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Teacher shoots self at Georgia high school, police say

Lithia Springs High School in Lithia Springs, Georgia, cancelled classes Thursday morning after an incident involving a teacher, according to Douglas County sheriff’s officials. 

The officials said a school employee was flown to a hospital after suffering a self-inflicted gunshot at the school.

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No students were involved or injured. Just before 9 a.m., students could be seen walking through the parking lot and then back into the building.

“No students were in the building at the time. The campus has been secured, and students are in the gym. Students may be picked up by a parent or guardian, and buses will be available to take bus riders home. There will be no classes at Lithia Springs High School today,” Nell Boggs, community relations specialist for the Douglas County School System, said.

Boggs said a teacher suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound at about 7:15 a.m. while alone in his classroom.

During a news conference about the incident, the school's superintendent thanked first responders and emergency personnel for their swift efforts.

Sheriff's officials said the teacher arrived at the school Thursday morning, went to his classroom and suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

"There were no students who ever saw this. This was a very isolated incident," a sergeant said.

Sheriff's officials said student safety is the first priority of theirs and the school board.

There were several hundred students who had made their way to the campus at the time of the shooting, but very few were inside the school building, sheriff's officials said.

Authorities said there were only two people involved: the teacher who suffered the gunshot and another teacher who was able to call 911.

"He was able to call to another teacher to call 911 upon his behalf," the sergeant said.

Authorities are not releasing information about whether or not the shooting was accidental. 

Sheriff's deputies said the teacher was stable as of 12 p.m.

Authorities said grief counselors are at the high school and will remain there for the time being.

"They will be here until they don't need it anymore," a sergeant said.

Deputies said the teacher had been an employee at the school for 18 years.

They said that while the gunshot was self-inflicted, there is a criminal investigation.

Students said the man is their math teacher. They said he has a wife and young daughter.

“His daughter is actually pretty smart. He bragged about her in class and loved her,” student Gustavio Ruiz told WSB-TV.

This is a developing story. Check WSBTV.com for updates.

Research group finds 2-headed turtle 

The University of Central Florida’s Marine Turtle Research Group found a two-headed turtle in Brevard County during its research Thursday.

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The group excavates nests three days after the turtles hatch to determine how many eggs were laid and how many hatchlings emerged. 

Any straggler turtles are safely released into the ocean.

Read: Rare shark has even rarer two-headed offspring

During its latest research, the group found a two-headed loggerhead turtle.

Researchers said the turtle appeared to be healthy and energetic, and was released into the ocean, but not before a member of the group snapped a few photos.

Kate Mansfield, an assistant professor and lab director with the group, said her crew found a two-headed turtle on the same beach a year or two ago. She said the finding is rare, but not unheard of. 

Read: Rare two-headed python hatches, survives

MoviePass app lets subscribers go to the movies once a day for $10 a month

Remember the days when going to the movies cost less than $10? Maybe you remember when it was less than $5.

These days, a trip to the theater can cost a pretty penny. While the national average is $8.65, in many cities, like Los Angeles and New York, a ticket can cost up to or more than $15.

But thanks to one app, $10 can now go a lot further at the cinema. 

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MoviePass, run by Netflix co-founder Mitch Lowe, is offering subscribers a deal in which they can see one movie per day for $9.95 per month.

According to KSDK“MoviePass completes their one ticket per day services through the use of a credit card they send you. You pay the $10 a month through their app, then you select the exact movie you're going to see, and the company adds that ticket amount onto the credit card for you to use. You use this credit card at the theater to pay for your ticket. There's no gimmicks or fancy scanning you have to do, just using the credit card they send you.”

MoviePass only works at theaters that accept debit cards as payment.

And although subscribers receive tickets at a significant discount, MoviePass pays theaters the full price of each ticket used subscribers, Bloomberg reported

Still, major movie theater chain AMC threatened the company Wednesday, calling MoviePass as “a small fringe player” and claiming its $10 plan “is not in the best interest of moviegoers, movie theatres and movie studios,” Variety reported.

“While AMC is not opposed to subscription programs generally, the one envisioned by MoviePass is not one AMC can embrace,” the company said in a statement read. “We are actively working now to determine whether it may be feasible to opt out and not participate in this shaky and unsustainable program.”

“This is so much like Blockbuster was when we rolled out Netflix or Redbox,” said Lowe, according to Variety. “It’s the big guy being afraid of the little guy offering better value to consumers.”

MoviePass, founded in 2011, originally offered the service to subscribers for about $30 a month. The company’s aim was to profit from subscribers who paid the monthly fee but didn’t use the service often enough to take advantage of the deal. 

As of Wednesday afternoon, MoviePass’s official website would not load and the company wrote on social media that it was experiencing technical difficulties as a result of overanticipated demand.  

Read more at Bloomberg and  Variety.

