Eyewitness News at 11, 2-4-13

11:55 PM, Feb 4, 2013   |    comments
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Hello, everyone.

Thanks for joining us for Eyewitness News at 11.

I'm Frank Malloy.

And I'm Leah Johnson.

Our top story tonight... the Wrightsville Dollar General employee who police say... Spanked a customers' child ... faces a new charge.

Wrightsville Police Chief... Paul Sterling says Child cruelty has been tacked on to the aggravated assault charge already against Emilia Bell.

According to the incident report... Bell told police she spanked the child because he threw a cookie and battery at her.

Chief Sterling says the surveillance video shows that Bell hit Logan Ivey with a belt between 23 and 26 times.

<I seen the lady. She started calling me a demon, and I said, "i'll show you bad. And I picked up a cookie. And I threw it at her.">

But Police Chief Sterling said today... Bell's reaction broke the law.

And... he says even if the child had been hers, she would still face charges.

<Paul Sterling, Chief of Police, Wrightsville:Just the severity of it, it's not just one area of the back end of the child it's all over the child's body he's turning on the floor, he's trying to get away form her and the belt is striking him from his back down.>

"Dollar General strives to provide a safe and welcoming place for our customers to shop.

We are investigating the alleged incident at our store in Wrightsville We asked Dollar General's corporate office for a response... and got this statement.

to determine what happened and to ensure we have all the facts before deciding the appropriate course of action.

Our response will be in line with our findings."

 

 

In Henry County... Some students found themselves in the middle of quite the mess after police say, more than just a cookie got thrown.

 

Duffie Dixon, with our sister station, WXIA... Explains why the school district looks at last week's food fight as more than just child's play.

Police say... One student actually had minor injuries from something that was thrown.

Of the nine students... five are old enough to be charged as adults.

At tonight's meeting of the Macon City Council...

member Tom Ellington said he plans to draw up legislation that he says will decrease the stray animal population.

He told 13WMAZ... His proposal calls for mandatory spaying and neutering of any animal that comes out of the Macon-Bibb Animal Welfare Shelter.

That includes any dog or cat adopted from the shelter... And any animal released back to its owner after being picked up by animal control.

Ellington says he's still working out the details of the bill... But has had several talks with shelter director Sarah Tenon.

<a stray animal that is not spayed or neutered is one that can actually make the problem worse. In fact, that's one reason why most animals try to get out is to mate.>

Ellington says his legislation should land on a council agenda by the end of the month.

Also at tonight's committee meeting... Council members discussed over one-hundred-and-30 thousand dollars worth of improvements for the Bowden Golf Course.

Most of that money will come from 2011 SPLOST funds.

The main goal is to fix the irrigation and sprinkler system at the golf course... Which council says is out-dated.

Council member Elaine Lucas says the golf course adds historic and recreational value to the city... And should be maintained.

Warner Robins City Council saved the best for last tonight at their meeting... Adding an extra agenda item... That could bring a school... Built by the state to the city.

Council voted unanimously on an ordinance to give a piece of land to the state... The land originally slotted for a new Sports complex behind Huntington Middle School.

Council has since relocated the complex to Houston Road... And now hopes Governor Nathan Deal will choose Warner Robins for a military transition school.

It would be the only one in the state... And would help those getting out of the military learn new skills for their next venture.

Councilman Mike Daley says the school would be a boost in city's economic development.

<we happened to have a piece of property, that's build ready, you know it's mission ready for this kind of a thing to happen. And we as a city felt that if we stepped up and supported the governor's decision in this effort that we've got the property for you governor just come to us and build the school here >

Councilman Daley says he's not sure when the governor will make the final decision... But says the sooner the better.

Central Georgia may be truck country for many ... but one Warner Robins man is a proud electric car driver ...

He hopes to use the new electric charging stations set to pop up across the region ... Tom George has more....

<great, pressed the button, and it says I have 72 miles left to charge...>

Bob Babyok is the proud owner of a Nissan Leaf.

<Yeah , just a lot of new age features, it's like driving an iPod.>

He says going electric lets him commute gas free.

< Normally I would anticipate here in Warner Robins maybe 80 miles to a charge.. My commute's about 40 so I only technically need to charge up every other night. >

But soon, he hopes to expand his range by taking advantage of the 100 new charging locations expected across Middle Georgia, paid for a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy...

< If they roll out electric charging stations so I could use it around the state without renting a car, that would be great, I mean that would be icing on the cake.>

But as one of only a few Leaf drivers who bought from his dealership, it's not easy being green.

< Just walking around the parking lot , you see SUV's and trucks, and just one Leaf over here. It's why he says sometimes it can be a tough sell.>

<you know, I see all these brand new, pristinely washed and waxed trucks for these software engineering companies in Warner Robins, and it looks like they've never put anything in their truck, they've never gone off road...>

He hopes soon though, many might change their minds about those gas guzzlers.

<So , it's only a matter of time.. Everything is going to be electrified sooner or later. >

For now though ... He'll have to share the the road with the skeptics ... or as he calls them...

< All potential converts!! Hahaha>

In Warner Robins, Tom George, 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.

Babyok says, including Georgia and federal tax deductions for buying an electric car, he thinks he made a smart financial choice.

The Middle Georgia Clean Air Coalition plans on choosing the locations at their meeting next Thursday.

A 5-year-old boy is safe -- nearly a week after he was kidnapped from his school bus in a small Alabama town.

The F-B-I entered an underground bunker this afternoon in Midland City where the boy had been held since Tuesday.

Agents say the decision was made to go in after negotiations broke down and the kidnapper was, quote, "observed holding a gun."

One neighbor recalls being startled by an explosion.

(reporter: And give us a sense, how loud of a boom? I mean, very loud?)

Oh yeah. Literally made me jump off the ground. It scared me that bad.

(reporter: And what did you think at that time?)

I knew immediately they'd done something down here.

(reporter: Were you surprised that it came to this?)

No, not really. I figured they were going to have to blow him out of there and try to get the kid out somehow.

(reporter: You didn't see any other way that this could be resolved? That he would be talked out, that this would end with no one being hurt or killed?)

It didn't seem like it after so long of being in there. >

The F-B-I says the hostage-taker is dead.

Law enforcement officials say the boy appeared to be okay when he was freed..and was reunited with his family at the hospital where he was checked out.

The Boy Scouts of America may decide this week to lift the ban on gay members.

The item is at the center of a National executive board members meeting in Texas.

The move has sparked strong reaction from supporters and opponents.

A petition... With 1.4 million signatures....calling for the change, was delivered to leaders just a few hours ago.

If the national policy on sexual orientation is changed, individual troops could still base membership guidelines on their own principles or religious beliefs.

In April...a conservative outspoken on many issues.... Will visit Macon to speak to an anti-abortion group.

Mike Huckabee... One time presidential candidate turned talk show host ... Is planning a speech to an organization calling itself Friends of Caring.

Huckabee, also an ordained Baptist minister, will be at the Macon City auditorium April 11.

The even is public... Attendees will pay 25 dollars to get in.

Before running for president in 2008... Huckabee also served as a Republican governor of Arkansas.

An initiative in the state house this year Aims to remove all party affiliations from elections in Macon and Bibb County.

But the local Democratic Party chair... Says that's a bad idea.

State Republican Senator Cecil Staton filed six bills..

His legislation would take party lines out of several Macon and Bibb County races.... like coroner... Board of education... And the consolidated government.

The Georgia Senate passed those bills last week.

Chairman Fred Swan says his organization is willing to do whatever it takes... Including legal action... To keep nonpartisan elections out of the picture.

<we're not exactly sure what people who are voting for this are afraid of, what they're hiding. When we voted for a consolidated government last year, we voted for partisan elections. Now that that vote has come, they've decided 'well we're just going to change the rules and say it will be nonpartisan.' That's a bait and switch.>

State Representative Allen Peake says he will carry Staton's bills to the House.

He told WMAZ's Randall Savage... It could take at least another week to show up on the calendar.

We weren't able to reach the Republican Party's chair by phone tonight.. But GOP activist and local party member Bill Knowles said... He believes nonpartisan elections will help the community make more progressive decisions... without looking through party filters.

No doubt, part of the fun of Superbowl watching is the ads... And this year, a Decatur man's ad about a goat with a dorito addiction has the biggest viewing audience of the year.

Ben Callner was one of two finalists in the Doritos "crash the Superbowl" contest.

And while the other commercial went on to win the chance to be in the next transformers film... Ben isn't walking away empty handed.

 

 

He told our sister station WXIA he was thrilled with the exposure...

He also says he got a nice check for being a finalist.

Tonight's Facebook Fan of the Day is Charlotte Hallman...

Charlotte says her favorite sports fan is the Georgia Bulldawgs...

And we'd like to think her favorite TV station is 13WMAZ.

If you want a 13WMAZ coffee mug of your own, just like the one we'll be sending Charlotte...like us on Facebook... And fill out the entry form on our Facebook page.

We showcase a 2 fans of the day now... One on Eyewitness News Mornin'...and a new fan each night at 11.

 

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