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Happy 4th of July: No weekend road projects!

Happy 4th of July: No weekend road projects!

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Transportation will celebrate the July 4 holiday by taking a break from all road projects.

The weekend construction that has plagued drivers for weeks will be temporarily halted at noon on Thursday.

However, GDOT expects considerable delays in certain areas, especially on Friday. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to run in or watch the 2014 AJC Peachtree Road Race, which will close several roads in Buckhead and Midtown. Fireworks displays and other Independence Day celebrations will also affect commuters Friday night.

An international Jehovah's Witnesses convention will be held at the Georgia Dome this weekend; 34,000 people from 14 countries will attend. GDOT said this event may also have an impact on traffic in the area.

Man accused of hit-n-run injuring Emily Bowman in court

Man accused of hit-n-run injuring Emily Bowman in court

CLARKE COUNTY, Ga. -- It was a story last winter that touched hearts across Metro Atlanta. Emily Bowman, a Kennesaw State student in Athens for a friend's birthday, was hit by a car and suffered severe brain damage.

Monday, in Clarke County Court, marked the first time Bowman and her family sat in the same room with the young man accused of hitting her and running.

Last winter, police say Bowman was struck by a red Mazda. The driver, 22-year-old William Wilson Heaton, allegedly fled the scene. Police found open bottles of alcoholic drinks in his truck.

Sixteen months later, came the first hearing. Bowman and her parents sat in the front row, Heaton several feet away.

Bowman has made great strides since surviving a three-week coma. But her recovery has been slow, and her parents say, on this day, Heaton didn't look at them.

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 Clarke County, the rate was 6.0 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.

Father's Day gift: Toddler receives new heart


ATLANTA -- We typically use Father's Day to salute a job well done.

But for new parents, Father's Day can often celebrate the job still to come.

For months, Danielle and Tommy Mariotti of Jefferson, Ga. faced an uncertain future for their 1-year-old son, Jax.

"Late November he started getting sick," said mother Danielle Mariotti. "The cardiologist said, 'Sit down. It's not good. Your child's heart isn't functioning right.'

"And I asked if he was gonna die, and he couldn't tell me."

Jax arrived at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston with an enlarged heart. In February he went on the list for a transplant.

Addresses in Vinings, Athens areas to get new ZIP codes

Addresses in Vinings, Athens areas to get new ZIP codes

ATLANTA (WXIA) – Some addresses in Vinings along with a number of addresses in the Bogart, Watkinsville and Athens areas will get new ZIP codes on July 1.

About 600 addresses that are located in Bogart, GA 30622 will be changed to Athens, GA 30306; roughly 1,100 addresses currently in Bogart, GA 30622 will be changed to Watkinsville, GA 30677. In that same area, about 600 addresses in Watkinsville, GA 30677 will be changed to Bogart, GA 30622. Officials said the change in that area comes as part of a ZIP code boundary realignment in that area.

In Cobb County, Vinings area residents inside of Interstate 285 will have their ZIP codes changed from Smyrna, GA 30080 or 30082 will be changed to Atlanta, GA 30339. Those residents will also be able to use Vinings, GA 30339 if they wish. That change will affect about 3,000 addresses, and comes after a survey in which the majority of residents said they would be in favor of the change.