Eyewitness News at 11, 8/6/12

11:00 PM, Aug 6, 2012   |    comments
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First tonight... Some band students at Central High School were surprised to find band camp canceled...and the band director...gone.

Terrell Johnson's absence from his position prompted a public show of support...

as students gathered at the Bibb County Board of Education central office around four this afternoon.

School officials wouldn't give a reason for Johnson's departure. They only told us there's been, quote, an "ongoing personnel issue."

School Superintendent Roman Dallemand did take some time out to meet the students.

He didn't go into any details, but listened as they voiced their concerns.

<We really have no clear understanding of what happened but our band director not being present with us is just hurtful and we were concerned and wanted to show our gratitude and that we care about a teacher that cares about us.>

Johnson also teaches at Central High School... but the Bibb County School officials we spoke to had no comment on Johnson's status in the classroom... other than to say that the matter is ongoing.

Discussion heated up at tonight's Macon city council committee meeting over who can put memorials on city property.

The conversation arose after friends and family members of murdered Mercer Law School graduate Lauren Giddings asked to put a bench in her honor... In a city park.

Although council didn't address the Giddings bench directly during their official discussion...member Louis Thompkins sponsored legislation to spell out the guidelines... like who can dedicate a memorial and what kind of items qualify.

He proposed that the city accepts donations like benches, tables, and monuments... As long as they comply with city codes and ordinances.

Thompkins says allowing donations will help improve the look of the city and promote community involvement.

<My fellow councilpersons, I along with you, have all of our duties and responsibilities to earnestly, sincerely, and diligently pursue ways and means by which we improve our community>

Thompkins proposed five criteria for a memorial and the donation must meet at least one to qualify.

The list included memorials for either an organization or person who contributed to the city, or a donation that commemorates a place with historic value.

The last point on the list allows someone to donate a memorial for a person whose death greatly impacted that person's family or the community.

Council president James Timley disagrees with that item. He says it would open up the floodgates for anyone who wants to put up a memorial.

<who's death is not going to impact their family? Everybody who does is going to impact their family so that's no different from what we have now. we are at the crossroads now of trying to decide whether or not we want to commemorate the life of someone that impacted the life of that persons family. thats anyone. a dog will impact the life of a person's family>

The city is also considering a separate memorial proposal for Mercer law grad Lauren Giddings.

Family and friends asked to put a bench in honor of Giddings at Washington Park.

Timley spoke against this donation on several occasions... and says the bench for the slain law grad does not meet his criteria for a memorial.

The Giddings memorial bench must pass a committee vote tomorrow afternoon before it can go to full council that night.

Comittee members voted to accept Thompkins' legislation, but it still must receive a majority vote in tomorrow night's meeting to go into effect.

The public properties committee had to reschedule its meeting to discuss the wall in front of Roasted Café.

The city administration failed to notify the Urban Development Authority about the meeting and council members wanted a representative present to discuss the issue.

The U-D-A denied Roasted's iron fence design proposal saying it did not meet city ordinances.

In a letter to the café owner... The development authority said Roasted could not put a top on the fence to hold plants.

They said this does not match the uniform look they have tried to create for downtown businesses.

Roasted's owner says she will comply with their decision, but hopes the U-D-A will reconsider their design.

The City of Warner Robins may see some sudden growth.

Council approved the first reading of an ordinance that would annex 79 properties into the city limits.

Mayor Chuck Shaheen says the properties are "islands".... Meaning unincorporated parts of the county surrounded by the city.

They include properties located along Corder Road... Russell Parkway... Kimberly Road... Carl Vinson Parkway... And The South Oaks Subdivision.

Council member Paul Shealy says most of the properties are zoned for commercial use... And that providing city services to those areas... will help attract future development.

{***SOT FULL***}

<There's many property owners down there and this is something they have asked us to do, about running water and sewer utilities to that area. So that we are doing and in the process we are annexing those different properties for the ownership there, so they can develop those properties and be in our city.>

No one came to the meeting opposing the annexation.

Council will vote again on the issue at their next meeting in two weeks.

City charter requires two readings before ordinances become law.

The Citizens Committee on Animal Welfare... Site selection... And Director screening had its second meeting this afternoon.

They didn't make any selections... but they did narrow down their choices.

Committee members narrowed the applicants for Director to two... Out of six... And agreed whoever takes over will have the final authority on which animals are euthanized.

