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EMORY | Law student accused of spying has no regrets

EMORY | Law student accused of spying has no regrets

ATLANTA -- A law student who was held captive in an Egyptian prison for more than four months after he was accused of being an Israeli spy says he has no regrets about his decision to travel to the Middle East.

Ilan Grapel, a student at Emory University in Atlanta, said he went to Egypt as part of a legal internship sponsored by the school to help asylum seekers. In his spare time, he took part in protests supporting democracy.

He said on June 12, Egyptian authorities burst into his hostel and arrested him. He was released in October as part of a prisoner swap.

Grapel says it is illogical to regret working in Egypt because he was there for justified reasons.

USA Today's Super 25 Poll for Metro Atlanta is here

USA Today's Super 25 Poll for Metro Atlanta is here

ATLANTA (WXIA) -- This season, 11Alive.Com and HighSchoolSports.Net will have a weekly Super 25 high school basketball poll for Metro Atlanta schools.  The poll, which is provided by USA Today, will rank both boys and girls teams from all classifications using the Massey Ratings.

With teams from the Atlanta area being ranked among the nation's best again this season, the Super 25 Poll will be a weekly measuring stick. We hope it will spark a conversation about who holds the title of top basketball team in the Atlanta area. We start with the poll for the week of January 2.

Boys Atlanta Super 25 Poll   

1. Columbia

2. Miller Grove

3. Mill Creek

4. Milton

5. Whitefield Academy

6. Douglas Co.

7. North Cobb

8. Shiloh

9. North Clayton

10. Monroe

11. Mt. Vernon Presbyterian

12. Fayette Co.

13. Wheeler

14. Harrison

EMORY | Former poet laureate to give reading

EMORY | Former poet laureate to give reading

ATLANTA -- Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins will give a free reading at Emory University later this month.

Collins will speak at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 29 at Emory's Glenn Memorial Auditorium. The school expects a capacity crowd for the popular poet.

Collins has authored eight collections, including The Trouble with Poetry in 2005, Ballistics in 2008 and most recently Horoscopes for the Dead last year. He is a distinguished professor of English at Lehman College of the City University of New York.

Books and a limited-edition broadside will be available for sale at the reading and signing afterward. The reading is part of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library Reading Series.

The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required.

Making your New Years Resolutions work for you

Making your New Years Resolutions work for you


ATLANTA – Are you finding it hard to keep up with your New Year’s Resolutions? If so, you might not be alone. According to Time Magazine, the top ten resolutions are, also, the top resolutions to be broken. According to the list, the top ten resolutions were to lose weight, quit smoking, learn something new, eat healthier, reduce or eliminate debt, spend more time with family, travel, meditate more, volunteer and to quit drinking.

Stephen Smith, a trainer at Urban Body Fitness, which is located in the Amsterdam Walk area of Midtown, suggests that people should make “realistic goals” when attempting to lose weight as a New Year’s Resolutions.

He says to start off “small” and to “break final goals into micro-resolutions.” Smith urges his clients to set up small goals like training and running a 5K, then running a 10K and possibly completing a marathon by the end of the year.  

Burrell Ellis to give 2012 State of Dekalb County address on Jan. 5th

Burrell Ellis to give 2012 State of Dekalb County address on Jan. 5th

Dekalb - Thursday morning at the Thalia Carlos Community Center, Dekalb County CEO Burrell Ellis will give his State of the County address.  Ellis will look back on the county's 2011 accomplishments and lay out his vision for Dekalb in 2012.

This event is a breakfast for the business community and is co-hosted by the Council for Quality Growth and the DeKalb Chamber; it is presented by Wells Fargo and Gas South.   

In November 2000, Commissioner Ellis was elected to the Board of Commissioners of DeKalb County -- Georgia's second most populous county. Commissioner Ellis' district includes Avondale Estates, Clarkston, Pine Lake, Stone Mountain, and nearby neighborhoods.

State looking at repealing education spending law

State looking at repealing education spending law

TUCKER, Ga. -- Georgia is considering throwing out a law requiring 65 percent of state funding to be spent in public school classrooms.

A state commission tasked with overhauling how Georgia funds K-12 education voted Wednesday to draw up legislation repealing the unpopular law. The move is part of a larger effort to update the state's educational laws, known as Title 20.

The law was passed in 2006 as part of a national push to make sure schools were spending taxpayer dollars in the classroom, not the principal's office, to help boost student achievement. But state officials say the law hasn't impacted student performance and hamstrings schools.

The education finance commission began meeting in June 2011 after state lawmakers passed a bill calling for the state to study education funding.

EMORY | Smoking banned on campus, even in private cars

ATLANTA -- Emory University has joined more than 580 colleges and universities, and more than 2,800 hospital and health institutions that have banned the use of tobacco, the school announced this week.

A statement on Emory's website says, "As a result, our campus will transform into a healthier, cleaner environment that truly supports the overall wellness of our students, faculty, staff, patients and visitors."

Smoking is banned inside and outside all Emory property, including Emory Healthcare. The rule, effective Jan. 1, even extends to private cars parked on Emory property.

Tobacco products, as outlined in the policy, include cigarettes, cigars, pipes, all forms of smokeless tobacco, clove cigarettes and any other devices that use tobacco such as hookahs.

Learn more about the new policy at tobaccofree.emory.edu.