Eyewitness News at 11, 3-22-13

10:52 PM, Mar 22, 2013   |    comments
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< i am woohooo

Kim Blackerby, Macon: What is there not,the question is what's there not, his voice, his looks, he's funny, he's got a great personality, he's funny his smile. >

One tweet...caused a line of hundreds of people at the Whiskey River off Pio Nono.

Why? That's because country's entertainer of the year Blake Shelton held his concert there...and the best news...it was free.

Good evening, everyone. I'm Frank Malloy.

Leah Johnson has the evening off.

Austin Lewis talked to excited Central Georgian fans as they stood in line tonight, eager to make it in to hear the star.

One 140 character tweet that was heard all around Central Georgia...Blake Shelton is here in Macon...and is performing for free...at the Whiskey River in Macon.

< I waited online I watched the tweet, it tweeted and I said see you all monday. >

That's how April Chambers was the first in line here...she said she got her just half an hour after that tweet was sent.

To get her chance to see Shelton belt out her favorite song at whiskey river.

<April Chambers: My favorite song by blake is austin which is one of his first songs on the radio it just has personal meeting to me and it's my favorite song and I hope he sings it. >

But there was planning behind this surprise concert.

 

<Ernie Shepherd: My son called me about a month ago and said I want to tell you something you can't tell anybody he said Blake Shelton wants to do a concert at Whiskey River and it's a free concert and I said well book it. >

 

 

 

Hundreds of people lined up who just couldn't believe their luck to get to see their favorite country singer for free.

<Mary Cole Geesling, Macon:It's just the coolest thing ever because some country artist just don't do that. Miranda was here last week and she put on a great show and she probably said macon is the place to be and Blake you need to be there and he chose us. >

 

even got out the hospital to see this concert

 

 

 

<Linda Cook: I told her I had to come and see Blake Shelton and so they kept taking my blood pressure until they got it where they wanted it and she said okay I was even going to, I agreed to go back if they just let me out for a few hours. >

A special treat.. For some very dedicated fans.

Austin Lewis 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.

One 140 character tweet that was heard all around Central Georgia...Blake Shelton is here in Macon...and is performing for free...at the Whiskey River in Macon.

 

 

< I waited online I watched the tweet, it tweeted and I said see you all monday. >

 

 

 

That's how April Chambers was the first in line here...she said she got her just half an hour after that tweet was sent.

To get her chance to see Shelton belt out her favorite song at whiskey river.

<April Chambers: My favorite song by blake is austin which is one of his first songs on the radio it just has personal meeting to me and it's my favorite song and I hope he sings it. >

 

behind this surprise concert.

 

 

 

<Ernie Shepherd: My son called me about a month ago and said I want to tell you something you can't tell anybody he said Blake Shelton wants to do a concert at Whiskey River and it's a free concert and I said well book it. >

Hundreds of people lined up who just couldn't believe their luck to get to see their favorite country singer for free.

<Mary Cole Geesling, Macon:It's just the coolest thing ever because some country artist just don't do that. Miranda was here last week and she put on a great show and she probably said macon is the place to be and Blake you need to be there and he chose us. >

 

 

 

Linda Cook says she even got out the hospital to see this concert

<Linda Cook: I told her I had to come and see Blake Shelton and so they kept taking my blood pressure until they got it where they wanted it and she said okay I was even going to, I agreed to go back if they just let me out for a few hours. >

A special treat.. For some very dedicated fans.

Austin Lewis 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.

Doors opened tonight around 6... And the concert started around 8:30...lasting about three hours.

Another Central Georgia attraction this weekend... The Cherry Blossom festivities, which have officially been underway for one week.

Although chilly weather has slowed down the blooms... There has still been a lot to celebrate during the past week.

Video journalist Wes Blankenship captured the sights and sounds from one event at mulberry street united methodist church.

 

 

 

We do have some Cherry Blossom event changes to tell you about.

Because of expected rain... The food truck frenzy won't happen.

 

Terry Hall with curbside kitchen says the festival refunded their money.. And says they are talking about scheduling a food truck event in macon this fall.

Also.. The annual Mulberry Arts and Crafts Festival is moving to the Macon's farmer's market on Eisenhower Parkway.

And.. Just a reminder.. Tomorrow night's street party will be held at the Macon City Auditorium, instead of in front of Terminal Station.

And one more change...to another event...this one in Warner Robins...the city says they've had to cancel tomorrow's Easter in the Park...because of the possibility for storms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a look at just how high those chances are

we want to check in with meteorologist Mike Fuller...filling in for Ben Jones in the weather center.

 

< three day forecast>

 

 

 

 

Thanks, Mike. We'll be checking in with you again in a few minutes.

