Eyewitness News at 6: June 12, 2013

10:56 PM, Jun 12, 2013   |    comments
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And even more lies in these hallways...like 25 private patient rooms...each room with a large bed...and even a pull-out couch for people staying overnight with loved ones.
Administrators say it will bring a new standard of care for Peach County patients.
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<Elbert McQueen, Senior VP Central Georgia Health Systems: some equipment and services that they just didn't have  in the current hospital so our ability to serve the needs of Peach County residents has greatly increased. >
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While this building won't open its doors for patients until July...it's ready to treat those in need.
Austin Lewis 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.

       Elbert McQueen.. Vice President for Central Georgia Health system says the project cost 20 million dollars.
     The ribbon-cutting is tomorrow at 9 with public tours to follow.

     A medical facility for veterans in Atlanta could be the subject of an official hearing... if Senator Johnny Isakson's request is granted.
     Two federal audits earlier this year says there may have been alleged mismanagement of mental health programs... and poor patient care related to three deaths.

    Senator Isakson called for a hearing. He and senate colleague Saxby Chambliss also sent letters to the
V-A secretary on the matter.

    In those letters, they asked for an update on ways to fix issues the audit identified as possible problems.

     Changes within the federal budget and our national security are causing a combat communications wing... of the U.S. Airforce to stand down.

     The 689th Combat Communications Wing at Robins Air Force base officially closed down...during a ceremony... this morning.
     The wing has been in place since 2009.
     Commander of the group... Colonel Joseph Scherrer (Share)... says the changes will not cause any loss of jobs.
     33 airmen and 2 civilians will transfer to the 5th Combat Communications Group at Robins.
     That group is the only U.S. based combat communications group in the Airforce.

< Captain Daniel Boyarski, USAF: We're those guys that get to go out in the front to an air base that we're building and bring in the comm and all the associated equipment  so we can fight from that spot. We can fly airplanes and we can do everything else we need to from there. Without us, they would be reaching for that communications. >

     Robins isn't the only base affected.
     Tinker Air Force Base... In Oklahoma City will reassign 700 airmen and civilians as well.
     The 689th combat communications wing will officially inactivate in September.

     Macon police are looking for a man they say tried to rob a Riverside Drive motel.
     At this time, officials don't know whether this attempted motel robbery is connected to another similar crime in Bibb County..... both on Monday night.

     According to a news release, a man showed up in the lobby of the the Palm Tree Extended Stay Hotel on Riverside Drive.
He pulled a knife from his pocket and asked for the cash register.
     The clerk ran to another room and locked him inside until police arrived.
     Investigators say the robber had been a guest at the hotel before.
     He's described as 6 feet, 1-inch tall and 160 pounds. He has sideburns and a goatee.

     Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Macon Police Department at 751-7500 or Crimestoppers at 1-877-68-CRIME.

    We've put together some more information for you...after a story we first brought you yesterday.

    Tuesday a Macon man discovered a 9 foot gator in his backyard.  Trappers came and removed the animal.
  And we've learned...to help control the alligator population, the state of Georgia actually allows people to hunt the creatures.

    You must apply to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, get an alligator license *and* a regular hunting license... and be at least 12 years old.
    Once captured, the gator must be killed immediately.

    The Georgia Department of Natural Resources also accepts applications for nuisance alligator trappers that work year round.
    The state is divided into 9 zones and quotas are set for each zone.
    Annually, trappers remove 450 of Georgia's 200-thousand alligators.

    If you would like to hunt alligators, let us connect you.
    You'll find the link in the gator-trapping story on our website.. 13 wmaz dot com.

     The Southern Baptist Convention approved a resolution today expressing opposition to the Boy Scouts of America's new policy on allowing gay scouts.

     Members voted on it at the s-b-c's annual meeting in houston, Texas.
     It stops short of asking members to leave the Boy Scouts of America, but expresses support for churches and families who choose to do so.
     The Southern Baptist Convention has a national network of 45-thousand churches and church-type missions.

    Last month, the Boy Scouts of America reversed its long-standing policy to allow gay members.
     It continues to ban gays in adult leadership positions.

     So in light of all the fallout... We asked.. Do you support churches that have chosen to cut ties with the boy scouts?

     So far in our 13wmaz web poll... 65 percent of you have said yes.
     35 percent have said no.

    You can Participate in our web poll now.
     Head over to 13wmaz-dot-com... And vote in the question, found at the right hand side of the page.

     While Bibb students are off enjoying their summer break... classrooms were far from empty.

     With almost a third of the district budgets facing possible cuts in 2014... The Welcome Center still plans to offer efficacy training classes for parents.
     The three-hour course teaches parents how to promote studying and other healthy habits at home.

<ongoing learning, it's about strategizing. What do I need to do to achieve academic excellence, and we're here to make sure we give parents the proper tools that they need so they can assist their children with learning>

     The school district will update the schedule on its website.
     The program is paid for through Title 1 dollars... But for parents... It's free to attend.
     They're offered year-round.
     He's escorted countless people throughout the streets of downtown Macon.
     Now he's hanging up his conductor hat... and parking his trolley for good.

     Willie Nesbitt is retiring from his longtime job.... managing trolley operations for NewTown Macon.
     Nesbitt says he got his start in the touring business 30 years ago with the Macon Transit Authority.
     He later retired from there... and began driving trolleys for NewTown Macon.
     Newtown's board of directors thanked Nesbitt with a commemorative picture.
     Mayor Robert Reichert presented a proclamation... for Willie Nesbitt day.
< Willie Nesbitt, Trolley Operations, NewTown Macon: I want to leave and I don't want to leave.  It's a hurting situation to leave.  Especially, when you've done something that you love to do. >

     Nesbitt says he expects for a peaceful retirement...with plenty of quiet time.

After eight years...construction on Macon's Tubman African American Museum could resume this fall.
That's according to Andy Ambrose...the museum's director.
Now...he's said that before. But this time...he's got millions of dollars in SPLOST funds behind him.
Contractors started work in 2001 on the 49-thousand square foot building on Cherry Street.
Then the economy went sour...the project ran out of money...and work stopped in 2005.
Ambrose says they're meeting with contractors to work up a plan.
He hopes to re-start the work this fall.
But he warns...as usual...that nothing's in concrete.

   You have one last chance to watch the Air Force Reserve Band in action.
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   They are headlining the Independence Celebration in Warner Robins.
   The band is using the last few weeks to practice

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