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Friday, June 1, Eyewitness News at 6

6:07 PM, Jun 1, 2012   |    comments
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HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US....I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
FRANK MALLOY HAS THE NIGHT OFF.

ALMOST 280 PEOPLE WILL LOSE THEIR JOBS... WHEN A DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES PROGRAM CLOSES AT CENTRAL STATE HOSPITAL IN MILLEDGEVILLE.
A STATE AGENCY ANNOUNCED THE LAY OFFS TODAY... SAYING FORMER PATIENTS THERE ARE BEING MOVED TO NEW HOMES IN COMMUNITIES.
THAT'S DUE TO A LAW PASSED IN 2011....THAT PROHIBITS PATIENTS FROM BEING ADMITTED TO STATE HOSPITALS... STRICTLY BECAUSE THEY'RE DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED.
AMY AUBERT SPOKE TO THE HOSPITAL'S DIRECTOR... AND HAS MORE.
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Amy Aubert: "The 275 employees being laid off are a part of the hospital's Developmental Disabilities Program. It's a program working with patients with disabilities that is set to close by the end of the month. I spoke with Charles Li, Director of Hosptial Operations, who says the program currently has 16 patients--all of whom will be transferred out into the real world by the end of the month. That number is down from 120 patients 6 months ago."
Charles Li: "It's a de-institutionalization movemement. People need to live in the community, and also part of one of the lawsuits, which the Supreme Court decided that these people do have the right to live in the community, not in the institutions."

Amy Aubert: "Li says closing the program has nothing to do with operation costs, and says the hospital is working with the employees to find new jobs."

Charles Li: "We understand that a lot of positions will be impacted by this transition. That's why we have lined up a lot of activities and also support from other state agencies like Department of Labor and state personnel administration to come over here to provide support and other job opportunities for individuals who are working here."

Amy Aubert: "According to Li, most of the positions fall into the Direct Care line, which includes nursing and health service technicians. Li says the employees were notified today of the lay offs, and will keep their jobs until June 30. In milledgeville, I'm Amy Aubert, 13 WMAZ, Eyewitness News.">> LI SAYS THE HOSPITAL HAS BEEN PLANNING THE TRANSITION FOR THE PAST YEAR.
HE SAYS THEY HELD MEETINGS AT 10... NOON... AND 3 O'CLOCK... INFORMING WORKERS ABOUT THE LAY-OFFS.
LI SAYS ALL PATIENTS WILL BE TRANSFERRED INTO COMMUNITY HOMES BY THE END OF JUNE.

SOME ELECTED OFFICIALS SAY MANY PEOPLE DONT FULLY UNDERSTAND THE DETAILS BEHIND THE MACON-BIBB MERGER.
MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT... WHO SUPPORTS CONSOLIDATION ... TOLD KATELYN HECK...THERE ARE THINGS HE DOESN'T GET HIMSELF.
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SEVERAL COMMUNITY LEADERS TOLD ME ONE BIG ISSUE SURROUNDING THE MACON BIBB-MERGER... IS EDUCATION.
(SOT Joe Allen: they needed to contact their local elected officials, they need to contact the state, they need to contact to find out what, they need to read what the law says, what they have put out for people to vote on.)
SO MACON CITY COUNCIL MEMBER TOM ELLINGTON DID SOME RESEARCH OF HIS OWN. ON THURSDAY...HE TOOK A STANCE AGAINST THE SUPER MAJORITY RULE THAT SAYS THE COUNTY COMMISSION WOULD NEED AT LEAST SIX VOTES OUT OF NINE...TO PASS A BUDGET.
(SOT:you could have a minority of the commission... four members basicallly making demands in a vote for a budget. they could say give us x, y, and z or take out x, y, and z or we will not vote for a budget and while it would be a minority of members, they could prevent that budget from passing.)
MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT... WHO SUPPORTS CONSOLIDATION.... SAID ELLINGTON DID NOT HAVE ALL OF THE FACTS.
(SOT:i think that mr. ellington is mistaken when he says it takes six of nine to pass a budget, i think five of nine can pass a budget unless you un a foul of the restriction that is included in the budget which mandates cost savings of five percent per year over four years)
BUT REICHERT WAS WRONG.
IN SECTION TWENTY SIX ... THE LAW SAYS ALL BUDGETS...
(CG:"MUST BE APPROVED BY A TWO-THIRDS MAJORITY VOTE OF THE COMMISSIONERS THEN SERVING.".... THAT'S SIX OUT OF NINE.
BY PHONE...REICHERT LATR ADMITTED HE WAS WRONG... BUT SAYS THE LANGUAGE IS NOT CLEAR AND IS INCONSISTENT WITH OTHER PARTS OF THE BILL.
HE SAYS THIS SHOWS WHY VOTERS NEED TO BRUSH UP ON ALL OF THE FACTS BEFORE HEADING TO THE POLLS ON JULY 31st.

