Tuesday, June 5, Eyewitness News at 11

10:35 PM, Jun 5, 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.

WE'RE LESS THAN A MONTH FROM BIBB COUNTY'S JULY FIRST TAKEOVER OF THE ANIMAL CONTROL SHELTER FROM THE CITY OF MACON.
TODAY... COUNTY COMMISSIONERS GREENLIGHTED THE HIRING OF A NEW HEAD FOR THE SHELTER.
BUT AS CANDACE ADORKA SHOWS YOU... COMMISSIONERS SAY GIVING THE SHELTER A NEW LEASE ON LIFE... WILL TAKE A LOT MORE.
<<
WITH LESS THAN A MONTH LEFT TO TAKE OVER THE SHELTER... BIBB COMMISSIONERS HAVE A LOT OF DECISIONS TO MAKE.
***next item on the agenda is animal welfare management.***
COMMISSIONER LONZY EDWARDS SAYS THE FIRST PRIORITY IS TO HIRE AN INTERIM DIRECTOR FOR 60 DAYS.
"i think we have some good people down there and with the right supervision and oversight, I think they'll do an excellent job.
ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER VAN VANDEEWALKER HAS BEEN RUNNING THE SHELTER WITHOUT THE DIRECTOR TITLE.
"Van has done a wonderful job its a little unclear as to what his role is but I told him that until someone comes on board he's my go to person."
CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER STEVE LAYSON SAYS HE HAS SOMEONE IN MIND TO FILL... WHO WON'T BE A CANDIDATE FOR THE PERMANENT JOB.
"i think that's very important that that person come in as an independent person to get us to the point where we cna hire a director,"
"Staff is just begging for leadership, steve do you agree with that? They're begging for leadership and management."
EDWARDS SAYS A DIRECTOR IS ONLY THE START... EDWARDS SAYS COMMISSIONERS STILL HAVE TO MAKE OPERATION AND POLICY DECISIONS.
"the cleanliness of the facility thats a non negotiable issue. the proper care of those animals non negotiable the customer service piece when people call down there theyre gonna get their calls answered."
HE SAYS THEY'LL HIRE A COUPLE MORE EMPLOYEES... MAYBE EXTEND HOURS... AND FIX THE VENTILATION AND THE SMELL...
"People are gonna see that we're serious about making this a source of pride rather than a source of shame that its been for so long."
HE SAID THAT WILL MAKE IT MORE INVITING TO PEOPLE...AND THAT WILL MEAN MORE ADOPTIONS.
CANDACE ADORKA 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> ALSO TODAY - VAN VANDEWALK WITH MACON ANIMAL CONTROL SAID THAT PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS ADOPTED OUT ALL OF THE SHELTER'S DOGS AND CATS..
SAV-A-PET FROM MONROE COUNTY ADOPTED THE FINAL FIVE DOGS TODAY.
THE SHELTER CLOSED TONIGHT FOR SEVERAL DAYS OF CLEANING AND FUMIGATION TO TRY TO ELIMINATE A PEST PROBLEM.
THE SHELTER IS SCHEDULED TO REOPEN NEXT MONDAY.

ANOTHER HOLLYWOOD PRODUCTION RETURNS TO MACON THIS MONTH..
TODAY... EXTRAS FOR THE FILM "42"... STARRING HARRISON FORD... ARRIVED DOWNTOWN AT BROADWAY AND WALNUT STREET FOR COSTUME FITTINGS.
THE MOVIE TELLS THE STORY OF JACKIE ROBINSON AND HOW HE BROKE MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL'S COLOR BARRIER.
SEVERAL 1940'S-STYLE CARS SAT OUTSIDE THE RENAMED LUTHER WILLIAMS FIELD..
IT'S CITY ISLAND PARK - THE FIELD IN DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA WHERE ROBINSON JOINED THE DODGERS FOR SPRING TRAINING IN 1947.
ONE EXTRA WE SPOKE WITH SAYS HE'LL BE BEHIND A CAMERA FOR HIS ROLE IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA.
Alan Thiese (T-Z), Macon: "Well I don't know what all my job as a reporter entails I have heard that I will be holding a great big camera with flash-bulbs."
(TEE-ZEE) THIESE SAYS HIS SCENE...WILL BE FILMED SOMETIME NEXT WEEK.
FILMING LOCATIONS IN MACON INCLUDE LUTHER WILLIAMS... TERMINAL STATION... AND A STORE ON SECOND STREET.

THE HOUSTON COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT IS UNDER FIRE...FROM SOME PEOPLE WHO SAY ITS GRADUATIONS FELT MORE LIKE CHURCH MEETINGS.
TODAY....SUPERINTENDENT ROBIN HINES RELEASED A STATEMENT SAYING THEY PLAN TO FOLLOW THE LAW... ABOUT THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE.
BUT HE WOULDN'T COMMENT FURTHER.
FOUR PEOPLE FILED COMPLAINTS WITH THE WISCONSIN-BASED FREEDOM FROM RELIGION FOUNDATION.
THEY ALLEDGED THAT PRAYERS AND GOSPEL MUSIC AT PERRY AND VETERANS HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATIONS VIOLATED THE FIRST AMENDMENT.
THE FOUNDATION'S ATTORNEY.... ANDREW SEIDEL SENT A FORMAL COMPLAINT TO HINES YESTERDAY ABOUT THE VETERANS CEREMONY... AND ANOTHER TODAY ABOUT PERRY HIGH.
SEIDEL WROTE... "THESE COMPLAINTS SHOW THAT VETERANS GRADUATION WAS NOT AN ISOLATED INCIDENT... BUT A SYSTEMATIC PROBLEM THAT REQUIRES IMMEDIATE ACTION TO ENSURE THAT ALL
HOUSTON COUNTY SCHOOLS DO NOT VIOLATE THE U-S CONSTITUTION IN THE FUTURE."
A NORTH CAROLINA MAN ATTENDING HIS NIECES GRADUATION MADE THE ORIGINAL COMPLAINT ABOUT THE VETERAN'S CEREMONY.
WES BRYANT EXPLAINED HIS OBJECTIONS BY PHONE.
Wes Bryant, Pittsboro North Carolina: "My issue is not just me sitting there with my wife as aetheists, but as a US citizen, as a representative of all citizens who don't belive in Christianity. Im sure it's probably a small minority. Im sure there is representatives of other religions, other non-Christian religions in that school."
WE TALKED WITH MERCER LAW PROFESSOR DAVID OEDEL ABOUT THE COMPLAINTS.
HE SAID IT'S NOT A CLEAR-CUT CASE.
OEDEL SAYS THE SUPERINTENDENT'S SPEECH AND REFERENCES TO "GOD" COULD BE CONSIDERED PROTECTED FREE SPEECH.

TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... SHOULD SCHOOL SPONSORED PRAYER BE ALLOWED AT PUBLIC SCHOOL EVENTS?
SO FAR 93 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES... IT SHOULD.
7 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO.
VOTE NOW... VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM AND LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE.

BIBB COUNTY COMMISSIONER ELMO RICHARDSON SAYS HE SOLIDLY SUPPORTS COPNSOLIDATION..
RICHARDSON SAID TODAY PEOPLE MISUNDERSTOOD HIS PREVIOUS COMMENTS ON CONSOLIDATION..
THOSE COMMENTS INDICATED THAT MERGING THE CITY OF MACON AND BIBB COUNTY COULD INCREASE TAXES FOR PROPERTY OWNERS IN THE COUNTY.
RICHARDSON SAYS HE'S SINCE LEARNED THAT A CONSOLIDATED GOVERNMENT COULD ACTUALLY BRING IN MORE REVENUE BY COLLECTING FRANCHISE AND FIRE DISTRICT FEES COUNTYWIDE.
RIGHT NOW... FRANCHISE FEES ARE NOW COLLECTED IN THE CITY.. AND FIRE TAXES IN THE COUNTY.
Elmo Richardson, County Commissioner: I'm 110 percent behind consolidation. I think it's the most important thing we have on the ballot July 31. I think it's important for this community to come together as one government.
RICHARDSON ALSO SAYS THEY COULD SAVE MORE BY REDUCING THE NUMBER OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES..
HE SAYS THAT COULD BE DONE THROUGH ATTRITION NOT LAYOFFS.


>>Ben talks to Brad from Quality Computers about viruses and adware and what to do about it<<
IN OTHER GEEK 13 NEWS THIS WEEK... THE ELECTRONIC ENTERTAINMENT EXPO... OR E-3... HAS KICKED OFF IN LOS ANGELES.
IT'S THE BIG VIDEO GAME CONFERENCE OF THE YEAR... AND THE GAMING COMPANIES HAUL OUT SOME OF THEIR BIG PLANS.
BRIDGET CAREY HAS AN UPDATE.
BOTH THE WII U AND THE XBOX ARE SHOWING OFF WAYS TO TIE TABLET SCREEN INTERACTION WITH WHAT'S ON THE TELEVISION, CREATING A RICHER GAME EXPERIENCE.

NINTENDO STARTED BY TEASING A LOOK INTO THE UPDATED DESIGN OF IT'S NEXT SYSTEM, THE WII U. THE GAMEPAD NOW HAS JOYSTICK DIRECTION NUBS, AND THERE'S AN NEAR FIELD COMMUNICATIONS READER. IF YOU'VE EVER SEEN THOSE SKYLANDERS TOYS, THIS IS GOING TO AWAKEN SIMILAR OPPORTUNITIES FOR NINTENDO. IMAGINE BEING ABLE TO INTERACT WITH A TOY IN THE REAL WORLD TO ACTIVATE SOMETHING IN THE GAME WORLD. THE GAMEPAD WILL ALSO BE A TV REMOTE CONTROL, AND YOU CAN SHARE PHOTOS AND CONTENT FROM THE GAMEPAD TO THE TV SCREEN. THE GAMEPAD WILL ALSO BE A PORTABLE SYSTEM FOR CASUAL GAMES THAT DON'T NEED A TV TO PLAY, AND ITS GOOD FOR WHEN YOU JUST WANT TO RECORD A QUICK WEIGH-IN ON THE WII FIT.

