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KSU freshman named GeorgiaBEST Student of the Year

KSU freshman named GeorgiaBEST Student of the Year

KENNESAW, Ga. -- A pre-pharmacy student at Kennesaw State University has been named the first-ever GeorgiaBEST Student of the Year.

Leslie Berry was introduced to GeorgiaBEST during her senior year of high school. The soft skills certification program is sponsored by the Georgia Department of Labor and was created to ensure that future members of Georgia's workforce are prepared to tackle real-world challenges.

Berry received a perfect 30 points in the GeorgiaBEST Soft Skills Assessment. She was one of only nine students at her alma mater, Rockdale Career Academy, to do so.

"Being a part of the GeorgiaBEST program ... (has) allowed me to learn first-hand the skills and characteristics of a hard worker," Berry, a KSU freshman, said in a statement. "This program has taught me how to be a desirable candidate for a job, and I am now prepared to enter the workforce with the confidence and skills necessary to succeed in a wide range of professional settings."

Meet Georgia's Paralympians

Meet Georgia's Paralympians

ATLANTA -- The 2012 London Paralympics begin Wednesday, and several Georgians are hoping to bring home the gold at the Games.

Learn who to root for here:

Richard Browne, 21, Athletics
Browne is a native of Jackson, Miss., and now attends Morehouse College in Atlanta. He suffered a below-the-knee amputation after an accident in 2009, but quickly bounced back to become a Paralympian. Browne will compete in the 100m, 4x100m and high jump. He won silver in the high jump and bronze in the 100m at the 2012 Paralympic Trials.

Gov. Deal swears in Ga. Supreme Court justice

Gov. Deal swears in Ga. Supreme Court justice

ATLANTA (AP) - Gov. Nathan Deal has sworn in the newest justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia.

Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Keith Blackwell was sworn in Thursday morning in the House Chamber of the State Capitol.

Deal last month appointed the 37-year-old Blackwell to fill a vacancy left by Chief Justice George Carley. Carley's resignation as chief justice was effective Tuesday.

Blackwell had served on the Court of Appeals since he was appointed in 2010 by former Gov. Sonny Perdue. He is the 92nd justice since the court's creation in 1845.

Blackwell previously practiced civil and criminal law. He will serve on the court until 2014, when voters will decide whether to keep him on the bench for a six-year term.

The Obama Effect's Atlanta Premiere

Watch an interview with star Vanessa Bell Calloway as she stopped by the Get Connected studio in Atlanta to discuss her new movie The Obama Effect!

Duct Tape Entertainment's PESCI discusses beef with TI, being on the run from police and music

Duct Tape Entertainment's PESCI discusses beef with TI, being on the run from police and music

ROCKDALE COUNTY, Ga. -- Duct Tape Entertainment artist, Pesci recently reached out to ReinChild from Rockdale County Jail to dispel beef rumors. In a candid interview Pesci discussed T.I. diss records, what he was doing while on the run from the police and things he had to endure since going away. Label mates Trouble and Alley Boy are representing Pesci to fullest and in a recent interview with MTV NEWS, Trouble wore a “Free Pesci” shirt.  Duct Tape Entertainment  CEOs Big Bank Black and Westside Ricky have not abandoned Pesci and he appreciates their support from behind bars. His mixtape, Duct Tape Land, hosted by Dj Holiday is still in the process of debuting upon his release in early November 2012.

A runner's resilience through life, love, war and loss

A runner's resilience through life, love, war and loss

By 1st Lt. Katie del Castillo

My story is a tragic one. I'm a 25-year-old U.S. Army officer, marathon runner and war widow. I lost the love of my life, Dimitri, while we were both deployed to Eastern Afghanistan in June of 2011. We were on top of the world when we left for Afghanistan-we were recent graduates of the United States Military Academy at West Point, newlyweds and had just spent 10 months living in Hawaii before we deployed. Then the world came crashing down.

PHOTOS | Remembering 1st Lt. Dimitri del Castillo

Teen wins Prudential Spirit of Community Award

Teen wins Prudential Spirit of Community Award

CONYERS, Ga. -- A 13-year-old Rockdale County boy is one of two Georgia students to win the 2012 Prudential Spirit of Community Award.

Rashad Holmes was honored for his big heart and his community service. He made and sold cookies, then used the proceeds to pay for disadvantaged students to go on field trips and participate in local 4H and Boys and Girls Club activities.

Georgia's other winner, 18-year-old Kenneth Smalls-Muldrow of Pooler, was recognized for his work in educating young people about diabetes and raising money for a cure. Smalls-Muldrow was diagnosed with diabetes when he was only seven years old.

The two Georgia boys recently attended an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., where they received $1,000 prizes and engraved silver medallions. They also got the opportunity to meet New York Giants quarterback and 2012 Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning, who personally congratulated them on their achievement.