KATELYN HECK
13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
>>

STATE REPRESENTATIVE ALLEN PEAKE JOINS US NOW TO DISCUSS THE CONSOLIDATION BILL.

- How are you educating the public about consolidation?

- Based on the the story we just heard, it would seem some elected officails need some more information on the bill as well. Is there a forum where they can get that information, to make sure they're answering constituents questions accurately?

- If people don't understand the bill or feel like they dont' have all the information they need to cast an informed vote, is there a concern that they'll just choose no?

Why do you think so many people in the county are uneducated about the bill?

A MONTEZUMA BANK TELLER STOLE MORE THAN 100 THOUSAND DOLLARS FROM THE BANK WHERE SHE WORKED.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO POLICE.
A MONTEZUMA POLICE NEWS RELEASE SAYS.. 52 YEAR OLD ANGELA CLEGHORN IS CHARGED WITH FELONY THEFT-BY-TAKING.
THEY SAY THE WOMAN STOLE THE CASH IN A SINGLE THEFT TWO YEARS AGO....
THEN JUGGLED THE COMPUTER BALANCES FOR TWO YEARS TO HIDE IT.
POLICE SAY A NEW INTERNAL AUDITOR AT THE BANK....DISCOVERED THE THEFT.
CLEGHORN IS OUT OF JAIL ON BOND.

IMPROPER STORAGE OF UTENSILS AND FOOD NOT BEING STORED CORRECTLY.. THOSE ARE A COUPLE OF THE ISSUES HEALTH INSPECTORS FOUND AT SOME CENTRAL GEORGIA RESTAURANTS.
BRITTINY BARBER JOINS US WITH A CHECK OF THIS WEEK'S RESTAURANT RATINGS.
WE'RE BACK IN HOUSTON COUNTY THIS WEEK... STARTING OFF WITH OUR LOWEST SCORES....
MOON'S CAFE ON ELBERTA ROAD WARNER ROBINS... SCORED AN 85 .. A "B". THAT'S UP FROM THE 80... ALSO A "B"... THEY SCORED ON THEIR LAST INSPECTION.
THE REPORT SAYS UTENSILS THAT WERE IN-USE.. AND SINGLE USE ITEMS... WERE NOT PROPERLY STORE.
FRIENDS BAR & GRILL AT 12-29 RUSSELL PKWY WARNER ROBINS... SCORED AN 83... A "B"... AT THE TIME OF THEIR LAST INSPECTION THEY GOT ANOTHER "B".. AND 86.
ACCORDING TO THE INSPECTION REPORT... FOOD WAS NOT STORED OR COVERED AND IT WAS NOT KEPT AT THE PROPER COLD HOLDING TEMPERATURE.
AND SUBWAY AT 600 RUSSELL PKWY ... GOT AN 80... A "B"... COMING AFTER A 65... OR A "U"... ON THE LAST INSPECTION.
ACCORDING TO THE INSPECTION PERSON IN CHARGE WAS NOT PRESENT, DID NOT DEMONSTRATES KNOWLEDGE, OR PERFORMS THEIR DUTIES.
THAT'S A KNOWN RISK FACTOR FOR FOODBORNE ILLNESSES.
NOW FOR A LOOK THE TOP SCORES OF THE WEEK..
TOKYO EXPRESS ON WATSON BLVD IN CENTERVILLE BROUGHT IN A 100.. .THAT'S AFTER A 100 ON THEIR LAST INSPECTION.
PAPA JOHNS IN PERRY RAKED IN A 100.. PREVIOUSLY THEY ALSO HAD ANOTHER 100.
AND BERTHA'S KITCHEN ON ROSE ST WARNER ROBINS RECEIVED A 100.. ON BOTH THEIR CURRENT AND LAST INSPECTION.
JOIN US AGAIN TONIGHT AS WE AVERAGE OUR NOMINEES PAST FIVE SCORES TO GIVE YOU THE WINNER OF THIS WEEK'S GOLDEN SPATULA.
FOR ALL YOUR RESTAURANT RATINGS... GO TO OUR WEBSITE 13WMAZ DOT COM.
YOU'LL FIND THE LINK UNDER THE FEATURES TAB ON THE HOMEPAGE.

