Eyewitness News at 6, 11-28-12

7:19 PM, Nov 28, 2012   |    comments
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     Hello everyone.  Thank you for joining us.
     I'm Frank Malloy.
     And I'm Leah Johnson.
     This is Eyewitness News at Six.
     Help Is on the way...for low-income people in Bibb County having trouble paying the energy bills.
     Austin Lewis explains.

<I stood there and I'll stand there again if I have to>

Last year hundreds of lower income Bibb County residents stood in line before dawn...to get home heating help.
Macon Bibb Economic Opportunity Council announced Wednesday...when people can apply for help this year.
The first one is next Monday ...December third followed by next Friday....the 7th.
Both sessions...and the next four....are at St. Paul A-M-E Church.
At 7 a-m on those days...they'll give out numbers to the first 250 in line.

<jimmie Samuel:  even though people make decisions and to come and stay come earlier we don't encourage that though, but we allow grown folks to make decisions and poor people should be allowed to make decision for themselves just like everybody else.

Some people say the agency shouldn't let people wait in the cold for hours...but the E-O-C says taking applications in-person...not over the phone...is best.
They say says the last time they tried that...it crashed the phone lines.

<mmie Samuels: It knocked everybody off the system and it's all kind of confusion. We've been down that road we aren't going to ever do that again I'm tell you that now.

< it works so well so you know as they say if it ain't broke don't fix it our program aint broke and there is no reason to try to fix it.
>

Ruby Aaron of Macon says she depends on that energy help every year.

<Ruby Aaron, Macon:  last year I got 350 dollars and that was a blessing very much so on my energy bills  >

Aaron says she doesn't have to wait in line for help this year.

<Ruby Aaron, Macon:I got there about an hour before they opened the door and it was so many people there then I mean all around the building, down the backside of the building and it was terrible and it was cold but I stood there because I needed that assistance. >

And for some...that assistance is worth the wait.
Austin Lewis 13wmaz eyewitness news.

When you apply for fuel assistance...you must have your latest energy bill...a state driver's license or I.D....and a Social Security card or printout for all household members.

We have a follow up to a story we brought you last night on 13WMAZ Eyewitness News..
Macon police are defending their role...in investigating an alleged rape at Northeast High School.
Lawyer Jerry Lumley told us investigators pressured the alleged victim...a special needs student and questioned her without a lawyer....or her mother present.
Today...police spokeswoman Jami Gaudet released a statement noting that Bibb Campus police handled the case first...then passed it on to Macon P-D.
She added.....

We stand by the results of our criminal investigation. It would be inappropriate to comment further given the pending lawsuit.

      The jackpot for tonight's Powerball drawing now stands at 550 million dollars. Lottery officials say tickets are selling nationwide at a rate of a hundred thirty-thousand every minute.
     That's about six times as many... as a week ago.

     There have been 16 consecutive drawings without a winner, but Powerball officials say they now think there's a 75 percent chance someone will hold the winning numbers this time.
     The drawing happens right before Eyewitness News at 11...and we'll have the numbers then.

     Authorities say a drawing in another lottery has made a millionaire out of a lucky buyer in South Georgia.
     A winning ticket in Thomasville matched all six numbers in the mega-millions drawing.
     The Atlanta Journal Constitution says the ticket was sold at a convenience store on Highway 319 North, which runs through the Western part of the state.
    It's worth Forty-nine million dollars.

     Today on 13WMAZ-dot-com...we asked if you think the Georgia lottery is a good way to fund education?    
[TAKE: FULL SCREEN]

     80 percent of you say yes...and 20 percent say no.
[
   You can vote in a webpoll now... visit 13WMAZ.com.
   Look for the question on the right side of the homepage.

     Demolition crews plan to erase a year-old eyesore in Warner Robins within the next three days.
     The La Quinta Inn on Willie Lee Parkway caught fire last Thanksgiving Day.
     As Lorra Lynch Jones shows you... Now the ruins are at last.. Being reduced to rubble. 

<A safety issue really, because a lot of looters would come around there.>

And the questions from customers... They seemed never ending.

<what happnened next door? What are they going to do with it? Finally all that can be done and over.>
[
<we are so excited to see that they are tearing it down, because it really makes our property look bad.>

Eugene Graham... Owner of the demolition company... says they plan to level every last shred of debris by Friday. Cleaning-up the site will take about 3 weeks.

<we will load it and truck it and carry it to the landfill, Houston County landfill.>

It's almost all trash. A few pieces will be salvaged.. The concrete slab the hotel sat on preserved for possible future development.
It's a chapter neighbors will want to remember... After a year of an eyesore they'd rather forget.

In Warner Robins, Lorra Lynch Jones, 13WMAZ, Eyewitness News.

     Procurement Manager for the City of Warner Robins.. Kim Demoonie.. says a few interested parties have contacted the city about the hotel property.
     You can check out more picturse and video of the demolition... By looking for this story on 13-wmaz-dot-com.

   The family of the 17 year old girl found dead in her dorm room at Valdosta State University.. has hired a private investigator.

    Relatives of freshman Jasmine Benjamin say they hope the investigator from a Lawrenceville agency can turn up new leads in the case.
    Autopsy results are not back yet for the teen, who was found unresponsive on a couch in her dorm study room on November 18th.
   Police detectives searched dormitories and interviewed students on campus, hoping to learn how Benjamin died.
   Right now the case is still a homicide investigation.

      you now have another day to adopt or reclaim pets at the Macon-Bibb animal shelter... without taking time out of your weekday schedule..

     That's for adoptions or reclaims only.
     Regular hours are from 11 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.
     That's for adoptions, transfers to rescue groups, redemptions, animal drop-off and other walk-in business .

      The shelter is closed on Sunday, Monday and all Bibb County holidays.

      If the rivalry between the University of Alabama and the Georgia bulldogs wasn't big enough... there's a Conference game on the line.

     As Jennifer Moulliet's finding out, there's nothing like a title to amp up the trash talk a little more.

     Frank, Leah, I went to a restaurant and memorobilIa shop dedicated to all things Alabama... And a shop with everything you need to cheer on the dogs between the hedges.

     The road to the S-E-C championship is set for Alabama and Georgia... And although we're in the heart of dawg country...

<we like to say rabid dog fans>

 I found a few that bleed crimson

<steve bennett: "i'm a huge obnoxious alabama fan>

     Both Steve Bennett and Cary Holden have one thing in common... They're looking forward to the big game Saturday.

<i'm looking for the national championship we beat notre dame in eighty for the national champion and we'll do it again this year>

<we've got a great defense they've got a great defense and as Bear Bryant used to say a great defense wins championships>

     I caught up with Bennett at one of his weekly lunch spots...

Full of all things Alabama. He says the restaurant was open for every game except

<she was closed the day alabama played texas a&m and the only day she was close when we play alabama lost  >

     Owner Melissa Powers says she closed the store to install new kitchen equipment.

<we will never do that again>
   
     Holden says he's not the only rabid dawg fan... Several people have stopped by his shop to load up on fan gear.

<our t shirts are starting to take a hit we have the same shirts that athens does and as you can see we're starting to have some holes>

     Power's says although she sells fan merchandise for the "other teams" Alabama gear is going fast too.

<those are my last two... I started with twelve>

<it's really hard to keep it on the shelf these days especially now that we know who's going to be in the finals >

     And for those like... Holden who never miss a chance to shout sic em' dawgs... He had one question for Bennett.

<alabama fans don't know what they are they're the roll tide but then they got a pink elephant as a mascot>

<back in I believe it was the thirties the newspaper writer indicated that alabama really wasn't that big but they just kept coming after you and coming after wearing you down kind of like the tide does when it erodes the beach>

<for the most part everybody stays in good spirits about it but the heats getting a little thicker now>

     Although neither side is going to the Dome... they'll still be watching and rooting for their team.
Jennifer Moulliet 13wmaz eyewitness news.
 From Christmas trees... To real life greenery.

< Parks are a sign of the health of the community. If you have a creative, beautiful park, you know that you have a safe and productive community. If you have  park that's down on its heels, you know that you don't necessarily want to move to a community around that park. We want to make this park a representation of everything that's great about Macon.    >

The last major tree planting in the park was in 1915.

     A grant to the College Hill alliance is bringing more than a hundred sixty trees to Tattnall Square Park... And some of them arrived today.
     It's all rooted in a Knight Foundation grant...of almost $33,000 for the trees ... The foundation gave another 15 thousand to pay for  landscaping.
     And today...that meant breaking out the shovels.

< Parks are a sign of the health of the community. If you have a creative, beautiful park, you know that you have a safe and productive community. If you have  park that's down on its heels, you know that you don't necessarily want to move to a community around that park. We want to make this park a representation of everything that's great about Macon.    >

The last major tree planting in the park was in 1915.

Thanks for joining us for Eyewitness News at Six.

Remember... The news is always on at 13WMAZ.com.

     As we leave you tonight... a quick peek inside the White House... Where the First Lady gave a first glimpse at this year's Christmas Decorations.

     The theme this year... Is "joy to All"...
     In the first family's residence... Fifty-four Christmas trees...
     Even a 300 pound gingerbread house that looks exactly like, you guessed it, the White House.
 
     Enjoy the sights and have a safe night everyone.
     The evening news with Scott Pelley is up next.

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