Friday, January 13, Eyewitness News at 6

4:36 PM, Jan 16, 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...

AN INTERNAL INVESTIGATION WITHIN THE MACON POLICE DEPARTMENT.. IS WORKING TO FIND OUT WHY SEVERAL OFFICERS WERE PARKED BEHIND SOME MACON STORES... AND PLAYING FOOTBALL YESTERDAY...
THAT'S ACCORDING TO POLICE CHIEF MIKE BURNS...
BRITTINY BARBER HAS MORE ON THE INVESTIGATION.
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MACON POLICE CHIEF MIKE BURNS SAYS HE'S INVESTIGATING PHOTOS THAT SEEM TO SHOW UNIFORMED POLICE OFFICERS PLAYING FOOTBALL BEHIND SOME STORES THURSDAY AFTERNOON.
IN AN EMAIL, BURNS SAYS, "THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE, EVEN IF THEY WERE OFF DUTY..." HE SAYS THE OFFICERS WILL BE DISCIPLINED....
THOSE PHOTOS WERE SENT TO INTERNAL AFFAIRS AND THE CHIEF ASKED THEM TO INVESTIGATE....
ONE PICTURE SHOWS SIX PARKED POLICE CRUISERS... ANOTHER SHOWS FIVE OFFICERS PLAYING FOOTBALL.
STEVE THOMPSON FROM MACON.... SHARED THE PHOTOS WITH US...
HE ALSO POSTED THEM TO FACEBOOK...
HE SAYS THEY WERE TAKEN BY AN EMPLOYEE AT A STORE ON PRESIDENTIAL PARKWAY AROUND 4:15 P.M. THURSDAY... BUT HE WOULD NOT IDENTIFY THAT PERSON.
HE SAID HE WENT PUBLIC WITH THE PICTURES... BECAUSE HE WAS UPSET ABOUT SEEING HIS "TAX DOLLARS AT WORK" IN THAT WAY.....
BURNS SAYS THEY ARE INVESTIGATING WHAT HAPPENED AND IT SHOULD WRAP UP BY MONDAY MORNING....
THE OFFICERS INVOLVED... BURNS SAYS ARE FROM PRECINCT 4...BASED AT THE MACON MALL.
IN MACON BRITTINY BARBER 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
>> HE SAYS THEY PLAN TO TALK TO PEOPLE WHO WITNESSED THE FOOTBALL GAME FOR MORE INFORMATION.
DURING THE DAY....BURNS SAYS AS MANY AS 75 TO 80 OFFICERS PATROL THE STREETS ACROSS MACON.

MAYOR CHUCK SHAHEEN SAYS TALKS OF BUYING THE LANDINGS GOLF COURSE ARE NOW OFF.
HE SAYS HE WAS NEVER INTERESTED IN THE DEAL... AND THAT THE MEDIA BLEW THE WHOLE THING OUT OF PROPORTION.
Chuck Shaheen, Mayor of Warner Robins: (1:19) The media had created a story on this, on the Landings Golf Course. The landings needed to sell it. They asked the city if we are interested in buying it. I asked our golf pro, the Warner Robins building authority along with other councilman told them that the Landings has approached me about buying the Golf Course and they said well, let's talk to them. So that's all the meeting was, an opportunity to hear what they had to say. I brought it before the council, the council is not interested in it right now. We have a wonderful golf course (1:41)
IN LIGHT OF THAT COMMENT... WE WANT TO BE TRANSPARENT ABOUT HOW THIS STORY DEVELOPED.
THE REPORTER WHO BROKE THIS STORY... LORRA LYNCH JONES JOINS US TO EXPLAIN.
LORRA?
THIS STARTED WITH A TIP THAT I RECEIVED LAST WEEKEND... ABOUT THE LANDINGS OWNERS APPROACHING THE MAYOR.
I CHECKED IT OUT ... BY CALLING A FEW COUNCIL MEMBERS AND TALKING TO MAYOR SHAHEEEN.
THEY CONFIRMED THERE WOULD BE A MEETING WEDNESDAY MORNING... WITH MEMBERS OF THE LANDINGS INVESTMENT GROUP.
SHAHEEN TOLD ME THE OWNERS WERE INTERESTED IN SELLING BECAUSE OF THEIR FINANCIAL PROBLEMS.
THEY CONFIRMED THERE WOULD BE A MEETING WEDNESDAY MORNING... WITH MEMBERS OF THE LANDINGS INVESTMENT GROUP.
SHAHEEN TOLD ME THE OWNERS WERE INTERESTED IN SELLING BECAUSE OF THEIR FINANCIAL PROBLEMS.
WE LEARNED THAT A FORECLOSURE AUCTION WAS SCHEDULED FOR LAST WEEK....BUT IT WAS CANCELLED WHEN THE LANDINGS INVESTMENT GROUP FILED FOR CHAPTER ELEVEN BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION.
ON WEDNESDAY ...WE WENT TO CITY HALL WHERE MAYOR SHAHEEN AND SOME WARNER ROBINS BUILDING AUTHORITY MEMBERS MET WITH GOLF COURSE INVESTORS... ED WOLFE AND EDDIE WIGGINS.
AT THE MEETING... SHAHEEN AND SOME AUTHORITY MEMBERS EXPRESSED INTEREST IN LOOKING FURTHER INTO A DEAL.
BUT THEY NEVER TALKED ABOUT A SALE PRICE.
THE MAYOR MADE THESE COMMENTS AFTER THAT MEETING.
Chuck Shaheen, Mayor of Warner Robins: (12:30) "The attractive thing is that it does expand parks and recreation. You'll have a swimming pool. You'll have tennis courts. You'll have a nice restaurant and club house. You've got 27 holes, teaching, a big driving range. So, it would be a good thing for famillies to go out and have picnics and things like that."
(WIPE)
Chuck Shaheen: (13:00) "The Landings is a championship golf course. You have PGA tournaments out there."
(WiPE)
Chuck Shaheen: (13:25) "It's a quality of life issue mainly, that we offer a better quality of life, parks and recreation for the citizens of Warner Robins to have a golf course, swimming pool and tennis courts all in one facility.":
THAT NIGHT.. BASED ON SHAHEEN'S COMMENTS.. WE REPORTED THAT HE WANTED TO EXPLORE THE DEAL FURTHER... BY TAKING IT TO COUNCIL TO GAUGE THEIR INTEREST.
HE DID THAT LAST NIGHT BUT COUNCIL DECIDED IT'S NOT A PRIORITY FOR THE CITY RIGHT NOW.
THANKS LORRA.
WE CAN CONNECT YOU TO MORE OF SHAHEEN'S INTERVIEW AFTER WEDNESDAYS' MEETINGS WITH THE OWNERS.
LOOK FOR THE LINK INSIDE THIS STORY ON 13WMAZ-DOT-COM.

IF YOU'RE A VERIZON WIRELESS CUSTOMER... YOU MAY HAVE FELT OUT OF TOUCH TODAY.
JENNIFER MOULLIET EXPLAINS WHY THE PHONE WASN'T RINGING FOR MANY VERIZON CUSTOMERS IN CENTRAL GEORGIA.
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CHERYL BLOODWORTH SAYS SHE WAS IN TOWN LOOKING FOR BRIDESMAID DRESSES WITH HER SISTER AND AUNT... AND COULDN'T GET IN TOUCH WITH HER GROOM.
Cheryl Bloodworth, Cochran: " My phone wouldn't ring I would try to call and it would go straight to his voicemail and when somebody would try to call me it would be very staticy you couldn't hear anything."

AND HER PHONE WASN'T THE ONLY ONE AFFECTED.
REPRESENTATIVES FROM VERIZON WIRELESS SAY SEVERAL CELL TOWERS IN CENTRAL GEORGIA... INCLUDING ONES IN WARNER ROBINS... MACON... AND MILLEDGEVILLE WERE OUT OF SERVICE.

BLOODWORTH SAYS THE DISRUPTION MADE IT HARDER TO PLAN HER BIG DAY... BECAUSE SHE RELIES ON HER CELL FOR EVERYTHING.
Cheryl Bloodworth: "Emails, social networking, calls, text messaging everything and if you don't have your cell phone and it goes out you're pretty much stuck."

VERIZON WIRELESS SPOKESWOMAN KATE JAY SAYS THE OUTAGE WAS DUE TO A SOFTWARE UPGRADE THAT WAS DONE OVERNIGHT. JAY SAYS CUSTOMERS WERE STILL ABLE TO PLACE OUTGOING CALLS... AND SEND TEXT MESSAGES BUT INCOMING CALLS WENT STRAIGHT TO VOICEMAIL.
A PROBLEM THAT DROVE A WEDGE BETWEEN BLOODWORTH AND HER FUTURE HUSBAND... BECAUSE HE THOUGHT SHE WAS IGNORING HIS CALLS.

Cheryl Bloodworth: "When his phone started acting up it really made things... he did not react well."

JAY ISSUED A STATEMENT SAYING... "OUR NETWORK ENGINEERS HAVE BEEN WORKING DILIGENTLY TO RESOLVE THE ISSUE... WE APPRECIATE CUSTOMERS' PATIENCE."

BLOODWORTH SAYS THIS ISN'T THE FIRST TIME SHE'S HAD TROUBLE WITH HER SERVICE... AND SHE MAY CHANGE PROVIDERS.
JENNIFER MOULLIET 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.

>> ACCORDING TO VERIZON SPOKESWOMAN KATE JAY..... THE CELL TOWERS WERE RESTORED AROUND TWO THIS AFTERNOON.
WE ASKED VERIZON WIRELESS IF CUSTOMERS AFFECTED BY THE OUTAGE WILL BE PRO-RATED ON THEIR MONTHLY BILL...AND THEY SAID BECAUSE CUSTOMERS WERE STILL ABLE TO MAKE CALLS AND USE TEXT MESSAGING... THERE IS NO NEED FOR A DISCOUNT.

RIGHT NOW... MACON CITY LEADERS ARE GATHERED FOR A WEEKEND RETREAT.
MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT SAYS THEY'RE FOCUSING ON COMMUNICATION.
AMY AUBERT IS IN ATHENS... AND JOINS US BY PHONE WITH AN UPDATE.
WE'LL CONTINUE TO FOLLOW THE RETREAT... AND HAVE MORE TONIGHT ON EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11 AND 13WMAZ DOT COM.

IVEY'S WATER SUPERINTENDENT WAS ARRESTED THIS MORNING AND CHARGED WITH CHILD MOLESTATION.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO THE CITY'S POLICE CHIEF.
IVEY HAS A POPULATION OF ABOUT 1,000 PEOPLE... AND IS LOCATED IN WILKINSON COUNTY.
CHIEF JOHN RICHARDS SAYS KENNETH HELMS WAS ARRESTED AT HIS HOME.
HE SAID HELMS FACES ONE COUNT OF CHILD MOLESTATION AND ONE COUNT OF ENTICING A CHILD.
RICHARDS WOULD NOT DESCRIBE DETAILS OF THE CASE.
HE SAID THE ARREST STEMMED FROM A TIP LAST DECEMBER AND THAT HE TURNED THE CASE OVER TO THE GBI FOR INVESTIGATION.

MORE HIGH SCHOOLERS ACROSS THE STATE ARE TAKING THEIR CLASSES TO THE NEXT LEVEL.
A REPORT FROM THE COLLEGE BOARD SHOWS A HIGHER NUMBER OF STUDENTS ARE TAKING ADVANCED PLACEMENT CLASSES... AND GETTING COLLEGE CREDIT FOR THEM.
GEORGIA RANKS ELEVENTH NATIONALLY FOR ITS PERCENTAGE OF STUDENTS PASSING A-P EXAMS.
BIBB COUNTY A-P COORDINATOR TANDI PRESSLEY ADMITS..... THE COUNTY'S PASSING RATE HAS ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT.
BUT SHE SAYS THE NUMBER OF STUDENTS TAKING A-P COURSES HAS SKYROCKETED OVER THE PAST FOUR YEARS.
SOME TEACHERS AT CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL SAY A-P CLASSES WILL HELP STUDENTS THROUGHOUT COLLEGE... NO MATTER WHAT THEY SCORE ON THE TEST.
GEORGIA'S PASSING RATE FOR THE A-P EXAM IS JUST OVER NINETEEN PERCENT.
THATS MORE THAN 2 POINTS HIGHER THAN THE NATIONAL RATE.

IF YOU PLAN TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE AND LET SOMEONE ELSE DO THE COOKING THIS WEEKEND... CHECK OUT THE HEALTH INSPECTION SCORES BEFORE YOU GO.
WE'RE HEADING TO HOUSTON COUNTY FOR THIS WEEK'S RESTAURANT RATINGS... STARTING OFF WITH OUR LOWEST SCORES.
POPEYE'S CHICKEN AND BISCUITS AT 744 RUSSELL PARKWAY IN WARNER ROBINS MADE AN 89... A B... AFTER AN 89... ANOTHER B... ON THE INSPECTION BEFORE.
THE INSPECTOR SAID FOOD CONTACT SURFACES WEREN'T CLEANED OR SANITIZED... AND ONE OF THE HAND WASHING SINKS DIDN'T HAVE HOT WATER.
ALL OF THE VIOLATIONS WERE CORRECTED ON THE DAY OF THE INSPECTION.
TOP CHINA AT 11-14 HIGHWAY 96 IN KATHLEEN MADE A 77... A C.... AFTER A PERFECT SCORE ON ITS PREVIOUS INSPECTION.
THE REPORT SAID FOOD WASN'T SEPARATED AND PROTECTED... AND PROPER EATING... TASTING... DRINKING OR TOBACCO USE WERE NOT FOLLOWED.
IT NOTES THAT AS A RISK FACTOR FOR FOODBORNE ILLNESS.
AND HIBACHI BUFFET AT 40-25 WATSON BOULEVARD IN WARNER ROBINS SCORED A 74... THAT'S A C... AFTER A 99 OR AN A ON THE INSPECTION BEFORE.
THE INSPECTOR SAID THE PERSON IN CHARGE WASN'T PRESENT... DIDN'T PERFORM DUTIES... OR DIDN'T HAVE PROPER KNOWLEDGE.
THE REPORT ALSO SAID HANDWASHING FACILITIES WEREN'T SUPPLIED OR ACCESSIBLE.
IT NOTED BOTH THOSE AS RISKS FOR FOODBORNE ILLNESS.
NOW FOR A LOOK AT THE TOP SCORES OF THE WEEK... OUR GOLD SPATULA NOMINEES.
HARDEE'S AT 28-29 WATSON BOULEVARD IN WARNER ROBINS MADE A 96... AN A... AFTER A 95 ON THE INSPECTION BEFORE.
PAPA JOHN'S AT 100 NORTH HOUSTON LAKE ROAD IN WARNER ROBINS MADE A 98... AN A... COMING AFTER A 98 ON ITS PRIOR INSPECTION.
AND SUBWAY AT 499 HIGHWAY 247 IN BONAIRE MADE A 100... COMING AFTER ANOTHER 100 ON THE PREVIOUS INSPECTION.
JOIN US TONIGHT AT 11 AS WE AVERAGE OUR NOMINEES' PAST FIVE SCORES TO FIND THIS WEEK'S GOLDEN SPATULA WINNER.
AND YOU CAN FIND ALL THE HEALTH INSPECTION SCORES FROM CENTRAL GEORGIA BY VISITING 13WMAZ DOT COM.
LOOK FOR THE LINK UNDER THE FEATURES TAB... THEN JUST CLICK ON YOUR COUNTY TO FIND YOUR LOCAL SCORES.

TODAY.... IS FRIDAY THE 13... AND THERE ARE MANY FOLKS OUT THERE WHO MAY HAVE TAKEN A RABBIT'S FOOT... OR FOUR LEAF CLOVER TO WORK WITH THEM TODAY...
TODAY'S 13 WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... DO YOU DO ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY ON FRIDAY THE 13TH
SO FAR 97 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO
AND 3 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES
VOTE NOW... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ.COM

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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