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Wednesday, May 5, 2021
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Campground worker fired for pulling gun on black couple

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)- Monday we brought you the story of a viral video showing a campground employee in Oktibbeha County displaying a gun while telling a couple and their dog to leave the property.

“You can feel the intent behind it. I felt it. I felt the heat from it. I felt it in her eyes. I knew exactly what it was,” said Jessica Richardson.

Richardson said she and her husband were looking to spend the holiday weekend picnicking with their dog, possibly even renting a cabin.

She said they googled a nearby Kampgrounds of America location and decided to drive there — that’s when things took a turn for the worse.

“She jumped out and the gun was pointed at me, my husband, and our dog. It was just pointing at us. One finger was on the trigger and one finger was on the lever of the revolver,” said Richardson.

Richardson said that’s when she pulled out her cellphone. The woman holding the gun identified herself as the property manager, but her choice of words was less than professional.

“She was just like, ‘get, get, you don’t belong here, you don’t belong here, you don’t belong here,’” said Richardson.

Richardson said the confrontation was shocking.

“Time stopped. Everything stopped. I was confused as to what was going on. It’s not like we posed a threat to anybody out there walking our dog. There’s nothing harmful about that,” said Richardson.

“The fact that she used ‘get, get’ like we were a dog. You say get, get to a stray dog that’s on your porch. That ‘get, get’ got to me more than ‘you don’t belong here,’” said Richardson.

On the way out, the couple spoke to another campground employee outside the office who turned out to be the woman’s husband.

“I get out and start talking to him. The first thing he says is ‘Oh, you don’t need a reservation for the lake.’ Then she pulls up flying, hops out the car, then proceeded to yell at my wife ‘get in the car, you need to get back in the car,’ just cussing her out and she’s not even saying anything,” said Richardson.

With signs at the front entrance and two different stories from employees, the Richardsons were confused, horrified and disappointed. The Army National Guard Sergeant recently returned from a nine-month deployment in the Middle East.

“It’s kind of crazy. You go over there and don’t have a gun pointed at you, and you come back home and the first thing that happens is you have a gun pointed at you. It’s kind of crazy to think about,” said Sgt. Franklin Richardson.

We reached out to the corporate KOA office and they released this statement to us:

“Kampgrounds of America does not condone the use of a firearm in any manner on our properties or those owned and operated by our franchisees. The employee involved in the incident has been relieved of her duties at the Starkville KOA.”

Study: Half of Americans use swimming pools as communal bath tub

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Summer is nearly here, but before you go jumping in the public pool, you might want to think twice!

A new study says 51% of all Americans use the swimming pool to get rid of sweat or dirt instead of just taking a shower.

The sweat and other things on our bodies react with the chlorine, meaning there’s less of that chemical available to kill germs.

Additionally, 40% of Americans admit they’ve peed in the pool as an adult.

The survey revealed that 24% of Americans would go in a swimming pool within one hour of having diarrhea, and 48% report they never shower before swimming. Also, most Americans don’t know that pool chemistry can be impacted by such personal care items as makeup (53%) and deodorant (55%).

The full study was done by the Water Quality and Health Council.

Take a Walk On the Wild Side at Tigers For Tomorrow

Down an old country road in Alabama lies a preserve called Tigers For Tomorrow. One built for education and commitment to more than 160 animals. The animals, many of them predators, all require extensive care. Just imagine what it takes to feed a tiger or bear each and every day.Tigers For Tomorrow

Susan Steffens, Tigers For Tomorrow Exec. Director, said, “They go through around a thousand pounds of meat and 400 pounds of produce everyday to feed all 160 animals. The community when they go hunting, they bring from their freezers, some of their old meat. Some of the chicken plants donate to us.”

Tigers For Tomorrow originated in Florida, then moved to the hills of Alabama thirteen years ago.

Susan said, “When we first moved here, we had 30 animals. We are up to 160 now. We do specialize in predators. Big cats, bears and wolves.”

The exotic animals Susan Steffens receives at this preserve don’t leave. They educate visitors, providing educational programming to the community and tourists of north Alabama.

Tigers For TomorrowSusan said, “At Tigers For Tomorrow, we are a last stop so the animals that come here will live here for the rest of their lives.  All they have to have is a need to get here. This is their home for the rest of their lives if we have the financial means.”

Many of these animals come from all over the world. All from different situations. Believe it or not, some of these predators were pets or bound for the circus.

Susan said, “Maybe someone was hoping it would be a circus animals and it didn’t have the personality to go into the circus.”

Susan takes them all in, welcoming the animals into the preserve. Her most memorable adoption, a lion from Guatemala. Susan recalls transporting the big cat back to Alabama.

Susan recalls, “Everyone on the plane knew there was a lion underneath them on a Delta 747.”

Tigers For TomorrowSusan spends her days and nights caring for these animals. Changing visitors perceptions that these giant creatures are mean.

“We all try to work together to make sure these animals are where they need to be and it’s a safe place with respect and dignity for the rest of their lives.”, said Susan.

The executive director says fear is a lack of knowledge, helping those who visit Untamed Mountain better understand these predators.  For many of these keepers, their 12 hour day begins at 7, always putting safety first.

Susan said, “It’s not an easy job because there are a lot of protocols to follow. We have each other’s back at all times. We work in a safety team of two or more when we are around the big cats.”

For visitors, it’s an up close look at some of the most beautiful creatures. A chance to see beauty and mystery like never before.

Susan said, “Children should be out and understanding nature. Hopefully they can, when they leave here.”

Susan hopes to continue her mission in the future. Adding more enclosures to this 140 acre complex. Offering shelter and home to even more Tigers For Tomorrow.

Stacey Abrams makes visit to Dalton


DALTON, Ga. (WDEF) – Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams made a stop in Dalton Sunday Evening.

She thanked her voters for their support during the hotly contested race; she conceded to Republican Brian Kemp back in November.

Abrams outlined ways to stay involved during the legislative session and beyond.

She is now Founder and Chair of Fair Fight, an organization dedicated to ending voter suppression and giving every eligible Georgian a voice in upcoming elections.

“This isn’t a partisan issue it’s a people issue but party plays a part. It play a roll cause we know that the intention wan’t to the other side form voting, it just happened to be cause and effect,” she said

She also spoke about her perspective of the recently passed fetal heartbeat bill which has now passed the Georgia House & Senate and will go to Governor Kemp for signature soon.

Adoptions half price at Animal Welfare to make room for 25 seized dogs


MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Macon-Bibb Animal Welfare adoptions are half price until Saturday.

Whether in the market for a dog or a cat, Animal Welfare offers a variety of potential pets.

Shelter manager Tracey Belew hopes to make room for 25 dogs seized in a dog fighting ring.

For more information on dogs available at the shelter, call (478) 621-6774.

Go Red Luncheon informs women on heart disease prevention


WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Around 61 million Americans suffer from heart disease according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fifty-two percent of those number are women.

At the annual Go Red for Women Luncheon, sponsored by Houston Healthcare, women learned how to prevent and manage heart disease.

Heart disease is the largest killer of American women.

The most notable symptoms women miss are the following:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Feelings of anxiety

Heart disease in women can be hard to catch and easily overlooked. Therefore, it leaves the disease under-diagnosed and under-tested.

Experts say that you need to “pay attention to your body, if you have symptoms, do your research, a heart attack can present very non-specifically”.

Director of Community Education and Services for Houston Healthcare Marlene Knoles wants women to be more mindful of their bodies.

The following lifestyle changes can help prevent heart disease:
  • Stop smoking
  • Eat better
  • Exercise
  • Manage blood pressure
  • Manage diabetes

International military students visit Museum of Aviation


WARNER ROBINS, Georgia(41NBC/WMGT)- American and international military, law enforcement, and civilian students visited the Museum of Aviation Wednesday morning.

The students are from Fort Benning and are attending the Command and General Staff Officer Course at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.

The course is the same as the one taught to U.S. Army students at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, but what makes this one special is that it is taught in Spanish.

Mike Rowland, the museum curator, said that coming to the museum gives the students a  different perspective on the way wars are fought.

The students were able to tour a B-29 and B-17 bomber plane in the Scott Hangar Exhibit.

The purpose of the visit is to study aerial bombing strategy during World War II, using the museum as a classroom.

Most of the students are soldiers, so their main focus is on the ground.

The tour gave them a way to see what airmen do and gain a different perspective on fighting.

Kudzu Seafood Company is moving


MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)- Kudzu Seafood Company is moving to a bigger location.

After serving gulf coast seafood for four years in downtown Macon, Kudzu Seafood will jump a block down the road.

The new location will be on Poplar Street.

Kudzu owner Lee Clack, says the main reason for the move is the need for more space.

Right now, there are 45 seats in the restaurant on Third Street.

The new building will seat 100 and have space for a full-service bar.

Clack says he’s excited about the new improvements the building will offer along with some updates to their menu.

The opening of the new space will be in the Spring.