Monday, March 26, Eyewitness News at 11

1:17 PM, Mar 26, 2012   |    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

IN A MEETING TODAY... MACON'S PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE DISCUSSED A DEBRIS REMOVAL PLAN IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.
COMMITTE MEMBERS SAY THEY LEARNED A LOT ABOUT HANDLING CLEAN-UP IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE 2008 MOTHER'S DAY TORNADOS.
AS AMY AUBERT SHOWS YOU... ONE COUNCIL MEMBER SAYS THE CITY POTENTIALLY LOST A MILLION DOLLARS IN REVENUE AND CITY LEADERS WANT A BETTER GAME PLAN IN PLACE SHOULD DISASTER STRIKE AGAIN..
<<
Nats, pulling straw

FOR CHEROLYN OWENBY... THE CLEAN-UP AFTER THE 2008 TORNADOS SWEPT THROUGH... ISN'T OVER.

Cherolyn Owneby, Macon: "This is our memory of what our yard looked like."

OWENBY SAID BEFORE THE TORNADO...70 PINE TREES SHADED HER YARD... AFTER THE DEVASTATION... ONLY TWO REMAIN STANDING.

Nats, car

GETTING THE NEIGHBORHOOD BACK ON TRACK... OWENBY SAYS... TOOK THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY.

Owenby: "It looked like the street just went right into the woods, there was no way to get through the road, every tree in the neighborhoos was laying the street, our power poles were broken down."

OWENBY SAYS CLEANING THE MESS TOOK MONTHS... THE CITY AGREED TO TAKE 4 FOOT PILES OF DEBRIS AT A TIME... BUT SHE SAYS... THEY HAD TREE LIMBS STACKED 25 FEET HIGH.

Nats, meeting

E-M-A DIRECTOR DONALD DRUITT BROUGHT AN EMERGENCY DEBRIS REMOVAL PLAN BEFORE THE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MONDAY.

Donald Druitt, EMA Director: "If we can concentrate on the areas that have been most impacted because we have done a really good, thorough assessment, that's where we can send our most resources."

COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN... VIRGIL WATKINS... SAYS THEY LEARNED A LOT... IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE 2008 TORNADOS.

Virgil Watkins: "One of the mistakes we made at that time is that we didn't assign a value to it and essentially gave a way a whole lot of mulch because we were very concerned about getting everything cleaned up."

THAT MULCH... FROM THE THOUSANDS OF DOWNED TREES.. HE SAYS... WAS ABOUT 3 TONS.
HE SAYS THE CITY COULD'VE GOTTEN AROUND A MILLION DOLLARS... BY SELLING IT.

Nats

BUT FOR FOLKS LIKE OWENSBY... THE CLEAN-UP HASN'T ENDED... AND KNOWING THE CITY IS PREPARED TO HELP... KEEPS HER LOOKING FORWARD.

AMY AUBERT 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> THE DEBRIS REMOVAL RESOLUTION WILL GO BEFORE FULL COUNCIL AT ITS NEXT MEETING.

MORE BOATS ARE FILLING THE WATERS OF LAKE TOBESOFKEE THIS MONTH... WITH PEOPLE HOPING FOR A BIG CATCH.
DIRECTOR DOUG FURNEY TOLD KATELYN HECK... THE FISH MAY NOT ALWAYS BITE... BUT THE WARM WEATHER IS REELING IN MORE VISITORS.
<<
(NATS)
MORE PEOPLE ARE CRANKING THEIR BOAT ENGINES...
(NATS)
AND CASTING THEIR REELS AT LAKE TOBESOFKEE... THAN THIS TIMpE LAST YEAR.
(SOT: usually on a monday like this we;re out here by ourselves and you wont see but five or six boats... but theres like 50 or 60 boats out right here on this landing)
(NATS)
SCARLET BENSON FISHES WITH HER FAMILY AT LAKE TOBESOFKEE EVERY YEAR...
(NATS: you caught your first fish!)
BUT BENSON SAYS SHE'S NOTICED BIGGER CROWDS COASTING THROUGH THE WATERS *THIS* YEAR.
(SOT:there has been waverunners and skidoos and boats...pontoons)
TOBESOFKEE DIRECTOR DOUG FURNEY SAYS ALL THE TRAFFIC BOOSTED THIS MONTHS REVENUE.
(SOT: we can do every thing we can to attract people out here but the weather is the biggest factor.)
(NATS)
FURNEY SAYS THIS YEAR STARTED A LITTLE SLOW...
(SOT:february our revenue was down because it rained almost every weekend)
BUT RECENT SUNNY SKIES AND WARM WEATHER PUT THEM ON PACE TO BRING IN AROUND 57 THOUSAND DOLLARS THIS MONTH... ALMOST FOUR THOUSAND MORE THAN MARCH 2011.
(SOT: i just hope the weather continues this way and it doesnt get too hott during the summer.)
BUT FOR NOW... PEOPLE SAY THE WEATHER IS JUST RIGHT FOR A DAY AT THE LAKE.
(NATS)
KATELYN HECK
13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
>> FURNEY SAYS TRAFFIC USUALLY PICKS UP BETWEEN MAY AND JUNE... AND EXPECTS THIS SUMMER TO OUTWEIGH LAST YEAR'S REVENUE.

A SPRING BREAK COOKOUT IS IN THE WORKS FOR PEOPLE IN NEED IN BIBB COUNTY.
(NAT 3 sec - It doesn't look like 300)
HAMBURGERS...CAKE...AND CARTONS OF GATORADE...ALL UP FOR GRABS AT TUESDAY'S BACKYARD COOKOUT.
THE MENTORS PROJECT TEAMED UP WITH MORE THAN TEN ORGANIZATIONS TO FEED PEOPEL WHO USUALLY EAT AT MACON OUTREACH...AS WELL AS KIDS ON SPRING BREAK.
MACON OUTREACH SERVES ONLY BREAKFAST ON TUESDAYS. THAT'S WHY DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR OF LOAVES AND FISHES...MARY GATTI...SAYS IT'S IMPORTANT TO PROVIDE A HOT MEAL.
It's nurturing and I think of being loved. Going back to when you were a child and feeling like someone cares about you.
THE COOKOUT STARTS AT 11 AM AND ENDS AT ONE P-M IN THE BACK OF LOAVES AND FISHES DOWNTOWN.

GEORGIA LAWMAKERS ARE BUSY IN THESE LAST FEW DAYS OF THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION..
TODAY.. THEY PASSED A BILL THAT WOULD REVOKE BONUSES FOR TEACHERS WHO CHEAT ON STANDARDIZED TESTS..
RIGHT NOW.. TEACHERS RECEIVE BONUSES BASED ON TEST SCORES OF THEIR STUDENTS..
THE BILL WAS CREATED AFTER LAST YEAR'S CHEATING SCANDAL IN ATLANTA PUBLIC SCHOOLS..
NEARLY 180 TEACHERS AND PRINCIPALS WERE ACCUSED OF GIVING ANSWERS TO STUDENTS OR CHANGING TEST ANSWERS..
A BUDGET DEAL REACHED TODAY MAKES PLANS FOR ALMOST 100-MILLION DOLLARS FROM A MORTGAGE ABUSE SETTLEMENT..
THE NATIONAL SETTLEMENT OVER MORTGAGE ABUSE WILL FUND LOCAL GRANT PROGRAMS THAT PAY FOR INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS.
THOSE PROJECTS ARE SUPPOSED TO HELP LOCAL GOVERNMENTS ATTRACT NEW EMPLOYERS.. AND NEW JOBS.
STATE LAWMAKERS ALSO WANT TO ALLOW STATE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES TO BUILD MORE PARKING DECKS.. DORMITORIES.. AND STUDENT CENTERS..
A SENATE BILL ALLOWS THE GEORGIA HIGHER EDUCATION FACILITIES AUTHORITY TO ISSUE MORE BONDS.. UP TO 500- MILLION DOLLARS..
THE CURRENT CAP IS 300-MILLION.
THE BONDS PAY FOR NON-ACADEMIC BUILDINGS.. EDUCATIONAL BUILDINGS ARE USUALLY PAID FOR WITH TAX DOLLARS OR PRIVATE DONATIONS.
THE BILL NOW GOES TO GOVERNOR NATHAN DEAL.

ALSO TODAY... THE U-S SUPREME COURT BEGAN THREE DAYS OF ARGUMENTS ON THE FATE OF THE WHITE HOUSE'S OVERHAUL OF THE NATION'S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM.
MERCER LAW PROFESSOR DAVID OEDEL SERVES AS A DEPUTY SPECIAL ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR HANDLING GEORGIA LAWSUITS.
HE JOINED US BY PHONE FROM WASHINGTON D-C TONIGHT DURING EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX.
"We heard a landmark case in the making today. We don't know exactly what that case will end up with. But today was sort of a preliminary day about whether the court has appropriate jurisdiction to hear the case or whether its ripe yet, whether it's ready for review. Generally speaking, it sounded as though the court was ready to hear the merits of the case both tomorrow and the next day. We have two big claims coming up."
EACH DAY...IS A DIFFERENT DISCUSSION.
THE KEY PROVISION INVOLVED IN THE CASE IS THE INDIVIDUAL MANDATE THAT REQUIRES MOST AMERICANS TO PURCHASE SOME FORM OF HEALTH INSURANCE OR FACE A SUBSTANTIAL PENALTY.
TODAY'S ARGUMENT FOCUSED ON WHETHER THAT PENALTY COUNTS AS A TAX.
IF IT DOES... ARGUMENTS IN THE CASE WOULD BE HALTED UNTIL THE PENALTIES WENT INTO EFFECT IN 2014.
TOMORROW... CAN THE GOVERNMENT FORCE PEOPLE TO BUY SOMETHING?
AND ON WEDNESDAY... IF THE MANDATE REQUIRING EVERYONE TO BUY HEALTH INSURANCE IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL... DOES THAT FORCE THE COURT TO STRIKE DOWN THE WHOLE LAW?
A RULING SHOULD COME LATE IN JUNE WELL BEFORE THE NOVEMBER ELECTION.

CIVIL RIGHTS LEADERS JOINED THE PARENTS OF SLAIN FLORIDA TEEN TRAYVON MARTIN TODAY... AS THEY ADDRESSED THE GOVERNMENT OF SANFORD FLORIDA.
THEY'RE DEMANDING THE ARREST OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH CAPTAIN WHO SHOT AND KILLED THEIR 17-YEAR-OLD SON.
RANDALL PINKSTON HAS MORE ON THE CASE THAT HAS THE NATION'S ATTENTION.
NATSOT

"my heart is broken"

SYBRINA FULTON FOUGHT BACK TEARS AS SHE ADDRESSED THE COMMISSIONERS OF SANFORD, FLORIDA. SHE'S SEEKING JUSTICE FOR HER SON, 17-YEAR OLD TRAYVON MARTIN - SHOT DEAD ONE MONTH AGO BY NEIGHBORHOOD WATCHMAN GEORGE ZIMMERMAN. MARTIN WAS UNARMED, ZIMMERMAN WAS NOT ARRESTED.

SOT PIPE 1 - 17:29:31

"i know i cannot bring my baby back, but i'm sure going to make changes so that this does not happen to another family."

SANFORD'S GOVERNMENT HEARD FROM A WHO'S WHO OF AMERICAN CIVIL RIGHTS LEADERS, WHO COMPARED THE TOWN TO BIRMINGHAM AND SELMA, ALABAMA - IGNITION POINTS OF RACIAL PROTESTS IN THE 1960S.

SOT - Jesse Jackson Pipe 1 - 17:54:27

"we have a feeling that if a black vigilante shot a 17 year old white child near his father's house, he would be in jail today"

STANDUP BRIDGE: THOUSANDS OF SUPPORTERS WATCHED THE HEARING ON A LARGE MONITOR HERE IN A NEARBY PARK. THEY'RE DEMANDING NOT ONLY THE ARREST OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, BUT THE REPEAL OF FLORDA'S 'STAND YOUR GROUND' LAW.

THE LAW ALLOWS CITIZENS TO USE FORCE - EVEN DEADLY FORCE - IN SELF-DEFENSE.

SOT - Everitt

"This law encourages people to be vigilantes and harm and kill other people."

MARTIN'S FATHER SAYS - ALL THE MORE REASON TO ARREST HIS SON'S KILLER.

SOT - Tracy Martin - Pipe 1 17:31:39

"we're not asking for eye for an eye, we're asking for justice, justice, justice"

A SPECIAL PROSECTOR WILL OVERSEE THE CASE.

THE MARTIN FAMILY CONFIRMED THAT TRAYVON WAS SUSPENDED FROM SCHOOL WHEN THE SHOOTING HAPPENED.
HE WAS ACCUSED OF HAVING TRACES OF MARIJUANA IN HIS BOOK BAG.
HIS FAMILY SAYS THE SUSPENSION HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE TEEN'S DEATH.
IN ATLANTA.. THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS.. CIVIL RIGHTS GROUPS AND LOCAL LEADERS GATHERED AT THE STATE CAPITOL IN MEMORY OF TRAYVON.
THEY ALSO CALLED FOR AN END TO THE "STAND-YOUR-GROUND" LAWS... SAYING THE MEASURES COULD LEAD TO A SIMILAR INCIDENT IN GEORGIA.
SOME LAWMAKERS AT TODAY'S RALLY VOWED TO INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO REPEAL GEORGIA'S STAND-YOUR-GROUND LAW.

THE HOODIE MOVEMENT TO HONOR TRAYVON MARTIN IS ALSO BUBBLING UP IN CENTRAL GEORGIA THIS WEEK.
PASTOR STEPHEN SUMMEROW IS INVITING THE PUBLIC TO JOIN HIS CONGREGATION...
GREATER FRIENDSHIP MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH FOR A PRAYER VIGIL AT 6 P-M. TOMORROW.
HE ASKS THOSE WHO ATTEND TO WEAR HOODED SWEATSHIRTS...LIKE THE ONE MARTIN WORE WHEN HE WAS SHOT.
THAT'S THE SAME DRESS CODE FOR "HOODIES ON THE HILL..." A CANDLELIGHT VIGIL SET FOR WEDNESDAY NIGHT ON COLEMAN HILL STARTING AT 7 P-M.
PASTOR SUMMEROW SAYS TUESDAY'S PRAYER VIGIL IS MEANT TO HIGHLIGHT DUE PROCESS OF THE LAW AND FAIRNESS IN THE TRAYVON MARTIN CASE.
"i would love to see that its not just the african american community. i would love to see all of my friends and relatives and family from all over this community that feel that this is an important issue."
SUMMEROW SAYS THE PRAYER VIGIL WILL LAST ABOUT AN HOUR.
THERE WILL BE A FEW SPEECHES.. SINGING.. AND PRAYER INSIDE THE CHURCH OFF HAZEL STREET.
THE MAIN VIGIL WILL HAPPEN OUTSIDE... ACROSS FROM THE BIBB COUNTY LAW ENFORCEMENT CENTER.

TONIGHT'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY IS JACLYN CARVER.
JACLYN... YOU'LL NEED TO EMAIL FAN OF THE DAY AT 13WMAZ DOT COM TO CLAIM YOUR COFFEE MUG.
NOW... GETTING INTO THE RUNNING FOR FAN OF THE DAY IS AN EASY THREE-STEP PROCESS.
ONE... VISIT FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH 13WMAZ.
TWO... BECOME A FAN... AND THREE... GET IN ON THE CONVERSATIONS.
WE PICK OUR FAN OF THE DAY RANDOMLY.

ONLY ONE NEW MOVIE HIT THE BOX OFFICE THIS WEEKEND... BUT IT MADE QUITE A SPLASH.
MOVIEGOERS FEASTED ON "THE HUNGER GAMES"... TO THE TUNE OF 152 AND A HALF MILLION DOLLARS.
THAT MAKES THE SCREEN ADAPTATION OF THE POPULAR NOVEL.... THE THIRD BIGGEST OPENING WEEKEND EVER.
THE ONLY TWO MOVIES TO BEAT IT.... LAST YEAR'S "HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART TWO" AND 2008'S "THE DARK KNIGHT."
BOTH THOSE MOVIES WERE PART OF FILM FRANCHISES... MAKING "THE HUNGER GAMES" THE BIGGEST OPENING FOR A NON-SEQUEL.
ROUNDING OUT THE TOP FIVE... THE REVIVAL OF 1980'S "21 JUMP STREET" WITH 20 POINT FOUR MILLION....
"DR. SEUSS' THE LORAX" ROLLED INTO THIRD WITH 13 POINT ONE MILLION.
DISNEY'S "JOHN CARTER" TOOK FOURTH WITH JUST MORE THAN FIVE MILLION...
AND "ACT OF VALOR" LANDED IN FIFTH PLACE WITH JUST MORE THAN TWO MILLION.


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