR HOME IN A FIRE SUNDAY MORNING.
SHEFFIELD HAS BEEN FIGHTING FIRES FOR 11 YEARS WITH THE EASTMAN FIRE DEPARTMENT... BUT HE SAYS HE COULDN'T BELIEVE IT WHEN HE HEARD THE CALL FOR A FIRE AT HIS OWN HOME.'
HE SAYS HE'S THANKFUL THAT HIS WIFE AND TWO DAUGHTERS WERE NOT HOME.
SHEFFIELD SAYS NOTHING COULD BE SALVAGED... BUT HE'S GRATEFUL FOR ALL THE HELP THEY'VE RECEIVED.
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."
SHEFFIELD SAYS THEY'RE STAYING WITH HIS WIFE'S MOTHER FOR NOW.
THE DODGE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS SHEFFIELD HELPS WITH LOTS OF LOCAL GROUPS... INCLUDING THE HOLIDAY CHARITY....KIDS YULE LOVE.

THIS YEAR'S ANNUAL MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY TELETHON WILL BE JERRY LEWIS' LAST.
LEWIS SAYS IN A STATEMENT RELEASED BY THE MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY ASSOCIATION THAT HE'LL BE MAKING HIS FINAL APPEARANCE ON THE SHOW
SEPTEMBER 4-TH .
HE'S BEEN HOSTING THE TELETHON SINCE 1966.
HE'LL END THE SHOW WITH HIS SIGNATURE SONG... "YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE."
LEWIS HAS RAISED MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO HELP FIND A CURE FOR MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY.
HE SAYS HE'LL CONTINUE TO BE THE MDA'S NATIONAL CHAIRMAN AND WILL NEVER DESERT HIS "KIDS."

A HOUSTON COUNTY SPORTS TEAM WON THREE STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS THIS YEAR.
TONIGHT THEY TOOK HOME TOP HONORS AT THE WARNER ROBINS COUNCIL MEETING.
THE HOUSTON COUNTY A SHARKS... A JUNIOR VARSITY TEAM FOR CHILDREN PLAYING ADAPTED SPORTS... WON THE FOOTBALL... HANDBALL AND BASKETBALL STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS.
THE CHILDREN PLAY THE SPORTS IN WHEELCHAIRS.
THE CITY COUNCIL HONORED THEM FOR THEIR HARDWORK... AND MAYOR CHUCK SHAHEEN GAVE EACH TEAM MEMBERS A KEY TO THE CITY.... INCLUDING COACH BRENDA ARNETTE
Brenda Arnett: "It means a lot. Im not sure they were expecting that, so they were kind of shocked. This is a big honor for them. This is really the first accomplishment a lot of them have seen."
ARNETTE SAYS THE CHILDREN RANGE IN AGE FROM THIRD GRADE TO SENIORS IN HIGH SCHOOL.

THE SPACE SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR IS HEADING TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION FOR ITS FINAL MISSION... AND WOUNDED ARIZONA CONGRESSWOMAN GABRIELLE GIFFORDS WAS THERE TO SUPPORT HER HUSBAND'S LAUNCH.
FOR SOME PEOPLE... IT'S THEIR LOVE STORY... NOT JUST THE SPACE MISSION THAT'S OUT OF THIS WORLD.
KAREN BROWN TELLS US MORE.
((nats))

"Houston, Endeavour . We're at program."

((NARR-1))

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords felt the ground shake as she watched her
commander husband Mark Kelly launch into space. Her reaction -- excitement
and relief.

((SOT)) Pia Carusone/Giffords' Chief of Staff (16-18)

"She looked at me at the end and said 'Good stuff.' "

((NARR-2))

Giffords - who survived an assassination attempt in January - made the trip to
Florida for a second time. Last month's launch was scrubbed over electrical
issues. But this time, it was smooth sailing.

((NATS - liftoff!)

((nats)) Students cheering & watching (Amateuer VIDEO - handout FROM
STUDENTS)

((NARR-3))

Spectators say they're in awe of the shuttle program - and of the
Giffords-Kelly romance.

((SOT)) Andrew Willis/Aerospace Student

"It's just adds a whole other layer of coolness to it."

((SOT)) Jonathan Walker /Aerospace Student

"If she can be out there supporting her husband, we can certainly be out here
supporting our astronauts and our space program.

((STANDUP BRIDGE)) Karen Brown, Cape Caneveral, FL

While Giffords watched the launch from the control center behind me, she was
wearing her husband's wedding ring around her neck, which she will do until
the mission is complete. Her husband has her wedding band with him in space.

((NARR-4 ))

While Commander Kelly completes a 16-day space mission, his wife is focused
on her own mission in rehabiliation.

The next major step is surgery to repair Giffords' skull. Doctors have
decided to use a fabricated skull portion.

((SOT)) Pia

"They feel it is safer, cleaner and it actually is a better piece a puzzle
piece sort of fitting in there if you can imagine that."

((NARR-5))

Giffords' aide says it's unclear if the Congresswoman will travel for her
husband's return landing next month. But if her determination proves
anything... she will definitely try.
ENDEAVOUR IS SET TO DOCK AT THE STATION ON WEDNESDAY.
KELLY WILL BE ABLE TO CALL HIS WIFE ONCE THAT HAPPENS.
THE TWO CAN ALSO COMMUNICATE THROUGH EMAIL.
THE ENDEAVOUR IS SET TO TOUCH DOWN JUNE FIRST.
ATLANTIS WILL FLY THE FINAL SHUTTLE MISSION IN JULY.

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.

IT'S TIME FOR TONIGHT'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY...
LANISA JACKSON! 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'LL PICK THE FAN OF THE DAY RANDOMLY.

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