Our network

Hall Co. expected to approve farm wineries, tastings rooms

Hall Co. expected to approve farm wineries, tastings rooms

HALL COUNTY, Ga. -- Hall County officials are expected to amend that county’s beverage codes to allow farm wineries, as well as on-premises tastings rooms at the sale of bottled wine for later consumption, reports the Gainesville Times.

The county has defined a farm winery as one that makes at least 40 percent of its annual production from agricultural produce grown in the state, the newspaper reports.

Click here to read more.

Shane's Rib Shack to celebrate summer with free ribs

Shane's Rib Shack to celebrate summer with free ribs

(WXIA) -- Few foods say "summer" like baby back ribs, and Shane's Rib Shack wants to celebrate the change in seasons with free summertime food.

On Saturday, May 17, participating Shane's Rib Shack locations will give away a free half-rack of baby back ribs and a 20-ounce drink to the first 100 customers. The lucky diners will also receive rib giveaway T-shirts.

"Our fifth annual rib giveaway provides us the opportunity to say thank you to all of our loyal customers and fans who have made Shane's Rib Shack what it is today," chain founder and president Shane Thompson said in a release.

Shane's Rib Shack opened its first location 12 years ago in McDonough and now has 70 restaurants in 12 states.

Visit shanesribshack.com for more information.

Weekend roadwork lessens for Easter weekend

Weekend roadwork lessens for Easter weekend

(WXIA) -- Only one major daytime closure will affect drivers on Atlanta's highways this weekend.

The leftmost lane on I-285 north will be closed between I-20 and Ga. 400 on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Crews must close the lane to remove a barrier wall.

"With only that one closure on I-285, everyone should have an easier time getting to their destination," Georgia Department of Transportation District Construction Engineer Shun Pringle said in a statement.

Nighttime closures will still occur in a handful of locations.

Three right lanes of I-20 west between Wesley Chapel and Candler roads will be closed for striping every night from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Two left lanes of I-285 north between I-20 and Peachtree Dunwoody Road will be closed nightly from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Crews will work to replace a barrier wall in that location.

Other scheduled closures for sweeping, drain cleaning and slab replacement include:

5 Hall high schools among America's Most Challenging

5 Hall high schools among America's Most Challenging

(WXIA) -- The Washington Post has unveiled its 2014 list of America's Most Challenging High Schools.

The newspaper determines the annual rankings through a ratio: the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests a school gives each year, divided by the number of graduating seniors.

Five Hall County schools made the list, which features more than 2,000 high schools across the country. The listed numbers are each school's national ranking.

904. Flowery Branch HS
1078. North Hall HS
1238. Chestatee HS
1416. East Hall HS
1552. West Hall HS

Additionally, Gainesville High School, which is part of a charter system, is No. 1969 on the list.

See the full list at washingtonpost.com.

Weekend construction to continue despite rain

Weekend construction to continue despite rain

(WXIA) -- Rain is in this weekend's forecast, but that won't stop Georgia Department of Transportation from working on scheduled road projects throughout the area.

GDOT District Construction Engineer Shun Pringle said the department expects more people than usual on the road, as school districts begin and end their spring breaks.

"Call 511 or look at a mapping website before you leave home," Pringle said in a statement. "Motorists, including spring breakers ... need to plan ahead to avoid delays."

The new flyover ramps on the Interstate 85/Georgia 400 Interchange project are open, but crews still need to perform a little last-minute work on them. Lanes will be closed in places.

Atlanta Track Club launches scholarship program

Atlanta Track Club launches scholarship program

(WXIA) -- Youth running groups, rejoice -- the Atlanta Track Club has created a scholarship program just for you.

The Peachtree Jr. Participant Challenge will award scholarships to the three organizations that have the most children registered for the 2014 Peachtree Jr. or Lil' Peach Dash.

The first place team will be given a $1,500 scholarship, a $1,250 cash donation from the Atlanta Track Club and $250 in Sports Authority store credit. Two runners-up will each get $750 scholarships, $500 donations and $250 in Sports Authority credit.

"Through the Peachtree Jr. Participant Challenge, we are able to give back to organizations that share our goal of inspiring children to be healthier and more active," Atlanta Track Club Executive Director Rich Kenah said in a release. "Atlanta Track Club is proud to partner with Sports Authority to offer these scholarships to provide extra motivation to keep kids moving."

Deaths decline on Ga. highways

Deaths decline on Ga. highways

(WXIA) -- The number of fatalities on Georgia's highways fell in 2013.

The Georgia Department of Transportation announced Monday that 1,186 people were killed in car crashes on state roads last year, 13 fewer than in 2012. It's the eighth year in a row the total number of deaths has fallen.

"The reduction in fatalities over eight years means that more than 500 additional persons will get to celebrate the life events that are special to us all," Governor's Office of Highway Safety Director Harris Blackwood said in a release. "We must continue to work toward reducing injuries and death on Georgia roads."

Georgia's worst year on record for highway fatalities is 2005, when 1,748 people died.

Nation statistics are not yet available. In 2012, the number of fatalities increase about 5 percent to 36,200.