Jurors began hearing opening statements today in the trial of 12 former Atlanta Public Schools educators accused of participating in a conspiracy to make it appear as though students were excelling on standardized tests when, in fact, many were not. According to our media affiliate CBS46, each of the educators is charged with racketeering. Some have additional charges which include false statements, influencing witnesses and theft by taking. Fulton County prosecutor Fani Willis began her three-hour opening statements by telling jurors that teachers cheated in three ways: by giving students the correct answers, by changing answers themselves from wrong to right, and by secretly opening the tests ahead of time and teaching students exactly what questions and answers to expect.

Once the Battle of Atlanta painting is moved from its current home in the Cyclorama building at Grant Park, the iconic building will become a new space for Zoo Atlanta. Epstein Group has been selected by the zoo to provide architectural, interior design, LEED consulting, and energy modeling services for the renovation and preservation project. The Cyclorama will be transformed into a multi-purpose event space and house a fine dining restaurant, which will overlook African elephants, zebras, and giraffes in their savanna habitat. The current completion date is expected in 2018.

The College Football Hall of Fame will host the 2014 Dedication Gala and Enshrinement Ceremony in its newly opened facility on Oct. 7.  Atlanta Hall Management is partnering with the National Football Foundation (NFF) and the Atlanta Sports Council to host the event. The ceremony, which will be emceed by ESPN’s Tom Hart, will be aired live on ESPN3 at 7:30 p.m. and an edited version will be shown on ESPNU the following night. Tickets are available to the public by visiting cfbhall.com and are $250 each.

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.