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Help Zoo Atlanta get a bald eagle

ATLANTA -- You now have the opportunity to help bring the national bird to Zoo Atlanta.

The zoo hopes to create a bald eagle exhibit in the near future. Because bald eagles are a federally protected species and are considered threatened in Georgia, the state's Department of Natural Resources must approve the exhibit before the zoo will be allowed to apply for a permit to receive an eagle.

Zoo Atlanta recently launched a $10,000 fundraiser for its bald eagle project. The money will support construction of the exhibit, which will be located adjacent to the Wildlife Theater, and will feed and care for the bird during its first year at the zoo.

Local crowdfunding platform SterlingFunder is helping Zoo Atlanta raise money. SterlingFunder waived its usual fees, so 100 percent of donations will go directly to the bald eagle initiative.

Citizens’ University to kick off for 11th year

Citizens’ University to kick off for 11th year

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Fulton County’s Citizens’ University begins April 2 for the 11th consecutive year.

The 12-week intensive training program provides citizens with a close-up view of how their local government works. Participants can gain a better understanding of County government, the available services and the role of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners.

Commissioner Joan Garner, District 4, has taken the lead in continuing Citizens’ University, which is an initiative originally led by former Commissioner William “Bill” Edwards.

Citizens’ University students learn how laws are proposed, passed and amended and they personally interact with key management personnel. Participants are urged to take what they learn back to their communities to strengthen ties between communities and their government and encourage more collaboration to enhance the quality of life in Fulton County.

Weekend roadwork: More sign and bridge work

Weekend roadwork: More sign and bridge work

(WXIA) -- Once again, drivers in the Atlanta area are asked to avoid non-essential travel on Interstate 285 this weekend.

Georgia Department of Transportation road crews will work on several stretches of roads and highways throughout the area Friday night through Monday morning. Many of the projects will require lane closures, which could result in delays.

As always, all work is weather permitting. See this weekend's forecast.

Scheduled projects include:

Coweta County
1 southbound lane of I-85 will be closed at Sharpsburg-McCullum Road from 9 p.m. Friday to 12 p.m. Monday for barrier wall installation.

DeKalb County
2 northbound lanes of I-285 will be closed between Covington Highway and I-20 from 7:30 p.m. Saturday to 7:30 a.m. Sunday for sign structure work.

Defense rests case in APS cheating trial

Defense rests case in APS cheating trial

The defense rested its case in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal trial on Tuesday.

Judge Jerry Baxter announced closing arguments will begin on March 19.

Jurors have listened to testimony for six months now. The trial began back in August 2014.

Twelve former APS educators are accused of cheating on standardized tests in 2009.

Man gets 40 years for shooting girlfriend in the head

Man gets 40 years for shooting girlfriend in the head

ATLANTA -- A southeast Atlanta man will spend 40 years in prison for shooting his girlfriend in the head, leaving her with permanent injuries.

Jason Thompson, 36, was found guilty Friday of criminal attempt to commit murder, aggravated assault, aggravated battery and weapons offenses.

Thompson lived with his girlfriend, Barbara Baca, at a home on Bryan Street, near Grant Park. Police were called to the house on June 4, 2013. Responding officers found Baca with a gunshot wound to her head. She was conscious, but could not speak.

The defendant admitted he shot Baca, but claimed he intended to shoot himself. In court, he said he and the victim struggled for the gun and it discharged, striking Baca.

An investigation revealed Thompson had a history of violence toward Baca, according to prosecutors.

Georgia Lottery launches new Georgia-only lotto game

Georgia Lottery launches new Georgia-only lotto game

ATLANTA – The Georgia Lottery is introducing an exciting new game that will be available only in Georgia. Jumbo Bucks Lotto with Ca$h Match combines a classic lotto draw game with an instant-win component.

The game concept is the first of its kind in Georgia.

Jumbo Bucks Lotto with Ca$h Match offers jackpots starting at $1 million. The jackpot will continue to grow until there is a jackpot winner.

Additionally, players can select Ca$h Match for a chance to win up to $500 instantly.

Jumbo Bucks Lotto with Ca$h Match went on sale at Georgia Lottery retailers statewide Sunday.

Drawings will be held at 11 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays. The first drawing will be conducted Feb. 23.

Tickets are $1 per play. The Ca$h Match option costs an additional $1 per play.

Players must pick six numbers from one to 47. Win the jackpot prize by matching the six numbers drawn. The game offers three additional lotto prizes from $5 to $500.

Ga. Connections Academy enrollment opens Mar. 3

Ga. Connections Academy enrollment opens Mar. 3

(WXIA) -- Georgia Connections Academy, a free statewide virtual K-12 school, will begin accepting applications for the 2015-16 school year next month.

Enrollment opens Mar. 3. The school can support 4,000 students; spaces are limited and families are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

A free parent information session will be held Tuesday, Mar. 10 at 6 p.m. at the Hampton Inn Atlanta-Perimeter Center, which is located at 769 Hammond Drive in Sandy Springs. Teachers and currently enrolled families will answer questions and go over the school's curriculum at the session.

For more information about Georgia Connections Academy, visit connectionsacademy.com.