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Father on a mission to stop opioid overdoses

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  David Laws lost his daughter Laura to a drug overdose when she was 17. Laws helped get the Georgia 911 Medical Amnesty law passed and wants to keep overdoses from happening to other families.

 

For Pickens County resident David Laws, opioid overdoses aren’t just statistics. Four years ago, Laws lost his daughter to an overdose and he has dedicated his life to keeping them from happening in the future. 

His daughter Laura’s battle with drugs began like so many others who become substance abusers. She was prescribed a liquid opioid after she broke her jaw playing sports in high school. That was when she was 15. It was just two years later when she OD’d at a friend’s house. Laura had been in and out of recovery, including detox and a 30-day residential treatment program, but her addiction finally won.

Read more: Father on a mission to stop opioid overdoses

Drivers will see cellphone ban across the state if bill is passed

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By Diane Wagner

Staff writer

Rome News-Tribune

 

Legislation banning the use of cellphones while driving is being drafted for the upcoming Georgia General Assembly session and, this time around, Rep. Eddie Lumsden expects wide support.

Texting while driving was banned in 2010, but the Armuchee Republican — who serves on the House Distracted Driving Study Committee — said the compromise bill failed to stem the rise of accidents with injuries or fatalities.

“The texting law is really ineffective,” Lumsden said Wednesday. “The penalties aren’t stringent enough and there are many loopholes.”

Read more: Drivers will see cellphone ban across the state if bill is passed

Jasper bicyclist completes 13,000 mile trip around America

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       Mike McGhee on his touring bicycle after riding the perimeter of the nation.

Click here to follow along with McGhee's adventures on his blog.

 

Mike McGhee cruised back into town Thursday on his bicycle after a 13,334-mile trip around the perimeter of the United States, saying that it was mostly fun.

Arriving a month ahead of schedule after departing on January 1, the Jasper cyclist was on his third bicycle and had spent a month recuperating after being hit by a truck in Texas on March 6 (which destroyed bike #1). 

Looking back over the many days, McGhee described the trip as fun  - doing something he enjoyed and visiting towns where he could have the occasional beer and a good meal and find lodging when he needed it.

“I got to see stuff, talk to people,” he said. “It’s a simple lifestyle; you know exactly what you are going to do the next day.”

Read more: Jasper bicyclist completes 13,000 mile trip around America

Whipping up life skills at the Dragon Table

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Angela Reinhardt / Photo

Pickens High School’s special education students take turns adding ingredients to make a batch of cookie dough for the Dragon Snack program, funded in part by the state’s Innovation Fund Tiny Grant.

 

 

On a recent afternoon, the smell of fresh baked cookies filled the Dragon Snack Shack at Pickens High School, where special education students were busy measuring, pouring, and mixing up the week’s batch of goodies - oatmeal peanut butter cookies. 

“We’ll do muffins, cookies, and other types of treats each week,” said special ed teacher Diane Hicks, who along with teacher Darya Schmidt wrote and received a $6,500 grant through the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement for their Dragon Table program, which has four project areas where special ed students develop a variety of life and business skills.  

Read more: Whipping up life skills at the Dragon Table

Jasper Merchants trying to salvage New Year’s party

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A shot from one of the downtown New Year's Eve celebrations hosted by the City of Japser. 

        The Jasper Merchants Association is working to salvage the New Year’s Eve celebration after the city council voted to not fund it at their last meeting. However, the volunteer group knows it won’t be easy to get the party started.

“It’s not a done deal,” said the merchant’s vice president Kirk Raffield. “I’m not going to say we are going to have one, but we will go before the council and petition them to let it occur.” Be sure to see our editorial this week, "Time is of the essence with New Year's Eve decision.

        See full story in this week's print or online editions.