Eyewitness News at 6, 2-26-13

12:20 AM, Feb 27, 2013   |    comments
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Our top story night on Eyewitness News at Six... Romain Dallemand is officially done as superintendent of Bibb county schools.

Last night the school board voted to buy Dallemand out of his newly-signed 3 year contract for 350-thousand dollars.

And less than an hour ago, the district confirmed that they've transferred the money, cementing dallemand's resignation.

Dallemand was on the job this morning, meeting with principals and district officials, essentially to tell them goodbye.

As far as talking to any media... He stayed out of sight.... as the list of questions about what happens next... grows longer.

Candace Adorka had a chance to ask some of those questions today...

That's right leah, frank, probably the biggest question still lingering is who will takeover the superintendent's duties. The school board will have to make that decision, but they are all remaining quiet for now-- we may know more Thursday after the regularly scheduled board meeting. Until then, schools spokesman donald porter says each of the deputy superintendents is handling their specific areas.

frank: What happens to some of the Macon Miracle initiatives? Year-round calendar, Mandarin Chinese, etc.

The board voted in the strategic plan-- it wasn't just something the superintendent was doing on his own-- they are official district initiatives. Porter says they're assuming that the macon miracle stays in place unless the board or a new superintendent says something different.

Leah: This decision comes just a few weeks before the school district is up for accreditation-- will this affect their chances?

I spoke with the VP of communications of the organization that will be evaluating the district. They said loosing a superintendent doesn't necessarily affect the accreditation process. They look at things like teacher effectiveness, and also governance and leadership in the district. That could all be in place even as the school board is looking for a permamnet superintendent. That's just seen as part of the regular responsibilities of the board.

frank: Will anyone else be leaving

That answer will also come out in time. All the certified staff at the district-- including teachers and deputy superintendents-- have until Friday to return their letter of intent that says if they're staying of leaving once their contracts expire in June. We might not know until then.

 

 

Alright we'll keep following those angles and the search for a new superintendent. thanks candace.

Romain Dallemand may have left the Bibb County school system. But three lawsuits that name him remain in place.

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Former school board member Gary Bechtel alleged in a suit that Dallemand posted some confidential information about his son.. A public school student.

 

 

 

Brad DeFore's suit wants Dallemand's contract voided because wording in the contract wasn't what the board agreed to.

 

His attorney Charlie Cox says the suit remains in effect.

 

 

 

Meanwhile.. State Senator Cecil Staton.. Who last week announced plans to push legislation that would strip the school board's power to levy its own taxes.. Says he's grateful that the school board took "decisive action" relative to Dallemand.

 

 

 

Staton also says the school board is expected to be fiscally responsible.. And noted that his bill "is still there and can still be called upon if needed."

urrent County Commissioner Gary Bechtel...and Susan Middleton...were both on the board of education in 2010...during the search for a new superintendent.

Our Randall Savage invited them in... To put this week's developments in perspective.

Randall?

While the Bibb School District faces the task of selecting its next leader... one elected official is eyeing another seat.

Current City Council Member Charles Jones has become the first candidate to run for district eight in the new Macon-Bibb government.

He's served on council for 12 years... And chaired several of its committees.

Jones says his biggest concerns are employee pension plans and cleaning up blight.

He says he wants to help with the new government's opportunity to rebuild a stronger community.

 

 

<i don't care who puts humpty dumpty back together as long as I'm there with them, and they can tell me put a piece here, there. As long as humpty dumpty looks like humpty dumpty when we're finished. As long as Macon looks like what we envision her to look like, a thriving, educated, safe, economic city.>

District eight covers parts of central Macon from Gray Highway to I-475.

Tomorrow... more campaign news expected.

 

Sam Hart... Will be a candidate for Mayor of the combined Macon and Bibb County consolidated government.

 

Hart is the current chairman of the Bibb County Commission.

He sent out a news release this morning... The formal announcement is planned for tomorrow.

 

 

 

He will be running against former Macon Mayor C. Jack Ellis.

 

Current Mayor Robert Reichert hasn't announced anything yet... But he told us he's leaning towards a run.

David Cousino...a former Mayoral and commission candidate...is also expected to run.

 

 

 

Qualifying happens this spring... The vote is scheduled for July.

Neighbors are mourning the loss of three children from Sunday's fatal fire on James Street... But we do have news on the one survivor.

 

 

 

Today, 13WMAZ's Tom George spoke with family members who say the fourth child, 3-year old J'ion Williams, is now in good condition at the Augusta Burn Center.

 

They say he's expected to be home sometime this week.

Meanwhile, heartbroken neighbors have organized a candelight vigil to remember the young lives lost.

< Tomorrow we're going to have a vigil at the house. The reason why we wanted to do it is because so many people in this community on this street are touched by what happened to those kids. And all these kids on this street go to school together .. Like I said, my kids went to school with them, and everybody just need to come together right now.>

The vigil will be on Wednesday at 7 p.m. At the house ... 1131 James Street in Macon.

It's Great Hang Up day at 13WMAZ!

A group of teens from around the state wants to build up education programs for young drivers.

Katelyn Heck joins us in the studio to explain how they plan to drive home the dangers of distracted driving.

In October... Georgia Governor Nathan Deal pulled together students from across the state.. And created a Teen Driving Commission.

Two central Georgians... One from Rutland and one from Westfield made the cut.

Over the past few months... They've been brainstorming ways to steer drivers away from some of the most common distractions.

 

 

<eating and driving, even drinking your coffee in the morning is a distraction, music, keeping music too loud is dangerous, pets are even a problem, some want to ride in your lap and drive too but that's a danger to you and the pet, some people even do homework and drive, I've seen some people do newspapers crosswords and stuff like that

Ashley: with new things and technology constantly changing, it's not actually helping us, but we're trying to think of ways we can still keep the technology but also help save lives.>

They've zeroed in on the state's Alcohol and Drug Awareness Program as a way to educate drivers before they get on the road.

Anyone under 18 must take the four hour course before getting a drivers license.... It's usually incorporated into the health and PE curriculums for ninth and tenth graders.

The focus is on the dangers of alcohol and drunk driving... But the teen commission has another vision.

They want to add lessons on distracted driving... Especially texting.... And encourage more discussion rather than lectures.

<it is an alcohol-based program and stuff but I think also with us being teens alcohol is not such a problem now, it's more texting and things like that.

Culverhouse: You get a little booklet and basically study for the test and it's just become too black and white, so maybe just something to get people thinking because sometimes a test won't do it>

 

The teen commission will present this and other ideas to legislators in mid-March.

 

Frank? Leah?

If you would like to sign our Great Hang Up pledge... You can find it under the features tab at the top of our homepage 13WMAZ dot-com.

Rain does more than put a damper on your day...

In parts of Houston County... Flash flooding complicated some people's commute.

Georgia Department of Transportation crews were sent out to Highway 41... near Russell Parkway, in Warner Robins.

Crews blocked one lane of traffic... along the flooded area.

The Sherwood Boulevard area... along Highway 41 also had crews controlling flood waters.

GDOT will continue to monitor these areas until water levels decrease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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