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Ga. Race to the Top 'Year Three' Report

Ga. Race to the Top 'Year Three' Report

(WXIA) -- The U.S. Department of Education recently released its "Year Three" Report for the 12 states participating in the Race to the Top grant initiative.

Educational practices and successes in Georgia were highlighted throughout the report.

"We have taken on some major initiatives and our success is a direct reflection of the collaborative efforts between our department, other education agencies and the hundreds of participating teachers, principals and district leaders around our state," Dr. Susan Andrews, Deputy Superintendent of Race to the Top Implementation in Georgia, said in a release.

"While educational reform work is never easy, we are pleased with the significant progress that our state has made as reflected in this report," Andrews added.

Some highlights from the report include:

* Nearly 300 Georgia teachers were placed in state public schools from alternative certification programs.

Expect heavy spring break traffic this weekend

Expect heavy spring break traffic this weekend

(WXIA) -- Many colleges and universities will begin their spring breaks this weekend, which may contribute to heavier traffic than usual on metro Atlanta roads.

In addition to more people on the road, Georgia Department of Transportation crews will be out and about, working on scheduled projects.

GDOT engineer Shun Pringle said the largest project will be sign installation on Georgia 400 south between Peachtree Road and Sidney Marcus Boulevard. One right lane will be closed daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Work will also continue on the Ga. 400/Interstate 85 Interchange project. Several roads will be affected all weekend, including Cheshire Bridge Road, Sidney Marcus Boulevard and the Buford-Spring Connector.

From 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly, three lanes in both directions of I-285 will be closed for sign replacements between Riverside Drive and Peachtree Dunwoody Road.

Falcons RB Jason Snelling announces retirement

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons running back Jason Snelling announced on Tuesday that he was retiring from the League after seven seasons with the Falcons.

"I have decided to retire after seven years in the NFL to spend time with my family," Snelling said in a Falcons release Tuesday. "I want to thank Mr. Blank, Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Mike Smith for providing me the opportunity to play for the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons are a first class organization run by a first class owner and I am grateful that I got to spend my entire career in Atlanta."

Snelling came out of the University of Virginia and was selected in the 7th round in 2007. The Falcons utility player picked up 1,420 rushing yards over his career on 363 carries, notching eight touchdowns. As a receiver, Snelling hauled down 29 catches for 216 yards and three touchdowns, while out of the backfield, he picked up 164 yards on 44 carries with one touchdown.

Weekend roadwork planned for I-85, Ga. 400, Connector

Weekend roadwork planned for I-85, Ga. 400, Connector

(WXIA) -- With a warm weekend on the horizon, the Georgia Department of Transportation plans to perform some much-needed roadwork throughout north Georgia.

Closures and delays can be expected on a number of major roads and highways.

"Plan ahead -- I can't say it enough," GDOT District Construction Engineer Shun Pringle said in a release. "If you plan ahead, you can avoid some potentially heavy delays."

Some notable roadwork includes:

Downtown Connector
Two right lanes of I-75/85 north near University Avenue will be closed for pavement work Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Three lanes will be closed in both directions between West Paces Ferry and Roswell roads for sign replacements. All work will take place overnight -- from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Vibrating Gwinnett Co. homes mystify neighbors

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- It is a steady staccato beat, unerring and continuous. Just low enough in frequency to be annoying, yet strong enough to literally shake a house. 

Several in fact. 

Nerves too have been shaken in this community along Little Mill Road in Gwinnett County, when neighbors awoke to the strange vibrations. 

"This is my wine cooler," said resident Gayle Akana, demonstrating the way the appliance vibrates. "And if you (touch it), it stops. And that's what happened with the vibration when we like pressed against the wall or bed." 

Akana says her house shook for six hours. 

"It was just shaking like crazy," Akana said. "It was real quick; I can't even replicate the sound it was making. It was just a constant shaking."

Forsyth Co. authorities arrest 6 on burglary, drug charges

CUMMING, Ga. (WXIA) - The Forsyth County Sheriff's Office says they have arrested six people in connection with the burglary of three storage units and the distribution of drugs at a home.

In a release Friday, Sheriff Duane K. Piper said three storage units and a cargo trailer were burglarized at Sawnee Storage, just off of Georgia 20 West at some point between January 27 and 29. Investigators were able to identify a suspect - Joshua L. Williams, 20, of Sugar Hill, from surveillance video. A video was also identified from the video.

Williams was taken into custody after a short chase on February 5 along Settingdown Road in Forsyth County. Investigators said Williams tried to flee from authorities by driving in reverse down the roadway. Williams was arrested and charged with three counts of second degree burglary, three counts of felony theft and criminal trespass, as well as a number of traffic offenses.

Man gunned down outside Flowery Branch bar

Man gunned down outside Flowery Branch bar

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Authorities are investigating a shooting outside a bar in Flowery Branch that claimed the life of a Buford man.

Flowery Branch Mayor Mike Miller says the shooting happened at around 2 a.m. Saturday outside the Branch House Tavern.

The Times of Gainesville reported that 26-year-old Donald Lee Battle Jr., who recently moved to Georgia from Minnesota, was killed as he and others were leaving the bar.

Flowery Branch police and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation were probing the circumstances of the shooting. Few other details were immediately available.

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