Eyewitness News at 11, 11-27-12

12:12 AM, Nov 28, 2012   |    comments
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Georgia's Senior Senator...Republican Saxby Chambliss could face a challenge from a conservative blogger...who said he's prayerfully considering a run.

 

The possible contender?

Erick Erickson... Who also hosts a radio show.

On tonight's broadcast...he didn't rule out a run...and acknowledged the option was under consideration.

His statements came after a story we first brought you on 13WMAZ last week...stirred pundits everywhere...and make national news.

In an interview with Kenny Burgamy... Chambliss stated...raising taxes could be an option...in an effort to compromise with the president and avoid a fiscal cliff crisis.

Some critics accused the Senator of backtracking from the days when he signed the Norquist pledge... Promising never to consider a tax hike.

And Erickson, also a former Macon city councilman, is among those critics.

In his blog today, he said he believed Chambliss is actually happy to raise taxes... And accused the Senator of waffling.

Chambliss is up for re-election in 2014.

The Bibb county school board is re-negotiating the terms of a possible new contract for it's top employee.

Board members talked about Superintendent Romain Dallemand's contract during a closed-door meeting that lasted more than 2 hours Monday night.

The negotiations are taking place a little more than a month before three new board members are sworn in.

Current board member Gary Bechtel says the new board should decide the new contract, since the current one has three lame duck members.

Under his current contract which expires in June ... Dallemand makes a salary of almost 200-thousand dollars. The family of a 16 year old special needs student... whom they say was gang-raped in a bathroom... is suing the Bibb County School district.

They say... Not only did the district fail to respond appropriately.

Their attorney also says...the system tried to expel the teenage girl.

Some background on the case...the original complaint goes back to January.

There was an arrest...of seven fellow students at Northeast High.

But, after an investigation, police dropped the charges a few weeks later...saying the sex was consensual.

We asked the family's attorney, Jerry Lumsley...what he has to say about that.

He replied... Because of her disability, the girl isn't mentally competent to consent.

We also raised the point...that the teen later recanted on her accusation.

<Lumley: I have reviewed the tape, the tape of an interview she was given where she was not allowed to have an attorney or her mother present um, I don't think, she did not tell the police that, um, I um, think that given her disabilities she was put under a tremendous amount of pressure and should have not been questioned she had already been question by the appropiate authorities and there was no need for further questioning>

The lawsuit also criticizes Bibb schools' policies...and how it handled the alleged rape.

It claims that Bibb schools did not properly trains teachers in safety...

they did not react to previous acts of sexual harassment in the schools...

and they failed to properly discipline the male students involved.

We asked Macon police about their investigation of the case...but so far they have not responded.

The family is seeking damages that include compensation for medical cost and education expenses.

Lumley says neither he nor the family can put a price on the damages... He told us, that's the job of a jury.

<

Lumley: We feel that it's best for that to be decided by a jury um, we want the members of the community to decide what would be the appropiate measure of damages in this case um this is a case that's going to call on the community to exercise its conscience on what's right.

>

We also contacted Bibb schools.

Administrative offices for the county system sent us this statement.

"It is the long-standing policy of the Bibb County School District to refrain from publicly commenting on pending lawsuits...

The District reaffirms its commitment to doing everything within its power to keep our schools safe places for learning."

A teacher at a popular private school in Atlanta was *arrested* for child pornography... after an investigation that spanned several years.

It's the second such instance in less than a week in Georgia's capital.

Joey Villemez is a middle and upper school fine arts teacher at Pace Academy which is located in an upscale Buckhead neighborhood.

Investigators say Villemez did not involve any current or former students, and there's no evidence of inappropriate contact with students.

Just this past Friday, police arrested a janitor at another private school - Paideia.

Police say Josh Ensley was caught with child porn, and accused of videotaping students in school bathrooms.

Macon City council took a step forward tonight in regards to the second street corridor project. That's a plan Mayor robert Reichert has been advocating for the last couple of years. His vision is to connect second street to Mercer university drive, and to make that corridor more appealing to businesses and visitors.

He's proposed projects like streetscaping, rerouting truck traffic, a new street car system from downtown to the new stadium at mercer university, and extending second street via little richard penniman boulevard. In all, those projects would run more than 38-million dollars.

Reichert says extending a tax allocation district around second street would help foot the bill. A tax allocation district uses additional property taxes from rising property values to help redevelop the district. City council members voted unanimously to move forward with the legal process of extending the district. The mayor and his staff say it's a good move because they expect the area around mercer university to start improving next year-- and that would bring in more property tax dollars.

<so you've got property over here that can be re-developed, you have mercer expanding this way thorugh their football stadium, the macon promise neighborhood is focusing on revitalizing the families and bringing groups closer together over here. So you see a lot of interest in revitalizing this and this tad is one way to encourage private development and investment to help spur that process along. >

<I appreciate city council's action tonight I think it's a very positive development in the evolution of the second street corridor initiative.>

The next step - the city has to get feed back from the public on the extended tax allocation district. There'll be a public hearing December 4th. The city has until December 31st to file an application with the State Revenue Commissioner to extend the tax allocation district.

