Good evening and thanks for joining us....
I'm Leah Johnson.
Frank Malloy will join you in about 35 minutes for 13WMAZ's Football Friday Night.
We begin with some breaking news tonight...as we have reports of a shooting in Macon.
A supervisor with Macon Police dispatch confirms a man was shot at a house at 772 Patton Avenue.
That's near Henderson Memorial Stadium off Anthony Road.
No other information is available right now...and officers are on the scene.
Please check back with 13WMAZ-dot-com for updates.
First tonight... could there be a battle over blood donations in Central Georgia?
We received an email from a donor representative with the American Red Cross who was upset by our station's coverage of a Twilight-themed blood drive put on by Life South.
In the email... she said Life South is sucking blood away from Central Georgia.
Austin Lewis has more on this story.
Kasie Pickett came to Life South...to give a pint of her blood to save a life.
And she wasn't the only ONE to stop by the Life South's mobile blood bank...but will her blood stay in Central Georgia?
One local American Red Cross says no...she sent an email to 13WMAZ criticizing our coverage of the drive.
She wrote...LifeSouth does not provide blood to the hospitals here in Middle Georgia...this blood drive will be taking blood away from Medical Center of Central Georgia, and Houston Healthcare, and the patients in our community.
But LifeSouth...a nonprofit based in Florida....says their blood will go where it's needed...and there is need in the Peach State.
<JD Pettyjohn: I think we're up to just under 30 between 25 to 30 in the state of Georgia and of course we also supply hospitals in Alabama and Florida as well.
JD Pettyjohn: Medical Center of Central Georgia and we have certainly helped that hospital a number of times when they needed. >
But the American Red Cross of Central Georgia says if donors want their blood to stay local...they are the best option.
<Jackie Connors: We would like to say that if you want your blood to be available to the hospitals then they need, the folks that are donating need to make sure that they are donating with the American red cross. >
Both blood suppliers say they don't charge hospitals for the blood...just the cost of processing it.
<Jackie Connors:it costs us to test the blood, it cost us to process it in our laboratory and to distribute it to the hospitals so those costs are passed along to the hospitals in our area. >
This week....Life South tried to attract donors by giving away tickets to the vampire movie...Twilight.
Central Georgia's American Red Cross says they're concerned that will take away young donors.
<ackie Connors: If an appeal is made to recruit young donors to a particular blood drive that means that those young donors would not be eligible for 56 days >
LifeSouth says they came to Warner Robins because they were invited...not to steal anyone's blood.
<JD Pettyjohn: My perspective is that it doesn't matter which organization you give blood to, giving blood is a good thing to do. >
Austin Lewis 13wmaz eyewitness news.
Both the Red Cross and LifeSouth declined to say what they charge for blood.... but recent published reports say various blood services may charge hospitals 200 dollars a pint or more.
A former Houston County District Attorney is taking aim at violence by encouraging central georgians to carry weapons.
Kelley Burke leads a group called Houston County Carries Concealed and does a lot of its advocacy on Facebook.
He and a few of his members have paid to put up digital billboards.
He says the boards use humor to bring to light the serious issue of crime.
Burke thinks the right way to take aim is to encourage people in Houston County to get a gun license.. And Learn how to carry and use their weapons safely.
< The billboard campaigns can be a little comical to look at with the granny or the attractive lady holding a gun or whatever, but it's just designed people to look at the billboard, and then also to see that we have the Facebook page out there if people are interested in looking at it. >
You can get a Concealed carry permit at your local probate court. It typically costs around 75 dollars.
A Georgia police officer is among those injured after a train collided with a parade float carrying wounded veterans.
This is video from the scene in Midland, Texas yesterday.
Four people died, and sixteen more were hurt.
Authorities have now identified two of the injured as Officer Shane Ladner, a policeman from Holly Springs, and his wife Meg.
Mrs. Ladner had to have her leg amputated.
Her husband was treated and released.
The couple traveled to Texas in a group selected by Hunt for Heroes, an organization that highlights the sacrifices of wounded veterans.
Former CIA Director David Petraeus delivered an eagerly anticipated testimony to the United States Senate's Select Committee.
Petraeus testified this morning on Capitol Hill... accompanied by special security.
Whisked in and out and away from reporter cameras... Petraeus was hustled into a hearing room, where he described what he knew and when he knew it.
He talked about the timeline surrounding the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, that led to the deaths of four Americans, including the U.S. Ambassador.
Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein chairs the committee he addressed.
She said it was important to provide the general with extra Capitol Security given his recent resignation after admitting to an extra-marital affair.
