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FreePress 3-15-13

FreePress 3-15-13

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Published by hudgons
DeKalb County, GA Newspaper Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.
DeKalb County, GA Newspaper Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.

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03/18/2013

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www.championnewspaper.com
WWW.CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER.COM • FRIDAY,
MARCH 15
, 2013 • VOL. 15, NO. 51 FREE
REE 
RESS 
• A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS •
Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.
Miller Grove High School boys’ basketball head coach Sharman White, center, raises the Class AAAAA championship trophyand five fingers indicating the team’s fifth championship title. Photos by Travis Hugdons
FIVE GOLDEN RINGS
 
www.facebook.com/ championnewspaper
 
 
www.twitter.com/ championnews
Like Us OnFollow Us On
 Miller Grove makes history winning fifth consecutive state title
 by Carla Parker carla@dekalbchamp.com“Nobody gave them a chance.”Those were the words that Miller Grove High School boys’ basketballhead coach
Sharman White
said
as he celebrated his team’s fthconsecutive state title, a rst in state
history.Many people didn’t expect theMiller Grove Wolverines to make
it back to the winners’ circle after losing some of its top players from
 previous championship teams thatincluded
Tony Parker
,
BrandonMorris
,
Justin Colvin
,
Donte Wil-liams
,
Mfon Udoa
and others. Butthe 2012-2013 squad proved theyare as good as the school’s other 
championship teams after they ral
-lied back to beat the GainesvilleRed Elephants 61-57 in the ClassAAAAA state championship onMarch 8.The Wolverines won the state
title in its rst season in Class
AAAAA. They won the previ-
ous four championships in Class
AAAA. White said he couldn’t be
more proud of his team.
“The way they stuck in there allyear and hung 30 wins up on the
season and to top it off with this
game right here and the way they
won it, I’m just so proud of them,”
he said. “They did a great job.”Miller Grove had to rally back 
from a seven-point decit at half 
time to beat Gainesville. Gainesvillekept the Wolverines on their toes
with fastbreaks, three-point shoot
-ing and dunks. However, the Red
Elephants’ fast paced play didn’tcatch the Wolverines off guard.
“We play like that,” White said.“We’ve been able to play like that
all year long and that kind of playedinto our hands—that fast game. Wewere kind of able to take advantageof that with their little spurts, try
-ing to go up and down with us, and
it allowed us to play defense and
make some stops.”Junior point guard
Keith Pinck-ney
got the ball rolling in the thirdquarter eight points while senior shooting guard
Earl Bryant
scored
six points, four off of offensive re
- bound put backs. Freshman pointguard
Alterique Gilbert
added sev-en points to help Miller Grove gain
a 41-39 lead into the fourth quarter.
Miller Grove played aggressive-
ly both offensively and defensivelyin the fourth. They scored 36 pointsin the paint in the second half after scoring only 12 points in the rsthalf. They also forced 11 turnoversin the second half after forcing veturnovers in the rst half.
However, Gainesville continuedto battle back. The lead changed
nine times in the fourth quarter be
-
fore Bryant took a long pass downcourt from senior shooting guard
Kyre’ Hamer
for a fast break bas
-ket that put Miller Grove up 50-49with 4:54 to play. Bryant’s basket
was part of an 8-2 run by the Wol
-verines, which also included six
 points from Gilbert to give Miller 
Grove a 56-51 lead with two min-utes to play.Gainesville’s
Chase England
 
scored four points off two offensive
rebounds to pull Gainesville back within 56-55 with 1:12 remaining.
After Miller Grove forced a fewturnovers, Bryant hit two of four free throws and Gilbert hit one of 
two to make it a 59-55 lead with 33seconds to play. Bryant said he had
no doubt in his mind that his free
throws were going in.“I’m a senior and it’s on myshoulders,” he said. “I had to makesure going through my mind that[the ball was] going in.”Gainesville was able to pull back within two points, 59-57, with
a couple of free throws. After a
Miller Grove turnover, Gainesville’s
Caleb Hayman
had a chance to
tie the game with two free throws.Hayman missed both free throwsand Hamer rebounded and foundGilbert streaking down the court for 
an easy basket to clinch the 61-57victory.Gilbert led the team in scoringwith 19 points. Pinckney scored 14 points and Bryant scored 13 points.
Bryant said it felt good to win and prove all of the doubters wrong.
“It was long, hard work dur-
ing and before the season,” he said.
“People doubted us but we knewwere going to win.”
Miller Grove’s fth consecutive
state title set a Georgia boys’ highschool record, pushing the Wolver-ines past Lanier (16 state titles) and
Westover (six state titles), both of which had won four consecutive ti
-tles. The victory also moved Miller 
Grove into a 10th place tie for all-
time state championships in Georgia
and into a tie with Columbia for the
DeKalb County lead.“[This championship] goes
down as one of the top ones outof all the other groups because
this group wasn’t given a chance,”
White said. “I’m just so proud of 
them.”
 
The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 15, 2013 Page 2A
LOCAL NEWS
More trees to be saved by Brook Run
Park trail construction modifcations
Black leaders oppose governor’s move toreplace school board members
 
DeKalb Chamber of Commerce
2013 Newcomer’s Guide & Membership Directory 
 To place your ad, contact
John
or
Louise
at
The Champion Newspaper!
Reserve your advertising space now to show support of 75 years of service to the business community of DeKalb.Deadline for ad placement and payment is Friday, April 19, 2013.Publication date is May 2013!
Louise Acker
LouiseD@DeKalbChamp.comM: 404.579.5312O: 404.373.7779 x 102
John Hewitt
JohnH@DeKalbChamp.comO: 404.373.7779 x 110
 by Carla Parker carla@dekalbchamp.comThe city of Dunwoody plansto save 80 trees for the Brook Run Park multi-use trail.In a press release postedon the city’s website, a city
ofcial said the Georgia
Environmental ProtectionDivision (EPD) approveda plan that allows for theremoval of all 337 treeswithin the trail constructionlimits. However, the city
made modications that will
allow for the preservation of approximately 25 percent, or 
80 of the 337 trees identied
for removal.“The city will continue tomake efforts to preserve these
identied trees, however,the city acknowledges some
may need to be removedat a future point in time if the construction equipment
activity damages tree and root
structures,” the press releaseread.
City crews have begunclearing trees to make
room for the 12-foot-wide
concrete and 3.3-mile long
trail after a DeKalb County
Superior Court judge lifted
an injunction that was placedon the project on Dec. 13,
2012. The trail is designed
as a recreational facility to promote connectivity between
city parks, neighborhoods,
and area business.
The city has also beguninstalling silt fencing around
the construction site. After the
clearing work, the city willinstall “tree save” fencing
for trees outside of theconstruction limits. The “tree
save” fencing will ensure
that equipment operates canidentify trees that are not to betouched.“The city will continue to
manage all trail constructionactivities occurring on-site,” city ofcials said in
the statement. “City staf
are monitoring site activity,
with plans in hand, to ensureonly those trees previously
identied and tagged for 
removal are removed.”On March 1, the EPDvisited the site to inspect theerosion and sedimentationcontrol measures installed by the city crews. The EPDinspector concluded that the
city was going “above and
 beyond” state requirements to
manage the construction sitesuccessfully, according to cityofcials.
The city said recentconcerns raised by citizens
observing the constructionregarding the alleged
improper removal of anAmerican Beech Tree wereshown to be false.“The city removed a 24-inch American Beech tree
that was clearly identied
in the plans to be removed,”
ofcials said. “Only trees
approved to be removed in theconstruction plans have beencleared.”
The city has also eldedquestions regarding the trail’s
encroachment into the state’s25-foot stream buffer. Basedon the EPD recommendations,the city will provide
additional mulch and slightly
adjust the position of the siltfence to an area of about 20yards to accommodate proper  buffer distance.Brook Run Park remains
the largest park in Dunwoody
with a total of 102 acresand an estimated 60 acresof wooded park space,
including an estimated 12,000
trees. The pre-constructiontrail assessment determined phase one of the multi-use trail would only affectapproximately 2 percent of the trees in the park.
PUBLIC NOTICE
Notice is hereby given that the City of Brookhavenhas tentatively scheduled the 2013 budget adoptionat 6pm on March 26, 2013 during the scheduled Councilmeeting that evening at PATH Academy, Cafeteria,3007 Hermance Drive NE, GA 30319.
 
 by Andrew Cauthenandrew@dekalbchamp.comBlack leaders spent an
hour March 11 giving Gov.
Nathan
 
Deal
their thoughts
on his decision to removeand replace six DeKalbCounty Board of Educationmembers.
“Our message to the gov
-ernor was clear: we believe
that the right of the people to
choose their elected officialsshould never be tamperedwith,” said
Edward
 
Dubose
,
 president of the Georgia NAACP, after the meeting at
the Capitol.Dubose said Black lead-
ers were not “speaking on
whether the school boardmembers deserve to be in place or not.”“That’s not the issue,”Dubose said. “The issue is
whether a governor should
act like a dictator, whether 
a governor should have thesingle power to remove
someone that was elected bythe people.
“We believe the governor is going to move forward in
his direction, but we made itclear that we would continue
to fight on to stop what we
 believe is an attack on our 
very sacred right,” Dubose
said.In a Feb. 25 news confer-ence, Deal announced thathe had accepted the unani-mous recommendation of the
Georgia Board of Education(GBOE) to remove six mem
- bers of the DeKalb school board.The DeKalb CountyBoard of Education has beenunder scrutiny since theschool district was placed onaccreditation probation bySouthern Association of Col-
leges and Schools (SACS),the agency that accredits theschool district through its
 parent company, AdvancED.
GBOE unanimously rec
-ommended to Deal to removeDeKalb school board mem- bers
Sarah
 
Copelin-Wood
,
Jesse “Jay” Cunningham
,
Donna Elder
,
Nancy Jester
,
Pamela A. Speaks
and
Eu-gene P. Walker
.Only the newly elected board members, chairman
Melvin
 
Johnson
, vice chair-man
Jim
 
McMahan
and
Marshall
 
Orson
, remain intheir positions.Deal formed a nominat-
ing committee to recommend
replacement board members.That committee considered403 applicants to the posi-tions and interviewed ap- proximately 60 people. The
governor was expected to
announce the replacement
 board members during a
March 13 press conference.Rep.
Dee Dawkins-Haigler
(D-93) said lawmak-ers are “very disappointed”that Deal removed the school board members.“We believe that every-
 body has one vote,” Haigler 
See Leaders on Page 11A
 
Page 3A The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 15, 2013
‘Casanova scammer’indicted for identitytheft, fraud
Instead of city, businesses form CID
Fake DeKalb cop sentenced on drug, robbery charges
u
Tucker
 by Daniel Beauregard
daniel@dekalbchamp.comA DeKalb County
grand jury has indicted an
Alabama man known asthe “Casanova scammer”
on charges of forgery andidentity fraud for allegedlyscamming women he met
online.
Brian Wedgeworth
, 37,
of Birmingham, is chargedwith two counts of forgery,identity fraud and driving
with a suspended license.DeKalb District Attorney
Robert James
said his
ofce sees a lot of casesinvolving fraud and romance
 but has never seen one quite
like Wedgeworth’s.
“It’s unique becauseit appears to be sort of a
shell game,” James said.
“He would borrow moneyfrom one woman to pay off another woman’s debts.”
Wedgeworth was
 previously arrested inDeKalb County in 2005 for 
larceny, theft and being afugitive from justice.According to theindictment, Wedgeworth
fraudulently used the bank account of 
MelissaStephens
, and possessed a$1,500 check from Stephenswith the “intent to defraud.”“He would borrowfrom one woman to pay
another’s debts,” James said.“The game just continues
and at the end of the day
everybody ends up losing.”
At the time of his arrest,
James said Wedgeworth wasalso carrying a fraudulent
driver’s license used for analias.
James said Wedgeworth
was able to defraud womenall across the country by
meeting them through onlinedating sites and gaining their 
trust.
Wedgeworth reportedly
 posed as a wealthy doctor and use stolen money to pays of his victim’s studentloans, credit card bills andcar loans. by Andrew Cauthenandrew@dekalbchamp.comWhile there are rumors of possible
new cities popping up on the heels of 
the incorporation of Brookhaven, oneDeKalb County community is contentto stay unincorporated.Instead, a coalition of Tucker busi-ness and property owners have decid-ed to form a community improvementdistrict.
The ofcial kick off for the Tucker 
Community Improvement District(CID) was Feb. 27
 
at The Bank of 
 North Georgia in Tucker as several business owners signed the necessary papers to begin the process of estab
-
lishing a CID.
Bill
 
