Saturday, April 30, Eyewitness News at 6

5:49 PM, Apr 30, 2011   |    comments
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GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.
I'M BOFTA YIMAM.
THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.
THIS WEEK'S OUTBREAK OF VIOLENT STORMS IS NOW THE DEADLIEST IN NEARLY 80 YEARS.

THE MOST RECENT COUNT SHOWS AT LEAST 341 PEOPLE DIED.
THAT INCLUDES 249 IN ALABAMA... 35 IN MISSISSIPPI... 34 TENNESSEE ...

15 IN GEORGIA... FIVE IN VIRGINIA... TWO IN LOUISIANA AND ONE IN KENTUCKY.
THAT'S THE HIGHEST DEATH TOLL SINCE 1932 WHEN 332 PEOPLE WERE KILLED... ALL IN ALABAMA.

SUZANNE LAWLER AND VIDEO JOURNALIST KIMBERLY BURDEN ARE IN TUSCALOOSA TONIGHT.
THEY SPOKE WITH A MACON VOLUNTEER... WHO'S ONE OF MANY TODAY... HELPING RELIEF EFFORTS.

SUZANNE LAWLER, EYEWITNESS NEWS THIS WEEKEND WE'RE SEEING A LOT OF FOLKS OUT IN THESE TRUCKS. THEY'RE ARMED WITH GAS CANS, WATER BOTTLES AND ROPE TO CLEAR OUT DEBRIS. WE MET ONE MACON MAN WORKING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
NAT SOUND -- IS HE TALKING TO SOMEONE.
ICE
NAT SOUND -- GODS GOT US HERE FOR A REASON ABSOLUTELY.
BO HARMON IS ORIGINALLY FROM MACON BUT HE TEAMED UP WITH THEPEOPLE FROM PRATTVILLE UNITED METHODIST TO HELP IN TUSCALOOSA.
BO HARMON, VOLUNTEER YOU CAN'T DO ANYTHING WITH THAT FAMILY'S HOUSE ITS GONE.
IN A PLACE WHERE THE INSIDE AND THE OUTSIDE OF HOMES BECAME ONE TANGLED MESS AFTER THE TORNADO BO HAD A HARD TIME TAKING IT ALL IN.
BO HARMON, VOLUNTEER YOU SEE IT ON THE NEWS IS ONE THING BUT ACTUALLY GETTING HERE AND SEEING EVERYTHING TIS HARD TO COMPREHEND HOW WIDE IT WENT AND HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE AFFECTED BY THIS.
NAT SOUND - YOU ALL KNOW THE BASIC SAFETY STUFF STAY BACK IF ITS BIG IF IT LOOKS LIKE ITS GOING TO FALL STAY OUT OF THE WAY. WE HAD A BUDDY OF MINE GET HURT YESTERDAY.
BO HARMON DO WE NEED TO MOVE THIS STUFF OUT OF THE DRIVEWAY?
ITS DANGEROUS AND STRENUOUS WORK AND ONLY A FEW FEET FROM ALL THE CRACKED CONCRETE SITS THINGS THAT REMIND THE VOLUNTEERS WHY THEY'RE HERE.
BO HARMON WE FOUND A CUSHBALL AND WHAT LOOKS LIKE A KID'S BACKPACK.
NEWT HIGMAN - YOU THINK ABOUT THE FAMILY AND THE KIDS AND WONDER IF THEY'RE OKAY.
THE FOLKS FROM PRATTVILLE WILL PROBABLY NEVER MEET THE FOLKS THAT THEY WORKED FOR THIS WEEKEND AND THATS OKAY.
BO HARMON I'M HERE TO HELP THEM OUT JUST LIKE THEY WOULD DO IF GOD FORBID SOMETHING LIKE THIS WERE TO HAPPEN IN MACON.
SUZANNE LAWLER, EYEWITNESS NEWS THE PRATTVILLE GROUP IS AN EXAMPLE OF THE BEST OF HUMANITY OUT HERE BUT WE'VE ALSO SEEN THE WORST. IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD OFF HARGROVE ROAD THERE IS A BIG MILITARY AND POLICE PRESENCE BECAUSE OF LOOTING. YOU MAY THINK WITH ALL THIS DESTRUCTION NOTHING IS SALVAGABLE BUT UNFORTUNATELY SOME PEOPLE ARE OUT TRYING TO SEE WHAT THEY CAN GET THEIR HANDS ON. REPORTING ALONGSIDE VIDEOJOURNALIST KIMBERLY BURDEN, SUZANNE LAWLER 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.

BO WOUND UP WITH THE PRATTVILLE CONGREGATION BECAUSE HIS WIFE IS FROM THAT CITY.
THEY ORIGINALLY HAD PLANS TO VISIT HER FAMILY IN ALABAMA THIS WEEKEND.


SOME FOLKS SAY THEY HOPE AN ANNUAL FAIR THAT'S SUFFERED FROM DECLINING ATTENDENCE CAN ATTRACT MORE VISITORS THIS YEAR.
THE MACON EXCHANGE CLUB... OPENED THE GATES TO THE ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY-SIXTH ANNUAL GEORGIA STATE TODAY.
LAUREN DISPIRITO SHOWS YOU HOW ONE FAMILY IS CONTINUING THE STATE FAIR TRADITION.




NATS YOU GONNA WAVE

GWENDOLYNE SMITH ENJOYS EVERY MINUTE SPENT MAKING MEMORIES WITH HER FAMILY.

NATS SMILE

SHE CAPTURES NEW MOMENTS SATURDAY... ONES THAT REMIND HER AND DAUGHTER JASMINE BAILEY... OF FUN TIMES AT PAST FAIRS.

JASMINE BAILEY, MACON: "I JUST REMEMBER COMING TO THE FAIR WHEN I WAS YOUNGER AND I ALWAYS HAD A GOOD TIME SO I'M GLAD I GET A CHANCE TO EXPERIENCE IT WITH MY NEICE

TOGETHER... THEY CHECKED OUT THE ANNUAL GEORGIA STATE FAIR AT MACON'S CENTRAL CITY PARK.

NATS MERRY GO ROUND

HE SAYS BECAUSE OF YEARS OF DECLINING ATTENDENCE... THE EVENT HAS LOST MONEY.

DON JOHSTONO, PRESIDENT OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS, GEORGIA STATE FAIR: "THIS IS A PIVITOL YEAR FOR US"

DIRECTOR DON JOHSTONO SAYS HE'S COUNTING ON BIGGER CROWDS.. TO KEEP IT GOING.

DON JOHSTONO, PRESIDENT OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS, GEORGIA STATE FAIR: "WE REALLY HAVE TO MAKE A GO OF IT THIS YEAR OR I THINK MAYBE THE GEORGIA STATE FAIR LIKE SO MANY OTHER THINGS IN MACON MAY BECOME A THING OF THE PAST AND THAT'S REALLY SAD."

SO THIS TIME... HE BEEFED UP ADVERTISING... ADDED ENTERTAINMENT.. AND CHANGED THE LAYOUT... TO INCREASE SAFETY AND MAKE THE FAIR MORE LIKE AN AMUSEMENT PARK.

NATS APPLE
NATS THERE YOU GO

BAILEY SAYS SHE'D BE DISAPPOINTED TO SEE SUCH A LONG-RUNNING EVENT END
.
JASMINE BAILEY, MACON: "I WANT HER TO HAVE SOMETHING SHE CAN LOOK FORWARD TO YEAR AFTER YEAR"

SHE PICTURES HER NEICE MAKING MORE GEORGIA STATE FAIR MEMORIES IN THE FUTURE.

NATS HAT THANK YOU

LAUREN DISPIRITO
13 WMAZ
EYEWITNESS NEWS


TICKETS ARE FIVE DOLLARS AT THE GATE.
THE FAIR IS OPEN DAILY UNTIL SUNDAY... MAY EIGHTH.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS YEAR'S STATE FAIR EVENTS... VISIT OUR WEBSITE... 13 WMAZ DOT COM.


BOMB EXPLOSIONS AND GUNSHOTS CAUGHT THE ATTENTION OF SPECTATORS... AT A RE-ENACTMENT OF THE CIVIL WAR IN JONES COUNTY.

MORE THAN ONE-THOUSAND PEOPLE CAME OUT TO WITNESS A PART OF GEORGIA HISTORY TODAY.
THEY WITNESSED THE HISTORIC EVENT KNOWN AS THE "BATTLE OF SUNSHINE CHURCH."
AS PART OF THE ROLE-PLAYING... SOME EVEN DRESSED UP TO BRING IT HOME.
SUSAN WEEST SAYS THIS EVENT NOT ONLY ENTERTAINS... BUT EDUCATES.
WEST SAYS SHE HOPES RE-ENACTMENTS.... CAN TEACH PEOPLE VALUABLE LESSONS.


SUSAN WEEST: "I THINK WE HAVE TO PRESERVES THIS PART OF OUR HISTORY, ALTHOUGH I HATE IT, BUT I THINK WE NEED TO KNOW OUR COUNTRY SHOULD NEVER EVER HAVE TO DO THIS AGAIN." IF YOU'D LIKE TO GET IN ON THE BATTLE ACTIONS...THE GROUP PLANS TO HAVE THE RE-ENACTMENT OF THE BATTLE OF GRISWOLD TOMMORROW.
FOR MORE INFORMATION YOU CAN VISIT OUT WEBSITE AT 13 WMAZ DOT COM.

