First Slice 12-12-13: Georgia’s graduation rate increases


Georgia’s high school graduation rate increased by nearly two percentage points over the last year. The overall graduation rate now stands at 71.5 percent.

Shannon Guess Richardson, a Flowery Branch native, pleaded guilty to sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Mark Glaze, the director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Richardson has had minor roles in “The Walking Dead” and “The Blind Side.” Richardson’s ricin plot appears to be an attempt to frame her estranged husband.

The hottest gift this holiday season might be Sriracha. Currently embroiled in a fevered legal battle with the city of Irwindale over spicy odors that residents claim are causing a series of health problems, the California hot sauce manufacturer is now facing enforcement of stricter guidelines from the California Department of Public Health that forces the company to hold all their products for at least 30 days before they can be shipped to food distributors and wholesalers.

For the first time in over 20 years, the Food and Drug Administration has put in place a new policy to curtail the indiscriminate use of antibiotics given to livestock being raised for human consumption. Experts believe that the haphazard practice has played a major role in fueling the massive rise of antibiotic-resistant infections in humans.

Uruguay is poised to become the first nation to create a national marijuana market. Their federal government will regulate the entire process of production and consumption. The effort is framed as a means to combat organized crime and reduce drug abuse. Interestingly, the legalization effort has been strongly supported by billionaire philanthropist George Soros.

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