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Pike Nurseries to host holiday bulbs class

Pike Nurseries to host holiday bulbs class

ATLANTA -- Paperwhites and amaryllises are classic, beautiful flowers that show off the spirit of the season. To help customers grow their own holiday bulbs indoors and to ensure they will bloom just in time for Christmas, Pike Nurseries is hosting a free Forcing Paperwhite and Amaryllis Bulbs class.

On Saturday, Nov. 8 at 9 a.m., garden experts will offer step-by-step guidance to plant and care for these bulbs so they will display dazzling, festive blooms. After the class, guests can gather up the supplies and give their green thumbs a go at forcing bulbs to grow indoors with the help of Pike Nurseries garden experts.

The class will be offered at all Pike Nurseries locations.

Marge Hardenburg joins Sterling Risk Advisors as account executive

Marge Hardenburg joins Sterling Risk Advisors as account executive

WOODSTOCK, Ga. -- Marge Hardenburg has joined Sterling Risk Advisors as an account executive.

A 20-plus year industry veteran, her main areas of expertise are in professional liability and health care. She also provides insurance solutions across a diverse spectrum of other industries.

Sterling Risk Advisors is a full-service Atlanta-based risk management and insurance brokerage firm serving the commercial, professional and personal needs of clients across a diverse spectrum of industries.

Prior to joining Sterling Risk Advisors, Hardenburg spent 19 years at Potter Holden/Arthur J. Gallagher, most recently as a senior account manager. She is a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) and a Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR).

Hardenburg received her bachelor of arts in communication disorders from William Patterson University. She lives in Woodstock, Georgia, where she enjoys hiking, cooking, music and spending time with her family.

Graduation rates: Cherokee County

Graduation rates: Cherokee County

(WXIA) -- Georgia's 2014 high school graduation rates were released Thursday.

This year's statewide average is 72.5 percent, up slightly from last year's 71.5 percent. It's also the third consecutive increase in the percentage of seniors who graduate from the state's public high schools.

MORE | Ga. graduation rates up this year

Cherokee County's 2014 graduation rate is 82.1 percent. At 90.6 percent, River Ridge High School in Woodstock has the county's highest graduation rate.

Other graduation rates in Cherokee County include:

* Cherokee HS: 71.7 percent
* Creekview HS: 89.2 percent
* Etowah HS: 82.8 percent
* Sequoyah HS: 87.3 percent
* Woodstock HS: 81 percent

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.

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