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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.

Fulton County's unemployment rate was 8.2 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.

No one hurt in Johns Creek house fire


JOHNS CREEK, Ga. -- All four members of a Johns Creek family were able to escape their home after a fire broke out Wednesday morning.

The blaze began shortly after midnight in the garage of the three-story home on Waters Bend Way.

Johns Creek Fire Chief Jeff Hogan said smoke alarms likely saved the family.

"Fortunately, they had working smoke alarms, which probably saved their lives," Hogan said in a statement. "It could have been a real tragedy. They were asleep."

About 60 percent of the house was in flames when firefighters arrived. It took an hour to bring the blaze under control.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Fulton County offers 2 early voting weekends

Fulton County offers 2 early voting weekends

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Fulton County registered voters will have the opportunity to vote on Saturday and Sunday for the next two weekends.

During the weekend of Oct. 18 -19, seven Fulton County locations will be open for early voting.

During the weekend of Oct. 25 – 26, 19 Fulton County locations will be open for early voting.

Fulton County is offering more weekend voting opportunities than any other Georgia County. Residents are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the early voting period, including weekend voting.

“We hope that our expanded dates and locations for early voting will encourage more Fulton County registered voters to cast their ballots,” said Richard L. Barron, Director of the Fulton County Department of Registration and Elections. "Voting early reduces lines on Election Day and is more convenient for voters."

Fulton County Early Voting Locations

Monday, October 13 - Friday, October 31

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.

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:

Fulton County observes Fire Prevention Week

Fulton County observes Fire Prevention Week

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Fulton County’s Fire Rescue Department will be holding several events throughout the community in observance of Fire Prevention Week, October 5-11. This year’s theme is “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month!”

Join Fulton County Fire Rescue at one of the following events to learn more about smoke alarms and fire safety:

Fulton voters can request absentee ballots through Oct. 31

Fulton voters can request absentee ballots through Oct. 31

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Some Fulton County voters may prefer to vote absentee by mail. To request an absentee ballot, registered voters may fax or mail a written request or go online to request an absentee ballot application. Voters can vote absentee by mail for any reason. Citizens can request an absentee ballot through Friday, Oct. 31. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 4.

A request letter should include the name and date of the election, the voter’s name, address as registered, date of birth and the voter’s signature. The letter can be faxed to 404-730-8839 or mailed to Fulton County Voter Registration, Attn: Absentee Ballot, 130 Peachtree Street SW, Suite 2186, Atlanta, GA 30303. Absentee ballots may also be requested in person at one of the three Fulton County Government centers: