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Ga. Department of Education names Student Advisory Council members

Ga. Department of Education names Student Advisory Council members

(WXIA) -- State School Superintendent Richard Woods has named the 64 young Georgians who make up his 2015 Student Advisory Council.

The council is composed of middle and high school students who meet periodically throughout the school year to discuss the impact of state politics in the classroom.

More than 1,000 students statewide applied to join the council. The members were chosen on a series of essays that focused on public education.

"It is essential, as we work to develop child-focused, classroom-centered policies, to hear directly from students," Woods said. "These students feel the impact of our decisions every day and, if we're going to improve their educational experience, we have to bring them to the table."

The Student Advisory Council will meet Feb. 27, Mar. 11 and Apr. 28 at the Georgia Department of Education office in Atlanta.

Several members are from metro Atlanta, including:

Weekend roadwork: Lane closures galore

Weekend roadwork: Lane closures galore

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Transportation has a number of Atlanta-area construction projects on its schedule this weekend.

Drivers are asked to avoid traveling on certain stretches of Interstate 285, as lane closures are expected to result in long delays.

As always, all weekend work is weather permitting.

Scheduled projects include:

Cobb County
2 northbound lanes of I-285 will be closed between Paces Ferry Road and Cobb Parkway from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Saturday for sign structure work.

DeKalb County
2 westbound lanes of I-285 will be closed between Northlake Parkway and Chamblee Tucker Road from 7:30 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for sign structure work.

Fulton County
2 lanes in each direction of I-285 will be closed between Cascade Road and the I-20 interchange from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for sign structure work.

Unemployment rate didn't change in December

Unemployment rate didn't change in December

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate went unchanged last month. The rate was 6.4 in December 2014, the same as it was in November 2014. It was 6.8 percent in December 2013.

Bartow County's December unemployment rate was 6.5 percent.

While the unemployment rate didn't budge, the Atlanta area gained 64,700 jobs last year, the largest December-to-December job growth in nearly 10 years. Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said many of the new positions were in trade and transportation; business services; leisure and hospitality; financial services; manufacturing; education and health care; government; and construction.

Butler said Georgia has been in the top 10 states for job creation every month since October 2012.

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

Roadblock dodger sentenced to 13 years

Roadblock dodger sentenced to 13 years

COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- A man who sped around a roadblock and then initiated a police chase has been sentenced to prison.

Lietice Antwon Williams pleaded guilty to two felony charges shortly before his trial was scheduled to begin.

The 34-year-old Cartersville man was charged with cocaine possession and fleeing or eluding, as well as 12 misdemeanor traffic counts in the Mar. 8, 2014 incident.

According to information from Cobb County police, it began when Williams drove around a roadblock at Jamerson Road and Lee Waters Drive. Police had established the roadblock so crews could put out a nearby house fire.

Williams reportedly kept driving, ignoring police commands to stop. He gave chase, reaching speeds of 55 miles per hour in a 25 mile per hour zone. Williams eventually abandoned his car and got away on foot. Police ran his license plate and learned he was already on parole after serving time for other offenses, including burglary.

Weekend roadwork: Sign structure and bridge repairs

Weekend roadwork: Sign structure and bridge repairs

(WXIA) -- Drivers in the Atlanta area are asked to avoid the southwest side of Interstate 285 this weekend, as construction crews will complete road projects in the area.

Weekend roadwork will take place on several other stretches of highway and interstate throughout metro Atlanta as well. The rainy weather may delay some projects.

Planned work includes:

Coweta County
* 1 northbound lane of I-85 will be closed between two miles north of Highway 34 and McCollum-Sharpsburg Road from 8 a.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for sweeping.

10 north Ga. students chosen for Disney Dreamers Academy

10 north Ga. students chosen for Disney Dreamers Academy

(WXIA) -- Ten high school students from the Atlanta area are among only 100 teens nationwide to be selected for the 2015 Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine.

The winners were selected from among nearly 10,000 applicants nationwide. They will travel to Walt Disney World Resort in March to participate in a prestigious educational and mentoring program.

Dreamers, as program participants are called, will learn life skills such as communication techniques and networking, and will explore possible career paths.

Visit disneydreamersacademy.com for more information.

Metro Atlanta's Dreamers include:

The weekend roadwork is spreading

The weekend roadwork is spreading

(WXIA) -- As 2015 rolls on, Georgia Department of Transportation crews will roll too -- to sites across metro Atlanta, where they will work on weekend road projects. (At least it will be sunny!)

This weekend, drivers are encouraged to avoid travel on the west side of Interstate 20 and the east side of I-285, if possible. Delays and lane closures are expected in both areas. All work is weather permitting.

Some of the scheduled projects include:

Cobb County
* 2 eastbound lanes of I-285 will be closed at I-75 Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. for bridge joint repairs.

DeKalb/Fulton counties
* 3 northbound lanes of I-285 will be closed between I-20 and Ga. 400 from 7 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for sign structure work.