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Simon malls announce holiday hours

Simon malls announce holiday hours

(WXIA) -- Atlanta-area Simon shopping centers announced enhanced holiday season opening hours to accommodate the needs of busy holiday shoppers.

Lenox Square, Mall of Georgia, Northlake Mall and Town Center at Cobb will be open from 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 27 (Thanksgiving) through 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 28 to kick off the holiday shopping season. These malls will re-open at 6 a.m. on “Black Friday,” Nov. 28, and will close at 10 p.m. that evening. Select retailers in each mall will be open between 1 a.m. and 6 p.m. For information on store holiday hours, please visit each retailer’s individual websites.

Phipps Plaza will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 27, but will open at 8 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 28 for “Black Friday” and close at 10 p.m. that evening.

North Georgia Premium Outlets and Calhoun Premium Outlets will be open from 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 27 through 10 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 28.

Last weekend of roadwork for a while

Last weekend of roadwork for a while

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Transportation has good news and bad news.

The bad news: Scheduled road maintenance will make weekend commutes difficult in several spots around Atlanta.

The good news: It's the last major construction weekend before workers take a break for Thanksgiving.

This weekend's projects include:

Clayton County
* 2 northbound lanes of I-75 will be closed at Highway 138 from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for concrete replacement.

Clayton/Henry counties
* 2 northbound lanes of I-75 will be closed between Hudson Bridge Road/Eagles Landing Parkway and Mount Zion Boulevard from 9 p.m. Friday to 9 p.m. Sunday for concrete slab replacement.

Weekend roadwork: I-285 and the south side

Weekend roadwork: I-285 and the south side

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Transportation will work on a number of infrastructure projects on Atlanta's highways this weekend.

Drivers are strongly encouraged to avoid Interstates 20 and 285 on the west side of the city, as well as I-75 south of the Perimeter, if possible.

As always, all work is weather permitting.

Scheduled projects include:

Bartow County
* 2 southbound lanes of I-75 will be closed between one mile south of Emerson-Allatoona Road and two miles north of Glade Road Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for bridge maintenance.

Clayton/Henry counties
* 2 northbound lanes of I-75 will be closed between Hudson Bridge Road/Eagles Landing Parkway and Mount Zion Boulevard from 9 p.m. Friday to 9 p.m. Sunday for concrete slab replacement.

Graduation rates: DeKalb County

Graduation rates: DeKalb County

(WXIA) -- Georgia's 2014 high school graduation rates were released Thursday.

This year's statewide average is 72.5 percent, up slightly from last year's 71.5 percent. It's also the third consecutive increase in the percentage of seniors who graduate from the state's public high schools.

MORE | Ga. graduation rates up this year

DeKalb County's 2014 graduation rate is 62.3 percent. At 100 percent, DeKalb Early College Academy in Stone Mountain and DeKalb School of the Arts in Avondale Estates tied for the county's highest graduation rate.

Other graduation rates in DeKalb County include:

Atlanta-area Simon malls ring in holidays with festive fun

Atlanta-area Simon malls ring in holidays with festive fun

ATLANTA -– The most wonderful time of the year is right around the corner! To help families get in the "ho-ho"-holiday spirit, Atlanta-area Simon malls are hosting a variety of festive activities and special entertainment all November and December long! With Giving Tuesday, Macy’s Great Tree Lighting, Santa’s Arrival celebrations, local choir performances, photos with Santa and more, Lenox Square, Mall of Georgia, Northlake Mall, Phipps Plaza and Town Center at Cobb offer a magical holiday experience that is enjoyable for the entire family!

Atlanta-area unemployment drops to 7.3 percent

Atlanta-area unemployment drops to 7.3 percent

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate fell seven-tenths of a point in September.

Last month's rate was 7.3 percent, well below August's 8.0 percent. The unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in September 2013.

DeKalb County's unemployment rate was 7.7 percent in September.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said there were nearly 20,000 fewer unemployed people in Atlanta last month, and companies reported fewer layoffs. Industries that added jobs in September include government; education and health services; construction; and trade and transportation.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest unemployment rate in September, at 5.7 percent. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest, at 9.5 percent.

Bringing a veteran coach to tears


DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (WXIA) -- A story we witnessed on a football field this Friday night brought a veteran coach to tears. Tears of joy, at halftime, a lifetime in the making. To his surprise, in front of everyone.

It was the end of halftime at the Tucker-Alcovy game. An assistant coach with Tucker High School was just leaving the locker room with the players to start the third quarter, when a lifelong dream suddenly appeared before his eyes and walked into his arms.

During the first half, and at any of the games, anyone watching Tucker High School assistant football coach Robby Gilbert in action will see a man in full -- a thankful man at the top of his game, doing what he loves for others. And happily married with two young children.

What you would not see is his heartache.