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Ga.’s unemployment drops to 6.4 percent

gasealATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January was 6.4 percent, its lowest level since July 2008 when it was 6.3 percent. The rate was down two-tenths of a percentage point from a revised 6.6 percent in December. The rate in January 2014 was 7.3 percent.

“Our unemployment rate dropped for the seventh month in a row as we had 4,400 fewer jobs available than in December,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “We also had fewer new claims for unemployment insurance benefits, which is a measure of new layoffs.” 

The number of seasonally-adjusted jobs in January declined 0.1 percent, to 4,222,100, down from 4,226,500 in December. Much of the loss was related to temporary holiday jobs. Most of the job losses came in administrative and support services, including temporary employment agencies, 5,000; retail trade, transportation, and warehousing, along with construction, 2,800 each; and information services, 2,200. The job gains were in manufacturing, 3,900; wholesale trade, 3,400; finance and insurance, 2,700; and health care and social assistance, 1,900.

“But, while we lost those seasonal jobs in January, as often do, we had the strongest January-to-January growth we’ve had in 20 years,” said Butler. “And, six of our job sectors grew at least three percent.”

Over the year, the state gained a seasonally-adjusted 131,900 jobs, or 3.2 percent, from 4,090,200 in January 2014. Ninety-five percent of the job growth, or 125,800 jobs, was in the private sector. Most of the gains came in trade, transportation and warehousing, 33,500; professional and business services, 24,900; leisure and hospitality, 22,300; education and health services, 17,600; and manufacturing, 13,100; and, financial activities, 7,000.

Also, in January, the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance declined to 57,194, down by 316, or 0.5 percent, from 57,510 in December. Most of the decrease came in accommodations and food services. And, claims were down by 897, or 1.5 percent, from 58,091 in January 2014. The over-the-year decline came in a wide range of industries, including trade, transportation and warehousing, accommodations and food services, and the construction industry. 

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Schools completely cancel for Friday

Previously announced delay upgraded to full Snow Day for Friday. Delay announced earlier didn't give enough time for slick spots to thaw. No school for students.


NOTE: the March Friday the 13th inservice day was switched to a regular school day at a meeting of the school board last night.


County pays pond owner $26K for mud in water

       Pickens County Seal

        Runoff from construction of the  parking lot behind the courthouse cost the county $26,000 to satisfy a nearby homeowner whose pond was filled with silt. 

As a result of complaints from Jasper resident Ken Alston regarding sediment and mud that filled a pond on his property on Laurel Lane, a check in that amount was made out directly to Alston.  

       See the print or online editions for the rest of this story.

Man seeks arrest of county officials for not issuing fine to neighbor


Bethany resident Ronald Stanger says county officials should be held accountable for not issuing a fine when the driveway behind him was put in without a permit. Stanger also objects to the lack of buffer protection offered in county codes.


         Citizens arrest warrants were filed last week in Magistrate Court against two county officials by an Upper Bethany homeowner claiming they broke the law by not carrying out their duties.

UPDATED - Groom sentenced for fatal wedding crash


“I know I’ve done wrong. I’m truly sorry to the family. I take full responsibility for my actions, but I need help. I am asking for another chance,” says Ryan Quintonquintonpoolecourt


Ryan Quinton with attorney Scott Poole in Cherokee Court Tuesday.

   The groom who was charged in a wreck that killed his wife on their wedding day has been sentenced in Cherokee County Superior Court. 

   On Tuesday, March 3, Ryan Quinton, 29, Jasper, entered a guilty plea to one count of Vehicular Homicide based on Reckless Driving and to a separate DUI charge brought against him in Pickens County for a separate incident five months after the fatal wreck.