Monday, April 18, Eyewitness News at 11

10:57 PM, Apr 18, 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 PROPOSED SMOKING BAN WON'T GO BEFORE MACON'S FULL CITY COUNCIL TOMORROW NIGHT.
"This is so ludricis to try to drive people out of business."
TEMPERS LIT UP AS THE ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE DISCUSSED THE LAW... WHICH WOULD BAN SMOKING IN MOST PUBLIC PLACES.
FIVE OF THE COMMITTEE'S MEMBERS VOTED NOT TO PUT THE LAW ON THE AGENDA FOR TOMORROW'S MEETING.
THE LAW PASSED THE PUBLIC SAFTETY COMMITTEE LAST WEEK.
SEVERAL COUNCIL MEMBERS SAY THE LAW WASN'T PROPERLY VETTED... BECAUSE BAR AND RESTAURANT OWNERS WHO COULD BE MOST AFFECTED... WEREN'T INVITED TO ATTEND THE PUBLIC MEETINGS.
COUNCILMAN MIKE CRANFORD AGREES... BUT HE SAYS HIS OPPOSITION TO THE PROPOSED LAW GOES FURTHER THAN THAT.
"What you're doing is you're taking something that is perfectly legal and you're making it illegal. You want to make criminals out of people who are smoking which is a legal substance. And I can understand some of the passion but you know the fact of the matter is we have businesses that depend on people who want to smoke a cigarette."
SUPPORTERS OF THE LAW SAY IT'S NOT DEAD YET.
ACCORDING TO THE CITY CHARTER... FULL COUNCIL COULD VOTE TOMORROW TO OVERRIDE THE DECISION OF THE ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE AND PUT THE LAW BACK ON THE AGENDA.
CRANFORD SAYS IT'S ALSO POSSIBILE THAT FULL COUNCIL WILL VOTE TO SEND THE PROPOSAL BACK TO THE PUBLIC SAFTEY COMMITTEE FOR MORE EXAMINATION.

U-S REPRESENTATIVE AUSTIN SCOTT IS GETTING AN EARFUL OF COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE SAGGING ECONOMY AND BALANCING THE FEDERAL BUDGET..
SCOTT'S ON A TWO-DAY.. SIX-STOP TOUR TO HEAR YOUR CONCERNS ABOUT ISSUES FACING CONGRESS.
RANDALL SAVAGE CAUGHT UP WITH SCOTT AT HIS TOWN HALL MEETING IN FORSYTH.
NATS "look at us we're tired of this nonsense"

ABOUT SIXTY PEOPLE ATTENDED REPRESENTATIVE AUSTIN SCOTT'S TOWN HALL MEETING.
SOME ASKED ABOUT ECONOMIC ISSUES...LIKE FIRST TIME HOME OWNER LOANS AND EDUCATIONAL FUNDING.
OTHERS ASKED FOR CHANGES TO THE FEDERAL TAX CODE AND WANTED MORE ACTION FROM CONGRESS ON THE ECONOMY.

NATS "I do not see a sense of urgency"

SOME PREFERRED THE SO CALLED FAIR TAX... TO ELIMINATE INCOME TAX AND PUT A SALES TAX ON ALL PURCHASES.
JOHN CANNON OF FORSYTH SAID HE'S HAD ENOUGH OF THE TAX SYSTEM..

John Cannon, Forsyth resident "It's riculous just go to something simple everybody wants something simple. People are tired of it"

BUT SCOTT PREFERS A FLAT TAX THAT WOULD TAX EVERYONE AT THE SAME RATE...REGARDLESS OF INCOME.

U.S. Rep. Austin Scott "I prefer a simpler tax code with lower rates. Our current tax code allows those who have the best accountants and attorneys to get out of paying taxes. I just truly believe a simpler tax code with lower marginal rates would be better for the economy."

SCOTT SPOKE ABOUT ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS LIKE SOCIAL SECURITY... MEDICAID... AND MEDICARE....THAT TAKE HUGE CHUNKS OUT OF THE BUDGET.
HE SAYS CONGRESS SHOULD LOOK AT THEM...BUT PEOPLE ALREADY IN THE PROGRAMS SHOULDN'T LOSE BENEFITS.
TODD TOLBERT SAYS SOMETHING'S GOT TO GIVE.

Todd Tolbert, Scott Supporter "What we're faced with is about seventy million people retiring and our entitlement program which funds social security, medicaid and medicare they are absolutely go through the roof. "

SCOTT SAYS EVERYONE NEEDS TO TAKE RESPONSIBLITY TO CUT SPENDING...AND STOP TRYING TO PROTECT THEIR TURF.

NATS "a bureaucrat is a bureaucrat whether they are democrat or republican. they all think that their agency should pass more rules and their agency should grow."

RANDALL SAVAGE 13 WMAZ... EYEWITNESS NEWS.
SCOTT CONTINUES THE TOUR AT TEN A-M TOMORROW WITH A TOWN HALL MEETING AT THE GEORGIA FARM BUREAU IN MACON.... AND THEN AT A NOON LUNCHEON AT THE TRI-COUNTY EMC IN GRAY.
HE WRAPS UP THE TOUR WITH A TWO P-M TOWN HALL MEETING AT THE HOUSTON COUNTY COMMISSION CONFERENCE ROOM IN WARNER ROBINS.

WARNER ROBINS CITY LEADERS DON'T WANT YOU BLINDED BY THE LIGHTS.
THEY'RE REWIRITING CITY CODE TO MAKE SURE SIGNS WITH L-E-D TECHNOLOGY... FIT NEW STANDARDS.
MAYOR CHUCK SHAHEEN SAYS THEY'RE CONCERNED THE LIGHTS ON SOME L-E-D SIGNS COULD BE TOO BRIGHT AND DISTRACT DRIVERS.
IF PASSED... THE AMENDED CITY CODE WOULD ONLY ALLOW BUSINESSES TO USE L-E-D TECHNOLOGY ON A PORTION OF THEIR SIGNS.
COUNCIL EXTENDED A MORATORIUM ON L-E-D SIGN PERMITS UNTIL THE MIDDLE OF MAY... WHILE THEY CONSIDER THE CHANGES TO CITY CODE.
Chuck Shaheen: "We want to make sure they aesthetics are nice in the city, and that people don't start having such big signs. It overwhelms passengers and drivers as they go down the street."
ALSO TONIGHT... THE CITY AGREED TO HIRE AN INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING FIRM TO HELP THEM RESOLVE PROBLEMS SURROUNDING THE BAY GALL.
AS WE REPORTED IN MARCH... THE STATE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION DIVISION IS INVESTIGATING THE CITY'S EFFORTS TO DREDGE THE WATERWAY... AFTER SEVERAL PEOPLE FILED COMPLAINTS.
COUNCIL MEMBER MIKE DALEY SAID THE CITY WILL PAY THE FAYETTEVILLE ENGINEERING FIRM 15-THOUSAND DOLLARS... TO HELP RESOLVE ISSUES WITH THE E-P-D AND THE CORP OF ENGINEERS.
THE PROBLEMS SURROUND THE BAY GALL'S CLASSIFICATION AS A DITCH... OR A WATER WAY... AND WHETHER THE CITY HAD THE PROPER PERMITS TO DREDGE.

SUNDOWN TONIGHT MARKED THE BEGINING OF THE JEWISH HOLIDAY.... PASSOVER.
EYEWITNESS NEWS SPENT TIME AT ONE FAMILY'S HOME IN MACON TO HONOR THE SACRED HOLIDAY.
MEMBERS OF THE BASHUK FAMILY WHO ARE ALSO MEMBERS OF TEMPLE BETH ISRAEL HOSTED A SADER FOR THE OCCASSION LIKE THEY DO EVERY YEAR.
THEY PARTICIPATED WITH SONGS WHILE SURROUNDED WITH SYMBOLS OF THE HOLIDAY.
RABBI LARRY SCHLESINGER SAYS PASSOVER IS THE OLDEST HOLIDAY OF THE JEWISH FAITH...WHICH IS WELL OVER THREE THOUSAND YEARS OLD.
"It's really families getting together and being together, eating together. This is very much like Thanksgiving or an Easter Sunday dinner but with a ritual before the eating of the meal and then a ritual after."
PASSOVER COMMEMORATES THE STORY OF THE EXODUS, IN WHICH THE ANCIENT ISRAELITES WERE FREED FROM SLAVERY IN EGYPT .

CLEAN UP CONTINUED IN PARTS OF MACON AND BIBB COUNTY TODAY.. AS PEOPLE WORKED TO CLEAR OUT FALLEN TREES LEFT BEHIND FROM SATURDAY'S EF-ONE TORNADO.
CHAINSAW
ON OUSLEY PLACE IN MACON... PEOPLE USED A CHAINSAW TO TAKE DOWN WHAT'S LEFT OF DAMAGED TREES.
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAYS WINDS DURING SATURDAY'S STORM REACHED 110 MILES PER HOUR.
THEY SAY IT TOOK DOWN TWO HUNDRED TREES... AND DAMAGED UP TO 25 HOMES.
MACON PUBLIC WORKS CREWS USED DUMP TRUCKS TO CLEAR TREE LIMBS... LEAVES.. AND OTHER DEBRIS.

SOME BUSINESSES IN NORTH MACON ALSO FELT THE WRATH OF THE STORM..
THE WINDOWS AT THE DOLLAR TREE ON TOM HILL SENIOR BOULEVARD REMAIN BOARDED UP AFTER STRONG WINDS BLEW THEM IN.
COLUMNS AT THE DAYS INN HOTEL ON RIVERSIDE WERE BLOWN TO THE GROUND ALONG WITH PART OF THE ROOF.
SOME OF THAT DEBRIS ENDED UP IN THE GARDEN CENTER AT THE NEARBY ACE HARDWARE.
THE GARDEN CENTER'S MANAGER... PATTY INGLETT SAYS SHE'LL TRY TO MAKE A SILVER LINING OUT OF THE STORM DAMAGE.
SHE'S DONATING THE PLANTS THAT CAN'T BE SOLD 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.

SOME WARNER ROBINS CHILDREN GAVE NEW MEANING TO THE PHRASE.. IF LIFE GIVE THE GIRLS... WHO WERE ROBBED AT THEIR LEMONADE STAND LAST WEEK... SET-UP A NEW ONE TONIGHT... AT WARNER ROBINS CITY HALL.
MAYOR CHUCK SHAHEEN INVITED THEM... AND A FEW FRIENDS... TO SELL LEMONADE BEFORE THE COUNCIL MEETING.
THERE WASN'T A SET PRICE.
THEY JUST ASKED FOR DONATIONS... WITH AT LEAST ONE PERSON PAYING 20-BUCKS.
THE MONEY WILL HELP PAY FOR THEIR TWO-YEAR-OLD COUSIN'S... LOGAN VARNADOE'S... MEDICAL BILLS.S YOU LEMONS MAKE LEMONADE.
Harley Powers: "They're saying we did a good deed, helping a little boy get better."
Jennifer Reese: "It just means a lot to us because we want to help Logan and raise money for him and his family."
THE GIRLS DIDN'T KNOW EXACLTY HOW MUCH MONEY THEY RAISED TONIGHT... BUT SAID IT WAS MORE THAN WHAT WAS STOLEN IN THE ROBBERY.
THAT WAS 130 DOLLARS.

SEVENTEEN EXHANGE STUDENTS FROM MA-CON FRANCE ARRIVED IN MACON THIS EVENING...
THEY'LL SPEND TWO WEEKS AS THE GUESTS OF RUTLAND STUDENTS AND THER FAMILIES.
THE ANXIOUS STUDENTS GOT TO MEET THEIR NEW FRENCH FRIENDS THIS EVENING OUTSIDE CITY HALL.
THE STUDENTS WILL SPEND THE FIRST WEEK ON SPRING BREAK WITH THEIR HOST FAMILIES...
ORGANIZERS HAVE PLANNED A BEACH PARTY AT LAKE TOBOSOFKEE AND A TOUR OF DOWNTOWN MACON.
NEXT WEEK THE STUDENTS WILL GO TO RUTLAND AND ATTEND CLASSES WIITH THEIR HOST STUDENTS...
ERIKA COONS IS A JUNIOR AT RUTLAND.
SHE SAYS SHE'S EXCITED ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE... AND A LITTLE BIT NERVOUS TOO.
"I was like oh my gosh I get to have this other student that I don't know anything about I get to teach them how America is and I'll get to learn a little bit about what they do that way maybe I could visit them."
THE STUDENTS WILL BE IN MACON UNTIL APRIL TWENTY NINTH...

AFTER NEARLY SEVENTY YEARS OF MANUAL LABOR... ONE BALDWIN COUNTY MAN STILL REINVENTS WAYS TO GET HIS HANDS DIRTY.
AS AMY AUBERT SHOWS YOU... AFTER SIX SURGERIES... HE PICKED UP A NEW CAREER... AND DOESN'T PLAN ON QUITTING... ANYTIME SOON.
<<
Nats, drilling

IF YOU ASK GERALD HARRIS... HE'D SAY HE'S NO CARPENTER.

Nats, drill

Gerald Harris, Baldwin Co.: "It's just somethin', somethin' I took up."

IT'S A HOBBY HE TOOK UP TWENTY YEARS AGO... AFTER DOCTORS TOLD HIM SIX SURGERIES... INCLUDING ONE FOR COLON CANCER AND OPEN HEART SURGERY... WOULD KEEP HIM FROM HIS FIRST LOVE.

Gerald Harris: "I just love to ride them tractors."

Nats

Gerald: "I was one of the first ones they hired."

SO NOW A TRACTOR WORKSHOP IS FILLED WITH THE TOOLS... OF ANOTHER TRADE.

Nats: "Alright, we got them, now we got to do it on the other side, too."

BUT THE ONLY BLUEPRINT HE'S GOT... IS IN HERE.

Gerald Harris: "I'm not a highly educated man, but I do have some common sense, and that's the way I've learned."

A BETTER TOOL... HE SAYS... THAN HIS EIGHTH GRADE EDUCATION.

Nats

AND WHEN YOU SEE THE FINISHED PRODUCT... YOU MIGHT SAY THE SAME THING.

Gerald Harris: "You can accomplish anything you put your heart to it. You gotta put all your heart in it."

HEART... AND HARD WORK... HE SAYS.

Gerald Harris: "When you get to be 82 years old, everything gets heavier and heavier."

BUT THE HEAVIEST LOAD... HE SAYS... CAME YEARS AGO.

Gerald: "She was my heart."

AN ADOPTED DAUGHTER AND SON... BOTH GONE FOREVER.

Gerald: "Figured they would outlive us, we outlived them."

SO HE SAYS GETTING BEHIND THE WOODWORK... KEEPS HIM GOING.

Nats, laughing

WITH A YARD FULL OF HANDMADE LAWN FURNITURE... IT'S A LOVE HE SAYS HE WON'T OUTGROW.

Nats

Talking to himself as he walks away...

AMY AUBERT... 13 WMAZ... EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> HARRIS MOVED TO BALDWIN COUNTY IN THE '40s... AND INSTEAD OF PROCEEDING TO NINTH GRADE... HE USED THE FAMILYS' MULE TO PLOW THE NEIGHBORS' LAWNS FOR MONEY.
NOW HIS YARD IS FILLED WITH HANDMADE LAWN FURNITURE AND DECORATIONS FOR SALE.

ITS AN ANNUAL WEEKEND IN MACON TO BENEFIT THE CHILDRENS HOSPITAL AT THE MEDICAL CENTER OF CENTRAL GEORGIAL..
AND ITS A STORY THAT COMES STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART
MORE THAN 240 GOLFERS TOOK TO THE LINX TODAY FOR A CAUSE TO HELP CHILDREN IN NEED...
THE IDLE HOUR COUNTRY CLUB HOSTED THE 19TH ANNUAL EVENT WITH CELEBRITY GUESTS FROM THE ATLANTA FALCONS AND ALSO FORMER BULLDOG RAY GOFF JUST TO NAME A FEW.
MISSI UPSHAW WITH THE CHILDRENS HOSPITAL SAYS THIS TOURNAMENT IS MUCH MORE THAN FUN AND GAMES.
Missi Upshaw; the reason why we have tournaments and other events like this is to raise money and awareness for Children's Hospital and it buys things such as child friendly equipment also life saving equipment that a hospital needs to serve the 45,000 kids in our central georgia area.
LAST YEAR UPSHAW SAYS THE CEELBRITY WEEKEND RAISED 220 THOUSAND DOLLARS, SHE SAYS SHE HOPES TO SURPASS THAT TOTAL THIS YEAR.

IT'S PROM SEASON IN CENTRAL GEORGIA... AND YOU CAN SHARE YOUR VIDEOS AND PHOTOS FROM THE BIG NIGHT.
SHOW OFF YOUR TEENS IN THEIR 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.
NOW... EVEN IF YOUR SCHOOL HASN'T HAD ITS PROM YET... YOU CAN STILL SHARE A SNEAK PEEK OF YOUR OUTFIT.
AND DON'T FORGET TO LET US KNOW WHO'S IN THE PHOTO... AND WHAT SCHOOL YOU'RE REPRESENTING.

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