HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US. I'M FRANK MALLOY..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.
LAWMAKERS ON CAPITOL HILL HAVE ANOTHER WEEK TO PASS LEGISLATION THAT COULD INCREASE THE DEBT CEILING.
IF THEY DON'T... THE U-S WILL DEFAULT ON ITS LOANS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE NATION'S HISTORY.
CONGRESS IS WEIGHING TWO COMPETING PLANS TO CUT THE DEFICIT AND RAISE THE NATION'S BORROWING LIMIT.
SO WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN TO CENTRAL GEORGIANS.
CANDACE ADORKA JOINS US WITH TWO GUESTS...TO HELP EXPLAIN.
FRANK... WE HAVE GREG GEORGE... ECONOMIST AND PROFESSOR AT MACON STATE COLLEGE...HE FOUNDED THE COLLEGE'S CENTER FOR ECONOMIC ANALYSIS.
AND CLIF WILKINSON... HE'S BEEN A PROFESSOR OF GOVERNMENT AND SOCIOLOGY AT GEORGIA COLLEGE FOR 9 YEARS... HE SPECIALIZES IN BUDGETING AND FINANCE.
THANK YOU BOTH FOR JOINING US
GREG... RUN THE NUMBERS FOR US... WHAT KIND OF SHORTFALL ARE WE LOOKING AT ON AUGUST 3 AND HOW DOES THAT TRICKLE DOWN TO CENTRAL GEORGIANS IF AT ALL?
(GREG WILL TALK ABOUT US BEING SHORT 100 BILLION FOR THE MONTH, WHAT COULD BE ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK AS A RESULT; MILITARY? SOCIAL SECURITY?)
CLIF...IS THIS MORE OF A POLITICAL DECISION...OR AN ECONOMIC ONE?
(CLIF WILL ADD THE POLITICS BEHIND MAKING THE DECISION... WHAT POLITICIAN IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD CUT SOCIAL SECURITY? MILITARY FUNDING?)
GREG... ALL THIS UNCERTAINTY MIGHT HAVE OTHER EFFECTS ON THE ECONOMY ... CAN YOU DESCRIBE THEM FOR US?
(GREG WILL TALK ABOUT HOW THE LACK OF A LONG TERM DEBT SOLUTION WILL AFFECT LENDING... INTEREST RATES... JOBS?)
CLIF... SOME OF OUR VIEWERS HAVE BEEN DISCUSSING THE DEBT CRISIS ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE TODAY....AND ONE COMMON THEME IS FRUSTRATION WITH THE POLITICS OF IT... PATSY MILLER ASKS; "DO THEY CARE WHO THEY HURT JUST TO BE RIGHT?" WHAT DO YOU THINK?
LETS WRAP UP WITH SOME PREDICTIONS... WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL HAPPEN BY AUGUST SECOND... GREG?
OBVIOUSLY A LOT OF CENTRAL GEORGIANS ARE FOLLOWING THIS CLOSELY...SO THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.
TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS ISSUE...AND JOIN IN THE DISCUSSION...LOOK FOR OUR SPENDING SHOWDOWN PAGE....IN THE CHECK IT OUT BOX...ON OUR HOMEPAGE...13WMAZ-DOT-COM.
CLAIMS THAT A SERIAL KILLER IS ON THE LOOSE ARE SPREADING AROUND MACON THROUGH TEXT MESSAGES.
THE MESSAGES SURFACED NEARLY A MONTH AFTER POLICE FOUND LAUREN GIDDINGS' DISMEMBERED BODY NEAR HER DOWNTOWN HOME.
LAUREN DISPIRITO SHOWS YOU... WHY ONE BIBB OFFICIAL SAYS THE RUMORS ARE NOT TRUE... AND HE'S CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR IMPACT.
Leon Jones, Bibb County Coroner: "My god, that was my first reaction, my first reaction"
BIBB COUNTY CORONER LEON JONES SAYS PEOPLE FIRST STARTED CALLING HIM SATURDAY.. ABOUT AN EERIE STRING OF TEXT MESSAGES.
Leon Jones, Bibb County Coroner: "I don't know who is doing it, and I hope they would stop doing it, this is our city we don't want this city to go into a panic."
Lauren DiSpirito, Eyewitness News: The text starts: "This is not a joke, I was recently, advised by a postal worker that there is a serial killer in Macon. The police and media are not wanting to publicize it to reduce fear. The girl from Mercer is NOT the only body that has been found recently." It goes on to tell people to call police for help, and that the suspect is targeting females.
Lauren DiSpirito, Eyewitness News: "Is this true?"
Leon Jones, Bibb County Coroner: "No"
Lauren DiSpirito, Eyewitness News: "Totally bogus?"
Leon Jones, Bibb County Coroner: "Totally bogus, the only body that was found in the Ocmulgee River was the body that was found Sunday"
THAT WAS AFTER THE MESSAGES STARTED. HE SAYS THAT BODY WAS NOT DISMEMBERED. THE TEXTS REFER TO MERCER LAW GRAD LAUREN GIDDINGS' UNSOLVED KILLING.
Leon Jones, Bibb County Coroner: "It is not a cover up, it is not a cover up. They're gonna do their job. Macon Police Department is gonna do their job, and I am confident that the person that commited this horrible crime on Ms. Giddings will be brought to justice"
LEON JONES SAYS HE DOES NOT KNOW WHO STARTED THOSE TEXT MESSAGES...OR WHO IS SENDING THEM.
MACON POLICE RESPONDED TO THREE HOMICIDES WITHIN 13 HOURS... STARTING SUNDAY AFTERNOON.
AS AMY AUBERT EXPLAINS...POLICE QUICKLY SOLVED TWO CASES AND CONTINUE TO PURSUE LEADS IN THE THIRD CASE..
I'm here outside Wings Cafe on Bloomfield Drive where, according to a police report, 35-year-old Alfred Smith, Jr. was shot and killed as he was leaving the bar Monday morning. It marks the third unsolved homicide in Macon this year, the second being the case of Lauren Giddings, which sparked several days of searching including using search dogs. Macon Police say they worked 400 overtime hours in two weeks in the Giddings case, but declined to cmment of this latest homicide investigation. A Wings Cafe bouncer who was working that morning says before the shooting, it was a quiet night.
Van Meredith, Macon: "It was nice. Everybody was having a good time. We didn't have any altercations, no fighting, no arguing, nothin' like that. Which we really rarely have here, up in here, anyway. But you know, that night, I don't, I really don't know. Like I said, we didn't have any kind of problems on the inside."
I spoke to Smith's father, who declined to talk on camera, but says Smith was a nice boy who never meant anyone any harm. I also talked to with about ten neighbors who live just down the street from Wings Cafe who say police presence is usually pretty good on this part of Bloomfield Drive, but say they haven't noticed a spike in police activity since Monday's shooting. Macon police say they are investigating, but would not comment on the case beyond that. In Macon, I'm Amy Aubert, 13 WMAZ, Eyewitness News.
>> SPOKESWOMAN JAMI GAUDET SAYS MACON POLICE PLAN TO RELEASE MORE INFORMATION ON THE CASE... BUT SHE DECLINED TO COMMENT FURTHER TODAY.
A BIBB COUNTY GRAND JURY TODAY INDICTED A MACON MAN FOR ASSAULTING A NEWSPAPER PHOTOGRAPHER.
ON DECEMBER 30TH... STATE SEN. ROBERT BROWN HELD A NEWS CONFERENCE AT MACON CITY HALL.
BROWN READ A BRIEF STATEMENT, THEN LEFT THE CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS WITHOUT TAKING QUESTIONS.
AS TELGRAPH PHOTOGRAPHER WOODY MARSHALL FOLLOWED.... MALIK BROWN PINNED HIM AGAINST A WALL AND KNOCKED HIM DOWN.
HERE IS VIDEO OF THE ASSAULT...TAKEN BY 13WMAZ REPORTER BOFTA YIMAM.
MALIK BROWN IS CHARGED WITH TWO COUNTS OF CRIMINAL DAMAGE AND ONE COUNT OF BATTERY....ACCORDING TO MYRA TISDALE, A BIBB COUNTY ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY.
SHE SAID NO ARRAIGNMENT AND NO TRIAL DATE HAVE BEEN SET.
YOU CAN BE A HERO AND HELP CENTRAL GEORGIA STUDENTS GET THE SCHOOL SUPPLIES THEY NEED.
THE HERO CENTRAL OPERATION BACK TO SCHOOL DRIVE IS GOING ON RIGHT NOW AT SOME CENTRAL GEORGIA WALMARTS.
LORRA LYNCH JONES IS AT THE STORE ON GRAY HIGHWAY IN MACON... LORRA?
THANKS LORRA... WE'LL CHECK BACK IN WITH YOU LATER.
YOU CAN MAKE DONATIONS UNTIL 7 P-M.
JUST DROP THEM BY ANY WALMART IN MACON... WARNER ROBINS... PERRY... DUBLIN... MILLEDGEVILLE OR FORSYTH.
IT'S GREAT HANG UP DAY... AND WE'RE ENCOURAGING YOU TO TAKE THE PLEDGE AND PUT DOWN THE PHONE WHEN YOU CLIMB INTO THE DRIVER'S SEAT.
IT'S STILL SUMMER VACATION FOR MOST CENTRAL GEORGIA TEENS BUT SOME ARE LEARNING .
THEY'RE GETTING READY TO TAKE ONE OF THE MOST-ANTICIPATED TESTS OF THEIR LIVES... THE DRIVER'S TEST.
WE SENT ELEANOR LISSITZYN TO A-B-C DRIVING SCHOOL... TO SEE HOW WHAT STUDENTS LEARN IN THE CLASSROOM TRANSLATES TO SAFETY ON THE ROAD.
"I knew it was bad but this opened my eyes."
THE FIRST DAY OF DRIVERS ED... SIXTEEN YEAR OLD SAM WINSKI GOT A CRASH COURSE IN THE DANGERS OF TEXTING AND DRIVNG.
nats "I got 17,000 texts."
SAM AND HIS CLASSMATES... ALREADY HAVE THE FREEDOM TO TALK.. TEXT... IN AN INSTANT... BUT THEY'RE WORKING TOWARDS AN EVEN SWEETER FREEDOM...
"The freedom to go anywhere."
"Just be able to leave the house when I want."
"Then I can go places on my own."
BUT THEIR INSTRUCTOR DIANA HUMBLE SAYS... SHE HOPES WHEN HER STUDENTS DO SIT BEHIND THE WHEEL... THEY REMEMBER SITTING IN HER CLASSROOM.
"Just reading lol could cause them to have a fatal accident where they are the one killed or they kill someone else."
"nats... I promise to make my car a no phone zone."
SAM SAYS EVEN WITH HIS TEXTING SKILLS.
"I'm a fast texter. I dont know three seconds."
HE KNOWS KEEPING HIS PLEDGE TO MAKE HIS CAR A NO PHONE ZONE WILL BE TOUGH.
"It will be difficult because my confidence is going to build up, and I'm going to think that i can handle it."
"I do answer it, that's my big hang up."
SAM'S MOM KIM SAYS WITH A NEW DRIVER IN THE CAR... SHE PLANS TO LEAD BY EXAMPLE
"That's something I should work on stopping."
SHE SAYS THAT... AND KNOWING HE'S HAD TIME AT THE DESK... BEFORE HITTING THE ROAD.
WILL MAKE HANDING OVER THE KEYS A LITTLE EASIER.
STD YOU CAN JOIN THE GREAT HANG UP AS WELL.
LOOK FOR THE LINK UNDER THE FEATURES TAB ON THE MENU BAR AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
ONCE YOU SIGN... WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU.
WE'RE LOOKING FOR PEOPLE TO SHARE THEIR STORIES EACH MONTH DURING OUR GREAT HANG UP DAY.
JUST EMAIL THE-GREAT-HANG-UP AT 13WMAZ DOT COM TO LET US KNOW YOU'RE INTERESTED.
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.