Friday, March 9, Eyewitness News at 11

11:36 PM, Mar 9, 2012   |    comments
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<<opening for eyewitness news at eleven>>

GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M FRANK MALLOY..

AND I'M LEAH JOHNSON..THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11.

IF YOU DRIVE THROUGH JONES COUNTY....YOU MAY NOTICE THAT GAS COSTS A LITTLE MORE THERE.

THAT'S BECAUSE THE STATE REQUIRES GAS STATIONS IN JONES ...AND 44 OTHER COUNITES...TO SELL GAS AIMED AT REDUCING SMOG FORMING EMISSIONS.

THE GOAL IS TO CUT AIR POLLUTION IN THE ATLANTA AREA.
AUSTIN LEWIS HAS MORE ON WHAT THE COUNTY IS DOING....TO EASE THE PAIN AT THE PUMP.

<<
IT TAKES ABOUT 120 DOLLARS TO FILL UP STEVE JACKSON'S BLACK TRUCK
BUT HERE AT OLD CLINTON GAS...HE'S PUTTING IN JUST 15 BUCKS
Steve Jackson, Gray: 02:03 I try to maximize my dollar as best as I can. I'll stop and get a little bit here just to get where I am going then I will actually fill up on my intended route.
JACKSON SAYS THAT'S BECAUSE GAS COSTS MORE IN JONES COUNTY .
Steve Jackson, Gray: 00:30 they are just a lot higher than they are in Macon.
JONES COUNTY COMMISSIONER TOMMY ROBINSON SAYS THAT'S BECAUSE THE GEORGIA ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION DIVISION OR E-P-D DETERMINED IN 2003 THAT GAS EMISSIONS IN JONES COUNTY....INFLUENCE OZONE LEVELS IN THE ATLANTA AREA.
ROBINSON SAYS...THAT'S A LOT OF HOT AIR.
Commissioner Tommy Robinson, Jones County: 00:37 3rd clip We don't have any polution to be blown in the direction of Atlanta to start with. That's our stance, that is ludicrous for us to be in this to begin with.
THE STATE SAYS STATIONS IN JONES COUNTY MUST SELL LOW SULFUR FUEL...WHICH COSTS 10 to 15 CENTS MORE THAN GAS IN NEIGHBORING COUNTIES.
Commissioner Tommy Robinson, Jones County: 00:21 2nd clip They'd think wow these folks are high on their gas and keep riding on by. They didn't know tat there is a reason and now people are discovering what the reason is
ROBINSON SAYS IF PEOPLE AREN'T BUYING GAS...THEY'RE ALSO NOT STOPPING TO BUY OTHER ITEMS...AND THAT COSTS THE COUNTY SALES TAX MONEY.
Commissioner Tommy Robinson, Jones County: 03:57 1st clip it's no stretch of the imagination, we've lost millions of dollars in these local option taxes and that doesn't even scratch the surface of what the businesses have lost.
THAT'S WHY HE'S ASKING JONES COUNTY PEOPLE AND BUSINESSES TO SIGN THESE LETTERS...ASKING THE E-P-D TO REMOVE THEM FROM THAT AREA OF INFLUENCE IN THE ATLANTA OZONE.
SO FAR OVER...THREE THOUSAND PEOPLE HAVE SENT IN LETTERS...IN JUST SIX DAYS
BUT UNTIL....PRICES GO DOWN...
Steve Jackson, Gray:01:10 I got to budget it as best as I can
FOLKS LIKE JACKSON WILL FILL UP SOMEWHERE ELSE.
AUSTIN LEWIS 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>>

THE GEORGIA ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION DIVISION SAYS AIR QUALITY IS BETTER IN THE ATLANTA AREA.
THEY HAVE ASKED THE FEDERAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY TO GIVE THEM MORE FLEXIBILITY TO REMOVE COUNTIES FROM THAT AREA OF INFLUENCE.
ROBINSON SAYS THEY WILL CONTINUE PUSHING BOTH AGENCIES...UNTIL JONES COUNTY IS OFF THAT LIST.
IF YOU WANT TO SUBMIT A LETTER...YOU CAN PICK THEM UP AT MOST JONES COUNTY GAS STATIONS... OR CONTACT THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS.

A LIGHTING PLANT THAT'S BEEN A FIXTURE IN COCHRAN FOR NEARLY FORTY YEARS... IS SCHEDULED TO FLIP THE SWITCH OFF.. FOR A FINAL TIME.

EMPLOYEES AT LITHONIA LIGHTING SAY THEY GOT NOTICE OF THE CLOSING WHEN THEY ARRIVED AT WORK FRIDAY.
A LETTER READ TO EMPLOYEES AT A MORNING MEETING SAYS..... THE PLANT WILL CLOSE IN THE NEXT SIX MONTHS AND MOVE THEIR PRODUCT LINES TO OTHER LOCATIONS.
COCHRAN MAYOR WILLIE BASLEY SAYS... IT'S A MOVE THAT AFFECTS THE ENTIRE CITY.

Willie Basley, Cochran: "All of the members and everybody were surprised, and there's a lot of people who are going to be affected by the closure of this company."

MAYOR BASLEY SAYS THE COMPANY EMPLOYS NEARLY 450 PEOPLE.
HE SAYS HE MAY HAVE TO CUT DOWN ON CITY GOVERNMENT... BECAUSE THE WATER... SEWAGE... AND GAS THEY PROVIDED THE COMPANY... MADE UP A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF THE CITY BUDGET.

BIBB COUNTY COMMISSIONERS DECIDED TO GO WITH A LOCAL COMPANY INSTEAD OF THE LOWEST BIDDER FOR THE FIRST SPLOST PROJECT...

TODAY THEY VOTED TO USE HARMON CONSTRUCTION... A MACON COMPANY THAT PLACED A BID OF ONE-POINT FOUR MILLION DOLLARS.
ALPHARETTA BASED AARENE CONTRACTING CAME IN AT THE LOWEST OF 1-POINT-THREE MILLION.
THAT'S ABOUT AN 88-THOUSAND DOLLAR DIFFERENCE.

COMMISSIONER ELMO RICHARDSON SAYS ... THEY CHOSE HARMON OUT OF 11 BIDS BECAUSE IT WAS LOCAL.

Elmo: 'We have a two percent local preference it was a little bit outside that local prefernce but the commission decided to go ahead and award it to the second bidder.

THE SPLOST ADVISORY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN SAYS MOST MEMBERS AGREED WITH THE DECISION.

Dan Slagle Chairman SPOLST Advsory committee: "The local voters and tax payers of Bibb county voted and approved this slpost and so we feel as a splost committee that's it's very immportant that we keep as much as possible most of the work local because we see this as a local stimulous."

RICAHRDSON SAYS CONSTRUCTION COULD BEGIN IN 30 TO 45 DAYS

AN EATONTON MAN PLEADED GUILTY TO THE 2008 MURDER OF A WARNER ROBINS MAN... AND NOW HE WILL SERVE LIFE IN PRISON... WITHOUT PAROLE.

HOUSTON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY GEORGE HARTWIG SAYS 24-YEAR-OLD JOSHUA ROUNSOVILLE PLEADED GUILTY TO ALL CHARGES AGAINST HIM THIS MORNING... INCLUDING MALICE MURDER... FELONY MURDER... AGGRAVATED ASSAULT AND ARMED ROBBERY.
HARTWIG SAYS MARIO SMITH'S BROTHER FOUND HIS BODY ... IN A STORAGE UNIT HE RENTED ON WATSON BOULEVARD.
SMITHS FAMILY TOLD HARTWIG.... THEY'RE GLAD THE CASE IS FINALLY CLOSED.

he's never going to be a free man. hes going to take his last breath in a prison cell and i think thats certainly justice and I'm glad that we could bring some closure to the family.

THE FAMILY DECLINED TO SPEAK TO US ON CAMERA.
HARTWIG SAYS CHARGES AGAINST ANOTHER SUSPECT IN THE CASE... STEWART BRANNON....SHOULD WRAP UP LATER THIS YEAR. A BURGER AT CHEERS ...APPROPRIATELY NAMED THE DIRTY HARRY WILL APPARENTLY MAKE A CAMEO IN CLINT EASTWOOD'S NEW MOVIE... TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE.

KITCHEN MANAGER CARLOS MORRIS COOKED UP A BATCH OF TEN BURGERS FOR THE SCENE FILMED AT CHEERS BUT HE'S NOT SURE IF EASTWOOD ATE ONE.
HE SAYS THE BEST PART ABOUT THURSDAY'S FILMING WAS GETTING TO MEET THE STAR.

(nat: pounding burger patty)
You know you grow up watching him on tv, he was so down to earth. Like, he was so human. He didn't care about the cameras. He never complained once. He never said nothing. He did his lines. To me, it was...wow. It was great. To see him up close and personal.

MORRIS HAS WORKED AT CHEERS FOR TEN YEARS.
HE SAYS THIS IS HIS FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH A MOVIE STAR.


ben gives three day forecast

THANKS CHRISSY.. WE'LL TALK WITH YOU AGAIN IN JUST A FEW MINUTES.

STILL AHEAD... WE'LL TELL YOU WHICH HOUSTON COUNTY EATING SPOT.. TOOK HOME THE GOLDEN SPATULA IN THIS WEEK'S RESTAURANT RATINGS.

PLUS.. FIND OUT WHAT A MACON CHURCH DID TO HONOR SOME LOCAL PIONEERS... DURING NATIONAL WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH... STAY WITH US.


MARCH IS NATIONAL WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH... AND A MACON CHRUCH TEAMED UP WITH THE TUBMAN MUSEUM TO PAY TRIBUTE TO SOME LOCAL PIONEERS.

