Friday, March 25, Eyewitness News at 11

8:08 PM, Mar 22, 2011   |    comments
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<<opening for eyewitness news at eleven>>
GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US... I'M LEAH JOHNSON...
FRANK MALLOY HAS THE NIGHT OFF.

THE MAN SUSPECTED IN THE SHOOTING DEATH OF AN ATHENS POLICE OFFICER HAS SURRENDERED AFTER RELEASING EIGHT HOSTAGES HE WAS HOLDING AT AN ATHENS APARTMENT.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO A POLICE SPOKESMAN.
HE SAYS JAMIE HOOD RELEASED FOUR OF THE HOSTAGES AROUND 9 P-M.
THE SPOKESMAN SAYS HOOD KNEW THE HOSTAGES... BUT IT'S NOT CLEAR IF THEY WERE RELATIVES.
POLICE HAD BEEN SEARCHING FOR HOOD SINCE TUESDAY WHEN ATHENS CLARKE-COUNTY POLICEMAN ELMER "BUDDY" CHRISTIAN WAS SHOT AND KILLED WHILE HE TRIED TO APPREHEND HOOD.
ANOTHER OFFICER... TONY HOWARD WAS ALSO SHOT AND IS RECOVERING FROM HIS WOUNDS.

CREWS CONTINUED TO PUT OUT HOT SPOTS FRIDAY AT THE ATLANTIC COTTON MILL AFTER A HUGE FIRE GUTTED THE HISTORIC BUILDING THIRSDAY.
MACON-BIBB FIRE CHIEF MARVIN RIGGINS SAYS IT WAS THE LARGEST FIRE THEY'VE FOUGHT IN SEVERAL YEARS.
THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF ALCOHOL TOBACCO AND FIREARMS... AND OTHER AGENCIES ARRIVED FRIDAY TO HELP IDENTIFY THE CAUSE.
RIGGINS SAYS THE BUILDING'S OWNER... MERCER UNIVERSITY.... HIRED CONTRACTORS TO TAKE SCRAP METAL FROM THE PROPERTY.
RIGGINS SAYS THE BLAZE LIKELY STARTED IN THE WAREHOUSE.
THEY'RE COMBING THAT AREA FOR ANOTHER POSSIBLE CAUSE... PETROLEUM.
LAMMON GREEN SAYS THE SMOKE ENGULFED HIS PROPERTY... AND THAT HIS WIFE SUFFERS FROM ASTHMA.
Lammon 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." LATRAVIUS SMITH WITH THE RED CROSS SAYS THEY'VE OFFERED HELP TO THOSE WHOSE HOME SUFFERED DAMAGES OR THOSE WHO HAD BREATHING PROBLEMS.

DEVELOPERS HAD PLANNED TO SPEND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO TURN THE ATLANTIC COTTON MILL BUILDING INTO NEW HOMES.
THE DEVASTATING FIRE DESTROYED THAT PLAN.
BUT LAUREN DISPIRITO SHOWS YOU HOW SOME CITY LEADERS SAY THEY'LL TRY TO KEEP THE INVESTMENT ALIVE.
WHEN FIRE GUTTED MACON'S ATLANTIC COTTON MILLS THURSDAY... IT ALSO DESTROYED DREAMS OF TURNING THE HISTORIC SITE INTO NEW HOMES... AND NEW HOPE FOR THE CITY.

Josh Rogers, Historic Macon Foundation: "That was more heartbreaking than losing the building is watching that sense of purpose and our cooperation and all the good energy around it just go up in smoke."

HISTORIC MACON FOUNDATION EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JOSH ROGERS HOPES TO KEEP DEVELOPERS OF THE 13 MILLION DOLLAR PROJECT...THE LANDMARK GROUP... INTERESTED IN OTHER VACANT BUILDINGS... LIKE THE OLD MILLER HIGH SCHOOL.

Nats one of its best assets

ROGERS SAYS HE'LL SHOW THEM THOSE BUILDINGS NEXT MONTH... WHEN THEY VISIT THE CITY FOR WHAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE PRE-CONSTRUCTION VISIT AT ATLANTIC COTTON MILLS.

HE SAYS THEY'LL ALSO VISIT THE DANNENBURG BUILDING ON THIRD STREET AND THE WILLINGHAM MILLS SITE ON HOLT AVENUE.

Josh Rogers, Historic Macon Foundation: Hopefully we will be able to interest them in one of those projects and we'll just switch the development team over"

LANDMARK HAD PLANNED TO USE A 1.4 MILLION DOLLAR GRANT ... THAT WOULD EVENTUALLY BE REAPAID TO THE CITY.

Nancy White, Macon City Council: "hopefully we can take this revoling loan fund grant and use it very remarkably in another part of the city"

MACON CITY COUNCILWOMAN NANCY WHITE SAYS SHE HOPES THEY CAN SALVAGE SOME OF THAT PROJECT'S MOMENTUM.

Nancy White, Macon City Council: it was going to be an economic infusion, the local vendors, the jobs it would create

ROGERS SAYS THE FIRE SHOULD BE A WAKE UP CALL... TO ACT FASTER TO HOLD ON TO MACON'S HISTORY.

Josh Rogers, Historic Macon Foundation: "we've got to do something about these buildings moth-balling them and leaving them here to rot isn't the answer."

LAUREN DISPIRITO
13WMAZ
EYEWITNESS NEWS
USING THE GRANT FOR A DIFFERENT BUILDING NEEDS STATE APPROVAL.
SPEAKING FOR LANDMARK.. REAL ESTATE AGENT GEORGE EICHLER SAYS THE COMPANY IS INTERESTED IN PROJECTS IN THE CITY..
BUT COULD NOT SAY WHETHER THEY WOULD 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.
ACCORDING TO A NEWS RELEASE... THE MEASURE INCLUDES A PLAN TO PUT VIDEO LOTTERY MACHINES INSIDE THE HALLS OF FAME.
THEN... THE HALLS WOULD BECOME LOTTERY RETAILERS AND EARN COMMISSION ON SALES.
BROWN SAYS THOSE COMMISSIONS WOULD HELP PAY FOR OPERATING COSTS.
This is a concept that has been talked about for Underground Atlanta, but as I look at it, I think Macon would be a better location inasmuch as we have this challenge with these two state-owned facilities, and so you have a mechanism that can be put together that can retain it within state control and also provide a non-taxpayer source of revenue."
THE GEORGIA SPORTS HALL OF FAME AUTHORITY RECENTLY DECIDED TO KEEP THE HALL IN MACON.
AT THE END OF THE MONTH... THE GEORGIA MUSIC HALL OF FAME AUTHORITY WILL VOTE ON BIDS FROM MACON... ATHENS... DUNWOODY AND WOODSTOCK TO DETERMINE WHERE THE MUSEUM WILL CALL HOME.

BOMBS FROM COALITION AND NATO FORCES STILL RAIN DOWN ON LIBYA TONIGHT.
IT'S NOW BEEN A FULL WEEK SINCE THE FIGHTING BEGAN.
NOW PRESIDENT OBAMA SAYS HE'LL EXPLAIN TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WHY HE DECIDED TO COMMIT U-S TROOPS TO ANOTHER MILITARY MISSION WITH NO EXIT PLAN.
TERRELL BROWN REPORTS FROM THE UNITED NATIONS.
<<
(VO) ( HANDOUT BRITISH MINISTRY OF DEFENCE)
This camera provides a birds eye view as a British jet fires on one of Muammar Qaddafi's tanks - successfully taking it out .
(NATS) (REUTERS)
Allied fighters have pounded Libyan government forces for a week.
After taking a lead role in the attacks the U-S is now trying to take a back seat.
NATO is in control of the no-fly zone - and more countries are joining the coalition force.
Planes from the Arab nation of Qatar started flying missions Friday.
(SOT -U.S. Vice Admiral Bill Gortney/Director, Joint Staff)
"QADDAFI HAS VIRTUALLY NO AIR DEFENSE LEFT TO HIM AND A DIMINISHING ABILITY TO COMMAND AND SUSTAIN HIS FORCES ON THE GROUND."
(REUTERS)
But Qaddafi's troops continue to mount attacks on rebels near the town of Ajdablya.
Opposition fighters have launched a new effort to re-take the city.
(SOT-MOS NO NAME)
"MAYBE TODAY OR TOMORROW AJDABIYAH IS FREE, ALL AJDABUYAH."
(REUTERS)
But the rebels may face a new threat - there are reports Qaddafi is arming civilians.
(SOT -U.S. Vice Admiral Bill Gortney/Director, Joint Staff)
"I'M NOT SURE IF THEY ARE REALLY VOLUNTEERS OR NOT. "
(Standup Bridge: Terrell Brown/CBS News/United Nations)
The United Nations has sent a team to Libya to assess the humanitarian situation.
More than 330-thousand people have fled the country since the fighting began .
(VO)
President Barack Obama will address the nation on Monday to explain his decision to send U-S forces into Libya.
The President held a conference call on Friday with leaders from both parties.
(REUTERS)
Lawmakers have criticized him for not seeking congressional approval.
(SOT: JAY CARNEY / WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY)
"HAD HE WAITED FOR CONGRESS TO COME BACK /edit/ I THINK THERE'S VERY LITTLE DOUBT THAT BENGHAZI WOULD HAVE FALLEN, AND MANY PEOPLE WOULD HAVE DIED."
The U-S mission is to keep Qaddafi from killing his own people.
(REUTERS)
Opposition forces in Libya are praying for the same.

>> MEANWHILE... A FORMER LIBYAN PRIME MINISTER TAKING PART IN TALKS AT THE AFRICAN UNION SAYS HIS COUNTRY IS READY TO TALK WITH OPPOSITION REBELS.
HE SAYS THEY'RE READY TO ACCEPT POLITICAL REFORMS... POSSIBLY INCLUDING ELECTIONS.
EARLIER IN THE DAY... A TOP AFRICAN UNION OFFICIAL CALLED FOR A TRANSITION PERIOD IN LIBYA THAT WOULD LEAD TO DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS.

A GROUP OF YOUNG MEN DRESSED IN TUXEDOS AND TOP HATS WOWED THE CROWD AT THE MACON CITY AUDITORIUM FRIDAY NIGHT.
(Good marvelous evening ladies and gentlemen.....affair. /// run time:8 seconds)
13WMAZ'S MARVIN JAMES SERVED AS THE MASTER OF CEREMONIES FOR BEAUTILLION 2011.
THE BLACK TIE EVENT WAS ORGANIZED BY THE MACON ALUMNAE CHAPTER OF DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INCORPORATED.
THE GROUP MADE UP OF YOUNG MEN AGES 5 TO HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS PARTICIPATED IN A SERIES OF EDUCATIONAL AND IMAGE BUILDING WORKSHOPS.
FRIDAY NIGHT MARKED THE FINAL EVENT OF THEIR BEAUTILLION EXPERIENCE.
"It's a unique event fromt he perspective that we're actually presenting young men to society. Most of the time you hear about young ladies being presented to society but as part of this, this is about going into manhood, providing cultural activities as well as educational activities and looking at different career goals then moving into college."
BEAUTILLION 2011 MARKED THE SORORITY'S 32ND YEAR OF PRESENTING YOUNG MEN TO SOCIETY.

