HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US... I'M FRANK MALLOY.
THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX..
LEAH JOHNSON HAS THE NIGHT OFF..
PEOPLE GATHERED AT FORT HILL CEMETERY TODAY TO HONOR THOSE WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR OUR FREEDOM.
KATELYN HECK TELLS US THE STORY OF THOSE WHO TOOK TIME TO REMEMBER THOSE WHO PERFORMED THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE..
Nats "I like history. I think its interesting to find out where we've been and how far we've come."
WE'VE COME A LONG WAY SINCE THE WAR OF 1812. THAT WAR IS SPECIAL TO FORT HAWKINS... AS NEARLY 200 U. S. SOLDIERS ARE BURIED IN THE FORT HILL CEMETERY. MOST OF WHOM... SERVED IN THAT WAR.
RALPH AND MARY OPPY... BOTH VETERANS OF THE AIR FORCE... ATTENDED THE MEMORIAL DAY SERVICE. THEY SAY FORT HAWKINS IS SPECIAL TO THEM AND THE CITY OF MACON.
Mary Oppy: "Everybody's lost somebody and it's important to honor the sacrifice that they've made."
THE FORT NOW STANDS AS A THREE STORY BLOCKHOUSE. THE OLD PENTAGON OF THE SOUTH IS FILLED WITH ARCHAEOLOGICAL HERITAGE. THAT HERITAGE STILL FILLS THE HEARTS OF MANY... ESPECIALLY ON MEMORIAL DAY... AS WE HONOR SOLDIERS OF THE PAST.
Mary Oppy: "They made a choice to do right and be good. We all have that opportunity to make choices everyday. This inspires me to try to do better for my country and my neighbors and my family."
FORT HAWKINS IS RICH IN HISTORY... BUT NOT IN FUNDS. THERE ARE NO FANCY WELCOME CENTERS THAT INVITE PEOPLE TO TAKE A TOUR.
Ralph Oppy: "We'll help support it so that we can encourage people from all over the country and world for that matter to come here and visit and see what we have."
THE OPPYS USED THE REST OF THEIR TIME...TO GET A VIEW FROM THE TOP OF THE BLOCKHOUSE.
Ralph Oppy: "I just hope all the people in Macon realize what a gem we have in Fort Hawkins."
A GEM THAT STANDS OVER THE CITY THAT GREW UP AROUND IT..
FORT HAWKINS WAS BUILT SEVENTEEN YEARS BEFORE MACON WAS FOUNDED..
THE FORT HAWKINS COMMISSION PLANS TO FIND AND RECONSTRUCT THE ORIGINAL FORT HAWKINS.
MEMORIAL DAY HONORS THOSE INJURED OR KILLED FIGHTING FOR OUR NATION'S FREEDOM.
MACON STATE COLLEGE HISTORIAN CAROL MELTON JOINS US NOW..
TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... DO YOU PLAN TO DO SOMETHING TO HONOR FALLEN TROOPS THIS MEMORIAL DAY?
SO FAR 57 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO...
AND 43 PERCENT SAY YES.
VOTE NOW... VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM AND LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE.
A DEADLY CRASH INVOLVING A CAR AND A TRAIN IN WARNER ROBINS HAS SOME PEOPLE ASKING QUESTIONS ABOUT WHETHER THE RAILROAD CROSSING IS SAFE.
JENNIFER MOULLIET TAKES YOU TO THE CROSSING AT IGNICO DRIVE AND HIGHWAY 247.
THERE ARE NO STOP SIGNS... OR CAUTION ARMS AT THIS CROSSING.
AND NEARBY BUSINESS OWNERS SAY SEVERAL TRAINS PASS A DAY.
Jennifer Moulliet: "We watched a train come right through here and it took about thirty-seconds from when the warning lights came on until the train actually crossed the intersection."
BUT VERNITA CHAPPELL SAYS THIRTY SECONDS WASN'T LONG ENOUGH FOR HER FRIEND.
THIS IS WHERE THE P-T CRUISER... FORTY-FIVE YEAR OLD WILLIE LYONS JUNIOR WAS DRIVING ... LANDED AFTER IT COLLIDED WITH A NORFOLK SOUTHERN TRAIN SUNDAY AFTERNOON.
LYONS WAS DRIVING HIS GIRLFRIEND DONNELL REID AND THEIR ONE-MONTH OLD BABY GIRL KINSLEY... nats
THIS IS AN OUTFIT... A FAMILY FRIEND KNITTED FOR THE PREEMIE.
"I actually think that they didn't see that train and there was no warning sign to let them know that the train was that near."
BOTH PASSENGERS DIED.
CHAPPELL SAYS LYONS WAS A FAMILY MAN AND WOULD NEVER TRY TO OUTRUN A TRAIN.
"He read to his unborn baby before she was here, no mountain he wouldn't move for his family."
ALL THE RAILROAD CROSSINGS IN HOUSTON COUNTY ON HIGHWAY 2-47 HAVE THESE SAFETY ARMS THAT DROP WHEN A TRAIN IS APPROACHING... ALL EXCEPT IGNICO DRIVE.
CHAPPELL SAYS IT'S EVEN HARDER TO SEE SOMETHING COMING AT NIGHT.
"You can see there are no lights here at night there are no lights."
A TOW-TRUCK DRIVER WHO DIDN'T WANT TO BE INTERVIEWED ON CAMERA... SAYS HE WAS CALLED OUT SUNDAY.
HE TOLD US IT WAS JUST ONE OF MANY CALLS HE GETS FOR WRECKS AT THE INTERSECTION OF IGNICO DRIVE AND HIGHWAY 247.
