Monday, July 25, Eyewitness News at 6

11:09 PM, Jul 25, 2011   |    comments
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HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.I'M LORRA LYNCH JONES.
AND I'M FRANK MALLOY..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.

LAUREN GIDDINGS WAS LAST SEEN ALIVE ONE MONTH AGO TODAY.
POLICE DISCOVERED HER DISMEMBERED BODY... AND SO FAR.. MADE NO ARRESTS... AND HAVE NOT NAMED ANY SUSPECTS IN HER KILLING.
THE ONLY PERSON NAMED AS A PERSON OF INTEREST IN HER KILLING REMAINS IN JAIL... BUT NOT ON MURDER CHARGES.
LAUREN DISPIRITO JOINS US LIVE WITH THE LATEST ON THE CASE....AND FROM GIDDINGS FAMILY.
I SPOKE TO LAUREN'S FATHER, BILL GIDDINGS BY PHONE THIS AFTERNOON AND HE SAYS AUTHORITIES ARE READY TO RELEASE HER BODY TO HIS FAMILY.
HE SAYS IT COULD HAPPEN AS SOON AS TOMORROW.
THEY'VE TENTATIVELY PLANNED A FUNERAL FOR LAUREN IN HER HOMETOWN OF LAUREL MARYLAND. IT'S SCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY...AUGUST SIXTH.
EARLIER TODAY...A BIBB COUNTY JUDGE SAID LOCAL PROSECUTORS CAN HANDLE BURGLARY CHARGES AGAINST HER NEIGHBOR....STEPHEN MCDANIEL.
JUDGE TRIPP SELF RULED THAT THERE IS NO CONFLICT OF INTEREST.
MCDANIEL'S LAWYER - FLOYD BUFORD - ARGUED LAST FRIDAY THAT BIBB COUNTY PROSECUTORS SHOULD NOT HANDLE THE BURGLARY CASE BECAUSE MCDANIEL WORKED AS AN INTERN IN THE D-A'S OFFICE THIS SPRING.
SELF SAYS THAT WON'T HURT MCDANIEL'S CHANCE OF A FAIR TRIAL.
McDANIEL FACES TWO BURGLARY CHARGES AND HAS BEEN NAMED AS A PERSON OF INTEREST IN THE KILLING OF LAUREN GIDDINGS.
POLICE SAY THE CASES ARE NOT CONNECTED.
BUDFORD SAID TODAY HE IS WEIGHING WHETHER TO APPEAL THE JUDGE'S DECISION.
HE CALLED THE RULING THOROUGH AND DETAILED... BUT SAYS HE MAY APPEAL IT... AT MCDANIEL AND HIS FAMILY'S REQUEST.
THIS AFTERNOON BUFORD FILED A NEW MOTION ASKING A JUDGE TO SET BOND FOR MCDANIEL.
HE SAYS THAT HEARING HAS NOT BEEN SCHEDULED BUT COULD HAPPEN THURSDAY AUGUST 4TH.
POLICE ASK THAT ANYONE WITH INFORMATION ON THE CASE CALL MACON AREA CRIME STOPPERS...AT 1877-68-CRIME. AGAIN THAT'S 1877-68-CRIME.

AS OF THIS MORNING.... MACON POLICE NOW HAVE ANOTHER UNSOLVED KILLING TO SOLVE.
THAT COMES NEARLY A MONTH AFTER THE APPARENT HOMICIDE OF LAUREN GIDDINGS.
MACON POLICE SAY THEY'RE PROUD OF THEIR HIGH RATE FOR SOLVING HOMICIDE CASES.
CANDACE ADORKA SPOKE TO POLICE LIEUTENANT FLETCHER ABOUT WHAT IT TAKES TO CATCH A KILLER.
<<
***NATS: This is where we bring the suspects...***
LIEUTENANT CARL FLETCHER SUPERVISES THE MACON DETECTIVES WHO TRY AND SOLVE THE CITY'S MURDERS.
"Seen my share of shootings, stabbings, cuttings..."
HE SAYS UNLIKE YOUR FAVORITE CRIME DRAMA... A WORK DAY IN THE LIFE OF A MACON DETECTIVE DOESN'T NEATLY WRAP UP IN AN HOUR... IT CAN GET LONG AND TEDIOUS.
"It might take a while but we're talking about the most violent of crimes and that's taking someone's life and we wanna make sure we do it right the first time coz we don't get a second shot."
MACON DETECTIVES ALSO DONT HAVE THE UNLIMITED RESOURCES IN CSI MIAMI.
FLETCHER SAYS IF THEY NEED DNA OR OTHER FORENSIC EVIDENCE... THEY HAVE TO GET IN LINE FOR A STATE AGENCY OR THE FBI.
"There might be 500 agencies sending stuff up to the GBI crime lab, and it might take 6 months to get something back."
FLETCHER SAYS HOMICIDES ARE THE HARDEST TYPES OF CASES TO SOLVE... BUT HIS DETECTIVES KEEP AT IT FOR THE SATISFACTION OF CLOSING A CASE AND ALSO FOR THE BEREAVED FAMILY MEMBERS COUNTING ON THEM.
"it's fulfilling to know that you've outsmarted a bad guy and just give closure to the family, just let the family com eup and hug your neck to say thank you and a lot of our guys they look forward to walking up to a family and saying i solved your case."
IN 2009... MACON DETECTIVES SOLVED ALL OF THEIR 18 HOMICIDE CASES.
IN 2010... THEY SOLVED 19 OF 22 CASES.
THIS YEAR... THEY'RE LOOKING FOR 3 OUT OF 7 MURDERERS... INCLUDING WHOEVER KILLED MERCER LAW GRAD LAUREN GIDDINGS.
OVER THREE YEARS.....THAT'S 87 PERCENT.
FLETCHER SAYS TO KEEP UP... OR IMPROVE THAT RATE... THEY NEED HELP FROM PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY.
"If you see a crime, you need to report it. Don't turn your back to your neighbor and say because it didn't happen to me. Because next time it could happen to you."
CANDACE ADORKA 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
>> FLETCHER FLETCHER SAYS YOU CAN CALL ANY POLICE OFFICER YOU KNOW WITH A TIP... OR REMAIN ANONYMOUS BY CALLING MACON REGIONAL CRIMESTOPPERS AT 1-877-68 CRIME.
AGAIN.. THAT'S 1-877-68-CRIME.

PRO FOOTBALL IS BACK..THE NFL PLAYER'S ASSOCIATION TODAY APPROVING A NEW TEN YEAR LABOR AGREEMENT..
PRETTY MUCH THE SAME DEAL APPROVED BY THE OWNERS LAST WEEK WHICH MEANS THE NFL LOCKOUT IS OVER..
THE ONLY GAME LOST TO THE LOCKOUT IS THE HALL OF FAME GAME SCHEDULED FOR AUGUST SEVENTH..
ALL OTHER PRE-SEASON GAMES WILL GO OFF AS SCHEDULED..
THE FALCONS ARE SCHEDULED TO HIT THE PRACTICE FIELD ON FRIDAY..
THEIR PRESEASON OPENER IS AUGUST 11TH AGAINST THE MIAMI DOLPHINS IN THE GEORGIA DOME..

SOME PARENTS IN BIBB COUNTY ARE GEARING UP TO SEND THEIR KIDS BACK TO SCHOOL.
NORTHWOODS ACADEMY AND THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT ARE WORKING TOGETHER TO PREPARE STUDENTS FOR THEIR FIRST DAY.
nats "crowd" :01
IT'S NOT YOUR TYPICAL CARNIVAL... BUT THE LINES ARE STILL LONG.
PARENTS AND THEIR KIDS WAIT TO TAKE PART IN THE INITIATIVE TO KEEP STUDENTS HEALTHY AND SAFE FOR THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL.
CHIP... A CHILD IDENTIFICATION PROGRAM... TAKES FINGERPRINTS AND PICTURES.
ALSO... EYE AND EAR SCREENINGS ARE JUST DOWN THE HALL FROM THE DENTIST'S CHAIR AND THE VACCINATION ROOM.
MELISSA MIDDLETON... A MOTHER OF TWO... SAYS SHE'S TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THIS BACK-TO-SCHOOL CARNIVAL.
Melissa Middleton, Mother: " If I were to have to go get this done all separate it would be a three day process, a three day process because it takes a whole day just in a dental office and then hearing, vision and then you have to go and get the shots done so at least a three day process. This is so convenient especially being a mother that has to take off of work to get this done."
THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT MANAGER ENCOURAGES PARENTS NOT TO WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO GET THEIR CHILD VACINATED... BECAUSE THE CLOSER IT GETS TO THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL... THE LONGER THE LINE AT THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT.

MAKING SURE YOUR CHILD IS HEALTHY IS JUST ONE ITEM ON THE BACK-TO-SCHOOL CHECKLIST.
ANOTHER ITEM ON THAT LIST... SCHOOL SUPPLY SHOPPING.
YOU CAN HELP SOME CENTRAL GEORGIA FAMILIES MAKE SURE THEIR CHILDREN HAVE WHAT THEY NEED TO START THE SCHOOL YEAR.
ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS TAKE PART IN OUR OPERATION BACK TO SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE TOMORROW.
STOP BY ANY WALMART IN MACON... WARNER ROBINS... PERRY... MILLEDGEVILLE... DUBLIN OR FORSYTH AND DONATE A FEW SCHOOL SUPPLIES.
YOU CAN DROP OFF YOUR DONATIONS BETWEEN NOON AND 7 P-M.
TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... HOW MUCH WILL YOU SPEND GETTING YOUR CHILD READY FOR SCHOOL THIS YEAR?
SO FAR 25 PERCENT OF YOU SAY MORE THAN LAST YEAR.
32 PERCENT OF YOU SAY LESS THAN LAST YEAR.
AND 43 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YOU'LL SPEND ABOUT THE SAME.
YOU HAVE UNTIL MIDNIGHT TO VOTE.
LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
LAKE LANIER HAS DROPPED TO ITS LOWEST LEVEL SINCE THE END OF 2009.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS.
THE NORTH GEORGIA RESEVIOR STANDS ABOUT FIVE FEET BELOW SUMMER FULL POOL LEVELS.
THE LAST TIME IT WAS REPORTED AT A LOWER ELEVATION WAS IN SEPTEMBER 2009.
THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS SAYS LACK OF RAINFALL IN SOUTH GEORGIA IS AFFECTING THE LAKE'S LEVEL.

OUT OF NEARLY 2-THOUSAND TEACHERS... THE HOUSTON COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM CHOSE ONE AS THEIR 2011 TEACHER OF THE YEAR.
AT TODAY'S OPENING SESSION FOR ALL FACULTY AND STAFF... SUPERINTENDENT ROBIN HINES NAMED REBECCA OAKLEY AS THE WINNER.
SHE'S A SCIENCE TEACHER AT WARNER ROBINS MIDDLE SCHOOL... WITH A LIFE-LONG LOVE FOR HOUSTON COUNTY CLASSROOMS.
<< Oakley talks about knowing she wanted to be a teacher when she was a child. She grew up in the Houston County School System. After college, she started teaching in Houston County in 2005. Oakley builds relationships with her students by talking to them every day>>
OAKLEY WILL BE ENTERED INTO THE STATEWIDE TEACHER OF THE YEAR CONTEST.
SHE RECIEVED MORE THAN 12-THOUSAND DOLLARS IN DONATED PRIZES... INCLUDING A CAR TO DRIVE FOR A YEAR AND ONE-THOUSAND DOLLARS TO BAR-B-QUE RESTAURANT

AS YOUR TEEN GETS BEHIND THE WHEEL TO HEAD TO SCHOOL... REMIND THEM TO FOCUS ON THE ROAD... NOT THEIR CELL PHONE... BY JOINING THE GREAT HANG UP.. JUST VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM... AND LOOK FOR THE PLEDGE UNDER THE "FEATURES" TAB ON THE HOMEPAGE.
YOU'LL FIND THE LINK TO SIGN THE PLEDGE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE PAGE.
IF YOU SIGNED THE PLEDGE AND KEPT IT... OR SIGNED IT AND CHANGED YOUR MIND... WE WANT TO TALK TO YOU.
WE WANT TO SHARE YOUR STORIES DURING OUR GREAT HANG UP DAY ON THE LAST TUESDAY OF EACH MONTH.
JUST SEND AN EMAIL TO THE-GREAT-HANG-UP AT 13WMAZ DOT COM TO LET US KNOW YOU'RE INTERESTED IN SHARING YOUR EXPERIENCE.

PRESIDENT OBAMA WILL SPEAK TONIGHT FROM THE WHITE HOUSE TO UPDATE THE NATION ON HIS SIDE OF THE ONGOING DEBT LIMIT NEGOTIATIONS...AND CBS NEWS WILL BROADCAST HIS ADDRESS LIVE.
THAT COVERAGE BEGINS AT 9 TONIGHT.
IF YOU CAN'T WATCH HERE ON 13WMAZ... YOU CAN CATCH THE ADDRESS LIVE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.

IT'S TIME TO TAKE A LOOK AT WHERE YOU LIVE.
IT'S A FEATURE ON 13WMAZ DOT COM... THAT LETS ANYONE IN THE COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTE NEWS... EVENTS... PHOTOS AND COMMENTARY.
TODAY... WE'RE LOOKING AT THE SANDERSVILLE PAGE.
BARRY PENDRY POSTS THAT FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH IS TAKING ITS FIRST STEPS TOWARDS REBUILDING AFTER A FIRE EARLY LAST MONTH.

ON TODAY'S EDITION OF THE MORNIN' GRIND... WE SHOWED YOU HOW TO MAKE A COFFEE ICE CREAM FLOAT.
AND WE ASKED OUR FACEBOOK FANS WHAT FAVORITE DESSERT THEY LIKED TO PAIR WITH A CUP OF COFFEE.
ALPHONSO WROTE... WOW... I WOULD HAVE TO SAY A SLICE OF CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH LOTS OF ICING. STILL... I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE A MIXTURE OF VANILLA ICE CREAM TO TOP IT ALL OFF WITH THAT CUP OF COFFEE."
LAURA PREFERS... "A WARM SLICE OF BANANA NUT BREAD.
DOMINIQUE SIMPLY REPLIED... "MANGO."
AND FOR JOANN... "THERE'S NOTHING LIKE A GOOD CUP OF COFFEE IN THE MORNING WITH A GOOD SLICE OF POUND CAKE... EVEN IN THE LATE AFTERNOON."
JOIN THE CONVERSATION... VISIT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ AND CLICK THE "LIKE" BUTTON TO BECOME A FAN.
DON'T FORGET TO INVITE YOUR FRIENDS... USING THE SUGGEST TO FRIENDS

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

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