Monday, April 18, Eyewitness News at 6

10:56 PM, Apr 18, 2011   |    comments
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<<opening for eyewitness news at six>>
HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US...
I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
AND I'M FRANK MALLOY.....THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.

A TRUCK ACCIDENT HAS CAUSED A MESS ON I-75 NEAR PIERCE AVENUE.
MACON POLICE DISPATCH SAYS THE TRUCK HIT SOME LOW-HANGING POWER LINES ON THE INTERSTATE AND KNOCKED OUT ELECTRICITY TO NEIGHBORHOODS NEAR THE INTERSTATE.
THAT HAS TRAFFIC BACKED UP IN BOTH DIRECTIONS DURING THE EVENING RUSH HOUR.
SO FAR.....THERE'S NO WORD ON INJURIES.

PEOPLE IN NORTH MACON HAD THEIR HANDS FULL TODAY GETTING RID OF FALLEN LIMBS AND BRANCHES LEFT BEHIND BY SATURDAY'S EF-ONE TORNADO.
LAUREN DISPIRITO SPENT TIME WHERE THE STORM CAUSED SOME OF THE MOST SEVERE DAMAGE...
SHE JOINS US NOW WITH MORE.
FRANK.. LEAH... I WAS OUT ON OUSLEY PLACE AND NORMANDY ROADS SATURDAY MORNING... JUST AFTER STORMS HIT... AND BACK OUT THERE AGAIN TODAY... FOLKS TELL ME THEY SPENT THE WEEKEND CLEANING UP... AND ARE STILL DIGGING OUT.
CITY PUBLIC WORKS CREWS SAY THEY'RE WORKING AS FAST AS THEY CAN TO CLEAR DOZENS OF TREES THAT CRASHED THROUGH HOMES AND BLOCKED ROADS.
Nats dumbs trash bag

STOPPING AT DOZENS OF HOMES MONDAY... MACON PUBLIC WORKS' MAURICE THOMAS SAYS HE AND HIS CREW SCOOPED UP BUNCHES OF BRANCHES.

Maurice Thomas, Macon Public Works: "We out getting the debris, we picking up everything that we can by hand."

Nats chain saw

PEOPLE TACKLED THE JOB... BY TEARING DOWN TREES...
nats tree falls

ON OUSLEY PLACE... ONE OF THE HARDEST HIT... ANTHONY COLLINS SAYS DUMP TRUCKS DROVE TORN UP TREE TRUNKS TO THE CITY DUMP

Anthony Collins, Macon Public Works: "They're worried about their property as far as the tree damages, with their houses the rooves, probably the yard and the debris

Nats "we had a flashlight we crawled through this door here the back door"

NORMANDY ROAD HOMEOWNER CURTIS HEATH SAYS WHEN THE TORNADO ROLLED THROUGH... HE AND HIS FAMILY WERE HAVING BREAKFAST.

Curtis Heath, Macon: "We're drinking orange juice and coffee and what have you and then we heard this noise and we got in that position because we knew something was happening."

Lauren DiSpirito, Eyewitness News: "Heath says one of those five trees landed on his roof, right in the middle of the house, splitting it essentially from front to back and he says when that happened, tree limbs, debris, even roof singles you can see here came down with the pouring rain and flooded his living room floor."

Curtis Heath, Macon: "we got some real good neighbors, they've been checking on us and have people come by"

HEATH SAYS HE MAY HAVE LOST HOME... BUT IN A STORM SYSTEM THAT KILLED DOZENS ACROSS THE COUNTRY... HE'S GRATEFUL NO ONE WAS HURT.

Curtis Heath, Macon "so we very fortunate we got a second chance to roll again."

Nats tree crushing

PICKING UP THE PIECES... ONE TRUCKLOAD LIMB AT A TIME.
HEATH SAYS HE'S WAITING TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH OF HIS NORMANDY ROAD HOME CAN BE SAVED.
GEORGIA POWER TELLS US THEY'VE RESTORED ELECTRICITY TO ALL MACON CUSTOMERS.
FRANK... LEAH
THANKS LAUREN..
THAT STORM SYSTEM KILLED MORE THAN 40 PEOPLE ACROSS THE SOUTHEAST.. BUT NONE IN CENTRAL GEORGIA.

SOME NORTH MACON BUSINESSES HAVE RECOVERED FROM THE STORM... AFTER ONLY HAVING TO DEAL WITH POWER OUTAGES.
BUT OTHERS HAD A LONGER-LASTING IMPACT FROM THE STORM.
EVEN SO - AS CANDACE ADORKA FOUND OUT - THOSE BUSINESSES ALREADY RE-OPENED THEIR DOORS FOR CUSTOMERS.
<<
WHEN SATURDAY'S STORM HIT, CAROL KAPLAN FEARED THE WORST.
Carol Kaplan, Owner of Carol's Linens "I had flashbacks of 2008 because the sirens went off this time at the exact same time they went off in May of 2008."
BACK IN 2008, KAPLAN'S HOME DECOR STORE WAS ON EISENHOWER PARKWAY WHEN IT WAS DECIMATED BY A TORNADO.
Carol Kaplan "this is what I drove up to on mother's day May of 08."
THE STORE MOVED TO NORTH MACON.... AND MOTHER NATURE FOLLOWED... BUT THIS TIME, SHE WAS MORE MERCIFUL.
THE STORM BLEW OFF THE CAROL'S LINENS SIGN AND DAMAGED THE ROOF AND AIR CONDITIONERS.
"and when you think about how heavy those commercial units are that the wind was that strong that it actually toppled one unit ontop of the other."
PATTY INGLETT SAYS THE STORM TRASHED HER GARDEN CENTER AT THE ACE HARDWARE GARDEN CENTER ON RIVERSIDE DRIVE...DUMPING DIRT EVERYWHERE.
"I've been working three years to make it look the way I wanted it to look and in one swoop it was gone within, what, 20 minutes? Everything was gone and everything i'd worked for to make it all
OTHER BUSINESSES WERE STILL COPING AS WELL....LIKE A DOLLAR GENERAL STORE THAT HAD ITS FRONT WINDOW BLOWN OUT...
AND THE DAYS INN WHERE HIGH WINDS DAMAGED THE ROOF.
KAPLAN SAYS HER ROOF AND AIR CONDITONING ARE BEING FIXED, ALONG WITH THE SIGN...
SHE STILL THINKS SHE GOT OFF EASY.
"there's so many homes in north macon with so much damage and we are very fortunate."
CANDACE ADORKA, EYEWITNESS NEWS 13 WMAZ.
>>

MANAGERS AT ACE HARDWARE SAY THEY LOST MORE THAN A THOUSAND DOLLARS IN PLANTS DURING THE STORM...
BUT INGLETT SAYS THERE'S A SILVER LINING.
SHE'LL BE DONATING SOME OF THE DAMAGED PLANTS TO THE GEORGIA INDUSTRIAL CHILDREN'S HOME.

TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL QUESTION...
HAS YOUR HOME EVER BEEN DAMAGED BY SEVERE WEATHER?
RIGHT NOW... 50 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES.. IT HAS.
AND 50 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO.. IT HAS NOT.
VOTE NOW... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION IN THE "DON'T MISS" BOX ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE.

THE MANAGER OF A STORE INSIDE THE MACON MALL SAYS SOMEONE STOLE MORE THAN 25 THOUSAND DOLLARS WORTH OF JEWELRY.
A POLICE REPORT SAYS THE MANAGER OF THE KAY JEWELERS SAID SHE THINKS THE THEFTS WERE AN INSIDE JOB... BUT SHE DOESN'T KNOW WHO'S RESPONSIBLE.
THE REPORT LISTS 38 MISSING ITEMS... RANGING IN VALUE FROM ABOUT FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS.... TO ABOUT 12 HUNDRED DOLLARS.
SHE SAID A RECENT AUDIT FOUND THAT THE JEWLERY WAS MISSING.
THE POLICE REPORT SAYS THE THEFTS HAVE HAPPENED SINCE LAST JULY.
MACON POLICE ARE INVESTIGATING.

THE SAGGING ECONOMY AND BALANCING THE FEDERAL BUDGET WERE SOME OF THE ISSUES PEOPLE WANTED TO DISCUSS WITH 8TH DISTRICT CONGRESSMAN AUSTIN SCOTT TODAY.
NATS "look at us we're all tired of this nonsense" RT :3
SCOTT'S ON A TWO-DAY... SIX STOP TOUR TO HEAR WHAT PEOPLE HAVE TO SAY
ABOUT SIXTY PEOPLE ATTENDED TODAY'S TOWN HALL FORUM IN FORSYTH. SOME QUESTIONED SCOTT ABOUT SPENDING...OTHERS WANTED CHANGES TO THE FEDERAL TAX CODE.
SCOTT WADED THROUGH ALL QUESTIONS EXCEPT WHO WOULD BE THE BEST REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT NEXT YEAR.
Austin Scott, U.S. Representative:" There is an opportunity right now for a leader who nobody knows the name of to emerge and become that person."
SCOTT RESUMES HIS TOUR AT TEN A-M TOMORROW WITH A TOWN HALL MEETING AT THE GEORGIA FARM BUREAU IN MACON.
HE WRAPS THINGS UP WITH A TWO P-M TOWN HALL MEETING AT THE HOUSTON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OFFICE IN WARNER ROBINS.

