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CODE ORANGE Air Quality Alert issued again

CODE ORANGE Air Quality Alert issued again

A Code Orange Air Quality Alert is in effect for Atlanta today.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division has issued the warning which means the air quality is unhealthy for sensitive groups.

Under Code Orange conditions the outdoor air is likely to be unhealthy for children, people who are sensitive to ozone and people with heart or lung disease.

You should limit outdoor activities during the late afternoon or early evening when ozone concentrations are highest.

Future of State Health Benefit Plan to be secured

Future of State Health Benefit Plan to be secured

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Department of Community Health has adopted a proposal to secure the future of the State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP).

The initiative introduces a new consumer-directed wellness plan, improves plan administration, eliminates the SHBP's projected deficit for this year and substantially reduces future deficits.

"The board is pleased to endorse this thoughtful and responsible plan that is not afraid to tackle the big issues," said DCH board chairman Ross Mason. "This is a forward-looking plan that provides real bottom line-driven solutions."

SHBP is facing a projected deficit of slightly more than $800 million during the next two years.

"Our major concern is the continued delivery of quality health care services at an affordable cost," said DCH commissioner David Cook.

Regents vote to hike health costs for employees

Regents vote to hike health costs for employees

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Board of Regents is raising health insurance premiums for employees and cutting coverage for about 700 workers.

The board voted Tuesday to hike rates by 5.2 percent. The university system will save $30 million by limiting access to certain doctors and hospitals.

University system workers, like all state employees, received no pay increase this year.

The board also voted to cut insurance for about 700 part-time employees by raising the minimum number of hours they have to work to qualify for coverage from 20 to 30 per week. The change will save about $1.5 million.

This is the first time since 2008 that insurance premiums have increased.

GBI: Prescription drug overdoses rise

GBI: Prescription drug overdoses rise

DECATUR, Ga. -- An analysis of autopsies by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has found a 10 percent increase in the number of prescription overdose deaths in 2010 compared to 2009.

The analysis shows that the number of drug overdose deaths involving only prescription drugs jumped from 508 in 2009 to 560 in 2010. It also showed that 68 other deaths were attributed to a combination of prescription and illicit drugs.

In all, there were 729 drug overdose deaths in 2010. Most of those deaths were found to be accidental, but about nine percent were determined to be suicides.

The analysis of the GBI Medical Examiner's drug overdose autopsies involves 152 counties. The study does not include several Metro Atlanta counties, including Fulton, Cobb, Gwinnett and DeKalb.

Coca-Cola Issues an A.P.B. (All Play Bulletin) to Families: Go Outdoors. Play in the Park. Vote.

Coca-Cola Issues an A.P.B. (All Play Bulletin) to Families: Go Outdoors. Play in the Park. Vote.

America Is Your Park campaign urges families to get out, discover fun ways to get active in the park while helping their favorite park win big

 

ATLANTA, July 10, 2011 – If you’re reading this, you should get to your favorite park – STAT! Coca-Cola is calling all families to go out and play this summer as part of the second annual America Is Your Park campaign.

Georgia Eye Care Experts Warn Parents of 1,800⁰ F of Holiday Danger & Say Avoid Sparklers on July 4

Georgia Eye Care Experts Warn Parents of 1,800⁰ F of Holiday Danger & Say Avoid Sparklers on July 4
Georgia Eye Care Experts Warn Parents of 1,800⁰ F of Holiday Danger & Say Avoid Sparklers this Fourth of July Georgia Optometric Association Offers Tips to Celebrate the Holiday Safely

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.