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Atlanta-area unemployment drops to 7.3 percent

Atlanta-area unemployment drops to 7.3 percent

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate fell seven-tenths of a point in September.

Last month's rate was 7.3 percent, well below August's 8.0 percent. The unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in September 2013.

Cherokee County's unemployment rate was 5.9 percent in September.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said there were nearly 20,000 fewer unemployed people in Atlanta last month, and companies reported fewer layoffs. Industries that added jobs in September include government; education and health services; construction; and trade and transportation.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest unemployment rate in September, at 5.7 percent. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest, at 9.5 percent.

Community Sponsors

Weekend roadwork: The I-285 debacle continues

Weekend roadwork: The I-285 debacle continues

(WXIA) -- It's going to be another messy weekend on metro Atlanta's highways.

The Georgia Department of Transportation encourages drivers to stay off Interstates 20 and 285 if they can.

As always, all work is weather permitting.

Scheduled construction projects include:

Bartow County
* 1 northbound lane of I-75 will be closed between two miles north of Glade Road and one mile south of Allatoona Road from 9 p.m. Friday to 1 a.m. Saturday for bridge maintenance.
* 1 northbound lane of I-75 will be closed between two miles north of Glade Road and one mile south of Allatoona Road from 7 a.m. Saturday to 5 p.m. Sunday for bridge maintenance.

Cobb County
* 1 lane of the I-75 southbound exit ramp to I-285 west will be closed from 9 p.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. Sunday for work on the Northwest Corridor Express Lanes project.

Pike Nurseries to host ‘Pumpkin Planters Make & Take’ class

Pike Nurseries to host ‘Pumpkin Planters Make & Take’ class

ATLANTA -- With the Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays right around the corner, now is the perfect time to add a “pop” of pumpkin to get into the fall spirit!

On Saturday, October 18 at 9 a.m., the experts at Pike Nurseries are helping customers celebrate the season with a fun Pumpkin Planters Make & Take customer class. Participants will receive step-by-step guidance to plant a pumpkin filled with pansies, snapdragons, peppers and other fall favorites.

The class costs $30 for supplies, including pumpkins, potting soil and a variety of plants for guests to create their own personalized planter to take home!

Sign up in advance here.

Volunteers needed for Dare to Hope Halloween events

Volunteers needed for Dare to Hope Halloween events

(WXIA) -- Dare to Hope, a non-profit organization that helps children with rare and complex medical conditions, will hold several Trunk or Treat parties in north Georgia this weekend.

Volunteers are needed to hand out candy and other goodies at the events, which will serve special needs children in the respective communities.

All Trunk or Treats will take place Saturday, Oct. 18 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.; volunteers are asked to arrive no later than 15 minutes before the start of their shifts.

Cherokee County
Hearts and Hands Therapy Services (424 Creekstone Ridge, Woodstock)
Learn more and sign up

Habersham County
Habersham Central High School (2059 Old Highway 197 South, Mt. Airy)
Learn more and sign up

Community Sponsors

Weekend roadwork: Lots of projects on the schedule

Weekend roadwork: Lots of projects on the schedule

(WXIA) -- A major project on a heavily traveled interchange is bound to cause some headaches for Atlanta-area drivers this weekend.

It's just one of several scheduled construction sessions throughout the area. All work is weather permitting.

Crews will be hard at work on the Kennedy Interchange in Cobb County much of the weekend. The Kennedy Interchange is where Interstate 75 meets Interstate 285 in the Cumberland area.

The Georgia Department of Transportation said sign installation will require multiple lane closures on the Outer Loop of I-285 just before the exit ramp to Cobb Parkway and I-75 north. Two right lanes will close at 9 a.m. Saturday; that will expand to three lanes between 11 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday. Outer Loop traffic will also be paced in the area beginning at around 2 a.m. Sunday.

Other weekend road projects include:

AP exam participation: Cherokee County

AP exam participation: Cherokee County

(WXIA) -- More Georgia high school students are taking -- and passing -- Advanced Placement exams.

Last school year, 89,806 Georgia students took 154,176 AP exams. That's an 8 percent increase in the number of participants and almost a 9 percent increase in the number of tests.

AP exams are graded on a scale of 1 to 5. Passing scores of 3, 4 or 5 often allow the test-takers to earn college credit.

Georgia's seniors earned 86,075 passing scores on their AP exams in 2014, a 9.6 percent increase over 2013.

English Language and Composition was the state's most popular AP exam, followed by U.S. History and World History.

In Cherokee County, 1,901 students took 3,424 AP exams in 2014, and 2,630 of those exams earned passing scores.

Here are the AP exam breakdowns for each Cherokee County public high school:

Cherokee HS
287 students took 494 exams
362 passing scores

Chattahoochee Tech to hold career fair

Chattahoochee Tech to hold career fair

ACWORTH, Ga. -- Chattahoochee Technical College will hold its annual College and Career Expo on Wednesday, Oct. 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

More than 90 colleges, universities and companies are scheduled to attend this year's event.

Everyone is invited to stop by the fair, which will be held at the North Metro Campus in Acworth.

Thirteen schools will be represented, including Brenau University, DeVry University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Georgia Southern University, Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, Life University, Reinhardt University, Saint Leo University, Sherman College of Chiropractic, Southern Polytechnic State University, Strayer University and the University of Phoenix.