HELLO EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR JOINING US....I'M FRANK MALLOY.
THIS IS EYEWITNESS NEWS AT SIX..
LEAH JOHNSON HAS THE NIGHT OFF..
IT'S BEEN ABOUT A YEAR SINCE THE MACON HOUSING AUTHORITY SET OUT TO REPLACE MACON HOMES.
NEXT MONTH... THEY PLAN TO HOLD A RIBBON CUTTING FOR THE NEW BARTLETT CROSSING SUBDIVISION.
AS CANDACE ADORKA REPORTS... SOME RESIDENTS OF THE NEW HOMES SAY THE PROJECT EMPOWERS THE WHOLE NEIGHBORHOOD.
CHRISTOPHER HEATH SAYS TEN YEARS AGO... HE COULDN'T IMAGINE LIVING IN THIS IDYLLIC SUBDIVISION.
"This used to be the projects, the baddest neighborhood in Macon."
TEN YEARS AGO... HE SAYS HE WAS PART OF THE PROBLEM.
"Selling dope, robbing, stealing, I was one of those little knuckleheads doing the same thing."
HEATH SPENT THE LAST DECADE IN PRISON FOR ROBBERY... WHERE HE SAYS HE OUTGREW HIS CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES.
AND WHEN HE CAME BACK...
"It's beautiful. Whoa! God, I can't explain it."
THE OLD ABANDONED BUILDINGS HAD TRANSFORMEPD INTO 75 SINGLE FAMILY HOMES WITH BALCONIES AND MANICURED LAWNS.
Candace Adorka: "These 14 acres used to be macon homes... 40 multi family buildings that disintegrated into an eyesore and a haven for crime... Now heath says fear and violence have been replaced by pride and a sense of community."
Heath: "Everyday you see somebody watching out for each other's houses, walking up and down the street waving at each other... it's beautiful, the kids play together."
Cpt. Eric Woodford: "I mean it's a complete 180 degree turnaround."
CAPTAIN ERIC WOODFORD IS THE COMANDER OF PRECINCT 3, WHICH INCLUDES BARTLETT CROSSING.
HE SAYS NOW POLICING THE AREA IS ABOUT STAYING A STEP AHEAD OF CRIME.
"Before we had to come because people were calling us because there were issues in the community. Now it's so quiet, we kind of ride through and we become more proactive now."
***nats kids on trampoline***
HEATH SAYS BARTLETT CROSSING HAS INSIPRED HIS CAREER GOAL.
HE WANTS TO TAKE UP ARICHITECTURE AND DESIGN NEIGBORHOODS LIKE THIS THAT CAN SHOW PEOPLE A DIFFERENT PATH THAN THE ONE HE TOOK.
Heath: "This is what I wanna be doing. Getting people back on their feet, show then that there is a positive out look on life and they can achieve it."
IN THE MEANTIME... HEATH SAYS HE'LL CHERISH EACH DAY WITH HIS FAMILY KNOWING THE DANGER OF THE PAST HAS BEEN REDUCED TO RUBBLE.
CANDACE ADORKA 13 WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS.
>> JOHN HISCOX... DIRECTOR OF THE MACON HOUSING AUTHORITY SAYS ALL THE UNITS ARE OCCUPIED... AND THEY'RE JUST PUTTING FINISHING TOUCHES ON THE SUBDIVISION... INCLUDING A RETENTION POND.
THE TWIGGS COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE CONTINUES TO SEARCH FOR A MISSING MAN.
THEY SAY 47-YEAR-OLD.... TROY DONAVAN BURNETT WAS LAST SEEN TUESDAY ON HIGHWAY EIGHTY EAST.
HE'S FIVE FOOT FIVE... 150 POUNDS AND WAS LAST SEEN WEARING A BLUE WINDBREAKER... DARK T-SHIRT AND BLUE JEANS.
INVESTIGATORS SAY HE TAKES SEIZURE MEDICINE... AND MAY BE DISORIENTED WITHOUT IT.
TWIGGS COUNTY SHERIFF... DARREN MITCHUM SAYS THEY WILL CONTINUE TO SEARCH THE AREA WITH A K-9 UNIT.
James Coleman: "We haven't had a scent we're just working on the sheriff said the last place they saw him was walking down this road and he wanted to work the edge of the woods and just make sure that he wasn't in the edge of the woods hurt or anything like that."
