"It just brought tears to my honest to be honest with you."
"He would be very pleased to see how his memory's being honored and his life's being celebrated."
MANY CENTRAL GEORGIANS LOOKED ON AS THE WORLD REMEMBERED THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF MICHAEL JACKSON.
HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.
I'M LORRA LYNCH...
AND I'M LEAH JOHNSON.
THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.
WE'LL HAVE MORE ON MICHAEL JACKSON'S MEMORIAL IN JUST A MOMENT... BUT FIRST...
OUR TOP STORY AT SIX... BALDWIN COUNTY PROSECUTOR FRED BRIGHT SAYS.... A RECENT GEORGIA SUPREME COURT RULING MAKES IT LEGAL FOR TEACHERS TO HAVE CONSENSUAL SEX WITH STUDENTS WHO ARE SIXTEEN AND OLDER.
HE SAYS THAT MEANS.... FORMER BALDWIN COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER ALLISON IVEY WON'T BE PROSECUTED ON SEXUAL ASSAULT CHARGES AFTER ALL.
LAST YEAR.. A GRAND JURY INDICTED IVEY ON FIVE COUNTS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT AFTER ALLEGEDLY HAVING SEX WITH TWO STUDENTS.
AT THE TIME.. ONE STUDENT WAS SEVENTEEN.... THE OTHER EIGHTEEN.
BASED ON THE COURT RULING.. BRIGHT SAYS HE'LL ASK A SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE TO DISMISS THE CHARGES BECAUSE THEY CAN'T BE PROSECUTED SUCCESSFULLY.
Fred Bright, Baldwin County District Attorney: What they're saying is that it's almost useless, and I can tell you as a prosecutor it's basically useless and i dont claim to speak for all the prosecutors in the state but i think that is one of the reasons we unanimously filed a friend of the court brief.
WHEN THE INDICTMENT CAME DOWN LAST YEAR.. IVEY'S MOTHER... JUDY IVEY.. CHAIRED THE BALDWIN COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION.
IVEY RESIGNED HER TEACHING POSITION AFTER BEING INDICTED.
CENTRAL GEORGIANS GATHERED IN HOMES, AT WORK AND OTHER PLACES TO WATCH THE MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR MICHAEL JACKSON.
VANESSA RUFFES TALKED WITH JACKSON FANS WHO WATCHED IT ON TELEVISION AND FELT THE EMOTIONS OF THE DAY FROM A CONTINENT AWAY.
MARY HILL, MACON
"It just brought tears to my eyes to be honest with you. It really did..."
For Mary Hill and many others....this bar and restaurant in Macon turned ...for one day...into a solemn gathering place for fans of Michael Jackson---
STEVEN WALKER, MACON
"I ain't there in person to see..so I guess I can just pay my respects by watching it on TV."
MANY we spoke with SAY GIVING THE POP ICON THEIR OWN SEND-OFF WITH OTHER JACKSON FANS WAS THE NEXT BEST THING to being at the memorial ---
"Many people say they wanted to take time out of their day to watch Michael Jackson's memorial service. They say it's because he was a man...who in such a short lifetime...touched so many people."
JODI WILLINGHAM, MACON
"You watch him impact so many people...not just in this nation but worldwide. That he's impacted people this way. It's wonderful to be able to witness that."
JODI WILLINGHAM AND MARY HILL SAY THEY EXPECTED JACKSON'S MEMORIAL SERVICE TO BE TOUCHING. THEY SAY THEY SCHEDULED THEIR LUNCHBREAKS AROUND THE SERVICE...AND REQUESTED A TABLE NEAR A TELEVISION.
...AND WILLINGHAM SAYS SHE WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED.
JODI WILLINGHAM, MACON
"I think he would be very pleased to see how his memory is being honored and his life's being celebrated."
SNEAKING GLIMPSES OF THE SERVICE WITH COWORKERS AND FELLOW JACKSON FANS...STEVEN WALKER SAYS IT'S AN EMOTIONAL DAY FOR HIM. WALKER SAYS THE PROGRAM DID JUSTICE TO THE SINGER.
STEVEN WALKER, MACON
"You know he touched a lot of people's hearts. Inspired a lot of people to go in the right direction. We're going to miss him Michael Jackson. Nobody's going to able to take his place."
VANESSA RUFFES 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
SOME OF THOSE FANS SAID THEY ENJOYED BEING ABLE TO TALK ABOUT THEIR FAVORITE MICHAEL JACKSON SONGS AND MEMORIES.
THEY ALSO TALKED ABOUT THE CONTROVERSY SURROUNDING HIS PASSING.
FOR FULL COVERAGE OF THE JACKSON MEMORIAL SERVICE.... STAY TUNED FOR THE CBS EVENING NEWS RIGHT AFTER THIS NEWSCAST.
