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Pepper-spraying shoplifting suspect arrested


DULUTH, Ga. -- A shoplifting suspect who's also accused of pepper-spraying a Walmart employee has been arrested in Florida.

Kahala Johnson is being held in the Jacksonville County Detention Center. She was taken into custody Oct. 15 at her mother's house in Jacksonville.

Police said they believe Johnson is the woman who pepper-sprayed an associate at a Duluth Walmart on Oct. 8. The associate was trying to stop Johnson from walking out of the store with a cartload of electronics and household goods without paying for them.

Duluth Police Det. Bobby Johnson said the victim was informed of Johnson's arrest and is very grateful the suspect no longer poses a danger to anyone.

Weekend roadwork: The I-285 debacle continues

Weekend roadwork: The I-285 debacle continues

(WXIA) -- It's going to be another messy weekend on metro Atlanta's highways.

The Georgia Department of Transportation encourages drivers to stay off Interstates 20 and 285 if they can.

As always, all work is weather permitting.

Scheduled construction projects include:

Bartow County
* 1 northbound lane of I-75 will be closed between two miles north of Glade Road and one mile south of Allatoona Road from 9 p.m. Friday to 1 a.m. Saturday for bridge maintenance.
* 1 northbound lane of I-75 will be closed between two miles north of Glade Road and one mile south of Allatoona Road from 7 a.m. Saturday to 5 p.m. Sunday for bridge maintenance.

Cobb County
* 1 lane of the I-75 southbound exit ramp to I-285 west will be closed from 9 p.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. Sunday for work on the Northwest Corridor Express Lanes project.

Shoplifter pepper-sprayed store employee

Shoplifter pepper-sprayed store employee

DULUTH, Ga -- Police are calling it a shoplifting, but it could easily be called an assault. A female shoplifter was armed with pepper spray and wasn't afraid to use it when a store associate approached her.

It was a very bold crime because it happened at about 6:00 a.m. on October 8, when hardly anyone was in the Walmart on Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth.

Duluth Police released surveillance video from the store that showed the woman walk into the Walmart with the pepper spray already in her right hand, as if she knew she was going to be confronted.

"It's our belief that she knew that loss prevention would make contact with her if in fact she was shoplifting, and they did," said Det. Bobby Johnson. "And she came prepared."

Weekend roadwork: Lots of projects on the schedule

Weekend roadwork: Lots of projects on the schedule

(WXIA) -- A major project on a heavily traveled interchange is bound to cause some headaches for Atlanta-area drivers this weekend.

It's just one of several scheduled construction sessions throughout the area. All work is weather permitting.

Crews will be hard at work on the Kennedy Interchange in Cobb County much of the weekend. The Kennedy Interchange is where Interstate 75 meets Interstate 285 in the Cumberland area.

The Georgia Department of Transportation said sign installation will require multiple lane closures on the Outer Loop of I-285 just before the exit ramp to Cobb Parkway and I-75 north. Two right lanes will close at 9 a.m. Saturday; that will expand to three lanes between 11 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday. Outer Loop traffic will also be paced in the area beginning at around 2 a.m. Sunday.

Other weekend road projects include:

Gwinnett County redistricting affects 14K students

Gwinnett County redistricting affects 14K students

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- The state's biggest school district is reshuffling thousands of student because of redistricting.

Officials say there has been so much growth in Gwinnett County that they've had to build new schools. That means some 14,000 students are being moved.

Most of the changes are happening in the west and central part of the county.

One big catalyst is a brand new high school in Lawrenceville off Old Norcross Road. It will create a new cluster. If you travel 2.7 miles down the road, you can see what kind of shake-up it creates.

In the Waterford community, every child will be going to a different school next year, much to the chagrin of some parents.

But just down the street, the redistricting is actually good news for high school students who get a brand new building.

Chainsaw-tossing thieves in high speed police chase


DULUTH, Ga. -- A high speed police chase between two thieves and a Duluth officer had the sergeant dodging chainsaws in the middle of North Road in Duluth.

Duluth Police are working to enhance the video to get a better look at the faces of the two men caught on camera throwing stolen chainsaws at a police car.

They were seen leaving Howard Brother's hardware around 1:30 a.m. on Monday. An officer heard the store's alarm and investigated.

He chased the minivan to North Berkeley Lake Road. They drove on the road side of the roadway across Pleasant Hill Road and tossed the three chainsaws and a weed-eater.

The chase ended after about three minutes. The two men stopped at the end of Seagull Drive and abandoned the vehicle. They ran off in to the woods.

Unemployment up slightly in August

Unemployment up slightly in August

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate climbed again in August.

The rate was 8.0 percent, up slightly from July's 7.9 percent. It was also 7.9 percent in August 2013.

Gwinnett County's preliminary unemployment rate was 7.2 percent last month.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said despite the rate increase, metro Atlanta added nearly 6,000 jobs in August, mostly in government; education and health services; manufacturing; and construction. Fewer Atlanta-area residents also filed for unemployment insurance in August than in July.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest August unemployment rate at 6.4 percent. Metro Dalton's was the highest at 10.7 percent.