GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M FRANK MALLOY..
AND I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.
IN TONIGHT'S SPEECH TO THE NATION... PRESIDENT OBAMA SAY'S HE'S READY TO BRING TROOPS HOME.
BUT NOT EVERYONE FAVORS THE FIFTEEN MONTH WITHDRAWAL PLAN..
SUSAN MCGINNIS REPORTS FROM THE WHITE HOUSE.
President Obama told Americans he's making good on a campaign promise to bring troops home.
"Starting next month, we will be able to remove 10,000 of our troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year."
By September 20-12, the full 33-thousand troops associated with the surge will be out of Afghanistan.
The White House says the drawdown has been made possible by successes on the ground there - highlighted by the killing of Osama bin Laden.
"We have put al-Qaeda on a path to defeat and we will not relent until the job is done."
President Obama also stressed the need for the U-S to re-prioritize.
"America, it is time to focus on nation building here at home."
((STANDUP BRIDGE)) Susan McGinnis, CBS News, The White House (:43-:54)
Bringing home 33-thousand troops by next year means reducing the cost of the war. The pricetag would drop from its current 113 billion dollars a year.... to around 80 billion dollars.
It would also relieve some of the strain on troops. But this is a faster drawdown than some lawmakers had wanted.
((sot)) Sen. John McCain/(R ) Arizona (1:01-1:10)
"Well over 1,000 young Americans have already given their lives and I would hate to see us take an unnecessary risk by withdrawing too early."
For President's Obama's liberal base --- it's just not soon enough.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi released a statement, saying:
"It has been the hope of many in Congress and across the country that the full drawdown of U.S. forces would happen sooner than the President laid out - and we will continue to press for a better outcome."
The President's ultimate goal is to hand over security to Afghan forces by 20-14.
>> U-S OFFICIALS... ALLIES AND COALITION LEADERS WILL DISCUSS THE NEXT PHASE OF THE TRANSITION AT A NATO SUMMIT SCHEDULED FOR NEXT MAY IN CHICGAO..
TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL QUESTION ASKS... DO YOU AGREE WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA'S DECISION TO BRING TROOPS BACK FROM AFGHANISTAN?
SO FAR 81 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES.
AND 19 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO.
VOTE RIGHT NOW - LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM..
RECORDS SHOW MACON MAYORAL CANDIDATE ROBERT BROWN IS BEHIND ON HIS TAXES AND GARBAGE FEES.
ELEANOR LISSITZYN EXPLAINS WHY BROWN SAYS HE WON'T PAY.
BIBB COUNTY RECORDS SHOW MACON MAYORAL CANDIDATE ROBERT BROWN OWES MORE THAN FOURTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS IN PROPERTY TAXES AND GARBAGE COLLECTON FEES.
THESE DOCUMENTS SHOW BROWN OWES THE MONEY FOR THIS PROPERTY... 218 FOREST AVENUE IN PLEASENT HILL.
FELLOW MAYORAL CANDIDATE C. JACK ELLIS WOULDN'T COMMENT ON BROWN'S CASE SPECIFICALLY... BUT HE SAYS POLITICIANS DON'T PAY TAXES.... IT DEMONSTRATES POOR LEADERSHIP.
Candidate C. Jack Ellis: "We have a responsibility to those that we would turn to and ask for their vote to adhere to the same standards as we would have them to adhere to.
Stand up: We met up with Brown Wednesady afternoon to get an explaination at another piece of property he owns in downtown Macon on New Street. That's his campaign headquarters.
He told us that a woman named Brenda Bradley deeded him the property.
Candidate Robert Brown: "And she is responsible for the taxes, the maintenance, garbage fees and anything else related to the property.
Eleanor Lissitzyn: "What's your relationship with this woman?
Brown: "It's very personal and none of your business."
BROWN SAYS BRADLEY LIVES AT THE FOREST AVENUE HOUSE... WE KNOCKED ON MS BRADLEY'S DOOR TO TRY TO GET HER SIDE...
BUT NOBODY ANSWERED .
BROWN WOULDN'T COMMENT ON WHY BRADLEY GAVE HIM THE HOUSE
Candidate Robert Brown: "I don't mind talking to you about anything on the public record. But I'm not going to talk to you about anything about a personal realtionship."
Eleanor Lissitzyn: "But as a matter of public record you own this house and you owe the taxes."
Candidate Robert Brown: "I gave you my answer."
HE SAYS IT'S NOT HIS PROBLEM.
"I'm not going to pay the taxes."
AND HE SAYS IF BRADLEY DOESN'T... THE HOUSE CAN ENTER FORECLOSURE.
STD A WOMAN WHO IDENTIFIED HERSELF AS BRENDA BRADLEY CALLED US TONIGHT AND SAYS BROWN'S STORY IS TRUE.
SHE SAYS SHE DEEDED HIM THE HOUSE BETWEEN 2002 AND 2004 BUT WOULDN'T SAY WHY.
SHE SAYS SHE'S BEEN A FAMILY FRIEND AND SUPPORTER OF BROWN FOR YEARS.
BIBB COUNTY TAX COMMISSIONER TOMMY TEDDERS SAYS IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT PERSONAL ARRANGMENTS PROPERTY OWNERS ENTER INTO... THE PERSON WHO OWNS THE HOUSE IS STILL RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYING THE TAXES.
BIBB COUNTY SCHOOLS IMPROVED IN 24 OF 30 SUBJECT AREAS ACCORDING TO DISTRICT-LEVEL C-R-C-T SCORES RELEASED TODAY BY THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION..
THE DISTRICT SAW THE BIGGEST INCREASE IN 4TH GRADERS MEETING STANDARDS ON MATH AND SOCIAL STUDIES SCORES.
IN MATH... THAT NUMBER INCREASED BY 10 POINT 7 PERCENTAGE POINTS.
IN SOCIAL STUDIES... IT INCREASED BY 12 POINT 4 PERCENTAGE POINTS.
IN HOUSTON COUNTY... THE SYSTEM SAW IMPROVEMENT IN 12 AREAS...
THE DISTRICT SAW THE BIGGEST INCREASE IN SIXTH GRADE SOCIAL STUDIES SCORES... WITH A JUMP OF 8 POINT 2 PERCENTAGE POINTS.
CRAWFORD COUNTY EIGHTH GRADERS HAD THE SECOND HIGHEST RATE OF STUDENTS MEETING OR EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS ON THE MATH PORTION OF THE TEST... WITH 95 POINT SEVEN PERCENT.
THE SEARCH CONTINUES FOR A WOMAN WHO ROBBED A MACON BANK THIS AFTERNOON.
THE ROBBERY WAS REPORTED AROUND NOON AT THE SUNTRUST BANK ON VINEVILLE AVENUE.
A MACON POLICE NEWS RELEASE SAYS THE WOMAN GAVE A TELLER A NOTE ASKING FOR MONEY BUT DID NOT SHOW A WEAPON.
SHE LEFT IN A RED CAR WITH A BLACK TOP... DRIVEN BY A MAN.
TAKE A LOOK AT THESE PICTURES.
POLICE SAY THE WOMAN WAS WEARING A BLACK TANK-TOP DRESS WITH A THICK YELLOW BAND AND LARGE SUNGLASSES ON HER HEAD.
THEY SAY SHE HAD LONG HAIR OR A LONG WIG AND CARRIED A HEADBAND.
ANYONE WITH INFORMATION ON THE CASE CAN CALL MACON REGIONAL CRIMESTOPPERS AT 1-877-68-CRIME.
AGAIN.. THAT'S 1-877-68-CRIME
THE MACON METRO AREA RANKS 14TH IN THE COUNTRY FOR CAR THEFTS.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL INSURANCE CRIME BUREAU.
DESPITE THAT RANKING - MACON POLICE SAY CAR THEFTS IN THE CITY HAVE FALLEN OVER THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS.
POLICE SAY THAT'S BECAUSE MORE PEOPLE KNOW HOW TO PREVENT THEFTS.
SHANE SELF SAYS HE CHANGED HIS HABITS AFTER HIS TRUCK WAS STOLEN IN 2008.
Shane Self, Perry "you don't have anything visible in the vehicle. Anything of value you either cover it up or take it out and it just makes you think twice about about leaving anything in there and about where you go where you're going to park."
POLICE SAY THE BEST WAYS TO PREVENT AUTO THEFT ARE TO NEVER LEAVE YOUR CAR RUNNING... ALWAYS LOCK THE DOORS... AND INVEST IN AN ALARM SYSTEM OR STEERING WHEEL CLUB.
HAVE YOU EVER LOST SOMETHING THAT JUST CAN'T BE REPLACED?
WELL OUR NEXT STORY IS ABOUT A CLASS RING... ... LOST IN THE DIRT... IN DUBLIN...
THE RING TURNED UP ABOUT FIFTY YEARS AFTER IT WAS LOST..
13-YEAR-OLD KELVIN FOSKEY JR. WAS SHOOTING HOOPS IN THE BACKYARD... WHEN HE SAYS HE SAW SOMETHING SHINY STICKING OUT OF THE DIRT.
AFTER CLEANING THE RING... FOSKEY AND HIS PARENTS FOUND THE OWNER'S INTITIALS ENGRAVED ON THE INSIDE... SPARKING A 3 WEEK SEARCH... TO RETURN THE RING.
FOSKEY FOUND THE RING'S OWNER...ROBERT ANDERSON... BY MATCHING HIS INITIALS TO A NAME IN THE 19-61 DUBLIN HIGH SCHOOL YEARBOOK.
JOAN ANDERSON... ROBERT ANDERSON'S WIDOW... SAYS THEY DAY SHE MET HER HUSBAND... HE WAS LOOKING FOR THE RING.
Joan Anderson, Canton: "So happy to get it back because he had looked for that ring for two years. He knew that he lost it that first day but he said the day wasn't all bad because he did meet me. That was always a sweet part of it to me."
Kelvin Foskey, Sr., East Dublin: "When we cleaned it up, we could see that it had 1960 on it. So we wanted to find the rightful owner of it. We try to do unto others as we'd have them do unto us."
ANDERSON SAYS THE FOSKEYS PRESENTED HER THE RING AT A CITY COUNCIL MEETING IN DUBLIN EARLIER THIS MONTH.
THE OCMULGEE NATIONAL MONUMENT IS CELEBRATING ITS 75TH ANNIVERSARY.
THE PARK IS LOCATED IN MACON AND VISITORS TRAVEL FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD TO EXPERIENCE ITS HISTORY.
THE VISITOR CENTER MUSEUM OFFERS A GLIMPSE INTO THE LIVES OF THE NATIVE AMERICANS WHO LIVED ON THE GROUNDS... THEIR HUNTING TOOLS... CLOTHING... JEWELRY AND OTHER ARTIFACTS.
HIKING TRAILS AND INDIAN MOUNDS ARE ALSO A HOT SPOT.
PARK SUPERINTENDENT JIM DAVID SAYS THEY'LL BE HOSTING FREE WORKSHOPS FOR CHILDREN EVERY WEDNESDAY IN JULY.
Jim David, Ocmulgee National Monument Superintendent: "Play some indian games, they paint necklaces, they have a chance to make pottery like the native people did. So it gives those kids a chance to get involved in a wide range of activities and learn about the native people."
SPACE FOR THE WORKSHOPS ARE LIMITED... IF YOU WANT TO RESERVE A SPOT FOR YOUR CHILD CALL THE OCUMULGEE NATIONAL MONUMENT AT 478 752-8257 EXTENSION 219
THE OPERATOR OF WARNER ROBINS ONLY HOMELESS SHELTER SAYS HE NEEDS TO EXPAND.
JOHNNY THOMAS SAYS THE ECONOMY IS CREATING A GREATER DEMAND FOR HIS SERVICES... AND AT THE SAME... HE'S RECIEVING FEWER DONATIONS.
TO REPAIR THE PROBLEM... THOMAS IS POUNDING AWAY AT TWO-FOLD SOLUTION.
HE'S ADDING A THIRD BUILDING TO THE COMMUNITY OUTREACH SERVICE CENTER ON DUKE AVENUE.
THIS ONE WILL STORE DONATED ITEMS... WHICH THOMAS PLANS SELL TO RAISE MONEY FOR THE SHELTER.
TO PAY FOR THE COST OF THE BUILDING... HE'S PLANNING A BAR-B-Q FUNDRAISER FOR THIS FRIDAY. THE FUNDRAISER FOR THE COMMUNITY OUTREACH SERVICE CENTER IS THIS FRIDAY AT 312 DUKE AVENUE IN WARNER ROBINS.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL 478-922-3195
AGAIN THAT'S 478-922-3195.
TONIGHT'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY...
... DIANA BURNHAM JOHNSON! CONGRATULATIONS DIANA... 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 PICK OUR FAN OF THE DAY RANDOMLY.
ONE TWEETING TWIGGS COUNTY SCHOOLTEACHER GOT PICKED TO WATCH THE U-S MAKE HISTORY.
NEXT MONTH... PATRICIA HENDERSON CLEVELAND PLANS TO BE THERE.. AS THE U.S LAUNCHES ITS LAST SHUTTLE INTO OUTER SPACE.
SHE ENTERED NASA'S TWEET UP CONTEST EARLIER THIS MONTH.
NOW, SHE'S ONE OF 150 PEOPLE SELECTED TO VISIT THE KENNEDY SPACE CENTER IN FLORIDA.
CLEVELAND HAS THE CHANCE TO MEET ASTRONAUTS... AND WITNESS THE LAUNCH FROM JUST 3 MILES AWAY... THAT'S CLOSER THAN THE GENERAL PUBLIC.
SHE HOPES TO SHARE WHAT SHE LEARNS NOT ONLY WITH HER STUDENTS... BUT ALSO WITH GENERATIONS TO COME.. WHO MAY NEVER SEE AN AMERICAN SHUTTLE TAKE OFF.
Patricia Henderson Cleveland, Twiggs County: "I hope my little part of getting to go and share it with my future students, I hope that it makes them realize what a big part of the American way of life the shuttle program has been."
CLEVELAND WAS CHOSEN FROM MORE THAN 5 THOUSAND APPLICANTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.
THE SHUTTLE ATLANTIS IS SET TO TAKE OFF JULY EIGHTH AT 11-26 A-M.