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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.

Georgia's new QB studies Tom Brady

ATHENS, Ga. -- Hutson Mason has some big shoes to fill in his lone season as Georgia's starting quarterback.

So he's trying to pick up a few pointers from an even bigger name.

Before spring practice opened this week, the senior watched lots of film on three-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady - mainly, his footwork in the pocket. Mason is hoping to learn some things that will help ease the transition from longtime starter Aaron Murray.

The Bulldogs will start the season with a new quarterback for the first time since 2010, when Murray won the job as a redshirt freshman. He wound up staying four more years, meaning Mason had to take a redshirt right in the middle of his career just to make sure he got one year as starter.

Isakson to deliver UGA commencement address

ATHENS, Ga. -- U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., will deliver the commencement address for The University of Georgia undergraduates on May 9.

"Sen. Isakson is a great public servant and a statesman, and he has been a strong advocate for the value of public education, from kindergarten through college and beyond," said UGA President Jere W. Morehead, in a statement, "As an alumnus, he has brought honor and recognition to his alma mater. I am very grateful to him for agreeing to speak to the Class of 2014."

Isakson served 17 years in the Georgia General Assembly in both the House of Representatives and Senate and as chairman of the Georgia Board of Education. He was elected in 1999 to the U.S. House of Representatives for the first of three terms and in 2004 to the U.S. Senate. He is currently in his second term as a U.S. senator.

4 UGA football players arrested on theft charges

ATHENS, Ga. -- Four University of Georgia football players were arrested on multiple counts of theft by deception on Monday.

According to the Athens-Clarke County Sheriff's Office, Tray Matthews, Jonathan Taylor, James DeLoach and Uriah LeMay were booked at Clarke County Jail and released on Monday night.

According to the police report, 11 student tuition checks drawn on the UGA Athletic Association account had been presented for deposit or cashed twice. Seven of the checks were deposited into three different Wells Fargo accounts, while the remaining four were deposited into a JPMorgan Chase account and then presented for cash or deposit through a Wells Fargo account. Each check was worth $71.50.

Head coach Mark Richt issued the following statement:

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.

Georgia schools rank high on U.S. News and World Report's 2015 'Best Grad Schools' list

Georgia schools rank high on U.S. News and World Report's 2015 'Best Grad Schools' list

(ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE) -- Several Georgia schools scored well on U.S. News and World Report's 2015 list of Best Graduate Schools.

U.S. News says it analyzed more than 1,300 graduate programs to determine this year's rankings.

The University of Georgia's public affairs program is ranked No. 4 among the nation's top public affairs schools -- higher than Princeton University (No. 5). Georgia State University's Andrew Young School of Policy Studies is ranked No. 23, while Georgia Tech's program is ranked No. 53.

Georgia Tech's graduate engineering program is ranked No. 6 among engineering programs, tied with University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The top five engineering grad schools are, in order, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of California-Berkeley, California Institute of Technology and Carnegie Mellon University.

HERO CENTRAL: Girl dials 911 with deactivated phone

WATKINSVILLE, Ga. -- A 10-year-old from Oconee County was home alone last week when her house was burglarized. She found a way to call 911 that many adults may not know.

"I don't want to be home alone again," said elementary school student Nora, "because that was when it happened."

Nora was home sick from school when the robbery occurred, at 3 p.m.

She went to watch TV, said mother Marianne Shockley, "turned around and there was no TV. The back door was wide open."

Nora said she felt scared, but, "I had to tell myself to keep your head on straight, find a phone, and call for help."

One problem: Nora could not find her phone.

But she remembered a trick she had learned a few weeks earlier.

Said the ten-year-old, "Something in my mind just clicked and said you could use an old phone to dial 911."

An old phone, even with no activated plan, can still dial 911 as long as it has power.