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FreePress 3-21-14

FreePress 3-21-14

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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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Published by: hudgons on Mar 26, 2014
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05/15/2014

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 Editor’s note: On March 14-15,
Champion
 reporter Carla Parker rode along with officers from the Decatur Police  Department for a 12-hour shift.
 by Carla Parkecarla@dekalbchamp.comWhen Decatur residents are out of town and are concerned about their home being left unattended, they can call the Decatur Police Department to have an officer check on their home.It is one of the services that the Decatur Police Department offers to its citizen. It is a good deed that other agencies do not offer and something that is usually overlooked or not reported in the media.On March 14, I had the opportunity to go on a ride-along with the Decatur police. The 12-hour shift was enlightening and I saw a side of police officers that not many people get a chance to see.The city of Decatur is 4.2 square miles and has a population of 20,148 residents. With 45 officers, the Decatur Police Department not only enforces the law, but also focuses on building
Decatur Police:
A well-rounded department
Ofcer C.J. Gresham, who has been with the Decatur Police Department since 1997, types up a police report.Ofcer C.J. Gresham talks to a driver about an expired car tag.Ofcer Louis Brown searches the car of a woman who was driving with a suspended license. Photos by Carla Parker
championnewspaper championnewspaper champnewspaperchampionnews
thechampionnewspaper.com
We’re Social 
 FRIDAY, MARCH 21
, 2014 VOL. 16, NO. 52 •
FREE
• A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS • 
Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.
RE
RESS 
See Survivor on page 13ASee Police on page 13A
by Andrew Cauthenandrew@dekalbchamp.comNineteen-year-old
Nicole Mallett
 doesn’t know why she survived a terrible accident a little more than two years ago.It was Dec. 27, 2012. Mallett, a graduate o Stephenson High School and a reshman at Geor-gia Southern University, was traveling with her amily.“We were coming back rom  visiting my grandmother in the hospital in Connecticut,” Mal-lett recently told students at Stephenson High. Tat’s when their vehicle was rearended by a tractor trailer on the New Jersey urnpike.Mallett’s ather
 Ainsworth
,
 
51, and his wie
Jackie
, 49, were killed along with their 12-year-old son
Drew 
. Jackie Mallett was an admin-istrative assistant at Stephenson Middle School where Drew also attended. Te amily also owned a Golden Krust Caribbean restaurant ranchise in Stone Mountain.“My mom, my ather and my little brother were all killed—and my dog,” said Mallett, who walked away with several cuts that required stitches. “I was in the ront seat and I really can’t tell you why I am alive.”When she saw her dead am-ily members, she thought, “My lie is over.“It was hard. I was 18 and I had to bury my amily,” Mallett said. Te uneral was one “or ce-lebrities,” Mallett said. “Tere were so many people there. It got me to thinking, ‘what kind o legacy do I want to I leave when I die?’ No one’s going to care that you dress nice. What have you done or yoursel and or others? Tat’s all that’s going to matter when you’re dead and gone.”For a while, she said, things seemed OK. During a vigil afer the accident, riends, amily and restaurant customers pledged continued support or the sur- viving amily member. Mallett said she had tremendous com-munity support, but then every-one “went back to living their normal lives.”“And it was just me,” Mal-
Wreck survivor teaches girls to ‘Live Free’
Nicole Mallet announces the kickoff of Live Free, a nonprot organization formed to mentor middle and high school girls. Photo by Andrew Cauthen
Business ........................16AClassified .......................17AEducation .....................12ASports ....................18 - 19A
QUICK FINDER
KATHY MITCHELL: ‘THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES’TUCKER HOLDS 3RD ANNUAL CHILI COOKOFF
LOCAL, 10AOPINION, 5AEDUCATION, 12A
STONE MILL STUDENTS READ WITH A CAT IN A HAT
 
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014 PAGE 2A
LOCAL NEWS
by Daniel Beauregarddaniel@dekalbchamp.comInterim DeKalb County CEO
Lee May
has created a task force on the county’s government operations to study multiple issues cur-rently affecting DeKalb County, including zoning, cityhood and taxes. “We need some fresh eyes on these issues and we need representatives from a myr-iad of government agencies to participate,” May said. May has made it no secret that he supports a change in the county’s governance structure. Last year, the county held several public input sessions mod-erated by
Kimberly Nelson
, an associate professor of public administration and government at the Univer-sity of North Carolina. May said she was referred to him by the Association County Commissioners of Georgia.More recently, the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution asking the General Assembly to form a commission to study the county’s form of govern-ment. Commissioners also  voted to approve a resolu-tion requesting the General Assembly to halt all munici-pal incorporations and an-nexations for one year. The task for will study the county’s financial, busi-ness, zoning and quality of life impact on residents and government operations caused by the creation of new cities and annexations; the effectiveness of the cur-rent governance structure of DeKalb County and ethics and transparency in county operations; the equitable distribution of Homestead Option Sales Tax (HOST) proceeds and pension costs. As more cities incorpo-rate, the county loses tax revenue that could be used on capital projects. May said the way HOST funds are distributed under current law is extremely unequal between counties and mu-nicipalities. Approximately 75 per-cent of the revenue goes to the cities, which represent less than 20 percent of the population,” May said. The task force will be composed of 15 members, two of whom will be ap-pointed by May; three will be appointed by the Board of Commissioners; two appointed by the DeKalb County Senate Delega-tion; two appointed by the DeKalb County House Del-egation; one appointed by the DeKalb County Board of Education; one appointed by the DeKalb County Cham-ber of Commerce; and one by the DeKalb County De- velopment Authority. Additionally, two non- voting members will be appointed by the Georgia Municipal Association and one non-voting member will be appointed by the Associa-tion County Commissioners of Georgia.“It is my sincere hope that we can appoint a board of subject matter experts so we can fix DeKalb County in one fell swoop and make the most of the one-year cooling-off period that we asked the Georgia General Assembly to afford us,” May said.
CEO establishes task force to study government
 
 
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THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014 PAGE 3A
Stone Mountain CID ‘neutral’ on city bills
by Carla Parkercarla@dekalbchamp.comWhen Tucker residents began their campaign for a city of Tucker, a large number of people were voicing their support of incorporating the commu-nity.However, there are others, mainly from the Stone Mountain and Smoke Rise areas in unincorporated DeKalb, who have expressed opposition to a potential city of Tucker. At a Feb. 27 legislative public hearing, two Stone Mountain residents spoke against the Tucker city bill.Sections of unincorporated Stone Mountain and the Stone Mountain Community Improvement District (CID) are included in the proposed Tucker city map. The Stone Mountain residents said they do not want to be a part of the city because it will affect residents and property owners in the CID financially. While some Stone Mountain resi-dents have voiced either opposition or support, Stone Mountain CID presi-dent
Emory Morsberser
said the CID is neutral on the cityhood movement.“We want to be a part a city that has more police and faster permit-ting,” Morsberser said. “We’re going to work with whomever, whether we’re in DeKalb County or one of these cit-ies. We’re going to work with whom-ever is in charge.”
Bill Kaduck 
, a Smoke Rise resi-dent and property owner in the Stone Mountain CID off Mountain Indus-trial Boulevard, spoke against the Tucker city bill at the hearing, stating the CID will be the major tax base for the proposed city.“The CID serves as a major source of revenue for the proposed city of Tucker,” Kaduck said. “The tax digest amount is $126 million. The CID property owners will not have a vote in any eventual city referendum. We are industrial property owners, not  voters in this proposed city of Tucker. “If we’re a part of a city we’ll be a major part of its revenue,” Morsberser said. According to the feasibility study, the city of Tucker will start with a surplus of approximately $3.3 mil-lion. Based on the mix of residential, commercial, industrial, institutional and public properties taxes, Tucker expects to have annual revenue of approximately $16.6 million and an-nual expenses of approximately $13.3 million. These numbers are based on the current tax level, which means no property tax increase is necessary, ac-cording to Tucker officials.Stone Mountain residents also have concerns about security if Tucker is incorporated into a city. Kaduck said security is a significant issue in the CID.“Our CID alone spends more than $120,000 a year out of its budget, which is a very significant portion of the budget. That $120,000 is spent for patrol in the evening to improve the security of our area. It’s been very suc-cessful.”Kaduck said those funds and all operating funds for the CID are paid with an additional tax that industrial property owners pay.“The most recent proposal by the Tucker group leaves policing to DeKalb County rather than improv-ing our police protection,” Kaduck said. Kaduck added that if there were an opportunity for the proposed city of Lakeside to include the Stone Moun-tain CID then he would support it.“I’m not against the city of Tucker per se, but I wish to raise concerns of the CID property owners for generally being ignored in this city making pro-cess,” Kaduck said. “We are the major tax based and our concerns are not being solicited.”

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