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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.

Fulton County's unemployment rate was 6.5 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: Fulton County

Ga. health rankings: Fulton 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.

Fulton is Georgia's 20th healthiest county, according to the data. It ranks 24th for quality of life, 6th for health behaviors (such as smoking and obesity), 14th for clinical care, 60th for social and economic factors (like graduation rates and violent crimes), and 156th for physical environment.

Here are some interesting takeaways about Fulton County:

Gardening tips available at Fulton County Extension Offices

Gardening tips available at Fulton County Extension Offices

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Spring is the optimum time for planting a variety of shrubs, trees, annuals, perennials and seeds but, before tilling the earth, it is important to consider your specific plant needs and your area's climate. Fulton County Cooperative Extension Agents are available to provide guidance to assist residents with growing successful gardens and beautifying their yards.

The University of Georgia College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (UGA CAES) provide helpful tips on line to help you get started.

“Spring is one of our favorite seasons simply because we get to help budding gardeners achieve their dreams of producing a successful garden,” states Menia, Director of Fulton County Cooperative Extension. “Whether it’s a flower garden or vegetable garden, our extension agents are able to provide expert guidance to county residents.”

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.

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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

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.”

 

Healthy lawns begin with soil testing

Healthy lawns begin with soil testing

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Nutrient rich soil makes it possible to have a beautiful lawn and blooming flowers. Developing and maintaining productive soils begin with soil testing. Soils tests provide information on the soil’s actual nutrient status. Test results are used to determine the amount and kind of nutrients that should be added for the best growth of lawn, garden, and other types of plants.

“Cooperative Extension is able to help residents with their gardening questions,” states Menia Chester, Director of Fulton County Cooperative Extension. “We are equipped to assist residents in having their soil tested by the University of Georgia (UGA) Extension office.”