Five days before his scheduled performance in Macon... Sir Elton John canceled a concert set for Friday night in Birmingham.
The British singer and piano player was supposed to perform at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex Arena. Ticketmaster announced the cancellation on its website hours before.
Officials at the arena say medical reasons are being cited for the cancellation, but they don't have details. A news release from the singer's representatives also cited medical reasons.
A photo on the arena's Facebook page shows the singer's piano already was in place and ready for the show.
Ticketmaster says it is offering refunds for ticket purchasers.
Now the Macon concert happens at the Centreplex on Wednesday the 20th. Tickets are still available through the singer's website... Which shows the concert still on schedule.
We've contacted Sir Elton's publicist... Based in New York... But haven't yet heard back.
Another major draw to Central Georgia...is the pinkest Party on earth.
Cherry Blossom time began today with tradition.
That was at noon today...with hundreds of onlookers at Central City Park...
The Cherry Blossom festival started in 1982 as a tribute to Bill Fickling Sr... who planted more than 300 thousand Yoshino cherry trees in the area.
And tomorrow... Many Maconites will get their day off to a pink start...with the customary pink pancakes courtesy of the Macon-Bibb County Fire Department.
They actually built the cookers themselves... Using industrial size beaters that look like something you'd find at a construction site.
The pancake breakfast happens both Saturdays at Central Central City park.
Our Suzanne Lawler stopped by headquarters today for the skinny on the recipe. <well we can't give the secrets away because they're locked in boxes all over town and everybody knows a little big. Like a geocache or something? Exzactly but everything is made from scratch and its all freshly prepared like to have as many people down as we can get down both Saturdays>
If you have an appetite for the signature pink flapjacks... You've got tomorrow...and next Saturday at Central City Park.
And the earlier the better...the pancakes are so popular, lines get long sometimes.
The event runs from seven until ten in the morning...and five dollars gets you all the pancakes you can eat...plus juice or milk..
Now in spite of her best efforts...Suzanne couldn't get the recipe out of the firefighters...but they did share some inside information about the ingredients.
As Captain Hulett said...the batter's made from scratch...and takes a hundred dozen eggs... 250 pounds of sugar... And hundreds of bottles of butter and syrup!!
If you're diabetic they say they'll also have sugar free syrup on the tables.
Suzanne also put together a photo gallery online with more information on the ingredients.
Now breakfast is just the start of things.
Cherry Blossom festivities roll on through March 24th.
We have a full schedule on our website...13WMAZ-dot-com...
Look at the story today...called 13 Things to Do.
Then, click on the link to check out an entire rundown of all the week's pinkest events...from facepainting...to a car and truck show...plus the big street party next weekend.
And...in our 13WMAZ webpoll tonight...we asked what your favorite part of the celebration is.
39 percent of you enjoy the rides...and yes, from hot dogs to funnel cake... all that fair food.
28 percent of you tune in for the music.
Tunes and balloons entertains families...to the tune of 13 percent.
And 20 percent of you just can't get enough of that pink ice cream.
And from being in the pink... To seeing green...the city of Dublin is suited up for a festive St. Patty's Day weekend.
And...at least for this month... Everybody's Irish.
The City's annual festival dates back to 1966... When early celebrations brought in just over a thousand people.
These days.. Multiply that... Several times over.
Tomorrow... The Annual Parade will start things rolling... Downtown at 10:30. Denver Bronco Wide Receiver Demarius Thomas is the grand Marshall..BeBe played high school football at West Laurens..
After that...check out the Irish Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner...from 11:30 until 3 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Fellowship Hall.
The cost is 6 dollars for adults, 4 for children 12 and under... 20 to feed the whole family in traditional Irish Fashion.
Family members of Sammie Davis Jr....say the investigation into his death shouldn't be over.
Today, they called for the U.S. Justice Department to get involved.
At a news conference, they gathered with the support of Former Mayor C. Jack Ellis and City Council man Henry Gibson...who addressed the District Attorney's ruling...that officer Clayton Sutton was justified in the shooting.
They say that Sutton violated Davis' civil rights and the GBI report relies too heavily on Sutton's own statements.
So they're asking the federal government to take a second look.
For more details on those events in the Emerald City...we've got a full listing for you on o13WMAZ-dot-com right now.
<I have publicly expressed my forgiveness to this policeman. I have not read nor have I heard a report where anyone described or quoted Sutton as saying he regretted what happened at Kroger on December 21st, 2012. I have not heard a report nor read that he was remorseful for loss of life on that. He has very cockily proclaimed that he would be cleared.>
Earlier this week, we first showed you this picture...of the cut Sutton received from Davis.
He told investigators...he feared for his life...and didn't feel like he had any option but to fire the fatal shot.
Sutton remains on administrative leave while Macon police complete their internal investigation.
That is standard procedure when an officer is involved in a shooting.
Meanwhile...protests over the Davis case even spilled over into the opening of the city's Cherry Blossom Festival.
At today's festivities....police say 43-year-old Anthony Harris walked to the front of the state...and shouted at Mayor Robert Reichert and others during the opening speeches.
Police escorted him from the grounds.
He's was booked into the Bibb County jail earlier today...charged with disrupting a public gathering.
The jail's website shows...he's since been released.
Police have arrested the owner of a dog that attacked a five year old boy, leaving him in critical condition.
Charles Edward Gay is charged with second degree cruelty to children.
That's according to a Macon police news release.
Officers say it happened about around 3 o'clock yesterday on Ousley Place, off Forest Hill Road.
Police say the child was a visitor at Gay's home.
The boy suffered bites on his scalp...and on his arm, head, face and legs.
He's still at a local hospital...where he's said to be alert.
According to a news release, the dog was euthanized.
More bad press for Carnival Cruise LInes.
Here's a look at the Carnival Dream...now a PR nightmare.. in port in Philipsburg, St. Maarten.
It lost power on Wednesday while it was docked.
Carnival says the backup generator malfunctioned during a routine test, so the cruise line grounded the ship for repairs.
Passengers are being flown home today and tomorrow.
They are also being given a partial refund and discounts for another cruise.
And many of them...aren't complaining.
< it was wonderful. we stayed on the island 2 days. we had a blast, went back out to sea. it was wonderful..
so it wasnt a bad experience?
we wouldve stayed till sunday if we couldve -- we asked for the last flight but they wouldnt give it to us.
it was exciting. very exciting. -- beautiful weather, good food, great ppl.. -- we had an extra day on the beautiful island here, no complaints at all.
so you'll be back?
The Carnival Dream's next voyage, scheduled to depart Sunday, has been canceled.
Tonight...we have new developments involving the Falcons stadium debate.
When the Georgia World Congress Center Authority board unanimously approved a billion dollar stadium deal, it also set up the authority to control scores of seats-- both in and outside of the new stadium.
At the Georgia Dome-- which the World Congress Center owns -- the authority has unfettered access to one suite, consisting of 24 seats.
At the new stadium, the World Congress Center would have access to two suites-- plus twenty additional club level seats.
Currently, the World Congress Center can buy as many as two hundred Super Bowl tickets, depending on availability.
Under the new stadium agreement, the World Congress Center would have access to thirty Super Bowl tickets, regardless of the game's location. If the new Atlanta stadium hosts the Super Bowl, the World Congress Center would get fifty tickets.
Late this afternoon, the board of the Georgia World Congress Center unanimously approved a plan that would use hotel motel tax dollars to help pay for a new one-billion dollar stadium.
The plan also includes new details on free seats in the new stadium for state officials.
Pope Francis is preparing for his first weekend as leader of the Catholic Church - a weekend that will include a Sunday address to the crowd in Saint Peter's Square.
Today, the pontiff met the College of Cardinals, while the Vatican defended his past.
Randall Pinkston is in Vatican City with details.
ONE BY ONE, THE CARDINALS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH GREETED THEIR NEW LEADER. EVEN THOSE WHO WERE TOO OLD TO TAKE PART IN THIS WEEK'S CONCLAVE GOT TO SPEND SOME TIME WITH POPE FRANCIS IN AN APOSTOLIC PALACE NEAR SAINT PETER'S BASILICA. THE POPE'S ONLY STUMBLE WAS A LITERAL ONE - HE LOST HIS FOOTING WHEN WALKING DOWN A SMALL STEP, BUT QUICKLY RECOVERED .
THE VATICAN MADE SOME DEFENSIVE MOVES OF ITS OWN, REBUTTING SUGGESTIONS THAT THE POPE FAILED TO PROTECT TWO PRIESTS DURING ARGENTINA'S SO-CALLED "DIRTY WAR" IN THE 1970S AND 80S. THE FORMER JORGE BERGOGLIO WAS THEN THE LEADER OF ARGENTINA'S JESUITS. A VATICAN SPOKESMAN CALLED IT AN OLD, LEFT-WING SMEAR CAMPAIGN.
(SOT - Father Thomas Rosica/Vatican Spokesman)
"there has never been an accusation - concrete or credible - in his regard."
ON SATURDAY, THE POPE WILL SHIFT HIS FOCUS FROM PRIVATE MEETINGS WITH CARDINALS AND CHURCH OFFICIALS TO PUBLIC RELATIONS. HE'LL HOLD AN AUDIENCE WITH MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA, WHO CAME HERE TO VATICAN CITY FROM AROUND THE WORLD TO COVER HIS ELECTION.
BUT IT'S NOT THE MEDIA THE POPE WILL HAVE TO WIN OVER. PHILIPPA LE FEUVRE CAME TO THE VATICAN FROM AUSTRALIA. SHE SAYS THE CHURCH NEEDS TO BRING THE YOUNG BACK INTO THE FLOCK.
"I have a lot of friends, but a lot of them aren't practicing, they're not interested in religion. It's really hard to pull them into the churches."
TO WIN THEM BACK, SHE SAYS, THE CHURCH NEEDS MORE PRIESTS.
"The orders are slowly dwindling, and we need to build that up to get youth in."
AND THE KEY TO MORE YOUTH, MIGHT JUST BE THIS 76-YEAR OLD MAN.
Pope Francis is likely to make his next public appearance on Sunday at Saint Peter's Basilica.
Yesterday -- during his first full day as pope-- he was spotted paying his hotel bill and riding the bus instead of a limo.
That has many Catholics wondering if he's planning to put more cracks in the papal mold.
Francis is well-respected for his austerity and simplicity.
And he was known for washing the feet of the poor, when he was a cardinal.
And that's all the time we have for tonight for Eyewitness News at 11...
As we wrap up another week... We leave you with some Central Georgia highlights...
Have a great night, everybody.