Eyewitness News at 6, 9/10/12

11:00 PM, Sep 10, 2012   |    comments
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Hello, everyone.

Thank you for joining us.

I'm Frank Malloy.

And I'm Leah Johnson.

This is Eyewitness News at Eleven.

One environmental groups is questioning the Macon Water Authority's handling of a sewage spill into the Ocmulgee

 

 

 

Tom George spoke with Executive Director Deborah Sheppard...who wrote a letter to the authority...saying she's concerned.

Frank and Leah ... The Altamaha Riverkeeper, an environmental group says the spill was probably much larger than the 48 hundred sixty gallons that the water authority's reported to the state.

<we basically just looked at the numbers they put forth and looked at the videos that your television station took and ran on the news, and concluded that it seemed pretty unreasonable that such a low amount of sewage could cause the event that we were observing on the film. >

Sheppeard says a spill that would fill an empty creek bed with sewage would have lasted much longer than four hours reported by the authority. That's the gap between the time homeowner Roland Neel reported the spill...and when the authority says it was stopped.

<the amount of sewage that's entering .. That leaving the proected are of pipes and entering into the open environment needs to be adequately documented for the authorities understanding of what happened and especially for the public's ability to make sure they stay away from contaminated sewage, its dangerous stuff to be associated with.>

John Draughon....attorney for homeowner Roland Neel....called the water authority's actions "a classic government coverup."

He also said it';s the third spill on or near Neel's property.

Water authroity director Tony Rojas said he apprecaites the Riverkeeper's concern...and will investigate the matter...and report what they've found.

Rojas says MWA works a lot with Altahmaha Riverkeepers... And takes their letter seriously .. Frank .. Leah?

Peach County students returned to the classroom on a Monday for the first time in three years.

In March...the school board voted to return the county to a five-day school week.

Students at Peach County's new ninth grade Trojan academy...hit the books after their first two-day weekend in a while.

Both students and teachers say it was a little bit of an adjustment getting back to school today...but it wasn't as hard as they thought it would be to be back in the classroom.

<Aja Clark, 9th grade student: We've been going for three years and we've been so used to it so I thought it would be hard to adjust but actually it's just like a normal school day everything's the same you just have an extra day from now on

Mike Hancock, English teacher:It's good for the kids to understand that, that's how the work week works when they get into the real world with college and everythign else you don't get your Mondays off. It'd be nice if you did. >

In 2009...The Peach County School Board voted to go to a four day school week to save the district money without cutting teacher jobs.

The U-S Department of Education's 2012 list of Blue Ribbon Schools is out... And one Central Georgia school made the list.

Jennifer Moulliet went to First Presbyterian Day School's Middle School to find out why they landed at the top of the class.

Caroline Radcliff says her teachers are the reason her school is nationally recognized.

<we have teachers that are great and are willing to work with us twenty-four seven they're willing to take time out of their busy schedules to work with us and make sure we understand everything a hundred percent >

Emma Lako agrees... without her teachers... They wouldn't be one of two hundred and sixty-nine schools receiving a blue ribbon this year.

<everybody is so friendly and all the teachers embrace me and I feel comfortable going to them.>

<not only is FPD the only Central Georgia school to make the list this year they're also the only private school in the state to be on the list >

<to me it validates how hard our teachers work how hard our students work, the parent involvement here is tremendous, very supportive and to have this extra stamp on us makes it you know feels rewarding. >

To become a national blue ribbon school... You have to be nominated by the top education official in your state... Then the Secretary of Education invites the nominees to apply for a ribbon. Matt Kitchell is in his ninth year of teaching at FPD... And says they provide a safe environment where students want to learn.

<you can educate in a christian environment and you can also educate with really rigorous standards and I think parents look at the investment that they're making and I think they they it's worth it because we're excelling.>

<it feels really special to know that I attend one of the greatest schools in the state to have a blue ribbon isn't just something that happens everyday it's a priveldge to go here and an honor. >

Jennifer Moulliet 13WMAZ eyewitness News.

It's the first Blue Ribbon for First Presbyterian Day School's Middle School.

Their elementary school received one in 2003.

They will accept their plaque and blue ribbon flag at an awards ceremony in Washington DC in november.

You can have lunch...and also be a hometown hero.

Caliente's Burrito Shop off Zebulon Road is celebrating its 10th birthday...by giving back to local charities.

Judy Le explains how you can be part of the celebration.

These little slips of paper mean money....

And Cal Garretson...owner of Caliente's Burrito Shop is collecting it by the bucket.

<We're spending our week celebrating 10 years of local business supporting local charities>

Ten percent of sales will be donated to a different charity each day.

Monday's proceeds will go to The Arc Macon....an organization that supports the developmentally disabled community.

<When I heard they were supporting the ARC today, I made a special trip over here to eat>

The food and the cause...are bringing in a full crowd at Caliente's.

<This is my first time visiting this restaurant and I like the idea that they are doing this because if it's good, I'm coming back.>

After ordering food...customers can toss their receipts into a bucket right next to the register. That day's collection is for five different local non-profits.

<Many of them are our customers. Many of them are our friends. I grew up in Macon. Folks that I know who are involved in these charities, also we really like to keep a local focus>

<I eat here about once a week because I like their burritos. I think they're the best in town, but I'm specifically here today because part of their proceeds are being donated to the ARC>

Garretson hopes the steady customer turnout means a hefty donation at the end of the day.

Judy Le...13wmaz...eyewitness news

To find out which non-profits Caliente's is helping out.. Head over to 13-wmaz-dot-com and click on this story.

We have a clarification for you on a story you saw this weekend.

Macon police arrested a man while they were responding to a burglary at a home on Kent Drive early Saturday.

21-year old Donnie Kyles...who was spotted running from the home with a black mask over his face.

Kyles was arrested...and he faces obstruction and criminal trespass charges.

He has *not* been charged with burglary.

This was his first arrest. He has since been released on bond.

We have breaking news to report to you right now.

[Notes:FRANK]

{***FRANK***}

[ReadRate:16]

Macon Police confirm they're working a shooting on Bedingfield Drive in Macon tonight.

It happened just after 10:30...

We'll be following this story and will update you as soon as we know more about any injuries.

Macon city officials say a nonprofit agency isn't paying its bills to the city...and they've called in the state's workforce development office to settle the dispute.

 

Katelyn Heck explains what prompted tomorrow's meeting.

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<It stems from a bill of over 15-thousand dollars that the city says they are owed by the Macon Workforce Development Program.

Workforce became a non-profit in July...and Dale Walker... the city's CAO....says both groups agreed on a 78-hundred dollar monthly bill for administrative services by the city.

But he says Workforce hasn't paid for those past two months.

"for example, they have a portion in there for risk management, which covers all of her liability insurance for vehicles and for staff and things. There's a portion for finance, for the use of the software system that we have and for the use of the oversight of our accountants for her staff"

Kathy Thompson, director of Workforce Development, would not speak to me on camera.

She told me she paid the money last week, but the city finance department says their records do not show that.

Thompson said she believes the city is overcharging for its services.

She says out of her 1.2 million dollar budget... almost 94-thousand goes to cover administration fees.

Walker says they used the same formula to decide how much Workforce should pay...that they use for other agencies.

"we use this indirect cost study for the fire department when we send it to the county, we use the indirect cost study for all of our enterprise funds, all of the funds that are acting outside of the general fund activity."

Both Walker and Thompson say they want to ask the state department how other governments handle charges for non-profit Workforce Development programs.

Katelyn Heck 13WMAZ Eyewitness News>

City council members, Workforce Development employees, and the state Workforce director are scheduled to meet at city hall at 5 o'clock tomorrow.

National GEAR UP week kicked off at Appling Middle school today.

GEAR UP is program funded by a federal grant... that works to get low-income students prepared for college

Brittiny Barber has more on the program.. And how it was celebrated today.

National GEAR UP week kicked off at Appling Middle school today.

GEAR UP is program funded by a federal grant... that works to get low-income students prepared for college

Brittiny Barber has more on the program.. And how it was celebrated today.

GEAR Up stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs.

The $19-million grant with Bibb county school runs for seven years.. And all Bibb County Middles School are part of the program.

 

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