Thursday, February 24, Eyewitness News at 11

7:03 PM, Feb 21, 2011   |    comments
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HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M FRANK MALLOY..
AND I'M LEAH JOHNSON..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11..

MACON OFFICIALS HELD A PUBLIC HEARING TONIGHT TO GET COMMUNITY INPUT ON A PROPOSAL TO REDEVELOP TROUBLED AREAS OF THE CITY.
THE URBAN RE-DEVELOPMENT PLAN WOULD TARGET THE MOST TROUBLED AREAS OF MACON... AND COME UP WITH PLANS TO ATTRACT BUSINESS AND STOP BLIGHT.
ABOUT A DOZEN PEOPLE FROM THE COMMUNITY ATTENDED THE MEETING...
MOST SEEMED TO FEEL THE OVER-ALL PLAN WAS A POSITIVE THING.
BUT SOME WORRIED IT WOULD TURN INTO ANOTHER PROPOSAL WITH GOOD INTENTIONS THAT BRINGS LITTLE CHANGE.
COUNCILWOMAN LAUREN BENEDICT SAYS... THE PLAN DOESN'T CONTAIN ALL THE SPECIFICS BUT SHE HOPES PEOPLE CAME AWAY WITH A BETTER UNDERSTANDING.
Lauren Benedict: "Our task was to encompass an area that was small enough that you could have real impact but large enough that you were dealing with some of our crucial areas of concern. And that was a tough balancing act."
THE PROPOSAL FOCUSES ON REHABILITATING THE DOWNTOWN AREA... EISENHOWER PARKWAY ....PIO NONO AND SPECIFIC NEIGHBORHOODS SUCH AS THE FORT HILL AREA.
THE PLAN WILL GO BEFORE THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE ON TUESDAY.

A 24-YEAR-OLD MACON MAN DIED TONIGHT AFTER LOSING CONTROL OF HIS MOTORCYCLE.
BIBB COUNTY CORONER LEON JONES SAID JUSTIN WARTHEN WAS ON HIS WAY HOME FROM THE STORE AROUND 8 O'CLOCK WHEN HE LOST CONTROL OF THE BIKE AND HIT A BRICK MAILBOX ON ANTHONY TERRACE.
JONES SAYS WARTHEN WAS KILLED INSTANTLY.

BOEING WON BIG TODAY..
THE AIR FORCE AWARDED THE COMPANY A 35 BILLION DOLLAR CONTRACT TO BUILD THE NEXT GENERATION OF AIR REFUELING TANKERS..
THE NEWS WAS GREETED ENTHUSIASTICALLY IN WASHINGTON STATE AND KANSAS, WHERE MUCH OF THE WORK ON THE TANKER WILL BE DONE.
GEORGIA 8TH DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVE AUSTIN SCOTT PRAISED THE AIR FORCE'S DECISION..
SCOTT SAID GEORGIA STANDS TO GAIN MORE THAN 370 JOBS THROUGH BOEING'S NEWGEN TANKER PROGRAM..

PLANNING A MUSIC FESTIVAL IS ANYTHING BUT EASY... ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE TO SHOW UP..
A BONAIRE COUPLE SAYS THEIR SEPTEMBER ELEVENTH HEROES FESTIVAL... IS SPARKING INTEREST ACROSS CENTRAL GEORGIA... AND THAT'S WHY... THEY SAY... WHEN IT CAME TO LOCATION... THE PERFECT FIT... IS CLOSE TO HOME.<<
Nats, Bruce Douglas: "Throw in that 33-acre field, and go ahead and use parking down the street."

CATTLE ROAM ON BRUCE DOUGLAS' FARM... WHERE IN JUST SEVENTH MONTHS... THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE ARE EXPECTED FILL THE FIELDS.

Bruce Douglas: "There's just a tremendous amount of interest in this, everybody that we've talked to has been very excited about it."

CHARLES DEJOURNETT AND HIS WIFE... SARA... CREATED THE HEREOS MUSIC FESTIVAL... AS A TRIBUTE TO SEPTEMBER ELEVENTH... AND THE TROOPS.

Charles DeJournett, Bonaire: "All of our military, our firefighters, our police, our rescue, all those people, that go through so much everyday, who put their lives on the line, sacrafice their lives for thesafety of us, we're everybody."

