Drive to collect school supplies

CONYERS - Residents can drop off book bags and school supplies to benefit homeless children at local Kroger grocery stores through Aug. 9 as part of the annual Back 2 School campaign.

Residents can drop off items at local Kroger stores, located at 1745 Ga. Highway 138 in Conyers, or three locations in Newton County - 5341 Ga. Highway 20 in Oak Hill, 3700 Salem Road and 3139 U.S. Highway 278 in Covington.

The Back 2 School supply drive is held each year in metro Atlanta by the Children's Restoration Network. The nonprofit agency assists homeless children in 120 shelters and group homes and serves 3,400 adolescents each year. Kroger stores in 18 metro Atlanta counties will serve as collection sites for the drive.

Items needed include new book bags, wide- and college-ruled notebook paper, spiral notebooks, three- ring binders, pens and pencils, calculators, markers, scissors, file folders, rulers, crayons, glue and dictionaries.

For more information or to ask about volunteer opportunities, visit

Multi-state highway safety campaign begins

CONYERS - Georgia State Patrol troopers will participate in a five-state enforcement blitz this week to target traffic violations most commonly identified as contributing to fatal traffic crashes.

Called "Take Back Our Highways," the program is an enforcement effort for officers to focus on speeding, impaired driving and motorists not wearing seat belts or properly restraining children. The program started in Alabama to single out one week, the last week in July, to have zero traffic fatalities.

This is the first year that all of the states bordering Alabama will be participating in the campaign, which includes Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee. The weeklong campaign ends Friday.

"We believe motorists will benefit from the consistent emphasis on safety that they'll encounter as they travel from one jurisdiction to another," said Col. J. Christopher Murphy, Alabama Public Safety director. "Motorists endanger themselves and others when they choose to disobey traffic laws."

Col. Bill Hitchens, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, said Motor Carrier Compliance officers in Georgia will also be watching for unsafe commercial motor vehicles traveling the state's roads and also emphasizing the "Leave More Space" message of the Georgia Targeting Aggressive Cars and Trucks (G-TACT) Program.