Tuesday, December 27, Eyewitness News at 6

11:30 PM, Dec 27, 2011   |    comments
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HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US
I'M FRANK MALLOY.
THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX...
LEAH JOHNSON HAS THE NIGHT OFF..

MACON'S CITY COUNCIL THIS AFTERNOON HEARD AN AUDITOR'S REPORT ON HOW THE CITY KEEPS ITS BOOKS.
THE AUDITOR TODAY DELIVERED HIS COMPANY'S ANNUAL REPORT ON CITY FINANCIAL RECORDS.
IT COVERS THE LAST BUDGET YEAR...WHICH ENDED IN JUNE.
AT FIRST GLANCE...CITY COUNCILMAN TOM ELLINGTON SAYS IT SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD AUDIT.
Tom Ellington: "It's fewer findings than in previous years, and so I'm glad about that. We do have some repeat findings, not a lot but we need to get those cleared up. And, of course, every single one of the auditors findings is basically pointing out something that we need to improve our practices on."
Ellington says HIS BIGGEST CONCERN...ARE SEVERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW THE CITY HANDLED GRANT MONEY.
AMY AUBERT WAS AT THAT MEETING..AND WILL HAVE EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.

ALSO TONIGHT... THE MIDDLE GEORGIA REGIONAL COMMISSION IS BRIEFING CITY COUNCIL ON PLANS TO TRANSFER SOME CITY WORKERS TO BIBB COUNTY.
LAST WEEK... COUNTY COMMISSIONERS DECIDED THE CITY EMPLOYEES WOULD LOSE SENIORITY AND SOME BENEFITS WHEN THEY BECOME COUNTY WORKERS.
THE TRANSFER IS PART OF THE SERVICE DELIVERY STRATEGY AGREEMENT CITY AND COUNTY LEADERS REACHED THIS YEAR.
THEY AGREED THAT THE COUNTY WOULD TAKE OVER OPERATING ALL PARKS AND RECREATION FACILITIES AND THOSE EMPLOYEES ON JULY FIRST.
WE SPOKE TO FORMER MAYOR C. JACK ELLIS BEFORE TONIGHT'S MEETING.
HE SAYS HE PLANNED TO SPEAK TO THE COUNCIL ON BEHALF OF THE CITY WORKERS.
"You know, when I was in the Army, as a Corporal, the first thing you learned in leadership was that you know your people and you look out for their welfare. This is not looking out for the welfare of the employees."
WE'LL HAVE MORE ON THIS STORY TONIGHT ON EYEWITNESS NEWS... 13WMAZ DOT COM... AND M-A-Z MOBILE.

