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 TONIGHT..AS WE HEAD INTO THE SEASON OF GIVING..THE NEED IS GROWING AS THE ECONOMY CONTINUES TO STRUGGLE.
BUT YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO HELP FEED FAMILIES IN CENTRAL GEORGIA... WHO NEED YOUR HELP THIS HOLIDAY SEASON.
FIRST - CANDACE ADORKA TAKES A LOOK AT WHAT COULD BE CAUSING THE PROBLEM.
WHILE BASIC NECESSITIES LIKE FOOD AND GAS GET MORE EXPENSIVE... SOME PEOPLE IN THE MIDDLE CLASS AREN'T ABLE TO KEEP UP.
WHETHER IT'S UNEMPLOYMENT... A PAY CUT... OR LACK OF A PAY RAISE... MORE PEOPLE ARE FINDING THEY NEED HELP FEEDING THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES.
SINCE 2006... UNEMPLOYMENT IN GEORGIA HAS MORE THAN DOUBLED... AND SINCE 2006... THE NUMBER OF GEORGIANS WHO GET FEDERAL FOOD ASSISTANCE IS UP... 68 PERCENT.
I SPOKE TO ONE MAN WHO SAYS SINCE HE LOST HIS JOB... HE'S HAD TO STRETCH A DOLLAR FURTHER THAN HE EVER EXPECTED.
***nats at dog park***
"Life was pretty good, you know? Life was really good."
KEVIN BARKLEY SAYS HIS DOGS ARE ALL HE HAS LEFT OF A TIME WHEN HE DIDN'T HAVE TO RATION HIS FOOD.
"There was two or three weeks where I was hungry, I went to sleep hungry, I woke up hungry but eventually you get used to the way you eat."
HE USED TO WORK AS AN AIRPLANE MECHANIC... MAKING JUST OVER 23 THOUSAND A YEAR.
"I did an honest day's work for an honest day's wage. I was looking towards that American dream of two cars in the driveway and the 2.3 children and the dog and the cat and a home."
HE PUT THAT DREAM ON PAUSE LAST SUMMER AFTER A BIKE ACIDENT PUT HIM OUT OF WORK.
HE NOW LIVES OFF TEMPORARY DISABILITY INSURANCE... ABOUT 700 A MONTH.
"So I've been pretty much existing on the money in my pocket which came to about 50 dollars last month and 10 in savings and 12 in checking. It's a horrible way to live."
HE SAYS AFTER RENT AND DOCTOR'S FEES...
***nats kitchen cupboards***
...THERE'S NOT A LOT LEFT OVER FOR FOOD.
"Ramen, that's the crisis food. If I get down to that. i'm in big trouble, which is why it's in the back."
BARKLEY SAYS HE OFTEN GETS A HOT MEAL FROM MACON OUTREACH... AND A LOCAL CHARITY... LOAVES AND FISHES... HELPS HIM WITH GROCERIES AND HOUSING.
"Typical person coming in our program has had a house, had a job, got laid off...."
MARY GATTI WITH LOAVES AND FISHES SAYS THEY'RE SEEING A DIFFERENT KIND OF PERSON ASKING FOR HELP.
"There's always people that come in that you would see on the street and you would not think that they would be in need of a meal. They look like everyday ordinary middle class people just like we are."
Stand up: "You can see the demand here in the Middle Georgia Food bank warehouse. Typically 60 percent of these shelves should be stocked... but as of August they're down to 40 percent... That's 9 tractor tractor trailors full of food that have been distributed... and that the food bank hasn't been able to replace. Director Ronald Raleigh says a growing part of that demand is from the middle class."
"There is a greater influx of people that are in that low middle income bracket versus just the unemployed or just the low income people."
HE SAYS THE HUNDREDS OF CENTRAL GEORGIA AGENCIES THAT DISTRIBUTE FOOD NOW MUST ADAPT TO FIRST-TIME CUSTOMERS.
"The agencies we're workign with are helping to meet that need by letting those people know we're here to help you, there's no reason to feel ashamed of why you've gotta come get assistance but we're here to help you."
AND BARKLEY SAYS THAT'S A LESSON HE'S HAD TO LEARN THE HARD WAY.
"I wouldn't be able to make it on my own... there's absolutely no way i'd be able to make it with this situation right now. This is the grace of God and the grace of other people."
>> BARKLEY ISN'T GETTING FOOD STAMPS... HE'S STILL WAITING FOR HIS APPLICATION TO GO THROUGH... SO HE GETS GROCERIES THROUGH THE MIDDLE GEORGIA FOOD BANK.
THIS HOLIDAY SEASON 13-WMAZ... THE MIDDLE GEORGIA FOOD BANK... AND KROGER ARE TEAMING-UP TO HELP PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE FOR STRUGGLING FAMILIES IN CENTRAL GEORGIA.
YOU CAN GET IN ON THE GIVING WITH A TRIP TO YOUR LOCAL KROGER.
HERE'S LORRA LYNCH JONES WITH HOW YOU CAN HELP.
Lorra "Ready or Not It's that time of year again and 13 wmaz and Kroger locations across central are teaming up to help you give more this season. It's as easy as coming into one of the 13 central Georgia Kroger location. There is some in Macon, Warner Robins, Bonaire, Perry, Dublin, and Milledgeville. When you get into the grocery isle just pickup a few extra cans and put them in your cart. (Nats) After check out take your donations to the front of the store and look for the big box and drop in your donation between now and November 22nd. All the donations go to the middle georgia community food bank"
>> AGAIN... THE FOOD DRIVE STARTS TODAY... AND RUNS THROUGH THE 22ND... THAT'S TUESDAY.
IN CASE YOU MISSED THE LIST OF STORES... IT'S KROGER STORES IN MACON... WARNER ROBINS... BONAIRE... PERRY... MILLEDGEVILLE AND DUBLIN.
WE'LL BE REMINDING YOU TO DROP OFF YOUR DONATION AT AREA KROGERS OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS.
YOU CAN ALSO MAKE A CASH DONATION TO KROGER'S "CAN HUNGER" CAMPAIGN WHEN YOU CHECK OUT.
THAT RUNS THROUGH CHRISTMAS EVE.... AND WILL ALSO BENEFIT THE MIDDLE GEORGIA COMMUNITY FOOD BANK.
TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... ARE YOU SPENDING LESS ON FOOD DUE TO THE ECONOMY?
SO FAR 63 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES... YOU ARE.
AND 37 PERCENT SAY NO... YOU'RE NOT SPENDING LESS.
VOTE NOW... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
MACON POLICE SAY AN AUTOPSY OF THE MACON MAN KILLED WEDNESDAY NIGHT... SHOWS HE WAS SHOT MULTIPLE TIMES.
...AND THEY'RE STILL LOOKING FOR THE GUNMAN.
AMY AUBERT SPOKE TO A FAMILY MEMBER OF MICHAEL HENDERSON... AND HAS MORE.
<<Amy Aubert: "I spoke to the victim's wife-- Cheneldra Henderson-- who says she was in bed when she heard two gunshots. It happened here at the couple's home on Rocky Creek Road just after 8:00 Wednesday night. She says her husband, 39-year-old Michael Henderson, was leaving to go to the store. She says by the time she got outside, her husband was laying on the cement surface in front of their home. She says he already started her car engine and the passenger side window was shattered. According to a police news release, Macon Police believe someone was waiting outside the home and ambushed Henderson. Cheneldra Henderson says her husband never had a problem with anyone and always kept to himself. She says she doesn't know anyone who would've done this. Macon Police are still investigating. In Macon, I'm Amy Aubert, 13WMAZ, Eyewitness News.">>
A POLICE INCIDENT REPORT CONFIRMS THAT HENDERSON'S PASSENGER SIDE WINDOW WAS SHATTERED.
MACON POLICE SAY THE CAR WAS TAKEN TO MACON'S CRIME LAB FOR INVESTIGATION.
THE REPORT ALSO SAYS EITHER A SHOTGUN OR A RIFLE WAS USED....
POLICE SAY THEY'RE STILL INVESTIGATING.
PEOPLE IN SEVERAL CENTRAL GEORGIA COUNTIES ARE CLEANING UP THE DAMAGE TODAY AFTER STRONG STORMS BLEW THROUGH THE AREA YESTERDAY.
TOMMY BROWN LIVES JUST SOUTH OF WARTHEN.. IN WASHINGTON COUNTY.
HE WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF ADDING AN EXTRA ROOM TO HIS HOUSE... WHEN YESTERDAY'S HIGH WINDS RIPPED TARPS OFF HIS ROOF AND FLOODED MUCH OF HIS HOME.
AND TO THE SOUTH JUST OUTSIDE OF WRIGHTSVILLE IN JOHNSON COUNTY... A PINE TREE FELL ON WAIN CAIN'S HOUSE...
AND STRONG WINDS BLEW SEVERAL OF HIS PORTABLE BUILDINGS ACROSS THE HIGHWAY...
BOTH MEN HOWEVER SAY THEY'RE STILL BLESSED.
Tommy: "You won't believe the people who came over here yesterday afternoon to help us get everything moved out of the bedrooms into the other parts of the house. We're blessed."
Wain: "It's great people here you don't see them till you need them but they're around it you need anybody."
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PEACHTREE CITY SAYS IT BELIEVES ALL OF WEDNESDAY'S DAMAGE IN CENTRAL GEORGIA WAS CAUSED BY STRAIGHT-LINE WINDS...NOT TORNADOES.
LOCAL OFFICIALS AND BIBB COUNTY LEGISLATORS MET TO TALK ABOUT WHAT THEY WANT TO SEE COME OUT OF NEXT YEAR'S GENERAL ASSEMBLY.
ISSUES ON THE TABLE INCLUDED CONSOLIDATING THE CITY AND COUNTY... JAIL OVERCROWDING... AND A REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY.
RANDALL SAVAGE HAS MORE.
<<MACON MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT WANTS STATE LAWMAKERS TO TAKE A REGION APPROACH TO TRANSPORTATION AROUND IN CENTRAL GEORGIA.
Robert Reichert, Macon Mayor: What we're asking for is a regional transit authority rather than one confined predominately to Macon and Bibb County.
AND THE DELEGATION HEARD MORE COMMENTS ON MERGING MACON AND BIBB COUNTY.
Nikki Randall, Delegation Chair: We are still taking it all in. We still have another listening session this evening and we are just wanting to hear from everybody all of their opinions, what they want the new consolidated government to look like because we certainly want the input of the general public as we develop this legislation.
RANDALL SAYS THE DELEGATION IS WAITING ON THE CARL VINSON INSTITUTE'S REPORT ON CONSOLIDATION.
Nikki Randall, Delegation Chair: Basically, what the report is, it gives us an idea of what the other existing consolidated governments look like and their structuring and all the details about the ones that exist and it will make some recommendations as to how we should handle some of the major components of a consolidated government.
REPRESENTATIVE ALLEN PEAKE SAYS THIS GROUP OF BIBB COUNTY LEGISLATORS...GETS ALONG WELL.
Allen Peake, State Representative: As I've said before it's a new day for our delegation. We've got new folks. Nikki Randall has done a great job as our chairwoman. We've got James Beverly and MiRIam Paris as new members. So I think we've got a lot of new fresh ideas, a new spirit of cooperation that will only bode well for getting a lot of good stuff done for our community
RANDALL SAVAGE.. 13 WMAZ.. EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> OTHER IDEAS FROM LOCAL OFFICIALS INCLUDED NON-PARTISAN ELECTIONS FOR MACON... EXTENDING THE RUNWAY AT THE MIDDLE GEORGIA REGIONAL AIRPORT... AND STATE FUNDING TO HELP SOLVE ENCROACHMENT PROBLEMS AT ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE.
NEXT YEAR'S GENERAL ASSEMBLY IS SET TO CONVENE ON JANUARY 9TH.
A FORMER TWIGGS COUNTY SHERIFF AND HIS SON AGREED TO PAY 300 DOLLAR FINES TO SETTLE CHARGES THEY VIOLATED ELECTION LAWS.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO THE GEORGIA SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE.
IN AN ORDER APPROVED BY THE STATE ELECTION BOARD THIS WEEK....FORMER SHERIFF DOYLE STONE AND GREG STONE DID NOT ADMIT TO THE CHARGES...OF ILLEGALLY HANDLING OTHER VOTERS ABSENTEE BALLOTS IN 2008.
BUT THEY ACCEPTED THE FINES...AND PUBLIC REPRIMANDS...AND AGREED NOT TO VIOLATE ELECTION RULES IN THE FUTURE.
A GBI INVESTIGATION FOUND BOTH STONES' FINGERPRINTS ON OTHER PEOPLE'S BALLOTS.
THE CURRENT SHERIFF DARREN MITCHUM...DEFEATED GREG STONE IN 2004 AND 2008.
IF YOU HAVE A STUDENT IN THE BIBB COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM... TAKE A LOOK INSIDE THEIR BACK-PACK... YOU'LL PROBABLY FIND A SURVEY SHEET.
THE PAPER IS POLLING PARENTS... ASKING THEM WHAT AREAS OF STUDY THEY WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THEIR STUDENTS FOCUS ON.
THE DISTRICT IS LOOKING AT CREATING MORE SCHOOLS WITH AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION... COMMONLY KNOWN AS MAGNET SCHOOLS.
SUPERINTENDENT ROMAIN DALLEMAND CALLS THEM 'PORTOFOLIO SCHOOLS' AND HE SAYS HE PLANS TO INCLUDE MORE OF THEM IN HIS STRATEGIC PLAN.
WE SPOKE TO SOME PARENTS OUTSIDE OF INGRAM PYE ELEMENTARY THIS AFTERNOON... WHICH IS NOT A MAGNET SCHOOL... TO SEE HOW THEY'D FEEL ABOUT MAKING THE CHANGE.
THE GOAL OF DALLEMAND'S STRATEGIC PLAN IS TO IMPROVE STUDENT PERFORMANCE AND HELP THEM COMPETE GLOBALLY.
IN ADDITION TO PORTFOLIO SCHOOLS... HE'S FLOATED SOME IDEAS LIKE YEAR-ROUND SCHOOLS... AND INCORPORATING THE STUDY OF MANDARIN CHINESE IN THE BIBB COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM.
HE PLANS TO PRESENT IT TO THE BOARD OF EDUCATION IN JANUARY.
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.