EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11, 8/23/12

6:30 PM, Jul 23, 2012   |    comments
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HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.... I'M LEAH JOHNSON..

AND LORRA LYNCH-JONES.

FRANK MALLOY HAS THE EVENING OFF.

THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH SAYS MORE TESTING NEEDS TO TAKE PLACE AROUND A MONROE COUNTY COAL-FIRED POWER PLANT... TO FIND OUT IF THEY HAVE HIGH LEVELS OF METALS LIKE URANUM IN THEIR WATER.

OFFCIALS SAY THEY CAN'T DETERMINE WHETHER GROUNDWATER CONTAMINENTS ARE CAUSING OR CONTRIBUTING TO ILLNESSES OF PEOPLE IN THE AREA...

BUT THEY THINK MORE TESTING COULD HELP THEM LEARN MORE.

BRITTINY BARBER TAKES A LOOK INTO THE INVESTIGATION.

ON CAM

THEY CALL IT A "SCOPING REPORT"... AND ACCORDING TO THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF OF PUBLIC HEALTH.. IT'S THE FIRST STEP IN REPORTING WHETHER REGULATED CHEMICALS MAY POSE A RISK TO PUBLIC HEALTH.

THIS ALL CAME ABOUT.. AFTER SEVERAL PEOPLE WHO LIVE AROUND PLANT SCHERER IN JULIETTE.. REPORTED HEALTH CONCERNS BACK IN MARCH AND APRIL.

SEVERAL PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN THE AREA TOLD US EARLIER THIS YEAR.. THEY HAD SUFFERED FROM PROBLEMS LIKE LIVER AND KIDNEY FAILURE .... AND THEY TOLD US THEY HAD ALREADY FOUND HIGH LEVELS OF RADON AND URANIUM IN THEIR WELLS.

HEALTH OFFICALS TESTED BOTH GROUND AND SURFACE WATER.... AND FOUND THAT NEITHER TESTED ABOVE THE STATE STANDARDS FOR CERTAIN METALS, INCLUDING MERCURY.. AND LEAD.

THEY CONCLUDED THAT.. THE FINDINGS FROM GROUND AND DRINKING WATER SAMPLES SHOW THE METALS THEY DETECTED ARE NATURALLY OCCURING AT THE SITE... NOT FROM THE PLANT.

THE REPORT GOES ON TO SAY THAT " THERE IS NO INDICATION THAT THE PUBLIC HAS BEEN EXPOSED TO SITE-RELATED SURFACE WATER CONTAMINANTS BECAUSE SURFACE WATER AND FISH SAMPLING RESULTS...

DO NOT SHOW THAT SURFACE WATER QUALITY HAS BEEN AFFECTED BY PLANT OPERATIONS."

THE REPORT HOWEVER SAYS.... MORE RESIDENTIAL WELL SAMPLING NEEDS TO TAKE PLACE.. TO HELP FIND OUT IF THERE ARE CONTAMINENTS IN GROUNDWATER.

THAT TESTING WOULD INCLUDE SEVERAL RESIDENTIAL AREAS SURRONDING THE PLANT.

THE STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT SAYS ONCE THAT DATA IS AVAILABLE.. THEY'LL PROVIDE ANOTHER HEALTH CONSULTATION.

PLANT SCHERER IS ONE OF THE NATIONS LARGEST COAL-FIRED PLANT IN THE U-S.

THEY CALLED GEORGIA POWER.. THE PARENT COMPANY OF PLANT SCHERER.

A REPRESENTATIVE TOLD US THEY ARE REVIEWING THE REPORT NOW.. AND WILL PROVIDE COMMENTS TO THE STATE LATER THIS WEEK.

CRAWFORD COUNTY INVESTIGATORS ARE LOOKING INTO HOW A TODDLER FELL INTO A POOL.

ACCORDING TO SHERIFF LEWIS WALKER.. THE CALL OF A DROWNING CAME IN AROUND 7-20 P-M SUNDAY ON QUAIL RUN ROAD.

THE BOY.. WHO WAS ALMOST 2 YEARS OLD WAS VISITING FAMILY AT THE HOME.

HE WAS TAKEN TO THE MEDICAL CENTER OF CENTRAL GEORGIA.. AND IS STILL ON LIFE SUPPORT ACCORDING TO CRAWFORD COUNTY CORONER DAVID O'NEAL.

SHERIFF WALKER SAYS.. THE DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY AND CHILDREN SERVICES HAS BEEN NOTIFIED.

BIBB COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER GARY BECHTEL IS SUING SUPERINTENDENT ROMAIN DALLEMAND.

BIBB COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER GARY BECHTEL IS SUING SUPERINTENDENT ROMAIN DALLEMAND.

BECHTEL TOLD EYEWITNESS NEWS THAT HE BELIEVES DALLEMAND ATTEMPTED TO DISCREDIT HIM BY RELEASING HIS SON'S ACADEMIC INFORMATION DURING A RECENT AUDIT.

THE LAWSUIT... WHICH WAS FILED TODAY WAS AGAINST DALLEMAND PERSONALLY..NOT IN HIS ROLE AS A SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR.

ACCORDING TO THE LAWSUIT... THE BECHTELS CLAIM DALLEMAND "HAS INVADED AND CONTINUES TO INVADE" THEIR SON'S RIGHT OF PRIVACY.

 

THE BECHTELS' LAWYER... CHARLIE COX... TOLD WMAZ THAT DALLEMAND "ACTED IN MALICE" WHEN HE HAD SAM BECHTEL'S ACADEMIC INFORMATION POSTED ON THE DISTRICT'S WEBSITE.

SO FAR.... THE SCHOOL SYSTEM HAS NOT RETURNED OUR CALLS.

THE FAMILY IS SUING FOR DAMAGES AND TO HAVE THE INFORMATION REMOVED FROM THE DISTRICT'S WEBSITE.

A GEORGIA MAN SCHEDULED TO DIE BY LETHAL INJECTION TONIGHT.. HAS MORE TIME..

THE GEORGIA SUPREME COURT GRANTED A STAY OF EXECUTION FOR WARREN LEE HILL..

HILL WAS SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR KILLING HIS CELLMATE.. WHILE SERVING A LIFE SENTENCE FOR SHOOTING HIS GIRLFRIEND.

SOME ARGUED HILL IS MENTALLY DISABLED..

IT'S AGAINST STATE LAW TO EXECUTE THE MENTALLY DISABLED.. BUT LAST WEEK THE BUTTS COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT SAID HILL'S LAWYERS HADN'T PROVED THAT BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.

SIX PEOPLE FROM WRIGHTSVILLE... AND ONE FROM EAST DUBLIN...FACE FEDERAL WEAPONS CHARGES.

SIX PEOPLE FROM WRIGHTSVILLE... AND ONE FROM EAST DUBLIN...FACE FEDERAL WEAPONS CHARGES.

THAT'S ACCORDING TO A NEWS RELEASE FROM EDWARD TARVER...U-S ATTORNEY FOR THE SAVANNAH DISTRICT.

HE SAYS THE SEVEN ARE ACCUSED OF SELLING WEAPONS STOLEN DURING HOME BURGLARIES IN WRIGHTSVILLE.

THE NEW RELEASE SAYS THIS COMES AFTER A SEVEN-MONTH INVESTIGATION... WHEN FEDERAL OFFICERS BOUGHT WEAPONS FROM THE SUSPECTS.

THEY'RE SCHEDULED TO APPEAR IN FEDERAL COURT IN DUBLIN TOMORROW... TO FACE FEDERAL CHARGES OF CONSPIRACY TO ILLEGALLY TRAFFIC FIREARMS.

TODAY THE N-C DOUBLE A SLAMMED PENN STATE WITH AN UNPRECEDENTED SERIES OF PENALTIES...

THE TWO BIGGEST.... A 60 MILLION DOLLAR FINE... AND THE LOSS OF ALL OF COACH JOE PATERNO'S VICTORIES FROM 1998 TO 2011.

THE PUNISHMENT COMES AFTER THE JERRY SANDUSKY CHILD SEX ABUSE SCANDAL.

OTHER SANCTIONS INCLUDE A FOUR-YEAR BAN ON BOWL GAMES.... AND THE LOSS OF 20 SCHOLARSHIPS PER YEAR OVER FOUR YEARS.

N-C DOUBLE A PRESIDENT MARK EMMERT ANNOUNCED THE SANCTIONS THIS MORNING.

THE COLLEGIATE GOVERNING BODY STOPPED SHORT OF SHUTTING DOWN THE NITTANY LIONS' PROGRAM.

BUT THE PUNISHMENT IS STILL CRIPPLING FOR A TEAM THAT'S TRYING TO START OVER WITH A NEW COACH AND A NEW OUTLOOK.

