HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.
I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
AND I'M FRANK MALLOY..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.
OUR TOP STORY AT SIX - WITH MUCH OF CENTRAL GEORGIA IN THE MIDST OF AN EXTREME DROUGHT.... FIRE OFFICIALS SAY THEY'RE WORRIED ABOUT BRUSH FIRES.
CANDACE ADORKA HAS BEEN FOLLOWING THIS STORY... SHE'S JOINING US NOW WITH MORE.
MATHEW PERRY... EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR IN MONROE COUNTY... SAYS ITS SO DRY.. CHAINS DRAGGING ON THE ROAD CAN START FIRES.
IN BIBB COUNTY ON FRIDAY A SPARK FROM FARM EQUIPMENT CAUSED A FIRE THAT CAME WITHIN A FEW DOZEN YARDS OF THE QUAIL RIDGE SUBDIVISION.
THOMAS ADAMS SAYS HE WAS SLEEPING WHEN HE GOT THE CALL THAT THE BRUSH FIRE WAS INCHING TOWARD HIS HOUSE.
Adams: "I came to the front door and seen fire trucks all over the place. Scary, real scary."
THE FIRE OFF WALDEN ROAD FRIDAY EVENING WAS ONE OF ABOUT 164 SINCE APRIL IN BIBB COUNTY.
ASSISTANT MACON-BIBB FIRE CHIEF... CLIFF RUSHIN... LED THE TEAM THAT RESPONDED TO THE FIRE.
Rushin: "This was an open field that was freshly cut for hay. Thank goodness it was cut short... it would have spread a lot faster."
HE SAYS IN THIS DROUGHT... A SPARK FROM FARMING EQUIPMENT PUT SEVERAL HOMES IN DANGER.
Rushin: "it only takes a very small spark to cause a very large problem."
MACON-BIBB FIRE SAFETY OFFICER... DEMETERIUS ELLISON... SAYS DURING A REGULAR SUMMER, THE DEPRTMENT RESPONDS TO 2 OR THREE FIRES A DAY.
THIS YEAR, IT'S SO DRY.... THAT NUMBER HAS DOUBLED.
Ellison: "When we go out on a call, it ties up a lot of equipment at that particular time, especially if you get in the woods, its very unpredictable."
ELLISON SAYS NATURE HAS CAUSED SOME OF THE FIRES ... BUT PEOPLE CAUSED MORE.
FOR INSTANCE THEY CARELESSLY TOSS OUT CIGARETTES OR BURN TRASH OUTSIDE DESPITE A BURN BAN.
Ellison: "We need to actually change our behavior and thinking because of this drought. we can't get complacent."
Adams: "When the wind shifted, it shifted back towards the trees and if you look over here...You can see where all the trees have been burned pretty bad."
ADAMS SAYS RECENTLY... HE'S SEEN SEVERAL BRUSH FIRES CAUSED BY CIGARETTES TOSSED ALONG MAJOR ROADS.
Adams: "Pio Nono, Rocky Creek, exit 193.... I called Monday as a matter of fact, and the emergency operator told me we have somebody on the scene."
>> CHIEF JIMMY WILLIAMS IN HOUSTON COUNTY SAYS THEIR FIRES ARE BIGGER THAN USUAL BECAUSE OF THE DROUGHT... AND THIS AFTERNOON IN TWIGGS COUNTY... FIRE FIGHTERS WERE FIGHTING A BLAZE OFF I-16.
THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR FOR DOOLY COUNTY SAYS THEY JUST PUT OUT A BRUSH FIRE...THAT WAS BURNING SINCE YESTERDAY. HE SAYS IT WAS CAUSED BY A SMOKER.
THE STATE'S CLIMATOLOGIST SAYS THIS YEARS' RAINFALL FOR MOST OF CENTRAL GEORGIA IS SEVEN TO EIGHT INCHES BELOW NORMAL... AND HE SAYS THE SUMMER WILL ONLY GET HOTTER...AND DRIER.
DEMOCRATIC MAYORAL CANDIDATE ROBERT BROWN SAYS HE FED UP WITH CRIME IN MACON.. AND PROMISED TO GET RID OF IT.
IN A MORNING NEWS CONFERENCE.. BROWN PLEDGED TO SHUT DOWN SHOT HOUSES AND POLISH OFF GANGS AND PROSTITUTES WITHIN TWO YEARS.
RANDALL SAVAGE HAS MORE ON HOW BROWN PLANS TO DO IT.
<<DEMOCRATIC MAYORAL HOPEFUL ROBERT BROWN SAYS HE'S HAD ENOUGH OF PEOPLE ACCEPTING CRIME IN CERTAIN PARTS OF MACON .. AND THAT HE PLANS TO BRING EVERY DAY CITIZENS.. COMMUNITY LEADERS.. POLITICIANS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS TOGETHER TO STOP IT.
HE SAYS TACKLE ALL KINDS OF CRIME.
Robert Brown, Democratic Mayoral Candidate: I think gun violence is obvious, street crime is fairly obvious. But institutional crime is in some of our businesses. By far not all of them.
BROWN SAYS SOME CRIMINALS OPERATE IN PLAIN VIEW.
Robert Brown, Democratic Mayoral Candidate: We can see certain parts of our city where prostitutes openly walk the streets.We can see open air drug markets. We can see shot houses. Those things we know they exist. The people who live in the community know they exist and so I have to believe law enforcement knows they exist.
BROWN SAYS THOSE FOLK CAN BE PUT OUT OF BUSINESS IN A FEW MONTHS.
Robert Brown, Democratic Mayoral Candidate: But I believe that the small number of people, businesses that are operating in this manner can be shut down in the first six months. We can withdraw their licenses and run them out of town.
BROWN SAYS HE'LL DO IT BY BEEFING UP THE POLICE DEPARTMENT.
Robert Brown, Democratic Mayoral Candidate: I want to increase that by at least 50 officers to somewhere around a police force of around 350. Police officers enforce the law. They're the ones who have to be out there about you cannot expect them to do that if they are understaffed, underpaid and under appreciated.
RANDALL SAVAGE.. 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> BROWN SAYS HE DOESN'T HAVE A COST ESTIMATE FOR INCREASING THE POLICE FORCE.. BUT SAYS HE WOULD SEEK FEDERAL GRANTS TO START.
BROWN IS ONE OF FOUR DEMOCRATS SEEKING THE MAYOR'S OFFICE.. THE OTHERS ARE FORMER MAYOR C. JACK ELLIS.. FORMER MACON FIREFIGHTER PAUL BRONSON.. AND MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT.
THEY MEET IN THE JULY 19 PRIMARY.
TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... WHO PLAYS THE GREATEST ROLE IN PREVENTING CRIME?
SO FAR 2 PERCENT OF YOU SAY ELECTED OFFICIALS.
14 PERCENT OF YOU SAY POLICE.
AND 84 PERCENT OF YOU SAY PARENTS PLAY THE GREATEST ROLE.
YOU HAVE UNTIL MIDNIGHT TO VOTE.
LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
AN IRWINTON MINISTER PLANS TO RUN FOR A CENTRAL GEORGIA STATE SENATE SEAT.
51 YEAR OLD BOBBY GALE SAYS HIS MINISTRY TRAINS PEOPLE FOR MISSION WORK WORLDWIDE.
HE'LL RUN AS A REPUBLICAN FOR SENATE DISTRICT 26.... THE SEAT BEING VACATED BY ROBERT BROWN.
GALE SAYS HE'S RUNNING BECAUSE HE HAS COMPASSION FOR OTHERS AND LOVES HELPING PEOPLE.
HE SAYS HIS WORK IN THE MINISTRY WILL HELP HIM STAND OUT.
"First of all, I think all of the candidates are good people and I think we all bring different gifts. What I hope people will see about me is authenticity, integrity and good judgment about being able to establish some perimeters that will help us make our communities a better place."
THE SENATE DISTRICT COVERS TWIGGS COUNTY AND PARTS OF BIBB, HOUSTON AND WILKINSON COUNTIES.
STATE REPRESENTATIVE DAVID LUCAS QUALIFIED FOR THE RACE TODAY.
MACON CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT MIRIAM PARIS SAYS SHE'LL RUN FOR THE SENATE SEAT BUT HASN'T QUALIFIED YET.
A CENTRAL GEORGIA SUNDAY-MORNING TRADITION WILL END IN LESS THAN TWO WEEKS.
ON JUNE 26TH....MABEL WHITE BAPTIST CHURCH WILL END ITS WORSHIP SERVICES ON 13WMAZ AFTER MORE THAN 52 YEARS.
REVEREND JIMMY WATERS STARTED THE BROADCASTS IN OCTOBER 1958.
STARTING JULY THIRD... 13WMAZ WILL AIR EPISODES OF THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW AT 11 A-M ON SUNDAYS UNTIL A LONG-TERM REPLACEMENT IS CHOSEN.
13WMAZ GENERAL MANAGER JEFF DUDLEY SAYS THE STATION APPRECIATES ITS RELATIONSHIP WITH MABEL WHITE OVER THE YEARS AND WISHES THE CHURCH WELL IN THE FUTURE.
IT'S TIME TO TAKE A LOOK AT WHERE YOU LIVE.
IT'S A FEATURE ON 13 WMAZ DOT COM THAT SHOWCASES NEWS AND EVENTS SPECIFIC TO YOUR COMMUNITY.
TODAY WE ANNOUNCE OUR TWIGGS WHERE YOU LIVE PAGE. ANYONE IN TWIGGS IS WELCOME TO CONTRIBUTE OR BLOG FOR THE SITE. TO READ MORE ABOUT HOW TO BLOG FOR TWIGGS OR YOUR AREA, CHECK OUT THE POST ON THE TWIGGS WHERE YOU LIVE PAGE.
FOR MORE NEWS AND EVENTS IN YOUR COMMUNITY..HEAD OVER TO OUR "WHERE YOU LIVE" FEATURE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
TOMORROW... ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE... CELEBRATES ITS 70TH BIRTHDAY.
AMY AUBERT TAKES YOU BACK IN TIME... AND SHOWS YOU HOW THE SMALL TOWN OF THEN-WELLSTON GEORGIA... GREW TO BECOME THE STATE'S LARGEST SINGLE EMPLOYER.
Nats, Bill Head: "There's cattle; dairy cattle."
IN THE EARLY 1940'S... WHAT'S NOW THE CITY OF WARNER ROBINS... WAS BETTER KNOWN... AS SMALL TOWN... WELLSTON, GEORGIA.
Bill Head, Chief Historian: "The story goes that there were 47 families between Macon and Perry. Mostly cattle and dairy farm. And they were suffering a great deal from the Depression."
BILL HEAD IS THE CHIEF HISTORIAN FOR THE WARNER ROBINS AIR LOGISTICS CENTER.
HE SAYS WHEN THE GREAT DEPRESSION HIT... THE SOUTH WAS ONLY BEGINING TO GET BACK ON THEIR FEET... AFTER THE CIVIL WAR.
Bill Head: "A lot of them didn't have shoes. They wore the same clothes day after day. If they had a place to, you know, keep the rain off of them, it was, you know, that was a miracle."
BUT THE BIGGEST MIRACLE FOR THE AREA... HE SAYS... CAME JUNE 16TH... 19-41... IN FORM OF A LETTER.
Bill Head: "This is the telegram that Congressman Vinson sent to the city fathers in Macon telling them that they would be getting the airfield here, in what was then Wellston."
NEWS THAT SPARKED CELEBRATION.
Bill Head: "It was like finding out that you've received Salvation. Which, to Southern folks, that means a great deal."
IT MEANT THAT WITHIN A FEW YEARS....26 THOUSAND PEOPLE WOULD WORK IN THAT SLEEPY WHISTLE-STOP TOWN.
Bill Head: "That's the parade right there."
EMPLOYMENT PEAKED DURING WORLD WAR II.
SEVENTY YEARS AFTER PLANS FIRST BROKE... THE STATE'S LARGEST SINGLE EMPLOYER...
...STILL BUSTLES WITH EXCITEMENT... AND NOW EMPLOYS 22 THOUSAND CENTRAL GEORGIANS.
AMY AUBERT... 13 WMAZ... EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> HEAD SAYS THE WARNER ROBINS AREA WAS ONE OF THREE CHOICES FOR THE AIR FORCE BASE.
THEY'LL CELEBRATE THE 70TH BIRTHDAY AT THE MUSEUM OF AVIATION ON THURSDAY... STARTING AT 6 P-M.
THE EVENT IS SOLD OUT.
THE LUCKY WINNER OF THE ST. JUDE DREAM HOME SHOULD SLEEP PEACEFULLY IN THEIR NEW HOUSE.
THAT'S BECAUSE BENEATH THE FLOOR OF THE MASTER BEDROOM... WILL BE THE WELL WISHES OF PATIENTS.. THEIR FAMILIES AND THOSE WHO HELPED BUILD THE HOUSE.
THEY WROTE MESSAGES OF THANKS AND BLESSINGS FOR THE NEW HOMEOWNERS AND WELL WISHES FOR THE FUTURE ON THE FLOOR.
CANCER SURVIVOR.. J-B JAMES... WROTE THANKS FOR SAVING MY LIFE TO ST. JUDE HOSPITAL.
HIS DAD... ERSKINE JAMES... LEFT HIS OWN MESSAGE AND MADE A SUGGESTION FOR WHAT DREAM HOME WINNERS SHOULD DO WITH THE BEDROOM FLOOR.
Erskine James, St. Jude:
(1219) "I was joking and a couple of others said this as well, instead of carpeting this floor. they should shellack this floor, so you could see these thoughts, these thank yous, this gratitude."
THE EARLY BIRD DEADLINE FOR BUYING A DREAM HOME TICKET IS THIS FRIDAY..
IF YOU ENTER BY THAT DATE... YOU COULD WIN A 55 INCH H-D-TV AND HOME ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM.... PLUS THE DREAM HOME.
THE DRAWING WILL BE BROADCAST LIVE ON 13-WMAZ.. AUGUST 14TH.
TICKETS ARE 100 DOLLARS EACH.
CALL (800) 254-5010... TO BUY YOUR TICKET... OR LOOK FOR THIS STORY ON OUR WEB-SITE 13WMAZ-DOT COM FOR TICKET LOCATIONS.
THAT NUMBER AGAIN 800-254-5010.
FATHER'S DAY IS COMING UP... AND WE WANT YOU TO THINK BACK TO ALL THE THINGS YOUR FATHER SAID TO YOU.
SOME OF OUR FACEBOOK FANS SHARED THEIR FAVORITE DAD-ISMS.
WANDA COMMENTED... "MY DAD WOULD SAY GREAT GOOGLY MUUGLY WHEN THINGS DIDN'T GO RIGHT."
ERIC WROTE..."HE ALWAYS WOULD SAY TO ME 'BOY, YOU COULD TEAR UP AN ANVIL!' USUALLY AFTER HE HAD TO FIX SOMETHING I BROKE!"
WENDEE'S FATHER ALWAYS SAID... "ASK YOUR MAMA."
AND ANGEE SAID... "IF I WAS IN TROUBLE, HE DIDN'T HAVE TO SAY ANYTHING.....IT WAS "THE LOOK" THAT SAID IT ALL!"
JOIN THE DISCUSSION... LOG ONTO FACEBOOK SLASH 13WMAZ.