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Ryan McKenzie

Stories by Ryan

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Middle Ridge students ready to get hands dirty in new hoop house

Middle Ridge Elementary students are ready to play in the dirt with the addition of a new hoop house on the school’s campus.

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Local mom continues fight for her daughter to have medical marijuana

Despite the fact that Georgia legislators recently shot down a bill that would have legalized the use of medical marijuana throughout the state, one local mother is not giving up the fight for her afflicted daughter to have access to the therapeutic medicine.

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Students at Rockdale schools will be eligible for scholarships in memory of Kate Caruso

Drama students of Heritage High, Rockdale High, Salem High and Young Americans Christian School are eligible for the Kate Caruso Light the Way Scholarship, named for the late Heritage graduate.

NCSS invites parents to get involved with school

While the Newton County School System typically engages children to be active community members, parents are being encouraged to reach out to the school community at a spring education summit on April 19.

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Peachtree Academy students win art contest

Four local young artists have had their creations put on display at Community & Southern Bank after winning the inaugural Budding Artist contest.

Local schools eligible for makeover grant

Georgia United Credit Union has announced that it is giving local schools the chance for a transformation, as it has declared the launch of its new program called School Crashers.

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Six NCSS students selected for summer study program

Six students from the Newton County School System have been chosen to take part in the 2014 Governor’s Honors Program at Valdosta State University in June.

Gaither's Plantation is hosting Spring Fling

Gaither’s Plantation and the local community are getting ready to welcome the warm weather with the Spring Fling and Festival on April 12.

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Middle Ridge gets a taste of farm life

Middle Ridge Elementary students got a taste of the agricultural world on Thursday when the Newton County Farm Bureau hosted Farm Day at the school.

Gaither’s Plantation is hosting the Spring Fling

Gaither’s Plantation and the local community are getting ready to welcome the warm weather with the Spring Fling and Festival on April 12.

NCSS announces Kindergarten Round-Up dates

With the 2014-15 school year slowly approaching, the Newton County School System is preparing for its next set of kindergarteners.

Seven NCSS students make it to All State Band

Middle and high school student musicians from the Newton County School System have been selected to take part in the 2014 State of Georgia All State Bands.

DOL stats show unemployment decreases in Rockdale and Newton

February’s unemployment rates for Rockdale and Newton Counties have dropped slightly in comparison to those of January, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.

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Local girl to honor grandfather's memory at birthday party

A local soon-to-be teenager will be celebrating her birthday selflessly in remembrance of her grandfather, Joseph Cimon, who passed away in January from Parkinson’s disease.

Newton Schools recommended for reaccreditation

The Newton County School System received an overall positive review as the AdvanED External Review Team announced the findings of its three-day accreditation auditing process on Wednesday at a special called Board of Education meeting.

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Rockdale High baseball player performs CPR on umpire

It is usually the umpire’s job to determine a player’s move as “safe,” but a baseball game at Newton High on Friday evening had a player calling the safety shots on an umpire.

Newton schools to be reviewed for accreditation this week

For the first time since August 2008, the Newton County School System will be undergoing an extensive district accreditation process by AdvancED’s division Southern Accreditation of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement.

Rock of Salvation to rent out Newton High kitchen for summer program

The Newton County School System Board of Education approved the Newton High School kitchen to be used for the summer feeding program at it’s regular meeting on Tuesday evening.

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Newton schools honor Board of Education members

Along with other boards of education across the state this week, the Newton County School System is celebrating Georgia’s School Board Appreciation Week—a week meant to honor and recognize the contributions of local school boards.

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Rockdale girl recognized for helping injured dad

The Rockdale County Fire Department recognized Elisha Powers—a local four-year-old who came to her dad’s aid—for her accomplishment at the Board of Commissioners’ meeting on Tuesday morning.

Local high schoolers selected for scholarshps from Snapping Shoals

Snapping Shoals EMC recently awarded $40,000 in scholarships to 20 high school seniors throughout the state, 11 of which are from Rockdale and Newton counties.

Students face rule changes for 2014-15

The Newton County School System has drafted student handbooks for both elementary and secondary schools for the 2014-15 school year, with a few changes made from this year’s handbooks.

Newton students facing lunch price increases

Students in the Newton County School System may be facing an increase in lunch prices, which the NCSS Board of Education announced at its work session on Tuesday evening.

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Theme School's Builders Club off to first good year

Local middle school students are getting a taste of giving back to the community, as the Newton County Theme School at Ficquett launched its Builders Club community service organization this year, which is being chartered by Kiwanis.

Family Baseball Night at GPC Newton

Georgia Perimeter College Newton Campus has invited the community for an evening of baseball, food and giveaways on Tuesday, March 18.

Computer-boom drama to film Conyers on Thursday

Conyers will be taken back to the early 1980s on Thursday as the new AMC series “Halt and Catch Fire” is scheduled for a filming session.

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Clements student goes to All-State Middle School Chorus at UGA

Being the only middle school student from Newton County to participate in the 2014 All-State Middle School Chorus, Clements Middle eighth-grade student Josiah Webb has become a well-known singer in his division.

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Rocky Plains student Aniya Jackson remembered after passing

Rocky Plains Elementary commemorated the loss of fourth-grader Aniya Jackson by planting a tree on the school’s fourth grade playground on March 4.

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Late Pierce Cline has garden named after him at GPC Newton

Georgia Perimeter College Newton Campus educators, students, staff and community members gathered at the school to dedicate a garden in the name of the late Pierce Cline, who donated property on which the campus is currently located.

State issues new immunization requirements for students

The Georgia Department of Public Health has revised school immunization requirements for rising seventh-graders, meaning that students in the Newton County School System must receive Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) and MCV (meningococcal conjugate) vaccines before the next school year.

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Rockdale high school seniors and teachers honored

Rockdale County Public Schools and the Rotary Club of Conyers recognized high school seniors and teachers for their accomplishments at the club’s meeting on Feb. 27 at Cameron Hall.

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Speakers and performers honor Black History Month at Clements Middle

On the last day of the month-long observance, Clements Middle School sent Black History Month out with a bang by hosting an assembly with an array of speakers and performers.

RCA certified by new process

Rockdale Career Academy has been recommended for certification, being the first school in Georgia to complete a newly piloted review process.

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Rockdale high school seniors and teachers honored

Rockdale County Public Schools and the Rotary Club of Conyers recognized high school seniors and teachers for their accomplishments at the club’s meeting on Feb. 27 at Cameron Hall.

Two Newton high schools get named AP Honor Schools

Georgia School Superintendent John Barge has announced the state’s 2014 Advanced Placement Honor Schools, including Newton High and Alcovy High, which were both named as AP STEM Schools and AP Access & Support Schools.

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A Rockdale toddler was able to call 911 after her father was injured

Four-year-old Elisha Powers has proven that heroes come in all ages when she helped call 911 on Thursday afternoon after her father was severely injured while using a machete.

Daffodil Festival at GPC will highlight community

Georgia Perimeter College Newton Campus aims to bring the community together with its two-day Daffodil Festival on March 5 and 6, which will be held in honor of the late Pierce Cline.

Newton high schoolers to graduate on originally planned dates

The State Board of Education has approved Newton County’s originally planned graduation dates of May 23 and 24, as per a recently authorized resolution which gives local school districts the flexibility to determine if students have to make up inclement weather days.

Newton schools to receive emergency panic pendants

The Newton County Board of Educational approved the purchase of panic transmitter devices for all school system buildings, which was announced at the Newton County School System combined meeting on Tuesday evening.

Newton County mom gets bill passed in House and Senate for newborn heart defect testing

A Newton County mother has gotten her long-awaited wish, as the Georgia Department of Public Health is revising its newborn screening guidelines to include testing for Critical Congenital Heart Defects using pulse oximetry.

NCSS sets make-up days, new school calendar

After mulling over several options, the Newton County School System Board of Education has made a decision regarding inclement weather make-up days, along with a calendar for the 2014-15 school year.

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Theme School Dance Team honors its first year competing

In its first year of running, the Newton County Theme School Dance Team was able to have a successful first season, placing highly in many competitions.

BBB and local businesses offer tips for ice storm damage

Recent Winter Storm Pax caused some icy damage throughout the metro-Atlanta area, including a few power outages and downed trees in Rockdale and Newton counties.

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Patriots win NewRock Championship

The Edwards Middle basketball team beat the odds when they won against the Liberty Middle Knights, who were expected to win, on Feb. 8 at the NewRock Championship game, winning with a final score of 46-37.

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West Newton students took a field trip to Morehouse College

After studying technology throughout the school year, West Newton Elementary School Quest and High Achiever students had the opportunity to experience the world of computer science at Morehouse College on Jan. 21.

RCPS does away with winter intercession, Newton still planning make-ups

Students of Rockdale County Public Schools can expect to say goodbye to their winter intercession, as the RCPS Board of Education held an emergency meeting on Friday afternoon and unanimously voted to utilize the entire week of Feb.17-21, and a teacher workday on March 14, as classroom days to make up for missed time because of inclement weather.

RCPS creates another survey for make-up days

Rockdale County Public Schools has implemented another survey regarding make-up days because of recent inclement weather, which has already culminated in students missing seven days in the classroom this school year.

Schools working on plans to make up missed days

School systems in Rockdale and Newton counties are working on plans to make up missed school days due to inclement weather this year.

Peachtree Academy hosts fundraising program and concert performed by Ugandan students

Peachtree Academy will celebrate Valentine’s Day by showing its love for the Ugandan Thunder Children’s Choir, which is visiting the U.S. through the fundraising Pennies for Posho program.

Schools keep watchful eye on weather

Since the beginning of the new year, inclement weather conditions have resulted in Rockdale and Newton students missing a total of four school days. As of Monday evening, Rockdale students can expect to miss at least one more due to approaching winter storm Pax.