 

TED GUMBART IS COMMISSIONER OF THE ATLANTIC SUN CONFERENCE...

TED... THANKS FOR JOINING US.

DOES THIS COME AS A SURPRISE TO YOU?

DO YOU THINK THE PUNISHMENT WAS FAIR.

DO YOU THINK THIS TARNISHES THE REPUTATION OF COLLEGE SPORTS OVERALL?

WHAT PRECAUTIONS DOES THE ATLANTIC SUN TAKE TO PREVENT THIS KIND OF SCANDAL AT ONE OF ITS SCHOOLS.

ON 13-W-M-A-Z DOT COM...

WE ASKED..WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON PENN STATE BY THE N-C-DOUBLE A?

WE ASKED..WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON PENN STATE BY THE N-C-DOUBLE A?

SO FAR...40 PERCENT OF YOU SAY IT'S FAIR...

31 PERCENT SAY IT WAS TOO MUCH...AND 29 PERCENT BELIEVE IT WAS NOT ENOUGH.

VOTE NOW... VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM AND LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE.

ON 13-W-M-A-Z DOT COM...

WE ASKED..WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON PENN STATE BY THE N-C-DOUBLE A?

WE ASKED..WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON PENN STATE BY THE N-C-DOUBLE A?

SO FAR...40 PERCENT OF YOU SAY IT'S FAIR...

31 PERCENT SAY IT WAS TOO MUCH...AND 29 PERCENT BELIEVE IT WAS NOT ENOUGH.

VOTE NOW... VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM AND LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE.

AMERICA'S FIRST FEMALE ASTRONAUT HAS DIED... ACCORDING TO REPORTS FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS.

C-B-S NEWS SAYS 61 YEAR OLD SALLY RIDE PASSED AWAY FROM CANCER...

HER BIOGRAPHIC SITE SAYS SHE JOINED NASA'S RANKS IN 1978... AND WAS THE FIRST AMERICAN WOMAN... AND YOUNGEST WOMAN TO ENTER SPACE... WHEN SHE JOINED A 1983 SHUTTLE MISSION AT THE AGE OF 32.

WE'LL HAVE MORE ON RIDE'S LIFE.. TONIGHT ON EYEWITNESS NEWS AT ELEVEN.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT CAN GO A LONG WAY IN A TIME OF CRISIS.

ONE TWIGGS COUNTY WOMAN SAYS SHE FEELS INSPIRED TO VOLUNTEER FOR THE AMERICAN RED CROSS.

THAT'S AFTER LOSING HER HOME TO A FIRE ... BUT GAINING SUPPORT FROM HER COMMUNITY.

NATS 2SECS

THIS HOUSE WAS VACANT SUNDAY MORNING.

THE FAMILY WHO LIVES IN IT... WAS ENJOYING WORSHIP SERVICE... UNTIL THEY RECEIVED SOME DEVASTATING NEWS.

CINDY BIRKS, MACON: "SOMEONE CAME IN AND SAID OUR HOUSE WAS ON FIRE."

CINDY BIRKS SAYS THE HOME THAT SHE'S SHARED WITH HER FAMILY FOR SIX YEARS... IS NOW A TOTAL LOSS.

BIRKS: "EVERYBODY SHOWED UP IN A TIMELY MANNER. THE POLICEMEN... THE FIRE DEPARTMENT... IT WAS JUST A MATTER OF MINUTES BEFORE THEY GOT HERE. THEY DID EVERYTHING THAT THEY COULD TO SAVE IT."

SHE SAYS SHE'S GRATEFUL FOR THE RESPONSE FROM AUTHORITIES... BUT THE SUPPORT FROM THE COMMUNITY WAS SURPRISING. OVER 100 PEOPLE STOOD OUTSIDE THE HOME AS FIREFIGHTERES PUT OUT THE FLAMES.

CINDY BIRKS, MACON: "A LOT OF NEIGHBORS... FRIENDS... AND FAMILY... CHURCHES AND PASTORS FROM ALL OVER CAME OUT TO SUPPORT US."

ONE LEVEL OF SUPPORT IS COMING FROM THE RED CROSS.

BIRKS: "THAT'S WHAT REALLY TOUCHED MY HEART. THEY CAME OUT AND SUPPORTED US MORE THAN I THOUGHT."

