Eyewitness News at 11:00; October 13, 2012

9:57 PM, Oct 13, 2012   |    comments
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    This is Eyewitness News at 11
Thank you for joining us for Eyewitness News at 11.
I'm Candace Adorka. 


    There are three weeks until election day and the two Presidential candidates are gearing up for their second debate on Tuesday.
President Obama is Virginia preparing with top aides while the Republican ticket campaigns in Ohio... a must win state.
Ines Ferre tells us more...
<Paul Ryan tailgated with football fans in Ohio...
...while Mitt Romney rallied supporters.
The Republican team fanned out across the key battleground state Saturday.
The stakes are high - No Republican has won the White House without a victory in Ohio.
At a rally in Portsmouth - Romney told the crowd he sees the enthusiasm growing.
Voters say the economy is the number one issue in this election.
President Barack Obama argues his decision to bailout the auto industry saved jobs.
The President arrived in Virginia Saturday as his campaign anounced a fundraising milestone.
They say 4-million people have donated money for President Obama's re-election bid.
The President will spend the next few days at a resort in Williamsburg cramming for the second of three debates.
The first match-up gave Romney a boost - national polls show the race is now a dead heat.
President Obama has pledged to be more aggressive in round two Tuesday night.> 



    The latest Rasmussen poll has President Obama leading Governor Mitt Romney 48 to 47 percent.
And those undecided voters across the country make-up three percent of that poll.
We went to both Republican and Democratic headquarters in Bibb County to find out how they are trying to win undecided voters.
Local Republicans say they're reaching through social media-- and local Democrats say they're trying to provide voters with information through the web.
<Jason Downey Bibb County Chairman Romney-Ryan Campaign:what we hope is that even if there is just a few undecided voters here in Middle Georgia they see the buttons they engage voters in conversation and ask them what's the deal with this Mitt Romney.
Sarah Hunt Bibb County Democratic Chairman: Well one thing that you need to do with the undecided voter is you need to make sure you have the facts, people are saying that President Obama has not done anything but he has done a lot. >
Tuesday's presidential debate is a town hall style match-up at Hofstra University in New York will focus on domestic and foreign policy.
You can watch it right here on 13wmaz beginning at 9 p.m. 



    Another decision some bibb county voters will to make is for a school board member from district 4... that mainly covers the area east of Interstate 475.
Currently... that board vice president susan middleton's district... but she's term limited.
I spoke to the two men vying for her spot.
<when I get out of bed in the morning put my feet on the floor it's about helping kids succeed>
Dominique Johnson is an academic coordinator with Mercer University's Upward Bound-- a program that helps underprivileged students go to college. He is also pastor at a start-up church called Kingdom Life. He says his work at Upward Bound is a calling, and it would help guide him as a school board member.
<I work in this area everyday. I see what our kids go through, I see what they deal with. And Upward Bound is a microcosm of that, so dealing with that issue, I'm able to have solutions to help motivate kids to help deal with the parents to help see the whole picture, so I thin that gives me a leg up in this situation..>
His opponent is macon attorney Lester Miller.
<in my own mind, I've made success for myself and it's my time to give back. >
Miller has two sons in public schools and he's involved in parent teacher organizations, booster clubs, and he coaches baseball. He says he wants to be an effective steward of tax dollars, and he is especially passionate about bolstering safety and discipline in schools.
<for every reaction or action that you have, there was an equal reaction to that, meaning if you got into trouble there was some kind of punishment. I think we've gotten a little bit too cuddly with our children and we baby them a little bit too much. No saying we shouldn't love our children because we definitely should do that, but there should be a little more stricter discipline.>
The winning candidate will serve a four year term... During a time when most of the initiatives in the macon miracle strategic plan are scheduled to be implemented.
<I think it's bold. I think it's a bold initiative. But that's what leadership is, sometimes you have to make bold decisions and its not always popular. But at the end of the day, theres a common goal and a common vision, and that should be for our students. >
<There's some good parts about it, and theres some bad parts about it just like there is on anything. I don't wanna get tied too much in the MAcon miracle because we haven't seen a miracle yet. Ok I like that we're spending more time on reading, I like that we're spending more time on math, I like the fact the superintendent had an external audit done of our safety,"
For more from both candidates, you can find the extended interviews on our homepage 13 WMAZ dot com. 



    A new poll shows a close race on whether to amend Georgia's constitution so the state could create more charter schools.
The poll conducted last week for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution showed 45 percent of likely voters said they would support the amendment in next month's election.
Meanwhile, 42 percent of likely voters were opposed and 13 percent either didn't know about the issue or didn't answer the question.
The poll had a margin of error of just over 5 percentage points.
That means it's possible the opponents of the amendment could be in the majority.
A small majority of registered and likely voters rated public school performance in their community as excellent or good. 


    Federal health officials are reporting the death toll from an outbreak of a rare fungal meningitis has risen to 15.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the outbreak has now sickened 197 people in 13 states.
The latest state reporting cases is Illinois.
The outbreak has been linked to steroid shots used for back pain made by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts.
The medication has been recalled. 


    The Georgia Children's Museum in downtown Macon now has a new development partner to help it move forward with expansion plans.
They will now be working with Ronald Conners and Eugene Cox Dunwody Junior.
Part of the partnership includes the sale of the building... Located at 382 Cherry Street... But the museum will continue to occupy its current space.
Some of the highlights of the new development plan include four new exhibits.. That are scheduled to open in the next six to nine months.
The first expected to open... Leonardo's Machines... An interactive exhibit featuring replicas of Leonardo DaVinci's inventions.
In addition to the new exhibits.. The development will include construction of twenty loft apartments on the upper four floors of the building.
To read more about the agreement and plans for the museum.. Look for this story on our homepage.. 13wmaz dot com. 



    A computer hacker gained access to the personnel records of more than 8 thousand 5 hundred current and former employees at the University of Georgia.
The Athens Banner-Herald reports that authorities started a probe on October 1 after learning that the computer passwords of two UGA workers were reset by someone other than the employees.
The intruder used those accounts to look into the university's record-keeping system.
The compromised information includes names and Social Security numbers.
UGA plans to contact people who were affected.
The university will provide credit monitoring to those who request help. 



    An Army brigade has returned to the peach state after spending nine months in Afghanistan.
Family and friends gathered earlier today at Lawson Army Airfield to welcome home the 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade to Fort Benning.
The 125 soldiers in the Columbus-based National Guard unit provided security and support at Camp Phoenix in Kabul during their tour overseas. 


    Gary Collins... an actor.. television show host and former master of ceremonies for the Miss America Pageant... has died.
Collins died of natural causes just before 1:00 this morning... after he was taken to the Biloxi Regional Medical Center.
As an actor he appeared in numerous movies and TV shows dating back to the 1960s.
During the 1980s... Collins hosted the Miss America pageant and TV's "Hour Magazine."
He was 74 years old. 



    A group of volunteers gathered together this morning to make a difference in the community by helping to keep the Macon-Bibb water supply clean.
More than 300 people gathered at Ocmulgee Heritage Trail on Spring Street to collect trash and debris along the riverbank and the trail.
It's all part of Ocmulgee Alive... which is Macon's Annual River Cleanup.
The volunteers broke-up into teams with trash bags in hand to help provide a cleaner park.
The teams worked a 3 mile radius from Amerson Water Works Park to Ocmulgee National Monument.
<I've floated down the river many times, I grew up here in Macon. This is my home so I have used the river a lot and I have been really disappointed with seeing the trash that is being thrown into the river. There is so much we can do to keep it out. It's something that we are all going to all have to work together to continue these efforts.>
<Our air and our water are so valuable to us for our health and for the health of the wildlife and if we each clean up our own backyards and then we add to a cleaner world.>
This is the 8th annual Ocmulgee Alive Event. 



    Luke Bryan fans gathered in downtown Macon tonight for his farm tour concert.
Thousands of tailgaters prepared for the big concert with good friends, food and drinks.
Many of the fans have been at the park since this morning setting up their tents and cooking.
Fans say tailgating is a great environment to meet people and have a wonderful time.
<just being with my friends, drinking and having a great time and playing some beer pong.>
<with everybody out here, it's a great time to see different trucks tailgating, drinking, grilling and having a great time playing corn hole.>
<Everybody in one place, It's just one big party with people you know and people you don't know. Everybody comes together.>
We want to see your pictures from the Luke Bryan concert.
Send them to us at photos at 13wmaz dot com.
Again.. That's photos at 13wmaz dot com.
We'll showcase them online and we may air some right here on eyewitness news. 



    More than 3,000 families went out to The Rock Ranch in Upson County for some quality time with their loved ones.
It's a story that comes... Straight from the heart.
The event was filled with food, sweets and activities for families like train rides, paddle boats, zip lining, cane pole fishing, a petting zoo, and much more.
The day also brought out former major league baseball player Sid Bream who signed autographs and took in the farm with his family.
<"This is so important to get families back to where they need to be with mom and dads doing things with their kids. When a mom and dad are in a home the chances of a young person staying grounded and staying on the right path is so much greater.>
<it is so wonderful to have the time to spend with your family when everyone is busy all the time. This is a great slower pace without a lot of worry I think>
For more information about upcoming events happening at The Rock Ranch visit our website... 13wmaz dot com.
Look for this story on the homepage. 


    That is the show for tonight... We'll see you back here at 7 a.m. for Weekend Mornin'
But the news is always on at 13wmaz dot com and W-M-A-Z mobile.
Have a great night!

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