Rosenfeld
, president of theTucker Business Association and own-
er of Rosenfeld International Jewelry
on LaVista Road, said the CID would
help improve Tucker by “giving us a
 place of identity.”A CID is a district in which com-mercial property owners vote to taxthemselves to raise funds for variouscommunity improvement projects.The Tucker CID, which is consid-
ering a three-mill tax, is planning touse the funds for increased lighting, beautication and road improvements,
Rosenfeld said. The CID would also
allow the community to seek grants
and it would help attract more busi-nesses.
“Even though we’re self-imposing
a little bit of tax, it’s a better way”than cityhood, Rosenfeld said. “It’s
the next best thing we can do for our 
-selves.”Proponents of the proposed city
of Lakeside originally had parts of 
Tucker in its boundaries. Rosenfeldsaid the Stone Mountain CID and cityof Stone Mountain would both like tohave Tucker in their borders.
“Doing this for ourselves is a right
move for us,” Rosenfeld said. “We
have a re station. We have a library.
We have a police station. We have
 plenty of parks. What other benetswould a city give us? We have all thethings we need in Tucker.”
A CID is “absolutely” better thancityhood for Tucker, he said. “A city isnot really an alternative for us. City-hood is taxes for everyone. This istaxes just for businesses.”
Honey Van de Kreke
, vice presi-dent of Elrep Sales in Tucker and one
of the rst business owners to sign the
consent forms, said, “Since it costs the
taxpayers nothing, it is the best alter 
-
native to forming a city.”
“We have had three previous meet-
ings with some of our largest com
-mercial property owners and so far 
the response has been overwhelming
to launch a CID in Tucker,” Van de
Kreke said.“This will give us the fund
-
ing source needed to change our areainto a thriving activity center that pro
-vides positive economic development
and supports the lifelong community
that is Tucker.”For more information on the Tucker CID and how to become a member,visit www.TuckerCID.com.
Torrez
 
Seymore
, 25, of Baltimore,
Md., pleaded guilty and was sentencedMarch 7 by U. S. District Judge
Timothy C. Batten Sr.
for possessing
marijuana obtained by robbery with
the intent to distribute and discharginga rearm in connection with that
robbery.
“The violence associated with drugcrimes is especially disturbing to our 
community,” said U. S. Attorney
Sally
 
Quillian
 
Yates
. “We work hard to
maintain public condence that peopleare safe. Homes being raided by
criminals dressed in law enforcement
gear, carrying guns and yelling ‘police’is extremely unsettling. This case
effectively dismantled this robberycrew,” she said.Seymore was sentenced to 13years, 10 months in prison to be
followed by ve years of supervised
release.
On Jan. 14, 2010, Seymore
and four others dressed as police
ofcers and carrying guns assaulted
a suburban house on Hyland Drive,
according to Yates, the charges and
other information presented in court.He and his fellow robbers used a
vehicle tracking device on the victim’scars to nd the location of the house.The crew thought that the residents
were marijuana suppliers.The robbers carried handcuffs and
rearms and wore fake police badges
and vests with the word “Police”
 printed on them, according to a
media release. As they pulled into thevictim’s driveway, he came out of thehouse. The robbers yelled, “DeKalb
County Police get down, cuff him!”“Their goal was to force the victimto take them to a ‘stash’ house wherethey believed additional drugs werestored,” according to the media
release. While the robbers were
attempting to kidnap the victim, a
friend of the victim arrived and the
robbers traded gunre with him on
the lawn. The robbers then beat andkidnapped the victim, who led the
crew to his girlfriend’s home, under 
the pretense that it was the “stash”house.
The victim’s girlfriend ed thehome through the back door and called
 police, who came and rescued thevictim.
“Gun violence perpetrated by
anyone tears at the very fabric of our communities; but when this violence
is committed by impersonating lawenforcement, an alarming message of 
intolerance needs to be sent to those
who dare to engage in such offenses,”
said Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,and Firearms (ATF) Assistant Special
Agent in Charge
Aladino
 
Ortiz
. “Asthe violent crime bureau, ATF will
see to it that individuals who illegally
arm themselves are removed fromour streets so that our communitiescan remain a safe place to live and prosper.”
Wedgeworth

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