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Free Press 7-1-11

Free Press 7-1-11

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Published by hudgons
A weekly community newspaper of DeKalb County, GA. Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.
A weekly community newspaper of DeKalb County, GA. Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.

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Published by: hudgons on Jun 30, 2011
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 –it’s America’s 235th birthday
Hurray for the red, white and blue
See July 4 on Page 13ASee Superintendent on Page 13A
1st PlaceGeneral Excellence Award Winner 
Georgia Press Association‘Better Newspaper Contest’2007, 2009, 2010 & 2011
Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.
 by Daniel Beauregarddaniel@dekalbcounty.comA leak to the press has onceagain shown that in-ghting on TheDeKalb County School Board ismaking it difcult for members toagree on hiring a new superinten-dent by its self-imposed deadline of July 1.This past week an unidentied board member told members of the media the name of a candidatewho was favored by several other members, once again breaking the board’s condentiality policy.Board Chairman
Tom Bowen
 said that the leak was primarilyabout
Robert Duron
, superin-tendent of the San Antonio Inde- pendent School District in SanAntonio, Texas, not getting enoughvotes to be endorsed by the boardas a nal candidate.Duron was favored by boardmembers
Nancy Jester, DonaldMcChesney, Pam Speaks
Paul Womack 
andshortly after the leak they sent outa letter to constituents. The letter, penned by Jester, was in support of Duron and urged residents to e-mailtheir board members and ask themto vote for Duron as a nalist.In the letter, Jester said thatthey believed the board needed to
Time runningout for DeKalbsuperintendentsearch
1991-201120th Anniversary Issue
Celebrating 20 years of DeKalb County news coverage.
See 20th Anniversary Issue inside
 by Kathy Mitchell
lags, patriotic banners and hot dogsgalore mean it’s once again theFourth of July. All around DeKalbCounty and in surrounding areas people will be joining Americans from sea tosea in celebrating America’s 235th birthday.As usual, the festivities will include parades, picnics and reworks. Here are some of the activities that will be going on July 4 inDeKalb County.
Avondale Estates
Avondale Estates will continue its time-honored tradition of celebrating the Fourthof July with a parade and reworks at thelake. Residents and friends are invited to be part of this year’s celebration. Here’s theschedule:9:15 a.m. - Parade line-up at Avondale HighSchool10 a.m. - Parade begins up ClarendonAvenue7:30 p.m. - Atlanta Blue Notes perform atthe lakeDusk - Fireworks begin at the LakeVisit www.avondaleestates.org to viewtrafc plan for Fireworks at Lake Avondale.
The Clarkston Fourth of July Paradestarts at Clarkston City Hall, Monday, July4, at 2 p.m. Activities continue until 4 p.m.Residents and visitors are invited to decorate bikes, cars, trucks, motorcycles, scooters,wagons—“or whatever.” The city promises prizes, hot dogs and fun.
Decatur will hold its traditional Fourth of July Pied Piper Parade in which decoratedvehicles, bicycles, skateboards, wagonsand walkers—starting at 6 p.m.—follow aroute from First Baptist Church of Decatur through downtown Decatur to the Decatur Square. This year, watch for 
The Champion Newspaper 
’s vehicle as the DeKalb Countylegal organ celebrates its 20th anniversary— also on July 4. The concert on the square,featuring the Callanwolde Concert Band, begins at 7 p.m., followed by reworks atdark. The events, sponsored by the Decatur Business Association, are free.
Dunwoody will get things started earlythe morning of July 4. Hosted by theDunwoody Homeowners Association and the
  Dunwoody Crier Newspaper 
, the Dunwoody parade will feature marching bands, oats,clowns, animal units and local celebrities.Last year’s parade attracted more than 2,500 participants and 32,000 spectators.The parade route is 2.7 miles. Step off from the intersection of Mount Vernon andJett Ferry is at 9:30 a.m. The parade will
The Champion Free Press, Friday, July 1, 2011 Page 2A
Local News
DeKalb County Board of Commissioners
has tentatively adopted millage rateswhich will require an increase in property tax rates as listed below.2011 Rollback Rate % IncreaseAtlanta 10.39 8.938 16.25%Avondale Estates 15.41 13.464 14.45%Chamblee 13.71 12.223 12.17%Clarkston 15.06 13.242 13.73%Decatur 10.82 10.087 7.27%Doraville 13.60 12.607 7.88%Dunwoody 13.35 11.357 17.55%Lithonia 15.33 13.280 15.44%Pine Lake 15.61 13.541 15.28%Stone Mountain 13.90 12.980 7.09%Unincorporated 19.62 18.017 8.90%Countywide Debt 1.08 0.647 66.92%Unincorporated Debt 0.66 1.631 -59.53%This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 
mills in the unincorporatedarea, an increase of 
mills.All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearings on this tax increase to be held atthe Maloof Administration Building Auditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur, GAon:
Tuesday, July 5, 2011 at 10:00 AMTuesday, July 5, 2011 at 6:00 PMTuesday, July 12, 2011 at 10:00 AM
These millage rates are prior to the application of the Homestead Exemptions and creditsfrom the Homestead Option Sales Tax. In 2010, the Board of Commissioners granted a56.6% HOST Credit for County operations and maintenance based upon the use of 97.3%of last year’s HOST receipts. In 2011, the Board of Commissioners has voted to use 80%for the HOST Credit.
Fourteen girls fromDeKalb County wereamong 241 Girl Scoutsrecently honored as mem- bers of the Dough GettersClub for selling 1,000 boxes or more of GirlScout Cookies during the2011 Girl Scout CookieProgram.
Lillian Arnold,Jordan Brown, JessicaCarr, Imani Golden, Ga-brielle Latimore, AuriellePerdue, Amber Roberts,Tamya Rosborough,Mallori Sewell, NevaehSutherland Sarah Taw-feek, Tasneem Tawfeek,Emily Tichenor a
 Katherine Whisnant
werethe top-selling Girl Scoutsfrom DeKalb County. “Byselling 1,000 boxes or more, these ‘Dough Get-ters’ demonstrated withGirl Scout Cookies theyhave what it takes for suc-cess as entrepreneurs,”states an announcementfrom the Girl Scoutsof Greater Atlanta Inc.“Along the way they alsolearned their economicABC’s and gained valu-able life skills.”The Girl Scout CookieProgram is the premier nancial literacy and en-trepreneurial programfor young girls. Many of today’s leaders, includ-ing former Atlanta mayor 
Shirley Franklin
, TVnews anchor 
, and former Su- preme Court Justice
San-dra Day O’Connor
, wereonce part of the Girl ScoutCookie Program. This business – run by girls –  provides the opportunityfor each girl who partici- pates to learn ve skills touse in her daily life: goalsetting, money manage-ment, people skills, busi-ness ethics and decisionmaking.Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta announced that29,601 girls from 2,900troops participated in the2011 Girl Scout CookieProgram. These Girl Scoutsgenerated $2.5 million tosupport their troop programsand community service.Girl Scout Cookieshave long been a major fundraiser for girls andtheir troops across theregion, and is an integral part of Girl Scouting’s business and economicliteracy initiative for girlsages 5-17. The program provides nance, market-ing and public speakingskills as well as experi-ences that develop girls’ personal leadership style.“No other program offersgirls so much in develop-ing courage, condenceand character – and it allstarts with a box of cook-ies. Many troops use cook-ie proceeds to help fundthe more than 1.5 millionhours of community ser-vice projects completed by girls every year,” ac-cording to Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta.Proceeds from theGirl Scout Cookie Pro-gram fund activities for individual troops as wellas Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, including nan-cial assistance for girlsto participate in events, program fees, volunteer recruitment, training andmaintenance of eight camp properties.
14 DeKalb County girls aretop Girl Scout cookie sellers
Newspaper seeks to recognizeCommunity Champions
Among this year’s Dough Getters are, front from left, LillianArnold, Aurielle Purdue, Nevaeh Sutherland and Sarah Tawfeek;back from left, Gabrielle Latimore, Mallori Sewell, Jordan Brown,Imani Golden and Tasneem Tawfeek. Not pictured are Jessica Carr,Amber Roberts, Tamya Rosborough, Emily Tichenor and KatherineWhisnant. Photo provided
Carolyn Glenn
, publish-ers of 
The Champion Newspaper,
haveannounced details of the 2011 CommunityChampions nomination process. We areseeking nominations from the public of community members and/or organizationswho have dedicated their time, talents andin many cases nancial resources, to mak-ing DeKalb County a better place for all.This is an opportunity to honor a com-munity servant, organization or individualin the DeKalb community who tireless-ly volunteers his or her service for the bet-terment of DeKalb County. Those individu-als or organizations selected will be rec-ognized at our Celebration of CommunityChampions Gala luncheon in September,will receive a commemorative trophy and anancial contribution to enable them to doeven more great work in DeKalb.Those who nominate a communitychampion will need to provide an explana-tion of why the individual or organizationdeserves the award, and those chosen for recognition will be asked to submit ad-ditional information prior to the awardsluncheon.There are a number of ways to nomi-nate a community champion: Visit www.ChampionNewspaper.com and click onthe Community Champions logo on thehome page. Nominations can be completedand submitted online or returned via faxto (404) 373-7721. Nominations mayalso be mailed to:
The Champion News- paper 
, Community Champions Nomina-tions, P. O. Box 1347, Decatur, GA 30030For additional information contact
Lou-ise Dyrenforth Acker
at (404) 373-7779,Ext. 102, LouiseD@DekalbChamp.com or 
John Hewitt
at (404) 373-7779, Ext. 110,JohnH@DekalbChamp.com.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, July 1, 2011 Page 3A
Local News
See Oliver on Page 9A
 by Andrew Cauthenandrew@dekalbchamp.com
our years ago,
Monica ReneeBowie
, 34, an energetic, outgo-ing, free spirit, was kidnapped in broad daylight in front of witnesses,never to be seen again.“There’s no way on God’s greenearth you can totally disappear,” said
Linda Howard
, Bowie’s mother.“People were standing there when shewas taken. Nobody knows anything.”Bowie grew up in Pittsburgh liv-ing with her mother, stepfather 
 and four siblings. After graduatinghigh school, Bowie attended CheneyUniversity in Pennsylvania, where shegraduated as valedictorian of her classwith an accounting degree“She was a very smart girl,” How-ard said. “She was very active in ev-erything. You name it, she did it.”Bowie moved to Delaware to ac-cept an accounting job with Mitsubi-shi. From there, she moved to Atlantain 1997. For about six weeks, Bowieworked as an exotic dancer at BlueFlame Lounge, an adult club in At-lanta.“She had to make ends meet,”Howard said.Bowie was an entrepreneur. Sheowned Go2girl Promotions Inc., acompany that promoted hip-hop actsin Atlanta, and LaCoca Wear Cloth-ing, a boutique in southwest Atlanta.While in Atlanta, Bowie remainedvery close to her family.“She came home to visit all thetime,” Howard said. “There was not aholiday she missed.”Bowie also made a lot of friendswho still keep in touch with Howard.“They call me on her birthday.They call me on Mother’s Day. Theycall me on my birthday. They still callme,” Howard said. 
Monica loved life
One such friend is
D. L. Sparks
,Bowie’s best friend in high school.Bowie moved to Atlanta to join her friend. They were roommates for a couple of years in Atlanta, untilSparks got engaged.“We had a ball all the time,”Sparks said. “Monica didn’t want any- body not laughing in her presence.”“She loved life,” said Sparks, anauthor who has dedicated a book toBowie. “I can remember her life. I re-member her driving me crazy suckingher thumb. I would say, ‘Stop, you’regrown now.’“She knew me better than any- body. Whenever she was around, ev-erything was going to be OK.”Bowie’s only brush with the lawcame two weeks before she disap- peared. Her ancé,
Shernotta Wal-ters
, borrowed Bowie’s car and wasarrested after police found marijuanaand a gun in the car during a trafcstop. When Bowie arrived at the sceneto retrieve her vehicle, she too was ar-rested.Bowie claimed she knew noth-ing about the drugs and gun, and thecharges against the pair were eventu-ally dismissed. Because Walters wason parole at time, he was taken to jail,where he remained on the day Bowiedisappeared.Bowie and Walters planned to getmarried in 2008.
