Thursday, February 23, Eyewitness News at 6

6:54 PM, Feb 23, 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...

TONIGHT... BIBB COUNTY PARENTS AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS GET A CHANCE TO COMMENT ON ROMAIN DALLEMAND'S STRATEGIC PLAN... WHAT HE CALLS HIS "MACON MIRACLE."
THE DISTRICT IS HOSTING A PUBLIC FORUM AT SOUTHWEST HIGH SCHOOL... AND IT'S EXPECTED TO GET STARTED ANY MINUTE NOW.
ABOUT 100 PEOPLE ARE THERE.
THE DISTRICT SAYS ONLY PEOPLE WHO FILLED OUT A FORM BEFORE THE MEETING WILL BE ABLE TO COMMENT DURING THE FORUM.
CANDACE ADORKA AND AUSTIN LEWIS ARE AT SOUTHWEST HIGH SCHOOL... AND THEY'LL HAVE MORE TONIGHT ON EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.

SUPERINTENDENT ROMAIN DALLEMAND SAID HE'S ALREADY LISTENING TO COMMUNITY FEEBACK ABOUT THE PLAN.
LAST NIGHT... HE BACKED OFF HIS PROPOSAL TO REALIGN GRADE LEVELS TO SAVE MONEY.
HE SAYS BOARD MEMBERS CAN CHOOSE TO KEEP THE LEVELS AS THEY ARE NOW.
SOME PARENTS TOLD US HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT THE SUPERINTENDENT'S ABOUT FACE.
Brandon Ellen, Macon: I am glad that he didn't do the realignment of the grading system and so now I am all for it.
Nancy Cofer, Macon:I think it's demonstrating that this is a person that is listening and really trying.
Eric Williams: "We're gonna lose money, that's not a good thing. That's not a good thing because I think that extra money could definitely go towards new supplies..."
DALLEMAND ALSO CHANGED THE PART OF THE PLAN THAT WOULD'VE EXTENDED THE SCHOOL DAY FOR ALL STUDENTS.
HE SAYS THE 10 EXTRA HOURS A WEEK IS OFF THE TABLE... BUT HE'LL CONTINUE TO PUSH FOR VOLUNTARY AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS.

TODAY'S 13 WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... HOW DO SUPERINTENDENT DALLEMAND'S CHANGES AFFECT YOUR OPINION OF HIS 'MACON MIRACLE' PLAN?
SO FAR 16 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YOU LIKE IT MORE.
23 PERCENT SAY YOU LIKE IT LESS.
AND 61 PERCENT SAY YOUR OPINION HASN'T CHANGED.
VOTE NOW... VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM AND LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE.

A TREE FELL ON A WOMAN NEAR LAKE ARROWHEAD IN EAST MACON... KILLING HER.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO BIBB COUNTY CORONER LEON JONES.
HE SAYS IT HAPPENED AROUND 2:15 THIS AFTERNOON.
JONES SAYS THE WOMAN WAS FISHING WITH A FRIEND AT THE LAKE NEAR BOWDEN GOLF COURSE WHEN THE WIND BLEW THE TREE DOWN.
MACON POLICE SAY THE VICTIM WAS 57-YEAR-OLD ETHEL MAE RIGGINS OF MACON.
THEY SAY... A WITNESS HEARD A BIG GUST OF WIND.... AND THE TREE CRACKED TWICE... THEN FELL.
POLICE SAY RIGGINS DIED OF BLUNT-FORCE TRAUMA TO THE HEAD.

MAJOR GENERAL ROBERT MCMAHON WILL RETIRE FROM ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE LATER THIS YEAR.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO A BASE NEWS RELEASE.
THE RELEASE SAYS THAT MCMAHON WILL REMAIN IN CENTRAL GEORGIA AFTER 34 YEARS IN THE AIR FORCE.
IN NOVEMBER 2010... HE TOOK OVER AS COMMANDER OF THE WARNER ROBINS AIR LOGISTICS CENTER.
THE RETIREMENT CEREMONY WILL TAKE PLACE IN JUNE.

