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WWW.CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER.COM • FRIDAY, FEB. 1, 2013 • VOL. 15, NO. 45 • FREE
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Since the first Decatur Old House Fair in 2009, attendance had more than doubled with experts and exhibitors being the main draw.
Charm of older homes celebrated at Decatur’s Old IS SHE Fair House
by Kathy Mitchell firstname.lastname@example.org
wners of homes that are 50 years old and older often are eager to maintain the charm and character of their houses, but aren’t sure how to do that while making necessary repairs and upgrades. Helping those homeowners is the idea behind Decatur’s annual Old House Fair—now in its fifth year. “We want to give homeowners the tools they need to upgrade their homes in a way that respects its historic character, whether they are doing the work themselves or hiring contractors,” said Regina Brewer, Decatur’s preservation planner and the fair’s organizer. Brewer said there are more than 5,000 historic buildings in the four square miles that comprise the city of Decatur. “Imagine how many there are in Atlanta and in the rest of DeKalb County,” she added, emphasizing that while the fair is sponsored by the city of Decatur, it’s for homeowners throughout the metropolitan area and beyond. “We have people come from south Georgia, even from Tennessee and Alabama,” Brewer said, noting that the Decatur Old House Fair is one of the few such fairs in the country. “People who own older homes are lucky to have such an event close to home.” The idea of such a fair had been around for many years before it actually came about, according to Brewer. “[Assistant City Manager] Lyn Menne had wanted to do it for years. But for a long time the person in charge of historic preservation projects also had many other du-
WHYIS SHE SO SOHAPPY ? WHY
Because the event is one of the few in the Southeast, it lures homeowners even from other states.
ties. There was no way to fit it into someone’s the ranch house—and offers information on the schedule,” she explained. “I’m the first staff best ways to add on to them while being true to person to be devoted entirely to preservation.” the style of the home. Since the first Old House Fair in 2009, attenFor the fair, Brewer and other organizers dance has more than doubled and now averages choose vendors and speakers who can address approximately 300 people, with experts and the specific needs of owners of older houses— exhibitors being the main draw. those who understand not just the look of such Last year the fair added Short Bites—30 houses, but also the plumbing, the wiring and minute sessions on such subjects as toilets, other details. “They’re not going to do from the The Champ Because she gets her news updates online anyflooring, landscaping and researching a house’s thing to damage the character of the house,” Because she year is updates online she history. New this gets her newsBites, which from the The Champion. Because she gets herStyle updates online from thesaid. Champion. speakers is Michelle news The features the area’s four most popular home Among the featured styles— the American Small House, the Amerwww.facebook.com/championnewspaper ican Foursquare, the Craftsman bungalow and See Old House Fair on Page 15A
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013
DeKalb school board approves reorganization plan
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com The DeKalb County school board approved an amended version of a detailed reorganization plan Jan. 23 that it will send to state officials to participate in Georgia’s capital outlay program. Initially, The DeKalb County School District (DCSD) was expected to adopt a draft of the plan at its Dec. 10 business meeting but school officials delayed the vote to allow staff to incorporate public suggestions. The amended plan that was adopted contained two changes: removing pre-K-6 options and the proposed theme school at Chapel Hill Middle. In February, the state will review the facilities DCSD expects to operate in the 2016-17 school year. After a site visit, a local facilities plan will be developed. The 105-page draft plan proposes reallocating Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax (SPLOST) funds and adjusting enrollment maps and attendance zones, among other things. Some of the schools in the plan were originally slated to be decommissioned but will now be “repurposed.” If the plan is approved by the Georgia Department of Education, the district is eligible to receive approximately $40 million in additional funding. Board members and staff made clear during the meeting that the new plan is not a redistricting plan. “If there are changes between now and then, we would have those meetings with the community, make that decision and report that to the state,” said Stephen Wilkins, DCSD chief operating officer. Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson, who wasn’t present because of a family emergency, said in previous meetings that the adjustment of attendance lines will take place through a “separate public process.” “I’m told that even once we submit it 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. A copy of the approved plan is available on the district’s website at www. dekalb.k12.ga.us.
Program addresses housing strategy
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org
Lithonia is one of five Georgia communities that have been selected to begin a threeyear program to assist in addressing their housing needs. The program is partially funded by the Georgia Power Company, and additional inkind services are provided by the Georgia Electric Membership Corporation, the University of Georgia’s Archway Partnership, and UGA’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government. The program will help Lithonia “diversify its housing stock” which consists mainly of single-family homes, some apartments and public housing, Jackson said. With diversified housing, the city will be able “to attract new people to the area—families, young people and students,” said Lithonia Mayor Deborah Jackson. Lithonia, along with Greensboro, Pembroke, Roswell and the Housing Authority of Dalton, will participate in the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing, a collaboration of the Housing and Demographics Research Center and the Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach at the University of Georgia (UGA), the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, and the Georgia Municipal Association. Each year, at least five communities are selected to participate in the initiative. In the three-year program, each community housing team receives facilitation, instruction and technical assistance as it designs and implements a housing program to improve both the quality of life of its residents and the communities’ economic conditions. The centerpiece of the initiative is a series of retreats where each housing team will work separately with a facilitator/housing professional, as well as engage in cross-community sharing and collaboration. Each community has access to technical assistance and receives continuous feedback throughout the three-year program. Each community housing team consists of approximately 12 members and includes representatives from local government, business, nonprofit housing organizations and the public housing authority. Groups may also include, churches and other faith-based organizations development authorities, chambers of commerce, school systems, major employers and law enforcement agencies. The communities were selected based on need and the ability to benefit from the program. The housing strategy “will help us develop a housing strategy,” Jackson said. “It will help us identify what makes sense for our community. “We have some general ideas,” Jackson said. “This will be an opportunity to refine them.”
Former Georgia Tech employee accused of child molestation pleads guilty
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com A former Georgia Tech computer technician charged with child molestation and sexual exploitation of children pleaded guilty on all counts Jan. 23. Sami Deen, 43, was charged with five counts of child molestation and 25 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. Deen was sentenced to serve 30 years–20 of those in prison and the remaining 10 on probation. Prosecutors also said Deen will have to register as a sex offender. Additionally, Deen’s wife is divorcing him because in at least two of the counts, Deen’s daughter is the victim. The allegations against Deen took place over 16 months, from March 2011May 2012. He was originally arrested in November 2011, according to court documents, and was released on $75,000 bond and ordered to live with his parents in Avondale Estates. Deen later broke the conditions of his bond and was again arrested and subsequently released on $30,000 bond. While Deen was out on bond for the second time, investigators found child pornography on Deen’s computer and he was again ordered back to jail. DeKalb County Judge Gail Flake denied his bond, agreeing with prosecutors that Deen was a flight risk. According to information on Georgia Tech College of Computing’s website, Deen has a bachelors of science degree in computer sciences from Georgia Tech. He lived in Kenya, Cyprus and the United Kingdom, as well as Wisconsin and California, before relocating to Georgia.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013
Q&A with executive director of Great Start Georgia
Katie Jo Ballard talks about a new program designed to help expectant families
intensive services? Intensive services include concentrated or long-term services designed to improve specific outcomes for families, such as pregnancy and birth outcomes in highrisk populations, school readiness, positive parenting, etc. Additionally, GSG can provide services that address a significant or urgent concern such as domestic violence, mental illness, substance abuse in the home, homelessness, or services that deal with a specific condition or illness such as developmental disabilities and acute medical diseases. Why was there a need to start this program in Georgia? What are the hopes for the future of this program? Georgia ranks 37 in overall child well-being, according to the 2012 Kids Count Report, released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Using the definition of “at risk” developed by the Georgia Department of Public Health in 2011, 72 of Georgia’s counties were designated as “at risk.” Using criteria that addressed the capacity and readiness of the county, the Governor’s Office for Children and Families selected seven of the top 25 counties to begin implementation of Great Start Georgia. The hope is that the GSG system will provide expectant parents, children birth to 5, and their families the opportunity to get a “great start” in life. Research tells us that, without a doubt, the early years last a lifetime and there is so much we can do to help children and families during this time. How will this program benefit education in Georgia in the long run? Children are born ready to learn and the early experiences of a child, whether positive or negative, affect the life of that child. The brain is developing in the early years and the environment in which the child lives influences by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org The Governor’s Office for Children and Families and the Georgia Department of Public Health are partnering together to administer the Great Start Georgia (GSG) program, which was launched Jan. 7 by Georgia first lady Sandra Deal. Great Start Georgia is an initiative designed to identify all expectant parents, children birth to 5 years, and their families in a community to determine what support and services are needed. The initiative is based on the belief that all families can benefit from support during the period before and after the birth of a child, especially during the early years of life. Below Great Start Georgia Executive Director Katie Jo Ballard speaks with The Champion about the program and how it will affect DeKalb County residents. What is Great Start Georgia designed to accomplish? The system is designed to provide a check-in with families by using well-trained staff to see how things are going; provide basic parenting support including general information on pregnancy and the early childhood period; and a community resource guide with contact information. Staff will also ask about the family’s wishes, needs and resources, and link them with the services they need. What type of services can Great Start connect families and parents with? Specific services range from home visiting programs, health care and health care coverage, food and nutrition services, quality child care and early childhood education. Additionally, interested families and parents may receive workforce training and development, adult literacy and prenatal classes, parenting education, information on child development, safe housing and services such as substance abuse how the brain is wired. By helping to assure that children come into the world healthy, and have positive relationships with the adults in their lives, and live in safe, nurturing environments, we can make a difference for a lifetime. Children who have positive experiences in their early lives are more likely to enter school ready to succeed and continue to achieve— academic success is related to more than cognitive development, it includes social-emotional development as well. Why are home visits such an important aspect of the program? There is overwhelming research showing the positive impact of [evidence-based] home visiting. When replicated as designed, these programs produce significant improvements in positive parenting, child development, birth outcomes, school readiness and economic selfsufficiency. Many families do not have the support from extended family and the community that existed years ago. Also, families often do not know how to provide their children with optimal environments for success. Home visiting programs can help with those things. Does the Governor’s Office for Children and Families hope to expand this program to make it available to all the counties in the state? Currently, we have the funds to implement the full system, including evidence-based home visiting, in seven counties. However, we are encouraging other communities to begin building the system, using the resources, services, and supports that they have available in the community and work to develop other services that are needed over time. The GSG Information and Referral Center is available statewide to link families to resources in their community as needed. For more information visit www. greatstartgeorgia.org.
Katie Jo Ballard is the executive director of the new Great Start Georgia Program, which aims to help expecting parents and new families. Photo provided
treatment, mental health counseling and access to domestic violence shelters. What areas in DeKalb County will benefit from Great Start? The entire county can benefit from some of the GSG services, including the ability to talk with a live person on weekdays and weekends by calling the GSG Information and Referral Center (IRC) Toll-Free number (1-855-707-8277). The IRC has parenting information to share with expectant parents and families of young children. More services are available to families living in the Scottdale, Clarkston and Decatur areas of DeKalb County. Families in these areas of the county may be eligible for home visiting programs designed to assist parents in providing positive, nurturing environments for their children. On the Great Start website it states that when needed, more “intensive” services will be provided to families. What are these
Coke still needs to get real
The soda giant’s slick campaign to make us think its products are getting healthier might change public perceptions — but it won’t make soda good for you.
by Jill Richardson Does Coca-Cola think we’re all really stupid? For the first time, the company is using its slick commercials to address obesity. Obesity became a high-profile issue in the 1990s, when the government started to classify more than half of Americans as overweight or obese. Soda companies are often targets of antiobesity campaigns because their products contain massive amounts of sugar with no nutritional value. But Coke’s new ads, which are brimming with misleading statements, just put lipstick on this pig. The inaugural commercial begins by explaining how many low- and no-calorie beverages the company makes. But just because they make them doesn’t mean that that’s what Americans are drinking. Three of the company’s top four sellers in 2011, each exceeding $10 billion in sales, were sugarladen sodas and the fourth was Diet Coke. As for the rest of the company’s portfolio, it peddles juice and juice drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks and bottled water. Except for the water, these are all essentially bottled liquid sugar. In some cases, the liquid sugar contains some vitamins. Even though fruit juice comes from fruit, it takes about three or four oranges to make a cup of juice. Do you ever sit down and eat four oranges at once? I didn’t think so. Even if you did, you’d consume fiber in addition to sugary juice, and you’d feel full and eat less later. When we drink our calories, our bodies don’t respond by eating less later like they do when we eat calories. As for the diet and no-calorie products, studies have found that artificial sweeteners actually make you fatter. Experts can’t say exactly why. They say it could be because artificial sweeteners trick your brain into craving more sugar or because they disrupt the good bacteria our guts need to keep us healthy. Maybe it’s both of these things or something else. But people who guzzle Diet Coke and similar beverages should realize the link to weight gain is there. And when it comes to the healthiest of Coca-Cola’s beverages, water, I’ve got news for you: You can get it for free out of your tap. If you’d like, you can even filter it and put it in a bottle. Because filtered tap water’s all you’re getting when you buy Coca-Cola’s brand, Dasani. And at prices equal to $8 per gallon, it’s more expensive than gasoline. Another claim? Now CocaCola sells its products in smaller, portion-controlled sizes. Now you can drink a mere 7.5 ounces of liquid sugar — only 90 calories. But far more common are the 12 and 20-ounce servings found in stores and vending machines, and a “small” Coke at the movies can be 30 ounces. That little treat can pack 360 calories. A “large” soda at the movies now consists of 52 ounces of carbonated sugar water, clocking in at more than 600 calories. That’s like drinking a Coke for dinner. Yes, all calories count. We humans can only eat so much in a day. And if we stuff our faces with liquid candy devoid of nutrients, then we eat less of the nutritious foods our bodies need to function and stay healthy. Additionally, the impact of flooding our veins with a rush of sugar harms our bodies in ways that eating the same number of calories in a healthy meal doesn’t. In fact, a 12-ounce can of Coke or Pepsi contains more sugar than the American Heart Association says one should consume in an entire day — almost 10 teaspoons of the sweet stuff. I don’t see how Coca Cola can legitimately address public health in a constructive way while continuing to push such toxic products. Here’s one idea. Why doesn’t the soda giant stop splurging on this expensive and hypocritical publicity campaign and instead donate it to a charity that would help pay for the medical care now needed by its best customers because they drank too much Coke? That would be but a small step in counteracting the harm they’ve done to our health. OtherWords columnist Jill Richardson is the author of Recipe for America: Why Our Food System Is Broken and What We Can Do to Fix It.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013
mission or appointed officials in positions of authority, I want to single out something that DeKalb County does very well. Simply put, we do trash good. Trash into cash—alternative energy production “Any job worth doing is worth doing well.”—credited to Lord Philip Chesterfield (1694-1773), a British nobleman in a letter in 1724. Chesterfield is also credited with inventing the couch, or Chesterfield sofa. As other metro area counties and cities have occasionally experienced, a long stretch of bad or critical headlines can start to tarnish—some might even say trash—an area’s reputation. Remember the late night show jokes that emerged after the city of Kennesaw passed an ordinance requiring a firearm in every household, or the decline of Clayton County’s reputation following its school system becoming first in the nation to lose accreditation in nearly 80 years, or the near decade when DeKalb County labored under the cloud of one sheriff taking out a contract hit on another rival? The day-to-day lives of area residents may remain unchanged, but the choices and paths of our community leaders matter and cause much larger ripples in our pond. Before piling on with more shots or criticism toward our own school board, county com-
We do trash good
One Man’s Opinion
to consumers with hybrid or CNG fueled vehicles. Recycling increases—fees charged decreased
DeKalb County has been an innovator in converting trash into cash. The county owns and operates the Seminole Landfill, and starting with the administration of then-CEO Liane Levetan, completed during the tenure of Vernon Jones, and still in operation today, DeKalb processes methane “landfill” gas for use by Georgia Power as a brown energy source, which allowed the utility to initiate its Green Energy program. The plant required for the conversion has already been paid for, and the methane sales have generated roughly $1 million per year in revenue from alternative energy production. More recently under CEO Burrell Ellis, methane gas from the landfill has been converted into natural gas, and our sanitation vehicle fleet is being converted from using diesel fuel to running on compressed natural gas (CNG). In addition to more county fleet vehicle conversions, the county will eventually make surplus gas available for sale to the general public. The conversion is saving millions in fast rising diesel fuel costs, as well as burning cleaner emissions and generating new revenue from the later sale of natural gas
DeKalb is among the first metro counties to offer recycling and the CEO and commission removed the annual recycling household fee this summer, resulting in the addition of thousands of households to the program. The more waste recycled, the more waste stream diverted from landfills, and the more revenue generated from the sale of recycled waste. A short-term revenue loss, for a long-term revenue gain, as well as extension of the life of the aforementioned Seminole Landfill. Shorter work week to sate disgruntled employees In addition to having high absentee rates and sick day counts among the highest in the county workforce, DeKalb sanitation workers have been complaining of poor work conditions, lack of raises and compensation adjustments and attempting to organize a union. In an attempt to stave off those efforts, as well as reward and recognize the department’s successes and achievements, the county commission and CEO deftly combined days of pick-up for yard waste and recyclables. This cut the sanitation employee work week to four days, in effect making every week a long weekend holiday
weekend. Compensation was not impacted, but quality time at home or with friends and family should have a positive impact on morale and employee satisfaction. There is not a lot of glamor in the government grunt work of maintaining infrastructure, providing public safety or working water and sewer systems. These things only gain significant attention when they are not working properly. Municipal waste and its many complications of cost, safety, environmental impact are all being well managed by our DeKalb County CEO, commission and the appointed managers of the department. This is no small feat, and deserves applause and attention. I will add that there are other things that the county does well—and I will attempt to highlight more of those in the coming months—as we know well that upcoming trials and accreditation matters will certainly keep the other side of the coin in view. We certainly don’t want to only be known for handling our waste well. If that were the case, we’d sound an awful lot like the Mob. 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 email@example.com.
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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, Feb. 1, 2013
Police guard CEO’s home
by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org A DeKalb County police officer has been stationed outside CEO Burrell Ellis’ Stone Mountain home since Jan. 7, when it was searched by DeKalb County district attorney investigators. “It was a decision made by the public safety department,” DeKalb County spokesman Burke Brennan said. “Since investigators searched his home there has been some increased pedestrian and vehicular traffic.” According to Interim Assistant DeKalb County Police Chief James Conroy, the 24-hour detail was requested by Public Safety Director William Miller. During the workday, Ellis has a security team with him but Brennan said this is the first time he’s been provided additional security at home. Brennan said that the police officer, who is reportedly stationed in a marked car in front of Ellis’ home, is there at no cost to taxpayers. “Security is something that’s allocated as needed,” Brennan said. Ellis’ home and office were searched when he was testifying before a special grand jury investigating the county’s water and sewer department contracts. After more than two hours in those at Ellis’ home, investigators seized a desktop computer and several boxes. In addition to Ellis’ home and office, searches were conducted Jan. 7 at the office of former Ellis campaign manager Kevin Ross, and the county’s information technology, purchasing and contracting, and finance and elections offices. According to the search warrants issued in DeKalb and Fulton counties, investigators were looking for information related to racketeering, theft by taking, conspiracy to defraud state or political subdivision, conspiracy in restraint of free and open competition, wire fraud, theft concerning programs receiving federal funds, bid rigging, and fraud relating to currency. “As always we’ve been fully cooperative,” Ellis said at a news conference the day of the search. “I’ve directed my staff to be fully cooperative. I’ve testified in the past and answered all questions. At Ross’ Atlanta offices, investigators had permission to seize handwriting samples, personal and business financial records, including various bank accounts and tax returns. Investigators also wanted email messages for Ellis and several county employees. Ellis retained a defense team Jan. 17, because he said recent events had caused him to question whether he is “being dealt with in good faith.” Representing Ellis are former DeKalb DA J. Tom Morgan and Craig Gillen, a defense attorney who specializes in trials involving racketeering and financial crimes; Gillen’s partner, Anthony Lake, and former assistant DeKalb DA John Peachtree. “I haven’t done anything that I’m aware of and nor has my staff done anything that I’m aware of that is inappropriate,” Ellis said. “I can certainly tell you that there’s nothing in there that is in any way wrong.”
went through the training and I’m so glad I did.” King has been volunteering at the center since 2009. She volunteers with the crisis hotline and at events that the center hosts. King said working as a volunteer on the crisis hotline is very informative because she gets an opportunity to know the true facts of what happens to rape victims and what they go through afterwards. “When we’re behind the scene we have no idea of what anything entails,” she said. “We only get a few bits of information, mostly one side of it.” One of the things King learned as a crisis hotline advocate is how the family and friends of the rape victim are affected as well and their response to the crime. “Not only does rape change the survivor it also changes the family, friends and people that they know,” she said. “One would think that at a time like that people would be more sensitive and understanding, but it would really amaze you how some people are not. They still see them as a blame holder and it really just surprises me.” King said she always makes sure to tell rape victims that the rape crisis center is there to help. “We have volunteers that are not there to blame you or cast any type of judgment,” she said. “We’re here for any type of capacity of which we may be needed.” She also reminds victims that what happened to them was not their fault. “The things I try to instill is that bad things happen to good people and to let them know that they are not at fault for whatever happened, regardless of how it was initiated,” she said. “No one has that right to violate anyone in anyway whatsoever.”
