Thank you for joining us.
I'm Frank Malloy.
And I'm Leah Johnson.
You're watching Eyewitness News at Six.
The Macon Water Authority today gave their side of the story...about a sewage spill into the Ocmulgee River...and why their response was delayed for more than a half hour.
They say the property owner...shares part of the blame.
Tom George has more.
The Macon Water Authority is responding to one homeowner's accusations that they dragged their feet while responding to a sewage spill.
<and so he turns around and calls WMAZ like the Macon Water Authority doesn't care that we had a sewer spill and we're not being accountable and coming in a reasonable amount of time.>
Water Authority Director Tony Rojas is commenting on Roland Neel, the homeowner who called in the sewage complaint around 2 p-m Monday.
Rojas said the delay happened in part because Neel gave him the wrong address. He didn't want them cutting through his driveway.
<i'm putting you on notice you busted my driveway and refused to pay for it ... So, I highly recommend turning up your easement through my front yard. >
Neel then gave his address as "north Pine Knoll" instead of South Pine Knoll...which is correct.
<OK ... That's 1083 North Pierce? ... North Pine Knoll ... North Pine Knoll? Right...>
Rojas says workers wasted more than half an hour just finding Neel's property.
<after they spent some time looking actually had knocked on the door of the wrong address ... Called Mr. Neel again, got the correct address and went to his property and found the spill.>
On Monday...the authority estimated that 27 hundred gallons of sewage spilled. On Tuesday...they increased that to 48 hundred....based partly on the three hour window between Neel's first e-mail, and the time crews fixed it.
But no one knows when the spill started.
<I mean youre right, youre very well correct there ... It could have been five minutes before ... So one thing you do is you look at the water.>
If more than 10 gallons were spilled...that would be classified as a major spill.
And that would have triggered mandatory water testing and other precuations.
<but although that official number didn't reach the 10,000 mark, the Macon water authority says they're not taking any chances , they plan on taking it seriously and monitoring the fecal content of the Ocmulgee River.>
In Macon, Tom George 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.
For a major spill of more than 10 thousand gallons...state and federal rules require water testing. But the water authority says they'll do those tests anyway.
Macon Police named a man they call a person of interest...in a double homicide last week.
Today....police asked the public to help them find....Rodney Lanier Lowery....nicknamed Rock.
They believe he may have information in last week's fatal shooting of 26 year old Antonio Fluellen...and 25 year old Deundra Emory....at a home on Cowan Street in East Macon.
Spokeswoman Jami Gaudet said investigators won't say whether Lowery was on the scene...or whether he knows the two victims.
If you have any information on the case... call Macon Regional Crimestoppers...at 1-877-68-Crime.
Again that's 1-877-68-CRIME.
Downtown Macon will soon see nearly 100 new living spaces available.. And as many as 20 new businesses.
That's according to Mike Ford... the President of NewTown Macon.
He gave county commissioners an update on three projects partially funded by a joint bond issue with the county and the Urban development Authority earlier this year .
Brittiny Barber has more. Newtown Macon is working to open the door to a new era for downtown.
< We have discovered and decided that bringing more people to live downtown is the secret to being successful >
Mike Ford.. President of NewTown Macon says 95 new lofts and thousands of square feet for businesses will open up soon.
< Earlier in 2012, the Development Authority of Bibb County and Bibb County issued $5 million in bonds which are to be invested in projects downtown to bring lofts and commercial space and new business >
The first project transforms part of Cotton Avenue... with lofts available by October 1.
It includes 6 units... Complete with hardwood floors... granite counter tops.. And stainless steel appliances.
The bonds will also fund plans for part of third street with the Dannenberg building... and 401 Cherry Street.
< All three of these projects are in the works, under construction and will be coming onboard in the next year >
And the goal's to go even bigger than that Ford says.
< With the total bond we think we'll add at least 200 lofts and we'll added probably 20 to 40 thousand of commercial square feet. That should enable us to have at least an many as 20 new businesses.>
One thousand square has already been filled... As Le Face salon which opens later this week.
Just one step in the right direction.. Ford says to building up a better downtown Macon.
Brittiny barber 13wmaz eyewitness news.
Ford says more than half a dozen news business have either recently opened or plan to open soon in downtown Macon... including a hookah shop...an upscale restaurant over the Rookery....and a women's store called the Pink Chief Boutique.
And downtown development doesn't just benefit those looking to live there.. but also those who want to shop.
After winning the Macon Mogul competition nearly nine months ago...Jusak Yang Bernhard and Jeff Manley opened the doors of their natural food store...TailsSpin.
The owners say they believe some of Macon's four-legged citizens will flock to their natural treats.
Lewis has more on their opening.
In January..Jusak Bernhard and Jeff Manley...were overwhelmed with emotion...when they were named Macon Mogul by Gateway Intiative. The prize included one year's rent free for a downtown space..
Now it's the first day...that their business TailsSpin is open in Macon.
< Jusak Yang Bernhard: I think it's even more exciting, you know just because it's finally come to fruition>
Their 12-year-old dog's allergy to corn...inspired the city's newest downtown business.
TailsSpin's shelves are stocked with about a dozen different natural pet food brands...
That some of macon's four-legged friends...like Munson...have already given their stamp of approval.
<Stephanie Shadden, Macon : I want my dog to be healthy and so the good healthy natural food without all the preservatives is good for him and so I want him to be around for awhile. >
<Jusak Yang Bernhard: We discover that more and more pets are allergic or becoming allergic, that's why I think there's always going to be a market for hypoallergenic foods>
Beth Dunwoody with Gateway Initiative,...th who selected TailsSpin as winners agrees...she thinks Maconites will be eager to learn about natural pet foods.
<Beth Dunwoody: I really do think that Macon will embrace this entire concept, um, it is very much a pet friendly town people care about their animals. There may be something of an education I mean there certainly is for me >
Bernhard and Manley say they're excited and ready for Macon's pet community to discover their shop.
Austin Lewis 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.
The ribbon-cutting for the business will be Friday afternoon...where they will introduce themselves to Macon's pet community with cocktails and treats for both four-legged and two-legged Central Georgians.
So with new residences and businesses coming to downtown ... How do you feel about the economy?
Today at 13WMAZ-dot-com...we asked if you think things are improving.
Only 17 percent of you said yes.
An overwhelming 83 percent of you said no.
You can vote in that poll now.
Just log on to 13WMAZ-dot-com and look for the question on the right side of our home page.
Charlotte, North Carolina, is filled with dignitaries...the latest of whom to arrive is Vice President Joe Biden.
Biden and his wife, Jill, flew in this afternoon ahead of the DNC.
Tonight's events feature a speech from first lady Michelle Obama.
President Bill Clinton follows on Wednesday, with President Obama's speech Thursday night.
That's when he's expected to accept his party's nomination.
Now the president is no stranger to the DNC stage.
Before he accepted the 2008 nomination...he took the mic in 2004...when the then-Senator delivered his Audacity of Hope speech. Among those in the Convention Hall *this* year... Georgia's 2nd District congressman Sanford Bishop.
Leah talked to him by phone today...and asked him what he's most enjoying about his experience thus far in Charlotte.
<U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop talks about diversity in the GOP and the diversity among delegates at the DNC.>
You can hear the rest of our interview with Congressman Bishop at 13WMAZ-dot-com...and we'll hear from him on his own Campaign goals for 2012...tonight on Eyewitness News at 11.
It operates entirely off donations... and rescues cats that otherwise...might miss a chance at having a happy home.
And now, Macon Purrs and Paws will have more space for their rescue efforts....
Judy Le visited the four-legged friends and toured their temporary home on Rocky Creek Road.
More than 75 cats call Macon Purrs n Paws...home...at least for a little while.
<This facility is 1200 sq ft. We have the main room, we refer to as general population, and then we have a sick room, we have a kitten room in the back with storage and sinks and such>
Founder Anne Brennaman says the main reason for expansion is because of the policy changes at the Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare...involving how they pick up animals off the street.
<the traps are back out. There's no sense in it. We're getting calls from people who don't want to see them trapped and put to sleep...killed >
The growing number of rescues require more space.
Purrs n Paws acquired the almost two thousand square feet next door...and has now tripled its original size.
<The number of cats that are put out that are not fixed, that have babies and babies and babies. They're going to get killed. The only way we can help is if we have more space 3406
The main room is called general population...where the older cats stay. There's also a kitten room...a sick room...plenty of storage space containing donated litter...food...and toys.
Judy Le...13wmaz...eyewitness news
The original cost to adopt a cat is 85 dollars...but to encourage more adoptions....Macon Purrs n Paws knocked down the prices.
Fees are now 60 dollars...with a two for one deal on black cats. For more information...visit our webstory at 13-wmaz-dot-com.