HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.... I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
AND I'M FRANK MALLOY.
THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX...
OUR TOP STORY TONIGHT... A SIX-YEAR-OLD IN MILLEDGEVILLE WAS ARRESTED AND HANDCUFFED... AFTER MISBEHAVING IN SCHOOL.
JUDY LE TRAVELED TO BALDWIN COUNTY TO TALK WITH THE FAMILY AND THE POLICE CHIEF ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED..
NAT: it hurt my hand
MILLEDGEVILLE POLICE HANDCUFFED A SIX-YEAR-OLD CHILD FOR MISBEHAVING IN SCHOOL.
SOT CONSTANCE: 238 she has mood swings some days, which all of us had mood swings some days. i guess that was just one of her bad days that day 246
SOT CANDACE: 156 she might have misbehaved but i don't think she misbehaved to the poitn where she shoudl have been handcuffed and taken downtown to the police department. 213
KINDERGARTNER CELESIA JOHNSON ALLEGEDLY TORE ITEMS OFF THE WALLS AND THREW FURNITURE. ACCORDING TO THE INCIDENT REPORT...JOHNSON KICKED OVER A SHELF THAT INJURED THE PRINCIPAL.
SOT SWICHORD: 323 our policy is that any detainee transported to our station in a patrol vehicle is to be handcuffed in the back. there is no age discrimantion on that rule 335
THE REPORT SAYS THE OFFICER TRIED TO CALM HER DOWN...BUT WHEN SHE RESISTED..THE OFFICER HANDCUFFED HER FOR REASONS OF SAFETY.
sot earnest: 353 a 6yo in kindergarten...they don't have no business calling the police and handcuffing my child 104
sot candace: 138 call the police? is that the first step? or is there any other kind of intervention that can be taken to help that child? 147
MILLEDGEVILL POLICE CHIEF...DRAY SWICORD...SAYS THAT'S STANDARD PROCEDURE...FOR ANYONE...ESPECIALLY A JUVENILE THAT'S BEEN AGRESSIVE.
ACCORDING TO THE REPORT...THE MOTHER COULDN'T BE REACHED...SO THE CHILD WAS TAKEN TO THE POLICE DEPARTMENT.
LATER...POLICE CALLED THE AUNT.
SOT CANDACE: 121 why wasn't the emergency contact in which I was one of them...not notified first? 126
THE KINDERGARTNER IS CHARGED WITH SIMPLE ASSUALT AND DAMAGE TO PROPERTY.
JUDY LE...13WMAZ...EYEWITNESS NEWS.
ALTHOUGH SHE WAS CHARGED.... SWICORD SAID THE SIX-YEAR-OLD WILL NOT BE REQUIRED TO GO TO COURT BECAUSE OF HER AGE.
THE MOTHER... CONSTANCE RUFF...SAYS HER DAUGHTER CAN NOT RETURN TO SCHOOL UNTIL AUGUST.
WE ALSO SPOKE WITH SEVERAL OTHER CENTRAL GEORGIA POLICE AND SHERIFF DEPARTMENTS.
NONE OF THEM COULD REMEMBER HANDCUFFING A CHILD THAT YOUNG.... BUT THEY SAID THAT WOULD BE UP TO THE OFFICER'S DISCRETION...BASED ON WHETHER THE CHILD WAS A THREAT TO HER SAFETY OR ANYONE ELSES.
IT'S APPLICATION SEASON FOR BIBB COUNTY PRIVATE SCHOOLS... AND AFTER THE PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT UNVEILED ITS MACON MIRACLE STraTEGIC PLAN... SOME PRIVATE SCHOOLS SAY THEY SAW AN UPTICK IN INTEREST.
STAN FRANK.. DIRECTOR AT MIDDLE GEORGIA CHRISTIAN SCHOOL SAYS HE SAW A NOTICEABLE SPIKE FROM INQUIRING PARENTS IN EARLY MARCH...
AND KAYE HLAVATY (HLA-va-ty)... PRINCIPAL AT SAINT JOSEPHS CATHOLIC SCHOOL... SAYS SHE MAILED OUT INFORMATION PACKETS TO PARENTS OVER SPRING BREAK... WHICH HAS NEVR HAPPENED BEFORE.
FRANK SAYS PARENTS HAD QUESTIONS ABOUT THE COST OF PRIVATE SCHOOLING... BUT THEY ALSO WANTED TO COMPARE FOREGN LANGUAGE OPTIONS... CLASS SIZES... AND SAFETY.
HLAVATY SAYS PARENTS APPEAR INTERESTED IN EXPLORING THEIR EDUCATION OPTIONS.
"we have 15 plus private shcools now in macon if we were all to close bibb county couldnt handLE IT....the students so at this point its not adversarial its just the right of the parent to get to chose what they want for their own child."
HLAVATY AND FRANK SAY THEY WONT KNOW HOW MUCH OF THAT INTEREST TRANSLATES TO ENROLLMENT UNTIL THE SUMMER...
OTHER SCHOOLS SAY THEY HAVN'T SEEN THAT KIND OF SPIKE.
TATNALL SQUARE ACADEMY... WIMBISH ADVENTIST SCHOOL... AND SAINT ANDREWS MONTESSORI SAY THEIR APPLICATION NUMBERS DON'T SHOW ANY DIFFERENCE.
A HAWKINSVILLE MAN WHO ADMITTED TO KILLING HIS EX-GIRLFRIEND WAS SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS IN PRISON TODAY.
BUT MEMBERS OF THE VICTIM'S FAMILY TOLD KATELYN HECK... THEY DISAGREE WITH A DEAL MADE BY THE PROSECUTOR.
(NATS: "this was her when she was a baby")
FOR BETH BRIDGES AND HER FAMILY... ALL THEY HAVE LEFT OF 18-YEAR-OLD ASHTON BARTLETT ARE MEMORIES AND PICTURES.
(SOT: its still fresh, its like it happened yesterday, so it's going to take a little time)
BARTLETT WAS SHOT IN THE BACK LAST JUNE AFTER SHE MET UP WITH HER EX-BOYFRIEND... 33-YEAR-OLD BARAGO BLACKSHEAR... ON MCDUFFIE STREET IN HAWKINSVILLE.
AS PART OF A PLEA BARGAIN....DISTRICT ATTORNEY TIM VAUGHN AGREED TO DROP THE FELONY AND MALICE MURDER CHARGES... AND INSTEAD BLACKSHEAR PLEADED GUILTY TO VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER AND POSESSION OF A WEAPON BY A CONVICTED FELON.
PULASKI COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE SARAH WALL SENTENCED HIM TO 20 YEARS FOR MANSLAUGHTER... AND 5 YEARS FOR POSSESSING THE GUN.
(SOT: which is a significant sentence, and he'll spend a long time in prison. anytime you go to a jury, you don't have that guarantee.)
BUT BARTLETT'S FAMILY AND FRIENDS SAY THEY WANTED A TRIAL.... AND A LONGER SENTENCE
(SOT:at least take a swing at the ball, don't go down looking. you've got to put forth the effort)
(SOT: that tells me i can go out and shoot someone in the back and only serve 25 years... thats not justice.any body who can shoot someone in the back is a coward, but to shoot a female in the back is nothing but a coward. he shouldnt even have his life right now that's how i feel.)
BARTLETTS FATHER SAYS 25 YEARS IN PRISON... DOESN'T COMPARE TO A LIFETIME WITHOUT HIS DAUGHTER.
13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
>> DISTRICT ATTORNEY TIM VAUGHN SAYS BLACKSHEAR HAS TWO PREVIOUS FELONY CONVICTIONS ... FOR SELLING COCAINE AND STATUTORY RAPE.
SOME ANGRY PEOPLE SHOWED UP AT MACON CITY HALL OVER RUMORS OF CHANGES TO THE MACON-BIBB PENSION PLAN.
FIRE AND POLICE DEPARTMENT RETIREES GRILLED MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT ON CHANGES THEY HEARD HE PLANS TO MAKE.
BIBB COUNTY COMMISSIONER... JOE ALLEN... SAID HE HEARD...UNOFFICIALLY....THAT THE MAYOR PLANNED TO REMOVE MONEY FROM THE PENSIONS... EVEN THOUGH BOTH THE CITY AND COUNTY CONTRIBUTE TO THOSE FUNDS.
THE MAYOR SAYS HE'S ACTING IN GOOD FAITH AND HAS NO PLANS TO TERMINATE THE PENSION... OR TAKE *ANY* MONEY FROM RETIREES.
REICHERT SAYS THE RUMORS SPREAD BY EMAIL.
Mayor Robert Reichert, Macon: "If I got an e-mail that says the Mayor and his cronies, and this is almost verbatum almost verbatum, the Mayor and his cronies are trying to screw you out of your pension benefits, don't you think you would come to that meeting? I have no idea where this came from."
Joe Allen, Commissioner: "He told me a while ago that was not his intent, but there again, that's him telling me. I'm hearing from a lot of different people, people in his camp telling me different things."
REICHERT SAYS PENSION EXPERTS HAVE PROPOSED CHANGES TO KEEP THE PLAN SOUND.
ALLEN SAYS HE'S NOT SATISFIED WITH WITH THE MAYOR CALLING UPROAR A QUOTE - MISCOMMUNICATION
SOME PEOPLE APPLYING FOR WELFARE IN GEORGIA WILL NOW HAVE TO PASS A DRUG TEST BEFORE THEY GET BENEFITS.
TODAY... GOVERNOR NATHAN DEAL SIGNED HOUSE BILL 861... KNOWN AS THE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT.
THE LAW APPLIES TO THE TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILY PROGRAM.
IT REQUIRES POTENTIAL RECIPIENTS TO TAKE... AND PAY FOR A DRUG TEST BEFORE THEY RECEIVE BENEFITS.
UNDER THE NEW RULES... ANYONE WHO TESTED POSITIVE FOR DRUGS COULDN'T APPLY FOR WELFARE FOR ONE MONTH.
IF THEY TESTED POSITIVE A SECOND TIME... THEY WOULD BE INELIGIBLE FOR THREE MONTHS.
IN BOTH CASES... THEY WOULD HAVE TO PASS A RETEST.
AFTER THREE VIOLATIONS... THE PERSON WOULD BE UNABLE TO APPLY FOR A YEAR.... AND WOULD HAVE TO PASS ANOTHER DRUG TEST BEFORE REAPPLYING.
THAT'S UNLESS THEY GO THROUGH A SUBSTANCE ABUSE PROGRAM.
ANYONE UNDER 18 AND LIVING WITH PARENTS WON'T HAVE TO TAKE THE TEST.
FOR TWO-PARENT FAMILIES... ONLY ONE PARENT WOULD HAVE TO PASS THE DRUG SCREEN.
IF A PARENT TESTS POSITIVE... IT WON'T AFFECT THE CHILD'S BENEFITS.
INSTEAD... ANOTHER FAMILY MEMBER WOULD NEED TO PASS THE TEST TO RECEIVE BENEFITS ON THAT CHILD'S BEHALF. THE RESULTS FROM THE TESTS... COULDN'T BE USED TO PROSECUTE SOMEONE IN COURT.
THE STATE OF GEORGIA ALREADY HAS A 48-MONTH LIFETIME CAP ON WELFARE BENEFITS.
AGAIN... UNDER THE NEW RULES... APPLICANTS WILL FOOT THE BILL FOR THE DRUG TESTING SO... TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL QUESTION ASKS...
SHOULD WELFARE RECIPIENTS HAVE TO PAY FOR THEIR OWN DRUG TESTS?
SO FAR 81 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES.
AND 19 PERCENT SAY NO.
VOTE NOW.. VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM AND LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE.
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GEORGIA LAWYERS WANT TO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY.. THROUGH A LITTLE FRIENDLY COMPETITION..
GEORGIA ATTORNEY GENERAL SAM OLENS.. AND STATE BAR PRESIDENT...KEN SHIGLEY WERE ON HAND TODAY AT THE MIDDLE GEORGIA COMMUNITY FOOD BANK TO KICK OFF "LEGAL FOOD FRENZY."
THROUGHOUT THE 2 WEEK STATEWIDE FOOD DRIVE.. THE LAWYERS WANT TO COLLECT NUTRITIONAL FOODS FOR KIDS WHO MAY GO WITHOUT DURING THE SUMMER WHEN SCHOOL IS OUT..
LAWYERS FROM ACROSS GEORGIA WILL COMPETE TO SEE WHO CAN COLLECT THE MOST FOOD.
IF YOU LIVE.. WORK.. OR PLAY ON ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE.. WE'RE FOCUSING ON YOUR COMMUNITY..
YOU WILL NOW FIND A ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE WHERE YOU LIVE SITE.
THE WEBSITE FEATURES COMMUNITY NEWS FOR MILITARY FAMILIES.. CIVILIANS.. ANYONE WHO IS IMPACTED BY ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE...
BUT WE ALSO NEED YOUR HELP.. IF YOU WANT TO BLOG ABOUT ISSUES THAT AFFECT THE MILITARY AND THEIR FAMILIES.
JUST E-MAIL US AT WHERE YOU LIVE AT 13-WMAZ-DOT-COM... TO GET SET UP.
YOU CAN FIND THE ROBINS SITE IN THE WHERE YOU LIVE FEATURE - THAT'S IN THE MIDDLE OF OUR HOMEPAGE.