After retiring from her DeKalb County government job of 30 years, Jewel King of Decatur still had the urge to do something with her life. While scanning through newspaper ads, King noticed an ad from DeKalb Rape Crisis Center asking for volunteers. “I thought on it for a few days and I said this would be perfect for me, being a female,” she said. “I had no idea what I would encounter, but I did contact them,
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.
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013
breakfast and RSVP is not required. For additional information, please call Watson’s office at (404) 371-3681. Author to talk about personal Black history experience Lawrence P. Jackson’s latest book, My Father’s Name, tells the story of Jackson’s search for his late grandfather’s home—a search that becomes a much deeper journey into his ancestral past, a past intimately linked to slavery. Jackson will be at the Decatur Library Monday, Feb. 11, 7:15-9 p.m., to give a presentation on the book. “His is a powerful book full of surprising twists and turns and also one of haunting familiarity to many African Americans who may question whether the promises of emancipation have ever been completely fulfilled. Critics call it ‘a thoughtful meditation on our painful and enduring history,’” according to an announcement from the library. Jackson is professor of English and African American studies at Emory University. He is the author of an acclaimed biography, Ralph Ellison: Emergence of Genius, and the literary history The Indignant Generation: A Narrative History of African American Writers and Critics, 1934-1960. His free lecture is part of the library’s observance of Black History Month. Decatur Library is located at 215 Sycamore Street, Decatur. For more information, call (404) 3703070. Library to show Remember the Titans Toco Hill-Avis G. Williams Library as part of its Friday Movies series will screen the movie Remember the Titans, starring Denzel Washington, on Feb. 1, 1:30-3:30 p.m. The 2000 film is rated PG and runs 108 minutes. Movies in the Friday afternoon series are a mix of new releases and old favorites. When available, movies are presented with closed captioning to assist the hearing impaired. Toco Hill-Avis G. Williams Library is located at 1282 McConnell Drive, Decatur. For more information, call (404) 679-4404. Church to hold health fair Gresham Park Christian Church youth will hold a health fair Saturday, Feb. 2, 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. The event will include a dental mobile, health screenings, health information, healthy snacks and information on safety from the DeKalb County Police Department and DeKalb County Fire and Rescue. Activities are for all ages. Gresham Park Christian Church is located at 2819 Flat Shoals Road (corner of Flat Shoals and Clifton Church roads), Decatur. For more information, call (404) 241-4511. Executive director appointed at Emeritus Jenny Dobbs has been appointed executive director at Emeritus at Decatur. She will oversee all care, programs and daily operations, according to an announcement from the facility. Emeritus at Decatur provides care for those with Alzheimer’s and other memoryimpairing diseases through its Join Their Journey program. Prior to this position, Dobbs was the director of assisted living for Kings Bridge in Atlanta. She previously served as the Alzheimer’s unit director for Manor Care Rehabilitation Center of Marietta. She received a bachelor of science in social work from Georgia State University. Dobbs resides in Decatur. Emeritus at Decatur is located at 475 Irvin Court, Decatur. It is operated by Emeritus Senior Living. Illustration, bookmaking event to be at North DeKalb Mall R. Gregory Christie presents The Art of Illustration and Bookmaking at North DeKalb Mall, Saturday, Feb. 9, noon-2 p.m. “Illustration has a long history. Cave paintings were the earliest form of illustrations. Medievalilluminated manuscripts followed. Woodcut illustrations appeared in the 15th century followed by engraving and etching in the 16th and 17th centuries,” states an announcement from the event sponsors. Participants are invited to create their own illustrations and books with assistance from Christie, a threetime recipient of a Coretta Scott King Honor Award in Illustration. The class is limited to 15 participants. To register, call (404) 370-8450, ext. 2257. North DeKalb Mall is located at 2050 Lawrenceville Highway, Decatur. Our House receives community service award Our House, providing early childhood education and comprehensive support services to homeless children and their parents, has received the 2013 Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award. Our House is among 10 recipients to be recognized this year. Our House Executive Director Tyese Lawyer received the award on Our House’s behalf on Jan. 24, at an event held at the Goizueta Business School, Emory University. The Rollins School has bestowed the award annually for the past 20 years to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Our House is deeply grateful to receive this honor,” Lawyer said. “This is particularly meaningful as we celebrate our 25th year of service to children and their families who are experiencing homelessness. At Our House, we strive every day to live the legacy of Dr. King by providing services to those in need. We thank Emory and the Rollins School for this honor.”
Residents can report non-emergency issues by phone Brookhaven has launched a new service that allows residents and business owners to report non-emergency issues through the SeeClickFix smart phone application. The SeeClickFix phone app allows people to report potholes, other road damage and missing or damaged signs by using any smart phone such as an Android, iPhone or Blackberry. Service requests are received and logged by the city and are sorted based on date and/or popularity. The website, SeeClickFix. com, allows residents to create their own watch areas, and the program will alert them by e-mail when new issues are reported. For more information, visit www.seeclickfix.com. Brookhaven library hosting pajama story time Preschoolers ages 3 to 5 can listen to bed time stories with sleepy-time songs at the Brookhaven library on Feb. 5. Children can wear their pajamas and bring their favorite stuffed animals. The 7-7:30 p.m. event is opened to the first 20 participants. The Brookhaven library is at 1242 N. Druid Hills Road, NE in Atlanta. For more information, call (404) 848-7140.
the trees is expensive and we were unable to find nonprofits who were interested in taking them.” “The new Hawthorne trees are hardy, drought resistant and require little care,” Williams said. “They will be planted in groves and provide brilliant red berries in the winter and white blooms in the spring and summer.” Native grasses and Bermuda sod will be planted around the trees and will be used to fill smaller landscape islands in the interchange. “Major landscaping improvements at the DDI will help brand Perimeter as a great place to live, work and play,” Williams said. “The landscaping plan with groves of flowering trees will serve as Perimeter’s signature landscaping and branding for future gateway landscaping projects.”
Make-and-take sweetheart treat workshop to be at library Sweetheart of a Deal, a make-and-take workshop at which pre-teens to adults can make sweet treats for a sweetheart, will be at the Salem-Panola Library Saturday, Feb. 2, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Registration is now under way and the event is open to first 12 participants to sign up. Call or visit the branch to register. Funding for the event is provided by the Friends of the Salem-Panola Library. SalemPanola Library is located at 5137 Salem Road, Lithonia. For more information, call (770) 987-6900. City seeking new administrator Lithonia is looking for its second city administrator. Gerald Sanders, who spent approximately a year on the job after being the city’s second choice for the position, was dismissed in November after “philosophical differences,” Lithonia Mayor Deborah Jackson said. “It was a new position that the city created,” Jackson said. “There’s a learning curve with getting the right person.” Currently the city has an acting city administrator, Tias Greenwell, who had been working as the city’s accountant. The city is looking to hire someone with “the best skill set that we actually need to move the city in the direction we want to go,” Jackson said. The full-time city administrator is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Lithonia, including the oversight of the city government’s departments and their daily operations. The previous salary for the position was $44,000.
Center to hold family movie night The animated movie Brave will be screened Feb. 1 for Clarkston Family Movie Night. Presented by K. D. Moore Community Development Center, the Clarkston Family Movie Night will be held on the first Fridays of the month until June at the Family Life Center. Brave tells the story of Princess Merida, who defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse. Popcorn and a drink are $2.50 at the event. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the movie starts at 7 p.m. The Family Life Center is at 4007 Church Street. For more information, call Christin Taylor at (404) 292-5686 ext. 248.
Landscaping begins at interchange
Commissioner to host February community breakfast DeKalb County Commissioner Stan Watson will host his first 2013 DeKalb Legislative Community Cabinet Breakfast on Saturday, Feb. 2, at Chapel Hill Middle School, 9-11 a.m. Guest speakers during the February breakfast include Louis Miller, the new general manager of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and Michael Van Wie, airport director of DeKalb Peachtree Airport. Representatives from the DeKalb County Department of Watershed Management will also lead the last in a series of “Let’s Talk Trash” discussions for community input on the future of garbage pickup in DeKalb County. Chapel Hill Middle School is located at 3535 Dogwood Farms Road, Decatur. There is no charge for the community
Work began Jan. 23 to prepare the I-285 and Ashford Dunwoody Road diverging diamond interchange (DDI) for the installation of a distinctive landscaping design. The Perimeter Community Improvement Districts (PCIDs) said the landscaping will “showcase the innovative interchange and major gateway to the City of Dunwoody and the Perimeter Market,” according to a media release. The Georgia Department of Transportation included basic funding for landscaping in the DDI construction contract. The PCIDs, funded by commercial property owners who voluntarily pay additional property taxes to help make transportation improvements, voted to add $300,000 to that amount to create an approximately $450,000 landscape plan that features 262 “Winter King” Hawthorne trees providing year-round color at Georgia’s first DDI. E.R. Snell Contractors will spend approximately two weeks removing sod, existing crape myrtle trees and three large pine trees. During the week of Feb. 4, the contractors will begin a week of grading the site. The installation of landscaping materials will start in mid-February and be completed by the end of March. Yvonne Williams, PCIDs president and CEO, said the organization “was very committed to finding reuses for all of the trees that must be removed. However, moving
Spring baseball registration announced Wade Walker Park has announced registration details for the spring 2013 baseball season Boys and girls ages 3-14 may register online until March 1 by visiting www.wadewalkerpark.org. On-site registration will continue until March 2 on Saturdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the concession stand office. The park is located at 5585 Rockbridge Road in Stone Mountain.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013
began with NYBC in May 2011, potentially lifesaving cord blood units from DeKalb Medical and other facilities have reached patients throughout the nation. The stem cells in the blood can be used to treat various genetic disorders that affect the blood and immune system–leukemia and certain cancers, as well as some inherited disorders of body chemistry. According to the March of Dimes, more than 70 disorders have been treated with stem cells from cord blood. The Atlanta area’s ethnically diverse population makes DeKalb Medical an important contributor to NYBC. Transplant patients tend to have better stem cell matches when paired with donors from their own ethnic group. Nationwide, there is a shortage of minority donors. Consequently, Black patients have a difficult time finding a compatible donor. “Through the generosity of our mothers here in Atlanta, we [are] contributing to a national inventory that can help minority patients find suitable matches for transplantation,” said
DeKalb Medical saves lives with umbilical cord blood
by Nigel Roberts blood bank. This provides a ready source of stem cells Mothers who give birth in case the child or a family at DeKalb Medical can also member ever needs it somegive a second chance of day to treat an illness. life to someone with a lifeIn recent years, several threatening illness. Instead public cord blood banks of discarding the umbilical have emerged. These facilicord after birth, which is ties enable parents to donate the norm, she can choose their child’s cord blood to to donate the blood in the help strangers in need of umbilical cord to a public lifesaving stem cells. blood bank. This blood is a Bone marrow donations rich source of stem cells that are the traditional source of can be used to treat a myriad stem cells. But according to of illnesses. estimates, 10,000 to 15,000 DeKalb Medical repatients are unable to find cently delivered its 1,000th a compatible bone marrow umbilical cord blood unit donor among the millions to New York Blood Center of volunteer donors listed (NYBC), the hospital anby registries worldwide. nounced. Cord blood, now used as an “Our doctors, patients alternative to bone marrow, and families would never contributes to the likelihood want to waste a drop of of finding a match. the cord blood that can be Launched in 1992, used to save lives,” said NYBC’s National Cord Dr. Cathy Bonk, DeKalb Blood Program (NCBP) is Medical’s obstetrics chief. the world’s oldest and largShe added that cord blood est single public cord blood donation at DeKalb Medical bank. It collects, processes, is free for all families and tests and stores blood that mothers that wish to partici- mothers donate for stem cell pate. transplants. The organizaAt many hospitals, partion has provided more than ents are able, at a cost, to 4,800 cord blood units for store their newborn’s cord transplants worldwide. blood at a private cord Since the partnership
DeKalb Medical Cord Blood Program Medical Director Dr. Leslie Pope. NCBP Vice President Pablo Rubinstein praised DeKalb Medical for its “instrumental” role in helping the organization meet the medical needs of patients who need cord blood transplant. “Many patients have been given a second chance of life because an anonymous mother donated this
precious resource of blood cells,” he said. Last December, Piedmont Atlanta Hospital became only the second area hospital to participate in a public cord blood donation program. It has a similar program to DeKalb Medical’s, but its donation arrangement is with the nonprofit Cleveland Cord Blood Center.
City offers residents firsthand glimpse at local government
by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org The city of Clarkston has undergone significant changes over the past three years: it hired a new city manager and development director, and changed to a city council and manager form of government rather than one where the power lies primarily with the mayor. This February, Clarkston will offer Clarkston 101, a class to encourage residents to become more engaged with their local government. There will be five class sessions, the first one on Feb. 21. Clarkston City Manager Keith Barker said that part of the program will be to educate the public about the basic workings of government. Additionally, Barker said the class will help build relationships with the residents he and his fellow city officials serve. “We’re looking at neighborhood and downtown revitalization and we can’t do that in a vacuum,” Barker said. “We need to work with residents and business owners and one of the problems we have is trying to pull all those divergent groups together.” Barker said he hopes through the class residents and city officials will get to know each other on a more personal basis. Clarkston faces a difficulty not shared by many of its neighboring municipalities, Barker said. Many residents in Clarkston are refugees who have come from countries where the government is seen as an oppressive force. The
See Clarkston on Page 11A
The Mayor and City Council of the City of Chamblee, Georgia will hold a public hearing on Thursday, February 14, 2013, at the Chamblee Civic Center, 3540 Broad Street, Chamblee, GA 30341 at 6:00 p.m. to receive public comments regarding the following zoning matters: 1) Appendix A, “Zoning Ordinance,” Section 1307, “Signs allowed by zoning district”. The subject property is located at 5925 Peachtree Boulevard. The applicant is requesting a variance to allow an additional monument sign on the property. 2) Appendix A, “Zoning Ordinance,” Section 207, “Planned unit development procedure”. The subject property is Turnbury Gates subdivision, located at 2401 Johnson Ferry Road. The applicant is requesting an amendment to the Planned Unit Development.
PUBLIC NOTICE CITY OF BROOKHAVEN FIXING OF QUALIFYING FEES The date of the Municipal Election for the Offices of Councilmember of Council Districts 2 (two) and 4 (four) is hereby established to be Tuesday, November 5, 2013. The qualifying fee for each council seat is $360.00 which is 3% of the total gross salary of the preceding year (Georgia Election Code 21‐2‐131). Each candidate shall file a notice of candidacy in the office of the City Clerk of Brookhaven, 200 Ashford Center North, Suite 150, Dunwoody, Georgia between Monday, August 26, 2013 and Wednesday, August 28, 2013, between the hours of 8:30am and 12:30pm, and 1:30pm and 4:30pm. Each candidate must meet the qualifications of the Charter and Code of the City of Brookhaven, as well as applicable State laws. Susan D. Hiott City Clerk
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013
breathing,’” he said. David Croft, 52, was sitting at that red light in his Ford Fusion and said he saw Brown’s vehicle barreling toward him with the truck in pursuit and then saw the pickup ram the Pacifica. “I worked my wheel to the left and tried to get out of the way and that’s the only thing that kept me from having a total T-bone impact to the side,” Croft said. It’s not clear whether the truck then hit the vehicles stopped at the intersection or whether Brown’s car spun into them. The police report says the truck hit them, but driver accounts vary. Croft said he was on his way to deliver food to a homeless shelter and that he now has back pain and a totaled vehicle—but he’s happy to be alive and grateful he hadn’t brought his wife or 15-year-old daughter as planned. “I was thankful I had listened to that inner voice of the Holy Spirit and didn’t take my wife or daughter with me,” he said. “I’m not sure they would have survived the impact.” Tracy Webb, 38, was stopped next to Croft at the red light on her way to Bible study when she heard a loud screech behind her. “It happened so fast. I just saw headlights and at that moment I knew I was about to be hit, so I kind of braced myself for the hit,” she said. “I didn’t want to end up in also present a birth certificate at registration. Practice dates and times will be determined by each recreation center. For more information, call (770) 414-2111 or (770) 414-2113. DeKalb residents now eligible to join Georgia United Credit Union The Georgia Department of Banking & Finance has approved the addition of DeKalb County residents to the eligible membership for Georgia United Credit Union. This means that anyone who lives in DeKalb County is now eligible for membership and now has access to a full range of the middle of the intersection. I clutched the wheel and pressed the brakes a little harder.” She’s not sure which vehicle hit hers, but the truck was gone by the time an officer who had been stopped on the opposite side of the intersection reached the wrecked vehicles. J.W. Conroy, interim assistant chief of the DeKalb police, said the officer on the scene called in the hit-andrun, and dispatchers quickly alerted other officers and surrounding jurisdictions. Manuel Johnson and his wife had stopped on the way home from work so she could have a bite to eat when he noticed a pickup come up close behind his Mercedes. He sped up, and the truck drifted back before accelerating to follow closely again. “I told my wife, ‘That guy is awfully close to us,’ and as soon as I said that, he came up really fast and ran into the back of the car,” Johnson said. The truck rammed into them four times before Johnson was able to swerve to the right and the truck went down the road and hit a little red Chevrolet, Johnson said. “My wife was panicking. She thought we were going to die,” he said. “He was using his vehicle as if it was a weapon.” After they checked on the people in the red car and talked to police, Johnson and his wife drove to the hospital products and services such as saving, checking and loan accounts with Georgia United. Georgia United serves the employees and immediate family members of all Georgia state agencies, county governments, Board of Regents colleges and universities, numerous public and private school systems, more than 450 private employers, and adult and technical education schools. Originally founded in 1958 as the DeKalb County Teachers Federal Credit Union by seven school teachers, Georgia United has a long history of growth and community service in DeKalb County to become the $925 million financial cooperative
by Kate Brumback
Man used car like a weapon in deadly ride
and saw multiple banged-up vehicles along the way. Finally, they got to the end of the path of wreckage, where the Ford Super Duty pickup had veered off the road and hit the front of Johnboys Home Cooking restaurant in Snellville. Minutes before, the truck had slammed into the back of gray Toyota Camry that was slowing down, causing it to hit the vehicle in front of it before it became wedged under a tractor-trailer stopped to its left, killing Mintiwab Woldeyhans, a passenger in the Camry, and leaving the car’s driver, 51-year-old Yeshihareg Abebe, in critical condition. Police arrested Snider after his truck crashed into the restaurant. Police have said they believe alcohol was involved. They’ve charged Snider with vehicular homicide, serious injury by vehicle, DUI, reckless driving and following too closely. The investigation is ongoing, and more charges are pending, police said. Snider was released from a hospital and taken to the Gwinnett County Detention Center. He is being held without bond, and a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 1, a court clerk said. Gwinnett County court officials say Snider has retained an attorney; however, they said Jan. 24 that they did not know that attorney’s identity.
ATLANTA (AP) A pickup driver recklessly made his way through two Atlantaarea counties Jan. 23 as if he were playing bumper cars at an amusement park, leaving a trail of wrecked cars and a dead woman in his wake, according to police and witness reports. Michael Snider, a 70-year-old man from Stone Mountain, has been charged in the rampage, and police haven’t released a motive. One victim said the driver used his vehicle like a weapon over a roughly 15-mile route starting at the eastern edge of Atlanta and stretching into suburban Snellville, where a 69-year-old passenger was killed. Over a period of about 45 minutes, Snider is suspected of causing five wrecks in DeKalb County and 10 more in Gwinnett County, some of them involving multiple vehicles. The wreckage started about 7:35 p.m. Jan. 23 when a pickup rammed the rear bumper of a Nissan 350Z sports car at a traffic light at the end of an interstate exit ramp. Based on the time stamp of the police report, it appears to have been the first crash. “Do you know who I am? I do whatever I want!” the pickup driver said, then got back in his truck and drove off, according to the police report. Dennis Brown, 26, said
he had just left his college class and was heading home when he saw a gray pickup hit a car behind him and then head toward his vehicle. “I saw him coming toward me, and he looked like he was trying to hit me,” Brown said. “So I just slammed on the gas trying to avoid him, to get away from him.” The truck followed as Brown accelerated and tried to swerve out of the way. “I was looking at him through my rearview, and he looked possessed,” Brown said. As they approached an intersection, Brown said he saw cars stopped at a red light and had to think fast to avoid hitting them. He had just turned hard, trying to get into a gas station parking lot, when the truck hit his Chrysler Pacifica crossover SUV and sent it spinning out of control. “I hit my head, and I blanked out for a second, but then I realized, ‘Yes, I’m still
County parks department wood, 3360 Osborne Road, accepting registration for Atlanta; Lucious Sanders, spring soccer season 2484 Bruce St., Lithonia; Mason Mill, 1340 McConRegistrations for youth nell Dr., Decatur; Midway, spring soccer are now 3181 Midway Road, Debeing accepted by the catur; N. H. Scott 2230 DeKalb County RecreTilson Road, Decatur; ation, Parks & Cultural Redan, 1839 Phillips Rd., Affairs until Feb. 15. The Lithonia; Tobie Grant, 644 program is designed to inParkdale Dr., Scottdale; still skill development and and Tucker, 4898 LaVista fitness through team trainRoad, Tucker. ing drills. Youth spring soccer is Participants can regisfor ages 5–14 and will inter at any of the following clude eight season games. DeKalb County recreation Registration ranges from centers: Briarwood, 2235 $45 to $85 per child. All Briarwood Way, Atlanta; payments should be made Browns Mill, 5101 Browns payable to DeKalb County Mill Rd., Lithonia; ExRecreation, Parks & Culchange, 2771 Columbia tural Affairs by cashier’s Dr., Decatur; Gresham, check or money order and 3113 Gresham Road, submitted at time of regAtlanta; Hamilton, 3262 istration at the recreation Chapel St., Scottdale; Lyn- center. Participants must
it is today. Georgia United Credit Union has 16 branch locations, including four in DeKalb: North Atlanta, 4448 Tilly Mill Road; Clarkston, 500 N. Indian Creek Drive; Decatur, 5173 Panola Industrial Boulevard; and Tucker, 3840 LaVista Road. A full-service financial cooperative, Georgia United offers free checking, mortgage and consumer loans and electronic services such as its Swift Deposit product that allows members to deposit checks using the free app on their smart phones. To learn more about Georgia United, visit www. georgiaunitedcu.org.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013
HunGER kEEps up On cuRREnT EVEnTs, DeKalb Rape Crisis HunGER TOO. Center remains open
by Carla Parker email@example.com The DeKalb Rape Crisis Center will keep its doors open after receiving enough donations to continue providing services to those recovering from sexual assault. In October 2012, the center was in jeopardy of closing and needed $80,000 to get through to the end of the year. The center began receiving donations after the public was made aware of the center’s financial troubles. The center received enough donations to operate at current service levels through its fiscal year, which ends May 31. The center received five major donations totaling $55,000 in December. It also received numerous individual donations ranging from $10 to $1,000. Allyson Gevertz, the DeKalb Rape Crisis Center board chairwoman, said she was pleased with the response from the community. “We had a lot of previous donors who have given for years at one level and once they heard this story they definitely bumped up to a
Leaders ponder state law changes
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org commercial and residential property by the city of Decatur. Annexation and taxes “It is important to are concerns that DeKalb maintain the solvency of County government offiunincorporated DeKalb cials want addressed in the County’s tax base and pre2013 General Assembly. vent future cherry picking Five priorities were of commercial property by presented to a handful of municipalities without any concerned residents Jan. 24 consideration for economic by the joint legislative team and fiscal impacts resulting from the county CEO’s offrom such annexations,” the fice and the Board of Com- agenda states. missioners. “We would like to see a To help the county immoratorium,” Mitchell said. prove its infrastructure, Such a move would give county leaders want the leg- the county “an opportuislature to raise the “sales nity…to really assess what tax ceiling that restricts the the financial impact” is of county’s ability to increase annexations. its sales tax,” according to “We think we should the proposed legislative slow the process down and agenda. This would altake a breath,” Mitchell low the county to “address said. capital improvements and Don Brussard, of Stand infrastructure maintenance Up DeKalb, said this is not over a maximum period of the time to restrict annexa10 years.” tions. If the legislation passes, “The school system is the county would then in such difficulty and the hold a referendum for a [county] CEO is under one-cent sales tax increase criminal investigation,” that would be used to fund Brussard said. “Annexation a “list of predetermined should remain an option. priorities,” said PhylCities should be considered lis Mitchell, legislative a viable option in our menu consultant to the county’s of local government.” Board of Commissioners. County leaders are tryVoters “will know from ing to revive an attempt the beginning what projto raise its hotel/motel tax ects” the proposed sales tax from 5 percent to 8 percent. increase would fund, she This move would provide said. more funding for promotTwo items on the couning tourism, arts and would ty’s legislative agenda adfund the county’s convendress annexation. One rection and visitors’ bureau. ommends amending state The tax was shot down law to require “approval by last year by the county’s the governing authority”— legislative delegation. in DeKalb’s case, the Board County leaders also of Commissioners—for an- want to change the state nexation of areas [that are] law that requires a referenfurnished services or indum before bonds can be cluded in a comprehensive issued for an animal serzoning plan,” according vices facility. to the legislative agenda. “This change would The proposed amendment allow for the timely conwould also give property struction of a new animal owners the right to file for services facility without an injunction during an an- the burden and expense of nexation attempt. holding a referendum,” the According to the lanproposed legislative agenda guage of the proposed states. legislation, “if a city wants Viola Davis, of the Unto annex, it has to get perhappy Taxpayer and Voter, mission” from the county, asked the legislative team Mitchell said. “As it curwhether county officials rently stands, you don’t had determined the impact have a choice.” on residents of the proposed The second item retaxes and bonds. garding annexation would “It’s all coming out of oppose the annexation of one pot,” she said.
The DeKalb Rape Crisis Center will keep its doors open after receiving enough donations to continue providing services. File Photo
kEEps 1 in 6 AmERicAns up On sTRuGGlEs WiTH HunGER. cuRREnT EVEnTs, TOO.
higher level of giving,” she certainly helped and [the said. “The publicity from therapists] have been able [the media] really went a to take people off the wait long way towards sort of list for therapy and we have waking people up in the also been able to run more community and helping group therapies.” them rally around us.” Gevertz said the center The center’s Women will still need donations Who Lead campaign also after the fiscal year ends to surpassed its fundraising continue to operate. goal. With the help of a The center is also consultant, Gevertz said, working with Matchstic, the board is now focused on a brand identity firm, to 1 in 6 AmERicAns a new name, logo long-term planning. develop “We’re definitely looking and website. Matchstic sTRuGGlEs WiTH HunGER. more long term and for awarded the center its ways to be sustainable,” she consulting services pro bono said. “We’re definitely in a and will help the center better position right now, broaden its donor base with feeling much more positive new marketing strategies. about the future for sure.” “We’re hoping to have With the donations, the [the new name, logo and center was able to allow website] by April,” she said. the therapists to keep their The center has also hours as they were. Gevertz been named the beneficiary said the board had to cut of the upcoming Tucker the therapists’ hours prior to Chili Cook-off on March October and feared that they 16. The event, which is would have had to make expected to attract more further cuts. than 3,500 people, will “We had already cut to feature 50 chili recipes and the point where we couldn’t entertainment. Sponsorships take anyone off of our wait are now available. For more list and the therapists were information, email info@ really at a point to where dekalbrapecrisiscenter.org. all they were doing was For more information maintaining the clients that on the DeKalb Rape they already had,” she said. Crisis Center, visit www. “Since then, the money has dekalbrapecrisiscenter.org.
Hunger is closer than you think. Reach out to your local food bank for ways to do your part. Visit FeedingAmerica.org today.
Page 11A Local News New executive director brings wide range of experience to Leadership DeKalb The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 by Kathy Mitchell email@example.com Leadership DeKalb’s new executive director, Maria Balais, said she can’t compare her approach to leading the 27-year-old organization interest. “When people like [former board chairman] Arnie Silverman and [current board chairman] Bo Spalding called, I sat up and took notice. I had to consider this as a possible place to land,” she said. “The board selected Maria based on her proven relationship-building and volunteer coordination. “In the baby boomer generation, it was considered normal to stay with one company—or at least with one field—for an entire career,” she commented. “With my generation—the Gen Xers— it’s considered a positive to have done many different things. It means you have has served on the boards of the League of Women Voters Atlanta-Fulton Chapter, Provost Academy Georgia, Anti-Prejudice Consortium and the Atlanta Downtown Neighborhood Association. She also has worked with with The Latin American Association and The Mexican Center of Atlanta. through Leadership DeKalb, Balais is a graduate of Leadership Atlanta, a similarly structured program. “It’s awesome to look at these programs and the people who participate in them. The people you’re working with might be a future senator, a future CEO, a district attorney or solicitor general.” Spalding said he expects Balais to “build on the good work of Caroline and her predecessor, Sara Fountain.” Balais said that’s what she has in mind as well. “It wouldn’t be good leadership for me to come in and make a lot of changes without taking the time to observe how things are working now,” Balais said. “There will be changes in the future as there have been in the past, but it’s the Leadership DeKalb alumni who will drive those changes, not the executive director.”
‘They kept the organization strong for more than 26 years so they must have been doing something right. I have some big shoes to fill.’
– Maria Balais
– Jerry Jackson
to those of her predecessors as she never had the opportunity to work with them. “Actually, I only had one meeting over lunch with the previous directors,” said Balais, who succeeds Caroline Moise, who was named interim executive director following the July 2012 retirement of Sara Fountain. “I will certainly say this,” she added. “They kept the organization strong for more than 26 years so they must have been doing something right. I have some big shoes to fill.” Balais, who has had a varied career that has included work in public and private sectors, said she never considered heading an organization such as Leadership DeKalb until board members called her and expressed an
organizational talent,” Spalding said. “With her passion for the community and extensive background with not-for-profits, she is a perfect fit to lead our mission of strengthening leadership across DeKalb County.” Before joining Leadership DeKalb, Balais managed her own consulting firm that provided corporate and notfor-profit organizations with public affairs, community outreach, communications, event management, organizational development and program management services. Prior to consulting she managed the ING Corporate Foundation and led community relations at Troutman Sanders LLP. At Leadership DeKalb she will be responsible for leading the membership organization in areas including leadership program development, fundraising, strategic planning, community relations, and board and
experience handling lots of different situations.” In addition to career paths she’s taken over the years, Balais has a strong history of community involvement. She
She’s also no stranger to DeKalb County, having earned a bachelor of arts degree from Agnes Scott College. Although she’s never been
CALL FOR AND NOTICE OF ELECTION CITY OF DECATUR CITY COMMISSION OFFICE MARCH 19, 2013 SPECIAL ELECTION TO THE QUALIFIED GEORGIA:
VOTERS OF THE CITY OF
YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED that on the 19th day of March 2013, a special election will be held to fill the unexpired term of District 1 City Commissioner William F. Floyd who resigned from office. Each candidate will file notice of his or her candidacy and the appropriate affidavit in the office of City Clerk at City Hall, 509 North McDonough Street, Decatur, Georgia. The opening dates for qualifying will start Wednesday, February 13, 2013 continuing until Friday, February 15, 2013 between 9:00 AM and 4:30 P.M each day. The qualifying fee for City Commissioner is $144.00. The last day to register to be eligible to vote in this special election is February 19, 2013. The Special Election will be held at the following polling locations within the City of Decatur: District 1 Polling Places: Clairemont East: First Baptist Church of Decatur, 308 Clairemont Ave, Decatur, GA Ponce de Leon: First Christian Church of Decatur, 601 W. Ponce de Leon Ave, Decatur, GA Glenwood: Holy Trinity Parish, 515 East Ponce de Leon Ave, Decatur, GA Clairemont West: The Church at Decatur Heights, 735 Sycamore Drive, Decatur, GA The polls will open at 7:00 AM and close at 7:00 PM. Those residents qualified to vote at said election shall be determined in all respects in accordance with the election laws of the State of Georgia. In person Absentee Voting will begin on Monday, March 11, 2013 between 8:30 AM and 4:00 PM at the DeKalb County Voter Registration & Elections office, 4380 Memorial Drive and will end on Friday, March 15. There will be no voting on Saturday, March 16 or Monday, March 18. This 22nd day of January 2013
Clarkston Continued From Page 8A
city was designated as a refugee resettlement area in the 1980s and since then Clarkston has become a home to transplants from Burundi, Bhutan, Ethiopia and many other places. “There’s still this distrust of working collaboratively with the government,” Barker said. “But now we feel that we have a professionally run organization and we want people to understand that and recognize that.” Barker said officials want to engage residents in dialogue so they can understand the needs and wants of those who live in Clarkston. “We want partners and we need to go through this process hand in hand with the community,” Barker said. Neighboring cities such as Dunwoody and Decatur have offered similar programs to their residents and Barker said it isn’t unusual for residents who have been involved in the class to consider running for public office. “We don’t have a huge staff and we can’t do it all ourselves but there is power in numbers,” Barker said.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013
“We fell a lot and we got back up,” said LaTonya Cash, about her experience skiing for the first time. Cash and her husband, Jabarri Walker, traveled to North Carolina with their son Jabarri Jr.’s school, Knollwood Elementary. The ski trip was sponsored by Southern Snow Seekers Ski Club which introduces the sport to new people each year. Photos by Terry Bratton
DeKalb students ski for first time
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org While DeKalb County waited for a predicted icy weather event that never materialized, approximately 60 Knollwood Elementary students traveled to North Carolina to go skiing for the first time. The students, joined by approximately 30 parents, school leaders and ski club volunteers, went skiing Jan. 26 at the Cataloochee Ski Resort in Maggie Valley, N. C. The trip was part of the 2013 Connecting Our Kids To The Slopes program sponsored by the Southern Snow Seekers Ski Club of Atlanta. “It was a wonderful time. We really enjoyed it,” said LaTonya Cash, who went on the trip with her husband, Jabarri Walker, and their 10-year-old son Jabarri Jr. “We fell a lot and we got back up. We really enjoyed it. “It’s something that we will probably be doing again,” said Cash, who has been telling her colleagues about the trip. “I told them they need to go and take the kids.” This was the second time Knollwood has taken students and parents—all first-time skiers—on the trip, said Dr. Dwayne Pettus, assistant principal at Knollwood Elementary, located in unincorporated Decatur. “When you think about a Black neighborhood, it’s football and baseball, not skiing,” Pettus said. The trip provides physical activity and exposure to new experiences for the students and parents, Pettus said. “A lot of my kids have never been out of the state of Georgia,” Pettus said. “It broadens their horizons.” In its 30th year, the Southern Snow Seekers Ski Club (SSS) is a nonprofit organization that promotes skiing among Blacks. The group is a member of the National Brotherhood of Skiers and has a goal of introducing at least 50 new youth and adults to the sport of skiing annually. “While our members and families and many other winter sports enthusiasts have been able to enjoy the slopes for years, we recognize that geography and cost are huge barriers to snow sports accessibility,” said Kimberly King, an SSS board member. “Our Connecting Our Kids To The Slopes program seeks to reward students for their accomplishments with a full day exposuretype experience that we hope will one day create an interest in snow sports.” King said, “Students and parents begin the day with anxiety and uncertainty about trying something new, a sport not practiced as widely
in the South – when compared to the more popular football or basketball. Most have never been near a ski resort and have a limited knowledge of the sport’s history or accomplishments. “By the end of the day, students and parents are excited to have been introduced to a new experience that promotes health and fitness,” King said. “At the day’s end and without exception, no one wants to leave the resort.” The trip was free for students and $40 for parents. Community sponsors for the trip include McDonald’s at 4075 Memorial Drive, which provided breakfast, Kroger in Belvedere Plaza, which donated water and juice, and Harmon Brothers Bus Company, which offered discounts on bus transportation. The Cataloochee Ski Resort provided use of ski clothes during the trip. Students also received backpacks from the Learn To Ski & Snowboard Month, a national snow sports program to encourage new people to try skiing and snowboarding in the month of January. “SSS is proud to be a conduit to connect school achievement with a rewarding experience,” King said. “It is our hope to continue to make the program available to greater numbers of families in the future.”
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013
Aimee Copeland encourages DeKalb elementary students to be active
by Carla Parker email@example.com Aimee Copeland, the 24 year old who lost her hands, left leg, and right foot to a flesh eating bacteria last May, spent the afternoon on Jan. 25 with Laurel Ridge Elementary School students speaking about the importance of being active. The school held a rally to get students ready for the its annual “Romp Thru the Woods” 5k race, which will be held on April 20. The school, which also has a running club, held the rally to promote being active and making healthy choices. Copeland shared with the students her story of what happened to her on that horrific day in May. She suffered a deep cut on rocks after falling from a broken zip-line over Little Tallapoosa River in Carrollton. The University of West Georgia student contracted a rare infection called necrotizing fasciitis, which caused doctors to amputate her leg, foot and both hands. Copeland told the students that she still remains active by exercising and moving around as much as she can, despite having to use a wheelchair. She also drives and cooks. Copeland said it’s important for people of all abilities to stay active not only for their physical health, but also for their emotional health. “I think it’s so important for people in wheelchairs to get out there and move their bodies around, otherwise we get stiff and lose our range of motion,” she said. “It’s just so important that everybody is able to find their own type of exercise because no matter how your body is shaped there is something you can do.” Victoria Seahorn, whose daughter is a fifth grade student at Laurel Ridge, started the running club at the school to help the students get active. The founder of the ING Georgia Marathon wanted to help students get an early start running in long distance races. “They have a lot of fun and it teaches them many things like comadere, team spirit and working together,” she said. “I figure if I have them out there for an hour and they’re moving forward then that’s better than an hour in front of the TV or computer.”
Aimee Copeland, the 24 year old who lost extremities to flesh-eating bacteria last May, spoke about the importance of staying active to Laurel Ridge Elementary School students. Photos by Carla Parker
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
Sunny High: 48 Low: 34 Sunny High: 49 Low: 31 Mostly Sunny High: 55 Low: 38 Sunny High: 54 Low: 36 Mostly Sunny High: 58 Low: 39 Partly Cloudy High: 58 Low: 41
Jan. 31, 2013
Today’s Regional Map
Dunwoody 46/33 Smyrna 47/34 Doraville 47/34 Atlanta 48/34 College Park 49/34 Union City 49/34
Detailed Local Forecast
Today we will see sunny skies with a high temperature of 48º, humidity of 39%. West wind 10 to 15 mph. The record high temperature for today is 75º set in 1950. Expect mostly clear skies tonight with an overnight low of 34º. The record low for tonight is 5º set in 1936. Date Hi Lo Normals Precip Tuesday 43 28 52/33 0.00" Wednesday 53 25 52/34 0.00" Thursday 52 34 52/34 0.00" Friday 40 31 52/34 0.00" Saturday 58 36 53/34 0.00" Sunday 51 38 53/34 0.00" Monday 56 42 53/34 0.00" Rainfall. . . . . . . . 0.00" Average temp . . 41.9 Normal rainfall. . 1.19" Average normal 43.1 Departure . . . . . .-1.19" Departure . . . . . -1.2 Day Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Sunrise 7:34 a.m. 7:33 a.m. 7:33 a.m. 7:32 a.m. 7:31 a.m. 7:30 a.m. 7:29 a.m.
Jan. 31, 1911 - Tamarack, Calif. was without snow the first eight days of the month, but by the end of January had been buried under 390 inches of snow, a record monthly total for the United States. Feb. 1, 1951 - The greatest ice storm of record in the United States produced glaze up to four inches thick from Texas to Pennsylvania, causing 25 deaths, 500 serious injuries and 100 million dollars in damage. Tennessee was the state hardest hit by the storm.
Last Week's Local Almanac
Decatur Snellville 48/34 48/34 Lithonia 49/34 Morrow 49/34
Local Sun/Moon Chart This Week
Sunset 6:08 p.m. 6:09 p.m. 6:10 p.m. 6:11 p.m. 6:12 p.m. 6:13 p.m. 6:14 p.m. Moonrise 10:50 p.m. 11:53 p.m. No Rise 12:57 a.m. 2:02 a.m. 3:06 a.m. 4:07 a.m.
Last 2/3 New 2/10
Partly Cloudy High: 54 Low: 35
Moonset 9:50 a.m. 10:26 a.m. 11:05 a.m. 11:49 a.m. 12:38 p.m. 1:34 p.m. 2:35 p.m.
First 2/17 Full 2/25 Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Rise Set 8:12 a.m. 6:50 p.m. 6:51 a.m. 4:58 p.m. 8:31 a.m. 7:26 p.m. 1:09 p.m. 3:14 a.m. 1:05 a.m. 11:59 a.m. 10:08 a.m. 10:20 p.m.
Local UV Index
0 - 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11+
National Weather Summary This Week
The Northeast will see scattered rain and snow today, mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with scattered snow Friday and Saturday, with the highest temperature of 50º in Boston, Mass. The Southeast will experience isolated showers today, mostly clear skies Friday and Saturday, with the highest temperature of 82º in Marathon Key, Fla. In the Northwest, there will be scattered rain and snow today, mostly clear to partly cloudy skies Friday and Saturday, with the highest temperature of 69º in McCall, Idaho. The Southwest will see mostly clear skies today and Friday, partly cloudy to cloudy skies Saturday, with the highest temperature of 77º in Fullerton, Calif.
StarWatch By Gary Becker - The Groundhog Speaks
A marvelous little celebration occurs on Saturday, February 2, where a feted groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil, in Punxsutawney, PA is going to predict whether winter is over or the season of cold will extend to the vernal equinox. P-Phil will speak to his top hat handler in a language known as “groundhogese,” a word absent from the dictionary, to convey his sentiments on the seasonal adjustments. If conditions are gloomy on February 2, and Phil does not see his shadow at daybreak, an early spring is at hand. If, however, the sun is shining and Phil observes his stretched silhouette, the cold will continue for another six weeks. The link between astronomy and Groundhog Day is actually straightforward. We have four major seasons occurring during a year, each separated by three months. It is no coincidence that Christmas and Easter became religious holidays near the start of two of these special times. While pagan Rome was celebrating the passing of the low sun at winter solstice and the promise of a new planting and harvesting season, the Saturnalia, early Christians masked their observance of Christ’s birth during the hoopla. Likewise, pagan festivals which celebrated the victory of light over darkness at the time of the vernal equinox were perfect for rejoicing about Christ’s victory over the darkness of death. Also important were the midpoints between the seasons known as cross-quarter days that anticipated these changes. Groundhog Day was one of them, and it is a throwback to the burrowing badgers of Europe. They could determine whether spring was at hand by examining the root structures of trees and plants. In America, groundhogs became an apt substitute. Earlier, the Celts celebrated this date when ewes started lactating as spring’s rebirth. Two other cross-quarter days significant in Western culture are May Day and Halloween. Yes, astronomy is everywhere in our traditions. www.astronomy.org
Answer: Over the past 60 years, 28 percent of the time.
UV Index 0-2: Low, 3-5: Moderate, 6-7: High, 8-10: Very High, 11+: Extreme Exposure
How often does the groundhog correctly predict the weather?
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013
DeKalb Workforce Development introduces new training program
Eligible dislocated workers and adult seeking employment with DeKalb County can receive on-the-job training through a new program. DeKalb Workforce Development (DWD) has initiated the DeKalb County Learn and Earn On-the-Job Training Program, designed to provide paid trainingon the job to workers eligible under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). As part of the on-the-job training agreement, employers must agree to hire eligible individuals, provide them with skills training over a specific period of time and pay wages at the same rate as comparable employees. In exchange, the employer is eligible to receive a subsidy of up to 50 percent of the employee’s wages to cover the costs of training for up to a 90-day period. This subsidy is provided by DWD and the project will be 100 percent federally funded through the WIA. Participant eligibility will be determined during an application process in which adult and dislocated workers will be prescreened by DeKalb County’s Human Resources Department and subsequently by DWD. After an assessment and development of an employment training plan, those meeting the eligibility requirements will be hired for open positions at competitive salaries. With funding availability, the program will be offered to additional employers. For more information about the program, contact Varonia Walker at (404) 371-6288 or Diontrise Blake at (404) 371-2592.
simultaneously moving into the new facility. DWD will provide additional information and details, including exact relocation and closure dates, as soon as they become available. Construction under way for Lake Hearn Drive improvements
FODAC staff members load hospital mattresses and other supplies on one of two containers headed to a hospital in Ecuador. Photo provided
The Perimeter Community Improvement Districts (PCIDs) are starting construction on a nearly $5 million project to upgrade roadways, streetscapes and intersections in Brookhaven along Lake Hearn Drive, Perimeter Summit Parkway and Parkside Place between Ashford Dunwoody Road and the Perimeter Center Parkway Bridge across I-285. Project construction will be staged in zones with activity beginning on Perimeter Center Parkway between Lake Hearn Drive and Parkside Place. “The Lake Hearn project will help facilitate Perimeter’s live-work-walk environment and promote the use of alternative transportation rather than the automobile,” said Yvonne Williams, president and CEO of PCIDs. Williams said the project will greatly improve the connectivity gap for commuters to metro Atlanta’s largest concentration of medical facilities; Perimeter Mall, which draws an estimated 18 million visitors a year; and other large employers in one of metro Atlanta’s largest employment centers with 123,000 employees. “These infrastructure changes also will help ensure Perimeter’s long-term viability as an economic engine and will prepare the Lake Hearn area for potential and proposed private sector multi-use growth and development,” Williams said. “Construction is expected to be completed in nine months before the holiday season, weather permitting,” said Jennifer Harper, PCIDs program manager. “Pedestrian access will be available along at least one side of each roadway during the project construction.” The project is being funded by a $3.1 million Livable Centers Initiative transportation grant awarded to the PCIDs DeKalb Workforce Development to by the Atlanta Regional Commission as relocate to new facility well as funding from the PCIDs. The work includes “complete streets” DeKalb Workforce Development (DWD) improvements to encourage pedestrian is planning to relocate to a new facility at and bicycle use and enhance roadway 751 DeKalb Industrial Way, Decatur, in operations and safety. A 4-foot bike lane February. will be created on Perimeter Summit The new facility will be located less than Parkway from Lake Hearn Drive to Ashford 2.5 miles from the current location. While Dunwoody Road and “share the road” still accessible by MARTA, the facility will signage will be added to Lake Hearn Drive also provide more dedicated parking spaces and Parkside Place. than available at its current location. Traffic signals will be upgraded to mast The newly constructed building offers arm-type installations at all signalized more space to hold workshops, orientation intersections. sessions, and youth program events. DWD Seating benches, single-trunk flowering will also have the option of hosting largetrees, general landscaping, light poles and scale job fairs and other recruitment events, trash receptacles will be placed along all and will provide the flexibility to expand project streets and intersections to add to for future programs as necessary. the area’s aesthetic appeal and character,” DWD will be closed for one week Williams said. to vacate the current building while
Nonprofit to send wheelchairs, medical equipment to Ecuador
Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC), a Stone Mountain nonprofit organization, has partnered with the Rotary Club of Buckhead to provide durable medical equipment to a hospital in Ecuador. FODAC recently filled two 40-foot cargo containers with medical equipment, such as wheelchairs and hospital beds, and shipped the lot to Luis Vernaza Hospital in Guayaquil, to be used in its rehabilitation unit. “Many of the national hospitals in Ecuador are experiencing severe shortages of basic equipment, particularly hospital beds and wheelchairs,” said Chris Brand, president of FODAC, which provides more than $10 million annually in durable medical equipment and supplies to the disabled. “This equipment being shipped to Guayaquil will allow the hospital there to provide service to many more patients as well as expand its rehabilitation center.” The Junta de Beneficencia de Guayaquil (JBG), a nonprofit organization with a network of four hospitals that serve pregnant women, children, adults and people with mental disorders will benefit from the 415 wheelchairs in the shipment, including 148 pediatric chairs. The equipment will be distributed to disabled patients who otherwise could not afford to purchase it. The JBG will operate, secure and maintain control of the wheelchairs, reporting to the standing project committee of the Rotary Club of Guayaquil. The project was funded by the Rotary Club of Buckhead, Rotary District 6900 and a matching grant from The Rotary Foundation. The Rotary Club of Buckhead became involved in Ecuador as part of an ongoing program that develops relationships with Rotary Clubs in other countries. Through contacts club members had in Ecuador, the Buckhead club reached out to the Guayaquil Rotary Club, asking if they would be interested in a “sister club” relationship. The wheelchair project was identified by the Guayaquil club as the primary need in the rehabilitation unit in the Luis Vernaza Hospital in Guayaquil. John Hellriegel, international projects chairman for the Rotary Club of Buckhead, then contacted FODAC to coordinate the shipment. FODAC helped order some equipment as well as donated some, and loaded the two containers from its Stone Mountain warehouse. In addition to the wheelchairs, the shipment included 11 hospital beds and 35 mattresses donated by FODAC. “This is a project that will truly change lives for a long time,” Hellriegel said. “The handicapped poor who are confined to bed or their homes will now have a means to exit their homes and conduct a more normal life, participating in family activities and possibly even earning a living. We are so grateful to everyone who helped bring this project together, especially Chris Brand and the folks at FODAC.” The total cost of the Guayaquil program is more than $91,000, funded by the Buckhead Rotary Club, Rotary District 6900 and a matching grant from The Rotary Foundation.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013
Organizers choose exhibitors whose companies are experienced in repairing and renovating older homes.
