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Metro Atlanta unemployment drops to 6.1 percent

Metro Atlanta unemployment drops to 6.1 percent

(WXIA) -- The Atlanta area's unemployment rate was 6.1 percent in February, down from January's 6.2 percent. It was also down a full point from the rate of 7.1 percent in February 2014.

DeKalb County's unemployment rate was 6.6 percent last month.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the drop was due to fewer layoffs and more new jobs. Many of the gains came in business, construction, education, government, and leisure and hospitality.

Nearly 39 percent fewer new claims for unemployment insurance were filed in February as well.

Metro Gainesville had Georgia's lowest February unemployment rate, at 5.1 percent. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest, at 8.1 percent.

Ex-Dunwoody cop convicted of kickbacks scheme

Ex-Dunwoody cop convicted of kickbacks scheme

DUNWOODY, Ga. -- A former Dunwoody Police detective has pleaded guilty to sharing confidential information in exchange for plane tickets, cars and other benefits.

Robert Pasquale Bentivegna, 64, of Woodstock was convicted of computer fraud. He will be sentenced June 1.

Federal prosecutors said Bentivegna searched the Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) for active arrest warrants for an informant connected to several illegal activities. In exchange, he received kickbacks, including airline tickets so he and his wife could travel to New York, and cars for his son and daughter.

The GCIC contains information that could allow criminals to flee before they can be arrested, according to Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn.

"Bentivegna's conduct undermines trust in law enforcement and could have exposed the public to significant harm," Horn said in a statement.

Weekend roadwork: The usual suspects

Weekend roadwork: The usual suspects

(WXIA) -- It's going to be "more of the same" on the Atlanta area's highways and interstates this weekend, as Georgia Department of Transportation crews take to the streets.

Drivers are asked to avoid travel on interstates 20 and 285, if possible. GDOT will close lanes in several areas, which could result in lengthy delays.

As always, all work is weather permitting.

Interstate 20

Three eastbound lanes will be closed between Langhorn and McDaniel streets from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for bridge joint repairs.

Two westbound lanes will be closed between the Downtown Connector and Langhorn Street from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for bridge joint repairs.

Two westbound lanes will be closed between Fulton Industrial Boulevard and I-285 from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for bridge joint repairs.

Perimeter Mall getting a new look


ATLANTA -- Perimeter Mall is in the midst of a multi-million dollar makeover.

Construction is already underway for the renovation project.

The first phase will begin in the Nordstrom/Von Maur wing of the mall and will be finished by the holiday shopping season.

There will also be changes inside the mall including modern seating areas, updated restrooms, new flooring and an elevator added near Dillard's.

The renovations to the Dillard's and Macy's wings is planned to begin next year.

Area unemployment rate climbs in January

Area unemployment rate climbs in January

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate climbed to 6.2 percent in January.

That's up from December's 6.0 percent, but considerably lower than the 7.1 percent in January 2014.

DeKalb County's unemployment rate was 6.6 percent this January.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the rate increased because of the loss of about 35,100 jobs, mostly seasonal positions.

But the Atlanta area had the largest January-to-January job growth ever recorded, adding 104,400 jobs over the course of the year.

The metropolitan Atlanta area consists of 29 counties, including the recently added Morgan County.

Metro Gainesville had January's lowest jobless rate, at 5.2 percent. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest, at 8.3 percent.

Dunwoody Police searching for Peeping Tom


DUNWOODY, Ga. -- Dunwoody Police arrested the man they say is responsible for a series of Peeping Tom incidents.

Police started circulating Patrick Chiela photo March 10th after connecting him to two complaints at 302 Perimeter Center on February 9th and another on Feb 17 the Walton Apartments on Ashford Parkway.

An employee of a Chipotle restaurant spotted him and reported it to police. Chiela tried to run out the back of the restaurant, but police surrounded the building and were able to arrest him before he escaped.

Chiela, 23, is listed as homeless and had been frequenting the area along the Ashford Dunwoody Corridor near Meadow Lane Road.

He's being held without bond. His first appearance is scheduled for Wednesday.

Several surface streets impacted by weekend roadwork

Several surface streets impacted by weekend roadwork

(WXIA) -- Interstate 20 will bear the brunt of this weekend's roadwork, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Drivers are asked to avoid nonessential travel on I-20, as road projects will require lane closures that will likely result in delays.

A number of surface streets will also be impacted by construction crews.

As always, all work is weather permitting. Get this weekend's forecast.

Cobb/Fulton counties: I-285
2 northbound lanes will be closed between Bolton and South Atlanta roads from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for concrete rehabilitation.

Coweta County: I-85
1 southbound lane will be closed at Sharpsburg-McCullum Road from 9 p.m. Friday to 12 p.m. Monday for barrier wall installation.