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Eyewitness News at 11: June 17, 2013

10:48 PM, Jun 17, 2013   |    comments
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Hello, and thanks for joining us.

I'm Frank Malloy, and these are the stories making headlines...in your community and beyond on this Monday night.

<it all began last Thursday when longtime Cochran police chief Kee McGuire got some surprising news, which he shared on Facebook.

Frank, when the news first came out, we in the Eyewitness Newsroom got several calls from people living in Cochran. Some of them told us they were concerned about the future of their community without the two veteran chiefs who have more than 35 years experience between them. But today, when I went to Cochran, I found that their jobs may not be on the chopping block.

Right now, Warner Robins police are at a convenience store investigating alleged illegal gambling. This morning, officers are at the BiLo store on green street, which is closed, and marked off by crime scene tape.

The Group of 8 or G-8 summit began today in Northern Ireland, and President Obama used the occasion to announce a trade agreement between the United States and Europe.

This potentially groundbreaking partnership would deepen those ties. It would increase exports, decrease barriers to trade, as part of broader growth strategies in both our economies. It would support hundreds of thousands of jobs on both sides of the ocean.

Today, the supreme court struck down an Arizona law that required voters to prove they are citizens before they can register. The ruling could affect voters in as many as twelve other states that have similar laws, or were planning them.

Nearly 30 new doctors took part in the celebration at MCCG. It marked the beginning of their residencies. For the next year, the doctors will work under established Md's or will continue working through established programs at the hospital.

We expect them to learn all that they can, we expect them to teach as they go along, we expect them to care for our patients... In the best way possible...and to give a word of encouragement whenever it's needed.

While the extent of what we've heard tonight...has pretty much been a few spotty power outages and some very wet roads... A line of storms last night in Cobb County created a frightening scenerio.

<we had to park our car up here last night and walk with us, and our children, all the way to the back of the complex. Total inconvenience and total safety hazard. >

Take a look at this bridge...which collapsed and cut off access for about 60 families.

It made one woman late for her first day on a new job...and caused serious inconvenience for many others.

 

 

People who live in the area say, they had a feeling the bridge might be weak.

They say they saw workers patching a small hole in it just a couple of weeks ago.

No one was injured in the collapse.

We've undoubtedly seen some pretty wicked and expensive natural disasters this year.

But 2012 was one for the record books.

From Superstorm Sandy -- to the numerous wildfires -- to the devastating drought -- weather and climate disasters caused more than 110-billion-dollars in damages last year -- making it one of the costliest years on record -- according to information from the national climatic data center.

The N-C-D-C also says the two most expensive disasters were sandy -- which caused about 65-billion in losses -- and the year-long drought -- which had a hefty toll of about 30-billion-dollars.

It started with a Facebook message last week...on the chief of police's page...and led to a public outcry.

Now, officials in Cochran are partially backing off on a plan to fire the city's police and fire chiefs...who have about 35 years of experience between them.

Last Thursday, City Manager Ray Gibson called longtime police chief Key McGuire and fire chief Glenn Lord in to tell them their jobs would be eliminated.

That would have saved the city 50 to 70 thousand dollars.

Instead, Gibson planned to hire a Public Safety Manager...and consolidate the responsibility for both departments under one person.

But now, after receiving overwhelming feedback from the public, the city will instead create a task force that will try to find another way to save money.

< I do want the best for the city of Cochran and the council will tel you I do wok diligently to come up with new ideas to save money, to keep employees, I'll fight for employees all the time. Like I said, I worked this weekend to try and come up with some kind of solution to keep these two individuals and I think we're doing the right thing. >

Gibson says he and Cochran's new mayor...Michael Stoy...will meet in early July to decide who will be on the task force.

We also spoke with both chiefs....but they declined to comment.

Another area leader is inviting public input this week.

That's Bibb County schools interim superintendent, Steve Smith... Who's hosting

what he calls listening sessions this week at Central High School.

The first one is tomorrow night at 6-30 in the auditorium.

Smith says it will give him the opportunity to speak directly with the community... meet parents, educators, and community leaders... and open up a dialogue on how to improve the school system.

Each session will begin with a 15-minute introduction and then guests will break into focus groups...led by retired educators.

There will be a second session Thursday night at 6-30..at Central High.

One of the top national stories today... Was news out of the U.S. Supreme court...that Arizona's immigration law would be struck down.

It's similar to Georgia's voter registration law...which requires proof of citizenship before a person can register to vote.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp says he's disappointed with Monday's ruling that states cannot take action on their own to require prospective voters to prove citizenship.

