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AVAILABLE ONLINE AT WWW.CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER.COM • FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010 • VOL. 13, NO. 32 • FREE
Some school board incumbents reseated
by Pureterrah Witcher
Cunningham Roberts Elder Walker
• A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS •
Unreﬂective of recent controversial behavior by some board members, voters from several districts in DeKalb sent candidates back for a second or third team. At press time
late Tuesday night, three of the ﬁve seats up for grabs on the
nine-member DeKalb School Board, were returned to incum-
bents – district 1 and 7 were in tight runoffs.
Candidate Zapora W. Roberts of district 7 and Jim Redovian
of district 1 both had less than 50.1 percent of the vote, which is what’s required to avoid a run-off. Incumbent candidate Sarah CopelinWood of district 3 held a small lead with 50.84 percent of the vote over Corey Wilson’s 30.75 percent.
Johnson up to the challenge in District 4
by Andrew Cauthen Two-term Democratic Congressman Henry “Hank” Johnson was re-elected to a third term serving Georgia’s 4th Congressional District, defeating political newcomer Republican Lisbeth “Liz” Carter. Johnson, who was endorsed by President Barak Obama, garnered 73 percent of the votes to Carter’s 27 percent. Johnson is a member of the Transportation, Armed Services and Judiciary Committees. He is the chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee that is responsible for antitrust legislation and oversees administration of the federal courts. Before going to Congress, Johnson served 12 years as a DeKalb County magistrate judge, and five years as a county commissioner. Johnson also practiced civil and criminal law in DeKalb County for 27 years. The congressman is married to Attorney Mereda Davis Johnson and has two children. Johnson gained national attention earlier this year with a well-publicized comment about Guam that he made during a House Armed Service Committee hearing. During the hearing about a proposed military buildup on the U.S. territory, Johnson expressed his fear that “the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize.” Johnson soon released a statement categorizing the comment as “subtle humor” that illustrated his concerns about the “impact of the planned military buildup on this small tropical island.”
See Schools on Page 15A
Congressman Hank Johnson, with his wife Mereda, celebrates his re-election following the strongest Republican challenge in recent 4th District history. Photo provided
Congressman John Lewis goes Carter, the chief executive back to Washington after reofficer of the Lisbeth Carter Group, an executive-level consulting and search firm, said that her campaign sent “a very big message” to elected officials. “We created a huge movement, and we will continue to stay active and unite the district,” Carter said. “We will continue to hold elected officials accountable.” Carter, who received endorseby Robert Naddra ments from the National Fraterrobert@dekalbchamp.com nal Order of Police, Americans for Legal Immigration, DeKalb A heavy interest in the govFraternal Order of Police, and ernor’s race and the ﬁve school Leaders of Atlanta Tea Party board seats drove a higher Patriots, said although the Renumber of voters to the polls in publican party made significant DeKalb County than anticipated, inroads with her campaign, the according to local election ofrace was “about people, not the ﬁcials. political party.” More than 137,000 votCarter would not say whether ers turned out according to the she would run for political office Georgia Secretary of State Web again in the future. site. In the race for the 5th Congressional district, Democratic
ceiving 74 percent of the vote, defeating Republican candidate Fenn Little, who took 26 of the vote. Lewis, civil rights pioneer who has served in Congress since 1986, is a member of the House Ways & Means Committee, a member of its subcommittee on income security and family support, and chairman of its subcommittee on oversight. Lewis is also the senior chief deputy whip for the Democratic Party in leadership in the House. Little, a constitutional and civil rights attorney, is a founding partner of Maner Little Crumley and Chambliss. The 13th Congressional race ended with incumbent Democrat David Scott retaining his seat after winning about 66 percent of the vote over the 34 percent
See Congress on Page 15A
Turnout higher than anticipated in DeKalb
“We had more than 100,000 who had voted as of 5 p.m. [Tuesday] said Maxine Daniels, head of the DeKalb County board of elections. “That doesn’t include early voters or absentees. That’s just who went to the poll [Tuesday]. That’s higher than what we had expected. “The school board races in the county did help some, but I think it was more the governor’s race across the board that helped get more people out,” she said.
See Elections on Page 15A
A Section • Page 2A
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010
DRCC’s annual Take Back the Night Run/Walk is held to promote rape prevention. Photo provided
Rape crisis center making big impact
by Mel Meadows Rape hurts. Not only bodies and psyches, but pocketbooks too. It overwhelms an already crippled health care system with ongoing costs of physical and mental healing and affects the bottom lines of corporations through productivity loss. In fact, rape costs society more than any other crime including murder. According to a National Institute of Justice estimate, rape and other adult sexual assaults cause an annual minimum loss of $127 billion, or about $508 per U.S. resident. That ﬁgure includes tangible and intangible losses such as property damage or loss and pain and suffering, but does not include the cost of investigation, prosecution or incarceration of offenders. For the past 20 years, armed with a small staff and many volunteers, the DeKalb Rape Crisis Center (DRCC) has worked to combat the impact that rape has on victims, their spouses, family members, and neighbors. Historically, the only available resource for DeKalb County rape victims was the rape crisis center at Grady Memorial Hospital, which covered both DeKalb and Fulton counties. In 1988, of the 1,200 sexual assault patients treated at Grady, 20 percent were DeKalb residents. Police ofﬁcers reported to then DeKalb County District Attorney Bob Wilson that the trek for police ofﬁcers and victims was becoming a hindrance and the services at Grady were being stretched thin. “They [Grady] often had more volume than they really needed to be handling,” said Wilson. “They were stressed a lot of the time to meet the demand and Grady was just not convenient physically for a large part of our county and our law enforcement.” The distance, Wilson said, created some issues for DeKalb victims and took
See Center on Page 7A
GooD HealtH is just around the corner
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©2010 Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Georgia, Inc.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010 • PAGE 3A
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010 • PAGE 4A
The election is over. The get out the vote effort was at a fever pitch. There was much at stake in this mid-term election, nationally and in the state. The winners and losers have been posted and the results are being analyzed and discussed as you read this. This was one of the vilest election seasons ever recorded when it came to personal attacks and character assassination, nationally and statewide. In some instances, out and out lies were told. It seems all is fair in politics and war, and politics today is war. A politician who shall be nameless once said, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.” Frankly, the game being played today is too often quite putrid. Many decent people who want to serve
will not run for ofﬁce because they don’t want their names and those of their family members to be dragged through the mud. An old Tennessee saw making the rounds says when you have the truth, argue truth, when you have the facts, argue the facts. When you have neither, holler! There’s been a whole lot of hollering going on this political season. I’m reminded of the line from William Shakespeare’s play Julius Ceasar. Marc Antony said, “The evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones.” The line was part of Antony’s funeral speech after the murder of the Emperor Caesar. Antony is allowed to speak only if he promises that he will not speak ill of Brutus and the conspirators who said they killed Caesar for the good of Rome. Our politicians kill off the competition for “the good” of the country, state or local governments. The deaths are from smear campaigns rather than daggers but just as deadly. Antony says, “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to
The evil men do
bury Caesar, not to praise him.” Antony gives the impression that he agrees that Caesar was evil, but in the rest of the speech he mixes fact, innuendo and sarcasm, ultimately reminding the crowd of Caesar’s good qualities. It is a classic political speech by a leader who uses subtlety and oratorical skill to persuade listeners to his viewpoint. That oratory was made hundreds and hundreds of years ago. It is ancient history. Skillful debate and genteel discussions and comparisons of records seem relegated to the antiquities as well in today’s political climate. Instead, we have precious little discussion of the issues but a plethora of malicious personal attacks on opponents and even their families. We have incumbents who try to muzzle the competition by refusing to debate them, thus denying voters the opportunity to make informed comparisons. We dredge up indiscretions to discredit, forgetting we elected a president with a DUI conviction. The president! It seems to run for ofﬁce today one must 1) Possess very deep
pockets. Have plenty of money in order to be considered a viable candidate by the political pundits and the media 2) Be of impeccable integrity, never having said or done anything that could be construed as a character ﬂaw by the ﬂawed characters passing judgment and 3) Possess pristine credit. If your pockets are deep enough, you can buy respectability and sign presence in a community that never heard of you before the election and your stops at the local Black churches, pandering to the preachers and the parishioners. By the way, rarely do candidates make the rounds of White churches. Ah yes. The evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones. Such is the case with many a would-be great public servant. Their good is buried with the bones of today’s politics. Steen Miles, The Newslady, is a retired journalist and former Georgia state senator. Contact Steen Milies at Steen@dekalbchamp.com.
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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.
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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010 •PAGE 5A
by John Feffer The unemployment rate remains near double digits and many Americans have simply stopped looking for work. Yet somehow an NBC sitcom about U.S. jobs going overseas is becoming a hit. The show, called Outsourced, revolves around an American manager running a call center in India. It’s great to see a prime-time show take place somewhere other than the United States. After all, if you get all of your information about the world from network television, you might not even be able to locate Canada on a map (oh, yeah, that place just to the right of Northern Exposure). The premise of Outsourced is that Todd, the American manager, is saddled with a B team of call center employees–quirky but loveable un-
derdogs who are just struggling to get by. In other words, an American television audience is being asked to sympathize with a group of Indian workers who have jobs that Americans have recently lost. That any Americans want to watch–its average of 6.3 million viewers a week makes the show one of the top new network offerings so far this season–is remarkable. The truth is that we’re divided. There’s a gulf between cosmopolitans who beneﬁt from globalization and blue-collar workers whose wages have gone steadily downhill because of foreign competition. Some people appreciate the 24-hour customer service line, regardless of the accent of the person on the other end. Others are strictly “buy American.” Sometimes, it’s the same person who lost her job last week to a faraway factory and this week shops at
Wal-Mart to save money by getting cheap shirts produced in Sri Lanka and cheap Halloween decorations made in China. According to the consumer watchdog Public Citizen, the nation has lost about 4.9 million jobs and 43,000 factories because of free trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement and normalization of trade relations with China. President Barack Obama has said that he wants to eliminate tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas. The president supported a bill that would have done just that– but Republicans killed the bill in the Senate. However, Obama is leaning toward supporting trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia that the Bush administration negotiated. And he pushed through
bailouts for U.S. companies without conditions that would have restricted their outsourcing of jobs. Don’t expect it to delve into those issues. It is a sitcom, after all. But you can count on this TV show to humanize the people so often demonized for taking American jobs. Even the buy America crowd can take some measure of solace when watching the show. Except for a few framing shots, the show is ﬁlmed in Los Angeles with mostly American actors. But director Ken Kwapis says that if the show is successful, he’ll do more work on location. In a clear sign of the times, Outsourced itself may wind up getting outsourced. John Feffer is co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies. www.ips-dc. org
Anti-gay bullying requires strong action by schools
by Maureen Costello September was a bleak month that demonstrated the deadly toll anti-gay bullying can take on young lives. Four young men in four different states committed suicide after being harassed by classmates because they were gay or were perceived to be gay. In Texas, 13-year-old Asher Brown shot himself after enduring relentless taunting at his middle school. In California, 13-yearold Seth Walsh hanged himself when he couldn’t take the bullying any longer–as did Billy Lucas, 15, in Indiana. And 18-yearold Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers University student, jumped off a bridge after his roommate secretly broadcast online an intimate encounter between Clementi and another man. These suicides are a devastating reminder that anti-gay bullying is one of the most prevalent and deadly forms of bullying in schools. National surveys show that as many as nine out of 10 lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) students experienced harassment in the past year–a rate three times higher than students in general. These adolescents are also up to four times as likely to be depressed and think about or attempt suicide as their straight peers. In Minnesota, the AnokaHennepin school district is a sad testament to this finding. At least four LGBT students there have committed suicide in the past year alone. But this isn’t just a “gay issue.” Anti-gay bullying is frequently directed at straight students who are perceived as gay. Unfortunately, some organizations on the religious right are pushing schools to ignore this crisis. These groups believe taking specific steps to protect a child from a school day filled with taunts of “fag” and “homo”–or even violent attacks–is an endorsement of the so-called “homosexual agenda.” It’s not. It’s about ensuring every child is safe at school. This is why school districts need strong anti-bullying policies that specifically ban anti-gay bullying. Research consistently shows that students report less bullying at schools with policies that specify certain types of bullying compared to schools with policies that don’t. It sends a clear message that the school’s anti-bullying policy covers all students. This approach has been endorsed by the National Education Association, the National PTA, the American Association of School Administrators, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals–hardly a bunch of radical organizations. Contrary to what some critics say, addressing anti-gay bullying doesn’t grant LGBT students special rights any more than specifically banning bullying based on race, disability or religion gives students special privileges. It simply ensures that LGBT students receive equal rights. School officials should know they can be held liable for not stopping anti-gay bullying. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s latest classroom documentary, Bullied, chronicles the story of a student who stood up to his antigay tormentors and filed a federal lawsuit against his school district and school officials in Wisconsin. It led to a landmark federal court decision holding school officials accountable. Despite that ruling, we’re facing a crisis that schools can’t ignore. It may be tempting for school officials to remain neutral, but as Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel said, “Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.” All school districts should adopt anti-bullying policies that specifically protect LGBT students. Until they do, thousands of children will continue to suffer violence and humiliation. This isn’t about changing anyone’s beliefs or behavior. It’s about recognizing that every child deserves a safe learning environment. Maureen Costello is the director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance project, which produces and distributes anti-bias resources, free of charge, to educators nationwide. www.tolerance.org
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THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010
The year of the screwball
A bad economy might make voters angry, but it shouldn't make them crazy
by Donald Kaul Columnist
This is going to go down as the Year of the Screwball Election. Never before have so many nutcases, whackos and practicing lunatics come out of their caves to run for public office. (Not all of them came from caves, of course. Some tied sheets together and climbed out of their windows when the guards weren’t looking.) First among equals in the Looney Tunes Sweepstakes, I think, is Rich Iott, the Ohio Republican seeking a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Iott was already facing a tough race: Incumbent Marcy Kaptur won more than two-thirds of the vote against her Republican challengers in the past four elections. Iott became an even bigger longshot when reporters and bloggers found out that his hobby was dressing up in a Nazi uniform. The kind Adolf Hitler’s troops would wear. Queried about this unusual pastime, he said he had taken his teenage son along on the World War II reenactments and considered them a “fatherson bonding” experience. (Who’s he getting parenting advice from–Charles Manson?) Following close behind Iott is perky Christine O’Donnell, Delaware’s answer to Sarah Palin. O’Donnell, a Republican Senate nominee, began a recent campaign appearance by announcing: “I am not a witch.” This is known in political circles as “lowering voter expectations.” (Hey, it worked for Richard “I Am Not a Crook” Nixon. For a while.) That issue behind her,
she’s now free to concentrate on other matters of national importance, like masturbation (she’s against it), guns (she’s for them), lower taxes (for), and abortion (against). Neither Iott nor O’Donnell is expected to win, but other, equally baroque personalities are. Rand Paul, for example. Kentucky’s Republican senatorial nominee has been accused of participating in the kidnapping of a young woman while he was in college at Baylor University (in aptly named Waco, Texas.). She now claims Paul and his buddies tied her up and took her to a creek where they made her bow down and worship the “Aqua Buddha.” This story led his opponent for the Kentucky Senate seat to accuse Paul of worshipping a false God, upon which Paul said he would not shake hands with that opponent. “I will not associate with a man who attacks my religion,” he said. (Aqua-Buddhists are so touchy.) Paul is a self-styled libertarian but has opposed cuts in Medicare and Medicaid payments to physicians. He’s also an eye surgeon, after all. Then there’s Sharron Angle, who’s running against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada. She has denounced Dearborn, Mich., a Detroit suburb populated with many Arab immigrants, and Frankford, Texas,
for being governed under Sharia law. Which, to be fair, would be enough to make your blood boil, except for the fact that they aren’t. As a matter of fact, many of the Arabs in Dearborn are Christians and Frankford has ceased to exist, unless you count the cemetery. I’m not even going to mention Carl Paladino, the Republican candidate for governor of New York who has promised to “take a baseball bat” to the New York state legislature and has threatened to “take out” a reporter who asked a mildly hostile question. Or Linda McMahon, the Republican who is using the fortune she made promoting flamboyant wrestling matches to become a Connecticut senator. Establishment political commentators (and I’m glad I’m not one of them) have called this “a populist revolution,” fueled by 10 percent unemployment. It’s not. A bad economy might make voters angry, but it shouldn’t make them crazy. Why, all of a sudden, do we have Republican candidates who look like directors of the Flat Earth Society? Here’s my theory: The Chinese are putting something in our water supply that’s making us just a little bit nuts. They figure we’ll vote these cuckoos into office and make it easier for China to take over the world. So far, it seems to be working. OtherWords columnist Donald Kaul lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. www. otherwords.org
The following comments are pulled straight from our Web site and are not edited for content or grammar.
Congressional forum continues without Congressman Johnson It doesn’t matter at all that you hear it every at every election. It still is not right. An elected official is accountable to his or her constituents and should be available to them and willing to earn their vote period. Ms. Carter is certainly not crying about this. She usually is smiling and going about the business of her campaign which includes getting out amongst the people. And by the way, there is no doubt that she can handle whatever rumbles in Congress. –Al Rakel posted this on 10/27/10 at 8:52 p.m. We hear this every election season -- “the incumbent will not debate with me.” It’s tiring to constantly hear candidates whining about this issue. It’s all part of the game, like it or not. I’ve been to a number of debates and forums. The majority of people there are the members of the group hosting the event and the candidates with their staffs. Candidates like to make a much bigger deal of debates than they really are. Ms. Carter should stop trying to piggyback on Hank Johnson and continue to get her message out. If people believe in it, they’ll vote for her. If they don’t, they will vote for Johnson or sit out. –Stewart posted this on 10/27/10 at 6:39 p.m.
Yancey trial: Judge dismisses motion to acquit Only life sentences? The elements support the death penalty; and also a hate crime. However, this is DeKalb and one will be lucky just to get a conviction. –Rhineman posted this on 10/29/10 at 2:15 p.m.
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THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010
A Section • Page 7A
Dunwoody officials fine tuning sign ordinance
by Matt Amato After months of deadlock, Dunwoody’s protracted sign ordinance issue is back on the table. Except this time, an amended draft may soon end mixed signals from the city council. More than 20 pages of legal wording were presented at the Oct. 19 city council meeting, prompting a long discussion on the delicate balancing act of commercial and public interests. Some residents argued previous drafts were too overbearing, similar to regulations of a strict homeowners association. However, supporters maintain the city is trying to avoid sign “overkill,” which can be aesthetically unsightly and unsafe for motorists and pedestrians. In August, a vote was evenly split, 3-3, and the ordinance went back to city planning director Howard Koontz for more public input. At the Oct. 19 meeting, an attorney familiar with ordinance law said some provisions could be struck down for breaching First Amendment rights. No vote was taken on the current draft, with the city council opting for some changes to clarify wording on accessory structures. And though the ordinance’s passage appears to be closer, some say Dunwoody compares unfavorably with neighboring municipalities in its time to reach a consensus. It’s been 21 months since the city started the process of holding public forums, meetings and proposals. “The problem is that it’s been too much,” said resident Keith Smith, who hadn’t had a chance to read the latest draft. “You can regulate but also over regulate. I can see why some
“She knew a lot of people who had some resources that could help support the center; she had a lot of friends that were willing to be volunteers. She had a good, earnest way about her that made people want to try to help.” Two months after hiring Vaughan, training of 50 volunteers was held at the DeKalb County Courthouse. DRCC’s hallmark, a 24-hour/ seven-day-a-week volunteerstaffed crisis line took its ﬁrst call on Oct. 30, 1989. “It was a long time ago,” said Vaughan. “No one had cell phones back then, and we actually passed a pager between volunteers and covered that crisis line 24/7 for years. I admire those ﬁrst dedicated volunteers so much. They really had the heart and commitment to make it work.” In 1991, DRCC began the annual Take Back the Night Run/Walk and a volunteer Speaker’s Bureau to promote rape prevention. The following year, DRCC became incorporated as a 501 (c) 3 organization in Georgia. In 2004, the organization moved into the building DRCC currently occupies in downtown Decatur. Past board member and volunteer Julie Childs said the one-story, handicapped-accessible building
Champion of the Week
from 16 to 65 years old. The goal of the GED classes is to equip the students to successfully take and pass the GED test, which in turn will empower them to be successful in the workplace. Hollis also volunteers under Sandy Ferguson, director of the Literacy Ministry which includes ESOL/ Citizenship classes, student tutoring and the GED Ready School. She aims to facilitate an opportunity for people of all ages to feel empowered to change their current situation and impact the lives of their family and the community. “In order to be successful, you have to set goals. Goals should be written and visible to the goal setter daily,” Hollis said. Hollis also feels that each goal should be broken down into smaller parts. Hollis said, “Each accomplishment of one of the smaller parts is a boost of hope.” Youth Minister Octavia Samuels said, “She is a beacon of hope to those that have lost their way. When I’ve visited the program I was inspired by the love and respect shown towards each student and teacher. Judy Hollis is my volunteer champ.”
of the businesses would be upset.” Putting together an ordinance can be an arduous process, which Sign Committee member Bill Grant referred to in an August news report as “the biggest, hardest, worst, most difﬁcult project I’ve ever worked on in the public sector.” Consolidated within the draft are recommendations from Dunwoody’s Sign Committee and adoptions from DeKalb County’s ordinance. The difﬁcult part has been ﬁnding a solution that will please homeowners with high aesthetic standards and business owners who feel their right to advertise is being encroached upon. No date has been set on a vote but the ordinance could pass in the coming weeks.
Continued From Page 2A
police ofﬁcers off the streets. The need to place a rape crisis center near the center of DeKalb soon became clear. A task force through Decatur Cooperative Ministries was created to assess the viability of such a center. Sue Ellen Williams, the incoming president of the Junior League of DeKalb County, was on the task force and encouraged the group to ask the Junior League to sponsor the center. The Junior League was the ﬁnancial underwriter for the ﬁrst three years of DRCC’s existence and encouraged its members to serve as volunteers. The Junior League created a board of directors, which Wilson chaired from 1988 until 1991, to raise funds to hire staff and recruit a volunteers. The idea was to enable volunteers to work “on-call” while continuing their daily lives. DRCC operated out of donated ofﬁce space and in 1989, with a grant from the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, hired executive director Virginia Vaughan. “The people that she knew cut across a lot of ranges of our community,” said Wilson.
was a great ﬁt to meet the clients’ and staff needs. Vaughan retired after 18 years and current executive director Phyllis Miller was hired. She said the center’s impact on DeKalb County is enormous. “I don’t know that you can put a dollar amount on the comfort and peace that DRCC can provide,” said former DeKalb County District Attorney Gwen Keyes-Fleming, who joined the DRCC board in 2005. She noted that the DA’s ofﬁce handled some 14,000 charges and that sexual assault cases comprised approximately 6 percent of the overall caseload. “The [DeKalb] population is so much larger and denser than 20 years ago,” current DRCC board chair and victim’s rights attorney Andrew Rogers said. “I can’t imagine a county of our size with the level of crime we have not having this resource available.” “DRCC remains a vital organization that affects the quality of life for all members of the DeKalb community,” Miller said. “We have a committed board and community leaders to ensure that the needs of sexual assault victims are met in our community.”
Creating a daily todo list and keeping a schedule is how Judy Hollis maintains order in her life. A DeKalb County resident for more than 40 years, Hollis has been volunteering for more than 18 years. Hollis juggles her time between being an administrative assistant at DeKalb Technical College and director of the GED Ready School at Rainbow Park Baptist Church in Decatur. “I believe I am successfully managing my life because I am in the will of God. I am very busy, so it is imperative that I remain focused, Holliss said. When Pastor Steven N. Dial Sr. created the GED Ready School program Hollis was asked her to be the administrative assistant of the school. After a year, Dial promoted her. GED classes are held on Monday and Thursday, from 6-9 p.m. Students range
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.
A Section • Page 8A
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010
Hispanic Heritage Month more than cursory obligation for Doraville
by Matt Amato “We view it as an asset and something that can be a Like any mayor of a met- foundation for our future,” said Howe. “With globalizaro municipality in a negative economy, Ray Jenkins tion, the world has gotten much smaller and it’s in the is devoting calendar space community’s best interests to those interested in his to reach out.” city. Unlike his counterHowe said Doraville has parts, though, his net’s cast wider in the search for fresh enhanced ties with local consulates and is considerinvestment. On Oct. 10, for example, ing joining a “sister city” program in an effort to inJenkins sent police chief John King to deliver a city crease economic opportunities. Additionally, city ofﬁproclamation observing cials – not just law enforceTaiwanese independence ment – must undertake basic to a delegation at the Fox cultural sensitivity training Theatre. Also for October, to appear more welcoming planned activities were scheduled for Hispanic Her- to international residents. “It helps us communicate itage month, many of which much better and builds good the mayor attended. For Doraville, observing relations,” said Howe, addthe cultural celebrations and ing that Doraville has been traditions of its multicultural invited on trade missions to residents is more than an ex- Korea and China in the past ercise in public relations. It but had to decline because could also be good business. of resources. Census ﬁgures show The loss of the Genbetween 40-45 percent of eral Motors plant, for years the population is Hispanic, Doraville’s main economic with about 12 percent being driver, has left a huge ecoAsian. nomic void. A large parcel According to Luke of land in the Spaghetti Howe, the mayor’s assistant Junction area that houses who has a degree in interthe mothballed plant is national relations, roughly the center of an LCI study 80 percent of Doraville’s aimed at envisioning a rebusiness population is made generative economic plan. up of residents identiﬁed as Many of the businesses having Korean or Taiwanese expected to adopt this plan heritage. will therefore be serving the local international community, given the area’s demographics. One of Doraville’s biggest businesses in the Spaghetti Junction area, H Mart, is a grocery store serving the Asian community, and an example of the retail possibilities that exist. And while Howe said the city has enjoyed a productive relationship throughout the community, there are o ccasions when public policy rubs against cultural traditions. A recent proposed ordinance tightening restrictions on massage parlors, for example, was criticized by some residents as insensitive to the Asian community. “The massage parlors [issue] is the closest thing we’ve had, but nothing’s reared its head because of cultural miscommunications,” said Howe. And to not show favoritism or ostracizing any group, Doraville maintains a list of independence days of all Hispanic and Asian countries for proclamation purposes. “We want to establish the city as a place to host festivals and showcase the many different faces [of its population],” said Howe.
Derrek Kayongo, Global Soap Project founder (left) and Josh Kravitz, MedShare COO (right) shake hands on their partnership that began with a donation of 20,000 bars of recycled soap. Photo by P. Witcher
2 tons of recycled soap donated to local non-profit
by Pureterrah Witcher pureterrah@DeKalbchamp. com One bar of soap at a time, The Global Soap Project, is reducing the spread of various diseases and infections among those living in poor countries – and working with DeKalb organizations to do so. In observance of Global Handwashing Day, on Oct. 15, The Global Soap Project donated two tons of soap or 20,000 bars to MedShare, a Decatur-based non-profit, which will redistribute the soap to nations that lack proper sanitation. Global Handwashing Day is a global event, mandated by the United Nations that assembles millions of people to illuminate the importance of washing their hands with soap. The goal is also to alleviate the risks of acute respiratory and diarrheal infections caused by the lack of soap. The Global Soap Project, founded in 2009 by Derreck Kayongo, a humanitarian relief expert, recovers and recycles soap from American hotels. Then, using a $20,000 machine, the soap is sanitized, melted and remolded into new bars, and later distributed to refugee camps in Africa. The Global Soap Project figures with 4.6-million hotel rooms in the United States, an estimated 2.6-million soap bars are discarded every day. And MedShare welcomes partnership opportunities, as organizers believe they can do more when joined with other organizations to make a difference. “This is a great partnership. Soap is a vital in fighting the transmission of diseases in the countries we serve,” said Courtney Baird, MedShare development manager. “It’s an important addition to our inventory. The soap will go to the various countries that need it. After receiving the donation we are now working in the capacity of distributor,” Baird added. MedShare, founded in 1999, collects surplus medical supplies and equipment and ships it to health care facilities in the developing world. The organization also raises money to sponsor the containers and procuring the donations. According to the organization, it has gathered more than $83 million worth of life-saving medical supplies and equipment; its shipments of medical supplies and equipment have reached people in 80 countries. MedShare has recycled, prepared and sent more than $73 million of life-saving medical supplies and equipment in 600 tractor-trailer sized containers to hospitals and clinics in 82 countries in the developing world. This accounts for more than 1 million cubic feet of space saved in U.S. landfills and approximately 2,500 tons of supplies and equipment. U.S. hospitals generate more than two million tons of medical waste each year. Much of that waste is unused medical supplies and equipment, according to Healthcare Without Harm. In the developing world, the World Health Organization estimates that more than 10 million children under the age of 5 die due to inadequate medical care.
Football game galvanizes community after tragedy
by Robert Naddra firstname.lastname@example.org In mourning over the death of a 14-year-old student, the Southwest DeKalb High School community came together over a football game Oct. 30. A day before Southwest’s game against Miller Grove, freshman Carmon McBride was killed when the car she was riding in crashed into another car and ﬂipped on Kelly Chapel Road near the high school. The accident happened at approximately 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 29. Carmon’s brother, 17-year-old Myles McBride, was driving his Mazda Protégé and swerved to avoid a dog, according to DeKalb County Police spokesman Jason Gagnon. Carmon was taken to taken to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston where she was pronounced dead, Gagnon said. Myles McBride and two other passengers in the car—18-year-old senior Shakar’e Gilbert and 14-year-old freshman Jasmine Coleman—all suffered critical injuries but are expected to survive. They all remain in area hospitals. All four are members of the school’s marching band and were on their way home from practice when the ac-
cident happened. “We’ve had deaths at the school before but not one that has impacted the community like this,” said Buck Godfrey, a long-time teacher and head football coach at the school. “I’d say 80 percent of the band was there at the hospital [Friday night] and I know some of our players were there too.” All four were honor students, Godfrey said. Grief counselors were on campus Saturday before the team and the marching band left for the football game, Godfrey said. The counselors also were at the school on Monday. The driver of the other
See SWD On Page 17A
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010
A Section • Page 9A
The Essence of cooking
More to come from 12-yearold chef after cookoff win
by Robert Naddra email@example.com When she was younger, Essence Snowden would hang out in the kitchen and watch her mother cook. The 12-year-old home schooled student from Stone Mountain would pay close attention to the ingredients that went into the pots and pans and the cooking techniques applied by her mom. After soaking up her mother’s passion and knowledge of cooking, Essence was ready to be a helper. A short time later Essence followed in her mother’s footsteps and began preparing meals for her family. Winning a recent cooking competition has solidiﬁed Essence’s dream of becoming a professional chef. She won a Caribbean jerk cookoff competition at the ﬁfth annual Atlanta Caribbean Jerk Festival held at Panthersville Stadium in Decatur over the Labor Day weekend. “Oh yes, it’s something I would like to do as a profession,” said Essence, who is a vegetarian. “I’d like to go to cooking school when I get older.” The cookoff victory has prompted Essence to enter a cooking competition at the Children’s African Ball, Nov. 13, at the Atrium Events Center in Stone Mountain. Essence said she also is working on a cookbook and a calendar, which will feature photos of some of her recipes. “I don’t use any animal products,” Essence said. “I like to use different things like cashews in my cooking, and I like to make salads, desserts like cashew parfaits and cookies—stuff like that.” Essence’s mother, Queen Taese, called the organizers of the Caribbean jerk cookoff and convinced them to allow her daughter to compete in an event that was originally for adults only. Essence paid the $50 entry fee with her birthday money and proceeded to out-cook six adult chefs to take home the $350 prize. “I’ve never cooked in public before,” Essence said. “I thought it was something fun to do; I wasn’t expecting to win. I wasn’t scared and it didn’t matter if I won or not, I was just having fun.” Essence had three hours to make three dishes—jerk lentil patties, jerk kale salad and barbecue jerk tofu kabobs. She said she had practiced the salad dish the night before but wasn’t exactly sure of her menu until she arrived at the competition. “She really didn’t know about jerk seasoning before the competition, but she studied the history of it and tried to think of something to do that was different,” Taese said. “She decided to do something new, the jerk kale salad, and it was wonderful.”
Essence Snowden, 12, poses with a table full of ingredients before the cookoff competition at the Atlanta Caribbean Jerk Festival. Left photo shows Essence’s finished dishes. Photos provided
The judges agreed and chose Essence as the winner. In addition to the cash prize, Essence was given a trophy to commemorate her win.
“We didn’t know what to expect at the [jerk cookoff],” Taese said. “She was really humble and conﬁdent and I was a wreck. She had
the right attitude and wasn’t worried about winning or losing. It was exciting for the whole family.”
SECTION 8 HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER WAITING LIST
DECATUR HOUSING AUTHORITY (DHA) WILL OPEN ITS SECTION 8 WAITING LIST ON NOVEMBER 9, 2010 TO NOVEMBER 11, 2010
BY TELEPHONE ONLY
Pre-Applications for the Section 8/Housing Choice Voucher Rental Assistance Program will be accepted BY TELEPHONE beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 and will be suspended at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 11, 2010. The telephone service is available 24 hours a day to take pre-applications. The phone number is:
1-888-493-8770 NO OTHER PHONE NUMBERS WILL BE ACCEPTING PRE-APPLICATIONS.
The purpose of the pre-application is to obtain names of interested persons who may be eligible to be placed on the DHA Section 8 Waiting List. Pre-applications received during the open period will be placed into a random selection lottery conducted by an outside organization of which 3000 households will be selected to form the Section 8 Waiting List. Only one pre-application per person will be accepted. Duplicate Social Security Numbers received will be deleted and only the first one received will be retained. Pre-applications will be placed on the Waiting List in the order drawn, subject to DHA preferences. Within 90 days the 3000 households selected by lottery for placement on the Waiting List will be notified by mail. Those NOT selected in the random selection lottery will NOT be notified. PAPER PRE-APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED Hearing and speech impaired applicants should contact the Pre-Application phone number given above through Georgia Relay at 711; out of state hearing and speech impaired callers should call 1-800-855-2880.
NO PRE-APPLICATIONS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT THE HOUSING AUTHORITY’S OFFICES
Housing Authority of the City of Decatur, Ga. www.decaturhousing.org Warning: Title 18, Section 1001 of the United States Code, states that a person who knowingly and willingly makes false or fraudulent statements to any department of the United States is guilty of a felony. Applicants who do so will be removed from the Waiting List.
A Section • Page 10A
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010
Juvenile Court Chief Judge Desiree Sutton Peagler, left, and Juvenile Court Judge Linda Haynes. Photo by Robert Naddra
Juvenile court works with youth to get them on track
by Gale Horton Gay firstname.lastname@example.org Juvenile court judges like DeKalb’s Associate Judge Linda Haynes have heard it all. Young people offering up excuses and justiﬁcations why they aren’t going to school– some based on family circumstances that are factual and others are tales packed with dreamed-up drama. The court’s job is to get to the truth and to help put young people who are chronically absent for unacceptable reasons on a path toward success rather than one leading to future crime and possible incarceration, the judge said. Haynes is pleased that years of hard work by herself, other judges and court staff and partners are paying off with a system that puts kids in classrooms and off the streets. Now young people who go through Juvenile Court have their school records checked for attendance, and if they is missing school, that is addressed as well. That wasn’t always the case. While there were some 10,000 students in DeKalb County schools during the 2008-09 school year who missed 15 days of school or more, Haynes pointed out that number is in keeping with national averages. And she adds that one has to consider that there are likely accounting errors as well as legitimate absences that are part of that number. In fact, she recalled that some years ago when DeKalb supposedly reached 15,000 students with chronic absenteeism, the actual number was 8,000. Haynes said it is rare that a young person gets hauled into Juvenile Court for truancy alone. In fact, she said the system is designed to weed out students who may have received a police citation for a lone truancy incident but who have good grades and no other blemishes or records. However, young people who come through the court on charges such as burglary and car theft now get their school attendance records checked as well. The court instituted its Truancy Awareness Program (TAP) in 2006. Haynes said that at the time school social workers were overwhelmed and felt they didn’t have the support they needed to adequate address truancy. In time a team of social workers, probation ofﬁcers and treatment providers were brought together to address the problem in a more comprehensive manner. And to get parents to attend meetings about school attendance that they previously blew off, Haynes created a letter designed to look similar to a summons on court letterhead. Hundreds of parents showed up, Haynes recalled. Meetings, presided over by Juvenile Court judges, were initially held at middle and high schools with the message that at the ﬁrst meetings students would get a pass but if the behavior continued they would be ordered to stand before a judge in court. Three judges, each assigned a district in the county, conducted 51 truancy interventions at various schools, Haynes noted. Some truancy ended right there; however, others did not. The Juvenile Court began family assessments to determine what was at the heart of the problem. Issues such as depression, attention-deﬁcit disorder and mental illness turned up through this process. According to Haynes, the assessments give judges and others intricately involved in working with young people “a really good picture of what has to happen for a child to be successful in school.” While Haynes doesn’t want to cite hard numbers, she said that TAP has resulted in a signiﬁcant reduction in the county’s truancy rate. “When they see they are being successful, it’s amazing,” she said. “If you make them successful in school…everything else around them will be successful. “To our knowledge there’s no one in the state with a program that’s this intense,” Haynes said. Haynes likens juvenile court to a “healing court,” a place to be rehabilitated, a place to be healed.” And she recalls one family for which truancy was just the tip of the iceberg. Assessments revealed that two children who had been truant had a mother with mental health issues who also was trying to care for her elderly mother. The children had to be removed from the home for a while and support services were provided to the family, but they have since been reunited with their mother and haven’t missed any more school since returning home. Depending on the particulars of individual cases young people may be linked with services such as drug counseling, mental health services, family counseling, medical services, academic support and more. They may be assigned probation ofﬁcers to make sure they stay on track and/ or have to do community services. Routinely the court will track how the students do academically and attendance-wise for a period of time. Both Haynes and Juvenile Court Chief Judge Desiree Sutton Peagler agree that making young people and their parents come before a judge often has a chilling effect, especially when that judge tells them they could face fees in excess of $500. Said Peagler of the need to keep children in school, “Truancy is a big problem not only in our county but throughout the state. It’s a gateway crime. This is the beginning of the behavior we see that leads to the more serious cases in court.”
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010
A Section • Page 11A
DeKalb property dispute returns to the high court
by Nigel Roberts An ongoing legal clash over a vacant lot in DeKalb County has once again reached the state’s Supreme Court. The high court heard arguments Oct. 18 between Community Renewal and Redemption LLC, a company involved in tax liens and title acquisitions, and Geraldine Nix, a DeKalb schoolteacher. Community Renewal asked the justices to reverse a lower court’s decision that dismissed its suit against Nix. This case stems from DeKalb County auctioning the property in 1993 to satisfy a tax delinquency. In 1998, Nix, who lived on the adjoining lot, submitted the winning bid to obtain the property. To make the purchase, Nix signed a note with her bank (now owned by Bank of America), securing her debt with the deed, even though the county did not give her the deed until three months later. Five years later, Community Renewal obtained an interest in the property when the original owner quitclaimed it to the company. Under state redemption laws, Community Renewal claimed ownership by paying off the tax debt. Community Renewal then sent Nix a $16,000 check—an amount it calculated based on a statutory formula. When Nix refused the check, the company sued, seeking to force redemption of the property. By law, a person whose property has been taken for tax delinquency has a right to redeem the property within a statutory timeframe by paying back taxes. In 2004, the trial court rejected the company’s argument that DeKalb failed to terminate the redemption rights properly and sided with Nix. Community Renewal brought the matter to the Supreme Court in 2005. The justices sided with the company, ruling that under changes in state law, title did not belong to Nix merely by passage of time—sending it back to the trial court. Back in the trial court, Nix sought a dismissal of the case based, this time, on the company’s failure to pay the full redemption price to Bank of America before ﬁling the suit. The trial court sided with Nix, and once again, Community Renewal appealed to the high court. Attorneys for the company told the justices that the law requires redemption payment prior to ﬁling a suit only after the county follows proper procedures to terminate redemption rights, which DeKalb failed to do, they claimed. They also argued that the company does not have to pay Bank of America because the bank’s security deed was recorded in the county records three months before DeKalb actually gave title to Nix. Consequently, Community Renewal had no evidence before ﬁling its suit of a deed recorded outside the “chain of title,” which is the ownership history of a piece of land. Nix also failed to show that she has “title by prescription,” which would include improvements to the vacant lot, the attorneys added. Lawyers representing Nix and Bank of America contended that Community Renewal failed to make a proper title search and must pay the bank a higher amount than it offered Nix. Furthermore, failing to raise the issue of not receiving proper termination of redemption notice ﬁrst in the lower court precludes Community Renewal from raising the issue for the ﬁrst time on appeal.
One man indicted, another charged in armored truck robbery at DeKalb Medical
by Nigel Roberts A Loomis armored truck made a routine stop on Oct. 13 at the DeKalb Medical Center when two masked men, one armed with a gun, unlocked the secure compartment of the truck and walked out with bags of money. One week later, federal prosecutors announced the grand jury indictment of Okevlibus Thornton, 28, of Atlanta. He faces charges of robbery and possession of a ﬁrearm during the robbery. And on Oct. 25, authorities charged an alleged accomplice, Troy Stephens, in the $643,000 heist. Stephens has not yet been indicted. According to allegations, the two masked men loaded the money bags into a waiting U-Haul truck, driven by a third person. Shortly after ﬂeeing the scene, a DeKalb County police ofﬁcer approached the U-Haul truck at a nearby gas station. Thornton allegedly attempted to ﬂee on foot but was apprehended. According to authorities, Thornton was wearing a bulletproof vest and was carrying a Glock 17 handgun when police arrested him. Investigators said they believe the robbery was an inside job. Crime scene investigators found the master key on the ﬂoor of the armored truck’s secure compartment. Representatives of Loomis Fargo & Co, which has a ﬂeet of approximately 3,000 armored vehicles and employs more than 8,000 workers, conﬁrmed that Thornton was an employee. They also reported that the master key had been missing since September, when Thornton was the last employee assigned to that vehicle. “This defendant had the opportunity to earn an honest living as a trusted employee of an armored car company,” stated U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “Instead, he allegedly abused his employer’s trust, and in the middle of a stop at a busy local hospital, put the public and other employees in grave danger by robbing the truck.” At some point, every bill and coin in circulation has taken a ride in an armored vehicle. Consequently, these bulletproof trucks, designed with multiple gun ports, are a magnet for violent robberies. Crime statistics show that most attempts to rob these money trucks fail. According to James L. Dunbar, founder of Dunbar Armored Inc., and co-author of a history of the armored truck industry, on average, thieves attempt to rob banks about 100 times more often than armored trucks. But at the same time, armored truck robberies are far more likely to end tragically. According to ArmoredPro.com, an industry Web site, robbery attempts have resulted in the death of 129 armored guards. The ﬁrst occurred in 1924, in the Bronx, N.Y. The New York Times reported that two gunmen, disguised as workers wearing overalls, approached an armed guard unloading money bags from his Brink’s truck, shot him four times and escaped with $9,500. There are no reports of injuries in robbery at the Medical Center. The indictment against Thornton charges one count of conspiracy to obstruct, delay and affect commerce by robbery, and one count of unlawful possession of a ﬁrearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. He faces a maximum prison sentence of 27 years and a ﬁne of up to $250,000 on each count.
DEKALB TECH ALUMNI
(Degree, Diploma or TCC)
Has DeKalbTech been a part of your life?
We want to reconnect with you through our newly launched DTC Alumni Association website!
Please Register at dekalbtech.edu/alumni
A Section • Page 12A
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010
Plastics class reshapes students’ views on science careers
by Pureterrah Witcher pureterrah@dekalbchamp. com Plastics are in many of the items we use every day – from car safety features such as windshields and seatbelts, to tasty treats such as M&Ms and fastfood shakes. Much of our world is plastic, and for that reason jobs in the plastics engineering ﬁeld are plentiful. This was the message that the national plastics center’s Marjorie Weiner delivered to the 10th graders at Decatur High School, on Oct. 14-15. “Those iPods, cell phones, Wii and XBOX games you guys use – that’s plastics engineering,” said Weiner, director of the mobile classroom program, which travels to schools and companies across the United States, educating people about plastics chemistry, history and sustainability. “The medical industry a lot of students don’t see science as a career option,” said DeWeese. “They think of the stereotypical scientist as being a nerd, wearing a white lab coat. The reality is we are everyday people. Anyone can be a scientist. All you have to do is train yourself to think like one. That’s what I want them to get from this,” he added. Weiner introduced the students to an array of career opportunities in the plastics industry. She explained that in Georgia the plastics industry employs nearly 25,000 people at 370 facilities, making the plastics sector one of the leading industries in the state. “We’ve become a disposable society. When something breaks we throw it away, but the engineering of plastics turns something used into something than can be reused,” she said. “If you like to solve
See Plastic on Page 13A
Marjorie Weiner, Plastivan Program director, gave a fun, hands-on presentation to Decatur High sophmore students about plastics engineering careers. Photo by P. Witcher
uses it for artiﬁcial eyes, hips, knees and the list goes on. Many of the automotive industry’s most expensive cars are largely plastic. And we all know Hollywood wouldn’t be so glamorous without it.” In the two-day event
sponsored by the Society of Plastics Engineers, Weiner engaged the students with entertaining, hands-on experiments that included making slime, skewing a balloon, testing the absorbency of a diaper and creating nylon.
To Sean DeWeese, a science teacher at the school, it is in fun settings like this that students connect science to the real world, and grow a true interest in the subject. “I was so glad to hear they were coming because
Friday, November 12 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Come see what everyone is talking about!
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THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010
A Section • Page 13A
by Pureterrah Witcher
Jurors request 911 tape and crime scene video
Puluc. On the final day of the trial, Oct. 30, Yancey told Judge Hunter he would not testify in his defense and in his attorneys pointed to the crime scene video in their closing statements calling it evidence of “public character assassination.” “What did you see when the crime scene video tape first began?” defense attorney Letitia Delan asked the jury. “You saw news trucks
The jury in the trial of the former DeKalb County sheriff’s deputy Derrick Yancey has deliberated a total of three days without reaching a verdict, as of Nov. 2 at press time. After a short time in deliberation on Oct. 30, in DeKalb County Superior Court, the panel of five women and seven men requested to review the 911 tape and crime scene video when deliberations resumed on Nov. 1. No explanation of the jury’s request could be given by Judge Linda W. Hunter’s chambers. Yancey, 51, was charged in August 2008 with killing his wife Linda Yancey and day laborer Marcial Cax-
See Yancey On Page 17A
The fate of former DeKalb deputy Sherrif Derrick Yancey, charged with double-murder is now in the hands of jurors. The panel of five women and seven men have been deliberating for three days.
