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Winter weather hampers region tournaments

ATLANTA -- The winter storm landed right in the middle of region tournament for high school basketball teams around the state. The Georgia High School Association has been forced to make alternative plans for the upcoming state basketball tournament.

Region tournaments were originally scheduled to be complete by this weekend. The GHSA has pushed the date back to Wednesday, February 19th, to ease concerns over weather related delays. Remember, school closings mean no games, and no practice at the most important time of the season.

We had a great practice Monday , nothing yesterday or today," says Lakeview Academy boys coach Mike Lawley." Not sure how players will respond by the time we play.We work with kids, not professionals. A few days with no basketball can affect skills very quickly."

NE Ga. residents encouraged to stay put

NE Ga. residents encouraged to stay put

(WXIA) -- Northeast Georgia, including parts of metro Atlanta, are getting hit hard by winter weather.

The Georgia Department of Transportation has treated many of the area's state routes and interstates, but residents are still encouraged to stay home all day if possible.

Icing has been reported in a number of areas, including:

Clarke County
A tree fell on the SR 10 Loop at SR 10/US 78 (West Broad Street).

Elbert County
Icy conditions were reported on SR 172 from Bowman to the Madison County line.

Forsyth County
There is ice on SR 53 at SR 306; SR 20 from Ga. 400 across the Chattahoochee River to Gwinnett County; SR 141 at Ronald Reagan Parkway; and the SR 369 bridges across Lake Lanier.

Hall County
The SR 369 bridges across Lake Lanier are affected in Hall as well as Forsyth.

91 Georgia counties under state of emergency for winter storm

ATLANTA -- Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has extended the state of emergency due to a Winter Storm Warning and Ice Storm Warning in effect.

Deal announced Tuesday morning that he added 44 counties to the original 45.

Police: Missing Oakwood woman was murdered

OAKWOOD, Ga. -- A Hall County woman whose body was found Saturday morning was murdered, police revealed Tuesday.

Holly Fox Strickland, who had been missing since Monday night, was discovered at the 5500 block of Rain Tree Trade in Oakwood

An autopsy performed by the Hall County Medical Examiner determined she was the victim of a homicide, according to Hall County Sheriff's Deputy John Marshall.

Police have not revealed how Strickland died or identified any suspects in her death.

Anyone with information on the death of Strickland is asked to call the Hall County Sheriff's Criminal Investigation Division at (770) 531-6879. If they wish to remain anonymous, they can call (77) 503-3232.

Hall County hires Deputy Fire Chief

Hall County hires Deputy Fire Chief

HALL COUNTY, Ga. -- Hall County Fire Chief David Kimbrell announced Tuesday that he has hired Jeff Hood as Hall County Fire Services' new Deputy Fire Chief.

Hood began his career with Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services in 1978 and remained with that department until his retirement in 2013.  During that time, Hood became state-certified as a firefighter, paramedic, Level II Paramedic instructor and Georgia-certified Emergency Manager.  He was also named Clayton County's Fire Chief and Emergency Management Agency Director in 2011. In addition, Hood was appointed by the State Homeland Security Director to represent the Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs on the State Homeland Security Task Force in 2013.

"We are extremely fortunate to find someone with Jeff's experience and knowledge to fill this position," Kimbrell said.  "He has functioned in this capacity before and will be able to come in and hit the ground running."

Unemployment plunges to 6.8 percent

Unemployment plunges to 6.8 percent

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate was 6.8 percent in December, down from 7.0 percent in November.

The Georgia Department of Labor announced the new figures Thursday morning.

December's unemployment rate was 5.7 percent in Hall County.

Georgia Department of Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the rate decreased because nearly 11,200 more Atlanta residents were employed in December, and the number of jobs in the area grew to 2,450,000 -- the most since May 2008.

December's unemployment rate was also down considerably from the December 2012 rate of 8.4 percent.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest jobless rate in December at 5.2 percent. The highest was 10.2 percent in the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region.

Weekend roadwork to affect many major highways

Weekend roadwork to affect many major highways

(WXIA) -- Sign work, bridge maintenance and lane closures are all on the Georgia Department of Transportation's weekend agenda.

Work will continue on the Buford-Spring Connector in Atlanta from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily. One right southbound lane will be closed between Lindbergh and Monroe drives.

Pacing will occur on Interstate 20 in both directions between Highway 5 and Liberty Road, just west of Atlanta. Drivers can expect brief delays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

One new project this weekend involves I-285 east at I-75 in Cobb County. Two left lanes and the ramp to I-75 north will be closed overnight, and ramp traffic will be detoured to I-75 south, Cumberland Boulevard and then back to I-75 north. GDOT said the ramp will be open during the day.

As usual, drivers can expect single lane closures around the Ga. 400/I-85 Interchange, especially on Cheshire Bridge Road, Sidney Marcus Boulevard and the Buford-Spring Connector.