Sunday, February 20, Eyewitness News at 11

11:36 PM, 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.

A MISSOURI MAN IS CHARGED IN CONNECTION WITH A MACON METH LAB.

THE JONES COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS 27-YEAR-OLD DARRELL PORTER IS CHARGED WITH ONE FELONY COUNT OF MANUFACTURING METH.
HE'S BEING HELD IN THE JONES COUNTY JAIL.

DEPUTIES WORKED THE SCENE ON PHILLIPS DRIVE FOR SEVERAL HOURS TODAY.
POLICE FOUND PORTER MAKING THE CHEMICALS IN THE TRAILER'S BATHROOM.
LIEUTENANT JIMMY BLACK SAYS IT WAS A RENTED PROPERTY... WHERE PORTER'S GIRLFRIEND LIVED.
HE SAYS PORTER WAS PLANNING TO PICK HER UP AND TAKE HER TO MISSOURI.

BLACK SAYS THEY'VE BEEN INVESTIGATING PORTER FOR ABOUT A WEEK.

MACON COUNTY'S CORONER GROVER BARFIELD RULED THE DEATHS OF A PAIR FOUND DEAD FRIDAY NIGHT--- A MURDER SUICIDE.
HE IDENTIFIED THE COUPLE AS .. 70-YEAR-OLD COLONEL RILEY... AND 60-YEAR-OLD CORINE RILEY OF OGLETHORPE.
BARFIELD SAYS THEY WERE FOUND DEAD IN THE GARAGE AREA OF THEIR HOME... LOCATED ON REUBEN ODOM ROAD.
HE SAYS HE RECEIVED THE CALL JUST AFTER SIX-O-CLOCK FRIDAY... BUT SAYS THEY LIKELY DIED EARLIER IN THE DAY.
BARFIELD WOULD NOT COMMENT ON THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE DEATHS.
CALLS TO THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE WERE NOT RETURNED.

A WATER MAIN BREAK CAUSED SOME PEOPLE IN JONES COUNTY... TO BE WITHOUT WATER EARLIER TONIGHT.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO THE JONES COUNTY WATER SYSTEM.

THE JONES COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS THE WATER MAIN BREAK HAPPENED ON LITE-N-TIE ROAD.
THEY DON'T KNOW THE CAUSE... OR HOW LONG SOME PEOPLE DID NOT HAVE WATER TODAY.

WATER SYSTEM AUTHORITIES SAY THE PROBLEM HAS BEEN FIXED... AND THAT WATER WAS RESTORED TO ALL HOMES... BY ABOUT EIGHT-O-CLOCK TONIGHT.

CENTRAL GEORGIANS ARE REMEMBERING THE LATE STATE REPRESENTATIVE KENNETH BIRDSONG.
ACCORDING TO FAMILY... BIRDSONG DIED YESTERDAY FROM A HEART ATTACK.
VANESSA RUFFES SPOKE WITH COMMUNITY LEADERS ABOUT HOW THEY THINK ONE OF THE LONGEST-SERVING STATE REPRESENTATIVES WILL BE REMEMBERED.

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JUSTICE "YOU ALWAYS WANT TO THINK THAT YOU'VE MADE SOME TYPE OF MAJOR MARK IN HISTORY BY YOUR SERVICE AND I THINK HE HAS DONE THAT.."

FORMER BIBB COUNTY CHAIRMAN LARRY JUSTICE SAYS HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH FORMER STATE REPRESENTATIVE KENNETH BIRDSONG GOES BACK MORE THAN HALF A CENTURY... WHEN THEY WORKED TOGETHER AT GEORGIA KAOLIN COMPANY IN DRY BRANCH. HE SAYS THEY STILL KEPT IN TOUCH AFTER THEY WENT THEIR SEPARATE WAYS AND ENTERED THE POLITICAL ARENA.

JUSTICE "HE REALLY TOOK CARE OF HIS CONSTITUENTS AND THAT WAS UTTERMOST IN HIS MIND."

ALSO... MANY SAY... A TOP PRIORITY OF BIRDSONG'S... WERE VETERANS.

A VETERAN OF WORLD WAR TWO AND KOREA... BIRDSONG HELPED PUSH FOR THE LAW AUTHORIZING THE FIRST STATE VETERAN'S CEMETERY... AND FUNDING FOR AN ALZHEIMER'S WING AT THE GEORGIA WAR VETERANS HOME.

FORMER STATE REPRESENTATIVE DUBOSE PORTER SAYS BIRDSONG'S EMPHASIS ON SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN BECAME CLEAR DURING THEIR 10 YEARS TOGETHER IN THE HOUSE.

DUBOSE PORTER "OVER EVERYTHING -- WAS HIS INTEREST IN GEORGIA VETERANS. THEIR SERVICE, THE RECOGNITION OF MAKING SURE THAT THEY WERE TAKEN CARE OF -- AND THAT IT REMAINED A PRIORITY OF GEORGIA IS DUE, A LARGE PART, TO KEN BIRDSONG'S SERVICE."

