Eyewitness News at 11, 12-7-12

12:21 AM, Dec 8, 2012   |    comments
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Good evening and thanks for joining us.

I'm Leah Johnson.

Frank Malloy is on assignment for Football Friday Night.

In about 12 hours, family and friends will lay to rest the woman who died after she was shot in the chest... in broad daylight at an East Macon gas station.

 

Linda Hunnicutt was a 65-year-old wife, mother and grandmother... who called Jones County home since she was 3 years old.

Her daughter told 13WMAZ... Hunnicutt's first love and most important job... was caring for her family.

And tomorrow... they'll pay their final respects at Hart's Chapel At an 11 a.m. Service.

Today... a witness to the shooting talked to 13WMAZ about the final minutes of Hunnicutt's life.

Melissa Whisby told us by phone...

she heard Frank Reeves confess to the shooting... after his wheelchair and Hunnicutt's car collided at the Murphy Express gas station on Gray Highway.

Melissa Whisby: She was in a kneeling position and she just went down...

Melissa Whisby: she didn't move so I said something is wrong.

Melissa Whisby: there was blood on her chest and I said oh my god she's been shot and I was like who shot her? And I was looking around her and Mr. Reeves said I shot her cause she tried to hit me with her car. >

Over the past few days... we've learned some details about Frank Louis Reeves.

He's 73-years old, and, like Hunnicutt, he's disabled, having suffered from two strokes.

His son, Frank Dixon, is a Macon community activist and anti-violence advocate.

Dixon says he doesn't know if his father had a license to carry a concealed weapon... but he knew that his father had a gun.

<I just moved back down two years ago full time and I always knew my father had a gun especially when he decided to move by himself you know he has never been the type to flash it around I never really questioned it because he never acted irresponsibly around me or my kids. >

Dixon also had words for the family of Linda Hunnicutt, who will spend the season with a loved one missing from their lives.

<To the Hunnicutt family I would say I am sorry for your loss especially at a time where people usually come together as a family it's a tragedy that your holidays are now going to be marred by a sense of loss um, I understand that there is a grieving period um that everybody goes through but in time all wounds heal, they leave scars but they heal. You'll never be the same after the loss of a family member especially one where it was sudden. >

For more of our conversation with Frank Dixon... search for this story at our website, 13WMAZ-dot-com.

Romain Dallemand will keep his 198-thousand dollar a year job for another three years.

Today, the Bibb County school superintendent signed his contract.

That's according to a news release from the district.

It runs through December 2015...

his base salary will remain the same...

But the contract adds benefits, including more sick leave.

Another change Includes a clause that would involve a payout... if the system dismissed him without reason before the end of his term.

In a statement... Dallemand wrote that the board's decision to keep him on....

".... demonstrates its commitment to continuous improvements that are outlined in The Macon Miracle.

Dallemand joined the Bibb County School District in January 2011....from Rochester Minnesota.

Since then... his Macon Miracle plan, implemented earlier this year, has drawn both support...and criticism...around the community... particularly the provision to teach Mandarin Chinese to all students.

Governor Nathan Deal... could face some challenges keeping his post... If a survey from Public Polling Policy is any indicator.

That poll pits Deal in hypothetical races against three Democrats.

In a race between Deal and Congressman John Barrow... Deal clings to a slim four percent Margin... 44 to 40.

In a face-off with Atlanta Mayor Kaseem Reed, Deal leads 47 to 40.

And... The largest lead Deal has... Is in a race facing Democratic State Senator Jason Carter... by 46 to 38.

The 37-year old represents district 42...and is also the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter.

Deal's average lead of 6 points Is smaller than the average advantage of 15 points in a similar poll for Saxby Chambliss.

We reported those results on Tuesday... In set-ups against Congressmen Paul Broun and Tom Price, and former Secretary of State and candidate for Governor, Karen Handel.

The U-S Supreme Court will soon tackle the issue of same-sex marriage.

Justices today agreed to hear two constitutional challenges to state and federal laws that deal with recognizing marriages between gay and lesbian couples.

arguments are expected to begin in March, with a ruling expected by late June.

The Court's agreement to hear the cases comes just weeks after voters in three states approved same-sex marriages.

Gay and lesbian couples may now legally marry in nine states and the District of Columbia.

Georgia's not on that list.

There are approximately 120-thousand same-sex couples who are legally married in the United States right now.

A poll by Gallup and USA today, which is owned by our parent company, Gannett communications, found 53-percent of Americans believe same-sex marriage should be legal.

