Eyewitness News at 11 Sept. 24, 2013

10:58 PM, Sep 24, 2013   |    comments
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In the past year... Macon has been part of two movies about baseball... "trouble with the curve" and "42".

But Mayor Robert Reichert says now he wants the game to have a starring role in boosting the city's development.

Katelyn Heck explains why he says bringing in a minor league baseball team could be the answer.

The former Macon Braves packed up their gear and moved to Rome in 2002... And after an eleven year hiatus... Mayor Reichert says bringing in a new team could be a home run for the city.

<it's a very popular sport and it can, if it's properly done, it can bring a new sense of energy to an area. If it's located out and away, if it's isolated by itself, it's probably not going to be that much of a help, but if it's in close, in proximity to other things, it stimulates business and restaurants that are close by and all kind of other activities as well.

Tomorrow... members from C-H-A Group... A consulting firm... Will sit down with Reichert and the Urban Development authority... To discuss one of the first steps to making that a reality.... a feasibility study.

That answers questions such as... Could Macon even sustain a minor league team again?... Where would the team play?... And What kind of impact would it have on the community?

Reichert says over the past few years... he's looked to other communities with minor league teams for advice... But for Macon... there are still more questions than answers.

this was suggested to us about six months ago. I went to Greenville and saw what they were doing six years ago, went to Oklahoma City three years ago, and of course I've been talking to the mayor of Rome, Georgia off and on for months. So when this opportunity came up, and all they're trying to do is make a presentation about what a feasibility study would involve, how much it costs, what it does, what it doesn't do, kinda thing for us to consider.>


{***STUDIO B***}



In April... Warner Robins City Council gave a local businessman the reigns to look at the possibility of bringing a team to the International City.

Reichert says he has not spoken with Mayor Chuck Shaheen about their progress.



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He says the CHA group will make their formal pitch to the Urban Development Authority at their meeting Thursday morning.

Frank... He explains this isn't a meeting to discuss all the details of bringing in a team... But just a conversation to see if Macon should even step up to the plate.

Katelyn... Reichert isn't set on using Luther Williams field where the Macon Braves played?

He says it's a possibility... But depending on the cost of renovations and other factors... the city may need to look for a new stadium site.

Reichert says that's one of the many things the feasibility study would help decide.

The Macon Braves brought a few big names to town during their twelve years at Luther Williams... Chipper Jones and John Rocker are just a few.

Freshman United States Senator Ted Cruz says he will speak until he's no longer able to stand in opposition to President Barack Obama's health care law.

Standing on the Senate floor this afternoon, Cruz began a lengthy speech urging his colleagues to oppose moving ahead on a bill he supports. The measure would prevent a government shutdown and defund Obamacare.

At this hour... His speech continues...let's join that live for a moment and listen in....

A test vote is set for tomorrow.

The Texas senator, who has the backing of conservative groups, said all across the country Americans are suffering because of the 3-year-old health care law.

Again.. The push against the health care package...is based on the argument that its draining the economy...and tabling it will prevent an impending government shutdown.

Coming up a little later in this newscast...we'll take a closer look at what a shutdown could mean... For us here in Central Georgia, particularly for the many in the defense community.

Tonight, we're also talking about cuts of another kind.

Last Thursday... Many people learned that the U.S. House of Representatives voted to cut 39 billion dollars from the food stamp program.

That affects one out of five Georgians...according to numbers from the U-S-D-A.

Central Georgians who are already struggling... say more cuts to the food stamp program will leave them desperate.

One man told 13WMAZ he used to get 200 dollars a month in food stamps... But now only gets 16.

He says he's hungry -- and he adds not everyone is looking for an easy ride.

some people want jobs so they can better themselves. Those $200 will help me to better myself so I don't have to stand in line to get food. I can go out and try to find a job and I don't have to put certain things around a certain hour so I can get food>

To put things in perspectives...Georgia ranks 7th among the 50 states with the highest percentage of people on food stamps.

Tonight...a center named for a man...who's already created a legacy for himself in Macon's music community... Honored another man for a legacy of his own.

John Sweat has been orchestra director at Howard High for six years...before that...he spent about a decade at Westside.

And tonight... The Robert McDuffie Center Awards featured a night of passionate music... And a tribute to a passionate educator.

This was the first Robert McDuffie Center for Strings award.

The concert was performed by the Brentano Quartet.

The concert was the first in the Fabian series of concerts on the campus of Mercer.

We turn back to the possibility of a government shutdown as of October 1st...and your money...

What could all this mean for federal employees...and the general public.

Today, 13WMAZ called Robins Air Force Base... we learned the defense department told leaders to be ready...but no one could explain what those preparations are.

For active Duty members of the military...If the government shuts down next week... You will still report to work on the first... Even if there is no defense funding bill... Your october first paycheck will already have been made before that midnight deadline on the 30th... And shouldn't be affected...

However... according to "The Military Times", a Gannett sister publication... your mid-month checks will depend on how long the shut down lasts.

Also...employees' orders to relocate will likely be delayed.

For civilian defense employees... You will still report to work on the first... If the shutdown does in fact happen... But may be sent home early.

Now what if you're retired from the military?

Regular monthly retirement checks are NOT affected by a government shutdown... But could be delayed or reduced by a second fiscal crisis when the government reaches its 16 point 7 trillion dollar debt ceiling.

Again there is a lot of uncertainty.

And these are all just possibilities...that may never come to pass if the House...the Senate...and the White House all agree on funding before October 1st.

As we explained earlier...there are those in the GOP who believe...derailing the president's health care package is the way to make up a spending gap...and prevent a shutdown.

And Texas Freshman Senator Ted Cruz has spent hours on the floor...to make those points.

But how do you fill...a fillibuster?

Take a listen.

<I intend to speak in support of defunding Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand.

This fight is not about personalities. Look, most Americans could not give a flying flip about a bunch of politicians in Washington. Who Cares?

Almost all of us are in cheap suits with bad haircuts. Who Cares?

On a Saturday or Sunday morning when your dad is making pancakes it is cool when he makes them flip in the air and catch them.

I will credit my father. He invented, this wasn't for the restaurant, but he invented green eggs and ham.

You know, sometime agao I tweeted a Speech that Ashton Kutcher gave.

Eight White Castle Restaurants a year "I like their little burgers".

>Check back with us on Eyewitness News Mornin' for more from D-C.

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