Thursday, December 15, Eyewitness News at 11

11:37 PM, Dec 15, 2011   |    comments
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GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M FRANK MALLOY.. THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.
LEAH JOHNSON HAS THE NIGHT OFF.

A GROUP OF MACON CITY COUNCILMAN HANDED OUT COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS TONIGHT BUT THE MEETING NEARLY GOT DERAILED AFTER COUNCIL PRESIDENT JAMES TIMLEY MADE ALLEGATIONS OF ILLEGAL CONDUCT BY TWO COUNCIL MEMBERS.
ELEANOR LISSITZYN HAS MORE ON WHAT HAPPENED AT CITY HALL.

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MACON CITY COUNCIL'S COMMITTEE ON COMMITTEES... IT MAY SOUND LIKE A FUNNY NAME BUT THE WORK THEY DO IS REALLY IMPORTANT.
IT'S COMPOSED OF COUNCIL PRESIDENT... PRO TEMP.. AND A THIRD COUNCIL MEMBER SELECTED BY FULL COUNCIL... AND THEY DECIDE WHICH COMMITTEES EACH COUNCIL MEMBER WILL SERVE ON FOR THE NEXT FOUR YEARS.

THEY MET FOR MORE THAN TWO HOURS THIS EVENING HASHING OUT THOSE DETAILS... BUT PRESIDENT JAMES TIMLEY NEARLY CALLED THE WHOLE THING OFF...
COMMITTE MEMBERS LARRY SCHLESINGER AND CHARLES JONES SHOWED UP THURSDAY EVENING WITH LISTS OF THEIR NOMINIATIONS ALREADY PREPARED-- AND THEY WERE NEARLY IDENTICAL.
THAT'S WHEN TIMLEY ACCUSED HIS FELLOW COMMITTEE MEMBERS OF HOLDING AN ILLEGAL MEETING.
"Timley: "I think it would be in the best interest of this council not to go forward with information that has been done illegally."
SINCE THE COMMITTEE ONLY HAS THREE MEMBERS... THE CITY ATTORNEY SAYS A MEETING OF TWO CONSTITUENTS A QUARAM... AND THEREFORE MUST BE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
NOW JONES AND SCHLESINGER ADMITTED TO BEING IN THE SAME ROOM ON WEDNESDAY MORNING... BUT SAY THEY SPOKE ONLY ABOUT THE COMMITTE SELECTION PROCESS... NOT APPOINTMENTS.
Eleanor: "Was there any discussion?"
Jones: "No, no, no discussion of who we were going to put on. I made my list at 2:30 in the morning."
SEVERAL COUNCIL MEMBERS ALSO VOICED CONCERNS ABOUT JONES AND SCHLESINGER'S ORIGINALLY NOMINATATIONS.
FOR EXAMPLE... COUNCILMAN HENRY FICKLIN WITH TWENTY EIGHT YEARS OF EXPERIENCE ON THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE... DIDN'T INTIALLY MADE SCHLESINGERS OR JONES' NOMINATION LIST.
"I don't know where the fairness is in that."
BUT ALLS WELL THAT ENDS WELL .... AFTER A LOT OF DISCUSSION... JONES AND SCHLESINGER AGREED TO MAKE SOME CHANGES TO THEIR NOMINATIONS TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT COUNCIL PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE PREFERENCES.

SO LETS TAKE A LOOK AT TWO OF THE BIG ONES.

FIRST TEH PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE
VIRGIL WATKINS
LARRY SCHLESINGER
lous tompkins
NANCY WHITE
AND NEWCOMER HENRY GIBSON
WILL SERVE ON THAT COMMITTEE

AND THEN THERE'S APPROPRAITIONS
ELAINE LUCAS
VIRGIAL WATKINS
FIRST TERM COUNCILWOMAN BEVERLY OLSEN
TOM ELLINGTON
AND THEN HENRY FICKLIN MADE THE LIST BY THE END OF THE NIGHT AS WELL.

ELEANOR LISSITZYN 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
>>

TO SEE A FULL LIST OF COMMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM...
COUNCIL IS SCHEDULED TO VOTE ON WHO WILL CHAIR THOSE COMMITTEES ON MONDAY.

IT WOULD HAVE BEEN BIBB COUNTY'S FIRST CHARTER SCHOOL... BUT NOW THE MACON ACADEMY OF EXCELLENCE WON'T OPEN FOR BUSINESS NEXT YEAR.
THE BIBB COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD MADE THAT DECISION TONIGHT.
CANDACE ADORKA TELLS US WHY..

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THE SCHOOL BOARD GRANTED THE MACON ACADEMY OF EXCELLENCE ITS CHARTER IN MARCH... BUT NOW THE DISTRICT SAYS THE SCHOOL IS NOT READY TO OPEN IN THE FALL.
BOARD MEMBERS TERMINATED THE CHARTER BASED ON A RECOMMENDATION FROM THE DISTRICT'S DEPARTMENT OF TEACHING AND LEARNING.
JANE DRENNEN... THE DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT OF THAT DEPARTMENT... SAYS SHE MADE THE RECOMMENDATION FOR THREE REASONS.
TAKE GFX
FIRST... THE SCHOOL DID NOT HAVE AN EDUCATION MANAGEMENT COMPANY... WHICH IS STANDARD FOR CHARTER SCHOOLS... AND IT DIDN'T HAVE A CURRICULUM.
DRENNAN ALSO SAID THE SCHOOL DIDN'T OFFER ANYTHING THAT WILL BE UNIQUE AFTER THE SUPERINTENDENT PRESENTS AND IMPLEMENTS HIS STARTEGIC PLAN FOR THE DISTRICT NEXT YEAR.
ON CAM
SHE SAYS THESE AREN'T PROBLEMS THE SCHOOL'S LEADERSHIP COULD FIX BEFORE IT WAS SET TO OPEN IN JULY.
MACON ACADEMY OF EXCELLENCE CHAIRPERSON... GAIL FOWLER... SAYS THE DECISION IS DISAPPOINTING BUT THE ACDEMY'S GOVERNING BOARD WILL TRY AGAIN WITH A NEW CHARTER APPLICATION.
"It's pretty much a decision that we knew we were gonna get today, and at the same time, the passion among this board is one that says that we are moving forward. Because we are concerned and we are dedicated about making a change in the education in Bibb County. "
THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION STILL HAS TO SIGN OFF ON THE SCHOOL BOARD'S DECISION BEFORE IT GOES INTO EFFECT.
CANDACE ADORKA 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
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DURING TONIGHT'S MEETING - THE SCHOOL BOARD ALSO AGREED TO OVERHAUL THE DISTRICT'S MISSION STATEMENT.

DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT ROMAIN DALLEMAND SUGGESTED THE CHANGES BASED ON FEEDBACK FROM DISTRICT EMPLOYEES AND PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY.
THE OLD MISSION STATEMENT WAS 38 WORDS LONG... DALLEMAND CUT IT DOWN TO TEN.
HE SAYS IT SETS A CLEAR FOUNDATION FOR THE STARTEGIC PLAN HE WILL PRESENT NEXT MONTH.

"It's a simple statement and it speaks exactly to what we areabout as a district which is to make sure that our students develop the strength of character that they need to be successful. and also to make sure they are college ready."

THE BOARD ALSO CHANGED THE DISTRICT'S VISION STATEMENT... CORE VALUES... AND THEORY OF ACTION TO GO ALONG WITH THE NEW MISSION STATEMENT.

FORMER HEADS OF ANGEL FOOD MINISTRIES... WESLEY JOSEPH WINGO AND LINDA WINGO... PLEADED NOT GUILTY TO ALL FORTY-NINE COUNTS IN U-S DISTRICT COURT.

THE WINGOS ARE CHARGED WITH WIRE FRAUD... CONSPIRACY AND MONEY LAUNDERING.
ALSO TODAY.. JUDGE CHARLES WEIGLE DENIED MR. WINGO'S REQUEST FOR A COURT APPOINTED ATTORNEY... WEIGLE SAYS HE SHOULD HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO PAY FOR ANY LAWYER IN THE STATE.
HE SAYS HIS DECISION WAS BASED ON VERY SUBSTANTIAL... TAXABLE INCOME ACCUMULATED BY THE WINGOS.

THE COUPLE HAS UNTIL THE TWENTY-THIRD TO REVIEW THE POTENTIAL WITNESS LIST.
JUDGE C. ASHLEY ROYAL WILL HEAR THE CASE.

MAYOR CHUCK SHAHEEN SAYS WARNER ROBINS MAY DEVELOP A NEW PLAN FOR THE JOB CREATION PROJECT CALLED G-RAMP.

AT THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE EGGS AND ISSUES BREAKFAST... SHAHEEN SAID THERE'S THREE OPTIONS FOR THE PROPERTY ADJACENT TO ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE.
THE CITY COULD DONATE IT TO THE BASE... SELL IT TO A DEVELOPER OR CONTINUE TO HANDLE IT THEMSELVES.
SHAHEEN SAYS HE FAVORS THE SECOND OPTION... OF SELLING TO A PRIVATE DEVELOPER TO CREATE AN AN INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX... WITH ADDITIONAL HANGAR SPACE FOR ROBINS.

SHAHEEN SAYS HE PLANS TO TALK WITH COUNCIL ABOUT THE FUTURE OF G-RAMP... AT A FEBRUARY RETREAT.
IT WILL BE HELD AT THE MUSEUM OF AVIATION IN WARNER ROBINS FEBRUARY 10TH AND 11TH

A NEW PARTNERSHIP PLANS TO GIVE MERCER JOURNALISM STUDENTS A HANDS ON EDUCATION IN A WORKING NEWS SETTING....

PRESIDENT BILL UNDERWOOD ANNOUNCED TODAY THE SCHOOL IS RECEIVING A GRANT FROM THE KNIGHT FOUNDATION TO JOIN WITH THE TELEGRAPH AND GEORGIA PUBLIC BROADCASTING.
4-POINT-6 MILLION DOLLARS WILL HELP BUILD A NEW FACILITY.. FOR THE TELEGRAPH AND MERCER'S STUDENTS... AND HIRE MORE FACULTY...
ABOUT 900-THOUSAND DOLLARS WILL GO TO G-P-B... TO EXPAND THEIR STAFF IN MACON...
JOURNALISM PROFESSER JAY BLACK SAYS THIS SHOULD GIVE MERCER STUDENTS A LEG-UP ON THE COMPETITION...

Jay Black: It allow students to have abetter understanding of a real newsroom. It will also allow them to follow reporters in their work and get published before they graduate from school."

UNDERWOOD SAYS THEY EXPECT THE NEW CENTER FOR COLLABORATIVE JOURNALISM TO OPEN IN JULY OF NEXT YEAR...

ben gives three day forecast

TONIGHT'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY IS TOM SHERIDAN
TOM... YOU'LL NEED TO EMAIL FAN OF THE DAY AT 13WMAZ DOT COM TO CLAIM YOUR COFFEE MUG.

NOW... 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.

AND ONE LAST QUICK LOOK AT TOMORROW'S FORECAST WITH CHIEF METEOROLOGIST BEN JONES.



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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