eyewitness news at 6, 10-16-13

6:01 PM, Oct 16, 2013   |    comments
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<our future is bright, and we hope to perpetuate and enhance this spirit of optimism and the 'yes we can' attitude and 'we can do this if we do it together.'>

     Mayor Robert Reichert...on his historic runoff win...and his future leading Macon-Bibb's new consolidated government as its mayor.

    Hello everyone.  Thank you for joining us.

    I'm Frank Malloy.

     Ahead, we'll get back to the Mayor's race...and one of last night's commission races that's still not over...apparently headed for a recount now.

     But first... Our top story... After16 days... The Senate reached a deal today...to officially end the partial government shutdown...

and avert default on the nation's debt.

     The Senate pitched the proposal... House leaders said they would accept it.

     House Speaker John Boehner said the nation's leaders just couldn't risk crashing through tomorrow's debt ceiling deadline.

     The deal includes a stopgap measure to fund the government through January 15th.

     It also pushes the deadline for raising the debt ceiling...back to February 7th.

     And... It requires a report for a more solid plan by December 13.  What you won't see in it are any major changes to the Affordable Healthcare Act.

     Another outcome of today's decision is that all national monuments.....will eventually reopen.

     Ocmulgee National Monument Park Ranger Irv Brock says officials were to hold a phone conference this afternoon... with National Park Director Jonathan Jarvis...to figure out details of what's next.

     Richang Lu and his friends were hoping the park would be open today....

     They were in Macon visiting Wesleyan...and the monument....but...were met by closed gates.

     We're told those may reopen tomorrow.

     Now just ahead, we'll take a closer look at today's deal.

     What Republicans got...what Democrats got...and who...if anyone..actually won the budget battle.

     It's 76 days until Macon Mayor Robert Reichert takes over as the head of the new consolidated government.

     Reichert says he and the nine commission members will schedule meetings to get to know each other... Discuss balancing the new budget and talk about other priorities.

     He says even in January...there will still be a lot of work to do.

<That really is the beginning of a project that's going to take months if not years to complete. Even the physical relocation of departments to combine human resources for the county with human resources for the city from two buildings into one organized, central location that's more efficient and effective to operate. The police department. Getting their detectives from city hall to their new place on third street and riverside drive with the county detectives. So for the first time you have all the property crime detectives talking, all the violent crime detectives talking about it, collaborating, changing information, drug squads collaborating, but all of this is going to take time. And I don't want anyone to think that as of January the first, 2014 life is going to (snap) change dramatically for us. No, it's going to be a process.>

   Reichert says he hopes the commission will adopt the government's first code of ordinances when they are sworn in on December 31st.


     While the mayor's race and three commission races were settled last night...we still don't know who will fill the district two seat.

     That's the race that pitted current Macon City council members Henry Ficklin and Larry Schlesinger against one another.

     Schlesinger apparently won... by 27 votes.  That's less than a percentage point...and Henry Ficklin has said he will ask for a recount.

     He says...he's heard reports of voting problems.

< Henry Ficklin, Commission Candidate: Of course I just had a man call me just a minute ago to tell me his son had a difficult time , he voted perfectly last time ,this time he had to wait 20 minutes  they said he wasn't even in the system, that's not the first call I got like that ." >

      But Ficklin said that man did eventually cast a ballot...and he could not name anyone who was not allowed to vote.

     Ficklin can request a recount because the margin of victory is less than one percent. He can't make the official request until the board of elections certifies Tuesday's results. That's expected to happen Friday.

      Meanwhile...one election down...another one is in full swing.

      As we approach the November 5th election.. we'll be introducing you to several candidates running for  Warner Robins city government.

     Today we start with post one...a citywide seat.

     Jennifer Moulliet sat down with the candidates and has more on why they want your vote.

     Four people are vying for the post one seat.


<we need to provide jobs>

     Mike Daley... Currently holds the spot and he's running to keep it.

<i've managed small facilities, i've managed small groups of people, i've managed large groups of people, i've been on  board of directors and the C.O.O of a transportation firm. >

     He says his experience puts him over the top.

<I think i'm in a much better position to be able to assist the new mayor coming in than the ex-coach would be to support the new coach and you can sort of look at the mayor as being a coach and when the new mayor comes in I think it'll be difficult to have the ex mayor right there on council >

     Current mayor Chuck Shaheen is also campaigning for post one... He says when he took the mayor's office... He didn't have someone to show him the ropes.

<i had to do baptism by fire the next mayor, I know they're going to make some mistakes, i'll never bring them up publicly, but I want them to know the road that i've traveled that I hope that I will make it a smoother road for them  >

     He says he wants to go back to work... To create a retirement plan... But still wants to serve the city... And says his time as mayor makes him a good candidate.

<i've balanced four budgets over the last four years in this tough economic time without laying off any employees so I want to come and help the mayor make sure the city moves forward  >

<you have to have resources, everybody has visions of grandeur of making things great but my question is how do we do it without affecting the tax payers   >

<i would lead the effort in peace and harmony>

     Charlie Scott... has over thirty years of service with the fire department... Also wants to call the post one seat his.

<you got to listen and listen to the needs of the people in this city so they can continue having a happy place to raise their children in this city. >

     he says the current  council lacks... Teamwork.

<work together, come up with different solutions and nail down the end for a period of time and then you can all come together and get the job done. >

     They all want to strengthen ties with Robins Air Force Base...and boost the recreation in the city.

In warner Robins jennifer moulliet 13wmaz eyewitness news.

     There's another candidate on the ballot for post one... Jeffrey Walker... Walker declined to do an interview with us.

      Shrimp....you can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it..

      But jumbo problems with supply overseas...are shrinking menus closer to home.

     Judy Le visited a restaurant that's selling a little less shrimp ...


They're juicy ... Crispy ...

<Bud Leggett, barnesville - they're good (laugh)

Maria Swartzentruber, Montezuma - when you bit into it, there's a little bit of that snap. That's what I like about it>


At Polly's Corner café off Zebulon Road ... Lunch time is all about


<Dorothy Engram, Montezuma - the shrimps (laugh)>


But shrimp shortage is causing prices to rise ... And taking dishes off the menu

<Chad brown, manager - we don't do all you can eat anymore because of the shrimp crisis>


There's a disease ravaging shrimp stocks in Thailand ... China ... And Vietnam -- three of the biggest exporters. That's driving prices way up.


<Chad brown, manager - it was about $80-90 a case, now it's upwards of $150 a case>


Manager... Chad Brown ... Now buys eight cases a week ... That's two cases less than normal. But that's still enough to feed their hungry lunch crowd.

<Dorothy Engram, Montezuma - combo with the catfish and shrimp

Maria Swartzentruber, Montezuma - I ordered the savannah shrimp salad. It was really good>


Although the all you can eat shrimp is off the menu ... There's still fried ... Boiled .. And countless other dishes to try....but now for a dollar more.


Judy Le 13wmaz eyewitness news

     White shrimp prices are nearing six dollars a pound ... That's up almost 56-percent from a year ago.

     That's according to a Urner Barry .... an organization specializing in news about the food industry.

     Earlier we explained the basics of the deal the senate offered to end the government shutdown and avoid a debt ceiling crisis.

     That's after a standoff that spanned about 16 days.

     So after all the verbal warfare...who, if anyone, won the budget battle?

     Randall Savage is in studio B with Democratic State representative James Beverly...and Bibb County GOP Chair Suzanne Wood...

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