Chick-fil-A adds breakfast bowl, breakfast burrito menu options

Chick-fil-A this week unveiled its new breakfast bowl, the Hash Brown Scramble, adding it to the breakfast menu at all of its participating restaurants nationwide.

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The new menu item is made with “tot-style” hash browns, scrambled eggs, Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses, and a choice of either sliced chicken nuggets or pork sausage. It can also be ordered as a burrito, with the ingredients wrapped in a soft tortilla. The dishes are served with a side of jalapeño salsa.

>> Related: Chick-fil-A adds new sandwich, lemonade to summer menu

Chick-fil-A officials said in a release that the new menu item is the “first breakfast bowl for the national quick-service restaurant company.” The chain previously added an Egg White Grill as an “on-the-go” breakfast option.

>> Related: About that Chick-fil-A ‘gluten-free bun’ — there’s a catch

“At Chick-fil-A, we understand the importance of breakfast and want to provide a wide range of options to our guests who are looking for a fast and delicious breakfast,” Amanda Norris, senior director of menu development for Chick-fil-A, said in a release. “We’ve definitely seen an increase in popularity for breakfast bowls, and the Hash Brown Scramble combines two fan favorites – our chicken nuggets and hash browns.”

>> Related: Chick-fil-A tests large family style meals

The Hash Brown Scramble Bowl has 450 calories and 30 grams of protein when made with nuggets. The Hash Brown Scramble Burrito will replace the current Breakfast Burrito.

Chick-fil-A customers in the states of New York and New Jersey, and cities of San Diego, Columbia, S.C., and Washington, D.C. test-marketed the Hash Brown Scramble and two other potential breakfast items in the fall of 2016.

Ohio school district trains staff to shoot intruders

Intruders beware: Thirty-two teachers and staff in Ohio’s Mad River Local Schools are now armed and ready to kill.

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When school gets back in session Monday, each school building will have a number of the trained staff members who are able to access hidden gun safes, the combinations of which are known exclusively to the individual staff member and the superintendent.

MORE: Mad River will give school staff access to guns

The district is the first in Montgomery County to assemble an “armed and trained response team,” said Superintendent Chad Wyen. But he said the district is part of an emerging trend.

“It’s way more prevalent than people realize,” Wyen said of the district’s decision to arm employees. “Sixty-three out of 88 counties in Ohio have a district with a response team.”

RELATED: New law to ban cellphone use while driving in Tenn. school zones

In southwest Ohio, Wyen has worked with Sidney City Schools, in Miami County, which has a similar plan. Wyen has also worked with Georgetown Exempted Village Schools, in Brown County, east of Cincinnati.

RELATED: Latest move in school safety? A panic button

Mad River Local Schools staff members interviewed to join the volunteer team, then attended one of two courses offering Ohio Peace Officer Training, which is the basic requirement for becoming a police officer. The team also trained at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office gun range.

So far, Wyen said, the response has been positive. He said only one parent has called him opposed to the plan.

Latest move in school safety? A panic button

Getting police and first responders to help students and staff is now more efficient than ever in one Georgia school district.

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Schools in Gwinnett County, Georgia, are now equipped with panic buttons and safety protocol.

Parents told WSB-TV they are on board with the new system.

“Maybe quicker response and quicker timing would save lives,” parent Stece Condra said.

Condra is the parent of a student at Peachtree Ridge High School in Suwanee, Georgia.

He is learning about the new emergency notification buttons that have been installed in each Gwinnett County public school.

Condra said he is glad school officials are being proactive.

“Hopefully they put it in and never have to use it. That's the best bet,” Condra said.

Officials started to put the program in place two years ago, beginning with panic buttons installed in elementary schools.

Now they're in every school in the district, just in time for the first week of school.

School resource officers like Joe Barnes at Peachtree Ridge High School will now have immediate backup if an intruder gets in.

“To know that help is on the way as soon as someone presses that button is a nice feeling,” Barnes said.

The system puts the school on immediate lockdown and sends alerts to school police dispatch and the county's 911 center.

It is all in real-time because dispatchers will be looking at live camera feeds.

“The school staff is being trained to push it when there is a life-threatening emergency, such as an active shooter,” Barnes said.

The security measure is a significant topic of discussion as school officials across the country consider the best ways to keep students safe. According to a Feb. 2016 ABC News report, each week, on average, one shooting took place on a school or college campus in 2015. The report showed a total of 270 shootings of any kind at a school between April 1999, when the infamous Columbine shooting occurred, and February 2016.

New law to ban cellphone use while driving in Tenn. school zones

Parents and students in Tennessee will soon need to think twice before picking up the phone while driving. Beginning in January, a statewide cellphone ban will be enacted inside of school zones. The ban will not only apply to taking phone calls, but also texting and holding a phone, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.

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“If you are holding a phone up to your ear while driving in a school zone, it’s illegal (next year),” said Jeremy Wall, who works as a resource officer at Dickson County High School and also helps direct traffic at the high school in the mornings.

The bill was sponsored by state Sens. Jim Tracy (R) and John Holsclaw (R).

“You should be concentrating on reducing your speed limit and paying attention. You have children walking and a lot of traffic around,” said Tracy. “Eventually, as technology gets better, everything will be hands-free.”

Tracy defended the bill by saying that many of his constituents were interested in legislation to attempt to combat the use of cellphones while driving.

According to Wall, distracted drivers who are on their phones lead to traffic build-up and delays. 

“When someone has the phone to their ear talking, they are so engrossed in that conversation -- they are looking left, they are looking right. And the whole time I am standing there motioning for them to come out,” he told the News Sentinel. “[And] if there is a line of cars, and someone is sitting way back because they are looking at their phone. Guess what I am going to do? I am going to the next rotation. I am going to this group (of vehicles) and bring them on in.”

Drivers who break the law will face a Class C misdemeanor and a fine of up to $50. If a driver is over 18 years of age, they may use a hands-free setup to talk on the phone. Younger drivers can’t use their phones at all.

According to a February report by WTVF, the National Safety Council named Tennessee the state with the most cellphone-related road fatalities in America.

Read more at the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Harvard admits majority nonwhite freshman class

Harvard’s incoming class of students, most of which will graduate in 2021, is majority nonwhite. 

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Of the students admitted from minority groups, 22.2 percent are Asian, 14.6 percent are African-American, 11.6 percent are Latino and 2.5 percent are Native American or Pacific Islander, according to Harvard, putting the percentage of minority students at approximately 50.8 -- slightly more than half of all incoming freshmen.

Conflicting reports claim the class may or may not be the Ivy League university’s first majority nonwhite group in nearly 400 years.

But a 2016 report by the Harvard Gazette showed last year’s incoming class to be 51.4 percent nonwhite.

Admissions data on Harvard’s website show only 16.5 percent of students for the class of 2021 come from New England. More than 15 percent of the people admitted come from the Pacific U.S., 18.7 percent of incoming freshman come from the South and 21.3 percent come from the Middle Atlantic. Twelve percent of the class come from international locations.  

Nearly 40,000 people applied for admittance to Harvard for the 2017-2018 school year. Just over 2,000 were admitted.

>> Related: ‘Blackish’ actress Yara Shahidi announces she's attending Harvard University

According to the Los Angeles Times, at least two other Ivy League schools, Princeton and Cornell, also offered admission to majority nonwhite students.

>> Related: Malia Obama decides which Ivy League college she'll attend

Last week, the New York Times reported that the Trump administration plans to reexamine affirmative action admissions policies at American colleges and universities that may discriminate against white applicants.

Dunkin’ Donuts considers cutting ‘Donuts’ from name

Coffee and doughnuts restaurant Dunkin’ Donuts may be considering dropping ‘Donuts’ from its name. 

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The Massachusetts-based company announced plans on Thursday to open a restaurant location in Pasadena, California, with the shortened name Dunkin’.  

Other restaurants will also feature signage and material with just Dunkin’, The Associated press reported.

The company hopes the move will encourage customers to think of the stores as more than just coffee and doughnuts shops. 

“While we remain the No. 1 retailer of doughnuts in the country, as part of our efforts to reinforce that Dunkin' Donuts is a beverage-led brand and coffee leader, we will be testing signage in a few locations that refer to the brand simply as ‘Dunkin,’” the company told CNBC.

Dunkin’ Donuts, which has been referring to itself as just Dunkin’ since it began its “America runs on Dunkin’” campaign in 2006, said it won’t make a final decision on the name change until late next year, according to the AP.

“We do not anticipate making decisions regarding our branding until the latter half of 2018 when we begin rolling out our new store image,” the company said.

>> Related: Dunkin’ Donuts replaces Coffee Coolatta with Frozen Coffee, offers free samples

Chipotle to test drive-thru windows

Chipotle is making plans to test out what customers have long been asking for -- the chain’s first ever drive-thru. 

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Tuesday, Chipotle executives announced they will be running a trial of a drive-thru option this fall at an undisclosed location in Ohio.

If all goes well, more Chipotle drive-thrus could be in the near future. 

The move is part of Chipotle’s plan to improve its reputation and its customer experience. The company has experienced at least two years of financial slump after customers reported illnesses like norovirus and E. coli after eating at restaurant locations.

“We saw encouraging signs in our improved financial results during the first half of the year,” Chipotle CEO Steve Ells said in a news release. “Recent events, however, have shown that we still have a lot of opportunity to improve our operations and deliver the outstanding experience that our customers expect.” 

Chipotle is currently testing a new queso offering, an avocado-citrus salad dressing, a dessert and a frozen margarita at the Chipotle NEXT Kitchen, a public test kitchen in New York City. The company is also considering price increases for menu items, but has met setbacks including an incident in which rodents were seen at a Chipotle restaurant in Dallas and a norovirus scare at a Virginia location.

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