Albany Realtors to collect Toys for Tots

Miliner graduated magna cum laude from VSU in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. Representing Valdosta, she was crowned Miss Georgia in 2006 and went on to place as second runner-up in the 2007 Miss America pageant. She was named Miss Georgia USA later that year, making her the first Georgian to hold both the Miss America and Miss USA state titles.

Miliner currently works as an instructional coach at Miller Elementary School in Warner Robins.

“Amanda is an exemplary teacher and role model for thousands of students,” said Dr. Brian L. Gerber, VSU’s interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “We are proud to welcome her back to her alma mater. We know that she will be an inspiration to our graduates. Clearly, she is an example of why VSU is the right choice for those seeking to make a positive and lasting impact on the lives of others.”

Approximately 1,400 undergraduate and graduate students will be recognized during Valdosta State’s 222nd commencement ceremonies on Dec. 9 and 10.

Attorney General offers app to help avoid scams

ATLANTA – Attorney General Chris Carr has announced the release of Basic Training, a free mobile app designed to help Georgia-based military service members, veterans and their families be more informed consumers and avoid scams and predatory business techniques.

“Unscrupulous businesses consistently use deceptive practices to take advantage of military service members, veterans and their families,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “That is something the Georgia Attorney General’s Office will not tolerate. As a proactive measure through our Consumer Protection Unit, we are very pleased to offer the Basic Training app, which aims to support Georgia’s military community and equip them with the educational tools they need to be safe and smart with their personal information.”

The Basic Training app guides users through key consumer and financial issues, including buying a car; creating a budget and saving for a goal; recognizing and avoiding scams, fraud and deceptive practices; lowering the risk of identity theft and knowing what to do if your identity is stolen; understanding credit reports, credit scores and how to use credit cards wisely; understanding your protections under the Military Lending Act; understanding the true cost of payday loans and title pawns; improving credit and managing debt, and knowing what debt collectors can and cannot do under the law.

Basic Training was created through the efforts of the Georgia Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit and Georgia Watch. It is available in the app stores now and can also be downloaded directly by visiting www.consumer.ga.gov/app.

Driver Services gets grant funding for upgrades

ATLANTA — Georgia Department of Driver Services was recently awarded grant funding totalling $376,961 from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety for ongoing support of the State of Georgia Electronic Conviction Processing System. GECPS provides a secure, electronic transmission of conviction data from Georgia courts to meet a federally mandated timeframe for posting convictions to individual driving records within 10 days of adjudication.

“This continued funding from GOHS allows us to maintain DDS’ Court Outreach efforts,” said Commissioner Bert Brantley. “The training and support DDS provides to nearly 900 courts statewide is crucial to ensuing the timeliness and accuracy of conviction data being posted to a driver’s driving record,” said Commissioner Brantley.

GECPS requires each court to submit convictions in a standard format, and then correct and resubmit any convictions containing errors. To date 887 courts (up from 869 when the project began earlier this year) have adopted the GECPS process, which is a cost-saving application for the State and DDS customers.

This grant will allow DDS to ensure that these courts have an understanding of the functionality of GECPS and help the remaining courts who file paper citations convert over to the electronic system.

For complete driver services information, including the option to view personal driving history and check for points, visit the DDS website at www.dds.ga.gov.