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The Government Shutdown: Contacting your Federal Leaders

During the partial government shutdown and the rollout of the Affordable Healthcare Act, many have heard calls to "contact your congressional representative".

So how do you go about that, at a time when many government agencies and offices are hobbled by increased workloads and reduced staff?

13WMAZ Thursday went online and took to the phones to contact Washington offices for all congressmen representing Central Georgia as well as the state's two senators.  While we were at it, we checked out the White House's website too.

Frank Malloy explains what we found. 

Meanwhile, here are the phone listings for your representatives:

Rep. John Barrow (D) District 12- (202) 225-2823

Rep. Sanford Bishop (D) District 2- (202) 225-3631

Rep. Paul Broun (R) District 10- (202) 225-4101

Rep. Austin Scott (R) District 8- (202) 225-6531 

 

 

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.

Lady Royals Help Playoff Chances With Win Versus Putnam County

Lady Royals Help Playoff Chances With Win Versus Putnam County

After their August 22 game was suspended due to rain, Putnam and Bleckley County met Thursday in Cochran.  Though the Lady Royals led 5-2, the game was started over since the previous contest hadn't gone five innings.

A pair of Putnam errors helped stake BC to a 4-1 lead.  They added two more in the fourth.  A ground to short then ground to third erased a Lady Eagle threat in the sixth.  Leslie Holland's RBI single in the home half capped all scoring in a 7-1 win.

Taylor Little went 3 for 4 with a double.  Eight of nine players reached base at least once.  With the win, BCHS is virtually assured third in the region and a first round home playoff series.  The Northeast game, postponed September 18, is scheduled for September 23 at 5 pm in Cochran.