HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.
I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
AND I'M FRANK MALLOY..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX..
TONIGHT....PEOPLE IN EAST MACON ARE GETTING THE CHANCE TO TELL CITY OFFICIALS HOW THEY CAN MAKE THEIR NEGIHBORHOOD BETTER.
IN JUST A MOMENT...WE'LL HEAR FROM ONE NEIGHBORHOOD LEADER ABOUT WHAT HE THINKS IS NEEDED IN EAST MACON.
FIRST....SOME BACKGROUND FROM CANDACE ADORKA ABOUT HOW THE CITY IS DRAWING UP PLANS...TO REDEVELOP EAST MACON AND OTHER AREAS.
PASTOR JOE DOWNING RUNS A PRODUCE STAND OFF SHURLING DRIVE THAT BOASTS THE BEST BIOLED PEANUTS IN TOWN.
"they getting done they ain't quite ready yet."
HE'S LIVED AND WORKED IN EAST MACON FOR 10 YEARS.
"People claim East Macon is so bad but its not... it's not just a bad place. We need some more guidance and we need some more work around here."
WANZINA JACKSON... DIRECTOR OF THE CITY'S ECONIMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT... SAYS THEY WANT TO HEAR FROM PEOPLE LIKE DOWNING.
"this is an opportunity for citizens to give us feedback as far as what they feel is apporpriate for their neighborhood."
THE URBAN REDEVELOPMENT TASKFORCE IS HOLDING A MEETINGS TO GET IDEAS FOR THE CITY'S URBAN REDEVELOPMENT PLAN.
***nats: from east macon going to the Downtown pleasant hill area..."
JACKSON SAYS THEY ARE WORKING TO REVITALIZE AREAS OF THE CITY THAT HAVE HIGH POVERTY RATES... NOT ENOUGH BUSINESSES... AND ABANDONED BUILDINGS.
"We're looking at ways to bring businesses back in to those areas where they once were, as well as creating new opportunities."
DOWNING THAT'S ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT FOR YOUNG PEOPLE IN EAST MACON AND ACROSS THE CITY.
"We are trying to reach the young men and young ladies where they wont have to be doing these things they're doing because this crime, it needs to be stopped."
SO HE SAYS HE PLANNED TO CLOSE HIS STAND EARLY AND ATTEND THE MEETING TO HELP COME UP WITH WAYS TO BRING JOBS TO EAST MACON.
"Because what can we do if they ain't got ne jobs? We need more jobs. That would take a lot of the crime off the streets."
CANDACE ADORKA 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> THE EAST MACON REDEVELOPMENT MEETING STARTED AT 6 P-M AT UNION BAPTIST CHURCH ON KITCHENS STREET.
IF YOU WERE NOT ABLE TO ATTEND...
YOU CAN STILL CALL THE CITY'S ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT TO GIVE YOUR IDEAS.
THE NUMBER TO CALL....478-751-7190. AGAIN THAT'S 751-7190.
JOINING US IN THE STUDIO... RANDALL SAVAGE TALKS TO CARLTON PITTS... A RESIDENT AND COMMUNITY ACTIVIST IN EAST MACON.
RANDALL SAVAGE TALKS WITH CARLTON PITTS... INTERIM CHAIRMAN FOR THE COMMITTEE FOR DECENCY.
AND TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... HAS EAST MACON BEEN NEGLECTED BY MACON AND BIBB COUNTY?
SO FAR 58 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES.
AND 42 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO.
VOTE NOW... VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM AND LOOK FOR THE WEB POLL QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE PAGE.
LAST MONTH... WE TOLD YOU HOW A 2010 FATAL SHOOTING BY AN EAST DUBLIN POLICE OFFICER... EXPOSED AN ISSUE WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT.
NEARLY THE ENTIRE EAST DUBLIN POLICE DEPARTMENT LACKED THE POWER OF ARREST LAST YEAR... BECAUSE THEY WEREN'T TRAINED IN THE USE OF DEADLY FORCE.
AMY AUBERT HAS MORE FROM A G-B-I INVESTIGATION ON ANOTHER EAST DUBLIN OFFICER....INVOLVED IN A DIFFERENT SHOOTING.
<<I RECEIVED G-B-I RECORDS THAT SHOW IN 2009... EAST DUBLIN OFFICER STEFAN BROWN ACCIDENTALLY SHOT TRAMMEL MURRAY AT A TRAFFIC STOP.
OTHER STATE RECORDS SHOW THAT BROWN ALSO LACKED ARREST POWERS...BECAUSE HE FAILED TO GET DEADLY FORCE TRAINING,.
ACCORDING TO THE GBI RECORDS... BROWN RECOGNIZED MURRAY AND KNEW THERE WAS A WARRANT OUT FOR HIS ARREST.
BROWN SAYS HE TOOK HIS GUN OUT OF HIS HOLSTER AS HE APPROACHED THE CAR ...BUT DID NOT DRAW IT.
WHEN HE TRIED TO OPEN THE CAR DOOR... HE ACCIDENTALLY FIRED ... SHOOTING HIMSELF IN THE ARM... AND MURRAY IN THE CHEST.
THESE RECORDS FROM THE STATE POLICE OFFICER STANDARDS AND TRAINING AGENCY... FILED IN AUGUST OF THIS YEAR.
THEY SHOW BROWN DIDN'T HAVE ARREST POWERS AT THE TIME OF THE SHOOTING... BECAUSE HE DIDN'T GET THE REQUIRED DEADLY FORCE TRAINING IN 2008 AND 2009.
THE G-B-I SAYS IT ASKED DISTRICT ATTORNEY CRAIG FRASER NUMEROUS TIMES...OVER MORE THAN A YEAR... WHETHER HE PLANNED TO TAKE THE CASE TO A GRAND JURY.
FINALLY....IN FEBRUARY...THEY CLOSED THE CASE AGAINST OFFICER STEFAN BROWN...BECAUSE FRASER NEVER ACTED ON THE CASE.
NOW.....AN ADVOCATE IN ANOTHER CASE AGAINST THE DEPARTMENT IS ASKINGTHE G-B-I TO REOPEN IT.
KENNETH GLASGOW REPRESENTED THE FAMILY OF MELVIN WILLIAMS....SHOT TO DEATH BY AN EAST DUBLIN OFFICER LAST YEAR.
HE SAYS THE STEFAN BROWN SHOOTING...ALSO DESERVES ANOTHER LOOK.
THE POLICE OFFICER STANDARDS AND TRAINING COUNCIL IS THE AGENCY THAT CERTIFIES GEORGIA LAW OFFICERS...AND APPROVES THEIR ARREST POWERS.
THEY REINSTATED STEFAN BROWN'S POWER OF ARREST IN AUGUST.
WE CALLED DISTRICT ATTORNEY CRAIG FRASER AND THE POST AGENCY... NEITHER RETURNED OUR PHONE CALLS TODAY.
MACON POLICE ASK FOR YOUR HELP IN FINDING A PERSON OF INTEREST IN A RECENT MURDER.
STEPHEN JACKSON WAS SHOT MULTIPLE TIMES IN THE BACK AT ELL AND CHAPPELL STREETS....LAST THURSDAY NIGHT.
A MACON POLICE NEWS RELEASE SAYS BRANDON DEWANYE MORRALL IS A PERSON OF INTEREST IN THE CASE,
THEY SAY HE KNEW JACKSON...AND THERE ARE AT LEAST TWO WITNESSES TO THE MURDER.
IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ON MORRALL'S WHEREABOUTS.. YOU CAN CALL MACON REGIONAL CRIMESTOPPERS AT 1-877-68-CRIME.
AGAIN.. THAT'S 1-877-68-CRIME.
A VOTE TODAY IN ATLANTA SHOULD KEEP THE GEORGIA SPORTS HALL OF FAME IN MACON FOR THE NEXT THREE YEARS.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO GEORGIA SPORTS HALL OF FAME INTERIM DIRECTOR BEN SAPP.
TODAY SAPP AND THE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF BIBB COUNTY MET WITH THE STATE PROPERTIES COMMISSION.
THE COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO LEASE THE HALL TO THE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY FOR A YEAR FOR 130 THOUSAND DOLLARS.
THE AGREEMENT SAYS THE HALL CAN RENEGOTIATE THE LEASE EACH YEAR FOR ANOTHER TWO YEARS.
THE LEASE MUST BE RENEWED EACH YEAR.
THE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY WILL OWN THE BUILDING... AND LEASE IT TO NEWTOWN MACON...WHICH WILL MANAGE AND FUND THE MUSEUM.
SOME MACON DEMOCRATS ARE STILL TRYING TO REMOVE THE PARTY'S BIBB COUNTY CHAIRMAN DARYL MORTON.
THEIR EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE VOTED EIGHT TO FIVE TO PRESS ON WITH THE REMOVAL.
MORTON CALLS IT BASELESS AND RETALIATORY.. HE SAYS THE COMMITTEE VOTE WAS INVALID AND HAS ASKED STATE PARTY OFFICIALS TO LOOK INTO THAT.
BUT MORTON CRITICS LIST FIFTEEN REASONS FOR WANTING HIM OUT.. INCLUDING ALLEGATIONS THAT HE TOOK SIDES DURING THIS SUMMER'S DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY RUNOFF.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER SARAH HUNT SAYS THE PARTY'S STAGNATED UNDER MORTON'S LEADERSHIP.
Sarah Hunt, Democratic Executive Committee Member: "We have not been doing anything this year at all I have sent him several emails as to when we were going to get organized we need to have different committees in place we don't have any committees in place that should be in place. We don't have a registration committee. We're getting ready to take a look at our bylaws, we don't have a bylaws committee we're not organized as the parties in other counties are."
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER AL TILLMAN SAYS MORTON'S CRITICS ARE UPSET BECAUSE THEIR CANDIDATES DIDN'T WIN.
Al Tillman: "Some people need to realize that the election season during the primaries and the mayor's race is over and I think we as democrats and as a community have far too many issues to be dealing with such as the SPLOST and young kids shooting and killing each other to be in fighting about a person who is volunteering his or her time
HUNT SAYS MONDAY'S VOTE WAS TO PROCEED WITH THE REMOVAL PROCESS.. WHICH WOULD ALLOW MORTON'S OPPONENTS TO STATE THEIR REASONS.. AND LET MORTON DEFEND.
AFTER THAT.. HUNT SAYS...THEY COULD TAKE AN ACTUAL REMOVAL VOTE...BUT THEY'D NEED A TWO-THIRDS MAJORITY TO OUST MORTON.
THE WARNER ROBINS REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY SAYS A DOWNTOWN TENANT OWES ABOUT 5-THOUSAND DOLLARS IN RENT.
R-D-A EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR... GARY LEE... SAYS THE CITY IS TRYING TO WORK OUT PAYMENT ARRANGEMENTS WITH GEENA DEBOE... OWNER OF THE FLAMINGO FOLLIES BOUTIQUE.
DEBOE OPENED THE STORE ON COMMERCIAL CIRCLE ABOUT TWO AND HALF YEARS AGO... AND SIGNED A LEASE ON THE CITY OWNED PROPERTY FOR 550 DOLLARS A MONTH.
SHE'S A MEMBER OF THE DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY... AND CHAIRPERSON FOR THE INTERNATIONAL CITY FALL FESTIVAL.
DEBOE SAYS SHE FELL BEHIND ON THE RENT...BECAUSE SHE'S BEEN ILL.
SHE SAYS SHE TRIED TO END THE LEASE LAST SPRING... BUT LEE TALKED HER INTO STAYING.
Gena DeBoe, Warner Robins: (43:42) "I was willing to do this based on the promises that were made, that we would work this out. I was staying to help out the festival. I feel attacked and betrayed."
DEBOE SAYS SHE PAID HERSELF FOR REPAIRS TO THE CITY OWNED PROPERTY .. AND THAT LEE VERBALLY AGREED TO ACCEPT THE REPAIR PAYMENTS IN LIEU OF SEVERAL MONTHS RENT.
LEE SAYS HE DID NOT COMMIT TO THAT... BUT HE SYMPATHIZES WITH DEBOE'S SITUATION... AND WANTS TO WORK OUT A PAYMENT PLAN.
THANKS FOR JOINING US.... WE'LL BE BACK TONIGHT AT 11.
BUT REMEMBER...THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ.COM !
THE EVENING NEWS IS UP NEXT.
HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.