Thursday, June 14, Eyewitness News at 6

12:10 AM, Jun 15, 2012   |    comments
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q - were you ever star struck?
a - oh yea, yes...how can you not be with harrison ford?
AND HE'S NOT THE ONLY ONE... AS FILMING FOR "42" ROLLS ON AT MACON'S TERMINAL STATION... THE FLICK HAS SOME PEOPLE THINKING ABOUT A LOCAL BASEBALL TEAM.
HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US....I'M LEAH JOHNSON..
AND I'M LORRA LYNCH JONES
FRANK MALLOY HAS THE NIGHT OFF.

IN THE HOLLYWOOD SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK...BASEBALL...HISTORY....AND MACON'S 80-YEAR-OLD BALLPARK.
ALL THAT TALK ABOUT BASEBALL AROUND TOWN HAS US REMEMBERING WHEN A CLASS A MINOR LEAGUE TEAM SWUNG FOR THE FENCES AT LUTHER WILLIAMS FIELD.
THEY WERE NO HOLLYWOOD STAND-INS... BUT A FARM TEAM FOR THE ATLANTA BRAVES.
WE WONDERED ABOUT WHETHER MINOR LEAGUE BALL COULD EVER COME BACK TO MACON.... BUT FIRST SOME HISTORY ON WHY THE BRAVES LEFT.
<<nats- music/crowd
FANS GOT THEIR FIRST CRACK AT BRAVES BASEBALL IN MACON IN 1991.
nats-
THE TEAM MOVED THEIR CLASS A FRANCHISE INTO HISTORIC LUTHER WILLIAMS FIELD... ON A FIVE YEAR CONTRACT. THE CITY PAID FOR MORE THAN A HALF MILLION IN RENOVATIONS AT THE STADIUM... BUILT IN 1929.
nats-
THOSE UPGRADES HELD WATER FOR THE BRAVES... UNTIL THE FLOOD OF '94 CAUSED MAJOR DAMAGE.
THE TEAM'S OWNERS COMPLAINED OF POOR BATHROOM... AND CONCESSION FACILITIES... PLUS A LACK OF PARKING.
CONSTANT DRAINAGE PROBLEMS ON THE FIELD CREATED ANOTHER HEADACHE... BUT THE TEAM INKED ANOTHER FIVE YEAR EXTENSION... BASED ON CITY LEADERS' VERBAL COMMITMENTS TO FIND ABOUT A MILLION DOLLARS FOR UPGRADES.
nats-
BY 2000.... AND WITH NO FIRM PLEDGE OF THE MONEY... THE TEAM AGREED TO ANOTHER TWO SEASONS... BUT THE BRAVES WERE LOOKING ELSEWHERE.
nats-
THE CITY OF ROME STEPPED UP THE PLATE... PASSING A PENNY SALES TAX TO PAY FOR A NEW.... 15 MILLION DOLLAR STADIUM... SUITED TO THE TEAM'S NEEDS. NEW TOWN MACON TRIED TO COME THROUGH WITH A LAST MINUTE MILLION TO KEEP THE BRAVES IN MACON... BUT IT WAS TOO LATE.
nats-
IN SEPTEMBER 2002.... THE MACON BRAVES LEFT FOR ROME.>>
THE LOSS OF THE BRAVES ... STILL STINGS A LITTLE TO SOME FOLKS... BUT THE RENEWED INTEREST IN MACON BASEBALL FROM HOLLYWOOD HAS SOME PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT BRINGING IT BACK.
JOINING ME NOW IS MIKE FORD... C-E-O OF NEW TOWN MACON.

- You've explored this idea a bit and think it's a real possibility that we could see an affiliated club back here in Macon. Why?
- Where would they play? In what location, would you build a stadium?

- How would Macon pay for a new stadium facility?

- You're talking about bonds, which means taxpayers would have to approve the spending through a referendum?

- Macon Mayor C Jack Ellis said the city lost money, about 150-thousand a year on maintanence fees at Luther Williams. Could another francise be profitable?

- Do you have any evidence to show that Macon and surrounding areas would support a minor league team through attendance?

- How would you get a franchise to locate a team here?

THANKS LORRA.
TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS...
SHOULD MACON AND BIBB COUNTY BUILD A NEW MINOR-LEAGUE BALLPARK HERE?
SO FAR 29 PERCENT OF YOU SAY YES.
AND 71 PERCENT SAY NO.
VOTE NOW... VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM AND LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE.

FILMING FOR "42" CONTINUES IN MACON... AND THE TERMINAL STATION TAKES THE SPOTLIGHT AS THE NEXT LOCATION.
WE BUY BUS TICKETS THERE... BUT AS JUDY LE FOUND... FOR ACTORS IN THE MOVIE...THE ONLY OPTION IS A PLANE TICKET.
THAT'S TERMINAL STATION FOR PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN MACON. FOR THE MOVIE...42...IT'S AN AIRPORT TERMINAL.
EVEN WITH THE ROAD AND ENTRANCE INTO THE STATION BLOCKED OFF...IN PREPARATION FOR FILMING...THAT DIDN'T STOP CURIOUS EXTRAS FROM CHECKING OUT THE SCENE.
sot bernard mason, augusta - 28 im here to be a part of the filming of the movie 42. i'm playing a reporter 33
sot stephen cheshire, augusta - 249 i actually play a photojournalist. so i carry one of those big 1940s cameras around 253
AS THE CREW SPRUCED UP THE EXTERIOR...THE MOST NOTICEABLE CHANGE WAS HANGING RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE BUILDING.
sot cheshire - 307 oh its so exciting. ive never been part of a movie before 310 even though im just an extra it's been really fun being near the stars and getting to play a role in it 319
ALL THE MAJOR CHANGES HAPPENED INSIDE THE WALLS.
standup - 826 ernie malik the spokesperson for 42 says filming will happen mostly inside terminal station. it will begin in the afternoon and into the evening 835
THE PARKING LOT AT FIFTH AND CHERRY STREETS WOUDL BE CLOSED FOR ABOUT 10 HOURS...WHEN STARS ARE EXPECTED TO COME OUT.
sot mason - 112 we've been in several scenes with harrison ford. and with chris meloni. t.r knight and with the star of the film...what is his name? 125
IT'S CHADWICK BOSEMAN...WHO'LL CATCH A FLIGHT AT THE MAKESHIFT AIRPORT TERMINAL...AS JACKIE ROBINSON.
OUT OF ALL OF THE STARS....CHESHIRE SAID HE WAS ABSOLUTELY STARSTRUCK WHEN HE MET HARRISON FORD.
SHOOTING IS SCHEDULED TO LAST THROUGH NEXT WEDNESDAY.
THERE'S ANOTHER STREET CLOSING ON FRIDAY FOR 42.
SECOND STREET WILL BE CLOSED BETWEEN CHERRY STREET AND COTTON AVENUE.

IT TOOK A NATIONWIDE SEARCH... BUT A NEW LEADER HAS STEPPED UP TO THE HELM AT THE CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL.
RICHARD BREWER WILL BE THE NEW PRESIDENT AND C-E-O.
HE JOINED US TODAY ON EYEWITNESS NEWS AT FIVE... TO TALK ABOUT HIS NEW POST.
Richard Brewer, New CB CEO: "I've spent the whole day so far just getting to know my staff you know, I'll be looking at the budgets, all the details, that's kind of the important thing. Everyone knows about the fun and excitement and all that sort fo stuff, but it's really a lot of behind the scenes just good, get down to hard, hard work."
ALSO TODAY... THE KEEP MACON BIBB BEAUTIFUL COMMISSION ANNOUNCED PAMELA CARSWELL AS ITS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. SHE SPENT 34 YEARS AS A BIBB COUNTY EDUCATOR...AND WILL STEP DOWN AS PRINCIPAL AT THE WEAVER MIDDLE SCHOOL.

A STATE ETHICS BOARD IS ASKING BIBB COUNTY'S BOARD OF EDUCATION TO INVESTIGATE WHETHER SUPERINTENDENT ROMAIN DALLEMAND... LIED IN PART OF HIS RESUME.
DARREN LATCH FILED A COMPLAINT WITH THE GEORGIA PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS COMMISSION....SAYING DALLEMAND WAS NEVER A LICENSED MENTAL HEALTH THERAPIST.
WHEN HE APPLIED FOR THE BIBB COUNTY JOB TWO YEARS AGO....HE WROTE THAT HE WAS LICENSED IN FLORIDA...IN THE 1990S.
TODAY...BY A UNANIMOUS VOTE...THE STANDARDS COMMISSION SAID THAT'S A MATTER FOR THE LOCAL BOARD.
BY EMAIL LAST NIGHT...DALLEMAND WROTE THAT HE WAS NOT LICENSED...BUT SAID HE NEVER MEANT TO DECEIVE ANYONE.

LANCE ARMSTRONG.. WHO SOME CALL A HERO OF THE CYCLING WORLD.. IS NOW BEING CALLED A CHEATER..
TODAY.. THE ANTI-DOPING AGENCY ANNOUNCED THEY HAVE EVIDENCE THAT ARMSTRONG USED PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING DRUGS.. AND WANT TO STRIP HIM OF HIS SEVEN TOUR-DE-FRANCE TITLES.
AT MACON'S CHERRY STREET CYCLES.. OWNER DAMON ALLEN SAYS THE CHARGES ARE BASELESS.
HE'S AN ARMSTRONG FAN.. AND REMEMBERS WHEN THE CYCLING CHAMPION ROLLED THROUGH MACON FOR THE TOUR DE GEORGIA..
ALLEN SAYS CYCLISTS ARE DRUG-TESTED BEFORE EVERY EVENT.. AND CAN GO THROUGH HUNDREDS OF TESTS A YEAR..
SOME SAY THE ACCUSATIONS WILL TARNISH ARMSTRONG'S CANCER-FIGHTING LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION... BUT ALLEN DISAGREES.

