<<opening for eyewitness news at eleven>>
GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M FRANK MALLOY..
AND I'M LEAH JOHNSON..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.
BIBB COUNTY SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT DR. ROMAIN DALLEMAND'S PLAN TO OVERHAUL THE BIBB COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM IS GETTING MIXED REVIEWS.
MANY OF YOU HAVE EXPRESSED YOUR DISAGREEMENT WITH NEW DEAL ON FACEBOOK...
BUT JENNIFER MOULLIET SPOKE WITH PASTORS AND PARENTS IN THE COMMUNITY WHO FEEL DIFFERENTLY.
Reverend Ronald Terry, New Fellowship Baptist Church: "We want the town, the city, the county, the nation to know that we want a system that's first class that will be for every child regardless if they're from the north, east, south or west."
REVEREND RONALD TERRY JOINED ABOUT A DOZEN OTHER CHURCH LEADERS TO SUPPORT SUPERINTENDENT ROMAIN DALLEMAND'S 170-POINT STRATEGIC PLAN.
PASTOR DONNIE BRYANT WAS ONE OF THEM...BUT HE ALSO SAYS THOSE PROPOSED CHANGES CAN BE HARD TO SWALLOW.
"when you look at the extremity of our situation I quote Dr. Martin Luther King by saying sometimes to get out of an extreme situation it requires extreme solutions and we think this is extreme but we need it we can't wait any longer we have to have it."
ONE PROPOSAL WOULD GRADUALLY SHIFT BIBB TO A YEAR-ROUND SCHOOL SYSTEM..
BIBB COUNTY TEACHER ATRICIA CURTIS WELCOMES THAT...SAYING IT GIVES STUDENTS EXTRA TIME TO CATCH UP..
"There are too many students that are being passed on but you can only pass them on so far."
SHE SAYS SHE AGREES WITH DALLEMAND'S STRATEGY TO TARGET STUDENTS FROM KINDERGARTEN THROUGH THIRD GRADE
"If you don't get them there you can pretty much forget it."
WE SPOKE WITH MORE THAN TWO DOZEN PARENTS... AND MOST AGREED WITH DALLEMAND'S CHANGES... LIKE REQUIRING STUDENTS TO LEARN MANDARIN CHINESE.... AND GOING TO SCHOOL YEAR ROUND.
Muriel Stewart, parent:" kids learn better in little increments versus eight and a half hour days the kids get kind of irritable at the end of the day."
Raynard Little, Parent: ""a lot of them will probably want to go across seas and actually see better things and apply themselves in that culture."
EVERYONE WE SPOKE TO AGREES IT'S WORTH A SHOT.
"We'll try it and see how it goes."
"If we don't try it than we'll never know if it would have worked."
JENNIFER MOULLIET 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
AS WE SAID MANY OF THOSE WHO OPPOSE DALLEMAND'S PLAN... HAVE SOUNDED OFF ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE...
CATHY MARRERO SANTAMARINA SAID: THIS IS THE WORST IDEA EVER.
CHILDREN NEED TO BE EDUCATED IN ALL SUBJECTS, NOT JUST WHAT INTERESTS THEM.
I DO THINK THINGS NEED TO BE DONE DIFFERENTLY IN BIBB COUNTY, BUT THIS IS NOT THE ANSWER
AND JARRETT HENDERSON: HALF OF THE BIBB COUNTY STUDENTS CAN BARELY PASS THE WRITING TEST PARTS OF GEORGIA HIGH SCHOOL'S GRADUATION TEST.
I THINK THE BIBB SCHOOL SUPERINTENT IS CONFUSED ABOUT WHAT THE BIBB COUNTY PARENS, TEACHERS, AND STUDENTS NEED.
FORMER MACON MAYOR C. JACK ELLIS SAYS THE CITY'S AFRICAN-AMERICANS SUPPORT SUPERINTENDENT DALLEMAND'S STRATEGIC PLAN.
THE PLAN INCLUDES A SYSTEM OF SPECIALTY SCHOOLS...THAT HE CALLS PORTFOLIO SCHOOLS... GRADUALLY MOVING TOWARD YEAR-ROUND SCHOOLING... AND TEACHING MANDARIN CHINESE TO ALL STUDENTS.
AMO ELLIS SAID IN A NEWS CONFERENCE TODAY THE CITY'S AFRICAN-AMERICANS.... WHICH HE CLAIMS IS 69 PERCENT OF THE MACON COMMUNITY... SUPPORTS DALLEMAND'S PLAN.
BUT HE DID NOT CITE ANY EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THAT CLAIMNG OTHER THINGS
WE'VE HAD SEVERAL OF YOU COMMENT ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE... RESPONDING TO THE FORMER MAYOR'S COMMENTS.
