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Weekly newspaper and legal organ for DeKalb County, GA. Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.
Weekly newspaper and legal organ for DeKalb County, GA. Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.

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Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.

FREEPRESS

WWW.CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER.COM • FRIDAY, MARCH 29 , 2013 • VOL. 16, NO. 1 • FREE

• A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS •

Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas DeKalb speaks to young gymnasts in Decatur school board exits lawsuit against state
by Carla Parker carla@dekalbchamp.com by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com DeKalb County’s new school board members say they want no part in a lawsuit against Gov. Nathan Deal and the Georgia Board of Education. The board members, six of which were recently appointed by Deal, voted 9-0 to remove the school district from the lawsuit filed by former board members. But Gene Walker, who along with five other school board members, was suspended by Deal, said he will continue the lawsuit which, filed in February, challenges a 2011 state law that gives the governor the authority to remove school board members when their school district faces a loss of accreditation. Walker said he is “going to try to raise whatever money necessary to keep this going forward.” “I’m calling on all my friends and believers in ‘one person, one vote’ to support me,” Walker said. Walker said he is not fighting to keep his school board seat. “I’m fighting to protect the rights of voters.” The DeKalb school district was placed on accreditation probation by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the agency that accredits the school district through its parent company, AdvancED. That move triggered a state law granting the governor the authority to remove school board members. Acting on the recommendation of the Georgia Board of Education, Deal suspended six of the nine members of the DeKalb school board in February and later replaced them. School board member Marshall Orson, one of the three board members who were not removed, introduced the measure, saying it
See BOE on Page 15A

Young gymnasts at the Atlanta Gymnastics Center in Decatur got the opportunity of a lifetime when Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas came to speak to them on March 21. Douglas held a book signing to promote her new book, Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith. In the book, Douglas tells her story of faith, perseverance, and determination, demonstrating you can reach your dreams if you let yourself soar. She signed books for the more than 100 young gymnasts, who are members of the gym. She also posed for photos with them and answered all of their questions. Atlanta Gymnastics Center owner Chris Calvert said meeting Douglas is something that will change the children’s lives. “To meet someone with her courage, tenacity and flair is awesome,” she said. Douglas talked to young gymnasts about her journey to the 2012 London Summer Olympics, where she won gold medals in both the team and individual all-around competitions. She is the first woman of color of any nationality and the first African-American gymnast in Olympic history to become the Individual All-Around Champion. She is also the first American gymnast to win gold in both the gymnastic individual all-around and team competitions at

IS SHE SHE WHY IS SO SO HAPPYWHY ?
the same Olympic games. She talked about the struggles of moving away from her family and home in Virginia Beach, Va., at the age of 14 to train under elite coach Liang Chow in West Des Moines, IA. Douglas lived with a host family while she trained. She earned a Team Gold at the 2011 World Championships, placed first at the 2012 Olympic Trials (earning the only guaranteed spot on the Olympic Team), 2012 Olympic Team Gold and the 2012

Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas spoke to more than 100 young gymnasts at Atlanta Gymnastics Center in Decatur on March 21. Photos by Carla Parker

Women’s Gymnastics Olympic AllAround Title. Douglas also talked about how much fun she has with gymnastics and how hard work will help the young gymnasts achieve their goals. That is the message Calvert said she hopes the children will take with them. “The message I hope they learned is to have fun and hard work is worth it,” she said. “You need your family and gymnastics is a wonderful sport.”

SO

HAPPY ?

IS SHE

Emory professor urges action for female victims in Africa
by Kathy Mitchell Kathy@dekalbchamp.com

Neil Shulman compared the violence against women and girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to such human rights issues as apartheid in South Africa, segregation and discrimination in the preCivil Rights Movement United States and the Holocaust perpetrated by Adolph Hitler. In Because she gets her news updates online from the The Champi DRC, rape is a weapon of war, Because she gets her news updates online from the The Champion. he said. Because she gets her news updates online from the The Champion. “Still, it’s hard to get people to stand up and say ‘this is unSee Emory on Page 15A Dr. Neil Shulman and his wife, Zoe Haugo, use hand-lettered signs to call attention to
the plight of women in Africa at demonstrations on the Emory campus.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 29, 2013

Commissioners discuss living wage increase
by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com Some DeKalb County employees may soon see a pay increase that will bring them one step closer to making what is referred to as a living wage. Earlier in March, DeKalb County commissioners passed a 2013 budget that included funding designated for a 3 percent increase for the approximately 2,600 county employees being paid the least. At a recent employee relations and human services committee (ERHS) meeting, several commissioners discussed how to increase the pay of the county’s lowest paid workers. According to Benita Ransom, director of Human Resources, an MIT study that compared different municipalities throughout the country stated that the associated living wage cost for DeKalb County is approximately $18 an hour. Ransom said the minimum salary a county employee needs to support a family of 2.5, two adults and one dependent, is approximately $37,731 if those individuals are the sole providers of the household. “Our recommendation was to do what we can to incrementally move employees to the living wage,” Ransom said. The minimum increase an employee will see, according to Ransom, will be $611 and the maximum increase will be $1,132, with an average increase of approximately $900. Commissioner Jeff Rader suggested that employees at the lowest end of the pay scale receive a higher percentage increase than those whose salary is closer to a living wage. “We should be taking those that are further from the goal closer to it rather than taking those that are closest,” Rader said. Commissioner Kathy Gannon suggested that before approving any pay increase, it would be prudent for the board to develop and vote on a living wage policy to set the standard for future years. Gannon also suggested that the commission have a top-down salary structure analysis performed. Ransom stated such an analysis will take two years to complete but that commissioners could do something in the meantime to bring those employees closer to a living wage. Chairwoman of the ERHS Committee Commissioner Sharon Barnes-Sutton proposed a short-term solution to adjusting the living wage before salary analysis was complete might be to provide employees with a one-time incentive or bonus. However, Ransom said the only concern with offering employees a bonus is that, spreading out the wage increase over several years would allow each employee to receive more long-term benefits.

LOCAL NEWS

Page 2A

3% INCREASE

One of the keys to beating breast cancer, is knowing where you stand. The other is knowing where to go.
The newly expanded Comprehensive Breast Care Center at DeKalb Medical at Hillandale is proud to offer state-of-the-art technology for early detection, including digital mammography. And behind all of our technology and equipment, are equally phenomenal people, like our compassionate Nurse Navigators and nationally-acclaimed breast surgeons. From individualized treatment plans to even seemingly small acts – down to providing stylish patient robes and calming music during screenings – our attention to detail continues to set us apart from other hospitals. Because we believe in caring about people, not just for them. For a comprehensive virtual tour of our Breast Care Center, please visit dekalbmedicalhillandale.org, then call 404-501-2660, to schedule your annual mammogram, today.

Page 3A 

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 29, 2013

MARTA to develop land at four DeKalb stations
by Carla Parker carla@dekalbchamp.com MARTA is considering developing land around 10 of its stations, including four in DeKalb County. The transit system is partnering with the jurisdictions where the stations are located to build housing, office space or any other services that city desires. The stations on the redevelopment list include Avondale, Brookhaven, EdgewoodCandler Park, and Kensington. MARTA’s Director of Development and Regional Coordination John Crocker said MARTA went through a process that was used by the Dallas, Texas, transit system, where they looked at all stations to find the significant amount of property the transit authority owns, how much of the parking lots are being used, and what developmental activity is going on in those areas. “We took all of our 38 stations and put them through this methodology and these were the 10 at this time that kind of came into the top where we decided to focus our resources,” he said. Cheryl King, MARTA’s assistant general manager for planning, said MARTA also wants to make sure that it selects stations across the metro area and not in just one section of metro Atlanta. “We didn’t want the tenants to be all on the north side or the east side,” King said. “We wanted to make sure that we were trying to develop communities in all the quadrants where our lines go into.” The development plan for each station depends on what the market is asking for, according to King. However, housing is the popular choice. “The thing people are most interested in is housing,” King said. “But we like to see mixed-use [development]. We want to develop good communities and produce some revenue, but we also want land uses there that will produce riders for our system.” MARTA is hoping to form partnerships with the local jurisdictions or development partners to help them develop the land for better use than empty parking spaces. Crocker said they have begun meeting with the jurisdictions of some of the sites about the development plans, but the city of Decatur has been the most active about developing land at the Avondale Station. “Decatur is basing it primarily on the adopted livable center’s initiative plan, which looks at providing workforce housing and other housing so that people who work in Decatur can still afford to live in Decatur.” King said Decatur officials are concerned that the people who work in the city would not be able to afford to live in the city. “They want to make sure that some of that housing was available for the workers,” she said. “That seems to be our understanding of what the city’s goals are and that lines up nicely with our goals: promoting more housing around the stations and meeting the MARTA’s guidelines and policies of having 20 percent affordable housing development of our stations,” Crocker added. The cost for the development projects will vary based on what will be built at each station and the timetable for construction is also on a station by station bases. “Each one is unique and each one will have its own time frame,” Crocker said.

Construction workers works on the pipeline on Clairmont Road at Tandlewood Circle. Photo by Carla Parker

uCHAMBLEE

Residents concerned about gas pipeline station
by Carla Parker carla@dekalbchamp.com inch are not really made to go through residential areas,” said Lori Muskat, a resident A proposed gas pipeline on Clairmont Road. “It’s one station to be constructed thing if [the pipe] was there near a Chamblee neighborand the area grew up around hood has residents concerned it but that’s not the case about the possibility of an here.” explosion and other public A residential gas line near safety issues. the proposed regulator staAtlanta Gas Light (AGL) tion was struck during rouplans to build a gas regulator tine construction on March 8 station near the intersection and caused a gas leak. That of Clairmont Road and Tanincident has residents in fear glewood Circle. The station of something worse happenwill also be in the DeKalbing if the gas line is hit again. Peachtree Airport’s flight Muskat said they are more path. The project includes concerned about the gas reginstalling new steel transmis- ulator station because of the sion lines along a 28-mile problems with the Supervistretch of pipeline from sory Control and Data AcquiRiverdale in Clayton County sition (SCADA) system. A to a connection point near the SCADA system monitors and intersection of Buford High- controls the pipeline. There way and Clairmont Road. have been reports of hackers Duane Bourne, an Atlan- using the system for attacks. ta Gas Light spokesperson, “It’s a potential target for said the project is designed attacks and the Department to maintain safe and reliable of Homeland Security is connatural gas service to its cus- cerned about the security of tomers and the communities it,” Muskat said. “We want in which they operate. it moved. It should be in an “Our work in the area is area that’s not so close to safety related,” he said. “We people’s residence.” are replacing a pipe that is At the meeting, Muskat nearing the end of its useful showed news clips of recent life, and installing new, more attacks on similar gas regulamodern pipe.” tor stations in other parts of The Clairmont Commuthe country. Last summer, nity Alliance held a meeting a man attempted to blow March 20 to discuss memup a gas regulator station in bers’ fears about the pipeline Plano, Texas. and regulator station. The Muskat said the area resicurrent pipeline is a 300 dents have spoken with an pounds per square inch line AGL representative about and residents are concerned their concerns with the gas about a bigger pipeline being regulator station and its proxinstalled near homes. imity to residents and the “We are very concerned DeKalb-Peachtree Airport; about the increase in size of the response they received the pipeline because pipewas “it’s not a problem.” lines and transmission lines “They said we’ve got that are pressure rated to 720 them next to airports all over or 1080 pounds per square the country and there is one near Hartsfield-[Jackson Atlanta International Airport],” Muskat said. “It doesn’t make it right. Actually, an airport like Hartsfield is at a lesser risk of aircraft incidents because it’s a major airport than these local county airports.” Bourne said the regulator station is a safety device and is a standard part of natural gas systems in Georgia and throughout the country. “Atlanta Gas Light selects sites for its facilities such as regulator stations based on a number of factors, including pipeline design, land availability and cost effectiveness, which lends to the best cost solution for our customers,” he said. “The site in DeKalb County is safe and meets all federal and state safety criteria. When construction is complete, the continuing impact on the community will be negligible, as is the case with our other stations throughout Georgia.”
 

PUBLIC NOTICE  The Architectural Review Design Board of the City of Chamblee, Georgia will hear and review  the proposal for the Planned Unit Development (PUD) for 5000 Buford Highway, City Farmers  Market, on Tuesday, April 2, 2013, at City Hall, 5468 Peachtree Road, Chamblee, GA 30341 at  7:00 p.m.    

The Mayor and City Council of the City of Chamblee, Georgia will hold a public hearing on  Thursday, April 11, 2013, at the Chamblee Civic Center, 3540 Broad Street, Chamblee, GA  30341 at 6:00 p.m. to receive public comments regarding the following zoning matters:  1) Appendix A, “Zoning Ordinance,” Section 512, “Single‐family residential detached height  measurement”.  The subject property is located at 3454 Hildon Circle.  The applicant is  requesting a variance to the threshold elevation of a new single‐family residence.   

PUBLIC NOTICE 

Page 4A

Banks don’t understand liens
taxpayers and neighborhood association representatives from diverse neighborhoods in DeKalb County who have worked for years to get the county moving on cleaning up blighted neighborhoods. A collective gasp could be heard when the information was shared about the unpaid liens. Folks are appalled at the flagrant disregard for the law Nineteen major banks and shown by these financial instituhome mortgage companies doing tions. They ought to behave as the business in DeKalb County owe good corporate citizens they hold nearly $50,000 in unpaid liens on themselves out to be and clean up foreclosed properties and have ignored efforts to get them to com- the properties and pay their fines/ liens. ply. Nationally a few years ago, DeKalb County’s Code Entaxpayers footed the bill for many of these same banks to get financial forcement Department is responsible for issuing citations to the bailouts to keep them from goowners of blighted foreclosed ing under. But there is no golden properties through the foreclosure parachute for financially strapped registry. Under the very capable DeKalb County and its citizens. leadership of Marcus Kellums, the Chief Recorders Court Judge department with limited resources, Nelly Withers shared the startling news about these scofflaw financial has been doing a yeoman’s job trying to cleanup the country and ridinstitutions at a recent Code Enforcement Task Force meeting. The ding it of trashy signs, abandoned cars and other eyesores. Major task force is made up of dozens of banks and mortgage companies own scores of foreclosed properties that are in such run-down deplorable conditions that, not only does the blight devalue surrounding properties, they are magnets for crime. The liens were levied as a result of the financial institutions non-compliance with civil codes related to foreclosed properties and default judgments ordered and entered by DeKalb County courts. The liens total $48,500 and represent 97 civil citations at $500 an occurrence. Not only have these financial institutions ignored court dates, but they have not made any attempt to clean up the properties in question that led to the citations and subsequent liens. These very same financial institutions that enjoyed our tax-dollar supported bailouts would sue and seek garnishments against the average citizens who did not meet their obligations to them. Here are the financial institutions that don’t seem to understand a lien. The list provided by Judge Withers is current as of this month. American Home, $4,000; Bac Field Svcs, $3,500; Bac Home Loan, $4,000; Bank Of America, $2,500; Brand Bank, $3,000; Chase Manhattan, $1,000; Citi, $500; Decatur Land $18,000, FHL, $500; Financial Free., $500, Highland Fn.$2,500; HSBC, $3,000; Indymac, $500; Lasalle Bank, $500; National Star, $1,000; North Atl., $500; Quantum, $500 Suntrust, $500; Wells Fargo, $2,000. Do these financial institutions think the law does not apply to them? How can DeKalb ever hope to attract value added businesses and talk economic development? Presentation is everything. Most people don’t want to live near a garbage dump, let alone in one. Steen Miles, The Newslady, is a retired journalist and former Georgia state senator. Contact Steen Miles at Steen@dekalbchamp.com.

The Newslady

OPINION

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 29, 2013

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 29, 2013

MARTA is open for business
metro Atlantans who don’t make daily use of the system.  With a slight fare increase already in the works, Parker is laying out a direct three-pronged set of fundamentals to get MARTA back on track. His mission begins with three key areas— 1.  MARTA System employees: Parker intends to rebuild employee morale and create roughly 4,500 “ambassadors” for the system, as well as to inculcate customer service, as deeply as the “‘eye roll” appears embedded in today’s MARTA employee. 2. Fiscal house in order: MARTA’s current financial model is unsustainable, and Parker understands that some internal services privatization, new revenue sources and better management of costs will likely all be required in the near term. 3. Turn around public perception of MARTA: This last charge is probably his biggest challenge, as decades of lax management, service gaps and rare but visible instances of violent crime have turned away, or turned off, many to the system. But Parker is a roll up his sleeves kind of guy, who actually commutes to work every day on MARTA himself. He is already rolling out a series of low cost, high impact improvements that riders and the broader public will soon be able to touch and feel. An “app” is in Beta testing among select riders now, where you can type into your Smart Phone where you are, and where you want to go. This new MARTA service platform will tell you, point by point, which bus or train to take, when and how to transfer, and where your bus or train destination point will be, closest to your desired location. Parker is making presentations now to the MARTA board to consider broadening its revenue pallet to include more extensive use of advertising, as well as in-station concessions. More proof that MARTA is now “open for business” is a recent Developer’s Day with nearly 200 bankers, builders and realtors attending and touring MARTAowned developments, as well as other potential sites for new residential and commercial development. The bulk of prior development efforts have been concentrated along the north/south lines in such places as Lindbergh Station, Dunwoody and Buckhead, where the greatest potential may now surround stations in Decatur, Avondale Estates, East Lake and Kensington. MARTA’s challenges are many, and Parker is but one man, but from what I have heard and seen briefly for myself; I wouldn’t bet against him. Parker has an almost military bearing and precision, but he also listens well, takes notes and appears genuinely interested in corrective feedback for the system.  As he asked, “What can I do?” I feel somewhat compelled to answer. Though I live ITP, I routinely plan trips and weekend excursions on MARTA with friends and family, most involving children, from outside the perimeter and even further out of state. Time and again and without fail this is what I hear: Re-open your public restrooms, still in use by your MARTA system employees.  Try planning a day trip from Lawrenceville, Marietta or even the West End to another point on the system, including a bus or train transfer and no restroom access for a few hours with a toddler or senior family member in tow. Starting or ending your day with another family member in severe discomfort does not make for good memories—or many returns trips.  And I’m hoping that our highly regarded Mr. Parker is smarta than that. Bill Crane also serves as a political analyst and commentator for Channel 2’s Action News, WSB-AM News/Talk 750 and now 95.5 FM, as well as a columnist for The Champion, Champion Free Press and Georgia Trend. Crane is a DeKalb native and business owner, living in Scottdale. You can reach him or comment on a column at billcrane@earthlink.net.

One Man’s Opinion

OPINION

Page 5A

“Our citizens do not want less transportation. They want more. They do not want us to spend more on the same old thing, or just move money around from one idea to the next. They want us to invest in a disciplined and strategic way.” –Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, January 2013. OK, OK, I feel you smirking as you read the column title, but please, hear me out. At the end of 2012, MARTA placed a talented new GM at its helm. Keith Parker means business, and he has a track record of success in other places. Though the transit systems he ran in Charlotte and San Antonio were smaller, he faced similar demographic differences in ridership, declining fare bases and large segments of the population in both cities, which did not initially consider buses or trains a transportation option. “What will it take for you to give us a try, and get on a MARTA bus or train?” Parker asks rhetorically of the several million

FREEPRESS
Let Us Know What You Think!
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS encourages opinions from its readers. Please write to us and express your views. Letters should be brief, typewritten and contain the writer’s name, address and telephone number for verification. All letters will be considered for publication.
Send Letters To Editor, The Champion Free Press, P. O. Box 1347, Decatur, GA 30031-1347; Send E-Mail to Kathy@dekalbchamp.com FAX To: (404) 370-3903 Phone: (404) 373-7779 Deadline for news releases and advertising: Thursday, one week prior to publication date. EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions written by columnists and contributing editors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editor or publishers. The Publisher reserves the right to reject or cancel any advertisement at any time. The Publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts.

Publisher: Dr. Earl D. Glenn Managing Editor: Kathy Mitchell News Editor: Andrew Cauthen Production Manager: Kemesha Hunt Graphic Designer: Travis Hudgons The Champion Free Press is published each Friday by ACE III Communications, Inc., 114 New Street, Suite E, Decatur, GA. 30030 Phone (404) 373-7779.

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STATEMENT FROM THE PUBLISHER
We sincerely appreciate the discussion surrounding this and any issue of interest to DeKalb County. The Champion was founded in 1991 expressly to provide a forum for discourse for all community residents on all sides of an issue. We have no desire to make the news only to report news and opinions to effect a more educated citizenry that will ultimately move our community forward. We are happy to present ideas for discussion; however, we make every effort to avoid printing information submitted to us that is known to be false and/or assumptions penned as fact.
 

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 29, 2013
uBROOKHAVEN

COMMUNITY

Page 6A

City hires finance director
Bonnie Kline, a CPA, with more than 20 years of experience in municipal, state and federal government finance, as well as in the private sector has been hired as Brookhaven’s new finance Kline director. She previously served as finance director for the cities of McDonough and Tybee Island, as well as director of accounting for the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. She also worked for the U.S. Department of Treasury. “We are excited to have someone with such vast experience join the city,” Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis said. “Ms. Kline’s history of implementing sound fiscal policies for governments of all sizes will greatly benefit Brookhaven.” As finance director, Kline will be tasked with managing the city’s $25 million annual budget, implementing budget policy and overseeing revenue anticipation. “I was drawn to apply

Champion of the Week

for the position because of the unique opportunity it would afford me in contributing to the establishment of the city’s finance function from the ground up.” Kline said. “It’s exciting to be a part of history.” While in McDonough, Kline oversaw a $20 million annual budget and instituted several operational changes that resulted in both financial and time savings for taxpayers. This included consolidating 20 separate bank accounts to eliminate multiple monthly service charges. She also implemented a purchasing card program and oversaw a $3 million sewer repairs loan. Kline received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Georgia State University and received her certification as a local government finance officer from the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government. She was also recently designated a certified Public finance officer by the Government Finance Officers Association’s.

John Jones
inspired him to become a barber. It is a hobby that he loves and is passionate about. “I always liked to meet people and help people,” he said. “I met a lot of people in my time cutting hair, quite a few prominent people.” One of those prominent people includes DeKalb County Sheriff Thomas Brown. Jones asked Brown if there was something he could do to be a service to the DeKalb County jail and Brown offered him a contract to cut hair for the inmates in the jail. “He gave me the opportunity to be of service to the jail and it has also allowed several barbers from this shop to work with me up there as well,” he said. “It has been good. God has blessed me with this talent and I take advantage of what God gave me.” Jones has worked with the jail since 2003. He

For more than 50 years, John Jones has used the one thing he loves doing the most to help someone; and that is cutting hair. Jones, who recently retired as owner of JJ’s Barber Shop in Decatur, owned the business for 21 years. He had a business in Memphis, Tenn., while he was working for John Deere. The company transferred him to DeKalb County in 1985 and he reopened his business in DeKalb. Jones said it was his late uncle and his love for meeting new people that

said the opportunity has been a blessing for him financially and allowed him to help others along the way. “I believe the Lord put us in a place where there is a need,” he said. “We try to speak positive to the inmates as well as provide a service to them.” Jones is a deacon and a member of the male choir at The Greater Travelers Rest Baptist Church in Decatur. He has been a member of the church since 1985. He spent 30 years with John Deere before retiring 12 years ago. He then worked for the DeKalb County School District in transportation for 10 years before retiring two years ago. “I’m just cutting hair and playing golf now,” he said.

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If you would like to nominate someone to be considered as a future Champion of the Week, please contact Kathy Mitchell at kathy@dekalbchamp.com or at (404) 373-7779, ext. 104.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 29, 2013

COMMUNITY

Page 7A

ATLANTA

AROUNDDEKALB
Porter won the “Innovator in Action” award in 2009 for his concept of a public, private partnership with the creation of Sandy Springs. “We look forward to hearing from the community and ideas about the concept of a city of Lakeside,” said Mary Kay Woodworth, chairwoman of the Lakeside City Alliance. “We also look forward to Mr. Porter’s ideas about how a new city can be different from most common governance models.” In March, the LCA released an updated map of the proposed city of Lakeside. The LCA expects legislation to create a city to be introduced before the General Assembly adjourns this month. The meeting will be held in Milligan Hall, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The church is located at 1994 Clairmont Road. To view the map, go to: http:// lakesidecityalliance.org/district-map/. For more information, contact Mary Kay Woodworth at info@lakesidealliance.org. Oscar-winning film to be shown at library For the final March screening in its Friday Movies series Toco Hill-Avis G. Williams Library will on March 29 show the Oscar-winning film Argo, starring Ben Affleck, Alan Arkin, and Bryan Cranston. The R-rated 2012 movie starts at 1:30 and runs 120 minutes. Argo won the 2013 Academy Award in the Best Picture category. Movies in the Friday Movies series are a mix of new releases and old favorites. When available, movies are presented with closed captioning to assist the hearing impaired. The Toco Hill-Avis G. Williams Library is located at 1282 McConnell Drive, Decatur. For more information, call (404) 679-4404. DeKalb Medical to host Puberty Rocks   DeKalb Medical will host Puberty Rocks, a session for parents trying to guide their daughters into adolescence Friday, April 5, 6-8 p.m. at DeKalb Medical Theater-North Decatur campus. “Learn how to navigate the turbulent tween and teen years with the help of DeKalb Medical physicians. This fun night out for you and your youngster will cover body changes, mood swings, peer pressure and more,” the announcement for DeKalb Medical states. This session of Puberty Rocks is for girls only. It will be led by Dr. Caryn Johnson. DeKalb Medical’s North Decatur campus is located at 2701 North Decatur Road, Decatur. Light refreshments will be served. These programs are free, but require registration. To register, call (404) 501WELL. For more information, visit www. dekalbmedical.org. Lil’ Scrappy to give talk at Exchange Park Recreation Center In association with Commissioner Larry Johnson and The PILOT (Preparing Innovative Leaders of Tomorrow), Program, the DeKalb Lawyer’s Association will be hosting “Teens Talk Back.” One of the stars of the cable television show Love & Hip Hop recording artist  Lil’ Scrappy has volunteered to talk to teens about the consequences of thug life with his attorney Mawuli Mel Davis. This event will be on Saturday, March 30, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at Exchange Park Recreation Center.  “I just want to get out in the community I grew up in and talk to the kids to let them know what the consequences of their actions are. If they are not prepared to deal with the consequences then don’t do it. These are life lessons I’ve learned,” Lil’ Scrappy said. The “Teens Talk Back” program gives students from ages 14-18 the opportunity to become acquainted with the nuances of the criminal justice system, also to voice their questions and concerns through forums and break-out sessions.  The program is designed to give students resources to make an impact in their schools and communities. Exchange Park Recreation Center is located at 2771 Columbia Drive in Decatur. 

Emory law professor named among top rabbis Michael J. Broyde, a professor of law at Emory University and a senior fellow of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion, has been named one of America’s top 50 rabbis by Newsweek magazine. Ordained as a rabbi by Yeshiva University in 1988 and 1991, Broyde is a preeminent scholar of Jewish law who was a finalist in the recent search to replace Jonathan Sacks as chief rabbi of the United Kingdom. This is the seventh year Newsweek has issued the top 50 list.

Attendees are reminded to bring blankets only, no lawn chairs, throw away their trash and be mindful of the new flower beds located on the solarium grounds. The schedule includes local jazz musicians such as Joe Gransden, Kebbi Williams and more. For more information visit www. oakhurstjazznights.com.

STONE MOUNTAIN
Leaders host annual Easter egg hunt DeKalb Commissioner Stan Watson and state Rep. Billy Mitchell (D88) will host Super District 7’s Easter Eggs-travaganza at Wade Walker Park Sunday, March 31, from 2-5 p.m. An estimated 400-500 attendees are expected to participate in the event. There is no cost to attend, however children must bring their own baskets. Registration is at 2 p.m. An Easter egg hunt for ages 3 and under will begin at 2:30 p.m.; ages 5-7, 3:15 p.m.; and ages 8-10, 4 p.m. There will also be face painting, jumper play areas, snacks, games, Easter treats and more. Event organizers include DeKalb County Public Safety, Radio One’s Praise 102.5 and the NFLPA. For additional information, contact Nichole Simms at (404) 371-7031 or Kelly LaJoie at (404) 371-3681.

AVONDALE ESTATES
City to host antique car parade The annual Antique Car Parade will be held Sunday, March 31. The line-up begins at 1:30 p.m. at the Twin Oaks Shopping Plaza, 2853 East College Avenue. The parade begins at 2:30 p.m. on South Avondale Road and ends at Willis Park where the cars remain for display. Refreshments will be served. To enter an automobile, contact Lamar Hart at lamarhart@bellsouth.net.

CLARKSTON
Family movie night scheduled The animated movie Madagascar 3 will be screened April 5 for Clarkston Family Movie Night. Presented by K. D. Moore Community Development Center, the Clarkston Family Movie Night will be held on the first Fridays of the month until June at the Family Life Center. Popcorn and a drink are $2.50 at the event. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the movie starts at 7 p.m. The Family Life Center is at 4007 Church Street. For more information, call Christin Taylor at (404) 292-5686 ext. 248.

LITHONIA
Dance troupe to perform at Stonecrest Library A Native American Dance Troupe will perform at the Stonecrest Library Saturday, March 30, 1-2 p.m. “Rhythmic, soul-enriching dance lives deeply within the heart of the Native-American culture. Many dances played a vital role in religious rituals and other ceremonies; while others were held to guarantee the success of hunts, harvests and various celebrations,” states an announcement from the library. The dance troupe is from Acworth. Stonecrest Library is located at 3123 Klondike Road, Lithonia. For more information, call (770) 482-3828.

TUCKER
Authors to discuss book on Stone Mountain Paul Hudson and Lora Mirza will be at the Northlake-Barbara Loar Library Monday, April 1, at 6:30 p.m. to present a program about Georgia’s legendary landmark, Stone Mountain. Their book Stone Mountain: A Multicultural History looks at the past and present of this remarkable edifice in DeKalb County. The rocky mountain outcropping has been the scene of a variety of activities over the decades, from Klan meetings to laser light shows. Hudson teaches history at Georgia Perimeter College, and Mirza is a research librarian and photographer at Georgia Perimeter. The book was recipient of the 2012 Lilla M. Hawes Award of the Georgia Historical Society for the “Best Book on Local History in Georgia” in 2011. Northlake-Barbara Loar Library is located at 3772 LaVista Road, Tucker. For more information, call (404) 6794408.

DECATUR
Lakeside Alliance to hold community meeting in Toco Hills The Lakeside City Alliance (LCA) will hold a community meeting on the concept of a new city in north-central DeKalb on Monday, April 1, at Clairmont Presbyterian Church. Oliver Porter of Sandy Springs, a noted expert on the creation of new cities, will be among those available to answer questions. Porter is the author of Creating the New City of Sandy Springs: The 21st Century Paradigm: Private Industry.

OAKHURST
Oakhurst hosts jazz nights in the park Every Thursday in April, and on May 16, there will be live jazz on the lawn of Oakhurst’s Solarium at the Old Scottish Rite, from 7-9 p.m. The concerts, hosted by the Oakhurst Neighborhood Association, are free and open to the public. The concerts will be held rain or shine, either on the lawn of The Solarium at 321 W. Hill St. 30030 or inside the solarium.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 29, 2013

LOCAL NEWS

Page 8A

by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com

Jurors return guilty verdict for accused serial rapist
raped five women between Oct. 16 and Nov. 29, 2011, robbing them of money, jewelry, keys, cell phones and other electronics. A sentencing date has been set for April 9, at 9 a.m. in Judge Gail Flake’s courtroom. “There is a monster who no longer roams the streets of DeKalb,” said Chief Assistant District Attorney Nicole Marchand Golden. “These women’s lives have forever been changed by the heinous acts of a serial rapist. We hope this verdict and pending sentence will bring some form of relief to each one of our victims.” Prosecutors said Mincey stalked his victims at a Publix grocery store and a nightclub on Glenwood Avenue. During the trial, prosecutors presented DNA

Man found guilty of human trafficking, sexually exploiting minors
by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com A DeKalb County man was found guilty March 18 of human trafficking, pimping minors and sexual exploitation of children by a DeKalb County jury. Darryl Curry was convicted of 13 felony counts, which also included false imprisonment, cruelty to children in the first degree, simple battery and obstruction of a police officer. DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Gail Flake sentenced Curry March 26, to 40 years in prison plus an additional 20 years on probation. A co-defendant in the case, John Anderson, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing. Anderson was charged with keeping a place of prostitution and providing a false name to police. According to an indictment, Curry was charged with sexual exploitation of children for possessing “sexually explicit” photographs and material depicting a minor engaged in touching another female while naked in the shower. “[Curry] is a monster who preyed upon young and impressionable girls for his own personal and financial gain,” District Attorney Robert James said. “Most young women begin prostituting between the ages of 12 and 14.” According to a news release, a 17-year-old girl Oct. 8, 2011, escaped a home in Decatur where she was being held against her will and being forced into prostitution. The girl told police another 16-year-old girl was also being held at 2113 Miriam Lane. After police enforced the house with a search warrant, the other victim was identified and various pimping and human trafficking paraphernalia were uncovered, including videos of Curry instructing individuals on how to become a pimp and obtain wealth from exploiting women. Assistant District Attorney Dalia Racine, lead prosecutor for the case, said Curry described himself as a “finesse pimp” who cared for the women who worked for him. “In actuality, he was extremely violent and physically abusive to our two victims. He mentally manipulated his victims and forced them to recruit other young women into the ‘life,’” Racine said. Curry was also charged with two counts of aggravated assault for beating both girls, once with a belt and once with a coat hanger, and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor for forcing both girls to purchase the drug MDMA (ecstasy) for him.

A DeKalb County jury has found accused serial rapist Gary Mincey guilty of all the charges against him. Mincey, 36, of Decatur, was accused of raping three women and assaulting two others in 2011. “We’ve got a Mincey sexual predator who has been terrorizing our community…we got him,” Assistant District Attorney Patricia Jackson, lead prosecutor, said. Mincey was charged with three counts of rape, two counts of aggravated assault, four counts of armed robbery, five counts of false imprisonment, two counts of aggravated sexual battery and one count each of burglary, robbery and aggravated sodomy. According to the indictment, Mincey assaulted or

evidence they said linked Mincey to the crimes, and witness testimony of victims describing their attacks. Mincey allegedly used a knife, Taser or handgun in each of the crimes. “There was no rhyme or reason to his approach. The horrors that these women suffered at the hands of [Mincey] were real—he was their real life Boogie Man,” Golden said. “DNA doesn’t lie.” On the stand, one victim described how Mincey raped her in her garage after she returned home from grocery shopping. Another victim described how Mincey attacked her as she got into her car one evening, pointed a gun at her and “attempted to rape her” but ran off when her daughter came outside. “He said, ‘If she comes here I’m going to kill her,’” the victim testified.

Road work being done on Buford Highway to improve pedestrian safety
Drivers can expect delays on Buford Highway as the Georgia Department of Transportation continues with road work to help improve pedestrian safety. Sidewalks are being added on both sides of Buford Highway between Lenox Road and Afton Lane in Brookhaven. A raised median is also being added between North Druid Hills Road and the Highland   North Apartments. A new traffic signal will be added near the Highland North Apartments, as well as upgrades to four other traffic lights along Buford Highway in Brookhaven. Six pedestrian-activated signal lights are also being added. There have been seven pedestrian accidents on Buford Highway at Afton Lane. All of the work is funded by the state. The project is expected to be complete on April 1, 2015. The Brookhaven Public Works Department continues to be in contact with the state DOT. For more information, contact Construction Project Manager Marcel Cherry at (404) 2994386 or Brookhaven Public Works Director Richard Meehan at (404) 637-0500.

Name: Mae West • Adult • Vaccinated & heartworm negative • Spayed • $250 unlimited training package at Frogs to Dogs Mae West - ID 17706953

PET WEEK
of the

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING  The Mayor and City Council of the City of Chamblee, Georgia will hold a public hearing on  Thursday, April 11, 2013, at the Chamblee Civic Center, 3540 Broad Street, Chamblee, GA  30341 at 6:00 p.m. to receive public comments regarding the following zoning matters:  Appendix A, “Zoning Ordinance,” Section 207, “Planned unit development procedure”.   The subject property is City Farmers Market (fka Buford Highway Flea Market), located at 5000  Buford Highway.  The applicant is requesting to develop the property as a planned unit  development.  Appendix A, “Zoning Ordinance,” Section 512, “Single‐family residential detached  height measurement”.  The subject property is located at 3703 Spring Street (Lots 25 and 26).   The applicant is requesting a variance to the front door threshold of a new single‐family  residence.  Appendix A, “Zoning Ordinance,” Section 908, “Site design” and Section 1402,  “Landscape strips”.  The subject property is located at 5000 Peachtree Boulevard.  The  applicant is requesting a variance to allow vehicular services such as a car wash between the  building and street, and a variance for relief from the required 10’ landscape strip.       

Without exaggeration; Mae West is a real love bug!! This girl is so sweet with the most unusual eyes; they are truly amazing. Pictures do not capture how very pretty she is. Mae West came to the shelter as part of a neglect case, but now she is happy, healthy and ready for adoption. She loves to play with toys, but really loves to be snuggled. May West enjoys hugs and trying to sneak in some lap time. She's very alert and a little bit silly. She is such a happy girl who is patiently waiting for her forever home. Please come see May West; she would love to meet you. She'll melt your heart. Mae West is sponsored by the Decatur Homeless Pets Club.

If interested in adopting Brooklyn, send an email to both addresses below for a prompt reply

Jamie Martinez Jsmartinez@dekalbcountyga.gov Christine Kaczynski ckaczynski@dekalbcountyga.gov

Dekalb County Animal Shelter
404-294-2165

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 29, 2013

LOCAL NEWS
“To my understanding the county already has experts; their finance department,” DeBerry said. “We voluntarily allow them four audits per year. In that process they ascertain the needs [versus] dollars spent. I have always provided statute to back up what I am asking for.” DeBerry said she is the subject matter expert on the clerk’s office, and the BOC and CEO’s office rely on her expertise “just like I rely on theirs.” “We have established industry standards. Our method is based on service delivery. My measurement

Page 9A

DeKalb County commissioners question oversight of constitutional officers
by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com DeKalb County Commissioner Jeff Rader said he doesn’t think any of the county’s constitutional officers are doing a bad job managing their budgets, but the commission doesn’t have the resources to determine if they are. that we don’t have those types of revenues,” Brennan said, referencing the county’s declining tax digest. At the beginning of the budget process, Brennan said all constitutional officers and county department directors submit their budget requests with supporting documentation for every budget cycle. Brennan said each department is evaluated by finance specialists “in tandem” with the BOC. “The administration enjoys a good working relationship with all of our constitutional officers and has no reason to expect anything less as we prepare our next budget recommendations to the BOC,” Brennan said. Solicitor General Sherry Boston said in the past two years, her department has – Stan Watson come in under budget. Boston said during the constitutional is functioning budgeting process, her deefficiently. partment includes extensive “Someone needs to inde- information but is “always pendently review the budready to give more details get proposals they make,” about specific programs, as Rader said. requested.” Last year, Rader said the Boston said before prebudget for the constitutional senting a budget each year, officers, which also includes her department reviews each the offices of the tax comprogram to make sure its missioner and juvenile and costs are reasonable. state courts, increased ap“While we do not take proximately $10 million. a specific position as to the “We can evaluate it year use of an independent reto year, but it begs the ques- viewer, we are always willtion whether we have the ing to respond to any questools necessary to evaluate tions by the [BOC] or the the operational budget and CEO regarding our budget, whether the constitutional in as much detail as needed. officers are using the most We are glad to explain our cost effective means of specific financial requireachieving their constitution- ments and exactly how we al goals,” Rader said. plan to use our budget to Burke Brennan, a carry out our mission sucspokesman for Ellis’ office, cessfully,” Boston said. said during the budget proDeKalb County District cess commissioners and the Attorney Robert James CEO hold several hearings declined to comment on this and committee meetings article. with financial staff to ensure Debra DeBerry, clerk each department receives of DeKalb County Superior proper review. Court, said the county has “Every department alexperts informed enough to ways requests the sun and review the constitutional dethe moon but the reality is partments. because when the budget passes, they do what they want to do anyway,” Commissioner Stan Watson said during budget retreat in October. Rader said that neither the board nor DeKalb County Burrell Ellis’ office has the expertise required to conduct a thorough review to determine whether each is based on the standards, and I set a higher goal of immediate delivery within in my technological resources,” DeBerry said. DeKalb County Sheriff Thomas Brown said he was unsure why Rader would want an outside expert to review the constitutional departments when he himself had never taken the time to visit the DeKalb County Jail to better understand its operations. “In the entire time I’ve been sheriff I don’t think he’s come down to visit the jail or the courthouse once….that would be a start,” Brown said.

‘We need to look at the constitutional officers, because when the budget passes, they do what they want to do anyway.’
“This year our budget office did not conduct a substantive review of the constitutional officers,” Rader said at a recent meeting at which the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners (BOC) approved the county’s 2013 budget. County department heads did not receive any salary increases this year but several constitutional officers received a budget increase. The office of solicitor general received a 6.2 percent budget increase; superior court received an increase of approximately 4 percent; and the office of the district attorney received a budget of approximately $12 million, up from $11.7 million in 2012. The DeKalb County Sherriff’s Office received an increase of $2 million. According to county documents, during the past five years, juvenile court’s budget has increased 63 percent; clerk of superior court, 14 percent; and solicitor general, 16 percent. “We need to look at the constitutional officers,

CITY OF DUNWOODY PUBLIC NOTICE   Pursuant  to  the  Georgia  Open  Records  Act,  O.G.G.A.  §50‐18‐71(b)  this  is  public  notice  that  the  City  of  Dunwoody  has  designated  the  City  Clerk  as  the  official  records  officer  pursuant  to  the  Open  Records  Act.    All  Open  Records  Request  must  be  submitted  in  writing  to  the  City  Clerk  directly.   Such  written  request  may  be  submitted  in  person,  via  mail  or  by  sending  an  e‐mail  to  openrecords@dunwoodyga.gov.   

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 29, 2013

LOCAL NEWS

Page 10A

Former school board chairman:
Editor’s note: This is the first of two installments of an interview with former DeKalb school board chairman Gene Walker. The next installment will be in the next issue of The Champion. by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com Suspended DeKalb school board member and former chairman Gene Walker said the state law that gives the governor the authority to remove elected school board members is unconstitutional. And Walker said his fight against that law is embedded in the history of Blacks in America. “I’m not one of them color-blind people. I know race does matter,” Walker said during an exclusive interview with The Champion Newspaper. “You’ve got to have your head so far in the sand it’s not discernible to not know that race matters. Race does matter. “When this nation was founded my people were three-fifths of a person. It was in the Constitution,” Walker said. “So the struggle to make us whole has been long and hard. We’ve won some battles and we’ve lost a helluva lot more.” The DeKalb school district was placed on accreditation probation by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the agency that accredits the school district through its parent company, AdvancED. That move triggered a state law granting the governor the authority to remove school board members. Acting on the recommendation of the Georgia Board of Education, Gov. Nathan Deal suspended six members of the DeKalb school board in February: Sarah Copelin-Wood, Jesse “Jay” Cunningham, Donna Elder, Nancy Jester, Pamela A. Speaks and Walker. Walker said he is fighting the state law that allows the governor to remove “people that duly eligible citizens voted into office…because SACS said a system is on probation for whatever reason. The state school

‘The seat is the last thing on my mind’
Black Tea Partiers? Because we’re different? That’s the nature of the democratic process. Because we exhibited the democratic process?” Walker said he is fighting to protect “that right to make a political choice and not let the governor, with some elitist group, pick some elitist people to represent them. The people’s choice should prevail.” When asked why he filed the lawsuit using taxpayer funds, Walker said, “because it’s a taxpayers’ issue.” “It’s not Gene Walker’s issue. This is a taxpayers’ issue,” Walker said. “A blind man ought to be able to see that. The ones who don’t see it…are the ones that have their heads in the sand. Taxpayers are the ones who elected people to office. It’s not only unconstitutional, it’s unjust. “That’s another thing taxpayers ought to see,” Walker said. “How you going to create a situation with the school board members that you don’t have for county commissioners and state legislators? How [are] can the governor remove a school board member who is elected by the same people as county commissioners and legislators and not be able to remove them? It’s tax dollars because it’s a taxpayer issue. “I would fund it myself and all taxpayers…ought to be able to fund or should be willing to fund it if you have any sense of the value of the Constitution and the right the Constitution guarantees,” Walker said. When asked whether school district money should be used to challenge state law about voting, Walker said it can be used to “challenge anything that threatens the school system.” The use of school district funds in the lawsuit is “the best investment… you can make in children—fighting for the viability of the Constitution and the law,” Walker said. “I’ve never seen a group of young people that were hurt by watching another group stand up for their rights or stand up for what the Constitution says you’re entitled to,” Walker said. “That, to me, is one of the central parts of the educative process. “What are taxpayers’ dollars supposed to be used for?” Walker asked. “It’s all right for me to pay an attorney to defend a personnel matter and it’s not all right for me to pay an attorney to protect the rights of a school system? It’s all right to sue taxpayer money to defend them frivolous lawsuits people bring against the school system or personnel matters or [when] somebody claim they stumped their toe, but it’s not all right to spend taxpayer money to protect the integrity and the voting rights of the school system and the choice of the people to select their school board members?” The bedrock of his fight is the Constitution, Walker said. “We have beliefs and then we have our value systems to undergird that belief,” Walker said. “My belief is that the Constitution…is the standard that we go by. My value system dictates I must take action to preserve and protect the Constitution. “For those who are saying, ‘Step down, don’t question this,’ in my mind, they don’t believe in the Constitution and they don’t value trying to protect it,” he said. Since the 1990s, it has been Georgia law that school board members could only be elected, not appointed, Walker said. “That’s the Constitution,” he said. “And can’t no General Assembly statute override that. If they want to change it, then they ought to make another constitutional law. “The law ought to mean something or it shouldn’t be on the books,” Walker said. “And you’ve got to challenge unconstitutional law. If you don’t challenge unconstitutional laws…then you’re under the governance of a dictator. When people take those political choices from you, like your choice to select your representative, then your system has become tyrannical and dictatorial. It may look nice and it may look convenient and it may look like it’s in the best interests of what’s going on, but it’s never in the best interests of a situation to take away people’s rights. Never.”

Walker

board can go through some façade of a hearing and recommend to the governor they should be removed. “That’s a travesty of justice. That is totally unconstitutional. That disenfranchises thousands of people,” Walker said. “If anybody can’t see that, then they’re blind to politics. And if they’re African-American, to me, they done forgot the struggle we have waged to become whole.” Walker said his lawsuit against the state is not about retaining his school board seat. “See my passion here,” Walker said. “Don’t you ever refer to me as somebody trying to keep a seat. The seat is the last thing on my mind. I’m trying to keep the right of one person, one vote, which is being taken away from me for no real cause. If I commit a crime, if I commit maleficence in office, if the people come up with a recall, which they can do by law—but they have to have good reason to do it—then I accept that. “But to say we’ve been dysfunctional, when we’ve passed every bill or law we’re supposed to, we paid every bill, every one of our schools is top flight, fully accredited with teachers certified and great administrators and our students are making progress, what do they mean by dysfunctional? “Because we act like other politicians do? We have disagreements? We fuss at each other? Because we have White conservatives, Black conservatives, White Tea Partiers,

One deceased, two injured after Tucker nursing home fire
by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com A 64-year-old woman died in a fire early Tuesday morning at a DeKalb County nursing home. DeKalb County Fired Department spokesman Norman Augustin, said the department received a call at approximately 3 a.m. to respond to a fire at 4608 Lawrenceville Highway at the Meadowbrook Health Care. The victim was later identified by DeKalb County medical examiners as Laura Barrett. Investigators said the fire was started because the victim had been smoking while on oxygen, Augustin said. By the time the fire department arrived at the scene, DeKalb County police officers had evacuated the building’s residents and the fire had been extinguished by the facility’s emergency sprinkler system. “When they got on scene they found heavy smoke conditions on the second floor,” Augustin said. “The cause of the fire appeared to be accidental.” Two others, including the victim’s roommate, were transported to the hospital and are being treated for smoke inhalation.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 29, 2013

LOCAL NEWS

Page 11A

DeKalb County grand jury foreman sues judge
made public. to keep the special grand “I haven’t done anything proper procedure when filSoon after Scott’s ruling, jury’s findings from being that I’m aware of, nor has ing the appeal. District Attorney Robert made public or to allow my staff done anything that Officials from the DA’s The foreman of a speJames filed an emergency them to be reviewed by anyI’m aware of that is inapprooffice said there has not cial grand jury is suing a motion to prevent the reone before being released. priate,” Ellis said. been a ruling on James’ apDeKalb County judge for lease of the special grand Ellis has denied knowlAttorneys for Ellis and peal, nor the subsequent refusing to release the findjury’s findings to Ellis and edge of any wrongdoing Ross filed a motion March motion filed by defense atings of a yearlong investigaRoss’ attorneys and apand questioned whether he 8 in the Georgia Court of torneys for Ellis and Ross. tion into the DeKalb County pealed Scott’s decision. is being dealt with “in good Appeals contesting James’ Watershed Department. James stated that the faith” by the district attorappeal on the grounds that Albert Trujillo, forecourt has no legal precedent ney’s office. the DA’s office didn’t follow man of the special grand jury impaneled in 2012 to investigate corruption in the county’s watershed departDeKalb County Wants to Hear From You ment, is suing Judge Mark Regarding the Proposed Franchise Agreement Renewal Anthony Scott for refusing to allow the special purpose with Comcast Cable Communications grand jury’s findings to be Send your comments and/or concerns regarding Comcast’s current performance under made public. the current franchise agreement and/or the future cable-related needs and interests of Soon after the special your community to www.dekalbcountyga.gov. purpose grand jury concluded its investigation, Scott granted a motion filed Jan. 28, by CEO Burrell Ellis’ attorneys to seal the findings Seven Day Forecast Detailed Local Forecast Today’s Regional Map Weather History of the investigation. Today we will see mostly sunny skies with a March 28, 1988 - Severe THURSDAY In court documents, Elhigh temperature of 60º, humidity of 33%. thunderstorms in central Mostly Sunny Dunwoody lis’ attorneys said the secLight winds. The record high temperature for Oklahoma produced hail up to High: 60 Low: 36 58/35 ond time he was called in today is 84º set in 1945. Expect mostly clear four inches in diameter, causing Lilburn front of the special grand skies tonight with an overnight low of 36º. The Smyrna 35 million dollars in damage 59/36 Doraville FRIDAY jury the questioning by the record low for tonight is 29º set in 1937. to southern Oklahoma County. 59/36 59/36 Mostly Sunny DeKalb County DA’s office Snellville Baseball sized hail and seven Decatur High: 62 Low: 44 was more along the lines of Last Week's Local Almanac 60/36 inches of rain caused another 60/36 Atlanta a criminal investigation. Date Hi Lo Normals Precip 18 million dollars damage in 60/36 “The special grand jury SATURDAY Tuesday 63 45 66/44 0.00" Lithonia Stephens County. College Park is not authorized to return Partly Cloudy Wednesday 57 41 66/45 0.00" 61/36 March 29, 1987 - Thunderstorms 61/36 a criminal indictment, and High: 63 Low: 49 Thursday 52 30 66/45 0.00" Morrow spawned tornadoes in therefore any portions of its Friday 51 37 67/45 0.00" 61/36 Union City Mississippi, and produced presentment containing any Saturday 55 42 67/45 0.91" SUNDAY 61/36 high winds and heavy rain in allegations of wrongdoing Sunday 51 43 67/45 0.90" Few Showers Louisiana. Thunderstorm winds must be redacted,” Ellis’ 51 35 68/46 0.00" High: 67 Low: 51 Monday Hampton gusted to 92 mph at Houma, lawyers stated in the motion Rainfall. . . . . . . . 1.81" Average temp. . 46.6 62/37 LA, and caused a million dollars to seal the grand jury’s findNormal rainfall. . 1.21" Average normal 55.9 MONDAY damage in Terrebonne Parish. ings. Departure . . . . . +0.60" Departure . . . . . -9.3 Mostly Sunny Investigators from the High: 70 Low: 52 DA’s Office searched ElLocal Sun/Moon Chart This Week Tonight’s Planets lis’ home and office while Day Sunrise Sunset Moonrise Moonset TUESDAY Rise Set he was testifying before Thursday 7:28 a.m. 7:55 p.m. 9:38 p.m. 8:03 a.m. Last First Partly Cloudy Mercury 6:23 a.m. 5:42 p.m. the special grand jury Jan. Friday 7:27 a.m. 7:56 p.m. 10:44 p.m. 8:46 a.m. 4/2 4/18 High: 65 Low: 48 Venus 7:36 a.m. 7:53 p.m. 7. According to a search Saturday 7:25 a.m. 7:56 p.m. 11:50 p.m. 9:33 a.m. Mars 7:45 a.m. 8:14 p.m. warrant, investigators were Sunday 7:24 a.m. 7:57 p.m. No Rise 10:25 a.m. Jupiter 10:47 a.m. 12:58 a.m. WEDNESDAY looking for information Monday 7:23 a.m. 7:58 p.m. 12:53 a.m. 11:23 a.m. New Full Saturn 10:17 p.m. 9:17 a.m. Mostly Sunny that would prove a range of Tuesday 7:21 a.m. 7:59 p.m. 1:51 a.m. 12:25 p.m. 4/10 4/25 Uranus 7:35 a.m. 7:53 p.m. High: 68 Low: 46 crimes including racketeerWednesday 7:20 a.m. 7:59 p.m. 2:44 a.m. 1:29 p.m. ing, wire fraud, theft and Local UV Index National Weather Summary This Week Weather Trivia bid-rigging. The Northeast will see isolated rain and snow today, mostly clear to partly cloudy Which area is warmer, Ellis’ former campaign skies Friday and Saturday, with the highest temperature of 55º in Cincinnati, Ohio. The the North Pole or the manager Kevin Ross’ 0 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11+ Southeast will experience mostly clear skies today and Friday, isolated thunderstorms South Pole? home and office were also Saturday, with the highest temperature of 75º in Tamiami, Fla. In the Northwest, there will be mostly searched at the time, alUV Index clear to partly cloudy skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 69º in Hermiston, though he wasn’t required 0-2: Low, 3-5: Moderate, Ore. The Southwest will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies today through Saturday, with the 6-7: High, 8-10: Very High, to testify before the special 11+: Extreme Exposure highest temperature of 88º in Gila Bend, Ariz. grand jury. Attorneys for Ellis and StarWatch By Gary Becker - Full Moon Watch Ross also filed a motion March 29 is the day of the full moon, and although regular sky watching is usually at a minimum, the moon is there for the taking. Full moons, however, are not stating that any information good times to use a telescope. Lack of shadow detail will produce bland, disappointing scenery at high powers, but views of the moon through binoculars or with in the special grand jury’s the unaided eye will not disappoint. First noticed are humongous darker circular features on Luna. These are the maria or the seas of the moon. Seventeenth century report could not be used observers thought that they were basins filled with water. They got the “basin” part correct, but water has always been a sparse commodity on the lunar surface. They against them in a criminal were actually made by large meteorite impacts about 3.85 billion years ago at a time when something went amiss in the solar system. Perhaps it was the beginning of indictment. the grinding down process which shaped the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. These craters, after about 300 million years, began to fill with lava which pushed its way from the Scott ruled Feb. 5 in warmer interior through the fractures created by the impacts. The composition was slightly different, allowing for less reflectivity in these areas, revealing them as darker features. The favor of both motions and rest of the moon’s near side appears whitish, a condition caused by the ceaseless pulverization of its surface by meteorites that have stuck the moon during its 4.5 billion year history. agreed to release the findThese areas called terra or the highlands are the original regions of the moon to turn solid after its genesis. Splash marks associated with brighter craters can also be seen dotting the ings to Ellis and Ross’ atlunar landscape. These are fresh impact sites, probably less than a billion years old. As an airless astronomical body like the moon ages, it picks up bits and pieces of meteoric dirt, causing its surface to darken. Larger meteorite impacts have gardened Luna, exposing fresher, brighter material which is best seen around the full moon. www.astronomy.org torneys review before being by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com

The Champion Weather

March 28, 2013

?

Answer: The North Pole.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 29, 2013

LOCAL NEWS

Page 12A

City of Atlanta violations affecting DeKalb’s South River
by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com A DeKalb County environmental group says the city of Atlanta is violating a state-issued permit that regulates the quality of wastewater discharged into the South River. Issued by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA EPD) in January 2005, Atlanta’s National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit sets limits on the types and amounts of pollution that can be released into the river from the Intrenchment Creek Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Water Quality Control Facility located at 1501 Key Road in southeast Atlanta. “Eight years later, Atlanta still has not complied with conditions that would improve water quality in the river,” according to a statement by Jackie Echols, president of the South River Watershed Alliance (SRWA). “Neither has the Georgia EPD taken action to require that Atlanta comply.” The permit and required pollution removal amounts are intended to reduce harm to the South River by ensuring that Atlanta operates and maintains its combined sewer overflow system properly in accordance with the requirements of the law, Echols stated. The 2005 permit is the first issued since major improvements to Atlanta’s CSO system were completed as a result of the 1999 Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper Combined Sewer Overflow Consent Decree. Echols said the violations are documented in water quality monitoring reports and written correspondence between the GA EPD and city of Atlanta that were obtained by the SRWA under a Georgia Open Records Act request. “GA EPD has known about these violations for years and has done nothing,” Echols said. “Atlanta’s NPDES permit is directly related to the Riverkeeper consent decree which is still in force. If the city is not meeting permit requirements, it is not meeting consent decree requirements either. If EPD won’t hold Atlanta accountable, the federal court should.” Permits are issued ev-

A DeKalb environmental group is concerned about pollutants entering South River from Atlanta. File photo

ery five years and Atlanta’s current permit expired in January 2010, but has been administratively extended by the EPD until a new one is issued. Echols said the “unnecessary delay” is resulting in unlawful discharges that affect biological oxygen demand and total suspended solids released into South River to the detriment of aquatic life and the river’s overall health. A letter from Atlanta’s watershed department dated Sept. 30, 2011, shows that the city has asked the EPD “to set lower limit compliance thresholds for those discharges.” “If this request is approved, water quality in South River will suffer as Atlanta will be allowed to discharge more pollution into the river,” Echols stated. “If they remove the parameters, it’s only going to degrade the quality of water” in the South River.” Echols said that because

of the technology that Atlanta implemented in 2005, the city cannot meet the requirements of the permit without changing that technology. Atlanta started out with a system in 2003 that would have met the requirements, but the EPD allowed them to change the system, Echols said. “They ended up with a filtering system that does not work,” Echols said. “There is absolutely no excuse for Atlanta not to meet its NPDES permit and no legitimate legal justification for asking that pollution removal requirements be eliminated.” The SRWA is hoping the EPD will soon issue a new draft permit for Atlanta’s combined sewer overflow system, triggering a 30-day public comment period during which residents voice their opposition to “Atlanta’s efforts to turn back the clock on South River,” Echols said. The draft permit is long overdue, she said.

