Eyewitness News at 6: June 14, 2013

6:11 PM, Jun 14, 2013   |    comments
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If you were in Central Georgia last night...you saw a lot of this...lightning lighting up the sky.

And while that electrical storm fizzled out overnight... it still caused one close call.




Hello, everyone.

I'm Kenny Burgamy.

Frank and Leah have the evening off.

Nature put on a light show last night...and two Jones County men say they had an electrifying experience.

Elise Brown was there as the men recall last night's surprise.

<I was doing a friend a favor and it cost me the shock of my life.>

David Moore says he and two friends were repairing a truck...when lightning struck the garage.

< I had a screw driver and the spark plug to see if it was getting any fire. And I was sitting holding it....and it shocked us and knocked me against the wall.>

And he has marks on his arm to prove it.

Randy Smith was in the car...and heard the other two men fall to the ground.

<david is sitting there hollering oh, oh, oh.>

Emergency crews treated both men...but they refused to go to the hospital.

<it took awhile to get our breathing back right>

Jones County fire chief don graham says they can't be sure if it was lightning that caused the shock.

His crews walked around the garage searching for marks but couldn't find any.

<you gotta remember this, there was a lot of water and a lot of metal so both of those conduct if lightning strikes in that area >

He says if lightning hits metal it can be hard to detect.

Graham warns people to stay inside when bad weather is coming.

<if you're not going to go inside you need to stay away from the metal. You need to stay away from water...tall trees, cords....anything like that.>

<don't take chances with it...it's not worth it. we got lucky, we got real lucky.>

Elise Brown, 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.

Moore says his mouth tasted like metal after being shocked and that his heart was racing.

He's also had a headache since the strike.

In our 13WMAZ web poll...we asked...

How concerned are you about lightning?

32 percent of you voted, "i'm afraid ".

16 percent say, you're very afraid.

But most... 52 percent...take things in stride.

You say, you're not TOO afraid.

To vote now... Visit 13WMAZ.com.

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

If you'll go to 13 WMAZ-dot-com... You'll find a lot of photos that viewers sent us last night.

This one was actually taken by Suzanne Lawler...outside her house in Macon.

And here's a very dark night on Golden Eagle Drive... Viewer Melissa Thomaston sent us this one.

If you snapped some images... You can contribute them to our photo gallery.

Log on to 13WMAZ-dot-com...go to slideshows...and follow the directions to upload your pictures.

Last night... We were largely spared from a lot of the heavy damage.

Not the case in metro Atlanta.

People in this Cobb County neighborhood pitched in to help clean up.

A crew from our sister station, WXIA, was driving down the street...and spotted this tree down.

As traffic began to back up... A landscaper...also passing by, hopped out of his truck and got to work.

Others soon joined. With a little team work and elbow-grease, they cleared the way within about 15 minutes.

WXIA also caught this on video... Shot in the Buckhead area of Atlanta... That's a transformer... Or was, before it blew during an electric storm that caused thousands of power outages.


Thanks Ben.

We'll talk to you again a little later in this newscast...for a much calmer weekend forecast.

Yesterday... We brought you the story of a mother and her three daughters....

lost when their South Macon home on Carmen Place burned in an early morning fire.

Tonight.. Family members will gather to remember 36 year old Jennifer Caffee and her girls, Holly, Wendy and Lizzie.

That vigil will happen at Countryside Baptist Church, where the family attended.

It's also on Carmen Place, just off Meade Road in the Lynmore Estates neighborhood.

It begins this evening at eight.

Meanwhile, investigators are still unsure what caused the fire.

A father of one of the girls...and Caffee's two sons... managed to escape the home.

In other news... Bibb County commissioners dug in and broke ground at the site of the new animal welfare shelter this morning.

Katelyn Heck has more on the project... And their hopes for its future.

Bibb Chairman Sam Hart says he hopes construction will start this summer...

With the entire project complete around the start of next year.

Fort Valley State University has a possible replacement for outgoing president Larry Rivers.

Today the state Board of Regents named Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith as the finalist for the president's seat.

Griffith is a provost and senior vice president at York College of the City University of New York.

He is also a professor of political science.

Larry Rivers has been Fort Valley State's president since 2006..and is scheduled to step down this month.

If you look closely at this video... You see tiny spots on this man's skin.

Those...are leeches... A summertime pest Central Georgians are dealing with on the water.

They may not be as common as mosquitoes, but they are a problem.

Tom George went to Lake Sinclair to find out more about these ceatures...which state officials tell us, are on the rise.

Another day on the water at Lake Sinclair ... But some people are leaving with more than just a nice tan...

< You know when they got out of the water, they had little small like worms attached to their feet attached to their legs.>

In the past week, Department of Natural Resources has gotten 5 calls about the same thing ... turns out the rainy...cool spring ... means leech season.


<and they sense when there's a disturbance in the water around them and if it's a suitable host, they'll attach themselves. >

<all over my leg and a couple of my arm.>

Suitable hosts like Taylor Sims ... He's lived on the lake for 13 years leech-free, but says lately, they're everywhere.

< I thought it was like some little worm, but went to go take it off and it was stuck to my arm.>

DNR says the leeches stay in shallow areas near the shore... So we went back for a little experiment.

< This is the spot, though right? Right here And you're swearing that if you go in, you're gonna get leaches? Guaranteed.>

The leeches didn't seem to like me, but we didn't give up.

< Alright, I tried a couple minute dipping my hands in but I'm wearing my work clothes, but you swear by it, so hop in and see>

Sure enough, after just a just a few minutes wading near the deck, Taylor was hit twice...

Pull it off...

A slight nuisance.

< They wont hurt you, its just like mosquitos are always present in the outdoor, just something you have to put up with sometimes. >

That just might STICK around

In Milledgeville, Tom George, 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.

Leeches are worms...with suckers at each end. They can be as long as a foot...although the Central Georgia versions are much smaller.

Schleiger (scly-ger) says ... although most of the calls were about Lake Sinclair... he wouldn't be surprised if leeches were in other lakes too.

A man with no arms... Is doing something many people without a physical challenge wouldn't tackle.

He is cycling 3 thousand miles... cross country... to raise amputee awareness and money for a baby with prosthetic arms.

He told videojournalist Claudia Taylor about his mission... during a stop in Macon.

< Hector Pichard, Fort Lauderdale: I'm doing a bike ride across the country called hands for baby Jameson in order to raise money for a little boy named Jameson Davis born without arms. He's in need of prosthetics and also I want to show him and his family that anything is possible. >

< I started in Miami on Saturday June 8th and I intend on reaching Spokane Washington on July 13th. >

< It's been six days of 100 miles average and it's been hot. Georgia is really hot.>

< I'm a member of the I Will Foundation. One of my team members went to school with Jameson's father. It broke my heart how the parents were having a difficult time with prosthetics and as well about being concerned about their child's future. So, as a double arm amputee my self I want to show them something major, something big that I can do to give them hope for their son. >

< In 1992, I was working on a substation transformer when I made contact... received 2nd and 3rd degree burns over 40 percent of my body and it resulted in amputation of my entire right arm, and half of my left. >

< I got into triathalons. I competed in my first triathlon July 2009. Recently, I finished my 75th triathalon. I became the world's first double arm amputee Iron Man. >

< It goes back to the website. Seeing how the mother was concerned and I just want to show that a stranger is coming across the country to help their family out. If more people did things like that I think it would be a better world.>

Picard says he's receiving donations through a website that tells more information about baby Jameson... and his personal story.

That website is www dot don't stop living dot org.

That's all the time we have for Eyewitness News at Six. We'll see you right back here again at 11.

Until then... The news continues now on 13WMAZ dot com and MAZ mobile.

We leave you we a look back at life this week in Central Georgia.. this is home..


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