HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US...
I'M FRANK MALLOY.
AND I'M LEAH JOHNSON.
THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.
OUR TOP STORY TONIGHT... THE PARENTS OF A TAYLOR COUNTY TEENAGER ARE IN JAIL THIS EVENING.. ACCUSED OF LOCKING HER IN A STORAGE BUILDING FOR DAYS AT A TIME.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO THE GEORGIA BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION.
BRITTINY BARBER SPOKE WITH NEIGHBORS WHO SAY THE CASE HAS ROCKED THE COMMUNITY.
FOR MORE THAN A MONTH... THIS HOME ON A RURAL TAYLOR COUNTY ROAD HAS BEEN THE SCENE OF A CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION.
david: It's quite community. We very rarely see anything happen out here."
BUT DAVID SPILLERS SAYS FOR THE LAST FEW WEEKS.. LAW ENFORCEMENT HAS BEEFED UP IT'S APPEARANCES IN THE COMMUNITY.
AFTER A G-B-I INVESTIGATION... HIS NEIGHBORS DIANA AND SAMUEL FRANKLIN... BOTH ARE CHARGED WITH SEVERAL COUNTS OF CRUELTY TO CHILDREN AND FALSE IMPRISONMENT. THEY'RE ACCUSED OF ABUSING THEIR 15-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER.
David:It was shocking to me, I'll be honest with you, it was real shocking to know that somebody was doing this to a child no older than that."
Brittiny: According to the GBI it started all started back on may 25th that's when the Taylor county sheriff's office and DFCS responded to this home on east old wire road. they say they'd gotten some information that a child was being abused there. the information they'd gotten said she was being held in a shed an out house or a chicken coop and on that day dfcs found enough information to take the girl away.
FOR SPILLERS.. THE CASE HITS HOME HARD.
DAvid: "My grandson is the same age as this girl..... I could understand taking things away from from a child that they like like computer games or stuff like this, but locking them in a chicken house.. uh-uh...that's no way to punish a child."
SINCE LATE MAY.. THE GEORGIA BUREAU OF INVESTIGATIONS HAS INTERVIEWED WITNESSES... SEARCHED THE FRANKLIN'S HOUSE.. AND REVIEWED INFORMATION ABOUT THE ALLEGED ABUSE.
FOR NOW PARENTS ARE BEING HELD IN THE TAYLOR COUNTY JAIL.
BRITTINY BARBER 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
THE G-B-I SAYS IT'S STILL INVESTIGATING.
SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE WAYNE SMITH SAYS THEY'LL SEND THE CASE TO CHATTAHOOCHEE CIRCUIT DISTRICT ATTORNEY JULIA SLATER FOR PROSECUTION.
WE CALLED THE FRANKLINS' LAWYER, KEVIN BRADLEY OF MACON BUT HE COULD NOT BE REACHED FOR COMMENT.
THE INTERIM DIRECTOR OF THE COUNTY'S ANIMAL SHELTER IS RECEIVING DEATH THREATS.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO KEVIN BARRERE... SPOKESMAN FOR BIBB COUNTY.
HE SAYS THE THREATS FOLLOWED A NEWS CONFERENCE MONDAY ... WHERE COMMISSIONER JOE ALLEN ACCUSED DEBORAH BIGGS OF PUTTING DOWN ANIMALS... THAT COULD HAVE BEEN SAVED.
IN AN INTERVIEW MONDAY WITH JENNIFER MOULLIET.... BIGGS EXPLAINED THE COMMENT SHE MADE ABOUT ROTATING THE INVENTORY AT THE SHELTER.
JENNIFER...... WHAT DID SHE MEAN BY THAT?
BIGGS TOLD ME THAT IF YOU HAVE A CERTAIN BREED OF ANIMALS THAT ISN'T GETTING ADOPTED.... THEN YOU NEED TO GET RID OF THEM BY PLACING THEM WITH A RESCUE GROUP OR BY EUTHANIZATION.
I SAT DOWN WITH KEVIN BARRERE TODAY.... TO ASK HIM WHAT HE THOUGHT ABOUT THAT.
Kevin Barrere, Bibb County Public Affairs Officer: "It was kind of no the best way to put it. I think what she was trying to say was you know we're going to be in the same situation we have the same animals that don't get adopted, our hands are kind of tied. We have limits from the state that we can have in there and it's not fair to the animals or to the staff to have three and four dogs stacked up in these cages."
BARRERE ALSO SAID THERE HAS BEEN SOME CONFUSION ABOUT THE CAPACITY OF THE SHELTER.
HE SAYS THE STATE ALLOWS THEM TO HOUSE A TOTAL OF 80 ANIMALS...INCLUDING BOTH CATS AND DOGS.
BUT BIGGS SAYS FIFTY-FIVE DOGS IS OPTIMAL...DUE TO THE NUMBER OF CAGES.
LET'S TALK MORE ABOUT THAT NEWS CONFERENCE YESTERDAY..
YOU HEARD PEOPLE CALLING BIGGS A MURDERER.
I DID HEAR THAT BEING YELLED IN FRONT OF THE COURTHOUSE BY ANIMAL ACTIVISTS AT THE NEWS CONFERENCE.
I COULDN'T IDENTIFY THEM.
BUT COMMISSIONER JOE ALLEN...TOLD THEM TO CALM DOWN....AND SAID HE JUST WANTED TO CALL FOR AN INVESTIGATION.
BARRERE SAYS THERE'S A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EUTHANIZING ANIMALS.... AND MURDER.
LOTS OF PEOPLE AT HOME HAVE COMMENTED ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE ASKING WHY COMMISSIONERS CHOSE DEBORAH BIGGS AS INTERIM DIRECTOR.
DID BARRERE TALK ABOUT HOW THEY MADE THE DECISION TO CHOOSE HER FOR THE JOB?
HE SAID THEY WANTED AN OUTSIDE CONSULTANT WHO COULD COME IN AND GIVE A NON-BIASED OPINION ON HOW TO MAKE THE SHELTER BETTER.
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS PUT THEIR ADMINISTRATOR STEVE LAYSON IN CHARGE OF PICKING THE INTERIM DIRECTOR...AND HE CAME UP WITH SEVERAL CANDIDATES.
SO WHY DID THEY CHOOSE DEBORAH BIGGS?
BARRERE SAYS THEY CHOSE BIGGS BECAUSE OF HER EXPERIENCE IN DEALING WITH PROBLEM SHELTERS... AND ALTHOUGH HER TITLE IS INTERIM DIRECTOR.... HE SAYS SHE'S REALLY A CONSULTANT... HE SAYS SHE WON'T BECOME A PERMANENT DIRECTOR.
"There was a search they put out specifically looking for really a consultant because the county was taking over for the first time we had never been in charge wasn't until july first that we took over so we really wanted to find someone that had experience and wasn't tied into the local working in it."
BIGGS' EXPERIENCE COMES FROM SEVERAL SPOUTS AS ANIMAL SHELTER DIRECTOR IN DIFFERENT STATES.
SHE WORKED AT A SHELTER IN SAN BERNARDINO CALIFORNIA... WHERE SHE WAS BROUGHT IN TO FIX AN EMBEZZLEMENT PROBLEM.... AND THEN SHE TOOK OVER THE SHELTER IN OGDEN UTAH AFTER IT HAD GONE WITHOUT ONE FOR ALMOST TWO YEARS.
SO ACCORDING TO BARRARE... BRINGING HER TO BIBB COUNTY WAS THEIR WAY OF FIXING THINGS.
WE'LL PUT MORE OF YOUR INTERVIEW WITH BARRERE ON OUR WEBSITE.. 13WMAZ DOT COM.
TODAY ON 13-W-M-A-Z-DOT-COM... WE'RE ASKING IF YOU'VE EVER ADOPTED A SHELTER PET.
46 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YOU HAVE.
54 PERCENT SAY... YOU HAVE NOT.
250 NEW JOBS ARE IN THE WORKS FOR CENTRAL GEORGIA... WITH THE PLANNED EXPLANSION OF ACADEMY SPORTS AND OUTDOORS.
A NEWS RELEASE FROM GOVERNOR NATHAN DEAL'S OFFICE SAYS THE TWIGGS COUNTY DISTRIBUTION CENTER WILL ADD ABOUT HALF A MILLION SQUARE FEET.
