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Panera swears off artificial ingredients

Panera swears off artificial ingredients

NEW YORK -- Panera says it will remove artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives from its food by 2016, a reflection of the growing distaste people are showing for such ingredients.

The chain of bakery cafes, which has about 1,800 U.S. locations, is making the pledge as part of a "Food Policy" it is unveiling Tuesday that outlines its commitment to "clean" and "simple" ingredients.

The announcement comes at a time when Panera Bread Co. is facing slowing sales growth and working to jumpstart its business.

It also underscores how positioning foods as natural has become a marketing advantage, regardless of whether it brings any nutritional benefits.

Cherokee County participates in Seamless Summer program

Cherokee County participates in Seamless Summer program

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. -- The Cherokee County School District has signed up for the USDA's Seamless Summer Option for Children program.

Seamless Summer provides breakfast and lunch in the summertime to children who rely on free or reduced-price meals during the school year. Last year, nearly 65,000 kids ate nutritious meals through Cherokee County's Seamless Summer program.

More than 32 percent of Cherokee County's students qualify for free or reduced-price meals. Families do not need to provide proof of income for their children to be fed through Seamless Summer.

This year's program begins Monday, June 9 and ends Friday, July 25. Food giveaway locations include:

East Gate Mobile Home Park
6310 Bells Ferry Road, Acworth
* Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Shadowood Mobile Home Park
6359 Bells Ferry Road, Acworth
* Lunch (clubhouse): 10:45 a.m. to 11 a.m.
* Lunch (playground): 11:05 a.m. to 11:20 a.m.

Thomas Eye Group celebrates 40 years

Thomas Eye Group celebrates 40 years
ATLANTA -- Thomas Eye Group, a leading metro Atlanta eye care provider offering comprehensive services including LASIK and medical, surgical and cosmetic eye care, has announced that it is celebrating 40 years as one of the region’s most preferred ophthalmology practices.

“We are very grateful for the patients and communities that have entrusted us with their eye care for the past 40 years,” said CEO Rod Roeser. “Reaching this milestone is a credit to the compassionate care and commitment of our doctors and staff.”

Founded by W. Kevin Thomas, M.D. and Stephen B. Levine, M.D., Thomas Eye Group has served the metro Atlanta community since 1974. The company began as a general ophthalmology practice in Sandy Springs with Dr. Kevin Thomas seeing adult patients and Dr. Stephen Levine, a pediatric ophthalmologist, treating pediatric patients.

WellStar names new president

WellStar names new president

MARIETTA, Ga. -- WellStar Health System has chosen Candice Saunders as its new president and chief operating officer.

Saunders will take over her new role after current president and CEO Reynold Jennings' contract expires on Dec. 31, 2015.

"WellStar is critical and essential to the communities it serves. More than 1.4 million people rely on our services to live a healthy life," Saunders said in a release. "With my new responsibilities, I will provide leadership continuity to ensure that our system continues to play a major role in providing world-class healthcare to the people of metro Atlanta and northwest Georgia for years to come."

RELATED | Local Olympic gold medalist Christian Taylor partners with WellStar

IHOP offering free pancakes for charitable donations

IHOP offering free pancakes for charitable donations

(WXIA) -- IHOP will once again participate in the National Pancake Day promotion on Tuesday, Mar. 4.

Customers who visit any IHOP location on National Pancake Day will be treated to a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes. In exchange, the restaurant chain encourages diners to leave a donation for a number of charities, namely the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

Beginning this Saturday, Feb. 1, IHOP will collect donations for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Customers can buy paper balloons that cost either $1 or $5. The balloons will hang in IHOP restaurants through National Pancake Day.

Anyone who purchases a $5 balloon will receive a $5 IHOP coupon to use on a future visit.

Learn more about the promotion at ihoppancakeday.com.

The Biggest Loser's DOLVETTE

He calls Atlanta home, Dolvette of NBC's The Biggest Loser, stopped by Conn TV Studios to talk about his new lifestyle book about balance, not diet! You don't want to miss what he says about emotion, details, health and much much more. 

19 Cherokee schools make SHAPE Honor Roll

19 Cherokee schools make SHAPE Honor Roll

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. -- Nineteen elementary, middle and high schools in Cherokee County have been named to Georgia's 2013 SHAPE Honor Roll.

The SHAPE (Student Health and Physical Education) program was created last year to recognize schools that work hard to combat childhood obesity. It challenges students and teachers to make lifestyle improvements in three key areas: nutrition, wellness and physical activity.

Schools can be honored at three levels: gold, silver and bronze. Last year, 16 Cherokee schools were honored.

Learn more about the SHAPE Honor Roll

This year's Cherokee County SHAPE Honor Roll schools include: