GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US... I'M ELEANOR LISSITZYN.
THIS IS A LATE EDITION OF EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.
MACON POLICE OFFICERS MADE THREE ARRESTS NEW YEARS EVE... AFTER RESPONDING TO GUNFIRE IN A NEIGHBORHOOD OFF BLOOMFIELD ROAD.
POLICE SPOKESWOMAN JAMI GAUDET SAYS LAST NIGHT OFFICERS HEARD SHOTS COMING FROM
2-8-2-8 BOB O LINK DRIVE.
ACCORDING TO A PRESS RELEASE... WHEN OFFICERS APPROACHED THE HOUSE... A GROUP OF PEOPLE STANDING OUTSIDE FLED.
WHEN POLICE WENT INSIDE THE HOUSE THEY FOUND 13 FIREARMS.. INCLUDING SHOTGUNS.. AN ASSUALT PISTOL... A REVOLVER.. AND SEMI-AUTOMATIC PISTOLS.
SEVERAL OF THE WEAPONS WERE STOLEN ACCORDING TO GAUDET... AND OFFICERS ALSO FOUND A BAG OF FULLY LOADED ASSAULT RIFLE MAGAZINES.
POLICE ARRESTED.... 31-YEAR-OLD ANDERSON HODGES... 25-YEAR-OLD ERIC WATKINS JR... AND 24-YEAR OLD JOHNTELLIS MATHIS.
HODGES AND WATKINS WERE RELEASED ON BOND.
MATHIS REMAINS IN JAIL.
A MACON MAN DIED AFTER LOSING CONTROL OF HIS DIRT BIKE.
BIBB COUNTY CORONER LEON JONES SAYS 35-YEAR-OLD DEXTER GREEN DIED TONIGHT AT THE MEDICAL CENTER OF CENTRAL GEORGIA.
JONES SAYS GREEN LOST CONTROL OF HIS DIRT BIKE NEAR CHRISTIAN AVENUE AND WHITFIELD STREET IN WEST MACON.
HE SAYS GREEN DIED FROM BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA TO THE NECK.
JONES SAYS GREEN WAS WEARING A HELMET.
MANY TROOPS WHO MADE IT HOME FROM IRAQ... NOW FACE A DIFFERENT CHALLANGE-- FINDING A CIVILIAN JOB.
CANDACE ADORKA REPORTS ON HOW THE NATION'S LEADERS ARE WORKING TO MAKE THAT TASK EASIER AS MORE TROOPS RETURN HOME IN COMING YEARS.
THE WHITE HOUSE ESTIMATES BY 2016...MORE THAN A MILLION MEN AND WOMEN WILL LEAVE THE MILITARY AND JOIN THE CIVILIAN WORKFORCE....
THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION HAS LAUNCHED SEVERAL INITIATIVES OVER THE PAST YEAR TO MAKE THE TRANSITION EASIER.
THEY'VE FORMED A TASK FORCE TO GIVE MILITARY MEMBERS THE TOOLS THEY NEED TO LAND A CIVILIAN CAREER...
MICHELLE OBAMA AND JILL BIDEN'S JOINING FORCES INITIATIVE ASKS COMPANIES TO HIRE OR TRAIN 100-THOUSAND VETERANS BY THE END OF 2013....
THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR'S GOLD CARD INITIATIVE GIVES VETS ONE-ON-ONE JOB COUNSELING FOR 6 MONTHS.
AND THERE'S A WEBSITE THAT HELPS VETS HONE IN ON A CIVILIAN CAREER.
I SPOKE TO ONE RETIRED NAVY AIRMAN WHO SAYS THEY NEED THESE INITIATIVES AND MORE... BECAUSE THE TRANSITION IS A LOT TOUGHER THAN IT SEEMS.
"You can come out and do the same job on the civilian side. That's what they always preach to you. and when you get done with that, jobs aint there."
THAT WAS THE STARK REALITY THAT HIT JASON JONES AFTER HE LEFT THE NAVY TWO AN A HALF YEARS AGO.
THE 5-YEAR VETERAN AIRMAN SPENT SIX MONTHS LOOKING FOR WORK IN THE AVIATION INDUSTRY.
AFTER NUMEROUS REJECTIONS... HE TURNED TO LOW WAGE RETAIL AND FOOD SERVICE JOBS... AND STILL NO LUCK.
"It's degrading. I mean you go to the Navy to the military, you come out 4 years later, you're expecting to get something and you wind up having to beg to work for minimum wage at walmart."
HE JOINED THE NAVY RIGHT OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL... JUST AFTER THE TERRORIST ATTACKS OF 9/11.
HE SAYS THAT LEFT HIM UNPREPARED TO JOBHUNT AS A CIVILLIAN.
"They don't teach you job related skills, and unfortunately, that's something you have to learn after the military once you get out, you gotta learn the hard way that hey, this is how you do this."
HE'S ONE OF MORE THAN 11 PERCENT OF POST-9/11 VETERANS WHO DONT HAVE JOBS.
THAT IS ABOUT 3 PERCENTAGE POINTS HIGHER THAN THE GENERAL POPULATION.
"I believe that the veterans have served us, they've served America, and now it's time for America to serve the veterans."
BOB THOMPSON MANAGES THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR CAREER CENTER IN MACON.
HE SAYS LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE... VETS ARE VICTIMS OF A POOR JOB MARKET... BUT THEY HAVE THE ADDED BURDEN OF TRANSLATING THEIR MILITARY WORK EXPERIENCE.
"There's a certain set of acronyms and different lingo they use int he military and so they're gonna have to understand that employers don't understand all those acronyms, don't understand all that lingo."
HE WOULD KNOW... THE 22-YEAR MARINE CORPS VET HAS A SON ALSO IN THE MARINES AND GRANDSON ALREADY SPORTING CAMOUFLAGE.
THOMPSON SAYS THE GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS AIMED AT HELPING UNEMPLOYED VETS ARE A GOOD INVESTMENT.
"Mission accomplishment is kind of what's embedded in them therefore they put the mission of that employer, whatever it is that employer needs, they're putting that first."
THE POST 9/11 G-I BILL IS PAYING FOR JONES TO GET AN ADVANCED ASSOCIATES DEGREE TO BUILD AND REPAIR PLANES...
HE GRADUATES IN 6 MONTHS BUT HE SAYS HE'S STILL FEVERISHLY JOB HUNTING BECAUSE THE G-I BILL ALSO PAYS THE RENT.
"My concern is what happens after that, once I run out of my GI bill what am I gonna do then?"
"It hurts and I want so badly for this to be over because i wan't him to feel like himself again and do what he's supposed to do."
JASON'S WIFE COURTNEY SAYS IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT MONEY... THEIR ENTIRE FUTURE HINGES ON HIS JOB SEARCH.
"We've been married 5 years, we're ready to start a family. We're hoping that soon somehting can happen so that way we can start our lives."
YES THERE'S A LOT AT STAKE... BUT JASON SAYS HE NEVER LOSES HOPE.
"You always appreciate the day because you woke up that day so I'm never gonna forget that. It's just that right now it looks a little dark."
THE PRESIDENT HAS PUSHED FOR TAX CREDITS OF UP TO 96-HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR BUSINESSES THAT HIRE VETERANS... BUT THAT DEPENDS ON BUDGET DECISIONS IN CONGRESS.
CANDACE ADORKA 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
VETERANS CAN FIND HELP GETTING BACK TO WORK AT THIER LOCAL DEPARTMENT OF LABOR OFFICE CAREER CENTER.
FOR MORE INFORMATION... FIND THIS STORY ON OUR WEBSITE 13WMAZ-DOT-COM.
NEXT TIME YOU STOP BY THE STORE TO PICK A LOTTERY TICKET YOU MAY HAVE TO PAY A LITTLE EXTRA.
POWERBALL TICKET PRICES ARE GOING UP 2 DOLLARS.
