INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Good morning. Here are five things you need to know today:
1) Hurricane Florence is threatening a corridor of more than 10 million people as its projected path has spread to include a swath of the Southeast. Georgia's governor joined his counterparts in Virginia and North and South Carolina in declaring a state of emergency, and some residents who had thought they were safely out of range boarded up their homes. The National Hurricane Center's best guess as of this writing is that Florence will blow ashore as early as tomorrow afternoon around the North Carolina-South Carolina line, then push its rainy way westward with a potential for catastrophic inland flooding. Florence has weakened to Category 2 status, but authorities warn it will still be an extremely dangerous hurricane. Verizon is offering free texting, calling and data for those in the path of the storm.
2) It's a crisp and cool morning, and later today we begin a trend of much warmer and much drier weather. A building high pressure dome in the upper levels of the atmosphere emerges tomorrow and carries into early next week. Chuck Lofton says this promotes a stretch of mainly sunny and unseasonably warm days. This same feature plays a significant role in what will seem like erratic movement of Hurricane Florence tomorrow into the weekend. We'll continue to monitor any changes in the path of Florence all day on WTHR and our digital platforms.
3) Two men are dead after separate overnight shootings. First, a man was found shot to death in an alley near Crown Hill Cemetery around 2:30 a.m. near 38th Street and Boulevard Place. About 30 minutes after that, another man was shot to death on the northeast side near 56th Street and Interstate 465. Neighbors said they heard gunshots and came out of their homes to find the man lying in the street. Medics took him to Eskenazi Hospital, where he later died. Police have not released a description of a possible suspect in either case.
4) A downtown McDonald's restaurant has reopened after closing because of a pest issue. The Marion County Health Department closed the McDonald's at 16th and Meridian streets yesterday after a recent inspection discovered flies and fruit flies in the restaurant. The health department said the restaurant was treating the problem and could reopen if it passed another inspection, which it did late last night. We reached out to the franchise owner for comment, but haven't received a response.
5) Whitestown's town council approved a plan last night to buy property at the former Wrecks Inc. site on S. Indianapolis Road in order to build a new headquarters for the Little League International Central Region. The 20-acre site will include at least two ball fields, a 10,000-square-foot building and broadcast facilities to allow ESPN to broadcast tournament games. The facility will host regional little league baseball and softball tournaments each year. The games are expected to bring $5-10 million to local businesses every year. Organizers hope to have the facility ready in time to host tournament games in 2020.