BIRDSONG... WHO REPRESENTED TWIGGS AND WILKINSON... ALONG WITH PARTS OF BIBB AND JONES COUNTIES FOR NEARLY THIRTY YEARS... ALSO SERVED AS A MENTOR FOR BUDDING LAWMAKERS... SAYS REPRESENTATIVE NIKKI RANDALL.

RANDALL "THERE WERE TIMES WHEN I WOULD ASK HIM ABOUT PROCEDURE AND PROCESS, AND HE ALWAYS TOOK THE TIME TO HELP ME AND ALWAYS HAD ENCOURAGING WORDS."

RANDALL AND OTHERS SAY BIRDSONG WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN... AND WILL ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED AS A MAN WHO WAS DEDICATED TO WHAT MATTERED TO CENTRAL GEORGIANS.
VANESSA RUFFES 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
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BIRDSONG WAS 83.
HIS SON K-O BIRDSONG SAYS THE CAUSE OF DEATH WAS A HEART ATTACK... BUT SAYS HIS FATHER WAS ALSO BATTLING NON-HODGKIN'S LYMPHOMA.

VISITATION WILL BE HELD TOMORROW... FROM FIVE P-M TO EIGHT P-M... AT HART'S MORTUARY ON CHERRY STREET.
THE FUNERAL IS SCHEDULED FOR TUESDAY AT 11 A-M... ALSO AT THEIR CHERRY STREET LOCATION.

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

SOME FOLKS IN GRAY... SUNG... DANCED... AND PRAISED... IN HONOR OF BLACK HISTORY MONTH.

IT'S PART OF A YEARLY TRADITION... AT NEW DAMASCUS CHURCH.
THEY PUT ON A MONTH-LONG PROGRAM TO CELEBRATE AND HONOR HISTORICAL BLACK FIGURES... WHILE DRESSING UP IN TRADITIONAL AFRICAN CLOTHES.
AS PART OF THE EVENT... THEY PERFORM PRAISE DANCES.... PUT ON SKITS AND SERVED UP TRADITIONAL FOODS.
ORGANIZER DOROTHY WILSON SAYS SHE HOPES THE PROGRAM INSPIRES OTHERS TO CELEBRATE THEIR HERITAGE.

DOROTHY WILSON CHURCH MEMBER "WE NEED TO KNOW WHAT ARE ANCESTORS HAD TO GO THOROUGH TO GET US THIS FAR, THATS WHY YOUNG..OLD...MIDDLE AGED EVERY BODY SHOULD BE PROUD TO BE BLACK."

NEXT WEEK THE CHURCH PLANS TO HOST A YOUTH PERFORMANCE... TO WRAP THEIR BLACK HISTORY MONTH CELEBRATION.

ANOTHER CENTRAL GEORGIA CHURCH SPENT TODAY... HONORING BLACK HISTORY MONTH.

THEY PRAISED ABOUT A DOZEN OFFICERS FROM AREA AGENCIES... FOR THEIR EFFORTS IN LEADERSHIP... AND ACHIEVEMENTS ON THE JOB.
ITS ALL PART OF A LAW ENFORCEMENT APPRECIATION DAY AT GREATER TURNER TABERNACLE A-M-E CHURCH.
ORGANIZERS HANDED OUT PLAQUES... TO THREE AFRICAN AMERICAN LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS FROM MACON... AND BIBB COUNTY.
THE OFFICERS RECEIVED AWARDS BASED ON THEIR COMMUNITY SERVICE.
SHARON DUMAS... TOOK PART IN THE EVENT... AND SAYS OFFICERS DESERVE RESPECT... FOR PROTECTING THE COMMUNITY.


SHARON DUMAS MACON "REALLY I FEEL THAT THEY ARE NOT REWARED ENOUGH FOR THE THINGS THEY DO.BEACUSE THEY GO OUT AND SERVE US, THEY HAVE FAMILY THEMSELVESAND THEY GO OUT AND PUT THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE FOR US AND I THANK THEM FOR THAT"

LAST YEAR... AFRICAN-AMERICAN FIREFIGHTERS WERE HONORED AT THE EVENT... THE PREVIOUS YEAR... TEACHERS.

JASON...

WE JOIN METEOROLOGIST JASON DISHAROON IN THE WEATHER CENTER.


THANKS JASON WE'LL CHECK BACK WITH YOU LATER.

WE'VE HAD SOME AMAZING WEATHER THESE PAST COUPLE OF DAYS.
WE WANTED TO KNOW WHAT PEOPLE ARE DOING... TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT.
WE ASKED OUR FACEBOOK FANS... HOW ARE YOU ENJOYING THIS WEEKEND'S BEAUTIFUL WEATHER?

AMANDA SHOWALTER SAYS SHE'S... WATCHING HER KIDS PLAY OUTSIDE AND DOING SOME EARLY SPRING CLEANING.

MANDY ROBINSON SAYS... ENJOYING THE WEATHER BY LIVING LIKE A ROCK STAR AND LIVING IT UP!

AND DEBBIE WILSON SAYS... SHE WENT FISHING AND LISTENED TO NASCAR.

YOU CAN TELL US HOW YOU'RE ENJOYING THE NICE WEATHER... JUST HEAD OVER TO OUR 13WMAZ DOT COM FACEBOOK PAGE AND CLICK THE LIKE BUTTON.

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