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Lawmakers to look for charter school solutions

Lawmakers to look for charter school solutions

ATLANTA -- State lawmakers are planning to meet next week to hammer out solutions for more than a dozen charter schools that face closing after a Georgia Supreme Court ruled the state commission that created them is unconstitutional.

Senate Education Committee Chairman Fran Millar said the meeting is set for June 3 at 10 a.m. at the Capitol. The Atlanta Republican says the goal is to make sure the 16,000 students enrolled in the schools have an "education setting that meets their needs" when school starts this fall.

Millar has invited several state officials, including state schools Superintendent John Barge and Mark Peevy, executive director of the Georgia Charter Schools Commission.


Contest opens for new Georgia license plate

Contest opens for new Georgia license plate

ATLANTA -- The state wants a new look for license plates and is open to the public's ideas.

The Georgia Department of Revenue reported Monday a contest for the state's next new license plate in 2012. It began May 23 and ends June 17.

The contest is open to all Georgia residents or companies authorized to do business in the state.

The public will select three semifinalists in an online vote from June 24 to July 8. The three semifinalists will then be presented to Gov. Nathan Deal, who will announce the winning design on July 15.

Complete rules, guidelines, design template and an entry-waiver are available here.

Contest submissions may be sent by e-mail to: Georgia.License.Plate.Design.Contest@DOR.GA.GOV

Metro Atlanta celebrates warm weather, water safety

Metro Atlanta celebrates warm weather, water safety

ATLANTA -- The weather is finally getting warmer, which means it's the perfect time to visit one of the many pools in Metro Atlanta.

The 11Alive Web Team has compiled a list of public pools located throughout North Georgia:

* Northeast Metro
Clarke, Forsyth, Gwinnett and Hall Counties

* South Metro
Clayton, Coweta, Fayette, Henry and South Fulton Counties

* Intown and North Fulton
Also includes DeKalb County


Free WIZ Iphone Weather Radio App today only!

Free WIZ Iphone Weather Radio App today only!

You can now have a weather radio on your iphone or ipad to alert you of severe weather in your area.  It will even follow your phone and alert you to severe weather when you are traveling. 11Alive Weather Information Zone is now available in your pocket at all times with this FREE iMap Weather Radio! 

They are offering it FREE today only.  After today, it will be $9.99.  You can search "iMap Weather Radio" at the app store, or go to  http://weatherradioday.com/ . After downloading, click 11Alive as your media provider. 

By clicking 11Alive as your media provider, every time you receive a warning, the 11Alive WIZ logo will appear with the weather information.

Sweetwater introduces new brew to support watersheds

ATLANTA - Sweetwater Brewing announced a new brew this week - Waterkeeper Hefeweizen Ale. The beer is an unfiltered wheat ale that will be available through June, and is part of Sweetwater's campaign to help watersheds across the Southeast.

The beer has the flavors of banana and clove with a hint of lemon. Its distinctive ceramic bottle features a hand-drawn image of the river and the story of how Sweetwater got involved with Waterkeeper Alliances across the Southeast.

Georgia's rainfall moving in the wrong direction

ATLANTA -- Atlanta's rainfall surplus in 2011 has now turned into another rain deficit, and it will likely get worse.

The fall of 2010 saw much of the Southeast in the grips of dry conditions, so much so that another drought had expanded to include much of Georgia.

But then, after a very wet early spring, Metro Atlanta finally had the opportunity to erase the rainfall deficit. In March, for instance, Atlanta was soaked with 9.06" of rain, compared to the normal March rainfall of 5.38".

Coinciding with that beneficial rain, Atlanta was actually running a rainfall surplus of over an inch, and local lakes like Lake Lanier, Lake Hartwell and Lake Allatoona were at or close to full pool.

But now, the gains made earlier this spring have been totally eliminated.

Georgia jobless rate drops below double digits in April

Georgia jobless rate drops below double digits in April

ATLANTA -- Georgia's unemployment rate declined to 9.9 percent in April.

This is down one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised 10.0 percent in March.

"Not only is this the first time in nearly two years that Georgia's unemployment rate has dipped into the single digits, but this is also the third consecutive month of job growth," said state labor commissioner Mark Butler. "This developing trend shows increasing confidence in the economy."

The last time the state's rate was below 10 percent was in June 2009, when it was 9.8 percent.

There were job increases over both the month and year. April saw the addition of 3,834,100 payroll jobs, up 30,1000 from March.

Most of the new jobs were added in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, trade, educational and health services, and construction.

The number of long-term unemployed workers continues to decline.