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Ryan McKenzie

Stories by Ryan

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.

NCCA and ALANHS accepting applications for next school year

Newton College & Career Academy and Newton High School have begun to plan for the 2014-15 school year, as both schools have announced application periods for different programs.

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Theme School student takes 1st in Newton Co. bee

From words such as “mammalian” to “dawdle” to “imperious,” contestants at the Rockdale County Spelling Bee faced some linguistic challenges at Conyers Middle School on Friday morning

Rockdale BOE decides days to make-up for missed school days

The Rockdale Board of Education has approved Monday, Feb. 17 through Wednesday, Feb. 19 as make-up days for January’s missed schools days due to inclement weather, taking away three days from the scheduled winter intercession.

RCPS offers survey to see which make-up days would be best

Last week’s severe weather resulted in Rockdale and Newton students missing school on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and students in both systems are expected to make up the days one way or another.

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Walk of Honor commemorates former black high school

The R.L. Cousins High School Alumni Association will celebrate the former school’s 57th anniversary with its Walk of Honor on Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. at the old campus on Geiger Street.

NCSS announces pre-K registration at end of month

The Newton County School System has announced that 608 pre-K slots will be available at all 13 Newton elementary schools for the 2014-15 school year, and registration dates are from Feb. 24-28.

Newton High scheduled to host county Spelling Bee

The Newton County School System has announced that Newton High School will host the county-wide 2014 System Spelling Bee on Friday, Feb. 7 at 10 a.m.

DOL states unemployment rates for Rockdale and Newton

The Georgia Department of Labor has released December’s unemployment statistics for different regions throughout the state, as well as individual counties including Rockdale and Newton.

Tire recycling event slated

The Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance will host its first Tire Round-up in partnership with Georgia Conservancy on Saturday, Feb. 8 at the Davidson Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve.

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Oxford College acquires land, makes plans for organic farm

In 2011, Oxford College of Emory University received a donation of 11 acres of land that the school will use as an organic farm, with the first crops scheduled to be planted this spring.

Newton BOE lists legislative priorities

The Newton County Board of Education announced that is has approved its legislative priorities agenda for 2014 at its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday.

NHS principal Eclan David resigns in middle of school year

Newton High School principal Eclan David has resigned from his position, leaving assistant principal John Ellenberg to serve as interim principal for the remainder of the school year.

Newton County Theme School at Ficquett now accepting applications

The Newton County Theme School at Ficquett is now accepting applications for enrollment of the 2014-15 school year.

Newton Trails plans to upgrade its trails and implement some new ones

Newton Trails has announced its plans for 2014, which includes extensions to its existing system of pathways.

Small electrical fire at Cousins Middle on Wednesday

A small electrical fire at Cousins Middle School on Wednesday resulted in students and staff being evacuated from the building.

Montessori School of Covington Silent Journey

The Montessori School of Covington is offering an inside look into the experience of a montessori student with its Silent Journey on Thursday evening.

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Georgia Perimeter announces increase in dual enrollment students

The total number of dual enrollment students at Georgia Perimeter College has increased from 1,031 in the fall to 1,045 this semester, with many of those students attending Rockdale and Newton schools. (Staff Photo: Ryan McKenzie)

NCSS wants to use 'MyPaymentsPlus' for school-related payments

The Newton County School System Board of Education has recommended the approval of the use of Horizon Software International’s “MyPaymentsPlus” which enables students and parents to complete school payments online.

Graduation rate for Newton High improves

The Newton County School System has released modified information regarding Newton High’s four-year graduation rate, which was calculated at 67 percent in December.

Some Newton schools not fully compliant with safety regulations

All public and private schools must conduct monthly fire drills while in session under Life Safety Code 11-7-.1, which is implemented by Georgia’s Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner.

NCCA to open 20-slot pre-K class

The Newton College & Career Academy is scheduled to open a second pre-Kindergarten class, which will begin on Monday, Jan. 27.

Cold snap closes schools

Experts offer tips for frigid temps

Frigid temperatures and arctic blasts have Rockdale and Newton residents bundling up as temperatures are expected to remain below freezing until Wednesday.

Project ReNeWal seeks board members and donations

Project ReNeWal, a domestic violence intervention program getting its name from the three counties that it serves—Rockdale, Newton and Walton, is currently looking for volunteers and donations.

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A Covington native saves a bus filled with students from flipping over

Covington native and Newton High School graduate Lee Morris is being nationally recognized as a hero after preventing a school bus filled with students from flipping over.

Students head back, the rest of the school year

After having more than two weeks off from school, Rockdale and Newton County students will return to the classroom on Tuesday, Jan. 7.

