Friday, March 2, Eyewitness News at 6

6:50 PM, Mar 2, 2012   |    comments
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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 TONIGHT... WE'RE KEEPING AN EYE ON A STRONG SYSTEM OF STORMS MOVING THROUGH THE SOUTH... THAT COULD ROLL INTO CENTRAL GEORGIA.
LET'S JOIN CHIEF METEOROLOGIST BEN JONES IN THE WEATHER CENTER FOR MORE ON WHAT THAT COULD MEAN FOR OUR AREA.TONIGHT... MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH THUNDERSTORMS POSSIBLE AFTER MIDNIGHT AND LOWS IN THE MID 60S. SOME STORMS COULD BE STRONG OR SEVERE. REVIEW YOUR PLAN FOR SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY AND MAKE SURE YOU CAN RECEIVE ANY WEATHER ALERTS OVERNIGHT. STAY WITH 13WMAZ ON TV AND ONLINE FOR UPDATES.

SATURDAY... MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH RAIN AND STORMS LIKELY IN THE MORNING. SOME STORMS COULD BE STRONG OR SEVERE. SHOWERS TAPER OFF IN THE AFTERNOON. TEMPERATURES WILL FALL FROM THE 60S TO 50S THROUGHOUT THE DAY.

SATURDAY NIGHT... CLEARING AND BREEZY WITH LOWS IN THE LOWER 40S.
THANKS BEN.. WE'LL TALK WITH YOU AGAIN IN JUST A FEW MINUTES.

SOME MACON BUSINESSES SAY THEY'VE CALLED IN EVERY EMPLOYEE THIS WEEK... TO HANDLE CROWDS OF FANS FROM THE ATLANTIC SUN TOURNAMENT.
KATELYN HECK EXPLAINS WHY VISITING FANS BRING MORE THAN JUST THEIR TEAM SPIRIT TO CENTRAL GEORGIA.
<<
(NATS)
THE ATLANTIC SUN TOURNAMENT BRINGS BIG PLAYS... AND EVEN BIGGER CROWDS TO CENTRAL GEORGIA.
THE CONVENTIONS AND VISITORS BUREAU SAYS OVER 400 PLAYERS... COACHES... AND STAFF MEMBERS FROM VISITING TEAMS POURED INTO MACON OVER THE PAST WEEK.
OVER 370 HOTEL ROOMS BOOKED UP FOR LAST YEARS TOURNAMENT... AND THEYRE EXPECTING THIS YEARS CHAMPIONSHIP TO PUT UP EVEN BIGGER NUMBERS.
BUT THINGS ARENT JUST HEATING UP ON THE COURT.
(STAND-UP: jittery joes says theyve been brewing up a storm since the tournament started... giving fans and players a boost of energy before the games.)
MANAGER DUSTIN PRATER SAYS NONE OF HIS EMPLOYEES ARE SITTING THE BENCH THIS WEEK.
(SOT: last year was kind of hit or miss, some people here and some people there, but this year weve seen a dramatic increase in people from the tournament itself.)
AND OVER AT FRANCARS BUFFALO WINGS... OWNER CARL FAMBRO SAYS THE TOURNAMENT IS SPICING UP HIS BUSINESS AS WELL.
(SOT:we've already fed a couple of the teams, it looks like we may feed another team. and the response from the people in macon fromthe first night mercer played was tremendous we were packed out... inside and out... we had a waiting line for people to get in... and we were busy!)
MERCER MENS COACH BOB HOFFMAN SAYS THE TOURNAMENT PUTS MACON... AND THE UNIVERSITY... IN THE SPOTLIGHT.
(SOT: i think thats huge. you only get that so many times and there are only 31 tournaments in the country going on that are division one and we happen to have one of them right here in macon georgia.)
AND WITH NATIONAL COVERAGE OF SATURDAYS CHAMPIONSHIP GAME.... PEOPLE ACROSS THE U-S WILL HAVE THEIR EYES ON CENTRAL GEORGIA.

KATELYN HECK
13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
>> MERCER UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT SAYS THE TOURNAMENT GIVES THE UNIVERSITY A CHANCE TO SHOWCASE ALL IT HAS TO OFFER... BOTH ON AND OFF THE COURT.
it really provides us the opportunity to showcase the tremendous academic initiatives going on at mercer. so its wonderful for the university in that respect. And then it's wonderful to have national television audiences visit the university and to some extent they learn about mercer as well.
TONIGHT THE MERCER BEARS WILL FIGHT TO EARN A SPOT IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME.
THEY'LL FACE OFF AGAINST FLORIDA GULF COAST AT EIGHT THIRTY.

A 24 YEAR OLD MURDER CASE OUT OF JONES COUNTY... IS SET TO GO BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT OF GEORGIA ON TUESDAY.
FORMER LAWYER ROBERT ALLEN DANENBERG APPEALED HIS MURDER CONVICTION FOR THE DEATH OF FAMILY FRIEND DEBORAH LAMB.
BRITTINY BARBER JOINS US WITH A RECAP.... BRITTINY?
IN 19-88... DANENBERG AND HIS WIFE DALE WERE IN THE MIDDLE OF A DIVORCE.... SO SHE MOVED IN WITH JONES COUNTY COUPLE CAREY AND DEBORAH LAMB.
DANENBERG WAS TAKING A PRESCRIPTION METABOLIC STEROID... AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT... WHEN HE CAME FROM ATLANTA TO VISIT HIS YOUNG SON ON NOVEMBER 13TH.
ACCORDING TO EVIDENCE FROM THE TRIAL.. HE SNUCK IN THE HOUSE THROUGH THE BACK DOOR.
INSIDE ... WERE DALE, THEIR SON... AND DEBORAH WITH HER TWO SONS..
RECORDS SHOW DANENBERG'S WIFE WENT OUTSIDE TO TALK TO HIM... AFTER HE STARTED DRIVING HIS CAR ALL OVER THE YARD.
BUT HE KICKED HER IN THE CHEST.... STARTED CHOKING HER... AND THEN POINTED A GUN TO HER HEAD.
AFTER THAT HE WENT BACK INSIDE AND SHOT DEBORAH IN THE CHEST... AS SHE HELD HIS SON.
HE ALSO SHOT HER TWICE IN THE HEAD.
THE LAMB'S TWO SON'S WERE THE ONLY WITNESSES.
IN 19-89... DANENBERG PLEADED GUILTY TO MALICE MURDER AND AGGRAVATED ASSAULT... AND WAS SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON PLUS FIVE YEARS.
HE THEN FILED A PETITION THAT THE SENTENCE WAS UNCONSTITUTIONAL..
A JUDGE RULED IN DANENBERG'S FAVOR.
IN 2006... HE WAS FOUND MENTALLY INCOMPETENT TO STAND TRIAL..
BUT IN 2008... A JURY DEEMED HIM COMPETENT FOR TRIAL...
THEN HE WAS FOUND GUILTY OF MURDER.
AGAIN...THE STATE COURT WILL HEAR THAT CASE NEXT TUESDAY IN ATLANTA... THERE'S NO WORD ON WHEN THEIR DECISION WOULD COME DOWN.
DANENBERG'S LAWYERS SAY THE TRIAL COURT MADE NINE ERRORS...
THEY ARGUED THAT HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO REPRESENT HIMSELF.. AND THAT THE JURY SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO SEE THE VIDEOTAPED STATEMENT'S FROM DEBORAH LAMB'S CHILDREN.. WHO ARE NOW ADULTS.

THE BIBB COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT IS OFFERING STUDENTS AND PARENTS...TWO NEW WAYS TO REPORT BULLYING.
THE DISTRICT ALREADY HAD A BULLYING HOTLINE. ITS NUMBER....(478) 779-3711. AGAIN...THAT'S (478) 779-3711.
TODAY IN A NEWS RELEASE...THEY ANNOUNCED TWO NEW WAYS TO REPORT BULLYING....BY TEXT MESSAGE...AND BY SENDING A MESSAGE THROUGH THE WEB.
THE DISTRICT SAYS THAT BULLYING SHOULD ALWAYS BE REPORTED FIRST...TO THE SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR.
FOR MORE INFORMATION...AND LINKS...LOOK FOR THIS STORY AT 13WMAZ-DOT-COM.

EIGHT YEARS AGO... A CENTRAL GEORGIA WOMAN LEARNED BRAILLE SO SHE COULD TEACH HER STUDENTS ENGLISH AT THE GEORGIA ACADEMY FOR THE BLIND.
NOW... LAUREN ECKMAN IS A FINALIST FOR GEORGIA'S 2013 TEACHER OF THE YEAR.
JUDY LE TELLS US MORE.
(nat: one of my kids said, "ms. eckman, it's facebook...there's lots of posts!" and I went, that's brilliant actually!....he said it's your facebook wall, you finally have posts)

LAUREN ECKMAN'S DOOR IS COVERED IN POST-ITS AND BRAILLE. THEY ARE WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT FOR BEING A FINALIST IN THE 20-13 GEORGIA TEACHER OF THE YEAR AWARD.

(ECKMAN SOT: I had no idea. And I walked in this morning and went, "oh my goodness" ... I think my favorite is the cane.)

ECKMAN HAS BEEN TEACHING ENGLISH FOR EIGHT YEARS. STUDENT MALIK WILSON WAS THERE THE DAY ECKMAN WAS CHOSEN AS A FINALIST FROM A POOL OF ONE-HUNDRED-FIFTY APPLICANTS.

(STANDUP: As part of the application processm Eckman had to write seven essays. Topics ranged from community service to her philosophy of teaching."

(ECKMAN SOT: My message is that every child. every child is a gift. Every child has abilities. Every child can succeed. We just have to figure out how to reach them.)

WILSON SAYS ECKMAN HAS A WAY OF BREAKING DOWN INFORMATION SO THAT HE UNDERSTANDS IT BETTER.

(WILSON SOT: We were reading Gilgamesh. We cannot understand some of the rather long names because they had very long names. For example, one of them was Utnapistim, but she shortened it and we call him Uttie.)

(WASHINGTON SOT: She puts up with a lot of students that don't really understand, try to give up. But she stays in there. She hangs in there.)

TO HER STUDENTS, ECKMAN "CAIN'T BE BEAT."

JUDY LE, 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
ECKMAN'S FELLOW TEACHERS SELECTED HER TO REPRESENT THE GEORGIA ACADEMY FOR THE BLIND.
SHE SAYS IT'S AN HONOR... AND A HUMBLING EXPERIENCE.
THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED JUNE FIRST...

MORE THAN 140-THOUSAND GEORGIANS HAVE ALREADY MADE THEIR CHOICE FOR THE REPUBLICAN NOMINEE FOR PRESIDENT..
THE SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE REPORTS ALMOST 117-THOUSAND PEOPLE VOTED EARLY AT POLLING STATIONS.
ABOUT 24-THOUSAND MORE MAILED IN ABSENTEE BALLOTS..
THERE ARE STILL ALMOST 12-THOUSAND ABSENTEE BALLOTS STILL OUT THERE.
EARLY AND ABSENTEE VOTES WILL NOT BE COUNTED UNTIL SUPER TUESDAY.. SO WE DON'T KNOW WHICH CANDIDATE HAS THE LEAD WITH EARLY VOTERS..
EARLY VOTING ENDED TODAY.

THE HEALTH INSPECTOR STOPS INTO DOZENS OF CENTRAL GEORGIA RESTAURANTS EACH WEEK...
SOME MAKE THE SCORE... AND OTHERS FARE NOT SO WELL.
WE'RE IN BIBB COUNTY FOR THIS WEEK'S RESTAURANT RATINGS... STARTING WITH OUR LOWEST SCORES....
KAREN'S KITCHEN AT 2936 BROADWAY... SCORED AN 88... A "B."
ACCORDING TO THE INSPECTION REPORT... THAT'S UP FROM AN 68 OR "U" ON THEIR LAST INSPECTION.
THE REPORT SAYS WORKERS DID NOT PROPERLY REHEAT FOOD.
CHURCH'S CHICKEN AT 5394 THOMASTON RD... SCORED AN 87... WHICH IS A "B."
THAT'S DOWN FROM THE 99... OR "A"... THEY SCORED ON THEIR LAST INSPECTION.
THE HEALTH INSPECTOR SAYS FOOD WAS NOT KEPT AT THE PROPER HOLDING TEMPERATURE.
AND SUBWAY AT 4450 FORSYTH RD... GOT AN 86... A "B"... COMING AFTER A 100 ... OR A... ON THE LAST INSPECTION.
ACCORDING TO THE INSPECTION.... THE PERSON IN CHARGE WAS NOT PRESENT.. DID NOT DEMONSTRATE KNOWLEDGE OR PERFORM DUTIES.
THE REPORTS NOTES THAT AS A RISK FOR FOODBORNE ILLNESSES.
NOW FOR A LOOK THE TOP SCORES OF THE WEEK..
CHIC-FILA ON TOM HILL SENIOR BLVD... SCORED A 99 OR "A".. THEY HAD A 100 ON THE PREVIOUS INSPECTION.
ARBY'S AT 3100 RIVERSIDE DRIVE SCCORED A 98 OR "A"...THEY SCORED A PERFECT 100 ON THEIR PREVIOUS SCORE.
AND DUNKIN DONUTS AT 4331 PIO NONO SCORED A 100 OR "A"... ON IT'S LAST TWO INSPECTIONS.
JOIN US AGAIN TONIGHT AS WE AVERAGE OUR NOMINEES PAST FIVE SCORES TO GIVE YOU THIS WEEK'S GOLDEN SPATULA WINNER.
FOR ALL YOUR RESTAURANT RATINGS... GO TO13WMAZ DOT COM.
YOU'LL FIND THE LINK UNDER THE FEATURES TAB ON THE HOMEPAGE.

"TODAY YOU ARE YOU. THAT IS TRUER THAN TRUE.
THERE IS NO ONE ALIVE... WHO IS YOUER THAN YOU."
YOU GUESSED IT... THAT'S DOCTOR SEUESS... AND IT'S HIS BIRTHDAY.
AND IT'S A STORY THAT COMES STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART.
nats- kids (8 seconds) "Dr. Seuss is on the loose and this is how we know, cat, hat, eggs and ham"
KINDERGARTNERS AT BIBB COUNTY'S HERITAGE ELEMENTARY MARKED THE AUTHOR'S BIG DAY WITH SONGS... BOOKS AND OF COURSE... GREEN EGGS AND HAM.
THOUSANDS OF SCHOOLS ACROSS THE U-S PARTICIPATED IN THIS SAME SORT OF ACTIVITY.
THE DAY IS ALSO CELEBRATED AS READ ACROSS AMERICA DAY... WHICH MEDIA SPECIALIST LYNNE SUAREZ SAYS.... ENCOURAGES CHILDREN TO LOVE BOOKS.
Lynne Suarez, Heritage Elementary: "41:10) "I always tell kids they come in and go, I don't like to read, my famous saying to them is no. It's not that you don't like to read, you just haven't found the right book yet."
LINDSEY ELEMENTARY IN HOUSTON COUNTY ALSO CELEBRATED DR. SEUSS' BIRTHDAY.
THE MAYOR.. SUPERINTENDENT AND FORMER GEORGIA FIRST LADY MARY PERDUE READ TO STUDENTS IN THE MEDIA CENTER.

ALL WEEK... WE'VE BEEN ASKING PARENTS TO UPLOAD VIDEOS OF THEIR KIDS.. TELLING US WHY THEY SHOULD BE PRESIDENT.
HERE'S ONE FROM JAZMINE MIZELL IN DODGE COUNTY.
"Hello my name is Jazmine Mizell and I'm a 3rd grader from dodge county elementary school. I want to president of the united states when I grow up so I can change the lives of my family, my city, and my country, whether is mentally, physically,spiritually, or financially."

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.

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