Friday, October 21, Eyewitness News at 6

7:01 PM, Oct 17, 2011   |    comments
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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.

OUR TOP STORY AT SIX... A MONTH AFTER EIGHT MACON-BIBB FIREFIGHTERS FOUND OUT THEIR PUNISHMENTS FOLLOWING A ROOKIE HAZING STUNT... MORE THAN HALF HAVE FILED APPEALS.
LAST MONTH WE SHOWED YOU THIS VIDEO....POSTED TO YOUTUBE...THAT SHOWED THE HOAX SHOOTING INSIDE A BIBB COUNTY FIRE STATION. FIRE CHIEF MARVIN RIGGINS DISCIPLINED EIGHT OFFICERS IN ALL...FIRING ONE OF THEM.
FIREFIGHTER CHRIS HUGHES... WHO LOST HIS JOB... AND SERGEANT JOSH BREWER... WHO FACES DEMOTION AND SUSPENSION... BOTH FILED APPEALS IN EARLY OCTOBER.
TODAY... HUGHES SAYS THE PAIR WILL APPEAR IN COURT FOR A HEARING ON DECEMBER 14TH.
AMY AUBERT SPOKE TO THE FIREFIGHTERS WHO FILED APPEALS... AND HAS MORE ON THE STORY.
I SPOKE TO EACH OF THE FIVE MACON-BIBB FIREFIGHTERS WHO FILED APPEALS AGAINST WHAT THEY'RE CALLING UNFAIR PUNISHMENTS.

ONE OF THEM... SARGEANT JOSH BREWER... WHO I SPOKE WITH OVER THE PHONE... SAYS IF THE PENALTY STAYS... IT COULD TAKE HIM FOUR YEARS TO GET BACK TO HIS CURRENT POSITION.

BREWER SAYS HE PROVIDED THE CAMERA IN THE HOAX.

HIS DEMOTION... HE SAYS... COULD COST HIM BETWEEN 24 AND 26 THOUSAND DOLLARS OVER THE COURSE OF HIS CAREER.

Josh Brewer: "I put a lot of hard work and a lot of hard effort into getting where I was and as quickly as I had."

BREWER IS ON A ONE MONTH SUSPENSION WITHOUT PAY... SOMETHING HE SAYS... WITH A FAMILY AT HOME... COSTS MORE THAN JUST THE 3 TO 4 GRAND HE'S MISSING THIS MONTH.

Josh Brewer: "I'm just basically doing anything I can right now to try and make up for it. I've been working almost everyday to try to do something else to make money."


BUT FIREFIGHTER MARK SWAIN... WHO'S ALSO SERVING A MONTH'S SUSPENSION... SAYS EVEN THOUGH HE FILED FOR AN APPEAL... HE DOESN'T THINK ANYTHING WILL CHANGE.

SWAIN AND BREWER BOTH TOLD ME THEY THINK THE PUNISHMENTS WERE OVERLY HARSH... BECAUSE AS BREWER SAID...QUOTE IT WAS PLAYED OUT IN THE PUBLIC.
THEY SAY CHIEF RIGGINS FACED PRESSURE FROM THE MAYOR.

FIREFIGHTER JESSE WHITE TELLS ME HE DIDN'T TAKE PART IN ANY OF THE HOAX PLANNING... AND FILED HIS APPEAL LAST WEEK... BECAUSE HE SAYS HE SHOULDN'T BE FACING SUSPENSION.

CHRIS HOUSTON SAYS HIS ONE-MONTH SUSPENSION IS ALMOST OVER... AND HE'LL RETURN BACK TO WORK SOON.

AND CHRIS HUGHES... WHO LOST HIS JOB WITH THE DEPARTMENT... SAYS HE'S APPLYING FOR JOBS... AND DOING ANY WORK HE CAN FIND... BUT HE'S FOCUSED ON GETTING HIS JOB BACK.

HE SAYS HE HIRED A LAWYER IN THE CASE... AND HE'S NO LONGER ALLOWED TO TALK ABOUT THE CIRCUMSTANCES.

IN MACON... I'M AMY AUBERT... 13 WMAZ... EYEWITNESS NEWS.
BREWER AND HUGHES ARE THE ONLY TWO WHO SAY THEY HAVE HEARING DATES SCHEDULED.
THE OTHER THREE SAY THEY HOPE TO FIND OUT SOON.
CAPTAIN BURKE WOULD NOT COMMENT ON THE PUNISHMENTS.