They're fewer and fewer in number... Members of the Greatest Generation.

But on this 71st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor... Teresa Garcia talked to one man who was there for the tragedy that catapulted the U.S. Into World War Two.

<

(VO)

Fighter jets flew over Pearl Harbor, marking the moment when the Japanese attacked 71 years ago.

Survivors and hundreds of others came to remember the day that took the lives of nearly 24-hundred US service members.

(SOT-Admiral Cecil D Haney, Commander US Pacific Fleet)

"IMAGINE WHAT IT WAS LIKE HERE IN HAWAII ON THAT FATEFUL DAY."

Captain Marvin Bittick doesn't have to imagine - he was there.

The 91-year-old, Los Angeles native.... was aboard a coast guard cutter, just a few miles from the attack.

((SOT - Capt. Marv Bittick/ Pearl Harbor Survivor)

"THESE THREE PLANE FLEW OVER US, AND THEY HAD JAPANESE MARKINGS ON THEM. WE COULD SEE THE EXPLOSIONS."

(FILE)

Bittick's cousin was caught in the middle of the battle aboard the U-S-S Arizona....

He watched helplessly as the Japanese sunk the ship - killing his cousin and hundreds of others.

(SOT - Capt. Marv Bittick/ Pearl Harbor Survivor)

"I REGRET LOSING A LOT OF FRIENDS BUT THEN AGAIN WE MADE A WORLD THAT'S FREE TO LIVE IN. "

(BRIDGE: Teresa Garcia/CBS NEWS/ Santa Clarita, CA )

First hand accounts like Captain Bittrick are becoming harder to find.

There are less than three thousand Pearl Harbor survivors who are still with us.

(VO)

Only about 30 survivors were able to make the trip to Hawaii for the memorial.

(SOT-Capt. Marv Bittick/Pearl Harbor Survivor)

"I TRY TO KEEP THIS ALIVE IN MY GRANDCHILDREN, BECAUSE IT'S SUCH AN IMPORTANT PART OF AMERICA'S HISTORY."

Captain Bittick hopes people continue to remember the sacrifices that were made, long after he and the other Pearl Harbor survivors are gone.

For those who have visited the Pearl Harbor memorial in Honolulu... The U.S.S. Arizona's wreckage is just below the surface.

Oil can still be seen seeping from the wreckage to this day.

One fact you may not know...is that, when president Dwight D. Eisenhower signed off on the bill to designate the site... that set in motion fund-raising for both public and private donors.

One of them...was Elvis Presley... Himself a veteran.

He performed a benefit concert in 1961 and, according to CBS News-dot-com, ended up raising about 50-thousand dollars...a considerable amount 51 years ago.

Tablets, e-readers, smart-phones... It seems like everybody has them...and boy, do they carry them everywhere.

But...if you've ever flown on a commercial airline.. there's one place you can't use them...

On a jet, during takeoff.. .or landing.

So just how much do your favorite electronics tamper with aircraft equipment.

That's up for debate.

But one federal agency is urging airlines to ease up.

Tory Dunnan explains why... in a special Geek 13.

Your mobile phones and other electronic devices should be turned off (snap!)."

IF YOU'RE A FLYER, YOU'VE HEARD THE WARNING .... AND FOR TRAVELERS LIKE BRANDON SHELTON, WHO LIKE TO STAY CONNECTED, IT'S DOESN'T SIT WELL.

Laptop iPad iPad keyboard iPhone.

(reporter: That's a lot.)

Yeah--adds some weight to the bag.

NOW THE F-C-C -- THE AGENCY BEHIND CELL PHONE BANS IN THE AIR -- IS ENCOURAGING THE F-A-A TO ALLOW GREATER USE OF ELECTRONICS DURING FLIGHTS.

I'm ok w it, I don't necessarily do it but its a rule what are you going to do.

THE F-C-C CHAIRMAN SAYS MOBILE DEVICES EMPOWER PEOPLE TO STAY INFORMED AND CONNECTED WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY, AND THEY ENABLE BOTH LARGE AND SMALL BUSINESSES TO BE MORE PRODUCTIVE AND EFFICIENT. IT'S A GOVERNMENT EFFORT TO BALANCE WHAT PASSENGERS WANT AND SAFETY CONCERNS. AIRLINE PILOTS CAN USE iPAD FLIGHT MANUALS, BEGGING THE QUESTION....IF THEY CAN, WHY CAN'T WE?

When we use this device, all the transmission capability is turned off. The problem in the cabin is that there's so many possible combination of personal devices -- cellphones and iPads - that the industry hasn't come up with an acceptable test standard to truly determine if in those infinite combinations there's interference.

A RECENT STUDY NOTED 75 INSTANCES IN WHICH CONSUMER ELECTRONICS WERE SUSPECTED OF DISRUPTING AIRPLANE SYSTEMS. SOME ARE SKEPTICAL.

I don't think it really affects the planes any. So I think of it more of an optional rule if that makes sense.

I think that someone needs to prove to me that it's really an issue. I don't know if it's true or not.

CARL BIERSACK WITH A CELL PHONE ADVOCACY GROUP WANTS TO TAKE THIS ONE STEP FURTHER.

People do more than just the iPad and the Nook, they actually want to talk to someone. That's what a cell phone is all about.

Right now around 20 international airlines allow cell phone use.

It's unlikely that we'll see that here anytime soon, as many passengers say they don't want it... if for no other reason than for courtesy's sake.\

Some central Georgia Children were all smiles tonight at The medical center of central Georgia's annual children's tree lighting.

We were there for the celebration and to meet a special 5 year old boy who the hospital named as this year's miracle child.

NATS:

Friday night kicked off with applause for 5 year old Ykevion Wilson.... This year's Miracle child of the year.

Sot: With him being picked as miracle child of the year, it's like a shock to us. Never thought that he would be named a miracle child, eventhough he is a miracle child to us. It's just a miracle for us for everybody to know what he's been through, what we've been through.

Ykevion pulled the switch to light the children's hospital 13 and a half foot christmas tree.

His mother KeKe says her son has been through a lot.

Sot: Since he was born he was diagnosed with a serious condition. The left side of his brain did not form and he has motor skill delays.

Sot: The biggest thing that I know with Ykevion is that he is showing everyone that he can endure and that he can keep on going and he can provide hope. So, he's definitely someone that we can look up to.

NATS:

The tree lighting celebration also showcased christmas carols sung by a children's choir.

Missi Upshaw with the Medical Center of Central Georgia says the event is something that the hospital looks forward to every year.

Sot: It means so much to watch the faces of these kids when they are watching and anticipating the tree to be lit. Christmas for these kids, it signifies hope for them. To see them here in the lobby with us healthy and happy, it means the world to us.

NATS:

Friday night kicked off with applause for 5 year old Ykevion Wilson.... This year's Miracle child of the year.

Sot: With him being picked as miracle child of the year, it's like a shock to us. Never thought that he would be named a miracle child, eventhough he is a miracle child to us. It's just a miracle for us for everybody to know what he's been through, what we've been through.

Ykevion pulled the switch to light the children's hospital 13 and a half foot christmas tree.

His mother KeKe says her son has been through a lot.

Sot: Since he was born he was diagnosed with a serious condition. The left side of his brain did not form and he has motor skill delays.

Sot: The biggest thing that I know with Ykevion is that he is showing everyone that he can endure and that he can keep on going and he can provide hope. So, he's definitely someone that we can look up to.

NATS:

The tree lighting celebration also showcased christmas carols sung by a children's choir.

Missi Upshaw with the Medical Center of Central Georgia says the event is something that the hospital looks forward to every year.

Sot: It means so much to watch the faces of these kids when they are watching and anticipating the tree to be lit. Christmas for these kids, it signifies hope for them. To see them here in the lobby with us healthy and happy, it means the world to us.

Before we get to weather.. We're going to introduce you to our facebook fan of the day.

Congratulations, Joanna Spires.

We're so glad you're 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.

We begin our look inside the box office with "hyde Park on Hudson."

It delves into a very personal side... of president Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Bill Murray throws off type-casting to play FDR.

Laura Linney is his distant cousin.. and love interest.

The film centers around a weekend in Roosevelt's native upstate New York when the King and Queen of England come for a visit.

Based on true events... "hyde Park on Hudson" is rated R.

In "deadfall", Eric Bana and Olivia wild keep a casino heist in the family.

They play a brother and sister who mastermind a major operation that doesn't go as planned.

They go their separate ways to evade police, but soon find themselves reunited.

The two need to make an escape, but love, danger, and yes, the police stand in their way.

"deadfall" is rated R.

And that's all the time we have for this newscast.

Stay with us.

FFN comes around in just about 2 minutes.

Have a great night.

 

 

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