on the westside of vietnam veterans on the east side of the interstate>
City officials hope this land will be the site of the city's new visitor's center and vietnam memorial.
But they also plan to lay the utility lines for something even bigger.
<we've been working for a year with a developer out of atlanta to bring a water park here >
That developer is Jeff Franklin... President of spirit of america... Theme park and development.
He said Warner Robins is the right location for a park similar to Statesboro's splash in the boro.
<it's a wonderful location it's a stop over point on your way to florida it has a population ring around there of over 350-thousand people within a 45 minute drive was just outstanding for our park >
Franklin says although this is his first water park... His team has more than a hundred years of development experience.
<david markay the creator and designer of splash in the boro along with bob mcalister who's a twenty- year director of aquatics in cobb county it's one of the most successful swim programs in georgia >
Franklin says this is just the start.
<we're looking very strongly at an amphitheater to go across the street there >
<there's a phase two that involves a historic theme park it's not the size of disney of course but it is pretty good sized it will employ several hundred people and be open year round it's been designed by Peter Alexander who is the project manager for the building of epcot down in orlando >
<being able to have an attraction that brings people here makes us a destination is the anchor that can kick off development for this particular area that we're standing the middle of is huge for us >
< the more new business we can bring in the higher the tax revenues are the better the facilities we'll be able to provide for our constituents and that's what it's all about growing new business in our area. >
it's all to bring more tourism to central georgia.
In Warner Robins... Jennifer Moulliet 13wmaz eyewitness news.
Franklin even plans some local flavor....he says he loved the peach ice cream at Lane's Southern Orchards so much... That he wants to sell it at the water park.
People in 13 Warner Robins neighborhoods... Thought they were getting a new and unwanted neighbor.
A 96 unit... Six and a half acre... Low income housing development.
They joined together petitioning the Planning and Zoning board to stop it.
As Lorra Lynch Jones tells you... It appears they won.
they have sidewalks, kids riding bikes. It's safe.>
The Tart family moved into the Tiffany... An upscale neighborhood in a mostly residential area off Feagin Mill Road... two years ago.
<we had orginally been told, well this neighborhood might end up with a small gas station or something.>
Emily Tart says that would've been fine.
It's when she learned out-of-state developers wanted to build a low income.. Three story housing complex across the street from the entrance to her neighborhood... That she got upset.
<my boys are riding their bicycle all the time and that was a big concern to have them where there's more traffic.>
It concerned 600 people from surrounding neighborhoods, too.
They petitioned the city planning and zoning board to stop the development.
The attorney representing them... Bridgette Cooper... Says that board nixed the plans.. Finding...
the population density of the apartments wouldn't fit with the area.
The complex would place a strain on fire.. Police and local schools.
It would also lower property values... by an estimated total of 18 million dollars.
Resale was the Tarts' main concern.
Emily's husband is the Air Force.
<we might get three years in a home. Wer'e not building equity. We don't have time to do that. Were just trying not to lose 30 or 40-thousand dollars>
For now... That's not likely to happen... Although the complex's developers could appeal the decision in superior court.
In Warner Robins.. Lorra Lynch Jones.. 13wmaz.. Eyewitness News.>
We called the property owner... Who's local... And the developer who the city of Warner Robins says is based in Kansas.
Our calls were not returned.
Right now teams from all over the Southeast are sitting down to enjoy dinner at the Museum of Aviation... in preparation for the Regional Tournament that begins tomorrow.
Suzanne Lawler stopped by the Little League complex today.
Frank.... Today is when folks drove in... Took a look around and kind of got the lay of the land.
And you know it never gets old for kids that have never seen the facility in Warner Robins.... To gaze up on the beautiful grass that they will compete on as they try to earn a trip to Portland.
<wow. This is like the major leagues of baseball. I'm nervous.... >
The Alabama team stood in awe after they saw the field this afternoon.
Tennessee also stopped by and took the chance for parents to snap pictures.
The Alabama squad knows they will battle nerves but they like the surroundings.
it's beautiful I've never done anything like this and I'm just excited to get it done. Everything is just beautiful its great its great every child should have the opportunity to experience something like this. Even on the fourth of July the grass is still growing so I'm out here 365 days a year because I want these kids to have a great time when they come here.>
The last woman you just saw that is working on the greenery year round is Cheryl Miller and we will chat with her a little later on in sports about the grass.
Plus here is a bit of trivia about that Alabama team they are from a town called (silicoga) Sylacauga... They figure that will stir up some conversations among the kids.
And.. For those Andy Griffith fans out there.. Sylacauga is also the home town of Jim Nabors.. Who played Gomer Pyle.
Thanks Suzanne... We'll have more from sports later on in the broadcast.
For the third time in four years....the American Cancer Society is asking for central georgians help.
Elise Brown tell us why..
Six years ago Heather Griffin's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.
<I thank the lord that she found it early and she is doing great. But every female that's passed away on my mothers side of the family has died from some form of cancer >
She doesn't want future generations to go through that.
<I don't want to have another person hear the words you have cancer and especially I have a 14 year old daughter that I hope never has to hear those words.>
That's why the Cancer Prevention Study Three is so close to her heart.
The senior community manager at the American Cancer Society has taken part in the study.
To qualify... you must be between ages 30 to 60.......have never been diagnosed with cancer...except for skin cancer......and be willing to complete follow-up surveys.
<we're looking at some of the factors that have to do with getting cancer like your lifestyle, maybe the way you eat, your exercise habits. >
<to sign up all it takes are a few simple steps.>
First log onto see you there.com
Then scroll down and click on schedule appointment....
Select participant type....
Enter your contact information... answer lifestyle questions and pick your appointment date and time....
Click submit and that's it.
<that day I showed up and signed in and there was a little bit more paper work...a consent...that you consent to do this and they took a waist measurement, a circumference, and they did a blood draw and that was that. >
Nancy White is the director of oncology services at the Medical Center of Central Georgia.
The cancer society has been running studies like this since the 1950s....and they've shed light on cancer.
<smoking as a cause of cancer, they have identified that a daily aspirin can help prevent colon cancer for example.>
The study will be in November throughout Houston County....the society is looking for at least 250 volunteers....but would of course welcome more.
Elise Brown, 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.
The society is also looking for what they call champions.
Those are people who agree to help recruit 10 people to register for the study.
Griffin says 16 people have already registered. They need 50 by September 24.
If you're interested you can call 478-743-6392...again that number is 478-743-6392.
Twenty five people are now in the running for the nine Macon-Bibb commission seats.
Qualifying ended at noon today... With a few new faces on the list now.... Including Robins employee Chhor <chore> Chav.
The sheet metal mechanic... And real estate business owner qualified for the District 6 seat.
Chav moved to Macon from California six years ago... and wants to help grow the place he and his family now call home.
<everyone is moving out, we're losing population every year. Because why? There's no jobs here, the crime rate is really bad, and everyone knows about our board of education. And you know what? I want to be able to change that.>
Also vying for the district 6 seat... long-time City councilman Ed Defore... Robert Abbott... And Adah Roberts.
Before qualifying closed at noon... Another candidate... Harold Young... Entered the District one race in North Macon.
He will face current Bibb commissioner Gary Bechtel.
We could not reach Young for comment.
For the full list of commission and mayor candidates... Look for this story on our website... 13WMAZ dot-com.
Last night.... Former Macon police Chief Mike Burns was honored as the Georgia police chief of the year.
That honor came from his fellow police chiefs...at their convention in Savannah.
I was able to sit down with the 22nd police chief in Macon's history about how he came through the ranks... And his advice for anyone looking to get into law enforcement.
<frank: congratulations I know it's an honor you have to be proud of.
Burns: It's a great honor, great honor.
Frank: You just put in a career 39 years all with the Macon police department. Is police work something you always wanted to do is that something you were looking to do growing up?
Burns: Well, my father was a U-S deputy marshall in town so I guess it was just in my blood.
Frank: some of the things you're most proud of during your career with the force.
Burns: Oh that's, getting out to meet people. I've always enjoyed helping people cause usually when you meet them it's on their worst day. As chief I was proud that we was able to be reaccredited, nationally accredited again and for 7 of 8 years I was chief we had crime that was the lowest rate it had ever been in Macon. Last year it was the lowest it had ever been.
Frank: Biggest challenges facing police officers these days?
Burns: I don't think officers get as much respect as they used to when I first came on. And now with all the different media outlets, faceboook, myspace, everybody's got a cell phone with a camera in it. They're always under a microscope all the time. And I don't think they get a fair shake for how hard they work to put their life on the line everyday.
Frank: What are some of the things you tried to tell young officers as they were starting out to try and help them along the way?
Burns: I had a couple sayings, one is to always act like you're being video'd cause odds are you probably are. And my favorite was from Mark Twain, if you always tell the truth, you'll never have to remember what you said.
Frank: if someone comes up to you and says, you know I'm thinking about police work, would you tell them it's a good field or would you say you better be prepared?
Burns: Be prepared for a lot of criticism but it's the best job they'll ever have... Cause their constantly helping people.
Frank: Now you're one of the first to work their way up through the ranks to the level of police chief. That's certainly something to hang your hat on.
Burns: that's what I've been told, you know from day one I was like most officers. I didn't really expect to stay, but it does get into your blood. I went to every school that I could possibly go to, and when I came back I tried to suggest new things be tried. And I tried to prepare myself if I ever got the opportunity.
Frank: Mike Burns thank you very much, always the chief, and he is the georgia association of chiefs of police... Chief of the year appreciate you spending time with us. Stay with us, eyewitness news at six continues. Right after this, checking out a little action on the sports diamond. Stay with us.>