For a look at just how high those chances are

Thanks, Mike. We'll be checking in with you again in a few minutes.

<"I would like to give you more, but, we are still following leads, following witnesses. We are still involved in collecting evidence, so I can't give you much more than that as far as the arrest and how the arrest came about. As a matter of fact, we are currently serving three search warrants at locations within the city.">

Today... The tearful mother spoke to reporters from our sister station in Jacksonville.

She described her first thoughts as she faced the shooter.

 

 

<he threatened to kill us both. And so..i... I tried to protect my baby. But i..i..thought the gun was fake.>

Today... Neighbors share that mother's grief.

Roger Weeder ...From WTLV visited the place where the 13 month old lived.

 

 

That was Roger Weeder, from our sister station, WTLV.

There's been no word on when the 2 teens arrested...will go before a judge.

Many of you are familiar with the Varsity in Midtown Atlanta... But for diners this afternoon... A five car pileup and massive traffic jam made a trip to the iconic restaurant a no-go.

The crash blocked traffic along several streets, including the heavily traveled West Peachtree Street.

 

We've also learned at least two people involved...were shot...

Police spokesman John Chafee says the pileup actually happened because of two separate accidents.

Chafee says a red SUV hit a car, which then hit a white SUV that turned onto its side.

Chafee says the red SUV sped off... and hit four other cars nearly a block away.

Authorities say people in the red SUV fled on foot.

 

 

 

 

<so he was traveling at a high speed. Car comes to a stop. Three guys get out. Actually, I think it was maybe two guys and a girl. They all head off in different directions, they leave their buddy in the backseat with a gunshot wound. Thousand dollars on the floor it looks like. Couple of handguns in the back seat. So it was a pretty messy accident. >

Police say the passengers - two men and a woman - were taken into custody and one had a gunshot wound to his hand. It was not immediately clear when the man was shot.

In all, eight people were treated for injuries.

The sequester's fallout lands at Middle Georgia Regional Airport.

The F-A-A today announced Middle Georgia is on the list of 149 airports that will close its tower... Due to forced spending cuts.

The plans involves closing the towers over a four-week period beginning on April 7-th.

Critics worry shutting down the towers could impact safety...but Steve Bennett...with Silver Airlines, says the lack of a control tower is, quote, a non-issue. In fact, he points out, other airports are already operating without towers.

Bennett told us... Airports have automated weather reporting via voice capability... Meaning they can communicate with planes even if there's no tower.

As for the big picture, the F-A-A says it will manage the system by reducing volume, not reducing safety.

One group of federal workers won't be forced to take unpaid days off under the sequester-- after big business stepped in on their behalf.

Lobbyists from the meat and poultry industries reportedly convinced lawmakers to exempt food safety and inspections workers from mandatory furloughs.

They had been scheduled to take 11 days off without pay, as part of the forced spending cuts that took effect March 1st.

Industry insiders said those furloughs would cause a complete shutdown of meat and poultry packing plants and lead to price spikes at the grocery store.

The money to cover the meat workers will reportedly come from a funding shift, not from new spending.

Tonight, one endangered bat has started a domino effect that could mean delays on more than one hundred state of georgia road work projects.

And those delays...could total hundreds...of millions in department of transportation money.

That's all going on in the northern part of the state... Around gilmer county.

Matt Pearl...from our sister station...WXIA... Was there.

 

We are talking about 182 projects that will be delayed at this point anywhere up to nine months. The total cost of these projects? Between $400 and $500 million. And it all started because of one unwitting bat.

 

(PKG)

No one in Gilmer County probably noticed. Last summer the Apple capital of Georgia was visited by an Indiana bat. It was wearing a tracker because it's an endangered species.

 

(SOTS)

(GRAPHIC)

But when that lone bat flew into Gilmer County, the Georgia Department of Transportation then had to check the surrounding areas. They found 30 counties with the potential for Indiana bats. Those counties contain 182 projects.

(NATS)

In Midtown Atlanta, where the buildings are taller and the bats are fewer, a spokeswoman for GDOT explains what's next.

Jill Goldberg, GDOT Spokeswoman 17:42:45 "We're looking at the most vital projects, the ones where delaying those will cause the biggest impact to our program."

They will use an acoustic device to hear the bats and mist nets to trap the bats and put a tracker on them. This is all required by the federal government.

Jill Goldberg, GDOT Spokeswoman 17:44:57 "There is gonna be some expense to that, maybe $5-6 million on the initial projects ..."

(STANDUP)

Bats don't always have the best reputations, but Indiana bats actually are known to benefit the environment by feeding on insects and pests like gypsy moments. This is the first Indiana bat spotted in Georgia since the 1960s. Matt Pearl, 11Alive News ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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