HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
AND I'M FRANK MALLOY..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.
MOST OF THE STATE IS STILL IN AN EXTREME DROUGHT...
THAT HAS THE GEORGIA FORESTRY COMMISSION WORKING OVERTIME TO SPOT FOREST FIRES BEFORE THEY GROW OUT OF CONTROL.
CANDACE ADORKA LOOKED INTO ONE TOOL THAT FORESTRY OFFICIALS DEPEND ON DURING HOT AND DRY WEATHER CONDITIONS.
WHEN THESE CESSNA 182's GET THEIR PROPELLERS SPINNING, IT'S TO KEEP YOU SAFE.
Rogerson: "We look for the wildfires and contact the personnel on the ground."
DONNIE ROGERSON WORKS ON 16 PLANES...THEIR PILOTS ARE THE EYES IN THE SKIES FOR THE GEORGIA FORESTRY COMMISSION.
Rogerson: "Some of the wilderness parts of the state, a fire could grow very big before someone detects it, if it weren't for the aircraft.
ROGERSON SAYS BECAUSE OF THE DROUGHT ACROSS THE STATE... THE FORESTRY COMMISSION EXPECTS MORE FIRES... AND THE PLANES ARE WORKING OVERTIME TO DETECT THEM.
Rogerson: "The fire situation is about 30 percent higher than it normally would be. That would coincide with the maintenance, there's about 30 percent more maintenance."
Candace: "The Georgia Forestry Commission started using airplanes in the early 90's. They replaced a network of about 200 fire towers like this one. Well, not exaclty like this one... real fire towers are 100 feet tall. Allen Dozier, Chief of Forest Protection, says these towers have become icons for the Forestry Commission."
Dozier: "We're keeping about 90 of the towers. Some of them have become historic sites."
DOZIER SAYS IT WAS A SIMPLE SYSTEM USING TWO FIRE TOWER OPERATORS TO PINPOINT SMOKE...
Dozier: "They would site the smoke like this...
BUT PLANES WERE JUST MORE EFFICIENT.
Dozier: "We discovered it was actually costing us about 2000 dollars a fire to find a fire form a fire tower, and an airplane could do it a lot cheaper."
Rogerson: "The altimeter. directional gyros...."
ROGERSON SAYS IT'S A BLESSING WE'VE TRADED TOWERS FOR WINGS....
Rogerson: "We would probably have a lot more homes get burned up, certainly alot more trees get burned up, and nobody wants to see that happen."
CANDACE ADORKA 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> ROGERSON SAYS THE FORESTRY COMMISSION IS FIGHTING ABOUT 50 FIRES EACH DAY... INCLUDING THE HUGE FIRE THAT HAS BURNED MORE THAN 180-THOUSAND ACRES IN SOUTH GEORGIA.
DOZIER SAYS EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE MORE CAREFUL IN DROUGHT CONDITIONS...
HE SAYS SOMETHING AS SIMPLE AS TOSSING OUT A CIGARETTE OR PULLING A CAR OVER ONTO DRY GRASS CAN SPARK A FOREST FIRE.
QUALIFYING BEGINS TOMORROW FOR THE SPECIAL ELECTION TO FILL LEGISLATIVE SEATS VACATED BY ROBERT BROWN AND DAVID LUCAS.
CANDIDATES QUALIFY AT THE SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE IN ATLANTA.
LUCAS AND MACON CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT MIRIAM PARIS BOTH SAY THEY PLAN TO RUN FOR BROWN' S STATE SENATE SEAT IN DISTRICT 26.
BROWN IS RUNNING FOR MAYOR OF MACON.
OPTOMETRIST JAMES BEVERLY HAS ANNOUNCED FOR THE HOUSE DISTRICT 139 SEAT..THE SEAT FORMERLY HELD BY LUCAS.
QUALIFYING ENDS FRIDAY AT NOON.
THE SPECIAL ELECTION IS JULY 19.
THE PEACH COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD WANTS TO KNOW WHAT YOU'D LIKE TO SEE IN THE DISTRICT'S NEXT SUPERINTENDENT.
THEY'RE HOSTING A PUBLIC FORUM AT PEACH COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL IN FORT VALLEY TONIGHT AT SEVEN.
SCHOOL SPOKESWOMAN SARA MASON SAYS 34 PEOPLE APPLIED TO REPLACE SUPERINTENDENT SUSAN CLARK... WHO RESIGNED THIS SPRING.
SHE SAYS THEY NARROWED THAT LIST DOWN TO 11... FOUR WOMEN AND SEVEN MEN.
THE SCHOOL BOARD WILL ATTEND TONIGHT'S MEETING... BUT THE CANDIDATES WILL NOT.
THE FIELD OF REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFULS CONTINUES TO GROW.
LAST NIGHT DURING THE FIRST REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE OF THE 2012 RACE... CONGRESSWOMAN MICHELE BACHMANN ANNOUNCED PLANS TO SEEK THE G-O-P NOMINATION.
FORMER UTAH GOVERNOR JON HUNTSMAN WILL ANNOUNCE NEXT WEEK THAT HE'S ENTERING THE RACE..
AND MANY PEOPLE ARE WATCHING TO SEE IF SARAH PALIN WILL THROW HER NAME INTO THE RACE.
TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL QUESTION ASKS...
SHOULD SARAH PALIN RUN FOR PRESIDENT?
SO FAR... 67 PERCENT OF VOTERS SAY SHE SHOULD NOT... WHILE 33 PERCENT SAY YES.. SHE SHOULD.
VOTE NOW... VISIT OUR WEBSITE.. 13WMAZ DOT COM.
LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE.
GOVERNOR NATHAN DEAL SAYS PROBATIONERS SHOULD BE SIGNED UP FOR FARM WORK THAT'S OFTEN DONE BY MIGRANTS .
DEAL SAYS SEVERAL GROWERS WARNED THAT THE NEW LAW TARGETING ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS WAS SCARING AWAY HISPANIC MIGRANT FARM WORKERS.
DEAL SAYS 100 THOUSAND PEOPLE ARE ON PROBATION IN GEORGIA AND MANY ARE OUT OF WORK.
HE SAID THE PRISON SYSTEM WILL REFER PEOPLE ON PROBATION TO FARMERS SEEKING LABOR.
TONIGHT WILL BE PLEASANT WITH LOWS IN THE MIDDLE 60S. TOMORROW, A MIX OF SUN AND CLOUDS WITH SCATTERED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS POSSIBLE IN THE AFTERNOON. HIGHS IN THE MIDDLE 90S.
HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE GATHERED TO SAY GOOD-BYE TODAY TO CENTERVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT SERGEANT WOODY HUDGENS, JR.
AS AMY AUBERT TELLS US...EVEN FRIENDS OF HUDGENS FELT LIKE HE WAS FAMILY---
FRIENDS, FAMILY AND DOZENS OF UNIFORMED POLICE FILLED SOUTHSIDE BAPTIST CHURCH. THEY SAID GOODBYE TO 45-YEAR-OLD SERGEANT WOODY HUDGENS, JR.
John Patterson, Officer Centerville PD: "There wasn't a time when I needed help that he wouldn't be there-- inside of work, outside of work."
Damian Lowry, Officer Centerville PD: "The kind of guy that would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it."
HUDGENS... A SERGEANT IN THE CENTERVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT... DIED THURSDAY IN AN OFF-DUTY MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT.
Damian Lowry: "It was kind of like, you don't believe it. When you first hear it, you don't think it's true. You have to hear it like two to three times before you realize that the person on the other line is, in fact, telling you the truth."
Nats, guys with bagpipe
JOHN PATTERSON WORKED WITH SERGEANT HUDGENS FOR THE PAST YEAR... HE SAYS THE SUPERVISOR... BECAME MORE LIKE FAMILY.
John Patterson: "We're real close, tight knit, if one thing happens to one of us, it happens to all of us."
AND THOSE WHO KNEW HIM BEST...
WEREN'T THE ONLY ONES... TO PAY THEIR RESPECTS.
David Blanton, GA Patriot Guard Riders: "He had a big heart, very patriotic, dedicated, loved his family, loved his friends, he was a top notch person."
DAVID BLANTON WAS JUST ONE OF NEARLY A FIFTY RIDERS... WHO HONORED SOMEONE THEY CALL... A HERO.
John Patterson: "I'm gonna miss him. There's probably thousands of voices that'll echo the same thing, we're gonna miss him."
AMY AUBERT... 13 WMAZ... EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> THE PASSENGER ON HUDGENS' MOTORCYCLE IS IN THE HOSPITAL IN STABLE CONDITION.
SO FAR NO CHARGES HAVE BEEN FILED..THE ACCIDENT IS STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION.
A GROUP OF CENTRAL GEORGIANS ARE DEALING WITH UNSAFE DRINKING WATER.
THEY LEARNED THEIR SUPPLY IS CONTAMINATED WITH A DEADLY BACTERIA?
PEOPLE ON HITCHCOCK ROAD IN JONES COUNTY FOUND OUT MORE THAN TEN YEARS AGO.
BUT RANDALL SAVAGE FOUND OUT.... THE NEIGHBORHOOD MAY SOON GET A DRINKING SUPPLY THAT'S SAFE.
<<THIS IS A COPY OF ONE OF SEVERAL LETTERS HEALTH DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS SENT LOUISE HALCOMB.. MARY WALLER.. AND OTHER RESIDENTS OF HITCHCOCK ROAD IN JONES.
IT SAYS TESTS REVEAL THEIR WELL WATER IS CONTAMINATED WITH COLIFORM BACTERIA AND PROBABLY UNSAFE FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION.
HALCOMB SAYS THEY'VE BEEN RECEIVING LETTERS LIKE THAT FOR MORE THAN TEN YEARS.. AND THEY HAVE TO PURCHASE PACKAGED WATER FOR COOKING AND DRINKING.
1:36 Louise Halcomb, Hitchcock Road: For the water I cook in, I buy my cooking water, my drinking water. But when I do mty wash of clothers or mopping of the floor, I put bleach in that.
RECENTLY JONES AND BALDWIN COUNTY REACHED AGREEMENT FOR BALDWIN COUNTY TO RUN WATER PIPES TO HITCHCOCK ROAD.
2:49:22 Louise Halcomb, Hitchcock road: $1,250 for the fee, plus we got to pay another $60 for the meter to get connected and then they told us last week our water bill would be another $50 a month.
22:45 Randall Savage, Eyewitness News: These water pipes were dropped here more than two years ago and Louise Halcomb says she hopes it isn't long until they're underground and water flowing through them.
BECAUSE IT'S TAKEN SO LONG.. MARY WALLER WONDERS IF OFFICIALS REALLY CARE ABOUT THEM.
1:38:10 Mary Waller, Hitchcock Road: So we've just been going backwards and forward, backwards and forward. They don't seem to me concerned at all with this. They make a promise and break a promise. They haven't done enouoh.
BOTH HALCOMB AND WALLER SAY THE WHOLE DEAL COULD BLOW UP IF THEY CAN'T GET ENOUGH PEOPLE TO SIGN UP FOR THE WATER SERVICE.
RANDALL SAVAGE.. 13 WMAZ.. EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> JONES COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR MICHAEL UNDERWOOD SAYS AT LEAST TEN PEOPLE MUST SIGN UP FOR THE SERVICE.. OR THE AGREEMENT WILL BE VOID.
UNDERWOOD SAYS THEY HAVE UNTIL OCTOBER 1ST TO GET THE TEN CUSTOMERS.
MORE PEOPLE ARE HEADING ONLINE TO TAKE CARE OF THINGS LIKE SHOPPING... BANKING AND BILL-PAYING.
BUT IT CAN BE TRICKY TO MAKE SURE YOUR PASSWORDS STAY SECURE.
TONIGHT AT 11... WE'LL SHARE A FEW TIPS FOR MAKING SURE YOUR ACCOUNTS ARE PROTECTED.
AND THE EXPO MIGHT BE OVER... BUT THE GAMING BUZZ IS STILL GOING ON ABOUT THIS YEAR'S E-3 SHOW.
WE'LL HEAR FROM ONE OF THE EXPERTS WHO GOT A FIRST-HAND PREVIEW OF THE NEWEST GAMING TECHNOLOGY HEADED YOUR WAY.
IT'S ALL DURING GEEK 13... TONIGHT ON EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.
IT'S TIME TO TAKE A LOOK AT WHERE YOU LIVE.
IT'S A FEATURE ON OUR 13 WMAZ DOT COM HOMEPAGE THAT SHOWCASES NEWS AND EVENTS SPECIFIC TO YOUR COMMUNITY.
TODAY WE'RE LOOKING AT THE WARNER ROBINS PAGE. APRIL MOUTON FROM ROBINS REGIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE WRITES THAT REGIONAL LEGISLATORS PLAN TO GIVE A RECAP AND UPDATE THE COMMUNITY ABOUT NEW LAWS AT THE NEXT EGGS AND ISSUES BREAKFAST. THE BREAKFAST IS SCHEDULED FOR THURSDAY, JUNE TWENTY THIRD AT THE MUSEUM OF AVIATION. TO GET MORE NEWS AND EVENTS IN YOUR COMMUNITY..HEAD OVER TO OUR "WHERE YOU LIVE" FEATURE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM. IT'S IN THE CENTER OF OUR HOMEPAGE.
WE VISITED ANOTHER DAY TRIP DESTINATION... FORT HAWKINS IN MACON.
TAGGED AS THE BIRTHPLACE OF MACON THIS MONUMENT WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1806.
ONCE AN ARMY POST AND TRADING CENTER... THIS FORT SAT ON A HILL OVERLOOKING INDIAN MOUNDS.
NO BLOOD WAS SHED ON THE GROUNDS... AND AFTER A DIG A TWO SIDED FIREPLACE WAS FOUND.
THIS REPLICA FORT BUILT IN THE THIRTIES HAS THREE FLOORS OF ARTIFACTS AND THE PROJECT COORDINATOR FOR FORT HAWKINS SAYS THEY HAVE BIG PLANS FOR THE SITE.
Marty Willett, Project Coordinator: "We are going to start rebuilding the fort next year that's right as we begin to celebrate the national bicentennial of the War of 1812, the second war of independence the war the star spangled banner came from."
FORT HAWKINS IS OPEN EVERY WEEKEND.
FOR MORE INFORMATION AND A CALENDAR OF EVENTS VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
LOOK FOR THIS STORY ON OUR HOMEPAGE.
THANKS FOR JOINING US.... WE'LL BE BACK TONIGHT AT 11.
BUT REMEMBER...THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ.COM !
THE EVENING NEWS WITH SCOTT PELLEY IS UP NEXT.
HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.