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Hall County participates in Bring One for the Chipper

Hall County participates in Bring One for the Chipper

HALL COUNTY, Ga. -- Hall County will participate in this year's Bring One for the Chipper Christmas tree recycling program.

Residents are encouraged to bring their natural Christmas trees to the Hall County Recycling Center or any of the county's 12 compactor sites now through Saturday, Jan. 31. Trees must not be decorated. Artificial trees will not be accepted.

Curbside tree pick-up will be available for city of Gainesville residents.

Hall County residents may also bring their trees to the caboose on Railroad Avenue in Flowery Branch through Friday, Jan. 9, or to the corner of Railroad and Allen streets in Oakwood.

Free mulch created from the chipped trees will be available at the Hall County Recycling Center beginning Monday, Jan. 5, while supplies last.

The Hall County Recycling Center is located at 1008 Chestnut Street in Gainesville.

Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has brought back its Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest for 2014.

This year's theme is Plug into Nature, emphasizing the importance of experiencing wildlife and plants firsthand.

All Georgia students in grades kindergarten through 5 are invited to enter the contest. The top 12 winners' posters will be displayed on the DNR's Flickr site and at the Go Fish Education Center in Perry during the first two weeks in May.

Contest entries are due Apr. 16. Three winners will be picked in four categories (kindergarten, grades 1-2, grades 3-4, grade 5).

Visit georgiawildlife.com for more information about the contest.

Marshal honored for commitment to the environment

Marshal honored for commitment to the environment

HALL COUNTY, Ga. -- A captain with the Hall County Marshal's Office is the 2013 Keep Georgia Beautiful Code Enforcement Officer of the Year.

Andre Niles was honored for his commitment to Georgia and the environment during a ceremony in Atlanta last month.

Niles has organized a group from Hall County to participate in Shore Sweep, which works to clean up litter in and around Lake Lanier. He also helped create a foreclosure registry to help ensure that all Hall County properties are kept up to certain standards.

County pledges to conserve water

County pledges to conserve water

GAINESVILLE, Ga. -- Hall County has launched a campaign to encourage water conservation among residents.

The "How much water do you use?" movement was announced Monday.

Residents are asked to visit mydropcounts.org and take a pledge to use less water. My Drop Counts is a grassroots effort aimed at creating a culture of water conservation in metro Atlanta.

GEMA: Georgians should prepare as hurricane season hurries in

GEMA: Georgians should prepare as hurricane season hurries in

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Emergency Management Agency stresses the importance of safety just before Hurricane Preparedness Week hits. 

During the week, May 26 - June 1, education will be offered to all residents through Georgia who plan to camp outdoors, throw cookouts and spend time at the lakes or in the backyard. Severe weather can make its way here anytime, a Ready Georgia spokeswoman said, which puts Georgians at risk statewide.

County to recycle wrapping paper

County to recycle wrapping paper

HALL COUNTY, Ga. -- Don't discard your used wrapping paper on Christmas morning.

The Hall County Recycling Center will collect paper, holiday cards, gift bags and cardboard boxes after Christmas.

Bring your used holiday goods to the recycling center on Chestnut Street in Gainesville or any of the county's compactor sites to be recycled.

Lake Lanier at lowest level since historic drought

Lake Lanier at lowest level since historic drought

GAINESVILLE, Ga. -- Authorities say Lake Lanier is now at its lowest level since March 2009 after dropping two feet in two weeks.

Officials say the lake is now at 1,058 feet above sea level, or 13 feet below full pool.

The Times of Gainesville reports that the last time Lake Lanier hit such a low mark was during the 2007-09 drought, when the lake was at 1,050.79 feet.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicts that Lanier could drop to 1,055.2 feet by Dec. 21.

The agency says there's been very little rain anywhere in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River basin in recent days. The basin includes portions of Georgia, Florida and Alabama.