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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.

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.

Atlanta Police Department gains 24 new officers

Atlanta Police Department gains 24 new officers

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Police Department will graduate Class #237 Tuesday evening.

The class of brand new officers consists of 21 men and three women. All 24 graduates concluded 22 weeks of training at the Atlanta Police Academy -- including arrest techniques, physical fitness and classroom courses -- and 12 weeks of field training with veteran officers.

They will officially become members of the Atlanta Police Department during a ceremony at 7 p.m. in the Atlanta City Hall Atrium. Robin Loudermilk Jr., CEO of the Loudermilk Companies, will be the keynote speaker.

Three of the graduates have military backgrounds, while nine have college degrees, according to the Atlanta Police Department.

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.

Mystery Emory Ebola patient comes forward


(ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE) -- Dr. Ian Crozier, 44, says he is the American doctor who was treated for the Ebola virus at Emory University Hospital in early September. Crozier, who initially asked the hospital not to release his identity to protect his family's privacy, says he is speaking out to thank Emory for the care he received and to drive attention to the Ebola epidemic.

American being evaluated for Ebola at Emory


NEW YORK -- An American health-care worker in West Africa who may have been infected with Ebola has arrived at Emory University Hospital.

The patient arrived at the hospital's Serious Communicable Diseases Unit Thursday at around 5:45 a.m. The patient's name is not being released, per his wishes.

A hospital spokeswoman on Wednesday confirmed the patient was being flown there. Emory houses a specialized isolation unit that handled four of the 10 Ebola patients previously treated in the U.S.

The spokeswoman did not say why the person was being evacuated even before an Ebola diagnosis. A U.S. State Department official declined to comment, citing privacy considerations.