Tuesday, May 22, Eyewitness News at 11

4:15 PM, May 21, 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.

AN ISSUE THAT'S BEEN AT THE FOREFRONT OF MACON CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSIONS... FOR SEVERAL WEEKS... GOT A BIT HEATED DURING A WORK SESSION TONIGHT.
SOME MEMBERS OF THE FIRE AND POLICE PENSION BOARD SAY THEY DON'T AGREE WITH WORDING IN AN I-R-S REQUESTED REVISION TO THEIR PENSION PLAN...
MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT SAYS IN ORDER TO AVOID ADVERSE TAX CONSEQUENCES... THE PLAN NEEDS TO BE I-R-S CERTIFIED... SO THEY NEED TO GO THROUGH THE I-R-S BEFORE ANY PLANS CAN BE FINALIZED.
AS AMY AUBERT SHOWS YOU... THE DISAGREEMENT BETWEENT HE BOARD AND CITY STILL BURNS ON..
<<
Nats, Timley: "He can only ask questions, I said that. You are out of order."

A WORK SESSION AIMED AT EXPLAINING SOME I-R-S REQUESTED CHANGES TO THE MACON FIRE AND POLICE PENSION PLAN... GOT HEATED... WHEN RETIREES TOOK THE STAND... WITH QUESTIONS.

Nats: "What does that have to do with the price of tea in China? Charley, I'm not going to ask you again. Either you ask a question, or I'm going to rule you out of order and I'm going to ask the officer sitting right there to remove you from the auditorium."

MACON CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT JAMES TIMLEY... SAYS NORMALLY IN WORK SESSIONS... THE PUBLIC IS NOT ALLOWED TO VOICE OPINIONS... TONIGHT... HE SAYS HE ALLOWED QUESTIONS ONLY.

Nats, Timley: "This is the exception, I said that early on. So you are out of order."

MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT SAYS THE ISSUES STEM FROM A HIGH LEVEL OF SKEPTISICM.
HE SAYS ACCUSATIONS HAVE BEEN STIRRED UP OVER A PORTION OF THE PLAN... RECOMMENDED BY THE I-R-S... THAT READS IN PART... "IN THE EVENT OF ITS TERMINATION OR PARTIAL TERMINATION... A PARTICIPANT'S INTEREST UNDER THE PLAN AS OF SUCH DATE IS NONFORFEITABLE."

Nats, Reichert: "So the language that has been found to be so offensive did not come from the city of Macon."

FIRE AND POLICE PENSION BOARD MEMBER... JIMMY HARTLEY... SAYS HE QUESTIONS... THE REVISIONS.

Nats: "We've been told constantly, up until today, that this IRS qualification would be no more than a routine qulaification. No damaging language in it whatsoever. Just a routine qualification... Right?"
"That's my understanding. Yes. We're not trying to insert any language in here that is harmful to the beneficeries."

THE WORK SESSION... ILLUSTRATED A DIVISION BETWEEN THE CITY AND THE BOARD... BUT MAYOR REICHERT SAYS THE ULTIMATE DECISION LIES WITH MACON COUNCIL.
HE SAYS HE HOPES HE CLEARED UP SOME CONFUSION FOR COUNCIL MEMBERS... AND THAT THEY CAN TAKE THE NEXT STEPS SOON.
AMY AUBERT 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>>
MAYOR REICHERT SUGGESTED THE CITY HIRE AN ATTORNEY.
HE SAYS IT'S NOT FOR ANY LITIGATION... BUT INSTEAD TO CONFIRM WHAT'S BEST FOR THE CITY.
PRESIDENT TIMLEY SAYS THE BOARD AND CITY'S ATTORNEYS NEED TO MEET AND DISCUSS THE ISSUES.

