GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M FRANK MALLOY..
AND I'M LEAH JOHNSON..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.
SEVERAL BIBB COUNTY PARENTS MARCHED THROUGH DOWNTOWN MACON TODAY.. HOPING TO GET SOME OF THERE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE MACON MIRACLE ... BUT SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER GARY BECHTEL SAID...HE'S IN THE DARK TOO.
AS KATELYN HECK REPORTS... BECHTEL TOLD THE NEARLY 30 PROTESTORS.. HE'S ALSO LOOKING FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE SUPERINTENDENT'S PLAN..
NEARLY 30 PEOPLE MARCHED THROUGH DOWNTOWN MACON... SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS ABOUT THE MACON MIRACLE PLAN....
BUT WHEN THEY REACHED THE BIBB SCHOOL BOARD OFFICE... THEY DIDNT QUITE GET THEY WERE LOOKING FOR.
(NATS: "youre on the board and you dont know any more than we know, is that a fair statement?" "thats a very fair statement")
SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER GARY BECHTEL MET THE GROUP OUTSIDE.
PROTESTORS HANDED HIM A LIST OF CONCERNS... (NATS) BUT BECHTEL SAYS HE HAS HIS *OWN* QUESTIONS ABOUT SUPERINTENDENT ROMAIN DALLEMANDS PLAN.
(NATS: i cant make a decision because i dont have all the information.)
QUESTIONS POURED FROM PARENTS... (NATS) BUT AFTER ALMOST THIRTY MINUTES... THE CONVERSATION RAN DRY.
BUT BOTH BECHTEL AND PARENTS AGREE... THERE ARE STILL TOO MANY LOOSE ENDS TO THE MACON MIRACLE PLAN.
(BECHTEL SOT:where are we going to get the money for the ten hours extended even for those children that choose to do it. ive got no detail points on the consultants that are going to be hired. i got no detail on the number of schools that are going to be closed. it's just countless questions and other board members have questions as well.)
BECHTEL SAYS THATS JUST A SMALL PORTION OF HIS LONG LIST OF QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PLAN.
(SOT: based on what Ive seen... I couldnt support it.)
AFTER THE GROUP DISPERSED... PARENT ANDY WILSON LEFT WANTING BETTER COMMUNICATION BETWEEN DALLEMAND AND BIBB PARENTS.
(SOT: just be a man.. be strong... talk to us.... answer our questions... how hard is that?)
BUT WILSON SAYS THE FIGHT DOESN'T STOP HERE.... HE PLANS TO CONTINUE ASKING QUESTIONS... UNTIL SOMEONE CAN GIVE HIM ANSWERS.
13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
BECHTEL SAYS HE DOES NOT EXPECT THE BOARD TO VOTE ON THE PLAN ANY TIME SOON.
HE SAYS HE HOPES BOARD MEMBERS WILL RECEIVE MORE INFORMATION BEFORE THEY ARE ASKED TO MAKE ANY DECISIONS.
TOMORROW NIGHT...YOU HAVE ANOTHER CHANCE TO HAVE YOUR SAY ON THE SUPERINTENDENT'S PLAN TO IMPROVE THE SCHOOL SYSTEM.
THERE IS A PUBLIC HEARING ON THE PROPOSAL AT CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL AT 6 P.M.
IF YOU WANT TO ADDRESS THE BOARD... YOU NEED TO ARRIVE EARLY AND FILL OUT A FORM.
BOARD PRESIDENT TOMMY BARNES SAID THE BOARD HASN'T SCHEDULED A VOTE YET ON THE PLAN..
THE ACTING CHIEF OF BIBB COUNTY'S CAMPUS POLICE...STEPHANIE PRATER... WILL RETURN TO THE JOB TOMORROW.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO HER LAWYER....CHARLES COX.
PRATER'S BEEN ON LEAVE FOR NEARLY A MONTH... WHILE SCHOOL OFFICIALS INVESTIGATED HOW SHE HANDLED A REPORTED RAPE AT NORTHEAST HIGH SCHOOL.
SUPERINTENDENT ROMAINE DALLEMAND SAYS SHE FAILED TO KEEP HER BOSSES UPDATED ON THE CASE.
BUT COX PRODUCED EMAILS... THAT SEEMED TO CONTRADICT THAT.
PRATER SAYS SHE KNEW SHE WOULD BE RE-INSTATED BECAUSE SHE DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG.
"I just never had any doubt that I had done anything wrong so I just stayed positive and just wanted to work through the process and let the system work it was out and work the sitituation out."
PRATER SAYS SHE HAS NO HARD FEELINGS ABOUT BEING PLACE ON THE LEAVE.
SHE SAYS SHE JUST READY TO GET BACK TO WORK.
