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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.

Paying respects to the last member of Enola Gay crew


STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. -- The last member of the Enola Gay crew, a Georgia man who lived in Stone Mountain, passed away Tuesday

The manager at the Park Springs Retirement Community confirmed Theodore "Dutch" VanKirk passed away Tuesday. He was 93 years old.

VanKirk was the navigator aboard the Enola Gay, the B-29 bomber that dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

Maj. VanKirk had no second thoughts about one of the seminal moments of American history. Back in 2010 he sat down exclusively with 11Alive's Jeff Hullinger.

Van Kirk said, "You have to understand the Japan we fought was significantly different from the Japan in later years. I don't know how they did it."

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.

2 shot in DeKalb County

2 shot in DeKalb County

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- Two young men were wounded in a shooting in DeKalb County Monday morning.

It happened shortly after midnight in the 2000 block of East Scarbrough Trail, a cul-de-sac near Covington Highway.

DeKalb County Police Sgt. Steven Dean said one victim, believed to be in his late teens, was found at Covington Highway and Scarbrough Drive. He had been shot more than once and was taken to a nearby hospital.

The second victim was dropped off at the hospital by friends, according to Dean. That victim appears to be in his early 20's. No names were released.

Police are investigating the shooting.

Visit 11Alive.com/Crime to track crime in your neighborhood.

Dogs make splash at Stone Mountain Park


STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. -- More than 150 dogs made a splash at Stone Mountain Park on Friday.

The canines are competing for a chance to qualify for the "Dock Dogs" World Championship in November.

The dogs run down a platform and leap into the 40 foot pool. They are judged on distance, height, and speed.

The event will continue through Sunday on Memorial Lawn.


Rain could cancel road projects for the weekend

Rain could cancel road projects for the weekend

(WXIA) -- The threat of rain this weekend could provide some welcome relief for Atlanta-area drivers.

The Georgia Department of Transportation has already postponed a handful of road projects, thanks to the weather.

WEATHER | 11Alive meteorologist Tracy Humphrey has your weekend forecast

Resurfacing on Interstate 20 in Rockdale and Newton counties, and concrete replacement on the west side of I-285 have been canceled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

GDOT said it plans to move ahead with scheduled resurfacing on I-20 between Douglasville and Villa Rica, as it is very close to finishing the work -- well ahead of its projected November completion date. However, rain may briefly halt crews.

Thousands vote early in DeKalb County

Thousands vote early in DeKalb County

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- More than 4,100 DeKalb County residents have already cast their ballots for the upcoming runoff election.

Early voting continues through this week. In-person voting will be held on Election Day, Tuesday, July 22 at DeKalb County's Voter Registration and Elections Office.

Visit dekalbvotes.com for more information about the election.