HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.... I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
AND I'M FRANK MALLOY.
THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.
DEFENSE SECRETARY LEON PENNATA CALLED ON CONGRESS TODAY TO START A NEW ROUND OF BASE CLOSINGS...PART OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF DEFENSE CUTS.
WE'LL HAVE MORE ON THAT STORY IN JUST A MINUTE BUT FIRST... MOST OF CENTRAL GEORIGA IS UNDER A TORNADO WATCH UNTIL 12 A-M.
LET'S HEAD OVER TO THE WEATHER CENTER... WHERE WE FIND CHIEF METEOROLOGIST BEN JONES WITH THE LATEST.
THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE ASKED CONGRESS TO APPROVE ANOTHER ROUND OF BASE REALIGNMENT AND CLOSURE... OR BRAC.
THAT'S THE PROCESS THAT SHUTS DOWN INSTALLATIONS.. MOVING PEOPLE AND PROGRAMS TO FIT THE MILITARY'S NEEDS.
THE LAST ONE WAS IN 2005... AND ACTUALLY BROUGHT JOBS TO ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE.
PANETTA SAYS BRAC IS PART OF THE PRESIDENT'S PLAN TO CUT 487 BILLION DOLLARS OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS.
Leon Panetta, Sec. of Defense: "We decided it was important to make this an opportunity to develop a new defense strategy for the United States and the US the military force that we wanted for the future. That strategy guided us in making a series of tough budget choices in establishing a new set of defense priorities."
PANETTA SAID THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE WOULD ALSO SAVE MONEY BY
- SHRINKING GROUND FORCES... INCLUDING THE ARMY AND MARINES BY 100 THOUSAND PEOPLE.
- RETIRING AGING AIRCRAFT.. INCLUDING SOME C-5s AND C-130s WHICH ARE MAINTAINED AT ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE.
- SMALLER PAY INCREASES STARTING IN 2015.
- AND REVIEWING HEALTHCARE BENEFITS FOR RETIREES.
TO BREAK DOWN WHAT ALL THIS COULD MEAN FOR CENTRAL GEORGIA... GENERAL RICK GODDARD SENIOR ADVISOR TO THE 21ST CENTURY PARTNERSHIP IN WARNER ROBINS IS JOINING LORRA LYNCH JONES.
THE PARTNERSHIP IS THE PRIVATE ORGANIZATION THAT WORKS TO SUPPORT THE BASE COMMUNITY AT HOME AND IN WASHINGTON.
- Did you expect this call for another round of BRAC?
- The last round of BRAC was in 2005. If Congress aprooves it, what can we expect?
- How soon will we know how today's plan will impact Robins?
- What, if anything, can the 21st Century Partnership do to minimize the impact of job loss to Robins?
- Panetta said that some aging aircraft such as the C5 and C-130 will be retired. What impact will that have on Robins?
- Panetta focused on expanding the U2 Spy program. Some of that works is done at Robins. Should be expect to see some gains there?
- Will the Dod maintain its committment to a 3 Depot Strategy Air Force?
- What happens next?
U-S REPRESENTATIVE FOR THE 8TH DISTRICT AUSTIN SCOTT SAYS HE PLANS TO WORK HAND-IN-HAND WITH THE 21ST CENTURY PARTNERSHIP TO PROTECT JOBS AT ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE.
HE SAID BY PHONE THAT HE'LL OPPOSE THE CALL FOR ANOTHER ROUND OF BRAC AT ANY U-S MILITARY BASE.
"We will be making sure we fight for the jobs and the people at Robins Air Force Base. Those two aircraft, the C5 and C17 played an important role in our national security as Americans. Again, I hope that people take a look at the fact the president is making this proposal, this huge reduction in the military across the country and yet has refused to reduce spending the areas we need it reduced, which is in the entitlement areas."
SCOTT SAYS HE IS ON THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON READINESS... THE FIRST COMMITTEE THAT WILL VOTE ON THE BRAC PROPOSAL.
HE SAID NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO CUT DEFENSE SPENDING... WITH MAJOR THREATS TO NATIONAL SECURITY.... SUCH AS IRAN.
SENATOR SAXBY CHAMBLISS ALSO ISSUED A STATEMENT REACTING TO THE PROPOSED DEFENSE CUTS.
BUT HE HAD A DIFFERENT TAKE ON TODAY'S ANNOUNCEMENT.
CHAMBLISS WROTE ....QUOTE...."THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE NEEDS TO MAKE THE BEST USE OF THEIR RESOURCES IN EVERY AREA OF THE DEFENSE BUDGET, AND I SUPPORT THEIR ATTEMPT TO DO SO.
CHAMBLISS SAID HE WANTED TO LOOK AT THE BRAC PROCESS CLOSELY....BECAUSE PREVIOUS ROUNDS HAVE NOT SAVED AS MUCH MONEY AS EXPECTED.
BUT HE SAYS HE'S CONFIDENT THAT GEORGIA'S BASES CAN STAND UP TO THE SCRUTINY.
A NEW BUSINESS WON A DOWNTOWN MACON BUSINESS COMPETITION TODAY.
WE'LL INTRODUCE YOU TO THE CITY'S NEWEST MOGUL WHEN EYEWITNESS NEWS CONTINUES.
HERE'S A LOOK AT TODAY'S AVERAGE GAS PRICE IN MACON ACCORDING TO TRIPLE A.
WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.
A DOWNTOWN BUSINESS GROUP HAS PICKED THE FIRST MACON MOGUL.
IT'S A COMPETITION AIMED AT BRINGING NEW BUSINESS TO THE CITY'S DOWNTOWN.
THE 50-THOUSAND DOLLAR-VALUED PRIZE WENT TO JEFF MANLEY AND JUSAK (YOU-SACK) YANG BERNHARD OF TAILSSPIN....
THEY PLAN TO BRING A PREMIUM PET FOOD AND SUPPLIES RETAIL STORE THAT WILL MOVE TO CENTRAL GEORGIA.
AUSTIN LEWIS TALKED TO THE OWNERS ABOUT WHY THEY'RE EXCITED TO MOVE DOWNTOWN.
<< JUSAK YANG BERNHARD AND JEFF MANLEY---ARE STARTING THE WORK OF OPENING A NEW BUSINESS IN MACON---
THEY'RE LOOKING OVER EVERY NOOK AND CRANY OF THIS DOWNTOWN BUILDING---TO DECIDE IF IT'S A GOOD FIT.
BUT THEY WON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT RENT FOR THE FIRST YEAR.
IT'S ALL PART OF WINNING THE MACON MOGUL COMPETITION.
Jusak Yang Bernhard, Tailsspin: 1:21 50,000 dollars is an amazing start, it's security for us to be a success.
EARLIER ON THURSDAY....THEY WERE ONE OF 16 FINALISTS IN GATEWAY MACON'S BUSINESS COMPETITION---EAGERLY WAITING FOR THIS
Jusak Yang Bernhard, Tailsspin:1:46 Who gets that? You know, who gets that? It's amazing.
Jusak Yang Bernhard, Tailsspin: 2:13 We were jumping up and down, you know it's a joy and hugs, and ahhhh, yea, no words.
BERNHARD AND MANLEY SAY THIS IS A LONG WAY FROM WHERE THEY STARTED.
THE IDEA FROM TAILSSPIN BEGAN WITH THEIR DOG---KAI---
THEY WERE HAVING TROUBLE FINDING THE RIGHT FOOD FOR THE PUP ... WHO HAS ALLERGIES.
Jeff Manley, Tailsspin: 1:09 We specialize in food that is corn, wheat and soy free and also grain free foods. We look for stuff that's hypoallergenic.
THEY'LL ALSO SELL OTHER PET PRODUCTS. THEY NOW HAVE TWO STORES IN SAVANNAH AND POOLER---AND SAY THEY ARE EXCITED TO BE PART OF THE DOWNTOWN BUSINESS COMMUNITY.
Jeff Manley, Tailsspin: 1:43 Downtown Macon has a really great feel on top of that we can see there is a lot of renovation going on and there's no pet store around here.
Jusak Yang Bernhard, Tailsspin: 2:32 The renovations and talking to people. They really love what it's becoming and I think we want to be a part of that growth.
AUSTIN LEWIS 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
BERNHARD SAYS WHEN THEY OPEN---THEY HOPE TO BE ABLE TO HIRE FOUR FULLTIME AND TWO PART-TIME EMPLOYEES.
A GRANT FROM THE PEYTON ANDERSON FOUNDATION FUNDED THE MACON MOGUL PRIZES.
A THIRD PERSON ANNOUNCED HIS PLANS TO RUN FOR BIBB COUNTY SHERIFF THIS YEAR.
BILL LUCAS MADE IT OFFICIAL THIS MORNING.
THE RETIRED MANAGER IN THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS RAN FOR SHERIFF ONCE BEFORE IN 2008... BUT LOST TO MODENA.
LUCAS SAYS THAT IF HE'S ELECTED... HE'LL MAKE SURE THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE AND THE POLICE DEPARTMENT WORK TOGETHER TO PREVENT AND INVESTIGATE CRIME.
"I am going to deputize all the policemen here in the city to start making more help in our county areas, but I'm going to insist also that the deputies also work in the city. It has to be a fair exchange.
BIBB COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE CHIEF DEPUTY DAVID DAVIS AND RETIRED SHERIFF'S CAPTAIN ALBERT HALL ARE ALSO RUNNING FOR SHERIFF.
ALL THREE MEN ARE DEMOCRATS.
THEY'LL MEET IN THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY ON JULY 31.
WRESTLERS ARE TRYING TO GET READY FOR THE INDIVIDUAL STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS.
YEA AND HOWARD IS GAINING SOME RESPECT IN THAT ARENA.
Emory's personality is going to take him a lot farther than the average kid will go.
THAT PERSONALITY AND A GOOD BIT OF DEDICATION IN THE CLASSROOM ARE THE INGREDIENTS FOR OUR ATHLETE OF THE WEEK.
WE'LL INTRODUCE YOU TO EMORY SIRLS!!
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.