Thursday, May 26, Eyewitness News at 11

11:01 PM, May 27, 2011   |    comments
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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 RUMBLED THROUGH PARTS OF CENTRAL GEROGIA TONIGHT..
FOR THE LATEST ON THOSE STORMS AND YOUR OVERNIGHT FORECAST - WE JOIN CHIEF METEOROLOGIST BEN JONES IN THE WEATHER CENTER.
THANKS BEN.. WE'LL TALK WITH YOU AGAIN IN JUST A FEW MINUTES.

TWO PEOPLE WERE KILLED IN THE ATLANTA AREA TONIGHT WHEN STORMS TOPPLED A TREE ONTO THEIR TRUCK.
ANOTHER TREE FELL ON A U-P-S TRUCK CATCHING THE TRUCK ON FIRE.
JEFF WILSON WITH GEORGIA POWER SAID STATEWIDE, ABOUT 177 THOUSAND CUSTOMERS ARE WITHOUT POWER TONIGHT.
HE SAID METRO ATLANTA WAS HARDEST HIT. IN CENTRAL GEORGIA THERE ARE ABOUT 1,000 CUSTOMERS OUT.... 660 IN MILLEDGEVILLE AND 380 IN MACON.
AUTHORITIES SAY FLIGHTS LEAVING HARTSFIELD-JACKSON WERE ALSO DELAYED FOR MORE THAN TWO HOURS BECAUSE OF THE STORMS.

LACK OF FAMILY AND COMMUNITY EVENTS HURT ATTENDENCE AT THE SOON-TO-CLOSE GEORGIA MUSIC HALL OF FAME.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO A MERCER UNIVERSITY MARKETING RESEARCH CLASS.
THEY STUDIED THE HALL AND WHAT IT HAD TO OFFER FOR NINE MONTHS.
PROFESSOR TAMMY CRUTCHFIELD SAYS HER CLASS TOOK ON THE PROJECT AFTER STATE OFFICIALS STARTED LOOKING AT IF THE HALL SHOULD STAY IN MACON OR MOVE SOMEWHERE ELSE.
SHE SAYS THE STUDENTS WANTED TO STAGE SOME FAMILY-FRIENDLY SUMMER EVENTS.
Tammy Crutchfield, Mercer Marketing Professor:They wanted to do open mike night, family karaoke, teach the kids how to write music, just things that revolved around music because we found that families who had aspiring musicians in their family could buy in easily. CRUTCHFIELD SAYS HER STUDENTS SUBMITTED THEIR FINDINGS TO MUSIC HALL OF FAME DIRECTOR LISA LOVE... WHO PLANNED TO GIVE THE REPORT TO THE GEORGIA MUSIC HALL OF FAME AUTHORITY.
EARLIER THIS WEEK.. THE AUTHORITY VOTED TO CLOSE THE HALL JUNE 12TH.

MACON-BIBB COUNTY FIREFIGHTERS LAID A HERO TO REST TODAY...
FRIENDS AND FAMILY GATHERED AT THE CITY AUDITORIUM TO REMEMBER MICHAEL DEWAYNE JONES.
THE FIREFIGHTER TRAINEE DROWNED IN LAKE TOBESFKEE LAST WEEKEND WHILE SAVING THREE CHILDREN.
MORE THAN 3-HUNDRED PEOPLE ATTENDED... INCLUDING JONES' FELLOW TRAINEES FROM THE MACON-BIBB FIRE DEPARTMENT.
MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT... BIBB COUNTY COMMISSION CHARMAN SAM HART... AND OTHER CITY AND COUNTY LEADERS ALSO ATTENDED.
JONES WAS GIVEN A CEREMONIAL FIREFIGHTER'S FUNERAL.
CHIEF MARVIN RIGGINS PRESENTED THE FAMILY WITH A FIREFIGHTER'S HELMET... AND A FIRE TRUCK CARRIED THE CASKET DURING THE FUNERAL PROCESSION.
Virgil Hawkins, City Councilman: "True heroes never die. They just leave before goodbye. Michael jones we will meet again someday.... I see your face in the full moon. Sometimes your voice will fill the room. You are a true hero, your light will forever glow."
Katrinka Head, Friend of Jones' grandmother from church: "Love covered it. And you felt warmth when you came in. It was not a sad funeral, it was a celebration."
MICHAEL JONES LEAVES BEHIND A WIFE AND THREE SONS - TWO OF WHOM HE SAVED LAST WEEK BEFORE HE DROWNED..

HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE GATHERED THIS MORNING TO HONOR MILITARY AND CIVILIANS WHO SERVED AT ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE.
THE 35TH ANNUAL CAMELLIA GARDEN MEMORIAL CEREMONY WAS HELD IN HONOR OF 55 PEOPLE WHO DIED IN THE PAST YEAR.
nats full
AFTER EACH PERSON'S NAME WAS READ... A BELL RANG IN THEIR MEMORY.
THE ROBINS HONOR GUARD FIRED A 21 GUN SALUTE AND PLAYED TAPS... AS FAMILY AND FRIENDS REMEMBERED THEIR LOVED ONES.
THE CEREMONY HONORED 16 RETIRED OR ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY MEMBERS.
THE OTHERS WERE CIVILIANS WHO WORKED AT ROBINS.
Patrick Bowen, (16:10) "What a better way, what a more beautiful day than today to honor those who did lay down thier lives for us, so we can enjoy what we do."
Casey Lyle (pink shirt) "It's a real honor to be out here as a civilian on Robins Air Force Base to honor a loved one."
THE CAMELLIA GARDEN WAS DEDICATED IN 1976.
MORE THAN 17-HUNDRED PEOPLE HAVE THEIR NAMES ETCHED ON THE MEMORIAL WALL.

FOUR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS FROM HOUSTON COUNTY EARNED RECOGNITION AS THE LOCAL OFFICERS OF THE YEAR.
THE OPTIMIST CLUB OF WARNER ROBINS CHOSE THEM FOR THEIR OUTSTANDING EFFORTS.
FROM THE WARNER ROBINS POLICE DEPARTMENT... INVESTIGATOR AUNDRAY BARNES ACCEPTED THE AWARD
DEPUTY JAMES TAYLOR FROM THE HOUSTON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE RECIEVED THE HONOR
FROM CENTERVILLE... THE CLUB RECOGNIZED SERGEANT MICHAEL SMITH.
AND FROM THE PERRY POLICE DEPARTMENT... THEY HONORED OFFICER JASON HEATON.
OPTIMIST CLUB MEMBER AND STATE COURT JUDGE JASON ASHFORD SAID THE ANNUAL AWARD IS ABOUT RESPECT.
Jason Ashford, Centerville: "They do so much for us on a day to day basis and it's so rare to honor them the way they deserve to be honored. We do this every year and we are very proud to be able to do it."
THE OFFICERS EACH RECEIVED A 100 CHECK.
THE OPTIMIST CLUB SAYS ITS THE OLDEST CONTINUOUSLY OPERATED SERVICE CLUB IN WARNER ROBINS.

MORE THAN SIX DECADES AFTER SHE LEFT SCHOOL... HELEN HILL THOMAS FINALLY WALKED ACROSS THE STAGE.
SHE RECEIVED AN HONORARY G.E.D TONIGHT AS PART OF THE GRADUATING CLASS OF THE ADULT EDUCATION PROGRAM AT CENTRAL GEORGIA TECHNICAL COLLEGE.
AS ELEANOR LISSITZYN EXPLAINS... THE EIGHTY YEAR OLD SAYS SHE'S DREAMED OF THE POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE FOR YEARS.
BUT HER JOURNEY TOWARD HIGHER EDUCATION ISN'T OVER YET.
"You're never too old to go back to school."
Nats of applause
IT WAS THE CELEBRATION... OF LIFETIME.
"It's something that I always dreamed of, I want to to finish high school."
"You're never too old to learn nothing."
THURSDAY NIGHT EIGHTY YEAR OLD HELEN HILL THOMAS RECEIVED A CENTRAL GEORGIA TECHNICAL COLLEGE HONORARY G.E.D...
"I learned what I could, but guess I wasn't smart enough to get that GED."
THOMAS LEFT SCHOOL MORE THAN SIXTY YEARS AGO...
"There wasn't one for us to graduate from... once you finished the little grade school that was it, you didn't have a high school to go to."
THE SINGLE MOTHER OF SIX WORKED SEVERAL JOBS TO RAISE HER FAMILY
"Back then those days you had to do the best you can when you had a no good husband to help you."
NOW SHE'S REMARRIED... AND SHE SAYS AFTER TEN YEARS OF STUDYING IT WAS HER HUSBAND GEORGE WHO INSPIRED HER TO JOIN THE GRADUATING CLASS OF 2011.
"Thats all she'd talk about, walking across the stage."
IT WASN'T A LONG WALK... BUT SHE FINALLY MADE IT TO THE STAGE...
"At this time please join me in turning your tassel from right to the left."
nats of applause
AND THOMAS SAYS THIS CEREMONY WON'T BE HER LAST.
"I thought I was through, but I think I'm gonna go back. I'm gonna still try for that GED."
SHE SAYS UNTIL SHE WALKS AWAY WITH ONE OF THESE... NEVER STOP TRYING.
nats congratulations class of 2011
STD
THOMAS WAS ONE OF NINETY THREE CENTRAL GEORGIA TECHNICAL COLLEGE STUDENTS TO RECEIVE THEIR G.E.D TONIGHT.

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND IS ALMOST HERE... AND IF YOU'RE STILL WONDERING WHAT TO DO... WE MIGHT HAVE THE ANSWER FOR YOU.
HERE'S BEN WITH A PREVIEW IN THIS WEEK'S SCENE 13.
<<
HEY MIDDLE GEORGIA! I GOTTA TELL YOU, IT'S A GRAND WEEKEND TO BE IN THE GOOD OL' U-S-OF-A! MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND IS ALMOST HERE! AND WHAT BETTER WAY TO CELEBRATE YOUR FREEDOM AND THE SACRIFICE OF OUR NATION'S GREATEST HEROES THAN BY GETTING OUT AND ENJOYING GOOD TIMES IN YOUR COMMUNITY!

SPEAKING OF GOOD TIMES, THIS FRIDAY NIGHT, GET YOUR HALLELUJAH ON AT THE ANNUAL MCDONALD'S CHOIR SHOWCASE AT THE MACON CENTREPLEX. LOCAL CHOIRS FROM ALL OVER THE MIDSTATE WILL COMPETE FOR TOP HONORS IN THIS MUSICAL COMPETITION THAT'S A LITTLE BIT GOSPEL, A LITTLE BIT CONTEMPORARY AND A WHOLE LOTTA FUN. THIS IS ONE OF THOSE SELL-OUT EVENTS, PEOPLE, SO GET YOUR TICKETS NOW AT MACON-CENTREPLEX-DOT-COM OR AT TICKETMASTER-DOT-COM.

THEN ON SATURDAY, THE MUSIC CONTINUES IN THE COURTYARD OF THE DOUGLASS THEATRE AS THE DOUGLASS YOUTH JAZZ ENSEMBLE PERFORMS. BRING A PICNIC, BRING A FRIEND AND COME ON OUT TO THE DOUGLASS AT SEVEN O'CLOCK FOR A GREAT TIME!

IT'S JUST A MUSICAL KINDA MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND, PEOPLE. ON SUNDAY, THE MIDDLE GEORGIA CONCERT BAND PRESENTS THEIR SPRING CONCERT AT TABERNACLE BAPTIST CHURCH IN MACON. MUSICALLY-INCLINED FOLKS (cough-cough " Sonya Stevens") ENTERTAIN THE MASSES STARTING AT SIX-THIRTY.

AND THEN, NEXT MONDAY, DUM-DUM-DUM-DUM!!! HOLD ON TO YOUR BRITCHES PEOPLE! GRACE POTTER AND THE NOCTURNALS. WAIT - GRACE POTTER AND TH ENOCTURNALS? THAT'S PRETTY SERIOUS! BUT YEAH, GRACE POTTER AND THE NOCTURNALS WILL BE ROCKIN' THE COX CAPITOL THEATRE ON MEMORIAL DAY! OPENING THIS NIGHT OF MUSIC AWESOMENESS ARE ATHENS BAND THE FUTUREBIRDS AND GARY CLARK JUNIOR. DOORS FOR THIS SURE TO BE SOLD-OUT CONCERT OPEN AT SIX THIRTY AND THE MUSIC COMMENCES AT SEVEN. GET THEE TO COX-CAPITOL-THEATRE-DOT-COM TO PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS NOW, NOW, NOW!

AND FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO JUST WANT TO CATCH A FLICK WITH THE FRIENDS AND FAMILY THIS WEEKEND, HERE'S WHAT'S NEW!

FIRST, GRAB SOME FRIENDS AND GET THE KIDS A SITTER - CAUSE THE NOT-SO-FAMILY-FRIENDLY MOVIE ADVENTURE THE HANGOVER...PART TWO...OPENS FRIDAY! STU'S GETTING MARRIED IN THAILAND AND AFTER EXPERIENCING THE MAYHEM OF THE BACHELOR PARTY IN VEGAS, HE THINKS HE'S GOT WEDDING PLANS UNDER CONTROL. BUT WHEN THESE GUYS GET TOGETHER, THE MADNESS CAN'T EVEN BE IMAGINED.

AND WHEN THAT PARTY'S OVER, GO GET THE KIDS AND TAKE THEM TO CHECK OUT THE HILARIOUS THREE-D ADVENTURE, KUNG FU PANDA, PART TWO! PO IS BACK AND HE'S READY TO TAKE ON AN OLD ENEMY WITH NEW FRIENDS. JACK BLACK RETURNS AS THE VOICE OF THE OVERSIZED BEAR WITH A FLAIR FOR THE DRAMATIC AND A PENCHANT FOR...WELL, A BIG 'OL MESS. IT'S AN ADVENTURE FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY, FOLKS!

ALRIGHT, I BID YOU ADIEU ONCE AGAIN. AS YOU SPEND THE WEEKEND WITH YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS, ENJOYING THE FREEDOMS WE ARE SO FORTUNATE TO HAVE, JUST REMEMBER THOSE BRAVE SOULS THAT FOUGHT FOR THAT FREEDOM! TAKE A MINUTE, A MOMENT TO HONOR THEIR SACRIFICE AND THE SACRIFICE OF THOSE THEY LEFT BEHIND. WE'LL SEE YOU AGAIN NEXT WEEK...AND THAT'S A WRAP.
>> FOR ALL YOUR ENTERTAINMENT NEWS... VISIT US AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
CLICK ON THE SCENE 13 TAB IN THE MENU BAR.
YOU'LL FIND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS... EVENTS HAPPENING AROUND TOWN... MOVIE SHOWTIMES AND MORE.

IF YOUR MEMORIAL DAY PLANS INCLUDE GETTING ON THE ROAD... THEY MIGHT ALSO INCLUDE A STOP TO FILL UP THE GAS TANK.
MACON'S AVERAGE GAS PRICE IS DROPPING AS WE APPROACH THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND...
ACCORDING TO TRIPLE-A... THE AVERAGE PRICE FOR A GALLON OF REGULAR UNLEADED SITS AT 3-61 TODAY.
THAT'S A TWO-CENT DROP FROM YESTERDAY.
AND TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... WILL LOWER GAS PRICES ENCOURAGE YOU TO DRIVE MORE THIS WEEKEND?
SO FAR 74 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO... IT WON'T.
26 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES... IT WILL INSPIRE YOU TO DO SOME DRIVING.
VOTE NOW... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.

IT'S TIME FOR TONIGHT'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY...
DEBRA MCWHORTER GOODROE! CONGRATULATIONS... YOU'LL GET A 13WMAZ COFFEE MUG.
IF YOU WANT TO BE OUR FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY... IT'S EASY.
VISIT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ AND CLICK THE "LIKE" BUTTON TO BECOME A FAN.
THEN... JUST JOIN THE CONVERSATIONS.
WE PICK OUR FAN OF THE DAY RANDOMLY.

THANKS FOR JOINING US.... FIRST MORNIN COMES YOUR WAY AT 5 A-M.
THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
ON LETTERMAN TONIGHT: RAY ROMANO
HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.


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