A STATE BOARD TODAY OFFICIALLY DECLARED THE FORMER HOME OF THE GEORGIA MUSIC HALL OF FAME AS SURPLUS PROPERTY.
THAT LETS THE STATE START THE PROCESS OF FINDING A NEW OWNER OR TENANT.
THE STATE-OWNED HALL OF FAME CLOSED LAST JUNE AFTER THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY CUT OFF FUNDING.
TODAY... THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO SAY THAT THE STATE HAS NO USE FOR THE BUILDING ON MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DRIVE.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO JOHN MOFFATT, THE AGENCY'S CFO.
HE SAID THAT TURNS THE BUILDING OVER TO THE STATE PROPERTIES COMMISSION.
LAST YEAR... THE STATE TURNED DOWN NEW TOWN MACON'S PROPOSAL TO RUN THE HALL OF FAME AND KEEP IT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

STACEY BLOOSDWORTH IS STILL TECHNICALLY THE SHERIFF OF WILCOX COUNTY EVEN THOUGH ON TUESDAY...HE AGREED TO RESIGN.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO COUNTY CHAIRMAN LANIER KING..
HE SAYS THE GOVERNOR MUST SIGN OFF ON THE RESIGNATION BEFORE IT TAKES EFFECT.
BRITTINY BARBER HAS MORE FROM ABBEVILLE...
EARLIER THIS WEEK A FEDERAL JUDGE ORDERED WILCOX COUNTY SHERIFF STACEY BLOODSWORTH TO RESIGN AFTER HE WAS INDICTED ON CHARGES INCLDUING ASSAULTING AN INMATE AND LYING TO FEDERAL AGENTS.
ON THURSDAY PROBATE JUDGE BETTY ANDERSON SAID SHE HAD NOT RECEIVED HIS OFFICIAL LETTER OF RESIGNATION YET. AND THAT TO HER KNOWLEDGE, IT WAS SUPOSSED TO COME FROM THE GOVERNORS' OFFICE.
ANDERSON SAYS SHE WILL APPOINT A NEW SHERIFF BUT SHE'S NOT SURE WHEN THAT WILL HAPPEN.
MEANWHILE PEOPLE IN WILCOX COUNTY ARE STILL DIVIDED ON HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT THE SHERIFF.

Donna Helms: I think it's wonderful. I think it's a blessing for our county. That maybe now somebody good can come in here and make this a better place to live."
Amanda Cook: I can't say anything that would be bad about Stacey but I just know that he's got himself in a lot of trouble I think.
Dewayne Clark Like I say he really helps a lot of people and if there's any favors you need to go to he can help you out, if there's any kind of problem you got."

AN ELECTION FOR THE POSITION OF SHERIFF WAS ALREADY SET FOR THIS NOVEMBER ACCORDING TO THE WILCOX COUNTY ELECTION OFFICE. QUALIFYING FOR THAT RACE BEGINS IN MAY.
IN ABBEVILLE BRITTINY BARBER 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS

On cam
BY LATE THIS AFTERNOON.....BLOODSWORTH HAD NOT SUBMITTED HIS RESIGNATION TO GOVERNOR NATHAN DEAL'S OFFICE.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO DEAL'S SPOKEMAN BRIAN ROBINSON...WHO SAID BLOODSWORTH HAS UNTIL THE END OF THE DAY FRIDAY TO STEP DOWN.
KING SAYS RIGHT NOW...CHIEF DEPUTY LONNIE CURRY IS IN CHARGE AT THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE

STARTING TONIGHT... WE'RE TALKING WITH SUPPORTERS OF THE FINAL FOUR REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES... ON WHY YOU SHOULD VOTE FOR THEIR CANDIDATE.
WE BEGIN WITH NEWT GINGRICH SUPPORTER BILL KNOWLES.
HE EXPLAINS IN HIS OWN WORDS... WHY HE THINKS THE FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE SHOULD BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT.
"My name is Bill Knowles, and I am the 2nd District co-chair for Speaker Gingrich for President and I'm supporting Speaker Gingrich because I know first and foremost on his agenda will be to repeal Obamacare and create jobs. He has proven as Speaker of the House in the 90's that he can work across party lines to do that. He helped create 11 million jobs with tax cuts and the Contract With America. He balanced the budget for four consecutive years, he helped do that. And he will need that bipartisan support to be able to do this as President. Further, I would much rather have Speaker Gingrich as my President in dealing with foreign affairs with people like Ahmadinejad in Iran, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Raul Castro in Cuba... He's much stronger and that's what we need as President of the United States. I'd much rather have him speaking to Ahmadinejad and discussing his nuclear plans than I would President Obama or anyone else in the race right now. But that's why I'm supporting Speaker Gingrich, and I hope you will too."

