A ruined city...flooded homes....disasters on a subway track...you can see them all outside Perry...where an unusual facility is taking shape.
Guardian Centers of Georgia will train first responders at the old Northrop Grumman property. And they're gearing up to open its doors soon.
The goal is to show firefighters... police... and others what it's really like to respond to a natural or man made disaster.
Austin Lewis has more.
In a post-disaster city...all that remains...is a building...falling apart...riddled with potential dangers.
Just in April...construction workers...set the foundation for this crumbling building.
Now it's almost ready for first responders to learn...how to handle challenges in a natural or man-made disaster.
<Geoff Burkart, CEO: For me it's very gratifying but more importantly the idea has come to fruition because of all of the professionals that have iNput for this project >
<Nat you'll have survivors also victims in the attic>
CEO Geoff Burkart says first responders training here...will face obstacles where people live.
Responders will rescue people from eight homes...as they're flooded with eight feet of water.
In the Spring...Burkart said he wanted to create a subway..now the tracks have been laid to test how responders would handle an urban disaster.
And for those who have had their mettle tested before...they say the Guardian Center will make everything feel real.
<Nathan Cummiskey, Perry: The pentagon gave me the real world experience on responding to the real threats, where Guardian Center is where I get to help responders prepare for them without having to risk life and limb >
Tim Maloney...served in the Marine Corp for 10 years...and says responders will face obstacles on the streets and in these multi-story buildings.
One building even has a working heliport...that could be used for training.
<Tim Maloney, Perry: it will allow the first responders, the firefighters the police officers and then your military organizations that will support those first responders to really truly immerse themselves into what a city would look like, what a city scape would look like >
And some say it's still hard to believe how much has Guardian Centers has transfromed in less than a year.
<bob rea, united kingdom: it's like sending someone a postcard of the grand canyon and standing on the edge of the grand canyon yourself you know pictures don't do it justice. >
Austin Lewis 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.
Guardian Centers says when it's fully operational... they'll need about 100 people for jobs in operations and logistics.
They anticipate being operational sometime next year.
The first group set for a training exercise is a U.S. Marines unit on December 3rd.
Twilight: Breaking Dawn, part II is the fifth... and final movie installment from the wildly popular Twilight Book series.
publishers first promoted Twilight as the next big teen sensation... Since then... It has grown into an empire with all kinds of fans...
Tom George is live at the Macon Amstar Theater... with some very excited Twilight fans....
Will you be joining those crowds tonight?
Text us and let us know...
A for yes, b for no to 2-5-5-4-3.
We'll check on your responses at the end of the show!
Macon department heads want members of the local delegation to understand what they do... and how they do it.
It's part the Georgia Municipal Association's plan to have better communication between legislators and the cities they represent.
Community leaders told Katelyn Heck how today's demonstration could help Macon have a better tomorrow.
Meet "dynamite 2"... The eyes and ears of the Macon Police Department's bomb detection unit.
<The robot itself is totally remote, whereas previously we had to be tethered by fiber optic cable. Now with remote capability,it gives us better access going into buildings, longer range>
This is just one of the tools used to keep officers and the people they serve... Safe.
<not only do we use it for our bomb disposal missions, but we also use it in relation to the SWAT team for hostage situations, barricade subjects, it gives us the ability to provide surveillance and also communication with whoever may be inside of a building or a house or something of that nature>
State legislators like Representative Nikki Randall got a taste of all that Macon's public safety squads and other city departments have to offer.
Mayor Robert Reichert says knowing the nuts and bolts of the city... Can help them find ways to build a better future.
He suggests taking another shot at passing the regional transportation SPLOST in two years... And brainstorming for a new high speed rail station.
<probably a minimum of five years, I think it will be at least that long before we could even hope to see it, but with planning and preparation we can make it happen sooner rather than later>
And with consolidation just around the corner... Reichert says it's important to know what services the city has...
...before deciding how to merge them with the county.
Katelyn Heck 13WMAZ Eyewitness News
Leaders for both the city and the county will meet with local legislators again at the end of the month.
They will discuss their hopes for the next year before the General Assembly gets to work in January.
Welcome back.. Investigators in Forsyth need your help to find the person they say robbed a local hotel..
Lieutenant Alexander Daniels with the Forsyth Police Department says the robber never showed a weapon..
This surveillance video from the Comfort Inn on Harold G. Clark Parkway shows a man walking into the lobby, asking a question, then leaving.
Daniels says, when he returned a second time, the man made a threatening gesture with his hand in his sweater.. and demanded money, which the clerk gave to him.
The male suspect is about 5 feet 10 inches tall.. with a slim muscular build.. and facial hair.
Anyone with information can call the Forsyth Police Department at 478.. 994.. 6022.. Again that's 478.. 994.. 6022.
If you've spent some time in downtown Macon lately.. You've probably noticed a new addition that's working to help give back to the community.
What looks like a parking meter is actually a donation station.
Members of Leadership Macon came up with the idea to help address poverty and homelessness in the area.
The meters allow you to make donations by dropping in coins or swiping your debit or credit card.
Today marked the official kick off.
The meters are located around downtown Macon.
Jonathan Dye with Leadership Macon says they've been testing the meters since they installed them late last month.
<we did see a few donations come through and we made sure that the system for the debit and credit cards were working. We made sure that we were able to go around and collect the money and that sort of thing. Generally speaking, more people use credit cards. The company that installed them, they said that it's about 70 percent credit card use.>
Dye says each meter is sponsored by a different company. All donations generated by the meters will go to the Macon Coalition to End Homelessness.
And... Kroger is partnering with 13WMAZ with another way to give.
It's the Can Hunger Food Drive...happening at your local Central Georgia Kroger stores.
Simply bring non-perishable items to any area Kroger between now and Tuesday, November 20th.
It's an easy way to be a hometown hero to those who depend on the Middle Georgia Community Food Bank.
Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part II, premieres tonight....with a ten'o'clock showing...
This is the final installment in the wildly popular series.
You're looking at the AmStar Theater off Zebulon Road in Macon...
And in our text poll... Xx percent of you said you would be attending a premiere showing tonight.
Xx of you... Said you'd skip the lines for now.
Thanks for your vote.