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Social Security cost of living increase

Social Security Benefit to increase 2.8 percent in 2019

New cost-of-living adjustment largest since 2012 Social Security benefits will increase 2.8 percent in 2019, the largest cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in seven years. The COLA, announced Thursday, Oct. 11, will increase the average Social Security retirement benefit by $39 a month (roughly $468 a year). The average single retired Social Security recipient is expected to […]

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Presidential Proclamation on Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week, 2018

Presidential Proclamation on Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week, 2018

Issued on: September 14, 2018 During Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week, we acknowledge the devastating toll the opioid epidemic has inflicted on our country and its people, and we pledge to raise awareness of the dangers of prescription and illicit opioid abuse. As we continue our work to end this terrible crisis, I […]

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FEMA test allowing Trump to send emergency alterts

FEMA to test system allowing Trump to send emergency alerts

By Elaine Owen, Editor The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is testing a new system today (Sept. 20) that allows President Trump to send messages directly to U.S. cellphones. All major wireless firms and more than 100 mobile carriers are participating in the new Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) program that allows for presidential alerts, FEMA […]

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E-cigs might be bad for your teen

FDA gets tough on e-cigarette makers

By Elaine Owen, Editor The Food and Drug Administration announced a crackdown on makers of electronic cigarettes and said they must come up with a plan to prevent their products from getting in the hands of minors. Responding to an “epidemic of nicotine addiction” among American youths, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday […]

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ECIGS–Image provided by Office of District Attorney

District Attorney warns of dangers of vaping and e-cigarettes

Like cigarettes, vaping is illegal to people under 18 years of age. By Elaine Owen, Editor Appalachian Judicial Circuit District Attorney B. Alison Sosebee warns of dangers of vaping and e-cigarettes. In a press release Sept. 6, 2018, Sosebee said during the last week, several teens in Fannin, Gilmer and Pickens counties have experienced medical […]

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Tax refund for veterans 2018

Big tax refunds coming for 130,000 veterans

By Karen Jowers, Military Times More than 130,000 veterans are receiving letters on how to apply for refunds of taxes they paid on disability severance pay dating back to 1991—a minimum of $1,750 per veteran. While exact estimates are not available because each veteran’s payout varies, the government could be paying out a minimum of […]

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Opioid abuse

Battling Opioid Addiction Requires a Holistic Approach

WASHINGTON—This op-ed by Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) was first published by the Gainesville Times on June 18, 2018. Over the last five years, Americans have seen a dramatic rise in home invasions. The numbers rose slowly and steadily from 2000 to 2013 and skyrocketed from there through 2016, when the same menace claimed 20,145 lives […]

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fish kill

Reward offered for Chattahoochee fish kill information

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT Suches, Georgia — In the early hours of June 4, the main water line to the Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery was cut off, killing about 52,000 trout worth $62,000. The Fannin County Sheriff’s Office is investigating. The hatchery’s friends group is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest […]

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Record number of kids died of flu this season

Approximately 80 percent of these deaths occurred in children who had not received a flu vaccination this season. CDC REPORT A record number of children died from influenza this past flu season, federal health officials said Friday (June 8). One more death was reported this week, making 172 child deaths reported for the 2017-18 flu […]

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Georgia Hiking Trails

$4 Million in Trail Grants Awarded for Recreation in Georgia

USFS Blue Ridge Ranger District OHV awarded $199,998 for Maintenance ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has announced the award of 19 new grant recipients totaling $3.2 million for trails around the state. The selected projects will provide new outdoor recreation opportunities for a variety of trail user groups. A total of […]

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