DEJOURNETT SAYS... WITH FIFTEEN BANDS SIGNED ON... AND HOPEFULLY... MORE TO COME... THEY'RE EXPECTING THESE FIELDS TO BE FILLED WITH CROWDS OF A HUNDRED THOUSAND.

Amy Aubert, Eyewitness News: "Douglas says the concert will be held here, on 60 acres of his farmland, but he says they'll be using 500 acres in total, with areas for parking, RVs, camping, and even a special VIP section."

Bruce Douglas: "We just want to try to stay ahead of everything, by about a month or two, gettin' all of our ducks in a row, gettin' everything lined up."

DEJOURNETT SAYS... HE HAS A PERMIT FOR THE EVENT... BUT HOUSTON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE... AND COUNTY COMMISSIONS OFFICE... COULDN'T CONFIRM THOSE DETAILS.

DOUGLAS SAYS... GILBERT ROAD... IS THE ONLY STREET LEADING INTO THE FARMLAND... THAT'S WHY HE PLANS ON OPENING GATES ACROSS THE FARM... AS ALTERNATE EXITS.

Douglas: "One thing, we've got to get all these fields out here that you see, where all this greenery is, where cows munch on during the winter, starting in May we'll go in there and start prepping it for a parking area."

DEJOURNETT AND DOUGLAS BOTH SAY SERVING IN THE MILITARY MAKES THIS PROJECT... MEANINGFUL.

AMY AUBERT... 13 WMAZ... EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> ACCORDING TO THE EVENT'S WEBSITE... THE FESTIVAL WILL GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY THROUGH SCHOLARSHIPS AND DONATIONS TO A HEROES MEMORIAL PARK.
HEROES MUSIC FESTIVAL WILL BE A FOUR DAY EVENT STARTING SEPTEMBER EIGHTH.

THE STORY OF A TOOMBS COUNTY DOG LIVING IN A BOX HAS GOTTEN NATIONAL ATTENTION THROUGH AN INTERNET CAMPAIGN.
THE DOG... NICKNAMED ALICE.... IS OUT OF HER BOX...
WE FOUND HER TODAY IN AN OPEN PEN WITH FOOD AND WATER.
THE DOG'S OWNER SAYS SHE LIVED IN THE BOX LIKE ENCLOSURE FOR ABOUT TWO YEARS.
WHEN THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE TOLD HER TO GIVE THE DOG BETTER LIVING CONDITIONS... SHE DID.... BUT ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS SAY THAT'S NOT ENOUGH.
THEY WANT TO SEE THE OWNER FACE CRIMINAL CHARGES FOR KEEPING THE DOG IN ITS FORMER HOME.
TOMORROW ON EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX... WE'LL HEAR FROM BOTH SIDES ON WHAT THE FUTURE SHOULD HOLD FOR ALICE.

HOUSTON COUNTY LEADERS TALKED INDUSTRY THIS MORNING.
A NINE-PERSON PANEL INCLUDING COMMISSIONERS... THE SHERIFF... AND CONGRESSMAN AUSTIN SCOTT TOOK QUESTIONS AT THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE'S EGGS AND ISSUES BREAKFAST.
VANESSA RUFFES TELLS US MANY OF THOSE QUESTIONS DEALT WITH GROWING THE COUNTY...
<<
Mark Byrd "There are communities throughout the state of Georgia and throughout the Southeastern United States who are more willing sometimes or more capable of putting together a more competitive package than us."

... AND ATTRACTIVE INCENTIVE PACKAGES ARE KEY TO eNTICING NEW INDUSTRY TO HOUSTON COUNTY... ACCORDING TO MARK BYRD WITH THE COUNTY DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY.

HE AND COUNTY CHAIRMAN TOMMY STALNAKER FIELDED SEVERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT THE county's PROGRESS ... AND PLANS TO GROW IT.

Stalnaker "Not saying we haven't in the past... but we're fixing to turn up the heat a little bit."

BYRD SAYS THEY'RE WORKING TO FIX THE COUNTY'S SHORTFALLS... INCLUDING THOSE INCENTIVE PACKAGES HE SAYS MIGHT FALL FLAT COMPARED TO OTHERS IN THE REGION... AND THE NEED FOR LAND WITH CLEAR TITLES.

Byrd "We have purchased a piece of property off I-75 north of Perry -- the Mid-Georgia Corporate Center. 670 acres that we're going to develop into an industrial park."

STALNAKER SAYS THE CHANGES ARE NECESSARY TO COMPLETE ONE OF HIS MAIN GOALS AS THE COUNTY'S NEW CHAIRMAN.

Stalnaker "We have got to create more jobs in this county. Now I know that's the same thing everybody in politics says. But I'm here to tell you now, we are fixing to be really aggressive."

AND ACCORDING TO BYRD... COMPANIES ARE LOOKING... THIRTEEN TOTAL... EIGHT OF them NEW PROSPECTS THIS MONTH.
VANESSA RUFFES 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> IN ANOTHER ROUND OF QUESTIONS... SHERIFF CULLEN TALTON TALKED ABOUT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IN HOUSTON COUNTY.
HE ADMITTED THERE IS A PROBLEM... BUT CALLED IT A "WIN-LOSE" SITUATION.
HE SAYS WHILE SOME ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS CONTRIBUTE TO THE COUNTY'S CRIME RATE... LOCAL FARMERS RELY HEAVILY ON THEIR WORK.
ABOUT A HUNDRED PEOPLE ATTENDED THE EGGS AND ISSUE MEETING..

IT'S A PACKED ENTERTAINMENT WEEKEND IN CENTRAL GEORGIA.
HERE'S BEN WITH SOME OF THE EVENTS ON THE CALENDAR FOR THIS WEEK'S SCENE 13.
<<
THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF MIDDLE GEORGIA CUISINE TURNS ON ITS HEAD THIS WEEKEND FOR ONE WILD NIGHT OF ENTERTAINMENT...IT'S THE FOODIES!

YOUR FAVORITE LOCAL EATERIES VIE FOR THOSE COVETED FOODIES AWARDS. BUT AS THEY "VIE", COMPETE, SLUG-IT-OUT...

...OKAY, SO THEY DON'T REALLY SLUG IT OUT. AS THEY (pause as if searching for the correct terminology) WAIT WITH BATED BREATH TO DISCOVER WHO'S GONNA TAKE HOME THAT LITTLE BRONZE CHEF, THE LIVE ENTERTAINMENT TURNS THE PARTY UP A COUPLE OF THOUSAND NOTCHES.

ALL I CAN SAY FOLKS, IS THAT THIS YEAR'S SURPRISES ARE LIKE NOTHING YOU'VE EVER SEEN BEFORE. IT'S GONNA BE CRAZY AWESOME! PERHAPS EVEN A BIT DANGEROUS...FOR ME, THAT IS, NOT YOU.

SUNDAY EVENING, THE FOODIES KICK OFF AT FIVE WITH A SOCIAL HOUR - AKA EATIN' TIME - AT THE GRAND OPERA HOUSE AND THE LIBRARY BALLROOM. IT'S KINDA LIKE FOOD HEAVEN, FOLKS, SO EAT TO YOUR HEART'S CONTENT AND THEN, GET READY TO PARTY LIKE ROCK STARS AT THE 2010 FOODIES AWARDS SHOW! GET TICKETS NOW AT THE-GRAND-MACON-DOT-COM OR CALL 301-5470.

NOW, LET'S TAKE IT BACK TO THE BEGINNING OF THE WEEKEND, SO THAT I CAN GIVE YOU A LITTLE NEWS ON THE TRAVIS TRITT FRONT. FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVEN'T GOTTEN YOUR TICKETS TO HIS FRIDAY NIGHT CONCERT AT THE COX CAPITOL THEATRE YET, WELL, THERE'S NO EASY WAY TO SAY THIS, SO I'LL JUST COME RIGHT OUT WITH IT - THE SHOW'S SOLD OUT. THERE'S NOT EVEN STANDING ROOM ON THE FLOOR LEFT ANYMORE.

BUT DO NOT FRET PEOPLE! THERE'S SO MUCH MORE FUN TO BE HAD IN MIDDLE GEORGIA...ITS SILVER-LINING TIME! CHECK THIS OUT...