DeKalb County Wants to Hear From You Regarding the Proposed Franchise Agreement Renewal with Comcast Cable Communications
Send your comments and/or concerns regarding Comcast’s current performance under the current franchise agreement and/or the future cable-related needs and interests of your community to email@example.com.
The Champion Weather
Seven Day Forecast THURSDAY
Mostly Cloudy High: 61 Low: 39
Nov. 4, 2010
Today's Regional Map Weather History
Nov. 4, 1927 - A great Vermont flood occurred. Tropical rains deluged the Green Mountain area of Vermont, causing the worst flood in the history of the state. Torrential rains, up to 15 inches in the higher elevations, sent streams on a rampage, devastating the Winooski Valley. Nov. 5, 1961 - Strong Santa Ana winds fanned the flames of the Bel Air and Brentwood fires in Southern California, destroying many homes. At 10 p.m., the Los Angeles Civic Center reported a temperature of 74 degrees along with a dew point of 5 degrees. Dunwoody 59/38 Lilburn Smyrna Doraville 60/39 60/39 60/39 Snellville Decatur 61/39 Atlanta 61/39 61/39 Lithonia College Park 62/39 62/39 Morrow 62/39 Union City 62/39 Hampton 63/40
Continued From Page 12A
In-Depth Local Forecast
Today we will see mostly cloudy skies with a slight chance of showers, high temperature of 61º, humidity of 58% and an overnight low of 39º. The record high temperature for today is 80º set in 1946. Friday, skies will be sunny with a high temperature of 57º.
problems there is a place for you in plastics engineering.” Marlin Joyner, a junior and a member of the school’s football team, wasn’t impressed by Weiner’s presentation until she reminded him that plastics are used for increased performance and safety in most of the sports equipment he uses. “Football wouldn’t be much fun without a helmet, would it?” she asked the class. “No, especially not the way I hit ‘em,” Joyner jokingly responded. The class laughed. And on that note Weiner invited him to the front of the class for an experiment. Together they showed that plastics are thermo-polymers, which means they can be heated and reshaped into something new. So were Joyner’s views reshaped on the plastic industry as a career. “That was cool. I never expected all that stuff to come from plastic. I was surprised by all the different uses for it – like clothing and food,” he said. “I’m deﬁnitely going to look into it. Right now, I’m ﬂexible.” To that point, plastic means malleable or shapeable.
Sunny High: 57 Low: 34
*Last Week’s Almanac
Date Hi Lo Normals Precip Tuesday 85 67 70/49 0.00" Wednesday 79 69 69/49 1.23" Thursday 73 57 69/49 0.12" Friday 66 44 69/48 0.00" Saturday 70 38 68/48 0.00" Sunday 74 43 68/48 0.00" Monday 71 43 68/47 0.00" Rainfall . . . . . . .1.35" Average temp . .62.8 Normal rainfall . .0.76" Average normal 58.5 Departure . . . . .+0.59" Departure . . . . .+4.3
*Data as reported from De Kalb-Peachtree Airport
Sunny High: 56 Low: 35
Sunny High: 62 Low: 40
Sunny High: 66 Low: 45
Sunny High: 68 Low: 46 New 11/5
Local Sun/Moon Chart This Week
Day Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Sunrise 7:59 a.m. 8:00 a.m. 8:01 a.m. 7:01 a.m. 7:02 a.m. 7:03 a.m. 7:04 a.m. Sunset 6:42 p.m. 6:42 p.m. 6:41 p.m. 5:40 p.m. 5:39 p.m. 5:38 p.m. 5:38 p.m. Moonrise 6:13 a.m. 7:23 a.m. 8:33 a.m. 8:40 a.m. 9:41 a.m. 10:36 a.m. 11:22 a.m. Moonset 5:26 p.m. 6:08 p.m. 6:54 p.m. 6:47 p.m. 7:43 p.m. 8:43 p.m. 9:43 p.m. Full 11/21
Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Rise 8:57 a.m. 7:17 a.m. 9:54 a.m. 4:29 p.m. 5:35 a.m. 4:34 p.m. Set 7:13 p.m. 5:50 p.m. 7:56 p.m. 4:16 a.m. 5:24 p.m. 4:31 a.m.
Mostly Sunny High: 69 Low: 48 First 11/13
Local UV Index
National Weather Summary This Week
The Northeast will see partly cloudy to cloudy skies with scattered rain and snow today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 62º in Ocean City, Md. The Southeast will see scattered showers today, mostly clear to partly cloudy skies Friday and Saturday, with the highest temperature of 86º in Hollywood, Fla. The Northwest will see mostly clear skies today, isolated rain Friday and Saturday, with the highest temperature of 67º in Twin Falls, Idaho. The Southwest will see mostly clear skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 94º in Chino, Calif.
What part of the United States gets the most hail?
0 - 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11+
UV Index 0-2: Low, 3-5: Moderate, 6-7: High, 8-10: Very High 11+: Extreme Exposure
Answer: “Hail Alley” is found in parts of Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming.
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StarWatch By Gary Becker - It's about Time
The moment is almost upon us to change our clocks back to Standard Time. No, it won’t happen on Halloween. It’s Europe’s turn this week on the morning of October 31. We officially move our clocks back the following Sunday, November 7, by repeating the hours of 1-2 a.m. twice. That change puts us more in harmony with the sun, meaning that the sun reaches its highest point in the heavens, due south, around noontime each day rather than at 1 p.m. as it has been occurring since Sunday, March 14 when clocks were adjusted ahead to begin Daylight Saving Time. Remember it this way; fall back and spring ahead. We really don’t lose or gain any daylight; we simply put time in better synchronization to accommodate our waking hours. If you normally rise and shine around 6 a.m. on workdays, you’ve noticed over the past several months that it has been getting darker and darker each morning. Sunrise for 40 degrees north latitude is now happening about 7:30 a.m. By the winter solstice, sunrise would be closer to 8:20 a.m. when most of us should be in a fully functioning mode. Starting on the morning of November 7, the sunrise at 40 degrees north will occur at 6:30 a.m., and by the winter solstice it will be pushed back to 7:20 a.m. If we gain an hour in the morning, than we must lose an hour at sunset. On Halloween the sun goes down at 6 p.m. On November 1, that falls back to 5 p.m. bringing us closer to sunset around the evening commute. One of the main reasons always cited for wanting to give us some extra light in the morning deals with school safety. Most districts start their day between 7-8 a.m. and for rural districts this can mean an hour or more commuting on a school bus. Pickups can occur as early as 6 a.m. which would in some cases be occurring 2-1/2 hours before sunrise. Get ready for that extra hour of catch up sleep next week. It only happens once each year. www.astronomy.org
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THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010
Flat Rock walks the walk to preserve slave cemetery
by Pureterrah Witcher
A procession of more than 300 people ran, walked and gathered Oct. 30 in Lithonia to preserve a cemetery off Lyons Road–a place where more than 200 slaves rest. Built in 1833, members of the Flat Rock archives and museum say the Flat Rock Slave Cemetery, nestled on a steep hillside in an afﬂuent Lithonia subdivision, is missing a number of headstone markers, security equipment, a protective gate lacks and regular lawn maintenance. “There are so many improvements we need to make to keep this place from being overtaken by the decay of time,” Johnny Waits said, president of the Flat Rock archives and museum, the organization that hosted the event. “As the oldest Black town in DeKalb, the historical sites and records of Flat Rock are essential to preserving the county’s past,” Waits said of the cemetery located within the Arabia
U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, Democrat from Lithonia, spoke to a crowd of participants Oct. 30 about the importance of preserving the Flat Rock slave cemetery. Photos by Pureterrah
Mountain National Heritage Area. Walking through the three-acre cemetery, Waits went on to say the cemetery has been vandalized over the years, but recently cleaned up by the Greater Atlanta Archeology Society, and mapped and studied by Georgia State University. Paperwork to get the cemetery designated as a national historic site is under review.
Helping to consecrate the cemetery for the ﬁrst time, U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, Democrat from
Lithonia, spoke to the crowd who gathered at the sight of DeKalb’s oldest Black church at 4250 Flat Rock Road – torn down in 1971. “Sometimes it takes stopping and looking back at our achievements to appreciate where we are,” Johnson said to the crowd. “The future can look hopeless because we don’t take the time to look back,
appreciate and preserve our history. It’s amazing to see the names and dates on the graves,” he added. Established in antebellum times, Flat Rock appeared on maps in the early 1800s, however was removed after the Civil War, in 1868. To pay homage to those buried in the cemetery, the full day of events included a visit by the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Company, the Atlanta Chapter of the Buffalo Soldiers, songs from the Georgia Geechee Gullah Shouters, and hourly tours to the Lyon South River Plantation, where participants were able to tour slave quarters and learn about the community from historians. “It’s great to be able to bring my family out here to see the cemetery; to experience the history and culture. We’ve never seen something like this,” Renee Wright of Lithonia said, who walked with her children in the 5K Beneﬁt Walk. “I hope this is continued. More people need to know all about this place,” Wright said.
HEALTH Health experts say everyone should get a ﬂu shot this year
Even though the weather is still mild, ﬂu season is here and people of all ages should be prepared, said Diane Watson, director of Georgia’s Ofﬁce of Immunization. She said that, unlike in previous years, this year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending the everyone 6 months old and older get ﬂu shots, not just at-risk populations such as elderly people and those with special health challenges. Every year more than 200,000 Americans are hospitalized from inﬂuenza complications and approximately 36,000 die from inﬂuenza-related causes. Last year there were 79 deaths in Georgia from seasonal inﬂuenza, mostly in the 25-40 age range. Every season is different, according to Watson. And how many people receive ﬂu vaccination can affect the severity of the season. With increased inﬂuenza activity anticipated this fall, U.S. public health ofﬁcials and other leading medical experts are urging Americans to get immunized early for protection against seasonal inﬂuenza, a threat to Americans’ health every year. Seasonal inﬂuenza vaccine is already available in many communities and Americans should begin to get vaccinated now, Watson said, adding that there is no need for concern about availability. Seasonal vaccine supply is expected to top 110 million doses this year. Facts and statistics about inﬂuenza from the Georgia Ofﬁce of Immunization: • Inﬂuenza and pneumonia together are the eighth leading cause of death in the United States. • In the United States, inﬂuenza and its related complications are responsible for approximately 36,000 deaths and more than 200,000 hospitalizations each year. Up to one in ﬁve Americans are infected with the inﬂuenza virus each season. • Only 42 percent of health care workers are immunized against inﬂuenza each year, despite long-standing recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other leading health organizations. Health care workers infected with inﬂuenza can spread this dangerous virus to their patients, who are oftentimes more vulnerable to the disease’s severe complications. • Medicare Part B reimburses fully for both inﬂuenza and pneumococcal immunizations. • Approximately 4,500 Americans die from invasive pneumococcal disease annually. Pneumococcal bacteria can invade the lungs, bloodstream, brain and spinal cord, resulting in a number of different illnesses, including pneumonia and meningitis. Facts and statistics about immunization: • Each year in the United States, an estimated 50,000 Americans die from vaccinepreventable diseases—95 percent are adults. • Vaccines are among the safest prevention options available. Individuals should consult their health care provider to determine their risk for vaccine-preventable diseases and the need for immunization. • Vaccines are very effective in preventing the suffering and costs associated with vaccinepreventable infections, such as inﬂuenza, pneumococcal disease, human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis B. • Some of these illnesses do not have a cure, and all can cause tremendous health problems or even death. • The potential risks associated with the diseases these vaccines prevent are much greater than the potential risks associated with the vaccines themselves.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010
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Of school board races, Redovian’s 42.8 percent of the vote seemed most uncertain as Nancy Jester 47.7 percent. Incumbents Eugene P. Walker of district 9 and Jesse “Jay” Cunningham Jr. of the 5th district, came out ahead of their opponents – both earning more than 55 percent of the vote. Late Tuesday night, Cunningham was unavailable to comment. Shortly before the election information was made public indicating that he has a given the closeness of the race to a recent expose of his criminal record and was convicted of stealing $12,500 in bank deposits from a Decatur McDonald’s in 1982 this information could have been damaging. Cunningham’s $22,000 in
pizza sales to county schools was one of the things that led to a review of the system’s accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. How exactly a seat change would affect the SACS review of DeKalb schools to address serious concerns is not completely clear. SACS ofﬁcials did not return calls from The Champion, as of press time. SACS will visit DeKalb by Feb. 1. Just candidates endorsed by eduKalb’s won – Walker. However the organization created to advance the school board following the indictment of former schools Superintendent Crawford Lewis will endorse other candidates in 2012, when District seats 2, 4, 6 and 8 are up for election.
