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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.

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.

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.

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

4 arrested after robbery at Woodstock home


CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. -- Police arrested four people after robbery at a home in Woodstock on Friday.

According to Lt. Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office, James Reed told authorities a man he knew, Gordon Joiner, showed up at his girlfriend's home in the South Fork subdivision with another man, later identified as Forest Holt. The two men bound Reed's hands behind his back and stole electronics, cash and a firearm from the home.

Reed was able to tell authorities that Joiner lived on Etowah Valley Lane near Etowah High School. Shortly after deputies responded to that location, Joiner and Holt arrived. Deputies found the electronics, cash and firearm taken from the South Fork home in the vehicle driven by Holt. One pound of marijuana and an ounce of hash oil were also allegedly found in the vehicle. Authorities later determined that those drugs had also been taken from the South Fork home.

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.

Cherokee County's unemployment rate was 5.0 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.