Eyewitness News at 11, 11-30-12

12:24 AM, Dec 1, 2012   |    comments
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Good evening and thanks for joining us..

I'm Leah Johnson.

Frank is on assignment for Football Friday night...


Ben Jones is on the most special assignment of all...Daddy Duty...

But Mike Fuller will be in with your weather in just a few minutes.

Our top story tonight... Two members-elect of the Bibb County Board of Education want current members to put a new contract for Superintendent Romain Dallemand on hold.

They want the board to wait until January.

That's when the members elected in November will take office.

This past Monday... the board discussed terms of a new contract for Romain Dallemand... but didn't disclose any further details.

Members-elect were not invited to participate, according to a letter signed by Jason Downey and Lester Miller...and they say, that doesn't make sense, since they're the ones who will be working with the superintendent after those they're replacing leave office in a few weeks.

Downey and Miller asked to be in on any future discussions and votes concerning Dallemand's contract.

Thelma Dillard.... the third new member elected in November did not sign the letter.

The current school board is expected to meet again next Monday... possibly to approve a new contract for Dallemand.

His salary right now... 200 thousand dollars.

A recent survey ranked hospitals based on safety... And one of Macon's facilities came out with top marks.

Unfortunately... It was alone in its class.

Coliseum Medical Center in Macon was the only Central Georgia hospital to receive an "A" rating for safety from the Leapfrog Group. ...

Researchers looked at measures to avoid patient infection, injuries, and medical errors, the hospital's nursing staff, and physician staff in emergency rooms ...

Coliseum says their daily attention to those things helped put them on top.

< And here at our hospital, we do random audits to make sure people are washing their hands,we have hand sanitizer up in all the locations that you would expect to find them and in many locations that you wouldn't expect to find them just to encourage hand washing and sanitation..>

The area's largest hospital, the Medical Center of Central Georgia , received a "C" .. But one

<I would say to anybody, if you come to the Medical Center, we are going to do our very best for you to be the center of everything that we do, because we want to do patient focused care. >

Houston Medical Center also received a "C."

By email...their spokeswoman said the data provided in the report is nearly two years old and does not reflect the current state of care.

At one of Atlanta's busiest hospitals... personal information of about 900 former patients has been stolen and copied by a one-time contract worker.

Grady Memorial Hospital administrators said authorities investigated a breach of emergency room records.

A spokeswoman says the worker was employed by a company that handles the hospital's billing system.

The breach turned up in that company's internal audit.

The information belonged to patients transported in ambulances between January and October of this year.

The employee was fired... No word yet on any criminal charges.

Officials are contacting the people affected. The billing company will offer them a year of free credit monitoring.

Several services that the city of Macon depend on will soon be housed all under one roof.

Macon Central Services will relocate to a brand new location and their current location will be re developed.

Here's a look at some of the work in progress.

The folks at Central Services have a big move ahead.

The 12 acre property that they've called home for years will soon be a completely vacant piece of land.

There aren't many places in any downtown that have 12 acres of riverfront property. It's something that a lot of people would be jealous of if we put it in any other community.

Alex Morrison with the Urban Redevelopment Authority says the vision for the river front property includes a hotel, Condos and retail space. He says they've partnered with Renaissance on the River, LLC on the project.

It's going to be a multi-year project to go through all of the phases. Phases one is scheduled to take about 14 to 18 months once financing is in place.

This option allows the developer to go out and find financial agreements and other partners for this project.

The Macon Central Services building sits here now but soon, they'll have a new home with all 7 divisions under one roof.

We take care of the traffic signals throughout the city and the county, we have the signs, traffic maintenance

throughout the city, we do electrical, we do HVAC, plumbing an general maintenance.

Construction is underway for their new facility that Gene Simonds, head of Central Services says he's looking forward to.

We are adjacent to a building that the city already owns, vehicle maintenance. One of our electrical vendors is just down the street. One of our air conditioning vendors is down the street on Bay street. Overall it should prove to be really beneficial.

Also happy about the transition is blank who says the vision to make Macon more of a unique place to spend time has the potential to really pay off.

Over the next five years, if all goes well, we'll see roughly about 60 million plus in investment on this site.

It's really a great piece of property with interstate access, access to downtown Macon and access to the river. It really is a great piece of property to develop.

The new Central Services building will have 42 thousand square feet.

It have working areas that include offices and warehouse space.

Simonds says they hope to be operating out of their new building by March of 2013.

If you went shopping last month, you might not have had much company in the stores.

The Commerce Department says consumer spending fell point two percent in October.

This is the first decline since May.

Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of the nation's economy, so the pullback could be a worrisome sign.

Stalled income growth, lower gas prices and Superstorm Sandy contributed to the cut in spending.

The personal savings rate did increase, however, to three-point-four percent... and retailers are hoping people will spend some of that cash this holiday season.

'Tis the season for spending... it's all the season for parades.

The city of Warner Robins is gearing up for its annual tradition.

Volunteers and members of the Robins Chamber of Commerce are getting ready for this year's Christmas parade.

It's an event organizers have been planning for half a year.

In the lineup... 130 floats and bands.

Earlier today... 20 volunteers worked to put a finishing touch on all of the floats.

Participants will meet at three staging areas... Tomorrow morning.

Volunteers are making sure that those areas are marked properly so that everyone can hit the streets in line and on time.

< It helps with safety issues with the parents coming in with their kids who are supposed to ride on the floats and so forth. We direct them. We show them where they can park. >

The parade will start at 10 a.m. at Houston Road and Watson Boulevard.

Up and coming Nashville recording star and Georgia native Colbie Dee will serve as Grand Marshal.

The Grand Marshal at Centerville's parade is a member of our extended 13WMAZ family.

Frank Malloy's son... Nick will be the grand marshal.

You may remember... Nick was injured in a car accident earlier this year.

He says this Christmas will be special...

And being grand marshal makes it even better.

< It's an honor to get to do something like that and just to thank people for the support they've shown throughout the year. >

As far as Nick's recovery... He's doing well..and told us he can't wait to be back on stage playing more of the music he loves very soon.

A French appeals court has cleared Continental Airlines of criminal responsibility for the Air France Concorde crash in 2000 that killed 113 people.

The court, however, upheld a civil judgment against the U.S. carrier, which has since merged with United Airlines.

A 2010 ruling blamed Continental and one of its mechanics for the crash that happened shortly after the jet took off from an airport in France.

The appeals court upheld that ruling. It found a piece of metal that fell off the jet led to the chain of events that caused the crash.

But the court also said a criminal conviction was not justified.

Because the appeals court agreed with the cause of the crash, the U.S. airline must still pay a financial penalty to Air France.

Air France has paid an unspecified amount in damages to many of the crash victims' families.

A Michigan performing arts teacher was suspended for playing a song about being gay to students in her class.

Susan Johnson says an eighth grader suggested the song "Same Love" by Seattle-based hip hop artist Macklemore.

It talks about bullying and growing up gay.

After learning the song had no profanity, Johnson claims she played the song as a way to teach kids about diversity.

Another student was reportedly offended and told the principal.

Johnson was suspended for three days without pay.

Several faculty and students have rallied behind her.

<"She's a wonderful teacher I think she should have her job, she should be able to come back and continue what she does and that's teach." >

Johnson is now back at the South Lyon middle school, but the controversy isn't over.

The American Civil Liberties Union will be filing a Freedom of Information Act request to see if any of Johnson's rights were violated.

Police in Texas say a man must have thought the Christmas tree near the Alamo was a urinal.

They say Alamo rangers spotted the man relieving himself early Friday morning behind a giant present under the tree.

This was less than 50 feet from the historic battle site.

Officers say the 23-year old tourist was apologetic and they think he had been drinking.

He went before a judge and was granted bail.

President Obama is working to turn up the pressure on Republicans to extend tax cuts for the middle class. GOP leaders say they are still willing to work with the President on a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff.

But as Tara Mergener reports, right now...neither side is pleased.

\President Obama took his plan for avoiding the fiscal cliff to a toy factory in suburban Philadelphia.





The White House is enlisting the public to put pressure on Congress to extend tax cuts for the middle class- but raise taxes on households making more than 250-thousand dollars a year.

The President said if lawmakers don't act, the average family will lose $22-hundred dollars.




((on cam))

Tara Mergener/ CBS News

President Obama sent his chief negotiator here to Capitol Hill to lay out the plan for lawmakers - Republicans are calling the proposal a joke and unreasonable.


Rep. John Boehner/ (R-OH) Speaker of the House


Senator John Cornyn says the White House is going to have to give a lot more.


Sen. John Cornyn/ (R-TX)



And Republicans say raising taxes on households making more than $250-thousand dollars a year - would hurt small businesses. Former Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln agrees.


Fmr Sen. Blanche Lincoln/ (D-AR) National Federation of Independent Business



If lawmakers don't work out a deal before the end of the year everyone's taxes will go up and deep spending cuts will kick in.

The White House wants 4 trillion dollars in deficit reduction over 10 years. 1.6 trillion would come from higher taxes on wealthier Americans. The Obama administration is also proposing 400 billion in cuts to entitlement programs.

Tonight's fan of the day is Shannon Mitchell.

Congratulations, Shannon. Thanks for following us on Facebook.

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.

Some entertainment news for you tonight.

Katy Perry... is about to be honored as one of the most powerful women in the music industry.

Billboard has named her its Woman of the Year.. Given each year to a trailblazing female recording artist who's inspired the music business with her success.

Pop star Carly Rae Jepson will present the honor.

Rihanna...enjoying some distinction of her own this week.

Her seventh album, "Unapologetic," has become her first number one on Billboard's 200 chart after it debuted at the top spot last week.

And the album's first single," titled "Diamonds," is also number one on Billboard's Hot 100.

And finally tonight... You won't believe what Betty White is auctioning off.

The actress is auctioning herself off on ebay.

The prize...you and three friends can join White for dinner at one of her favorite restaurants in the Los Angeles area on a mutually-agreed upon date.

Bidding runs from December 3rd through the 10th.

All the proceeds benefit the society for the prevention of cruelty to animals.







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