**PAUSE FOR 3 SECS OF NATS***
THE NIGHT KICKED OFF WITH SOUNDS FROM THE CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL CHORUS.
GIRLS OF COURAGE.. IS AN EXHIBIT THAT HONORS THE AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMAN WHO WERE THE FIRST TO INTEGRATE BIBB COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
TONIGHT SOME OF THOSE WOMEN SPOKE... AT THE EVENT HELD AT THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH IN MACON.
THE EXHIBIT FEATURES PROTRIATS OF THE WOMEN IN HIGH SCHOOL.
STASIA SAMPSON WAS ONE OF THE TRAILBLAZER WHO SERVED ON THE PANEL.
SHE SAYS A SIMPLE LESSON HELPED GET HER THROUGH SOME OF THOSE HARD DAYS.
I was called names but then I remembered what daddy said. Look to the dictionary. When they call you a bad name.. throw that bad name back at them. Read what the definition is and they never called me that again."

IN ADDITION TO BEING PART OF THE FIRST INTERGRATED CLASS TO GRADUATE FROM LASSESTER HIGH SCHOOL... SAMPSON WAS ALSO THE FIRST BLACK TO GRADUATE FROM TIFT COLLEGE.

WHEN THE HEALTH IN SPECTOR DROPS IN SOME RESTAURANTS MISS THE MARK AND OTHER SHINE...
LET'S FIND OUT WHO WINS THIS WEEK'S GOLDEN SPATULA

BRITTINY BARBER JOINS US WITH THIS WEEK'S RESTAURANT RATINGS.

<<
WE'RE BACK IN HOUSTON COUNTY THIS WEEK... STARTING OFF WITH OUR LOWEST SCORES....
TAKE CG
MOMMA GOLDBERG'S DELI AT 3030 WATSON BLVD... SCORED AN 84... WHICH IS A "B".... THAT'S DOWN FROM THE 91... AN "A"... THEY SCORED ON THEIR LAST INSPECTION.
TAKE CG
MOON'S CAFE AT 1512 ELBERTA... SCORED AN 80... A "B"... WHICH IS UP FROM A 69 OR "U" ON THEIR LAST INSPECTION.
TAKE CG
AND SONIC DRIVE IN ON RUSSELL PKWY... GOT A 77... A "C"... COMING AFTER AN 95... ANOTHER A... ON THE LAST INSPECTION.
ON CAM
NOW FOR A LOOK THE TOP SCORES OF THE WEEK..
TAKE CG
TACO BELL AT 419 NORTH DAVIS DR... SCORED A 100 OR AND "A"
TAKE CG
MELLOW MUSHROOM ON LAKE JOY RD ALSO BROUGHT IN A 100 SCORE.
TAKE CG
AND CAPTAIN D'S AT 513 NORTH DAVIS DRIVE... SCORED A 97 WHICH IS AN "A"
REP. ON SET
WE AVERAGED OUR NOMINEES' PAST FIVE SCORES... AND THIS WEEK'S GOLDEN SPATULA GOES TO...
TAKE GRAPHIC
THE TACO BELL AT 419 NORTH DAVIS DRIVE... WITH A FIVESCORE AVERAGE OF 96-POINT-4.
REP. ON SET
CONGRATULATIONS TO EVERYONE AT TACO BELL....
TUNE IN NEXT WEEK TO FIND OUT MORE RESTAURANT RATINGS. BRITTINY BARBER... 13 WMAZ... EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>>

FOR ALL YOUR RESTAURANT RATINGS... GO TO OUR WEBSITE 13WMAZ DOT COM.

CLICK ON "RESTAURANT RATINGS" UNDER THE FEATURES TAB ON THE HOMEPAGE.
FROM THERE... YOU CAN SCROLL DOWN THE PAGE AND CHECK OUT INSPECTION SCORES FROM *YOUR* COUNTY.

FOLKS FROM CENTRAL GEORGIA ALL THE WAY TO THE COAST WE HAVE THEIR TABLES SET UP.. AND THEIR BEST WARES FOR SALE.. FOR THE ANNUAL PEACHES TO THE BEACHES YARD SALE..

OUR OWN SUZANNE LAWLER HIT THE ROAD.. TO TRY TO FIND SOME UNIQUE TREASURES..
LIKE THIS FAIRLY NEW EASY BAKE OVEN.. AND THIS VERY SPECIAL HAT.. COVERED IN FEATHERS..

PEACHES TO THE BEACHES STARTED IN 2005.. AS AN EFFORT TO PROMOTE TRAVEL AND ECONOMIC GROWTH ALONG THIS SECTION OF HIGHWAY 3-41.. THE GOLDEN ISLES PARKWAY.

TWELVE CITIES ALONG THE TRAIL COORDINATE FOR THE 2 DAY SALE.
THAT MEANS... IF YOU MISSED IT TODAY... YOU CAN CATCH IT TOMORROW.

AND ONE LAST QUICK LOOK AT TOMORROW'S FORECAST WITH CHIEF METEOROLOGIST BEN JONES.




THANKS FOR JOINING US.... FIRST MORNIN COMES YOUR WAY AT 5 A-M.

THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.

LETTERMAN'S NEXT.

HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.

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