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T.MAC raises money for Christopher Sparkman

T.MAC raises money for Christopher Sparkman

(WXIA) -- All 22 Atlanta-area T.MAC restaurants will raise money for Christopher Sparkman this week.

Sparkman was working as a security guard at a Kennesaw FedEx facility last April when he was shot in the abdomen. Since the shooting, Sparkman has undergone more than 30 surgeries. His wife Jamie Lynn quit her job to help take care of him.

Read more about Chris Sparkman's recovery

The Sparkman family faces enormous medical bills; Jamie Lynn has spoken publicly about the need for financial assistance.

T.MAC customers who want to help Sparkman pay for his treatment can do so on Thursday, Apr. 2. Diners can drop their receipts in designated collection boxes; 10 percent of their bills will be donated to the Sparkman family.

Community Sponsors

2 men on sex offender registry arrested in Canton

2 men on sex offender registry arrested in Canton

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. – Cherokee County investigators have arrested two men on the state's sex offender registry.

Investigators say Christopher Sloan and Tristen Cruz were arrested Monday night in Canton, Ga.

Officers say they went to the men's homes to make sure they were in compliance with the state's registry.

Sloan was arrested for having a vehicle and failing to register it. He was released on a $11,200 bond on Tuesday.

Investigators say Cruz, a former Alpharetta firefighter, had child pornography with him. He is being held at the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center without bond.

Piedmont Heart Institute partners with Cleveland Clinic

Piedmont Heart Institute partners with Cleveland Clinic

ATLANTA -- Piedmont Heart Institute has formed an alliance with the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute at the renowned Cleveland Clinic.

The partnership will allow both organizations to raise their standards of cardiovascular care by sharing clinical policies, treatment protocols and research opportunities, according to a Piedmont Healthcare spokesperson.

"Teamwork is the next phase of American medicine. We're finding new ways to combine our strengths for better patient care," Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute chairman Dr. Lars Svensson said in a release. "This alliance will allow us to accelerate advancements in cardiac care."

Piedmont Heart operates 26 clinics across metro Atlanta. Visit piedmont.org for more information.

Chattahoochee Tech's early childhood program now accredited

Chattahoochee Tech's early childhood program now accredited

MARIETTA, Ga. -- Chattahoochee Technical College's Early Childhood Care and Education Associate of Applied Science program is now nationally accredited.

Fewer than 200 such programs have achieved such accreditation, according to the college.

To become accredited, a program must meet six core standards in the areas of child development and learning; family and community relations; observing, documenting and assessing children's learning; developmentally effective approaches; using content knowledge; and professionalism.

Accreditation took several months to achieve and involved a visit from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The accreditation will remain in place for seven years.

Courses for the 72-credit hour early childhood education program are offered at CTC's Canton, Marietta and Paulding campuses, as well as online.

Community Sponsors

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.

Cherokee County's unemployment rate was 4.9 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.

Ga. health rankings: Cherokee County

Ga. health rankings: Cherokee 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.

Cherokee is Georgia's 6th healthiest county, according to the data. It ranks 5th for quality of life, 10th for health behaviors (such as smoking and obesity), 24th for clinical care, 6th for social and economic factors (like graduation rates and violent crimes), and 139th for physical environment.

Here are some interesting takeaways about Cherokee County:

Hundreds of jobs available at Canton career fair

Hundreds of jobs available at Canton career fair

CANTON, Ga. -- More than 600 qualified workers have a chance of landing new jobs through an upcoming career fair in Cherokee County.

The Georgia Department of Labor will host a Cherokee Career Expo on Wednesday, Mar. 25 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Northside Hospital-Cherokee Conference Center.

Job opportunities will be available in several fields, including customer service, government, healthcare, information technology, manufacturing, and retail. Attendees are asked to bring several copies of their résumés, to dress professionally, and to be prepared to speak with potential employers.

The Cherokee Conference Center is located at 1130 Bluffs Parkway in Canton.