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FreePress 07-18-14

FreePress 07-18-14

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Published by hudgons
A 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.
A 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 Jul 17, 2014
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championnewspaper championnewspaper champnewspaperchampionnews
We’re Social 
 FRIDAY, JULY 18, 2014 VOL. 17, NO. 17 •
Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.
See RVing on page 15ASee Ethics on page 15A
by John Hewitt johnh@dekalbchamp.comIt’s not quite the same as the love af-fair that many Americans have with their cars, but to some people it may be even more important. here apparently are a growing number of people who have discov-ered the appeal of the outdoors later in life, or more likely, discovered the appeal of camping with every known convenience in some of the more modern motorhomes and travel trail-ers; collectively referred to as recre-ational vehicles (RVs). his relatively modern phenomenon is also at times referred to as glamping (glamour camping).Recreational vehicles allow the flexibility of visiting more remote areas that may not have hotels or re-sorts while being able to sleep, shower, cook and entertain guests in the convenience of your own vehicle. It also allows users to avoid crowds and provides opportunities to spend more time together in a non-commercial setting. Many newer model RVs have gourmet kitchens; fireplaces; dining areas; private bedrooms and baths; built-in, high-tech entertainment sys-tems with surround sound; and may sleep up to 12 people. Some even have Jacuzzi tubs, full-size showers as well as exterior showers and a deck.hose who may be interested in owning an RV may want to consider first renting an RV to see if this type of vacation is the right fit. Many may find driving or towing a large vehicle to be an intimidating experience. An excellent place to browse new and used RVs is ucker-based Peco Camping Sales, the highest volume towable RV dealer in Georgia since 2009 according to Statistical Surveys, a marketing information research company specializing in recreational  vehicles. Originally located on Ponce de Leon Ave in Decatur, Peco relocat-ed to its current Mountain Industrial Boulevard location in 2000. Peco employee
Kevin Tafel
 said their new and used inventory usu-ally fluctuates between 100-200 units displayed on their 10 acre facility. A website search shows pricing from as low as $3,999 up to $75,000. In addi-tion to RVs, Peco also has a retail store
RVing: A new approach to vacationing
by Andrew Cauthenandrew@dekalbchamp.comGovernment watchdog
 Rhea Johnson
said he likes DeKalb County. Tat’s why he has filed five ethics complaint—and counting. “I am committed to DeKalb County,” said Johnson, a retired retail store developer and manager. “I enjoy living here. It has from time to time been a struggle, but I do enjoy living in the county.”Johnson has filed ethics com-plaints against DeKalb County com-missioners
Sharon Barnes Sutton
Stan Watson
; interim county CEO
Lee May 
 and suspended county CEO
Burrell Ellis
.In addition to Rhea Johnson, five others have filed ethics complaints, targeting Commissioners
Elaine Boy-er
Kathie Gannon
Jeff Rader
.Johnson said he made the various filings because “the ethics board is almost the last resort to resolve many of the deficiencies in county govern-ment.”Although he is “not sure if the eth-ics board—considering the way they are chosen—is up to the task,” John-son said he has faith in the board be-cause he has been through the train-ing that the ethics board receives.“I have been through the training side-by-side with the ethics board members, and I still have a degree of confidence in them that I’m willing to put this task in their court,” Johnson said.“I know every one of them. I have faith in them,” Johnson said. “As long as their independence remains sacro-sanct, I believe they can do the job. If their independence is breached, there is no possibility that they can succeed. Tat is why I’m putting the time, money and effort and the emotional strength that I have into this project.”Johnson said his goal with his eth-ics complaints is “an appropriate out-come based on the best judgment of the members of the [ethics] board.”“Tis is a test of the board, consid-
Filers of ethics complaints seek truth, accountability
Business ........................19AClassified .......................21AEducation .....................20ASports ......................22-23A
LOcAL, 18ABUsINess, 19A
Hospital chaplain ministers during crises
Board of Education Runoff Election
Advance voting runs through July 18. Runoff Election is July 22. To learn more about your school board candidates and watch the community forum video, visit
by Andrew Cauthenandrew@dekalbchamp.comAt 6:40 a.m. on July 2, Dr.
