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Wednesday, November 30, Eyewitness News at 6

12:02 AM, Dec 1, 2011   |    comments
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<<opening for eyewitness news at six>>
HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US...
I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
AND I'M FRANK MALLOY.. THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.

A MAN IN CRAWFORD COUNTY DIED THIS AFTERNOON AFTER BEING HIT BY A PICKUP TRUCK.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO COUNTY CORONER... ALLEN O'NEIL.
O'NEIL SAYS THE MAN WAS FOUND ON THE 33-HUNDRED BLOCK OF BOY SCOUT ROAD...JUST OVER AN HOUR AGO.
HE SAYS THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE IS STILL INVESTIGATING.
THEY HAVEN'T YET RELEASED A NAME... OR ANY OTHER DETAILS.
THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE HAS NOT RETURNED OUR PHONE CALLS.
WE'LL UPDATE THIS STORY WHEN MORE DETAILS ARE AVAILABLE...AT 13WMAZ-DOT-COM.

FIRST IT WAS SUNDAY ALCOHOL SALES...
NOW SOME ADVOCATES SAY THE NEXT BARRIER TO FALL IN GEORGIA...COULD BE LEGALIZING HORSE RACE BETTING.
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY IS EXPECTED TO CONSIDER IT NEXT YEAR.
THAT DOESN'T SIT WELL WITH BIBB COUNTY COMMISSIONER LONZY EDWARDS..
BUT MACON CITY COUCILMAN LARRY SCHLESINGER SAYS IT COULD BE A GOOD IDEA.
THE TWO JOINED RANDALL SAVAGE IN OUR STUDIO TO TALK ABOUT THE ISSUE.

GEORGIA'S SECRETARY OF STATE SAYS HE WON'T RECONSIDER HIS RULING ON THE BORDER DISPUTE INVOLVING BIBB AND MONROE COUNTIES.
IN AUGUST... BRIAN KEMP RULED IN FAVOR OF BIBB COUNTY.
THAT MEANS THE BORDER STAYS PUT.
HAD HE RULED THE OTHER WAY... HUNDREDS OF ACRES AND DOZENS OF HOMES AND BUSINESSES MIGHT HAVE MOVED INTO MONROE COUNTY.
MONROE COUNTY ASKED KEMP TO RECONSIDER... BUT TODAY HE SAID NO.
HE SAID STATE LAW DOESN'T ALLOW HIM TO HOLD A NEW HEARING.
MONROE CHAIRMAN JAMES VAUGHN SAYS HE'S NOT SURPRISED....HE SAYS COUNTY OFFICIALS WILL MEET SOON TO CONSIDER THEIR NEXT STEP.

THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE IN BIBB COUNTY WHO HOPED TO APPLY FOR ENERGY ASSISTANCE IN DECEMBER WILL HAVE TO WAIT....
THE FEDERAL PROGRAM THAT PAYS ENERGY BILLS OPENED TO SENIORS AND THE HOMEBOUND THIS MONTH.
IT WAS SUPPOSED TO OPEN TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC TOMORROW... BUT NOW THAT'S ON HOLD.
CANDACE ADORKA HAS BEEN FOLLOWING THE STORY.
THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THE ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY COUNCIL HAS HAD TO POSTPONE TAKING APPLICATIONS FOR THE ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.
EOC DIRECTOR JIMMIE SAMUEL SAYS IT'S BECAUSE CONGRESS HASN'T BEEN ABLE TO COME TOGETHER AND PASS A BUDGET...
"People are being caught in the middle of the politics of what's going on between republicans and democrats and others and... people are hurting. And not enough folks seem to be giving a damn."
LAST YEAR E-O-C OFFICIALS SAY THEY HELPED ABOUT 5 THOUSAND PEOPLE... AND THOUSANDS MORE WAITED IN LINE TO GET HELP.
SOME PEOPLE WERE ALREADY CAMPED OUT AT ST PAUL A-M-E CHURCH A DAY BEFORE THE PROGRAM WAS SET TO OPEN.
"It was a real big disappointment but I still have hope and I still have faith and I know that everything will eventually work out and when it does I'll be back here or wherever else it's gonna be."
"I'm sure that when everything gets worked out, it'll be done. It might not be today but it might be tomorrow, who knows? But we'll be looking forward to it and waiting."
SO FAR THE EOC HAS RECIEVED 445 THOUSAND FOR THE PROGRAM... THAT HAS HELPED A LITTLE MORE THAN A THOUSAND ELDERLY AND HOMEBOUND PEOPLE WITH THEIR ENERGY BILL.
THEY ARE WAITING FOR AN ADDITIONAL 408 THOUSAND TO HELP EVERBODY ELSE.
LAST YEAR...THEY RECEIVED MORE THAN A MILLION DOLLARS
E-O-C PRESIDENT LONNIE MILEY SAYS LOCAL POLITICIANS AND AVERAGE PEOPLE NEED TO LIGHT UP CONGRESSIONAL PHONE LINES TO GET HELP HEATING HOMES THIS WINTER.
"We're asking people to he lp up to help them by calling their people who are in congress and being irate about the situation and calling them and syaing we want the funds released.
EOC OFFICIALS SAY THEY HOPE THE DELAY IS SHORT.... AND THEY SAY AS SOON AS THEY GET THE WORD ON MORE MONEY COMING IN... THEY'LL SET A NEW START DATE FOR ENERGY ASSISTANCE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC.
CANDACE ADORKA 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
EVEN IF THE E-O-C GETS THE 408-THOUSAND DOLLARS THEY'RE EXPECTING... SAMUEL SAYS THEY WOULD ONLY BE ABLE TO HELP 25-HUNDRED HOUSEHOLDS INSTEAD OF THE FIVE THOUSAND THEY SERVED LAST YEAR.

AFTER YEARS OF DEBATE -- ROAD WIDENING ON FOREST HILL ROAD COULD BEGIN NEXT SUMMER. .
THE MACON AREA TRANSPORTATION STUDY'S POLICY COMMITTEE DECIDED LAST NIGHT TO MOVE FORWARD WITH PLANS TO EXPAND ROADS BETWEEN WIMBISH ROAD AND NORTHSIDE DRIVE.
THAT'S DESPITE A REQUEST BY THE CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE TO DELAY THE PLAN.
AUSTIN LEWIS TALKED WITH DRIVERS ABOUT WHETHER THEY THINK THE ROAD NEEDS TO CHANGE.
<< CHANGES COULD COMING SOON...TO THIS STRETCH OF FOREST HILL ROAD... BETWEEN NORTHSIDE DRIVE AND WIMBISH ROAD --
THE MACON AREA TRANSPORTATION WANTS TO MOVE FORWARD WITH A PLAN TO WIDEN FOREST HILL INTO THREE-LANES.
WHERE THE CENTER ROAD WOULD SERVE AS A LEFT HAND TURN LANE.
SOME DRIVERS SAY THIS STRETCH HAS A LOT OF TRAFFIC
{nats of driving}
AND IS OVERDUE FOR AN EXPANSION.
Sherod Hunt, Macon: I think it should be done. I mean Forest Hill has been a congested road for years. People who live off of forest hill always have problems getting onto Forest Hill because of the heavy traffic.
OTHERS AREN'T SO SURE.
Christian Priest, Griffin: I drive on it Monday through Friday twice a day and more when I go everywhere. But uuumm, I think it's good for traffic, but I feel bad for the landowners because their houses are going to right on the road.
AND SOME SAY....IT'S JUST NOT WORTH IT.
Lewis Corder, Macon: I think the construction would cause more problems than the expansion would be beneficial to Macon
Lewis Corder, Macon:: I travel this road, I never need more room on this road, never encounter traffic.
AND WHILE DRIVERS HAD DIFFERENT OPINIONS ON THE EXPANSION --SAFETY IS ONE THING THEY CAN AGREE ON.
Lewis Corder, Macon:I think definitely people need to slow down... it's a residential road.
AUSTIN LEWS 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS.
BIBB COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR STEVE LAYSON TELLS US THEY EXPECT TO AWARD BIDS FOR THE EXPANSION OF THE ROAD JULY 1ST.
HE SAYS THEY HOPE CONSTRUCTION WOULD BEGIN SOON AFTER.

TODAY'S 13 WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... SHOULD FOREST HILL ROAD BE WIDENED?
SO FAR 53 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES.
AND 47 PERCENT SAY NO.
VOTE NOW... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE HELD A LUNCHEON TODAY... TO HELP CELEBRATE THE RICH HISTORY OF NATIVE AMERICANS AND THEIR CULTURE.
Nats of Indiana Dance (6 SECONDS)
THE DANCE TROUPE CALLED THE "THE PLAINSMEN" PERFORMED AN INDIAN DANCE.
AND SEVERAL OTHER DANCERS PERFORMING DIFFERENT STYLES OF NATIVE DANCING... IN HONOR OF NATIVE AMERICAN MONTH.
THE LUNCHEON ALSO SHOWCASED POTTERY AND OTHER ARTIFACTS FROM THE NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURE.
GUEST SPEAKER BOBBIE ORR SAYS SHE WANTED EVERYONE TO LEAVE KNOWING A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THEIR PEOPLE AND THEIR CULTURE.
Bobbie Orr, "We are proud of our people. We want to be Native Americans. The government a long time ago wanted everybody to give being anything but white and for us this is a way to show we are proud as a nation"
ORR SAYS HER MESSAGE THIS AFTERNOON TAUGHT LESSONS OF KINDNESS... DIVERSITY AND RESPONSIBILITY.

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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