Wednesday, June 27 Eyewitness News at 11

11:03 PM, Jun 27, 2012   |    comments
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He was a fine fellow and he was a good friend to me.

GOOD EVENING, EVERYONE.  I'M FRANK MALLOY.
 OUR TOP STORY TONIGHT... REMEMBERING THE LIFE OF FORMER MACON MAYOR... TOMMY OLMSTEAD.
  THE LONG-TIME PUBLIC SERVANT DIED THIS AFTERNOON OF COMPLICATIONS FROM A RECENT SURGERY.
 LEAH JOHNSON REFLECTS ON HIS 83-YEARS OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
TOMMY OLMSTEAD'S CAREER IN PUBLIC SERVICE BEGAN THIRTY-FIVE YEARS AGO.
HE STARTED AS A BIBB COUNTY COMMISSIONER IN19-77....THEN BECAME A STATE SENATOR....
AND THEN ...MACON'S MAYOR.
  OLMSTEAD RESIGNED AS MAYOR IN 19-94 TO BECOME COMMISSIONER OF GEORGIA'S LARGEST STATE AGENCY...THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES..
  HE THEN CAME BACK HOME TO BIBB COUNTY...AND SERVED ONE TERM AS COUNTY COMMISSION CHAIRMAN.
BARBARA WOOD SPENT YEARS AT OLMSTEAD'S SIDE. 
 SHE TALKED WITH RANDALL SAVAGE ABOUT HER TIME AS HIS ASSISTANT AT BOTH CITY HALL... AND WHEN HE WAS COUNTY COMMISSION CHAIRMAN...
Wood: If he asked you to do something, he expected you to do it.  And he would tell you that.  One of the things he said was , if you make a mistake... that's okay... Don't make it twice.
Randall: Did you ever make one twice?
Wood: (Laughs) I'm sure I did.  But he was forgiving. I admired him.  He was a fine fellow and he was a good friend to me.
WE ALSO STOPPED BY CITY HALL TODAY... WHERE WE SPOKE WITH MACON'S CURRENT MAYOR... ROBERT REICHERT.
 HE REMINISCED ABOUT WHEN HE FIRST CAME TO KNOW OLMSTEAD.
Reichert: I knew Tommy first when he ran his office supply business on Mulberry street.  And he was a mover and a shaker... and I was a fledgling politician. 
THE MAYOR ALSO SHARED HIS RESPONSE... UPON FINDING OUT HIS LONGTIME FRIEND HAD PASSED AWAY.
Reichert: Tommy and I were good friends for a number of years.  And I'm familiar with his children and friends with him as well.  I did not know he was that ill to be perfectly honest.  And I'm saddened.
WE ALSO SPOKE... WITH ANOTHER MAN WHO HELD THAT SAME OFFICE... REICHERT'S PREDECESSOR... C.JACK ELLIS.
Ellis: We've lost an elder statesman... No question about it.  He was always a voice of reason... He was a tough guy.  He was a tough businessman having owned an office furniture place here for many, many years.  So of course, that will be missed.  We can't call on that expertise from this point forward.  But obviously, he's in a better place than all of us as they say.
13-W-M-A-Z DOESN'T HAVE INFORMATION ON FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS YET... BUT AS SOON AS WE DO... WE'LL SHARE THOSE WITH YOU.
 FRANK?
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 OUR OTHER TOP STORY TONIGHT... IT IS BEING CALLED THE MOST SIGNFICANT SUPREME COURT DECISION OF OUR TIME..
     TOMORROW..THE NATION'S HIGHEST COURT IS EXPECTED TO RULE ON PRESIDENT OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE REFORM LAW...
 THE FOUR MAIN ELEMENTS UNDER CONSIDERATION:
     CAN THE HIGH COURT ADDRESS THE LAW NOW...IT DOESN'T FULLY GO INTO EFFECT UNTIL 20-14.

 THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE INDIVIDUAL MANDATE..
    THE LAW REQUIRES MOST  AMERICANS WHO CAN AFFORD IT.. TO GET BASIC HEALTH INSURANCE OR PAY A FEE..
 IS THE EXPANSION OF MEDICAID A VIOLATION OF STATES RIGHTS?
     THE HEALTHCARE PLAN WILL REQUIRE STATES TO COVER MORE PEOPLE UNDER MEDICAID..WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PAYING 100 PERCENT THE FIRST 3 YEARS.
   THE COURT IS ALSO LOOKING TO SEE IF THE LAW CAN STAND IN ITS ENTIRETY..BE STRUCK DOWN IN ITS ENTIRETY OR CAN CERTAIN ELEMENTS BE REMOVED..WHILE OTHERS ARE UPHELD.

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  JOINING US NOW IS CHRIS TSAVATEWA... ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF HEALTHCARE ADMINISTRATION AT MACON STATE...
   CHRIS - LET'S START WITH THE LAST ITEM - YOUR THOUGHTS ON WHETHER THE COURT WILL LET THE ENTIRE LAW STAND - STRIKE IT ALL DOWN - OR PICK OUT PARTS..

   WHAT HAPPENS IF THEY STRIKE DOWN THE ENTIRE LAW OR EVEN PARTS OF IT?

   GIVE ME A GENERAL SENSE OF WHICH WAY YOU THINK THE RULING MAY LEAN..

   CHRIS TSAVATEWA - THANK YOU FOR JOINING US TONIGHT..
  
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   TONIGHT'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... HOW DO YOU THINK THE U-S SUPREME COURT WILL RULE ON PRESIDENT OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE LAW?
    SO FAR 50 PERCENT OF YOU BELIEVE THE JUSTICES WILL OVERTURN PARTS OF IT..
    39 PERCENT SAY THE COURT WILL COMPLETELY THROW IT OUT.
    ONLY 11 PERCENT SAY THE COURT WILL  UPHOLD IT.
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BIBB COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT'S NEW BUDGET YEAR STARTS ON SUNDAY... BUT BOARD MEMBERS STILL HAVEN'T ADOPTED A BUDGET.
 BOARD MEMBERS PLAN TO DO SO JULY 5TH AT THE EARLIEST... BUT FIRST THEY HAD TO HEAR FROM THE PUBLIC.
 CANDACE ADORKA WAS AT THE PUBLIC HEARING TONIGHT...

--- STARTED WITH A PRESENTATION.... CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER RON COLLIER GAVE THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE BUDGET...
8.2 MILLION DOLLAR DEFICIT IN THE GENERAL FUND BALANCE. 4-POINT-2 MILLION OF THAT IS A REDUCTION IN MONEY COMING IN FROM THE STATE AND LOCAL TAXES. THE OTHER PART OF THE DEFICIT... 3.7 MILLION IS THE SAME SIZE DEFICIT THEY HAD LAST YEAR.
HOW DOES THIS YEAR'S BUDGET STACK UP TO LAST YEARS?

--- COLLIER SAYS THEY'RE SPENDING 22-THOUSAND LESS THIS YEAR THAN THEY DID LAST YEAR... TO DO THAT THEY HAD TO MAKE SOME CUTS... REORGANIZE... BUT THEY REALLOCATED SOME FUNDS... INCLUDING ABOUT 1 MILLION FROM AN INTERNATIONAL STUDIES PROGRAM... TO HELP PAY 350-THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR MANDARIN CHINESE INSTUCTION TO THEYOUNGEST CHILDREN... REMEMBER THAT'S PART OF THE MACON MIRACLE. bACK IN FEBRUARY AND MARCH... I ASKED THE SUPERINTENDENT ABOUT PAYING FOR THE STRATEGIC PLAN.

"we cannot move forward unless the board approves the budget and the other thing is this... if we don't have the money, we simply will have to forgo certain initiaives."
TODAY DALLEMAND SAYS THIS BUDGET STICKS TO THAT PROMISE.
WHAT WAS SOME OF THE OTHER FEEDBACK YOU HEARD?
WELL,  COMMUNITY ACTIVIST ARTHUR THOMPSON DISAGREES...
 BUT BOARD MEMBER GARY BECHTEL SAYS HIS PROBLEM IS HOW THEY'RE SPENING MONEY ON PERSONNEL...
"It's been said time and time again if it aint in the budget we caint do it. Why you doing it now? Have we all been lied to? I'm just asking. I'm concerned. Im concerend about my propert taxes."
"The problem is we've added a lot of people in high paying position that are not involved in direct instruction. Our direct instuction number is going down, our general administration number is going up, that's the wrong direction."
BECHTEL SAYS HE WILL NOT VOTE FOR THIS BUDGET... BUT THERE WERE A HANDFUL OF SPEAKERS THERE... SARAH HUNT ... PRESIDENT OF THE BIBB COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PART... AND A TRACY BUTTS... AN  EDUCATOR.
 THEY URGED THE BOARD TO PASS THE BUDGET... AND DALLEMAND SAYS THEY SHOULD BECAUSE

