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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.

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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.

Teen girl saves brothers from house fire


GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- A Gwinnett County middle school student has been credited with making sure her two young brothers safely escaped a house fire.

Ania Polk, 13, said one of her instructors at Shiloh Middle School taught her exactly what to do. Students in Pamela Scott's health class created home fire escape plans and checked their houses' smoke detectors just a few weeks ago.

Gwinnett County Fire Capt. Tommy Rutledge said the fire broke out just before 7 a.m. Thursday in the kitchen of the Polk house in the 3100 block of Hall Garden Road SW in Snellville.

Ania woke up when the smoke alarm sounded. After discovering the fire, she ran upstairs and woke up her two brothers, ages 7 and 10, and got them out of the house.

Parents fail to stop Gwinnett Schools redistricting plan


LAWRENCEVILLE, GA (WXIA) – Thursday night, angry parents tried to stop the Gwinnett County School Board from adopting new attendance zones that would force their kids into different schools.

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The parents tried, and failed.

In all, 14,000 students would be affected. Parents say the changes to the attendance zones that the Gwinnett County School Board adopted are serious, and life changing, and will hurt their children's futures.

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Georgia-based Carmike backs out of 'The Interview'

Georgia-based Carmike backs out of 'The Interview'

ATLANTA (WXIA) -- Columbus-based Carmike Cinemas has become the first theater chain to decide not to show the upcoming Sony film "The Interview", according to both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter Tuesday evening.

Carmike operates 2,917 screens in 278 theaters over 41 states, including nine theaters in metro Atlanta -- Athens, Cartersville, Canton, Conyers, Newnan, Snellville, Cumming, Hiram and southwest Atlanta.

Sony said earlier in the day Tuesday that they were moving ahead with plans to distribute the controversial comedy on Christmas Day, despite messages from hackers that appeared to threaten violence at theaters showing the film. The threats evoked the memory of 9/11, and suggested that violence of that sort would come to theaters and theater goers as a result of the film's going into wide release on Christmas weekend.

Suspect wanted for taking "up-skirt" photos


SNELLVILLE, Ga -- Police are looking for help to identify a man who is stalking unsuspecting women and taking pictures with his cell phone up their skirts.

Snellville Police are investigating two similar cases and looking at a third incident in Loganville. Sgt. Carey Roberts said there may be more incidents that haven't been reported. "W
e're trying to identify potential additional victims of the suspect and also see if we can solicit the public's help and identify him," he said.

Police said the first incident happened last April at the Walmart on Highway 124. Disturbing surveillance video from inside the store shows the suspect stalking a female shopper for more than 12 minutes.

Aurora Theatre offering discounted season tickets

Aurora Theatre offering discounted season tickets

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Aurora Theatre is offering the ideal last-minute Christmas gift for theater lovers -- a deeply discounted Mini Season Ticket package.

For only $59.95 (down considerably from the original $180), Mini Season Ticket holders receive a flexible ticket to see three 2015 Aurora Theatre productions.

Shows included in the package are:

Les Misérables
Aurora's Suzi Bass Award-winning production of the timeless musical will return in January for an already sold out run.

The Explorers Club
This Victorian era comedy sees a female explorer challenge the scientific establishment. It will be staged in March.