A BONAIRE MAN SAYS HE NOTICED OVER ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS MISSING FROM HIS BANK ACCOUNT WHEN HE CHECKED HIS ONLINE STATEMENT.
KATELYN HECK EXPLAINS HOW TO DETECT EARLY SIGNS OF CREDIT CARD FRAUD.
<<
(NATS: there was a dollar 93 at mcdonalds even)
SCOTT OSTROW SAYS HE RARELY SWIPES HIS DEBIT CARD... BUT WHEN HE CHECKED HIS ONLINE BANK ACCOUNT... HE NOTICED OVER A THOUSAND DOLLARS MISSING.
(SOT: so i immediately started looking at the other charges and noticed about seven other charges that i know i didnt make.)
HE SAYS ALL OF THE MYSTERIOUS CHARGES CAME FROM THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
(SOT: and i know i havent been in the dominican republic in the past couple of weeks.)
HE SAYS HE USED HIS CARD THREE TIMES THE WEEK THE OVERSEAS CHARGES WERE MADE... ONE OF THOSE PLACES WAS THE LA BERRY FROZEN YOGURT CAFE COMPANY IN WARNER ROBINS.
PRESIDENT OF THE LA'BERRY COMPANY... JACK LARGENT TOLD 13WMAZ YESTERDAY... THE COMPANY HAS TAKEN RESPONSIBILITY FOR SEVERAL COMPLAINTS OF FALSE CHARGES.
OSTROW SAID HE HAS NOT CONTACTED LABERRY OR THE POLICE ABOUT THE PROBLEM WITH HIS CARD...SO IT'S NOT CLEAR WHERE THE BREACH HAPPENED.
CHRISTINE OBRIEN... VICE PRESIDENT OF RISK MANAGEMENT AT ROBINS FEDERAL CREDIT UNION... SAYS SOME PEOPLE CAN SPOT SMALL CLUES ON THEIR BANK STATEMENT TO HELP THEM CATCH A CARD FRAUD CASE EARLY.
(SOT: a lot of times what we see is they obtain the cards they do testing transactions whichmeans theyre sending them in for smller dollar amounts, a dollar, two dollars, twentty dollars to see if that card is good and if they do have the correct information. once they get the approval for the smaller amount then theyre going back and using it for the larger amounts.)
OBRIEN SAYS PEOPLE SHOULD CALL THEIR BANK AND IMMEDIATELY CANCEL THEIR CARD IF THEY SEE SIGNS OF FALSE CHARGES.

KATELYN HECK
13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
>> OBRIEN SUGGESTS PEOPLE MONITOR THEIR ONLINE BANK ACCOUNTS ON A REGULAR BASIS.
SHE SAYS MANY CREDIT CARD COMPANIES HAVE FRAUD PROTECTION PROGRAMS AND WILL RE-IMBURSE CUSTOMERS IF MONEY IS STOLEN.

RECAPPING TONIGHT'S TOP STORY... RIGHT NOW... PARENTS ARE COMMENTING ABOUT THE BIBB COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT'S STRATEGIC PLAN AT A PUBLIC FORUM.
ABOUT 100 PARENTS ARE AT THAT MEETING.
PEOPLE WHO SIGNED UP BEFOREHAND WILL GET A CHANCE TO SPEAK TO THE SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS AND SUPERINTENDENT ROMAIN DALLEMAND.
CANDACE ADORKA AND AUSTIN LEWIS ARE AT THAT MEETING... THEY'LL HAVE UPDATES TONIGHT ON EYEWITNESS NEWS... 13WMAZ DOT COM AND M-A-Z MOBILE.

WE'RE FOCUSING ON OUR "WHERE YOU LIVE" SITES.
TONIGHT... IT'S OFF TO THE MACON PAGE.
CODE FOR AMERICA AND THE CITY OF MACON INVITE YOU TO A FREE TECHNOLOGY FORUM AND COMPUTER CLASSES.
YOU CAN JOIN THE FORUM THIS SATURDAY AT JOSHUA CUP COFFEE FROM 11-30 A-M UNTIL 1 P-M.
THAT FORUM WILL DISCUSS TECHNOLOGY IN MACON... AND HOW TO USE IT TO COMMUNICATE.
FOR A FULL BREAKDOWN... VISIT THE MACON "WHERE YOU LIVE" PAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.

IF YOU'RE UP FOR A BOOT-SKOOTIN GOOD TIME THIS WEEKEND... HEAD TO THE GEORGIA NATIONAL RODEO IN PERRY.
THE FIRST SHOW IS TONIGHT AT THE GEORGIA NATIONAL FAIRGROUNDS.
IT STARTS AT 7-30... BUT IT'S NOT THE FIRST EVENT OF THE DAY.
MORE THAN 16-HUNDRED STUDENTS SHOWED-UP FOR THE STATE'S JUNIOR LIVESTOCK SHOW.
MANY SAY THE COMPETITION BUILDS CHARACTER AND CONFIDENCE.
THE LIVESTOCK COMPETITION CONTINUES THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND... WITH A SPECIAL AWARDS DINNER FOR THE STUDENTS TOMORROW NIGHT.
THERE ARE STILL TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR THE GEORGIA NATIONAL RODEO'S FRIDAY AND SATURDAY SHOWS.

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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