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Friday, April 15, Eyewitness News at 11

10:43 AM, Apr 11, 2011   |    comments
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<<opening for eyewitness news at eleven>>
GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
AND I'M FRANK MALLOY..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.

SOME STRONG STORMS ARE RUMBLING THROUGH CENTRAL GEORGIA AND MORE COULD BE ON THE WAY..
FOR A LOOK AT THE FORECAST WE JOIN CHIEF METEOROLOGIST BEN JONES IN THE WEATHER CENTER.
TONIGHT...SEVERE STORMS POSSIBLE WITH A LOW OF 61. TORNADO WATCH FOR ALL OF CENTRAL GEORGIA UNTIL 6:00 AM. TOMORROW...SUNNY WITH A HIGH OF 78.
THANKS BEN.. WE'LL TALK WITH YOU AGAIN IN JUST A FEW MINUTES.

THE SYSTEM OF THUNDERSTORMS AND TORNADOES HAS KILLED AT LEAST NINE PEOPLE.
AT ONE POINT TODAY... TORNADO WATCHES WERE UP ACROSS EIGHT STATES.
MELISSA NEWTON HAS MORE FROM TUSHKA, OKLAHOMA.
((nats)) (Do not obstruct : TornadoVideos.net)
"Whoah. Oh my gosh, this is not good. Not good, guys." (Do not obstruct : TornadoVideos.net)


((NARR-1)) Storm chasers in Mississippi caught this funnel cloud on video -- tearing up power lines and transformers.

Debris spews from the fast moving cloud.

((nats))
"There's gonna be downed power lines, and all that bobo, you gotta be careful."

( Clinton, Mississippi )
((NARR-2)) The storm caused widespread damage in the town of Clinton. This is the view from Margaret Melton's bedroom - clear sky above, and pieces of the roof below.

((SOT)) Margaret Melton/Homeowner
"They told us to take cover. I went in the bathroom here and the roof fell on my head, so I stayed there 'til it was over." (pause) And I don't have anything left."

((NARR-3)) In Arkansas, a tree smashed through a mobile home in Garland County, killing a baby girl and her father.

((STANDUP BRIDGE)) Melissa Newton, Tushka, OK
At least five tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma, the worst here in Tushka , snapping trees in half like they were pencils and flipping these school buses over like pancakes."
((NARR-4)) The town's school complex was decimated, part of an estimated 7-mile path of destruction. The storm dumped part of someone else's house in a front yard, and left cars up trees - like stranded cats.
((SOT)) Rhonda Banks/HOME DESTROYED
"It's just like a war zone."
((NARR-5)) Two elderly sisters were killed. This neighbor returned home to help them, but it was too late.
((SOT)) Brandon Newberry - Neighbor
"They were lying beside each other. She was still alive at the time. But it took ambulances a long time to get here because of the roads. Took 'em about 30-45 minutes and by that time she done passed away."
((NARR-6)) Oklahoma's governor has declared a state of emergency, and plans to visit here Saturday.
SPRING THROUGH EARLY SUMMER IS PRIME TORNADO SEASON IN THE U.S.
ON AVERAGE...APRIL SEES 163 TORNADOS. SO FAR THIS MONTH, THERE HAVE BEEN NEARLY
160.

MACON POLICE SAY A CAR HIT AND KILLED A MACON MAN TONIGHT.
BIBB COUNTY CORONER LEON JONES SAYS JAMES KADIAN WAS HIT BY A CAR IN THE 2000 BLOCK OF VINEVILLE AVENUE AROUND 8:30.
KADIAN WHO LIVED ON FOREST AVENUE WAS PRONOUNCED DEAD AT 9:10 PM AT THE MEDICAL CENTER.
POLICE SPOKESWOMAN JAMI GAUDET SAYS INVESTIGATORS ARE STILL ON THE SCENE WORKING TO GET MORE DETAILS.

A FAMILY'S DETERMINATION TO SEE THEIR WHEEL-CHAIR BOUND SON PLAY BASEBALL... BROUGHT DOZENS OF OTHER SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN THE CHANCE TO PLAY.
AS ELEANOR LISSITZYN EXPLAINS IN TONIGHT'S HERO CENTRAL REPORT... IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU CAN RUN THE DIAMOND... OR THROW A PITCH... THE MACON MIRACLE LEAGUE HELPS EVERY CHILD PLAY BALL.
SEVENTEEN YEAR OLD ALEX MORTON REMEMBERS BEING FIVE YEARS OLD... WONDERING WHY HE COULDN'T PLAY BASEBALL
"I felt that I needed to play my favorite sport."
HIS DAD... DANNY MORTON... MADE HIM A PROMISE.
"I don't know where it is at yet, but were going to find you a place."
THAT PLACE IS ON THE MIRACLE LEAGUE'S BASEBALL DIAMOND IN THE WEST MACON BALL PARK.
THE LEAGUE GIVES CHILDREN WITH DISABILTIES A CHANCE TO PLAY.
THE MORTONS STARTED A MIRACLE LEAGUE CHAPTER IN MACON SIX YEARS AGO...
"I've been hooked ever since."
SEVENTY KIDS PLAY ON THIS FIELD EVERY SEASON. ITS PERFECTLY SMOOTH SURFACE... MAKES IT ACCESSABLE TO EVERYONE...
LIKE CHRISTIAN AND CALEN COLLINS... WHO SAY PLAYING FOR THE ANGELS... HAS BEEN A MIRACLE.
"It makes me feel like I'm not left out of other things."
THEIR ABLE-BODIED BROTHERS PLAY BASEBALL TOO. CHRISTIAN SAYS KNOWING HE'S IMPROVED SINCE HE BEGAN PLAYING THREE YEARS AGO... HELPS HIM CATCH A LOT OF CONFIDENCE.
"It makes me feel really good because you my brothers aren't always better than me at something."
MIRACLE LEAGUERS PLAY THE GAME WTIH A BUDDY... FRIDAY IT WAS VOLUTNEERS FROM GEORGIA COLLEGE. EVERYBODY GETS TO HIT THE BALL... AND NOBDOY LOSES.
ALEX SAYS WHEN HE FIRST ROLLED OUT ONTO THE RUBBERIZED MIRACLE LEAGUE DIAMOND... HE FELT LIKE IT WASN'T THE REAL THING
"I said it wasn't baseball because they didn't play by the same rules."
NOW THE HIGHSCHOOLER SAYS... IT THE WAY BASEBALL MAKES HIS TEAMMATES FEEL...
THE JOY IT BRINGS TO THEIR FACES.
THATS PROVED TO HIM... THIS SPORT IS THE REAL THING.
"I got to play my favorite sport. I got to play it my own way, and everybody else did the same."
THE MIRACLE LEAGUE RUNS THROUGH THE END OF MAY... THEY PLAY GAMES ON FRIDAYS AND SATURDAYS.
IF YOU'RE INTERESTED IN GETTING INVOLVED... YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION ON OUR WEBSITE AT 13WMAZ.COM

MERCER ENGINEERING STUDENTS HAD A SHOWCASE TODAY AFTER MONTHS OF HARD WORK.
THE UNIVERSITY PUT ON ITS FOURTH ANNUAL ENGINEERING EXPO....
AS CANDACE ADORKA REPORTS IT WAS AN AFTERNOON OF FUN AND INNOVATION FOR STUDENTS AND PARENTS.
<<
JOEL AQUINO SAYS HIS 2-HOUR DRIVE TO SEE HIS SON AT THE MERCER UNIVERSITY EXPO WAS WELL WORTH IT.

"i'm a proud father of my son..... he and his partner won the first round."

AQUINO'S SON WAS ONE OF 150 ENGINEERING STUDENTS WHO SHOWED OFF THEIR WORK AT THE UNIVERSITY'S BASKETBALL ARENA.

***nats cheering***

FRESHMEN PITTed THEIR KINEX ROBOTS AGAINST EACH OTHER.... AND SENIORS PRESENTED RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING FEATS.

***nats rolling robot***
CHASE QUENTIN TEAMED UP WITH TWO CLASSMATES...

TO BUILD A ROBOT THAT COULD MANAGE A MINIATURE DISASTER SCENE.

"the robot navigated the course and found mock victims...."

THE ROBOT IS FAR FROM READY TO HELP AFTER THE NEXT HURRICANE HITS.... BUT QUENTIN SAYS THE PROJECTS ARE MORE ABOUT LEARNING THE DESIGN PROCESS.

"it's a beautiful thing.... creating a design, implemeinting it and testing it..."

FOR JOSHUA HICKS AND HIS TEAM, THAT LED TO A CHIN STRAP THEY HOPE WILL HELP REDUCE THE NUMBER AND SEVERITY OF FOOTBALL CONCUSSIONS.

"what's gonna happen is you'll recieve impact from the front and when this happens the helmet is goign to move back slightly and its gonna pull the chin strap which is gonna pull the jaw up."

AQUINO SAYS IT'S THAT KIND OF INNOVATION AND ENERGY THAT MAKES HIM HOPEFUL ABOUT THE FUTURE.

"we are going to keep our technological advantage. we just have so much creativity in this country and that's what makes out country great."

CANDACE ADORKA 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.


>> HICKS AND HIS TEAM HAVE PATENTS PENDING ON TWO OF THEIR CHIN STRAPS.
OTHER PROJECTS INCLUDE A MECHANICAL PROSTHETIC FOOT FOR PEOPLE IN THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES.... AND A WAY TO CREATE BIO DIESEL FROM CORN OIL.

IF YOU CALL FOR A MONROE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPUTY.. IT MAY TAKE MORE TIME THAN IN THE PAST FOR HELP TO ARRIVE.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO SHERIFF JOHN CARY BITTICK... WHO SAYS MONROE'S FAST-GROWING POPULATION HAS PUT A STRAIN ON SOME OF HIS DEPARTMENTS.
THE 2010 CENSUS SHOWS THE POPULATION OUTSIDE THE FORSYTH CITY LIMITS GREW BY 26 PERCENT TO NEARLY 23 THOUSAND PEOPLE.
HE SAYS CALLS TO THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE TRIPLED IN A DECADE... BUT THERE'S ONLY ONE ADDITIONAL PATROL DEPUTY IN THE PAST THIRTY YEARS.
HE SAYS THAT MEANS IT TAKES DEPUTIES AN AVERAGE OF TEN MINUTES LONGER THAN IT USED TO..
Sheriff John Cary Bittick: "means when you call for a sheriff's car on average you're gonna have to wait 15 or 20 minutes before they get there, where in my day when I was a deputy the time was five to seven"
SHERIFF BITTICK SAYS RELYING ON OVERTIME COSTS LESS THAN HIRING MORE DEPUTIES... BUT HE'D CONSIDER HIRING MORE PATROL DEPUTIES IF THE COUNTY APPROVED ADDITIONAL FUNDS TO COVER COSTS.

IF YOU'RE HEADED TO ATLANTA THIS WEEKEND... EXPECT TO SEE A LOT OF TRAFFIC.
SEVERAL EVENTS IN THE CITY ARE EXPECTED TO DRAW LARGE CROWDS.
THEY INCLUDE THE 75TH ANNUAL DOGWOOD FESTIVAL IN PIEDMONT PARK AND THE SWEETWATER 420 FEST IN CANDLER PARK.
ALSO... THE ATLANTA BRAVES WILL PLAY THE NEW YORK METS IN A DOUBLEHEADER AT TURNER FIELD..

YOU MIGHT WANT TO ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND... OUTDOORS WITH A DINNER OUT...
AND WHAT BETTER WAY TO CHOOSE A RESTAURANT...THAN WITH RATINGS FROM THE HEALTH INSPECTOR.
AMY AUBERT HAS THIS WEEK'S RESTAURANT RATINGS.
<<
WE'RE BACK IN BIBB COUNTY THIS WEEK...STARTING OFF WITH OUR LOWEST SCORES FIRST....
APPLEBEE'S AT 36-52 EISENHOWER PARKWAY IN MACON... SCORED A 78... A C... AFTER A PERFECT SCORE THE LAST TIME AROUND.
STEPHEN'S DINER AT 30-90 NAPIER AVENUE IN MACON... SCORED AN 85... A "B"... FOLLOWING A 96... OR AN "A"... LAST TIME.
AND WAFFLE HOUSE AT 51-46 THOMASTON ROAD IN MACON GOT AN 82 PERCENT... A "B"... AFTER GETTING A PERFECT 100... LAST TIME AROUND.
NOW FOR A LOOK THE TOP SCORES OF THE WEEK.. AND THIS WEEK'S GOLDEN SPATULA WINNER...
FIVE GUYS BURGERS AND FRIES... AT 1-20 TOM HILL SENIOR BOULEVARD SERVED UP A PERFECT SCORE ON ITS LAST TWO INSPECTIONS.
CHEN'S WOK AT 40-10 NORTHSIDE DRIVE IN MACON ALSO GOT TWO PERFECT 100 PERCENTS... ON IT'S PREVIOUS INSPECTIONS.
AND NU-WAY WEINERS AT 9-21 HILLCREST BOULEVARD IN MACON... WHIPPED UP A 99 PERCENT... AN "A"... AFTER ANOTHER 99... ON THE INSPECTION BEFORE.
WE AVERAGED OUR NOMINEES PAST FIVE SCORES... AND THIS WEEK'S GOLDEN SPATULA GOES TO...
FIVE GUYS BURGERS AND FRIES AT 1-20 TOM HILL SENIOR BOULEVARD IN MACON... WITH A PERFECT SCORE ON THEIR LAST FIVE INSPECTIONS... MAKING A 5-SCORE AVERAGE... OF 100 PERCENT.
CONGRATULATIONS TO EVERYONE OVER AT FIVE GUYS... JOIN US AGAIN NEXT WEEK FOR MORE RESTAURANT RATINGS. AMY AUBERT... 13 WMAZ... EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>>
FOR ALL YOUR RESTAURANT RATINGS... GO TO OUR WEBSITE 13WMAZ DOT COM.
CLICK ON THE FEATURES LINK... AND SCROLL DOWN TO RESTAURANT RATINGS.

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