Liz Carter, still hopeful as early returns came in, thanks supporters as they watch results come in at a Northlake area hotel. Photo by John Hewitt
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for Republican Mike Crane, a construction company owner. Scott, who was first elected to Congress in 2002, serves on Financial Services Committee,
the Foreign Affairs Committee where he is vice chair of the Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade Subcommittee, and the Agriculture Committee.
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Republicans dominated the statewide races despite heavy support by DeKalb voters for Democratic candidates. Republicans were winning the governor and lieutenant governor races, a Senate race and the secretary of state race at press time. But their Democratic opponents carried a large majority of votes in the county. Republican Nathan Deal beat Democrat Roy Barnes to be-
come the next governor. Johnny Isakson led in the race to keep his Senate seat and Republican Casey Cagle was leading the lieutenant governor’s race. DeKalb voters were in favor of Barnes (75.7 percent to 20.1 percent for Deal) and Carol Porter, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor (74.8 percent to 22.18 percent for Cagle). In one of the more highly an-
ticipated local races other than the school board, Democrat Robert James was leading in the DeKalb County district attorney race. James got 64.4 percent (76,077) of the vote compared to 35.6 percent (42,067) for Democrat Carol Pinson Heard. Democrats dominated the state Senate and House races that involved DeKalb County districts with 66 percent of precincts report-
ing. Of the nine races where candidates were not unopposed, Democrats led six seats. House District 81 incumbent Republican Jill Chamber at press time was trailing Democratic challenger Elena Parent. In the Senate, Fran Millar was the only Republican to win. Running for a vacant seat, Millar got 61.9 percent of the vote compared to Eric Christ with 38.1 percent.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010 • PAGE 16A
Hardware store celebrates 25th anniversary with some original staff still there
by Kathy Mitchell firstname.lastname@example.org When Decatur resident Tony Powers was a student at the University of Georgia, he took a part-time job at the new Intown Ace Hardware on Scott Boulevard. The store is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and Powers is still there, but now he’s the store manager and one of the owners. Like his partner Dave Jones, Powers has been with the store since the day it opened. “This marks an exciting milestone for us,” Jones stated in a news release. “We’re proud to be part of this community for two and a half decades. It’s been our honor to help customers with their home maintenance needs, and we look forward to another 25 years of serving the residents of Decatur.” “This part of Decatur has changed a lot since we ﬁrst came here,” Powers observed. “Most of the residents right around us were older people on ﬁxed incomes.” The area, he said has become more diverse not only in terms of age and income, but ethnicity as well. In recent years, he said, younger double-income families have moved into the area and are looking for more upscale merchandise. “Years ago if someone had suggested that we would be selling $25-a-gallon paint, we would have laughed, but our customers want more quality merchandise.” Powers said that his store is able to continue doing well despite the proliferation of “big box” stores that carry similar items because of the niche ACE has carved out in the growing hardware industry. Customers at the 13,000-square-foot Scott Boulevard store can ﬁnd thousands of home maintenance products and supplies along with automotive and home décor items, as well as such national brands as Benjamin Moore paint, Big Green Egg, Mrs. Meyers and Weber grills. “When you have great products and great service, customers keep coming back. We carry some of the most respected brand names and best-selling products in the industry,” he said. “Every year, one of us goes to the national trade show to see the very latest in the merchandise we carry. We want the items to be in our stores before the ads for them show up in magazines. We want, when customers come in at ask about a new item, to be able to say, ‘Yes, we have it here in the store.’” Powers said he and his staff work hard at living up to Ace’s national “helpful hardware man” slogan. “Our goal is to remain industry leaders—the experts in our ﬁeld.” He said that the merchandise mix has changed a great deal over the years. Along with the screwdrivers, hammers,
The wide variety of merchandise available at Intown Ace Hardware includes plants and gardening supplies. Photos by Kathy Mitchell
Partners Tony Powers, right, and Dave Jones have been with the store since it opened 25 years ago.
lumber and lawnmowers are barbecue grills, spices and even women’s perfume. “We’re returning to the old general merchandise concept that was prevalent in most American cities 100 years ago,” Powers said. “People like being able to do their shopping in one place.”
Notice of Cancellation of Public Hearing The Planning and Zoning Board of the City of Avondale Estates has cancelled the public hearing scheduled for Monday, November 15, 2010 at 6:00 p.m.
Celebrating more than 70 Years of Service
November 11th – BBS – Bartering and Business. Location: DeKalb Convention & Visitor’s Bureau – 1957 Lakeside Parkway, Suite 510, Tucker, GA 30084. Register online at www.dekalbchamberofcommerce.org. November 17th - Network DeKalb Leads Group – Fourth Quarter. Take part in a pure Networking Program. Lunch Served. Courtyard by Marriott. COST: $10.00- Members (advance) / $15.00 (door) /$20.00 Non-members. November 18th – Ribbon Cutting Ceremony – Delta Community Credit Union – 11:30 am. November 18th – Business After-Hours – Hilton Garden Inn – Stonecrest – 7890 Mall Ring Road, Lithonia, Ga 30038 – 678-526-1000. Chamber Members – No Cost. Non-Members $10.00. Register online at www.dekalbchamber.org. November 25th – 26th – Thanksgiving Holiday. The DeKalb Chamber Office will be closed.
The proposed 2011 Maintenance and Operations budget and Capital Improvements budgets for the City of Pine Lake will be available for public review at the Pine Lake City Hall, 462 Clubhouse Drive, Pine Lake, Georgia during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, beginning the week of November 8th. The City Council for the City of Pine Lake will conduct a Public Hearing to solicit citizen input on the proposed budgets during the regular City Council meeting scheduled for November 30, 2010, beginning at 7:30 PM. The Public Hearing will be held in the Courtroom/Council Chambers located at 459 Pine Drive, Pine Lake, GA 30072. All interested citizens are invited to attend and be heard.
For more information on DeKalb Chamber related events or to receive email updates, call 404-3788000 or visit www.dekalbchamber.org
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010
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2010 Public Safety Champions named
At the DeKalb Police Alliance’s Fourth Annual Police Ofﬁcers Ball, held Oct. 30 at the Crown Plaza Ravinia in Dunwoody, the 2010 Public Safety Champions were presented trophies and certiﬁcates commemorating their dedication to public safety. Master of ceremonies and WSB-TV news personality, Mark Winne, announced recipients’ names while Carolyn Rehling, chair of the ball and Carolyn Glenn, publisher of The Champion Newspaper presented each honoree with a trophy. Those individuals and organizations recognized were DeKalb County Police Department Education Specialist Janean Hightower; DeKalb County SWAT Team and Bomb Squad member; Lt. Greg Ivanov; Major Lionel Higdon of the DeKalb County Police Department Command Center Precinct; Chief John King of the Doraville Police Department; William “Rusty” Furman, Dunwoody Police Department; ofﬁcer A. T. Watts, DeKalb County Police, South Precinct; Sgt. Larry Williams, Lithonia Police Department; Chief Tony Scipio, Clarkston Police Department; ofﬁcer Richard LePage, Jr. of DeKalb Police Department East Precinct; Sgt. Roy Peeler of DeKalb Police Department, East Precinct; Corporal Paul Conroy, Avondale Estates Police Department; Grant Knox, volunteer at DeKalb Police Center Precinct; Jerry Cullen and James Floyd of the Northwoods Neighborhood Watch Program; Joscelyn O’Neill, Greater Towers Community Neighborhood Watch Coordinator, and Joan and Arnold Kurth of North Briarcliff Civic Association Neighborhood Watch. More than 40 individuals and organizations were nominated for the awards in the months leading up to the celebration. In addition to the individual awards, Darryl Ford, owner and general manger of Stone Mountain Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge offered six ﬂat screen televisions to help support public safety training initiatives. Names of each municipal police department, DeKalb County schools police as well as the Sheriff and Marshal’s ofﬁces were placed into a bowl and names were drawn for ofﬁces that would receive the televisions. The winners of the ﬂatscreens were the police departments of Chamblee, Dunwoody, Clarkston, Avondale Estates, Lithonia and Stone Mountian.
Police Chief William O’Brien welcomes guests and honorees to the Police Officer Ball. Photo by John Hewitt
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points for both sides. The state raised questions about Yancey’s statement that he was acting in self defense when he shot and killed Cax-Puluc and his demeanor during the 911 call–suggesting to jurors it was all a set up. “Why was the gun placed in [Cax-Puluc’s] hand when there has been testimony that he’s right-handed? The blood on his hands is consistent with holding a wound,” Geary said. “What about the fact that there was no blood on the defendant’s face although he claimed to have given CPR to his wife, who had blood coming from her mouth?” To that the defense pointed to state witnesses who testified to the contrary. “One of the state’s own witnesses stated Mr. Yancey was so distraught officers had to carry him out of the basement,” defense co-counsel McMullin said. She went on to address the motivation behind Yancey’s decision in August 2009 to cut his electronic monitoring device while on house arrest, and leave the country for Belize. “The prosecution wants you to believe Derrick Yancey ran when his story unraveled. Really? All the witnesses we’ve seen have collaborated with his story,” Delan said, as she methodically took the jury through a line-by-line analysis of Yancey’s initial statement to police. “There is no evidence that his story unraveled. His mother testified that he was depressed. He had no money, nor had he looked to go to a country that doesn’t extradite to the U.S.,” she added. Prosecutors honed in on the fact that Yancey fled on a Saturday morning – when no one would be working he’d have the opportunity to get as far away a possible. “That man did not intend to be found. He was avoiding justice,” said assistant district attorney Geary. “He thought he’d get away with it. But, if he’s man enough to kill a 20-year-old day laborer and his wife – to jam a 357 into her chest and blow her heart in half – he’s man enough to face you,” Geary said to the jurors. Earlier in the trial, on Oct. 30, defense attorneys moved to have Yancey acquitted of all charges on the basis that the prosecution’s evidence was solely circumstantial. However, Judge Hunter dismissed the motion. She also threw out the statement of Danita Huff, a friend of Yancey’s wife, who said Linda confided in her that her husband would kill her. If found guilty, Derrick Yancey faces a minimum of two life sentences.
right in front of the house – they arrived before all the police could. At the time there were several police-involved shootings in DeKalb under investigation. Derrick Yancey was convicted by the media before his trial ever began,” Delan said. In its closing statement the prosecution told a tale of household turmoil – a family not reflecting on the outside the discord within. “The way he kept his yard so immaculate is a reflection of how far he would go to get what he wanted – to keep up appearances,” chief assistant district attorney Don Geary said of Yancey. “He wants to be seen as the hero. The one who shoots the home invader,” said Geary. Before that, defense attorneys Delan and Ruth McMullin presented their closing arguments to the jury claiming the state gave no motive, no witnesses and no cover-up. “This is a case of intersecting tragedies. The first was the attempted robbery by day laborer Marcial CaxPuluc, and the second is the prosecution of Derrick Yancey,” Delan said to the jury. “There are all kinds of reasonable doubts in this case. They [state prosecutors] have proven nothing. Theirs is a road map that leads you nowhere,” she added. But there were sticking
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vehicle, Roger Woodward, and his 3-year-old son Nicholas Woodard, suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Roger Woodard was taken to Atlanta Medical Center and his son was seen at Egleston. Gilbert and Coleman were taken to Grady Memorial Hospital and remain there, according to a hospital spokesman. Godfrey said he found out about the accident
about 20 minutes after it happened via a text from principal Angela Bethea’s husband. The marching band still performed at the game Saturday night and a moment of silence was held before the game. Southwest won the game 7-0. “Our principal told me, ‘you don’t know how big that was,’” Godfrey said. “We had to win that game for the community.”
