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Father faces child cruelty charges for teen's punishment

DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. – Police arrested a Douglasville father on child cruelty charges after the man punished his 16-year-old son by making him carry a 23-pound landscape stone for several miles.

Charlie Mayes, a 40-year-old military veteran with no criminal record, told police he used military-style punishment because his son watched too many videos and didn't do his chores and school work. Douglasville Police charged Mayes with first-degree child cruelty.

"This was done multiple times over a three-day period, sometimes as early as 3 o'clock in the morning," Police Sgt. Todd Garner told 11Alive on Tuesday.

Memorial Day traffic to be busiest since recession

Memorial Day traffic to be busiest since recession

(WXIA) -- Travel experts predict a new post-recession high for Memorial Day Weekend.

Mark Jenkins, spokesman for the AAA pointed to the long winter as one reason: "A long and unusually harsh winter game many Americans the travel bug." He says the rising temperatures and an improving economy mean a projected 36.1 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles Memorial Day Weekend.

The Memorial Day travel period is measured from Thursday, May 22 to Monday, May 26th. More than 8 in 10 will drive to their destinations. But the biggest increases came in other modes. Cruise, trains, and buses will see an increase of 6.5%.

Even though the numbers are up, more than half of people in the Southeast (57%) haven't made plans yet. "Hotel and car rental reservations are filling up fast for Memorial Day," AAA spokesman Jessica Brady said. She said making plans now will ensure you find a good price.

Atlanta-area unemployment rate drops to 6.5 percent

Atlanta-area unemployment rate drops to 6.5 percent

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment date declined again.

April's rate was 6.5 percent, down from 6.8 percent in March and 7.7 percent in April 2013.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said local employers created 18,000 new jobs last month. Over the past five years, metro Atlanta has gained an average of 13,000 jobs from March to April.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest unemployment rate, at 4.9 percent, in April 2014. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 8.8 percent.

Douglas County's unemployment rate was 6.7 percent last month.

Teen girls run away from hospital, 1 found in Fla.

Teen girls run away from hospital, 1 found in Fla.

VILLA RICA, Ga. -- One of three teen girls who ran away from a behavioral sciences center in west Georgia has been found in Florida.

The girls disappeared from Willowbrooke at Tanner in Villa Rica on May 12. Villa Rica Police Capt. Keith Shaddix said the teens stole a pickup truck and drove it to Panama City.

On Saturday, 17-year-old Samantha Abbott of Dallas turned up at a Florida hospital. Shaddix said she was hurt, but her injuries were not serious. She has since been returned home.

The other two girls -- Audrey Aldridge of Hiram and Madeline Terry of Franklin -- are still missing. They were last seen in Panama City.

Aldridge is 16 years old, white and has red hair. Terry is 15 years old, white, 5 feet 2 inches tall and 115 pounds, with brown hair.

The girls were last known to be driving the stolen truck, a silver 2004 Ford Ranger SuperCab with Georgia tag PAS6040. Shaddix said they may have switched the vehicle's license plate.

'Don't go east, don't go west': Weekend construction alert

'Don't go east, don't go west': Weekend construction alert

(WXIA) -- "Avoid I-20 if you can." That warning, from Georgia Department of Transportation district construction engineer Shun Pringle, applies to Atlanta-area drivers this weekend.

Several road projects and lane closures will be in place along the east-west highway.

"We don't like to close lanes, but the work has to get done, and we have to take advantage of the good-weather weekends," Pringle said in a release.

Scheduled I-20 projects include:

* Two left eastbound lanes will be closed between Highway 138 (Rockdale) and Alcovy Road (Newton) from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for resurfacing.

* Two right westbound lanes will be closed between Bill Arp and Liberty roads (Douglas) from 8 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Monday for resurfacing.

* Two right eastbound lanes will be closed between Liberty and Bill Arp roads (Douglas) from 7 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for resurfacing.

King of Pops buys farm near Douglasville

King of Pops buys farm near Douglasville

(ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE) -- Atlanta's popular popsicle maker King of Pops has bought a 68-acre farm near Douglasville.

The tract known as Daniell Nursery has been operating since 1970 and includes a horse stable.

King of Pops will use the land to grow fresh ingredients and Christmas trees, as well as to host farm-to-table events, according to The Shumacher Group Inc., an Atlanta-based restaurant brokerage and consulting firm.

"Their business is growing," said Peter Kruskamp with The Shumacher Group, who represented King of Pops in the deal.

Ex-Douglas Co. principal indicted after sex sting

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. -- A Douglas County elementary school principal has been indicted by a federal grand jury following an undercover sex sting

John McGill was arrested in March
after a GBI sting operation called Operation Broken Heart.

Over four days, agents say they busted 14 men in DeKalb County, including McGill, who were trolling for children online to have sex with them.

According to the federal indictment, McGill "knowingly attempted to persuade, induce, and entice an individual who had not attained the age of 18 years to engage in sexual activity."

When news of the criminal investigation broke, the school system announced that it suspended the 56-year-old from his position at Mt. Carmel Elementary School.