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Hall Co. to use propane-powered school buses

Hall Co. to use propane-powered school buses

HALL COUNTY, Ga. -- The Hall County school system is adding 20 buses powered by liquefied petroleum gas, or propane.

The vehicles are scheduled to hit the streets by early May, making Hall County one of the first school systems in the South to use propane-fueled buses.

Officials say they expect the buses to save money on fuel costs.

Jewel Armour, executive director of operations for Hall County Schools, says the system now pays around $3.50 per gallon for diesel fuel, including delivery fees and taxes. With propane, the total cost is expected to be about $2 per gallon or less.

Register for Appliance Pick-up Week

Register for Appliance Pick-up Week


Hall County residents will have a chance to get rid of large household appliances during the annual Appliance Pick-up Week. Residents must register Feb. 20 - March 2 and will be assigned a date for curbside pick-up. 

Appliances accepted include stoves/ranges, refrigerators/freezers, washers/dryers, water heaters, dish washers. There is a limit of three items per household. 

Call Monday - Friday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 20 - March 2 to register:

* Unincorporated Hall County residents: 770-531-1102

* Gainesville city limits residents: 770-532-0493

* Oakwood city limits residents: 770-534-2365

* Flowery Branch city limits residents: 770-967-6371

Army Corps limits water flow from Lake Lanier

Army Corps limits water flow from Lake Lanier

ATLANTA -- The flow of water from a reservoir that serves much of Metro Atlanta will be restricted as a conservation step during an ongoing drought.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Wednesday that it will cut the flow of water from the dam at Lake Lanier from 750 cubic feet per second to 650 cubic feet per second. Army Corps spokesman Pat Robbins said the goal is to save water in case the drought gets worse.

If more water is available in Lake Lanier, more can be released later on to supplement river systems.

Georgia officials asked for the conservation step earlier this month.

Army officials said they evaluated information from Georgia authorities and determined that decreasing the flow of water into the Chattahoochee River will not harm the environment.

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.

RAW VIDEO: Lawrenceville Brush Fire

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. – Early Monday afternoon, Gwinnett County firefighters responded to a brush fire on Interstate 85 Southbound, just north of Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road in Suwannee.

Emergency crews discovered and contained about two-acres of brush on fire in an area between the interstate and Saw Mill Road.

Authorities say there were no immediate exposure hazards and that no vehicles or structures were damaged.

The cause of the fire is undetermined.

Droughts signals bad news for peanut butter lovers

Droughts signals bad news for peanut butter lovers

ATLANTA -- It's been 30 years since so few acres of peanuts were planted in Georgia.

The shortage and ongoing drought are bringing higher prices for peanuts and their favorite cousin -- peanut butter.

The acreage is down because farmers chose to plant cotton, which was commanding higher prices. It was thought plenty of peanuts would still be available, but many of the plants have not come out of the ground due to drought.

The situation has peanut butter manufacturers bracing for tighter supplies, according to Don Koehler with the Georgia Peanut Commission.

Georgia is the nation's largest producer of peanuts, producing 46 percent of U.S. peanuts.

LOCAL PROFILE: The LGBT Community in Atlanta

LOCAL PROFILE: The LGBT Community in Atlanta

ATLANTA -- According to The Advocate, the U.S. based national gay and lesbian newsmagazine, Atlanta holds the title of “America’s gayest city” and Gay Atlanta, a subsidiary of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau says that Atlanta is the “epicenter of the LGBT South” but according to Phillip Rafshoon of Outwrite Bookstore, Atlanta is just a “progressive city in a conservative state, that’s in a conservative region of the United States. The city serves as a place where people from small, southern towns can come to be who they want to be” which is why the LGBT community loves to call this city, home.

In the nook that is Tenth Street and Piedmont Road, Outwrite Bookstore has been a staple in the Atlanta LGBT community for about 18 years.