Wednesday, October 19, Eyewitness News at 11

6:59 PM, Oct 17, 2011   |    comments
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GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
FRANK MALLOY HAS THE NIGHT OFF.

AFTER THE FEDERAL INDICTMENT OF A COUNCIL MEMBER... THE MAYOR OF WARNER ROBINS SAYS THERE NEEDS TO BE MORE ACCOUNTABILITY AT CITY HALL.
JOHN WILLIAMS WAS INDICTED YESTERDAY ON THREE CRIMINAL COUNTS IN FEDERAL COURT... INCLUDING EXTORTION.. LYING TO AN F-B-I AGENT AND WITNESS TAMPERING.
SHAHEEN SAID THE ISSUE BEGAN WITH A REQUEST FROM THE POLICE DEPARTMENT FOR AN UNDERCOVER PICK-UP TRUCK.
IT WENT THROUGH THE BIDDING PROCESS TWICE.
THE FIRST TIME.. HE SAID HE TURNED DOWN THE BID... BECAUSE IT WAS FROM AN OUT-OF-TOWN-DEALER.
THE SECOND TIME... COUNCIL APPROVED THE PURCHASE FROM A LOCAL DEALER.
BUT SHAHEEN SAYS HE STOPPED THE PAYMENT BEFORE A CHECK WAS WRITTEN... BECAUSE HE LEARNED THE PURCHASE DID NOT FOLLOW THE CITY POLICY OF THREE BIDS BEFORE A PURCHASE.
SHAHEEN SAID HE DIDN'T LEARN ABOUT WILLIAM'S ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT IN THE TRANSACTION UNTIL YESTERDAY.
THE COUNCILMAN IS ACCUSED OF TRYING TO TAKE A 17 HUNDRED DOLLAR COMMISSION ON THE SALE.
HE SAYS HE WANTS TO MAKE SURE COUNCIL MEMBERS DON'T GET INVOLVED IN PURCHASES.
Chuck Shaheen: (5:30) "I can only be in control of my own actions. In this form of government, the mayor is the CEO of the city. He needs to be in charge of the department heads. I've got councilmen that try to come in all the time and try to tell department heads what to do. It's got to stop."
AS FOR WILLIAMS POSITION ON COUNCIL... SHAHEEN SAYS THAT'S UP TO WILLIAMS.
Chuck Shaheen: (6:30) "He sent me an email and asked me should he resign. I asked him, I said I'll support whatever decision you make, because the people need to know city councilman are hired by the people, not by me. They work for the people. John had a commitment four years ago. A four year commitment, it's up in January if he doesn't get reelected. That's his decision. He has to answer to his constituents. I have to answer to my constituents for things I do."
JOHN WILLIAMS WOULDN'T TALK ABOUT THE CASE... BUT HIS ATTORNEY CHARLES COX SAID YESTERDAY... WILLIAMS IS NOT GUILTY.
A LITTLE BACKGROUND... JOHN WILLIAMS HAS BEEN IN THE BUSINESS OF BUYING USED CARS OFF LOTS... AND RESELLING THEM TO USED CAR DEALERS.
HE'S ALSO VERY OUTSPOKEN AT COUNCIL MEETINGS ABOUT THE CITY PURCHASING CARS LOCALLY.
WE TRIED TO SPEAK WITH THE POINT PERSON ON THE DEAL FOR SIGNATURE AUTO NAHIM FABER... WHO GOES BY "CAMEL."
HE DIDN'T WANT TO COMMENT.
JOHN WILLIAMS IS OUT OF JAIL ON A 10-THOUSAND DOLLAR BOND.
A TRIAL DATE HAS NOT BEEN SET.

A 30-YEAR-OLD WARNER ROBINS MAN HAS BEEN SENTENCED TO 100 YEARS IN PRISON AFTER BEING CONVICTED OF BURGLARIZING ELDERLY PEOPLE IN HOUSTON COUNTY EARLIER THIS YEAR.
HOUSTON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY GEORGE HARTWIG SAYS KIRK SOLOMON WAS SENTENCED TO 120 YEARS, WITH THE FIRST 100 TO BE SERVED IN PRISON.
HARTWIG SAYS SOLOMON PLEADED GUILTY TO SIX COUNTS OF BURGLARY IN MAY 2005 AND WAS SENTENCED TO FIFTEEN YEARS... WITH FIVE TO BE SERVED IN PRISON.
PROSECUTORS SAY SOLOMON TARGETED ELDERLY HOUSTON COUNTY VICTIMS AND EITHER THREATENED THEM WITH A GUN OR TOLD THEM THAT HE WOULD SHOOT THEM IF THEY DIDN'T COOPERATE.

SOCIAL SECURITY RECIPIENTS WILL GET A COST OF LIVING INCREASE IN 2012.
IT'S WELCOME NEWS FOR MANY CASH STRAPPED SENIORS... BUT AFTER TWO YEARS WITHOUT AN INCREASE... IT'S LEFT OTHERS DISSAPPOINTED.
ELEANOR LISSITZYN HAS MORE ON THE NUMBERS... AND THE POTENTIAL IMPACT ON SENIOR'S WALLETS.
"My rent, my cable, my phone bill, I get that all paid at the beginning.
THADDEUS HODGE SAYS HE GOT USED TO LOOKING AT AN EMPTY WALLET AFTER HE WENT ON SOCIAL SECURITY AND DISABILITY BENEFITS EIGHTEEN YEARS AGO.
"I used to get paid every week, and made a lot more money. Now I get paid one a month and make a lot less money."
MEDICATIONS ARE ONE OF HIS BIGGEST EXPENSES... HE SAYS HE SPENDS ABOUT TWO TO THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS A MONTH STOCKING HIS PILL BOX...
SO WHEN HE HEARD THAT THE GOVERNMENT WILL SOON PUT A LITTLE MORE IN HIS WALLET... HE THOUGHT IT WAS ABOUT TIME.
"My first thought was ok that's good. My second though was well there goes healthcare, it's going up too."
THE 2012 SOCIAL SECURITY COST OF LIVING INCREASE WILL BE THE FIRST IN THREE YEARS.
IN JANUARY...EVERY CHECK WILL INCREASE BY ABOUT THREE POINT SIX PERCENT.
ACCORDING TO THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION... THAT'S AN AVERAGE OF ABOUT THIRTY NINE DOLLARS PER PERSON A MONTH.
"An extra thirty nine dollars a month, that's not even a bag of groceries."
THE FORMER AUTO GLASS WORKER SAYS... IT WON'T GO FAR TOWARD KEEPING HIS FREEZER STOCKED... ESPECIALLY IF HEALTHCARE COSTS INCREASE.
THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION SAYS IF MEDICARE COSTS INCREASE IN 2012... IT COULD PARTIALLY OR COMPLETELY OFFSET THE COST OF LIVING INCREASE.
"That just make everything harder. Where elsething else was going up, we was stuck."
BUT HE SAYS HE HOPES TO SQUEEZE A FEW EXTRA BUCKS OF THE COLA... MAKING IT A LITTLE BIT EASIER TO ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES.
STD MEDICARE HAS YET TO ANNOUNCE ANY CHANGES IN FEES FOR 2012.

TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE THREE AND A HALF PERCENT SOCIAL SECURITY INCREASE?
SO FAR 11 PERCENT OF YOU SAY IT'S TOO MUCH.
63 PERCENT SAY TOO LITTLE.
AND 26 PERCENT OF YOU SAY IT'S JUST RIGHT.
VOTE NOW... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.


