Eyewitness News at Six, 12-29-12

7:55 PM, Dec 31, 2012   |    comments
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Good evening, everyone.

I'm David Earl.

Frank Malloy and Leah Johnson have the evening off.

In just a moment...we approach the fiscal cliff deadline at midnight tonight...and we will *NOT* see a vote in 2012.

We'll break down what did and *didn't* happen today in just a moment...

But first, our top story...

Bibb County's new district attorney want the GBI to investigate why a police officer...shot a man to death outside a Macon supermarket.

David Cooke says he and Macon police officials today went over the case file for the Dec. 21 shooting of Sammie Davis Jr.

He says they agreed to call in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation....to decide if any crime was committed.

He expects their investigation to begin Wednesday.

Davis died after being shot three times by officer Clayton Sutton. Police say the two men struggled, but have not explained why Sutton shot Davis.

Sutton is on administrative leave during the investigation.

Earlier today...., Mayor Robert Reichert released his own statement on the shooting.

The mayor said he met with Davis' family to assure them...and the community.... that the case will be investigated properly.

He says Macon police have handled the case fairly.

 

<I am convinced and fully confident that the Macon Police Department has done an appropriate and thorough investigation and has provided all of the necessary information upon which a review can determine what actually happened that day >

Cooke says his first official act as Bibb District Attorney will be officially asking the GBI to get involved. He expects their investigation will begin Wednesday.

Also new tonight, midnight will come and go without a deal on the approaching fiscal cliff.

House Republicans notified lawmakers that the chamber will vote tonight on other bills. They say those will be their only votes of the day.

But President Barack Obama and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said they are near a deal to avoid wide-ranging tax increases and spending cuts - the fiscal cliff - that take effect with the new year.

Both men said they were still bargaining over how - to avoid 109 billion dollars in cuts to defense and domestic programs that take effect on Wednesday.

The bottom line...Congress could pass legislation retroactively blocking the tax hikes and spending cuts.

Today... Speaking at a news conference... The president placed the failure to reach a timely deal...on the shoulders of congress.

Ever since I took office, throughout the campaign and over the last couple of months, my preference would have been to solve all these problems in the context of a larger agreement, a bigger deal, a grand bargain, whatever you wanna call it that solves our deficit problems in a balanced and responsible way that doesn't just deal with the taxes but deals with spending in a balanced way so that we can put all behind us and just focusing on growing our economy but with this Congress, that was obviously too much to hope for at this time. (laughter) >

On the Republican side...many, including Georgia's own U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson...fired back...questioning the president's negotiating tactics.

The new year brings a sales tax hike for 13 Central Georgia counties.

They are all part of the three districts that approved the new Transportation-SPLOST that starts up tomorrow.

They will impose a penny sales tax for the next 10 years to fund regional transportation projects.

That means people will spend an extra penny for every $1 on most purchases.

The T-SPLOST will be in effect tomorrow in Laurens...Dodge...Bleckley...Washington and Macon Counties...and eight others.

These are some of the projects they are expected to pay for include.

In Dodge County....a Northwest Eastman bypass.

In Laurens County....improvements on Hillcrest Parkway...and a new Oconee River Bridge;

And in Macon County, passing lanes for Highway 224...and a new bridge over Whitewater Creek.

The SPLOST does not include Bibb....or Houston Counties.

The lanes of I-475 northbound are open again after an afternoon accident....

This was the scene as captured by the G-DOT traffic cams.

The crash involved a single vehicle.

We got no reports of major injuries ... However two lanes of that highway were shut down until right before 4 p-m.

It all happened just past the spilt with I-75, near the Hartley Bridge Road exit.

If you still don't have plans for a New Year's Eve bash...

There are a few central Georgia towns with events.

In downtown Macon...

Around 5 thousand people will gather tonight for the "Pinkest Party on Earth"...New Year's Eve edition!

The festivities will be at the Cherry Street Plaza in front of terminal station.

There will be inflatables and activities for kids beginning at 7...and some fireworks at 9.

The regular program will begin at 9... And the pink cherry blossom drop will top off the celebration at midnight...

In the International City...the Rainbow House will sponsor a formal fundraiser to bring in the New Year.

The dance will begin at 7pm at the Courtyard Marriott in Warner Robins.

There will be live music from Quiet Storm and heavy hors douvres.

Tickets are 50 dollars per person... And one hundred dollars per couple.

For reservations you can call 478-923-6189 or at 478-396-7878

For other ideas...we have the top 13 things to do for new year's eve on our website 13 WMAZ dot com.

Welcome back.

With me today... Clif Wilkinson.

He is a professor of political science at Georgia College and State... And we want to spend some time talking about what played out in Washington today.

Lots of public statements, the president addressing the nation...followed by a barrage of responses from the right.

Earlier we heard from our own Georgia senator, Johnny Isakson...

What do you make of this...as far as the chance to come to a later compromise?

We understand...Congress could make a retroactive deal?

What has this done to public perception as far as hour effective our leaders in Washington are?

As midnight approaches.... Make sure that your New Year's celebration...is safe.

And Macon Police want to remind you that celebratory gunfire is not only dangerous... It's illegal.

Jennifer Moulliet has more.

New years eve night...Police spokeswoman ... Jami Gaudet says Officers will be cracking down on celebratory gunfire.

<some people will say it's traditional or it's cultural or this is the way we celebrate... Unacceptable... Illegal... And dangerous >

She couldn't say how many complaints they get on a typical New Year's....or identify particular neighborhoods where it happens...but she says it's a problem across the city.

Gaudet explains the problem:

<no matter where you're aiming that gun it can be up, it could be sideways, it could be vertical or horizontal, anytime you are "celebrating" with gunfire >

She says it's not about being tough on people... Its about safety... And even if you fire blanks you can go to jail.

<you're going to be arrested make no mistake about that we have to protect the community and that's how we do it. >

Bullets from celebratory gunfire can land randomly... And their path is unpredictable.

Here's some facts to keep in mind

The mortality rate for someone stuck by a falling bullet is thirty-two percent... more than five times more than your typical a gunshot wound.

Eighty percent of celebratory gunshot wounds hit the head... Shoulders and feet.

Here's a more startling fact... A thirty caliber bullet travels 300 feet per second... and a fifty caliber bullet even faster than that....but a bullet traveling only 200 feet per second can break a person's skull.

<think about what it would mean to your life if you inadvertently, mistakenly, accidentally hurt or killed someone >

early in the morning New year's day 2010..... a a bullet fired in the air killed a DeKalb county boy while he was sitting in church.

<it's just unnecessary there are so many positive ways to celebrate>

She says they're not only listening for celebratory gunfire... Macon police will be out in full force... Taking people off of the road who are endangering others too.

Jennifer Moulliet 13WMAZ eyewitness news.

New years eve night...Police spokeswoman ... Jami Gaudet says Officers will be cracking down on celebratory gunfire.

<some people will say it's traditional or it's cultural or this is the way we celebrate... Unacceptable... Illegal... And dangerous >

She couldn't say how many complaints they get on a typical New Year's....or identify particular neighborhoods where it happens...but she says it's a problem across the city.

Gaudet explains the problem:

<no matter where you're aiming that gun it can be up, it could be sideways, it could be vertical or horizontal, anytime you are "celebrating" with gunfire >

She says it's not about being tough on people... Its about safety... And even if you fire blanks you can go to jail.

<you're going to be arrested make no mistake about that we have to protect the community and that's how we do it. >

Bullets from celebratory gunfire can land randomly... And their path is unpredictable.

The mortality rate for someone stuck by a falling bullet is thirty-two percent... more than five times more than your typical a gunshot wound.

Eighty percent of celebratory gunshot wounds hit the head... Shoulders and feet.

Here's a more startling fact... A thirty caliber bullet travels 300 feet per second... and a fifty caliber bullet even faster than that....but a bullet traveling only 200 feet per second can break a person's skull.

<think about what it would mean to your life if you inadvertently, mistakenly, accidentally hurt or killed someone >

early in the morning New year's day 2010..... a a bullet fired in the air killed a DeKalb county boy while he was sitting in church.

<it's just unnecessary there are so many positive ways to celebrate>

She says they're not only listening for celebratory gunfire... Macon police will be out in full force... Taking people off of the road who are endangering others too.

Jennifer Moulliet 13WMAZ eyewitness news.

Thanks for joining us. We'll be back tonight at 11.

But remember... The news is always on at 13WMAZ.com.

The evening news is up next.

Have a safe night everyone.

 

 

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