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Happy 4th of July: No weekend road projects!

Happy 4th of July: No weekend road projects!

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Transportation will celebrate the July 4 holiday by taking a break from all road projects.

The weekend construction that has plagued drivers for weeks will be temporarily halted at noon on Thursday.

However, GDOT expects considerable delays in certain areas, especially on Friday. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to run in or watch the 2014 AJC Peachtree Road Race, which will close several roads in Buckhead and Midtown. Fireworks displays and other Independence Day celebrations will also affect commuters Friday night.

An international Jehovah's Witnesses convention will be held at the Georgia Dome this weekend; 34,000 people from 14 countries will attend. GDOT said this event may also have an impact on traffic in the area.

Eye care experts urge parents to leave fireworks to pros

Eye care experts urge parents to leave fireworks to pros

ATLANTA -- Thousands of Georgia parents are buying sparklers for their children this Fourth of July, thinking they are a safe way to celebrate. But, as a Georgia eye expert warns, sparklers heat up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit -- hot enough to melt some metals -- and are the number one cause of fireworks injuries requiring trips to the emergency room.

Members of the Georgia Optometric Association are urging parents to leave all the fireworks to the professionals and avoid fireworks that may cause serious eye injuries when used inappropriately. Some of the most common fireworks injuries are eye abrasions, lacerations, contusions and foreign matter in the eye. The majority of these cases are related to the use of sparklers.

Speech therapy provider sentenced for Medicaid fraud

Speech therapy provider sentenced for Medicaid fraud

ACWORTH, Ga. -- The owner and operator of a Cobb County speech therapy clinic has been sentenced to two years in prison for defrauding Georgia Medicaid.

Timothy Robinson pleaded guilty in April to one count of Medicaid fraud. He will also spend eight years on probation after getting out of prison.

Robinson owned Acworth-based Robinson Rehabilitation Services, which employed four speech therapists. Prosecutors said Robinson used the employees' provider numbers to bill Georgia Medicaid for services not provided, even after the therapists no longer worked for him. The scheme netted him more than half a million dollars.

As part of his sentence, Robinson must pay $582,484.71 in restitution to the Georgia Department of Community Health.

1,300 Cherokee students take summer classes

1,300 Cherokee students take summer classes

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. -- More than 1,300 Cherokee County School District students took advantage of the summer classes offered in June.

Roughly 300 high school students participated in a credit recovery program to retake the classes they did not pass during the school year. Another 450 high schoolers flocked to Cherokee and Woodstock high schools to earn credits by taking certain classes for the first time.

Canton Elementary School STEM Academy and Oak Grove Elementary School Fine Arts Academy offered Title I program sessions, which were available to children from low-income families. About 200 elementary and middle school students participated.

Approximately 100 special education students attended a program just for them at Canton Elementary School, and more than 200 rising high school freshmen took advantage of a bridge program for remediation in core subjects.

Weekend traffic: Roadwork on I-20, cyclists on Ga. 400

Weekend traffic: Roadwork on I-20, cyclists on Ga. 400

(WXIA) -- It will be another difficult weekend for drivers on Interstates 20 and 285.

Weather may provide a little relief, as road crews do not work during thunderstorms. See the weekend forecast.

But drivers should still use caution when traveling through these areas:

Clayton County
* One northbound right lane of I-675 will be closed between Highway 138 and I-285 from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly for sweeping.

Cobb County
* Two southbound right lanes of I-285 will be closed between Paces Ferry Road and South Cobb Drive from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for slab replacement and repair.
* One westbound right lane of I-285 will be closed at Rottenwood Creek from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday for concrete pouring.

Unemployment climbs in metro Atlanta

Unemployment climbs in metro Atlanta

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate climbed eight-tenths of a point in one month.

May's rate was 7.3 percent, considerably higher than April's 6.5 percent.

In Cobb County, the rate was 6.8 percent in May.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the spike was mostly due to new graduates entering the workforce. The Atlanta area's labor force grew by about 24,400 in May.

Metro Athens had last month's lowest area jobless rate at 5.7 percent. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region's was the highest at 9.8 percent.

SPLOST meetings to be held throughout Cobb

SPLOST meetings to be held throughout Cobb

COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- Cobb County residents are invited to weigh in on the proposed 2016 Special Local Option Sales Tax.

The county will hold several SPLOST forums next month, including:

Wednesday, July 9
* 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
* East Cobb Senior Center (3332 Sandy Plains Road)

Thursday, July 10
* 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
* South Cobb Community Center (620 Lions Club Drive)

Monday, July 14
* 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
* East Cobb Library (4880 Lower Roswell Road)

Wednesday, July 16
* 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
* West Cobb Senior Center (4915 Dallas Highway)

Thursday, July 17
* 10 a.m. to noon
* BOC Room (100 Cherokee Street, Second Floor)

Learn more about the SPLOST at cobbsplost2016.org.