<<opening for eyewitness news at eleven>>
GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M FRANK MALLOY..
AND I'M LEAH JOHNSON..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.
SEVERAL THOUSAND PEOPLE NEARLY FILLED THE MACON COLISEUM TODAY FOR THE MACON MIRACLE KICK OFF.
BIBB COUNTY SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT ROMAIN DALLEMAND PRESENTED HIS STRATEGIC PLAN TO SCHOOL EMPLOYEES AND THE PUBLIC. THE EVENT ALSO INCLUDED PERFORMANCES AND DISPLAYS OF CHINESE CULTURE.
CANDACE ADORKA HAS MORE ON THE PRESENTATION.
THE MACON MIRACLE KICK OFF WAS A CELEBRATION OF THE END OF A YEAR LONG PROCESS...
***nats of chinese performers, clapping ***
BUT IT WAS ALSO A SALES TOOL... TELLING PEOPLE WHY THEY SHOULD BUY INTO THE PLAN.
"Creepy music in presentation"
SUPERINTENDENT ROMAIN DALLEMAND MADE HIS PITCH WITH A SPEECH THAT ASKED PEOPLE TO DREAM BIG... FOR A BETTER SCHOOL SYSTEM.
"America was built on the backs of working Americans. Our children however will succeed as thinking Americans competing in a 21st century mutli-ethnic global economy."
HE CARIRED THE DREAM THEME THROUGHOUT HIS 40 MINUTE SPEECH, INVOKING AMERICA'S FOREFATHERS... THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE... AND MARTING LUTHER KING.
"So what would Dr King say to Bibb county?"
ALL TO SUPPORT HIS POINT THAT MAKING BIBB COUNTY THE NUMBER ONE DISTRICT IN THE STATE IS AMBITIOUS... BUT DOABLE.
"What I am saying to you otday is that if at 15 years old I ad to learn English for the first time in my life and three years later, I was at Brooklyn college as a pre-med major, there is absolutely no reason on the planet why our students here in Bibb County cannot recieve a solid education to prepare them fpr the 21st century."
HE ADDRESSED CONCERNS THE COMMUNITY HAS RAISED OVER THE PAST WEEK... STARTING WITH SCHOOL DISCIPLINE AND SAFETY.
HE SAID THERE ARE PARTS OF THE PLAN THAT CALL FOR MORE COUNSELING AND AND SOCIAL SERVICES FOR STUDENTS... HE ALSO SAID CLOSING SCHOOLS AND CUTTING TEACHING POSITIONS WILL MEAN MORE EFFICIENCY... NOT OVERCROWDING.
"In fact what the plan does is that it proposes that elementary class targets across the district are capped at 25... "
HE SAID THE PLAN DOES NOT INCLUDE LAYOFFS... AND TEN EXTRA HOURS A WEEK WILL BENEFIT STUDENTS... BUT TEACHERS WON'T BE OBLIGATED TO INCREASE THEIR WORK LOAD.
HE TOLD THE CROWD HE WOULD LISTEN TO THE COMMUNITY'S FEEDBACK ON THE PLAN... BUT HE NEVER BACKED DOWN ON HIS PUSH FOR BOLD MOVES TO GET BIBB COUNTY SCHOOLS UP TO PAR.
"are we prepared to dream together, dow we really mean it?"
CANDACE ADORKA... 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
DALLEMAND SAID THE PERFORMANCES WERE FREE.... PROVIDED BY THE CONFUCIUS INSTITUTE AT KENESAW STATE UNIVERSITY.
THE COLISEUM WAS NEARLY FULL... WITH COMMUNITY LEADERS AND PARENTS... LOOKING TO GET THE SCOOP ON THE MACON MIRACLE.
MANY SAY THEY CAME OUT WITH HOPES OF CLEARING UP QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PLAN.
Tommy Barnes, Board of Education: "It showcased some of the key points that people had concerns about, it shows the board's willingness to be transparent through this process, we engaged large segments of the community to get to this point."
Marsha Wilkes, Substitute Teacher: "We need to come together as a community, and help him with this plan, because we need to try to combat juvenile delequency, crime."
Elaine Lucas: "Our educational system is failing our young people, and if it fails our young people it fails our future community. And it fails all of these citizens."
Paul Bronson: "Just the matter that we have a plan, for Bibb County Board of Eduation, is something that we've been longing for for many years. Now we have a plan put in place, I think there's opportunity for us to go back and tweak the plan, but basically we now have a plan to go back and look toward the future of our kids. And that's what I think is the most important."
BOARD MEMBERS COULD NOT COMMENT ON WHEN THE PLAN WOULD BE VOTED ON.
DALLEMAND'S SPEECH RECEIVED A WARM RECEPTION TODAY... DESPITE CONTROVERSY OVER SOME KEY POINTS THIS WEEK.
MACON POLICE DROPPED RAPE CHARGES AGAINST SEVEN MALE STUDENTS AT NORTHEAST HIGH SCHOOL.
POLICE SAID AN INVESTIGATION DETERMINED THE FEMALE STUDENT WHO ORIGINALLY MADE THE RAPE ALLEGATION LIED ABOUT IT.
POLICE HAVE NOW CHARGED HER AS A JUVENILE WITH FALSE REPORT OF A CRIME AND FALSE STATEMENTS TO LAW ENFORCEMENT. T
THEY SAY THE YOUNG WOMAN WAS INVOLVED IN SOME KIND OF CONSENSUAL SEX THAT DAY... BUT THEY WON'T COMMENT ON HOW MANY MALE STUDENTS WERE INVOLVED.
MACON MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT... CALLS THE INCIDENT... QUOTE... APPALLING... AND SAYS THE NEXT STEP... IS TO FOCUS ON KEEPING AN INCIDENT LIKE THIS FROM HAPPENING AGAIN.
Macon Mayor Reichert: "People are not going to put any sort of credibility in a system where this kind of incident can happen at the school. It's terrible when you hear about violence in the school and about young people being bullied or having fights and getting physically assaulted. Those are the kinds of things that do as much damage to the reputation of the school system, almost if not as much, as bad scholastic performance."
REICHERT APPLAUDED MACON POLICE FOR THEIR INVESTIGATION.
HE SAYS THE SCHOOLS NEED TO FOCUS ON PATROLLING THE SCHOOL HALLWAYS... TO KEEP INCIDENTS LIKE THIS FROM HAPPENING AGAIN.
ben gives three day forecast
THANKS BEN.. WE'LL TALK WITH YOU AGAIN IN JUST A FEW MINUTES.
DAY ONE OF A TWO DAY WARNER ROBINS CITY COUNCIL RETREAT FOCUSED ON COMMUNICATION.
THE MAYOR... COUNCIL MEMBERS AND DEPARTMENT HEADS LISTENED AS SPEAKERS GAVE THEIR OPINIONS ON HOW TO GET ALONG WITH EACH OTHER AND THE MEDIA.
LORRA LYNCH JONES BRINGS YOUR MORE FROM THE EVENT LOCATION... THE WARNER ROBINS HILTON GARDEN INN.
WARNER ROBINS MAYOR CHUCK SHAHEEN OPENED THE LINES OF COMMUNICATION... WITH A BIBLE VERSE AND A QUESTON FOR CITY LEADERS... HE ASKED... "WHAT DO YOU THINK?"
FRIDAY'S FIVE HOURS OF MEETINGS DIDN'T OFFER A CHANCE FOR THE GROUP TO ANSWER... BUT, SEVERAL SPEAKERS ADVISED THEM ON HOW THEY SHOULD ANSWER IN THE FUTURE.
FORMER FULTON COUNTY ATTORNEY, O.V. BRANTLEY USED A QUILT TO SHOW HOW DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES CAN AND SHOULD WORK TOGETHER... TO PRESENT A POSITIVE IMAGE TO THE PUBLIC.
MAYOR CHUCK SHAHEEN SAID THE SPEECH ENCOURAGED OPEN GOVERNMENT.
Mayor Chuck Shaheen: "We all work together. We negotiate and compromise amicably. We do it professionally, and that's because that's what kind of city we are."
COUNCIL MEMBER DARON LEE CONTINUED WITH A COMICAL LOOK AT THE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF SOME PERSONALITY TYPES...
FOLLOWED BY TWO PRESENTATIONS ON GOVERNMENT LEADERS' RELATIONSHIP WITH THE MEDIA.
FLINT ENERGIES JIMMY AUTRY ENCOURAGED A POSITIVE APPROACH... CALLING THE MEDIA "FRIENDS... WHILE FORMER BROADCASTER AND SPOKESMAN FOR MACON'S C JACK ELLIS... PAINTED LOCAL MEDIA AS POWER HUNGRY... INEXPERIENCED AND VENGEFUL.
COUNCIL MEMBERS MIKE BRASHEAR AND CAROLYN ROBBINS SAID THEY LIKED AUTRY'S MESSAGE OF BEING HONEST.
DAY ONE ENDED WITH A MOTIVATIONAL SPEECH FROM LOCAL PASTOR DAVID CLARKE... AND A CALL TO BEGIN AGAIN SATURDAY AT EIGHT.
COMMANDER OF THE WARNER ROBINS AIR LOGISTICS CENTER MAJOR GENERAL ROBERT MCMAHON WILL SPEAK TO THE GROUP TOMORROW MORNING.
CITY DEPARTMENT LEADERS WILL GIVE OVERVIEWS OF THEIR PROGRESS AND GOALS THROUGHOUT THE DAY.
THE MEETING ENDS AT 2-45.
TONIGHT'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY IS SAMMIE HARRIS.
SAMIE... YOU'LL NEED TO EMAIL FAN OF THE DAY AT 13WMAZ DOT COM TO CLAIM YOUR COFFEE MUG.
NOW... GETTING INTO THE RUNNING FOR FAN OF THE DAY IS AN EASY THREE-STEP PROCESS.
ONE... VISIT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ.
TWO... BECOME A FAN... AND THREE... GET IN ON THE CONVERSATIONS.
WE PICK OUR FAN OF THE DAY RANDOMLY.