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Free Press 10-12-12

Free Press 10-12-12

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WWW.CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER.COM • FRIDAY,
OCT. 12
, 2012 • VOL. 15, NO. 29 FREE
REE 
RESS 
• A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS •
At the September session, Terry Carpenter accom-panied the group on guitar.Participants usually choose their songs from either “the blue book,” Rise Up Singing, or “the brown book,” a collectionof songs group members compiled themselves. Photos by Kathy MitchellBob Goodman, center, is one of the original fourth Friday Singers.
 
www.facebook.com/ championnewspaper
 
www.championnewspaper.com
 
www.twitter.com/ championnews
 
Follow us.
Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.
See Tricoli on Page 15ASee Songs on Page 15A
Will the song circle be unbroken?
 by Kathy Mitchellkathy@dekalbchamp.comWith a wide range of entertainment, in-cluding concerts, plays, movies, television,video games and more available, there are people who prefer to entertain themselvesthe way people in small communities thathad little access to amusement did decadesago—with a song circle.At a subdivision community roomin East Lake, a group that calls itself theFourth Friday Singers gets together—asthe name suggests—on the fourth Fridayof every month to sing their hearts out. Atthe Sept. 26 gathering approximately 18 people—with men and women equally rep-resented—sat around a table singing what-ever they felt in the mood for.Some are core members who come toevery session. Some come occasionallyand often there are first timers, accord-ing to
Bob Goodman
, one of the originalmembers of the East Lake group. It’s one of  perhaps four such groups in the Atlanta areaand dozens nationwide.The procedure is simple. Each partici- pant gets a copy of “the blue book” and“the brown book.” These are what arecalled “fake books”—collections of songswith lyrics and minimal information suchas guitar chords. The blue book is
 RiseUp Singing 
, a collection of songs popular among Americans that was published in1988 with an introduction by folk singer 
Pete
 
Seeger.
The brown book is the group’sown collection of songs they like that aren’tin
 Rise Up Singin
. Going around the circleclockwise members announce what they’dlike to sing next. If the selection isn’t ineither book the participant provides sheetswith the lyrics.At the September session,
Terry Car-
This article is the final of a serieslooking into the rise and fall of former Georgia Perimeter College president  Anthony Tricoli.
 by Andrew Cauthenandrew@dekalbchamp.com
F
ormer Georgia Perimeter College(GPC) President
Anthony Tricoli
was left out of discussions about
the institution’s nancial shortfalls that
grew to $16 million, according to emailrecords from GPC and the UniversitySystem of Georgia (USG). The emailswere obtained by
The Champion News-
 paper 
through the Georgia Open Re-cords Act.Various records, along with an af-
davit by GPC’s former budget di-
rector—acquired by
The Champion Newspaper 
from Georgia’s secretary of 
state—also reveal that nancial reports
 presented to Tricoli over a four-year 
 period did not reect budget decits
or spending down of the college’s re-serves.The emails show “the lack—maybeintentional, maybe not, I don’t know— of communication in terms of keepingthe president in the loop,” said Tricoli,who was dismissed from his job inMay by USG when the projected short-fall came to light.A USG audit released Sept. 17 “not-ed the existence of email discussions”
among GPC’s nance team starting
in January 2012 that mention the useof reserve funds for expenditures for which they were not set aside.The audit also states that there is“no evidence that these emails were
shared outside the Ofce of Financial
and Administrative Affairs until severalmonths afterwards.”Tricoli said the emails show that
GPC’s top nancial staff members
Records indicate Tricoli unaware of deficit
Tricoli
 
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 12 , 2012 Page 2A
Local News
City of Decatur considering several annexations
Former Chapel Hill,N.C., mayor returningto native Lithonia forbook signing
City of Lithonia native andformer mayor of Chapel Hill, N.C.,
Howard Nathaniel Lee
returns to his hometown for awelcome reception and book signing at the Lithonia Woman’sClub, 2564 Wiggins Street, Oct.13, from 2-4 p.m.His book,
 
The Courage to Lead: One Man’s Journey in Public Service
, chronicles his lifeexperiences while growing up inLithonia. It tells about the hur-dles, as well as the triumphs, andthe people who helped him dur-ing his career in North Carolina.Lee served as Chapel Hill’smayor from 1969-75 and was the
rst Black elected mayor of a pre
-dominantly White city.“His life story is very inspira-tional and a model of what publicservice really means,” said Litho-nia Mayor 
Deborah A. Jackson
.While Lee is in town, he will
 be interviewed by Atlanta lm
-maker 
Eddy
 
Anderson
, who isdocumenting Lithonia’s history.Lee’s visit supports the effortsof the city of Lithonia to paytribute to veterans on Nov. 10.Lithonia City Council mem- ber 
Tracy-Ann Williams
, amember of 
 
the city’s VeteransDay planning committee, said,“It’s truly an honor to have Mr.Lee come back to the city andsupport our efforts to honor the brave men and women who gaveso much for the freedoms we en- joy today. It’s truly an excitingtime.”The Veterans’ Day Salute &Parade will pay tribute to veter-ans such as former Senator 
Max
 
Cleland
, a U.S. Army VietnamWar veteran and recipient of 
the Silver Star and the Bronze
Star for valorous action in com- bat; and Lithonia military hero,
Lanier W. Phillips
, U.S. Navyand 1942 shipwreck survivor of the USS Truxtun, who wasrecently laid to rest in Lithonia’s
Bruce Street African American
Cemetery.For more information aboutthe Lithonia Veterans’ Day event,visit www.lithoniaveteransday.
com or contact organizers at
lithoniahistory@gmail.com or (678) 459-8687.
 by Andrew Cauthenandrew@dekalbchamp.comIn the Midway Woodsneighborhood, west of Columbia Drive and onthe outskirts of the city of Decatur, an annexation pro- posal at least four years inthe making is pitting neigh- bor against neighbor.At issue is a request bysome residents of the neigh- borhood to be annexed intothe four-square-mile cityof Decatur.
Kevin Polite
, a Mid-way Woods resident for eight years and chair-man of the No 2 Decatur annexation oppositiongroup, said the neighbor-hood “was a close-knitcommunity before thethought of annexationappeared and it has nowtorn the community inhalf.“Whether all of Mid-way Woods is annexed or not, there will need to bemuch healing of the com-munity after the decisionhas been made,” Politesaid.Approximately 66 of the more than 750 homesin Midway Woods are being considered for an-nexation into Decatur.“The Midway Woods Neighborhood Associa-tion wants to be in Deca-tur…[and] is petitioningfor all of Midway Woodsto be part of Decatur,”Polite said.Polite said the anti-annexation group wasformed because “we feltour voice wasn’t beingheard.”“We’re getting petitionsagainst being annexed,” Po-lite said. “The majority of  people that have signed the[anti-annexation] petitionare elderly or they don’thave kids—approximately65 percent.”The largest opposition is because of the increase intaxes, Polite said.According to Decatur’swebsite, an estimated typi-cal 2012 total tax bill for ahome in the city valued at$250,000 is $4,844, whilein unincorporated DeKalbCounty the bill would be$3,514.Midway Woods is one of six major areas that Decatur 
ofcials are studying the
feasibility of annexing. Inaddition to Midway Woods,the areas include: Clairmontand North Decatur Road;
the Suburban Plaza area;
the Sycamore Hill area; theDerrydown subdivision;and the United MethodistChildren’s Home.“If you included it all,…it’s a modest area,” saidDecatur Mayor 
Bill
 
Floyd
 said.
City ofcials say the
considered areas have anestimated 4,000 residents,800 properties and would
See Vote on Page A
Residents in the Midway Woods neighborhood, near Memorial Drive and Columbia Drive, are split over a possible annexation into thecity of Decatur. The neighborhood is one of several areas along Decatur’s border being considered for annexation. Photo by AndrewCauthen
 
Page 3A The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 12 , 2012
Oliver 
Former M.L. King Coach Mike Carsonto open sports prep academy
 by Carla Parker 
carla@dekalbchamp.com
Michael Carson
, the former Martin Luther King High Schoolfootball coach wholost his job amid al-legations of sextinga parent, plans toopen a prep schoolthat will help ath-letes get scholar-ships.The school,Georgia PrepSports Academy,will be a one-year  post-high schoolgraduate programdesigned to helpathletes who didn’tmeet the require-ments for collegeget athletic scholar-ships. He plans toopen the school inJanuary 2013.Carson said thisis an opportunity for children to in-crease their grades and test scores.“Some kids are not meeting theminimum standards of a 2.0 GPA,or scoring at least an 820 on theSAT or 17 on the ACT,” he said.“And some NCAA schools havehigher standards than that.”Carson said, the school will alsohave sports starting out with twofootball teams then phasing into basketball and maybe baseball,which will give the athletes moreexposure to college coaches. He plans to coach the teams that will play Georgia-area junior varsity or freshmen college teams.Carson’s partner in the school isformer ColumbiaHigh School foot- ball coach
MarioAllen
.Carson said hecame up with theidea of the school because he wanted
to nd a way to
continue to have animpact in students’lives. In his twoseasons at MLK,the Lions were20-5 and 42 play-ers earned athleticscholarships to col-lege. Carson had 16of his players signscholarships in twoseasons at AvondaleHigh School, whichhad not had a win-ning season in more than 20 years before he arrived in 2008.Carson said he is trying to putthe past behind him and moveforward. In August, the sexting al-legations surfaced after a parent of two football players at the schoolconfronted Carson during a footballgame Aug. 18.
The parent, identied as
DavidaBishop
, allegedly showed other  people at the football game the photographs, which were allegedlysent by the coach via text messages, because she was upset about theamount of playing time her son was
getting on the eld, according to
a DeKalb County Schools Systemspokesman.Carson was suspended and thenresigned.“I know that there were a lot of  people that were hurt from this situ-ation and all I can do is really just
apologize to them for my actions
and really just hope and pray that
they nd it in their hearts to forgive
me for that,” Carson said.Carson said this school will bethe only school of this type in theSoutheast once it opens. Junior col-leges sometimes help athletes meetthe academic requirements, butfew in the Southeast have footballteams.“There are a few schools likethis up North and there are only two junior colleges in the Southeast thathave sports,” he said. “So we’rehoping to feel that void.”Carson said he is attracting play-ers who have GPA’s no lower than1.8. Tuition will be $12,595, whichis lower than other programs thatcost a minimum of $30,000.
Carson is currently trying to nd
a location for the school, but saidhe is looking at Point University in
East Point and Morris Brown Col-
lege in Atlanta.“We’re hoping to partner withthem and use their classroomspace,” he said.
 by Daniel Beauregard
daniel@dekalbchamp.comTo celebrate Georgia’s pre-K pro-gram and its 20th anniversary, Rep.
Mary Margaret Oliver
read to a groupof 4-year-oldsduring her visit toCollege HeightsEarly ChildhoodLearning Center inDecatur as part of the 2012 GeorgiaPre-K Week.Oliver touredCollege Heightswith Principal
Suzanne Ken-nedy
, City Schoolsof Decatur Assistant Superintendent
Thomas Van Soelen
and other staff members. Georgia Pre-K Week is spon-sored by Voices for Georgia’s Children,an advocacy group. Oliver was one of 
nearly 140 state ofcials who visited
some of the approximately 3,800 pre-K classrooms throughout Georgia.Additionally, Oliver got an up closelook at the many ways College Heights,which serves ages six weeks to 4-years-old, is supporting early learning.“We know that early childhood edu-cation is critical to future success, and preparing for elementary school is animportant part of life for a child from
 birth through age ve,” Oliver said.
As Oliver toured the school, she andVan Soelen talked about how manystudents in the school receive free or reduced lunches. Currently, Van Soelensaid approximately 25 percent of Col-lege Heights’ 340 students receive freeor reduced lunches. However, approxi-mately a decade ago that number wascloser to 70 percent.“Your challenge these next coupleof decades will be growth,” Oliver told Van Soelen, who agreed and said
“that’s nothing new.” CSD ofcials ex-
 pect the growth of enrollment to nearly
double over the next ve years, and of-cials are looking for ways to deal with
that growth.
Pat Willis
, executive director of Voice’s for Georgia’s Children, said theGeorgia pre-K program serves 84,0004-year-olds throughout Georgia.“Studies show that early educa-tion programs for children age birth to
ve—in all income groups—will have
long-term impact on a child’s educa-tion. We are proud that Georgia’s Pre-K is making a difference in the lives of somany of our youngest learners, prepar-ing them for future success in schooland in life,” Willis said.At the end of the tour, Oliver satdown to read from
 Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes
 by
Eric Litwin
to agroup of excited 4-year-olds.
Local representativetours Decatur schoolfor Pre-K week 
add approximately 300 acres to thecity.
Andrea Arnold
, Decatur’s as-
sistant city manager, said ofcials
are “still working on our revenueand expenditure estimates” but the“rough, back-of-the-napkin esti-mate” is $1 million in revenue for 
rst year.
Floyd said the city’s school sys-tem would take in an estimated $2million.He said the annexations are be-ing considered because the city hashad “a lot of [annexation] requestsfrom a lot of people around Deca-tur.”“I feel responsible to at leasttake a look at it,” Floyd said. “Itmakes sense to look at the areasand see who can better serve theseareas.
“With all the municipalizations,
there’s been a lot of concern…about what’s going to happen,”Floyd said.
Floyd said city ofcials “de-
cided to do a comprehensive look at whether we want to annex.”“If you’re interested, let usknow. If you’re not let us knowthat too,” Floyd said. “If we don’tsee substantial support from the people,” the city won’t annex.
Floyd said city ofcials will also
have to consider a pending impactstatement from the City of Decatur School System.“Anytime we annex, it impactsschools. We have to be careful as towhat we want to do. No other cityin DeKalb has to worry about that.”The possible annexations would probably be the last annexationsDecatur does, Floyd said.“We’re not looking to get much bigger,” Floyd said. “We don’twant to be a massive city. We’vegot a culture we’re trying to holdonto.“I can’t imagine anybody an-nexing any more than that. It wouldchange the school system dramati-cally. It would change the city dra-matically,” Floyd said.
Floyd said the benet of annexa-
tion to residents in the areas is “ac-cess to what we consider a higher level of service” for police andschools.
“We’re trying to gure out if there are any benets to the city,”
Floyd said. “There may not be any
 benets to the city. That’s what this
whole process is all about.”
The Decatur City Commissionwill hold a public meeting on an-nexation from 6-8 p.m., Oct. 22, inthe commission meeting room at theDecatur City Hall, 509 North Mc-Donough Street.
On Dec. 17, city ofcials plan
to make a recommendation to thecity commission on whether or notto adopt an annexation resolution,Arnold said. If an annexation reso-lution is passed, it would go to theGeorgia General Assembly, which
would vote to authorize any neces-
sary referendum on the matter.
Carson
 Vote
Continued From Page 2A 

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