TRACEY WILLIAMS BOSLEY: THE RACE THING IS SO OLD!!! MR.JACK YOU NEED TO JUST GO AWAY!!
MARY AVERY TWILLEY SAID IN RESPONSE TO ELLIS'S CLAIMS... I THINK HE HAS LOST HIS MIND. I'M SURE I'M NOT ALONE.
AND ANN STREB SHAW COMMENTED: WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TOJO TEAGUE SAID: WITH JACK ELLIS EVERY THING IS AFRICAN AMERICAN, BLACK AGAINST WHITE! .... WHY CAN'T HE ACCEPT PEOPLE AS HUMANS .
HE ONLY SEES COLOR! WHY NOT LOOK AND SEE WHAT IS BEST FOR THE CHILDREN.
BE RACIAL WITH THIS MAN? SO SICKENING
MACON CITY COUNCIL PLANS TO LOOK INTO WHETHER THEY SHOULD HIRE A PROJECT MANAGER FOR THE SPLOST PROJECTS.
MEMBERS OF THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE DISCUSSED THE IDEA TONIGHT
FORMER MACON MAYOR C. JACK ELLIS CREATED A PRO'S AND CONS LIST FOR EACH COMMITTEE MEMBER... COVERING DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF PULLING A PROJECT MANAGER ON BOARD.
ELLIS SAYS HE SUPPORTS THE IDEA... AND HE ASKED COMMITTEE MEMBERS TO CONSIDER WORKING WITH THE COUNTY.
MACON MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT SAYS SOME SPLOST PROJECTS MIGHT NOT NEED A MANAGER... BECAUSE THEY PLAN TO DO THEM IN HOUSE
Reichert: "For those projects that council determines we do need a project manager, it might make sense to have the same project manager to do city and county projects, we'll just have to try to figure that out as we go."
MAYOR REICHERT SAYS HE HASN'T SPOKEN TO COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ABOUT THE IDEA YET... BUT PLANS TO TO DO SO SOON
DECEMBER 31ST MARKED THE MIDPOINT FOR THE CITY'S FISCAL YEAR.
AND AT TONIGHT'S APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE MEETING... MEMBERS DISCUSSED THE YEAR'S BUDGET PROGRESS... THUS FAR.
THE CITY'S REVENUE SITS AT 39 POINT 8 MILLION DOLLARS... THAT'S UP TWO PERCENT FROM LAST YEAR.
ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS TOLD COUNCIL THAT'S PRIMARILY DUE TO AN INCREASE IN SALES TAX
COUNCILMAN TOM ELLINGTON SAYS HE'S QUOTE... REASONABLY HAPPY WITH THE FINANCIAL STATE THAT THE CITY IS IN.
A FEW ITEMS WENT OVER BUDGET... BUT ACCORDING TO CITY OFFICIALS... THINGS SHOULD EVEN OUT BY SUMMER.
THEY SAY THAT'S BECAUSE SOME DEPARTMENTS ARE MORE ACTIVE IN CERTAIN MONTHS.
PRESIDENT TIMLEY POINTED OUT THAT BY LAW... A DEPARTMENT HEAD GOING OVER BUDGET WARRANTS A FINE OF 500 DOLLARS.
ELLINGTON SAY THAT ORDINANCE HASN'T YET BEEN INSTITUTED.
Ellington: "I think that this is kind of a shot across the bow, to make sure that we do keep those controls tight but I don't think that anyone was acting in bad faith and I don't want to see anybody punished for running their departments."
ONE OF THE DEPARTMENTS EXCEEDING A BUDGET LINE... WAS PARKS AND REC.
ACCORDING TO CITY ADMINISTRATION... THE DEPARTMENT'S REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE BUDGET SITS AT 4 THOUSAND DOLLARS... BUT THEY SPENT MORE THAN 19 GRAND TO COVER REPAIR AND REPLACEMENT COSTS FOR STOLEN AIR CONDITIONING UNITS.
PARKS AND REC DIRECTOR... DOC DOUGHERTY... SAYS THEY PLAN TO TAKE MEASURES TO KEEP THE THEFTS FROM HAPPENING AGAIN.
HE SAYS THEY PLAN TO PUT SOME OF THE NEW UNITS ON THE ROOFS... FENCE THEM INSIDE CAGES... OR ADD ALARM SYSTEMS
WARNER ROBINS CITY LEADERS WILL CLOCK A FEW EXTRA HOURS TOGETHER THIS WEEK.
A CITY RETREAT STARTS FRIDAY AFTERNOON... AND RUNS THROUGH SATURDAY.
