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Wednesday, September 14, Eyewitness News at 6

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HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.
I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
AND I'M FRANK MALLOY..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.

TOMORROW....MACON CITY LEADERS COME TOGETHER TO START MAKING PLANS...TO STOMP OUT
GUN AND GANG VIOLENCE.
IN THE LATEST OUT BREAK....EIGHT MEN WERE SHOT AND WOUNDED WITHIN FOUR HOURS EARLY TUESDAY.
POLICE SAY IT IS PROBABLY GANG RELATED.
AS ELEANOR LISSITZYN EXPLAINS... SOME MACON CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS ARE OFFERING IDEAS THAT THEY SAY COULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
'We are going to fight violence."
FLASH BACK TO TWO WEEKS AGO. MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT... PROMISES ACTION TO FIGHT TEEN VIOLENCE AFTER FIVE KIDS ARE SHOT IN A WEEK.
"We will take action."
THEN EARLY TUESDAY... GUN SHOTS OUTSIDE THIS BERKNER AVENUE HOME... ONE OF FOUR SHOOTINGS THAT MORNING THAT WOUNDED EIGHT MEN....
POLICE SAY THEY'RE LIKELY TIED TO GANGS.
"Just days after last month's wave of teen violence, city coucnil president James Timley says he reached out to all council members, emailing them to ask for their suggestions on ways to help. He says he was dissapointed to only get three of fifteen council people's responses."
PUBLIC SAFETY CHAIR VIRIGIL WATKINS SUBMITTED A PLAN... IN PART HE SAYS HE'D LIKE TO SEE THE CITY BRING BACK MIDNIGHT BASKETBALL.
Virgil Watkins:"The key phrase for it is, 'no workshop no jumpshot'. They players were required to be part of a workshop that addressed life skills before each game."2:19
HE SAYS SHOOTINGS LIKE BERKNER AVENUE... WOULD HAPPEN LESS OFTEN... IF THE CITY FUNDED MORE PROGRAMS FOR TEENS.
Watkins "As money has become tighter in the city budget, they're always the first ones to get cut." 4:29
WATKINS SAYS HE'LL SUGGEST USING MONEY PREVIOUSLY SPENT ON WASHINGTON LOBBYISTS.. FOR YOUTH PROGRAMS.
Elaine Lucas: We have a crisis.
COUNCILWOMAN ELAINE LUCAS SAYS THE CITY'S DEEP CUTS TO CRIME PREVENTION PROGRAMS CONTRIBUTED TO TODAY'S PROBLEMS.
IN HER PLAN....SHE SUGGESTS BRINGING BACK TRUANCY OFFICERS... TO GET TEENS BACK IN SCHOOL.
"They worked with the school system to try and get those hardcore truancy cases back to school.... and it even involved fining, citing, and taking parents to court if they didn't get their kids in place" 2:43
SHE ALSO SAYS SHE WANTS THE CITY TO APPLY FOR MORE GRANT FUNDING.
A THIRD COUNCILMEMBER... COUNCILMAN LOUIS TOMPKINS ALSO SUBMITTED IDEAS TO PRESIDENT TIMLEY.
ACCORDING TO THE EMAILS.... HE HAD IDEAS LIKE ASKING CHURCHES TO 'ADOPT A BLOCK'... AND SPONSOR NEIGHBORHOOD EVENTS.
HE ALSO RESEARCHED WHICH PROGRAMS WORKED TO CUT DOWN VIOLENCE IN OTHER COMMUNITIES.

MEANWHILE....CITY OFFICIALS ARE WORKING ON PLANS TO STOP VIOLENT CRIME IN MACON.
TOMORROW AT 4 P-M... CITY COUNCIL WILL HOLD A SPECIAL PUBLIC SAFETY MEETING.
THEY'LL TALK ABOUT CURFEW ENFORCEMENT AND ESTABLISH A COMMITTEE TO WORK ON A CITYWIDE CRIME PLAN.
COUNCIL IS ALSO SCHEDULED TO HEAR FROM POLICE CHIEF MIKE BURNS.
YOU CAN WATCH THE MEETING LIVE AT 4 P-M ON OUR WEBSITE AT 13 WMAZ DOT COM..

BUT ONE FORMER MACON GANG MEMBER SAYS... PLANS WON'T MAKE A DIFFERENCE... UNTIL OFFICIALS GET OUT IN THE STREETS AND UNDERTSAND WHERE THE KIDS ARE COMING FROM.
AS AMY AUBERT SHOWS YOU... he SAYS GROWING UP... GANG LIFE WAS THE ONLY WAY TO HELP HIS IMPOVERiSHED FAMILY.
<<
NEWS OF TUESDAY'S BERKNER AVENUE SHOOTINGS... IS ALL TOO FAMILIAR FOR DARYL JACKSON.

Daryl Jackson, Macon: "I was out reppin' and runnin' the streets, and next thing you know, you know, we were out here fightin', boxin' eachother, all type of stuff was goin' on."

BUT THE FORMER GANG MEMBER SAYS... THE STREETS ARE DIFFERENT THAN THEY USED TO BE.

Daryl Jackson: "The way they gettin' these weapons, I don't know. All I know is the weapons got 'em killen, killen eachother."

IT'S BEEN 20 YEARS SINCE JACKSON LEFT A MACON GANG... A PAST... HE WISHES HE COULD CHANGE.

Daryl Jackson: "Every other weekend, it was somethin' goin' on. Because most of it was about you jumped on my homeboy, or or about a girl, or or somethin' stupid--you got to fightin' with my partner so not we caught you."

BUT JACKSON SAYS IT NEVER ESCALATED TO PULLING THE TRIGGER.
HE SAYS... KIDS TODAY DON'T UNDERSTAND THE VALUE OF A LIFE.

Daryl Jackson: "You know, you got one killin' one, and the other one's being buried in the cemetary and you're burying the other one alive in in the penetentary and you got two families being torn apart."

THAT'S WHY... JACKSON SAYS HE REACHES OUT TO TEENS EVERY DAY... TALKING TO THEM ABOUT STAYING IN SCHOOL... AND ALTERNATIVES TO GANG LIFE.

BUT THIS UNSUNG HERO SAYS HE CAN'T DO IT ALONE.

Daryl Jackson: "We need City Council to come off the bench and get out here and not just sit down there and babble about what needs to be done. Get out here, go knock on the door, go knock on the door and see some of the conditions that these children live in."

THE NOW FAMILY MAN... SAYS IT'LL TAKE AN ENTIRE COMMUNITY... TO MAKE A CHANGE.

AMY AUBERT... 13 WMAZ... EYEWITNESS NEWS. >> JACKSON TOOK PART IN LAST YEAR'S STOP THE VIOLENCE TOUR...AIMED AT REACHING YOUNG PEOPLE IN MACON.
HE PLANS TO PLAY A ROLE IN A PLAY THIS FALL... THAT WILL SHOW KIDS ALTERNATIVES TO JOINING A GANG.
HE'LL BE JOINED BY SEVERAL OTHER FORMER GANG MEMBERS... INCLUDING RAPPER SONNY SPOON.

TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... ARE YOU CHANGING YOUR ROUTINE DUE TO FEAR OF CRIME?
SO FAR 63 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO... YOU'RE NOT.
AND 37 PERCENT SAY YES... YOU'VE MADE SOME CHANGES.
VOTE NOW... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.

A JONES COUNTY WOMAN APPARENTLY TOOK HER OWN LIFE NEAR THE SPOT WHERE SHE ALLEGEDLY MURDERED HER HUSBAND IN JULY.
JONES COUNTY AUTHORITIES CHARGED DEBRA BROWN WITH MURDER AFTER INVESTIGATORS SAY SHE SHOT HER HUSBAND MITCHELL BROWN INSIDE THIS HOME...ON CREEKSIDE DRIVE.
AUTHORITIES SAY IT HAPPENED AFTER A DOMESTIC DISPUTE.
JONES COUNTY INVESTIGATOR KENNY ALLEN SAYS THEY'RE WAITING FOR CRIME LAB REPORTS.. BUT THAT DEBRA BROWN APPARENTLY DIED TUESDAY AFTERNOON FROM A SELF-INFLICTED GUN SHOT.
ALLEN SAYS DEBRA BROWN WAS HELD IN THE JONES COUNTY JAIL FOR TWO WEEKS BEFORE POSTING A TWO HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND BOND ON JULY 24TH.

AN APPARENT BREAK-IN ATTEMPT... LEFT A HOLE IN AN EAST MACON BANK.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO POLICE MAJOR ROBERT GRABOWSKI.
POLICE RESPONDED TO STATE BANK AND TRUST ON SHURLING DRIVE AND FOUND A HOLE KNOCKED IN THE OUTER WALL.
A BANK EMPLOYEE SAW IT AROUND OPENING TIME THIS MORNING.
MAJOR GRABOWSKI SAYS POLICE ARE CALLING IT A 'CRIMINAL ATTEMPT TO COMMITT BURGLARY'... AND ARE REVIEWING SURVEILLANCE VIDEO FOR ANY CLUES. HE SAYS THE VIDEO DOES SHOW A POLICE CAR ON REGULAR PATROL AT THE BUILDING AROUND 4A-M... AND THE BUILDING WAS FINE...
NO PROPERTY WAS TAKEN... AND THE ONLY THING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WALL... IS A STORAGE CLOSET.

AVERAGE S-A-T SCORES FOR GEORGIA STUDENTS DROPPED THIS YEAR... FOR THE FIFTH YEAR IN A ROW.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO A NATIONAL REPORT.
GEORGIA STUDENTS SCORED EIGHT POINTS LOWER IN 2011... AND ALSO LAGGED BEHIND THE NATIONAL AVERAGE.
BUT THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SAYS MORE THAN 72-THOUSAND STUDENTS IN GEORGIA TOOK THE COLLEGE-APTITUDE TEST THIS YEAR... A BIG INCREASE FROM 2010.
AND THEY SAY MORE STUDENTS... USUALLY MEAN LOWER AVERAGES.
GEORGIA IS FIFTH IN THE NATION... IN THE NUMBER OF STUDENTS TAKING THE S-A-T.

IF YOU'RE LOOKING AT LOW HOUSING PRICES AND THINKING ABOUT BEING A LANDLORD... SHERRI GOSS WITH ROSENBERG FINANCIAL GROUP IS HERE TO HELP YOU AVOID A COSTLY MISTAKE.
SHERRI... I GUESS WITH ALL THE FORECLOSURES... THERE ARE SOME REALLY GOOD DEALS ON HOUSES RIGHT NOW.


Sherri: Yes, and more homes continue to go into foreclosure, so more deals appear every week unfortunately. And, people aren't able to make much money in the stock market right now, so they think, I bet I can do better buying real estate. This could be true, or not. Here are the things to watch out for if you're thinking of becoming a landlord:

1. Do your research. What is the property really worth? As you look at possible rental properties, find out if their are other rental properties nearby, and what those landlords are charging.

2. Underestimating the cost. It's not just the mortgage, insurance and taxes. You'll probably have to do some work on the property before you can rent it, and I have learned that improvements always cost more than you think they will--especially if someone else is doing the labor. And, on an ongoing basis you'll be responsible for the maintenance, so there needs to be a buffer for savings between the mortgage you pay, and the rent the renter pays.

3. Just because something is cheap, doesn't mean it's good. If you buy in a neighborhood that has lots of problems, even a low price may not enable you to rent the house. Make sure the neighborhood is desirable.

4. Realize that you may have to be a collector. If they don't pay the rent on time, how will you handle this? Decide up front, and have this situation clearly spelled out in the rental contract, and stick to the expectation.

If you do your homework, are willing to do some repairs and maintenance yourself and carefully pre-screen your tenants, you'll have a much greater chance of success with this.
IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS FOR SHERRI... CALL HER AT 752-1374 OR EMAIL HER AT EYEWITNESSNEWS@13WMAZ.COM.
SHE'LL BE HERE UNTIL 6:30..

TOMORROW WE WILL PRESENT AN IN-DEPTH SPECIAL ON ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE... ITS ROLE IN THE COMMUNITY AND ITS FUTURE.
LORRA LYNCH JONES SAT DOWN WITH THE AIR LOGISTICS CENTER COMMANDER... MAJOR GENERAL ROBERT MCMAHON... FOR AN EXTENDED INTERVIEW.
DURING THAT TIME... THE GENERAL SHARED HIS PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH A PREVIOUS ROUND OF BRAC.. OR BASE REALIGNMENT AND CLOSURE.
I was at a base that was BRACed. I was at the San Antionio Air Logistics Center, which is part of the 1995 BRAC, which ended up closing. That's how we brought the C5 workload here to Robins.
HEAR WHAT THE GENERAL SAYS HE LEARNED FROM THAT EXPERIENCE.. AND WHAT IMPROVEMENTS ROBINS WILL NEED TO MAKE IF ANOTHER ROUND OF BRAC BECOMES A REALITY. .
PLUS... WE GOT EXTRAORDINARY ACCESS TO THE BASE.. TO DEMONSTRATE THE ROLE ROBINS PLAYS IN THE NATION'S DEFENSE.
GET ALL THAT AND MUCH MORE IN OUR EYEWITNESS NEWS SPECIAL.. MISSION MIDDLE GEORGIA: THE ROBINS FACTOR..
THAT'S TOMORROW AFTERNOON IN A SPECIAL TIME.. 5:28 P-M.

IT'S TIME TO VENTURE OVER TO OUR WHERE YOU LIVE PAGES AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
THAT'S WHERE YOU CAN KEEP US UP TO DATE ON NEWS AND EVENTS HAPPENING IN YOUR COMMUNITY.
TODAY WE ARE LOOKING AT THE BLECKLEY DODGE PULASKI PAGE.
ONE OF OUR NEWEST CONTRIBUTORS, ROBERT GRAHAM, POSTED ABOUT THE DODGE COUNTY MIDDLE SCHOOL LADY WARRIORS.
HIS POST SAYS THAT THEY WORE THEIR PINK JERSEYS IN SUPPORT OF CANCER RESEARCH WHEN THEY PLAYED AGAINST EAST LAURENS ON TUESDAY.
TO FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED WHERE YOU LIVE... EMAIL OUR COMMUNITY WEB PRODUCER JACQUELINE AT WHERE YOU LIVE AT 13 WMAZ DOT COM.


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