GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M FRANK MALLOY..
AND I'M LEAH JOHNSON..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.
MILLEDGEVILLE POLICE CHIEF DRAY SWICORD STANDS BY THE OFFICER'S DECISION TO HANDCUFF SIX-YEAR-OLD SALECIA JOHNSON.
MEANWHILE... THE SCHOOL DISTRICT RELEASED A STATEMENT ON THE CASE... AND A FAMILY SUPPORTER SAYS OFFICIALS MISHANDLED IT.
SWICORD HELD A NEWS CONFERENCE TODAY TO READ A BRIEF STATEMENT.
HERE IT IS... IN ITS ENTIRETY.
"We're here this afternoon to try to shed light on an incident that took place Friday, April 13, at approximately 11:36 a.m. at Creekside Elementary. We were called to Creekside Elementary, which is located inside the city of Milledgeville, to assist with an unruly juvenile who had damaged other students' property, school property and had injured the principal. The officer made contact with the principal and counselor and the student inside the principal's office. A brief conversation between the officer and principal revealed the damage done by the student as well as the student trying to run away from the school several times. The officer noted all the damage, placed the student in handcuffs for the student's safety as well as others. The officer continued to attempt to reach the parent or guardian and was unsuccessful. The officer transported the student handcuffed to the police station. Upon arrival at the station, the handcuffs were removed. She was led to our patrol briefing room where she was given something to drink while we continued to try to reach a parent or guardian. We finally reached an aunt, who was willing to come get the student from us. Juvenile justice and DFACS were notified. Due to the age of the student, we released the student to the aunt without incident. The student will not be charged with any crime because of her age, but will be monitored by social agencies for any other assistance. In conclusion, the student was never placed in a holding cell or jail cell, and the student's safety was the utmost importance.
THE BALDWIN COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT RELEASED A STATEMENT GIVING THEIR SIDE OF THE CASE.
THE NEWS RELEASE DID NOT IDENTIFY THE STUDENT...BUT SAID SHE ENGAGED IN QUOTE....VIOLENT AND DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR.
AND THEY SAID IT INCLUDED....QUOTE...
PUSHING SEVERAL OTHER STUDENTS; RUNNING AWAY FROM THE SCHOOL STAFF; SLAMMING CHAIRS AROUND THE SCHOOL OFFICE;
CLIMBING UP AND KNOCKING OVER A BOOKCASE; KNOCKING PICTURES OFF THE WALL; SCRIBBLING OVER THE WALLS AND DOOR; AND INJURING A SCHOOL EMPLOYEE.
THE SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERRED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE HANDCUFFING....TO POLICE.
SALECIA'S FAMILY SAYS MET WITH SCHOOL OFFICIALS THIS AFTERNOON AT THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OFFICE... BUT WOULD NOT SPEAK TO US AFTERWARDS.
REVEREND DAVID LUKE WAS WITH THE FAMILY...AND SAYS THIS WEEK HAS BEEN A TRIAL FOR THEM.
Reverend David Luke: "They've had a long day, very exhausting, emotionally draining, we'll be talking to you all sometime between now and friday." : 07
SIX-YEAR-OLD SALECIA JOHNSON HAS HAD PRIOR DISCIPLINE PROBLEMS AT SCHOOL.
HER AUNT.. CANDACE RUFF.. SAID HER MOM HAS HAD TO GO TO THE SCHOOL BEFORE TO TALK TO THE PRINCIPAL OR TEACHERS ABOUT SALECIA'S BEHAVIOR.
OFF CAMERA... HER MOTHER... CONSTANCE.. CONFIRMED THAT TO 13WMAZ'S JUDY LE.
WE ALSO TALKED TO THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TODAY ABOUT THE STATE STANDARDS FOR RESTRAINING A CHILD IN SCHOOL.
THE STATE DEFINES ALL THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF RESTRAINTS FOR A CHILD AND WHETHER THEY'RE ALLOWED IN THE SCHOOLS.
THEIR RULES SAY PHYSICAL RESTRAINTS CAN'T BE USED IN GEORGIA PUBLIC SCHOOLS UNLESS THE STUDENT IS AN IMMEDIATE DANGER TO HIM OR HERSELF AND DOESN'T RESPOND TO VERBAL DIRECTIONS OR OTHER TECHNIQUES.
BUT IF THE SCHOOL DECIDES TO CALL LAW ENFORCEMENT....THE STATE SAYS...OFFICERS DON'T HAVE TO FOLLOW THOSE SAME RULES.
Matt Cardoza, Director of Communications for Georgia Department of Education: Law enforcement comes into, into a building then they have their right to restrain a student again based on their own guidelines if that child is being harmful to others or him or herself.
AND TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... SHOULD MILLEDGEVILLE POLICE HAVE HANDCUFFED A SIX-YEAR-OLD?
SO FAR 79 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES...THEY SHOULD HAVE.
AND 21 PERCENT SAY NO.
VOTE NOW... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
THURSDAY NIGHT'S SCHEDULED EXECUTION OF A CONVICTED TAYLOR COUNTY KILLER... IS NOW ON HOLD.
THE STATE BOARD OF PARDONS AND PAROLES TODAY GRANTED A DELAY OF UP TO 90 DAYS... TO DANIEL GREENE.
THE BOARD PLANS TO MEET AGAIN TO CONSIDER ARGUMENTS PRESENTED BY GREENE'S LAWYER AT A CLEMENCY HEARING TODAY.
THEY COULD GRANT HIM CLEMENCY....COMMUTE HIS SENTENCE TO LIFE....OR VOTE TO GO AHEAD WITH THE EXECUTION.
GREENE WAS CONVICTED OF KILLING A TAYLOR COUNTY MAN DURING A CRIME SPREE IN 1991.
FAMILY MEMBERS OF SLAIN MERCER LAW GRAD LAUREN GIDDINGS SAY... AS HER BIRTHDAY APPROACHES... THEY WANT TO CELEBRATE HER LIFE..
TWO OF HER COUSINS STOPPED BY THE GEORGIA AVENUE APARTMENTS WHERE SHE LIVED TODAY.. TO HANG A WREATH AND A SIGN IN HER HONOR.
Nats: We just coated the ink so that it doesn't run in the rain.
Darrell Mann puts the finishing touches on a picture of his cousin Lauren Giddings.
It hangs in front of the apartment complex where she lived before she was murdered ten months ago.
sot: We don't want anyone to forget what's happened and what it means to eveyone around us.
Mann says seeing this small shrine to his cousin is emotional especially on the eve on what would have been her 28th birthday.
sot: We miss her and it's a day that we would have normally been together and because of what happened, we won't be.
Kathy Mann shares the sentiment. She and her husband came to the apartment Tuesday to remember Lauren and show support for the rest of the family.
sot: It makes me cry and it gives me a lot of honor to be able to be here for her mom, dad, aunts, and uncles and sisters.
Mann says these surroundings are familiar to her. She says she has fond memories of visiting Lauren while she attended Mercer Law School.
It's kind of a homecoming to us in a lot of ways because we came here a lot in the last three years to be with Lauren, so I'm comfortable here and I feel Lauren's presence.
MANN SAYS LAUREN'S FAMILY PLANS TO CELEBRATE HER BIRTHDAY TOMORROW IN MARYLAND WITH PINK CHAMPAGNE... AND CHILI DOGS.. SINCE LAUREN AND HER DAD BOTH LOVED NU-WAY HOT DOGS.
THE CITY OF MACON PLANS TO FORK OVER 35 THOUSAND DOLLARS TO PAY A FINE THEY RECEIVED EARLIER THIS YEAR.
CITY COUNCILMAN TOM ELLINGTON SAYS THE CITY'S LANDFILL DID NOT MEET ENVIRONMNETAL PROTECTION DIVISION STANDARDS.
ELLINGTON SAYS THE LANDFILL FAILED THE STATE'S INSPECTION IN OCTOBER.
A NOTICE FROM THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES SAYS THE LANDFILL HAD 19 VIOLATIONS INCLUDING NOT COVERING THE WASTE DAILY... EROSION NOT BEING MAINTAINED... AND EXPOSED WASTE WASHING INTO A DRAINAGE AREA.
ELLINGTON SAYS THEY PLAN TO BRING THE LANDFILL BACK UP TO STANDARDS.
Tom Ellington, City Council Member: "We're going to have to do some heavier grassing out there, we've acted separately to put in more well s for methane gas collection systems, and I understand the director is also taking some steps to deal with the leachate problem."
THE 35 THOUSAND DOLLARS WAS TAKEN FROM THE CITY'S UNALLOCATED RESERVE FUNDS.
ELLINGTON SAYS THIS ISN'T THE LANDFILL'S FIRST FINE BUT HE COULD NOT REMEMBER THE EXACT NUMBER OF TIMES THEY'VE BEEN FINED..
MACON'S FIRE AND POLICE PENSION BOARD SAYS CITY COUNCIL HAS NO RIGHT TO TOUCH PENSION FUNDS.
BOARD MEMBER JIMMY HARTLEY SPOKE TO COUNCIL TONIGHT.
HE SAYS THE BOARD HAS THE AUTHORITY TO HANDLE THOSE FUNDS.
Jimmy Harley, Board Member: "What I am trying to tell you is, all of this equals a well documented pattern of consistant and flagrant collusion and interfereance with this plan, and that is patently illegal."
HARTLEY SAYS THE ADMINSTRATION HAS A QUOTE CONSTANT INTERFACE WITH FINANCIAL PROFESSIONALS... DEPARTMENT HEADS... AND THE CITY ATTORNEY WITHOUT THE BOARDS' KNOWLEDGE.
ABOUT A DOZEN FOLKS CAME OUT IN SUPPORT OF THE FIRE AND POLICE PENSION BOARD.
THEY CLAPPED AFTER HARTLEY FINISHED... AND LEFT THE COUNCIL MEETING SOON AFTER.
CITY COUNCIL ALSO PASSED AN ORDINANCE TO REACH OUT TO LOCAL CONTRACTORS AND SUPPLIERS..
THE ORDINANCE SAYS IF A LOCAL CONTRACTOR COMES WITHIN 5 PERCENT OF THE LOWEST BID... COUNCIL SHOULD CHOOSE LOCALLY.
COUNCILMAN TOM ELLINGTON SAYS IT'S IMPORTANT TO SPEND MONEY WITH LOCAL VENDORS... TO RE-CIRCULATE THAT MONEY INTO THE CITY.
HE SAYS THIS SHOULD GO INTO EFFECT IMMEDIATELY.
GEORGIA COLLEGE STUDENTS WILL HAVE TO PAY MORE OUT OF POCKET THIS FALL.
THAT'S AFTER THE STATE BOARD OF REGENTS VOTED TO RAISE TUITION TODAY.
STUDENTS AT GEORGIA TECH... THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA AND GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY WILL SEE THE BIGGEST BUMP... BETWEEN 127 AND 218 PER SEMESTER.
STUDENTS AT THE STATE'S OTHER 32 UNIVERSITIES WILL SEE AN INCREASE BETWEEN 31 TO 91 DOLLARS A SEMESTER.
MOST HOPE SCHOLARSHIP PAYOUTS STAYED FLAT THIS YEAR... WHICH MEANS MANY STUDENTS WILL HAVE TO PAY MORE OF THEIR BILL IN THE FALL.
THURSDAY... VERIZON WIRELESS PLANS TO ROLL OUT CENTRAL GEORGIA'S FIRST 4-G L-T-E NETWORK.
4-G STANDS FOR FOURTH-GENERATION WIRELESS BROADBAND... AND L-T-E MEANS "LONG-TERM EVOLUTION."
UNDER IDEAL CIRCUMSTANCES... THE COMPANY SAYS... L-T-E USERS SHOULD EXPERIENCE AN AVERAGE DOWNLOAD SPEED OF ABOUT FIVE TO 12 MEGABITS PER SECOND.
VERIZON SAYS THAT'S UP TO TEN TIMES FASTER THAN ITS 3-G NETWORK.
WHEN THEY FLIP THE SWITCH ON THURSDAY... THE NETWORK WILL BECOME ACTIVE IN MACON... WARNER ROBINS... ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE...... PERRY... BYRON... CENTERVILLE... I-75 IN BIBB AND HOUSTON COUNTY AND I-16 IN BIBB COUNTY.
FOUR OTHER CITIES IN GEORGIA ALREADY HAVE VERIZON'S 4-G L-T-E.... ATLANTA... ATHENS... AUGUSTA AND SAVANNAH.
WE SPOKE WITH A-T-AND-T SPOKESWOMAN ANN ELSAS ABOUT THEIR PLANS TO EXPAND THEIR 4-G L-T-E NETWORK IN GEORGIA.
SHE SAYS THEY OPERATE IN TWO CITIES... ATLANTA AND ATHENS.
ELSAS SAYS THEY PLAN TO COMPLETE THEIR NETWORK NATIONWIDE BY THE END OF 2013... BUT COULDN'T COMMENT ON THE TIMELINE FOR SPECIFIC AREAS.
THE 4-G BRANDING HAS CAUSED A LITTLE CONFUSION FOR I-PHONE 4-S USERS.
SO WE WENT TO C-NET FOR A LITTLE EXPLANATION.
A-T-AND-T SAYS ITS 4-G NETWORK MAKES DOWNLOADS THREE TIMES FASTER THAN ON OTHER CARRIERS... BUT NO VERSION OF THE I-PHONE CURRENTLY SUPPORTS L-T-E TECHNOLOGY.
INSTEAD... A-T-AND-T'S I-PHONES RUN ON WHAT'S CALLED AN H-S-P-A PLUS NETWORK... AN UPGRADE TO THE COMPANY'S TRADITIONAL 3-G NETWORK.
A BIG NAME IN MUSIC... IS GETTING BACK TO WHERE IT ALL STARTED.
JAIMOE... FORMER DRUMMER FOR THE ALLMAND BROTHERS BAND... IS VISITING THE CITY WHERE THE BAND'S CAREER TOOK OFF.
HE'S NOW GOT A BAND OF HIS OWN... JAIMOE'S JAZZ BAND... AND SAYS THEY'RE TOURING ALL ACROSS THE SOUTHEAST.
JAIMOE AND HIS CREW ARRIVED IN MACON TODAY... AND SPENT THE AFTERNOON TOURING THE ALLMAND BROTHERS MUSEUM.
HE SAYS HE'S HAPPY TO BE HITTING THE DRUMS AGAIN... SOMETHING HE SAYS HE LEARNED ALL ON HIS OWN.
Jaimoe: "I practiced a lot, played whenever I could. And watched people. I copied everything I saw."
THE BAND PLANS TO PLAY AT THE DOUGLASS THEATRE TOMORROW NIGHT AT 8 P-M.
TONIGHT'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY IS STEPHANIE BONNER SMITH.
STEPHANIE... 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.
MOBILE COMMAND CENTERS FROM ALL OVER THE STATE MET AT THE MACON CENTERPLEX TODAY.
TEAMS OF FIRST RESPONDERS PUT THEIR SKILLS TO THE TEST...AS THEY PERFORMED EXERCISES GEARED TO HELP THEM PREPARE FOR EMERGENCY SITUATIONS.
MOBILE COMMAND VEHICLES... OR M-C-VS ARE EQUIPPED WITH ALL KINDS OF TECHNOLOGY. BUT NICK BROWN WITH THE GEORGIA EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY EXPLAINS WHY COMMUNICATION IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR.
Nick Brown, Georgia Emergency Management Agency: "Without communications you can't coordinate an event. So today we're testing the capabilities of all these vehicles as well as all the personnel to make sure they understand how to operate the equipment and facilitate communications.
TODAY'S TRAINING WAS HOSTED BY THE GEORGIA EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY. THIS IS THE SECOND TIME THE EVENT TOOK PLACE IN MIDDLE GEORGIA.
THANKS FOR JOINING US.... FIRST MORNIN COMES YOUR WAY AT 5 A-M.
THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.