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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.

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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.

Weekend roadwork: Once again, avoid I-20 on the west side

Weekend roadwork: Once again, avoid I-20 on the west side

(WXIA) -- Drivers are asked to avoid non-essential travel on Interstate 20 on Atlanta's west side this weekend.

Georgia Department of Transportation crews will perform several road projects on I-20 as well as other areas of metro Atlanta. Lane closures and delays are expected.

All work is weather permitting.

This weekend's work by county includes:

Cobb County
* Two northbound lanes of Cobb Parkway will be closed at the Chattahoochee River on Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon for pavement repairs.
* Two southbound lanes of Cobb Parkway will be closed at the Chattahoochee River on Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. for pavement repairs.

Celebrate National Poinsettia Day with Pike Nurseries

Celebrate National Poinsettia Day with Pike Nurseries

(WXIA) -- Poinsettias, often known as The Christmas Flower, are holiday staples. These classic flowering plants add a dazzling, festive flair to any space. Whether they are used on mantels as beautiful displays or on dining tables as stunning centerpieces, florist-quality poinsettias add the perfect holiday touch to home décor.

In honor of National Poinsettia Day on Friday, Dec. 12, the garden experts at Pike Nurseries reveal fun facts and fresh care tips that will keep poinsettias beautiful all season-long!

Poinsettias have become a symbol of the Christmas season. Pike Nurseries offers fast facts to educate and debunk the myths associated with poinsettias.

History Lesson: This Christmas classic is native to Mexico and was first introduced in the United States in 1825.

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Pike Nurseries hosts Williamsburg Wreath Make & Take classes

Pike Nurseries hosts Williamsburg Wreath Make & Take classes

ATLANTA -- The beautiful, festive wreaths of Colonial Williamsburg have become renowned front-door decorations that exemplify the historic town during the holidays.

To help customers add a traditional touch to their Christmas decorations, the experts at Pike Nurseries are hosting Make & Take Williamsburg Wreath classes on Wednesday, Dec. 3 at 10 a.m. and Sunday, Dec. 7 at 2 p.m.

During the seminars, guests will learn how to craft their very own Williamsburg Wreath to adorn the front door. The finished product looks like a Christmas wreath from Colonial Williamsburg and can last for three to four weeks outside in cool weather!

Atlanta-area unemployment decreases in October

Atlanta-area unemployment decreases in October

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate fell again last month.

October's rate was 7.0 percent, down from September's 7.3 percent. It was 7.6 percent in October 2013.

Cherokee County's unemployment rate was 5.7 percent last month.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the area added 18,800 jobs in October, which contributed to the rate decrease. Metro Atlanta has added nearly 58,000 jobs since October of last year. Fewer area residents filed for unemployment insurance last month too.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest October unemployment rate, at 5.4 percent. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest, at 9.3 percent.

16 horses killed in fire at equestrian farm


CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. -- A fire at an equestrian farm in Cherokee County killed at least 16 horses, including two show horses and a donkey late Wednesday.

It happened at New Vintage Farm on Cox Road.

Several horses and a dog are reportedly unaccounted for.

One worker tells 11Alive that people rent out stables at the farm.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.