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WWW.CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER.COM • FRIDAY, DEC. 14, 2012 • VOL. 15, NO. 38 • FREE
• A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS •
Pine Street Market teaches how to butcher a whole hog
by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org little before 10 a.m. on a Saturday morning, a small crowd gathered inside Pine Street Market in Avondale Estates. Usually, the market doesn’t open until 11 a.m. but Dec. 8 it opened early to hold a whole hog butchering class for 12 people. After class members signed release forms and filled out names tags, owner Rusty Bowers introduced himself and congratulated everybody for being on time (he said there are usually some stragglers). After telling the group to grab a hairnet, Bowers led everybody into the market’s kitchen, where two halves of a hog lay, each on a stainless steel table.
IS SHE WHYIS SHE SO SOHAPPY ? WHY
Pine Street Market owner Rusty Bowers speaks to attendees about the market curing process at a whole hog butchering class at the market Dec. 8. (Below) Bowers points to different cuts of a pork shoulder. Photos by Daniel Beauregard
Tommy Searcy, owner of Gum Creek Farms where Pine Street get the majority of its meat, explains how he raises his Berkshire hogs.
Kyle Griffith, a butcher at the market, and Gum Creek Farms Tommy Searcy stood in front of one of the tables. Searcy’s farm is in Roopville, and in addition to farming Berkshire and Tamworth pork, he also raises Kathdin lamb and Angus beef. “They’re not in a pasture, I try to keep them in the woods and the shade,” Searcy said of his hogs. “They just kind of live a natural life.” Each week, Searcy sells seven or eight hogs to restaurants in Atlanta. At any given time, Searcy has approximately 150 hogs and about 25 sows on his farm. Bowers said working with Searcy is
While Bowers and Griffith that were not valued were packed used a bone saw to separate the into casks or barrels also known as halves of the pig into thirds, they “butts” for storage and shipment. pointed to each third and explained The way the hog shoulder was cut what type of meat would come in the Boston area became known from each specific cut. They also in other regions as “Boston butt.” explained what they use each piece Bowers said another cut they of meat for at the market. use a lot of is the jowl, which they “When you’re butchering you cure like pancetta because it’s such just want to go through the bone a hard, overworked muscle. They with the saw, and then do the rest also take it and smoke it to make with a knife so you don’t shred the “jowl bacon”—Andouille sausage meat,” Griffith said. is also made from ground jowls. Many in the class were curiAfter a break for some refreshous to know what part of the pig ments (fresh charcuterie and a is referred to as the “butt” to make selection of tea or beer from the smoked Boston butt barbecue, Avondale Estates’ Beer Growler), which actually comes from the there was a brief discussion about great because the majority of resshoulder of the pig. how geography affects the names taurants in Atlanta buy the middle “The barrels they used to store of different cuts of pork used in of the hog (pork chops, loin chops Because she gets her news updates online from the The Champ them in were called butts, so it barbecuing. and tenderloins) while Pine Street actually has nothing to do withThe Champion. time we do this there the “Every tends to sell more of the pork gets her news updates online from the Because she actual butt,” Griffith said. the The Champion. some discussion about always is shoulders or hams.Because she gets her news updates online from In pre-revolutionary New barbecue,” Searcy chuckled. “We buy about 60 percent of England and into the American what he grows weight-wise,” Bowwww.facebook.com/championnewspaper Revolutionary War, the pork cuts ers said.
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Tucker as businesses are decorated for the holiday. Bottom center, Tucker Flower Shop was judged to have the best display in the community. Photos provided
Tucker Flower Shop wins decorating contest
A panel of judges decided that Tucker Flower Shop has the best Christmas decorations in Tucker. The Tucker Business Association, Main Street Tucker Alliance and the Tucker Historical Society announced Dec. 5 the winners of the Downtown Tucker Holiday Decorating Contest. Tucker Flower Shop on Idlewood Road was awarded first prize and owner Julia McDonald was presented a check for $500. Second place and a check for $300 went to The Custom Frame Shop on Main Street and owner Kelly Holloway. Third prize and a $200 check for $200 went to Village Shoe Service on Railroad Avenue, owned by Larry Schupbach. The Greene family’s Matthews Cafeteria on Main Street received an honorable mention. “The judges had a hard time deciding on the winners,” stated Honey Van De Kreke, corporate secretarytreasurer of Elrep Sales and co-general manager of the Main Street Tucker Alliance. “All the participating businesses came up with imaginative ideas that really brought the holiday spirit to downtown Tucker.” The Tucker Business Association, Main Street Tucker Alliance and the Tucker Historical Society partnered to sponsor the holiday decorating contest. Businesses within the downtown area, as defined by Brockett Road, LaVista Road, Lawrenceville Highway and Tucker Industrial Road, were encouraged to celebrate the holidays with festive and imaginative decorations for their windows and buildings. A panel of judges with representatives from the three sponsoring organizations viewed the area businesses on Dec. 1 to choose the winning displays. “Downtown Tucker is lit up with holiday decorations for everyone to enjoy,” said Burke Brennan, chief communications officer for DeKalb County and president of the Tucker Business Association. “We encourage Tucker residents to take the time to visit downtown as part of their holiday celebrations.”
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, Dec. 14, 2012
Brookhaven officials prepare to build city government
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com With the official establishment of the city of Brookhaven less than a week away, the newly elected mayor and city council have a lot of work to accomplish. The city will be officially established Dec. 17. Mayor J. Max Davis and the city council members were sworn in after DeKalb County certifies the results of the Dec. 4 runoff election. Davis said that when he is officially sworn in as mayor his first order of business will be to appoint an interim city manager, city attorney and city clerk, all of whom require the council’s approval. “Then we can work on the dayto-day operations of the city and building a police department,” Davis said. “DeKalb County will provide police services until we can get a police force up and running.” District 2 Councilman Jim Eyre, the only council member who received a clear victory in November’s election, said the first thing he thinks he and his fellow council members should do is begin working on a first-year budget. “The city is going to grow but for year one, we’ve got to get the city on strong footing with a balanced budget—we’ve also got to put away some reserves,” Eyre said. Bates Mattison, who defeated opponent Kevin Quirk for the District 3 council seat, said that he and his colleagues face a number of challenges in the coming weeks. Mattison said the new city will have a limited amount of time before DeKalb County will be required to bill it for services. “We have to make transitions to our new vendors or agreements with DeKalb County to continue to provide us services,” Mattison. “Police is the one that will be most expensive.” Although the city plans to contract with the DeKalb County Police Department until it is able to build its own police force, Mattison said Brookhaven has “no definitive agreement with DeKalb County as to the cost of providing those services.” After Brookhaven residents voted in favor of cityhood during the July 31 general elections, Gov. Nathan Deal appointed a volunteer commission to help ease the formation of a new government. Both Davis and Mattison said the commission did a great job providing the newly elected officials with data and service proposals. “They’ve made our task much less daunting by the amount of work they’ve put in,” Davis said of the commission. “They’ve done a great job and I extend my sincere gratitude to all the members on the commission as well as the citizen volunteers.” Each term of office lasts until 2015.
the assistant city manager for the city of Coral Gables, 2003-2004. Williams recveived a bachelor of science degree and master of public administration degree from California State University, Long Beach, in 1991 and 1994, respectively. “Zach’s confirmation is the result of a very thorough, deliberative and participatory process between our administration and the Board of Commissioners,” Ellis said. “This is a new day in DeKalb, as we fulfill our mission of working together in the best interests of our citizens.” Larry Johnson, the presiding officer of the Board of Commissioners, said, “DeKalb County is very fortunate to have Zach Williams overseeing the effectiveness and efficiency of county operations in the dual reporting role to the CEO and Board of Commissioners. Zach Williams has a track record of efficiency and effective government and we really appreciate that.” Johnson said Williams is “his own person and will give us an honest assessment on the issues. We are going to work together. We’ve come up with benchmarks. We’ve had talks with the CEO, the chief of staff and the personnel director. All of the commissioners have had the opportunity to talk with Zach and share where they want to see the county go.” Participants must drop off submissions at any of the following locations: the recreation department’s main office in the Maloof Building, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur; Briarwood Recreation Center, 2335 Briarwood Way, Atlanta; Browns Mill Recreation Center, 5101 Browns Mill Road, Lithonia; Exchange Recreation Center, 2771 Columbia Drive; Gresham Recreation Center, 3113 Gresham Road, Atlanta; Hamilton Recreation Center, 3263 Chapel Street; Lucious Sanders Recreation Center, 2484 Bruce Street, Lithonia; Lynwood Recreation Center, 3360 Osborne Road, Atlanta; Mason Mill Recreation Center, 1340-B McConnell Drive, Decatur; Midway Recreation Center, 3181 Midway Road, Decatur; N.H. Scott Recreation Center, 2230 Tilson Road, Decatur; Porter Sanford III Performing Arts & Community Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur; Redan Recreation Center, 1839 Phillips Road, Lithonia; Tobie Grant Recreation Center, 644 Parkdale Drive, Scottdale; and Tucker Recreation Center, 4898 LaVista Road, Tucker. For more information, call LaShanda Davis, public education specialist, at (404) 371-3643.
From left, Commissioner Larry Johnson, Chief Operating Officer Zach Williams and DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis pose for a photo after Williams was approved as the county’s new COO.
DeKalb commissioners approve new chief operating officer
The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners confirmed Zach Williams as DeKalb County’s next executive assistant and chief operating officer. Williams was nominated by CEO Burrell Ellis and will succeed Richard Stogner, who retires at the end of the year. “We have an opportunity together to move DeKalb forward,” Williams said. “For several years DeKalb County, like all of the counties in the metro area, has struggled with fiscal issues in trying to manage more with less. “I welcome the performance measures that have been discussed, and I welcome the challenge,” Williams said. “I think we’re going to do great things together.” Williams, the Fulton County manager since 2008, has more than 20 years of government experience. From 2004 through 2008, Williams worked as the assistant county administrator for Broward County, Fla. He has also worked as
Second arrest made in a week for concealed guns in courthouse
A second woman was arrested by DeKalb Sheriff’s Office deputies at the public entrance of the DeKalb County Courthouse Dec. 3. Brook Ingle, 27, was taken into custody and charged with carrying a weapon in an unauthorized location when deputies found a loaded handgun in her purse. Ingle told deputies that she was visiting the court to file civil documents for her employer, Glasser, Currie and Bullman, Attorneys at Law. This is the second arrest in a week for the same offense. A loaded handgun was discovered in the bag of Yolanda Perdue on Nov. 28. Ingle was taken to the DeKalb County Jail.
DeKalb County recreation department to host holiday card competition
The DeKalb County Department of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Affairs is hosting a holiday card competition and is collecting submissions until Dec. 21. Children ages 5 to 12 are encouraged to create an original design, whether it’s a festive drawing, picture or painting of the holiday season. The winner will receive one seasonal pass to the Browns Mill Aquatic Center and one for an accompanying adult. Competition rules are available at www.dekalbcountyga.gov/parks.
This is an election by his peers who recognize the superior (no pun intended) talents Judge Adams has exhibited on the bench and in his personal affairs. As a member of the State Bar of Georgia for nearly 20 years, Judge Adams has demonstrated the leadership qualities of character, ethics, exemplary powers of reasoning, fairness and balance. It is a wonderful thing to be His ascension to the position able help share great news like the of chief judge is yet another step fact that DeKalb County Superior in a remarkable story of nearly Court Judge Gregory Adams has been elevated to chief judge of the unparalleled respect on the bench that began in DeKalb County JuStone Mountain Judicial Circuit and administrative judge of the 4th venile Court. Judge Adams served as chief judge of Juvenile Court Judicial Administrative District. for 10 years. His innovations and The new year will usher in service were so stellar the new JuJudge Adams’ two-year term. In addition to his work as a Superior venile Justice Center built in 2007 was named in his honor—a first Court judge, he will assume judifor any DeKalb County judge. cial administrative responsibility for the circuit and district. Accord- Adams was first elected to the DeKalb Superior Court bench in ing to a release from the county, 2005 and has held several leaderAdams will also serve on the exship roles in local and state legal ecutive committee of the Council circles including the Georgia Suof Superior Court Judges and the preme Court. Judicial Council of Georgia.
Here comes the judge!
Earlier this year he became somewhat of a celebrity as the eyes of the nation and the world were glued to televisions watching him preside over the sensational Dunwoody daycare murder trial. Engineer Hemy Neuman is now serving the sentence Adams imposed of life without parole for killing the husband of his colleague and alleged lover. Rusty Sneiderman was gunned down in the parking lot of his son’s Dunwoody daycare center just after he dropped off the boy. Back in Judge Adam’s courtroom is another bizarre twist in the case. Sneiderman’s widow, Andrea, is now charged with conspiracy in the murder of her husband and accused of yet another lover. Joseph Dell is a witness whom prosecutions claim has been Andrea Sneiderman’s live-in boyfriend during her pending trial. Adams ruled recently that Andrea could have no contact with Dell during her pending trial. Her trial
Opinion The Newslady
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Dec. 14 , 2012
is expected to garner as much national media attention as did Neuman’s. Judge Adams is unfazed. He is solid and rooted—home grown. He received both his undergraduate and law degrees from Georgia State University. He is a great family man, and a stalwart in the community who can often be seen giving back. Whether the Dunwoody daycare murder trial becomes Judge Adams’ most memorable case remains to be seen. This well-deserved appointment is but another step in his bright future. Georgia Supreme Court? U.S. Supreme Court? Here comes the judge! Pat him on the back then congratulate and thank him for his service when next you see him. Steen Miles, The Newslady, is a retired journalist and former Georgia state senator. Contact Steen Miles at Steen@dekalbchamp.com.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012
Opinion One Man’s Opinion
A block off the old Chip
employment opportunities across Georgia. More than a bit of irony in this move around the block. The old Chip was the taxpayer’s friend and a Tea Party champion— “Taxpayer Champion,” according to his website, http://www.senatorchiprogers.com/bio.php. New Chip takes a high paying, and we’ll assume high-powered position with GPB. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney recommended de-funding public broadcasting and privatizing it. GPB receives 48 percent of its current budget by state appropriation. The old Chip sponsored legislation, prominently featured in his ofﬁcial bio, to create OpenGa.gov, http://www.open.ga.gov/, a website intended to improve state government transparency on things like state employee salaries, and expense reimbursements. The new Chip accepts a state government position with an unknown title, salary and job description, and refers to the opportunity as his “dream job.” GPB operates a network of nine television stations (10 including the operations of WUGA-TV in Athens) and 17 radio stations. GPB President Ryan has been generally credited with improving programming and ratings, reducing public expenditure and improving morale across the network. That said, the agency is among the smaller in state government, and additional budget cuts will be taking GPB’s marquee program, The Lawmakers, from a live news program ﬁve nights a week while the Georgia General Assembly is in session, to a more studio-driven and taped production, produced over two weekdays each week. Rogers’ efforts will receive some state funding, and he will also be charged with seeking private sector partners to help ﬁnance some of his initiatives. Rogers has previously demonstrated some not insigniﬁcant business acumen. How many entrepreneurs have you met who can secure a non-collateralized loan for in excess of $2 million, then ask their bank to convert the loan to interest payments only, then default on the loan and later secure a conﬁdentiality agreement with the lenders and their successors that prevents you from explaining where the money went or who ultimately paid off the failed loan? That takes pluck. Rogers was ﬁrst elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2002, and earlier worked as a television and radio reporter following his graduation from Georgia Tech, well known for its broadcasting school. Rogers later owned WYXC-AM 1270, a small Fox radio network afﬁliate in Cartersville. Rogers won his state Senate seat in 2004, and rose quickly through the ranks, being elected as majority leader in 2009. In 2010, Rogers and a slight majority of his colleagues in the state Senate gave the powers of presiding over the chamber to the Senate president pro tempore, and the majority leader, stripping the role of the lieutenant governor down to a more ceremonial one. Those changes are expected to be revisited in the coming days and weeks. In addition to the adoring eyes of thousands of Tea Party loyalists, Rogers will give up one of the most plum parking spaces on Georgia’s Capitol Hill, a short dash from the Senate ﬂoor as well as TV cameras and the prying eyes of the media. Although in some respects, he is one of them now. Perhaps that depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is. And whether Rogers is able to light up hiring across Georgia or not, he now has a solid job and can get home in time to coach his son’s basketball team. And that’s someone we can all call a winner in most any book. Bill Crane also serves as a political analyst and commentator for Channel 2’s Action News, WSB-AM News/Talk 750 and now 95.5 FM, as well as a columnist for The Champion, Champion Free Press and Georgia Trend. Crane is a DeKalb native and business owner, living in Scottdale. You can reach him or comment on a column at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Would the boy you were be proud of the man you are?”—Laurence J. Peter (1919-1990), educator and co-author of The Peter Principle. Georgia State Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) was a longtime and frequent critic of the state’s bloated bureaucracy. Suddenly, in a rapid turn of events, Rogers stood down for reelection to the Senate GOP leadership team, resigned his Senate seat just weeks after a brutal re-election race, and then took a cushy job in the same bloated bureaucracy. Rogers moves to a yet untitled position with Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB), into a newly created slot. Details remain forthcoming, with salary and job description not yet released. Rogers will report directly to GPB President Teya Ryan, a well-regarded broadcast executive who spent much of her career with CNN and Turner Broadcasting. Rogers will lead a GPB radio effort focused on economic development, and generating awareness of job and
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Publisher: Dr. Earl D. Glenn Managing Editor: Kathy Mitchell News Editor: Andrew Cauthen Production Manager: Kemesha Hunt Graphic Designer: Travis Hudgons The Champion Free Press is published each Friday by ACE III Communications, Inc., 114 New Street, Suite E, Decatur, GA. 30030 Phone (404) 373-7779.
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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, Dec. 14, 2012
St. Vincent de Paul’s pantry is a clients choice food pantry, Stevens said, where clients are allowed to shop for what they want based on a points system. “Other pantries just give you a bag of food.” Stevens said he tries to “make the clients feel comfortable shopping and to help them realize that it’s OK because it’s hard to knock on the door.” And he knows from experience. “At one point I had to go to a food pantry,” For 46-year-old Douglas said Stevens, who found the Stevens, volunteering at St. volunteer position through Vincent de Paul (SVdP) Fam- his membership with www. ily Support Center in Cham- voluntermatch.com. blee is a way to give back. As a client advocate, SteStevens, graduate of vens counsels and provides Georgia State University, is resources and services to a client advocate who works meet the client’s needs, asin St. Vincent de Paul’s food sists guests with nutritional pantry. information and helps them As such, Stevens proto focus on healthy food cesses the food donations choices based oﬀ the USDA received by the organization Food Pyramid Guidelines. by barcoding and stocking Stevens has also passed the items. the state exam to assist cli“And when a client gets ents with earned beneﬁts, referred to us from one of or food stamps. our conferences, ﬁnd out “And I do whatever they what they need,” Stevens want me to do but I don’t said. do windows,” Stevens said. In 2010-11, SVdP GeorA volunteer since July, gia served approximately Stevens spends ﬁve to six 201,000 people throughout hours each day working at middle and north Georgia, St. Vincent de Paul. delivered $5.8 million in “So it’s my part-time job,” direct ﬁnancial aid, and alsaid Stevens, who is on dismost $1.4 million in food, ability from his work in the clothing and household management information goods to people in need. It systems ﬁeld. currently operates 10 thrift “We’re here to help you… stores and 38 food pantries get jumpstarted. It’s not which oﬀer clients perishwelfare. It’s here to motiable and non-perishable vate people to get over a food in a grocery store setrough spot,” Stevens said. ting.
Championof HunGER the Week kEEps douglas stevens up On cuRREnT EVEnTs, TOO.
1 in 6 AmERicAns sTRuGGlEs WiTH HunGER.
if you would like to nominate someone to be considered as a future champion of the week, please contact Kathy Mitchell at email@example.com or at (404) 373-7779, ext. 104.
Hunger is closer than you think. Reach out to your local food bank for ways to do your part. Visit FeedingAmerica.org today.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012
Registration is required. The history center is located in the Historic DeKalb Courthouse, 101 E. Court Square, Decatur. For more information or to register, contact Leslie at firstname.lastname@example.org or (404) 373-1088, extension 20. Island association to hold holiday event The Virgin Islands Association of Georgia Inc. is holding its annual holiday dinner dance Saturday, Dec. 15, at 7 p.m.at Nicole’s Banquet Hall, 4205 Snapfinger Woods Drive, Decatur. Tickets are $35 per person or $60 per couple. For more information, call (678) 230-8721 or (678) 360-3093. Knitters to meet at library Knitting Adventures comes to the Toco HillAvis G. Williams Library Tuesday, Dec. 18, 6:30 - 8 p.m. All knitters are welcome. Beginners are asked to bring their own supplies and learn how to cast on. The group is adults-only and meets on the third Tuesday evening of the month. The Toco Hill-Avis G. Williams Library is located at 1282 McConnell Drive, Decatur. For more information, call (404) 6794404. Politicians to host Christmas celebration DeKalb County Commissioner Stan Watson, Reps. Howard Mosby and Pam Stephenson are hosting the Touch of Red & White Christmas Celebration, Saturday, Dec. 15. The event features music by Joey Sommerville and Christon Ingram. Tickets for the event are $20 plus one unwrapped child’s toy. The toys will be donated to the DeKalb County Court Appointed Special Advocates program. The reception is from 7:30 - 8:30 p.m. and the concert begins at 9 p.m. The event will be held at the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts and Cultural Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur. To RSVP, send an email to email@example.com. Breakfast with Santa scheduled The Decatur Business Association will hold its annual Breakfast with Santa Saturday, Dec. 15, 8-10 a.m. at the Courtyard Marriott Atlanta Downtown Decatur/Emory Conference Center. Santa will arrive on a city of Decatur fire truck before a breakfast buffet is served and children have a chance to share their wish lists with Santa. Tickets are $12 for adults and $7 for children younger than 12. Only 300 tickets are available on a first come, first served basis. For more information, visit www.decaturga. com. Click on “events,” or email info@decaturdba. com. Donations needed for Blessings on Wheels Blessings On Wheels is asking for donations of new unwrapped toys for a child or a gift card for a single parent for its Grant-A-Wish Event. The non profit organization is partnering with Good Acts Community Empowerment Group to surprise 50 pre-selected families by granting their wish for Christmas. All gifts are due no later than Dec. 17. A wrapping party will take place on Dec. 19. The event will be held on Dec. 23, 1 - 4 p.m. at Malcolm Cunningham Auto Gallery, 4334 Snapfinger Woods Drive in Decatur. Blessings On Wheels is also looking for people to sponsor a child or family. Blessings On Wheels is a non-profit organization
Theater to stage An Atlanta Christmas An Atlanta Christmas will be on stage Dec. 15 at the Academy Theatre in Avondale Estates. The play is told in a series of short, distinct vignettes, joined together by the image of a family gathered around the Christmas tree. The show features stories of families re-uniting through dance, candle mysteries and the invasion into Christmas of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulu. Audience members will see the sound effects for the shows created live in front of them and Jeff Blanks will provide live accompaniment. The show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 and will benefit the Center for the Visually Impaired. The Academy Theatre is at 119 Center Street. For tickets, visit www.brownpapertickets.com/ event/293181. For more information, call (404) 4748332 or visit www.academytheatre.org. Pet adoption event announced Royal Potcake Rescue will be bringing dogs and cats to Second Life Upscale Resale for adoption on Dec. 15, noon - 4 p.m. Potential adoptees can meet a number of cats and dogs, along with meeting Angel and Gordy, two dogs that were brought from a shelter in Egypt. Second Life is an upscale resale store that was created with the mission of giving homeless pets a second chance at life. They sell gently used clothing, household items and furniture. In turn, they support animal rescue organizations with much needed cash donations and opportunities to hold adoptions in the store. Donations are accepted year-round and are tax-deductible. Second Life Upscale Resale is at 1 N. Clarendon Avenue in Avondale Estates. For more information, visit www.secondlifeatlanta.org, call (678) 9745671, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
that supports and serves the homeless and others who have fallen on hard times. For more information, contact Keischa Stillwell Robinson at (404) 934-4743 or email keischa43@ gmail.com. Soil and water meeting scheduled The DeKalb County Soil and Water Conservation District monthly meeting will be held on Friday, Dec. 14, at 10 a.m. at the Clark Harrison Building, 330 W. Ponce de Leon Avenue in downtown Decatur. For additional information call (770) 761-3020.
Dunwoody group offers potty training class In “Potty Training 101: The Good, The Bad, and The Poop,” participants can learn the method with the most researched support for success, Dec. 17, 7-9 p.m. Led by instructor Roseanne Lesack, PhD, the course will give participants tips on how to reduce the anxiety of parents and children when toddlers transition to underwear. Topics to be covered include: determining whether a child is ready; defining success; developmentally appropriate expectations; parent readiness; general behavioral strategies; preparing children for the process; materials needed; teaching potty independence; planning for the potty outside of the home; and nighttime and naps. The workshops are scheduled conveniently near vacation times so that parents can learn the necessary skills and put them to practice when children and parents are home together. The class will be held at the Marcus Jewish Community Center Atlanta’s Zaban Park, located at 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. For information, call Ilana Schlam at ilana. email@example.com.
Computer class offered The Decatur Library will offer a class on Microsoft Word 2007 Basics I and II on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2 - 4 p.m. Participants will be taught to create, edit and save simple documents, cut and paste, and use other Word features. They will design a flyer using a sample file. Mouse skills, typing skills and some experience with Windows are required. Call (404) 370-8450, ext. 2259, to register. Participants should be on time; latecomers may lose their space to walk-ins. Decatur Library is located at 215 Sycamore Street, Decatur. History center to hold A Night at the Museum Children ages 7-12 are invited to the DeKalb History Center Thursday, Dec. 20, for a Night at the Museum. Parents can have an evening of shopping or dining in Decatur, with Terrific Thursday shopping specials, while their children are entertained with music and storytelling by Reuben Haller as Fiddlin’ Dan. The special holiday-themed performance will include multi-cultural carols and stories. “Children will also enjoy traditional holiday crafts like candle dipping and orange pomander ornaments. It’s sure to be a fun, cheer-filled night for kids and parents alike,” according to an announcement from the history center. Drop off is 5:30 - 6 p.m. and pick up is 8:30 p.m. The cost is $5 per child for DeKalb History Center members and $10 for non-members.
ART Station offers ‘Stories With Santa’ Santa Claus will be in Stone Mountain Saturday, Dec. 15, 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. for “Stories With Santa,” a performance at the ART Station and for lunch. After the performance, Santa will listen to children’s Christmas wishes. Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 12 and younger. Tickets are available at ART Station, the Antique Emporium or reserved by calling ART Station at (770) 469-1105. ART Station is located at 5384 Manor Drive in Historic Stone Mountain Village. For additional information call (770) 469-1105 or visit www.artstation. org.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012
Beverage distributor transports wheelchairs along route
A Stone Mountain beverage distributor is using empty space on its delivery trucks to transport needed medical equipment for disabled persons. Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC) announced Nov. 26 a partnership with local beverage distributor Eagle Rock Distributing Company to use Eagle Rock’s delivery trucks and routes to pick up and deliver home medical supplies. Based in Stone Mountain, FODAC is a nonprofit organization providing more than $10 million annually in durable medical equipment and supplies to the disabled community. Eagle Rock drivers working the route between the company’s Dalton and Stone Mountain offices will stop at MobilityWorks in Marietta and pick up donations to deliver to FODAC’s warehouse in Stone Mountain. MobilityWorks is a national chain of wheelchair-accessible van providers. “We are pleased to partner with Eagle Rock to support the companies, like MobilityWorks, who have offered to be donation sites for used home medical equipment (HME),” stated Chris Brand, president of FODAC. “We hope that the success of this program will inspire other companies to offer their truck routes so that we can extend the reach of our dona-
Residents concerned about principal changes at MLK
by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org Martin Luther King Jr. High School PTSA President Evelyn Cunningham said the DeKalb County School District (DCSD) has changed the school’s principal three times this semester without any input from faculty, staff or community members. Cunningham also said that the new principal the district plans to put in place has no experience running a high school. “They’re not telling us why they’re doing this and it’s affecting the students,” Cunningham said. With less than two weeks left in the semester at MLK, Cunningham said that the changes have come at the “most inappropriate” of times without input from the PTSA, school administration or even the school council. “To me this change comes as a gesture of uncaring and disrespect to our school’s students, staff, faculty, administration, and the community,” Cunningham said. “It is my understanding you are sending MLK Jr. High School someone with no proven track record when you have Mr. Ralph Simpson or the current interim Principal Vivian Terry who are available and have a proven track record,” Cunningham stated in a letter sent to DCSD. DeKalb Schools spokesman Jeff Dickerson disputed Cunningham’s claim that the new principal, Priscilla Weaver, is the third principal MLK has had in the past few months. “Everybody is saying it’s the third one but it’s only the second,” Dickerson said. Dickerson said the initial principal was moved to an elementary school and while the district was searching for a replacement, they appointed a retired teacher as an interim principal at MLK. “That person has been selected through an objective process and appointed,” Dickerson said.
Workers from Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC) unload wheelchairs from an Eagle Rock delivery truck into the FODAC warehouse. Photo provided
tion sites.” During a recent meeting between Brand and Eagle Rock’s CEO Steve Craine to discuss sponsorship opportunities, Brand mentioned the difficulties FODAC faced in getting donated equipment back to its warehouse in Stone Mountain. A review of FODAC donation sites and its locations quickly showed that many lie along Eagle Rock’s delivery routes. MobilityWorks is on the route between Eagle Rock’s Dalton office and its Stone Mountain office, so Craine offered to pick up donations from there as a test. “Our truck routes cover the Atlanta metro area,” Craine said. “Many times, our trucks are going out with
partial loads, and would have plenty of room to store some wheelchairs, walkers or other types of HME. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to utilize our resources to support FODAC further in their mission, and hope to expand the program in the future.” “Utilizing the Eagle Rock delivery routes was a wonderful idea of Steve’s,” Brand said. “Donated equipment is a key part of our program to help the disabled community. Getting this equipment here more quickly means a faster response to the needs of our clients.”
DeKalb judge takes on new responsibilities
DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Gregory A. Adams has been elected to a two-year term as chief judge of the Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit and administrative judge of the 4th Judicial Administrative District. In addition to his work as a Superior Court judge, he will now assume judicial administrative responsibility for the circuit and district. As administrative judge, Adams will also serve on the executive committee of the Council of Superior Court Judges and the Judicial Council of Georgia. Adams’ term begins on Jan. 1. Adams Prior to his election to the Superior Court bench in January 2005, Adams served as chief judge of the DeKalb County Juvenile Court from 1994-2004. He has been a member of the State Bar of Georgia since 1984 and has fulfilled many leadership roles in state and local organizations which support and enhance the legal community.
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012
DCSD being sued for violating Open Records Act
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com The DeKalb County School District (DCSD) and Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson are being sued by a former teacher for allegedly withholding information related to an Open Records request. The suit was filed Dec. 3 by attorney Julie Oinonen, who is representing former Dunwoody High School graduation coach Cynthia Gipson. Gipson was laid off earlier this year due to a reduction in force. According to the lawsuit, Gipson received a tip that information related to her dismissal hearing was contained in some of Atkinson’s text messages. As a result of the tip, Gipson filed an Open Records request Aug. 30 to obtain text messages from Atkinson’s DCSD-issued cellphone pertaining to her case. Gipson was first informed May 9 that her contract with the district would not be renewed. The suit states that since Gipson is a “tenured” Georgia educator, she is subject to have the opportunity under the Fair Dismissal Act to present evidence in a nonrenewal hearing in front of a tribunal. An Open Records request was filed so Gipson could present the texts that related to her case during her tribunal hearing. However, after more than a month after her initial request, she and her attorney hadn’t received a response from the district. The district eventually sent Gipson and Oinonen a response Oct. 19 that stated,
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Author Jeff Clemmons tells stories from Rich’s Department Store’s 137-year history during a lecture at the DeKalb History Center. Photo by Kathy Mitchell
Author packs DeKalb History Center for lecture on book about Rich’s
by Kathy Mitchell firstname.lastname@example.org Jeff Clemmons became an accidental author, according to the story he told Dec. 4 at the DeKalb County History Center, where he gave a lecture on his new book, Rich’s: A Southern Institution. Clemmons explained that he was giving tours of Atlanta that included talks on its history and institutions when History Press called to ask whether he was interested in writing a book on Rich’s Department Store. “I was blown away to learn how deep a reach Rich’s had into the history of the city. Imagine if CocaCola went away leaving behind all the stories of how it influenced Atlanta—Rich’s’ influence is almost that great,” Clemmons said. At one point, he said, Rich’s had 29 department stores, 19 stand-alone bakeries, four boutiques, a cooking school, a high school academy, a philanthropic foundation and a discount retail chain, Richway. “People have forgotten, or do not know, that Rich’s was an astonishingly vast retail dynasty whose oeuvre spanned from a few years after the American Civil War to the dawning of a new millennium,” he writes in the introduction to Rich’s: A Southern Institution. Judging from the packed room at the history center the evening of Clemmons’ lecture, many people do remember. There were few empty seats and copies of the book brought for signing quickly sold out. Many audience members had questions about the store’s presence in DeKalb County. Is it true, one audience member wanted to know, that the Belvedere store on Memorial Drive was the first Rich’s other than the downtown store? Clemmons explained that the store on Memorial Drive did not open as a department store, but as an appliance store owned by Rich’s. Rich’s already had been the subject of several books, the best known of which is probably Celestine Sibley’s Dear Store. Clemmons said that while Sibley’s book is “a valentine to the store,” his goal was to write a complete and accurate history, including information “people often wish to overlook or ignore.” The darker chapters include the suicide of one of the original partners and an incident in which the store drew national attention as the target of a civil rights protest. Although promotional material for the book notes that “events at the downtown Atlanta store helped John F. Kennedy become America’s 35th president,” Rich’s role in the election was not a positive one. In 1960, after Martin Luther King Jr. and others were arrested while protesting at the store, people with the Kennedy campaign made inquiries and rumors quickly started that Kennedy was helping King. King was later arrested in DeKalb County on a traffic violation and sentenced to a year at a Georgia maximum security prison. Kennedy was pressured to take a position and decided to help King, according to the story, prompting thousands of Blacks who had planned to vote for Republican candidate Richard Nixon to vote for Kennedy instead. The book also tells the stories behind icons that came and went through the store’s 137-year history, including Penelope Penn, Fashionata, The Great Tree, the Pink Pig and the popular Rich’s coconut cake. Clemmons said that during his four and half years of research some stories did not surface readily. Among the topics on which it wasn’t easy to separate true history from legend was the Pink Pig. “I had a tough time getting that pig to squeal,” he said.
“Dr. Atkinson’s phone has been reviewed today Oct. 19, 2012 and she has no text messages on her personal phone.” According to the suit, after Gipson threatened a lawsuit the district sent a message on behalf of Atkinson stating that if she withdrew her Open Records request, she and the 11 others who were laid off would get their jobs back. After the Gipson accepted the offer, the suit alleges that DCSD reversed its decision as more parties became involved in the issue. DeKalb Schools spokesman Jeff Dickerson said that the board voted to hire outside counsel to represent Atkinson in the suit, claiming that the general counsel that represents the board would have a conflict of interest. “They were hired to sort of sort through her personal and business texts and as far as I know, this process was continuing when the lawsuit was filed,” Dickerson said. The lawsuit states that the district has been its “own worst enemy” and forced the issues to go public due to “disastrous” decision making. “After revoking the promise to the plaintiff and flouting the numerous olive branches extended to fairly resolve the claims prior to the hearing, the hearing commenced and the plaintiff had no choice but to seek to disclose such evidence in her defense,” the suit states. The lawsuit against DCSD and Atkinson is seeking enforcement of the Georgia Open Records Act as well as attorney’s fees and the cost of litigation.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012
are looking for a man they say robbed four banks in five weeks in Lithonia and Snellville. Mark F. Giuliano, special agent in charge with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), DeKalb County Interim Police Chief Lisa A. Gassner and Snellville Police Chief Roy Whitehead, announced Dec. 3 that their agencies are requesting the public’s assistance in identifying and apprehending the individual responsible for the four armed bank robberies According to a media release from the FBI, “On Friday, Oct. 26, 2012, in the afternoon hours, a lone Black male brandishing a handgun entered the Best Bank, located inside of a Kroger grocery store, 6678 Covington Highway, Lithonia, Georgia, and announced a robbery.” After obtaining an undisclosed amount of money, the robber departed the bank but, at some point during his escape, the robber dropped the bag containing the bank mon-
Zoning task force recommends Man suspected of robbing four banks in five weeks changes for Decatur Law enforcement officials from the Oct. 26, 2012 robby Daniel Beauregard email@example.com The city of Decatur’s zoning task force, created to study the recommendations of the strategic plan as it relates to zoning, presented its finding to the Decatur City Commission recently. The task force includes members of the city planning commission, active living advisory board, historic preservation commission and residents. It was created to identify possible revisions to the existing city ordinances, solicit public opinion on proposed revision. Based on the direction of the 2010 Strategic Plan the proposed recommendations encourage community gardens, allow for shared parking in commercial areas, update regulations dealing with accessory dwellings and provide new standards for transitions between residential and commercial properties. Additionally, in a presentation to the commission the task force recommended changes such as updating the downtown Decatur special pedestrian area guidelines and whether live/work housing can be implemented in existing neighborhoods without a negative impact on nearby homes. For a more in-depth look at the zoning task force’s recommendations visit www. decaturga.com.
Proposed Emory cuts anger some students, faculty
by Kate Brumback ATLANTA (AP) Top Emory University administrators met with a small group of students following a protest Dec. 4 of the school’s plan to eliminate several academic departments and make cuts to others, which has angered some students and faculty. The school announced in September that it would close the educational studies division, the physical education department, the visual arts department and the journalism program. It also plans to suspend admissions to the graduate programs in Spanish, economics and the Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts. More than 150 students and faculty members gathered in protest the afternoon of Dec. 4 in front of Emory’s administration building. They demanded a full reversal of the cuts; formal and meaningful student, faculty and staff participation in key decision-making bodies; and full disclosure and investigation of the processes leading to the cuts. After a short protest on the quad, many of the protesters climbed the stairs to the fourth floor, where university President James Wagner and other administrators have their offices. They chanted and sang briefly in the hallway until university Vice President Gary Hauk emerged and offered to arrange a meeting between four or five of the protesters and Wagner, who wasn’t in the building at the time. Five students and one professor met with Wagner from about 3 p.m. until about 6:30 p.m., and included a conference call with Emory College Dean Robin Forman, who was one of the driving forces behind the changes. While the proposed cuts were not reversed and the administration’s plans remain unchanged, Wagner and Forman showed a willingness to keep talking and to listen to concerns from the students and faculty as well as to meet again, said David Mullins, 20, an undergraduate comparative literature major who was part of the group that met with the administrators. “I’m ecstatic. This is better than anything I expected,” Mullins said. “I’m very happy with the shift in the administration.” Emory did not immediately have a comment after the meeting was over. The plan focuses on investing in traditional strengths in the arts and sciences, as well as expanding into new, interdisciplinary areas, including contemporary China studies, digital and new media studies and neurosciences, Emory said when it announced the changes. The school said it was developed through four years of discussion and study, and
See Emory on Page 24A
ey. The money was recovered by authorities and returned to the bank, according to the release. On Nov. 14, at 10:12 a.m., a Black male with a weapon entered the Best Bank, located inside of a Walmart store, 5401 Fairington Road, Lithonia, robbed the bank of an undisclosed amount of money and departed the bank without further incident, the release stated. Ten days later, a Black male entered the Best Bank, located inside of the Kroger grocery store at 6678 Covington Highway, Lithonia, and announced a robbery while displaying a weapon, according to law enforcement officials. “This is same victim bank
bery,” according to the media release. On Monday, Dec. 03, 2012, at approximately 11:15 a.m., a Black male with a weapon entered the Suntrust Bank, located inside a Publix grocery store, 1905 Scenic Highway North, Snellville to rob it. “The robber obtained an undisclosed amount of money and departed the bank. He was observed getting into an offwhite in color Lincoln sedan with tinted windows and driving off at a high rate of speed,” the release stated. The suspect is described as a Black male, mid-20s in age, medium build, medium height, wearing a blue ball cap with white logo and a blue hoodiestyle jacket. Anyone with information regarding this individual should contact the Crime Stoppers Atlanta at (404) 577-8477, the DeKalb County Police Department Robbery Unit at (770) 724-7890, or the Snellville Police Department at (770) 985-3555.
James M. McGee, D.M.D., P.C. has notified patients of a recent security incident at its storage facility, located at 5462 Memorial Drive, Stone Mountain, Georgia, 30083. The purpose for this press release is to inform patients who received dental services between the years 2002 and 2006 from Dr. McGee’s office that their health information held by that office may have been subject to unauthorized acquisition, access, use or disclosure. On September 26, 2012, James M. McGee, D.M.D., P.C. discovered that someone or some group of persons broke into its storage facility and stole patient records. The storage unit is located in the same building as its dental offices and was secured by a deadbolt. But, the burglars managed to pry open the door from its frame. They stole a number of paper files containing patient records. These records ranged in years from as early as 2002 to as late as 2006. The records stolen would have contained the patients’ full name, social security number, home address, telephone number, dental charts, insurance information and payment information. Dr. McGee’s office believes the actual burglary occurred sometime between September 19, 2012 and September 26, 2012, but it is not sure of the exact date of the burglary. Upon discovery of the burglary, the dental office immediately contacted local police. The police completed an incident report and a detective was assigned to the case. At this point, the police have not identified any suspects or otherwise found the stolen records. Although no electronic health information maintained by the dental office was stolen, it nevertheless has issued this press release to inform patients about the incident and to allow them to take appropriate measures to protect and monitor their information. James M. McGee, D.M.D., P.C. is currently cooperating with local police to apprehend the burglars and recover any patient records. For Medicaid members affected, the dental office has notified the Georgia Department of Community Health about the incident. Finally, the dental office has re-secured its storage facility with a commercial lock and repaired and reinforced the door to prevent any future break-ins. Patients that received dental services from Dr. McGee between and including the years 2002 and 2006 should contact Maggie Jones at (404) 299-0022. She has a list of all those persons whose health information was affected by the breach. Dr. McGee’s office has also sent patient notification letters to affected individuals. If your health information may have been affected, then you may also want to order copies of your credit reports and check any medical bills that you do not recognize. You can visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website for information on how to obtain a free copy of your credit report at http://www. ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre34.shtm. If you find anything suspicious, immediately call the credit reporting agency at the phone number on the report. It is also recommended that you regularly review the explanation of benefits statement that you receive from your health insurance plan or health insurer. If you see any services that you believe you did not receive, then you should contact that health insurer at the number on the statement. Dr. McGee regrets this incident occurred and wants to assure his patients he is reviewing and revising his dental practice’s procedures and policies to minimize the risk of reoccurrence. For more information about your medical privacy, you can visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website at http://www.hhs.gov/ or the Federal Trade Commission website at http://www.ftc.gov/. Should you need further information about this incident, please contact Maggie Jones at (404) 2990022 or contact her by mail at 5462 Memorial Drive, Suite 103, Stone Mountain, Georgia, 30083.
Estimated Number of Patients Notified of Possible Health Data Breach: 1300 Stone Mountain, Georgia.
NOTICE TO PUBLIC OF POSSIBLE DATA BREACH
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012
More than 400 struggling homeowners received information on loan modifications and other available options at the HomeSafe Georgia foreclosure prevention event on Dec. 8 at Salem Bible Church in Lithonia. Photos by Carla Parker
Homeowners met with representatives from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and HUD-approved counseling agency D&E.
Hundreds of homeowners helped at foreclosure prevention event
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org Homes in America are entering foreclosure at a slower pace than a year ago. According to RealtyTrac, a California-based company that tracks foreclosures nationwide, only 971,533 homes entered the foreclosure process between January and October, down 8 percent from the same period last year. In DeKalb County, foreclosures this year have dropped from 6,630 in May to 5,572 in October. Many factors can account for the decrease of foreclosures, including home assistance programs like HomeSafe Georgia. More than 400 struggling homeowners received information on loan modification and other available options at the HomeSafe Georgia foreclosure prevention event on Dec. 8 at Salem Bible Church in Lithonia. The event was hosted by Congressman Hank Johnson, along with representatives from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and HUD-approved counseling agency D&E. HomeSafe is designed to provide temporary assistance to Georgia homeowners who are able and willing to work but who have suffered a significant income loss due to involuntary unemployment or underemployment. The event, which was similar to an event hosted by Johnson in April, allowed homeowners to find out whether they qualify for the program and provided other opportunities for homeowners to meet with counselors to see whether they are eligible for a loan modification. “We want everyone here, regardless of your situation, to leave today armed with knowledge and hope that you will be able to save your home,” Johnson told the crowd. “That is our mission and our goal. Don’t’ give up – see this process through. We want everyone here to leave optimistic and prayerful and that each one of you gets the help you need today.” D&E representative Carrie Smith said the program is critically important in helping families and stabilizing housing. “HomeSafe Georgia is not for everyone, but there
See Foreclosure on Page 14A
© 2012 Georgia Power
What is it that makes us different here?
Maybe it’s just knowing when to help. Here in Georgia, some people are having trouble paying their bills. You can help us help them. Just make a small donation to Project SHARE on your next Georgia Power bill. Or give online at GeorgiaPower.com/ProjectSHARE. Together with the Salvation Army we can show everyone what makes us different here.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012
Nonprofit organization beautifies Fairington Park
by Carla Parker email@example.com For 15 years, Fairington Park was a dead, neglected park with no playground or any activities for children, according to residents in the area. The large grassy area was littered with trash and was a place of crime. Bonita Lacy, executive director of Healing Hearts of Families USA Ministries in Decatur, wanted to change that. For the past year, Lacy and her organization, Healing Hearts of Families USA Ministries, have cleaned up the abandoned area to turn it into a real park for children and families. On Dec. 6, Healing Hearts of Families USA Ministries along with Home Depot at Wesley Chapel, the Fairington Community Association, Friends of the Park, DeKalb County Parks and Recreation, and Park Pride participated in the Fairington Park “Raise the Park” community initiative where they planted, weeded and beautified the entrance to Fairington Park. The ultimate goal is to have a playground installed on the lower level. The group was able to get the supplies for the project from the Home Depot Foundation, which donated a $1,500 grant for this phase of the project. The grant money was also used to buy plants, mulch and other supplies. Shameka Fluellen from Home Depot at Wesley Chapel said the store got involved with the project because it’s about people helping people. “We just want to help those who are helping the less fortunate,” she said. Lacy said the mission to change the park began in 2008 when she was working with President Barack Obama’s campaign. “He told us to go back into the community and find a worthy cause,” she said. “And this park has been neglected for 15 years. Most people in the neighborhood didn’t know it was a park.” Lavonia Hill, who lives nearby in the Fairington Village apartment complex, said the park was “plain” and there was nothing for her four children and other neighborhood children. “My kids can’t even come out here and play,” she said. “It’s shootings and everything is back here for them to see.” Lacy said she decided to take on the mission of revitalizing the park and the community. Healing Hearts of Families began working with the county to try to get county officials to invest in the park, but was unsuccessful. “This park was here before they built Browns Mill [park],” she said. “And we asked when they built Browns Mill, what about [Fairington] park? And they ignored it. So, we decided to take it upon ourselves to raise funds and start fixing it up ourselves.” Since then, Lacy said they have been getting input and help from DeKalb County Parks and Recreation department. “We’ve just been doing project by project; bringing it up little by little,” she said. Revonda Moody, project manager with DeKalb County Natural Resources department, said the county started a relationship with Park Pride two years ago and entered into a contract that brought the county more capacity and ability to help neighborhoods. Park Pride is a nonprofit organization that works with communities in Atlanta to improve parks. “We have a Friends of the Park program and this is a group that started last year and has done some amazing things,” Moody said. “And through them and Park Pride they used their 501c status to reach out to corporations like Home Depot.” The group has raised more than $10,000 for the revitalization projects and has had 200-plus volunteers work with it. Members have put up a park sign, built a walking trail and held youth summer readings at the park. They also plan to build a playground in the future with help from KaBOOM!, a national non profit dedicated to building play for America’s children. Lacy said they need to raise $100,000 to build the playground. “But we’re hoping that KaBOOM! matches that grant,” she said. “So, we have to get like $50,000.” Hill said she began working with Lacy to help get the playground in the park so her children can have somewhere to play. “This is something I want for my children,” she said. Hill added that the community has also done its part to clean up the park. “The community comes out to pick up trash, especially in the neighborhood, and they try to make a difference,” she said. Moody said it is important to keep neighborhood parks up and running because revitalization makes purks more visible and inviting to people. “When people see that they are less likely to vandalize, litter or take what’s not theirs,” she said. “We’re excited and this Friends group has really stepped up.”
Healing Hearts of Families USA Ministries along with Home Depot at Wesley Chapel, the Fairington Community Association and other organizations participated in the Fairington Park “Raise the Park” community initiative on Dec. 6 where they planted, weeded and beautified the entry to Fairington Park, with the ultimate goal of having a playground installed on the lower level. Photos by Carla Parker
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012
DeKalb Code Compliance Division sweeps neighborhood
The DeKalb County Code Compliance Division began conducting coordinated street sweep operations Dec. 7. Teams of code compliance officers canvassed neighborhoods, walking house to house and inspecting each property for violations of the county code. The areas chosen were based on previous code activity and requests from residents in these communities. Code compliance officers issued correction notices to property owners who are in violation of the county property maintenance code or other codes. For a first notification, the notices are only warnings with time for compliance. Typical violations included high weeds and grass, trash and debris, and various other hazards. “We owe it to our residents to maintain an acceptable level of quality standards in our community,” said CEO Burrell Ellis. “We encourage all residents to join us in keeping our neighborhoods safe and appealing.” Marcus Kellum, DeKalb’s manager of Code Compliance and Neighborhood Stabilization, said, “In the county, there are structures which are unfit for human habitation or for commercial use due to dilapidation which are not in compliance and with applicable codes. Our job is to address these quality of life and zoning issues which become public safety concerns.” In July, Ellis announced a several coordinated initiatives designed to tackle quality of life issues throughout DeKalb County, including “Clean it to the Curb,” which also comprises a collaboration of code compliance officers, neighborhood ambassadors, the Office of Neighborhood Empowerment (ONE DeKalb) and Keep DeKalb Beautiful. In addition to these street sweeps, code officers will conduct regular sign sweeps, apartment complex inspections and nightclub inspections. The sweeps will continue through 2013, “until the violators get the message that county codes are laws that must be adhered to, ensuring the overall quality of life in DeKalb County,” Kellum said.
Code compliance officers receive instructions before canvassing neighborhoods, walking house to house and inspecting each property for violations of the county code. Photo provided
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 www.dekalbcountyga.gov.
The Champion Weather
Seven Day Forecast THURSDAY
Sunny High: 56 Low: 34
Dec. 13, 2012
Today's Regional Map Weather History
Dec. 13, 1962 - A severe Florida freeze occurred. Morning lows reached 35 degrees at Miami, 18 degrees at Tampa and 12 degrees at Jacksonville. It was the coldest December weather of the 20th century and caused millions of dollars in damage to crops and foliage. Dec. 14, 1924 - The temperature at Helena, Mont. plunged 88 degrees in 34 hours. The mercury plummeted from 63 above to 25 below zero. At Fairfield, Mont., the temperature plunged 84 degrees in just 12 hours, from 63 at noon to 21 below zero at midnight. Dunwoody 54/33 Lilburn Smyrna Doraville 55/34 55/34 55/34 Snellville Decatur 56/34 Atlanta 56/34 56/34 Lithonia College Park 57/34 57/34 Morrow 57/34 Union City 57/34 Hampton 58/35
In-Depth Local Forecast
Today we will see sunny skies with a high temperature of 56º, humidity of 49%. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph. The record high temperature for today is 73º set in 1991. Expect clear skies tonight with an overnight low of 34º.
Sunny High: 58 Low: 40
*Last Week’s Almanac
Date Hi Lo Normals Precip Tuesday 72 44 57/39 0.00" Wednesday 67 51 57/38 0.00" Thursday 61 50 57/38 0.00" Friday 63 46 57/38 0.00" Saturday 68 50 56/38 0.01" Sunday 70 55 56/37 0.00" Monday 68 50 56/37 0.46" Rainfall . . . . . . .0.47" Average temp . .58.2 Normal rainfall . .0.84" Average normal 47.2 Departure . . . . .-0.37" Departure . . . .+11.0
*Data as reported from De Kalb-Peachtree Airport
Few Showers High: 61 Low: 47
Few Showers High: 61 Low: 42
Mostly Sunny High: 55 Low: 39
Partly Cloudy High: 57 Low: 38 New 12/13
Local Sun/Moon Chart This Week
Day Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Sunrise 7:33 a.m. 7:34 a.m. 7:35 a.m. 7:35 a.m. 7:36 a.m. 7:36 a.m. 7:37 a.m. Sunset 5:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 5:31 p.m. 5:31 p.m. 5:31 p.m. 5:32 p.m. 5:32 p.m. Moonrise 7:42 a.m. 8:40 a.m. 9:32 a.m. 10:16 a.m. 10:55 a.m. 11:30 a.m. 12:04 p.m. Moonset 6:11 p.m. 7:19 p.m. 8:28 p.m. 9:35 p.m. 10:39 p.m. 11:40 p.m. Next Day Full 12/28
Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Rise 6:04 a.m. 5:33 a.m. 9:38 a.m. 4:35 p.m. 4:02 a.m. 1:18 p.m. Set 4:22 p.m. 3:58 p.m. 7:32 p.m. 6:44 a.m. 3:01 p.m. 1:32 a.m.
Mostly Sunny High: 59 Low: 41 First 12/20
Local UV Index
National Weather Summary This Week
The Northeast will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with isolated snow today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 56º in Germantown, Md. The Southeast will experience mostly clear to partly cloudy skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 81º in Perry, Fla. In the Northwest, there will be mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with isolated rain and snow today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 62º in Colville, Wash. The Southwest will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with a few showers today, scattered showers Friday and Saturday, with the highest temperature of 71º in Gila Bend, Ariz.
How many raindrops are in a thunderstorm?
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: One inch of rain contains about three million drops.
StarWatch By Gary Becker - Geminids: Fire in the Sky
Thursday morning, December 13, is when Geminid meteors should be flying at their maximum rates. Geminid activity has been on the rise since the shower’s discovery in 1862 because the orbit of the dross which produces its bright meteors has been shifting ever closer to Earth. Jupiter’s gravitational tugs take responsibility. In 1877 rates of 17 meteors per hour were being witnessed, 27 meteors each hour by the century’s end. During the twentieth century rates climbed to over 80 events per hour. When I was a teen growing up in the 60’s beginning my journey in astronomy, the Geminids were a major event, but they still paled in contrast to the August Perseids. Now they surpass the Perseids, but are still less observed because of the cold and often cloudy conditions which prevail in mid-December. Geminids are the best bet for observing meteor activity if the weather cooperates. They are also the only shower related to an asteroid. In 1983, 3200 Phaethon was discovered, and its orbit was quickly connected with the Geminids. This gave credence to the belief that many short period comets ended their active days masquerading as minor planets. For North America, meteor activity should increase throughout the night of December 12/13. The highest rates, perhaps as great as two meteors per minute, should be seen just before dawn. You can start observing as early as 10 p.m. Face east, but observe near the darker zenith. Geminids will be diverging upward from the east. By 2 a.m., face south but continue to look towards the zenith. Geminids will appear to radiate from an area of the sky near the bright star, Castor. Maps for both of these times are posted at www.astronomy.org. Observe a day earlier if weather conditions will be inclement on maximum night. After the morning of highest activity, rates decrease rapidly. Read about cold weather attire in last week’s StarWatch. Ad Astra! www.astronomy.org
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012
Top left, As Publix grocery store prepares to permanently close its Memorial Drive location, other businesses are moving to the corridor, including a Walmart under construction and a Planet Fitness. Ross recently opened in the same shopping center Publix is leaving. Photos by Andrew Cauthen
As another Walmart goes up, Publix leaves Memorial Drive
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org After being open since 1995, the Publix grocery store on Memorial Drive is closing. “The store has been under-performing,” said Brenda Reid, media and community relations manager for Publix. “The company decided that it’s in its best interest to close the store.” Publix’s management wanted to protect the interests of its stockholders from the store that has been performing poorly for “several years,” Reid said. The store’s 85 employees will all be offered positions at other locations, Reid said. Publix currently has 16 stores in DeKalb County. There are no announced plans to open or close any other stores in the county, she said. Jerry Bedrin, owner of the Memorial Bend shopping center, said he is “very disappointed that they’re leaving.” “They’re great tenants,” Bedrin said. “They’re the reason we bought the shopping center. We bought it because they were there.” Bedrin, whose company purchased Memorial Bend shopping center seven or eight years ago, said his company has spent “millions of dollars improving the center.” “We wanted it to be the best center on the strip,” he said. The announcement of Publix’s departure comes five months after Ross, an off-price apparel and home fashion chain, moved into the shopping center. Bedrin said his company, the Bedrin Organization, spent $1.5 million getting the 27,300-square-foot space ready for Ross. “Although we’re very disappointed, we’re going to do what we need to do replace Publix,” Bedrin said. “If there’s a major retailer that’s interested, they can call me. We have a very big commitment to the market.” Bedrin said he would be in DeKalb County during the week of Dec. 17 to meet with other retailers about potentially moving into the space. “My first priority would be to get [a food retailer],” Bedrin said. “I hope the community continues so support the shopping center. There are still many reasons to go there.” Approximately two miles west of the Memorial Bend Shopping Center, at Hairston Road and Memorial Drive, a 148,000-squarefoot Walmart is under construction. The Walmart is expected to employ 250 full-time and part-time associates and generate an estimated $4.9 million in sales taxes. It will have a grocery department, pharmacy and garden center. The store, which will not feature a gas station or tire/ lube center, is expected to open in August 2013.
Foreclosure Continued From Page 11A
are other options that are available through the Making Home Affordable program,” Smith said. “This effort allows people to understand what it is they are actually eligible for.” Emerson Tolbert of Stone Mountain, who came to the event to get information about lowering his home interest rate, said the event was very helpful. “It was so informative and they are doing a great job,” he said. “I learned so much. They didn’t have time to answer all the questions that I had but I still learned a lot.” Tolbert said he plans to use the information he received. Georgia received $340 million from President Obama’s “Hardest Hit Fund”– known as HomeSafe in Georgia. Johnson said at the time not enough was being done to get the word out and to get the funds where they are needed most. “Since our first HomeSafe event in April, many more people are getting the help they need through HomeSafe,” Johnson said. “It’s a credit to DCA Commissioner Mike Beatty, Gov. [Nathan] Deal and events like this one. We have to continue reaching out until everyone gets the assistance and relief they really need.” More than 300 homeowners participated in April’s event. “I am humbled and happy to see so many people come out to seek mortgage assistance,” Smith said. Smith added that D&E will host more events around each congressional district. “And we’re asking everyone to get the word out that this help is available,” she said.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012
Those in the class watched as both Pine Street Market owner Rusty Bowers and butcher Kyle Griffith split the hog into three pieces using a bone saw and carving knife. (Below) Bowers and Griffith discuss the importance of where to cut the back for bacon and the ribs for pork chops. Photos by Daniel Beauregard
Continued From Page 1A
Bowers and Griffith then began demonstrating how to cut a pork chop and members of the class were called up to cut their own pork chops, which were later wrapped and handed out at the end of the class. When class members were finished cutting their pork chops, Bowers and Griffith laid out the fat back of the hog and sliced it into large chunks. Each attendee was given one of the chunks and a large Ziploc bag filled with salt and brown sugar for curing it into bacon. Those interested in spicing their bacon up a bit chose spices from a nearby wall, then zipped the bags shut, shaking them to make sure their seasoning spread out evenly. The bacon will be smoked and cured for a week then class members can stop by the store and pick it up. After placing the bacon in a big tub, it was time for the class attendees and teachers to eat lunch. A table in the back of the kitchen held a basket of rolls, fresh collard greens and pulled pork barbecue made from a smoked shoulder from Pine Street. In addition to the butcher class, which lasts three hours, the market offers an intensive butcher boot camp and sells a wide variety of artisanal meats and cheeses.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012
Hepatitis C testing program seeks to increase prevention, early diagnosis and care
With funding support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Emory School of Medicine internist Lesley Miller is leading a hepatitis C virus testing program at the Liver Clinic at Grady Memorial Hospital. The program is called TILT-C (internal medicine Trainees Identifying and Linking to Treatment for hepatitis C). The goal is to increase early identification of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections and enhance linkage to care, treatment and preventive services for those infected. “By treating hepatitis C virus patients we can save thousands of lives and significantly decrease deaths from end stage liver disease and liver cancer. But testing is critical because so many people with HCV are unaware of their infection,” said Miller, who serves as medical director for the Grady Liver Clinic and is an assistant professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. “HCV is treatable and curable, but we won’t realize the full potential of our current, efficacious therapy unless we identify more of those infected and link them with care and treatment,” Miller said. HCV infection can go undiagnosed for decades without symptoms until its effects are unmistakable, causing permanent liver damage, cirrhosis, liver cancer, liver failure and even death. The infection is spread primarily by blood-to-blood conlinked to care at the clinic. Miller will oversee the program, working with internal medicine residents from Emory School of Medicine. “Prior to these updated age recommendations from the CDC we have only been testing those with specific risk factors for HCV such as injection drug use and blood transfusion before 1992. This grant will allow us to capture a much larger group of infected individuals at a much earlier entry point regardless of risk factors who otherwise may not have been diagnosed,” Miller said. By implementing TILT-C, Miller predicts a minimum of 2,000 patients will receive HCV antibody testing, 80-120 will be diagnosed with HCV infection, and 60-90 will be linked to care. “This intervention will demonstrate the feasibility of large scale hepatitis C virus antibody testing and successful linkage to care in a medically underserved, disproportionately affected population,” Miller said. “We know from work in the Grady Liver Clinic that those with social disadvantages and difficult-to-treat hepatitis C characteristics can successfully navigate treatment and achieve a cure.” Worldwide, an estimated 130 -170 million people are infected with hepatitis C virus. There are five times as many cases of HCV as HIV in the United States.
tact associated with intravenous drug use, poorly sterilized medical equipment and transfusions before 1992. Experts say as many as 85 percent of those infected are unaware of their disease. The Grady Liver Clinic, which provides comprehensive care for HCV infection, operates twice a week out of the Primary Care Center at Grady Memorial Hospital. As part of the testing program, patients born between 1945 and 1965 (the age group identified by the CDC as most burdened with HCV) will undergo antibody screening for the virus. Those with confirmed infection will be
NIH awards Georgia malaria research consortium up to $19.4 million contract
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded a five-year contract of up to $19.4 million, depending on contract options exercised, to establish the Malaria HostPathogen Interaction Center (MaHPIC). The consortium includes researchers at Emory University, with partners at the University of Georgia (UGA), the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Yerkes National Primate Research Center of Emory University will administer the contract. The MaHPIC team will use the comprehensive research approach of systems biology to study and catalog in molecular detail how malaria parasites interact with their human and animal hosts. This knowledge will be fundamental to developing and evaluating new diagnostic tools, antimalarial drugs and vaccines for different types of malaria. The project will integrate data generated by malaria research, functional genomics, proteomics, lipidomics and metabolomics cores via informatics and computational modeling cores. MaHPIC combines Emory investigators’ interdisciplinary experience in malaria research, metabolomics, lipidomics and human and nonhuman primate immunology and pathogenesis with UGA’s expertise in pathogen bioinformatics and large database systems, and Georgia Tech’s experience in mathematical modeling and systems biology. The CDC will provide support in proteomics and malaria research, including nonhuman primate and vector/ mosquito infections. The principal investigator is Mary Galinski, Ph.D., professor of medicine, infectious diseases and global health at Emory University School of Medicine and director of Emory’s International Center for Malaria Research, Education & Development. She has been leading malaria research projects at the Emory Vaccine Center and Yerkes for 15 years. “We are thankful to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for recognizing the enormous potential of taking a systems biology approach to studying malaria infections,” Galinski said. She added, “This project will help us better understand malaria as a disease in depth and pave the way for new preventive and therapeutic measures. We expect to provide a groundbreaking wealth of information that will address current challenges in fighting malaria. The Georgia team we have assembled is outstanding and we also look forward to working closely with prominent international partners from malaria endemic countries.” The team will use metabolomics techniques that will allow scientists to detect, analyze and make crucial associations with thousands of chemicals detectable in the blood via mass spectrometry. The techniques were developed at Emory by Dean Jones, Ph.D., professor and director of the Clinical Biomarkers Laboratory and MaHPIC’s metabolomics core leader. “The sheer amount of detailed, high-quality information amassed by the experimental groups will be unprecedented. With this project we have an incredible opportunity to integrate data with modern computational tools of dynamic modeling,” said Eberhard Voit, Ph.D., professor of biomedical engineering and cofounder of the Integrative BioSystems Institute at Georgia Tech. “This integration will allow us to analyze the complex networks of interactions between hosts and parasites in a manner never tried before. Systems biology will be the foundation for this integration.”
The Governor’s Commission on Brookhaven is seeking proposals from vendors to provide banking services as described in the Request for Proposal on posted at www.brookhavencommission.com. The City will accept questions and comments until 5:00 PM, EST on Thursday, December 13, 2012. Questions must be submitted in writing to email@example.com. Please note that this email is for proposal questions ONLY and not for submission of actual proposals. Oral or Verbal questions will not be accepted. Bids must be submitted by 5:00 PM on Tuesday, December 18, 2012. Information concerning this solicitation can be found at www.brookhavencommission.com. Offerors are encouraged to check this site daily for updates, amendments and questions and answers.
REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL for the City of Brookhaven Banking Services
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012
Jacques Duplantier, owner of Corrina’s Corner, offers specialized animal treats and organic chicken feed in addition to meat-based pet foods that he prepares under a license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Photos by Kathy Mitchell
Dog food: Good enough to eat
by Kathy Mitchell firstname.lastname@example.org One of Decatur’s newest businesses is Corrina’s Corner. Corrina isn’t the owner; she’s the owner’s dog and the inspiration for the business. Business owner Jacques Duplantier explained it this way: “I found Corrina at an animal rescue place. She was in such poor health that they didn’t want me to adopt her. She was almost completely bald, totally lethargic and had scratched open wounds into her skin. They thought the best thing would be just to put her to sleep, but I was stubborn and finally they let me adopt her. It turned out that she just had severe food allergies. I changed her diet and within three weeks she looked like a different animal.” Although he’s a lawyer by training, Duplantier said making and selling fresh pet food is what he really wants to do. “It’s a passion for me,” he said. “This place is as much about advocacy as it is about business, although I certainly have no objection to making a good living here.” The foods Duplantier sells in what he calls the “deli” section of his store are prepared under a license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “It’s human quality food,” he said. “I buy my meat from the same wholesale distributor who supplies some of Atlanta’s best restaurants.” Duplantier said he wants people to think about pet nutrition in a different way. “Switching from grain-based commercially processed food is not spoiling and pampering animals,” Duplantier said, it’s about feeding pets the diet their bodies are designed to handle. “Pets should eat diets that more closely reflect what their wild cousins would eat. Natural, unprocessed proteins and limited carbohydrates are biologically appropriate,” he said. He said that while the food he sells is more expensive than low-grade store brands, the prices are comparable with those of premium brands. “But look what you’re getting,” he added. “This is antibiotic- and hormone-free meat with small amounts of vegetables to provide some fiber and naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. It’s easy to just scoop up some kibble from a bag and feed it to the dog, but dogs need variety in their diets just as humans do.” Duplantier said he believes that his business is the only one of its type in Georgia and one of the few in the United States, but he predicts that will change. “This is a concept most people never heard of just five years ago. Now most people have heard of it. In 10 years it probably will be quite common for people to feed their pets this way,” he said. The retail store at West College and Meade in the Oakhurst section of Decatur opened the first full week in December after months of planning and paperwork, Duplantier said. He said the process of being licensed by the USDA wasn’t an easy one. “I couldn’t have done it without my legal training,” he noted. In addition to fresh dog and cat food, the store sells chicken feed—Duplantier raises chickens, too. It also sells freeze dried foods and pet products from national and local distributors, including some dog treats from his Oakhurst neighbor Taj Ma-Hound. “I live in this neighborhood and had passed this empty building many times. I said to myself, ‘If I ever open a business, I want that spot.’ It’s a great location,” he said of the area near Oakhurst Elementary and Renfroe Middle School that’s a favorite place for those in the neighborhood to walk their dogs.
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012
DCSD tables vote on adopting draft of reorganization plan
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com The DeKalb County School District (DSCD) decided Dec. 10 to delay voting on an extensive proposed school reorganization plan until Jan. 7. Initially, the board was expected to adopt a draft of the plan at its Dec. 10 business meeting but school officials decided to delay the vote to allow staff to incorporate public suggestions that and refine the working draft. The Jan. 7 board vote is to enable the district to share the revised draft for public comment. Following the acceptance of the draft plan, the district will hold public comment sessions at various locations throughout the district. After the public information sessions, the working draft will be put into final form for the Board’s approval on Jan. 23, 2013. That document will be sent to the Georgia Department of Education for its initial review, a press release stated. At a Dec. 6 meeting to review the draft plan, Board Chairman Eugene Walker assured those present that the plan was in the preliminary stages and they had yet to vote on anything. “I have received untold numbers of calls from parents who are concerned about this.” Walker said. “I want you to know that the board has heard you and that we are amenable to this program and I want you to know that this is the beginning of the process, it’s not the finale.” Walker said the board would not vote on anything until the community has had input in the process of creating the draft. Earlier in the week before the meeting, residents and student at Southwest DeKalb High School gathered in front of the school in protest. The original plan called for making the school grades 6-12. However, both Walker and Atkinson assured those in attendance to support Southwest DeKalb that their message had been heard. “We heard loud and clear about the 6-12 issue and we’ve made a lot of adjustments,” Atkinson said. “I know there’s been a lot of anxiety about this being something that is final. There will be meetings by region to get input and publicly bring those suggestions back.” According to school officials, the proposed school organization forms the basis for developing a new “Local Five-Year Facility Plan” (LFP). The LFP provides the district’s justification to participate in the state capital outlay program. Currently, DCSD is eligible to receive up to $40 million in additional funds dependent upon state approval of the plan “I’m told that even once we submit to the state and it has been voted on, [the state] understands that it is a five-year plan and there may be changes,” Atkinson said. Atkinson also said that the plan does not specifically lay out any firm attendance lines, only options, which means the adjustment of attendance lines will take place through a “separate public process.” For more information and a copy of the plan visit www.dekalb.k12.ga.us or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The DeKalb County Board of Education tabled a vote Dec. 10 to accept a proposed draft reorganization plan. File photo
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012
New charter school hosts first fundraiser
schools will be by fall 2013. Atkinson said the remainder of schools without netbooks Tapestry Public Charter School will transition to one-to-one technology in welcomed the community Dec. 3 to phases through August 2014. Napoleon’s Bar and Grill in Decatur. Additionally, officials said all classrooms Tapestry plans to open its doors in in the district are slated to be equipped with 2014 as a DeKalb County School District interactive whiteboards by January 2014. (DCSD) public charter school and will serve There are currently boards in 4,050 of the students in grades six-12. The school will district’s 5,908 classrooms. Atkinson said emphasize a student-driven, experiential revenue collected from the Special Purpose and sensory-based learning environment. Local Options Sales Tax will be used to Organizers presented the school’s fund the projects. concept to more than 100 attendees, including several members of the DeKalb County School Board. The school’s main Chamblee schools first in Georgia to be mission is to offer an inclusive learning part of German partnership program environment that is academically engaging, both for typically developing students and Chamblee Charter High and Chamblee those on the autism spectrum. Middle schools will be partnering with the The school is being launched by a German PASCH Program, administered by group of parents, educators and community the German Central Agency for Schools members with a shared vision of a middle Abroad. and high school that educates children and The two schools, which have led the adolescents on the autism spectrum, sideregion in the number of students achieving by-side with their typical peers. proficiency on the German Language Speakers at the fundraiser such as Diploma for the past two years, are the founders Tonna Harris-Bosselmann and first two in Georgia to be offered such a Devon Christopher, spoke about the needs partnership. for the growing population of those being The German PASCH Program is an diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. international schools partnership program Additionally, they also spoke about coordinated by the federal Foreign Office partnerships between the school and the and implemented in cooperation with the University of West Georgia. Central Agency for Schools Abroad, the Goethe-Institut, the Educational Exchange Service of the Standing Conference of Atkinson discusses technology the Ministers of Education and Cultural improvements in ‘state of system’ address Affairs of the States in the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Academic DeKalb County School Superintendent Exchange Service. Cheryl Atkinson presented a state of the PASCH schools offer the Deutsche system address Dec. 3, and shared the Sprachdiplom (DSD) or German language district’s plan to go “digital.” diploma and students who achieve the Atkinson said that this fall, more than highest level of this examination are 8,200 students at seven middle schools— certified to have achieved proficiency at the Cedar Grove, Chamblee, Lithonia, level necessary to enroll in university study Peachtree, Redan, Stone Mountain and in Germany. Tucker—will receive Lenovo netbooks The students are also eligible to study loaded with all of their textbooks. at the undergraduate or graduate level in Currently, 38 percent of DCSD’s schools Germany at a considerably lower cost than are fully wireless but officials said all in the United States.
CITY OF CHAMBLEE PUBLIC NOTICE An initial draft copy of the proposed 2013 Operating Budget for the City of Chamblee will be available for review at City Hall on Thursday, November 15, 2012. A copy of the proposed 2013 Operating Budget for the City of Chamblee will be available for review at City Hall on Friday, December 7, 2012. A public hearing on the proposed budget will be held on Monday, December 10, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. in the Civic Center, 3540 Broad Street. Any persons wishing to be heard on the budget may appear and be heard. The City Council will adopt the budget on Tuesday, December 18, 2012. The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will be held in the Civic Center, 3540 Broad Street.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012
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The St. Pius X Golden Lions earned a trip to the Georgia Dome to play for the Class AAA state title after defeating North Hall 31-6 on Dec. 7. Photos by David DiCristina
St. Pius X to play for Class AAA state title
fullback Ryan Braswell gave his team a 14-6 lead before halftime. The defense continued its dominate performance in the third quarter, forcing a three-and-out for North Hall. A 27-yard pass from Spear to running back Branden Mitchell set up a Braswell 4-yard touchdown run to give St. Pius X a 21-6 lead. The defense stepped up again late in the third quarter, stopping North Hall running back Andrew Smith on fourth-and-2 from the North Hall 39. That stop gave St. Pius X offense a short field and Spear hit tight end J.P. Graves for a 38-yard touchdown pass. An interception by St. Pius X linebacker Daniel Crochet in the fourth quarter led to a field goal. Standard said his team did a great job. “I feel so great for our kids who have just worked their tails off,” he said. “It’s every team’s dream to get to the state championship. I’m proud of these young men.” The defense will have to put on a similar performance when the team faces the Buford Wolves in the state championship game on Dec. 14. The Wolves (11-3) is playing in the state championship game for the 11th time in 13 seasons and will play for its ninth state title in school history. St. Pius X will try to win its second state title in school history. St. Pius X’s only state title came in 1968. Game time is 5:30 p.m.
St. Pius X tight end J.P. Graves makes a catch in the end zone in the third quarter.
A North Hall player is group tackled by the St. Pius X defense.
by Carla Parker email@example.com stout performance by the defense helped the St. Pius X Golden Lions earn a trip to the Georgia Dome to play for the Class AAA state title. The Golden Lions (12-2) beat the North Hall Trojans (11-3) 31-6 on Dec. 7 in the Class AAA playoff semifinals. Although the offense put up 31 points, it was the defense who were the silent heroes of the game. Head Coach Paul Standard said his defense played their hearts out. “They beat a team tonight that averaged 40 points a game,” he said. “It’s just unbelievable how they played.” The defense got it going early in the game, forcing North Hall to a three-and-out. The Trojans tried to go for it on fourth and 14 on St. Pius X’s 45-yard-line, but Golden Lions defensive tackle Kyle Johnson sacked North Hall quarterback Bradley Brown. St. Pius X offense took it from there. On the next play, quarterback Jack Spear ran 53 yards to the end zone untouched to give the Golden Lions a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. The defense stopped
Marist 27, Ridgeland 28 A missed potential game-winning field goal as time expired ended the championship hopes for the Marist War Eagles. Marist (21-1) lost to Ridgeland (13-1) 28-27 in the Class AAAA playoff semifinal game on Dec. 7. The War Eagles were up 27-21 in the fourth quarter, but Ridgeland drove 77 yards on 11 plays and quarterback Darrell Bridges connected with receiver Shaqualm McCoy on a 24-yard touchdown reception to give Ridgeland a 28-27 lead. Ridgeland will play in the championship game for the first time in school history on Dec. 15 against Sandy Creek.
North Hall again on a fourth down play in the red zone, but Spear was intercepted a couple of plays later by North Hall’s Destin Bennett on a tipped pass. That turnover turned into a 30-yard touchdown pass from Brown to wide receiver Lee Shelton. A missed extra point still had St. Pius X in the lead 7-6. The Golden Lions offense went three and out on its next possession, but defensive back Matt Pearson got the ball back for the offense after intercepting a Brown pass. A 38-yard touchdown run by
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012
Sammy Johnson: A ‘natural-born athlete’ living up to his potential
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org Sammy Johnson is not your average athlete. The junior from Stone Mountain High School played organized football for the very first time this past season and he has played basketball for only two years. But, with the numbers that he has been putting up for both football and basketball one would think he has been playing both sports since he was a little kid. In eight games with the football team, Johnson had a total of 28 catches for 747 yards and nine touchdowns. In four games on the basketball team, he is averaging 17 points, 12 rebounds and three assists per game. “Sammy is a tremendous athlete,” Stone Mountain basketball head coach Tony Stroud said. “He’s one of the best athletes I’ve ever coached. He’s something special.” “He’s ridiculous,” Stone Mountain football head coach Dante Ferguson said in October. “And he’s still raw. It looks easy for him but he’s still in the process of becoming a great player.” Johnson said it’s all about playing with confidence. “I just think anything going in the air is mine,” he said. “That’s all I think about.” As with most young boys, Johnson’s interest in sports came from watching games on television. “I’ve been watching basketball for at least 10 years,” he said. “I just wanted to try it out. Then I found out that I’m good at it, so I wanted to stick to it.” Johnson began his basketball career in the ninth grade. That is where Ferguson noticed Johnson’s athletic ability and convinced him to play football. “I gave him a little slap upside the head and told him to come play footuFOOTBALL
Stone Mountain High School junior Sammy Johnson, one of the top athletes at the school, played football for the first time this season and has played basketball for two years. Photo by Carla Parker
ball,” Ferguson said with a laugh. Johnson never played on a football team before playing for the Pirates this season. The closest he had come to playing the sport was with friends in his neighborhood. “I’ve been trying to get him to play football and he told me last spring he was going to play,” Ferguson said. “So, he came out, and really it’s actually been beyond our wildest imagination.” Stroud, who is in his first season as head coach of the basketball team, said he saw one of Johnson’s game with the football team and was impressed.
“I believe he caught two touchdowns that game and that was tremendous because I understand that this is his first year playing football,” he said. “He’s just a natural-born athlete with lots and lots of talent.” Johnson said he uses a skill from each sport to help him in the other. “I use rebounding from basketball in football and eye coordination from football in basketball,” he said. “Same way I’m running a route [in football] when I’m sprinting down the court looking for a rebound or an alley-oop or something I picture it as the same way I did in football—just jumping and getting it.”
Even with his athletic ability, Johnson still has some growing pains to get through just like any other young player. With a new coach comes a new system. The basketball team is 1-3 after four games and Stroud said all of the players, including Johnson, are still trying to grasp the new system that Stroud brought in. “He has had great moments, he’s had some bad moment,” Stroud said. “But, what we’re trying to get Sammy to do is buy into what we’re trying to do as a team.” Stroud said Johnson has grasp 70 percent of what the coaching staff is trying to do with the team. “We feel like if Sammy, with his athletic ability, if he buys into what we’re trying to do we think we can contend with anyone in the region,” Stroud said. “It’s a new system for him and new style and it’s something new that we’re asking him to do.” “He has really tried to please us, to do the best that he could in the situation,” he added. “But he is trying to buy in and he is trying to work on and do the things that we ask of him.” Johnson’s goal matches his coach’s goal for him and the team. “I just want everyone to get on the same page so we can play as a team,” he said. Johnson said the one thing that he has learned from playing both basketball and football is discipline. “You need discipline to do everything,” he said. “Without discipline you can make it at the next level. So, you have to have discipline to do whatever you need to do to be successful.” Although he has played basketball a little longer than he has played football, Johnson plans to play football rather than basketball at the next level in his career. “In five years I see myself being the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft,” he said with a smile.
The Champion chooses a male and female high school Athlete of the Week each week throughout the school year. The choices are based on performance and nominations by coaches. Please e-mail nominations to carla@ dekalbchamp.com by Monday at noon.
Monquavious Johnson and Ray Tillman receive region honors
M. L. King head coach Rober Freeman was named region head coach of the year. Freeman took over as head coach in August after former head coach Michael Carson resigned amid allegations of sexting a parent. Freeman led the Lions to their second consecutive undefeated regular season and the region title. The 2012 Region 6-AAAAA All Region Team was also announced on Dec. 5. Southwest DeKalb leads all region schools with eight players on the team, followed by M. L. King and Tucker with seven, and Miller Grove and Stephenson with six players.
by Carla Parker email@example.com Martin Luther King Jr. quarterback Monquavious Johnson and Miller Grove linebacker Ray Tillman were awarded Region 6-AAAAA honors on Dec. 5. Johnson was named offensive player of the year and Tillman was named defensive player of the year from Region 6-AAAAA. Johnson threw for a total 2,055 yards with 20 touchdowns and six interceptions on the season. Tillman finished the season with 104 total tackles (54 solo and 50 assist tackles) and seven forced fumbles.
MALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Keith Pinckney, Miller Grove (basketball): Pinckney scored 20 points and had six rebounds and five assists in the Wolverines 72-42 win over Southwest DeKalb on Dec. 7. The junior point guard is averaging 13.4 points, 4.4 assist and 3.1 rebounds per game.
FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Danielle Clark, Stone Mountain (basketball): Clark scored 25 points in the loss to South Atlanta on Dec. 4. The senior guard reached a milestone on Nov. 23 when she went more than 1,000 points in her career.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012
Each week The Champion spotlights former high school players from the county who are succeeding in athletics on the college level. Stephon Allen, Miles College (basketball): The sophomore guard from Columbia scored 11 points and had four rebounds and assists in the 57-50 win over Delta State on Dec. 8. Allen is averaging 8.3 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. Adrien Coleman, Bethune-Cookman College (basketball): The junior forward from Stephenson had a tripledouble in the 85-72 win over Webber International on Dec. 8. It was the ﬁrst triple-double in Bethune-Cookman history. Coleman scored 18 points and had 15 rebounds with 10 assist in the win. He is averaging 18.8 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. Saadia Doyle, Howard University (Basketball): The senior guard from Columbia led the Lady Bison with 24 points in the 54-40 win over Delaware State on Dec. 3. Doyle is averaging 22.9 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.
St. Pius swim team outscored Dunwoody 188-182 at its Dec. 4 swim meet at Lakeside. Photos by David DiCristina
Lakeside tops Decatur in swim meet, St. Pius edges out Dunwoody
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org
he swimming and diving season is under way in DeKalb County and Lakeside and St. Pius X are off to good starts. Lakeside outpointed Decatur 249-177 and St. Pius X got a six point win over Dunwoody with a score of 188-182 at the Dec. 4 swim meet. Lakeside placed first in 20 events and Decatur had three first place winners. Lakeside’s William Pﬂeger led the boys with two first place wins
in the 200-yard freestyle and 500yard freestyle. He finished with a final time of 2:01.19 in the 200 and 5:29.97 in the 500. Julia Acosta also had two first place wins for the Lakeside girls in the 200-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle. She finished with a final time of 2:06.76 in the 200, finishing under the state qualifying time of 2:07, and 5:46.03 in the 500. Lakeside’s relay teams won all five events. Lakeside had five swimmers and five relay teams that qualified for the state meet. Decatur had one relay team that qualified.
Garrett Cooper from St. Pius X led the boys with two first place wins in the 200 and 500 freestyle races. Cooper had a final time of 1:56.85 in the 200-yard freestyle and 5:15.41 in the 500 freestyle. Sara Gilbert and Margo Hays each had two first place wins on the girls side. Hays had a final time of 2:25.82 in the 200-yard individual medley and 1:15.25 in the 100-yard breaststroke. Gilbert had a final time of 1:01.68 in the 100-yard butterfly and 1:04.54 in the 100-yard backstroke. St. Pius X had five swimmers who qualified for the state meet.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012
on Sept. 14. The changes are set to unfold over several years to allow currently enrolled undergraduate majors and graduate students to complete their courses of study, Forman said. Tenured faculty will be moved to other departments. History professor James Melton, who is the secretary of the Emory chapter of the American
Page 24A Association of University Professors, attended the protest and said the administration’s actions don’t comply with the principles of faculty governance. “The curriculum is a central area over which faculty must exercise authority,” he said. “And, more broadly, we are very concerned with the concentration of power with the upper administration, the president and the provost.”
Emory Continued From Page 10A
Forman first outlined the plan at a faculty town hall Sept. 12. That was followed by two days of meetings with department chairs and other affected college leaders, Emory said. A letter outlining the plan was sent to the broader Emory College community