Wednesday, June 1, Eyewitness News at 11

6:27 PM, Jun 1, 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.

THE CITY OF MACON AND BIBB COUNTY ARE CONSIDERING WHETHER TO LIMIT THE NUMBER OF PLACES WHERE YOU CAN SMOKE.
BIBB COUNTY COMMISSION CHAIRMAN SAM HART SAYS HE'LL ASK HIS BOARD NEXT WEEK IF THEY WANT TO PUSH FOR A SMOKING ORDINANCE LIKE THE ONE MACON IS CONSIDERING.
MACON MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT VETOED A PROPOSED ORDINANCE IN APRIL.
AMONG HIS REASONS... HE SAID THE CITY AND COUNTY SHOULD ACT TOGETHER...SO MACON BUSINESSES AREN'T HURT.
HART AGREES.
Sam Hart, Bibb Commission Chairman: "I think it makes a tremendous amount of sense to have one that covers the whole county if we have one. So I would be willing to approach the subject with the commissioners at our next meeting. No commissioner at this point has brought it up in terms of sponsoring such an activity but we need to consider it."

MEANWHILE...BACKERS OF A MACON SMOKING ORDINANCE... SAY THEY'RE STEPPING UP THEIR EFFORTS TO GET IT PASSED.
THE BREATHE EASY MACON COALITION... MET TODAY TO DISCUSS PLANS FOR MORE BILLBOARDS... RADIO AND TV ADS... TO SPREAD THEIR MESSAGE.
THEY WANT TO SEE SMOKING BANNED INSIDE MOST PUBLIC PLACES.
CITY COUNCILWOMAN LAUREN BENEDICT SAYS SUPPORTERS REVISED A PROPOSED ORDINANCE... AFTER MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT VETOED IT LAST MONTH.
CHANGES INCLUDE ALLOWING PEOPLE TO SMOKE IN PUBLIC PARKS... EXCEPT WITHIN TWENTY-FIVE FEET OF A PLAYGROUND.
AND ALLOWING SMOKING IN PARKING GARAGES AT LEAST TEN FEET AWAY FROM ENTRANCES AND EXITS.
Greg Dent, President and CEO of Community Health Works: "I think it's important for people to know we're not going anywhere. This is an important issue the dangers of second-hand smoke are real, and we believe it's time for the city of Macon and Bibb County to address those dangers."
SUPPORTERS SAY THEY EXPECT TO FILE THE REVISED ORDINANCE WITH CITY COUNCIL BY FRIDAY.
COUNCIL PRESIDENT PRO-TEM JAMES TIMLEY SAYS HE'LL DECIDE FRIDAY WHETHER TO PUT THE REVISED ORDINANCE ON NEXT WEEK'S COUNCIL AGENDA.

THE MACON GENERAL EMPLOYEE PENSION BOARD INCHED CLOSER TO A DEAL WITH THE CITY.
THE CITY AND BOARD HAVE BEEN NEGOTIATING HOW QUICKLY MACON WILL HAVE TO PAY ON THE NINE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS IT OWES.
BOARD MEMBER LAUREN BENEDICT SAYS... FOR ABOUT ELEVEN MONTHS STARTING IN JULY 2010.... MACON WASN'T PUTTING ENOUGH MONEY INTO THE FUND.
TODAY THE PENSION BOARD VOTED TO OFFER A PAYMENT PLAN THAT WOULD REQUIRE MACON TO PAY ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS UP FRONT.
THE CITY COULD CHOOSE TO FINANCE THE REST OVER FOUR YEARS.
THE CITY INTIALLY OFFERED NO UP FRONT MONEY... AND A FIVE YEAR FINANCING PLAN.
BENEDICT SAYS THE LATEST OFFER IS A GOOD DEAL FOR BOTH SIDES.
"It was really about finding a comprimise that while made sure the that the fund is fully protected, but at the same time doesn't strap the city's budget so much that we can't provide necessary services to our residents."
CITY COUNCIL STILL NEEDS TO VOTE TO ALLOW THE MAYOR TO ACCEPT THE DEAL.
THAT MUST HAPPEN THIS MONTH... OR THE CITY RISKS LOSING STATE FUNDING.
MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT SAYS HE'S CONFIDENT THE CITY WILL AGREE TO THE COMPROMISE.

WARNER ROBINS MAYOR CHUCK SHAHEEN SAYS HE SLASHED 900-THOUSAND DOLLARS FROM HIS 2012 BUDGET.
THE CUTS WOULD BALANCE THE BUDGET... WHICH WAS IN THE RED WHEN HE FIRST PRESENTED IT TWO WEEKS AGO.
ACCORDING TO A DRAFT OF THE REVISIONS... SHAHEEN CUT 10-PERCENT FROM EVERY DEPARTMENT'S TRAVEL AND BUSINESS MEETING EXPENSES.
HE ALSO CUT ABOUT 212-THOUSAND DOLLARS FROM THE POLICE DEPARTMENT.
COUNCIL MEETS FOR A BUDGET WORK SESSION TOMORROW AT CITY HALL... AT 5:15.

A MACON POLICE INVESTIGATOR DISCOVERED A MAN REMOVING COPPER FROM AIR-CONDITIONING UNITS ON THE ROOF OF A DEPARTMENT STORE.
IT HAPPENED TUESDAY NIGHT AT BURLINGTON COAT FACTORY.
A POLICE NEWS RELEASE SAYS THE STORE CLERK ASKED THE INVESTIGATOR TO CHECK OUT THE ROOF AFTER EMPLOYEES HEARD FOOTSTEPS.
THE INVESTIGATOR FOUND 54-YEAR OLD LACHON VICTRUM ON THE ROOF... DRAGGING THE REMOVED PIECES OF COPPER TO THE EDGE OF THE BUILDING.
THE NEWS RELEASE SAYS DAMAGE TO THE STORE'S FOUR AIR-CONDITIONING UNITS EXCEEDS $150,000.
VICTRUM WAS CHARGED WITH PAROLE VIOLATION.... CRIMINAL DAMAGE AND THEFT.

IN CENTRAL GEORGIA... THERE'S A NEW PLACE WHERE YOU CAN GET FREE FUEL FOR SOME CARS...
NOT GAS.... BUT A CHARGING STATION FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES.
BRITTINY BARBER SHOWS YOU HOW (MAH-GEE) MAGE SOLAR HOPES TO USE THE STATION TO HELP CENTRAL GEORGIA DRIVERS.
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IT MAY LOOK LIKE MANY OTHER CARS ON THE ROAD... BUT GRIFFIN LOVETTS CHEVROLET VOLT USES AN ALTERNATIVE FORM OF ENERGY.
nats Griffin Lovett- "Uses about 10 kw hr. and it equals to about 62 cents."
THAT'S THE COST OF CHARGING HIS ELECTRIC CAR AT HOME... AND G-M SAYS THAT WILL TAKE HIM ABOUT 50 MILES....BEFORE HE HAS TO USE GASOLINE. BUT NOW HE CAN BOOST THE BATTERY FOR FREE...
Joe Thomas, CEO Mage industries: "This is a complete charging station. It's a grid-tied charging station which means it use 18 of our panels and uses a racking system that we partnered with."
JOE THOMAS... CEO OF (MAH-GEE) MAGE SOLAR- IN DUBLIN... SAYS CUSTOMERS CAN DRIVE UP... SWIPE A CARD... AND PLUG IN.
Joe Thomas, "This is the first one anywhere around here and hopefully to get everyone's attention and start to understand and ask about what you can do with solar."
THOMAS SAYS THE STATION COST ABOUT 20-THOUSAND TO BUILD... MONEY THE SOLAR-PANEL COMPANY SHELLED OUT TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO BUY GREEN
Joe thomas: "Right now not a lot of use. not a lot of demand. Overtime it will grow but whether it does or does not, here for us as a campus , we just made this service available."
nats of lovett.- went 700 miles and used 0.1 gallons of gas.
FOR DRIVERS LIKE LOVETT... IT'S A CHEAPER AND MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY WAY TO FUEL UP... AND KEEP BURNING THE ROADS.
BRITTINY BARBER 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS>> THE CHARGING STATION'S GRAND OPENING TAKES PLACE TOMORROW AT MAGE SOLAR ON INDUSTRIAL BOULEVARD IN DUBLIN.
THE RIBBON CUTTING STARTS AT 2 P-M..

DROUGHT CONDITIONS ARE LEAVING CENTRAL GEORGIA FARMERS HIGH AND DRY.
THE STATE'S CLIMATOLOGIST SAYS MOST OF CENTRAL GEORGIA IS NOW IN EXTREME DROUGHT... THAT INCLUDES COUNTIES SOUTH OF MONROE... JONES... AND BALDWIN... AND SEVERAL OTHER AREAS.
EDDIE GREEN FARMS IN DOOLY COUNTY SAYS THEY HAVEN'T HAD SIGNIFICANT RAINFALL IN SIXTY DAYS.
HE SAYS THAT MAKES IT COSTLY TO KEEP CROPS GROWING.
GREEN USES A CENTER PIVOT IRRIGATION SYSTEM FOR CROPS ON NEARLY 500 ACRES WHICH SHOOTS OUT 13 HUNDRED GALLONS A MINUTE.
HE SAYS THAT'S RUNNING HIM 10 TO 12 THOUSAND DOLLARS THIS PLANTING SEASON.
HE'S ALSO USING PIPES ON OTHER AREAS OF HIS FARM TO IRRIGATE DRY DIRT BEFORE HE CAN PLANT.
Eddie Green, Unadilla: "We're spending a tremendous amount of money to plant those acres, to irrigate those acres, hopefully get those acres up to a stand. And then having to put anywhere from 3/4 of an inch to an inch of water every 7 to 14 days just to keep them progressing normally."
MEANWHILE... A GROUP THAT REPRESENTS GEORGIA FARMERS WILL PRAY TOMORROW FOR RELIEF FROM THIS SPRING'S TORNADOES, WILDFIRES AND DROUGHT.
THE GEORGIA FARM BUREAU HAS SCHEDULED A PRAYER SERVICE THURSDAY FOR GOOD WEATHER.
IT HAPPENS AT 12-30 PM AT ITS HEADQUARTERS ON BASS ROAD IN NORTH MACON.

TONIGHT'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY...
... JESSICA RIGGS!
CONGRATULATIONS JESSICA... YOU'LL GET A 13WMAZ COFFEE MUG.
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VISIT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ AND CLICK THE "LIKE" BUTTON TO BECOME A FAN.
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WE PICK OUR FAN OF THE DAY RANDOMLY.

IT'S THE FIRST WEDNESDAY OF THE MONTH... AND THAT MEANS IT'S TIME FOR JUNE'S PERSONAL PROFILE.
DEL WARD SAT DOWN WITH SUSAN LINDSLEY... WHO SAYS SHE'S ALWAYS HAD WRITING IN HER BLOOD...
FOR JUNE'S PERSONAL PROFILE.

JUNE 16TH... PEOPLE IN WARNER ROBINS WILL CELEBRATE THE 70TH BIRTHDAY OF ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE 21ST CENTURY PARTNERSHIP... MARY THERESE TEBBE... SAYS THE 16TH... MARKS THE DAY THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE CHOSE TO BUILD AN ARMY AIR DEPOT IN WELLSTON.
THE NAME OF THE CITY WAS LATER CHANGED TO WARNER ROBINS... NAMED AFTER GENERAL AUGUSTINE WARNER ROBINS.
TEBBE SAYS A PARTY WILL BE AT THE MUSEUM OF AVIATION AND HONOR THE PEOPLE WHO WORKED AT ROBINS... FOR THE PAST 70 YEARS.
Mary Therese Tebbe, 21st Century Partnership: (32:00) "Our theme is Peaches to Planes, the greatest partnership, and it's going to recognize how we got here from 70 years ago. There's a lot of history people have forgotten or never learned about."
ROBINS 70TH BIRTHDAY PART IS THURSDAY JUNE 16TH FROM 6 UNTIL 10 P-M AT THE MUSEUM OF AVIATION.
A TICKET COSTS 15 DOLLARS... AND INCLUDES DINNER... DANCING... GAMES.. AND A CONCERT BY THE BAND OF THE AIR FORCE RESERVE.
CALL 478-987-1234 FOR MORE INFORMATION.
AGAIN THAT'S 478-987-1234.

THANKS FOR JOINING US.... FIRST MORNIN COMES YOUR WAY AT 5 A-M.
THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
ON LETTERMAN TONIGHT: ACTOR BILL MURRAY.
HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.


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