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      Ben Hill commissioners get statewide recognition

      Becky Gay speak to Ben Hill Commissioners.

      Ben Hill County is getting statewide recognition for their efforts to cut back on the county's budget.

      Georgia Trend magazine is honoring county commissioners and staff as the 2013 recipient of the Georgia Excellence Award. This stems from a venture called Project Paperless that started back in 2011 .

      The program was initiated to eliminate the physical use of paper but still give the taxpayers to all the information they needed.

      Since implementing the program, the county has saved over $27,000, all while providing more service and information to residents via the county's website.

      As commissioners celebrates their achievement, they're also giving a hand off to a program that's changing the lives of students within the county.

      Communities in Schools helped bring up the CRCT reading scores of 3rd graders to 99.2 percent from 84 percent in 2007. However, that's not all the organization has done.

      Our STD count for the ages of 10 to 19 back in 2007 was 107 and in 2011 that count was down to 33, said Becky Gay, Executive Director of Communities in Schools.

      Gay attributes this success to informative sex education classes that are offered to students.

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