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Back to school surprise: Weekend roadwork canceled

Back to school surprise: Weekend roadwork canceled

(WXIA) -- This weekend will be a holiday for Georgia families in more ways than one.

The Georgia Department of Transportation has suspended construction-related lane closures on all major interstates and highways within five miles of malls and shopping districts.

This will allow parents and students to enjoy the tax-free shopping weekend without the added stress of road delays.

"The sales tax holiday is an opportunity for Georgians to save a little money during these challenging economic times," GDOT Commissioner Keith Golden said. "The department is glad to offer some relief from lane closures as families prepare for school."

11Alive Ways to Save reporter Valerie Hoff has some of the best tax-free weekend deals. Find out how to get the most bang for your buck.

Fulton County youth receive school supplies as costs rise

Fulton County youth receive school supplies as costs rise

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Shopping for back to school supplies can present challenges for parents trying to make ends meet and the outlook is not improving. Huntingdon Bank’s Annual Backpack Index reports double digit increases in school supply costs.

As Fulton County, Atlanta and other metro Atlanta schools prepare to open for the fall, Fulton County Commission Chairman John H. Eaves, the Fulton County Office of Children and Youth and Fulton County Health and Wellness sponsored a back to school event on Tuesday, July 29 to help parents to obtain needed school supplies.

The event at Atlanta Technical College featured school supply giveaways and free haircuts along with information and education. The event attracted 500 participants with 224 children receiving haircuts and 300 taking home school supplies.

Atlanta-area unemployment jumps in June

Atlanta-area unemployment jumps in June

(WXIA) -- The unemployment rate in metro Atlanta climbed again last month.

June's rate was 7.6 percent, up from 7.2 percent in May, but much lower than last June's 8.6 percent.

Fulton County's unemployment rate was 8.4 percent in June.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the increase is due to end-of-summer job loss among non-contract school workers, an influx of graduates and students entering the workforce, and temporary layoffs in manufacturing.

So far, metro Atlanta has gained slightly more than 58,000 jobs in 2014 -- a good sign for those who are looking for work.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest June unemployment rate, at 6.3 percent. The highest was 10.4 percent, in the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region.

Fulton County needs input on consolidated planning document, annual action plan

Fulton County needs input on consolidated planning document, annual action plan

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Fulton County is in the process of planning and preparing its 5-year Consolidated Planning Document to determine the needs of the community in developing viable urban communities.  The plan provides decent housing, a suitable living environment and expanded economic opportunities principally for low and moderate- income persons.

The Consolidated Planning Process uses Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME), and Emergency Solution Grant (ESG) funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  The final Consolidated Plan document will describe the County’s plan to pursue the goals for all community planning and development programs serving Fulton County communities outside of the City of Atlanta, Roswell and Sandy Springs utilizing these federal grant dollars from HUD.

Rain could cancel road projects for the weekend

Rain could cancel road projects for the weekend

(WXIA) -- The threat of rain this weekend could provide some welcome relief for Atlanta-area drivers.

The Georgia Department of Transportation has already postponed a handful of road projects, thanks to the weather.

WEATHER | 11Alive meteorologist Tracy Humphrey has your weekend forecast

Resurfacing on Interstate 20 in Rockdale and Newton counties, and concrete replacement on the west side of I-285 have been canceled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

GDOT said it plans to move ahead with scheduled resurfacing on I-20 between Douglasville and Villa Rica, as it is very close to finishing the work -- well ahead of its projected November completion date. However, rain may briefly halt crews.

Fulton County Fire Rescue advises residents to maintain smoke alarms

Fulton County Fire Rescue advises residents to maintain smoke alarms

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in properties without working smoke alarms. A properly installed and maintained smoke alarm is the first thing in a home that can alert families to a fire 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Whether you're awake or asleep, a working smoke alarm is constantly on alert, scanning the air for fire and smoke,” says Fire Chief Larry Few of the Fulton County Fire Rescue Department. “As firefighters, we continually remind residents to check their smoke alarms to ensure they are working properly.”

The NFPA offers the following tips to help residents safeguard their homes from home fires:

Where do I put smoke alarms in my home?

Roadwork resumes this weekend

Roadwork resumes this weekend

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta drivers enjoyed a break last weekend when the Georgia Department of Transportation postponed road projects for the July 4 holiday.

But now that the fun is over, the work begins again.

Crews will be on several interstates throughout the metro, working on much-needed improvements. Delays are expected in all areas where roadwork will be performed.

As always, projects are weather permitting. Afternoon and evening thunderstorms could temporarily halt or delay work.

Here is some of this weekend's scheduled roadwork:

Cobb County
* Two right southbound lanes of I-285 will be closed between Paces Ferry Road and South Cobb Drive from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for slab replacement and repair.