Monday, July 4, Eyewitness News at 11

11:08 PM, Jul 4, 2011   |    comments
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<<opening for eyewitness news at eleven>>
FIREWORKS LIT THE SKY ABOVE LAKE TOBESOFKEE TONIGHT... IN HONOR OF THE FOURTH OF JULY HOLIDAY.
GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M LORRA LYNCH JONES.
FRANK MALLOY AND LEAH JOHNSON HAVE THE NIGHT OFF.

HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE FLOCKED TO THE BEACH IN BIBB COUNTY... TO END THEIR FOURTH OF JULY HOLIDAY WITH A BIT OF A BANG.
ELEANOR LISSITZYN BRINGS YOU THE SIGHTS AND SOUNDS FROM THE SPARKS IN THE PARK AT LAKE TOBESOFKEE.

VOLUNTEERS BROUGHT AN ANNUAL INDEPENDENCE DAY TRADITION TO ONE OF MACON'S SENIOR COMMUNITY'S.
THE GROUP CAME TO MCAFEE TOWERS... BRINGING FOOD AND FUN TO THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE THERE.
THE SENIORS MUNCHED ON SOME FOURTH OF JULY FAVORITES... INCLUDING CAKE.
PEOPLE AT MCAFEE TOWERS SAY THEY ENJOY CELEBRATING THE FOURTH EACH YEAR AND REMEMBERING WHAT THE DAY IS ALL ABOUT.
Constance Graham "This is just a day that everybody need to take a little time and praise the Lord because it is a special day"
Connie Singleton "We've got to recognized our fallen soliders and the ones that are over in the war right now do something to celebrate".
MCAFEE TOWERS AND COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERS HAVE HELD THE FOURTH OF JULY EVENT FOR MORE THAN 15 YEARS.

SOME FOLKS DECIDED TO CELEBRATE THE FOURTH AT THE BIRTHPLACE OF MACON... FORT HAWKINS.
THEY GOT A CHANCE TO ENJOY SOME FOOD... A LITTLE MUSIC... AND A HISTORY LESSON.
nats "fiddling" :03
SUE TOMLIN ENTERTAINED THE CROWD WITH HER FIDDLE.
FIFTY WATERMELONS... SLICED INTO OLD-FASHIONED WEDGES... WERE ON HAND TO COOL PEOPLE OFF.
PROJECT COORDINATOR MARTY WILLETT RE-ENACTED AN ADDRESS FROM COLONEL BENJAMIN HAWKINS... AND THE CROWD LISTENED TO THE WORDS OF OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM.
Marty Willett, Press Officer and Project Coodinator: "... and the rockets red glare and the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave or the land of the free and the home of the brave."
OTHERS IN MACON ALSO CELEBRATED WITH WORDS FROM THE NATION'S HISTORY.
ST. PETER CLAVER CATHOLIC CHURCH HELD A MASS TO REMEMBER THE COURAGE OF OUR FOREFATHERS.
THE CEREMONY INCLUDED THE PRESENTATION OF COLORS AND THE READING OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.
CHURCH MEMBERS SAY THE OBSERVANCE HELPED REMIND THEM OF WHY WE SHOULD ALL REMEMBER THE FOURTH OF JULY.
Sandra Davis-Johnson "I think it's very important for us to remember what the forefathers of the country went through and did for us in order for us to have freedoms for inalienable rights for all people of all colors and ethnic backgrounds and for the struggle that people continue to go through around the world today"
AFTER THE MASS... CHURCH MEMBERS CELEBRATED THE FOURTH WITH A BIRTHDAY CAKE FOR THE NATION AND SOME BRUNCH.

TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... HAVE YOU EVER READ THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE?
SO FAR 65 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES... YOU HAVE.
35 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO... YOU HAVEN'T READ IT.
VOTE NOW... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.

UP THE INTERSTATE IN ATLANTA... THOUSANDS OF RUNNERS TOOK TO THE PAVEMENT FOR THE ANNUAL ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION PEACHTREE ROAD RACE.
SAMMY KITWARA OF KENYA WON THE FOOT RACE FINISHING IN 28 MINUTES AND FIVE SECONDS.
KRIGE SCHABORT OF CEDARTOWN, GEORGIA WON THE WHEELCHAIR COMPETITION.
RUNNERS SAY... THEY EACH HAVE THEIR OWN REASON FOR LACING UP THEIR SNEAKERS.
Tim Wilson/Lawrenceville
There's something about running with this many people and getting across that finish line. It' s always hot, and it's always nice to get that t-shirt and to be able to wear it the rest of the day and tell everybody that you've wore it and that you've ran it."
MORE THAN 60-THOUSAND PEOPLE SIGNED UP FOR THE RACE.

MACON POLICE SAY THEY'LL SEND EVIDENCE TO THE F-B-I LAB THIS WEEK.... IN THE APPARENT HOMICIDE OF LAUREN GIDDINGS.
THIS VIDEO WAS TAKEN EARLIER THIS AFTERNOON... OUTSIDE BARRISTERS HALL APARTMENTS... WHERE THE 27 YEAR OLD MERCER LAW GRAD LIVED.
MACON POLICE AND MERCER UNIVERSITY POLICE PATROL THE AREA.... AND PEOPLE PLACED FLOWERS OUTSIDE THE APARTMENTS.
POLICE YESTERDAY POSTED A *DO NOT ENTER* SIGN ON GIDDINGS' SECOND FLOOR APARTMENT DOOR.'
THEY ALSO POSTED THE SAME SIGN ON HER NEIGHBOR.. STEPHEN MCDANIEL'S DOOR.
AUTHORITIES ARRESTED HIM FRIDAY... AND CHARGED HIM WITH TWO BURGLARIES... FROM MORE THAN TWO YEARS AGO.
POLICE SAY HE'S A PERSON OF INTEREST IN GIDDINGS' KILLING.
SHE REPORTEDLY HAD NOT BEEN SEEN SINCE SATURDAY... JUNE 25TH.
LAST THURSDAY.... POLICE DISCOVERED WHAT THEY BELIEVE IS HER BODY... TO THE LEFT OF HER APARTMENT BUILDING.
TODAY MACON POLICE SAID THEY'RE COMPARING EVIDENCE TAKEN FROM THE APARTMENTS THIS WEEKEND.... AGAINST STATEMENTS IN THE CASE.
SOME OF THAT EVIDENCE WILL BE SENT TO THE F-B-I LAB IN VIRGINIA TOMORROW.
IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION IN THE CASE... YOU CAN CALL MACON REGIONAL CRIMESTOPPERS AT 1-877-68 CRIME.
THAT NUMBER AGAIN... 1-877-68-CRIME.

AN 84-YEAR-OLD MAN DODGE COUNTY MAN IS HOME SAFE TONIGHT.... AFTER HIS PLANE CRASHED INTO THE TREETOPS ABOVE DODGE COUNTY.
JAMES (SPLETS-STOZIER) SPLETSTOSER SUFFERED JUST MINIOR INJURIES WHEN HIS SMALL ULTRALIGHT PLANE CRASHED NEAR THE DODGE COUNTY COMMUNITY OF DUBOIS.
CAPTAIN TONY WINBORN OF THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS THE MAN HAD JUST TAKEN OFF FROM A PRIVATE AIR STRIP ON HIS PROPERTY.... WHEN HIS ONE-PERSON PLANE CRASHED IN THE WOODS.
IT HAPPENED NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF DUBOIS CHURCH ROAD AND HARDY ROAD.
DUBOIS IS NORTH OF EASTMAN.
THE PLANE WAS LODGED IN THE TREES ABOUT 60 FEET OFF THE GROUND AND SUFFERED HEAVY DAMAGE.
WINBORN SAID (SPLETS-STOZIER) SPLETSTOSER WAS STUCK IN THE TREES FOR MORE THAN AN HOUR... BUT SUFFERED ONLY MINOR CHEMICAL BURNS FROM LEAKING FUEL.
"He was still within the plane when the first responders arrived, and the Dodge sheriff's deputies, along with EMS, and they were having a problem extracting him from the wreckage. A local private citizen who runs a tree-cutting company come out and helped them climb the tree and harnassed him to get him down to the first responders and the EMS personnel."
(SPLETS-STOZIER) SPLETSTOSER IS AN VIETNAM VETERAN WHO FLIES AS A HOBBY, WINBORN SAID.

MACON CITY COUNCIL OPPONENTS ARE TALKING TO VOTERS... AND EACH OTHER... ON FACEBOOK.
ELAINE LUCAS... A DEMOCRAT AND THE INCUMBENT RUNNING FOR THE CITY'S WARD ONE... POST THREE SEAT SAYS SHE BEGAN USING THE SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE.ABOUT TWO YEARS AGO.
HER OPPONENT... DEMOCRAT CHRIS HORNE... ALSO USES IT.
HORNE AND LUCAS HAVE FIELDED QUESTIONS FROM VOTERS... AND POSTED INFORMATION ABOUT EVENTS.
THE TWO CANDIDATES... WHO ARE FACEBOOK FRIENDS.. ALSO EXCHANGED POSTS... WITH EACH OTHER.
Elaine Lucas, Candidate for City Council: "I decided that would be a neat way to let people know what my priorities were."
Chris Horne, Candidate for City Council: I think it's just a way to kind of get that conversation going about what it is we actually need and what we can do."
ON JULY 19TH.....VOTERS WILL DECIDE THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY RACE BETWEEN LUCAS AND HORNE FOR THE WARD POST THREE SEAT. THERE IS NO REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE.

MACON'S FOUR MAYORAL CANDIDATES WILL MEET HERE IN THE 13WMAZ STUDIO FOR A DEBATE ON THURSDAY.
YOU CAN WATCH THEM LIVE FROM 7 TO 8 P-M HERE ON 13WMAZ... AND ONLINE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
PAUL BRONSON... ROBERT BROWN... C-JACK ELLIS AND MAYOR ROBERT REICHERT WILL TAKE PART IN THE DEBATE.
I'LL BE ON THE PANEL... ALONG WITH OUR SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT EDITOR RANDALL SAVAGE AND FORMER MACON CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT AND CURRENT RADIO SHOW HOST.... ANITA PONDER.
THAT'S THIS THURSDAY AT 7 P-M... ON 13WMAZ AND 13WMAZ DOT COM.

A RECREATIONAL FISHING TRIP TURNED INTO A NIGHTMARE OFF THE COAST OF MEXICO.
A BOAT CARRYING 27 AMERICANS CAPSIZED.
ONE MAN DIED... AND 7 ARE STILL MISSING.
SANDRA HUGHES REPORTS FROM LOS ANGELES.
((nats chopper))

((NARR-1))

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter joined Mexico's navy Monday in the search for several fishermen still missing off Baja California.

One American was killed when the "Erik" - a chartered fishing boat - capsized in a flash storm early Sunday morning .... 60 miles south of San Felipe.

((SOT)) Jan Askew/Survivor's Wife ( :17-:25)

"They all just had to jump off the boat and get life jackets on. He'd indicated he'd been in the water for about 15 hours."

((NARR-2))

Some of the fishermen on board the "Erik" took this trip every year for the fourth of July. Jan Askew's husband, Rich Ciabattari (sib-uh-ter'-ri) joined this year by chance:

((SOT)) Jan Askew

"Apparently one of the gentlemen couldn't go, and Rich was offered a trip for free."

((NARR-3))

The men clung to coolers, rescue rings, and life vests for hours.... Until three of them were rescued by another boat as they tried to swim to shore.

((SOT)) Jan Askew

"I feel very lucky, I really do."

((NARR-4))

Mexican officials say the survivors were in good condition - with injuries like scrapes and sunburns.

They were taken to a clinic for checkups. Lee Ikegami's wife Murphy, said her husband called to tell her he was ok.

((SOT)) VOICE OF: Murphy Ikegami/Survivor's Wife (1:01-1:09)

"He was on the side where it came up so he was flipped into the water and he and some other that were close to him came up by a raft."

((NARR-5))

The "Erik" has been operating on the Gulf of California since 1989. The owners, Baja Sportfishing, released a statement:

((GFX))

"We have been working with Mexican Navy authorities and the U.S. Coast Guard in the search and rescue. Right now our main concern is making sure that everyone is accounted for."

According to the company's website, all trips are canceled until further notice.
THE CALIFORNIA SECRETARY OF STATE WEBSITE SAYS BAJA SPORTFISHING'S BUSINESS LICENSE HAS BEEN SUSPENDED.

TONIGHT'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY... FREDERICA MOBLEY!
CONGRATULATIONS FREDERICA... YOU'LL GET A 13WMAZ COFFEEE MUG.
NOW... GETTING INTO THE RUNNING FOR FAN OF THE DAY IS AN EASY THREE-STEP PROCESS.
ONE... VISIT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ.
TWO... BECOME A FAN... AND THREE... GET IN ON THE CONVERSATIONS.
WE PICK OUR FAN OF THE DAY RANDOMLY.

THREE MOVIES BATTLED IT OUT FOR TOP OF THE BOX OFFICE THIS WEEKEND...
COMING IN AT NUMBER 3.. THE COMEDY BAD TEACHER.. IS STILL ENTERTAINING AUDIENCES.
THE MOVIE STARRING.. CAMERON DIAZ AS A BAD MOUTHED JUNIOR HIGH TEACHER LOOKING FOR NEW LOVE.. BROUGHT IN JUST OVER 14 MILLION DOLLARS IN ITS SECOND WEEK.
PULLING INTO THE NUMBER TWO SPOT.. IS DISNEY PIXAR'S CARS 2.
LIGHTNING MCQUEEN AND THE CREW... REVVED UP 25 POINT 1 MILLION DOLLARS THIS WEEKEND.
LARRY THE CABLE GUY... OWEN WILSON AND MICHAEL CAINE ALL LEND THEIR VOCAL TALENTS TO THE FLICK... AND IT'S RATED G.
AND THE TRANSFORMERS ROBOTS FOUGHT THEIR WAY THROUGH THE REST OF THE FEILD.. DELIVERING THE BIGGEST OPENING WEEKEND IN THE U-S SO FAR THIS YEAR.
THE HIGH POWERED ACTION FILM... TOOK IN 97.4 MILLION DOLLARS IN ITS FIRST WEEKEND.
THIS IS THE THIRD FILM IN THE TRANSFORMERS FRANCHISE.
FROM THEATERS TO SHOWTIMES... WE CAN KEEP YOU CONNECTED TO ALL OF YOUR FAVORITE LISTINGS.
JUST VISIT OUR ENTERTAINMENT PAGE AT 13 WMAZ DOT COM.

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