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Winston Churchill exhibition coming to Rome

Winston Churchill exhibition coming to Rome

ROME, Ga. -- A new exhibition at Oak Hill & The Martha Berry Museum will honor Sir Winston Churchill and his passion for art.

The Art of Diplomacy: Winston Churchill and the Pursuit of Painting opens Friday, Feb. 13 at the Rome museum. It will feature six of Churchill's paintings, as well as more than 100 artifacts that highlight his ties to Georgia.

Churchill began painting in 1915, when he was 40 years old. According to his writings, art helped pull him out of a dark time in his life and allowed him to become one of the greatest prime ministers in U.K. history.

"If it weren't for painting I could not live. I couldn't bear the strain of things," Churchill wrote.

Art historian Ernest Gombrich took it a step further, saying Churchill's "painting may have helped to save Western civilization."

Berry's Eagles lay egg on live streaming video

Berry's Eagles lay egg on live streaming video

ROME, Ga. -- The Berry College Eagles are starting a new generation, and cameras are streaming it all live.

On January 5th, the eagles were still building up their nests. That night, around 5:00, the first egg of 2015 appeared. By Jan. 12, another egg was visible.

It's become a tradition for the North Georgia college town to carefully follow the eagle family's progress with thousands of others around the world watching on three live eagle cameras.

Eagle Cam |
Watch the Berry Live Eagle Cameras

Ga. Highlands College names new VP

Ga. Highlands College names new VP

ROME, Ga. -- Mary Transue is the new Vice President of Advancement and Executive Director of the GHC Foundation at Georgia Highlands College.

She was chosen in late November to fill the vacancy left by Raymond Carnley.

Transue comes to GHC from the University of North Georgia in Gainesville, where she was Associate Vice President of Executive Affairs. She also has extensive experience in corporate healthcare and non-profit leadership.

"I am excited about this opportunity and am looking forward to joining the team at Georgia Highlands College," Transue said in a statement. "I can already tell there is strong leadership and a solid vision taking shape for the college moving forward. I know we can accomplish great things together."

Transue began her new job on Dec. 15.

AP exam participation: Floyd County

AP exam participation: Floyd County

(WXIA) -- More Georgia high school students are taking -- and passing -- Advanced Placement exams.

Last school year, 89,806 Georgia students took 154,176 AP exams. That's an 8 percent increase in the number of participants and almost a 9 percent increase in the number of tests.

AP exams are graded on a scale of 1 to 5. Passing scores of 3, 4 or 5 often allow the test-takers to earn college credit.

Georgia's seniors earned 86,075 passing scores on their AP exams in 2014, a 9.6 percent increase over 2013.

English Language and Composition was the state's most popular AP exam, followed by U.S. History and World History.

In Floyd County, 229 students took 311 AP exams in 2014, and 118 of those exams earned passing scores.

Here are the AP exam breakdowns for each Floyd County public high school:

Armuchee HS
66 students took 94 exams
54 passing scores

Shorter's 'The Miracle Worker' opens Sept. 25

Shorter's 'The Miracle Worker' opens Sept. 25

ROME, Ga. -- Shorter University will stage a production of William Gibson's The Miracle Worker next week.

The 1959 play tells the story of deafblind Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan, who helped her find ways to explore the world around her.

"It's not just Helen's story -- it's also the story of a family coping with challenges most of us could never understand," said Shorter assistant professor of theatre Chad Daniel, who directed the production. "They are also dealing with societal pressures, because it is Alabama in the 1880s and society is still healing from the Civil War."

Shelby Folks of LaFayette, Ga., will play Helen Keller, while Annie Sullivan will be played by Kaitlin Kennedy of Missouri City, Texas.

The Miracle Worker will be staged at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 25-27, and 2 p.m. on Sept. 27-28. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.

Berry chief of staff named to state board

Berry chief of staff named to state board

ROME, Ga. -- Gov. Nathan Deal has appointed Berry College Chief of Staff Alexander Whitaker to the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission.

"Whit," as he is known, will be sworn in Oct. 1 and will serve a three-year term on the board.

He already serves on several boards, including Berry's Board of Trustees, SunTrust Bank of Northwest Georgia, William S. Davies Homeless Shelter, Mercy Care Rome and Pennsylvania's Trinity School for Ministry.

Whitaker is a retired U.S. Navy captain and judge advocate. He is a Rome native and graduated from the Darlington School in 1977. Whitaker has a bachelor's degree from Berry, a law degree from the University of Virginia, a master's degree in international and comparative law from Georgetown University and a master's degree in religion from Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry.

2015 Best Colleges: Berry College

2015 Best Colleges: Berry College

ROME, Ga. -- U.S. News & World Report has released its 2015 list of America's best colleges and universities.

Three Georgia schools earned national rankings: Emory University (21), Georgia Tech (35) and the University of Georgia (62).

Berry College was featured on some U.S. News lists as well. It is No. 129 on National Liberal Arts College Rankings and No. 100 on High School Counselor Rankings, a list compiled by a nationwide sampling of guidance counselors. The counselors rated the schools on a scale of 1 to 5; Berry earned 3.5.

See the complete list of top schools at usnews.com.