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FreePress 05-16-14

FreePress 05-16-14

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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 May 15, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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by Daniel Beauregarddaniel@dekalbchamp.comImagine having to walk a round-trip of six miles a day just to gather enough water to drink and maybe wash your clothes occasionally. For
Majok Marier
, this was just another part of life in South Sudan.Marier now lives in DeKalb County and works for Decatur-based plumbing company M. Cary and Daughters and recently finished a book about his experiences as one of South Sudan’s “Lost Boys.”
The Seed of South Sudan: Memoir of a “Lost Boy” Refugee
, co-written with
Estelle Ford-Williamson
, details Marier’s years as a refugee fleeing from civil war in Sudan. A member of the Agar Dinka tribe, Marier was 7 years old when war came to his village, causing him and thousands of others South Sudanese to flee South Sudan. For years, Marier traveled thousands of miles, trying to avoid the civil war. In 2001, Majok and 3,800 others like him emigrated to the United States. Hundreds settled in Texas, Georgia, California, Virginia and other states. “It was the time of the war when I left that village,” Marier said. “When we went into the camp, it was really a bad time for us because there was no food, there [were] a lot of diseases and it was really dangerous for us—an attack could happen at any time.”Marier said he began writing the book in 2005 because he thought it was important that people knew about his story and others like him by Lauren Ramsdelllauren@dekalbchamp.comA 9-month-old boy is dead and three women critically injured after a May 10 home invasion that may have been an act of possible retaliatory violence, according to
Cedric Alexander
, the county’s deputy chief operating officer for public safety. After two to three men broke through the back door of a home on To Lani Farm Road in Stone Mountain around 11 p.m. May 10, three women in the home fled to an upstairs bathroom with the baby, where they tried to lock themselves in. The men allegedly kicked through the door and fired several shots, Alexander said.The 9-month-old died of multiple gunshot wounds after being rushed to a local hospital. The women, ages 36, 23 and 21, are in critical, but not life-threatening condition, Alexander said.The 21-year-old woman is believed to be the child’s mother.The shootings may be related to another incident in the same area, one week prior, according to police. On May 3, 29-year-old
Business ........................17AClassified .......................20AEducation ..............18-19ASports ......................21-23A
Left, a woman in Majok Marier’s village prepare water pitchers to carry. Center, Marier stands with Estelle Ford-Williamson, who helped him tell his story of fleeing South Sudan. Right, Villagers surround one of the wells in the village. Photos provided
championnewspaper championnewspaper champnewspaperchampionnews
We’re Social 
 FRIDAY, MAY 16, 2014 VOL. 17, NO. 8 •
Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.
‘Lost Boy’ refugee writes memoir to benefit South Sudan
Baby killed, three women shot in home invasion
See Refugees on page 15ASee Killings on page 15A
A makeshift memorial has been started on the steps of a house where a 9-month-old boy was shot to death. Photo by Andrew Cauthen
Students compete in local chess tournaments
Sheriff Mann is endorsed by
Former DeKalb Sheriff Tom Brown, Interim DeKalb CEO Lee May, DeKalb Clerk of Superior Court Debra DeBerry, DeKalb District Attorney Robert James, DeKalb Tax Commissioner Claudia Lawson, DeKalb Solicitor General Sherry Boston, DeKalb Commissioners Kathie Gannon and Jeff Rader, Avondale Estates Mayor Jim Rieger, Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis, Chamblee Mayor Eric Clarkson, Decatur Mayor Jim Baskett, Doraville Mayor Donna Pittman, Dunwoody Mayor Mike Davis, Lithonia Mayor Deborah Jackson, Stone Mountain Mayor Pat Wheeler, Clarkston Vice-Mayor Ahmed Hassan, and Brookhaven District 1 Councilwoman Rebecca Chase Williams.
DeKalb County Chief Deputy Sheriff, 10 years
 Graduate, University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor 
 Veteran, U.S. Air Force
Jeff Mann
Uniquely Qualifed
To Be Our Sheriff  
by Lauren Ramsdelllauren@dekalbchamp.comAt Nick’s Barbershop in Stone Mountain, you’ll see something unex-pected on Saturdays.Amid the buzzing clippers and chatting customers, you’ll see focus, dedication, learning and fun.Since 2012, certified chess instruc-tor
Beau Hardeman
 has been teach-ing a group of first grade through 12th grade young men, for two hours each Saturday as part of a joint partner-ship between Nick’s Barbershop and the Unconditional Love for Children Foundation. Hardeman has been coaching chess for more than 20 years.
Vance Harper
, owner of Nick’s Barbershop, has a long history of pro- viding safe spaces for young men and women in the community to work and learn responsibility. Now, they are learning chess, too.The students recently competed in both 2014 National Junior High (K-9) Championship April 24 in Atlanta and their instructor’s own 19th Annual Beau Hardeman Invitational Chess Tournament on May 3 in Gresham Park. Hardeman said he always en-courages his students to compete.“My approach is that if children are studying chess, they should be playing in tournaments,” he said. “My tourna-ment is rated. If you play once, you get a rating. Even if they never perform elsewhere, they get an opportunity to perform in mine.”Seven boys from the barbershop group participated in the tourna-ments. One was
 Leon “T.J.” Guthrie
, a Champion Middle School student. “It has always fascinated me,” Guthrie said. “I love playing against other people. It thrills me.”Guthrie joined the chess club at his elementary school in third grade. Now 14, he meets with the other students at the barbershop to improve his game.“I’ve come a long way in my strat-egy learning from Mr. Beau,” he said.Guthrie competed in both the National Junior High and Beau Har-deman tournaments. His record was
See Chess on page 9A
Leon “T.J.” Guthrie concentrates as he competes against an
opponent. Photos provided
Pictured some of the students who competed in the National Junior High
Championship and the Beau Hardeman Invitational Chess Tournament. From left
back row, Essig Kemp, Barry Gray; middle row, Collin Laster, Leon “T.J.” Guthrie,
Treveon Cheeley, Richard Slaton, Jr.; front row, Jacari Ford, Bryce Cowins.Jacari Ford smiles and shows off
his medal.
Lifeline touts improvements at county animal shelter
by Daniel Beauregarddaniel@dekalbchamp.comIn the nine months since LifeLine Animal Project has taken over DeKalb County’s animal shelter operations, Executive Director
Rebecca Guinn
said there have been many changes, including a 39 percent drop in euthana-sia rates.“What that translates to, and why we’re getting ap-plause from everyone here, is because it’s saving lives,” Guinn told DeKalb County commissioners at a recent meeting. After numerous calls from residents and animal advocates for years, DeKalb County commissioners agreed last year to outsource the shelter’s operations to LifeLine in hopes of improv-ing conditions. A new shel-ter, located adjacent to the DeKalb Peachtree Airport, is slated to be completed in 2015. LifeLine took over the shelter in July 2013, and since then Guinn said it has improved services across the board by improving adop-tion rates and decreasing euthanasia rates through outreach and spay/neuter programs. Improvements also have been made to the shelter in-cluding a newly remodeled animal intake area that al-lows staff to take pictures of animals upon their arrival, improved housing areas for dogs, a newly updated pet inventory system and animal licensing improve-ments. Additionally, Guinn said LifeLine also has increased the shelter’s reclaim rate by 37 percent. “That is something that’s really hard to do so we’re proud of getting the reclaim rate up for people who have lost their pets in DeKalb County and are able to actu-ally come to the shelter and reclaim their pets,” Guinn said. Each year DeKalb Coun-ty Animal Services provides sheltering for approximately 7,000 animals. Guinn said it partners with the county’s animal control officers and outreach groups to ensure as many animals as possible leave the shelter alive.“Once they’re in we feel like we’re taking better care of them, but our goal is to get them out alive,” Guinn said. “We’ve done a number of things to increase adop-tions, and we do have offsite events and monthly promo-tions.”In the past nine months DeKalb County Animal Services has been able to provide free spay/neuter initiatives to more than 1,165 DeKalb County pets through various partner-ships and grants. Addition-ally, Guinn said it has pro- vided 1,067 low-cost spay/neuters to pets. DeKalb County is also a no-kill community for cats, Guinn said, which means that every feral cat picked up by DeKalb County Ani-mal Control is brought into the shelter, spayed or neu-tered, and then released as part of the county’s Feral Freedom program. “Ninety percent of the cats that enter the sheltering program leave the shelter alive and that is a remark-able achievement,” Guinn said.Several times a year Life-Line and DeKalb County Animal Services host educa-tional outreach events and offer free vaccinations, spay and neuter vouchers and leashes and dog food. These events, Guinn said, are held at places such as Wade Walker or Flat Shoals parks. Guinn said data collected by LifeLine has shown that when they hold such events, 75 percent of attendees don’t have their pets altered but said they would if they had the resources to spay/neuter them. “One of our goals is to get as many animals as we can out of the shelter alive, but we also have to prevent them from coming into the shelter,” Guinn said. “We’re going into communities that traditionally don’t have much access to veterinarian care.”
The shelter also received updated, stainless steel dog kennels.The intake area at the DeKalb County animal shelter recently received a facelift and a paint job. Photos provided

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