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Metro Atlanta unemployment drops to 6.1 percent

Metro Atlanta unemployment drops to 6.1 percent

(WXIA) -- The Atlanta area's unemployment rate was 6.1 percent in February, down from January's 6.2 percent. It was also down a full point from the rate of 7.1 percent in February 2014.

DeKalb County's unemployment rate was 6.6 percent last month.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the drop was due to fewer layoffs and more new jobs. Many of the gains came in business, construction, education, government, and leisure and hospitality.

Nearly 39 percent fewer new claims for unemployment insurance were filed in February as well.

Metro Gainesville had Georgia's lowest February unemployment rate, at 5.1 percent. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest, at 8.1 percent.

Brookhaven starts tradition with Cherry Blossom Festival


BROOKHAVEN, Ga. -- Brookhaven will start a new tradition with its inaugural Cherry Blossom Festival, which includes three days of live music, food, children's activities and art from March 27 to 29.

The festival's headliners are rock & roll legends The Coasters and The Drifters, who play back-to-back starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Both groups are in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The Beatles tribute band The Return perform at 8:30 p.m. on Friday.

Suspicious package forces brief evacuation of Kroger store

Suspicious package forces brief evacuation of Kroger store

BROOKHAVEN, GA (WXIA) -- Police briefly evacuated a Kroger shopping center in Brookhaven late Wednesday afternoon, as they examine a suspicious package near the store.

The store is in the 3800 block of Peachtree Road.

Brandon Gurley with the Brookhaven Police Department says the package is believed to have been at the Kroger location since Tuesday.

After the DeKalb County Bomb Squad examined the package, they were able to determine that it was not a threat, and lifted the evacuation order.

Ga. health rankings: DeKalb County

Ga. health rankings: DeKalb County

(WXIA) -- A new report offers detailed health statistics for each of Georgia's counties.

The findings, which are posted at countyhealthrankings.org, determined that Forsyth is Georgia's healthiest county. Early is the least healthy.

DeKalb is Georgia's 19th healthiest county, according to the data. It ranks 25th for quality of life, 8th for health behaviors (such as smoking and obesity), 8th for clinical care, 64th for social and economic factors (like graduation rates and violent crimes), and 128th for physical environment.

Here are some interesting takeaways about DeKalb County:

Weekend roadwork: The usual suspects

Weekend roadwork: The usual suspects

(WXIA) -- It's going to be "more of the same" on the Atlanta area's highways and interstates this weekend, as Georgia Department of Transportation crews take to the streets.

Drivers are asked to avoid travel on interstates 20 and 285, if possible. GDOT will close lanes in several areas, which could result in lengthy delays.

As always, all work is weather permitting.

Interstate 20

Three eastbound lanes will be closed between Langhorn and McDaniel streets from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for bridge joint repairs.

Two westbound lanes will be closed between the Downtown Connector and Langhorn Street from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for bridge joint repairs.

Two westbound lanes will be closed between Fulton Industrial Boulevard and I-285 from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for bridge joint repairs.

Fulton County Commissioner Joan P. Garner Appointed to Atlanta BeltLine Board of Directors

Fulton County Commissioner Joan P. Garner Appointed to Atlanta BeltLine Board of Directors

On February 4, 2015, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners appointed Commissioner Joan P. Garner, District 4, to serve on the Board of Directors for the Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.

 

“I am truly honored to have the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors for the Atlanta BeltLine,” stated Commissioner Joan P. Garner. “This is an exciting time to be part of an endeavor that will enhance and connect the communities located along the BeltLine in District 4.” 

Members of the Atlanta BeltLine Board of Directors shall initially serve staggered terms of two (2) years and after the initial terms have expired, serve for a term of four (4) years (subject to the concurrent service requirements set forth herein).

 

Area unemployment rate climbs in January

Area unemployment rate climbs in January

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate climbed to 6.2 percent in January.

That's up from December's 6.0 percent, but considerably lower than the 7.1 percent in January 2014.

DeKalb County's unemployment rate was 6.6 percent this January.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the rate increased because of the loss of about 35,100 jobs, mostly seasonal positions.

But the Atlanta area had the largest January-to-January job growth ever recorded, adding 104,400 jobs over the course of the year.

The metropolitan Atlanta area consists of 29 counties, including the recently added Morgan County.

Metro Gainesville had January's lowest jobless rate, at 5.2 percent. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest, at 8.3 percent.