Wednesday, March 25, 2009

ING Names Winners of 'ING Run For Something Better' Student Essay Contest

/PRNewswire / -- Financial services leader ING today selected three winners of a student essay contest. The essay winners chronicled their accomplishments as participants in the ING Run For Something Better running program in metro Atlanta public middle schools.

The top three essays were submitted by the following students:
-- Erwin Dukes, Sammye E Coan Middle School, 7th grade
-- Jarleel Earby, McNair Middle School, 8th Grade
-- Michael Starr, Ridgeview Charter School, 6th grade

The contest was open to students in 26 middle schools of Atlanta Public Schools, Fulton County and Decatur Middle School who have been participating in the program and were challenged to run 13.1 miles over 9 weeks in their P.E. classes. All students are invited to complete the "final mile" of their cumulative half marathon Sunday, March 29, at 11:30 a.m. during the ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon. The kids will run a special race and get the thrill of crossing the same finish line as the adults. Transportation, lunches, T-shirts, finisher medals and entertainment are provided to students at the event.

"We know that children are learning many positive lessons through ING Run For Something Better, not only about staying healthy and fit, but also about setting goals and working hard to achieve them," said Rhonda Mims, president, ING Foundation and senior vice president, Office of Corporate Responsibility and Multicultural Affairs. "Sponsoring an essay contest was a fantastic way to hear from the students in metro Atlanta in their very own words how the program is helping them."

As part of the essay contest, students explained what they liked best about ING Run For Something Better. They were asked to describe how running makes them feel, what they learned about fitness and exercise, who inspired them to be healthy and how they planned to stay fit after completing their half marathon. ING staff selected the top three winners. Each student is invited to attend a special ING Run For Something Better teacher appreciation luncheon on Friday, March 27.

"For the past three years, ING Run For Something Better has served as a great complement to our physical education curriculum," said Billette Owens-Ashford, director of Physical Education and Athletics for Atlanta Public Schools. "Through this essay contest, we're realizing that students are encouraging their parents and family members to stay fit. This tells us that the program can be a positive influence both in the classroom and at home."

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Fulton County 12-year-old Captures Georgia’s Spelling Championship

One hundred and nineteen words through six rounds. That’s how long it took 12-year-old Julia Denniss from St. Jude the Apostle in Fulton County to best her 19 other competitors and go on to become the winner of the 48th Annual Georgia Association of Educators State Spelling Bee held this morning at Georgia State University's Student Center. She will now represent Georgia in the Scripps National Spelling Bee Championships in Washington, D.C., May 24-30.

Late in the sixth round it was narrowed down to Julia and 14-year-old Sarah Landman from Bremen Middle School in Bremen City. Sarah went first and was given the word “erythromycin,” but she spelled it with an “a’ rather than an “e.” The word was then given to Julia who spelled it correctly and then, according the rules when it’s down to two contestants, was given a new word which must be spelled correctly. She received the word “concatenate,” which she enthusiastically spelled correctly to become the state’s new spelling champion. The sixth round proved to be the one that began weeding out the contestants with words such as olivaceous, breviloquent, pentapody, helioatry and fructiferous.

Julia tried to restrain her enthusiasm to no avail. “I’m just so excited and happy to be going to Washington [D.C.] for the nationals,” she said. She said she will continue to prepare the same way for the nationals and that includes her mom, a medical doctor, helping her with “medical words.” That help definitely came in handy this time around. Should Julia, for any reason, be unable to represent Georgia at the nationals, Sarah would take her place.

“I can’t say enough about what these young people have accomplished,” said GAE President Jeff Hubbard. “Everyone associated with their efforts should be very proud and on behalf of GAE I congratulate each and every one of them. And our thoughts and prayers are with Julia and her family as they travel to Washington to represent Georgia and hopefully bring back the national championship.”

In addition to her first place trophy and an all expense paid trip to the national championship and $400 (GAE), Julia also took home a dictionary (Merriam-Webster), an Amazon.com gift certificate (Scripps National Spelling Bee), a one-year online subscription (Encyclopaedia Britannica), and one $100 U.S. Savings Bond (Samuel L. Sugarman Award). Sarah, as runner-up, took home a second place trophy, $100 (GAE), a dictionary (Merriam-Webster), and a one-year online subscription (Encyclopaedia Britannica). All contestants received $25, a certificate of participation, and a GAE State Bee lapel pin.

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Statewide Winners Announced in Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest

Twelve elementary school children have been selected as statewide winners in the Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest, the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division announced today. More than 4,000 kindergarten through 5th-grade students from 30 public schools, private schools and home-school groups participated in the 19TH annual conservation art competition.

Statewide winners in the four grade divisions included:

Kindergarten

1st place: Scott Kolbuss, Poplar Road Elementary School, Sharpsburg, Ga.

2nd place: Landon Holliday, Heard County Elementary School, Franklin, Ga.

3rd place: Sage Smith, Ephesus Elementary School, Roopville, Ga.



1st-2nd grade

1st place: Brandon Koh, Sabah Kinder Art School, Duluth, Ga.

2nd place: Andrea Crenshaw, Pike Primary School, Zebulon, Ga.

3rd place: Caroline Andrews, Peeples Elementary School, Fayetteville, Ga.



3rd-4th grade

1st place: Jay Li, Sabah Kinder Art School, Duluth, Ga.

2nd place: Haley Huckaby, Bleckley County Elementary School, Cochran, Ga.

3rd place: Shealynn Sumner, Centralhatchee Elementary School, Franklin, Ga.



5th grade

1st place: Claire Chang, Sabah Kinder Art School, Duluth, Ga.

2nd place: Reede Johnson, Tiftarea Academy, Chula, Ga.

3rd place: Austin Brewer, Centralhatchee Elementary School, Franklin, Ga.


The artwork of these 12 winners will be showcased in the 2009-2010 Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest calendar. All state-level entries will be on display at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Conference Center in Mansfield, Ga., from March 21-April 4.

Participants entered the contest at the local school level with drawings depicting their observations of Georgia’s native plants and animals, and following the 2009 contest theme, “Nature’s Gifts: The Plants and Animals of Georgia.” Drawings were judged based on aspects such as theme, originality and the quality and impact of the artwork. Top school-level entries proceeded to the state contest at The State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens.

The 2009 poster contest sponsors include the Wildlife Resources Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, The State Botanical Garden of Georgia and The Environmental Resources Network Inc. (TERN).

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Woman Returns $80K to East Andrews Bar

When Deanna Hamilton stopped in for a glass of wine at East Andrews earlier this month, she was surprised to be richer as a result. A bartender charged the wrong amount on her debit card and accidentally credited back $80,000 to her account instead of $8. She immediately contacted the bar when she discovered the extra money in her bank account. As a thank you for being an honest customer, the bar is holding a thank you party tonight for Deanna and 100 of her friends.

"I logged into my bank account and saw $80,000 had just been deposited," says East Andrews customer Deanna Hamilton. "I thought my computer was playing tricks on me, so I logged off and reviewed my bank account on another computer." Hamilton continues, "When I still saw the deposit, I thought I'd won a drawing or something, but then I scrolled down and saw the money was from East Andrews. Then, I knew it was some kind of error, so I called to report it."

"We are sincerely grateful to Deanna for reporting the accounting error, which is why we're thanking her with a party in her honor," says East Andrews President Steve de Haan.

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Cheese Wins Big at 2009 UGA Food Products Contest

Caroline Harless had planned to be in Swainsboro, Ga., on March 17 to prepare for hunters arriving at her Flat Creek Lodge. Instead, she stayed in Atlanta, where her Flat Creek Aztec Cheddar cheese won the third annual Flavor of Georgia food products contest.

“I’m just still amazed. Amazed,” she said after Gov. Sonny Perdue announced her cheese as the 2009 grand prize winner.

Flavor of Georgia 2009 was held in conjunction with Georgia Ag Day, which kicked off National Agricultural Awareness Week in Georgia. The events took place at the Georgia Freight Depot in downtown Atlanta.

“I was impressed by the range of products submitted by Georgia food entrepreneurs. Despite challenging economic times, we received 112 submissions from 81 businesses from all over Georgia,” said Sharon Kane, who directed the contest. She is also a food business development specialist for the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development.

This was the first year that cheeses were entered in the contest, and judges took notice.

“It’s definitely a cheddar,” Harless said of the Aztec cheddar. “It’s not as sharp as English or Vermont cheddar. It’s a little softer. It also has a … hint of cocoa and chili. It’s very subtle.”

Flat Creek’s head cheese maker and culinary scientist Dane Huebner developed Aztec cheddar in the spring of 2008. He added cocoa and guajilla peppers to traditional, milled curd cheddar. The result is a cream-colored cheese marbled with brown and orange.

“Dane is a very talented scientist, very much a food person,” Harless said. “He’s got a lot of great ideas cooking.”

His next cheese project is of the sheep variety. Flat Creek Lodge currently has 40 ewes and 40 newly born lambs. Once the lambs are weaned, Huebner plans to develop different varieties of sheep’s milk cheese.

Flavor of Georgia 2009 had entries as varied as peanut butter and jelly cookies, shrimp salad, jalapeno raspberry jam and peach cobbler bread.

Flat Creek won the dairy category before being named overall winner. Christopher Myhre of Buzzy’s Fine Foods won the barbecue and hot sauces category with Buzzy’s Savannah Slather. Cathy Beecher of Cathy’s Sweets Inc. won the confections category with Lite Buddy candy. Janice Walters-Taylor of Appalachian Kitchens won the jams, jellies and sauces category with Miss Chatelaine’s Winter Apple Cider and Honey Spiced Red Wine Jam.

Andrew Thompson of Thompson Farms won the meat category with All Natural Pork Chops. Kathy Werner of Mitera Granola won the snack foods category with Georgia Peach Granola. Douglas Horn of Vidalia Valley won the other/miscellaneous category for Southern Peach Vinaigrette.

Flavor of Georgia is only a starting point for many of the category winners, Kane said. She followed up with the 2008 winners and found that nearly 90 percent increased their business contacts as a result of the contest. Also, 73 percent experienced increased interest in their products, and 70 percent saw an increase in the publicity for their products.

“More than one-half of last year’s contestants saw an increase in their sales and profits following the contest,” she said.

Flavor of Georgia 2009 was sponsored by the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, Georgia Agribusiness Council, the Governor’s Agricultural Advisory Commission and the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Department of Food Science and Technology.

Stephanie Schupska
UGA

Stephanie Schupska is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Public Broadcasting Atlanta Receives Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Station recognized for being an educational leader

Public Broadcasting Atlanta (PBA) received a My Source Community Impact Award for Education from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) for its efforts with the Atlanta Public School’s (APS) Homework Hotline last weekend in Washington, DC.

The My Source Community Impact Awards for Education were created by CPB to give recognition to public broadcasting stations for their commitment to providing educational services to learners of all ages and races from preschoolers to adults.

“It is indeed an honor to be recognized by CPB as an educational leader in public broadcasting,” said Milton Clipper, PBA President and CEO. “Accepting this award on behalf of Public Broadcasting Atlanta and the Atlanta Public Schools reinforces our commitment in providing educational services to the Atlanta community.”

Clipper was presented the award by CPB Senior Vice President of Education and Children’s Content, Dr. Susan Zelman, at the Council of Chief State School Officers/Public Broadcasting Executive Summit.

“Education is a core value of public service media, on air, online and in the community,” said Pat Harrison, CPB President and CEO. “CPB congratulates PBA for this important commitment to community and our country through education.”

About Homework Hotline:
The Homework Hotline is a joint effort between APS and PBA. APS students call the Homework Hotline and ask questions about homework problems. Homework Hotline teachers give one-on-one assistance and easy-to-understand explanations. These teachers have access to current textbooks and school curricula when helping students understand and solve homework problems. Homework Hotline is a free service available Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., except during holiday and semester breaks. The hotline telephone number is 678.553.3029. Covered subjects include: math, science, social studies, language arts, reading and Spanish.


About CPB:
CPB, a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,100 locally-owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television, and related online services.

For more information on the My Source Community Impact Awards for Education, please visit
www.cpb.org
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Friday, March 13, 2009

Forensics Team Claims 15th Consecutive State Championship

For the 15th time in 15 years, the Berry College Forensics team earned top honors in the Georgia Intercollegiate Forensics Association tournament held recently at Southern Polytechnic State University.

Berry speakers claimed individual championships in 10 of 12 events. Sophomore Joshua Roye was named top speaker, and seniors Hope Stallings and Amanda Dean earned the right to represent Georgia at the 137th Interstate Oratory Contest in Oxford, Miss., by placing first and second in persuasive speaking.

Individual award recipients were as follows:

-Hope Stallings placed first in informative speaking, persuasive speaking, rhetorical criticism and dramatic duo interpretation (with Alex Middleton) and second in poetry interpretation. Hope, a senior communication major, is the daughter of Stan and Angela Nix of Ringgold, Ga.

