Lithonia High School • 2440 Phillips Road • Lithonia, GA 30058May 5, 2012 • 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
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by Andrew Cauthenandrew@dekalbchamp.comSince 1975, DeKalb County has used federalfunding for various neighborhood projects suchas constructing swimming pools, paving streets,home renovation and constructing senior hous-ing, and community and recreation centers.These are great uses of the funding from theU.S. Department of Housing and Urban Devel-opment (HUD) to develop viable urban commu-nities, said
, DeKalb’s human andcommunity development director.But the county needs to do something differ-ently, she told community leaders April 19.“Why aren’t these neighborhoods revital-ized?” Morris asked. “Why don’t we havestronger neighborhoods everywhere in DeKalbCounty?“When you drive through our neighborhoods,do you see strong, sustainable neighborhoodsconsistently all over DeKalb County?” Morrisasked. “I am hoping everyone realizes we needto do something a little differently in order tohave a greater impact with our neighborhoods.”Morris introduced the DeKalb Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative (DSNI), a pilot pro-gram that will foster a collaborative, community- based approach to improving the quality of life inDeKalb neighborhoods.Morris said the initiative, once approved by the
Board of Commissioners, will be part of the ve-
year plan, the county submits to HUD.The county’s department of human and commu-nity development and its partner, the Emory Uni-
versity Ofce of University-Community Partner-ships, has identied seven candidate areas for the
pilot program: Clarkston, Columbia, Cross Keys,Lithonia, McNair, Stone Mountain and Towers.These areas, based on county school district
clusters, were identied because of their eligibil-
ity to use resources available through the county’sHUD-funded programs, Morris said.These communities will be narrowed down totwo areas that will participate in the pilot program.
The nalists will be selected based on their ability
to leverage their community assets and collaboratewith businesses, agencies and organizations thatshare an interest in the community to develop acomprehensive approach for improving their neigh- borhoods.To vie for a spot in the pilot program, candidatecommunities must prepare a letter of intent.
director of the Emory University
Ofce of University-Community Partnerships, said
the letter is not a formal proposal, but a narrativedocument that describes the community’s com-mitment, its leadership team, top three pressingneighborhood issues and a proposed “early action” project that demonstrates the community’s ability towork together.
The letters of intent are due May 10 and the -
nalists will be selected later that month.Rich
said the current way that many commu-nities address community development is with a“multiplicity of programs that are focused on asingle issue.”“We see a problem, we convene a task force andwe create a program,” Rich said. “You have all this particularized fragmentation that makes it very dif-
cult to pull the resources together to holistically
address a problem.“The new paradigm… of collective impact isrecognition that, if we are holistically going to ad-dress our communities and make them stronger,we need to work together, we need to have a com-mon vision, we need to draw on the strengths of theneighborhoods,” Rich said.“This is not a study,” Morris said. “We want todevelop plans that we can actually work with. Wewant to be able to leverage all the funds that we canto make a difference.“We can always do projects and initiatives,”Morris said. “We’re trying to have a greater im- pact.” by Andrew Cauthenandrew@dekalbchamp.comA Decatur man chargedwith raping three women andassaulting two others late lastyear waived arraignment incourt April 19. His attorneywill file mo-tions in thecase beforeApril 29.
, 35,of Decatur,was indicted by a grand jury in Feb-ruary on three counts of rape,two counts of aggravated as-sault, four counts of armed
robbery, ve counts of false
imprisonment, two counts of aggravated sexual battery andone count each of burglary,robbery and aggravated sod-omy.Mincey allegedly stalked
his victims at a Publix gro-
cery store and at nightclubs,according to the county dis-trict attorney’s office.“Gary Mincey pleaded notguilty and waived arraign-ment at today’s hearing,” saidDeKalb District Attorney
. “My ofce
will diligently work to bring justice for all the victimsinvolved in these heinouscrimes.”Mincey was arrested by
DeKalb County Police De-
partment officers on Dec. 1,2011, after detectives inves-tigating the crimes observeda car fitting the descriptionof the suspect’s vehicle near Flakes Mill Road.According to the indict-ment, Mincey allegedly as-saulted or raped five women between Oct. 16 and Nov.29, robbing them of money, jewelry, keys, cell phones andother electronics.Mincey allegedly used aknife, Taser or handgun ineach of the crimes.According to a police de- partment statement, Minceyfollowed a woman from
the Publix grocery store on
Flakes Mill Road to her homenear Columbia Drive.According to the investi-gation, as the victim unloadedher groceries from the car,Mincey entered her homethrough the garage and thensexually assaulted and robbedher of personal belongingsincluding a cellphone and
laptop.Following the assault, hefled in a dark SUV and thevictim contacted the police,according to the police state-ment.