Monday, June 20, Eyewitness News at 6

7:58 PM, Jun 20, 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.

MACON POLICE HAVE STARTED A CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION INTO MISSING MONEY FROM THE CITY'S ANIMAL CONTROL DEPARTMENT.
AND A CITY OFFICIAL ALSO TOLD A MACON CITY COUNCIL COMMITTEE TWO PEOPLE ARE NOW ON LEAVE DUE TO THE INVESTIGATION.
ONE OF THEM IS THE DEPARTMENT'S DIRECTOR....JIM JOHNSON.
LAST WEEK, WE TOLD YOU HOW AN AUDIT SAID 18 THOUSAND DOLLARS IS MISSING.
THIS AFTERNOON, A CITY AUDITOR TOLD COUNCIL MEMBERS THAT THE DEPARTMENT HAD LOOSE CONTROLS OVER CASH TRANSACTIONS.
AFTER THAT MEETING... THE MAYOR'S SPOKESMAN CLAY MURPHEY TOLD US THAT JOHNSON...THE DIRECTOR... AND HIS ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT ARE NOW ON PAID LEAVE WHILE POLICE LOOK INTO THE MISSING MONEY.
WE'LL HAVE MORE ON THIS STORY ON EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.

THE DROUGHT THAT'S AFFECTING MUCH OF THE STATE MEANS LESS WATER FLOWING IN THE OCMULGEE RIVER THIS SUMMER THAN NORMAL....BUT THE MACON WATER AUTHORITY SAYS THAT WON'T AFFECT ITS CUSTOMERS.
CANDACE ADORKA HAS BEEN FOLLOWING THIS STORY... SHE'S JOINING US FROM THE RIVERWALK... CANDACE?
I SPOKE WITH BRIAN McCALLUM... THE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF THE GEORGIA WATER SCIENCE CENTER...PART OF THE FEDERAL U-S GEOLOGICAL SURVEY.
HE SAID THERE'S ABOUT 40 PERCENT LESS WATER FLOWING IN THE OCMULGEE THAN USUAL.
BUT McCALLUM SAYS CENTRAL GEORGIANS ARE TAKING MORE WATER FROM THE RIVER.. .FOR EXAMPLE FARMERS HAVE TO USE RIVER WATER TO IRRIGATE.
150 THOUSAND CENTRAL GEORGIANS GET THEIR DRINKING WATER FORM THIS RIVER... BUT MACON'S WATER AUTHORITY SAYS ... THOSE PEOPLE HAVE NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT.
<<
"This is Lucas Lake, our reservior, which wa sbuilt and put into service in 2000."
MARK WYZALEK SAYS THE 5 POINT 4 BILLION GALLON LAKE IS THE MACON WATER AUTHORY'S NOT-SO-SECRET WEAPON FOR COPING WITH THE DROUGHT.
"It's our storage battery that allows up to store the water when we can and use it when we need it."
WYZALEK SAYS THE AUTHORITY ANTICIPATED THIS SUMMER'S DROUGHT AND FILLED THE LAKE TO MAX IN SPRING WHEN RIVER LEVELS WERE HIGH.
"Actually this year, we have more water in the reservoir wheN we're undergoing this drought than we did last year when there was no drought."
IN 2007 WHEN THERE WAS A RECORD DROUGHT... WYZALEK SAYS THE WATER AUTHORITY WAS IN GOOD SHAPE.
"Actually the state at that time gave up special permissions unlike the rest of the state because we had sufficient water in this reservoir."
THE RIVER IS NOW FLOWING AT 540 MILLION GALLONS A DAY.
MACON WATER AUTHORITY SIPHONS A FIFTH OF THAT AT MOST.
WYZALEK SAYS THE RIVER LEVEL WOULD HAVE TO PLUNGE A LOT FURTHER... AND FOR A LOT LONGER... TO AFFECT THEWATER SUPPLY.
"Right now we don't foresee that extreeme situation happening."
>> WYZALEK SAYS YOU STILL HAVE TO COMPLY WITH STATE RESTRICTIONS ON USING WATER.
FOR INSTANCE YOU CAN'T WATER YOUR LAWN OR GARDEN BETWEEN 10 A-M AND 4 P-M.
THANKS CANDACE... YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THOSE WATER RESTRICTIONS BY LOOKING FOR THIS STORY ON OUR WEBSITE 13 WMAZ-DOT-COM.

WITH RIVER LEVELS DROPPING... MANY OF YOU ARE TURNING YOUR ATTENTION TO THE FORECAST IN HOPES OF FINDING A LITTLE RAIN TO HELP WATER LEVEL RISE A LITTLE.
FOR YOUR FORECAST FIRST... 3 DAY FORECAST WE JOIN CHIEF METEOROLOGIST BEN JONES LIVE AT THE OCMULGEE RIVER.
THANKS BEN.. WE'LL TALK WITH YOU AGAIN IN JUST A FEW MINUTES.

TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL QUESTION ASKS... ARE YOU TRYING TO CONSERVE WATER DUE TO THE DROUGHT?
SO FAR 68 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES.
32 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO.
VOTE NOW... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.

TWO LARGE WILDFIRES IN SOUTHEAST GEORGIA ARE A STEP CLOSER TO BEING CONTAINED.
A STATE FORESTRY SPOKESWOMAN SAYS ONE FIRE IN WARE COUNTY AND ANOTHER IN CHARLTON AND BRANTLEY COUNTIES ARE SURROUNDED BY CONTAINMENT LINES.
BUT A SPOKESWOMAN FOR THE GEORGIA EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY SAYS STRONG WINDS COULD PUSH THE FIRES BEYOND THOSE PROTECTIVE BUFFERS.
THE TWO FIRES HAVE BURNED A COMBINED SEVENTY SQUARE MILES... MOSTLY TIMBERLAND.. OUTSIDE THE OKEFENOKEE SWAMP.
BOTH SPREAD QUICKLY LAST WEEK... BEFORE RAIN THIS WEEKEND SLOWED THEM.

MACON POLICE SAY A MAN WAS FOUND DEAD BEHIND A VACANT HOME IN SOUTH MACON THIS MORNING.
BIBB COUNTY CORONER LEON JONES SAYS 49 YEAR OLD ELWOOD SOLOMON OF MACON WAS FOUND DEAD BEHIND A HOME ON DESOTO DRIVE.
THAT'S NOT FAR FROM WHERE HE LIVED ON MORELAND AVENUE.
HE SAYS A MAN WALKING THROUGH THE AREA AROUND 11 THIS MORNING... DISCOVERED SOLOMAN'S BODY WHILE LOOKING FOR HIS DOG.
FAMILY AND FRIENDS SAY THEY LAST SAW SOLOMON SATURDAY NIGHT.
JONES SAYS AN AUTOPSY IS SCHEDULED FOR TOMORROW.
HE SAYS THE DEATH IS SUSPICIOUS BUT THEY ARE NOT YET CALLING IT FOUL PLAY.

A FEDERAL JUDGE IN ATLANTA HEARD ARGUMENTS THIS MORNING FROM CIVIL LIBERTIES GROUPS WHO WANT TO BLOCK GEORGIA'S LAW CRACKING DOWN ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION.
THEY ASKED THE JUDGE TO STOP THE LAW FROM TAKING EFFECT UNTIL A LAWSUIT THEY FILED THIS MONTH IS RESOLVED.
THAT LAWSUIT ASKED THE JUDGE TO FIND THE LAW UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND TO KEEP AUTHORITIES FROM ENFORCING IT.
THE GEORGIA LAW IS SIMILAR TO LAWS ENACTED IN ARIZONA AND UTAH..FEDERAL JUDGES HAVE BLOCKED PARTS OF, OR ALL OF THOSE LAWS.
THE JUDGE SAID TODAY HE NEEDS MORE TIME TO CONSIDER THE ARGUMENTS.

WE WANT TO SHINE A SPOTLIGHT ON THE HEROES IN CENTRAL GEORGIA.
LET US KNOW ABOUT THE HEROES IN YOUR AREA... AND WE COULD FEATURE THEM IN OUR HERO CENTRAL SEGMENT.
GO TO 13WMAZ DOT COM AND CLICK ON "HERO CENTRAL" UNDER THE FEATURES TAB ON THE HOMEPAGE.
THEN... LOOK FOR THE LINK THAT SAYS 'CONTACT 13WMAZ'S HERO CENTRAL'.
IF YOU NEED A HERO... OR WANT TO BE A HERO... JOIN THE HERO ARMY TODAY.

THE SUMMER HAS ARRIVED AND MANY WILL BE FLOCKING TO THE MOVIES TO CATCH SOME BLOCKBUSTERS HITS.
ONE THEATER IS PREPARING FOR CROWDS BY ADDING A SCREEN THAT WILL PROVIDE THE AUDIENCE WITH A MORE REALISTIC EXPERIENCE.
<<

Nats of Usher "That will be number 6 on the left side"

MOVIE GOERS GET THEIR TICKETS AND A BUTTERY SNACK.

Nats of Popcorn

Nats of Women "Make it a medium"

AS THEY STOP BY CONCESSIONS TO GRAB A COLD DRINK.

Nats of Drinks

Nats of Michael and Friend

MANY HAVE BEEN COMING TO AMSTAR 16 ON ZEBULON ROAD FOR YEARS.

Michael Hokanson "It's a good theater, I like it, I've never been disappointed coming here. They got good service, they got good concessions"

Nats of Popcorn

BUT SOON CUTOMERS WILL GET TO EXPERIENCE A NEW WAY OF SEEING MOVIES.

Wesley Clark "The Imax experience is tremendous and it's been around for a few years and we're really excited to bring it to middle georgia"

WESLEY CLARK... MANAGER OF AMSTAR 16 SAYS IMAX GIVES THE AUDIENCE A BETTER QUALITY PICTURE AND SOUND. THE THEATER WILL OPEN THE NEW IMAX SCREEN ON JUNE 28TH WITH A MIDNIGHT SHOWING OF TRANSFORMERS.

Wesley Clark "There are a number of my existing customers that have never seen an Imax film"

INCLUDING FILM LOVER LONNIE GIBSON...

Lonnie Gibson "I've never been to one and never had that experience"

AN EXPERICENCE THAT GIBSON SAYS HE'S EXCITED TO TEST OUT.

Lonnie Gibson "If you can have a more realistic movie experience it something that you'll never forget.

AND HE SAYS WITH THE NEW IMAX THEATER COMING HE WILL BE READY FOR THE SUMMER.

Lonnie Gibson "This is going to be a blockbuster summer and we are going to see a lot of movies"

>> TICKETS TO THE IMAX THEATER WILL COST 5 DOLLARS MORE THAN REGULAR AMSTAR TICKETS.
COMING NEXT TO THE IMAX AFTER TRANSFORMERS.....ON JULY 15TH.....HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS.

WE ASKED OUR FACEBOOK FANS IF THEY WERE ANTICIPATING THE ARRIVAL OF THE NEW IMAX THEATER IN TOWN..
LEEANN REPLIED... "WILL BE NICE TO TAKE MY KIDS!"
STEPHEN WROTE... "I THINK IT WILL BE JUST ANOTHER WAY TO HIKE UP TICKET PRICES....FIRST THE 3D RIP-OFF AND NOW THIS.....POPCORN AND COKE BETTER GO DOWN TO REASONABLE PRICES AS A RESULT.
AND JENNIFER COMMENTED... "LOOKING FORWARD TO IT BECAUSE I HAVE NEVER SEEN A MOVIE IN IMAX!"
LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE NEW THEATER.
VISIT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ AND CLICK THE "LIKE" BUTTON TO BECOME A FAN.
AND DON'T FORGET TO USE THE SUGGEST TO FRIENDS FEATURE AND INVITE YOUR FACEBOOK FRIENDS INTO THE DISCUSSION AS WELL.

SPENDING EXTRA TIME IN THE CLASSROOM HELPS STUDENTS RETAIN KNOWLEDGE... RATHER THAN LOSE IT DURING SUMMER VACATION.
THAT'S JUST PART OF THE GOAL AT BIBB COUNTY'S PRE-K SUMMER SCHOOL AT NORTHWOOD'S ACADEMY.
AS LAUREN DISPIRITO SHOWS YOU... EDUCATORS SAY IN ADDITION TO READING... THEY'RE FINDING OTHER WAYS TO HELP IMPROVE LITERACY AMONG THEIR YOUNGEST STUDENTS.
Nats "happy feet happy feet"

FOR FOUR AND FIVE YEAR OLDS AT BIBB COUNTY'S NORTHWOODS ACADEMY... STOMPING TO A BEAT LOOKS LIKE FUN.

Nats yay (claps)

SO MUCH FUN... THE KIDS CALL IT SUMMER CAMP.

Nats "drums happy feet fantastic"

BUT THESE KIDS ARE NOT AT CAMP... THEY'RE IN SCHOOL... AND EDUCATORS SAY THEY'RE TAKING STEPS TOWARD READING.

Nats "up high, good"

HERE... SOME STUDENTS WHO HAVE COMPLETED GEORGIA'S PRE-K PROGRAM SPEND AN EXTRA SIX WEEKS IN THE CLASSROOM.

Pilar Wilder, Dance Instructor: it gives them an opportunity to connect that right brain and left brain

DANCE INSTRUCTOR PILAR WILDER'S LESSONS TEACH HAND EYE COORDINATION... AND HOW TO FOLLOW DIRECTIONS... SKILLS THAT HELP STUDENTS READ.

Lauren DiSpirito, Eyewitness News: "After last year's program a University of North Carolina institute studied the results, and educators here say they were shocked by what they found, in just six weeks, students' vocabulary improved, they understood more sounds and letters, and they had a better understanding of how to read books."

Lori Smith, Pre-K Specialist: "there was a lot of discussion that six weeks was not long enough for us to see a significant difference in our children and we proved that completely wrong."

PRE-K SPECIALIST LORI SMITH SAYS THE PROGRAM IS FREE FOR PARENTS... AND KEEPS STUDENTS LEARNING DURING SUMMER VACATION.

Nats reading "she wants some attention"

THE SUMMER SCHOOL ALSO TEACHES TEACHERS.

Nats reading wait

Lori Smith, Pre-K Specialist "we're looking at kids that have a six seven minute attention span, so as a teacher you need to have lots of tools in your toolbox
Lori Smith, Pre-K Specialist: "It's given our teachers a variety of resources and things that they can use when they see that they need to reach children in a different way"

EDUCATORS PLAN TO CONTINUE USING ART AND EXERCISE UNTIL THE PROGRAM ENDS NEXT MONTH... TO HELP STUDENTS SPRING INTO KINDERGARTEN THIS YEAR.

Nats 123 (jumps)

LAUREN DISPIRITO
13 WMAZ
EYEWITNESS NEWS
THE PROGAM IS FREE TO PARENTS...AND STUDENTS ARE CHOSEN BASED ON AGE AND ACADEMIC AND FINANCIAL NEED.
THE COST IS ABOUT SIXTY THOUSAND DOLLARS... PAID FOR WITH STATE GRANT FUNDS.

YOU SNAPPED A LOT OF FATHER'S DAY PHOTOS FOR OUR 13WMAZ GALLERIES... HERE'S WHAT SOME OF YOU DID TO CELEBRATE YOUR DAD
THESE GUYS ARE ALL DRESSED UP FOR THE FATHER'S INVOLVEMENT BANQUET AT DOOLEY COUNTY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.
AND THESE SIBLINGS DREW PICTURES OF THEMSELVES TO SEND OVERSEAS TO THIER FATHER WHO IS SERVING IN AFGHANISTAN
SEND US YOUR PHOTOS...LOOK FOR *PHOTO GALLERIES* UNDER FEATURES IN THE MENU BAR ACROSS THE TOP OF OUR HOMEPAGE...

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