Tuesday, July 5, Eyewitness News at 6

11:05 PM, Jul 5, 2011   |    comments
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Greg Winters, Bibb County District Attorney: "I'm frustrated for her family... her family needs to know... the answer."
FIVE DAYS AFTER THE DISCOVERY OF A BODY BELIEVED TO BE THAT OF MISSING MERCER LAW GRADUATE LAUREN GIDDINGS... BIBB COUNTY'S DISTRICT ATTORNEY SAYS THEY HAVE NO SUSPECTS...AND NO ARRESTS... AND DO NOT KNOW WHY SOMEONE MAY HAVE WANTED TO KILL HER.
HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US. I'M FRANK MALLOY..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX. LEAH JOHNSON IS ON MATERNITY LEAVE.

IN AN INTERVIEW THIS AFTERNOON.. 13WMAZ'S RANDALL SAVAGE AND LAUREN DISPIRITO TALKED WITH DISTRICT ATTORNEY GREG WINTERS ABOUT THE PACE OF THE INVESTIGATION INTO MERCER LAW GRAD LAUREN GIDDINGS' APPARENT MURDER.
Greg Winters: "I'd rather move a little slower make sure we do it right then try to move quickly and make a mistake. There are some mistakes you can't correct and that could jeopardize your case in the future... So am frustrated that there isn't an answer today, absolutely, um, I'm frustrated for her family her family needs to know the answer."
WINTERS DECLINED TO COMMENT ON HOW GIDDINGS DIED... AND HE DECLINED TO GIVE DETAILS ON WHERE AUTHORITIES ARE FOCUSING THEIR INVESTIGATION.
WINTERS SAYS HE EXPECTS TO LEARN FROM THE F-B-I LATE TODAY OR TOMORROW IF TESTS CONFIRM WHETHER THE BODY GIDDINGS'.
THAT'S AFTER SENDING THEM D-N-A SAMPLES YESTERDAY... THAT THEY TOOK FROM WHAT THEY BELIEVE IS GIDDINGS BODY.. AND SAMPLES THEY TOOK FROM HER PARENTS.
POLICE ANNOUNCED FRIDAY THEY BELIEVE THE MERCER LAW GRAD WAS KILLED... AFTER FINDING A BODY A FEW FEET FROM HER APARTMENT.
THEY'RE EXPANDING THEIR SEARCH... AND NOW CHECKING THE CITY'S SEWER AND DRAINAGE SYSTEM FOR CLUES.
BUT THEY DID NOT SAY SPECIFICALLY WHAT THEY ARE LOOKING FOR.
WE'LL HAVE MORE ON THE GIDDINGS INVESTIGATION TONIGHT AT ELEVEN.

A FLORIDA JURY TODAY ACQUITTED CASEY ANTHONY OF MURDERING HER TWO-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER CAYLEE.
THE JURY'S VERDICT WAS READ TODAY AFTER MORE THAN TEN HOURS OF DELIBERATIONS.
ANTHONY COULD HAVE RECEIVED A DEATH SENTENCE IF SHE HAD BEEN CONVICTED OF FIRST-DEGREE MURDER.
THE JURY DID FIND HER GUILTY OF LYING TO INVESTIGATORS.
SHE'LL BE SENTENCED ON THURSDAY... AND COULD SPEND UP TO A YEAR IN JAIL FOR EACH COUNT.
AFTER THE VERDICT... THE STATE ATTORNEY SPOKE ABOUT THE CASE.
Lawson Lamar, FL State Atty: "We're disappointed with the verdict today and surprised because we know the facts and we put in absolutely every piece of evidence that existed. Our team did exemplary job. I'm proud of them and I stand by their work. I never, ever criticize a jury. Theirs is the task of deciding what to believe."
CAYLEE DISAPPEARED IN 2008..HER BODY WAS FOUND NEAR HER GRANDPARENTS' HOME SIX MONTHS LATER.

MANY OF YOU ARE COMMENTING ON THE CASEY ANTHONY VERDICT ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE.
ONE PERSON WROTE... "WHAT AN INJUSTICE FOR CAYLEE. NO WORRIES, GOD KNOWS THE TRUTH AND HE WILL PUNISH HER FOR AN ETERNITY!"
SOMEONE ELSE SAID... "TOO OFTEN THE COURT OF PUBLIC OPINION DOES NOT KNOW THE WHOLE STORY. I ADMIT... I FELT SHE WAS GUILTY OF HER CHILD'S DEATH BUT I WAS NOT IN THE COURTROOM... SO I CANNOT FAULT THEM."
A THIRD PERSON COMMENTED... "JUST BECAUSE THEY COULDN'T CONVICT HER DOESN'T MEAN SHE DIDN'T DO IT. IT JUST MEANS THEY COULDN'T PROVE IT BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.
AND A FOURTH PERSON WROTE... "WORDS JUST CANNOT EXPRESS HOW I FEEL RIGHT NOW."
LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK BY VISITING FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ AND LEAVING YOUR COMMENT.

MORE THAN 78 PERCENT OF ATLANTA SCHOOLS EXAMINED BY STATE INVESTIGATORS CHEATED ON STANDARDIZED TESTS.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO INVESTIGATION FINDINGS RELEASED TODAY BY GOVERNOR NATHAN DEAL.
DEAL SAID 44 OF THE 56 SCHOOLS INVESTIGATED ENGAGED IN CHEATING.
INVESTIGATORS ALSO FOUND THAT 38 PRINCIPALS WERE EITHER RESPONSIBLE FOR OR DIRECTLY INVOLVED IN IT.
THE FINDINGS SAID THAT 178 TEACHERS AND PRINCIPALS CHEATED... AND 82 OF THOSE CONFESSED TO THE MISCONDUCT.
"I think the overall conclusion was that testing and results and targets being reached became more important than actual learning on the part of children."
STATE SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT JOHN BARGE AND GEORGIA'S OFFICE OF STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT RELEASED A JOINT STATEMENT ON THE FINDINGS... SAYING ... IN PART...
"IN THE COMING WEEKS WE WILL BE WORKING ON A NUMBER OF KEY ISSUES... INCLUDING STUDENT SUPPORT... ACCOUNTABILITY AND THE FINANCIAL BENEFIT THAT SOME SCHOOLS MAY HAVE RECEIVED AS A RESULT OF CHEATING."
"WHILE THIS STORY HAS DOMINATED THE HEADLINES OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS... IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE EDUCATORS IN GEORGIA ARE ETHICALLY SOUND AND WORK DILIGENTLY WITH THE BEST INTERESTS OF THEIR STUDENTS IN MIND."
TEACHERS NAMED IN THE REPORT WILL HAVE THEIR CASES REFERRED TO THE STATE'S PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS COMMISSION.
DEAL SAID MANY OF THE CASES COULD LEAD TO CRIMINAL PROSECUTION.

WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT QUESTIONS YOU HAVE FOR MACON'S MAYORAL CANDIDATES.
PAUL BRONSON... ROBERT BROWN... C-JACK ELLIS AND MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT WILL MEET HERE IN THE STUDIO FOR A DEBATE ON THURSDAY.
YOU CAN WATCH IT LIVE ON 13WMAZ AND 13WMAZ DOT COM AT 7 P-M.
13WMAZ'S LORRA LYNCH JONES AND RANDALL SAVAGE AND TALK SHOW HOST AND FORMER MACON CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT ANITA PONDER WILL SERVE AS PANELISTS.
YOU CAN SEND US YOUR QUESTIONS BY LOOKING FOR THE LINK IN THE "CHECK IT OUT" BOX AT 13WMAZ DOT COM... OR BY LOOKING FOR THE POSTS ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE.
THAT'S THIS THURSDAY AT 7 P-M... ON 13WMAZ AND 13WMAZ DOT COM.

BIBB COUNTY COMMISSIONERS WANT LAKE TOBESOFKEE BEACH-GOERS TO REMEMBER TO CLEAN UP AFTER THEMSELVES.
THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS VOTED TO PUT UP SIGNS AT THE LAKE'S BEACHES ASKING PEOPLE NOT TO LITTER.
CANDACE ADORKA REPORTS IT ALL STARTED WITH COMMISSIONER JOE ALLEN'S CONCERN ABOUT HIS OWN GRAND-DAUGHTER PICKING UP A CIGARETTE BUTT.
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THERESA TURNER SAYS THIS IS HER FAMILY'S FIRST TIME AT A LAKE TOBESOFKEE BEACH.
"the beaches were beatiful but then once we started getting down and the kids started to play... it was cigartette butts all over the place."
COMMISSIONER JOE ALLEN SAYS THE CIGARETTE BUTTS ARE A PROBLEM...
"This is about people smoking on the beach."
HE PROPOSED AN ORDINANCE TO BAN SMOKING ON THE BEACH... BUT THE OTHER COMMISSIONERS DID NOT JOIN IN SUPPORT.
THEY OPTED FOR NO LITTERING SIGNS INSTEAD.
***NATS***
THERESA TURNER SAYS THAT'S A GOOD MOVE BECAUSE IT'S NOT JUST CIGARETTE BUTTS... THERE'S OTHER DANGEROUS TRASH ON THE BEACH.... AND EVERYONE NEEDS A REMINDER TO CLEAN UP.
"We're gonna just have to be more aware of that ourselves, just with the things the snacks the toys that we bring"
ANGELA HEBENSTREIT... A MOTHER AND ALSO A SMOKER... SAYS SHE AGREES THE CIGARETTE BUTTS ARE A PROBLEM
"we've seen them closer to the water..."
SHE SAYS EVERYONE... INCLUDING SMOKERS... SHOULD TRY TO LEAVE THE BEACHES BETTER THAN THEY FOUND THEM.
"I know its for everybody's benefit so I don't mind stepping away form people and I don't mind cleaning up, it's still amess that you make so I don't mind cleaning up after myself."
COMMISSIONER BERT BIVENS SAYS THE SIGNS WILL BE UP WHILE PARK RANGERS MONITOR THE CIGARETTE BUTT ISSUE AND REPORT BACK TO THE BOARD.
"If they have some suggestions or see that it is a real big problem then we'll have to find a way to deal with it."
TURNER SAYS WHILE THIS WAS A GOOD BEACH TRIP... THE SIGNS MIGHT MAKE THE NEXT ONE EVEN BETTER.
"Will it make a difference? I dont know but I think it will make people stop and think about stuff that they're leaving behind."
CANDACE ADOEKA... 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> SOME OF THE COMMISSIONERS SAY A NEW ORDINANCE WAS NOT NECESSARY BECAUSE THERE IS ALREADY A LITTERING ORDINANCE.
IT MAKES IT A MISDEMEANOR TO LITTER... PUNISHABLE BY A 300 DOLLAR FINE... UP TO 60 DAYS IN JAIL... OR BOTH.
TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... SHOULD SMOKING BE BANNED ON THE BEACH AT LAKE TOBESOFKEE?
SO FAR 53 PERCENT OF YOU SAY IT SHOULD NOT BE BANNED.
47 PERCENT OF YOU SAY IT SHOULD.
VOTE NOW... VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM AND LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE.

FIVE MEMBERS OF THE MACON-BIBB BOARD OF TAX ASSESSORS PLEDGED SIX MORE YEARS OF SERVICE TODAY.
ACCORDING TO THE CONSTITUTION AND LAWS OF GEORGIA
THEY WERE SWORN IN BY A SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE.
CHARIMAN WILLIAM VAUGH... JEAN (HAY-GOOD) HAGOOD... JOHNNY GORDON... GEORGE THOMAS AND GLEN HAYDEN CAME ON BOARD IN 2007 TO FILL UNEXPIRED TERMS.
THIS IS THE START OF THEIR FIRST FULL SIX-YEAR TERM
VAUGHN BEGAN IN FEBRUARY OF 2007 AND IS THE MOST SEASONED MEMBER OF THE BOARD.
HE SAYS HE LOOKS FORWARD TO THE NEXT FEW YEARS.
this board has made a alot of improvements in the tax assessors office. we've adopted new procedures...guidelines and procedures and we've implemetned those guidelines and procedures. And this is really a work in progress.
Chairman of the Macon-Bibb board of tax assessors, William Vaughn
VAUGHN'S NEW TERM ACTUALLY BEGAN TWO YEARS AGO... SO HE ONLY TOOK THE OATH FOR FOUR YEARS.

THE LIGHTS FROM THE FIREWORKS HAVE FADED AWAY... BUT THEY'RE STILL ON THE MIND OF ONE MILLEDGEVILLE BLOGGER.
JACQUELINE HARNEVIOUS TAKES A LOOK IN TONIGHT'S "WHERE YOU LIVE
Good evening. It's Jacqueline in the newsroom. Just wanted to share some Milledgeville news: April Bragg CEO of the MIlledgeville Chamber of Commerce posted that the Milledgeville fireworks show was a huge succes over the weekend. And that comes after a two year haiatus.... for the show. And....if you want to share your own...organization's news, you can email Where You Live at 13WMAZ dot com and I'll get your email address and set up your acCOUNT so that you can post...to your community site......... again it's where you live at 13WAMZ dot com
FOR MORE HEADLINES FROM WHERE YOU LIVE... VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM AND LOOK FOR THE "WHERE YOU LIVE" SECTION ON THE HOMEPAGE.
JUST SELECT YOUR AREA... THEN CLICK "MORE NEWS."

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