BUT THE BIG FOCUS AROUND THE WII U IS THAT ITS MORE SOCIAL. PLAYERS WILL BE MORE INTERACTIVE AS PART OF THE MIIVERSE. YOU CAN SEE WHAT YOUR FRIENDS ARE SAYING, AND ALSO COME ACROSS WHAT PLAYERS ARE SAYING IN GAMES YOU DON'T OWN. YOU CAN ASK QUESTIONS FOR HELP WITH DEFEATING A BOSS, OR SHARE YOUR LOVE ABOUT GAME IN A TEXT CHAT. AND YOU CAN EVEN WRITE AND DRAW A COMMENT INSTEAD OF JUST TYPING. NINTENDO IS ALSO SHOWING THAT IT'S TARGETING MORE SERIOUS GAMERS AS WELL WITH A NEW CONTROLLER, THE WII U PRO CONTROLLER. NOTICE THERE'S NO SCREEN - LOOKS QUITE A BIT LIKE AN XBOX CONTROLLER. WE SHOULD BE GETTING A LOOK AT GAME PLAY EXAMPLES AT NINTENDO'S PRESS CONFERENCE ON TUESDAY.

MICROSOFT UNLEASHED THIS CONCEPT IN FULL FORCE WITH A FEATURE IT CALLS SMART GLASS. USING A TABLET OR PHONE, DESIGN YOUR OWN PLAY IN MADDEN BY DRAWING IT ON THE SCREEN, AND IT'S SENT TO THE XBOX. OR IF YOU'RE ON HBO GO WATCHING GAME OF THRONES, THE TABLET WILL SHOW EXTRA INFO ABOUT THE SHOW, SUCH AS A MAP OF WHERE THE SCENE IS TAKING PLACE.

SMART GLASS WILL ALSO LET YOU START WATCHING A VIDEO THROUGH THE XBOX, AND TAKE IT WITH YOU ON A MOBILE DEVICE, REMEMBERING WHERE YOU LEFT OFF. THESE FEATURES WILL LAUNCH SOMETIME THIS FALL.
TO KEEP UP WITH THE ANNOUNCEMENTS AT E-3... JUST VISIT THE GEEK 13 PAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
YOU'LL FIND THE LINK IN THE DON'T MISS BOX ON OUR HOMEPAGE.

STARGAZERS AROUND THE WORLD ENJOYED AN EXTREMELY RARE CELESTIAL SHOW TONIGHT.
THEY WATCHED THE PLANET VENUS... AS IT SLOWLY CROSSED THE FACE OF THE SUN.
IT'S CALLED... APPROPRIATELY ENOUGH... THE TRANSIT OF VENUS.
THE TRANSIT STARTED AROUND 6 P-M... AND CONTINUES FOR ABOUT SEVEN HOURS.
THOSE OF US ON THE EAST COAST OF THE U-S WERE ONLY ABLE TO CATCH PART OF THE SHOW, WHILE FOLKS IN HAWAII AND PARTS OF AUSTRAILA AND ASIA HAD THE BEST VIEWS.
AND IF YOU MISSED IT... YOU WON'T GET ANOTHER SHOT
THE NEXT TRANSIT OF VENUS WILL BE IN 2117.

IF YOU USED TO VISIT THE OLD LEN BERG'S RESTAURANT IN DOWNTOWN MACON YEARS AGO... YOU'LL BE HAPPY TO KNOW THE BUILDING IS ONCE AGAIN IN USE..
THIS TIME - THE RESTAURANT IS CALLED LEE BERG'S.
MECHEL MCKINLEY... MANAGER OF MAIN STREET MACON SAYS IT'S BUFFET STYLE WILL COME IN HANDY FOR THOSE WHO WORK IN THE AREA AND WOULD LIKE TO GRAB A QUICK YET HEARTY LUNCH.
SHE ALSO WELCOMES OWNER ALEX LEE AND HIS RESTAURANT AS A GREAT ADDITION TO THE DOWNTOWN AREA..
Mechel McKinley, Manager, Main Street Macon: "He was excited to hear about the peach ice cream that Len Berg's used to serve and things like that. So he's looking forward to trying to bring back some of those things... and then also trying to create his own spin on the restaurant as well."
THE OLD LEN BERG'S OPENED IN 1908..
THE BUILDING'S BEEN EMPTY SINCE 2005.

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