Eyewitness News at Six: May 4, 2013

10:06 PM, May 4, 2013   |    comments
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Thank you for joining us.
I'm Jennifer Moulliet.

We begin tonight with a look in North Georgia.
First, an overnight train wreck killed people riding in a car.
The accident happened in Toccoa when a car collided with an Amtrak train heading to New Orleans going 60 miles an hour.
The car was hit at an unguarded railroad crossing, flipped into a ravine and caught fire.
The names of the three victims will not be released until the family has been notified.
All three were in their 20s and lived in Austell.
No one on the train was injured.

A school district in the state of Georgia faces accusations of the largest cheating scandal in the history of the United States.
Officials from the Atlanta Public School System were in court yesterday.
Our sister Station WXIA has the latest.
Flanked by a pair of lawyers and her husband, Beverly Hall left the Fulton County Courthouse moments after entering her plea of "not guilty"
(nat-- how do you feel Dr. Hall? Unfortunately I can't respond to you.)
with five attorneys representing her and 34 others preparing for trial...Hall is going to have to get used to crowds.
(bite-- That's going to be the longest trial in history...longest criminal trial for sure) (J. Tom Morgan)
For the second day in a row, more than a dozen former Atlanta Public School edudators packed a courtroom...one by one they stood as lawyers entered their not guilty pleas
All are accused of being part of a conspiracy to cheat on the CRCT...prosecutors contend some...including Beverly Hall... helped inflate test scores to collect bonuses.
Judge Jerry Baxter plans to try all 35 defendants at the same time...same place.
bite-- We may have to rent an abandoned Kroger)
Lawyers representing the 35 admit they're facing a monumental task.
bite-- We're going to have to come up with a strategy just to handle the volume of evidence we're going to look at...it has the potential to be 100s of thousands of records (Elliott Baer for Carol Dennis)
Judge Baxter has given Beverly Hall and others until January of next year to decide if they want to plead guilty...or go to trial.
bite-- I'm sure some will decide to enter a plea...but we're planning to go to trial (Bob Rubin lawyer for two defendants)
Beverly Hall's lawyers say all of the attorneys are sharing information...filing motions together...in some sense preparing for trial as a team.
The current Superintendent has created remedial programs for any of the students affected by the scandal.

Switching over to world news, five U-S soldiers were killed by a bomb in southern Afghanistan today.
Kandahar authorities said the soldiers' vehicle struck an I-E-D in Maiwand district which is considered one of the most unstable districts.
The attack underscored the dangers faced by the NATO-led ISAF even as they hand over much of the fighting to the Afghans before a planned departure next year.
Nineteen U-S personnel have been killed last week in three air crashes and including today's bombing.
A spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force says todays bombing capped off one of the bloodiest weeks for international forces this year.

The president took a trip to Costa Rica where he pledged to improve trading ties with Latin America.
Immigration and improving border security were also high topics of his speech.
President Obama:"There's no doubt we made progress more progress needs to be made in improving border security and facilitating speed and efficiency I commerce. Those two things go hand in hand. Both in united states and in Mexico as well as Canada."
The President stated that strong economic ties with the Americas leads to more jobs in the U-S.
His statements were strengthened by the recent job numbers and he called for trade and economic cooperation with the country's neighbors to the south a move he says was put in place 50 years ago.
"To see how much progress has been made, both in the region and the ties between the United States and Central America indicates that President Kennedy's vision was sound. And it also speaks to the importance of us continuing to build these kinds of networks of relationships for the future."
The president headed back to the United States this afternoon.

This is the big weekend for the Georgia State fair.
Families showed up under cloudy skies, refusing to let the chill keep them off the rides.
This year, the fair will have a shorter schedule.
You can stop in from 10 a.m. Through midnight tonight, noon through midnight Sunday.
Tickets are 7 dollars for adults, 6 for seniors and kids 5 through 12.
Little ones under four get in free.

The Air Force Reserve Band played their last tune tonight.
In two performances at Mercer University the band was joined by the Macon Symphony Youth Orchestra.
This band was eliminated after a series of budget cuts.
About a dozen took the stage alongside 80 young musicians from the Macon Symphony Youth Orchestra.
In a nearly full house the band performed twice once at 1:30 in the afternoon and the last performance ever is at 6:45 tonight.
Thomas Gamboa: "It's a little difficult and bittersweet. We've had such a great relationship with the community around robins air force base. We're sad to leave, but we also know that it's time to move on and go where the air force needs up to be."
The Air Force says airmen currently assigned to the band will be reassigned to other active duty bands.

In the prime of all things digital some people still enjoy flipping through the pages of a book.
Hundreds of those people were at the Georgia National Fairgrounds over the weekend looking for a bargain read.
Friends of the Library set up shop for the 9th year.
Offering 90 thousand books in dozens of genres.
Chapter President, Georgette Lipford says the sale takes the help of 25 volunteers.
They work several months planning and pricing items.
Lipford says the last day of the sale brought in a crowd of over 600 people for half priced Saturday.
Georgette Lipford; President, Houston County Friends of the Library: "This is probably the biggest crowd we've had so far and they know they're in for bargains when they come and they're going out of here by the cartful."
Donna Vandersall, Perry: "We usually leave here with two or three boxes of books. For the price of one hardback you get in a bookstore you can get two boxes here."
There are plenty of books leftover from the book sale.
Those books are expected to sell in the Friends of the Library book store starting in September.
Profits will help Houston County libraries buy books.

While in school, many of us studied some of America's major moments in history from the Revolutionary War... to World War... to the Civil War but how many of us have actually lived a moment from the past?
Hundreds of Central Georgians gathered in Jones County to put on their Confederate or Union uniform to participate in a Civil-War re-enactment.
Austin Lewis has more on what went on the battlefield.
This isn't a young private soldier from the 1860s trying to get warm by a fire but it's 13-year-old Coleman Thompson who is getting ready for his first Civil War Re-enactment
Coleman Thompson, Gray: "Well, well I'm I'm really into history and stuff and I have a lot of ancesters that were in the Civil War so I thought that would be a good idea to come down here."
And experience what may have been like during the Civil War.
From the calls to battle.... To the march to the frontlines...
This all takes participants back to a different time.
Wayne Dobson, Macon: "We go beyond the textbook I mean we are living historians what we do is like an outdoor play it depicts what happen and of course of visual depiction is much more graphic than reading mere words from a page."
And the realism, wasn't just on the field...
They also kept warm like 19th century soldier and sleep like one too.
Earl Colvin, Confederate Soldier: "We know how it was to spend a 28 degree night in the tent...And uh we know how it was to be hot and sweaty and firing a rifle that will burn your hands every time you touch it. You know we experienced that and living that history enable us to better portray that period of time."
Coleman Thompson, Gray: "And I couldn't really sleep cause it was really hard cause there is no beds."
And despite the rain, Thompson knows where he will be next year.
Coleman Thompson, Gray: "Well it's really fun, it's the first time I tried it and I will see if I could get out here and do it again."
And there are others who feel the same way.
Austin Lewis 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.
If you missed the re-enactment you can still catch it tomorrow.
It's open to the public at 9 am but you can catch the battle around 2:00 pm.

A solar powered air plane is set to tour the U-S.
The Solar Impulse took off from California and flew several hours after sundown to land at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix.
This completes the first leg of it's cross country tour on what the co-pilot call a "milestone" for aviation history.
The tour began in San Francisco at Dawn on Friday and the creators of the solar airplane say this is the first attempt by a solar plane to cross the country day or night without fuel.

Thank you for joining us for Eyewitness News at 6.
We'll see you back here tonight for Eyewitness News at 11.
Remember... The news continues now on 13wmaz dot com and maz mobile.
Have a great night.

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