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Metro Atlanta unemployment plunges to 6.5 percent

Metro Atlanta unemployment plunges to 6.5 percent

(WXIA) -- The unemployment rate in metro Atlanta dropped to 6.5 percent in November.

That's down five-tenths of a percentage point from October's 7.0 percent. The rate was also 7.0 percent in November 2013.

Forsyth County's November unemployment rate was 5.0 percent.

State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the Atlanta area added nearly 18,000 jobs in November. Many of the new jobs are in transportation, administrative services, health care, food service, finance and manufacturing, according to data from the Georgia Department of Labor. Unemployment insurance claims also dropped last month.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest November unemployment rate, at 5.0 percent. The highest was 9.0 percent, in the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region.

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Keeping kids’ minds sharp over winter break

Keeping kids’ minds sharp over winter break

By Megan Nellen, Lower School Principal at The Walker School

1. Community Service: Use the break to plan community service ideas for the coming year. Kids can write flyers and notes asking neighbors to save and donate any holiday décor they plan on tossing out to be used next year for a family without a tree or decorations. Children of all ages can help make and deliver sandwiches for a homeless mission or shelter or make cards and pictures for a local nursing home.

2. Reuse, Recycle, Entertain: Collect leftover boxes, ribbons and paper and have your kids use them to build a robot or make a game. Each year at The Walker School second graders use cardboard to make arcade games.

Last weekend of roadwork until 2015

Last weekend of roadwork until 2015

(WXIA) -- Drivers in the Atlanta area: Just make it through this weekend, and then you'll get a much-needed break.

The Georgia Department of Transportation said it will suspend all construction-related lane closures from Dec. 23 to Jan. 2.

Until then, many of the usual areas will see crews hard at work through next Monday morning.

As always, all work is weather permitting. A complete list of closures and possible delays can be found at 511ga.org.

Cobb/Fulton counties
* Two eastbound lanes of I-20 will be closed for about one mile past Six Flags Parkway from 9 p.m. Friday to 9 p.m. Saturday for bridge joint and header replacement.

Coweta County
* One northbound lane of I-85 will be closed between two miles south of Highway 14 and McCollum-Sharpsburg Road from 8 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for barrier wall setting.

Loophole lets thousands do the crime, but pay no fine


CUMMING, GA (WXIA) -- A recent Georgia Supreme Court ruling has left a legal loophole that's allowed tens of thousands of people to commit a crime, but not pay the fine. In Forsyth County alone, more than 821 people are now off the hook, including another ten released from jail.

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"Most of these misdemeanor warrants that were invalidated are of people who no longer live in this area. They've moved on, moved to a different state," said Deputy Doug Rainwater.

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Georgia-based Carmike backs out of 'The Interview'

Georgia-based Carmike backs out of 'The Interview'

ATLANTA (WXIA) -- Columbus-based Carmike Cinemas has become the first theater chain to decide not to show the upcoming Sony film "The Interview", according to both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter Tuesday evening.

Carmike operates 2,917 screens in 278 theaters over 41 states, including nine theaters in metro Atlanta -- Athens, Cartersville, Canton, Conyers, Newnan, Snellville, Cumming, Hiram and southwest Atlanta.

Sony said earlier in the day Tuesday that they were moving ahead with plans to distribute the controversial comedy on Christmas Day, despite messages from hackers that appeared to threaten violence at theaters showing the film. The threats evoked the memory of 9/11, and suggested that violence of that sort would come to theaters and theater goers as a result of the film's going into wide release on Christmas weekend.

The Santa Experience at North Georgia Premium Outlets

The Santa Experience at North Georgia Premium Outlets

Eager children and their families can experience the joy and magic of the holiday season with a visit to the Simon Santa Photo Experience at North Georgia Premium Outlets. Children can visit and be photographed with Santa in the Food Pavilion.

The Simon Santa Photo Experience is again sponsored by Gymboree. Simon’s theme for Holiday 2014 is “Spread Love.” From the love of giving to those who matter, to children’s love of Santa, to celebrating love through holiday festivities with family and friends. Join Simon to experience the season’s good cheer with the best of holiday shopping and entertainment.

Shopper appreciation programs will take place throughout the holiday season and include random acts of giving, extended shopping hours, complimentary treats and more.

Thieves in Forsyth Co. stealing packages delivered to front doors of homes


FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. (WXIA) -- Some people in Forsyth County, expecting packages to be delivered to their homes, never received them. They've reported the packages stolen from their front doorsteps.

Investigators say thieves have run off with thousands of dollars worth of computers and toys -- just picking up the packages from the front doorsteps in broad daylight, minutes after the packages were delivered.

According to the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office, in just two days last week, December 9 and 10, thieves stole packages from nine homes -- seven of them in the Olde Atlanta Club subdivision, off of Old Atlanta Road, in south Forsyth County.