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010 • PAGE 18A
Students weigh choices at college fair
by Robert Naddra email@example.com Brett Oakman is interested in pursuing a college degree in sports medicine. But until he stepped into the gym at Towers High School recently for the school’s inaugural college fair, Oakman, a junior, didn’t realize that pursuit was beginning this year. More than 40 colleges from across the country took part in the fair, which allowed students to learn more about classes offered and the application process at schools they’re interested in. Along with those from many Georgia colleges, representatives from schools such as Howard University, Virginia Tech, the University of North Carolina, the University of Alabama and the military academies were on hand to help students learn more about their schools. “Without this I don’t think I would have applied until my senior year,” said Oakman, who wants to major in sports medicine. “It really opens my eyes to all the opportunities I have and allows us to see what all the options are.” Towers is among a growing number of schools in DeKalb County that holds college fairs on campus. Lithonia High School is hosting a fair this month, and Southwest DeKalb and Dunwoody are among schools that have had college fairs this fall. For students to have access to so many colleges at their school is more productive than if a student attends larger fairs venues like the World Congress Center, Towers administrators said. The fair at Towers was open to its senior class of 186 students and a junior class of 218 students. “This gives kids a better opportunity to talk to more schools,” said Christa Robinson, the head counselor at Towers. “They can get more information than they could at larger fairs and can spend more time with representatives and be able to ask questions. We wanted to have it ﬁrst semester because by second semester they’re already getting acceptance letters. Robinson said she hopes to expand the fair in the coming years and eventually make it available to the entire student body. “We’re already doing things in the ninth grade academy to expose them to college,” Robinson said. “Next year we’ll add the 10th graders and eventually we’ll make it available to the entire school. We don’t want them to wait until the last minute to start to prepare.” Like Oakman, Towers students Tam Vu and Jori Davis liked the options they discovered by attending the fair. Vu, a senior, wants to study biology or physical therapy and Davis, a junior, is interested in psychology. Both found schools that they didn’t realize had their course of study. “I like a lot of different schools,” Davis said. “[The fair] was really helpful and it opened my eyes to other schools I hadn’t thought about.” Some colleges offered incentives to help students with their decisions. Atlanta Christian College, for example, waived its application fee for October, Vu said. Vu compared different colleges with a checklist. “I wanted to ﬁnd out about class size, the grades they require and each school has some individual scholarships that they offer,” Vu said. “This allows you to ﬁnd out about a variety of schools so you won’t be limited.”
Towers High School students, top and bottom photos, check out information at the school’s first college fair that was held earlier this month. Center photo: Towers principal Kenn Baker and counselor Timica Porter. Photos by Robert Naddra
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010
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Emory’s Johnson Medals to honor champions of civil, human rights
Emory University’s James Weldon Johnson Institute is set to award the 2010 James Weldon Johnson Medals to seven individuals whose achievements and service reﬂect a deep and unwavering commitment to civil and human rights. The medals will be presented at 7 p.m., Monday, Nov. 8, at The Carter Center. The medals honor the legacy and accomplishments of legendary writer, journalist, civil rights leader, musician and humanitarian James Weldon Johnson. On Tuesday, Nov. 9, the medalists will take part in a colloquium panel discussion on campus for undergraduate students. “Lessons Learned Along This Way” will be from noon to 1 p.m. in White Hall 208. The medalists will share the factors that shaped their commitment to social justice, and then engage in conversation with the audience. The 2010 Johnson Medalists are: • Lucy Cline Huie, for humanitarian service. An Emory alum, Huie is co-founder of HOPE, a civil rights project whose purpose was to desegregate public schools in Jonesboro, Ga., in the 1940s and ‘50s. Huie courageously deﬁed the White supremacists of Jonesboro and Clayton County. Her archive documenting this period in Georgia’s civil rights history is in Emory’s Manuscript, Archive and Rare Book Library. of the Joseph E. Lowery Institute for Justice and Human Rights at Clark Atlanta University, and was awarded the National Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. • Robert (Bob) P. Moses, for civil rights. Founder of The Algebra Project, Moses was a pivotal organizer for the Civil Rights Movement as ﬁeld secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and was director of SNCC’s Mississippi Project. He was a driving force behind the Mississippi Summer Project of 1964 in organizing the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which challenged the Mississippi regulars at the 1964 Democratic Convention. • Justice Leah Ward Sears, for law. Sears is an Emory trustee and alumna, and a partner in the Atlanta law ﬁrm Schiff Hardin. She was appointed in 1992 by Gov. Zell Miller to Georgia’s Supreme Court, where she became the ﬁrst woman, and the youngest person, to sit on the court. From 2005-09 she served as chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court. Atlanta. The ceremony will be led by actress Regina Taylor and Rudolph P. Byrd, Goodrich C. White Professor of American Studies and founding director of the Johnson Institute. Emory President James W. Wagner will offer remarks and present one award. Each medal will be presented following a reading from Johnson’s works by special guests from Emory and Atlanta, including former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin. The Coca-Cola Company is sponsoring the ceremony as a Founding Corporate Sponsor of the Johnson Institute. “The Johnson Medal Award Ceremony is an occasion when we may reclaim and reafﬁrm our commitment to the greatest social movement of the 20th century,” said Byrd, and offer the Emory and Atlanta community a chance to “pause to reﬂect upon our relationship to a living history that has provided us with a knowledge of our condition.” The Johnson Medal ceremony is one of the signature programs of the Johnson Institute, and is its principal fundraiser. Tickets are $30 and $20 for students. All funds raised provide ongoing and future support of the institute’s various programs. Advance tickets are available through the Emory Alumni Association; visit http://bit. ly/jwjiawardtickets.
• The late Sondra K. Wilson, for humanitarian service. Wilson was a leading scholar of James Weldon Johnson and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Wilson was executor of the Estate of Grace Nail and James Weldon Johnson, and the founder of the James • Deborah E. Lipstadt, Weldon Johnson Memorial for humanitarian service. Foundation, which for more Lipstadt is Emory’s Dorot than a decade awarded the Professor of Modern Jewish James Weldon Johnson and Holocaust Studies at the Medal. (The Johnson Tam Institute. A courageous Institute is now the defender of the truth of custodian of the Johnson the Holocaust, she is the Medal.) author of the prize-winning History on Trial: My Day in • Ambassador Andrew J. Court with David Irving. Young, for civil rights. The former mayor of Atlanta, • Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, Young was a congressman for civil rights. Lowery was and a top aid to the Rev. vice president and president Martin Luther King Jr. of the Southern Christian He is the founding principal Leadership Conference. and co-chairman of Good Lowery is the founder Works International of
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THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010
bring in “Red Rocks Romance.” The curator and executive director wanted to present it Free ﬁlm to be shown at and “Agave Maria” to the board Emory of directors for a possible purchase. “Agave Maria” was in There will be a screening of the recent juried members show the ﬁlm Hail the Conquering held at the Booth. It is the latest Hero Wednesday, Nov. 10, in Goettee’s series of “Fiesta at 7:30 p.m., White Hall 205, Emory University, Atlanta. Writer- Dresses,” and recently sold to a patron of the museum. Goettee’s director-producer Preston Sturges followed up his comedy work can be seen at http://michaelgoettee.com. hit Miracle of Morgan’s Creek with another home-front tale, also starring Eddie Bracken. This time Bracken is Woodrow Lafayette Pershing Truesmith, the son of a WWI Marine hero Family reunion workshop who can’t face returning home offered after being discharged for chronic hay fever. All of Sturges’ The DeKalb Convention and favorite character actors are Visitors Bureau again is hostback and in pitch-perfect form. ing free family reunion planning The results earned his script an workshops. The workshops Academy Award nomination. offer tips that can help simplify The event is free and open to the public. For more information, the planning and make famvisit www.ﬁlmstudies.emory.edu ily reunions more entertaining. Workshops can be attended or call (404) 727-6761. by anyone interested. Reunion workshops are held on SaturFree concert announced days from 9 a.m. until noon unless otherwise noted. The next Grammy-winning bassist scheduled workshop is planned John Clayton will perform in for Nov. 13 at DeKalb Technical a free concert on Thursday, College, 495 North Indian Drive, Nov. 11, at Emory’s Schwartz Clarkston. Reunion workshops Center for Performing Arts Emory Concert Hall, 1700 North are free, but pre-registration is required. To register call (770) Decatur Road, Atlanta. Joining 492-5000 or visit www.dcvb.org. Clayton will be pianist Gary Motley, Emory University’s Recycling event planned director of jazz studies, along with trumpeter Jason Covey, saxophonist Randy Hunter and Keep DeKalb Beautiful will drummer Justin Chesarek. The host “SHRED–IT,” a recycling event to emphasize recycling event is free and open to the and eco-friendly services on public. For more information, America Recycles Day (ARD) on visit www.arts.emory.edu. Saturday, Nov. 13, 9 a.m. - noon at Georgia Perimeter College, Clarkston campus, parking lot 4, in front of the Fine Arts Building at 555 N. Indian Creek Drive. With identity theft on the rise, protecting personal identiﬁcation has become even more Local artist’s work in important. To protect personal museum information, SHRED-IT is offering free, secured shredding Avondale Estates resident and of sensitive materials. SHRED-IT artist Mike Goettee recently will have on-site destruction of had one of his paintings all sensitive documents. These chosen for the permanent collection at the Booth Western items are then recycled and used in the production of new Art Museum in Cartersville. products. During the summer, Goettee was asked by the curator to
Soil and water conservation meeting scheduled The DeKalb County Soil and Water Conservation District monthly meeting will be held on Friday, Nov. 12, at 10 a.m. at the Clark Harrison Building, 330 W. Ponce de Leon Ave. in Decatur. For additional information call (770) 761-3020. Play to be presented at local church The James Baldwin play The Amen Corner will be performed at Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church on Nov. 6 and 7. Written in 1955, The Amen Corner is a three-act play about Harlem churches, and focuses on the conﬂicts between art and religion, love of others and love of the Lord, as well as relationships in the Black church. Directed by David K. Price & DK Productions, the play stars Delesslyn Kennebrew as Sister Margaret. Rev. William Flippin Sr., pastor of Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church, and Pastor Grace C. Washington are the executive producers. Tickets may be purchased at BaSix Knowledge Academy, 2941 Columbia Drive, Decatur, and are $15 advance purchase and $20 at the door. Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church is located at 1879 Glenwood Ave., SE, Atlanta. For more information, call (404) 2898105. Tea to be held at learning center Greenforest’s McCalep Christian Early Learning Center, which serves children from the age of 6 weeks old through 4 years old will be hosting a MothersTo- Be and New Mothers Tea on Saturday, Nov. 6, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. The session will inform participants about the center’s standards and provide information about the beneﬁts of early childhood education. The tea will be held in the Genesis Room of the center at 3250 Rainbow Drive in Decatur. The session is free but seating is limited to the ﬁrst 50 participants who RSVP to (404) 486-6763. PRISM event to support nonproﬁts Pride Rings In Stone Mountain (PRISM) invites DeKalb residents to support community non-proﬁts and charities Thursday, Nov. 11, 7 – 9 p.m. at St. Timothy United Methodist Church, 5365 Memorial Drive, Stone Mountain. Residents will also get a chance to learn more about various local non-proﬁts and charities. Among the organizations that will be present are World Relief, Friends of Disabled Adults and Children, Access Resource Center (ARC), Positive Growth, Oakhurst Medical, and Toys for Tots. Organizers welcome donations of non-perishable food items and new or gently worn clothing. Children’s African Ball announced Roots to Fruits Children’s African Ball, a celebration of the richness of African heritage and the African family, will be held Wednesday, Nov. 13, at the Atrium Events Center, 5479 Memorial Drive, Stone Mountain. Special guests include Baba “Yoga” Bey (libation), Nana Camille Yarbrough, African drummers, Asad Khan (opening meditation), Rakaba West African Ballet, Mocko-Jumbie Stilt Dancers, students from local African-centered schools such as Roots to Fruits “Green Babies,” Pearl Academy, Black Star Educational Institute, HABESHA, Aya Educational Institute, Akoben Institute, Kirikou Cast, and more. For more information, visit www. childrensafricanball.com.
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THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010 • PAGE 22A
DeKalb High School Sports Highlights Region title
on line for M.L. King, Stephenson
by Robert Naddra email@example.com
Redan’s Keshawn Sibley (6) fends off a Douglass defender during the Raiders 30-6 victory. Photos by Travis Hudgons
Tucker 58, Lithonia 6: Bashr Coles rushed for 224 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries as the Tigers (9-0, 9-0 Region 6-AAAA) clinched the region title. N’Quan Maggett added 139 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries as the Tigers piled up 403 yards rushing. Also, quarterback Norman Hayes threw touchdown passes to Coles and Justin Garrett. Marist 24, Mays 7: The War Eagles (7-2, 7-2 Region 6-AAAA) took possession of second place in the region with the win. Marist broke a 7-7 tie at the end of the ﬁrst quarter with 17 unanswered points. Andy Perez, Matthew Barker and Jason Morris each ran for touchdowns for the War Eagles. Justin Olderman was one of the defensive leaders with four tackles, four sacks and two caused fumbles. William Curran and Keller Carlock each had four tackles. Southwest DeKalb 7, Miller Grove 0: George Kennedy rushed for 152 yards, including a 56-yard touchdown, on 16 carries for the Panthers (7-2, 7-2 Region 6-AAAA). The Panthers rushed for 267 yards and held the Wolverines to 84 yards total offense. Terrance Smith led the defense in tackles and had 5.5 sacks. Toran Davis added 12 tackles for the Panthers, who played the game a day after a 14-year-old student was killed in a car accident. M.L. King 30, East Coweta 23: Jonquel Dawson passed for 195 yards and four touchdowns, setting the single-season record for touchdown passes in DeKalb County with 31. Senior Demarco Robinson caught four passes for 45 yards and two touchdowns, while Blake Tibbs and Devin Johnson each caught a touchdown pass. Kevin Byard added a rushing touchdown for the
See Highlights on page 23
M.L.King defensive backs Alan Carson (7) and Kevin Byard, left, battle East Coweta receiver Eddie Morris for the ball in the Lions’ 30-23 win.
Another M.L. King-Stephenson showdown, another region title on the line. It is a script that the two teams have become familiar with since the series began in 2006. Stephenson leads the series 3-1, with the winner claiming the region title each year. This is the ﬁrst time the game is the regular-season ﬁnale for both teams. M.L. King’s only win came in 2007. This year should be a stark contrast from last year’s game when each team had a high-proﬁle running back. Stephenson has a pair of blue-chip backs in Mike Davis and Willie Davis. They have rushed for more than 900 yards each. M.L. King’s spread offense is powered by the quarterback-receiver tandem of Jonquel Dawson and Demarco Robinson. Dawson has set the single-season record in the county for touchdown passes and Robinson has the singleseason touchdown receptions record. “People know what the ramiﬁcations and magnitude of this game are,” Lions coach Michael Carson said. “The region championship is on the line for both teams every year.” Both teams have endured rugged pre-region schedules to prepare for this showdown. Stephenson beat Parkview, Cedar Grove and Tift County while M.L. King faced South Gwinnett, Collins Hill and Valdosta, all state playoff teams. “We’ve got to be able to stop both of the Davis kids,” Carson said. “This is going to be a huge challenge for our defense. When you look at our defense, we’ve overcome a lot of obstacles and gotten better as the season has progressed.” In Region 6-AAAA, Tucker (9-0) has clinched the region title and No. 1 seed. Marist, Southwest DeKalb and Mays will take the other three playoff spots if they can avoid upsets in the ﬁnal week of the regular season. Several other DeKalb County teams have playoff spots on the line this weekend in Region 5-AAA and Region 6-AA. In 5-AAA, Columbia plays at St. Pius with the winner advancing to the state playoffs. Cedar Grove has secured its ﬁrst playoff berth since 1999 and can win the region with a victory at Grady this weekend. In Region 6-AA, Decatur can advance to the playoffs with an upset of Lovett.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010
A Section • Page 23A
The Champion chooses a male and female high school Athlete of the Week each week throughout the school year. The choices are based on performance and nominations by coaches. Please e-mail nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday at noon. MALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Jonquel Dawson, M.L. King (football): The junior quarterback set the single-season record for passing touchdowns in DeKalb County after throwing four touchdown passes Oct. 29 in a 30-23 win over Newnan. Dawson has 31 touchdown passes on the season. FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Erin Osment, St. Pius, (cross country): The junior won the Region 5-AAA girls cross country championship Oct. 30 at Mercer University in Atlanta with a time of 20:49.14 and led the Golden Lions to the team championship.
District 4 Congressman Hank Johnson executes the coin toss before the M.L. King-East Coweta game on Oct. 29 at Hallford Stadium. Photo by Travis Hudgons
Highlights from page 22
Lions (6-3, 4-1 Region 2-AAAAA). Patrick Callaway led the defense with 14 tackles, Malik Nelson had nine tackles and two sacks and Jared Johnson had eight tackles and two sacks. The Lions face Stephenson on Friday with the region title on the line. Dunwoody 31, Chamblee 0: The Wildcats (5-4, 5-4 Region 6-AAAA) have won three in a row and ﬁve of their past six games after an 0-3 start. Scoring for the Wildcats were Breon Isaac on a 20-yard run; Justin King on a 1-yard run; DeWayne Brown on a 3-yard run; A.J. Manuel on an 8-yard run; and Zack Breed on a 26-yard ﬁeld goal. Stephenson 17, Newnan 14: Mike Davis rushed for 175 yards and a touchdown for the Jaguars (9-0, 5-0 Region 2-AAAAA). Jordan Tarver scored on a quarterback sneak with less than ﬁve minutes remaining to give the Jaguars a 17-14 lead. Woodward Academy 25, Columbia 7: The Eagles (6-3, 4-2 Region 5-AAA) were ﬂagged for 85 yards in penalties and committed two turnovers in the ﬁnal 13 minutes of the game. Kenno Loyal rushed for more than 150 yards and a touchdown for the Eagles, who will play at St. Pius on Friday for a berth in the Class AAA state playoffs. St. Pius 40, Washington 6: Geno Smith scored on touchdown runs of 41 and 45 yards, and Logan Rosborough scored on a 2-yard run for the Golden Lions (72, 5-1 Region 5-AAA). The win secured the No. 2 seed in 5-AAA, Division A for St. Pius, which will host a play-in game Friday against Columbia.
Region 5-AAA Championships, at Mercer University, Atlanta St. Pius swept both the boys and girls individual and team titles. In the boys race, Brendan Hoban won with a time of 16:29 and was one of four Golden Lions in the top seven. Other top St. Pius ﬁnishers were Austin Sprague (fourth, 17:30) Calvin O’Leary (sixth, 17:39); and Calvin Tirrell (seventh, 17:43). Druid Hills placed two runners in the top 10—Andrew Whitten (eighth, 17:51) and Ray Lamb (ninth, 17:52). St. Pius had the top three spots and four of the top ﬁve in the girls race. The top ﬁnishers for the St. Pius girls were champion Erin Osment (20:49), followed by Devon Dabney (second, 21:27); Taylor Glenn (third, 21:59); and Sarah Fristoe (ﬁfth, 22:08). Druid Hills placed two girls in the top 10—Melissa Florkowski (seventh, 22:15) and Mary Kate Leary (ninth, 22:28). The top four teams and the top 10 individuals advance to the state meet. Region 6-AA, at Blessed Trinity Leonel Ayala of Cross Keys, the defending AA state champion, placed second with a time of 17:09.43 and Javier Garcia of Cross Keys was ninth in 17:29.64. The Indians placed third in the team standings and earned a trip to the state meet. Region 2-AAAAA, at Luella High School Two Stephenson runners placed among the top 20. Freshman Chaz Berry was 14th in the boys race with a time of 19:17.36. Freshman Brittany Davis was 17th in the girls race with a time of 25:37.71.
Each week The Champion spotlights former high school players from the county who are succeeding in athletics on the college level. Dwayne Harris, East Carolina (football): The senior from Tucker caught nine passes for 146 yards and a touchdown in the Pirates’ 49-35 loss to Central Florida on Oct.30. Harris leads the Pirates with 750 yards receiving. Treavor Scales, Harvard (football): The sophomore from Dunwoody rushed for 124 yards on 18 carries in a 30-14 win over Dartmouth on Oct. 30. It was the second straight time Scales has rushed for at least 100 yards in a game this season. Ahmed Shakoor, Marshall (football): The junior defensive back from Stephenson had four tackles in a 16-12 win over Texas-El Paso on homecoming. Shakoor has 24 tackles on the season.
Marist advanced to the semiﬁnals of the Class AAAA state tournament before losing to Chattahoochee 3-0 (25-16, 2521, 25-23) on Oct. 27. The War Eagles last won a state title in 2006 and have played in the championship match in six of the past eight seasons.
A Section • Page 24A
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010
State basketball champs hit the hardwood for hardware
by Matt Amato Two DeKalb County girls basketball teams are state champions and both are missing the rings to prove it. For Southwest DeKalb and Columbia, the customary reward for achieving such a feat could be delivered with help from a special preseason game in which proceeds go to securing the all-important rings. “Year after year, the best basketball is played here [DeKalb County], and it’s a chance to see two state champions play each other,” said Southwest coach Kathy Walton. “We don’t get the chance to play each other, so there’s bragging rights. We’ll be taking it serious like a regular game.” Walton has presided over three AAAA state championships in a row but thinks an historic fourth may be out of reach. “I lost eight seniors so we have to regroup again,” she said. “The ﬁrst one is tough, the second is tougher and the third is toughest.” Southwest was in a similar position with rings last year, and a fundraising game was organized with Redan, which won the Class AAAAA state title two seasons ago. Walton said the event was a sellout and that after learning of Columbia’s predicament she “wanted to try and ﬁgure out a way to help each other.” Since the matchup was announced, Columbia coach Chantay Frost said alumni, staff and faculty at the school were pushing hard for its success. “Southwest DeKalb and Columbia have had great community support for a long time,” said Frost, whose brother attended Southwest. “They’re very supportive of us, so we’re grateful for the outpouring of respect and love.” Columbia graduated four seniors from its AAA championship team, but Frost believes the program’s culture and talent will ensure that the Lady Eagles stay competitive. “It’s more difﬁcult to win a second, but they’re working hard,” she said. “Our team GPA average is 3.3, and most are in AP classes.” Each ring costs about $350 with about 30 needed for each team. In addition to the game, Columbia has organized a fundraising luncheon in which Atlanta Dream owner Kathy Betty is the guest speaker. Frost said the team also is trying to secure enough funds to take part in two out-of-state tournaments later in the season. All immediate attention, she said, is focused on the Southwest game. “Any time these teams play it’s looking forward to it, and we always going to be a competitive game and try to win,” she said. coach Walton does a great job. We’re The game will take place at South-
west DeKalb High School on Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available in advance for $5 or $8 at the door.
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