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$29 billion Metro Atlanta wish list goes to GDOT

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Regional Commission Friday submitted a wish list of $29 billion in transportation improvement projects to be funded from about $8 billion to be raised in the metro region by a proposed sales tax.

The Georgia Department of Transportation and a roundtable of local elected officials will pare down the list to highway and transit projects that fit the revenue that would become available if Atlanta-area voters approve a referendum in August of next year levying a 1-cent sales tax dedicated to transportation.

The public will get a chance for input into the process this summer, with the list due to be finalized by mid-October under a timetable established in legislation passed by the General Assembly last year.

The wish list contains a variety of transportation improvements scattered across the region, including:

Gov. Deal intends to sign immigration, APS bills

Gov. Deal intends to sign immigration, APS bills

ATLANTA -- Gov. Nathan Deal tells 11Alive News that he intends to sign the illegal immigration bill now on his desk. The bill, which has been compared to Arizona-style immigration reform, passed with just hours left in the final day of the General Assembly's legislative session.

Deal supported tough immigration measures in Congress and campaigned on the issue in the governor's race, but refrained from commenting on the legislation while it was still pending.

Deal said he hopes Georgia and other states that are enacting similar legislation will help spur Congress to take action nationally.

He said he and his staff have studied the legislation as it progressed, and they said they feel it will pass legal muster.

The Ultimate Organ Swap

DULUTH, GA -- "He's smart. He's funny. He's artistic. He's just cool."

Mike Parnes watches as his 7-year-old son Zion entertains himself on the playground. Zion is a talkative, smiling boy who has pretty amazing taste in music.

"Golden Lady, The Beatles, The Who." Those are pretty mature choices, almost fitting for this boy who has had to grow up too fast.

"About a year and a half ago he was diagnosed with a kidney condition called Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, so we call it FSGS." Mother Alisan Parnes explained that FSGS attacks the kidneys, causing scarring. In Zion's case, medical treatment didn't work.

"He didn't respond to any treatment and had horrible side effects and within five months went into complete kidney failure

In January his kidneys were removed. Inside his typical little boy room, dialysis equipment that helps him get through life without kidneys.

Another round of outages, cleanup after storms

Another round of outages, cleanup after storms

ATLANTA -- Monday night's fast-moving storms weren't nearly as bad as what we saw a week ago, but people in parts of North Georgia are again cleaning up damage. 

VaHi: Morningside Elemetary teacher wins Milken Award

ATLANTA - Rachel Willis, a third-grade teacher at Morningside Elementary School is among 53 teachers in the United States who were honored with the 2010-2011 Milken Educator Award.

At Morningside Elementary, Willis has overseen "first rate improvements in student achievement" by using out-of-the-box teaching methods and engaging her students in virtual learning, such as virtual field trips.

Also, last year "100 percent of her students met or exceeded grade-level standards for reading, English and math".

In addition to the award, Willis awarded $25,000.

This award is hailed as the "Oscars of Teaching" by the Teacher Magazine and was erected in 1987 by education reform leader, Lowell Milken.

The awards ceremony was held April 9 at the 2011 Milken Educator Forum which was held at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel in Santa Monica, California.

19-year-old arrested in armored car courier's murder

TUCKER, Ga. -- A fourth suspect has been arrested in connection with the death of an armored car courier in DeKalb County. Garry Castillo, 32, was shot to death while on the job outside a Kroger in Toco Hills last month.

DeKalb County Police charged 19-year-old Ronny Little with murder and aggravated assault on Thursday.

Three other suspects were already behind bars. Edwin Thornton, 28, turned himself in to DeKalb authorities last Friday. Ashley Henderson, 27, and Stacy Dooley, 34, were charged in Gwinnett County last Thursday.

Power back on for most Metro Atlantans

Power back on for most Metro Atlantans

ATLANTA -- More than 400,000 Georgia customers lost power in the wake of Monday night's storm. After a massive effort involving crews from eight states, all but about 500 Metro Atlantans are back online.

The homes and businesses still in the dark were evenly split between Georgia Power and Georgia Electric Membership Corporation customers as of Thursday morning. Statewide, just over 4,600 were still without power.

Cleanup will take much longer. Wild winds late Monday and Tuesday morning snapped power poles and trees like twigs across the region.

At least nine people were killed by the storms that tore through the Southeast. Bright lightning, loud thunder and wind gusts above 60 miles per hour streaked through, dumping rain and hail across the region.