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FRIDAY, JULY 25, 2014 • VOL. 17, NO. 18 • FREE
• A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS • Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.
See P-card on page 13A
See Election on page 13A
Mann it is!
May: P-card controversy
‘symbolic’ of county’s oversight
by Andrew Cauthen
Te controversy sur-
rounding the county’s pur-
chasing card (P-card) usage
has exposed some problems
in the government, said in-
terim DeKalb County CEO
Lee May.
“I think it exposed from
the administrative side
[that] for years now, if not
a decade, there was not re-
ally...oversight over the ad-
ministration of the P-card
across the board,” May said.
“I think there was a lot of
trust that was placed in the
oversight of it. Tere weren’t
annual audits done on every
“Te P-card conversation
as a whole…is symbolic of a
lot of areas in the county in
terms of how we [are] man-
aging the day-to-day opera-
tions and who is providing
the kind of oversight and
how [we] are implementing
the oversight,” May said in a
July 21 interview.
Te Champion reviewed
May’s P-card usage from
Jan. 1, 2013, to April 1, 2014.
During that time he spent
$1,707 on food and $8,676
on travel.
Comparatively, Commis-
sioner Elaine Boyer’s ofce
spent $8,249 on food during
that time and Commissioner
Sharon Barnes Sutton’s of-
fce spent $6,431 in travel in
2013 alone.
Te Champion discovered
23 charges on bank state-
ments totaling $2,467.76
that were not on May’s pur-
chasing card transaction log.
“My administrative staf
pulls together the transac-
tions logs and actually I was
not aware that the two didn’t
actually match item by item,”
said May, who currently has
two active P-cards—one as
a commissioner and one as
the interim CEO. Te P-card
for the District 5 commis-
sion seat is only being used
currently to pay for an email
marketing system at a cost
of $49.95 per month.
Te Champion also found
$1,236.98 in charges that
were not on the transaction
log but were credited back to
the card.
“If it was a charge that
was credited back, [my staf]
didn’t include it in the logs,”
May said. “Tat was just a
practice that they had. Te
intention was [to show that]
this is actually taxpayers’
money that was spent.”
In the future, May said,
all cardholders will account
for all P-card activity on the
“If there’s a transaction
on the card, regardless of
whether it’s been removed, it
Lee May
Business ........................16A
Classifed .......................17A
Education .....................15A
Sports ...................... 18-19A
BUsINess, 16A
Newly elected DeKalb County Sheriff Jeff Mann addresses supporters during his victory celebration. Photo by
Carla Parker
by Carla Parker
and Lauren Ramsdell
Jeff Mann will remain as
DeKalb County sheriff.
Mann defeated former
DeKalb County CEO
Vernon Jones with 74.35
percent to 25.65 percent
of votes, at press time.
Approximately 21,000
voters participated in the
runoff. Mann was appointed
to the position by former
sheriff Thomas Brown,
who resigned in February
to run for the Fourth
Congressional District seat.
“I feel so elated,”
Mann said at his victory
celebration. “I feel so
honored that all of these
people have come out to
support me. It is a blessing
and I am truly honored for
Mann said he remained
optimistic throughout the
“I’ve had a great support
staff, support team, group
of volunteers,” he said. I
had a record to run on
of accomplishments. I’ve
always been optimistic that
we would prevail. And so
we’re here tonight….and
we prevailed. I’ve always
known that this point was
going to come; it was just a
matter of when.”
The support he received
from across the county was
“awesome,” said Mann, who
was the former chief deputy
and a former attorney
before succeeding Brown as
sheriff. He has been in the
sheriff ’s office for nearly 14
“I’ve been in DeKalb
County for 20 years
and I’ve worked with
commissioners, former
commissioners, Thomas
Brown, the current
CEO, the former CEO,
councilmembers and
mayors of the various cities.
I’ve garnered the support
of 8 of the 10 mayors in
DeKalb County. We have a
great working relationship
with their municipal police
departments and so the
tremendous out-pouring of
support has been heartfelt
and I appreciate that,”
Mann said.
Mann said in running
the jail, he will build on its
recent accomplishments.
“We’ve always been a top
notch agency,” Mann said.
“We’ve been in the top one
percent of sheriff offices in
the United States, having
obtain and maintain the
triple crown distinction,
one of 3,800 sheriff ’s offices
in the United States and
we’re going to continue
that. We’re going to build
upon that. I’ve recently

by Andrew Cauthen
Occupy Our Homes At-
lanta wants a change in the
eviction process in DeKalb
Members of the organi-
zation protested outside the
DeKalb County jail July 16.
“We’re here today be-
cause DeKalb County is
home of six of the 15 high-
est foreclosure rates for ZIP
codes in the whole country,”
said Tim Franzen of Oc-
cupy Our Homes Atlanta.
Franzen delivered a let-
ter from the group to Sheriff
Jeffrey Mann, calling on
him to change the way evic-
tion orders are carried out
by deputies. The recommen-
dations include: scheduled
evictions; no evictions after
hours; no evictions during
extreme weather; eviction
costs paid by evictor; reloca-
tion and 30 days storage for
belongings; handle belong-
ings with care; and referral
for housing services.
“Our main purpose is to
deliver these recommenda-
tions,” Franzen said. “These
are all recommendations
that are based on residents
we’ve worked with—their
terrible experiences [of] be-
ing evicted when it’s freez-
ing, being evicted at 3 a.m.,
[and] having excessive force
show up in their yards.
“As recently as last Friday,
Jeff Mann sent 30 deputies
to evict one family,” Franzen
said. “That kind of behavior
has to stop. The after-hours,
3 a.m. evictions have to stop.
DeKalb deserves dignity.”
Franzen said Occupy Our
Homes Atlanta had tried to
have a dialog with the two
sheriff ’s candidates in the
runoff election “about the
issue and what we see as an
inhumane eviction policy.”
According to Franzen,
former DeKalb County CEO
Vernon Jones committed to
enact a six-month morato-
rium on evictions, if elected,
and appoint a committee to
make recommendations on
changing the eviction pro-
“We have called and
emailed Jeff Mann over and
over again with no respons-
es,” Franzen said.
In a statement, Mann
said that no individual or
organization has contacted
his office administration
to discuss evictions or the
eviction process and that he
is open to meeting with in-
dividuals and organizations
regarding his office’s consti-
tutional mandates.
“In an obvious attempt to
misinform the public, cer-
tain individuals are taking
advantage of the unfortu-
nate situations experienced
by some citizens to distort
the truth about the respon-
sibilities of the sheriff ’s
office,” Mann said. “The
public should be advised
that the state court marshal’s
office–and not the sheriff ’s
office–has primary respon-
sibility for conducting evic-
“Ninety-nine percent of
evictions are conducted by
the marshal’s office,” Mann
stated. “The sheriff ’s of-
fice only becomes involved
in those limited instances
where an individual has ap-
pealed the eviction to supe-
rior court, has exhausted all
appeals and superior court
has issued an order directing
the sheriff ’s office to con-
duct the eviction. At that
point, the sheriff ’s office is
duty-bound to carry out that
or any order from superior
court, including evictions.”
“We’re here today to hand
deliver a letter from DeKalb
County residents, from folks
that have experienced the
eviction process firsthand,
and ask him to implement
these policies that aren’t
radical notions,” Franzen
said. These are policies that
are working in Georgia and
all over the country that
make an already difficult
time easier for folks that are
oftentimes in the greatest
struggle in their lives.”
Mildred Garrison-Obi
of Stone Mountain de-
scribed her struggle sur-
rounding her November
2012 eviction from the
home she purchased in
“My demise was disabil-
ity,” Garrison-Obi said. “I
waited three years to get a
favorable approval from the
[federal government].”
In the meantime, Gar-
rison-Obi said she notified
Countrywide, a mortgage
lender, that she was a dis-
abled senior waiting for a
favorable decision.
Although she couldn’t
afford a lawyer, Garrison-
Obi said she began fighting
aggressively in August 2009
to keep her house when she
was foreclosed on.
Three and a half years
later, Garrison-Obi said she
looked out her window and
encountered “the most de-
Group protests ‘inhumane’ eviction process
See Occupy on page 3A
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Protestors gather outside the DeKalb County Jail to protest how the county evicts residents. The group is calling for a moratorium on evictions until the process is changed. Photos by
Andrew Cauthen
See Accreditation on page 14A
humanizing experience of my life.”
“I opened the door, because otherwise [the
sheriff ’s deputies] would have busted into it,
and I had 20 minutes to get what was most
important,” Garrison-Obi said. “I told them I
had a pending case and…the [officer] said, ‘We
hear things like that all the time.’
“The same day that they put my personal
belongings out on the street, I received that
evening documentation from the appeals court
stating that they had granted my motion for re-
consideration,” Garrison-Obi said. “So that was
definitely an unlawful eviction.
“With Occupy Atlanta and National Action
Network we just took matters into our own
hands and moved back into my home,” she
Joe Beasley of Occupy Our Homes Atlanta
said he was protesting the “aggressive behavior”
during the eviction process.
“Banks got bailed out; the people got
robbed,” he said. “The most precious posses-
sion that most of us have is our home. What
has bothered me over the years is the aggres-
sive behavior [that has] come out of DeKalb
County. It seems like it was almost a joy for this
particular county to set people out. They come
out in the dead of night with massive force.
“The high sheriff has the authority to put a
moratorium on evictions,” Beasley said.
Ofce brings awareness to elder abuse
by Carla Parker
In 2009, three people de-
frauded more than 80 DeKalb
County senior residents by
phoning them masquerading
as officials from Georgia Power
The three people obtained a
cellphone and registered it un-
der the name of “Georgia Pow-
ers.” The majority of calls made
were from this cellphone, which
appeared on the residents’ caller
ID as “Georgia Power.” The
three would tell seniors that
they were employees from the
Georgia Power Company and
that their electrical service was
about to be disconnected due
to lack of payment, and if they
made an immediate payment
their service would continue.
The victims were then
tricked into revealing their
credit card information, Social
Security numbers and other
personal information, which
the three used to purchase
electronics, gift cards and other
In some cases, one of the
conspirators told the victims
their credit cards had been
compromised and advised the
victims to put the cards in their
mailboxes. The conspirators
then drove to the victims’ hous-
es, removed the cards from the
victims’ mailboxes and imme-
diately used the cards to make
purchases or buy money orders.
As victims began contacting
Georgia Power Company to in-
quire about the phone calls they
received, the company opened
an investigation.
The three conspirators–San-
tee Sherice Roberts, Donald
Crane and Charlene Merker-
son–were arrested. Roberts,
36, was found guilty in 2012 of
racketeering, identity fraud and
three counts of elder exploita-
tion. Crane entered a guilty plea
in July 2011, and was sentenced
to serve four years in prison
and six years on probation.
A warrant is out for Merker-
son, who evaded police.
This case is one of many that
the White Collar Crime/Elder
Exploitation Unit of the DeKalb
County District Attorney’s Of-
fice has prosecuted since the
unit launched in 2007.
In 2003, Jeanne Canavan,
deputy chief assistant district
attorney for the unit, said when
she tried a telemarketing case as
part of the White Collar Crime
Unit, all of the victims were el-
“It made me realize that we
needed to devote special atten-
tion to cases where not just the
victims are elderly, but where
the perpetrators are targeting
the elderly because they’re vul-
nerable,” Canavan said.
White Collar Crime Unit be-
came the White Collar Crime/
Elder Exploitation Unit in 2007
to give special attention to elder
abuse cases.
Elder abuse is the maltreat-
ment or neglect of dependent
older people. It can be passive
neglect, psychological abuse,
financial abuse, active neglect,
or physical abuse. Canavan tries
more financial abuse cases and
the unit prosecutes 30 to 40
cases a year.
“As we have become more
proficient at trying these cases
we’re getting more and more
cases,” she said.
Canavan and her staff look
at “hundreds” of cases that are
given to them for review by
adult protective service agen-
“They’re not all criminal
cases but they want us to review
them,” she said. “When you see
abuse of an elder, it’s often a
family member that commits
the offense. In that case it’s go-
ing to be handled by the domes-
tic violence unit.”
Most victims of financial
elder abuse are scammed by
strangers, Canavan said. The
scammers, who usually do their
work over the phone, gain the
trust of elders by telling them
they “know God” or find some-
thing else to relate to the elders
through long conversations.
“What these people do is
prey on that,” she said. “Some
of them will call up and talk to
someone for hours, but they
end up with $15,000 at the end
of it, so it’s worth their time.”
Canavan says she goes to
community center, senior cen-
ters, churches and other places
to warn them, police officers
and even prosecutors about the
different scams.
“One of the things I tell
elder people all the time is no-
body really warned them when
they were young to guard their
personal information because
identity fraud didn’t exist back
that then,” she said. “There are
[scammers] out there and all
they do is compile a list of elder
Canavan said she doesn’t
expect to see a decrease in these
types of cases because the older
population is growing.
“The older population is
doubling because of the baby
boomers, and it will double
probably in the next 10 years,”
she said. “We’re going to keep
doing what we’re doing to bring
more awareness to elder abuse.”
Occupy Continued From Page 2A
Stone Mountain Downtown
Development Authority receives
National Main Street Accreditation
Stone Mountain Downtown Development
Authority has been designated as an accredited
National Main Street Program for meeting the
commercial district revitalization performance
standards set by the National Main Street Center,
a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic
“We congratulate this year’s nationally accred-
ited Main Street programs for their outstanding
accomplishment in meeting the National Main
Street Center’s performance standards,” said Pa-
trice Frey, president and CEO of the National
Main Street Center.
A better dog’s life in DeKalb
“It’s a lot of work, but as a non-
profit we are able to do things that
the county couldn’t.”
Rebecca Guinn, founder and
CEO of the Lifeline Animal Project.
Not much longer than a year ago,
a stray dog picked up by DeKalb
Animal Services had roughly the
same chance of survival as a dog
let loose on the interstate at rush
hour. Beginning July 1, 2013,
DeKalb County entered into a five-
year, $2 million contract to allow the
privately run Lifeline Animal Proj-
ect to manage DeKalb’s animal shel-
ter, veterinary care, pet adoptions
and other outreach programs. Life-
line has a similar contract in place
with Fulton County.
Largely as a result of this non-
profit takeover, the DeKalb Shelter’s
euthanasia rates are down by 80-85
percent.  The lowest euthanasia rate
to date was December 2013, with a
rate of 13 percent.  Both the DeKalb
and Fulton shelters are operated as
no-kill for cats. Pet adoptions, on
the flip side are surging, and Lifeline
operates one of the most successful
pet adoption websites in the south-
In 2002, Lifeline founder Rebecca
Guinn found a dog trapped in her
backyard fence. After calling and ar-
ranging pick-up by DeKalb Animal
Services, she was told any dog not
reclaimed within five days was most
likely put down. On the fourth day,
she visited the shelter, unprepared
for what she might see. By her esti-
mation there were nearly 400 dogs
at the extremely overcrowded, then
filthy and non-air-conditioned shel-
ter. She returned on the fifth busi-
ness day, a Tuesday and found the
dog still there, but the shelter nearly
empty. The bulk of those 400 dogs
had been euthanized over the week-
Lifeline opened its own no-kill
shelters, initially on a smaller scale,
first for dogs and then adding cats
in 2004. The organization focuses
on adoption, as well as low-cost spay
and neutering, and both required
and recommended vaccinations and
pet care. Lifeline regularly offers pet
adoption specials. During July, a
dog could be adopted for $30, and
$17.76 for cats. 
With help from Santa Claus and
Second Life Re-Sale (a nonprofit
thrift supporter of Lifeline), a simi-
lar holiday adoption deal brought
Bruno the cat to our home last
December. And since then we have
returned to Lifeline for his ongo-
ing care, making appointments and
his one-year checkup is coming up
And while the DeKalb County
Commission moves forward on
the construction of a new shel-
ter, most likely on property near
DeKalb Peachtree Airport, Lifeline
is continually improving operations
at the old shelter off Kensington
Road. A county appropriation did
add air conditioning, as well as ad-
ditional animal control officers and
improved pest control, but the bulk
of the changes–logistical and opera-
tional–have been made by Lifeline,
its modest staff and a throng of
animal-loving volunteers. 
At intake, every animal is cleaned
and vaccinated, helping to reduce
animal diseases as well as their
transmission among the shelter
population, and every animal is
photographed, and listed for pos-
sible adoption. The average intake is
20 animals per day, nearly 600 per
month. Outside the shelters, Life-
line also operates its SNIP program
for low-income families, which al-
lows application for free spay and
neutering of family pets. The non-
profit also conducts regular “trap-
neuter-return” missions to control
the population of feral cats in the
county. These wild cats are humane-
ly trapped, fixed and then released,
rather than euthanized. Lifeline
estimates this program has treated
nearly 22,000 feral cats in DeKalb
and Fulton counties.
As a result, wild and rabid animal
populations are significantly down,
euthanization is no longer the pri-
mary method for managing shelter
population, animal adoption rates
are surging, and the overall cost to
DeKalb taxpayers is down. More
service, better results and a non-
soaring program budget.
“When we deal with a third-party
nonprofit, it is able to bring more
resources to the table, and they
compete effectively to get charitable
donations,” said DeKalb County
District 2 Commissioner Jeff Rader.
This model of looking to pas-
sionate and knowledgeable non-
profit partners for the expansion of
softer side services, with improved
efficiency and reduced costs de-
serves further exploration.  I’m not
suggesting a volunteer police, but
there are areas, such as the arts,
libraries and county parks and rec-
reation facilities, as well as enhance-
ments to school system security
where this model can work. And it’s
good to know, as we head into the
dog days of summer, that here in
DeKalb, our dogs can now expect a
better life thanks to Lifeline Animal
Project, its founder, supporters and
hundreds of loyal volunteers. 
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, Cham-
pion 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 
Bill crane

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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
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John Hewitt
Chief Operating Ofcer
An ethical dilemma
For the frst time in the history
of DeKalb County, all sitting county
commissioners, as well as the coun-
ty’s interim chief executive ofcer,
have ethics complaints fled against
Granted, anyone can fle an eth-
ics complaint. And, there does not
have to be any validity for a com-
plaint to be fled. But for unknown
reasons, individuals have felt the
need to go to the trouble of fling
such complaints. Let’s hope these
complaints are not just political ma-
Now these complaints will be
investigated by the ethics board and
recommendations will be made ac-
Te DeKalb County Board of
Ethics was originally created in 1990
afer Senate Bill 590 was introduced
in the Georgia General Assembly
and was subsequently approved by
DeKalb County voters in November
According to Section 22A. (a)
(1) of Senate Bill 590, “It is essential
to the proper administration and
operation of the DeKalb County
government that the members of its
governing authority be and give the
appearance of being, independent
and impartial; that public ofce not
be used for private gain; and that
there be public confdence in the
integrity of the DeKalb County gov-
erning authority.
“Because the attainment of one
or more of these ends is impaired
whenever there exists in fact, or ap-
pears to exist, a confict between
the private interests and public
responsibilities of members of the
DeKalb County governing authority,
the public interest requires that the
General Assembly protect against
such conficts of interest by estab-
lishing by law appropriate ethical
standards with respect to the con-
duct of the members of the govern-
ing authority in situations where a
confict may exist,” the bill states.
Tat legislation sounds really
good, right? Having a group of
supposedly independent people
charged with investigating com-
plaints against government employ-
ees and/or elected ofcials sounds
like an excellent procedural mea-
sure to help further the concept of
checks and balances in government.
However, I’m not so convinced that
the ethics board is able to objec-
tively conduct business based on
the structure of the group and a
very specifcally defned confict of
interest clause that is included in the
organization’s rules of procedure,
which were adopted June 24, 2014.
According to the structure of
the ethics board, “fve members are
appointed by the Board of County
Commissioners, and two are ap-
pointed by the CEO of DeKalb
County.” However, Section 2.5,
(confict of interest or recusal) of the
procedural rules states, “No [ethics]
board member shall participate in
the consideration of or vote on any
matter if: (1) that matter concerns a
business or legal relationship of the
member; or (2) the matter involves
an individual with whom the mem-
ber has or expects to have signif-
cant dealings in a public or private
capacity; or (3) such participation or
vote would cause the appearance of
impropriety on the part of the mem-
ber or of the board in general.”
Te ethics board’s rules prohibit
the involvement of members on a
complaint that “involves an indi-
vidual with whom the member has
or expects to have signifcant deal-
ings in a public or private capacity.”
How then can a board member ap-
pointed by a commissioner or the
CEO participate in the investigation
of complaints fled against the per-
sons responsible for their being ap-
Does this not in and of itself vio-
late the published terms or confict
of interest of recusal?
If the rules of procedure are abid-
ed by, should not each ethics board
member recuse himself or herself
from any complaints against com-
missioners or the CEO? And if this
were to happen, who would then be
tasked with investigating these com-
It makes no sense to have a board
of ethics whose members, based on
my interpretation of their rules of
conduct, are not legally able to in-
vestigate all public ofcials or coun-
ty employees who are not covered
by the merit system.
Perhaps when the rules of con-
duct were written and approved,
there was no indication that soon
aferward the ethics board members
would be charged with investigat-
ing complaints against the very ones
who put them in those positions.
But this is where we are right
now. What will be next?

Since the age of 10, Deb-
orah Walker-Little knew
she wanted to attend Spel-
man College.
When she was grow-
ing up, her father was the
breadwinner of the family
while her mother stayed
home to care for six chil-
dren. When her father took
ill her junior year in high
school, the family lost the
only income it had and the
money Walker-Little need-
ed to pay for college.
On the morning that
she was scheduled to report
to Spelman, she woke up
to the smell of her mother
baking a pound cake. Walk-
er-Little asked her mother
if she was going to college
that day and her mother
told her yes.
“I said, ‘Great! We found
money?’ and she said, ‘no,’”
Walker-Little said.
Her mother told her to
take the pound cake and
give it to a Spelman official
and to tell that official that
the cake was all she had to
cover Walker-Little’s tu-
ition. Walker-Little went
to the official and told her
what her mother said.
“I expected her to laugh
me out of her office,” Walk-
er-Little said. “She said,
‘Let’s see it.’ I showed her
the cake and she said, ‘That
looks like it will cover a se-
mester of tuition.’”
Walker-Little graduated
from Spelman College in
1975 without having to pay
back student loans or any-
thing. Her mother baked a
pound cake every semester
to cover tuition.
“It was such a miracle,”
Walker-Little said. I knew I
had to spend the rest of my
life repaying that debt be-
cause it was a very powerful
moment for me. It was a
game changer.”
For 41 years, Walker-
Little, 61, has been repay-
ing that debt by giving
back to the community.
Walker-Little is the execu-
tive director and director of
family programs at Inter-
faith Outreach Home Inc.,
in Doraville, a transitional
housing program for work-
ing families with children.
Prior to that, she served
in the same capacity at
Rainbow Village, a transi-
tional housing program for
women and children. In
1997, she started an after
school program and be-
came a spokesperson for
low-income parents and
“latch key” children.
She served for almost 20
years as the executive direc-
tor of The Child Develop-
ment Center at Central
Presbyterian Church. She
developed a voucher pro-
gram that served employees
of downtown businesses as
well as local, state and fed-
eral government employees.
President George H. W.
Bush recognized her in
1991 for her work with the
voucher program.
“I was very humbled by
the recognition,” she said. “I
got a lot of media exposure
but I know so many other
people who do greater
work. The champions are
those who live every day in
marginal existence and fig-
ure out a way to survive.
“I didn’t really feel much
like a hero but I was glad to
tell the story of the under
privileged,” she added.
If you would like to nominate someone
to be considered as a future Champion
of the Week, please contact Andrew
Cauthen at
or at (404) 373-7779, ext. 117.
Interim CEO addresses communication
concerns at Chamblee Chamber meeting
by Lauren Ramsdell
At the inaugural break-
fast business meeting of
the Chamblee Chamber of
Commerce, interim DeKalb
County CEO Lee May re-
flected on his now one-year
term of office.
“We are really trying to
restore the partnership be-
tween DeKalb County and
our municipalities,” May said
in his opening remarks. “We
are family, and we have to
act like family.”
To act like family, May
said–and used an example of
his own large extended fam-
ily–the important thing is to
“Regardless of what per-
spective you come with,
what political party you
belong to, what side of the
county you live in, we just
have to sit down and have a
conversation,” May said.
May directly referenced
the indictment of suspended
CEO Burrell Ellis, ongoing
purchasing card (P-card)
and ethics investigations into
many of the county commis-
sioners and problems in the
county contracting depart-
ment. He said he’d rather the
trials and investigations run
their course and offered no
further comment.
“In the meantime we have
to make sure our county is
moving in the right direction
and that the day-to-day op-
erations are moving forward,
we are paving our roads or at
least taking care of the pot-
holes, that we are taking care
of our parks and rec depart-
ments, or our libraries, that
we have a competitive coun-
ty, ripe for development, for
business and industry,” May
May went on to highlight
the good things the county
is doing for its residents, re-
peatedly calling out “the me-
dia” for reporting on nega-
tive situations, such as ongo-
ing ethics investigations.
May reported that in
the 2014 budget, $100,000
has been appropriated to
the district attorney’s office
for the creation of a “pub-
lic integrity unit.” He also
mentioned the creation of a
public integrity officer to be
a part of the county board of
ethics, a move that has raised
questions, since, under state
law, the board of ethics is
intended to be distinct from
county government.
He also touted the coun-
ty’s $1.2 billion budget and
$91 million in reserve as a
sign that times are changing
for the better.
“We are hiring more
police officers at a more ag-
gressive pace than any time
in history,” May said. “This
year we will have four police
academies. That means we
are putting more people on
the streets to protect our
citizens. Let’s talk about fire-
fighters: over 100 firefighters
hired and three fire acad-
emies by year’s end.”
As May was making his
remarks as a guest of the
Chamblee Chamber of Com-
merce, he focused the sec-
ond half of his talk on coun-
ty economic development. In
its history, May said, DeKalb
county has never had a stra-
tegic economic development
He said that due to the di-
verse population, proximity
to Atlanta, regional airport
and huge amounts of high-
way miles, DeKalb has never
had to advertise itself and
just attracted business on its
own merits. But to grow,he
said, DeKalb has to market
“In DeKalb county, we
win on cool,” he said. “But
those other places aren’t at-
tracting businesses because
they’re cool but because they
have a plan.”
What that plan is was not
announced, but May said
within a month the results of
an independent study will be
After the remarks, May
opened up the floor for
questions. Tom Hogan, a
Chamblee city councilman,
asked how the best prac-
tices might be transmitted
to non-county areas, such
as incorporated towns like
“The first thing we have
to do is address many of the
pressing issues of our county
once and for all, including
the lack of open dialogue
countywide,” May said. “The
biggest issue in DeKalb
County is we don’t talk. It’s
an unfamiliar process for us
to sit down and have a con-
May said the county and
cities would have to build
opportunities for communi-
cation, and will share results
from the task force on op-
erations established in June,
with communities as well as
the county.
Interim DeKalb CEO Lee May addresses a group of business leaders at the Chamblee Chamber of Commerce’s
frst breakfast meeting. Photo by Lauren Ramsdell

Movies at Milam kick of
Movies at Milam has been
postponed due to predicted
rain. The new date is July 26,
beginning at 6:30 p.m. Family-
friendly Monster’s University
has enough adult gags (think
Animal House) to keep grown-
ups entertained too. Before the
movie there will be additional
entertainment in the form of
music and a bouncy house.
Food and dessert trucks
will be onsite, and residents are
encouraged to bring non-alco-
holic beverages, blankets, lawn
chairs and bug spray. Milam
Park pool will be open until 7
p.m. and the movie will start at
8:30 p.m.
Church to present spiritual
formation conference
Clarkston First Baptist
Church will hold its annual
Spiritual Formation Confer-
ence Monday, July 28, to
Wednesday, July 30.
The conference will focus
on the importance of getting
back to the basics of holy liv-
ing. During the conference, at-
tendees will have the opportu-
nity to learn how to reestablish
a spiritual foundation, stand
during trials and temptations
and to live a life that does not
compromise the word of God.
The worship service will be-
gin promptly at 7:30 p.m. each
night. The lineup for the week
is as follows:
• Monday, July 28–Elder John
Paul McGee, St. James UMC,
Alpharetta, with musical
guest Minister B. Chase Wil-
liams and Sha Bach;
• Tuesday, July 29–Rev. Clinton
McFarland, Mount Pleas-
ant Baptist Church, Atlanta,
with musical guest Minister
Dale Ciceron & Optimistic 4
• Wednesday, July 30–Dr.
Christopher Chappell,
Grace Community Christian
Church, Kennesaw, with mu-
sical guest Minister David
Walker and High Praise.
Clarkston First Baptist
Church is located at 3999
Church Street. For more in-
formation, call (404) 292-5686
x221, or email clark1b@clark- or visit www.clark-
Junior League DeKalb to
host prospective member
open house
The Junior League of
DeKalb County, Inc. (JLD) will
hold a prospective member
open house on Sunday, July 27,
from 3 to 5 p.m. at its league
headquarters, the historic Mary
Gay House, 716 W. Trinity
Place, Decatur.
This information session
will provide potential new
members with an opportunity
to meet current members as
well as ask questions about
the organization. A program
elaborating on JLD’s mission
to develop the potential of its
members’ leadership, skills and
community service will begin
at 3:30 p.m. Attendees will
have the opportunity to learn
about the history of JLD, as it
celebrates its 80th anniversary
this year.
For details about the open
house and to learn more about
the Junior League of DeKalb
County, visit
or contact Kelli Gress, mem-
bership development chair-
woman, at kelli_gress@yahoo.
com or (812) 630-0307.
JLD is “an organization of
women committed to promot-
ing volunteerism, developing
the potential of women and im-
proving communities through
the effective action and leader-
ship of trained volunteers,” ac-
cording to a news release. The
organization welcomes women
of all races, religions and na-
tional origins 21 years or older
who demonstrate an interest in,
and a commitment to, volun-
Wylde Center hosts
medicine-making workshop
The Wylde Center, located
at 415 East Lake Drive in Deca-
tur, is hosting a medicine-mak-
ing workshop July 27 at 4 p.m.
Located in the Sugar Creek
Garden, the workshop will
be taught by garden manager
Dara Suchke. Materials to
bring and details will be an-
nounced closer to the date of
the workshop and depends on
what is harvestable at the time.
For more information con-
tact Suchke at dara@wyldecen- or visit www.wyldecen-
Annual Let’s Move! DeKalb
set for July 26
The Center Helping Obesity
In Children End Successfully
(C.H.O.I.C.E.S.) will hold its
fourth annual Let’s Move!
DeKalb Expo Back to School
Fitness Fun in conjunction
with DeKalb County Com-
missioner Larry Johnson and
the Fulton DeKalb Hospital
This free event will be Sat-
urday, July 26, at Exchange
Park Intergenerational Center,
2771 Columbia Dr., Decatur,
from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Opening remarks will begin
at 11:30 a.m. by Commissioner
Johnson; Dr. Keri Norris, chief
of health policy and adminis-
tration for the Fulton DeKalb
Hospital Authority; and Dr. S.
Elizabeth Ford, district health
director for DeKalb County
Board of Health.
More than 1,000 parents
and children are expected to
attend. Children will receive
back-to-school supplies by
participating in a nutrition and
fitness scavenger hunt show-
casing healthy habits.
The event will also include
live performances, health
screenings, fitness activities,
nutrition exhibits, cooking
demonstrations and exhibits
from local organizations.
For more information, visit or
call (678) 819-3663.
South DeKalb YMCA
greenspace tours
DeKalb County Commis-
sioner Larry Johnson and
Curtis Wilson, director of
the South DeKalb YMCA, are
inviting the public to take free
walking tours of the greenspace
surrounding the YMCA. The
schedule for the tours is as fol-
• Saturday, July 26, at 9 a.m.
and 9:30 a.m.
• Sunday, August 3, at 4 p.m.
• Saturday, August 9, at 8:30
a.m., 9 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 10
• Saturday, August 16, at 8:30
a.m., 9 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 10
The facility is located at
2565 Snapfinger Rd., Decatur.
City hosting soccer
Cross Keys Sustainable
Neighborhood Initiative will
host a free soccer tournament
Aug. 2 at Honeysuckle Park in
Doraville. Game times are from
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will
also include free food and kids’
entertainment. The park is
located at 3037 Pleasant Valley
Drive. For more information,
email ckfellows2014@gmail.
Dunwoody Sprouts Farmer’s
Market awarded honors by
The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) iden-
tified the new Sprouts Farmer’s
Market, opened July 15, as
employing green refrigera-
tion techniques at the grocery
chain’s newest location in Dun-
Sprouts’ system uses carbon
dioxide, a naturally occurring
component which has “insig-
nificant global warming po-
tential,” according to an article
in Air Conditioning | Heating |
Refrigeration News.
Dunwoody Sprouts was
awarded a GreenChill Plati-
num-Level Store Certification,
the highest honor under the
GreenChill Partnership pro-
gram. GreenChill is an EPA
partnership with the supermar-
ket industry to reduce refrig-
erant emissions and decrease
their impact on the ozone layer
and climate change, according
to a press release from the EPA.
Church hosting free
Vacation Bible School
Cross Culture Church, for-
merly Abundant Life Church,
will host a free Vacation Bible
School for families from July 28
through Aug. 1 from 7-9 p.m.
The event will offer classes for
all ages, pre-school through
adults. The church is located
at 6440 Rock Springs Road. To
register, visit www.ccclithonia.
org/events or call (770) 482-
South River Watershed
Alliance hosting canoe
The South River Watershed
Alliance will host a canoe out-
ing on the South River Aug.
2, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Canoers will
paddle the 5.5-mile section of
the river from Panola Shoals to
Klondike Road. Canoeing ex-
perience is not required. Cost
for the outing is $40 and in-
cludes canoe rental, insurance,
and lunch. For more informa-
tion, call Jackie Echols at (404)
City continues anniversary
Stone Mountain will host
Stone Mountain Day Aug. 2
at Leila Mason Park. The 1
p.m. event is a part of the city’s
yearlong celebration of its
175th anniversary. The park
is located at 5500 Fieldhouse
Road. For more information,
Superior Court ofers free
notary training
DeKalb County Superior
Court Clerk Debra DeBerry
and the Georgia Superior
Court Clerks’ Cooperative
Authority are hosting two free
notary training sessions Aug. 1,
from 9-10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.-
12:30 p.m.
The workshop will take
place at the Maloof Auditori-
um, located at 1300 Commerce
Drive in Decatur, and is open
to the public.
For more information or to
RSVP contact Twinette Jones
at (404) 371-2250 or tajones@
Restaurant Inspections
Establishment Name: Shared Kitchens Fak
Address: 215 Laredo Drive, Suite 100
Current Score/Grade: 91/A
Inspecton Date: 07/18/2014
Observatons and Correctve Actons
Cold-held potentally hazardous foods not maintained below
41F; no tme controls/documentaton in place.
Chicken salad sandwiches not maintained at 41F or below.
Chicken salad sandwiches are stored in cardboard boxes on
vans for delivery.
PIC advised that proper cold hold temperature shall not
exceed 41F.
COS-PIC moved sandwiches to walk in cooler and freezer to
rapidly cool. Corrected On-Site. New Violaton.
Establishment Name: Prima Restaurant
Address: 3500 North Decatur Road, Suite 112 & 112A
Current Score/Grade: 69/U
Inspecton Date: 07/17/2014
No employee health policy available; PIC unable to explain
employee health policy verbally. COS- EHP provided and
explained in detail to PIC. Corrected On-Site. Repeat
Observed raw beef stored directly on top of containers of
cooked pasta in Norlake RIC. Observed raw chicken stored
away box of tomatoes in RIC. Informed PIC raw animal foods
should be stored below and completely separated from
ready to eat foods to prevent cross contaminaton.
Observed raw chicken, raw fsh and cooked pasta holding at
temperatures above 41F in RIC. Informed PIC all cold held
potentally hazardous foods must maintain a temperature of
at least 41F.
Observed employee engaging in food prep with stoned
ring on fnger. Informed PIC with the excepton of a plain
wedding band, no jewelry is allowed on the hands arms or
wrists while engaging in food prep. Advised PIC to remove
ring. New Violaton.
Observed waste receptacle in unisex restroom with no cover.
Informed PIC women’s/ unisex restroom must have covered
trash receptacles. Advised PIC to purchase cover or covered
Restroom doors not equipped with self closing device.
Informed PIC restroom doors must be able to self close.
Advised PIC to place self closing device on restroom doors.
New Violaton.
Establishment Name: J & J Fish & Chicken
Address: 2656 Wesley Chapel Road
Current Score/Grade: 97/A
Inspecton Date: 07/17/2014
Establishment Name: This Is Wings
Address: 2860 Candler Road
Current Score/Grade: 67/U
Inspecton Date: 07/17/2014

Employee handled raw fsh then changed gloves without
washing his hands. Employee washed hands - COS. PIC
advised that employees must wash hands between tasks
and afer contaminatng hands or gloves. It is recommended
that an additonal hand sink be installed near meat sink.
Pooled raw eggs stored out of temperature control on
counter top were holding at 46 in some portons of
container. Rice (cooked) stored out of temperature control
on counter top was holding at 54F. COS - Employee stated
that both were removed from cooler a half hour prior.
Employee labeled foods with tme. Employees advised to
use tme as the public health control or use ice to keep foods
at 41F or below that are held out on counter top.
Wiping cloths (in use) were stored on counter top. COS -
Employee prepared sanitzer and stored wiping cloths in
Utensil with soapy water was stored at vegetable sink.
Employee rinsed wiping cloth container in vegetable sink.
PIC advised that vegetable isnk may only be used for
washing produce. Sinks should be labeled. Signs may be
downloaded at www.
Clarkston mayor confdent
after ethics hearing
   The Mayor and City Council of the City of Chamblee, Georgia will hold a public hearing on Thursday, 
August 14, 2014, at the Chamblee Civic Center, 3540 Broad Street, Chamblee, GA 30341 at 6:00 p.m. to 
receive public comments regarding the following matters: 
1. Amanda Kathleen Woodruff on behalf of Dunkin Donuts requests  variances from the 
following provisions of the City of Chamblee Code of Ordinances, Appendix A, Zoning 
Ordinance in order to place additional wall signage on a parcel zoned Commercial Corridor 
(CC) consisting of 0.40 acre(s) located at 5558 Peachtree Boulevard, Chamblee, GA  being 
Tax Parcel 18‐308‐05‐039: 
 Section 1307(B)(2)(a):  Properties occupied by a single business or multiple businesses 
sharing common space (i.e., not a planned center): one principal freestanding sign and 
one principal building sign on each street frontage with a curb cut.  
 Section 1308(A)(1)(a):  The aggregate total area of all building signs on a wall 
(including the principal building sign, miscellaneous building signs and incidental signs) 
shall not exceed one square foot of sign face area per linear foot of the length of the 
wall or tenant frontage on which the sign is affixed. 
o For single‐occupant buildings, the maximum allowed area for a principal 
building sign shall be 200 square feet. 
2. Text amendment to the following portions of Appendix A, “Zoning Ordinance”: 
 Article III, Section 301.‐“Definitions” to delete the term “mini‐warehouse” and 
add definitions for “Self‐Storage Facility” and “Self‐Storage Facility, climate‐
 Article VI, to add a new Section 624.‐ “Climate‐controlled self‐storage 
 Article X, Section 1002. “Permitted Uses”, to add “Self‐storage facilities” as a 
use permitted in the Light Industrial (I) zoning district and to add “Climate‐
controlled self‐storage facilities” as a  use permitted in the Corridor 
Commercial (CC), Industrial Transitional (IT) and Light Industrial (I) zoning 
districts; and 
 Article XII, Section 1203.F.30 to provide off‐street parking standards for “Self‐
Storage facilities, or similar uses”. 
3. Text amendment to Appendix A, “Zoning Ordinance,” to replace the “Streetscape 
Guidelines: Streetscape Designations Map” with a new map that includes areas of the City 
that were annexed in 2011 and 2013.  
by Carla Parker
After three hours of tes-
timonies and
arguments be-
tween lawyers and
Clarkston Mayor
Ted Terry said he
feels confident that
the ethics commit-
tee will make a de-
cision in his favor.
“I feel that the
lack of evidence
that was presented
speaks for itself,”
Terry said. “These allegations
were frivolous, unfounded
and patently false.”
The Clarkston Ethics
Committee held a hearing
July 17 to hear testimonies
regarding a complaint filed
against the mayor.
On June 3,
four Clarkston
City Council
Dean Moore,
Dianne Leonet-
ti, Jean Brown
and Ahmed
Hassan—filed a
complaint to the
ethics commit-
tee to investigate
“improper ven-
dor solicitation
and fundraising
and the use of those funds” by
the newly elected mayor.
According to the com-
plaint, the four city coun-
cilmembers said they had
concerns over possible so-
licitation of contributions
from vendors who have busi-
ness with the city for Terry’s
mayoral inaugural event and
birthday party. They also
questioned Terry’s campaign
contribution disclosure re-
port and whether Terry ex-
tended the Livable Centers
Initiative contractor bid pro-
cess deadline for the benefit
of contractor Greenrock Part-
ners, which missed the man-
datory pre-bid conference
and the proposal deadline.
Terry told The Champion
Newspaper before the hearing
that the complaint is a “politi-
cal attack” because the coun-
cilmembers’ chosen candidate
did not win the mayoral race
See Mayor on page 14A
If customers
don’t know
about you,
it’s your own
Be the frst to contact newcomers-reserve your ad
space now for our annual, award-winning
Newcomers Guide.

For advertising information contact
John Hewitt at 404-373-7779 X 110
or Louise Acker at 404-373-7779 X 102
See Dyslexia on page 14A
Dyslexia organizations join forces to educate educators
by Lauren Ramsdell
According to statistics
from the National Center
for Education Statistics,
two-thirds of Georgia fourth
graders do not read profi-
ciently, while 32 percent of
those students don’t read at
even a basic level.
As the name might sug-
gest, Reading is Essential for
All People, or REAP, a new
501c3 nonprofit based in De-
catur, has a mission to lower
those numbers and make sure
all children get a jump on
“I started the organiza-
tion to help teachers know
the foundations of reading
instruction,” said Jen Rhett,
cofounder of REAP and a
parent of dyslexic children.
“Twenty percent of people are
dyslexic, and then you add
in children [for whom] Eng-
lish is a second language or
those who come from a lower
income background where
there isn’t a lot of exposure to
reading and language. There
are a lot of students strug-
Rhett said that in most
colleges and universities, the
way teachers are taught to
teach literacy does not focus
on children with learning dif-
ferences in reading, so many
teachers are unprepared for
struggling students. REAP
was cofounded with Rhett’s
friend Carla Stanford, an
“A lot of what [teachers]
are being taught is whole-
word language, which does
not include structured sche-
matic phonics,” Rhett said.
Whole-word language means
that when students read the
word “cat” they are essentially
memorizing the shape of the
word and then the sound
that it makes, as opposed to
“cuh-ah-tuh”, or individual
Dyslexic students are
usually at average or even
above-average intelligence
but have difficulty reading
and comprehending writ-
ten language. There may be
a variety of causes and co-
morbidities, including visual
processing disorders and at-
tention deficit disorders. The
most commonly known way
dyslexia manifests is through
switching of letters, such as b,
p and d, but it can have even
earlier signs such as inability
to count syllables, trouble
naming items or poor spell-
To reach the maximum
number of students possible,
REAP offers training for
teachers in the metro Atlanta
area in the Orton-Gillingham
approach to reading, writing
and spelling. Readers who
have previously struggled
learn the foundations of lan-
guage and letters and receive
multisensory and kinetic
instruction, rather than just
memorizing vocabulary
“This tool is meant to be
added to their box of knowl-
edge, not replace their previ-
ous education,” Rhett said.
REAP has recently part-
nered with IDA-GA, the
Georgia branch of the In-
ternational Dyslexia Asso-
ciation. IDA-GA president
Jennifer Kopp said it was a
natural fit.
“We definitely decided
that was in our best interest
to [support REAP],” Kopp
said. “We donated to them to
help train teachers, and the
training that they provide is
the training we support.”
IDA-GA, another 501c3
nonprofit, is also in the busi-
ness of training teachers to
have the resources to train as
many teachers as there is de-
mand for.
Panola Road liquor
store plans expansion
Daylilies: hardy, vibrant
plants to make your own
by Andrew Cauthen
Liquor store owner Tony
Nguyen said his store is too
“The store here is so nar-
row,” said Nguyen, owner of
PJ’s Package Store in Stone
Mountain, “ We don’t have a
storage room. The aisles are
narrow. People were com-
plaining [that] they don’t
have enough room through
some of the aisles.
“The small aisles are a
safety issue,” said Nguyen
about his 2,800-square-foot
store that has been open
since 2005.
The cramped space is
why Nguyen applied for a
special land use permit to
allow a 1,530-square-foot
expansion into an additional
suite in the shopping center
located at 1241 Panola Road
in Stone Mountain.
The expansion of the
store, which is in the Hid-
den Hills Overlay District,
was originally opposed by
the Greater Hidden Hills
Community Development
“We opposed it on prin-
ciple because we already
have enough businesses that
sell liquor in our area,” said
Jan Costello, president of
the Greater Hidden Hills
Community Development
Within a 20-minute drive
from the center of the Hid-
den Hills Overlay District,
Costello said, there are 62
beer, wine and liquor stores.
Additionally, the same area
has approximately 600 plac-
es where one can buy pack-
aged alcohol.
“Our feeling is that we’re
covered there,” Costello said.
The Greater Hidden Hills
Community Development
Corporation was formed to
promote economic develop-
ment and help businesses
adhere to the guidelines and
requirements of the overlay
In the four-square-mile
zoning overlay, any new li-
quor stores in certain areas
have to go through the spe-
cial land use permit process,
she said, adding that PJ’s is
not a “new liquor store; it’s
an expanded use.”
In the overlay district,
there are “a number of items
on the prohibited list of
businesses such as tattoo
parlors and adult entertain-
ment centers and truck
stops. The idea being we
are trying to bring in busi-
nesses that the community
needs and that will uplift the
prosperity value of the entire
“We’re trying to create
an environment where the
businesses and services meet
the needs and we all prosper
and thrive,” Costello said.
Representatives of the
Greater Hidden Hills Com-
munity Development Cor-
poration met July 17 with
the liquor store owner and
the owner of the shopping
“They agreed to make
some improvements to the
area,” Costello said. “We’re
willing to have conditional
support if they meet those
requirements,” which in-
clude various landscape and
security improvements and
“basically sprucing it up sig-
nificantly so it just has more
…curb appeal.
“It doesn’t mean we are
in favor of liquor stores,”
Costello said. “We are also
realists. This business has
been in place for a long
time. He’s done a decent job.
He’s willing to do a better
job, so we’re willing to work
with him.”
On the evening of July
22, the Board of Commis-
sioners considered the plan-
ning commission’s recom-
mendation to approve the
expansion. At press time,
the result of the vote was
The county planning
commission reviewed PJs
Package Store’s request to
add space during its regular
meeting. Despite Greater
Hidden Hills CDC objec-
tions, it recommended ap-
proval. Now, the matter will
go before the Board of Com-
missioners, July 22, 6:30
by Lauren Ramsdell
First of all, daylilies aren’t
really lilies. They’re in the
Xanthorrhoeaceae family
(try saying that five times
fast) instead of with the true
lilies in family Liliaceae. Day
lilies are more closely related
to a variety of small flower-
ing plants native to Australia
and New Zealand. Daylilies
are actually native to south-
eastern Asian countries,
including China, Korea and
But regardless of the
misnomer, daylilies are
considered by many to be
stunning. They bear an
unmistakable resemblance
to true lilies, with the basic
structure of three petals and
three sepals, or outer leaves
covering the flower before it
blooms. However, far from
this basic beginning, day lil-
ies can be easily hybridized
into many different colors,
shapes and sizes. It all de-
pends on determination and
Dr. Erling Grovenstein
started growing daylilies 56
years ago. A professor of or-
ganic chemistry at Georgia
Tech, he started gardening
on the weekends as a way to
look after his son and give
his wife a break, he said.
First, he tried hybrid tea
roses. Beautiful and fra-
grant, roses require specific
conditions to thrive. Hy-
bridizing them, or making
new cultivars, is a chore.
And pests love them and de-
vour everything from leaves
to buds to whole blooms. It
was too much work, he said.
“Since I didn’t have that
much time, they didn’t do
very well,” Grovenstein said.
“Eventually they all died, I
never had to dig one up to
replace it.”
From there, he heard
about daylilies from his
brother-in-law. Since they
aren’t native to North Amer-
ica, they have few natural
predators–though this can
make certain varieties inva-
sive pests. They require lots
of sun, but survive in shade.
For full blooms, they need a
lot of water, but will subsist
during a drought. Hybrid-
izing is relatively easy–dab
pollen from one flower on
another, wait for the seed
pod to form and burst, plant
the seeds and, the next year,
See Daylilies on page 20A
Gardener Ron McClure stands in his patch of daylilies at his home.
Daylilies are hardy plants which are great for the novice hybridizer, he
said. Photo by Lauren Ramsdell
A liquor store owner wants to expand his business into an adjacent 1,500-square-foot store. Photo by
Andrew Cauthen.
Searching for Our Sons and Daughters:

For a programming guide, visit
Now showing on DCTV!
Finding DeKalb County’s Missing
Stories of our missing residents offer profound
insights and hope for a positive reunion.
DCTV – Your Emmy® Award-winning news source of DeKalb County news. Available on Comcast Cable Channel 23.
Photos brought to you by DCTV
A song sparrow lights on a telephone wire near Brownwood Park in East Atlanta. Song sparrows are diverse,
adaptable birds with a distinct song. Photo by Lauren Ramsdell
Signs of the construction of the Suburban Plaza on North Decatur Road. The location will become the new
home of Walmart. Photos by Travis Hudgons
Tucker’s frst Bojangles’ opened its doors to customers on July 22. To
celebrate, the company gave away $50 Bojangles’ gift cards to the frst
50 customers. Photos by Travis Hudgons
Commissioner helps promote, secure funding for STEM camp
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end us a short recap of
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by Lauren Ramsdell
In a center where a classroom of
girls–historically underrepresented
in science, technology, engineering
and math felds–were building elec-
tronic cars, a young inventor named
Emmanuella Buteau described how
to start the machine.
“You put this key in and con-
nect this key to the battery,” she
said, connecting wires to a small,
flat-bodied car about the size of a
mousetrap with four plastic wheels.
“The rubber band connects the bat-
tery to the wheels.”
She then put the car on the floor
and it zoomed away. The little car
zipped under desks in a straight line
before crashing into the wall. It’s not
designed to steer, just to go.
At McNair Discovery Learning
Center, STEM education is the name
of the game every day of the school
year. And this summer, students are
getting even more hands-on experi-
ence in creating with Camp Inven-
tion, hosted at McNair.
Camp Invention is a national,
non-profit STEM education camp
for elementary school students. Day
Teacher Simone Willingham and Com-
missioner Larry Johnson stand near
the sign to McNair Discovery Learning
Academy, the site of DeKalb County’s
only Camp Invention site.
Students have taken apart household appliances
(above) and will be using the parts in creating a
pinball machine (below).
CH2MHill, an engineering frm with offces in Atlanta, donated $10,000 to help fund the camp
and provide scholarships to all 40 participating students. Photos by Lauren Ramsdell
See STEM on page 14A
P-card Continued From Page 1A
Election Continued From Page 1A
will be refected in that log,” May said.
May’s P-card bank statement also
showed $522.01 in charges in Gilbert,
Ariz.,–three charges at a Macy’s store
and one at a Walmart. May said these
were fraudulent charges that were cred-
ited back to the county.
“I don’t go to Macy’s,” May said.
“I’ve never shopped at Macy’s.”
Tere was also a $1,583.74 charge
at the Waldorf Roosevelt Hotel in New
Orleans, La., in January 2014.
Tat was a personal trip, May said,
that he booked with his personal credit
card. When the hotel asked for a credit
card for incidentals during his stay,
he “inadvertently” gave the hotel his
county P-card.
“I didn’t realize it until aferwards,”
May said. “And when I came to settle
up I gave them my personal card, but
they kept [the charges] on the card I
had lef for the incidentals. It was com-
pletely their fault and they acknowl-
edged it and credited back.”
Te credit showed up on the bank
statements two months later.
To address concerns raised about
how P-cards are used, May said, the ad-
ministration has made “a lot of changes
to how we’re operating where P-cards
are concerned.”
“Once we got past the sensational-
ism of the conversation as a whole,
we really had to hunker down and …
address the entire facilitation of our P-
cards countywide,” May said.
First the county’s P-card policy was
revised, May said.
Te county “made revisions,
changed language, clarifed a lot of
things” and “had every P-card holder
to read the updated policies and to sign
of on them” May said.
May’s administration has mandated
annual training for P-card holders and
instituted annual audits for staf and
elected ofcials.
“Te big fundamental learning area
for me…dealt with the CEO’s role in
the P-card” oversight, May said.
“It’s our position that access to a
P-card is a privilege; it’s not a right for
anyone,” May said. “It is an administra-
tive function. We are able to create the
rules for the usage of the P-cards, even
remove people’s access to the P-cards as
deemed necessary.”
An interim director of purchasing
and contracts, Scott Callan is “provid-
ing a new set of eyes” for the oversight
of P-cards and all of purchasing, May
Callan is tasked with implementing
the recommendations by a consultant
who reviewed the purchasing depart-
May said his goal is to “rebuild the
confdence in how we are spending our
money and how we are making the se-
lections of people who will actually do
the work to deliver the services for the
“We’re trying to be proactive to the
situation and not just react to things as
they come about,” he said.
been able to obtain an additional 5 percent for my
correctional officers because we’re one of the lowest
paid correctional staff in the metro area, and we
need to stabilize the jail.
“I want to approve upon our inmate programs,
expand those. We have an outstanding inmate
programs but I want to expand those, and I want
to continue to build upon our technological
improvements in the sheriff ’s office to create
efficiencies in the sheriff ’s office. Those are the three
things I’m going to immediately proceed to work
on,” he said.
A resident of Stone Mountain who attends
Berean Christian Church, Mann has served as
president of the DeKalb Lawyer’s Association. He
has been a mentor for the Big Brothers Big Sisters
Program of Atlanta and maintains his membership
with the State Bar of Georgia as well as the DeKalb
Bar Association.
For Jones, this is his third consecutive loss.
Vernon has not won an election in DeKalb since he
was re-elected as CEO in 2004. He lost in two races
since leaving office in 2009: U.S. Senate that year
and U.S. House in 2010.
Jones served in the Georgia House of
Representatives from 1993-2001, and was elected to
the county CEO position in 2000 and re-elected in
2004. For Jones, the future is unclear.
Three county school board seats were decided by
voters July 22.
At press time, Michael Erwin won with 64.5
percent of the vote over Atticus LeBlanc, and will
now represent District 3.
In District 4, Jim McMahan won over Karen
Carter with 55.17 percent of the vote to Carter’s
44.83 percent.
Vickie Turner upset incumbent Thad Mayfield
to represent District 5, having received 58.86 percent
of the vote. Mayfield received 41.14 percent.
Part of the shuffle comes due to the elimination
of Super Districts 8 and 9 by the General Assembly.
Those positions were previously held by Carter and
Mayfield. District 5 representative David Campbell
and District 1 representative John Coleman, both
appointed by Governor Nathan Deal in March
2013, chose not to run.
All other incumbents were forced to run for re-
election, with only the district 4 seat featuring two
incumbents in the runoff.
Former DeKalb County Sheriff Thomas Brown congratulates newly elected Sheriff. Photo by Carla Parker
Former DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones loses his bid for
sheriff. File photo
See Wrestling on page 19A
of the
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Topper dreams of a new home; please help make his dream come true.

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Please call (404) 294-2165 or email for additional information.
The adoptions number: (404) 294-2165 • For adoption inquiries:
For rescue inquiries:
For volunteer and foster inquiries:
campers–or, inventors, as
participants are known–cy-
cle through four stations per
day taking apart electronics,
building machines, brain-
storming problems and just
having a good time.
“Hosting Camp Dis-
covery here at McNair has
been wonderful, because it
already has the STEM pro-
gram in place,” said DeKalb
County Commissioner
Larry Johnson.
According to Simone
Willingham, a reading
teacher at McNair and direc-
tor of the weeklong camp,
Johnson was instrumental in
getting the camp to McNair.
The program normally costs
$220 per child. Johnson
helped facilitate a private
donation to cover the costs
for every one of the 40 in-
ventors, grades K-5.
CH2MHill, an engineer-
ing and consulting firm with
a branch in Atlanta, donated
$10,000 to fund the one-
week camp.
Johnson said he was
confident that the children
attending camp would one
day find success along the
lines of the popular “Angry
Birds” phone app.
“It’s all right if you want
to play Candy Crush, but I
want you to be able to make
the app,” he said.
On day three of the
camp, which ran July 14-18,
the inventors were brain-
storming ideas on how to
improve the lives of others
under the instruction of
Jeffrey Jackson, a special
education teacher at McNair
who was helping instruct the
“The man who invented
a new kind of prosthesis was
in sixth grade when he de-
signed it and in college be-
fore he invented it,” Jackson
said. “We want them to start
thinking now about their
inventions, even if they don’t
make anything yet.”
Another station in the
cafeteria featured “take-
aparts,” where the inventors
took screwdrivers and pliers
to old VCRs, boom boxes
and typewriters. Willingham
said adults use hammers and
wire cutters to help, but all
the parts are removed by the
inventors. Then, the parts
will be used to invent pinball
“Pinball is a little over
their heads, they don’t know
what that is,” she said. “But
they are making a fun game
and it’s real engineering.”
Willingham said the
camp is also providing free
breakfasts and lunches for
the inventors and, in some
cases, opening early and
staying late for students
whose parents work and
can’t pick them up right
“We really just want to
make sure the kids get here
and have this experience,”
she said.
STEM Continued from page 12A
in November.
“I am focused on growing a safer and more
prosperous Clarkston and I believe most resi-
dents want their elected officials to focus on
the business of the city, not on political petti-
ness,” Terry said.
The news of the complaint and the ethics
committee hearing had some Clarkston resi-
dents angry at the council members and ques-
tioning the validity of the committee hearing.
According to residents and Terry, the ethics
committee violated the Open Meetings Act by
meeting and holding a hearing with only two
of the three slots filled on the committee and
a last-minute adoption of its rules and proce-
dures, which did not exist until July 2.
Six days after the complaint was filed, one
member of the ethics committee resigned
from his seat on the committee. During the
hearing, Terry’s lawyer, Aubrey Villines, filed
a letter of objections and argued that the com-
plaint should be dismissed based on the lack
of evidence, among other things.
“The people who compiled the complaint
will make the final decision on the complaint,
which is a conflict of interest,” Villines said.
More than 50 residents attended the hear-
ing, some wearing shirts that had the four
councilmembers’ faces covered with a banned
sign. Dianne Coker, a 30-year resident of
Clarkston, called the four councilmembers
“idiots” for filing the complaint.
“The council doesn’t like anyone who they
didn’t hand pick,” she said. “[Terry] is young,
intelligent, and he’s the only mayor that’s
come to my house.”
Another resident, Sonny Knox, said the
city council has broken many laws.
“The city council is illegally doing this,” he
said. “They’ve broken the Open Records Act,
and all sorts of illegality is going on with the
city council.”
The ethics committee is expected to make
a decision on the complaint in five days. After
the committee makes its decision, Terry said,
he hopes he and the city council can put the
issues aside and work together.
“I’m calling on all the councilmembers and
all the residents to not take any counter action
as a result of any decision that is made by the
ethics committee,” he said. “It’s important that
we move on, and we start working on things
that are truly in the public’s best interest.”
Mayor Continued from page 8A
Dyslexia Continued from page 9A
Accreditation Continued from page 3A
“We are always sending
people elsewhere to find the
same type of training that we
provide,” Kopp said. “We are
a comprised of a board, and
we do all that we can, but we
all have full time jobs and it’s
something we do on nights
and weekends out of love.
Coordinating takes a lot of
time and a lot of manpower.
We would like to expand, yes,
and this is a great partnership
because it will allow us to ex-
As a year-and-a-half old
group, REAP looked to IDA-
GA to help with funding, as
Rhett explained, new non-
profits sometimes have a hard
time reaching donors. And,
since the missions aligned,
it was an easy sell. On the
REAP website, scores of
teachers praise the training:
“This training has strength-
ened my ability to diagnose
what individual students are
struggling with as readers and
how I can help them over-
come that gap,” says one.”All
teachers deserve to know
about this approach,” says
Rhett said with IDA-GA
support they have been able
to offer more training than
they otherwise would have,
and are looking to expand
across the state. Eventually,
she said, she’d like to see a na-
tionwide expansion of REAP’s
training programs.
“At some point our educa-
tion system will recognize the
need for that kind of instruc-
tion and we will not exist
any longer, but I don’t see
that happening,” Rhett said.
“Even some of the the special
ed teachers don’t understand
dyslexia, dyscalculia. But,
they’re not special ed issues,
they’re general ed issues. We
want to work with all stu-
dents and make all students
The organization’s perfor-
mance is annually evaluated
by Stone Mountain Down-
town Development Authority,
which works in partnership
with the National Main Street
Center to identify the local
programs that meet 10 per-
formance standards.
“This year we have cel-
ebrated the openings of two
new businesses, started a
façade improvement grant,
hosted successful events, and
started the Stone Mountain
Farmers Market,” said Mechel
McKinley, Downtown Devel-
opment Authority executive
director. “As we move into
the second half of the year we
continue to see interest from
new businesses and expan-
sion of our events. We have
a lot of momentum, and the
DDA plans to keep things
moving in a positive direc-
The mission of the DDA is
to foster an environment that
sustains current businesses
and encourages future growth
and development while en-
hancing the historic character
of our city using the Main
Street approach.
Established by the Na-
tional Trust for Historic
Preservation in 1980, the
National Main Street Center
helps communities of all sizes
revitalize older and historic
commercial districts.
by Lauren Ramsdell
It was a measles outbreak.
Kids and campers alike at a
summer camp came down
with a fever, cough, runny
eyes and rashes. But where
did the outbreak start? That
task was left up to 33 high
school students.
Doesn’t sound right? The
mock outbreak—though it is
based on real events investi-
gated by the CDC—was part
of a weeklong summer camp
program for rising high
school juniors and seniors.
Disease Detective Camp is
in its ninth year.
“The goals are to expose
our high school students to
jobs in public health,” said
Trudi Ellerman, educa-
tional director at the David
J. Sencer CDC Museum and
director of the camp. “Public
health is not something they
usually learn about until
they get to grad school. Our
overall goal is exposure to
various careers in public
health and increasing di-
versity in the public health
On the first day of the
camp, students were inves-
tigating the source of the
measles outbreak by inter-
viewing volunteers, CDC
employees stationed around
the museum and reading
from a script. Some were
“campers” and some were
“counselors.” The actual
CDC campers would get the
right answers if they asked
the right questions to the
right people, so in groups
of three or four they inter-
viewed, wrote and compared
notes to come up with a so-
One group of students,
Aoife Megaw, Marya Lieb,
Jerica Tan and Kaitlyn
Wampler, sat studying their
results. They had each inter-
viewed approximately three
people, and were making
notes on sheets.
“We need to know how
many doses of the vaccine,
‘cause the person that was
not sick said she was vac-
cinated, but the person who
was sick said that she just
had one dose,” said Tan.
“I had one person who
said she had two doses,” said
“So, just add on how
many doses,” Tan said, writ-
ing on her clipboard.
Each student had his or
her own reason for being
there. Megaw said she was
interested in public health
after wanting to go into
medicine but desiring to
reach more people than she
would as a general physi-
cian. Tan said her father
works in public health, and
she went from being a ger-
maphobe to wanting to work
with diseases. Wampler said
she was interested in micro-
biology, something she was
experiencing at her special-
ized high school.
The campers had to apply
to get in. Ellerman said they
look for interested students
regardless of GPA.
“The application has four
essay questions and a teach-
er recommendation form,”
Ellerman said. “We want not
just the kids that do well on
tests. They have a chance
to answer these questions.
We typically get a little over
300 applications. We do
two camps per summer and
they’re identical.”
This year there were two
camps of 33 campers each,
one June 23-27 and one July
Over the course of the
week the campers learn
about epidemiology and
the CDC’s role in combat-
ing communicable disease
outbreaks, conduct a mock
press conference on what
they learned, practice han-
dling pathogens—but not
real pathogens—in the labs,
learn about environmental
health, do a mock outbreak
on public health law, and
conduct a roundtable dis-
cussion on the campers’
school health and wellness
“The more we do the
more they see there really is
a place for everyone here at
the CDC,” Ellerman said.
Our overall goal is exposure
to various careers in public
health and increasing
diversity in the public health
field.” –Trudi Ellerman
CDC camp inspires students in public health felds
Students at the CDC Disease Detective Camp interviewed CDC volunteers about a mock outbreak, honing their epidemiology skills. Photo provided
The Voice of Business in DeKalb County
DeKalb Chamber of Commerce
Two Decatur Town Center, 125 Clairemont Ave., Suite 235, Decatur, GA 30030
Tucker company to outft fashionable dogs
by Kathy Mitchell
Dogs and other house-
hold pets will soon look a
lot cooler if Karen Lynn and
Rosemary Hopper have any-
thing to say about it. Lynn
and Hopper are president and
fashion designer, respectively
at Mister Migs, a soon-to-
launch company that makes
“seriously cool dog gear for
seriously cool dogs” using re-
purposed denim.
At a small manufacturing
facility in Tucker, discarded
non-stretch jeans are used to
create the Migrubbie line of
pet fashions and accessories
for which Hopper oversees
design and production. The
fashion line includes dog
jackets, bandanas, collar cov-
ers and other items. Small de-
tachable bits of fabric, called
tabbies, are used to customize
the garments.
“By changing the tabby, we
can make the item more fem-
inine or more masculine or
give it a holiday look,” Lynn
explained. There are no huge
industrial machines at Mister
Migs; the products are hand-
made, many one of-a-kind.
There also are no big bolts
of cloth. Products typically
start out as old jeans that are
broken down and reworked
into new items. “We cut off
legs and pockets. Sometimes
we match the original stitch-
ing as we make the new
product. There are no jeans
too worn for us to use,” Lynn
Mister Migs is a for-profit
company with nonprofit-type
community initiatives, ex-
plained Lynn, who through-
out her 30-year career as an
entrepreneur has mentored
young adults with special
needs. “When we bring
young people into the orga-
nization, we encourage them
to explore their talents and
interests so they can discover
what they do well and have
marketable skills when they
leave here,” she said. “If it
hadn’t been for my mentors, I
don’t think I would have be-
come an entrepreneur.”
Hopper, who teaches fash-
ion at a local college but plans
soon to be full time with
Mister Migs, said the policy
of helping young people get
started in the work world is
one of the things she found
appealing about the company.
“Creative people sometimes
have a difficult time in a tra-
ditional work environment. I
love that here they’re free to
find their own way,” she said.
Lynn said she’s pleased
that Mister Migs products are
made from old clothing that
might otherwise end up in a
landfill. “That’s good for the
environment,” Lynn noted.
She said while some company
profits will be used to help
young people with disabilities
through scholarships and
other applications, she prefers
to keep it a private business
with no government funds.
In founding her most re-
cent venture, Lynn decided to
combine her passion for help-
ing young people with two
other passions—needlework
and dogs. The owner of four
rescued dogs, including the
one from whom the company
takes its name, she recalled,
“Mister Migs was the sad-
dest little thing when I first
got him. He wasn’t so much
abused as neglected. He was
used as a stud dog in a back-
yard puppy mill.” Now a car-
toon image of Mister Migs is
the company symbol.
Mister Migs’ story is sym-
bolic of one the company’s
missions: “We took him in
and gave him a better life; we
want to do that for everyone
who comes here,” Lynn said.
Lynn is careful to create
items the dogs enjoy as much
as the owners. “Dogs don’t
like wearing items that itch or
fit poorly,” she explained, “but
the denim fabric feels good to
them. They find the weight
comforting.” She added that
the collar covers have leash
loops that are more com-
fortable for small dogs than
leashes that are worn directly
around the neck.
She predicts that the prod-
ucts will appeal to consumers
whose dogs are like family
members. Lynn’s household
also includes Scottish Terrier
Sadie, who sometimes models
Migrubbies around the shop.
Initially, the apparel will
be for dogs because “dogs are
what I know,” Lynn explained,
adding that she envisions gear
for other pets in the future.
Sadie models a Migrubbie dog jacket complete with a tabby. Photos by Kathy Mitchell
The company’s symbol is a cartoon version of an
actual rescued dog.
Pouches can hold plastic bags for owners to
clean up behind their dogs.
Rosemary Hopper, left, and Karen Lynn work together to
make dog attire that’s fashionable and comfortable.
Dog jackets called Migrubbies are the company’s
signature item.
Mister Migs employees are turning out products in
preparation for a November launch.
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Tucker Head coach Bryan Lamar Stephenson Head coach Ron Gartrell Marist Head coach Alan Chadwick
Members of this year’s Tucker Tigers football team are looking to build on last year’s
success. Photos by Travis Hudgons
Teams hope to build on last season’s success
by Carla Parker
lthough the Tucker Tigers
were the only football team
that represented DeKalb
County in the state championship
games last season, a few other pro-
grams in the county can say the
2013 season was one of their best
The Arabia Mountain Rams
had their first winning season in
program history with a 7-3 record,
and after going 0-10 in 2012, the
Towers Titans finished last season
at .500 with a 5-5 record. These two
teams and the rest of the 20 foot-
ball programs in DeKalb are hop-
ing to build off last season’s success
or improve as they prepare for the
2014 season.
Football coaches and some of
the top players in the county gath-
ered at Tucker High School July 16
for the 14th annual Football Media
Day. This was the first time Tucker
hosted media day, which was held at
Hallford Stadium the past 13 years.
Coaches introduced some of
their players and talked about their
expectations and excitement for the
upcoming season, which kicks off
Aug. 22. This season features clas-
sification and region changes, with
two teams (Lakeside and Tucker)
moving up from Region 6-AAAAA
to Region 2-AAAAAA.
Cross Keys and St. Pius moved
up from Region 6-AAA to
6-AAAA, while Druid Hills (Re-
gion 6-AAAAA), Lithonia and Ara-
bia Mountain (Region 6-AAAA)
moved down a classification. Cedar
Grove, Decatur, McNair and Tow-
ers changed regions as well but re-
main in AAA classification.
Arabia Mountain head coach
Stanley Pritchett mentioned that
his team has worked hard this off-
season to build on the success of
last season.
“We lost a lot of seniors and a
lot of guys had to step up,” Pritchett
said. “Three things I’ll say about
our team are we’re young, we’re tal-
ented but we’re unproven. We look
forward to working hard in a tough
region, competing, being successful
and making sure that we play hard
and compete in every game.”
With Towers going from a losing
to a winning program in one sea-
son, the next step for the team is to
make the playoffs, a goal it hopes to
reach this season. Towers assistant
coach Emanuel Lewis said his team
has to stay focused if players want
to make the playoffs.
“That’s what we’re building
within the players, staying focused,”
Lewis said. “We’re trying to build
a brand. Every good team has a
brand. Last year we scored a lot of
points, but we were doing it off of
big plays.
“Now we want to concentrate on
building a brand, and when adversi-
ty comes we want to be able to stay
disciplined” Lewis added.
Towers also has brought in a new
strength and conditioning coach,
William Ward, who brought in a
program to help the players build
speed, agility and gain strength.
“We implemented a study hall
for the players because we’re also
building academics,” Lewis said.
“Our motto is, ‘to win today.’ If we
go about the season winning each
day, it’ll transfer to Friday nights.”
The Tucker team put the state
championship loss behind them
and focused on getting better. Head
coach Bryan Lamar said his pro-
gram lost many players the offsea-
son has been filled with teaching
and learning to help the new players
play football the “Tucker way.”
“The effort has been there so
hopefully we can go out and be able
to compete against some of the top
programs in the country,” Lamar
On top of being in a new clas-
sification, Tucker will be challenged
right out of the gate with its first
two games. The Tigers open the
season against two-time AAAAAA
state champions Norcross in the
Corky Kell Classic Aug. 23 and the
following week they will face the
2013 national champion and No.
1 ranked Booker T. Washington
of Miami, Fla. in the Chick-fil-A
Battle of the Borders at Hallford
“It’s a different challenge,” Lamar
said. “But we’ve established our-
selves as one of the top programs–
we feel like–in the state of Georgia
and the country.”
Stephenson High School
Photos by Travis Hudgons
Cross Keys High School
Cedar Grove High School
St. Pius X
From left, Ricky Gross from Arabia Mountain and Bud King
of Tucker High school.
Football coaches and some of the top players in the county gathered at Tucker High School July 16 for the 14th annual
Football Media Day.
a new bloom appears.
“You see daylilies sometimes by the side of the
road, the ditch daylilies they sometimes call them,”
Grovenstein said. “They’re survivors. Daylilies are
listed in a book I have on the wildflowers of Geor-
gia, because in all the abandoned homesteads they
exist like any other. They were brought over early
by the settlers.”
Daylilies are often shared with neighbors.
Grovenstein said his mother got hers from a
neighbor and fellow daylily enthusiast Ron Mc-
Clure, who was given his first ones from a friend
as well.
“She was giving me some when I bought my
first house and her mother lived next door, and
she said ‘Well come over to my house,’ and she had
over 800 different named varieties; it was pretty
amazing,” McClure said.
McClure said he is a daylily collector, and start-
ed more than 20 years ago with a few donated by
friends and family.
“I got addicted,” he said bluntly. “You get a few,
you get a few more… when I first got them I didn’t
put names on them I really didn’t care. But then
I realized that if you are going to start collecting
them you really ought to put a name on them so
you know what’s what.”
The relative ease of hybridizing means that
there are hundreds of unique, named cultivars on
file with the American Hemerocallis Society—
Hemerocallis is the Latin name for daylilies—the
national organization for daylily enthusiasts.
To introduce a new daylily, first a hybridizer
has to make a new flower by either combining two
existing types or combining what are known as
“seedlings,”hybrids that don’t have an official name
or registration. Once the new flower blooms, a
picture is taken, a name is selected and an appli-
cation can be sent to the American Hemerocallis
“What’s improved by all this hybridizing is the
colors” Grovenstein said. “Otherwise you have this
sort of muddy, orange-y color.”
Like many plants, daylilies can have two sets
of chromosomes, three, or even four. This is in
contrast to most animal species, which usually
have two sets and no more. The diversity of chro-
mosomes makes the variations on color, form and
size nearly endless. Grovenstein said he special-
ized in tetraploids, or lilies with four sets of chro-
“When you first start collecting you want all of
them, and then you get a little more selective with
color or type,” McClure said.
There are small ones, big ones, ones with long,
skinny petals called “spiders,” ones with ruffled
edges, different-colored haloes around the “throat”
and almost any color but pure white or true blue.
McClure even grows a variety called “Cheddar
Cheese,” which is fluorescent yellow and triangu-
Grovenstein and his wife, Lilian, have intro-
duced 69 different cultivars to the daylily commu-
nity since 1985. Grovenstein favored large showy
double-blooming varieties—they have double the
petals of a normal daylily—while Lilian favors
small daylilies. Both have had to stop gardening
due to health reasons, but their one-third acre
growing patch still puts forth a dazzling display of
blossoms throughout June.
Some of the 69 varieties include: Parrish Erwin,
which has a purple tint named for a favorite cous-
in of Grovenstein’s; Earl of Chatham, named for
Chatham County and sporting bright yellow flow-
ers, and Briarmoor Princess, a pale pink double-
blooming variety named for the street in DeKalb
where the Grovenstein’s operation began.
Grovenstein retired at 64, and now at 89,
though he can’t get out in the garden too much,
still talks intently and knowledgeably about daylily
biology and appearance.
“These double daylilies take more energy to
produce, so you need a robust plant, reasonably
good weather and good agriculture,” Grovenstein
said. “It’s best to water them regularly, but this year
they’ve only been watered by God.”
He pores over hundreds of pictures of lilies
from last year’s garden. Then, there are the filing
cabinets with such labels as “Daylilies” and “LeGro
2010”—LeGro was the name of the Grovenstein’s
daylily-selling business for a few years.
Grovenstein said there is a little something for
everyone when it comes to raising daylilies, from
exercise to joining local chapters of the American
Hemerocallis Society. He was once acting presi-
dent of the Atlanta society and his wife was once
head of the Georgia state chapter.
“There are the hybridizers, then there are some
members that are marvelous gardeners, and then
there are people who like to be heads of commit-
tees and such,” he said. “Some people like to win
ribbons, they have that competitive spirit, and
then there are people who just want to get out of
the house, visit gardens. Daylilies appeal to people
for various different reasons, which is perfectly
Daylilies Continued From Page 10A