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Milton Tree Fund receives $500 gift

Milton Tree Fund receives $500 gift

MILTON, Ga. -- A local bank recently presented the Milton Tree Fund with a big donation.

Suwanee-based Quantum Bank gave $500 to the forestry program, which works hard to beautify the city and keep it green.

"We really appreciate the bank's generosity," Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood said. "This gift will go to good use as the city redoubles efforts to sustain this area's natural beauty."

The money will be used to purchase and maintain trees in public areas, according to Mark Law, the city's arborist.

$10 million in low interest student loans up for grabs

$10 million in low interest student loans up for grabs

ATLANTA -- State officials have re-opened the pool for $10 million in low interest student loans. 

Lawmakers had set aside $20 million to help families after an overhaul of the lottery-funded HOPE scholarship took effect this summer.

Only about 5,200 students applied for the loans during the initial application period, which ended in July.

The Georgia Student Finance Authority has now re-opened the application process for the remaining $10 million in available loans.

Students have until Oct. 31 to apply for the Student Access Loan Program. 

For applications and details, visit GAcollege411's website.

Georgia Lottery sales falling short

ATLANTA -- Turns out the budget for education expenses was richer than reality.

The Governor's Office says lottery revenues continue to fall short of expected revenue despite that fact that ticket sales are up in the first quarter of this year.

"We budgeted more revenue than we are now expecting to receive," said Governor Nathan Deal's spokesman, Brian Robinson. "We budgeted $903 million in the fiscal year 2012 budget. Fiscal year 2011 lottery deposits to education were $846 million."

11Alive started digging into lottery revenue because of cuts to the Pre-K program. $54 million was cut to make up for falling lottery tickets sales in fiscal year 2011, which ended in June. That caused an exodus of experienced educators from the program.

So how did we get here?

Things started going in the wrong direction in the fiscal year of 2011: Total revenue: $3,597,222,000, down $48,175,000 from the year before, or 1 percent.

Georgia per capita income hit $34,800 last year

Georgia per capita income hit $34,800 last year

ATLANTA -- Georgia ranks 21st among the states for per capita income growth over the past 35 years, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The Peach State's annual PCI growth rate was 5.61 percent from 1975 to 2010. PCI was $5,157 in 1975, compared with $34,800 in 2010.

In terms of total personal income (TPI), Georgia's growth rate was 7.59 percent. The TPI in 1975 was $26 billion, compared with $338 billion in 2010.

PCI is the average amount of money earned by a single person in a given year, while TPI is the sum earned by all people.

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Tracking programs created to bring jobs to Georgia

Tracking programs created to bring jobs to Georgia

ATLANTA -- With Georgia's unemployment rate remaining in double digits, 11Alive journalists are busy digging into three programs that promised to create jobs.

One of them is the federal stimulus program.

According to the state's Stimulus Accountability website, the federal government has granted Georgia approximately $3.2 billion in stimulus funds. Georgia's unemployment rate was around 8.8 percent just prior to the start of the stimulus program. Two years later, unemployment has risen to the current rate of 10.1 percent.

Where are the stimulus jobs?

In Paulding County, the stimulus program is getting mixed reviews.

Paulding County has received approximately $46 million in federal stimulus funds. The unemployment rate there was 6 percent in 2008 before the stimulus program. Unemployment in Paulding has risen to its current rate of 10.6 percent.

Hundreds hiring Thursday as Ga. jobless rate rises

Hundreds hiring Thursday as Ga. jobless rate rises

ATLANTA -- Thousands of jobseekers descended on the campus of Atlanta Metropolitan College on Atlanta's south side to attend a day-long job fair hosted by U.S. Representatives John Lewis and Hank Johnson.

Coca-Cola, Comcast and Gwinnett County Schools were among nearly 100 companies looking to hire at the fair at the fair, which ended at 5 p.m.

Traffic for the Congressional Black Caucus job fair stretched for blocks around the campus, and fire/rescue officials said at least eight people suffered from heat-related illnesses while waiting in line. 

People were not permitted to enter the campus for the job fair after about 2:30 p.m., according to the Atlanta Fire Department's Jolyon Bundridge.