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2013 Ga. Teacher of the Year finalists announced

2013 Ga. Teacher of the Year finalists announced

ATLANTA -- The ten finalists for the 2013 Georgia Teacher of the Year were announced Thursday.

The teachers were chosen from a pool of 150 Teachers of the Year in districts across the state. They were selected by a panel of teachers, past winners, administrators and community leaders.

"I congratulate our ten Georgia Teacher of the Year finalists and those who applied," said State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. "We have always had a very impressive group of teachers make up the top 10, and I know this year will be no different."

Fulton County Schools names new police chief

Fulton County Schools names new police chief

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Felipe Usury has been named the new Chief of Police for the Fulton County School System.

Usury, who brings 21 years of experience to the new position, will lead a department of more than 60 certified police officers and support staff. He was an officer with the Cobb County Police Department for eight years and also served as a Marine Corps reservist.

"Chief Usury has kept our students and schools safe for more than a decade," said Superintendent Robert Avossa, noting the new chief's 13 years with Fulton County Schools. "I'm pleased to offer him the position as our chief of police. As a veteran of our police force and a proven leader, he has earned the respect of his fellow officers and our school leaders."

North Fulton Chamber names new chairman

North Fulton Chamber names new chairman

ALPHARETTA, Ga. -- William "Teddy" Russell Jr. has been named chairman of the board of the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, the organization announced Thursday.

Russell is CFO of Russell Landscape Group, Inc. He succeeds Andy Macke as chairman.

"I am honored to be selected as the chairman," Russell said of his appointment. "I am excited to work with [GNFCC president and CEO] Brandon Beach, the chamber staff and the board in an effort to continue the many past successes."

A University of Georgia alum, Russell has served on several GNFCC committees. He was named a finalist for the Chamber's Small Business Person of the Year award in 2008.

"Teddy has been a valued and active member of the GNFCC and will be a tremendous asset to the leadership of the Chamber in the North Fulton community," Beach said Thursday. "We are very fortunate to have Teddy as our chairman of the board."

Merry Christmas from Gov. Deal

Merry Christmas from Gov. Deal

ATLANTA -- Governor Nathan Deal issued a special holiday greeting for Georgia residents on Friday.

As Christmas nears, I wanted to wish every Georgian a merry Christmas and a happy holiday season.

Christmas has a special way of reminding us what is really important: our faith in God, family and the well-being of our fellow man.

But Christmas is not limited to a single season or date on a calendar. These feelings of peace and love are always with us throughout our lives. For many, Christmas serves as a rejuvenation of these values and ideals.

After the gifts are all unwrapped and the candles begin to dim, our spirits will once again be enriched and fully restored.

As we reflect on all we have been able to accomplish this past year, we will cary this rejuvenated spirit to achieve all the goals that we have set for the coming years.

BUCKHEAD | Ga. 400 tolls paid by Hawks Tuesday

BUCKHEAD | Ga. 400 tolls paid by Hawks Tuesday

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Hawks spread holiday cheer to Ga. 400 commuters on Tuesday.

The team paid all drivers' tolls, both northbound and southbound, from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.

In addition, Hawks forward Dominique Wilkins, mascot Harry the Hawk and the Hawks cheerleaders were on-hand to give away team swag, include $50 holiday cards that can be used to purchase tickets to home games.

"The entire Hawks organization wants to say 'thank you' to the city and our fans for their support by paying their toll, giving them some Hawks goodies and setting the tone for a great day," Philips Arena president Bob Williams said in a statement.

Fulton guest principals to share their experiences

Fulton guest principals to share their experiences

ATLANTA -- What's it like to be a principal in Fulton County?

More than 60 residents got the opportunity to learn the answer to this question when they were selected to be "Principal for a Day" at schools throughout the district. They will reflect upon their experiences during a recap session at 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18 at the school system's Administrative Center near East Point.

Now in its fourth year, the Principal for a Day program allows local business leaders to step into the role of school administrator and discover the challenges and rewards such a job presents. A list of participants can be found on the Fulton schools website.

MILTON: Defeated gay councilman cries foul over fake robo calls

MILTON: Defeated gay councilman cries foul over fake robo calls

MILTON, Ga. -- Defeated in his first attempt at re-election this week, Milton City Councilman Alan Tart is crying foul.

"It is politics at its worst," he told 11Alive News on Friday.

Tart is talking about two robo calls that went out to many Milton voters the night before Tuesday's election.

He shared one with 11Alive, which said, in part, "As the only openly gay Democrat in North Fulton, Alan needs every vote to ensure that a progressive voice is heard on the council."

Tart said the calls are fakes, designed to help him lose the election, which he did.

First elected in 2007, he has never hidden the fact that he is gay.

He even has a photo with his partner on his campaign website.

But he never made an issue of it and neither did anyone else until the fake robo calls.