<<opening for eyewitness news at six>>
HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US. I'M LEAH JOHNSON...
FRANK MALLOY HAS THE NIGHT OFF.
OUR TOP STORY AT 6...
MACON POLICE CHIEF MIKE BURNS SAYS A WOMAN FOUND DEAD OUTSIDE A MACON APARTMENT TODAY....WAS A HOMICIDE VICTIM.
LAUREN DISPIRITO SPOKE TO THE CHIEF...JUST ABOUT AN HOUR AGO.
SHE JOINS US NOW TO BEGIN OUR TEAM COVERAGE... AND TELL US WHAT HE SAID.
LEAH... I WAS OUT AT THE SCENE ON GEORGIA AVENUE THIS AFTERNOON.
MACON POLICE BLOCKED TRAFFIC BETWEEN SPRING AND COLLEGE STREETS FOR HOURS.
AT FOUR O'CLOCK... LAW ENFORCEMENT HELD A CLOSED MEETING INSIDE MERCER LAW SCHOOL... JUST ACROSS FROM THE APARTMENT WHERE THE WOMAN'S BODY WAS FOUND.
MACON POLICE... BIBB DISTRICT ATTORNEY GREG WINTERS....FBI AGENTS... AND K9 SEARCH TEAM HANDLERS WENT INSIDE.
AFTERWARDS... I SPOKE WITH MACON POLICE CHIEF MIKE BURNS... HERE'S WHAT HE SAID.
Lauren DiSpirito -- Is it considered a homicide investigation right now?
Mike Burns - Yes.
Lauren DiSpirito -- What leads you to consider it that?
Mike Burns -- Well, we found a body.
Lauren DiSpirito - So is it the body of Lauren Giddings who was reported missing from here?
Mike Burns -- We're not sure yet.
Lauren DiSpirito -- How come you're not sure? What has been the problem with identifying?
Mike Burns -- I can't answer that either.
Lauren DiSpirito - So there is no search... is there still an ongoing search for Lauren Giddings then or is the search over?
Mike Burns -- Well, we'll still look for her until we determine for sure if the body is her or not.
Lauren DiSpirito -- Is there an indication right now or not if the body is hers?
Mike Burns -- Well with the location and since it's her apartment, it could be.. but we're just not sure yet.
Lauren DiSpirito - When do you expect to be sure?
Mike Burn s-- We'll know something tomorrow hopefully.
Lauren DiSpirito - So even if the body is not hers or if it is... it's considered a homicide by the nature of hte body right now?
Mike Burns - yes.
Lauren DiSpirito -- and so, foul play?
Mike Burns -- Definitly foul play, yes.
BURNS SAYS THEY HOPE TO HAVE A POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION...SOMETIME TOMORROW.
WE'VE BEEN FOLLOWING THIS STORY ALL DAY...
CANDACE ADORKA ARRIVED ON THE SCENE THIS MORNING...
CANDACE TELL US HOW IT WENT.
WELL LEAH...MACON POLICE ARE ALSO LOOKING FOR A MISSING MERCER LAW GRAD....LAUREN GIDDINGS....BUT THEY'RE NOT SURE YET IF THE TWO CASES ARE CONNECTED.
THIS AFTERNOON.....WE SPOKE TO GIDDINGS NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR AND FELLOW LAW STUDENT....STEPHEN MCDANIEL.
HE SAID HE WAS STILL HOLDING OUT HOPE HIS NEIGHBOR IS NOT THE SAME PERSON FOUND THIS MORNING.
HE SAYS HE JOINED HER FRIENDS AROUND MIDNIGHT LAST NIGHT TO LOOK FOR GIDDINGS... AND THE SEARCH PArTY CALLED POLICE TO HER APARTMENT.
"They went in. We looked around the place, no sign of a struggle, no sign anyone had broken in, just nothing, she was gone. All of her stuff was there, her wallet was there but she was just gone."