The Supreme Court says the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 reigns supreme...and precludes states from asking for proof.

The justices did leave open the possibility that states could still seek approval from the federal government or federal courts to do so.

Kemp says Georgia's citizenship requirement "ensures the integrity of our voting process" and he will be working with the governor, the General Assembly and the attorney general on future steps.

In our text poll tonight... We want your feedback.

Tell us whether you think voters should have to provide proof that they're citizens before they can register.

Text 1 for yes... or 2 for no.. to 25543.

We'll check on your answers later in the broadcast.

New tonight... We've been talking about plans for the new Atlanta Falcons Stadium for months.

Whether to build it in the first place... How it'll be funded...where it'll be.

But tonight... we have a sneak peak at what it could look like.

Frank... we're talking about a high tech stadium.

Comfortable seats... a futuristic façade... a state of the art retractable roof... and last but not least, a remarkable view.

Doug Richards... with our sister station WXIA in Atlanta... Got to sit down with the architect today.

4133 a couple of key details emerged in the new stadium project-- which backers want to locate on this site south of the Georgia Dome. One is about the new stadium's view, which would overlook this portion of downtown atlanta.

1530 this is primarily an open building that closes instead of a closed building that opens

The stadium architect showed off images of an eleven-sided building wedged into the stadium's south site -- capped with an eight-piece roof that twists open and closed like the aperture of a camera.

3644 the interesting thing is even though we have eight parts, they're much smaller than other roofs out there and they have to go a shorter distance.

The stadium's superstructure has a similarly geometric design -- one that uses transparent polymers to allow in urban vistas from the outside. The largest is to the stadium's northeast -- overlooking philips arena and the heart of downtown atlanta. The stadium's backers say the concept can be used at whichever site finally gets chosen -- a decision expected by midsummer, or sooner.

3055 a lot of retractable roof stadiums just haven't been open very often. with our wx, as good as our wx is and as good as our environment is, and the fact that we have downtown adjacent to us, we've always wanted that connectivity. and i think that's what 360 architects is trying to bring to the table. 11

4200 backers stress that what we saw in this meeting was a concept only, with a lot of changes expected between now and 2017 -- when the falcons hope to start playing football there. at the stadium site dr11alive news>

As Doug said, those plans aren't final... But they do give fans something to think about... as city planners in Atlanta continue to hammer out technicalities with funding.

Frank?

Apple is the latest major tech company saying u-s law enforcement officials made thousands of requests for data about its users.

In a statement released this morning, the company said it got up to five-thousand requests from federal, state and local authorities over the last seven months.

The requests covered up to 10-thousand accounts or devices.

Apple said some of the requests were related to national security matters, but most were made by police investigating crimes, searching for missing persons or trying to prevent suicide.

The revelation comes after a computer analyst leaked details of a secret u-s government program surveillance program called "prism."

That program monitors e-mails, photos, search histories and other data from american-based internet companies.

The deaths of five infants and dozens of injuries or falls have led federal regulators to stop the sales of a popular baby recliner.

The consumer product safety commission said it got numerous reports since 2009 involving the Nap Nanny and Nap Nanny chill products.

On friday, it was announced that the company that makes them -- baby matters -- had agreed to the government's terms to end further legal proceedings.

Baby Matters is no longer in business...

but its former owner and founder continues to object to the recall.

General Motors is recalling nearly 194-thousand s-u-vs because of a fire danger.

G-M says water can get into an electronic module in the door, causing it to short circuit and catch on fire.

The recall includes:

2006 chevrolet trailblazer e-x-t and g-m-c envoy x-l s-u-vs

2006 and 2007 chevrolet trailblazer... g-m-c envoy... buick rainier... saab 9-7x and isuzu ascender s-u-vs.

and some 2005 model year 9-7xs

Vehicle owners will be contacted to bring their vehicles into a G-M dealer for repair.

Summer vacation often means camp for kids... But forget the tents, smores, and the great outdoors.

One opportunity in Macon has its campers humming a different song.

More than 30 students are fine-tuning their skills at The Otis Redding Singer..Songwriter Summer Camp in Macon

The camp is named...of course...for the Macon R & B legend, who died more than 40 years ago in a plane crash.

The students are learning everything from how to play instruments like the piano to singing from their diaphragm.

Students get to write and record their own songs....and no topic is off limits.

For many of them...music is a lifestyle.

< I love it and I was singing ever since I was 3 years old. It feels right, and I love music. I love listening to music. If I didn't have music...I couldn't imagine a world without it really >

If you're interested in participating in next year's summer camp....you can visit the Otis Redding Singer/Songwriter camp Facebook page.

 

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