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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.

Powerball jackpot hits $173M; Georgia players gain large prizes

Powerball jackpot hits $173M; Georgia players gain large prizes

ATLANTA – The Powerball jackpot is surging, reaching a nifty $173 million to a single annuity winner for Saturday’s drawing. The excitement is growing statewide as Georgia players win large prizes, and the jackpot continues to roll.

The Powerball jackpot has grown since April 26 and has rolled 10 times.

A ticket worth $1 million was sold at Shell Food Mart in Douglasville from Wednesday’s Powerball drawing. Two additional tickets worth $10,000 were sold in Flowery Branch and Hapeville.

Powerball offers two payment options: the $173 million jackpot prize paid over 29 years in 30 graduated payments; or the cash option, which is approximately $102 million. Powerball tickets are $2 per play.

As with all other Georgia Lottery games, proceeds from Powerball will benefit education in the state of Georgia.

Ga. Cyber Academy graduates first class

Ga. Cyber Academy graduates first class

(WXIA) -- The Class of 2014 is the very first class to graduate from Georgia Cyber Academy, the state's free online public school.

The school will hold a graduation ceremony at noon on Saturday, May 31 at the Gwinnett Center. More than 300 graduating seniors are scheduled to walk across the stage.

"We're so proud of each of our graduates, all of whom have taken the individualized learning that comes with GCA's online curriculum and worked with GCA's world-class teachers to adapt it to best serve and support their own academic successes," GCA head of school Matt Arkin said in a release.

Members of GCA's Class of 2014 were accepted to some of the country's top colleges and universities, including Cornell University, Georgia Tech, the University of Alabama and the University of Georgia.

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.

Hall County's unemployment rate was 5.6 percent last month.

Students encouraged to read this summer

Students encouraged to read this summer

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Education has created a 2014 Summer Reading Challenge for students in all grades.

The program was announced Thursday at Timber Ridge Elementary School in Cobb County. Its goal is to close the achievement gap that widens during the summer months, when children often don't read.

"No student should have to start the school year having fallen behind," State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said. "That's what we know, and that's what we're committed to preventing, because that loss is preventable."

The challenge encourages students to read for at least 15 to 30 minutes every day. The GDOE outlined suggested summer goals for children based on their school years:

* K-2: 10 books
* 3-5: 8 chapter books
* 6-12: 5 fiction books and 5 nonfiction books

'Don't go east, don't go west': Weekend construction alert

'Don't go east, don't go west': Weekend construction alert

(WXIA) -- "Avoid I-20 if you can." That warning, from Georgia Department of Transportation district construction engineer Shun Pringle, applies to Atlanta-area drivers this weekend.

Several road projects and lane closures will be in place along the east-west highway.

"We don't like to close lanes, but the work has to get done, and we have to take advantage of the good-weather weekends," Pringle said in a release.

Scheduled I-20 projects include:

* Two left eastbound lanes will be closed between Highway 138 (Rockdale) and Alcovy Road (Newton) from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for resurfacing.

* Two right westbound lanes will be closed between Bill Arp and Liberty roads (Douglas) from 8 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Monday for resurfacing.

* Two right eastbound lanes will be closed between Liberty and Bill Arp roads (Douglas) from 7 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for resurfacing.