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Wednesday, August 24, Eyewitness News at 11

10:14 AM, Aug 21, 2011   |    comments
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GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M FRANK MALLOY....THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.

MACON POLICE STEPPED UP PATROLS AT SCHOOL BUS STOPS IN THE BLOOMFIELD AREA THIS AFTERNOON AFTER TWO WESTSIDE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WERE SHOT ON THEIR WAY TO SCHOOL THIS MORNING.
POLICE SPENT THE DAY SEARCHING FOR THE THREE MEN WHO SHOT THE 16-YEAR-OLDS.
POLICE SAY THEY PATROLLED THE AREA AS A PRECAUTION.
OFFICERS ON DUTY WOULDN'T SAY HOW MANY CARS DROVE THROUGH THE NEIGHBORHOOD AFTER SCHOOL... BUT OUR AMY AUBERT NOTED AT LEAST FIVE CARS ON VIRGINIA DRIVE AT ONE TIME.

SOME STUDENTS GETTING OFF THE SOUTHWEST HIGH SCHOOL BUS SAY THEY HEARD THE GUNSHOTS THIS MORNING.
IT HAPPENED AT VIRGINIA AND STOREY DRIVE.
POLICE ORIGINALLY SAID THE TWO WESTSIDE STUDENTS WERE WALKING TO THEIR BUS... BUT SCHOOL SPOKESMAN CHRIS FLOORE SAID THERE'S NO WESTSIDE BUS STOP IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.
TERRY SHARP SAYS SHE HEARD AROUND SIX SHOTS... BEFORE ONE OF THE TEENS KNOCKED ON HER DOOR.
SOUTHWEST STUDENT CHRISTIAN PERSON SAYS HE AND ABOUT 15 OTHER STUDENTS WERE AT THE BUS STOP ABOUT A BLOCK AWAY WHEN THE SHOOTING HAPPENED.
Christian Person, Macon: "We was at the bus stop standing around talking and we seen a car pull up and they started shooting. And both of them fell and they crawled to separate sides of the street."
Terry Sharp, Macon: "I just felt like it was really close to home and I'm thinking when I opened up the door to see the boy laying on my porch, I'm thinking that could've been my child or my grandson, and most people these days don't wanna help people, but this is a child we're talking about."
BIBB COUNTY CORONER LEON JONES SAYS ONE OF THE TEENS WAS SHOT IN THE CHEST AND ARM... AND IS IN CRITICAL CONDITION.
THE OTHER STUDENT WAS SHOT IN THE LEG... AND IS IN STABLE CONDITION.
POLICE HAVE NOT RELEASED THEIR NAMES.
ANYONE WITH INFORMATION ON THE CASE CAN CALL MACON REGIONAL CRIMESTOPPERS AT 1.877.68.CRIME.....AGAIN THAT'S 1.877.68.CRIME.

MURDER SUSPECT STEPHEN MCDANIEL'S ATTORNEY SAYS HE'S CONCERNED FOR HIS HEALTH... AND SHOCKED AT NEW CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES.
MCDANIEL WAS BACK IN COURT TODAY... FOR HIS FIRST APPEARANCE ON THOSE SEVEN NEW COUNTS OF CHILD EXPLOITATION...
MCDANIEL NEVER SPOKE DURING THE HEARING THIS AFTERNOON.
HIS ATTORNEY... FLOYD BUFORD... ANSWERED WHEN THE JUDGE ASKED IF MCDANIEL UNDERSTOOD THE SEVEN COUNTS AGAINST HIM.
THE LAWYER SAID YES... THEY UNDERSTAND THE CHARGES.
BUFORD SAYS THE TIME IN JAIL AND SOLITARY CONFINEMENT HAS TAKEN A TOLL ON HIS CLIENT.
HE HAS LOST SEVENTEEN POUNDS SINCE HE WAS ARRESTED IN JULY... ACCORDING TO BUFORD... AND HE'S WORRIED FOR HIS EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH.
WE ALSO ASKED BUFORD ABOUT MCDANIEL'S REACTION TO THE NEW CHARGES.
Floyd Buford: "Well I don't want to get into attorney client issues, but suffice it to say it was something that no one was expecting."
Eleanor Lissitzyn: "Does he deny that the material was his?"
Floyed Buford: "Well we enter a plea of not guilty on the charge at the time."
THE JUDGE SET MCDANIEL'S COMMITMENT HEARING FOR THREE WEEKS FROM TODAY.
THAT'S WHEN A JUDGE WILL DECIDE IF THERE'S ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO SEND MCDANIEL TO TRIAL.
HE IS SCHEDULED TO APPEAR IN COURT IN CONNECTION WITH THE GIDDINGS' MURDER ON FRIDAY.

DESPITE A SUPERIOR COURT ORDER.. IMPROVING COURTHOUSE SECURITY WON'T BE AMONG THE PROJECTS LISTED ON THE NOVEMBER BALLOT FOR A SPECIAL LOCAL OPTION SALES TAX REFERENDUM.
COMMISSIONER LONZY EDWARDS SAYS THAT'S BECAUSE A POLL SUGGESTED VOTERS WOULD BE LESS LIKELY TO APPROVE THE REFERENDUM WITH A COURTHOUSE INCLUDED IN IT.
RANDALL SAVAGE HAS MORE.
<<FOUR YEARS AGO THIS MONTH....BIBB COUNTY'S FIVE SUPERIOR COURT JUDGES ORDERED COUNTY COMMISSIONERS TO IMPROVE COURTHOUSE SECURITY.
THEY'RE STILL WAITING.
COMMISSIONER LONZY EDWARDS.. ALSO A LAWYER.. AGREES SECURITY NEEDS TIGHTENING.
Lonzy Edwards, Bibb Commissioner: The fact that is indisputable is the obeservation that is made about the need. The courthouse we have is a time bomb.
THAT'S BECAUSE JUDGES AND JURORS SOMETIMES CROSS PATHS WITH SUSPECTS.
Lonzy Edwards: The most compelling issue is the safety of judges who have to mingle with folks who come in and out of that courthouse in order to get from one courtroom to the next. The safety of jurors, the safety of other employees, the safety of the public.
THE ORDER FOR IMPROVED SECURITY ISN'T RECENT.
Randall Savage, Eyewitness News: Superior Court judges issued this order four years ago. It gave county commissioners two years to improve security and renovate the courthouse. The courthouse renovation project was on the SPLOST that was defeated last year. It's not on this year's SPLOST. What the judges will do about the order will be determined later.
COMMISSIONER EDWARDS SAYS EVEN THOUGH THE COURTHOUSE IS NOW OFF THE SPLOST LIST.. THERE MIGHT STILL BE HOPE..
Lonzy Edwards, Bibb Commissioner: The SPLOST is probably most painless way to do it. There are some other ways it could be done. Whether one of those options down the road will be employed, I don't know. I can't speak for my fellow commissioners.
RANDALL SAVAGE.. 13 WMAZ.. EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> THERE ARE FIVE SUPERIOR COURT JUDGES.. JUDGE PHIL BROWN SAYS THE JUDGES HAVEN'T DISCUSSED THE COURTHOUSE SECURITY ISSUE LATELY.. BROWN REFERRED FURTHER REQUESTS FOR COMMENT TO CHIEF JUDGE MARTHA CHRISTIAN.
A SPOKESWOMAN IN CHRISTIAN'S OFFICE SAYS THE JUDGE WON'T COMMENT ON THE ISSUE..

GOVERNOR NATHAN DEAL SIGNED MAPS REDRAWING POLITICAL BOUNDARIES FOR GEORGIA'S 236 STATE LAWMAKERS.
HE SIGNED THE MAPS LATE TODAY... BUT THE MAPS STILL MUST BE APPROVED BY THE FEDERAL COURTS OR THE U-S DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE UNDER THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT.

A CENTRAL GEORGIA BUS MANUFACTURER TURNED THEIR FOCUS FROM BLUE TO GREEN TODAY..
BLUE BIRD... WHICH IS HEADQUARTERED IN FORT VALLEY... SHOWED OFF THEIR PROPANE AND COMPRESSED NATURAL GAS BUSES.
C-E-O PHIL HORLOCK SAYS THEy LAUNCHED THEIR NEXT GENERATION OF GREEN BUSES ON THE WEST COAST LAST MONTH... AND WILL BE AVAILABLE IN FEBRUARY.
THEY'RE UPGRADED WITH LARGER ENGINES... AND MORE TECHNOLOGY.
HE SAYS BLUE BIRD HAS SOLD ABOUT 4-THOUSAND GREEN VEHICLES.... MORE THAN ANY OTHER BUS MANUFACTURER.
Phil Horlock, CEO Blue Bird Corpoation: "There's no other competitor that builds a large bus liek we do wit propane. We're the only one. and the large bus is by far the dominate bus most accpeted bus in the school bus business. WE've all ridden on them when we were kids.
HORLOCK SAYS PROPANE COSTS ABOUT $1.50 PER GALLON AND COMPRESSED NATURAL GAS.... ABOUT $1.80 PER GALLON.

STEVE JOBS RESIGNED AS APPLE'S C-E-O.
JOBS HAS BEEN ON MEDICAL LEAVE SINCE JANUARY.
HE'S A PANCREATIC CANCER SURVIVOR... AND HAD A LIVER TRANSPLANT IN 2009.
IN HIS RESIGNATION LETTER... JOBS RECOMMENDED CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER TIM COOK AS HIS REPLACEMENT.
HE ALSO SAID HE WOULD LIKE TO SERVE AS CHAIRMAN OF THE COMPANY'S BOARD... IF THE BOARD AGREES.

C JACK ELLIS' MAYORAL CAMPAIGN ENDED A WEEK AGO... BUT THE FORMER TWO-TERM MAYOR SAYS HE MAY GIVE IT ANOTHER GO IN 2015.
TODAY... HE SAID HE'S FORMING A POLITICAL GROUP CALLED "WE ARE MACON" THAT WILL STAY ACTIVE IN FUTURE ELECTIONS.
HE ALSO CALLED ON BIBB COUNTY ELECTION SUPERVISOR ELAINE CARR TO RESIGN.
HE SAID CAR MADE A STATEMENT DURING EYEWITNESS NEWS THE NIGHT OF THE RUNOFF ELECTION... THAT SHE WAS CONCERNED ABOUT THE OUTCOME OF THE ELECTION.
ELLIS SAYS THAT INDICATES BIAS.
C. Jack Ellis, Former Macon Mayor: "The supervisor of the board of elections stated approximately I think what the 5 o'clock uh segment of the news on this particular segment that she was concerned about the outcome of the mayor's race. Now why would that statement be made by the supervisor of the board of elections? She should only be concerned about making sure that there are no barriers to voting."
CARR DID NOT APPEAR IN OUR FIVE O'CLOCK NEWSCAST THAT DAY.. BUT OUR ELEANOR LISSITZYN INTERVIEWED CARR LIVE DURING OUR SIX O'CLOCK NEWSCAST.
HERE'S WHAT SHE SAID.
Eleanor Lissitzyn: "Yesterday I talked to a bunch of the candidates and they were really concerned a runoff can always be tricky, voters can be fickle, they can not show up the second time around, but you're saying that they've been pretty good?"
Elaine Carr: "That's right they kept their interest this time, people are really um concerned about who the mayor of Macon's gonna be and our new senate whose gonna represent us in Atlanta so this election kept it's interest."
WE SPOKE TO CARR BY PHONE TODAY... AND ASKED IF SHE WAS CONCERNED ABOUT WHO MACON'S NEXT MAYOR WOULD BE.
SHE REPLIED...
"I TRY TO ALWAYS BE NONPARTISAN....I DON'T LIVE IN THE CITY OF MACON. I LIVE IN HOUSTON COUNTY. SO WHOEVER THE MAYOR IS, THAT REALLY DOESN'T AFFECT ME."

TONIGHT'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY IS JERRY ALLEGOOD.
JERRY... YOU'LL NEED TO EMAIL FAN OF THE DAY AT 13WMAZ DOT COM TO CLAIM YOUR COFFEE MUG.
SO YOU THINK YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE FAN OF THE DAY... BUT DO YOU?
CAN YOU VISIT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ?
ONCE YOU'RE THERE... CAN YOU CLICK THE LIKE BUTTON?
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY... CAN YOU GET INTO THE CONVERSATIONS?

SUMMER VACATION SLIPPED BY... BUT WE'VE GOT A DAYTRIP DESTINATION THAT'S FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY YEAR ROUND.
OUR JUNIOR JOURNALIST HANNAH WILLIAMSON VISITED THE MUSUEM OF AVIATION IN WARNER ROBINS.
SHE EXPLORED THE FLIGHT SIMULATOR PROGRAM THAT'S AVAILABLE TO CLASSES AND GROUPS OF TEN OR MORE.
HANNAH ALSO TOURED THE HANDS-ON-ACTIVITIES FOR YOUNGER CHILDREN... OFFERED THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.
DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION CINDY GROVES SAID A SPECIAL PLANE IN THE CENTURY OF FLIGHT HANGAR IS A MUST SEE. .
Cindy Groves: (8:50) "Probably the SR-71, because we are proud to have it. They only made 30 and were proud to have one of them. It's the fastest plane in the world."
THE MUSEUM OF AVIATION IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK AND MOST OF THE ACTIVITIES ARE FREE.
FOR MORE INFORMATION... LOOK FOR THE LINK TO THIS STORY ON OUR WEBSITE... 13-WMAZ-DOT.COM

TIME TO CHECK OUT YOUR PHOTOS FROM OUR W-M-A-Z PHOTO GALLERIES...
TODAY WE'RE TAKING A PEEK IN 'YOUR PET PALS' ALBUM.
HERE'S SAMMY THE CAT... CAPTION ON THIS ONE SAYS, "CHILLIN' AFTER WATCHING W-M-A-Z NEWS."
AND... WHAT A CREW. HERE ARE GINGER, CHLOE, AND PEACHES... THREE CANINE FRIENDS FROM OUR COVERAGE AREA.
SEND US YOUR PHOTOS...LOOK FOR *PHOTO GALLERIES* UNDER FEATURES IN THE MENU BAR ACROSS THE TOP OF OUR HOMEPAGE...

THANKS FOR JOINING US.... FIRST MORNIN COMES YOUR WAY AT 5 A-M.
THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
ON LETTERMAN TONIGHT: ACTOR ASHTON KUTCHER AND MUSICIAN STEWART
COPELAND.
HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.


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