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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.

DeKalb County's unemployment rate was 6.6 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.

DeKalb County Commissioners table District 5 vote


DECATUR, Ga. -- The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners has tabled the decision to choose a new commissioner.

They have not been able to agree on a temporary replacement for Lee May, who was appointed interim CEO more than 18 months ago when Burrell Ellis was indicted on corruption charges.

Two weeks ago, tempers flared when commissioners considered five possible temporary appointments. The commission is split along racial lines and full of tension.

Police: UGA student died of alcohol poisoning

Police: UGA student died of alcohol poisoning

ATHENS, Ga. -- A 19-year-old University of Georgia student who passed away in January died of acute alcohol toxicity, UGA Police announced Monday.

Michael McClary, of DeKalb County, was found unresponsive in the back seat of a car Jan. 10, while returning to campus after a night out with friends. He was pronounced dead at an Athens-area hospital.

McClary's death has since been ruled accidental. His autopsy was performed at the GBI Crime Lab. His exact blood alcohol content has not been released.

During a January memorial service held at UGA's Reed Hall, where McClary lived, friends shared stories of "Big Mike" and remembered how he always made them laugh.

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.

Man indicted in ex-wife's murder


DECATUR, Ga. -- A DeKalb County grand jury indicted a man in the Christmas Eve murder of his ex-wife.

Police say Jake Jackson fatally shot his wife, Tiffanie Phillips, in front of her son at her home on Terrace Trail on Dec. 24.

Jackson, 32, was arrested Dec. 29.

Jackson was indicted March 17 on malice murder and felony murder counts.


No injuries in 2-alarm Decatur townhouse fire


DECATUR, GA (WXIA) -- A 2-alarm townhouse fire left four people homeless Monday afternoon in the 2800 block of Snapfinger Manor.

DeKalb fire officials said crews were dispatched at about 2 p.m. to the address, where they found two townhouse buildings on fire.

Eight units were destroyed in the blaze, according to DeKalb Fire Chief Morison.

No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Friends, family honor man killed by train in Decatur


DECATUR, Ga. – Mourners gathered Saturday at the site where a 29-year-old man was killed by a train last week. While they were there, they made a discovery that would help bring the family some closure.

Alfred Wallace was struck and killed by a train on March 7 while he was on his skateboard. Friends said Wallace was a math whiz and a skateboard pro who died doing what he loved.

One week after his death, friends and family gathered at the same spot and same time of the tragedy. His funeral had been held earlier in the day; mourners came to remember him and release red balloons in his honor.