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Southwest Georgia Briefs - April 9, 2014

Jefferson Street lane closure scheduled today

Jefferson Street lane closure today

ALBANY — Motorists traveling south on Jefferson Street near the Liberty Expressway will want to allow for extra travel time or take an alternate route for much of today.

The right lane for southbound traffic will be closed to motorists from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., Georgia Department of Transportation officials say. The portion that will be closed will start at mile marker 14 and extend southward for three-tenths of a mile.

GDOT officials say the lane closure, which was scheduled to avoid the morning and afternoon rush hour traffic, is needed so that the road contractor can pour the bridge deck for a new Liberty Expressway exit ramp for westbound traffic.

Tickets on sale for ACRI fundraiser

ALBANY — Tickets are currently on sale for the May 23 Boyd-Grant Dinner fundraiser that will benefit the Albany Civil Rights Institute.

The dinner, planned for the Albany Civic Center, will be held in honor of local civil rights pioneers H.C. Boyd and the Rev. E. James Grant. Special guest speaker for the dinner will be Patricia Russell-McCloud, the Harvard/Howard University-educated “Alphabet Lady” who is recognized as one of the country’s top orators. The Indianapolis-born Atlanta resident was an attorney with the FCC before turning her focus to her passion for public speaking.

Tickets may be purchased by contacting Civil Rights Institute Director Frank Wilson at (229) 432-1698 or David Milliner at (229) 291-0466. The Civil Rights Institute is located at 326 W. Whitney Ave. in Albany, while Milliner may also be contacted through email at milliner.enterprises@gmail.com.

Public meetings set on rail plan

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Transportation has scheduled three public meetings this month on its development of a 2014 Statewide Rail Plan that would be a blueprint for Georgia passenger and freight rail services through 2040.

The south Georgia meeting will be 5 p.m.-7 p.m. April 17 at Valdosta’s City Hall Annex, 300 N. Lee St. It will be preceded by meetings in Dalton on Tuesday and Atlanta on April 16.

At this first round of public meetings, GDOT officials will explain the purpose of the plan, which would integrate with the Georgia Statewide Transportation Plan and the Statewide Strategic Transportation Plan. They will also listen to Georgians explain what they need and want from rail systems in the state.

The federal government requires that Georgia’s rail plan describe the network, related transportation and economic impacts, and a proposed program of investments in the rail system that are consistent with the plan. GDOT officials say they are reaching out to the state’s railroads, shippers, ports, transit agencies, public sector transportation planners, neighboring states’ transportation officials and the public for information.

This outreach will also be fundamental in establishing the state rail vision, along with supporting goals and objectives, to guide the Department’s rail planning and programming efforts into the future.

For those unable to attend, the presentation and a short survey will be available on the project webpage the week of the meetings at http://www.dot.ga.gov/travelingingeorgia/rail/Pages/StateRailPlan.aspx.

During a second round of meetings in the fall in the same cities, GDOT representatives will explain the plan’s recommendations and solicit further public comment. Dates of those public meetings have not been announced. The planning effort will conclude in December with the publication of the 2014 Georgia State Rail Plan.

Inquiries about the plan can be directed to Harry Boxler, project manager, at hboxler@dot.ga.gov or (404) 631-1225.

Carter Site goes 'wild' for park week

PLAINS — The Jimmy Carter National Historic Site will “Go Wild!” in celebration of National Park Week April 19-27, when admission is free to all national parks.

The celebration starts at noon April 19 with an Easter egg hunt Plains High School. Prizes will be given to participants in three categories — ages 3 and under, ages 4-7, and ages 8-12.

Activities will continue with a “Walk Off Your Lunch” fun walk in which participants can join a park ranger in the lobby of Plains High School at 1 p.m. April 21-25 for a two-mile stroll through Plains. Also during the week, a “Go Wild” video will be on display at the school.

On April 27, Volunteer Day in the National Park Service will be highlighted and VIPs (Volunteers in Parks) celebrated at Jimmy Carter National Historic Site for helping interpret the life of President Jimmy Carter and preserving the nation’s history. Volunteer Day also provides an opportunity for anyone to volunteer at a national park.

The Jimmy Carter National Historic Site also is sponsoring a photo contest, “Go Wild For Our Park.” Open to anyone, and all photos must be taken at the park and submitted by June 30. Three winners will receive an autographed copy of a book authored by President Carter. Official rules and entry form can be found online at www.nps.gov/jica.

For more information, visit the park website, its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/JimmyCarterNHS, or call (229) 824-4104.