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Tuesday, December 6, Eyewitness News at 11

11:36 PM, Dec 6, 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 WILL HAVE THREE NEW COUNCIL MEMBERS IN JANUARY.
CAROLYN ROBBINS WON THE POST TWO SEAT... DEFEATING TIM THOMAS IN TONIGHT'S RUN-OFF ELECTION.
ALSO TONIGHT MIKE BRASHEAR WON OVER GENE HARRINGTON FOR THE POST FOUR SEAT.
AND LAST MONTH MIKE DAVIS WON THE POST SIX SEAT DURING THE GENERAL ELECTION.
LORRA LYNCH JONES BRINGS YOU REACTION FROM TONIGHT'S WINNERS.
<<Lorra: After nearly four months of campaigning and a lot of hard work, two retirees earned their spots on the Warner Robins City Council. They are Carolyn Robbins and Mike Brashear.
Mike Brashear: (:58) "I'm certainly glad its over. The stress level, the strain on the family, Everthing. So, I am very pleased."
Carolyn Robbins: (6:30) "Very exciting. It's like I said earlier, the reason I am here is the people in this room."
Robbins and Brashear say the big push during the runoff election was to get voters to the polls.
Carolyn Robbins: (7:10) "I would have liked for it be higher, but I appreciate the voters that came back."
Mike Brashear: (1:46) "I'm a little disapointed in the number of voters. When we give up that right, were giving up our rights as Americans.
The numbers show the majority of the votes came duing early voting. Robbins defeated Tim Thomas by about twice the number of votes. The same was true for Brashear over Gene Harrington.
nats- cheering
Now that the election is over their focus will shift from being a candidate to becoming a council member. They'll join the third newly elected council member Mike Davis tackling issues such as the LEC that's under construction, the tight city budget and an employee pay scale on the table.
Mike Brashear: (12:20) "I want to get a copy of the Carl Vinson Institute recommendations and go through it, so I can hit the ground running in January and get those recommendations implemented."
Carolyn Robbins: (7:35) "Hopefully, its going to be very easy. Ive been through it a little bit before. I'll be able to do that."
STD
>> MIKE DAVIS... MIKE BRASHEAR AND CAROLYN ROBBINS TAKE OFFICE IN JANUARY.
THEY WILL REPLACE CURRENT COUNCIL MEMBERS JOHN WILLIAMS... BOB WILBANKS AND TOM SIMMS JUNIOR.

FRIENDS AND FAMILY ARE MOURNING THE LOSS OF A FORMER CENTRAL GEORGIA MAYOR.
RALPH JOHNSON WHO SERVED AS MAYOR OF WARNER ROBINS PASSED AWAY TODAY.
HIS WIFE, MARY JOHNSON TOLD EYEWITNESS NEWS THAT HER HUSBAND HAD BEEN ILL FOLLOWING A SURGERY HE HAD IN JULY 2010.
SHE SAID SINCE THEN, HE HAD NOT BEEN STRONG ENOUGH TO REMAIN ACTIVE ON HIS OWN AND WAS CONFINED TO A BED UNTIL HE DIED TUESDAY AFTERNOON AT THE AGE OF 92.
RALPH JOHNSON SERVED AS MAYOR OF WARNER ROBINS FROM 1984 TO 1988.

A MACON CITY COUNCIL COMMITTEE RECEIVED UPDATES TONIGHT ON THE STATUS OF SOME MAJOR PROJECTS.
THOSE INCLUDE THE RENOVATION OF THE DANNENBURG BUILDING AND A COMPLETION OF BARTLETT CROSSING.
ELEANOR LISSITZYN HAS THE DETAILS FROM THE COMMUNITY RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE..
Nick Kolgungis with the Middle Georgia Regional COmmission spoke to the committee about creating new Enterprise Zones Tuesday night.
Enterprise Zones are a geographical area the city can designate to offer tax and other fee waivers essentially to both commercial and private property owners. The goal is to lower the cost for people who want to rehabilitate buildings in the area.
Macon City Council has not made any final decisions but Nick proposed creating a new Enterprise Zone running all the 7th Street industrial area, along Broadway, including Pio Nono, Eisenhower, and part of Second Street.
The commmittee also heard from Laura Mathis with the Middle Georgia Regional Commission, she brought them an update on the Dannenberg project. She says so far the state has not made any decisions.
AFTER THE ATLANTIC COTTON MILL BURNED DOWN IN MARCH THE CITY ASKED THE STATE TO REALLOCATE THE ONE POINT FIVE MILLION DOLLAR GRANT AWARDED TO DEVELOPING THAT BUILDING... TO THE DANNENBERG BUILDING IN DOWNTOWN MACON.
A private developer is interested in converting the building into 69 loft apartments.
MATHIS SAYS THE STATE HAS YET TO APPROVE THAT REQUEST.
Housing Authority Director John Hiscox also brought them an update on the Bartlett Crossing project.
He says it's nearly competled, they're just putting on the final touches.
They broke ground on that project about a year ago, when they tore down the old Macon Homes and put up seventy fix new single famiy units that they now rent out to low and moderate income families.
Hiscox says he hopes it will bring down crime and reduce blight in the surrownding areas.
John Hiscox: The reason we were there in the first place was because the development made up a key part of an overall plan, a larger plan for revitilization in the neighborhood.
He says they plan to hold a ribbon cutting to celebrate the completion of Bartlett Crossing in January.
Eleanor LIssitzyn 13wmaz eyewitness news.
LAURA MATHIS WITH THE REGIONAL COMMISSION SAYS SHE EXPECTS TO HEAR FROM THE STATE VERY SOON ABOUT THE STATUS OF THE DANNENBERG GRANT.
SHE SAYS SO FAR... THE FEEDBACK FROM THE STATE SEEMS POSITIVE.

TONIGHT... GUARDIAN CENTER OF GEORGIA LAID OUT THEIR PLANS FOR THE FORMER NORTHROP GRUMMAN FACILITY TO PERRY CITY COUNCIL.
C-E-O JEFF BURKART PRESENTED DIAGRAMS OF COMPANY PLANS TO CREATE A FIRST RESPONDERS TRAINING CENTER AT THE THOMPSON ROAD SITE.
HE ALSO TOLD COUNCIL THAT THE COMPANY PLANS TO RECREATE CITIES ON THE SITE... TO SIMULATE A NATURAL DISASTER OR TERRORIST ATTACK.
THE COMPANY PLANS TO HIRE ABOUT 100 FULL-TIME WORKERS... AND SOME PART-TIME EMPLOYEES.
CLOTHING STORE OWNER LORRA BACCILI SAYS THOSE NEW JOBS WILL HELP HER BOTTOM LINE.
BURKART SAYS THEY WERE EAGER TO LET PERRY KNOW WHAT THEY PLAN TO BRING TO THE CITY.
Geoff Burkart, CEO Guardian Centers of Georgia: December, January, we want to get out and make a concerted effort to meet the public, where they can get to know us. Guardian Centers wants to be part of the community.
Lorra Baccili, Owner of Nu-2-U: With more people, there is more sales, more sales is more profit and more tax money for the county and it just proceeds down the ladder.
BURKART SAYS THEY'LL TRAIN FIRST RESPONDERS ON NATIONAL... STATE AND INTERNATIONAL LEVELS.
HE SAYS THEY CAN TRAIN FIVE THOUSAND AT A TIME.
GUARDIAN CENTER SAYS IT PLANS TO BREAK GROUND NEXT MONTH.
THE COMPANY SAYS THEY PLAN TO PROVIDE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THEIR EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES THEN.

CONVICTED CHILD MOLESTER ANDREW PAYNE BEGAN HIS ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES AS A TEENAGER... AND CONTINUED FOR FORTY YEARS.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO LAURENS COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY CRAIG FRASER.
HE CALLS IT THE WORST CASE FOR CHILD MOLESTATION HE'S EVER SEEN.
FRASER ESTIMATES THAT THERE WERE 25 VICTIMS... BUT SAYS THERE MAY BE MORE.
FRASER TOLD 13WMAZ THAT PAYNE KEPT VICTIMS SILENT BY THREATENING THEM... AND IN SOME CASES... THEIR FAMILIES.
BUT FRASER SAYS THINGS BEGAN UNRAVELING ABOUT TWO YEARS AGO WHEN A YOUNG BOY TOLD AUTHORITIES THAT PAYNE MOLESTED HIM..
THAT LED TO PAYNE'S ARREST.
Craig Fraser, Laurens County District Attorney: And we had a bond hearing. And during the bond hearing some names were dropped and talked about from the stand, and law enforcement went an interviewed them and it just began to snowball.
PAYNE WAS CONVICTED ON THREE COUNTS OF AGGRAVATED CHILD MOLESTATION... AND SENTENCED TO THREE CONSECUTIVE LIFE TERMS.
FRASER SAYS PAYNE WILL NEVER BE RELEASED FROM PRISON.

