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Graduation rates: Gwinnett County

Graduation rates: Gwinnett County

(WXIA) -- Georgia's 2014 high school graduation rates were released Thursday.

This year's statewide average is 72.5 percent, up slightly from last year's 71.5 percent. It's also the third consecutive increase in the percentage of seniors who graduate from the state's public high schools.

MORE | Ga. graduation rates up this year

Gwinnett County's 2014 graduation rate is 75 percent. At 99.4 percent, Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology in Lawrenceville has the county's highest graduation rate.

Other graduation rates in Gwinnett County include:

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Atlanta-area unemployment drops to 7.3 percent

Atlanta-area unemployment drops to 7.3 percent

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate fell seven-tenths of a point in September.

Last month's rate was 7.3 percent, well below August's 8.0 percent. The unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in September 2013.

Gwinnett County's unemployment rate was 6.6 percent in September.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said there were nearly 20,000 fewer unemployed people in Atlanta last month, and companies reported fewer layoffs. Industries that added jobs in September include government; education and health services; construction; and trade and transportation.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest unemployment rate in September, at 5.7 percent. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest, at 9.5 percent.

Gwinnett School officials had heavy police presence at two Gwinnett County Schools on Wednesday.


SUWANEE, Ga. -- Gwinnett School officials placed a heavy police presence at two Gwinnett County Schools on Wednesday.

At Brookwood High School, authorities provided extra security, including from other law enforcement agencies, because of a threat sent to some of the school staff by email.

In the end, nothing occurred and they had a normal school day.

Across the county, in Suwanee, the district placed additional police because of several fights on and off campus.

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Weekend roadwork: The I-285 debacle continues

Weekend roadwork: The I-285 debacle continues

(WXIA) -- It's going to be another messy weekend on metro Atlanta's highways.

The Georgia Department of Transportation encourages drivers to stay off Interstates 20 and 285 if they can.

As always, all work is weather permitting.

Scheduled construction projects include:

Bartow County
* 1 northbound lane of I-75 will be closed between two miles north of Glade Road and one mile south of Allatoona Road from 9 p.m. Friday to 1 a.m. Saturday for bridge maintenance.
* 1 northbound lane of I-75 will be closed between two miles north of Glade Road and one mile south of Allatoona Road from 7 a.m. Saturday to 5 p.m. Sunday for bridge maintenance.

Cobb County
* 1 lane of the I-75 southbound exit ramp to I-285 west will be closed from 9 p.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. Sunday for work on the Northwest Corridor Express Lanes project.

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Pike Nurseries to host ‘Pumpkin Planters Make & Take’ class

Pike Nurseries to host ‘Pumpkin Planters Make & Take’ class

ATLANTA -- With the Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays right around the corner, now is the perfect time to add a “pop” of pumpkin to get into the fall spirit!

On Saturday, October 18 at 9 a.m., the experts at Pike Nurseries are helping customers celebrate the season with a fun Pumpkin Planters Make & Take customer class. Participants will receive step-by-step guidance to plant a pumpkin filled with pansies, snapdragons, peppers and other fall favorites.

The class costs $30 for supplies, including pumpkins, potting soil and a variety of plants for guests to create their own personalized planter to take home!

Sign up in advance here.

AP exam participation: Gwinnett County

AP exam participation: Gwinnett County

(WXIA) -- More Georgia high school students are taking -- and passing -- Advanced Placement exams.

Last school year, 89,806 Georgia students took 154,176 AP exams. That's an 8 percent increase in the number of participants and almost a 9 percent increase in the number of tests.

AP exams are graded on a scale of 1 to 5. Passing scores of 3, 4 or 5 often allow the test-takers to earn college credit.

Georgia's seniors earned 86,075 passing scores on their AP exams in 2014, a 9.6 percent increase over 2013.

English Language and Composition was the state's most popular AP exam, followed by U.S. History and World History.

In Gwinnett County, 13,913 students took 26,361 AP exams in 2014, and 14,809 of those exams earned passing scores.

Here are the AP exam breakdowns for each Gwinnett County public high school:

Archer HS
814 students took 1,498 exams
716 passing scores

Volunteers needed for Dare to Hope Halloween events

Volunteers needed for Dare to Hope Halloween events

(WXIA) -- Dare to Hope, a non-profit organization that helps children with rare and complex medical conditions, will hold several Trunk or Treat parties in north Georgia this weekend.

Volunteers are needed to hand out candy and other goodies at the events, which will serve special needs children in the respective communities.

All Trunk or Treats will take place Saturday, Oct. 18 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.; volunteers are asked to arrive no later than 15 minutes before the start of their shifts.

Cherokee County
Hearts and Hands Therapy Services (424 Creekstone Ridge, Woodstock)
Learn more and sign up

Habersham County
Habersham Central High School (2059 Old Highway 197 South, Mt. Airy)
Learn more and sign up