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Legislator agrees to compromise in autism bill


ATLANTA – The state legislator who has blocked an autism bill has agreed to a compromise.

State Rep. Richard Smith (R-Columbus) tells 11Alive News that he has agreed to attach the language of Ava's Law to another bill that has already passed the House. The compromise was announced Thursday at the Georgia Capitol.

Ava's Law, which is named after a 9-year-old Ava Bullard of Toombs County, would require insurance coverage for children with autism in Georgia. The bill has been bottled up in the House for seven years in part because of Smith's opposition.

Day five of jury deliberations in the APS cheating trial


ATLANTA (WXIA) – Jurors ended day five of deliberations in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating trial Thursday afternoon.

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It's hard to speculate as to whether or not they are any closer to a verdict. Everyone at the courthouse has an opinion, but in reality, no one really knows.

They are reviewing cases on a school-by-school basis. On Thursday, they asked about the evidence involving the three defendants from Dobbs Elementary School – Dessa Curb, Dana Evans and Angela Williamson.

War of words over Atlanta Nobel Peace Prize summit


ATLANTA -- A 2015 summit of Nobel Peace Prize winners in Atlanta is moving ahead, despite the tense relationship between organizers and city leaders. Mayor Kasim Reed withdrew the city's participation in planning the event and requested all references to the city's support be pulled from the event's web site and advertising.

The event, scheduled for Nov. 15-19, has promised to bring at least 21 of the 30 living recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize to Atlanta. Heads of state and thousands of students are expected to attend events at the Georgia Aquarium and Georgia World Congress Center. United Parcel Service Inc. and The Coca-Cola Co. have signed on as significant sponsors.

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.

Is the APS jury moving closer to a verdict?


ATLANTA (WXIA) – The jury in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal trial may be moving toward a verdict faster than initially expected.

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Jurors had plenty of questions on Tuesday – nearly all of them focused on the charge of racketeering facing all 12 former educators.

Prosecutors believe that since the focus seems to be on racketeering, the jury may have moved past the lesser charges, and closer to a verdict.

Fulton County Workforce Investment Act Board to meet Thursday

Fulton County Workforce Investment Act Board to meet Thursday

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- The Fulton County Workforce Preparation and Employment System – Workforce Investment Act Board (FCWPES-WIA) will meet Thursday, Mar. 26, 2015 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.  The meeting will be held  at the Adamsville Regional Health Center, 3700 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, SW, Atlanta. 

The FCWPES-WIA Board oversees activities related to providing an environment that supports a skilled and trained workforce and to creating innovative programs that serve the changing needs of employers and the business community.

WIA helps Georgia move toward a comprehensive, customer-focused workforce investment system where job seeker and employer customers alike can access a wide range of workforce-related tools and information needed to manage their work activities. Services are provided through a network of one-stop centers statewide.

John Lewis' 75th birthday celebration planned


ATLANTA – Some of Atlanta's biggest notables and celebrities will gather next week to celebrate Congressman John Lewis' 75th birthday.

The celebration will take place at the Tabernacle next Saturday.

The event is open to the public and ticketing information can be found at www.johnlewis75.com. The VIP reception and dinner is at 6:00 p.m. Doors open for the gala at 7:30 p.m and the program begins at 8:00 p.m. The event will take place at the Tabernacle Atlanta, 152 Luckie Street NW, Atlanta GA 30303.

It has already been a memorable year for the congressman. Two weeks ago he walked with President Barack Obama across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma to mark the 50th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday."