A bill we first told you about last October...sets new rules for the field ...To prevent life-changing, concussion related injuries.
Now, it only needs the Governor's signature...and it'll be law.
Hello, everyone. I'm Frank Malloy.
The law that cleared the state legislature today... regulates how coaches... Athletes... And healthcare professionals manage concussions.
Last fall... Katelyn Heck explained some of the dangers of head injuries... And that when it comes to concussions... She found education is one of the best defenses.
She joins us now to break down how the state's new law will keep Georgia's young players safe.
Today the Senate passed what's called the "return to play act"... the House also approved it at the end of last month.
Jeff Hopp... Member of the Georgia Concussion Coalition... Helped put together the legislation.
He hopes it will help more than just the athletes.
<it should make life a lot easier for the healthcare providers because hopefully the education part will get out there and we can focus on taking care of the athletes and the health and welfare of the athletes and now have to worry about 'are the parents and are the athletes or are the coaches, are they going to know what to do, how to handle things, what they're looking at, that sort of thing.'>
The act has three main points.
The first... Like Hopp referenced... Education.
Every year... Coaches will go through training on what to do if their player takes a concussive hit.
Players and their parents will also have to read and sign an information sheet outlining all of the signs... Symptoms... And dangers of concussions.
<that's still a little up in the air on who is going to be monitoring that. That is something that will have to be hashed out yet. I think it will be left up to the individual associations to make sure that happens. I know as for the Georgia High School Association, I would expect that will be something just included with the pre-participation physicals that are already required.>
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Also... The bill says if a player shows any signs of a concussion... The coach must take them out.... And they can't return until they've been cleared by a licensed physician... Or any medical professional acting under one... That could mean a certified athletic trainer... Nurse practitioner... Or physician's assistant.
Hopp says this is to eliminate healthcare providers who don't have training in evaluating concussions... From making the return to play decision.
The bill now heads to the governor's desk... If he signs off... It will take effect at the beginning of next year.
Georgia was one of ten states without a bill regulating how to manage concussions.
If you would like to know more about the head injury... You can search for Katelyn's series... Concussions: A Real-Life Penalty... On our website... 13WMAZ dot-com.
The Macon Police Department, telling us more today, about what they found in a house they say had been used as a meth lab.
The home is in the 600 block of Shadow Moss Drive...where investigators say they found 27 cook pots...and other things that could be used for making meth...including traces of the drug itself.
They couldn't put a price on the find...but the discovery did lead to the arrest of three people.
They are Holly Westmoreland, 38... Walter Vinson, age 21... And Brian Gosnell, 39.
According to Bibb County jail records, Vinson had been arrested six times before... Gosnell, 29 times.
Vinson bonded out of the Bibb LEC... Bond had not yet been set for the other two as of this afternoon.
New developments tonight in the case of a Brunswick toddler's murder.
Police say they have found a handgun that might be connected to the death of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago.
A 15 and 17 year old are accused of shooting and killing the toddler last week...as his mother pushed him in his stroller.
Police arrested---- Karimah-- and Katrina Elkins.
They are facing several charges including providing false statements or writings. Police are not saying what those are.
Karimah attended a hearing for her son in a Brunswick courtroom yesterday.
The 36 year old was arrested today, and quickly paid her 11-hundred dollar bond to be released.
Bond was also set for her sister... But she's still being held because of another probation violation.
Elkin's lawyer painted a picture in court of the teen's family.
< The Elkins family is a large and somewhat dysfunctional family. And I think it's become clear over the past four or five days that they don't always speak with one voice. >
Tips today also led investigators to a handgun they believe may have been used to kill the toddler.
The discovered it in a saltwater pond off a highway.
The weapon's been sent to the crime lab... To see if they have a match.
As for Elkins, he'll be back in court a week from Friday for a second appearance.
There's no word on when the 15 year old will go before a judge again.
In other news tonight...Middle Georgia Regional Airport administrators asked the F-A-A to give 30 more days before shutting down the air traffic control tower.
Airport officials say... Allowing sequester-related cuts to shut down the tower... could cause turbulence for business and safety.
With less than a month before the control tower at the Middle Georgia Regional Airport is scheduled to close... Officials are rallying for more time.
Last week the F-A-A said 149 towers would shut down... As a result of the sequester.
<the more time we have, the better, because as it stands now, the tower will close on april 21st, which only gives us only a month to find an alternative and determine a way to find it. So, that's not a lot of time.>
Macon's airport manager Doug Faour asked for a 30 day extension Tuesday afternoon... Explaining how the tower makes an impact on both a local... And national level.
<the proximity of Robins Air Force Base and the mixing of civilian traffic and military traffic in such a close area was one of the reasons. There is a number of routine and mission-oriented flights that depart from Robins that could possibly be delayed>
Silver Airways... The airline moving to the Macon airport in April... Says they can function without the tower... By relying on pilots to communicate with each other using radios.
But Faour says... That's not the case for every airline.
<there are entities that would go to other airports to obtain air traffic control services as opposed to airports that don't, so it could negatively impact us.>
Faour suggests a few options .
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The first... Continuing the services with their current contractor... costing between 260- to 510-thousand dollars.
Or asking the city to hire people to staff the tower... Which could take 180- to 330-thousand taxpayers dollars.
Faour says he's also had some talks with Middle Georgia State College... on ways their aviation program can help.
Faour says their last option is to do nothing and allow the control tower to close on April 21st as scheduled.
Faour also says the city could join in a lawsuit led by the airport in Spokane, Washington... which claims the F-A-A did not follow the right procedures in deciding to close the towers.
City Attorney Judd Drake says he's looking over the documents... But the lawyer in charge of the litigation told him... The suit is likely to only delay the inevitable.