Thursday, July 7, Eyewitness News at 6

8:11 PM, Jul 7, 2011   |    comments
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OUR TOP STORY TONIGHT... LAUREN GIDDINGS FAMILY SAYS THEY'VE BEEN LIVING AN ONGOING NIGHTMARE.
THEY ENTERED HER APARTMENT TODAY... ONE WEEK AFTER HER DISMEMBERED BODY WAS FOUND JUST FEET AWAY.
FAMILY MEMBERS SAY POLICE CLEARED THEM TO GO INSIDE ... AND REMOVE LAUREN'S BELONGINGS.
THEY ARRIVED AROUND 2 TODAY... AND SPENT MUCH OF THE AFTERNOON AT THE GEORGIA AVENUE APARTMENT COMPLEX.
MACON POLICE SAY THE MERCER LAW STUDENT WAS MURDERED... AND THEY SO FAR HAVE NO SUSPECTS.
LAUREN DISPIRITO JOINS US NOW... SHE'S BEEN FOLLOWING THE INVESTIGATION.... AND SPOKE WITH LAUREN GIDDINGS' FATHER.
LAUREN?
I SPOKE WITH BILL GIDDINGS... OUTSIDE OF LAUREN'S APARTMENT... AS FAMILY WRAPPED UP AN AFTERNOON SPENT PACKING UP SOME OF HER BELONGINGS.
BILL GIDDINGS SAYS THE FAMILY HAS NO DEFINITE ANSWERS RIGHT NOW ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TO THEIR DAUGHTER.
HE SAID IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE HER DEATH AS A RANDOM KILLING... BUT THERE IS ALSO NO HARD EVIDENCE THAT IT WAS PLANNED.
HE SAID POLICE TOLD HIM THEYRE LEANING TOWARD LAUREN'S APARTMENT AS THE MURDER SCENE...ALTHOUGH THEY'RE STILL NOT SURE.
BUT HE SAID THERE ARE NO SIGNS OF STRUGGLE.
HE SAID POLICE ARE HAVING TROUBLE PINNING DOWN WHO KILLED HIS DAUGHTER.
BUT BASED ON WHAT POLICE SAY.. HE SAYS THE FAMILY EXPECTS TO KNOW MORE IN THE NEXT TWO TO THREE DAYS.
HE SAYS HE AND FAMILY MEMBERS FIRST BEGAN TO WORRY ABOUT LAUREN'S SAFETY WHEN SHE DIDN'T RETURN HIS PHONE CALL LAST TUESDAY.
GIDDINGS SAID HIS DAUGHTER SPENT SATURDAY... JUNE 25TH AT A POOL... AND LATER WAS WITH FRIENDS.
THAT'S THE LAST NIGHT SHE WAS REPORTED LAST SEEN.
HE SAYS LAUREN HAD BEEN USING HER PHONE AND SENDING EMAILS ... UNTIL ABOUT 10-30 THAT NIGHT.
BILL GIDDINGS THANKED MACON POLICE AND INVESTIGATORS FOR THEIR HARD WORK.
HE SAID HE HOPES THEY ARE DOING EVERYTHING THEY CAN RIGHT NOW AND HAS NO REASON TO DOUBT THEM.
HE SAYS THE GIDDINGS HAVE GOTTEN A LOT OF SUPPORT FROM LAUREN'S FAMILY AND FRIENDS BOTH IN GEORGIA... AND MARYLAND.. HER HOME STATE. WITHOUT THAT... HE DOESN'T KNOW HOW THEY WOULD HAVE GOTTEN THROUGH.
HE SAYS THEY'VE BEEN LIVING A NIGHTMARE... AND HOPE TO GET MORE ANSWERS SOON.
THANK YOU LAUREN... WE'LL CONTINUE TO FOLLOW THIS DEVELOPING STORY.

TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... ARE YOU CONFIDENT INVESTIGATORS WILL SOLVE THE LAUREN GIDDINGS CASE?
SO FAR 53 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES... YOU ARE.
47 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO.
LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.

IN LESS THAN AN HOUR... MACON'S MAYORAL CANDIDATES WILL MEET IN OUR STUDIO FOR A DEBATE... AND WE'RE FINISHING UP THE FINAL PREPARATIONS.
NOW... THAT INCLUDES REVIEWING QUESTIONS SENT IN BY OUR VIEWERS AND SOME OF OUR OWN... DISCUSSING THE FORMAT OF THE DEBATE... AND MAKING SURE EVERYONE IS ON THE SAME PAGE.
THE STUDIO HAS TRANSFORMED INTO DEBATE CENTRAL... AND IT'S READY FOR THE CANDIDATES TO ARRIVE.
PAUL BRONSON... ROBERT BROWN... C-JACK ELLIS AND MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT WILL BE A PART OF THE DISCUSSION TONIGHT...
AND I'LL SERVE ON THE PANEL WITH OUR RANDALL SAVAGE AND FORMER MACON CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT ANITA PONDER...
YOU CAN WATCH IT LIVE ON 13-W-M-A-Z AND ON 13-W-M-A-Z-DOT-COM...AT 7PM.

ATLANTA'S INTERIM SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT SAYS HE'S MAKING SOME CHANGES AFTER A STATE PROBE REVEALED WIDESPREAD CHEATING IN THE DISTRICT.
ERROL DAVIS SAYS THE SYSTEM WILL AUTOMATICALLY INVESTIGATE ANY APPARENTLY SUSPICIOUS TEST SCORES... AND REQUIRE ANNUAL ETHICS TRAINING FOR ALL EMPLOYEES.
DAVIS PLANS TO MOVE THE OFFICE THAT RECEIVES ETHICS COMPLAINTS INTO THE INTERNAL AUDIT DIVISION... AND REVAMP IT.
ACCORDING TO STATE INVESTIGATORS... THE SYSTEM DIDN'T LOOK INTO COMPLAINTS WELL ENOUGH... AND TRIED TO COVER UP THE EXTENT OF CHEATING ALLEGATIONS.
EARLIER THIS WEEK... DAVIS SAID NONE OF THE EDUCATORS INVOLVED IN THE SCANDAL WILL WORK WITH ATLANTA STUDENTS AGAIN.
U-S SECRETARY OF EDUCATION ARNE DUNCAN CALLED THE CHEATING SCANDAL "UNFORTUNATE"... AND SAID IT HIGHLIGHTS THE NEED FOR TRANSPARENCY IN EDUCATION.

A WARNER ROBINS MAN IS IN JAIL AFTER POLICE SAY HE ROBBED TWO RESTAURANTS WITHIN HALF AN HOUR LAST MONTH.
WARNER ROBINS POLICE SPOKESWOMAN TABITHA PUGH SAYS 26-YEAR-OLD RANDALL MARQUES BYRD WAS ARRESTED EARLY THIS AFTERNOON.
HE'S ACCUSED OF ROBBING A KRYSTALS ON WATSON BOULEVARD AND A HARDEES ON NORTH DAVIS DRIVE LAST WEDNESDAY.
PUGH SAYS THE ROBBER CAME INTO BOTH RESTAURANTS WITH A GUN AND DEMANDED CASH.
THE CHARGES AGAINST BYRD INCLUDE TWO COUNTS OF ARMED ROBBERY... AND POSSESSION OF A FIREARM BY A CONVICTED FELON.

PEOPLE ACROSS THE COUNTRY CAN TAKE A LOOK AT MACON POLICE'S DOWNTOWN BIKE PATROL OFFICE.
THE COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING SERVICE... OR COPS... FEATURED THE OFFICE IN ITS NEWSLETTER.
COPS IS PART OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.
AND AS CANDACE ADORKA FOUND... THE GOAL WAS TO MAKE THE OFFICE AND THE PATROLMEN PART OF THE COMMUNITY.
<<
JAQUINNIA ROBINSON SAYS SHE LIVES TWO BLOCKS FROM THIS STORE-FRONT... BUT SHE'S STILL NOT QUITE SURE WHAT IT IS.
"It kinda made me wonder, is this a precinct or is it an art gallery that the precinct maybe sponsors or somethign like that."
IT'S MACON'S BIKE PATROL OFFICE. IT USED TO BE ON MLK BOULEVARD... BUT LAST NOVEMBER... IT MOVED TO THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN. AND NOW IT FEATURES LOCAL ARTWORK FROM THE MACON ART ALLIANCE.
"That's my favorite piEce right there."
SARGEANT WILLIE BROWN SAYS THE LOCATION MAKES THE BIKE PATROL MORE EFFICIENT.
"Unless we were constantly riding, we didn't know what was going on in this area."
ANTHONY CASON... ONE OF THE FOUR PATROLMEN... SAYS THEY'VE BUILT SOLID RELATIONSHIPS WITH PEOPLE DOWNTOWN.
"A lot of the poeple that are acutally over in the third street park right now, I know most of them by first and last name"
AND CASON SAYS THAT MAKES HIS JOB A LOT EASIER.
"In a lot of situations, they won't even call dispatch, they'll walk up to our door or flag us down on the road. Some of them will even call us on our personal cell phones."
POLICE SPOKESWOMAN JAMIE GAUDET SAYS THOSE PARTNERSHIPS ARE WHY THE PATROL WAS RECOGNIZED IN COPS... A DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE PUBLICATION.
"Cops is a big deal in the lawenforcement community so to get that recognition is a big deal and we're really proud of it,"
ROBINSON SAYS ART GALLERY OR NOT... SHE'S GLAD THE OFFICE IS NO LONGER ON THE EDGE OF DOWNTOWN.
"well if something were to happen at least they're closer to me."
CANDACE ADORKA 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> GAUDET SAYS THE BIKE PATROL OFFICE WILL GET VOLUNTEER LOCAL AMBASSADORS TO ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT TO SEE AND DO AROUND TOWN.
THE MACON-BIBB CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU WILL TRAIN THOSE VOLUNTEERS..

IF YOU'RE IN THE MOOD FOR A LAUGH THIS WEEKEND... DUBLIN MIGHT HAVE THE TICKET FOR YOU.
THAT'S JUST ONE OF THE STORIES YOU'LL FIND ON THE DUBLIN PAGE OF OUR "WHERE YOU LIVE" SECTION AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
THIS SATURDAY... YOU CAN CATCH TWO COMEDIANS AT THEATRE DUBLIN.
SAINT VICK AND MARK HENDERSON WILL START THE SHOW AT 6 P-M.
YOU CAN PICK UP TICKETS IN ADVANCE FOR 12-50... OR BUY THEM FOR A SLIGHTLY HIGHER PRICE AT THE DOOR.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON WHERE TO GRAB YOURS... CHECK OUT THIS STORY ON THE DUBLIN SITE IN THE "WHERE YOU LIVE" SECTION.
AND TO POST NEWS... EVENTS AND PHOTOS FROM WHERE YOU LIVE... EMAIL WHERE YOU LIVE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.

THE START OF A NEW SCHOOL YEAR IS LESS THAN A MONTH AWAY FOR SOME CENTRAL GEORGIA STUDENTS..
THE WARNER ROBINS HOUSING AUTHORITY IS GETTING STUDENTS READY FOR THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL BY GIVING AWAY SCHOOL SUPPLIES.
<<Nats of Keya Playing With Kids
KEYA LESTER TAKES TIME OUT TO PLAY BALL WITH HER CHILDREN....
Nats of pLAYING
10 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER ZORIEA... AND ONE YEAR OLD JAKE.
Nats of Baby
LESTER SAYS ALTHOUGH SUMMER HAS BEEN FUN... SHE'S EXCITED ABOUT THEM STARTING SCHOOL.
Keya Lester "I'm ready for them to go back"
LESTER'S YOUNGEST WILL BE STARTING PRE-SCHOOL AND ZORIERA WILL START FIFTH GRADE.
WITH THE START JUST AROUND THE CORNER... SHE'S THINKING ABOUT WHAT THEY NEED.
Keya Lester "Pens, Pencils, Markers"
SHE SAYS THE COST OF SUPPLIES CAN REALLY ADD UP.
Nats of Sharon "Composition tablet, Paper"
BUT THANKS TO THE WARNER ROBINS HOUSINGS AUTHORITY... SHE'LL GET SOME FOR FREE.
THEY PLAN THEIR 2ND ANNUAL BACK TO SCHOOL BASH... FOR THE MORNING OF JULY 15TH AT MCCONNELL TALBERT STADIUM.
Sharon Rogers "We're given out over 1,200 bookbags and we also will be given free haircuts. We will have finger printing and also refreshments will be given out"
SHARON ROGERS... PROGRAM COORDINATOR WITH WARNER ROBINS HOUSING AUTHORITY SAYS THE EVENT WILL HELP PARENTS STRUGGLING THROUGH TOUGH TIMES.
Sharon Rogers "With the economy being the way it is we have quite a few people that can not afford to purchase bookbags for their kids, and we are making sure that we have the provision to give to our families in our communities and also to surrounding counties"
Nats of Playing
LESTER SAYS WITH BOTH KIDS STARTING SCHOOL... SHE NEEDS ALL THE HELP SHE CAN GET.
Keya Lester "It's a good assured feeling knowing that when I go to bed if my money is tight that God has put it on somebody to help us out therefore you know I don't have to stress out"
>> THE BACK TO SCHOOL BASH WILL BE HELD AT McCONNELL-TALBERT STADIUM ON DAVIS DRIVE IN WARNER ROBINS ON JULY 15TH FROM 9 AM TO NOON.

DON'T FORGET... IN A LITTLE MORE THAN HALF AN HOUR... YOU CAN TUNE IN TO 13WMAZ AND 13WMAZ DOT COM TO WATCH MACON'S MAYORAL CANDIDATES DEBATE LIVE HERE IN THE STUDIO.
YOU CAN TUNE IN... LOG ON... OR KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR TWITTER FEED TO KEEP UP WITH WHAT THE CANDIDATES ARE SAYING.

WHILE YOU'RE SCOURING THE EMPLOYMENT ADS FOR A JOB... YOU NEED TO KNOW HOW TO TRANSLATE "EMPLOYER SPEAK" INTO A PLAIN LIST OF EXPECTATIONS.
IN THIS WEEK'S JOB MARKET THURSDAY CAREERBUILDER TIPS... WE'RE GOING FROM AD PHRASES TO ENGLISH.
FOR EXAMPLE... MOST ADS HAVE SOME KIND OF EXPERIENCE EXPECTATION.
MANY OF THEM FEATURE THE PHRASE "EXPERIENCE REQUIRED... EXPERIENCE PREFERRED... OR WILL TRAIN.
IF EXPERIENCE IS REQUIRED... YOU SHOULD HAVE DONE MOST OF THE THINGS NEEDED FOR THE ADVERTISED JOB.
THAT CAN MEAN YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE IN THAT PARTICULAR FIELD... OR MORE GENERAL SKILLS THAT YOU CAN EASILY APPLY TO THE JOB YOU WANT.
EXPERIENCE PREFERRED MEANS THE COMPANY HOPES YOU'VE DONE MOST OF WHAT THEY'RE ASKING... BUT IF YOU HAVEN'T.. YOU WON'T AUTOMATICALLY BE DISQUALIFIED.
IF THAT'S THE CASE... MAKE SURE THE REST OF YOUR RESUME REALLY SELLS YOU AS A CANDIDATE.
"WILL TRAIN"... MEANS IT'S FINE THAT YOU DON'T HAVE DIRECT EXPERIENCE.
IN SOME RARE CASES... COMPANIES ACTUALLY WANT PEOPLE WITH NO EXPERIENCE... BECAUSE THEY WON'T HAVE TO WAIT FOR YOU TO UNLEARN WHAT YOU LEARNED AT YOUR OLD JOB.
FOR A LIST OF JOBS AVAILABLE IN CENTRAL GEORGIA... VISIT THE JOB MARKET THURSDAY PAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
YOU'LL FIND THE LINK IN THE "CHECK IT OUT" BOX ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE.

AND ONCE YOU HAVE THAT JOB... YOU'LL NEED TO PULL OUT THE LISTENING SKILLS TO MAKE SURE YOU KEEP IT.
WE ASKED OUR FACEBOOK FANS TO DESCRIBE THAT THEY THINK MAKES A GOOD LISTENER.
SOMEONE WROTE... "EYE CONTACT IS IMPORTANT AND IF THE PERSON GIVES YOU THEIR FULL ATTENTION. I CANT STAND TO BE TALKING TO SOMEONE AND THEY ARE TEXTING ON THEIR PHONE.
AND SOMEONE ELSE COMMENTED... "EXCUSE ME. WERE YOU TALKING TO ME?"
JOIN THE DISCUSSION ON FACEBOOK... JUST HEAD TO FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ.

THANKS FOR JOINING US.... WE'LL BE BACK TONIGHT AT 11.
BUT REMEMBER...THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ.COM !
THE EVENING NEWS WITH SCOTT PELLEY IS UP NEXT.
HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.

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