Eyewitness News at 11, 11-20-12

10:36 PM, Nov 20, 2012   |    comments
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First tonight, Terminal Station will stay under the city of Macon's control.

A resolution to give the building to the Macon-Bibb Transit Authority split tonight's city council vote down the middle.

Seven members voted to put the transit authority in charge of managing and marketing terminal station.

They say M-T-A is eligible for more grants than the city... And right now the building does not bring in enough revenue.

The other half of council say it's not about the money... And spoke about Terminal Station's historic value to the city.

<terminal station may not have a bottom line that is a plus but what in the city does have a bottom line that is a plus? The recreation department always operated at a loss, the coliseum, the auditorium, and until recently, the douglass theatre. We've had to fill in the gaps on a lot of things in the city, but that's why you have a city.

The city right now is liable for 100 percent of the losses of terminal station. If however we tranfer it over to the Macon Transit Authority, who of course is operating it now and is doing a great job, increasing its routes and all of that sort of thing, our legal liability actually goes to 30 percent as opposed to one hundred percent>

Council members can put the building back on the table at another meeting... Since the resolution did not fail by a majority vote.

Council also decided to hold off on its decision to expand a tax allocation district near Mercer University.

Members created the original district... In orange... In 2010.

If a property owner in that area boosts their property value... The added taxes they pay will go toward new developments throughout the district.

City administrators proposed adding more property starting near Little Richard Penniman Boulevard... Highlighted in purple.

That would cost Macon 35-thousand dollars in SPLOST funds to draw up the paperwork and designs.

Council members say they want more information before spending that money.

They also asked about expanding the new district even further to include both sides of Moore Street and up to Pio Nono Avenue.

<that's an area we know we need substantial help with economic revitalization, and anything we can do in a neighborhood that will help either homeowners or businesses have a better place to live and work is something I'm going to be in support of.>


Administrators will redraw the plan and and present the final one to council members at the end of the month.

Macon City Councilwoman Elaine Lucas still regrets that voters approved consolidating the city and county governments in a July referendum.

Lucas says she would have supported consolidated the governments a little at a time over a ten-year period.

During a taping of this week's Close-Up program, Lucas discussing consolidation, adding more polling places during future early voting periods and her extreme displeasure over Republican lawmakers proposal to implement non-partisan voting in Bibb County.

< Elaine Lucas, Macon City Councilwoman: First of all, I think you ought to show and tell who you are. I don't think you ought to be able to hide, and I think the main reason for pushing non-partisan elections are the Republicans are losing. They lost big time this election cycle.>

You can catch Close-Up in its entirety at noon Saturday and six a-m Sunday on 13 WMAZ.

Sometimes it's dismissed as a rite of passage...but for many children each year, bullying is a painful experience that causes anxiety and fear of even setting foot in the classroom.

That's why education leaders in Bibb County say they want to get out in front of the issue...with a series of six parent sessions about bullying and gangs.

The first one is next Monday...November 26th...at 7 p.m. at Northeast High School.

Bibb campus police will offer up guidance to help parents spot signs of trouble, even if their kids aren't talking about it.

<we want to make sure that Bibb County School District is at the forefront of this epidemic that we're seeing across the country. It's not something that we just want to do... I think there's one week out of the month...we don't want to fall in that mindset. Because we know that this happens every day. >

For a listing of the other five sessions, during the month of December, look for this story on our website, 13WMAZ-dot-com.

The U.S. Sent its top diplomat to the middle east in an effort to bring about a cease fire between Israel and the Palestinians.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today met with Israel's prime minister for two hours.

Speaking on behalf of the Obama administration, she agreed with Israel's right to defend itself...but she said both sides should focus on what she calls the only viable goal.

<"the goal must be a durable outcome that promotes regional stability and advances the security and legitimate aspirations of israelis and palestinians alike.">

The peace effort picks up again on Wednesday.

Secretary Clinton will speak with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas <mah-MOOD Ah-boss> on the West Bank, and with Egypt's leaders in Cairo.

Neva Fickling, Miss America 1953, was laid to rest today.

The 79-year-old was the only Miss Georgia, and the only Miss Macon, to be crowned Miss America.

Her family and friends formed an overflow crowd for her funeral at Mulberry Street Methodist united Church.

Candace Adorka takes us to the service that Neva Fickling planned herself.

Its doors have been closed for more than thirty years...its corners filled with cobwebs.

But... Thanks to a new non-profit organization...the Muse Theater could once again be filled with eager audiences.

The building was built in the fifties and still shows signs of history... Like two entrances before integregation.

Originally the theater showed movies... And then before it closed in the eighties hosted concerts.

Billy Milby says he hopes his organization... The Muse Theater Foundation ...will be able to fund the restoration.

Milby says the first thing he wants to do is hold fundraising concerts inside the theater itself.

<this isn't going to be cheap we don't have magically growing money out of our pockets so we do need help, but we're confident we're going to get it especially with all of the support we've seen. >

Milby says the building is structurally sound... with solid bones.

It just needs an interior renovation and a face lift.

To find out how you can help Milby and the Muse Foundation restore the theater visit our website 13 WMAZ dot com.

We have a Facebook Fan of the Day winner ...

It is Yvonne Gibson...

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

To become a 13WMAZ Fan of the Day... Just like us on Facebook...and start commenting on the news and conversations of the day.

Thanksgiving came early for one Milledgeville community...

At a soup kitchen set to serve about 500 people every week.

Videojournalist Claudia Taylor takes us inside of Café Central at Freedom Church... to learn how the feast turned out.

Organizers say this year's Thanksgiving feast is their largest to date.

They fed nearly 15-hundred people.


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