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From Michigan to Georgia, Dr. Donald Green decided to pick up his life and move to northwest Georgia to take the role as President of Georgia Highlands College. Listen as Dr. Green speaks on his goal as president and where he invisions GHC going over the next few years.

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Georgia Cheap Oil  
 Allows Gas Hike for Transportation

The Republican controlled Georgia legislature has approved a compromise transportation bill that will provide $900 million in new spending, funded by a variety of tax increases.

For most motorists, the new gas tax will be the first thing that they experience. The legislature has replaced a variety of taxes on gas with one $.26 cent tax on gas and a $.29 tax on diesel. With gas prices having fallen from well over $3 per gallon to in the $2 range, the tax increase will be balanced by lower oil prices.

Georgia is not the only state to use lower gas prices as a means to raise taxes. Iowa and Utah have already raised taxes, while at least 10 other states are moving in the same direction.

Other tax increases/funding measures include:

  • $200 annual fee on electric vehicles
  • Ending the $5,000 electric vehicle tax credit
  • Ending fuel tax break on jet fuel
  • $5 per night tax on hotel rooms
  • Heavy truck fee of $50-100 depending on size

All of these `revenue` measures will come up $100 million short of the $1 billion that politicians had hoped to create.

Senate Democrats failed to include fundng for mass transit and increased minority participation requirements in DOT projects.

State Senator Josh McKoon, a Republican from Columbus, called the bill a `massive tax increase.` On the other hand, Georgia Chamber of Commerce President and CEO said, `Funding Georgia`s transportation infrastructure is one of the most important steps we can take as a state to ensure the safety and economic prosperity of all Georgians.`

`Massive Tax Increase`

Floyd Bowling  and  Amusement Center Local News
  • Rome-Floyd County Signs Recreation Agreement - An agreement has been finalized between Floyd County and Rome City Commissioners creating a new Rome-Floyd County Recreation Department. A joint meeting held on Wednesday was `historic` according to Rome Mayor Jamie Doss. Commissioners as well as a task force have worked for over a year to finalize the agreement. The deal goes into affect immediately. According to officials, the next step will be to reappoint authority members and outline a detailed job description for a new Director.
  • Rome Fugitive from Justice Captured - A Rome man has been captured after he allegedly burglarized a home on Mississippi. Reports said that Malcomb Hampton, 32, traveled to Pontotoc, Mississippi`s and burglarized a home back in January of this year.
  • Heritage First Bank Rated Among Best in Nation - Bauer Financial, Inc., Coral Gables, FL has announced that Heritage First Bank, Rome, Georgia has earned its coveted 5-Star Superior rating. Bauer Financial, the nation’s premier bank rating firm, has been evaluating and rating financial institutions since 1983. A 5-Star Superior rating indicates that Heritage First Bank is one of the strongest banks in the nation, excelling in areas of capital, loan quality, profitability and more.
  • Expect Single Lane Closure on I75 in Bartow County - Motorists should expect the closure of the right lane of I-75 South between mile markers 278.8 and 277.2 in Bartow County on Wednesday, April 1, 2015 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. This lane closure is necessary for Georgia DOT technicians to replace three signs on this portion of the interstate.
  • Northwest Georgia Credit Union Honored - Northwest Georgia Credit Union was recently honored with a Diamond Award, which recognizes outstanding marketing and business development achievements in the credit union industry. The award was presented by the Credit Union National Association Marketing & Business Development Council, a national network comprised of over 1,200 credit union marketing and business development professionals. Awards are given in each of 29 categories ranging from advertising to community events and beyond.
  • Cedar Bluff Murder Suspect Given a Bond - Cherokee County, Alabama investigators spent hours searching for body parts of a man they found dismembered near the Unity Baptist church over the weekend. Since then authorities arrested Terry Lee McKinney, 63 of Cedar Bluff, and charged him with murder. According to WEIS radio, family members have said that the body parts belonged to that of Leroy Pete Foster, whom has been missing since March 23.
  • NWGA Regional Commission Signs off on Avatron - The Northwest Georgia Regional Commission, which oversees 15 counties, has signed off on a proposal that would bring a technology-focused theme park in Bartow County. Avatron USA Development LLC wants to build the virtual reality amusement park on 713 acres in Emerson. Avatron USA is led by Dave Garrett, the former CEO of Atlanta-based Airis Corp., which invested heavily in U.S. airports, including Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, and Newark, N.J.
  • Vann Cherokee Cabin to be Unveiled - The Cave Spring Historical Society invites the public to join the Cave Spring community for a work day to unveil the 1810 Vann Cherokee Cabin on Saturday, April 11, 2015. The Vann Cherokee Cabin was originally discovered beneath the dilapidated structure of the Green Hotel five years ago by a local citizen. Hotel rooms had been added to the cabin obscuring the original structure. After extensive research, the two-story, hand-hewed log cabin was verified to be built in 1810 by Avery Vann of the Cherokee Nation.
  • GHC Campaign Aims to Help Adult Learners - Sometimes it happens this way: you graduate high school, you maybe do a few courses in college, but you end up getting a full-time job instead of completing your degree. Next thing you know you`re married with kids and have a mortgage and you think there is seemingly no way to go back and finish that degree, because you work late, need extra assistance figuring out the right degree path or just don`t think it`s possible. Georgia Highlands College has taken note of the growing number of non-traditional students in the state, and beginning in April, GHC is introducing a new concierge program that aims to aid adult students from start to finish every step of the way.
  • Chase of 100 mph Ends with Arrest - A police chase that reached speeds of 100 miles per hour ended with the arrest of 41 year-old Silver Creek man, Raymond Lee Downs Jr. Reports said that when officers attempted to pull over a car driven by Downs he sped away reaching high speeds. Police added that Downs drove on the wrong side of the road numerous times, and swerved at oncoming traffic causing them to run off the road.
  • Men Arrested for Stealing from Motel - Floyd County Police have arrested two Rome men for allegedly stealing from a Rome motel. Russell Eugene Flachbart, 49, and James Alfred Smith, 51, are charged with stealing chairs, a mini-fridge, weed trimmers, a sandwich station, microwave ovens and electric heaters.
  • Floyd Co Schools selected for Ford Next Generation - The Floyd County Schools College and Career Academy has been selected a Ford Next Generation Learning Community that recognizes the school as one of only 20 in the country to be honored with this designation. The honor by the Ford Motor Company signifies the school is preparing young people for the challenges of the future. The school applied for the competitive Ford grant in the process of strategic planning.
  • DOT to Repair Six Roads in Floyd/Gordon Co. - Georgia DOT’s Maintenance crews will resume their work on repairing the deteriorating edges of pavement on State Route (SR) 293, SR 53 and SR 101 in Floyd County and SR 53, US 41 and SR 61 in Gordon County this week. Work will proceed daily between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., weather permitting.
  • Shorter PreMed Students Presents National Research - Nikki Baldwin, of Adairsville, Ga., and Rachel Butler, of Eva, Ala., were selected to present after submitting abstracts to the conference, which was sponsored by the USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station and the University of Tennessee, Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries. Conference officials noted that it is uncommon for undergraduate students to be selected to present at this level.
  • City Looks to Close on GE Property - Over 120 acres that was once the home of General Electric in West Rome will become the property of the city of Rome in April. Plans are to close on the property the first week of the month.
  • Shorter Granted Reqest to Postpone Litigation - Shorter University was granted a request to postpone preliminary legal litigation by Federal Judge Harold L. Murphy on Monday. The request comes following numerous former students` filing a class action suit against the school after personal information was stolen from a school building last fall. The delay was sought by the University while the court looks at the request to dismiss the suit.
  • 2,000+ Jobs Avaible at Career Expo This Week - Job seekers in northwest Georgia will have excellent opportunities to get a job from among more than 2,000 jobs being offered by employers at a career expo in Catoosa County Thursday, April 2. The Northwest Georgia Career Expo, which will feature about 90 employers, will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Colonnade, 264 Catoosa Circle in Ringgold.
  • Rome Humane Society Member Cited- Animal Cruelty - Floyd County Humane Society member Benny Terry was recently cited for 57 counts of cruelty to animals and unsanitary conditions. Reports said that Terry was found with over 50 dogs and cats living in ‘unacceptable’ conditions at his Lewis Barrett Boulevard home. Officials removed 29 animas from the home because of the conditions and have been sent to foster homes, rescue organizations or a vet’s office. Terry has resigned as operations manager of the Rome-Floyd Humane Society.
  • Polk County Quarantined Animal Shelter - After reporting two cases of Parvo in close to a week, the Polk County Animal Clinic has quarantined its facility and as a result no animals are being released for adoptions. Officials said that the first case was reported on March 21 after being brought to the facility on March 11. The second dog was diagnosed on March 25.
  • 50+ employers hiring at big NW Ga Job Expo - More than 50 employers have registered for the Northwest Georgia Career Expo scheduled for April 2 in Ringgold. The expo is co-sponsored by the Georgia Department of Labor and the Catoosa County Board of Commissioners. The expo will be held at The Colonnade at 264 Catoosa Circle in Ringgold. The site will accommodate as many as 80 employers. The expo will provide employers in the 15-county area with opportunities to recruit qualified and skilled employees. And, the expo will give jobseekers chances to meet reputable employers and expand their career options.
Forum Civic Center Our Choices
  • Deal Tells Agencies to Prepare for Cannabis Law - Gov. Nathan Deal on Friday signed an executive order directing state agencies to begin preparations for enactment of H.B. 1, legislation that will allow the use of cannabis oil for eight medical conditions. Deal will sign the bill after the session to ensure that no conflicts arise with other pieces of legislation. `This executive order is the first step in bringing home families who’ve sought relief elsewhere and for providing new medical solutions for Georgians suffering from debilitating conditions,` Deal said. `I’ve instructed the Georgia Composite Medical Board and the Department of Public Health to begin taking immediate steps ahead of this law’s enactment. At the same time, law enforcement, health care providers and other stakeholders should make appropriate preparations.`
  • Aragon to Look at Sunday Sales Again - Citizens in Aragon will have a chance to yet again vote on Sunday alcohol sales within the city limits this year. This will make the third time voters will have a say in as many voting attempts. If approved this November, residents would begin being able to purchase alcohol on January 1, 2016.
  • Lawmakers Make Changes for Georgia Drivers - Gov. Nathan Deal announced Wednesday that the landmark transportation bill passed and will give Georgia dedicated resources to maintain the state`s roads and bridges. The compromise between House and Senate versions of the plan hinged on the amount of excise taxes people would pay per gallon on gasoline, with proceeds dedicated to transportation. Lawmakers set that at 26 cents per gallon, with diesel fuel at 29 cents per gallon and expect it to raise $700 million.
  • Sen. Approves Payraise for Judges, Public Lawyers - The Georgia Senate has passed a bill that will give a 5 percent pay raise to appellate level judges, district attorneys, public defenders and superior court judges. The bill, which passed 43-9, will also give superior court judges an extra 5 percent raise at the start of the fiscal year July 1 if they also run accountability courts.
  • Georgia Eliminates Graduation Test - Statement from Superintendent Woods regarding the passing and signing of HB 91, which was signed into law Monday, March 30. The law retroactively eliminates the Georgia High School Graduation Test as a requirement for students who took the test between 1994 (when the test was established) and the present. State Board Rule in 2011 eliminated the test as a requirement for graduation, but that elimination did not extend to students who had already taken the test.
Harbin Clinic Area News
Rome`s Extreme Fitness Makever - Week 11
The Rome Athletic Club and Coosa Valley News have again partnered to bring you the weekly video series, Extreme Fitness Makeover Challenge. Watch 10 Romans embark on a 12 week journey to change their lives forever. This week out warriors participate in their final challenge as well as an `inferno` workout in downtown Rome!

