Eyewitness News at 11: June 4, 2013

11:00 PM, Jun 4, 2013   |    comments
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   Good evening.
   Thanks for joining us.
   I'm Frank Malloy. 
 Every street has it's own story...from the person who has lived there for 50 years...to the newly-wed couple that just moved in. 
     A group called Macon Roving Listeners may be coming to you...just wanting to hear your stories. 
     Austin Lewis hit the streets with them and has more on what they found in Macon. 
"Tatyanna hunter, macon: I want to share these stories cause I want the world to know these people the world has talent but ain't nobody showing it so if I can discover all these stories they'll be a lot more difference in it. "
Stories that can only be found in Macon. 
12-year-old Tatyanna Hunter...and a group called the macon Roving Listeners spent time in this College Hill neighborhood...
looking for those with a story to tell....and someone willing to listen to it. 
"Stacey Harwell, minister of community building: There are hidden gifts and treasures in our neighborhood it's the people that are there it;s that every single person has a gift and sometimes those gifts aren't connected to other gifts in that neighborhood. " 
Interesting questions
That get even more interesting with  answers from Maconites. 
The job of a roving listener is take it all in...both the old fashioned way. 
And...the newer way...using tools like an i-pad. 
But nothing takes the place of a good listener. 
"Stacey Harwell, minister of community building: Youth are really disarming they tend to help people open up you;ll say stuff to youth when they ask because they're questions are full of earnest."
"Tatyanna hunter, macon: I get to meet new people and it's nice to talk about somebody's gift because somebody can help me with things I never knew how to do."
If you live in this neighborhood...and you see Tatyanna walking down the street...stop her and tell her your story. 
Austin Lewis 13WMAZ Eyewitness News. 

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  A victory for Dry Branch residents as the Georgia Supreme Court sided with them in their dispute with a Colorado man.
   Allan Evans tried to take the homes of  50 people in one neighborhood.  
   The Georgia Supreme Court upheld the ruling of a lower court..saying that Evans' claim to the land was unfounded.
     He will also have to pay legal fees and is banned from filing any other lawsuits against the people in Dry Branch.
      For homeowners, it the end of  a year and half long period of worrying about losing their homes on Old Gordon Road.
"Because really all this was was getting something for nothing. He was never entitled, he never had family here as far back as we've been able  to go back in the records, there was never any of his family here. I just think he really that he could come in and attack us and we wouldn't fight back. "
    Attorney Randall Harrison says he's considering getting lawyers in Evans' home state of Colorado to make sure that the ruling is enforced and that he pays the legal fees.
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  After a Macon policeman shot and killed a man in a grocery store parking lot last year.. Some city leaders wanted tasers issued to all officers.
    Macon Interim Police Chief Mike Carswell says since the deadly shooting of Sammie Davis, Jr., the department has increased the number of tasers from 20 to 80.
     Carswell says before an officer can use a taser..he has to know what it's like to be hit with one.
" Mike Carswell, Interim Police Chief: We're going to carry it so it's going to be part of our equipment going out, so everybody going to be tased. So I went down there and watched them while they did the tasing and that thing puts out a little pain. So I figured if we're going to tell them that carry it and be tased  then I need to do the same thing. So I went along with Major Grabowski and Capt. Woodford and let them know that the command staff will do just what we ask them. We got tased also."
     Carswell says the effects of a taser last about a minute.. And that gives officers time to handcuff and arrest suspects.
     You can watch the entire interview with Carswell on Close-Up this Saturday at noon
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  Attorneys for accused murderer Stephen McDaniel want his bond lowered on the murder charge..
     And they want a bond set for the sexual exploitation charges against him.
     In separate motions filed in Superior Court.. Attorneys Floyd Buford and Frank Hogue maintain that when District Attorney David Cooke removed the death penalty in the murder charge.. It warranted a second motion to reduce the bond for the murder charge.
     McDaniel is accused of killing dismembering fellow Mercer law school graduate Lauren Giddings in June 2011.
     Judge Phil Brown originally set bond at a million dollars on the murder charge.. He later reduced it to $850,000.. An amount neither McDaniel nor his family has been able to raise.
     In a search of McDaniel's apartment, Macon police say they found alleged child pornography on his computer.. He's been indicted on 30 counts of sexual exploitation of children.
     Buford and Hogue maintain in their second motion that the presumption of innocence applies in this case and a reasonable bond should be set.
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  Two more people are joining the mayoral race in Warner Robins..
    Warner Robins public works director Joe Musselwhite made his announcement late this afternoon.
    Musselwhite has worked for the city for 21 years.
    He started in code enforcement and then moved to public works.
    Musselwhite says if he becomes mayor...  he will make his availability to the citizens a top priority.
"Joe Musselwhite: I assure you when issues come up I'll be there to talk about them, defend them, and take up for you and yours and support the ones I like and not support the ones I don't. "
 City council member Daron Lee also joined the race earlier today.
   Lee says his term with the council and educational background make him the man for the job.
    He says if he wins .... he would seek federal grants to restore blighted neighborhoods.
     He says he would also build a health clinic on the north side of town... and start a public transportation service for the city.
" Daron Lee, City Council, Warner Robins: I do believe those who are without public transit should have a way to reach the federal programs being provided.  For example... the unemployed having public transit to the department of labor, and those who are seeking higher education to have transportation to the technical college and universities in this area."
    Others who have entered the race are clergyman and former firefighter Randy Toms, businessman Chuck Chalk, city councilman Mike Brashear..
   Mayor Chuck Shaheen has not said if he'll seek a second term. 
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  Some Bibb County pools are now open for the season...after a week-long delay.
   Kids were able to dive into the pool at Booker T-Washington on Monroe Street... the East Macon pool on Ocmulgee East Boulevard and the Memorial Park pool near Second Street.
    Two other Macon-Bibb pools are expected to open within a few weeks.
    The Freedom Park pool will not open this summer.  It needs major repairs..including a new filtering systems and a leak at the bottom of the pool.
   So far...the county hasn't said how much all those repairs will cost.
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A train and car collided in Houston County this morning..causing major damage to the car...but no one was seriously hurt.
   It happened around 10 at Elberta Road and Highway 247..
   Deputies say a woman drove around the crossing arms even thoughs the arms were down and the red lights were flashing.
   In Greensboro, Georgia..a series of explosions forced people out of their homes.
   The blasts were connected to a gas leak...
    Greensboro's city manager says crews were working on a high pressure line..when a fire started.
   No one was hurt.
   The explosions left more than 800 customers without gas service...everyone is expected to be hooked back up by tomorrow.
"The next thing you know we're airborn we're tumbling, it seemed like it went on forever."
   Weather Channel meteorolgist Mike Bettes experienced firsthand a twister being called the widest tornado in U-S history.
   He was in El Reno, Oklahoma Friday..when the massive storm hit..
   It was one the experienced storm chaser couldn't escape..
 "We had a camera rolling inside the vehicle and it never turned off and it got thrown out a window and just so happens it's laying in a field and it perfectly frames our truck tumble tumble tumble and when I watch it now it's like i'm watching my own death. I definitely feel like i've cheated death."
   And the mighty Mississippi is threatening homes in Missouri..
   Water is already covering roads in West Alton..in an area where both the Mississippi River and the Missouri River are cresting.
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 A judge accepted James' Holmes plea of not guilty by reason of insanity in a shooting spree in a Colorado theater.
    The decision now sets the stage for a lengthy mental evaluation of Holmes.. who is accused in the shooting deaths of 12 people and of injuring 70 in a packed Aurora movie theater in July.
    The mental evaluation could take months.
      Holmes is charged with multiple counts of murder and attempted murder. 
     Prosecutors have sought the death penalty.
    If the case goes to trial....a jury will still get to decide whether they buy Holmes' insanity claim.
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    The Archdiocese of Cincinnati is expected to appeal a verdict that the Catholic church discriminated against a teacher who was fired after she became pregnant.
   Christa Dias who is single became pregnant through artificial insemination.
    The attorney for the archdiocese claims that Dias violated the contract which includes a pledge to uphold Catholic teachings.
   The jury rejected the argument that Dias was a ministerial employee.
    According to the U-S Supreme Court religious groups can dismiss ministerial workers without government interference.
"We have a First Amendment right to give our Catholic school parents what they expect which is an environment that is respectful and reflective of Catholic moral teaching. But she did to uphold her own rights and the rights of other pregnant employees."
  The jury ordered the Archdiocese to pay Dias a total of 171 thousand dollars.
  An attorney for the Archdiocese says the ruling will prompt other faith-based schools to be more specific when it comes to employee contracts.
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 Last year, there were more than 3-thousand reports of sexual assault in the military... and there may be many more that go unreported.
    Today, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing to discuss 7 pending bills that address the issue.
    Command chiefs for all branches of the military attended.
    New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand argued for her proposal, which would remove commanders from the investigative process.
SOT (Gillibrand):"You have lost the trust of the men and women who rely on you. That will you actually bring justice in these cases. They're afraid to report. They think their careers will be over. They fear retaliation. They fear being blamed. That is our biggest
challenge right there. Right there. "
   The chiefs responded they believe the commanders should be part of the process and not by-passed.

