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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.

Cobb County's unemployment rate was 5.4 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.

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Cobb County hiring hundreds of teachers

Cobb County hiring hundreds of teachers

COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- The Cobb County School District hopes to find hundreds of new teachers through a large job fair next month.

Certified teaching positions at all levels of instruction will be available at the event. It is the district's first major hiring event in eight years. Kevin Kiger, the district's executive director of employment, said representatives from every Cobb County school will attend the career fair.

With more than 13,500 employees, the district is Cobb County's largest employer.

The job fair will be Wednesday, Apr. 15 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Smyrna Community Center, which is located at 200 Village Green Circle.

Visit teachcobb.com for more information.

Driver charged after killing pedestrian in Marietta

Driver charged after killing pedestrian in Marietta

MARIETTA, Ga. – An 18-year-old driver faces several charges after striking and killing a 78-year-old man as he walked on the sidewalk in Marietta on Sunday.

Ashli Mitchell has been charged with second-degree homicide by vehicle, failure to maintain lane, driving too fast for conditions, driving without a license, and required tire tread depth. She also faces a child restraint violation.

According to Marietta Police Officer David Baldwin, a minivan was traveling northbound on Franklin Road when the driver lost control and left the road, striking a man walking on the sidewalk. The van continued through a fence and down an embankment, Baldwin said.

The pedestrian, identified as Joe Lewis Burns, was transported to WellStar Kennestone Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Baldwin said.

Ga. health rankings: Cobb County

Ga. health rankings: Cobb 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.

Cobb is Georgia's 4th healthiest county, according to the data. It ranks 8th for quality of life, 3rd for health behaviors (such as smoking and obesity), 21st for clinical care, 10th for social and economic factors (like graduation rates and violent crimes), and 124th for physical environment.

Here are some interesting takeaways about Cobb County:

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Body found inside Cobb house after fire


COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- One person was found dead at the scene of a house fire in Cobb County Tuesday morning.

The fire broke out shortly before 10:30 a.m. at 1905 Heritage Green Drive, in the Heritage Green subdivision.

Cobb County Fire spokesperson Denell Boyd said a landscaper called in the fire. Responding officials found smoke pouring from the house.

The victim's body was found in a bedroom, according to Boyd. The identity and cause of death have not been determined.

Marietta man charged with placing pipe bomb in park

Marietta man charged with placing pipe bomb in park

ROSWELL, Ga. (WXIA) – Michael Sibley made a first court appearance on Monday in connection with federal charges for leaving a pipe bomb in Vickery Creek National Park in Roswell last November.

Sibley, 67 of Marietta, was arrested by the FBI on Mar. 21.

"The defendant allegedly placed a bag containing what appeared to be pipe bombs in Vickery Creek Park," said acting U.S. Attorney John Horn in a statement Monday afternoon. "This arrest should reassure the community that serious crimes like this will be investigated thoroughly and all leads followed to identify the perpetrator."

Mom who killed man with minivan questioned by police

Mom who killed man with minivan questioned by police

MARIETTA, Ga.-- Marietta Police are still working to determine what happened in the moments before an 18-year-old driver jumped the curb and crashed into an elderly man out for a walk.

Marietta Police say they're still trying to determine who was at fault. They've been interviewing witnesses, including the children who were inside the minivan at the time of the crash.

"There's a lot of possibilities. The roads were wet. It was raining at the time. We don't know if it was a distracted driver. If there was a malfunction with the vehicle. If the driver just lost control or was distracted by a child. We just don't know yet," Marietta Police spokesman David Baldwin told 11Alive's Donna Lowry.