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Eye care experts urge parents to leave fireworks to pros

Eye care experts urge parents to leave fireworks to pros

ATLANTA -- Thousands of Georgia parents are buying sparklers for their children this Fourth of July, thinking they are a safe way to celebrate. But, as a Georgia eye expert warns, sparklers heat up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit -- hot enough to melt some metals -- and are the number one cause of fireworks injuries requiring trips to the emergency room.

Members of the Georgia Optometric Association are urging parents to leave all the fireworks to the professionals and avoid fireworks that may cause serious eye injuries when used inappropriately. Some of the most common fireworks injuries are eye abrasions, lacerations, contusions and foreign matter in the eye. The majority of these cases are related to the use of sparklers.

Watch out for road crews this week

Watch out for road crews this week

(WXIA) -- Georgia Department of Transportation crews will perform roadwork this week on highways in Forsyth, Gwinnett and Hall counties.

Workers will be on the roads Monday, June 30 through Thursday, July 3 from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily, weather permitting.

Mowing will take place along Keith Bridge and Browns Bridge roads in Forsyth County. Shoulders will be closed for crews.

One lane of Browns Bridge Road is also expected to close so workers can repair rutting that developed at the edge of the pavement.

Mowers will be along Buford Highway in Buford, and workers will pick up trash next to roads throughout Gwinnett County.

On Lawrenceville Suwanee Road, one lane will close for a crew to repair a drainage structure.

More mowing is expected to take place along Old Cornelia Highway and Clarks Bridge Road in Hall County.

Weekend traffic: Roadwork on I-20, cyclists on Ga. 400

Weekend traffic: Roadwork on I-20, cyclists on Ga. 400

(WXIA) -- It will be another difficult weekend for drivers on Interstates 20 and 285.

Weather may provide a little relief, as road crews do not work during thunderstorms. See the weekend forecast.

But drivers should still use caution when traveling through these areas:

Clayton County
* One northbound right lane of I-675 will be closed between Highway 138 and I-285 from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly for sweeping.

Cobb County
* Two southbound right lanes of I-285 will be closed between Paces Ferry Road and South Cobb Drive from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for slab replacement and repair.
* One westbound right lane of I-285 will be closed at Rottenwood Creek from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday for concrete pouring.

Unemployment climbs in metro Atlanta

Unemployment climbs in metro Atlanta

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate climbed eight-tenths of a point in one month.

May's rate was 7.3 percent, considerably higher than April's 6.5 percent.

In Hall County, the rate was 6.1 percent in May.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the spike was mostly due to new graduates entering the workforce. The Atlanta area's labor force grew by about 24,400 in May.

Metro Athens had last month's lowest area jobless rate at 5.7 percent. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region's was the highest at 9.8 percent.

Interstate work continues through the weekend

Interstate work continues through the weekend

(WXIA) -- Another weekend, another series of road projects -- that seems to be the summertime theme in metro Atlanta.

The Georgia Department of Transportation said the roadwork that has plagued drivers for the past several weekends will continue through Monday morning.

Among the projects:

Cherokee County
* ROLLING CLOSURE: Nightly sweeping on I-575 in both directions

Cobb County
* Two southbound lanes of I-285 will be closed between Paces Ferry and South Atlanta roads from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly for slab replacement.

Cobb/Fulton counties
* Two lanes in each direction of I-285 will be closed between I-75 and New Northside Drive from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for sign construction.

Ga. libraries launch college savings sweepstakes

Ga. libraries launch college savings sweepstakes

(WXIA) -- Public libraries across Georgia will participate in this year's Summer Reading Program and college savings sweepstakes.

The initiative, which is hosted by Georgia's Path2College 529 Plan, will award one grand prize and four regional scholarships to five lucky participants. The winners will be chosen at random from five groups.

The grand prize is a college scholarship worth $5,529 and a $1,529 grant for the winner's library. The runners-up will each get $1,529 to put toward a Path2College 529 Plan and $529 for their libraries.

Georgia parents, grandparents and legal guardians can sign up their children at path2college529.com. Entry closes on Aug. 10.

The program provides students with activities throughout the summer and encourages them to read by giving them prizes for finishing books, ebooks, audiobooks and magazines.

Participating library groups include:

Weekend roadwork to affect I-20, I-285 drivers

Weekend roadwork to affect I-20, I-285 drivers

(WXIA) -- Road projects are scheduled to take place on Interstates 285 and 20 this weekend.

All work is weather permitting, but drivers should still look out for road crews and plan for possible delays.

Among the scheduled projects:

Cobb County
* Intermittent pacing will take place on I-285 at Atlanta Road from 6 a.m. to noon Saturday

Cobb/Fulton counties
* Nightly sign construction will close two lanes in each direction of I-285 between I-75 and New Northside Drive

Douglas County
* Two westbound lanes of I-20 between Bill Arp and Liberty roads will be closed from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly

Fulton County
* Three eastbound lanes of I-285 between Riverside Drive and the Glenwood Connector will be closed nightly