Wednesday, April 6, 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.


THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CONFIRMS AN E-F ONE TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN IN SOUTHWEST MACON.
FAMILIES LIVING ON ANDALUSIA DRIVE CONTINUE TO PICK UP THE PIECES AFTER THE TORNADO RIPPED THROUGH THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD EARLY TUESDAY MORNING.
WE SPOKE WITH ONE WOMAN WHO SAYS HER FAMILY IS THANKFUL THEY GOT OUT SAFE.... DESPITE SOME MAJOR DAMAGE.
<<
sot: Once we heard the winds and everything, we heard a big pop. Didn't know what the big pop was.
sot: We realized that basically the house had shifted about 15 to 20 feet off the foundation.


For Sherita Jones.... this is no longer a safe place where her family can call home. 


sot: A lot of the walls are squished within so it's just been a very surreal experience I can say, very surreal experience.


You can see where her SUV is parked. This is what's leFt of their garage.
Now their Expedition is supportING the front end of the house.
she says ONE OF her scariest moments during the storm ..... was trying to get to her daughters bedroom.


sot: Once we got to the kids they were yelling and screaming. 
sot: She was yelling, I can't move, I can't move because her door had fell over and protected her while she was in her bed.
sot: We felt a lot of wind rushing around us and rain water coming in.


Wednesday....the National Weather Service spent time in Jones' neighborhood assesing the damage.


sot: Basically, what we're looking at here is that the damage was very confined. 


They concluded that an E-F-1 tornado moved through this southwest Macon neighborhood.


sot: Winds at about 110 miles an hour. Seems the path was 50 yards wide and um, that's where we're at right now.


As for Jones.... her priority now is picking up the pieces AT HER. home. SHE SAYS She could have never imagined IT would end Up looking like this...


sot: We're just kind of taking it day by day right now. It's just a matter of getting over that initial aftershock.
>> AN E-F ONE TORNADO HAS WIND SPEEDS OF UP TO ONE HUNDRED SEVENTEEN MILES PER HOUR.
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAYS THE SYSTEM THAT MOVED THROUGH THE ANDALUSIA NEIGHBORHOOD ALSO BROUGHT STRAIGHT LINE WINDS AND DAMAGEd SEVEN or EIGHT HOMES.


THERE ARE STILL SOME CENTRAL GEORGIANS WITHOUT POWER TONIGHT AFTER STORMS RIPPED THROUGH MUCH OF THE REGION EARLY TUESDAY.
AS LAUREN DISPIRITO EXPLAINS... NEIGHBORS ON ONE STREET PITCHED IN... TO TAKE CARE OF FOLKS DEALING WITH THE WORST DAMAGE.
MORE THAN 24 HOURS LATER... THE POWER OF TUESDAY'S STORMS COULD STILL BE SEEN.. AND FELT IN JONES COUNTY.  


Nats crew


SOME WORKED TO CLEARED AWAY A TOPPLED TREE.. ON WHEEHAW ROAD.


Nats Duncan 


HOMEOWNER ELLA DUNCAN WOKE UP TO THE STORMS... AND FOUND A GAPING HOLE... WHERE AN OAK TREE CRASHED THROUGH HER ROOF.


Ella Duncan, Jones County: As soon as I stepped around the corner of the house, this big humongous tree was just all over the driveway on top of the house I said 'oh my god this big tree has hit this house.'"


Nats saw


Lauren DiSpirito, Eyewitness News: "Neighbors came together Wednesday and helped the Duncans remove this tree from their front yard. They say during Tuesday morning storms, it uprooted and landed on their roof, right above their garage and dining room."


Ella Duncan, Jones County: "It could have been a lot worse the Lord spared us no one was hurt"


DUNCAN... AND NEIGHBORS... INCLUDING PETE HILL... HAVE NOT HAD ELECTRICITY SINCE EARLY TUESDAY.


Pete Hill, Jones County: I really feel like we're forgotten even though we live in Macon, we have a Macon address, even though we're in Jones County, it's in both Jones County and Macon, we're forgotten."


DUNCAN SAYS HE'S GRATEFUL FOR FOLKS WILLINGNESS TO DIG IN... AND HELP THOSE NEXT DOOR.


Ella Duncan, Jones County: "band together and help eachother out and that's what it's all about people helping people and people loving people


Nats


LAUREN DISPIRITO
13 WMAZ
EYEWITNESS NEWS
POWER COMPANIES SAY THEY EXPECT TO HAVE POWER BACK ON FOR ALL CENTRAL GEORGIA CUSTOMERS BY MIDNIGHT.


TORNADOS... HAIL... RAIN.
THAT ALL HIT A DODGE COUNTY NEIGHBORHOOD... AND its DIRT ROADS IN THE PAST 48 HOURS.
SOME FOLKS SAY THEY'VE BEEN FIGHTING FOR A PAVED STREET ON FRIENDSHIP U-M-C ROAD FOR YEARS... AND FED UP THAT THE COUNTY ISN'T HELPING THEM OUT.
SARAH MCNAIR DENNARD SAYS THE ROAD IS ESPECIALLY DANGEROUS DURING SEVERE WEATHER.. LIKE TUESDAY'S TORNADO... WHICH CAUSED THE DEATH OF HER NEPHEW CHRISTOPHER MCNAIR. 
SHE SAYS HER FATHER AND OTHER HOMEOWNERS DONATED PROPERTY  IN THE LATE 60S FOR ROAD WIDENING  WITH THE EXPECTATION OF PAVEMENT.  
THROUGH THE YEARS...  MCNAIR DENNARD THEY'VE SUBMITTED PETITIONS... MOST RECENTLY A COUPLE YEARS AGO... WHICH LED TO NOWHERE.  
Sarah McNair Dennard,
"Basically there's no funds, there's not enough people living on the road, there's always an excuse."
Robert McKinnon
They only scrape the road the day before and the day after it rains so when they do that you're back to where you started 
DODGE COUNTY COMMISSIONER BRIAN WATKINS SAYS FRIENDSHIP UMC ROAD IS NOT ON THE LIST OF ROADS SET TO BE PAVED.... BUT THE COUNTY MAINTAINS IT ALONG WITH 450 TO 500 MORE MILES OF DIRT ROADS.
AFTER A PETITION IS SUBMITTED.... WATKINS SAYS THEY WEIGH FACTORS INCLUDING TRAFFIC... NEARBY CHURCHES...AND WHETHER IT'S A SCHOOL BUS ROUTE.


     THE CITY OF MACON HAS JOINED FORCES WITH A COUPLE OF NON-PROFIT AGENCIES TO GIVE YOU A NEW PLACE TO PICK UP PRODUCE DOWNTOWN.
     YOU CAN BROWSE THROUGH LOCAL PRODUCE... MEAT AND EGGS AT THE MULBERRY STREET MARKET EVERY WEDNESDAY.
     ELEANOR LISSITZYN IS JOINING US FROM DOWNTOWN WITH A LOOK.
Farmers from across Middle Georgia have already signed on to participate in the Mulberry Street Market, including Crawford, Hancock, Jones, Peach, and Bibb counties. More producers will participate depending on crop cycles throughout the season. 
The Mulberry Street Market, setting up in the park between the Grand Opera House and the Library Ballroom, will be Macon's first producer-only farmers' market.
Organizers expect the market to serve a variety of purposes. 
      YOU STILL HAVE A FEW MINUTES TO GET OUT TO THE MARKET THIS WEEK... IT'S OPEN FROM 4-30 TO SEVEN EVERY WEDNESDAY.


    TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR PRODUCE?
    SO FAR... 80 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YOU GET YOURS AT A SUPERMARKET.
    7 PERCENT PICK YOUR PRODUCE FROM A FARMERS MARKET
    AND 13 PERCENT SAY YOU GRAB YOUR GOODS IN YOUR OWN GARDEN.
   TO VOTE NOW.. VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT 13 WMAZ DOT COM.. AND LOOK FOR THE WEB POLL QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE INSIDE OF THE DON'T MISS BOX.


