eyewitness news at 6, 10-29-13

6:16 PM, Oct 29, 2013   |    comments
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< "This is a process that, it's not about money, it's about what you do with the resources you have, and it's about sustaining the resources after the money is gone..."


<"At Rutland, we try so hard to do what we're supposed to do, and it's good to know that we finally done">


     Both leaders in education...and the students they serve...celebrate success for Rutland High today.

     We'll explain what milestone the Bibb County school reached...and what some newly released numbers mean in the bigger picture.

    Hello everyone. 

   Thank you for joining us.

    I'm Frank Malloy.

    More on that story ahead.

     First though, our Top Story on Eyewitness News at Six....


     The man charged with trying to grab a student... From a Springdale Elementary School in Bibb County...remains in jail.

     That's because a judge said he won't set bond...until Maduabuchi Christian Ogo undergoes a psychological evaluation.

      Ogo is charged with kidnapping...battery...and false imprisonment.

     Today....Judge Howard Simms ordered the evaluation... After District Attorney David Cook opposed bond.

     Ogo's lawyer...Keith Fitzgerald.. insists the charges are a misunderstanding.

     He said Ogo has lived with his son and grandkids who go to the school -since June. He says Ogo is a Nigerian citizen...who does not speak English.

     But the D-A said Ogo's behavior last Wednesday...when he allegedly tried to grab a child outside Springdale at dismissal...was bizarre.

< I don't expect what we saw was a cultural misunderstanding.  I looked over all the witness accounts and spoke with the officer at length and once I'd reviewed all the statements of the witnesses, it became clear what our position should be.   >


Members of the local Nigerian community packed the courtroom to support Ogo.  They say he doesn't have a birth cerificate...so his actual age is unclear.

They said he's in poor health.

< And looking at him, the way he is, common sense would tell anybody that this man actually is not capable to kidnap anybody. They should let this man go.>

Once the evaluation is complete, a new bond hearing will be set.

D-A Cooke says while it's important to get more facts....he says he's unlikely to change his opposition to bond.

     Rutland High say they're improving...and the state is noticing.

     They're off Georgia's list of low achieving schools.

     But as Elise Brown found out...it's not as simple as numbers.

     Students and school leaders told her about the road ... Paved with hard work...that got them there.

Math wasn't Harley Knight's strongest suit freshman year...

<I failed it and they told me I could come to summer school if I chose to gain the credit and I did. >


Summer classes are part of Rutland High Schools effort to improve student performance..

The school announced Tuesday that the state no longer considers it a priority....or low-achieving... school.

<we've been working towards that goal improving our graduation rate, our test scores, keeping our students in schools. >


Over the past three years...Rutland used a school improvement grant.....totalling about 3 point 5 million dollars.

Principal Jerri Hall says it enabled the school to better help students.

<the one thing that made the biggest difference was offering students the extra support that they need. Whether it was before school, after school, during school, on saturdays, during holidays, during the summer.>


Knight didn't mind giving up june...and part of July.... for math class.


<I felt like that my school work was more important than my summer vacation. I'll always have a summer vacation but I'll  never be able to fix my grade if I don't try.  >


Like Knight.....Keenissa Brown.....has used the extra help.


<when it comes to SAT I've stayed and also with math. The teachers are very helpful they stay and they  and they see the areas that you need improving in and they go step by step and they teach you what you need to know  .>



Knight and Brown are excited that Rutland is off the priority list...and say the school has worked hard for that.

Elise Brown, 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.

One of the Bibb officials at today's news conference was Sylvia Hooker...now the deputy Superintendent of School Improvement.

While at the Georgia Department of Education...she worked to provide resources to help Rutland..and says it's exciting now to see that pay off.

Other Bibb County high schools still on the state's priority list include Southwest..Central....Westside...Northeast....and the Hutchings Career Center.

The race to fill the District 2 seat in Macon-Bibb County's new consolidated government seemed to be over last week...when a recount upheld the runoff results.

    But the candidate who apparently lost ..isn't satisfied with the outcome.


     A recount said Macon City Councilman Henry Ficklin  lost to council colleague and Rabbi Larry Schlesinger by 26 votes.

     But Ficklin questions that.

     Yesterday... he filed suit in Bibb Superior Court against the Macon-Bibb Board of Elections.

     Today... Ficklin told us that the election was filled with irregularities....misconduct and fraud.

     He said his name was left off more than the 26 ballots that gave Schlesinger a win.

     And he wants a new election.

     Defendants in the lawsuit include the winner.... Schlesinger.... and elections supervisor Jeanetta Watson.

     We called both Schlesinger and Watson, as well as county attorney Virgil Adams for reaction.

     A week out from the election...a Warner Robins mayoral candidate accused of keeping too many cats...now faces more than 3,000 dollars in fines for violating the city's animal ordinance.

     That's according to William Childs, clerk of Warner Robins Municipal Court.


     Childs said a municipal court judge found Eva Folse guilty on more than a dozen citations....issued this spring.

     They include interfering with an animal control officer..not providing food for the cats...and not removing their waste.

     She has 10 days to appeal to Houston County Superior Court.


     The judge ruled on Folse's case after a four-and-half hour hearing this morning...

     It's Great Hang Up day at 13WMAZ!

     Three years after the ban on texting and driving started... Some central Georgians still don't know exactly what they can and can't do in the car.

     Katelyn Heck breaks down the law... And clears up some drivers' questions.

     In Georgia... Texting while driving is illegal... But what some drivers may not know... Or may have forgotten... Is that law applies whenever your car is not in park.

     That means... Even if you're sitting at a traffic light... It's ILLEGAL to be sending or reading messages.

     Harris Blackwood with the Governor's Office of Highway Safety says that detail sets Georgia's law apart from many other states' cell phone bans.

     Since the law came out three years ago... Phones have gotten smarter... which means the number of distractions has gone up.

     BUT many of them still fall under the ban.

     For example, just because Facebook and Twitter have mobile apps... doesn't mean you can always use them on the go.

     Along with Surfing the web... Updating that status, tweeting, and checking emails... Are all illegal while behind the wheel.

     What you CAN do... Is use a GPS app on your phone... And listen to music.

     However... Blackwood Says just because it doesn't fall under the law... Doesn't mean it's not a distraction.

     He says using a navigation app on your phone or any gps... Can be just as dangerous as eating... Putting on make-up... Scrolling through radio stations... And texting.

     Research shows that if you're driving 65 miles an hour... And you look away from the road for five seconds... No matter what you're doing... You would drive about the length of a basketball court... And going that far, that fast... Makes you 23 times more likely to have an accident.

     Katelyn Heck 13WMAZ Eyewitness News

     If you would like to take our Great Hang Up pledge... You can find it under the features tab on the right side of our homepage.

      Some people in Milledgeville have started a project from the ground up... literally!

     We're in our backyard garden to tell you about a new grant through Georgia College that will keep another garden growing...

     And as Anita Oh found out today, the fruits of their labors will also help fight childhood obesity.

<okra, tomatoes, cucumber, squash, basil>


These are just a few of Linda McKnight's favorite things...

She grows them in the plot of land she rents in Milledgeville's community garden off Harrisburg Road.

A 10 by 12 foot plot costs ten dollars a year.

<it make us happy to know hey, this came from the garden. And when you see the price of collards, which are a staple around here... It'll make you want to plant your own!>


This garden was created through a grant to Georgia College's Center for Health and Social Issues.

Their success in expanding programs like the garden led to its most recent grant...

325-thousand dollars over the next three years to continue promoting a healthy lifestyle and fighting childhood obesity.

{***SOT FULL***}

<the project is focused on childhood obesity, but the interesting thing about that is when you create access to healthy food and physical activity, then everybody benefits>


The money will go to create more...


<green space, more community gardens, parks, playgrounds, that sort of thing>


Like a quarter-mile walking trail that was just created around the garden last month.

People say it's helping them stay active.


<we've been losing weight.. I lost about 26 pounds>


Kids are benefiting too.


<to me, they got a better attitude about life.... What about physically?... Physically... They're getting in shape!>


After all, they're simply reaping what they sow.

Anita Oh 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.

     Georgia College is one of four groups in the state to receive the grant.

     Lidstone says they'll also promote more bicycle trails, fix blighted properties and work with the schools to promote physical activity.

     For decades, a collection of vintage Ford cars sat in storage in Girard, a small town near Augusta. That is until Macon auctioneers from the L. W. Benton Company bought them.

     They're now selling all fifteen of the 1949 and 1950 Four Tudors, Four Doors, and Club Coupes online.

     Kristen Swilley shows us what makes these cars so special.

Vann Collins has seen a lot in his twenty years at the L.W. Benton Company.

<he just had truckload after truck load of brand new parts stored away.>

But even he was surprised by the private collection of 15 vintage Fords recently unearthed in  a small town near Augusta.

<we were told that some of them had not been outside in 30 years until we moved them here, but its just an amazing collection of this type of car>

After the owner of a single private collection died, the L.W. Benton company recovered his collection of Ford Tudors and Club Coupes and is selling them online.

<one of the things that makes these 1949 and 1950 Fords so special is that 1949 is the last year before Ford switched over to the more modern parts we use today>

Just take a look at the difference between these door handles. The light blue on the left is from 1950 and has the push button handles that are found in most cars, but the brown one on the right is from the year before and its handle looks sort of like the ones used on refrigerator doors.

George Smith still has his 1949 Ford from high school.

He said he's still driving it around... his scavenger hunts for rare parts will never end.

<I really don't need it right now, but it's like everything else . You buy an extra can of beans because you might not need it today, but you might need it tomorrow. >

In Macon...Kristen Swilley....13 WMAZ Eyewitness News.>

     The online auction ends this Friday at noon, but if a bid is made in the last five minutes it automatically extends and everyone will have a chance to bid again.

     That's all the time we have for Eyewitness News at Six.

     But we'll see you right back here again tonight at 10...on Central Georgia's CW... Then again at 11...here on 13WMAZ's main channel.

     Until then, you can always follow us at 13wmaz.dot.com and on WMAZ-mobile.

     Have a great night, everyone.

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