A Christmas Blessing from Rome tonight...as the Pope addresses the faithful from the Vatican.
Good evening, everyone, and Merry Christmas to those of you celebrating this evening.
I'm Kenny Burgamy.
Frank and Leah have the night off.
On this Christmas Eve, with some of you attending worship services or possibly planning morning travels, we're watching the weather closely as the possibility for some storms looms in the forecast and dense fog has settled in the area.
Meteorologist John Boyer is tracking things in the weather center.
John-- how are things shaping up?
<Tonight (Christmas Eve)... Widespread dense fog. Dense Fog Advisory until 9 AM for Macon and north Central Georgia. Otherwise mostly cloudy with isolated rain showers. Lows near 50.
Tuesday (Christmas Day)... Mostly cloudy with fog and isolated showers in the morning. Rain likely in the afternoon, possibly thunderstorms. Highs ranging from the upper 50s north to mid 60s south.
Tuesday Night... Mostly cloudy with thunderstorms likely. Lows in the mid 50s Storms may be severe. Make sure you are able to receive weather warnings.>
Thank you, John. We'll check in with you again in a few minutes.
In other news tonight, A state judge has temporarily suspended a Georgia law banning abortions for women who are beyond 20 weeks pregnant.
The law bans doctors from performing abortions five months after an egg is fertilized,
except when doctors decide a fetus has a defect so severe it is unlikely to live.
The law also makes an exception to protect the life or health of the mother, though that does not apply to a mother's mental health.
The ACLU of Georgia filed a lawsuit on behalf of three obstetricians challenging the law's constitutionality. The organization says the law violates the state's privacy protections under the state constitution.
It was set to take effect January first, but is now in limbo...pending further court action. .
A holiday tragedy in Baldwin County...as a 21 year old shoots his girlfriend...and then himself.
Baldwin Sheriff Bill Massee says it happened at Georgetown Village Apartments off Highway 49.
He says Travis Anderson shot 22-year-old Jalisa Scott in the head several times at her apartment.... Before committing suicide.
Anderson was pronounced dead at the apartment....and Scott died at a nearby hospital.
Anderson's aunt says the two had been dating for about a year...and were the parents of a five month old, who was in another room when it happened.
The sheriff says a troubled relationship built up to this morning's events.
<it's our understanding from doing a neighborhood canvas that they had had some arguments. It was clearly a domestic violence issue. They had separated, they were having some domestic problems and it boiled over into a terrible, terrible suicide and a homicide>
The sheriff doesn't know who owned the gun.
He says an autopsy will be performed on Scott.
Former President George H-W Bush will spend Christmas in a Houston hospital.
That's despite doctors' hopes last week that he'd be released before the holiday.
Doctors haven't set a discharge date because they want to make sure the 88-year-old builds up his strength.
Bush has been hospitalized for about a month after getting bronchitis.
A signature health care law upheld...and a re-election victory.
A couple of the highlights from 2012 for the President of the United States.
Every year, CNN names a Most Intriguing Person of the Year... And this year, it's the commander in chief.
Just last week, President Obama received the accolade of becoming Time Magazine's Person of the Year.
Today...some Central Georgians spent the last few hours before merchants closed for the holiday...finishing off their Christmas lists.
Shoppers could be seen walking the corridors of the Macon mall, some combing through aisles for deals... Others, seeking that elusive perfect gift for friends and family.
But as Ross McLaughlin (McGLOCKlin), from our sister station WXIA explains, there's something different about the way many of you are shopping this year...starting with what you're buying.
Whether buying gifts, or...
Debt INT 4 SOT: "Ham, turkey wings, mac and cheese"
Last minute dinner needs. Things are looking brighter for consumers.
According to recent research from the Federal Reserve, Americans are carrying the lowest amount of debt in nearly 30 year years.
Research show 10.6 percent of after tax dollars are servicing household debt. It hasn't been that low since 1983.
INT 4 1:01 "I can't speak for no one else but for me it's great. My debt is very low."
INT 05 :36 "A lot of people are going by cash now. They're not using credit cards."
But does that translate into more money spent? A recent survey showed that 17 percent planned to spend less this year.
INT 05 :40 "I think people are very aware of the essentials and sticking with that. There's not a lot of frivolous spending."
However indicators are retail sales are up with sales expected to top 586 billion dollars this holiday season.
(S/ Bill Martin / Founder and EVP of Shoppertrak 1:04 - 1:14)
"And if we recall black Friday did about 11.2 billion dollars in sales but they had very strong results compared to last year. Retailers are hoping that the consumers will come back and deliver those same strong results."
And despite talk of the fiscal cliff. Consumers appear optimistic.
INTO 4 1:07 Ross: "Going into the new year, how do you feel?"
INT 4 1:11 "Great, great, excited about making more money."
More money in your pocket..
(nats red kettle bells)
Means more money for giving.
Sot: "Thank so kindly.">
If you're one of those who budgets carefully... You may find yourself amending your grocery list early next year.
Beginning in January, you could be paying as much as seven dollars for a gallon of milk if Congress doesn't step in.
