Saturday, December 19, Eyewitness News at 11

11:15 PM, Dec 19, 2009   |    comments
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TONIGHT AT 11..

THE RAIN WASHED OUT A BIBB COUNTY ROAD AND LEFT TWO FAMILIES STRANDED.
EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11 IS NEXT.

TONIGHT AT 11..

PEOPLE LINED UP ONCE MORE TO GET HELP TO PAY THEIR HEATING BILLS.
EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11 IS NEXT.


PASTOR ANDY COOK, SHIRLEY HILLS BAPTIST CHURCH "It's not about the merchandise or the Black Fridays, as important as our family traditions are and as much as we like all of the presents of Christmas. It's about the original story and we wanted people to know that there's a baby that's been born that's still changing the world today."
THE "WALK THROUGH BETHLEHEM" WILL CONTINUE TOMORROW AND RUN FROM 3 P-M TO 10 P-M.


THIS MORNING... PEOPLE LINED UP AT SAINT PAUL A-M-E CHURCH... TO GET HELP WITH THEIR ENGERGY BILLS.

THE MACON-BIBB COUNTY ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY COUNCIL'S ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM HELD SEVERAL DATES FOR PEOPLE TO APPLY IN THE PAST FEW WEEKS... AND HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE RECEIVED HELP... BUT MANY STILL NEED ASSISTANCE.
E-O-C EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JIMMY SAMUEL SAYS PEOPLE DONT NEED TO LINE UP IN THE COLD OVER NIGHT TO GET ASSISTANCE.


<<Deidre McKenzie, Bibb:
"Never really fathomed that something like that could happen, but at the same time you're think I just drove across that road, what if it had fallen with me without it?"

DEIDRE MCKENZIE AND HER HUSBAND WATCHED THE ROAD THAT LEADS TO THEIR HOME...COLLAPSE BEFORE THEIR EYES AROUND 6 ON FRIDAY.
SHE SAYS THE ROAD HAS FLOODED BEFORE... BUT IT NEVER CAVED IN COMPLETELY.

*nats*
THE WASH OUT TRAPPED TWO FAMILIES ON THEIR STREET...AND KEPT TWO OTHERS FROM REACHING THEIR HOMES.

MCKENZIE AND HER HUSBAND STAYED OUTSIDE BY THE DITCH FOR ABOUT 6 HOURS TO KEEP PEOPLE FROM DRIVING INTO THE 12 FOOT WIDE AND 15 FOOT DEEP HOLE.

Joe Allen, Bibb County Commissioner:
"One of the families did try to come home last night, if the McKenzies had not been out there trying to block people from coming across someone would have fallen into this ditch and possibly lost their life."

MCKENZIE SAYS SHE CALLED 911 AROUND 6 ON FRIDAY...BUT A DEPUTY DIDN'T SHOW UP UNTIL JUST BEFORE MIDNIGHT.
WHEN THE DEPUTY DID ARRIVE...SHE SAYS HE TOLD HER HE UNSUCCESSFULLY TRIED TO REACH THE COUNTY'S PUBLIC WORKS DEPARMENT...HE THEN SAID SOMEONE WOULD CHECK ON THE ROAD DURING THE NIGHT AND LEFT.

Deidre McKenzie, Bibb:
"We're stranded, we can't go anywhere and when that deputy just turned around and drove off after our short conversation, and said they would be checkin on it throughout the night this panic kind of just came over me what if something happens to my grandchild how will I get him out of here."

MCKENZIE SAYS SHE CALLED BIBB COUNTY COMMISSIONER JOE ALLEN FOR HELP SATURDAY MORNING...BUT THINKS A DEPUTY SHOULD HAVE STAYED ON THE SCENE UNTIL SOMEONE ARRIVED TO FIX THE PROBLEM.

David Davis, Bibb County Sheriff's Office:
"We're following up to see exactly what transpired and after that and if the proper authorities were notified and what efforts were taken to get someone out to fix the road.

