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Eye care experts urge parents to leave fireworks to pros

Eye care experts urge parents to leave fireworks to pros

ATLANTA -- Thousands of Georgia parents are buying sparklers for their children this Fourth of July, thinking they are a safe way to celebrate. But, as a Georgia eye expert warns, sparklers heat up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit -- hot enough to melt some metals -- and are the number one cause of fireworks injuries requiring trips to the emergency room.

Members of the Georgia Optometric Association are urging parents to leave all the fireworks to the professionals and avoid fireworks that may cause serious eye injuries when used inappropriately. Some of the most common fireworks injuries are eye abrasions, lacerations, contusions and foreign matter in the eye. The majority of these cases are related to the use of sparklers.

Kroger raises $232K for Children's Miracle Network

Kroger raises $232K for Children's Miracle Network

(WXIA) -- Kroger customers in metro Atlanta recently showed that they are a charitable bunch.

During the final two weeks in May, shoppers raised $232,000 for the Children's Miracle Network through the Miracle Balloons promotion.

For only $1, a customer could purchase a paper balloon to hang in a local Kroger. All proceeds from the fundraiser went directly to Children's Miracle Network hospitals and health networks, such as Children's Hospital of Georgia in Augusta and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

"Kroger customers consistently show their care for our communities by constantly going above and beyond with their charitable donations," Glynn Jenkins, spokesperson for Kroger's Atlanta division, said in a release. "Through their support of the Miracle Balloons program, we can continue to make a difference in the lives of children."

WellStar cuts 29 corporate jobs

WellStar cuts 29 corporate jobs

MARIETTA, Ga. -- WellStar Health System cut nearly 30 corporate jobs Wednesday.

The Marietta-based health system did not offer any reason for the cuts, but a spokesman for WellStar said 11 team member roles were eliminated.

Another 18 team members' positions were displaced, which means that the company will try to find another open position for them to fill.

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Panera swears off artificial ingredients

Panera swears off artificial ingredients

NEW YORK -- Panera says it will remove artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives from its food by 2016, a reflection of the growing distaste people are showing for such ingredients.

The chain of bakery cafes, which has about 1,800 U.S. locations, is making the pledge as part of a "Food Policy" it is unveiling Tuesday that outlines its commitment to "clean" and "simple" ingredients.

The announcement comes at a time when Panera Bread Co. is facing slowing sales growth and working to jumpstart its business.

It also underscores how positioning foods as natural has become a marketing advantage, regardless of whether it brings any nutritional benefits.

WellStar names new president

WellStar names new president

MARIETTA, Ga. -- WellStar Health System has chosen Candice Saunders as its new president and chief operating officer.

Saunders will take over her new role after current president and CEO Reynold Jennings' contract expires on Dec. 31, 2015.

"WellStar is critical and essential to the communities it serves. More than 1.4 million people rely on our services to live a healthy life," Saunders said in a release. "With my new responsibilities, I will provide leadership continuity to ensure that our system continues to play a major role in providing world-class healthcare to the people of metro Atlanta and northwest Georgia for years to come."

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IHOP offering free pancakes for charitable donations

IHOP offering free pancakes for charitable donations

(WXIA) -- IHOP will once again participate in the National Pancake Day promotion on Tuesday, Mar. 4.

Customers who visit any IHOP location on National Pancake Day will be treated to a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes. In exchange, the restaurant chain encourages diners to leave a donation for a number of charities, namely the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

Beginning this Saturday, Feb. 1, IHOP will collect donations for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Customers can buy paper balloons that cost either $1 or $5. The balloons will hang in IHOP restaurants through National Pancake Day.

Anyone who purchases a $5 balloon will receive a $5 IHOP coupon to use on a future visit.

Learn more about the promotion at ihoppancakeday.com.

15 schools win grants to fight obesity

15 schools win grants to fight obesity

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Public Health has awarded SHAPE grants to 15 schools across Georgia.

The money, which is presented through the Governor's SHAPE Initiative, will be used to develop nutrition and physical activity plans for students.

"These grants will go a long way toward improving childhood fitness and nutrition," Georgia DPH commissioner Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald said in a statement. "We must teach our children the importance ot physical activity and the lifelong benefits of healthy eating, lessons they hopefully will carry with them throughout their lives."

Each school will receive $3,000. The recipients include: