HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.I'M LORRA LYNCH JONES.
AND I'M FRANK MALLOY..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.
THE FAMILY OF STEPHEN MCDANIEL... WHO IS ACCUSED OF KILLING LAUREN GIDDINGS.. PLANS TO HIRE A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR TO CHECK INTO ALLEGATIONS MADE IN THE CASE.
LAUREN DISPIRITO SPOKE WITH FLOYD BUFORD... MCDANIEL'S ATTORNEY... WHO SAYS HIS CLIENT IS INNOCENT.
BUFORD DISCUSSED STATEMENTS MADE BY MCDANIEL'S MOTHER TO THE MEDIA... SAYING HER SON MAY HAVE BEEN FRAMED... AND THAT POLICE SHOULD BE LOOKING AT ANOTHER RESIDENT AT THE BARRINGTON HALL APARTMENTS... AS A POSSIBLE SUSPECT.
Lauren DiSpirito, Eyewitness News: "Do you believe what she's saying and is that why you're hiring an investigator?"
Floyd Buford: "The investigator is going to investigate a whole host of issues, the comment that she made earlier in the week about the maintenance man, we've been aware of that probably within 24 hours after Stephen was arrested, so that's something we were aware of. So it's issues and other issues that we're going to investigate, so we can help prepare a good defense for Stephen.
Lauren DiSpirito: "So that is one of the things this investigator will investigate?
Floyd Buford: "One of the things."
Lauren DiSpirito: "You do at this point think there is some validity to what she's saying, that he may have been framed?"
Floyd Buford: "She feels very strongly about it and she's made that very clear. So we're going to investigate it, look at all possible angles and get to the bottom of it."
WE ALSO ASKED BUFORD ABOUT ALLEGATIONS IN AN ARREST WARRANT THAT POLICE FOUND THE PACKAGE TO A HACKSAW....THAT MAY HAVE BELONGED TO MCDANIEL....AND THAT MCDANIEL TOLD PEOPLE HE COULD COMMIT MURDER AND GET AWAY WITH IT.
Lauren dispirito, eyewitness news: "
Floyd buford, attorney: "
...look at everything very closely."
BUFORD WAS REFERRING TO DAVID DORER... ALSO A FORMER MERCER LAW STUDENT.
HIS LAWYER... BRETT STEGER... RELEASED A STATEMENT LAST NIGHT TO 13WMAZ SAYING DORER HAS COOPERATED WITH POLICE... AND THAT THEY SAY HE IS NOT A SUSPECT OR A PERSON OF INTEREST IN THE GIDDINGS CASE.
HIS LAWYER SAID... QUOTE... DAVID IS IN NO WAY INVOLVED IN THE DEATH OF MS. GIDDINGS.
A WARNER ROBNS WOMAN NOW FACES FELONY MURDER CHARGES IN LAST WEEK'S DEATH OF A 3 YEAR OLD INSIDE A CAR.
A POLICE NEWS RELEASE SAYS SHELIA HENDERSON WAS BABYSITTING THE CHILD AND LEFT HIM INSIDE THE HOT CAR FOR MORE THAN AN HOUR LAST MONDAY..
SPOKESWOMAN TABITHA PUGH SAYS HENDERSON IS ALSO CHARGED WITH CHILD CRUELTY... INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER... AND RECKLESS CONDUCT.
HENDERSON IS BEING HELD IN THE HOUSTON COUNTY JAIL.
FOR BUSINESSES... THE DEBT CRISIS HITS HARD.
THIS AFTERNOON.... AT A LUNCH IN PERRY....POLITICIANS DISCUSSED WHAT'S GOING ON IN WASHINGTON... AND HOW A LOWERED CREDIT RATING... COULD AFFECT BOTH SMALL AND LARGE CORPORATIONS.
AS AMY AUBERT SHOWS YOU... POLICITICIANS DECLINED TO PLAY THE BLAME GAME... BUT FOR BUSINESS OWNERS... IT'S ABOUT GETTING THE ECONOMY BACK ON TRACK.
Congressman Price (in panel): "If you're in business across this state, or anywhere in this country, and you're thinking about expanding, or you're thinking about starting up a new business, you don't know what the playing field is going to be when you begin to move in that direction."
TUESDAY... CONGRESSMAN TOM PRICE AND OTHER GEORGIANS IN CONGRESS....DISCUSSED WASHINGTON'S DEBT DEAL...AND THE LOWER CREDIT RATING THAT FOLLOWED.
Austin Scott: "The number one question is, "What do you think about the S & P downgrade?" Well, I'll tell you quite honestly that it did not come as a surprise, we knew what we needed to do and we didn't get it done."
BUT BOTH CONGRESSMAN PRICE AND SENATOR ISAKSON... ARE RELUCTANT TO POINT FINGERS.
Senator Isakson: "Blaming people doesn't make any sense whatsoever, and it's not contructive."
BUT FOR GEORGIA BUSINESS PEOPLE... THE LOWER STANDARD AND POORS RATING... CAN MEAN UNANSWERED QUESTIONS.
Congressman Price: "Men and women know they can't just do down to their bank to take out a loan to expand their business. They don't know whether or not they're going to be able to do that, they don't know what the predictability of access to capital is going to be."
ONE OF THOSE IS BODINE SINYARD....WHOSE PEST-CONTROL COMPANY EMPLOYS 60 PEOPLE.
Bodine Sinyard, Albany: "It doesn't matter if you have a business with 2 employees or 60 employees or 10,000 employees, debt can overwhlem you."
SINYARD SAYS HIS HEALTHCARE COSTS JUMPED 16 PERCENT ON MONDAY. A HUGE CHANGE... HE SAYS.... FOR A SMALL COMPANY.
Bodine Sinyard, Albany: "We're not whining, we just want to have the ability to run our business, to be able to do the things that business people do, pay more than our fair share in taxes, and subesquently, we think the economy can grow and we can start to do some things very special."
FOR POLITICIANS AND BUSINESS PEOPLE ALIKE... THEY'RE LOOKING TO SEE A CREDIT RATING... RISING BACK TO TRIPLE A.
Isakson: "I think what happened in the market yesterday was a ratification of the need for congress to get back to work."
AMY AUBERT... 13 WMAZ... EYEWITNESS NEWS.
ABOUT ONE THOUSAND PEOPLE... INCLUDING GEORGIA CHAMBER MEMBERS AND BUSINESS PEOPLE FROM ACROSS THE STATE... CAME OUT FOR THE LUNCHEON AT THE GEORGIA NATIONAL FAIRGROUNDS.
AND TODAY'S 13 WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... HOW SHOULD THE U.S. RESOLVE ITS' DEBT CRISIS?
SO FAR 66 PERCENT OF YOU SAY CUT SPENDING.
TWO PERCENT OF YOU SAY RAISE TAXES.
AND 32 PERCENT OF YOU SAY BOTH.
TO VOTE NOW.. VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT 13 WMAZ DOT COM.. AND LOOK FOR THE WEB POLL QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE.
MACON CITY AND BIBB COUNTY LEADERS ARE MEETING RIGHT NOW TO DISCUSS HOW TO SPEND SPLOST MONEY..
THEY'RE DRAWING UP A LIST OF PROJECTS...FOR A PENNY SALES TAX THAT WOULD GO BEFORE BIBB VOTERS IN NOVEMBER.
MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT WANTS TO INCLUDE FUNDING FOR SECOND STREET REDEVELOPMENT - SOME BIBB COMMISSIONERS WOULD RATHER USE THE MONEY TO EXTEND A RUNWAY AT THE MIDDLE GEORGIA REGIONAL AIRPORT.
THE COMMISSIONERS ARE ALSO GOING THROUGH A LIST OF PROPOSED RECREATION PROJECTS.
CANDACE ADORKA WILL HAVE MORE THIS STORY ON EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.
THE ROUGH AND TUMBLE WARNER ROBINS SWAT TEAM RESPONDS TO HOSTAGE TAKERS... BARRICADED GUNMAN... AND OTHER HIGH-RISK SITUATIONS.
ITS 25 OFFICERS CLAIM MORE THAN 200 YEARS OF COMBINED LAW ENFORCEMENT EXPERIENCE.
NOW A NEW OFFICER BRINGS ADDED QUALIFICATIONS TO THE SQUAD'S SKILLS.... INCLUDING A SOFTER SIDE.
THE WARRIORS OF THE WARNER ROBINS SPECIAL WEAPONS AND TACTICS TEAM....
quick nats- gun
DON'T TAKE CHANCES...
nats- shoots target
OR LESS THAN PERFECTION.
nats- (11:23) doing push-ups
THEY DO TAKE HIGHLY TRAINED PROFESSIONALS...
nats- changing bullets (show fingernails)
INCLUDING ONE WITH A MANICURE.
Brandi Cross: (16:24) "I'm one of the guys. They don't treat me any different."
BRANDI CROSS SAYS SHE GREW-UP PREFERRING THE GAMES OF BOYS...
Brand Cross: (13:10) "Hide and go-see. tag, cops and robbers."
THEN AT 18... SHE JOINED THE ARMY... FOR TWO TOURS OF DUTY IN THE DESERT.
Brandi Cross: (16:00) "Through deployments, we ran missions. We did raids on houses, walking patrols. We did the shooting with the big guns."
THAT PREPARATION MADE TRYING OUT FOR THE POLICE DEPARTMENT AND THIS SPECIALIZED TEAM LOOK LIKE A LOCK.
Capt. Brian Stewart: (31:40) "She gets out there. She does the same thing the guys do. She's gone through the same courses the guys do."
COMMANDER BRIAN STEWART SAYS AFTER RIGOROUS PHYSICAL TESTS... INTERVIEWS... AND A VOTE OF CONFIDENCE FROM THE TEAM... THEY ACCEPTED CROSS AS THE FIRST FEMALE.
nats- (25:06) laughing
HE SAYS SHE BROUGHT A MISSING COMPONENT TO THEIR TIGHT-NIT TEAM...
(18:25) "A female feels more comforted with me searching her. (cover- 18:15) "Ive found dope in places, crack in places, most guys wouldn't feel comfortable going."
SHE'S AT HOME AMONG THE MACHINERY AND MASCULINITY... AND HER FEMININE SIDE STILL MATTERS....
(19:50) "I get my nails done. I get my hair done."
JUST NOT HERE...
(20:05) "I don't have time to be girly or prissy."
WHERE PROTECTING LIVES BECOMES THE ONLY TARGET.
WHEN SHE'S NOT WORKING WITH THE SWAT TEAM... CROSS SERVES A PATROL OFFICER ON THE NIGHT SHIFT.
SHE JOINED THE DEPARTMENT TWO YEARS AGO... AND SAYS HER GOAL... IS TO BECOME A K-9 OFFICER.
MORE EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 6 IS COMING UP AFTER THE BREAK.
BUT FIRST .. HERE'S A LOOK AT TODAY'S AVERAGE GAS PRICE IN MACON ACCORDING TO TRIPLE A.
WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.
THANKS TO A NEW STATE PROGRAM... BUSINESSES IN SOME PARTS OF MACON CAN NOW GET A THIRTY-FIVE HUNDRED DOLLAR TAX CREDIT... FOR CREATING NEW JOBS.
MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT SAYS THE STATE RECENTLY APPROVED SEVERAL 'OPPORTUNITY ZONES' WITHIN MACON... AND THAT BUSINESSES WITHIN THESE ZONES WILL QUALIFY.
THE OPPORTUNITY ZONES INCLUDE WESTGATE PLAZA... PART OF DOWNTOWN... AND THE EISENHOWER PARKWAY AREA.
THE BUSINESSES MUST CREATE A LEAST TWO NEW JOBS TO QUALIFY.
MAYOR REICHERT SAYS HE HOPES IT WILL HELP REVITALIZE THOSE AREAS.
Robert Reichert: "And this is a tax credit of $3,500 per employee, per year, for five years as a direct credit against income tax liability. And if there's excess credit it can be against witholding, payroll withholding."
REICHERT SAYS THOSE CREDITS WILL APPLY TO JOBS CREATED ANYTIME THIS YEAR...STARTING IN JANUARY.
MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT AND FORMER MAYOR C. JACK ELLIS WILL MEET AT 7 P.M. THURSDAY IN 13WMAZ'S STUDIO FOR OUR MAYORAL ELECTION FORUM.
THE TWO WILL FACE EACH OTHER IN NEXT WEEK'S RUNOFF ELECTION.
IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION FOR THE CANDIDATES... OUR PANEL - RANDALL SAVAGE, LORRA LYNCH JONES AND ANITA PONDER -- WILL USE YOUR IDEAS IN DRAWING UP THEIR QUESTIONS FOR REICHERT AND ELLIS.
A SECOND CANDIDATE TODAY ANNOUNCED SHE'S RUNNING FOR A WARNER ROBINS CITY COUNCIL SEAT.
SHE'S ALEXANDRA TALLEY....A FORMER CITY OFFICIAL NOW RUNNING FOR THE CITYWIDE POST 2 SEAT.
TALLEY TOLD US SHE WORKED FOR WARNER ROBINS FOR 16 YEARS....PART OF IT AS HEAD OF PURCHASING...AND RECEIVING.
SHE SAYS HER BUDGETING AND FINANCE BACKGROUND WILL HELP.
TIM THOMAS SAYS HE'S ALSO RUNNING FOR THE SEAT...CURRENTLY HELD BY TOMMY SIMMS.
QUALIFYING FOR THREE COUNCIL SEATS....BEGINS AUGUST 29TH.
STARTING TOMORROW... WE'LL BE TESTING A NEW COMMENTING SYSTEM AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
WE WANT TO MAKE IT AS EASY AS POSSIBLE TO GET INTO THE DISCUSSIONS... SO NOW YOU'LL USE YOUR FACEBOOK ACCOUNT TO POST COMMENTS.
NOW... IF YOU DON'T HAVE A FACEBOOK ACCOUNT... YOU CAN QUICKLY CREATE ONE AT FACEBOOK DOT COM.
IF YOU DON'T WANT A FACEBOOK ACCOUNT.... YOU CAN STILL EMAIL THE REPORTER DIRECTLY BY CLICKING THEIR NAME ON THE STORY.
TO READ UP ON THE CHANGE... HEAD TO 13WMAZ DOT COM.
YOU'LL FIND THE LINK THAT SAYS "COMING SOON... NEW COMMENTS SYSTEM" IN THE "CHECK IT OUT" BOX ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE.
AFTER YOU TAKE A LOOK AT THE DETAILS... SOUND OFF IN THE COMMENTS AND LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE NEW FEATURE.
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.