Monday, March 12, Eyewitness News at 6

5:58 PM, Mar 12, 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 AT SIX... RISING GAS PRICES AREN'T ONLY PUTTING A DENT IN YOUR WALLET.
THE GEORGIA STATE PATROL IS ALSO FEELING THE STRAIN... AND THEY'RE ASKING THE CITY OF PERRY FOR HELP FILLING UP.
JENNIFER MOULLIET SPOKE WITH THE MAYOR TO SEE WHERE THEIR REQUEST STANDS.
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nats

THE PRICE AT THE PUMP nats IS GOING UP nats AND SO IS THE COST FOR THE STATE PATROL TO OPERATE.

"they're running a car every single day, they're not prius they're not getting forty miles to a gallon and it's necessary for them to do their job ot be in those vehicles and to have them running."

jennifer moulliet: "I spoke with commander of Post fifteen Sergeant Mike Maynard by phone and he told me he didn't want the public to think that his department was asking the city for money but in a letter written by Maynard to Perry City Council Members he asked that they consider donating two tanks of fuel per trooper car per month."

MAYNARD SAYS THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY IS ONLY GIVING TROOPERS FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS A MONTH FOR FUEL... AND BECAUSE HIS POST IS IN THE CITY LIMITS....THEY PATROL IN PERRY...AND HE THINKS THE CITY SHOULD HELP OUT.
nats
MAYOR JIMMY FAIRCLOTH SAYS THE COST ADDS UP TO ALMOST TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR... AND SAYS HE DOESN'T THINK THEIR REQUEST SHOULD FALL ON THE TAX PAYERS.

"Mayor Jimmy Faircloth, Perry: "It does concern me deeply that if a state agency such as this is having that much trouble meeting their monthly obligations just to put gas in their patrol cars, something's wrong."

MAYOR FAIRCLOTH SAYS THEY SUPPORT THE STATE PATROL..... BUT THEIR BUDGET IS TIGHT

"we have patrol cars on the road twenty-four seven, we have fire trucks on the road twenty-four seven, we have public works trucks and cars on the road twenty-four seven so our expenses are increasing along with everyone else's."

HE SAYS THE REQUEST HAS BEEN TABLED AND BEFORE ANYTHING IS APPROVED... HE PLANS TO ASK ELECTED STATE OFFICIALS WHY THE STATE PATROL DOESN'T HAVE ENOUGH FUNDING TO RUN THEIR CARS.

JENNIFER MOULLIET 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.

>> ACCORDING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY... OTHER CITIES AND COUNTIES ARE DONATING FUEL TO THE STATE PATROL.... INCLUDING THE CITY OF MACON.

ONE PERSON DIED IN A CAR ACCIDENT .. ON INTERSTATE 75 SOUTH NEAR HARTLEY BRIDGE ROAD.
LIEUTENANT SEAN DEFOE WITH THE BIBB COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE... SAYS 42-YEAR-OLD ELIVA GRANADOS-GARCIA DIED AFTER AN S-U-V DRIVEN BY HER HUSBAND SLAMMED INTO THE CENTER CONCRETE RETAINING WALL.
IT HAPPENED AROUND 2-30 THIS AFTERNOON.
FIDEL ALCANTAR OF GWINNETT COUNTY WAS THE DRIVER OF THE S-U-V WHICH ALSO CARRIED A TOTAL OF 9 PEOPLE - ALL RELATED.
29-YEAR-OLD SARAH VALLEJO IS LISTED AS CRITICAL BUT STABLE...
THE OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS ARE IN STABLE CONDITION.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA IS CALLING THE ALLEGED SLAYING OF 16 AFGHAN CIVILIANS BY A U.S. SOLDIER QUOTE "ABSOLUTELY TRAGIC AND HEARTBREAKING."
BUT.. THE PRESIDENT SAYS HE'S STILL PROUD OF WHAT U-S TROOPS HAVE ACHIEVED IN AFGHANISTAN WHILE WORKING UNDER STRAIN.
U-S OFFICIALS SAY THE SOLDIER MAY HAVE SHOT AS MANY AS 16 AFGHANS BEFORE DAWN ON SUNDAY IN SOUTHERN AFGHANISTAN.
HE SAYS THE KILLINGS UNDERSCORE NEED TO TURN OVER SECURITY AND BRING U.S. FORCES HOME ON TIME.
WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN JAY CARNEY SAYS THE U-S AND ITS ALLIES ARE STILL ON COURSE TO HAND OVER SECURITY CONTROL TO THE AFGHANS AT THE END OF 2014.
Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary: "As the President made clear in his statement, it does not reflect the actions that seemed to have taken place yesterday, do not reflect the mission. They do not reflect the values or the professionalism of the American military men and women who are in Afghanistan, and they are tragic and unfortunate."
CARNEY SAYS THE PACE OF THE WITHDRAWAL WILL DEPEND ON A NUMBER OF FACTORS... BUT HE WOULDN'T SAY WHETHER THIS WEEKEND'S SHOOTING WOULD BE AMONG THEM.

TODAY'S 13 WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... IS IT TIME FOR AMERICAN TROOPS TO LEAVE AFGHANISTAN?
SO FAR 92 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES.
AND 8 PERCENT SAY NO.
CAST YOUR VOTE... VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM AND LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE.

A COUPLE OF BILLS BEFORE GEORGIA'S GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADDRESS HOT BUTTON ISSUES..
HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE MARCHED AT THE CAPITOL TODAY PROTESTING TWO BILLS THEY SAY ARE UNFAIR TO WOMEN..
LAST WEEK.. THE STATE SENATE PASSED MEASURES BANNING ABORTION COVERAGE UNDER STATE EMPLOYEES' HEALTH CARE PLANS.. AND..
ANOTHER EXEMPTING RELIGIOUS HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS FROM COVERING BIRTH CONTROL.
BOTH BILLS NOW GO THE STATE HOUSE FOR CONSIDERATION..
GEORGIA REPRESENTATIVES PASSED A BILL THAT WOULD PUT GUNS IN THE HANDS OF SOME CHILDREN..
THE MEASURE WOULD ALLOW THE STATE'S NATURAL RESOURCES COMMISSIONER TO GRANT SPECIAL HUNTING PERMITS TO ANYONE UNDER 21 WHO IS TERMINALLY ILL.
THE BILL IS NAMED AFTER TAYLOR GRAMLING.. A YOUNG WOMAN WHO DIED OF LEUKEMIA AT THE AGE OF 18.
HER DYING WISH WAS FULFILLED WHEN SHE KILLED A DEER AT A PLANTATION OWNED BY JEFF FOXWORTHY.

THE THREE-YEAR SEARCH FOR A LEADER FOR THE MACON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA IS NOW OVER.
TODAY... THE ORCHESTRA ANNOUNCED 29-YEAR-OLD WARD STARE WILL BE MUSIC DIRECTOR AND CONDUCTOR OF THE MACON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA.
HE WILL ALSO CONDUCT THE MERCER UNIVERSITY ORCHESTRA.
THE JULLIARD GRADUATE STARTED HIS CAREER AT 18 AS THE LEAD TROMBONIST IN THE LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO.
HE'S CURRENTLY THE ASSIsTANT CONDUCTOR OF THE SAINT LOUIS SYMPHONY.
SHERYL TOWERS... C-E-O OF THE ORCHESTRA... SAYS STARE WILL ELEVATE THE M-S-O TO NEW HEIGHTS.
AND GENE DUNWOODY SENIOR... THE BOARD PRESIDENT... SAYS STARE IS A GOOD FIT FOR MACON.
Dunwoody: "It's his talent. I mean, it's his skill. It's his ability to communicate with people at all levels and his musicianship."
Towers: "First step is planning a very exciting season and I'm so thrilled to tell you that ward has already been giving much creative throught to this so that's top on our list."
TOWERS SAYS STARE IS IN TOWN TODAY LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO LIVE.
HE WILL START OFFICIALLY IN JULY AND PUT ON HIS FIRST SHOW IN SEPTEMBER.

FOLKS GATHERED AT THE MACON ANIMAL CONTROL CENTER TO HONOR AN OFFICER THEY SAY IS LEADING THE PACK IN THEIR FIGHT TO SAVE ANIMALS.
KATELYN HECK SHOWS HOW OFFICER VAN VANDEWALKER USED JUST ONE WEEK TO CHANGE THE LIVES OF MANY ANIMALS... AND CATCH THE ATTENTION FROM STATE LEADERS.
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(NATS)
THESE PUPS NOW HAVE A BETTER CHANCE OF FINDING A HOME... AND ANIMAL SHELTER DIRECTOR JIM JOHNSON SAYS THATS MAINLY BECAUSE OF MORE COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERS... AND OFFICER VAN VANDEWALKER.
(SOT:he's working hard every day with the rescue groups trying to get as many animals out of here... thats his main function.)
VANDEWALKER STEPPED IN AS INTERIM DIRECTOR LAST YEAR... AND FOR ONE WEEK... BANNED EUTHANASIA AT THE SHELTER... AND THAT PARDON *WEEK* EVENTUALLY TURNED INTO *49 DAYS*.
(SOT:it was mainly a community thing. they really got behind this pardon week and i think thats the key.)
(NATS)
PATTY JONES... CHAIRMAN OF THE CENTRAL GEORGIA CARES ORGANIZATION... SAYS VANDEWALKERS WORK TUGGED AT THE HEARTS OF MANY ANIMAL LOVERS... (NATS)AND WORD EVENTUALLY SPREAD ALL THE WAY TO THE OFFICE OF LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR CASEY CAGLE.
(NATS:on behalf of central georgia cares please except our acknowledgement and congratulations for a job well done)
THIS COMMENDATION LETTER FROM THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR AND GEORGIA SENATOR MIRIAM PARIS APPLAUDS VANDEWALKER FOR HIS PARDON WEEK.
(NATS)
BUT HE SAYS HIS WORK DIDNT STOP THERE.
(SOT: its a seven day a week job as far as the cleanliness of the shelter and its hard to see because, i think i can say working here that, if you put lipstick on a pig its still a pig.)
JOHNSON SAYS THANKS TO VANDEWALKER AND COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERS... THEY HAVE TO EUTHANIZE ONLY ABOUT ONE ANIMAL A WEEK AT THE SHETLER.
ONLY 70 ANIMALS WERE PUT DOWN IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY...
HE SAYS THATS DOWN FROM OVER FIVE HUNDRED AND 30... IN THE SAME TIME LAST YEAR.

KATELYN HECK
13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
>> VANDEWALKER AND JOHNSON SAY THE SHELTER WOULD LIKE TO TRY ANOTHER PARDON WEEK IN THE FUTURE.
BUT THEY SAY NO PLANS ARE IN THE WORKS AS OF NOW.

BY THE END OF THIS WEEK... THE CITY OF MACON WILL HAVE A PINK TINGE TO IT... JUST IN TIME FOR THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL.
JUDY LE TOOK A LOOK AT HOW THE TREES ARE COMING ALONG.
THE CHERRY BLOSSOMS ARE BLOOMING...JUST IN TIME FOR THE PINKEST PARTY IN MACON...THE CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL.
DIRECTOR OF SALES AND MARKETING...STACEY CAMPBELL...SAYS SHE SPOTTED HER FIRST BLOSSOM RIGHT OUTSIDE HER OFFICE.

SOT Campbell, 507 It looks like right now, we are right on schedule. I drove in this mornign. A lot of them are doing what we call popping. When they do bloom, they pop like popcorn 517 ....They might be a little sporadic the first weekend, but normally by mid-week, the end of next weeknd, they'll be in full bloom and it shoul dbe a fabulous cherry blossom festival to celebrate our 30th anniversary.

SHE SAYS ABOUT THREE-HUNDRED THOUSAND TREES ARE SCATTERED AROUND THE CITY....FROM THIRD STREET TO WESLEYAN WOODS. RIGHT NEXT DOOR IS THE FICKLING FARM.....WHERE THE CHERRY BLOSSOM FIRST GOT STARTED IN MACON.

STANDUP 150 On about 140 acres, Fickling says there are more than 1000 Yoshina Cherry Blossom trees growing. 154

CHERRY BLOSSOM BOARD MEMBER...WILLIAM FICKLING...SAYS MOST OF THE CHERRY TREES HERE COME FROM THE ORIGINAL FIVE HIS GRANDFATHER PLANTED. HIS FAMILY HAS DONATED MORE THAN SIX THOUSAND TREES TO THE CITY. THE BLOSSOMS BLOOM WHITE...AND EVENTUALLY TURN A BRIGHT PINK AS THEY AGE.

SOT Fickling, 50 My grandfather kept a log for about 15 years of when they started and then they ended. The average is March 23. 107

HE SAYS THE BLOSSOMS ARE GOING TO PINK...RIGHT IN TIME FOR THIS YEAR'S FESTIVAL. THE CHERRY BLOSSOMS TAKE CENTER STAGE THIS FRIDAY... BUT IT'S SHARING THE SPOTLIGHT WITH THE MANY EVENTS LINED UP FOR THE FESTIVAL.
TO CHECK OUT THE SCHEDULE... HEAD TO THE MACON "WHERE YOU LIVE" PAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.

ONE ORGANIZATION THAT GOT ITS START RIGHT HERE IN THE PEACH STATE IS TURNING ONE HUNDRED.... AND YOU MIGHT WANT TO GRAB SOME EXTRA COOKIES TO CELEBRATE.
THAT'S RIGHT... TODAY MARKS THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE GIRL SCOUTS.
THIS WEEKEND... ABOUT THREE THOUSAND SCOUTS MARCHED IN SAVANNAH IN HONOR OF THE OCCASION.
JULIETTE GORDON LOW FOUNDED THE ORGANIZATION IN SAVANNAH ON MARCH 12TH... 1912.
THE FIRST TROOP HAD 18 GIRLS.
NOW... THE PROGRAM HAS 3 POINT 2 MILLION SCOUTS ENROLLED NATIONWIDE..

WE ASKED THE FORMER GIRL SCOUTS AMONG OUR FACEBOOK FANS TO SHARE THEIR MEMORIES.
SAMANTHA WROTE... "I WAS IN THE GIRL SCOUTS WITH MY BEST FRIEND AND BOTH OUR MOTHERS WERE THE LEADERS. EVERY YEAR AFTER WE RAISED ALL OUR MONEY AFTER SELLING GIRL SCOUT COOKIES WE GOT A FEW CHOICES OF WHERE WE WANTED TO GO FOR OUR TRIP[...]
THOSE ARE SOME OF THE BEST MEMORIES I HAVE AS A CHILD. I REGRET QUITTING AFTER I STARTED MIDDLE SCHOOL. BUT BELIEVE ME IF I EVER HAVE A DAUGHTER SHE WILL BE A GIRL SCOUT AND STICK IT OUT 'TIL THE END!
CARLA REPLIED... "MY DAUGHTER IS IN HER FIRST YEAR OF GIRL SCOUTS AND I ENJOY WATCHING HER MAKE MANY NEW FRIENDS WHILE LEARNING EVERYDAY VALUES AND CHARACTER!
AND BRENDA COMMENTED... "CAMPING ON BASE AND HAVING A SCAVENGER HUNT FOR OUR BREAKFAST, SUMMER CAMP AT CAMP MARTHA JOHNSTON, CLASS PICTURES WERE ALWAYS ON OUR MEETING DAY SO ALL THE GIRL SCOUTS WORE THEIR UNIFORMS IN CLASS PICTURES.... SO MANY POSITIVE LEARNINGS.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION AT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ.

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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