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Weekend roadwork gets off to slow start in 2015

Weekend roadwork gets off to slow start in 2015

(WXIA) -- The end of the holiday season means the start of another year of construction on metro Atlanta roads and highways.

Next week, drivers are asked to avoid Interstate 285 north in Cobb County if possible. Projects and lane closures in the area are expected to cause delays.

As in 2014, all roadwork is weather permitting.

Here are some of the projects scheduled for the first weekend and full week of the new year.

Metro Atlanta unemployment plunges to 6.5 percent

Metro Atlanta unemployment plunges to 6.5 percent

(WXIA) -- The unemployment rate in metro Atlanta dropped to 6.5 percent in November.

That's down five-tenths of a percentage point from October's 7.0 percent. The rate was also 7.0 percent in November 2013.

Coweta County's November unemployment rate was 6.0 percent.

State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the Atlanta area added nearly 18,000 jobs in November. Many of the new jobs are in transportation, administrative services, health care, food service, finance and manufacturing, according to data from the Georgia Department of Labor. Unemployment insurance claims also dropped last month.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest November unemployment rate, at 5.0 percent. The highest was 9.0 percent, in the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region.

Keeping kids’ minds sharp over winter break

Keeping kids’ minds sharp over winter break

By Megan Nellen, Lower School Principal at The Walker School

1. Community Service: Use the break to plan community service ideas for the coming year. Kids can write flyers and notes asking neighbors to save and donate any holiday décor they plan on tossing out to be used next year for a family without a tree or decorations. Children of all ages can help make and deliver sandwiches for a homeless mission or shelter or make cards and pictures for a local nursing home.

2. Reuse, Recycle, Entertain: Collect leftover boxes, ribbons and paper and have your kids use them to build a robot or make a game. Each year at The Walker School second graders use cardboard to make arcade games.

Last weekend of roadwork until 2015

Last weekend of roadwork until 2015

(WXIA) -- Drivers in the Atlanta area: Just make it through this weekend, and then you'll get a much-needed break.

The Georgia Department of Transportation said it will suspend all construction-related lane closures from Dec. 23 to Jan. 2.

Until then, many of the usual areas will see crews hard at work through next Monday morning.

As always, all work is weather permitting. A complete list of closures and possible delays can be found at 511ga.org.

Cobb/Fulton counties
* Two eastbound lanes of I-20 will be closed for about one mile past Six Flags Parkway from 9 p.m. Friday to 9 p.m. Saturday for bridge joint and header replacement.

Coweta County
* One northbound lane of I-85 will be closed between two miles south of Highway 14 and McCollum-Sharpsburg Road from 8 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for barrier wall setting.

Missing man found dead in Coweta County

Missing man found dead in Coweta County

NEWNAN, Ga. -- A Newnan man's body was recovered from a creek a day after his father reported him missing.

Willie Jerel Stargell, 23, was last seen Sunday at around 3 a.m., when his car was involved in a police chase on Ball Street in Newnan.

The chase ended when Stargell's GMC Jimmy crashed into a street sign. Five people jumped out of the car and ran. Police caught one, but the other four managed to escape.

Stargell's father, Willie Lewis Stargell, reported the young man missing Wednesday. His remains were found Thursday submerged in water in a wooded area off Ball Street, not far from the crash scene.

The cause of death has not been determined. Stargell's body was taken to the GBI Crime Lab for an autopsy.

The identities of the people inside Stargell's vehicle when it crashed have not been released.

Georgia-based Carmike backs out of 'The Interview'

Georgia-based Carmike backs out of 'The Interview'

ATLANTA (WXIA) -- Columbus-based Carmike Cinemas has become the first theater chain to decide not to show the upcoming Sony film "The Interview", according to both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter Tuesday evening.

Carmike operates 2,917 screens in 278 theaters over 41 states, including nine theaters in metro Atlanta -- Athens, Cartersville, Canton, Conyers, Newnan, Snellville, Cumming, Hiram and southwest Atlanta.

Sony said earlier in the day Tuesday that they were moving ahead with plans to distribute the controversial comedy on Christmas Day, despite messages from hackers that appeared to threaten violence at theaters showing the film. The threats evoked the memory of 9/11, and suggested that violence of that sort would come to theaters and theater goers as a result of the film's going into wide release on Christmas weekend.

Clinical Pastoral Education offered at Piedmont Newnan Hospital

Clinical Pastoral Education offered at Piedmont Newnan Hospital

NEWNAN, Ga. -- Applications are now being accepted for a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) being offered at Piedmont Newnan Hospital.  CPE is a program of graduate level pastoral care completed by thousands of American clergy and lay-persons within the last half century. CPE is a long-term supervised engagement with patients in crisis in hospitals, prisons, and hospice facilities.

In CPE, theological students, ordained clergy, members of religious orders, and qualified laypeople of all faiths (Pastors, Priests, Rabbis, Imams and others) minister to people in intimate and sometimes critical situations while being supervised.  Out of intense involvement with a supervisor, peers, professional colleagues, and persons in need of ministry, CPE students are challenged to improve the quality of their pastoral relationships.