Wednesday, May 30, Eyewitness News at 6

5:29 PM, May 30, 2012   |    comments
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HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.... I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
AND I'M FRANK MALLOY.
THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX...

OUR TOP STORY AT SIX... THE GBI AND THE TAYLOR COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS THEY'RE INVESTIGATING A COMPLAINT THAT A BUTLER COUPLE KEPT A TEENAGE GIRL LOCKED UP FOR MONTHS.... IN A CHICKEN COOP.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO RODNEY WALL WITH THE GBI OFFICE IN COLUMBUS.
AUSTIN LEWIS WENT TO TAYLOR COUNTY TODAY.... AND HAS MORE.
<<
I'VE GOT A COPY OF THE INCIDENT REPORT FROM TAYLOR COUNTY SHERIFF JEFF WATSON.
HE SAYS LAST FRIDAY.....THEY WERE CALLED OUT TO 783 EAST OLD WIRE ROAD IN BUTLER...TO ASSIST THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY AND CHILD SERVICES. DFCS SAYS THEY GOT GOT A TIP ABOUT POSSIBLE CHILD ABUSE.
HERE'S THE HOME...WHICH IS RIGHT OFF OF WAINWRIGHT ROAD.
WHEN THE DEPUTY GOT THERE...HE MET TWO DFCS STAFFERS...OUTSIDE SAMUEL AND DIANA FRANKLIN'S HOME. IN THE REPORT HE SAYS HE SAW DIANA FRANKLIN...AND HER DAUGHTER COMING TOWARDS THEM FROM THE WOODS.
Sheriff Jeff Watson, Taylor County: At first the mother didn't want to talk to DFCS workers but then she changed her mind and the daughter talked to DCFS workers and then DFCS took custody of her, took her away from the house.
THE SHERIFF'S REPORT SAYS DFCS GOT A COMPLAINT THAT A 15-YEAR-OLD GIRL WAS BEING PAD-LOCKED INSIDE A BUILDING...WITHOUT FOOD AND WATER...OUTSIDE THE COUPLE'S HOME.
BUT WATSON SAYS THEY'RE LOOKING INTO WHETHER THAT BUILDING WAS A CHICKEN COOP....A SHED...OR A BARN.
Sheriff Jeff Watson, Taylor County: That's basically what we're investigating whether it was child abuse, a padlocked building outside not fed or whether she was in a chicken coop or what, still child abuse and that's what we're investigating.
SO FAR...NOBODY'S BEEN CHARGED.
Sheriff Jeff Watson, Taylor County: If these allegations are confirmed, yes they are, they will be, but we have to investigate it to make sure these allegations are ture.
WATSON SAYS G-B-I HAS TAKEN THE LEAD ....AND THIS INVESTIGATION IS JUST STARTING.
>> WE TALKED TO A NEIGHBOR WHO DID NOT WANT TO BE IDENTIFIED... BUT SHE SAYS SHE THINKS THE ALLEGATIONS ARE FALSE.
SHE SAID THE COUPLE ARE HARDWORKERS... AND SHE CALLED THE 15-YEAR-OLD.... A SWEET GIRL.
WE ALSO KNOCKED AT THE FRANKLINS' DOOR...... NOBODY ANSWERED.
SHERIFF WATSON SAYS THE 15-YEAR-OLD GIRL IS STILL STAYING WITH D-FACS.

WHEN YOU COMBINE PUBLIC HEALTH...AND ECONOMIC VITALITY... A RECENT REPORT SAYS PEOPLE IN MACON COUNTY...ARE HURTING MORE THAN ANY IN THE STATE.
HEALTHCARE GEORGIA FOUNDATION SAYS IT COMMISSIONED THE STUDY.. TO RAISE AWARENESS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH..
THEY RANKED MACON COUNTY DEAD LAST IN THE STATE WHEN THEY COMBINED THOSE TWO FACTORS.
THE MAN BEHIND THE RANKINGS.. CHARLES HAYSLETT SAYS.... THE RANKINGS SHOW THAT GOOD HEALTH... AND A HEALTHY ECONOMY GO HAND IN HAND.
Charles Hayslett, CEO Hayslett Corporation: "not only is that community that has the flu or the cold or something worse less productive, but more money will go into taking care of those conditions then will be able to go into better schools and parks and roads and investments that will make it more attractive to the businesses and a better place to live."
WHILE MACON COUNTY FELL AT THE BOTTOM OF THE RANKINGS.. THEIR HEALTH AND JOB PROBLEMS ARE ALL TOO FAMILIAR IN MANY CENTRAL GEORGIA COUNTIES -
GOING UP THE LIST.. TELFAIR COUNTY IS CLOSE.. FOLLOWED BY WILCOX.. WILKINSON.. WASHINGTON AND DODGE COUNTIES.. ALL IN THE BOTTOM 20 OUT OF 156 GEORGIA COUNTIES.
THREE COUNTIES WERE TOO SMALL TO RANK.
THIS MAP ILLUSTRATES WHERE COUNTIES FARED ACROSS THE STATE.
THE GREEN COUNTIES REPRESENT THOSE IN THE TOP THIRD OF THE LIST..
YELLOW COUNTIES FALL IN THE MIDDLE ..
AND RED COUNTIES ARE IN THE BOTTOM THIRD OF THE LIST.
AS YOU SEE......MANY OF THOSE RED COUNTIES... ARE CONCENTRATED IN CENTRAL AND SOUTH GEORGIA.. AND IN MOSTLY RURAL AREAS.
CHARLES HAYSLETT.. C-E-O OF THE HAYSLETT GROUP.. WHICH PUBLISHED THE STUDY SAYS.. THAT'S BECAUSE WHEN A COUNTY DOES POORLY IN ONE CATEGORY.. IT'S LIKELY TO DO POORLY IN THE OTHER
>>Charles Hayslett, CEO Hayslett Corporation: "what you can see is that as areas become less populous, they have less of a critical mass, frankly, to attract healthcare resources, hospitals, and doctors and those sorts of things. Health status suffers. it becomes more expensive to take care of and that leaves them less money for community investment."
SO WE WENT TO MACON COUNTY.. WHERE FOLKS SAY THEY FACE SOME CHALLENGES..BUT THEY'RE WORKING HARD TO MOVE UP THAT LIST..
LEAH
KATELYN HECK EXPLORES SOME OF THE COUNTY'S ECONOMIC STRUGGLES ... AND HOW PEOPLE THERE PLAN TO TURN THE COUNTY AROUND.
<<
(NATS: ok if i type in macon county...)
THIS IS PART OF CINDY KLECKLY'S DAILY ROUTINE. SHE SCROLLS THROUGH HELP WANTED SITES... HOPING TO FIND A JOB CLOSE TO HOME.
(NATS: that's in Perry... that's at the hospital in Americus)
KLECKLY WORKED AS A SECRETARY IN MONTEZUMA... BUT AFTER ALMOST TEN MONTHS WITHOUT WORK... SHE'S OPEN TO ANY JOB.
(SOT: when you do find a job to apply for, there's so many people looking, that you know, there's just competition.)
SHE'S IN THE SAME BOAT AS 14.7 PERCENT OF PEOPLE IN MACON COUNTY....THAT'S MORE THAN ONE OUT OF SEVEN. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR JIMMY DAVIS HOPES TO CHANGE THAT.
(SOT:Every community's got its challenges and companies understand that, i mean if you told them everything was perfect, they wouldn't believe you anyway but what they want to know is what are you doing to meet, what are you doing to correct that challenge.")
THE COUNTY BOUGHT ALMOST 130 ACRES LAST YEAR FOR AN INDUSTRIAL SITE TO HELP EXPAND THEIR 4,000 PERSON WORK FORCE.
DAVIS SAYS STEP TWO IN THEIR ECONOMIC PLAN.... FINDING WAYS TO KEEP KIDS IN SCHOOL.
THE COUNTY RAISED ITS GRADUATION RATE FROM AROUND 60 PERCENT UP TO 76 PERCENT LAST YEAR.
(NATS)
HE SAYS RECRUITING COMPANIES LIKE SWARTZ AG COULD BE THE KEY TO THEIR SUCCESS.
(SOT: how do you get the mix, we need some jobs, but you gotta fix the jobs that matches your skills.)
THE OIL-SEED PROCESSING PLANT OPENED ALMOST TWO YEARS AGO... AND WITH THE HELP OF LOCAL EMPLOYEES... IT KEEPS ON GROWING.
(SOT:I think Macon County's been under rated. We have a lot of people that want to work and that are hard workers. They come to you and basically you give them a shot. So far I've been very pleased with the work force that's here.)
DAVIS SAYS AGRICULTURAL JOBS KEEP THE COUNTY'S ECONOMY FROM FALLING THROUGH THE CRACKS.
(NATS)
(SOT: we got a lot to be proud of, we got a long way to go, but we've got the schools, and the school system, and our employers have made a lot of progress)
BUT DAVIS BELIEVES THERE'S STILL HOPE FOR OTHER BUSINESSES TO TAKE OFF.
(NATS)
(SOT: they say a bumblebee, if you take the logistics, is not supposed to fly, but nobody told him he couldnt nfly, so he flew anyway.)
HE SAYS TWO STORES EXPANDED OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS... A SMALL SIGN OF GROWTH FOR THE AREA.

KATELYN HECK
13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
>> TO SEE MORE ON THIS HEALTHCARE GEORGIA FOUNDATION STUDY....AND SEE WHERE YOUR COUNTY RANKED ON THE LIST...LOOK FOR THIS STORY AT 13WMAZ-DOT-COM.
TOMORROW NIGHT... WE'LL SHOW YOU HOW LACK OF JOBS OFTEN LEADS TO LACK OF HEALTH CARE.. .AND EVEN MORE MEDICAL PROBLEMS.
PART TWO OF THIS STORY TOMORROW NIGHT ON EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 6.

TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... WOULD YOU EAT HEALTHIER FOODS IF YOU HAD MORE MONEY?
SO FAR 73 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES... YOU WOULD.
AND 27 PERCENT SAY NO.
VOTE NOW... VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM AND LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE.

RAILROAD CROSSING ARMS SHOULD BE COMING TO THE SITE OF SUNDAY'S DEADLY CRASH...BY THE END OF NEXT YEAR.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION ...WHICH SAYS THE IGNICO DRIVE CROSSING IN HOUSTON COUNTY IS ON THEIR HIGH PRIORITY LIST... FOR SAFETY IMPROVMENTS.
A STATE REPORT LISTS RAILROAD CROSSINGS AROUND THE STATE WITHOUT GATES.....AND THE NUMBER OF VEHICLE-TRAIN ACCIDENTS BETWEEN 2005 AND 2010.
THE IGNICO DRIVE AND HIGHWAY 2-47 INTERSECTION HAS THE MOST ACCIDENTS IN THAT TIME....FIVE.
THAT DOESN'T INCLUDE SUNDAY'S ACCIDENT...AND ANOTHER ONE LAST YEAR.
G-DOT SAYS IGNICO DRIVE WAS ADDED TO THE PRIORITY LIST BASED ON TRAIN AND TRAFFIC VOLUME...NUMBER OF ACCIDENTS...AND OTHER FACTORS
THEY SAY NEW GATES WILL COST BETWEEN 200-THOUSAND .. AND 350-THOUSAND DOLLARS.
AND THE GATES SHOULD BE IN PLACE BEFORE 2014.
13 WMAZ WILL CONTINUE TO SEEK ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THE GATE PLANS... AND WE'LL REPORT BACK TO YOU AS WE FIND OUT MORE.

MACON POLICE ARRESTED A MAN IN CONNECTION WITH A MEMORIAL DAY MURDER.
POLICE SPOKESWOMAN JAMI GAUDET SAID
NICHOLAS JERMAINE FOSTER IS IN THE BIBB COUNTY JAIL CHARGED WITH FELONY MURDER AND AGGRAVATED ASSUALT IN THE DEATH OF 31-YEAR-OLD NETTRA BROOKS.
ACCORDING TO A POLICE REPORT... BROOKS WAS SHOT JUST BELOW HER LEFT ARMPIT... EARLY MONDAY MORNING.
HER AUNT... BERNICE BROOKS... SAYS SHE FOUND HER NIECE'S BODY IN A MONTPELIER AVENUE HOME.. AROUND 5-30 MONDAY MORNING.
HER UNCLE SAYS BROOKS HAD BEEN STAYING AT THE HOME FOR SEVERAL MONTHS.

SCHOOL MIGHT BE OVER FOR BIBB COUNTY STUDENTS... BUT OFFICIALS SAY THAT DOESN'T MEAN THE LEARNING STOPS.
THE BIBB SCHOOLS' WELCOME CENTER WILL STILL BE OPEN OVER THE SUMMER... WITH SHORTER HOURS.
PARENTS WILL BE ABLE TO REGISTER THEIR KIDS... GET QUESTIONS ANSWERED... AND USE THE RESOURCE CENTER.... BUT PARENTS THEMSELVES CAN PARTICIPATE IN DIFFERENT CLASSES AND WORKSHOPS.
TEMICA MEANS... A PARENT ACADEMIC INSTRUCTOR... SAYS SOME OF THOSE WORKSHOPS WILL TAKE PLACE ON A BUS.
THE MACON-BIBB OFFICE OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT IS SPONSORING A MOBILE LAB THAT WILL STOP AT 8 SCHOOLS DURING JUNE.
SHE SAYS ADULTS WILL GET HELP CREATING RESUMES... CARVING OUT CAREERS AND APPLYING FOR JOBS ONLINE.
"We want to make sure that we give all parents an opportunity to participate. We do realise that sometimes one of the challenges can be transportation, so what we have decided to do is take our resource in to the community to make an impact."
THE FIRST WORKSHOP ON WHEELS WILL BE AT HARTLEY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ON JUNE 7.
MEANS SAYS THERE'LL BE A TWO HOUR SESSION AT 10 A-M AND ANOTHER AT 5 P-M.

A WEEK FROM TOMORROW - ANY ANIMALS REMAINING AT MACON ANIMAL CONTROL ARE SCHEDULED TO BE PUT DOWN.
THAT'S WHEN THE SHELTER WILL CLOSE FOR THREE TO FIVE DAYS FOR PEST CONTROL TREATMENT.
THE SHELTER STILL HAS 30 DOGS AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION.
IF YOU WANT TO HELP...
YOU'LL FIND MACON ANIMAL CONTROL AT
10-10 11-TH STREET.
IT'S OPEN MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY FROM 8 A-M TO 4-30 P-M.
BRING YOUR DRIVER'S LICENSE AND 75-DOLLAR ADOPTION FEE... IN CASH... TO THE SHELTER.
THAT FEE ALSO INCLUDES SPAY OR NEUTER... AND RABIES SHOTS.

THIS WEEKEND... YOUNG CENTRAL GEORGIA BASEBALL PLAYERS WILL HAVE A CHANCE TO GET SOME TIPS... WITH THE SECOND ANNUAL ALEX WYCHE DAY.
IT'S HAPPENING THIS SATURDAY... JUNE SECOND... FROM 4 P-M TO 6-30... AT MACON LITTLE LEAGUE.
THAT'S 2320 ANTHONY ROAD.
EACH YOUNG PLAYER WILL NEED TO DRESS .. IN BASEBALL PANTS... T-SHIRT... CLEATS AND A BASEBALL CAP.
AND MAKE SURE NOT TO FORGET THE EQUIPMENT... THEY'LL NEED A GLOVE... BAT... AND BATTING HELMET.

DINOSAURS ARE ROARING BACK TO LIFE AT THE MUSEUM OF ARTS AND SCIENCE IN MACON.
THE EXHIBIT COMES ONCE EVERY COUPLE OF YEARS... BRINGING BACK ANIMALS THAT ONCE RULED THE EARTH.
THE LARGE REPTILES....AND SOME ICE-AGE CREATURES.... ARE ON DISPLAY UNTIL SEPTEMBER 16TH.
THAT MEANS YOU HAVE 4 MONTHS TO SEE THEM BEFORE THEY BECOME EXTINCT AGAIN.
MUSEUM CURATOR...JIM GREENHOUSE...SAYS IT TOOK ABOUT TWO WEEKS TO INSTALL THE PREHISTORIC ANIMALS.
HE EXPECTS THE LIZARD KING TO BE A BIG CROWD PLEASER.
my favorite part was the t-rex. it kind of looked at us like it was really real THE MUSEUM IS OPEN TUESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY FROM 10 TO 5 P-M. AND SATURDAY FROM 1 TO 5 P-M.

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.

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