Friday, December 30, Eyewitness News at 6

6:51 PM, Dec 30, 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.

SOME GOOD NEWS FOR PEOPLE IN BIBB COUNTY WAITING FOR ENERGY ASSISTANCE.
THE HEAD OF THE MACON-BIBB ECONOMIC OPPORTUNRITY COUNCIL SAYS CONGRESS HAS APPROVED FEDERAL FUNDS FOR THE PROGRAM THIS MONTH.
NOW -- THEY ARE JUST WAITING FOR IT TO GET TO THEM... THROUGH STATE GOVERNMENT.
AUSTIN LEWIS TALKS TO ONE PERSON WHO NEEDS ENERGY ASSISTANCE SOON---AND IS WAITING PATIENTLY FOR HELP.

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WINTER HAS BEEN HARD FOR MILTON WEBSTER---WHO LOST HIS LEG FROM A SPIDER BITE.
HE SAYS HIS ENERGY BILLS ARE COMING IN AT 200 DOLLARS A MONTH---AND HE ONLY HAS A MONTHLY SOCIAL SECURITY INCOME OF ABOUT 674 DOLLARS.
SO HE'S BUYING LESS FOOD AND DOING OTHER THINGS TO MAKE ENDS MEET.
Milton Webster, Macon: Sometimes i'll be late on my light bill to pay my gas bill.
Austin Lewis, Eyewitness News: Webster tells me that one adjustment that he has to make is to set his thermostat at 68 during the day and turn it off at night.
Milton Webster, Macon: I was so worried about my gas, I didn't want to get behind in my gas. So far I'm still just waiting, I'm waiting and waiting
HE'S WAITING FOR HELP FROM MACON-BIBB'S E-O-C ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM---
LAST YEAR---HE GOT 350 DOLLARS FOR THE SEASON WHICH LOWERS HIS BILL
Milton Webster, Macon: It'll stretch it for like 50 dollars a month so that's a big help.
HELP IS ON THE WAY FOR WEBSTER AND THOUSAND OF OTHERS. CONGRESS HAS APPROVED FUNDING FOR THE E-O-C.
NOW --THEY ARE WAITING FOR IT TO TRICKLE DOWN.
Jimmie Samuels, Exec. Dir of Macon-Bibb EOC: It's just the bureaucracy of getting it from Washington down to the states.
THIS YEAR THEY WILL ONLY BE ABLE TO HELP 2500 HUNDRED HOUSEHOLDS -- ABOUT HALF AS MANY AS LAST YEAR.
THEY HAVE ALREADY HELPED ABOUT 1-THOUSAND.
THE E-O-C SAYS THE DEMAND IS HIGHER THIS YEAR---
IN NOVEMBER HUNDREDS LINED UP FOR HELP.
AND THAT HAS WEBSTER WORRIED.
Milton Webster, Macon: I don't how that's going to work out for me, hopefully I'll have someone to help me.
AUSTIN LEWIS 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>>

E-O-C EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JIMMIE SAMUEL SAYS AS SOON AS THEY GET WORD FROM THE STATE ON HOW MUCH IS AVAILABLE---
THEY'LL SET A NEW START DATE FOR THE PUBLIC.
SAMUEL SAYS THEY HOPE THEY CAN SCHEDULE THOSE FOR SOMETIME IN JANUARY.

A BYRON FIREFIGHTER WAS TREATED FOR MINOR INJURIES SUFFERED WHILE BATTLING A FIRE THAT DESTROYED A PEACH COUNTY HOME THIS AFTERNOON.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO BYRON CHIEF J-D MOSEBY.

THE FIRE WAS REPORTED AROUND 1 THIS AFTERNOON ON CHAPMAN ROAD.
THAT'S NORTH OF HIGHWAY 49 AND NEXT TO INTERSTATE 75.
THE FIRE WAS PUT OUT QUICKLY...AND CREWS SPENT MUCH OF THE AFTERNOON HOSING DOWN HOT SPOTS.
CHIEF MOSEBY SAID FIREFIGHTER STEVEN SMITH WAS TAKEN TO THE MEDICAL CENTER OF CENTRAL GEORGIA AFTER A BEAM FELL ON HIS SHOULDER.
HE WAS RELEASED FROM THE HOSPITAL LATE THIS AFTERNOON.
MOSEBY SAYS NO ONE WAS INSIDE THE HOME WEHN THE FIRE BROKE OUT...AND THE CAUSE IS STILL UNKNOWN.

BIBB COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY GREG WINTERS SAYS A JUDGE'S ERROR SET A CHRISTMAS EVE SHOOTING SUSPECT FREE ON BOND.

ZACHERY DEWAYNE GUYTON WAS RELEASED MONDAY AFTER HE POSTED BOND ON AGGRAVATED ASSAULT CHARGES.
HE'S ACCUSED OF SHOOTING A NINETEEN-YEAR-OLD IN THE HEAD DURING A ROBBERY LAST WEEKEND..

WINTERS SAYS THE JUDGE WHO ISSUED THE BOND... DIDN'T HAVE THAT AUTHORITY.... AND HE'LL ASK A SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE NEXT THURDAY TO REVOKE THE BOND.
GUYTON WAS CHARGED WITH BURGLARY IN NOVEMBER...AND THEN RELEASED ON BOND FOR THAT CASE.
WHEN HE WENT BEFORE MAGISTRATE JUDGE BILL SHURLING MONDAY....WINTERS SAYS THE JUDGE DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT THE BURGLARY CASE.
WINTERS SAYS HE'LL ARGUE THAT STATE LAW REQUIRES A SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE...TO SET BOND IF A DEFENDANT IS ALREADY ON BOND FOR ANOTHER CHARGE.

"I will just say, um, it's a very serious case and I have concerns when somebody is charged with shooting someone in the head getting out on the streets again

GUYTON'S ATTORNEY.. ARJUN KAPOOR.. SAYS HE'S REVIEWING THE CASE TO DECIDE IF HE'LL OPPOSE WINTERS' MOTION TO REVOKE THE BOND.
BUT HE SAYS HIS CLIENT IS INNOCENT ... BECAUSE HE ACTED IN SELF DEFENSE.
KAPOOR SAYS HE BELIEVES GUYTON IS STAYING WITH FAMILY IN MACON... WHO HE SAYS HAVE BEEN TARGETED SINCE THE ARREST.

"They have recieved repeated threats, as you know, their house has been shot at. I believe some of the witnesses in this case have been intimiadated."

MACON POLICE SPOKESWOMAN JAMI GAUDET SAYS SHE'S UNAWARE OF ANY VIOLENCE OR INTIMIDATION AGAINST GUYTON'S FAMILY.

SIX MONTHS AGO TODAY...

MACON POLICE RESPONDED TO A MISSING PERSON'S REPORT ON GEORGIA AVENUE IN DOWNTOWN MACON... AND FOUND MERCER LAW GRADUATE LAUREN GIDDINGS' BODY.

HER NEIGHBOR AND CLASSMATE STEPHEN MCDANIEL WAS ARRESTED THE NEXT DAY ON UNRELATED BURGLARY CHARGES... THEN CHARGED WITH HER MURDER IN AUGUST.

STEPHANIE SUSSKIND SPOKE WITH GIDDINGS' COUSIN.. WHO SAYS THE FAMILY IS JUST TRYING TO GET STRONGER EACH DAY.

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FOR SIX MONTHS.. KATHY MANN SAYS THE GIDDINGS FAMILY HAS LIVED WITH A HOLE IN THEIR HEARTS.
SHE LIVES IN NORTH GEORGIA.. AND ACTUALLY HELPED LAUREN MOVE INTO HER MACON APARTMENT WHEN SHE BEGAN LAW SCHOOL AT MERCER.
THE HOLIDAY HAVE BEEN TOUGH FOR THE FAMILY.. BUT MANN SAYS THE GIDDINGS FAMILY GOT TOGETHER AT LAUREN'S PARENTS HOUSE FOR CHRISTMAS.. AS THEY DO EVERY YEAR.

