Metro news for Thursday

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 22 counties in Georgia as drought-related natural disaster areas. Farmers and ranchers in the 22 counties can qualify for disaster assistance as a result of the designation. The 22 counties are Appling, Bryan, Effingham, Pierce, Atkinson, Chatham, Irwin, Telfair, Bacon, Coffee, Jeff Davis, Thomas, Ben Hill, Colquitt, Lanier, Wayne, Brantley, Cook, Lowndes, Wheeler, Brooks and Dodge. Farmers in contiguous counties are also eligible for assistance. Drought conditions have caused damage to forage crops, pasture, oats, rye and wheat, the USDA said. “This action will provide help to hundreds of farmers who suffered significant production losses,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a news release.CARRIE TEEGARDIN


The Rosalynn Carter Institute on Caregiving, along with Georgia CARE-NET volunteer groups, is calling for nominations for the 2011 Georgia Caregiver of the Year Awards.

More than 850,000 family caregivers in Georgia provide billions of dollars in care to people with chronic illnesses, disabilities and limitations from aging, according to the Atlanta Regional Commission.

Awards are presented in three categories: family caregiver, volunteer caregiver and para-professional caregiver, such as a home health aide. Visit for more information. MISTY WILLIAMS


County by county

Restaurant Inspections

Find out how your neighborhood nosh rates with the county health inspector. B4

Three of  a Kind

Across metro Atlanta it's an opportunity for fun, fellowship and learning -- Vacation Bible School. B5