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

and Stone Mountain.

This article is the second of a series looking into the rise and fall of former Georgia Perimeter College president Anthony Tricoli. by Andrew Cauthen



Audit: Inaccurate budget data provided to former GPC president

WHYIS SHE WHYIS SHE SO SO HAPPY ? shop SHE HYISAvondale EstatesHAPPY? boasts a bit HAPPY ? of the bizarre WHY
Merrick Mixson, owner of The Odd's End, opened the shop several years ago to store all of his collectibles because he began to run out of room at his house. The shop recently moved to Avondale Estates from the East Atlanta Village. Photo by Daniel Beauregard

medical tools and taxidermied animals, is likely to give some people chills, which he said is one of his favorite parts of the job. When For Merrick Mixson, one man’s trash he got older Mixson toured with his hardcore is another one’s treasure, no matter how old, punk rock band for several years before setstrange or weird it is. tling down. Once he did settle down, Mixson Mixson, owner of The Odd’s End curiosity said he began collecting as much as he could. shop in Avondale Estates, has had an obsession Eventually, Mixson opened a shop and with the macabre since an early age—he attrioperated in the East Atlanta Village for apbutes it to his mother and the time she and his proximately a year and a half before moving it father took him to see a horror movie when he to its current location in a Victorian house in was 4 years old. Avondale Estates, located off College Avenue. “The first movie I saw was 2,000 Maniacs “When I told my wife, ‘I’m going to open in the back of my old man’s convertible—my up a shop and take all my stuff and put it in it,’ mom was a horror nut and she got me into it. I she said, ‘Thank God.’ She said she was sick of saw it at the drive-in back in Charleston, where living in the Addams house,” Mixson said. I’m from,” Mixson said. Mixson said his wife, who he’s been with When he was younger, his mother sold for 24 years and married to for eight, collects Responsibility “rests with the president” advertising for five newspapers and knew the things as well. owner of the only movie theater in town well “She collects stuff but just not as much as While responsibility for GPC’s management “rests enough to strike up a deal with him. I do, and with a different leaning. I’ve still got with the president,” the audit states that the president “She understood my love for horror movies strange paintings and stuff around the house the Because she chief business online from the The Because she gets her news updates online which is must rely onin college’sgets her news updatesofficer and theChampion. and told the guy, ‘Look my son is a horror buff Because she gets her news updates den, from the The Champion. the execution of his fiduciary duty. and I’ve got my collection in the online from the The Champion. CBO’s staff At GPC, the budget director reported to the assistant and he loves the posters,’ and from then on stuff I get from here,” Mixson said. And you can too! Follow us. vice president for financial and administrative affairs, the guy gave me all the horror movie posters,” According to Mixson, the house where the Mixson said. Mixson’s shop, lined with cases of old See Odd on Page 13A See Tricoli on Page 13A ews updates online from the The Champion.

by Daniel Beauregard

ormer Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) President Anthony Tricoli was not given “timely and reliable financial information” during the years that led to an “unprecedented fiscal shortfall” at the institution. That’s part of the conclusion of an audit by the University System of Georgia (USG), released Sept. 17. “The internal reports produced by the budget director did not suggest that any significant budget issues exTricoli isted,” the audit stated. On May 7, USG Chancellor Henry Huckaby announced via email to GPC employees that a $16 million budget shortfall had been discovered at the college and that “in light of the need for a fresh approach,” Tricoli’s six years at the helm of the college had ended. GPC’s former fiscal leadership team relied on inaccurate spreadsheets that did not correspond to the college’s general ledger, according to the audit. Additionally, “it appears that members of GPC’s cabinet, to include the former president, and both the president’s council and the strategic budget committee, were provided incomplete and inaccurate budget presentations” made at various group meetings by Ron Carruth, former executive vice president of financial and administrative affairs and chief business officer (CBO), and former budget director Mark Gerspacher. Tricoli told The Champion he was never informed “that we were spending down our reserves or that our budget was going in the red.” “In fact, the information…presented to me was very misleading,” Tricoli said. “The information…never showed us dipping into our reserves and never showed us headed to the red or never showed us headed toward a budget problem.” However, the audit concluded that Tricoli “did not perform the necessary financial due diligence associated with his responsibilities as institution head.”





And you can too! Follow us. And you can too! Follow us.

too! Follow us.


The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 5, 2012

Local News

Page 2A

Commissioners authorize DA to handle code enforcement cases
by Andrew Cauthen James said that’s what happened on Memorial Drive. DeKalb residents plagued “It started out being a by code enforcement violablighted area with busitors have a new advocate: the nesses leaving, numerous DeKalb County District Atcode infractions,” James said. torney’s Office. “There wasn’t an aggressive “We will be the advocate approach back then immefor the county,” said DeKalb diately and all of a sudden it County District Attorney attracted a different element. Robert James, after a vote Now you have an area that’s of approval by the county’s crime central in DeKalb— Board of Commissioners. certain parts of Memorial “Heretofore, the county has Drive. not had an advocate on a reg“I believe you can stop ular basis in Recorder’s Court it before it starts when you advocating for the citizens of address quality of violations this county.” and that’s code enforcement,” The commissioners’ vote he said. authorizes the District AttorJames told commissioners ney’s Office to represent the that the new initiative would county in prosecuting code not cost the county any addienforcement cases in Record- tional money. er’s Court. “We’re not asking for any “Most citizens will never money,” James said. “The deal with a murder, with an only way we would ask for aggravated assault, with a more money is if it gets to the rape, with an armed robpoint that it’s overwhelming. bery. However, if you live in It’s a journey that we’ve not a community, what’s most embarked on yet.” important to you right now is James said his office has your quality of life,” James an idea of the expected worksaid. load and has put personnel in “Did you buy a $350,000 place to handle that amount. house with your life savings “If three or four years and your neighbor has 4-foot from now, all of a sudden, it grass or a car parked on the goes up, and we’ve got hunfront lawn? And even if it’s dreds and hundreds and hunnot that expensive, even if it’s dreds of cases, I can envision a $150,000 house, that’s a lot a scenario where we may” to you,” he said. “You want need more resources, James to make sure you property said. value is preserved [and] your Assistant district attorneys quality of life is preserved. have been handling traffic “If the county doesn’t step court cases at Recorder’s in and do something about Court since early 2011 after it, you’re losing because of the Board of Commissioners our inaction. So, we plan to appointed the district attorney act,” James said. “The county as the official prosecutor for needs someone safeguarding the court. the quality of life and public James said the transition safety in their neighborhoods, to working code enforcement not just with state law but cases will not be immediate, also with county ordinances.” but may take approximately a The DA’s Office will be in month. a position to address problem “The biggest hurdle is the areas in an attempt to keep training, making sure that the neighborhoods from spiraling lawyer we have over there… downward, he said. is familiar with the codes the “I believe in the broken same way he or she is familwindows theory,” James said. iar with state law. As soon as “It starts with abandoned we can accomplish that, we homes, with blighted comcan get started,” James said. munities and all of a sudden James said his office’s you have an area that was a work in code enforcement nice, safe middle class comcases is “only half of the munity that turns into an area equation.” It will be a cooperwhere you have quality of ative effort with the county’s life crimes—your pimping, code compliance officers who your pandering, your prostiare on the front lines of code tution. It grows from that to enforcement, he said. very serious crimes.”

Kirkwood Business Owners Association President Emily Wimbush said the Kirkwood Wine Stroll draws bigger crowds every year. Photos by Kathy Mitchell

Kirkwood community hosts another successful wine stroll
by Kathy Mitchell Hundreds of folks from Kirkwood and nearby communities made their way through the streets of Kirkwood for three hours the evening of Sept. 28 to mingle, acquaint themselves with a wide variety of shops, restaurants and other businesses and to sample wines from all over the world. The event was the sixth annual Kirkwood Wine Stroll, a fundraiser that also is an opportunity for people to sneak a peek at businesses that are making the newly revitalized community a popular place to shop and dine. Established in the late 19th century, Kirkwood takes its name from two prominent local family names—Kirkpatrick and Dunwoody. The historic community actually is part of east Atlanta that is located entirely in DeKalb County. Approximately 10 years ago, a revitalization effort was started that included a $1.5 million streetscape project, zoning changes and other initiatives to encourage commercial development. The Kirkwood Business Owners Association, founded in 2008 to promote growth, stability and profitability of the Kirkwood business district, is now the presenting sponsor of the wine stroll. The fundraiser supports such community efforts as installing signage and maintaining landscaping as well as funding community events and providing scholarships, according to Emily Wimbush, president of the Kirkwood Business Owner’s Association. The event has been a sellout each year and has grown from approximately 250 ticketholders the first year to an estimated 700 this year. For $25—$30 the day of the event—participants receive a small glass, a wristband and a booklet with a listing and map of pouring stations. At businesses, including a dry cleaner, a carwash, a paint store and a real estate office, they can sample wines from Chile, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Greece, South Africa, California and other places. This year, 21 Kirkwood businesses participated. The booklet gives a brief description of each hosting business and lists the wines it will be pouring. Businesses that don’t operate out of a retail space serve from tents. Wimbush, who owns Augusta Designs, which sells jewelry and other items, explained that businesses that don’t have alcohol licenses

can nonetheless serve wine at the event because the association secures a special permit from the city of Atlanta. The permit has strict rules about alcohol consumption. For example, the wine can only be served in one-ounce tastings and glasses must be completely empty as tasters walk through the streets. Wimbush said that with 21 pouring stations serving one ounce of two wines, a red and a white, a person tasting every wine being offered could consume the equivalent of more than a bottle and a half of wine. “We’ve never had a problem, but we urge people to be responsible. The pouring stations also serve snacks and the hospitality hosts have food and non-alcoholic beverages available,” she said. “They also are happy to call a taxi for anyone who needs one. “Not everybody who comes to the Kirkwood Wine Stroll drinks,” Wimbush said. “Some just come to socialize.” She said the association is considering expanding more for future wine strolls with perhaps more vendors from outside the community and live music and other entertainment.

Page 3A

The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 5, 2012

neWs Briefs
Stone Mountain man sentence to life for sex trafficking ring
The operator of an Atlanta sex trafficking ring who committed violent sexual acts against his victims was sentenced to life in prison Sept. 19. Soloman Manasseh Mustafa, 38, of Stone Mountain, was convicted on July 18, after an eight-day jury trial of sex trafficking, kidnapping, transporting women across state lines for prostitution, document servitude and enticement of a minor for sexual activity. His co-defendant, Kalandra Annette Wallace, 25, of Jonesboro, pleaded guilty on Oct. 11, 2011, and was sentenced to five years in federal prison. Mustafa bound his victim’s with duct tape, took their identification and committed other atrocities in order to hold them captive, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “This defendant brutally assaulted young women and forced them into acts of prostitution in three states,” said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “Many of the victims were beaten, raped, handcuffed and forced to snort cocaine by the defendant and his coconspirator. Mustafa’s “sentence demonstrates that sex traffickers will pay a heavy price for victimizing young women,” Yates said. Ricky Maxwell, acting special agent in charge of the FBI Atlanta Field Office, said, the sentence “removes a violent predator from the streets and prevents him from harming and exploiting others.” According to the indictment and evidence presented during trial, Mustafa and codefendant Wallace recruited and enticed young women via advertisements on Internet sites such as Craigslist. com and, luring them into prostitution in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Once Mustafa and Wallace began working with the women, however, they physically assaulted many of the victims, prevented them from leaving hotels or

apartments, and forced them to engage in commercial sex acts.

Solicitor to hold domestic violence symposium
In observance of Domestic Violence Month, DeKalb County Solicitor General Sherry Boston will host “Building Bridges, Making Connections: Coordinating a Community Response to Domestic Violence.” The community symposium will feature the Beverly Cunningham Outreach Program (BCOP) is a specially invited community partner for the event. Attendees of the symposium will receive information about how law enforcement and social service agencies can work together to respond to domestic violence in DeKalb County. BCOP will be available to answer questions and provide materials on domestic violence prevention and counseling. The symposium takes place Oct. 12, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Manuel Maloof Auditorium, located at 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur. This event is free to the public, with a complimentary breakfast served at 8 a.m.

Eighth annual SkaterAid draws some 250 participants
SkaterAid, an event featuring skateboarding, art and music, is a celebration of the life of Ian Wochatz, a Decatur teen and skateboarder who died on July 4, 2005. Started by Decatur resident Patrice Eastham, a friend to the Wochatz family, SkaterAid also is a fundraiser to help families affected by brain tumors. Wochatz “was a big skateboarding kid around Decatur,” Eastham said. “We thought a skateboarding festival would be a great way” to honor him. Much of the funds raised by the festival come from the sale on art of old skateboard decks. Proceeds from the first festival went to the Wochatz family. In 2006, the funds went to the RET Foundation in honor of RET Thomas. Since 2007 the Brain Tumor Foundation for Children, which pays families’ bills while their children are in the hospital, has been the recipient of the monies raised. Approximately 250 competitors participated in this year’s SkaterAid festival, held Sept. 30 at East Decatur Station in Decatur. Photos by Nicole Davis

County jail lobby no longer open 24/7
The lobby of the DeKalb County Jail is no longer open 24 hours a day after a scheduling change Sept. 29, according to an announcement by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office. According to the new schedule, the jail will close between midnight and 7 a.m. daily. This change will not affect the inmate release process; however bonds from bonding companies and the public will not be accepted during these hours. Visitors will no longer be allowed to wait on released inmates in the lobby after midnight. “This change comes in an effort to maintain fiscal responsibility by cutting operating hours thereby reducing the need for overtime,” the announcement stated.

Page 4A

A senseless death
woman who held various positions within the University of Georgia system until she became disabled due to type I diabetes. My friend shared that records show her daughter, the young widow of an Atlanta Journal Constitution reporter, last purchased her expensive insulin in July. That’s nearly two months ago. After being denied disability benefits, which seemingly routinely occurs on the first try without an attorney, our victim simply gave up on trying to maneuver that unfamiliar bureaucratic maze. Childless, she lived alone with her dog in a small, modest, tidy home in Villa Rica. Our victim loved animals and was an environmentalist. It is important to share this story because this latest victim is like many people in this country who simply cannot afford health insurance or are denied because of pre-existing conditions. According to the latest statistics, a large number of us in this country– about 49 percent–have employersponsored health insurance. Seventeen percent have some form of government assisted health insurance such as Medicaid or the health insurance provided by the government for our military personnel. Twelve percent of us have Medicare and only 5 percent of us have private, non-group coverage. But about 17 percent of us have no health insurance coverage at all. With the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), the United States will have universal health care in 2014 and join 32 other so-called “developed” nations that have universal health care. These “developed” countries include places such as Canada, Japan, Finland, Spain and Germany to name a few. Far too many Americans find the private, non-group coverage they have is inadequate. Another friend, a successful small business owner, recently had to go to the hospital for some tests. He had experienced some chest pains and rightly went to get checked out. His bill for one day’s stay for the battery of tests performed was an astonishing $37,000. He nearly did have a heart attack when he saw the amount of money the insurance was going to pay and what he had to pay out of pocket. It is almost criminal how the costs of prescriptions, tests, surgical procedures and other health related costs have skyrocketed in the United States, a so-called world leader. Some “developed” countries like Germany have had universal health care for nearly a century. We’re just catching up. By the way, my friend’s daughter could not convert her employer provided coverage. She was not at retirement age to be able to continue in the more affordable group coverage. COBRA was way out of reach financially, plus she had a pre-existing condition. How many more of these senseless deaths must we read and hear about before we as a nation collectively embrace the need to make certain every man, woman and child is able to obtain affordable health care. Fifty-oneyear-old female found dead in her Villa Rica home. Cause of death: No insurance. Steen Miles, The Newslady, is a retired journalist and former Georgia state senator. Contact Steen Miles at

Opinion The Newslady

The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 5 , 2012

Services were held last week for a dear friend’s only daughter. She was a diabetic who was found dead in her Villa Rica home. My friend lives in Arizona and missed talking to her daughter for a couple days so she sent a deacon from the church she formerly attended here to check on her. That’s when the tragic discovery was made. The coroner ruled the young woman died of natural causes. There is nothing natural about a premature death because of a lack of medical care. It is tantamount to homicide—because it was a manmade, senseless death brought on due to a lack of adequate, affordable health care. My friend is a lifelong acquaintance from my hometown. Her daughter was a college educated, hardworking young

It’s not over: The future of our history is at stake
The last two weeks have been filled with emotional conversation about the Georgia Archives. After Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s announcement that he would close the archives to the public and terminate seven of the agency’s 10 employees, [archives] supporters around the state rallied, aided by media coverage and facilitated by the speed of social media and email. Gov. Nathan Deal’s ironically timed ceremony at which he proclaimed October as Archives Month gave him an opportune platform from which to announce that he would find funding to keep the archives open. Supporters, predictably, were ecstatic. There were no details, and since the proclamation, the governor has remained silent. The secretary of state stands by his decision to close the archives and terminate the employees. As a constitutional officer, Kemp has complete control over his department’s personnel. Word quickly spread, and advocates breathed a sigh of relief: the governor stepped in and “saved the archives.” The protest was successful, the crisis averted. Time to move on. After the initial euphoria, however, thoughtful supporters have begun to realize that the announcement might not have been the news they had been hoping for. Will the governor use emergency funds to maintain archives service at the current level – with 10 employees? Will the archives remain open, but with only three employees? Will the governor exempt the archives from cuts in the coming year’s budget or reduce the amount of cuts? Depending on the answers, the archives could close as planned on Nov. 1 and to re-open after the legislative session, possibly with three staffers or inexperienced new-hires. The archives currently is open only two days a week. Users could face even more inconvenient – potentially impossible – access to records, if staff is cut or the archives closed. Secretary Kemp apparently believes that a system of appointments satisfies the state open meetings law, which mandates “reasonable” access. That is a matter for debate and perhaps for the courts. The state-of-the-art facility in Morrow was designed for only one purpose: the careful preservation of millions documents and artifacts. Its staff has been trained to carry out that mission, as well as to assist the public. The Georgia Archives is not just a resource for hobby genealogists and history buffs or the repository for evidence of our cultural history. Professionals from lawyers to watchdogs to authors to government officials rely on the records, often to aid Georgia citizens. Access to records held at the archives is vital to transparent government. Not having “reasonable” access to these records will prevent citizens from learning about what decisions were made, when and why. All Georgia departments have been ordered by the governor to cut another 3 percent from their budgets for the coming year. Of course, after several years of cuts, there are no easy choices. Secretary Kemp chose to take all $730,000 from the archives, leaving other divisions untouched. This small amount is all that stands between closure and maintaining the current level of service. If the archives closes, Georgia will rank 50th among states in terms of access to the records that belong to its citizens. It will be the only archives in the nation without public hours – a shameful statistic. The governor, the secretary and the state legislature need to hear from Georgia citizens that this is not acceptable. The struggle to keep the archives open and the staff in place is not over. Vivian Price Saffold Chamblee

Letter to the Editor

The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 5, 2012


Page 5A

A memo to Mitt and Ann
by Katie Halper I feel sorry for Mitt Romney. By now, he has offended just about every American group, except billionaires, morons, and robots. To stand a chance on Halper Election Day, he must get his act together right now. Pundits and experts can argue over whether Mitt’s problem is biological, moral or electrical. I think he just needs some pointers. In that spirit, I’ve developed this handy manual of do’s and don’ts for the Republican presidential nominee — plus some tips for his wife. Pretend that you like people. I know you don’t, but talk about them as if you did. For instance, even when you’re talking to other rich people, try not to express your contempt for nearly half the country. Don’t say things like: “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what...who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-nameit.” Also avoid saying things like “my job is not to worry about those people.” It kind of makes it sound like you don’t. Be respectful and somber when geopolitical disasters strike. Don’t exploit things like the deaths of U.S. diplomats for political gain. I know you don’t really feel feelings that strongly, or at all, but other people do and this kind of response offends them. Pretend you have a heart. Try to address human beings as if they were human beings. To connect to everyday people, act more like an everyday person. When you make bets, even when you do this with the governor of one of our nation’s largest states, bet amounts that other people might wager.

Pretend that you like people

Treat LGBT people and people of color as if they were human too. In all fairness, your robotic insensitivity seems to be pretty equal opportunity. And I’d think you were homophobic if you didn’t treat gay people with the same coldness you treat straights. But, don’t say things like: “I didn’t know you had families,” and don’t randomly break into hip-hop/ pop dance tunes every time you’re surrounded by Black people. As you may have heard in 2008, nobody ever really liked the song Who Let the Dogs Out. Please do everyone a favor and never mention it again. Don’t make birther jokes that question Obama’s status as a natural-born American. You have no sense of humor, so your jokes fall flat. Plus, your dad was born in Mexico. Also, don’t joke that you’re “unemployed.” Mitt, please allow me to speak to your wife for a minute. I’m not tired of her yet. Ann, try to speak to Latinos as

if they were rational human beings and not fun-loving confused idiots. I’m sure you were trying to be complimentary when you said “I had the most rocking time in Puerto Rico at a political rally than I’ve ever had in my entire life. You people really know how to party. It was crazy!” But telling Latinos how good they are at partying isn’t helpful. Also, you should do your best to use the expression “you people” sparingly. I understand, Ann, you may feel entitled to speak to the descendents of immigrants with some frankness. I know how important your Welsh heritage is to you. I can’t even begin to imagine what it would feel like to have a Welsh grandfather. I can’t imagine the boundaries and discrimination you must have faced over the years. So my final advice to you would be to stay out of Arizona. OtherWords guest columnist Katie Halper is a writer, stand-up comedian, and filmmaker.

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


The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 5, 2012


Page 6A

Just don't say climate change
Global warming can't be legislated away.
by William A. Collins and Emily Schwartz Greco Our weather keeps getting weirder. We’re seeing record-busting heat waves, droughts, thaws and forest fires, freakish “derecho” storms and spring striking weeks too early. Most of these trends are either caused or exacerbated by another, underlying problem: climate change. Yet the more extreme our weather becomes, the less attention the media pays to this deadly scourge. Conservative politicians, determined to deny the existence of global warming, are taking advantage of this information vacuum to mandate collective ignorance. Consider a new North Carolina law that dictates how the state should go about forecasting the state’s swelling sea levels. Lawmakers and lobbyists were shaken up by a 2010 report from the state’s Coastal Resources Commission. The members of the panel that drafted this straightforward document, which included several retired Army Corps of Engineers experts, dared assert that North Carolina should prepare to deal with an estimated 39-inch rise in its sea levels by the end of this century. That kind of increase would put 200,000 square miles of coastal land at risk. Since this finding clashed with their brand of climate change denial and would have had major repercussions for real-estate developers, lawmakers tried banning the pursuit of this kind of scientific research. An early version of North Carolina’s new law was so absurd that comedian Stephen Colbert ridiculed it on his TV show, prompting lawmakers to water it down. Although North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue, a Democrat, urged Republican lawmakers to reconsider their blatant disregard for scientific integrity, she nonetheless neglected to either veto or sign the bill — ushering it into law. Virginia lawmakers engaged in a similar ruse. They stripped any mention of climate change or sea levels from a proposal to fund research on the impact of, well, climate change on sea levels in the commonwealth. This willful ignorance pervades Congress too. Conservatives like Sen. Jim Inhofe regularly oppose federal effort to assess or address climate change. “I thought it must be true until I found out what it cost,” the Oklahoma Republican accidentally explained during an interview with Rachel Maddow. But making the systemic changes required to slow climate change will cost far more if we wait — that’s a big part of what Al Gore dubbed “an inconvenient truth.” Gore, like other major climateaction advocates, sacrificed his stature to take the high road in this fight. Remember the former vice president’s great speech at the Democratic National Convention? Oh, right, he didn’t make the cut this year. Maybe that had something to do with Gore’s harsh critique of Obama’s climate record in Rolling Stone magazine last year. He also skewered the media’s spineless coverage in that essay, which probably didn’t endear him to many journalists. Mohamed Nasheed, the former president of the Maldives, is another vanishing climate celebrity. As the leader of the world’s lowest-lying nation, he vociferously pointed to his country’s flood-prone status, and trumpeted the need for action. His influence was short-lived. Moneyed interests quickly arrived to support restoration of the dictator whom he had replaced, and Nasheed was soon overthrown in a disputed coup. Sadly, Washington was quick to recognize the Maldives’ new government. At the same time, Americans are being fed a steady diet of climate misinformation from a growing number of supposed experts funded by coal, oil, and gas companies. In some cases, this hot air is now required reading in schools, thanks to the ease with which energy companies exercise their fabled muscle on pliable legislatures. As our planet heats up, we’re still eating too much beef, burning too much oil, fracking too much natural gas, using too much air conditioning, and mining too much coal. Why should we worry about these things, after all, if so many of our leaders are determined not to worry about climate change? Emily Schwartz Greco is the managing editor of OtherWords, a nonprofit national editorial service run by the Institute for Policy Studies. OtherWords columnist William A. Collins is a former state representative and a former mayor of Norwalk, Connecticut.

HunGER kEEps up On cuRREnT EVEnTs, TOO.
1 in 6 AmERicAns sTRuGGlEs WiTH HunGER.


Printed on 100% postconsumer recycled paper
Hunger is closer than you think. Reach out to your local food bank for ways to do your part. Visit today.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 5, 2012

Local News

Page 7A

Woman sentenced to 20 years for stealing thousands from Dunwoody church
by Daniel Beauregard Patricia Padgett was sentenced Sept. 21 to 20 years for stealing $143,000 from Dunwoody Baptists Church. Additionally, Padgett was ordered to repay $143,955 to the church for the funds she stole between 2006-09. She pleaded guilty to four counts of theft by taking. Padgett will spend three years in prison and the remainder of her 20-year sentence on probation, a press release stated. “We’re encouraged by the Church will recoup a portion of the funds stolen by Patricia Padgett,” said DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James. Padgett was the former accounts payable manager for Dunwoody Baptist Church. She was responsible for collecting the income from the church’s various activities (including cash collected at Sunday services, the day care facility, the fitness facility and mission trips) and depositing that money in the church’s bank account.

Roderick Cunningham
domestic violence program provides individual and group counseling, advocacy services to survivors of domestic violence, financial literacy programs, individual and group counseling for children who have witnessed domestic violence or are survivors of sexual abuse and incest. “It has become my passion since the death of my mother,” said Cunningham, who didn’t get the Secret Service job in the aftermath of his mother’s death. “Unfortunately, that incident killed that dream,” Cunningham said. A former project manager for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Cunningham now works in corporate security project management in Atlanta. Cunningham said he got involved with the anti-domestic violence movement when he realized that his family was full of domestic violence. His grandmother had been shot at by his step-grandfather and his mother’s first two marriages ended because of domestic violence. He said his organization is important “because it’s not your ordinary organization.” “It’s a grassroots organization,” he said. “I get out in the community and talk to our youth and our women. I like to reach out and touch the community.” Before his mother’s death, volunteerism “was the farthest thing from my mind,” except occasionally helping out with Big Brothers, Big Sisters, where his wife Muqueet was a case worker. After his mother died, Cunningham decided, “I’ve got to do something to honor my mother.”

Champion of the Week


outcome of this case and by the prospect that the parishioners of Dunwoody Baptist

Woman allegedly gives baby lethal dose of cough medicine
by Daniel Beauregard A DeKalb County grand jury indicted a mother Sept. 25 and charged her with killing her baby by giving him a lethal dose of cough medicine in November 2010. Carlitha Yvette Hardy, 34, is charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct for allegedly giving her 4-month-old son a “lethal amount of medication” and causing the death of her son “without any intention to do so.” “She administered the child an adult cough mediAccording to the indictment, Hardy received the reckless conduct charge for “consciously disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk” by providing her son with the medicine, which constituted a “gross deviation from the standard of care.” “It wasn’t an accident she gave the medicine to the child,” James said. “But, we’re not accusing her of purposefully killing her child, which is why the charge is involuntary manslaughter.” Court officials said an arraignment date for Hardy has not been set.
Roderick Cunningham’s passion for community service stems from a traumatic event in his life: the murder of his mother in October 2009 at the hands of his stepfather. His mother, Beverly Cunningham Brown, who silently suffered from domestic violence, died at the hands of her third husband. Cunningham well remembers Oct. 27, 2009. He was visiting his mother in her Decatur home when she went into her bedroom only to find herself faceto-face with her enraged husband. From outside the room, Cunningham recalls hearing his mother’s last words: “What are you going to do with that gun?” Then he heard a gunshot. Cunningham, at the time a law enforcement professional in the final stages of becoming a member of the U.S. Secret Service, entered the room and found his mother lifeless with a shot to her head and his stepfather standing over her body. Later, he formed the Beverly Cunningham Outreach Program (BCOP), a 501 c(3) organization based in DeKalb County. BCOP’s


cation,” District Attorney Robert James said. “We also believe it may have been multiple types and the child wasn’t sick.”

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 5, 2012

police Perimeter business group DeKalb killing officer fired after hitting, pedestrian to attack perimeter traffic
by Daniel Beauregard

Local News

Page 8A

by Andrew Cauthen Nearly two months after Atlanta voters rejected a 1-percent sales tax that would have raised $8.5 billion for regional transportation improvements, a perimeter group has a Plan B for a major interchange. The boards of the Perimeter Community Improvement Districts (PCIDs) unanimously approved a resolution supporting reconstruction of the I-285 and Georgia 400 interchange, which is located within their boundaries. “This interchange is ranked nationally as one with major congestion,” said Yvonne Williams, president and CEO of the PCIDs. Williams said the vote by the PCIDs makes the interchange the PCIDs’ top priority project. The PCIDs will form a cross-jurisdictional public/ private “Top End Perimeter Collaborative” to support interchange improvements and strategies to move the project forward. “The passage of the I-285 and Georgia 400 resolution represents substantial business support from the Central Perimeter business community,” Williams said. “Our boards include the owners of the highest valued commercial property in the PCIDs, which form the heart of the Central Perimeter Market, and appointments by local governments, which include each of our multi-jurisdictional partners.” “The PCIDs have a unique opportunity to mobilize to take advantage of an important project of regional significance that may not come our way again for many years,” Williams said. “We are now meeting with our regional partners to secure formal support for the I-285 and Georgia 400 Interchange and to create

innovative financial involvement to move this estimated $450 million project forward.” Approximately 123,000 people commute into the

‘The Perimeter Community Improvement Districts have a unique opportunity to mobilize to take advantage of an important project of regional significance that may not come our way again for many years.’
– Yvonne Williams

Perimeter CIDs area daily, Williams said, and many of them are in the more than 200,000 vehicles that pass through the I-285 and Georgia 400 Interchange daily. “The Texas Transportation Institute, the largest transportation research agency in the United States, has cited the top end of I-285 as having some of the worst congestion problems in the nation and named an adjacent portion of Georgia 400 the most unreliable commute in the nation,” Williams said. Traffic congestion at this interchange affects the ability of the northern region to continue to attract and retain jobs, Williams said. With 29 million square feet of office space, Central Perimeter is the dominant office market in metro Atlanta and one of the region’s largest employment centers. “Interchange capacity improvements are important not only for [the Perimeter CIDs], but also for the major Cumberland Market in Cobb County

and a third jobs market in Doraville with the potential development of the former General Motors site,” Williams added. “In addition, an expansion of the Port of Savannah will require movement of more freight through the major I-285 and Georgia 400 Interchange and at a faster pace.” The I-285/Georgia 400 interchange is a gateway for logistics and commuter traffic,” Williams said. Williams said the Perimeter CIDs has “strategically been innovative,” citing the nearly complete Hammond Half-Diamond Interchange, Georgia’s first Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI), which was initiated in concept two years. With an estimated $450 million price tag, the I-285/Georgia 400 interchange is “a much bigger project,” Williams said. Williams said Perimeter CIDs would like to have some initial planning improvements at the interchange completed next year.

The DeKalb County Police Department recently fired one of its officers who hit and killed a pedestrian as he responded to another crime. Officer Jason Cooper, was terminated in late July after an internal investigation performed by DeKalb County Police and an investigation by the Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council. “Officer Cooper was terminated following an internal affairs investigation that found him in violation of the departmental policies [regarding] property loss/damage and negligence/inattention,” said police spokeswoman Mekka Parish. Cooper was attempting to catch up to a police chase when he hit and killed Clifton Hightower, 28. Police were chasing a suspect thought to be involved in a shooting at the Starlight Six Drive-In off Moreland Avenue, where earlier in the evening Mitt Lenix was shot and killed. Lenix was allegedly having car trouble and asked Williams for help. Police later arrested Quentric Williams and charged him with murdering Lenix. According to reports, Coo-

per was speeding when he responded with his lights and sirens turned off. Erik Burton, a spokesman for the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office, said the case has been reviewed twice by the DA and handed over to the office of the solicitor general for review. The parents of Lenix, who was known worldwide as a martial arts expert, began a fund in his honor to continue his legacy. Both of Lenix’s parents are also martial arts experts and own the Universal Martial Arts studio in Stockbridge, where their son also taught. Originally, the fund was set up to help Lenix’s family with the expenses associated with their son’s death but has now been expanded into a fund to offer scholarships to those or affected by similar circumstances. “We went to visit the mother of the young man that was struck by the police car in pursuit of our son’s murderer,” the Lenix’ said in a statement. “She also was having difficulty making ends meet and could not even afford to pay for her son’s funeral, so we donated $1,000 to help her through these hard times. We are sure that is what our son would have done if he were here.”

The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 5, 2012

Local News

Page 9A

Brookhaven commission moves toward cityhood
by Alice Murray In the soon-to-be city of Brookhaven, volunteer committees are shaping the form of services and facilities likely to meet the needs of residents for years to come. Even before the Nov. 6 election of a mayor and council members and the city’s official establishment Dec. 17, 10 committees formed by Brookhaven Commission Chairman Ben Vinson are investigating needs in order to provide recommendations for the new government. At the third meeting of the commission—appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to meet the future city’s interim needs— Vinson praised the quick response to his committee assignments. “Clearly there’s been a lot of work done already. I look forward to seeing all these committees channel their energy into shaping our city,” he said. During the meeting Sept. 27 at St. Martin’s Episcopal School, the commission appointed Lyn Rosser to serve as pro bono executive secretary and announced the names of citizen co-chairs and expert advisors for each commission committee. Because the commission has no budget, volunteers from the community are setting the course of the new city with support from the Georgia Municipal Association and the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia. The commission approved an official mailing address and voted to continue meeting each Thursday at 8 p.m. in the atrium of the school located at 3110-A Ashford Dunwoody Road NE. The commission will meet until elected officials take office—either immediately after the Nov. 6 election or following a possible run-off election on Dec. 4. The official mailing address is Governor’s Commission for The City of Brookhaven, 4060 Peachtree Road Suite D, #359, Atlanta, GA 30319-3020. Vinson invited all interested Brookhaven residents to join in the process by signing up for committees at the commission’s web site: http:// wordpress/. Commissioners stressed that while the committees are outlining staffing needs and job descriptions to pass along to the elected officials, they are not accepting resumes for future job openings at this time. The following committees are co-chaired by a member of the commission and a community member, with an expert on each function providing advice. The committees and their leaders are: Contracting & Proposals: District 1 Commissioner J.D. Clockadale, citizen co-chair Pat Hoban, and expert Eden Freeman Executive Search: District 2 Commissioner Todd Lantier, citizen co-chair Kathy Forbes, and expert Julian Jackson Offices & Facilities: District 3 Commissioner Jed Beardsley, citizen co-chair Mike Elliot, and expert Mike Dvorscak Project Management & Communications: District 4 Commissioner Kim Gökçe, citizen co-chair Shawn Keefe, and expert Tisa Moore Transition Services: Commission Chairman Ben Vinson, citizen co-chair Don Bolia, and expert Mike Bell Finance: Commissioner Lantier, citizen co-chair Bruce Whitmer, and expert Monte Vavra Planning, Zoning & Municipal Code: Commissioner Beardsley, citizen co-chair Jack Honderd, and expert Nancy Leathers Police: Commissioner Clockadale, citizen co-chair Charles Robertson, and expert Terry Sult Parks & Recreation: Commissioner Gökçe, citizen cochair Sue Binkert, and expert Karen Whitehead Public Works: Commissioner Gökçe, citizen co-chair Michael Roberts, and expert Joe Palladi

The Brookhaven Commission has formed several volunteer committees as residents in DeKalb County’s next city meet weekly to prepare the way for incorporation. Photos by Alice Murray

From left, the Brookhaven Commission’s new pro bono executive secretary Lyn Rosser and pro bono city attorney William F. Riley Jr. talk to Brookhaven residents after the Sept. 27 meeting.

Meeting dates and locations of the committees will be announced on the commission web site.

Voters approved the establishment of the 12-square-mile city on July 31.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 5, 2012

Local News

Page 10A

Recycling now free in DeKalb County
by Andrew Cauthen Recycling is now free in DeKalb County thanks to a unanimous Sept. 25 vote by the county’s Board of Commissioners. Commissioners approved the plan to drop the $30 recycling registration fee, hoping that more residents would join the program. “This is a great day in DeKalb County,” said DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson, during a press conference in which the fee elimination was announced. “Now you can save not only from a monetary standpoint but also from a standpoint of saving the environment. “I think it’s very important, and not for the sense of it being free, but what it can do to increase recycling in DeKalb, help the environment, and really put us on the path of what we espouse, which is to be one of the greenest counties in the country,” Johnson said. Currently, the county has 20 percent participation, but the goal is 41 percent, just above the national average. “As we strive to be the greenest county, this is a step in the right direction,” Johnson said. According to Amber Weaver, director of Keep DeKalb Beautiful, approximately 34,000 households recycle. County officials want to double that number in approximately 48 months. A fact sheet by DeKalb County states that “more than half of the waste that goes to the Seminole Road landfill could have been recycled.” Since the county began its recycling program in 2005, approximately 57,000 tons of material—“the weight of 9,500 elephants”—have been recycled, creating more capacity at the landfill, according to the fact sheet. Saving the landfill is a benefit of recycling, said Commissioner Kathie Gannon. “We cannot afford to expand our landfill into our communities. It has to serve us forever.” “We started recycling in 2005…and we’ve been steadily increasing,” Gannon said. “We hit 20 percent of households recycling and we sort of plateaued out. And what we’re hearing from the community is that removing this fee for startup costs will help increase that. We want to hit 41 percent. The national average is 40 percent.” Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton said, “This is a big deal and I’m positive we’re going to make our goal.” “I know a lot of residents who are interested in recycling but they didn’t feel that they should pay that $30 for the bin,” Sutton said. The fee elimination “plus an aggressive campaign will actually make our county one of the top counties in recycling,” Sutton said. “I don’t think it is enough to say the bins are free. There has to be a very aggressive public education campaign.” The DeKalb County recycling program collects mixed paper including cardboard, catalogs, magazines, newspapers and junk mail. The paper products go into county-provided blue bins. In blue plastic bags, participants place glass, plastics, aluminum and tin. Recyclable materials are collected by the county’s sanitation department on Wednesdays. LuAnn Chambers, regional procurement manager for SP Recycling, the company that processes DeKalb’s recyclables, said, “Most of the [recyclable materials] go right here in markets locally. It’s a huge economic impact for the southeast. It really helps develop jobs in this area too.” For example, paper and cardboard goes to SP Fiber Technologies, a 100 percent recycled products paper mill in Dublin, Ga., where newsprint and brown paper bag stock are made. Most plastic bottles are turned in carpets by companies in north Georgia or are turned into bottles for use by Coca-Cola. Approximately 80 percent of normal household trash is recyclable, Chambers said. The county makes approximately $600,000 in recycling, which helps reduce sanitation department costs, Gannon said. Residents can get more information and join the program by going to

DeKalb County leaders say they are a step closer to realizing their goal of becoming one of the greenest counties in America after the Board of Commissioners voted to eliminate a $30 fee for the county’s recycling program. That move, officials say, will increase participation in the program. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis reminds you of the Best Practices for Proper Disposal of

F.O.G. enters plumbing through garbage disposals, sinks and toilets. It coats the inside of plumbing pipes and also empties into DeKalb County’s sewer system. Here are three simple guidelines to help keep F.O.G. out of our pipes and sewers:

1. 2. 3.

POUR fats, oils or grease into a sealable container, allow it to cool and throw it in the trash. Do not pour down the drain or toilet. SCRAPE plates and cookware before washing. Do not throw scraps of any kind down the drain. Instead, place them in waste containers or garbage bags. WIPE excess grease from all plates, pots, pans, utensils, and surfaces with a paper towel before washing. Throw the greasy paper towel away.

Plumbing and sanitary sewer systems are simply not designed to handle the F.O.G. that accumulates in pipes. When it gets into the pipes and hardens, blockages occur and cause sewage to backup and overflow out of manholes or into homes. This is expensive for you, and for the County. The damages caused by fats, oils and grease in the sewer system are costly to repair. Over time, they increase the costs of our water and sewer services.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 5, 2012

Local News

Page 11A

Avondale’s Tudor Village gets new lease on life
by Alice Murray As the owners of the historic Tudor Village property in the heart of Avondale Estates celebrate a new lease on life for the 1925-era building, they stress that renovation of the property will be a long-term project. At a recent ribbon cutting with city officials and more than 70 area residents, A. Barton Lester and B. Fisher Paty, co-founders and managing partners of Oakhurst Realty Partners, the company that purchased the building this summer, said their goal is to “restore the building to its original grandeur.” “We view this as a longterm property for us, and we know restoration will take time to complete,” Paty said. As part of the project, Paty said he is looking for old pictures of the building and retail space that would help with the redevelopment. He asked that anyone willing to share photos email him at Avondale Estates Mayor Ed Rieker, who cut the ceremonial red ribbon welcoming Oakhurst Realty Partners to the city, also emphasized that the restoration of the city’s business center will take time. “Over time, the project will give this great building an opportunity to come alive again. Thank you for the effort you are about to do here.” Based in Decatur, the Oakhurst Realty Partners team has directly participated in more than $4.8 billion in transactions located throughout the United States. The company’s website says Oakhurst Realty Partners employs “an owner’s mentality” as they develop and renovate properties. The group currently manages and/or leases more than 270,000 square feet of office and retail property in metropolitan Atlanta. Lester said his company has been trying to buy the historic Avondale Estates property for more than two years. “We like this building and are really drawn to it. We’re thrilled to have purchased it and think there is a tremendous potential for Avondale Estates,” he said. Led by Paty and Lester, the company is currently focusing on finding appropriate clients for vacant retail space on the main floor of the property at the corner of North Avondale Road and Clarendon Avenue. The new owners have already completed some upgrades to the exterior of the building that address some deferred maintenance, Paty said. Paty said the company will renovate each unit of the two-story, 26,966-square foot retail/office building as it is leased and will address heating and air conditioning issues, such as eliminating the window air conditioning units in upstairs windows, as the upstairs office spaces are renovated. Much of the focus of Oakhurst Realty Partners has been on restoring downtown urban buildings. The group has recently completed the renovation of buildings in downtown Decatur and on Main Street in Tucker. Avondale Estates is one of the nation’s oldest planned communities. Founded in 1924, the city was named after William Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-Upon-Avon in England, and much of the early architecture reflects English Tudor style. The Tudor Village property is part of the Avondale Estates National Register District. There are currently 2,829 residents in the city, according to the Avondale Estates web site.

