Eyewitness News at 11, October 30, 2012

11:02 PM, Oct 30, 2012   |    comments
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  Good evening.
   Thanks for joining us.
   I'm Frank Malloy
   And I'm Leah Johnson..
   This is Eyewitness News at 11.
  Community organizations in Macon and Bibb County got together tonight to host a candidates forum .
People filled the Douglass Theater to watch candidates vying for votes... Face off.
The purpose of the forum... To let voters hear candidates from the congressional... State and local races... Before they cast their votes.
     Voters gathered in the theater to listen to the candidates try to establish what's true or false that they may have heard.
The room was quiet and attentive... Until the last debate between Current Commissioner Chairman... Sam Hart and his opponent... Tom Wagoner. 
Wagoner... Didn't like the fact that Hart called him a slick politician. 
tom Wagoner: You are the slick politician you're the one that's been a politician for fifteen years i've never been a politician in all of my life I will represent the people I will make hard, tough decisions.
Sam Hart: We are headed in the right direction. We're headed toward a new government. And we need who can work together, can work with diversity in this community because what i've discovered as a commissioner is that it takes three  to get things done you can't get up there and demand it you have to get people involved you got to engage people." >
You can cast your vote early... Through this friday... Or vote a week from today on November 6th.


Almost two years into his contract, Bibb school board members have to formally evaluate superintendent Romain Dallemand's performance. 
Just after the meeting started, they quickly got up and went into executive session behind closed doors. A source familiar with the process tells us the board members used the session to discuss the superintendent's evaluation. 
And that's in line with the superintendent's employment contract- dated February first 2011. 
It reads "by no later than November 15 during each year of this agreement, the board of education shall devote at least a portion of one executive session meeting to an evaluation of the superintendent's performance and his working relationship with the board. 
Is goes on to list the criteria by which the board should evaluate Dallemand, for instance they'll look at how students are performing, how he communicates with the community and with the board, and also how accessible his office is to employee concerns and input. 
When they came out of executive session, board members would not comment on what they call a personnel matter, so I tried to get the superintendent's take on his own performance in these areas-- here's what he said about academic performance. 
<since we've been looking at the data, every elementary school scored abouve 80 percent proficiency in reading and so we are moving forward we are making progress and we are making things happen.>

That's one way to look at it, but other markers indicate the district isn't doing that well. For instance if you take 8th grade CRCT math scores from last school year, 43 percent didn't meet the standard. Compare that to the 2010-2011 school year-- only 25 percent didn't meet the standard. 
So it still remains to be seen which way the board swings with the evaluation, but the superintendent says he gives himself an A for his performance. 
Frank, Leah? 
Thanks Candace. It's not clear whether the board will make the evaluation public.
Board members say it's considered part of Dallemand's personnel files which are protected from open records laws.      

    It has been nearly 24 hours since Superstorm Sandy passed through New Jersey but the devastation left behind is readily apparent...
     This is video of the Jersey shore...shot from a National Guard helicopter..
     Beachfront homes...buried in sand..
     Powerful winds and a storm surge knocked houses off their foundations...demolished boardwalks and wrecked pier rides..
    President Obama is expected to tour New Jersey with Governor Chris Christie tomorrow.
    Right now the death toll from the storm stands at 48...
   Many of the victims were killed by trees blown down by the storm..
   Millions of people from Maine to the Carolinas are without power tonight..

   Katelyn Heck and Suzanne Lawler are helping out our sister station, WUSA, in Washington, DC.
    The nation's capital came through Sandy virtually unscathed..but thousands in the area are without power tonight...
    Katelyn and Suzanne has team coverage from a river in Maryland...that's showing the effects of the superstorm...


  Two teams from Robins deployed this week to help set-up emergency communications in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
     Spokeswoman Chrissy Miner says a team know as "Hammer Ace" from the 6-89th Combat Communications Wing... went to Dover, Delaware.
     A smaller group... Also from the 6-89th... Went to McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey.
  Here's how you can help victims of the storm:
To donate to Red Cross Relief... Call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit Redcross-dot-org.
You can also Text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
You can also donate to the Salvation Army...by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY to donate money... Or by bringing donations to 1955 Broadway.
And to support the medical relief efforts... You can donate to AmeriCares through their website www-americares-dot org. 


  An update tonight..on the case of a Colorado man who tried to take land from more than 40 people in Twiggs County...
   Special Master Jim Nelson recommended that a superior judge rule against Allan Evans  ... And in favor of the Twiggs County residents who had to fight in court to keep their homes.
   He wrote that Evans has no valid claim to any of the land - either by deed, family inheritance, or possession.
    It's case unlike anything else attorney Randall Harrison has experienced in his career.
<i've never involved in  a case that has gone this far, that infects so many people in such a wide area, you know  you consider this 405 acres, that's two land lots and it had over 50 land owners involved...  >
    The special master's recommendation will now go to the judge.
    Harrison says he expects the judge confirm it.
    We reached Allan Evans by phone from Colorado ... He says wasn't aware of the report, and says he has no comment until he sees it.
   Tonight we have some telling video that could explain what's happening to lost bags at Atlanta's Hartsfield Jackson Airport.
   Our partners at WXIA have been investigating..
     Often the airlines will treat a missing bag as lost but security camera video tells a different story. 
     Ross McLaughlin reports.

We got this complaint from a traveler who was very upset about having his bag stolen.

If you're not watching your bag, you hope that the airlines are, because many times your bag may beat you to the carousel. While that's great news for travelers, looking to make a quick exit, it's also a crime of opportunity for thieves coming in off the street.


(NATS bag drops off carousel)

Jorina: INT 08 12:05:49 "You expect your bag to be waiting on you when you come down."


INT 02 Jacob: 11:35:06 It's just a gym bag but it's all I have now after my other bag got stolen."
Jorina: INT 08 12:05:56 "No clothes nothing. Everything I had was gone."

Stolen bags at Hartsfield Jackson Airport.

Major Lane Hagin: "We've made 8 arrests for baggage theft so far in the calendar year and we've had 28 complaints."

But many people never report it as stolen, which is why we flew Jacob Giannantonio back to Atlanta to tell his story.

Jacob Giannantonio: "I actually started saying to people, you know we need to look into this. This is likely a stolen bag. Everyone said "don't worry about it. It probably just got mixed up."

It wasn't until Jacob complained to Atlanta Police, that he says he got action. They pulled the security camera video and spotted the theft. We made an Open Records request and got the video.  Carousel 7 August 19th around 10pm. Passengers just arriving from San Antonio, their baggage is already on the carousel.

Jacob Giannantonio: "The last place the bag was scanned was actually on this carousel."

Jacob's bag is right here...

...3 minutes before Jacob says he arrived at the carousel.

Ross: "We've got security camera video we'd like to show it to you."

Jacob Giannantonio: "Okay great."

The truth is about to be revealed as he sees the video for the first time.

Jacob Giannantonio: "That's definitely my bag. Here I'll point it out to you."

He positively identifies this bag...just like the one you see with Jacob here in this photo. An expensive, 650 dollar Tumi wheeled duffel bag.

Ross: "That's it?

Jacob: "Yeah."

Who's that?"

Jacob Giannantonio: "That's the guy that took off with my bag right there."

He points to this man who picks it up off the carousel.

Jacob Giannantonio: "And the way he's carrying it like that, it sways. That's definitely my bag there. Ross: 100%? Jacob: 100%"

Stolen...before Jacob even got to the carousel.

ajor Lane Hagin: "It appears to be a theft and that's the way we've reported it."

This crime takes less than 2 minutes.

Major Lane Hagin: "He goes all around the baggage carousel area here until he sees an opportunity, obviously a very high end bag."

Keep your eye on the left...while all the passengers come in from the right...a man circles, a hat pulled low over his face.

Major Lane Hagin: "He doesn't seem to have a real purpose to be at the baggage carousel. He walks back and forth a couple of times and then when he sees the bag and a great opportunity to steal it close to the door, he grabs the bag and he's gone."

The problem may be bigger than you realize, while we were showing Jacob the video, this woman spoke up.

INT 08 *12:02:39 "Yeah, yeah, it did happen to me. I was listening to him thinking ..same thing did happened to me last year."

Jorina and her husband flew to Atlanta from Minneapolis last year for a family reunion  but their bags got here before they did.

(talking to Jacob)12:03:28 My bag was a Louis Vuitton bag.

She never saw it again.

Thieves eyeball expensive bags... Walk in, scope it out...

Jacob Giannantonio: "He said that they target certain brands and that's one of the brands that he mentioned."

And they're gone. The numbers are massive. In just the first 6 months of this year, alone, the Federal Department of Transportation had more than 841 thousand mishandled baggage complaints from across the country. And with the airlines not determining whether the bags are missing or stolen, police know they have a long road ahead.

Major Lane Hagin: "Typically when they commit a theft, they don't just do it once."

Which is exactly why Jacob thinks more can...and should be done.

Jacob Giannantonio "This is nothing more than an honor system and not everybody that's coming off the streets is going to play be the rules."
WXIA recently conducted a poll about security at the airport..when it comes to protecting your bags.. 
     Of those who responded, 60 percent of you supported extra baggage security, even if it slowed you down a bit... 27-percent opposed it. 

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