HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.I'M LEAH JOHNSON.. AND I'M FRANK MALLOY..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.
JAIL INMATES COULD BECOME THE CLEAN-UP CREW FOR ABANDONED PROPERTIES IN HOUSTON COUNTY NEIGHBORHOODS.
COUNTY LEADERS SAY THEY NEED AN INXPENSIVE WAY TO MAINTAIN YARDS... ESPECIALLY ON FORECLOSED PROPERTIES.
LORRA LYNCH-JONES EXPLAINS WHY THEY SAY PRISON LABOR MAY BE THE MOST COST EFFECTIVE SOLUTION.
<<(cover- 28:06) "It's obviously overgrown. It was a house that was under construction."
CAPTAIN ALLEN EVERIDGE WITH THE HOUSTON SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS HE FIELDS CONSTANT CALLS FROM NEIGHBORS ABOUT NEGLECTED PROPERTIES... MOSTLY FORECLOSURES.
REALTY-TRAC DOT-COM SAYS BANKS TOOK 124 HOUSTON HOMES IN OCTOBER.
IT LISTED A TOTAL OF 711 FORECLOSURES IN THE COUNTY.
EVERIDGE SAYS OFTEN MORTGAGE HOLDERS LIVE OUT-OF-STATE... WITH NO LEGAL REQUIREMENT TO KEEP THE GRASS CUT AND BUSHES TRIMMED...
(cover 19:46 "When these houses get overgrown, it creates a haven for crime."
AND AN EYESORE... THAT CAN LOWER SURROUNDING PROPERTIES' VALUE.
nats- Vision 20/20
EVERIDGE TOLD THE VISION 20-20 BOARD.. THAT PRISONERS COULD MAINTAIN THE YARDS FOR A TENTH OF THE COST... THAT CONTRACTORS WOULD CHARGE.
Lorra Lynch-Jones: (34:50) "The county is considering setting flat fees for inmates to clean-up the properties. Then that fee will be tacked on to property tax bills, which the mortgage holder would have to pay."
Allen Everidge: (30:10) "Most of the time, these mortgage companys will pay their taxes, so we get the money back."
COMMISSION CHAIRMAN NED SANDERS SAYS ITS ONE OPTION THAT COULD KEEP COSTS FROM FALLING ON TAX PAYERS.
Ned Sanders: (16:10) "Is it fair to put that expense on the back of taxpayers, when really somebody else owns that property?"
PLUS HE SAYS IT WOULD COME CHEAP... KEEPING FORECLOSURE COSTS LOW ON THE MARKET... OR AT AUCTION.
WARNER ROBINS ATTORNEY JIM ELLIOTT SAID THAT CITY ALREADY HAS A SYSTEM IN PLACE THAT WORKS FAIRLY WELL FOR CLEANING UP FORECLOSURES.
HE SAID PEOPLE SENTENCED TO COMMUNITY SERVICE OFTEN DO THE WORK...COSTING TAXPAYERS ONLY THE PRICE OF A SUPERVISOR.
THAT TOO IS ADDED TO THE TAX BILL AND REPAID BY THE MORTGAGE HOLDER.
TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL QUESTION... WOULD YOU WANT PRISON INMATES CLEANING UP RUNDOWN FORECLOSED HOMES IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD.
SO FAR 57 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES.
AND 43 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO.
YOU HAVE UNTIL MIDNIGHT TO VOTE.
LOOK FOR THE WEB POLL QUESTION ON THE BOTTOM RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE.
A FORMER PERRY HOSPITAL EMPLOYEE ACCUSED OF MISHANDLING MAMMOGRAM RESULTS PLEADED NOT GUILTY IN HOUSTON COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT TODAY.
30-YEAR-OLD RACHAEL MICHELLE RAPRAEGER IS CHARGED WITH...AMONG OTHER THINGS... RECKLESS CONDUCT FOR ALLEGEDLY TELLING HUNDREDS OF WOMEN THEIR TEST RESULTS WERE NORMAL... WHEN A DOCTOR NEVER READ THEIR SCANS.
VANESSA RUFFES HAS MORE FROM TODAY'S COURT APPEARANCE.
IT WAS A QUICK APPEARANCE IN COURT TODAY FOR RACHAEL RAPRAEGER. THE FORMER PERRY HOSPITAL RADIOLOGY TECHNICIAN MAINTAINED HER INNOCENCE AT WEDNESDAY MORNING'S ARRAIGNMENT.
HER ATTORNEY... FLOYD BUFORD WOULD NOT SAY WHAT THEY PLAN TO ARGUE TO THE JURY... BUT HE SAYS THEY ARE READY FOR THAT DAY IN COURT.
Floyd Buford "She's saddened that she has to go through this process, but it is the way our system works, and she just wants for the truth to come out."
RAPRAEGER FACES TEN COUNTS OF RECKLESS CONDUCT... AND 10 COUNTS OF COMPUTER FRAUD... FOR THE TEN WOMEN WHOSE TEST RESULTS SHE HANDLED... WHO ACTUALLY HAD CANCER.
Vanessa Ruffes "At least one of Rapraeger's 10 alleged victims was in court today -- Miriam Mizell who says she's had two rounds of chemotherapy since she first discovered she had cancer."
Miriam Mizell, Kathleen "I felt it was important for a victim to be present."
MIZELL SAYS... WHILE SHE HAS HIRED AN ATTORNEY TO PURSUE A POSSIBLE LAWSUIT... HER MAIN CONCERN NOW... IS GETTING HEALTHY. SHE SAYS SHE TRUSTS THE COURTS WILL GIVE HER AND THE OTHER WOMEN JUSTICE.
Mizell "No matter how long we have to wait. That's just not important to me. (off cam: What is important to you right now?) My life."
THE HOUSTON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE SAID IN SEPTEMBER... RAPRAEGER COULD FACE UP TO 160 YEARS IN PRISON ON THE 20 COUNTS.
MIZELL SAYS WHATEVER THE OUTCOME... SHE'S READY FOR A CONCLUSION.
"The court will take care of that. And I will take care of me."
VANESSA RUFFES 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> RAPRAEGER REMAINS UNDER ELECTRONIC MONITORING AND CANNOT LEAVE HER HOME.
HER TENTATIVE COURT DATE IS SCHEDULED FOR THE WEEK OF APRIL 4TH.
THE STATE ATTORNEY GENERALS OFFICE COULD DECIDE WHETHER TO CHARGE A FORMER TWIGGS COUNTY SHERIFF... AND HIS SON...WITH ELECTION VIOLATIONS.
TODAY...THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS REFERRED THE CASE OF DOYLE AND GREG STONE TO THE A-G-'S OFFICE FOR POSSIBLE PROSECUTION.
BOTH MEN ARE ACCUSED OF MISHANDLING ABSENTEE BALLOTS IN THE JULY 2008 PRIMARY.
THAT'S WHEN GREG STONE...THE SON...RAN FOR HIS FATHER'S OLD JOB.
DOYLE STONE IS ACCUSED OF ILLEGALLY GOING TO PRIVATE HOMES AND A NURSING HOME.... TAKING PEOPLE'S BALLOTS...AND FILLING THEM OUT.
THE STATE INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE SAYS THE F-B-I LAB FOUND BOTH STONES' FINGERPRINTS ON OTHER PEOPLE'S BALLOTS.
TODAY THEIR LAWYER SAID BOTH MEN DENY BREAKING ANY LAWS.
A MACON POLICE OFFICER WHO WAS INJURED IN A CRUISER ACCIDENT REMAINS HOSPITALIZED THIS EVENING.
SPOKESWOMAN JANIE POULNOTT WITH THE MEDICAL CENTER OF CENTRAL GEORGIA SAYS SEARGEANT KENNETH SMITH IS IN CRITICAL CONDITION.
MACON POLICE SPOKESWOMAN JAMI GAUDET SAYS SMITH'S CRUISER FLIPPEDD AROUND 4 A-M TUESDAY WHILE HE WAS RESPONDING TO A BURGLARY AT ROBINS FEDERAL CREDIT UNION ON LOG CABIN DRIVE.
IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ON THE BURGLARY...YOU CAN CONTACT MACON REGIONAL CRIMESTOPPERS AT 1-877-68 CRIME... AGAIN THAT'S 877-68-CRIME.
A NOVEMBER 30TH RUNOFF LOOMS ON THE HORIZON FOR JIM BARNES AND HOWARD SIMMS IN THEIR QUESTS FOR SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE IN THE MACON JUDICIAL CIRCUIT.
BUT IN ADDITION TO CAMPAIGNING.. BARNES IS ANSWERING QUESTIONS ABOUT A LAWSUIT HE FILED A DECADE AGO.
RANDALL SAVAGE HAS MORE.
<<JIM BARNES LED THE TICKET IN THE NOVEMBER 2ND GENERAL ELECTION.. GETTING FORTY-TWO PERCENT OF THE VOTE.. HOWARD SIMMS FINISHED SECOND WITH THIRTY-NINE PERCENT.. NOW.. IN THE RUNOFF.. THEY'RE PUSHING ISSUES THAT GOT THEM THERE.
FOR BARNES.. IT'S TAKING A STAND AGAINST THE RISING CRIME RATE.
2:59:19 Jim Barnes, Judicial Candidate: I think the main concern in the community is the violence that we've been having and we need to do something about that.
SIMMS SAYS.. A FORMER DISTRICT ATTORNEY.. SAYS HIS EXPERIENCE QUALIFIES HIM FOR THE JUDGESHIP.
12:49:13 Howard Simms, Judicial Candidate: We need a prosecutor perspective on the bench I think now more than ever. I bring a unique skill set to the bench that we didn't have, and we need somebody who's got that skill set and perspective.
BARNES IS ALSO ANSWERING QUESTIONS ABOUT A LAWSUIT HE FILED AGAINST AT&T UNIVERSAL CARD SERVICES.. BARNES FILED THE SUIT AFTER AT&T SUED HIM FOR NON-PAYMENT OF A CREDIT BILL OF MORE THAN THIRTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS.
BARNES ALLEGED IN THE SUIT THAT HE'D ENTERED INTO ANOTHER CONTRACT WITH THE CREDIT CARD COMPANY THAT MADE THE CREDITORS OWE BARNES ALMOST SEVENTEEN MILLION DOLLARS.
7:12:15 Jim Barnes, Judicial Candidate: I didn't know what would happen. What I was trying to do was to make a point with them and with a multi-billion dollar company, you don't make a point with thousands of dollars. You make a point with millions of dollars.
BUT THE COURT RULED AGAINST BARNES...AND ADDED A THOUSAND DOLLAR PENALTY AGAINST HIM.
SIMMS WON'T TALK ABOUT THE BARNES CASE.
12:38:36 Howard Simms, Judicial Candidate: I'm not going to comment on that in specific terms or general simms.
RANDALL SAVAGE.. 13 WMAZ.. EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>>BARNES IS A PUBLIC DEFENDER IN THE OCMULGEE JUDICIAL CIRCUIT.
SIMMS IS THE FORMER BIBB COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY.
THE RUNOFF WINNER SUCCEEDS JUDGE LAMAR SIZEMORE.. WHO DIDN'T SEEK RE-ELECTION THIS YEAR.
THE MACON JUDICIAL CIRCUIT COVERS BIBB.. CRAWFORD.. AND PEACH COUNTIES.
FOR MORE ON THE RACE AND THE BARNES LAWSUIT.... GO TO 13 WMAZ DOT COM.
BIBB COUNTY'S NEWEST "TEACHER OF THE YEAR" SAYS HE BECAME AN EDUCATOR HOPING TO INFLUENCE CHILDREN... THE SAME WAY THAT HIS TEACHERS CHANGED HIS LIFE.
NORTHEAST HIGH SCHOOL'S JADUN (JUH-DON) MCCARTHY WAS HONORED AT A CEREMONY MONDAY.
HE WAS SELECTED FROM A GROUP OF 41 TOP TEACHERS.
MCCARTHY SAYS HE ATTENDED BIBB SCHOOLS... AND GRADUATED IN 1998 FROM THE VERY SAME SCHOOL WHERE HE TEACHES NOW.
HE SAYS THAT EXPERIENCE HELPS HIM RELATE TO STUDENTS.
Jadun McCarthy, 2011 Bibb County Teacher of the Year: "When I tell them that you can achieve and that obstacles can't stop you, they know that I'm telling the truth because I tell them that I sat in the desk that you sat in, I walked the hallways you walked in."
JADUN MCCARTHY HEADS UP NORTHEAST HIGH SCHOOL'S ACADEMIC BOWL TEAM... AND SERVES AS ADVISOR FOR BOTH THE JUNIOR AND SENIOR CLASSES.
PASTORS FROM SEVEN MACON CHURCHES ARE JOINING FORCES FOR A WALK AGAINST VIOLENCE THIS SATURDAY MORNING.
PASTOR EDDIE SMITH FROM MACEDONIA BAPTIST CHURCH IS JOINING US NOW TO LET YOU KNOW HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED.
The march will begin at 10:00 am at the Pentecostal Temple, 928 Anthony Road. The purpose of the march is to bring the church out of the pews and into the community to encourage, embrace and empower with the spirit of Christ, as well as to help foster a climate of love and understanding in order to begin to confront the atmosphere and attitude that makes violence acceptable in our community. The Unity Fellowship of Churches will provide, through ministries, information and access to social partners and advocates for continued support to bring violence to an end. For more information, contact (478)743-8568.
· Beulahland Bible Church - Pastor Maurice Watson
· Bibb Mount Zion Baptist Church - Pastor Teddy Parker, Jr.
· Ebenezer Baptist Church - Pastor Jacob Parker
· First Baptist Church - Pastor James W. Goolsby, Jr.
· Macedonia Baptist Church - Pastor Eddie D. Smith
· Pentecostal Temple - Pastor Larry Dunning, Jr.
· Unionville Baptist Church - Pastor I. Edwin Mack
· 928 Anthony Road to Lincoln St.,
· Right on Lincoln St. to Stephens St.,
· Left to Adams St., right to Anthony Rd.,
· Right onto Anthony Rd, crossing Pio Nono Ave.,
· Right onto Lowe St.,
· Left onto Moseley Ave.,
· Right onto Key St.,
· Left onto Mercer University,
· The right onto Dempsey Ave.,
· Right onto Columbus Rd. (Montpelier Ave.)
· Ending at Columbus Rd. with a rally.