They plan to visit shelters in Rockdale... Walton... And Gwinnett counties to see what works and what doesn't.

And they tossed around the idea of building the new shelter in Central City Park.

< "we're trying to find a space that the county owns so we can put all of the money into the shelter itself, that's the real goal but as you heard in there there still kind of on the fence about some of those spots. I Think it might be a good idea once they get out and see some of the other shelters, then that might help them with their decision on the best way to move forward here in Macon." >

Members of the committee also looked at a spot off of Highway 247 and Houston Road... But the entrance is off of an exit ramp... And they didn't think it was easily accessible... Or centrally located.

The Warner Robins All-Stars should enjoy a good night's sleep tonight. WRALL beat Alabama 4-1 this morning to advance into the Southeastern Regional Tournament Semi-finals.

The boys from the International City will play Virginia Wednesday night at six o'clock. ESPN 2 will televise the game live.

Courtney Lyle will show you how WRALL earned today's must win coming up a little later in this newscast.

A Macon community responded today to the death of a man who was shot in the head early Saturday morning in a neighborhood off Eisenhower Parkway.

He died at the Medical Center of Central Georgia.

Judy Le spoke with some people who live in the neighborhood.

Anyone with information about this shooting can call Crimestoppers at 1-877-68-CRIME. Again...thats 1-877-68-CRIME.

Tonight's fan of the day is Laura Castleberry.

Email fan of the day at 13wmaz dot com to claim your coffee mug.

If you want to be fan of the day... Just visit facebook dot com slash 13WMAZ... Become a fan and join the conversations.

We pick the fan of the day randomly.

Courtney, we've got a story from the Olympics...but it's not about an athlete...or a coach.

That's right, guys.

15 year old Zachary Nunn just arrived at the summer games in London.

He's never competed professionally, but he knows all about struggle and sacrifice.

Bigad Shaban has more on the young boy who's now watching his Olympic wish come true.

 

 

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(--BROLL: close up of Zach's sunglasses shows reflection of downtown London---)

15 YEAR OLD ZACH DUNN STILL CAN'T BELIEVE IT.

HE AND HIS FAMILY ARE IN LONDON AT THE OLYMPICS.

(---nats: Zachary ----2:15:54---)

"I don't know where you could be that's better than this."

IT'S THE TRIP OF A LIFETIME FOR A BOY WHO NEARLY HAD HIS LIFE CUT SHORT.

AT BIRTH, HE WAS DIAGNOSED WITH A RARE BLOOD DISORDER

(----SOT: Zach, sophomore, 15----2:07:32----)

"when I get sick, it magnifies it almost. It's hard for me to recover. I'm sick much longer and I'm much sicker."

ZACH'S FATHER, RANDALL NUNN SAYS THE DISEASE WILL REMAIN A THREAT THE REST OF HIS SON'S LIFE

(----SOT: Randall Nunn----01:35:14---)

"It's frightening. And your world closes in around you. // Getting your son or your child better, there's nothing else you can think of as a parent.

AND ON THIS DAY INSIDE THE OLYMPIC PARK, ZACH *IS* FEELING BETTER.

A MEAL AT KENSINGTON PALACE HELPED

(---nats: Zach Nunn---)

"we had like 7 desserts!"

THE MAKE-A-WISH FOUNDATION SENT ZACH AND MORE THAN 50 OTHER CHILDREN WITH LIFE THREATENING DISEASES TO THE GAMES

(---nats: Zachary ----2:20:28---)

"It gave me maybe the best experience of my life."

 

(---bridge: Bigad Shaban, CBS News---)

"ZACH WILL LIKELY HAVE TO RELY ON PERIODIC BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS BECAUSE OF HIS DISEASE. HIS MOM SAYS HE'S NEVER COMPLAINED."

(----SOT: Debra Nunn, Zach's mother-------)

" As a parent, you're whole life turns around in a split second you think, Oh my god my child could die if he doesn't get this transfusion."

ZACH DOESN'T DWELL ON HIS STRUGGLES, HE'S AN AVID SPORTSFAN,

THE NEXT OLYMPICS HE ATTENDS, HE HOPES TO COMPETE

(----SOT: Zach, sophomore, 15----2:05:52---)

"to see all these people train so hard and sacrifice so much it's inspiring and I'm going to try to be like them."

IN A WAY --HE ALREADY IS.

Today... Zachary got to see his favorite sport... Track and field.

 

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