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Blood donation opportunities: DeKalb County

Blood donation opportunities: DeKalb County

(WXIA) -- The American Red Cross needs blood donations and has provided healthy metro Atlanta residents with several opportunities to give.

Inclement weather and widespread flu have prevented many usual donors from giving, according to Red Cross spokesperson Kristen Stancil. Several blood drives will be held throughout the area this month to make up the difference.

The Red Cross especially needs blood types O negative, A negative and B negative.

Visit redcrossblood.org for more information.

Here are some upcoming blood drives in DeKalb County:

Monday, Feb. 16
Agnes Scott College, 141 East College Avenue, Decatur
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 18
Bank of America, 2059 Northlake Parkway, Tucker
8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Atlanta-area Simon malls to host Kidgits Club Book Blast

Atlanta-area Simon malls to host Kidgits Club Book Blast

ATLANTA -- Atlanta-area Simon malls are hitting the books!

To help foster the importance of childhood literacy and reading, Mall of Georgia, Town Center at Cobb and Northlake Mall are scheduled to host their annual Simon Kidgits Club Book Blast on Saturday, Feb. 21.

For each mall’s event, families can enjoy a special read-aloud session of popular modern classics with local celebrities and will be eligible for drawings to win free books and special prizes. Attendees can also look forward to engaging, book-based activities that will help bring these stories to life.

As part of the annual event, children are encouraged to bring new or gently used books to be donated to each mall’s participating charity.

Don’t miss out on all the reading fun – this event’s one for the books!

Weekend roadwork: Lane closures galore

Weekend roadwork: Lane closures galore

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Transportation has a number of Atlanta-area construction projects on its schedule this weekend.

Drivers are asked to avoid traveling on certain stretches of Interstate 285, as lane closures are expected to result in long delays.

As always, all weekend work is weather permitting.

Scheduled projects include:

Cobb County
2 northbound lanes of I-285 will be closed between Paces Ferry Road and Cobb Parkway from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Saturday for sign structure work.

DeKalb County
2 westbound lanes of I-285 will be closed between Northlake Parkway and Chamblee Tucker Road from 7:30 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for sign structure work.

Fulton County
2 lanes in each direction of I-285 will be closed between Cascade Road and the I-20 interchange from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for sign structure work.

Unemployment rate didn't change in December

Unemployment rate didn't change in December

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate went unchanged last month. The rate was 6.4 in December 2014, the same as it was in November 2014. It was 6.8 percent in December 2013.

DeKalb County's December unemployment rate was 6.7 percent.

While the unemployment rate didn't budge, the Atlanta area gained 64,700 jobs last year, the largest December-to-December job growth in nearly 10 years. Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said many of the new positions were in trade and transportation; business services; leisure and hospitality; financial services; manufacturing; education and health care; government; and construction.

Butler said Georgia has been in the top 10 states for job creation every month since October 2012.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest December unemployment rate, at 4.9 percent. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest, at 8.8 percent.

DeKalb spring sports registration opens

DeKalb spring sports registration opens

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- Registration for one adult and two youth sports in DeKalb County is now open.

Youth Soccer

Soccer is for children ages 4-14. The season includes eight games. Registration ranges in price from $45 to $85 per child and closes Monday, Feb. 16.

DeKalb County Interim CEO Lee May said the county's soccer program is designed to instill skill development, fitness and team training drills.

Sign up at any DeKalb recreation center or dekalbcountyga.gov.

Adult Softball

DeKalb County offers both men's and co-ed softball leagues. The season begins in March and includes 10 regular games. Registration closes Monday, Feb. 23.

The cost is $420 per team. An additional $20 will be added for each non-DeKalb County resident.

Weekend roadwork: Sign structure and bridge repairs

Weekend roadwork: Sign structure and bridge repairs

(WXIA) -- Drivers in the Atlanta area are asked to avoid the southwest side of Interstate 285 this weekend, as construction crews will complete road projects in the area.

Weekend roadwork will take place on several other stretches of highway and interstate throughout metro Atlanta as well. The rainy weather may delay some projects.

Planned work includes:

Coweta County
* 1 northbound lane of I-85 will be closed between two miles north of Highway 34 and McCollum-Sharpsburg Road from 8 a.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for sweeping.

10 north Ga. students chosen for Disney Dreamers Academy

10 north Ga. students chosen for Disney Dreamers Academy

(WXIA) -- Ten high school students from the Atlanta area are among only 100 teens nationwide to be selected for the 2015 Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine.

The winners were selected from among nearly 10,000 applicants nationwide. They will travel to Walt Disney World Resort in March to participate in a prestigious educational and mentoring program.

Dreamers, as program participants are called, will learn life skills such as communication techniques and networking, and will explore possible career paths.

Visit disneydreamersacademy.com for more information.

Metro Atlanta's Dreamers include: