Monday, March 14, Eyewitness News at 11

10:51 PM, Mar 14, 2011   |    comments
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GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M FRANK MALLOY...
AND I'M LEAH JOHNSON...
  THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.


     A COMMUNITY CAME TOGETHER TONIGHT TO PAY TRIBUTE TO TWO SISTERS.
    SEVENTEEN YEAR OLD- LESLIE AND ELEVEN YEAR OLD BRIDGETT SULLIVENT DIED AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT WEDNESDAY NIGHT.
   AS ELEANOR LISSITZYN EXPLAINS... LOSING THE GIRLS HAS SHAKEN WARNER ROBINS... BUT THEY'RE TAKING COMFORT IN THE MEMORY OF THE SISTERS THEY CALLED STRONG... AND FULL OF HEART.
"She was very important to us all."
"Loving, caring great person."
HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE POURED INTO SECOND BAPTIST CHURCH ON MONDAY EVENING... TO REMEMBER  LESLIE AND BRIDGET SULLIVENT
LIKE MANY OF THE YOUNG PEOPLE AT THE EVENT... AVERY FOUSE AND PRESLEY DADLEY KNEW THE GIRLS THROUGH SOFTBALL.
THEY WERE BRIDGET'S TEAMMATES THIS PAST SEASON.
"She was always smiling, playing jokes on eachother, just a very sweet talented girl."
THEY SAY WHEN THEY PLAY THIS YEAR... THEY'LL DO IT FOR THE GIRL THEY CALLED AN AMAZING FRIEND... AND COMPETITOR.
"We're dedicating all of our practice and hard work to Bridget. When we're up there at base hitting the ball were going to think of her."
"She played her heart out."
BRIDGET WAS MADISON WATSON'S FIRST FRIEND ON THEIR TEAM... MADISON SAYS SHE'LL REMEMBER HER FRIEND AS A GIRL WHO DIDN'T LET ANYBODY GET IN HER WAY...
"She had us all pumped up, that's what helped us win a lot."
LESLIE'S YOUTH GROUP COMPANION AND CLOSE FRIEND MALLORY DYKES SAYS IT WAS HER FRIENDS LOVE OF CHRIST THAT BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER.
"We took a ski trip with our youth group and we bunked together and we stayed up together until one or two o'clock in the morning every night just talking."
MICHAEL PAGE WAS LESLIE'S YOUTH GROUP LEADER... HE SAYS LESLIE ALWAYS STOOD UP FOR WHAT WAS RIGHT... 
"The way she stood up for that and the way she didn't always go with the crowd all the time was just really awesome to me."
HE SAYS BOTH SISTERS LIVED BY THE WORD OF CHRIST... AND LED BY EXAMPLE.
"A lot of times people come to these things they say 'oh they lived such a great life.' I can attest that they really were this way."
"We're really going to miss her."
std   THE FUNERAL FOR LESLIE AND BRIDGET IS TOMORROW AT 4....ALSO AT SECOND BAPTIST.
       WE PLAN TO LIVE STREAM THE FUNERAL ON 13WMAZ DOT COM TOMORROW.... STARTING AT 4 P-M.


ONE OF THE VOICES OF SOUTHERN ROCK DIED THIS AFTERNOON.
SIXTY YEAR OLD RONNIE HAMMOND WAS THE FORMER LEAD SINGER FOR THE ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION.
THE BAND RECORDED HITS LIKE "SO INTO YOU," "CHAMPAGNE JAM," "IMAGINARY LOVER" AND "SPOOKY."
MONROE COUNTY CORONER JOEY PROCTOR SAYS HAMMOND DIED AFTER COLLAPSING AT HIS DOCTOR'S OFFICE IN FORSYTH AROUND NOON. 
PROCTOR SAID HE APPARENTLY DIED OF NATURAL CAUSES AND HAD A HISTORY OF RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS, INCLUDING DIABETES AND LUNG PROBLEMS.
HAMMOND WAS BORN AND RAISED IN MACON AND LIVED IN FORSYTH.


WARNER ROBINS FIRE OFFICIALS SAY A CLUBHOUSE AT AN APARTMENT COMPLEX CAUGHT FIRE THIS EVENING.
VIEWER AVERY (CREW-THIRDS) CRUTHIRDS SENT US THIS VIDEO FROM THE CORDER CROSSING APARTMENTS.
LIEUTENANT BOBBY WOOD WITH THE WARNER ROBINS FIRE DEPARTMENT SAYS CREWS WERE CALLED TO THE COMPLEX ON CORDER ROAD AROUND 7-30.
HE SAYS THEY DON'T KNOW HOW THE FIRE STARTED... AND THAT THERE WERE NO INJURIES WERE REPORTED.
     WOOD SAID THE FIRE IS MOSTLY OUT... WITH FIREFIGHTERS STILL BATTLING HOTSPOTS.
     HE SAYS OFFICIALS DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH DAMAGE THE FIRE CAUSED.


     JAPAN IS SETTING UP A JOINT RESPONSE HEADQUARTERS WITH THE OPERATOR OF A COMPROMISED NUCLEAR REACTOR AS REPORTS SURFACE OF YET ANOTHER EXPLOSION.
     NUCLEAR SAFETY OFFICIALS SUSPECT AN EXPLOSION AT A NUCLEAR POWER PLANT MAY HAVE DAMAGED A REACTOR'S CONTAINER AND ARE WORRIED ABOUT A RADIATION LEAK.
     JAPANESE POLICE SAY THE OFFICIAL DEATH TOLL FROM THE EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI HAS RISEN TO MORE THAN 24-HUNDRED.
      OFFICIALLY - 31 HUNDRED PEOPLE ARE MISSING BUT JAPANESE OFFICIALS SAY THEY BELIEVE TENS OF THOUSANDS MAY HAVE BEEN SWEPT AWAY BY THE WATERS.
    CHARLIE D'AGATA HAS THE LATEST FROM TOKYO.
<<


Troubles worsen at Japan's ailing Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant. Reports of a third explosion - this one at Unit 2. 


((possible sot later??))


((Reuters - Japan Nuclear Plant explosion))


Nuclear rods in that reactor overheated following a blast in Unit 3 Monday. Eleven workers were injured. 


Japan has asked for expert help, but officials are downplaying the severity. 


(SOT) (English) YUKIYA AMANO, INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY DIRECTOR GENERAL ((From ((Reuters Austria/Japan/Amano))


"The possibility of the development of this accident into one like the Chernobyl accident is very unlikely."


((Reuters Japan Nuclear Evac Center))


Residents still in the area of Fukushima were evacuated. THIS shelter is at capacity.


((MOND098)) TBS via Reuters Locator: Fukushima


And thousands of people were screened for radiation exposure. 


((SOT)) (Japanese with English voiceover) Mrs.Tashiro -- ((Reuters - JAPAN-NUKE FEARS IN FUKUSHIMA)) - no access China


"My biggest concern is nuclear radiation. It will jeopardize our health."


Even U.S. crews flying a search and rescue mission near the plant had to be decontaminated.... And American carriers retreated as a precaution.


((STANDUP BRIDGE)) Charlie D'Agata, Tokyo


while the fear of radiation hangs in the air....on the ground, it's Aftershocks . Some are earthquakes in their own right that continue to threaten the nuclear problem and hamper rescue efforts.


((SIREN NAT from Whitaker, Sendai))


That's the sound of a tsunami warning... and the dash to higher ground that interrupts rescue and cleanup efforts.


((Reuters Japan quake damage OTSUCHI, IWATE PREFECTURE))


Japanese teams and comb through rubble. Survivors are airlifted to safety. Some even reunited with family members.


((Natori, Ben Tracy))


And the dead.... are removed.


((NATS))


Everywhere, the devastation is almost too much to comprehend. 


((SOT)) Yutaka Kimani (with subtitle)


IT'S TOO BIG TO EXPLAIN IT ... IT'S LIKE HIROSHIMA AFTER ATOMIC BOMB TO ME. 


And like Hiroshima, it will take a massive effort and possibly years to get Japan back on its feet. 
>>


  MASSIVE INTERNATIONAL RELIEF TEAMS, AID OFFERS AND FUNDRAISING EFFORTS ARE POURING INTO THE DISASTER AREA.
   IF YOU WANT TO HELP - THERE ARE A NUMBER OF ORGANIZATIONS YOU CAN DONATE TO.
   SAVE THE CHILDREN IS TAKING DONATIONS ON ITS WEB SITE... SAVE THE CHILDREN DOT ORG.
    YOU CAN ALSO MAKE A DONATION TO INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPS ON IT'S WEBSITE... INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPS DOT ORG.
   FOR MORE DONATION OPTIONS.. VISIT OUR WEBSITE.. 13WMAZ DOT COM.
   LOOK FOR THE JAPAN DISASTER: HOW YOU CAN HELP STORY ON OUR HOMEPAGE.


     TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL QUESTION ASKS... ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR SAFETY AFTER THE NUCLEAR ACCIDENT IN JAPAN?
      SO FAR 62 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO.
      AND 38 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES.
      VOTE NOW... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION IN THE "DON'T MISS" BOX ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.


WARNER ROBINS POLICE CHIEF BRETT EVANS SAYS HE WANTS TO PUT THE PAST BEHIND HIM... AND FOCUS ON THE CITY'S FUTURE.
THAT'S AFTER A STATE AGENCY TOOK NO ACTION ON A CASE LAUNCHED BY MAYOR CHUCK SHAHEEN LAST AUGUST. 
EVANS SAID HE RECEIVED A LETTER FROM THE PEACE OFFICER STANDARDS AND TRAINING COUNCIL THIS WEEKEND.
IT SAYS THEY INVESTIGATED SHAHEEN'S ALLEGATIONS ON SEVERAL ISSUES... INCLUDING 'TICKET FIXING'... AND RECOMMENDED NO ACTION.
IF THEY FOUND CAUSE... THE POST COUNCIL COULD'VE PUNISHED EVANS OR REVOKED HIS POLICE CERTIFICATION. 
EVANS... WHO HAS NOT COMMENTED ON THE CASE UNTIL TODAY.. SAID HE KNEW THE FACTS WOULD EVENTUALLY SPEAK FOR HIM.
Chief Brett Evans, Warner Robins Police: (7:03) "I hope at this point, with all the formal investigations taken place, the facts have spoken for themselves that POST has made a determination. No action will be taken on my certification. I would hope from this point forward, that we are able to move this city forward in the direction it needs to be going."
MAYOR CHUCK SHAHEEN FAXED A STATEMENT SAYING.... "THE PEACE OFFICER STANDARDS AND TRAINING COUNCIL HAS NOT OFFICIALLY NOTIFIED ME OF THEIR DECISION REGARDING CHIEF EVANS. HOWEVER, I AM SUPPORTIVE OF THE POLICE DEPARTMENT, AND HIGHLY RESPECT ALL OF OUR OFFICERS. 
I WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE THE CITY OF WARNER ROBINS FORWARD NO MATTER WHAT THE OUTCOME MAY BE."


THE GEORGIA MUSIC HALL OF FAME IS STRUGGLING TO KEEP THE DOORS OPEN THOUGH THE END OF THE FISCAL YEAR... EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR LISA LOVE SAYS THEY HAVE ALREADY SPENT THEIR 350 THOUSAND DOLLARS IN STATE FUNDING FOR THE YEAR.
THAT'S WHILE THE AUTHORITY WORKS TO DECIDE THE FUTURE OF THE MUSEUM.
DURING A CONFERENCE CALL TODAY... THE AUTHORITY GAVE THE FOUR CITIES THAT WANT TO HOST THE MUSEUM TWO WEEKS TO SUBMIT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION... INCLUDING OTHER FUNDING SOURCES. THE CITIES -- MACON... DUNWOODY....ATHENS AND WOODSTOCK....HAVE UNTIL MARCH 28TH TO SUBMIT THEIR ADDITIONS.
        THE AUTHORITY PLANS TO MEET AGAIN ON MARCH 31ST TO PICK ONE OF THEM....AS THE HALL'S NEW HOME.


SOME HOUSTON COUNTY SENIORS SAY THEY NEED TRANSPORTATION... AND THAT THERE ARE SIMPLY NOT ENOUGH AFFORDABLE OPTIONS.
ONE NON-PROFIT TRANSIT SERVICE RECENTLY SHUT DOWN AND ANOTHER SAYS THEY'RE SO BUSY THEY'RE TURNING RIDERS AWAY.
LORRA LYNCH-JONES EXPLAINS THE ISSUE THAT'S AFFECTING MANY BUT MOSTLY THE ELDERLY AND HANDICAPPED. <<nats- walker
HELEN STEPHENS WASN'T SUPPOSED TO BE AT HOME.
nats-
SHE HAD A DOCTOR'S APPOINTMENT ON THIS DAY... BUT CANCELLED IT... NOT BECAUSE SHE DIDN'T NEED TO GO...BUT BECAUSE SHE DIDN'T HAVE A RIDE. 
Helen Stephens, Bonaire: "Warner Robins is a great place to retire, a great place to live. The only thing they need is transportation for the handicapped and elderly."
nats- cars
STEPHENS SAYS TAXIS AND PRIVATELY OWNED SHUTTLES CAN BE COSTLY... AND WITH NO PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM IN HOUSTON COUNTY.... SENIORS RELIED ON TWO NON-PROFIT VAN SERVICES.  
nats-
ONE OF THEM... AGAPE LOVE TRANSIT... SHUT DOWN IN DECEMBER.
Tonya Johnson, Warner Robins: "At this point, I'm, going to be brutally honest. We need money."
OWNER'S TONYA JOHNSON AND ELIZABETH HOLMES SAY THEY RAN FOR THREE YEARS... CHARGING RIDERS ONLY WHAT THEY COULD AFFORD. LAST YEAR... THE ECONOMY SANK THEIR SYSTEM... AND WHEN THE VANS BROKE DOWN... THEY COULDN'T AFFORD REPAIRS.
Tonya Johnson, Warner Robins: "When you're elderly and disabled, you don't have anyone to call and come get you. You don't have money for the transit service. So you miss your appointments. So you can't get your prescriptions. You're a dialysis patient, so you see yourself dying. It becomes life or death."
AGAPE PLANS TO GET BACK ON THE ROAD... BUT IN THE MEANTIME REFERRED CLIENTS TO BRUNETTA CHILDS... OWNER OF TRU-LIGHT TRANSPORTATION.. THE OTHER NON-PROFIT VAN SERVICE IN TOWN.
Brunetta Childs: "It's a tremendous need."
HER CLIENT LIST HAS GROWN TO ITS MAX... 100 PER WEEK... AND NOW CHILDS SAYS SHE'S FORCED TO TURN CALLERS AWAY. 
Brunetta Childs: (3:34) "There's still a lot people to reach, and Warner Robins is growing leaps and bounds."
nats-
STEPHENS SAYS WHEN AGAPE CLOSED... TRU-LIGHT STEPPED INTO HELP HER.
DAYS LIKE THIS.. WHEN THEY CAN'T PICK HER UP... ARE RARE... BUT SHE WORRIES ABOUT PEOPLE... WHO HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO GET ON-BOARD.
Helen Stephens: "It's a growing community. They sure do need transportation for people like me."
STD
>> THE CITY OF WARNER ROBINS APPLIED FOR A GRANT THIS MONTH THAT WOULD PAY FOR A STUDY TO ASSESS THE COUNTY'S PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION NEEDS. BOTH NON-PROFIT VAN SERVICES PLAN TO HOLD FUNDRAISERS IN APRIL.
YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT BOTH OF THOSE ON OUR WEB-SITE... 13WMAZ-DOT-COM... IN THE DON'T MISS BOX.


     IT'S TIME FOR TONIGHT'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY...
       BRANDON POPE OF MACON.
      IF YOU WANT TO BE OUR FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY... IT'S EASY.
      VISIT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ AND CLICK THE "LIKE" BUTTON TO BECOME A FAN.
      THEN... JUST JOIN THE CONVERSATIONS.
      WE PICK OUR FAN OF THE DAY RANDOMLY.


FOR SOME FIFTH GRADERS AT ALEXANDER TWO... 3-14 IS AS EASY AS "PIE."
THAT'S BECAUSE MATH TEACHER LAURA BELL... DEDICATED MARCH 14TH... AS "PI DAY."
PI... WHICH IS RECOGNIZED AS THE DECIMAL 3-POINT-1-4... CAN HELP STUDENTS FIND THE CIRCUMFERENCE OF A CIRCLE.
BELL SAYS THE KIDS SET UP STATIONS... PLAYED MEASURING GAMES... AND EVEN GOT A SLICE OF THE TREAT... AT LUNCH.
SHE SAYS... IT'S A WAY FOR THE STUDENTS TO HAVE FUN... WHILE STICKING TO THE CURRICULUM.
Jordan Bouie, 5th Grade: "I think it's important because fun activities helps you. Like, I'm always going ot remember Pi Day because we did hands-on activities, and that helps a lot of people learn."
BELL SAYS THIS IS THE SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR THE SCHOOL CELEBRATED PI DAY.
SHE SAYS THE STUDENTS ARE GRADED ON HOW WELL THEY CAN TEACH THE OTHER STUDENTS HOW TO USE PI AT THEIR STATIONS. 










































































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