Our network

News

Metro Atlanta unemployment drops to 6.1 percent

Metro Atlanta unemployment drops to 6.1 percent

(WXIA) -- The Atlanta area's unemployment rate was 6.1 percent in February, down from January's 6.2 percent. It was also down a full point from the rate of 7.1 percent in February 2014.

Cobb County's unemployment rate was 5.4 percent last month.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the drop was due to fewer layoffs and more new jobs. Many of the gains came in business, construction, education, government, and leisure and hospitality.

Nearly 39 percent fewer new claims for unemployment insurance were filed in February as well.

Metro Gainesville had Georgia's lowest February unemployment rate, at 5.1 percent. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest, at 8.1 percent.

Weekend roadwork: The usual suspects

Weekend roadwork: The usual suspects

(WXIA) -- It's going to be "more of the same" on the Atlanta area's highways and interstates this weekend, as Georgia Department of Transportation crews take to the streets.

Drivers are asked to avoid travel on interstates 20 and 285, if possible. GDOT will close lanes in several areas, which could result in lengthy delays.

As always, all work is weather permitting.

Interstate 20

Three eastbound lanes will be closed between Langhorn and McDaniel streets from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for bridge joint repairs.

Two westbound lanes will be closed between the Downtown Connector and Langhorn Street from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for bridge joint repairs.

Two westbound lanes will be closed between Fulton Industrial Boulevard and I-285 from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for bridge joint repairs.

Area unemployment rate climbs in January

Area unemployment rate climbs in January

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate climbed to 6.2 percent in January.

That's up from December's 6.0 percent, but considerably lower than the 7.1 percent in January 2014.

Cobb County's unemployment rate was 5.5 percent this January.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the rate increased because of the loss of about 35,100 jobs, mostly seasonal positions.

But the Atlanta area had the largest January-to-January job growth ever recorded, adding 104,400 jobs over the course of the year.

The metropolitan Atlanta area consists of 29 counties, including the recently added Morgan County.

Metro Gainesville had January's lowest jobless rate, at 5.2 percent. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest, at 8.3 percent.

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.