Eyewitness News at 11, 9-24-12

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<I don't necessarily think the man should lose his job...I think he should be demoted at the least...">

A Warner Robins woman who says she was humiliated...for using food stamps at a local grocery store...says the Kroger chain's efforts to make good...aren't good enough.

Hello everyone. Thank you for joining us.

I'm Leah Johnson.

And I'm Lorra Lynch Jones.

Frank Malloy has the evening off.

First tonight...that update on one woman's conflict at Kroger.

You just heard from Cindy Nerger... who says a store manager insulted her...because she was paying for her grocery bill with food stamps.

 

Nerger, who lives in Warner Robins...was buying deli meat...and there was a question over whether it was covered.

When she talked to 13WMAZ yesterday...she says things escalated when a manager showed up.

She says he made comments...that left her in tears.

<I told him I said, see sir, I told you. Now I wasn't as nice as I'm being now, I was upset. So I was like you know, I told you that it was covered under food stamps so there was no need for all this and he said well excuse me that I work for a living and don't rely on food stamps like you. I went from anger to just tears.>

Today...a Kroger spokesman says...that manager...no longer works at the Kroger on Watson Boulevard and has been transferred somewhere else.

In a statement the grocery story chain sent to 13WMAZ...Glynn Jenkins said,

"We deeply regret that a Kroger customer had an unpleasant shopping experience.

After an internal investigation, we have decided to transfer the co-manager to another location.

We wish the customer well and hope she will consider making Kroger her destination to shop in the future."

Today, Nerger also told us...she doesn't think transferring the employee fixes anything.

<In my opinion, transferring him doesn't solve anything, it just moves the problem. I don't want the guy to lose his job, but I do think he should be demoted. I also think he should be in a position where he can be retrained on what food stamps do cover...and also on how to treat customers, even when you're having a bad day. >

Nerger said Kroger offered her a fifteen-dollar store credit..but she turned it down.

She said she never expected to be compensated...she just wanted an apology.

The state department of human resources says 1 point 9 million Georgians live in a household that receives food stamps. That's almost one out of five people.

They say that number has nearly doubled in the past five years.

Two Macon police officers may lose their badges... after both were arrested for unrelated crimes over the weekend.

One of them is...

29 year old Sgt. Andrew Clarke....charged with DUI and speeding early Saturday.

The state patrol says he was driving 89 miles an hour in a 45 mile zone around 3-30 a-m.

He was off duty at the time...and now he's on five days leave pending termination.

Also facing charges and the possibility of losing her job...Officer Anita Harrell.

She's charged with simple battery and violating her oath of office... and is also on leave.

While she was off-duty... She allegedly got in to a fight with another officer.. And struck her in the face....In the parking lot of this Waffle House on Pio Nono Avenue. That also happened early Saturday.

Police say Clark worked for the department for five years... Jarrell has spend four years on the force.

Macon city council member Henry Gibson wants to curb crime rates in his area.

He told Katelyn Heck why he believes neighborhood watch groups are the solution.

<we've had a break-in down here on the end of Winston, an attempted break-in, and because of people watching, the guy was apprehended>

Curtis Tharpe helped start a neighborhood watch when he moved into his Macon home almost 17 years ago.

<it was pretty rough because a lot of people, older folks in this neighborhood, didn't see the need for neighborhood watch>

They're one of 124 neighborhood watches in Macon, but only one of 6 groups in the city's Ward 2...which includes much of Bloomfield and southwest Macon.

<as much crime and problems that we have in the city of Macon, I'm just trying to get people to show interest in their kids, in their neighborhood, in the prevention of crime>

Precinct 4 of the Macon Police Department covers most of council member Henry Gibson's ward. That area had the most serious crimes last year including robberies, aggravated assault, and car theft.

Gibson hopes more watch groups can change that, but his biggest goal is keeping kids off the streets.

<i would like to see more children at the neighborhood watch meetings because our schools are having problems with the kids and discipline starts at home.>

Gibson plans to hold monthly meetings for everyone who lives in his ward.

He also wants to help neighborhoods form their own watch groups.

Katelyn Heck 13WMAZ Eyewitness News

Gibson will host an informational meeting for people in Ward 2 of the city Thursday night.

It will start at 6:30 at Covenant Life Cathedral.

That's located at 4543 Bloomfield Road.

On 13WMAZ-dot-com today, we asked if you participate in a neighborhood watch group.

Just 19 percent of you say yes... 81 percent of you say no.

Bullets... Bombs and bodies.

The new special agent in charge of the GBI office that serves 10 Central Georgia counties deals with them all.

Rodney Wall took over as the top investigator at the Perry office in August... And says he brings a wealth of experience to solving the area's crimes.

A remote controlled bomb removal robot rolls past Rodney Wall at his new GBI post... Transferring here from Columbus.

Discovering and defusing explosives is just of the talent sets he brings as the area's new Special Agent in charge.

{***SOT FULL***}

<im one of the commanders of the state of Georgia body recovery team, basically we respond to mass fatality incidents.>

He began that work after the Flood of '94... Identifying bodies disenterred from cemeteries. He also took a team to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

<if you can bring someone's loved one back to them that they have lost, that's the gratifying part of it.>

But for a lot of the work... closure doesn't come quickly.. And it's anything but exciting.

{***SOT FULL***}

<this is just one case. This is paperwork we have to generate. That's office work.>

He's elbow deep in it since his arrival... Reviewing unsolved cases such as those of missing Irwin County teacher Tara Grinstead... and Twigg's County child Teresa Dean.

<I try to bring new ideas or maybe a new approach, lets go at this a different route.>

It's his ultimate goal to find the missing pieces of the cases he equates to puzzles...

and with the variety of experiences he offers.... Wall hopes one lends itself to solving some of Central Georgia's most perplexing crimes.

<that's what we do. That's what we strive to do everyday.>

In Perry, Lorra Lynch Jones, 13WMAZ, Eyewitness News.

Wall began his law enforcement career in 1985 with the Schley County Sheriff's Department.

He worked as a patrol officer for the Warner Robins Police Department in the late 80's... Before going to work with the GBI.

Wall replaced Agent Gary Rothwell... Who retired in August.

Bibb County officials could pick the site of their new animal shelter...within a month.

The task force that will recommend the new site met in private for more than an hour today.

After wards...Chairman Lonzy Edwards says they now have a preferred site...but need more information before they make up their mind.

Once they agree...they'll report their choice to the county commission..

The current county animal shelter is next to the Macon landfill.

County officials say it's too small...and plagued with health and safety problems.

Welcome back.

When cancer strikes... Sometimes where you shop is the last thing on your list.

But for one Warner Robins woman it's a place she finds comfort.

Jennifer Moulliet tagged along with Cynthia Kennedy to find out where she finds her gear to fight back...in a story that comes Straight from the heart.

Owner Judy Mason also started Georgia Cancer Friends... a foundation aimed at helping financially strapped cancer patients pay their bills.

 

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