Our network

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.

Cobb County's December unemployment rate was 5.9 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.

Community Sponsors

Man indicted in Cobb County diamond heist

Man indicted in Cobb County diamond heist

KENNESAW, Ga. -- A Florida man has been charged with racketeering in a million-dollar diamond heist in Cobb County.

Osniel Labrada-Guillen was indicted Thursday by a Cobb County Grand Jury. He faces two counts of violating the Georgia RICO Act.

The burglary happened between Jan. 13 and Jan. 14, 2010, at Diamonds R Forever on Wade Green Road in Kennesaw. According to the investigation, someone cut holes in the store's roof, disabled the phone and alarm systems, broke into a safe and stole more than $1 million worth of jewelry.

Police later found a plastic bin filled with items taken in the burglary. DNA was recovered from a plastic spoon found inside the bin, but did not immediately help police identify a suspect.

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.

$5 Blueberry Crunchcakes at J. Christopher's

$5 Blueberry Crunchcakes at J. Christopher's

(WXIA) -- Wednesday, Jan. 28 is National Blueberry Pancake Day. All Atlanta-area J. Christopher's restaurants will celebrate the beloved holiday with a special on the chain's signature Blueberry Crunchcakes.

From Jan. 26-30, J. Christopher's will offer a short stack of Blueberry Crunchcakes for only $5.

Blueberry Crunchcakes are blueberry pancakes topped with fortified granola and more blueberries.

Visit jchristophers.com to find a location.

Community Sponsors

SPLOST funds help firefighters buy new thermal imaging cameras

SPLOST funds help firefighters buy new thermal imaging cameras

COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- Cobb County Fire & Emergency Services recently purchased 60 new thermal imaging cameras. The cameras will replace 42 old ones.

Firefighter Denell Boyd said the cameras help fire crews find victims in smoky structures with little to no visibility. They also allow firefighters to discover hot spots and hidden fires behind walls and ceilings.

The new cameras use advanced technology to produce sharper and brighter images than the old ones, according to Boyd.

The fire department used 2011 SPLOST funds to pay for the cameras.

Simon Youth Foundation seeks applicants for $1 million in scholarships

Simon Youth Foundation seeks applicants for $1 million in scholarships

ATLANTA, GA (January 16, 2015) – For a fifteenth straight year, Simon Youth Foundation, a national nonprofit that provides educational opportunities for at-risk high school students, will award a college scholarship to one student from every community that is home to a Simon property.

Simon Youth Foundation Community Scholarships are awarded through the Simon Youth Scholarships program and in partnership with local Simon properties. The application period has begun and ends on Feb. 25.

Students can apply online by visiting www.syf.org.

Any student who will be graduating in the class of 2015 and lives within 50 miles of a Simon property is eligible. The program will award a one-time scholarship of up to $1,500 to students who plan to enroll in an accredited college, university, vocational or technical school.

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.