Eyewitness News at Eleven August 6, 2013

10:21 PM, Aug 6, 2013   |    comments
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we got calls earlier today here in Irwinton, saying that this entire intersection in downtown Irwinton had been blocked off. The sheriff's department would not tell us why, but it all ended around an hour ago, when we learned that what happened was, there was a man barricaded inside this apartment right here who was threatening to kill himself. He was taken out safely.

The customer service desk at the Publix on Tom Hill Sr. Boulevard was robbed today around two'o'clock. According to Lieutenant Tom Defoe with the Bibb County sheriff's office, a man approached customer service and demanded money. The man said he was armed, but never revealed a weapon. Defoe says they believe the suspect is the same man who robbed the family dollar on Emery Highway last week.

The United States took both offensive and defensive action today in response to the worldwide terror threat. That threat had already caused the state department to put out an alert for Americans traveling overseas, and shut down 19 U.S. embassies and consulates from East Africa, across the middle east, and Bangladesh through Saturday. Today, the U.S. began evacuating non-essential American personnel from the embassy in Yemen and fired a drone at suspected Al Qaeda terrorists in that country.

Former president George W. Bush is in the hospital recovering from a heart procedure that happened this afternoon. Doctors in Texas say they performed a successful stent surgery on the 67-year-old president Bush. At the recommendation of his doctors, former president George W. Bush had a stent placed in his artery to open up a blockage and keep blood flowing to his heart. It's estimated about half a million people have surgery for stents every year in the U.S.

"they will need to take aspirin every day in addition to other medications for cholesterol and maybe blood pressure."

Bush was described as being in high spirits and was expected to be discharged from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Wednesday.

And those are some of the stories that made headlines in Central Georgia and beyond today.

Our top story tonight...

Communities all over the nation celebrated a farewell to crime in their neighborhoods with National Night Out.

In Macon... Three neighborhoods held three very different observances ... But the message was still the same.

Get involved.

13WMAZ's Jacques Rozier gives us a look.

somebody else think you're smart, right?

Working with the sheriff's office has been a real asset to lake wildwood. we've got a real close relationship with them and it really means a lot. I have been lake wildwood's neighborhood watch chairperson for about six or seven years now and have been doing national night out since then. We need to get to know the people around us so we can get to know what to do and what not to do in case of an emergency.

This is national night out at freedom park in the gym. We have a good basketball game going on right now. Freedom park is honored to host the 2013 version of national night out. Of course national night out is a night for neighborhoods and communities across the country to get together for neighbors to come together and get to know each other. It's important because we all get together and celebrate. Wooo, sure high though.

You see my mother was a giver, she was a person with a big heart and never ending pockets. Everybody knew her my dad, they formed the highland circle aces of this community. They would take the kids around to play baseball to get them off the streets. my mom she lived in this house for over 50 years and her legacy is continuing through her children by giving back to the community as a part of the national night out.

National Night out is the first Tuesday of August every year.

It was started in 1984... And is organized by neighborhood watches all over the U-S and Canada.

The installation commander at Robins Air Force Base tonight called the Pentagon's decision to cut the number of planned furlough days for civilian employees...great news.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel made that announcement this afternoon.

Instead of 11 furlough days...the employees will face six.

The furloughs are part of a plan to head off a shortfall of more than 30-billion dollars.

But Hagel says the department was able to recoup much of that money because Congress moved funds among accounts... And other initiatives came in lower than expected.

The savings amounted to 1 billion dollars.

But... Hagel says the military won't be out of the woods... Unless congress reverses sequestration.

A standoff that lasted almost a day in Wilkinson County came to a close when a barricaded man was taken safely out of an apartment in Irwinton.

It all started yesterday when Austin Hendry's wife called Jeffersonville Police and said her husband had left their Twiggs County home with a pistol and said he was going to kill himself.

He was talking about killing himself and that's when he had baracaded himself in his room. He told us that he had a gun and that if anyone tried to come in he would actually take his own life.>

Both police and family members had been in contact with Hendry trying to talk him down from the suicidal threats.

Hendry had initially agreed to meet with police to drop off the gun, but instead went to the apartment where police tracked him down.

He actually called me and told me that the gun wasn't where he said it was and that he actually had the gun and that's when I actually called sheriff chapman and told him what was going on, that I was actually headed over here to the county.>

Most of the 24 hour standoff happened out of the public eye until police blocked off the street around noon.

They took Hendry out of the apartment around 4 o'clock.

He's been taken into Wilkinson County custody where he's being evaluated.

It's unclear what, if any, charges will be filed.

Three hopefuls want the District 7 seat on the consolidated Macon-Bibb government.

And on this week's Close-Up.. Software designer Eric Arnold.. golf course manager Barry Bell.. And retired sheriff's major W. F. "scotty" Shepherd discuss finances.. Police and public relations.. And possible ways the new commission could help the independent board of education improve schools.

We begin with Shepherd, who told us today... He believes most school problems come from one part of the community.

< W.F. "scotty" Shepherd, Retired Sheriff's Major: I think everybody kind of dances around this issue, but you know the majority of the problems in our schools are coming from the minority segment of our community and what I see there is a lack of leadership in that the community itself is not putting its best foot forward. The encouraging think that I see in this race is that I see some people that are running for office that are those kind of people that go out and give those positive images and they actually go in the street and if they see a child doing something they shouldn't do, they say something about it, and they're not fearful to do that. So I'm hopeful and praying that those folks are going to prevail in these races and they will bring that attitude to this government.

Arnold says discussing goals with parents would be one way toward improving education in Bibb County.

< Eric Arnold, Software Designer: When you have children whose parents didn't graduate high school, there's no expectation for them to.What I would like to see more of is us going out into the community helping educate the parents.

Bell says improvement begins in the home with more parental involvement.

< Barry Bell, Golf Course Manager: You can't teach kids that have no respect and don't want to learn. We can do all we want, but we've got to do more, and to be honest, I feel like fathers have got to step up more in Bibb County. >

District 7 includes part of south Bibb County.. Running from Rocky Creek Road in the north to Hartley Bridge and Sardis Church roads in the southwest and Houston Road in the southeast.

You can catch Close-Up in its entirety at noon Saturday and six a.m. Sunday on 13 WMAZ.

New tonight...the Bibb County school board met for a called meeting.

After discussing a legal matter behind closed doors for over an hour... Board members came back into public session.

President Wanda West says the group did take action while in executive session but couldn't comment any further.

West says she expects more meetings on the same subject in the near future.

Macon council members, also busy tonight.. They approved a law ... That they hope will draw more Mercer football fans to the Bears' eight home games.

Tailgaters will be allowed to carry open containers of alcohol in two designated areas of the city before games... That includes part of downtown and near Mercer Village.

Some council members hope this will encourage more people to tailgate and visit downtown on game days.

City administrators estimate the Bears' home games will have a six-and-a-half million dollar impact on the community.

Mercer kicks off its debut season on August 31st against Reinhardt.

And tomorrow morning, possible action at a meeting of another group... As Macon leaders gather to decide how to move forward with the Forest Hill Road widening project.

The Macon Area Transportation Study group is expected to vote on an 8-point-four million dollar purchase of right-of-way space between Vineville Avenue and Wimbish Road.

The project will turn Forest Hill road into a 4-lane highway with a grass median.... With added lanes at intersections.

It's a plan several decades in the making... With some bumps in the road along the way.

Some people living on Forrest Hill say widening the road will get rid of too many trees... while supporters argue it will create better traffic flow.

The meeting is at 9:30 tomorrow morning at the Bibb Engineering Annex downtown.





































































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