Tuesday, April 5, Eyewitness News at 11

9:38 PM, Apr 7, 2011   |    comments
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MORE THAN SEVEN THOUSAND CUSTOMERS ARE STILL WITHOUT POWER TONIGHT AFTER A VIOLENT STORM SYSTEM SWEPT THROUGH CENTRAL GEORGIA EARLY THIS MORNING...
GEORGIA POWER SPOKEMAN JIM BARBER SAYS...  4,461 PEOPLE IN MACON AND 3,269 PEOPLE IN MILLEDGEVILLE ARE WITHOUT POWER.
THEY HOPE TO HAVE POWER RESTORED TO ALL CUSTOMERS BY MIDNIGHT TOMORROW NIGHT AT THE LATEST.
AS FOR FLINT ENERGIES...THERE ARE CURRENTLY 1,424 FLINT ENERGIES MEMBERS AT 94 SEPARATE LOCATIONS WITHOUT POWER THIS EVENING.
IT'S ESTIMATING FULL POWER RESTORATION BY WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON.


THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAYS AN E-F-TWO TORNADO RIPPED THROUGH DODGE COUNTY THIS MORNING KILLING ONE PERSON. .
DODGE COUNTY CORONER JOE SMITH IDENTIFIED THE MAN AS 45-YEAR-OLD CHRISTOPHER MCNAIR SEEN HERE IN A RECENT PHOTO.
SMITH WAS INSIDE A MOBILE HOME WHEN THE TORNADO STRUCK THE GRESSTON COMMUNITY.... BETWEEN COCHRAN AND EASTMAN.          
ZOIA (ZOYA) ASHLEY SAYS SHE... HER MOTHER... AND UNCLE... WERE ALSO IN THE TRAILER WHEN THE STORM HIT... THEY WERE TAKEN TO THE HOSPITAL FOR INJURIES.
ASHLEY SAYS HER UNCLE WAS TREATED FOR A GASH ON HIS HEAD.
SHE SAYS THE STORM LIFTED THE MOBILE HOME AND FLIPPED IT OVER A FEW TIMES... AN EXPERIENCE SHE'LL NEVER FORGET.
Zoia Ashley, Dodge Co.
It'll be a long time before I move on from something like this, cause this is the first time something ever happened to me like this.  Like I siad in the hospital, we are so blessed to even be alive right now and I just wish my Chris was still here it's kinda heart broken."
CHRISTOPHER MCNAIR IS SURVIVED BY A 16-YEAR-OLD SON.
FAMILY MEMBERS SAY MCNAIR RECENTLY LANDED A CONSTRUCTION JOB AND WAS EXCITED TO START WORKING.


IN CRAWFORD COUNTY... CREWS ARE CLEANING UP AFTER A STORM PARTIALLY RIPPED OFF THE ROOF OFF A SCHOOL.
YOU CAN SEE HERE... ONE CLASSROOM AND PART OF A HALLWAY AT CRAWFORD COUNTY MIDDLE SCHOOL GOT A NEW SKYLIGHT.
SOGGY CEILING TILES AND INSULATION SCATTERED ON DESKS AND THE FLOOR.
CEILINGS IN TWO OTHER CLASSROOMS HAVE WATER DAMAGE.
PRINCIPAL ANTHONY ENGLISH SAYS THEY'VE MOVED THE SIXTY STUDENTS FROM THOSE CLASSROOMS TO OTHER PARTS OF THE BUILDING.
ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT TREY SEAGRAVES SAYS THE REPAIR COSTS COULD RANGE FROM 50 TO 100 THOUSAND DOLLARS.
HE SAYS THEY'LL PAY FOR IT WITH A LOCAL SALES TAX... BUT EXPECTS INSURANCE WILL REIMBURSE THEM FOR MOST -- IF NOT ALL OF THE DAMAGE.


STRONG WINDS STOLE THE LIFE FROM A BYRON LANDMARK.
THE BIG PEACH TOOK A TUMBLE... CRASHING INTO THE ANTIQUE MALL BELOW.
THE POST THAT HELD THE GIANT FRUIT MADE OF FABRIC... SNAPPED AT THE BASE AND LEFT A WHOLE IN THE ROOF.
A PORTION OF THE PEACH BOUNCED OF THE BUILDING... AND LANDED ACROSS THE ROAD.
ANTIQUE DEALER JOHN HARLEY SAYS IT'S A BIG LOSS TO BYRON.
John Harley, Byron: (15:20) "I hope it does get resurrected. One of those things, maybe it will serve as a rallying point fo rthe local area and businesses to get together and put the exclamation point back in Byron."
THE ORGINAL OWNER OF THE ANTIQUE MALL BUILT THE PEACH IN 1987.
RON HOWELL OF PRO CONSTRUCTION NOW OWNS THE PROPERTY... BUT SAYS HE'S NOT SURE WHO OWNS THE PEACH.
THE CITY IS CHECKING TAX RECORDS.


     TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL QUESTION ASKS...   HOW DID THE STORM OVERNIGHT AFFECT YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD?
  SO FAR 46 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD DIDN'T HAVE ANY DAMAGE.
   47 PERCENT OF YOU SAY MINOR DAMAGE
   AND 7 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YOU HAVE MAJOR DAMAGE
   TO VOTE NOW.. VISIT OUR WEBSITE...13 WMAZ DOT COM.
   LOOK FOR THE WEB POLL QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE INSIDE THE DON'T MISS BOX.


NEWTOWN MACON SAYS WORK WILL SOON BEGIN ON ONE HUNDRED THIRTY NEW LOFT APARTMENTS IN DOWNTOWN MACON.
THEY PLAN TO DEVELOP EIGHT PROJECTS... AND NOW THE BIBB COUNTY COMMISSION HAS JUMPED ON BOARD.
BRITTINY BARBER EXPLAINS HOW WITH COUNTY BACKING...NEWTOWN HOPES THE PROJECTS BRING LIFE TO DOWNTOWN.
<<
nats of meeting...
NEWTOWN MACON REPRESENTATIVES ASKED BIBB COUNTY COMMISSIONERS FOR THEIR SUPPORT IN REVITALIZING DOWNTOWN.
Mike Ford, President: " From MLK, Cherry, Second, all the way up to New street and we think it will bring at least 130 new units." 
nats 
THE MISSION BUILDING AND THE A-G-L BUILDING.... TWO OF THE EIGHT PROJECTS IN THE WORKS TO TURN EYE SORES IN TO LOFT APARTMENTS... AND HOPEFULLY ENTICE NEW BUSINESSES DOWNTOWN. 
Mike Ford: "That's the theory, more people on the street brings more businesses."
THE COUNTY DECIDED TO BACK FIVE MILLION DOLLARS IN BONDS FOR THE DEVELOPMENTS.
Joe Allen, Bibb Commission: "I mean, we're not clearly putting any money up, we're just saying if they don't pay it, if it doesn't work, we'll pay for it then."
ALLEN SAYS THE LIVING SPACES SHOULD BRING MORE THAN 500-THOUSAND DOLLARS IN SALES TAX REVENUE AND ABOUT 400-THOUSAND IN PROPERTY TAXES EACH YEAR.
Joe Allen: "We've got to bring people back to Macon and the bottom line is bring people back downtown is what we want to do."
AN IMPACT WE COULD SEE SOONER RATHER THAN LATER.
Mike Ford: "Generally about 60 days from the decision of the county commission to the actual sell date of the bonds so by July 1st we could be building projects Work in 60 days and two years form that date we would have 130 new units on the market."
BRITTINY BARBER 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS>>
MIKE FORD.... PRESIDENT OF NEWTOWN MACON SAYS THE LOFTS DOWNTOWN STAY ABOUT 95 PERCENT OCCUPIED... AND THAT SHOWS THE NEED FOR MORE LIVING SPACE
THE ENTIRE PROJECT WILL COST NEARLY TWENTY MILLION DOLLARS. 


     MORE THAN ONE HUNDRED PEOPLE ATTENDED A MEETING A CITY HALL TONIGHT... TO HEAR SENATOR ROBERT BROWN TALK ABOUT HIS PROPOSAL FOR MACON-BIBB CONSOLIDATION AND ASK QUESTIONS.
     REPRESENTATIVE ALLEN PEAKE... WHO SPONSORED THE HOUSE VERSION OF THE BILL... WENT TO THE MEETING BUT DIDN'T ADDRESS THE CROWD.
     SOME QUESTIONS FOCUSED ON WHY BROWN'S PROPOSAL DOESN'T DO AWAY WITH BI-PARTISIAN ELECTIONS.
     BROWN RESPONDED THAT HE FOCUSED ON CREATING A BILL THAT COULD PASS... BUT HE SAYS THE PUBLIC CAN VOTE DOWN THE BILL IF THEY AREN'T HAPPY WITH IT. 
"First of all they need to know that this is a plan that gives them a twenty percent savings in their tax burden, I think that's the most salient point."
SEVERAL PEOPLE ALSO ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT BROWN'S PLANS WOULD ABSOLISH THINGS LIKE THE WATER OR INDUSTRIAL AUTHORITY'S. BROWN REPLIED THAT THE WATER AUTHORITY WOULD REMAIN AND THAT THE INDUSTRIAL AUTHORITY COULD UNDER GO RESTRUCTURING.
REPRESENTATIVE PEAKE AND OTHER MACON-AREA REPRESENTATIVES PLAN TO HOLD A MEETING WEDNESDAY MORNING TO DISCUSS THEIR VERSION OF THE PLAN.


MACON CITY COUNCIL ALSO MET THE NEW INTERIM PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR.
MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT APPOINTED SHAWN FRITZ TO THE POSITION ON MONDAY... AFTER HE FIRED RICHARD POWELL FROM PUBLIC WORKS IN FEBRUARY.
FRITZ IS CURRENTLY ON LEAVE FROM THE AIRFORCE... AND PLANS TO RETIRE FROM ROBINS AIRFORCE BASE ON MAY FIRST.
REICHERT TOLD COUNCIL HE HIRED FRITZ FOR HIS ABILITY TO MANAGE PEOPLE... AND GUIDE THEM WITH A CLEAR MISSION.
FRITZ HAS LIVED IN MACON FOR ABOUT TWELVE YEARS.
HE SAY WHAT HE LACKS IN PUBLIC WORKS EXPERIENCE... HE'LL MAKE UP FOR WITH HIS LEADERSHIP SKILLS.
"Of course as an airforce flyer I didn't have solid waste management experience. But I'll get there. I already know of some issues that we're working through and the learning curve is extremly steep. It's not gradual. It's you learn now or you don't learn."
DURING THAT MEETING.... SEVERAL COUNCIL MEMBERS SAID THEY WERE SURPRISED BY THE MAYOR'S UNPRECEDENTED DECISION TO APPOINT AN INTERIM DIRECTOR THAT WAS NOT ALREADY EMPLOYED WITH THE CITY.
COUNCILMAN HENRY FICKLIN SPONSORED AN ORDINANCE THAT PASSED  TONIGHT IN FULL COUNCIL TO MAKE THAT IMPOSSIBLE IN THE FUTURE.
COUNCIL VOTED TO CHANGE THE LAW SO THAT ANY INTERIM DIRECTOR THE MAYOR APPOINTS MUST ALREADY BE A CITY EMPLOYEE.


BIBB COUTNY DISTRICT ATTORNEY GREG WINTERS VISITED CITY COUNCIL THIS EVENING TO SPEAK TO THE COMMUNITY RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE ABOUT ELECTRONIC GAMBLING MACHINES... 
WINTERS TOLD COUCNILMEMBERS THE NUMBER OF MACHINES IN BIBB COUNTY... AND THE LACK OF GOVERNMENT REGULATION HAS CREATED WHAT HE CALLED A HUGE PROBLEM FOR THE COMMUNITY.
WINTER SAYS INTERNET CAFES AND ELECTRONIC GAMBLING MACHINES CROPPED UP ALL OVER GEORGIA AFTER SOUTH CAROLINA BANNED THEM...
HE SAYS THE INDUSTRY LENDS ITSELF TO CRIME AND IS A DRAIN ON SOCIETY... AND EVEN THOUGH THE GAMES AREN'T ILLEGAL... HE SAYS PEOPLE WHO PLAY THEM SOMETIMES RECIEVE ILLEGAL CASH PAYOUTS.
"We have vast sums of money that are being exchanged illegeally with people walking out on the streets which is leading to possibly robberys, drug activity, and just other criminal activity that arises out of that."
WINTERS WOULDN'T GO INTO DETAIL BUT SAYS THE D.A'S OFFICE IS TAKING SPEACIAL STEPS TO RESPOND TO WHAT HE VIEWS AS AN INCREASING PROBLEM. 


