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Newton superintendent wins leadership award

Newton superintendent wins leadership award

COVINGTON, Ga. -- Newton County School System superintendent Gary Mathews has won this year's Outstanding Leadership in School/Community Relations Award from the Georgia School Public Relations Association.

Mathews was presented with his award at the GSPRA's annual conference in Macon on Oct. 22.

The award is given to school leaders who effectively use public relations to build support for education.

"Dr. Gary Mathews is a shining example of how sound public engagement strategies can build understanding and trust in public education and support student achievement at all levels," GSPRA president Jim Weidhaas said.

Part of Mathews' community engagement includes meeting with community groups, civic organizations, parent/teacher organizations, editorial boards and other organizations throughout Newton County.

Sister Helen Prejean to speak at Oxford College

Sister Helen Prejean to speak at Oxford College

OXFORD, Ga. -- Award-winning author and lecturer Sister Helen Prejean will speak at Oxford College on Tuesday, Sept. 18.

The 73-year-old nun is a famous anti-death penalty advocate. She is best known for becoming spiritual adviser to Patrick Sonnier, a death row inmate at Louisiana's Angola Prison, in the 1980s. Sonnier was eventually executed for raping and murdering two teenagers with his brother.

After Sonnier's death, Prejean wrote a book about her experience, Dead Man Walking. That book was later turned into an opera, a play and a movie. Susan Sarandon played Prejean in the 1995 film; she won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.

Oxford College will screen Dead Man Walking at 8 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 17. The movie will be shown in Williams Hall.

Prejean's lecture will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Allen Memorial United Methodist Church.

Meet Georgia's Paralympians

Meet Georgia's Paralympians

ATLANTA -- The 2012 London Paralympics begin Wednesday, and several Georgians are hoping to bring home the gold at the Games.

Learn who to root for here:

Richard Browne, 21, Athletics
Browne is a native of Jackson, Miss., and now attends Morehouse College in Atlanta. He suffered a below-the-knee amputation after an accident in 2009, but quickly bounced back to become a Paralympian. Browne will compete in the 100m, 4x100m and high jump. He won silver in the high jump and bronze in the 100m at the 2012 Paralympic Trials.

Gov. Deal swears in Ga. Supreme Court justice

Gov. Deal swears in Ga. Supreme Court justice

ATLANTA (AP) - Gov. Nathan Deal has sworn in the newest justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia.

Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Keith Blackwell was sworn in Thursday morning in the House Chamber of the State Capitol.

Deal last month appointed the 37-year-old Blackwell to fill a vacancy left by Chief Justice George Carley. Carley's resignation as chief justice was effective Tuesday.

Blackwell had served on the Court of Appeals since he was appointed in 2010 by former Gov. Sonny Perdue. He is the 92nd justice since the court's creation in 1845.

Blackwell previously practiced civil and criminal law. He will serve on the court until 2014, when voters will decide whether to keep him on the bench for a six-year term.

The Obama Effect's Atlanta Premiere

Watch an interview with star Vanessa Bell Calloway as she stopped by the Get Connected studio in Atlanta to discuss her new movie The Obama Effect!

Ga. Lottery wins Emmy

Ga. Lottery wins Emmy

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Lottery won a Emmy Award for its television special, "Georgia Lottery's All Access Music Search."

PHOTOS | 2012 Regional Emmy Awards

Georgia Lottery president and CEO Margaret DeFrancisco claimed her award Saturday. The televised music competition won in the category Television Programming Excellence: Special Event Coverage -- Live.

"Georgia Lottery's All Access Music Search" was a statewide "American Idol"-style competition that featured local music superstars, including Monica and Clay Cook of the Zac Brown Band, as judges.

Winners were determined through a combination of online voting and judges' opinions:

Atlanta Opera High School Opera Institute to give concert

Atlanta Opera High School Opera Institute to give concert

ATLANTA -- The 11 talented local students who participated in this year's Atlanta Opera High School Opera Institute will give a special concert next month.

The institute, which is one of only a few programs of its kind in the U.S., puts high school students through a rigorous audition process and offers eight months of workshops, vocal coaching and other courses for young people who are interested in pursuing music careers.

In the three years the Atlanta Opera has offered the program, 11 of its graduates have gone on to study music at universities and conservatories across the country.