HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.
I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
AND I'M FRANK MALLOY..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.
MACON CITY LEADERS TODAY LAID OUT AMBITIOUS PLANS FOR FIGHTING CRIME IN THE CITY.
ELEANOR LISSITZYN IS AT COUNCIL'S PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MEETING... SHE'S JOINING US WITH A LIVE REPORT... ELEANOR?
Mayor Robert Reichert told a Macon city council committee today that he'll be asking for $358,956 for new police officers.
That's part of Reichert and Police Chief Mike Burns' plan to stem street violence.
He said that's the cost, in salary and benefits, of hiring six new officers: a captain, two lieutenants and three patrol officers.
One of those officers will work with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) to track how illegal guns are coming into the city. He plans to use the rest on youth-and-intervention crime prevention programs.
Reichert said he plans to sent that budget request to the council tomorrow, so they can consider it next week.
THANK YOU ELEANOR... WE'LL HAVE MORE TONIGHT ON EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.
MANY OF YOU COMMENTED ON OUR FACEBOOOK PAGE ABOUT VIOLENCE IN MACON AND WHAT YOU THINK MACON POLICE SHOULD DO TO CONTROL IT.
ONE PERSON WROTE... "THE POLICE DEPARTMENT CAN'T DO ANYTHING UNTIL THE PEOPLE IN THESE NEIGHBORHOODS TAKE THEIR NEIGHBORHOODS BACK. TAKE A STAND AND MAKE IT YOURS AGAIN."
SOMEONE ELSE COMMENTED... "JUST WONDERING, WHAT CAN BE DONE? ARREST ALL THE GANG MEMBERS WHO BREAK THE LAW? SEND THEM TO OVERFILLED JAILS, PRISONS, ETC. FOR A FEW YEARS... TO BE BACK ON THE STREETS DOING THE SAME THING AS THEY DID BEFORE? NO CITY OR GROUP CAN BABYSIT AN ENTIRE POPULATION!"
AND A THIRD PERSON SAID... "HIRE MORE POLICE OFFICERS. IT IS COMMON SENSE. THE CITY CAN FIND MONEY FOR ANYTHING. FIND MONEY FOR OUR SAFETY."
JOIN THE CONVERSATION AND LET US KNOW HOW YOU FEEL.
VISIT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ DOT COM... CLICK THE LIKE BUTTON TO BECOME A FAN... THEN SUGGEST US TO YOUR FRIENDS SO THEY CAN JOIN THE DISCUSSION.
TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... WOULD ADDING MORE POLICE OFFICERS REDUCE CRIME IN MACON?
SO FAR 56 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO... YOU DON'T THINK IT WOULD.
AND 44 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES.
LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
POLICE AND SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES ARRESTED THIRTY ACCUSED DRUG DEALERS IN MILLEDGEVILLE AND BALDWIN COUNTY.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO SHERIFF BILL MASSEE.
AS AMY AUBERT SHOWS YOU... HE SAYS UNDERCOVER OFFICERS HIT THE STREETS OVER NEARLY A WHOLE YEAR.
Nats, officials looking into suspects
THEY CALL IT OPERATION TEAMWORK...
Nats, MPD car pulling away
MILLEDGEVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT... BALDWIN COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE...
Nats, Massee talking
...AND THE OCMULGEE DRUG TASK FORCE... SPENT MORE THAN 5 GRAND... IN STREET DRUG PURCHASES.
Chief Woodrow Blue, MIlledgeville PD: "It was a great example of all three levels of law enforcement working together to solve a problem."
AN ELEVEN MONTH UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATION... THAT TOOK 30 ACCUSED DEALERS OFF THE STREETS.
Sheriff Masse: "It's not just an arrest, but it's what we found out during the investigation, who they're associated with, where they're getting their drugs, where they're selling their drugs."
SHERIFF MASSEE SAYS THE SUSPECTS AREN'T CONNECTED... BUT SAYS SOME OF THE COUNTY'S BIGGEST PUSHERS ARE NOW IN CUSTODY.
Marc Mansifeld, Ocmulgee Drug Task Force: "We kinda thought outside the box on this one. We targeted the downtown area a little bit."
OCMULGEE DRUG TASK FORCE COMMANDER... MARC MANSFIELD SAYS... THEY ARRESTED SEVERAL DEALERS OUTSIDE A CONVENIENCE STORE... AT LEAST TWO OTHERS... COLLEGE STUDENTS... SELLING DRUGS OUTSIDE A DOWNTOWN BAR.
Amy Aubert, Eyewitness News: "Sheriff Massee says one of the men involved in Wednesday night's shooting outside a Milledgeville apartment building is Jarron Torrence. He says they have a warrant out for Torrence's arrest on drug charges. Captain Dray Swicord with the MIlledgeville Police Department says the shooting investigation leads them to believe it is drug related."
Nats, shuffling paper
MASSEE SAYS THEY PLAN TO ARREST TORRENCE WHEN HE'S RELEASED FROM THE MEDICAL CENTER OF CENTRAL GEORGIA.
HE'S HOPING THE RAIDS... KEEP DRUGS OFF THE STREETS.
Massee: "It's a national problem. We inherit it here locally, and we're trying to address it."
AMY AUBERT... 13 WMAZ... EYEWITNESS NEWS.>>
MEMBERS OF THE DRUG TASK FORCE SAY UNDERCOVER OFFICERS PURCHASED POWDER COCAINE... CRACK... MARIJUANA... AND A DRUG CALLED MOLLY... WHICH THEY SAY IS A DERIVATIVE OF ECSTASY.
SEVERAL PEOPLE WERE ARRESTED DURING A RAID THAT SHUT DOWN A DODGE COUNTY CLUB... THAT'S ACCORDING TO SHERIFF JEFF HINSON.
HE SAYS UNDERCOVER OFFICERS PURCHASED ALCOHOL FROM DUBOIS (DOO-BOYS) CLUBHOUSE AND EVENTS CENTER... BUT THE COUNTY IS CONSIDERED DRY.
BRITTINY BABRBER SPOKE TO SOME PEOPLE WHO WERE THERE LAST NIGHT.. AND SAY NOTHING ILLEGAL WAS HAPPENING.
ERICA SIMMONS READS THE CEASE AND DESIST ORDER ON THE DOOR OF HER FATHERS HOME... WHICH DOUBLES AS A CLUBHOUSE .
Erica Simmons, Owners Daughter: "This is really supposed to be a club, but we haven't established that yet. So we were' just opening up for free nights."
THAT'S WHAT SIMMONS SAYS WAS HAPPENING WEDNESDAY NIGHT... WHEN DODGE COUNTY DEPUTIES RAIDED THE ESTABLISHMENT. HE SAYS ABOUT TWO DOZEN PEOPLE WERE INSIDE.
OTHERS WHO CAME BACK TO THEIR FORMER HANGOUT.... SAY THE OWNERS DID NOTHING ILLEGAL
Tammie Spires: Dodge County: 'I've been out here several times and I've never seen no kind of money swap no hands."
Gwenkeia Simmons: "They would say maybe we ask for a five dollar donation. If you didn't have five dollars some people gave two dollars. As far as the drinks they were given they weren't charged."
Brittiny BArber," It's known as Dubois Clubhouse and Events center but the sheriff says it's causing quite a problem in Dodge county."
Sheriff Jeff Hinson:"I was getting several visits a day by people in this area that were very upset about letting the music, loud music and all go on."
SHERIFF JEFF HINSON SAYS THEY ARRESTED TORI DESHAWN SIMMONS AND TIMOTHY THOMPSON FOR SELLING ALCOHOL WITHOUT A LICENSE AND SELLING IN A DRY COUNTY...
THEY CHARGED ERICA SIMMON'S FATHER....NORMAN SIMMONS.... WITH POSSESSION OF A FIREARM BY A CONVICTED FELON.
THEY ALSO ARRESTED SEVERAL PEOPLE WITH DUI...OR FOR BEING MINORS WITH ALCOHOL...AND THEY PADLOCKED THE DOORS.
HinsOn, Now if we go back and the place is open, whoevers running it will be charged with contempt.
Simmons: "Oh we goin' to continue to open....
ERICA SIMMONS SAYS THEY'LL KEEP PUSHING UNTIL THE COUNTY CHANGES ITS LAWS.
BRITTINY BARBER 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
>> THE SHERIFF SAYS THEY WARNED THE OWNERS SEVERAL MONTHS AGO ABOUT SELLING ALCOHOL IN THE COUNTY... BUT THEY CONTINUED TO SELL.
HEY SAYS THEY ALSO ARRESTED SEVERAL PEOPLE IN JULY FOR DRUGS.. TRAFFIC CHARGES AND OUTSTANDING ARREST WARRANTS AT CHECKPOINTS NEAR THE CLUB.
MURDER SUSPECT STEPHEN MCDANIEL'S LATEST COURT HEARING HAS BEEN CANCELED.
MCDANIEL WAS SCHEDULED TO APPEAR IN COURT TOMORROW FOR A COMMITMENT HEARNG ON CHILD ENDANGERMENT CHARGES.
BUT HIS LAWYER AGREED TO WAIVE IT....
THAT'S ACCORDING TO DISTRICT ATTORNEY GREG WINTERS.
THOSE CHARGES INVOLVE CHILD PORNOGRAPHY ALLEGEDLY FOUND ON A FLASH DRIVE IN MCDANIELS APARTMENT.
THE D-A SAYS HE'LL DECIDE WHETHER TO TAKE THOSE CHARGES TO A GRAND JURY.
MCDANIEL IS ACCUSED OF MURDERING HIS FORMER NEIGHBOR....LAUREN GIDDINGS...AND OF BURGLARIZING TWO OTHER NEIGHBOR'S APARTMENTS.
HE'S BEEN HELD WITHOUT BOND IN THE BIBB COUNTY JAIL SINCE JULY FIRST.
LEADERS OF THE 21ST CENTURY PARTNERSHIP... THE GROUP THAT CONNECTS THE COMMUNITY WITH THE BASE.... LAID OUT WAYS CENTRAL GEORGIANS CAN HELP KEEP ROBINS STRONG.
THAT WAS AT TODAY'S MEETING... THEIR FIRST SINCE LAST MONTH'S ROBINS PROGRESS REPORT .. WHEN LOCAL... STATE AND NATIONAL LEADERS MAPPED OUT CHALLENGES FACING THE BASE.
LORRA LYNCH-JONES EXPLAINS WHY THE LITTLE THINGS MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE.
<<nats- "What can I get you to drink?"
A SERVER AT THE WOW CAFE AND WINGERY... ANGELA BENNETT... LEARNED QUICKLY... THAT MORE MATTERS TO CUSTOMERS IN WARNER ROBINS THAN THEIR HOT SAUCE.
Angela Bennett, Warner Robins: (7:00) "Just about every marquee is talking about the military and how they support their troops. It is a very proud town to be in."
WOW IS ONE OF A LONG LIST OF BUSINESSES THAT PROVIDES DAILY MILITARY DISCOUNTS.
OTHERS FLY FLAGS... OR POST PATRIOTIC SIGNS.
SMALL STEPS THE GROUP ADVOCATING FOR THE BASE AND THE COMMUNITY... CALLS BIG HELPS WHEN IT COMES TO PROTECTING THE FUTURE OF MIDDLE GEORGIA'S ECONOMIC ENGINE.
Lorra Lynch Jones, EWN: "The 21st Century Partnership also said that people should elect and support local leaders with a track record of supporting Robins Air Force Base. They also said don't believe rumors and those can be detrimental to the success of Robins."
Mary Therese Tebbe: "They can affect the economy. They can have an effect on support. It can have an affect on the overall welfare and morale of your defense community, which filters into the base."
MARY THERESE TEBBE ... EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE PARTNERSHIP... SAID ALL THESE SEEMINGLY LITTLE EFFORTS DO GRAB THE ATTENTION OF AIR FORCE LEADERS AND POLITICIANS IN WASHINGTON.
Mary Therese Tebbe: "(4:20) "You have no idea how many defense communities across the country do not give the support we give in Middle Georgia."
BENNETT SAYS HER RESTAURANT INTENDS TO KEEP IT UP... KNOWING ROBINS KEEPS MANY OF THE CUSTOMERS COMING.
STD>> LEADERS WITH 21ST CENTURY PARTNERSHIP STRESSED THE IMPORTANCE OF THE COMMUNITY TAKING THESE ACTIONS NOW.
ADVISOR TO THE GROUP... RICK GODDARD... SAYS THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE WILL MAKE MAJOR CUTS TO HELP SLASH THE NATIONAL DEFICIT.
HE SAID THOSE CUTS AFFECT ROBINS... BUT EXACTLY HOW IS UNKNOWN AT THIS TIME.
THE U-S DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION NAMED A CENTRAL GEORGIA SCHOOL AS ONE OF THIS YEAR'S BLUE RIBBON SCHOOL.
THE HONOR IS BASED ON OVERALL ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE... AND MORE THAN 300 WERE PICKED ACROSS THE COUNTRY.
ONLY ONE CENTRAL GEORGIA SCHOOL MADE THE LIST... SHIRLEY HILLS ELEMENTARY IN HOUSTON COUNTY.
PRINCIPAL TRACI JACKSON SAYS SHE FOUND OUT ABOUT THE NOMINATION IN DECEMBER.
THE LIST INCLUDES SCHOOLS WITH A RECORD OF HIGH PERFORMANCE AND THOSE WITH A LARGE NUMBER OF DISADVANTAGED STUDENTS.. WHO SHOW BIG GAINS IN ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT.
40 PERCENT OF SHIRLEY HILLS STUDENTS ARE ON FREE OR REDUCED LUNCH.
BUT JACKSON SAYS THEIR TEST SCORES SHOW THEY ARE PERFORMING AT A HIGH LEVEL.
Dr. Traci Jackson, Principal: "We're not going to rest on our laurels we still have a lot to do, we know that good is the enemy of great, we're going to continue to aspire to do what's best for our children, we're going to continue to make sure that the same kids that walk in our doors are different kids when they walk out."
SHIRLEY HILLS IS A TITLE ONE SCHOOL...ONE THAT HAS LARGE NUMBERS OF DISADVANTAGED STUDENTS...AND JACKSON SAYS IT'S RARE THAT ONE WINS THE BLUE RIBBON.
THEY'LL BE RECOGNIZED IN WASHINGTON D-C IN NOVEMBER.
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.