Thursday, April 26, Eyewitness News at 11

10:02 PM, Apr 26, 2012   |    comments
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GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M FRANK MALLOY..
AND I'M LEAH JOHNSON.. THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.

FIREFIGHTERS IN PERRY COVER MILES OF TERRITORY... BUT THEY'RE BASED OUT OF ONLY ONE STATION.
THAT'S ALL ABOUT TO CHANGE.
JENNIFER MOULLIET SHOWS YOU THE CHIEF'S PLAN FOR A NEW ADDITION.
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FIREFIGHTERS IN PERRY HAVE A DAILY ROUTINE.

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CHECKING THEIR EQUIPMENT AND PREPARING FOR THE NEXT CALL...A CALL CHIEF JOEL GRAY SAYS THEY HOPE IS ON THE WESTSIDE OF THE CITY.

"When we get a call in the eastern part of the city we know we've got anywhere from a nine to a fifteen minute response time just depending on traffic and time of the day."

HE SAYS THE CITY ONLY HAS ONE STATION... AND IT'S NOT ENOUGH.

" it works on you as a fireman or a policeman knowing that you've got a long way to go to help somebody is frustrating because you have no control over that."

THE INSURANCE SERVICE ORGANIZATION EVALUATES COMMUNITIES BASED ON IT'S FIRE SERVICE COVERAGE... AND CHIEF GRAY SAYS EASTSIDE HAS A TEN RATING... THE LOWEST POSSIBLE SCORE... BECAUSE IT'S OVER FIVE MILES FROM THE NEAREST STATION.

nats "sandefur road is ours."

HE SAYS HE HOPES TO BOOST THE I-S-O RATING WHEN THEY ADD A NEW STATION.

Jennifer Moulliet: "Chief Gray says the new fire station will be right here at the intersection of Houston Lake Road and Langston Road and he says they plan to break ground in a couple of weeks."

MONEY FROM THE 2006 SPLOST WILL FUND THE NEW ADDITION.

"The number one benefit from paying that one percent extra special sales tax is that there will be additional coverage closer to half of our population."

AND A LOWER I-S-O MEANS A DECREASE IN HOME OWNER'S INSURANCE.

"If we got the five back on that side of town those folks who saw an increase eight to a thousand dollar increase a year increase should see that eight to a thousand dollars savings."
CHIEF GRAY HOPES STATION TWO WILL BE FINISHED IN JANUARY OF NEXT YEAR
IN PERRY JENNIFER MOULLIET 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.

>> CHIEF GRAY SAYS THE CITY COUNCIL HASN'T DECIDED WHETHER TO ADD ADDITIONAL FIREFIGHTERS TO THE NEW STATION OR PULL A CREW FROM STATION ONE.

THE BIBB COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE IS STILL INVESTIGATING WHAT THEY CALL INAPPROPRIATE CONDUCT BETWEEN A WEAVER MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER AND STUDENT.
CHILD ADVOCACY CENTER CRESCENT HOUSE IS HELPING THEM.
LOCAL AGENCIES... SUCH AS LAW ENFORCEMENT OR THE DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY AND CHILDREN SERVICES REFER POSSIBLE CHILD ABUSE VICTIMS TO THE FACILITY IN DOWNTOWN MACON.
DIRECTOR SANDRA SNEED SAYS THEY DEAL WITH ALL KINDS OF ABUSE.
SHE SAYS THEY SEE AN AVERAGE OF 70 CHILDREN EACH MONTH... AND CONDUCT MEDICAL EXAMS AND FORENSIC INTERVIEWS. "It's very difficult because you're asking a child to talk to a complete stranger and of course we have interviewers here and at the other advocacy centers who are specially trained in methods of interviewing children that are designed to be non leading, designed to let the credibility of that child come out."
THE BIBB SCHOOL DISTRICT SAYS THE MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER IS ON ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE AND THEY WON'T DESCRIBE THE ALLEGED MISCONDUCT.

BIBB COUNTY SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT ROMAIN DALLEMAND'S TRAVEL BUDGET HAS GONE UP BY FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS SINCE FEBRUARY.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO DISTRICT RECORDS WE OBTAINED THROUGH AN OPEN-RECORDS REQUEST.
DESPITE THE INCREASE... DALLEMAND IS STILL CLOSE TO BREAKING THAT BUDGET.
THE SUPERINTENDENT STARTED THE SCHOOL YEAR WITH A TEN-THOUSAND DOLLAR TRAVEL ALLOTMENT.
IN FEBRUARY... HE HAD ALREADY SPENT NEARLY 93-HUNDRED.
ACCORDING TO A SCHOOL FINANCIAL REPORT... DALLEMAND'S TRAVEL BUDGET WAS INCREASED TO 14 THOUSAND DOLLARS LAST MONTH.
HIS TRAVEL EXPENSES TOTALED MORE THAN 12 THOUSAND... TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS ABOVE HIS ORIGINAL BUDGET.
UNTIL THIS WEEK'S TRIP TO BELGIUM... DALLEMAND HADN'T SPENT ANY MONEY ON TRAVEL THIS MONTH.
BUT HIS ALLOWANCE WAS RAISED AGAIN TO 15 THOUSAND DOLLARS.
NOW... HE HAS JUST UNDER THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS LEFT IN THE TRAVEL BUDGET.
THAT DOESN'T ACCOUNT FOR ANY EXPENSES FROM BELGIUM.
THE SCHOOL BUDGET YEAR ENDS JUNE 30TH.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER RON COLLIER SAYS THE EXTRA MONEY CAME OUT OF THE SUPERINTENDENTS BUDGET FOR HIRING CONSULTANTS.
HE SAYS DALLEMAND HAS ONLY SPENT 40 THOUSAND OF HIS 119,000 dollar TOTAL OFFICE BUDGET... THAT NUMBER DOES NOT REFLECT HIS SALARY AND BENEFITS.
COLLIER SAYS OUT OF THE REMAINING BALANCE... 65 THOUSAND FALLS UNDER THAT LINE ITEM FOR HIRING CONSULTANTS.
HE SAYS THE BOARD APPROVED THE FUND TRANSFER IN THEIR MARCH MEETING.
SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER LYNN FARMER SAYS SHE DOES NOT RECALL THE AMENDMENT..WE COULD NOT REACH OTHER SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS.

MORE THAN 16 YEARS AGO.. ONE GEORGIA COUNTY VOTED TO MERGE WITH THE CITY.
AUGUSTA- RICHMOND COUNTY'S CONSOLIDATED GOVERNMENT LOOKS MUCH LIKE THE PLAN VOTERS IN MACON AND BIBB COUNTY WILL TAKE UP IN JULY.
ONE OF THE ARGUMENTS FOR MERGING GOVERNMENTS IS TO SAVE MONEY....BUT DOES IT REALLY CUT COSTS?
BRITTINY BARBER WENT TO AUGUSTA TO FIND OUT HOW LAW ENFORCEMENT CAME TOGETHER... AND IF THEY'RE SEEING SAVINGS IN THE LONG RUN.
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VOTERS CHOSE TO CONSOLIDATE AUGUSTA-RICHMOND COUNTY BEGINNING IN 1996.
Hatfield: "We saved money. We streamlined the activities. WE got accomplished results from it.
CHIEF DEPUTY SID HATFIELD.. WITH THE RICHMOND COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS AT THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT IN JANUARY FIRST... THEIR STAFF GREW FROM ABOUT 400 PEOPLE.. TO OVER 700.
Hatsfield: "We had to redraw precincts. We had to redraw the number of people in a precinct. We had to reorganize, restructure the precinct."
ACCORDING TO THE LEGISLATION.. ALL BUDGETS APPROVED FOR FISCAL YEAR 1996... ROLLED OVER TO THE NEW GOVERNMENT.
SO THE POLICE DEPARTMENT AND SHERIFF'S OFFICES BUDGETS COMBINED... JUST AS THEY WOULD WITH A MACON-BIBB CONSOLIDATION.

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S/U AND HERE'S HOW THE TWO COMPARE.... ACCORDING TO RECORDS FROM THEIR FINANCE DEPARTMENTS....
IN 1995... THE COMBINED BUDGETS OF THE MACON POLICE DEPARTMENT AND BIBB SHERIFF'S OFFICE TOTALED ABOUT 25.5 MILLION THIS YEAR.. IF YOU COMBINED THEIR BUDGETS.. YOU'D GET ABOUT 49.5 MILLION DOLLARS.
THE YEAR BEFORE THEY CONSOLIDATED... IN 1995.. THE RICHMOND COUNTY SHIERFF'S OFFICE AND THE AUGUSTA POLICE DEPARTMENTS COMBINED BUDGET WAS 21.2 MILLION DOLLARS.
NOW THEY'RE UP TO A NEARLY 57-MILLION DOLLAR BUDGET FOR OPERATIONS.
SO, SINCE CONSOLIDATION.. THE RICHMOND COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE BUDGET HAS GROWN AT A FASTER RATE....168 PERCENT THAN ... THE SEPARATE MACON POLICE AND BIBB SHERIFF'S BUDGETS....WHICH IS 92 PERCENT HIGHER

THE FINANCE DIRECTOR FOR THE RICHMOND COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS THEIR BUDGET GREW BECAUSE OF GRANTS... HIRING AND SALARY INCREASES.. AND INCREASED COSTS FOR THINGS LIKE GASOLINE OR HEALTHCARE..

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EVEN THOUGH THE BUDGET WENT UP... HATFIELD SAYS THEY'RE STILL SAVING IN THE LONG RUN.... DUE TO THE MERGER.
Hatfield: "Where in the past the city government may have been buying something different than we were or we than they were, but law enforcement is al under the same umbrella if you will and we buy one item for one man and for one woman and it works real well.
BUT HE SAYS IT TOOK SOME TIME TO WORK OUT THE KINKS.
Hatfield: "Considering everything. Equipment, personnel, file folders any thing and everything probably about 12 to 18 months.
TIME WELL SPENT.. HATFIELD SAYS TO ENSURE THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF LAW ENFORCEMENT FOR PEOPLE LIVING IN THE COUNTY.
Hatfield: "once we knew the people had chosen and had voted for this it was our job to put it in effect and making it work.
NOW NEARLY TWO DECADES LATER... HATFIELD SAYS THEY CONTINUE TO SEE THE BENEFITS OF THEIR PLANNING BEFORE THE BIG CHANGE TOOK EFFECT.
BRITTINY BARBER 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
>> THE MACON-BIBB CONSOLIDATION VOTE IS SET FOR JULY 31ST.

THE SKY IS BLUE, THE GRASS IS GREEN, IF YOU'RE HUNTIN' FOR FUN, HERE'S SCENE THIRTEEN! AND WE GOT IT ALL...CHECK IT OUT.

SOUTHERN FOLKS LOVE NOTHING BETTER THAN BARBECUE, RIGHT? WELL, EXCEPT MAYBE A BIG OL' MUSIC FESTIVAL. BUT LORDY, WHEN YOU COMBINE THE TWO IT'S LIKE PARADISE IN CENTRAL GEORGIA! SO WITH THAT IN MIND, MIGHT I RECOMMEND THE ANNUAL BARBECUE AND BLUES FESTIVAL IN DOWNTOWN BARNESVILLE? YEAH BOY - FRIDAY IS FAMILY FUN NIGHT AND IT'LL BE PARTY CITY FOR THE WEE ONES AT THE KIDS PARK. PLUS, THERE'LL BE CONCERTS HAPPENIN' ALL EVENING. SAME THING'S HAPPENING ON SATURDAY EXCEPT, OF COURSE, IT'LL BE TAKIN' PLACE ALL DAY LONG! AND BARBECUE - BARBECUE - BARBECUE...IT'LL DEFINITELY BE THERE! FOR YOUR EATIN' PLEASURE, OF COURSE. FOR ALL THE B-B-Q AND BLUES INFO, VISIT BARNESVILLE-DOT-ORG.

IN THEATRE NEWS, THE KING AND I HAVE COME TO FORSYTH! THE BACKLOT PLAYERS PRESENT THE RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN MUSICAL FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT. OPENING NIGHT IS THIS FRIDAY. AND LET ME JUST TELL YOU, IF YOU'VE NEVER SEEN THIS SHOW BEFORE - NOW IS THE CHANCE TO DO SO. SUCH A GREAT STORY. GET ONLINE TO THE-BACKLOT-PLAYERS-DOT-ORG FOR THE FULL SCHEDULE.

THE HUMMINGBIRD BRINGS BACK THE BIG BIRD BASH TO DOWNTOWN MACON THIS SATURDAY! KICKIN' OFF AT FOUR-O'CLOCK-P-M, THE "INTO-THE-WEE-HOURS-OF-THE-NIGHT" EVENT FEATURES STEREOMONSTER, THE WOODTOPS, LOUISE WARREN AND PLENTY MORE AWESOME BANDS THAT JUST WANNA ROCK YOUR WORLD. ALL THE INFORMATION IS WAITING FOR YOU AT HUMMINGBIRD-MACON-DOT-COM.

ALSO ON SATURDAY, IF YOU DIDN'T MAKE IT OUT TO THE MACON FILM FESTIVAL - OR EVEN IF YOU DID AND YOU JUST WANT TO RELIVE THE MAGIC - IT'S A BEST OF THE FEST SHOWCASE AT THE COX CAPITOL THEATRE! THE WINNING FILMS FROM ALL THE CATEGORIES - DOCUMENTARY, ANIMATION, EXPERIMENTAL, JUST TO NAME A FEW - WILL HAVE AN ENCORE SCREENING FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE. THE MINI-FEST STARTS AT ONE P-M AND ROLLS ON THROUGH 'TIL NINE. FOR TICKETS, COX-CAPITOL-THEATRE-DOT-COM IS WHERE YOU NEED TO BE.

AND WRAPPING UP THE WONDER OF ANOTHER WEEKEND, IT'S THE WONDERS OF THE SKIES! IT'S THE SUPREMELY AWESOME TWO-THOUSAND-TWELVE ROBINS AIR SHOW OUT AT ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE. IT'S TWO DAYS OF FANTASTIC AERIAL ACROBATICS PERFORMED BY SUPERSTARS. THE BLUE ANGELS WILL BE ROCKIN' THE SKIES THIS YEAR ALONG WITH SO MANY OTHER AMAZING PERFORMERS. THE SHOW IS SATURDAY AND SUNDAY. GATES OPEN AT TEN A-M ON BOTH DAYS. FOR INFORMATION ON PARKING AND THE DO'S AND DON'TS OF THE AIR SHOW, VISIT ROBINS-DOT-A-F-DOT-MIL AND CLICK ON THE AIR SHOW LINK. THAT'S GONNA BE A GREAT SHOW!

NOW LADIES AND GENTS, I BID YOU FAREWELL. HAVE A FANTASTIC KIND OF A WEEKEND. FOR SCENE THIRTEEN, THAT'S A WRAP.


AND IF YOU WANT TO COOL DOWN AT THE MOVIES THIS WEEKEND... WE'VE GOT A FEW NEW OFFERINGS FOR YOU.
SOME LIGHTHEARTED COMEDY... AN ANIMATED ADVENTURE AND A DARK THRILLER ARE HEADING TO THE BOX OFFICE THIS WEEKEND.
JIM RIBBLE HAS A PREVIEW OF WHAT'S NOW SHOWING.
PLANNING A WEDDING TAKES TIME-- BUT FIVE YEARS?
IN THE COMEDY "FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT," TOM AND VIOLET, PLAYED BY JASON SEGEL AND EMILY BLUNT, KNOW THEY WANT TO GET MARRIED- BUT SOMEHOW THE WEDDING KEEPS GETTING PUT OFF...
WILL THEIR COMMITMENT STAND THE TEST OF TIME?
"FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT" IS RATED-R.
IF YOU EVER WANTED TO GET INSIDE THE DARK MIND OF EDGAR ALLAN POE.. NOW'S YOUR CHANCE.
IN THE THRILLER "THE RAVEN," THE FAMED AUTHOR, PLAYED BY JOHN CUSACK, LEARNS HIS MACABRE TELL-TALE WRITINGS ARE INSPIRING A SERIAL MURDERER..
POE TEAMS UP WITH A YOUNG BALTIMORE DETECTIVE, PLAYED BY LUKE EVANS, TO CRACK THE CASE.
"THE RAVEN" IS RATED-R.
PIRATE CAPTAIN IS ON A QUEST.. IN THE ANIMATED ADVENTURE "THE PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS."
HE'S OUT TO WIN THE MUCH-COVETED PIRATE OF THE YEAR AWARD.
BUT IN ORDER TO DO THAT- HE HAS TO BRING BACK THE BOOTY.
FROM THE CREATORS OF "CHICKEN RUN" AND "WALLACE AND GROMIT," "THE PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS" IS RATED-PG.

TONIGHT'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY IS ERIKA ROBINSON FIELDS.
ERIKA... YOU'LL NEED TO EMAIL FAN OF THE DAY AT 13WMAZ DOT COM TO CLAIM YOUR COFFEE MUG.
WE PICK THE FAN OF THE DAY RANDOMLY.
THEN... GET IN THE CONVERSATIONS.
BECOME A FAN.
VISIT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ.
BUT FIRST... YOU MIGHT WANT TO REVERSE THE ORDER.

250 TEENS ROLLED INTO MACON TO FIX-UP FOUR HOUSES.
THEY'RE IN TOWN FOR THE GEORGIA FUTURE FARMERS OF AMERCA CONVENTION. (nat 5 secs - opening can of paint
THE HANDY HEROES TEAMED UP WITH REBUILDING MACON AS PART OF THEIR COMMUNITY SERVICE.
TWO SCHOOL BUSES FILLED WITH ABOUT FORTY KIDS FROM HENRY COUNTY AND HIAWASSEE ROLLED UP THEIR SLEEVES TO PAINT A HOUSE ON SANFORD AVE.
DIANNE SCALES HAS LIVED IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD FOR 64 YEARS.
SHE SAYS SHE HASN'T BEEN KEEPING UP WITH THE HOUSE'S APPEARANCE BECAUSE OF PERSISTING HEALTH PROBLEMS.
REBUILDING MACON CHOOSES ABOUT 300 HOUSES A YEAR TO REPAIR.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON VOLUNTEERING OR REPAIR OPPORTUNITIES... LOOK FOR THIS STORY ON OUR WEBSITE.. 13WMAZ DOT COM.
adlib about our rebuilding project at Miss Minnie's house

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