Pay up

A Lawrenceville nursing home has agreed to pay $2.5 million to resolve federal and state allegations that the facility neglected elderly residents and failed to provide them with proper care.

We give officials a thumbs up for holding the facility's feet to the fire.

Life Care Center of Lawrenceville's failure to give appropriate nursing care to its residents allegedly resulted in at least three premature deaths.

The U.S. Attorney's Office and state Attorney General Thurbert Baker's office announced they recently conducted a joint investigation into activities at the 125-bed facility at 210 Collins Industrial Way in Lawrenceville. That investigation, which Baker described as "very complex and paper-intensive," prompted federal and state authorities to join private citizens in a lawsuit in December.

The lawsuit alleges severe understaffing, inadequate employee training, high turnover, an ineffective medical director, poor nursing documentation and a tight budget led to inadequacies in the facility's nursing care.

In exchange for dismissing the lawsuit, the U.S. government will receive $1,092,000 for damages sustained by the Medicare program and $604,800 for damages sustained by Medicaid. Georgia will receive $403,200 for damages from its Medicaid program. The three private citizens who originally filed a civil action against the company will each receive $400,000.

Make a joyful noise

Fifty-nine students from the Grayson High School chorus will visit New York City in February for the honor of performing at Carnegie Hall.

We give the kids a thumbs up for being chosen for the honor.

Students got the good news in March, when Alan Raines, a conductor at Georgia State University, invited them to serve as the lead choir for his Carnegie Hall High School Honor Chorus. He had been impressed with their performance at the Georgia Music Educators Association conference in Savannah.

Unfortunately for the students, the trip doesn't come cheap. They have been selling everything from calendars to candy bars to raise money for the trip. The Booster Executive Board has been contacting local businesses to ask for donations. Despite these efforts, they still need more than $6,000 to help some families finance the trip.

The students will be in New York from Feb. 16 to 19. For more information or to contribute toward the student trip, call Renee Wicker at 770-554-7826.