MANN SAYS SHE MISSES LAUREN'S LAUGH.. AND HER SENSE OF HUMOR.
SHE SAYS THE FAMILY IS STILL VERY FOCUSED ON FINDING THE REST OF LAUREN'S REMAINS... AND SHE HOPES INVESTIGATORS CAN SEARCH ACCUSED KILLER STEPHEN MCDANIEL'S GRANDFATHERS'S FARM.
MCDANIEL ALLEGEDLY VISITED THE SITE.. THE WEEK BEFORE POLICE FOUND GIDDINGS' BODY.
Kathy Mann: "It seems like a logical step, but we know that legally there's certain protocol and there has to be something that meets the standard of the law in order for that to happen. And so the DA has always been very open to our conversations and symathetic with what we would like to happen but we understand that he has to go by the letter of the law and so it basically is in their hands."

MANN SAYS THE FAMILY WAS ENCOURAGED.. WHEN DISTRICT ATTORNEY GREG WINTERS ANNOUNCED HE WOULD SEEK THE DEATH PENALTY FOR MCDANIEL.
BUT SHE SAYS NO MATTER WHAT THE PUNISHMENT MAY BE... IT DOESN'T GET BACK WHAT THEY'VE LOST.
STEPHANIE SUSSKIND 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
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THE NEXT STEP IN THE CASE WILL BE STEPHEN MCDANIEL'S ARRAIGNMENT ON THE MURDER CHARGE.
HE IS ALSO AWAITING TRAIL ON THE 30 COUNTS OF CHILD EXPLOITATION... STEMMING FROM CHILD PORNOGRAPHY INVESTIGATORS FOUND ON A FLASH DRIVE IN HIS APARTMENT.
WE CONTACTED DISTRICT ATTORNEY GREG WINTERS ABOUT THE CASE... HE SAID IT WOULD NOT BE APPROPRIATE FOR HIM TO TALK ABOUT IT AT THIS TIME.
WE COULD NOT REACH STEPHEN MCDANIEL'S LAWYER FLOYD BUFORD FOR COMMENT..


MACON POLICE AND THE BIBB COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAY THEY WON'T TOLERATE CELEBRATORY GUN FIRE ON NEW YEAR'S EVE.
A POLICE NEWS RELEASE SAYS THEY WILL ARREST ANYONE CAUGHT FIRING A WEAPON IN CELEBRATION...
TODAY'S 13 WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... DO YOU HEAR NEW YEAR'S EVE 'CELEBRATORY GUNFIRE' IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD?

SO FAR 59 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES
AND 41 PERCENT OF YOU 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.

VETERANS...THEIR FRIENDS AND FAMIILES CAME TOGETHER AT CENTRAL CITY PARK IN MACON TO CELEBRATE THE SERVICE OF IRAQI FREEDOM VETERANS TODAY.

FRANK DIXON---THE ORGANIZER SAYS THE PURPOSE IS TO HONOR VETERANS RETURNING HOME AND THEIR FAMILIES FOR THEIR SACRIFICES.
THE HEROES WELCOME INCLUDED PLENTY OF FOOD, MUSIC AND PRIZES.
ABOUT 50 PEOPLE WERE THERE.
VIETNAM WAR VET JOE BRYANT SAYS EVENTS LIKE THIS ARE IMPORTANT FOR THE RETURNING TROOPS.


Joe Bryant, Vietnam War Veteran: They are making sacrifices that people back here don't understand. And it's uh, I wanna make sure that they don't get ignored, like our generation from Vietnam was ignored.

THE MACON'S VETERAN CENTER ALSO HAD POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER COUNSELING ON HAND FOR THOSE WHO NEEDED IT.

TONIGHT... BECOMING MOSTLY CLEAR WITH LOWS IN THE MID 40S. SOME PATCHY MORNING FOG IS POSSIBLE.
SATURDAY ... MOSTLY SUNNY WITH HIGHS IN THE MID-TO-UPPER 60S.
SATURDAY NIGHT (NEW YEAR'S EVE)... MOSTLY CLEAR WITH LOWS IN THE UPPER 30S.

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

BEFORE HEADING OUT TO GRAB A BITE TO EAT.... WE'LL TELL YOU WHAT THE HEALTH INSPECTOR SAID WHEN THEY STOPPED BY YOUR FAVORITE PLACE... RESTAURANT RATINGS IS NEXT.

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.

WITH THE HOLIDAY SEASON WINDING DOWN... AND THE NEW YEAR RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER... YOU MAY BE LOOKING TO CELEBRATE WITH A DINNER OUT.
BUT BEFORE HITTING UP YOUR FAVORITE HOT SPOT... YOU MAY WANT TO SEE WHAT THE HEALTH INSPECTOR HAD TO SAY IN THIS WEEK'S RESTAURANT RATINGS.

