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First Friday festival set for downtown Canton

CANTON, Ga., -- Downtown Canton's First Friday festival will be Friday, August 3, on Main Street from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Downtown Canton's First Friday festival

The festival will include live entertainment, food, book signings and artists. For the event, some restaurants and merchants will stay open late with sales and promotions.

The event and parking are free. Parking is located at vaious locations around downtown Canton. Those attending are recommended to bring blankets and chairs.

Metro unemployment exceeds Cherokee rate in June

Metro unemployment exceeds Cherokee rate in June

ATLANTA -- The preliminary unemployment rate in metro Atlanta rose to 9.3 percent in June, up from 8.6 percent in May.

The unemployment rate was 7.5 percent in Cherokee County.

Officials say more than 17,000 new job seekers entering the labor force couldn't find work last month. They also cite 350 new layoffs in retail trade, administrative and support services, educational services and health care and social assistance as causes for the increase.

Metro Athens and metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rate at 7.5 percent. Metro Dalton had the highest at 12.3 percent, and has had the highest area rate since August 2011.

The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate also increased in June, to 9.0 percent -- the first increase in almost a year.

What would the Transportation Tax mean for MARTA?

Of the estimated 8-Billion dollars earmarked for proposed transportation projects, about one-quarter of that, or 2-billion is slated for MARTA. The largest single expenditure is $700-million for the proposed Clifton Rail Corridor between Lindbergh Station and Emory University. Another 225-million is scheduled for park and ride lots and future transit stations along the I-20 corridor, and 540-million is planned for 10 State of Good Repair Projects to upgrade and rehabilitate existing infrastructure.

Click here for Full list of MARTA Transportation Investment Act projects

1 victim ID'd in Ball Ground house explosion

BALL GROUND, Ga. -- Three bodies were recovered from the scene of a house fire in Cherokee County last Wednesday.

Cherokee County Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Jay Baker confirmed Monday that investigators used dental records to positively identify one of the victims as 46-year-old Darlene Norrell.

Officials responded to the fire on Spriggs Trail in Ball Ground at around 3:35 a.m. Wednesday, according to Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services spokesman Tim Cavender. Neighbors called 911 after hearing an explosion at the house.

Cherokee County Fire Lt. Wesley Densmore said the split-level house had already burned to the ground by the time crews arrived.

Wait times improving for driver's license renewal

UPDATE -- ATLANTA, GA

Twenty days after tougher, federally mandated ID requirements to renew a GA driver's license kicked in, excruciating wait times seem to be improving.

In the first week and a half, some drivers reported waiting up to five hours to have their paperwork processed. But now it seems, both drivers and DDS employees are becoming more acquainted with the new list of required documents. 

One reported snag, however, is the requirement for women with different names on their birth certificate and driver's license due to marriage, to present an original marriage certificate. 

If you were married in Georgia, and you need to obtain an original marriage certificate, click here.

7/13/12

Gov. Deal swears in Ga. Supreme Court justice

Gov. Deal swears in Ga. Supreme Court justice

ATLANTA (AP) - Gov. Nathan Deal has sworn in the newest justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia.

Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Keith Blackwell was sworn in Thursday morning in the House Chamber of the State Capitol.

Deal last month appointed the 37-year-old Blackwell to fill a vacancy left by Chief Justice George Carley. Carley's resignation as chief justice was effective Tuesday.

Blackwell had served on the Court of Appeals since he was appointed in 2010 by former Gov. Sonny Perdue. He is the 92nd justice since the court's creation in 1845.

Blackwell previously practiced civil and criminal law. He will serve on the court until 2014, when voters will decide whether to keep him on the bench for a six-year term.

Atlanta family realizes dream of home ownership

ATLANTA -- Volunteers from five metro Atlanta churches put the finishing touches on Portia Davis' new home in Southwest Atlanta on Saturday.

Davis, a single mother of three children, helped build the home through Habitat for Humanity.

Dunwoody United Methodist Church provided volunteers and the funding for the home.

Other volunteers from Hickory Flat UMC in Canton, Northbrook UMC in Roswell, Winters Chapel UMC in Atlanta and Simpsonwood UMC also joined on the build.