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Free Press 1-6-12

Free Press 1-6-12

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Published by: hudgons on Jan 06, 2012
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 by Nigel RobertsThey arrive in DeKalb from different cor-ners of the world. Many come from refugeecamps in South Asia and others from the chaosand brutality of civil wars in Africa. State andnonprofit agencies in DeKalb help these familiesto resettle and become self-sufficient membersof the community.In December, Gov.
Nathan Deal
and Geor-gia Department of Human Services Commis-sioner 
Clyde Reese
signed contracts totaling$4.1 million that will enable the agencies to con-tinue to provide services to the roughly 3,000new refugees who arrive annually. Six publicand private agencies in DeKalb received morethan $2.5 million of the federal funds.According to a DHS spokesperson, Georgiadisburses these funds through annual contractsto 12 public and private agencies. The servicesthey provide include English language instruc-tion, health care and employment assistance,with the ultimate aim of enabling refugee fami-lies to transition successfully to life in a newcountry.A refugee is someone who flees his or her country because of persecution, war or violence.Many have a well-founded fear of persecutionfor reasons of race, religion, nationality, politi-cal opinion or membership in a particular socialgroup.Humanitarian concerns led to passage of theRefugee Act of 1980, which among other thingsauthorizes the U.S. Department of Health andHuman Services to provide assistance to refu-gees.Unlike with asylum seekers who arrivewithout prior screening, the U.S. Department of State reviews refugee cases and grants them le-gal entry into the United States. Federal officialsrelocate them to various places throughout thecountry with the assistance of national nonprofitrefugee agencies.
Paedia Mixon
explained that the decision asto where to relocate refugees is based on severalfactors, such as whether the refugee has familyalready settled in a location and an area’s lan-guage capacity. With its increasing diversity, theAtlanta metro area is now a prime destinationfor refugee families.Mixon is the executive director of RefugeeResettlement and Immigration Services of At-lanta (RRISA), located in Decatur. Her organiza-tion is a local affiliate of two national agenciesthat work directly with the State Department toresettle refugees.RRISA is primarily a resettlement agencythat focuses on providing immediate services tohelp newcomers. Mixon said her organization picks up refugees from the airport and providesimmediate food, shelter, medical and other 
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See Hardeman on Page 11ASee Refugees on Page 11A
 by Daniel Beauregarddaniel@dekalbchamp.com
loria Hardeman
 decorated her diningroom with balloons,cards, posters and oth-er things to celebrate her son’s birthday on Saturday, Dec. 17,even though he had been killedtwo months earlier.
Matthew Hardeman
was shotand killed Oct. 15 in his sister’sfront yard off Lakewood Terracein southwest Atlanta. He was 19.“Even though I put my son inthe ground, I still can’t under-stand…They shot him like hewas a dog in the street. He didn’tdeserve that—a dog doesn’t de-serve that,” Gloria said.Recently,
Verlaine LaGuerre
was arrested in connection withMatthew’s death and an initialhearing was held Dec. 28.Gloria said although she isstill grieving, the death of her son has motivated Matthew’sfamily and friends to go out intothe world and do as much as theycan in his name.“He was somebody who al-ways finished what he started,”
D.J. Tanner,
Matthew’s brother-in-law said.Matthew was a star football player at Avondale High School.While there, he helped bring theschool to the playoffs for thefirst time in 23 years. Hardemanleft such an impression that sev-eral Avondale alumni dedicatedan award in his honor, whichwas passed down until the schoolclosed in 2010.
Mike Carson
, who coachedHardeman at Avondale, said hehad seen him a week before theshooting.“We talked about life, doingthe right thing and staying out of trouble. He wanted to get back inschool and finish up. I told himto be positive and keep doing
Mother remembers slain son’saccomplishments on and off the field
 DeKalb agencies receive new funding to aid refugee resettlement
Matthew Hardeman, a 2010 graduate of Avondale HighSchool, was killed in southwest Atlanta in October.Photo by Travis Hudgons
 Agency Disbursement Amount Contracted Services
International Rescue Committee
Employment, employmentupgrade, refugee youth and socialadjustment servicesDeKalb Technical College
English language instruction andcivics instructionDeKalb County Board of Health
Social adjustment/health servicesRefugee Resettlement andImmigrations Services of Atlanta
Information and referral,employment, citizenship andnaturalization servicesRefugee Family Services
Youth servicesSomali American CommunityCenter 
Youth after school services
Source: Georgia Department of Human Services
Page 2A The Champion Free Press, Friday, January 6, 2012
Syringe found in jeanspurchased from shoe storeCongregants at DeKalbsynagogue egged on Sabbath
A Stone Mountain womansaid she found a syringe in jeans she purchased for her daughter on Christmas Eve.
Ashley King
, of StoneMountain, told DeKalbCounty Police that she pur-chased the jeans from TheAthlete’s Foot, located at2545 Wesley Chapel Road atapproximately 2:30 p.m. Thesyringe was discovered onDec. 27 in one of the pocketsof the jeans which the 4-year-old girl was wearing at thetime. Neither King nor her daughter was injured by thesyringe which still had a capcovering the needle.“This case appears to bean isolated incident,” said Lt.
A. B. Catlin
of the DeKalbCounty Police Department.“However we are aware of the other cases outside of our  jurisdiction and take this casevery seriously.”In recent weeks, severalsyringes have been foundin clothing at a CartersvilleWalmart store. In two cases,the needles have pierced theskin of victims.
 by Daniel Beauregarddaniel@dekalbchamp.comDeKalb County Policeare investigating severalincidents involving congre-gants of the Beth Jacob Syn-agogue that have occurredover the past weeks.“We’ve been gettingcomplaints where unknownsuspects have been throwingeggs and bagels at syna-gogue members,” DeKalbPolice spokesman Lt.
Anto-nion Catlin
said.The incidents have beenoccurring on Friday nights.The Jewish Sabbath beginsat sundown Friday and endsat sundown on Saturday.Because of this, many con-gregants leave their cars inBeth Jacob’s parking lotovernight and walk home.According to Catlin, avehicle was also stolen fromthe 1800 block of LavistaRoad and recovered in At-lanta. Catlin said the depart-ment had not yet identiedany suspects involved in theincidents.The synagogue is locatedat 1855 Lavista Road andCatlin said the incidents,have caused the departmentto increase patrols in thearea.Catlin said DeKalbCounty Police have metwith local rabbis and syna-gogues to discuss securityconcerns.“At this time we havenot qualied this as a hatecrime,” Catlin said.
Tucker womanarrested in Clarkstonfor identity theft
Clarkston Police madea Christmas Day arrest of awoman on a warrant for fail-ure to appear in court in Feb-ruary on a trafc violation.When the woman told police she did not have a pending trafc violation, a police investigation revealedthat the woman’s driver’slicense had been used byanother woman in February.Vehicle information and a phone number given duringthe February trafc stop led police to
Torrie Dorsey
of Summerwalk Drive in Tuck-er, according to Detective
K.W. Hasan
.Dorsey, charged withidentity theft, had a rstcourt appearance on Dec. 28
Vacant Clarkstonduplex burglarized
Someone broke into a du- plex unit on 990 Smith Streetin Clarkston early on Dec.27. The suspect kicked openthe back door to the unit,activating the motion-sensor light. Nothing was stolen fromthe duplex, which was a va-cant rental unit, according toClarkston Police Chief 
. A resident in the ad- joining unit told ClarkstonPolice that she heard a loudnoise at approximately 2a.m. The resident did notcall police, thinking it was a branch hitting the roof.
DeKalb Police have increased security around the 1800 block of Lavista Road surrounding Congre-gation Beth Jacob, where a member was egged while walking home from a service.
