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Free Press 8-5-11

Free Press 8-5-11

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WWW.CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER.COM • FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2011 • VOL. 14, NO. 19 FREE
RE
RESS 
• A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS •
Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.
See Celebration on Page 13A
100-year journey 
Born the same year as Ronald Reagan and Roy Rogers,Ellis Freeman is still going strong
Daughter Rebecca Freeman Adams, left, helps the birthday honoree with cards and gifts. His wife, Maxine, isseated next to him. Photos by Kathy MitchellA granddaughter had a photo plaque made as a birthdaygift.
 by Kathy MitchellAccording to family members,
Ellis Free-man
for most of his life has preferred walkingor bicycling to riding, is careful to include lotsof fruits and vegetables in his diet and has never smoked or drank alcohol. It’s paid off. On July23, Freeman celebrated his 100th birthday.Surrounded July 23 by friends and family ata Dunwoody restaurant, Freeman was the center of a celebration that included a cake with hisimage on it, gifts and the traditional singing of 
 Happy Birthday
. When the guests sang the versethat asks, “How old are you?” Freeman grinnedand shrugged playfully.Among the gifts was a garland of 100 $1 billsfrom his oldest grandson,
Scott Freeman
.“What are you going to spend it on?” a guestasked.Freeman answered, “Peanut butter.”“It’s his favorite food,” said his wife
Maxine,
 with whom he celebrated a 75th wedding anni-versary in December. She said the two of themmet on a streetcar when they were teenagers butwaited until he graduated from Morehouse Col-lege in Atlanta before they married.The Freemans lived in St. Joseph, Mo., until20 years ago when they moved to Stone Moun-tain.In Freeman’s lifetime, two world wars haveoccurred, 17 U. S. presidents have been swornin and four states have been added to the union. Not only were rocket ships, televisions andcomputers new in his lifetime, but so were mo-tion pictures with sound, frozen food and peni-cillin.Freeman said the rst U.S. president heclearly remembers is
Herbert Hoover
, but hehas special memories of the year a man from hishome state of Missouri— 
Harry Truman
 —be-came president. Asked if he had ever expectedto live to see a Black man elected president,Freeman shook his head. “No,” he answeredwith a big smile. “That was a shock— 
Barack Obama
, the 44th president of the UnitedStates.”Freeman was something of a trailblazer himself as one of the nation’s rst Black CivilService examiners, a position he was namedto after many years as a clerk with U.S. PostalService.“Dad worked at night and slept during theday,” recalled Freeman’s son
Gregg
. “We al-ways had to be quiet around the house.” Evenwhen he was awake at home he spent timememorizing addresses in the postal area as-signed to him, according to his son, who added,
 
Page 2A The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 5, 2011
County addresses concerns after threat of police ticket-writing slowdown
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2178 Highway 138, Stockbridge, Henry Co., GA 302812600 H.F. Sheperd Drive, Deactur, DeKalb Co., GA 30334
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TOM GARLAND404 812 4060
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Information is deemed from reliable sources. No warranty is made as to its accuracy.
 by Andrew Cauthenandrew@dekalbchamp.comUpset over a changein their holiday policy,DeKalb County Police of-cers in a blog have calledfor a slowdown in ticket-writing. County ofcialsare taking notice.“Beginning Labor Day2011 (how appropriate),we will be forced to burnour vacation time after the county has chosen toreduce the amount of va-cation time we can carryover,” said an anonymous person on the DeKalb Of-cers Speak blog.
Jeff Wiggs
, presidentof the DeKalb FraternalOrder of Police, said hisorganization does notendorse any type of ticketwriting slowdown or work slowdown.“We’re still enforcingthe law,” Wiggs said. “Thisis not free rein on [Inter-state] 285. We’re still go-ing to pull you over. We’restill going to write you aticket.”At issue is how the po-lice department assessesholidays. In 2002, the po-lice department changed itsstandard work week fromve eight-hour days to four 10-hour shifts.With that change therewas an agreement that of-cers would be given theholidays equivalent to their work day, DeKalb PoliceChief 
William O’Brien
 said.“That’s what we’ve been doing since 2002,”O’Brien said.And for the past nineyears, that policy has beeninconsistent with countycode, according to
BenitaRansom
, the county’s hu-man resources director.Every other county depart-ment assesses an eight-hour value to each of thecounty’s 10 holidays.“Police work four 10-hour days,” Ransom said.“They were assessing theholiday at a value of 10hours. If, for whatever rea-son, they couldn’t use their holidays, they were bank-ing 100 hours of holiday pay as opposed to 80 hours.“We are attempting tocorrect that,” Ransom said.“The shift you work doesnot determine the value of the holiday.”Under the new policy— which is being reviewed by the Board of Commis-sioners, when ofcers takea holiday or bank it, it willhave a value of eight hours,even though their work dayis a 10-hour shift.To cover the additionaltwo hours, ofcers willhave to use two extra hoursof vacation as compensa-tion time, Ransom said.Employees in other county departments— E-911, sanitation, sher-iff’s ofce–work alternateshifts and are following the policy, except the policedepartment, Ransom said.“We have to treat ev-erybody the same,” shesaid.O’Brien said the policychange has caused “dissen-sion among the troops.”“When they get sus- pended, they get suspendedfor 10 hours,” O’Briensaid. “When they take va-cation days, they’re taking10 hours of vacation.“What they’re upsetabout now is we’re nowchanging it nine years intothe game,” O’Brien said.The normal work day for ofcers needs to be prop-erly dened.Commissioner 
ElaineBoyer
, who was on theBoard of Commissioners in2002 when the police work week changed, said shewas unaware of the policychange.“We’re getting the blame for it,” Boyer said.“Although people don’trealize we don’t hire andwe don’t re anyone in thecounty except for the staff we may personally have.“The morale is downand the ofcers think we’recontinually kicking them.And we don’t even knowabout it,” said Boyer, whodirected county staff to prepare a written report onthe policy change and itshistory.Commissioner 
LarryJohnson
said the boardwill have answers for the police department beforethe policy is implementedon Labor Day.“We’re not trying tostop somebody from mak-ing a living,” Johnson said.“That’s not our intent.”Wiggs said he hopesthat “things will be re-solved and the ofcers be taken care of like theyshould be.”“We’ve been kicked.We’ve been slapped in ev-ery direction. We continueto do our job,” Wiggs said.“We are at rock bottom. Weare losing ofcers left andright—veteran ofcers thatare leaving because theyare simply fed up.”
 
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 5, 2011 Page 3A
Local News
Local police forces affected by proposed bill
Three county detention ofcers arrested after inmate mistreated
 by Nigel RobertsCongressional lawmakers and lawenforcement ofcials promise to keepup the pressure against a federal appro- priations bill that would eliminate fund-ing for Community Oriented PolicingServices, or COPS.In July, the U.S. House Subcom-mittee on Commerce, Justice, Scienceand Related Agencies approved aFY2012 appropriations bill that ex-cluded funding for the COPS program.The bill now heads to the House oor for further consideration. The Senatehas not yet taken up the appropriationsmeasure.DeKalb’s law enforcement agen-cies have beneted from the more than$13.5 billion distributed through theCOPS grants, which began under Presi-dent
Bill Clinton
’s administration.In 2009, Vice President
Joe Biden
and U.S. Attorney General
EricHolder
announced the distribution of $1 billion in COPS grants to policedepartments to hire and rehire ofcers.Georgia’s law enforcement agenciesreceived $31 million of the grant to pay the salaries of 184 police ofcers.DeKalb’s share was $3.1 million— used to hire 15 new ofcers.U.S. Rep.
Hank Johnson
(D – Ga.), who represents most of DeKalbCounty, stands rmly with those whooppose the elimination of COPS fund-ing. He said these grants are critical for the safety of families and communities.“Now is not the time to turn our  backs on our local law enforcement of-cers,” Johnson said. “At a time whenstates are struggling to balance their  budgets, they need federal support toensure they have the resources theyneed to keep their communities safe.COPS is vital to this equation.”At a time when DeKalb—like other counties—is in the grip of a historic re-cession, police departments need thesefederal funds to prevent layoffs and tohire new ofcers. Last October, John-son presented Doraville Police Chief 
John
 
King
and then-Mayor 
Ray Jen-kins
with a COPS grant of $385,000 tohire two additional ofcers.King said, “This type of funding iscritical for our department’s mission.”He emphasized the importance of thefunds to law enforcement ofcials who“risk [their] lives on the streets everyday.” News of the possible eliminationof COPS funding was also unwelcomenews beyond DeKalb.
 
U.S. Reps.
DaveReichert
(R - Wash.) and
Bill Pascrell
,Jr. (D - N.J.), co-chairs of the biparti-san House Law Enforcement Caucus,spearheaded a campaign that resultedin 115 House members signing a letter that voiced opposition to the subcom-mittee’s appropriations bill.“I understand that in a time of lim-ited resources tough choices need to be made, but the federal governmentshould never ignore its most importantresponsibility to its citizens, providingsafety and security,” Reichert said in astatement. “The local law enforcementofcers that keep our homes and busi-nesses safe deserve continued invest-ment.”If the House passes the appropria-tions bill without COPS funding, itstill faces opposition in the Senate.In a statement, following passage inthe House subcommittee, Sen.
Frank Lautenberg
(D – N.J.) noted that thefunds have kept police on the beat for many years. Lautenberg is a member of the Appropriations Committee that au-thorizes COPS funding in the Senate.
Republican efforts to zero outfunding for the COPS program are en-dangering the ability of our police de- partments to stop violence and preventcrime,” he stated. “I am committed toghting in the Senate to support COPSfunding and to oppose these recklessHouse cuts.”

 Notice is hereby given than a General Election for the City of Clarkston will be heldonTuesday, November 8, 2011 to elect three (3) Council Members to the ClarkstonCity Council. The term of office is four (4) years and the elected officials will besworn in at the January 2012 meeting of the City Council.Persons wishing to qualify for this election may file a notice of candidacy with theMunicipal Election Superintendent at Clarkston City Hall, 3921 Church Street, from9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. beginning Monday,August 29, 2011 through Friday, Septembe2, 2011. Qualifying fee for council is $105.
Voting
will take place at
Clarkston International Bible Church, 3895 ChurchStreet
, Clarkston, GA from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Any person who is a resident of the City of Clarkston and who is registered at least thirty (30) days prior to thiselection with the DeKalb County Board of Registrations and Elections as an elector within the City of Clarkston shall be eligible to vote in this election. Deadline for voter registration is October, 11, 2011.Application for absentee ballots may be made by mail or in person to the AbsenteeBallot Clerk, DeKalb County Elections Division, 4380 Memorial Drive, Suite 300,Decatur, GA 30032, 404-298-4020.This notice is given pursuant to Chapter 21 of the Official Code of Georgia, asamended, pertaining to municipal elections, this 4th day of August, 2011.TracyAshby, City Clerk and Municipal Elections Superintendent.CITY OF CLARKSTON
Martial artsinstructorindicted onchild rapecharges
By Andrew Cauthenandrew@dekalbchamp.comA Lithonia martial artsinstructor and a 2012 Olym- pic hopeful has been indictedon three counts surroundingthe alleged rape of a girl athis school.
Adrian Thomas Spellen
,owner and head instructor of Powerkicks Martial Arts,located at 3026 Miller Roadin Lithonia, is accused of twocounts of rape and one countof aggravated child molesta-tion.The grand jury indictmentstated that Spellen, 27, wholives in Ellenwood, commit-ted “an immoral and indecentact” to a child under the ageof 10, injuring her.The rapes allegedly oc-curred in May and June of this year.“These allegations areextremely serious and we willcontinue to work to ensure justice for the victim and her loved ones,” said DeKalbDistrict Attorney
RobertJames
in a statement.According to Spellen’scompany website, he has beencompeting and training in taekwon do for nearly 20 years.He is a certied instructor, has black belt, and has coached38 state and regional champi-ons, and ve national cham- pions. Spellen is a ve-timenational champion and won asilver medal at the 2010 SouthAmerican Games in Medellin,Colombia.Spellen has been releasedon a $100,000 bond and or-dered not to have any contactwith minors except for familymembers. by Andrew Cauthenandrew@dekalbchamp.comThree detention ofcersfrom the DeKalb CountySheriff’s Ofce were ar-rested July 25 after beingaccused of mistreating aninmate.After an internal in-vestigation, ofcers
Nel-son Seals
,
Jean Bruno
 and
Deborah Grier
werecharged in connection withthe May 15 incident whena verbal altercation beganwith an unnamed inmateover use of the restroom.The argument betweenSeals and the inmate, whohad been arrested on adisorderly conduct charge,turned physical. For his partin the incident Seals wascharged with misdemeanor simple battery and a viola-tion of oath of ofce.The Sheriff’s Ofceinvestigation revealed thatBruno and Grier witnessedthe incident and failed tostop it or properly reportit to their supervisors. Be-cause they failed to act and protect the inmate, the of-cers were charged withviolation of oath of ofce.All three ofcers have been suspended without pay pending termination.The Sheriff’s Ofce learnedof the incident July 22when a letter was receivedfrom the inmate’s attorneydetailing the allegations.Additionally, detentionofcer 
Emmett Kater
wasterminated for violation of oath of ofce and ofcer 
Jean Silivus
was terminat-ed for refusing to cooperatewith sheriff’s investigators.Two other employees facesuspensions.“I will not tolerateabuse by any of my ofcersagainst any person that theyare sworn to detain prior toor thereafter their day be-fore a judge,” DeKalb Sher-iff 
Thomas Brown
said in astatement.
Adrian Thomas Spellen

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