HE DONS THE CLOAK. HE TIPS HIS HAT. HE GATHER HIS...CATS? OH YEAH! GREGORY POPOVICH BRINGS HIS LAS VEGAS SUPER SHOW - COMEDY PET THEATRE - TO DOWNTOWN MACON FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY AT THE COX CAPITOL THEATRE. SATURDAY, POPOVICH, AND HIS TROUPE OF CRAZY-TALENTED RESCUE ANIMALS PERFORM IN A SHOW LIKE NONE YOU'VE EVER SEEN! THIS IS DEFINITELY A SHOW FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY! GET TICKETS NOW AT COX-CAPITOL-THEATRE-DOT-COM OR CALL 257-6391. DOORS OPEN AT SIX-THIRTY AND THE SHOW STARTS AT SEVEN-THIRTY.

AND RIGHT DOWN THE ROAD, IT'S A BIT OF A CELTIC UPROAR AT THE GRAND OPERA HOUSE! CELTIC CROSSROADS BRINGS THE SONG AND DANCE OF THE OLD COUNTRY TO MIDDLE GEORGIA. NOW THIS SHOW IS REALLY, REALLY COOL BECAUSE IT COMBINES TRADITIONAL IRISH MUSIC, BLUEGRASS, GYPSY AND JAZZ WITH ALL THE CRAZY BONE-DEEP DRUMMING OF THE IRISH DANCE. BRING YOURSELVES ON OUT AND GET LOST IN THE MAGIC OF CELTIC CROSSROADS. THE-GRAND-MACON-DOT-COM HAS GOT YOUR TICKETS, GET 'EM NOW!

OVER IN MILLEDGEVILLE, GEORGIA COLLEGE AND STATE UNIVERSITY'S THEATRE PROGRAM TAKES YOU BACK TO THE SONG AND DANCE OF THE GOOD 'OL DAYS IN "THE NINETEEN-FORTIES RADIO HOUR." SONG...DANCE...NINETEEN-FORTIES - IT'S GONNA ROCK! THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO SEE THE SHOW, FOLKS! FINAL PERFORMANCES ARE FRIDAY AND SATURDAY AT EIGHT AND SUNDAY AT TWO. GET TICKETS NOW AT G-C-S-U-TICKETS-DOT-COM.

ALRIGHT, MIDDLE GEORGIA! GET FOODIE WITH IT! HAVE A DELICIOUS WEEKEND AND WE'LL SEE YOU BACK HERE NEXT WEEK FOR ANOTHER SCRUMPTIOUS EDITION OF SCENE THIRTEEN. FOR NOW, THAT'S A CHICKEN, BACON AND BLUE CHEESE WRAP!
>> HERE'S AN UPDATE FOR YOU TRAVIS TRITT FANS WHO DON'T HAVE TICKETS.
THE COX CAPITOL THEATRE WEBSITE SAYS THEY HAVE SIX - THAT'S SIX - TICKETS LEFT FOR STANDING ROOM ONLY ON THE FLOOR.
ALL THE SEATS ARE SOLD, BUT SIX TICKETS FOR THE FLOOR - STANDING ROOM ONLY - ARE STILL AVAILABLE.
TO GRAB THEM NOW, VISIT COX-CAPITOL-THEATRE-DOT-COM.

EVERY NIGHT... WE'RE FEATURING ONE OF YOU AS OUR FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY.
TONIGHT'S WINNER...
IF YOU WANT TO BE OUR FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY.
VISIT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ AND CLICK THE "LIKE" BUTTON TO BECOME A FAN.
THEN... JUST JOIN THE CONVERSATIONS.

FOLKS IN TELFAIR COUNTY GOT A VISIT FROM A JAPANESE FISHERMAN TODAY.
MANABU KURITA TIED A RECORD BASS CAUGHT BY GEORGE PERRY IN 1932.
PERRY LIVED IN TELFAIR AND CAUGHT THIS WHOPPER THAT WEIGHED IN AT 22 POUNDS AND FOUR OUNCES.
NOW KURITAS PICTURE SITS BELOW THE DISPLAY....TODAY HE BROUGHT A CUTOUT TO COMPARE THE TWO
THE JAPANESE ANGLER REELED IN HIS MONSTER LAST YEAR.
KURITA POSED FOR PHOTOGRAPHS AND SHOOK A LOT OF HANDS TODAY.
TOMORROW NIGHT AT SIX YOU'LL HEAR FROM KURITA AND YOU'LL MEET GEORGE PERRY'S SON WHO SAYS HIS DAD NEVER BRAGGED MUCH ABOUT THE BIG 'OL BASS HE CAUGHT.

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