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Weekend traffic: All delays are weather permitting

Weekend traffic: All delays are weather permitting

(WXIA) -- Crews will continue working on the usual road projects this weekend -- as long as the weather cooperates.

The Georgia Department of Transportation is also warning drivers of heavier traffic than normal, due to school systems beginning their spring breaks.

"We apologize for the delays, and there will be big delays," GDOT District Construction Engineer Shun Pringle said in a release. "We understand that this is a spring break for some folks, but so are the next three or four weekends."

Weekend work begins at 10 p.m. Friday on the Interstate 85/Georgia 400 Interchange. Four left lanes of I-85 south from a half-mile north of Clairmont Road to North Druid Hills Road will be closed between midnight and 7 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, and from midnight to 5 a.m. Monday.

Pringle said all lanes will reopen Monday at 5 a.m. The closures are due to overhead sign replacements.

Unemployment rate drops to 6.9 percent

Unemployment rate drops to 6.9 percent

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate fell to 6.9 percent in February.

That's down from 7.1 percent in January and 8.4 percent in February 2013.

Georgia Department of Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the decrease was due to fewer layoffs. However, the area still lost nearly 2,000 seasonal jobs last month.

Cobb County's unemployment rate was 6.3 percent in February.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest unemployment rate, at 5.1 percent. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest, at 9.7 percent.

Ga. Race to the Top 'Year Three' Report

Ga. Race to the Top 'Year Three' Report

(WXIA) -- The U.S. Department of Education recently released its "Year Three" Report for the 12 states participating in the Race to the Top grant initiative.

Educational practices and successes in Georgia were highlighted throughout the report.

"We have taken on some major initiatives and our success is a direct reflection of the collaborative efforts between our department, other education agencies and the hundreds of participating teachers, principals and district leaders around our state," Dr. Susan Andrews, Deputy Superintendent of Race to the Top Implementation in Georgia, said in a release.

"While educational reform work is never easy, we are pleased with the significant progress that our state has made as reflected in this report," Andrews added.

Some highlights from the report include:

* Nearly 300 Georgia teachers were placed in state public schools from alternative certification programs.

No injuries reported as a train hits a truck in Acworth.


COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- A F-350 truck pulling a trailer full of furniture was struck by a CSX train as it crossed railroad tracks at School Street and Main Street in downtown Acworth.

There were no injuries, according to Captain Mark Cheatham, however, the accident closed Lemon Street, Main Street and School Street at Main Street for much of the morning.

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Furniture was was scattered all over Northside Drive. The trailer itself was carried approximately a quarter of a mile down the track by the train.

Expect heavy spring break traffic this weekend

Expect heavy spring break traffic this weekend

(WXIA) -- Many colleges and universities will begin their spring breaks this weekend, which may contribute to heavier traffic than usual on metro Atlanta roads.

In addition to more people on the road, Georgia Department of Transportation crews will be out and about, working on scheduled projects.

GDOT engineer Shun Pringle said the largest project will be sign installation on Georgia 400 south between Peachtree Road and Sidney Marcus Boulevard. One right lane will be closed daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Work will also continue on the Ga. 400/Interstate 85 Interchange project. Several roads will be affected all weekend, including Cheshire Bridge Road, Sidney Marcus Boulevard and the Buford-Spring Connector.

From 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly, three lanes in both directions of I-285 will be closed for sign replacements between Riverside Drive and Peachtree Dunwoody Road.

Man sentenced for stealing prisoners' identities

ACWORTH, Ga. -- A Cobb County man will spend 10 years and one month in federal prison for stealing victims' identities and using them to collect millions of dollars in fraudulent tax refunds.

Bradford Thomas, 47, pleaded guilty last November to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. He must also spend three years on supervised release after getting out of prison and pay more than $1.6 million in restitution.

U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said Thomas submitted more than 1,200 phony tax returns to the IRS between January 2010 and May 2013. He used the names and Social Security numbers of several victims, most of whom were inmates.

Yates said the scheme netted Thomas about $5.5 million, more than $1.6 million of which was taxpayer money.

Principal arrested in GBI child sex sting

Principal arrested in GBI child sex sting

DECATUR, Ga. -- An elementary school principal is among 14 people the Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested in a sting operation targeting suspected child predators.

Dr. John McGill, principal of Mt. Carmel Elementary in Douglasville, is being held in the DeKalb County Jail.  He has been suspended from his position. He is due in court for his first appearance Tuesday.

11Alive's Blayne Alexander reports that the Douglas County School System superintendent announced on Monday that Dr. Sandra Williams will serve as interim principal of the school effective March 10. Williams is a retired former principal of the school. The central office will handle administrative duties until Williams arrives.

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