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'Best value' colleges: Some have high price tags

(USA TODAY) -- The latest list of America's "best value" colleges includes several with the highest sticker prices in the nation, according to a new ranking released Monday.

Among the schools with large tuitions that are nonetheless considered top-value colleges are Williams and Swarthmore, according to the Princeton Review's annual list of best value schools. The list is considered a guide for prospective college applicants to seek out the best value for their money.

Five Georgia schools made the list in 2012: Agnes Scott College, Emory University, Georgia Tech, the University of Georgia and Wesleyan College.

"We're very quick to say it can't just be a low sticker price," Best Value Colleges lead author Robert Franek says. "The commitment has to be much deeper than that."

DECATUR | Join the cast of 'The Vampire Diaries'

DECATUR, Ga. -- The hit TV show "The Vampire Diaries" is filming in Decatur on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the producers are looking for local extras.

RELATED | Atlanta becoming the 'Hollywood of the South'

To become an extra, email a recent photo of yourself to the producers, along with your name, age, height, weight, clothing size and contact information.

Send the picture and information to vampirecasting@gmail.com.

DECATUR | A Smash-ing surprise for middle school choral program

DECATUR, Ga. -- Take a glimpse back to seventh grade -- back when life was split between goofing around, taking classes ... and, maybe, having that one big dream.

Ask the kids in the choral program at Renfroe Middle School in Decatur, and they'll tell you where their dream stands.

Seventh grader Tenesia Bryant: "When I feel down or something, I'll just burst into song."

Seventh grader Kenzie Kandetzki: "I think singing makes me feel like a bird sometimes."

Sentiments like that make what happened last month all the more momentous for the program.

As instructor Monica Nelson says, "It does pose a challenge whenever we want to do a major production; it's always a question of, 'How are we going to afford this?'"

Get your someone special a Valentine's Day pet

DECATUR -- Want to surprise your special someone with a furry friend for Valentine's Day? DeKalb County Animal Services is making it easy for you. 

Animal Services is offering a Valentines Adoption special starting on Tuesday, February 14 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and ending on Saturday, February 18. 

Adoptions are $60 and they include spaying/neutering, vaccines, de-worming and feline vaccinations. 

For more information, contact DeKalb County Animal Services at (404) 294-3088. 

ADOPT A PET: Meet Mitzi

ADOPT A PET: Meet Mitzi


DECATUR, Ga. - If you dream of coming home to a wet nose, wagging tail and tons of kisses (in addition to, perhaps, a half chewed shoe or overturned trashcan) adopt a puppy from your local pet shelter. According to the ASPCA, approximately 5 million to 7 million domesticated animals enter animal shelters nationwide, every year, and approximately 3 million to 4 million are euthanized. However, you can change those numbers but adopting a "companion" for yourself or your family. Pets are an investment but, in our opinion, an investment well worth the money.

Silverbacks to play college, pro teams in preseason

Silverbacks to play college, pro teams in preseason

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Silverbacks will play six preseason games this year, the soccer club announced Friday.

The preseason schedule will feature two games against professional teams and four against college teams.

RELATED | Meet some of the newest Silverbacks
Tony McManus and Tyler Ruthven
* Daniel Illyes
* Reinaldo Navia
* Marytn Lancaster

Powerball jackpot rises to $250 million

Powerball jackpot rises to $250 million

ATLANTA – Powerball has soared to staggering heights. Wednesday’s jackpot has jumped to $250 million after no one matched all the winning numbers in Saturday’s drawing.

One Georgia Lottery player won $10,000 in Saturday’s drawing. The lucky ticket was purchased in Pooler.

The Powerball jackpot has been growing since Dec. 28 and has rolled 12 times.

 Powerball offers two payment options: the $250 million jackpot prize paid over 29 years in 30 graduated payments, or the cash option, which is approximately $156 million.

 Powerball tickets are $2 per play.

 As with all other Georgia Lottery games, proceeds from Powerball will benefit education in the state of Georgia.