Friday, May 27, Eyewitness News at 11

11:17 PM, May 27, 2011   |    comments
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GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M FRANK MALLOY... THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.

A BLAZE DAMAGED A BYRON HOUSE THIS AFTERNOON.
PEACH COUNTY FIRE CHIEF THOMAS DOLES SAYS THE FIRE ON SHAWNEE CIRCLE DAMAGED THREE QUARTERS OF THE HOUSE.
HE SAYS NO ONE WAS AT HOME WHEN THE FIRE STARTED AROUND 5-30... AND INVESTIGATORS DON'T KNOW WHAT CAUSED IT.
IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION... YOU CAN CALL THE PEACH COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT AT 478-956-3642.
THAT'S 956-3642.

WITH MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND UPON US... MANY CENTRAL GEORGIANS ARE ALREADY HITTING THE WATERS.
BUT WITH BIG CROWDS EXPECTED... WATER SAFETY... SHOULD COME FIRST.
AS AMY AUBERT EXPLAINS... ONE MILLEDGEVILE WOMAN SAYS SHE'S HOPING BOATERS LEARN FROM AN ACCIDENT IN THE PAST... TO STEER CLEAR FOR THE FUTURE.
Nats, boat engine

THE SOUNDS OF A HOLIDAY WEEKEND ON LAKE SINCLAIR... ARE ALL TOO FAMILIAR... FOR SANDY BAXTER.

Sandy Baxter, Milledgeville: "We were struck, actually right down here."

FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND... 2006... BAXTER... HER HUSBAND AND DAUGHTER... WERE ON THEIR WAY BACK FROM A BARBEQUE... WHEN A DRUNK BOATER... SHE SAYS... CAME OUT OF NOWHERE.

Sandy Baxter: "The boat that hit us actually went airborn-- went over and landed in the water on the other side."

HER HUSBAND...THEN 48-YEAR-OLD JAMES BAXTER... PICTURED HERE EARLIER THAT SAME DAY... DIED ON IMPACT.

Sandy Baxter: "He would've been sitting right here."

Nats, lake water crashing on shore.

THE MEMORY OF HER HUSBAND... SHE SAYS... ENCOURAGES HER... TO SPREAD THE WORD... ABOUT WATER SAFETY.

Sandy Baxter: "I just want to drive home that accidents can happen in a moment."

Nats: "How's it goin?"

MARK GORDY WORKS WITH GEORGIA POWER AND PROMOTES WEARING LIFE JACKETS... SAFE SWIMMING... AND BEING AWARE... BEHIND THE WHEEL.

Nat pop, steering wheel.

Mark Gordy, GA Power: "Remember, a boat does not have any brakes, so your reaction time has to be precise."

THAT'S WHY WHEN IT COMES TO BOATING... STEERING CLEAR OF DRINKING AND DRIVING... IS SO IMPORTANT.

Nats, boating

BAXTER SAYS SHE HOPES PEOPLE LEARN THE PAST... TO KEEP ACCIDENTS LIKE HERS... FROM HAPPENING AGAIN.

Sandy Baxter: " My family mises him, his family misses him, his children, he's got a new grandchild that he doesn't know. There's a lot that we've missed."

AMY AUBERT... 13 WMAZ... EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> BAXTER SAYS THE BOTTOM OF HER FAMILY'S BOAT WILL SOON BE USED AS A PART OF A SEARCH AND RESCUE BOAT FOR THE BALDWIN AND PUTNAM COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE.
FOR MORE BOATING SAFETY TIPS... LOOK FOR THIS STORY ON OUR WEBSITE... 13 WMAZ DOT COM.

A NATIONAL SURVEY SAYS MORE PEOPLE ARE TRAVELING THIS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND THAN LAST YEAR.
THE AVERAGE PRICE OF GAS SITS AT 3-59 IN MACON ACCORDING TO TRIPLE-A... DOWN TWO CENTS FROM YESTERDAY.
JENNIFER MOULLIET ASKS PEOPLE RIDING ALONG INTERSTATE 75 IN MONROE COUNTY HOW GAS PRICES WERE AFFECTING THEIR HOLIDAY TRAVEL PLANS.
<<
Chenoa Brown, Manchester, TN: "I think its frustrating you can't do anything because you cant afford to pay for gas."

BROWN IS HEADED TO VALDOSTA TO VISIT FAMILY ALONG WITH THESE TRAVELERS WHO AREN'T LETTING PRICES AT THE PUMP STOP THEIR VACATION PLANS

nats highway traffic

BOB WATERSTONE SAYS HE'S HEADED TO HILTON HEAD TO CATCH UP WITH SOME OLD FRIENDS.

Bob Waterstone, Kennesaw: "Hopefully get some sun and sand and golf in."

Jennifer Moulliet: "Now according to Daryl Mcgee the site manager here in Monroe County rest stop says that the people just keep pouring in but they're prepared."

Daryl Mcgee, Site manager: "Making sure the grounds are clean and making sure we have plenty of supplies on hand
NAT "vending machine"
just trying to accomodate the travelers the best we can."

EVEN THOUGH MONEY IS TIGHT TROY YOUNGS SAYS HE LOOKS FORWARD TO HIS TIME OFF EVERY YEAR AND IS FINDING OTHER WAYS TO SAVE.

Troy Youngs, Atlanta: "You might cut back a little bit at the grocery store on things that you don't really need like bottle of water and things of that nature."

CARRIE SHEPPARD SAYS SHE'S CHANGED HER PLANS

Carrie Sheppard, Alabama:" "We were originally going to drop off my oldest son and drive up the coastline but because of gas prices we are going to stay down with my parents for a week."

Dave Schutte, Florida: "Just made it more expensive (laughs) but it hasn't kept us from traveling."

JENNIFER MOULLIET 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
>> KROGER STORES SAY THEY'RE PUMPING UP THEIR FUEL DISCOUNTS IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND.
KROGER IS MORE THAN TRIPLING THE NUMBER OF STORES WHERE SHOPPERS CAN GET UP TO A DOLLAR A GALLON OFF OF GAS FILL-UPS.
YOU CAN GET THE DISCOUNT AT THE KROGER OFF EISENHOWER PARKWAY IN MACON.
LOYALTY-CARD USERS GET 10 CENTS OFF A GALLON FOR EVERY 100 DOLLARS SPENT ON GROCERIES.
TO QUALIFY FOR A DOLLAR OFF... YOU'D HAVE TO SPEND ABOUT ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS A MONTH.

YOU CAN ALSO MAKE A SPLASH IN MACON'S CITY POOLS THIS WEEKEND.
THE CITY'S SIX POOLS OPEN FOR THE SUMMER TOMORROW.
THE CITY'S POOLS ARE AT THE FRANK JOHNSON CENTER.. BOOKER T WASHINGTON CENTER.. AND FREEDOM.. MEMORIAL.. BLOOMFIELD.. AND EAST MACON PARKS.
PARKS AND REC DIRECTOR DOC DOUGHERTY SAYS THE POOLS UNDERWENT FINAL INSPECTIONS TODAY.
YOU CAN SWIM FROM NOON UNTIL 6 ON SATURDAYS... TWO TO FOUR ON SUNDAYS... AND ONE TO SEVEN DURING THE WEEK.
THE COST IS ONE DOLLAR PER PERSON.
TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL QUESTION ASKS... HOW WILL YOU SPEND MEMORIAL DAY?
SO FAR 4 PERCENT OF YOU PLAN TO SPEND IT AT THE LAKE.
20 PERCENT WILL BE AT A COOKOUT.
3 PERCENT PLAN TO TRAVEL.
6 PERCENT WILL GO TO A MEMORIAL DAY OBSERVANCE.
AND 67 PERCENT SAY... THEY DON'T HAVE ANYTHING SPECIAL PLANNED.
VOTE NOW... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.

NO MATTER WHAT YOU PLAN TO DO THIS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND... MAKE 13WMAZ DOT COM YOUR DESTINATION FOR HOLIDAY NEWS AND EVENTS.
LOOK FOR THE LINK IN THE "CHECK IT OUT" BOX ON OUR HOMEPAGE.
YOU'LL FIND A CALENDAR WITH EVENTS... THE LATEST HEADLINES... AND RESOURCES AND LINKS TO HELP YOU MAKE YOUR HOLIDAY A SAFE ONE.
IT'S ALL IN THE MEMORIAL DAY SECTION AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
TOMORROW... STUDENTS WILL GRADUATE FROM FOUR OF HOUSTON COUNTY'S HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAMS.
IF YOU PLAN TO ATTEND CEREMONIES FOR HOUSTON COUNTY CAREER ACADEMY... NORTHSIDE HIGH SCHOOL... WARNER ROBINS HIGH SCHOOL OR HOUSTON COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL... EVENT PLANNERS OFFERED SOME WORDS TO THE WISE... ARRIVE EARLY.
nats- talking on stage "This first whole row, A and B stand up"
DIRECTOR OF SECONDARY OPERATIONS ANTHONY LUNCEFORD SAYS AFTER LISTENING TO FEEDBACK FROM LAST YEAR... THEY'VE TAKEN STEPS TO PREVENT PROBLEMS.
HE SAYS THE GEORGIA STATE PATROL WILL HELP CONTROL TRAFFIC.
A WEB CAM WILL LIVE STREAM THE EVENT FOR PEOPLE TO WATCH ON-LINE.
LUNCEFORD ALSO GAVE FAIR WARNING... THE DOORS TO THE MAIN MILLER-MURPHY-HOWARD BUILDING WILL CLOSE AND LOCK 15 MINUTES PRIOR TO THE START OF THE CEREMONY.Anthony Lunceford: (21:45) "Once the graduates come in, we are wanting to respect the dignity of the ceremony. That's why we are shutting the doors."
LATE ARRIVALS WILL BE SEATED IN THE HERITAGE HALL BUILDING... WHERE THEY CAN WATCH THE CEREMONY ON A BIG SCREEN.
WE CAN CONNECT YOU TO MORE HOUSTON GRADUATION INFORMATION... PLUS HOW ACCESS THE LIVE STREAM.
GO TO OUR WEBSITE 13-WMAZ DOT COM.

PEOPLE IN A WARNER ROBINS NEIGHBORHOOD ARE REELING AFTER LIGHTNING DURING A STORM YESTERDAY CAUSED A HOUSE TO CATCH ON FIRE..
THE FIRE GUTTED THE HOUSE ON ROSEWATER DRIVE THURSDAY EVENING.
CAPTAIN ROSS MOULTON WITH THE WARNER ROBINS FIRE DEPARTMENT SAYS THE SMALLS FAMILY GOT OUT IN TIME AND NO ONE WAS HURT.
MOULTON SAYS THE HOMEOWNER HEARD A LOUD POP, THEN SAW A PROPANE TANK ATTACHED TO HIS GAS GRILL SPEWING FIRE...
MOULTON SAYS WHEN FIRE TRUCKS GOT TO THE SCENE 5 MINUTES AFTER THE CALL... 80 PERCENT OF THE HOME WAS LOST.
DAVID RINGLEY LIVES A FEW HOUSES AWAY... HE SHOT THIS VIDEO WITH HIS CELL PHONE.
RINGLEY SAYS SEEING THE INFERNO SO CLOSE WAS VERY EMOTIONAL... EVEN FOR HIS 6-YEAR-OLD. NEIGHBORS CALLED 9-1-1 AGAIN THIS MORNING... THEY NOTICED SMOULDERING ASHES.
THE FIREFIGHTERS DOUSED THE HOUSE AGAIN.
THEY SAID OLD BOOKS AND PAPERS WERE SMOLDERING IN THE WIND.

