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Several lanes to close for weekend roadwork

Several lanes to close for weekend roadwork

(WXIA) -- Portions of Interstates 20 and 285 will become proverbial parking lots this weekend as crews perform much-needed roadwork.

Some projects may be postponed by predicted thunderstorms, but drivers are still asked to plan ahead and find alternate routes where possible.

The I-20 roadwork that has plagued metro Atlanta for weeks will continue in these areas:

Atlanta
* Two lanes will close in both directions between Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Langhorn Street from 9 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday for emergency bridge repairs on Westview Drive
* Three eastbound lanes will be closed between Boulevard and Gresham Road from 8 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday, and 8 p.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Sunday for restriping

Douglas County
Two eastbound lanes will be closed between Bill Arp and Liberty roads from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly for work

Gwinnett County Fire adding body armor

Gwinnett County Fire adding body armor

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- In response to the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a local fire and emergency department is adding some major safety equipment.

The Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services is adding body armor and quick response field medical kits to their equipment.

Firefighters want to be first responders and the first ones in the building during dangerous situations, but without the right equipment, it's just not safe.

Gwinnett County of Fire and Emergency Services is investing more than $300,000 to make sure they're employees are prepared and protected to run in to active shooter scenarios.

The money comes from the department's operating budget, and was just approved Tuesday afternoon.

Firefighters are already using new and improved field medical kits, which weigh just a pound and a half. Their day-to-day bags weigh more than 40 pounds.

Social media post leads to outpour of kindness


BUFORD, Ga. -- It's been at least five years since Christine Prather Canova made it back to Erie, PA, to visit her parents grave. As Memorial Day triggered memories, she went on the Facebook page 'you might be from Erie, Pa if' with a simple request.

"I decided to ask if anyone lived near the Laurel Hill cemetery," said Canova. If so, she wondered if anyone could put a flower on her parents grave.

"I was missing them so much," she said.

Just six minutes after her post someone volunteered and the people raising their voice to help, kept coming. As the flowers were added to the grave, new pictures were added on Facebook.

I-20 construction resumes this weekend

I-20 construction resumes this weekend

(WXIA) -- The three Interstate 20 construction projects that have plagued drivers for several weekends will continue.

As long as the weather cooperates, crews will work on the following stretches of I-20 this weekend:

Atlanta
Three eastbound lanes will be closed between Windsor Street and Boulevard from 8 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday, and from 8 p.m. Saturday to 6 am. Sunday.

Douglas County
Two lanes in both directions will be closed between Bill Arp and Liberty roads from 7 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.

Newton County
Two eastbound left lanes will be closed between Almon and Alcovy roads from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.

The Georgia Department of Transportation has smaller projects scheduled in Cobb County:

I-285
Two northbound lanes will be intermittently closed at South Cobb Drive for overhead sign work; two lanes will always remain open.

Man charged with felony for littering


BUFORD, Ga -- A Buford man is charged with a felony for littering. It's a rare crime that Gwinnett County Police said they have never used until this arrest.

The crime of Egregious Littering was filed against Kenneth Finlon, 54, of Buford on Thursday after police received complaints from a neighbor.

Police said Finlon was creating a landfill that encroached on about 15 acres of his neighbor's property. "The nature of the waste that we've seen so far has been construction debris, concrete and pieces of either earth moving equipment or construction equipment," said Cpl. Jake Smith.

A clutter of construction debris is in Finlon's back yard but police said it's what is underneath the ground that he buried that is their concern.

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.

Gwinnett County's unemployment rate was 5.8 percent last month.