HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.... I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
AND I'M FRANK MALLOY.
THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX...
MORE THAN 600-THOUSAND VISITORS TOURED WARNER ROBINS' MUSEUM OF AVIATION LAST YEAR.
LEADERS THERE WANT JUST AS MANY PEOPLE TO VISIT THIS YEAR... BUT THEY'RE FACING CHALLENGES AFTER THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE CUT THE BUDGET AT ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE.
LORRA LYNCH JONES TELLS YOU HOW THE MUSEUM IS LOOKING TO MAKE-UP FOR THE LOSSES.
FOR BROCK MACKNICK... A STOP AT THE MUSUEM OF AVIATIOIN ON THE WAY FROM FLORIDA TO INDIANA... FUELS HIS DREAM.
Brock Macknick: (39:58) "I've always really wanted to fly."
HE'S IN AWE OF THE AIRCRAFT... AND THE COST OF ADMISSION.
Brock Macknick: (40:30) "I'm kind of amazed they can operate at this scale and keep things free."
MUSEUM DIRECTOR KEN EMERY SAYS IT WILL STAY THAT WAY... DESPITE LOSING HALF HIS STAFF POSITIONS... WHICH WENT FROM SIXTEEN TO EIGHT LAST WEEK.
Ken Emery: (25:26) "There's some adjustments we will have to do with manpower cuts on how we manage things."
Lorra Lynch Jones, Eyewitness News: (last one) "With the loss of those employees, the museum hopes to attract more volunteers with a knowledge of maintaining and restoring aircraft."'
EMERY SAYS THEY NEED MORE PEOPLE IN OTHER AREAS... ALTHOUGH VOLUNTEERS CAN'T DO IT ALL.
Ken Emery: (21:38) "We might thin the number of airplanes we have, possibly by 10-percent just to reduce the workload."
PAT BATNESS WILL INCREASE HIS EFFORTS... AS THE PRESIDENT OF THE MUSEUM'S PRIVATE FUNDRAISING ARM.
Pat Bartness: (26:40) "At the same time the museum is losing people, a lot of our sources for funding, like earmarks from the federal government and like grants from the state government have gone away."
HE'S LOOKING TO KEEP WHAT'S HERE.. THROUGH CORPORATE SPONSORSHIPS AND DONATIONS OUTSIDE THE MUSEUM'S TYPICAL CENTRAL GEORGIA REACH. LOCAL SUPPORTERS CAN EXPECT NEW FUNDRAISERS... TOO.
Pat Barness: (30:38) "Were in the initial stages of a new fundraising event. It would be a gaming tournament."
AS FOR A RETURN ON HIS FREE ADMISSION...
Brock Macknick: (40:15) "This is probably one of the best museums I've ever been in."
... AND HE'S GLAD TO SPREAD THE WORD... A FREE MARKETING TECHNIQUE THE MUSEUM MAY DEPEND ON IN TIGHT TIMES.
>> TO VOLUNTEER AT THE MUSEUM OF AVIATION... CALL AT 478-926-6870.
AGAIN THAT'S 478-926-6870.
THERE'S A SHORT INTERVIEW TO DISCUSS VOLUNTEERS SKILLS.
SOME PEOPLE IN AREAS LIKE RIVER NORTH---WOKE UP TO SMOKE THIS MORNING.
GEORGIA FORESTRY COMMISSION CONDUCTED A 400 ACRE CONTROLLED FIRE AT THE TOWN CREEK RESERVOIR IN JONES COUNTY ON THURSDAY.
BUT THE SMOKE FROM THIS DRIFTED INTO SOME LOW-LYING AREAS NEARBY.
AUSTIN LEWIS TALKED TO ONE OF THOSE FAMILIES THAT WOKE UP TO A HOUSE FULL OF SMOKE.
-(nats opening door)
THE NESHIMKAS HOUSE IS PRETTY CLEAR RIGHT NOW---
THEY SAY EARLY FRIDAY... IT WAS ALL TOGoTHER DIFFERENT---
SMOKE FILLED THEIR LIVING ROOM--KITCHEN AND THE REST OF THE HOUSE.
John Neshimka, River North: (00:48) up to this morning you couldn't even see the lake in the backyard, it was like soup.
JOHN NESHIMKA SAYS HE WOKE UP AT ABOUT ONE IN THE MORNING... IN A PANIC
John Neshimka, River North: (2:03) your house is full of smoke and you have no idea what's going on.
IT TURNED OUT TO BE SMOKE FROM WHAT IS LEFT OF THIS --
A 400 ACRE CONTROLLED BURN AT THE TOWN CREEK RESERVOIR IN JONES COUNTY---
THE GEORGIA FORESTRY COMMISSION SET IT TO KEEP FIRES AWAY FROM NEIGHBORHOODS LIKE RIVER NORTH.
Howell Crutchfield, Chief Ranger, Jones County Forestry: (00:35) In burning this track of land to reduce the fuel layer that's on the ground, next year this time, if a fire gets started over here it would be very easy to control it. (00:48)
CRUTCHFIELD SAYS SMOKE BACKED UP FRIDAY INTO SOME LOW-LYING AREAS---
HE SAYS THEY PUT OUT A NEWS RELEASE BEFORE THE BURN...BUT THEY'LL FIGURE OUT A BETTER WAY TO NOTIFY THE PUBLIC NEXT TIME.
Howell Crutchfield, Chief Ranger, Jones County Forestry: 4:33 We put out a media notification yesterday morning and I was hoping that this would get out to all the media and that people would know what's going on but evidently it didn't, but we are going to work on that problem and next time we burn this track of land River North will know.
BUT THE NESHIMKAS ARE HAPPY THAT THEIR TWO DAUGHTERS ARE OKAY---
Lori Neshimka, River North: (1:20) I was worried about you know it could make them sick, they seem fine when they woke up.
AND THAT THE FIRE WAS HERE AT THE RESERVOIR...NOT AT THEIR HOUSE. AUSTIN LEWIS 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> CRUTCHFIELD SAYS THEY SET CONTROLLED FIRES IN THIS AREA EVERY TWO TO THREE YEARS TO PREVENT WILDFIRES.
AND HE SAYS IT HAS REDUCED THE NUMBER OF WILDFIRES IN JONES AND JASPER COUNTIES.
WARNER ROBINS FIRE INVESTIGATORS CALL A WAVE OF RECENT MOBILE HOME FIRES "SUSPICIOUS."
THEY SAY... FOUR HOMES CAUGHT FIRE WITHIN A MONTH... IN THE HOLIDAY RIVIERA TRAILER PARK.
AND AS AMY AUBERT FOUND OUT... ONE NEIGHBOR IS CONCERNED ABOUT HIS SAFETY.
DOUG COOK HAS CALLED THIS TRAILER HOME... FOR FOUR YEARS.
BUT WITHIN THE PAST WEEK... THREE VACANT MOBILE HOMES NEAR HIS... BURNT NEARLY TO THE GROUND.
Doug Cook: "Two behind me, well one behind me, one next door to me and one the street over."
THURSDAY NIGHT... ONLY REMNANTS OF 11-10 BRENTWOOD ROAD... COULD BE SAVED.
Doug Cook: "My concerns are that where I live the trees are going to catch and eventually it's going to be more than one trailer at a time."
LAURA NOVAK MANAGES THE HOLIDAY RIVIERA TRAILER PARK... SHE SAYS FIRE OFFICIALS TOLD HER FOUR TRAILER FIRES THIS MONTH... ARE RELATED.
Laura Novak, Manager: "The only thing we know right now is that it's arson. All we know at this time is that there's someone going around just setting the homes on fire."
SHE SAYS OFFICIALS TOLD HER GASOLINE WAS USED TO SET ALL FOUR FIRES.
CAPTAIN JAMES FRANKLIN WITH THE WARNER ROBINS FIRE DEPARTMENT CONFIRMED THE INVESTIGATION... AND CALLS THE FIRES... SUSPICIOUS.
BUT THE BURNING TRAILERS AREN'T THE ONLY ONES FACING DAMAGE.
Doug Cook: "Because that one was so hot, it damaged all the vinyl siding and the porch on the trailer next door."
COOK SAYS HIS HOME HASN'T BEEN AFFECTED... BUT SOME OTHERS ON HIS STREET AREN'T SO LUCKY.
Cook: "There was one there and it bunt all the way to the ground."
NOVAK SAYS THE TRAILER PARK IS WORKING WITH THE POLICE DEPARTMENT... AND HOPE TO PUT A STOP TO THE BLAZES SOON.
AMY AUBERT 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.>> NOVAK SAYS SHE PLANS TO TALK TO THEIR CORPORATE OFFICE IN FLORIDA ABOUT ADDING EXTRA SECURITY TO THE TRAILER PARK AFTER DARK.