ABOUT ONE-THOUSAND PEOPLE PITCHED IN TO SPRUCE UP SOME MACON NEIGHBORHOODS TODAY.

VOLUNTEERS GOT AN EARLY START... THEY PAINTED WALLS ... AND HAMMERED PARTS TOGETHER FOR SOME MACON HOMEOWNERS.
THEY HELPED OUT WITH 20 PROJECTS ACROSS THE CITY.
IT'S ALL PART OF THE ANNUAL REBUILDING MACON DAY.
90-YEAR-OLD CORA BIVENS SAYS THE GROUP STOPPED BY TO WORK ON HER HOME OF 40-YEARS.
BIVENS SAYS SHE'S GRATEFUL FOR ALL THE IMPROVEMENTS... INCLUDING HER RE-BUILT SIDEWALK.



CORA BIVENS: "I HAVENT BEEN BACK DOWN THESE BACK STEPS IN I DONT KNOW WHEN, SO AS YALL(THEY) LEAVE, IM GOING TO GO AND TRY THEM OUT."

THE PROJECTS ARE FUNDED THROGUHT THE KNIGHT FOUNDATION.


WHILE SOME TOOK PART IN THE STATE FAIR...OTHERS REVVED UP THEIR ENGINES AND HEADED TO FORT VALLEY FOR A CAR SHOW TODAY.

FOLKS CAME OUT TO FORT VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY 'S "WHEELS IN THE VALLEY" CAR SHOW.
PEOPLE CHECKED OUT EVERYTHING FROM CLASSIC HOT RODS.... TO SUPED-UP TRUCKS.
OTHERS AT THE SHOW... SHOWED OFF THEIR OWN HOT WHEELS FOR PLAUQUES AND TROPHIES.
CONTESTANTS WERE JUDGED ON ORIGINALITY... CREATIVENESS AND STYLE.
SOME FOLKS AT THE EVENT SAY THEY CAN APPRECIATE ALL THE LONG HOURS... PUT INTO MAKING THE CAR.




DANIELL DRUNMMOND, WARNER ROBINS:"I MEAN THE CARS ARE JUST BEAUTIFUL, ANYTHING FROM CHEVY, FORD, MOPAR, EVERTYTHING IS JSUT AWESOME, I CAN SEE THAT ALOT OF PEOPLE AROUND HERE PUT ALOT OF WORK INTO THE CARS."

MONEY RAISED AT THE EVENT WILL GO TOWARDS THE BOYS AND GIRL'S CLUB OF GEORGIA HEARTLANDS.
MORE THAN 100-HUNDRED RUNNERS AND WALKERS LACED UP EARLY THIS MORNING... TO KICK-OFF THE GEORGIA STATE FAIR.

THEY DASHED FOR THE FINISH LINE... AND ENJOYED THE FIRST GLIMPSE OF THE FAIR.
DANNY THOMPSON WITH THE MACON EXCHANGE CLUB SAYS PROCEEDS FROM THE RACE WIL GO TOWARDS CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION.
WINNERS WON TROPHIES IN DIFFERENT CATEGORIES... ACCORDING TO AGE AND GENDER.
SOME COMPETITORS SAY THE EARLY RACE... IS WORTH HELPING THE CAUSE.
JACQUELINE HUNSICKER WARNER ROBINS"JUST BEING ABLE TO HELP PEOPLE IS FANTASTIC AND EVEN IF I AM NOT DOING IT DIRECTLY AND IF I CAN HELP OUT PEOPLE THAT ARE HELPING PEOPLE THAT IS GREAT TO."

THIS IS THE SECOND ANNUAL ROAD RACE.

WE'RE SHARING YOUR PICTURES FROM THE 13-W-M-A-Z DOT COM GALLERIES.

THESE ARE FROM THE NATURE'S BOUNTY GALLERY.

HERE'S A PHOTO OF A CLOSE UP OF A DANDELION.

AND HERE'S A PHOTO OF A SQUIRREL TAKING A SNACK BREAK.

SEND US YOUR PHOTOS...LOOK FOR *PHOTO GALLERIES* IN THE MENU BAR ACROSS THE TOP OF OUR HOMEPAGE...


THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.
WE'LL SEE YOU BACK HERE FOR EYEWITNESS NEWS AT ELEVEN.

FOR ALL YOUR NEWS... WEATHER... AND SPORTS 24-7... VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM.

WE'LL SEE YOU LATER.



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