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Monday, October 31, Eyewitness News at 6

6:27 PM, Oct 31, 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.

IT'S BEEN MORE THAN A HALF CENTURY SINCE JIM CROW SEGREGATION MOTIVATED THOUSANDS TO TAKE TO THE STREETS... FIGHTING FOR THEIR CIVIL RIGHTS.
AS THE CIVIL RIGHTS GENERATION STARTS TO HAND OVER THE REINS TO A NEW GROUP OF YOUNGER BLACK LEADERS... SOME SAY THE GENERATION GAP IS CREATING A DIVIDE.
ELEANOR LISSITZYN IS HERE TO TELL US MORE ABOUT HER TWO-PART SPECIAL...... RACE AND REMEMBERING...
ELEANOR WHO WILL WE HEAR FROM TONIGHT?
I SPOKE TO FORMER TWO TERM MAYOR C. JACK ELLIS... AND FORMER CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE DANNY GLOVER.
ELLIS GREW UP IN A SEGREGATED MACON... HE SAYS EXCEPT FOR AN EARLY CHILDHOOD PLAYMATE... HE NEVER HAD A RELATIONSHIP WITH A WHITE PERSON... UNTIL HE LEFT TO JOIN THE ARMY AS A TEENAGER.
BUT TWENTY FOUR YEAR OLD GLOVER ... SAYS HE'S NEVER KNOWN THE STING OF JIM CROW.
ELLIS SAYS THERE IS STILL RACIAL INEQUALITY AND EVEN SEGREGATION... WITHIN THE CITY.
BUT GLOVER SAYS HE SEES A CITY BEGINNING TO HEAL AND HE HOPES A YOUNGER GENERATION WILL LEND A NEW TONE TO MACON'S CONVERSATIONS ABOUT RACE.
Jack:"This is the colored waiting room."
IT'S THE SAME SIGN C. JACK ELLIS WALKED UNDER IN 1963... OFF TO JOIN THE ARMY AT SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD..
AND IT REMAINED SET IN STONE WHEN HE RETURNED TWENTY SIX YEARS LATER.
Jack: "You can't cover that up... it's who were were
SO WHEN HE BECAME MACON'S FIRST BLACK MAYOR... HE WENT BACK... TO WHERE HE CAME FROM.
Jack "They literally lifted me up and I took a crowbar and I un-covered it."
IT'S A PERMAMENT MARKER.. SAYS ELLIS... ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT FOR A YOUNGER GENERATION OF BLACK AMERICANS... WHO'VE NEVER BEEN "COLORED."
Danny: "This is where my grandfather dedicated his entire working life to."
FOR TWENTY-FOUR YEAR OLD DANNY GLOVER... THE GREEN GRASS ON LUTHER WILLIAMS FIELD... HOLDS GOLDEN MEMORIES OF HIS GRANDFATHER..
WILLIE SMOKEY GLOVER.
Danny: "He spent almost forty five years ensuring this field was the best kept field in minor league baseball."
THE CITY HONORED HIM WITH THIS PLAQUE IN 1992... BUT GLOVER SAYS JIM CROW SEGREGATION ENSURED THEY NEVER HONORED HIM WITH THE CITY PARKS DEPARTMENT'S TOP JOB.
Danny: "This is something really special for my family."
THAT SORT OF REVERENCE FOR THE CIVIL RIGHTS GENERATION... MAKES IT HARD TO PART WITH THE PAST.
Eleanor: "Is there a divide amongst black leadership in Macon?
Danny: "I dont think there's a divide. No. Scratch that. I do think there's a divide!"
GLOVER HOPES TO SOMEDAY FOLLOW ELLIS...INTO THE MAYOR'S OFFICE.
BUT HE SAYS HE HOPES HIS RACE WON'T BE A PART OF HIS LEGACY.
Danny:"I know it' going to shift, our generation, the Macon Millennial generation is going to be the first generation to put all that stuff aside."
Ellis: "It's not going to be a non-issue."
RACISM IS STILL WIDESPREAD IN MACON... ELLIS SAYS... ESPECIALLY EVIDENT IN THE CITY'S PRIVATE SCHOOLS
Ellis: "In general, the proliferation of private schools in this community came about after integration. There were so many white people who did not want their kids in school with black children."
Eleanor: "Is it modern day segregation?"
Jack: "That's exactly what it is!"
BUT FOR GLOVER... THE DAYS OF RAMPANT RACISM... WERE HIS GRANDFATHER'S REALITY... NOT HIS.
Danny: "It's hard for us, young leaders to see that. They went through the civil rights movement, the counter sit-ins, the rigid past of Jim Crow, naturally they hold on to those things."
"Myself being a 1987 baby, I never experienced that. I never experience what it feels like not to be able to ride in the front of the bus."
AND HE SAYS THAT DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE GENERATIONS... CREATED A DIVIDE IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY.
Danny: "Race isn't an issue in the bigger scheme like many people try to make it seem like."
Jack .""There are a lot of disparities here and it comes down along racial lines. You can deny it if you wish."
ELLIS SAYS CITY HALL MUST TAKE A MORE PROACTIVE ROLE TO CLOSE THE GAPS..
HE SAYS GOVERNMENT MUST USE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION TO ENSURE MINORITIES GET THEIR SHARE OF GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS AND STAFF POSITIONS.
Jack:"We don't want to take what you have, what we want to do is broaden the pie so that other people can get a piece."
GLOVER SAYS POLICIES LIKE THAT POLOARIZE PEOPLE.
Danny: "We're moving past that, there is going to come a time when people view race as an issue of the past and they're going to view moving foward together as one people as what's best of the city of Macon."
Eleanor: "Are they unable to work interracially to get things done because of the baggage of history?
Danny: "Yes."
BOTH LEADERS... SEE PERMAMENT REMINDERS OF SEGREGATION AND ITS COST.
Jack:"When people put that in stone... they mean it to stay that way forever."
Danny: "I've got big shoes to fill."
BUT WHETHER LEADING THE FUTURE MEANS FOLLOWING THESE FOOTSTEPS... OR MAKING THEIR OWN... BOTH MEN SAY HISTORY MOVED THEM FORWARD.
BOTH ELLIS AND GLOVER LOST THE ELECTION... WHAT'S NEXT FOR THEM?
NEITHER OF THEM ARE RULING OUT LAUNCHING FUTURE CAMPAIGNS.
GLOVER SAYS ONE DAY HE WANTS TO TO BE MAYOR... BUT PLANS TO TRY AGAIN FOR THE WARD THREE POST THREE CITY COUNCIL SEAT.
ELLIS SAYS RIGHT NOW HE'S BUSY WITH WORK AND TRAVEL... BUT SAYS WE COULD SEE HIM ENTER THE MAYOR'S RACE... IN ANOTHER FOUR YEARS.
THANKS ELEANOR
WE WANT YOU TO WEIGH IN ON THE COVERSATION... VISIT US ON FACEBOOK AND LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK... DOES THE FUTURE OF RACE RELATIONS IN MACON'S POLITICAL ARENA LOOK BRIGHTER?
OR IS THE EXISTING LEADERSHIP ALREADY MOVING US FORWARD?
AND JOIN US TOMORROW NIGHT FOR THE SECOND PART OF OUR SPECIAL: RACE AND REMEMBERING.
WE'LL TALK WITH STATE REPRESENTATIVE NIKKI RANDALL... AND COUNCILWOMAN ELAINE LUCAS... TO DISCUSS HOW CHANGING ATTITUDES MAY PLAY OUT AT THE POLLS..

TOMORROW... THE BIBB COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE WILL SAY GOODBYE TO A FORMER LEADER.
ACCORDING TO SERGEANT SEAN DEFOE.....
RAY WILKES RETIRED AS SHERIFF IN 1992. HE DIED SATURDAY OF NATURAL CAUSES.
A WEEK BEFORE HE LEFT OFFICE IN DECEMBER, 1992 - 13WMAZ'S LAWRENCE MINK SAT DOWN WITH THE SHERIFF TO TAKE A LOOK BACK AT HIS LONG CAREER.
VISITATION IS UNDER WAY NOW AT INGLESIDE BAPTIST CHURCH IN MACON.
IT LASTS UNTIL 8 P.M.
FUNERAL SERVICES ARE SET FOR TOMORROW AT 10 A.M. AT INGLESIDE BAPTIST CHURCH..
MIDDLE GEORGIA REACT WARNS OF POSSIBLE TRAFFIC DELAYS ON RIVERSIDE DRIVE TO WIMBISH ROAD... AND PIERCE AVENUE AT RIVERSIDE DRIVE BETWEEN 11 A-M AND 11-30.
DRIVERS ARE ASKED TO USE CAUTION.

MACON OFFICIALS SAY THEY HAVE A NEW STRATEGY TO IMPROVE SOME OF THE CITY'S RUN-DOWN NEIGHBORHOODS.
IT'S CALLED THE 5 BY 5 PLAN... AIMED AT BEAUTIFYING FIVE BLOCKS FOR FIVE WEEKS IN EACH WARD.
TODAY... THE MAYOR BRAINSTORMED WITH OTHER CITY OFFICIALS AND COMMUNITY LEADERS ON HOW TO IMPROVE 5 BLOCKS IN EAST MACON.
THEY TALKED ABOUT COSMETIC IMPROVEMENTS LIKE CUTTING GRASS... CLEANING GRAFFITTI... AND PICKING UP DUMP SITES.
POLICE OFFICERS AND FIREFIGHTERS WILL ALSO WORK THE NEIGHBORHOOD.
THE FIRST 5 WEEK PROJECT KICKS OFF NOVEMBER 14TH IN FORT HILL.. THAT'S IN WARD ONE.

