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Don’t let pool chemicals ruin summer swims

Don’t let pool chemicals ruin summer swims

ATLANTA -- School is out and neighborhoods all across Georgia are opening their swimming pools for the season. To protect consumers, eye care experts are asking swimmers to be aware that an imbalance of chemicals in the water may put their vision and eye health at risk.

The Georgia Optometric Association is urging people to take simple steps that will protect the health of their eyes and help them avoid problems such as chemical conjunctivitis and chemical keratitis.

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.

Clarke County's unemployment rate was 5.2 percent last month.

1 killed in Athens hotel fire

1 killed in Athens hotel fire

ATHENS, Ga. -- One person died Monday and another was in jail after a fire broke out, overnight, at an Athens motel, America's Best Inn, at 2715 Atlanta Highway, west of downtown Athens.

Motel guests awoke just before 1:00 a.m. Monday to the smell of smoke, the sight of flames shooting out of Room 211, the sounds of alarms and sirens.

And they soon learned that the fire killed the woman who was staying in room 211.

The woman was Anita Dantzer Watson, 34, mother of four, who grew up on a farm a few miles away. She was always known as Dantzer as she rode horses across the fields, attended church functions, enjoyed friends and school.

Jim Donnan found not guilty on all counts


ATHENS, Ga. -- A jury has found former University of Georgia football head coach Jim Donnan not guilty on all 41 counts he faced.

Donnan, 69, was accused of bilking investors out of millions of dollars in a pyramid scheme. Prosecutors claim Donnan scammed people out of nearly $23 million.

"I feel like I've been vindicated and hope to get my life back together," Donnan said.

Closing arguments were delivered on Wednesday, and the jury reached its verdict shortly before 2 p.m. Friday.

When the verdict was read, Donnan dropped his head in his hands and appeared emotional. He then stood and hugged his attorneys.

'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.

Driver arrested for killing pedestrian in Athens

Driver arrested for killing pedestrian in Athens

ATHENS, Ga. -- A 20-year-old man has been charged in a pedestrian's death in Athens Sunday night.

The accident happened shortly before 10 p.m. on the Athens Perimeter Highway near Oconee Street.

Police said the pedestrian, later identified as 55-year-old Kathy Maxey, stepped into the road and was struck by an Infiniti G35 driven by Edwin Gaona.

Maxey was pronounced dead at the scene. A 17-year-old passenger in Gaona's car was transported to Athens Regional Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. Gaona was arrested and charged with DUI and vehicular homicide.