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Monday, August 8, Eyewitness News at 11

2:15 PM, Aug 9, 2011   |    comments
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GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M FRANK MALLOY..
THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.

STRONG STORMS PASSED THROUGH THROUGH CENTRAL GEORGIA EALIER THIS EVENING KNOCKING DOWN SEVERAL TREES ACROSS MACON.

BILL BROWN SAYS THE STORM KNOCKED DOWN THIS NEARLY 60 FOOT TREE IN HIS YARD.
HE SAYS AROUND 6 O'CLOCK THIS EVENING.. THE TREE FELL.... HITTING SEVERAL OTHERS.. SENDING LIMBS AND BRANCHES FALLING.
BROWN SAYS ONE OF THE BRANCHES EVEN WENT THROUGH HIS ROOF.
HE SAYS STORMS WITH STRONG WINDS USUALLY DON'T CAUSE DAMAGE AT HIS HOME.

usually when we have bad winds. they usually just over us... and uh.. but.. not this time.

CREWS WERE HARD AT WORK ON VINEVILLE AVENUE THIS EVENING.

(NATS CHAINSAW)
THEY WORKED TO CLEAR THE ROADWAY AFTER THE STORMS KNOCKED DOWN A TREE THERE.
CREWS ALSO WORKED TO CLEAR A TREE THAT WAS BLOCKING ONE LANE OF WESTBOUND TRAFFIC ON VINEVILLE AVENUE..NEAR FOREST HILL ROAD.

ben gives three day forecast

THANKS BEN.. WE'LL TALK WITH YOU AGAIN IN JUST A FEW MINUTES.

DR. GREGORY GEORGE.. AND ECONOMIST AT MACON STATE COLLEGE JOINED US IN THE STUDIO FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 6
HE SAYS HE KNOW'S PEOPLE'S KNEE-JERK REACTION IS TO GET OUT OF THE MARKET-- QUICK.
BUT SAYS NOT TO LET YOUR FEAR GET THE BEST OF YOUR PORTFOLIO.

"Markets are historically volatile. Today, like I said, was a bloodbath. We've had a lot of things going wrong, stocks took a dive today. But, on the other hand, we see things like gas prices going down. So, you really need to take a deep breath in situations like this, don't go out and rearrange your portfolio based on one day in the market. But do start to consider longterm, we're going to have some changes in the economy."

YOU CAN WATCH DR. GEORGE'S FULL INTERVIEW ON OUR HOMEPAGE AT 13 WMAZ DOT COM

MACON VOTERS WILL HEAD TO THE POLLS NEXT WEEK.. TO DECIDE TWO RACES.. AND SOON IT WILL BE THE PEOPLE OF WARNER ROBINS TURN.
THE GENERAL ELECTION FOR THE INTERNATIONAL CITY IS ABOUT THREE MONTHS AWAY.... BUT THAT'S NOT STOPPING SOME CANDIDATES FROM STARTING THE CAMPAIGN SEASON.
THE FIRST CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE ANNOUNCED HIS PLANS TO RUN TODAY.

Nats full- thomas talking
TIM THOMAS SAYS HE WANTS THE POST TWO SEAT.... THAT REPRESENTS THE ENTIRE CITY.
TOM SIMMS JUNIOR CURRENTLY HOLDS THAT POSITION... BUT SAYS HE WILL NOT RUN THIS TIME AROUND.
THOMAS IS A LIFE LONG RESIDENT OF WARNER ROBINS... WHOSE FATHER SERVED ON COUNCIL DURING THE 1970'S AND 80'S.
THOMAS OWNS A BAIL BONDING AND ELECTRONIC MONITORING COMPANY.
HE SAYS HE STANDS FOR CONSERVATIVE SPENDING AND ETHICS IN GOVERNMENT.

Tim Thomas, Post 2 Candidate: (8:25) "I'm not going to get up there and embarrass the city, fuss or fight. I'm not going to call names. If we have an issue, we need to iron it out. We will do it behind closed doors and we will come out and make our city look good."

VOTERS WILL ALSO CHOOSE A REPRESENTATIVE FOR THE POST FOUR AND POST SIX SEATS.
THOSE ARE CURRENTLY HELD BY BOB WILBANKS AND JOHN WILLIAMS.
BOTH SAY THEY PLAN TO RUN AGAIN... BUT HAVE NOT MADE FORMAL ANNOUNCEMENTS.
QUALIFYING BEGINS AUGUST 29TH.

AFTER HOLDING SEVERAL LISTENING SESSIONS EARLIER THIS SUMMER.. TO GET THE PUBLIC'S OPINION.
BIBB COUNTY IS GETTING CLOSER TO DECIDING WHAT THEY WANT TO PAY FOR WITH A PROPOSED PENNY SALES TAX.
TODAY... COUNTY COMMISSIONERS LOOKED AT POTENTIAL PROJECTS FOR THE SPECIAL PURPOSE LOCAL OPTION SALES TAX... AND THEY SIGNED OFF ON...

... UPGRADING THE EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION SYSTEM... BUILDING A NEW ANIMAL SHELTER AND JUVENILE COURT FACILITY...

FIXING STORM DRAINAGE AROUND THE COUNTY... AND PAYING OFF THE CITY AND COUNTY'S DEBT.

COMMISSIONERS ALSO AGREED ON RENOVATING THE COURTHOUSE FOR 27 MILLION DOLLARS RATHER THAN BUILDING A NEW ONE FOR AROUND 80 MILLION.
COMMISSIONER LONZY EDWARDS WAS IN FAVOR OF A NEW COURTHOUSE LAST WEEK... BUT HE SAYS HE'S LISTENED TO WHAT THE PUBLIC WANTS... AND CHANGED HIS MIND.

"I am now convinced that maybe the better part of wisdom is to think in terms of renovation as oppposed to the thing that I really think is needed, I have not changed my mind about what I think the community needs, it's just a question of what we can accomplish through a splost."

CITY OFFICIALS HAD SUGGESTED SPENDING 9 MILLION DOLLARS TO EXTEND AND REVITALIZE SECOND STREET... BUT COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ARE SAYING THEY WOULD RATHER SEE THE MONEY GO TO ANOTHER PROJECT...
EDWARDS IS PUSHING FOR AN EXTENDED RUNWAY AT THE AIRPORT IN SOUTH BIBB COUNTY.

"If that runway is extended it means that we have the possibility of getting bigger airplanes in there which means we get the possibility of getting more jobs, not just any kind of jobs, you're talking about good high paying jobs in aircraft maintenance."

COMMISSIONERS WILL MEET AGAIN TOMORROW TO DECIDE WHAT RECREATION PROJECTS THEY WANT TO WORK ON WITH 42 MILLION DOLLARS OF THE SPLOST MONEY.
THEY WILL ALSO MEET WITH THE CITY TO PRESENT THEIR PROJECT PRIOROTIES.
THE COUNTY AND THE CITY HAVE UNTIL AUGUST 15 TO FINALIZE THEIR SPLOST PROJECTS

SUPPORTERS OF IMPRISONED PASTER ONSLOW ROSS DEMONSTRATED OUTSIDE THE FEDERAL COURT HOUSE IN MACON TODAY TO PROTEST HIS JAIL SENTENCE.

IN 2008 A JUDGE SENTENCED THE PASTOR OF 'THE REACHING SOULS CATHEDRAL OF PRAISE APOSTOLIC CHURCH' TO MORE THAN 10 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON... AFTER A JURY FOUND HIM GUILTY OF STEALING ALMOST FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS OF INSURANCE MONEY FROM HIS CHURCH.
ROSS' ATTORNEY... BRADFORD COHEN... SAYS AFTER EIGHT MONTHS A JUDGE FINALLY ORDERED THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE TO RESPOND TO A MOTION TO SET ROSS FREE.
COHEN SAYS ROSS DESERVES A NEW TRIAL BECAUSE HIS LAWYER DIDN'T ADEQUATELY REPRESENT HIM DURING HIS 2008 TRIAL... AND NEVER CALLED INSURANCE EXPERTS TO TESTIFY AT THE TRIAL ABOUT THE CHARGES AGAINST HIM.
XAVIER CROSS TOOK OVER AS PASTOR AT ROSS' CHURCH... HE SAYS MORE THAN 200 PEOPLE HAVE LEFT THE CONGREGATION... BUT THE ONES THAT STAYED KNOW THE TRUTH

"The 100 that stayed, we're the ones that know the believe and know that he didn't do anything wrong. We know his character, we know what he stands for, and that he's going to be exonerated of all the charges."

ACCORDING TO THE MOTION, THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE HAS ABOUT THIRTY DAYS LEFT TO RESPOND TO THE DEFENSE'S REQUEST TO END ROSS' JAIL SENTENCE.

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