Monday, April 16, Eyewitness News at 11

5:23 PM, Apr 16, 2012   |    comments
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FIRST AT 11...  SOME ANGRY PEOPLE SHOWED UP AT MACON CITY HALL ABOUT RUMORS OF CHANGES TO THE MACON-BIBB PENSION PLAN.
COUNTY COMMISSIONER JOE ALLEN SAYS... HE HEARD THE MAYOR PLANS TO TAKE MONEY FROM THE PENSION... THAT BOTH THE CITY AND COUNTY CONTRIBUTE TO.
BUT MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT SAYS... THAT'S NOT TRUE.
 AMY AUBERT SHOWS YOU WHY SOME FOLKS ARE SKEPTICAL ABOUT THE PLANS.
Nats: "I totally disagree!"
 "And I'll be glad to talk with you about that..."
 "Wait, wait, wait... let me ask you one thing."

PEOPLE CAME OUT UP IN ARMS TO A FIRE AND POLICE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT MEETING... OVER WHAT MACON MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT CALLS RUMORS.

Nats, Mayor: "Let's don't hurl accusations back and forth."

BUT FOLKS THAT FILLED CITY HALL MONDAY... DISAGREE.

Nats: "He says there's been a lot of rumors, I don't think a legal action..."
Nats, interupting

BIBB COUNTY COMMISSIONER... JOE ALLEN... SAYS HE HEARD...UNOFFICIALLY.... THAT THE MAYOR PLANS TO TAKE FUNDS FROM THE PENSION... THAT BOTH THE CITY AND COUNTY CONTRIBUTE TO.

Nats, Joe Allen: "Let the right hand know what the left hand is doing."
Nats, clapping.

Amy: "Have you heard from the mayor himself that he plans to alter the pension plan?"
Joe Allen: "He told me a while ago that it was not his intent, but that's just him tlaking to me. I'm hearing from a lot of different people, people in his camp that are telling me different things."

THE MAYOR SAYS PENSION EXPERTS HAVE PROPOSED CHANGES TO KEEP THE PLAN SOUND... BUT SAYS HE DOESN'T PLAN TO TERMINATE OR TAKE FUNDS AWAY.

Nats: "It is not in trouble. It is not in trouble. It is not in trouble, Chief."

THE MAYOR SAYS THE RUMORS... STARTED FROM E-MAILS.

Mayor: "If I got an e-mail that said 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."

COMMISSIONER ALLEN SAYS HE'S NOT SATISFIED WITH THE MAYOR CALLING IT A MISCOMMUNICATION... BUT MAYOR REICHERT SAYS HE HAS NO INTENTION... OF CHANGING ANYONE'S BENEFITS.

AMY AUBERT 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS

THE BOARD ALSO DISCUSSED CHAIRMAN LYNN WOODS' ELIGIBILITY TO SERVE ON THE BOARD.
 THE BOARD'S ATTORNEY SAYS THE CHAIRMAN MUST BE A RESIDENT OF THE CITY... AND WOODS LIVES IN THE COUNTY.
WOODS ARGUES THAT WHEN THEY MAILED HIM HIS LETTER OF NOTIFICATION TO BEING ON THE BOARD... IT WAS SENT TO HIS COUNTY ADDRESS.
 HE SAYS THE BOARD SHOULD'VE KNOWN HE'S A COUNTY RESIDENT.

WARNER ROBINS MAYOR CHUCK SHAHEEN AND COUNCIL MEMBERS MET FOR THEIR REGULAR MEETING AT CITY HALL TONIGHT.
 JENNIFER MOULLIET MADE THE TRIP DOWN TO THE INTERNATIONAL CITY... AND TELLS YOU WHAT COUNCIL ORDINANCES THEY PASSED
nats

MAYOR CHUCK SHAHEEN AND COUNCIL RECOGNIZED SEVERAL CITY OFFICIALS FOR THEIR SERVICE.
nats
COUNCIL UPDATED AN OLD PARADE AND PICKETING ORDINANCE... NOW IF MORE THAN THIRTY PEOPLE GATHER FOR AN EVENT YOU MUST APPLY FOR A PERMIT THROUGH THE CITY.
COUNCILMAN PAUL SHEALY SAYS IT HASN'T BEEN LOOKED AT SINCE 1963.

Paul Shealy: "We just kind of renewed to go along with modern times you know and like I said mostly it was for safety it will help the people out and I think they'll appreciate it."

COUNCIL ALSO AMENDED A ZONING ORDINACE ON RUSSELL PARKWAY.
MAYOR CHUCK SHAHEEN SAYS BUSINESS AND LAND OWNERS ASKED COUNCIL TO RELAX SOME OF THEIR PROPERTY GUIDELINES...  THEY SAY THE CURRENT RULES DETER PEOPLE FROM OPENING NEW BUSINESSES.
Mayor Chuck Shaheen: "We hope that it will spur some economic development over there.

THE MAYOR AND A COUPLE OF COUNCIL MEMBERS TRAVELED NORTH TO BUFORD OVER THE WEEKEND TO LEARN HOW THEIR CITY OPERATES.
MAYOR SHAHEEN SAYS HE HOPES THE TRIP SPARKS A NEW VISION FOR WARNER ROBINS.

"You want to be able to see, listen they got their sidewalk money from grants, instead of SPLOST money, didn't take it out of the general fund, Buford is an exceptional city." 

COUNCIL WRAPPED UP THEIR MEETING BY SIGNING ANOTHER THREE YEAR CONTRACT THAT WILL CONTINUE TO BRING THE SPECIAL OLYMPIC BOWLING TOURNAMENT TO THE CITY.
IN WARNER ROBINS JENNIFER MOULLIET 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.

COUNCIL ALSO SIGNED AN AGREEMENT WITH THE WARNER ROBINS REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY....
 THE CITY WILL  PAY THE AGENCY INSTALLMENTS ON THE OVERALL PAYMENT FOR THE NEW LAW ENFORCEMENT CENTER.
 THE CITY PLANS TO FUND THE CENTER WITH MONEY FROM THE SPLOST

AN UNRULY CHILD IN A KIDERGARTEN CLASSROOM MILLEDGEVILLE...  FOUND HERSELF IN HANDCUFFS.
 ACCORDING TO AN INCIDENT REPORT... WHEN POLICE ARRIVED AT CREEKSIDE ELEMENTARY LAST WEDNESDAY... THEY FOUND SALECIA JOHNSON CRYING IN THE PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE.
THE REPORT SAYS THE OFFICER TRIED TO CALM HER  DOWN...BUT WHEN SHE RESISTED...THE OFFICER HANDCUFFED HER FOR REASONS OF SAFETY.
 JOHNSON HAD ALLEGEDLY TORN ITEMS OFF THE WALLS... AND THREW FURNITURE.
 THE REPORT SAYS... JOHNSON KNOCKED OVER A SHELF THAT INJURED THE PRINCIPAL.
 POLICE SAY WHEN THEY COULDN'T REACH THE YOUNG GIRL'S MOTHER... THEY TOOK HER TO THE POLICE DEPARTMENT...
i was terrified. just in shock. because i've never heard of 6-yo being arrested and put in handcuffs just because of misbehaving at school
THE KINDERGARTENER IS CHARGED WITH SIMPLE ASSUALT AND DAMAGE TO PROPERTY.
 HER MOTHER...CONSTANCE RUFF...SAYS HER DAUGHTER CANNOT 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.

THE START OF A 25 YEAR SENTENCE BEGAN TODAY FOR BIRAGO BLACKSHEAR.
 A PULASKI COUNTY JUDGE HANDED DOWN THE PUNISHMENT TODAY... AFTER BLACKSHEAR ADMITTED TO SHOOTING AND KILLING HIS EX-GIRLFRIEND LAST JUNE.
THE 33-YEAR-OLD PLEADED GUILTY TO VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER AND POSSESSION OF A FIREARM BY A CONVICTED FELON... FOR SHOOTING 18-YEAR-OLD ASHTON BARTLETT.
AS PART OF THE PLEA BARGAIN....DISTRICT ATTORNEY TIM VAUGHN AGREED TO DROP MURDER CHARGES.
PULASKI COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE SARAH WALL SENTENCED BLACKSHEAR TO SERVE 20 YEARS ON THE MANSLAUGHTER CHARGE AND FIVE ON THE WEAPONS CHARGE.
 BARTLETT'S FAMILY AND FRIENDS SAY THEY DON'T AGREE WITH THE SENTENCE AND WANTED TO SEE BLACKSHEAR TRIED FOR MURDER.
"That tells me I can go out and shoot someone in the back and only serve 25 years. That's not justice.
 Anybody who can shoot someone in the back is a coward, but to shoot a female in the back is nothing but a coward. He shouldn't even have his life right now that's how I feel."
DISTRICT ATTORNEY VAUGHN SAYS HE AGREED TO LET BLACKSHEAR PLEAD GUILTY TO THE LESSER CHARGE... TO GUARANTEE A HEAVY JAIL TERM.
NUMBERS FROM THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL SAY EVERY 4 SECONDS.. A CHILD IS TREATED FOR AN INJURY IN AN EMERGENCY ROOM...
 BUT NEW RESEARCH SHOWS.. THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN DYING IN ACCIDENTS HAVE COME DOWN DRAMATICALLY.
 THE C-D-C RELEASED THE REPORT TODAY..
 IT SHOWED THE DEATH RATE DROPPED BY THIRTY PERCENT FROM 2000 TO 2009.
 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. 
SENATE REPUBLICANS PUT A STOP TO THE SO CALLED BUFFETT RULE TODAY... VOTING IT DOWN BY BY A 51 TO 45 MARGIN
THE RULE WOULD'VE FORCED THE NATION'S TOP EARNERS TO PAY AT LEAST 30 PERCENT OF THEIR INCOME IN TAXES.
 PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA HAS LOBBIED HARD FOR CONGRESS TO PASS THE BILL... BUT CAME UP 9 VOTES SHORT OF THE 60 NEEDED TO CONTINUE DEBATING THE MEASURE.

THE SCANDAL INVOLVING 11 MEMBERS OF THE PRESIDENT'S SECRET SERVICE ADVANCE TEAM AND PROSTITUTES IN COLUMBIA HAS EXPANDED...
AS EDWARD LAWRENCE TELLS YOU... NEW REPORTS HAVE SURFACED THAT TEN U.S. MILITARY PERSONNEL MAY ALSO BE IN INVOLVED.
THE NATION'S TOP MILITARY OFFICER MADE NO EXCUSES WHEN HE FACED REPORTERS MONDAY.

SOT - Dempsey

"we are embarrassed."

JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN GENERAL MARTIN DEMPSEY SAYS AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE SCANDAL IS ONGOING... AND THAT HE'S DISAPPOINTED THE MATTER DISTRACTED ATTENTION FROM PRESIDENT OBAMA'S INVOLVEMENT IN LAST WEEK'S LATIN AMERICAN SUMMIT.

SOT - Dempsey

"we let the boss down, because nobody's talking about what went on in Colombia, other than this incident."

BOTH THE SECRET SERVICE MEMBERS AND THE MILITARY PERSONNEL WERE STAYING AT A HOTEL CARIBE (cah-REEB) IN CARTEGENA, AHEAD OF THE PRESIDENT'S ARRIVAL. A LAW ENFORCEMENT SOUCE SAYS ONE OF THE AGENTS GOT INTO A NOISY ARGUMENT WITH A PROSTITUTE OVER PAYMENT. COLOMBIAN POLICE WERE CALLED... THEY THEN CALLED THE U.S. EMBASSY... WHICH NOTIFIED SECRET SERVICE HEADQUARTERS IN WASHINGTON...

{GFX}

THE SOURCE SAYS DIRECTOR MARK SULLIVAN WAS 'OUTRAGED," AND PULLED THE TEAM - INCLUDING TWO SUPERVISORS - FROM CARTEGENA IN "TWO SECONDS." HE THEN TOLD HIS SENIOR STAFF "WE'RE GOING TO GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS AND HOLD EVERYONE ACCOUNTABLE." TOP SECURITY CLEARANCE HAS ALREADY BEEN REVOKED FOR THOSE ACCUSED..

DEFENSE SECRETARY LEON PANETTA SAYS THERE'S NO EXCUSE FOR LAPSES IN CONDUCT ABROAD.

SOT - Leon Panetta

"whether our forces are in Colombia or any other country, or here in this country, we expect them to abide by the highest standard of behavior."

PRESIDENT OBAMA SAID HE'D BE ANGRY IF THE ALLEGATIONS ARE TRUE.

SOT - President

" I think I'll wait until the full investigation is completed before I pass final judgment"

OFFICIALS SAY THE PRESIDENT WAS NEVER IN DANGER.
ALL 11 SECRET SERVICE AGENTS HAVE BEEN PLACED ON LEAVE WHILE THE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES

LAWYERS FROM ACROSS THE STATE  ARE PREPARING FOR A FRIENDLY COMPETITION TO HELP THOSE IN NEED.
THE MIDDLE GEORGIA COMMUNITY FOOD BANK IS NOW THE LOCAL HUB FOR A FOOD DRIVE COMPETITION CREATED BY ATTORNEY GENERAL SAM OLENS... AND STATE BAR PRESIDENT KEN SHIGLEY. 
 THEY MADE THE ANNOUNCEMENT TODAY IN HOPES OF GETTING AS MANY PEOPLE ON BOARD AS POSSIBLE.
SOT:  The problem is what happens over the summer months.  We need to get together to collect more food...to raise more money for our local food banks...so that those children have nutrition over the summer months.

A PROGRAM CALLED "LEGAL FOOD FRENZY" WILL HELP.  
 IT ALLOWS LAWYERS TO COMPETE TO RAISE THE MOST FOOD AND MONEY FOR THEIR COMMUNITIES.  IN ALL...  SEVEN REGIONAL FOOD BANKS IN GEORGIA WILL BENEFIT.
ATTORNEY GENERAL SAM OLENS SAYS ONE OUT OF 6 GEORGIA FAMILIES LACK ADEQUATE NUTRITION... AND 60 PERCENT OF PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS RELY ON FREE OR REDUCED LUNCH.

SOT:  We want them to email their clients and go to their local service groups and say, I'm going to bring a card board box April 23rd and the following week and we want everyone to collect.

MARKETING DIRECTOR FOR THE MIDDLE GEORGIA COMMUNITY FOOD BANK...BOBBY DENEGAL..... APPRECIATES THE EFFORTS OF THE NEW PROGRAM.

SOT: Bobby Denegal: The Legal Food Frenzy is very important to the food bank because this time of year is normally when our supplies run low, and by having the lawyers to be involved in giving back to the community...it means a whole lot.

OLENS SAYS LAWYERS ARE KNOWN TO MAKE THE BEST OUT OF COMPETITIVE SITUTATIONS... AND THIS FOOD DRIVE GIVES THEM A CHANCE TO LET THEIR COMPETITIVE SPIRITS SHINE THROUGH TO HELP OTHERS.

SOT: We want folks from the community to bring to the law firms the checks for the food bank...to bring products...mainly proteins...tuna fish.... peanut butter...macaroni and cheese...the kind of foods that will give us strong children.
LEGAL FOOD FRENZY WILL RUN APRIL 23RD THROUGH MAY 4TH.
YOU CAN CONTACT THE MIDDLE GEORGIA COMMUNITY FOOD BANK FOR MORE INFORMATION.

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