Eyewitness News at Six Sept. 12, 2013

7:40 PM, Sep 12, 2013   |    comments
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When people go to their polling places on Tuesday, all the information will be corrected. >

That's the all-clear coming from Ronnie Miley.... Who says the board of elections has fixed the problems with Macon and Bibb's voter lists...and expects a smooth day at the polls Tuesday.

Hello, everyone, I'm Frank Malloy.

Thanks for joining us tonight.

Our top story tonight...

A Bibb County elections official says he feels good about the steps taken to clear up voting problems.

But the Georgia Secretary of State's office tells 13WMAZ they'll be sending staff to Macon and Bibb County on Tuesday....Election Day ....to monitor the voting.

That's after confusion over some people being put in the wrong districts.. Leading to long lines for early voting.. while staff checked the maps.

Those lines at the Board of Elections appeared to be shorter today when 13WMAZ's Tom George took a look----

Lines were flowing smoothly Thursday morning as people cast ballots on the next to last day for early voting.

< it's about like a quick, 15 or 20 minute wait...>

< It didn't take very long, it was kind of short...>

Since last week, election officials have been checking voters' addresses against district maps to make sure they got the right ballot.

That came after they learned that more than a thousand voters were placed in the wrong county commission districts.

< Now poll workers would not let us back there while they're checking addresses, but what they did say is back there is a larger version of this map. They have 9 individual maps, each with a commission district. That's what they've been using to verify. >

Voters we spoke with said they could vote in the proper district without any problems.

< He went to the back, looked and verified I live out on Knoxville Road and verified it went all the way out to the county line, I was in District 6, he said everything was cool there. >

Several said they didn't know which district they were in until they arrived.

They said they were ready to vote in all nine county commission races...just to be safe.

< Yeah I was looking at all of them. My grandma had me look at all of them ... So you had a candidate picked out for each>

< 1,2,3,4,5,6 ... I had the candidate already in my mind.>

Board Member Ronnie Miley he's confident all the voting lists have been corrected.

He said that means...they won't need to check voters' addresses...against the district maps on Tuesday.

< It would be too complicated, too many precincts, too many maps, and so forth like that, so even if there's any questions from the precinct, they could still call down here >

Still, the Georgia Secretary of State's office says they're still investigating the initial complaints about people in the wrong districts. They'll be sending in poll monitors next week....but wouldn't explain their role any further.

In Macon, Tom George, 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.

Even though Ronnie Miley says the problems should be fixed...he still had some advice for Tuesday vo

ters who encounter glitches.

He said if you think a poll worker has handed you the wrong ballot....let them know as soon as possible...so they can fix it.

Once you cast your vote....he said...it's too late to change it.

Stephen McDaniel has no objection to a search for the murdered woman's remains on his grandfather's Pike County farm.

That's according to an order signed by a District Court judge this morning.

McDaniel is charged with the murder of his Mercer Law classmate and neighbor.

In June... Giddings' parents filed a wrongful death suit against McDaniel... Requesting money for damages... And for permission to search the 63-acre farm in Pike County.

Police found Giddings' torso in a trash bin outside her Macon apartment in June 2011... But have yet to find the rest of her remains.

Their civil suit alleges that McDaniel may have hidden parts of her body at his grandfather's old property... who passed away shortly after McDaniel's arrest.

McDaniel agrees to allow the search... As long as the family hires private investigators.

The Giddings' lawyer... Kristin Miller... Says first they have to serve a subpeona on the current property owner.

The judge gave the family until June 30th, 2014 to complete their search.

This suit is separate from the criminal murder trial... Scheduled to begin in January.

Pre-trial motions in that case start Monday.

13WMAZ could not reach McDaniel's lawyer Floyd Buford or members of the Giddings family for comment.

A pest control company and its owner face federal charges of unlawful use of pesticides at nursing homes.... including dozens in Central Georgia.

A federal indictment says they used the pesticide indoors..and more often than they should

Austin Lewis breaks it all down.

Steven Murray...the owner of Biotech...and his company used a pesticide called Termidor more often than they should have.

And when the Georgia Department of Agriculture asked about the use of Termidor...the federal indictment says Murray asked employees to change company services reports.

The indictment says Biotech applied Termidor inside nursing homes more than twice a year.

Labeling prohibits the use of Termidor indoors....and it should only be used twice a year outdoors.

Biotech did it at dozens of nursing homes across Georgia...and over two dozen them were in Central Georgia.

That includes homes in Macon...Gray...Warner Robins...Cochran...Roberta..Forsyth....and many more....including the Villas at College Hill.

The indictment indicates that the nursing homes did not know that this was going on it...and there's no word on whether anyone was injured or sick because of the pesticide.

Now this all happened between October 2005 and June 2009.

Murray and Biotech face one count of conspiracy, 10 counts of making false statement, 20 counts of falsifying records, 10 counts of mail fraud and 10 counts of an unlawful use of pesticide.

He faces possible prison time...and fines.

Reporting Austin Lewis 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.

Austin contacted many of the Central Georgia nursing homes where the pesticide was allegedly used...none of them would comment. \No trial date has been set.

Some budget cuts in Jones County....left a hole in the county prosecutors' office.

Judy Le went to Gray to hear both sides of the story...

The assistant district attorney ... Keagan waystack lost her job .. While ON the job. It happened last month on the first day of jury selection of the Pamela murder trial.

That's because the Jones County Commissioners cut about 60-percent of the district attorner's budget.

That's nearly 90 thousand dollars.

They decided to use that money to supply equipment for the county's EMA officers and to avoid increasing the milleage rate.

District attorney .. Fred bright ... And waystack say they were blindsided by the decision.

<keagan waystack, ada - it was not the time to be able to process any of it. Or have any opportunity to go to anybody because the murder trial needed to be my number one priority>

Some county officials seemed just as confused about what that meant for the D-A's office.

<mike underwood , city admin - (did you know what was going to happen) no, I didn't know what was going to happen to the end result

preston hawkins, chairman - (did you know that meant losing an ada?) yes.

Daylon martin, commissioner - (this happened during the big pamela moss trial, do you think this would've hurt the outcome anyway?) I didn't even make the association and I apologize. from the standpoint that we just crippled the das office, I don't think that was worth the savings>

Budget cuts were made across the board ... and some of the commissioners agreed that there had to be casualties.

But Bright calls the vote....a set back.

<fred bright, da - you're setting me up for failure. I'm just being blunt about it. You're setting me up for failure.>

Bright had two prosecutors working in Jones County ... One....Waystack...was paid by the county.

The other...Gregory Bushway....was paid mainly by the state.

But Bushway resigned after the commissioner's vote.

That's because they also cut money that went toward subsidizing him salary.

And when a state-paid employee leaves their job ... There is a two-month hiring freeze.

Bright says that leaves him with over 300 cases to work on by himself.

<bright - i can't do that job myself. It's a two-person job.>

The commissioners say they are considering re-instating the position for less pay... for an entry level prosecutor to help Bright.

Judy Le 13wmaz eyewitness news

Bright is district attorney for the eight counties in the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit....which includes Jones...Baldwin....Hancock....Putnam and Wilkinson.

The Jones commissioners' vote does not affect staffing in the other counties.

The Chinese visitors haven't made any final decision on Central High school..and there's no word on they'll decide.

They said they're particularly interested in the school's international baccalaureate program.

Delegates also visited Stratford yesterday....and tomorrow plan to visit First Presbyterian Day School.

Meanwhile....Waystack and Bushway are going into private practice.

Chinese delegates came to visit one Bibb County school today....as a possible new home for some of heir students.

Elise Brown followed them on their tour around the school.

Music greeted Shanghai delegates as they visited Central High School.

NAT POP

Luning Wang--WONG--...vice chairman of the China Welfare Institute....is considering sending Chinese students to school here.

So that they can be international.

<and they are well prepared to tolerate and to enhance the diversity of the world culture. >

Deputy Superintendent of Student Affairs Edward Judie says Bibb County schools won't foot the bill.

The Chinese will.

<they're expected to pay the full tuition, approximately that's somewhere around eight thousand dollars. >

<students would likely attend school from freshman until their senior year. And live with a host family.>

<we only had people for one or two weeks, but for four years that's a really big commitment. I think that would strengthen the cultural exchange, and from what I've seen everybody gets excited when we have people from different countries coming. >

Wang--WONG-- says Central is one of the best schools she's ever seen in the U.S...and that it's an example of equality in education.

<as long as we have equal educational opportunities, as long as we have well dedicated faculty, I think we are sure about the success of the education and we're sure about the success of the next generation of our own nations. >

Not only are Shanghai students coming to Central a real possibility....but also bibb students going to china.

Judie says Wesleyan delegates will go to Shanghai later this year.

<they would like someone from the bibb county school district to go over there and look at the different high schools and possibly send some of our bright young kids that we have in our district. >

Perhaps kids who are studying mandarin now...will have an opportunity to use what they've learned... in the future.

Elise Brown, 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.

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