Tuesday, August 2, Eyewitness News at 6

6:13 PM, Aug 1, 2011   |    comments
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HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US. I'M FRANK MALLOY..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.

MACON POLICE CHIEF BURNS... AND DISTRICT ATTORNEY GREG WINTERS MET THIS AFTERNOON TO DISCUSS THE LAUREN GIDDINGS MURDER INVESTIGATION.
LAUREN DISPIRITO JOINS US NOW WITH INFORMATION ABOUT THAT MEETING... AND SHE ALSO SPOKE WITH LAUREN GIDDINGS FATHER BILL BY PHONE TODAY.
YES FRANK...
GIDDINGS FATHER SAYS HE'S BEEN SPEAKING WITH INVESTIGATORS ON THE CASE ALMOST DAILY... WE HAVE NEW INFORMATION FROM HIM TODAY...
BUT FIRST... THE PEOPLE MACON POLICE CHIEF MIKE BURNS SAYS KNOW EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW ABOUT THIS CASE... HE AND MAJOR CHARLES STONE.. MET BEHIND CLOSED DOORS WITH BIBB COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY GREG WINTERS FOR ABOUT ONE AND A HALF HOURS.
TAKE A LOOK AT THIS VIDEO... TAKEN AS WINTERS LEFT THAT MEETING A LITTLE MORE THAN ONE HOUR AGO.
Lauren"can you tell us if you expect in charges tonight or tomorrow"
DA winters "no comment"
Lauren "was the meeting successful"
sound of car starting and driving away
NO WORD FROM WINTERS ON WHETHER THEY ARE CLOSER TO CHARGING ANYONE WITH LAUREN GIDDINGS' KILLING.
AFTER THE MEETING... POLICE RELEASED A STATEMENT THAT ASSISTANT D-A NANCY MALCOR AND MEMBERS OF THE LOCAL F-B-I WERE ALSO ATTENDED.
IT WENT ON TO SAY CHIEF BURNS WANTED A FACE-TO-FACE REVIEW OF THE EVIDENCE FROM EACH OFFICE... AND THERE IS NO FURTHER INFOMATION AT THIS TIME.
EARLIER TODAY... GIDDINGS' FATHER BILL TOLD ME POLICE HAVE GOTTEN SOME RESULTS BACK FROM THE F-B-I ON EVIDENCE COLLECTED IN THE INVESTIGATION AND THAT IT QUOTE *SHOWS PROMISE.*
GIDDINGS ALSO SAID AT THIS TIME... THERE IS NO SECOND PERSON OF INTEREST IN THE CASE.
POLICE HAVE SAID BEFORE THEY CONSIDER STEPHEN MCDANIEL... GIDDINGS' NEIGHBOR A PERSON OF INTEREST... AND AT LEAST ONE OTHER PERSON... BUT THEY HAVE NOT NAMED ANYONE ELSE IN THE INVESTIGATION.
POLICE ARRESTED MC DANIEL ON BURGLARY CHARGES THE DAY AFTER GIDDINGS' BODY WAS FOUND.
HER FATHER SAYS POLICE ARE LEANING TOWARD MCDANIEL IN THE CASE.
ON THURSDAY... A BOND HEARING IS SCHEDULED FOR STEPHEN MCDANIEL ON THE BURGLARY CHARGES.
THE FUNERAL FOR LAUREN GIDDINGS WILL BE HELD SATURDAY IN LAUREL, MARYLAND.
FRANK
THANKS LAUREN
WE ASKED MACON POLICE TO RESPOND TO BILL GIDDINGS' COMMENTS.
BEFORE NOON... POLICE SPOKESWOMAN JAMI GAUDET SAYS SHE SENT OUR REQUEST TO THE CHIEF... BUT WE STILL HAVEN'T RECEIVED HIS RESPONSE.

GEORGIA'S SENIOR SENATOR SAXBY CHAMBLISS SPENT MONTHS WORKING WITH THE SO-CALLED GANG OF SIX TO PULL TOGETHER A DEBT-CEILING DEAL.
BUT CHAMBLISS WAS ONE OF TWENTY-SIX SENATORS VOTING AGAINST THE MEASURE APPROVED BY BOTH THE HOUSE AND SENATE.. THEN SIGNED INTO LAW BY PRESIDENT OBAMA.
RANDALL SAVAGE TALKED WITH CHAMLISS AFTER THE VOTE.... CHAMBLISS SAYS THE DEAL DIDN'T GO FAR ENOUGH TO REDUCE THE NATIONAL DEBT.
Here is the complete statement from Sen. Saxby Chambliss e-mailed to 13WMAZ after he voted against the debt-ceiling agreement: "I applaud Speaker Boehner and Leader McConnell for their work in preventing a default on our nation's obligations. But I cannot vote for the largest debt-ceiling increase in America's history without significant assurances that the bill's proposed spending reductions will actually be realized, and without reforms to the way our government budgets its spending of taxpayer dollars. This bill failed to meet those requirements.
"The enforcement provisions that are supposed to lead to decreased spending are simply not strong enough. The bill includes self-imposed spending caps, but does not provide a robust-enough procedure to ensure that those caps are not violated. Congress has shown time and again that it is incapable of staying within spending limits.
"This bill does not address the actual debt. Because cuts were not deep enough and we didn't provide a plan that will ultimately pay off our debts, we took no concrete steps toward reducing America's public debt. In fact, we are still borrowing $4 billion a day, and after the passage of this bill are projected to have an increase of some $10 trillion in debt over the next decade.
"Our fiscal crisis is the most important challenge we face. I will continue to work with my colleagues to fight for fiscal reforms that will put us on a path to reduce our deficit and debt, and to balance our nation's books through a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution."
GEORGIA'S JUNIOR SENATOR JOHNNY ISAKSON VOTED FOR THE DEBT CEILING DEAL.. AMONG OTHER THINGS.. THE DEAL CALLS FOR $2.4 TRILLION IN BUDGET CUTS.. AND ABOUT THE SAME AMOUNT OF ADDITIONAL DEBT CAPACITY.

FORMER MAYOR C. JACK ELLIS SAYS IF HE'S ELECTED AGAIN... HE WANTS TO BRING SMALL BUSINESSES BACK TO LIFE.
HE SAYS HE WANTS TO OPEN A COMMUNITY CENTER IN THIS CLOSED SUNTRUST BANK BUILDING IN SOUTH MACON.
ELLIS SAYS THE CENTER WOULD OFFER SERVICES SUCH AS A COMPUTER LAB... AND A WINDOW FOR PAYING UTILITY BILLS.
THE FORMER MAYOR SAYS ONE OF HIS MAIN FOCUSES WOULD BE BRINGING SMALL BUSINESSES SUCH AS BANKS... GROCERY STORES AND PHARMACIES TO THE AREA.
"That's why we're here today, to let the people of south Macon know that help is on the way. That when we're in office, we will in fact try and rescue some of these closed buildings that you see here by opening them up and bringing life back, creating jobs, working with small businesses, incentivizing small businesses, putting incentives in place."
ELLIS WILL MEET CURRENT MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT IN THE MAYORAL RUNOFF TWO WEEKS FROM TODAY.
EARLY VOTING FOR THAT RACE AND THE SENATE DISTRICT 26 RACE BETWEEN MIRIAM PARIS AND DAVID LUCAS IS UNDERWAY AT THE BIBB COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS OFFICE ON PIO NONO AVENUE..
EARLY VOTING RUNS THROUGH FRIDAY, AUGUST 12..
"That's why we're here today, to let the people of south Macon know that help is on the way. That when we're in office, we will in fact try and rescue some of these closed buildings that you see here by opening them up and bringing life back, creating jobs, working with small businesses, incentivizing small businesses, putting incentives in place."
ELLIS WILL MEET CURRENT MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT IN THE MAYORAL RUNOFF TWO WEEKS FROM TODAY.
EARLY VOTING FOR THAT RACE AND THE SENATE DISTRICT 26 RACE BETWEEN MIRIAM PARIS AND DAVID LUCAS IS UNDERWAY AT THE BIBB COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS OFFICE ON PIO NONO AVENUE..
EARLY VOTING RUNS THROUGH FRIDAY, AUGUST 12..

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN EIGHT YEARS... DOMESTIC CARS SEEM TO BE MORE OF A TARGET FOR THIEVES THAN FOREIGN BRANDS.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL INSURANCE CRIME BUREAU.
THE AGENCY RELEASED ITS 2010 "HOT WHEELS" TOP TEN LIST OF MOST STOLEN CARS.
THE 1994 HONDA ACCORD TOPPED THE LIST... FOLLOWED BY THE 1995 HONDA CIVIC... AND THE 1991 TOYOTA CAMRY.
PRELIMINARY F-B-I CRIME NUMBERS SAY AUTO THEFTS DROPPED ABOUT SEVEN PERCENT SINCE 2009.
FOR THE COMPLETE "HOT WHEELS" LIST... LOOK FOR THIS STORY AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
AND TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL QUESTION ASKS... HAVE YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW HAD A CAR STOLEN?
SO FAR 57 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES.
AND 43 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO.
YOU HAVE UNTIL MIDNIGHT TO VOTE... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.

MACON STATE COLLEGE'S NEW PRESIDENT CAME WITH IDEAS FOR NEW PROGRAMS.
JEFFERY ALLBRITTEN BECAME THE COLLEGE'S PRESIDENT ON JULY FIRST... AND HE'S ALREADY VISITING AREAS AROUND CENTRAL GEORGIA TO SEE WHAT THEY NEED AND HOW THE COLLEGE CAN HELP.
HE SAT DOWN WITH RANDALL SAVAGE DURING A TAPING OF THIS WEEK'S CLOSE-UP PROGRAM TO DISCUSS SOME OF WHAT HE HOPES TO GET DONE AT THE COLLEGE.. INCLUDING THE CREATION OF GRADUATE PROGRAMS.
Jeffrey Allbritten, Macon State President: "We will come forward with any program. Based on need, based on data, it will be well put together and stand on its own merit. That is something I believe we have the caliber of faculty and facilities and programs that would certainly warrant that."
YOU CAN CATCH CLOSE-UP IN ITS ENTIRETY AT NOON SATURDAY AND AT SIX A-M SUNDAY RIGHT HERE ON 13 WMAZ.

THE BIBB COUNTY COMMISSION IS MAKING ITS LIST... AND CHECKING IT TWICE.
TODAY THEY STARTED TALKING ABOUT WHAT PROJECTS THEY WILL PUT ON THE NOVEMBER BALLOT AS PART OF A PROPOSED PENNY SALES TAX.
CANDACE ADORKA HAS BEEN FOLLOWING THE STORY... COMMISSIONERS TOLD HER THEY'RE TRYING TO LISTEN TO WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT.
CANDACE?
THE COUNTY COMMISSION SUGGESTED THE IDEA OF A NEW SPECIAL PURPOSE LOCAL OPTION SALES TAX MONTHS AGO... BUT TODAY WAS THE FIRST TIME THEY DISCUSSED SPECIFIC PROJECTS THE 180-MILLION-DOLLAR SPLOST WOULD PAY FOR.
COMMISSIONERS LOOKED AT WHAT PROJECTS THE PUBLIC WOULD LIKE... BASED ON A PHONE SURVEY OF 300 COUNTY VOTERS AND SERIES OF TOWN HALL MEETINGS LAST MONTH.
ACCORDING TO THAT SURVEY... PEOPLE WANT MORE JOBS... BETTER EDUCATION... BETTER PUBLIC SAFETY... AND RECREATION.
I SPOKE TO ONE SOUTH MACON MAN WHO SAYS ALL THOSE THINGS ARE INTERTWINED.
<<
PEOPLE IN BIBB COUNTY THINK THE TWO BIGGEST PROBLEMS FACING LOCAL GOVERNMENT ARE TOO FEW JOBS... AND TOO MUCH CRIME.
THAT'S WHAT COUNTY COMMISSIONERS FOUND OUT FROM A REPORT BASED ON A A SERIES OF TOWN HALL MEETINGS AND A SURVEY OF COUNTY VOTERS.
ROBERT JOHNSON... A SOUTH MACON RESIDENT... SAYS THE TWO PROBLEMS ARE ONE AND THE SAME.
"We just had 4 homicides in the last week or so. That don't look good, that won't attract businesses to come to our area, so public safety is a big issue, we wanna help bring jobs to our city."
HE SAID ONE WAY TO FIGHT CRIME IS TO INVEST IN RECREATION FACILITIES... AND HE LEARNED THAT WORKING IN THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM.
"It plays a big role in Macon in terms of trying to keep down crime and I had a lot of kids that were locked up in my facility that didn't have recreation in the area."
RECREATION ALSO SCORED HIGHLY IN THE SURVEY... AND COMMISSION CHARIMAN SAM HART SAYS RECREATION IMPROVEMENTS WILL DEFINITELY END OP ON THE SPLOST LIST... THE QUESTION IS HOW MUCH WILL BE SPENT ON IT.
HE SAYS THEY HAVE TO CONSIDER OTHER NEEDS THE COMMUNITY HAS.
"they'd like public safety issues that we've talked about, they'd like to see us do something with storm water drainage and several other kinds of things as it relates to making this community... paved roads... " 75 PERCENT OF THOSE BELIEVE PART OF THE SPLOST SHOULD BE USED TO RENOVATE THE OLD COURTHOUSE TO SAVE MONEY... INSTEAD OF BUILDING A NEW ONE AS PROPOSED IN THE 2010 SPLOST THAT FAILED.
SO NOW COMMISIONERS ARE LOOKING AT WAYS TO RENOVATE IT FOR LESS BUT STILL ADDRESS THE SAFETY ISSUES... AS DETERMINED BY A COURT ORDER.
COMMISSIONER JOE ALLEN SAYS PEOPLE NEED TO CONTINUE TO COMMUNICATE WITH THEIR COUNTY LEADERS.
"I hope people will start calling us and calling your chairman and calling your commissioners and telling them what they think. People have to get involved."
>> COMMISSIONERS ALSO DISCUSSED A LIST OF MORE THAN 20 RECREATION PROJECTS THAT WILL COST 75 MILLION DOLLARS TOTAL.
THE MOST EXPENSIVE PROPOSAL IS FOR THE CENTRAL CITY COMPLEX
AT JUST UNDER 16 MILLION DOLLARS... IT INCLUDES A LARGE POND WITH PADDLE BOAT AND CANOE RENTALS... A LARGE DESTINATION PLAYGROUND
AND A CHAMPIONSHIP SPORTS COMPLEX WITH BASEBALL, SOFTBALL, MULTIPURPOSE FIELDS AND INDOOR BASKETBALL COURTS..... FRANK?
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS WILL MEET WITH CITY OFFICIALS TOMORROW MORNING TO GET A ROUGH IDEA OF WHAT THE FINAL SPLOST LIST WILL LOOK LIKE.
THEY'LL MEET AGAIN NEXT MONDAY AND DISCUSS NEW PLANS TO RENOVATE THE COURTHOUSE

ON C-B-S' "THE TALK" TODAY... THE LADIES TALKED ABOUT HOW TO CHOOSE A BABY NAME.
SO WE ASKED OUR FACEBOOK FANS HOW THEY CHOSE NAMES FOR THEIR NEWBORNS.
ONE PERSON WROTE... "I LET MY CHILDREN NAME THEMSELVES. I HAD A FEW IN MIND BEFORE THEY WERE BORN BUT AS SOON AS I SAW THEM I KNEW FOR SURE IN STONE WHAT THEY WERE!"
SOMEONE ELSE COMMENTED... "I GOT MY DAUGHTER'S FIRST NAME, ELLIRYANA, FROM ONE OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS WHEN I WAS YOUNGER. WE CALL HER ELLI FOR SHORT. AND HER MIDDLE NAME, LEIGH, CAME FROM MY COUSIN AND MY HUSBAND.... I WANTED SOMETHING UNIQUE BUT STILL SOMETHING WE COULD SHORTEN."
AND A THIRD PERSON TOLD US... "I LET MY STEP CHILDREN NAME MY FIRST TWO KIDS SO THAT THEY WOULD FEEL MORE INCLUDED.. GOT A KRYSTA AND A JUSTIN."
JOIN THE DISCUSSION ON FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ.
CLICK THE "LIKE BUTTON TO BECOME A FAN.

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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