Hello everyone. Thank you for joining us.
I'm Leah Johnson.
And I'm Frank Malloy.
This is Eyewitness News at Six.
You can't see the injury, but concussions can leave behind effects bigger than the blow that caused them.
It happens when the brain moves around in your head and hits the walls of your skull.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention... 7 out of 10 concussions go undiagnosed because people don't know what signs to look for.
So we're bringing you the hard-hitting facts on the brain injury in our five part series... Concussions: A Real-Life Penalty.
In our first segment, Katelyn Heck spoke with a Jones County football player whose blackout during practice... shed some light on concussions for him and his teammates.
A ref throws a flag to signal something that went wrong during a play. But what if the ref didn't know all of the rules? He may miss a call that could blow the game.
Concussions are like that. Missing one of the signs could end an athlete's season, or even life.
The CDC estimates there are 3.9 million concussions a year. Noah Johnson was one of them.
"When I first got the initial hit, I blacked out. I don't remember anything from when I blacked out to when I came to whenever I was standing up by the coach after being carried back by the boy that hit me."
He falls in the less than ten percent of athletes who actually lose consciousness. The Jones County freshman says even though he felt fine afterward, his brain wasn't.
"Concussion... you gotta watch it because sometimes you may look alright buy you really ain't. That's the way I was because I looked totally normal, fine but if I did any physical activity, started playing around, running around, throwing a football or anything, I'd get a real massive headache right here."
47 percent... That's how many athletes like Johnson don't feel any symptoms after a concussive blow. But medical experts say it could take up to three days for things like fogginess, mood changes, or sensitivity to light to set it.
For Johnson, it happened the next day at school.
"It was a little bit hard for me to focus with my headache and I'd get side-tracked."
Two weeks after the hit, Johnson still gets the same headaches. After playing football since a young age, he's eager to get back on the field... BUT...
"It could cause me to have permanent brain damage, possibly a death if I were to keep playing or lying to them about my symptoms, and if I took another hard blow to the head, I could have permanent brain damage or be paralyzed."
Three out of four concussions happen during a game or competition... according to the Sports Concussion Institute... But Johnson's knockout during practice taught him that every hit... Every play could lead to a devastating life penalty... if you don't know the signs and when to throw the flag.
"It kind of opens your eyes."
Katelyn Heck 13WMAZ Eyewitness News
What kind of experience do you have as an athletic trainer?
From an athletic trainers perspective, why did you want to put together this series on concussions?
We will continue tackling more of the issues tomorrow when we talk with a Macon football coach.
He explains how he uses education to keep his athletes off the injured list.
For more concussion signs and symptoms to look out for on the field and at home... We've put together a checklist on our website 13WMAZ dot com.
Look for the link in the check it out box on the right side of the homepage.
Today's web poll question asks..
Do schools and coaches need to do more to protect student athletes from concussions?
86 percent of you says yes..
14 percent say no.
To vote now... Visit 13WMAZ.com.
Look for the question on the right side of the homepage.
A Centerville couple faces more than 30 counts of elder abuse... financial transaction fraud and theft... and forgery.
This comes after police say the couple swindled an 80-year-old man with dementia out of 500-thousand dollars.
Austin Lewis has more.
80-year-old Herbert Marquiss used to live here in this trailer. Police say Marquiss scrimped and saved every penny for all of his life.
<Pritchett: Mr. Marquiss is a very simple man, he spent, he's retired from the United States Air Dorce who served our country, he is also after retiring from the air force, he retired as a civil service engineer at Robins Air Force Base.
Pritchett: Mr. Marquiss refused to spend money on a lot of the amenities that we do every day like heat and air conditioning because of the expense of it. >
But police say somehow he ended up paying for items like this...a 24 foot long, 30-thousand dollar boat...with a spacious upper deck...and leather seats...along with thousands of dollars of home improvements.
Police say it was all going to his neighbors across the street...Cheri and William Cox.
Pritchett: The relationship initially started as an unofficial caretaker so to speak Cheri Cox was helping Mr. Marquiss with just different things around the house day to day activities.
When police went into the Coxes house...they found thousands of dollars of dollars in improvements....along with 120-thousand dollars in cash...that police say all came out of Marquiss's accounts.
Pritchett: That we don't have full answers for I am assuming it's largely through what was mailed to him from the bank and did get access from his account >
On Tuesday...a Houston County grand jury indiced the couple on charges of elderly abuse...financial transaction card theft and card fraud...and forgery. 19 counts in all for her...14 for him.
Pritchett says Marquiss deserved better.
This gentleman here served our country, served it well, and I feel that he deserves nothing but the best from the community and this nation, um he is somebody who stood for us and I feel we have an obligation as citizens of this country to take care of him."
Austin Lewis 13WMAZ eyewitness News.
Pritchett says Adult Protective Services put Marquiss in an assisted living home.
He also tells us according to Marquiss's will.... he wanted his money to go to the American Cancer Society and the Alzheimer's Association when he died.
The Coxes are free on 100 thousand dollars bond.
They declined to comment today and their attorney did not return our phone call.
A Houston County Judge sentenced convicted killer, 18-year old Jermontae Moss to life in prison without parole.
Yesterday A jury convicted Moss of 10 counts.... for killing store owner Jose Marin.
Moss shot Marin during a attempted robbery at his Mexican food store in September 2011.
Because Moss was 17 at the time....he was not eligible for the death penalty.
But District Attorney George Hartwig argued that he deserved life without parole, the maximum sentence.
He said Moss's gang affiliation and violent nature would make him a threat to the community if he were ever released.
Dozens of Central Georgia races are getting down to the finish line... including the contest for Bibb County DA.
Today... incumbent Greg Winters announced some endorsements from around the region.
Ken Hodges, a former prosecutor in Albany and candidate for attorney general, threw his support behind Winters, along with Crawford and peach county sheriffs... Bibb County's chief deputy Russell Nelson... and its solicitor general.
Winters' opponent David Cooke has criticized how he handled the Lauren Giddings investigation and other cases,
But Winters says his endorsements speak louder than Cooke's criticisms.
"I will say don't take his word for it, don't take my word for it, take the words of these gentlemen who are standing right here who are working everyday in our community to protect to protect us, take their word for it."
Winters and Cook are among the candidates scheduled to take part in a candidates forum.... next Tuesday night at the Douglas Theater.
When is the last time you just purchased fuel when you popped in for gas?
From chips to aspirin everything is at your fingertips.
This is the tenth year the Georgia Association of Convenience stores has come to town for their trade-show.
Suzanne Lawler begged us for the chance to go get the scoop on all the stuff you'll see on the shelves.
"come get yourself fueled up."
Yup this is the first thing you see when you walk into the convenience store trade show.
"Blueberry lime and cranberry available March 4th."
This show is a sneak peek for store owners...somewhat comparable to a giant trick or treating experience.... And a place for vendors to squawk about their products.
"Have you tried the fish yet. This is my most popular breading right here. Really looks good. We won't have to eat after we leave here today."
Mike Delamare roosts in Kentucky... He's brandishing some breading and has a simple marketing philosophy.
"We brought plenty of samples. that's the way you sell your product. you gotta get in their mouth."
"I've got beef jerky and being a convenience store of course Mike and Ike candy. Look at how big that Coke is. that's nic.e right there its one point two five liters."
Tammy Hancock's from Sandersville... she had a good time but one product really caught her eye.
"This is what you need to see now this is fascinating right here. One serving is equivalent to one espresso or liquid energy drink. I'd better do just one."
"Okay yea I had a couple of the Gems... The Energems they start shipping in January... Gotta go."
"Now you're cameras going to be moving like this."
Somehow I steadied the ship and found a way to chill out.
"We got the sour pops over here that are 80 calories per bar."
So the next time you go shopping you may see something familiar......something new... Or just something you gotta have...
"For the late night guys that want to stop in you could have a cheeseburger from Pierre machine."
As part of 13WMAZ's effort to make a difference... We teamed up with several schools this week to help emphasize the importance of reading.
I read to students at Springdale Elementary Tuesday..
Lorra read to students at Lake Joy Elementary yesterday...
And today it was my turn.
"Yes Papa, but you forgot something. What's that? A bed time story."
I spent time at Samuel E. Hubbard Elementary in Monroe County reading to a group of second and third graders.
My daughter Emory was also there to help get the students excited about their reading experience.
Two new stories were introduced to students there... "The giving Tree" and "Interrupting Chicken."
You can help make a difference for others by providing books for central georgia kids.
You can drop off your books through Friday at a number of locations around central georgia... Including right here at 13wmaz.
Then... This Saturday... We'll give away books at the Komen Race for the Cure in Byron and at Jay's Hope Trek or Treat in Macon.
For more information about the book collection drives or the giveaways... Visit our website.. 13wmaz dot com.
Just look for the link on our homepage.