Wednesday, March 7, Eyewitness News at 11

11:44 PM, Mar 7, 2012   |    comments
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<<opening for eyewitness news at eleven>>

"All in favor of the motion. Please raise your right hand and say I. All opposed likewise opportunity... motion passes. (applause)"

BIBB COUNTY'S SCHOOL BOARD TONIGHT GAVE THE GO-AHEAD TO ROMAIN DALLEMAND'S PLAN FOR IMPROVING THE SCHOOLS.
A PLAN HE CALLS THE MACON MIRACLE.
GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M FRANK MALLOY..

AND I'M LEAH JOHNSON..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.

THE 5-3 VOTE CAME AFTER A MONTH OF DEBATE... THAT INCLUDED PROTEST MARCHES.. PETITIONS... AND SUPPORT FROM MANY LOCAL LEADERS.

DALLEMAND TONIGHT PRESENTED AN UPDATED PLAN AND PROVIDED CLARIFICATION ON OTHER POINTS.

HE STILL WANTS EVERY BIBB COUNTY STUDENT TO LEARN MANDARIN CHINESE...BUT SAYS IT'S NOT MANDATORY.

HE'S DROPPED SOME OF THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL POINTS....LIKE REVAMPING THE SCHOOLS GRADE STRUCTURE...AND CLOSING UP TO A DOZEN SCHOOLS.

THE SCHOOL BOARD SAID THE PLAN'S KEY INTIATIVES LIKE PORTFOLIO SCHOOLING WON'T HAPPEN UNTIL THEY VOTE AGAIN TO APPROVE A TIMELINE...BUDGET...AND ACTION PLAN FOR EACH ONE.
CANDACE ADORKA HAS MORE ON HOW THE SCHOOL BOARD VOTED... AND WHY.

<<
THREE SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS... GARY BECHTEL... SUSAN SIPE... AND LYNN FARMER... VOTED AGAINST THE MACON MIRACLE PLAN.
BECHTEL SAYS THEY ANTICIPATED THE VOTE AND PREPARED A STATEMENT LISTING REASONS FOR THEIR NO VOTE.
THE ONE CONCERN THAT COMES UP THROUGHOUT THEIR TWO-PAGE EXPLANATION WAS THE LACK OF A BUDGET IN THE STRATEGIC PLAN.

"My no vote is really a vote for accountability and transparency and fiscal responsibility which i feel have been lacking in this whole process I mean we really are just about the tax payor money and we're accountable for that.
"It gives me pause to provide this administration and this superintendent any more money without some accountability without a budget without something we can hold him accountable to. This was not it tonight this was a blank check."

SUPERINTENDENT DALLEMAND HAS ESTIMATED IT WILL TAKE BETWEEN 7 AND 9 MILLION DOLLARS TO IMPELENT THE PLAN.
HE SAYS THE DISTRICT WOULD NEED MORE TIME TO COLLECT DATA TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH CERTAIN INITIATIVES WOULD COST.
BEYOND THAT... HE SAYS THE BOARD STILL HAS ULTIMATE CONTROL OF THE PURSE STRINGS.

"Bottom line is we have to bring the bidget to the board for the board to approve. We cannot move forward unless the board approves the budget and the other thing is this, if we dont' have the money, we will have to forgo certain initiatives."

BECHTEL... SIPE... AND FARMER ARE CALLING FOR THE SCHOOL BOARD AUDITOR OR AN INDEPENDENT LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY TO INVESTIGATE DALLEMAND'S SPENDING OVER THE LAST 13 MONTHS TO MAKE SURE ITS IN LINE WITH BOARD PRACTICES.
DALLEMAND SAYS HIS NEXT STEP WILL BE TO FINISH HIS MANAGEMENT PLAN WHICH SCHOOL PRINCIPALS WILL USE TO CREATE INDIVIDUAL SCHOOL PLANS.
FRANK?
>>

TOM HUDSON... WAS ONE OF THE SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS WHO VOTED FOR THE PLAN.
HE JOINS US NOW.
(AD LIB INVU)


ROMAIN DALLEMAND FIRST PRESENTED HIS STRATEGIC PLAN TO BOARD ON FEBRUARY THE THIRD AND THEN TO THE PUBLIC ON FEBRUARY 10TH.
LEAH'S HAS A BREAK DOWN OF SOME OF THE KEY POINTS INCLUDED IN THE MACON MIRACLE.

<<
ROMAIN DALLEMAND'S ORIGINAL STRATEGIC PLAN CONTAINS MORE THAN 170 ACTION STEPS.
THEY COVER ALMOST EVERY AREA OF EDUCATION... FROM TESTING TO TECHNOLOGY TO FOOD SERVICE.
SOME GOT A LOT OF ATTENTION.
OTHERS ARE LESS CONTROVERSIAL... LIKE TIGHTENING UP THE DISTRICT'S SPENDING PRACTICES.... AND MOVING TOWARD A PAPERLESS OPERATION.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE KEY ACTION STEPS...
TAKE CG
PLAN A YEAR-ROUND CALENDAR TO BOOST INSTRUCTION TIME.
TAKE CG
CREATE A PROCESS FOR REFERRING STUDENTS TO MENTAL-HEALTH SERVICES.
TAKE CG
TRAIN ALL TEACHERS IN GIFTED STRATEGIES TO BE USED "IN ALL CLASSES AT ALL LEVELS."
AKE CG
SET UP A SYSTEM OF PORTFOLIO SCHOOLS... WHERE STUDENTS COULD CHOOSE A SCHOOL THAT FOCUSES ON THEIR AREA OF INTEREST.
TAKE CG
AND CHANGE UP PRINCIPALS AND DEPARTMENT HEADS EVERY FIVE YEARS;
TAKE CG
PROVIDE DORMITORY-STYLE HOUSING FOR STUDENTS WITH UNSTABLE HOME SITUATIONS;
TAKE CG
CHANGE HIGH SCHOOLS FROM A FOUR-BLOCK SCHEDULE TO A SEVEN-PERIOD DAY;
TAKE CG
PROVIDE INTERNET ACCESS FOR ALL AND FREE HOME COMPUTERS FOR NEEDY STUDENTS;
LEAH AT CHROMA
AND TONIGHT.... DALLEMAND DESCRIBED MORE THAN A DOZEN NEW CHANGES.
MANY INVOLVED SCHOOL SAFETY.... LIKE CREATING NEW PROCEDURES FOR HANDLING DANGEROUS STUDENTS... PUTTING MENTAL HEALTH THERAPISTS AT ALTERNATIVE LEARNING SITES... AND A NEW SYSTEM FOR REPORTING BULLYING.
LEAH AT CHROMA WALL
STILL AHEAD ON EYEWITNESS NEWS...
WIPE TO VO NAT
LIGHTS.. CAMERA.. ACTION... HOLLLYWOOD IS COMING TO MACON TOMORROW.
WE'LL SHOW WHAT WAS BEING DONE TO PREP FOR CLINT EASTWOOD'S MOVIE.. AFTER THE BREAK.
>>

CHEERS RESTAURANT ON NORTHSIDE DRIVE IS TAKING CENTER STAGE AS PRODUCTION CREWS SPENT TODAY SETTING UP FOR CLINT EASTWOOD'S NEW FILM, TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE.

THE CREW SWITCHED OUT CHAIRS AND MADE A FEW MINOR CHANGES... LIKE TAKING THE LOGO OFF THE WINDOWS.
INSIDE A NEIGHBORING BUSINESS EIGHT YEAR OLD BROOKE RAMSINGH SAYS SHE'S EXCITED TO SEE ALL THE COMMOTION...EVEN IF SHE'S UNSURE WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT.

There's like this big movie star. He's coming here and he's going to make this movie about this restaurant...Cheers, I think.

EASTWOOD'S FILM HAS A BASEBALL THEME.
AND TOMORROW...THE EXCITEMENT WILL MOVE TO LUTHER WILLIAMS FIELD....WHERE THEY'RE EXPECED TO STAGE A FICTIONAL MINOR LEAGUE GAME.

WE CAUGHT UP WITH ONE CENTRAL GEORGIAN WHO WILL TAKE TO THE BASEBALL DIAMOND AT LUTHER WILLIAMS FIELD TOMORROW.

WE TALKED WITH HIM ABOUT HIS LOVE FOR BASEBALL AND THE CHANCE TO APPEAR ON THE BIG SCREEN.

<<
Matt Still, McDonough: 00:43 I've grown up playing baseball my entire life ever since I was four years old, I played whiffle ball with my dad back in my grandsparents backyard,

THAT PRACTICE PREPARED MATT STILL FOR THE BIG BREAK HE LANDED IN A MOVIE ABOUT BASEBALL.
THREE WEEKS AGO.... CASTING AGENTS PICKED STILL AND A FEW OTHERS OUT OF HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE WHO AUDITIONED FOR THE PARTS.

Matt Still, McDonough: It was a little overwhelming seeing that long, long line. They said that there was about 600 people who tried out for this who were audition it was just like trying out for a baseball team in high school or college you know we got put through the ringer and I think they said only about 12 people made it.

HE'LL BE PLAYING CENTER FIELD THURSDAY WEARING NUMBER 39... ... GOING BY THE CHARACTER NAME... CRAWFORD.
HE SAYS HE HEARD ABOUT THE AUDITION FROM A FRIEND IN THE MILITARY

SOT: Matt Still, McDonough:01:26 My buddy who is still in the airforce he is actually overseas right now serving, and he sent me a message on facebook and said Hey Matt, there's a baseball movie being filmed down in Macon and I think you should go try out for it.

MATT SAYS HE'S EXCITED ABOUT THE APPEARING IN THE MOVIE AND LOOKS FORWARD TO SHARING THE EXPERIENCE FOR YEARS TO COME.

Matt Still, McDonough:05:13 I'm doing this because I love the game of baseball this is my chance to mark that off my list to say that you know i did something really big with baseball and I'll have this as a memory for the rest of my life.
>>

TONIGHT... CREWS ARE PREPARING THE AREA AROUND LUTHER WILLIAMS FOR THE SHOOT.
MACON POLICE SAY THEY'RE CLOSING OFF MUCH OF CENTRAL CITY PARK.

STARTING TONIGHT...THEY SHUT DOWN TRAFFIC IN THE PARK BETWEEN THE ROUND BUILDING... AND LOWER POPLAR STREET.
THEY ARE NOT ALLOWING UNAUTHORIZED PEOPLETO WALK NEAR THE BALLFIELD AND NO CAMERAS ARE ALLOWED.
THE AREA WILL BE CLOSED OFF THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING.





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WE PICK OUR FAN OF THE DAY RANDOMLY.

AND ONE LAST QUICK LOOK AT TOMORROW'S FORECAST WITH CHIEF METEOROLOGIST BEN JONES.



THANKS FOR JOINING US.... FIRST MORNIN COMES YOUR WAY AT 5 A-M.

THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.

LETTERMAN'S NEXT.

HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.

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