Good evening, everyone. I'm Leah Johnson.
And I'm Frank Malloy.
You're watching eyewitness news at eleven. Thanks for joining us.
First tonight... Warner Robins could be taking a crack...at baseball.
Tonight...13WMAZ's Jennifer Moulliet spoke with the Mayor of the International City who told her... city leaders are in the early stages of talks about possibly bringing America's favorite past time to town... In the form of a minor league baseball team.
Mayor Chuck Shaheen met with a few former baseball players and community leaders... Including Houston County commissioner Chair... Tommy Stalnaker to talk minor league baseball.
He says the response in favor of bringing a team to the international city was overwhelming.
At this point it's just an idea... And Mayor Shaheen thinks the city's involvement with Little League may have played a part in the interest to bring a minor league team to Warner Robins.
He says the city wouldn't buy a team... It would be a partnership.
And he just has one question for the community.
"would the citizens of houston county support a minor league baseball that's affiliated with a major league team in Houston County and if we get good feedback we'll move forward if we don't we'll move on to the next subject. "
So what do you think... Should a minor league baseball team locate to Houston County.
You can share your thoughts on our Facebook page.
Macon Police arrested a 19-year-old man in a murder case dating back to 2011 today.
A news release says Akobeyan Denzel Howard is charged with killing Alfred Smith...at Wings café in Macon.
Jones County Sheriff's Deputies picked him up during a traffic stop there... He now faces one count of felony murder.
Police say this is Howard's second arrest since last July.
A Macon accounting firm finds some problems with the way the Bibb County Schools went about promising millions of dollars as part of a federally-funded initiative.
The accounting firm Mauldin and Jenkins will present the findings of its financial audit of the district.
Candace Adorka has some highlights from the firm's findings.
Part of the Mauldin and Jenkins audit covers the district's involvement in the Macon promise Neighborhood initiative-- that's where community partners try to boost student achievement by improving everything from prenatal care to job placement.
July 20th, Superintendent Romain Dallemand signed an agreement to give promise neighborhood more than 19-million dollars worth of help over the next ten years.
The next week, Dallemand and board president Tommy Barnes signed a lease to rent half of the old Ballard Hudson building on anthony road-- for more than 5.7 million dollars over the next decade. The Ballard Hudson building is owned by another promise neighborhood partner.
The audit says those documents weren't shared with the school board until October 18, three months later, and it says the board should have approved each action before the documents were signed.
The auditor says the ballard hudson lease is possibly a capital lease, which means the district would have to change this year's budget to include the entire cost of the 10-year lease-- that's almost 6 million dollars from the general fund. The district already had an 8-million dollar budget deficit this year.
This year's budget should also show where the 19-million dollars for the promise neighborhood initiative is coming from. The audit says the school board would have to approve those budget amendments, and so far, that hasn't happened.
Board members will get the chance to discuss these findings at Thursday's meeting. Candace Adorka 13wmaz eyewitness news.
Thank you, Candace. Also on the agenda tomorrow night... The school board will consider next year's school calendar.
I have a copy of it right here... And it shows a schedule that moves a whole lot closer to year round school. If the school board approves... school would start up July 25th of this year... And the academic year would end in June of 2014. Students and teachers would have one or two-week breaks in October.. November... around the Christmas-New Year holidays.... and then in March and April.
It's been in the works for a while.
Superintendent Romain Dallemand has said that schools can improve learning by going to year-round calendars.
But one school board member is already raising some questions.
Lynn Farmer told us she's not opposed to year-round school... but says starting this summer...
may be too soon.
She says parents... Businesses... and the community need time to prepare.
Newly sworn-in member... Thelma Dillard told us she wouldn't comment tonight.. because she hadn't had time to review the documents.
Right now... the matter is just listed as an informational item on the board's agenda... not an action item up for vote.
we'll keep you up to date...on what direction the discussion takes.
Georgia's Governor will deliver his annual state of the state speech tomorrow.
In keeping with tradition...he'll address both houses of the state legislature....which began their 2013 session Monday.
He's expected to talk about the usual topics of the economy and workforce development.
This will be Governor Deal's third state of the state....since he was sworn in in 2011.
And while some newly elected state house and senate members converge in Atlanta, Jeanetta Watson becomes the first African American to serve as supervisor of the Macon-Bibb County Board of Elections.
Watson replaced Elaine Carr who retired Dec. 31.
Although new to the supervisor position, Watson worked with Carr for six years and is well versed on election board functions and responsibilities.
Watson and her staff spent last week training for a new voter registration system, a procedure she calls challenging because it requires learning new technologies and computer systems.
And through it all, Watson must please an election board that consists of two Republicans, two Democrats and an independent who's appointed by the other four.
< Jeanetta Watson, Elections Supervisor: I have to be unbaised. I can't be on one side or the other. So I can't sway one way or the other. I have to be completely fair and run completely fair and true elections. >
Watson says working with Carr for six years gave her the ability to hit the ground running in her new job.
And she's already putting plans in place to have a smooth election for the new consolidated government later this year.
<If there was even one thing we could do to reduce this violence, if there's even one life that can be saved, then we've got an obligation to try.>
President Obama today unveiled a list of proposals aimed at targeting gun violence in America.
Joining the President on stage was a group of children who wrote letters to him in the aftermath of last month's Connecticut school shooting.
President Obama began the announcement by reading excerpts from some of the letters.
<"Henna, a third grader, you can go ahead and wave Henna, that's you. Henna wrote, 'I feel terrible for the parents who lost their children. I love my country, and I want everybody to be happy and safe.' And then Grant, go ahead and wave Grant. Grant said, "I think there should be some changes. We should learn from what happened at Sandy Hook. I feel really bad." And then Julia said, Julia? Where are you? There we go. 'I'm not scared for my safety, I'm scared for others. I have four brothers and sisters and I know I would not be able to bear the thought of losing any of them.' >
The highlights... Universal background checks... a renewed ban on assault weapons... Restricting ammunition magazines to no more than 10 rounds... and programs totally devoted to school safety and mental health services.
Today.. We went out in the community to hear your thoughts.
Gun owners at the Eagle Gun Range in East Macon questioned the component that would renew the ban on assault weapons.
<(Hamp Dowling, Eagle Gun Range Owner) It's kind of absurd. If you need to change a magazine, you'll just drop your old one for a new one. You can change magazines in a matter of a second. So high capacity or not, you can still shoot a lot of folks if your mind is set on killing people>
<(Arthur Simmons, Macon) you've got to protect yourself. If you've got the right papers and the right whatever you need or they want you to have, i don't see any reason why not.>
There has been a small dip in support for gun control measures since last month's Sandy Hook shooting.
A CNN - Time Magazine poll says...The survey says 56-percent support a ban on semi-automatic guns like the AK-47.
That's down from 62-percent in a CNN poll taken in the days after the December 14-th shooting. Last month 78-percent supported the requirement for all gun owners to register their firearms with the local government.
It's now down to 69-percent.
You can tell us what you think now of the President's plan..by voting in our webpoll at 13WMAZ-dot-com.