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Atlanta-area unemployment rate drops to 6.5 percent

Atlanta-area unemployment rate drops to 6.5 percent

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment date declined again.

April's rate was 6.5 percent, down from 6.8 percent in March and 7.7 percent in April 2013.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said local employers created 18,000 new jobs last month. Over the past five years, metro Atlanta has gained an average of 13,000 jobs from March to April.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest unemployment rate, at 4.9 percent, in April 2014. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 8.8 percent.

Forsyth County's unemployment rate was 5.1 percent last month.

'Don't go east, don't go west': Weekend construction alert

'Don't go east, don't go west': Weekend construction alert

(WXIA) -- "Avoid I-20 if you can." That warning, from Georgia Department of Transportation district construction engineer Shun Pringle, applies to Atlanta-area drivers this weekend.

Several road projects and lane closures will be in place along the east-west highway.

"We don't like to close lanes, but the work has to get done, and we have to take advantage of the good-weather weekends," Pringle said in a release.

Scheduled I-20 projects include:

* Two left eastbound lanes will be closed between Highway 138 (Rockdale) and Alcovy Road (Newton) from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for resurfacing.

* Two right westbound lanes will be closed between Bill Arp and Liberty roads (Douglas) from 8 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Monday for resurfacing.

* Two right eastbound lanes will be closed between Liberty and Bill Arp roads (Douglas) from 7 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for resurfacing.

Discipline planned after Ga. school banner prank


CUMMING, Ga. -- The principal of a metro Atlanta high school is promising disciplinary action for students involved in an end of the year prank he called derogatory and unacceptable.

South Forsyth High School officials knew that senior pranksters would be up to something, but the kids managed to outfox them. They put a slip n' slide in the hallway, for sale signs on the principal's Jeep and a drop-down sign on the gym building. That large banner read "N---- we made it" – a line from a song by the rapper Drake.

Despite the fact that it was taken down in 3 minutes, the damage was done.

In a statement on the school's website, principal Jeff Cheney says the sign was posted without administrators' knowledge and was taken down as soon as it was brought to their attention.

What parents need to know about Minecraft

What parents need to know about Minecraft

ATLANTA -- Minecraft is one of the most popular video games for kids, who use digital blocks to explore their creative side.

But it can be confusing for parents and grandparents, especially since some younger children end up with nightmares after playing the game.

"You can kill creepers and zombies and they can kill you back," said sixth-grader Dakota Lawrence.

"The next minute, there could be something there and it freaks you out, whether it's a spider or a creeper or a skeleton," added classmate Piper Jones

"With creepers, if you actually get too close, they hiss and then explode." said sixth-grader Jessica Wilson

Lawrence, Jones and Wilson are students at Otwell Middle School in Forsyth County.

I-20 construction continues through the weekend

I-20 construction continues through the weekend

(WXIA) -- The Interstate 20 delays that plagued metro Atlanta commuters last weekend will return.

Georgia Department of Transportation district construction engineer Shun Pringle said backups are expected in Douglas, Newton and Rockdale counties as crews work to complete some major road projects.

"Please do what you can to avoid these project areas. Plan ahead, look for alternate routes or call 511," Pringle said in a release. "We want everyone to enjoy the weekend, and I'm sure that doesn't include sitting in traffic backups."

Several events may also cause delays on Atlanta's roads. From 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, State Route 9 near Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza will be closed for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Pringle said traffic in the area will be detoured.

State to investigate spike in Forsyth road deaths

State to investigate spike in Forsyth road deaths

CUMMING, Ga. -- Forsyth County saw a 144 percent increase in its number of roadway fatalities from 2009 to 2012.

Now, the Governor's Office of Highway Safety will share safety tips with the county's drivers in an attempt to bring that number back down.

Making a Safer Forsyth, a four-day highway safety tour, will kick off this Wednesday, May 7 at Lanier Technical College in Cumming. It will stop at schools, businesses, parks and senior centers across the county.

The tour is designed to educate children about the importance of wearing seat belts as a way to be safe in the car. It will also teach teens and adults about staying sober behind the wheel.

Making a Safer Forsyth is presented by the GOHS, Georgia State Patrol, Forsyth County Schools, the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office and the Georgia Department of Public Health, among other agencies.

Weekend construction: Avoid I-20 if you can

Weekend construction: Avoid I-20 if you can

(WXIA) -- Drivers who plan to use Interstate 20 this weekend are encouraged to find alternate routes.

The Georgia Department of Transportation will work on several major projects this weekend on the interstate that cuts across Atlanta.

"We have three projects with significant lane closures on I-20 this weekend," GDOT District Construction Engineer Shun Pringle said in a release. "We are expecting long delays, particularly in Douglas and Rockdale counties, during the daytime hours on Saturday and Sunday."

This weekend's road projects, many of which come with heavy delays, include: