Eyewitness News at 6, 9-26-12

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Next on Eyewitness News at Six...

FBI agents removed documents from the Hancock County Courthouse.

Learn what U.S. Attorney Michael Moore has to say about the investigation.

Plus... We'll have an update on a story involving a woman who says she was insulted for using food stamps at a Warner Robins Grocery store.

We'll tell you what she says she really wants most.

<Ben adlibs weather tease>

Eyewitness News at six is next.

Good evening, everyone. I'm Frank Malloy.

And I'm Leah Johnson.

This is Eyewitness News at Six

New at Six...one Bibb County student is caught with a knife in a bookbag..while a second one is accused of assaulting a bus driver.

 

The school district announced those two cases today...as they continue to deal with a wave of crimes and other violent incidents.

In the first case...they say a 14-year-old student at the Hutchings Career Center was arrested Tuesday and charged with possessing a weapon on school grounds.

Their news release says school officials confronted the student...who admitted having the knife.

They did not release any further details...including whether the student was male or female.

Late Tuesday afternoon...a Howard Middle School student was arrested...and accused of attacking the driver.

Again...the release doesn't give any further details...such as describing the assault...or saying where it happened.

The district says the student has been banned from riding the bus...and campus police are still investigating.

School spokeswoman Jacqueline Bennett said no further information was available on either case.

FBI agents searched the office of the Probate Judge in Hancock County today.

Witnesses say around thirty agents arrived this morning in unmarked cars.

Jennifer Moulliet went to Hancock County and joins us now from our newsroom with more.

Jennifer...

Leah... Witnesses told me they saw FbI agents wearing gloves and carrying backpacks enter the courthouse and tape off the Probate Office.

They say they also carried in their own tables... Chairs... And boxes.

Witnesses did see agents interviewing the Probate judge Marva Rice.

We knocked on her office door to try and get some answers.

{***nats "knocking on door"***}

Witnesses also pointed out Judge Marva Rice's car... Which was a new Corvette parked right outside of the courthouse.

We watched it sit idle for around thirty minutes until an office aide came out and turned it off... Claiming it was her own car.

Leah?

Thanks Jennifer. We'll update that story as more details become available.

A Warner Robins woman who says she was insulted by a manager at Kroger says a company spokesman apologized to her for the incident.

Cindy Nerger told 13WMAZ that last Tuesday she and some employees argued over whether her deli meat was covered by food stamps.

She said the manager said to her.... excuse me that I work for a living and don't have to rely on food stamps like you.

Nerger said the company spokesman called early this afternoon... and they talked for about half an hour.

She says he told her that they will retrain some of the employees at the Kroger on Watson Boulevard to avoid incidents like that.

<I don't see why the manager shouldn't have been made to apologize to me personally he humiliated me personally, you know that's what I wanted no cash, no nothing, that was all I wanted was a personal apology. >

Nerger says the spokesman told her...that's not possible....and offered her a 500 dollar gift card which she declined.

We asked Nerger what it would take her to walk in the Kroger store..

<Effort would be maybe 10 times that. Ten times what? 500, so about 5,000 and then I might walk into Kroger. >

Kroger released a statement this afternoon...saying they admitted offending Nerger...and they apologize. They said further details of conversations with their employees...should remain private.

Bibb County's chief deputy says one deputy's reaction to Saturday night's traffic stop of Superior Court Judge Howard Simms....is concern...and remorse.

Chief Deputy David Davis says he met with the deputy, whom he declined to identify. They talked about why deputies allowed Simms to drive himself home...about five miles... after a roadside D-U-I test showed his blood alcohol level at 0.08.

That's the state standard for drunken driving.

< David Davis, Chief Davis: One of the deputies that was involved in the incident Saturday night did come in and expressed some concern and a little bit of remorse over the image that it's cast for both the deputies and the office. It's one of those kind of things that it's our responsibility and our duty now to look into exactly what happened and to be proactive about it and find out if there were policy violations and what sanctions need to be brought forth.>

Davis says the department's investigation should be finished Friday.

He says Sheriff Jerry Modena will make a public statement about the situation, possibly Monday.

Meanwhile... Macon D-U-I defense attorney Bob Daniels says the roadside test given to Simms can't be used as evidence in court.

< Bob Daniel, DUI Defense Attorney: A trial judge who sitting trying the case or a jury would never be told what the number of the alco sensor was for the reason that that particular device is never, not even once, inspected by personnel for the state. It's never maintained. They have no way of knowing whether the result they obtained is in any way accurate or inaccurate.

Daniel says officers also use the field test to help them decide whether a person is intoxicated.

Other signs include slurred speech and unsteady movements.

He says an accurate blood test is used once the person has been arrested.

This year, Georgia schools have a new curriculum, a new system to evaluate teachers, and a new system for grading schools.

With all the changes going on, state superintendent John Barge says state districts are doing pretty well.

 

He talked with Candace Adorka at the Macon Centreplex this morning.

Barge was one of the speakers at a Georgia School Nutrition Association luncheon.

Before the event, he said federal funding cuts and the struggling economy are ongoing problems for school districts, but overall, he says he's still optimistic.

<we've got that focus. We have challenges, but the data and the results are showing that were heading in the right direction, and we're gonna keep moving forward. We've got a lot of really good things coming up with career pathways and the teacher evaluation system, our waiver form No Child Left Behind-- teachers are going to be more passionate about teaching and less focused on passing the test in the spring because the test isn't the only thing we're accountable for anymore so we're very excited." >

 

John Barge goes on to speak about standardized testing, foreign language instruction, and the charter school referendum. You can find the full interview on our homepage 13WMAZ.com.

Changes in the works for the state's largest port... possibly tripling freight traffic into the state.

That's according to the Three Rivers Regional Commission based in Griffin..

Some officials say now's the time to act... To make sure the infrastructure's set up to get goods where they need to go.

 

Brittiny Barber explains how they're looking to make that happen... by connecting Macon to west Georgia.

{***SOT FULL***}

< We do sausage, egg and cheese....>

For 15 years.. Debi Jina's owned this convenience store on Hwy 74 in Upson County.

< Your customers become your family.>

Although she loves the laid back lifestyle.. She says she'd welcome more businesses and traffic in the area.

< tHere's industry that wants to come,but won't come because there's no major highways >

That could change though.

Several recent state reports found a need for a multi-lane highway connecting Macon to LaGrange.. And they're looking at hwy 74 as the answer.

<It's not just the number of Jobs created by Kia but the supplier to Kia. >

Lanier Boatwright... Executive Director of Three Rivers Regional Commission says the Kia plant in West Point has created 10-thousand jobs in the area.

Now he says they're looking at ways to make it more accessible.. And attract other types of businesses.

<georgia's just is a transportation and logistics hub. We're the center for the southeast and we need a good set of eat-west connectors. >

They're working to get federal funds to study things like the cost of the project and the exact route.

That could take 18 to 24 months to complete says Robert Hiett... who also works for the commission.

He says he hopes they can find the funding fast.. Because the need is great.

< We have to have good transportation corridors to move these folks around efficiently. Cause if you don't, they'll take their business somewhere else. >

 

Jina says if the road her business is on turns in to a major thoroughfare... It could bring more economic life to the area.

< I think it would boost the economy of the whole mid section of georgia and west georgia a great deal.>

Brittiny barber 13wmaz eyewitness news.

The six counties along the route.. Including Monroe and Bibb couties Have signed on in support of the project.

Boatwright says they've been working on this since about 2006... But so far they have not been abe to get federal funding for the initial study.

The portion of Highway 74 they're considering for expansion runs from Interstate-475 in Macon.. Also Mercer University Drive.... thru Thomaston, Greenville and on to LaGrange.

Active military, veterans and their spouses took part in a job fair today at the old Tift College campus in Forsyth..

Judy Le has more on the fair..hosted by the Georgia Department of Corrections.

Open positions include administration....state patrolman....and public affairs.

For a full list...visit our webstory at 13-wmaz-dot-com.

 

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