WHILE THE GROUP OF FRIENDS CHECKED HER COMPUTER LAST NIGHT....MCDANIEL TOLD US THEY SAW AN EMAIL THAT GIDDINGS SENT ON SATURDAY.
"she said she was afraid in her apartment that she thought someone had tried to break in on thursday night and she was afraid to stay in there...."
CHIEF BURNS CONFIRMED THAT THEY'VE SEEN E-MAIL FROM GIDDINGS....
BUT HE WOULDN'T DESCRIBE WHAT THEY SAY.
THANK YOU CANDACE.
WE'LL CONTINUE FOLLOWING THIS DEVELOPING STORY AND HAVE MORE TONIGHT ON EYEWITNESS NEWS AT ELEVEN AND ON 13WMAZ DOT COM.
ONE CENTRAL GEORGIA CITY RECENTLY PASSED A LAW THAT MAY KEEP SALESMEN FROM KNOCKING ON YOUR DOOR.
BRITTINY BARBER EXPLAINS WHY THE CITY OF PERRY FELT THEY NEEDED TO PASS AN ORDINANCE TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE THERE
<< nats of door closing
FOR 36 YEARS... TOM ROBERTS AND HIS WIFE HAVE LIVED ON PINE NEEDLE DRIVE IN PERRY.... AN AREA POLICE SAY SALESMEN SOMETIMES TARGET....
Tom Roberts: "In the last five or six years maybe only one or two a year would come by. there was one came by about three or four months ago tALKing to us about security systems."
ALTHOUGH ROBERTS SAYS HE WOULDN'T CALL IT A PROBLEM.... HE SUPPORTS THE CITY'S STRICTER REGULATIONS ON DOOR TO DOOR SALES.
Tom Roberts: "I think it's a very good idea for all the things that go on with people wandering around and casing out houses and all that."
Ashley Walker: "It was books, magazines, dictionarIEs things like that."
ACROSS TOWN... ASHLEY WALKER'S DEALT WITH IT TOO.
Ashley Walker: "It's just really strange to have a stranger knock on your door and then you don't want to be rude so you have to go outside and listen."
Lee Gilmour: City Manager: "There was a concern expressed to the mayor and council about door-to-door people coming and many of our citizens weren't sure if they were legitimate businesses or fronts possibly for crime or whatever."
THE ORDINANCE TOOK EFFECT IN MAY...
CITY MANAGER LEE GILMOUR SAYS IT REQUIRES ALL SALESMEN WHO VISIT YOUR HOME TO PASS A CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK... GET A CITY PERMIT AND CARRY AN ID BADGE.
SINCE PERRY ENACTED THE LAW... GILMOUR SAYS AS FAR AS HE KNOW'S... NO ONE HAS APPLIED TO SELL IN THE CITY.
Lee Gilmour: City Manager: "We don't have very many solicitors come through town, but even if there's just one a year the council still wants to provide that protection to our citizens.
GILMOUR SAYS THEY'RE WORKING TO KEEP PEOPLE SAFE.... BY REQUIRING MORE FROM BUSINESSES WHO HIT THE STREETS IN PERRY.
BB 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> THE NEW ORDINANCE DOES NOT AFFECT RELIGIOUS AND CIVIC GROUPS... LIKE GIRL SCOUTS.
RICK HUTTO AND SEVERAL OTHER MACON CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS WANT A SIMILAR LAW PASSED.
A RESOLUTION WAS ON THE AGENDA THIS WEEK... BUT WAS PULLED TO BE REWRITTEN.
HUTTO SAYS HE PLANS TO RESUBMIT IT IN TWO WEEKS.
THE INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION AT McCONNELL-TALBERT STADIUM KICKS OFF TOMORROW NIGHT.
IF YOU PLAN TO TAKE IN THE FESTIVITIES... YOU'LL HAVE TO WATCH OUT FOR SOME ROAD CLOSURES... AND KEEP PARKING DIRECTIONS IN MIND.
AT NOON TOMORROW... THE WARNER ROBINS POLICE DEPARTMENT SAYS THIRD AVENUE WILL BE CLOSED FROM DAVIS DRIVE TO MARTIN LUTHER KING JUNIOR DRIVE.
AT 4 P-M.... DEMON VALLEY DRIVE WILL ALSO CLOSE.
AND AT 5 P-M... MARTIN LUTHER KING JUNIOR BOULEVARD WILL BE CLOSED TO ALL SOUTHBOUND TRAFFIC FROM THIRD AVENUE TO THE HUNTINGTON VILLAGE ENTRANCE.
HEADLINER FOR THE INDEPENDENCE CONCERT... COUNTRY STAR WYNONNA JUDD ARRIVED IN WARNER ROBINS TODAY.
SHE SAYS SHE WANTED TO BE A BIG PART OF THIS YEAR'S TRIBUTE TO THE TROOPS... BECAUSE OF HER LOVE FOR THE MILITARY.
SHE SAYS SHE BROUGHT HER THREE CHILDREN ALONG BUT LEFT BEHIND SOMEONE ELSE VERY IMPORTANT TO HER.
"I think the miltary and what it's taught me is that there's a humility and a committment to something bigger than themselves if that makes sense. So many kids today, it's all about me, it's all about me, and I'm like no, you have to work for it. You have to go up the ranks, hello. My daughter said the other day, you know, I could be a diva. I said, in your dreams. My mom is the queen, when she goes, I will be the queen, and when I go, you'll be the queen, but you're still at the kids table. You don't get to be at the adult table. You have to bring them back to reality, and I think military does that.
Lorra: You said your kids are here with you. Do you wish your mom was here?
Wynonna: No (laughter). I love my mom. I say that just because she would be so prissy, you guys would be paying more attention to her. Everywhere I take her, lets put it this way, she's America's darling. I adore her. She's 65 and full of rhinestones and very sassy. Today really needs to be all about me and the military."
GATES OPEN AT McCONNELL-TALBERT AT
SIX P-M... THE CONCERT STARTS AT EIGHT.
THE CONCERT WILL BE RECORDED... THEN BROADCAST ON THE ARMED FORCES NETWORK JULY 4TH TO MORE THAN A MILLION TROOPS AROUND THE WORLD.
TOMORROW BEN AND LORRA WILL BE ON THE ROAD IN WARNER ROBINS... AS CREWS PUT THE FINISHING TOUCHES ON THE CONCERT.
HEAR FROM THE WARNER ROBINS MAYOR... CHEIF OF THE AIR FORCE RESERVE AND TAKE A LOOK BEHIND THE SCENES WITH THE BAND OF THE AIR FORCE RESERVE.
TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... HOW WILL YOU CELEBRATE THE FOURTH OF JULY?
SO FAR 11 PERCENT OF YOU SAY FIREWORKS.
69 PERCENT SAY YOU'LL BE AT A COOKOUT.
11 PERCENT PLAN TO BE TRAVELING.
AND 9 PERCENT WILL BE AT THE LAKE.
VOTE NOW... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
WHEN THE SUN GOES DOWN SATURDAY... MILLEDGEVILLE PLANS TO SPARK UP THE CELEBRATIONS.
AS AMY AUBERT SHOWS YOU... WITH THE HELP OF ONE COUNCILMAN... THE CITY IS BRINGING BACK an OLD TRADITION.
Nats, flipping page
SINCE COUNCILMAN PHILLIP JOINER TOOK A MILLEDGEVILLE TRADITION UNDER HIS WING... HE SAYS... THIS FOURTH OF JULY... WILL SPARKLE ONCE AGAIN.
Phillip Joiner, Councilman: "It's something that's a part of Americana, it's apple pie, and grillin' out, and fireworks."
JOINER SAYS... THE CITY HASN'T HAD FIREWORKS SINCE 2008... WHEN THE SHOW WAS CUT FOR FINANCIAL REASONS.