THE LIST OF OFFICIAL CANDIDATES TO BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES INCLUDES BARACK OBAMA...SEVERAL REPUBLICAN HOPEFULS AND MILLEDGEVILLE BUSINESSMAN JEFF BLOCK.
HE'S FORMALLY REGISTERED WITH THE FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION TO RUN FOR THE WHITE HOUSE.
BUT HE SAY'S HE'S A-POLITICAL...AND NOT A MEMBER OF ANY PARTY.
BLOCK SAY HIS AGENDA IS DIFFERENT FROM OTHER CANDIDATES.
ONE OF HIS MAIN PRIORITIES... CHANGING THE WAY WE RUN OUR GOVERNMENT.
HE'LL DO THAT HE SAYS... BY TAKING ANOTHER LOOK AT HOW OUR FOREFATHERS WROTE THE CONSTITUTION.
BLOCK SAYS THERE'S NO NEED FOR A HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES... JUST A SENATE... AND PERHAPS CITIZENS CYCLED IN TO VOTE ON TOPICS... AS IF THEY WERE ON JURY DUTY.
Jeff Block, Milledgeville: "My entire candidacy is to ask and answer just one quesiton. Should voters have the opportunity to vote on a revolution? And what a revolution does is it restructures the government, either you start from scratch or you restructure it."
BLOCK SAYS HE STARTED HIS CAMPAIGN BEFORE THE OCCUPY WALL STREET PROTESTS... BUT SAYS HIS VIEW OF EVERYDAY PEOPLE SERVING INSTEAD OF A HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES... COULD GIVE THIS GROUP A VOICE.
HE ADMITS THAT WINNING THE 2012 ELECTION COULD BE A STRETCH... BUT SAYS HE'LL CONTINUE RUNNING FOR YEARS TO COME.

SOME COLLEGE STUDENTS TRIED THEIR HAND AS SCIENCE TEACHERS AT VINEVILLE ACADEMY TODAY.
THEY SPARKED OFF A DEMONSTRATION... AS PART OF NATIONAL CHEMISTRY WEEK.
GEORGIA COLLEGE CHEMISTRY CLUB MEMBERS PAID A VISIT TO THE SCHOOL... TO SHOW STUDENTS THAT SCIENCE ISN'T SO SCARY.
THE KIDS LEARNED HOW TO PUT A SHARP STICK THROUGH A BALLOON WITHOUT POPPING IT... AND WATCHED LIQUIDS CHANGE COLOR.
TORY IVEY SAYS SHE ENJOYED SHOWING THE KIDS THE FUN SIDE OF HER FAVORITE SUBJECT.
TORY IVEY: "I really like just getting younger kids involved and seeing that chemistry is really cool and it can be really fun its not just the lame chemistry"
THE CLUB ALSO VISITED UNION ELEMENTARY SCHOOL... NORTHEAST HIGH SCHOOL AND ALEXANDER TWO MAGNET SCHOOL THIS WEEK.

PART OF THE OHIO COUNTRYSIDE TURNED INTO A BIG GAME HUNT LAST NIGHT AND TODAY... AFTER MORE THAN 50 ANIMALS WERE LET LOOSE BY THE SUICIDAL OWNER OF A WILDLIFE PRESERVE.
THE NOW-DEAD ANIMALS INCLUDE 18 ENDANGERED BENGAL TIGERS... AND ONE ANIMAL IS STILL ON THE LOOSE.
DANIEL NOTTINGHAM HAS MORE FROM ZANESVILLE OHIO.
<<
SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES ARE STILL OUT LOOKING FOR A SNOW MONKEY - WHICH MAY BE CARRYING THE HERPES VIRUS. THE ALL-NIGHT HUNT THAT BEGAN TUESDAY EXTENDED INTO WEDNESDAY. ALMOST 50 ANIMALS WERE SHOT AND KILLED. BEARS, WILD CATS, WOLVES AND BABOONS TURNED THE SLEEPY TOWN OF ZANESVILLE, OHIO, UPSIDE DOWN.

((SOT - 911) Call 1
"We live next to Terry Thompson, and there's a bear and a lion out."
"There's a bear and a lion out?"
"Yeah, right up behind us."

((SOT)) Call 2 (this can die for time)
"There's a bear right here, running back and forth on a fence right here."
"Yeah, there's already somebody on the way."

((NARR-2))
ONE RESIDENT SHOT THIS CELL PHONE VIDEO OF A BEAR AMBLING AROUND. THE ANIMALS WERE FREED FROM THEIR CAGES BY OWNER TERRY THOMPSON - WHO THEN TOOK HIS OWN LIFE. POLICE SAY THEY HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO TAKE THE ANIMALS DOWN.

((SOT)) Jack Hanna/Columbus Zoo Director Emeritus
IT'S A TRAGEDY FOR THE ANIMAL WORLD. AND IT COULD HAVE BEEN AN EVEN BIGGER TRAGEDY FOR THE HUMAN WORLD.

((STANDUP BRIDGE)) Danielle Nottingham, Zanesville, OH
The Sheriff's department was criticized for not using tranquilizers when the overnight hunt began. But officials feared those animals hit with darts would escape into the darkness... And regain consciousness.

((sot)) Sheriff Matt Lutz/Muskingum County Ohio (10:12:50)
WE COULD NOT HAVE ANIMALS RUNNING LOOSE IN THIS COUNTY.

((NARR-3))
Authorities won't speculate why the animals' owner - Terry Thompson - killed himself... Or why he opened their cages.
Thompson had several run-ins with the law, including animal-related complaints. He reached out to another farm a while ago, to help him better care for his animals.

((SOT)) Tricyn Huntsman/Stump Hill Farm
"He just must have lost it. That's the long and short of it. To release those animals. It's just horrible."

((NARR-4))
SIX ANIMALS WERE CAPTURED ALIVE - AND TAKEN TO THE COLUMBUS ZOO.
>> THOMPSON ONLY HAD PERMITS FOR FOUR BLACK BEARS.
THE ANIMALS WILL BE BURIED IN A MASS GAVE ON THOMPSON'S PROPERTY.
IN ADDITION TO THE 18 BENGAL TIGERS... THE ANIMALS INCLUDED 17 LIONS... EIGHT BEARS AND AT LEAST ONE WOLF.

TONIGHT'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY IS MEG PARKER BLACKWELL.
MEG... YOU'LL NEED TO EMAIL FAN OF THE DAY AT 13WMAZ DOT COM TO CLAIM YOUR COFFEE MUG.
BECOMING A CONTESTANT FOR FAN OF THE DAY IS AN EXTREMELY ARDUOUS PROCESS... NOT TO BE UNDERTAKEN LIGHTLY.
FIRST... ONE MUST DIRECT ONE'S INTERNET NAVIGATIONAL SOFTWARE TO THE UNIFORM RESOURCE LOCATOR AT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ.
ONCE THERE... ONE MUST NAVIGATE THE WEBSITE UNTIL ONE BOTH FINDS AND DEPRESSES THE BUTTON THAT DECLARES AFFECTION FOR THAT PAGE.
AND FINALLY... ONE MUST ENGAGE OTHER LIKE-MINDED INTELLECTUALS IN DISCUSSION.

VOLUNTEERS FROM UNITED WAY OF CENTRAL GEORGIA FIRED UP THE GRILL TODAY ON MULBERRY STREET IN MACON... AS PART OF THEIR FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN.
IT'S A STORY THAT COMES STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART.
THEY SOLD BARBEQUE RIBS AND PULLED PORK SANDWICHES TO HELP RAISE MONEY FOR THE ORGANIZATION.
SHANTA GILMORE WITH UNITED WAY SAYS THE GROUP HOPED TO RAISE 15-HUNDRED DOLLARS FROM TODAY'S COOKOUT.
SHE SAYS ALL THE MONEY THEY RAISED WILL GO TOWARDS HELPING PEOPLE IN NEED.
Shanta Gilmore United Way Event Coordinator "We have a great need in our community to help the homeless the shelters the food banks and all these founds go in to help.
UNITED WAY WILL ALSO HOLD A BOOK FAIR NEXT THURSDAY AND FRIDAY FROM 9 A-M UNTIL 4 P-M AT THE BIBB COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OFFICE.

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 TAYLOR LAUTNER AND ACTRESS MINKA KELLY
HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.

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