THE RED CROSS IS PROVIDING A HOTEL FOR THE FAMILY TO STAY IN FOR NOW. BUT THERE'S LOTS TO DO IN TERMS OF REBUILDING THEIR LIVES.

BIRKS: "WE'RE WAITING NOW TO HEAR FROM ADJUSTERS... FROM THE INSURANCE COMPANIES AND WE'RE GONNA GO FROM THERE."

BIRKS SAYS THE RED CROSS HAS INSPIRED HER TO TAKE AN ACTION OF HER OWN.

BIRKS: "I JUST KNOW THAT I'M GOING TO VOLUNTEER IN SOME KIND OF WAY TO HELP OUT."

THE VALUE OF KNOWING HOW MUCH OTHERS CARE... CAN TURN A LOSS INTO AN INSPIRATIONAL GAIN.

BIRKS SAYS THE FIRE WAS CAUSED BY A LIGHTNING STRIKE THAT HIT A CIRCUIT.

THE FIRE STARTED IN A BEDROOM... IN THE BACK OF THE HOME.

MORE THAN A THOUSAND KIDS FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY HAVE SADDLED UP IN PERRY TO COMPETE.

THE OCCASION... THE NATIONAL BARREL HORSE ASSOCIATION'S YOUTH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS...

SOT: YOU'LL SEE SOME OF THE GREATEST YOUNG RIDERS AND SOME FABULOUS HORSES AND THESE PEOPLE, THEY'RE CHILDREN BUT THEY'RE NOT RIDING LIKE THEY'RE CHILDREN THIS WEEK. THEY'RE RIDING LIKE WORLD CHAMPIONS.

THE GEORGIA NATIONAL FAIRGROUNDS AND AGRICENTER IN PERRY IS THE VENUE FOR THESE YOUNG CHAMPIONS... THEY'VE PREPARED LONG AND HARD TO QUALIFY IN THEIR HOME DRISTRICT TO MAKE IT HERE.

SOT: WE TRAILERED DOWN HERE. IT TOOK 21 HOURS.

TEN YEAR OLD JACOB MARSHALL SAYS IT'S HIS FIRST TIME COMPETING IN A BIG SHOW LIKE THIS.

I FEEL REALLY NERVOUS, LIKE I HAVE BUTTERFLIES IN MY STOMACH. IT FEELS WEIRD. I DON'T KNOW HOW ELSE TO DESCRIBE IT.

SHERRY FULMER WITH THE NATIONAL BARREL HORSE ASSOCIATION'S YOUTH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS SAYS COMPETITORS ARE AFTER BRAGGING RIGHTS AND A LONG LIST OF PRIZES.

WE'LL HAVE TO TAKE 300 TO THE FINALS. THE WINNERS WILL TAKE HOME SADDLES, BUCKLES, TRAILERS, MONEY, BOOTS, JACKETS.... (LAUGHS)...

THE EVENT WILL BRING OUT ABOUT 48,000 SPECTATORS... INCLUDING COMPETITORS. FULMER SAYS THE NATIONAL FAIRGROUNDS IS THE PERFECT PLACE FOR HOSTING AN EVENT OF THIS CALIBER.

IN OUR OPINION, THIS IS PROBABLY IN THE TOP FOUR IN THE NATION. THERE'S JUST NOT VERY MANY FACILITIES THAT CAN HANDLE THIS CROWD AND GEORGIA SHOULD BE PROUD.

BIBB COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER GARY BECHTEL IS SUING SUPERINTENDENT ROMAIN DALLEMAND. SIX PEOPLE FROM WRIGHTSVILLE... AND ONE FROM EAST DUBLIN...FACE FEDERAL WEAPONS CHARGES. WE ASKED..WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON PENN STATE BY THE N-C-DOUBLE A? WE ASKED..WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON PENN STATE BY THE N-C-DOUBLE A?

 

BIBB COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER GARY BECHTEL IS SUING SUPERINTENDENT ROMAIN DALLEMAND. SIX PEOPLE FROM WRIGHTSVILLE... AND ONE FROM EAST DUBLIN...FACE FEDERAL WEAPONS CHARGES. WE ASKED..WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON PENN STATE BY THE N-C-DOUBLE A? WE ASKED..WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON PENN STATE BY THE N-C-DOUBLE A?

ACCORDING TO REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE GEORGIA NATIONAL FAIRGROUNDS... THIS IS THE LARGEST GATHERING OF BARREL HORSE RACERS ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.

 

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