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Deal appoints new Ga. EPD director

Deal appoints new Ga. EPD director

ATLANTA -- Jud Turner has been appointed director of the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

The DNR board made the appointment official this week after Gov. Nathan Deal nominated Turner for the post.

Turner replaces F. Allen Barnes, who is leaving to work in the private sector.

Turner is a founding partner in the law firm Turner, Bachman & Garrett LLC and public affairs firm Georgia360 LLC. He was former Gov. Sonny Perdue's lead attorney and represented the governor during negotiations with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service during the state's severe drought.

Turner has also served as general counsel to the Georgia Department of Education.

13 Metro Atlanta communities receive transportation grants

13 Metro Atlanta communities receive transportation grants

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Regional Commission recently awarded $34 million in grants to help 13 Metro Atlanta communities build innovative transportation projects.

Each project includes pedestrian and bicycle improvements to encourage residents to find "greener" ways of getting from place to place, and to make these neighborhoods more livable and supportive of transit.

The money was given through the ARC's Livable Center Initiative, which is funded with federal transportation dollars.

"LCI has helped communities across Metro Atlanta re-tool and redesign over the years, creating more plans that attract residents and businesses alike," said Doug Hooker, executive director of ARC. "This program is a model for others around the country and has helped to create or finalize many of our region's most innovative and livable communities."

Gwinnett celebrates America Recycles Day

Gwinnett celebrates America Recycles Day

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Gwinnett officials are planning the county's second annual America Recycles Day celebration.

Hosted by the Gwinnett County Solid Waste Division, the event will take place from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Nov. 19 at Coolray Field, home of the Gwinnett Braves.

"This event emphasizes the importance of environmental sustainability for the future of Gwinnett County, in addition to giving back to those in need," said Tom Keith, director of the Solid Waste Division.

In addition to recycling, paper shredding, tire disposal and electronics turn-in, the celebration will include touch-a-truck displays, family activities, giveaways and refreshments. There will be a $10 fee to recycle televisions; everything else is free. Attendees are encouraged to bring canned food for the Salvation Army.

Coolray Field is located at 1 Braves Avenue in Lawrenceville.

Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center holds Sustainable Gingerbread House competition

Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center holds Sustainable Gingerbread House competition

Gwinnett County - for the 2nd time the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center is holding a community gingerbread house competition.  The competition is open to families, schools, adults, and even professional bakers. There are different categories for each to keep the judging fair. Wouldn't you like to be a judge... More info is in the press release below:

Green Gingerbread Houses - is there such a thing? Who doesn’t love making adorable gingerbread houses with the family or looking at the intricate works of professional gingerbread house architects?

“Imagine building your dream house with all the sustainable features possible.

Milton Tree Fund receives $500 gift

Milton Tree Fund receives $500 gift

MILTON, Ga. -- A local bank recently presented the Milton Tree Fund with a big donation.

Suwanee-based Quantum Bank gave $500 to the forestry program, which works hard to beautify the city and keep it green.

"We really appreciate the bank's generosity," Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood said. "This gift will go to good use as the city redoubles efforts to sustain this area's natural beauty."

The money will be used to purchase and maintain trees in public areas, according to Mark Law, the city's arborist.

Norcross Clean-Up and Recycling Event Planned

Norcross Clean-Up and Recycling Event Planned

City of Norcross, GA - October 15, 2011, is this year’s fall recycling event in Norcross’ downtown area. Five sites near City Hall stage opportunities for recycling paint and electronics, and shredding documents. In addition, city officials are asking visitors to donate to the “CAN” Do for Hunger Food Drive, a county-wide initiative to fill the shelves of local food pantries.

Clean-up Day is a great reason to clean out garages and basements – throw out anything that’s not a hazardous material. (Open to City of Norcross residents only – new location – the Public Works Barn located at 345 Lively St.) 8am to 3pm. This event is free.

Electronics Recycling means pack rats can get rid of old cell phones, computers and keyboards without guilt!

Drought spreads into North Georgia

Drought spreads into North Georgia

ATLANTA -- Georgia's state climatologist says extreme drought conditions have now spread into North Georgia and cover most of the state south of the mountains.

Climatologist David Stooksbury says all of Georgia's counties are now classified as being in moderate, severe or extreme drought.

In his most recent reports on the drought, Stooksbury said the outlook for relief in the short-term is not promising. Unless Georgia sees some tropical weather over the next few months, the state can expect below-normal rainfall and above-normal temperatures.

Without tropical rain, Georgia's soil is expected to continue to dry out. Stream flows, groundwater levels and reservoir levels are expected to continue to drop, and wildfire potentials are expected to remain high to extreme.