Our network

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.

Cherokee County's unemployment rate was 4.9 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.

Community Sponsors

Ga. health rankings: Cherokee County

Ga. health rankings: Cherokee 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.

Cherokee is Georgia's 6th healthiest county, according to the data. It ranks 5th for quality of life, 10th for health behaviors (such as smoking and obesity), 24th for clinical care, 6th for social and economic factors (like graduation rates and violent crimes), and 139th for physical environment.

Here are some interesting takeaways about Cherokee County:

Ex-Dunwoody cop convicted of kickbacks scheme

Ex-Dunwoody cop convicted of kickbacks scheme

DUNWOODY, Ga. -- A former Dunwoody Police detective has pleaded guilty to sharing confidential information in exchange for plane tickets, cars and other benefits.

Robert Pasquale Bentivegna, 64, of Woodstock was convicted of computer fraud. He will be sentenced June 1.

Federal prosecutors said Bentivegna searched the Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) for active arrest warrants for an informant connected to several illegal activities. In exchange, he received kickbacks, including airline tickets so he and his wife could travel to New York, and cars for his son and daughter.

The GCIC contains information that could allow criminals to flee before they can be arrested, according to Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn.

"Bentivegna's conduct undermines trust in law enforcement and could have exposed the public to significant harm," Horn said in a statement.

Armed man robs Woodstock CVS

Armed man robs Woodstock CVS

WOODSTOCK, Ga. – Authorities in Cherokee County are searching for a man who robbed a CVS in Woodstock Saturday morning.

According to the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office, a man wearing a ski mask walked into a CVS on Highway 92 around 7:30 a.m. He showed the manager a gun and forced that manager to open the safe.

No customers were inside at the time. Police said the gunman put the two employees in the store bathroom before he fled.

Investigators believe the same man has robbed two other CVS stores – one in December on Sixes Road; another in January at the Hickory Flat Highway location.

Anyone who has information on the robberies is asked to call 911.

Community Sponsors

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.

What are Georgia's safest and most dangerous cities?

What are Georgia's safest and most dangerous cities?

(ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE) -- Safety is a top concern for people planning to relocate to a new city. Luckily, the national research firm ValuePenguin crunched the numbers in an attempt to determine which areas of Georgia are the safest and most dangerous.

The top 10 safest cities in Georgia:

1. Holly Springs
2. Johns Creek
3. Milton
4. Flowery Branch
5. Tyrone
6. Grovetown
7. Peachtree City
8. Folkston
9. Jefferson
10. Hampton

The top 10 most dangerous cities in Georgia:

1. College Park
2. East Point
3. Atlanta
4. Americus
5. Garden City
6. Union City
7. Albany
8. Brunswick
9. Hapeville
10. Eastman

Pike Nurseries Becomes an Employee-owned Company

Pike Nurseries management is pleased to announce the company has combined with Armstrong Garden Centers, its sister corporation in California, to operate under an established Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The plan transfers ownership to Pike Nurseries and Armstrong Garden Centers employees through a defined contribution benefit program. 

 

“The ESOP program allows us to reward our employees for their hard work and longevity with the company,” said Mike Kunce, CEO and Chairman of the Board at Pike Nurseries and Armstrong Garden Centers. “This structure not only enables management continuity, but also ensures the employees who have built and sustained Pike Nurseries and Armstrong Garden Centers play an integral part in the future success of the business.”