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Area unemployment rate climbs in January

Area unemployment rate climbs in January

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate climbed to 6.2 percent in January.

That's up from December's 6.0 percent, but considerably lower than the 7.1 percent in January 2014.

Cherokee County's unemployment rate was 5.0 percent this January.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said the rate increased because of the loss of about 35,100 jobs, mostly seasonal positions.

But the Atlanta area had the largest January-to-January job growth ever recorded, adding 104,400 jobs over the course of the year.

The metropolitan Atlanta area consists of 29 counties, including the recently added Morgan County.

Metro Gainesville had January's lowest jobless rate, at 5.2 percent. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest, at 8.3 percent.

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Sequoyah HS debate team competes at Harvard

Sequoyah HS debate team competes at Harvard

CANTON, Ga. -- Thirty-two Sequoyah High School students recently participated in an international tournament at Harvard University.

Members of the school's speech and debate team traveled to snowy Massachusetts to compete in the 41st annual Harvard National Forensics Tournament. The event was attended by more than 350 student groups from the U.S., China, Puerto Rico and South Korea.

Sequoyah High's speech and debate team is ranked among the top 10 percent of similar teams nationwide, according to the National Forensic League.

Several surface streets impacted by weekend roadwork

Several surface streets impacted by weekend roadwork

(WXIA) -- Interstate 20 will bear the brunt of this weekend's roadwork, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Drivers are asked to avoid nonessential travel on I-20, as road projects will require lane closures that will likely result in delays.

A number of surface streets will also be impacted by construction crews.

As always, all work is weather permitting. Get this weekend's forecast.

Cobb/Fulton counties: I-285
2 northbound lanes will be closed between Bolton and South Atlanta roads from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for concrete rehabilitation.

Coweta County: I-85
1 southbound lane will be closed at Sharpsburg-McCullum Road from 9 p.m. Friday to 12 p.m. Monday for barrier wall installation.

Academy Street Theatre Group to hold auditions

Academy Street Theatre Group to hold auditions

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. -- Cherokee County's Academy Street Theatre Group will hold auditions next week for two upcoming productions.

Students in grade 2-12 are invited to try out for Not-So-Grimm Tales and Oklahoma!

Auditions will be held Monday, Mar. 9 and Tuesday, Mar. 10 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. both days. They will be at River Ridge High School.

Rehearsals for both shows begin Mar. 19; Not-So-Grimm Tales will run May 22 and 23, and Oklahoma! will run June 4-6.

Visit cherokee.k12.ga.us for more information.

River Ridge High School is located at 400 Arnold Mill Road in Woodstock.

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Wear pajamas, get free ice cream

Wear pajamas, get free ice cream

(WXIA) -- With warmer weather right around the corner, Bruster's is offering free ice cream to anyone brave enough to leave the house in pajamas.

The ice cream shop chain will hold its PJ Day promotion all day on Saturday, Mar. 7. Customers who wear their pajamas to any Bruster's in metro Atlanta will receive a free small waffle cone.

Visit brusters.com for more information.

Free short stack at IHOP for National Pancake Day

Free short stack at IHOP for National Pancake Day

(WXIA) -- Tuesday is National Pancake Day, and all Atlanta-area IHOP locations are celebrating by offering free short stacks to customers who support Children's Miracle Network.

Every year, IHOP restaurants raise money for children's hospitals nationwide, including Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, on National Pancake Day. Diners have the option of making a donation in exchange for free buttermilk pancakes.

Reigning Miss Georgia Maggie Bridges stopped by the IHOP in Chamblee Tuesday morning, where she served breakfast and spoke with Children's Miracle Network Champion Sutton Burnett. Other local Miracle Children visited the IHOP restaurants in Peachtree City, Smyrna and Woodstock.

Visit ihoppancakeday.com to find a participating IHOP location near you.

Weekend roadwork: More sign and bridge work

Weekend roadwork: More sign and bridge work

(WXIA) -- Once again, drivers in the Atlanta area are asked to avoid non-essential travel on Interstate 285 this weekend.

Georgia Department of Transportation road crews will work on several stretches of roads and highways throughout the area Friday night through Monday morning. Many of the projects will require lane closures, which could result in delays.

As always, all work is weather permitting. See this weekend's forecast.

Scheduled projects include:

Coweta County
1 southbound lane of I-85 will be closed at Sharpsburg-McCullum Road from 9 p.m. Friday to 12 p.m. Monday for barrier wall installation.

DeKalb County
2 northbound lanes of I-285 will be closed between Covington Highway and I-20 from 7:30 p.m. Saturday to 7:30 a.m. Sunday for sign structure work.