THE TRICK-OR-TREATERS ARE OUT IN CENTRAL GEORGIA TONIGHT...
IN MACON... RIDGE AVENUE HAS BEEN A HALLOWEEN HOTSPOT FOR YEARS... AND THE PROMISE OF TREATS DREW OUR CHIEF METEOROLOGIST BEN JONES.
BEN... I KNOW THEY SCALED BACK THE FESTIVITIES THIS YEAR... WHAT'S DIFFERENT THIS YEAR?
THANKS BEN.. WE'LL TALK WITH YOU AGAIN IN JUST A FEW MINUTES.

A WEEK FROM TOMORROW... WARNER ROBINS VOTERS WILL ELECT THREE COUNCIL MEMBERS.
LORRA LYNCH JONES TALKED WITH TWO OF THE THREE CANDIDATES RUNNING FOR THE POST SIX SEATS.
THE THIRD CANDIDATE... NEAL ERWIN... DID NOT RETURN CALLS.
INCUMBENT JOHN WILLIAMS AND CHALLENGER MIKE DAVIS TOLD US WHY THEY'RE RUNNING.
<<nats- mike davis
RETIRED ASSISTANT FIRE CHIEF FOR THE CITY MIKE DAVIS SAYS HE'S RUNNING TO GET CITY PROJECTS FINISHED.
(21:10) "Weve had several projects. None of them have been completed. You can start with the law enforcement center."
INCUMBENT JOHN WILLIAMS SAYS COUNCIL IS WORKING ON THEM... AND HE WANTS VOTERS TO RE-ELECT HIM... SO HE CAN HELP FINISH THEM. WILLIAMS SAYS OTHER CANDIDATES SHOULDN'T PROMISE FASTER RESULTS.
John Williams; (31:10) "When they say I'm going to do all this, they dont' have a clue what they're talking about."
HE SAYS HE KNOWS HOW TO HELP PEOPLE WITH PROBLEMS... SAYING HE'S WORKED 24-7 SINCE ELECTED FOUR YEARS AGO.
John Williams: (31:50) "A lot of times, you step on people's toes when you do that, when you to get stuff done. I'm a doer, a get-her-done guy."
HE SAYS HE'S MADE A FEW PEOPLE MAD IN THE PROCESS... AND BLAMES THAT FOR HIS LEGAL TROUBLES... BUT WOULDN'T EXACTLY... SAYING IT WILL COME OUT AT TRIAL.
HE'S FACED WITH A FEW CRIMINAL CHARGES IN FEDERAL COURT... FOR ALLEGEDLY TRYING TO PROFIT OFF THE PURCHASE OF A CITY TRUCK... AND ONE MORE IN SUPERIOR COURT... FOR ALLEGDLY LYING TO POLICE ABOUT A STOLEN CITY CELL PHONE. HE WAS LATE TO OUR INTERVIEW MONDAY... BECAUSE OF A COURT DATE IN THAT CASE.
John Williams: (32:10) "I assure you when all of this comes out, the controversy stops, and you'll see what's behind the controversy and what's behind it will go away. We'll have a clean city, and won't have the problems weve had in the past."
DAVIS SAYS ELECTING HIM WILL END THE PROBLEMS NOW.
(1:56) "The top priority is to get Warner Robins off the front page, as far as being negative. Weve got to do what's right for Robins Air Force Base. I think making headlines in a negative light is not helping us with Robins Air Force Base."
STD>> TO HEAR MORE FROM THE CANDIDATES... LOOK FOR THIS STORY... ON 13-WMAZ-DOT-COM.

A TEAM OF ARCHEOLOGIST ARE MAKING GENEOLOGY AND ARCHAEOLOGY A LIVING HISTORY AT FORT HAWKINS.
THEY MET TODAY TO ANNOUNCE THE RESULTS OF THEIR MONTH-LONG DIG.
THE LAMAR INSTITUTE HAS FOCUSED ON THE OUTER WALL OF FORT HAWKINS.
DURING THE DIG THEY FOUND WOOD FROM THE STAKES OF THE WALL... BUILT IN 18-09... A BRASS BUTTON FROM A REGIMENT OF RIFLES UNIFORM... AND HOG BONES.
DAN ELLIOTT.. PRESIDENT OF THE LAMAR INSTITUTE AND LEAD ARCHEOLOGIST SAYS HIS TEAM TOOK SOIL SAMPLES THAT THEY HOPE WILL SHINE A LIGHT ON WHAT PLANT LIFE WAS LIKE IN 18-09..

EARLIER IN THE NEWSCAST AS PART OF THE FIRST INSTALLMENT OF OUR RACE AND REMEMBERING TWO-PART SERIES... WE ASKED OUR FACEBOOK FANS WHETHER THEY THINK THE FUTURE OF RACE RELATIONS IN MACON POLITICS LOOKS BRIGHTER.
WE WANT YOU TO GET INTO THE DISCUSSION... JUST JOIN THE CONVERSATION BY VISITING FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ.

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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