Thursday, June 30, Eyewitness News at 11

10:49 PM, Jun 30, 2011   |    comments
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GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
FRANK MALLOY HAS THE NIGHT OFF..

TONIGHT... THERE ARE MORE NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN THE DEATH OF A WOMAN WHOSE BODY WAS FOUND EARLIER TODAY.
LAUREN DISPIRITO HAS BEEN FOLLOWING THIS STORY ALL DAY...
LAUREN JOINS US NOW WITH THE LATEST.
LAUREN?
MACON POLICE SAY THEY HAVE TWO PEOPLE OF INTEREST IN THE KILLING.
THEY ALSO SAY THEY'VE SEARCHED TONIGHT ALONG THE OCMULGEE RIVER NEAR DOWNTOWN... BUT WON'T SAY WHY.
THEY'RE ALSO CARRYING OUT SEARCH WARRANTS TONIGHT...BUT ALSO WON'T GIVE ANY DETAILS ON THAT.
POLICE HAVE NOT IDENTIFIED THE BODY YET... BUT IT WAS FOUND JUST FEET AWAY FROM THE HOME OF A MISSING MACON WOMAN.
POLICE SAY THEY'RE SEARCHING FOR CLUES IN TWO CASES... BUT AREN'T SURE YET IF THEY'RE CONNECTED.
night search vo
INVESTIGATORS SEARCHED THURSDAY NIGHT IN THE NEIGHBORHOODS SURROUNDING A MISSING MACON WOMAN'S APARTMENT

chief burns: Have they seen her or have they noticed anything unusual the last couple days any strangers in the neighborhood cars that just dont belong

HEARSE VO
THAT MORNING... POLICE DISCOVERED A WOMAN'S BODY IN A WOODED AREA NEXT THE BARRISTER'S HALL APARTMENT BUILDING ON GEORGIA AVENUE.

POLICE SAY THEY'RE NOT SURE YET WHETHER THE BODY IS THAT OF 25 YEAR OLD LAUREN GIDDINGS.. MISSING SINCE SATURDAY.

ACCORDING TO A POLICE REPORT GIDDINGS GRADUATED THIS SPRING FROM MERCER LAW SCHOOL... ACROSS THE STREET FROM HER APARTMENT.

CHIEF BURNS SAID INVESTIGATORS FOUND NO SIGNS OF FOUL PLAY THERE.

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.

WE TOOK THIS VIDEO OF NEIGHBOR STEPHEN MCDANIEL ENTERING HIS APARTMENT THURSDAY AFTERNOON .WITH INVESTIGATORS AND A SEARCH DOG.
HE SAYS HE AND OTHER FRIENDS LOOKED FOR GIDDINGS WEDNESDAY NIGHT... THEN SEARCHED HER APARTMENT BEFORE CALLING POLICE.

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."

MCDANIEL SAYS THEY CHECKED HER COMPUTER... AND HE SAW AN EMAIL THAT GIDDINGS SENT 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-MAILS FROM GIDDINGS....BUT HE WOULDN'T DESCRIBE THEM. HE SAYS THEY HOPE TO IDENTIFY THE BODY FRIDAY.
POLICE CHIEF MIKE BURNS SAYS LAW ENFORCEMENT PLANNED TO MEET WITH SOME MEMBERS OF THE GIDDINGS FAMILY TONIGHT.
LEAH?
BIBB COUNTY CORONER LEON JONES SAYS THE BODY POLICE FOUND IS AT THE G-B-I CRIME LAB IN MACON.
HE SAYS IDENTIFICATION HAS BEEN DELAYED PARTLY BECAUSE OF ITS CONDITION.

ALBANY POLICE ARE LOOKING FOR A MAN SUSPECTED IN THE SHOOTING DEATH OF 20-YEAR-OLD BRUCE MULLEN OF MACON.
THEY SAY MULLEN WAS SHOT JUST AFTER MIDNIGHT IN ALBANY.
NOW... THEY'RE SEARCHING FOR 22-YEAR-OLD JOSHUA JOHNS OF ALBANY.
THE DEPARTMENT SAYS JOHNS HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH MURDER... ARMED ROBBERY AND OTHER CRIMES RELATED TO MULLEN'S DEATH.
ANYONE WITH INFORMATION CAN CALL THE ALBANY POLICE DEPARTMENT AT (229) 431 -3288 THAT NUMBER AGAIN... 229-431-3288.

WITH LESS THAN THREE WEEKS TO GO....THE FOUR MEN RUNNING FOR MAYOR OF MACON MET FACE-TO-FACE AGAIN TONIGHT.
THEY ANSWERED QUESTIONS FROM PANELISTS FOR ABOUT AN HOUR IN A FORUM AT CITY HALL.
ELEANOR LISSITZYN JOINS US WITH MORE.
THE FIRST QUESTION OF THE NIGHT...WAS ON TAXES.
C. JACK ELLIS.... MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT... ROBERT BROWN... AND PAUL BRONSON WERE ASKED WHICH SERVICES THEY'D CUT TO AVOID RAISING TAXES.
Reichert: "If it had to come down to what services you'd cut. You woudln't cut your core services of police fire and sanitation. Instead you'd have to look at things like recreation."
Brown: "Yes you can trim the budget, but at some point you have to decide what your priorities are and how you want to acheive the goals of the city. As for the losing of population, some of you may recall in the mid-1990s I tried to put the city together in a restructured plan."
BRONSON: "I believe that during these economic times to raise the taxes on the people is a very hard pill to swallow for me. So I believe that with parents right now that are struggling to put food to on the table, to raise the taxes would be the wrong thing. I would go about having a team that would go line by line and looking at the spenidng. And let's find out exactly what we're spending money on."
Ellis: "In terms of the city finances we have had an out-migration of population. But it didnt' start in the 1990s. It started in 1870. What we want to do is grow this city so we can have more revenues, as opposed to cutting revenues."
CANDIDATES WERE ALSO ASKED HOW THEY WOULD REDUCE CRIME IN MACON -- WITHOUT MORE STATE AND FEDERAL MONEY... OR NEW LOCAL REVENUE.
Bronson: "I would like to see a united force between the educational system, the religious system, and our community leaders, including our city officials."
Brown: "For the first time in the history of the city of Macon the police have organized a union. I would recognize the union, I would sign a memorandum of understanding with the union," says Brown. "And as a part of that memorandum of understanding it would be an understanding that you would be committed to a certain percentage of reduction in crime."
Ellis:"We should be looking at how do we grow this city. How do we get jobs here? How do we get people out of poverty? How do we have more prosperity for those in our city?" asked Ellis. "If we do those things I think we will see a reduction in crime.
Reichert: "I think we need to support our police department everyway we can. And I'm delighted that we put in a pay scale to help retain the best and brightest. I'm proud that we've invested in new equipment. 89 new police cars in the past three years alone."
THE FOUR WERE ALSO ABOUT THE UPCOMING SPLOST PROPOSAL AND WHAT THEY'D LIKE TO SEE ON IT.
THE MAYOR SAID RECREATION PROJECTS ARE HIS PRIORITY.
BROWN SAID HE WOULD LISTEN TO THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE TO DECIDE.
ELLIS SAYS HE WON'T SUPPORT THE SPLOST AS LONG AS IT'S TIED TO THE NEW SERVICE DELIVERY PLAN BETWEEN THE CITY AND COUNTY.
HE SAYS IT'S A BAD DEAL FOR MACON.
BRONSON SAYS RECREATION IS ALSO HIS TOP CHOICE.
LEAH?
PANELISTS TONIGHT INCLUDED 13WMAZ'S RANDALL SAVAGE...AND LORRA LYNCH JONES.
TO HEAR MORE OF THE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS... LOOK FOR THIS STORY AT OUR HOMEPAGE...13WMAZ.COM.

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.
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 SOUTHBOUND TRAFFIC FROM THIRD AVENUE TO THE HUNTINGTON VILLAGE ENTRANCE.

TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL QUESTION.... HOW WILL YOU CELEBRATE THE FOURTH OF JULY?
SO FAR 13 PERCENT OF YOU SAY WITH FIREWORKS.
68 PERCENT SAY YOU'LL BE AT A COOKOUT.
11 PERCENT PLAN TRAVEL.
AND 8 PERCENT WILL SPEND TIME AT THE LAKE.
VOTE NOW... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.

<<ALRIGHT PEOPLE OF MIDDLE GEORGIA SO JULY FOURTH'S NOT UNTIL MONDAY, WHICH MEANS NO CELEBRATING UNTIL THEN, RIGHT? WRONG! BRING ON THE WEEKEND, CAUSE WE'RE GOIN' RED, WHITE, AND ALL KINDS OF BLUE!

GET YOUR PATRIOTIC PARTY STARTED IN THE CITY THAT'S HOME TO THE GREATEST AIR FORCE BASE IN THE WORLD - WARNER ROBINS! THE TWENTY-ELEVEN INDEPENDENCE DAY CONCERT'S HAPPENIN' FRIDAY AT MCCONNELL-TALBERT STADIUM. NOW, THE BAND OF THE AIR FORCE RESERVE WILL BE BRINGIN' IT TO THE PEOPLE IN FINE AIR FORCE BAND FASHION. BUT THAT AIN'T ALL, FOLKS! THE ONE-AND-ONLY WYNONNA JUDD'S COMIN' TO TOWN! THE COUNTRY DIVA WILL COUNTRY ROCK THE FESTIVITIES AND ROBIN MEADE - FROM MORNING EXPRESS WITH ROBIN MEADE - WILL BE THERE TOO! AND DON'T FORGET THAT ALWAYS IMPRESSIVE FIREWORKS SHOW.

GATES OPEN AT MCCONNELL-TALBERT AT SIX O'CLOCK. IT'S ONE OF THE BIGGEST CELEBRATIONS AROUND, FOLKS, SO YOU DEFINITELY WANT TO TRY AND GET THERE EARLY. WE'LL SEE YOU THERE!

AND...IT'S A FOURTH OF JULY FIRST FRIDAY FRIDAY FEST IN DOWNTOWN MACON!

MUSIC, FUN FOR THE FAM - AND HAVE TO MENTION HERE THAT THEY'LL HAVE AN ACTUALLY WATERSLIDE FOR THE KIDDOS, SO DRESS THE BABIES ACCORDINGLY . THE FUN STARTS AT FIVE...HEAD TO MACON-FRIDAY-FEST FOR MORE.
THE MACON ARTS GALLERY GETS INTO THE FESTIVITIES WITH AN EXHIBIT OPENING...

TANGIBLE AND INTANGIBLE...THE ARTISTIC QUANDRY BEGINS FRIDAY AT FIVE.

NOW LET'S TAKE A JUMP TO THE LEFT CAUSE WHEN IT COMES TO THEATRICAL PRODUCTIONS - WHAT SAYS HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY LIKE THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW? NOTHIN'! THAT'S WHAT!

SERIOUSLY, FOLKS! THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST AWESOME MUSICALS TO EVER GRACE THE STAGE. IT'S RIDICULOUSLY FUNNY! IT'S FUN! AND THESE ACTORS AT THEATRE MACON PUT ON AN AWESOME SHOW!

GET TO THE THEATRE FOR OPENING NIGHT THIS FRIDAY NIGHT. THE CURTAIN OPENS AT EIGHT. SEATS WILL BE GOING FAST FOR THIS ONE, SO MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS NOW AT 746-9485.

OKAY, PEOPLE...TAKE NOTES...I'M ABOUT TO RUN DOWN FOURTH OF JULY HAPPENINGS TAKING PLACE ALL ACROSS CENTRAL GEORGIA THIS WEEKEND.

SATURDAY FROM TEN-THIRTY TO THREE-THIRTY IN JULIETTE, GET YOUR 'OL TIME INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATIONS ON AT JARRELL PLANTATION. THERE'LL BE A NOON READING OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE FOLLOWED BY OLD TIMEY GAMES AND LOTS OF COOL CRAFT DEMONSTRATIONS.

ALSO ON SATURDAY - IT'S THE SIXTH ANNUAL JULY FOURTH CELEBRATION IN DOWNTOWN ALAMO. YOU'VE GOT ARTS AND CRAFTS, FOOD, FUN FOR THE KIDS, AND ENTERTAINMENT ALL DAY LONG! FIREWORKS WILL LIGHT UP THE NIGHT AT DARK FOLLOWED BY A CONCERT FROM DEEPSTEP. THE FUN STARTS AT TWO P-M.

