Eyewitness News at Six August 12, 2013

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People are going to die, because of this. Right now you can go to this facility and get stabilized. And...if it's just an urgent care... They're not going to be able to do this. >

Possible changes at a Central Georgia hospital could lead to slower emergency care...and more worries for some in Montezuma.

That story ahead tonight...on Eyewitness News at SIx.

But first, hello every

Our top story tonight... Georgia Tech Fans have a reason to keep up with the Mercer Bears for the next few seasons.

The two schools made an historic announcement today.

Courtney Lyle is at Mercer with more from the world of sports.

Frank... The Mercer football team is still in fall camp.. Prepping for their first season in 72 years.

But today after their morning practice... Mercer announced they will take on Georgia Tech.

Now the meeting won't be until 20-16... But I can tell you the players were excited.

This will be this 12th meeting.. With the last coming in 1915.

I spoke to head coach Bobby Lamb and he's looking forward to the game in the flats.

one, I'm Frank Malloy.

bobby Lamb: "we have so many Mercerians in the Atlanta area, having a campus there in Atlanta. Just the excitement level alone will be big for our program. I look forward to certainly going and playing. Obviously, when you go play these bigger schools, number one you get a nice sizable check and then number two your kids have an opportunity to measure themselves against the best.>

Coach Lamb also said this wasn't something that's been in the works for a while.

It kind of just happened recently, but it's definitely a good thing for the program.

Frank?

By the time Mercer and Tech meet, the Bears will have played two seasons in the Southern Conference and have players on scholarship.

We'll hear more from coach lamb later in sports.

Flint River Hospital in Montezuma could scrap its emergency room for a more limited urgent care center.

Tom George went to Macon County and spoke with some EMS workers who say keeping it open is a matter of life and death.

When sirens go off in rural Macon County ... There's only one place ambulances can go.

< Yes, it's always been since I've been here, my entire time, there's always been an emergency department right here in Montezuma at Flint River. >

But now, that could change ... A letter from Flint River Hospital in Montezuma , the only hospital for miles, says they may scrap their ER and put in a urgent care center, which would mean less medical care.

< Any trauma, any heart attack, they won't be able to do a whole lot there for you.>

Instead, they'd have to take people more than 20 miles to either Americus or Perry.

< Now right now by the time EMS responds to the call and gets you to the hospital, that's usually around, but if the ER closes, it could be an hour and a half or more before they get you there.>

The letter says closing the ER would "optimize reimbursement" for the hospital, but EMS workers says it could the county more money to staff ambulances to travel longer.

< I can't staff an ambulance overnight and it's really going to affect this community.>

It's a plan that has some worried...

< I was upset about it because I didn't know anything about it. >

< It's a big concern because me being a heart patient an so forth yes it bothers me>

Because it's a private hospital, there's little people or local leaders can do...

< From a government aspect, we don't really have a direct influence where we can go to the hospital and say you must do this or you must do that. >

... Just hope the hospital will listen...

< People are going to die because of this...>'

 

In Montezuma, Tom George, 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.

Flint River Hospital officials had no comment...except to say they've not made a final decision.

State Representative Patty Bentley says she and others plan to urge hospital officials to keep the hospital open.

The Warner Robins teen accused of driving into a Bibb County firefighter on I-75 last month now faces three charges.

The Bibb County Sheriff's Department says Nayef Al-Shroof turned himself in just before noon today.

He's charged with causing serious injury, reckless driving and violating the state's move-over law.

Al-Shroof is being held in the Bibb County jail on more than 11-thousand dollars bond.

On July 11, investigators say he hit firefighter Eric John, as John was working an accident. Eric John's still in critical but stable condition at the Medical Center of Central Georgia.

Jury selection started today in the trial of a man accused of shooting a Hancock County Couple two years ago.

That's Brandon Charleston.

Back on September 11... 2011... 34-year-old Darryl Scott and 31-year-old Dedria DeShay Green were shot in their home on Tommie Lane in Sparta.

That's according to GBI investigators.

Two children were living in the home also.... But neither of them were hurt.

If found guilty, Brandon Charleston could spend life behind bars without chance of parole.

Tomorrow, the Jones county commissioners are scheduled to talk about whether to fire their county administrator...and his assistant ... because of employee complaints.

That's shown in minutes from last week's commission meetings, which don't say which members supported the firings.

But the documents do note...that some commissioners referred to anonymous complaints put in a county suggestion box.

They also talked about, quote, "rumors, innuendos, insults, and chaos" in the county officeSs.

The meeting happens tomorrow... At 4pm...in the Jones County government Center on Highway 11.

One Bibb County high school has one of the state's lowest graduation rates.

According to the state....Southwest High Schools 4-year graduation rate last year...was 39 percent.

New Principal Tanzy Kilcrease is trying to change that.

Students say that before she came...school was a bit more relaxed....and didn't have much structure.

Kilcrease says she's all about business....and set standards of expectation this summer at senior night.

Each of the students received a graduation plan....which they also call a balance sheet.

which pretty much outlines all of the requirements, then tells them and shows exactly what they have earned, the credits they've earned, and also the tests that they've been successful on. And what they needed to do next. So we kind of wanted to set the tone for you know, you're here to graduate, and we want you to graduate on time.>

Senior Corey Stewart says this was the first time he got to see his graduation plan.

And now he's trying to play catch up.

which pretty much outlines all of the requirements, then tells them and shows exactly what they have earned, the credits they've earned, and also the tests that they've been successful on. And what they needed to do next. So we kind of wanted to set the tone for you know, you're here to graduate, and we want you to graduate on time.>

Senior Corey Stewart says this was the first time he got to see his graduation plan.

And now he's trying to play catch up.

when I seen it, it kind of put me where I needed to be at. Like a mindset of what I need to do to graduate. I was missing a couple of classes and a test that I had to take. A graduation test that I didn't know about until I got my balance sheet. >

Stewart says he's now on track to graduating on time...and plans on going into the air force.

Kilcrease says this year she's hoping for a 60 percent or better graduation rate.

At Eyewitness News at 11...we'll tell you more about how she plans to achieve that.

From bringing one number up... To bringing another one down.

If you live in Centerville, your next home owners' insurance bill should be lower than before.

That's because the city fire station's public protection classification rating improved.

Jennifer moulliet explains what that means...and how the fire department nailed a better score.

The Insurance Service Organization... Or ISO.. requires that each firefighter have their own Personal Protection Equipment... They're also required to have training.

<take care of this first floor and then move up>

<steps >

<training detail>

Sergeant David Dorman leads centerville's team through a training session at an apartment complex in town.

<two hundred feet will get you all the way to the other end of the apartment>

<training is a big part of ISO and we continuously train we have to have so many training hours >

Chief Jason Jones says it's been twenty years since Centerville's I-S-O rating was evaluated... And for the past few years, the department's worked hard to reduce it.

<twenty years ago we were a volunteer department now we're a full time department with full time personnel on duty twenty-four hours a day >

He says new equipment like this thermal camera... This ax...and these hoses helped reduce their rating.

And then there's the big stuff.

< we have two fire engines, a rescue truck and a brush truck and we have four personnel on duty everyday. >

<we were a five and effective august first we went to a three>

<the lower the number the lower the protection classification the better >

The city also upgraded its fire hydrants... But he says training is a big push.

<we have to train everyday>

Sergeant Dorman says they'll continue training at local apartments... Until their training tower is finished.

<that's why we're here that's why we do this everyday>

in centerville... Jennifer moulliet 13wmaz eyewitness news.

Chief Jason Jones couldn't tell us how much you can expect your bill to drop...because each insurance company is different...but he said....everyone who owns a home in the city should see some kind of a savings.

Jones County pet owners who no longer want their animals used to be able to surrender them at Animal Control... at no cost.

But as Judy Le found out today ... that service now comes with a price.

Matilda is a mom of nine (nat)

Her owner couldn't take care of her growing family ... And so they were given up to the Jones County Animal Control.

People turn in pets to the shelter...about three to five times a week ..

<there's a higher influx of owner surrenders coming in>

What used to be free ... Now comes with a cost.

(gfx)

It's 35-dollars per dog ... 50 for a mother with litter ... 40 for just a litter ... And a 20 dollar fee to have animal control pick up your animal.

<standup - matilda and her puppies would've cost the owner $70 to surrender. $20 for a house pickup fee and $50 for a mother with a litter fee>

It would've cost the owner less money to spay Matilda. Some mobile spay and neuter clinics that charge just 20-dollars.

The money collected from surrenders will go to Veterinary care

<a lot of the times they'll come in with internal parasites and skin conditions of various natures>

The news fees started last week.

Judy Le 13wmaz eyewitness news

The Jones County Commissioners voted three to one to implement the new fees. For those interested in adopting Matilda ... Giddens tells us ... She will not have an adoption fee.

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