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Back to school surprise: Weekend roadwork canceled

Back to school surprise: Weekend roadwork canceled

(WXIA) -- This weekend will be a holiday for Georgia families in more ways than one.

The Georgia Department of Transportation has suspended construction-related lane closures on all major interstates and highways within five miles of malls and shopping districts.

This will allow parents and students to enjoy the tax-free shopping weekend without the added stress of road delays.

"The sales tax holiday is an opportunity for Georgians to save a little money during these challenging economic times," GDOT Commissioner Keith Golden said. "The department is glad to offer some relief from lane closures as families prepare for school."

11Alive Ways to Save reporter Valerie Hoff has some of the best tax-free weekend deals. Find out how to get the most bang for your buck.

Fulton County youth receive school supplies as costs rise

Fulton County youth receive school supplies as costs rise

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Shopping for back to school supplies can present challenges for parents trying to make ends meet and the outlook is not improving. Huntingdon Bank’s Annual Backpack Index reports double digit increases in school supply costs.

As Fulton County, Atlanta and other metro Atlanta schools prepare to open for the fall, Fulton County Commission Chairman John H. Eaves, the Fulton County Office of Children and Youth and Fulton County Health and Wellness sponsored a back to school event on Tuesday, July 29 to help parents to obtain needed school supplies.

The event at Atlanta Technical College featured school supply giveaways and free haircuts along with information and education. The event attracted 500 participants with 224 children receiving haircuts and 300 taking home school supplies.

Woman shot inside van

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- A woman was shot inside a van in Atlanta Friday morning.

Police were called to Arthur B. Langford Parkway and Main Street in East Point, where they found the 45-year-old victim, at around 1:30 a.m.

Atlanta Police Capt. Jonathan Durant said the victim told investigators she got into a gray van on University Boulevard. She was shot inside the van and dumped on Langford Parkway.

The victim was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital with a gunshot wound to the stomach.

Durant said police are trying to determine the exact location where the woman was picked up and shot. Police units from Atlanta and East Point were called in to investigate.

Suspects steal car with girl inside; child later found safe

Suspects steal car with girl inside; child later found safe

ATLANTA -- Atlanta Police are working to identify two men accused of stealing a car with a little girl inside.

It happened July 16 outside Cash America Pawn on Delowe Drive near Campbellton Road in southwest Atlanta.

The victim told police he removed items from the trunk of his Dodge Charger and only walked a few feet away when two men jumped into the car and sped off. He said his 3-year-old daughter was asleep in the back seat.

According to a police report, the car was recovered minutes later in East Point. The little girl was still asleep inside; she was examined and deemed in good health. Her father will not face charges.

The victim reported several items missing from his recovered car, including his wallet and driver's license, a Bank of America debit card, a $10 bill and a pack of cigarettes.

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Thousands enroll in Ga. Pre-K Program

Thousands enroll in Ga. Pre-K Program

(WXIA) -- More than 80,000 Georgia children are enrolled in the state's Pre-K Program for the 2014-15 school year.

Pre-K is open to all 4 year olds, regardless of household income. Assistant commissioner Susan Adams said that it is the first school experience for many children.

"For this reason, we take our roles very seriously, and we work really hard to provide Georgia's children with positive and meaningful experiences," Adams said in a release.

In Pre-K, students study language, literacy and math while making new friends and building foundations for lifelong learning. The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning recommends parents visit their children's classrooms in advance to familiarize them with their new surroundings, and dress them in comfortable clothes and shoes every day. If students have a tendency to feel lonely, parents can send them to school with family photos to cheer them up, and blankets or stuffed animals to snuggle at naptime.

Atlanta-area unemployment jumps in June

Atlanta-area unemployment jumps in June

(WXIA) -- The unemployment rate in metro Atlanta climbed again last month.

June's rate was 7.6 percent, up from 7.2 percent in May, but much lower than last June's 8.6 percent.

Fulton County's unemployment rate was 8.4 percent in June.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the increase is due to end-of-summer job loss among non-contract school workers, an influx of graduates and students entering the workforce, and temporary layoffs in manufacturing.

So far, metro Atlanta has gained slightly more than 58,000 jobs in 2014 -- a good sign for those who are looking for work.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest June unemployment rate, at 6.3 percent. The highest was 10.4 percent, in the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region.

Wolf Creek Amphitheater presents an evening of reggae and R&B fusion

Wolf Creek Amphitheater presents an evening of reggae and R&B fusion

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Spend your Sunday evening enjoying an evening of reggae and R&B fusion on Sunday, August 3 at the Wolf Creek Amphitheater.

The evening features reggae star Beres Hammond, The Manhattans, featuring Gerald Alston and Blue Lovett, and the reggae duo Chaka Demus & Pliers. The concert begins at 5 p.m., with concert gates opening at 3 p.m.

Wolf Creek is located at 3025 Merk Road SW in Atlanta.

Tickets for the concert are available through Ticket Alternative and costs are as follows:

• VIP Table seats are $90.00 in advance, $95 on the day of the show. 
• Reserved Rows A o F are $65 in advance, $70 dollars the day of the show
• Reserved Rows G to L are $55 in advance, $60 the day of the show
• General Admission lawn seats are $35 in advance, $40 dollars the day of the show

Online and phone ticket sales close at 3:00 p.m. the day of the show. Concert attendees must be 18 years or older.