Our top story tonight..
Organizers of tomorrow's Independence Celebration in Warner Robins... Say a little rain... won't dampen the fun.
But plans could change... If severe weather rolls in.
As Katelyn Heck tells us.. The fireworks show is still on as long as the weather cooperates..
The stage is nearly set...
for the annual Independence celebration.
<it's going to have the best fireworks show ever>
But what if lighting and thunder take over the sky?
if the gates aren't open to the public and there's a threat, then we won't open the gates. If we open the gates and five minutes later there's a threat, then we'll announce that and close the gates back.>
Organizer Allen Tatman says they'll keep a close watch on weather conditions throughout the entire event.
we've got warner robins police department, houston emergency management, warner robins fire department, cert teams. Everybody is here, in place, with established chains of command to handle any emergency and keep the public safe.>
He says showers won't wash away their plans.
<bring an umbrella>
But if severe weather rolls in...
we would stop immediately, if it's in the middle of a song, if it's in the middle of the fireworks. it's happened in the past where we've stopped and rode out a storm and started back and the people came back and it was great. We'll make every effort to have a show, and a good show.
If rocky weather stays through the night...Tatman says his team will have to pick another date to put on the fireworks display.
He says... Unfortunately... Most of the 80-thousand dollar budget for the event has already been spent... So the rescheduled show would be much smaller.
but we're just going to pray it doesn't rain okay? We're just going to pray it doesn't rain.
Even with a few pop-up storms throughout the week... The set-up has continued...rain... Or shine.
parts of the backstage area are still pretty flooded, but organizers say they've been able to rope off those areas and work around them pretty easily
But the rest of the stadium is ready for floods of people... To come enjoy the show.
Katelyn Heck 13WMAZ Eyewitness News
The gates are scheduled to open tomorrow night at 6... With the concert starting at 8. Fireworks are scheudled to start around 10..
We'll have the latest updates on the event's rain plans... on our website... 13WMAZ dot-com.And we will join you live from McConnell-Talbert Stadium on Eyewitness News at 5 & 6 tomorrow night..
Two Central Georgia colleges made a red flag list.. because their students are more likely to default on their loans.. than graduate.
A USA Today report more than 200 colleges where student debt is an issue.
Macon State College made the list - with a default rate of 18 percent and a graduation rate of just 12 percent.
Also on the list....Middle Georgia College in Cochran.
The two colleges merged earlier this year...to become Middle Georgia State College.
Officials at the Macon campus say Middle Georgia State is home to many students...who attend on their own timetable.
We have a big base of non-traditional students. A lot of these students have children they have to pay daycare for, they have to pay their housing expenses, their rent, their house payment. And they're looking to these student loans to help them meet those needs while they get their degree.
Simmons says about 60 percent of Middle Georgia State College students take out student loans.
Instate students pay an average of 15-hundred dollars per semester for tuition and fees at Middle Georgia State..
Medium and large companies have another year to make sure their employees are offered health insurance.
The Treasury Department announced tonight it will delay the requirement portion of the health care law.
The law requires companies with 50 or more workers to offer affordable coverage to their employees.. or face fines.
Business groups made appeals to the Obama Administration, asking for additional time to comply with the law.
Drug overdoses are now more likely to affect mom's and grandma's than teens and young adults.
The Centers for Disease Control found that the fastest-growing group of people dying from drug overdoses are middle-aged women.
Historically, most U.S. overdose deaths were men using cocaine or heroin.
From 1999 to 2010, nearly 48-thousand women died of prescription painkiller overdose.
For every woman who dies this way, there are 30 who go to the emergency room for misuse or abuse of painkillers.
Women between the ages of 45 and 54 have the highest risk of dying from prescription painkiller overdose.
The CDC's new report points to the boom in the use of prescription painkillers as the reason for the rise among women..
Drugs like Oxycontin, Vicodin, Opana and methadone.
The study also found that women may become dependent on prescription painkillers more quickly than men.
Former and current employees of a Georgia Alzheimer's care center are charged with abusing patients.
The GBI investigated Alzheimer's Care of Commerce for 3 months and searched the center for evidence this morning.
The investigation uncovered accounts of physical abuse, such as staff members hitting patients and throwing water on them.
Arrest warrants were issued for 21 former and current employees.
They are accused of abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of patients at the center.
Celebrity Chef Paula Deen has made headlines for the past the couple of weeks...after admitting in a deposition to using a racial slur..
But some people in her hometown still want to honor the former Food Network star with a museum.
The museum could be located on Roosevelt Avenue in downtown Albany...that's according to President of the museum BJ Fletcher.
They haven't started construction...but she says they plan to move Deen's childhood home to this spot.
She says interest in the museum is high.. and they aren't worried about current controversy surrounding Deen affecting the project.