"I have work to do, I have taken a oath and I have sworn to take that oath and I'm an ethical person and I'm going to continue to do the job that I've always done. "
SCHOOL SPOKESWOMAN STEPHANIE HARTLEY CONFIRMED THAT PRATER RETURNS TOMORROW AS INTERIM CHIEF... BUT COULD NOT COMMENT FURTHER ON THE CASE.
CHARGES AGAINST THE SEVEN NORTHEAST STUDENTS CHARGED WERE LATER DROPPED.. AFTER MACON POLICE SAID THEY WERE FALSELY ACCUSED... BY THE ALLEGED VICTIM.
HEAD COACH BOB HOFFMAN A LITTLE NERVOUS HEADING INTO TONIGHT'S TOURNAMENT OPNER..
THE BEARS BUD THOMAS THREE FROM THE TOP OF THE KEY...ITS ALL GOOD
LANGSTON HALL FLOATER IN THE LANE OF HIS OWN MISS - HALL HAD 11... MERCER LEADS BY 4..
JUST BEFORE THE HALF... THOMAS HITS ANOTHER THREE..HE FINISHED WITH 10 POINTS..
LIPSCOMB PLAYS TOUGH BUT THE BEARS SURVIVE - 61 TO 53 YOUR FINAL..
WE'LL HAVE MORE COMING UP A LITTLE LATER IN THE SPORTS SEGMENT..
ben gives three day forecast
THANKS BEN.. WE'LL TALK WITH YOU AGAIN IN JUST A FEW MINUTES.
MILLEDGEVILLE POLICE SAY THEY'RE STILL TREATING THE STABBING DEATH OF 19-YEAR-OLD LAUREN BASWELL AS A POSSIBLE HOMICIDE... EVEN THOUGH HER BOYFRIEND SAYS SHE STABBED HERSELF.
POLICE CHIEF DRAY SWICORD SAYS JUST AFTER 11 LAST NIGHT... POLICE RESPONDED TO A 9-11 CALL FROM A HOME OFF VINSON HIGHWAY WHERE BASWELL'S BOYFRIEND SETH GLENN LIVES.
GLENN CALLED 9-11.
BASWELL WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT OCONEE REGIONAL HOSPITAL.
HE SAYS BASWELL WAS STRESSED AND AGITATED TUESDAY NIGHT AND DECIDED TO TAKE HER OWN LIFE.
"She made a few laps like i said I was on the couch and all of a sudden I hear a sound, she's standing there, she looks at me, she said something about suicide and that was it. She fell out and that was her last workds and I told her I loved her and held her hand and that was it."
SWICORD SAYS GLENN HAS BEEN VERY COOPERATIVE AS POLICE QUESTIONED HIM THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT.
HE WOULD NOT NAME GLENN AS A SUSPECT.
G-O-P PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL NEWT GINGRICH CONTINUES HIS MARCH THROUGH GEORGIA IN HOPES OF CAPTURING HIS HOME STATE IN TUESDAY'S SUPER TUESDAY PRIMARY.
THE FORMER U-S HOUSE SPEAKER BEGAN HIS DAY BY ADDRESSING THE GEORGIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AT THE CAPITOL.
GINGRICH SAYS HE MUST WIN GEORGIA TO KEEP HIS CAMPAIGN GOING.
Newt Gingrich, GOP Presidential Hopeful: I really believe that with the help of my many friends here that we're going to win the georgia primary and win it decisively that is the key building block that we have to have to move forward in the presidential campaignso Georgia really does matter and the campaigning we're doing for the next few days really does matter
WHILE AT THE CAPITOL.. GINGRICH GAVE BRIEF ONE-ON-ONE INTERVIEWS WITH VARIOUS MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES FROM AROUND THE STATE.
HE ANSWERED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ECONOMY.. THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN.. AND BALANCING THE FEDERAL BUDGET.
TOMORROW... GINGRICH PLANS TO STOP IN CENTRAL GEORGIA.
HE PLANS TO VISIT THE HEPZHIBAH CHILDREN'S HOME ON ZEBULON ROAD IN WEST BIBB COUNTY FOR TWO EVENTS.
FIRST GINGRICH'LL HOST A PRIVATE FUNDRAISER FOR HIS CAMPAIGN AT 6.
THEN AT 7.... THE PUBLIC IS INVITED TO A GINGRICH RALLY AT THE CHILDREN'S HOME.
ANOTHER FAMILIAR FACE WILL COME ALONG ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL.
SUPPORTER MAURICE ATKINSON SAYS FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE HERMAIN CAIN WILL BE THERE TO CAMPAIGN FOR GINGRICH.
SEVERAL COMMUNITY BUSINESSESS MADE THEIR WAY TO THE STATE CAPITOL TODAY.
WE'LL TELL YOU HOW 'MACON DAY' HELPED NEW LEADERS NETWORK WITH OLD ONES.
PLUS... HEAR FROM A WARNER ROBINS PASTOR WHO SAYS HE WANTS ANSWERS.. AFTER SOMEONE VANDALIZED HIS CHURCH.
WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK .
SEVERAL MACON LEADERS GOT A CHANCE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT GEORGIA'S GOVERNMENT AND DO SOME NETWORKING.
IT'S WAS ALL PART OF MACON DAY.. AT THE STATE CAPITOL.
MEMBERS OF THE LEADERSHIP MACON CLASS... THE ENTIRE CHAMBER BOARD AND SOME MEMBERS OF THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ATTENDED A ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SESSION THIS MORNING.
THE GROUP ALSO GOT A CHANCE TO HEAR UPDATES FROM BIBB DELEGATES ABOUT THE STATUS OF CURRENT LEGISLATION.
MACON DEMOCRAT AND HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE NIKKI RANDALL SAYS THE EVENT ALLOWS RISING LEADERS TO MEET CURRENT ONES.
"It allows up and coming leaders that are part of the leadership Macon class to interact with some of our exsisting leaders, our business owners, business communit, our chamber board.. and I think its a good experience for those interested in taking on leadership roles here in Macon"
"Its a fun day to have folks from Macon up here to visit with us but also to tell everybody in the general assembly what a good place we got to live down in Macon"
MACON DAY WRAPPED UP WITH GIAINT COCKTAIL DINNER.. CALLED 'A TASTE OF MACON'
THE DINNER FEATURED FOOD FROM SEVERAL MACON RESTUARANTS.
THE PASTOR OF A WARNER ROBINS CATHOLIC CHURCH CONGREGATION SAYS HE WANTS TO KNOW WHY SOMEONE DAMAGED HIS CHURCH.
FATHER FRED NIJEM SAYS HE HOPES IT WAS A PRANK... NOT A HATE CRIME.
A CLEANING CREW OF FIFTEEN CONTINUED SCRUBBING THE SACRED HEART CHURCH TODAY.
THAT'S AFTER INVESTIGATORS SAY SOMEONE EMPTIED TWO FIRE EXTINGUISHERS INSIDE THE SANCTUARY AND CHURCH BUILDING.
THE DUST COVERED EVERYTHING... AND THEY BELIEVE IT HAPPENED YESTERDAY AFTERNOON.
NIJEM SAID THEY PLAN TO GET IT CLEANED-UP IN TIME FOR THE CHURCH BUILDING'S FIFTH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION SUNDAY.
Frank Nijem, Warner Robins: "You feel anger that someone would do this and disrupt the lives of people and their worship. We normally have service every morning. We were not able to do so today."
THE WARNER ROBINS POLICE DEPARTMENT SAYS THEY ARE INVESTIGATING THE CASE... BUT DO NOT HAVE ANY FURTHER INFORMATION AT THIS TIME.
TONIGHT'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY IS MARIE ZIMMER.
MARIE... YOU'LL NEED TO EMAIL FAN OF THE DAY AT 13WMAZ DOT COM TO CLAIM YOUR COFFEE MUG.
NOW... GETTING INTO THE RUNNING FOR FAN OF THE DAY IS AN EASY THREE-STEP PROCESS.
ONE... VISIT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ.
TWO... BECOME A FAN... AND THREE... GET IN ON THE CONVERSATIONS.
WE PICK OUR FAN OF THE DAY RANDOMLY.
THAT'S IT FOR SPORTS... EYEWITNESS NEWS CONTINUES.. AFTER THE BREAK.
A SPECIAL WEDDING CEREMONY GOT UNDERWAY TONIGHT TO CELEBRATE A HAPPY UNION AND LEAP YEAR.
AFTER ALMOST TWO YEARS OF DATING... JODI AND MICHAEL LAWRENCE TOOK A LEAP OF LOVE THIS LEAP YEAR IN FRONT OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS AT THE HAY HOUSE IN DOWNTOWN MACON.
IN AN OUTDOOR SETTING.... THE BRIDE AND GROOM EXCHANGED VOWS AND RINGS AND TINY TOY FROGS WERE GIVEN OUT AS PARTY FAVORS TO SYMBOLIZE THEIR LEAP YEAR WEDDING.
THE COUPLE SAYS THEY SPENT A LOT OF TIME TRYING TO DECIDE WHICH DAY OF THE YEAR THEY WANTED AS THEIR WEDDING DATE.
"Originally we kind of thought 11,11,11. Then we thought, 9,10,11 and ultimately we kinda kept pushing it back a little and we just decided it would be today. We wanted something unique and different. And besides, I only want to have to celebrate my anniversary every four years (Jodi: That's what you think!). It's easier to remember that way."
MICHAEL DESCRIBES HIS NEW WIFE AS AMAZING AND SAYS THEY'LL ACTUALLY CELEBRATE THEIR ANNIVERSARY ON FEBRUARY 28TH AND MARCH FIRST.
THANKS FOR JOINING US.... FIRST MORNIN COMES YOUR WAY AT 5 A-M.
THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.