HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.... I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
AND I'M FRANK MALLOY.
THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX...
STUDENTS IN BIBB COUNTY ARE GEARING UP FOR SUMMER BREAK THIS WEEK... BUT FOR ONE GROUP OF VOLUNTEERS... THEIR WORK IS JUST BEGINNING.
THE SCHOOL DISTRICT'S DISCIPLINE TASK FORCE GOT TOGETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME TODAY...
AND AS CANDACE ADORKA REPORTS... THEY SAY THEY HAVE A LOT OF WORK AHEAD.
***this is very important***
A THREE-HOUR SESSION... COMPLETE WITH BINDERS... STICKY NOTES... AND POSTERS... KICKED OFF MONTHS OF WORK FOR A GROUP OF VOLUNTEERS WHO MAKE UP THE DISCIPLINE TASK FORCE.
"everybody came to the table with ideas"
COMMUNITY ORGANIZER SARAH HUNT IS ONE OF 40 COMMUNITY ACTIVISTS... FORMER EDUCATORS... AND SCHOOL EMPLOYEES WHO TOOK PART IN A DISCUSSION ABOUT DISCIPLINE AND SAFETY IN BIBB SCHOOLS.
"there is a direct correlation between behavior and school performance."
DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT ED JUDIE SAID THE TASKFORCE WILL LOOK AT EACH DISTRICT POLICY RELATED TO DISCIPLINE... THEN REVISE... REWRITE... AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS WHERE NECESSARY.
"for example, something as simple as cell phones. How does that look? Is the current policies and procedures adequate to meet the guidelines of our success and also meet the changes that our community is asking for."
BUT AT THE KICK OFF MEETING... THE TASKFORCE GOT ITS FEET WET TACKLING TOPICS FROM CULTURE AND DRESS CODE... (***dress for success***) TO PUNISHMENT AND PARENT ENGAGEMENT.
"the three hours we've spent here today I think have put us on track to where we need to be headed."
JOAN WHITEHEAD... A COORDINATOR FOR THE DISTRICT... SAYS SHE AND HER FELLOW VOLUNTEERS ARE UP FOR THE CHALLENGE AHEAD.
"the children in bibb county are going to benefit, but the entire mid Georgia area is going to benefit when we are successful."
JUDIE SAYS THE GROUP HAS AT LEAST FOUR MORE MEETINGS SCHEDULED THROUGH JULY... AND THE DISTRICT COULD HOLD THEM IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE CITY... TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR PEOPLE TO ATTEND.
CANDACE ADORKA 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> JUDIE SAYS THE TASKFORCE WILL HAVE TO COMB THROUGH WHAT'S NOW CALLED THE STUDENT GUIDELINES FOR SUCCESS.... AND MAKE ANY CHANGES IN TIME FOR THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL IN AUGUST.
THE NEW DOCUMENT WILL REPLACE THE CURRENT "STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT."
CHUCK SHAHEEN SAYS WARNER ROBINS' MAYOR SHOULD HAVE MORE POWER.
AT AN ALL DAY COUNCIL WORK SESSION TODAY.. CITY LEADERS DISCUSSED WHETHER THE CITY NEEDS TO MOVE FROM A WEAK-MAYOR TO A STRONG-MAYOR GOVERNMENT.
UNDER GEORGIA LAW.. A "STRONG" MAYOR HAS VETO POWER AND CAN APPOINT DEPARTMENT HEADS.
SHAHEEN SPOKE WITH OUR LORRA LYNCH-JONES DURING EYEWITNESS NEWS AT FIVE.. AND SAYS WARNER ROBINS IS ONE OF THE FEW CITIES AROUND WITH A "WEAK" MAYOR.
Chuck Shaheen, Warner Robins Mayor:" I guarantee if you went back and asked any mayor that's on this wall would you have liked to have veto powers? Yeah, they would. Mayor of Macon's got it, the governor's got it, the President of the United States has it, but the way our charter was set up, we don't have it."
CITY ATTORNEY JIM ELLIOT SAYS IT'S A CHANGE THAT WOULD HAVE TO BE APPROVED BY GEORGIA'S GENERAL ASSEMBLY.. AND VOTERS..
ANOTHER BIG TOPIC OF DISCUSSION - A 1-POINT-2 MILLION DOLLAR BUDGET SHORTFALL FOR NEXT YEAR.
BILL HARTE.. WARNER ROBIN'S HEAD OF FINANCE.. SAYS THAT IS BECAUSE REVENUE PROJECTIONS ARE DOWN.
SHAHEEN ASKED ALL DEPARTMENTS TO LOOK FOR CUTS BECAUSE THEY ALL AGREE THEY WILL NOT RAISE TAXES.
THE FIRST PUBLIC HEARING ON THE BUDGET WILL BE JUNE 4TH.. THE BUDGET IS AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC REVIEW AT CITY HALL TODAY.
THE ATTORNEY FOR A MACON POLICE SERGEANT CHARGED WITH INDECENT EXPOSURE SAYS ....IT NEVER HAPPENED.
LAST FRIDAY....MACON POLICE CHARGED JOHN HORTON WITH EXPOSING HIMSELF AT THE HAIR AND NAILS 2000 SALON ON FORSYTH ROAD ON APRIL 30TH.
ACCORDING TO HIS ATTORNEY...HORTON'S WIFE AND CHILDREN WERE PRESENT AT THE TIME.. AND HIS WIFE WILL TESTIFY THAT....QUOTE....NO ACT OF EXPOSURE" TOOK PLACE.
MACON POLICE INVESTIGATORS ARE NOT RELEASING ANY DETAILS OF THE CASE.
BUT HORTON IS ON A FIVE-DAY SUSPENSION... PENDING TERMINATION.
THE CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL SAYS ALMOST 8-HUNDRED-THOUSAND PEOPLE IN THE U-S COULD HAVE HEPATITIS C WITHOUT KNOWING IT.
THEY TOLD KATELYN HECK WHY TESTING ALL BABY BOOMERS FOR THE VIRUS COULD SAVE THOUSANDS OF LIVES.
EACH OF THESE TEST TUBES COULD HOLD A LIFE-CHANGING DISCOVERY FOR A PATIENT.
THE CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL SAYS MANY PEOPLE LIVE UNAWARE THEY HAVE A HEALTH ISSUE LIKE HEPATITIS C... UNTIL THEY TAKE A BLOOD TEST.
(SOT:this is an opportunity to change that by getting persons tested who right now are not getting tested. getting them in the care so that decisions can be made that can protect their health and prevent transmission to others.)
THE C-D-C DRAFTED A RECOMMENDATION FOR ALL PEOPLE BORN BETWEEN 1945 AND 1965 TO TAKE A ONE TIME TEST FOR THE VIRUS.
OF THE OVER THREE MILLION PEOPLE DIAGNOSED WITH HEPATITIS C IN THE U-S... THREE QUARTERS OF THEM FALL IN THE BABY BOOMER GENERATION.
(SOT:hundreds of thousans became infected with this virus every year in the 70s and 80s, and once infected, about 80 percent of people remain infected for life)
HEPATITIS C IS THE LEADING CAUSE OF LIVER TRANSPLANTS AND LIVER CANCER.
WITH THE GROWING NUMBER OF DEATHS CAUSED BY THE VIRUS... THE C-D-S SAYS STEPPING UP TESTING COULD SAVE ALMOST 120-THOUSAND LIVES.
THEY CURRENTLY RECOMMEND SCREENINGS FOR ANYONE WITH A HISTORY OF DRUG INJECTIONS... BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS... OR SYMPTOMS OF LIVER DISEASE
BUT DOCTORS SAY PEOPLE SHOULD STILL GET TESTED... EVEN IF THEY DON'T HAVE ANY OF THE RISK FACTORS.
(SOT:any exposure to contaminated blood to broken skin or through any type of injection carries a sizeable risk of transmission of hepatitis C. it is an easily transmissible virus through blood contact.)
THE C-D-C WANTS PUBLIC INPUT ON THE NEW RECOMMENDATION BEFORE MAKING AN OFFICIAL NOTICE LATER IN THE YEAR.
13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
>> IF YOU WANT TO COMMENT TO THE C-D-C ON THIS ISSUE....WE CAN CONNECT YOU. JUST LOOK FOR THIS STORY ON OUR WEBSITE AT 13WMAZ-DOT-COM.
A MACON MAN IS IN JAIL.. AFTER POLICE SAY HE BEAT UP A WOMAN AND RAPED HER.
ACCORDING TO A MACON POLICE NEWS RELEASE.
ALEX JOHAN CURRY PICKED UP THE VICTIM AT HER HOME IN ANOTHER CITY.. AND BROUGHT HER TO MACON TO HIS BROTHER'S HOUSE.
THE VICTIM TOLD POLICE CURRY HIT HER IN THE FACE SEVERAL TIMES.. AND FORCED HER TO HAVE SEX WITH HIM.
ACCORDING TO THE REPORT.. THE VICTIM HAD SCRATCHES AND EXTREME BRUISING ON HER FACE.
WHEN POLICE WENT TO ARREST CURRY.. HE RAN.. BUT THEY CAUGHT HIM.
HE'S CHARGED WITH RAPE.. BATTERY.. AND MISDEMEANOR OBSTRUCTION.
A MONTICELLO-BASED JUDGE WHO ALSO HEARD CASES IN CENTRAL GEORGIA RESIGNED AFTER A STATE INVESTIGATION INTO WHETHER HE USED HIS JOB FOR PERSONAL GAIN.
JUDGE JOHN LEE PARROTT RESIGNED EFFECTIVE SATURDAY... ACCORDING TO A LETTER POSTED BY THE STATE JUDICIAL QUALIFICATIONS COMMISSION.
TONIGHT ON EYEWITNESS NEWS AT ELEVEN...
I've seen it morning, I've seen it late night, I've seen it after the bar's closed somebody comes home and decides they've got the munchies for french fries.
GREASE FIRES CAN GET OUT OF CONTROL IN AN INSTANT.
AND THE WORST THING YOU CAN DO.. AS YOU CAN SEE HERE.. IS TO PUT WATER ON THAT FIRE.
