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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.

Community Sponsors

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Piedmont Heart Institute partners with Cleveland Clinic

Piedmont Heart Institute partners with Cleveland Clinic

ATLANTA -- Piedmont Heart Institute has formed an alliance with the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute at the renowned Cleveland Clinic.

The partnership will allow both organizations to raise their standards of cardiovascular care by sharing clinical policies, treatment protocols and research opportunities, according to a Piedmont Healthcare spokesperson.

"Teamwork is the next phase of American medicine. We're finding new ways to combine our strengths for better patient care," Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute chairman Dr. Lars Svensson said in a release. "This alliance will allow us to accelerate advancements in cardiac care."

Piedmont Heart operates 26 clinics across metro Atlanta. Visit piedmont.org for more information.

Blimpie offering 51¢ subs on Apr. 2

Blimpie offering 51¢ subs on Apr. 2

(WXIA) -- To celebrate its 51st birthday, Blimpie is offering 51¢ sandwiches this week.

The first 100 customers to visit any Blimpie location nationwide on Thursday, Apr. 2 will be able to order a regular-sized Blimpie Best sub for only 51¢. The promotion is limited to one sandwich per person.

Blimpie also plans to bring back its Hoboken Hero, an Italian sub created especially for last year's 50th anniversary celebration, in May.

Visit blimpie.com to find your nearest location.

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.

Douglas County's unemployment rate was 6.7 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.

Community Sponsors

When it's permanent, it needs to be perfect.

Ga. health rankings: Douglas County

Ga. health rankings: Douglas County

(WXIA) -- A new report offers detailed health statistics for each of Georgia's counties.

The findings, which are posted at countyhealthrankings.org, determined that Forsyth is Georgia's healthiest county. Early is the least healthy.

Douglas is Georgia's 27th healthiest county, according to the data. It ranks 43rd for quality of life, 25th for health behaviors (such as smoking and obesity), 66th for clinical care, 34th for social and economic factors (like graduation rates and violent crimes), and 125th for physical environment.

Here are some interesting takeaways about Douglas County:

Driver turns himself in after hitting pedestrian

Driver turns himself in after hitting pedestrian

DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. -- The driver accused of fatally hitting a pedestrian in Douglas County has turned himself in to police.

Brian Russell, 51, has been charged with felony vehicular homicide, hit and run, and failure to report an accident.

Investigators said Russell is the driver who struck 56-year-old Audrey Hartley early Sunday at the intersection of Fairburn and Midway roads. Russell drove away after hitting Hartley, but later turned himself in.

The Georgia State Patrol is investigating the accident.

Weekend roadwork: The usual suspects

Weekend roadwork: The usual suspects

(WXIA) -- It's going to be "more of the same" on the Atlanta area's highways and interstates this weekend, as Georgia Department of Transportation crews take to the streets.

Drivers are asked to avoid travel on interstates 20 and 285, if possible. GDOT will close lanes in several areas, which could result in lengthy delays.

As always, all work is weather permitting.

Interstate 20

Three eastbound lanes will be closed between Langhorn and McDaniel streets from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for bridge joint repairs.

Two westbound lanes will be closed between the Downtown Connector and Langhorn Street from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for bridge joint repairs.

Two westbound lanes will be closed between Fulton Industrial Boulevard and I-285 from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for bridge joint repairs.