HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.... I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
AND I'M FRANK MALLOY.
THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX...
THE TOTAL COST OF A TWO DAY SEARCH FOR A 10-YEAR-OLD RUNAWAY IN WARNER ROBINS... SO FAR COMES TO NEARLY 33-THOUSAND DOLLARS.
AND THAT DOESN'T INCLUDE THE COST OF MORE THAN 600 HOURS OF OVERTIME OWED TO WARNER ROBINS POLICE OFFICERS.
WE REQUESTED THE DOLLAR FIGURE MORE THAN THREE DAYS AGO FROM THE CITY OF WARNER ROBINS... THROUGH AN OPEN RECORDS REQUEST.
BUT OUT OF MORE THAN 20 AGENCIES THAT TOOK PART IN THE SEARCH... WARNER ROBINS WAS THE ONLY ONE THAT HASN'T PROVIDED A COST FIGURE.
WE WILL UPDATE YOU ON THEIR COSTS.. WHEN THEY MAKE THEM AVAILABLE.
LORRA LYNCH JONES BREAKS DOWN THE NUMBERS...SO FAR.
THE MASSIVE SEARCH FOR KIT COLBURN SPREAD OUT ACROSS THE CITY OF WARNER ROBINS.
IT ENDED WELL... BUT NOT WITHOUT A HEFTY COSTS.
WARNER ROBINS POLICE PAID X OFFICERS FOR ?? HOURS OF OVERTIME... TOTALING ----
THEY (what did they do)
HOUSTON COUNTY FIRE CHIEF AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR JIMMY WILLIAMS SAYS THEY SPEND ABOUT 46-HUNDRED DOLLARS IN PERSONNEL AND EQUIPMENT COSTS.
HIS AGENCY ALSO MANAGED THE VOLUNTEER EFFORTS.
TRACY WILLIS-KIGHT.. WITH THE AMERICAN RED CROSS... SAYS HER AGENCY AGENCY LAID OUT ABOUT 12-THOUSAND DOLLARS. SHE CALLS THAT A LOW-END ESTIMATE.
SHE SAYS THE VAST MAJORITY OF THAT CAME THROUGH DONATIONS OF FOOD AND DRINKS.
THEY FED FOUR TO SIX HUNDRED PEOPLE A DAY... ROTATING ABOUT TEN VOLUNTEERS THROUGH DIFFERENT SHIFTS.
HOUSTON COUNTY SHERIFF CULLEN TALTON SAYS HIS COSTS WERE IN OFFICER OVERTIME.
30 OF THEM WORKED 279 EXTRA HOURS... TOTALING ABOUT 79 HUNDRED DOLLARS IN OVERTIME PAY.
THE GEORGIA STATE PATROL RACKED UP MOST OF THEIR COSTS IN FUEL FOR HELICOPTORS.
ACCORDING TO PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER... GORDY WRIGHT... THE CHOPPERS FLEW ABOUT 17 HOURS.. AT A COST OF 69-HUNDRED DOLLARS.
THEY USED 14 TROOPERS... BUT NONE WORKED OVERTIME.
HE ADDED THAT IT'S THE STATE PATROLS DUTY TO SUPPORT LOCAL ENFORCEMENT... AND THAT THEY WON'T BE BILLING WARNER ROBINS FOR THE SERVICE.
HOUSTON MEDICAL CENTER SAID A CONSERVATIVE ESTIMATE OF THEIR CONTRIBUTION IS ABOUT 12-HUNDRED DOLLARS.
THEY STATIONED AMBULANCES ON SITE... AND HELPED OUT AT THE COMMAND POST.
PERRY POLICE CAPTAIN HEATH DYKES SAYS THEIR OVERTIME PAY WAS MINIMAL.. ABOUT 96 DOLLARS.
OTHER AGENCIES THAT HELPED OUT SAID THEY HAD NO COSTS FROM THE SEARCH... BECAUSE THEY USED ON-DUTY OFFICERS... OR THEIR PARTICIPATION WAS MINIMAL.
OF COURSE... REPRESENTATIVES FROM ALL OF THOSE AGENCIES ADDED THAT IF CALLED UPON AGAIN IN THIS TYPE OF SITUATION.. THEY WOULD GLADLY DO THE SAME THING... NO MATTER THE COST.
CHIEF JIMMY WILLIAMS WITH HOUSTON COUNTY FIRE ALSO TOTALED THE VALUE OF THE 685 CIVILIAN VOLUNTEERS... PLUS THE TIME AND EFFORT OF VOLUNTEER FIRE FIGHTERS... CERTIFIED EMERGENCY RESPONDERS AND AMATUER RADIO OPERATORS.
HE ESTIMATED THAT OUTPOURING OF COMMUNITY SUPPORT ADDED UP TO MORE THAN 84-THOUSAND DOLLARS.
IT'S BEEN TWO MONTHS SINCE THE GRITS CAFE CLOSED ITS DOORS AFTER A DEVASTATING FIRE.
BUT NOW... THE RESTAURANT IS IN THE FIRST STAGE OF REBUILDING. JUDY LE TELLS US MORE.
Nats of demolition
CONSTRUCTION WORKERS MOVE BRICKS AND DIRT FROM THE SITE...(show dump truck dropping debris into trash bin) AND INTO THE TRASH... TO MAKE WAY FOR THE NEW GRITS CAFE.
OWNERS WAYNE AND TERRI WETENDORF WILL RE-BUILD IN THE RESTAURANT'S ORIGINAL SPOT IN DOWNTOWN FORSYTH.
AFTER THE FIRE THAT DESTROYED THE GRITS IN MARCH....WAYNE WETENDORF SAID THEY CAN'T IMAGINE GOING ANY WHERE ELSE.
Marjory Busby, Owner, Family Thrift Store: "I think the existing customers in the past will be back to welcome GRITS back."
OTHER LOCALS ARE THRILLED TO HEAR THE NEWS. THE CLOSING OF THE CAFE... THAT ONCE EMPLOYED 35 PEOPLE... CAUSED A CLOUD TO HOVER OVER THE DOWNTOWN.
Jane Hall, Pharmacist, Lawson and Cromer Pharmacy: "Since they've been gone we've missed them so much. It's a great place to eat. People come from all over. We have people that stop traveling up and down seventy five and come and ask for a good place to eat."
Loraine Khoury, Executive Director, Forsyth Downtown Development Authority : "As you can see in the background it is total devastation. So, it takes a lot of courage. It takes a lot of will power and head aches for them to go through this because it's a very slow process when you're dealing with insurance and all the things you have to deal with.
DEMOLITION IS ONLY THE FIRST STEP... BUT ONE STEP IS A MILESTONE FOR THE CAFE.
Loraine Khoury, Executive Director, Forsyth Downtown Development Authority: "They've been such an important part of our downtown... they're almost a tourist attraction. People come from all over to eat here and know of it."
WAYNE WETENDORF COULDN'T SAY WHEN THEY EXPECT TO REOPEN...BUT SAYS GRITS WILL BE BIGGER AND BETTER THAN EVER. UNTIL THEN...DEMOLITION WILL CLEAR THE WAY FOR THE FUTURE.
THE FLORIST AND THEATER NEXT DOOR TO THE CAFE WERE ALSO DAMAGED IN THE FIRE... IN MARCH.
THEY ARE BOTH REPAIRED AND OPEN FOR BUSINESS.
SO FAR THIS SCHOOL YEAR ... THERE HAVE BEEN 10 WEAPONS FOUND IN BIBB COUNTY SCHOOLS..
IN THE PAST TWO SCHOOL YEARS COMBINED.. THERE WERE ELEVEN .
DURING EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 5...WE TALKED TO TWO BIBB SCHOOL OFFICIALS ABOUT THEY'RE DOING TO KEEP THE KIDS SAFE.
EDWARD JUDIE.. DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT OF STUDENT AFFAIRS.. SAYS TOP SCHOOL LEADERS HAVE A PERSONAL STAKE IN THE SAFETY ISSUE.
Judie: "Look, let's face it, the superintendent has children in this school district. He wants his kid to feel just as safe as any other kid. I'm going to have grandchildren in this school district, and I want them to feel safe also. So making an approach toward this safety, I want to assure parents that we're going to do everything possible."
WHILE SOME PEOPLE SAY METAL DETECTORS WOULD HELP KEEP WEAPONS OUT OF SCHOOL ...DIRECTOR OF RISK MANAGEMENT DAVID GOWAN SAYS.. THAT'S NOT PRACTICAL.
Gowan: "You would need multiple metal detectors, not just at the front entrance, but where the kids enter at the school bus entrance, walk up students and then students arriving in the parent line. SO it would also increase time it would take for us to intake students during the morning arrival."
THIS WEEK.. BIBB COUNTY SCHOOL LEADERS WANT TO FIND OUT WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT SAFETY AND DISCIPLINE IN SCHOOLS.
THEY ARE HOLDING TWO FORUMS WHERE PARENTS CAN SHARE THEIR CONCERNS.
THE FIRST TAKES PLACE TOMORROW AT MILLER MAGNET MIDDLE SCHOOL.
IT'S SET TO START AT 6 P-M.
THE SECOND ONE IS FRIDAY AT THE SAME TIME AT CARTER ELEMENTARY ON ZEBULON ROAD.
TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... WHAT WOULD DO THE MOST TO MAKE SCHOOLS SAFER?
SO FAR 25 PERCENT SAY METAL DETECTORS.
42 PERCENT SAY SPANKINGS.
15 PERCENT SAY MORE SUSPENSIONS.
AND 18 PERCENT SAY MORE CAMPUS OFFICERS.
VOTE NOW... VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM AND LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE.
QUALIFYING FOR THIS YEAR'S ELECTIONS WILL BE HELD NEXT WEEK..
AND GEORGIA'S REDRAWN MAPS NOW BRING FOUR CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS INTO CENTRAL GEORGIA..
IT ALSO BRINGS TWO REPRESENTATIVES INTO BIBB COUNTY FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MORE THAN A DECADE..
AND IF ALL ANNOUNCED CANDIDATES QUALIFY.. THERE'LL BE A COUPLE OF RICK ALLENs VYING FOR CONGRESSIONAL SEATS IN CENTRAL GEORGIA.
LEAH EXPLAINS THE NEW DISTRICTS.
PRIOR TO REAPPORTIONMENT.. THE EIGHTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT INCLUDED ALL OF BIBB COUNTY.. BUT NOT ANYMORE..
THE EIGHTH NOW COVERS REPUBLICAN-RICH NORTH BIBB COUNTY.. WHILE THE SECOND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT MOVES INTO THE HEAVILY DEMOCRATIC EAST BIBB COUNTY..
TIFT COUNTY REPUBLICAN AUSTIN SCOTT HOLDS THE EIGHTH DISTRICT SEAT.. SO FAR.. SCOTT DOESN'T HAVE ANNOUNCED OPPOSITION.
OTHER CENTRAL GEORGIA COUNTIES IN THE EIGHTH INCLUDE MONROE.. JONES.. TWIGGS AND HOUSTON.
COLUMBUS DEMOCRAT SANFORD BISHOP HOLDS THE SECOND DISTRICT SEAT.. HE HELD THE SEAT IN THE 19-90'S.. WHEN THE DISTRICT CAME INTO EAST BIBB COUNTY..
OTHER CENTRAL GEORGIA COUNTIES IN THE SECOND DISTRICT INCLUDE CRAWFORD.. PEACH.. AND TAYLOR.
BISHOP DOESN'T HAVE ANNOUNCED DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION.. BUT THREE REPUBLICANS ARE SEEKING THE POST.. INCLUDING COLUMBUS BUSINESSMAN RICK ALLEN..
THE OTHER REPUBLICANS ARE RETIRED ARMY COLONEL JOHN HOUSE OF COLUMBUS.. AND EDUCATOR AND PASTOR KEN DELOACH OF WARNER ROBINS.
THE REALIGNED TENTH DISTRICT INCLUDES ALL OF BALDWIN COUNTY..PUTNAM.. HANCOCK AND WASHINGTON COUNTIES.
IT'S REPRESENTED BY ATHENS REPUBLICAN PAUL BROUN.. WHO FACES PRIMARY OPPOSITION FROM MILLEDGEVILLE NATIVE STEPHEN SIMPSON.. A BUSINESSMAN AND RETIRED ARMY COLONEL.
THERE AREN'T ANNOUNCED DEMOCRATS FOR THE POST.
