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Memorial Day comes as troops fight in Afghanistan

Memorial Day comes as troops fight in Afghanistan

ATLANTA -- Americans from Washington to California are marking Memorial Day with parades, barbecues and special tributes tied to the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

An annual holiday honoring the nation's war dead was infused with new meaning this year, coming just months before the 10-year anniversary.

Memorial Day celebrants began filing into Marietta National Cemetery early this morning. As the noon commemoration approached, members of the Patriot Guard Riders lined the driveway, welcoming everyone to the event.

Governor Nathan Deal made an appearance, giving thanks to the brave men and women who have fought in every major U.S. conflict, from the American Revolution to the War in Iraq.

Deal honors Georgia's fallen service members

Deal honors Georgia's fallen service members

ATLANTA -- Governor Nathan Deal has honored Georgia's members of the armed forces who gave their lives in service to the United States.

Last week, he paid special tribute to 22 service members who lost their lives fighting for Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

All members were killed in action since last year's ceremony.

"Today, we commemorate these fallen heroes for their courage and sense of honor, for their service and for their love of this nation and our most cherished principles," Deal said. "They have given their lives in defense of freedom, and we owe them our deepest respect and gratitude. But even more, we owe them our allegiance to the principles that they gave so much for -- freedom, justice and equality. This ceremony is a time to recommit ourselves to those high ideals."

Lt. Col.

Plane catches fire, passengers evacuated at Atlanta airport

Plane catches fire, passengers evacuated at Atlanta airport

ATLANTA - Passengers aboard an Atlanta-bound Delta flight were evacuated after the plane caught fire upon landing Saturday afternoon.

Flight #2284 from Pittsburgh landed at Hartsfield-Jackson airport at 4:14pm when the brakes overheated and started a fire, according to Delta Airlines representative Leslie Parker.

FAA officials report that a blown tire started the fire.

There were 43 passengers and 5 crew members aboard the MD-88 plane, but no major injuries reported. Four passengers were treated at the scene and released.

Prevent the dreaded Memorial Day hangover

Prevent the dreaded Memorial Day hangover

ATLANTA - When a Memorial Day weekend's forecast includes sunny skies and highs in the upper 80s - 9s on the WIZometer - there's a good bet people will be spending a lot of time outside. 

And when people spend a lot of time out by the pool or on the lake, there's probably alcohol around.

Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can have devastating consequences. So, it's always a good policy to drink responsibly, assign a designated driver and keep things safe when you're drinking. 

But, as anybody who's had a little too much to drink will tell you, the dreaded hangover is the most common consequence of over-drinking.

Fayette unemployment lower than Georgia rate in April 2011

Fayette unemployment lower than Georgia rate in April 2011

ATLANTA -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate decreased to 9.7 percent in April 2011.

That's down one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised 9.8 percent in March.

The rate decreased because there were 16,400 new jobs added in Metro Atlanta in April, mostly in leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services.

The lowest Georgia rate, at 7.1 percent, was recorded in Metro Athens, while the highest was in the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region around Dublin, with 11.5 percent unemployment.

Fayette County had an 8.3 percent unemployment rate in April.

April 2011 marks the 43rd consecutive month that Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is currently 9.0 percent.

FAYETTE CO.: DNR working to catch alligator spotted in family's pond

SENOIA, Ga. -- An alligator has unexpectedly found a new and comfortable home in a family's pond on the Fayette County - Coweta County line near Senoia. Now the Georgia Department of Natural Resources is spending hours on end trying to get it out.

The alligator spends most of its time submerged in the water, occasionally exposing its eyes and part of its snout. Kevin Kramer with the Department on Natural Resources says their goal is to bring the animal out alive.

It was Monday afternoon when Pat Dennis spotted the gator swimming in the pond in front of the home of his neighbor, Judy Voyles, off of Georgia Highway 85 east of Senoia, and south of Peachtree City and Fayetteville.

Then Judy Voyles' daughter, Kristy Thompson, posted photos of the gator on her Facebook page.

Lawmakers to look for charter school solutions

Lawmakers to look for charter school solutions

ATLANTA -- State lawmakers are planning to meet next week to hammer out solutions for more than a dozen charter schools that face closing after a Georgia Supreme Court ruled the state commission that created them is unconstitutional.

Senate Education Committee Chairman Fran Millar said the meeting is set for June 3 at 10 a.m. at the Capitol. The Atlanta Republican says the goal is to make sure the 16,000 students enrolled in the schools have an "education setting that meets their needs" when school starts this fall.

Millar has invited several state officials, including state schools Superintendent John Barge and Mark Peevy, executive director of the Georgia Charter Schools Commission.