  • Educators Found Guilty in Atlanta Test Scandal - Eleven former Atlanta Public Schools educators have been convicted of racketeering. They were on trial for a conspiracy to inflate scores on students` standardized tests. Only one teacher was acquitted of all charges. The 11 convicted represented teachers, testing coordinators and other administrators. An investigation in 2011 found that educators gave answers to students or changed answers on tests after they were turned in. Evidence of cheating was found in 44 schools with nearly 180 educators involved, and investigators found teachers who tried to report it faced retaliation.
  • Heart Transplant Recipient Dies After Police Chase - A 17 year-old Decatur teen, Anthony Stokes, who once had a heart transplant, died after leading police on a chase Tuesday. Police said that they were chasing Stokes following a reported burglary. They added that during the chase a pedestrian was struck before his car crashed. Authorities added that Stokes allegedly carjacked a Honda from Perimeter Mall, then shot an elderly woman during an attempted burglary in Roswell.
  • WellCare Donates $22K to Emory for Behavioral Care - WellCare Health Plans, Inc. announced Wednesday that it donated $22,000 to Emory University to fund behavioral health services for a school-based health center at North Clayton High School in College Park, Georgia. The WellCare-sponsored behavioral health services include on-site individual counseling and support groups. Emory University will evaluate the effect behavioral health services can have on school attendance and the need for disciplinary action.
  • Man and Wife Arrested for String of Burglaries - An Altoona man and his wife have been arrested and charged in connection to five burglaries that date back to February 2015, according to Etowah County, AL Sheriff Todd Entrekin. Grover Wayne Carter, 37, is charged with five counts of third degree burglary and one count of first degree theft of property, all are felonies. His wife, Elsa Pearl Carter, 28, is charged with two counts of third degree burglary, which are felonies.
  • GA DOT Limits Construction for Next Two Weekends - Motorists traveling this weekend or next for Easter, Spring Break, or for the Atlanta Braves’ opening home stand, should find their trips less stressful thanks to construction lane closure restrictions by the Georgia Department of Transportation. This Easter weekend, Georgia DOT will limit lane closures on Interstate Highways throughout the state from midnight Friday, April 3, until 5 a.m. Monday, April 6.
  • Athens Woman Sentenced for Setting Two Major Fires - An Athens woman who pleaded guilty to setting fire to a homeless camp in Athens has been sentenced to prison. Reports said that Carole Rayeanne Childers-Queen, 45, was sentenced to 20-years for the 2013 fire under a bridge and an earlier arson blaze at a home in east Athens.
  • Distracted Driving Awareness Month in Georgia - To help reduce the thousands of distracted driving crashes that occur every year in Georgia, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is joining a nationwide effort proclaiming April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
  • Woodruff Arts Center Launches $100M Campaign - The Woodruff Arts Center announced Wednesday that they are going to launch a $100 million `Transformation` campaign. The performing arts and cultural organization also announced it has already raised $61.8 million toward the $100 million goal.
  • American Legion Donates $10K to Ga 4th Graders - The Georgia American Legion has donated $10,000 to help State School Superintendent Richard Woods and the Georgia Department of Education distribute copies of the Constitution to every fourth-grader in Georgia. Superintendent Woods first spoke about the project, which upon completion will provide a pocket copy of the Constitution to each of Georgia`s 120,000+ fourth-graders, in the early days of his term. All funding will be donated and no taxpayer funds will be used to purchase or distribute the Constitutions.
  • Georgia on Shortlist for Volvo Plant - Volvo Cars announced this week that it will build a $500 million plant in the United States, and Georgia is on the short list of locations being considered. According to other states being considered are Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina and South Carolina.
  • Tyson Foods to Close Georgia Plant - Tyson Foods Inc. announced that they will close its Buena Vista location and cut a third shift from a Dawson, Georgia plant. The company announced that the cuts will result in the loss of close to 260 jobs in total.
  • Athens Police Searching for 10 Ft, 300 LB Rooster - Athens Police said that someone stole a 10 foot-tall, 300-pound metal rooster from its perch outside a local business. Lexington Vintage owner Bonnie Harris reported that `Rocket the Rusty Rooster` was taken sometime over the weekend.
  • Sandy Springs Police Looking for Squatter - Sandy Springs police is looking for a man who stole a $1.5 million home, one year after he did that to another victim. Reports said that Kevin Smalls broke into the home on Forest Hills Drive, changed the locks, and lived until he was discovered by a Realtor who came to show the foreclosed home.
  • Teen Charged with Killing Girlfriend - Omar Ezzikouri, an 18 year-old Gwinnett County teen, has been arrested and charged with allegedly killing his girlfriend during a drug deal. Police said that Ezzikouri was charged with murder and conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.
  • Decatur Men Sentenced for Robbing Mail Carriers - William Wilkins, 28, and Michael Fairnot-Woods,27, both of Decatur, have been sentenced to 18 years and 15 years in federal prison, respectively, for their roles in an armed robbery spree that targeted U.S. Postal Service letters carriers in Decatur and Lithonia. The robberies were part of a scheme to steal a rival drug dealer`s marijuana that was being shipped illegally through the mail. The conspirators also sought to steal financial documents and blank checks that were then used for bank fraud and identity theft.
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The Madd Man - Mark Miller
Down to the Final Four. College basketball will crown its champion Monday night with only one real question. Can anybody beat Kentucky? The Wildcats are now 38-0 and just two wins away from the first undefeated season decades. They will face Wisconsin Saturday and (if victorious) the winner of the Michigan State-Duke game.

