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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.

Cherokee County's December unemployment rate was 5.2 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.

Cherokee court reporters convicted of racketeering

Cherokee court reporters convicted of racketeering

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. -- Three former Cherokee County court reporters will spend time in jail after pleading guilty to stealing from the county.

All three women were convicted Tuesday of racketeering. They were sentenced in Cobb County Superior Court.

Betty Petersen, Kimberly Probst and Tammy Stine were arrested last September after an investigation by the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office. Police learned that since 2006, the three had billed the county for court transcripts that did not exist. They also expanded the spacing in their reports to increase the number of pages transcribed.

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.

Life-saving personal trainer, trooper reunited months later

Life-saving personal trainer, trooper reunited months later

CANTON, GA (WXIA) -- A Georgia State Trooper and a personal trainer were reunited on Wednesday, after an unusual meeting last summer.

The personal trainer saved the trooper's life after he had a heart attack. The trainer was recognized with the highest honor from the American Red Cross.

At 43 years old, Trooper Steven Walker had a massive heart attack after a hard run on the treadmill. Though he doesn't remember anything from that day in July, 2014, doctors told him he was gone for almost 10 minutes.

"It's a miracle," he said. "The only thing I can say is God was looking out for me."

"When I approached Steve, I knew there was no breath – there was no life," said personal trainer Judy Cox.

At 5-foot-5, Cox started CPR on the 6-foot-5 Walker.

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.

Cherokee Co. man indicted for lying about Purple Heart

Cherokee Co. man indicted for lying about Purple Heart

CANTON Ga. -- A grand jury indicted a Canton man for allegedly lying about heroic service to his country. Shane Ladner was arrested in June 2013 after a six-week investigation by the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office determined he was lying about earning a Purple Heart. Tuesday, a grand jury moved the case forward with an indictment.

Ladner said he was wounded by shrapnel from a grenade explosion in Central America when his unit came under hostile fire while serving in the Army. He said he was awarded a Purple Heart for his actions in that attack.

Ladner was indicted for six counts of making false statements and theft by taking. The theft by deception charges come from Ladner receiving a Purple Heart license plate in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.