Eyewitness News at 11, 10-4-12

9:38 PM, Oct 4, 2012   |    comments
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<He looked at me and said "i'm fairly certain that your dogs have been poisoned ... And my heart dropped.>


A Central Georgia family...heartbroken by the death of their five dogs.

Their ordeal is our top story tonight on Eyewitness News at Eleven.

Good evening, everyone.

I'm Leah Johnson.

And I'm Frank Malloy.

Our top story tonight Is every pet owners' worst nightmare ... And for the Crawford County family we met today, tragedy struck Saturday when 5 of their 9 dogs died after being poisoned by someone.



Tom George has their story.


playing with dogs

For Gina, Stephanie, and Aden, it may seem like a full house....

But for this family ... there are 5 barks missing from the room....

<we raised them, we're their mothers, and to have that snatched away it's heartbreaking.>

It all started Saturday, after they let the dogs out to play...

<I looked at her and I said "come on, baby girl" and she didn't move and I knew right then that something was wrong >

After their other dogs appeared sick they rushed them to vet, who asked if they'd fed them any hot dogs ... When they said no...


<he looked at and said "i'm fairly certain that your dogs have been poisoned ... And my heart dropped.>

By the next day ... Gypsie, Widow, Athena, and Mini all had to be put down.

The source of the poison ....

<full of chicken and cut up hot dogs, and pieces of cut up hot dog and dog food... >

Left right next to their driveway...

They sent the samples to UGA for toxicology ... They don't know who put them there or why ...

On top of that...their foster dog, Junie, was found dead with what they believe was a bullet wound.

Then Thursday ... Another discovery

< And we were outside and just found another two containers with cut up chicken and cut up hot dogs in the container ... All right I'll get someone out there, what's your address. >

Fortunately, none of their dogs got sick from any of that food.

And the Crawford County Sherriff's office says they're investigating.

Wammock told us, she thinks it may have been hunters behind their house who wanted the dogs gone ... It's unthinkable for the animal lovers who've been adopting pets for years... Including their dog Molly, who already survived being dumped at a shelter.

<now she's a survivor again ... After being in critical condition Saturday, she's now making a full recovery. >

And along with their other dog Sassy who recovered quickly, and Levi and Rambo who were not poisoned, the family is healing too.

<you didn't get us down. And you didn't stop us ... You're not going to stop us from adopting ... We will continue to save animals, to protect animals ... And to fight for their rights. >

In Knoxville, Tom George, 13WMAZ Eyewitness News >

Gina and Stephanie have a Facebook page where you can show support...

It's called Athena's Cause and they want to use it to bring light to the issue of animal abuse... We'll link you to it on our website at 13WMAZ.com

Another weapon found on the campus of a Bibb County school today.

School officials say they seized a gun this morning from a student at the Bloomfield Middle School.

In a news release, they said the girl was hiding a small handgun in her clothes.

In a letter sent to parents, Principal Shannon Norfleet wrote that they scoured the campus after a tip rolled in.

The district says...they quickly found the gun...and the student openly admitted she had it.

Norfleet says, the disruption was brief.

<We did act on the information immediately and the gun was discovered very quickly so we never felt a need to go under any lockdown. We acted on the information immediately, identified the student, and then regained possession of the gun.>

The school district did notify the girl's parents.

There's no word on any discliplinary action against the student.

Georgia health officials are working to notify more than 150 people who may have received steroids produced by a firm tied to a meningitis outbreak.

U.S. health officials say a shipment of steroids was sent to Georgia from the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts.

They haven't identified the facility that got the drugs, but they will say, no one in Georgia has gotten sick.

Investigators this week found contamination in a sealed vial of the steroid.

Tests are under way to determine if it's the same fungus blamed for a meningitis outbreak that has sickened 35 people in six states and killed five.

All received steroid shots for back pain.

So what are the symptoms of meningitis?

They include nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, and confusion.

According to the centers for disease control...

High risk groups

include infants...

those living in large group settings like college dorms or military barracks,

People who are chronically ill or have had surgery...

Microbiologists who work with meningitis-causing pathogens.

and frequent travelers, especially those who have been to sub-Saharan Africa knows as the meningitis belt.

The CDC says the most common way to protect yourself and your family is to get vaccinated.

They also say... if a person's exposed to meningitis... antibiotics... If taken early have a high success rate of knocking out the bacteria.

After last night's presidential debate, some voters may still be undecided on their choice for November.

But analysts say the tight race may really come down to convincing undecided voters....in a few swing counties...in swing states.

We took a look at a breakdown from campaigns-and-elections-dot-com...that's a website for political professionals.

They listed 10 counties that are large enough,,,with enough undecided voters...to decide which party gets their state's electoral vote.

They call them...the 10 counties Romney must win.

The top two counties on that list are in Florida...Pinellas..which is the city of St. Petersburg...and Hillsborough...which is Tampa,

More than 1 million people live in Hillsborough County...and its demographics look a lot like the the entire country's.

George W. Bush won there in 2004 with 53%.. And Barack Obama had 54% of the vote in 2008.

And like most people, the number one issue on the minds of Hillsborough voters is..the economy.

The bottom line is.. history tells us that the person who wins Hillsborough county in November will most likely win the presidency.

