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Weekend roadwork: Lane closures galore

Weekend roadwork: Lane closures galore

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Transportation has a number of Atlanta-area construction projects on its schedule this weekend.

Drivers are asked to avoid traveling on certain stretches of Interstate 285, as lane closures are expected to result in long delays.

As always, all weekend work is weather permitting.

Scheduled projects include:

Cobb County
2 northbound lanes of I-285 will be closed between Paces Ferry Road and Cobb Parkway from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Saturday for sign structure work.

DeKalb County
2 westbound lanes of I-285 will be closed between Northlake Parkway and Chamblee Tucker Road from 7:30 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for sign structure work.

Fulton County
2 lanes in each direction of I-285 will be closed between Cascade Road and the I-20 interchange from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for sign structure work.

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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.

Hall County's December unemployment rate was 5.2 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.

Rabid skunk found in Hall County

Rabid skunk found in Hall County

HALL COUNTY, Ga. -- Hall County confirmed its second rabies case of 2015 last week.

A rabid skunk was found in the Grove Street area of east Hall County. It made contact with at least two dogs before it was captured.

The skunk tested positive for rabies at the Georgia Public Health Lab in Decatur.

Positive alert signs have been posted in the area where the skunk was caught. Anyone who sees animals acting abnormally is encouraged to call Hall County Animal Services at 770-531-6830.

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.

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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.

Suspect, victim identified in Gainesville hotel murder

Suspect, victim identified in Gainesville hotel murder

GAINESVILLE, Ga. -- A former missing person has now become a suspect in a Gainesville hotel murder.

The crime happened Saturday at Sun Suites in the 1100 block of SW Jesse Jewell Parkway. According to the Gainesville Police Department, 52-year-old Harmon Lavender of Augusta died from multiple stab wounds. A hotel employee found the body inside a second floor room. The investigation was turned over to the GBI.

Tips for cold weather plant protection

Tips for cold weather plant protection

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- When the weather report calls for freezing temperatures overnight, you do not want to be rushing outside in the dark to cover cold-sensitive plants.

According to University of Georgia experts, protect plants in containers either by placing them inside a protective structure (house, garage, greenhouse or shed) or by placing a protective covering over them.

“People put a lot of time and expense in caring for their plants,” states Menia Chester, Director of Fulton County Cooperative Extension. “It is important for them to know how to protect their investments to nurture them for growth when the weather is cold.”

Container plants are especially susceptible to cold temperatures; their roots are more exposed because they are above ground. Plants with roots that are damaged by cold temperatures may not show immediate signs of damage; these plants will show signs of stress when temperatures rise and the demand for water from the roots are greater.