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Shop with a Jock takes kids on Falcons shopping spree

Shop with a Jock takes kids on Falcons shopping spree

ATLANTA -- Forty kids from the Odyssey Villas apartments in Vine City get a chance to go on a shopping spree this week with some of their football heroes.

The Shop with a Jock program pairs Atlanta Falcons players, including tight end Tony Gonzalez and wide receiver Julio Jones, with disadvantaged children for a Christmas shopping trip to Walmart.

The Walmart on Lawrenceville Suwanee Road in Suwanee has agreed to host the Shop with a Jock kids at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Participating children are selected through Odyssey Villas' Action Ministries Atlanta program.

RELATED | Action Ministries, 11Alive feed 400 kids

Former Falcons cheerleader, bestselling financial author join Nicholas House family

Former Falcons cheerleader, bestselling financial author join Nicholas House family

ATLANTA -- Recently, at Nicholas House’s monthly Open Door Tour, former Falcons cheerleader Shay Latte and bestselling financial author Ornella Grosz were so impressed and taken with the programs and families that they whole-heartedly joined the family of Nicholas House volunteers.

50 Ga. teens named to Student Advisory Council

50 Ga. teens named to Student Advisory Council

ATLANTA -- Fifty high school students from across Georgia have been selected to serve on the 2012-13 Student Advisory Council.

State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge announced the members of his council Friday.

"The Student Advisory Council allows me to hear directly from students in our schools and discuss major initiatives with them," Barge said in a statement. "The council also gives students the opportunity to share with me their ideas and concerns, which we can use to shape future state policies."

PHOTOS | Dr. Barge visits Woodstock schools

More than 750 students from 121 Georgia school districts applied to serve on this year's council.

Falcons' Julio Jones looking to shine in Year 2

Falcons' Julio Jones looking to shine in Year 2

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Julio Jones is still drawing double-takes over his new hairstyle.

Gone are his trademark dreadlocks, cut off and donated to charity. Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith says he didn't even recognize the receiver the first time he saw him with his shorter locks this summer.

Of course, the Falcons are more concerned about what Jones does with a helmet on his head. From all indications, this could be a breakout year for a guy who had a solid rookie season but, in some people's eyes, didn't quite live up to the lofty expectations.

Jones is definitely more comfortable in the Falcons' system. Last year, he was thrown right into the mix after the lockout and spent much of his time just trying to figure out what was going on.

NY Times Best Selling Author, Emily Giffin!

Atlanta resident and New York Times Best selling author, Emily Giffin stopped by our Get Connected Studios to talk about her new book, "Where We Belong", how and why she writes and more! Find out what she hates!  Meet Emily at her book signing in Buckhead July 27th. Get details at www.emilygiffin.com/calendar.php

Gov. Deal swears in Ga. Supreme Court justice

Gov. Deal swears in Ga. Supreme Court justice

ATLANTA (AP) - Gov. Nathan Deal has sworn in the newest justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia.

Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Keith Blackwell was sworn in Thursday morning in the House Chamber of the State Capitol.

Deal last month appointed the 37-year-old Blackwell to fill a vacancy left by Chief Justice George Carley. Carley's resignation as chief justice was effective Tuesday.

Blackwell had served on the Court of Appeals since he was appointed in 2010 by former Gov. Sonny Perdue. He is the 92nd justice since the court's creation in 1845.

Blackwell previously practiced civil and criminal law. He will serve on the court until 2014, when voters will decide whether to keep him on the bench for a six-year term.

Former NFL safety Easterling dies at 62

Former NFL safety Easterling dies at 62

ATLANTA (AP) - Former Atlanta Falcons safety Ray Easterling has died. He was 62.

Mary Ann Easterling said her husband died on Thursday. He was one of seven former players who filed a federal lawsuit in Philadelphia in August over the league's handling of concussion-related injuries, the first potential class-action lawsuit of its kind.

PHOTOS | Notable deaths in 2012

Easterling played for the Falcons from 1972 to 1979 and was the centerpiece of the team's "Gritz Blitz" defense in 1977 that set an NFL record for fewest points allowed in a season.

Easterling's wife said he went on to start a successful financial services company in Richmond, Va. But she said he suffered from insomnia, depression and other mental issues from the repeated hits.

Richmond Police have ruled the death a suicide by self-inflicted gunshot wound.