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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.

Car goes airborne, crashes into apartment building


ATLANTA -- A car slammed into an apartment building's stairwell in southeast Atlanta Tuesday morning.

The accident happened at around 2:30 a.m. at the Columbia Peoplestown apartments in the 200 block of Tuskegee Street.

Dispatchers said a Buick was traveling down nearby Vanira Avenue, which dead-ends at Connally Street. The car missed a curve in the road, crashed through a fence and went airborne.

The Buick landed on the awning of the apartment building's stairwell, according to police. By the time officers arrived, the driver and any possible passengers had left the scene.

No one inside the building was hurt in the accident.

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.

Atlanta firefighters sing about fire prevention

Atlanta firefighters sing about fire prevention

ATLANTA -- We all know that humor -- and song lyrics -- help people learn.

The Atlanta Fire Department hopes for a lot of laughs in addition to fire safety preparation with the video its firefighters made for Fire Safety Prevention Month.

The firefighters changed the words to the Doors' "Light My Fire" -- with hilarious results. A spokeswoman for the fire department put it best: "We are well aware that it's a good thing these folks have real jobs."


See more fun Atlanta Alive moments here.

Sketch released of home invasion suspect


ATLANTA -- Atlanta Police have released a sketch of the suspect in a home invasion and sexual assault in Grant Park.

It happened Oct. 9 at around 6:30 a.m. at a house in the area of Park Avenue and Sydney Street.

The 23-year-old victim told police she was asleep on the living room sofa. She woke up to find an unfamiliar man entering a bedroom.

When the victim reached for her phone to call 911, the suspect hit her in the face with his fist and then touched her sexually, according to a police report.

The suspect took the victim's iPad, purse, credit cards and cash before running from the house. He has not been identified; the victim described him as a black man in his mid to late 20's, about 6 feet tall and 180 pounds. His face was covered with a white T-shirt.

AP exam participation: Atlanta Public Schools

AP exam participation: Atlanta Public Schools

(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 Atlanta, 1,407 students took 2,017 AP exams in 2014, and 637 of those exams earned passing scores.

Here are the AP exam breakdowns for each APS high school:

B.E.S.T. Academy
14 students took 16 exams
1 passing score