Screams for help
Bowie was last seen at approxi-mately 11:14 p.m. on July 5, 2007.She had apparently had an eveningout. Five witnesses at her apartmentcomplex, Berkshire at Lenox Park,located on Gables Drive near LenoxMall, heard screams for help comingfrom the parking deck.The witnesses told police they sawBowie leaving the scene in a burgun-dy 2002 Mercury Sable with two men.The driver of the car was a heavysetBlack male with fair skin, a beard andlow haircut. The other man was de-scribed as a small, dark-skinned Black male. Witnesses recorded the license plate number and called 911.Police said there was a sign of struggle where the car had been parked. On the ground at the scene, police found a woman’s green jacket,eyeglasses, earring, a gold necklacewith a cross pendant, a broken bottleof perfume, a manila folder contain-ing miscellaneous paperwork, a whitefood container with chicken wings,and two broken ngernails.When the car was found later, itwas abandoned and burned.Two days after Bowie’s disappear-ance,
Jasper Keels
, 24, of Decatur,was arrested for stealing the car froman acquaintance, and for possession of drugs. He denied any involvement inBowie’s disappearance.After the kidnapping, DeKalbPolice arrested 27-year-old
Lon-nie Bennett
of Atlanta. Bennett wasseen “coming out of or near” Bowie’sapartment after the alleged kidnap- ping. When his car was stopped leav-ing the parking deck of Bowie’s apart-ment complex, police found a paper  bag containing a large amount of cash.Bennett, who has a criminal re-cord in Fulton County containing var-ious narcotics charges, theft and sexu-al battery charges, was not charged inthe kidnapping case.A missing person yer releaseafter the kidnapping said the ve-foot-four, 135-pound Bowie, who was 34at the time, was last seen wearing adark green dress shirt and blue denim pants. She had braces on her teeth.Bowie has not been seen or heardfrom since.
New leads needed
In her search for answers, Howardhas solicited the help of 
, two sisters who are psychic criminal investigators.“She was somebody’s daughter and she deserves to be brought home,”Suzanne Vincent said. “Somebodyknows where she is.”After proling the crime, the Vin-cents believe Bowie’s body is within athree-mile radius of where the burnedvehicle was found and is “encased insomething.”The Vincents, who have not vis-ited the site where the kidnapping oc-curred, hope to come to Atlanta some-time this summer to search for leads.“We are still diligently hoping that anew lead will turn up,” said attorney
Gerald Griggs
who represented Bow-ie on her criminal charges which weredropped before she disappeared.“She was a wonderful, open per-son in love with life. When she cameinto a room, the whole room lit up,”Griggs said. “I just wish at some pointwe could give some closure to her family.”Bowie’s case is ofcially classi-ed as “open, but suspended,” said
Mekka Parish
, public informationofcer for DeKalb County Police.The case will remain suspended until“new, viable information” comes for-ward.The department has “worked allthe leads from the past,” Parish said.Sparks said the trouble that causedBowie’s disappearance came fromwhoever she was hanging around.“At some point it’s apparent thatshe crossed paths with the wrongcrowd,” Sparks said. “The trouble was brought to her. She was not a mean or spiteful person.”Bowie’s family and friends stillmiss her a lot. Her mother still sets a place for Bowie at Thanksgiving andChristmas dinners.Balloons and cake were on handon March 30 as approximately 50 people gathered at Howard’s Pitts- burgh home to remember Bowie’s birthday. Howard still has the un-opened birthday cards.“It’s still fresh for a lot of peo- ple,” Sparks said. “Every year, itdoesn’t get easier.”
Kidnapped woman still missing after four years
See Oliver on Page 9A
Senate Democratselect new leaders
The Georgia SenateDemocratic Caucus vot-ed June 20 to install twomembers to their leader-ship team.Sen.
Steve Henson
(D-Tucker) and Sen.
(D-Atlanta) wereelected as Senate Demo-cratic Caucus Leader andSenate Democratic Cau-cus Whip, respectively.Henson was elected tofill the position of caucusleader after Sen.
resigned to becomea candidate for mayor of Macon. Fort was electedto fill the position of whipvacated by Henson. Bothare long-time members of the Georgia legislature.“Both Steve and Vin-cent bring valuable leader-ship skills to our Caucusteam,” said Caucus Chair-man Sen.
Doug Stoner
.“This has been a seam-less process within a cau-cus that honors individualopinion, while workingtogether to advance Demo-cratic principals.”Voting for the posi-tions was by acclamation.
Rep. Oliverreceives awardfrom CommonCause Georgia
State Representative
Mary Margaret Oliver
 (D-Decatur) recentlyreceived a 2011 DemocracyAward from CommonCause Georgia, a self-described statewide, non- partisan, cross-ideologyeducation and advocacygroup dedicated toopenness, accountabilityand ethics in government.“We face manychallenges at the GoldDome when working toimprove our ethics statutes, but we must do better andimplement higher standardsto earn the public’s trustand confidence,” Oliver said. “I am grateful to havehad the opportunity to work with Common Cause onthis noble effort.”Each year, CommonCause Georgia recognizesindividuals for their commitment to improvingdemocracy in Georgia.The organization chose

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