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Henry County school buses win environmental award

Henry County school buses win environmental award

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. -- School buses are back on the road in Henry County, but that doesn't mean there will be a spike in air pollution.

Henry County Schools recently received the Blue Sky Award from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. It is the highest award offered by the Georgia Diesel Emissions Reduction Program, and is only given to school systems that reduce bus emissions by at least 75 percent.

The county's school buses were gradually updated over the past few years, thanks to ESPLOST funding and a state program.

Henry County Schools spokesperson John Hardin said once the system acquires a new, more environmentally friendly bus, an old one is moved to stand-by or back-up status. Old back-up buses are sold at auction.

School system representatives accepted the Blue Sky Award during the Georgia Association for Pupil Transportation conference and trade show in Jekyll Island in June.

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.

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.

Recycling center accepting Christmas trees

Recycling center accepting Christmas trees

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. -- The Henry County Recycling Center is now accepting live Christmas trees.

Residents can drop off their trees to be turned into mulch, which they can then take home and use in their yards. Both the tree chipping and the mulch are free for those who live in Henry County.

Learn more at henrycounty-ga.org.

The Henry County Recycling Center is located at 65 West Asbury Road in McDonough.

15 counties must clean their air

15 counties must clean their air

ATLANTA -- Air Quality Awareness Week recently came to a close, and 15 metro Atlanta counties didn't quite make the clean air cut.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently changed its standards of attainment for ozone standards from .08 parts per billion to .075 parts.

The change means that 15 formerly compliant counties were re-designated at nonattainment for ground-level ozone: Bartow, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Newton, Paulding and Rockdale.

To clean up the air, residents can try carpooling to work or taking MARTA if possible; fewer cars on the roads means more breathable air for everyone in metro Atlanta.

Learn more about how to reduce emissions and cut down on ozone at www.cleanaircampaign.org.

Henry County Recycling Center marks successful first year

 

It was just over a year ago that Henry County took over management of the Henry County Recycling Center and officials are pleased to announce that the effort has been a successful, in not only cleaning up and organizing the facility, but in reversing what was about to be a $70,000 expenditure into a profitable venture for the County. In 2009, the County paid $36,425 in contracted services to run the recycling center. That amount was slated to go up to $70,000 beginning in 2011 had the contract been renewed.

Instead, the Henry County Division of Public Works took over management of the center last January, in an effort to improve services to citizens and better protect the environment, while making operations more efficient. Terry McMickle, Division Director for the Henry County Public Works Department, gave a presentation at the Board of Commissioners regular meeting last week, where he outlined the changes made since the County took control of the center.

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."