"we fought the good fight. We just didn't win."
That's a direct quote from House Speaker John Boehner today... As the Senate offered a deal on the debt ceiling and the shutdown.
But not everyone's happy with all the details...
<This is a terrible deal>
<"There are no winners here. We've said that from the beginning, and we're going to say it right up to the end, because it's true.>
Plus, meet the new boss...same as the old boss... Mayor Robert Reichert shares his plans for a consolidated Macon Bibb county... Next on Eyewitness News at 11.
I'm Frank Malloy.
The U.S. House has passed a deal tonight endi the partial government shutdown...and averting a debt ceiling crisis
It's the same package that the Senate easily passed earlier today.
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.
After the vote in the Senate today... Long-time Republican Senator and former presidential candidate John McCain had these comments.
< I think it's obvious that we are now seeing the end of this agonizing odyssey that this body has been put through, but far more importantly, the American people have been put through. It's one of the more shameful chapters that I have seen in the years that I have spent here in the senate. But I would like to say that if there's a good outcome it is the fact that 14 of us were able to join together, Republican and Democrat, leadership I must fully admit was provided primarily by women in the Senate. >
McCain largely referring there to Senator Susan Collins of Maine, a moderate Republican who lead the bipartisan group of senators, including six women, who developed the compromise.
While many Democrats in the Senate were happy with the day's progress...White House spokesman Jay Carney made it clear earlier this afternoon...this isn't a partisan victory.
<There are no winners here. We've said that from the beginning, and we're going to say it right up to the end, because it's true. The American people have paid a price for this. And nobody who is sent here to Washington by the American people can call themselves a winner if the American people have paid a price for what's happened.>
Also unhappy... One of Central Georgia's Congressman.
That's Republican Paul Broun from the Tenth District.
Earlier today, he indicated he wouldn't be on board with any package -- like this one -- that didn't take a bite out of the Affordable Health Care Act.
I urge our House leadership and my colleagues to stand strong, to have what many of my senate colleagues do not, the courage to oppose any deal that does not defund and delay Obamacare for all Americans now.
Again... The deal includes a stopgap measure to fund the government through January 15th.
The new debt ceiling deadline is February 7th.
With the end to the partial shutdown in sight....national parks may re-open soon.
Ocmulgee National Monument supervisor Jim David says they are waiting on word from the regional office on if they can open...
<it's part of the American history. Actually I visited a few of this kind of site before. >
Lu lives in Boston...and one of his classmates traveled here from china.. He says he hopes to return someday....to see the monument.
Now we turn to a story that's been evolving throughout the evening.
It started in Acworth Georgia...that's north of Atlanta..with reports of a teen...abducted in the early hours of Tuesday morning
Tonight, we've learned that young girl was found...just a few hours ago in Bibb County at the Country Inn and Suites off Arkwright Road. And that she wasn't abducted at all.
We go to Elise Brown live...as she explains how the search ended.
<I first received two Amber alerts when I was in the hotel room... I went out to grab a bite to eat... I started to leave the parking lot and saw, believe it or not, one white range rover, that was the vehicle..checked that tag, and it was not the vehicle. But there was another White Range Rover sitting in the checkout lane at the hotel.. I looked at that one, and it was the correct tag of the amber alert.
And what was going through your mind when that happened?
It was kind of like... Is this really happening? You know, the chances of seeing two white Range Rovers that I had just received a text, but you know, the system works, obviously, when people will pay attention when these amber alerts come out that ... They need to pay attention and look around them. Be aware of their surroundings. >
Thank you, Elise Brown...reporting live from the Country Inn and Suites on Arkright Road...where Acworth teen Amber Harrison was found tonight.
In other news tonight... Macon mayor Robert Reichert has 76 days to get ready for the new consolidated government government.
He sat down with Katelyn Heck today to discuss how he plans to do that.
Reichert says he wants to sit down with the nine new commissioners several times over the next few months to figure out the nuts and bolts of the new government.
Because once they take office... They'll only have six months to prepare their first budget.... And find ways to shave off the mandated 20 percent over the next four years.
He told me he's hoping attrition will make up for the bulk of it... And finding more efficient ways to function will fill in the rest.
<When we combine these two governments, instead of buying 100 sheets of paper, we'll be buying 200 sheets of paper, and volume discounts, so we'll look for ways to do that. We'll look for ways to use technology, to work smarter rather than harder and try to save money. In fact, we're spending money on the front end to buy new computer software that should make us more efficient, less clerical time, less work, less this that or the other. It's all going to be automated and state of the art. So we'll be looking for things like that to make us more efficient, more effective, but most of all, more equitably financed so all of us in Bibb County, all of us in this boat together, pay our fair share and the same rate.>
He says layoffs will be his last resort.
Obviously the budget is a top priority for the new government... But Reichert says he also wants to find and create new programs to deal with some of the issues that have been plaguing the community for several decades.
<we've got to do something about poverty and lifting people up, bringing in jobs and economic development, give people the opportunity to go to work and make a decent living and support their family which is what the vast majority of folks wan to do given the opportunity. We've got to make neighborhoods safer, steer young people away from gangs and drugs and violence and shooting it up on Saturday nights for Pete's sake and killing one another, we've got to move beyond that. We are a better community than that, we are a better people than that.>
And Reichert says with everything they're trying to do... There's likely to be a few bumps in the road and he wants to encourage people to help them rather than criticize.
<if we bumble, then say 'hey, you fumbled that ball, you dropped that pass, don't do that again, but let's keep moving.' Don't turn thumbs down on consolidation and say 'oh this is terrible' and let your attitude go to pot. We don't want to do that. Yes there's going to be bumps in the road, but we need to be honest about that and admit that up front. This is a big puzzle, and we're putting all of the pieces together, and it's going to be trial and error in some things. So work with us, keep your eyes focused on the big picture>
Reichert says to avoid some of the turbulence next year... he wants to plan a retreat for the commissioners and invite members from other consolidated governments to give them advice.
Katelyn Heck 13WMAZ Eyewitness News
Tomorrow, the Georgia Department of Transportation will be meeting with residents who live near the I-16 and I-75 interchange to talk about getting what they say...is some much-needed sound proofing.
Tom George went to the Shirley Hills neighborhood to hear what all the noise is about....
Shirley Hills is a regular suburban neighborhood ... But some who live there say, don't make the mistake of calling it quiet...
< You can hear it in the background...>
< We have to put earplugs in our ears it's so noisy>
< Real loud noise, it'll wake you up and scare you. >
Shirley Hills... and North Highlands in East Macon... are so close to the I-16/75 interchange, you can see it through some people's backyards.
When Janda Humphries moved in 3 years ago, the realtor said she'd get used to it.
< She was telling us that it's loud but you tend to block it out after while, so we went with that. Have you blocked it out? No. >
Now, Humphries says, it's even louder... with GDOT construction projects set to widen I-16 the interchange.
Humphries says new neighbors are in and out every few months.
< Take this house for example, just a few doors down. The Remax listing says it has a great yard and driveway, and it looks nice in the picture... But if you just listen for a second and you'll hear why it's been on the market for almost a year. >
It's why GDOT is holding a meeting Thursday to discuss installing noise barriers along I-16.
The proposal would have a wall stretching from the Ocmulgee River to Spring Street.
Councilmember Rick Hutto says he wants GDOT to explain how tall the walls be, and how effective the sound-proofing will be.
< We know we're going to hear it, you can hear it right now in this park. But what you need to do is to minimize it, show us how you can help us not be so terribly disturbed. >
GDOT says they'll give residents options for the wall's design-- like a stone finish, cherry blossom, or music notes
But neighbors say, however they look, if they don't go up soon...
< then we'll probably be packing up....>
In Macon, Tom George, 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.
The meeting will be held at the Highland Hills Baptist Church tomorrow night from 5 to 7.
That's at 1370 Briarcliff Road in Macon.
We want to remind you all our Football Friday Night fans to take the time and go vote for our Jones Zone Games of the week.
It's all you and Lorra... and who you think will pull off the big wins on Friday nights.
This week we feature Westside and Baldwin in Milledgeville..
County rivals Veterans and Perry in a stadium grudge match.. And the 4-2 Rutland Hurricanes on the road in the Foxy city with undefeated Mary Persons.
You can go vote right now.. and all this week.. On our webpage.. 13 wmaz dot com under the sports tab. Look for the Jones Zone icon..
You can catch results tomorrow night at 11.. so make sure you go vote.
Fried shrimp... Grilled shrimp... Barbecued shrimp... Shrimp scampi...The list goes on...
But a national shrimp shortage might cause some restaurants here in Central Georgia to pull a few choices off their menu.
There's a disease ravaging shrimp stocks in Thailand ... China ... And Vietnam -- three of the biggest exporters.
That's driving prices way up.
Some dishes at Polly's Corner café off zebulon Road ... Are also off the menu ... Like the all you can eat shrimp.
<we did that about a month ago. The shrimp prices have gone up for the past two years and we were trying to absorb it but they've gone up so much, we just had to take it off the menu>
Manager... Chad Brown ... Now buys eight cases a week ... That's two cases fewer than normal.