Metro news for Friday

The federal government will boost Georgia's efforts to sign up eligible children for health coverage through Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids with two major grants announced Thursday. The national effort will send $1 million to West End Medical Centers, a health center that has been providing primary health care services in southwest Atlanta for 35 years. The money will support marketing programs -- including phone, mail and social media contacts -- to help families enroll children in the plans or renew their coverage. The state Department of Community Health won a $2.5 million grant for technology to improve the state's enrollment and renewal processes for Medicaid and PeachCare. The Georgia grants were among $40 million awarded nationally. CARRIE TEEGARDIN


Hilton Hotels & Resorts officials on Thursday broke ground on a combined 134-room Hilton Garden Inn/92-room Homewood Suites hotel in Midtown. The 12-story building, which will include three levels of parking, is slated for the corner of Williams and 10th streets and will take about 18 months to build, said owner Jay Patel, president and chief executive officer of North Point Hospitality Group. Patel hopes to open the lodger in early 2013. LEON STAFFORD


Frank Shelp, the head of Georgia’s mental health agency, will represent the 15 states and U.S. territories that make up the Southern region of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors.

Fellow state directors appointed Shelp to serve on the group’s nine-member board in July. The association represents state directors responsible for the $36.7 billion public mental health system, which serves 6.8 million people each year across the country. MISTY WILLIAMS


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Police (Off)Beat

George Mathis exposes the strange and sometimes funny world as it unfolds in the police blotters across metro Atlanta. B4


Someone in your neighborhood deserves at pat on the back. Find out who. B5