  IT'S WELL KNOWN THAT STATE REPRESENTATIVE ALLEN PEAKE AND SENATOR ROBERT BROWN SOMETIMES EXCHANGE HEATED WORDS.
  AND THEY WENT AT IT AGAIN TODAY IN DUELING NEWS CONFERENCES ABOUT MERGING THE CITY OF MACON AND BIBB COUNTY.
  RANDALL SAVAGE HAS MORE ON THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS ON CONSOLIDATION.
ALLEN PEAKE GOT THE LATEST VERBAL VOLLEY GOING DURING A MORNING NEWS CONFERENCE.. SAYING BROWN ISN'T COOPERATING WITH HOUSE MEMBERS.
Allen Peake: Here we stand today at an impasse because Sen Brown is unwilling to take any input from a majority of the House delegation on issues that we deem as critical to a successful unification plan.
  THREE OTHER HOUSE REPUBLICANS AND REPUBLICAN STATE SENATOR CECIL STATON ACCOMPANIED PEAKE ... STATON SIGNED OFF ON BROWN'S PLAN IN THE SENATE.. BUT SAYS HE'LL TALK WITH HOUSE MEMBERS ABOUT CHANGES.
Cecil Staton: I have no problems with what my collegues have said this morning. There are many points in this size of government, law enforcement, strong mayor, weak mayor.
  BUT IN AN AFTERNOON NEWS CONFERENCE..  BROWN SAYS HE DID HIS COMPROMISING WHILE WORKING WITH STATON ON THE PLAN THAT WAS PASSED BY THE SENATE...AND IS NOW BEFORE THE HOUSE.
  3:06:08 Robert Brown: This is a compromise. This is what will pass. This is what I've been selling to this point. So the choice is before us. Do we want to move forward  on something that we've been trying to do for over a hundred years, or do we want to fall back and start doing the same thing that we've that we've always done and as a result getting the same thing that we've already got.
  SOME OF THE ISSUES PEAKE AND BROWN DISAGREE ON....THE SIZE OF THE NEW MACON-BIBB COUNCIL....THE MAYOR'S POWERS...TERM LIMITS...AND WHO WOULD BE THE TOP LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER...AN ELECTED SHERIFF...OR AN APPOINTED POLICE CHIEF.
AT LEAST FOUR OF THE SIX HOUSE MEMBERS MUST AGREE....FOR EITHER PLAN TO MOVE THROUGH THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY AS LOCAL LEGISLATION.
  FRANK.. LEAH..
 THE FOUR AT PEAKE'S NEWS CONFERENCE SAY THEY WANT MORE TIME.
  BUT BROWN ISN'T BENDING.. AND THAT MEANS CONSOLIDATION IS UNLIKELY TO PASS THIS YEAR.


A MAN ARRESTED IN BALDWIN COUNTY IN FEBRUARY... IS FIGHTING EXTRADITION TO MISSISSIPPI... CALLING IT A CASE OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY.
AMY AUBERT VISITED THE ARREST SITE... AND TELLS YOU WHY DETECTIVES SAY... EVIDENCE PROVES THEY HAVE THE RIGHT MAN.
<<
Amy Aubert, Eyewitness News: "According to the Baldwin County Sheriff's Department, the man, 73-year-old James Thomas has been on the run since 2003, when he failed to show up for court in Mississippi,on A CHARGE OF sexualLY assualtING a minor family member. Detective Corey Goble with the Baldwin County Sheriffsays deputies in Mississippi ahve been searching for Thomas for 8 years, almost catching him in Mexico and Kentucky."


Detective Corey Goble: "We have been working more or less non-stop with them as it pertains to the extradition precedings pretty much since February 18th when he was aprehended."


Amy Aubert, Eyewitness News: "According to reports, Thomas has owned this property at 593 Pancras Road in Baldwin County since 1990. Detective Goble says the U-S Marshall Southeastern Regional Fugitive Squad found Thomas living in a house beyond the home where this dirt driveway leads, further back into the woods. Goble says Thomas is fighting extradition to the state of Mississippi saying he is actually James Kellums. But Goble says they have sufficient evidence to prove otherwise."


Detective Goble: "There is a large amount of it, including, but not limited to, fingerprint evidence."


Amy Aubert, Eyewitness News: "No one was home at the 593 address, Wednesday, but the man's attorney, William H. Smith III, says his only comment is it's a case of mistaken identity. In Baldwin County, I'm Amy Aubert, 13 WMAZ, Eyewitness News."
>> DETECTIVE GOBLE SAYS THOMAS IS SCHEDULED TO APPEAR IN COURT MONDAY.


ABOUT 230 STUDENTS FROM 20 HOUSTON COUNTY SCHOOLS CAME TO MARKET TODAY.
THEY BROUGHT THEIR DESIGNS... SELLING NOT FOR CASH... BUT TO LEARN TO TRADE.
ALL OF THE STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN HOUSTON COUNTY'S GIFTED PROGRAM... CALLED FOCUS.
THESE THIRD GRADERS HANDCRAFTED MAGNETS... MAGIC BOXES... EVEN DECORATIVE ROCKS.
PROGRAM DIRECTOR JAN JACOBSEN SAYS THEY MADE THEIR PRODUCTS... CAME UP WITH A SALES PITCH AND BROUGHT THEM TO MARKET DAY AT THE MUSEUM OF AVIATION.
Jan Jacobsen, Warner Robins: (1:28) "They have their own wares. They're very proud of what they've done. They sell it. They're also very big shoppers. They don't always like to stay at their shops."
THE STUDENTS ALSO DESIGNED THEIR PAPER MONEY... SO THEY COULD PRACTICE EXCHANGING THAT WITH THEIR CUSTOMERS.

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