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Shutdown: Meals on Wheels Funds Run Low

    Some Central Georgia seniors might also feel the effects of the shutdown soon.

    Meals on Wheels is funded mostly by the federal government, and it's on a tight budget. 

   After October 15, if the shutdown continues, directors of programs in Central Georgia plan to send out 30-day notices about reduced or terminated services.

     For example, that means more than 1,100 people in Bibb, Jones, Monroe, and Crawford counties are at risk of losing their meals. 

     Cynthia Gray is one of those people. 

     She's lived at McAfee Towers, a senior center, for the past two years. 

     Gray says she depends on the two meals she receives every weekday to survive.

Wrightsville Woman Helps Navigate Health Care Insurance

They're called Navigators and their role is to help steer people through the new healthcare insurance marketplace.

Tammy Allen is one of 12 certified University of Georgia Health Navigators in the entire state.
"Outreach and education specialists that will be informing people how to use the new marketplace," she says.

Under the new health care law, navigators help people learn about health insurance options. 

"We've had federal training, state training, and also the University of Georgia training," Allen says. 

She covers eleven Central Georgia counties: Jasper, Putnam, Jones, Baldwin, Bibb, Twiggs, Wilkinson, Peach, Houston, Laurens and Johnson.   

Allen says it's not overwhelming because she has the help of her local extension agencies. 

Shutdown: No Additional Funds for WIC Program

If the shutdown continues, it may hit families who depend on a federal nutrition-assistance program.

WIC or Women, Infants, and Children is for low-income women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, postpartum, or have children up to age five.

Without WIC vouchers, Delmetria Matthews says she would spend more than $200 on formula for her newborn.

It's money the 20-year-old single mother does not have but will have to find if the government shutdown continues.

There's enough money to run the program for about two weeks.

That's two more weeks of food for both Matthews and her baby. 

"If they shut down WIC, i'm going to cry. Oh i'm going to cry," she says.

The Georgia Department of Public Health issued this statement: "At this time, Georgia WIC is operating business as usual.  The Georgia Department of Public Health and Georgia WIC are working on steps to keep WIC operating for as long as possible."

13 Tidbits You May Not Remember About 13WMAZ

Today, September 27, 2013, as 13WMAZ celebrates its 60-year anniversary, we take a look back at where we started.

1. WMAZ began as a radio station at Mercer University in Macon in 1922.

2. The first program director and chief announcer, Carey Pickard, came up with the slogan: Watch Mercer Attain Zenith.

Pickard was a 1930 Mercer graduate and at one point later served 10 years as an FBI agent, according to his memoir "A Charmed Life." 

3. When he was in college, he worked part-time for WMAZ. He says the station was built by the Mercer Physics department dean at the time.

4. In Pickard's memoir, he says he created WMAZ's slogan in a poem he wrote for Mercer's student paper, The Cluster, probably around 1925.

WEEK 4: Your Football Scores

Here are your scores from around the area.

Three Monroe Co. Deputies Win Medal of Valor

Monroe County Sheriff John Bittick called a mandatory meeting for his deputies Friday, but would not explain why.

When they arrived, he surprised the group by presenting Lieutenant Brad Freeman, Sergeant Mike Hull, and Deputy Chad Beck with a medal of valor.

In April, the three deputies were leaving Atlanta after a training session when they noticed a wreck in the northbound lane of the interstate. A car had collided with a trailer and was engulfed in flames. Bittick says the group decided to stop and pulled the driver out of the car.

"I think these three guys went above and beyond what the normal call of duty is. They could have very easily just continued down the highway, but they chose to stop and assist this guy and wound up saving his life," says Bittick.

But Freeman says, as a deputy, it's his job to protect all people, not just those in Monroe County.

Plant Scherer Faces More Lawsuits

Plant Scherer, a coal-burning power  plant in Juliette  faces more lawsuits today.

Macon attorney Brian Adams says the law suits were filed Wednesday on behalf of Monroe County residents and former residents against the plant .

The lawsuits are seeking damages, claiming  the plant knowingly released toxic and cancerous pollution.

The coal-fire power plant is  majority owned by Georgia Power.

Adams says his clients' health problems are widespread.

"They've got  sorts of problems, you got breathing problems, muscle problems, cancer problems not to mention property damage... claims either their property value has decreased or the material has dropped onto their property and caused damaged that way, " said Adams

Georgia Power spokesman Mark Williams declined comment on the lawsuit , but issued a statement saying"