published Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Region Digest: Regents approve degree offerings

ATLANTA

Regents approve degree offerings

The Georgia Board of Regents has approved a plan to let four two-year colleges in Georgia begin offering bachelor’s degrees.

The board voted Tuesday to allow Darton College in Albany, Georgia Highlands College in Rome, Atlanta Metropolitan College and Georgia Perimeter College to start four-year degree programs. Robb Watts, chief operating officer for the university system, said the change in the colleges’ missions is because of high demand for four-year college degrees in those parts of the state.

Officials say the move will help address nursing and other health care professional shortages. The colleges also will offer degrees in sign language, biological sciences and health informatics.

DECATUR, Tenn.

Meigs gets library technology grant

Meigs County is one of 70 Tennessee communities to receive a portion of $1.2 million in grant funding to upgrade technology in rural public libraries, according to a state news release.

Meigs will get $21,866 to be used at the Meigs-Decatur Public Library, officials said.

“These grants will help people access information on employment opportunities, job training, small businesss development and education here in Meigs County,” state Sen. Mike Bell said.

“When people have trouble getting Internet connections or cannot afford a home computer, our public library fills a void,” state Rep. Eric Watson said.

Grant money can go for equipment, training, education, Internet access and other USDA-approved enhancements, officials said. The grants arise from a partnership involving the Office of the Secretary of State, the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development.

COOKEVILLE, Tenn.

Building listed as historic place

Cookeville residents are celebrating the inclusion of John’s Place on the National Register of Historic Places.

Built in 1949, John’s Place started as a grocery store and restaurant. It later became a popular gathering spot for Tennessee Tech students and blue-collar workers and an integrated hangout when some places were segregated.

Michael Birdwell, a professor at Tennessee Tech, suggested it for the register.

He told the Cookeville Herald-Citizen that there are “stories in every square inch of this building.”

Birdwell is a member of the state review board for the register.

ATLANTA

School moving to Georgia

The Skip Barber Racing School is leaving Connecticut and moving to Georgia.

Gov. Nathan Deal has said the school for high-performance driving and racing education is relocating and expanding its facilities at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. Deal said the move will boost Georgia tourism and attract racing-related automotive companies to the state.

The company is scheduled to host a free open house May 12 and complete its expansion this fall.

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