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DeKalb County offers discount pet adoptions in July

DECATUR, Ga. -- Want a puppy? DeKalb County is offering them at a discount. 

Beginning July 11, Burrell Ellis announced that the country will join a nationwide effort to increase the number of pet adoptions by holding an adoption event. 

The "Just One Day" event will be held from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and will discount pet adoptions to $60. 

"I am committed to making DeKalb Animal Services a leading agency in the treatment and protection of animals," said CEO Ellis.

The DeKalb County Animal Shelter is located at 845 Camp Road in Decatur.

Teens admit texting while driving

Teens admit texting while driving

ATLANTA -- Health officials say more than half of high school seniors admit they text or email while driving.

That's from the first government statistics on how common the dangerous habit is in teens.

An anonymous national survey done last year found that 58 percent of high school seniors said they recently had texted or emailed while driving. About 43 percent of high school juniors admitted doing the same thing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the results Thursday.

The CDC survey did find that teens were being safer on the roads in other ways. They now wear seatbelts more often and there's less drunk driving.

Emory hosts Latino Health Summit

Emory hosts Latino Health Summit

ATLANTA -- Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health will host a Latino Health Summit Thursday and Friday.

The summit will address the healthcare needs of Georgia Latinos, a population that has grown and changed considerably in the past 10 years.

During the summit, the Hispanic Health Coalition of Georgia will release the findings of a major study on the health status of Georgia Latinos. The report will focus on several key health areas, including maternal child health, obesity and diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and behavioral health.

Click here for more information about the summit.

DeKalb tax assessors work to fix 3,000 mistakes

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- Shock, anger, disbelief: Thousands of homeowners, receiving their new property appraisals last week, couldn't believe their eyes.

They were seeing massive increases in taxable values that would be laughable even during the real-estate-boom years.

But what the homeowners did next had the county crying "Uncle!"

The homeowners got the county's attention, fast.

DeKalb County's property appraiser quickly admitted he goofed.

It wasn't just one homeowner who received the crazy, inflated property appraisals, last week.

"I started laughing when I read it," said DeKalb County Homeowner Phil Erickson, showing his notice to 11Alive's Jon Shirek on Tuesday, "because it had gone up nearly $100,000 since last year."

It wasn't just one neighborhood that saw the appraisals rocket to the stars, like Phil Erickson's did.

"Last year it was around $240,000," he said, "and this year it was nearly $340,000."

Ray Bradbury's amazing high-tech legacy

ATLANTA -- Back when Ray Bradbury began to gain worldwide recognition for his work, few people could even appreciate the true genius of his vision.

In what may be his most famous novel, Fahrenheit 451, which takes place in a world where books are considered harmful to society, some say Bradbury presaged everything from blue-tooth headsets to flat-screen TV, self-parking cars, and even the digital "wall" that defines Facebook.

"If he saw people walking around now with their noses stuck in their iPads he would say 'I told you so forty years ago,'" said Sidney Perkowitz, a professor emeritus of physics at Emory University. Perkowitz is the author of Hollywood Science and several other books designed to open up the world of science to the rest of us.

Emory professor named 19th US poet laureate

Emory professor named 19th US poet laureate

WASHINGTON -- A Pulitzer Prize winner is the nation's first poet laureate to hail from the South since the initial one was named by the Library of Congress in 1986.

Emory University writing professor Natasha Trethewey will be named the library's 19th poet laureate Thursday. She is also Mississippi's top poet.

The 46-year-old Trethewey won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for her book of poems, "Native Guard." They focused partly on history that was erased because it was never recorded.

She wrote of the Louisiana Native Guard, a black Civil War regiment assigned to guard white Confederate soldiers held on Ship Island off Mississippi's Gulf Coast. Confederate prisoners were memorialized, but the black Union soldiers weren't.

The first poet laureate was Robert Penn Warren -- an inspiration for Trethewey.

SEC welcomes new members

ATLANTA -- Missouri and Texas A&M will begin competing as full fledged members of the Southeastern Conference this fall. The conference rolled out the red carpet in Buckhead Wednesday night.

The SEC welcomed its newest members, Texas A&M and Missouri, during a celebration at the JW Marriott Atlanta. Both the Aggies and Tigers are former members of the Big 12 Conference. Missouri's first SEC opponent will be Mark Richt's Georgia Bulldogs in Columbia, Missouri on Sept. 8.

Officials from both schools were in attendance as well as members of the coaching staffs. Texas A&M Head Football Coach Kevin Sumlin was on hand, as was Women's Basketball Coach Gary Blair. Missouri Head Football Coach Gary Pinkel was on hand to talk Tigers football.

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive was happy with the turnout, but would not comment on the proposed 4-team playoff or future conference expansion.