Even though New York City is thousands of miles away from Macon, Georgia, what happens in one part of this nation affects all parts of the nation. And that we're all one country. >
From a show of respect in the heart of Central Georgia...
To the nation's capital...where a wreath honors 2-thousand, 9-hundred, 77 lost.
< READING OF NAMES >
To Shanksville, Pennsylvania... Where an act of heroism kept that number from rising.
To ground zero... Where you can see the faces...and touch the names... forever etched on the hearts of a nation.
Hello, everyone, and thank you for joining us.
I'm Frank Malloy.
We usually begin our newscast with a wrap of the day's events.
We'll do that a little later...as we pay tribute with a look at all of the many ways Central Georgia...and the country...not only honored the lost today, but those who have bravely fought since then... to defend our freedom.
You'll want to stay with us for that.
we turn to our top local story tonight...
the reinstatement of a Bibb County School Board employee who lost his post in the midst of a whistleblower case.
The former Bibb County Schools Chief Financial Officer Ron Collier ... will be returning to work next week.
Tonight the school board settled the whistleblower suit Collier filed against the district last December.
Katelyn Heck joins us now with more on the suit... And the settlement.
Last December... Ron Collier... Bibb Schools Chief Financial Officer... Filed a lawsuit claiming he was removed from his position for refusing to misuse school funds.
Tonight the school board voted 6 to 2 to settle the suit... after deliberating behind closed doors for 45 minutes.
<we are ready to move on, to begin to recalibrate if you will, realign, and move forward.>
But board members Ella Carter and Tom Hudson disagree with the settlement.
According to the lawsuit... Former Superintendent Romain Dallemand...
asked Collier to pay this invoice from the Central Georgia Partnership for the Individual and Community Development.... Or P-I-C-D.
It asks for a million-dollar contribution to the Macon Children's promise neighborhood project.
Dallemand allegedly threatened to fire collier if he didn't pay the money.
In October 2012... the school board entered a memorandum of understanding with the organization that sent the invoice... and the district's attorney then advised Collier to pay the million dollars.
However... Collier was reassigned to solitary work in the district warehouse.
His suit asked that he be reinstated as CFO, damages for quote "mental anguish, humiliation, and embarrassment," and also attorney's fees and court costs.
In January... Collier added that the district should throw out a 5-point-75 million dollar lease with the Central Georgia P-I-C-D.
That money is for the district to rent out part of the old Ballard-Hudson building... Which Bibb Schools sold to the non-profit for 220-thousand dollars in 2009.
Collier claimed the school board wasn't given proper notice before signing the ten-year lease... and he questioned whether the bonds used to renovate the building were valid.
A superior court judge upheld the lease in February.
Katelyn Heck 13WMAZ Eyewitness News
Tonight... Collier's lawyer... Jerry Lumley told 13WMAZ... He and his client are happy with the settlement... And Collier looks forward to returning to work Monday.
Collier will be restored to C-F-O with precisely the same salary and benefits he had when he left.
In spite of voter confusion that has placed some Macon-Bibb County voters in wrong districts ahead of the election next Tuesday... Civic and political leaders are hoping people will turn out at the polls to have an input into who leads the new consolidated government.
Bibb County Commissioner Lonzy Edwards.. And Macon council members Lonnie Miley and Henry Gibson made their appeal for voters to do their civic duty at an event across from city hall this morning.
The emphasized the significance of this particular election.
this is the government that we will have come january 1st. And what's important is that we make a decision as to who we want to represent us in this new government>
Their concerns include whether the confusion over Bibb County election districts...will discourage people from voting.
Elections will take place this upcoming Tuesday, the 17th.
One school district in Central Georgia has a graduation rate among the lowest in the state.
But a grant and a new head man at Twiggs County High... prepare to improve the outlook for students on campus.
Twiggs county principal Jamie Paulk recently took over as the principal at Twiggs county High.
With the assistance of a A 2-point-6 million dollar school improvement grant spread over three years... he hired new teachers... a graduation coach and a literacy coach.
They were also able to extend class time... so the students have more one
on one time with teachers.
Paulk says he hopes the grant will make a huge difference in his district....
Jamie Paulk; Principal; if we educate them they will graduate,, we have a relationship with them and if we have rigor with that relationship, we'll make it relavent and then each student will learn and graduate and my goal is to see these students achieve>
Paulk became principal in July of this year,, the school currently has 255 students.
At another area school...civics lessons have been taken to the next level.
Howard High School students Hayley Reynolds and Chelsea Carr participated in the Georgia Civic Awareness Program for Students last year.
It's a program that teaches students about government and politics through visiting places like the fire station.....courthouse and state capitol.
Reynolds and Carr each took away different memories of the visits.
I think at the jail it was apparent that you know they didn't have a lot of money for all the medications that the prisoners required. CARR- You know every little boy grows up and firefighter is one of their dream jobs, it's just kind of weird seeing that dream in reality. The wages are not that high and the hours aren't that great. >
Program manager Kevin Barrere says juniors and seniors from around Bibb County...in both private and public schools....are welcome to apply....the application deadline has been pushed to Friday the 20th....
For more information on how to apply look for this story on 13WMAZ dot com.
The program was developed by the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia.
We now turn back to the anniversary that will forever mark this day... And while September 11th will always be a time to grieve the lost... It's also an opportunity to honor heroism.
Here's a look at how America did that...from Central Georgia to Ground Zero.
Another observance today... at the Pentagon... Where the president spoke of what might have been for those lost.
Here are some of his words...as we go to break.
Our hearts still ache for the futures snatched away, the parents who would've known the joys of being grandparents, the fathers and mothers who would have known the pride of a child's graduation; the sons and daughters who would have grown, maybe married, and been blessed with children of their own, those beautiful boys and girls just beginning to find their way who today would have been teenagers and young men and women looking ahead, imaging the mark they would make on the world. They left this Earth, they slipped from our grasp but it was written what the heart has once owned and had it shall never lose. >
If you're a parent...being safe on the road means more than just driving carefully.
It's also about using child car seats...and installing them properly.
Judy Le has more.
10 month old Azaria Thomas slept through the entire car seat inspection. It was a good thing her mom ... Nyesha Thomas ... Took notes.
<i learned how to properly install car seats. I learned that before I get into my vehicle, I have to look around my vehicle for not only my children but children in the neighborhood>
Thomas didn't know she was strapping her two children in ... The wrong way. But she's not alone. 98-percent of children are placed in car seats incorrectly. That's according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
<i will not do it the old way, I will do it the new way from now on>
The most surprising thing she learned was to install the seat facing the back of the car.
Thomas picked up all these tips from the Child Passenger Safety Check event off Zebulon Road.
<standup - if a parent doesn't have a car seat or their car seat is expired, they'll be given one of these. There are more than 100 car seats up for grabs>
Josephine Holt was given three for her great-grandchildren. All three were there...because she needs to know their height and weight... to pick out the right seat.
<safety for them>
About 50 volunteers from the govetnor's office of highway safety were on hand to conduct inspections.
<i am very confident on the road right about now (laugh)>
Making sure her two children are safe ... Is one less thing Thomas has to worry about while on the road.
Judy Le 13wmaz eyewitness news.
A Georgia law approved in 2011 says all children under the age of eight...must be properly secured in the back seat of vehicle... in a car seat or booster seat.