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Weekend roadwork gets off to slow start in 2015

Weekend roadwork gets off to slow start in 2015

(WXIA) -- The end of the holiday season means the start of another year of construction on metro Atlanta roads and highways.

Next week, drivers are asked to avoid Interstate 285 north in Cobb County if possible. Projects and lane closures in the area are expected to cause delays.

As in 2014, all roadwork is weather permitting.

Here are some of the projects scheduled for the first weekend and full week of the new year.

Metro Atlanta unemployment plunges to 6.5 percent

Metro Atlanta unemployment plunges to 6.5 percent

(WXIA) -- The unemployment rate in metro Atlanta dropped to 6.5 percent in November.

That's down five-tenths of a percentage point from October's 7.0 percent. The rate was also 7.0 percent in November 2013.

Bartow County's November unemployment rate was 6.3 percent.

State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the Atlanta area added nearly 18,000 jobs in November. Many of the new jobs are in transportation, administrative services, health care, food service, finance and manufacturing, according to data from the Georgia Department of Labor. Unemployment insurance claims also dropped last month.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest November unemployment rate, at 5.0 percent. The highest was 9.0 percent, in the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region.

Last weekend of roadwork until 2015

Last weekend of roadwork until 2015

(WXIA) -- Drivers in the Atlanta area: Just make it through this weekend, and then you'll get a much-needed break.

The Georgia Department of Transportation said it will suspend all construction-related lane closures from Dec. 23 to Jan. 2.

Until then, many of the usual areas will see crews hard at work through next Monday morning.

As always, all work is weather permitting. A complete list of closures and possible delays can be found at 511ga.org.

Cobb/Fulton counties
* Two eastbound lanes of I-20 will be closed for about one mile past Six Flags Parkway from 9 p.m. Friday to 9 p.m. Saturday for bridge joint and header replacement.

Coweta County
* One northbound lane of I-85 will be closed between two miles south of Highway 14 and McCollum-Sharpsburg Road from 8 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for barrier wall setting.

Georgia-based Carmike backs out of 'The Interview'

Georgia-based Carmike backs out of 'The Interview'

ATLANTA (WXIA) -- Columbus-based Carmike Cinemas has become the first theater chain to decide not to show the upcoming Sony film "The Interview", according to both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter Tuesday evening.

Carmike operates 2,917 screens in 278 theaters over 41 states, including nine theaters in metro Atlanta -- Athens, Cartersville, Canton, Conyers, Newnan, Snellville, Cumming, Hiram and southwest Atlanta.

Sony said earlier in the day Tuesday that they were moving ahead with plans to distribute the controversial comedy on Christmas Day, despite messages from hackers that appeared to threaten violence at theaters showing the film. The threats evoked the memory of 9/11, and suggested that violence of that sort would come to theaters and theater goers as a result of the film's going into wide release on Christmas weekend.

3 car, 2 truck crash shuts down I-75 at Canton Rd.


CARTERSVILLE, Ga -- Most lanes on I-75 at Canton Highway were shut down Tuesday morning after six cars and a double tractor trailer were involved in a crash.The double tractor trailer was a UPS truck.

According to GDOT, the left land and 4 of the 5 middle lanes were all blocked just after 10:00 a.m. One far right lane remained open. An hour later, cleanup continued on the road, with just one lane blocked.

LIVE TRAFFIC UPDATES

Parents sound-off on Bartow school Bible controversy


CARTERSVILLE, Ga. (WXIA) -- Parents upset over the Bible Controversy in Bartow County went in front of the school board Monday night to sound-off.

11Alive News detailed the story of the mother who questioned how her son was given a Bible at Cloverleaf Elementary in Cartersville.

The school says the Bibles were optional -- no one had to take one.

But, an attorney with the Freedom From Religion Foundation is threating to sue, saying the move was illegal.

At Monday night's meeting, everyone who spoke was siding with the school, with some even reading the law to prove their point.

Bartow County school officials have not commented on the matter.

Lawsuit threatened after Bibles distributed at school


CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- The school district that allowed Gideons to distribute Bibles on school property during school hours is being threatened with a lawsuit.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation sent a letter to the Bartow County School System Friday telling them the action was illegal.

READ FULL LETTER HERE