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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.

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.

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.

Atlanta Police Department gains 24 new officers

Atlanta Police Department gains 24 new officers

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Police Department will graduate Class #237 Tuesday evening.

The class of brand new officers consists of 21 men and three women. All 24 graduates concluded 22 weeks of training at the Atlanta Police Academy -- including arrest techniques, physical fitness and classroom courses -- and 12 weeks of field training with veteran officers.

They will officially become members of the Atlanta Police Department during a ceremony at 7 p.m. in the Atlanta City Hall Atrium. Robin Loudermilk Jr., CEO of the Loudermilk Companies, will be the keynote speaker.

Three of the graduates have military backgrounds, while nine have college degrees, according to the Atlanta Police Department.

Fulton County Fire Rescue provides guidelines to prevent holiday fire hazards

Fulton County Fire Rescue provides guidelines to prevent holiday fire hazards

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- As residents string up the lights and ignite the candles, the Fulton County Fire Rescue Department encourages everyone to keep fire safety in mind.

According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), fires involving Christmas trees caused more than $16 million in property damage per year between 2004 and 2008. Holiday lights and other decorative lighting caused more than $8 million dollars in property damage per year over that same time period.

Fulton County, community partners to provide for children in need

Fulton County, community partners to provide for children in need

ATLANTA -- The Fulton Department of Aging and Youth will host the “2014 Community Cares” Christmas Celebration on Friday, Dec. 19 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The event will feature an evening of family fun and distribution of toys. The Metro Family Fun Center is located at 1959 Metropolitan Parkway SW.

Community partners supporting the event with entertainment, food, resources and giveaways include Fulton County Aging and Youth Department, Office of Children and Youth, Walmart, Music Education Group, Treasure Chest, Inc., NFL Players Association, local fraternities and sororities and other community sponsors.

Spelman student wins Marshall Scholarship to study in U.K.

Spelman student wins Marshall Scholarship to study in U.K.

ATLANTA -- Tayler Ulmer ('15) has been awarded a Marshall Scholarship. Ulmer is the fifth Spelman College student to receive the scholarship since its inception in 1954. The scholarship finances young Americans of high ability to study for a graduate degree at an academic institution in the United Kingdom. Up to 40 Marshall Scholars are selected each year. Ulmer, an anthropology/sociology and international studies major, plans to pursue a master’s degree in social anthropology of development at the School for Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.