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Free Press 4-20-12

Free Press 4-20-12

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Published by hudgons
DeKalb County Community Newspaper: serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.
DeKalb County Community Newspaper: 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 Apr 27, 2012
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 by Robert Naddrarobert@dekalbchamp.com
our generations of Medlocks sat a picnictable celebrating theevolution of the park that bears their name.Hundreds of residents joined the Medlocks onApril 13 at Medlock Park in Decatur to recognize the50th anniversary of the park and of the Druid Hills YouthSports association, which began in 1962 as BriarclifCommunity Sports.The event, which alsoserved as the openingceremony for the asso-ciation’s youth baseballseason, brought out past presidents, players andcoaches as well as morethan a dozen members of the Medlock family.“What you have doneto honor my great-grandfa-ther is tremendous,”
told the crowd.“It honors us greatly by in-viting us to this event.”Wade Medlock is thenephew of 87-year-oldDecatur resident
, the only livinggrandson of 
WilliamParks “Buck” Medlock,
 who purchased in 1882 theland that is now the park.“This was PeachtreeCreek bottomland. It usedto be all orchards and farm-land,” Wade Medlock said.Much of the areaaround the park has tiesto the Medlock family.Willivee Drive, whichruns adjacent to the park,is named for Buck’s firstdaughter 
William Vilenah
,known as “Miss Willie.”Also, Buck’s first wifewas a member of the fam-ily that provided nearbyMason Mill Park and thefamily of his second wife,
Susan Kittredge
, providedthe land for Kittredge Park.Medlock Park was builtin February 1960 and wasoriginally used for base- ball, football and softball.There is no longer a youthfootball league in the park, but baseball and softballstill thrive.Briarcliff CommunitySports formed in 1962, andDruid Hills Youth Sportsformed in 1990 when BCSmerged with North Decatur Youth Sports.
Ron Blomberg
, who played at BCS in the1960s, is the group’s mostfamous alumnus. Blom- berg went on to play for the New York Yankees.“He came to a couple of the opening day events thatwe had,” said
Phil Murff 
,who served as president of BCS in 1988-89.
Luis Planas
, who be-gan his association withBCS as a coach in 1982, became its president from1984-85.“Back then there werea lot of well-known fami-lies who participated,”Planas said. “The
and the
allstarted here. There wasa tremendous amount of  pride among all the fami-lies who belonged to theorganization.”Planas said he particu-larly remembers the cama-raderie between the presi-dents of the association.“Many of the past presidents offered to comeout and help any way theycould,” Planas said. “Ithought it was special thatthey felt so tied in to Bri-arcliff Community Sports.My circle of friends I havetoday are friends I met atthe ballpark 30 years ago.”The importance of those who helped buildthe program into whatit is now is noticeablearound Medlock Park.
, who was asso-ciation president in 1993,remembers the effect theumpires had on the league.One of the baseballfields is named for 
Jim“Big Pop” Cobb
, a former umpire who attended theceremony. There also is amemorial for former um- pire
Hank Burdette
.“They worked veryhard at helping the kids,”McAuliffe said. “Theytook time to teach themabout baseball and theywere friends to the kids.”
Family tradition
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Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.
Medlock Park and baseball help bond Decatur community
Thomas Medlock, 87, seated, and his family attended the 50th anniversary of Medlock Park on April 13. Photos by Robert Naddra
Page 2A The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 20, 2012
 by Andrew Cauthenandrew@dekalbchamp.com Nearly a month after a juryfound
Hemy Neuman
guilty but mentally ill in the Novem- ber 2010 killing of 
Russell“Rusty” Sneiderman
, a grand jury has subpoenaed the videotestimony of Sneiderman’swidow.
Andrea Sneiderman
al-legedly had an affair with Neuman while the two workedat GE Energy. Neuman wassentenced to life without pa-role for the Dunwoody killing.The question of AndreaSneiderman’s possible rolein her husband’s death is the“1,000-pound pink gorillain the corner,” said DeKalbCounty District Attorney
Rob-ert James
during a news con-ference following the March15 sentencing.“It’s something that wehave under review right now,”James told reporters. “Staytuned.”
Steve Sneiderman
,Rusty’s brother, said that hisfamily suspected that AndreaSneiderman had a part in his brother’s death.“Andrea is covered inRusty’s blood and there arenot enough rabbis in the worldto wash away those stains,”Steve Sneiderman said lastmonth.In a post-trial news con-ference,
Doug Peters
, oneof Neuman’s attorneys, said,“The entire truth in this casehas not been presented.“Mr. Neuman was illand manipulated by AndreaSneiderman,” Peters said.“We are very hopeful that allof the evidence regarding her responsibility for the death of Rusty Sneiderman will also be presented in court on anotheday at another time.”Atlanta attorney
BJ Bern-stein
said the grand jury sub- poena means prosecutors are“obviously looking at whether there’s anything to be done.”“And they’re clearly go-ing slow enough to gure outwhat’s there,” Bernstein said.Prosecutors could use courttranscripts but the trial waslengthy and transcripts take awhile to produce, Bernsteinsaid.The video “is just a quicker way of getting exactly what[Andrea Sneiderman] said,”Bernstein said. “More than justthe words, her manner of testi-fying gave an impression that[prosecutors] would want tocapture by having that lm.”Bernstein said one of thecharges prosecutors may beconsidering is perjury.“Perjury requires thatyou knowingly and willinglymake a false statement that ismaterial to the issue or pointin question,” Bernstein said.“Sometimes people can saysomething false in court, butit’s not material to the case.There could be some false-hoods that [Sneiderman] saidthat are perjury that may not be prosecutable.“The other magic thingthat you really don’t know isif someone else steps forwardwho has information becauseof the trial,” Bernstein said.“That could take it in a wholeother direction.”Bernstein said it is pos-sible that prosecutors will nothave enough evidence to bringcharges against Sneiderman.“They may not haveenough now or they may notever have enough, or a witnessmay pop up out of nowherewith some information or atape,” Bernstein said. “It’s one big mystery we’re all waitingto see.”
Grand jury considering Andrea Sneiderman’s role in husband’s killing
Andrea Sneiderman
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Page 3A The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 20, 2012
 by Andrew Cauthenandrew@dekalbchamp.comWhen the DeKalb Coun-ty Board of Commission-ers could not get additionalairtime earlier this year onDCTV, the county’s televi-sion network, one commis-sioner took matters into her own hands.And BOCTV, an onlinesite with streaming and on-demand video of commis-sioners’ committee meet-ings, was born.Commissioner 
said BOCTV resultedfrom
“one of those hare- brained ideas I got.”“I thought it would be agreat idea to tape our com-mittee meetings,” she said.“I want the public to see usworking and asking the hardquestions.“I think it would be veryuseful for the community tosee these decisions,” Boyer said. “They don’t reallyhear that we’re asking thesequestions and that we’re re-ally trying to press for [an-swers].”Boyer said the recordings provide additional transpar-ency for residents who areunable to go to a committeemeeting during the workday.“People get very frus-trated with us because theycan’t come during the day,”Boyer said. “And we can’treally have meetings atnight like this because of thestaff.” Now, residents can viewonline various Board of Commissioners’ committeemeetings where “the realwork is done,” said Com-missioner 
.Residents can hear “thereal questions and the an-swers, whether they aregood or bad answers,” Leesaid.
Viola Davis
, of thegroup, Unhappy Taxpayer and Voter, said, “There isnothing more transparentthan televising these com-mittee meetings.”“If I had to choose be-tween going to the Boardof Commissioners meetingand the committee meetings,I would go to the commit-tee meeting, because that iswhere the decision is made,”Davis told commissionersduring a committee meeting.The idea for BOCTVcame after DeKalb CEO
Burrell Ellis
’ administrationdenied repeated requests tocover the board’s February budget process.The administration statedthat producing a 13-hour,two-day nance commit-tee meeting would take 56hours to prepare the foot-age for airing and DCTV’sentire four-person fulltimestaff would be tied up for two days.“This would adverselyaffect the station’s ongo-ing operations and duties,”stated
,director of the CEO’s Ofceof Cable Operations, in aJanuary memo.Commissioners com- plained at the time that Ellis’State of the County addresswas airing 60 times a week on DCTV.“We’ve been given allthese parameters and limita-tions by DCTV,” Boyer said.BOCTV is located atwww.dekalbboc.com, wherethe agendas for the variouscommittee meetings areavailable with the embeddedvideos. Each agenda itemhas a time reference to makethe site more user-friendly,said
, Boyer’schief 
of sta.
 At $375—paid out of Boyer’s budget—for equip-ment and $10 for a domainname, the cost for BOCTVis minimal, Lundsten said.“We did this on thecheap,” said Lundsten,who records the videos andmaintains the blog site. “It’snot a website. There’s nowebmaster. It’s a blog site.”Since the site is free,there are some commercialson it.“You can pay $500 amonth to get rid of all thecommercials,” Lundstensaid. “We’re not doing that.The 15-second Toyota com-mercial is worth it.”Lundsten said BOCTVis not intended to replaceDCTV or to give individualcommissioners airtime.“This isn’t about facetime and mugging for theTV,” Lundsten said. “This isa committee meeting. Thereare no close-ups. There’s nocommentary. Simply, it’s outthere.”“It’s about accuracy of information,” said Com-missioner 
Sharon BarnesSutton
. “People can see[for] themselves what wasreported, what was done, theinformation that is actually brought and the level of co-operation that we get fromthe administration.”Some commissionershave big plans for BOCTV.The board’s county op-erations and police servicescommittee approved Boy-er’s plan to move $75,000from DCTV to the budget of the Board of Commission-ers.May said commissionershave two options for ex- panding BOCTV.One idea is to hire a staff  person to record and broad-cast all of the board’s com-mittee meetings and providemore social networking “to put out more of the work that we’re doing,” May said.The other idea is to hire acollege or university with amass communications pro-gram.May said commissionerscould also use the fundingto hire “someone who can…help us with media and get-ting our message out.”Commissioner 
, during a commit-tee meeting on April 10,said she supports the ideaof televising the committeemeetings, but has a problemwith the proposed $75,000 price tag.“I just don’t know thatwe need to take taxpayer dollars—$75,000—to hiresomeone when DCTV canlm them and put themon-demand so that peoplecan watch them and look atthem anytime.”Gannon said the countyneeds to focus on develop-ing a policy for DCTV.“There are a myriadof events and topics thatshould be…available onDCTV,” Gannon said.Animal control issues,voter registration proceduresand volunteering opportuni-ties are some of the topicsthat could be covered onDCTV, Gannon said. “No- body is talking about that.We’re just talking abouthow to increase our time onDCTV.”“We really need to talk about DCTV—what they’redoing, what they’re not do-ing, what they could be do-ing,” Gannon said.
Bob Lundsten, chief of staff for Commissioner Elaine Boyer, records and uploads Board of Commissioners’ committee meetings for BOCTV, the board’s way of increasing its transparency. Photo by Andrew Cauthen
Board of Commissioners’ committeesget airtime on a dime, for now

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