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M.J. Subiria Arauz

Stories by M.J.

Average gas price drops a cent in Atlanta

The average price of regular retail gasoline has stabilized in the U.S. — for now, said an AAA spokeswoman.

International terminal to open in May

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced a May 16 opening date for the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport on Tuesday.

Clayton Relay fund-raising for a cure

The event is months away but the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Clayton County has already started its fund-raising initiative.

IRS: Refund scam targets seniors, families, church members

The Internal Revenue Service is alerting senior citizens and others to watch out for a federal tax refund scam, tempting victims to claim fraudulent refunds.

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Library system promoting early literacy in toddlers

The Clayton County Library System is providing free classes for parents who want to giving their toddlers a head start on pre-school and grade school.

Georgia’s jobless rate falls to 9.2 percent

Mark Butler, Georgia’s labor commissioner, recently announced that the state’s unemployment rate dropped for the sixth consecutive month in January, to 9.2 percent –– the lowest since March 2009, when unemployment was at 9.1 percent.

Average gas price increases 12 cents in Georgia

Crude oil almost $110 a barrel

Rising gas prices threaten the worldwide economic recovery, but that prices are expected to keep rising into spring and summer. Ongoing strains with Iran keep heightening fears of another war in the Middle East, driving oil prices to almost $110 a barrel, and increasing gas prices in the U.S.

Paradies Shops gets 7-year deal at Hartsfield-Jackson

The Paradies Shops’ new concessions will be located on Concourse E and the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal at the airport.

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Former News Daily reporter releases religious book

Former Clayton News Daily education reporter Jacqueline Holness' book, entitled, “After the Altar Call: The Sisters’ Guide to Developing a Personal Relationship With God,” elaborates on a variety of issues some black women face, such as being married three times, being a famous Christian, or leaving the Jehovah’s Witnesses faith for mainstream Christianity.

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Air France Cargo returns to Hartsfield-Jackson

Atlanta mayor announces comeback during expo

Kasim Reed announced the return of Air France Cargo during the “Cargo Appreciation Day and Expo” on Thursday at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

IRS urges taxpayers to utilize ‘Free File program’

The IRS has partnered with the Free File Alliance, a coalition of top tax software companies, to push taxpayers to use the IRS Free File program. Through this partnership, taxpayers with an annual income of $57,000 or less can use a leading tax software to prepare, and electronically file, their returns for free

Atlanta airport opens ‘cell phone lot’

Atlanta’s airport opened a “cell phone” parking/waiting lot, Thursday morning, for drivers who are there to pick up passengers, according to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Spokesperson Katena Carvajales.

IRS: Don’t become a victim

Tax scams common during filing season

Suspicious activity already has been reported in Georgia during tax-filing season, and taxpayers should be on guard, and keep their social security numbers and personal information safe.

Officials want safe roads Super Bowl weekend

Drivers under the influence have alternatives

Football fans –– from coast to coast –– are eagerly waiting Super Bowl Sunday, on Feb. 5, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants the public to celebrate responsibly.

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Hartsfield-Jackson breaks passenger volume record

Airport continues as ‘world’s busiest’

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport continues its streak of owning the title of “world’s busiest airport,” the 14th consecutive year with the designation.

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College Park woman wins $72 million jackpot

“We feel like we’re dreaming, like this isn’t real,” Marcia Adams told officials after winning $72 million and claiming her prize on Jan. 26, at the Georgia Lottery headquarters in Atlanta.

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Operation Shield hoping to become regional

Clayton to be affected

All eyes were on Dave Wilkinson, as he told stories of his experience as a special agent for the U.S. Secret Service, serving former Presidents William “Bill” Clinton and George W. Bush.

State DHS needs stuffed animals for children

The Georgia Department of Human Services, Division of Child Support Services is collecting teddy bears and other stuffed animals for youngsters who are getting care at pediatric facilities, women’s shelters, law enforcement agencies and other organizations for youths throughout the state

‘Plane-fit’ testing complete at international terminal

Though construction continues at the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal, “plane-fit” testing was recently completed there, said a spokesman for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

More Southwest flights arriving in August

Airline to convert 22 airports, cancel AirTran routes

Southwest Airlines recently announced two new services at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, said airline officials.

Lawmen seize 16 kilos of meth at Hartsfield-Jackson

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers, recently, found methamphetamine in a bag –– from Mexico City, Mexico –– at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, according to the agency’s public affairs liaison.

U.S. fuel demand drops, but gas prices rise

Gasoline consumption declined to 8 million barrels a day, the lowest mark since 2001, which has caused crude oil prices to stay under $100 a barrel for the second consecutive week.

Clayton State recycling program flourishes

Clayton State University recently announced that 18.7 tons of recycled items were collected on campus between May and November of last year, as part of the university community’s “single-stream” green initiative.

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Smart Shopping

Car buyers checking web before visiting dealerships

Rather than buying on impulse, or hearing a pitch from a salesman first, some car buyers are more cautious and knowledgeable, before setting foot in a dealership, according to a AAA spokeswoman.

IRS: Taxpayers should choose preparer wisely

People who plan to pay someone else to do their taxes for the 2012 tax season should do their homework before selecting a preparer.

Motorists want safer roads in new year

Admit they are a part of the problem

Americans want safer roads, and for the government to augment traffic safety, but motorists agreed they’re part of the problem, with their dangerous driving behaviors

Highway Safety app to keep drunk drivers off roads

The “Drive Sober GA” app debuted last week with almost 1,000 downloads on the Android market, an influential amount. The app was open for the New Year’s holiday, and it will be available once more on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 5.

Retail gas prices likely to continue to rise

Georgia’s average retail price for unleaded gasoline is $3.20 a gallon, this week, which is a 9-cent increase over last week’s average price.

Jonesboro Kmart to close

Sears Holding closing six stores throughout state

According to a Sears Holdings document, the corporation will close six stores in the state of Georgia, including a Kmart located at 7965 Tara Blvd., in Jonesboro.

Officials: Highway fatalities declining in Georgia

Data published this month show that a total of 1,244 highway fatalities occurred in Georgia last year, a drop of 3.7 percent, or 48 deaths, from 2009.

Intoxicated motorists have an option

AAA program available on New Year’s weekend

For many who may find themselves having consumed more holiday spirits than they can handle –– and still drive, there is a safe alternative available this weekend.

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Dive Into A New Look

17 metro-area Red Lobster restaurants remodeled

The Red Lobster restaurant in Jonesboro has experienced a major face-lift.

Georgia voters not in favor of heavier trucks

The results of AAA’s 2012 Georgia Legislative Issues Survey show that 71 percent of voters are opposed to increasing weights on tractor-trailer trucks, while 69 percent are in favor of higher fines for overweight trucks.

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AAA predicts increase in travelers for holidays

The travel season, from Dec. 23, to Jan. 2, will see an estimated 91.9 million travelers, an 1.4 percent increase over the 90.7 million who traveled last year.

Delta offers assistance for Spanish speakers via Twitter

Spanish speakers will soon be able to understand important travel-related information distributed by a major U.S. airline, using a social media web site.

Hartsfield-Jackson’s passenger traffic increased in October

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s traffic was 2.37 percent higher in October than the year before, said spokeswoman Katena Carvajales. Traveler foot-traffic rose from 7.86 million in 2010, to 8.04 million this year, she said, citing recently released statistics.

Plans to build Lovejoy gas station continue

Proposal irks Buckingham subdivision residents

Homeowners of the Buckingham subdivision, in Hampton, located in unincorporated Clayton County, came to a Lovejoy townhall meeting on Friday night to complain about the building of a gas station on the corner of McDonough Road and Panhandle Road.

Crude oil price jumps, but gas prices mostly lower

The price of crude oil settled at $100.96 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Friday — an increase of $4.19 from the previous week, said Jessica Brady, spokeswoman for AAA’s The Auto Club Group.

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Mt. Zion High’s JROTC unit helps beautify road

Most people may not willingly pick up somebody else’s trash, but several Clayton County teenagers are happy to do it.

LongHorn’s breakfast plate to benefit local kids

LongHorn Steakhouse in Morrow will be selling a special breakfast platter starting today, with proceeds going to assist children who need a helping hand, according to Tony Ellison, the assistant manager at the eatery.

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How Stately Oaks Plantation celebrated Thanksgiving in the 19th century

It was 1839, and not a single Kroger, Publix or Ingles grocery store was in site.

Thanksgiving travel to rise at Hartsfield-Jackson

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is expecting a 3 percent increase in Holiday travel, during the seven-day Thanksgiving period this year, over last year, according to Katena Carvajales, spokeswoman for Atlanta’s airport.

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Experts tell how to avoid dangerous deer collisions

There are two main reasons why motorists may see deer cross their paths during the fall, according to Keith Rohling, the assistant director of the Clayton County Transportation and Development Department. Rohling said deer will run around if people are out in the woods hunting them, or during a rut, which is their mating season.

‘Positive’ news has gas prices rising again

The recent surge in gasoline prices, after weeks of relative relief at the pumps, has divers cringing again.

Teen-driver accidents most likely in first month

Motor vehicle accidents among teenage drivers are most likely to occur within the first month after they obtain a driver’s license, said the manager of AAA Traffic Safety.

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Promoting accessibility to health care

Locals gather at health screening, education event

People from all over Clayton County, and the metro area, flocked to the Riverdale Centre for the Arts, Business and Leisure Services, for free health education and screenings

Being on guard against medical identity theft

It can be a nightmare for someone who becomes a victim of health-care fraud.

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Clayton’s chamber, schools, government get donations

Central Georgia EMC shows its support

Central Georgia Electric Membership Corp., recently presented the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce, the Clayton County Department of Economic Development, and Clayton County Public Schools with checks totaling $7,500, said a spokeswoman for the consumer-owned cooperative utility company.

Heavy traffic expected during holiday weekend

Motorists urged to use caution, drive safely

The Labor Day holiday brings a three-day weekend for most Georgians, and many auto travelers may be in a “vacation mindset,” but state, federal and local authorities are cautioning motorists to buckle up, drive with care, don’t take unnecessary risks, and don’t drive while impaired.

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Southwest Airlines will service Hartsfield-Jackson in February

Southwest Airlines will begin operating 15 non-stop flights daily, to and from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, on Feb. 12, according to a spokesman for the airline.