TWO MACON MEN NOW FACE MURDER CHARGES IN A FATAL SHOOTING FROM LAST FALL.
THEY ARE 18-YEAR-OLD QUINTAVARIUS FOSTER... AND 21-YEAR-OLD KRISTOPHER SUMMERFORD....ACCORDING TO MACON POLICE.
LAST OCTOBER... 28 YEAR OLD VAUSHAUN GLOVER WAS SHOT TO DEATH INSIDE THE GREEN MEADOWS APARTMENT OFF LOG CABIN DRIVE.
POLICE SAY FOSTER WAS ONE OF *THREE SHOOTERS*.
HE'S ALREADY IN JAIL CHARGED WITH A DIFFERENT MURDER FROM A MONTH LATER.
POLICE SAY SUMMERFORD FACES A WEAPON CHARGE IN THE GLOVER SHOOTING.
HE WAS ARRESTED BY THE SOUTHEAST REGIONAL FUGITIVE TASK FORCE.
POLICE SAY THEY'RE STILL LOOKING FOR MORE SUSPECTS IN THE CASE.


       WE'RE CONNECTING YOU TO THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS FROM THE TECH WORLD EVERY TUESDAY WITH GEEK 13.
       OVER THE WEEKEND... EIGHTEEEN LARGE COMPANIES CONTACTED CUSTOMERS TO LET THEM KNOW THAT HACKERS HAD COMPROMISED THEIR PERSONAL INFORMATION.    
       THOSE COMPANIES INCLUDED NAMES LIKE BEST BUY... WALGREENS AND KROGER.
        ALL OF THEM USE EPSILON... AN EMAIL MARKETING FIRM... TO GET IN TOUCH WITH THEIR CUSTOMERS.
        THAT SYSTEM WAS ALLEGEDLY HACKED.
       THE COMPANY SAYS ONLY EMAIL ADRESSES OR CUSTOMER NAMES WERE STOLEN... AND THEY'RE INVESTIGATING.
       BUT C-NET'S DAN McCULLAGH SAYS THAT CAN STILL DO A LOT OF DAMAGE.
Dan McCullagh, CNET editor:  "The problem is when a list of email addresses and names.  Then you can send customized phishing emails, saying please log in to update your banking account information.  If it has your email address and it has your name, you're inclined to trust it."
      DALLAS-BASED EPSILON WORKS WITH MORE THAN 25-HUNDRED CLIENTS AND SENDS MORE THAN 40 BILLION EMAILS EACH YEAR.


     IF YOU HAVE A LOT OF OLD TECHNOLOGY LITTERED AROUND THE HOUSE... THERE'S A WAY FOR YOU TO GET RID OF IT AND HELP EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS IN JAPAN.
     C-NET'S MOLLY WOOD HAS MORE.
<<
MOLLY WOOD, CNET: Want a great way to help victims of the Japanese earthquake AND be responsible about recycling your old technology?


Well CNET has partnered with Gazelle, a website that will "buy: your old technology devices and donate the money directly to charity.  


You can sell anything Gazelle has in its database, like cameras, GPs devices, MP3 players, cell phones, or computers. The company re-sells or recycles all the old gadgets it buys.  


It's SUPER simple to use, especially if you're selling something easy, like a cell phone. Just go to cnet dot gazelle dot com, and type in the name of the thing you want to sell. I'll do iPhone 3G here. Then just choose the model you have, specify the condition, and say whether you have original cables. Click Calculate, and Gazelle tells you how much it will pay for the device. 


Once you "check out," you'll get an email with Gazelle that contains a shipping label and instructions for how to mail your gadgets. It even has a link to the closest FedEx office. Nice, right? 


And it's that easy. I sold my old Motorola Droid and iPhone 3G, and raised 150 dollars for the American Red Cross's Japan fund. I hope you'll do the same. 
      FOR MORE WAYS ON HOW YOU CAN HELP WITH RELIEF FOR JAPAN... VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
     LOOK FOR "HERO CENTRAL" UNDER THE FEATURES TAB..
THEN LOOK FOR JAPAN DISASTER... HOW YOU CAN HELP."


        BECAUSE OF THE WEATHER... WE SKIPPED THE FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY YESTERDAY.
        SO WE'RE DOUBLING UP TONIGHT.
       FIRST... MONDAY'S FAN OF THE DAY......
      FELICIA WATSON... CONGRATULATIONS... YOU'LL GET A 13WMAZ MUG.    
      AS WILL TODAY'S FAN... LISA GRACE!
      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.

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