Eyewitness News at 11, 2-14-13

10:38 PM, Feb 14, 2013   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +
  • FILED UNDER

Expired grants... Mean Bibb County Schools will lose funding for 53 jobs and three learning-improvement programs.

 

The ones that will go away on June 30th... Are some the district's publicized heavily.

They include...

Gear Up.... aimed at giving students and families resources to point them toward college success.

The School Improvement grant... or SIG... which targets five struggling schools for supporting student achievement.

And the Instructional Coaches program that hired educators to work with teachers in the classroom to help students learn.

The loss of funding totals 4-point-2 million dollars in grants.

The district said administration will try to find jobs for the 53 people about to be displaced in a few months.

We contacted district spokesman Donald Porter to find out why the grants aren't being renewed. He couldn't comment... but said the district will meet with employees tomorrow to explain what's to come.

Sergeants serving on the Macon Police force will have an added resource when patrolling the streets. Chief Mike Burns says the department will spend 94 thousand dollars to buy 60 tasers.

After a police officer allegedly shot and killed a man outside a supermarket in December.... council members discussed why more officers don't have tasers.

They say having tasers might reduce the need to use deadly force.

Burns says 25 tasers were approved in last year's budget... but a lack of SPLOST funds pushed them down the priority list.

In a council committee meeting this afternoon... Burns said... they'll discuss how to gradually buy more tasers for the entire force.

A Macon Council committee will discuss the taser purchase next week. Meanwhile... The GBI is still investigating the fatal shooting of Sammie Davis Junior by officer Clayton Sutton.

Burns says it could be a few more weeks before the GBI releases their results.

But in today's committee meeting... Councilman Henry Gibson told Burns and Mayor Robert Reichert... he thinks the investigation is taking too long.

<you're forgetting that the Macon Police Department had already did a complete investigation, and the mayor said he was confident that they had done a good job, and within a week and a half. So, if they did such a good job, then why is it taking the GBI another month and a half?>

Tonight... We asked police spokesperson Jami Gaudet... For the department's response.

In an email, she replied, "When the investigation was turned over to the GBI at the request of Bibb County District Attorney David Cooke, the MPD was asked not to discuss the case."

"We have respectfully abided by D.A. Cooke's wishes."

"We will continue to honor the D.A.'s request until the investigation is complete and the findings are revealed."

Gaudet also referred any questions about the length of the investigation to the GBI.

Sutton remains on administrative leave. That's standard practice when an officer is involved in a shooting.

Sequestration... Is the term used for a string of budget cuts...that will lead to workforce reductions, furloughs, and equipment limitations...on the Department of Defense.

For the past several months... We've been talking with leaders at Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins...about how Central Georgia might feel a strain.

But the effects extend beyond military communities.

Tonight, Jim Acosta takes a look at what sequestration could change...about the way you do business...plan for your children's education...even travel.

<IF YOU'RE NOT A FAN OF SECURITY LINES AT THE AIRPORT... LISTEN UP.

THE SEQUESTER COULD MAKE THEM LONGER... PERHAPS HOURS LONGER.

"I just think our politicians need to get together and figure out what they're doing."

START THE COUNTDOWN TO MARCH FIRST.

THAT'S WHEN THE SEQUESTER KICKS IN... RESULTING IN MORE THAN A TRILLION DOLLARS IN MANDATORY... ACROSS THE BOARD GOVERNMENT SPENDING CUTS.

CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT AGREED TO IT ALL... AS A WAY TO ESCAPE THE DEBT CEILING CRISIS OF 2011.

"Serious cuts at airports, seaports..."

AT A HEARING... A SLEW OF PRESIDENT OBAMA'S CABINET SECRETARIES WARNED WHAT'S COMING.

"The damage here would be irreparable. I wish I had a magic wand to wave. I simply don't have that."

IN ADDITION TO THOSE TSA CUTS CREATING LONGER AIRPORT SECURITY LINES... THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY MAY HAVE TO LOSE THE EQUIVALENT OF 5000 AGENTS AT THE BORDERS... AND SLICE A BILLION DOLLARS FROM FEMA.

IN EDUCATION CUTS... 70 THOUSAND CHILDREN COULD BE KICKED OUT OF HEAD START PROGRAMS FOR LOW INCOME FAMILIES.

AND THE PENTAGON MAY HAVE TO FURLOUGH THOUSANDS OF DEFENSE WORKERS.

"We might as well just pack up and go home, because if we're just going to have across-the-board cuts, what is the point of our being here?"

WHILE DEMOCRATS AND MODERATE REPUBLICANS WANT TO SLAM ON THE SEQUESTER BRAKES...

SOME CONSERVATIVE LAWMAKERS ARE CHEERING ON THE CUTS.

"Not only should the sequester stand; many pundits say the sequester is far short, that we need $4 trillion in cuts."

CONGRESS AND THE WHITE HOUSE WERE ABLE TO POSTPONE THE SEQUESTER AS PART OF THE DEAL TO AVERT THE FISCAL CLIFF.

BUT TOP REPUBLICANS CAUTION DON'T EXPECT ANOTHER DELAY.

"There won't be any easy off ramps on this one. The days of 11th hour negotiations are over."

HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER SAID IF DEMOCRATS ARE SO WORRIED... THEY SHOULD COME UP WITH A SOLUTION.

"This sequester is there because the president insisted that it be there."

Senate Democrats have come up with a plan to replace the sequester. But Republicans don't like the plan because it includes new tax increases.

Both sides have until March 1st to work something out.

In the meantime... Here's a look at what Robins Air Force Base Leaders say they expect to get out of sequestration... A reduction in depot maintenance by one third...

The grounding of about a hundred-fifty aircraft... And eighty engines.

And a loss of work for thousands of civilian employees.

Robins Air Force Base is the largest employer in the state of Georgia.

You might have to take a different route if you work... or have other business at the base this weekend...

Gates will be closed for repairs and will be reopened the following day

Construction starts Friday...

where

Gate 1 at Green Street will partially close at 3 p.m.

 

Saturday...Gate 14 at Russell Pkwy will close be closed all day.

And Sunday....Gate 3 at Watson Boulevard will be closed beginning at 4 a.m. and reopen Feb. 18 at 4 a.m.

 

 

People requiring passes will get them at the Visitors Center and drive to Gate 14 for entrance.

Any repairs delayed due to weather will take place Monday, Feb. 18.

While some of the rivers and creeks around here only reached minor flood status this week... shutting down parks and other outside spots...emergency responders want to be prepared before they actually have a real problem...like a flash flood on their hands.

Candace Adorka shows you what the area's first water rescue team... Based in Jones County... Will look like.

Don Graham says he's always looking for ways to improve Jones County's fire rescue and emergency management.

[TAKE SOT

TO: 0:05

DURATION:0:05]

{***SOT FULL***}

<I identified pretty much that we were lacking for emergency response for the river.>

[Notes:CANDACE]

{***CANDACE***}

[ReadRate:16]

Not for long-- Lieutenant Thomas Coleman is picking and training 15 people to make up central georgia's first dedicated swift water rescue team.

[TAKE SOT

TO: 0:09

DURATION:0:09]

{***SOT FULL***}

<we could be dispatched anything from kids playing on rocks getting trapped, cars going over in flash flood situations and everything else.>

The new team is paid for with a 57-thousand-dollar grant from the Georgia Emergency Management agency.

<I was totally surprised and very happy.>

Graham says the grant covers training and new equipment, including 2 brand new inflatable boats.

{***SOT FULL***}

<that gives a sense of security if there is an emergency situation on the river we can deploy very quick.>

<you can actually just go in by yourself without the boat and go down and make the grab, without the boat and just have the boat downstream to pick you up as you make your way down to safety.>

Graham says it'll be a huge improvement-- right now, their response to a water emergency is limited.

<in the past 4 or 5 years we've had three or 4 drownings, we've had river rescues and we've had to respond from the bank, and we've never been able to get in the water and perform a rescue.>

The training is supposed to last a couple months, but the goal is to have the team in place by summer.

<tremendous amount of kayaking going on, a lot of fishing, a lot of swimming. >

and it's not just jones-- all central georgia counties could have access to the team

<if they need us, all they gotta do is call. We'll be there.>

Graham says one of the swift water rescue boats will be housed at river north, and the other in Juliette.

Thanks Ben. We'll talk to you again a little later in this newscast.

Candace Adorka 13 WMAZ eyewitness news.

<You know I think the media has made a lot a...made it sound real bad. It's not quite as bad as everybody says. It's kind of like hurricane friends that get together. >

That's a passenger... Aboard the stranded Carnival cruise ship. He says Carnival Cruiselines treated he and his fellow passengers pretty well.. Feeding them... Offering all their money back... promising vouchers for another cruise... and giving them 500 dollars on top of that.

Still... a lengthy ordeal for everyone on board the ship named the Triumph.. Further complicated today...

when a tow line on one of the tugboats broke while pulling the ship toward a port in Mobile, Alabama.

Crews replaced the tugboat, but the ordeal pushed back the expected arrival time a little.

The ship is expected to dock overnight.

Once it does, Carnival says passengers won't be able to immediately get off.

There are some limitations, we know that up front. The ship still does not have power only 1 functioning elevator aboard. So that will be challenging. Honestly best estimate once ship ties estimate take 4-5 hours to complete debarkation all guests off ship.

The Associated Press reports... dozens of chartered buses from several Gulf Coast states have gathered in the port of Mobile.

The buses with markings from Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, appeared to be part of a plan by Carnival to transport many disembarking passengers from the ship to Louisiana and Texas.

More than 4 thousand passengers were on board when an engine compartment fire disabled the ship.

The burned remains found in the ashes of a Southern California mountain cabin...have been positively identified as those of a rogue ex-cop.

The San Bernadino County Sheriff's Department says dental records for Christopher Dorner helped them confirm it was him.

But a spokeswoman tonight didn't say exactly how he died.

Authorities and reporters heard a single gunshot late Tuesday afternoon as the 1920's era cabin burned.

The fire started after SWAT officers fired pyrotechnic tear-gas burners inside and tore down its walls.

The sheriff says... Deputies did not intentionally set the cabin on fire.

The 8th annual Macon Film Festival is an event organizers describe... as the ultimate value for movie lovers.

Terrell Sandefur says this year they'll have 87 films.

They include short films...feature length films... and documentaries.

He says filmmakers from across the country and from around world submit their work.

Sandefur says what makes this festival unique is the focus...on those behind the scenes.

33 year old Dorner was a Navy veteran who was fired from the Los Angeles Police Department in 2009...after he was found to have falsely accused his training officer of police brutality.

He is accused of murdering two law enforcement officials and two other people and wounding four others.

<Terrell Sandefur, Macon Film Festival: We are known as a filmmakers film festival a lot of film makers focus on their stars we have special guests that come in but our real focus are the filmmakers in action that have submitted and that have come to our festival >

Directors will also be on hand for question and answer sessions.

Organizers says ticket sales have increased every year since the festival began.

You can get yours at the Cherry Street downtown office.

 

Most Watched Videos