RIGHT NOW... MACON POLICE ARE KICKING OFF THE WEEKEND... WITH THE FAMILY FUN FEST AT CHERRY STREET PLAZA.
IT'S PART OF A COMMUNITY WIDE EVENT CALLED... MACON SPIRIT... DO ONE THING.
THE DEPARTMENT HOPES TO HELP PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY BUILD TRUST IN OFFICERS.
TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... DO YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE REPORTING CRIME TO LAW ENFORCEMENT?
SO FAR 82 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES... YOU DO.
AND 18 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YOU DON'T.
VOTE NOW... VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM AND LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE.

IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR... WHEN PEACHES ARE ALL THE TALK IN FORT VALLEY AND BYRON.
THE GEORGIA PEACH FESTIVAL STARTS TOMORROW.
WE WENT TO TODAY'S KICK OFF LUNCHEON TO TALK TO FOLKS LOOKING FORWARD TO THE FESTIVITIES.
SOT "Our Georgia Farmers are always special"

FOR TWENTY SIX YEARS THE GEORGIA PEACH FESTIVAL HAS DRAWN PEOPLE TO PEACH COUNTY. THE FESTIVAL KICKS OFF THIS WEEKEND IN BYRON.

Rich Bennett, President of Georgia Peach Festival: "We've got kids activities... food... arts and crafts... fun for the whole family."

BARBARA RAY HAS LIVED IN BYRON ALL HER LIFE... SHE SAYS THE FESTIVAL IS A TIME FOR FAMILY... AND NEWCOMERS TO COME TOGETHER.

Barbara Ray, Byron: "Meeting so many middle Georgia people... in particular... our people who are involved in raising our good Georgia peaches. That's the best part."

FRIDAY...THE BYRON HISTORICAL SOCIETY CELEBRATED THE 1940S WITH A SKIT ABOUT THE FIRST DANCE JOINT LOCATED IN WHAT THEY CALL... THE BOTTOM.

Barbara Ray, Byron: "The bottom was a place that my uncle Henry Williams created for us to have sort of a hangout in the forties... and so this goes back to those days."

THAT WAS A TIME WHEN PEACHES MADE SMALL TOWNS LIKE BYRON AND FORT VALLEY STAND OUT.

Barbara Ray, Byron: "We had about twenty two trains that would come through and pick up peaches and take to different areas."

BOTH TOWNS HAVE A LOT TO LOOK FORWARD TO... ESPECIALLY ON WHAT THEY CALL "THE BIG DAY"... SATURDAY THE 9TH. THAT'S WHEN THE MAIN EVENTS HIT THE STREETS OF FORT VALLEY.

AND IT ALL STARTS THIS WEEKEND....IN THE COUNTY NAMED FOR GEORGIAS' FAVORITE FRUIT.
MORE THAN HALF OF GEORGIA'S PEACHES.. 1-POINT-7 MILLION BUSHELS - COME FROM PEACH COUNTY..
TOMORROW'S FESTIVAL ACTIVITES START 8 A-M....IN DOWNTOWN BYRON.

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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