All three of the other Final Four teams are playing great basketball right now. That`s how you get to the Final Four. But, in all likelihood, if Kentucky plays their best basketball they will cut down the nets Monday night. Normally, I would be pulling for the SEC but not here.

I have made no secret of my disdain for John Calipari. In my opinion, he is everything that ails today`s college athletics. He has no qualms about signing a team full of one-and-done players. He makes no effort to even pretend it has anything to do with getting an education or teaching young men. It is about winning and winning only. His, at least somewhat questionable, relationships with people like World Wide Wes create a seemingly seedy (if not technically disallowed) side of college basketball. William Wesley is widely considered a `power broker` within the NBA. The fact that he is a close friend of Calipari and therefore of his players plays a huge part in Kentucky`s ability to stack their roster with one-and-done McDonald`s All-Americans every year. Players come to Kentucky with the promise of having an advocate for them with NBA teams, coaches and agents. I will admit that the NCAA has looked into it and ruled it is not a violation but that doesn`t mean it is not bad for college basketball.

Some people believe that what Kentucky does in basketball is a wonderful thing and it is strike back against a college sports environment that gets rich off of young athletes that get little in return. That is mostly a myth. The vast majority of college athletic departments barely tread water financially and athletic scholarships help FAR more young people than are hurt in any way by the status quo in college sports. And, quite frankly, the truly talented athletes make their money eventually due in part to the training and exposure they get in college.

There is more to the story as well. Shortly after Calipari left the University of Massachusetts, UMass ended up on probation for NCAA violations. Somehow, Calipari escaped blame. Shortly after he departed the University of Memphis the Tigers found themselves on NCAA probation for rules violations but again somehow Calipari skated away clean. Are you starting to notice a trend here? It reminds me of an old Cheech and Chong routine about two Germans trying to avoid stepping in something undesirable. I don`t like the man. I just don`t. So I will be rooting for Wisconsin Saturday and if that fails I will be rooting for either Michigan State or Duke on Monday night. And it will probably all be to no avail. Sleaze is often quite successful.

