Wednesday, April 6, Eyewitness News at 11

9:39 PM, Apr 7, 2011   |    comments
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     GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M FRANK MALLOY..
    AND I'M LEAH JOHNSON..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.


A GROUP OF FAMILIES IN SOUTH BIBB COUNTY ARE WITHOUT POWER AND WATER TONIGHT AFTER A NEARBY POND FLOODED THEIR TRAILER PARK.
RESIDENT MANAGER OF NORTH PARK MANOR...TINA EPSHAW SAYS.... THESE CELLPHONE PICTURES SHOW THE DAMAGE.
SHE SAYS EARLIER TODAY THE ADJACENT PROPERTY WHICH IS OWNED BY MACON INDUSTRIAL PARK HAD TRENCHES PUT IN TO DRAIN A POND.
THAT DRAINAGE SHE SAYS CAUSED MAJOR FLOODING TO ALL OF THE TRAILER HOMES THAT SHE MANAGES.
"It looked like Lake Tobosofkee.....no way to stop it...."
A TOTAL OF 44 HOMES WERE AFFECTED. EPSHAW SAID RESIDENTS HAVE BEEN EVACUATED AND THAT THE RED CROSS IS ASSITING THEM.


     THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CONFIRMED THAT AN E-F ONE TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN IN SOUTHWEST MACON EARLY TUESDAY MORNING.
    all we heard was rain, wind, no sirens or anything...
     PEOPLE LIVING ON ANDALUSIA DRIVE ARE STILL PICKING UP THE PIECES AFTER THE STORM RIPPED THROUGH THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD.
     STREETS AND BACKYARDS WERE LITTERED WITH TREES AND DEBRIS... AND ONE HOUSE WAS KNOCKED OFF ITS FOUNDATION.
     THE OWNER OF THAT HOUSE SAYS SHE'S GLAD HER FAMILY IS SAFE.
"Put it this way, it's a great thing we didn't take our planned routes like we normally do, we were safer in bed sleeping and jumping up to it rather than being in our bathroom or in our hallway or closet because all of those are literally squished in now."
AN E-F ONE TORNADO CAN PACK WIND SPEEDS UP TO ONE HUNDRED SEVENTEEN MILES PER HOUR.
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAYS THEY'RE CONTINUING TO SURVEY THE DAMAGE TO ABOUT SEVEN OR EIGHT HOMES IN THE AREA.


TORNADOES... HAIL AND RAIN ALL HIT A DODGE COUNTY NEIGHBORHOOD... AND THEIR DIRT ROADS IN THE PAST 48 HOURS.
SOME FOLKS SAY THEY'VE BEEN FIGHTING TO GET THEIR STREET PAVED FOR YEARS... AND THEY SAY THE COUNTY ISN'T HELPING THEM.
BOFTA YIMAM HAS MORE.
NATS "This road itself"


SARAH MCNAIR DENNARD SAYS HER FAMILY NAME RUNS DEEP ALONG FRIENDSHIP UMC ROAD.
 
 Sarah McNair Dennard, Dodge Co.
"Well I'm a McNair and I just wanted to add that little bit in there."


SHE'S A MCNAIR FIRST... AND PROUD OF THE 235 ACRES THEY OWN.


NATS "father purchased land right here"


BACK IN 1948.  SINCE THEN... THE DODGE COUNTY  NATIVE SAYS NOT MUCH ON THE ROAD HAS CHANGED... EXCEPT INCREASED TRAFFIC.   SHE SAYS THE DIRT... AND MUCK CAUSE PROBLEMS... FRUSTRATION--


NATS "when the flooding happens like that"


ESPECIALLY DURING SEVERE WEATHER.. LIKE TUESDAY'S TORNADO... WHICH CAUSED THE DEATH OF HER NEPHEW CHRISTOPHER MCNAIR. 


McNair Dennard,
"It's  like you can't drive over the roads over a certain speed limit or else your car shake apart, always something, they're not scraped properly, it's just a  hazardous"


SHE SAYS HER FATHER... AND OTHER HOMEOWNERS... DONATED PROPERTY  IN THE LATE 60'S FOR ROAD WIDENING... WITH THE EXPECTATION OF PAVEMENT.  


Robert McKinnon 
"Everybody signed it before and everybody on this road wants it fixed."


ROBERT MCKINNON RECALLS THE MOST RECENT PETITION ...A COUPLE YEARS AGO... WHICH LED TO NOWHERE.  


McNair Dennard,
"Basically there's no funds, there's not enough people living on the road, there's always an excuse."


Bofta Yimam 
Dodge County commissioner Brian Watkins says Friendship UMC Road is not on the list of roads set to be paved but he says it is maintained along with the other 450 to 500 miles of dirt roads in the county."


AFTER A PEITTION IS SUBMITTED.... WATKINS SAYS THEY WEIGH FACTORS INCLUDING TRAFFIC... WHETHER ITS A SCHOOL BUS ROUTE... AND NEARBY CHURCHES.


NATS 


MCNAIR DENNARD SAYS THEY'RE FED UP THEIR TAX DOLLARS HAVEN'T PAVED THE WAY.. AND PLAN TO DO WHATEVER IT TAKES...TO KEEP THEIR FAMILY LEGACY GROWING...  ALONG A NEW...CONCRETE... PATH.


BOFTA YIMAM 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS   
DODGE COUNTY COMMISSIONER BRIAN WATKINS SAYS THERE'S ABOUT 16 TO 20 ROADS SET TO BE PAVED IN THE COUNTY.
HE SAYS IT TAKES ABOUT TWO YEARS FROM SELECTION... TO A FINISHED PAVEMENT.


A MAN ARRESTED IN BALDWIN COUNTY IS FIGHTING EXTRADITION TO MISSISSIPPI... SAYING IT'S A CASE OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY.
THE BALDWIN COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS 73-YEAR-OLD JAMES THOMAS HAS BEEN ON THE RUN SINCE HE FAILED TO SHOW UP FOR COURT IN MISSISSIPPI IN 2003.
THOMAS WAS WANTED ON A CHARGE OF SEXUALLY ASSAULTING A MINOR FAMILY MEMBER.
BUT ACCORDING TO DETECTIVE COREY GOBLE WITH THE BALDWIN COUNTY SHERIFF... THOMAS CLAIMS HIS ARREST WAS A MISTAKE... AND HIS NAME IS ACTUALLY JAMES KELLUMS.
GOBLE SAYS THOMAS WAS ARRESTED ON PANCRAS ROAD IN FEBRUARY.
ACCORDING TO RECORDS... THAT PROPERTY HAS BEEN OWNED BY JAMES THOMAS SINCE 1990.
GOBLES SAYS INVESTIGATORS HAVE ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO PROVE THAT THE MAN IN CUSTODY REALLY IS THE FUGITIVE.
Detective Corey Goble: "There is a large amount of it. Including, but not limited to, fingerprint evidence. But a large amount of evidence indicating his true identity."
GOBLE SAYS DEPUTIES IN (OC-TIB-BI-HA) KTIBBEHA COUNTY... MISSISSIPPI HAVE BEEN SEARCHING FOR THOMAS FOR EIGHT YEARS.
HE SAYS THOMAS IS SCHEDULED TO APPEAR IN COURT MONDAY.
TO BE FAIR AND BALANCED....WE TALKED TO THOMAS'S LAWYER...WILLIAM H. SMITH THE THIRD...HE SAYS HE'LL ARGUE THAT AUTHORITIES ARRESTED THE WRONG MAN.


     THE CITY OF MACON HAS JOINED FORCES WITH TWO NON-PROFIT AGENCIES TO GIVE YOU A NEW PLACE TO PICK UP PRODUCE DOWNTOWN.
     AS ELEANOR LISSITZYN EXPLAINS... ORGANIZERS HOPE THE MARKETS FARM TO FORK APPROACH... WILL KEEP FARMERS AND CUSTOMERS COMING BACK WEEK AFTER WEEK. 
"Beautiful strawberrys."
MATTIE LOVETT STOPPED BY THE MULBERRY STREET MARKET WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON.
"On the way home from work I usually have to stop at the super market... this is is the most convienent thing for me."
THE FARMERS MARKET IS NEW TO MULBERRY STREET... AN OASIS OF CRISP GREENS... AND FARM FRESH EGGS... AGAINST THE BACK DROP OF DOWNTOWN MACON.
"12 different vendors signed up to participate in Wednesday's farmers market selling all locally grown and organically produced produce eggs and meat and although the event is designed to carter to downtown Maconites not everybody whose here is from Macon. There are vendors from five different counties."
NAOMI DAVIS OF DAVIS FARMS OUT OF ROBERTA IS ONE OF THEM...
"This could be a big money maker for us."
THE MARKET IS SCHEDULED FOR EVERY WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON... BUT DAVIS SAYS TO KEEP IT GROWING... PEOPLE NEED TO SHOW UP AND SPEND MONEY.
"It was a good turn out today." "I'm very optimistic that this will continue.""
AND LOVETT SAYS SHE IS TOO...
"The food, just the variety is great."
ORGANIC FOOD CAN GET A REPUTATION FOR BEING PRICEY... BUT LOVETT SHE SAYS AFTER A LITTLE SHOPPING AROUND SHE HAS NO PROBLEM FINDING GREAT PRODUCE... AT GOOD PRICES.
"I found a great deal on strawberrys today...
ONE BOX FOR THE WAY... HOME AND THE OTHER FOR LATER..
AND SHE SAYS SHE'LL BE BACK FOR MORE NEXT WEEK. 
STD
     THE MULBERRY STREET MARKET  IS OPEN EVERY WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON FROM 4-30 UNTIL 7..IT'S LOCATED IN THE PARK BETWEEN THE GRAND OPERA HOUSE AND THE LIBRARY BALLROOM.


    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.


     MORE THAN 17 THOUSAND OF YOU HAVE BECOME FACEBOOK FANS... AND WE'RE HONORING ONE EACH NIGHT AS OUR FAN OF THE DAY.
      TONIGHT'S WINNER... KIMBERLY L. TOLIVER ARCHER!
       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.


THERE ARE MANY BENEFITS OUT THERE FOR MILITARY FAMILIES... SOMETIMES... TOO MANY TO KEEP TRACK OF.
THAT'S WHY THIS WEEKEND... THE GEORGIA NATIONAL GUARD IS HOLDING AN EXPO EXPLAINING WHAT SERVICES ARE OUT THERE... AND HOW FAMILIES CAN USE THEM.
THE YELLOW RIBBON EXPO IS SPONSORED BY THE GEORGIA NATIONAL GUARD.. BUT MILITARY OFFICIALS SAY IT'S OPEN TO FAMILY OF DEPLOYED SERVICE MEMBERS IN ALL BRANCHES.
THERE WILL BE MORE THAN TWO DOZEN ORGANIZATIONS AT THE EVENT INCLUDING... VETERANS AFFAIRS... THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR... EDUCATION... AND TRANSITION ASSISTANCE.
ONE MILITARY WIFE SAYS SHE'S LOOKING FORWARD TO THE ONE-STOP SHOPPING.
Mia Jacobs "The tricare, military one stop, the credit union, with everything right there, it'll be good to see everything at once."
THE EXPO WILL BE THIS SATURDAY... FROM 8 A-M TO 3 P-M.
IT'LL BE ON AT THE AMERICAN LEGION... ON WATSON BOULEVARD. THAT'S ACROSS FROM THE RAMADA INN CONFERENCE CENTER.
ORGANIZERS SAY THEY'LL PROVIDE CHILDCARE AND FREE BREAKFAST AND LUNCH.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS EVENT.....LOOK FOR THIS STORY ON OUR HOME PAGE...13WMAZ-DOT-COM.


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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