Eyewitness News at 11, 9-26-12

9:52 PM, Sep 26, 2012   |    comments
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First tonight...A 21-year-old Warner Robins man will spend at least 20 years in prison for a string of crimes in 2011.

 

 

They included assault, arson, burglary, damage to property...and a string of car break-ins.

According to a Wednesday news release, Brett Donald Justice burglarized Northside High School and a Kohl's department store.

Authorities say he also poured gas on a truck and set it on fire.

And he was accused of pointing a gun at a Houston resident who confronted Justice for breaking into his car.

In July 2011, Justice led deputies on a car chase through Houston and Bibb counties.

At the time, the sheriff's department said Justice was considered a "person of interest" in two arsons, two burglaries and as many as 20 car break-ins.

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 a 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.

Nerger says while she appreciates the apology from the corporate spokesman, she really wants to hear it from the manager who she says insulted her.

<I wanted an apology from the manager in question and acknowledge that he actually did that and that I wasn't exaggerating and that it actually happened and he told me that that really wouldn't be possible and he told me that he really truly valued me as a customer. >

Nerger says the company spokesman offered her a $500 dollar gift card, which she declined.

She says when she was pressed on what it would take her for to come back to Kroger ... she said 10 times 500 or 5-thousand dollars..

<I would accept it and I would walk in that Kroger with a smile on my face and I would spend it on food for my family. >

Now we also heard from company spokesman Glynn Jenkins...

An e-mail statement our Austin Lewis received...said,

"we admit we have offended Mrs. Nerger and have apologized. We are taking corrective action with our employee.

Beyond that we believe the contents of our conversation should be private--not because we have anything to hide but because we think this situation is best resolved privately."

Nerger says she and Jenkins are supposed to have a follow-up conversation tomorrow.

This story has generated lots of comments on our Facebook page...so tonight...we have another way for you to join the conversation.

How would you respond to what you viewed as a serious insult in a business?

Ask for an apology only?

Ask for compensation...

Or let it go.

Text A, B, or C to 25543.

We'll check on your responses at the end of the newscast.

The Bibb County school district shared information about two new discipline 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.

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

Continuing our look at news from the world of education tonight...Georgia schools are working their way this year through 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, Candace asked him about a trip in June, where five state education officials visited China, courtesy of the same Confucius Institute supplying Mandarin teachers to Bibb county.

The Bibb county school district has received some national and international attention for teaching Mandarin to every student, starting this year with students in pre-k to 3rd grade.

<the folks in China invited some folks in Georgia to look and see and we are really focused on making sure our children in GA are prepared for a global economy and be able to compete in that marketplace for the jobs so we are promoting world languages not just Mandarin. Mandarin is important,t he chinese economy is very strong in the world, but there are a number of toehr ones out there as well. We actually have 28% of our student population in Georgia enrolled in some type of world language which is significantly higher than the national average so we are very focused on ensuring our students can compete globally.

-- So is there an initiative or a goal maybe to increase that?--

There is, but you know a lot of that comes with a price tag and funding is an issue and so while we would like to be furthur ahead of where we are now, it's something that's gonna rely on some original funding in the form of supporting world languages.">

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.

The City of Warner Robins is marking a milestone in its push for the project called G-RAMP.

For nearly two years... it sat on-hold, while the city waited for results of an environmental assessment.

As Lorra Lynch Jones tells you.. It's finished... And the city says that's the go ahead to get G-RAMP moving.

<so, like a lot of people, you may still be confused about exactly what G-RAMP is. Well, the Georgia Robins Aerospace Maintanance Partnership is essentially the 24 acres of land, just behind these no trespass signs. The City of Warner Robins wants to make it available for industrial use so Robins Air Force Base can expand.>

An aerial map shows the acreage on the northeast side of the Robins runway... On undeveloped land that's mostly swamp and wilderness.

Gary Lee... Executive director of the City's Redevelopment Authority... Says the city contracted with a private company to do an environmental assessment on the land nearly two years ago.

<it's taken a long time.>

It's now finished. Hundreds of pages that Lee says tell the city and the federal government that the land is suitable for use.

<it told us that the land is buildable, and we have no archaeologial pieces of property we will contaminate if we built over there.>

Now it's the publics turn to take a look. Lee says law requires them to put the study on display at the library for the next 30 days.