-Amanda Dean placed second in informative speaking and persuasive speaking, third in rhetorical criticism and fourth in poetry interpretation. Amanda, a senior communication major, is the daughter of John and Yevone Dean of Acworth, Ga.

-Joshua Roye finished first in pentathlon, editorial impromptu and impromptu speaking, second in rhetorical criticism, third in dramatic duo interpretation (with Erin Froetschel) and fourth in informative speaking. Joshua, a sophomore dual sociology/anthropology and religion/philosophy major, is the son of Tom and Gwendolyn Roye of Calhoun, Ga.

-Thomas Yungerberg placed first in program oral interpretation, second in dramatic duo interpretation (with Steven Walker) and fifth in prose interpretation. Thomas, a freshman communication major, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Steven Yungerberg of Canton, Ga.

-Alex Middleton finished first in dramatic duo interpretation (with Hope Stallings) and third in after dinner speaking and prose interpretation. Alex, a freshman communication major, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Gene Middleton of Stone Mountain, Ga.

-Kalia Miller placed third in persuasive speaking and sixth in impromptu speaking. Kalia, a freshman biology major, is the daughter of Ms. Donna Cargle of Crandall, Ga.

-Kali McMillian placed second in dramatic interpretation. Kali, a freshman theatre major, is the daughter of Ms. Sharon Sexton of Grayson, Ga.

-Steven Walker finished first in after dinner speaking and prose interpretation and second in dramatic duo interpretation (with Thomas Yungerberg). Steven, a freshman communication major, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Walker of Lilburn, Ga.

-Erin Froetschel placed first in poetry interpretation, third in dramatic duo (with Joshua Roye) and fourth in after dinner speaking. Erin, a sophomore music major, is the daughter of Mark and Dana Froetschel of Crawford, Ga.

-John Hall finished third in program oral interpretation and fifth in editorial impromptu speaking. John, a senior government major, is the son of Beth Hall of Menlo, Ga.


Prepared by Public Relations and Marketing Assistant Leah Ryan

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Georgia Super Lawyers Honors Four Stites & Harbison Attorneys

Four Stites & Harbison attorneys in the Atlanta office were recently honored in the 2009 Georgia Super Lawyers magazine.

The attorneys named to the Super Lawyers list include: R. Daniel Douglass under the practice area of Construction/Surety, J.D. Humphries, III, under the practice area of Construction Litigation and T. Matthew Mashburn under the practice area of Real Estate. Ron C. Bingham, II, was named to the Rising Stars list under the practice area of Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights. All attorneys are members of Stites & Harbison (www.stites.com).

Super Lawyers (www.superlawyers.com) is a guide compiled by Law & Politics Magazine that honors exceptional attorneys, representing a wide range of practice areas, firm sizes and geographic locations. Candidates are nominated by peers in their state or region and evaluated by an expert panel system. Only 5% of the lawyers in each state or region are named to the Super Lawyers list and no more than 2.5% are named to the Rising Stars list. Rising Stars are selected based on the same criteria as Super Lawyers with the exception of peer evaluation by practice area. Rising Stars must be 40 years old or younger or in practice for 10 years or less to be considered. Stites & Harbison has a total of 48 attorneys listed in Super Lawyers and three listed in Rising Stars.
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Peachtree City Named BusinessWeek’s “Best Affordable Suburb” in Georgia

In March, BusinessWeek Magazine named Peachtree City as Georgia’s Best Affordable Suburb. The selection notes Peachtree City’s lakes and recreation amenities, along with our 90-mile network of multi-use paths and golf carts.

In choosing the best in each state, BusinessWeek focused on towns within 25 miles of each state’s largest city, featuring good schools, low crime, reasonable commutes, strong economies, and overall quality of life.

Peachtree City also ranked in the top 100 CNN/Money Magazine “Best Places to Live in the U.S.” in 2005 and 2007, was named as one of the “Best Places to Retire” by U.S. News and World Report in 2007 and by Retire Georgia in 2008, and was featured in Newmax Magazine’s “10 Great Places for Boomers” in 2009.
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Monday, March 9, 2009

UGA District I History Day Competition Winners Announced

The University of Georgia Office of Academic Special Programs recently sponsored the District I History Day Competition. Zachary Janick, a student at Russell Middle School, was named Junior Division, District I overall winner and first place winner in the Junior Individual Exhibit category for “Boger Boisjolly – Ring of Truth.” Carmina Escalante, a student at Clarke Central High School, was named Senior Division, District I overall winner and first place winner in the Senior Individual Paper category for, “The End of Apartheid.”

