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Atlanta-area unemployment drops to 7.3 percent

Atlanta-area unemployment drops to 7.3 percent

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate fell seven-tenths of a point in September.

Last month's rate was 7.3 percent, well below August's 8.0 percent. The unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in September 2013.

Cobb County's unemployment rate was 6.7 percent in September.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said there were nearly 20,000 fewer unemployed people in Atlanta last month, and companies reported fewer layoffs. Industries that added jobs in September include government; education and health services; construction; and trade and transportation.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest unemployment rate in September, at 5.7 percent. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest, at 9.5 percent.

Weekend roadwork: The I-285 debacle continues

Weekend roadwork: The I-285 debacle continues

(WXIA) -- It's going to be another messy weekend on metro Atlanta's highways.

The Georgia Department of Transportation encourages drivers to stay off Interstates 20 and 285 if they can.

As always, all work is weather permitting.

Scheduled construction projects include:

Bartow County
* 1 northbound lane of I-75 will be closed between two miles north of Glade Road and one mile south of Allatoona Road from 9 p.m. Friday to 1 a.m. Saturday for bridge maintenance.
* 1 northbound lane of I-75 will be closed between two miles north of Glade Road and one mile south of Allatoona Road from 7 a.m. Saturday to 5 p.m. Sunday for bridge maintenance.

Cobb County
* 1 lane of the I-75 southbound exit ramp to I-285 west will be closed from 9 p.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. Sunday for work on the Northwest Corridor Express Lanes project.

Man gets 27 years for shooting girlfriend on Christmas

Man gets 27 years for shooting girlfriend on Christmas

AUSTELL, Ga. -- A Cobb County man was convicted Thursday of shooting his ex-girlfriend and endangering their two children.

Redrick Damian Bartie, 37, was charged with aggravated assault, reckless conduct and firearm possession in the Christmas Day 2012 incident. A judge gave him the maximum sentence -- 27 years in prison.

"I can't think of a worse aggravated assault case I've heard than this one," Cobb County Superior Court Judge Reuben Green said to Bartie at his sentencing. "And I think, under the circumstances, your children are better off without you being in their lives."

According to information presented in court, Bartie and the victim had a volatile eight-year relationship. In the fall of 2012, the victim and the couple's children moved to Florida to get away from Bartie.

Weekend roadwork: Lots of projects on the schedule

Weekend roadwork: Lots of projects on the schedule

(WXIA) -- A major project on a heavily traveled interchange is bound to cause some headaches for Atlanta-area drivers this weekend.

It's just one of several scheduled construction sessions throughout the area. All work is weather permitting.

Crews will be hard at work on the Kennedy Interchange in Cobb County much of the weekend. The Kennedy Interchange is where Interstate 75 meets Interstate 285 in the Cumberland area.

The Georgia Department of Transportation said sign installation will require multiple lane closures on the Outer Loop of I-285 just before the exit ramp to Cobb Parkway and I-75 north. Two right lanes will close at 9 a.m. Saturday; that will expand to three lanes between 11 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday. Outer Loop traffic will also be paced in the area beginning at around 2 a.m. Sunday.

Other weekend road projects include:

Stolen Tenn. Porsches recovered in Austell


AUSTELL, Ga. – Two Porsches stolen in Memphis were recovered in Austell on Thursday, according to Cobb County.

Officer Michael Bowman said that police were called to Riverside Apartments around 5:50 p.m. to check on two Porches that did not belong in the complex.

After checking the tag and VIN numbers, officers determined that they had been stolen from Tennessee. The vehicles were towed from the scene.

The vehicles were two of seven total stolen from a Memphis dealership Tuesday morning, according to WMC-TV. The other five were found in the Memphis area.

Douglas Scott, Jettie Harris, Michael Ward, and Lauren White are charged with auto theft and conspiracy in the thefts, according to WMC-TV. The police affidavit states that Harris drove from Atlanta to Memphis.

Cold case unit receives federal grant

Cold case unit receives federal grant

COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- The Cobb County Cold Case Unit has been awarded a $246,814 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

District attorney Vic Reynolds applied for the grant in May, and will use the money to test DNA evidence and put part-time investigators to work on cold cases.

Cobb County has 400 unsolved murder and sexual assault cases dating back to 1985.

"We are firmly committed to achieving justice for these victims and holding accountable the criminals who preyed on them," Reynolds said in a statement. "That's why creating this unit has been among my priorities, and we are so thankful for this grant to help us."

Reynolds' office said a case grows "cold" when the investigation has stalled for at least 12 months.

Cobb County's cold case tip line number is 770-528-3032.

Unemployment up slightly in August

Unemployment up slightly in August

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate climbed again in August.

The rate was 8.0 percent, up slightly from July's 7.9 percent. It was also 7.9 percent in August 2013.

Cobb County's preliminary unemployment rate was 7.4 percent last month.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said despite the rate increase, metro Atlanta added nearly 6,000 jobs in August, mostly in government; education and health services; manufacturing; and construction. Fewer Atlanta-area residents also filed for unemployment insurance in August than in July.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest August unemployment rate at 6.4 percent. Metro Dalton's was the highest at 10.7 percent.