McClellon D. Cox
was called into work. “A family had lost the mother,” said Cox, who was promoted in March to director of pastoral care at DeKalb Medical.“We had to minister to them, first, through their grief, and then we had to help them understand the procedure they had to go through, because people don’t often know about funeral homes,” Cox said. “They know about it, but it’s somebody else’s issue until it comes to [them].”Cox, who has worked as an English teacher, assistant high school principal, col-lege professor and a pastor, holds a doctor of ministry degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory Uni- versity. He joined DeKalb Medical as associate chap-lain in 1996 and before, tak-ing over the director’s posi-tion, Cox was the manager of chaplains at the hospital since 2010. A board-certified chap-lain, Cox also teaches the diversity module in general orientation, serves on the critical incident team and facilitates the hospital’s grief support group. For most of his tenure at DeKalb Medical, Cox served as pastor of the Mount Zion A.M.E. Church on Lav-ista Road in the Oak Grove community, having retired from that pulpit just last year.“When I came here I was able to practice ministry in a crisis situation,” Cox said. “That’s part of what the hospital chaplaincy does, as opposed to the parish. In the parish, you have a longer time to develop relation-ships. Here you meet people in their crisis moments, and you have to help them get through. You have to go into dark places sometimes and be able to help them walk through and still…share the presence of God.”The job of a chaplain is  varied, said Cox, one of four chaplains at the hospital.“We go to rooms, and we encourage, we pray with people, we listen to them—sometimes we just sit with them and hold their hands,” Cox said. “The patients…are going through crises, and we help them move through it.”Chaplains, who cover the hospital’s main campus as well as Hillandale and downtown Decatur loca-tions, also minister to hospi-tal staff members, Cox said.“The staff—sometimes they have particular issues that we have to help them move through,” Cox said. “Sometimes these are pa-tient related. For instance, if you had a case with a partic-ular patient—a patient died and this nurse or doctor...or staff member has been taking care of them, it takes a toll. So we minister to the family and help them get through that, and we also have to minister to the staff and help them get through their particular attachment.”Cox said a “chaplain is like a pastor in a hospital setting, leading and guiding and shepherding. In some ways the chaplaincy is like a church where you have to minister sacraments, you have to marry and some-times we offer burial for folk who don’t have an arrange-ment with a church.” Chaplains also hold an annual service for babies who died during childbirth. “Some of the parents don’t take the remains of the baby home, and we do the crema-tion here in the hospital,” Cox said. “Every October we have a service…where we put those ashes in a cem-etery.”Additionally, “once a week we pray for the hospi-tal and pray for the admin-istration, staff, doctors and patients,” Cox said.“The main difference we have in chaplaincy is crisis,” Cox said. “We are not able to establish long-term relation-ships, so we have to have the capacity to let go—to know that when we help a person and they go off, we may nev-er hear from them again.”
The DeKalb County Hu-man Development Depart-ment is now accepting 2015-2016 nonprofit partnership grant applications for the general fund and victim as-sistance fund. “This funding initiative, formerly referred to as the Human Services Grant Pro-gram, has been enhanced in its focus to encourage bet-ter collaboration and asset integration among agencies serving common issues for the DeKalb community,” ac-cording to a news release. “The program seeks to at-tract nonprofits with dem-onstrated experience in such service areas as violence to women, youth services, help-ing neighborhoods work with law enforcement, build-ing family unity and capacity, as well as sharing strategies and resources for measured outcomes.”A public information briefing that details changes and guidelines to this ap-plication process will be held on Friday, July 18, from 1 to 3 p.m., at the Manuel Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Com-merce Drive, Decatur. Other
See Grant on page 9A
County opens application period for human development nonprofit partnership grant
McClellon Cox heads up DeKalb Medical’s team of chaplains. Photo by Andrew Cauthen
Runoff election preview
by Carla Parkercarla@dekalbchamp.comThe May 20 primary election ended with four DeKalb County seats still up for grabs. Voters will have the final say on who will be the new DeKalb County sheriff and who will hold the three remaining seats on the DeKalb County Board of Education.Eight people ran for the sheriffs seat in the pri-maries, but the race is down to current Sheriff
Jeff Mann
–who was appointed by former sheriff
Thom-as Brown–
and former DeKalb County CEO
Vernon Jones
.In the school board race, two incumbents will face each other for the District 4 seat because the Georgia General Assembly voted to decrease the school board from nine members to seven by removing the super districts seats.District 4 seat is currently held by
Jim McMahan
, the board’s current vice chairman. McMahan, a loan originator at AmStar Mortgage Network, has been serving since 2013 when he defeated former incum-bent
Paul Womack 
 in a runoff. The other incumbent in the race is
Karen Carter
, a Georgia Perimeter Col-lege faculty member, who was appointed to the Super District 8 by Gov.
Nathan Deal
after he replaced six school board members who were serving when the school district was placed on accreditation proba-tion. Carter’s current seat was one of two eliminated by the state General Assembly.In the District 3 runoff race, incumbent
Michael Erwin
–another Deal appointee–will face
Atticus LeBlanc
. Erwin is an assistant professor at Georgia Gwinnett College and LeBlanc is an investor.
Vickie B. Turner
will face incumbent
Thad Mayfield
, who was appointed by the governor, in the District 5 runoff race. Mayfield, a senior partner with Georgia-based business development firm FO-COM Inc., currently represents Super District 9. The District 5 seat is currently held by
David Campbell
, who did not run for re-election.by Carla Parkercarla@dekalbchamp.comThe border battle be-tween Briarcliff, Lakeside and Tucker looks to be end-ing after representatives of the proposed cities of Briarcliff and Lakeside an-nounced that they are work-ing together.Representatives from the City of Briarcliff Initiative and Lakeside Yes read a joint statement at the DeKalb County Operations Task Force July 2 meeting to an-nounce that the two groups will work together to create a unified map.“Both of our groups presented maps during the 2014 session of the Georgia General Assembly,” Lakeside Yes chairwoman
Mary Kay Woodworth
 read. “How-ever, because our current maps overlap, Lakeside and Briarcliff have agreed to collaborate with the goal of creating a unified map free of overlapping areas and respecting existing city bor-ders and future annexation plans.” Cityhood bills for Bri-arcliff, Lakeside and Tucker all failed to make it to the House floor for a vote in the last legislative session and were put on hold until the next legislative session. The maps of the three proposed cities had overlap-ping areas, including the Northlake area. Lakeside’s map also included part of Tucker’s 30084 ZIP code. Legislators urged support-ers of the proposed cities to work together to resolve the overlapping borders. Woodworth said the groups will continue to work with Rep.
Mike Jacobs
 (R-60) and Sen.
Fran Millar
 (R- 40), residents and business owners to “reach the goal of local control and gover-nance for this community.”“We invite the advocates of the city of Tucker to join with us so that we can pres-ent two cities with a clear path to cityhood prior to the 2015 session of the General Assembly,” Woodworth said. The Tucker 2015 Initia-tive posted a statement on its Facebook page, stating: “Tucker 2015 applauds the City of Briarcliff Initia-tive and the Lakeside City Alliance for combining their cityhood efforts as announced at the DeKalb County Task Force meeting [July 2]. Given the broad overlap of their two maps, we have long supported them working through their differences so that the city of Tucker can coexist with a neighboring new city. “As Tucker 2015’s
Frank Auman
 told the task force members, improving quality of life for the Tucker com-munity and all of DeKalb County continues to be at the heart of our cityhood effort. We look forward to collaborating with the newly combined Lakeside/Briar-cliff effort, while preserving the long-standing Tucker community.” Rep.
Scott Holcomb
 (D-81) said he is “pleased” that the two group are working together.“I encourage them to continue with that work and for them to continue to work with the supporters of Tucker to resolve boundary issues,” Holcomb said in a released statement. “Over the last year and a half, I have advocated for a col-laborative process that re-flects the will of the people who live here. Reaching consensus locally should ensure that our community succeeds in getting what we want through the legisla-tive process. That will be my goal in the upcoming ses-sion.”City of Briarcliff Initiative president
Allen Venet
 said its members are committed to working together because they agree with Lakeside on almost every issue except boundaries. “Boundaries can be solved,” Venet said at the meeting. “As we refine our map, we are soliciting neigh-borhood input, and we will work with state, county and local elected representatives of both major parties and with the existing cities of DeKalb County. We seek to unite, rather than divide, to improve government opera-tions not just in our region of DeKalb but in the entire county.”
Tucker ‘applauds’ Briarcliff, Lakeside collaboration

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