Wednesday, July 13, Eyewitness News at 11

10:38 PM, Jul 13, 2011   |    comments
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GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M FRANK MALLOY..
THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.

THE REWARD FOR TIPS THAT LEAD TO AN ARREST IN THE HOMICIDE OF LAUREN GIDDINGS IS NOW UP TO 12-THOUSAND DOLLARS.
MACON REGIONAL CRIMESTOPPERS' WARREN SELBY SAYS ONE THOUSAND OF THAT REWARD MONEY IS FROM HIS ORGANIZATION.
THE REST... 11-THOUSAND DOLLARS... WAS DONATED ANONYMOUSLY BY PEOPLE WHO WANT TO HELP AUTHORITIES BRING LAUREN GIDDINGS' KILLER TO JUSTICE.
POLICE ANNOUNCED THE REWARD BEFORE ANSWERING QUESTIONS ABOUT THE MERCER LAW GRADUATE'S KILLING TODAY.
POLICE HAVE NOT NAMED ANY SUSPECTS OR MADE ANY ARRESTS IN THE CASE.
MACON POLICE CHIEF MIKE BURNS TODAY SAID CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE F-B-I AND OTHER CLUES LED THEM BACK LAST NIGHT TO THE APARTMENT OF GIDDINGS' NEIGHBOR... STEPHEN MCDANIEL.
THIS AFTERNOON... BURNS WOULD NOT SAY WHAT EVIDENCE INVESTIGATORS TOOK FROM MCDANIEL'S HOME.
BUT HE SAID POLICE SENT THE ITEMS TO F-B-I HEADQUARTERS IN QUANTICO...
WHERE THEY ARE ALREADY ANALYZING MORE THAN 70 PIECES OF EVIDENCE POLICE SENT THERE LAST WEEK.
POLICE ALSO PROCESSED MCDANIEL'S CAR.
THEY CONSIDER SEVERAL LOCATIONS INSIDE GIDDINGS' GEORGIA AVENUE APARTMENT COMPLEX POSSIBLE CRIME SCENES.
THE F-B-I IS CHECKING EVIDENCE FOR TRACES OF BLOOD... FIBERS.. DNA.. AND FINGERPRINTS.
POLICE SAID THEY THOUGHT RESULTS WOULD COME IN EARLY THIS WEEK... BUT NOW DON'T EXPECT TO GET A FULL REPORT THIS WEEK.

LOCAL AUTHORITIES BEGAN THEIR INVESTIGATION IN THE LAUREN GIDDINGS KILLING ALMOST IMMEDIATELY AND SOON AFTER THE F-B-I JOINED THE PROBE.
RANDALL SAVAGE SPOKE WITH F-B-I SPECIAL AGENT STEPHEN EMMETT IN THE ATLANTA OFFICE ABOUT THE FEDERAL AGENCY'S PARTICIPATION IN LOCAL INVESTIGATIONS.
<<SPECIAL AGENT STEPHEN EMMETT SERVES AS THE f-b-i's PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER IN ATLANTA..
EMMETT wouldn't talk about SPECIFICS OF THE lauren GIDDINGS homicide.. BUT HE DID TALK ABOUT HOW THE F-B-I GETS INVOLVED IN LOCAL CASES.. AND THAT'S BY INVITATION.
Stephen Emmett, FBI Special Agent: If it's not a federal case and we have no jurisdiction and we're not invited in, I cannot see an instance where we would force ourselves into that equation. It doesn't really work that way.
HE DESCRIBED FEDERAL CASES AS CRIMES COMMITTED on FEDERAL PROPERTY... OR COMMITTED ACROSS STATE LINES.
EMMETT STRESSED THE IMPORTANCE OF GATHERING CRIME SCENE EVIDENCE...AND HANDLING IT PROPERLY.
Stephen Emmett, FBI Agent: It's very crucial to obtain the evidence soon into the investigation to avoid it being tainted the environment or outside individuals.
TIME SENSITIVE EVIDENCE GETS PRIORITY TREATMENT.
Stephen Emmett: Fbi Agent: If it's something that's going to hold up the investigation, then priority can be given to that to include flying that evidence up on government aircraft.
EMMETT SAYS THE FBI'S EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM MOVES IN QUICKLY WHEN NEEDED.. THAT'S ONE OF THE RESOUCES AVAILABLE TO LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT.. PRIORITY GOES TO SEVERE CRIMES.
Stephen Emmett, FBI Agent: They really ask that any examination in state or local cases be limited to violent crimes. Those are the priorities in managing our resources.
RANDALL SAVAGE.. 13 WMAZ.. EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>>
EMMETT SAYS THE F-B-I HAS FIELD OFFICES AROUND GEORGIA.. INCLUDING ONE IN MACON.
HE SAYS AGENTS IN THOSE OFFICES CAN GET TO CRIME SCENES QUICKLY AND BEGAN GATHERING AND PROCESSING EVIDENCE.
THE F-B-I ALSO HAS SPECIAL AIRCRAFT THAT CAN BE DISPATCHED TO PICKUP EVIDENCE AND GET IT TO THE F-B-I LAB AT QUANTICO.. VIRGINIA.

A BOND HEARING FOR LAUREN GIDDINGS' NEIGHBOR AND BURGLARY SUSPECT STEPHEN MCDANIEL IS ON HOLD WHILE A JUDGE CONSIDERS WHETHER LOCAL PROSECUTORS SHOULD HANDLE HIS CASE.
THIS AFTERNOON... MCDANIEL'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY FLOYD BUFORD FILED A MOTION ASKING A JUDGE TO DISQUALIFY THE BIBB COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE FROM PROSECUTING THE CASE.
THE MOTION ARGUES THAT BIBB PROSECUTORS MAY HAVE CONFLICT OF INTEREST... BECAUSE MCDANIEL IS A FORMER LAW CLERK IN THE D-A'S OFFICE.
BECAUSE OF THAT MOTION... BUFORD ALSO WITHDREW HIS REQUEST FOR A BOND HEARING FOR MCDANIEL.
THAT HEARING WAS SCHEDULED FOR TOMORROW MORNING.
FOR NOW... MCDANIELS REMAINS IN THE BIBB COUNTY JAIL.
POLICE SAY MCDANIEL IS ALSO A "PERSON OF INTEREST" IN LAUREN GIDDINGS' DEATH.

A POLITICAL NEWCOMER BELIEVES SHE'S READY TO CLAIM A SPOT ON MACON CITY COUNCIL..
HER OPPONENT SAYS SHE'S NOT READY TO GIVE UP HER SEAT JUST YET..
ELEANOR LISSITZYN PREVIEWS THE RACE FOR THE WARD 5 POST ONE SLOT..
AFTER FOUR YEARS ON CITY COUNCIL... LAUREN BENEDICT SAYS SHE'S HAPPY TO BE CAMPAIGNING AGAIN.
"It reminds you why you're serving."
SHE SAYS SHE WILL CONTINUE TO FOCUS ON BRINGING JOBS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TO THE CITY... BY FORMING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT TASK FORCE.
"and what I envision that is to be made up of members of our targetted communities."
SHE SAYS SHE'LL ALSO WORK TO CLEAN UP NEIGHBORHOODS CITYWIDE... LIKE THIS ONE ON FOREST AVENUE... WHERE I MET BENEDICT'S OPPONENT... SARAH HUNT... WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON.
"I want you see what is sitting in the heart of Macon."
THE RETIRED MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER SAYS REDUCING BLIGHT IS ALSO IMPORTANT TO HER
"If they don't clean up their property, the need to be fined and the money needs to be used to clean up their property."
SHE ALSO PLEDGED IF ELECTED TO CREATE A COMMISSION TO FIGHT HOMLESSNESS .
BUT BENEDICT SAYS HER OPPONENT DOESN'T HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE TO GET THINGS DONE IN CITY HALL.
"She just really doesn't understand how Macon City Council works."
BENEDICT SAYS HUNT'S CAMPAIGN LITERATURE CONTAINS INACCURATE POINTS.
IN A CAMPAIGN PAMPHLET... HUNT WROTE.
"It just amazes me how the city owes the police and fireman pension fund so much money and the city has representative Lauren Benedict sitting on the board."
"I was told by councilman rick hutto she serves on the board.'
BUT BENEDICT SAYS SHE'S NOT ON THE BOARD..THE PAMPHLET ALSO SAYS
"Benedict voted to lay-off workers at a time when everyone really needed their jobs."
"No councilmembers voted for the Riff, or lay offs, in fact it was an administrative action done by the mayor."
WHEN ASKED ABOUT IT... HUNT SAYS SHE SHE COULD BE MISTAKEN.
"I will go back to the secretary and search the record."
HUNT SAYS IF ELECTED HER GOAL WOULD BE TO DO THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE.
BENEDICT SAYS SHE'S THE WOMAN WHO KNOWS HOW TO GET THE JOB DONE.
STD
THE POLLS WILL BE OPEN NEXT TUESDAY FROM SEVEN A.M. UNTIL SEVEN P.M.

THE COMMANDER OF ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE SAYS THEY CORRECTED 36 OF 39 CITATIONS ISSUED LAST YEAR BY THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
nats- building 169
MANY OF THE PROBLEMS WORKERS REPORTED MORE THAN A YEAR AGO... WERE IN BUILDING 169.
EMPLOYEES THERE REPAIR SHEET METAL USED ON AIRCRAFT.
CUTTING THAT METAL CREATES A DUST THAT CONTAINS SOME KNOWN CANCER-CAUSING CHEMICALS.
WORKERS COMPLAINED THAT THEY DIDN'T HAVE THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT TO KEEP THEM FROM BREATHING THE DUST... AND THAT MANAGEMENT WAS IGNORING THEIR COMPLAINTS.
McMAHON SAYS THEY'RE USING BETTER SYSTEMS TO PROTECT WORKERS... AND STRESSING THE IMPORTANCE OF SAFETY IN ALL AREAS OF THE BASE.
Maj. General Robert McMahon, RAFB: "Were takingt that approach across the entire work center, not just the areas where OSHA identified a problem, but in all of our areas and created standard work, standard levels of expectations in behaviors, ensuring that the proper personal protective equipment is on, teaching all our leadership and more importantly making sure all of our workforce knows what the expectations are so that they can accomplish the mission."
McMAHON SAYS TWO OF THE REMAINING THREE CITATIONS WILL BE CORRECTED BY OCTOBER.
HE SAYS THE THIRD IS A PROBLEM WITH CLEANLINESS IN THE F-15 AREA OF THE FLIGHT LINE.
McMAHON SAYS HE AND THE LOCAL UNION PRESIDENT ASKED OSHA FOR MORE TIME TO FIND A SOLUTION TO THAT ISSUE.

CITY OFFICIALS CUT THE RIBBON ON A NEW MACON POLICE SUBSTATION IN THE HEART OF VILLAGE GREEN TODAY.
THE DEPARTMENT WILL SHARE THE OFFICE ON BLOOMFIELD WAY WITH AMERICORPS... AND PATROL THE AREA ON BICYCLES.
THEY SAY THEY HOPE MORE POLICE PRESENCE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD WILL KEEP THE CRIME RATE DOWN.
MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT SAYS IT'S A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.
Mayor Robert Reichert: "I think that will be a lift up for this community and I think it will give added confidence to this community and to people who want to live here who are committed to making this neighborhood a great neighborhood."
OFFICERS AT THE VILLAGE GREEN LOCATION WILL FILE PAPERWORK... MEET WITH WITNESSES AND INTERVIEW SUSPECTS..

PRESIDENT OBAMA TOLD LAWMAKERS TODAY THAT THEY'LL HAVE TO COMPROMISE TO PREVENT THE COUNTRY'S FIRST-EVER DEFAULT ON ITS FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS.
THEY CAN'T AGREE ON A PLAN... AND THEY CAN'T AGREE ON WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF THEY FAILED TO COME UP WITH ONE.
DANIELLE NOTTINGHAM HAS THE LATEST FROM WASHINGTON.
<<
((NARR-1)) (BEGIN STILL PHOTOS FROM: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Lawmakers and President Obama were all smiles at the beginning of a fourth meeting in as many days to resolve the debt-limit standoff.
But after nearly two hours, they couldn't even agree on HOW the meeting ended. A GOP aide says President Obama abruptly walked out. Democrats familiar with the talks say the President gave an impassioned statement and headed back to his office.
(END STILL PHOTOS FROM: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
((NARR-2))
Republicans and Democrats are at odds over cuts to entitlement programs and potential tax increases. And the clock is ticking.
((SOT)) Ben Bernanke/Federal Reserve Chairman (:33-:38)
"Clearly if we went so far as to default on the debt, it would be a major crisis."
((NARR-3))
But not everyone thinks so. Some lawmakers accuse President Obama of scare tactics.
((SOT)) Rep. Joe Walsh/(R ) Illinois (handout video) (:44-:51)
"Quit playing politics with the debt ceiling vote, and quit lying to the American people."
((SOT)) Jay Carney/White House Spokesman (:51-:55)
"We cannot play a game of chicken with the full faith credit of the United States government."
((STANDUP BRIDGE)) Danielle Nottingham, CBS News, Washington, DC (:55-1:06)

