Saturday, April 30, Eyewitness News at 11

10:43 PM, Apr 30, 2011   |    comments
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TONIGHT AT 11..

OUR COVERAGE IN TUSCALOOSA CONTINUES TONIGHT.
SUZANNE LAWLER BRINGS YOU THE STORY OF A COUPLE'S SURVIVAL.... AFTER THEY LOST NEARLY EVERYTHING IN THE TWISTER.
EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11 IS NEXT.
TONIGHT AT 11..

FIND OUT WHAT CHANGES YOU COULD SEE AT THE GEORGIA STATE FAIR--- AND WHAT ORGANIZERS HOPE IT BRINGS.
EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11 IS NEXT.
GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US... I'M BOFTA YIMAM.
THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.
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 KIMBERLY BURDEN ARE CONTINUING THEIR TEAM COVERAGE.
TONIGHT THEY INTRODUCE YOU TO A COUPLE WHO VIRTUALLY HAVE NOTHING LEFT... BUT SAY A FIGHTING SPIRIT WILL CARRY THEM.

SUZANNE LAWLER, EYEWITNESS NEWS THIS IS THE MANOR WOOD SUBDIVISION AND AS YOU CAN SEE IT HAD SOME STATELY HOUSES IN IT. NEIGHBORS TOLD US THEY WERE EVEN WORKING TO GET A HISTORICAL STATUS ATTACHED TO THE AREA. BUT NOW THINGS LOOK MORE LIKE THIS.
NAT SOUND -- PHONE RINGING... HEY BOB.
SAM AND JUDY ROMBOKUS LOST JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING IN THE TUSCALOOSA TORNADO.
NAT SOUND -- WELL THANKS FOR CALLING WE'RE GOOD A LITTLE HOT AND HUNGRY BUT EVERYTHINGS GOOD WE HAVE SUPPLIES.
JUDY ROMBOKUS, TUSCALOOSA TODAY WE ARE TRYING TO FIND THE SMALL THINGS THAT ARE LEFT.
AND THE SMALL THINGS....
NAT SOUND -- JUST A LITTLE THING OF MONEY IT FELT FUNNY DIGGING FOR PENNIES IN THE RUBBLE.
CAN HAVE A BIG IMPACT.
JUDY ROMBOKUS, I WALKED THROUGH THE FRONT DOOR AND THE ONE CLOSET THAT WAS IN TACT WAS MY PICTURE CLOSET SO THAT REALLY BROUGHT TEARS TO MY EYES BECAUSE THAT IS ONE THING IN THE HOUSE I COULDN'T REPLACE. THIS IS A PICTURE OF OUR FAMILY IN ST. THOMAS OUR DAUGHTERS AT THE TIME WE'RE LIVING THERE. THIS MORNING WE ALSO FOUND A WEDDING INVITATION AND OLD YEARBOOKS. MY TUSCALOOSA BLACK BEAR DIRECTORY. I WANT TO KEEP THAT.
AND ALTHOUGH THINGS WILL NEFVER LOOK THE SAME AT 18 WOOD MANOR....
SAM ROMBUKUS, TUSCALOOSA IT WAS PRISTINE THE WATER TEMPERATURE ABSOLUTELY BLUE AND NOW ITS COLLECTED A BUNCH OF TRASH.
THIS RETIRED COUPLE WILL KEEP THIER SENSE OF HUMOR.
JUDY ROMBUKUS SO I GUESS WE HAVE A FULL TIME JOB TRYING TO PUT OUR LIFE BACK TOGETHER.
AND A BOND THAT THE WINDS COULDN'T DESTROY....
JUDY ROMBOKUS ITS BENE EMOTIONAL YOU KNOW I'VE BROKEN DOWN AND CRIED A FEW TIMES BUT YOU KNOW WE'LL BE OKAY WE HAVE EACH OTHER.
SUZANNE LAWLER JUDY AND SAM PLAN TO STAY WITH HER BROTHER FOR THE NEXT FEW MONTHS. HER 91 YEAR OLD MOTHER LIVES DOWN THE ROAD WHERE THEY DIDN'T HAVE QUITE AS MUCH DAMAGE... THEY SAY THEY WILL MOVE IN WITH HER EVENTUALLY UNTIL THEY DECIDE WHAT TO DO WITH THEIR OWN HOUSE. REPORTING ALONGSIDE VIDEOJOURNALIST KIMBERLY BURDEN, SUZANNE LAWLER 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.

SAM RETIRED AS A SCHOOL PRINCIPAL... JUDY WAS A KINDERGARTEN TEACHER.
SUZANNE AND KIM WILL CONTINUE THEIR COVERAGE TOMORROW FROM TUSCALOOSA.


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 FAIR 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.




MORE THAN 100 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.
A CENTRAL GEORGIA GROUP IS TAKING AN EXTRA STEP TO HELP ENSURE YOUR CHILD'S SAFETY WHILE IN A CAR.
THE HOUSTON COUNTY SAFE KIDS GROUP HELD A SESSION ON CHILD VEHICLE SAFETY.
THEY HELPED EDUCATE PARENTS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF SECURING CAR SEATS AND APPROPRIATE AGES FOR KIDS WHO MUST RIDE BY LAW.
TECHNICIANS DEMONSTRATED HOW TO PROPERLY INSTALL THE SEATS AND POINTED OUT SOME RECENTLY RECALLED PRODUCTS.
MELANIE ELLIOT WITH THE GROUP SAYS THESE EFFORTS--- COULD SAVE LIVES.
MELANIE ELLIOT: "YOU'LL NEVER KNOW HOW MANY LIVES YOU'VE ACTUALLY SAVED, AND UNFORTUNATELY WHEN WE HAVE AN INCIDENT WHERE A CHILD WAS KILLED, THAT'S JUST ONE MORE I WISH WE COULD HAVE GOTTEN TO."

THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS RECOMMENDS KEEPING TODDLERS IN REAR-FACING CAR SEATS... UNTIL THE AGE OF TWO.
THE GROUP SAYS THAT KIDS SHOULD REACH THE MAXIMUM HEIGHT AND WEIGHT ALLOWED FOR THEIR CAR SEAT--- BEFORE RIDING WITHOUT ONE.



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 THROUGH 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 SOUPED-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.



THANKS FOR JOINING US.
THE NEWS CONTINUES ALL DAY EVERY DAY... ON 13WMAZ DOT COM.

JOIN US AT SEVEN A-M FOR WEEKEND MORNIN



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