Joiner: "If you had Christmas with no Christmas tree for two years, if you had Halloween with no trick-or-treating, if you had Thanksgiving with no turkey, it just wouldn't feel the same. I think for fourth of July, it just hadn't felt the same in Milledgeville."
SO HE PITCHED THE IDEA TO COUNCIL... AND FOUND A HANDFUL OF SPONSORS.
Nats, "don't forget the fireworks are this Saturday at 9:00 at the mall."
ONE OF THOSE SPONSORS... ROC'S CORK SHOPPE OWNER... RAKESH PATEL.
Rakesh Patel, Roc's Cork Shoppe: "A lot of people ask ever year, about this time of year, are we having fireworks? And I've had to keep saying no, but I'm happy to say this year we are having fireworks."
JOINER SAYS MOST OF THE EVENT'S FUNDING...
Nats, money drawer shutting
...COMES FROM THE LOCAL BUSINESSES.
Amy Aubert: "Joiner says the fireworks show will happen out here, in the parking lot behind the MIlledgeville Mall. He says they'll also have things like live music and vendors, and says he expects the crowds to reach in the thousands."
Joiner: "This is something where we can not only celebrate our country, but we can celebrate Milledgeville."
FOR THE CITY... IT'S AN AMERICAN TRADITION... THAT'LL LIGHT UP THE SKY... AGAIN.
AMY AUBERT... 13 WMAZ... EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> THE SHOW WILL START AT DUSK ON SATURDAY AT THE MILLEDGEVILLE MALL.
EARLIER THIS WEEK... THE CITY OF ATHENS ANNOUNCED IT'S CANCELING ITS FIREWORKS SHOW DUE TO BUDGET CUTS.
IF YOU'RE THINKING OF MAKING THE JUMP TO A NEW JOB... OUR WEEKLY JOB MARKET THURSDAY CAREERBUILDER TIP HAS SOME THINGS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER.
THINK ABOUT WHY YOU WANT TO CHANGE JOBS.
IF YOU'RE JUST NOT HAPPY WITH YOUR PAY OR SCHEDULE... TALK TO YOUR BOSS FIRST.
IF YOU COULD BE HAPPY WHERE YOU ARE... MAKE A CASE FOR YOURSELF.
CHART OUT WHERE YOU WANT TO BE... HOW YOU CAN GET THERE... AND HOW YOU'VE CONTRIBUTED TO THE COMPANY.
ALSO... REMEMBER THAT YOU DON'T NEED TO MENTION THAT YOU'LL BE LOOKING FOR ANOTHER JOB IF YOU DON'T GET WHAT YOU'RE ASKING FOR.
FOR MORE TIPS AND SOME LOCAL AVAILABE JOBS... VISIT THE JOB MARKET THURSDAY PAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
YOU'LL FIND THE LINK IN THE "CHECK IT OUT" BOX ON THE HOMEPAGE.
ONE CENTRAL GEORGIA GOLF COURSE IS TEAMING UP WITH THE WARNER ROBINS HOUSING AUTHORITY TO TEACH KIDS LESSONS ON THE LINKS.
THE INTERNATIONAL CITY GOLF COURSE IN WARNER ROBINS HOSTS A CLINIC FOR KIDS EVERY THURSDAY.
THE YOUNG GOLFERS LEARN HOW TO CHIP... PUTT... AND THE FULL SWING.
HEAD GOLF PRO JARRED (RE-NO) RENEAU SAYS HE ENJOYS WATCHING THE KIDS GET IN THE SWING.
Jarred Reneau, Head Golf Professional: "The kids have a blast this is the best thing for the community and for the kids to be able to come out and have something to do anytime they can hit the golf ball they get excited it's something new to them and thats what it's all about."
RENEAU SAYS THE INTERNATIONAL CITY COURSE HAS A NEWLY RENOVATED SNACK BAR... CLUB HOUSE... AND THEY ARE MAKING THEIR GREENS STEEPER.....TO MAKE IT MORE DIFFICULT.