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Marietta employees sentenced for Section 8 fraud

Marietta employees sentenced for Section 8 fraud

MARIETTA, Ga. -- Two former City of Marietta employees are among four people charged with stealing from the federal Housing Choice Voucher Program.

The program, also known as Section 8, helps low-income families pay their rent. Shantel Bowens and Debbie Bailey worked for Marietta's Housing Choice Voucher Program, which oversees local tenant and landlord participation.

Bowens and Bailey pleaded guilty in July and May, respectively, to conspiring with two landlords to steal money from the program.

According to federal prosecutors, Bowens, 43, of Atlanta, reactivated the closed accounts of former Section 8 tenants. She then altered computer records to link the tenants to two co-defendants, landlords Babatunde "Babs" Abass and Tunji "Chris" Imoukhuede.

HoneyBaked Ham adding 10,000 holiday workers

HoneyBaked Ham adding 10,000 holiday workers

(ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE) -- HoneyBaked Ham will hire 10,000 people for part-time holiday jobs.

The Atlanta-based glazed ham and turkey retailer said that’s a 600-percent total increase in its workforce across 400 stores. The company operates 21 stores in metro Atlanta.

“More than 2.5 million customers invite HoneyBaked to their important holiday gatherings during the holiday season company-wide, from Thanksgiving through the start of the new year,” said President and COO Maggie DeCan. “We’re happy to employ 10,000 people during the holidays when many need an extra income. These seasonal employees are instrumental in HoneyBaked’s ability to deliver our great products to our millions of cherished customers during our busiest season.”

Unemployment up slightly in August

Unemployment up slightly in August

(WXIA) -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate climbed again in August.

The rate was 8.0 percent, up slightly from July's 7.9 percent. It was also 7.9 percent in August 2013.

Floyd County's preliminary unemployment rate was 8.5 percent last month.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said despite the rate increase, metro Atlanta added nearly 6,000 jobs in August, mostly in government; education and health services; manufacturing; and construction. Fewer Atlanta-area residents also filed for unemployment insurance in August than in July.

Metro Athens had Georgia's lowest August unemployment rate at 6.4 percent. Metro Dalton's was the highest at 10.7 percent.

Georgia haunted house: Gates of Misery

Georgia haunted house: Gates of Misery

ROME, Ga. -- With Halloween approaching, haunted attractions are starting to pop up all across north Georgia.

Netherworld in Norcross is one of the most popular haunted houses in the country, but Rome residents don't have to travel that far for scares.

Gates of Misery is hosted in a 90-year-old building, just around the corner from the Rome Braves stadium. According to its website, it plays on the idea of turning fairy tales into nightmares.

Actors, props and special effects produce the screams at Gates of Misery. Visitors are greeted with scenes of torture and torment as they take a 12,000-square-foot walk through the attraction.

Gates of Misery opens Friday, Oct. 3. It is open Friday and Saturday through Oct. 11, and Thursday, Friday and Saturday through Nov. 1. Admission is $15. Tickets go on sale at 7 p.m. nightly, and the haunted house opens at 7:30 p.m.

Same old story: Weekend roadwork on I-285, I-20

Same old story: Weekend roadwork on I-285, I-20

(WXIA) -- The weekend will be dry, weather-wise, but with sunshine comes roadwork.

RELATED | Atlanta Alive meteorologist Chesley McNeil has your weekend forecast

Georgia Department of Transportation crews will be on several roads throughout metro Atlanta. As always, drivers are asked to be cautious when traveling through work zones.

Look out for workers in these areas:

Cobb County
* Two southbound lanes of I-285 will be closed between Atlanta Road and South Cobb Drive from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for concrete slab replacement.
* Two Inner Loop lanes and one Outer Loop lane of I-285 will be closed between Paces Ferry Road and Cobb Parkway from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for sign installation.

Shorter's 'The Miracle Worker' opens Sept. 25

Shorter's 'The Miracle Worker' opens Sept. 25

ROME, Ga. -- Shorter University will stage a production of William Gibson's The Miracle Worker next week.

The 1959 play tells the story of deafblind Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan, who helped her find ways to explore the world around her.

"It's not just Helen's story -- it's also the story of a family coping with challenges most of us could never understand," said Shorter assistant professor of theatre Chad Daniel, who directed the production. "They are also dealing with societal pressures, because it is Alabama in the 1880s and society is still healing from the Civil War."

Shelby Folks of LaFayette, Ga., will play Helen Keller, while Annie Sullivan will be played by Kaitlin Kennedy of Missouri City, Texas.

The Miracle Worker will be staged at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 25-27, and 2 p.m. on Sept. 27-28. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.

Berry chief of staff named to state board

Berry chief of staff named to state board

ROME, Ga. -- Gov. Nathan Deal has appointed Berry College Chief of Staff Alexander Whitaker to the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission.

"Whit," as he is known, will be sworn in Oct. 1 and will serve a three-year term on the board.

He already serves on several boards, including Berry's Board of Trustees, SunTrust Bank of Northwest Georgia, William S. Davies Homeless Shelter, Mercy Care Rome and Pennsylvania's Trinity School for Ministry.

Whitaker is a retired U.S. Navy captain and judge advocate. He is a Rome native and graduated from the Darlington School in 1977. Whitaker has a bachelor's degree from Berry, a law degree from the University of Virginia, a master's degree in international and comparative law from Georgetown University and a master's degree in religion from Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry.