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FreePress: 6-7-2013

FreePress: 6-7-2013

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

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08/16/2013

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www.championnewspaper.com
WWW.CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER.COM • FRIDAY,
JUNE 7
, 2013 • VOL. 16, NO. 11 •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.
See ART Stroll on Page 13ASee Shelter on Page 13A
 
www.facebook.com/ championnewspaper
 
 
www.twitter.com/ championnews
Like Us OnFollow Us On
Animal shelter search narrowed down to three proposed sites
Local artists show off their work at the Stone Mountain ART Stroll
 by Carla Parker carla@dekalbchamp.com
T
hirty-five years ago,
Michael Labbe-Webb
 joined a club called theSociety for CreativeAnachronism.The club studies theMiddle Ages, also knownas the Medieval period, and participates in anachronisticactivities, which include full-contact sword fighting. Tocompete in sword fighting participants must have full bodyarmor.At that time, Labbe-Webbcould not afford to pay someoneto make armor for him so hecame up with a better idea.“I had to learn how to makeit myself,” he said. “I had somuch fun doing it that I justcontinue doing blacksmithing.”Labbe-Webb is the owner of Ironhawk Forge, located inthe Center Town Gallery II onMain Street in Stone Mountain.The master blacksmith and glass blower, along with other localartists, showed off their skillsand work at the ART Stroll onJune 1.Hosted by ART Station andStone Mountain Arts Incubator (SMart Inc.), the StoneMountain Village QuarterlyART Stroll features artwork inART Station Galleries and thefour SMart Inc. galleries. TheClothesline, an independentlyowned gallery, was alsohighlighted. The galleries arelocated on Main Street, Manor Drive and East MountainStreets, all within about a two block walking distance. by Daniel Beauregarddaniel@dekalbchamp.comDeKalb County officials havenarrowed the search for a newanimal shelter to three proposedsites, two of them located off Lawrenceville Highway.The announcement, madeduring a DeKalb County Board of Commissioners committee meetingJune 4 comes after months of deferrals.The top three sites beingconsidered to house the new animalservices shelter are located at 3071and 2915 Lawrenceville Highwayand at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport(PDK).
Wardell Castle
, a member of Advocates for DeKalb Animals,said he was glad officials havefinally narrowed the locations.“Not speaking for Advocatesfor DeKalb Animals, I’m personallyhappy with either of the sites,”Castle said.
Claudette Leak 
, a member of the site selection committee, saideach location was chosen fromamong 84 initial sites recommended by the DeKalb Animal Services andEnforcement Advisory Board, a task force created in 2011.“We reviewed the initial list presented by the advisory boardand also looked at additional green
Tracie Lee Hawkins (right) explains the meaning of her handmade quilts during the Stone Mountain Village quarterly ART Stroll.Photos by Carla Parker Michael Labbe-Webb demonstrates how to make a wine bottle holder during the Stone Mountain Village quarterly ART Stroll.
 
The Champon Free Press, Frday, Jne 7, 2013 Page 2A
LOCAL NEWS
Commissioners in favor of more ‘opportunity zones’ in DeKalb County
City of Decatur Georgia Ad Valorem Tax Digest History Decatur - Digest200820092010201120122013 Assessment Ratio50%50%50%50%50%50%Real Property1,124,007,000$ 1,162,026,500$ 1,157,883,900$ 1,149,844,600$ 1,168,366,733$ 1,167,795,980$ Personal Property18,342,500$ 20,387,500$ 20,069,600$ 21,146,700$ 22,174,136$ 22,014,242$ Public Utilities16,893,389$ 16,473,60011,673,700$ 18,933,750$ 14,297,200$ 14,639,953$ Motor Vehicle49,014,800$ 50,081,000$ 46,119,000$ 46,119,000$ 49,311,000$ 52,979,900$ Total Digest$1,208,257,689$1,248,968,600$1,235,746,200$1,236,044,050$1,254,149,069$1,257,430,075City OperationsGeneral Fund Exemptions157,384,000$ 118,900,000$ $122,579,000125,075,000$ 126,914,000$ 126,332,000$ Net City Operations Digest$1,050,873,689$1,130,068,600$1,113,167,200$1,110,969,050$1,127,235,069$1,131,098,075City Operations Millage13.03513.03513.03513.00013.00013.000City Operations Levy$13,698,139$14,730,444$14,510,134$14,442,598$14,654,056$14,704,275Percent Change3.577.54-1.50-0.471.460.34Dollar Amount Change$472,077$1,032,306($220,310)($67,537)$211,458$50,219The Decatur City Commission announces that the 2013 tentative millage rate was adopted at their meeting onMonday, May 20, 2013. Hearings on the budget and millage rate will be held on:Monday, June 3, 2013 at 7:30 pmMonday, June 17, 2013 at 7:30 pmThe hearings will be held at Decatur City Hall, 509 N. McDonough Street, Decatur, GA. Final adoption of the2013 millage rate and fiscal year 2013-2014 budget is scheduled for consideration at the Decatur CityCommission meeting on Monday, June 17, 2013. The above table is presented pursuant to O.C.G.A. 48-5-32showing the estimated current year's digest and proposed millage rates along with a five-year history of the taxdigest and millage rates.
 by Daniel Beauregarddaniel@dekalbchamp.comDeKalb County commis-sioners hope by amendingthe county’s urban redevelop-ment plan some communitiesmay soon see a boom in busi-ness.During its May 28 meet-ing, the board of commis-sioners voted to amend the2010 urban redevelopment plan to develop opportunityzones and receive state taxcredits for job creation.“The opportunity zone isanother tool to help us as wetry to stimulate investmentand growth,” Commissioner 
Larry Johnson
said.Currently, there are op- portunity zones in Doraville,Dunwoody and AvondaleEstates.To qualify for the stateincentive, which allows upto $3,500 per job created, the proposed area has to be partof an urban redevelopment plan and within or adjacent toa census tract with a 15 per-cent or greater poverty level.
Kathryn Rice
, a residentof the Hidden Hills area inDeKalb County,
 
said she sup- ports the creation of oppor-tunity zones but is concernedabout the language used todesignate them. Words suchas “slum” and “blight” areused in property descriptions.“It labels all of southDeKalb and portions of mid-DeKalb as a slum area,” Ricesaid. “There are other com-munities that have also beenable to conduct economicdevelopment without labelingthemselves as a slum.”President of the DeKalbCounty Chamber of Com-merce
Leonardo McClarty
 said it is unfortunate that thelegal language used to desig-nate opportunity zones is out-dated. However, he said their implementation will allowthe county to compete withsurrounding areas.Currently, McClarty saidthere are opportunity zones incities such as Roswell, Mari-etta, East Point, College Park,Union City, Douglasville andothers.“This is one of the few programs where the actual business owner who is creat-ing the jobs is able to takeadvantage of that $3,500 taxcredit that would be extended
over that ve-year period,”
McClarty said.
Chris Morris
, director of the DeKalb County Com-munity Development Depart-ment, said the tax incentiveis a valuable tool to combat blight and build stronger communities.“Having the opportunityto have additional dollars thatwill go to those businesses tohelp create jobs is very im- portant,” Morris said. “Some-times we identify areas as a‘spot’ slum and blight, notthe whole area—you’ll seeareas all over that are thrivingand doing well but they stillneed this very important toolto help with economic devel-opment to create a stronger community.”Currently, there are 15commercial and industrialareas throughout DeKalbCounty that have applied for opportunity zone designa-tions, including those alongBouldercrest, Panthersvilleand Wesley Chapel roads.Stonecrest, Stone Mountain,Lithonia and portions of theI-85 corridor are also in-cluded.
The DeKalb Countyschool district will not haveto pay any more legal fees for a lawsuit against Heery Inter-national alleging fraud, wasteand mismanagement by the
former construction rm.
On June 3 the DeKalbCounty Board of Educationvoted to amend a legal agree-ment that allows a lawsuit tomove forward at no further expense to DeKalb taxpayers.The amended agreementwith King & Spalding alsoeliminates a provision thatwould have required theschool district to pay up to$30 million in legal fees if the district elected to settle
the case against the law rm’s
recommendation.“With that provision re-moved and King & Spaldingshouldering all future costs,the case against Heery can proceed on its merits withoutthe specter of taxpayers pay-ing tens of millions in legalfees,” according to a mediarelease from the school dis-trict.“This new agreement al-lows the parents and taxpay-ers of DeKalb County to seek  justice in the Heery matter without the massive risks andinherent costs associated withthe previous agreement,” saidBoard of Education Chair-man
Melvin Johnson
. “Weare appreciative of King &Spalding for acknowledging
and removing these nancial
 pressures on the district, andfor moving forward with us in partnering in the Heery case.”Heery managed the schoolSPLOST system from 2002-2006. In 2006 the school sys-tem terminated the companyciting overbilling and ques-tionable work. Heery thensued DeKalb County SchoolDistrict for $400,000 that itsaid the system still owed thecompany. The school systemthen countersued for $100million alleging fraud andclaiming that the companymismanaged projects.Under a previous contin-gency agreement with King &Spalding, the school districtwould have been saddled with$30 million in legal expensesif the school district settledagainst the advice of its legalcounsel. The new agreementeliminates that provision andremoves from taxpayers allfuture legal fees and expensesassociated with the case.“The agreement the board
DeKalb school board votes to save millions in legal fees
See Millions on Page 10A
NOTICE OF MEETING OF THE ATLANTA CITY COUNCIL TO ADOPT ATLANTA’SFISCAL YEAR 2014 BUDGET
Notice is hereby given that the Atlanta CityCouncil will meet on Monday, June 17, 2013to consider and adopt the City of Atlanta’s
scal year 2014 budget (13-O-0619). The
meeting will be held at the Atlanta City Hall
Complex, 55 Trinity Avenue, Atlanta, Geor-
gia in the City Council Chambers located
on the second oor beginning at 1:00 p.m.All concerned citizens are invited to attend.
A copy of the proposed budget legislation
(13-O-0619) is on le in the ofce of theMunicipal Clerk, City Hall, 55 Trinity Ave.,Suite 2700, Atlanta, Ga. 30303 for publicinspection.
 
Page 3A The Champon Free Press, Frday, Jne 7, 2013
 by Andrew Cauthenandrew@dekalbchamp.com
Paul
 
Gresham
, 75, of unincorporated Decatur,said elder abuse is a reality;it’s occurring right now to afriend who is living with her son.“She tells me constantlythat [her son] cuts the phone off so she can’t talk to a friend,” Gresham said.“That’s abuse.“He’s the only caretaker,”Gresham said. “You want tohelp but you don’t want tohurt. These things exist whenyou don’t know how to reportit.“If you send somebodyinto the home where he is,she’s going to end up in anursing home somewherewhere she will get the proper care, but she doesn’t wantthat. Seniors like to stay intheir home,” Gresham said.Gresham was one of agroup of seniors that attendeda “Safety in Numbers” bingoevent at the Scottsdale Se-nior Center sponsored by the
ofce of Solicitor General
Sherry Boston
.The events, held in con- junction with Older Ameri-cans Month in May and Elder Abuse Awareness Day onJune 15, are designed to edu-cate seniors about the signsof elder abuse and neglectand what they can do to gethelp or assist a friend whomay be in danger.Boston said elder abuse ison the rise.“You hear about peoplein these personal care homesthat are either unlicensedor not operating properly,”Boston said. “You hear aboutcaretakers taking advantageof people, whether that is
nancially, by taking your 
Social Security or your dis-ability check; or by neglect,meaning not giving you theappropriate accommodationsto what you are expected tohave; or abuse, which some-times can be physical withsomeone treating you wrong-ly in many ways.“We need to look out for each other and the best wayyou can do it is for each andevery one of you to help keepan eye on your friends,” shesaid.Boston said more than500,000 reports of abuseagainst elderly Americansreach authorities every year across the country.“It is a rampant problem,”she said. “Millions go unre- ported. It is one of the mostunderreported crimes, in part, because we’re dealing witha population that may beunable to even speak up for themselves because of their own physical or mental inca- pacity.”In DeKalb County, therewere 55 cases of elder abusereported last year.“We know that’s just adrop in the bucket,” Bostonsaid. “The vast majority of these cases are just goingunreported, whether [seniors]feel too scared to report or don’t know who to talk to or don’t even realize they’re be-ing taken advantage of.”Boston said warningssigns for elder abuse includefrequent unexplained injuries,fear of a caregiver or familymember and social isolation.Elder abuse is “a crimethat we want to spread aware-ness about so that others canhelp their friends and familythat might be in this situa-tion,” Boston said.“One of the keys to [ad-dressing] elder abuse iseducating the seniors and thecommunity around them onwhat to look for and how toreport it,” she said. “If you believe someone is in imme-diate danger call 911.”If there is not an immedi-ate threat of danger, call the police, adult protective ser-vices, the solicitor general’s
ofce or a doctor, Boston
said.“Report it to someone,”she said.That’s what Gresham saidhe will be doing soon.“I’m going to be talkingto some of these people, be-cause a lot of times we canget something done by some- body just listening,” Greshamsaid. “After talking to the se-nior involved, she might wantto go to a nursing home.”
Seniors urged to report elder abuse
Advertisement
 
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School
 
Property
 
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DeKalb
 
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at
 
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communication
 
or
 
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concerning
 
the
 
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the
 
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Bid
 
or
 
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with
 
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technicalities
 
and
 
informalities.
 
Site
 
visits
 
Hooper
 
Alexander
 
School
 
are
 
scheduled
 
for
 
July
 
11
th
,
 
2013
 
and
 
July
 
18
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,
 
2013
 
at
 
9:00
 
am.
 
Site
 
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Freeman
 
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B
 
are
 
scheduled
 
for
 
July
 
10
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2013
 
and
 
July
 
17
th
,
 
2013
 
at
 
9:00
 
am
 
Top left, Solicitor General Sherry Boston is taking her “Safety in Numbers” bingo event to county senior centers to raise awareness about elder abuse. Photos by AndrewCauthen

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