Also in the room...Georgia's U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, who explained why Petraeus's account was so valuable.
< "as the only individual in a leadership position who has been back on the ground since the attack happened, it was very important to get him in, he did have some perspective on some things and clarified issues that were still cloudy." >
We won't know specifically what Petraeus said today about Benghazi... Until the committee releases its final report.
Lawmakers did say... he addressed his resignation because of the affair with biographer Paula Broadwell.
Petraeus reportedly offered an apology to the lawmakers in the room... and assured them that his personal situation had no bearing on the Benghazi investigation.
Georgia's Governor is drawing a line in the sand... saying that this state won't create so-called health insurance exchanges required under President Obama's health care plan.
In a letter to federal officials, he said,
"I have joined numerous other governors seeking guidance from the federal government on establishing exchanges. We've yet to receive serious answers to our questions."
"I will not commit Georgia taxpayers to a project with so many unknowns."
Health exchanges are government-run websites that allow consumers to choose a health plan... and compare benefits and costs of each plan.
Some states will allow all insurers to participate... others have asked for bids.
But Republican Governor Nathan Deal says, none of that will be happening in Georgia.
His statements came as promised after the election... Which had prominent Republicans hoping Romney would win and repeal part or all of the plan.
The most recent outbreak of the West Nile Virus has infectious disease experts in several states, including Georgia, scratching their heads.
There have been several cases here this year, including three in Houston County...that sent a 10-year old boy, and two senior citizens to the hospital.
The North Central Health District hasn't released any news on the condition of those victims... But the course the disease has taken with some others are leading researchers to wonder if West Nile has mutated into something else.
< WHEN 69 YEAR OLD CATHERINE FERGUSON CAME DOWN WITH WEST NILE VIRUS LAST SUMMER, IT NOT ONLY ATTACKED HER BODY LEAVING HER PARALYZED, IT ALSO WENT AFTER HER MIND.
(sot Catherine Ferguson/West Nile Patient)
I didn't know who I was or where I was.
(sot Barbara Farley/Daughter)
She could think of what she wanted to say, you could see it on her face, but she couldn't get it out.
DOCTOR ART LEIS AND A NUMBER OF OTHER WEST NILE EXPERTS SAY THIS YEAR'S VIRUS APPEARS TO HAVE BECOME MORE INVASIVE AND IS ATTACKING THE BRAIN MORE AGGRESSIVELY.
(SOT Dr. Art Leis/ Methodist Rehabilitation Center)
I think 3 or 4 of our patients out of the first 12 or 13 had some evidence of language disturbance and that's very different from previous years.
(Bridge Edward Lawrence/CBS News)
MOSQUITOS TRANSMIT WEST NILE. This year THERE HAVE BEEN MORE THAN 5,000 CASES the most in almost a decade.. and MORE THAN 200 PEOPLE HAVE DIED.
THE CDC SAYS IT DOES NOT HAVE ANY DATA THAT SHOWS THIS YEAR'S VIRUS IS MORE DANGEROUS THAN PREVIOUS YEARS. BUT PHYSICIANS LIKE LEIS SAY IT LOOKS LIKE THE VIRUS MAY HAVE MUTATED.
(SOT Dr. Art Leis/ Methodist Rehabilitation Center)
I think we have to consider the possibility that the virus has changed it's properties.
Most people INFECTED WITH WEST NILE DO NOT GET SICK. Symptoms can include FEVER, HEADACHE, FATIGUE AND BODY ACHES.
PEOPLE WITH SEVERE CASES CAN ALSO HAVE DISORIENTATION , CONVULSIONS AND PARALYSIS.
That's what CATHERINE HAD. IT LEFT HER IN A WHEELCHAIR.
(sot Catherine Ferguson/West Nile Patient)
It's something I have to accept and try to live over
SHE SAYS SHE'S just GRATEFUL TO BE ALIVE. >
The CDC says warmer weather was a factor for the West Nile outbreak this year.
Tonight, in our Hero Central Report...
A local teen's life is now a little sweeter thanks to some volunteer firefighters form Forsyth and Jay's Hope-- the local organization that helps families with young cancer patients.
Candace Adorka has the story of Trevor Williamson, a 14-year-old cancer patient, who can now spend more time on his favorite pastime.
For Trevor Williamson,
holding the keys to his own space is a dream come true.
<I'm gonna have my dirt bike, my four wheeler, and my tool box will be over there. >
The 15-year-old battles an aggressive form of childhood cancer
<I used to have real pretty hair you know, but it fell out>
Still, he's never too far from a set of tools...
Or a set of wheels
<he just likes to work, work on dirt bikes, four wheelers>
<that's just a getaway for him and its therapy as he's been going through treatment for so many years>
Cindy Gaskins, director of Jay's hope, jumped on board when firefighters from volunteer station number 7 in forsyth set about building the shed for trevor.
<we would like to present you with this sign For your very own shop>
Lieutenant Paul McKnight says for years, the firefighters grew close to Trevor while he lived down the street in Monroe County.
<he always comes by the station when he sees my truck or another volunteer up at the station. He helped wash the firetruck at certain times, He's just a neat Kid.>
<guys up there at the station just made him feel normal.... He wasn't classified as being sick or anything, he was just one of the guys.
<here're some of trevor's ongoing projects and some of his tools. He'd be working here if not for the new shed. But his mon Brandy says it's just not a safe environment because if you look up into the ceiling, the rafters aren't sealed off and that allows bats to come in at night and she says that poses a health risk.>
<I just think it's kinda cool that it's all mine, and I can come out here any time I want and just work on stuff>
The shed cost almost 2-thousand dollars to build, but Gaskins and McKnight say every penny is worth it, for a young man who vows never to give in, despite the diagnosis.
<I don't know, I don't let it stop me, I just keep going in life.>
Candace Adorka 13 WMAZ eyewitness news.
Trevor Williamson was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma when he was three year old. He's still going through chemotherapy, but he says right now, he feels stronger.
Edward...Bella...and Jacob... return in the fifth and final installment of the Twilight Saga...
Twilight... Breaking Dawn: Part II.
It grossed 30-point-5 million dollars in its premiere night...
Studios predict its already on its way to gross 150-million.
Also new this weekend...Keira Knightly brings Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina to life.
The epic love story is now more than a high school reading assignment... it's this weekend's expected second-big release.
Knightley plays the title character, a Russian high-society heroin.
She's married to a high ranking government official... Played by Jude Law.
But a passionate love affair threatens to destroy the life she's built for herself.
Anna Karenina is rated PG-13.
My kids grew up on them. And they like them.>
People pack them in lunches...stick them in a purse for an at-work sugar rush...even fry them at state fairs...but pretty soon...the Twinkie will be no more.
It's the end of an era for snack lovers.
Hostess Brands Incorporated says it's going out of business.
As Alexis Christoforous found out, a recent worker strike was a factor.. but that's not all.
BANKRUPT HOSTESS BRANDS BEGAN SHUTTING DOWN FACTORIES AND SENDING WORKERS HOME.
THE DECISION TO CLOSE ITS DOORS FOR GOOD COMES A WEEK AFTER THE BAKERS UNION WENT ON STRIKE OVER CUTS TO WAGES AND BENEFITS. AND IT MEANS MORE THAN 18-THOUSAND WORKERS WILL LOSE THEIR JOBS.
CHUCK BLACK IS A HOSTESS TRANSPORT DRIVER AND SAID HIS UNION WAS WILLING TO GIVE BACK SALARY TO HELP THE COMPANY SURVIVE. FRIDAY WAS HIS LAST TRIP FROM THE FACTORY IN WAYNE, NEW JERSEY.
:30-:40 (chuck Black/Hostess Transport Driver) The saddest thing is the enormity. How many people are losing their jobs and how many relied solely on this income to make their way
.41-.49 (alexis Christoforous bridge) Hostess says it will look for buyers for its iconic snack brands. In the meantime, products will stay on the shelves for as long as they last.
THAT MEANS FAMILIAR PRODUCTS LIKE TWINKIES AND WONDERBREAD COULD BE HISTORY IN JUST A MATTER OF DAYS.
There's only one left. How bout that
THE COMPANY'S CEO SAYS THERE ARE NO BUYERS WAITING IN THE WINGS BUT THAT THERE HAS BEEN INTEREST IN SOME OF THE HOSTESS BRANDS.
WORKERS WHO MAY BE HEADED FROM THE PICKET LINES TO THE UNEMPLOYMENT LINES ADMIT IT'S A SAD ENDING.
1.11-1.17 (Marty Zimmerman/Hostess Worker) It's sad but our members are very resolute and they're sick of taking the cuts.
HOSTESS HAS SUFFERED FROM THE CONSUMER SHIFT TO HEALTHIER SNACKS. WITH PROFITS ALREADY SQUEEZED, THE STRIKE WAS THE FINAL BLOW.
This really is the end of an institution.
Hostess Brands dates back as far as 1888.
That's all the time we have for our news tonight...
But Football Friday Night starts in just a couple of minutes.
For Leah and Ben, thanks for watching Eyewitness News at Eleven.
See you in a few!