Saturday, February 19, Eyewitness News at 11

12:02 AM, Feb 20, 2011   |    comments
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GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US... I'M BOFTA YIMAM.
THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.

FORMER STATE REPRESENATATIVE KENNETH BIRDSONG DIED THIS MORNING.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO HART'S MORTUARY... WHO'S HANDLING THE FUNERAL.
BIRDSONG WAS A LONG-TIME MEMBER OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY--- REPRESENTING BIBB... JONES... TWIGGS AND WILKINSON COUNTIES.
CRAIG MOORE WITH HART'S MORTUARY... SAYS HE'S NOT SURE OF THE CAUSE OF DEATH.

HE SAYS VISITIATION WILL BE HELD THIS MONDAY... FROM FIVE P-M TO EIGHT P-M... AT HART'S MORTUARY ON CHERRY STREET.
MOORE SAYS THE FUNERAL IS SCHEDULED FOR TUESDAY AT 11 A-M... ALSO ON CHERRY STREET.

THE BURIAL IS SET FOR TWO-30 P-M AT THE GEORGIA VETERANS MEMORIAL CEMETERY IN MILLEDGEVILLE.
HE SAYS THE PUBLIC IS INVITED TO ATTEND.

AN UNIDENTIFIED PERSON WAS FOUND IN A WOODED AREA... IN CRAWFORD COUNTY THIS AFTERNOON.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO THE GBI.

A NEWS RELEASE SAYS THE BODY WAS FOUND OFF FAIRPLAY HILL ROAD.
GBI AND CRAWFORD COUNTY AUTHORITIES DISCOVERED THE BODY IN A SHALLOW GRAVE AT 12-30.
AUTHORITIES FINISHED REMOVING THE BODY FROM THE GRAVE... JUST AFTER EIGHT-O-CLOCK TONIGHT.
AN AUTOPSY IS SCHEDULED FOR TUESDAY.

IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION CONTACT THE GBI AT 1-800-597-TIPS... AGAIN THAT'S 1-800-597-TIPS.

MACON COUNTY'S CORONER GROVER BARFIELD SAYS HE'S EXPECTING THE AUTOPSY RESULTS TOMORROW... OF AN OGLETHORPE PAIR.
HE SAYS AUTHORITIES FOUND A MAN AND WOMAN IN THEIR 60'S--- DEAD IN THE GARAGE AREA OF AN OGLETHORPE HOME LAST NIGHT.
BARFIELD SAYS THAT HOME IS LOCATED ON REUBEN ODOM ROAD.
HE SAYS HE RECEIVED THE CALL JUST AFTER SIX-O-COCK... BUT SAYS THEY LIKELY DIED EARLIER IN THE DAY.
BARFIELD SAYS THE BODIES WERE SENT TO THE GBI CRIME LAB YESTERDAY.
HE WOULD NOT COMMENT ABOUT THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE DEATHS---UNTIL AFTER THE AUTOPSY'S ARE COMPLETED.

IF YOU PLAN ON DRIVING INTO DOWTOWN ATLANTA THIS WEEKEND ... LISTEN UP.
NEARLY 100-THOUSAND PEOPLE ARE EXPECTED TO BE IN THE STATE'S CAPITAL... OVER THE NEXT TWO DAYS.
MULTIPLE EVENTS ARE SET TO HAPPEN AT THE GEORGIA WORLD CONGRESS CENTER AND PHILIPS ARENA... INCLUDING THE RINGLING BROTHERS CIRCUS... AND AN INTERNATIONAL HAIR SHOW.
ORGANIZERS ARE ASKING ANYONE HEADING DOWNTWON TO TAKE MARTA... RATHER THAN DRIVING.
ROADWORK ALONG INTERSTATE 75 AND GEORGIA 400 NORTH OF THE CITY... COULD CAUSE EVEN MORE TRAFFIC HEADACHES.

WITHIN A YEAR... TWO DOZEN CENTRAL GEORGIA VETERANS... COULD CALL A STATE OF THE ART ALZHIEMER'S CENTER... HOME.
THE FACILITY IS AN ADDITION TO THE GEORGIA WAR VETERANS HOME IN MILLEDGEVILLE.
AMY AUBERT SPOKE WITH ONE VIETNAM VETERAN... WHO SAYS HE'S THRILLED TO SEE STATE FUNDING SUPPORT... THOSE WHO'VE SERVED.

<<
NATS, BOB BARRY

IN A VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA STATE COUNCIL MEETING SATURDAY MORNING... CONSTRUCTION PLANS WERE UNVEILED.

NATS

BOB BARRY, VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA: "IT'S A PLACE TO GO WHERE THEY'LL BE CARED FOR BY PEOPLE WHO UNDERSTAND THEM, AND THAT'S OTHER VETERANS."

VICE PRESIDENT BOB BARRY SAYS... MORE FUNDING FROM THE STATE... MADE IT POSSIBLE... TO BREAK GROUND ON A NEW WING AT THE GEORGIA WAR VETERANS HOME IN MILLEDGEVILLE.

BOB BARRY: "FOR A GUY THAT NEEDS NURSING HOME CARE, AND THE FAMILY CAN'T AFFORD IT, THAT'S A TREMENDOUS BURDEN LIFTED OFF JUST THE FAMILY, THE COMMUNITY, BUT ALSO THE VETERAN HIMSELF."

ERNIE SIMONS WITH THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF VETERAN SERVICES .. SAYS THE PILE OF DIRT... AND A LARGE HOLE IN THE GROUND ON THE SIDE OF THE WHEELER'S BUILDING.. ARE THE BEGININGS OF AN ALZHIEMER'S WING. HE SAYS THE ADDITION WILL BRING TWENTY FOUR MORE BEDS ON BOARD... AND SAYS THEY'LL HIRE MORE STAFF... AS THE NEED ARISES.

VICE PRESIDENT BARRY SAYS... THIS ISN'T THE ONLY EFFORT THEIR STAFF IS THRILLED ABOUT.

BOB BARRY: "THE NURSING HOMES ARE ALLOWED TO TAKE MORE PEOPLE NOW."

HE SAYS ... AFTER AN 18 MONTH FREEZE ON TAKING IN NEW PATIENTS... THEY CAN NOW ACCEPT ABOUT TWENTY MORE VETERANS.... INCREASING TO 235 PATIENTS.

BOB BARY: "WE'RE VERY EXCITED ABOUT THAT. WE HAVE SO MANY GUYS THAT NEED THE EXTRA CARE."

VETERANS SAY... AFTER SERVING THEIR COUNTRY... THEY'RE PROUD TO SEE CONSTRUCTION BEGIN... ON A PLACE SOME COULD SOON CALL HOME.

AMY AUBERT... 13 WMAZ....EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>>

THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF VETERAN SERVICES SAYS THE ALZHIEMER'S WING... IS EXPECTED TO BE COMPLETED BY EARLY 20-12.
THEY ALSO SAY FORMER STATE REPRESEANTATIVE KENNETH BIRDSONG... WHO DIED THIS MORNING... HELPED PUSH FOR FUNDING THE ALZHEIMER'S WING.

A MACON MOTHER IS A STAR... FOR MANY VETERANS.

EARLIER TODAY... THEY PAID TRIBUTE TO JEANNIE COX... IN A BRIEF CEREMONY.
THE GEORGIA STATE COUNCIL... FOR THE VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA PRESENTED HER WITH THE GOLD STAR... FOR HER SON'S BRAVERY IN THE VIETNAM WAR.
COX'S SON... TWENTY-YEAR-OLD STEPHEN WALKER... WAS KILLED IN VIETNAM IN FEBRUARY 19-69.
THE GROUP ALSO MADE COX AN HONORARY MEMBER.
WHEN THE COUNCIL ASKED HER TO JOIN THE MEETING THIS MORNING... COX SAYS SHE HAD NO IDEA... ABOUT THE AWARD.
COX SAYS... HER SON'S SERVICE... MOTVIATES HER TO SUPPORT THE VETERANS.

JEANNIE COX, MACON: "IF THERE'S ANYTHING GOING ON INVOLVING VETERANS, I'M GOING TO BE THERE. BECAUSE I KNOW HOW MUCH I OWE MY VETERANS. AND I JUST LOVE THEM."

COX IS A MEMBER OF CHAPTER FOUR-43 OF THE VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA.

MORE THAN TWO-THOUSAND PEOPLE LOOKING FOR LAUGHS... HEADED TO THE CARDIAC CAFE TONIGHT.

FOLKS BROUGHT THEIR OWN FOOD AND DRINKS... AS COMEDIANS LIKE JUDY KERNS... AND CEE-JAY ENTERTAINED THEM.
JOHN REEP.. WHO'S ALSO KNOWN AS THE DODGE HEMI COMMERCIAL GUY... HEADLINED THE SHOW.
THE EVENT TOOK PLACE AT MACON'S CITY AUDITORUM.
THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION SPONSORED CARDIAC CAFE---ALL PROCEEDS WILL GO TO THE GROUP.
OUR VERY OWN METEOROLOGIST... BEN JONES EMCEED THE SHOW.
ROGER CULVER TALKS ABOUT THE EVENT---IN HIS OWN WORDS.

ROGER CULVER, AMERICAN HEART ASSOC.
"IT'S THE WORLD'S LARGEST INDOOR PICNIC COMEDY SHOW. IT STARTED 22 YEARS AGO AND GREW FROM THERE... AND KEEPS GROWING."

TABLES PRICES RANGED FROM THREE-HUNDRED TO TWO-THOUSAND DOLLARS.
BALCONY SEATS WERE 15-BUCKS.

JASON..

WE JOIN METEOROLOGIST JASON DISHAROON IN THE WEATHER CENTER.

CLOUDS WILL BE MOVING IN OVERNIGHT WITH LOWS IN THE UPPER 40S. TOMORROW WILL BE SLIGHTLY COOLER BUT STILL NICE UNDER PARTLY CLOUDY SKIES WITH HIGHS NEAR 70º. UPPER 40S AGAIN TOMORROW NIGHT BEFORE REBOUNDING INTO THE MID 70S MONDAY AFTERNOON.


THANKS JASON WE'LL CHECK BACK WITH YOU LATER.

DOZENS OF FIREFIGHTERS ROLLED UP THEIR SLEEVES FOR ONE OF THEIR OWN TODAY.

PEACH... BYRON AND CRAWFORD COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENTS USED THEIR HOSES... TO GET YOUR WHEELS SQUEAKY CLEAN.
THE CAR WASH IS PART OF A FUNDRAISER... TO BENEFIT FIRE FIGHTER JEFFERY OLIVER... WHO WAS HURT IN THE LINE OF DUTY.
OLIVER SUFFERED SMOKE INHALATION THIS MONTH... WHILE TRYING TO SAVE A WOMAN TRAPPED IN A HOUSE FIRE.
HE WAS RELEASED FORM THE HOSPITAL YESTERDAY.
PEACH COUNTY FIREFIGHTER DONNIE PARKER SAYS THE CAR WASH WILL GO A LONG WAY... TO SUPPORT SOMEONE WHO'S GIVEN SO MUCH.

DONNIE PARKER, FORT VALLEY: "HE'S A REAL GOOD GUY...HE'S A CLOWN...HE'S A SERGEANT WITH THE COUNTY...HE'S JUST ALL AROUND A GOOD GUY.SO EVERYBODY HERE SHOWING UP IS BIGGER THAN I EVER THOUGHT IT WOULD EVER BE."

PARKER SAYS TODAY'S EFFORT RAKED IN MORE THAN TWO-THOUSAND DOLLARS.
ALL PROCEEDS WILL BE GIVEN TO JEFFERY OLIVER AND HIS FAMILY.
PARKER SAYS ANYONE WHO STILL WANTS TO DONATE... CAN STOP BY THE PEACH COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT.

A LOCAL GRANT COULD SOON HELP YOU KEEP COOL... AT LAKE TOBESOFKEE.

MACON TREE COMMISSION MEMBERS GATHERED FOR A CEREMONY... TO DEDICATE ABOUT 400 NEW TREES TO THE LAKE TOBESOFKEE.
THE TREES WERE MADE POSSIBLE... THROUGH A 55-HUNDRED DOLLAR GRANT... FROM SEVERAL CENTRAL GEORGIA GARDEN CLUBS.
MACON TREE COMMISSION CHAIRMAN ROBERT APSLEY SAYS SOME OF THE TREES WILL BE PLANTED IN AREAS... HIT HARDEST BY THE 2009 MOTHER'S DAY TORNADOES... WHICH WIPED OUT MANY TREES.
HE SAYS THEIR ULTIMATE GOAL... IS TO COVER AT LEAST 40-PERCENT OF MACON... WITH TREES AROUND BUSINESSES AND HOMES.

ROBERT APSLEY, MACON TREE COMMISSION: "MACON GEORGIA IS A HOT HOT PLACE AND WITHOUT TREES ITS RATHER MISERABLE IN THE SUMMER TIME AND WE CAN REALLY ENHANCE THE QUALITY OF LIFE BY PLANTING MORE TREES."

APSLEY ALSO SAYS BECAUSE OF MACON'S TREE COMMISSION AND ARBOR DAY CELEBRATION... MACON IS DESIGNATED AS A "TREE CITY" U-S-A FOR THE 25TH YEAR... IN A ROW.

THE CITY OF FORSYTH MAY BE A BIT BRIGHTER THIS WEEKEND.

PEOPLE GEARED UP FOR THE UPCOMING FESTIVAL... AND LINED UP THE DAIRY QUEEN PARKING LOT TO GET THE COLORFUL FORSITHA YELLOW FLOWER PAINTED ON THEIR CARS.
OTHERS SHOPPED FOR A FESTIVAL T-SHIRTS.... BOWS... AND WREATHS.

ORGANIZER SAY TODAY'S KICKOFF IS A WAY TO SPREAD THE WORD... ABOUT THE ARTS AND CRAFTS FESTIVAL ON MARCH 12TH AND 13TH.

THE NEXT FESTIVAL EVENT IS SET FOR MARCH FOURTH... AT THE ROSE THEAER... IN FORSTH.

LET'S HAVE ONE LAST LOOK AT WEATHER WITH METEOROLOGIST JASON DISHAROON.


CLOUDS WILL BE MOVING IN OVERNIGHT WITH LOWS IN THE UPPER 40S. TOMORROW WILL BE SLIGHTLY COOLER BUT STILL NICE UNDER PARTLY CLOUDY SKIES WITH HIGHS NEAR 70º. UPPER 40S AGAIN TOMORROW NIGHT BEFORE REBOUNDING INTO THE MID 70S MONDAY AFTERNOON.

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