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90,000 people attend Decatur Book Festival

90,000 people attend Decatur Book Festival

DECATUR, Ga. -- A record 90,000 attendees packed downtown Decatur for this year's AJC Decatur Book Festival.

"It was another record-setting year for the Decatur Book Festival, and our hundreds of events went off without a hitch," DBF programming director Philip Rafshoon said in a statement.

More than 600 authors spoke on 19 different stages at last weekend's festival, and thousands of books went home with eager shoppers. Bestselling author Joyce Carol Oates delivered the keynote address to a sold-out crowd.

"Every year, the AJC DBF tries to outdo and redefine itself," DBF executive director Daren Wang said. "(This year's) audiences were larger, more diverse and even more engaged. It was easily the best DBF so far, but you ain't seen nothing yet."

Learn more about the festival at decaturbookfestival.com.

Ex-DeKalb Commissioner pleads guilty to criminal charges

Ex-DeKalb Commissioner pleads guilty to criminal charges

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- A former DeKalb County Commissioner pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges of mail fraud conspiracy and wire fraud on Wednesday.

Elaine Boyer, who had to pay the county back for thousands of dollars in unauthorized charges on her county-issued credit card, resigned in August.

As 11Alive reported in March, a review of Elaine Boyer's spending found charges for airline tickets, car rentals and other items unrelated to any official county business.

In newly-released court documents, prosecutors allege that Boyer took part in a scheme to defraud DeKalb County and obtain money under false pretenses.(READ THE DOCUMENTS HERE)

Teen critical after Decatur house fire, neighbor gets family out

DECATUR, Ga. -- A 17-year-old boy is in critical condition after a Decatur house fire this morning.

According to DeKalb Fire Capt. Eric Jackson, the fire started around 7:45 a.m. on Bluebird Lane.

Four people were in the home at the time: a mother and her three kids, ages 3, 10 and 17.

Capt. Jackson told 11Alive's Blayne Alexander, the two youngest children and mother suffered only minor injuries. The 17-year-old was conscious when removed from the house. He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital.

Firefighters are crediting a neighbor, Eddie Hamilton, with saving the children. According to firefighters, Hamilton ran to the home and broke out a front window, jumped in and pulled the 17-year-old through the smoke to a window, where firefighters removed him from the house.

Free digital textbooks available to Ga. students

Free digital textbooks available to Ga. students

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Education has made free interactive digital textbooks available on its website.

Students, parents and educators are welcome to use the books, which feature games, discussion questions, quizzes and other study elements.

They are available for middle and high school courses in such subjects as language arts, math, science, social studies, electives and several world languages -- Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Latin and Spanish.

State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said students who have used the digital textbook have had much classroom success with them.

Visit gavirtuallearning.org to access the textbook materials.

Secretary sentenced for stealing from VA

Secretary sentenced for stealing from VA

ATLANTA -- A former secretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs has been sentenced for stealing from the agency.

Zerry Feaster pleaded guilty in June to seven counts of theft of government funds and five counts of making false statements.

A federal judge sentenced Feaster, 46, of Ellenwood to one year and one month in prison followed by three years of supervised release. She must also pay $88,264.47 in restitution.

Feaster worked in Police Services at the Atlanta VA Medical Center in Decatur. Between 2010 and early 2012, she used her government-issued credit card to buy prepaid gift cards, which she used to pay for jewelry and accessories. She also used the cards for gambling.

"Rather than supporting the men and women who have served our country honorably, Ms. Feaster stole from the VA to gamble and buy herself luxury goods at Coach and Tiffany," said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.

Labor Day treat: No roadwork this weekend

Labor Day treat: No roadwork this weekend

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Transportation has a surprise for drivers who plan to visit Atlanta over the Labor Day weekend.

All construction-related road closures in metro Atlanta will be suspended from Friday at noon to Tuesday at 9 a.m. GDOT said while some long-term closures may remain in place for safety reasons, no new ones will be added unless there is an emergency.

Traffic is expected to be heavy throughout the area, thanks to a number of major Labor Day events:

* Dragon Con
* AJC Decatur Book Festival
* Black Gay Pride
* Oral-B USA 500 (Atlanta Motor Speedway)
* Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game (Georgia Dome)
* Braves v. Marlins/Phillies (Turner Field)
* Celebrate Freedom (Marietta)

All About Developmental Disabilities offers workshops on dating, employment

All About Developmental Disabilities offers workshops on dating, employment

DECATUR, Ga. -- All About Developmental Disabilities (AADD) will host workshops for families living with developmental disabilities at two locations this fall. Through their Family Support Center, designed to serve individuals and families living with developmental disabilities in metro Atlanta and across Georgia, AADD offers assistance during various life transitions.

Each workshop will help participants learn more about a specific issue, including dating, employment and planning for future needs. Tuesday workshops will be held at AADD’s Family Support Center in Decatur at 125 Clairemont Ave, Suite 300, Decatur, 30030. Thursday workshops will be held at the Marcus Jewish Community Center, 5342 Tilly Mill Rd, Atlanta, 30338.

For registration and information about all workshops, please email Family Support Center Coordinator Madeline Griffin at madeline@aadd.org or call AADD at (404) 881-9777.