This is Eyewitness News at 11.
Good evening and thanks for joining us for eyewitness news at eleven. I'm Jennifer Moulliet.
Renay Wingfield: "At night when everyone goes to sleep I just go in my little corner in there and cry and just pray."
Yesterday we told you about a New Jersey family that's squatting here in Macon...looking for a way back home.
Tonight it looks like their luck is turning around.
Viewers have opened up their hearts to the Wingfield family...bringing them coats, gallons of water.
One viewer has even offered their home...letting the family stay with them...until enough money can be raised for bus tickets back to New Jersey.
As Austin Lewis reports...the way that Central Georgians have opened up their hearts has left the family overwhelmed with gratitude.
Andrea:"We woke up to people knocking on the door giving...it's like you've been trying for so hard and now it's just pouring in and you're just overwhelmed."
"Water , juice, toothpaste."
Renay Wingfield says two people came with bags full of these essentials... gallons of water...socks for her kids and toothpaste.
Renay: "And there was two ladies standing there with food in their hands and breakfast for us."
The Wingfields have been squatting at this Macon home for about a month with no running water or electricity.
They share a mattress...and use a propane heater to stay warm and cook their food.
A day after we brought you their story...people brought help...and snacks that their children rarely have.
Andrea: "it's something that I can't provide but other people are trying to help provide and that makes it even better because it's love that doing it, it's not just me doing it. "
And the best part-- they're also leaving this all behind...because viewers opened up their home to them.
Renay; "I'm just amazed that I will never have to spend another night here in this house again or be cold or think about how far I am going to walk to wash the children or wash the clothes or think about how they're going to get water or get fed."
Andrea: "I don't have to worry about people walking in the house I could secure the door, uuh, those are big things and that would be wiped out."
But Wingfields say leaving this house behind is taking them one step closer to home.
Andrea: "We really focus on getting back to New Jersey because New Jersey we have a support system we have housing we have some help that we don't have in Macon."
Austin Lewis 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.
Now the viewers that we met who are trying to help the Wingfields wish to remain anonymous.
For more on how you can help...check out this story on our website at 13wmaz dot com.
For the second day in a row hundreds of people protested outside the headquarters of the Long Island Power Authority in Hicksville, NY.
Demonstrators are protesting LIPA's slow response to Hurricane Sandy.
Many held signs that read "Honk for Heat"
Saturday marks 13 days for some people still without power since Super Storm Sandy hit the New York area.
The Long Island power company said Saturday afternoon almost 140,000 homes and businesses are still without power.
Lorraine Karperias: "In my neighbor's backyard a live wire went down the day of the storm.. caused a fire in the neighbor's yard... I reported it... they never sent anybody to tend to it... after five days they sent a truck to sit in front of my house... It's now been 13 days... nobody doing nothing. Not one truck we say in 13 days!"
Officials of the Long Island Power Authority and the National Power Grid held a press conference today to address concerns concerning the restoration of power in Suffolk and Nassau counties in the continuing aftermath of Super Storm Sandy.
Bruckner: "So again, we continue to make progress on the restoration. We've restored 93 percent of the customers that can safely accept power. Over a million customers have been restored to date, and 130 thousand remain."
Bruckner says he understands his customers frustration.. But says they won't stop until each and every customers power is restored.
When Congress returns next week, there's a big challenge facing the lawmakers.
They have to avoid the fiscal cliff.
Athena Jones takes a look.
"It's time to get back to work."
WITH THE ELECTION IN THE REARVIEW MIRROR, THE FOCUS IN WASHINGTON IS BACK ON EFFORTS TO AVOID THE ECONOMICALLY DEVASTATING FISCAL CLIFF.
"If we just go over the cliff and let those policies stay in effect, we're basically going to undo the recovery. Neither party really wants to be blamed for that."
THE CLIFF AMOUNTS TO SEVEN TRILLION DOLLARS IN SPENDING CUTS AND TAX INCREASES OVER THE NEXT DECADE.
THE THREAT OF THESE PAINFUL CUTS-- SET TO BEGIN ON JANUARY FIRST-- IS PART OF A DEAL CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT MADE LAST YEAR TO FORCE THEM TO AGREE ON A LONG-TERM DEFICIT REDUCTION PLAN.
"This is an unprecedented scenario that Congress has, basically put a gun to its own head and said if we don't act, we're gonna shoot ourselves."
SO FAR, THAT LONG-TERM PLAN, HASN'T MATERIALIZED.
THE BIGGEST CHUNK OF THE CLIFF?
THE BUSH TAX CUTS.
THEY'RE ALSO A BIG STICKING POINT.
DEMOCRATS INSIST CUTS FOR FAMILIES MAKING 250-THOUSAND DOLLARS OR MORE MUST END.
"If we're serious about reducing the deficit, we have to combine spending cuts with revenue and that means asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more in taxes."
REPUBLICANS SAY THAT WILL HURT THE ECONOMY.
"Feeding the growth of government through higher tax rates won't help us solve the problem."
BUT THE SPEAKER ALSO SIGNALED WHAT COULD BE AN OPENING-- SAYING RAISING MORE REVENUE IS NOW ON THE TABLE AS LONG AS IT COMES FROM TAX REFORM AND NOT HIGHER RATES.
ONE THING THAT'S CLEAR-- LAWMAKERS WANT THE PRESIDENT TO BE INVOLVED IN ANY DEAL-MAKING
"I think it's important for us to come to an agreement with the president, but this is his opportunity to lead."
AND TAXES AREN'T THE ONLY HANG-UP.
CONGRESS ALSO HAS TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO REDUCE SPENDING ON ENTITLEMENTS LIKE SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE-- THE DEMOCRATS' SACRED COWS.
WITH THE BALANCE OF POWER UNCHANGED ON CAPITOL HILL-- FINDING THAT ELUSIVE COMMON GROUND ON THESE ISSUES COULD BE TOUGH-- BOTH IN THE LAME DUCK SESSION-- AND BEYOND.
A SHORT-TERM DEAL THAT POSTPONES THE CLIFF APPEARS MOST LIKELY.
"Just give everybody a little bit of time, a little bit of breathing room to get back next year and, in the meantime, think about what and exactly how you want to do this and give everybody time to negotiate quite frankly."
IT'S SURE BE A LONG AND ROCKY ROAD AHEAD.
On Friday, the president will host a White House meeting with Congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle.
On this holiday weekend -- one bay area hospital is offering hope for veterans whose service included a heavy sacrifice.
cbs 5 reporter anne makeover shows us the groundbreaking program-- helping amputee athletes overcome the most daunting physical challenges.
on this holiday weekend -- one bay area hospital is offering hope for veterans whose service included a heavy sacrifice.
VETERAN DAVID LADD WAS INJURED IN IRAQ IN 2006...
HE DOESN'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT HOW HE LOST HIS LEG. BUT WILL TALK ABOUT HOW HE'S FELT SINCE.
I just didn't understand what it is i could do anymore and nothing jivved anymore.
WITH A LITTLE MORE DISTANCE AND TIME UNDER HIS BELT, THIS VIETNAM VET SHARES HIS STORY.
The sapper came in, it was nighttime, i laid on top of the satchel, the sapper laid down and it blew me up.
RETURNING FROM WAR WITHOUT HIS LEGS WAS ANOTHER BATTLE.
Of course back then, it was what it was, it was difficult to integrate in. i stayed a hermit for about 5 years. lived on the backside of a mountain.
Anne Makovec, San Francisco - "These guys are part of UCSF's brand new program, the first in the country for civilian amputee athletes."
Matthew Garibaldi, Director of Prosthetics at UCSF- "you can have a very expensive prosthesis, but if you don't have the training modalities to help a patient use it to its full potential, it's completely useless."
SO EXPERTS HERE ARE TRAINING VETS AND CIVILIANS ON MAKING THE BEST OF THEIR SITUATIONS.
WOODVILLE HAS CERTAINLY STEPPED UP.
HE PARTICIPATED IN THE ESCAPE FROM ALCALTRAZ TRIATHALON LAST YEAR.
"If it's a challenge and you accomplish it, it's that much sweeter, if it's easy, it's no big deal."
"some people tell me, don't worry, you're the same as you were, blah blah blah, it's not the case."
BUT LADD IS SLOWLY LEARNING HOW MUCH HE *CAN DO INSTEAD OF CONCENTRATING ON WHAT HE *CAN'T.
"it's just like an eye opener, it's so inperceptable that these changes are being made, but they are, every day."
This weekend... Military veterans and service members still on active duty... Can get free admission to Georgia's state... national parks... And historic sites.
Sites operated by the National Park Service are waiving admission fees for past and present military service members during the three-day Veterans Day weekend.
The agency has nearly 400 parks nationwide.
The traditional date for Veterans Day falls on Sunday, but the federal holiday will be observed Monday.
Kroger supermarkets are making a big commitment to folks who have served in the military... As well.
The company has announced they will hire 120-thousand veterans by the year 20-20.
Right now.....About 10-thousand veterans work for Kroger throughout their 25-hundred stores across the country.
Gary Huddleston says, "as our veterans return from both Afghanistan and maybe from Iraq, it's important that we do give them a job and offer them a job."
"I think it's a benefit for Kroger and for the veterans because of the leadership abilities that the veterans bring to the table," says veteran Gerald Burson.
Kroger has also set up a group to help those employees receive extra education, mentoring and networking opportunities.
Women from three local churches around Macon join hands to help women around the world.
Bless These Hands is a group of women made up of the High Street Unitarian Universalist Church... First Baptist Church of Christ... and St Josephs Catholic Church. They came together to celebrate the third annual fair trade festival.
Crafters set up booths at High Street Park to promote fair trade and raise money to help women locally and abroad.
The festival is in its third year...selling products made by women in countries where a fair wage is not recognized.
Tina Clark, Bless These Hands- "For example, the booth I'm doing here is café campisino which is out of Americas. But there's fair trade coffee from Guatmala, Bolivia, and Columbia. And we have fair trade crafts here from India, Haiti, Uganda."
Ramona Mastrangelo, Bless These Hands- "We have things from Bangladesh, India. We have different soups, teas made from all different countries, Vietnam, all over."
The event lasted five hours. All proceeds will go back to original crafters.
A group of wood sculptors carved for a cause in Jones County today.
The annual Chaptacular Chainsaw Carving Bash is in 5th year.
The event attracts carvers equipped with chainsaws who spend the day chipping away at wood.
Chap Nelson organized the event to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
That's something close to his heart..since his nephew was diagnosed five years ago.
His passion fuels the event...turning what once was a hobby...into a cause.
Organizer Chap Nelson says, "six guys turned into 12, then guys turned into 24. We're right at 30 carvers this year."
"Oh yea, I brought all my saws and things with me. You know, here to carve. You've got to have tools for the trade," says chainsaw sculptor Joe Armstrong.
Carvers came from eight different states...among those 30 carvers...three of them were female. Prices for sculpts ranged from $40 to $500
That is the show for tonight... We'll see you back here for Eyewitness News Mornin
But the news is always on at 13wmaz dot com....