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Graduation rates: Cherokee County

Graduation rates: Cherokee County

(WXIA) -- Georgia's 2014 high school graduation rates were released Thursday.

This year's statewide average is 72.5 percent, up slightly from last year's 71.5 percent. It's also the third consecutive increase in the percentage of seniors who graduate from the state's public high schools.

MORE | Ga. graduation rates up this year

Cherokee County's 2014 graduation rate is 82.1 percent. At 90.6 percent, River Ridge High School in Woodstock has the county's highest graduation rate.

Other graduation rates in Cherokee County include:

* Cherokee HS: 71.7 percent
* Creekview HS: 89.2 percent
* Etowah HS: 82.8 percent
* Sequoyah HS: 87.3 percent
* Woodstock HS: 81 percent

Community Sponsors

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.

Cherokee County's unemployment rate was 5.9 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.

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.

Roads to close for Cherokee HS homecoming parade

Roads to close for Cherokee HS homecoming parade

CANTON, Ga. -- Several Canton roads will close for about an hour Wednesday afternoon for Cherokee High School's homecoming parade.

Canton Police said the parade will begin at the school (930 Marietta Highway) and head north on Marietta Highway.

From there, it will turn right on Waleska Street, circle downtown Canton (East Main Street and North Street) and head back tot he school.

All the aforementioned roads will be closed Wednesday, Oct. 15 between 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Drivers who usually pass through the area are encouraged to find alernate routes.

Community Sponsors

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:

AP exam participation: Cherokee County

AP exam participation: Cherokee County

(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 Cherokee County, 1,901 students took 3,424 AP exams in 2014, and 2,630 of those exams earned passing scores.

Here are the AP exam breakdowns for each Cherokee County public high school:

Cherokee HS
287 students took 494 exams
362 passing scores

Canton man wins $1M lottery prize while buying hot dog

Canton man wins $1M lottery prize while buying hot dog

CANTON, Ga. -- Virgil Goddard visited a central Georgia convenience store to buy a hot dog. He left $1 million richer.

Goddard bought a lucky lottery ticket at E Z Trip on South Highway 247 in Kathleen, Ga., just south of Warner Robins. He scratched the $10 Million Cash Spectacular instant game ticket in his truck.

"I saw all of those zeroes, and I was just excited," he said.

Goddard was on a weekend hunting trip when he bought the ticket. Wednesday, Georgia Lottery officials presented him with an oversize check at the CITGO on Marietta Highway in Canton, closer to his home.

The lucky winner said he is going to have fun with the prize money.

"I'm going to enjoy life, and that includes more hunting too," he said.