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Continue to avoid the Perimeter this weekend

Continue to avoid the Perimeter this weekend

(WXIA) -- This weekend is expected to be hot, and the Georgia Department of Transportation will take advantage of the weather by using Friday, Saturday and Sunday to work on some much-needed road improvements.

WEATHER | 11Alive meteorologist Chesley McNeil has your weekend forecast

Like last weekend, drivers are asked to avoid Interstate 285 if possible. Lane closures will result in major delays.

Scheduled I-285 projects include:

Unemployment climbs again in July

Unemployment climbs again in July

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate was 8.0 percent in July, up from 7.5 percent in June. The rate was 8.3 percent in July 2013.

DeKalb County's unemployment rate was 8.3 percent last month.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the increase was due to seasonal layoffs in manufacturing and education. Many of those workers have since returned to their jobs.

In addition, metro Atlanta's private sector created 8,900 jobs in July. Most of the positions were in business; trade and transportation; finance and information services; leisure and hospitality; and construction.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest July jobless rate at 6.6 percent. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 11.4 percent.

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.

Police: Crime down this summer in DeKalb

Police: Crime down this summer in DeKalb

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- The DeKalb County Police Department's Summer Crime Initiative appears to be paying off.

Monday morning, the department announced it has seen reductions in three crime categories. Residential burglaries are down 17 percent, pedestrian robberies are down 10 percent and entering auto cases are down nine percent this summer.

New strategies used to prevent and reduce crime in DeKalb County include 24-hour specialized operations, bike patrols and curfew enforcement.

"The reduction in crime statistics proves that the investments we are making in police and fire personnel pay dividends," DeKalb County interim CEO Lee May said in a release.

May said the police department plans to add 160 more sworn officers and 100 patrol cars by the end of 2014.

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.

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.

DeKalb County's unemployment rate was 7.8 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.