Eyewitness News at 11, 12-11-12

11:57 PM, Dec 11, 2012   |    comments
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Good evening.

Thanks for joining us.

I'm Frank Malloy.

And I'm Leah Johnson.

This is Eyewitness News at 11.

Tonight... The investigation into a weekend shooting at a Waffle House, remains an open case... With one suspect in jail... and another... still unidentified.


Already in custody...

Ashley De-Mus Brown, who turned himself in today around 10:30 at the Bibb County Law Enforcement Center.

Brown was wanted in connection with a shooting outside a southwest Macon Waffle House.

Police say that shooting left Christopher Crowder dead and injured two others.

According to Brown's attorney.... Veronica Brinson.. the 19-year old was urged to give himself up by his grandmother. She was not in court with Brown today when he waived his rights because she said she expected his first appearance to happen Wednesday afternoon.

Magistrate Court Judge Cedric Leslie tells 13WMAZ he will "squash the waiver" and, on Wednesday, schedule a commitment hearing for Brown.

He faces a charge of felony murder.

The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office says at least three people were killed at a mall in Portland, Oregon, by a man wearing a hockey mask and holding a rifle.

Ten ambulances were called out to help those injured.... and police say the suspected gunman is dead after an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

One man says he was inside a Sears department store when panicked customers ran for cover.

<"I was inside applying for a job, and the next thing I know I see people running into Sears and away from the middle of the mall, saying they heard shots and there's a shooting going on. I wasn't sure if it was for real at first until I saw the reaction on their faces that they were serious. And very quickly the managers started getting everybody away from the entrance of the Sears store and closing down the big doors and locking down all the doors." >

It's unclear exactly how many others were hurt.

Georgia economists say... according to data for the state and for the region, the forecast is good for a stronger future.

Macon Mayor Robert Reichert... Warner Robins Mayor Chuck Shaheen and other local leaders gathered to hear what Robert Sumichrast, Dean of the Terry College of Business at UGA...and Roger Tutterow... Professor of Economics at Mercer University...had to say about what's next on for our economy.

Housing prices are on the rise for Central Georgia.

During the recession... housing prices dropped by 18 percent in Macon.. .and by 13 percent in Warner Robins.

But now... Housing prices are up by 13 percent in Macon... and 17 percent in Warner Robins.

That's good news for homeowners looking to sell without taking a loss.

Economists say while they project a positive economic outlook... there's still a chance for recession.

They rate the risk of falling back into a recession at about 30 percent...the primary reason behind this prediction is the fiscal cliff and the potential for war in the Middle East.

But that's lower than last year...when they gave a 45 percent chance of the economy falling into a recession.

Economists say there are two things local officials can do to keep our economy growing...

Invest in education...and work as a region...rather than as individual cities and counties.

And as you navigate your own finances...13WMAZ is offering some Help for the Holidays.

Today, we start with a resource for parents...looking to help their children do better in school...and we thank you for all your calls.

Tomorrow ... It's your money...and how to manage it during a season when financial stress can sometimes be overwhelming.

We'll be taking calls throughout our five and six-o-clock newscasts.

Help for the Holidays...is our gift to you...straight from the heart.

And as you navigate your own finances...13WMAZ is offering some Help for the Holidays.

Today, we start with a resource for parents...looking to help their children do better in school...and we thank you for all your calls.

Tomorrow ... It's your money...and how to manage it during a season when financial stress can sometimes be overwhelming.

We'll be taking calls throughout our five and six-o-clock newscasts.

Help for the Holidays...is our gift to you...straight from the heart.

<the homeless rate has gone down significantly we still again have some work to do that's why I'm here today to recruit the verans and encourage them to participate in the program because we have something we can offer and help them transition into permamnent housing.>

Myles was handing out those jackets at an annual christmas party for the homeless put on by the Mentors Project.

As Candace Adorka reports.... the organization teamed up with 8 churches and non-profits to give a couple hundred people in need a special holiday gathering.

The massive fellowship hall at First Presbytarian church in Macon was just big enough to hold the 15th annual Mentor's Project Christmas party for the homeless.

<I didn't know it was gonna be a big crowd like this, and uh, people are thankful>

<I think it's a beautiful church and it's good that people serve people like this who are in need.>

Mentors, mentees, and several other volunteers dished out what might be the only hot christmas dinner for about 250 guests.

<the food is good! Haha the food is real good>

<these people are giving their hearts to the homeless people, and you know something, it's very special.>

Jessie Elliot says dining in style is nice, but beyond that, the party is a gathering for people who might otherwise be alone for the holidays.

<I don't have no family no more. I've been out here on the street 22 years and I love each and every one of these people out here.>

For the mentees, it's a chance to show thanks for what the community gives them throughout the year.

<I came here to help out and be loving to the community and give back >

<I helped give out plates, and me and my mom we bought cakes and stuff like we do every year.>

Volunteers also brought blankets and jackets in gift bags, While the younger guests

<it's a pupet>

... got to pick their gifts.

Organizers count it as another success, as long as the guests came away with a little yuletide cheer.

<merry christmas>

Candace Adorka 13 wmaz eyewitness news.

June O'Neal, director of the Mentor's Project says they're always in need of volunteers.

Right now, she says there are 68 children on a waiting list for mentors.

For more information on how you can help, find this story on our homepage 13wmaz.com.

Before you set resolutions for what you're going to do next year, maybe you want to take a look back at what you did this year.

If you're on Twitter, there's now an easy way to do that.

A new tool from Vizify gives users a chance to look back at 2012 to see which tweet was shared the most.

You can also find out which follower you've interacted with the most and the top ten words you've used.

While you're digging through your year in tweets ... you might be interested to know who joined Twitter in 20-12.

New Twitter users include actress Betty White, rocker Neil Young and the Pope.

A Hostess plant in Georgia... shipped what could be the last bulk order of Twinkies to a Chicago Grocery store chain.

Jewel-Osco planned to put about 20-thousand boxes of Twinkies and other Hostess goodies on shelves at more than 150 stores today.

The products are being sold at regular price, with no limits on how many a person can buy.

A spokesman for the grocer's parent company said a Hostess rep called, asking if it wanted any of the remaining stock at the Georgia Plant.

The chain responded that it wanted it all.

<I've been eating them since I was a kid and this is the final batch that they have left and just gotta get them, I have to. >

Hostess is going out of business -- closing its three dozen plants and selling all its assets.

The Twinkie dates back to 19-30, when a Hostess bakery manager first created it.

Welcome back.

Police on the Georgia coast say they suspect foul play in the death of a Glynn County commissioner.

The body of Tom Sublett

was found early this morning in the Frederica River on St. Simons Island, where he lived.

This video is from our sister station, First Coast News in Jacksonville.

Sublett's car was nearby... and Glynn's police chief says... investigators found his wallet with some items missing.

The chief won't say how Sublett died.... but he told reporters that police are treating the case as a homicide.

The 52-year-old commissioner was elected in 2008 and planned to leave office at the end of this month after deciding not to seek re-election.

A former police officer, convicted of murdering 9 people, was executed in Florida just a few hours ago.

Manuel Pardo was sentenced in 19-88 after admitting that he shot and killed his victims as a favor to society because some of them were allegedly drug dealers.

The Miami-Herald reports that Pardo asked the jury to end his life, rather than condemn him to a life in prison.

Pardo's attorney says his client was just doing what he thought was right.

<He felt that these drug dealers he had allegedly murdered were just trash, vermin, that were the ruination of society, and that it was his duty as a police officer to do away with them. >

Pardo was pronounced dead at 7:47 tonight in Starke, Florida.

Florida A&M University is being placed on a year-long probation by a regional accrediting panel after a series of scandals at the school, including the hazing death of a drum major.

The Southern Association of College and Schools told FAMU leaders today... its accreditation is in jeopardy.

If FAMU's accreditation is revoked, students won't be eligible for federal financial aid.

Interim President Larry Robinson stressed that the probation does not affect the current accreditation of academic programs.

Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman... who served as the country's vice presidential nominee in 2000... Only to leave the party six years later... Is expected to deliver his farewell speech tomorrow on Capitol Hill.

This ends his career of more than two decades in the senate.

Back in 2000, Lieberman was tapped for the second slot by then-vice president Al Gore... Becoming the first Jewish candidate on a major party ticket.

Lieberman left the Democratic Party in 2006 to become an independent.

Bibb County Commissioner Elmo Richardson also finds himself ending a chapter of his life in public service.

Richardson didn't seek re-election this year, and he leaves office December 31 after 10 years service.

In this week's Close-Up program, Richardson discusses issues ranging from nonpartisan elections to being the only Republican on the five-member commission.

He also discusses moving forward with consolidating the city and county governments, and the mayor's $100,000 salary when the merger becomes effective.

< Elmo Richardson, Bibb Commissioner: Being a tight-fisted guy, is that an adequate salary for the job that they'll be doing? No, I don't think it is. I think it probably should've been more. But if you're going to attract top caliber people to lead this consolidate government, I think you need to compensate them accordingly.>

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

Tonight... the streets of Gray were filled with floats, parade vehicles... and community members on foot, all decked out in their holiday finest... for the city's Christmas parade.

The annual extravaganza is a tradition awaited year round... and locals line up to show off their holiday spirit.

< ad lib >

Thank you for joining us... First Mornin' comes your way at 5 a.m.

The news is always on at 13WMAZ dot com.

Letterman's next.

He's got Amanda Seyfried.

Have a great night.


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