Tonight.. the family of a Macon shooting victim...is asking witnesses to come forward... to help police solve the investigation into his death. That's our top story on Eyewitness News at Six. 13WMAZ's Elise Brown spoke with Jamonni Bland's family today. They say they want to honor his memory... but also get closure in the case. when is it gonna stop? How many young black men do we have to lose before we come together as a community? Early friday morning 17-year-old Jammoni Bland was killed....shot outside the Zodiac Lounge in Macon. I had talked to him earlier that day. So why he was down there, what he was doing, I don't know. Police say Bland appears to be an innocent bystander. Jaqueline Sanders...blands mother...says her son was getting his life back on track...after hanging with the wrong crowd and getting into trouble. He was even considering joining the military. that was one of the options that his grandad had brought up to him, that would be good for him. He could make a career out of it. we were close....he was a real good brother, and I'm gonna miss him. A lot. when he came into a room his aura and what they call swag..he was very noticeable. and what are you gonna miss about him? His funniness. anyone that was there that night, or if you have any information, just please call the macon police department and give them the information. That will give me closure. That will help me in my mourning for him. On Thursday the family is holding a prayer vigil outside of the Zodiac Lounge. That address is 426 Walnut Street in Macon....from 7 until 8 p.m. Elise Brown, 13WMAZ Eyewitness News. Bland's mother says his funeral is scheduled for this Saturday at 11 am at the Bentley and Sons Funeral home on Shurling Drive.... in East Macon.
Accused killer Stephen McDaniel says he didn't kill Lauren Giddings... and he wants her parents to pay the cost of their wrongful death suit against him. McDaniel's attorney this week responded to the family's federal lawsuit. In it, McDaniel denies killing and dismembering Giddings and dumping parts of her body on property in Pike County owned by his grandfather. Lauren Giddings' torso was found in June 2011 in a dumpster outside the Macon apartment building where McDaniel and Giddings lived in side-by-side apartments. A few weeks later... Authorities charged McDaniel with killing her. McDaniel has spent the past year... in the Bibb County jail.
Part of a South Houston County roadway is closed... while crews repair a collapsed drainage pipe. Workers had to dig up Barrett Road... near the Pulaski County line... Where the pipe rusted out 10 feet underground. According to David Thompson from Houston County Roads and Bridges... the pipe rusted....probably due to the rainy season. Down the street... Heavy rain this morning left one man's yard... A few feet underwater. i drove up and got the mail out of my box and said 'hold up, where's my driveway at?' and I saw it and that's what it was, underwater. so i'm going to have to talk to my neighbor and see if I can use his yard. Crews have closed a 40 to 50 yard section of Barrett Road. There is no word on when repairs will be done.
Although Georgia's official state fruit is the peach, we're not the leading peach-producer in the country. California and South Carolina both export more peaches. So when you hit your local supermarket, are you getting Peach State peaches? Well one store chain says peaches in their Central Georgia stores... come from just miles away. Austin Lewis has the story. Walmart executives toured Lane Southern Orchards...to check out more of what Peach County is famous for...a state fruit...that grows here...and in other parts of Central Georgia. Duke Lane, III, Vice President of Sales for Lane Southern Orchard: Every peach we grow is really within 30 miles. And the lines of peaches...here won't have to travel...to reach your table. Walmart says they are doubling their orders...of peaches...from Lane...to bring more local produce from the stem...to the shelf. Dorn Wenninger, Vice president of produce for Walmart in the United States: Its about value. Local produce of course there is no more efficient means to get produce to a store when it is grown in that same community close to the store. So you're saving in food miles and that's really important as the price of fuel goes up. That means 1 point 6 million pounds of these peaches...will be packed up...and sent to their stories in Georgia...Alabama and South Carolina..in an effort to give consumers more access to locally grown produce. Duke Lane, III, Vice President of Sales for Lane Southern Orchard: Shopping decisions that play in our favor when there is a peach on the shelf and then there is a Georgia Peach on the shelf. I think 9 out of 10 times shoppers are going to pick up the Georgia peach. Now Central Georgia...produces 75 percent of our state's crop. And Georgia exports 130 million pounds of this fruit a year. With so much of it leaving the state...the demand to keep peaches here has grown. Duke Lane, III, Vice President of Sales for Lane Southern Orchard: What wasn't quite the access to local peaches as there has been the last three or four years and um again I think consumers are more demanding seeking out local and fresh. Local and fresh...that Walmart says...won't hurt your pocket. Dorn Wenninger, Vice president of produce for Walmart in the United States: So when you buy a local peach it would actually be as good or better value than the peach that you would buy that comes from another state. And better tasting according to Lane Southern Orchard...because days ago...it was just on the branch. Austin Lewis 13WMAZ Eyewitness News. We called several other chains to ask where their peaches come from. Ingles and Kroger did not respond. Publix tells us their stores have the option to sell either Georgia or California peaches... or both. Right now... they say Georgia peaches are a dollar less than the West Coast variety.
Bibb County Democrats... are spending a lot of time debating each other lately. One issue... a recent dispute over when to schedule this year's county election. Last week... the county's Executive Committee tried to remove Steve Allen from the Macon-Bibb County Board of Elections... because he went against them. On this week's Close-Up program, state Sen. David Lucas.. Also a member of the executive committee.. And former Democratic Party Chair Daryl Morton discussed that. Morton says the vote happened... because Allen voted to have the Macon-Bibb County government elections in September... instead of November. Daryl Morton, Former Democratic Party Chair: I think the action Mr. Allen took was an attempt to have an election, which factoring in a runoff, would give people enough time to get up to speed when our new government started on Jan. 1. I'm not necessarily saying that was the right date. But I think to say he was not reappointed as opposed to being removed is a distinction without a difference. I think it was clear that Sen. Lucas lead the charge in terms of criticizing Mr. Allen for the vote, claims he was siding with Republicans and regardless of wether he was removed or reappointed was clearly punitive for the vote that Steve made during that meeting. Lucas scolded Morton.. Saying he'd speak for himself. David Lucas, State Senator: I asked him a question. I did not make a motion to reappoint anybody. That motion was made from somebody else on the executive committee. Now, I did ask Mr. Steve Allen a question and he said attorney Virgil Adams told him September 17. I called the county attorney. He said no he didn't. He explained to them the dates by state law where you can have dates on odd number of years. You can catch Close-Up in its entirety at noon Saturday and six a.m. Sunday on 13 WMAZ.
The first on-duty death of a eorgia state trooper... happened near Ringgold in 1940. Sergeant William Frederick Black, Junior, of Macon, was killed by gunshot wounds at a routine traffic stop. 73 years later, Black was honored with ceremonies at the grand opera house... and a Sign dedication at the I-16 and Ocmulgee East boulevard connector. Governor Nathan Deal recognized Sergeant Black... And his fellow troopers... this morning... Colonel Mark McDonough told us about the sign's message to the state patrol. it should remind them of his sacrifice, but also remind them to be safe and careful, carrying out the duties that they're required to do. The department of public safety plans to honor nine more fallen troopers... with signs throughout the state... by the end of this year. They'll put up 17 more next year.
A trip to a different country could be challenging.. especially with the language barrier..That didn't stop a group of Mercer University students who traveled 18 hours to Vietnam... to change a few lives. Judy Le has more. These are just some of the people who took their first steps ... on their own two feet .. nidhi patel, student - they're just trying to run off with the leg and we're like no no no we're not done but you feel great about it. A group of Mercer University students went to South Vietnam on a three-week mission trip to fit prosthetics on amputees. Matthew yin, student - even on the streets, you'll see them rolling along in a stroller or walking with blocks of wood because they don't have either limb or crawling around. You see it everywhere. There are two main reasons for the growing amputee population ..the older generation ... It's from the war. nowadays ... It's because farmers come across old land mines. average about two thousand per year, new amputees, from land mines. Almost 2-thousand Vietnamese amputees were fitted with prosthetics. It begins with a well-fitting socket ... Which goes on a person's stump. standup - it takes about 45 minutes to make a socket and first you have to prepare the mold. You cover it with a sock to prevent damage from the hot plastic.and then you heat the oven to 390 degrees farenheit, put the plastic in, and wait 25 minutes for it to melt. When it's done baking, the heated plastic will be placed onto the mold and then vacuumed to make the socket>
It takes about two to four weeks to fit a custom prosthetic in the united states ... But in Vietnam ...
we have sometimes 45 minutes, two hours. The parts cost anywhere from 100 to 150 dollars ... But this life changer was free for these amputees. justin evans, student - you can visually see them thinking, like this is how I walk again. This is what it's like to move my legs again. This year ... They designed a pediatric prosthetic ... So that even this little boy ... Could have a second chance. Judy Le 13wmaz eyewitness news. The engineering class takes a trip each year to Vietnam. This is the sixth mission trip. These prosthetics are low cost .. Typically they cost thousands. They're inexpensive because of a special system designed by Dr. Ha Vo.. the professor.