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Unemployment rate decreases in March

Unemployment rate decreases in March

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate dropped to 6.8 percent in March, down slightly from February's 6.9 percent. The rate was 8.0 percent in March 2013.

Newton County's unemployment rate was 7.7 percent this March.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said local employers created more jobs and laid off fewer workers. The number of new positions increased by 51,500 last month.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest unemployment rate in March 2014 at 5.1 percent. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 9.4 percent.

Shane's Rib Shack to celebrate summer with free ribs

Shane's Rib Shack to celebrate summer with free ribs

(WXIA) -- Few foods say "summer" like baby back ribs, and Shane's Rib Shack wants to celebrate the change in seasons with free summertime food.

On Saturday, May 17, participating Shane's Rib Shack locations will give away a free half-rack of baby back ribs and a 20-ounce drink to the first 100 customers. The lucky diners will also receive rib giveaway T-shirts.

"Our fifth annual rib giveaway provides us the opportunity to say thank you to all of our loyal customers and fans who have made Shane's Rib Shack what it is today," chain founder and president Shane Thompson said in a release.

Shane's Rib Shack opened its first location 12 years ago in McDonough and now has 70 restaurants in 12 states.

Visit shanesribshack.com for more information.

College and Career Readiness: Newton County

College and Career Readiness: Newton County

ATLANTA – We now have the latest information on how well Georgia students are performing academically.

The Georgia Department of Education released its latest College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI) Monday morning.

The CCRPI measures on a scale from 1-100 how schools are performing. It adds another 10 points to schools with students enrolled in high-level academic courses or with high performing students in certain areas, including special education, those learning English and in high poverty areas.

To make sure there is an "apples to apples" comparison of the scores, the state has revised last year's numbers to make them more in-line with this year's calculations.

The state first released the CCRPI in 2012 as a new statewide accountability system. The release of the scores in May 2013 was considered a "study year." The DOE received feedback from school district and this year revised the CCPRI.

Weekend roadwork lessens for Easter weekend

Weekend roadwork lessens for Easter weekend

(WXIA) -- Only one major daytime closure will affect drivers on Atlanta's highways this weekend.

The leftmost lane on I-285 north will be closed between I-20 and Ga. 400 on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Crews must close the lane to remove a barrier wall.

"With only that one closure on I-285, everyone should have an easier time getting to their destination," Georgia Department of Transportation District Construction Engineer Shun Pringle said in a statement.

Nighttime closures will still occur in a handful of locations.

Three right lanes of I-20 west between Wesley Chapel and Candler roads will be closed for striping every night from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Two left lanes of I-285 north between I-20 and Peachtree Dunwoody Road will be closed nightly from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Crews will work to replace a barrier wall in that location.

Other scheduled closures for sweeping, drain cleaning and slab replacement include:

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Race this weekend: Covington Cheerios Challenge

Race this weekend: Covington Cheerios Challenge

COVINGTON, Ga. -- This year's Covington Cheerios Challenge 5K/10K will be held this Saturday, Apr. 19 at the Covington Family YMCA.

The race began in 2001 as a way for Newton County families to get a jump start on healthier living. Hundreds of adults and kids participate in four separate events every year.

The fun will begin with a 10K at 7:30 a.m., followed by a Tot Trot for children younger than 6 at 8:30 a.m. A 1-mile fun run will be off and running at 9 a.m., while the 5K will begin at 9:30 a.m.

Weekend construction to continue despite rain

Weekend construction to continue despite rain

(WXIA) -- Rain is in this weekend's forecast, but that won't stop Georgia Department of Transportation from working on scheduled road projects throughout the area.

GDOT District Construction Engineer Shun Pringle said the department expects more people than usual on the road, as school districts begin and end their spring breaks.

"Call 511 or look at a mapping website before you leave home," Pringle said in a statement. "Motorists, including spring breakers ... need to plan ahead to avoid delays."

The new flyover ramps on the Interstate 85/Georgia 400 Interchange project are open, but crews still need to perform a little last-minute work on them. Lanes will be closed in places.

Atlanta Track Club launches scholarship program

Atlanta Track Club launches scholarship program

(WXIA) -- Youth running groups, rejoice -- the Atlanta Track Club has created a scholarship program just for you.

The Peachtree Jr. Participant Challenge will award scholarships to the three organizations that have the most children registered for the 2014 Peachtree Jr. or Lil' Peach Dash.

The first place team will be given a $1,500 scholarship, a $1,250 cash donation from the Atlanta Track Club and $250 in Sports Authority store credit. Two runners-up will each get $750 scholarships, $500 donations and $250 in Sports Authority credit.

"Through the Peachtree Jr. Participant Challenge, we are able to give back to organizations that share our goal of inspiring children to be healthier and more active," Atlanta Track Club Executive Director Rich Kenah said in a release. "Atlanta Track Club is proud to partner with Sports Authority to offer these scholarships to provide extra motivation to keep kids moving."