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Gwinnett parents oppose schools' snow days plan

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Gwinnett County parents are sounding off about the school district's plan to add 30 minutes to each student's school day.

It's part of the effort to make up for the time lost during the snow storm two weeks ago.

Since the governor declared a state of emergency, school districts have the option of using a waiver and keeping the rest of the school schedule the way it is. 

Most school districts took the waiver, but Gwinnett wants to make the days up before the end of the school year.

"We are committed to all 180 days of education," said Gwinnett County Schools Spokesman Jorge Quintana.  

In addition to changing the last day of school, an extra 30 minutes will be added to each school day from March 3 to May 14.

It is up to individual schools on how they choose to use the time, but it must be spent doing some sort of academics.

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4 Forsyth schools named AP Merit Schools

4 Forsyth schools named AP Merit Schools

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. -- Four public high schools in Forsyth County were named 2014 AP Merit Schools by State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge.

An AP Merit School is a school where at least 20 percent of students take Advanced Placement exams. At least 50 percent of the exams taken at an AP Merit School earn passing scores of 3 or higher.

Forsyth County's schools on the list include:

* Forsyth Central HS
* Lambert HS
* South Forsyth HS
* West Forsyth HS

Forsyth Co. lottery ticket printing plant to expand

ALPHARETTA, Ga. -- Scientific Games has expanded its Forsyth County lottery ticket manufacturing plant -- a move that will create 40 jobs and expand printing capacity by about 20 percent.

RELATED | Check your numbers at 11Alive's lottery page

Alpharetta-based Scientific Games has acquired a manufacturing system -- Alpha P-7 -- that can print 9 billion lottery tickets annually. Alpha P-7 is essentially 20 printing presses electronically networked together.

Scratch-off lottery tickets require an elaborate manufacturing process, said Jim Kennedy, chief of Scientific Games' lottery business. Every ticket is unique and requires "more than 20 layers of ink to create this electronically tracked piece of (paper)," Kennedy said.

Forsyth Co. authorities arrest 6 on burglary, drug charges

CUMMING, Ga. (WXIA) - The Forsyth County Sheriff's Office says they have arrested six people in connection with the burglary of three storage units and the distribution of drugs at a home.

In a release Friday, Sheriff Duane K. Piper said three storage units and a cargo trailer were burglarized at Sawnee Storage, just off of Georgia 20 West at some point between January 27 and 29. Investigators were able to identify a suspect - Joshua L. Williams, 20, of Sugar Hill, from surveillance video. A video was also identified from the video.

Williams was taken into custody after a short chase on February 5 along Settingdown Road in Forsyth County. Investigators said Williams tried to flee from authorities by driving in reverse down the roadway. Williams was arrested and charged with three counts of second degree burglary, three counts of felony theft and criminal trespass, as well as a number of traffic offenses.

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Forsyth superintendent announces retirement

Forsyth superintendent announces retirement

CUMMING, Ga. -- Forsyth County Schools Superintendent L.C. "Buster" Evans will retire at the end of the 2013-14 school year.

Evans announced his retirement plan during Thursday's Forsyth County Board of Education meeting. He has worked for the school system since 2007, capping off a 30-year career in public education.

"We will be forever grateful to Dr. Evans for his outstanding leadership and for taking our district to unbelievable levels of achievement," Board of Education Chairperson Darla Light said in a release. "We wish him the best in his new career pathway and know that he will continue to make a difference in the future of our state."

Upon retiring on June 30, Evans plans to begin working on learning and career development opportunities for adults.

Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has brought back its Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest for 2014.

This year's theme is Plug into Nature, emphasizing the importance of experiencing wildlife and plants firsthand.

All Georgia students in grades kindergarten through 5 are invited to enter the contest. The top 12 winners' posters will be displayed on the DNR's Flickr site and at the Go Fish Education Center in Perry during the first two weeks in May.

Contest entries are due Apr. 16. Three winners will be picked in four categories (kindergarten, grades 1-2, grades 3-4, grade 5).

Visit georgiawildlife.com for more information about the contest.

Pike Nurseries hiring 250 seasonal employees

Pike Nurseries hiring 250 seasonal employees

(WXIA) -- Spring is just around the corner, and Pike Nurseries is preparing to hire 250 people for one of its busiest seasons.

The nursery chain, which has locations throughout metro Atlanta, will hold a career fair on Friday, Feb. 28 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at its Roswell location (615 West Crossville Road).

Job seekers can also apply at any Pike Nurseries location. The stores are looking for anyone who is passionate about gardening.

Learn more at pikenursery.com.