Eyewitness News at 11, 8-4-12

10:55 PM, Sep 4, 2012   |    comments
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Good evening, everyone.

I'm Frank Malloy... Leah Johnson wraps up tonight's Democratic National Convention coverage in just a moment.

But first, Macon Police have brought in a man they call a person of interest in a double homicide last week.

In a news release from the Macon Police Department, spokesperson Jami Gaudet says detectives brought Rodney Lanier Lowery...also known as Rock...in for questioning.

According to the police statement, Lowery has not been arrested.

Earlier today they said he may know something about the shootings that killed 26-year-old Antonio Devan Fluellen and 25-year-old Deundra Montierro Emory at a home on Cowan Street.

Police say public tips helped them find Rodney Lowery.

Investigators aren't saying whether they think he was there that night...or whether he knew the two men.

Our other top story tonight...the Democratic National Convention.

Nationally televised coverage just wrapped up a few moments ago...Leah has more on the day's events.

Danielle Nottingham begins our look at the DNC tonight.

<*GAVEL NATS*

THE 2012 DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION IS UNDERWAY IN CHARLOTTE.

(SOT - Debbie Wasserman Schultz/Chair, Democratic National Committee) 7-17

"this convention is about more than re-nominating President Obama. It's about Americans coming together to build one economy - not from the top-down, but from the middle class out and the bottom up."

THE HEADLINING SPEAKER ON THIS OPENING NIGHT IS FIRST LADY, MICHELLE OBAMA. SHE'S EXPECTED TO DELIVER A PERSONAL SPEECH DEFENDING HER HUSBAND'S LEADERSHIP IN THE WHITE HOUSE.

SOT - Rita Ferrandino, Florida delegate 28-38

"what she's been able to accomplish as first lady has been amazing. And what she has been able to stand for in the military - I think we'll continue to see her play an important role"

ELAINE BRYE IS THE MOTHER OF FOUR ACTIVE DUTY SERVICEMEMBERS, AND IS INTRODUCING THE FIRST LADY.

(SOT - Elaine Brye/Introducing First Lady) 45-49

"she really does care about our men and women in uniform and their families. ."

STANDUP BRIDGE: Danielle Nottingham/CBS News/Charlotte, NC 52-57

THIS CAMPAIGN THE FIRST LADY IS TRYING TO CONVINCE VOTERS HER HUSBAND UNDERSTANDS THE STRUGGLES OF THE MIDDLE CLASS.

SAN ANTONIO MAYOR JULIAN CASTRO - THE DNC'S FIRST HISPANIC KEYNOTE SPEAKER - TOLD THE CROWD THE REPUBLICAN TICKET DOESN'T GET IT.

((SOT)) Julian Castro/San Antonio Mayor

They told a few stories of individual success. We all celebrate individual success. But the question is, how do we multiply that success? The answer is President Barack Obama.

ON WEDNESDAY, FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON WILL SPEAK AND PLACE PRESIDENT OBAMA'S NAME IN NOMINATION.

Of course in 2008...President Obama took the stage to accept his party's nomination...but that wasn't the first time he caught delegates' attention at a national convention.

You may remember in 2004... Then-Senator Obama delivered a speech on the Audacity of Hope...referring to his book by the same name.

<

It's the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a millworker's son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too.

(APPLAUSE)

>

Now among those attending this year's convention...District two's U.S. Congressman...Sanford Bishop.

Today...I talked to the Congressman by phone...about his experience so far in Charlotte.

And I had a chance to ask him about some of the issues he expects to surface... Including abortion...after the Republican party called last week for a platform including a complete ban without exceptions.

Now among those attending this year's convention...District two's U.S. Congressman...Sanford Bishop.

Today...I talked to the Congressman by phone...about his experience so far in Charlotte.

And I had a chance to ask him about some of the issues he expects to surface... Including abortion...after the Republican party called last week for a platform including a complete ban without exceptions.

Now among those attending this year's convention...District two's U.S. Congressman...Sanford Bishop.

Today...I talked to the Congressman by phone...about his experience so far in Charlotte.

And I had a chance to ask him about some of the issues he expects to surface... Including abortion...after the Republican party called last week for a platform including a complete ban without exceptions.

Congressman Bishop is also up for relection this year. The twenty year U.S. Representative will face Republican John House in November.

Frank?

Tomorrow morning at ten...some local leaders convene for a meeting of another kind.

In July, Macon and Bibb County voters approved consolidation of their two governments.

Now...the real work officially begins.

The transition team is made up of members of the state delegation...local law enforcement...and other community leaders.

Tomorrow...state Senator Cecil Staton says the fifteen member task force...will meet to discuss which committees to create...and who will serve where.

He says members hope to have much of the work and planning done within six to nine months.

Some current employees of the city and county may face a different set-up when it comes time to retire.

Macon city council approved the revised police and fire pension plan.

But the city must pass the retirement fund guidelines during the next council meeting for it to go into effect.

Controversy surrounded the ordinance when attorneys first introduced it almost a month ago.

Pension board members expressed concerns over the past few weeks about wording changes in the new draft... But Mayor Robert Reichert says the revisions had to be made to keep the plan in compliance with the I-R-S.

The next opportunity for council to vote on the retirement funds is September 18th... Two weeks before an October 2nd deadline.

Owners of abandoned and foreclosed houses in Macon will now have to pay a ten dollar fee to add their property to a city registry.

Council members say the database will help locate homeowners if their house violates city codes.

<believe it or not, it's happening more often, especially with regards to corporations as well as banks. So, one of the issues that we're coming in contact with is that it has someone listed as an owner but it does not have any contact information>

The proposal originally called for a one-hundred dollar application fee for the registry... But council members agreed to cut that down to ten dollars.

People who do not pay that fee or notify the city about their vacant property could face a fine up to five-hundred dollars from the municipal court.

<to get all these properties listed so we would know who the owners are on the property, that was the goal, not to see how much we could fine people or we could charge people, so all in all it turned out okay where it was a win-win situation>

The registry applies to foreclosed properties... Or residences that have been empty for at least 60 days.

Now earlier in the afternoon, frustrations simmered during a committee meeting .... about payments owed from the Workforce Development Program.

The city's finance department says they billed Workforce Development for two months of administrative services... Totaling more than 15-thousand dollars... But they refused to pay it.

A city finance representative says both the federal government and workforce development agreed on a 78-hundred dollar monthly fee in the spring.

The registry applies to foreclosed properties... Or residences that have been empty for at least 60 days.

Now earlier in the afternoon, frustrations simmered during a committee meeting .... about payments owed from the Workforce Development Program.

The city's finance department says they billed Workforce Development for two months of administrative services... Totaling more than 15-thousand dollars... But they refused to pay it.

A city finance representative says both the federal government and workforce development agreed on a 78-hundred dollar monthly fee in the spring.

<now that they're not paying us, of course, I don't think we're in the place with our taxpayers that we can say 'oh okay go ahead and we'll continue to ignore the fact that you don't pay us.' If I don't pay my electric bill, my power's going to get shut off. Well, the same is going to be true here. We're still providing services, they're refusing to pay us, and as far as I'm concerned we should just go down and say 'sorry we're not going to be suckers anymore. We're not gonna do it.>

The city finance department says they plan to speak with Workforce Development... But if they still refuse to pay, the city will notify state and federal officials.

We could not reach a member of the Workforce Development program for comment.

Warner Robins Council convened tonight as well...to discuss oversight for city projects.

They agree there's a need...but disagree on who should manage the jobs.

The retirement of long time purchasing agent... Mark Baker... Sparked the debate on how to best fill his former duties.

 

 

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