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I-20 construction continues through the weekend

I-20 construction continues through the weekend

(WXIA) -- The Interstate 20 delays that plagued metro Atlanta commuters last weekend will return.

Georgia Department of Transportation district construction engineer Shun Pringle said backups are expected in Douglas, Newton and Rockdale counties as crews work to complete some major road projects.

"Please do what you can to avoid these project areas. Plan ahead, look for alternate routes or call 511," Pringle said in a release. "We want everyone to enjoy the weekend, and I'm sure that doesn't include sitting in traffic backups."

Several events may also cause delays on Atlanta's roads. From 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, State Route 9 near Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza will be closed for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Pringle said traffic in the area will be detoured.

Police shoot at suspect following chase on I-20 in Douglas Co.


DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. -- Authorities fired at a suspect after a police chase on Interstate 20 in Douglas County on Friday afternoon.

According to Chief Deputy Stan Copeland of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, authorities spotted two stolen cars. One car got on Interstate 20. Authorities used a pit maneuver and the stolen vehicle wrecked near Post Road. Police fired at one suspect, grazing him. The injured suspect and two other suspects were taken into custody, Copeland said.

The other vehicle was stopped near Highway 5 at a Sam's Club. One suspect was arrested; police are searching for the second suspect from that vehicle.

Schools in the area of both locations were placed on lockdown as police searched for the suspects. Those schools have been taken off of lockdown.


Weekend construction: Avoid I-20 if you can

Weekend construction: Avoid I-20 if you can

(WXIA) -- Drivers who plan to use Interstate 20 this weekend are encouraged to find alternate routes.

The Georgia Department of Transportation will work on several major projects this weekend on the interstate that cuts across Atlanta.

"We have three projects with significant lane closures on I-20 this weekend," GDOT District Construction Engineer Shun Pringle said in a release. "We are expecting long delays, particularly in Douglas and Rockdale counties, during the daytime hours on Saturday and Sunday."

This weekend's road projects, many of which come with heavy delays, include:

Mother locks 6-year-old boy in dog cage


DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. -- A mom and her girlfriend are charged with locking her son in a dog cage.

Douglas County Police Chief Chris Womack says the boy was left in the cage in the couple's yard for hours Saturday night.

Crystal Jean Hostetter, 24, and Sarah Elizabeth McClain, 30, are charged with cruelty to children and reckless conduct.


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Womack says the two locked Hostetter's 6-year-old son in a dog cage, poured syrup over him, covered him in cat litter and made him hold a brick in each hand over his head.

Beautiful weekends and road projects go hand in hand

Beautiful weekends and road projects go hand in hand

(WXIA) -- It's going to be a perfect weekend, weather-wise -- 11s on the WIZometer on Saturday and Sunday.

However, pretty weekend weather in metro Atlanta comes with a slight drawback: nighttime traffic projects.

"We are doing our best to limit daytime lane closures if possible in order to minimize the inconvenience to motorists," Georgia Department of Transportation engineer Shun Pringle said. "However, some work just has to be done during the day."

One brief closure will be the loop ramp from Northside Drive north to Interstate 75 south in northwest Atlanta. It will be shut down Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. so crews can repair a guardrail. Drivers are asked to use Howell Mill Road to access I-75 south during that hour.

Unemployment rate decreases in March

Unemployment rate decreases in March

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate dropped to 6.8 percent in March, down slightly from February's 6.9 percent. The rate was 8.0 percent in March 2013.

Douglas County's unemployment rate was 7.1 percent this March.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said local employers created more jobs and laid off fewer workers. The number of new positions increased by 51,500 last month.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest unemployment rate in March 2014 at 5.1 percent. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 9.4 percent.

Nothing found after New Manchester HS evacuated


DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. -- New Manchester High School in Douglas County was evacuated Wednesday morning after a student texted a bomb threat to another student.

Douglas County Schools spokeswoman Karen Stroud said the text stated that a bomb was inside the school. The text spread among the student body and was eventually reported to police.

The school was evacuated at around 11:45 a.m. so officials could search it for a possible bomb, Stroud said.

Police finished searching the school and found nothing. Students were allowed back inside.

Authorities are investigating who sent the text.