JENNIFER MOULLIET 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> LYONS UNDERWENT SURGERY AT THE MEDICAL CENTER OF CENTRAL GEORGIA.
THERE IS NO UPDATE YET ON HIS CONDITION.
THE HOUSTON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE IS INVESTIGATING THE ACCIDENT.
LESS THAN A WEEK AFTER QUALIFYING AS A FIRST-TIME CANDIDATE...
ERICA EATON PULLED OUT OF THE RACE FOR THE BIBB COUNTY DISTRICT 3 SCHOOL BOARD RACE.
IN A NEWS RELEASE, EATON SAID DUE TO RECENT INFORMATION THAT WAS BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION, I NOW REALIZE MY BID FOR THIS SEAT PRESENTS A POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST FOR ME.
13WMAZ SPOKE WITH EATON BY PHONE...
SHE DID NOT ELABORATE ON WHAT THE CONFLICT INVOLVED..BUT SAID SHE WILL CONTINUE TO BE ACTIVE IN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM AS A PARENT AND A COMMUNITY MEMBER.
IF YOUR TRAVEL PLANS THIS WEEK TAKE YOU TO ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, YOU MAY NOTICE SOME SOME CHANGES TO THE TRAFFIC PATTERN AROUND THE BASE.
CHRISSY MINER... THE CHIEF MEDIA OFFICER FOR THE BASE SAYS...
THE COMMERCIAL TRAFFIC GATE WILL BE CLOSED TO ALL OUTBOUND TRAFFIC STARTING TOMORROW.
INBOUND TRAFFIC WILL ALSO CHANGE AS THE COMMERCIAL SEARCH AREA MOVES FURTHER SOUTH ALONG PAGE ROAD.
GATE FIVE... THE MARTIN LUTHER KING STREET GATE... WILL REOPEN FROM AROUND FIVE A-M UNTIL 8 P-M MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY... AND 8 A-M THROUGH 6 P-M... SATURDAY.
MINER SAYS THE CHANGES ARE FOR SAFETY AND SECURITY REASONS..
INBOUND LANE OPERATING HOURS FOR BOTH GATES WILL NOT CHANGE..
TONIGHT... MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH SCATTERED RAIN SHOWERS AND LOWS NEAR 70. RAIN MOST LIKELY IN SOUTHEASTERN COUNTIES.
TUESDAY... MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH SCATTERED RAIN AND STORMS AND HIGHS IN THE MID 80S. EXPECT HEAVIEST RAIN IN SOUTHEASTERN COUNTIES.
TUESDAY NIGHT... ISOLATED SHOWERS POSSIBLE IN THE EVENING WITH GRADUALLY CLEARING SKIES. LOWS IN THE MID-TO-UPPER 60S.
A MACON COMMUNITY CENTER IS HOSTING A FORUM FOR YOUNG PEOPLE THIS WEEK.
ORGANIZERS SAY IT'S AN OPPORTUNITY TO TEACH THEM ABOUT THE VALUE OF RESPECT AND SEND A MESSAGE THAT WILL HELP THEM BECOME SUCCESSFUL ADULTS.
LEAH JOHNSON HAS MORE IN TONIGHT'S HERO CENTRAL REPORT.
sot: It's just fun. It's a positive place to go instead of being on the street. It's positive.
For Antonio Person... shooting hoops with friends is one of his favorite things. He spends time here at Macon's Freedom Park Community Center. It's a place that offers more than just afterschool activities. This week they're hosting a forum that hopes to send an important message to young people.
sot: It's called let's talk about it and it's designed to give them a venue, a place where they can come and express themselves and be engaged with adults and talk about topics of concern to them.
Community Center Supervisor Clarence Thomas, Jr. says the main topic will be the value of respect.
sot: A lot of the issues and challenges that young people face and negative behavior they exhibit and a lot of the negative activity they're involved in is rooted in a lack of respect for themselves.
Cassandra Hicks-Calloway teaches dance at the center. Her daughter DeAsia assits as a volunteer. This mother and daughter team agree a discussion on respect is crucial to the success of young people.
sot: It's about being positive and letting your light shine. Building a reputation that years from now you'll be proud of.
sot: We do see that there is a need for more positive activities for the younger generation.
As for Person, he says he has the message loud and clear but looks forward to attending the forum in hopes of helping someone else get a better understanding of the value of respect.
sot: I like to lead by example for people older and younger because the things I do are positive.
Leah Johnson 13WMAZ EWN.
THE "LET'S TALK ABOUT IT" FORUM IS SET FOR THIS WEDNESDAY, MAY 30TH AT MACON'S FREEDOM PARK COMMUNITY CENTER FROM 4 TO 6PM.
THE EVENT IS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE AGES 14 TO 21 YEARS OLD. IT'LL ALSO FEATURE A BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT AND FREE FOOD AND REFRESHMENTS.
FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO REGISTER CALL 751-9248.
AGAIN... THAT'S 751-9248
SENIORS IN SOME CENTRAL GEORGIA COUNTIES TOOK THE WALK ACROSS THE STAGE FOR GRADUATION THIS WEEKEND... AND WE WANT YOU TO SHARE PHOTOS OF THEIR BIG MOMENT.
THIS IS TYWON OWENS... AFTER HIS GRADUATION AT KAY ROAD ELEMENTARY.
AND HERE'S JOHN PHELPS... FROM G-C-S-U.
SEND US YOUR GRADUATION PHOTOS... JUST LOOK FOR THE LINK IN THE CHECK IT OUT BOX ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF OUR HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.