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CDC: Accidental kids' deaths down 30 percent

CDC: Accidental kids' deaths down 30 percent

ATLANTA -- Health officials say accidents are killing far fewer children and teenagers than in the past.

The death rate dropped about 30 percent from 2000 to 2009. One big reason was a decline in traffic fatalities, which annually account for half or more of kids' deaths caused by accidents. Childhood deaths from drowning, fires and falls also plummeted.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the report Monday. The CDC did not examine causes for the decline.

Mississippi continued to have the worst numbers, with an accidental death rate in 2009 of 25 per 100,000 people ages 19 and younger. Massachusetts still had the lowest rate, at 4 per 100,000.

Accidental injuries are the leading cause of death for youths ages 1 to 19.

"One DeKalb Works" gives residents an advantage

Decatur, GA -- There were long lines outside the DeKalb County Jobs Fair in Decatur on Saturday, but the real story was inside.

"A young lady just told me they're interviewing on the spot," said job-seeker Hilton Crenshaw. "Some people have gotten hired, so it's encouraging."

Officials with the DeKalb Workforce Development division said the 60 employers represented at the job fair had a total of 1600 open positions.

They were so surprised, they went back to double-check the numbers to make sure it wasn't a mistake.

"I think the economy is staging a turnaround," said DeKalb County Communications Director Burke Brennan. "We see private employers hiring again. We see governments hiring. Contractors working for governments are hiring."

DeKalb County has a new program in place to give local companies and workers a real advantage.

Missing sign pains family during medical emergency

When the families of Phil and Leisa Howey came from out of town to support Leisa during surgery for cancer, they were late getting to the hospital. It wasn't heavy traffic that delayed them, but a missing sign leading to the entrance ramp of I-985. They found themselves lost, taking a longer route then necessary and missing precious time with their loved ones. After the ordeal, Phil Howey wanted to make sure this would never happen to anyone else. So, he contacted Commuter Dude for help.

Bat on Delta flight causes rabies scare

ATLANTA -- A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides details of an incident in August 2011 when a bat flew several times through the cabin of a Delta Air Lines flight from Wisconsin to Atlanta.

The CDC says that while no one on the plane was exposed to rabies -- or, at least, the passengers they were able to contact -- they could have been, and that health officials should be prepared to deal with the exposure of infectious diseases on planes.

"Although a bat, or any wildlife, aboard a commercial airliner is unlikely, public health practitioners should be prepared to respond to potential exposures to rabies and other infectious agents, including during air travel," CDC researchers wrote in the report released Thursday.

Last chance to vote on new DeKalb school calendar

Last chance to vote on new DeKalb school calendar

DECATUR, Ga. -- The DeKalb County School District is considering a new school calendar that would include early dismissals every Wednesday.

Parents are being encouraged to vote online for one of three proposed calendars for the 2012-2013 school year.

All three calendars call for classes to end one hour earlier on Wednesdays.

One of the options is a modified school calendar that would start on August 1st. It would include four one-week breaks during the school year, with a two-week break at Christmas.

The proposals were developed by a calendar committee, formed at the request of DeKalb Schools Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Atkinson.

The committee included parents, teachers, principals, district office staff, and community partners. 

CDC: 1 in 4 babies now born to unwed couples

ATLANTA -- Health officials say nearly 1 in 4 babies are born to unmarried couples who are living together, a significant jump from a decade ago.

The government previously said more than 40 percent of births are to unwed mothers. But a report released Thursday offers new detail showing most unwed births occur in cohabiting couples.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study was based on face-to-face interviews with more than 22,000 men and women during 2006 through 2010.

About 23 percent of the reported births were to unmarried heterosexual couples who were living together when the child was born. That was up from 14 percent when a similar study was done in 2002. The CDC did not speculate on reasons for the increase.

Threat of wildfires soars in Ga.

Threat of wildfires soars in Ga.

ATLANTA -- Forecasters warn the threat of wildfires is high across much of Georgia, and any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for high fire danger from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday.

The warning covers north and central Georgia, where winds are expected to gust up to 25 mph. Forecasters say humidity will be low, helping to create potentially dangerous fire conditions.

In metro Atlanta, brush fires poured smoke on interstates on Tuesday, causing poor visibility. Firefighters in DeKalb County battled blazes along I-20 and I-285.