Eyewitness News at 6, 11-14-12

10:38 PM, Nov 14, 2012   |    comments
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<i've got kids. I'd hate to see us get involved in a war...but this country's in bad shape right now.

If this country's got four more years of Obama, then I think it's a great idea.">

 

They're talking about this.... a petition on the White House's website... where regular citizens can log on and ask the United States government to consider letting their state leave the union.

Hello, everyone.

I'm Frank Malloy.

 

And I'm Leah Johnson.

Thanks for joining us.

Our top story tonight....Thousands have signed that petition to the White House that would turn Georgia from a state to a country

... Tom George and Randall Savage went to Wrightsville to talk to some people who say a secession petition is a good idea.

Wrightsville, Georgia. 629 miles from Washington, D.C., but a different galaxy politically.

< I consider myself an American, I consider myself a patriot, I just don't like Washington dictating, and they're obviously not paying attention to what a lot of people are saying. >

Dan Treadwell is one of almost 30,000 people who signed a petition on the White House website asking the federal government.....to quote Peacefully grant the State of Georgia to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government..

At Nana's Kitchen across the street from the Johnson County Courthouse, some lunch patrons seemed to agree.

<if we have to be under Obama for the next four years, I think it's a great idea.>

<I think we heading to another Civil War if that happens, I really do. >

They say desperate times call for desperate measures

<he's taken this country, it's a bad road, I think if we were our own country, we could control that much more, and I'm all for it.>

<i've got kids, you know I hate to see us get involved in a war, but I think this country is in bad shape right now.>

Even the head of the town's bank says he's signing.

<I plan on doing it as soon as I get to the bank.>

But Rowena Veal says not so fast. She says she was sick to her stomach when Presdient Obama was re-elected....but leaving the country isn't the answer.

<it's like they said, United We Stand, Divided We fall. And that's exactly what's going to happen if all your states start pulling away. >

<just because something is wrong, we'll i'm going to pull out, you know, forget y'all, no, that's not going to accomplish anything. >

In Wrightsville, Tom George, 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.

In order to receive a response from the president, a petition must have at least 25,000 signatures ... Georgia's petition has surpassed that by more than 3,000.

Dozens of other states have similar petitions on the White House website as well.

As you can imagine, this one's a talker... not just around communities like ours, but on social media.

On 13WMAZ's Facebook page... more than 250 of you have left comments since we first posted this story.

Stephen Turner says, this is all a response to scare tactics and fear. Taxes are not going to skyrocket on the working people (they may rise slightly). Obama care will not bankrupt the country, and we will not be taken over by Chinese interests.

Please use common sense when reading or listening to this buffoonery, because it could mean the difference between a violent outbreak and you enjoying your life without the threat of violence."

But Lynne Redmond writes, "we should be able to have states that will govern us and tax us equally without someone in the Federal Government telling us what we have to do with our hard earned money which is doled out to those who refuse to work."

And Chris Cox responded to some other commenters who said states that secede would put themselves under great financial strain.

He said...

"to those who say, if the south secedes we will be bankrupt quickly... Well... the union already is... so yea... guess it would still be an even playing field in those regards.

Just saying."

If you want to weigh in...you have a chance to do that in our webpoll at 13WMAZ-dot-com.

We asked if you would sign a petition urging Georgia to secede.

From those of you who've responded so far, forty-six percent say, yes you would.

Fifty-four percent say no.

To vote now... Visit 13WMAZ.com.

Look for the question on the right side of the homepage.

The Rapraeger mammogram case could go to trial in April.

That's according to Houston County judge... Katherine Lumsden.

Jennifer Moulliet was in the courtroom today and has more.... Jennifer?

Leah... Rachael Rapraeger... Entered a plea of not guilty today.

She's a former lab technician at Perry Hospital and is accused of mishandling over 12-hundred mammograms.

She faces ten counts of reckless conduct... And ten counts of computer fraud... Because she allegedly gave false negatives... To ten women who actually tested positive for breast cancer.

Her attorney... Floyd Buford says the second indictment happened...because he asked prosecutors to provide more details.

