Just a quick update;
I was able to root the phone running the new firmware by using and app called towlroot, which can be downloaded on towlroot's website. It is very easy and just one button click.
As far as the bootloader goes, it appears that it is unlocked. In the past while running the stock 4.2.2 firmware, whenever I tried to flash a custom recovery through odin, the recovery would not boot and instead enter boot-loop. Now that has changed. It does not enter a boot loop, but instead doesn't load the recovery at all, or loads a dysfunctional bugged version. I have limited experience, but that tells me that the boot loader is no longer locked. My issue still pertains that I cannot find a custom recovery version made for my device that actually works.