Then, it goes to Air Force for review. Lee says development possibilities include hangar space... Offices and new jobs.

<anything could happen. We want to do whatever is best for Robins.>

<lee says he doesn't have a set time table for when GRAMP could happen, but the environmental assessment opens the door for opportunity. In Warner Robins, Lorra Lynch Jones, 13WMAZ, Eyewitness News.>

The environmental assessment costs 84-thousand dollars and was paid for with contributions from multiple city and county governments in the Central Georgia area.

Lee says people who want to take a look at it can find it at the NOLA Brantley Library on Watson Boulevard... Starting this weekend.

You may remember Irving Martinez from his campaign for District 26 Senate.

Despite his defeat in that race, the Maconite says he still has ideas he thinks will benefit Central Georgia.

Today...he told 13WMAZ why he plans to run for a commission seat..under the consolidated Macon-Bibb County Commission, citing reasons like the need to address crime...and improve conditions of some county facilities.

<i'm passiohnate...i'm in your face, and I'm a little aggressive. But help me out here. I'm out here in the trenches. It's gonna get worse, but it's gonna get better, if somebody doesn't step out here and do something. Please, I beg you. Let's do it, and make a change in Macon for the good of all people in Bibb County. >

Under the new government...a mayor...and a nine-member commission will preside over the local infrastructure. Elections for those seats will happen in 2013.

Welcome back...tonight, we have a special Wednesday edition of Geek 13 for you...featuring the stuff you've only seen in science fiction movies until now.

California has become the first state...to allow a driverless car on the roads...

Reporter Ben Tracy takes you for a ride.

(TRACK)

CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR JERRY BROWN DITCHED HIS STATE CAR YESTERDAY AND HITCHED A RIDE TO HIS LATEST BILL SIGNING IN A VEHICLE THAT ONCE ONLY EXISTED IN PEOPLES' IMAGINATION.

(SOT GOV JERRY BROWN @ 21:28) "today we're looking at science fiction becoming tomorrow's reality: the self-driving car"

(TRACK)

IT'S CALLED AN AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE, THIS ONE DESIGNED AND BUILT BY INTERNET GIANT GOOGLE. FOR THE PAST DECADE, FOUNDER SERGEY BRIN AND HIS TEAM HAVE BEEN TESTING A FLEET OF A DOZEN PRIUS MODELS EQUIPPED WITH COMPUTERS AND SENSORS, ALLOWING THEM TO DRIVE THEMSELVES.

(SOT SERGEY BRIN / GOOGLE @ 13:33) "I think the self driving car can really dramatically improve the quality of life for everyone here in California, in the country, and in the world"

(TRACK)

ON TUESDAY, THE GOVERNOR SIGNED A BILL DIRECTING THE STATE'S DMV TO COME UP WITH REGULATIONS FOR LICENSING AND OPERATING DRIVER-LESS AUTOS BY 2015. HE ALSO DISCOVERED THERE ARE MANY QUESTIONS YET TO BE ANSWERED.

(SOT Q&A @ 26:37 REPORTER) "if a self driving car runs a red light and gets nabbed by a camera, who gets the ticket?" (BROWN) "whoever owns the car, I'd think, but we'll work that out, that's going to be the easiest problem to work out ..." (BRIN CUTS IN) "...stealth driving cars do NOT run red lights ..." (LAUGHTER)

(TRACKS)

ALTHOUGH RULES REGULATING SELF-DRIVING CARS ARE NOW ON THE WAY, THE CAR THEMSELVES ARE STILL BEING DEVELOPED. EXPERTS ADMIT IT COULD BE A DECADE BEFORE THEY'RE AVAILABLE AT YOUR LOCAL DEALERSHIP. >

Earlier in the show...we spent some time on the story...about a Kroger customer who says a store manager insulted her for paying with food stamps.

We brought you her comments...and details about the company's apology and offer for a five-hundred dollar gift card.

And in our text poll tonight... We asked...how you'd handle what you perceived as an insult...in a business or restaurant.

xx said... They'd insist on an apology...and that would be enough.

Xx said...they'd accept, even expect financial compensation.

Xx told us... They'd just let it go.

Thanks for participating in that text poll tonight.

 

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