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Tuesday, December 20, Eyewitness News at 11

11:45 PM, Dec 21, 2011   |    comments
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<<opening for eyewitness news at eleven>>
GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M LEAH JOHNSON... FRANK MALLOY HAS THE NIGHT OFF
OUR TOP STORY... AT LEAST TWO PEOPLE DIED IN MONROE COUNTY TONIGHT...
IT HAPPENED IN A MULTI-VEHICLE WRECK ON INTERSTATE 75 NEAR MILE MARKER 181, AT RUMBLE ROAD.
MONROE COUNTY CORONER JOEY PROCTOR SAYS THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE TOLD HIM THERE WERE TWO CONFIRMED FATALITIES.
HE HAD NO FURTHER DETAILS.
THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SAYS ONE OF THE VEHICLES INVOLVED WAS A TRACTOR-TRAILER TRUCK.
THE MONROE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS THE ACCIDENT BLOCKED SOUTHBOUND TRAFFIC DURING RUSH HOUR AROUND 6:30 TONIGHT....WHILE INVESTIGATORS WORKED THE SCENE.
SHERIFF SPOKESWOMAN ALLISON SELMAN-WILLIS SAYS THEY'RE WORKING TO CONTACT NEXT OF KIN BEFORE RELEASING THE
NAMES OF THE VICTIMS.

ABOUT 100 CITY OF MACON EMPLOYEES WILL LOSE THEIR SENIORITY WHEN THEY'RE TRANSFERED TO WORK FOR THE COUNTY NEXT YEAR.
IT'S PART OF THE NEW SERVICE DELIVERY STRATEGY..WHICH LAYS OUT WHICH SERVICES ARE RUN BY THE CITY OR COUNTY.
COMMISSIONERS PASSED THAT MOVE WITH A 4 TO ZERO VOTE.
CANDACE ADORKA REPORTS THIS IS THE FIRST OF MANY DETAILS BOTH GOVERNEMNTS HAVE TO WORK OUT BEFORE MERGING SERVICES THIS SUMMER.
THE CITY'S ANIMAL CONTROL, INSPECTION AND FEES, TRAFFIC, ENGINEERING AND RECREATION DEPARTMENTS WILL BE COUNTY RESPONSIBILITIES ON JULY 1.
COMMISSIONERS DECIDED THE 89 FULL TIME CITY WORKERS... AND 11 PART-TIMERS FROM THOSE DEPARTMENTS WILL NOW HAVE TO START FROM SCRATCH EARNING ALL THE BENEFITS... RIGHTS.. AND PRIVILIEGES THAT COME WITH SENIORITY.
THEY PICKED THAT OUT OF THREE OPTIONS...
FIRST... LEASE THE WORKERS FROM THE CITY.
SECOND... TREAT THEM AS NEW HIRES.... OR THIRD... TREAT THEM AS NEW HIRES BUT GIVE THEM CREDIT FOR THEIR YEARS WITH THE CITY.
COUNTY ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER STEVE LAYSON SAYS TREATING THEM AS NEW HIRES WAS MORE FAIR... EASIER TO IMPLEMENT... AND CHEAPER... THAN THE OTHER TWO OPTIONS.
"there were just so many complications from that plan and remember, we've gotta have this done, in place, ready to go July 1, and that just takes a lot of time, there's a lot of room for error, and there's a lot of room for people to be treated differently and we just felt like option two with them coming on as new employees was the best option."
COMMISSIONERS ALSO DECIDED HOW THE CITY DEPARTMENTS WOULD FIT IN THE COUNTY GOVERNMENT STRUCTURE.
LAYSON SAYS THAT ONLY SCRATCHES THE SURFACE OF ALL THE DETAILS COUNTY AND CITY HAVE TO WORK OUT BEFORE SUMMER.
"they way we do our finances is different from the way they do their finances. The way their organization is set up with the respective departments are different. I mean it just goes on and on, it's unbelievable the amount of detail that goes into this."
THE CITY AND COUNTY AGREED ON THIS SERVICE DELIVERY STRATEGY LAST MARCH... IT KEEPS THEM ELIGIBLE FOR STATE FUNDING.
CANDACE ADORKA 13 WMAZ EYEWITHNESS NEWS.
THE EMPLOYEES WILL HAVE A 6 MONTH PROBATION PERIOD.
LAYSON SAYS THE COUNTY WOULD TAKE EXPERIENCE INTO ACCOUNT WHEN DECIDING WHERE AN EMPLOYEE FALLS ON THE PAY SCALE.
THE MOVE WILL ADD ABOUT 3 AND A HALF MILLION DOLLARS TO THE COUNTY PAYROLL.

MACON AND BIBB COUNTY HAVE NAMED A SEVEN-PERSON ADVISORY COMMITTEE... THAT WILL KEEP THE PUBLIC UPDATED ON HOW THE GOVERNMENTS SPEND MONEY FROM A PENNY SALES TAX.
LAST MONTH... VOTERS APPROVED THE TAX THAT'S EXPECTED TO RAISE 190 MILLION DOLLARS FOR THINGS LIKE PUBLIC-SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS... STREET PAVING AND DRAINAGE... AND BUYING LAND NEAR ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE TO PREVENT ENCROACHMENT.
BIBB COUNTY COMMISSION CHAIRMAN SAM HART SAYS THERE WILL BE A MANAGEMENT TEAM THAT IMPLEMENTS ALL THE SPLOST PROJECTS... AND THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE IS SUPPOSED TO MONITOR THAT TEAM.
THE COMMITTEE WILL MEET AT LEAST ONCE EACH QUARTER... AND PREPARE A REPORT ON THE SCHEDULING AND PROGRESS OF THE PROJECTS.
IT WILL POST THE REPORT ON COUNTY AND CITY WEBSITES... AND GIVE INPUT TO CITY AND COUNTY ON SPLOST PROJECTS.
HART SAYS THE COMMITTEE'S REAL POWER COMES FROM BEING OPEN AND HONEST WITH THE PUBLIC.
"What they have again is the ability to say what in the heck they want to say and ot make any report that they want to make. and so by having that freedom, they could destroy our credibility if we are not being forthcoming in what we indicated we would do."
TODAY....BIBB COMMISSIONERS APPROVED FOUR MEMBERS:
DAN SLAGLE... VICE PRESIDENT OF COX BUSINESS;
MONICA SMITH, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE MACON-BIBB CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU;
THERON USSERY, A FORMER CITY COUNCIL MEMBER
AND BRUCE FREEMAN, PRESIDENT OF A COMPANY THAT OWNS FOUR MCDONALDS.
MACON CITY COUNCIL NOMINATED THEIR THREE MEMBERS LAST WEEK:
THEY ARE FORMER MAYOR C. JACK ELLIS;
FORMER STATE REP. DAVID LUCAS AND DENTIST-ACTIVIST LINDSAY "DOC" HOLLIDAY.
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS VOTED TUESDAY TO NOTIFY THE COMMITTEE AND ASKED THEM TO MEET.

BIBB COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HAVE TO SHELL OUT MORE MONEY FOR NEW STATE-MANDATED GUN LICENSES.
STARTING JANUARY FIRST... THE STATE'S WEAPONS CARRYING LICENSE WILL LOOK LIKE A DRIVER'S LICENSE.
RIGHT NOW... IT LOOKS LIKE A LAMINATED PIECE OF PAPER.
THE CHANGE WILL COST ABOUT SEVEN DOLLARS PER LICENSE.
IT'LL COST THE COUNTY AN ESTIMATED 44-HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR THE REST OF THIS BUDGET YEAR... AND DOUBLE THAT FOR FUTURE FISCAL YEARS.
HOWEVER... THAT MONEY DOES NOT COVER THE COST OF NEW CAMERAS AND COMPUTERS THAT THE COUNTY NEEDS TO PROVIDE THE NEW LICENESES.
PROBATE JUDGE WILLIAM SELF SAYS.... THE NEW LICENSES ARE MORE DURABLE AND HARDER TO FORGE... BUT THEY ALSO PUT AN UNFAIR BURDEN ON THE COUNTY.
the legislature sets the cost that we can charge and by not increasing that charge, the legislature has essentially said the counties should pay for this and not get any additional money for it."
IT CURRENTLY COSTS 30 DOLLARS FOR A FIVE YEAR GEORGIA FIREARMS LICENSE.

HOUSTON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AWARDED A FIVE YEAR CONTRACT TO ADVANCED DISPOSAL FOR THE REMOVAL OF SOLID WASTE.
COUNTY COMMISSIONER TOM MCMICHAEL SAID THEY AWARDED THE ONE POINT SIX MILLION DOLLAR CONTRACT TO ADVANCED.... AFTER FACE TO FACE INTERVIEWS WITH THREE DIFFERENT BIDDERS.
THE COUNTY WILL NOW GRIND YARD WASTE ON SITE... RATHER THAN TAKE TO IT A LANDFILL FOR GRINDING.
MCMICHAEL SAYS THIS IS LESS EXPENSIVE AND QUICKER.
THE COMMISSION ALSO APPROVED THE FINAL PHASE OF MOODY ROAD.
GEORGIA ASPHALT WILL EXTEND THE ROAD FROM RUSSELL PARKWAY TO HIGHWAY 127... FOR JUST UNDER FIVE MILLION DOLLARS.

MACON POLICE CHIEF MIKE BURNS SAYS THEY'RE WORKING TO FIGHT YOUTH VIOLENCE... WITHOUT EXTRA FUNDING FROM THE CITY...
ONE THING THEY'RE FOCUSING ON... THE POLICE ATHLETIC-ACTIVITIES LEAGUE.. OR PAL FOR SHORT...
BRITTINY BARBER FOUND OUT HOW IT'S TEACHING KIDS HOW TO PLAY SPORTS AND LEARN SOME LIFE SKILLS...
IT BEGINS LIKE MOST OTHER FOOTBALL GAMES... A FLIP OF THE COIN AND THEN PLAYERS TAKE THE FIELD...
nats
BUT IT'S A LITTLE DIFFERENT.. IN THAT THE COACHES AND FANS ARE PART OF THE MACON POLICE DEPARTMENT.
NATS...
KIDS FROM AGES 9 TO 15.. COME OUT TO PLAY IN THE POLICE ATHLETIC/ACTIVITIES LEAGUE... FOR DIFFERENT REASONS...
MOS: "It's active and it's healthy for your body."
Angel James 9 year old, "Because I want to learn how to play."
THE MORE THAN 150 KIDS WHO PARTICIPATE.. LEARN ABOUT THE SPORT....
Jaila Biddle, 11: "instead of tackling you get to pull their flag out of their pocket."
Jaquon Bloodsaw 12: If don't no body block for each other then nobody won't be able to score."
AND SOME LIFE LESSONS....
"the best part about coming out here is being part of a team."
eLLIS Sinclair: "The goal is for them to be able to interact with the police I think down through the past a lot of young people think that we're against them the us against them mentality."
TO HELP CHANGE THAT... LT ELLIS SINCLAIR SAYS THEY FOCUS THE PAL PROGRAM ON SIX AREA'S IN THE CITY...
Sinclair: "WE target the fort hill neighborhood, we target the village green neighborhood, unionville, linmore estates and also plesant hill.
THEY'RE WORKING TO BEEF IT UP... THE POLICE CHIEF SAYS... AFTER A RASH OF TEEN VIOLENCE EARLIER THIS YEAR...
NATS
THE GOAL... TO GET MORE KIDS AND PARENTS INVOLVED... AS WELLTHE COMMUNITY TO VOLUNTEER... ALL TO HELP KEEP KIDS OFF THE STREETS...
Bloodsaw "Becasue they'll have more things to do instead of just wasting their time inside the housE. " They be here working together."
A SMALL INVESTMENT IN OUR KIDS... THAT POLICE SAY CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE IN THEIR FUTURE...
BRITTINY BARBER 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
IT'S NOT JUST SPORTS... KIDS CAN ALSO GET INVOLVED IN MENTORING PROGRAMS... AND TAKE EDCUATIONAL FIELD TRIPS...
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE POLICE ATHLETIC/ACTIVITIES LEAGUE OR TO GET YOUR KIDS INVOLVED... CONTACT YOUTH AND INTERVENTION SERVICES AT 478-803-2710.
THAT NUMBER AGAIN... 803-2710
A MACON PARK FOUNDED IN THE 1800s IS GETTING A MODERN LOOK.
THAT'S THANKS TO VOLUNTEERS WITH A PASSION FOR TATNALL SQUARE PARK.

MERCER PROFESSOR ANDREW SILVER FOUNDED THE FRIENDS OF TATNALL SQUARE PARK.
HE'S RECRUITING VOLUNTEERS TO SPRUCE-UP THE HISTORIC PLAY AREA.
THIS WEEK... THEY'RE PAINTING THE PAVILLION.
THEY'VE ALREADY REPLANTED TREES AND REPLACED SOME SPORTING EQUIPMENT.
SILVER SAYS WITH A LITTLE POLISH... THE PARK CAN GET BACK IT'S ORIGINAL SHINE.
Andrew Silver, Macon: (19:38) "There are so few common spaces left in this world of gated communities and private spaces and internet chat rooms. This is a place where we can physically be together and also be together with nature."
SILVER SAYS THEY NEED VOLUNTEERS.
YOU CAN CONNECT WITH THEM ON FACEBOOK.
SEARCH FOR THE FRIENDS OF TATNALL SQUARE PARK.

FOR MANY OF US.. THE HARDEST PART ABOUT WORKING OUT AND GETTING EXERCISE... IS SIMPLY GETTING STARTED.
IT THIS EDITION OF GEEK 13...
TRACK ONE: It looks like a standard car racing game.
(NATS FROM RACING GAME)
TRACK TWO: But when using FitGym's "Fit Freeway" app for the iPad, the car's speed is powered by you pedaling and steered by leaning your body.
(NATS FROM RACING GAME)
Alex Gourley / Founder, FitGym
"When you pedal or when you use an elliptical or when you run on a treadmill, you create this unique vibration. We've written an algorithm which detects those vibrations and turns it into your exercise speed. We use the front facing camera on the device to capture your head position and your body motion so you can steer these games by moving your body side to side."
TRACK THREE: Alex Gourley and his FitGym co-founders have the ultimate goal of making exercise more interesting and more engaging through hi tech.
Alex Gourley / Founder, FitGym
"We don't want it to be a chore. We want people to look forward to their workout and have fun with it."
TRACK FOUR: Using the same vibration sensors, they've also developed apps that let athletes feel like they're actually running or cycling through scenic locations.
Alex Gourley / Founder, FitGym
"Your speed in real life affects the speed of the video."
Kara Tsuboi / ON CAMERA STANDUP
"Alright, now it's my turn to give it a try. I'm going to test out VA on the treadmill."
(NATS)
Kara Tsuboi / ON CAMERA STANDUP
"I could do this again. It'd probably make my workouts a little more interesting. Travel the globe in 30 minutes."
TRACK FIVE: Some serious athletes at a nearby gym welcomed anything, even apps like Nexercise, to take their minds off a boring cardio workout.
Paul Schumer / San Francisco athlete
"Then there's something there to keep you going that has some value to it, something you can achieve."
Lincoln Else / San Francisco athlete
"If something like this enables me to be distracted and stay on a treadmill longer then it sounds great."
TRACK SIX: So while technology can't replace the real world, it can at least make the real world drudgery of exercise a bit more interesting.
BOTH THE "FIT FREEWAY" AND "VIRTUAL ACTIVE" APPS ARE AVAILABLE THROUGH I-TUNES.
ANDROID VERSIONS WILL BE COMING OUT NEXT YEAR.

IT'S TIME TO ANNOUNCE THE FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY
TONIGHT'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY IS BELINDA SPIRES.
BELINDA... 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.

 

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