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'The Elf on the Shelf' sequel hits stores

'The Elf on the Shelf' sequel hits stores

ATLANTA -- The sequel to "The Elf on the Shelf" -- a Christmas holiday-themed book written by Atlanta-area authors that has sold more than 6 million copies and become a tradition in many homes -- hit the shelves this week.

The new book -- "The Elf on the Shelf: A Birthday Tradition" -- co-written by the same authors, Acworth resident Carol V. Aebersold and her daughter, Chanda Bell, has Santa granting permission for scout elves to visit families for birthday celebration and to share traditions of celebrating birthdays in the North Pole.

Aebersold said they were inspired to write the second book after many children said they thought about their elves outside of Christmas. "The children are fascinated with what their elves are doing the rest of the year and (ask) 'can't they come back for my birthday,'"she said.

GDOT asks drivers to be safe this Halloween

GDOT asks drivers to be safe this Halloween

ATLANTA -- Whether you're taking children trick-or-treating or simply trying to get home at the end of a long workday, the Georgia Department of Transportation wants you to be safe this Halloween.

GDOT is offering advice for both drivers and pedestrians as the streets fill with young ghosts and goblins this evening.

Drivers are asked to slow down when entering neighborhoods and school zones. Reduce the number of distractions in the car, like phones and music, and take an extra second to look for children on medians and curbs.

GDOT also recommends driving with headlights on; that makes it easier to spot children from far away.

Young trick-or-treaters should look left, right and left again while trying to cross the street. They should also always stay on sidewalks or paths, and should not dart into the road or try to cross it from between parked cars.

It is recommended that children wear reflective tape or apply it to their trick-or-treat bags.

6 ways to save On Halloween decorations

6 ways to save On Halloween decorations

ATLANTA -- Every year there are millions of dollars spent on Halloween, from costumes, snacks and candy to decorations.

Hopefully after reading this, you will be able to save a ton on Halloween decor for your yard and home.

Path2College sweepstakes end Aug. 15

Path2College sweepstakes end Aug. 15

ATLANTA -- Georgia's Path2College 529 Plan is making it easier for families to pay for college by holding two scholarship giveaways.

The deadline to enter both contests is Thursday, Aug. 15.

Mitch Seabaugh, director of the Path2College 529 Plan, said the two sweepstakes are designed to encourage families to start saving for college while their children are still very young.

"If 10,000 more Georgia families start saving for college, that's 10,000 more children who will have a head start toward achieving their dream when they graduate from high school," he said in a statement.

Seabaugh added that the sweepstakes also benefit young students because they provide money for schools and libraries.

The first contest -- the 10,000 Reasons to Save Sweepstakes -- will gives $10,529 to two lucky winners: a current Path2College account holder and a non-account holder. The two winners' schools will each receive $10,529.

Mayfest to be held May 4

Mayfest to be held May 4

CARROLLTON, Ga. -- This year's Mayfest Arts and Crafts Festival will be Saturday, May 4 in downtown Carrollton.

The fun will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. among the historic buildings on Adamson Square.

Activities include showings from more than 150 vendors from all over the Southeast, not to mention food and a special section for children.

Visit carrolltonmainstreet.com for more information.

The Autism Gap: The fight for insurance

The Autism Gap: The fight for insurance

ATLANTA -- Eight year old Ava Bullard is playing with her sisters, riding their bikes on their long country driveway. It is a simple act that defies those who said she would never talk, those who said she wouldn't function in the real world.

Ava was not a typical baby, or toddler.

Her mother Anna says, "You couldn't interact with her."

MORE | Complete coverage of The Autism Gap

Ava did not play with toys. Did not speak. Could not dress herself. Did not interact with her parents or sisters. Slept two hours a night. She was in her own world.

Anna says, "It's like she looked straight through me. She would just...it's like you weren't there, if you were in the room with her."

Anna Bullard took Ava from doctor to doctor for months. One doctor told the family Ava was 'just weird.'

City schools to hold STEM showcase

City schools to hold STEM showcase

CARROLLTON, Ga. -- The Carrollton City School System has planned a STEM event to show the public how students learn about math- and science-related topics in the classroom.

The showcase will be held Thursday, Feb. 21 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Carrollton High School.

Visitors will have the chance to try hands-on STEM activities and listen to a presentation from superintendent Dr. Kent Edwards, who will explain how the school system is implementing STEM classes into the curriculum.

Participants will also be entered into a drawing to win iPad Minis. Four tablets will be given away.

Visit carrolltoncityschools.net for more information. Carrollton High School is located at 202 Trojan Drive.