The organization would prefer to make a public comment on the draft permit, but if the permit is not forthcoming, Echols said the SRWA is considering filing a 60-day notice to sue; an attorney has already been consulted. Marzieh Shahbazaz, a manager of municipal compliance for watershed facilities at EPD, said the draft permit will available “very, very soon.” EPD officials are currently reviewing the permit. After it is reviewed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it will be released for public comment, Shahbazaz said. Atlanta is required to remove 60 percent of the total suspended solids and 25 percent of the biological oxygen demand at its CSO facility, Shahbazaz said, but because of the sampling locations and design of the facility, the city cannot adequately measure the levels, “I don’t have the numbers,” she said. “I don’t think

even the city of Atlanta has the numbers.” The EPD recently inspected Atlanta’s facilities and is currently reviewing the data, but Shahbazaz said no major problems have been detected so far. Atlanta representatives have “concluded that they are meeting the requirements,” Shahbazaz said. “They just can’t prove it. “It’s up to the EPD to decide if this is good enough,” she said. Because the permit is part of a consent decree with the EPD and the EPA, the EPA usually takes the lead in enforcing compliance, Shahbazaz said. The EPA has sent Atlanta a letter requesting a meeting in which the city outlines its efforts to ensure compliance. The city has until the end of April to schedule that meeting, Shahbazaz said. The EPA and EPD “are looking to see if something needs to be changed,” Shahbazaz said.

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THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013

Page 13A

DeKalb sheriff investigators arrest one of their own

NEWS Briefs

DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office investigators charged Detention Officer Zel Mitchell with sexual assault on a person in custody, public indecency and violation of oath of office March 21. Investigators from the Office of Professional Standards stated that Mitchell allegedly perMitchell formed inappropriate sexual acts with a male inmate, according to a media release from the Sheriff’s Office. The acts were allegedly performed in exchange for food and other contraband items Mitchell was to provide. The inmate acknowledged that he was not forced to participate . The incident was discovered by a third inmate who reported it to an officer, according to the media release. Mitchell has been terminated from the DeKalb Sheriff’s Office and is in custody at the DeKalb County Jail. DeKalb’s Senior Olympic Games Scheduled for May DeKalb County Department of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Affairs will host the 24th annual DeKalb County Senior Olympic Games, May 6 – 17, at venues across DeKalb.  The Olympic-style sports festival provides adults ages 50 and older an opportunity to compete in their favorite sports and meet other residents from across the county. Registration begins March 25 – April 19.  Participants will compete in a variety of sports, including a women’s basketball clinic, free-throw basketball, bowling, golf, horseshoes, track and field, billiards, swimming, table tennis and water volleyball.  Other activities include a line dancing competition, talent show, Wii bowling and health expo. Participants can compete as a team or enter individual events for friendly competition. Gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded to the top three finishers in each event. The events are open to the public. DeKalb residents and residents from surrounding counties are encouraged to participate. Applications are available online at www.dekalbcountyga.gov/ parks or at all DeKalb County recreation centers, libraries and senior centers.    For more information about the DeKalb Senior Olympic Games, call Jackie Swain at (404) 687-2751. Businesses on Buford Highway targeted by scammers Over the last few months, several businesses in the Buford Highway corridor have been targeted by imposters who are identifying themselves as fire

inspectors and requesting cash payment for an inspection, according to a media release. Some of the business owners have reported the fraudulent behavior. The Chamblee Police department is investigating. According to DeKalb County Fire Rescue Chief Edward O’Brien, “Business owners can always be sure a DeKalb County Fire Rescue is official in three ways: 1) inspectors will always be in a marked county vehicle, 2) inspectors will wear a DeKalb County uniform and have proper county identification, including a badge, and 3) at no time will an inspector request payment for any kind for an inspection.” DeKalb County encourages business owners to call 911 if they believe that they are being targeted by these imposters. NanoDays coming to Fernbank Science Center   Fernbank Science Center is holding its annual NanoDays event Saturday, March 30, starting at noon. Fernbank Science Center, located at 156 Heaton Park Drive in Atlanta, will be full of hands-on activity stations, a nano magic show, and story time featuring Horton Hears a Who, according to event coordinators Mary Breen and Vashonda Davis. New for this year will be the Nanozone, an area with special activities for children ages 3-7. “We heard from parents at past events that stations designed for the youngest kids would be welcome,” Breen said, “so we’re looking forward to offering some. Parents might hesitate to come with kids that young, even if they know their older brothers and sisters would have a blast. We’re now confident that we have things to show the whole family about the latest developments in nanoscale science and technology.” Admission to NanoDays is free, but there is still a charge for planetarium shows.  NanoDays is a nationwide festival of educational programs about nanoscale science and engineering, organized by the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network, and takes place nationally from March 30-April 7. This community-based event is the largest public outreach effort in nanoscale informal science education and involves science museums, research centers, and universities from Puerto Rico to Alaska. NanoDays celebrations bring university researchers together with science educators to create learning experiences for both children and adults to explore the miniscule world of atoms, molecules and nanoscale forces. Most NanoDays events combine fun, hands-on activities with presentations on current research. A range of exciting NanoDays programs demonstrate the special and unexpected properties found at the nanoscale, examine tools used by nanoscientists, showcase nano materials

with spectacular promise, and invite discussion of technology and society. For additional information, go to the Fernbank event’s webpage at http://fsc. fernbank.edu/nanodays.html, or contact Vashonda Davis at vashonda_y_ davis@fc.dekalb.k12.ga.us or Mary Breen at mary_breen@fc.dekalb.k12. ga.us. General Assembly passes Rep. Oliver’s veterans’ funding bill A bill that modernizes funding for the Georgia State War Veterans’ Home passed the state Senate with a unanimous vote and passed the state House with a vote of 147 to 13. The bill (HB 535), introduced by Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (D-83) allows the Veterans Service Board to establish a fee for residency and a waiver of fees for those with economic need. The measure will ensure the facility obtains federal Aid and Attendance benefits, which have been refused by the Georgia Veterans’ Administration since the facilities’ creation in 1950. Georgia is the only state that currently does not accept these funds at veterans’ homes. “With a more modernized funding system, we will not only be able to serve more veterans, but we will also save Georgia an estimated $3 to 6 million,” Oliver said. “While we still have more work ahead of us in ensuring veterans get the benefits they deserve, HB 535 is a great step in the right direction.” The Georgia War Veterans Home, located in Milledgeville, and the Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home, located in Augusta, provide longterm care to Georgians who have served in the armed forces during times of war. DeKalb schools purchase service vehicles The DeKalb County Board of Education voted March 20 to approve the purchase of 23 utility trucks, two refrigerator trucks, two dry box trucks, 15 service sedans, 19 public safety sedans and six security carts. With the passage of the Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax (SPLOST) IV referendum, DeKalb County residents approved the purchase of services for the school district. The vehicle will be purchased with approximately $1.7 million in SPLOST funds under the Georgia state vehicle contracts. The 23 utility trucks will be used by DeKalb County School District (DCSD) facilities workers who make routine plumbing, HVAC and electrical service calls to the district’s 135 schools. The two refrigerator trucks will transport food goods to schools for students’ breakfasts and lunches. The two box trucks will be used for dry goods and supplies deliveries and pick-ups, including equipment deliveries to schools. The use of the 15 service sedans includes support for school inspections, site-visits, employee assistance and counseling requirements, school improvement visits, emergency calls, staff

assistance visits, teacher recruiting, student testing assistance and bus accident investigations. The 19 public safety sedans are used to provide law enforcement and security throughout the district. DCSD maintains its own public safety department, which patrols schools both day and night. The security carts are provided to ease movement and transport around large campuses to include security support and assisting students and adults who may be physically impaired. The vehicles will be purchased in 2013 pending any changes in SPLOST program requirements. Cox executive director appointed to Perimeter CID board Michael Grover, executive director of government affairs for Cox Communications Inc., has been appointed to the board of the Central (DeKalb) Perimeter Community Improvement District. Grover was appointed by the DeKalb County CEO and Board of Commissioners to serve on the board. DeKalb County is authorized Glover to appoint two members to the nine-member board, which is a publicprivate partnership of commercial property owners who voluntarily pay additional property taxes for transportation and other infrastructure improvements within its boundaries in the Dunwoody and Brookhaven potions of the Perimeter market. “We are pleased that Michael has joined the DeKalb Perimeter CID to represent Cox Communications, which is a major stakeholder in the DeKalb County portion of the Perimeter Market,” said Yvonne Williams, PCIDs’ president and CEO.   “Michael’s experience and expertise in policy issues will be especially valuable to the DeKalb Perimeter CID Board,” said board chairman John Heagy, senior managing director Southeast Region of Hines international real estate firm. In his position at Cox, Grover works on federal, state and local policy and legislative matters, serves as an internal consultant on franchise renewals and compliance issues and monitors political contributions. He started his career in cable as an assistant corporation counsel for the City of Detroit and counsel to the city’s cable commission.  In 1996, Grover joined Continental Cablevision as director of legal affairs for the Midwest region. After Continental Cablevision became MediaOne, Grover added government affairs duties. He moved to Georgia in 1999 and was associated with MediaOne/AT&T Broadband until joining Cox in 2001.  Grover is a graduate of the University of Michigan and University of Detroit Law School.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 29, 2013

LOCAL NEWS

Page 14A

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LOCAL NEWS
acceptable,’” said Shulman, a medical doctor and professor in Emory University’s School of Medicine. He said the violence against innocent people in the DRC should spur the level of public outrage that followed the shootings of school children in Newtown, Conn. “In the Democratic Republic of Congo each hour another 48 women and girls are brutalized and raped by gangs of men with sticks, bayonettes, guns, whatever it takes to turn them into damaged goods so that if they survive physically, they will continue to die a million deaths of the spirit as they hear their babies and young children cry for them, as their husbands and brothers are tortured and killed for attempting to protect them, as they are shamed and cast out of their homes and communities, as they wander from one listless day to the next in a nightmare that never ends,” states material distributed by Shulman and others involved in the Emory-based effort. The United Nations has called the DRC “the rape capital of the world.” The situation was called to Shulman’s attention last year when some Congolese women who work at one of Emory University’s cafeterias approached him and asked if there was any way he could help. They talk to their families by cell phone every week and get personal reports on what’s going on in DRC. One of the women told him about her 12-yearold niece who was raped. When the girl’s father tried to stop the attackers, he was shot to death. The Congolese women, who hesitate to act for fear of reprisals against relatives still living in DRC, had heard of Shulman’s reputation as not only a professor and a doctor, but also as a humanitarian and a writer. His books include Doc Hollywood on which a 1991 movie was based. “People look at a situation on the other side of the world and think it has nothing to do with them, but it has everything to do with us,” Shulman said. “There are people from the Congo living here in DeKalb County. They talk with relatives every day. They are part of our community. But the fact that these are fellow human beings—innocent human beings—is reason enough to care. I think future generations will condemn us for not getting involved just as we look unkindly of those who disagreed with segregation, apartheid, and the violence against Jews in wartime Europe, but did not speak up to stop it.” Shulman said he hopes that demonstrations such as those he and others have been organizing in the Emory area will raise the level of awareness of the issue and force the United Nations and the U.S. government to take action. “We want the U.N. to send peace keepers in, not to take sides politically, but to protect innocent people who are the victims of sexual violence,” he said.

Page 15A

DeKalb welcomes Easter with a variety of secular and sacred events
by Kathy Mitchell kathy@dekalbcamp.com The city of Decatur’s Easter Egg Hunt for 2013 has come and gone, but there still are a variety of both festive and sacred events across DeKalb County to welcome the spring holiday. Here is a sampling. Secular celebrations—just for fun Dinosaur Egg Hunt at Fernbank Museum Fernbank Museum opens its fourth annual Dinosaur Egg Hunt Saturday, March 30, at 9:30 a.m., with a series of age-specific hunts through age 8. Advance registration is required to participate in a timed egg hunt. Make reservations at http://www. museumtix.com/venue/venueinfo. aspx?pvt=&tab=E&vid=794. Family hunts for all ages will be at 11:40 a.m. and 12:20 p.m. The event is presented in partnership with Radio Disney, AM590. There also will be a special exhibition, Extreme Mammals. Other activities include games and giveaways from Radio Disney AM 590, photo opportunities with Fernbank’s mascot, Giggy A. Dinosaur, whimsical (and was hable) temporary dinosaur tattoos and a variety of fun games for youngsters of all ages. Tickets are $5 for children in addition to regular museum admission tickets. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Sacred celebrations—honoring ancient traditions Shallowford Presbyterian Church presents Stations of the Cross             Shallowford Presbyterian Church’s drama ministry presents Stations of the Cross, a drama in the Maundy Thursday evening worship service. Directed by Jeffery Brown, an Alliance Theatre actor who is also a member of the church, and performed by Shallowford Presbyterian Church members, the play will be presented on Thursday, March 28. Bible readings accompany each scene as it is depicted in pantomime. There will be a dinner at 6 p.m. and the drama will be at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary. Holy Communion is included. The public is invited to attend. There is no cost to attend the service and the drama. Dinner with reservations: $8 for adults and $5 per child, with a $25 family maximum. For reservations, call (404) 3211844 or email mlanders@shallowford. org. Shallowford Presbyterian Church is located at 2375 Shallowford Road, Atlanta. 

Emory Continued From Page 1A
The uprisings in the part of Africa that includes the DRC are over the valuable natural resources there, Shulman explained. He said tribal groups weaken their opposition by raping their women, knowing that the culture makes outcasts of those who have been raped. They are forced to leave home and live in refugee camps, where provisions are scarce. Sometimes, he added, military forces are given women to rape as a reward for a productive day’s work. “We happily use our computers and cell phones made with minerals taken from that area, but we can’t get involved in stopping the violence that comes out of conflict over those minerals,” Shulman said. “People say, ‘the situation is complicated; we have to move slowly.’ It’s not complicated. It makes no more sense to move slowly here than it would have when the shooting started at that school in Connecticut,” Shulman said. “I don’t care whether people join us or start their own movements at their churches or in their communities, but people must act and act now.” Demonstrations are planned for March 29, April 12, April 26, May 10 and May 24 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the intersection of North Decatur and Oxford roads across from the main gates of Emory. For more information, visit http://www.facebook.com/groups/ GlobalActionForCongo

Holy Week events at Rainbow Park Baptist Church Rainbow Park Baptist Church will start Holy Week Monday, March 25, with Drive-Thru Prayer, available 5-7 p.m. to anyone who drives up to memCommunity Easter Egg Hunt and bers waiting in the church parking lot Pancake Breakfast to talk about their prayer requests and pray together. Reverend Steven Dial Sr., Shallowford Presbyterian Church is pastor of Rainbow Park Baptist Church, said “Prayer is needed right now in our inviting the community for a free egg communities more than ever before.”  hunt and pancake breakfast Saturday, Other Holy Week events include March 30, 9-11 a.m. The morning starts with pancakes and “egg-tivities” in the Tuesday Online Holy Week Bible Study, 7- 8 p.m. at www.rainbowparkbaptist. Great Hall. The hunt begins outside at org, click on the “WATCH LIVE” 10 a.m. with multiple Easter egg hunts link; a Wednesday Passover Meal at 6 geared for different age levels from p.m. and Worship Service at 7 p.m.; a toddlers through 10 years. Participants Maundy Thursday Service that includes should bring their own baskets. Shallowford Presbyterian Church is located an optional foot-washing ceremony at 2375 Shallowford Road, Atlanta. For on March 28 at 7 p.m.; Good Friday more information, call (404) 321-1844. Services will be held March 29 at noon and 7 p.m.; on Saturday, March 30, 10 Avondale Estates annual Easter Egg a.m.-noon, there will be an Easter Egg Hunt and Dog Parade Extravaganza; and on Sunday, March 31, Resurrection Sunday Services will Avondale Estates’ annual Easter Egg be held at 6:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. Rainbow Park Baptist Church is locatHunt is a city sponsored event that ed at 2941 Columbia Drive, Decatur. For will be held again this year at Lake Avondale, 59 Lakeshore Drive. Children more information, visit www.rainbowup to 10 years old can participate in this parkbaptist.org or call (404) 288-1910. event Saturday, March 30, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. The Dog Parade will be 10:45 a.m. Stone Mountain Park Sunrise Service to 11:45 a.m. with onsite registration and Stone Mountain Park will hold its check-in 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Community Club parking lot. The event 69th annual Easter Sunrise Service is free and costumes are not required to March 31 at 7 a.m. The Stone Mountain Ministerial Association will present two participate. Award categories include simultaneous, non-denominational EasBest Costume, Best Owner/Dog Duo, ter services at the top of Stone Mountain Most Spirited/Enthusiastic, and Best Behaved. For more information contact and at the Memorial Hall Terrace. Park Keri Stevens at (404) 294-5400 or kste- gates and Summit Skyride open at 4 a.m. Services begin at approximately vens@avondaleestates.org. 7 a.m. Those attending are asked to Sunday, March 31, Avondale Estates will hold its annual Antique Car Parade allow an extra hour or more for large crowds. Vehicle entry to the park is $10 with line-up beginning at 1:30 p.m. at for a one-day permit or $35 for annual the Twin Oaks Shopping Plaza, 2853 permit. Church vans and buses enter E. College Ave. and the parade beginfree.  Round-trip Skyride fees are $9 for ning at 2:30 p.m. It goes from South adults and $7 for children 3-11 and $5.50 Avondale Road and ends at Willis Park, where the cars remain for display. one-way.  There are no fees for the walkup trail to the top of the mountain. New Refreshments will be served. Those who would like to enter an automobile this year is a sign language interpreter for the hearing impaired at the base of should contact Lamar Hart at lamarthe mountain on the Memorial Lawn. hart@bellsouth.net.

BOE Continued From Page 1A
would result in financial savings for the school district. U. S. District Court Judge Richard Story has sent the case to the state Supreme Court, stating, “It appears…that this case involves questions of Georgia law that are determinative of the case, but unanswered by controlling precedent of the Supreme Court of Georgia or any other Georgia court.” In his order, Story asked the Georgia Supreme Court to decide whether the law violates “the Georgia constitutional doctrine that each school system shall be under the management and control of a board of education, the members of which shall be elected as provided by law.” Story also wants the court to determine whether the “potential removal of school board members…exceed the General Assembly’s authority to enact general laws regarding local school boards of education.” The DeKalb County school board case has been docketed in the Georgia Supreme Court, which has up to two court terms from the time it’s filed, approximately six months, to make a decision, according to a statement by Jane Hansen, public information officer for the court.

THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013

EDUCATION

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Thirty-one girls at Dunwoody Elementary are part of a nonprofit program that builds confidence and self-esteem through running. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

Dunwoody Elementary has Girls On The Run
by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com Twice a week, 31 girls at Dunwoody Elementary School lace up their running shoes and hit the field, playing games, running around and having a lesson about themselves. “I love this program because there are lots of girls, we talk about our feelings, and because everybody’s so energetic,” said Isabel Nadler-Sachs, 10, a fifth grader. The afterschool program is called Girls On The Run, an international, nonprofit organization, that, according to its website, inspires girls to “celebrate their unique identities, recognize their inner strength, understand the power they have to make individual decisions and value their connectedness with others.” The program, in its first season at Dunwoody Elementary, runs in the spring and fall of each year for 12 weeks. The program costs $170, but scholarships are available. During the 90-minute sessions, the girls participate in a lesson, games that involve running and physical activity, and a workout that involves running. “It’s about building confidence and also about teaching them how to live a healthy lifestyle, not just physically but emotionally, and dealing with sensitive topics that are appropriate to their age that they will be facing either now in school or in middle school like bullying or maybe cattiness with girls or peer pressure,” said Katy Grubbs, an English as a Second Language teacher and a coach for the running program. “It’s a wonderful program,” Grubbs said. “We’ve seen a positive reaction. The girls are really opening up and sharing what they’re dealing with on a day-to-day basis. They’re receiving the program well.” Another coach, Michele Harrison, a first grade teacher, said, “I love it because it teaches the girls to have selfconfidence, to believe in themselves and not allow the world to tell them what they should look like, what they should do or should be. “It’s important for the girls to have a program like this where I could impart to them things I have experienced about low self-esteem, giving them the opportunity to have high self-esteem and to have a healthy lifestyle. It’s about giving back to the young ladies.” Some of the topics the girls discuss focus on peer pressure and sticking up for themselves, Harrison said. “Today we spoke about letting someone know, even if it’s an uncomfortable situation, how they feel, why they feel that way and what they want that person to do, and having positive thoughts versus negative thoughts,” Harrison said. Nine-year-old Daijah Kelley, a fourth grader, said, “I like it because us gives us better time. We’re not wasting time at home.” For Meg O’Keefe, 9, Girls On The Run allows her to be herself. “People don’t really have the nerve to make fun of you because they’ve had moments like you’ve had,” Meg said. “A bad moment that you have, they’ve probably had one like it, so they don’t really get to make fun of you.” Basha Goodman, 8, a third grader, said the group’s girls-only status is beneficial. “The boys will really distract you,” Basha said. “If somebody was running, say it was me, and a boy came up to me and started talking and talking and talking and talking…the boy is distracting me by talking to me.”

EDUCATION Briefs
DeKalb school district joins Five Million Meals campaign The DeKalb County School District (DCSD) is one of the latest districts to join the 5 Million Meals campaign, a statewide effort to get more local food in schools. DCSD Nutrition Director Joyce Wimberly pledged to support the local economy and local farmers by increasing the amount of local food served to DeKalb students through farm-to-school programs, and for this, DCSD was one of 28 school districts awarded the Golden Radish award. At a ceremony at the Capitol earlier this month, State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge, Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black, and Georgia Organics Board President Rashid Nuri honored these Georgia school districts for taking the “5 Million Meals Challenge” by pledging to serve more local food in their cafeterias. In October 2012, Georgia Organics and its partners launched the 5 Million Meals Challenge, a statewide effort to get 5 million meals made with locally grown food served in K-12 cafeterias across Georgia. In 123 cafeterias, DCSD served 12,607,368 lunches, including 65,000 helpings of watermelon, 53,000 servings of apples, 19,000 servings of fresh sweet potatoes, 68,500 servings of fresh broccoli, 50,600 servings of fresh cabbage, 17,000 helpings of fresh carrots and 31,000 servings of strawberries. DeKalb school district implements hiring freeze travel, equipment and contracted services, according to the statement. Salaries and benefits for existing To cut expenditures, The staff, payments for fuel and utilities DeKalb County School District has and materials and supplies essential implemented a hiring freeze for all to instruction are not included in the positions except those that directly freeze. impact the classroom, according to a For fiscal year 2013, the school media release. district is projected to be within As long as funds are budgeted and budget, but it is continuing to pay staffing allotments are available, the down a deficit from fiscal year 2012. district will continue to hire teachers, In addition, the Georgia Budget counselors, assistant principals, and Policy Institute projects that principals, positions outside the the governor’s proposed budget general fund and those school-based underfunds public education by $1 positions that have direct instructional billion for the fiscal year 2014, so contact, such as nurses, psychologists the school district must also prepare and special education lead teachers, for additional reductions in funding, according to the statement. according to the statement. The district also has frozen all non-essential spending, including

THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013

BUSINESS
location, compare prices and even purchase gifts and other items. Specifically, 14.8 percent say they will purchase Easter products with their smartphones. More than half (51.0 percent) of tablet owners will use their device to make purchases, research products and prices and look up retailer information such as store loca-

Page 17A

Easter spending flat nationwide, remains to be seen locally
Americans will celebrate Easter in style and on budget this year, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF) Easter Spending Survey conducted by BIGinsight. Keeping cost and their shopping list in mind, the average Americans celebrating Easter will spend approximately $145.13 on candy, decor, apparel and food, flat with last year’s $145.28. Total spending nationwide is expected reach approximately $17.2 billion. Whether holiday spending in DeKalb will follow that pattern remains to be seen. “Easter spending tends to be very last minute. The mall tends to be very busy starting the Thursday before Easter,” said Donald Bieler, director of marketing and specialty leasing at the Mall at Stonecrest in Lithonia. Bieler added that that has been the pattern in recent years and it didn’t change even though the mall’s Easter Bunny arrived a week earlier than in past years. He also said that overall sales at the mall are on the upswing so there’s every reason to expect that retail stores will do well this spring. Shelley Korenbrot, director of mall marketing and business development at Northlake Mall, said the bunny’s arrival there seems to have stimulated traffic. “We’re seeing a steady flow of shoppers searching for that perfect treat for their Easter baskets this year. Our new Easter photo area has really been hoppin’ since the Bunny stopped in this season, and shoppers are picking up great Easter finds at stores like Kohl’s, Lockheart Chicago Style Gourmet Popcorn and our new accessories store Crush,” she said. “With a plethora of budgetary concerns already on their plates, Americans this Easter will look for special, creative ways to celebrate The of Business theVoice holiday without breaking the bank,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “And as spring weather rolls in, consumers will find affordable ways to spruce up their homes and wardrobes, just in time for visiting family and friends this Easter holiday. Retailers are already lining their shelves with specials on chocolates, warm-weather apparel and even gardening tools and outdoor furniture.” The NRF survey found much of consumers’ budgets will go toward food for a family brunch or dinner: 86.9 percent of those celebrating Easter will spend an average of $45.26 on items needed for their holiday meal. Traditionally known as the kickoff to spring, Easter will prompt many will specifically set out to purchase new spring attire. Nearly half (48.4 percent) will purchase clothing this Easter, spending an average of $25.91 on new outfits for their children and for themselves. And, nine in 10 (90.5 percent) will stock up on Easter candy, spending an average of $20.66 on jelly beans, chocolate and more. Additionally, consumers will spend an average of $20.82 on gifts, $9.49 on flowers and $9.11 on decorations. When it comes to where people will shop for their Easter needs, the survey found families will shop for price and value. Most people (63.4 percent) will shop at discount stores and four in 10 (40.7 percent) will shop at their favorite department store. Others will shop at specialty stores (24.9 percent), online (21.1 percent) and specialty clothing stores (10.6 percent). “While many of today’s consumers are coping with tight budgets, the Easter Bunny isn’t headed toward retirement in 2013,” said BIGinsight Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow. “Look for cost-conscious parents to scope the sale racks, head to discounters, and clip coupons to keep spending on track and to make the holiday special for youngsters this year.” survey also found in The DeKalb County that many people will use their smartphones and tablets to shop for Easter items. Four in 10 (43.3 percent) smartphone owners will use their mobile device to research product information, look up store hours and tions and hours. One in five (22.1 percent) say they will purchase something via their tablet.

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DeKalb Chamber of Commerce
2013 Newcomer’s Guide & Membership Directory

Reserve your advertising space now to show support of 75 years of service to the business community of DeKalb. Deadline for ad placement and payment is Friday, April 19, 2013. Publication date is May 2013!
To place your ad, contact John or Louise at The Champion Newspaper!

Louise Acker LouiseD@DeKalbChamp.com M: 404.579.5312 O: 404.373.7779 x 102

John Hewitt JohnH@DeKalbChamp.com O: 404.373.7779 x 110

DeKalb Chamber of Commerce

The Voice of Business in DeKalb County

Two Decatur Town Center, 125 Clairemont Ave., Suite 235, Decatur, GA 30030 404.378.8000 www.DeKalbChamber.org

THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013

SPORTS

Page 18A

Dunwoody’s Alexis Davis (right) and Lakeside’s Grace Clark fights for the ball. Photos by Carla Parker

Dunwoody’s Avery Wood tries to get around two Lakeside defenders.

uSOCCER

Lady Vikings move to 9-0 after win over Dunwoody
by Carla Parker carla@dekalbchamp.com The Lakeside High School Lady Vikings soccer team remains undefeated after beating Dunwoody 3-0 on March 22. The Lady Vikings moved to 9-0 after the win and head coach Shane Maullin said his girls are starting to peak at this point of the season. “Tonight was just an absolute schooling of soccer,” Maullin said. “This is the best game we have had all season. I’m very proud of them.” The game started off fast and
uCOLLEGE SOFTBALL

physical for both teams. After the game settled down, Lakeside junior midfielder Elizabeth Bazemore scored the first goal for the Lady Vikings at the 12:53 point in the first half. “Once we scored the first goal we kept applying the pressure,” Maullin said. Senior midfielder Kendall McCrae extended the lead to 2-0 at the 2:31 mark before halftime. Lakeside came out strong in the second with senior forward Lillian Stamps scoring a goal at the 39:10 mark. The Vikings were able to shut out Dun-

woody and played most of the game on Dunwoody’s side of the field. “In almost every game of the season we played 90 percent in their half [of the field],” Maullin said. Lakeside entered the season ranked No. 8 in Class AAAAA and has moved up to No. 5. The team began the season with a tough game on the road at Dacula High School. Maullin said her team had to come back from behind twice in that game to win 3-2. Since then, they have shut out every team, beating their opponents with a combined score of 32-0.

“The girls have shown so much character and we have so much depth,” Maullin said. “We’ve got a good freshmen class. A couple of our players stepped up tonight because we had three of our starters out.” Lakeside has one tie on the season, which came against Heritage High School. The Lady Vikings look to continue their dominating play as the season goes on. “I’m very proud of them,” Maullin said. “It’s going to be an incredible season. I think we’re going to go very deep.”

GPC sweeps ABAC in conference opener
Winning a pitchers’ duel, freshman Lyndsey Parden threw a twohitter with 15 strikeouts, and fellow freshman Maegan Coddington belted two home runs as Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) swept its conference opener on March 22. The Jaguars won the doubleheader 2-1 and 7-2 over Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) Fillies at Jaguar Field on GPC’s Newton Campus. Parden carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning of the first game, retiring 17 straight batters after issuing a walk in the first inning. In the nightcap, Coddington hit three-run and two-run homers, driving in five of the Jaguars’ seven runs. “Lyndsey was spot on. She didn’t miss her spots much,” said head coach Ken Deyton. “And I always said when Maegan finds her confidence, look out. Actually, she’s been snake bitten the last couple of weeks. She’s hit some frozen ropes—hard line drives but right to someone.” Georgia Perimeter (7-11, 2-0) vaulted into second place in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, trailing the only other team undefeated in league play, South Georgia College, which is 4-0. Freshman Jenna Carr also pitched an excellent game in the 7-2 victory, her first collegiate win. She fanned 10, walked three and gave up six hits. Savannah Cook doubled to right field, scoring Samantha Maycock in the first inning of the opener. It looked as if the 1-0 lead would hold up as Parden mowed down the Fillies, striking out the side in the third inning and walking only two in the game. But the Jaguars needed an insurance run, and ABAC (16-13, 2-2) also had its ace in the circle, Rachel Hill. She scattered six hits, keeping her team in the game. “Rachel Hill pitched a great game—she’s a competitor,” Deyton said. “ABAC is having a good year.” The Fillies forced the game into an extra inning when, in the seventh, Lauren Thrasher singled, breaking up Parden’s no-hitter, and Karli Smith tripled her home. GPC settled it in the extra inning, the eighth. With Maddie Case serving as the automatic runner on second base, Maycock bunted her to third, and Stephanie Satterfield produced the game-winner, a sacrifice fly to left field that easily scored Case. Parden also was productive at the plate, hitting two doubles and a single. Case had two singles in four at bats. Coddington’s three-run homer in the first frame of the nightcap
Lyndsey Parden

cleared the right field fence. Her two-run smash in the fifth was a blast to behold, slamming into the scoreboard in right-center. Jessie Romines singled in the first inning and scored on a double by Carr to give GPC a 4-0 lead. Carr mirrored Parden’s good day at the plate with two doubles. Coddington walked in the third, and pinch runner Barbara Rego stole second and third before crossing the plate on a single by Romines. The next home game will be April 6 against Middle Georgia College.

THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013

SPORTS

Page 19A

Decatur’s Alex Powers (24, white jersey) scored five goals in the win over M.L. King Jr. on March 25. Photos by Carla Parker

Decatur girls’ lacrosse gets big win over MLK
by Carla Parker carla@dekalbchamp.com Decatur High School girls’ lacrosse team got its third win of the season with a 17-4 defeat of M.L. King, Jr. High School on March 25. Alex Powers led the team with five goals. Head coach Brigid Cadin said she was happy with how well the players worked together as a team. “They’re starting to connect better as a unit, which is nice to see,” she said. “I think they supported each other throughout the field from the defensive end to the offensive end.” “I think we still have some things to work on, but I think overall we’re getting better and better every game,” she added. The Decatur Lady Bulldogs are now 3-4-1 on the season. They will play at Lakeside-Evans on Saturday, March 30.

uLACROSSE

Alex Powers look to pass the ball in the 1st half of the game against M.L. King Jr.

A M.L. King Jr. player runs past Decatur defenders.

Browns Mill Rec Center 17-Under Boys basketball team wins state championship
The Browns Mill Recreation Center 17-Under Boys basketball team brought home a state championship after defeating College Park 65-60 in overtime in the Georgia Recreation Park Association Basketball tournament. The team won first place in the DeKalb County tournament after Lucious Sanders Recreation Center, then winning the region over Henry County. The finals were held March 1-2 in Savannah where Browns Mill defeated College Park in the state championship game. “We’ve won the county five times, the district five times, and made it to the state finals three times, so you can imagine how good it feels to finally win the state championship,” said head coach Elton Blackmon. “It shows me and the players that with hard work and if you stick with it, you will succeed. I don’t think people in our community realize all of the work me and coach [William Amos], as well as other coaches, put into working with the kids. “All of our players either go to college, job corps, armed forces, or become positive citizens with a job of some sort, and that’s bigger than any championship,” Blackmon added.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 29, 2013

LOCAL NEWS

Page 20A

DeKalb History Center’s Executive Director, Melissa Forgey, said the fourth annual silent auction on March 22 was “phenomenal.” Forgey said, “We had a great number of donations from businesses and individuals combined with many people eager to bid to help support the History Center.” An estimated 250-300 people attended the annual meeting and silent auction event held in the Old Courthouse on the Square in downtown Decatur. Catering was provided by some of the area’s most noted establishments.

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