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Unmarked graves found in old church grounds

Unmarked graves found in old church grounds

CANTON, GA – You'd think a church that's nearly 200 years old would know who's in their back yard, but then, you might be surprised.

"The graveyard goes back to 1832; Gov. Joseph A. Brown donated the property to the community to make a community cemetery," Rev. Joe McKechnie told 11Alive News on Wednesday.

That historic cemetery is now overseen by the equally old Sixes United Methodist Church on Bells Ferry Road in Cherokee County.

Gov. Brown's parents are among the many notables buried there. But there've long been suspicions that there were more than the 400 or so marked graves.

"There'd been rumors in this community circulating for a long time that there're a lot of bodies of slaves or Native Americans and miners who came in from other parts of the country to strike it big with gold mining," McKechnie said.

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19 Cherokee students placed in Reflections contest

19 Cherokee students placed in Reflections contest

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. -- Cherokee County students fared very well in the 2013-14 Reflections contest.

Nineteen students placed first, second or third at the state level in their respective categories, while seven more received honorable mentions.

Three students placed first and received entry into the national competition:

Madeline Gilmer, Etowah HS
Film production (10th grade)

Joseph McCann, River Ridge HS
Musical composition (12th)

Olivia Pettway, Cherokee HS
Photography (11th)

This year's Reflections theme was "Believe, Dream, Inspire." All of Cherokee County's winners will be recognized by Cherokee County Council of PTA President Dawn Stastny later this month.

The rest of the winners include:

Roadwork resumes this weekend

Roadwork resumes this weekend

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta drivers enjoyed a break last weekend when the Georgia Department of Transportation postponed road projects for the July 4 holiday.

But now that the fun is over, the work begins again.

Crews will be on several interstates throughout the metro, working on much-needed improvements. Delays are expected in all areas where roadwork will be performed.

As always, projects are weather permitting. Afternoon and evening thunderstorms could temporarily halt or delay work.

Here is some of this weekend's scheduled roadwork:

Cobb County
* Two right southbound lanes of I-285 will be closed between Paces Ferry Road and South Cobb Drive from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for slab replacement and repair.

Sixes ES names new principal

Sixes ES names new principal

CANTON, Ga. -- Cindy Crews has been named the new principal of Sixes Elementary School in Canton.

Crews has served as assistant principal since 2011, and has worked for the Cherokee County School District since 1992. She replaces Deborah Kelly, who retired at the end of the 2013-14 school year.

"She is an experienced, innovative educator who has brought her passion from the classroom to the front office as an assistant principal, and now will do the same and more as principal," Cherokee County Schools Superintendent Dr. Frank Petruzielo said of Crews.

Crews said she is spending her summer break preparing a vision for the school that she will be proud to share with its teachers. She has also made it her mission to be friendly and open in her new job.

"Students need to know their principal is a regular person, parents feel a down-to-earth principal is more approachable, and teachers and staff need to know their principal makes mistakes too!" she said.

Happy 4th of July: No weekend road projects!

Happy 4th of July: No weekend road projects!

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Transportation will celebrate the July 4 holiday by taking a break from all road projects.

The weekend construction that has plagued drivers for weeks will be temporarily halted at noon on Thursday.

However, GDOT expects considerable delays in certain areas, especially on Friday. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to run in or watch the 2014 AJC Peachtree Road Race, which will close several roads in Buckhead and Midtown. Fireworks displays and other Independence Day celebrations will also affect commuters Friday night.

An international Jehovah's Witnesses convention will be held at the Georgia Dome this weekend; 34,000 people from 14 countries will attend. GDOT said this event may also have an impact on traffic in the area.

Eye care experts urge parents to leave fireworks to pros

Eye care experts urge parents to leave fireworks to pros

ATLANTA -- Thousands of Georgia parents are buying sparklers for their children this Fourth of July, thinking they are a safe way to celebrate. But, as a Georgia eye expert warns, sparklers heat up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit -- hot enough to melt some metals -- and are the number one cause of fireworks injuries requiring trips to the emergency room.

Members of the Georgia Optometric Association are urging parents to leave all the fireworks to the professionals and avoid fireworks that may cause serious eye injuries when used inappropriately. Some of the most common fireworks injuries are eye abrasions, lacerations, contusions and foreign matter in the eye. The majority of these cases are related to the use of sparklers.

1,300 Cherokee students take summer classes

1,300 Cherokee students take summer classes

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. -- More than 1,300 Cherokee County School District students took advantage of the summer classes offered in June.

Roughly 300 high school students participated in a credit recovery program to retake the classes they did not pass during the school year. Another 450 high schoolers flocked to Cherokee and Woodstock high schools to earn credits by taking certain classes for the first time.

Canton Elementary School STEM Academy and Oak Grove Elementary School Fine Arts Academy offered Title I program sessions, which were available to children from low-income families. About 200 elementary and middle school students participated.

Approximately 100 special education students attended a program just for them at Canton Elementary School, and more than 200 rising high school freshmen took advantage of a bridge program for remediation in core subjects.