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Atlanta Public Schools slash $47 million from budget

Atlanta Public Schools slash $47 million from budget

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Public School system voted to slash $47 million from next year's budget, eliminating nearly 500 jobs including teachers, custodians and school bus drivers.

The board's decision came after hours of public testimony -- much of it opposed to the deep cuts school officials insist are necessary to balance the budget.

The superintendent's budget plan calls for eliminating 230 teachers, 90 custodians and 14 bus drivers.

A spokesman for the school system says they plan to replace the janitorial staff with contractors. The move is expected to save the district an estimated $3 million annually.

Additional cost-cutting measures include no raises this year for school system employees and two furlough days.

Mayor Reed pressured to endorse same sex marriage

ATLANTA - Three years ago State Senator Kasim Reed and Atlanta City Councilwoman Mary Norwood practically stumbled over each other courting the city's sizeable gay and lesbian vote in the mayor's race.

Reed ended up winning a squeaker by just over 700 votes.

Most observers believe he and Norwood split the LGBT vote.

But now some in that vocal and politically active community are threatening to vote against Mayor Reed next year if he doesn't follow President Obama's recent example and personally endorse same sex marriage.

"His refusal to come out and endorse same sex marriage in line with President Obama's endorsement of same sex marriage equality overshadows a lot of the great things that the mayor has done," LGBT activist Charlie Stadtlander told 11 Alive News on Monday.

Stadtlander has started a Facebook page to put pressure on the mayor.

When does the school year end?

When does the school year end?

ATLANTA -- The last day of school is right around the corner for Atlanta students.

Public schools will dismiss for the summer on Tuesday, May 22.

The last days of school in other metro Atlanta districts are staggered throughout the second half of May. They include:

Wednesday, May 16
Clarke County

Thursday, May 17
Hall County

Friday, May 18
Bartow County
Clayton County
Fulton County

Tuesday, May 22
Barrow County

Wednesday, May 23
Carroll County
Gwinnett County
Newton County

Thursday, May 24
Cobb County
Decatur City Schools
DeKalb County
Rockdale County

Friday, May 25
Buford City Schools
Cherokee County
Coweta County
Douglas County
Fayette County
Floyd County
Forsyth County
Henry County
Marietta City Schools
Paulding County

Children of Conservation Offers Dinner & A Cause Cards Starting June 1

Children of Conservation Offers Dinner & A Cause Cards Starting June 1

Children of Conservation is once again giving Atlanta residents the opportunity to save at some of the city’s top restaurants while also supporting an important cause. The non-profit organization known for providing an otherwise unavailable education to children of wildlife sanctuary workers in Africa is teaming up with over 85 local restaurants in all areas of Atlanta for its second annual Dinner & A Cause Card fundraiser.

HIV crisis facing black women in metro Atlanta

ATLANTA -- 11Alive News is sounding the alarm.

Research shows African-American women, many living in Atlanta, are being infected with HIV -- so much so that the new cases are being compared to African countries. 

Data collected in 2009 from the health departments in Clayton, Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb, Douglas and Gwinnett counties indicates infection rates of HIV and AIDS, respectively, as follows: (This is for women and men combined, all races.)

Fulton: 4,213 and 7,342 

DeKalb: 3,257 and 3,983 

Clayton: 847 and 943 

Cobb and Douglas: 1,030 and 1,288 

Gwinnett: 884 and 1,041

In another study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control, black women make up 60 percent of all new HIV cases among women. That's 15 times higher than white women and four percent higher than Hispanic women.

Monster Sunspot Coming Into Earth's Views

Monster Sunspot Coming Into Earth's Views

I found this article on Space.com and thought you would enjoy it!

An enormous sunspot group has taken shape on the surface of the sun, hinting that our star may soon start spouting off some powerful storms.

World of Coca-Cola Inside The Vault of the Secret Formula Mother's Day Giveaway

World of Coca-Cola Inside The Vault of the Secret Formula Mother's Day Giveaway

The Bluebird of Happiness has landed on liquid happiness. This Mother's day get a glimpse inside of "The Vault of the Secret Formula",  at the World of Coca-Cola.