published Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Region Digest: Tennessee man hurt in fatal crash

ATHENS, Ga.

Peanut acreage hits 30-year low

A report by the University of Georgia says peanut acreage in the state has dropped to the lowest point in three decades, but prices have risen.

Farmers planted 480,000 acres of peanuts this spring, a U.S. Department of Agriculture survey found. Georgia’s peanut acreage has fallen below 500,000 acres only twice in the last 30 years, the last time being 2000.

More than 20 percent of the peanuts in Georgia are rated as poor to very poor quality, the Georgia Agricultural Statistics Service says.

The UGA report said last year’s crop coming out of storage is selling for $750 a ton. The price earlier this year was $600 a ton.

LEAVENWORTH, Ind.

Tennessee man hurt in fatal crash

State police said a FedEx semitrailer barreled off Interstate 64 in southern Indiana and smashed into an overpass, killing one man in the truck and injuring another.

The crash shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday killed 51-year-old James Loper, of Bowling Green, Ky., and left 36-year-old Eddie Goodine, of Cleveland, Tenn., in stable condition in a Louisville, Ky., hospital.

Investigators did not know immediately who was driving.

Police closed portions of westbound I-64 for several hours around the crash scene near the Crawford County town of Leavenworth, some 30 miles west of Louisville.

NASHVILLE

Heat, stagnant air plague state

The weather is hot and the air stagnant over much of Tennessee, with air quality alerts for ozone issued Wednesday for the Nashville and Knoxville metropolitan areas and the Smoky Mountains.

A heat advisory was issued through today for all of West Tennessee with heat indexes of 105 to 109 degrees expected.

After high temperatures in the 90s Wednesday in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, Knoxville and the Tri-Cities, the weekend forecast was for rain and cooler temperatures.

Hot weather was anticipated to return early next week, with high temperatures of 100 degrees or above for locations in the western half of the state.

JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga.

Sea turtle plates making money

Slowly but steadily, Georgia’s sea turtle license plate has begun providing financial help for the Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island.

The tag carries the image of a turtle and the inscriptions “Georgia Sea Turtle Center” and “Jekyll Island, Georgia’s Jewel.” It was introduced last year after the state received commitments from 1,000 buyers.

Initially, the tag was funded by a $25,000 investment from the Jekyll Island Authority, with the first wave of tag sales going to repay those funds. By mid-2010, the $25,000 had been recouped and $10 from every tag now sold or renewed goes to the center, general manager Betsy Coy said.

The initial cost of the tag is $80, and annual renewals cost $55.

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