Thursday, January 5, Eyewitness News at 6

11:47 PM, Jan 5, 2012   |    comments
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HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US....I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
AND I'M FRANK MALLOY.
THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX...

OUR TOP STORY TONIGHT... PEOPLE IN BIBB COUNTY CAN NOW APPLY FOR GOVERNMENT HELP WITH THEIR HOME ENERGY BILLS.
THE MACON-BIBB ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY COUNCIL ANNOUNCED IT WOULD START TAKING APPLICATIONS NEXT TUESDAY.
CANDACE ADORKA HAS MORE ON HOW TO APPLY...AND WHEN.

<<
THE MACON-BIBB E-O-C GOT 574-THOUSAND DOLLARS IN FEDERAL MONEY TO PAY PEOPLE'S POWER BILLS.
E-O-C DIRECTOR JIMMIE SAMUEL SAYS THATS EVEN MORE THAN HE WAS EXPECTING... AND THAT WILL HELP 16-HUNDRED HOUSEHOLDS.
TO GET THE HELP... PEOPLE HAVE TO APPLY WITH THE E-O-C.
THEY'VE SET SIX DATES... AT THREE LOCATIONS.
FIRST.... ON JANUARY 10TH AND 11TH...THAT'S NEXT TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY...THEY WILL BE AT ST PAUL A-M-E CHURCH AT 2501 SHURLING DRIVE.
THEN ON JANUARY 18 AND 20... THEY MOVE TO UNION BAPTIST AT 1137 KITCHENS STREET.
THE LAST DATES ARE DECEMBER 24 AND 25... AT UNIONVILLE BAPTIST CHURCH AT 3837 HOUSTON AVENUE.
STARTING AT 7 A-M EACH DAY.... E-O-C WORKERS WILL SEE THE FIRST 250 PEOPLE IN LINE.
MACON POLICE CAPTAIN ERIC WOODFORD PATROLS THE SITES AS PEOPLE LINE UP... AND HE SAYS HE HOPES EVERYTHING WILL GO SMOOTHLY. "We are asking each and every one that do come out to respect each other, be mindful that we're serving 250 people at each site but the main thing is be safe- the pushing and shoving.... no fights will be tolerated."
HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING TO SIGN UP FOR HEATING HELP....
PROOF OF INCOME FROM THE LAST 30 DAYS... YOUR LAST ENERGY BILL... A SOCIAL SECURITY CARD FOR EVERYONE ON THE HOUSEHOLD.... AND A STATE-ISSUED PHOTO I-D.
THIS TIME... THE E-O-C NEEDS AN I-D ISSUED BY THE STATE WITH A PICTURE ON IT... LIKE A DRIVERS LICENCE OR A MILITARY I-D... OR EVEN A PASSPORT.
SAMUEL SAYS THATS BECAUSE OF GEORGIA'S NEW IMMIGRATION LAW... THE E-O-C NOW HAS TO PROVE EACH PERSON WHO GETS THE HEATING ASSISTANCE IS A U-S CITIZEN OR LEGAL RESIDENT.
CANDACE ADORKA 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> THE E-O-C GAVE ENERGY ASSISTANCE TO THE ELDERLY AND HOMEBOUND IN NOVEMBER... AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC WAS SUPPOSED TO GET A TURN IN DECEMBER.... BUT CONGRESS DIDN'T APPROVE THE MONEY UNTIL MID-DECEMBER.
SAMUEL SAYS COUNTIES GOT FEDERAL FUNDING THROUGH THE STATE GOVERNMENT THIS WEEK.

PRESIDENT OBAMA ANNOUNCED A STRATEGY TODAY AIMED AT CREATING A LEANER MILITARY.
THAT INCLUDES MASSIVE BUDGET CUTS AT THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT.
BUT WHILE THE NATION TALKS ABOUT DEFENSE CUTS... ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE PLANS TO CREATE 85 JOBS... FROM THE SALE OF F-15'S TO SAUDI ARABIA.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO BASE SPOKESWOMAN CHRISSY MINER.
A WHITE HOUSE NEWS RELEASE SAYS... THE U-S WILL SELL 84 F-15'S FOR 29-BILLION DOLLARS.
MINER SAYS ROBINS WILL MANAGE THE PLANES... BUT ACCORDING TO THE WHITE HOUSE... THE SALE WILL CREATE JOBS IN 44 STATES.
MINER SAYS ROBINS EMPLOYEES WHOSE POSITIONS WERE RECENTLY CUT.. MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR SOME OF THE NEW JOBS.
SHE SAID HIRING WOULD START WHEN FUNDING FROM THE PROGRAM BECOMES AVAILABLE... LIKELY IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS.

THE STATE BOARD OF REGENTS IS SCHEDULED TO VOTE NEXT WEEK ON CONSOLIDATING EIGHT GEORGIA COLLEGES INTO FOUR SCHOOLS.
THAT PLAN INCLUDES MERGING MIDDLE GEORGIA COLLEGE IN COCHRAN WITH MACON STATE COLLEGE.
IN A MACON STATE NEWS RELEASE -- CHANCELLOR HANK HUCKABY SAYS HIS PLAN WILL NOT CLOSE ANY CAMPUSES.
THE RELEASE SAYS SOME JOBS WILL BE LOST....NO ESTIMATE OF HOW MANY.
MACON STATE SAYS THE MERGER WOULD BE COMPLETE BY FALL OF 20-13.
HUCKABY SAYS THE NEW INSTITUTION WILL HAVE NEARLY 10-THOUSAND STUDENTS -- AND COULD TAKE ON A NEW NAME.
AUSTIN LEWIS WENT TO COCHRAN TO TALK WITH PEOPLE ABOUT WHAT THE CHANGE COULD MEAN FOR MIDDLE GEORGIA COLLEGE.
<<
FOR SOME OF MIDDLE GEORGIA COLLEGE'S 34-HUNDRED STUDENTS---THIS SCHOOL IS THE PERFECT PLACE TO GO FROM HIGH SCHOOL TO REAL WORLD.
LaToya Mims, Student from Warner Robins: I feel like it's a great transition from high school to college and it's not too much. And you know the teachers that can work with you cause it's not like a lot of students
LATOYA MIMS SAYS A MERGER WITH MACON STATE COLLEGE COULD CHANGE HER COLLEGE EXPERIENCE.
LaToya Mims, Student : You know this is a small school and it feels like home and if Macon state were to merge with it, it would be a whole different experience.
SOME SAY THE MERGER COULD BOOST ACADEMICS AT THE SCHOOL.
Kallie Heitert, Alum: Students will have more opportunities for classes and opportunities to meet new people and try different things.
AND OTHERS---WE TALKED TO -- HAVE MIXED FEELINGS ABOUT THE MERGER.
Carrie Dykes, Cochran: A small town isn't really good into change and so it might not mix well with some of the people, but then I also think it would be a good thing because it is better for more classes.
SOME MIDDLE GEORGIA COLLEGE STUDENTS ARE JUST HOPIING THAT IT WON'T CHANGE THE SMALL COLLEGE FEEL.
LaToya Mims, Student : I'll probably be a little more nervous, it would have to grow on me.
AND MANY SAY THEY ARE WATCHING TO SEE HOW IT WILL ALL UNFOLD.
AUSTIN LEWIS 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> JEFF ALLBRITTEN --PRESIDENT OF MACON STATE --WOULD BE THE PRESIDENT OF THE CONSOLIDATED COLLEGE.
CHANCELLOR HUCKABY TOLD THE ASSOCIATED PRESS THAT HE EXPECTS THE GEORGIA BOARD OF REGENTS TO APPROVE HIS MERGER PLAN NEXT WEEK.

MILLEDGEVILLE WILL HONOR THE MEMORY OF FALLEN SOLDIER ALEX FRENCH BY RENAMING THE STREET HE GREW UP ON.
FRENCH'S FAMILY SAT DOWN WITH KATELYN HECK TO EXPLAIN WHY THE STREET DEDICATION MEANS SO MUCH TO THE LOVED ONES HE LEFT BEHIND.<< (NATS)
PICTURES AND STORIES KEEP THE MEMORY OF ALEX FRENCH ALIVE FOR HIS FAMILY... AND THEY SAY THE SUPPORT FROM THE MILLEDGEVILLE COMMUNITY KEEPS THEM STRONG.

(SOT: Sister: His sacrifice didnt go unnoticed, that it wasn't in vain that he went over there and lost his life.)

FRENCH SERVED IN THE 48TH BRIGADE
HE DIED FROM A ROADSIDE BOMB IN AFGHANISTAN IN OCTOBER OF 2009.
THE FAMILY SAYS THE LOSS OF THEIR SOLDIER STILL HURTS...

(SOT: Father: You can't have your conversations with him... I miss him calling me dad."

BUT HIS MEMORY ALWAYS BRINGS A SMILE.

(SOT: Father: he was a people person... when you were around him you couldnt help but smile.)
(SOT: Sister: If you were down, he'd make you laugh. He was a good brother.)

FRENCH AND HIS TWO SISTERS GREW UP ON LORETTA DRIVE... AND THEY SAY IT'S HERE HE FIRST DREAMED OF BECOMING A SOLDIER.

(SOT: Sister: growing up, he used to have this thing for Popeye... and that's when he decided he wanted to join the navy.)

FAMILY MEMBERS SAY RENAMING THE STREET HE GREW UP ON WILL HELP FRENCH'S THREE KIDS REMEMBER HIM AS A HERO.

(SOT: Father: They know he's gone, but I don't think they really understand the impact right now. But as they get older, with the street naming after him, they'll learn more and more about him.)

NOW EVERYONE IN MILLEDGEVILLE WILL BE ABLE TO STOP... AND REMEMBER ALEX FRENCH... AS THEIR SOLDIER... FAMILY MEMBER... AND FRIEND.

KATELYN HECK
13-WMAZ
EYEWITNESS NEWS>> THE STREET DEDICATION WILL BE TOMORROW AFTERNOON AT ONE... AT THE INTERSECTION OF ALEX FRENCH DRIVE AND HARRISBURG ROAD.

THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY WANTS YOUR HELP.
THEY LAUNCHED A THIRD STUDY IN THEIR NATIONWIDE CANCER PREVENTION SERIES... AND THEY'RE ASKING FOR VOLUNTEERS IN MIDDLE GEORGIA TO SIGN UP.
BIBB COUNTY RANKS SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER THAN THE STATE'S AVERAGE FOR CANCER CASES.
THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY HOPES TO REDUCE THAT NUMBER BY USING THE STUDY TO LEARN WHAT LIFESTYLE... ENVIRONMENTAL... AND GENETIC FACTORS CAUSE CANCER.
ANYONE AGES 30 TO 65 WHO HAVE NOT BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER CAN JOIN THE INITIATIVE.
THE STUDY REQUIRES A ONE-TIME BLOOD SAMPLE AND A CONFIDENTIAL... PERSONAL SURVEY EVERY TWO YEARS.
MACON MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT JOINS LORRA LYNCH JONES... TO TALK ABOUT THE STUDY.

TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... HAS THERE BEEN CANCER IN YOUR IMMEDIATE FAMILY?
SO FAR 78 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES.
AND 22 PERCENT SAY NO. VOTE NOW... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.

A MAN ACCUSED OF SHOOTING A MACON TEENAGER IN THE HEAD ON CHRISTMAS EVE....IS BACK IN JAIL.
LAST WEEK WE TOLD YOU HOW DISTRICT ATTORNEY GREG WINTERS CLAIMED THAT A JUDGE'S ERROR...
....FREED SHOOTING SUSPECT ZACHARY GUYTON ON BOND.

TODAY A DIFFERENT JUDGE.....SUPERIOR COURT SENIOR JUDGE TOMMY DAY WILCOX....REVOKED GUYTON'S BOND....AND SET NEW BOND AT 50 THOUSAND DOLLARS.
GUYTON IS N THE BIBB COUNTY JAIL TONIGHT....CHARGED WITH AGGRAVATED ASSAULT AND USING A WEAPON WHILE COMMITTING A FELONY.
HE ALLEGEDLY SHOT QUINTAVIOUS HUTCHINGS IN THE HEAD...DURING A ROBBERY AT AN ANTIOCH ROAD HOME.
POLICE LAST WEEK SAID HUTCHINGS WAS EXPECTED TO RECOVER FROM HIS INJURIES.

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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