Eyewitness News at 11, 8/9/12

10:53 PM, Aug 9, 2012   |    comments
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{***SOT FULL***}

<I wasn't told my kids were told that I was going to die, here I am.>



{***CONT VO***}


Three months after an accident on this deck...Paul Bales has defied that diagnosis, to spend his first full day in his own home today.


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Good evening, everyone. Thanks for joining us.

I'm Leah Johnson.

Frank Malloy has the night off.

A Milledgeville grandfather who spent several months fighting flesh-eating bacteria has finally returned home.

Paul Bales says he contracted the disease while working on Lake Sinclair.

The bacteria caused him to lose his left leg up to his knee.

Austin Lewis has his story.

<nats of Paul: I missed it, I really did, I really did it's great seeing the American flag flying right now>


Paul Bales hasn't seen the view from his own window since May

{***SOT FULL***}

<Paul Bales, Milledgeville: I am just happy, I really am, I am happy to be home, happy to get phone calls from people I love and even people I don't even know I get phone calls from. >



Bales was working on his boating deck...when he cut his leg on this ramp.

He says that's when he contracted flesh-eating bacteria.

But not too long after that...he lost time

{***SOT FULL***}

<Paul Bales, Milledgeville: I remember that morning I was going to play golf with some friends of mine, about a week in a half later, I remember waking up in the hospital without a leg and I lost about a week and a half to two weeks of my life just gone. >


Bales says while he was in the hospital...doctors told his family he wouldn't make it.

{***SOT FULL***}

<Paul Bales, Milledgeville: my kids were told that I was going to die, here I am



Now Bales gets around with the help of his wheelchair...

He's focused on recovery...getting his right leg stronger...and letting his left leg heal

{***SOT FULL***}

<Paul Bales, Milledgeville: You cannot believe how you feel when you have lost part of your body, you know it's gone, you know it's not coming back and it's hard, it really is hard, but you have to be positive nothing but positive because you can and will move on. >


And Bales says he won't let what happened keep him out of Lake Sinclair.

{***SOT FULL***}

< I am going back to the water, one of these days not right now, but I am going to do it, but I want, my kids, people to know that there's nothing wrong with the water, what's wrong with me is what happened, not treating my leg was my fault. >


Austin Lewis 13wmaz Eyewitness News.

The race for State Senate District 18 appears to be over.


Incumbent Cecil Staton has been clinging to a slim margin of victory of just under 1-percent since the July 31st primary. That margin that would have triggered an automatic recount.

But today, his challenger Spencer Price conceded.


He told 13WMAZ, "I understand the results have been certified and my opponent has come out ahead by a slim margin."


"I have decided not to seek a recount and decided to trust the process. I am already preparing for 2014."

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp certified the July 31st primary election results on Tuesday.

Staton's lead over Price narrowed from 207 votes to 203 out of more than twenty-thousand votes.

Staton has claimed victory from the first night.

In a statement earlier this week after the count was officially certified, he congratulated Price on a good race.

From state senate to the bid for Bibb County Sheriff... Chief Deputy David Davis is lined up to assume the office next... Unless a successful write-in candidate emerges.

Republican Shawn Fritz has officially withdrawn from the race, citing health concerns and an increased workload at his job.

That's according to Bibb County GOP Chair Suzanne Wood.

This means Davis will be unopposed on the November general election ballot.

In other news, the Bibb County school board voted tonight not to raise property taxes on residents.

Members approved a mill rate of 17-point-9-4-5.

That means you'd pay seventeen dollars and ninety-five cents for every thousand dollars your property is worth.

Board vice president Susan Middleton says it's the same rate the board has approved since 2009, because of the recession.

<folks out there who are trying to make a living. Experiencing job loss and foreclosures and just trying to maintain some semblance of their personal lifestyle, we've been sensitive to that and that's the thinking behind trying to maintain this same mill rate >

The board also agreed to pay for the superintendent's defense in a pending lawsuit.

Last month.. board member Gary Bechtel and his wife sued Superintendent Romain Dallemand for allegedly releasing their son's academic information online.