SATURDAY EVENING CREWS...WORKED ON A TEMPORARY FIX FOR THE ROAD....AS FOR MCKENZIE...SHE'S HOPING NO ONE WILL HAVE TO FACE A NIGHT LIKE SHE DID.
JENNIFER BELLAMY...13WMAZ...EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>>

A WASHED OUT ROAD TRAPPED SOME BIBB COUNTY HOMEOWNERS ON THEIR STREET... AND PREVENTED OTHERS FROM RETURNING HOME.
IT HAPPENED AT PAMELA COURT IN EAST BIBB COUNTY... OFF LOWER THOMASTON ROAD.
ONE HOMEOWNER SAYS SHE TRIED TO REACH THE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT AND DIDN'T GET ANYONE ON THE SCENE FOR SEVERAL HOURS.
JENNIFER BELLAMY SPOKE WITH ONE OF THE FAMILES STUCK ON THIER STREET.

CLIFF HOWARD WITH BIBB COUNTY PUBLIC WORKS SAYS THE DEPARTMENT WILL HAVE TO REPLACE THE TRIPLE 48-INCH SEWER DRAINS TO PERMENATELY FIX THE ROAD... BUT THEY CAN'T ORDER WHAT THEY NEED UNTIL NEXT WEEK.


THIS MORNING... PEOPLE LINED UP AT SAINT PAUL A-M-E CHURCH... TO GET HELP WITH THEIR ENGERGY BILLS.

THE MACON-BIBB COUNTY ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY COUNCIL'S ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM HELD SEVERAL DATES FOR PEOPLE TO APPLY IN THE PAST FEW WEEKS... AND HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE RECEIVED HELP... BUT MANY STILL NEED ASSISTANCE.
E-O-C EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JIMMY SAMUEL SAYS PEOPLE DONT NEED TO LINE UP IN THE COLD OVER NIGHT TO GET ASSISTANCE.

"You don't have to be behind in your bill if you qualify it will be applied to your primary heating source, so that's why we've encouraged people not to come out and stay over night, because we have several sessions. We'll probably be able to serve almost everybody who wants to be served or who qualify for the service."

TODAY'S ENERGY HELP MARKS THE END OF THIS YEAR'S EFFORT... BUT THE E-O-C WILL HOLD MORE DATES FOR PEOPLE TO RECEIVE ASSISTANCE IN JANUARY.

IF YOU'VE STILL GOT A FEW PEOPLE LEFT TO SHOP FOR... YOU'RE NOT ALONE.

A STUDY FROM THE NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION FOUND THAT WHILE 8-POINT 6 MILLION PEOPLE HAD FINISHED THEIR SHOPPING BY THE SECOND WEEK IN DECEMBER... A LARGER 42-MILLION HAD NOT BEGUN BY THAT SAME TIME.

THE STUDY ALSO FOUND THAT 11-POINT 9 PERCENT OF SHOPPERS WOULD LIKELY BUY THEIR LAST GIFT ON DECEMBER 24-TH... BUT 35-PERCENT PLANNED TO WRAP THINGS UP BY THE LAST WEEKEND BEFORE CHRISTMAS.

NO MATTER WHEN PEOPLE ARE SHOPPING... WE TALKED TO LOCAL RETAILERS WHO SAID WHEN THEY GET TO THE STORE... THEY KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT.

TYRONE HIBBLER, TARGET 3:10 "Something that's been different this year is we're receiving more guests shopping out of the add. Rather than just coming in and checking out our racetrack here they're coming in with the add for the products that they want and need."
DAMON MANNING, WAL-MART 9:21 "Customers actually been coming in looking for those items. We have $10 toys, 12 toys of Christmas, things like that. They're actually looking for those hot items."

IN CASE YOU'RE NOT KEEPING COUNT... THERE'S FIVE MORE FULL SHOPPING DAYS LEFT BEFORE CHRISTMAS DAY.
HEAVY RAINS HAVE MADE 2009 THE WETTEST YEAR IN 50 YEARS... FOR ATLANTA.
THE CITY'S OFFICIAL RAIN GAUGE REPORTED NEARLY TWO INCHES OF RAIN YESTERDAY... PUSHING THE TOTAL TO 66-POINT-86 INCHES FOR THE YEAR.
THAT'S THE THIRD HIGHEST LEVEL ON RECORD... AND THE HIGHEST SINCE 1948.
NORMALLY... ATLANTA GETS ABOUT 50 INCHES OF RAIN A YEAR.

NORTHSIDE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WALKED WITH SOME ATTITUDE AT THE GALLIERA MALL TODAY.

THE NORTHISDE HIGHSCHOOL FASHION CLUB STUDENTS STRUTTED THEIR STUFF ON THE CATWALK FOR THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY.
THE STUDENTS PUT ON OUTFITS IN EVENING... DRESS... AND NORTHSIDE WEAR CATEGORIES... WHILE THEY COLLECTED DONATIONS FOR THE A-C-S.
THIS IS THE FIFTH YEAR FOR THE FASHION SHOW... AND ABOUT 25 STUDENTS PARTICIPATED.

tonya woolfolk advisor " my favorite part is to see the kids gett excited about doing something to help other people because a lot of times kids get abad rep for what they are not doing and so at this point they can show that they care and that they are willing to conturbute to help other people as well"

THEIR GOAL WAS TO RAISE A-THOUSAND DOLLARS TODAY... THEY RAISED ABOUT 3-THOUSAND DOLLARS IN THE PAST 3 YEARS.

OVER 3-THOUSAND PEOPLE WALKED THROUGH BETHLEHEM TONIGHT IN WARNER ROBINS.

THE "WALK THROUGH BETHLEHEM" AT SHIRLEY HILLS BAPTIST CHURCH... FEATURES A MASSIVE OUTDOOR RE-CREATION OF THE BIBLICAL CITY.
VISITORS WALKED THROUGH AND SAW LIVE ANIMALS... PEOPLE FROM BIBLICAL TIMES... ALL THE WHILE EXPERIENCING THE STORY OF JESUS' BIRTH.
PASTOR ANDY COOK SAYS THE GOAL OF THIS NATIVITY IS TO SHOW PEOPLE THE REAL MEANING OF CHRISTMAS.

FOR THE FIRST TIME... THE NUTCRACKER OF HOUSTON COUNTY WAS PERFORMED IN HOUSTON COUNTY.

WITH FESTIVE SPIRITS... MANY PEOPLE GATHERED AT THE HOMER J. WALKER CIVIC CENTER... FOR THE PERFORMANCE.
THE CIVIC CENTER TOOK ON SOME MAJOR ADJUSTMENTS, COSTING MORE THAN TEN-THOUSAND DOLLARS, IN PREPERATION OF THE PLAY.
AMY (RAY-NER) REHNER... THE DIRECTOR'S ASSISTANT... BELIEVES HOUSTON COUNTY HAS HIDDEN TALENT WAITING TO BE DISPLAYED.

AMY REHNER, NUTCRACKER OF HOUSTON COUNTY "So many people don't realize that we have incredible talent right here in Warner Robins, in Perry, in Macon. They don't realize how much talent we have."


THE LAST PERFORMANCE WILL BE TOMORROW AT 3PM.
TICKETS WILL BE 15 DOLLARS.

DESPITE A SNOWSTORM RAGING IN THE CAPITOL...

THE U-S SENATE ISN'T TAKING THE WEEKEND OFF FROM DEBATING THEIR HEALTHCARE LEGISLATION.
WE'LL LET YOU KNOW WHAT CAME OF TODAY'S SESSION... WHEN EYEWITNESS NEWS AT 11 CONTINUES.

SENATE DEMOCRATS HAVE REACHED THEIR GOAL.
THEY'VE SECURED ENOUGH VOTES TO PUSH THROUGH HEALTHCARE LEGISLATION IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS.
BUT REPUBLICANS ARE CALLING IT A RUSH JOB.
CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT TERRELL BROWN REPORTS FROM WASHINGTON.



