Thursday, March 17, Eyewitness News at 6

10:52 PM, Mar 14, 2011   |    comments
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HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
AND I'M FRANK MALLOY..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.

OFFICIAL U-S CENSUS POPULATION FIGURES RELEASED TODAY SHOW GEORGIA GAINED MORE THAN ONE-POINT FIVE MILLION PEOPLE IN THE LAST DECADE.
THAT'S AN EIGHTEEN POINT THREE PERCENT INCREASE IN THE STATE'S POPULATION.
IT WENT FROM EIGHT POINT ONE MILLION IN 20-00 TO NINE POINT SIX MILLION IN 20-10.
POLITICAL SCIENTIST CLIF WILKINSON JOINS RANDALL SAVAGE TO TALK ABOUT THE LOCAL NUMBERS...AND THEIR POLITICAL RAMIFICATIONS.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYS AMERICANS ARE "HEARTBROKEN" AND "DEEPLY CONCERNED" ABOUT THE EARTHQUAKE.. TSUNAMI AND RESULTING NUCLEAR CRISIS IN JAPAN.
SPEAKING AT THE WHITE HOUSE... THE PRESIDENT SAYS THE UNITED STATES IS HELPING JAPAN AND THAT THE JAPANESE PEOPLE ARE NOT ALONE.
MEANWHILE... EMERGENCY WORKERS AT A JAPANESE NUCLEAR PLANT ARE TRYING DIFFERENT APPROACHES SUCH AS WATER CANNONS... HEAVY DUTY FIRE TRUCKS AND MILITARY HELICOPTERS TO COOL OVERHEATING FUEL RODS.
THE PLANT'S OPERATORS SAY WORKERS SEEM TO BE MAKING HEADWAY.
AN OFFICIAL SAYS THE SITUATION HASN'T GOTTEN ANY WORSE OVER THE PAST 24 HOURS.
THE STATE DEPARTMENT SAYS THE FIRST EVACUATION FLIGHT OF U-S CITIZENS HAS LEFT JAPAN.
UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE PATRICK KENNEDY SAID FEWER THAN 100 PEOPLE WERE ONBOARD... MOSTLY DEPENDENTS OF U.S. OFFICIALS... AND SOME OTHER PRIVATE CITIZENS. .

COMMANDER OF ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE.. MAJOR GENERAL ROBERT MCMAHON SAYS.... "PERFECTION IS THE ONLY BENCHMARK."
AFTER THREE MONTHS AT ROBINS... MCMAHON GAVE A REPORT ON THE STATE OF AFFAIRS TO THE 21ST CENTURY PARTNERSHIP.
LORRA LYNCH JONES EXPLAINS... WHY HE SAYS "GOOD... ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH."
<<nats- talking
THURSDAY MORNING... MAJOR GENERAL ROBERT MCMAHON TALKED ABOUT ISSUES... HE SAYS MAKE HIM LOSE SLEEP AT NIGHT.
Maj. Gen. Robert McMahon: (18:40) "The buck stops with me to make it a safe and secure work environment for our people."
HE OPENLY CHATTED ABOUT HOW HE'S "AGGRESSIVELY ADDRESSING" 39 CITATIONS FROM THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION... OR OSHA.
McMahon: (18:45) "We've got to take what appeared to be lemons, and that is finding the issues we had. We got to turn it into lemonade, which is making this a model base."
MCMAHON SAID HE'S WORKING WITH THE LOCAL UNION TO RESOLVE LABOR ISSUES... AFTER WORKERS FILED 23 COMPLAINTS LAST YEAR. HE SAID THAT'S MORE THAN AT THE OTHER TWO U-S AIR LOGISTICS CENTERS.
nats-
HE ALSO REVIEWED EACH AIRCRAFT PROGRAM AT ROBINS... USING A COLOR CODED SYSTEM. .
(TAKE GFX)
THE C-17 PROGRAM EARNED HIS HIGHEST MARK.. "BRIGHT GREEN"
HE PLACED C-5 WORK.... AND THE F-15 PROGRAM IN THE "YELLOW" CATEGORY.
IT'S THE C-130 PROGRAM THAT'S RED... BUT WORKING TOWARD YELLOW.
MCMAHON SAID THE UNIT NEEDS TO SPEED UP MAINTENANCE ON AIRCRAFT.
McMahon: "Everyone who comes to work at Robins everyday has to do their part to make this organization a little better."
THE MAJOR GENERAL PRAISED A NEW DISTRIBUTION CENTER... THE ARRIVAL OF A MARINE UNIT.. AND ROBINS ROLE IN RELIEF EFFORTS TO JAPAN.
McMahon: (16:36) "The aircraft that are in many ways accomplishing all that, are the aircraft that are maintained here."
HE SAID OVERALL WORK IS GOING "REMARKABLY WELL"... BUT IT WILL GET BETTER AS HIS TIME HERE GOES ON.
nats-
STD>>
MAJOR GENERAL MCMAHON DESCRIBED RUNNING ROBINS AS A "MARATHON AT A SPRINT'S PACE."
HE SAID IT EMPLOYS 21-THOUSAND PEOPLE... WITH A ONE-POINT-SIX BILLION DOLLAR PAYROLL.

TECHNICAL CLASSES AT BALDWIN HIGH SCHOOL... MAY BE GETTING A LITTLE MORE HIGH TECH.
THAT'S BECAUSE... CONSTRUCTION FOR AN ADDITIONAL WING IS UNDER WAY... AND THE SCHOOL SAYS... IT'S STATE-OF-THE-ART.
THE BALDWIN COUNTY CAREER ACADEMY 'CAREER PATHWAYS' PROGRAM... WILL OFFER EVERYTHING FROM CULINARY ARTS AND HEALTHCARE... TO GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC SAFETY CLASSES.
JAMES CANTRELL IS THE DIRECTOR OF BALDWIN'S TECHNICAL PROGRAM... AND HE SAYS MANY KIDS WILL BE ABLE TO ENTER THE WORKFORCE... RIGHT AFTER GRADUATION.
Dr. James Cantrell, Director: "Come out as a lawyer or doctor, we still gotta go to work, so we want to make sure they learn the soft skills and the necessary skills that they need to proceed and be productive citizens."
BALDWIN HIGH SCHOOL PLANS TO HOLD A PARENT INTRODUCTORY CLASS ON SATURDAY FROM 10 TO NOON AND THE SCHOOL. THEY'LL ALSO UPDATE THE BUILDING PROCESS.

DURING CROSSOVER DAY IN THE STATE LEGISLATURE YESTERDAY... THE STATE SENATE PASSED A BILL THAT WOULD LET OWNERS OR MEMBERS OF A CHURCH DECIDE IF THEY WANT TO ALLOW WEAPONS ON THEIR GROUNDS OR IN THEIR PLACE OF WORSHIP.
TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL QUESTION ASKS... HOW DOES GEORGIA'S ALLOWING GUNS IN MORE PUBLIC PLACES MAKE YOU FEEL?
SO FAR 50 PERCENT OF YOU SAY SAFER.
AND 50 PERCENT OF YOU SAY LESS SAFE.
VOTE NOW... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION IN THE "DON'T MISS" BOX ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE.

MORE THAN 30 MEN... WOMEN AND KIDS SHAVED THEIR HEADS ON THIS ST. PATRICK'S DAY.
THEY'RE RAISING MONEY AND AWARENESS FOR CHILDHOOD CANCERS.
BRITTINY BARBER SHOWS US WHAT ALL THE BUZZ IS ABOUT....
<< CENTER COURT AT DUBLIN MALL FILLED WITH SPECTATORS AND THOSE BRAVE ENOUGH TO TAKE CENTER STAGE... ALL FOR A GOOD CAUSE.
Joseph Luttrell, Dublin: "I went around my neighborhood and asked if they could make donations and I went around my school."
THE FIFTH GRADER RAISED 150 DOLLARS... AND NOW THAT LONG HAIR IS GONE.
Joseph Luttrell: "I think it's a bad that kids should have cancer. I think no one should have cancer at all that's why I'm raising money to help kids not have cancer."
OTHERS ALSO GOT A NEW HAIRDO...
FOR SOME IT WAS TO HONOR A CHILD WHO LOST THEIR BATTLE WITH THE DISEASE.
Janet Wilkie, Eatanton: "I'm doing this in memory of Elizabeth Pitts she's a young lady from Valdosta who passed away on July the 1st."
Tommy Cobb, Organizer: " The St. Baldrick's Foundation specializes in research on childhood cancer and drugs and research fellowship for doctors for childhood cancer."
ORGANIZERS HOPE TO RAISE ABOUT $14-THOUSAND DOLLARS FROM THE EVENT THIS YEAR.
Jim Champion, Dublin: "Children are our future and anything we can do for the children is worth it."
WITH A BUZZ IN THE AIR... THESE 33 PEOPLE CELEBRATED ST PATRICK'S DAY BY MAKING A FASHION STATEMENT AND MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN LIVES.
Joseph Luttrell: "Hopefully with the money they raise they can finally find a cure for childhood cancer."
BRITTINY BARBER 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
>> THIS IS THE THIRD YEAR DUBLIN HAS PARTICIPATED IN THE NATIONWIDE EVENT.
ORGANIZERS SAY THEY HOPE IT CONTINUES TO GET BIGGER EACH YEAR.

MORE THAN SIX THOUSAND PEOPLE ARE EXPECTED TO FILL UP ON PANCAKES FOR DINNER TONIGHT.
THE ANNUAL PANCAKE SUPPER KICKED OFF AT DUBLIN MIDDLE SCHOOL... AT FOUR O'CLOCK AND CONTINUES UNTIL EIGHT.
ORGANIZERS SPENT THE AFTERNOON SETTING UP TABLES AND TESTING THE GAINT GRIDDLES THEY USE TO COOK THE GREEN PANCAKES.
IT'S SPONSORED BY THE DUBLIN EXCHANGE. CLUB
Guy Cochran, Dublin Exchange Club: "It''s grown considerably. It's our primary fundraiser. The proceeds from the pancake supper all go back into our community to support our youth our disadvantaged kids things like that."
COCHRAN SAYS THEY'VE BEEN BRINGING THE COMMUNITY TOGETHER FOR A TASTY TREAT FOR ABOUT 40 YEARS.
TICKETS ARE SEVEN DOLLARS AT THE DOOR.

A GROUP OF COLLEGE STUDENTS FROM BOSTON IS SPENDING TIME IN MACON TO HELP OTHERS.
WE MET UP WITH THEM AS THEY ASSISTED VOLUNTEERS WITH REBUILDING MACON IN TONIGHT'S HERO CENTRAL REPORT.
NATS OFF TOP ( 3 SECONDS )
TEN STUDENTS FROM BOSTON UNIVERSITY DECIDED TO SPEND THEIR SPRING BREAK DOING GOOD DEEDS FOR THOSE IN NEED.
THURSDAY AFTERNOON.. THEY TOOK TIME TO BUILD WHEEL CHAIR RAMPS.
FOR THE PAST FOUR DAYS, STUDENTS HAVE DONE REPAIRS AND OTHER JOBS AT SEVERAL HOMES.
THE STUDENT GROUP IS CALLED ALTERNATIVE SPRING BREAK.
ONE MEMBER WE TALKED WITH SAYS SHE ENJOYS THIS KIND OF WORK.
"It's incredibly rewarding. As a college student we're always very bogged down in our studies and I know the type of people who go on this trip are people who really care about making a difference and seeing the impact that they're having on people who need help"
STUDENT ORGANIZERS SAY WORKING WITH REBUILDING MACON IS JUST ONE OF 35 VOLUNTEER TRIPS THAT THEY HAVE PLANNED.

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