As for my own bracket (for entertainment purposes only) I am clinging tenaciously to first place but I cannot win any more points this weekend. Perhaps, if Michigan State finds a way to win it all I can squeak out a victory. I have as much respect for Spartan head coach Tom Izzo as I have disdain for Calipari. Izzo continues to take his teams deep into the tournament without the roster full of elite players that Calipari enjoys. He does it by teaching fundamentals and fielding a team that has learned to play the game the right way. So I am a big Spartan fan this week. That might be the kiss of death this year. We will see.

Mark Miller

  • Berry Baseball downs Covenant - The Berry College baseball team (16-12-1) defeated Covenant College (9-15) for the second time this season at William R. Bowdoin Field on Tuesday night. Alex McGill led the Vikings offense going 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs. Two of McGill`s hits were doubles, his 10th and 11th on the year.
  • Lady Vikings LAX Falls to Piedmont - Although Kim Fischer netted 3 goals for the Vikings, the Berry College women`s lacrosse team lost their first home game of the season to Piedmont College, 22-7, on Tuesday afternoon. The loss dropped BC to 7-4 overall. The win improved the Lions to a perfect 12-0 on the year.
  • GHC to Host All Star Game - Georgia Highlands College Athletics will be hosting the Northwest Georgia Tip Off Club All-Star Basketball games on Saturday April 18th. The teams are made up of all-star players from across Northwest Georgia.
  • Bob Horner to Appear in Rome May 8th - The Rome Braves announce that former Atlanta Brave Bob Horner will appear in Rome on Friday night May 8th. Horner played for the Braves from 1978-1986 and was an integral part of the 1982 Western Division Championship team.
  • Falcons to Lose Draft Pick for Fake Crowd Noise - The Atlanta Falcons will forfeit a fifth-round 2016 draft pick, pay a $350,000 fine and will be suspended from the NFL`s competition committee for three months for pumping in crowd noise at the Georgia Dome. The NFL announced the penalty on Monday.
  • Nick Voso claims SAA weekly defensive award - The SAA announced the men`s lacrosse Defensive Player of the Week for matches played March 23-29 and Berry`s Nick Voso captured the honor.
  • Berry Women`s Golf Ends 3rd at UCSC Invite - The Berry College golf team finished in third place at the UC Santa Cruz Invitational, which concluded on Sunday at the Pacific Grove Golf Links. The Vikings shot an identical 342 from Saturday and closed with a final tally of 684. Full results Sydney Weaver again led BC. She shot an 82 on the final round and finished with a 162 tally, good enough for fifth place. Sydney Maluenda of George Fox took medalist honors (73-74--147).
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A Single Coupon - with Jamie Baker
Alpo Dog Treats Just $1.24 at Walmart!

M&M`s only 50¢ at Rite Aid!

Walgreens Weekly Top Coupon Matchups - 3/29-4/4/15

Here`s our `best of the best` for the week beginning 3/29! Great deal on Well Beginnings diapers and a few others. Check them out!


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Community Events
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    • Sulzbacher Roman Holiday is Open for Bookings - The Sulzbacher Roman Holiday, the City of Rome`s public excursion boat, is now open to book for the 2015 season for private excursions. Tickets are also on sale for the public Rolling on the River tour scheduled for May.

      T-Rex Display for Kids at Rome Forum - This is an indoor event, the dinosaur exhibit and the bounce houses are all indoors. Friday April 3rd: 11am-9pm and Saturday April 4th: 11am-9pm.Beginning April 3rd– T. REX PLANET will l and at the Forum Civic Center in Rome, Georgia. There will be a range of fun and engaging activities designed to appeal to and engage all members of the family. This event simulates what it would be like to experience the Jurassic, Triassic, and Cretaceous periods first hand.