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Yes or no? Breaking down the Transportation Sales Tax.

On July 31st, Georgia voters will be asked to vote on a 1% across the board sales tax to improve transportation and transit throughout the State. Those in favor say the tax is essential in creating new jobs, attracting outside businesses to Georgia and easing congestion in Metro Atlanta.

Detractors, however, claim the regional, 157 project list, will do little to accomplish that aim. And so the debate begins. Which is why 11Alive is dedicating two reporters this morning to help you better understand the issue. Commuter Dude will talk to supporters of the tax, while Julie Wolfe hears from its opponents.

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Ross homers twice as Red Sox beat Braves

Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Cody Ross hit a three-run and two-run home run as the Boston Red Sox took a 9-4 win over the Atlanta Braves in the rubber match of a three-game series on Sunday.

Ross' day overshadowed what might be the final appearance of third baseman Kevin Youkilis in a Boston uniform.

The subject of numerous trade rumors, Youkilis had been benched the past three games as the 33-year-old has struggled much of the season. However, he went 2- for-4 with an RBI on Sunday and received two standing ovations. The first one was in the second inning prior to his at-bat in which he singled. The second ovation was awarded to him following his RBI triple in the seventh that saw him pulled from the game.

On the season, his ninth in the majors and all of them with Boston, Youkilis is batting just .233 with four home runs and 14 RBI, and trade rumors have several teams interested in his services.

Ga. police launch crackdown on drunk drivers

Ga. police launch crackdown on drunk drivers

ATLANTA -- Police officers, sheriff's deputies and state troopers across Georgia are launching a statewide crackdown on drunken driving through the upcoming Fourth of July holiday.

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The Governor's Office of Highway Safety says its summer campaign, Operation Zero Tolerance, begins Friday and will run for about two weeks.

During that period, law enforcement officers in the state are expected to keep a close lookout for drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol.

State officials say 298 people died in alcohol-related crashes in 2010 -- roughly a fourth of traffic deaths in the state.

The summer anti-DUI campaign in Georgia coincides with the national crackdown called Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

DeKalb unemployment exceeds metro rate in May

DeKalb unemployment exceeds metro rate in May

ATLANTA -- Metro Atlanta's preliminary unemployment rate rose to 8.6 percent in May, up one-tenth of a percentage point from 8.5 percent in April.

The rate was 9.5 percent in May 2011.

DeKalb County's unemployment rate in May 2012 was 9 percent.

The Georgia Department of Labor announced the new figures early Thursday.

They say the rate increased because the labor force grew by 16,578 job seekers, and while most found jobs within the month, 6,008 did not.

Officials also say there were 269 new layoffs in profession and technical services, educational services, health care and social assistance, and accommodations and food services.

Braves outslug Yankees in home run derby

Bronx, NY (Sports Network) - Jason Heyward hit a pair of homers and knocked in three runs as the Atlanta Braves beat the New York Yankees, 10-5, in a game that featured nine home runs.

Freddie Freeman, Martin Prado and David Ross also homered for the Braves, who won the final two contests of this three-game set.

Tommy Hanson (8-4) got the win despite giving up four runs on five hits over five-plus innings. He allowed four home runs.

Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez, Eric Chavez and Derek Jeter hit solo homers for the Yankees, who have lost two in a row after winning their previous 10. Curtis Granderson added an RBI.

Phil Hughes (7-6) allowed six runs on six hits over 4 1/3 frames. He gave up a career-high four homers and now leads the American League in home runs allowed with 19.

Coming into Wednesday's game, Yankees starters had tossed at least six innings in each of their last 19 games.

 

Diabetes epidemic brings spike in related eye disease

(USA TODAY) -- The nation's rising level of diabetes is driving another health problem: a significant jump in adults with vision problems from a related condition called diabetic retinopathy.

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From 2000 to 2010, there was an 89 percent increase in the number of people with diabetic retinopathy, which affects the tiny blood vessels of the retina. The most severe forms can impair vision if not treated.

About 7.7 million people ages 40 and older have diabetic retinopathy, the new estimates say. The numbers emerge from an analysis, out Wednesday, by a group of researchers and sponsored by Prevent Blindness America and the National Eye Institute.

Usher opens leadership conference at Emory

ATLANTA -- R&B singer Usher is kicking off his third annual World Leadership Conference Wednesday.

The Grammy Award-winning singer's New Look Foundation hosts the four-day conference at Emory University. The goal is to educate and empower 150 of New Look's youth leaders through seminars and panel discussions.

The training will consist of teaching young people to speak in public, make presentations, develop their talents and build their own brand. They'll shadow corporate CEOs and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who will help them improve their problem-solving skills.

Several celebrities and athletes are participating, including the San Francisco 49ers' Vernon Davis, former New York Giants great Michael Strahan and reality star Kelly Osbourne.

Usher is expected to perform in concert at the end of the conference.