<<opening for eyewitness news at eleven>>
My message is simple, it is time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America. Send me these tax reforms and I will sign them right away.
THOSE REMARKS CAME FROM PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA DURING HIS STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS EARLIER TONIGHT...
GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M LEAH JOHNSON...THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.
FIRST TONIGHT... WE'RE GIVING YOU A WRAP UP OF THE PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS TO THE NATION EARLIER THIS EVENING.
FRANK MALLOY HAS A WRAP UP OF THE SPEECH
TONIGHT THE PRESIDENT FOCUSED ON THE ECONOMY... AND GETTING FOLKS BACK TO WORK.
DANIELLE NOTTINGHAM IS AT THE CAPITOL AND HAS THE LATEST ON THE SPEECH, AND WHAT REPUBLICANS HAD TO SAY.
President Obama laid out his plan to bolster America's middle class before a bitterly divided Congress...
"I intend to fight obstruction with action, and I will oppose any effort to return to the very same policies that brought on this economic crisis in the first place."
The president focused on creating jobs.. and what he calls economic fairness.
OBAMA SOT "We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by. Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules."
The president pushed for comprehensive tax reform - that would insure millionaires and billionaires pay a higher tax rates than middle class families. He also called for expanding manufacturing, clean energy, education and training.
STANDUP BRIDGE: The president's speech comes during the height of a bitter Republican battle to replace him. But the night was not without SOME moments of unity.
Members of both parties cheered Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. She is stepping down this week - a year after an assassination attempt forced her to miss the 2011 address.
But Republicans hammered away at the the president in their response, citing high unemployment.
SOT - Mitch Daniels
"he cannot claim that the last 3 years have made things anything but worse. The percentage of Americans with a job is at the lowest in Decades."
ON THE PHONE WITH US NOW IS 2ND DISTRICT CONGRSSMAN SANFORD BISHOP...
CONGRESSMAN... WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE PRESIDENT'S SPEECH?
LATER THIS YEAR THE CITY OF DUBLIN WILL HAVE AN INFLUX OF 178 JOBS... WHEN A GERMAN AUTO-PARTS MANUFACTURER BREAKS GROUND THERE THIS SUMMER.
CAL WRAY WITH THE DUBLIN-LAURENS COUNTY DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY... SAYS ERDICH COMPANY MANUFACTURES BRAKE PISTONS AND METAL STAMPINGS FOR COMPANIES LIKE MERCEDES BENZ ... BMW... VOLKSWAGEN AND MORE.
GOVERNOR NATHAN DEAL'S OFFICE SAYS THE COMPANY HAS FOUR PLANTS AROUND THE WORLD THAT SUPPLY PARTS TO OTHER AUTOMOTIVE SUPPLIERS.
WRAY SAID THE COMPANY EXPECTS TO BREAK GROUND IN MAY OR JUNE AT THE COUNTY INDUSTRIAL PARK OFF OF EXIT 49 ON INTERSTATE 16.
HE SAID THE PLANT WILL COST AN ESTIMATED 39 MILLION DOLLARS.
DEAL'S OFFICE SAYS PEOPLE CAN APPLY FOR JOBS THROUGH THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF LABOR ONCE THE COMPANY IS READY TO TAKE APPLICATIONS
LAST WEEK... WE BROUGHT YOU A STORY ABOUT PLANS THAT COULD MAKE IT UNLAWFUL FOR YARD CLIPPINGS TO END UP IN THE STREET.
AMY AUBERT WENT TO A MACON COUNCIL COMMITTEE MEETING TONIGHT... AND TELLS YOU WHY THE GROUP SAYS... THEY'RE IN FAVOR OF THE ORDINANCE.
THE ORDINANCE SAYS THE MINIMUM FINE WOULD BE 25 DOLLARS... BUT COUNCILWOMAN WHITE SAYS THAT NUMBER COULD JUMP TO 500.
PRESIDENT TIMLEY SUGGESTED A SET FINE FOR ANY VIOLATION... AND SAYS 25 BUCKS IS TOO LITTLE.
