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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.

Hall County's unemployment rate was 5.1 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.

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Ga. health rankings: Hall County

Ga. health rankings: Hall 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.

Hall is Georgia's 17th healthiest county, according to the data. It ranks 23rd for quality of life, 16th for health behaviors (such as smoking and obesity), 50th for clinical care, 30th for social and economic factors (like graduation rates and violent crimes), and 123rd for physical environment.

Here are some interesting takeaways about Hall County:

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.

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.”

 

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4 arrested in taxi driver murder in Hall County


GAINESVILLE, Ga. – Four people have been arrested in connection with a taxi driver's murder in Hall County.

According to the Hall County Sheriff's Office, deputies received a call of a suspicious vehicle in the area of Barrett Road and Dorsey Peek Road early Monday. Deputies found a white Taxi El Palmar in a wooded area. Inside, they found 46-year-old Isasias Tovar-Murrillo, of Gainesville, dead.

Investigators say tips led them to the arrests of 39-year-old Misty Moran, 28-year-old Margarita Leanos, 24-year-old Nicholas Gonzalez and 22-year-old Justin Adams.

Police say that Moran shot and killed Tovar-Murillo during an attempted robbery. The other three suspects followed the taxi as the attempted robbery took place, and then picked up Moran after the robbery, police said.

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.

Hall County's unemployment rate was 5.2 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.

Father, son charged with stealing millions from widow

Father, son charged with stealing millions from widow

COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- A Gainesville father and son will spend time in prison after being convicted of stealing millions of dollars from an elderly Cobb County woman.

Jeffrey Carr and his father Joseph were each sentenced to 40 years for violating Georgia's RICO Act. Joseph must serve two years in custody, and Jeffrey is required to serve 10.

The pair stole a substantial amount of money from 93-year-old Frances Perkins. Perkins and her late husband owned land in east Cobb County, including 33 acres on Johnson Ferry Road just south of Lower Roswell Road.

According to information presented in court, Jeffrey Carr, 41, became friendly with Perkins's daughter Linda in 2009. Over time, Linda gave Jeffrey Carr half a million dollars.