STATE SENATOR ROBERT BROWN SAYS HE'S NOT GIVING UP HOPE ON HIS VERSION OF A CONSOLIDATION BILL
State Sen. Robert Brown: (D) Macon: "I'm going to be meeting with a number of organizations to continue to talk about moving Senate Bill 274 forward to a vote to allow the people of Macon and Bibb county to make the decision. We've debated it enough. We've negocaited enough so it's now time to allow the people to vote."
THE BILL STILL NEEDS THE APPROVAL OF AT LEAST TWO MORE DELIGATES FROM MACON.
IF BROWN GETS THAT... HE SAYS THE BILL COULD GO TO A LEGISLATIVE VOTE AS EARLY AS AUGUST DURING THIS SUMMER'S SPECIAL SESSION THAT IS SCHEDULED TO VOTE ON NEW LEGISLATIVE DISTRICTS.

MACON'S INTERIM PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR SAYS ABOUT ONE THOUSAND PEOPLE IN THE CITY NEED NEW GARBAGE CARTS...
LAST YEAR - THE CITY PULLED MONEY BUDGETED FOR THEM.... LEAVING PEOPLE WITH BROKEN ONES ON A WAITING LIST
BRITTINY BARBER EXPLAINS WHY OFFICIALS ARE WORKING TO GET NEW CARTS AND REPLACEMENT LIDS.
<<
Joseph Strong: " Old faithful... Old faithful's been around with me for a while."
IT'S BEEN FIVE YEARS SINCE JOSEPH STRONG GOT HIS TRASH CART.
Joseph strong: "I just kick the wheel back on here."
WITH ITS MISSING WHEEL AND BROKEN LID... HE ASKED FOR A NEW ONE.... AND IS STILL WAITING.
Joseph Strong, Macon: "Ray Charles can see that I need another trash can, but I haven't gotten one so I don't worry about it. I just keep putting it in there"
Brittiny Barber Eyewitness News: "Many people in Macon struggle with broken cans. Some dont' have one at all. But the public works director says there's just not enough to go around.";
Shawn Firtz, Interim Public Works Director: "The present need is about a thousand that we are backlogged currently."
COUNCILMAN ED DEFORE REQUESTED TO SET ASIDE MONEY IN NEXT YEAR'S BUDGET FOR THREE THOUSAND CARTS PLUS 500 LIDS. THE COST... ABOUT 155 THOUSAND DOLLARS.
Shawn Fritz: "We go through about 100 month as far as new request going through the customer service line. We will always need carts. They're just a turn over so quick."
KEEPING UP WITH DEMAND... PROBLEM THAT'S BEEN PLAGUING THE CITY.
Joseph Strong: "I understand that everything is kind of tight now. I mean everybody's feeling that, but trash is going to be here forever. You know we're always going to need a trash can."
BRITTINY BARBER 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>>
JUST OVER AN HOUR AGO....THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE APPROVED THE RESOLUTION... BUT CHANGED IT FROM THREE THOUSAND TO TWO THOUSAND CARTS....
THE TOTAL COST NOW WOULD BE ABOUT 100-THOUSAND DOLLARS.

SOME OF YOU ARE ALSO WEIGHING IN ON THE GARBAGE CARTS ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE.
ONE PERSON WROTE... "OH LOOK, THEY FOUND A NEW WAY TO THROW MONEY AWAY."
SOMEONE ELSE COMMENTED... "I'VE NEEDED ONE FOR ALMOST A YEAR AND HAVE REQUESTED ONE. GLAD TO KNOW THEY'RE FINALLY GETTING SOME IN.
IT'S NOT A WASTE OF MONEY... IT'S A NECESSITY."
AND A THIRD PERSON SAID... "DO AWAY WITH TRASH CANS AND FORCE RECYCLING... IT WOULD SAVE MONEY AND BE BETTER FOR THE EARTH."
JOIN THE CONVERSATION.
VISIT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ AND CLICK THE "LIKE BUTTON" TO BECOME A FAN.
AND DON'T FORGET TO USE THE SUGGEST TO FRIENDS FEATURE... SO YOUR FACEBOOK FRIENDS CAN GET IN ON THE DISCUSSIONS AS WELL.

IF YOU LIVE IN ONE MACON NEIGHBORHOOD... THE WAIT IS ALMOST OVER FOR A NEW BRIDGE.
CREWS STARTED WORKING ON THE RIVERVIEW OVERPASS IN NOVEMBER.
THE BRIDGE WAS DEMOLISHED AND REPLACED... IT IS ALL PART OF THE I 75 WIDENING PROJECT.
TRAFFIC IS STILL BEING DETOURED TO RED OAK DRIVE.
GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SAYS THE BRIDGE IS SHOULD BE FINISHED BY DECEMBER.

YOU GOT A LITTLE EXTRA TIME TO FILE YOUR TAXES THIS YEAR... BUT THAT TIME IS COMING TO AN END.
THE DEADLINE WAS PUSHED TO APRIL 18TH... BECAUSE OF A DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HOLIDAY ON FRIDAY.
BY LAW.... D-C HOLIDAYS IMPACT TAX DEADLINES IN THE SAME WAY THAT FEDERAL HOLIDAYS DO... SO EVERYONE RECEIVED THREE EXTRA DAYS TO FILE.
TAXPAYERS REQUESTING AN EXTENSION WILL HAVE UNTIL OCTOBER 17TH BUT STILL MUST PAY WHAT THEY OWE OR FACE LATE FEES AND PELANTIES...
YOUR RETURN MUST BE POSTMARKED BY MIDNIGHT TONIGHT OR ELSE IT'S CONSIDERED LATE BY THE IRS..

WE HAVE SOME BREAKING NEWS.... A MACON CITY COUNCIL COMMITTEE TONIGHT SAID NOT SO FAST.... TO A CITYWIDE ANTI SMOKING ORDINANCE.
THE COMMITTEE ON ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS JUST DECIDED NOT TO PUT THAT PROPOSED LAW ON TOMORROW'S COUNCIL AGENDA.
SOME MEMBERS SAID BACKERS OF THE LAW... DIDN'T MEET WITH RESTAURANT AND BAR OWNERS... ON HOW THE RULE WOULD AFFECT THEM.
THE ORDINANCE WOULD BAN SMOKING IN MOST PUBLIC BUILDINGS IN THE CITY.
ELEANOR LISSITZYN WILL HAVE MORE ON THIS STORY... ON EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.

DESPITE SEVENTY YEARS OF DOING MANUAL LABOR... A BALDWIN COUNTY MAN STILL FINDS NEW WAYS TO GET HIS HANDS DIRTY.
HE TOOK UP CARPENTRY AS A HOBBY... BUT NOW HE SAYS IT'S TURNED INTO A NEW CAREER.
TONIGHT ON EYEWITNESS NEWS AT ELEVEN... AMY AUBERT WILL TALK WITH HIM TO FIND OUT WHY HE DOESN'T PLAN TO QUIT ANYTIME SOON.

ONE HAWKINSVILLE AIRMAN IS BACK HOME FROM SOUTHWEST ASIA... AFTER HIS SON DEPLOYED THERE AND REPLACED HIM.
AIRCRAFT TECHNICIAN ALVIN BECK SAYS HIS TWENTY-YEAR-OLD SON KYLE DEPLOYED FOR THE FIRST TIME A FEW WEEKS AGO WITH THE AIR NATIONAL GUARD...
HE SAYS IT'S COINCIDENTAL KYLE ENDED UP AT THE SAME BASE AS HIM... AND RELIEVED HIM OF HIS JOB.
KYLE BECK SAYS HE ENJOYED SEEING HIS DAD... AND DAD SAID HE HAD FUN SHOWING HIS SON THE ROPES.
1-4 Alvin Beck "Kinda cool to introduce -- you know, this is my son coming over to relieve me."
4- (AF Video) Kyle Beck "I was looking forward to it for about 3 months prior to coming just because of the fact that I'd be able to see him and hang out with him."
BECK SAYS HE EXPECTS HIS SON TO COME HOME IN JUNE.
HE ALSO EXPECTS TO DEPLOY AGAIN... BUT DOESN'T KNOW WHEN.
FOR SECURITY REASONS...THE BECKS CAN NOT SAY WHERE THEY'VE BEEN DEPLOYED...ONLY THAT IT'S IN SOUTHWEST ASIA.

IT'S PROM SEASON IN CENTRAL GEORGIA... AND SOME OF YOU ARE ALREADY SHARING PHOTOS FROM THE BIG NIGHT.
HERE'S A PHOTO OF JOSH AND KARLY TAKING A PHOTO BEFORE PROM.
AND THIS PAIR IS READY FOR THE CENTAL HIGH SCHOOL PROM.
WE WANT TO MORE OF THOSE DRESSES AND TUXEDOES.
LOOK FOR THE LINK IN THE DON'T MISS BOX AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
FROM THERE... YOU CAN UPLOAD AND SHARE YOUR PROM PHOTOS AND VIDEOS.
AND DON'T FORGET TO LET US KNOW WHO'S IN THE PHOTO... AND WHAT SCHOOL YOU'RE REPRESENTING.

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