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MIDTOWN: Metro Atlanta crosswalk dangers

ATLANTA -- A Cobb County jury partially blamed a jaywalking mother for the death of her 4-year-old child. On Tuesday, Raquel Nelson was given the option of 12 months probation plus 40 hours of community service or a new trial.

RELATED: Jaywalking mom weighs new trial or probation

It's a tragic story that made headlines nationwide, especially after word got out that the man behind the wheel, Jerry Guy, wasn't behind bars very long.

In fact, he still has his drivers license, despite a history of driving problems.

One of the reasons why Nelson faced such a harsh sentence, is because investigators say she endangered her three children by jaywalking.

The jury believed she needed to use the crosswalk a long way away.

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Photos: Fresh ideas at farmers markets

ATLANTA -- The farmers markets of yesterday have been replaced by a surge in new age products and the growing popularity of fresh farm-to-table foods.

You can check out the latest crop of colorful Metro Atlanta farmers market photos on 11Alive's sister site Atlanta MomsLikeMe.

Middle school student uses 'girl power' to fix pothole

MARIETTA -- 12-year-old Gigi McGaughey didn't like the looks of a developing pothole near the entrance to her Marietta middle school.

She was concerned that cars driving through it would kick up gravel, and she didn't want the crossing card to trip in it and fall.

So, after watching it grow for a while, she decided to contact Team Commuter Dude. 

Schools vie for charter school of year award

Schools vie for charter school of year award

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Charter Schools Association has created a "charter school of the year" award with help from the Coca-Cola Foundation.

The first winner of the award will be announced at the association's annual meeting in October in Macon. The award carries a $50,000 prize.

Schools in the 18-county Metro Atlanta area can qualify. They must have been open five years and have demonstrated academic success and sound fiscal practices.

RELATED: 11 charter schools receive key approval

Georgia has more than 200 charter schools statewide. The schools are funded by taxpayer dollars but are given flexibility in how they meet federal education benchmarks.

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Several Metro Atlanta governments raising property tax rates

JONESBORO, Ga. -- It seems like cash-strapped local governments are hiking property taxes all over Metro Atlanta.

Tuesday night Clayton County Commissioners were set to vote on a whopping 34 percent millage rate hike and Cobb County's on a 17 percent jump.

DeKalb County Commissioners recently passed a 26 percent increase.

Fulton County Commissioners held the line and Gwinnett County's are leaning against a higher rate.

All are telling their taxpayers they have cut government services about all they can and still provide basic services.

All are hurting for the same reason, a shrinking tax base.

Clayton County, for example, lost about $1 billion in property tax value over the past year thanks to shuttered businesses, layoffs, empty new store fronts, and home mortgage foreclosures.

Convicted hit-and-run driver still has driver's license

MARIETTA, Ga. -- Despite serving a six-month sentence in a felony hit-and-run case, Jerry Guy, who hit and killed a four-year-old boy, still has a valid Georgia driver's license, according to officials.

Guy's case came to light in April after he hit and killed A.J. Newman, who was crossing the street with his mother Raquel Nelson.

RELATED: Jaywalking mom picks new trial over probation

Tuesday the Department of Driver's Services confirmed Guy had a valid driver's license.

Cobb County District Attorney Pat Head told 11Alive's Jerry Carnes under Georgia's legal code, it should be suspended.

At 11Alive's request, a DDS official is trying to find out why the license is still valid. 

MARIETTA: Rep. Bobby Franklin dies at 56

MARIETTA: Rep. Bobby Franklin dies at 56

MARIETTA, Ga. -- Cobb County police say a longtime lawmaker known for his outspoken conservative views and frequent "no" votes on legislation has been found dead at his home in Marietta.

Police spokesman Mike Bowman said Rep. Bobby Franklin's death is being treated "as a natural death" and foul play is not suspected. The Marietta Republican was 56.

Franklin was first elected to the state House in 1996 and was instrumental in helping to design the current Georgia state flag.

"Bobby Franklin was a man of deep faith, strong character, and unshakable convictions," Lt. Governor Casey Cagle said in a statement. "He never shied away from standing up for what he believed in and always put principles before politics. Nita and I mourn his passing and have him and his family in our thoughts and prayers."

Gov. Nathan Deal's office released a statement Tuesday afternoon: