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Gainesville police to give away booster seats

Gainesville police to give away booster seats

GAINESVILLE, Ga. -- The Gainesville Police Department will give away booster seats to local parents this weekend.

Come to police headquarters (701 Queen City Parkway) from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday to receive a free booster seat and learn about ways to keep children safe in the car.

State officials would like to remind parents of the new child restraint law. Beginning July 1, children must be properly restrained in a booster seat appropriate for their height and weight until they are eight years old.

A certified child passenger safety specialist will be on hand during the event to check car and booster seats for proper installation.

Booster seats will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis.

Feds crack down on prescription drug trafficking

Feds crack down on prescription drug trafficking

ATLANTA -- A federal grand jury in Atlanta has charged a total of 13 defendants from two states with illegally trafficking in oxycodone and other prescription drugs.

The two cases arise out of intensified efforts to address Georgia's growing problem with prescription drug abuse.

"Prescription drug abuse is our nation's fastest-growing segment of illegal drug use, causing significantly more overdose deaths than cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin combined," said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.

In the first incident, 11 Georgia residents were charged with conspiring to forge oxycodone prescriptions and sell the illegally obtained tablets.

DEA applauds huge turnout on Drug Take-Back Day

DEA applauds huge turnout on Drug Take-Back Day

ATLANTA -- Americans participating in the United States Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) second National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day event last weekend turned in more than 376,593 pounds of unwanted or expired medications.

This is 55 percent more than the 242,000 pounds the public brought in during last September's event.

The medications were taken to 5,361 take-back sites in all 50 states.

"The amount of prescription drugs turned in by the American public during the first two take-back events is simply staggering -- 309 tons -- and represents a clear need for a convenient way to rid homes of unwanted or expired prescription drugs," said DEA administrator Michele M. Leonhart.

Positive rabies alert in Hall County

Positive rabies alert in Hall County

GAINESVILLE, Ga. -- Hall County Animal Control has announced that a rabid raccoon made contact with two dogs in the Lanier Boulevard area of southern Hall County earlier this week.

On May 6, officials with the Georgia Public Health Lab in Decatur confirmed that the raccoon had rabies. This is the seventh official rabies case of 2011.

Positive alert signs will be posted in the area where the rabid raccoon was located.

Hall County residents are advised to call Animal Control at 770-531-6830 if they see an animal acting strangely.

Pet owners are also encouraged to vaccinate their cats and dogs for rabies. Vaccines are available for $10 at the Hall County Animal Shelter (1688 Barber Road, Gainesville, 30507) Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Protect yourself against mosquitoes, ticks

Protect yourself against mosquitoes, ticks

ATLANTA -- The state's first 2011 case of West Nile Virus (WNV) has been confirmed in a horse in Southeast Georgia.

Now, the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) recommends that all Georgians protect themselves from mosquitoes and remove any standing water from their property.

"While this is a non-human case, we recognize that the mosquito and tick season is starting earlier than in previous years," said Dr. Anil T. Mangla, program director of infectious disease & immunization and acting state epidemiologist for the DCH.

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