Chuck Shaheen: "Were going to go over our charter. Were going to go over a talk called, "Would you act this way in front of your grandmother?" Our department heads are going to come in and talk about their vision for the year 2012. Some team building things and really get this new council on page with the vision of the city."
SHAHEEN SAYS THE LEADERS OF EACH CITY DEPARTMENT WILL GIVE A BRIEF PRESENTATION TO COUNCIL ON WHAT THEY DO... AND WHERE THEY WANT TO IMPROVE.
NEW COUNCIL MEMBER MIKE DAVIS SAYS HE'S LOOKING FORWARD TO IT AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO LISTEN AND LEARN.
Mike Davis: "I think were all working together, were all communicating good and I think this weekend will be good for us to be together and get to know eachother a little bit better, most of us have known eachother for years anyway."
SHAHEEN SAYS THE RETREAT WAS SUPPOSED TO LAST UNTIL AROUND FOUR SATURDAY AFTERNOON... BUT WILL BE CUT SHORT.
HE SAYS IT WILL END BY 2-30... SO COUNCIL MEMBERS CAN ATTEND FUNERAL FOR LONGTIME CITY EMPLOYEE... BUTCH LUNCEFORD.
IN PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS... THREE MORE STATES HOLD NOMINATING CONTESTS TUESDAY TOMORROW...
EDWARD LAWRENCE HAS MORE ON THE FOUR REMAINING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES.... BATTLING FOR THE PARTY'S NOMINATION
NEWT GINGRICH SAYS MITT ROMNEY'S DAYS AS THE GOP FRONTRUNNER ARE NUMBERED.
"The first ground rule is how do you stop the frontrunner? If you don't stop the frontrunner, then it's over. Between us, I think we're in the process of stopping the frontrunner."
GINGRICH SAYS ROMNEY MAY BE WINNING STATES, BUT HE'S NOT GETTING THE TURNOUT AND VOTER ENTHUSIASM NEEDED TO DEFEAT PRESIDENT OBAMA.
"He's doing well inside this tiny Republican universe by the sheer weight of money, he's shrinking the universe, not expanding it."
ROMNEY IS FRESH FROM HIS SATURDAY WIN IN NEVADA AND IS LEADING IN COLORADO. AT CAMPAIGN STOPS MONDAY, HE CONTINUED ATTACKING PRESIDENT OBAMA.
"i'm afraid, based on the president's own standards, he has failed. he does not deserve a second term."
BUT OFF CAMERA, ROMNEY'S CAMPAIGN IS TALKING MORE ABOUT RICK SANTORUM, WHO LEADS IN MINNESOTA BUT HASN'T WON A STATE SINCE IOWA, MORE THAN A MONTH AGO. SANTORUM SPOKE AT A COLORADO ENERGY SUMMIT MONDAY, AND CRITICIZED THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION'S VIEWS ON FOSSIL FUELS.
"we have hundreds of years of coal. Well over a hundred years of oil and probably a couple hundred years that we don't even know yet how much gas we have. And the President does not look at that as an asset for our country."
RON PAUL CAMPAIGNED IN MINNESOTA MONDAY... HOPING TO MAKE THAT STATE HIS FIRST VICTORY.
MISSOURI IS HOLDING ITS PRIMARY TOMORROW, BUT THERE ARE NO DELEGATES AT STAKE.
SOME PLANTS ARE ALREADY STARTING TO BLOSSOM HERE IN CENTRAL GEORGIA.
WARM WINTER WEATHER CAUSED MANY PLANTS TO POP UP EARLY... BUT THAT COULD MEAN THE FLOWER BUDS WILL HAVE A HARD TIME STAYING AROUND.
MACON STATE ARBORIST... DERRICK CATLETT... SAYS MANY EARLY BLOOMERS WILL STRUGGLE TO SURVIVE THROUGH THE SUMMER.
HE SAYS MANY PLANTS WILL PRODUCE FEWER BUDS... AND FLOWERS COULD START TO WILT SOONER THAN USUAL
CATLETT SAYS HIS BIGGEST FEAR IS A LATE COLD SNAP IN MARCH... BUT COOLER TEMPERATURES IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS WOULD HELP SLOW DOWN THE EARLY GROWTH.
The plant itself won't die. It will just be the flower buds that get killed off the stems. So the stems will still be alive and they will put on new buds for next spring, and by next spring you'll never really notice it.
CATLETT SUGGESTS MOVING CONTAINER PLANTS TO A COOL, SHADY AREA.
HE ALSO SAYS PEOPLE SHOULD WAIT TO PRUNE ROSES AND OTHER PLANTS UNTIL LATE FEBRUARY OR EARLY MARCH