USA Today offers an interactive poll, where you can see how each candidate is doing in those swing states and also track the changes in the spread back through the campaign.

Let us connect you - just look for the Fact-checking the debates story on our website..13 wmaz dot com.

Progress on the Warner Robins Law Enforcement Center reached a milestone today.

City leaders say it's now 50-percent complete... And will be finished by the end of January.

Lorra Lynch Jones took an inside look with the people who designed the building... And those who will use it.

Where a year ago there was blank slate... Now stands a jungle of metal framing and concrete.

Architect Jim Mehserle gave some city leaders their first look at a law enforcement center that took years to take shape.

<it's a little longer than I imagined it would be.>

Police Chief Brett Evans finally sees room to spread out.... From the cramped, 1960s-era police station.

<weve long outgrown the ability to store the evidence we have on-site.>

He says this building offers two key features... huge rooms for evidence storage and crime scene investigation.

Space alone.. will allow them to use technology.. That's waiting in boxes for this building to open.

<weve gone beyond the ability to pull fingerprints from the scene. Weve gotten into shoe wear examination, ballistics examinations>

and he says upgrades build morale.

<it's very exciting to see progress being made.>

<clearly, the building doesn't look finished now, but you are driving down Watson Boulevard by Christmas time, the building should start to look complete. This is a sample of the brick facade

The inner workings will be finished sooner... The building ready for the officers to serve and protect by the end of January 2013.

In Warner Robins, Lorra Lynch Jones 13WMAZ, Eyewitness News.

The law enforcement center cost about 7 million dollars to build.

It can hold a maximum of 362 people.. And offers 110 parking spots... Most of them for police cars.

Historic homes...a homecoming concert...and a "southern jam"...are all part of this week's Scene 13...

You can take a tour..and get a few decorating ideas...by visiting Historic Macon's first ever..Idea House..

The fundraiser showcases design for small spaces...on a budget..

The group picked 9 decorators under the age of 40...each designed a room in this historic home Beall's Hill.

< I've have usually shopped in antique stores with really fine antiques as opposed to flea markets. It has opened my eyes and been a wonderful experience for me to learn>>

Tours of the Idea House at 11-16 Ash Street start this weekend... and go through next weekend.

The house is open from 10 a-m until 5 p-m Saturday and from Noon until 4 p-m. Sunday.

Tickets cost 12 bucks and the money benefits Historic Macon.

A new exhibit at the Perry Arts Center...showcases early traditions in American music....

It's called "new Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music" ..And it's part of the Smithsonian's traveling exhibit program.

New Harmonies highlights music that is distinctly American...including blues, country, folk and gospel..

The exhibit is open daily through October 20th...from 8 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon.

The Perry Arts Center is on Macon Road.

Just up the road in Fort Valley..the sweet sounds of gospel will fill the air this weekend..

It's all part of Fort Valley State University's Homecoming Celebration...

The Gospel Concert at Pettigrew Center will kick off the weeklong event..

The show starts at 5 p-m..Sunday, October 7th.

If you're looking for fun for the entire family...check out Milledgeville...this weekend.

Downtown Fall Frenzy will hit the streets from 6 to 9 tomorrow night...for Milledgeville's First Friday event...

There are several events on tap..including Trucks and treats for the little ones...in the Milledgeville Post Office parking lot...

There will also be performances by local musicians...as well as arts and crafts...

That will do it for Scene 13...You can also find other events on the Where You Live page at 13-wmaz dot com.

It's fair season in Central Georgia... today marked the unofficial start of the Georgia National Fair...2012.

Ben and I spent part of our afternoon out there... Taking in the sounds...the smells...and interviewing people and...well, *things*.

< Ben: "hey. What's your name?

Tree: "I am the Tree of Life, my friend."

Ben: "tree of life?"

Tree: "yeeeeeessss."

Ben: "so is your job hard?"

Tree: "like a hardwood forest."

Ben: "so...so like...do you like dogs? Dogs that... BARK?"

Tree: "you are a very funny man."

Ben: "i'm a weather man. It's what I'm paid to do. Stupid stuff."

Tree: "Apparently."

Angela Coley...congratulations to you.

You are today's 13WMAZ Facebook Fan of the Day.

E-mail us at fan-of-the-day at 13WMAZ-dot-com to claim your very own coffee mug.

And you too can be the proud owner of such a mug.

Just go to our Facebook page...like us...and join in the discussions.

We choose all our fans of the day randomly.

Lula Gilbert should be used to celebrating birthdays...because Today she turned 112.

Gilbert is one of 66 living supercentenarians in the world. That's according to the Gerontology Research Group.

Supercentenarians are people at least 110 years old.

Friends and family marked the day with Gilbert at Laurel Bay Healthcare in Macon.

Bibb County commissioners say October 12th is Lula Gilbert day.

The dedication was among the many gifts and honors Gilbert received on her birthday.

She was surrounded by friends...family...and a two-tiered cake.

< So excited. To see that she's still getting around and is able to converse. And she's able to get out and be with us everyday. It's such a blessing >

Catherine Morgan remembers celebrating her grandmother's birthday when she was only 10 years old. She says this is the most memorable birthday yet.


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