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Missing Paulding County teens found, returned home

Missing Paulding County teens found, returned home

HIRAM, Ga. -- Two Hiram High School students -- a boy and a girl -- who ran away from home have been returned to their parents.

Rebecca Curl and James Bentley, both 15, left their school on Mar. 2. They were in contact with their respective parents until last Wednesday.

Over the weekend, investigators received a tip that the pair may be in Cobb County. The teens were found in Mableton Monday night and were brought back to Paulding County.

Detectives believed Bentley and Curl ran away with Bentley's mother, Nicole Bentley Spiaggi. The Paulding County Sheriff's Office said Spiaggi does not have custody of Bentley. She is wanted for probation violation in Cobb County.

Several surface streets impacted by weekend roadwork

Several surface streets impacted by weekend roadwork

(WXIA) -- Interstate 20 will bear the brunt of this weekend's roadwork, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Drivers are asked to avoid nonessential travel on I-20, as road projects will require lane closures that will likely result in delays.

A number of surface streets will also be impacted by construction crews.

As always, all work is weather permitting. Get this weekend's forecast.

Cobb/Fulton counties: I-285
2 northbound lanes will be closed between Bolton and South Atlanta roads from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for concrete rehabilitation.

Coweta County: I-85
1 southbound lane will be closed at Sharpsburg-McCullum Road from 9 p.m. Friday to 12 p.m. Monday for barrier wall installation.

4 charged in Mableton murder


COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- Cobb County Police have charged four people in the death of a man whose body was found in a wooded area of Mableton last month.

The remains of 35-year-old Alexander Arcides Lara Ayala, of Smyrna, were discovered Feb. 25 near Ivey Road at Vinings Vintage Road.

Cobb County Police Sgt. Dana Pierce said detectives conducted several interviews and identified four suspects. Two were taken into custody early Thursday; the other two were arrested Thursday evening.

Christopher Brewster, 25, of Austell; Jason Chester, 29, of Mableton; Kenneth Ransom; 39, of Austell; and Chelsea Walker, 21, of Marietta, have been charged with felony murder, aggravated assault, armed robbery, and violation of Georgia's Criminal Street Gang Act in Ayala's death. Brewster and Ransom were also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Weekend roadwork: More sign and bridge work

Weekend roadwork: More sign and bridge work

(WXIA) -- Once again, drivers in the Atlanta area are asked to avoid non-essential travel on Interstate 285 this weekend.

Georgia Department of Transportation road crews will work on several stretches of roads and highways throughout the area Friday night through Monday morning. Many of the projects will require lane closures, which could result in delays.

As always, all work is weather permitting. See this weekend's forecast.

Scheduled projects include:

Coweta County
1 southbound lane of I-85 will be closed at Sharpsburg-McCullum Road from 9 p.m. Friday to 12 p.m. Monday for barrier wall installation.

DeKalb County
2 northbound lanes of I-285 will be closed between Covington Highway and I-20 from 7:30 p.m. Saturday to 7:30 a.m. Sunday for sign structure work.

Six Flags has huge economic impact on Cobb County

Six Flags has huge economic impact on Cobb County

COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- Georgia's two Six Flags theme parks had a combined economic impact of $194 million during their 2014 season, Cobb Tourism & Travel announced Tuesday.

Six Flags Over Georgia in Austell and Six Flags White Water in Marietta directly benefited Cobb County in several ways; park visitors spent their money on local hotels, transportation, entertainment, food and more.

"Six Flags Over Georgia and Six Flags White Water are powerful economic drivers and contribute significantly to tourism's overall impact in our county," Cobb Tourism & Travel CEO Holly Bass said in a release.

RELATED | Six Flags, White Water to debut new rides in 2015

Georgia Lottery launches new Georgia-only lotto game

Georgia Lottery launches new Georgia-only lotto game

ATLANTA – The Georgia Lottery is introducing an exciting new game that will be available only in Georgia. Jumbo Bucks Lotto with Ca$h Match combines a classic lotto draw game with an instant-win component.

The game concept is the first of its kind in Georgia.

Jumbo Bucks Lotto with Ca$h Match offers jackpots starting at $1 million. The jackpot will continue to grow until there is a jackpot winner.

Additionally, players can select Ca$h Match for a chance to win up to $500 instantly.

Jumbo Bucks Lotto with Ca$h Match went on sale at Georgia Lottery retailers statewide Sunday.

Drawings will be held at 11 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays. The first drawing will be conducted Feb. 23.

Tickets are $1 per play. The Ca$h Match option costs an additional $1 per play.

Players must pick six numbers from one to 47. Win the jackpot prize by matching the six numbers drawn. The game offers three additional lotto prizes from $5 to $500.

Ga. Connections Academy enrollment opens Mar. 3

Ga. Connections Academy enrollment opens Mar. 3

(WXIA) -- Georgia Connections Academy, a free statewide virtual K-12 school, will begin accepting applications for the 2015-16 school year next month.

Enrollment opens Mar. 3. The school can support 4,000 students; spaces are limited and families are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

A free parent information session will be held Tuesday, Mar. 10 at 6 p.m. at the Hampton Inn Atlanta-Perimeter Center, which is located at 769 Hammond Drive in Sandy Springs. Teachers and currently enrolled families will answer questions and go over the school's curriculum at the session.

For more information about Georgia Connections Academy, visit connectionsacademy.com.