YEAR-ROUND SCHOOL WON'T BE COMING TO BIBB COUNTY IN 2012.
SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT ROMAIN DALLEMAND RECENTLY SAID HE WOULD INCLUDE THE CONCEPT IN HIS STRATEGIC PLAN FOR THE DISTRICT.
BUT THIS MORNING... DALLEMAND SAID A YEAR-ROUND SCHEDULE IS OFF THE TABLE FOR THE NEXT SCHOOL YEAR.
IN A STATEMENT... HE WROTE...
"THERE IS A GREAT DEAL OF PLANNING THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO MAKE YEAR-ROUND SCHOOL HAPPEN... AND WE DO NOT WANT TO RUSH THE PROCESS."
DALLEMAND SAYS YEAR-ROUND SCHOOLS WOULD END THE STUDENTS' LEARNING LAG THAT HAPPENS EACH SUMMER.

OUR 13 DAYS OF GIVING CONTINUES TONIGHT WITH A LOOK AT A CENTRAL GEORGIA GROUP THAT HELPS KIDS GET A JUMP START ON THEIR EDUCATION.
MONROE READS PROVIDES BOOKS FOR CHILDREN FROM BIRTH TO AGE FIVE TO SPARK THEIR INTEREST FOR READING.
THE PROGRAM SENDS A BOOK... COLORING SHEETS... AND ACTIVITIES TO KIDS ONCE A MONTH.
THE BOOKS ARE GEARED FOR YOUNG AGES... THE FIRST BOOK... THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD... AND THE LAST... LOOK OUT KINDERGARTEN HERE I COME.
MICHELLE WINDHAM REGISTERED HER SON FOR THE PROGRAM WHEN HE WAS A YEAR OLD.
Michelle Windham, mother: "I think it's very important because it gives every child an opportunity to have book in their home if they're not available to have those building blocks for reading before they ever get to school.It doesn't matter what socio-economic level they come from or where they live."
IT COSTS THIRTY-SIX DOLLARS TO SPONSOR A CHILD FOR A YEAR.
TO LEARN HOW YOU CAN GIVE TO THE MONROE READS PROGRAM CONTACT EDDIE SHEPPARD AT 478-394-3533... AGAIN THAT'S 478-394-3533.

MOST OF US ARE PRETTY DEPENDENT ON TECHNOLOGY... AND THAT GOES DOUBLE FOR TEENAGERS WHO TWEET AND TEXT.
JAMEY TUCKER MET UP WITH A GROUP OF HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WHO TRIED TO GIVE UP THEIR TECH HIGH SCHOOLS FOR A LITTLE WHILE...
IN TONIGHT'S GEEK 13.No cell phones, no computer, no ipods, no radios in your car.
ENGLISH TEACHER STEPHEN WOMACK MAY BE A POPULAR TEACHER AT FRANKLIN HIGH SCHOOL.
JUST MAYBE NOT LAST WEEK.
I got about half-way through the challenge and I thought, it isn't worth it.
They made it three days, I didn't make it a day.
36 OR 72 HOURS. EVEN A WEEK WITHOUT THINGS THEY HAVE AT THEIR DISPOSAL EVERY SECOND.
I sleep with my ipod, and I stay up late with technology and stuff, so I got a lot of sleep.
Why do this to the kids?
Why not?
It is interesting that every student I talked to said some of the toughest things they had to give up weren't smartphones or computers, but old school technology.
The hardest was the radio in my truck. I don't like riding around in silence.
You can hear my car, you know working. You hear the noises and stuff, I hate that.
My family watches a show called the Middle. We eat dinner and watch it. They were, well, Kelsey cant watch it. And I was like...you know, let's just go ahead and watch it.
In the years done it, I've had three students make it the whole week. Lots have tried.
HOW WOULD YOU DO?
WOMACK DIDN'T QUITE MAKE IT THROUGH THE INTERVIEW. FOR MORE TECH HEADLINES... VISIT THE GEEK 13 PAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
YOU'LL FIND THE LINK ON THE SCENE 13 PAGE.

TONIGHT'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY IS BRAD ROGERS.
BRAD... YOU'LL NEED TO EMAIL FAN OF THE DAY AT 13WMAZ DOT COM TO CLAIM YOUR COFFEE MUG.
GETTING INTO THE RUNNING FOR FAN OF THE DAY IS AN EASY THREE-STEP PROCESS.
ONE... VISIT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ.
TWO... BECOME A FAN... AND THREE... GET IN ON THE CONVERSATIONS.
WE PICK OUR FAN OF THE DAY RANDOMLY.

FOLKS IN JONES COUNTY SHOWED THEIR CHRISTMAS SPIRIT TONIGHT... AT THE ANNUAL LIGHTED CHRISTMAS PARADE.
nats-drum line playing (:04)
THINGS STEPPED OFF AROUND SEVEN THIS EVENING.
THE PARADE FEATURED MUSIC... AND OF COURSE FLOATS FROM DIFFERENT GROUPS AROUND TOWN.
THE THEME FOR THE PARADE... "A FESTIVAL OF TREES."
AND SANTA ALSO PUT IN AN APPEARANCE.

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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