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   Lawmakers heard from conservative groups who were singled out by the Internal Revenue Service.
    Six leaders of targeted groups testified the agency singled them out because of their political beliefs.
     One Tea Party member claims the IRS ignored her tax-exempt status for a year...and then asks for copies of all speeches, emails and donor lists.
"I'm not here as a serf, or a vassel. I'm not begging my lords for mercy. I'm a born free American woman, wife, mother and citizen and I'm telling my government you've forgotten your place."
   Attorney John Eastman of the National Organization for Marriage claimed that the IRS committed a crime when it released information about donors who oppose same-sex marriage.
   Lawmakers say they plan to conduct the investigation openly so the agency can work to regain public trust.
  A 2010 conference that cost more than four million dollars was the focus of the latest report involving the IRS. 
   According to documents, one IRS official stayed five nights in a room that regularly goes for 35 hundred dollars a night.
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Tonight's fan of the day is Jacqueline Cotton.
  Her favorite sports team are the Dallas Cowboys..and she likes to pass the time with computer games.
   Email fan of the day at 13wmaz dot com to claim your coffee mug.
     You can be our Facebook fan of the day.. Just like us on Facebook and fill out the form for two chances a day to win.
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   Going shopping could make a difference in how families cope with death.
     Heart of Georgia Hospice.. A non-profit group that serves ten counties... Is opening a thrift store.
     Hospice director Tim Poole says they needed a way to bring in more money.
     Donations are down... There's more competition in the area.. And Medicare reimbursements took cuts four years in a row.
     They turned to a thrift store model.. After seeing in work in other parts of the country.
     Profits will help bring their services to people who can't afford to pay.
"We come in and help the family to the job they are going to be providing for the most part but to be able to help them to do it well."
     Poole says as part of their ministry.. Heart of Georgia Hospice never turns anyone away who can't pay them.
     The store... Located at 18-51 Watson Boulevard behind Chick-Fil-A... opens next Tuesday at 10 a-m.


 

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