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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.

Clarke County's unemployment rate was 6.0 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.

UGA professor robbed at gunpoint

UGA professor robbed at gunpoint

ATHENS, Ga. – A University of Georgia professor was robbed at gunpoint near downtown Athens Monday night, police said.

According to an Athens-Clarke County Police report, two women at the lobby of Hotel Indigo told authorities that they saw three men rob the female professor around 8 p.m. The witness told police that the professor was waving her hands in the air on North Jackson Street.

The victim told police that after she parked her car, she was approached by a man with a t-shirt covering his face. He told her to "Give me everything you got," and pulled a gun from his waistband. Two more suspects then also approached her.

The suspects stole the woman's purse, cell phone, and backpack. They were described as between 16 and 18 years old, and between 5-foot-11 and 6-foot-3.

Athens family welcomes quadruplets


ATHENS, Ga. – An Athens family welcomed four new additions on Saturday.

Julianne and Matthew Kirkland's quadruplets had been scheduled to be delivered on March 27, but they were apparently eager to see the world.

Matt was with his son Jack cheering on another son, Campbell, at his first baseball game in Athens Saturday when Julianne went into labor.

When Matt called Julianne around 5 p.m., she gave the news: she would be having the babies that night at Georgia Regents University Hospital in Augusta.

Matt packed up Campbell and Jack, called Julianne's mother, and headed to the hospital.

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.

UGA student found dead in dorm

UGA student found dead in dorm

ATHENS, Ga. (WXIA) -- Authorities say a 21-year-old University of Georgia student was found dead in a dormitory on Thursday.

University police said they were called to Russell Hall just after 6 p.m. Thursday on a medical assistance call. When they arrived, they immediately began first aid efforts for the young woman. Authorities said they believe she was dead when they arrived.

The woman identified as Mikal Ghirmazghi.

The case is upsetting to students and also baffling to police. They said there was no obvious cause of death and no sign of foul play.

A preliminary investigation by the county coroner revealed no clear-cut answer to what happened or why.

Local authorities planned to continue their investigation through the night.

Man who creates art with his mouth target of thieves


ATHENS, Ga – A popular and inspirational artist who lost his arms as a teenager is getting help from his fans after thieves stole his supplies.

Michael Davenport has learned to create using markers clinched in his mouth. He is a common sight around Athens where he works his magic.