Gov. Nathan Deal has announced the state Department of Economic Development has awarded more than $178,000 in grants to 13 agencies promoting fine arts and tourism throughout the state. Deal said Wednesday the Georgia Council for the Arts is distributing the funding as part of the state's Tourism Product Development Agreement program.
The Augusta Canal National Heritage Area is set to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funding at the end of the month if Congress doesn’t act. Congress created the Augusta Canal area in 1996 but put a time limit on federal funding. The National Park Service has to recommend whether to continue funding, but it has not finished reviews of several other national heritage areas, leaving the canal waiting.
Officials in Augusta are closing the Augusta Canal to vehicle traffic because of concerns about crime, vandalism, drugs and alcohol. They plan to monitor the situation during the next few weeks and determine whether closing the canal to vehicles has taken care of the problems.