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Free Press 3-2-12

Free Press 3-2-12

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Published by: hudgons on Mar 02, 2012
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Being a crossing guard in downtown Decatur is a ‘family affair’
 by Daniel Beauregarddaniel@dekalbchamp.comEarly in the morning, rain or shine, residents passing the cor-ner of East Trinity and HowardAvenue in downtown Decatur aregreeted by a familiar sound: theloud shriek of 
Tynesha Smith
’swhistle.Smith, a 30-year-old Decatur native, has been working as acrossing guard on the corner for nearly two years. She began do-ing it to supplement her income but now she said she doesn’t ever want to give it up.“I started doing this job andthe fun part about it was I wasafraid to cross the street myself.When I told my mom about this job, she laughed at me and said,‘How are you going to cross kidswhen you’re afraid to cross thestreet yourself?’” Smith said.Smith managed to overcomeher fears and prove her mother wrong. The area where Smithworks includes a busy intersec-tion with train tracks. Each timeshe blows her whistle and holdsup her stop sign, Smith said, sheis risking her life.“As drivers—I know from ex- perience—we’re always in such arush to go somewhere. If you’renot careful you could hit a kid be-cause you’re not paying attention,you might be texting or on the phone,” Smith said.In between helping childrenand residents cross the road,Smith mentioned her mother was also a crossing guard. Infact,
Sandra Smith-Johnson
and Smith’s stepfather 
 both work as crossingguards in the downtown Decatur area.“It’s kind of like a family af-fair,” Smith said with a chuckle.Her mother works by the FriendsSchool on South Columbia Driveand her stepfather works right upthe street on the corner of EastCollege Avenue and DoughertyStreet.On Thursdays and Fridays,Smith’s mom works on her daughter’s corner with her. San-dra said she has been a crossingguard for six years.“I love my job,” Sandra said.“I’m a people person and I enjoytalking to the parents and the kidsand just making sure they getacross safely.”Sandra, who is also a full-timeMARTA employee, is retiringnext year and said she plans onworking as a crossing guard for as long as she can. She helped both Smith as well as her husbandfind their jobs as crossing guards.“He’s been there for four years he told me today,” she saidof her husband Maurice. “Tyne-sha’s a people’s person too. Shealways tells me how she missesit when we have to be out for aholiday or teacher workday.”Both Smith and her mother said they love their job and the
Emory University sees record application numbers for fall
 by Daniel Beauregarddaniel@dekalbchamp.com
mory University hasreceived a recordnumber of freshmanapplications for thefall 2012 semester and morethan 20 percent of them arefrom international students.“We are seeing an inter-est in more applicationsfrom overseas, primarilyfrom China,”
Scott Allen
,Emory University senior as-sociate dean of admissionssaid.Allen said as the univer-sity grows, it has expandedits initiatives and mademore of an effort to engagewith student groups acrossthe country and overseas.He attributed the growingincrease in Chinese appli-cants to the growth the Chi-nese middle class has seenin recent years.“Typically kids in Chinalooking to the states look toward the most well-knownschools in the country andthis dynamic plays out at allof the major universities,”Allen said.Allen speculated as towhy Emory might interestChinese students.“There are so many aca-demic options, especially if you’re going to come so far for an education,” he said.So far this year Emory’sCollege of Arts & Scienceshas received 17,489 appli-cations, including a recordnumber of students selectingEmory as their first choice.The previous high for appli-cations was 17,446 in 2008.
Additionally, applications
Emory University had record applications submitted for fall 2012, nearly 20 percent of which werefrom overseas applicants. Photo providedDecatur crossing guard Tynesha Smith helps a student cross the busy intersectionat East Trinity and Howard Avenue. Photo by Daniel Beauregard
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Follow us.
Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.
See Emory on Page 15ASee Crossing on Page 15A
Page 2A The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 2, 2012
CEO’s Community Hero AwardsCEO’s Community Hero Awards
Please complete this nomination form and return it to The Champion oce by March 30, 2012. A panel of civic, corporate, and governmentvolunteers will select the winners. Recipients will receive charitable contributions to help further their eorts in the county. Winners will behonored at the
CEO’s Community Hero Awards Gala at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center on Sunday, April 29, 2012 - 4 p.m.
Nominations may be faxed to: 404-373-7721
Or mail nomination to: The Champion Newspaper • P. O. Box 1347, Decatur, GA 30030
Email nomination forms to: JohnH@deKalbchamp.comNominator’s name ___________________________________________________Nominator’s address __________________________________________________City _________________________________ State ____ ZIP Code _____________Nominator’s phone number ____________________________________________Nominator’s email ____________________________________________________
Deadline to submit nominations is March 31, 2012.
For more information, please contact Erica M. Brooks at 404-371-3695 or John Hewitt 404-373-7779 x110.
Award Nominee Information
(attach additional page if needed)
*All individual nominees must live in the DeKalb County. Any organization nominated must be able todemonstrate a clear presence and direct impact on DeKalb County. Please indicate below which category best describes your nomination:
 This award acknowledges an individual and non-prot organization whose work has had a positive
impact in strengthening communities and improving the lives of others in DeKalb County.
 This award honors a community member and/or organization that works to preserve, protect, and raiseawareness about our environment.
 This award recognizes a DeKalb County young adult between the ages of 5-18 that exemplies volunteerism
and community service.
 This award recognizes an individual and organization that fosters civic engagement and promotescommunity involvement.
 This award recognizes an individual and organization whose contributions most exemplify the
National County Government Month theme as established by NACo each year. The 2012theme is “Healthy Counties, Healthy Families; ONE Healthy DeKalb”
Nominee’s name______________________________________________________Nominee’s Agency, Community Organization, or Individual Volunteer Focus____________________________________________________________________Nominee’s address:____________________________________________________City______________________ State____ ZIP _________________Nominee’s contact info
(required so nominee can be notied if selected)
Name ____________________ Phone ____________ E-mail address _________________
Please tell us why this nominee should be honored as a CEO’s Community Hero:
 Attach additional information if needed 
Nominate a community servant, community organization or an individual in the DeKalb community who tirelessly volunteers his or her service for the betterment of DeKalb County.
Announcing the 2012presented by
The Champion Newspaper and DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis
Page 3A The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 2, 2012
 by Andrew Cauthenandrew@dekalbchamp.com
, owner of Cake Café Atlantaon Candler Road, saidher business has been burglarized four timesduring the three years her  business has been open.Items stolen include cell phones, two televisions,security monitors, an edible-image printer and bakingingredients, Tippett said.Tippett said she hascombated the break-ins byinstalling a more securestorm door, cellular back-upfor the alarm system andmore security cameras.“I’ve got a cameraeverywhere now,” Tippettsaid of her three camerasoutside and ve inside.But it isn’t the thefts thatannoyed her the most; it wasthe reaction of the policeofcers who responded toone of the incidents.“I said, ‘So, are you’regoing take ngerprints?What are we going to doto try to nd this guy?’”Tippett recounted. “Theysaid, ‘Nothing. This isCandler Road.’”Tippett made thecomments during a forumfor business owners in theCandler Road/Flat ShoalsParkway business corridor to address crime anddevelop strategies to dealwith criminal activity in thearea.Responding to Tippett’scomments, Capt
. T. Voss
, of the DeKalb County PoliceDepartment, apologized.“If an ofcer toldyou that, it’s totallyunacceptable,” Voss said.“I do apologize. No ofcer should ever say somethinglike that.“I can tell you, as far asthe command staff of the police department, we don’tlook at things like that,”Voss said. “South DeKalbis just as important as any place else.”
DeVon Hudson
, who,during the forum realizedthat his business is acrossthe street from Tippett’s,said the area “suffers from bad public relations.”“I love south DeKalb,”Hudson said. “We can makea difference here. I’m notgoing anywhere.”Hudson said hisinsurance agency had also been burglarized. Duringthe burglary in whicha computer was stolen,Hudson said the thievesdropped a cell phone whichhe gave to the police.When Hudson followedup with the police, he saidhe did not get much help.“Quite frankly he actedlike I was interrupting hisday,” Hudson said.Commissioner 
, who sponsoredthe forum, said the corridor is improving.“Any crime is toomuch,” Johnson said. “Butfor our size, it’s not as badas it was.”Between November 2011and Feb. 23, the Flat Shoals/Candler Road area has had17 pedestrian robberies,seven business robberies,six residential robberies and14 business burglaries, Vosssaid.“Overall the nighttime burglaries have gone down,”Voss added.The police departmenthas a special team that istrying to address crime in business areas, focusing onmaking drug cases in hotelsand apartments, Voss said.“A lot of these crimes— these smash-and-grabs—alot of it is based off of drugs,” Voss said.Ofcers use drug arrests“to get in the door to ndthe bigger sh,” Voss said.“All of it is intertwined.”“The police departmentwants to make arrests,”Voss said. “We want to dosomething about [crime].We want to serve thecommunity.”According to Johnson thearea has a median incomeof $55,000 per household— higher than the city of Decatur—and is beginningto see some revitalization.The Candler Road areahas had $25 million ininvestments in the pastseven years, Johnsonsaid. The corridor is alsothe county’s rst overlaydistrict–an area whereadditional planningregulations are in place for more stringent zoning.“We’ve got some good businesses in our area,”Johnson said. “We havevery few vacancies onCandler Road.”
of Drummer Imports on FlatShoals Parkway said hehas been in business for 10 years with a few minor incidents.“Even with the badeconomy, we had our bestyear last year,” Drummer said. “My motto is ‘we’redoing good in the ‘hood.’”Johnson urged the business owners in the areato organize to help eachother.“You have to start a business watch program,”Johnson said. “That’s thetake away we want to getfrom this meeting.”Johnson reiteratedhis commitment to helprevitalize the corridor.“I’m not leaving,”Johnson said. “I believe inCandler Road. I don’t carewhat these people say.”
Commissioners passbudget with reservations
Candler Road/Flat Shoalsbusinesses unite against crime
 by Andrew Cauthenandrew@dekalbchamp.comDeKalb County’s 2012 budget is set at $559 million anddoes not require a tax increase, but commissioners on bothsides of the 4-3 vote have problems with it.The nal budget, passed on Feb. 28, restores some fundscut by DeKalb CEO
in his budget recommen-dation, including $500,000 to repair roads, $363,000 for senior centers, $180,000 for a grand jury investigation intothe county’s watershed department and funds to unfreeze sixanimal control ofcer positions.The commissioners also approved $2 million to cover thereplacement of malfunctioning air masks used by the re res-cue department.Commissioners
Larry Johnson
Sharon Barnes Sut-ton
Lee May
supported the budget, whilecommissioners
Elaine Boyer
voted against it.In a statement released after the budget was passed, Ellissaid he was “pleased” that the Board of Commissioners ad-opted a budget “largely based on his recommendations.”“This budget will allow us to maintain essential services, particularly those in public safety, while rebuilding our re-serves to $30 million,” Ellis stated.Ellis said that “approval of the budget afrms the delityof our revenue projections.”“We look forward to receiving an ofcial report on prop-erty values in a few months, wherein we will make any nec-essary adjustments to the budget at mid-year,” Ellis stated.Despite voting to approve the budget, some commission-ers said they have reservations about those revenue predic-tions.May, who chairs the commissioners’ nance committee,said Ellis’ prediction of a 5 percent drop in tax income are“overly optimistic” and have been off for the past three years.In fact, home prices in the metro Atlanta area decreased12.8 percent in 2011, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released Feb. 28, before the board passedits budget.Boyer, who voted against the budget, said she could not“in good conscience” vote for a budget with faulty assump-tions.“We are going to have a digest, which in the past threeyears has been wrong every single time, estimated at 5 per-cent [decrease],” Boyer said. “Last year it was 12 percent.“All you’ve got to do is drive around DeKalb Countyand see the empty buildings, storefronts, homes foreclosed,”Boyer said. “We’ve made assumptions on 5 percent, whenlast year it was 12 percent? That’s not good planning.”Boyer said the other problem “looming down the track” isthe possible incorporation of the city of Ashford which wouldtake more taxes from the county’s coffers.“We have to start doing business differently in DeKalbCounty,” Boyer said. “We’ve lost 50,000 people through thecity of Dunwoody. We may lose another 50,000 to the city of Ashford or Brookhaven or whatever and we’re still deliver-ing services the same way? What’s up with that?”Rader said he is concerned that the county will have tospend money at a rate that it cannot maintain all year, similar to last year when some county department heads and consti-tutional ofcers asked for additional revenue mid-year.“They invented a new word for that—‘under-appropria-tions,’” Rader said. “I certainly don’t want to be in that posi-tion again this year.”Rader said the $12 million discovered by the administra-tion should have been used to reduce the millage rate.Gannon said she had reservations about the budget be-cause it adjusts the number of employees, going in the“wrong direction.”Over the years the county had decreased the number em- ployees from 6,500 to 5,900, Gannon said.“This budget is calling for 6,100,” Gannon said. “It sort of feels like the same old budget.”
Cleaning up the trash and crime around extended stay hotels would help revitalize the Candler/FlatShoals area, say business owners. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

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