Wednesday, December 14, Eyewitness News at 6

7:14 PM, Dec 14, 2011   |    comments
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"He wasn't just a politician, he was committed to civil rights."

STRONG WORDS OF PRAISE FOR ROBERT BROWN .... FROM CIVIL RIGHTS LEGEND JOSEPH LOWERY.
HE JOINED OTHER FRIENDS AND FAMILY THIS AFTERNOON... TO SAY GOODBYE TO THE FORMER STATE SENATOR.

HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.
I'M LORRA LYNCH JONES.
LEAH JOHNSON HAS THE NIGHT OFF.

AND I'M FRANK MALLOY..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.
WE'LL HAVE MORE ON THE FUNERAL OF FORMER STATE SENATOR ROBERT BROWN IN JUST A FEW MINUTES.


TWO MACON-BIBB COUNTY FIREFIGHTERS ASKED A JUDGE TODAY FOR LESSER PUNISHMENTS FOR THEIR INVOLVEMENT IN A HOAX SHOOTING At A FIRE HOUSE IN SEPTEMBER...

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE ROBERT HERNDON HEARD THE CASE FROM BOTH THE CITY OF MACON AND THE FIREFIGHTERS.

BRITTINY BARBER EXPLAINS BOTH SIDES OF THE CASE..

THE CITY OF MACON SAYS THE PUNISHMENT HANDED DOWN BY FIRE CHIEF MARVIN RIGGINS TO SERGEANT JOSH BREWER AND CHRIS HUGHES FIT THEIR INVOLVEMENT IN THE PRANK...

BREWER FACED A 10 DAY SUSPENSION AND DEMOTION TO PRIVATE... WHILE HUGHES WAS TERMINATED...
BOTH MEN SAY THEY DID WHAT THEY DID... AT THE DIRECTION OF THEIR COMMANDING OFFICER... CAPTAIN STEPHANIE BURKE...

THEY TOOK THE STAND TODAY... AND EXPLAINED THEIR ROLES....
HUGHES SAYS HE BROUGHT THE B-B GUN USED BY THE FAKE SHOOTER... WHO WAS A FRIEND OF HIS... HE ALSO CALLED IN A FELLOW FIREFIGHTER WHO WAS OFF DUTY... TO PARTICIPATE...
BREWER SAYS HE USED HIS PHONE TO VIDEO THE INCIDENT... AND THEN POSTED IT ON YOUTUBE...
BOTH CONTEND THE WHOLE PRANK WAS PLANNED BY THEIR SUPERIOR... CAPTAIN STEPHANIE BURKE.... AND IT DIDN'T VIOLATE THE DEPARTMENT'S ZERO TOLERANCE FOR HAZING POLICY.

Brewer :"It was all just a emotional just scare you a little bit and once we scare you a little bit hey we're going to call it off. It wasn't any kind of physical horseplay or hazing."

FIRE CHIEF MARVIN RIGGINS ALSO TESTIFIED...
HE SAYS HE DISCIPLINED EVERYONE INVOLVED IN THE SEPTEMBER INCIDENT.. BASED ON THE PART THEY PLAYED... AND WHETHER ANY PRIOR DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS WERE TAKEN...
HE SAYS HUGHES HAD BEEN SUSPENDED THREE TIMES BEFORE FOR VARIOUS VIOLATIONS... AND THAT PLAYED A PART IN HIS TERMINATION

Judd Drake: "Chief Riggins considered the totality of the circumstances involving each individual."


AFTER THAT HE SAID IT USUALLY TAKES HIM ABOUT 10 BUSINESS DAYS TO HAND DOWN A RULING...

ASSISTANT CITY ATTORNEY JUDD DRAKE SAYS TWO OTHER APPEAL HEARINGS ARE SCHEDULED FOR JANUARY... INCLUDING ONE FOR BURKE...

MANY OF YOU LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THIS STORY THROUGH FACEBOOK.

MICHAEL SAYS.. THEIR PUNISHMENT WAS RIGHT ON.
THINK ABOUT THIS...
WHAT IF A MACON OR BIBB COUNTY DEPUTY HAD BEEN PASSING BY AT THAT PARTICULAR MOMENT.
THE DEPUTY COULD VERY WELL HAVE RESPONDED WITH DEADLY FORCE.
WOULD THEIR JOKE STILL HAVE BEEN FUNNY?

AND QUINTON MADDOX SAYS.... THIS WAS ONLY A PRANK.
IT DIDN'T CALL FOR NOBOBY TO LOSE THEIR JOB.
POLICE GET CAUGHT ON D-U-I AND STILL HAVE THEIR JOBS.

YOU CAN JOIN ON THE CONVERSATION AND LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK.
JUST LOOK FOR THIS STORY ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE.

FAMILY.. FRIENDS.. AND PAST AND PRESENT STATE LAWMAKERS GATHERED AT GREATER ZION BAPTIST CHURCH TODAY TO PAY TRIBUTE TO FORMER STATE SENATOR ROBERT BROWN.

CAMERAS WEREN'T ALLOWED INSIDE THE DURING THE SERVICE.. BUT DIGNITARIES WHO SPOKE INCLUDED LEGENDARY CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER JOSEPH AND FORMER CONGRESSMAN JIM MARSHALL.
HERE'S WHAT SOME HAD TO SAY.

<<
Lowery: "Robert Brown was intense. He had integrity and intelligence."
Randall: "The first word that comes to mind is loyal. He was so loyal to his friends... but more than that to his community."
School board: "He was a man of his convictions. And that's what I'll always remember him for. Couragous and not afraid to take on challanges."
Peake:"We didn't agree on hardly anything, but we both had a passion for, and he in particular he always had a passion for the people that he represented."
Randall: "The time and the efforts and the energy that he put into making sure we landed those Halls of Fames in Macon, were tremendous."
DuBose Porter: "It was Robert Brown who said it was wrong to kick veterans out of the veterans home in Millledgeville. It was Robert Brown who said it was wrong to change Hope so that it was, for the first time, depended on who you were born to and and where you born if you'd get full Hope scholorhship. That's the Robert Brown I knew."
Randall: "He was very much a mentor for me. He ran my first campaign, and when folks said I was too young, and I couldn't do it, he said 'oh yeah, you can do it.' And we will. And we did... "I owe that start to Robert Brown."
Lowery: "He saw the need for justice and we're going to miss him."


>>

OTHER STATE LAWMAKERS ATTENDING THE SERVICE INCLUDED STATE REPRESENTATIVES TYRONE BROOKS OF ATLANTA.. AND CALVIN SMYRE OF COLUMBUS.
STATE SENATOR JASON CARTER.. GRANDSON OF FORMER PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER.. ALSO ATTENDED.

FAMILY AND FRIENDS BUREID BROWN PRIVATELY.
HE DIED LAST WEEK FROM A SELF-INFLICTED GUNSHOT WOUND.

THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD HAS RECOMMENDED A BAN ON USING A CELL PHONE WHILE DRIVING.
THE RECOMMENDATION ALSO APPLIES TO HANDS-FREE DEVICES.
TODAY'S 13 WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL QUESTION ASKS..

SHOULD THERE BE A NATIONAL LAW BANNING CELL PHONE USE WHILE DRIVING?
SO FAR... 61 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES.
AND 39 PERCENT OF SAY NO.

TO VOTE NOW.. VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT 13 WMAZ DOT COM.. AND LOOK FOR THE WEB POLL QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE.

A MEMBER OF THE MACON SYMPHONYWANTS TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO HER TUBA.
HEATHER RICHTER SAYS HER TUBA WAS STOLEN FRIDAY NIGHT RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER MACON HOME.
AUSTIN LEWIS REPORTS THAT FOR THIS MUSICIAN - THE TUBA IS MORE THAN JUST AN INSTRUMENT.


<< nat pop (richter playing tuba)
HEATHER RICHTER---THE DIRECTOR OF BANDS AT MILLER MIDDLE SCHOOL AND A TUBA PLAYER WITH THE MACON SYMPHONY--IS PLAYING A TUBA---THAT'S NOT HERS.
SHE SAYS IT TOOK TWO YEARS TO FIND A TUBA THAT WAS JUST RIGHT FOR HER....AND SHE'S HAD IT FOR YEARS.
Heather Richter, Miller Middle School Band Director: It's a classical tuba from a factory in Germany that I have spent 12 years four to six hours a day in the practice room learning how to play.
RICHTER'S TUBA WAS STOLEN.
ACCORDING TO THE POLICE INCIDENT REPORT --SOMEONE BROKE THE WINDOW OF RICHTER'S CAR PARKED ON THE STREET IN FRONT OF HER HOUSE, LOCATED OFF VINEVILLE AVENUE.
SOMEONE GRABBED THE TUBA FROM THE BACK SEAT.
RICHTER WAS OUT OF TOWN WHEN IT HAPPENED--AND WHEN SHE FOUND OUT........;
Heather Richter, Miller Middle School Band Director: Complete disbelief. I don't understand what anyone would need with my instrument.
AN INSTRUMENT THAT SHE SAYS WOULD NOT BE WORTH MUCH AS SCRAP METAL ---BECAUSE IT'S MADE OUT OF BRASS... NOT COPPER. SHE SAYS THE TUBA IS INSURED AND CAN BE REPLACED.
BUT FOR HER---THIS TUBA IS PRICELESS.
Heather Richter, Miller Middle School Band Director: I just want my instrument back. I want my mouth piece, I want my case, I want my instrument, I want my memories that I know every single dent, every single scratch where every single repair work was done. It's mine.
SHE TELLS WHOEVER STOLE IT ...THAT HER INSTRUMENT HELPS HER SERVE BOTH HER STUDENTS AND MACON.
Heather Richter, Miller Middle School Band Director: I do things for our community with that instrument. It brings income in. I expose my students to it, our children to it, and you stole it.
AUSTIN LEWIS 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS. >>

POLICE TELL US THAT THEY ARE STILL INVESTIGATING THIS CASE AND HOPE SOMEONE CAN PROVIDE INFORMATION THAT WILL LEAD TO THE THIEF...AND THE TUBA.


LOOK FOR ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL DAY TOMORROW WITH HIGHS IN THE LOW 70'S AND JUST A FEW CLOUDS. TONIGHT WILL BE COOL WITH LOWS IN THE MID 40'S. FRIDAY HAS A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS LATE.


THANKS BEN.. WE'LL TALK WITH YOU AGAIN IN JUST A FEW MINUTES.

THIS YEAR YOU MAY WANT TO STICK AROUND AFTER THE CHERRY BLOSSOM BALL DROP IN DOWNTOWN MACON.

WE'LL TELL YOU WHAT ORGANIZERS ARE DOING THAT HAS BUSINESSES FIRED UP ABOUT THE BIG NIGHT.

AS WE GO TO BREAK.. HERE'S A LOOK AT TODAY'S AVERAGE GAS PRICE IN MACON ACCORDING TO TRIPLE A.
WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.


THE CHERRY BLOSSOM BALL DROP TURNS THREE THIS THIS NEW YEAR'S EVE... AND ORGANIZERS SAY THEY HAVE SOMETHING SPECIAL PLANNED.

THEY'VE ADDED A FIRE WORKS SHOW AFTER THE BALL DROPS.
AND AS CANDACE ADORKA TELLS US... SOME DOWNTOWN BUSINESSES ARE LOOKING TO CASH IN ON THE SPECTACLE.

<<
***nats stir fry***
THE STAFF AT LEMONGRASS THAI BISTRO IS GETTING FIRED UP ABOUT NEW YEARS EVE IN DOWNTOWN MACON.
Manuel Zavala: "You're gonna see the Cherry Blossom ball drop which is the coolest thing to do in Macon on New Years Eve."
MANAGER MANUEL ZAVALA SAYS THEY'RE ALREADY TAKING RESERVATIONS FOR NEW YEAR'S EVE... HOPING IT'LL BE A REPEAT OF LAST YEAR'S BUSY NIGHT WHEN 5-THOUSAND PEOPLE CAME TO SEE THE BALL DROP.
Zavala: "The atmosphere is very festive, it's very fun. People are downtown, They wanto to party."
STACY CAMPBELL... MARKETING DIRECTOR WITH THE CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL SAYS THIS YEAR COULD BE EVEN BIGGER.
Campbell: "We have the fire works that are going to be new to the event this year. They're gonna be shot behind terminal staion."
THERE'LL BE A DJ PLAYING MUSIC AND GAMES WITH THE CROWD... AND THEY'LL SELL ALCOHOL AT THE EVENT,
CAMPBELL SAYS THE FREE EVENT DOES HELP BUSINESSES DOWNTOWN.
"What happens, what I've personally even done is gone and eaten at a restaurant downtown and walked over to the event since I've already parked my car somewhere and after the even is over, you can still go and patron some of the bars and restaurants after midnight."
Candace Adorka: "Cherry Street Park will be transformed December 31st. A stage will cover this fountain and at midnight... the ball will drop. Zavala says they're already preparing for that night with a brand new menu of the greatest hits from this year."
Zavala: "Our main course, we're gonna have a spanish paella clay pot and we're gonna have Prince Edward island mussels in a white wine sauce..."
HE SAYS HE'S HOPING THIER SPECIAL NEW YEAR'S EVE MENU... WITH COMPLIMENTARY CHAMPAGNE... WILL KEEP PAYING OFF LONG AFTER THE BALL DROPS. CANDACE ADORKA... 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS. >>

THE CHERRY BLOSSOM BALL DROP IS FREE TO THE PUBLIC AND THE FESTIVITIES START AT 9.

CAMPBELL SAYS THERE'LL BE PARKING AVAILABLE IN THE PARKING LOT BY THE DOUGLAS THEATER.


THE MERCER WOMEN HAVE ALREADY EQUALED THE NUMBER OF WINS THEY GRABBED LAST SEASON.

AND THIS WEEKEND THEY START A THREE GAME MARCH TOWARDS A BIG MATCHUP WITH NOTRE DAME.

YEA GUYS THE BEARS HAVE HAD A BREAK FROM GAMES THE LAST WEEK OR SO... FIND OUT WHY HEAD COACH SUSIE GARDER SAYS THE SCHEDULE HAS ALLOWED THEM TO PUT IN SOME NEW EXCITING STUFF.

PLUS IF YOU JUST CAN'T GET HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL OUT OF YOUR SYSTEM... WELL THERE IS ONE MORE BIG ALL STAR GAME ON THE LINEUP.
FIND OUT HOW TO CHECK OUT ALL THE ACTION THIS WEEKEND WHEN THE BEST OF THE BEST KNOCK HELMETS.


LOOK FOR ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL DAY TOMORROW WITH HIGHS IN THE LOW 70'S AND JUST A FEW CLOUDS. TONIGHT WILL BE COOL WITH LOWS IN THE MID 40'S. FRIDAY HAS A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS LATE.


THIS FRIDAY A NEW EXHIBIT OPENS AT THE MUSEUM OF AVIATION.. HONORING THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN.

FIND OUT WHAT MADE IT POSSIBLE AFTER 13 YEARS OF TRYING... STAY WITH US.

THE MUSEUM OF AVIATION IN WARNER ROBINS IS CELEBRATING THE OPENING OF AN EXHIBIT... THIRTEEN YEARS IN THE MAKING.
FRIDAY NIGHT... THEY WILL DEDICATE THE TUSKEGEE AIRMAN DISPLAY IN THE WORLD WAR TWO HANGAR.

THE MUSEUM AND THE LOCAL MAJOR GENERAL JOSEPH MCNEIL CHAPTER OF TUSKEGEE AIRMEN WORKED TOGETHER TO RAISE MONEY... AND COLLECT MEMOBILIA.
THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN WERE AN ALL-BLACK FLYING UNIT... FOUNDED IN 1941.

THE MUSEUM DEDICATED A SMALLER EXHIBIT TO THE GROUP IN 1997.
MUSEUM FOUNDATION CHAIRMAN.. PAT BARTNESS... SAYS THIS EXHIBIT IS A FITTING TRIBUTE TO THE AIRMEN'S CONTRIBUTIONS

Pat Bartness, Musuem Foundation Chairman: (12:51) "It's obviously black history, civil rights history, but more than that it's American history. These guys wanted to fight for their country, even though their country was discriminating against them, at the time. So, they stayed with it, fought."

THE DEDICATION AND DINNER FOR THE EXHIBIT IS FRIDAY... AT 5-30.
FORMER U-S AMBASSADOR AND CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER... ANDREW JACKSON YOUNG WILL BE THE GUEST SPEAKER.

THE EXHIBIT AND THE REST OF THE MUSUEM IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC... SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

ADMISSION IS FREE.


WE'RE TAKING A LOOK AT SOME OF OUR PICTURES FROM OUR 13 WMAZ PHOTO GALLERIES.
THESE ARE FROM OUR PET PALS GALLERY.

THIS ONE SAYS... DOGS LOVE CHRISTMAS TOO.

AND HERE'S ONE THAT SAYS.... SANTA'S CUTEST HELPER.

IT'S THE TIME OF YEAR FOR FAMILY GATHERINGS... WORK PARTIES... VISITS TO SANTA.. AND OF COURSE... LOTS OF PICTURES.

WE ALL KNOW.. SOME OF THOSE PICTURES TURN OUT AWFUL... AND WE WANT TO SEE THEM.

SEND YOUR HORRIBLE HOLIDAY PHOTOS TO WHERE YOU LIVE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
AND YOU JUST MIGHT SEE THEM RIGHT HERE ON EYEWITNESS NEWS.


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.

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