LOTTERY ORGANIZERS HOPE THE CHANGE WILL MAKE MORE PEOPLE BY THE GAME...BECAUSE JACPOTS ARE GETTING BIGGER AND THE CHANCES OF WINNING ARE GETTING BETTER.
THEY SAY THE INCREASED PRICE WILL SET THE GAME APART FROM MEGA MILLIONS.. ANOTHER BIG MONEY LOTTERY GAME SOLD IN MULTIPLE STATES.
THE PRICE CHANGES TAKS EFFECT ON JANUARY 15TH.
POLICE IN NORTH CAROLINA ARRESTED A MAN FOR STEALING AN OLYMPIC TORCH.
OFFICERS AT THE ASHEVILLE POLCE DEPARTMENT SAY 43-YEAR-OLD BRIAN MCDONALD STOLE A TORCH USED IN THE ATLANTA OLYMPICS.. AND SOLD IT TO A PAWN SHOP FOR 2 HUNDRED DOLLARS.
AUTHORITIES SAY THE TORCH WAS VALUED AT 15 THOUSAND DOLLARS.
INVESTIGATORS SAYS MCDONALD FACES CHARGES OF FELONY LARCENY AND OBTAINING PROPERTY BY FALSE PRETENSE.
HE IS SCHEDULED TO APPEAR IN COURT ON TUESDAY.
REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFULS ARE MAKING A FINAL PUSH BEFORE TUESDAY'S IOWA CAUCUS
AND WITH LESS THAN TWO DAYS TO GO... A NEW POLL SUGGEST THAT MITT ROMNEY AND RON PAUL WILL BATTLE IT OUT FOR THE TOP SPOT.
PAUL SAYS HES NOT SURPRISED THE RACE IS SO CLOSE... AND THE OUTCOME WILL SHED LIGHT ON WHATS AHEAD.
We're doing very, very well. And people should just be a little bit patient, you know. On Tuesday we're going to find out a lot more about the future of this election.
FORTRUNNER... MITT ROMNEY WENT SHARPLY ON THE OFFENSIVE TODAY.. MAKING STABS AT PRESIDENT OBAMA.
AT AN EVNET IN COUNCIL BLUFFS.. IOWA... ROMNEY COMPARED THE PRESIDENT'S POLICIES THE SHORT LIVED MARRIAGE OF REALITY STAR KIM KARDAHIAN.
"The gap between his promises and his performance is the largest I've seen, well, since the Kardashian wedding and the promise of 'till death do we part.'"
ROMNEY HAS MADE FEWER THAN 10 TRIPS TO IOWA THIS CAMPAIGN CYCLE... BUT IS AT THE TOP OF THE FIELD GOING INTO THE TUESDAY CAUCUS.
OVER 500 COWBOYS... FROM ACROSS THE NATION SADDLED UP FOR THE U-S TEAM ROPING CHAMPIONSHIP AT THE PERRY NATIONAL FAIR GROUNDS.
12 HUNDREDS TEAMS.... FROM 16 DIFFERENT STATES WENT HEAD TO HEAD TRYING TO ROPE A STEER.
THEY COMEPTED AT THREE DIFFERENT LEVELS... PROFESSIONAL....AMATEUR....OR NOVICE ROPER.
ORGANIZER JOHN JOHNSON SAYS THAT IT IS GOOD EVENT FOR FAMILIES.
John Johnson JX2 Productions "everybody at these events knows everybody and if they dont the introduce themselfs. it is really a home type of atmosphere, it is a great [lace for kids and to bring your family and everybody gets to enjoy some competition together"
JOHNSON SAYS THE EVENT STARTED IN THE 18- HUNDREDS WHEN COWBOYS NEEDED TO ROPE CATTLE IN ORDER TO BRAND THEM.
LOS ANGELOS FIRE CREWS RESPONDED TO SIX MORE SUSPICIOUS FIRES LAST NIGHT... BRINGING THE TOTAL TO MORE THAN 3 DOZEN IN FOUR DAYS.
BIGAD SHABAN IS IN LA WITH THE LATEST ON THE INVESTIGATION.
(---NATS: huge fire from Saturday night----)
FOR THE THIRD STRAIGHT NIGHT, LOS ANGELES SAW NIEGHBORHOODS IN FLAMES.....WITH A TOTAL OF 39 CARS SET ON FIRE
MARK HOOPER'S APARTMENT BUILDING WAS ONE OF THE LATEST HIT.
(----two shot: Mark Hopper----8:26:59-----)
"It was 8 oclock new year's eve, music were getting out shower, very festive mood and suddenly these flames were shooting up two stories high."
HIS PARKING LOT IS NOW FILLED WITH ASH, AND HE SAYS HE'S FILLED WITH FEAR. AUTHORITIES BELIEVE THE FIRES WERE SET INTENTIONALLY, BUT HAVE YET TO MAKE ANY ARRESTS.
(----SOT: Mark Hopper----8:25:12---)
"It's very uneasy, you don't know where or when it's going to happen again, just to be in your apartment relaxing and just to hear someone scream fire and then to run out and feel flames and feel backdraft and smell the smoke, it's really hard to describe it's very scary."
THIS WOMAN WAS BROUGHT TO TEARS AFTER SEEING HER 2ND STORY HOME DESTROYED. HER NIEGHBOR ELOISA RENTERIA LOST HER CAR.
(----SOT: Eloisa Renteria---1:29----)
"It's scary and horrible and terrifying and heart breaking to think I almost lost my life and so did my family."
(----SOT: Bigad Shaban, CBS News----)
"In nearly every case, the vehicles set on fire were parked under car ports like these, allowing the flames to spread quickly, and turn much of the structures into ash and even attack nearby apartment buildings."
AUTHORITIES WON'T GO INTO DETAIL ABOUT THE CAUSE OF THE FIRES, BUT IT APPEARS SOME WERE SET BY THROWING SOME KIND OF MOLOTOV COKTAIN THROUGH THE CAR WINDOW....OTHERS SEEM TO HAVE EXPLODED AS A RESULT OF A DEVICE FOUND UNDER THE CAR.
THIS MAN SAYS A CAN LABELED PROPANE WAS FOUND UNDER HIS VEHICLE.
(---SOT: Capt. Jaime Moore, Los Angeles Fire Department----)
"They are looking at each one of these individually // to see how they all relate."
FOR NOW IT REMAINS A DANGEROUS MYSTERY....ONE THAT HAS YET TO CLAIM ANY LIVES, BUT HAS DAMAGED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS WORTH OF PROPERTY.
CITY AND COUNTY OFFICIALS HAVE OFFERED A 60-THOUSAND DOLLAR REWARD FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO AN ARREST... BUT THEY'RE UNSURE IF ONE PERSON IS RESPONSIBLE OR IF IT'S A LINE OF COPY CATS.
Beverly moss Centerville "my new years resolution is to have a closer relationship with the lord"
Mark bananto Warner robins "probably to cook more meals at home and to quit eating out so much "
8sec Kasey collier Macon "Just to spend more time with my friends and family, with working and taking care of son and stuff, everyone is all ways so busy and i just want to slow down a bit and some more time with the family and friends"
(AD LIB ABOUT RESOLUTIONS)
A FAMILY IN FLORIDA SPENT THEIR NEW YEARS IN TAMPA... WELCOMING THE BIRTH OF THEIR TWINS.
AND NOW THE NEWBORNS HAVE AN UNUSUAL DISTINCTION.
ONE OF THE GIRLS WAS THE LAST BABY OF 20-11... AND THE OTHER WAS THE FIRST OF 20-12.
THEIR PARENTS SAY THE POSSIBILITY OF HAVING TWINS BORN IN DIFFERENT YEARS... NEVER CROSSED THEIR MIND.
We -- I just figured they would both be 2011 or both be 2012, and -- but then it looked like it was going to happen, one 2011; one 2012. Huh."
"And that wasn't really even something we had considered."
THE BABIES WEREN'T DUE UNTIL JANUARY 26-TH.
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WE'LL SEE YOU AT FIVE A-M FOR FIRST MORNIN'.
LAW CALL IS UP NEXT.
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