A BIBB COUNTY STATE LEGISLATOR SAYS SHE WANTS SCHOOL BOARD CHAIRMAN TOMMY BARNES TO GET HIS FACTS STRAIGHT.
AT A SCHOOL BOARD MEETING TWO WEEKS AGO... BARNES SAID LEGISLATORS CHANGED ELECTION MAPS WITHOUT TELLING THEM.
TODAY... NIKKI RANDALL RELEASED A LETTER TO BARNES SAYING... THAT'S NOT THE CASE.
SHE INCLUDED COPIES OF EMAILS FROM STATE OFFICIALS DESCRIBING THE NEW SCHOOL BOARD DISTRICTS....TO THEIR ATTORNEY.
RANDALL WROTE ....
IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT YOU FELT IT NECESSARY TO PUBLICLY QUESTION THE INTEGRITY OF THE BIBB COUNTY LEGISLATIVE DELEGATION....AND IMPLY THAT SOMETHING WAS DONE UNDER THE CLOAK OF DARKNESS.
INSTEAD... SHE CONTINUED... THE SCHOOL BOARD AND ITS LOBBYIST FAILED TO KEEP UP WITH WHAT WAS GOING ON.
THIS EVENING... BOARD PRESIDENT TOMMY BARNES EMAILED 13WMAZ A REACTION STATEMENT.
IT SAID... IN PART... "THIS REPRESENTATION AS PRESENTED BY YOU ESTABLISHES THE GROUNDS FOR MY DISAPPOINTMENT AND QUESTIONS REGARDING THE PROCESS EXPRESSED THAT NIGHT AFTER THE MEETING."
BARNES ALSO WROTE THAT HE WAS CONCERNED BECAUSE ONLY ONE BOARD MEMBER WAS NOTIFIED ABOUT THE CHANGES.

THE NEXT FEW DAYS WILL REVEAL WHO WOULD LIKE TO HOLD OFFICE AROUND THE STATE AND IN CENTRAL GEORGIA..
QUALIFYING FOR GEORGIA'S ELECTIONS BEGINS TOMORROW MORNING AT 9-A-M AND CLOSES FRIDAY AT NOON.
ACCORDING TO THE GEORGIA SECRETARY OF STATE'S WEBSITE... INDIVIDUALS MUST FILE A DECLARATION OF CANDIDACY TO HAVE THEIR NAME ADDED TO THE GENERAL PRIMARY BALLOT.
JUNE FIRST IS THE LAST DAY TO FILE FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO BE A WRITE-IN CANDIDATE FOR THE PRIMARY.

MAJOR GENERAL ROBERT MCMAHON IS PREPARING TO SAY GOODBYE TO ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE... AND HIS 34-YEAR MILITARY CAREER.
McMAHON WILL OFFICIALLY RETIRE AT A CEREMONY ON JUNE 15TH.
TODAY... McMAHON TALKED WITH REPORTERS ABOUT HIS 20 MONTHS AS COMMANDER OF THE WARNER ROBINS AIR LOGISTICS CENTER.
HE HIGHLIGHTED THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO WORK AT ROBINS... AND CREDITED THEM FOR ALL THE SUCCESSES SINCE HIS ARRIVAL.
McMAHON SAYS HE'S MOST PROUD OF THEIR WORK CLEANING UP ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES THAT ATTRACTED THE ATTENTION OF FEDERAL REGULATORS... INCREASING ON-TIME DELIVERY OF AIRCRAFT TO THE WAR FIGHTERS... AND IMPROVING THE SERVICES ROBINS PROVIDES TO THE AIR FORCE.
HE BELIEVES THAT SUCCESS WILL CONTINUE WELL INTO THE FUTURE.
"My goal as I leave Robins Air Force Base is to support the next leadership team, to ensure I have done all I can as a member of this community to give the next commanders the leadership support they have been able to give to me. Is there room for improvement. Absolultely and they'll continue to build I am confident on the success weve enjoyed and taking Robins to an even greater height."
McMAHON SAID HE AND HIS WIFE HOPE RECENTLY BOUGHT A HOME IN KATHLEEN AND PLAN TO STAY IN CENTRAL GEORGIA.
HE SAID HIS PRIORITY AFTER RETIRING IS TO TAKE CARE OF HIS WIFE... AND SPEND TIME WITH FAMILY.

DOZENS OF CATS AND DOGS AT MACON ANIMAL CONTROL COULD FACE EUTHANASIA.. UNLESS THEY GET NEW HOMES IN THE NEXT FIFTEEN DAYS.
ON JUNE 7TH... THE SHELTER IS SHUTTING DOWN FOR A FEW DAYS TO HANDLE A PEST PROBLEM.
(nat - dogs barking)
THAT MEANS EACH OF THE DOGS AND CATS WHO LIVE THERE... MUST BE ADOPTED... TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER SHELTER... OR FOSTERED.
THE SHELTER HAS HAD PROBLEMS WITH MICE AND COCKROACHES... AND THE SHELTER WILL CLOSE FOR THREE TO FIVE DAYS FOR PEST CONTROL TREATMENT.
254 they own this building, meaning the cockroaches and the rodents, and they just let us work here. it's not a pleasant place to work. it's not a pleasant place for the animals 304
ACTING ANIMAL CONTROL DIRECTOR VAN VANDEWALKER (VAN-DEE-WALKER)...SAYS DURING THE PEST TREATMENT...THEY WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PICK UP STRAY ANIMALS.
BUT IF A WANDERING ANIMAL IS FOUND WEARING A TAG... OFFICERS WILL CONTACT THE OWNER AND WRITE A CITATION.

MORE BIBB COUNTY STUDENTS WILL GET HELP FINDING A CAREER PATH... STARTING THIS FALL.
THE DISTRICT WORKED WITH THE OFFICE OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT TO PLACE A CAREER COACH AT EACH HIGH SCHOOL.
THOSE COACHES WILL HELP STUDENTS FIND FIELDS THEY'RE INTERESTED IN... AND HELP THEM GET APPRENTICESHIPS OR PART-TIME JOBS.
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR KATHY THOMPSON SAYS STUDENTS WOULD COMPLETE HIGH SCHOOL REQUIREMENTS WHILE WORKING IN THE REAL WORLD.
THE GOAL IS FOR THEM TO GRADUATE WITH A GEORGIA WORK-READY CERTIFICATE IN THEIR CHOSEN FIELD... AND POSSIBLY SOME COLLEGE CREDITS.
"We believe it will make their time in high school relevant and that more students will graduate but graduate as being ready to go to work."
THOMPSON SAYS THE OFFICE OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT GAVE THE DISTRICT MORE THAN A 150-THOUSAND DOLLARS TO PAY FOR THE CAREER COACHES.
THE SCHOOL DISTRICT IS CONTRIBUTING ABOUT 100-THOUSAND DOLLARS.

>> Ben talks with Brad Speigel from Quality Computer Systems about repairing or replacing your mac<<

EACH YEAR THOUSANDS GATHER AT MCCONNELL TALBERT STADIUM IN WARNER ROBINS TO CELEBRATE THEIR INDEPENDENCE. BUT THIS YEAR... PERRY IS JOINING THE PARTY IN ITS OWN WAY.

THE PERRY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IS PARTNERING WITH DAVID RAGAN..... FORD AND WEYERHAEUSER TO BRING YOU THE CITY'S FIRST ANNUAL INDEPENDENCE PARADE.
THE THEME IS PERRY'S PATRIOTIC PRIDE... AND THE PARADE WILL START ON WASHINGTON STREET... TURN ON MAIN STREET AND END AT THE GEORGIA NATIONAL FAIRGROUNDS.
Stacy Campbell, Chamber President: "We have a celebrity grand marshall a grand marshall from the area we have units from Robins Air Force base that will be participating we have a unit from the Army National Guard that will be coming in."
NASCAR DRIVER DAVID RAGAN IS THE GRAND MARSHAL.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW YOU CAN JOIN PERRY'S INDEPENDENCE PARADE VISIT OUR WEBSITE 13-WMAZ DOT COM AND LOOK FOR THIS WEB STORY.

THANKS FOR JOINING US.... FIRST MORNIN COMES YOUR WAY AT 5 A-M.
THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
LETTERMAN'S NEXT.
HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.



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