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Surprise for soldier's wife, 5 kids

Surprise for soldier's wife, 5 kids

(WXIA) -- The Schwan's truck parked in front of the Kalafut house is a sign, but mom Mary is too busy to notice.

"She's just always been the go to person. Anytime you need something done and you can't get anybody else to do it, it's well Mary will do it," said Jane Swanson, a friend of Mary's.

Swanson has asked Atlanta Alive to do for Mary now -- managing five children on her own after her husband of 26 years, Chris, was deployed for the first time since their eldest was born 22 years ago.

Mary Kalafut thinks Jane is dropping by; what she doesn't know is that Jane has us with her. Mary is understandably shocked to see us -- and the shock grows.

She is given much-needed money to spend on her family -- $500 for Kroger, $500 for Schwan's and $50 for each child to spend at Walmart.

"This is amazing. Thank you so much," Mary said. "I feel very blessed from our community."

Acworth man killed in wreck on I-75

Acworth man killed in wreck on I-75

KENNESAW, Ga. -- A 46-year-old Acworth man was killed in a single-car crash on Interstate 75 over the weekend.

The wreck happened at around 4:30 a.m. Sunday just north of Barrett Parkway.

Cobb County Police said Troy B. Endres was driving his white Nissan Titan on I-75 north when the truck collided with a guardrail and pole. It then traveled down an embankment and overturned.

Endres was partially ejected from the truck and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The accident is under investigation.

Back to school: Free and reduced-price lunch guidelines

Back to school: Free and reduced-price lunch guidelines

(WXIA) -- Thousands of Georgia students return to the classroom this week, and many of them meet the requirements for free and reduced-price meals during the school day.

RELATED | When is the first day of school?

"It is important to provide our students with healthy, nutritious meals to help improve their chances of success and increase their learning opportunities," Georgia Department of Education School Nutrition Director Nancy Rice said in a statement. "Research indicates that eating habits affect learning. We want to ensure all our children are well nourished and ready to learn."

Families that qualify for free and reduced-price lunch will get applications from their children's schools.

Students can receive the meals if:

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.

Thousands enroll in Ga. Pre-K Program

Thousands enroll in Ga. Pre-K Program

(WXIA) -- More than 80,000 Georgia children are enrolled in the state's Pre-K Program for the 2014-15 school year.

Pre-K is open to all 4 year olds, regardless of household income. Assistant commissioner Susan Adams said that it is the first school experience for many children.

"For this reason, we take our roles very seriously, and we work really hard to provide Georgia's children with positive and meaningful experiences," Adams said in a release.

In Pre-K, students study language, literacy and math while making new friends and building foundations for lifelong learning. The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning recommends parents visit their children's classrooms in advance to familiarize them with their new surroundings, and dress them in comfortable clothes and shoes every day. If students have a tendency to feel lonely, parents can send them to school with family photos to cheer them up, and blankets or stuffed animals to snuggle at naptime.

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.

Cobb County's unemployment rate was 6.9 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.

Primary runoff election results

Primary runoff election results

For complete election results visit www.11alive.com/elections