<we filed some motions challenging the way the language in the indictment was drafted so the DA I think agreed with our assessment of it and went ahead and changed that language and indicted her. >

This is Rapraeger's indictment from September 2010... And this is the one from August of this year.

The only apparent difference... I could find was in the new indictment: Rapraeger is accused of forging doctors' names on lab documents indicating patients had a negative mammogram... and the new charges list those names.

The indictment also says... The doctors listed... Weren't aware Rapraeger was allegedly signing reports for them.

Leah?

Thanks Jennifer.

Judge Lumsden says she expects that the case will be tried next April.

Also in Houston County Court today....17-year-old Carmen Collins said ...she's not guilty of killing her 12 year old little sister India.

Collins's defense attorney... says she'll go free because others were involved.

Collins was brought into court this afternoon for arraignment.

she shared a few words with attorney Nick White....before being led to the judge.

District Attorney George Hartwig read the charges which include arson and murder.

Collins pleaded not guilty... before she was taken out of the courtroom.

Her lawyer.... declined to explain further.

<White: I feel confident with the defense and um it would be inappropriate for me to name names but it's fair to say that we think others were involved and we think that will exonerate my client.

Hartwig: this is a case we'll get in the courtroom and present the evidence in the court and we're looking forward to it.

>

White declined to comment further on who or what exactly that involvement was.

White says Collins's parents continue to share their love and support of their daughter... and he says that it's an emotional time for them.

Hartwig says because Collins is under 18 she will not face the death penalty.

No trial date has been set yet.

<White: I feel confident with the defense and um it would be inappropriate for me to name names but it's fair to say that we think others were involved and we think that will exonerate my client.

Hartwig: this is a case we'll get in the courtroom and present the evidence in the court and we're looking forward to it.

>

White declined to comment further on who or what exactly that involvement was.

White says Collins's parents continue to share their love and support of their daughter... and he says that it's an emotional time for them.

Hartwig says because Collins is under 18 she will not face the death penalty.

No trial date has been set yet.

Some job vacancies in Macon and Bibb County will stay open until the consolidated government takes over in 2014.

The transition task force asked the two governments to fill only essential positions over the next 14 months.

This is the same policy used during the Service Delivery Strategy earlier this year... when 5 city departments transferred to the county.

Macon CAO Dale Walker says leaving some jobs open will give the new government more room to make its own hiring decisions.

The city's attorney recently resigned... And Walker says that's one job that will be left open.

<the question becomes, do we fill that position or do we allow one of the attorneys to fill the position on an interim basis, and then when the consolidated government gets further along or gets closer to reality, do we determine that we are going to do attorneys inhouse or do we outsource it like the county does with their attorneys or a combination of the two.>

Government leaders... Including the city and county CAO's will have to discuss open positions before posting job vacancies.

Some job vacancies in Macon and Bibb County will stay open until the consolidated government takes over in 2014.

The transition task force asked the two governments to fill only essential positions over the next 14 months.

This is the same policy used during the Service Delivery Strategy earlier this year... when 5 city departments transferred to the county.

Macon CAO Dale Walker says leaving some jobs open will give the new government more room to make its own hiring decisions.

The city's attorney recently resigned... And Walker says that's one job that will be left open.

<the question becomes, do we fill that position or do we allow one of the attorneys to fill the position on an interim basis, and then when the consolidated government gets further along or gets closer to reality, do we determine that we are going to do attorneys inhouse or do we outsource it like the county does with their attorneys or a combination of the two.>

Government leaders... Including the city and county CAO's will have to discuss open positions before posting job vacancies.

A Sandersville man is in jail charged with burning down his own home.

According to Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, 55-year-old Larry Smith is charged with 1st degree arson for intentionally setting his home on fire.

This 60-year-old wood frame house on Jones Road in Sandersville, burned last Friday.

Investigators say Smith used gasoline to start the fire, according to Hudgens.

A state Arson Unit is helping with the investigation.

Some job vacancies in Macon and Bibb County will stay open until the consolidated government takes over in 2014.

The transition task force asked the two governments to fill only essential positions over the next 14 months.

This is the same policy used during the Service Delivery Strategy earlier this year... when 5 city departments transferred to the county.

Macon CAO Dale Walker says leaving some jobs open will give the new government more room to make its own hiring decisions.

The city's attorney recently resigned... And Walker says that's one job that will be left open.

<the question becomes, do we fill that position or do we allow one of the attorneys to fill the position on an interim basis, and then when the consolidated government gets further along or gets closer to reality, do we determine that we are going to do attorneys inhouse or do we outsource it like the county does with their attorneys or a combination of the two.>

Government leaders... Including the city and county CAO's will have to discuss open positions before posting job vacancies.

A Sandersville man is in jail charged with burning down his own home.

According to Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, 55-year-old Larry Smith is charged with 1st degree arson for intentionally setting his home on fire.

This 60-year-old wood frame house on Jones Road in Sandersville, burned last Friday.

Investigators say Smith used gasoline to start the fire, according to Hudgens.

A state Arson Unit is helping with the investigation.

The family of a Florida toddler killed last week in Macon.. needs help to pay for the little girl's funeral.

20 year old Antwon Davis and his wife 36 year old Amanda Davis were denied bond last week in the murder of Davis' 18 month old daughter.. Breazia.

Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones said the girl died Wednesday.. after being brought to the hospital unconcious.

Jones says there were clear signs of trauma..

We spoke with Breazia's aunt.. Terrian Nelson.. by phone.

She said the family was appalled when they heard Antwon was arrested for Breazia's death.

<Terrian Nelson, Aunt: "We got in touch with him hours after the death, we had a hard time doing that because he wasn't responding. Eventually he did. His first conversation was that he would do nothing to harm his daughter and that Antronia had given him a beautiful baby girl, that looks the spitting image of himself.">

Breazia's funeral is scheduled for Saturday in Gainesville, Florida, but her family needs help paying for the burial.

Because Breazia is from Florida but died in Georgia, neither state can provide financial help.

The family has set up an account and you can donate at any Wells Fargo branch.

For more information....look for this story on our website.

Nelson says they need 35-hundred dollars.. And that the account is capped at that amount.

No sales tax and a policy of price matching.

With those deals.... who wouldn't want to shop at the Robins Air Force Base Exchange?

It's not available to everyone... But for those who can shop there... Management just sweetened the pot.

Lorra Lynch Jones shows you the new exchange.

Senior Airmen Andy Renteria likes the looks of this luggage..

and the new surroundings at the Base Exchange.

<it's definitely different, in a good way.>

He's a frequent shopper here...

<all the time. I've only got my motorcycle, so Im here as my main place to go.>

The restaurants... Upgraded food court... And more modern look on the showroom floor caught his attention right away.

That was the intent of the six month renovation says Store Manager Anthony Ventura.

<they love the new look, love the new restaurants, like the polished concrete floors. They say it really gives it a more elegant feel, when they walk through the facilities.>

Ventura says they moved away from the "grid design" of most big box stores... Favoring three life and style centers. One area features fashion... Another furniture and home goods... And the other... Basic shopping needs.

<really to give the best shopping experience we can to our military community. To serve, that's really what it's all about>

<place looks great and a big a change from the way it used to be.>

And with the best bargains on base... Renteria says he'll keep on coming back.

At Robins Air Force Base, Lorra Lynch Jones, 13WMAZ, Eyewitness News.

Ventura says two-thirds of the exchange's earnings go to the Morale, Welfare and Recreation fund on base.

That money pays for the bowling alley, golf course and programs like arts and crafts on base.

We can connect you to a complete list of who's eligible to shop at the exchange.

Look for the link inside this story at 13-WMAZ-dot-com.

Macon City Council is moving ahead with plans to turn the city's historic train terminal over to the Transit Authority... for ten dollars a month.

A council committee last night approved the plan...which goes to the full council next week.

The Public Properties Committee also voted to turn over some city owned property on Riverside Drive to the Urban Development Authority.

But not everybody's on board with the moves.

Councilwoman Elaine Lucas voted no.

She said there are too many unanswered questions....and city officials are giving away too many public facilities.

 

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