“Micro Farms” Increasing in Georgia

Georgia continues to loose small and midsize farms, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census of Agriculture.  Over the past five years 1,500 small and medium size farms have gone out of business, but there is good news – small “micro-farms” are increasing across the state.

While the number of small and mid-size farms has dropped, micro-farms, between one and nine acres, have increased to more than 4,500. That’s up from about three thousand in 2012. Micro-farms are generally food-producing enterprises from one to five acres.

Poultry and egg farms ranked number one in the state and country for total sales with nearly $5.4 billion. Peanut and hay crops came in at number two.

Gary Black, commissioner of the state’s department of agriculture, said overall, he’s pleased by the data, but farmers here still need help recovering from Hurricane Michael. “I really am troubled to see what these numbers will be five years from now,” Black said.

Congress has failed to pass a multi-billion-dollar relief package in the aftermath of the storm.

Georgia Gas Prices Hold Steady

AAA Auto Club says that Georgia gas prices are holding steady compared to a week ago.

Georgia drivers continue to pay an average of $2.68 per gallon for regular unleaded which is 16 cents less than the national average. That amounts to $40.20 for a full 15-gallon tank of gasoline. However, drivers are only paying 2 cents more than this same time last year.

“High-drive seasons, such as, Memorial Day and July 4 are also times when gas prices may fluctuate,” said Montrae Waiters, spokesperson, AAA – The Auto Club Group.  “AAA forecasts the national average should peak at around $2.75.”

Georgia Connections Academy

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BP Medicine Recall

If you take blood pressure medicine, you’ll want to double-check your bottle. Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd. has expanded its recall of losartan potassium and losartan potassium/hydrochlorothiazide tablets.

Tests found trace amounts of a potentially cancer-causing impurity in some of these drugs. The company is recalling 36 additional lots, it said Thursday.

A full list of recalled drugs is available on the US Food and Drug Administration website.

The company hasn’t had any reports of users getting sick, but the impurity level in these pills is above what the FDA considers an acceptable daily intake level.

The FDA said it will continue to test all products containing valsartan and similar drugs for the presence of impurities.

Georgia Gov. Kemp Puts Damper on H.B. 734

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp put a big damper on House Bill 734 that would set up a panel to sanction journalists.  The governor spoke with a Georgia newspaper over the past weekend and called the bill “a bad idea.”

The bill was introduced by an outgoing Republican representative and would have the state set up an “accreditation panel” for journalists and also would allow for journalists to be sanctioned by the state-run panel.

Governor Kemp told the Marietta Daily Journal, “Well, there’s a lot of things that people introduce down there that are bad ideas. You know, I think your readers can decide whether they like what you’re doing or not. You’ve got First Amendment protections.”

Governor Kemp went on in the interview to call the whole idea “bizarre”.   The bill was met with intense criticism from print, television and radio news outlets around the state and beyond, saying that the government has no place regulating, censoring or issuing sanctions against media outlets.

Governor Kemp will be the guest this weekend in an interview with John Clark on the Georgia News Network’s “Georgia Focus.”

Weather Alert for Chattooga County for Thursday Night Into Friday

Peachtree City, Georgia says that Chattooga County and Northwest Georgia could see some severe weather tonight and into Friday.  For now, most of Chattooga County is in the “slight risk” category, with only the northeast portion of the county in the “marginal risk” category for severe weather.

An approaching cold front will bring a slight risk for severe thunderstorms for most of the area late this evening.  Damaging wind gusts, heavy rainfall and the possibility of a brief tornado can be expected, according to forecasters.  Storms will push eastward overnight tonight before exiting on Friday.

Cooler temperatures will prevail after the system moves off to the east, with highs on Saturday in the upper 50’s.

The good news is Easter Sunday looks to be a beautiful day with sunny skies and a high of 76 degrees.

Community Resource Center Clothes Sale

The Community Resource Center of Chattooga County is clearing out their winter clothes to get ready for warmer weather. Come fill up a bag of clothes for $1!
Clothes only. While supplies last. April 15-29.
CRC is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10 AM until noon and from 2 PM until 4 PM.  The center is located on the corner of Fairground and 7th Street in Summerville.
For more information call 706-509-0529 or like them on Facebook at CRCChattooga
CRC Chattooga is a local food bank dedicated to ending hunger and feeding hope in Chattooga County. 500 families are helped each month through their program. All proceeds from this sale will benefit CRC Chattooga.

DOT Work On SR 337

Georgia DOT advises motorists on State Route (SR) 337 in Chattooga County that maintenance crews will begin today their work on repairing and deep patching the deteriorating asphalt spots on this highway.

Work will proceed daily Tuesday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. This maintenance operation and the temporary lane closure it necessitates are weather permitting and subject to change.

Also, crews begin work today on replacing the obliterated and damaged reflective raised pavement markers on State Route 157 in Walker County on Lookout Mountain.  Work will proceed daily Tuesday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. This safety maintenance operation and the lane closures it necessitates are weather permitting and subject to change