eyewitness news at 6, 9-10-13

6:00 PM, Sep 10, 2013   |    comments
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    Hello everyone. 

     Thank you for joining us tonight.

    I'm Frank Malloy.

    Our top story tonight...     There's only one week to go before the first consolidated election....and people in Macon and Bibb County are still sorting out who's supposed to vote where.

     It's happening at the county board of elections....where address checks are causing long lines...and long delays.

    And it's happening at hundreds of homes...where some people are puzzling over instructions from voting officials.

    Randall Savage and Anita Oh followed the paper trail....to one Macon neighborhood.

     Along with other people on DeSoto Place...  John Marshall got a letter last week from the Macon-Bibb elections board.

     Signed by Chief Registrar Veronica Seals, it says they recently sent him a voter card with the wrong Bibb County commission district.

     According to that document, his correct district?

     But on the Georgia Secretary of State's website, voters can look up sample ballots... And check what races they'll vote on.

     According to that, Marshall's street off Vineville Avneue....is in District 5.

< John Marshall, DeSoto Voter: At the rate they're going and the problems they're finding, they're going to have to just stop and start over.>

  The board of elections sent those letters to residents on September 3rd.

      But that was five days after Elections Supervisor Jeanetta Watson emailed Secretary of State officials...

     Saying they put hundreds of people in the wrong voting districts, and needed help to fix the problem.

     Later that day, the state elections administration responded, saying there was no quick fix.

     Until then, she told Bibb officials to check every voter's address against a map to make sure people are voting in the right district.

     Veronica Seals tells us that procedure didn't begin until September 6 - but that's more than a week after the state advised the board to do so.


     Meanwhile.. in response to an Open Records Request.. We received this sheet.

     It lists thirty-one streets in different sections of the county.....including DeSoto Place.

     It appears to be a list of streets that were placed in wrong voting districts.

     We asked Virgil Adams to explain, but by email, he responded that he could not, saying quote I don't have answers for you end quote.

     The Georgia Secretary of State's office also would not comment.

     All Spokesman Jared Thomas could say is that they have a copy of the document in question and that it's part of their investigation into Bibb voting confusion...

     For John Marshall, he's afraid Bibb County is headed for trouble.


<john Marshall, desoto resident: if you keep going ahead, someone's going to protest that they didn't get votes they were supposed to get or somebody voted against them but wasn't supposed to vote against them>


Despite the confusion...Adams and the Secretary of State's office have both said the vote... must go on.

Randall Savage - 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.

     Wilson Road is also on the sheet of 31 streets.. And resident W.F.Livingston says he voted early.

       A few days later.. Livingston says he received a letter from the elections officials informing him that he'd voted in the wrong district.

     Livingston says he called the board and was told he couldn't vote again.

     The election is September 17.. At stake is the mayor's office and nine commission seats.

It's now up to the Georgia Supreme Court to decide the border that divides Bibb and Monroe County.

The court's decision will affect homes...businesses...and taxes near the Bass Pro Shop in north Bibb County.

<we were not invited to the party. So we didn't get the opportunity to present an argument to the trial court that this evidence was wrong

 any objections that bibb county had were frivolous and did not meet the burden of proof that they had in trying to overcome that>

The century-long dispute that moved up to the state Supreme Court in Atlanta today.

Both sides got a chance to argue their case in front of justices.

Monroe County supports the line drawn several years ago by government appointed surveyor ... Terry Scarborough.

His line would have moved dozens of properties from Bibb...to Monroe county.

Monroe attorney ... Leticia McDonald says the state should either accept the line ... Or re-draw the border.

However ... Bibb County attorneys says there is not enough evidence to support the Scarborough line.

The ruling will affect what county the Bass Pro Shop will pay taxes to.


<i'm not certain how much they are bringing in, but I would suspect the annual economic impact has to be somewhere well into the millions of dollars

that really is not the basis for our actions here. It's to make sure our citizens and bibb county's citizens know where they can go for permitting, whose protected by what zoning board whether it be ours or theirs

Bibb County and the Georgia Secretary of State's office want the court to throw out  a ruling by a Fulton County judge who in February said the line should move several hundred yards into Bibb.

Virgil Adams also said he should have had a chance to argue the case before the Fulton judge.

The Georgia supreme court is expected to rule sometime late this year....or early in 2014.

     In other news tonight... Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel recently called sexual assault " a stain on the honor of our men and women who honorably serve."

     The comment came as Hagel ordered new initiatives this summer to cut down on the number of sexual assaults in the military.

     As Lorra Lynch Jones explains... Robins Air Force Base is seeing the impact of those orders. 

It's Dianna Hall's first day at the office.

<it's going pretty well.>

She's a 25-year-old first luitenent... Just assigned to the Sexual Assault Response and Prevention Office.

<knowing we have airmen out there troubled, I want to help.>

She's in a unique position to do that... As this office's first uniformed SARC... Or Sexual Assault Response Coordinator.

She's can help people here... Or deploy to do the same job overseas.

<when you guys walked in here, the first thing you see is my uniform. Something about that, that's very trusting and comforting to some people.>

Her presence isn't the unit's only addition.

SARC since 2005... Cindy Graver..  says the Department of Defense increased their staff from two to five... to strengthen Robins response and prevention of sexual assault. 

<this is going to enable us to be out in the organization, and in the units and see what's out there, see what people need.>

New hire... Lisa Matney.. Is building training programs.. And meeting with employees face to face.

<they may be more willing to come forward and say I have been a victim. I am a victim of sexual assault.>

They've added a facebook page... twitter account.. And trinkets with their information attached.

They also moved to a more visible building... With space for support groups and education.

Plus... The DOD now requires professional certification for sexual assault responders.

Hill wants to help one person at a time... But believes the DOD's new approach may have far reaching results.

<if we can impact this younger generation, we can change the culture of the Air Force, it won't be such a taboo topic to talk about.>

At Robins Air Force Base... Lorra Lynch Jones... 13wmaz... Eyewitness News>

    Cindy Graver wouldn't tell us an exact number of sexual assault reports at Robins last year... But said it's less than 100.

     Numbers from across the Air Force show about 900 were reported in the 2013 fiscal year through August.


     Some say it's never too early to start saving for a higher education.

     One Warner Robins family now has more than 5-thousand dollars in scholarship money for their daughter.. and she's only in kindergarten.

     Austin Lewis caught up with the little bookworm.

All for college.

Even though Natalie Brantley has more than a decade...until she gets there.

It's all part of the Path2College Summer Reading Program...a sweepstakes that for the past four years has given scholarship money to children of all ages.

<Amanda Brantley, Warner Robins:It just gives her a headstart there's just you know it's exciting that she has this much money because it probably would have taken us longer than five years to save it up, to save five thousand dollars for her I know it would >

<Mitch Seabaugh, Executive director of Path2College 529 Plan: Because it helps us to promote the sooner you start saving the more opportunity you have to save more money when you finally get to that point of deciding which college you want to go to you are less limited by the amount resources that you would have. >

The other purpose of the sweepstakes...

to encourage reading...something Natalie and her mother Amanda already do.

<Natalie Brantley: Because I like listening to my mommy whenever she reads to me at night. >

<Nathan Brantley: She's always checking out books lot of times they are overdue because she loves to read them and she keeps re-reading them. >

The Brantley family has some dough for college...so Natalie can be whatever she wants to be.

<Natalie Brantley:An art teacher and a fairy princess. >

Austin Lewis 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.


The Brantley family hopes to put this money toward a college education for Natalie at the University of Georgia.

     The almost constant rain this summer may have helped your grass and flowers grow.

     It's also caused mold in houses and buildings around Central Georgia.

     Lorra Lynch Jones found out what to do.. If the problem is plaguing your home.

Mike Veal... A mold mitigation expert... Isn't hurting for business.

Mold... Produced by summer rains... Spiked his 140-percent compared with the same months last year.

He's finding it in crawl spaces... Floors... Sheds... and Air ducts... The result of too much moisture.

<the key is to determine the cause of the problem, what caused the mold and stop that.>

He answered some common questions:

What should I use to clean small areas of surface mold?

<A strong dose of hydrogen peroxide. That we have found to be best chemical to use.>

What about bleach and water? Veal says no. The moisture in the water feeds the mold.

<for two or three days, it looks clean, then suddenly it comes back like a fur coat and it's fierce. >

Do I need to wear protection when cleaning mold?

<I would suggest putting on latex gloves. Possibly a simple mask. Make sure the kids aren't home.>

Why? Is it dangerous?

<mold can cause severe headaches, sinus problems, nose bleeds.>

He says getting rid of it is a do-it-yourself task for small areas or simple fixes... Like throwing out this mold covered ply-wood from the shed.

Veal and the CDC recommend calling in expert help for mold covering patches larger than 10 square feet... Or if it's growing in the duct work.

<if you get water in your air duct line, it is not good to breath.>

Professional fixes can run from 200 to 15-thousand dollars... Taking a few hours or a few weeks. Veal says the quicker you catch it.. The better off you'll be... Because it grows...

<like wildfire>

And can take within 48 hours of moisture finding its way into your home.

Lorra Lynch Jones... 13WMAZ.. Eyewitness News.>

     Before deciding your air ducts need an expensive cleaning or replacement... The CDC recommends having the service provider show you the mold.

     You can test it to make sure it's mold... For about a 50-dollar lab fee.

     Thanks for joining us.  We'll be back tonight at 11.

     But remember... The news is always on at 13WMAZ.com.

     The evening news is up next.

     We'll see you later.

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