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Mike Stewart named new district Extension director for Southwest District

Stewart is a former assistant director of the Association County Commissioners of Georgia

As Southwest District Extension director, Mike Stewart will be responsible for a 41-county region that includes metro Albany.

Albany Herald reader could win vehicle, vacation

Mazda CX-5, Florida trip on the line

The Herald and its six sister SCNI newspapers are partnering with Visit Florida to give away a 2015 Mazda CX-5 and a three-night stay at One Ocean Resort and Spa at Jacksonville.

Albany Area Coming Up Calendar - July 8-14, 2015

The following is a list of events happening in the area this week.

Georgia Briefly

A roundup of news from the state of Georgia.

Ten deaths reported on Georgia roads over Independence Day holiday; gas prices at five-year low on the Fourth; preservation office seeks public’s input on updating statewide plan.

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Harveys supermarket supports Wounded Warriors

Harveys supermarkets to donate July 4th profits to Wounded Warriors

In an effort to show their support for those that have sacrificed for the country’s independence Harveys supermarket and its parent company Southeastern Grocers will be donating all of the company’s profits on July Fourth to the Wounded Warrior Project.

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U.S. Sen. Johnny Iskason cool on U.S. thawing relations with Cuba

Senator from Georgia said Cuban government still has much for which to answer

The announcement Wednesday that the United States and Cuba would resume diplomatic ties Wednesday is another example of the Obama administration negotiating “what the other side wants first,” U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., says.

Fourth of July travel expected to be heaviest in eight years

More than 1.17 million Georgians expected to travel over the long Independence Day weekend

With 41.5 million people expected to travel over the Fourth of July holiday period, about 85 percent will go by auto. Low gas prices, higher wages and a more optimistic view of the economy are seen as contributing factors for the increased travel, which will be watched closely by increased patrolling on the part of law enforcement.

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New fireworks law allows bigger bangs

July 1 law allows any legally made fireworks not banned by the federal government

Georgia HB 110, signed by Gov. Nathan Deal, makes legal many types of commercial fireworks just in time for Independence Day festivities.

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Albany Area Coming Up Calendar - July 1-7, 2015

Events in and around the Albany area

Get ready for some bright lights overhead and loud bangs as Albany and Southwest Georgia celebrate the nation's birthday.

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State gas tax hike hits local governments hardest

Loss of exemption increases government fuel costs by 18 1/2 cents a gallon

While drivers in Georgia are expecting a 6 to 7 cent uptick in fuel costs through the Transportation Funding Act of 2015, local governments are looking at an 18 1/2-cents-a-gallon increase.

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Georgia, other states want federal waters rule stricken

Attorneys general say EPA, Corps of Engineers illegally expanding authority over waters

In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court, Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens and AG’s with other states are asking a federal judge to find a new rule the federal Environmental Protecion Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers have written to be an illegal usurping of states’ authority and to prevent the rule from being implemented.

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Georgia delegation congressional votes - June 19-25, 2015

House and Sente votes cast by the Georgia congressional delegation

These are key votes that were cast by Georgia’s congressional delegation from XXX until XXX.

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Albany State University is having economic, research impacts on Southwest Georgia

According to a 2014 study by the University of Georgia, ASU had $141 million impact on region

Touting its economic impact over nine southwest Georgia, Albany State University officials said last week that the university is also making its presence felt regionally and nationally in the area of research.

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First Albany X-BOTS event draws attention to STEM education | PHOTOS | VIDEO

Albany Technical College and GeorgiaFIRST bring off-season robotics competition to Albany

While robotics is still a new educational tool in Albany and Southwest Georgia, Albany Tech officials have ambitions to make ATC a regional robotics hub, which also could have a positive effect on STEM studies and education rates in the region.

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Scorching summer heat may cut watermelon crop early

As temperatures nudge triple digits, melons are getting sunburned

Watermelons, a staple of Fourth of July festivities, are looking at a shorter-then-normal season that could end as early as Wednesday.