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Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has brought back its Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest for 2014.

This year's theme is Plug into Nature, emphasizing the importance of experiencing wildlife and plants firsthand.

All Georgia students in grades kindergarten through 5 are invited to enter the contest. The top 12 winners' posters will be displayed on the DNR's Flickr site and at the Go Fish Education Center in Perry during the first two weeks in May.

Contest entries are due Apr. 16. Three winners will be picked in four categories (kindergarten, grades 1-2, grades 3-4, grade 5).

Visit georgiawildlife.com for more information about the contest.

GEMA: Georgians should prepare as hurricane season hurries in

GEMA: Georgians should prepare as hurricane season hurries in

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Emergency Management Agency stresses the importance of safety just before Hurricane Preparedness Week hits. 

During the week, May 26 - June 1, education will be offered to all residents through Georgia who plan to camp outdoors, throw cookouts and spend time at the lakes or in the backyard. Severe weather can make its way here anytime, a Ready Georgia spokeswoman said, which puts Georgians at risk statewide.

Eight campus buildings compete in RecycleMania Tournament

Eight campus buildings compete in RecycleMania Tournament

ATHENS, Ga. -- For the 13th year, the RecycleManiacs are holding their annual tournament at the University of Georgia. 

The competition runs through March 29, when students of eight campus buildings will vie to reach the highest recycling rate. 

Program Coordinator for the Office of Sustainability Andrew Lentini said, "If participating in RecycleMania forces our community to think about putting that can or newspaper into a recycling bin rather than one destined for landfill, we think that's a great success."

The eight buildings taking on RecycleMania include journalism, psychology, chemistry, biological sciences, Miller Plant Sciences, Aderhold Hall, Lamar Dodd School of Art an Hugh Hodgson School of Music. 

Drought spreads into North Georgia

Drought spreads into North Georgia

ATLANTA -- Georgia's state climatologist says extreme drought conditions have now spread into North Georgia and cover most of the state south of the mountains.

Climatologist David Stooksbury says all of Georgia's counties are now classified as being in moderate, severe or extreme drought.

In his most recent reports on the drought, Stooksbury said the outlook for relief in the short-term is not promising. Unless Georgia sees some tropical weather over the next few months, the state can expect below-normal rainfall and above-normal temperatures.

Without tropical rain, Georgia's soil is expected to continue to dry out. Stream flows, groundwater levels and reservoir levels are expected to continue to drop, and wildfire potentials are expected to remain high to extreme.

ATHENS: UGA researcher finds cold affects coral reefs

ATHENS: UGA researcher finds cold affects coral reefs

ATHENS, Ga. -- A new study by a University of Georgia researcher shows extremely low temperatures can affect coral reefs, just as high temperatures can.

UGA researcher Dustin Kemp grew interested in the subject after an extended cold snap in reefs off of the Florida Keys in early 2010 revealed a reef that was essentially dead.

Kemp tested different types of coral in cold water. He found that while responses varied among the types, the stress of extended cold temperatures had a similar effect to that of high temperatures.

Kemp said the study shows that warming might not be the only climate-related problem for coral reefs. He said the problem affects the animal populations like lobsters, shrimp, clams and fish that live in such ecosystems.

Droughts signals bad news for peanut butter lovers

Droughts signals bad news for peanut butter lovers

ATLANTA -- It's been 30 years since so few acres of peanuts were planted in Georgia.

The shortage and ongoing drought are bringing higher prices for peanuts and their favorite cousin -- peanut butter.

The acreage is down because farmers chose to plant cotton, which was commanding higher prices. It was thought plenty of peanuts would still be available, but many of the plants have not come out of the ground due to drought.

The situation has peanut butter manufacturers bracing for tighter supplies, according to Don Koehler with the Georgia Peanut Commission.

Georgia is the nation's largest producer of peanuts, producing 46 percent of U.S. peanuts.

LOCAL PROFILE: The LGBT Community in Atlanta

LOCAL PROFILE: The LGBT Community in Atlanta

ATLANTA -- According to The Advocate, the U.S. based national gay and lesbian newsmagazine, Atlanta holds the title of “America’s gayest city” and Gay Atlanta, a subsidiary of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau says that Atlanta is the “epicenter of the LGBT South” but according to Phillip Rafshoon of Outwrite Bookstore, Atlanta is just a “progressive city in a conservative state, that’s in a conservative region of the United States. The city serves as a place where people from small, southern towns can come to be who they want to be” which is why the LGBT community loves to call this city, home.

In the nook that is Tenth Street and Piedmont Road, Outwrite Bookstore has been a staple in the Atlanta LGBT community for about 18 years.