WE'RE BACK IN HOUSTON COUNTY THIS WEEK...STARTING OFF WITH OUR LOWEST SCORES FIRST....

STEAK N SHAKE AT 29-99 WATSON BOULEVARD IN WARNER ROBINS SCORED A 78... THAT'S A C... COMING AFTER AN 80 OR B LAST TIME.
ACCORDING TO THE INSPECTION REPORT... ADEQUATE HANDWASHING FACILITIES WERE NOT SUPPLIED AND ACCESSIBLE.
IT NOTES THAT AS A RISK FOR FOODBORNE ILLNESS.

WAFFLE HOUSE AT 28-16 WATSON BOULVEARD IN CENTERVILLE GOT AN 82... A "B"... THAT'S UP FROM THE 55 OR "U" THEY SCORED ON THE INSPECTION BEFORE.
THE INSPECTOR SAYS FOOD-COTNACT SURFACES WERE NOT CLEANED AND SANITIZED AND FOOD WAS NOT HELD AT THE PROPER HOT HOLDING TEMPERATURE.

GOLDEN CORRAL BUFFETT AND GRILL AT 29-24 WATSON BOULEVARD IN CENTERVILLE SCORED A 90... AN "A"... COMING AFTER A 95... ANOTHER "A"... LAST TIME.
THE REPORT SAYS FOOD AND NONFOOD CONTACT SURFACES WERE NOT CLEANABLE AND PROPERLY DESIGNED.

AND HAPPY WOK II ALSO SCORED A 90... AN "A"... AFTER GETTING THE SAME SCORE ON THE LAST INSPECTION.
THE INSPECTOR SAYS FOOD WAS NOT HELD AT THE PROPER COLD HOLDING TEMPERATURE AND UTENSILS... EQUIPMENT... AND LINENS... WERE NOT PROPERLY STORED... DRIED... AND HANDLED.

NOW FOR A LOOK THE TOP SCORES OF THE WEEK... AND THIS WEEK'S GODLEN SPATULA NOMINEES.

GENJI JAPANESE STEAK AND SEAFOOD... AT 29-07 WATSON BOULEVARD IN WARNER ROBINS... WHIPPED UP A 97... AN "A"... FOLLOWING AN 89 LAST TIME.

KRYSTAL AT 16-38 WATSON BOULEVARD IN WARNER ROBINS SCORED A 98... THAT'S AN "A"... COMING AFTER A 76 OR "C" LAST TIME.

AND QUIZNO'S SUBS AT 28-01 WATSON BOULEVARD IN WARNER ROBINS SCORED TWO PERFECT 100'S... ON THEIR MOST RECENT INSPECTIONS.

JOIN US AGAIN TONIGHT AS WE AVERAGE OUR NOMINEES PAST FIVE SCORES TO GIVE YOU THIS WEEK'S GOLDEN SPATULA WINNER.
FOR ALL YOUR BIBB AND HOUSTON COUNTY RESTAURANT RATINGS... GO TO OUR WEBSITE 13 WMAZ DOT COM.
UNDER THE FEATRUES TAB... YOU'LL FIND RESTAURANT RATINGS.

A MACON BUSINESS MAN HELPED GIVE 10 PETS AT A LOCAL ANIMAL SHELTER A SECOND CHANCE AT LIFE.

MALLORY JONES DONATED $750 TO THE MACON BIBB ANIMAL SHELTER.
JONES SAYS HE MADE THE DONATION TO HELP WAIVE THE 75 DOLLAR PROCESSING FEE REQUIRED DURING THE ADOPTION PROCESS.
HE SAYS HES ALWAYS BEEN AN ANIMAL LOVER... AND WANTED TO USE THE MONEY TO SAVE PETS FROM BEING PUT TO SLEEP.

THE MACON BIBB ANIMAL SHELTER SAYS SO FAR 3 FAMILIES HAVE TAKEN HOME PETS.
THEY SAY 7 MORE ARE AVAILABLE FOR FREE... THROUGH JONES' DONATION.
ALL PETS SAVED WERE SCHEDULED TO BE PUT TO SLEEP.



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.
HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.

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