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Monday, June 27, Eyewitness News at 11

9:51 PM, Jun 27, 2011   |    comments
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GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
FRANK MALLOY HAS THE NIGHT OFF.

A PULASKI COUNTY FAMILY IS MOURNING THE LOSS OF 18-YEAR-OLD ASHTON BARTLETT... AFTER A SATURDAY MORNING SHOOTING.
THEY SAY THE MAN ACCUSED OF KILLING HER.... IS A FORMER BOYFRIEND.
BARTLETT'S PARENTS AND GRANDMOTHER SAID SHE LOVED ANIMALS.. CHILDREN AND BEING WITH FRIENDS.
THEY SAY SHE WENT OUT FRIDAY NIGHT AROUND 4 A-M SATURDAY AND SHOWED UP AT A LOCATION ON MCDUFFIE STREET WITH A MALE FRIEND.
HER PARENTS SAY SHE WENT TO TALK WITH HER FORMER BOYFRIEND...
33-YEAR-OLD BIRAGO BLACKSHEAR.
PULASKI COUNTY INVESTIGATOR TODD McGRIFF SAYS BLACKSHEAR BECAME UPSET AND SHOT BARTLETT IN THE BACK.
Beth Bridges, Victim's Grandmother: (7:55) "He had been calling her, harrassing her, coming over where she was. He said it was going to be a problem, if he had to come get her."
Michelle Bartlett, Eastman: (16:15) "I just hope if nothing else good comes out of this, that it might save somebody's else's life that's in the same situation she was in."
VISITATION FOR ASHTON BARTLETT IS TOMORROW FROM SIX TO 8 P-M AT CLARKE FUNERAL HOME IN HAWKINSVILLE.
THE FUNERAL IS AT THE SAME LOCATION... WEDNESDAY AT 2 P-M.
ACCORDING TO AGENT TODD LOWERY WITH THE G-B-I IN EASTMAN... BLACKSHEAR IS IN THE PULASKI COUNTY JAIL CHARGED WITH MURDER.

CHARRED WOOD AND DEBRIS ARE ALL THAT'S LEFT AFTER A FIRE AT A WEST BIBB COUNTY APARTMENT COMPLEX.
FAMILES THAT LOST THEIR HOMES LOOKED AT THE DAMAGE SURROUNDED BY CAUTION TAPE AT THE 15-HUNDRED BUILDING OF NORTHWOOD APARTMENTS.
MACON-BIBB FIRE CHIEF MARVIN RIGGINS SAYS IT'S UNSAFE FOR PEOPLE TO GO INSIDE.
RIGGINS SAYS LIGHTNING SPARKED THE BLAZE... AROUND EIGHT LAST NIGHT.
PEOPLE WERE INSIDE AT THE TIME.. BUT NONE WERE HURT.
CREWS BATTLED THE FIRE FOR HOURS.
TWO FIREFIGHTERS WERE ON THE BUILDING'S SECOND LEVEL WHEN PART OF THE FLOOR GAVE WAY.
Chief Marvin Riggins, Macon-Bibb Fire Department: "And unfortunately we had a couple fire fighters to actually fall through the second level onto the first level, so their injuries they was transported to the hospital and they were taken care of their injuries were treated and they were released early this morning."
RIGGINS SAYS PRIVATE JAMARCO HUGHES STRAINED HIS KNEE IN THE FALL.. AND PRIVATE TRAVIS VERONEE INJURED HIS HAND.
HIS SAYS BOTH WERE OFF DUTY TODAY RECOVERING.... AND SHOULD RETURN TO WORK SOON.

LIGHTNING ALSO IGNITED A FIRE AT A NORTH BIBB COUNTY HOME LAST NIGHT.
CAPTAIN SHANE EDWARDS WITH THE MACON-BIBB FIRE DEPARTMENT SAYS IT HAPPENED AROUND EIGHT THIRTY ON WAVERLY PLACE.
THAT'S IN THE PROVIDENCE PLACE SUBDIVISION.... OFF BASS ROAD.
HE SAYS THE FIRE STARTED ON THE ROOF AND CAUSED MODERATE DAMAGE.
EDWARDS SAYS THE FAMILY WAS HOME.... BUT NO ONE WAS HURT.

adlib toss to weather
FOR YOUR FORECAST FIRST... 3 DAY FORECAST WE JOIN CHIEF METEOROLOGIST BEN JONES IN THE WEATHER CENTER.
ben gives three day forecast
THANKS BEN.. WE'LL TALK WITH YOU AGAIN IN JUST A FEW MINUTES.

A FEDERAL JUDGE GRANTED A REQUEST TO BLOCK PARTS OF GEORGIA'S NEW IMMIGRATION LAW FROM TAKING EFFECT UNTIL A LEGAL CHALLENGE IS RESOLVED.
JUDGE THOMAS THRASH BLOCKED PARTS OF THE LAW THAT PENALIZE PEOPLE WHO TRANSPORT OR HARBOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS.
HE ALSO BLOCKED PROVISIONS THAT AUTHORIZE OFFICERS TO VERIFY THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF SOMEONE WHO CAN'T PROVIDE PROPER I-D.
MOST PARTS OF THE LAW ARE SCHEDULED TO TAKE EFFECT JULY FIRST.

OUSTED ILLINOIS GOVERNOR ROD BLAGOJEVICH SAYS HE'S DISAPPOINTED AND STUNNED AFTER BEING FOUND GUILTY OF 17 OF 20
CHARGES IN HIS CORRUPTION RETRIAL.
HE SPOKE ONLY BRIEFLY... AFTER SAYING THAT ONE THING HE'D LEARNED WAS NOT TO TALK SO MUCH.
Patty and I are very disappointed in the outcome... I frankly am stunned. There's not much less to say than we want to get home to our little girls and explain things to them and then try to sort things out.
BLAGOJEVICH WAS CONVICTED OF ALL 11 CHARGES RELATED TO HIS ATTEMPT TO SELL OR TRADE PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA'S VACATED SENATE SEAT.
JURORS DEADLOCKED ON TWO CHARGES.
A STATUS HEARING FOR SENTENCING WAS SET FOR THE FIRST OF AUGUST.

VISION AIRLINES IS DROPPING ITS SERVICE IN ANOTHER GEORGIA CITY.
THE AIRLINE SAYS IT'S CANCELING FLIGHTS OUT OF SAVANNAH... JUST THREE MONTHS AFTER THE
CARRIER ADDED THE COASTAL GEORGIA CITY TO ITS SCHEDULE.
YOU MAY REMEMBER... IN MARCH... THE AIRLINE ALSO CANCELED ITS PLANS TO FLY OUT OF THE MIDDLE GEORGIA REGIONAL AIRPORT.
AND THAT'S NOT ALL... IT'S ALSO ENDING SERVICE NEXT MONTH TO HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA... COLUMBIA AND GREENVILLE SOUTH CAROLINA AND BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA.
THE SAVANNAH FLIGHTS WILL END JULY 17TH.

TOMORROW KICKS OFF THE FIRST OFFICIAL DAY FOR EARLY VOTING.
BUT THAT DIDN'T KEEP SOME AWAY FROM THE POLLS... A DAY AHEAD OF SCHEDULE.
JEANETTA WATSON... WITH THE BIBB COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS SAYS WORKERS SPENT A WEEK SETTING UP SO POLLS COULD OPEN A DAY EARLY.
VOTERS HITTING THE POLLS MONDAY... SAY SHOWING UP EARLY... BEATS WAITING IN LINES... AND GIVES THEM MORE TIME... TO LOOK OVER THE CANDIDATES.
WATSON SAYS... THE FIRST DAY WAS PRETTY QUIET... BUT SHE EXPECTS VOTER TURNOUT TO JUMP... IN THE NEXT COUPLE WEEKS.
Jeanetta Watson: "They come in, they can take their time, they can look at the ballot, they can see all the candidates names on the list. It'll give them time to go and research a candidate to see one that best suits what they're looking for."
EARLY VOTING OFFICIALLY STARTS ON THE 28TH.. DOORS AT THE BIBB COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS OPEN AT 8-30.

TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS...
WHEN DO YOU USUALLY VOTE?
SO FAR... 34 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YOU VOTE EARLY.
57 PERCENT SAY YOU VOTE ON ELECTION DAY.
AND 9 PERCENT SAY YOU DO NOT VOTE.
YOU HAVE UNTIL MIDNIGHT TO VOTE.
VISIT OUR WEBSITE.. 13WMAZ DOT COM AND LOOK FOR THE WEB POLL ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE.

WHILE LOCAL FOLKS MAY BE FOCUSING ON CITY HALL THIS WEEK... ANOTHER REPUBLICAN CONTENDER HAS HER EYE ON THE WHITE HOUSE...
"My name is Michele Bachman:I stand her in the midst of many friends... and many family members to announce formally my candidacy for president of the United States....*Cheers*
CONGRESSWOMAN MICHELE BACHMANN CALLS HERSELF THE "BOLD CHOICE" FOR NEXT YEAR'S REPUBLICAN TICKET.
THE TEA PARTY FAVORITE MADE HER CANDIDACY OFFICIAL TODAY IN IOWA... THE STATE WHERE SHE WAS BORN... AND ALSO THE FIRST CAUCUS STATE.
BACHMANN EMPHASIZED HER TEA PARTY TIES AND PLAYED UP HER ABILITY TO WORK WITH HER DEMOCRATIC COLLEAGES.
A NEW POLL SHOWS HER AT THE FRONT OF THE PACK IN IOWA.

A FORMER GEORGIA STATE TROOPER IS GETTING AN EARLY START ON THE CAMPAIGN TO BE THE NEXT HOUSTON COUNTY SHERIFF.
JUSTIN TABOR ANNOUNCED TODAY THAT HE'S RUNNING FOR HOUSTON COUNTY SHERIFF IN 2012 FOR ONE REASON... "PEOPLE".
ACCORDING TO NEWS RELEASE... TABOR WANTS TO BE AVAILABLE TO PEOPLE THROUGH FORUMS HELD THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.
HE SAYS HE ALSO WANTS TO BE PERSONALLY INVOLVED WITH THE COUNTY'S YOUNG PEOPLE THROUGH THE SCHOOLS.

WE'RE COMING TO A COFFEE SHOP WHERE YOU LIVE...IN WARNER ROBINS.
ON WEDNESDAY... LORRA LYNCH JONES AND COMMUNITY WEB PRODUCER JACQUELINE HARNEVIOUS WILL VISIT BARE BULB COFFEE IN WARNER ROBINS.
YOU CAN STOP BY TO SHARE YOUR NEWS TIPS AND LEARN HOW TO SHARE YOUR OWN STORIES BY BECOMING A COMMUNITY BLOGGER.
THAT'S WEDNESDAY FROM 10:30 A-M UNTIL 3 P-M.

THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HAVE GONE TO JOPLIN MISSOURI TO HELP OUT SINCE A TORNADO RAVAGED THE TOWN MORE THAN A MONTH AGO.
THEY'VE TRAVELED FROM EVERY CORNER OF THE COUNTRY.
BUT FOR ONE HERO... IT WAS A TRIP HALF-WAY AROUND THE WORLD TO RE-PAY THE UNITED STATES FOR HELPING HIS HOMELAND.
ETHAN FORHETZ TELLS US MORE IN TONIGHT'S HERO CENTRAL REPORT.
"Through the many hands of all the wonderful volunteers from all around, we take a very extremely heavy load and turn it light."
THOUSANDS OF VOLUNTEERS, MANY MOBILIZED BY AMERICORPS, ARE STARTING TO MAKE A DENT INTO THE CLEANUP OF DEBRIS LEFT BEHIND FOLLOWING THE EF-5 TORNADO THAT RIPPED THROUGH JOPLIN ON MAY 22.
"We have a big problem, but we have a lot of big hearts that are coming and showing up everyday."
ONE OF THOSE VOLUNTEERS WITH A BIG HEART IS TOSHIYA MUTO OR TOSHI AS HIS FRIENDS CALL HIM.
SEEING WHAT THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES DID WITH THEIR WALLETS AND THEIR ACTIONS FOLLOWING THE DEVASTATION THAT HIT HIS HOME COUNTRY OF JAPAN IN MARCH, THE EARTHQUAKE AND FOLLOWING TSUNAMI, TOSHI DECIDED THAT HE WOULD DO HIS PART TO PAY THE U.S. BACK IN THE WAKE OF THE DEVASTATING TORNADO.
translation - "I heard it was a horrible, horrible situation and thought maybe, I should do what I can to help in Joplin. Both are very terrible disasters. There's much human tragedy. They both need lots of debris removal and have seriously impacted families lives."
TOSHI LEFT JAPAN AND ARRIVED IN JOPLIN MORE THAN A WEEK AGO. DURING HIS TIME HERE, HE'S WORKED IN THE HOT SUN EVERY DAY ALONGSIDE VOLUNTEERS FROM NEW YORK, FLORIDA AND SEVERAL OTHER STATES.
BUT NO ONE AS FAR AWAY AS TOSHI'S HOME.
"He's very hard working, very inspirational. I think it's just the utter definition of compassion for your fellow man."
TOSHI SAYS HE'S ALSO GUIDED BY A SENSE OF RESPECT AND GRATITUDE TOWARD AMERICA.
translation - "It's not just the sadness, you see the good side of people. I felt that in Japan and I feel that here. I really respect the people who are here volunteering and helping out."
TOSHI RIDES HIS BIKE 10 MILES 'ROUND TRIP EVERYDAY FROM HIS HOTEL TO THE DISASTER ZONE TO DO WHAT HE CAN TO HELP VICTIMS OF THE TORNADO AND DO HIS PART TO MAKE THIS WORLD WE SHARE A BETTER PLACE.
"In an imperfect world, it brings a little bit of perfection."
"Of course it has an impact on my life, but though my strength may be soft, slightly weak, if it has some impact, if someone needs me to exert myself, I'd like to do my best to help."
TOSHI VIEWS THE UNITED STATES AS A LEADER IN VOLUNTEERISM AND PLANS TO TAKE HIS EXPERIENCE IN JOPLIN BACK TO JAPAN.
HE ARRIVED IN JOPLIN ON JUNE 16TH AND WILL STAY THROUGH THE DAY TOMORROW.

NASA'S ROBOTIC LANDER PROTOTYPE... A SMALL CRAFT AIMED AT SPACEFLIGHT IS UNDERGOING A SERIES OF TEST FLIGHTS... USING HYDROGEN PEROXIDE AS A PROPELLANT.
TO THE NAKED EYE IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO MONITOR THE FUEL'S PERFORMANCE.
BUT WITH INFRARED IMAGING... THE SCIENTISTS CAN SEE EXACLTY HOW THE VEHICLE BEHAVES AND WHETHER THE THRUSTERS ARE PULSING AS DESIGNED.
RESEARCHERS BELIEVE THE PROTOTYPE WILL ONE DAY SPAWN A NEW GENERATION OF SMALL CRAFT CAPABLE OF LANDING ON ASTEROID AND PLANET SURFACES.
THEY HOPE TO USE IT TO REMOTELY CONDUCT SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENTS.
IN THIS LATEST TEST.... THE LANDER FLEW FOR 27 SECONDS... REACHING AN ALTITUDE OF SEVEN FEET.
NASA IS AIMING TO TAKE IT TO A HUNDRED FEET FOR ONE FULL MINUTE DURING THE NEXT ROUND OF TESTS.

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