Eyewitness news at Six August 16, 2013

5:51 PM, Aug 16, 2013   |    comments
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Tonight our top story...  

A search for an unknown man...spotted inside a Warner Robins school this morning... put the building on lockdown and set off a major search effort.

Russell Elementary on Patriots Way was on Code Red for a little under two hours.

Warner Robins police and the K-9 unit were searching the school and community for the man.

Tabitha Pugh with the Warner Robins Police says somebody first spotted him inside the school around 7:30 this morning...then apparently left

Police described him as a black male, 25 to 30 years old and five feet ten inches tall.

He was wearing black pants and a green jacket.

Police have not described a weapon or a specific threat...but Pugh says they're still investigating.

the reason why it was two hours is because the officers were checking every area of the school. And that's just to make sure, because if we do have witnesses saying the mail has fled the scene... But just to make sure, we had to search every area of the school, and that's one of the reasons why, just to make sure the school is safe.">

So far... Investigators haven't figured out who the man is, or where he came from...but everything was back to business as usual at Russell Elementary by 9:30...when investigators decided the building was clear.

Also today...

Roads that look more like rivers....schools closed in Johnson and Laurens Counties today.

This video's from Warner Robins though... Look at that standing water.

In health news tonight... People who live in Crawford County may soon be able to avoid long drives to the doctor...

Tom George went to Roberta this morning as the city ground broke on a new medical complex...

Roberta, Georgia ... Population around 1,000

< You know I always say that I live and came from a small town in Crawford County that had two traffic lights...>

Two traffic lights .. But no eye doctors, audiologists, or dentists.

<yes, we're one of the most underserved counties in the state.>

But soon that could change...



Project managers broke ground Friday morning on the new Milford B. Hatcher Medical complex, a 24,000 square foot facility the Flint Professional Group is hoping to fill with a pharmacy and specialists.

Right now Crawford County has just two general physicians...


< But if you want need more specialized care, you'll have to drive down Rte. 80 to Macon, the sign right there says it's 27 miles away, once the new facility is built, they'll be able that care, right where I'm standing... > 

< Someone comes in to see the doc and they want to see, they got the dentist right there, they've got an optometrist right there, they need some physical therapy, so it's a one stop shop for the medical.>

They're also planning a new assisted living center for seniors right next door ... The cost for both projects is around 5 million dollars, and they're expecting to be done in 8 to 10 months .. The work will be done by area contractors.


< 75 percent of people involved in this project will come from the local community >

And once it opens, they're hoping for more jobs that can stay in small-town Roberta.


< The impact that we anticipate is that this is the first domino, it's the hardest domino, but you get the first domino knocked over and the rest falls into place.>

In Roberta, Tom George, 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.

The Flint group says they have a pharmacy and dentist lined up for the complex....but still have some spots to fill in the new building.

Overnight... Macon Police say an officer fired off gunshots at a man who hit a woman with his pickup truck...before running into a police cruiser.

A police news release says it happened on Rogers Drive... After what they're calling a domestic dispute.

They say the woman was talking to officers...when Melvin Harrell climbed into his pickup truck and drove towards them.

He knocked he woman into a nearby yard, investigators say...and then hit the police car.


An officer fired off shots-- a neighbor said it sounded like two -- but Harrell drove away.

He was driving a white Mazda B-2200 with Georgia license plate PGD 7370.

Anyone who's seen him...or has any information...can call Macon Police at 478-751-7500.

If you're a voter in Bibb County... You only have one more business day to register for September 17th's elections.

Your votes will help choose a new mayor for the consolidated government...and commission members to represent 9 districts.

To register...you can download a form from the Georgia My Voter page... We'll provide a link on our website.

You can also stop by the Board of Elections office on Pio Nono Avenue...

Macon City Hall on Poplar Street...

Any public library...

The department of Family and Children Services...

And the Driver's License Bureau.

Again, the deadline is at the end of business Monday. And those Elections... September 17th.

Two Houston County schools aced the tests that matter to Georgia's Department of Education.

Centerville and Quail Run Elementary ranked among the top 28 schools in the state.

Lorra Lynch Jones explains how they excel.

Kindergarten students learn the basics..

Vowel and consonant sounds in Lisa Brewer's class at Quail Run Elementary.

They're important... But how they're taught and who's teaching them matters too... Says Principal Cheryl Thomas. .


<we have people here that really go above and beyond all the time to meet the needs of everybody>


She credits her staff ...


Teachers like Stephen Edwards... With helping the school out perform most others in the state.

Quail Run's standardized testing outpaced all others in the congressional district.

There are 14 districts in the state... And the Department of Education looks for the top performer in each one.


They also measure for the most improved school within each district.

Another Houston School... Centerville Elementary... Achieved that distinction..


And earned a congratulatory visit from state school superintendent John Barge.


<they've got an entire community approach to education and it's phenomenal. The mayor, business leaders and parents that volunteer here everyday.>


Principal Tonya Maddox attributes the boost in their achievement to those factors... And the relationships that develop in each classroom.


<our teachers take the time to get to know their students well in every academic area, as well as personally.>


The efforts lead to school of excellence awards in both schools... Recogntion Barge called a credit to public education in Houston County.


Lorra Lynch jones 13wmaz Eyewitness News.>

Superintendent Barge plans to come back on another date to Quail Run to congratulate students and staff.

He presented Centerville with a one-thousand dollar check... And a trophy.

This week the Mercer women's basketball team is wrapping up their three week adventure as they carry out "Mercer on a Mission."

Suzanne Lawler joins us to explain how we wanted to really bring that experience home to you..

Well Frank we decided this was a really historic trip for the kids... They are the first athletic team to do Mercer on a Mission as a group in the school's history.

So we armed them with a television camera, we gave them some quick tips on shooting and we hoped for the best.

We got those tapes back this week and we think the footage is incredible and moving.

But keep in mind... These are college kids without really any formal training in this kinda thing so it's a little raw... But it will give you a feeling of what it's like in Africa.

Ghana is a peaceful country one of the most peaceful counties in Africa

8:13 They ask where you are from and many of them knew where Georgia was because they knew the major cities like Atlanta... Atlanta Chicago Los Angeles and there are people with Atlanta Georgia hats on

We went to the market today to stop and get lunch and we couldn't wait to eat the greatest thing was bargaining you know in America you have set prices on the stuff but at the market you could talk people down and lower them and you developed a relationship you got to know them >

11:15 This cool hat right here at first it was going for 25 setti but I walked away getting it for fifteen setti.

6:15 Taylor McClintock - there was a table that this woman was so excited to get it her son had made it so she could put more fruit and stuff on there and we have the same table at Mercer in my dorm and we were going to throw it away and it made me rethink and see how privelaged we are because this woman was showing me and other customers the table and saying my son made this for me and how beatiful it is.

14:43 You went to the camp yesterday what did you learn.... defense... Cross over... Bounce pass very good...

8:05 It has been perfect we are so grateful to have you around... We really wish that you going to come again yea its been wonderful wonderful...

10:39 - Nice to meet all of you guys and take care of yourselves!

Special thanks to Assistant coach Angie Nelp for getting the tapes back to our newsroom this week.

And the photos that you saw in that piece are directly from Head Coach Susie Gardner....

You can see more of her work by heading to our photo galleries and you will see a Ghana box.

The shots are amazing... And we're sure you will find it interesting to check them out.

This week the girls are finishing up building a house in Ghana through the Fuller Center and will get back Sunday night.

One more note... Coach Gardner told us before the trip she worried about everyone being together for three weeks away from their families and friends... She said it could either be awesome or they would get on each others nerves.


Well through email and Skype we can tell you this whole things has really brought the team together.

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