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Friday, March 25, Eyewitness News at 6

8:08 PM, Mar 22, 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.


MACON-BIBB FIREFIGHTERS CONTINUED TO MOP UP TODAY AFTER WHAT CHIEF MARVIN RIGGINS CALLED THEIR BIGGEST FIRE IN SEVERAL YEARS.
HIS CREWS CONTINUED TO PUT OUT HOT SPOTS THIS AFTERNOON ... AFTER YESTERDAY'S BLAZE THAT GUTTED THE HISTORIC ATLANTIC COTTON MILL BUILDING.
  THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL...THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF ALCOHOL TOBACCO AND FIREARMS...AND ARRIVED TODAY TO HELP IDENTIFY THE CAUSE.
BOFTA YIMAM HAS MORE.
NATS 


CREWS PUMPED MORE THAN 700,000 GALLONS OF WATER TO FIGHT THE BLAZE.. AND SMOULDERING SMOKE... AT THE ATLANTIC COTTON MILL.  


NATS 


THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL...THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF ALCOHOL...TOBACCO AND FIREARMS...AND OTHER AGENCIES... JOINED MACON-BIBB FIRE INVESTIGATORS TO IDENTIFY THE CAUSE.  CHIEF MARVIN RIGGINS SAYS THE BUILDING'S OWNER... MERCER UNIVERSITY....CONTRACTED OUT WORKERS TO TAKE OUT THE SCRAPMETAL IN THE PROPERTY.  HE SAYS THEY WERE WORKING THURSDAY.   


Chief Marvin  Riggins, Macon-Bibb Fire
"That has been determined to be true, that metal was cut on the facility yesterday, one of the areas we are going to explore."


RIGGINS SAYS CUTTING METAL CAN CREATE SPARKS.. LEADING TO A FIRE.  HE SAYS THEY DON'T KNOW...  WHETHER WORKERS CUT SCRAP METAL... AT THE TIME OF THE FIRE.  THE CHIEF SAYS THE BLAZE LIKELY STARTED IN THE WAREHOUSE... AND SAYS THEY'RE COMBING THAT AREA FOR ANOTHER POSSIBLE CAUSE... PETROLEUM.


LaTravius Smith, Red Cross 
"We've also provided emergency shelter assistance to about three families."


LATRAVIUS SMITH WITH THE RED CROSS SAYS THEY OFFERED HELP TO THOSE WHOSE HOME SUFFERED DAMAGES... OR THOSE WHO SUFFERED RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS.  NEWLY WED LAMMON GREEN IS ONE OF THEM.  HE SAYS THE SMOKE ENGULFED THEIR PROPERTY.


NATS Lammon


CREWS PLACED A TARP ON THEIR CHIMNEY OPENING TO CONTAIN THE FIRE. 


Lammon Green, Macon
"the smoke was coming like a wave through the woods"


GREEN SAYS HIS WIFE SUFFERS FROM ASTHMA.. HE SAYS THE CLOUD OF BLACK HIT HER LUNGS.


Green,
"Breathing hard you know, gasping for air, but other than that, just tried to cover her face as we were leaving, it was a scary moment."


AS MACON-BIBB FIREFIGHTERS INVESTIGATE ONE OF THE LARGEST FIRES THEY'VE TACKLED IN YEARS... GREEN LOOKS BACK TO THOSE PANICKY MOMENTS WITH GRATITIUDE.


Green
"Thank the assistance of everyone"


BOFTA YIMAM 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
SO FAR... CHIEF RIGGINS SAYS THEY HAVE NOT IDENTIFIED ANY SAFETY VIOLATIONS IN THE BUILDING.


DEVELOPERS HAD PLANNED TO SPEND MILLIONS TO TURN THE ATLANTIC COTTON MILLS BUILDING INTO NEW HOMES.
YESTERDAY'S FIRE DESTROYED THAT PLAN... BUT SOME CITY LEADERS SAY THEY'LL WORK TO KEEP DEVELOPERS INTERESTED IN OTHER SITES.
HISTORIC MACON FOUNDATION'S JOSH ROGERS SAYS ...DEVELOPERS OF THE 13 MILLION DOLLAR PROJECT... THE LANDMARK GROUP... PLAN TO VISIT THE CITY NEXT MONTH.
THEY'LL TOUR THE OLD MILLER HIGH SCHOOL ON MONTPELIER AVENUE... THE DANNENBURG BUILDING ON THIRD STREET AND THE WILLINGHAM MILLS SITE ON HOLT AVENUE. 
LANDMARK HAD PLANNED TO USE A 1.4 MILLION DOLLAR  GRANT FOR THE COTTON MILL BUILDING.
USING IT FOR A DIFFENT BUILDING.. WOULD NEED STATE APPROVAL.
ROGERS SAYS THE VACANT MILLER HIGH SCHOOL SHOULD BE SAVED...BEFORE IT GOES THE WAY OF THE COTTON MILL.
Josh Rogers: "We've got to take a lot of responsibility as a community and say we're not willing to give up on these buildings and were going to work hard and hopefully work faster so that we don't let these buildings sit empty."
   SPEAKING FOR LANDMARK.. REAL ESTATE AGENT GEORGE EICHLER SAYS THE COMPANY IS INTERESTED IN PROJECTS IN THE CITY.. BUT COULD NOT SAY WHETHER THEY'D BUILD AT ANOTHER SITE.


           STATE SENATOR ROBERT BROWN SAYS HE'LL FILE A BILL NEXT WEEK... FOR THE GEORGIA MUSIC AND SPORTS HALLS OF FAME TO PARTNER WITH THE GEORGIA LOTTERY.
HE'S JOINING US NOW TO TELL US MORE ABOUT THAT PLAN.
.
     THE CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL IS WINDING DOWN....AND IT'S A GOOD WEEKEND TO CHECK OUT A LOCAL RESTAURANT.
     BUT FIRST YOU MAY WANT TO CHECK THEIR HEALTH RATINGS.
     WE'VE GOT THIS WEEK'S RESTAURANT RATINGS. 
     TONIGHT...WE'RE BACK IN HOUSTON COUNTY.
      FIRST OUR LOW SCORES OF THE WEEK....
      CHEN'S WOK ON WATSON BOULEVARD GOT AN 85....A B-SCORE.. .AFTER A 93 LAST TIME. 
THAT WAS AN A.
     THE INSPECTOR SAYS FOOD WAS NOT BEING COOLED AT THE RIGHT TEMPERATURES.... TOXIC SUBSTANCES WERE NOT PROPERLY LABELED AND STORED... AND UTENSILS WERE NOT STORED PROPERLY.
     THE SIDEBOARD SOUTHERN BUFFETT ON FAIRVIEW DRIVE IN PERRY ALSO GOT AN 85...ANOTHER B....AFTER A 99... AN A... ON ITS LAST INSPECTION.
     THE INSPECTOR SAYS FOOD WAS NOT HELD AT THE PROPER TEMPERATURES.... SURFACES WERE NOT CLEAN ENOUGH AND THE FACILITIES WERE NOT MAINTAINED PROPERLY.
     MONTANA'S BAR AND GRILL ON STATHAM WAY IN WARNER ROBINS GOT A 73 OR A C AFTER A 98 OR A ON ITS LAST INSPECTION.
     THE REPORT SAYS THERE WEREN'T ADEQUATE HANDWASHING FACILITES.... THERE WAS NO CONSUMER WARNING ABOUT RAW OR UNDERCOOKED FOOD...AND FOODS WERE NOT PROPERLY SEPARATED.
      AND NOW FOR OUR TOP SCORES.
      THE BOJANGLES ON BOOTH ROAD IN WARNER ROBINS GOT A 100...AN A....AFTER AN 80 OR B ON ITS LAST INSPECTION.
      THE EL TAPATIO ON MARGIE DRIVE IN WARNER ROBINS GOT 100'S ON ITS LAST TWO INSPECTIONS. 
      THOSE WERE BOTH A'S OF COURSE.
      AND THE MCDONALD'S ON PERRY PARKWAY GOT A 99....COMING AFTER A 96 LAST TIME AROUND.
     FIND OUT AT 11...WHICH ONE TOOK HOME THE GOLDEN SPATULA.
    FOR ALL OF YOUR RESTAURANT RATINGS... GO TO 13WMAZ DOT COM.
      CLICK ON "RESTAURANT RATINGS" UNDER THE FEATURES TAB ON THE HOMEPAGE.


     THE ANNUAL CHERRY BLOSSOM ROAD RACE STEPS OFF AT 8 A-M AT THE HOWARD MIDDLE SCHOOL.
     AND THAT WILL MEAN SOME ROAD CLOSINGS.
     THE BIBB COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT SAYS...
     STARTING AROUND 7-15......RIVOLI ROAD WILL BE CLOSED TO TRAFFIC...NORTH OF BASS ROAD....
    AND NORTH AND SOUTH-BOUND TRAFFIC ON FORSYTH ROAD WILL BE DETOURED ONTO OLD FORSYTH ROAD...AROUND THE HOWARD MIDDLE SCHOOL.
     THOSE CLOSINGS SHOULD LAST UNTIL AROUND 11 A-M.
      5-K AND 10-K RACES...AND A ONE-MILE FUN RUN....ALL START AT THE MIDDLE SCHOOL TOMORROW.


SOME VERY SPECIAL ATHLETES COMPETED IN THE LONG JUMP, 50-METER RACES, AND BALL TOSS.
IT'S ALL PART OF MONROE COUNTY'S SPECIAL OLYMPICS.
BRITTINY BARBER TAKES YOU TO THE FRONT LINES OF THE COMPETITION... IN A STORY THAT COMES STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART.
<< 
SIXTH GRADER.... HOLDEN PRITCHETT STEPS UP TO LINE TO FOR HIS FIRST EVENT DURING THE MONROE COUNTY SPECIAL OLYMPICS.
Holden Pritchett, Banks Stephens Middle School: "I had to throw the ball as far as I could."
USING ALL THAT STRENGTH IN HOPES OF COMING IN FIRST PLACE.
BUT HE SAYS IT'S  NOT ALL ABOUT COMPETITION.
Holden Pritchett, "You get to see people you haven't seen in a long time, catch up with old friends."
Summer Reeves, Fifth grader: "I ran, then I do the ball toss, then I do the 50 meter run."
FOR MORE THAN 20 YEARS... SPECIAL NEEDS KIDS FROM MONROE COUNTY SCHOOLS HAVE COMPETED FOR TOP HONORS... AND TO SHOW OFF THEIR WINNING RIBBONS..
Summer Reeves, "One, two..." 
Brittiny Barber, Eyewitness News: "About 100 athletes competed.. and Friday's winner's even have a chance to go on to a higher level of competition."
Caroline La Borde, Coordinator, "From here we go on to Macon to the area. There are about 10 counties that compete there, and from there, then we take a little bit smaller group to Atlanta to the state."
THESE OLYMPIANS KNOW WHAT IT TAKES TO COME OUT A WINNER.
Gerald Walton: "I had to run fast and I was in first place."
AND IN THEIR DOWN TIME BETWEEN EVENTS... THEY STILL KNOW HOW TO HAVE FUN.
NATS
BRITTINY BARBER 13WAMZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> STUDENTS FROM MARY PERSONS HIGH SCHOOL AND OTHER COMMUNITY MEMBERS VOLUNTEERED TO HELP OUT WITH THE EVENT.
THEY RAN THE STOP WATCHES AND KEPT SCORE FOR THE ACTIVITIES.

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