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Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has brought back its Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest for 2014.

This year's theme is Plug into Nature, emphasizing the importance of experiencing wildlife and plants firsthand.

All Georgia students in grades kindergarten through 5 are invited to enter the contest. The top 12 winners' posters will be displayed on the DNR's Flickr site and at the Go Fish Education Center in Perry during the first two weeks in May.

Contest entries are due Apr. 16. Three winners will be picked in four categories (kindergarten, grades 1-2, grades 3-4, grade 5).

Visit georgiawildlife.com for more information about the contest.

State officials advise motorists to watch for deer on roadways

State officials advise motorists to watch for deer on roadways

(WXIA) - Motorists are advised to exercise caution on the state's roadways during the fall season, with an increased number of deer sightings across the state.

"Deer are on the move during this time of year," said Commissioner Mark Williams, Department of Natural Resources. "While motorists in rural areas may expect to see deer, Georgia's suburban and urban areas can be prime spots as well."

The Governor's Office of Highway Safety says more than 300 people were hurt in vehicle collisions with deer during 2011. Nationally, federal officials said 1,000 people died in similar accidents between 2006 and 2010.

"Automobile claims caused by contact with a deer generally rise dramatically in the fall," said Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens. "I encourage all Georgia drivers to check their automobile policy to determine if they have adequate coverage. This optional protection is commonly found in the comprehensive coverage of an automobile policy."

New K-9 unit welcomed to DeKalb

New K-9 unit welcomed to DeKalb

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James is proud to introduce a new four-legged member of his staff.

Andy, a five-year-old Belgian Malinois, was recently put up for adoption by the U.S. Army after his handler was wounded in Afghanistan.

"When I heard that Andy would be up for adoption, I jumped at the opportunity," said Assistant District Attorney Jason Beato, who worked with the K-9 while deployed in Afghanistan in 2010. "He will be extremely helpful in the work of our VIPER Unit and can assist other local agencies and municipalities in various roles."

During his three years in the Army, Andy was a multi-purpose K-9 who worked to track bombs, explosives and human scent.

Public awareness training session “Snakes, Bugs, Insects, and Poisonous Plants in the DekalbParks”

DeKalb County Chief Executive Officer Burrell Ellis announces that DeKalb County Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs will host the public awareness training session “Snakes, Bugs, Insects, and Poisonous Plants in the Parks” tomorrow, Sept. 15, 6 – 8 p.m. at the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts & Community Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive in Decatur.

As the public is invited to enjoy the county’s parks and natural resources, visitors should be aware of the harmful snakes, bugs, insects, and poisonous plants. The workshop will teach visitors proper identification techniques and inform attendees about state laws that protect certain animals and plants.

BEST SPOTS: Atlanta Skyline Views

BEST SPOTS: Atlanta Skyline Views

ATLANTA, Ga. -- For this week’s installment of Best Spots, we've compiled a list of the best lookout points in the metro-area to view the Atlanta skyline.

The prominent Atlanta Skyline is marked with midrise and high-rise buildings similar to those one would find in a larger city like New York City or Los Angeles. The Bank of America Plaza formally known as the NationsBank Building is one of the most prominent buildings in the Atlanta skyline and is the 42nd tallest building in the world, is the largest building in the Western Hemisphere outside of Chicago and New York and is Georgia’s tallest building.

Other buildings included in the Atlanta Skyline are the SunTrust Plaza, One Atlantic Center, 191 Peachtree Tower, the Georgia-Pacific Tower, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Two Peachtree Building and the Promenade II.

WEEKEND EVENTS: Art-B-Que, Family Dig and Derby Day

WEEKEND EVENTS: Art-B-Que, Family Dig and Derby Day

DECATUR, Ga. – There are tons of fun events going on this weekend, in your area. We’ve listed a few of them for you to check out with your family and friends.

The fourth annual Art-B-Que will be held, this weekend, in the Avondale Estates. This two day festival features food, music, art and fun. This year, acts include: Noot d’Noot, Nine Inch Neils, AM Gold, Mule and Skinner MacQueen. The festival is free of charge. The festival will be held at Railroad Art District, which is located at 2846 Franklin Street in Atlanta.

Fernbank Museum is holding a variety of special archaeology programming throughout May in celebration of Georgia Archaeology Month. On Saturday, May 7, the museum will hold “a family dig for archaeology-themed activities that focus on Native American crafts and technologies”. The dig is included in museum admission and is free to museum members. The dig will be held from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

LOCAL PROFILE: Hard Labor Creek Spot

LOCAL PROFILE: Hard Labor Creek Spot

RUTLEDGE, Ga. – Who knew a state park, had so many attractions in such a small town? Who knew you could have big fun for little funds about 40 miles outside of the "big city"? The folks at Hard Labor State Park have figured out a way. Tucked away in quaint Rutledge, the park is best known for its golf course; however, it has many exciting attractions including a beach, boat rental, canoeing, pedal boating, campgrounds, a full stocked stable and 22 miles of equestrian trails.

The 18-hole-golf course is described as “beautiful and challenging” the green fee Monday-Thursday is $36, Friday it’s $46 and on weekends and holidays the fee is $45. The fee includes a golf cart. Call ahead for tee times.

Aside from golf, for families the parks biggest attraction is their lakeside beach. The “swimming beach” opens, next weekend, on May 14. The beach is free to park visitors who have already paid their $5 parking charge.