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2014 Shuler Hensley Awards nominees announced

2014 Shuler Hensley Awards nominees announced

(WXIA) -- The nominees for this year's Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards, known casually as the Shuler Hensley Awards, were revealed Wednesday.

The awards program celebrates some of the best high school musical theater productions in the state. The award is named for metro Atlanta native Shuler Hensley, a seasoned Broadway performer who originated the role of the Monster in Young Frankenstein and won a Tony Award for playing Jud Fry in the revival of Oklahoma!

Sixty-one public and private high schools from 24 counties are vying for this year's awards. The winners will be announced on Thursday, Apr. 17 during an awards ceremony at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Tickets are $23 for the general public and can be purchased at shulerawards.org.

Some of this year's notable nominees include:

Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has brought back its Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest for 2014.

This year's theme is Plug into Nature, emphasizing the importance of experiencing wildlife and plants firsthand.

All Georgia students in grades kindergarten through 5 are invited to enter the contest. The top 12 winners' posters will be displayed on the DNR's Flickr site and at the Go Fish Education Center in Perry during the first two weeks in May.

Contest entries are due Apr. 16. Three winners will be picked in four categories (kindergarten, grades 1-2, grades 3-4, grade 5).

Visit georgiawildlife.com for more information about the contest.

Doodle 4 Google contest accepting entries

Doodle 4 Google contest accepting entries

(WXIA) -- It's back! The wildly popular Doodle 4 Google contest, which gives children the opportunity to create a Google Doodle, is now accepting entries.

Students in grades K-12 can enter the competition by drawing the Google logo with the theme, "If I could invent one thing to make the world a better place ..."

"So many of the world's greatest inventions started out as simple doodles -- just think of Leonardo da Vinci's drawings of flying machines long before airplanes were made. We hope students will think big and surprise us with their creative ideas, just like they've done in years past!" Google said in a release.

Google will choose one finalist from each state. Last year's Georgia winner was Christine Jeong, a 5th grader at Wilson Creek Elementary School in Johns Creek. Meet Christine and see her winning doodle.

AJC Peachtree Road Race T-shirt design contest open

AJC Peachtree Road Race T-shirt design contest open

ATLANTA -- Calling all artists: the AJC Peachtree Road Race T-shirt design contest is now accepting entries.

Designers have until Friday, Feb. 28 to submit their works of art. All entries will be whittled down to five finalists, which will be unveiled on ajc.com/peachtree on Saturday, Mar. 15.

No one will see the winning design until race day, when it will adorn tens of thousands of finishers' T-shirts.

"The AJC Peachtree Road Race T-shirt design contest is a great way to showcase the work of our local artists, and we are always impressed with the entries we receive," Atlanta Track Club interim executive director Sue Payne said in a statement.

Whoever wins the contest receives $1,000, while each of the four finalists gets $100.

Pebblebrook HS magnet program holding auditions

Pebblebrook HS magnet program holding auditions

COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- The Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts is looking for talented middle school students to join the magnet program.

Representatives from the program, which is located at Pebblebrook High School, will travel to middle schools across Cobb County to audition potential new students.

To be considered, a student must prepare a one- or two-minute monologue, ballet dance or song, depending on the intended area of study -- theatre, dance or voice, respectively. Students who want to be accepted in the technical theatre program must be ready to explain their interest and background in the discipline.

CCCEPA has already held auditions at several Cobb County middle schools, including Dickerson, Durham, Garrett, Lost Mountain and McCleskey.

Remaining audition dates and times include:

Awtrey MS
Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 1 p.m.

Barber MS
Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 9:30 a.m.

Chanukah celebration and LEGO menorah lighting

Chanukah celebration and LEGO menorah lighting

WOODSTOCK, Ga. -- The message of Chanukah is a universal one, celebrating religious freedom for all and light over darkness.

The construction of a giant LEGO Menorah will highlight this year’s annual Chanukah celebration.

The public celebration, now in its sixth year is co-sponsored by the new Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta, the Cherokee County area business community and the Chabad Jewish Center. Festivities will begin with the Menorah build at 4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 1, followed by the lighting ceremony and Chanukah celebration at 5 p.m.

“We are always looking for new ideas to keep the kids on the edge of their seats. The LEGO Menorah was perfect,” said Rabbi Zalman Charytan, director of the Chabad Jewish Center. “The uniqueness of the Menorah is what the child remembers. Not only are we trying to give the children a unique and exciting Chanukah experience, we are teaching them that Judaism is fun and exciting.”

'The Elf on the Shelf' sequel hits stores

'The Elf on the Shelf' sequel hits stores

ATLANTA -- The sequel to "The Elf on the Shelf" -- a Christmas holiday-themed book written by Atlanta-area authors that has sold more than 6 million copies and become a tradition in many homes -- hit the shelves this week.

The new book -- "The Elf on the Shelf: A Birthday Tradition" -- co-written by the same authors, Acworth resident Carol V. Aebersold and her daughter, Chanda Bell, has Santa granting permission for scout elves to visit families for birthday celebration and to share traditions of celebrating birthdays in the North Pole.

Aebersold said they were inspired to write the second book after many children said they thought about their elves outside of Christmas. "The children are fascinated with what their elves are doing the rest of the year and (ask) 'can't they come back for my birthday,'"she said.