The new owners of the Tudor Village in Avondale Estates, built in 1925, were welcomed by city leaders during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 26. Photos by Alice Murray

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

The Champion Weather
Seven Day Forecast THURSDAY
Sunny High: 82 Low: 59

Oct. 4, 2012
Today's Regional Map Weather History
Oct. 4, 1777 - The Battle of Germantown was fought in a morning fog that grew more dense with the smoke of battle, causing great confusion. Some Americans accidentally fired at each other, and this contributed to the loss of the battle. Oct. 5, 1638 - The journal of John Winthrop recorded that a mighty tempest struck eastern New England. This second severe hurricane in three years blew down many trees in mile long tracks. Dunwoody 80/58 Lilburn Smyrna Doraville 81/59 81/59 81/59 Snellville Decatur 82/59 Atlanta 82/59 82/59 Lithonia College Park 83/59 83/59 Morrow 83/59 Union City 83/59 Hampton 84/60

In-Depth Local Forecast
Today we will see sunny skies with a high temperature of 82º, humidity of 53%. Northwest wind 5 mph. The record high temperature for today is 91º set in 1941. Expect mostly clear skies tonight with an overnight low of 59º. The record low for tonight is 39º set in 1974.

Sunny High: 82 Low: 60

*Last Week’s Almanac
Hi Lo Normals Precip Date Tuesday 81 52 80/61 0.00" Wednesday 84 55 79/61 0.00" Thursday 87 56 79/60 0.00" Friday 83 60 79/60 0.20" Saturday 79 65 78/60 0.00" Sunday 73 62 78/59 0.91" Monday 73 65 78/59 1.79" Rainfall . . . . . . .2.90" Average temp . .69.6 Normal rainfall . .0.88" Average normal 69.4 Departure . . . . .+2.02" Departure . . . . .+0.2
*Data as reported from De Kalb-Peachtree Airport

Mostly Sunny High: 83 Low: 56

Partly Cloudy High: 73 Low: 52

Mostly Sunny High: 70 Low: 52

Partly Cloudy High: 75 Low: 54 Last 10/8

Local Sun/Moon Chart This Week
Day Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Sunrise 7:34 a.m. 7:35 a.m. 7:35 a.m. 7:36 a.m. 7:37 a.m. 7:38 a.m. 7:38 a.m. Sunset 7:17 p.m. 7:16 p.m. 7:14 p.m. 7:13 p.m. 7:12 p.m. 7:11 p.m. 7:09 p.m. Moonrise 10:04 p.m. 10:51 p.m. 11:41 p.m. No Rise 12:34 a.m. 1:30 a.m. 2:28 a.m. Moonset 11:38 a.m. 12:29 p.m. 1:17 p.m. 2:02 p.m. 2:43 p.m. 3:22 p.m. 3:59 p.m. First 10/21

Tonight's Planets
Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Rise Set 8:57 a.m. 7:59 p.m. 4:23 a.m. 5:31 p.m. 11:21 a.m. 9:30 p.m. 10:36 p.m.12:49 p.m. 8:59 a.m. 8:13 p.m. 6:58 p.m. 7:15 a.m.

Mostly Sunny High: 78 Low: 59 New 10/15

Full 10/29

Local UV Index

National Weather Summary This Week
The Northeast will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with scattered showers today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 86º in Georgetown, Del. The Southeast will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with scattered thunderstorms today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 92º in Naples, Fla. The Northwest will see isolated rain and snow today and Friday, mostly clear to partly cloudy skies Saturday, with the highest temperature of 82º in Medford, Ore. The Southwest will see mostly clear skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 104º in Bullhead City, Ariz.

Weather Trivia
Can lightning strike twice in the same place?

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: Yes. Lightning may strike repeatedly in a few seconds.

StarWatch By Gary Becker - Fun Views Inaugurate October
If you like watching sunsets, the next seven days offer the causal observer an opportunity to witness how fast the pace of nature can progress. You’ll note a 10 minute difference in sundown times from the beginning to the week’s end, a 16 minute decrease in the time of daylight if sunrises are also taken into consideration. Early in the week after sunset, notice the nearly full moon low in the east illuminating the landscape during late twilight. This past full moon (Saturday at 10 p.m., EDT) was the Harvest Moon, when farmers, especially in Europe, would continue to use the light of a bright moon to prolong harvesting activities well past sundown. This is also a good week for astronomical events if your waking hours are more inclined to an early rise time. The year’s closest appulse of a planet and a bright star happens on the morning of the third. An appulse is simply a close approach of one celestial body to another. In this case it is the intensely bright Venus right next to the first magnitude star Regulus in the constellation of Leo the Lion. From the East Coast the pair is separated by just nine minutes of arc at 5 a.m. Venus will be over 150 times brighter than Regulus. This might make the alpha star of Leo difficult to spot with the unaided eye in the glare of Venus. Use binoculars to help separate the two and allow for their easier inspection. Employ a small to medium aperture telescope to witness the gibbous or bulbous phase of Venus next to this bright star. While you are gawking at the appulse, and maybe even applauding, take note of bright Jupiter to the left of the gibbous moon. Another close pairing is ramping up for Friday. Midnight on Friday finds the moon about four degrees distant from Jupiter. Look east. If you choose a dawn sighting (5:30 a.m., Oct. 6), the pair will be farther apart, but you’ll have the winter constellations adding their glitter to the morning sky.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 5, 2012


Page 12A

Families urged to take steps to prevent senior falls
The start of fall kicks off a Fall Prevention Crusade to warn local families to take safety measures in their homes to prevent seniors from falling. Falls are the No. 1 cause of injuries, hospital visits and deaths among those 65 and older. That’s why Senior Helpers, an in-home senior care company with an office in the Atlanta area, warns families to check their homes for safety with a “Fall Prevention Checklist.” “Falls have become a nationwide problem and despite what people may think about the older population, falls are not inevitable. In fact, they’re largely preventable,” said Peter Ross, CEO and co-founder of Senior Helpers, whose caregivers specialize in dementia and Alzheimer’s care. “Up to 30 percent of those who fall suffer injuries such as hip fractures or head traumas. Our highly trained caregivers can help spot danger zones in and around seniors’ homes and help seniors move around their environment more carefully.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of three seniors falls each year. In 2008, the year for which the most recent data is available, 19,700 senior Americans died from fall-related injuries. In fact, 82 percent of all fall deaths that year were among people 65 and senior. Also in 2008, 2.1 million senior Americans were injured in falls and fall-related fractures occurred at more than twice the rate for senior women than for senior men. More than 90 percent of hip fractures are caused by falls. White women have significantly higher hip fracture rates than Black women. Direct medical costs of falls equaled $28.2 billion in 2010. Senior Helpers offers this fall prevention checklist: For seniors living at home • Install handrails on both sides of stairs and grab bars in bathrooms. A third of households in America with stairs do not have banisters or handrails. Only 19 percent of households in America have grab bars in tubs/showers. • Provide plenty of light at the top and bottom of stairs and throughout hallways. • Paint the bottom basement step white to make it more visible. • Secure rugs to the floor to prevent tripping. • Attach non-slip strips to the bottom of slippers and shoes. • In outside areas, check steps and walkways for loose bricks, cement or stone. For those caring for dementia/Alzheimer’s patients • Encourage seniors to wear hip protectors (90 percent of hip fractures are due to falls). • Make sure they have a walking aid within reach. • Use an emergency sensor overnight to help detect wandering. • Do not use bed rails overnight. Instead, lower the bed to the ground. • Encourage seniors to rest with the head of the bed slightly raised. • Use a seatbelt on a shower chair. Never leave dementia patients in the shower or bathroom unattended. “When you care for a senior with dementia, you have an added responsibility because dementia puts seniors at the highest risk for wandering, which increases chances for falling,” Ross said. “We recommend families hire our caregivers because they know how to keep senior loved ones safe while simultaneously encouraging mobility and independence. This takes training and experience.” Other tips to help prevent falling: • Have foot size measured – Do this each time your senior buys shoes. Foot size changes with age and a shoe that is too big increases the risk of a fall. • Exercise regularly – Choose activities that increase leg strength and improve balance in seniors, such as Tai Chi. • Eye check-ups – Make sure senior loved ones have their eyes checked by a doctor at least once a year and have their eyeglasses updated as needed. Consider getting a pair with single-vision distance lenses for activities such as walking outside. • Review medications – Have a doctor or pharmacist review medications/prescriptions to learn what may cause such side effects as dizziness or drowsiness.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 5, 2012

Local News

Page 13A

The Odd’s End, an oddities and curiosity shop located off College Avenue in Avondale Estates, sells everything from stuffed coyotes to antique medical equipment. Photos by Daniel Beauregard

Odd Continued From Page 1A

shop is currently located is haunted by the ghost of an antiques dealer who lived, and died, in the home in the 1950s. “There’s a scorch mark on the floor—he was in bed apparently drinking and smoking,” Mixson said. The collectibles in Mixson’s shop are from all over the world— Asia, Europe and the Middle East— but he said he finds many of the contacts he buys, sells and trades with online through eBay.

“I’d buy something weird from some guy in Tunisia and then the next thing you know, he’s writing me back and saying, ‘Would you like something even weirder than the last thing you bought?’” Mixson said. Currently, his shop is filled with cases containing porcupine shells, old Chinese fighting gloves, monkey skulls, a small cannon from China that uses a high-compression spring to shoot iron darts, which he said is around 300 years old—those

are just a few things. Mixson said the weirdest thing he’s ever owned was an embalming machine, which he just sold. “I just bought another one that’s being shipped from California. I would have to say it’s that or the mortuary cooling table upstairs,” Mixson said. Mixson said business is good and he has been selling a lot of items to movie prop buyers and renting equipment to photographers. He also said he’s going to

loan several of his larger pieces out to a local haunted house for Halloween. A customer walked in and picked up a bone saw, which Mixson said was used 150 years ago, and began asking him about all of the medical equipment throughout the room. “It’s just sort of the mad scientist thing. I just love always having that stuff around because it gives some people the chills,” Mixson said.

Tricoli Continued From Page 1A
Sheletha Champion, who reported to the chief business officer. In interviews with auditors, each member of GPC’s former fiscal leadership team claimed to have been unaware of GPC’s fiscal condition. Tricoli “asserted that he was unaware of GPC’s fiscal condition and that it was [Carruth’s] duty to inform him of fiscal issues. [Carruth] indicated that he relied on [Gerspacher] and [Champion] to keep him informed of fiscal deficits. [Champion] indicated that she was excluded from key decision-making with respect to the budget. [Gerspacher] indicated that he brought some budget concerns to the attention of” Carruth and Champion,” according to the audit. Auditors determined that Tricoli “did not adequately review the financial statements of the institution issued under his authority.” Tricoli “indicated that he did not read the statements and that they were routed to the former CBO for handling,” according to the audit. “While the president should be able to rely on the CBO to handle ongoing financial management, the president is nevertheless responsible for the financial statements – and the financial condition – of the institution.” When issues associated with cash flow and audit shortfalls were brought to his attention, Carruth “indicated that he did not fully appreciate the scope or magnitude of the underlying fiscal issues when they were raised with him by both his own staff and auditors.” Financial reality not reflected in budget According to the audit, GPC’s financial problems developed over time. “While the institution started spending more than it earned in fiscal year 2009, overall revenue was increasing” from fiscal year 2009 through fiscal year 2012,” the audit stated. “Nevertheless, GPC’s spending exceeded its revenue each year. These annual shortfalls were managed through a combination of accounting entries…and through the use of institutional reserves.” The “ongoing use of reserves to plug operational costs clearly is not and was not sustainable,” the report stated. According to the audit, GPC had an “ineffective” financial system of record. GPC’s budgets did not match budgets approved by the Board of Regents and budgets “were not adjusted to reflect actual financial reality.” Auditors discovered that “fundamental budget duties were not performed” by Gerspacher, according to the findings. “Budget reporting was inaccurate, budgets were not correctly loaded into the financial system, numerous individuals could override the flawed budgets that were loaded in the system, and budget development essentially ignored actual financial experience,” according to the audit. “In short, essentially every primary duty of the [Gerspacher] was left unfulfilled.” Financial challenges preventable According to the audit, GPC’s fiscal challenges were preventable. “Unfortunately, key leaders at every level charged with actual responsibility for GPC’s fiscal management did not exercise all of their assigned duties,” the report stated. “It appears that an emphasis on enrollment growth and program expansion took precedence over sound fiscal practice as management and leadership priorities.” Auditors stated that they did not know “why the former fiscal leadership team was not aware of GPC’s fiscal situation.” Publicly available information was in place to alert the GPC leadership to the college’s “declining financial position and to the fact that the prepared budget was not sustainable.” Annual financial reports, cash balances and financial system queries and reports were available for use in understanding the institution’s fiscal situation. Once the budget shortfall “became apparent to the school’s former leadership,” Tricoli immediately notified the chief financial officer of the USG. Subsequently, several senior personnel changes were made, including the appointment of Rob Watts as interim GPC president, a chief business officer and associate vice president for fiscal affairs. Gerspacher had resigned shortly before the deficit was reported and an assistant vice president for budgets and strategic financial planning was appointed in his place. The new financial leadership team increased to $9.5 million its state institutional loans; closed $1.4 million of purchase orders; moved $4.7 million in summer 2012 revenue from fiscal year 2013 to fiscal year 2012; and laid off 282 staff members. Watts also closed five internal institutes and centers, including the Atlanta Center for Civic Engagement and Service Learning, the Southeastern Institute of Sustainability, the Southern Academy for Literary Arts and Scholarship, the Center for International Education and the Center for Organizational Development.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 5, 2012

Q&A with newly elected DeKalb County Decatur and DeKalb show school board member Melvin Johnson significant rise in SAT scores
by Daniel Beauregard Recently released SAT results show a rise in test scores from the City Schools of Decatur (CSD) and the DeKalb County School District, which in some cases exceed the state average. The average SAT composite score, which combines mathematics, critical reading and writing, for Decatur High School increased by 52 points from 1518 to 1570. The state average SAT composite score increased from 1445 to 1452 and the national average SAT composite score dropped from 1500 to 1498. Decatur’s highest scores were on the critical reading portion of the test, where students averaged a score of 539 out of 800. This score ranked 51 points above the state average and 43 points above the nation. Scores on the portion also increased from 503 to 514, which exceeded the state average. Throughout Georgia, SAT participation rates vary widely, with some schools having less than 40 percent participation. However, Decatur had a participation rate of approximately 93 percent of its students in 2012. Additionally, the score gap between Decatur Black and White students closed by 22 points compared with 2011. Black students made gains in critical reading and writing and outperformed other black students in critical reading and writing at the state and national levels. CSD officials attribute the rise in scores to the rigorous courses offered in the school system such as a wide range of Advanced Placement courses and International Baccalaureate programs. DeKalb County school officials reported a gain of approximately nine points on the SAT this year and said the increases were “broad and across the board.” According to a news release, the results also exhibited strong gains among Black and Hispanic students in the math and writing portions of the test. High school seniors in DeKalb County school earned an average combined score of 1343, which is nearly twice what was gained statewide. Approximately 4,099 students took the test this year. “These gains are impressive and shows how we can accomplish more if we keep our focus on educating children and implementing a new curriculum,” said Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson. Five county schools exceeded the national and state combined average, Chamblee High School, DeKalb Early College, DeKalb School of the Arts, Dunwoody High and Lakeside High schools. This is the second installment in a series where The Champion education reporter Daniel Beauregard sat down with newly elected DeKalb County school board members to discuss their thoughts on issues facing the DeKalb County School District (DCSD) in coming years. Melvin Johnson begins his term Jan. 1 as the District 6 board member. Readers are encouraged to submit questions via email at What do you think are some of the issues the school district is facing in the coming years? Some of the major issues we’ll be facing will be how to cut spending. We will not have the funds that we have had in the past and really we may not have the funds we presently have. The funding process is directly related to the success of the school system and to our property taxes— our test scores are going down so naturally that’s going to negatively impact our revenues. From a revenue point of view we need to improve our instructional base and delivery and that will certainly impact how well we’re funded from a revenue standpoint. Another issue will be teacher training. In the future we need to have teachers that will be trained with the common core standards, the new way of assessing student achievement. Having the common core standards across 47 states will impact students in a positive way—it will help focus our expectations and from an educational standpoint it will improve the quality of education in DeKalb. What are some of the reforms needed in the DeKalb County School District?


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One reform that’s needed is program evaluation and reform, because then we can determine what is working and what is not working, and that will directly impact our resources from a funding standpoint. If a program is not working then why continue to support it? If a program is working then we [need to] look at ways to enhance the program— that would also be a part of cutting spending. Is the board of education too big for members to come to a consensus on certain issues? No, I don’t think the board is too large but I think the board must consider collaborating more


between each other and the superintendent, as well as the other stakeholders throughout the community. I think open communication and transparency is key to the success of the board. When we are transparent and work with common objectives—the common objective being to deliver the best education possible to the children of DeKalb County— we’ll be successful. The problems lie in personal agendas. What do you think about the charter school amendment?

What can you do to work alongside board members and develop better relationships? A part of my training is in conflict management and one thing that you want to always put out in front of everything you do is the “superordinate goal”—in this case it’s to provide the best education for all of our boys and girls in the district. Putting that goal in front of every decision that we make should make us able to vote in a collective manner, for the greater good. I plan to do whatever I can to ensure that respect and courtesy is always a part of my decision making process. We have to ask questions and respect each other’s opinions because all of that is a part of the decision-making progress. I want to be a problem solver—we’re always going to have issues and problems but it’s the way we go about solving the problems and the respect we have as we go about solving them that will certainly enhance the quality of our decisions. We, as a board, can work together, and the way we operate on the board is the way we want you to operate in the school house and the community—we should always be setting an example of how to do business.

I personally think that the boards of education of each county should be responsible for approving charter schools that would be implemented in the school district.


What are your thoughts on Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson? Has she done a good job up to this point?

I do feel we need to do more to re-establish and restore public trust. I feel like at this time, the community doesn’t trust us to implement [certain] programs and I don’t think they trust us in terms of our fiscal responsibility. As we move forward from this point I want to make every effort to ensure that we give [Atkinson] the support that’s needed to do her job and I want to make sure that I’m doing my part to collaborate with other board of education members—to engage others and set forth a pattern and example of how we should do things in DeKalb.

QA &

The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 5, 2012


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Business Briefs
DeKalb resident named among Top Business Women of the Year Denise DeBurst Gines, owner of Lasting Legacies LLC, and producer/ interviewer for the HistoryMakers, was named among the American Business Women’s Association’s 2013 Top Ten Business Women. The national program honors 10 members for achievements in career, education and community involvement. DeBurst Gines has been a producer/interviewer for the HistoryMakers, an African-American oral history archive for the past six years. She is the founder of Lasting Legacies LLC, a video autobiography production company that creates family legacies through video and family genealogy photo books. She also is 2012 Woman of the Year for the organization’s Hidden Hills chapter, where she is beginning her second term as president, and its Atlanta Area Council. DeBurst Gines is a former board member of the Atlanta Urban League Guild and is a trained volunteer HIV/AIDS prevention counselor who administers HIV tests and conducts seminars during community awareness programs with AID Atlanta. Chase opens at new Dunwoody location Chase officially opened its new Dunwoody location on Sept. 20. The grand opening of the branch on Chamblee Dunwoody Road was coordinated by the Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce with a ribbon cutting attended by Dunwoody Mayor Mike Davis, Dunwoody City Councilman Terry Nall, Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce representatives, bank employees and customers. Chase District Manager Joice Tinsley said the new Chase bank branch is among the first in the nation to feature a new technology designed to reduce lines and save time. In addition to traditional tellers, the branch offers customers three selfservice banking machines similar to the touch screen kiosks found in airports and hotels. “We have introduced this new technology in a handful of branches in other cities, and customer comments about their speed and convenience have been overwhelmingly positive,” said Branch Manager Margoth Paspuel. The new machines have several advantages over traditional ATMs, including dispensing exact change and allowing customers to choose bills in all denominations. ATMs have $500 limits on withdrawals, but the new machines allow customers to take out as much as $1,000. The branch also features an instant issue debit card machine. The customer leaves the bank with a new debit card instead of waiting a week or more for it to arrive by mail. DBA to hold quarterly seminar The Decatur Business Association had announced its fall Foundations of Business Seminar, which will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 9. These quarterly seminars provide education to support business owners in creating and maintaining a strong foundation for their businesses. Finances, marketing, leadership and operations are the key topics covered at events. The October presentation will feature a panel that will share information on the best ways to get a return on investment from promotional products and client loyalty programs. The panel includes Mari Atwell, owner of Swagalicious and Darrah Brustein, co-owner of Equitable Payments. Payroll 1 Inc. opens Dunwoody area office A ribbon cutting Sept. 12 marked the official opening of Payroll 1’s office on Ashwood Parkway in Dunwoody. Founded in suburban Detroit in 1986, Payroll 1, through offices located across the country, provides comprehensive payroll processing and payroll tax filing services for thousands of clients nationally. Daniel Mastrodonato of the Dunwoody office said, “It’s been a great experience being part of the Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce.” Piece of Cake celebrates CAKETOBER In celebration of October as National Dessert Month the bakery’s 27th birthday, Piece of Cake has declared the month CAKETOBER. All through the month of October, Piece of Cake will be celebrating with specials and giveaways at all locations, including the stores on East College Avenue in Decatur and the one on Mount Vernon Road in Dunwoody.

Celebrating the O’Brian’s opening with a ribbon cutting are, from left, Hewyard Wescott, Susan Fitzgerald, Dunwoody City Councilman Terry Nall, Adam Hubschman, Mayor Pro Tem Denny Shortal, Bob Dallas, owner Huw Thomas, Bryan Tate, Andra Galtieri, Brent Morris, Kathy Beirmann, O’Brian’s General Manager Patrick Kirkland, Dorothy Burke, chef Alana Taylor and Donald Munroe, director of operations, Dunwoody Restaurant Group. Photo provided

Dunwoody Restaurant Group celebrates newest addition to restaurant chain
“In England you can’t walk a mile in any direction without finding a pub,” said Donald Munroe, director of operations at Dunwoody O’Brian’s Tavern on Mount Restaurant Group. “Neighborhood Vernon Road held its official ribbonpubs are where people can relax, socutting last month even though the cialize, have a drink and a bite to eat restaurant has been open since June. O’Brian’s Tavern is the newest mem- before they go home in the evening. People know each other and can feel ber of The Dunwoody Restaurant comfortable alone or with a group. Group, a company that specializes in That’s what we’re going for; we want pub style restaurants. snugness, not smugness. People really According to its website, The enjoy an atmosphere where the staff Dunwoody Restaurant Group was just encourage you to relax and feel at established in 1996 with the creation home. We’re finding the pub concept of its first California Style restaurant. When the format didn’t prove popular, is very popular in certain neighborhoods. In opening our restaurants, we owner Huw Thomas, “a Brit, went look for areas where pubs are a good back to his roots to start expanding fit.” the company and do what he knew Dunwoody, with a median age of best, having run a pub in England 38 and a median household income before moving to the USA in 1986,” well above the average for the state, is the online information states. “The Dunwoody Tavern then led the way to one area where pub-style restaurants are proving popular. Thomas said expand and develop the future.” he’s a “big fan of Dunwoody,” where Thomas, who designs and builds Dunwoody Restaurant Group recently each pub, said styles range “from London Pub to Country Pub, each one remodeled Dunwoody Tavern in the is unique.” O’Brian’s is named for his Shops of Dunwoody. Although O’Brian’s Tavern has the Welsh dad, Brian. Thus the restaurant same basic menu as other restaurants has a Welsh theme with a Welsh flag in the group, the restaurant is a little and logo. Antiques are purchased in England and shipped by his family to more upscale, according to Munroe, and offers daily specials that aren’t decorate each pub. available at the other restaurants. He O’Brian’s is the second restaurant added that the folks at O’Brian’s are in the Dunwoody Restaurant Group especially proud of their selection of that’s actually in Dunwoody. Most of cocktails, beers and wines. the nine restaurants in the group are O’Brian’s Tavern has announced near Dunwoody, although one is in several special October events. The California. The restaurants have the first Wine Dinner will be on Oct.8 and same basic menu and related themes; however, officials in the Dunwoody the Dunwoody Driving Club will host Restaurant Group say they don’t want a Car Show on Oct. 12 at Mount Vercustomers to have a “chain restaurant” non Centre. For more information on experience. these events, call (770) 396-0096. by Kathy Mitchell

The Voice of Business in DeKalb County
Two Decatur Town Center, 125 Clairemont Ave., Suite 235, Decatur, GA 30030

DeKalb Chamber of Commerce

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 5, 2012

Church breakfast to feature financial expert The Church of Christ at Bouldercrest announced that its October Not By Bread Alone community breakfast will feature Jim Burnett of Upside Down Solutions. Burnett’s company offers help to those seeking principal balance reductions, loan modifications, interest rate reductions, stopping of foreclosure and monthly payment reductions. The event is Saturday, Oct. 13, starting at 8 a.m. There is a $5 charge for breakfast. The Church of Christ at Bouldercrest is located at 2727 Bouldercrest Road, Atlanta. To make reservations or for more information, visit info@ or call (404) 622-9935. south to North Indian Creek Drive where it will conclude at Clarkston High School, 618 North Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston. The public is invited to the school parking lot at 11 a.m. for the annual Homecoming Festival, featuring area vendors presenting arts and crafts and specialized jewelry, as well as free healthcare screenings. There will be food and music and opportunities to meet community leaders at this free public event. That evening, at the homecoming football game at Hallford Stadium, the Clarkston Angoras will host the Johnsonville-Gainesville Knights at 7:30 p.m. For more information or details on participation or booth rental, call (404) 405-7269. dren from 6 weeks of age through grade 12. Over the years, Greenforest-McCalep Academy students have received numerous academic and athletic scholarships to some of the nation’s most prestigious colleges and universities. For additional information about sponsorships, banquet ads, vendor opportunities and/ or clothing donations, contact Dr. Sadie McCalep at (770) 808-9994. Decatur-area seniors invited to fall events The Regency House, an independent senior living community in Decatur, invites area seniors to its upcoming October events. Friday, Oct. 19, 6 - 8 p.m. the facility celebrates Caregiver Appreciation Night. Dark Chocolate Frenzy will be Saturday, Oct. 20, 2 - 4 p.m. and Let’s Talk Seniors® - Cancer Awareness with fall pies and hot cider will be Sunday, Oct. 21, 3 - 4 p.m. All events are free. The Regency House is located at 341 Winn Way. For more information, visit DeKalb Democrats open party office in Decatur DeKalb Democrats, the county committee of the Democratic Party of Georgia will hold the grand opening of its new campaign office Saturday, Oct. 6, 3-5 p.m. Democratic elected officials and Democratic candidates including congressional, state house and senate candidates will be in attendance. Refreshments will be served and candidate yard signs will be available. Following the grand opening, from 5-6 p.m., there will be a “Get Out The Vote” rally and from 6-7 p.m. volunteers will canvass neighborhoods. The DeKalb Democratic Party office is located at 3203 Glenwood Road, Decatur. To volunteer, contact Sandra Austin at Town Hall meeting announced Bishop Stephen Hall and DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson are holding a Community Town Hall Meeting Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 6:30 p.m. at Rhema Christian Fellowship Church, 2649 McAfee Road, Decatur. Topics for discussion include code compliance, public safety and other matters. For more information, call Johnson’s office at (404) 371-2988.

Oakhurst Arts & Music Festival returns More than 50 local artists selling their works, six bands, a 5K run and the Oakhurst neighborhood parade–all this and more happens during the 2012 Oakhurst Arts & Music Festival, a neighborhood celebration on Saturday, Oct. 13. The festival is a free, familyfriendly event. It celebrates the diverse Oakhurst community and the city of Decatur while highlighting talented artists and local musicians. This year’s music lineup features Oakhurst Community Music Collective, In the Wheelhouse, Sehwe Village Percussion, The BooHoo Ramblers and the Swamp Funk Quartet. The 5K Arts Run/Walk kicks off the event at 8 a.m., followed by a full day of festival entertainment and attractions from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Oakhurst Village’s Harmony Park, at East Lake Drive and Oakview Road. The parade begins at 2 p.m. The event also features activities for children; a community area featuring Decatur-based nonprofits; and food and beverages at Oakhurst’s many restaurants. For more information, visit or contact the Decatur Arts Alliance at (404) 371-9583. To enter the 5K Arts Run/ Walk contact Charles Cope at One Step at a Time, 650-B East Lake Drive, Decatur, (404) 377-1030, or register online at or www.

Pregnancy Center to hold first fundraiser The Pregnancy Center of Decatur is holding its inaugural fundraising event on Sunday, Oct. 21, 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. Compassionate Boldness will be held at the historic Mary Gay House, 716 W. Trinity Place. The afternoon will include heavy hors d’oeuvres, wine and refreshments and an auction-style raffle. It also will provide an opportunity to learn about work being done in the community to provide compassion and support for young women (and men) experiencing unplanned pregnancies. Tickets are $25. For more information, visit www. For sponsorship and volunteer opportunities, contact Jill Fossett at Ministry of Hope to hold lawn sale The Greenforest-McCalep Christian Academy will again this year benefit from two major fundraising events sponsored by the Ministry of Hope to support on-going programs for the educational centers. The first of the events, a lawn sale set for Oct. 6, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., will be in Bldg. #3 (the high school) on the Greenforest Campus located at 3250 Rainbow Drive in Decatur. The annual event features an abundance of quality new and gently used clothing and household items. Vendors are welcome. The academy serves chil-

Influenza vaccination drive for immigrants announced The Northlake Rotary Club will host its annual Immigrant Influenza Vaccination Project in partnership with DeKalb Medical on Oct. 13, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. This program targets persons ages 50 and older. The goal is to increase vaccination rates in refugee/immigrant and native populations in the Clarkston community. This diverse community in DeKalb County is an area heavily populated by immigrants and refugees. Northlake Rotarians will plan, organize and coordinate the free vaccination clinic in cooperation with the DeKalb Medical “Wellness on Wheels” program. “Wellness on Wheels” is a mobile unit that provides health screening and specific medical services. Professional DeKalb Medical personnel will administer the vaccine. For more information, call McClellon Cox, project chairperson, at (404) 501-5149 or Ed Willingham, publicity chairperson, (404) 636-8206. Clarkston High announces homecoming festivities Clarkston High School will hold its annual homecoming parade on Saturday, Oct. 13. The parade will depart from Thriftown Plaza, 926 Montreal Road, and proceed

sTOne MOunTAin
Stone Mountain CID continues economic development meetings The Stone Mountain Community Improvement District (CID) is soliciting feedback on its draft strategic economic development plan. The plan outlines concrete steps for

attracting employers to available commercial and industrial properties in the CID area. On Oct. 11, the CID will conduct the second of three public meetings with business and community representatives. The meeting will highlight draft study recommendations and engage attendees in discussion of proposed initiatives. Recommendations include strategies to expedite permitting and licensing within DeKalb County, techniques to grow, expand and attract businesses, improving workforce development, upgrades to infrastructure and proposed regulatory improvements for the area. CID Chairman Larry Callahan said the Oct. 11 meeting will focus on employer retention and growth as well as area improvements for mobility and boosting the overall business environment. “Our stakeholders and partners provide valuable insight on those actions and investments that will foster area and countywide job growth,” Callahan said. “Our CID is working at all levels to attract employers that will bring 2,000 new jobs here before the end of 2013.” The CID’s planning effort is part of the Livable Centers Initiative Study sponsored by the Atlanta Regional Commission. The CID is also working in cooperation with the DeKalb County Development Authority. The meeting will be Oct. 11, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the conference room of Eagle Rock Distributing located at 1375 Beverage Drive, Stone Mountain. To RSVP, contact Amanda Hatton, amanda.hatton@ or (678) 3330476. An RSVP is required to accommodate room capacity and CID-supplied lunch. Stakeholders are encouraged to visit for more information and to complete a business environment survey. The survey, designed for area businesses and partners to collect input on specific improvement opportunities within the study area, will close on Oct. 12. A summary of the previous community meeting is attached. For more information, contact CID President Emory Morsberger at (770) 409-8100 or

The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 5, 2012


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Stephenson too much for Southwest DeKalb
by Carla Parker he big-time rivalry game that was expected to go back and forth didn’t live up to its hype as the Stephenson Jaguars rolled over the Southwest DeKalb Panthers 32-0. No. 4 ranked Stephenson (4-0) dominated Southwest DeKalb (3-2) in all phases of the game, giving the Panthers no opportunity to get any points on the score board and holding Southwest DeKalb’s offense to 92 total yards. Stephenson head coach Ron Gartrell said he was pleased with his team’s performance. “We played out every level of the game and we’re excited about the outcome of the game,” he said. “It was a big win for us and we look forward to the next one.” Stephenson got the ball rolling in the first quarter with its run game. The Jaguars opening drive ended with an 8-yard touchdown run by running back Austin Tevin. The touchdown was made on a fourth down play. Jaguars kicker Wisdom Nzidee kicked a field goal late in the first quarter to add to his team’s lead. Southwest DeKalb’s defense tried to give its team life when defensive back Justin Mincy intercepted a pass from Stephenson’s quarterback Justin Holman. The Panthers following drive ended in no points after they failed to convert on a fake field goal. Mincy tried to throw a pass to the end zone but was picked off by Stephenson linebacker Rashad Payne. The Jaguars took advantage of

Stephenson running back Brandon Washington, right, runs away from a Southwest DeKalb defender as he heads towards the end zone. Photos by Travis Hudgons


Southwest DeKalb’s missed opportunity and put together another scoring drive, which ended on a touchdown run by running back Jahmal Daniels. Stephenson added to its lead right before halftime with a touchdown pass from Holman to wide receiver Taylor Henry. Stephenson’s defense stalled Southwest’s opening drive in the third quarter when defensive back Jared Tucker picked off Panthers running back Robert Brice. That turnover led to a Jaguars field goal. Holman threw another touchdown pass in the third quarter to wide receiver Raylen Elzy. Holman finished the game with seven completed passes on 14 attempts for 137 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. The Jaguars had a total 169 rushing yards, with Brandon Washington leading all running backs with 92 yards on nine rushing attempts. Stephenson racked up 306 yards of total offense. Gartrell also expected a tough battle between the two teams, but credited his team for the fast start and big plays that kept the Panthers out of the game. “It was about as well as we expected we could play,” he said. “We know we got to get better but tonight we did what we had to do.” Stephenson and Southwest DeKalb both have bye weeks this weekend. Stephenson’s next game will be against No. 2 Tucker High (5-0) on Oct. 12 at Hallford Stadium. Southwest DeKalb will face North Atlanta at the Georgia Dome on Oct. 13.

Stephenson defensive end Jonathan Wynn (40) goes in for the sack on Southwest DeKalb quarterback Marquis GIlmore (2).

Stephenson running back Austin Tevin runs towards the end zone for a touchdown.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 5, 2012

McCrary passes for over 300 yards in win against Decatur
by Carla Parker edar Grove Saints quarterback Johnathon McCrary put on a passing clinic in the Saints’ 42-21 win over the Decatur Bulldogs Sept. 29. McCrary passed for 365 yards and five touchdowns on 20 out of 25 pass attempts. He also had two interceptions. Cedar Grove (3-2) was up 21-15 on Decatur (4-2) late in the third quarter, after leading 21-0, when McCrary threw back-toback touchdowns to widen his team’s lead to 34-15. Despite almost giving up the lead, head coach Ray Bonner was happy that his players got the job done in the end. “We lost our focus for a minute,” he said. “We’ve got some good kids and they’re smart enough to know when they got to get the job done and that was a big thing. They got the job done. It wasn’t pretty at all but we got the job done.” The Saints’ first score came after defensive back Everett Nicolas intercepted Decatur quarterback Devontae Carter’s pass on their first drive. A couple of plays later, McCrary hit wide receiver Boris Burton in the end zone for a Saints touchdown. The Saints went up 14-0 later in the first quarter when wide receiver Shane Ward scored his second rushing touchdown of the season. Another turnover by Decatur led to Cedar Grove’s third score of the game by running back Deion Sellers.


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See Football on Page 20A

Cedar Grove quarterback Johnathon McCrary throws a touchdown pass against Decatur. Photo by Travis Hudgons

Four different teams get victories at cross country meet
by Mark Brock The weekly cross country meet held at the Druid Hills Middle School course had four different teams picking up wins in the four varsity races on Sept. 25. Clarkston opened the first boys’ race with a 28-36 advantage over second place Chamblee as four runners finished in the top six led by individual champion Hussen Sadik with a time of 18:06.53. Dunwoody was third with 97 points followed by Cross Keys with 105, Arabia Mountain 189, Stephenson 193 and Cedar Grove 329. Muhozi Aimable gave Clarkston a one-two finish in the race as he took second in a time of 18:23.68. Leiso Tumbo was fourth (18:52.98) and Adisu Adane was sixth (18:55.31) to round out the top Clarkston finishers. Ali Ali was 15th in 19:55.50 to round out the Clarkston scoring. Chamblee was paced by Aidan Rogers with a third place finish in 18:43.17 and Alex Krupp in fifth in 18:54.31. The top finisher for Dunwoody was Tyler Lu in 19:15.66 good for 10th and Cross Keys got a top 10 finish from Chao Lin in seventh (18:55.83). Dunwoody grabbed the top followed by Tucker with 111 and Martin Luther King Jr. with 168. Stone Mountain’s Abdullahi Ahmed was third in 18:02.95 and Nahome Abera was fourth in 18:08.48 while Roberto Mandrigal was 10th in 18:43.92. Southwest DeKalb was again paced by Jacques Williams with a time of 17:47.27 to take second place while teammates Christopher Morris (18:28.13) and Brandon Dorsey (18:41.19) finished seventh and ninth, respectively. Miller Grove’s Rahiim Aponte ran a time of 18:18.07 to finish in the top five runners. Southwest DeKalb overcame a 1-2 finish from Tucker to win the second varsity girls’ race 34-51 over Redan while Tucker finished third with 56 points. Nuba Jackson (21:51.59) of Tucker edged out her sister Naima Jackson (21:51.60) at the finish line in just one hundredth of second to take first. Southwest DeKalb had three of the next four runners as Kayla Willis (24:05.86) and Daisa Alexander (25:01.04) were third and fourth, respectively, while teammate MaKayla Mincey was sixth in 25:18.64. Miller Grove’s Tomara David was fifth in 25:07.14.

Hussen Sadik

Nuba Jackson, left, Naima Jackson. Photos by Mark Brock

team honors in the first varsity girls’ race by a score of 33-39 over Cedar Grove with Stephenson in third with 129 points. Christian Pryor of Cedar Grove was the individual winner in 22:32.17, but Dunwoody had five runners in the top 11 finishers led by a two-three finish by Katherine Gephardt (23:24.30) and Brook Joyner (23:56.10. Arabia Mountain’s Matoaka

Wilson was fourth in 24:50.88 and Chamblee’s Hannah Rosen round out the top five in 25:30.81. The Stone Mountain Pirates had five of the top 16 runners in the second varsity boys’ race, including three of the top four led by Abel Abay who took individual honors in 17:27:30 for the fastest time of the day, in taking a 34-53 win over Southwest DeKalb. Redan was third with 72 points

The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 5, 2012


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Football Continued From Page 19A
Decatur head coach Brad Waggoner said his team has to cut down on the mistakes. “We gave up 21 points in the first six minutes of the game,” he said. “We made a lot of turnovers. We had like five turnovers and you can’t have that many.” Decatur got on the score board late in the first quarter when running Nic Bentley bulldozed his way, knocking over defenders, to the end zone to bring the score to 21-6. Carter added six more points for Decatur on a quarterback sneak in the second quarter. They failed to convert a two-point conversion after the touchdown. During the kick-off at the start of the third quarter, Decatur did a short kick and recovered the ball in Saints’ territory. That led to a Bulldog field goal, decreasing the Saints lead to 21-15. Bonner said his players were not focused during that point in game. “We came out and put up 21 points in the first quarter and we just lost focus and it just seemed to be getting away from us,” he said. “Don’t take anything from Decatur. They played a great game and they had a great game plan for us.” The Saints got back in the game when McCrary threw a touchdown to wide receiver Jamir Hannah. On the Saints next drive, McCrary threw a touchdown pass to Ward. Decatur tried to make a comeback in the fourth quarter after wide receiver Andrew Brown got a rushing touchdown and the Bulldogs defense picked off McCrary in the end zone on the following drive. But Decatur couldn’t score anymore points and Ward rushed for another touchdown and back-up quarterback James Hartsfield scored on the twopoint conversion attempt. Waggoner said his team has to put this game behind them and get ready for the Oct. 5 home game against Woodward Academy. The Saints will face Towers High School on Oct. 5 at Hallford Stadium.

Cedar Grove wide receiver Everett Nicholas catches a pass on his helmet.

Cedar Grove’s Shane Ward hurdles a Decatur defender into the end zone. Photos by Travis Hudgons