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GDOT: Avoid I-285 this weekend

GDOT: Avoid I-285 this weekend

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Transportation has a strong word of warning for Atlanta-area drivers this weekend: avoid the Perimeter.

Crews will work on several I-285 projects, causing lane closures and heavy delays. Motorists are encouraged to take alternate routes where possible.

Some of the scheduled Perimeter work includes:

* 2 northbound right lanes will be closed between South Atlanta and Paces Ferry roads from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for concrete slab replacement and interchange construction

* 2 southbound outside lanes will be closed between Washington Road and Old National Highway from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 p.m. Saturday for bridge joint repairs

* 3 southbound left lanes near Flat Shoals Road will be closed Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. for paving

Work will continue in other parts of metro Atlanta as well.

Major roadwork resumes this weekend

Major roadwork resumes this weekend

(WXIA) -- Last weekend, drivers got a bit of a reprieve when several major road projects were postponed. But all that work will resume this weekend.

Some of the problem areas include Interstate 20 in Rockdale and Newton counties, and I-285 in Cobb County.

As always, all roadwork is weather permitting. Rain could halt or postpone projects.

Weekend drivers should use caution and look for crews in these areas:

Bartow County
* One right southbound lane of I-75 will be closed four miles before Cass White Road from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for concrete slab removal and bridge raising.
* One left northbound lane of I-75 will be closed four miles after Cass White Road from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for concrete slab removal and bridge raising.

Woman sentenced for stealing $600K in government grants

Woman sentenced for stealing $600K in government grants

CUMMING, Ga. -- A Forsyth County woman will spend time in federal prison after being convicted of submitting fake government grant applications worth $600,000.

In addition to paying back all the money in restitution, 62-year-old Jessica Regas will serve one year and nine months in federal prison, and spend three years on supervised release.

Regas and her husband operated the Georgia Martial Arts Foundation in Cumming. In 2004, Regas applied for a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grant that would allow her to create a coalition to help reduce substance abuse among young people in Forsyth County.

Missing teen drowned in Lake Lanier


FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. -- The body of a 19-year-old boy was found in Lake Lanier a few days after he disappeared.

Cody Daniel Gibbs drowned in the lake, according to Forsyth County Sheriff's spokesman Doug Rainwater. His body was recovered Thursday morning, about 50 yards from where he went missing.

Gibbs was one of three teens reported missing shortly after police broke up an illegal party of about 20 people at Two Mile Creek Park. Two girls were located Tuesday afternoon.

Forsyth County Fire Division Chief Jason Shivers said officials searched for the teens after party attendees scattered when a sheriff deputy tried to break it up. He said a few of the people jumped into the lake. Crews from the Forsyth County Fire Department, Forsyth County Sheriff's Office and Hall County Sheriff's Office used sonar equipment to search the waters.

Back to school surprise: Weekend roadwork canceled

Back to school surprise: Weekend roadwork canceled

(WXIA) -- This weekend will be a holiday for Georgia families in more ways than one.

The Georgia Department of Transportation has suspended construction-related lane closures on all major interstates and highways within five miles of malls and shopping districts.

This will allow parents and students to enjoy the tax-free shopping weekend without the added stress of road delays.

"The sales tax holiday is an opportunity for Georgians to save a little money during these challenging economic times," GDOT Commissioner Keith Golden said. "The department is glad to offer some relief from lane closures as families prepare for school."

11Alive Ways to Save reporter Valerie Hoff has some of the best tax-free weekend deals. Find out how to get the most bang for your buck.

Atlanta-area unemployment jumps in June

Atlanta-area unemployment jumps in June

(WXIA) -- The unemployment rate in metro Atlanta climbed again last month.

June's rate was 7.6 percent, up from 7.2 percent in May, but much lower than last June's 8.6 percent.

Forsyth County's unemployment rate was 5.9 percent in June.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the increase is due to end-of-summer job loss among non-contract school workers, an influx of graduates and students entering the workforce, and temporary layoffs in manufacturing.

So far, metro Atlanta has gained slightly more than 58,000 jobs in 2014 -- a good sign for those who are looking for work.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest June unemployment rate, at 6.3 percent. The highest was 10.4 percent, in the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region.

Deputy honored for actions in attempted Forsyth Co. courthouse attack


FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. – A deputy shot by a man attempting to attack a Forsyth County courthouse has been honored by the Georgia Sheriffs' Association.

Deputy Daniel Rush was selected at "Deputy Sheriff of the Year Award of Valor" for his actions on June 6.

Rush was shot by Dennis Marx, a man who scheduled to go to court the morning of June 6 for a plea deal. Instead, officials say Marx drove his SUV up on the sidewalk and started shooting. Marx was killed by deputies returning fire.