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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.

Immigrant families camp out for DeKalb school enrollment


STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. -- On the final Friday of summer break, families began waiting overnight to be among the 60 who would make it inside the DeKalb Schools International Welcome Center to register their children for the first day of classes on Monday.

As many as 100 families were turned away.

"It's very painful," said Mukund Kutrioti, from India. "This is crazy."

Friday wasn't the first day for long lines for this mandatory step in the registration process for immigrant and refugee students.

"We came Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and today," said Francis Karquin. "Today, I sent my husband to wait at about 4 in the morning."

And even that wasn't early enough to make the cutoff.

Ga. police, school officials confront copper theft


STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. (AP/WXIA) - DeKalb County police say they're partnering with county schools officials to fight copper thefts from school buildings.

Police said in a statement thieves that have targeted 16 buildings have cost the district about $800,000 in damage this year. Police announced details of a strategy to deal with the crimes on Tuesday at Stephenson Middle School in Stone Mountain.

The most recent theft took place at Martin Luther King Jr. High School this past week. Three rooftop units were vandalized, officials said.

At Stephenson Middle School, thieves took copper piping from a chiller that cools 90 percent of the building. Police said the theft probably only netted the crooks about $100 when they sold out. It's costing the school system about $40,000 a month to rent a temporary unit, and will eventually cost $100,000 to replace the system.