WHILE VIOLENT CRIMES IN THE CITY OF MACON DECREASED THIS YEAR.. SOME PROPERTY CRIMES ARE UP ACCORDING TO THE POLICE DEPARTMENT.
THROUGH LAST WEEK....118 MORE HOMES WERE BURGLARIZED IN 20-11... THAN IN ALL OF LAST YEAR.
BRITTINY BARBER EXPLAINS WHAT POLICE SAYS HELPED CAUSE THE INCREASE... <<
Brown: the first couple of nights I didn't sleep at all
JUANITA BROWN LIVES IN THIS EAST MACON HOME... WITH HER SIX CHILDREN...
They got a shoe print right here...
SHE SAYS ABOUT A MONTH AGO.. HER HOME WAS BURGLAIZED... TWICE IN ONE WEEK..
Juanita: "The first time they stole 2 32 inch flat screen televisions and I knew that they was coming back because they seen a 46 in. flat screen television in the living room."
AND SHE'S NOT ALONE.. MACON POLICE SAY HOME BURGLARIES ROSE SEVEN PERCENT THIS YEAR...
Lt David FReeland: "They have been up. A lot of that's been the flat screen tv;s.."
LT DAVID FREELAND SAYS THE THIEVES ARE MAKING IT TOUGHER TO RECOVER STOLEN GOODS...
FReeland: "We're not seeing them show up at pawn shops so somehow they're being stolen either for their own personal use or we're finding that they are taking them and selling them to people on the street."
HE ALSO SAYS THE INCREASE IN BURGLARIES... LINKS TO THE HIGHER VALUE OF METALS...
Freeland: " the main thing has been the copper and the metal. When you deal with folks that don't have a jobs or are on drugs and need a quick fix, they're trying to get these types of items."
Brown: "I hate to lay in my house and not feel safe."
BROWN SAYS THE BREAK-INS FORCED HER TO LOOK FOR A NEW PLACE TO CALL HOME... AND SHE HAS STRONG WORDS FOR THOSE WHO TOOK AWAY HER FEELING OF SAFETY...
Brown: "People these days they just need to get a job stop taking away from people, hard working people that go out and work hard for the things that they want, and they need to do the same thing."
BRITTINY BARBER 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> SOME OTHER PROPERTY CRIMES ARE ALSO HIGHER THIS YEAR... INCLUDING A 14 PERCENT INCREASE IN LARCENIES...
ENTERING AUTOS SAW A 12 PERCENT INCREASE..
AND THE NUMBER OF GAS DRIVE OFFS WENT UP 26 PERCENT...
POLICE SAY BUSINESS AND RESIDENTIAL ROBBERIES.. CAR JACKINGS.. AND BUSINESS BURGLARIES DROPPED THIS YEAR...

WARNER ROBINS COUNCILMAN JOHN WILLIAMS REMAINS HOSPITALIZED IN MACON.
SPEAKING FROM HIS HOSPITAL ROOM.. WILLIAMS SAYS HE FEELS FINE NOW..
HE SAID HE LANDED IN THE HOSPITAL MONDAY AFTER HIS HEART STOPPED BEATING.
John Williams, Warner Robins Councilman: I went up to the drug store yesterday to pickup some medication and my heart stopped and the defibrillator went off and cranked me back up, and I thought everything was okay and about 30 minutes it did it again.
WILLIAMS SAYS HE MAY HAVE TO HAVE OPEN HEART SURGERY.

MORE THAN EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND STUDENTS IN GEORGIA QUALIFY FOR FREE OR REDUCED LUNCH... AND THAT MAY MEAN A LACK OF FOOD FOR SOME STUDENTS ON HOLIDAY VACATION...
ONE CHURCH IN WARNER ROBINS STRIVES TO FEED ELEMENTARY STUDENTS EVERY WEEK.
JENNIFER MOULLIET SHOWS US HOW FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH SACKS HUNGER. <<
nats of putting food in back
CYNTHIA PARKER SAYS FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH IN WARNER ROBINS FILLS ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY BAGS A WEEK WITH FOOD FOR CHILDREN IN NEED... SHE CALLS IT A

"snack pack"

SHE SAYS EACH BAG COSTS AROUND THREE DOLLARS... AND SHE EXPECTS THE NEED TO RISE.

Cynthia Parker: " A lot of times people move in after Christmas break so we could possibly have more."

Jennifer Moulliet: "Parker says they add eight healthy items into the snack sack and when they can they try to add fresh fruit."

SHE SAYS THE FOOD COMES FROM DONATIONS... THE CHURCH FUND... AND THE MIDDLE GEORGIA COMMUNITY FOOD BANK. SHE SAYS PEOPLE DON'T REALIZE HOW MANY KIDS NEED THE HELP.

Cynthia Parker: "They get the breakfast in the morning and lunch and for some children that is their meal for the day."

nats "fork lift"

DIRECTOR OF THE MIDDLE GEORGIA COMMUNITY FOOD BANK... RONALD RALEIGH SAYS THEY SUPPLY AROUND FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND SNACKS A YEAR TO PROGRAMS THAT HELP FEED KIDS OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL.

Ronald Raleigh: " It gives us the opportunity to work directly with the programs that work directly with the children to get that food in their hands."

RALEIGH SAYS THEY HELP THREE HUNDRED PROGRAMS IN TWENTY-FOUR CENTRAL GEORGIA COUNTIES INCLUDING PARKERS CHURCH'S SNACK SACKS... HE SAYS THERE AREN'T ENOUGH PROGRAMS OUT THERE TO HELP HUNGRY KIDS...PARKER AGREES... AND HOPES OTHER CHURCHES WILL JOIN THEIR EFFORT

Cynthia Parker: "The middle schools have children that are hungry the high schools have children that are hungry."

SHE SAYS THERE'S NO REASON ANY CHILD SHOULD GO HUNGRY.
JENNIFER MOULLIET 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.

>> PARKER SAYS THEY PACKED EXTRA FOOD FOR KIDS IN NEED FOR THE HOLIDAY BREAK... AND NOW THEIR SUPPLIES ARE LOW.
TO LEARN HOW YOU CAN HELP THEIR MISSION... LOOK FOR THIS STORY ON OUR WEBSITE... 13 W-M-A-Z- DOT COM.

EARLIER THIS MONTH... THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD RECOMMENDED THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BAN ALL NON-EMERGENCY CELL PHONE USE WHILE DRIVING.
STATE REPRESENTATIVE ALLEN PEAKE... THE AUTHOR OF GEORGIA'S BAN ON TEXTING WHILE DRIVING... IS JOINING US WITH HIS THOUGHTS ON THE SUGGESTION.
EVEN THOUGH IT'S NOT A LAW... WE WANT YOU TO JOIN THE GREAT HANG UP AND PUT DOWN THE PHONE BEFORE YOU START UP YOUR CAR.
JUST VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM... AND LOOK FOR THE BANNER ON THE HOMEPAGE.
AFTER YOU SIGN THE PLEDGE... WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU.
WE'RE LOOKING FOR STORIES TO SHARE DURING OUR GREAT HANG UP DAY ON THE LAST TUESDAY OF EACH MONTH.
JUST SEND AN EMAIL TO THE-GREAT-HANG-UP AT 13WMAZ DOT COM TO LET US KNOW YOU'RE INTERESTED.

IF YOU DRIVE UP AND DOWN BASS ROAD IN BIBB COUNTY... YOU'VE PROBABLY NOTICED AN INCREASE IN TRAFFIC OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS.
CAPTAIN CHARLES GUNNELS WITH THE BIBB COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS A COUNTY STUDY SHOWED A 38 PERCENT INCREASE IN TRAFFIC OVER THE PAST FOUR YEARS.
GUNNELS SAYS SEVERAL THINGS HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THE INCREASE INCLUDING NEW BUSINESS AND RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENTS ALONG BASS.
GUNNELS SAYS IF THE PROBLEM ISN'T ADDRESSED... IT COULD GET WORSE.
Captain Charles Gunnels, Bibb County Sherriff's Dept.: (04:40) We are going to have more traffic tie ups, the lines are long now during peak hours and I think that's going to increase during off- peak hours.
AUSTIN LEWIS WILL HAVE MUCH MORE ON THE PROJECT... TONIGHT ON EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.

WITH THE CHRISTMAS GIFTS ALL OPENED... AND MANY OF YOU ARE TAKING STOCK OF HOW THE HOLIDAY SHOPPING AFFECTED YOUR END OF THE YEAR BUDGET.
SO TODAY'S WEB POLL WANTS TO KNOW... HOW MUCH DID YOU SPEND ON HOLIDAY GIFTS AND MEALS?
SO FAR 35 PERCENT SPENT MORE THAN THEY PLANNED.
15 PERCENT SPENT LESS THAN PLANNED.
AND 50 PERCENT SAY THEY SPENT ABOUT WHAT THEY PLANNED.
VOTE NOW... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.

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