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Unemployment plunges to 6.8 percent

Unemployment plunges to 6.8 percent

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate was 6.8 percent in December, down from 7.0 percent in November.

The Georgia Department of Labor announced the new figures Thursday morning.

December's unemployment rate was 6.4 percent in Coweta County.

Georgia Department of Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the rate decreased because nearly 11,200 more Atlanta residents were employed in December, and the number of jobs in the area grew to 2,450,000 -- the most since May 2008.

December's unemployment rate was also down considerably from the December 2012 rate of 8.4 percent.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest jobless rate in December at 5.2 percent. The highest was 10.2 percent in the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region.

Smash and grab at gun store in Coweta County

COWETA COUNTY, GA-- Thieves made off with approximately $70,000 worth of rifles early Sunday morning after a bold smash and grab at The AR Bunker.

It happened just before 5 am.

Owner Rusty Morris shared video surveillance video that shows three men  back a Honda Accord through the front door and windows, grab all the rifles they can carry, then drive away about 50 seconds later.

You see officers arrive on the scene about 20 seconds to investigate the alarm going off, but the thieves were already gone.

"The investigators say the car they were in was stolen. They crashed it in the industrial park right behind our store, gathered up all the rifles they could carry and took off into the woods toward the interstate," said Morris.

One theory is that the burglars had a getaway car waiting for them on the interstate.

Weekend roadwork to affect many major highways

Weekend roadwork to affect many major highways

(WXIA) -- Sign work, bridge maintenance and lane closures are all on the Georgia Department of Transportation's weekend agenda.

Work will continue on the Buford-Spring Connector in Atlanta from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily. One right southbound lane will be closed between Lindbergh and Monroe drives.

Pacing will occur on Interstate 20 in both directions between Highway 5 and Liberty Road, just west of Atlanta. Drivers can expect brief delays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

One new project this weekend involves I-285 east at I-75 in Cobb County. Two left lanes and the ramp to I-75 north will be closed overnight, and ramp traffic will be detoured to I-75 south, Cumberland Boulevard and then back to I-75 north. GDOT said the ramp will be open during the day.

As usual, drivers can expect single lane closures around the Ga. 400/I-85 Interchange, especially on Cheshire Bridge Road, Sidney Marcus Boulevard and the Buford-Spring Connector.

GDOT launches Twitter feeds for specific highways

GDOT launches Twitter feeds for specific highways

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Department of Transportation has created 16 new Twitter accounts for traffic alerts throughout the state.

Each feed is tailored to a specific highway or region, according to GDOT spokeswoman Chata Spikes.

Spikes said only serious accidents will be tweeted, as opposed to every single stall and fender bender on the highways.

The feed for traffic on I-85 south of Atlanta is @GDOT_I85_S_GA.

Message from GDOT: Turn off your sprinklers!

Message from GDOT: Turn off your sprinklers!

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Transportation is reminding north Georgia residents to be mindful of temperature drops and to turn off their sprinkler systems.

GDOT released this statement Wednesday morning:

Every winter, we have icing issues due to automatically-timed sprinkler systems left on overnight in freezing temperatures. They can create a very hazardous condition for motorists the next morning.

Automatic sprinkler systems are often timed to operate at night, and when spray from the sprinkler is blown onto the road or water drains onto the road, black ice is formed, creating a hazard for motorists.

The Department urges residents and businesses to take a moment and ensure that automatic sprinkler systems are turned off. With sub-freezing termperatures on the way, motorists are cautioned to be on the lookout for icy patches or black ice, especially early in the morning.

Weekend roadwork extends to I-20

Weekend roadwork extends to I-20

(WXIA) -- Georgia Department of Transportation crews aren't letting the prospect of cold weekend weather deter them from working on road projects.

As usual, most of the work will take place overnight. However, a few projects will be completed during the day.

Work will continue along the Georgia 400/Interstate 85 interchange, which includes Cheshire Bridge Road, Sidney Marcus Boulevard and the Buford-Spring Connector. Lane closures can be expected during the day as well as at night.

One right southbound lane of the Buford-Spring Connector will be closed for bridge work daily from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Sign work will take place on I-85 in both directions between Clairmont and Lenox roads. Two left lanes will be closed in both directions from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

A new project will take place on I-20 in both directions between Highway 5 and Liberty Road in Douglas County. Minimal delays are expected daily between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Ga. Lottery posts educational transfers totaling $15B

Ga. Lottery posts educational transfers totaling $15B

ATLANTA – As the Georgia Lottery Corp. celebrates its 20th anniversary, lottery officials today announced record proceeds to education for the first half of fiscal year 2014. The Georgia Lottery’s first-half transfers to the Lottery for Education Account will bring the total raised for educational programs in the state to $15 billion since the lottery’s inception in 1993.

Georgia Lottery returns to education for the first half of fiscal year 2014 totaled $462.1 million, more than $11.6 million ahead of the same period last year.

“More dollars will go to fund educational programs in Georgia than ever before as a result of our strong start to the fiscal year,” said Georgia Lottery President and CEO Debbie D. Alford. “We are proud of our accomplishments and remain committed to maximizing revenues to benefit Georgia’s students.”

The first half of the fiscal year spanned from July 1, 2013, to December 31, 2013.