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Unemployment rate didn't change in December

Unemployment rate didn't change in December

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate went unchanged last month. The rate was 6.4 in December 2014, the same as it was in November 2014. It was 6.8 percent in December 2013.

Cobb County's December unemployment rate was 5.9 percent.

While the unemployment rate didn't budge, the Atlanta area gained 64,700 jobs last year, the largest December-to-December job growth in nearly 10 years. Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said many of the new positions were in trade and transportation; business services; leisure and hospitality; financial services; manufacturing; education and health care; government; and construction.

Butler said Georgia has been in the top 10 states for job creation every month since October 2012.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest December unemployment rate, at 4.9 percent. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest, at 8.8 percent.

Weekend roadwork: Sign structure and bridge repairs

Weekend roadwork: Sign structure and bridge repairs

(WXIA) -- Drivers in the Atlanta area are asked to avoid the southwest side of Interstate 285 this weekend, as construction crews will complete road projects in the area.

Weekend roadwork will take place on several other stretches of highway and interstate throughout metro Atlanta as well. The rainy weather may delay some projects.

Planned work includes:

Coweta County
* 1 northbound lane of I-85 will be closed between two miles north of Highway 34 and McCollum-Sharpsburg Road from 8 a.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for sweeping.

SPLOST funds help firefighters buy new thermal imaging cameras

SPLOST funds help firefighters buy new thermal imaging cameras

COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- Cobb County Fire & Emergency Services recently purchased 60 new thermal imaging cameras. The cameras will replace 42 old ones.

Firefighter Denell Boyd said the cameras help fire crews find victims in smoky structures with little to no visibility. They also allow firefighters to discover hot spots and hidden fires behind walls and ceilings.

The new cameras use advanced technology to produce sharper and brighter images than the old ones, according to Boyd.

The fire department used 2011 SPLOST funds to pay for the cameras.

The weekend roadwork is spreading

The weekend roadwork is spreading

(WXIA) -- As 2015 rolls on, Georgia Department of Transportation crews will roll too -- to sites across metro Atlanta, where they will work on weekend road projects. (At least it will be sunny!)

This weekend, drivers are encouraged to avoid travel on the west side of Interstate 20 and the east side of I-285, if possible. Delays and lane closures are expected in both areas. All work is weather permitting.

Some of the scheduled projects include:

Cobb County
* 2 eastbound lanes of I-285 will be closed at I-75 Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. for bridge joint repairs.

DeKalb/Fulton counties
* 3 northbound lanes of I-285 will be closed between I-20 and Ga. 400 from 7 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for sign structure work.

Weekend roadwork resumes on I-20, I-285

Weekend roadwork resumes on I-20, I-285

(WXIA) -- Weekends in metro Atlanta guarantee one thing: construction projects on highways and major roads.

Georgia Department of Transportation crews will be hard at work on several streets, mostly in Fulton County.

Drivers are asked to be courteous and cautious when traveling through impacted areas. As always, all work is weather permitting.

Scheduled projects include:

I-20
* Two westbound lanes will be closed between McDaniel and Langhorn streets from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for bridge joint repairs.
* One eastbound lane will be closed between Fulton Industrial Boulevard and I-285 from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for bridge joint repairs.

I-285
* Two northbound lanes will be closed between I-85 and Washington Road from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for sign structure work.

Ex-Cherokee elections director charged with theft

Ex-Cherokee elections director charged with theft

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. -- The former Cherokee County elections director was arrested over the weekend for stealing from the county.

Janet Munda, 55, was booked into the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center Saturday night. She was later released on $9,000 bond.

Munda, of Cumming, was charged with felony theft by taking after a six-month investigation by the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff's Lt. Jay Baker said Munda is accused of using her county credit card to pay for personal items.

Munda was fired from her elections director position in July 2014.

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.