Eyewitness News at 6, 4-8-13

6:16 PM, Apr 8, 2013   |    comments
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Our top story tonight...your children...and their safety as they celebrate a major rite of passage for teens.


It's one thing for parents to tell their children not to drink and drive on prom night.

But hearing the message from other teens may make more of an impact.

As Lorra Lynch Jones shows you.. that's the hope of a student-produced P-S-A... ahead of Houston County proms.

Warner Robins High Drama teacher... Tammy Fisher.. leads students in rehearsal for a spring musical.

It's light hearted... uplifting...

... Just the opposite of this production. A public service announcement created by students... for students.

<Getting ready for the prom. She says goodbye to her dad and once her dad is gone, she gets out the drinks, her friends come over.>

Nick Narsing wrote the script...

<They're driving they all have their drinks in the car (crash). You see the girl in the casket. Know she's not the driver. She's a passenger. The driver is still alive.>

He also directed and edited the spot... recruiting drama students for his talent.

<It hits you as a reality even for us just filming it. It was kind of a reality check for us.>

Kennedy Meredith and Mecca Akbar say drinking goes on before and after Houston County proms...

<I do know a lot of people who drink and drive, or have told stories about it and everything.>

It's their hope seeing this makes students think twice about the choice.

Fisher says the board of education wants students at every county school to see it.

<Kids now days. Its very true and truthful. They need the truth. And that's exactly what this PSA is.>

It's a message they've heard... but maybe it will be different seeing it written in stone.

In Warner Robins Lorra Lynch Jones 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.

According to the website for mothers against drunk driving... teen alcohol use kills about 6-thousand people each year.

You can watch the entire P-S-A by looking for the link inside this story on our website... 13wmaz-dot-com.

Preventing gun violence has captured conversation in Washington... and now, one of the voices heard...will be Montezuma's Police Chief.

chief Eric Finch will meet with Vice President Joe Biden at the White house. Finch will give input on the Gun Violence Prevention Bill.

According to a press release from the police department, He'll also be meeting with Senators and Representatives from the Democratic and Republican Parties.

Finch said he's humbled by the opportunity, and that he viewed it as an honor to share with his city.

Finch and the other chiefs will be meeting at the White House tomorrow.

He's been the Chief of the Montezuma Police Department for the past 13 years.

His Department is one of 95 State Certified Departments in the State of Georgia.

Two Forsyth City council members indicted on federal charges are off the job tonight..

The council voted to oust Desi Hansford.

James Calloway resigned.

Both men are accused of taking a bribe from a city contractor.

Investigators say Hansford and Calloway asked a city contractor to give them 20 thousand dollars to win a bid.

The company told the F-B-I about the bribe.

The arrest affidavit did not identify the company but indicated that Hansford was the head of a council committee that oversees utilities.

Hansford pleaded not guilty during a hearing last month.

In the education world, two former educators are taking the lead in some discussions of their own.

Laura Perkins and Esterine Stokes... will host two community forums for a new charter school in Bibb County.

They plan to start the Academy for Classical Education .... or ACE...and they say they want to start community conversations about it... and answer parents' questions.

The first meeting is tomorrow at 7:30pm at the Northway Church on Zebulon Road.

The second meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 23rd... at Harvest Cathedral on Rocky Creek Road.

The school will open in the fall of 2014 for students in grades 6 to 8.

It will include high school students on a year by year basis.

As community interest grows... founders say they plan to add elementary school grades.

A permanent facility for the school has not been selected, yet.

It's been a week since a 24-year-old man from Warner Robins presumably drowned in the Ocmulgee River.

As Judy Le tells us...searchers say they will keep scanning the water until Aaron Cross' body is found.

The Department of Natural Resources and the Macon-Bibb fire department are searching high and low...for 24-year-old Aaron Cross

<Bobb Lynn, Cpt DNR - we're continuing the search until we recover>

Searchers are determined to find Cross...who has been missing since last Monday. Witnesses say he jumped into the Ocumulgee River for a swim...

He made it across and then went under on his way back..after complaining that the water was too cold.

Those cold temperatures and high water levels have made it difficult to find Cross.

<we're putting in down river and coming up and as we come up, we continue to do surface search area and just see if we can locate the victim>

DNR helicopters scanned the area from above as cadaver dogs sniffed on land and water...and searchers dragged the river using sonar technology

<the river, as I understand, has fallen out a foot or so since last week, the rain. That will help in the recovery effort>

Crews identified an area...about 75 feet long and 40 feet wide...close to the bank where they believe Cross' body might be. To help with recovery...the bluff area of Amerson Waterworks Park is closed to the public

<sometimes the public wants to get involved, which is a good thing, but sometimes they do tend to hinder the search, preventing us from applying techniques>

Search crews say they will keep looking for Cross so that his family can have closure.

Judy Le 13wmaz eyewitness news

Cadaver dogs and handlers will be brought out again tomorrow to search for Cross' body.

A month of play-to-survive games wraps up tonight with the NCAA Championship contest in Atlanta.

Courtney Lyle joins us now with more on the two teams searching for a title.

The madness ends tonight with top-seeded Louisville taking on 4th seeded Michigan in the NCAA Championship game.

Saturday, the Cardinals came back from 12 points down to beat Wichita State 72 to 68.

Next it was the Wolverines downing Syracuse 61 to 56.

Michigan is back in the title game for the first time since the Fab Five Era.

Their last championship though came in 1989.

Both coaches talked about the respected that have for each other and their teams.

<rick Pitinio: "we know we have to play a great game to beat Michigan. With one day prep, this is probably the toughest prep day we'll ever have with how many things they run. Fortunatly, I know John very well. Have gone back a long time with some great games at West Virginia. I know what he's all about and that's about great things.

John Beilein: "i've watch his teams for a long time. Bought his tapes back in the day when he was first putting out all those great tapes. It's a guy I admire for the way he has always coached and he has not been afraid to take on challenges. It's really, on this night with these guys, putting Michigan back in this Final Four environment and Louisville happens to be the opponent and a darn good one.>

Michigan and Louisville tip-off tonight at 9:23.


The only place to watch the NCAA Title game is right here on 13WMAZ.

And eyewitness news at 11 will immediately follow the game.

Michigan and Louisville tip-off tonight at 9:23.


It's yellow... You can't get rid of it, and right now, it's everywhere.

We're talking about itchy, sneezy pollen... and all the joys that come along with it.

And it's not just that... it's that time of year when allergies of all kinds flare up.

In our 13WMAZ web poll today, we asked... how have your allergies been this spring?

11 percent of you say better... 55 percent say...worse...and 34...about the same as in year's past.

< ad lib >

You can still vote now... Visit 13WMAZ.com.

Look for the question on the right side of the homepage.

And 13 WMAZ's chief meteorologist Ben Jones is out in it all...

Other than that though...couldn't ask for a better afternoon.

The only place to watch the NCAA Title game is right here on 13WMAZ.

And eyewitness news at 11 will immediately follow the game.

Still to come on Eyewitness News at 6....a Hero Central report...straight from your closet.

That's right, ladies.... If your shelves are overflowing with seasons of handbags...

I'll tell you how a little spring cleaning can help a worthy cause.

But as we go to break ... She first became famous as a Mousketeer...then spent summers on the beach with Frankie Avalon.

Annette Funicello... Has passed away today...after dealing with complications of Multiple Sclerosis for years.

Annette was 70.

And... Mourning Britain's Iron Lady... Who passed away today at the age of 87... following a stroke.

History will remember Margaret Thatcher as Britain's first and only female prime minister... and the only British Prime Minister of the 20th century to win three terms.

A Warner Robins business wants you to dust off your old purses and handbags and give them up for an important cause.

We found out how an empty handbag tucked away in your closet can work to fill a need for people with breast cancer... in tonight's Hero Central report.

<We've got a nice assortment of purses, anywhere from a brand new designer bag to Vera Bradley and I can't think of anybody else of the top of my head but we've got quite a few.>

Judy Mason says she's rounded up her network of friends to pitch in a purse

.... or two, or three. The donations are stocked at her Color Me Pink store in Warner Robins... but She says the more, the better.


<We've asked the community to donate gently used or new purses so that we can hold this event at the Galleria Mall on the 13th of April.>

She says she's organized A purse auction to raise money for breast cancer with the help of a few volunteers who are cancer survivors.

<I am a three time cancer survivor. Breast cancer and thyroid cancer. I'm a little out from a year with my thyroid cancer and 20 years on the breast cancer the first time, so it's very passionate for me. I like helping out.>

<We're raising money for the Relay for Life and so I'd like to see it go into more research and help it get rid of cancer.>

<Relay for Life which is held in May and it covers all cancers. It's a big event that they have every year in Perry at the Perry Fairgrounds and all the money stays here in Georgia to help with cancer research.>

That event has them geared up to do their best with their purse auction fundraiser. Judy and her friends say they hope that you can help too.

<I am always trying to make people aware of cancer here in Middle Georgia. There's a lot of it and until it hits home, you don't really think about it. So, this is a good awareness event and can raise money for a worthy cause.>

The Purse Auction event is set for Saturday April 13th at 2pm at the Galleria Mall... outside of the JC Penny's store.

For more information, you can call... 478-953-1377.

The weather will be close to perfect for Perry's Dogwood Festival this weekend.

You will see several new events this year..

<Stacy Campbell, Perry Chamber of Commerce: " Our 25th anniversary for the dogwood festival is this weekend, April 13th and 14th, we have the traditional 2 day arts and crafts festival that everybody's used to in Perry and all the tourists that come in, which is also a top-20 event in the southeast. But we have expanded the festival this year.">



Saturday at the Georgia National fairgrounds will be the hot air balloon rally.. with tethered balloon rides, live music, and the balloon glow at dusk.

Tickets are $5, kids under 6 are free - gates open at 4 p.m.

We in Macon love our Cherry Blossoms...and so do visitors to our nation's capital.

But much like we didn't have a whole lot of trees in bloom during the Cherry Blossom Festival.. Dc's trees are a little shy too.

They city's own Cherry Blossom festival is coming up this weekend...but a cold winter has kept the buds at bay.

Shy flowers or not... People are still enjoying festival events from tours to water activities.

Every year, horticulturists try to predict when DC's famous trees will blossom....but it's just not that exact of a science.

In Macon though....if you drive around...you'll finally see the pink.

Another new event this year: Saturday and Sunday you can see the dock dog competition in front of the New Perry Hotel on Saturday and Sunday.. 100 retrievers will compete for the chance to advance to the national competition. the event is free.


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