SUNDAY, FORSYTH GETS IN ON THE ACTION! GET DOWN TO THE MONROE COUNTY RECREATION DEPARTMENT AT SEVEN O'CLOCK FOR AN ABUNDANCE OF FOOD AND FUN. THEN STAY TUNED, CAUSE AT NINE-THIRTY, IT'S A THREE-D FIREWORKS DISPLAY! THAT SOUNDS PRETTY AWESOME, NO?

ALRIGHT, WE'RE NOW ALL THE WAY TO THE ACTUAL BIG DAY! THAT GREATEST OF AMERICAN HOLIDAYS - THE FOURTH OF JULY! MONDAY, IT'S A VERITABLE CORNUCOPIA OF PATRIOTIC PLEASANTRIES IN EATONTON. THE LAKE COUNTRY FREEDOM FESTIVAL IS HUGE AND IT LASTS ALL-DAY-LONG! FROM ELEVEN TO ELEVEN GET THE FAMILY OUT FOR...WELL, IT'S ONE GREAT BIG 'OL FESTIVAL, FOLKS!

THERE ARE JUST WAY TOO MANY FESTIVITIES HAPPENING TO EVER LIST THEM ALL HERE ON SCENE THIRTEEN. SO HERE'S WHAT YOU DO - HEAD ONLINE TO THIRTEEN-W-M-A-Z-DOT-COM AND CHECK OUT THE COMMUNITY CALENDAR. IT'S NEW AND IT'S GOT ALL THE GREATEST EVENTS HAPPENING IN YOUR NECK OF THE WOODS...AND BEYOND!

YOU KNOW, BEN FRANKLIN ONCE SAID - WHERE LIBERTY DWELLS, THERE IS MY COUNTRY. AND FOLKS, IT'S TIME TO CELEBRATE THAT LIBERTY AND THAT COUNTRY...THIS WEEKEND, IT'S TIME TO CELEBRATE AMERICA! HAPPY RED, WHITE AND BLUE...THAT'S A WRAP.
>>

AND IF YOU'RE PLANNING TO CELEBRATE THE FOURTH AT THE MOVIES... GET READY FOR ACTION... COMEDY AND TEEN ROMANCE.
FIRST UP... "TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON" HIT THEATERS LAST NIGHT.
THE TRANSFORMERS PLAYED A HIDDEN ROLE IN AMERICA'S SPACE RACE... AND NOW EVENTS FROM EARTH'S PAST ARE THREATENING TO START A PRESENT-DAY WAR.
IT'S RATED P-G 13.
IN "LARRY CROWNE"... THE TITLE CHARACTER PLAYED BY TOM HANKS... REALIZES HE MUST REINVENT HIMSELF AFTER HE'S LAID OFF.
HE ENROLLS IN COMMUNITY COLLEGE AND DEVELOPS A CRUSH ON HIS SPEECH TEACHER... PLAYED BY JULIA ROBERTS.
"LARRY CROWNE" WAS CO-WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY TOM HANKS... AND IS RATED P-G 13.
THREE FRIENDS TAKE A DREAM TRIP TO PARIS IN "MONTE CARLO."
BUT WHEN THE CITY OF LIGHTS DOESN'T LIVE UP TO THEIR EXPECTATIONS... THEY FIND A NEW ADVENTURE.
"MONTE CARLO" STARS SELENA GOMEZ AND IS RATED P-G.
FOR MORE EVENTS AND MOVIE SHOWTIMES... HEAD OVER TO THE SCENE 13 PAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.

TONIGHT'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY... AMY JOYNER!
CONGRATULATIONS AMY... YOU'LL GET A 13WMAZ COFFEE MUG IN YOUR MAILBOX.
NOW... GETTING INTO THE RUNNING FOR FAN OF THE DAY IS AN EASY THREE-STEP PROCESS.
ONE... VISIT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ.
TWO... BECOME A FAN... AND THREE... GET IN ON THE CONVERSATIONS.
WE PICK OUR FAN OF THE DAY RANDOMLY.

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