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Weekend traffic: All delays are weather permitting

Weekend traffic: All delays are weather permitting

(WXIA) -- Crews will continue working on the usual road projects this weekend -- as long as the weather cooperates.

The Georgia Department of Transportation is also warning drivers of heavier traffic than normal, due to school systems beginning their spring breaks.

"We apologize for the delays, and there will be big delays," GDOT District Construction Engineer Shun Pringle said in a release. "We understand that this is a spring break for some folks, but so are the next three or four weekends."

Weekend work begins at 10 p.m. Friday on the Interstate 85/Georgia 400 Interchange. Four left lanes of I-85 south from a half-mile north of Clairmont Road to North Druid Hills Road will be closed between midnight and 7 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, and from midnight to 5 a.m. Monday.

Pringle said all lanes will reopen Monday at 5 a.m. The closures are due to overhead sign replacements.

Unemployment rate drops to 6.9 percent

Unemployment rate drops to 6.9 percent

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate fell to 6.9 percent in February.

That's down from 7.1 percent in January and 8.4 percent in February 2013.

Georgia Department of Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the decrease was due to fewer layoffs. However, the area still lost nearly 2,000 seasonal jobs last month.

Rockdale County's unemployment rate was 7.7 percent in February.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest unemployment rate, at 5.1 percent. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest, at 9.7 percent.

Ga. Race to the Top 'Year Three' Report

Ga. Race to the Top 'Year Three' Report

(WXIA) -- The U.S. Department of Education recently released its "Year Three" Report for the 12 states participating in the Race to the Top grant initiative.

Educational practices and successes in Georgia were highlighted throughout the report.

"We have taken on some major initiatives and our success is a direct reflection of the collaborative efforts between our department, other education agencies and the hundreds of participating teachers, principals and district leaders around our state," Dr. Susan Andrews, Deputy Superintendent of Race to the Top Implementation in Georgia, said in a release.

"While educational reform work is never easy, we are pleased with the significant progress that our state has made as reflected in this report," Andrews added.

Some highlights from the report include:

* Nearly 300 Georgia teachers were placed in state public schools from alternative certification programs.

Rockdale Water Resources lowers credit card convenience fees for customers

Rockdale Water Resources lowers credit card convenience fees for customers

CONYERS, Ga. Rockdale County Water Resources (RWR) today announced a reduction in credit card convenience fees for commercial and residential water customers.

The reduced electronic transfer fund fees will apply to all commercial and residential water customers who pay water bills with a credit card via the pay-by-phone system, RWR’s online payment system or in person. Residential customers will now pay $.25 less in convenience fees, and commercial customers will save $2.55 each time they pay by credit card. The new credit card convenience fee for residential customers is $2.25 and $9.95 for commercial customers. Convenience fees for residential and commercial water customers who pay with an electronic check will remain the same at $1.95 per transaction.

Authorities fire shots at armed robbery suspect in Rockdale County


ROCKDALE COUNTY, Ga. -- Rockdale County authorities say they have taken a suspect who led deputies on a chase Friday into custody.

According to the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office, a 16-year-old male was taken into custody at Grady Memorial Hospital.

Authorities say the teen led deputies on a chase into DeKalb County. After abandoning his vehicle, investigators said he raised his weapon. Authorities fired back. It was believed that he was struck by at least one round from deputies.

As a result Miller Grove High School in DeKalb County was placed on lockdown. There was no threat to students or staff. That lockdown has been lifted and the 1,500 students went home normally, according to Quinn Hudson of DeKalb County Schools.

The Rockdale Sheriff's spokesperson says a search took place 6000 block of Hillandale Drive near the Winward Forest Apartments.

Expect heavy spring break traffic this weekend

Expect heavy spring break traffic this weekend

(WXIA) -- Many colleges and universities will begin their spring breaks this weekend, which may contribute to heavier traffic than usual on metro Atlanta roads.

In addition to more people on the road, Georgia Department of Transportation crews will be out and about, working on scheduled projects.

GDOT engineer Shun Pringle said the largest project will be sign installation on Georgia 400 south between Peachtree Road and Sidney Marcus Boulevard. One right lane will be closed daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Work will also continue on the Ga. 400/Interstate 85 Interchange project. Several roads will be affected all weekend, including Cheshire Bridge Road, Sidney Marcus Boulevard and the Buford-Spring Connector.

From 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly, three lanes in both directions of I-285 will be closed for sign replacements between Riverside Drive and Peachtree Dunwoody Road.

Principal arrested in GBI child sex sting

Principal arrested in GBI child sex sting

DECATUR, Ga. -- An elementary school principal is among 14 people the Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested in a sting operation targeting suspected child predators.

Dr. John McGill, principal of Mt. Carmel Elementary in Douglasville, is being held in the DeKalb County Jail.  He has been suspended from his position. He is due in court for his first appearance Tuesday.

11Alive's Blayne Alexander reports that the Douglas County School System superintendent announced on Monday that Dr. Sandra Williams will serve as interim principal of the school effective March 10. Williams is a retired former principal of the school. The central office will handle administrative duties until Williams arrives.

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