THE CHAIRMAN OF THE EATONTON - PUTNAM COUNTY WATER AND SEWER AUTHORITY IS ACCUSED OF HAVING AN ILLEGAL TAP ON HIS PROPERTY.
CREWS DUG FOR TWO DAYS LAST WEEK SEARCHING THE WATER LINE FOR THE SPOT WHERE THE TAP WAS MADE.
BOFTA YIMAM SHOWS YOU WHAT THEY FOUND AND WHY THE CHAIRMAN SAYS HE'S NOT GUILTY.
Tom Thompson, EPWSA Chairman
"they ripped right across this point about four feet of where the rock are piled over there."
TOM THOMPSON HEADS UP THE EATONTON PUTNAM WATER AND SEWER AUTHORITY.
HE SAYS HE FOUND WORKERS FROM THE SEWER AUTHORITY RIPPING THE FRONT OF HIS PROPERTY LAST WEEK. HE SAYS THEY TOLD HIM THEY RECEIVED A COMPLAINT ABOUT DIRTY WATER...FROM A CALLER WHO LISTED HIS ADDRESS.
ASST. DIR OF THE SEWER AUTHORITY DONNA ARCHEBELLE WOULD NOT SPEAK TO US ON CAMERA BUT SAYS THEY SUSPECTED AN ILLEGAL TAP. THOMPSON SAYS HE'S NOT GUILTY AND USES PRIVATE WELLS ON HIS PROPERTY FOR WATER.
"I have never used water from the water authority and the previous water here was handled by the city of eatonton, I declined to have city water when I built my home 30 years ago."
ARCHEBELLE SAID THEY DUG FOR FOR 2 DAYS AND FOUND NOTHING. THOMPSON CALLED A SEWER AUTHORITY MEETING TUESDAY TO EXPLAIN WHY HE WAS FALSELY ACCUSED.
"told them what the problem was and felt that the board needed to take immediate action because it not only was going to result in further destruction of my landscape and my property but also that there was an implication of dishonesty and I had contacted the sheriffs Dept to have him do a criminal investigation of the perpetrators. "
ARCHEBELLE SAID THEY'RE WAITING ON THE BOARD FOR FURTHER ACTION. SHE SAID THE BOARD COULD CHOOSE TO DIG IN A DIFFERENT LOCATION ON THOMPSON'S PROPERTY. TOM THOMPSON SAYS HE FEELS THE ACCUSATIONS ARE UNFAIR.
"All I can say is this is totally absurd and it makes good people question their sanity when they offer fir public office."
Bofta Yimam 13wmazeyewitness news
THOMPSON IS ALSO THE COUNTY COMMISSION CHAIRMAN.
HE SAYS SEWER AUTHORITY WORKERS TRESSPASSED NEARLY TWO WEEKS AGO WHEN THEY TOOK A WATER SAMPLE OFF HIS PROPERTY... WHEN HIS GATES WERE LOCKED.
HE SAYS HE PLANS TO PRESS CHARGES.
ARCHEBELLE SAYS THEY PLAN ON TALKING ABOUT THE ALLEGATIONS AT THEIR NEXT MEETING ON JULY 15TH.
AT TONIGHT'S MACON CITY COUNCIL MEETING... COUNCIL IS EXPECTED TO VOTE ON WHETHER TO INCLUDE BRAGG JAM IN THE CITY'S ALCOHOL ORDINANCE.
THE MOVE WOULD ALLOW OPEN CONTAINERS IN DOWNTOWN MACON ON THE NIGHT OF THE EVENT.
STEPHANIE SUSSKIND IS AT THE MEETING...SHE JOINS US NOW WITH THE LATEST.
WE'LL HAVE MORE ON WHAT THE COUNCIL DECIDES TONIGHT ON EYEWITNESS NEWS AT ELEVEN...AND AT 13WMAZ.COM.
TODAY'S 13-W-M-A-Z DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... SHOULD OPEN CONTAINERS BE ALLOWED AT MACON'S BRAGG JAM FESTIVAL?
58 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO.
AND 42 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES.
VOTE RIGHT NOW.
LOOK FOR THE WEB POLL QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE.
PEOPLE WHO LIVE AND WORK IN HOUSTON COUNTY COULD SOON FIND OUT ABOUT EMERGENCIES ON THEIR CELL AND HOME PHONES.
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS APPROVED A FIVE YEAR AGREEMENT WITH THE CODE RED COMPANY... FOR A TELEPHONE EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION SYSTEM.
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR JIMMY WILLAMS SAYS IT WILL SEND AN AUTOMATED MESSAGE TO EACH REGISTERED NUMBER ABOUT SEVERE WEATHER... ROAD CLOSINGS... AND OTHER EMERGENCIES.
Jimmy Williams, Houston County EMA: "This is one phase of our project from the referendum passed last November. This gives immediate access to some of those areas less populated, more so than others, they can get notifications very quickly."
WILLIAMS SAYS SERVICE WILL BEGIN SEPTEMBER 30TH.
STARTING IN A FEW WEEKS.. PEOPLE WILL BE ABLE TO REGISTER THEIR NUMBER ON CITY AND COUNTY WEBSITES.
HOUSTON COUNTY'S BOOMING GROWTH SLOWED IN THE PAST TWO YEARS... BUT THE TAX DIGEST SHOWS IT HASN'T COME TO A STOP.
COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR STEVE ENGLE SAYS THE DIGEST GREW BY A MODEST 2-PERCENT...
BUT EVEN THAT SLIGHT GROWTH COULD ADD UP TO SAVINGS FOR TAX PAYERS.
<<nats- serving food
JUDY WENGER KEEPS THE LUNCH CROWD COMING BACK TO THE OIL LAMP.
Judy Wenger: (20:08) "I have a lot of repeat customers and they seem to enjoy it."
THEY LIKE HER HEAPING HELPINGS OF HOME COOKED FOOD SO MUCH... SHE BOUGHT A LARGER BUILDING AFTER THIRTEEN YEARS OF RENTING.
Judy Wenger: (19:15) "I got it since the economy is bad for a really good purchase price. I thought now is the time to buy and take the chance people will support me."
WITH AN AVERAGE OF 200 LUNCH CUSTOMERS EACH DAY... IT'S WORKING OUT FOR WENGER AND THE COUNTY.
nats- talking to Engle
COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR STEVE ENGLE SAYS COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTAL PURCHASES KEPT THE TAX DIGEST GROWING.
Steve Engle, County Administrator: (6:29) "It's down from years past, but relative to other communities, I think Houston County is doing well."
HE SAYS THE COUNTY'S DIGEST GREW 2-POINT-ONE PERCENT... AND THE BOARD OF EDUCATION'S INCREASED SLIGHTLY MORE. THAT ADDS UP TO ABOUT THREE-POINT-SIX-BILLION DOLLARS.
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¶ENGLE SAYS COMMISSIONERS STILL PLAN TO HIKE THEIR PORTION OF THE TAX RATE BY ONE MILL TO COVER THE COUNTY WIDE WARNING SYSTEM AND INCREASES IN PERSONNELL COSTS.
]] C1.5 G 0 [[
BUT THE BOARD OF EDUCATION WILL LIKELY SET THEIRS AT AN EIGHTH OF A MILL... THAT'S LOWER THAN THE PLANNED ONE PLUS MILL THEY PROJECTED BASED ON ZERO GROWTH... SAYS SUPERINTENDENT OF FINANCE... STEVEN THUBLIN.
Steven Thublin: (9:15) "It actually increased more than we were expecting."
TAXPAYERS CAN THANK ENTEPRENUERS OPENING BUSINESSES LIKE WENGER FOR THE SAVINGS... IN ADDITION TO THE HEARTY PORTIONS OF HOT FOOD.
THE BOARD OF EDUCATION WILL HOLD A SPECIAL CALLED MEETING THURSDAY AT NOON TO TENTATIVELY SET THE MILLAGE RATE.
THAT'S AT THE HOUSTON COUNTY CAREER TECH CENTER OFF CORDER ROAD IN WARNER ROBINS.
STEVE ENGLE SAYS THE COUNTY WILL SET THE RATE BY JULY 29TH OF THIS MONTH.
SOME CENTRAL GEORGIA GIRL SCOUTS ARE TAKING A EXTRA STEP IN TECHNOLOGY...
THE GIRL SCOUTS OF HISTORIC GEORGIA HOSTED A KIDS CAMP.. CALLED STEM.. WHICH STANDS FOR SCIENCE.. TECHNOLOGY.. ENGINEERING AND MATH..
FIFTY TWO EAGER GIRLS WENT TO THE CAMP TO TRY AND GET A HEAD START ON SECURING THEIR FUTURE.
AT THE STEM CAMP.. CAMPERS LEARN HOW TO EXPERIMENT WITH EVERYDAY ITEMS TO MAKE FUTURISTIC INVENTIONS.
THE GOAL IS TO HELP THESE CAMPERS BE SUCCESSFUL WHEN IT'S TIME TO JUMP INTO THE JOB MARKET.
Michelle Hailey-Camp Coordinator
3:27 We know that it is vitally important to have female presence and woman in excel in science, technology, math and engineering.
THE STEM CAMP WRAPS UP SATURDAY WITH NASA DAY.
THANKS FOR JOINING US.... WE'LL BE BACK TONIGHT AT 11.
BUT REMEMBER...THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ.COM !
THE EVENING NEWS WITH KATIE COURIC IS UP NEXT.
HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.