Using the theme, “The Individual in History: Actions and Legacies,” individual and group projects included papers, documentaries, Web sites, exhibits and performances. More than 130 6th through 12th-grade students and teachers representing 32 counties in Georgia, participated in the annual competition.

Janick and Escalante, along with participants who placed first, second and third in other categories, will advance to the State Contest for National History Day in Georgia April 25 at Macon State College. At each level of competition, participants are recognized through certificates, medals, trophies or monetary awards.

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Friday, March 6, 2009

UGA Grady College First Amendment Essay Contest Winners Named

Three high school students were selected from 127 entrants as winners in the annual First Amendment Essay Contest, sponsored by the University of Georgia’s Georgia Scholastic Press Association, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Cox Institute for Newspaper Management Studies.

“Georgia high school journalists clearly understand and appreciate the value of freedoms and protections provided by The First Amendment,” said Cecil Bentley, assistant director of the Cox Institute. “Several talented young writers shared thoughtful insights into how First Amendment freedoms impact their campus and community.”

Michael Cranford, a senior from Parkview High School in Lilburn, won first place in the contest. He will be awarded a $100 cash prize and $100 to his school newspaper, The Pantera.

“The students’ collective voices may push the boundaries of press and speech freedoms, but they also demonstrate how democracy requires both rights and responsibilities to enjoy its rewards,” Bentley said.

Finishing in second place was Amber Leone, a junior from North Forsyth High School in Cumming. Hamilton will receive $75 and an additional $75 for the school literary magazine, Threshold. Sophomore Jessica Norton from Decatur High School in Decatur won third place. She will receive $50 along with $50 for the school’s newspaper, Carpe Diem.

Cranford’s essay discussed the history of the First Amendment and applied it to the regular prior review and censorship of his publication.

“The fact that our school newspaper is not a public forum per se has huge ramifications on how we go about compiling the newspaper, what can be said, what cannot be said and our protection of freedom of the press under the First Amendment,” Cranford wrote. “Even once an article gets to the drawing board and is completed, the principal still has a very final and nonchalant way of keeping a story from print by strongly suggesting some materials not to be placed in the newspaper.”

Cranford explained articles discussing “real” solutions to move the drinking age to 18 were stopped before publication. Around the same time, similar topics popped up in another local high school newspaper.

“The main point of a high school newspaper is not to push the bounds of seniority review in scandalous reporting, however, its purpose is to teach the art of journalism to students, and for students to understand the good and controversial aspects of the trade,” he said. “As students find out, the First Amendment and its rights bestowed upon Americans are just as much an integral part of a high school newspaper’s staff with an audience of 2,000 as they are vital for a big city publication with readers in the millions.”

Leone’s essay discussed the First Amendment as a broader category of rights that should let students “take a stand for our art.”

She explained a situation in 2006 when the school yearbook included a mini insert of “Teen Issues” that covered teen pregnancy, alcohol use and drug use.

“Teens often have to face these issues, and the insert offered insightful information on dealing with those problems,” she wrote. “The school system should have recognized this as mature awareness; however, they simply regarded the whole situation as inappropriate.”

Leone said the literary magazine is subject to censorship now.

“These students are being shut out from their imaginative minds and freedom to speak out for what they believe in,” she wrote. “Why won’t we fight to defend our rights? Don’t we care anymore?”

Norton wrote about the First Amendment and its breadth of coverage, arguing it should apply to student publications as much as it does to professional ones.

“School censorship does nothing to protect students who are constantly exposed to ‘sensitive’ information through other media,” she wrote. “It is more prudent to let students read about these issues in articles written by their peers. In this way, student journalists learn to tastefully discuss controversial subjects in the media, and the student body is more likely to respond to the information presented.”

All three winning essays can be read in their entirety at http://www.grady.uga.edu/gspa/1stAmendmentEssay

The winners of the fourth annual contest will be recognized at the Georgia Scholastic Press Association (GSPA) Awards Ceremony held in Athens on May 1.

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Atlanta Braves Launch All-Star Student Achievers Program Presented by Chick-fil-A

The Atlanta Braves and Chick-fil-A have once again teamed up to reward students for academic excellence with the All-Star Student Achievers Program. Students in grades K-12 who achieve Straight A's, Honor Roll, or Perfect Attendance, will receive two complimentary tickets to a 2009 Braves regular season home game and a Chick-fil-A coupon.

New in 2009, students in Georgia's neighboring states will also have the opportunity to earn free Braves tickets in exchange for their good grades and attendance. Students in grades K-12 who live in Greenville, South Carolina; Birmingham, Alabama; and Chattanooga, Tennessee, and those cities' surrounding communities are now eligible to take part in the All-Star Student Achievers Program. For a full list of participating cities in these states and for further information on the program, go to www.braves.com/allstar.

Students can become All-Star Student Achievers if they met one of the following criteria for the 2008 Fall Semester:
• Straight A's (including A-)
• Honor Roll
• Perfect Attendance

Every student participating in the program will be entered into a random drawing for the opportunity to be one of four students selected to attend a Braves batting practice and participate in a special pre-game presentation. Additionally, the metro Atlanta school with the most participation in the All-Star Student Achievers program will receive a special visit from Chick-fil-A and an Atlanta Braves player.

All-Star Student Achiever ticket forms will be distributed by schools to qualifying students. Completed ticket forms, signed by the school principal, must be returned to the Braves ticket office at: P.O. Box 4064, Atlanta, GA 30302 by June 30, 2009.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Youth Equine Champions Honored in Atlanta

More than 400 people visited the Georgia capitol on February 11 for the first Youth Equine Champions Day.

The event was sponsored by Georgia’s Equine Commodity Commission and honored young people who took part in national and international horse shows in 2008. Approximately 180 young equestrians took part in the day’s activities which included tours of the capitol and the opportunity to meet legislators and Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin.

These young people have a 24-7 commitment to their equine partner,” said John Clements of the Equine Commodity Commission.

“Some may think that being an equestrian only means that you ride horses, " he said. "These young people know that it involves feeding, grooming, caring for equipment, and providing veterinary care as well as exercising their animal and learning maneuvers. You see dozens of cowboy hats here for Youth Equine Champions Day, but I also see thousands of hours of hard work and dedication demonstrated by these young people.”

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

DNR Announces 2009 State Investigative Ranger of the Year

Law Enforcement officers with the Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division face a wide variety of natural resource-related criminal activity. Often times, lengthy criminal investigations ensue which require diligence and dedication on behalf of the officers. One outstanding and dedicated ranger, Cpl. Scott Carroll of Albany, was recently recognized by the division as the 2009 State Investigative Ranger of the Year for his work in an extensive poaching investigation last year.

"Cpl .Carroll did an exceptional job with all aspects of this complex investigation, including working closely with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service” says Wildlife Resources Division Chief of Law Enforcement Col. Terry West. “Thanks to Carroll’s unrelenting efforts, the division was able to bring a habitual poacher to justice.”

Carroll’s 10-week investigation began with a tip from a fellow Law Enforcement officer with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The tip led to an investigation involving three Florida residents accused of illegally taking four bucks in Lee County during the 2007-2008 deer firearms hunting season.

The primary suspect in the investigation, a Gulf coast charter boat captain, was a habitual game and fish violator in Florida and since 1993 had been tied to a total of 25 cases involving hunting, fishing and boating violations as well as several drug offenses.

During the nearly 3-month long investigation, Carroll worked closely with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and U.S. Fish and Wildlife officers and Lee County in an effort to convict the suspects. As a result of Carroll’s commitment to the case and excellent documentation of evidence, the violators were advised by their attorney to enter a guilty plea, resulting in 12 hunting violation convictions, a total of $5,000 in fines and a year of suspended hunting privileges.

Cpl. Carroll was nominated for the award by Albany Law Enforcement region supervisor Capt. Jeff Swift and accepted the award from James Lakeman, four-time former president of the Georgia Chapter of the Safari Club International and current member of the Turn In Poachers Board.

Additional Wildlife Resources Division officers nominated for the award by their supervisors for their outstanding investigative work in 2008 include: Cpl. Nathaniel Jones of Calhoun, Cpl. Jason Roberson of Gainesville, Cpl. Brian Hobbins of Thomson, Cpl. Johnny Ashe of Metter and Ranger 1st Class Randy Aspinwall of Brunswick.

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