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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.

Pay n Go Peach Passes now available

Pay n Go Peach Passes now available

(WXIA) -- Drivers who use the toll lanes on Interstate 85 now have more ways to obtain their Peach Passes.

Starting Monday, local Walgreens and CVS locations will begin selling Pay n Go passes. Customers have the option of purchasing a starter kit -- which includes a fully activated transponder and reload card -- or just the card.

Peach Pass users can also reload their cards at participating retailers in any amount from $20 to $500.

"The Pay n Go Peach Pass provides drivers with more payment options to enjoy a reliable commute with the flexibility to open or add funds to their account with the amount that they choose," SRTA executive director Christopher Tomlinson said in a release.

The passes are active and ready to use upon purchase. Learn more at peachpass.com.

Car crushed by tree, driver trapped inside

Car crushed by tree, driver trapped inside

DULUTH, Ga. -- A tree fell on a moving car and pinned the driver inside in Gwinnett County Friday morning.

The tree came down at around 10:30 a.m. while 50-year-old Amit Arora of Johns Creek was driving down Abbotts Bridge Road in Duluth.

"This is a driver who is driving into town, unsuspecting. This large tree comes down," said Capt. Tommy Rutledge, spokesman for the Gwinnett Co. Fire Department. "It's one of those freak situations that happens.

Pinned inside the vehicle, investigators say the driver was still able to reach his cell phone and call 911. When rescuers arrived, the toppled tree was also entangled in power lines. It took them more than an hour to pull the driver out of the crushed vehicle.

I-20 construction resumes this weekend

I-20 construction resumes this weekend

(WXIA) -- The three Interstate 20 construction projects that have plagued drivers for several weekends will continue.

As long as the weather cooperates, crews will work on the following stretches of I-20 this weekend:

Atlanta
Three eastbound lanes will be closed between Windsor Street and Boulevard from 8 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday, and from 8 p.m. Saturday to 6 am. Sunday.

Douglas County
Two lanes in both directions will be closed between Bill Arp and Liberty roads from 7 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.

Newton County
Two eastbound left lanes will be closed between Almon and Alcovy roads from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.

The Georgia Department of Transportation has smaller projects scheduled in Cobb County:

I-285
Two northbound lanes will be intermittently closed at South Cobb Drive for overhead sign work; two lanes will always remain open.

Lottery ticket worth $1M sold in Gainesville

Lottery ticket worth $1M sold in Gainesville

ATLANTA – A Georgia Lottery instant ticket worth $1 million was sold in Gainesville. Texaco Food Mart, located at 1860 Atlanta Highway, sold a Georgia Lottery’s 20th Anniversary Extravaganza instant ticket with a $1 million top prize.

The winner is Rafiqul Bhuiyan of Lawrenceville, who claimed his prize at the Georgia Lottery District Office in Duluth.

The instant game Georgia Lottery’s 20th Anniversary Extravaganza is loaded with cash prizes, including top prizes of $1 million and $5 million.

Players can enter non-winning tickets into the 20th Anniversary Extravaganza Extra Chance Promotion for an extra chance to win $5 million. For more information, visit www.galottery.com.

Gwinnett teen advances to semifinals of national spelling bee

Gwinnett teen advances to semifinals of national spelling bee

ATLANTA -- Georgia's top speller was eliminated from the national spelling bee Thursday, during the semi-final round. He spelled both words in the round correctly, gelid and vaporetto, but didn't score high enough on the test to advance to the finals.

Enterorrhagia, e-n-t-e-r-r-h-a-g-i-a -- was the winning word that sent 14-year-old Sumedh Garimella of Tucker to the national bee.

INTERACTIVE | Can you spell these words from past championships?

Ga. Cyber Academy graduates first class

Ga. Cyber Academy graduates first class

(WXIA) -- The Class of 2014 is the very first class to graduate from Georgia Cyber Academy, the state's free online public school.

The school will hold a graduation ceremony at noon on Saturday, May 31 at the Gwinnett Center. More than 300 graduating seniors are scheduled to walk across the stage.

"We're so proud of each of our graduates, all of whom have taken the individualized learning that comes with GCA's online curriculum and worked with GCA's world-class teachers to adapt it to best serve and support their own academic successes," GCA head of school Matt Arkin said in a release.

Members of GCA's Class of 2014 were accepted to some of the country's top colleges and universities, including Cornell University, Georgia Tech, the University of Alabama and the University of Georgia.