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Good morning Indy…on a day that many of you have off as the “legal” observance day for the Independence Day holiday.

Federal authorities are telling local police agencies across the country like the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, to be alert this weekend for possible acts of terrorism. The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have issued a bulletin to local law enforcement to be especially vigilant over the Fourth of July weekend. Security is being stepped up in response to ongoing attack threats by ISIS and other extremists.

IMPD is planning for a busy holiday weekend. But they’re planning for it coming off a heavy night of violence in the city. At least five people have been shot—one of them dying from a gunshot to the head and the other dying from a stabbing. Most of the shootings happened in the 500 block of Lynn Street and police are still investigating. At this time they’re calling it a drive-by shooting and a large box-style van was spotted driving away. Those victims went to Eskenazi Hospital. In a separate incident, one person was shot in the 2300 block of Steward Street. He was taken to I.U. Methodist Hospital with injuries to his legs. The fatal stabbing was around 11 o’clock Thursday night in the 800 block of Udell Street on the northwest side. That victim was also taken to Eskenazi where he died. Police say all the victims are males in their 20’s.

While some of the police force are busy with those investigations, others are planning to work the multiple major events that are happening in the city Saturday, including the Donatos Downtown Freedom Blast fireworks show that begins at 10 p.m. and the Rolling Stones concert at 8 p.m. at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway where the tickets begin at $60. They say Fourth of July night is always one of the busiest but it’s likely to be worse because the holiday falls on a weekend.

Check out some of the activities for the Fourth of July weekend in downtown Indy! Click HERE.

Heading to that Stones’ concert? Get a free ride that will help out a non-profit organization from Uber. The transportation service is offering free rides to the Rolling Stones concert at the speedway. The promo code is good up to $20 and is available for first-time downloaders of their app. Uber says for every code used, $1 will be donated to Mothers Against Drunk Drivers.

But what if you’re getting on the road and getting out of Indy for the holiday? Motor club, AAA, estimates about 42-million Americans, including plenty of Hoosiers, will travel this weekend, the most in eight years. The auto club points to a stronger economy and hike in jobs that help boost the number of people who can take a vacation. But if you do get on the road, remember there’s a new left lane law that began on July 1 here in the state, but it isn’t a license to speed. Indiana State Police say the goal is to improve the flow of traffic.  The law allows police to ticket anyone driving slow in the left lane if another vehicle is trying to pass. But if you’re speeding and they catch you, they’ll still give you a ticket.

On the political scene… The two candidates running for mayor of Indianapolis are planning a series of debates. On Thursday, Democrat Joe Hogsett accepted a debate challenge from Republican Chuck Brewer. Dates and times haven’t been locked in yet. Brewer has focused his campaign on education issues, while Hogsett has focused on crime.

In sports…Some call it “Progress.” NASCAR is asking fans not to bring Confederate flags to the races.  In a statement signed by 30 race tracks, NASCAR says it’s committed to creating an “all-inclusive” and “welcoming” environment for everyone who attends its events.

The Indiana Fever surged past the Mystics in the second half to take a 73-50 win at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in WNBA action on Thursday night. This was the Fever’s second victory in a row.

Monta Ellis is the newest member of the Indiana Pacers. ESPN says the shooting guard has agreed to a four-year deal worth $44 million, with an opt-out after the third year. Ellis didn’t exercise the final year of his contract with the Dallas Mavericks last year and opted for free agency instead. ESPN says he was interested in the Pacers because of Indianapolis’ proximity to Memphis, the hometown of his wife and where he has two children.

Friday’s Indianapolis Weather: Cloudy. Scattered thunderstorms possible this afternoon and tonight. Hold onto your umbrellas. This morning, there was standing water in some spots across the city from heavy rains overnight. Today’s high around 78 degrees.

Holiday Forecast: Saturday…Sunny with a High of 84. Sunday…Mainly Sunny with a High of 86. Clear, both nights.


media: on air

Source: David Hills / Getty

kimwellsmedia 070315 @PraiseIndy

Catch me on “Access Indy” on our sister station, 106.7 WTLC Sunday mornings at 8 a.m. Eastern for great news and interviews on the latest topics and other features.