Saturday, March 19, Eyewitness News at 11

10:58 PM, Mar 19, 2011   |    comments
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TONIGHT AT 11..
IT'S THE FIRST MAJOR INTERNATIONAL MILITARY OPERATION SINCE THE IRAQ WAR STARTED.
... WE'LL HAVE THE LATEST ON THE U-S AND ALLIED ATTACK ON LIBYA.
EYEWITNESS NEWS IS NEXT.

TONIGHT AT 11..

HOT AIR BALLOONS LIT UP THE NIGHT SKY ... WE'LL SHOW YOU MORE FROM DAY TWO OF THE CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL.
EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11 IS NEXT.

GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US... I'M VANESSA RUFFES.
THIS IS LATE EDITION OF EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.

AUTHORITIES HAVE IDENTIFIED THE INDIANA MAN KILLED IN AN ACCIDENT ON INTERSTATE 475 LAST NIGHT... AS 30-YEAR-OLD BREN BURNS.

BIBB CORONER LEON JONES SAYS BURNS WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD ON THE SCENE.
HE SAYS BURN'S 29 YEAR OLD WIFE MELISSA IS IN CRITICAL CONDITION.
THEIR TWO BOYS.. 2 YEAR OLD COLTON AND 5 YEAR OLD DYLAN ARE IN STABLE CONDITION.
THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS THE ACCIDENT HAPPENED ABOUT TWO MILES SOUTH OF ZEBULON ROAD.
BURNS' 2008 TOYOTA CAMRY COLLIDED WITH A TRACTOR TRAILER... TRAPPING IT UNDERNEATH THE TRUCK.
THE DRIVER OF THE TRACTOR TRAILER WAS NOT INJURED.

STATE SENATOR ROBERT BROWN TALKED ABOUT HIS VERSION TO COMBINE THE CITY OF MACON -- AND BIBB COUNTY GOVERNMENTS -- DURING A PUBLIC HEARING TODAY...
ONE OF HIS PROPOSALS INCLUDES APPOINTING MACON WATER AUTHORITY MEMBERS INSTEAD OF ELECTING THEM...
... AND REDUCING TERMS FROM SIX TO FOUR YEARS.

BROWN SAYS THE NEW CONSOLIDATED GOVERNMENT WOULD HAVE ELEVEN MEMBERS ELECTED FROM DISTRICTS... PLUS A MAYOR ELECTED COUNTYWIDE.
THE SHERIFF WOULD HANDLE COURTHOUSE SECURITY AND OPERATE THE JAIL... AND AN APPOINTED POLICE CHIEF WOULD BE IN CHARGE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT.
WATER AUTHORITY CHAIRMAN FRANK AMERSON SAYS THE AUTHORITY HAS A PROVEN TRACK RECORD.

Robert Brown, State Senator: Basically, you have a restructuring of the power center. You're moving the various fragmented power centers into one centralized power center.
Frank Amerson, Water Authority Chairman: I think we've done such a good job over the last 35 years that it would be hard to improve on it at this time.

BROWN'S PLAN ALSO CALLS FOR ABOLISHING ALL CITY AND COUNTY DEPARTMENTS.. ELIMINATING ALL JOBS IN THE PROCESS.
THE FORMER EMPLOYEES COULD APPLY FOR POSITIONS IN THE NEW GOVERNMENT.
IF BROWN'S PROPOSAL GETS THROUGH THE STATE LEGISLATURE.. VOTERS WOULD DECIDE THE ISSUE NOVEMBER NEXT YEAR..
IF APPROVED... THE NEW GOVERNMENT WOULD BEGIN JANUARY 20-16.

SCHOOLS FROM SIX CENTRAL GEORGIA DISTRICTS CAME TOGETHER IN MACON TODAY FOR THE MIDDLE GEORGIA TEACHER RECRUITMENT FAIR.

REPRESENTATIVES FROM BIBB.. MONROE.. PEACH.. JONES.. CRAWFORD.. AND TWIGGS SCHOOLS WERE ON HAND TO TALK WITH POTENTIAL TEACHERS.
MONROE COUNTY SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT ANTHONY PACK SAYS THEY EXPECTED TO SEE BETWEEN 4 AND 6 HUNDRED APPLICANTS.
HE SAYS TEACHER JOB FAIRS ALLOW THEM TO PICK THE BEST OF THE BEST.


Anthony Pack: Monroe Coutny Schools Superintendent
"It helps us to make sure we're getting the best qualified candidates for our school districts to teach in our classrooms with our boys and girls"
Laura Lukosy-Fort Valley: 6
" because you get a more one on one.. relationship with the school. If you're interviewing with the principal its more memorable then just emailing your resume to them."

THE JOB FAIR ALSO FEATURED INFORMATION SESSIONS FOR PEOPLE WHO WERE INTERESTED IN TEACHING... BUT DID NOT HAVE A DEGREE IN EDUCATION


HOT AIR BALLOONS LIT UP THE NIGHT SKY AT MACON STATE COLLEGE TONIGHT.

THE TUNES AND BALLOONS EVENT HELPED WRAP UP THIS SECOND DAY OF THE CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL.
HUNDREDS CAMPED OUT ON THE LAWN OF MACON STATE THIS AFTERNOON... AND ENJOYED THE LIVE MUSIC.
THEN AT DUSK... A CREW HOT AIR BALLOONS ACCOMPANIED THE BAND.... FLASHING RIGHT ALONG TO THE MUSIC.


Joann Lacefield, Macon "Oh it's so pretty -- the different colors and the balloon highlights at night, it's just beautiful. Anybody who don't come out here and see this... for five dollars you can't beat this."

ANOTHER FESTIVAL EVENT TODAY HAD TEAMS SPRINTING DOWN CHERRY STREET IN MACON ... VYING FOR THE TITLE OF CENTRAL GEORGIA'S *FASTEST BED.*
THE ANNUAL CHERRY BLOSSOM BED RACE DREW THOUSANDS TO DOWNTOWN.
LAUREN DISPIRITO SHOWS YOU WHO TOOK HOME THE WINNING TROPHY.

<<
Nats horn race starts

TWELVE TEAMS PUSHED THEIR HARDEST AND RAN THEIR FASTEST... HOPING TO ROLL OVER RETURNING CHAMPS... THE MACON BIBB FIRE DEPARTMENT.

Nats "can they do it again"

Latorry Sidney, Macon-Bibb Fire Departement: "It's a long standing tradition, a proud fire department tradition and we're here to continue that tradition."

FIRE FIGHTER AND TWO-YEAR BED RACE TEAM VETERAN LATORRY SIDNEY SAYS STRATEGY MAKES THEM THE TEAM TO BEAT.

Latorry Sidney, Macon-Bibb Fire Departement: "We eat our Wheaties, (laughs) and pink pancakes."

WITH THEIR LIGHTEST MAN IN THE DRIVERS SEAT... THE FIRE FIGHTERS WERE READY TO HIT THE ROAD.

Tyler Stembridge, Macon-Bibb Fire Department: "First year on the team, they signed me up about 9 o'clock this morning."
Nicholas Dillard, Macon-Bibb Fire Department: I'm just hoping that they keep it steady and keep it on the road."

SURE... WINNING'S NOT BAD... BUT SIDNEY SAYS THE ANNUAL COMPETITION IS ALSO JUST GOOD PLAIN FUN.

Nats cheers

Latorry Sidney, Macon-Bibb Fire Departement: "It feels good to come out and see all the people out in the community and be a part of the community and do something with everybody."

THE FIRE FIGHTERS RACED DOWN CHERRY STREET... FINISHING IN A SPEEDY 18 POINT 95 SECONDS...

Nats "crossing the finish line"

BUT NOT QUITE FAST ENOUGHT TO BEAT FIRST-TIME RACERS... THE GEORGIA POWER A-TEAM.

Nats "The a-team from Georgia Power"

THEY POWERED ACROSS THE LINE AT A WINNING TIME OF 18 POINT 47.

Stewart Barr, Georgia Power: "estatic and a lot of relief"

GEORGIA POWER'S STEWARD BARR SAYS IT TOOK TEAMWORK... TO UPSET A STRONG COMPETITOR.

Stewart Barr, Georgia Power: "We'd like to formally invite the fire department back next year" (laughs)
Tyler Stembridge, Macon-Bibb Fire Department: "We'll be back every year, we've got a little tweaking to do to the bed first though."

BOTH TEAMS SAY THEY PLAN TO RETURN NEXT YEAR... TO KEEP THE TRADITION RUNNING.

LAUREN DISPIRITO
13 WMAZ
EYEWITNESS NEWS


>>

BEFORE THAT RACE GOT STARTED... PEOPLE FUELED UP WITH A PERFECTLY PINK BREAKFAST.
THAT'S RIGHT... PINK PANCAKES.

HUNDREDS LINED UP TO CHOW DOWN AT CENTRAL CITY PARK.
THE PINK PANCAKE BREAKFAST BROUGHT IN DAY TWO OF THE CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL.
MACON-BIBB FIREFIGHTERS DID THE SERVING...
FOR FIVE DOLLARS... PEOPLE GOT ALL THE FLAPJACKS THEY COULD HANDLE.
FIRE CHIEF MARVIN RIGGINS SAYS THE EVENT BENEFITS THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY.
ONE DINER SAYS IT'S A GREAT WAY TO ENJOY THE MORNING WITH FAMILY.