THIS IS THE SAME TRAILER PARK WE REPORTED A COUPLE WEEKS AGO THAT OWES THE CITY MORE THAN 150 THOUSAND IN UTILITY BILLS. NOVAK SAID OWNERS PLAN TO PAY THOSE BILLS SOON.
MACON POLICE SAY HOME BURGLARIES INCREASED BY ABOUT SIX PERCENT LAST YEAR.. AND THEY SAY A FEW TIPS... CAN HELP KEEP YOUR HOUSE SAFE...
TODAY LT. DAVID FREELAND STOPPED BY 13WMAZ'S SUZANNE LAWLER'S HOUSE...
SHE RECENTLY HAD A SCARE OF HER OWN... AND WITH THE HELP OF POLICE... FOUND OUT HOW TO MAKE HER HOME EVEN MORE SECURE...
Suzanne: "You worry about you know people jumping into your house and gettign yoru stuff. Even if you think, well I don't have a lot of high end stuff, it's still your stuff."
FReeland: "They they want to get in they're going to get in, so you want to make it as difficult as possible."
Suzanne: "I had stepped out for a few minutes, you know running some errands and when I got home my neighbor called me and said, 'I don't know if you know this but there was a young man in your back yard. You know just because of the nature of what we do, I said well we need to call the police."
FReeland: "You'd be surprised how many folks that run out for a minute or two leave their door unlocked. Definitely lock all the locks that you have available."
"Keeping your blinds down are great because now they can't, if they want to come up and look around they really can't. They're going to have to take a chance to go in and see maybe if there's something in there worth stealing."
"The shrubbery out front is cut down around the windows which is good because they have no place to hide around the windows to try to pry a window open, try to get through a window."
"It's pretty covered back here so this would probably be an ideal spot for them if they were going to try to break in."
"You know if they can't see in they're really taking a chance of going in and finding something. If they see something they really want they're going to try to go in and get it so if you can try to keep it secure and non-visible for them to look in to your house and see what might be in there to steal."
"Record any type of serial numbers that you have on your items. If nothing on there has a serial number and it's vaulable to you mark it some way."
Suzanne; "I think that is fantastic advice and I've heard that before, and once again you think you're doing everything right but there's always one thing, you're like ok I can button that up a little bit."
>> FREELAND RECOMMENDS KNOWING YOUR NEIGHBORS... AND GETTING THEM TO WATCH FOR SUSPIciOUS ACTIVITY WHEN YOU'RE NOT AT HOME...
HE ALSO STRESSES THE IMPORTANCE OF WRITING DOWN SERIAL OR PRODUCT NUMBERS FROM ITEMS LIKE T-V'S.. COMPUTERS AND TOOLS.
MOST IMPORTANTLY.. HE SAYS REPORT ANYTHING SUSPICIOUS TO POLICE...NO MATTER HOW SMALL.
TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... HAVE YOU EVER WITNESSED A BREAK-IN?
SO FAR 86 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO.
AND 14 PERCENT SAY YES.
VOTE NOW... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
THE WEEKEND IS HERE... AND YOU MIGHT BE LOOKING TO CELEBRATE... WITH A DINNER OUT.
BUT BEFORE DECIDING WHERE TO GO... YOU MAY WANT TO SEE HOW YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANTS DID... WHEN THE HEALTH INSPECTOR DROPPED IN.
AMY AUBERT JOINS US WITH THIS WEEK'S RESTAURANT RATINGS.
WE'RE BACK IN BIBB COUNTY THIS WEEK...STARTING OFF WITH OUR LOWEST SCORES FIRST....
LOCOS DELI AND PUB AT 24-40 RIVERSIDE DRIVE IN MACON... SCORED AN 83... THAT'S A B... COMING AFTER A 92 OR "A" LAST TIME.
ACCORDING TO THE INSPECTION REPORT... TOXIC SUBSTANCES WERE NOT PROPERLY IDENTIFIED... STORED AND USED.
IT ALSO NOTES FOOD WAS NOT HELD AT THE PROPER COLD HOLDING TEMPERATURE.
NORTHSIDE CHEERS AT 38-52 NORTHSIDE DRIVE IN MACON... GOT AN 84... A "B"... DROPPING FROM A 93 OR "A"... LAST TIME.
THE HEALTH INSPECTOR SAYS FOOD CONTACT SURFACES WERE NOT CLEANED AND SANITIZED AND WIPING CLOTHS WERE NOT PROPERLY USED AND STORED.
AND PAPA JOHNS AT 6-83 NORTH AVENUE IN MACON... SCORED AN 88... THAT'S A "B"... COMING AFTER A PERFECT 100 ON THE INSPECTION BEFORE.
THE INSPECTION REPORT SAYS FOOD AND NON-FOOD CONTACT SURFACES WERE NOT CLEANED AND SANITIZED.
NOW FOR A LOOK THE TOP SCORES OF THE WEEK... AND THIS WEEK'S GOLDEN SPATULA NOMINEES...
FOUNTAIN OF JUICE AT 30-45 VINEVILLE AVENUE IN MACON... WHIPPED UP 96... AN "A"... COMING AFTER A 97... ANOTHER "A"... LAST TIME.
MCDONALD'S AT 46-30 HARTLEY BRIDGE ROAD IN MACON... SERVED UP TWO PERFECT SCORES ON THEIR LATEST INSPECTIONS.
AND NU-WAY WEINERS AT 39-90 NORTHSIDE DRIVE IN MACON... SCORED A 98... AN "A"... COMING AFTER A PERFECT 100 LAST TIME.
JOIN US AGAIN TONIGHT AS WE AVERAGE OUR NOMINEES PAST FIVE SCORES TO GIVE YOU THIS WEEK'S GOLDEN SPATULA WINNER....FRANK...LEAH?
FOR ALL YOUR RESTAURANT RATINGS... GO TO OUR WEBSITE 13WMAZ DOT COM.
YOU'LL FIND THE RESTAURANT RATINGS TAB UNDER THE FEATURES LINK.
GEORGIA'S PUBLIC SAFETY COMMISSIONER SAYS THE STATE TROOPER INVOLVED IN A CRASH THAT KILLED THE WIFE OF ATLANTA BRAVES TRAINER JEFF PORTER HAS BEEN FIRED.
COLONEL MARK MCDONOUGH SAYS TROOPER DONALD CROZIER WAS TERMINATED TODAY.
KATHY PORTER WAS KILLED IN THE CRASH ON NEW YEAR'S EVE.
HER HUSBAND AND TWO OTHERS WERE INJURED.
AN ACCIDENT REPORT RELEASED TODAY SAYS THE TROOPER'S VEHICLE HAD ALL ITS EMERGENCY EQUIPMENT ACTIVATED AND RAN A RED LIGHT WHILE RESPONDING TO HELP ANOTHER TROOPER... INVOLVED IN A CHASE.
THE REPORT SAID THE TROOPER QUOTE "FAILED TO USE DUE REGARD WHEN TRAVELING THROUGH THE INTERSECTION."
MCDONOUGH SAID THE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES.
A CENTRAL GEORGIA POLICE CHIEF FACES DRUG CHARGES FOR ALLEGEDLY DEALING IN PRESCRIPTION PILLS. THE DODGE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS RHINE POLICE CHIEF KIP HERMAN CRAVEY WAS ARRESTED LAST NIGHT AND BOOKED INTO THE COUNTY JAIL.
A NEWS RELEASE SAYS CRAVEY FACES TWO CHARGES OF ILLEGALLY DISTRIBUTING PILLS... AND TRYING TO BUY SOME PILLS.. RHINE.... WITH A POPULATION OF ABOUT 400.... IS IN DODGE COUNTY.
THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS CRAVEY WAS MOVED TO ANOTHER JAIL FOR SAFETY REASONS.
HE'S BEING HELD ON 20 THOUSAND DOLLARS BOND.
THE ORIGINAL BOX OFFICE AT THE GRAND OPERA HOUSE IS MAKING AN ENCORE APPEARANCE.
THE TICKET OFFICE MOVED TO POPLAR STREET WHEN THE GRAND WAS RENOVATED IN 2005.
NOW PEOPLE CAN PICK UP AND BUY TICKETS AT THE BOX OFFICE IN THE GRAND LOBBY.
FOLKS SAY USING THE ORIGINAL TICKET WINDOWS ADDS TO THE HISTORIC FEEL OF SEEING A SHOW AT THE GRAND.
Cindy Hill: When people think of the Grand Opera House, this is what they think of." And having this lobby, which is open every day and accessible, it would be a shame not to use these windows. THE BOX OFFICE WILL CELEBRATE ITS HOMECOMING WITH AN OPEN HOUSE ON FRIDAY, JANUARY 13TH FROM TEN A-M UNTIL TWO.
THANKS FOR JOINING US.... WE'LL BE BACK TONIGHT AT 11.
BUT REMEMBER...THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ.COM !
THE EVENING NEWS IS UP NEXT.
HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.