Wednesday, November 30, Eyewitness News at 11

12:02 AM, Dec 1, 2011   |    comments
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GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M FRANK MALLOY..
AND I'M LEAH JOHNSON..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.

THE MACON BIBB FIRE DEPARTMENT IS INVESTIGATING A HOUSE FIRE.
THE FIRE STARTED TONIGHT AT AN EAST MACON HOME.
CAPTAIN NATHANIEL HALL SAYS THEY RESPONDED TO A CALL IN THE 2200 BLOCK OF LANIER HEIGHTS ROAD..... WHICH IS JUST BEHIND BERND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.
HALL SAYS WHEN FIREFIGHTERS ARRIVED ON THE SCENE... THE FIRE HAD ALREADY CAUSED MAJOR DAMAGE.
HE SAYS IT TOOK CREWS ABOUT 20 MINUTES TO PUT OUT THE BLAZE.
"Pretty much it's a total loss. It was already through the roof, heavy fire, heavy smoke, water damage throughout the whole house."
NO ONE WAS HOME AT THE TIME OF THE FIRE.
HALL SAYS THEY'RE STILL INVESTIGATING.

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.
IF HE HAD 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.

THE BIBB COUNTY AGENCY THAT HELPS PEOPLE WARM THEIR HOMES... SAYS LACK OF FUNDING HAS FROZEN THE PROGRAM FOR NOW.
THIS MONTH... THE MACON BIBB ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY COUNCIL TOOK APPLICATIONS FROM THE ELDERLY AND HOMEBOUND FOR ITS LOW INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.
TOMORROW... THEY PLANNED TO START TAKING APPLICATIONS FROM THE GENERAL PUBLIC... BUT THAT'S BEEN POSTPONED.
THE AGENCY IS WAITING FOR CONGRESS TO SET ASIDE MONEY FROM THE PROGRAM.
E-O-C PRESIDENT LONNIE MILEY SAYS THE LONGER THEY HAVE TO WAIT... THE MORE PEOPLE WILL SUFFER.
"This can be devastating to many people. Here you have the holidays coming up and if these funds are not released, you're gonig to have many people who are going to be both cold and in the dark."
"It's congress, that's why we are refering people to our congressional delegation. Unless congress does somethign and authorizes and does something and makes the funds available, uh, I think we won't have it."
THE E-O-C SAYS THEY'RE EXPECTING 408-THOUSAND DOLLARS TO FUND THE REST OF THE PROGRAM.
SAMUEL SAYS THEY WILL SET NEW DATES TO TAKE APPLICATIONS AS SOON AS CONGRESS MAKES THE MONEY AVAILABLE.

A MAN DIED IN CRAWFORD COUNTY TODAY... AFTER BEING HIT BY A PICKUP TRUCK.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO COUNTY CORONER ALLEN O'NEAL.
HE SAYS THE MAN WAS FOUND ON BOY SCOUT ROAD... JUST BEFORE 5 P-M.
O'NEAL SAYS THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE IS STILL INVESTIGATING.
THEY HAVE NOT RELEASED THE MAN'S NAME OR ANY DETAILS ON THE ACCIDENT.

A WARNER ROBINS MAN ACCUSED OF CHILD MOLESTATION IS SCHEDULED TO APPEAR IN COURT TOMORROW MORNING..
ACCORDING TO THE HOUSTON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE... A BOND HEARING IS SCHEDULED FOR 82-YEAR-OLD SHELLY SIMMONS.
HOUSTON COUNTY JAIL RECORDS SAY POLICE ARRESTED SIMMONS LAST WEEK ON TWO COUNTS OF MOLESTATION.
SIMMONS RETIRED FROM ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE IN 1985.
HE WAS ALSO THE ANNOUNCER AT WARNER ROBINS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL GAMES IN THE 1970s AND 80s..

A LITTLE MORE THAN TWO WEEKS AFTER HE WAS ELECTED... FORSYTH'S FUTURE MAYOR IS PREPARING FOR HIS NEW ROLE.
41-YEAR-OLD JOHN HOWARD WILL BE THE CITY'S FIRST ELECTED AFRICAN AMERICAN MAYOR.
THE FORMER POLICE OFFICER GREW UP IN THE SAME BROOKEWOOD DRIVE HOME THAT HE NOW SHARES WITH HIS WIFE AND 14-YEAR-OLD SON.
HE SAYS THE CITY HE'S KNOWN SINCE HE WAS A CHILD... NEEDS TO LOOK TO THE FUTURE.
John Howard, Mayor-Elect: "I still believe that there are some jobs out there somewhere. I just believe it's a matter of reaching out to some of these companies. I feel like there's always a company somewhere looking to grow or looking to build."
HOWARD SAYS HE ALSO HOPES TO STRENGTHEN FORSYTH'S PUBLIC SAFETY DEPARTMENT.
ON NOVEMBER EIGHTH....HOWARD BEAT INCUMBENT TYE HOWARD... WHO'S NO RELATION.
HE'LL BE SWORN IN ON JANUARY THIRD.

MACON MALL SECURITY OFFICER CHARLES BIVINS SAYS HE KNOWS HIS WORK HAS AN IMPACT ON WHERE CUSTOMERS SHOP.. BY HELPING THEM FEEL SAFE.
BUT HE SAYS HE ALSO LOOKS OUT FOR THE BUSINESSES AT THE MACON MALL.
DURING THE HOLIDAY SHOPPING SEASON... THAT MEANS KEEPING AN EYE OUT FOR SHOPLIFTERS.
ELEANOR LISSITZYN WENT BEHIND THE SCENES ON EISENHOWER PARKWAY... TO SHOW YOU HOW THE MALL IS TRYING TO MAKE IT A MERRY CHRISTMAS FOR BOTH SHOPPERS AND RETAILERS.
"Hey how you doing?"
MACON MALL SECURITY OFFICER MAJOR CHARLES BIVINS SAYS... WHEN RUBBER MEETS THE CARPET... IT'S A WARNING TO SHOP LIFTERS TO STAY AWAY.
"Were going everywhere... upstairs, downtowns... hoping that will be deterrent enough."
HE SAYS WHEN THE SIGHT OF HIM ISN'T ENOUGH TO KEEP AWAY POTENTIAL THIEVES... HE CAN KEEP AN EYE ON THEM.
"This is our eyes... this is our master control room."
Eleanor: "Major Bivins says shoplifting does increase during the holiday season, but he says part of the Macon Malls renovations included installing 72 video cameras. So he says, if you try to shoplift inside the Macon Mall, the chances you'll get caught, are a lot higher."
Bivins: "Cameras are all over th eplace."
Eleanor: "Bivins says clothing and small items like watches and jewelry are the most shoplifted items. And it can put a big dent in a retailers opeartion.
The National Retail Association estimates last year retailers lost twelve billion dollars in merchandise to shoplifters."
Castelow: "This is the camera that we use.'
THE MALL'S DIRECTOR OF SECURITY TERRI CASTELOW SAYS THEY ALSO USE ANDROID PHONES... TO PHOTOGRAPH SHOPLIFTERS... ALLOWING THE TEAM TO INSTANTLY ALERT OTHER OFFICERS TO THREATS.
SHE SAYS THE MALL EMPLOYS TWENTY TWO SECURITY OFFICERS... WORKING SIX TO A SHIFT.
"With the economy the way it is, we are challanged."
AND IT GETS TOUGHER AS CHRISTMAS GETS CLOSER.
BUT SHE SAYS AS THE NUMBER OF THEFTS GOES UP... SO DOES THE NUMBER OF OFFICERS ON DUTY.
STD
CASTELOW SAYS THEY'RE PLANNING TO INCREASE PATROLS TO EIGHT OFFICERS A SHIFT DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON.

DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON... MANY OF OUR NEIGHBORS REACH OUT FOR HELP... AND OTHERS EXTEND A HAND TO MEET THEIR NEEDS.
13WMAZ KICKS OFF THE 13 DAYS OF GIVING TOMORROW... SPOTLIGHTING LOCAL GROUPS DEVOTED TO HELPING OTHERS.
BUT THESE HEROES ALSO NEED OUR SUPPORT TO KEEP SERVING THE COMMUNITY.
SO FOR THE NEXT 13 DAYS... WE'LL SHARE STORIES OF HOPE... STRUGGLE AND DETERMINATION... TO ENCOURAGE YOU TO JOIN THE HERO ARMY.
"It was real scary. You don't have nowhere to go. All you can do is just roam the streets and figure out where you're gonna lay your head. And with the crime in Macon in the streets now, you're scared to go to sleep."
Janet Mauldin, Milledgeville: "It was just a desperate situation, because people are, you know, in some cases, starving or have so very little, they have children that have daily needs of food, these are just basic needs."
Amy Floyd, Warner Robins: You never think this is going to happen to you that you'll have a child with a sudden illness, that you have to figure out how to go to work, how you get your other child to school
HEAR THESE STORIES.. AND MANY MORE... DURING THE 13 DAYS OF GIVING STARTING TOMORROW ON EYEWITNESS NEWS.

ROAD WIDENING ON FOREST HILL ROAD COULD BEGIN AS SOON AS NEXT SUMMER. .
LAST NIGHT THE MACON AREA TRANSPORTATION STUDY'S POLICY COMMITTEE DECIDED TO MOVE FORWARD WITH PLANS TO EXPAND THE ROAD BETWEEN WIMBISH ROAD AND NORTHSIDE DRIVE.
IT WOULD WIDEN FOREST HILL INTO A THREE LANE ROAD... WITH A CENTER TURN LANE.
DAN FISCHER WITH THE CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE REQUESTED A DELAY AT A MEETING LAST NIGHT.
INSTEAD... HE ASKED THE COUNTY TO REVIEW A SCALED-DOWN PLAN DRAWN UP BY A CONSULTANT.
Dan Fischer, Chair of Citizens Advisory Committee: He proposed a two-lane segment with some shoulder on the side that would accomodate bicycles and keep the cars further from pedestrians and make it much, much safer.
BIBB COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR STEVE LAYSON SAYS THEY EXPECT TO AWARD BIDS FOR THE ROAD EXPANSION ON JULY 1ST.
HE SAYS THEY HOPE CONSTRUCTION WILL 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.

STUDENTS AT MACON STATE COLLEGE SHOWED OFF THEIR SKILLS AT THE 9TH ANNUAL DIGITAL VIDEO FESTIVAL...
DR. PATRICK BRENNAN'S PRINCIPLES OF PRODUCTION CLASS HOSTS THE EVENT EACH YEAR...
AS THEIR FINAL PROJECT.. STUDENTS COME UP WITH THE IDEA FOR A 5 TO 10 MINUTE DOCUMENTARY... SHOOT THE VIDEO AND EDIT IT TOGETHER.
SENIOR ENGLISH MAJOR ELIZABETH BURCHFIELD DIRECTED A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF TIPS FOR PEOPLE WHO WORK IN THE RESTAURAUNT INDUSTRY.
SHE SAYS SHE LEANRED A LOT FROM THE PROJECT.
Elizabeth: "I not only learned how to use like new tools that could help me in future endeavors. filming this project I got to expose a different side of an industry that often is just kind of gossiped about."
MORE STUDENT DOCUMENTARIES WILL BE SHOWN MONDAY FROM 3:30 TO 4:45 AT THE ARTS COMPLEX THEATER AT MACON STATE..
IT'S A FREE EVENT...

TONIGHT'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY IS RANDELL WATERS.
RANDELL... YOU'LL NEED TO EMAIL FAN OF THE DAY AT 13WMAZ DOT COM TO CLAIM YOUR 13WMAZ COFFEE MUG.
MAYBE YOU WANT A MUG.
OR MAYBE YOU JUST WANT US TO SHOW YOUR MUG.
EITHER WAY MY FRIENDS... YOUR ROAD WINDS THE SAME WAY.
IT LEADS YOU PAST FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ... THROUGH THE TASK OF PUSHING THE LIKE BUTTON... AND INTO THE REALM OF JOINING THE CONVERSATIONS.
FROM THERE... JUST BE PATIENT.
IT'S A RANDOM CHOICE.

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE HOSTED A LUNCHEON TO HELP CELEBRATE THE RICH HISTORY OF NATIVE AMERICANS AND THEIR CULTURE.
Nats of Indiana Dance (6 SECONDS)
THE DANCE TROUPE CALLED "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.... FIRST MORNIN COMES YOUR WAY AT 5 A-M.
THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
LETTERMAN'S NEXT.
HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.


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