A passenger at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport says he caught a blatant security breach on his cell phone camera.

The passenger with an iPhone was in the cell phone waiting lot when he recorded a woman tossing a bag over a fence to an airport worker.

The bag gets stuck and the worker climbs up to get it ... all this unfolding just feet from the runway.

One air safety consultant wonders what's in the bag ... but says that's not the biggest concern.

< "It's obvious that they're not concerned that security is going to be on top of them." >

He also says it tells him this isn't the first time this has happened.

The worker was standing next to a Delta Air Lines luggage truck.

Delta and airport officials say they're investigating the security breach.

A T-S-A spokesman says airport perimeter security is not their responsibility ... but they are helping with the investigation.

This Tuesday... we take a moment for the Great Hang Up... as students head back to school this week after Thanksgiving breaks.

But some say their classmates forget everything from schoolwork to the rules of the road during vacation time.

They say not allowing cellphones in school... Makes them more likely to pick up their phones after the bell rings.... Especially in the school parking lot.

Some students suggest adding more technology in the classroom Will curb their appetites for electronics after the bell rings...and keep them from catching up on their messages in the car.

<with us being in the cell phone age or whatever, that's just all we do, all we do is text, all we do is talk on the phone and I guess they think that's more important for them to see a text than to drive or focus on other things.>

If you would like to sign our Great Hang Up pledge.... Head over to 13WMAZ dot com.... You'll see a Great Hangup Banner at the top of the page.

Tomorrow... U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice heads back to Capitol Hill.

Hillary Clinton's possible successor has upset some members of Congress with her explanations about the September attack of the U.S. Consulate in Bengazhi..

Today, her goal was to clear things up.

Danielle Nottingham explains why that may not have quite worked out the way she hoped..

< U.N. AMBASSADOR SUSAN RICE WILL TRY AGAIN TO CONVINCE LAWMAKERS SHE WOULD MAKE A GOOD SECRETARY OF STATE. HER MEETINGS TUESDAY WITH THREE REPUBLICAN SENATORS DID LITTLE TO SWAY THEIR OPINION THAT SHE IS NOT RIGHT FOR THE JOB.

(SOT - McCain)

We are significantly troubled by many of the answers that we got and some we didn't get (11:14:47 clean ending if needed)

AT ISSUE, THE AMBASSADOR'S COMMENTS SHORTLY AFTER THE SEPTEMBER 11TH COORDINATED TERRORIST ATTACK ON THE U.S. CONSULATE IN BENGHAZI, LIBYA.

(SOT - Rice on FTN)

"we do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned."

IN A STATEMENT, RICE SAID: "THE INITIAL ASSESSMENT UPON WHICH (her comments) WERE BASED WERE INCORRECT IN A KEY RESPECT: THERE WAS NO PROTEST OR DEMONSTRATION IN BENGHAZI."

SENATOR JOE LIEBERMAN WAS SATISFIED WITH THAT.

(SOT - Lieberman)

"I would not feel that her appearances and anything she said on those Sunday Morning talk shows September 16th would disqualify her from appointment to any other office."

STANDUP BRIDGE:

BUT THE THREE REPUBLICANS WITH WHOM RICE MET HERE ON CAPITOL HILL DISAGREED. AND SAID, IF ANYTHING, THEY HAVE MORE QUESTIONS NOW.

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM SAID HE STILL DOESN'T KNOW WHO REMOVED AL QAIDA FROM RICE'S TALKING POINTS.

(SOT - Graham)

"All I can tell you is the concerns I have are greater today are than they were before, and we're not even close to getting the basic answers. (11:20:31)

Ambassador Rice meets Wednesday with Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says 89-year-old former Senator Bob Dole has been hospitalized.

Reid made the announcement on the floor of the senate, adding that Dole is at Walter Reed Hospital, and that the two spoke a few days ago.

Dole is expected to be discharged tomorrow after having a routine procedure.

Today on the Senate floor, Senator John McCain read a letter from Dole, urging the passage of the C-P-R-D, the Convention of Persons with Disabilities.

It addresses disability rights of people around the world.

Dole, who turned 89 in July, has been fighting a leg infection since 2009.

An injury in World War Two left his right arm disabled, and his left arm partially disabled.

Sure, there's the national Christmas tree... And the one in Rockefeller Center...and then...there's the Lego tree.

The 10-th annual lighting of the world's largest Christmas tree to be made entirely of the connectable children's blocks, took place last night.

This year, more than 11-thousand l-e-d lights were added to the tree, which is made out of 245-thousand Legos and ardorned with 4-hundred Lego ornaments.

Actor Thomas Gibson, who stars on the hit crime drama 'Criminal Minds', was on hand for the celebration in Carlsbad, California.

Tonight's fan of the day is Laura Adams Henry.

Email fan of the day at 13wmaz dot com to claim your coffee mug.

If you want to be fan of the day... Just visit facebook dot com slash 13WMAZ... Become a fan and join the conversations.

We pick the fan of the day randomly.

 

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