Wednesday, December 21, 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..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.
FRANK MALLOY HAS THE NIGHT OFF.
A WARNER ROBINS TRAILER PARK OWES THE CITY MORE THAN 150-THOUSAND DOLLARS IN UNPAID UTILITY BILLS.
A LETTER FROM THE CITY CLERK TO THE OWNER OF HOLIDAY RIVIERA SAYS THE BILLS HAVE TO BE PAID... OR THE UTILITIES WILL BE SHUT OFF.
LORRA LYNCH JONES EXPLAINS.

<<nats- rain
LITTER AND BURNT OUT TRAILERS POSE THE OBVIOUS PROBLEMS AT THE HOLIDAY RIVIERA TRAILER PARK... BUT ANOTHER MAY BE FORMING FOR ITS TENANTS.
Chris Byrd: (9:10) "Got a good deal on the trailer."
CHRIS BYRD MOVED IN LAST WEEK.. UNAWARE THAT ITS FLORIDA BASED OWNERS OWE 157-THOUSAND IN LATE WATER... SEWER... TRASH AND STORMWATER UTILITY BILLS.
Chris Byrd: (9:40) "Hopefully they can get it paid."
AND BEFORE MARCH 31ST. THAT'S THE DATE THE CITY SET TO DISCONNECT SERVICES.
Lorra Lynch Jones: (8:20) "Debbie Hancock with the City of Warner Robins Utlitiy Department says the mobile home park owners have shown a willingness to pay. They've made some form of payment every month, but she says they've had to make several hundred-thousand dollars worth of repairs and have fallen on hard times."
RECORDS SHOW SEVERAL PAYMENTS MADE IN DECEMBER... BUT PARK MANAGEMENT WASN'T AVAILABLE TO ANSWER QUESTIONS. WE FOUND THE OFFICE CLOSED... AND THE FLORIDA BASED OWNER DIDN'T RETURN CALLS.
Willie Williams: (5:05) "I can't understand why they ain't paying."
WILLIE WILLIAMS SAYS THE PARK RAISED RENT LAST YEAR... SOON AFTER A 13WMAZ REPORT ABOUT DRAINAGE PROBLEMS HERE.
Willie Williams: (3:00) "They keep telling us they're going up on the rent to pay for utility and water bills. They havn't been doing it. I think it's a disgrace."
WILLIAMS SAYS HE'S LIVED HERE MORE THAN 20 YEARS... AND WANTS TO STAY... BUT IF HE PAYS HIS BILLS HE EXPECTS THE TRAILER PARK TO PAY THEIRS.. TOO.
nats-
STD
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CITY ATTORNEY JIM ELLIOTT SAID IF THE BALANCES AREN'T PAID... THE CITY COULD TAKE LEGAL ACTION TO GET THE MONEY.
HE SAID THE CITY IS ALWAYS WORKING WITH CUSTOMERS TO HELP THEM MAKE PAYMENTS... BUT THIS SITUATION IS UNUSUAL BECAUSE OF THE HIGH DOLLAR AMOUNT OWED.

THE G-B-I SAYS D-N-A EVIDENCE HAS LINKED A NEARLY 40-YEAR-OLD KILLING IN WARNER ROBINS... TO A SERIAL KILLER.

THEY'RE ADDING 13-YEAR-OLD IMA JEAN SANDERS TO THE LIST OF VICTIMS MURDERED BY SERIAL KILLER PAUL JOHN KNOWLES IN THE 70s.
THE G-B-I SAYS SANDERS DISAPPEARED FROM WARNER ROBINS IN AUGUST 1974.

KNOWLES... A 29-YEAR-OLD FLORIDA PAROLEE... WENT ON A CROSS-COUNTRY KILLING SPREE THAT SPRING AND SUMMER.
THE G-B-I SAYS HE STOPPED BY MACON DURING THAT TIME TO VISIT A GIRLFRIEND... AND KILLED SOME OF HIS 19 KNOWN VICTIMS IN CENTRAL GEORGIA.
KNOWLES WAS KILLED WHILE TRYING TO ESCAPE IN DECEMBER OF 1974.

NEARLY TWO YEARS LATER... A GIRL'S REMAINS WERE FOUND IN THE WOODS OFF HIGHWAY 96 IN PEACH COUNTY.
LAST MONTH... THE G-B-I SAID D-N-A EVIDENCE IDENTIFIED HER AS IMA JEAN SANDERS.
AGENT GARY ROTHWELL SAYS INVESTIGATORS ARE NOW REASONABLY CONFIDENT THAT KNOWLES MURDERED HER.
SANDERS' MOTHER.. BETTY WISECUP NOW LIVES IN BEAUMONT TEXAS.
WE COULD NOT REACH HER FOR COMMENT TODAY.

MACON POLICE CHIEF MIKE BURNS SAYS NEARLY HALF OF HIS OFFICERS HAVE BEEN ON THE STREETS LESS THAN FIVE YEARS..

AND CLOSE TO 70 PERCENT OF THEM HAVE 10 YEARS OR LESS EXPERIENCE ON THE FORCE.
THE CHIEF SAYS WHEN HE TOOK OVER.... THEY WERE 70 OFFICERS SHORT.
BY FILLING THOSE POSITIONS... ALONG WITH RETIREMENTS AND OFFICERS MOVING TO OTHER DEPARTMENTS... HE SAYS THEY NOW HAVE A YOUNGER FORCE...
WHICH HAS IT'S BENEFITS...

bURNS: "The younger guys they bring a great energy to the department, I'd rather have younger guys with more energy than a department full of old guys, that they're buying their time."

THE CHIEF SAYS HAVING A YOUNG FORCE CAN ALSO POSE SOME CHALLENGES.. BECAUSE THEY'RE MORE LIKELY TO MAKE SOME MISTAKES...
HE SAYS THEY TRY TO USE THOSE AS LEARNING EXPERIENCES FOR THE OFFICERS.

A BIG CHANGE COULD BE COMING TO THE UNIONVILLE AND TINDALL HEIGHTS NEIGHBORHOODS IN MACON.

THE U-S DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION IS GIVING HALF OF A MILLION DOLLARS IN FEDERAL GRANT MONEY TO HELP MERCER UNIVERSITY AND ITS PARTNERS TO COME UP WITH A PLAN.
THEY'LL FOCUS ON FOUR SCHOOLS: INGRAM-PYE AND HARTLEY ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS... BALLARD HUDSON MIDDLE SCHOOL AND SOUTHWEST HIGH SCHOOL.
PETER BROWN... WHO'LL HELP MANAGE THE GRANT FOR MERCER SAYS THEY WANT TO HAVE PRE-NATAL CARE PROGRAMS... IN-SCHOOL TUTORING... AND SUMMER LEARNING CAMPS TO IMPROVE HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATES.... AND KEEP STUDENTS HEADED TO COLLEGE.
ONE SOUTHWEST HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR SAYS SHE WOULD'VE LOVED IT IF THOSE RESOURCES WERE AVAILABLE TO HER.

Nykesia Lee, Southwest High Senior: If they have someone older, they know that's doing well, they'll know that I can do well too.

ORGANIZERS HAVE A YEAR TO COME UP WITH THE PLAN AND HOW TO MEASURE SUCCESS.

HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE PACKED THE MACON CENTERPLEX FOR THE CITY'S FOURTH ANNUAL HOLIDAY LUNCHEON FOR SENIOR CITIZENS.

MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT HOSTED THE EVENT ALONG WITH SOME CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS.
ABOUT 500 SENIORS FROM AROUND THE CITY ENJOYED A CATERED HOLIDAY MEAL.
THE MACON TRAINSIT AUTHORITY GAVE MANY OF THE SENIORS A RIDE TO THE EVENT... AND ALSO RAFFLED OFF ABOUT 50 DOOR PRIZES.
SOME OF THOSE WHO ATTENDED SAY IT'S SOMETHING THEY LOOK FORWARD TO EVERY YEAR.

"Oh it's always joyous. And you get the chance to see a lot of friends that you havn't seen in years."
"I think that it's nice that they take the time to recognize the seniors that's been here all these years and let us know that they appreciate us."

THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEMBERS SAY THEY HOLD THE EVENT EACH CHRISTMAS TO THANK SENIORS FOR ALL THEY DO IN THE COMMNITY.

ben gives three day forecast

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

STILL AHEAD ON EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11... WAL-MART PULLED A BATCH OF INFANT POWDER FROM SHELVES NATIONWIDE.
WE'LL TELL YOU WHAT MAY BE WRONG WITH FORMULA.

PLUS... IT'S THE LARGEST SETTLEMENT PAYOUT IN U-S HISTORY.
FIND OUT.... WHAT A UNIT OF BANK OF AMERICA DID... .THAT HAS THE COMPANY PAYING BIG BUCKS... STAY WITH US.


TONIGHT'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY IS TED COLLINS.
TED... 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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