Thursday, July 7, Eyewitness News at 11

10:52 PM, Jul 7, 2011   |    comments
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GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M FRANK MALLOY..
THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11..LEAH JOHNSON IS ON MATERNITY LEAVE..

WITH LESS THAN TWO WEEKS TO GO UNTIL ELECTION DAY... ALL FOUR CANDIDATES MET IN THE 13WMAZ STUDIO TONIGHT FOR A CAMPAIGN 2011 MACON MAYORAL DEBATE.
13WMAZ'S LORRA LYNCH JONES AND RANDALL SAVAGE... ALONG WITH FORMER MACON CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT ANITA PONDER ASKED THE CANDIDATES QUESTIONS FOR AN HOUR.

ELEANOR LISSITZYN IS JOINING US WITH OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE EVENING.
WE ASKED EACH CANDIDATE EIGHT QUESTIONS... THEY HAD A MINUTE TO ANSWER.
ONE QUESTION POSED TO ROBERT BROWN WAS HOW HE VIEWS THE STATE OF RACE RELATIONS IN MACON.
"I worked as a civil rights activist for the first thirteen years after I got out of college. Macon got started on the wrong foot in the early 1970's. This city and this county spent millions of dollars resisting the bright line of desegregation law. Millions of dollars were spent. And now we come to 2011 and we hear corporate media, talking heads say that two or three people in the city are the ones that are dividing the community. This community was divided with those segregation academies that started that started back in the 1970's as has erroded since that time. That question that's more revelent though is how do we get out of this abyss. You have to be able to work with rivals. You have to be able to sit down with a Cecil Station, who you don't agree with philosophically, but you have a vision of how you could put this city together along with the county. That's the kind of leadership that I would provide."
CURRENT MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT WAS ASKED WHETHER HE FOCUSES TOO MUCH OF THE CITY'S RESOURCES AND OUTSIDE GRANT MONEY ON THE DOWNTOWN AREA.
"We have learned from past experience that spreading things too thin is not an effective way to create redevelopment. So you focus, and especially where you can build partnerships, we've been very successful in continuing the work with Newtown Macon and other developers that are there ready, willing to partner with us in the downtown. Plus, that's all of our downtown regardless of where you live in the city. Downtown is our identity. It is who we are as a community. So working with parters where the partners are, another set of partners is in Bealls Hill and working with Bealls Hill and the College Hill Alliance. So we're spreading that way. We also have a history of reaching out into Lynmore Estates and working with Habitat for Humanity there and working in the Bartlett Crossing area with the Macon Housing Authority and the chodo that lives over there at Lizzie Chapel Church."
ELLIS WAS ASKED HOW HE WOULD DESCRIBE CITY FINANCES WHILE UNDER HIS CARE.
WHEN ELLIS TOOK OFFICE IN 2000 THE CITY HAD ABOUT TWENTY MILLION DOLLARS IN RESERVES. WHEN HE LEFT... HE SAYS THERE WAS JUST OVER SIX.
HERE'S WHAT HE HAD TO SAY.
"I characterize it as nothing short of genius. Considering where we came from,considering the fact that we transferred five and a half million dollars to the county in a sales tax renegotiation. But yet we never laid one person off, we never raised the health insurance of our employees we did not dip into the pension fund and we gave an 8.5% pay raise over the eight years. And we left office with 6 million dollars in the reserves, what we call the Filomena Mullis Fund, the lock box. Six million dollars there. In addition to that, we had a bond rating increase. So I left the city in good, great financial condition under the circumstances and we had a recession, 2001, 2002. So I give ourselves, our team, not just me, the entire team the council, financial management team and others, and department heads and city employees did a great job. And I commend them, and we weathered through some very very difficult storms and we came out on the other side. In great shape."
FORMER FIREFIGHTER PAUL BRONSON WAS ASKED WHAT HE WOULD DO TO KEEP PEOPLE FROM MOVING OUT OF MACON AND TO ENTICE MORE PEOPLE TO MOVE IN. HE SAYS HE'D FOCUS ON BEEFING UP THE ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS IN TOWN.
"I've had the great opportunity to work with Mark Childs, he's in the downtown area. Jubelee and the Morning After. They are really big in the entertainment area. Entertainments where it's at. If you look at any good city that is running the entertainment industry is thriving, art is thriving, dance is thriving, music is thriving. So I want to see more entertainment brought to the city of Macon. I would like to see a group of young aggressive thinkers that can step forward and say 'these are some of the ideas that we like.' Because, as you know, generations change. Things change. The technology changes and we have to be able to change with those times. And this is a great opportunity for us to actually make that first step in changing. But I'd like to see our religious leaders and educational leaders come to the board also, come to the table and bring their ideas about how we can go about boosting the city as a whole and showing outside citys that Macon is the place to be.":
FRANK... THOSE WERE JUST SOME OF THE RESPONSES FROM THIS EVENING'S DEBATE.
FOR MORE COVERAGE VISIT OUR HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ.COM AND CLICK ON THIS STORY.
THANK YOU ELEANOR.
THE FOUR MEN WILL MEET LATER THIS MONTH IN THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY.

MACON CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE CHRIS HORNE FILED A FORMAL COMPLAINT AGAINST HIS OPPONENT ELAINE LUCAS WITH THE STATE AND LOCAL DEMOCRATIC PARTIES.
HORNE SAYS HE SENT A REQUEST TO THE PARTY TODAY... ASKING THEM TO INVESTIGATE CLAIMS LUCAS ALLEGEDLY MADE THAT HORNE WAS PART OF A REPUBLICAN CONSPIRACY TO TAKE OVER LOCAL AND STATE GOVERNMENT.
THE COMPLAINT ALSO ASKED THE PARTY TO CONSIDER REMOVING LUCAS FROM THE BIBB COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY COMMITTEE.
WHEN REACHED BY PHONE... ELAINE LUCAS SAID SHE DID NOT WISH TO COMMENT.

LAUREN GIDDINGS FAMILY SAYS THEY'VE BEEN LIVING AN ONGOING NIGHTMARE.
THEY ENTERED HER APARTMENT TODAY... ONE WEEK AFTER HER BODY WAS FOUND JUST FEET AWAY.
GIDDINGS' FATHER... BILL.. SAYS 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.
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. GIDDINGS THANKED MACON POLICE AND INVESTIGATORS FOR THEIR HARD WORK.
HE SAYS THE PAST WEEK HAS BEEN A NIGHTMARE... AND THE ONLY WAY THEY'VE GOTTEN THROUGH... IS WITH THE SUPPORT OF FRIENDS AND FAMILY IN MACON... AND MARYLAND.
A MASS WILL BE HELD FOR LAUREN GIDDINGS SATURDAY NIGHT AT 6:30 AT ST. JOSEPH CATHOLIC CHURCH ON POPLAR STREET IN DOWNTOWN MACON..

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AHOY AND HEARTY ARRRGGGHHHH, Y'ALL! YEAH, IT'S THAT KINDA WEEKEND HERE IN MIDDLE GEORGIA! NOW I THINK WE'RE ALL STILL RECOVERING FROM THE FUN OF JULY FOURTH, BUT BLIMEY IF I DON'T HAVE THE PERFECT RECIPE FOR RECUPERATION! WE'RE GONNA START WITH PINCH...OR SO...OF GOOD 'OL GEORGIA MUD!

IT'S A MUD-FLOPPIN', PIGS-FEET BOBBIN', HORSESHOE LOBBIN' HECK OF A GOOD TIME! THE SUMMER REDNECK GAMES RETURN TO BUCKEYE PARK IN EAST DUBLIN THIS SATURDAY. WHAT STARTED FIFTEEN YEARS AGO AS A - QUOTE - GOOFY WAY TO RAISE MONEY FOR CHARITY - END QUOTE - HAS TURNED INTO QUITE THE SOUTHERN WONDER! FOLKS COME FROM ALL OVER THE PLACE TO TAKE PART IN THE FESTIVITIES. THE CEREMONIAL TORCH IS LIT AT THE STROKE OF NOON...AND THE GAMES BEGIN! REDNECK HORSESHOES, WATERMELON SEED-SPITTING, MUD-PIT BELLY FLOP - ITS SERIOUS COMPETITION, FOLKS! THEN OF COURSE YOU'VE GOT LOTS AND LOTS OF LIVE MUSIC...INCLUDING THE ESTEEMED ARMPIT SERENADE - ITZHAK PERLMAN, LOOK OUT!

ALRIGHT, GIT YOURSELVES ON DOWN TO DUBLIN, PEOPLE! DIRECTIONS, SCHEDULE, ALL THE GOOD INFO YOU NEED IS ONLINE AT SUMMER-REDNECK-GAMES-DOT-COM.

SO WE STARTED WITH A PINCH OF GEORGIA MUD...NOW WE'RE GONNA ADD A DASH OF ARRRGGHHH MATEY AND A SCOOP OF FIFTEEN MEN ON A DEAD MAN'S CHEST!

THAR SHE BLOWS! THAT MOST FAVORITEST OF CHILDREN'S BOOKS - TREASURE ISLAND! AND THIS FRIDAY, IT COMES TO LIFE ON THE STAGE OF WARNER ROBINS LITTLE THEATRE. WHEN YOUNG JIM HAWKINS STUMBLES UPON BILLY BONES' DEEPEST SECRET, IT LEADS HIM ON ADVENTURES BOYS ONLY EVER DREAM OF...FILLED WITH SCALLYWAGS, BURIED TREASURE, AND LOTS O' DANGER!

X MARKS THE SPOT ON OPENING NIGHT...THIS FRIDAY! CALL 929-4579 TO MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS.

OKAY, SO FAR WE'VE GOT MUD, MATEYS AND A SEA CHANTEY. NOW LET'S MIX IT ALL UP WITH A HEAPIN' HELPIN' OF MUSIC!

FIRST, IT'S A GOSPEL EXTRAVAGANZA AT THE GRAND OPERA HOUSE!

HALLELUJAH Y'ALL! COME AND GET YOUR GOOD OL' GOSPEL AT THE GRAND ON THIS SATURDAY NIGHT. THE MUSIC STARTS FLOWIN' AT SEVEN. HEAD TO THE-GRAND-MACON ONLINE TO GET THOSE TICKETS.

OVER AT THE MACON CITY AUDITORIUM...IT'S MORE OF A ROCK EXPLOSION AT THE TWO-THOUSAND-ELEVEN ALL-STAR ROCK TOUR! SATURDAY NIGHT AT EIGHT, ROCK MUSIC LEGENDS LIKE JOHN CAFFERTY, ROBBIE DUPREE, JIMMY HALL AND DAVID PACK WILL TAKE YOU BACK TO THEIR HEY-DAYS...AND POSSIBLY YOURS, TOO! THEY'LL ROCK YOUR WORLD WITH PLATINUM HITS LIKE "ON THE DARK SIDE" AND "STEAL AWAY." I'M TELLING YOU PEOPLE, YOU'RE GONNA LOVE IT! GET TICKETS NOW AT TICKET-MASTER-DOT-COM.

AND NOW, IT'S TIME AGAIN FOR THAT MOST EXCITING OF SUNDAY OUTINGS - SECOND SUNDAY AT SUNSET! COME OUT TO WASHINGTON PARK THIS SUNDAY AT SEVEN - WITH PICNICS AND BLANKETS IN TOW - AND CHECK OUT THE LIVE MUSIC OF THE DONNA HOPKINS BAND - AS THEY SERENADE THE CITY...AT SUNSET. FOR MORE INFO, VISIT COLLEGE-HILL-MACON-DOT-COM.

NOW, ME HEARTIES, METHINKS YOUR RECIPE FOR RECUPERATION IS PERFECT! AND...SHIVER ME TIMBERS, IT'S TIME TO WEIGH ANCHOR! FAIR WINDS TO YE ALL! I LEAVE YOU WITH A YO-HO-HO AND A WHOLE LOTTA FUN. NOW HEAVE-HO MISTER COLLINSWORTH...CAUSE THAT'S A WRAP.
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AND SOME HORRIBLE BOSSES AND A ZOO PACKED WITH HAIRY LOVE GURUS WILL HAVE YOU LAUGHING YOUR WAY TO THE BOX OFFICE THIS WEEKEND.
FIRST UP... THREE FRIENDS HATCH A PLAN TO GET RID OF THEIR "HORRIBLE BOSSES" IN THIS WORKPLACE COMEDY.
COLIN FARRELL... JENNIFER ANISTON AND KEVIN SPACEY LEND THEIR TALENTS AS THE BOSSES IN QUESTION... WITH JASON BATEMAN... JASON (SUE-DAY-KUS) SUDEIKIS... AND CHARLIE DAY AS THEIR DISGRUNTLED EMPLOYEES.
"HORRIBLE BOSSES" IS RATED R.
IN "ZOOKEEPER"... KEVIN JAMES STARS AS A LOVABLE BUT LONELY ZOOKEEPER.
HE'S A LITTLE TORN BECAUSE ZOOKEEPING DOESN'T MAKE HIM A LADY-KILLER.
AT LEAST... THAT'S WHAT HE THINKS UNTIL THE ANIMAL KINGDOM DECIDES TO INTERJECT A LITTLE ADVICE FOR HIS LOVE LIFE.
THIS WILD ADVENTURE IS RATED P-G.

WE'RE ADDING ANOTHER FACE TO OUR FACEBOOK FANS OF THE DAY.
SHAWNA MIDDLEBROOK.... YOU'LL OPEN THE MAIL ONE DAY SOON AND TAKE OUT A 13WMAZ COFFEE MUG. IF YOU'RE ANGLING FOR A MUG... FIRST YOU HAVE TO GET INTO THE GAME.
VISIT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ... BECOME A FAN... AND START CHATTING IT UP.
FROM THERE... IT'S ALL LUCK OF THE DRAW.

IT'S TIME TO TAKE A LOOK AT WHERE YOU LIVE.
IT'S A FEATURE ON OUR 13 WMAZ DOT COM HOMEPAGE THAT SHOWCASES NEWS, EVENTS AND PHOTOS THAT COMMUNITY MEMBERS SUBMIT.
A TWIGGS COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER IS PART OF THE NASA TWEET UP. PATRICIA CLEVELAND AWAITS THE PENDING SHUTTLE LAUNCH THAT IS SCHEDULED FOR TOMORROW. YOU CAN SEE HER PHOTO GALLERY FROM TODAY, SHOWING PHOTOS OF ELMO WITH TWO ASTRONAUTS.
YOU CAN FOLLOW PATRICIA'S UPDATES ON OUR TWIGGS WHERE YOU LIVE PAGE.
TO POST YOUR NEWS, EVENTS AND PHOTOS WHERE YOU LIVE, E MAIL WHERE YOU LIVE AT 13 WMAZ DOT COM.

LEAVE YOUR CONGRATULATIONS FOR LEAH AND HER HUSBAND... JUST HEAD OVER TO MIDDLE GEORGIA DOT MOMS LIKE ME DOT COM... AND CLICK ON THE LINK AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE TO GET INTO THE DISCUSSION ABOUT THE NEWEST ADDITION TO THE JOHNSON FAMILY.

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