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'Mega Monday' expected to set records for shopping, returns

ATLANTA -- It's the biggest gift return day of the season, and experts predict "Mega Monday" could be as big as Cyber Monday or Black Friday.

Retailers slashed prices to entice customers already heading to stores to exchange gifts and hunt for after-Christmas bargains.

"Thirty-five percent more people will be returning this year, than last year," said Janice Lieberman, Consumer Correspondent for the Today Show. "For every dollar spent during the holiday, almost ten cents of it is returned." 

Some store make returns much easier than others. 

Sears may be the number one easy return store because they not only readily accept returns, but they extended their return window to 120 days through this holiday season.

Practicing What They Preach: Turner Construction Atlanta Achieves LEED Gold Certification for Their

Practicing What They Preach: Turner Construction Atlanta Achieves LEED Gold Certification for Their

Company’s commitment to green construction
practices starts with their own offices

Turner Construction Atlanta, a leader in environmentally friendly building practices, recently received a Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the United States Green Building Council for renovation of their own Atlanta offices. Turner is Atlanta’s largest LEED builder and incorporates sustainable elements into every project.

For Winston Williams, the company’s Green Champion, the space is a demonstration of Turner’s real commitment to sustainability. “Green building practices are an important movement in construction today,” he says. “We embrace those values not only for our clients, but for ourselves as well.”

Green features of the space include:

First Data: Consumers held back on spending until end of Nov.

First Data: Consumers held back on spending until end of Nov.

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. -- Consumers knew better deals were coming on Black Friday and held back on spending until the end of November, according to First Data's latest SpendTrend report.

VIDEO: Black Friday brawl at Ellijay Walmart

The privately held Sandy Springs-based electronic payments company reported year-over-year dollar volume growth was up 7.3 percent in November, down from October's 9.4 percent jump.

Dollar volume growth was 8.1 percent, while transaction growth was 6.1 percent in November.

13 Metro Atlanta communities receive transportation grants

13 Metro Atlanta communities receive transportation grants

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Regional Commission recently awarded $34 million in grants to help 13 Metro Atlanta communities build innovative transportation projects.

Each project includes pedestrian and bicycle improvements to encourage residents to find "greener" ways of getting from place to place, and to make these neighborhoods more livable and supportive of transit.

The money was given through the ARC's Livable Center Initiative, which is funded with federal transportation dollars.

"LCI has helped communities across Metro Atlanta re-tool and redesign over the years, creating more plans that attract residents and businesses alike," said Doug Hooker, executive director of ARC. "This program is a model for others around the country and has helped to create or finalize many of our region's most innovative and livable communities."

State tax credit program raises $50M for scholarships

State tax credit program raises $50M for scholarships

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Department of Revenue stamped its approval on $50 million in donations under the Georgia Scholarship Tax Credit Program.

The program lets people and businesses get tax credit for donations to scholarships for Georgia children to attend private schools.

Fifty million dollars is the most allowed under the program. In 2012, the statewide cap on donations will increase by the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index until 2018.

Individuals can donate up to $1,000, while married couples have a donation cap of $2,500. Corporations can donate up to 75 percent of their state income tax liability.

The American Federation for Children estimated more than 6,000 students last year got scholarships to attend private schools through the program.

Best out-of-the-ordinary Halloween events around Atlanta you don't want to miss

Best out-of-the-ordinary Halloween events around Atlanta you don't want to miss

Fernbank BOO-seum Trick-or-Treat

Saturday, October 29 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Get ready to have a screaming (in delight) good time! For one day only, Fernbank Museum is becoming Fernbank BOO-seum. Little Beat Music, Inc. will provide family-friendly tunes and face painting will inspire those who didn’t quite finish their costumes. Plus, enjoy a frightening-ly fun Halloween party featuring games, crafts, hands-on activities and special treats for kids in costumes.* (*Treats available while supplies last.)