CURRENTLY, ABOUT 625 PEOPLE WORK THERE.
THERE'S NO WORD YET ON HOW TO APPLY FOR THE NEW POSITIONS.
AN ANONYMOUS FLIER CLAIMS THREE BLACK ELECTED OFFICIALS WHO SUPPORT MACON-BIBB COUNTY CONSOLIDATION..... "SOLD OUT" THE BLACK COMMUNITY.
THE FLIER ALSO SAY STATE SENATOR MIRIAM PARIS AND REPRESENTATIVES JAMES BEVERLY AND NIKKI RANDALL PUSHED ELECTION REDISTRICTING FOR THE SCHOOL BOARD.. COUNTY COMMISSION.. AND WATER AUTHORITY.
RANDALL SAYS SHE STANDS BY HER RECORD AND QUESTIONED THE MOTIVES OF THE PEOPLE WHO PRODUCED THE ANONYMOUS FLIER..
Nikki Randall, State Representative: First of all, it's very divisive and it's slander. I think that whoever put it out you know just don't have the best interest of the community at heart.
RANDALL.. HOLDER OF THE DISTRICT 142 SEAT.. FACES FELLOW DEMOCRAT GERALD HARVEY IN THE JULY 31ST PRIMARY.
SHE THINKS HARVEY SHOULD DENOUNCE THE FLIER.. BUT HARVEY SAYS MANY PEOPLE BELIEVE IT.. AND HE'S NOT DENOUNCING IT.
Gerald Harvey, District 142 Candidate: Whether or not she sold out, I don't know. But I know that it's apparent that either she cut some deals or she wasn't really keeping up with the needs of her constituents.
NEITHER BEVERLY NOR PARIS COULD BE REACHED FOR COMMENT.. BEVERLY IS UNOPPOSED IN HIS RE-ELECTION BID.
NEITHER BEVERLY NOR PARIS COULD BE REACHED FOR COMMENT.. BEVERLY IS UNOPPOSED IN HIS RE-ELECTION BID.
PARIS FACES FORMER STATE REPRESENTATIVE DAVID LUCAS AND IRVING MARTINEZ IN THIS MONTH'S DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY.
THE WINNER MEETS REPUBLICAN BOBBY GALE IN THE NOVEMBER GENERAL ELECTION.
BIBB COUNTY VOTERS WILL DECIDE THREE SCHOOL BOARD RACES IN AUGUST.
A NEW ROUND OF QUALIFYING BROUGHT ON BY A FEDERAL LAWSUIT... BROUGHT OUT FOUR NEW CANDIDATES THIS WEEK.
IN DISTRICT ONE....
BRENDA SUTTON AND MICHAEL MCKEEVER PLAN TO CHALLENGE INCUMBENT ELLA CARTER.
McKEEVER IS A NEW QUALIFIER... WHO JUMPED IN MONDAY TO MAKE THIS A THREE PERSON RACE.
IN DISTRICT 2....
THELMA DILLARD.... ANGEL DAVIS-HOPPER AND ALAN TAYLOR ARE RUNNING FOR AN OPEN SEAT.
TAYLOR IS A NEW CANDIDATE... AND DAVIS-HOPPER HAD TO QUALIFY FOR THIS RACE DUE TO NEW DISTRICT MAPS ADOPTED IN THE PAST MONTH.
AND IN DISTRICT THREE
ANOTHER NEWCOMER.... MERRITT JOHNSON IS CHALLENGING INCUMBENT SUSAN SIPE.
ALL OF THOSE CANDIDATES ARE DEMOCRATS.
PEOPLE IN BIBB COUNTY WILL CAST THEIR VOTES IN A SPECIAL AUGUST 21ST PRIMARY.
HERE'S A REMINDER.... YOU'LL SEE SCHOOL BOARD RACES ON YOUR JULY 31ST BALLOT... BUT THOSE RACES WON'T COUNT.
DUE TO THAT LAWSUIT...THE VOTING WON'T ACTUALLY HAPPEN FOR ANOTHER THREE WEEKS.
AS OF JULY 1ST - GEORGIA DRIVERS NEED MORE PAPERWORK TO GET OR RENEW THEIR DRIVER'S LICENSE.
IT'S ALL IN AN EFFORT TO COMPLY WITH THE FEDERAL REAL I-D ACT OF 2005...TO CUT DOWN ON IDENTITY FRAUD.
AUSTIN LEWIS VISITED MACON'S DEPARTMENT OF DRIVER SERVICES TO GET REACTION TO THE NEW REQUIREMENTS.
TRAVIS GRIFFIN HOPES TO SEE HIS NUMBER POP UP ON THE BIG SCREEN AT GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF DRIVER'S SERVICES SO HE CAN GET HIS LICENSE RENEWED.
Travis Griffin, Macon: I think I could just pretty much do it all online and it wasn't that big of a deal and I think I had to come in when I moved to Macon but uh before that it wasn't a big deal to get it renewed, but now it's a much bigger deal all of a sudden.
THAT'S BECAUSE GEORGIA DRIVERS HAVE TO BRING IN A BIRTH CERTIFICATE OR A PASSPORT...A DOCUMENT WITH A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER ON IT...AND TWO DOCUMENTS WITH THEIR ADDRESS ON IT TO RENEW THEIR LICENSE.
GRIFFIN SAYS HE'S NOT SURE IF HE HAS EVERYTHING...THAT D-D-S NEEDS.
Travis Griffin, Macon: I think if I would have brought, if I had a social security card I'd be okay, but I'm a student and I don't know where mine is right now so I had to bring student loan documents federal loan documents a number of w-2's voter registration card a passport and they're still not sure if I am going to get mine today.
SOME DRIVERS SAY...THEY UNDERSTAND WHY THE PROCESS HAS CHANGED.
Martha Webb, Macon: I am all in favor. It's aggravating, but I understand why it's being done and I am all in favor of keeping people from getting driver's licenses who are not qualified.
Mark Taylor, Byron: I just think that it's a good idea. You have so many people now that you know may be trying to acquire driver's licenses illegal for whatever purposes and all of this way here is that when you get your driver's license now you are who it says on that license because you have the documentation to show that.
FOR GRIFFIN...HIS W-2 WAS PROOF ENOUGH OF HIS SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER....SO HE WAS ABLE TO WALK AWAY WITH A RENEWAL...IN ABOUT 45 MINUTES TIME.
AUSTIN LEWIS 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
NOW IF YOU DON'T HAVE SOME OF THESE DOCUMENTS...ALL IS NOT LOST.
THE D-D-S WILL STILL ISSUE YOU A PAPER TEMPORARY DRIVER'S LICENSE FOR 120 DAYS.
SO YOU WILL HAVE FOUR MONTHS TIME TO FIND THE MISSING DOCUMENTS AND BRING THEM IN..
AN EXHIBIT FROM THE WORLD RENOWNED SMITHSONIAN MUSEUM IS COMING TO PERRY.
IT'S CALLED NEW HARMONIES.... CELEBRATING AMERICAN ROOTS MUSIC.... AND IT ARRIVES SEPTEMBER 8TH.
nats- music (8 seconds)
CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU DIRECTOR SHEILA JONES SAYS THE PERRY HISTORICAL SOCIETY APPLIED FOR THE EXHIBIT TWO YEARS AGO.
IT HIGHLIGHTS THE MUSICAL CONTRIBUTIONS OF EVERYDAY PEOPLE... AND EXPLAINS HOW THAT MUSIC HAS SHAPED CENTRAL GEORGIA'S CULTURE.
JONES SAYS PERRY WILL HOST THE SIX WEEK EVENT... OFFERING FREE PROGRAMS AND PERFORMANCES EVERY DAY AT THE PERRY ARTS CENTER.
LOCAL GUITAR MAKERS... MICKEY AMBERG AND BILL COX... ALONG WITH FOLK SINGER ROLAND EVERETT ARE JUST THREE OF THE FEATURED ARTISTS.