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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.

Hall County's unemployment rate was 6.0 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.

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Injured Hall County firefighters speak


HALL COUNTY, Ga -- Three Hall County firefighters injured in a 40-foot fall from a faulty ladder truck are getting some much-needed help from the community.

Stephen Jackson, Will Griffin, and T.J. Elliott spent Monday surrounded by supporters at an Flowery Branch golf course.

"I've learned in all things I have to trust Jesus," said Jackson. "He'll be there for me. He'll provide for me, and he has."

The firefighters were hurt when their ladder truck collapsed in July during a training exercise.

For Jackson, the toughest part came during the months when he was hurting so badly, he couldn't hold his new baby boy.

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.

Plane crashes in Gainesville


GAINESVILLE, Ga. -- One person was killed and another was injured when a small plane crashed in Hall County Thursday afternoon.

The plane went down shortly before noon within the city limits of Gainesville. Gainesville Fire Chief Keith Smith said the plane experienced engine trouble shortly after leaving the Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport. It tried to return to the runway, but clipped a power pole beside the field and crashed into a nearby road.

A bystander pulled the injured person from the wreckage. Smith said that person had serious injuries, including burns.

The plane burst into flames shortly after crashing.

Smith described the plane as a single-engine Aero Commander 114.

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AP exam participation: Hall County

AP exam participation: Hall 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 Hall County, 1,422 students took 2,322 AP exams in 2014, and 794 of those exams earned passing scores.

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

Chestatee HS
292 students took 482 exams
166 passing scores

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:

Train hits car in Hall County

Train hits car in Hall County

HALL COUNTY, Ga. -- No one was hurt when a train collided with a car in Hall County Wednesday morning.

It happened at around 7 a.m. at Crescent Drive and White Sulphur Road.

Hall County Fire officials reported heavy delays in the area shortly after the accident. The scene has since been cleared.

For the latest traffic conditions in metro Atlanta, visit 11Alive.com/Traffic.