WHITE SAYS SHE LIKEs THE GRAY AREA... BECAUSE NOT EVERY SITUATION WILL BE THE SAME.
MACON MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT THREW OUT SEVERAL IDEAS IN TONIGHT'S CITY COUNCIL WORK SESSION.
HE SAYS LETTING COUNCIL KNOW ABOUT HIS PLANS... EVEN IN THE EARLIEST STAGES... IS A PART OF TRYING TO IMPROVE COMMUNICATION BETWEEN CITY COUNCIL AND MAYORAL STAFF.
COMMUNICATION WAS A HOT TOPIC AT JANUARY'S COUNCIL RETREAT... AND MEMBERS TOLD REICHERT THEY'D LIKE TO HEAR BASIC IDEAS... EVEN IF HE DOESN'T HAVE SPECIFIC DETAILS.
REICHERT TALKED ABOUT THE EMPLOYEE TRANSFERS AND THREW OUT THE IDEA OF POSSIBLY HAVING THE CITY EMPLOYEES REMAIN ON SAME RETIREMENT PLAN... EVEN AFTER THEY'RE TRANSFERED TO THE COUNTY.
Mayor Robert Recihert, Macon: "Any contribution that the county would have made to their pension plan would instead be directed to the city of Macon, be deposited into our pension plan. The employee would have no pension with Bibb County but would continue pension benefits onto our plan so they could continue to accrue years of service toward ultimate retirement."
MAYOR REICHERT SAYS THOSE PLANS ARE IN THE FIRST STAGES... BUT HE HAS BROUGHT IT UP TO COUNTY COMMISSIONERS.
REICHERT ALSO BROUGHT UP TH talking about taking the streets division of public works and combining it, so you have streets and parks. Because you clean streets, and you mow the grass, and you those in tandum and at the same time so that you don't sweep the street and then mow the grass and you got grass clippings all out in the street."
REICHERT SAYS BOTH IDEAS ARE IN THE EARLY STAGES... BUT HE HOPES TO PRESENT MORE THOROUGH INFORMATION TO COUNCIL SOON.
HE COULD NOT GIVE A TIMELINE OF WHEN THAT WILL BE.
THE EMPLOYEE TRANSFER TAKES PLACE JULY FIRST.
HOUSTON COUNTY'S COMMISSION CHAIRMAN SAYS IF VOTERS EXTEND A PENNY SALES TAX IN MARCH... THERE'S A "GOOD CHANCE" PROPERTY TAXES WILL BE LOWER IN THE FUTURE.
TOMMY STALNAKER SAID THAT AT A MEETING OF THE WARNER ROBINS ROTARY CLUB TODAY.
STALNAKER TOLD THE GROUP THAT THE ESTIMATED 155 MILLION DOLLAR SALES TAX COLLECTION... COULD PAY FOR SOME OF THE PROJECTS CURRENTLY PAID FOR WITH PROPERTY TAXES.
HE SAID VOTERS SHOULDN'T EXPECT TO SEE TAXES GO DOWN IMMEDIATELY.
BUT AFTER A FEW YEARS OF COLLECTIONS... STALNAKER SAID HE'LL DO EVERYTHING IN HIS POWER TO LOWER THE PROPERTY TAX RATE.
Tommy Stalnaker: (10:00) "I think that's important. I think people would like to see government tighten it's belt. Were asking people for a continuation of a tax. Were not asking people for a new tax. Their saying you want this continued, you need to do everything you can to maintain the level of service at the cost you currently have. Therefore, we in Houston County feel like we have tightened down and pulled the belt up. Were willing to continue to tighten it."
HOUSTON COUNTY VOTERS CAN VOTE ON THE SALES TAX QUESTION ON SUPER TUESDAY... MARCH 6TH.
WE HAVE A CORRECTION TO MAKE... TONIGHT'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY IS TELEAH JACKSON WALKER....
NOW WE ANNOUNCED HER YESTERDAY BY MISTAKE...
MONDAY'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY WINNER IS SHERRI LORD DAWSON
SO... SHERRI AND TELEAH...
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