TONIGHT.. WE'LL TAKE AN INDEPTH LOOK AT HOW TO HANDLE GREASE FIRES.. AND TELL YOU ABOUT A PRODUCT YOU CAN INSTALL IN YOUR KITCHEN TO HELP DAMPEN THE FLAMES OF A DANGEROUS SITUTATION.
THAT'S TONIGHT ON EYEWITNESS NEWS AT ELEVEN.
TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... WHAT KIND OF FIRE SAFETY DEVICE DO YOU HAVE IN YOUR KITCHEN?
SO FAR 40 PERCENT OF YOU SAY A FIRE EXTINGUISHER.
46 PERCENT SAY A SMOKE DETECTOR.
LESS THAN ONE PERCENT SAY SPRINKLERS...
AND 14 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YOU DON'T HAVE ONE.
VOTE NOW... VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM AND LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE.
ONE OF EVERY TEN GEORGIANS WITH A JOB... MAKES MINIMUM WAGE.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO NUMBERS FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
THE PERCENTAGE OF GEORGIANS EARNING 7-25 OR LESS AN HOUR... ROSE TO NEARLY TEN PERCENT LAST YEAR.
THE NATIONAL FIGURE IS ABOUT FIVE PERCENT.
THAT HAS SOME OF YOU COMMENTING ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE.
ONE USER WROTE... " CONSIDERING TODAY'S ECONOMY, AND JOB MARKET, SOME PAY, IS BETTER THAN NO PAY."
AND SOMEONE ELSE REPLIED... "WHEN YOU HAVE A FAMILY TO FEED AND BILLS TO PAY, FOR SOME MINIMUM WAGE IS THE SAME AS NO PAY."
JOIN THE CONVERSATION AT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ.
A FREEZER FULL OF CASSEROLES IS HELPING A CENTRAL GEORGIA HOSPICE ORGANIZATION GIVE SUPPORT TO FAMILIES IN NEED.
THE PROGRAM CALLED, CASSEROLE MINISTRY GREW THROUGH A NETWORK OF LOCAL CHURCHES.
BUT AS WE FOUND OUT.. IN TONIGHT'S HERO CENTRAL REPORT.... THEY COULD ALWAYS USE MORE CASSEROLES AND MORE VOLUNTEERS.
SOT: Food is a way to reach out to people in love, especially in the south.
For Maureen Wilcox... a casserole can be worth a thousand words. Wilcox is the volunteer coordinator at Heart of Georgia Hospice. She oversees its Casserole Ministry which she says is making a difference for families with a sick loved one or those who are dealing with a loss.
SOT: "By providing food to a family, especially a family that's going through a hard time, it provides them an additional element of support. It makes them feel like somebody is there for them."
Gene Saunders works as chaplin for Heart of Georgia Hospice. He says some of the families they serve depend on their casserole ministry.
SOT: You go in and there's really not a lot of food. There's people showing up but not a lot of food and immediately they feel like that's one thing they don't have to think about because after you lose someone, there are a lot of things that have to be done.
The ministry is driven by volunteers. They prepare casseroles and deliver them to families throughout central Georgia.
SOT: It means a lot to every one of us to be able to participate in that way.
Ann Strickland says Heart of Georgia Hospice was there when her family needed them most. She now volunteers to help out with their ministry.
SOT: I'm all for it because of Hospice and how great they are working with the families and if it had not been for Hospice, we would have really had a hard time with daddy's illness because he was down for five years. Even though this wasn't going on when daddy was living, it's here for those who still are and anything we can do to help them, I'm all for it.
Wilcox hopes to get more people like Stickland on board.
SOT: We still need volunteers that can step forward and deliver those casseroles as well because the larger this ministry grows, the more people we'll need.
WILCOX SAYS THE MINISTRY STARTED ABOUT A YEAR AGO.
THEY CURRENTLY HAVE AROUND 40 VOLUNTEERS WHO PREPARE AND DELIVER CASSEROLES.
FOR MORE INFORMATION YOU CAN CALL HEART OF GEORGIA HOSPICE AT 478-953-5161.
AGAIN... THAT'S 953-5161
COMMUNITY POOLS ARE GEARING UP TO OPEN MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND.
THE ONE AT EAST MACON PARK IS GETTING A SCRUB DOWN.
NINE MONTHS OF THE YEAR...THIS SMALL BODY OF WATER LAYS UNTOUCHED..
IT TAKES 3 TO 5 HOURS TO CLEAN...ACCORDING TO LEE WALLS...MACON AQUATICS MANAGER.
we have 6 pools in the macon area and we will be opening them on saturday so this is a busy time, makre sure the pools willbe ready to open 6 days a week so we're trying our hardest to make them all ready
THE EAST MACON POOL WILL OPEN THIS SATURDAY.. FROM NOON UNTIL 6 P-M.
FOUR OTHER MACON POOLS OPEN THE SAME DAY.
BUT PARK AND RECREATION DIRECTOR DOC DOUGHERTY SAYS THE POOL AT FREEDOM PARK WON'T OPEN FOR SOME TIME
HE SAID IT'S AN OLDER POOL THAT NEEDS MAJOR REPAIRS.