Scott Adams, Macon "It's a pretty good time. You know it starts off the Cherry Blossom for us and we walk around the rest of the park and enjoy everything."
Fire Chief Marvin Riggins, Macon-Bibb Fire "The weather's great, the crowd's great and so far the festival has been a wonderfule takeoff"

IF YOU MISSED THE PANCAKES TODAY... YOU'RE IN LUCK.
THE FIRE DEPARTMENT WILL BE BACK... SERVING IT UP NEXT SATURDAY... SAME PLACE - SAME TIME.
THEY'LL BE OUT AT CENTRAL CITY PARK'S PARKVIEW PAVILION FROM 7-30 TO 10 A-M.
TICKETS AGAIN... ARE FIVE DOLLARS.

THE CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL CONTINUES TOMORROW WITH SEVERAL EVENTS... INCLUDING THE CHERRY BLOSSOM PARADE.
THAT WILL BE AT 3 P-M ON CHERRY AND MULBERRY STREETS.





WE JOIN METEOROLOGIST JASON DISHAROON IN THE WEATHER CENTER.





THANKS JASON WE'LL CHECK BACK WITH YOU LATER.

THE SAINT PATRICK'S ARTS AND CRAFTS FESTIVAL GOT UNDERWAY IN DUBLIN TODAY.
MORE THAN 6 THOUSAND PEOPLE ENOJYED THE WEATHER AT SOUTHERN PINES PARK.
SOME CHOWED DOWN ON FOOD... OR SHOPPED FOR A GOOD DEAL... WHILE OTHERS JUST CAME TO SHOW THEIR IRISH PRIDE.
THE EVENT IS PART OF DUBLIN'S MONTH-LONG DUBLIN-LAURENS SAINT PATRICK'S FESTIVAL .
ONE WOMAN SAYS SHE COMES FROM KENTUCKY EVERY YEAR... AND SAYS THE EVENT CATERS TO EVERYONE IN THE FAMILY.

Star Scott Kentucky "Everybody has something to enjoy. there is things for the children, arts and crafts for the mama's, and the guys are going to ride and drink bear hahahaha"

THIS THE 26TH YEAR FOR THE FESTIVAL... AND IT'S THE FIRST TIME BEING HELD AT SOUTHERN PINES PARK.
IN PREVIOUS YEARS IT WAS AT STUBBS PARK.
TODAY'S THE LAST DAY FOR ARTS AND CRAFTS... BUT THERE ARE OTHER EVENTS THROUGHOUT THE REST OF THE MONTH.

TWO LUCKY CENTRAL GEORGIA WINNERS GOT A CHANCE TO SHOP FOR A GOOD CAUSE.

MELISSA RANDALL AND CAROL TIMS WERE WINNERS OF THE OMEGA PSI PHI MACON CHAPTER AND WALMART GROCERY CART GIVE AWAY.
THE MONEY RAISED FROM THE RAFFLE GOES TO SUPPORT SCHOLARSHIP FUNDS HERE IN MACON.
THE TWO WOMEN WALKED A TIMED SHOPPING SPREE THROUGH NINE AISLES AT THE SUPER WALMART ON ZEBULON ROAD.
THEY SAY THEY WERE HAPPY TO SUPPORT EDUCATION... AND FILL FOR THEIR BUGGIES FOR FREE.

Carol Tims Well I never actually won anything so this is a change for me it felt like an adrenaline rush like riding a rollar coaster.
Melissa Randall Im a retired teacher and scholarship funds definetly sound appealing to me. Anything I can do to support education I will do.

RANDALL AND TIMS COLLECTED MORE THAN 350 DOLLARS WORTH OF ITEMS IN 5 MINUTES.

WE'LL SHOW YOU ONE LAST LOOK AT SATURDAY'S CHERRY BLOSSOM EVENTS...

Pause for nats = 2 sec
"You can see a lot of pretty pink pumpers down there"
RUNNERS DRESSED IN PINK... AND WEARING HIGH HEELS... RACED DOWN CHERRY STREET IN DOWNTOWN MACON... AFTER TODAY'S ANNUAL BED RACE.

MANY WORE PINK PUMPS AND OTHER PLATFORM SHOES.
THIS WAS THE CITY'S FIRST *HIGH HEELS FOR A CURE* RUN.
ORGANIZERS SAY MONEY RAISED GOES TO THE CENTRAL GEORGIA CHAPTER OF THE SUSAN G. KOMEN FOUNDATION THAT SUPPORTS BREAST CANCER RESEARCH AND PREVENTION.

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

ADLIB WEATHER

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