Monday, December 5, Eyewitness News at 11

11:38 PM, Dec 5, 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.

WARNER ROBINS MAYOR CHUCK SHAHEEN SAYS UPGRADING THE CITY'S WATER TREATMENT PLANT... WILL HELP BRING NEW INDUSTRY AND KEEP EXISTING ONES.
COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY VOTED TONIGHT TO AUTHORIZE THE MAYOR TO ISSUE BONDS FOR THE PROJECT.
IT WILL COST 28-POINT-SIX MILLION DOLLARS.
THAT'S DOWN FROM THE ORIGINAL ESTIMATE OF 42 MILLION.
THE STATE MANDATED THE CITY MAKE THE UPGRADES... BUT SHAHEEN SAID THE EXPENSE WILL BENEFIT IT IN THE LONG RUN.
Chuck Shaheen: "We now operate at about six to seven million dollars a day. We have the capacity of 9 million gallons a day. We want to upgrade it to 12million gallons a day. ECG runs our plant, Constantine is the engineers that's going to come and design a better plant, so we can provide better sewer and water for the citizens of Warner Robins."
ALSO TONIGHT... COUNCIL REMOVED AN AGENDA ITEM ABOUT A PAY SCALE FOR CITY EMPLOYEES.
THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA'S CARL VINSON INSTITUTE OF GOVERNMENT CAME TO CITY HALL LAST WEEK WITH SOME RECOMMENDATIONS.
SHAHEEN SAYS THEY OFFERED SIX OPTIONS.. THE MOST EXPENSIVE COULD COST THE CITY MORE THAN A MILLION DOLLARS TO GET STARTED.
HE SAYS HE'S FOR A CITY PAY SCALE... BUT THE MONEY ISN'T IN THIS YEAR'S BUDGET.
COUNCIL MEMBER BOB WILBANKS SAYS HE BELIEVES THE CITY CAN FIND THE MONEY.
Bob Wilbanks: "The City of Warner Robins is affluent. We make money as a business and as a government every year. We have money in several funds out there. We run surpluses ever year. Yes, we can pay these employees. We have to pay them. We owe it to them."
Chuck Shaheen: "A million dollars is hard to find in the middle of a budget year. So, I asked the council a couple of months ago if they would wait until the 2013 budget, but he don't want to wait. If they can wait. I think we can find some ways to give a good balance between our salary and our benefits package."
SHAHEEN SAYS HE TOOK THE PAY SCALE OFF THE AGENDA BECAUSE THE PLANS NEED TO BE TWEAKED BEFORE COUNCIL CAN VOTE ON THEM.

JUST A REMINDER.
WARNER ROBINS RUN-OFF ELECTIONS ARE TOMORROW.
ALL CITY POLLING PLACES WILL BE OPEN FROM 7 A-M TO 7 P-M.
THERE ARE TWO RACES UP FOR GRABS.
IN THE POST TWO RACE... VOTERS CAN CHOOSE BETWEEN RETIRED CITY CLERK CAROLYN ROBBINS AND BUSINESSMAN TIM THOMAS.
THAT'S A CITY WIDE RACE.
IN POST FOUR.. THE CANDIDATES ARE RETIRED FIRE MARSHALL MIKE DAVIS AND ATTORNEY GENE HARRINGTON
HERE'S SOME MOTIVATION TO GET OUT AND VOTE.
WILLIAM COX IS 100 YEARS OLD AND STILL MAKES HIS WAY TO THE POLL FOR EVERY ELECTION.
HE'S ONE OF THE CITY'S OLDEST VOTERS.
MAYOR CHUCK SHAHEEN RECOGNIZED HIM TONIGHT AT THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING... FOR DOING HIS CIVIC DUTY.
IF YOU DIDN'T VOTE IN THE GENERAL ELECTION... YOU CAN VOTE IN THE RUN-OFF.
WE'LL HAVE ELECTION RESULTS AS THEY COME IN ON 13WMAZ... AND 13WMAZ-DOT-COM.

THE FIGHT OVER THE EXTENSION OF A SOCIAL SECURITY PAYROLL TAX CUT IS HEATING UP IN WASHINGTON.
PRESIDENT OBAMA MADE HIS CASE FOR THE RENEWAL IN THE WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING ROOM TODAY.
DANIELLE NOTTINGHAM HAS MORE ON THE PRESIDENT'S PLEA..
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President Obama is using visual aides to tell Congress time is running out to renew a tax cut for the middle class.

SOT: (President Obama) "A year ago at this time, both parties came together to cut payroll taxes for a typical American family by about $1,000. But as soon as this year ends, so does that tax cut."

The White House put two clocks in the briefing room to count down to the end of 2011.

President Obama is pressuring Republicans in Congress to extend a tax cut that gave Americans about a thousand dollars extra in take home pay this year.

SOT: (President Obama) "Congress must act. Although the unemployment rate went down last month, our recovery is still fragile and the situation in Europe has added to that uncertainty."

:45-:55 Standup: (Danielle Nottingham/The White House) "President Obama accepted a Democratic plan Monday to scale back part of his proposal. And the tax cut extention already has some Republican support."

But the two parties are divided over how to pay for it. Senate Democrats are still pushing for millionaires to pay more taxes.

1:03-1:12 SOT: (Sen. Jon Kyl/R-AZ) "It's bad economic policy, it's bad tax policy, and certainly the surtax that would fund this is something that would very much hurt small business and job creation."

President Obama will keep pushing for the extention when he visits a Kansas high school Tuesday.
>> SENATE DEMOCRATS HAVE MODIFIED THEIR VERSION OF THE PAYROLL TAX EXTENTION PROPOSAL WHICH THEY SAY OFFERS COMPROMISES TO REPUBLICANS.
SOME REPUBLICANS SAY IT'S AN IMPROVEMENT BUT THEY OPPOSE A SMALL BUSINESS TAX HIKE INCLUDED IN THE PLAN.

GEORGIA LAWMAKERS WON'T BE GETTING A RAISE NEXT YEAR.
THE LEGISLATIVE SERVICES COMMITTEE VOTED TO FREEZE THE COST OF LIVING ADJUSTMENT FOR THE THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEMBERS EARN 17 THOUSAND... 341 DOLLARS FOR THE 40-DAY ANNUAL SESSION.
HOUSE SPEAKER DAVID RALSTON SAYS THE FREEZE IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO IN A DOWN ECONOMY.
THE SENATE PRO TEMPORE SAYS HE AGREES... BUT INCREASING LAWMAKER PAY SHOULD BE EXPLORED ONCE THE ECONOMY IMPROVES... BECAUSE CURRENT SALARY MAKES IT DIFFICULT TO SERVE AND EARN A LIVING.
OFFICIALS SAY THE MOVE WOULD SAVE GEORGIA BETWEEN 28 AND 30 THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR.

THE POSTAL SERVICES HAS SOME MAJOR CUTS PLANNED FOR 2012.
THE AGENCY WILL SLOW DOWN FIRST-CLASS MAIL DELIVERY... AND CLOSE DOWN SOME PROCESSING CENTERS.
RIGHT NOW... NEARLY HALF OF ALL FIRST CLASS MAIL ARRIVES THE NEXT DAY.
BUT THE NEW CHANGES MEAN IT WOULD TAKE AT LEAST TWO DAYS TO GET TO YOUR MAILBOX.
THE DEPARTMENT ALSO WANTS MAIL DELIVERY CUT DOWN TO FIVE DAYS A WEEK.
THAT WOULD NEED CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL.
POSTAL OFFICIALS SAY THE CUTS WILL SAVE ABOUT THREE BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR.
BUT THE AGENCY IS STILL EXPECTED TO LOSE 14 BILLION DOLLARS NEXT YEAR.
THE LIST OF PROPOSED CUTS DOES NOT INCLUDE ANY CENTRAL GEORGIA CLOSINGS

DUBLIN'S DISTRICT ATTORNEY SAYS A RENTZ MAN WHO MAY HAVE MOLESTED TWO DOZEN CHILDREN...WILL SPEND THE REST OF HIS LIFE IN PRISON.
D-A CRAIG FRASER SAYS A LAURENS COUNTY GRAND JURY LAST WEEK CONVICTED 56-YEAR-OLD ANDREW PAYNE OF THREE COUNTS OF AGGRAVATED CHILD MOLESTATION ALL INVOLVNG ONE CHILD.
FRASER SAYS SEVERAL OTHER VICTIMS PRESENTED EVIDENCE DURING THE TRIAL.
AND HE SAYS THE REAL VICTIM COUNT... COULD HIT 25 OR MORE... BOTH MALE AND FEMALE.
AT TRIAL.. FRAZER SAYS FOUR OTHER VICTIMS TESTIFED AGAINST PAYNE... AND LETTERS FROM SIX VICTIMS WERE READ BEFORE HIS SENTENCING.
THE D-A CALLED THE CASE... ONE OF THE MOST HORRENDOUS HE'S EVER SEEN.

A FORMER PEACH COUNTY ASSISTANT SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT AND HIS SON ARE ACCUSED OF SELLING AN OLD SCHOOL BUS FOR SCRAP PARTS.
SPECIAL AGENT GARY ROTHWELL WITH THE G-B-I SAYS C-B MATHIS AND HIS SON CHRISTOPHER WERE BOTH ARRESTED LAST WEEK FOR ALLEGEDLY POCKETING 1200-DOLLARS FROM THE SALE.
THE CASE HAS BEEN TURNED OVER TO THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE... THEY WILL DECIDE WHETHER TO ASK A GRAND JURY TO INDICT THE PAIR.
FORT VALLEY POLICE ALSO ARRESTED C-B MATHIS IN MAY FOR ALLEGDLY STEALING 120-DOLLARS IN SCHOOL PROPERTY.
IN A STATEMENT LAST SPRING... PEACH SCHOOLS SAID HE WAS SUSPECTED OF STEALING GASOLINE.

WE WANT YOU TO JOIN THE HERO ARMY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON... WITH OUR 13 DAYS OF GIVING.
TONIGHT... WE'RE FEATURING KIDS YULE LOVE.
THE MACON ORGANIZATION HAS HELPED MAKE CHRISTMAS MIRACLES FOR CENTRAL GEORGIA FAMILIES FOR THE PAST 26 YEARS.
BUT THEY NEED YOUR HELP TO KEEP PROVIDING TOYS FOR CHILDREN IN NEED.
YOU CAN DROP OFF TOYS FOR KIDS YULE LOVE AT NEARLY 200 BIBB AND HOUSTON COUNTY LOCATIONS... INCLUDING ANY FIRE STATION.
LAST CHRISTMAS... GWEN LANCASTER'S FOUR GRANDCHILDREN RECEIVED GIFTS FROM THE ORGANIZATION... AND SHE SAYS IT REALLY MADE A DIFFERENCE FOR THEIR HOLIDAY.
"they've never been materialistic minded nd for them to wake up and see something like that, I mean it was just... it was priceless. It was a Kodak moment."
THE ORGANIZATION HAS ABOUT 15-HUNDRED CHILDREN TO PROVIDE GIFTS FOR THIS CHRISTMAS.
OFFICIALS SAY THEY'VE HAD TO CAP THE AGE AND NUMBER OF CHILDREN THEY HELP BECAUSE OF THE ECONOMY.

CHRISTMAS IS LESS THAN THREE WEEKS AWAY... AND SOME FAMILIES ARE STILL HUNTING FOR THE PERFECT TREE.
Nats of Tree Being Cut (3SECONDS)
ONE PLACE TO LOOK... THE SANDY CREEK CHRISTMAS TREE FARM IN TWIGGS COUNTY.
OWNER DONALD WATSON SAYS THEY HAVE SIX DIFFERENT KINDS OF TREES... RANGING FROM 10 TO 125 DOLLARS.
WATSON SAYS DESPITE THIS SUMMER'S DROUGHT IN CENTRAL GEORGIA... HIS TREES HAVE GROWN BIG AND BEAUTIFUL.
HE SAYS THAT'S BECAUSE HE USES DRIP IRRIGATION.
HE SAYS THE FARM IS A FAMILY TRADITION... FOR HIM AND HIS WIFE.
Donald Watson, "The customers are all happy. I never been in any business before that has the customer this happy as they are here. Everybody is in a great mood, the children are entertained"
SANDY CREEK CHRISTMAS TREE FARM IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK FROM 10 AM UNTIL 6 PM.

TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... WHAT KIND OF TREE DO YOU HAVE?
SO FAR 79 PERCENT OF YOU SAY ARTIFICIAL.
14 PERCENT SAY PRE-CUT.
AND 7 PERCENT OF YOU CUT YOUR OWN.
VOTE NOW... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.

AND WITH THE HOLIDAY SEASON COMES PLENTY OF EVENTS IN COMMUNITIES AROUND CENTRAL GEORGIA.
LET US HELP YOU FIND ONE FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.
JUST VISIT THE HOLIDAY RESOURCE GUIDE IN THE "CHECK IT OUT" BOX AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
FROM THERE... JUST USE THE LIST ON THE RIGHT... TO FIND HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS WHERE YOU LIVE.

WITH NO NEW RELEASES LAST WEEK... MOST PEOPLE DECIDED TO SKIP THE MOVIES THIS WEEKEND.
AND THAT LED TO A SLUGGISH BATTLE AT THE BOX OFFICE.
COMING IN THIRD WITH JUST 7-POINT-6 MILLION DOLLARS... MARTIN SCORSESE'S "HUGO."
THE DIRECTOR'S FIRST FAMILY FILM IS BASED ON A CHILDREN'S BOOK... AND TELLS THE STORY OF AN ORPHAN WHO LIVES IN A TRAIN STATION.
ALONG THE WAY... HE MUST DISCOVER THE MYSTERY OF THE MACHINE HIS FATHER WAS TINKERING WITH... AND AVOID THE CLUTCHES OF THE STATION INSPECTOR.
"HUGO" IS RATED PG.
TAKING HOME SECOND PLACE AGAIN... DISNEY'S "THE MUPPETS."
KERMIT... MISS PIGGY AND THE CREW RAKED IN 11-POINT-2 MILLION DOLLARS... BRINGING ITS TOTAL GROSS TO 56 MILLION.

AND BRINGING HOME THE GOLD THIS WEEKEND... "THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART ONE" HELD ONTO ITS TOP SPOT FOR A THIRD CONSECUTIVE WEEK.
IT ADDED 16-POINT-9 MILLION TO ITS TOTAL.
NOW... TO PUT ALL OF THAT INTO PERSPECTIVE... THE TOTAL ESTIMATE FOR BOX OFFICE TICKET SALES THIS WEEKEND... WOUND UP AROUND 81 MILLION DOLLARS.
THAT'S THE WEAKEST WEEKEND AT THE BOX OFFICE THIS YEAR.


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..TONIGHT'S GUESTS INCLUDE RYAN ADAMS
HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.

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