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Keeping kids’ minds sharp over winter break

Keeping kids’ minds sharp over winter break

By Megan Nellen, Lower School Principal at The Walker School

1. Community Service: Use the break to plan community service ideas for the coming year. Kids can write flyers and notes asking neighbors to save and donate any holiday décor they plan on tossing out to be used next year for a family without a tree or decorations. Children of all ages can help make and deliver sandwiches for a homeless mission or shelter or make cards and pictures for a local nursing home.

2. Reuse, Recycle, Entertain: Collect leftover boxes, ribbons and paper and have your kids use them to build a robot or make a game. Each year at The Walker School second graders use cardboard to make arcade games.

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Last weekend of roadwork until 2015

Last weekend of roadwork until 2015

(WXIA) -- Drivers in the Atlanta area: Just make it through this weekend, and then you'll get a much-needed break.

The Georgia Department of Transportation said it will suspend all construction-related lane closures from Dec. 23 to Jan. 2.

Until then, many of the usual areas will see crews hard at work through next Monday morning.

As always, all work is weather permitting. A complete list of closures and possible delays can be found at 511ga.org.

Cobb/Fulton counties
* Two eastbound lanes of I-20 will be closed for about one mile past Six Flags Parkway from 9 p.m. Friday to 9 p.m. Saturday for bridge joint and header replacement.

Coweta County
* One northbound lane of I-85 will be closed between two miles south of Highway 14 and McCollum-Sharpsburg Road from 8 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for barrier wall setting.

DeKalb schools show growth on CCRPI

DeKalb schools show growth on CCRPI

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- DeKalb County's public school students are prepared for life after graduation.

According to the recently released College & Career Ready Performance Index, many of the county's elementary, middle and high schools demonstrated growth over last year.

The county's most improved schools include:

Elementary
* Indian Creek (+22.7 percentage points)
* Briar Vista (+22)
* Pleasantdale (+21.7)
* Chapel Hill (+19)
* Wynbrook (+14)

Middle
* Stephenson (+15.7)
* Columbia (+14.5)
* Salem (+7.8)
* Cedar Grove (+6.7)
* Druid Hills (+6.6)

High
* Towers (+8.1)
* Lakeside (+6.5)
* Lithonia (+6)
* Redan (+3.5)
* Chamblee (+1)

By comparison, Georgia's elementary schools saw a decrease of 5.2 percentage points, the state's middle schools saw a decrease of 1.4, and high school decreased by 3.4 points.

Weekend roadwork: Once again, avoid I-20 on the west side

Weekend roadwork: Once again, avoid I-20 on the west side

(WXIA) -- Drivers are asked to avoid non-essential travel on Interstate 20 on Atlanta's west side this weekend.

Georgia Department of Transportation crews will perform several road projects on I-20 as well as other areas of metro Atlanta. Lane closures and delays are expected.

All work is weather permitting.

This weekend's work by county includes:

Cobb County
* Two northbound lanes of Cobb Parkway will be closed at the Chattahoochee River on Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon for pavement repairs.
* Two southbound lanes of Cobb Parkway will be closed at the Chattahoochee River on Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. for pavement repairs.

Community Sponsors

Your Local, Dekalb County State Farm Agent.
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Mom killed, child hurt in pedestrian accident


DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- A mother was killed and her son was injured in a pedestrian accident in DeKalb County Wednesday morning.

The two were hit by a utility truck while trying to cross Durham Park Road in Stone Mountain to reach a bus stop.

The mother, 37-year-old Samsun Hahar, was pronounced dead at the scene. DeKalb County Police Capt. Steven Fore said Hahar's 11-year-old son, Shahbin Hossain, was taken to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston in serious condition. He is now stable.

The truck driver stayed on the scene and cooperated with police. Fore said the driver most likely will not face charges. The victims were not using a crosswalk to cross the street.

Theresa Eady saw the accident as she was walking her grandchildren to the school bus.

Boy, 6, handcuffed at school


STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. -- A Stone Mountain mother is outraged after her 6-year-old was handcuffed for misbehaving at Pine Ridge Elementary School. Her child, Patrick, is a first-grader there and is a special needs student.

"My husband got a call that something was going on with Patrick at school, and they needed us to come. We go into the school and a gentleman takes us back. I hear my son yelling and screaming" Lakaisha Reid recalled.

She snapped photos of the bruises left on his wrist on Friday after he was handcuffed by a student resource officer.

Lithonia sinkhole repaired


LITHONIA, GA -- A sinkhole behind a Lithonia home has now gotten so big that it threatens the lives of children at play. It started two years ago as an 8-inch hole around a storm drain, but homeowners say the hole now measures more than 20 feet wide

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Carolyn Canty, behind whose home the sinkhole developed, says she has tried everything to get DeKalb County officials to send out the experts and fix the ever widening, deepening and dangerous sinkhole.