LANCE ARMSTRONG.. WHO SOME CALL A HERO OF THE CYCLING WORLD.. IS NOW BEING CALLED A CHEATER..
TODAY.. THE ANTI-DOPING AGENCY ANNOUNCED THEY HAVE EVIDENCE THAT ARMSTRONG USED PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING DRUGS.. AND WANT TO STRIP HIM OF HIS SEVEN TOUR-DE-FRANCE TITLES.
AT MACON'S CHERRY STREET CYCLES.. OWNER DAMON ALLEN SAYS THE CHARGES ARE BASELESS.
HE'S AN ARMSTRONG FAN.. AND REMEMBERS WHEN THE CYCLING CHAMPION ROLLED THROUGH MACON FOR THE TOUR DE GEORGIA..
ALLEN SAYS CYCLISTS ARE DRUG-TESTED BEFORE EVERY EVENT.. AND CAN GO THROUGH HUNDREDS OF TESTS A YEAR..
SOME SAY THE ACCUSATIONS WILL TARNISH ARMSTRONG'S CANCER-FIGHTING LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION... BUT ALLEN DISAGREES.
Damon Allen, Owner Cherry Street Cycles: I think people will stand behind Lance Armstrong only because time after time he's proven himself, because of the tests, had he not, it would be different but I don't think Americans as a whole like what we call a 'witch hunt.' And I think he's proven himself over and over."
ONLY ONE OTHER AMERICAN BESIDES LANCE ARMSTRONG HAS WON THE TOUR DE FRANCE.. THAT WAS GREG LE-MONDE.. WHO WON IN 1986.. 89 and 90.
FLOYD LANDIS WAS STRIPPED OF HIS 2006 TOUR TITLE BECAUSE HE TESTED POSITIVE FOR DOPING.
ARMSTRONG HAS ONE WEEK TO RESPOND TO THE CHARGES.

AN EARLY MORNING APARTMENT FIRE IN MACON LEFT OVER THREE DOZEN PEOPLE HOMELESS.
ONE OF THEM EXPLAINED TO KATELYN HECK... HOW SHE BELIEVES AN EIGHT YEAR OLD STARTED THE FLAMES.
<<
(NATS)
STEPHANIE DEAN'S TEN YEAR OLD SON WOKE HER UP IN A PANIC SHORTLY AFTER TWO OCLOCK THURSDAY MORNING
(SOT:he was asleep when he felt the heat on his back and he jumped up and realized that his bed was on fire)
SHE SAYS HER EIGHT-YEAR-OLD NEPHEW ACCIDENTALLY STARTED THE FLAMES BY PLAYING WITH A LIGHTER.
(SOT:I went down the hall to try to put the fire out but the room was engulfed in flames so I had to get out of the house and get the neighbors out.)
WHEN MACON-BIBB FIREFIGHTERS ARRIVED AT THE WEST CLUB APARTMENTS ON STEVEN DRIVE... INVESTIGATORS SAY THE FLAMES HAD QUICKLY SPREAD AND HEAVILY DAMAGED EIGHT APARTMENTS.
SEVEN OF THOSE.. WERE OCCUPIED.
(SOT:it was scary, very scary. but after we got everybody out i guess the adrenaline kicked in and i got the neighbors out, let then know what was going on and we got everybody out safely.)
DEAN SAYS HER APARTMENT WASN'T SO LUCKY.
(SOT: it's gone, it's dark, it's burnt, it's nothin, nothin.)
DEAN SAYS SHE AND HER SEVEN CHILDREN PLAN TO MOVE IN WITH HER MOTHER... UNTIL THEY CAN FIND A NEW PLACE TO CALL HOME.
(NATS)
KATELYN HECK
13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS
>> THE RED CROSS IS ASSISTING DEAN AND HER FAMILY... AS WELL AS THE REST OF THE PEOPLE DISPLACED BY THE FIRE.

FORT HAWKINS HELD A SPECIAL CEREMONY TO MARK FLAG DAY.
PEOPLE GATHERED TO HONOR THE DAY THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS ADOPTED THE AMERICAN FLAG.
THEY BROUGHT THEIR OLD... WORN FLAGS AND LEARNED HOW TO PROPERLY RETIRE THEM.
FORT HAWKINS ALSO FLEW ITS FIFTEEN STAR SPANGLED BANNER.
Anthony Venetz Sr., Lincoln, South Carolina: "It means alot. Everytime you look up... when you do look at the stars and stripes... if it doesn't bring tears to your eyes and pride in your chest then you don't know anything about our country... and the rights and everything you have."
PRESIDENT WOODROW WILSON OFFICIALLY ESTABLISHED FLAG DAY IN 1916.

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