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Atlanta Public Schools cheating trial begins

Atlanta Public Schools cheating trial begins

ATLANTA -- Jury selection began Monday for a dozen defendants in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating trial.

The teachers and administrators have been indicted on mobster-like charges, including racketeering and theft by taking. Prosecutors say they cheated students and pocketed big bonuses.

Four hundred potential jurors have been called. Jury selection is expected to take two to three weeks. The trial itself could last as long as eight months and may be one of the most expensive in state history, with six prosecutors and 12 defense attorneys, hundreds of witnesses and a million documents.

WATCH | What to expect during the APS trial

Police: Crime down this summer in DeKalb

Police: Crime down this summer in DeKalb

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- The DeKalb County Police Department's Summer Crime Initiative appears to be paying off.

Monday morning, the department announced it has seen reductions in three crime categories. Residential burglaries are down 17 percent, pedestrian robberies are down 10 percent and entering auto cases are down nine percent this summer.

New strategies used to prevent and reduce crime in DeKalb County include 24-hour specialized operations, bike patrols and curfew enforcement.

"The reduction in crime statistics proves that the investments we are making in police and fire personnel pay dividends," DeKalb County interim CEO Lee May said in a release.

May said the police department plans to add 160 more sworn officers and 100 patrol cars by the end of 2014.

Major roadwork resumes this weekend

Major roadwork resumes this weekend

(WXIA) -- Last weekend, drivers got a bit of a reprieve when several major road projects were postponed. But all that work will resume this weekend.

Some of the problem areas include Interstate 20 in Rockdale and Newton counties, and I-285 in Cobb County.

As always, all roadwork is weather permitting. Rain could halt or postpone projects.

Weekend drivers should use caution and look for crews in these areas:

Bartow County
* One right southbound lane of I-75 will be closed four miles before Cass White Road from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for concrete slab removal and bridge raising.
* One left northbound lane of I-75 will be closed four miles after Cass White Road from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for concrete slab removal and bridge raising.

Woman shot to death in DeKalb apartment

Woman shot to death in DeKalb apartment

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- A woman was found shot to death inside a DeKalb County apartment Thursday night.

Police found the victim's body at around 10 p.m. inside a unit at the Shoals Crossing Apartments in the 1900 block of Flat Shoals Road. They were dispatched to the scene after a neighbor called 911.

DeKalb County Police Sgt. Steven Dean said the woman was shot multiple times and was pronounced dead at the scene. Her name was not released, but Dean said investigators believe she was in her early 20's.

No suspects have been identified. Dean said police are following a few leads.

Anyone with information in this homicide case is asked to call Crime Stoppers Greater Atlanta at 404-577-TIPS.

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.

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.

DeKalb County's unemployment rate was 7.8 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.

Rain could cancel road projects for the weekend

Rain could cancel road projects for the weekend

(WXIA) -- The threat of rain this weekend could provide some welcome relief for Atlanta-area drivers.

The Georgia Department of Transportation has already postponed a handful of road projects, thanks to the weather.

WEATHER | 11Alive meteorologist Tracy Humphrey has your weekend forecast

Resurfacing on Interstate 20 in Rockdale and Newton counties, and concrete replacement on the west side of I-285 have been canceled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

GDOT said it plans to move ahead with scheduled resurfacing on I-20 between Douglasville and Villa Rica, as it is very close to finishing the work -- well ahead of its projected November completion date. However, rain may briefly halt crews.