Good evening, and thanks for joining us...
I'm Leah Johnson.
Frank Malloy has the night off.
Our top story at eleven... A Jones County woman is dead and a Macon man is in jail tonight facing charges of involuntary manslaughter... after police say, he shot her in the parking lot of a gas station.
The victim is 65-year old Linda Hunnicutt.
Macon Police say she got in a fight with 73-year old Frank Louis Reeves at the Murphy's Gas Station on Gray Highway... after he struck her car in his motorized wheelchair.
Hunnicutt died at the Medical Center of Central Georgia about an hour after witnesses say he allegedly shot her in the chest.
Officers arrested Reeves... and confiscated the weapon and the wheelchair.
A member of our own staff... Production manager Barbara Temple Was shopping nearby... and arrived at the gas station right after the shooting.
She saw Reeves sitting in his chair... while people tried to help Hunnicutt.
< The people that were already there when I showed up, they were aware that he had done something. And he was calm, he didn't move, he didn't say anything, but I think their more concern was her at the time. >
Reeves is being held at the Bibb County Jail.
We asked Jami Gaudet... spokesperson with the Macon Police Department... why the charge was involuntary manslaughter.
She told us police have reason to believe that Reeves didn't intend to kill Hunnicutt.
Some folks also heard Gunfire near Montpelier Place last night.... as three men exchanged shots with police.
Now... A warrant is out for the arrest of a man who faces a string of charges, including attempt to commit murder.
He's Rashad Akeem Williams.
Macon Police say he,
22-year-old Antaveyo Clark and 27-year-old Jarvis Childs tried to rob Autoworld Mechanics off Columbus Road... Then ran into a nearby neighborhood.
When police got there, officers say the men started shooting.
One woman who lives in the area told us she's an armed forces veteran who's been in a combat zone...
She said the sounds last night were too familiar.
<(Keisha Thomas) its sounded like a war was going on with so many bullets that was going back and forth and ricocheting across the street>
Once again, here's that picture of Williams.
If you have any information... you can share it with Macon Regional Crimestoppers at 1-877-68-CRIME.
Two Central Georgia races were up for grabs in today's elections... One a runoff race.
The other...a tie-breaker.
That was the race for County Commissioner in Taylor County... Between incumbent Jerry Albritton, a Republican, and his Democratic Challenger Russell Pounds...
Pounds unseated Albritton with 223 votes to Albritton's 219.
But in Wilcox County, with all precincts reporting... Mike Martin earned 1479 votes for sheriff... Lonnie Curry 907 votes.
That's according to Betty Anderson with the probate judge's office.
She says there are a few provisional ballots left... so its not official until everything w
raps up Friday.
Martin also led back in the November vote... But a narrow margin triggered a runoff.
One month after he was reelected as a state senator... the outgoing majority leader of the Georgia Senate is resigning from the chamber to take a public television post.
Sen. Chip Rogers kept his seat in November's election, but the Woodstock Republican dropped out of the race to keep his post as majority leader.
Now, he's headed to Georgia Public Broadcasting... where his new position will include leading a statewide weekly radio program on economic development.
That's starting next spring.
Rogers has served in the Senate since 2002.
Last term, he captured statewide attention, after leading a majority that essentially stripped Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, of much of his control over the senate.
A Macon council committee will discuss the possibility of pension pay.. For long-term service by city council members.
The ordinance... Co-sponsored by Henry Ficklin and Lonnie Miley... Only applies to members with at least ten years on council.
Four out of the 15 current council members would qualify...
They include Elaine Lucas... James Timley.... Ed DeFore... And Charles Jones.
Ficklin says they would receive around ten dollars a month for every year served after their first decade on council.
He believes he'll find some public support for the idea.
<I was even confronted during one of my elections that I was running just to qualify for a pension and I said 'we don't even have a pension' so since people think that we ought to have it and I think when people look at it and see the kind of service that we've given over the years that there are people who believe we should have a pension.>
The committee will discuss the ordinance and if it passes... Full council will vote on the retirement pay at their next meeting December 18th.
Some Houston County teachers will be cashing in on their own pension plans earlier than expected.
Fourteen have retired halfway through the school year... and so have close to 2-thousand more teachers around the state.
Rick Unruh, an education veteran of 37 years is one of them.
He says that's because of changes to the Teacher Retirement System pension plan.
Georgia teachers currently get a 3 percent boost in their retirement benefits...but that ends January first.
Teachers who retired by December first will still get those benefits. That could be worth a thousand dollars a year or more.
Superintendent Robin Hines says... it poses a problem when employees retire or leave in the middle of the school year but says Houston County is equipped to handle it... and students won't suffer.
<"we have a great pool of applicants all the time and we were able to easily fill the positions.">
Hines also told 13WMAZ... he understood the benefit to employees... who chose to leave early.
Part of the strategic plan for Bibb County Schools is to teach every child Mandarin Chinese... and that drew criticism and questions from the community.
But the district went ahead with the plan in August, and today a group of young students showed what they've learned so far.
Candace Adorka spent time at Barnes and Noble where Rice Elementary students wished a merry christmas-- in Mandarin.
This year, Students at Rice Elementary can give season's greetings in English...
<santa little elves song>
and also in Chinese.
They went bi-lingual at the schools annual book fair and poetry reading at Barnes and Noble bookstore.
<What we usually do is showcase our talents as it relates to reading and public speaking as well as writing, this year we're able to incorporate our Mandarin Chinese>
It's the first public display of what's coming out of Bibb Schools' district-wide mandarin instruction.
<they did very well for them to be young and learn a different language its very good for them>
<just a fantastic job I couldn't ask for any better>
<I thought it was fantastic>
Marilyn Thompkins says she was one of many who were skeptical of the Mandarin program, but after seeing her grandkids bloom, she says she's on board.
<I don't think I really got into all of that until I actually saw it. You know you can hear it, but once you see something in action , light bulb pops on. >
This school year, students in pre-k through third grades are learning Mandarin.
The district plans to extend that to every student by 2016.
But only four months into it, school administrators say this is a great start.
Candace Adorka 13 WMAZ eyewitness news.
While some parents and educators may be on board with Mandarin, some people on Facebook say the district should focus on English instruction.
You can read the comments and join the conversation. Just search for the 13-WMAZ fan page and hit like.
We've all heard the warnings about online scams... The kind that ask for personal information... like social security numbers... Or even bank accounts.
But not every online fraud is obvious.
So what do you do... if you think you've already been "taken in?"
David Ernst takes off his meteorologist hat... To dig into some consumer information... in tonight's Geek 13.\
Thank you for joining us... Eyewitness News Mornin' comes your way at 5 a.m.
Letterman's next. Tonight on the Late Show.. Matt Damon.
As we leave you tonight...
signs of the season... Popping up all over downtown Macon... enjoy... Courtesy of Katelyn Heck.