President Obama may get the Christmas present he wants most this year--- healthcare reform.



After much wrangling, Senate Democrats have secured the votes they need to push through the legislation.



SOT: (President Obama)"Today is a major step forward for the American people. After a nearly century long struggle we are on the cusp of making health care reform a reality in the United States of America."



Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson was the final holdout. Democrats need all Senators in their party and two Independents to back the bill to give them a 60 vote majority.



Senator Nelson demanded and was granted concessions on abortion and other issues before offering his support.



:33-:42 (Senator Ben Nelson/D-Nebraska) "I truly believe that a competitive healthcare system will lower costs and provide better healthcare for the American people."



The legislation will extend coverage to an estimated thirty million more Americans. The Senate version drops a government-run insurance option as contained in the House bill....but adds penalties on companies that raise prices before the legislation goes into effect.



:56-1:07 Standup: (Terrell Brown/Washington) "The bill will likely be passed in the Senate by Christmas Eve, meeting the President's goal. It didn't come easy- here in Washington senators had to battle a blizzard just to get to the capital early this morning."



But inside- there was a firestorm of debate. Republican senators are outraged over the legislation and the intense push to vote before the holiday break.



1:15-1:20 (SOT SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL/R-KY) "THIS BILL IS A LEGISLATIVE TRAIN WRECK OF HISTORIC PROPORTIONS."



1:20-1:26 (SEN. OLYMPIA SNOWE/R-ME) "WE ARE GOING TO RUSH IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS TO GET IT DONE AND IT COULD REALLY HAVE SOME SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES."



nats reading



Republicans ordered a reading of the 383 page amendment to the bill as a delaying tactic. They vow the fight isn't over yet.



But with the first vote on the legislation scheduled for one a-m monday morning.....Democrats are claiming victory.

IF THE BILL IS APPROVED NEXT WEEK, DISCUSSIONS WILL BEGIN AFTER THE HOLIDAYS ON MERGING THE SENATE AND HOUSE VERSIONS.

PEOPLE AND THEIR PETS HEADED TO THE MACON DOG PARK THIS AFTERNOON... FOR A HOLIDAY TREAT.

FRIENDS OF THE MACON DOG PARK ORGANIZED AN OUTDOOR HOLIDAY PARTY FOR THE DOGS.
THEY HAD A BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS... AND SANTA WAS EVEN THERE TO JOIN IN ON THE FUN.
THEY HAD VENDORS WHO SUPPLIED FOOD LIKE HOT DOGS FOR THE PEOPLE AND TREATS FOR THE PUPS.

TRACI FREEMAN, FRIENDS OF THE MACON DOG PARK :15 "It's a great place to socialize and bring their animals and let them socialize and you socialize and it's just a fun place to come."
SHARILYN RUBERTI "We come out here every weekend. I'm normally a Sunday regular and my dog sassy runs around like crazy and makes friends. We saw the paper advertised on the bulletin board so I made sure to write it in my calendar."

YOU CAN VISIT THE MACON DOG PARK ON THE CORNER OF CHESTNUT AND ADAMS STREETS FROM SUN UP TO SUN DOWN... SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

YOU'RE SNAPPING LOTS OF PHOTOS AS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY GET READY TO CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAYS THIS YEAR.

HERE'S ZYAN... LOOKING FOR CHRISTMAS PRESENTS UNDER THE TREE.

AND THIS IS MONTY. HE'S EAGERLY WAITING FOR SANTA TO ARRIVE WITH *HIS* PRESENTS.

SEND US YOUR PHOTOS...LOOK FOR *PHOTO GALLERIES* IN THE MENU BAR ACROSS THE TOP OF OUR HOMEPAGE...

THANKS FOR JOINING US.
THE NEWS CONTINUES ALL DAY EVERY DAY... ON 13WMAZ DOT COM.

JOIN US AT SEVEN A-M FOR WEEKEND MORNIN.

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