Read the latest Georgia news from The Albany Herald newspaper in Albany, GA and albanyherald.com

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Georgia Hospital Association CMO Doug Patten says soaring health care costs must be brought under control

Patten says country is spending twice as much money on health care as the rest of the developed world

Former Phoebe CMO Doug Patten says U.S. health care is top notch, but comes at twice the cost of the rest of the world.

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Gov. Deal orders noon Wednesday closings in winter storm warning counties

Some parts of northern Georgia may see 3-5 inches of snow Wednesday

With a winter storm forecast for parts of northern Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal orders state offices to close at noon Wednesday in effected counties, where a state of emergency will be effective at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Senators from Georgia blast pipeline veto

Neither chamber passed with veto-proof two-thirds majority

President Obama vetoes Keystone XL pipeline. House and Senate would need two-thirds majorities to override.

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Southwest Georgia farmer speaks to U.S. Senate ag committee | VIDEO

Ronnie Lee of Bronwood talks about impact of 2014 farm bill on producers

Ronnie Lee, who farms in Lee, Terrell and Sumter counties, tells senators that sound U.S. farm policy is essential in the production and marketing of crops such as cotton and peanuts.

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Rural health panel offers plan to cut ER use

Pilot sites includes Crisp Regional Hosptal in Cordele

The four pilot sites would be based in hospitals that serve different rural regions of the state: Union General in Blairsville, Appling HealthCare in Baxley, Crisp Regional in Cordele and Emanuel Medical Center in Swainsboro.

Daily gas pump average price increases reach four full weeks

The national average for 2015 is expected by federal officials to be $2.33 this year

As warm weather approaches, so do 30- to 50-cent increases at the gas pump, market experts say.

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Will your hospital change hands?

Partnerships, purchases on the rise

The moves are coming fast as the whole U.S. health care system undergoes a transformation, at least partly because of the Affordable Care Act. Hospitals are being squeezed financially by changes in the way they are reimbursed, and by federal cuts and penalties.

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Plant-based diet, exercise needed to protect heart health

Albany dietitian who achieved 100 pound weight loss discusses healthy diet and lifestyle

The focus should be on a diet that is plant-based and includes a healthy balance of lean meats, fish, whole grains, nuts and legumes, low fat dairy products — or soy milk, if lactose is out of the question — and vegetable oils, experts say.

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Dick Stevens discusses role as Corrections Department investigator

Team investigates complaints inside Georgia prisons

Officer says many inmates don’t come into the correctional system as gang members, but they become gang-involved while in prison. New inmates may often join gangs inside prison walls as a matter of protection from other inmates.

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Port of Savannah quickly becoming East Coast's leading port | VIDEO

Leo Beckmann of Georgia Ports Authority addresses Albany Rotary Club

Albany Rotary Club members got an opportunity to learn why the port of Savannah is so important to the state’s economy during a presentation at the club’s regular meeting Thursday from Leo Beckmann of the Georgia Ports Authority.

Blue Cross offers help after customers hacked

All three million Georgia members potentially affected

Current and former Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia members are being offered free identity repair assistance and credit monitoring services in the wake of a massive data breach involving the insurer’s parent company, Anthem.

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Senate Democrats want say in Gov. Nathan Deal's 'Opportunity Schools' proposal

Six Dougherty schools are on list of chronically under-performing schools

Senate Democrats want input into Gov. Nathan Deal’s proposal to takeover state’s most distressed schools.

Atlanta-based Heartland Media buys Tupelo TV station WTVA

Purchase ends 57-year ownership of WTVA by Spain family

Heartland Media acquires its fifth TV station as the Atlanta-based broadcasting group purchases WTVA from the Spain family in Tupelo, Miss.

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Merger would create a giant in Atlanta health care

Emory and WellStar consolidation would shake up Atlanta health care market

Emory University and WellStar Health System announced last week that they are discussing a merger of their medical assets, a fusion that would face regulatory and logistical challenges. Completion of a deal is at least a year away.

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Albany Technical College set to roast former Dougherty District Attorney Ken Hodges at fundraiser

The 12th annual Albany Tech Foundation fundraiser is set for March 20

Former Dougherty County DA Ken Hodges will face zingers, barbs and quips next month at the Albany Tech Foundation annual fundraiser roast.

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