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Unemployment rate decreases in March

Unemployment rate decreases in March

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate dropped to 6.8 percent in March, down slightly from February's 6.9 percent. The rate was 8.0 percent in March 2013.

Cobb County's unemployment rate was 6.3 percent this March.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said local employers created more jobs and laid off fewer workers. The number of new positions increased by 51,500 last month.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest unemployment rate in March 2014 at 5.1 percent. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 9.4 percent.

Cobb ethics board to hear Braves stadium complaint


COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- The Cobb County Board of Ethics dismissed a complaint against four county commissioners who approved a deal that would bring the Atlanta Braves to Cobb County in 2017.

Cobb County resident Larry Savage filed the ethics complaint against 4 out of 5 commissioners after they approved a move for the new Braves Stadium. Savage claimed that the commission was not transparent.

In a brief meeting on Wednesday, the board voted 6 to 1 to dismiss the complaint. The board told Savage he should take his claim to court.

"We just saw the first punt in Major League Baseball," Savage said. "There's no point to having an ethics board if they won't make decisions about ethics."

Savage said he doesn't know what his next stop will be.

Woman killed in Marietta crash

Woman killed in Marietta crash

MARIETTA, Ga. -- A 59-year-old woman died in a two-car accident in Marietta Tuesday afternoon.

The wreck happened shortly before 4:30 p.m. at the intersection of Shallowford and Jamerson roads.

According to Cobb County Police, a Saab 93 driven by Marilyn McQueary of Woodstock turned left in front of an oncoming Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The Jeep slammed into the driver's side door of the Saab, pinning McQueary inside. She was rushed to WellStar Kennestone Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Police do not expect to file charges against the 21-year-old driver of the Jeep, who was not injured.

Audit questions running of Cobb Medical Examiner's Office


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MARIETTA, GA – Five months after a citizen complaint about how an autopsy was handled, an audit of the Cobb County Medical Examiner's Office criticized several operating procedures, but none of the work.

Cobb County Commissioners, who requested the audit in November, heard the results at a work session Tuesday afternoon.

The audit noted that independently contracted Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Brian Frist does not report directly to anyone in county government.

It also said the office lacks clear documentation about training, organization and operating procedures.

Driver killed after backing into concrete wall

Driver killed after backing into concrete wall

MARIETTA, Ga. -- A woman was killed after backing her car into a concrete wall in a Cobb County church parking lot.

The driver, 68-year-old Katie O. Palmer of Marietta, died Sunday morning.

The crash happened shortly before 11 a.m. in the parking lot of Milford Baptist Church on Milford Church Road near Austell Road.

Cobb County Police Officer Mike Bowman said Palmer's 1992 Mercury Sable "(backed) rapidly" through the parking lot before slamming into the wall. Witnesses said they saw Palmer slumped over the steering wheel shortly before the crash.

Palmer was taken to WellStar Cobb Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The Cobb County Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death. No one else was hurt.

Weekend roadwork lessens for Easter weekend

Weekend roadwork lessens for Easter weekend

(WXIA) -- Only one major daytime closure will affect drivers on Atlanta's highways this weekend.

The leftmost lane on I-285 north will be closed between I-20 and Ga. 400 on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Crews must close the lane to remove a barrier wall.

"With only that one closure on I-285, everyone should have an easier time getting to their destination," Georgia Department of Transportation District Construction Engineer Shun Pringle said in a statement.

Nighttime closures will still occur in a handful of locations.

Three right lanes of I-20 west between Wesley Chapel and Candler roads will be closed for striping every night from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Two left lanes of I-285 north between I-20 and Peachtree Dunwoody Road will be closed nightly from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Crews will work to replace a barrier wall in that location.

Other scheduled closures for sweeping, drain cleaning and slab replacement include:

Family refuses to allow children to take CRCT exam


MARIETTA, Ga. -- A Marietta family is refusing to allow their children to take the annual Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) exam

The exam used to measure their academic progress and determine if they pass to the next grade.

"We decided to stand up for our parental rights, and tell them that we do not want our children -- we refuse to allow our children to participate in standardized testing," parent Tracy Finney said.

Mary and Tracy Finney say they believe the annual standardized test puts way too much pressure on students. The Finneys don't believe the test should be the sole or even the primary of a student's academic performance.

"We have the option as parents to say enough is enough," Mary Finney said.

The Finneys informed West Side Elementary School that their children – 9-year-old Jack and 11-year-old Macy – would not be taking the annual test.