Monday, April 4, Eyewitness News at 6

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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.


  OUR TOP STORY AT SIX... A SYSTEM OF STORMS IS MOVING TOWARDS CENTRAL GEORGIA... BRINGING A CHANCE FOR SEVERE WEATHER IN THE MIDSTATE LATE TONIGHT AND EARLY TOMORROW MORNING.
   CHIEF METEOROLOGIST BEN JONES HAS BEEN WATCHING THE RADAR... 
HE JOINS US NOW FROM THE WEATHER CENTER WITH THE LATEST.
   THANKS BEN.. WE'LL TALK WITH YOU AGAIN IN JUST A FEW MINUTES.


PLANS TO FUND THE GEORGIA MUSIC HALL OF FAME FOR JUST ONE MORE YEAR... HAVE SOME CITY AND COUNTY MEMBERS AT ODDS.
LAST WEEK... THE MUSEUM'S EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR... LISA LOVE DECIDED TO STEP DOWN FROM HER POSITION.
AS AMY AUBERT EXPLAINS... WHEN IT COMES TO A PERMANENT HOME FOR THE MUSEUM... PLANS ARE STILL UP IN THE AIR.
<<
Sam Hart: "We will not have any interest in a one year deal with the Halls of Fame."


COUNTY COMMISSIONER SAM HART SAYS THE COUNTY IS DROPPING PLANS TO FUND A HALF MILLION DOLLARS OVER THREE YEARS ... FOLLOWING THE MUSEUM AUTHORITY'S DECISION TO KEEP THE GEORGIA MUSIC HALL OF FAME IN MACON... FOR JUST ONE MORE YEAR.


Sam Hart: "There's no way in one year that anything would change."


HART SAYS PAYING TO KEEP THE HALL OPEN FOR THE NEXT YEAR WOULD BE "THROW AWAY MONEY"...  SINCE A STATE BOARD WILL MOST LIKELY MOVE THE HALL OF FAME... OUT OF MACON.


Nats 


BUT COUNCIL MEMBER... TOM ELLINGTON... FEELS DIFFERENTLY.


Tom Ellington: "It's better to live to fight on another year than to lose this right now."


ELLINGTON SAYS COUNCIL ALSO COMMITTED A HALF MILLION DOLLARS OVER THREE YEARS... BUT WHEN IT COMES TO JUST ONE YEAR OF FUNDING... THE DOLLAR AMOUNT IS STILL UP IN THE AIR.


Tom Ellington: "I think it would be wise to try to find that funding."


AND AMIDST FUNDING QUESTIONS... THE MUSEUM'S EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR... LISA LOVE... PLANS TO STEP DOWN.


Nats


LOVE SAYS MOST MUSEUM'S  ARE NOT SELF-SUSTAINING... WITH 70 PERCENT OF FUNDING COMING FROM OUTSIDE SOURCES... AND SAYS WHEN AUTHORITIES AGREED THAT MACON SHOULD SUBSIDIZE THE MUSEUM... SHE DECIDED OVER NIGHT... TO RESIGN.


Lisa Love: "I wanted to create a good, open negotiating field for both sides."


BUT WITH A YEAR TO PROVE MACON CAN SUPPORT THE TOURIST ATTRACTION... CITY AND COUNTY MEMBERS CAN AGREE ON A SINGLE QUESTION.


Tom Ellington: "I think it's fair to ask how much the state wants out of us."


AMY AUBERT... 13 WMAZ... EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> LOVE ANNOUNCED HER DECISION TO STEP DOWN ON FRIDAY.
SHE SAYS IT'LL TAKE EFFECT JUNE 1ST.
THE HALL OF FAME AUTHORITY WILL MEET IN ABOUT A MONTH TO FINALIZE THEIR DECISION. 


FIRE INVESTIGATORS SAY THE CAUSE OF THE FIRE THAT DESTROYED THE ATLANTIC COTTON MILL LAST MONTH IS STILL UNDETERMINED...
TODAY... MACON-BIBB FIRE CHIEF MARVIN RIGGINS ANNOUNCED THAT AFTER A WEEK-LONG INVESTIGATION... THEY STILL DON'T KNOW WHAT CAUSED THE FIRE BUT THEY BELIEVE IT WAS AN ACCIDENT.
HE SAYS THERE HAD BEEN METAL CUTTING ON THE PROPERTY IN THE PAST... BUT THEY FOUND NO EVIDENCE OF METAL CUTTING ON THE DAY OF THE FIRE.
BUT HE SAYS.... METAL CUTTING COULD STILL BE THE CAUSE.
RIGGINS SAYS A SMOULDERING FIRE THAT BEGAN WITH A SPARK DAYS EARLIER COULD HAVE CAUSED THE MASSIVE FIRE..
"It's very difficult when you're digging through that much rubble trying to actually pinpoint a spot that is very difficult in these types settings in such a large structure involved here."
  RIGGINS SAYS GUSTY WINDS LED TO A TOUGH TIME FIGHTING THE FIRE.
HE ALSO SAYS THERE WAS ONLY ONE ROAD LEADING TO THE MILL... WHICH MADE IT HARD TO ATTACK THE FIRE FROM ALL SIDES.  
RIGGINS ALSO APPLAUDED THE ACTIONS OF THE DEPUTY FIRE CHIEF ON THE SCENE.


     MACON POLICE SAY THEY'VE CHARGED A TEACHER AT ELAM ALEXANDER ACADEMY WITH CRUELTY TO CHILDREN.
     SPOKESWOMAN JAMI GAUDET SAYS TWO 14-YEAR-OLD SPECIAL-NEEDS STUDENTS WERE ALLEGEDLY BEING DISRUPTIVE IN CLASS ON FRIDAY.
     GAUDET SAYS THEIR TEACHER BARBARA NEELY THREATENED TO PEPPER SPRAY THE TWO IF THEY DIDN'T RETURN TO THEIR SEATS.
     WHEN THEY DIDN'T LISTEN... GAUDET SAYS NEELY SPRAYED THEM.
     SHE SAYS THE SPRAY GOT INTO ONE STUDENT'S EYES.
     HE WAS SENT TO THE SCHOOL NURSE.
THE OTHER CLOSED HIS EYES AND WAS NOT AFFECTED.


PEOPLE IN MILLEDGEVILLE  SAY THANKS TO THOSE WHO FOUGHT AN EARLY MORNING FIRE IN THEIR APARTMENT COMPLEX.
NATS " I brought slaw,and two cakes and brownies " :04
THATS JUST ONE OF THE ITEMS PREPARED BY RESIDENTS OF LEGACY AT SINCLAIR.
THEY HOSTED A FISH FRY THIS AFTERNOON TO THANK FIREFIGHTERS OF BALDWIN COUNTY..MILLEDGEVILLE AND MERRIWETHER 
TWO WEEKS AGO....LIGHTNING STRUCK ONE BUILDING ON THE PROPERTY. VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS AS WELL AS COUNTY FIREFIGHTERS WERE CALLED TO THE SCENE.                        
DEPUTY CHIEF STEVE SOMERS GIVES US HIS REACTION TO THEIR GRATITUDE. 
"Humbled a little bit that they would think about us and want to do something for us. Um after the loss they went through I figured that would be the last thing they were thinking about, they have so much they have to do to get their lives back to a little more normal."
ONE CONDO UNIT WAS DESTROYED...AND THREE OTHERS WERE DAMAGED. RECONSTRUCTION IS EXPECTED TO TAKE UP TO EIGHT MONTHS. 


       SCREWDRIVERS... PLIERS AND GARDENING TOOLS... 
ALL A PART OF WHAT LARRY CRAWFORD CALLS FARM ART.
Larry Crawford, Laurens Co.
"Just like to see the expressions on people's face whenever they walk by and see different articles in it, well I remember this part here that's in so and so."
FIND OUT WHERE HE FIRST LEARNED METAL SCULPTING... AND WHERE YOU CAN CHECK OUT HIS SIX FOOT TALL WORK OF ART.
BOFTA YIMAM WILL HAVE THAT STORY TONIGHT ON EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.


  PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA KICKED OFF HIS 20-12 RE-ELECTION BID.. PROMISING TO TAKE HIS CAMPAIGN DIRECTLY TO THE PEOPLE.
  BUT CAN PRESIDENT OBAMA RECAPTURE THE MAGIC THAT SWEPT HIM INTO THE WHITE HOUSE DURING THE 20-08 ELECTION?
  POLITICAL SCIENTIST CLIF WILKINSON JOINS RANDALL SAVAGE TO DISCUSS THE PRESIDENT'S RE-ELECTION BID AND THE 2012 CAMPAIGN.


MARCH MADNESS DRAWS TO A CLOSE TONIGHT AS THE BUTLER BULLDOGS AND THE UCONN HUSKIES MEET UP IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME.
THE TEAMS MAY NOT BE FROM THE SOUTHEASTERN OR ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCES.... BUT THAT WON'T KEEP MACONITES FROM ENJOYING THE BIG GAME AT LOCAL RESTAURANTS.
<<


"I think UCONN is going to take it"


"I'm going to be pulling for Butler"


MIDDLE GEORGIAN'S HAVE THEIR OPINIONS ON WHO WILL TAKE HOME THE MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP.


Charles Tidwell, Lizella "I would like to see Butler beat Conn because they are really a cinderella team"


Nats of Kristin Hewatt


KRISTIN HEWATT SAYS HER TEAM DIDN'T MAKE IT TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP BUT THAT WONT KEEP HER FROM WATCHING.


Kristin hewatt "Everyone was expecting Kentucky to go all the way and now I hear it's down to Butler and UCONN so I'm going to watch tonight and see what will happen" 


Nats of Waitress


RESTAURANT OWNER SANDY UNION SAYS THEY ARE EXPECTING A CROWD OF FANS TO COME OUT FOR THE GAME.


Sandy Union "I think we are going to have a good crowd.  We had a good crowd in here Sat with Butler shirts on so hopefully they'll all be back here tonight"


NO MATTER WHO SHE ROOTS FOR....HEWATT SAYS SHE LOOKS FORWARD TO THE EXCITEMENT OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME.


Hewatt "I enjoy the camaraderie with sports, everyone gets to get together and have a good time, have a couple of beers and relax"


>> THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME BETWEEN BUTLER AND UCONN TIPS OFF TONIGHT AT 9:23 HERE ON 13 WMAZ.


     TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL QUESTION ASKS.. WHO WILL YOU ROOT FOR IN TONIGHT'S NCAA GAME?
     SO FAR 80 PERCENT OF YOU SAY THE BUTLER BULLDOGS.
     AND 20 PERCENT OF YOU SAY THE U-CONN HUSKIES.
     VOTE RIGHT NOW... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE IN THE "DON'T MISS" BOX.


     STUDENTS GATHERED IN CENTERVILLE TODAY LOOKING TO BE PART OF THE NEW CLASS OF 13WMAZ JUNIOR JOURNALISTS..
       TODAY'S AUDITIONS AT THE GALLERIA MALL ARE OVER BUT YOUR CHILD STILL HAS A CHANCE TO TRY OUT.
        TOMORROW... WE'LL BE AT THE MUSEUM OF ARTS AND SCIENCES FROM 4 TO 6 P-M.
      STUDENTS LOOKING TO TRY OUT MUST BE BORN BETWEEN AUGUST FIRST 1998 AND AUGUST FIRST 2001.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE AUDITIONS AND A LIST OF WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING.. VISIT OUR WEBSITE.. 13WMAZ DOT COM.
LOOK FOR THE LINK IN THE DON'T MISS BOX ON THE HOMEPAGE.

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