Dallemand's contract stipulates that the district will cover the superintendent in legal proceedings.

35 houses, a few churches, and a shooting range ... A Colorado man claims his Central Georgia ancestry...and the fact his relatives once owned property here... entitles him to hundreds of acres of land in Twiggs County ...

Tom George went to court this morning to see if Allen Evans' family lineage gives him the right to take people away from their homes.

<This one was 7 when we moved here... This one was two ... now he's trying to take her land...>

Mary Casteen has spent her whole life in Dry Branch.

{***SOT FULL***}

<Raised 4 children ... my husband worked close by at the chalk mine.>

So after more than 50 years living in her house and being just down the road from the church her husband helped build, the 81 year old got a surprising call.

{***SOT FULL***}

<Someone called me, and told me that we may lose our house and I sais wait a minute, cause I know I don't owe anything.>

But it wasn't the bank, it was a neighbor... Telling her someone thousands of miles away in Colorado was claiming the land their homes sat on...

Allan Evans took Mary and 35 of her neighbors to court, claiming his ancestry entitled him to their land, even though the last Evans family member in Twiggs County died in 1931.

{***SOT FULL***}

<Altogether, Evans is claiming more than 400 acres of land including this entire section of Old Gordon Rd. behind me, including houses, churches, and shooting range>


I dont know what he's thinking

Evans represented himself in court, and found himself in trouble with judge for interrupting lawyers and not standing when he spoke to judge.

Evans based his claim on records from the 1800's, but without an official deed or any kind of legitimate claim, opposing lawyers argued he has no leg to stand on.

He also says he's calculated the value of the property he says he has a stake in...and according to Evans, it adds up to about 4-point-one million dollar windfall.

{***SOT FULL***}

<Mr. Evans has shown no record title and no possession.>

But despite strong odds of keeping their homes, the legal process has taken its toll on the residents.

{***SOT FULL***}

<Just awful, its even worse than putting them out because while they're under this cloud, they cant borrow any money, and they can sell the property>

But to those who live there... It's about more than the money.

{***SOT FULL***}

<Where were your people when all of us here were cleaning off land, building our houses, raising our children, where were you then if you say you own this property?>

In Dry Branch, Tom George, 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.

Court adjourned today after both sides made their case.

The special master appointed to hear the dispute will present his findings to the judge who will make a final ruling.

We don't have a timeline on that decision...but we'll keep you updated as soon as it comes down.

Now if you're planning to take it slow this weekend...dip your hand in a bucket of popcorn...and watch some big screen flicks, you have two options for your viewing pleasure


That's right... The series that started with "the Bourne Identity" is back.


And...if you can't imagine a political race pitting Will Ferrell against Zach Galifanakis...a new political spoof will give you some help with that.

{***NAT FULL***}

<my hair could lift a car off a baby if it had too..absolutely>


We begin with...The Campaign.

Straight out of Warner Brothers studios...and onto Capitol Hill...come some comedy giants.

It's about two southern businessmen who doctor up a plan to boot their congressman...by finding their own congressional wanna-be.

Dan Akroyd's also in this one, along with Dylan McDermott and John Lithgow.

The humor's not for the kids though... It's rated R...so text the babysitter and catch The Campaign at a theater near you.


And...the next installment in the Bourne action series rolls out tomorrow.

The Bourne Legacy stars Jeremy Renner as a brand new hero..

This PG-13 sequel expands on the Robert Ludlum novels and also stars Rachel Weisz, Ed Norton, and Albert Finney.

Some critics think Universal's taking quite the risk by replacing the series' title character. but series fans have hope.

We'll see if their loyalties show up in the box office returns... And if "The Bourne Legacy" can knock "Dark Knight" out of the top slot in its fourth week.

By this fall, parts of the Macon Mall will be made new.

Co-owner, John Gibson shows us a little of what we can expect.

Gibson says there are no plans for the Dillard's building yet, but he's keeping options open for retailers.

The renovated mall will be 800-thousand square feet.


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