Celebrate the new year close to home

Looking for a way to celebrate the start of 2014 close to home? Several area restaurants and bars are offering special events and packages on New Year’s Eve.

Unemployment rates in Rockdale and Newton have dropped

According to a press release from the Georgia Department of Labor, the state’s unemployment rate for November 2013 was 6.3 percent, a slight decrease from October’s rate of 6.9 percent and much lower than the November 2012 percentage of 7.6.

Panola gets grant for new trailhead

Two projects are underway at Panola Mountain State Park for the construction of a new trailhead and an addition to its trails.

Newton BOE members have conflict at recent meeting

Ongoing tension between members of the Newton County Board of Education surfaced Tuesday night when board member Eddie Johnson challenged fellow members to admit posting negative comments about the school system.

RCPS misses mark for Race to the Top grant

At its regular meeting on Dec. 19, Rockdale County Public Schools announced that it did not receive the $25 million Race to the Top District grant that it had applied for.

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Culinary and pre-k students come together to build gingerbread houses

Culinary high schoolers and Pre-K students came together to get in the holiday spirit by building and decorating gingerbread houses at the Newton College and Career Academy.

Rockdale BOE recognized by state for excellence

The Rockdale County Board of Education has attained the Georgia School Baords Association’s 2013 Quality School Board recognition.

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Miracle League receives donation for handicap baseball field

The Miracle League of Newton County received an ample donation of $75,000 from the Lions Club Oxford chapter to construct a baseball field for disabled children at City Pond Park.

Twilights at Chimney Park has been rescheduled

Bikers and chopper enthusiasts gathered at the Conyers Target location this past weekend for the 23rd Annual Christmas Toy Run, which is sponsored by the Conyers Riding Association.

Graduation rate in Newton drops

The Georgia Department of Education has released high school graduation rates, stating that the Newton County School System has an overall four-year graduation rate of 71 percent for 2013, the same rate as the state average.

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Monastery marks holidays with famous fudge

The Monastery of the Holy Spirit commemorates each holiday season by making its famous fudge.

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Shop With A Cop helps less fortunate kids

Every holiday season for the past 12 years, the Covington Police Department has held its annual Shop With A Cop event to help less fortunate children have a happier holiday.

Newton schools receive average ranking on writing test

Newton County Schools is on par with the state average for the Georgia High School Writing Test, but is ranked slightly lower than the rest of the Metro-Atlanta region in comparison.

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Teacher hosts a reunion for her former fourth grade students

Sharon Lord owns and operates Smart Kids Tutoring in Newton County where she mentors students in grades K-7th one on one, but her teaching career spans back decades when she taught at Rainbow Elementary in Decatur.

BBB tips for avoiding scam sites

The Better Business has shut down more than 100 fraudulent websites in the past year for stealing the BBB logo and claiming to be legitimate sites.

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Mayor Sheridan's life and legacy

Newborn mayor Roger Sheridan passed away at Athens Regional Medical Center on Tuesday Dec. 4 at the age of 92.

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Grief counseling dog also help students with reading

P { margin-bottom: 0.08in;From comforting those who have lost loved ones to acting as an educational tool, Caldwell and Cowan Funeral Home’s Jovie has become a multi-faceted dog.

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Newborn mayor dies after heart attack

Newborn mayor Roger Sheridan reportedly died Tuesday evening in the cardiac intensive care unit at Athens Regional Medical Center after suffering a massive heart attack.

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Twilights at Chimney Park will be on Dec. 8

Newton County families will gather on Sunday, Dec. 8 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. in Chimney Park for the annual Twilights at Chimney Park celebration.

Georgia jobless rates down

P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }Unemployment rates in Northeast Georgia have risen slightly since September, going from 6.8 percent to 7.0 percent in October.

Better Business Bureau offers tips for Cyber Monday shoppers

After fighting crowds and rushing around from store to store on Black Friday (and Thanksgiving) to get good deals, many consumers look forward to shopping online in the comfort of their homes with Cyber Monday approaching.

Better Business Bureau has shopping tips for Black Friday

Although Black Friday is the traditional start to the holiday shopping season, many consumers will start their shopping today as more stores stay open and offer deals on Thanksgiving Day.

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Three kids donate 100 cans to food bank

Three local kids started their own food drive called Because We Can and collected 100 cans.

Rockdale Magnet Math Team wins fourth place in Team Scramble

P { margin-bottom: 0.08in;Rockdale Magnet School for Science & Technology Math Team has exemplified its abilities by earning fourth place in Team Scramble, a national math competition administered by National Assessment & Testing.