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Watch #RaiseYourVoice: Stop the violence


CARROLLTON, Ga. -- Nizzear Rodriguez was shot and killed as he lay in his bed, hours after celebrating his 13th birthday. In the days since his death, the Carrollton community has spoken out about growing gang violence in the neighborhood. As 11Alive reporters returned to the area day after day, we heard more and more suggestions from neighbors and friends -- ways to come together and help bring positive change from a tragic situation.

Weekend roadwork: I-285 and other sad stories

Weekend roadwork: I-285 and other sad stories

(WXIA) -- Another weekend, another series of road projects -- it's a familiar tune in metro Atlanta.

Crews will be on Interstate 285 and other highways throughout the weekend. As always, all work is weather permitting.

Scheduled projects include:

Cobb/Fulton counties
* Two southbound lanes of I-285 will be closed between South Cobb Drive and Bolton Road from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for concrete slab replacement.

DeKalb County
* Two northbound lanes of I-285 will be closed between Glenwood Road and Covington Highway from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for sign work.

Villa Rica mother arrested for leaving 2 kids in hot car

Villa Rica mother arrested for leaving 2 kids in hot car

VILLA RICA, Ga. -- A Villa Rica woman has been charged with reckless conduct and first-degree cruelty to children for leaving her two kids inside a hot car.

Witnesses spotted the children, ages 2 and 6, inside a car in the parking lot of a Villa Rica Walmart at around 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Villa Rica Police Capt. K.L. Shaddix said investigators determined 39-year-old Ananya Lively arrived at the store at around 2:53 p.m. She unrolled the windows about 1 to 2 inches, but did not leave the car running when she entered the Walmart alone.

The witnesses determined one of the car's doors was unlocked. Shaddix said they opened the door to allow cooler air inside the vehicle. Both children were asleep in the backseat.

Paramedics evaluated the children and gave them some water to drink. They were hot, sweating and thirsty, but otherwise unharmed, and were released to a relative's custody, Shaddix said.

4-year-old child dies in Carroll County house fire


CARROLL COUNTY, Ga. -- Carroll County firefighters were dispatched to a house fire on Center Point Road, about 3 miles south of I-20, at about 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Rescuers found an 18-year-old woman on the roof of the structure who had escaped the flames on the top floor of the house. After rescuing her, they entered the home, where they rescued a woman, and found the body of a 4-year-old boy. His body was found in a room where fire officials said they believe the fire started.

Several other family members were able to escape the home without injuries. The child's mother and the 18-year-old were taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries and burns.


Hundreds attend Carrollton teen's funeral


CARROLLTON, Ga. -- Hundreds of people joined together Saturday to remember the life of ​Nizzear Rodriguez, the 13-year-old boy who was shot to death in his sleep two weeks ago.

His friends and family members wore white and blue to the funeral service at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Carrollton.

The family pastor said white was sacred and blue was Nizzear's favorite color.

"It was a celebration," said Pastor Jerry Boykin. "He brought joy. He brought goodness to those around him. We thank God for what he brought to other people's lives."

CONTINUING COVERAGE: Stories around the tragedy of Nizzear's death and efforts to reduce crime in the community

Weekend traffic: Another mess on I-285

Weekend traffic: Another mess on I-285

(WXIA) -- Last week's break from interstate roadwork was short-lived. The Georgia Department of Transportation said crews will be back on the roads this weekend.

Interstate 285, especially the portion above I-20, will be GDOT's main focus, as several projects are scheduled for that corridor.

As always, all work is weather-permitting.

Clayton/Fulton counties
* 1 Outer Loop lane of I-285 will be closed at I-75 south from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday for resurfacing
* 1 outside lane of I-285 will be closed at I-85 north from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for bridge repairs

Cobb County
* 2 northbound and 2 southbound lanes of I-285 will be closed between South Cobb Drive and Paces Ferry Road from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for concrete slab replacement
* Pacing will occur at the I-285 Kennedy Interchange with I-75 overnight Saturday

Town hall meeting convened in wake of teen's death

Town hall meeting convened in wake of teen's death

CARROLLTON, Ga. -- The shooting death of 13-year-old Nizzear Rodriguez while he lay sleeping in his own bed have sparked calls for change in one Carrollton community.

Teens met Wednesday night to talk about how to prevent that kind of brutality in the future.

Too often, adults do not listen to kids when it comes to "grown up" subjects, but the death of Nizzear Rodriguez hit a lot of kids in the community very hard.

It was a town hall meeting for young people searching for solutions to crime in the community. Among those in attendance, was the father of young Nizzear.

"Do you feel safe in your own neighborhood?" he asked the young people in attendance. "That's the question -- do you feel safe?"

Carrollton city councilman Gerald Byrd put on the event.

"It seems that the common theme is safety and lack of community," Byrd said. "Broken homes, lack of supervision in the neighborhood."