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Back to school for state's largest school system
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Back to school for state's largest school system

Back to school for state's largest school system
Northbrook Middle School in Suwanee is the first school to be opened in Gwinnett since 2011

Back to school for state's largest school system

Gwinnett County’s 172,000 students return to class today—that number if 3,200 higher than last year.

The county is opening its first school since 2011, Northbrook Middle School in Suwanee.  It will relieve the over burgeoning Hull Middle School in the Peachtree Ridge cluster.

“We relieved maybe 700-800 kids from them, so we’ll be starting off with close to 1,000 kids,” says Principal Keith Thompson.

 The school, on Northbrook Parkway, is a rehabbed Panasonic warehouse that includes a total of three buildings.  One will serve as a warehouse for furniture for the entire Gwinnett Public School System.

Construction to convert the site to a school began in January 2013 at the cost of $17 million.

Thompson says because of its previous life, many of the classrooms are larger than those in existing schools.  In total it has 30 classrooms, 12 science labs, two computer labs, two band rooms and an art room.

“I can’t tell you how exciting it is,” he says.  “We have been working every single day preparing for this particular day here.”

Stacie Humphreys is one of 50 teachers at the new school.  She decided to move after teaching at Hull for the past ten years.

“I got excited that we could reduce our numbers a little bit, give a little more personal attention to the kids, and I just think it’s going to be an exciting opportunity to just have small numbers,” she tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish.

A new county-approved charter school is also opening this school year in Gwinnett.  North Metro Academy of the Performing Arts will open its doors for the first time to students in Norcross.

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News

  • One person was killed and two others were hospitalized after a shooting in DeKalb County. Police were called to the 700 block of Creste Drive overnight Wednesday, DeKalb police spokeswoman Shiera Campbell said. When they arrived, they found a man shot in a building breezeway. “The victim stated he had been walking along Snapfinger Woods Drive when four males in a white car tried to rob him,” Campbell said. “When he ran, they shot him.”  Soon after, officers got calls reporting two more shootings in the area. At Snapfinger Woods Drive and Shellbark Drive, they found a man dead inside a white Jeep. It had smashed into a tree, Campbell said. Less than a mile away, another shooting victim was found walking with his brother on Snapfinger Woods at Miller Road. The victim’s brother told police his brother was shot in the parking lot of a Texaco gas station. Investigators are trying to determine what led to the shootings and if they are related. Both of the survivors were taken to a local hospital in stable condition, Campbell said. One of the victims was listed in critical condition and the other was listed as non-critical. Police are not releasing the names of the victims at this time, Campbell said. In other news:
  • Lawyers, advocacy groups and former colleagues now get their say on President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee. That's after Judge Neil Gorsuch emerged unscathed from two days of tough questioning at his confirmation hearing. Assured of support from majority Republicans, Gorsuch received glowing GOP reviews but complaints from frustrated Democrats that he concealed his views from the American public. Gorsuch, a federal appeals court judge in Denver, refused repeated attempts to get him to talk about key legal and political issues of the day. But he did tell Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who worried that Gorsuch would vote to restrict abortion, that 'no one is looking to return us to horse and buggy days.
  • President Donald Trump has used his traditional pipeline to the people to help gain support for his plan to abolish Obamacare. >> Read more trending news  Hours before the vote is set to begin, Trump posted a video that spells out what he says were lies given to the American people when the Affordable Care Act went into existence while not explaining what his proposed American Health Care Act, or AHCA, does. Trump also encourages people to call lawmakers to show their support of AHCA. NBC News reported that he does not have enough votes to pass the AHCA, but negotiations went into the night. The House is scheduled to vote on the plan Thursday. 
  • Four people including a police officer are dead and a suspect is in custody after shootings at a bank and a law firm in northern Wisconsin, followed by a standoff at an apartment complex that ended in a volley of gunfire. Police characterized the initial shooting at the Marathon Savings Bank in Rothschild on Wednesday afternoon as a domestic dispute, but have provided no details about the suspect or victims. Authorities said late Wednesday that there is no remaining threat to the public. Jason Smith, a deputy administrator for the state Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation, said more than 100 officers are investigating and that more information will be released Thursday. The violence unfolded in a cluster of small towns south of Wausau, about 90 miles west of Green Bay. The officer worked for Everest Metro, a small, 27-officer force that serves Schofield and Weston. 'I would like to send all my thoughts and ask everybody listening, 'Thoughts and prayers to all the victims and their families.'' Everest Metro Chief Wally Sparks said. 'Please keep them in your prayers and be with our officers.' The shooting at the bank in Rothschild was reported around midday. Officers responding to a 'domestic situation' arrived at the bank to find two people were shot and the suspect had fled. It wasn't clear if those two victims were among the dead. A second call came about 10 minutes later from Tlusty, Kennedy and Dirks, a law firm in nearby Schofield. The action then moved to an apartment complex in Weston. A woman who lives in the complex said she looked out of her apartment window about 1:15 p.m. to see a squad car approach, and a few seconds later heard a gunshot and saw an officer fall. Kelly Hanson, 21, told The Associated Press she saw other officers put the wounded policeman in an armored SWAT vehicle and take him away. She couldn't tell if he was alive or dead and police have not said if this was the officer who died. 'I thought, 'What is going on?' I know what a gun sounds like, and thought, 'This isn't good,'' Hanson said. She stayed inside her apartment. The Wausau Daily Herald reported that SWAT team members entered the apartment building about 2:30 p.m. Hanson said she heard about 10 shots at about 4:45 p.m. and began to 'freak out.' Another resident, Susan Thompson, told the Daily Herald that she heard gunshots and screams. Police told the 21-year-old mother to stay inside with her 2-year-old daughter and to lock her doors. ___ Associated Press reporters Jeff Baenen, Doug Glass and Steve Karnowski contributed to this report from Minneapolis.