In order to meet the August 2nd deadline, Congress has to vote on raising the debt limit by next Friday. If they don't, some experts say it's a matter of arithmetic.
((NARR-4)) (graphic)
Without borrowing, the federal government will take in roughly 172 billion dollars next month. But its bills will total 306 billion. That's a shortfall of more than 130 billion dollars.
( ( SOT )) Rep. Nancy Pelosi, (D ) House Minority Leader (1:19-1:22)
"I believe that the United States will pay its bills."
((NARR-5))
Moody's Investors Service says it's reviewing the U.S. bond rating for a possible downgrade. That could lead to higher interest rates for many Americans.
>> THE PRESIDENT AND LAWMAKERS WILL MEET AGAIN TOMORROW AT THE WHITE HOUSE.

TONIGHT'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY... MATTHEW KELLEY!
MATTHEW... EMAIL US AT FAN-OF-THE-DAY AT 13WMAZ DOT COM SO WE'LL KNOW WHERE TO SEND YOUR 13WMAZ COFFEE MUG.
THE EPIC QUEST TO BE FAN OF THE DAY... IS ACTUALLY PRETTY SIMPLE.
FIRST... START YOUR JOURNEY TO FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ.... WHEN YOU GET THERE... JOIN THE RANKS OF OUR FANS... THEN... MAKE YOURSELF HEARD.

DID YOU KNOW THERE'S A PLACE IN CENTRAL GEORGIA WHERE YOU CAN SEE MORE THAN 12-HUNDRED ANIMALS FOR FREE?
AT NOAH'S ARK IN LOCUST GROVE... YOU CAN CHECK OUT EVERYTHING FROM A SQUAWKING PEACOCK... TO A PIGS AND LLAMA'S.
IT'S A REFUGE FOR HOMELESS AND ABUSED ANIMALS OF ALL SHAPES AND SIZES...
DIANE SMITH... WHO'S THE ASSISTANT TO THE DIRECTOR.... SAYS AS MANY AS 15-HUNDRED PEOPLE A DAY STOP IN...
ONE OF THEIR MAIN EXHIBITS... A LION... TIGER AND BEAR THAT LIVE TOGETHER AS A FAMILY.
Diane Smith: "You have an American black bear, you have an african lion and you have a tiger who's from Asia. These animals would never meet in the wild, but they came together as babies and they've lived together as a family."
NOAH'S ARK IS IN HENRY COUNTY ON L-G GRIFFIN ROAD... AND IT'S OPEN TUESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY FROM NINE UNTIL FOUR.
IT'S FREE TO CHECK OUT ALL THE ANIMALS... BUT THEY DO ASK FOR DONATIONS TO HELP RUN THE CENTER.

A CENTRAL GEORGIA COLLEGE MADE THE LIST OF SCHOOLS NATIONWIDE WITH THE LOWEST TUITION.
THAT'S ONE OF THE STORIES YOU'LL FIND ON THE BLECKLEY-DODGE-PULASKI PAGE OF OUR "WHERE YOU LIVE" SECTION AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
MIDDLE GEORGIA COLLEGE SUBMITTED A POST THAT SAYS THE SCHOOL WAS INCLUDED IN THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION'S LIST OF FOUR YEAR SCHOOLS WITH THE LOWEST TUITION RATE...
FOR MORE NEWS FROM YOUR AREA... VISIT THE "WHERE YOU LIVE" PAGES AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
JUST CHOOSE YOUR COMMUNITY FROM THE BOX ON THE HOMEPAGE... THEN CLICK ON "MORE NEWS."

AND WHILE YOU'RE ON THE "WHERE YOU LIVE" SITES... CHECK OUT THE PHOTO GALLERIES.
GRAY-JONES BLOGGER KEMA CLARK UPLOADED THIS PHOTO INTO THE "SCENES FROM JONES COUNTY" GALLERY.
AND OUR OWN JACQUELINE HARNEVIOUS SNAPPED THIS PHOTO DURING A QUICK VISIT TO TWIGGS COUNTY.
TO ADD PHOTOS TO THE GALLERIES... YOU'LL NEED TO BE A COMMUNITY BLOGGER.
DON'T WORRY... IT'S EASY TO SIGN UP.
JUST EMAIL US AT WHERE-YOU-LIVE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM TO GET STARTED.

THANKS FOR JOINING US.... FIRST MORNIN COMES YOUR WAY AT 5 A-M.
THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
LETTERMAN'S NEXT.
HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.

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