Eyewitness News at 6, August 13, 2012

11:13 PM, Aug 13, 2012   |    comments
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 Today was the first day of school for Bibb County Students..
   Next week...voters will head to the polls to pick school board representatives for three of the six districts.
  The special election is the result of redistricting earlier this year.
   In district one...  Incumbent and former principal Ella Carter will face Brenda Sutton...who directs a mediation program for Bibb and Houston county courts....and Michael McKeever....a  Macon State College business management major.
   Frank joins us now with all three  ..to discuss issues in the race...
  Thanks Leah..
    And thank you to each of the candidates for joining us.
   I will ask you three questions and give each one of you equal time to respond...
   Our first question tonight is:
   Do you like the direction the Bibb County School System is currently in?
 Our next question:
     What parts of the Macon Miracle plan are you most enthusiastic about?
   Last...what parts would you change or remove?
The election is next Tuesday, August 21st.  Early voting is currently under way.
   You can get more information about the school board race and other races at 13-WMAZ dot com.

A judge today set 650 thousand dollars bond for a former Houston County probation officer accused of killing his girlfriend.
  In Houston county superior court.... Judge Tripp Self set the bond.... but said Russell Holt would stay under house arrest if he's released.
Holt is accused of killing 27-year-old Jessica Wolfe back in March.
   Wolfe, who worked in the Houston County District Attorney's office, died after being shot in the chest. 
   She and Holt were dating at the time of her death.
   For now... Holt remains in the Houston County jail.
 Bibb County Investigators need your help to find a woman they say is scamming the elderly. 

 According to a release from the sheriff's office, a woman approaches senior adults and says that she knows them from their doctor's office and that she needs money to fix her car.
 They say she's a white female with blonde hair and an average build. She was reportedly driving an older model gray van with a Peach county tag. 
   One of the victims also saw her driving a light-colored vehicle... possibly a Ford Taurus.
   The sheriff's department asks that anyone with information on the case to call Investigator Tania Greer at 478-621-5675.Again ...That's 621-5675.

The campaign manager of a candidate for state representative is accusing their opponent... and one of her supporters...of playing the race card.
Keith MacCants is the campaign manager for candidate Tom Coogle.
He also writes a blog called Peanut Politics.
Coogle and Patty Bentley will meet in next Tuesday's Democratic primary for House District 139.
One of them will replace Lynmore James... who's retiring.

MacCants says Bentley and James...are telling voters that the district needs an African American representative.
Today... they held a news conference. 
James denied the allegation...and Bentley pleaded for a positive tone in the campaign.
<It did hurt my feelings. I'm a big girl, I'll get over it cause it's about the people, it's not about me, it is about the people of this district, so I will be fine. But I just want the people of this district to know that this race is not about color.  >
om Coogle says Keith MacCants' blog is independent of his campaign...and he does not condone what MacCants said.
<keith's opinions are his own and in my opinion, I only want to focus on moving District 139 forward and improving the state of affairs for people in this district. >
Both candidates say jobs and the economy are their most important issues.
House District 139 includes Taylor, Macon and Dooly Counties....and part of Peach County.
There is no Republican running in the race; so Tuesday's winner takes office... unless a successful write in candidate comes forward.


 Today was a big day for Bibb County schools as kids head back the classroom.
     District officials say they have more than 25-thousand students enrolled.
   As of this afternoon 25,457 students were enrolled in Bibb County Schools... According to Kimberlyn Carter.. Director of Strategic Partnerships.
     Last year... about 23,900 students were in the district.
 Even on the first day of school.. Dozens of parents lined up at the Welcome Center to register or transfer their students.
     Carter says since July 23... Nearly 32-hundred adults have come through the doors.
     This was the first time parents have registered at the Welcome Center instead of at individual schools.... And that left some parents frustrated. 
<Sheila Rouse, Macon: "they should have given me a letter or something telling me that his record had got sent to Bloomfield instead of Ballard-Husdon.
Angela Thomas, Macon: I know everybody's trying to get their kids in school  but do to the fact, I mean everybody wasn't prepared for this day, so I'm just saying be patient with the staff. They're doing as much as they can. >
   Carter says they've learned from this first experience with registration at a central site.. And will make it better in the future.

Macon City Council members are discussing a plan to make the city a safer place...
    Coming up..tonight at 11..we'll hear from the public safety committee...regarding gang initiatives and a crime lab audit..
   And...early voting for the August 21st special election kicked off today...
   We talked to a couple of people who wanted to make sure their votes count...
   That's tonight..right after Hawaii five-oh

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