Eyewitness News at Eleven July 15, 2013

10:50 PM, Jul 15, 2013   |    comments
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It's a case that remains unsolved one year after it happened..A macon man found dead outside a shop that sits on a busy road..


Macon police officers found 51-year-old ... Albert Jelks ... lying on the ground Just outside The Sleep Shop on Vineville Ave with fatal injuries to the head. Police initially called his death an accident ... His weight caused him to trip and land on his head. It wasn't until six days later ... that police ruled his death a homicide. Jelks' sister ... Adrian .. called the six-day wait a crucial mistake... because evidence could've been overlooked.

adrian jelks, sister - I believe there was some carelessness. That the easy assumption was that this was not a homicide.i think they were too quick to assume that he had fallen and hurt himself

Macon police ask anyone with information to call Macon Regional Crimestoppers at 1-877-68-CRIME... Again that's 1-877-68-CRIME.

In Macon... homicide... Aggravated Assault... and property crime rates are high so far this year.

That's according to a report given by Macon police at a city council committee meeting today.

Major Robert Grabowski says... There were 7 homicides between January and July of 2012... And this year...There have been 11.

Aggravated Assault numbers are almost double last year's.

There were one hundred and 39 in 20-12... And this year... two hundred and 21.

There were 66 more burglaries this year... An increase of about 8 percent.

Grabowski says police ran a 45 day detail last summer... Putting extra officers on the streets day and night.... Which brought property crime numbers down.

But this year... Police did not have enough in their budget for a similiar operation.

what we do to try to accommodate that is put together a focus squad and pull people from other shifts and have them come in and rework their off-days and try to keep them focused on where they're having the residential burglaries.

The city council public safety committee asked police to come up with a proposed cost to run another detail.


Now not all crime rates are up.

Police have seen fewer robberies, larcenies, and arsons than this time last year.

College football season is just around the corner... and while the new Mercer Bears team preps for the field... Another group is getting the city ready for the tailgaters.

Katelyn Heck joins us in the studio now to explain their plans... And why some Macon city council members... want more answers before signing off.

Macon city administrators hope a sold out stadium on August 31st... Will mean a packed downtown... Before kickoff.

Tonight city council debated whether to allow tailgaters to have open containers during Mercer's eight home games.

It would only be allowed on city property in this designated area of downtown... Between 10 am and 8 pm.

Tailgaters would be able to carry plastic or paper cups... Plastic bottles... Or aluminum cans of alcohol... But no glass.

Council member Nancy White says the city needs to find ways... Like this... To make it easier and more inviting for gameday visitors to come downtown.

<it's a great economic development opportunity dropped in our laps thanks to Mercer and really it could fall under the umbrella of yourism if you want to look at it that way. The students of Mercer will be on campus but this is for visitors who want to come and take advantage of football back in Macon.>The other members of the public safety committee... Voted to put off the decision... Until administrators gave more information on how the clean-up would work after game days.


Committee chair Virgil Watkins says he thinks the university should foot the bill.




<it's their event and I think their event and their gate would be the main reason for people parking downtown and walking their cups and trash through the city for the purposes for getting to the gate at mercer, so I think they would be more responsible than any other party.>But Keith Moffett with the Mayor's office says Mercer is only responsible for cleaning up their property.






<they have no requirement of doing anything downtown. We know that there are going to be some alumni, there are going to be some tours coming in for that day and we want to encourage them to come downtown and with that comes routine trash and routine chances to do events.>That will also mean increased law enforcement.


Mechel McKinley with Main Street Macon says her group is working with the public works and police departments to minimize costs.

She says their plan also includes using two Transit Authority buses to shuttle people between downtown and the stadium... For two dollars round trip.

Several downtown parking decks will also be open for visitors during game days.

Watkins says he supports those ideas... But still wants more information on the cost to the city.

Watkins says he does not know when the open container ordinance will be back on the agenda.

The committee did approve an open container police for a smaller portion of downtown for Bragg Jam... Which is scheduled for July 27th.

Mercer kicks off its football season on August 31..

Warner Robins Council also met tonight... And they voted to amend two city ordinances including one dealing with raises for city employees.

Jennifer Moulliet tells us who now has the power to hand out those raises.

It was the second reading for two amendments... The first decided who can grant pay raises for city employees... Before monday night only the mayor had the power to give an increase... Something that council members like Carolyn Robbins didn't agree with it.


<I think it's a lot of power for one person especially for an elected official to have >





She explains the reason council wanted a change.





<there was recently an article in the paper about some salary adjustments that we were not aware of that kind of made us move a little bit quicker.>





<when department heads come to me and they justify why someone should get a pay raise then I sign off on it now I think this amendment is going to slow process down for our city. >





<I think it's important number one that council knows when the raises are given and also how much the raises are>





now... the ordinance reads that no one can get a pay raise... Until the council votes on it... And Mayor Shaheen doesn't agree with it.





<citizens in warner robins want one person making a decision to move our city forward all this is going to do is put more politics into serving the citizens of warner robins >





Council also changed an ordinance that prohibited relatives of people appointed to a board or committee

from working for the city.





<that goes into over a hundred people well upstanding people in the city of warner robins that we ask to participate with us in moving this city forward it kind of handicaps them and it doesn't show the kind of appreciation that we wanted to we did away with it >


The ordinance still doesn't allow relatives of elected officials to work for the city.

In warner robins... Jennifer moulliet 13wmaz eyewitness news.

A few years ago council amended the same ordinance... To allow relatives of department heads to work for the city... If their relatives weren't their boss.

The upcoming I-16 ...I-75 Interchange Project will take take a chunk out of the Pleasant Hill. neighborhood...and although the project has been talked about for years... some people still have questions. The Department of Transportation invites people from the Pleasant Hill community to come to a July 25th meeting at the Booker T. Washington Community Center on 391 Monroe Street. That's from 5 to 7 pm. At the meeting.... people can vote on noise and visual barriers that will go up along the interstate.

The state of Georgia was scheduled to execute an inmate tonight... But instead a Fulton County judge issued yet another temporary stay of execution for Warren Lee Hill.

Today's decision came in response to defense questions about a state law prohibiting the release of information about Georgia's execution drug supply.

This isn't the first time Hill's execution has been stopped because of a challenge to the state's execution method.

He was originally scheduled to die last July..

A second scheduled execution was halted because of claims that Hill is mentally disabled.

That stay was lifted and the execution was rescheduled for tonight.

Hill was sentenced to death for killing a fellow inmate in 1990.

The Falcons plan to build a new stadium But talks with two churches on the proposed site could run too close to an important deadline for the proposal.

Backers of the new stadium have until the first of August to make a decision on the site of the new stadium.

But because the talks have stalled... They are now considering what was the original proposed site for the new stadium.

The main reason they chose the property south of the stadium... Is because it is close to MARTA rail lines.

The north site is located at Northside and Ivan Allen Drive on an empty piece of property but a half a mile away from Marta.Common Cause Georgia is also gathering signatures to block the funding formula for the new stadium... Which includes a hotel motel tax.


They need 35 thousand signatures for their petition... And say they are close to their goal.

There are many stories making headlines nationally and internationally.

We have your top stories for this Monday... July 15h, 2013.

We begin in Canada... Where two more bodies have been recovered from the train derailment near Montreal, over a week ago.

This brings the death toll to thirty-five.

Investigators say 15 people are still missing after the train derailed July 6th.

Along with the deaths... the accident destroyed about 40 buildings.

The train derailment has sparked a national discussion on rail safety in Canada.

An autopsy was performed on actor Cory Monteith today..

The Glee star was found dead in his hotel room in Vancouver Saturday.

Monteith played Finn Hudson...jock turned glee club singer... on the TV show.

He was in rehab earlier this year for drug addiction treatment.

Police say there are no signs of foul play. Monteith was 31-years-old.

The football world is putting some distance between themselves and former N-F-L player Aaron Hernandez.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame removed a photo of Hernandez after several visitors complained.

Hernandez is charged with the June 17th shooting death of Odin Lloyd.

He has pleaded not guilty to one count of murder and five additional gun-related charges.

And that's what making headlines this Monday... July 15, 2013.

Even though the verdict for George Zimmerman was handed down Saturday Night... The case is still making headlines today because of possible civil suits for the neighborhood watchman.

Zimmerman was found not guilty in the death of 17 year old Trayvon Martin...







The Justice Department says they are investigating whether federal civil rights criminal charges are warranted in this case.

Eric Holder... Head of the DOJ maintains the calls for peace and civility as it relates to the controversial case.





<I hope that we will approach this necessarily difficult dialogue with the same dignity that those who have lost the most, Trayvon's parents, that they have demonstrated throughout the last year, and especially over the past few days.

Many of you throughout Central Georgia followed this case... And people on both sides of the issue had several questions about what the case means.

On Eyewitness News at Six... we talked with former Houston County District Attorney Kelly Burke about the trial.

He says... This case does not have anything to do with 'stand your ground'... Which is also a type of law we have here in Georgia.

<what this really was is a classic self defense case and that is, was George Zimmerman justified in using the deadly force that the used in the attack that he claimed Trayvon Martin was doing. And by the same token, the Martin camp is saying Zimmerman used deadly force when it wasn't appropriate in what was essentially a fist fight. And both sides had their day in court. The Jury I think did the right thing ultimately and that is that the prosecution failed to present their case.>


You can watch the entire interview on our website at 13 WMAZ dot com.



































































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