<BJ Fletcher, President of the Board of the Paula Deen Museum: Do we have some naysayers, oh yea, we have it, we have it everywhere you know we are going to move forward and you want to go to the museum and you wanna see a piece of history it will be in Albany Georgia, if you don't want to come you weren't going to come before this happened. >
Judy Sherling...a board member of the Paula Deen museum says...they haven't started to accept donations for the museum...because they are still setting up the organization that will manage the museum.
No date has been set yet for construction to begin.
An old restaurant building in north Macon.. is coming down.
The El Azteca building.. will be demolished next week.
Casey Bullington with the Macon divison of Georgia Environmental Group says demolition begins July 8th.
A Minnesota-based company... Buffalo Wild Wings... will open a restaurant on the site..It is scheduled for completion in late November..
Macon-Bibb Animal Welfare is running a special to help you adopt a pet.
But.. If you want to take one home.. make sure to stop by tomorrow.
The shelter will close Thursday ... July 4th through Monday.. The 8th.
There are about 30 animals up for adoption at the shelter. Those that are spayed and neutered are sponsored by the county. That means they are free. you can still adopt animals that aren't spayed or neutered. There is a fee for $50 but that is refundable. Adoption fees are normally $130. Jerry Shipp dropped by the shelter today and walked out with Winnie ..
<she said she needs a home, but I think they all say they need a home. They do
The shelter is open from 11 am to 4:30 pm on Wednesday..
One of the giant pandas at Zoo Atlanta is expecting again
An ultrasound this week showed that Lun Lun is pregnant with her fourth cub.
The 15-year-old panda is expected to deliver her cub in two to three weeks.
Her cub would be the first panda born in the U.S. this year.
Lun Lun and her mate Yang Yang have three other offspring... Ages 6, 4 and 2..
In Central Arizona, people are remembering the nineteen fire fighters who lost their lives fighting a wildfire this weekend.
The Prescott community set up a memorial in honor of the heroes.
Paul Quinn from Washington State remembers when he met two of the firefighters a couple days ago.
In Egypt, things are looking worse for president Mohammed Morsi.
As you can see in this video hundreds of protestors are rallying in the streets.
Reports are saying the tension is increasing as Morsi rejects demands of these protestors to step down.
The military says Morsi must reach a compromise or they will intervene.
In a statement earlier today the Egypt president says.......
He wants to remain in power to protect democratic authority with his life.
The Obama administration has not demanded specific steps for Morsi to take, but suggested exploring constitutional change.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is in Moscow right now....
Earlier today Maduro talked publicly about how he is against the policies of the United States, and even defended Edward Snowden and his actions.
Snowden is being persecuted in the world without any reason in the sense that He has not thrown a missile or killed anyone, has not put a bomb, what he said is very true, to prevent wars and to prevent an elite that seeks to control the world's crazy, no one can spy on the world, no one can claim to control the world
Snowden was in Moscow, but reports are now saying that he might have been on a plane with Bolivian President Evo Morales'.
The plane has since been rerouted to Austria.
Bolivia is denying these claims.
The George Zimmerman trial continued today in Sanford, Florida..
Earlier today Medical examiner Valerie Rao took the stand.
She said Zimmerman's injuries were insignificant, and they didn't reflect that his head was slammed on a sidewalk.
Rao did not perform the autopsy on Martin and is only being called as a prosecution witness.
Prosecutors want to show Zimmerman's life was not in danger when he shot Trayvon Martin.
This week a special group of ladies in Morrilton, Arkansas are honoring service men and women.. with the work of their needle and thread.
The project is called "Quilts of Valor".. and these women have invested hundreds of hours to create a woven synbol of gratitude.
Former WMAZ reporter Dustin Wilson, brings us the story from our sister station KTHV in Little Rock.
Patriotism threads past the boundaries of time. No matter how many years go by...
(about 50 years)
Or the countless hours of intricate weaving.
o telling, I put hours...Sometimes I stay up till midnight sewing tops.>
85-year-old Mary Brents stays at it... despite her *love of quilting, the last nine months were more about giving back to those who sacrificed most.
Quilt of Valor which is quilts for our veterans. >
Brents, and around 15 other women in Morrilton made their favorite hobby about honoring veterans. Together the group put together 70 quilts... It takes about a week to make just one.
"We all help each other some cut, some sew, some press with the iron we all do different jobs. Some make labels, some make pillow cases, some go out and collect money.">
Catherine Pruitt realized Arkansas was not participating in the Quilt of Valor program last winter and decided to do something about it.
To show our appreciation for our veterans. My husband is a Vietnam veteran and everybody has a connection with a veteran, that's how we have our freedom.">
Mary Brents set the bar for the project...making 20 quilt tops, spending long days forging fabric for memories sake.
<I hope they feel warmth and love because that's what's been in it. That's what we've put in.">
Veterans at St. Vincent Hospital in Morrilton will receive the quilts on July 4th.
Each quilt has a label with the veteran's name, their service branch, year of service, the war they fought in and year of presentation.