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Celebrate National Park week with free entry


All 401 national parks in the U.S. will celebrate "National Park Week: Go Wild!" from April 19-27. Parks will offer free admission April 19 and 20.

National Parks in the Metro Atlanta area include Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic Sites, and the Chattahoochee River Recreational Area.

We'll celebrate the beauty of our national parks all week by sharing your photos. Send your National Park photos to photos@11alive.com (Don't forget to include a caption!)

The National Park Service has events planned through the week. Georgia parks are participating in several of them:

Pedestrian hit and killed by car in Kennesaw


KENNESAW, Ga. -- A pedestrian was hit by a car on Cobb Parkway in Kennesaw Wednesday morning.

The accident happened at around 5:45 a.m. near Mack Dobbs Road.

Kennesaw Police spokesman Scott Luther said the victim, a 46-year-old while man was walking on the side of the road when he was hit. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The car that hit the victim stopped and stayed at the scene. Luther said no charges will be filed against the driver.

One southbound right lane of the road was closed as police investigated the accident. Cobb Parkway reopened shortly before 8:30 a.m.

For the latest traffic conditions in metro Atlanta, visit 11Alive.com/Traffic.


Kennesaw State University officials host forum on “Art, Memory and Historical Trauma”

KENNESAW, Ga. — Kennesaw State University’s Presidential Commission on Racial and Ethnic Dialogue will convene a special open forum on Monday, April 14, to discuss “Art, Memory and Historical Trauma.” The event will be held in KSU’s Social Sciences Auditorium from 5:30 - 7 p.m.

 

WHAT:

“Art, Memory and Historical Trauma” is a panel discussion and open forum that will address the complex issues and challenges surrounding the recent controversy that unfolded at the University during the opening of the Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art. The discussion, presented by KSU’s Presidential Commission on Racial and Ethnic Dialogue, will explore the controversial nature of the subject matter: Georgia writer Corra Harris — whose former homestead was gifted to the University in 2008. The panel will be followed by a question-and-answer period and general discussion.

 

WHO:

Special Guest:

Big clean up for Big Shanty

On April 26th hundreds of volunteer students, their families, and staff members will descend upon Big Shanty Intermediate School to clean-up and beautify the campus.  Teams of volunteers will be planting trees near the sports track for erosion control and flowers in the front and side to beautify the grounds, creating a sensory garden on the other side for Special Education students, and filling in a bog in the back.  Meanwhile, other volunteers will be scraping and painting the front awning and hallway and installing shelving in the bathrooms.  In conjunction, the school nurse, Beverly Jones, will host an American Red Cross blood drive.  Funding for this ambitious multi-project event was made possible through a Comcast Foundation grant.  Big Shanty is one of 30 schools selected nationally as recipient of Comcast Cares Day initiative.  Comcast is donating $7500 to fund the needed supplies for the projects.  Then an additional $5-15 per v

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Kennesaw proposing high taxes on blighted properties


KENNESAW, Ga. -- Hit 'em where it hurts – that's what the City of Kennesaw has decided to do to owners of blighted properties who refuse to fix them up: Tax the heck out of them until they do.

To hear Kennesaw's mayor, Mark Mathews, tell it, there are no blighted properties in Kennesaw. And the new law aims to keep it that way.

"We don't have any at this point," Mathews said, and although there are properties that are in violation of various code ordinances, they don't, he said, come under the definition of "blighted."

"This is just looking ahead to have something in place to address it if we do find ourselves in that position."

Along with existing remedies, such as going to a judge to authorize the city to perform the repairs at the owner's expense, "It's just another tool for the toolbox" that the city can use administratively.

13 Cobb high schools among America's Most Challenging

13 Cobb high schools among America's Most Challenging

(WXIA) -- The Washington Post has unveiled its 2014 list of America's Most Challenging High Schools.

The newspaper determines the annual rankings through a ratio: the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests a school gives each year, divided by the number of graduating seniors.

Thirteen Cobb County schools made the list, which features more than 2,000 high schools across the country. The listed numbers are each school's national ranking.

183. Walton HS
495. Lassiter HS
755. Harrison HS
936. Pope HS
1082. Campbell HS
1133. Wheeler HS
1184. North Cobb HS
1206. Kell HS
1334. Sprayberry HS
1474. Hillgrove HS
1523. Kennesaw Mountain HS
1718. McEachern HS
2001. Pebblebrook HS

Additionally, Marietta High School, which is part of a charter system, is No. 1058 on the list.

Weekend construction to continue despite rain

Weekend construction to continue despite rain

(WXIA) -- Rain is in this weekend's forecast, but that won't stop Georgia Department of Transportation from working on scheduled road projects throughout the area.

GDOT District Construction Engineer Shun Pringle said the department expects more people than usual on the road, as school districts begin and end their spring breaks.

"Call 511 or look at a mapping website before you leave home," Pringle said in a statement. "Motorists, including spring breakers ... need to plan ahead to avoid delays."

The new flyover ramps on the Interstate 85/Georgia 400 Interchange project are open, but crews still need to perform a little last-minute work on them. Lanes will be closed in places.