Wednesday, November 16, Eyewitness News at 11

12:17 AM, Nov 17, 2011   |    comments
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GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M FRANK MALLOY..
AND I'M LEAH JOHNSON..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.

OUR TOP STORY TONIGHT... STRONG STORMS CAME THROUGH CENTRAL GEORGIA THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING... BRINGING SEVERE THUNDERSTORM AND TORNADO WARNINGS.
CHIEF METEOROLOGIST BEN JONES IS IN THE WEATHER CENTER... TO LET YOU KNOW IF ANY STORMS ARE LINGERING OVERNIGHT.
THANKS BEN.. WE'LL TALK WITH YOU AGAIN IN JUST A FEW MINUTES.

WASHINGTON COUNTY'S EMA DIRECTOR RUSSELL RINER SAYS STRAIGHT LINE WINDS FROM STORMS THIS AFTERNOON CAUSED DAMAGE IN SOME PARTS OF THE COUNTY.
HE TOURED AREAS WITH REPORTED DAMAGE IN WARTHEN, GEORGIA WHICH IS ABOUT NINE MILES NORTH OF SANDERSVILLE.
HE SAID THERE WAS MINOR DAMAGE TO A ROOF OF A HOME, TREES DOWN IN NEIGHBORHOODS, AND THE OVER HANG OF A GAS STATION WAS TORN OFF.
RINER ALSO SAYS ON HIGHWAY 242 A STRUCTURE HAD MODERATE DAMAGE TO ITS GARAGE, ROOF AND ATTIC.

THE STORMS ALSO KILLED ONE PERSON IN NORTH GEORGIA TODAY.
THE FORSYTH COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS IT HAPPENED WHEN A TREE FELL ON AN S-U-V.
EARLIER IN THE DAY... SEVERE STORMS ALSO ROLLED THROUGH MISSISSIPPI... AND PARTS OF ALABAMA.
FOUR HOMES WERE DAMAGED IN WESTERN ALABAMA... ABOUT 60 MILES SOUTHWEST OF TUSCALOOSA.
IT'S THE WORST WEATHER OUTBREAK FOR THAT AREA SINCE THE TORNADO OUTBREAK IN APRIL THAT KILLED ABOUT 250 PEOPLE.

IN MISSISSIPPI... AT LEAST 15 PEOPLE WERE INJURED AS THE STORMS MOVED THROUGH.
IN THE SOUTHEASTERN PART OF THE STATE... OFFICIALS SAY SOME PEOPLE WERE TRAPPED IN THEIR HOMES BY FALLING TREES.
MORE THAN 30 HOMES AND MOBILE HOMES WERE DAMAGED... AND FIVE WERE DESTROYED.
SUSPECTED TORNADOES WERE ALSO REPORTED IN LOUISIANA.

SOME OF YOU SNAPPED PHOTOS AS THE STORMS PASSED THROUGH YOUR AREA.
ONE VIEWER SENT THIS PHOTO FROM WASHINGTON COUNTY.
AND ANOTHER PERSON TOOK THIS PICTURE OF HAIL OUTSIDE THE WAFFLE HOUSE IN SANDERSVILLE.
WHEN YOU SEE NEWS OR WEATHER HAPPENING... FIRST MAKE SURE IT'S SAFE... THEN SNAP SOME PHOTOS OR VIDEO AND EMAIL US AT EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 13WMAZ DOT COM OR UPLOAD THEM TO THE WEBSITE.

A MACON MAN DIED AFTER SOMEONE SHOT HIM IN FRONT OF HIS HOME TONIGHT.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO BIBB COUNTY CORONER LEON JONES.
HE SAYS 39-YEAR-OLD MICHAEL DWAYNE HENDERSON WAS KILLED AT HIS ROCKY CREEK ROAD HOME AROUND 8-15.
MACON POLICE SPOKESWOMAN JAMI GAUDET SAYS HENDERSON WAS SHOT WHEN HE CAME OUT OF HIS HOME.
SHE SAYS HENDERSON'S GIRLFRIEND WAS INSIDE THE HOUSE... BUT DIDN'T SEE ANYTHING.

AND IN BIBB COUNTY... A TRUCK DRIVER IS IN THE HOSPITAL TONIGHT AFTER TWO MEN SHOT HIM DURING A ROBBERY.
BIBB COUNTY SHERIFF'S SERGEANT SEAN DEFOE SAYS IT HAPPENED BEHIND THE WALMART ON HARRISON ROAD.
THAT'S OFF EISENHOWER PARKWAY.
HE SAYS TWO MEN CAME UP TO 60-YEAR-OLD RANDALL MITCHELL AS HE FINISHED DOCKING HIS TRACTOR TRAILER AT THE BACK OF THE STORE.
DEFOE SAYS THE MEN DEMANDED MITCHELL'S WALLET... AND SHOT HIM WHEN HE REFUSED.
ACCORDING TO DEFOE... THE MEN THEN RAN AWAY.
MITCHELL IS IN STABLE CONDITION AT THE HOSPITAL.
IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ON EITHER CASE... YOU CAN CALL MACON REGIONAL CRIMESTOPPERS AT 1-877-68-CRIME.
AGAIN... 1-877-68-CRIME.

