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BIG 10: Most-read articles for Nov. 15-22 at www.albanyherald.com

Rural hospital closings rock Southwest Georgia is top story

These were the 10 most viewed stories at www.albanyherald.com for the week of Nov. 15-22

1. Hospital closings devastate rural counties in Georgia

ATLANTA — What happens when a rural community loses a hospital? Jobs disappear. Hopes for economic development fade. Residents look for a new route to the nearest hospital. Georgia has seen three rural hospitals close this year: Charlton Memorial Hospital in Folkston; Stewart-Webster Hospital in Richland; and Calhoun Memorial in Arlington.

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2. Dawson mayor: Shooting was politically motivated

DAWSON — In his first public statement since being shot five times on Halloween night, Dawson Mayor Chris Wright told The Albany Herald on Thursday that he believes the attack was politically motivated.

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3. Former Albany teacher convicted of pandering

ALBANY — Former Westover High School teacher and coach Reastgo Holmes was convicted Friday on one count of pandering — offering money for sex — to a female under the age of 18, officials say.

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4. ASU beats Miles for SIAC championship

ALBANY — Once left for dead, the Albany State Rams never looked more alive Saturday night at Lakewood Stadium in Atlanta. Trailing by a touchdown entering the fourth quarter of the SIAC championship game against Miles, the Rams scored 10 straight points to complete one of the best turnaround seasons in program history with a 17-14 victory, capturing the team’s 20th conference title.

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5. Southwest Georgia’s Plantation Trace will soon have tourism manager

ALBANY — The Plantation Trace tourism region, of which Albany is the hub, will soon be getting a full time project manager. The Georgia Department of Economic Development, which handles tourism throughout the state, has begun the search for a tourism project manager devoted to developing tourism projects in the southwestern part of the state.

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6. Buster Posey to visit Lee County to raise funds for Learning Center

LEESBURG — Major League Baseball star Buster Posey is set to return to his hometown Thursday for an appearance to benefit Lee County Transitional Learning Center.

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7. Georgia Supreme Court reverses ruling in Albany medical malpractice case

ALBANY — The Supreme Court of Georgia has reversed a Georgia Court of Appeals decision and ruled in favor of the parents of a teenage boy who died in Albany two weeks after he was treated in a hospital emergency room.

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8. Dougherty County Jail Report - Nov. 18, 2013

These are individuals who were booked into the Dougherty County Jail Nov. 7-14, 2013. The listing includes name, date of booking, law enforcement agency, reason for booking, bond and date of release.

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9. Cuthbert’s Cole Taylor inks songwriting deal with Universal Publishing Group

CUTHBERT — Most of us listen to current Top 10 hits by Miley Cyrus (“Wrecking Ball”), Avicii (“Wake Me Up”), One Direction (“Story of My Life”) and Lady Gaga (“Applause”), and we marvel at the talent of the artists who perform them. Cuthbert-born country singer/songwriter Cole Taylor listens to those songs a little differently these days, secure in the knowledge that he can call the people responsible for them — the songwriters — his co-workers.

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10. Man steals alligator from Flint RiverQuarium

ALBANY — A 40-year-old homeless man has been arrested for stealing an alligator from the Flint RiverQuarium on Thursday afternoon. According to reports, Hai Tang, of Gainesville, Ga., was charged with taking the 3-foot alligator, which aquarium workers recovered.

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