Friday, April 6, Eyewitness News at 11

10:30 PM, Apr 6, 2012   |    comments
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GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US..
I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
FRANK MALLOY HAS THE NIGHT OFF...

WE HAVE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE HOODIE INCIDENT THAT SPARKED RUMORS AND TENSIONS AT RUTLAND MIDDLE SCHOOL THIS WEEK.
A TEAM OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS... CAMPUS POLICE AND RISK MANAGEMENT OFFICIALS LOOKED INTO WHAT HAPPENED.
THEY FOUND THAT THINGS STARTED WHEN A STUDENT CUT THE HOOD OFF OF THEIR SWEATSHIRT TUESDAY MORNING.
DIRECTOR OF RISK MANAGEMENT DAVID GOWAN SAYS THE STUDENT WAS TRYING TO REPLICATE A DARTH VADER MASK.
THEN... GOWAN SAYS... ANOTHER STUDENT PICKED UP THE HOOD AND TOOK IT TO P-E CLASS... THEN SOCIAL STUDIES.
David Gowan, Director of Risk Management: Another eighth grade student displayed it in an eighth grade social studies class, where by coincidence they were discussing the KKK for the Goergia Performance Standards and the teacher immediately ordered the student to take that off and the student immediately complied.
GOWAN SAYS NO ONE HAD ANY WEAPONS... AND THERE WASN'T ANY CRIMINAL ACTIVITY AT THE SCHOOL.
PARENTS RECEIVED A LETTER FROM THE PRINCIPAL DETAILING THE EVENT.\
A NAVY FIGHTER JET CRASHED INTO A VIRGINIA BEACH APARTMENT COMPLEX THIS AFTERNOON. SEVEN PEOPLE... INCLUDING THE TWO PILOTS WERE INJURED.
TARA MERGENER HAS MORE.
NATS

THIS WAS THE SCENE JUST MOMENTS AFTER A NAVY F-A-18 FIGHTER JET CRASHED INTO A TWO-STORY APARTMENT COMPLEX IN VIRGINIA BEACH. FLAMES AND THICK BLACK SMOKE FILLED THE AIR, WHILE THE PLANE'S SIGNATURE "DOUBLE TAIL" SMOLDERED IN THE RUBBLE.

WITNESSES SAY THE COULD TELL THE AIRCRAFT WAS IN TROUBLE.

SOT - MOS

"we heard the pop from the engine. It was like a skittering where it was just popping, and then we saw the plane go down."

ANOTHER EYEWITNESS SNAPPED THIS PHOTO OF THE JET, WHICH HE SAID WAS DUMPING FUEL... ITS NOSE WAS ANGLED UPWARD, APPARENTLY TO SLOW ITS SPEED. THEN, IT JUST FELL FROM THE SKY.

SOT - MOS

"the front end of the plane started going down, and then.. BOOM."

{SOT - Capt. Mark Weisgerber/U.S. Fleet Forces Command}

"Shortly after takeoff, initial indications are that that aircraft suffered a catastrophic mechanical malfunction."

STANDUP BRIDGE: BOTH PILOTS EJECTED MOMENTS BEFORE THE CRASH AND PARACHUTED DOWN TO THE GROUND, LANDING NEAR THE WRECKAGE AND THE BURNING APARTMENTS.


ONE OF THEIR EJECTOR SEATS LANDED IN THIS BACKYARD... PAT KAVANAUGH FOUND ONE OF THE PILOTS ON HIS BACK PORCH.

{SOT - Kavanaugh}

"he was in shock... Still strapped to his seat... So a bunch of neighbors just picked him up, and dragged him to the other side of the parking lot, away from the fire."

BOTH PILOTS ARE EXPECTED TO RECOVER.

A 2008 CRASH OF THE SAME MODEL FIGHTER JET KILLED FOUR PEOPLE IN SAN DIEGO. THAT WAS BLAMED ON A MECHANICAL FAILURE AND POOR DECISIONS BY THE STUDENT PILOT. FRIDAY'S CRASH ALSO INVOLVED A STUDENT .


>> THREE PEOPLE ARE STILL UNACCOUNTED FOR... AND CREWS PLAN TO SEARCH THROUGH THE NIGHT.
A SPOKESMAN FOR THE VIRGINIA BEACH FIRE DEPARTMENT SAYS NO ONE REPORTED ANY FATALITIES... AND THEY DON'T KNOW IF THE THREE PEOPLE WERE IN THE COMPLEX WHEN THE CRASH HAPPENED.

A COUPLE OF SITES COULD LEAD THE WAY IN GIVING DOWNTOWN MACON A BOOST.
THE DOWNTOWN RAMADA PLAZA AND THE TOWNE AND COUNTRY SHOPPING CENTER ON GRAY HIGHWAY RECEIVED OPPORTUNITY ZONE DESIGNATIONS.
MACON-BIBB URBAN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY DIRECTOR ALEX MORRISON SAYS.... THAT ENCOURAGES BUSINESS GROWTH IN THOSE AREAS.
HE SAYS... AS LONG AS THEY CREATE AT LEAST TWO NEW JOBS... THEY'LL GET A 35-HUNDRED DOLLAR TAX CREDIT FOR EACH JOB.
MORRISON SAYS HE EXPECTS THE DESIGNATION TO JUMPSTART GROWTH.
Alex Morrison, Urban Development Authority: "You're getting that much more traffic, you're getting that many more people who are looking to eat out, looking to shop, looking to have entertainment right in the downtown area. And we think that getting a hotel especially in this historic property is going to have a huge impact on the overall redevelopment of downtown Macon."
MORRISON SAYS THEY'RE TALKING WITH SEVERAL DEVELOPERS ABOUT THE RAMADA PLAZA.
HE SAYS THEY APPLIED FOR THE DESIGNATION IN JANUARY.

STEPHEN MCDANIEL'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY... FRANK HOGUE FILED A BRIEF THIS AFTERNOON... SAYING HE SHOULDN'T HAVE TO PROVE MCDANIEL IS NOT A DANGER TO HIMSELF TO GET BOND.
AT THE BOND HEARING TUESDAY... SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE PHILLIP BROWN QUESTIONED WHETHER MCDANIEL WOULD BE A DANGER TO HIMSELF IF HE WAS LET OUT OF JAIL.
HOGUE SAYS MCDANIEL HAS SHOWN NO SIGNS OF SUICIDE THROUGHOUT THE INVESTIGATION... BUT HE SAYS HE SHOULDN'T BE ASKED TO PROVE THAT.
DISTRICT ATTORNEY GREG WINTERS SAYS HE RECEIVED THE BRIEF BUT DID NOT HAVE IMMEDIATE COMMENT.
HE SAYS HE PLANS TO READ THROUGH THE BRIEF TODAY... AND DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT TO RESPOND.

A DOG FOOD COMPANY IS RECALLING SOME OF ITS FOOD... BECAUSE IT COULD BE CONTAMINATED WITH SALMONELLA.
DIAMOND PET FOODS SAYS IT'S VOLUNTARILY RECALLING ITS DIAMOND NATURALS LAMB MEAL AND RICE DRY DOG FOOD.
ACCORDING TO THE COMPANY... PEOPLE WHO HANDLE THE FOOD OR PETS WHO EAT IT COULD BE INFECTED WITH SALMONELLA.
THE COMPANY SAYS NO ILLNESSES HAVE BEEN REPORTED... AND NO OTHER PRODUCTS ARE AFFECTED.
FOR MORE INFORMATION... YOU CAN CALL THE COMPANY AT 800-442-0402.
AGAIN... THAT'S 800-442-0402.

A YEAR AGO TODAY... A HAWKINSVILLE MARINE SET OUT ON A MISSION TO CLEAR EXPLOSIVES IN A NORTHERN AFGHAN TOWN.
TONY MULLIS LEFT THAT DAY FILLED WITH THE PRIDE OF JUST BECOMING A FATHER.. HIS SON BORN THE NIGHT BEFORE.
HE WOULDN'T COME BACK FROM THAT MISSION THE SAME MAN... BUT AS LORRA LYNCH JONES FOUND... HE DID MAKE IT TO THE ONLY PLACE HE EVER WANTS TO BE... HOME.
<<nats-
THIS SPOT AT HAWKINSVILLE HIGH SCHOOL.. BRINGS BACK MANY MEMORIES FOR TONY AND JEANNE MULLIS.
(42:25) "Just brings back my childhood, hanging out with my friends here."
IT'S WHERE THEY MET... AND WHERE THEY WANT THEIR SON (quick nat- Cason)... WHO TURNED A YEAR OLD THURSDAY.... TO GO TO SCHOOL.
nats- (16:05) "hotdog song, cason bangs"
INSEPARABLE NOW... TONY HEARD CASON'S FIRST CRIES OVER A SATELLITE PHONE... IN AFGHANISTAN.
Tony Mullis: (46:55) "It was sad, because I wasn't there, but I was happy because I have son."
THE NEXT DAY... A BOMB BLAST DURING A MISSION TO SECURE A BUNKER... NEARLY STOLE HIS CHANCE AT THE HONOR.
(49:50) "I was conscious the whole time. I remember everything. As soon as it went off. I hit the roof, landed on my back. I was looking at my body to see what all was physically wrong. I knew everything done went wrong."
HE SAW THAT THE BOMB SEVERED BOTH LEGS FROM HIS BODY.
Tony Mullis: (51:30) "I realize, oh man, I'm an amputee." (cover- 52:15) "I didn't care if God wanted to take me, if it was time, I just wanted to see my son and wife, one time."
nats- with family
HE GOT THE CHANCE FOR MUCH MORE.
nats- showing legs
FIVE MONTHS AFTER THE EXPLOSION... DOCTORS GAVE HIM A GIFT HE ONCE TOOK FOR GRANTED.
Tony Mullis: (55:30) "When I got them, I was excited. It was like Christmas."
BUT LEARNING TO USE THEM.. FELT MORE LIKE TORTURE.
Tony Mullis: (52:88) "I hurt, it was hard to get used to the legs. It was the pain. It made you want to give-up."
HE FOUND IT EASIER TO SKIP REHAB AT THE NAVAL HOSPITAL IN MARYLAND... AND PLAY WITH CASON ON THE GROUND... THEN HE SAW... WHY HE NEEDED TO GET UP.
Tony Mullis: (58:00) "He used to walk on his knees. I think he used to copy me, because I'd get on the floor and walk on my knubs."
nats- walking
A LOT OF STUMBLES... AND FEW FALLS LATER... FATHER AND SON STOOD-UP TOGETHER.
(57:45) "Now, I'm able to hold his hand and walk with him. It's awesome to be able to do that. I can pick him up and hold him and walk. I trust myself. I trust my legs."
WALKING RESTORED HIS CONFIDENCE... AND HIS HUMOR.
Tony Mullis: (4:20) "We play around. We do that whole Lt. Dan thing, where he slaps his leg and like this is titanium maloid (laughs). We do that all the time."
HE'S GOT PLENTY OF CHANCES. HE NOW CHOOSES FROM SIX DIFFERENT PAIRS OF LEGS.
Tony Mullis: (59:50) "I have to change out legs, depending on what I'm doing. Instead of changing shoes, I change legs."
HE CALLS THESE HIS RUNNING LEGS.
nats- running
AND AT LEAST FOR A LITTLE WHILE HE'S OUTPACING HIS COMPETITION.
nats- Cason
AND HIS INSPIRATION.
nats-
STD>>
THE MULLIS' ARE HOME IN HAWKINSVILLE FOR A FEW WEEKS... BUT WILL RETURN TO THE HOSPITAL IN MARYLAND.
TONY STILL HAS ABOUT FOUR MONTHS OF REHAB.
HE SAYS ONCE HE'S DISCHARGED FROM THE MARINES... A VETERANS ORGANIZATION HAS OFFERED TO BUILD THEM A HOME IN HAWKINSVILLE.
MULLIS WANTS TO START A HUNTING SHOW... WITH TWO OTHER AMPUTEES... TO SHOW OTHER WOUNDED WARRIORS THAT ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.

TONIGHT'S FACEBOOK FAN OF THE DAY IS REBECCA GIBBINS.
REBECCA... 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.

EACH WEEK THE HEALTH INSPECTOR TAKES A LOOK AT CENTRAL GEORGIA RESTAURNANTS... WHLIE SOME POSE HELATH RISKS.. OTHERS JOIN IN THE RUNNING FOR THE GOLDEN SPATUAL AWARD.
BRITTINY BARBER JOINS US WITH THIS WEEK'S RESTAURANT RATINGS.
WE'RE BACK IN HOUSTON COUNTY THIS WEEK...STARTING OFF WITH OUR LOWEST SCORES....
MCDONALDS AT 14-13 SAM NUNN BLVD IN PERRY... SCORED AN 80... A "B". COMING IN AFTER A 99 OR AN A".... THEY SCORED ON THEIR LAST INSPECTION.
WELLSTON DINER ON WATSON BLVD... SCORED AN 77... A "C"... THAT'S AFTER THEY RECEIVED A 90 OR AN "A" ON THEIR LAST REPORT.
AND KIPPER'S SPORTS GRILL AT 40-25 WATSON BLVD... SCORED A 67 OR A "U".. THAT'S AFTER A 98 OR "A" ON THEIR LAST INSPECTION..
NOW FOR A LOOK THE TOP SCORES OF THE WEEK..
AMERICAN DELI ALSO ON WATSON BLVD... BROUGHT IN A 97 OR AN "A".. ON THEIR LAST INSPECTION THEY SCORED A 90.. WHICH IS ALSO AN "A"
DAIRY QUEEN ON GENERAL COURTNEY HODGES BLVD IN PERRY RECEIVED A 100... THAT'S AFTER A 100 ON THEIR LAST REPORT.
AND ANNA'S ASIAN CAFE11-17 HIGHWAY 96 IN KATHLEEN SCORED A 96 WHICH IS AN A".. THEY BROUGHT IN A 100 ON THEIR LAST INSPECTION.
WE AVERAGED OUR NOMINEES' PAST FIVE SCORES... AND THIS WEEK'S GOLDEN SPATULA GOES TO...
THE DAIRY QUEEN ON GENERAL COURTNEY HODGES BLVD... WITH A FIVE SCORE AVERAGE OF 98-POINT-2.
CONGRATULATIONS TO EVERYONE AT DAIRY QUEEN....
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.

TO CLEAR UP SOME CONFUSION... THERE *WILL* BE AN EASTER EGG HUNT AT CENTRAL CITY PARK TOMORROW MORNING.
THE FLAMING KNIGHTS MOTORCYCLE CLUB WILL HIDE ALMOST 16-THOUSAND EGGS THIS YEAR.
SOME BOILED... A FEW CANDY... AND EVEN EGGS WITH SURPRISES IN THE MIDDLE.
ORGANIZERS SAY THE LUCKY HUNTER WHO FINDS THE BIG GOLDEN EGG WILL RECEIVE A LARGE CASH PRIZE.
FOLKS CAN START THEIR SEARCH AT 11 O'CLOCK.... AND THINGS WILL WRAP UP AT 4.
THIS IS THE FLAMING KNIGHTS 28th ANNUAL EASTER EVENT.
TO FIND MORE EASTER EGG HUNTS IN YOUR COMMUNITY... VISIT YOUR WHERE YOU LIVE SITE.. ON 13WMAZ DOT COM.

WE HAVE A OPPORTUNITY FOR A DATE NIGHT IN THE INTERNATIONAL CITY..
ITS A FIRST BAPTIST STAGE PRODUCTION OF AN ORIGINAL PLAY ENTITLED.. MIDNIGHT CRY.
WRITTEN AND PRODUCED BY LOCAL WRITER DARRELL PALMER... THE MIDNIGHT CRY DEALS WITH ISSUES WITHIN A CHURCH BEWTEEN LEADERS AND MEMBERS...
AND HOW EACH INDIVIDUAL MUST "GET THEIR HOUSE IN ORDER" BEFORE JESUS RETURNS...

THE PLAY FEATURES ACTORS AND LIVE MUSIC FROM FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF GARMON STREET IN WARNER ROBINS.
SHOWTIME IS SATURDAY EVENING AT 6PM... THE COST IS TEN DOLLARS PER PERSON.. AGES 6 AND UNDER GET IN FREE.

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF GARMON STREET IS LOCATED OFF HIGHWAY 247.. ACROSS THE STREET FROM ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE.

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