tracy Butts: "We need to go forward and approve the budget because I am an educator and I love Bibb county and I know that we need to do something different and wer need to move forward and our main priotiy is the children."
Dallemand: "When you look at overall, the budget that we have is a very positive budget a very good budget where our staff members will not incur any firloughs and we will continue to have the same number of school days."
ONE THING BOTH SIDES AGREE ON... THEY HAVE TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT.
 THIS BUDGET LEAVES 15.7 MILLION IN THE FUND BALANCE  AT THE END OF THE YEAR... ENOUGH FOR ONE MONTH OF EXPENSES.
 CFO RON COLLIER SAYS IF WE KEEP GOING THE WAY WE ARE... BY 2017... THERE'LL BE NOTHING IN THE FIND BALANCE.
SO WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO DO TO TURN THAT AROUND?
EVERYTHING ON THE TABLE... DALLEMAND WOULDNT COMMIT TO ANY ONE SOLUTION BUT HE SAYS HE'S DEFINITELY AGAINST FURLOUGHS.
 ONE THING THEY TALKED ABOUT IS CONSOLIDATING UNDER-USED SCHOOLS...
 THEYRE ALSO PHASING OUT DENTAL INSURANCE... IN TWO YEARS... THEY WONT OFFER DENTAL.
 FRANK
 VOTE ON JULY 5

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 HUNDREDS OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF SHAR'BORA DANIELS... THE BIBB COUNTY TEEN WHO WAS KILLED LAST WEEK... GATHERED AT CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL TO HONOR THE 18-YEAR-OLD'S LIFE.
       DANIELS WAS HIT BY A STRAY BULLET AS SHE SAT INSIDE HER FATHER'S HOUSE..   
 AUSTIN LEWIS HAS THE STORY.
<<

HUNDREDS OF FAMILY...FRIENDS...AND CLASSMATES LINED UP...TO HONOR SHAR'BORA DANIELS...OR SHY
Shirley Ponder, Mother It was very overwhelming to see all the people that were here that loved my daughter very much
nats of Shy wishes you love.
DANIELS' MOTHER...SAYS THOUGH SHE'S GRATEFUL TO BE SURROUNDED BY THOSE WHO LOVE SHY...IT'S STILL DIFFICULT.
 Shirley Ponder, Mother: This was one of the worst days of my life whoever took my baby, yall only took her body, yall didn't take her heart, she's still here with me and her family
SOME SAY IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE SHE'S REALLY GONE.
Sh'litshu FieeNy, Macon: With her dying it's like surreal, Shy, not Shy you know that's my girl you don't know what you're talking about and then when you hear about and you're here it's like, it's not real but it is.  
BUT FOR OTHERS...IT'S ALL TOO REAL.
Breanna Scott, Macon: All I do, All I do is cry, that was my best friend, my only best friend, I didn't want to bury my best friend
THE QUESTION OF WHO KILLED SHAR'BORA DANIELS...REMAINS UNANSWERED.
Breanna Scott, Macon: it really hurts not knowing who did it, it really hurts she didn't do anything to nobody
Leon Jones, Bibb County Coroner This is a 18-year-old child, life was taken away from her like that, minding her own business, she wasn't doing anything by minding her own business, where's the outcry?
THE FAMILY SAYS THEY HOPE TO KNOW MORE SOON ABOUT HOW THIS HAPPENED TO HER.
Shirley Ponder, Mother: Please, step forward don't be afraid don't be scared, because they took an angel from me, you don't have to be known, you can just call, make that call.
THE LOSS STILL REMAINS.
AUSTIN LEWIS 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.

IF YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS SHOOTING.... CALL CRIMESTOPPERS.
 THAT NUMBER IS 1-877-68-CRIME...AGAIN THAT NUMBER IS 1-877-68-CRIME. 
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