Page 3A The Champion Free Press, Friday, January 6, 2012
New ordinance requires interior apartment inspections
DeKalb Schools allow parole officers on campus
 by Andrew Cauthenandrew@dekalbchamp.comA new county ordinancerequiring the interiors of allapartment buildings to beinspected by an independentstate-certied inspector goesinto effect in January.“We hope to ensure thatevery apartment complex issafe and sound for peopleto live in,” said DeKalbCounty Commissioner 
Jeff Rader
about the ordinance passed in December 2010.Under the ordinance,apartment owners arerequired to have their rental units inspected asa condition of gettingor renewing a businesslicense. During the rstyear of complying withthe ordinance, all units in acomplex must be inspectedand in subsequent years20 percent of the units arerequired to be inspected.Complexes that are less thanve years old are exemptand the ordinance does notapply to condominiums,duplexes or extended stayhotels.The inspections will be performed by third-partyinspectors who will ensurethat the interior of rentalunits meet “state minimumstandard codes,” theordinance states.Letters about the newordinance will be sentin January with businesslicense renewal notices.Apartment complexeswill be allowed to renewtheir licenses for 2012without the interior inspections but all unitsmust be inspected byOctober, according to
Andrew Baker
, thecounty’s interim director for  planning and sustainability.“This gives them threemonths to get themselvesup to standard if they fail aninspection,” Baker said.Following a checklistdeveloped by the county’s planning and developmentdepartment, inspectors willcheck whether:• The ooring is imperviousin kitchen and bath areas.• Heating facilities are inworking condition withno unvented heatingappliances in sleepingrooms.• Required smoke detector devices are in place.• Plumbing facilities,including kitchen sink,lavatory, tub or shower,and water closet, are clean,sanitary and are in goodworking order.• Electrical outlets andlight xtures are in goodworking order with proper covers and no exposedwiring.• Both interior and exterior doors, jams and hardwareare functional.• Interior and exterior stairsare in good working order with protective railing.• There is the proper number of residents per bedroomas required by law.• Extermination is needed.• Exit requirements are metwith unobstructed meansof egress leading to safeand open space.• There is excessive trash,rubbish or similar items.Inspectors will belooking for “things that arehazardous,” Baker said.County ofcials said they believe that “a large number of multifamily units arenot up to standards,” Baker said. “We want to improvethe quality of life for thoseresidents.”Currently, the countyinspects the exteriors of apartment buildings, butis not allowed to inspectthe interior unless invitedin, Baker said. Countyinspectors said there is adirect correlation betweenexterior code violations andinterior violations.“Hopefully, the majorityof people will comply,”Baker said. “The ones thatwe have the most problemswith are the ones with 100or more units.” by Daniel Beauregarddaniel@dekalbchamp.comDuring the course of the past year DeKalb CountySchools has added an extrasecurity measure in an effortto help keep students out of trouble, or stop trouble be-fore it starts.School spokesman
Wal-ter Woods
said since thesystem began allowingDeKalb County parole of-cers into schools they have been “enormously” helpful.“I think we’ve seen areduction inin-school inci-dents…We’reseeing sometrends that are positive withthe [parole of-cers] reducingghts on cam- pus and thingslike that,”Woods said.Woods saidthe parole ofcers on cam- pus have ofces and differ from armed police ofcersserving as resource ofcers,although they work together at times.“They work withthe principals andresource ofcersto ensure that thestudents that areeligible for proba-tion are keeping outof trouble,” Woodssaid. “It also pro-vides a resource for additional counsel-ing for students and it’s agood preventative measureto have additional personnelon hand.”The program was imple-mented by
Desiree SuttonPeagler
, DeKalb Countychief juvenile judge, and
Theodore Carter Jr.
,former DeKalb Countychief probation ofcer, inconjunction with school of-cials.According to reports,approximately 15 parole of-cers visit DeKalb’s middleand high schools three daysa week, on average. Paroleofcers monitored nearly400 students who have beento juvenile court for crimesranging from truancy tomore serious offenses suchas assault or drug posses-sion.“In every forum we havehad people whosaid weneed to focus on school dis-cipline,” Woods said. “Werecently hired a new head of discipline that will begin inJanuary.”Woods said school dis-cipline is a “big priority”for Superintendent
’s new administra-tion.
All apartment buildings in unincorporated DeKalb County, like Austin Oaks on Glenwood Road, must get an interior inspection under a new ordinance that goes into effect inJanuary. Apartment owners will not be issued 2013 business licenses until the inspections are completed. Photos by Andrew CauthenAtkinson

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