PRESIDENT OBAMA SAYS U-S TROOPS IN IRAQ WILL BE HOME BY THE END OF THE YEAR.
HE MADE THE ANNOUNCEMENT THIS AFTERNOON... AFTER TALKING TO IRAQ'S PRIME MINISTER.. AND IT'S SPARKED SOME DEBATE AMONG OUR FACEBOOK FANS.
CINDI WROTE... "AS MUCH AS I WANT OUR TROOPS HOME (I AM A FORMER MILITARY SPOUSE)... I FEEL LIKE MR. OBAMA IS HANDING THE IRANIANS EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT.
THEY WANT US OUT OF IRAQ."

YOLANDE COMMENTED... "ALL OF OUR SONS ARE COMING HOME! BE THANKFUL. HE SAID HE WAS GOING TO DO IT. HE'S DOING IT. BE THANKFUL!
STAR SAID... "I FEEL LIKE IT IS A GREAT THING FOR OUR TROOPS TO BE HOME AND FOR THEM TO BE ABLE TO START THEIR LIVES AGAIN WITHOUT WORRY OF THE NEXT ROAD SIDE BOMB. HOWEVER. THERE ARE DOWNFALLS ALSO.
THE LACK OF JOBS FOR THOSE WHO ARE ALREADY HERE. MILITARY HOUSING IS ALREADY LOW AND OUR ECONOMY IS NOT STRONG ENOUGH TO SUPPORT EVERYONE RIGHT NOW.
THE PLUS SIDE IS IF OUR TROOPS ARE NOT THERE WE DO NOT HAVE TO SPEND THAT MONEY IN THAT COUNTRY WE CAN USE IT HERE.
AND DAPHINE WROTE... "WE SHOULD HAVE BEEN OUT A LONG TIME AGO! AND WE SHOULDN'T BE GOING TO OTHER PLACES...PLEASE, THE USA DOESN'T HAVE TO BE IN EVERY WORLD SQUABBLE...BRING OUR TROOPS HOME, PLEASE!!
YOU CAN JOIN THE DISCUSSION AND SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS.
JUST VISIT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ AND CLICK THE LIKE BUTTON TO BECOME A FAN.

THE BIBB COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT HAS MORE THAN 2-POINT-8 MILLION DOLLARS TO GET A GROUP OF 6TH AND SEVENTH GRADERS GEARED UP....FOR COLLEGE.
THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AWARDED THE GRANT TO HELP LOW-INCOME STUDENTS GRADUATE...AND MOVE ON TO THE NEXT LEVEL.
CANDACE ADORKA EXPLAINS HOW THE MONEY WILL PAY FOR A PROGRAM THAT BIBB OFFICIALS HOPE WILL HAVE A WIDE-RANGING IMPACT.
<<
TELEAH JACKSON... A MATH SUPPORT TEACHER AT APPLING MIDDLE SCHOOL... SAYS A LOT OF HER STUDENTS FACE MANY ROADBLOCKS TO COLLEGE.
"These problems are very real when it comes to poverty and just environmental challenges like gangs..."
THE BIBB COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT RECIEVED A 2-POINT-8 MILLION DOLLAR FEDERAL GRANT TO HELP THEM OVERCOME THOSE ROADBLOCKS.
***classroom nats***
IT WILL FUND A PROGRAM TO PROVIDE MATH TUTORING... SATURDAY AND SUMMER PROGRAMS... COLLEGE VISITS.. AND OTHER SERVICES TO 36-HUNDRED 6TH AND SEVENTH GRADERS.
JACKSON SAYS THE GRANT HAS ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES.
"With gear up we'll be able to use those monies to lets say do extended learning at school to extend the day so that those students who ownt have access to say the internet or toher technological advances at home, we can have them for them here at school."
***NAT***
SUSANNE GRIFFIN-ZIEBERT... BIBB'S DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT FOR SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT... SAYS THE PROGRAM COULD LAST 7 YEARS AND FOLLOW THE SELECTED STUDENTS UNTIL COLLEGE... BUT SHE SAYS THE BENEFITS WOULD LAST BEYOND THAT.
"What we're hoping is that what we learn through the implementation of this grant is something that we might be able to continue to replicate in years beyond that."
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS SET YEARLY GOALS THAT THE SCHOOL DISTRICT MUST MEET...TO QUALIFY FOR MORE MONEY EACH YEAR.
JACKSON SAYS SHE BELIEVES THE WHOLE COMMUNITY IS BETTER OFF WITH THE GEAR UP GRANT.
"the overall benefit to the whole community is productive citizens. we'll be able to create students who not only we be able to service their own community but the entire county as a whole."
CANDACE ADORKA 13 WMAZ EYEWITHNESS NEWS.
>> BIBB COUNTY IS THE ONLY GEORGIA SCHOOL DISTRICT TO RECIEVE THE GRANT.

WARNER ROBINS CITY COUNCILMAN JOHN WILLIAMS SAYS HE'S NOT RESIGNING... AND EXPECTS TO BE FOUND INNOCENT OF EXTORTION CHARGES.
A FEDERAL INDICTMENT ACCUSES WILLIAMS OF TRYING TO TAKE A 17 HUNDRED DOLLAR COMMISSION ON A CAR PURCHASE BY THE POLICE DEPARTMENT.
HERE HE IS LEAVING COURT AFTER TUESDAY'S HEARING.. WHEN HE PLEADED NOT GUILTY TO EXTORTION, FALSE STATEMENTS AND WITNESS TAMPERING.
YESTERDAY.... LORRA LYNCH JONES ASKED HIM TO RESPOND TO RUMORS THAT HE MIGHT RESIGN.
BY TEXT MESSAGE.... WILLIAMS SAID HE'S STAYING IN THE RACE.
HE WROTE...IN PART..."I HAVE DONE NOTHING TO RESIGN.....THE TRUTH OF INNOCENCE WILL PREVAIL.
IN THIS CASE... I WILL BE FOUND COMPLETELY INNOCENT."
HE FACES TWO CHALLENGERS FOR HIS POST 6 SEAT IN THE NOVEMBER EIGHTH CITY ELECTION.

TWO NEIGHBORS FROM BUTTS COUNTY SAY THEY HAVE A RECIPE FOR MOONSHINE THEY LOVE TO SHOW OFF.
THEY'VE OPENED A DISTILLERY IN MILLEDGEVILLE TO GET THEIR PRODUCT OFF THE GROUND.
OWNERS OF THE GEORGIA DISTILLING COMPANY....SHAWN HALL AND BILL MAULDIN SAY THEY HAVE A FAMILY HISTORY OF BOOTLEGGERS.
THE TWO PARTNERS ARE NEIGHBORS IN BUTTS COUNTY.
THEY STARTED PLANNING THEIR BUSINESS VENTURE TWO YEARS AGO....FIRST LOOKING IN JACKSON....THEN IN JONES COUNTY.... BEFORE FINALLY LANDING IN MILLEDGEVILLE.
THEY ARE WORKING ON SEVERAL DIFFERENT PRODUCTS BUT HALL SAYS MOONSHINE IS THEIR SPECIALTY.
"This is a genuine as it gets and the feedback that we've had has been really great because people taste it and say, "How can you do this legally?" It's legal! We're paying taxes on every bit of this stuff but we're just making an authetic moonshine but it's legal."
HALL SAYS THEY'RE NOW DISTRIBUTING THEIR PRODUCTS IN GEORGIA AND TENNESSEE...AND HOPE SOON TO SHIP TO STATES AROUND THE SOUTHEAST....AND BEYOND.

THE WEEKEND IS HERE... AND IF YOU'RE PLANNING A DINNER OUT... YOU MAY WANT TO SEE HOW YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANTS DID... WHEN THE HEALTH INSPECTOR DROPPED IN.
AMY AUBERT JOINS US WITH THIS WEEK'S RESTAURANT RATINGS...
WE'RE BACK IN HOUSTON COUNTY THIS WEEK...STARTING OFF WITH OUR LOWEST SCORES FIRST....
CHECKERS AT 1-13 RUSSELL PARKWAY IN WARNER ROBINS GOT AN 80... THAT'S A "B".... COMING AFTER AN 88... ANOTHER "B" LAST TIME.
ACCORDING TO THE INSPECTION REPORT...ADEQUATE HANDWASHING FACILITIES WERE NOT SUPPLIED AND ACCESSIBLE... IT NOTES THAT AS A RISK FOR FOODBORNE ILLNESS.
THE REPORT ALSO SAYS STORED FOOD WAS NOT COVERED AND IT NOTED EMPLOYEES' PERSONAL CLEANLINESS.
PIZZA HUT AT 6-70 LAKE JOY ROAD IN KATHLEEN SCORED AN 85... A "B"... FOLLOWING A 99... OR "A" ON THE INSPECTION BEFORE.
THE INSPECTOR SAYS FOOD CONTACT SURFACES WERE NOT CLEANED AND SANITIZED AND FOOD WAS NOT HELD AT THE PROPER TEMPERATURE.
SUBWAY AT 600 RUSSELL PARKWAY IN WARNER ROBINS ALSO GOT AN 85... COMING AFTER A 94... OR "A" LAST TIME.
THE INSPECTOR SAYS THE PERSON IN CHARGE WAS NOT PRESENT... DIDN'T DEMONSTRATE KNOWLEDGE... OR DIDN'T PERFORM DUTIES.
HE SAYS THAT'S A RISK FOR FOODBORNE ILLNESS.
AND ZAXBY'S AT 29-31 WATSON BOULEVARD IN WARNER ROBINS... GOT A 79... A "C"... COMING AFTER A 95... OR "A"... ON THE INSPECTION BEFORE.
THE INSPECTION REPORT SAYS TOXIC SUBSTANCES WERE NOT PROPERLY IDENTIFIED... STORED... AND USED... AND CONTAMINATION WAS NOT PREVENTED DURING FOOD PREPARATION AND DISPLAY.
NOW FOR A LOOK THE TOP SCORES OF THE WEEK... AND THIS WEEK'S GOLDEN SPATULA NOMINEES...
DUNKIN DONUTS AT 8-66 HIGHWAY 96 IN WARNER ROBINS... SERVED UP A PERFECT 100... AFTER SCORING AN 84... A "B"... LAST TIME.
MCCALL'S TASTES TO REMEMBER AT 10-01 WATSON BOULEVARD IN WARNER ROBINS ALSO WHIPPED UP A PERFECT 100... FOLLOWING A 96... OR "A" ON THE INSPECTION BEFORE.
AND SUBWAY AT 49-93 RUSSELL PARKWAY IN WARNER ROBINS SERVED UP A 100... COMING AFTER A 92... AN "A"... LAST TIME.
JOIN US AGAIN TONIGHT AS WE AVERAGE OUR NOMINEES PAST FIVE SCORES TO GIVE YOU THIS WEEK'S GOLDEN SPATULA WINNER....FRANK...LEAH?
FOR ALL YOUR RESTAURANT RATINGS... GO TO OUR WEBSITE 13WMAZ DOT COM.
GO TOT HE FEATURES TAB AND SCROLL DOWN TO RESTAURANT RATINGS.
YOU CAN ALSO CHECK OUT THE RATINGS FOR YOUR COUNTY... ON OUR WHERE YOU LIVE SITES.

HERE'S SOME BREAKING NEWS FROM WARNER ROBINS.
POLICE SAY PART OF NORTH DAVIS DRIVE IS CLOSED DUE TO A SERIOUS TRAFFIC ACCIDENT.
THE ROAD IS CLOSED BETWEEN MADRID STREET AND CRANFORD STREET...AND THEY'RE NOT SURE WHEN IT WILL REOPEN.
THEY SAY DRIVERS SHOULD AVOID THE AREA.
WE'LL UPDATE THIS STORY WHEN MORE DETAILS ARE AVAILABLE...AT 13WMAZ-DOT-COM AND MAZ MOBILE.

BUY A CUP OF LEMONADE... HELP ST. JUDE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL.
THAT'S THE MESSAGE OF A WARNER ROBINS SECOND GRADER THIS WEEKEND.
ANNABELLE BALDUCCI IS SETTING UP HER VERY FANCY LEMONADE STAND AT THE SACRED HEART CATHOLIC SCHOOL FALL FESTIVAL SATURDAY.
SHE GOT INTO THE GIVING SPIRIT AFTER CUTTING HER HAIR... AND DONATING IT TO LOCKS OF LOVE LAST YEAR.
ANNABELLE WANTED TO KEEP HELPING CHILDREN WITH CANCER... SO SHE ASKED FOR THE STAND AT THIS YEAR'S FALL FESTIVAL.
Annabelle Balducci: (3:50) "I know St. Jude helps a lot of kids. If it wasn't for them, not really many kids will get stay healthy and get better."
THE SACRED HEART FALL FESTIVAL IS TOMORROW FROM NINE UNTIL FIVE.
THE SCHOOL IS ON SOUTH DAVIS DRIVE IN WARNER ROBINS.
ANNABELLE'S LEMONADE COST A DOLLAR FOR A SMALL CUP... TWO DOLLARS FOR A LARGE.

TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS.. HOW OFTEN DO YOU VOLUNTEER FOR GOOD CAUSES?
SO FAR 17 PERCENT OF YOU SAY WEEKLY.
28 PERCENT SAY MORE THAN ONCE A YEAR.
16 PERCENT SAY ONCE A YEAR.
AND 39 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NEVER.
VOTE NOW... LOOK FOR THE WEB POLL QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.

TOMORROW THE DEEP ROOTS FESTIVAL TAKES OVER DOWNTOWN MILLEDGEVILLE.
(pause for nats)
THE ANNUAL EVENT.. FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE SWEETWATER FESTIVAL... KICKS OFF AT 10 A-M AND GOES UNTIL MIDNIGHT.
IT FEATURES A CAR SHOW... ARTS AND CRAFTS.. A BARBECUE COMPETITION... AND LIVE MUSIC.
ADMISSION IS 5 DOLLARS UNTIL 5 P-M... AFTER THAT IT GOES UP TO 15 DOLLARS.
FOR MORE INFORMATION... LOOK FOR THE DEEP ROOTS STORY ON OUR MILLEDGEVILLE WHERE YOU LIVE PAGE.. OR YOU CAN CALL 478-414-4014.

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.


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