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Pike Nurseries announces April gardening classes

Pike Nurseries announces April gardening classes

ATLANTA -- To help customers welcome springtime with bright blooms, pretty perennials and fresh fruits and veggies, the experts at Pike Nurseries are hosting a variety of free gardening classes all month long.

With on-hand advice from planting professionals, guests of all gardening levels can transition their stark winter landscapes into cheerful crops of spring blossoms galore.

Growing Great Tomatoes Class
Wednesday, April 8 at 1 p.m. at all Pike Nurseries store locations
A juicy, vine-ripened tomato adds the perfect burst of flavor to spring and summer recipes! Better yet, homegrown tomatoes are a safe, economical food source and taste better than store-bought edibles. Customers can take their pick from two offered classes to learn more about these delicious, nutrient-packed plants. With fresh advice from Pike Nurseries, these ruby-red favorites will be ripe for the picking!

Community Sponsors

GDOT to limit roadwork for 2 weekends

GDOT to limit roadwork for 2 weekends

(WXIA) -- Here's some good news for spring breakers and Atlanta Braves fans: road construction will be limited for the next two weekends.

The Georgia Department of Transportation announced Wednesday it will close fewer interstate lanes than usual from midnight on Friday, Apr. 3 to 5 a.m. on Monday, Apr. 6. The construction break is meant to accommodate drivers who are heading into or out of Atlanta for spring break and Easter weekend.

Lane closures will also be limited from 10 p.m. on Friday, Apr. 10 to 5 a.m. on Monday, Apr. 13, for the Braves' opening weekend at Turner Field.

Traffic throughout Georgia is expected to be heavy both weekends, and drivers are asked to be cautious.

"Also, incident management or emergency maintenance-related lane closures could become necessary on any time on any route," GDOT director of construction Jeff Baker said.

2015 Shuler Hensley Awards nominees announced

2015 Shuler Hensley Awards nominees announced

ATLANTA -- Twenty-four productions have been nominated for the 2015 Georgia High School Musical Theater Awards, otherwise known as the Shuler Hensley Awards.

The program is named for Tony Award-winning actor Shuler Hensley, a Cobb County native. This year's winners will be announced Thursday, Apr. 23 during an awards ceremony at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

Winning a Shuler Hensley Award can reap major benefits for a budding performer. Just ask Jai'Len Josey, who won Best Actress in 2014 for her portrayal of Effie White in Tri-Cities High School's production of Dreamgirls.

QuikTrip introduces breakfast pizza

QuikTrip introduces breakfast pizza

(WXIA) -- It has the makings of an April Fools' Day joke, but QuikTrip really did begin offering a breakfast pizza on Apr. 1.

The new culinary creation features a crispy crust topped with sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs and melted cheddar jack cheese. It is available from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. daily at the QT Kitchens full service counters. The pizza costs $2.99 for one slice or $5 for two.

So far, the breakfast pizza is a hit, according to QuikTrip Corporate Chef Nick Powell.

"Our savory breakfast pizza is a new and exciting breakfast option. Customers rave about it," Powell said in a statement.

Visit quiktrip.com to find your nearest QuikTrip.

Community Sponsors

T.MAC raises money for Christopher Sparkman

T.MAC raises money for Christopher Sparkman

(WXIA) -- All 22 Atlanta-area T.MAC restaurants will raise money for Christopher Sparkman this week.

Sparkman was working as a security guard at a Kennesaw FedEx facility last April when he was shot in the abdomen. Since the shooting, Sparkman has undergone more than 30 surgeries. His wife Jamie Lynn quit her job to help take care of him.

Read more about Chris Sparkman's recovery

The Sparkman family faces enormous medical bills; Jamie Lynn has spoken publicly about the need for financial assistance.

T.MAC customers who want to help Sparkman pay for his treatment can do so on Thursday, Apr. 2. Diners can drop their receipts in designated collection boxes; 10 percent of their bills will be donated to the Sparkman family.

Fulton County Police Chief to retire after 35 years of service

Fulton County Police Chief to retire after 35 years of service

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Fulton County Police Chief Cassandra Jones has announced her retirement effective April 7, 2015. 

“Chief Jones will be greatly missed. Her work was a key part of our crime prevention efforts in this county,” says Chairman John H. Eaves.  “Due to her emphasis on community oriented policing, burglaries in our unincorporated area decreased by more than 22 percent during her tenure.”

Chief Jones has served with the Fulton County Police Department since December 17, 1979. She has served as Police Chief since October 9, 2007.  She is the only female to serve as Fulton County Police Chief.

“We thank Chief Jones for her 35 years of service to the citizens of Fulton County, and extend best wishes to her on her retirement,” said County Manager Dick Anderson.

Assistant Police Chief Gary D. Stiles will serve as Interim Chief until a permanent replacement is named.

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.

Fulton County's unemployment rate was 6.5 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.