With all the concerns over the fiscal cliff, several other legislative matters are falling by the wayside...including a stalled farm bill.
The Senate has passed a new farm bill, but the House hasn't.
Several protections for farmers have already expired, and several more are set to do so over the next few months.
If Congress doesn't act before then, the U-S would revert back to a 63-year-old dairy policy.
That would force the government to buy milk at inflated prices, driving up the cost for everyone.
A couple Central Georgians took on a major project this christmas, pretty much on a whim.
Candace Adorka spoke to the organizers of a bike drive in warner robins and another in macon about the challenge of gathering 100 bicycles in a matter of days.
A pair of brothers in Warner robins....
and a pair of friends in Macon... Came up with the same idea about 2 weeks ago.
<trying to get 100 bikes by christmas eve to give out to famililes>
<come together and see how many bikes we could collect>
the two bike drives were independent of each other-- but they drew the same broad smiles.
<it was one of my favorites and it was an early christmas present.>
Renotto Solomon's giveaway was at Northside High.
He says a bike drive was natural, because he never outgrew his love of bikes...
<since I was in a bike club-- I'm part of the notorious ones, adults do ride bikes still, so we wanted to branch out and give out to the kids.>
Events promoter Larry Guyton, gave out his bikes at the Olympia skate center in Macon. His idea was to spread the magic of a new bike on christmas.
<they joy of opening up a present or seeing that bike that you wanted and riding it around on christmas day, it's just something special.>
For these first-time bike-drive organizers, gathering 100 bikes in a few days was a tall order,
<traveling around town, going to walmart, trying to collect as many bikes as possible from the citizens of macon and bibb.>
but they pushed hard, motivated by the same sentiment.
<we're form this area, and we pretty just wanted to give back>
<I feel like I've been blessed with the support of the community at my events and my different functions so I felt like I should do something to try to give back with some of those funds>
Guyton collected 97 bikes, just shy of his goal.
Solomon says he gathered around 65, but it's only served to motivate him more for next year.
<my main goal for next year is for every kid to get a bike so if you're out there and you're listening, and you have a bike in your garage, I'll start collecting them today just call me.>
Still, this year, many would argue each bike drive was a resounding success.
<thank you and merry christmas>
Candace Adorka 13 wmaz eyewitness News
Solomon and Guyton say they collected the bikes from around the community and bought several with their money.
Several groups are helping out...Central Georgians looking for a good meal on Christmas Day.
Here are a few of them...
The Macon Rescue Mission at 774 Hazel Street will serve a full Christmas meal with turkey and ham starting at 11:30 a.m. until around 2 p.m. They say they're are prepared for as many people that need to eat there.
The Salvation Army at 1955 Broadway will also serve up a holiday feast....from Noon tomorrow until around 2 p.m.
Heritage on Houston Avenue.... at 4116 Houston Avenue...will welcome the community starting at 11:30 a.m. and going through the afternoon.
For more information on holiday meals around the region....look for this story at 13WMAZ-dot-com.
It's a likely story this holiday week...the kids are going crazy and the relatives have cabin fever.
Why not take time-out at the movies>
Writer and director Quentin Tarantino's latest project "Django unchained" (prono: jang-go) takes moviegoers to the deep south.
Jamie Foxx plays a former slave - turned bounty hunter on a dangerous mission to free his wife from a ruthless plantation owner played by Leonardo Dicaprio.
"Django Unchained" also stars Samuel L. Jackson and Kerry Washington.
It's rated r with a warning for language.
Victor Hugo's literary classic "Les Miserables" is transformed once again on the big screen.
Set in post-revolutionary france, the legendary Jean Valjean agrees to care for a factory worker's young daughter, all why trying to stay one step ahead of a policeman who has it out for him.
The all-star cast includes Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe
"Les Mis" is rated pg-13.
What happens when 21st century kids are left in the care of their old-school grandparents?
In "Parental Guidance" Billy Crystal and Bette Midler are in charge, but they're going to have to 'get with the times" if they're going to survive this babysitting job.
But sometimes...the grandparents know best.
"Parental Guidance" is rated pg.
Tonight, meet our Facebook Fan of the Day.
Sandra Bullard... Congratulations and thanks for liking us on Facebook.
E-mail us at fanoftheday at 13WMAZ dot com...to claim your coffee mug.
You too can be a fan of the day.
Just like us...and join some of the conversations on our page.
And finally, some sad news tonight... Jack Klugman, best known as the messy sports writer in TV's "The Odd Couple", has died.
He passed away at his California home today with his wife, Peggy, at his side.
Klugman first acted in "The Odd Couple" on Broadway before famously teaming up with Tony Randall for 1970s sitcom.
He won two Emmys in that role.
He also starred as Doctor Quincy in the drama "Quincy M.E." from 19-76 to 19-83.
Klugman was 90-years-old.
Thank you for joining us... Mornin' comes your way at a special time for Christmas morning at 6 a.m.
The news is always on at 13WMAZ dot com.
Stay tuned for special Christmas programming next.
Have a safe night everyone.