Eyewitness News at 11, 11-12-12

12:43 AM, Nov 13, 2012   |    comments
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Good evening, and thanks for joining us...

I'm Frank Malloy.

And I'm Leah Johnson.

This is Eyewitness News at 11.

Our top story tonight.... There is a proposal on the table that would require all pet owners to spay or neuter, or face fines.

 

Macon City Councilwoman Nancy White laid out part of the plan...though there are still a lot of details to be ironed out.

The proposed ordinance would cover all dogs and cats over 6 months old.

Pet owners who didn't want to have their animals sterilized would have to apply for a permit through the animal welfare center.

There would be a few exceptions...including show animals, guide dogs, and law enforcement K-9s.

Today, we talked to shelter director Sarah Tenon, who said she thinks these steps would ultimately cut the number of animals left at the shelter in half over the next year or so.

Now what isn't mapped out is how the ordinance would be enforced...but Tenon said having five animal control officers dedicated to the work would play a key role.

The next step, Councilwoman White told us, is to bring the proposal before a city council committee next week.

after we first told you about this proposal at five... Many of you logged on and started commenting on our Facebook page.

Bonnie Knight wrote, "something definitely has to be done. It is heartbreaking to see an animal who has been dumped on the side of the road."

And Paula Bibb Williams agreed too. "yes, I agree with it," she says. "leave the breeding to the breeders."

Not everyone was in favor though. Here's a comment from Amy Daniel.

She writes, "I say No! If it's our pets, we should have the right to breed them if we want to..."

And this comment from Michael Byrd, who sees both sides, and some possible hitches.

"Great idea... but how will they ever enforce this? We have a SEVERE problem with strays where I live and people think that the dumpsters are the animal shelter."

So while details remain to be seen, Frank, we're getting a lot of feedback on Facebook... and in our text poll today.

Right. In our newscast at five, we asked our viewers if they'd support an ordinance like this and - 68 percent said yes... 32 percent said no.

We're asking the same question on our web page as well... You can go to 13WMAZ-dot-com... and vote now. Right now we're sitting at about 64 percent in favor. We'll check on those results again at the end of the show.

Middle Georgia College in Cochran unveiled a piece of art today that's meant to reach out to every American.

One professor spearheaded a project to build an American Flag out of donated wallets.

Candace Adorka spent the evening at the opening, and found out the story behind the flag.

<I pledge alegiance to the flag of the united states of america>

For this art exhibit, there's no more appropriate opening than the pledge of allegiance.

<it resembles freedom and liberty and the pursuit of happiness.>

heather hutton teaches Aircraft technology at Middge Georgia college, but this 20 by 11 foot flag made of wallets, is a testament to her artistic side.

<it's outstanding awesome, great! Words, it's just unbelievable.>

Hutton says the idea was born in 2009 when she lost her job and wound up homeless for a year and a half.

<if it weren't for some people that I didn't even know, some people coming out of the woodworks to put gas money in my truck or offer me a free meal or let me sweep the floors in a warehouse for petty cash, I wouldn't have made it.>

She says she reached a point where she lost all hope that things would get better, and her wallet became a symbol.

<I closed my bank account at bank of america and I looked down at my wallet and realised this was my self portrait. That I was empty both physically, emotionally, mentally.>

When things did finally get better, she decided to turn that symbol of defeat into the ultimate symbol of hope.

<if I can build an american flag out of used donated empty wallets, and have it resemble an american flag, then we should be able to rebuild a new economy using the resources at our fingertips and at a minimum help our friends and neighbors who have recently been laid off or are out of work.>

<the flag is made up of a little more than 1200 but over 11 months, they collected almost 3 thousand of them, each one with its own individual story>

<this black one is my daughter olivia's and that A is mine.>

<in considering that a human being carried this wallet through many trials and tribulations and really try to imagine the person behind each wallet.>

With unemployment in Georgia hovering at 9 percent, Hutton says she hopes they look at the flag and remember things will get better.

Candace Adorka 13 WMAZ eyewitnessw news.

Hutton says the flag is meant to be a travelling exhibit.

She's working on bringing it to Macon next year.

The Daybreak Shelter in downtown Macon is gearing up for a big grand opening in just three days.

We walked through the doors today to see the transformation.

Everyone who comes to the center on Walnut Street is either homeless or living in poverty in the city.

The shelter provides basic needs...a place to shower...do laundry...and eat. For some visitors...this place is a life changer.

<I like to encourage people that there's life outside of being homeless, there's life beyond this

See I gained more family, a better family. And that one right here, don't you turn around Willy. This is my second family. It's better than my first family.>

The shelter raised $175,000 to provide these resources for people who need them the most.

Everyone who comes to the center on Walnut Street is either homeless or living in poverty in the city.

The shelter provides basic needs...a place to shower...do laundry...and eat. For some visitors...this place is a life changer.

Closing arguments are expected tomorrow at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, in the preliminary hearing for Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales.

Bales is accused of killing 16 villagers -- nine of them, children.

Bales watched a video feed from afghanistan... as survivors there testified about the horrors they suffered on the night of march 11th.

None of the survivors was able to identify Bales as the shooter... but DNA from the blood on his clothing implicates him in the murders.

Fellow soldiers testified he was drinking the night of the massacre -- and one said Bales admitted he, quote, "shot up some people."

Bales' wife was in the courtroom. She told CBS this morning back in July...her husband didn't do it.

<"I really want a fair trial for my husband so that the facts do come out.">

The murder of the 16 Afghan civilians --

is one of the worst massacres attributed to a U.S. serviceman in decades.

Later this week some lawmakers will get a briefing on the FBI investigation that cost CIA Director David Petraeus his job.

The former 4 Star General resigned Friday after admitting to an extramarital affair.

It's now come to light that some harassing emails tipped off the FBI investigation.

Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee are asking why they didn't know the FBI was investigating David Petraeus - until the CIA Director resigned.

<"I really want a fair trial for my husband so that the facts do come out.">

The murder of the 16 Afghan civilians --

is one of the worst massacres attributed to a U.S. serviceman in decades.

Later this week some lawmakers will get a briefing on the FBI investigation that cost CIA Director David Petraeus his job.

The former 4 Star General resigned Friday after admitting to an extramarital affair.

It's now come to light that some harassing emails tipped off the FBI investigation.

Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee are asking why they didn't know the FBI was investigating David Petraeus - until the CIA Director resigned.

<Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) CA/ Courtesy: Fox News Sunday

'WE RECEIVED NO ADVANCED NOTICE. IT WAS LIKE A LIGHTENING BOLT.">

FBI officials say they did not alert lawmakers or the White House because they weren't turning up evidence of a crime or security breech.

Before the scandal..... Petraeus had been scheduled to answer questions on Capitol Hill this week about the deadly attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Acting CIA director Mike Morell will testify instead.

A statewide Levi's Call was canceled today.. after a missing 14 year old girl was found at a hotel in Norcross.

But while the teen was okay...investigators now say the search may not be what they first thought.

Police report 14 year old Griselda Cibrian went missing around 3 Sunday afternoon.

They say the teen left home with a 24 year old man she met on a social networking site.

Police say they don't know whether the man...whose name hasn't been released... knew her true age - her profile said she was 19.

 

The search ended when Cibrian called her parents this morning and said she was ready to come home.

The man may face charges.

We had some technical difficulties with a story we tried to bring you a moment ago.

Now...Tonight we have a warning for even the most careful parents...when it comes to monitoring their children's internet and cell phone safety.

As Ana Cabrera reports... A few special aps make it easy to miss some signs of trouble.

"WHAT STATE DO YOU LIVE IN?" "WHAT DO YOU LOOK LIKE?" TEXTS SENT TO A 14-YEAR-OLD GIRL'S CELL PHONE - A STRANGER IN PURSUIT OF PERSONAL INFORMATION. AND WITHIN MINUTES, THE CONVERSATION TAKES A GRAPHIC TURN.

"They were asking sexual questions, asking for pictures."

"I'm scrolling through this and I'm like, Oh my gosh, like oh my gosh, who is this person?"

Ana: "What went through your mind?"

"Fear. I was scared to death. I've heard stories about people that do this. That's why I was trying to be so vigilant about watching her activities."

STAND UP: "THIS MOM MONITORED HER DAUGHTER'S ONLINE ACTIVITY, AND SHE CHECKED HER CELL PHONE. BUT HER DAUGHTER WAS USING A TEXTING APP THAT MOM WASN'T LOOKING FOR."

"Parents aren't aware of them, and so kids are using those applications to communicate in a manner that their parents will never ever know about because most parents don't go through every single app."

DETECTIVE MIKE HARRIS, WITH THE JEFFERSON COUNTY DA'S OFFICE, FOCUSES ON INTERNET CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN. HE'S CONCERNED ABOUT THESE TEXTING APPS.

"A lot of kids post too much personal information."

HE SAYS THE MOST POPULAR APPS ARE: TEXT FREE, TEXT NOW AND TEXT PLUS.

MEMBERS WHO USE THESE APPS CAN CHAT WITH EACH OTHER AND THAT'S HOW A CRIMINAL CAN GET ACCESS TO YOUR CHILD.

I'm always amazed because we aren't arresting people that aren't smart. We are arresting professionals. Businessmen, I've arrested people in law enforcement. It's not just that low element of people that you think would commit crimes. These are people in society that no one ever would imagine.

"So, you may think you're on top of it, but you're not on top of it."

THIS MOM LEARNED OF HER DAUGHTER'S TEXTING ACTIVITY BY ACCIDENT. SHE CAUGHT IT EARLY. BUT SAYS HER DAUGHTER IS STILL SHAKEN.

Ana: "What is the lesson that your daughter has learned through all this do you think?"

"Unless you physically know that person that you're talking to. And you have gotten that phone number from them, you should not talk to them -- period."

IT'S A CONVERSATION SHE HOPES EVERY PARENT AND CHILD WILL HAVE.

We mentioned three specific texting apps, but there are several others out there.

There's also an app for parents, called my "Mobile Watchdog," that can help you track your child's cell phone and texting activity.

The texting app companies say they're taking steps to protect users.

Today, we've been talking about a proposal...to make spaying and neutering your pets mandatory in Macon.

At the beginning of our newscast, we invited you to participating in our web poll...which asked if you'd support such a proposal.

Here's how the results look.

The numbers have been pretty steady throughout the day...with 64 percent of you saying, yes you would.

36 percent tell us...no you would not.

Thank you for participating.

It's time now to meet today's Facebook Fan of the Day...Amy Bawn.

Congratulations.

Email us at Fan of the Day at 13wmaz-dot-com to claim your very own 13WMAZ coffee mug.

You too can be a Fan of the Day...just like us on Facebook...and join the conversations.

We pick our Fans of the Day randomly.

 

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