Tuesday, April 10, Eyewitness News at 11

5:02 PM, Apr 9, 2012   |    comments
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GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
FRANK MALLOY HAS THE NIGHT OFF.

GRADUATION RATES IN MANY CENTRAL GEORGIA SCHOOL SYSTEMS... INCLUDING BIBB COUNTY ARE LOWER THAN THE STATE AVERAGE.
FOR 2011... BIBB COUNTY HAD A 51 PERCENT GRADUATION RATE....
THAT'S DOWN FROM 63 PERCENT LAST YEAR.
HOUSTON COUNTY'S RATE WENT FROM 82 PERCENT IN 2010 TO 72 PERCENT IN 2011.
THE AVERAGE STATE GRADUATION RATE IS ABOUT 67 PERCENT.
THE STATE USED A NEW NATIONWIDE FORMULA TO CALCULATE LAST YEAR'S GRADUATION RATES.
THAT FORMULA ALLOWS OFFICIALS TO COMPARE GRADUATION RATES AMONG STATES.
UNDER THE OLD SYSTEM... CALLED THE "LEAVER RATE"... THE GRADUATION RATE WAS CALCULATED USING THE NUMBER OF STUDENTS WHO LEAVE WITH A DIPLOMA... COMPARED TO THE NUMBER OF SENIORS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR.
THAT METHOD COUNTED STUDENTS WHO TOOK MORE THAN FOUR YEARS TO GRADUATE.
THE NEW METHOD TRACKS WHAT'S CALLED THE "NINTH GRADE COHORT."... OR STUDENTS WHO STARTED HIGH SCHOOL TOGETHER.
THE FORMULA SUBTRACTS STUDENTS WHO LEAVE THE SYSTEM AND ADD THOSE WHO TRANSFER IN.

IN CENTRAL GEORGIA.. WHEELER COUNTY HAD THE HIGHEST GRADUATION RATE AT 87-POINT-5 PERCENT.
SUPERINTENDENT DR. MARK DAVIDSON SAYS THEY STARTED A PROGRAM CALLED "GRADUATION IS THE ONLY OPTION" FOUR YEARS AGO BECAUSE THEY WERE CONCERNED ABOUT THE GRADUATION NUMBERS.
Dr. Mark Davidson, Wheeler Co Superintendent: "We started doing graduation contracts in the handbook with the student signing it, the parents signing it, the teachers and the principle signing it, you know, pushing the initiative for students to udnerstand that graduation is the only option in Wheeler County."
DAVIDSON ALSO SAYS WHEELER COUNTY'S SIZE CAN BE AN ADVANTAGE AND A DISADVANTAGE.
THIS YEAR'S GRADUATING CLASS HAS JUST 51 SENIORS.
SO.. HE SAYS NOBODY CAN FALL THROUGH THE CRACKS.. BUT AT THE SAME TIME.. IF JUST A FEW STUDENTS DROP OUT OR MOVE AWAY.. THE GRADUATION RATE DROPS DRAMATICALLY.
FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF SCHOOL SYSTEMS IN CENTRAL GEORGIA AND THEIR GRADUATION RATES... VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM.

MACON MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT SAYS HE WANTS COUNCIL MEMBERS TO PUT MORE TRUST IN CITY DEPARTMENT HEADS.
IN A WORK SESSION TONIGHT... HE SUGGESTED LOOSENING THE REINS WHEN IT COMES TO BUDGETING SPECIFIC LINE ITEMS.
HE SAYS INSTEAD OF TRACKING SPENDING DOWN TO EACH LINE ITEM... DEPARTMENT HEADS SHOULD BE ABLE TO MOVE FUNDS AROUND WITHIN THAT DEPARTMENT.
THE MAYOR SAYS RIGHT NOW... IF A DEPARTMENT NEEDS TO PURCHASE SOMETHING OUT OF BUDGET LIMITS... THEY HAVE TO GO THROUGH AN EXTENSIVE PROCESS THROUGH COUNCIL TO TRANSFER FUNDS WITHIN THE SAME DEPARTMENT.
Mayor Robert Reichert, Macon: "Just like anybody's family budget, if the cost of gasoline goes up, and it costs more to fill up your tank, you may have to spend less at the grocery store. So you stay within your overall budget for the household."
James Timley, Council President: "Maybe the mayor and the C-A-O can find some process where we can get this budget in order, protect the taxpayers dollars, and not have it squandered, or not have it overpsent or not have it at the whim, the personal whim, of a department head."
COUNCIL PRESIDENT JAMES TIMLEY SAYS RIGHT NOW... THEY HAVE A 500 DOLLAR FINE FOR DEPARTMENT HEADS WHO GO OVER A BUDGET LINE.
HE SAYS AT THE LAST BUDGET REVIEW... A HANDFUL OVERSPENT.
MAYOR REICHERT SAYS HE HOPES TO LOOSEN THAT LAW FOR THE NEXT BUDGET YEAR.

MEMBERS OF COUNCIL ALSO LISTENED IN ON HOW TO MAKE THE CITY LANDFILL MORE EFFICIENT.
**Pause 3 sec nats**
A REPRESENTATIVE FROM A COMPANY CALLED WASTE TO ENERGY... PRESENTED AN IDEA TO TURN GARBAGE INTO GAS FOR PROFIT.
THE COMPANY SAYS THEY HOPE TO CONTRACT WITH PUBLIC WORKS TO CREATE A NEW FACILITY.
IN THE PRESENTATION... THEY COMPARED A SIMILAR MODEL TO ONE USED IN COLUMBIA... SOUTH CAROLINA.
MAYOR REICHERT SAYS RECENTLY... THEY'VE HAD SEVERAL SIMILAR PROPOSALS TO COUNCIL.
Mayor Robert Reichert, Macon: "The idea is can we find a way to gather more waste and create more methane and use it more effectively."
THE COMPANY SAYS BUILDING THE CENTER WOULD COST BETWEEN 12 AND 25 MILLION DOLLARS.

HOUSTON COUNTY ELEMENTARY SCHOOLERS WILL START A NEW SEX EDUCATION CURRICULUM THIS FALL.
THE SCHOOL BOARD UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED PURCHASING A NEW LESSON PLAN... CALLED THE CHILD LURE PREVENTION PROGRAM.
nats- showing curriculum (These are some posters we would use to go on with the curriculum")
GUIDANCE COUNSELOR AVIS ZANDERS SAID THE SYSTEM'S OLD PROGRAM IS OUTDATED.
CHILDREN STARTED LEARNING FROM THE "GOOD TOUCH, BAD TOUCH" CURRICULUM IN THE EIGHTIES.
ZANDERS SAYS THE NEW PROGRAM FOCUSES ON EDUCATING CHILDREN ON HOW TO RECOGNIZE ABUSE... AND PREVENT THEM FROM BECOMING VICTIMS.
Avis Zanders, Guidance Counselor: (14:20) "Sometimes people don't know how to talk to them. Sometimes they say things that are totally inappropriate. Sometimes they say and do things that are in appropriate. If a kid doesn't know this is wrong and against the law, then they will let it go on."
THE NEW PROGRAM WILL COST ABOUT 11-THOUSAND DOLLARS.
PARENTS CAN PREVIEW THE PROGRAM AT THEIR CHILD'S SCHOOL... BEFORE GIVING PERMISSION FOR THEIR CHILD TO TAKE THE COURSE.
HOUSTON COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT ROBIN HINES SAYS THE ELEMENTARY SEX ED PROGRAM HASN'T BEEN UPDATED SINCE THE RISE IN SOCIAL MEDIA AND INTERNET USERS.
ALSO AT TODAY'S MEETING... THE BOARD APPROVED A 25-CENT INCREASE IN SCHOOL LUNCH PRICES.
THEY PASSED THAT WITH A VOTE OF SIX TO ONE.
TOBY HILL VOTED AGAINST THE INCREASE.

RICK SANTORUM SUSPENDED HIS BID FOR THE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION.
THAT ALL BUT CLEARS THE PATH FOR MITT ROMNEY... WHO ALREADY HAS A HUGE LEAD OVER THE REMAINING CONTENDERS.
DANIELLE NOTTINGHAM TAKES A LOOK AT HOW THIS MIGHT CHANGE THE RACE.
SCRIPT:}

NATS

RICK SANTORUM APPEARED AT A LANCASTER, PENNSYLVNIA BIBLE COLLEGE TUESDAY NIGHT... JUST HOURS AFTER HE CHANGED THE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL RACE YET AGAIN.

SOT - Santorum 14:34:51

"this presidential race is over for us... For me. And we will suspend our campaign effective today...

...WAY BEHIND IN DELEGATES, THE ONE-TIME FRONTRUNNER STEPPED OFF THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL, BUT VOWED TO KEEP FIGHTING FOR CONSERVATIVES.

SOT - Santorum 14:35:58

"we are going to continue to go out there and fight to make sure we defeat Barack Obama, we win the house back, and take the United States Senate, and we stand for the values that make us Americans."

Nats

MITT ROMNEY CAMPAIGNED IN DELAWARE, AND AGREED SANTORUM'S WORK IS NOT DONE.

SOT - Romney Pipe 5 18:17:24

"he will continue to have a major role in the republican party and I look forward to his work to assure victories for republicans in november/"

STANDUP BRIDGE: WITH ROMNEY SO FAR AHEAD IN THE DELEGATE COUNT, AND SECOND-PLACE SANTORUM NOW GONE, THE GENERAL ELECTION MAY BE ALL-BUT SET.

Pipe 2 - 17:57:11

"four more years..."

ON A FUNDRAISING TOUR OF FLORIDA, PRESIDENT OBAMA TOOK AIM AT ROMNEY, AND WHAT HE CALLED HIS OUTDATED VIEW OF TRICKLE-DOWN ECONOMICS.

SOT - President tape 15:23:30

"some people who are running for office right now, who shall not be named//they're doubling down on these old broken down theories."

RON PAUL AND NEWT GINGRICH REMAIN IN THE RACE FOR THE GOP NOD, AND ARE NOW IN THE RACE FOR SANTORUM'S DELEGATES.

SOT - Gingrich

"there's now a choice between a conservative and a moderate."

THE NEXT REPUBLICAN PRIMARIES ARE APRIL 24TH.
SANTORUM DIDN'T SAY EXACTLY WHY HE LEFT THE CAMPAIGN... BUT HE DID MENTION HIS 3-YEAR OLD DAUGHTER... BELLA WHO HAS AN OFTEN-FATAL GENETIC CONDITION AND SPENT LAST WEEKEND IN THE HOSPITAL.

CELL PHONE THEFT IS GROWING INTO A COMMON CRIME.... BUT NOW FEDERAL OFFICIALS ARE WORKING TO CRACK DOWN ON THE PROBLEM.
THE F-C-C AND MAJOR CELL PHONE CARRIERS ARE TEAMING UP IN AN ATTEMPT TO MAKE STOLEN PHONES WORTHLESS.
KARA TSUBOI EXPLAINS IN THIS WEEK'S GEEK 13.
TRACK ONE: AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile are teaming up with the U-S government to create a database of stolen phones so thieves can't use voice and data services on those devices.

Ray Kelly / New York Police Commissioner
"We''ll be able to take highly prized stolen instruments and turn them into worthless pieces of plastic."

TRACK TWO: Here's how the database will work:

Kent German / Senior Managing Editor, CNET
"IF THE NUMBER IS IDENTIFIED AS STOLEN, THE CARRIER WILL RECOGNIZE WHEN THE PHONE CALL IS MADE, THAT THE NUMBER IS INVALID AND THAT WILL PREVENT THE CALL FROM BEING MADE."

TRACK THREE: This news comes too late for San Francisco resident Boonsri Dickinson who had her iphone stolen two years ago.

Boonsri Dickinson / San Francisco robbery victim
"When 80% of street crimes are about iphone thefts or laptops, you need to put a law in place like this."

TRACK FOUR: San Francisco police caught the thief but never recovered Dickinson's phone.

Boonsri Dickinson / San Francisco robbery victim
"Not only did it take away my sense of security because this guy came up to me and attacked me, but I did lose the only piece of technology that I actually like."

Kara Tsuboi / CNET Reporter
"Experts say this database is a win for consumers, but you still need to take precaution. Thieves can still access your phone's data if it's not password protected."

Kent German / Senior Managing Editor, CNET
"IF YOU HAVE AN IPHONE OR A SMARTPHONE WITH A LOT OF PHOTOS, A LOT OF DATA LOADED ON IT, THIS DOESN'T PREVENT ANYONE FROM GETTING INTO YOUR PHONE. "

TRACK FIVE: The four largest carriers are expected to create individual databases in the next six months. The FCC will then merge them into a central database over the next year.
MORE THAN A DOZEN OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE SIMILAR PLANS IN PLACE.

BEFORE ANGRY BIRDS... CAME MARIO... LUIGI AND SONIC THE HEDGEHOG.
THOSE VIDEO GAMES MAY HAVE A FOND PLACE IN YOUR MEMORY... BUT FOR ONE OF THE NATION'S MOST PROMINENT MUSEUMS... THEY ALSO HAVE A PLACE ON DISPLAY.
KAREN CAIFA TAKES A LOOK.
VISITORS COME TO THE SMITHSONIAN AMERICAN ART MUSEUM TO APPRECIATE ICONS LIKE GEORGIA O'KEEFE, EDWARD HOPPER, AND RIGHT NOW -- MARIO, PAC-MAN, AND SONIC THE HEDGEHOG.
THEY'RE NOSTALGIA, FOR SURE, BUT ARE THEY ART?
CHRIS MELISSINOS, GUEST CURATOR FOR THE TEMPORARY EXHIBITION "THE ART OF VIDEO GAMES" SAYS ABSOLUTELY.
We find interpersonal and introspective messages inside of these games, and so for me, and for many of us who grew up in that generation, video games are in many senses, the ultimate form of art.
IT'S AN INTERACTIVE WALK THROUGH GAMING HISTORY BEGINNING WITH ATARI'S PRIMITIVE HOME VERSION OF PAC-MAN, TO THE NINTENDO INVASION OF THE LATE 80S.
Nintendo actually reintroduced the concept of the home video game machine, back into American lives.
AND TO THE PRESENT DAY, THE VIVID GRAPHICS AND SWEEPING MUSICAL SCORES OF GAMES FOR SYSTEMS LIKE THE PLAYSTATION THREE.
We're now at the point where we can fully articulate real-world environments, we can create characters that look and feel very real to the player...
WHICH GIVES WAY TO AN INTERESTING ARTISTIC CONCEPT -- THE CONSUMER AS CREATOR.
They're behind the glass. So we can't touch them, but we can affect them. We can inject ourselves into the experience.
SO THE NEXT TIME YOU'RE MERELY PASSING THE TIME WITH A GAME OF ANGRY BIRDS, TAKE A MOMENT, AND APPRECIATE IT. ONE DAY, IT COULD END UP IN A MUSEUM.
AFTER ITS RUN IN WASHINGTON ENDS IN SEPTEMBER, THE EXHIBITION WILL GO ON TOUR TO A NUMBER OF U-S CITIES, INCLUDING SEATTLE, MEMPHIS, MIAMI, PHOENIX, TOLEDO, OHIO; AND FLINT, MICHIGAN

TONIGHT'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY IS WILLIE CARSWELL JUNIOR.
WILLIE... 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.

MACON IS IN THE RUNNING FOR A MILLION DOLLAR PRIZE TO FEED THE HUNGRY.
WAL-MART COMPILED A LIST OF 200 U-S COMMUNITIES HARDEST HIT BY UNEMPLOYMENT.
THAT LIST COMES FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.
THE CITY WITH THE MOST VOTES ON WAL-MART'S FACEBOOK PAGE, WINS THE MONEY.
MIDDLE GEORGIA COMMUNITY FOOD BANK EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR... RON RALEIGH ALREADY HAS A WISHLIST.
the higher end protein items will definitely be on my wishlist if we get the million dollars. then i would chase that would fruits and vegetables, some fresh products that we normally do not have
WALMART IS USING A FACEBOOK APP TO COLLECT VOTES.
YOU CAN VOTE EVERY 24 HOURS. THE CONTEST WILL RUN UNTIL APRIL 30TH.

THANKS FOR JOINING US.... FIRST MORNIN COMES YOUR WAY AT 5 A-M.
THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
LETTERMAN'S NEXT.
HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.


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