SHERIFF MITCHUM SAYS HE CHECKS THE HOSPITALS IN SURROUNDING COUNTIES EVERYDAY.
IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ON BURNETT... YOU CAN CALL THE TWIGGS COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE AT (478) 945-3357.
AGAIN THAT NUMBER IS 945-3357.
CHRISTMAS HAS COME AND GONE... BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN PEOPLE ARE THROUGH SHOPPING.
TODAY... MANY FOLKS CAME TO THE MACON MALL LOOKING TO DO EVERYTHING FROM EXCHANGING GIFTS TO BUYING A LITTLE SOMETHING FOR THEMSELVES.
AS AUSTIN LEWIS TELLS US... SOME SHOPPERS SAY THEY ARE FINDING THE BEST DEALS ON THE DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS.
SHIRLEY RAINES OF MACON IS TAKING A BREAK---AFTER DOING A LITTLE POST-HOLIDAY SHOPPING.
SHE SAYS SHE ORIGINALLY CAME TO MACON MALL TO EXCHANGE A GIFT---BUT THE DEALS AT THE STORE KEPT HER THERE.
Shirley Raines, Macon: Well, I really come to exchange, but I am getting sucked into buying stuff, because it's a little bit cheaper and it's what I really, really want.
SOME SHOPPERS ARE LOOKING FOR MORE THAN JUST DEALS---THEY ARE HOPING TO BUY SOMETHING SPECIFIC.
Crysta Williams, Macon: Me and my man got some outfits here for New Years.
OTHERS ARE LOOKING AHEAD TO NEXT YEAR.
Melba Hubbard, Musella: This is when we always buy our seasonal items, we wait to buy them after Christmas, so we can have them for next Christmas.
Austin Lewis, Eyewitness News: Shoppers tell me that they are finding items for 50, 60, 75 percent off or even more.
Shirley Raines, Macon: They're like 50 percent off last week, now they're like 80 percent off, so when you exchange one pair, instead of going through the ticket tape, you can just get another pair for like 15 dollars and save the difference.
AND A FEW SHOPPERS SAY THEY ARE FINDING DEALS NOW---THAT ARE BETTER THAN THEY SAW ON BLACK FRIDAY.
Essie Simmons, Macon: For instance, it's a better sale now, because the things that they have now are really marked down so they can get them out the store quicker and faster. And if I had went on Black Friday they had to go all the way through Christmas, so they'd be still marked up.
AND THOSE MARKED DOWN PRICES---IS WHAT MANY OF THESE SHOPPERS SAY THEY ARE FINDING DURING THE POST-HOLIDAY SEASON.
AUSTIN LEWIS 13WMAZ EYEWITNESS NEWS. >>
WE ALSO STOPPED BY SHOPS OFF OF PRESIDENTIAL PARKWAY---AND SOME OF THE BIG STORES LIKE BEST BUY AND TARGET'S PARKING LOTS WERE FULL OF CUSTOMERS.
WHILE SOME FOLKS HIT THE STORES TODAY... OTHERS HIT THE ROAD.
THE OFFICIAL CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY TRAVEL PERIOD CONTINUES THROUGH MIDNIGHT... ACCORDING TO THE STATE'S PUBLIC SAFETY DEPARTMENT.
HERE'S A LIVE LOOK AT THE TRAFFIC FLOWING ON I-475 USING A D-O-T TRAFFIC CAMERA.
WHEN SEVERE WEATHER STRIKES.. IT'S IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO KEEP UP WITH THE LATEST WATCHES AND WARNINGS.
AND NOW.. YOU HAVE A NEW WAY TO DO IT.
13WMAZ IS LAUNCHING A NEW TEXT ALERT SYSTEM WITH NEW FEATURES TO HELP CUSTOMIZE THE INFORMATION YOU RECEIVE.... LIKE AUTOMATED SEVERE WEATHER TEXT- ALERTS... SPECIFIC TO YOUR COUNTY.
IF YOU HAVEN'T SIGNED UP FOR THE NEW SYSTEM... YOU'LL STOP GETTING ALERTS SOON.
TO SIGN UP... JUST VISIT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
SCROLL DOWN... AND LOOK FOR THE LINK TO SIGN UP FOR TEXT MESSAGES ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE PAGE.
PARTS OF CENTRAL GEORGIA COULD SEE SOME SEVERE WEATHER TOMORROW.. RIGHT DAVID?
TONIGHT... OVERCAST AND WINDY WITH SHOWERS LIKELY AFTER MIDNIGHT. LOWS IN THE NEAR 50S.
TUESDAY... OVERCAST AND WINDY WITH RAIN LIKELY IN THE MORNING. HIGHS NEAR 60. SEVERE WEATHER IS POSSIBLE FOR THE SOUTHEASTERN PART OF THE VIEWING AREA. RAIN CHANCES DIMINISH DURING THE AFTERNOON.
TUESDAY NIGHT... CLEARING AND WINDY WITH LOWS IN THE MID 30S.
THANKS DAVID.. WE'LL TALK WITH YOU AGAIN IN JUST A FEW MINUTES.
TONIGHT MARKS THE FIRST NIGHT OF KWANZAA.
THE CELEBRATION OF AFRICAN CULTURE.. HISTORY AND COMMUNITY LASTS THROUGH JANUARY FIRST... AND IT'S BASED ON SEVEN PRINCIPLES.
TONIGHT CELEBRATES UNITY IN FAMILIES... COMMUNITIES... NATIONS AND WITHIN THE AFRICAN CULTURE.
YOU STILL HAVE SOME TIME TO GET OUT TO THE DOUGLASS THEATRE IN MACON... FOR THE 19TH ANNUAL UNITY DAY.
THE CELEBRATION BEGINS AT SEVEN... AND WILL FEATURE A TRADITIONAL AFRICAN DRUMMER'S CIRCLE... POETRY... SONGS... AND PUPPETRY.
KWANZAA EVENTS CONTINUE ALL WEEK... AND MOST ARE FREE TO THE PUBLIC.
IT'S NEARLY TAX SEASON... AND IF YOU DON'T QUITE KNOW WHERE TO GET STARTED PREPARING... DON'T WORRY.
SHERRI GOSS WITH ROSENBERG FINANCIAL GROUP IS HERE WITH SOME TIPS.
WE'RE IN THE FINAL WEEK OF 2011... AND THE CITY OF MACON HAS PLANS TO BRING IN THE NEW YEAR WITH A LITTLE PINK STYLE.
FESTIVITIES FOR THE CHERRY BLOSSOM BALL DROP WILL START SATURDAY NIGHT AT NINE.
MUSIC... GAMES AND FIREWORKS WILL HELP FOLKS USHER IN 2012.
SO TODAY'S 13WMAZ DOT COM WEB POLL ASKS... ARE YOU GOING OUT ON NEW YEAR'S EVE?
SO FAR 84 PERCENT OF YOU SAY NO... YOU PLAN TO STAY HOME.
16 PERCENT SAY YES... YOU'LL GO OUT.
VOTE NOW... LOOK FOR THE QUESTION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOMEPAGE AT 13WMAZ DOT COM.
SOME PEOPLE TOOK A STROLL THROUGH MACON'S MUSICAL PAST TODAY... WITH THE ROCK CANDY WALKING TOUR.
THEY STARTED AT WASHINGTON PARK... AND CONTINUED DOWN COLLEGE STREET AND THROUGH THE COLLEGE HILL CORRIDOR.
THE TOUR VISITED SOME OF THE HOMES THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND STAYED IN WHILE RECORDING THEIR FIRST ALBUM.
IT ALSO INCLUDED A STOP AT THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE FIRST ROCK AND ROLL T-SHIRT.
TOUR OPERATOR JESSICA WALDEN SAYS THE TOUR GOT STARTED AS A WAY TO SHOW OFF MACON'S MUSICAL HISTORY... AFTER THE GEORGIA MUSIC HALL OF FAME CLOSED.
WALDEN SAYS THEY PLAN TO ADD A TROLLEY TOUR IN JANUARY... AND HAVE WALKING TOURS EVERY OTHER WEEKEND.
THANKS FOR JOINING US.... WE'LL BE BACK TONIGHT AT 11.
BUT REMEMBER...THE NEWS IS ALWAYS ON AT 13WMAZ.COM !
THE CBS EVENING NEWS IS UP NEXT.
HAVE A SAFE NIGHT EVERYONE.