AUGUSTA DEMOCRAT JOHN BARROW HOLDS THE TWELFTH DISTRICT SEAT..WHICH COVERS LAURENS.. TREUTLEN AND WHEELER COUNTIES.
HE DOESN'T HAVE ANNOUNCED DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION.. BUT THREE REPUBLICANS PLAN TO SEEK THE POSITION... INCLUDING THE SECOND RICK ALLEN.. AN AUGUSTA BUSINESSMAN.
OTHERS ARE STATE REPRESENTATIVE LEE ANDERSON OF COLUMBIA COUNTY.. AND WRIGHT MCLEOD.. AN AUGUSTA REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY.
CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES QUALIFY AT THE STATE CAPITOL IN ATLANTA.. THEIR QUALIFYING FEE IS FIVE THOUSAND.. TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY DOLLARS.
QUALIFYING BEGINS NEXT WEDNESDAY AND RUNS THROUGH NOON ON FRIDAY..
GEORGIA HAS A NEW STATE POET LAUREATE...AND HE HAILS FROM CENTRAL GEORGIA.
HIS NAME IS JUDSON MITCHAM AND HE TEACHES CREATIVE WRITING AT MERCER UNIVERSITY.
HE'S BEEN A POET FOR ABOUT 35 YEARS.
AUSTIN LEWIS TALKED TO HIM ABOUT HIS INSPIRATIONS AND WHAT IT MEANS TO HAVE THIS HONOR.
IF YOU GO TO MERCER'S TARVER LIBRARY...THERE'S A GOOD CHANCE YOU'LL FIND THE STATE'S NEW POET LAUREATE...JUDSON MITCHAM IN A STUDY ROOM.
BUT POETRY WASN'T ALWAYS HIS FIRST CAREER CHOICE
Judson Mitcham, Georgia Poet Laureate: 00:19 at the University of Georgia when I was trying to write songs acutally. I had been listening to a lot of Bob Dylan and I thought I would write songs like Bob Dylan, but I wasn't a very good musician.
INSTEAD...HE BECAME A POET.
MITCHAM SAYS HE'S INSPIRED BY THE GREATS...LIKE ROBERT FROST...
Judson Mitcham, Georgia Poet Laureate: 00:32 Now after having written for so many years, I find my inspiration from the poems of other people. Poetry doesn't really come from life experience, it comes from life experience filtered through the writing that one loves. This is how we make good poems it's by studying good poems.
AND HE ALSO DRAWS INSPIRATION...A LITTLE CLOSER TO HOME.
Judson Mitcham, Georgia Poet Laureate: 02:16 When I think about my children and my children's lives, I look at my grandchildren and observe what I do. I delight in what they do
ONE POEM INSPIRED BY HIS FAMILY IS *ROCKING ANNA TO SLEEP*...ABOUT HIS DAUGHTER AS A BABY.
Judson Mitcham, Georgia Poet Laureate: 03:21 she had something that she carried all the time, she had a little night gown or blanket, which she called boogown and she carried it around with her all the time
Judson Mitcham, Georgia Poet Laureate: 04:10 It relates when I was a boy trying to hold on to the day when I was going to sleep, I didn't want to go to sleep, I wanted to hold on and it relates that to my daughter when I was rocking her to sleep holding on to that blue gown.
AND TEACHING AND WRITING AT MERCER...HE SAYS MACON IS A GREAT PLACE TO CREATE.
Judson Mitcham, Georgia Poet Laureate: 05:30 Why did Little Richard come from here? Why did Otis Redding come from here? Why did the Alleman brothers make their home here? What is it about this place? I'm not sure if I can answer that, but I would say there is some psychological resonance that exist in Macon that's not always a comfortable one but it is one that has a creative tension.
AUSTIN LEWIS...13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
POETRY ISN'T HIS ONLY TALENT....HE'S ALSO AN ACCLAIMED NOVELIST.
AS POET LAUREATE... MITCHAM HOPES TO GET OTHERS TO NOTICE THE PEACH STATE'S POETIC TALENT.
. THANKS FOR JOINING US.... WE'LL BE BACK TONIGHT AT 11.
BUT REMEMBER...THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ.COM !
THE EVENING NEWS IS UP NEXT.
HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.