IF YOU'RE PLANNING A DINNER OUT... YOU MAY WANT TO SEE HOW YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANTS DID... WHEN THE HEALTH INSPECTOR DROPPED IN.
AMY AUBERT HAS THIS WEEK'S RESTAURANT RATINGS.
<<
WE'RE BACK IN BIBB COUNTY THIS WEEK...STARTING OFF WITH OUR LOWEST SCORES FIRST...
CHECKER'S DRIVE-IN RESTAURANT... AT 34-04 MERCER UNIVERSITY DRIVE IN MACON... SCORED AN 84... A "B"... COMING AFTER A 91 OR AN "A"... LAST TIME.
SID'S... AT 3-36 SECOND STREET IN MACON... GOT AN 86... A "B"... DROPPING FROM THE 99... OR "A"... ON THE PREVIOUS INSPECTION.
AND WAFFLE HOUSE AT 62-80 ZEBULON ROAD IN MACON... SCORED AN 87... THAT'S A "B"... COMING AFTER A PERFECT 100... LAST TIME.
NOW FOR A LOOK THE TOP SCORES OF THE WEEK... AND THIS WEEK'S GOLDEN SPATULA WINNER.
MCDONALDS AT 59-55 ZEBULON ROAD IN MACON... SERVED UP A 99... AN "A"... THAT'S AFTER A PERFECT 100... ON THE INSPECTION BEFORE.
SALEEM'S FISH SUPREME... AT 21-98 PIO NONO AVENUE IN MACON... WHIPPED UP A PERFECT SCORE... THAT'S AFTER GETTING A 100 LAST TIME... AS WELL.
AND TUCKER'S BARBECUE... AT 45-91 BROADWAY IN MACON... ALSO GOT TWO 100'S... ON IT'S LAST TWO INSPECTIONS.
WE AVERAGED OUR NOMINEES PAST 5 SCORES... AND THIS WEEK'S GOLDEN SPATULA GOES TO...
TUCKER'S BARBECUE IN MACON... WITH A PERFECT 5 SCORE AVERAGE... OF A 100.CONGRATULATIONS TO EVERYONE OVER AT TUCKER'S BARBECUE... JOIN US AGAIN NEXT WEEK... FOR MORE RESTAURANT RATINGS... AMY AUBERT... 13 WMAZ... EYEWITNESS NEWS. FOR ALL YOUR RESTAURANT RATINGS... GO TO OUR WEBSITE 13WMAZ DOT COM.
YOU'LL FIND THE LINK UNDER THE FEATURES TAB IN THE MENU BAR.
>>

TONIGHT'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY... KATRINA CAUSEY!
CONGRATULATIONS KATRINA... 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.

A FIVE-THOUSAND-POUND LAYER CAKE, EYE-POPPING WATERFALLS ARE A BIG DRAW AT YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, AND ONE OLYMPIAN HAS HER EYES SET ON THE PRIZE.
THE LATEST VIDEO AND STORIES THAT WILL HAVE YOU TALKING ARE COMING UP NOW IN TAKE A LOOK AT THIS!
TAKE A LOOK AT THIS! -- IT'S THE LONGEST LAYER CAKE IN MALAYSIA!
THE OVERSIZED CONFECTION MEASURES NEARLY A HUNDRED FEET LONG, AND WEIGHS MORE THAN FIVE-THOUSAND POUNDS!
IT WAS MADE FROM A HERITAGE RECIPE PASSED DOWN FOR GENERATIONS, AND TOOK 15 BAKERS 15 DAYS TO COMPLETE.
PIECES WERE SOLD TO BENEFIT ORPHANAGES IN KUALA LUMPUR.
AND TAKE A LOOK AT THIS.....
THESE WATERFALLS ARE EXPECTED TO ATTRACT LARGE CROWDS TO YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK IN CALIFORNIA THIS HOLIDAY WEEKEND. VISITORS ARE PULLING OUT THEIR BINOCULARS AND CAMERAS TO GET A GOOD VIEW. RANDY MORRISON AND HIS WIFE CELEBRATED THEIR SILVER WEDDING ANNIVERSARY AT YOSEMITE, AND WATERFALLS WERE AT THE TOP OF THEIR LIST.
Yeah, they have all been gorgeous, we spent the last four days in the park, and they were all gorgeous.
WITH AN ABOVE NORMAL RUNOFF FROM FROM WINTER'S HEAVY SNOWPACK, WATERFALLS ARE GIVING VISITORS A LOT TO SEE.
30-YEAR-OLD KAREN COCKBURN IS TAKING HER TALENTS TO NEW HEIGHTS. THE CANADIAN HAS WON MEDALS ON THE TRAMPOLINE AT THREE CONSECUTIVE OLYMPIC GAMES. NOW, SHE'S FOCUSING ON HER NEXT COMPETITION....THE 2012 GAMES IN LONDON.
To be a three time Olympian, win three Olympic medals and now try to to qualify for my fourth Olympic is surreal sometimes.
TRAMPOLINING MADE ITS OLYMPIC DEBUT AT THE 2000 SYDNEY GAMES.
<< FOR MORE ODD NEWS AND VIDEO... VISIT THE WATERCOOLER SECTION AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
YOU'LL FIND IT ON THE HOMEPAGE.


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