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Crews battle massive industrial plant fire in Rome


ROME, Ga. (WXIA) -- Firefighters battled a massive fire in Rome Wednesday afternoon.

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The fire started inside the Bekaert Corporation on Darlington Drive SW in Rome. It tuned into a three-alarm fire with heavy black smoke visible for miles, forcing several nearby neighborhoods and two schools to be evacuated.

The evacuation, which extended a half-mile from the plant, remained in place until officials could ensure the smoke was not toxic. The evacuation order was lifted at sunset.

27 percent of Georgia hospitals get top safety rating; Grady, Piedmont get a 'D'

27 percent of Georgia hospitals get top safety rating; Grady, Piedmont get a 'D'

(ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE) -- Twenty-seven percent of Georgia hospitals earned an "A'' grade in recently released ratings on patient safety. Several Atlanta-area hospitals are among those awarded high marks, but several scored a "C" rating, and Piedmont Hospital and Grady Memorial Hospital scored a "D."

The ratings measure the ability of hospitals to prevent errors, injuries and infections, and are intended to help consumers choose a facility for health services, according to Georgia Health News.

Georgia's top-rated performers include large hospitals and small ones.

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.

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.

Floyd County's unemployment rate was 7.5 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.

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.

"Nestoration" begins for Berry College bald eagles

"Nestoration" begins for Berry College bald eagles

ROME, Ga. -- They've been viewed by millions online, and now the bald eagles at Berry College are back in the spotlight with the beginning of another nesting season.

Almost 60 "eagleholics" gathered over the weekend to watch the eagles prepare the nest, a process known as "nestoration."

Members of the group met through the Berry College Eagle Facebook page, and they traveled to Rome from across Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, South Carolina and Florida.

The Eagle Cam at Berry College has registered 21 MILLION views since it went live in 2013. Berry College added a second camera over the summer to provide fans with another vantage point that points directly down on the nest.

Wind fuels warehouse fire in Floyd Co.


ROME, Ga. -- Strong winds fueled a massive warehouse fire Tuesday morning in Floyd County.

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Fire crews worked through the night to get the fire under control, but the wind-whipped flames spread to other nearby structures. A home next door was completely destroyed.

No injuries have been reported.