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 OUT 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 SIDEBOARD SOUTHERN BUFFETT ON FAIRVIEW DRIVE IN PERRY ALSO GOT AN 85...ANOTHER B....AFTER A 99... AN A... ON ITS LAST INSPECTION.
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
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.
WE AVERAGED OUR NOMINEES' PAST THREE SCORES... AND THIS WEEK'S GOLDEN SPATULA GOES TO...EL TAPATIO IN WARNER ROBINS WITH A PERFECT THREE-SCORE AVERAGE.
CONGRATULATIONS TO EVERYONE AT EL TAPATIO.... AND JOIN US AGAIN NEXT WEEK WHEN WE HEAD BACK TO BIBB COUNTY FOR MORE RESTAURANT RATINGS.
FOR ALL OF YOUR RESTAURANT RATINGS... GO TO 13WMAZ DOT COM.
CLICK ON "RESTAURANT RATINGS" UNDER THE FEATURES TAB ON THE HOMEPAGE.
THEN SCROLL DOWN TO FIND SCORES FROM WHERE *YOU* LIVE.

IT'S TIME FOR OUR FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY.... CINDIE ORTIZ!
CONGRATULATIONS CINDIE... YOU'LL GET A 13WMAZ COFFEE MUG.
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. (AND POSTS ASKING TO BE THE FAN DON'T COUNT. SORRY!)

ITS THE START OF SPRING BREAK FOR HOUSTON COUNTY STUDENTS.
WHILE MANY OF THEM WILL PLAY... OTHERS PLAN TO WORK WHILE THEY'RE AWAY FROM THE CLASSROOM.
nats- marching
ABOUT 30 R-O-T-C STUDENTS FROM NORTHSIDE HIGH SCHOOL... VOLUNTEERED TO WASH CARS THIS SATURDAY.
CORPORAL COMMANDER ETHAN HENDRICKS SAYS R-O-T-C IS ABOUT HELPING OTHERS.... AND THE GROUP WANTS TO SUPPORT RELIEF EFFORTS IN JAPAN.
THEY'LL SCRUB YOUR CAR FOR A DONATION... WITH ALL THE MONEY GOING TO THE RED CROSS AND THEIR WORK IN THE EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI AFFECTED AREAS.Ethan Hendricks, Warner Robins: (1:55) "Anything that happens of that nature, with the death and people missing there, that's horrible for any country."
Madeleine Thorpe, Warner Robins: (2:20) "If you have one group of people trying to make a difference, that may encourage other people to try to do something."
THE CAR WASH IS SATURDAY FROM 9 A-M UNTIL ONE P-M.
IT'S AT THE ADVANCED AUTO STORE AT 22-07 WATSON BOULEVARD

TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL... WILL YOU DONATE TO A RELIEF CHARITY FOR JAPAN?
SO FAR 75 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO.
AND 25 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES.
VOTE NOW... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION IN THE DON'T MISS BOX ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE.

THIS WEEKEND...PEOPLE IN MACON WILL HONOR SEVERAL OF THE CITY'S HISTORIC BUSINESSES AND A BIT OF ITS HISTORY.
SUNDAY'S COTTON AVENUE REVIVAL WILL RECOGNIZE THE HISTORY OF THE CITY'S LONGTIME BLACK BUSINESS DISTRICT.
ONE MACON BUSINESS IN THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN CELEBRATING THE EVENT IS THE ICONIC H&H RESTAURANT.
"The reason it's a part of the Cotton Avenue revival is because this location is officially a landmark. We have been here since 1959 and the Cotton Avenue Revival is all about revisiting a historical period in time in black history in Macon, Georgia."
SUNDAY'S EVENT ON COTTON AVENUE IS IN HONOR OF ALBERT BILLINGSLEA... A FORMER COUNTY COMMISSIONER AND CIVIL RIGHTS PIONEER...WHO DIED EARLIER THIS YEAR.

THE ANNUAL CHERRY BLOSSOM ROAD RACE KICKS OFF AT 8 A-M AT HOWARD MIDDLE SCHOOL....
AND THAT WILL MEAN SOME ROAD CLOSINGS.
THE BIBB COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE 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.











































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