A MACON NON-PROFIT IS HELPING SMALL BUSINESSES GET STARTED IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA.
THE 567 CENTER FOR RENEWAL... CELEBRATED THE OFFICIAL GRAND OPENING OF THREE NEW BUSINESSES AS PART OF THEIR BUSINESS INCUBATOR PROGRAM.
AS ELEANOR LISSTIZYN EXPLAINS.... THE INTIATIVE HELPS PAVE THE WAY FOR GREAT IDEAS TO BECOME GREAT BUSINESS PLANS.
"Its like that feeling of being on the fairway, that early morning dew on the grass. Incredible fragrance."
IN SEPTEMBER JOHNNY ROHRBECK... FOLLOWED HIS NOSE... INTO THE WORLD OF BUSINESS
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"Thats when I began brain storming and thinking, somebody needs to do osomethign to capture fragrances and events that are a little more masculine"
HE DESIGNED THIS LINE OF CANDLES... CATERING TO MEN.
"This has been popular with men, and women, it's just really relaxing."
BUT HE NEEDED A PLACE TO GET HIS FEET WET AS A BUSINESSMAN.
"We've been shipping already all over the country, we just needed a place where local people could connect with us."
THAT'S WHERE THE 5.6.7. COMES IN.... HE TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THE NON-PROFIT'S BUSINESS INCUBATOR... RUN BY EXECTUTIVE DIRECTOR MELISSA MACKER.
"A lot of it is information."
SINCE JANUARY... THEY'VE HELPED BUSINESSES GET STARTED.
"Business licenses, business plans, how to get financing, they might not have a lot capitol starting out, our offices are furnished."
FOR ROHRBECK... MOVING INTO THE 5.6.7 WAS A ONE STOP SHOPPING EXPERIENCE.
THEY PROVIDE CONFERENCE SPACE... SCANNERS... AND PRINTERS... AND AN OFFICE.. FOR LESS THAN THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS TO A MONTH...
"They make it so easy to get started."
HELPING THIS ENTREPRENUR... FOLLOW THE SCENT... TO SUCCESS.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MELISSA MACKER SAYS THEY CURRENTLY HAVE THREE BUSINESSES IN THE INCUBATOR... WITH ROOM FOR TWO MORE.
SHE SAYS THEY ALSO PROVIDE MOBILE SERVICES FOR BUSINESSES THAT DON'T NEED TO RENT OFFICE SPACE.

THE ATTORNEY FOR ACCUSED MURDERER STEPHEN MCDANIEL SAYS HE'S CANCELED TOMORROW'S BOND HEARING.
MCDANIEL IS ACCUSED OF KILLING AND DISMEMBERING MERCER LAW GRADUATE LAUREN GIDDINGS.
HE'S BEEN IN JAIL SINCE JULY 1 ON UNRELATED BURGLARY CHARGES.
HIS ATTORNEY FLOYD BUFORD SAYS THEY WANT TO EVALUATE AND REVIEW YESTERDAY'S INDICTMENT BEFORE ASKING A JUDGE TO SET BOND.
BUFORD SAYS HE EXPECTS A JUDGE TO ARRAIGN HIS CLIENT IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS... AND HE SAYS HE WON'T RULE OUT SCHEDULING ANOTHER BOND HEARING BEFORE THEN.

THE MACON MALL DEMOLITION HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR SEVERAL MONTHS.
IT'S ALL PART OF HULL STOREY GIBSON LLC, THE MALL'S OWNERS RENOVATION PLANS.
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THE BUILDING WHERE PARISIANS USED TO BE IS NOW ALMOST COMPLETELY DEMOLISHED... AND DRIVING BY YOU CAN SEE STRAIGHT THROUGH FROM THE EISENHOWER PARKWAY ENTRANCE TO THE MERCER UNIVERSITY DRIVE SIDE.
CREWS CONTINUE TO USE EXCAVATORS TO RIP DOWN THE TWO STORY BUILDING... SORTING THE DEBRIS INTO PILES... TO MAKE THE DEMOLITION GREENER.
THE ROUNDABOUT TO IMPROVE TRAFFIC FLOW IS FINISHED AND IN USE NEAR THE EISENHOWER PARKWAY MALL ENTRANCE... CREWS ALSO PLAN ON EXPANDING THE J.C. PENNEY PARKING LOT.
THE MALL OWNERS SAY THEIR GOAL IS TO REMOVE UNUSED SPACE... MAKING THE MALL MORE SUCCESSFUL... AND FAMILY-FRIENDLY.
THE RENOVATIONS TO THE INTERIOR OF THE MALL WILL BE REVEALED... FRIDAY.

A RECOUNT IN THE RACE FOR MAYOR OF DANVILLE ENDED WITH THE SAME RESULTS.
TWIGGS COUNTY ELECTIONS SUPERVISOR MARETTE FAIR SAYS THIS MORNING'S RECOUNT SHOWED JIMMY SMITH WITH 49 VOTES.. DONALD MOORE WITH 48 VOTES.. AND THIRD-PLACE FINISHER, JAMES HOWELL WITH 11.
FAIR SAYS THE RESULTS WILL NOW BE CERTIFIED AND FORWARDED TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE.. SMITH WILL TAKE OFFICE JANUARY 1ST.
DANVILLE IS ON THE TWIGGS-WILKINSON COUNTY LINE.. IT HAS A POPULATION OF 238.

ONE GROUP HOPES TO MAKE MACON A GREENER PLACE BY INCREASING THE NUMBER OF TREES IN THE CITY AND COUNTY..
THE MACON-BIBB COUNTY TREE COMMISSION IS WORKING TO REVISE AN ORDINANCE TO PUT STRICTER REGULATIONS ON DEVELOPERS...
RESEARCH FROM TECHNICAL FORESTRY SERVICES SHOWS ONLY 37 PERCENT OF MACON IS COVERED BY TREES - THEY SAY THAT THREE POINTS LOWER THAN THE ACCEPTED MINIMUM FOR A CITY THIS SIZE...
CHAIRMAN ROB APSLEY SAYS RIGHT NOW THE ORDINANCE ONLY COVERS PUBLIC PROPERTY...
BUT THE NEW ORDInANCE WOULD ADDRESS PUBLIC AND PRIVATE PROPERTY IN HOPES OF MAINTAINING A HEALTHY TREE CANOPY..
Rob Apsley: Chairman: "You know the quality of life here in Macon is lagging behind many other cities which have ordiances. If you go the alpharetta or even columbus you can go to a mega mart and it's not the hot burning asphalt experience that it is here in macon."
APSLEY SAYS THEY'RE JUST BEGINNING TO DRAFT THE ORDIANCE... HE SAYS IT SHOULD BE READY BY EARLY SPRING...

A GROUP IN PERRY SERVED-UP A NEW EIGHT-COURT TENNIS CENTER THAT'S OPEN TO EVERYONE.
PERRY TENNIS ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT KERRY NORRIS SAYS HER GROUP RAISED ALL THE MONEY THEMSELVES... AND TURNED THE IDEA INTO REALITY... IN ONE-YEAR'S TIME.
IT'S A STORY THAT COMES STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART.
NORRIS SAYS THEY RAISED A HALF MILLION DOLLARS THROUGH YARD SALES... RAFFLES... SILENT AUCTIONS AND GOING DOOR-TO-DOOR.
SEVERAL COMMUNITY TENNIS LOVERS DONATED MONEY... THE LAND... AND THEIR TIME TO BUILD THE FACILITY.
IT'S ABOUT A BLOCK SOUTH OF THE WESTFIELD SCHOOL.
NORRIS SAYS IT'S OPEN TO EVERYONE... WITH A PARTICULAR FOCUS ON GIVING YOUNG PEOPLE A PLACE TO PLAY.
Kerry Norris, Perry Tennis Association: (21:45) "Not every boy is a football player or a baseball player, and for girls especially. There's not a lot of sports for girls, not all girls are softball or soccer players. This is something that buids confidence. It's an idividual sport you can work on your own. Something you can play for the rest of your life."
IT COSTS FOUR DOLLARS TO PLAY AT THE MIDDLE GEORGIA TENNIS CENTER... OR YOU CAN BUY AN ANNUAL MEMBERHSIP.
CALL 478-224-2336 FOR MORE INFORMATION.
THAT'S 478-224-2336.

TONIGHT'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY IS MICHAEL MCLENDON.
MICHAEL... YOU'LL NEED TO EMAIL FAN OF THE DAY AT 13WMAZ DOT COM TO CLAIM YOUR COFFEE MUG.
SO YOU WANT A MUG? YEAH... I DON'T HAVE ANY MUGS HERE.
BUT IF AN INTERESTED PARTY WERE TO GO TO FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ... THEY MIGHT HAVE A CHANCE.
IN THEORY... THEY'D JUST HAVE TO CLICK THE LIKE BUTTON... AND DO SOME CONVERSING.
BUT I HAVE TO WARN YOU... IT'S A VERY RANDOM THING.

THANKS FOR JOINING US.... FIRST MORNIN COMES YOUR WAY AT 5 A-M.
THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
ON LETTERMAN TONIGHT:
HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.

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