Old House Fair Continued From Page 1A
Cary of M. Cary and Daughters Plumbing Co. She said her business specializes in older homes. “Sometimes homeowners have to ask themselves whether they want to keep that beautiful old toilet that came with the house or upgrade to a modern low-flush model. Those are the types of issues we’ll be talking about.” Cary said that she has been involved in a number of much larger home fairs, but prefers the intimacy of the Decatur Old House Fair. “There is more [of an] opportunity to talk with people one-onone,” she said. “The atmosphere is warm and casual, yet the presenters are all very professional. “People who come to the Old House Fair are more likely to be people looking for good information. I love it. I look forward to it every year,” added Cary, who has participated in the event since its inception. This year’s Decatur Old House Fair will be at the Courtyard by Marriott Atlanta/Decatur Conference Center in downtown Decatur on Saturday, Feb. 2, from 9 a.m 4 p.m. Tickets are $10.
Is success in our stars or in ourselves?
Good People asks age-old questions
by Kathy Mitchell firstname.lastname@example.org How much of our life is determined by our own choices and how much is blind luck? Had we made a different choice at some critical juncture in our lives, how might it have changed everything? Are decent, ethical people only decent when being so poses no threat to their lifestyle or wellbeing? Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire returns to his South Boston roots to explore these and other questions in Good People, the play now on the main stage of the Alliance Theatre. Despite the serious philosophical exploration, Good People has some very funny moments as the audience becomes acquainted with some of the residents of South Boston, an area with a culture—even a language pattern—all its own. “Southies” struggle to either escape the hardships of economically depressed South Boston or try to make the best of it, often turning to one another for the resources to get through another day. The popular weekly bingo games are not just an inexpensive source of amusement; they’re also a try at winning a few dollars to ease the strain of getting through another week. Winning at bingo is pure luck, but some characters seem to feel that the difference between staying in poverty and pulling oneself up into an affluent lifestyle also is largely a matter of luck. Others argue that through hard work and good choices
Thomas Vincent Kelly and Kristen Ariza.
Kate Buddeke, LaLa Cochran and Brenda Bynum. Photos by Greg Mooney
people make their own luck. South Boston resident Margie (pronounced with a hard “g”) Walsh is already living a hand-to-mouth existence, working at a low-paying job and caring for a disabled adult daughter, when she loses her job and is close to being thrown out of her humble apartment. She happens to hear that Mike, an old high school boyfriend, in spite of coming from the same impoverished neighborhood, is living an uppermiddle class life as a successful doctor. Margie desperately needs money; Mike wants to hang on to the affluent existence he has painstakingly built. Each is challenged as to how much he or she
is willing to compromise honesty and ethics to meet these needs. Susan V. Booth, Alliance Theatre Jennings Hertz artistic director, commented in a media release about the play, “You’re guaranteed to find yourself in conversation with someone who saw it differently, and that kind of debate is how we reveal ourselves to one another.” A wonderful cast, headed by Kate Buddeke, making her Alliance Theatre debut as Margie, make it easy to become emotionally invested in these people who each find their own way of dealing with the hardluck lives they were born into. Returning to the Alliance Stage is Brenda Bynum as Dottie, Margie’s
foul-mouthed, bingo-playing landlady. The cast also includes Atlanta actors Andrew Benator as Stevie, the store manager who wants to help his neighbors even though he’s barely hanging on financially himself; LaLa Cochran as Margie’s friend Jean; Los Angeles-based actor Thomas Vincent Kelly as Mike, and Kristen Ariza as Mike’s wife Kate. Performances are Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The Alliance Theatre is located in the Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree Street, Atlanta.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013
Barber class gives students something to ‘fall back on’
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com Additionally, students give free haircuts to the elderly. Outside clients have to pay On a Friday morning $5 and all of the money goes at DeKalb High School of back into the program. Technology South (DHSTS) Rakim Johnson began it seems like a normal day Breedlove’s class in August except each time a door a few 2011. He said he was inspired hundred yards away from the to take the class by his mother, main office opened, R&B mu- who is a hair stylist. sic briefly flooded the other“She always used to take wise quiet hallway. me to the shop with her—the The music was coming shop was half women and half from the school’s barber shop, men—so I always had an inwhere students come each terest in it,” Johnson said. day from their home schools Johnson plans to attend in south DeKalb to learn the college and study mass comtrade and earn practice hours munication but said he was in to eventually become certified. the barber class so he could For more than five years, have something to fall back Renee Breedlove has been on. teaching high school students Breedlove said most of the how to cut hair. Currently, students who come through DHSTS serves 10 schools her program end up sticking located in south DeKalb. Stu- with barbering in “one way or dents can attend classes at the another.” center to learn such trades as “I just had a kid who is in barbering, cosmetology, auto the service and he’s in Kenmechanics and others. tucky. He’s married now and Prior to teaching barbering, he finished in Miller Grove in Breedlove taught math in the 2007 and he just called me and DeKalb County School Disasked me if I could give him a trict (DCSD) for 23 years. She copy of his hours and his transaid officials at Miller Grove script. He wanted to go ahead High School were deciding and finish,” Breedlove said. what type of career technology In addition to fades and program they could impleregular haircuts, Breedlove ment; since she was already a said the students also do texlicensed barber she offered her turizers, hair coloring, beard services. and mustache trimming and “It’s a good thing; it’s an basic cosmetology. DHSTS honest way they can go out Principal Dr. Vikki Williams and make money if they don’t said her goal is to enable each go off to college. Some of student enrolled in the school them go off to college and to graduate with some sort of then in the summer months job certification. they try to complete some “I tell the kids, it doesn’t hours,” Breedlove said. matter if you’re destined to go To be eligible for the state to college or if you’re destined certification test, students must to go straight into the workfirst complete 1,500 hours of force,” Williams said. “Leavtraining. At DHSTS each stuing here with some type of dent can earn up to 450 hours. certification attached can help Breedlove said the school also you work while you’re in colpartners with several local lege or you’re ready to walk barber schools in the area. right into a company with a “We have an agreement job.” with them where they acWilliams has been the princept the 450 hours. Instead cipal at DHSTS for two years. of the kids having to do a lot Prior to that, Williams was of bookwork first they can go a career technical education straight on the floor and do instructor at Columbia High live bodies when they get to School, an assistant principal school,” Breedlove said. at Southwest DeKalb High Currently, Breedlove has School and a career education 10 students in the morning instructional coordinator at the and 11 in the evening; most of district’s central office. them are male although there “I have a passion for the are a few females. If students career and technical education are struggling with courses pathway,” Williams said. “I at their home school they’re feel that with the economy and required to go back and finish the way things are going now, the course they’re failing beI think that students need to fore coming back to the barber be trained in some sort of skill class. and have some type of certiBreedlove said while in the fication when they graduate class, the students can practice high school.” by cutting their friends’ hair.
The DeKalb High School of Technology South teaches students how to cut hair and prepare for when they leave high school. Photos by Daniel Beauregard
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013
Hundreds attend annual reading bowl
by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org Despite major construction in the parking lot of Miller Grove High School, hundreds of parents, students and teachers attended the 14th Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl Jan. 26. Gwen Green, a media specialist at Stephenson Middle School, has been volunteering for the reading bowl every year since it began. Green said although it’s not a physical sport, the reading bowl is more like a basketball tournament than a spelling bee. “The teams are split up like a basketball team; there are five starters, five alternates,” Green said. “There are only 10 questions in a round and they don’t know which ones they’re going to be asked about. Either you know it or you don’t,” Green said. Green said the bowl, begun by Helen Ruffin, started out small—at first there were only one or two schools participating. Ruffin, a retired media specialist from Sky Haven Elementary School, soon caught the interest of many of her colleagues and the reading bowl spread countywide. Now, it is something that takes place across the state. This year, 107.5FM radio personality Silas Alexander greeted and thanked volunteers at the beginning of the event. This year’s winner was Southwest DeKalb High School.
Top left; Eden Clark, who works with DeKalb County Schools Department of Education Media, is surrounded by her former Hawthorne Elementary students. Bottom left; Stephenson High School students march during the 14th annual Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl’s opening ceremonies. Right; David Schutten, president of the Organization of DeKalb Educators, and Henderson Middle School students pose with the second place trophy. Photos provided
SCLC exhibit opens at Emory University
An exhibition featuring materials from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) archive will open Feb. 21 at Emory University’s Robert W. Woodruff Library. Additionally, an exhibition opening will be held Feb. 22 from 6-8 p.m. and will feature remarks by Rep. John Lewis; SCLC leaders C.T. Vivian, Charles Steele Jr., Bernard Lafayette; and Dorothy Cotton, SCLC education director from 1960-68. Titled “And the Struggle Continues: The Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s Fight for Social Change,” the display documents the Atlanta-based civil rights organization’s history, progress and work for equal rights. Student helps victims of Hurricane Sandy Jamison Katz, a secondgrade student at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School, raised more than $880 to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Katz asked each student to give $1; in return each
student who donated money got an out-of-uniform day for participating. The proceeds were given to the Catholic Charities Sandy Relief Fund, which was established to meet the short-and long-term needs of those impacted by Hurricane Sandy. DeKalb County charter school hosts open house The GLOBE Academy, a new dual-language charter elementary school in DeKalb County, will host two open houses in February. GLOBE Academy will hold an open house Feb. 2 at the Toco Hills Library and Feb. 16 at the Chamblee Library, each 2-4 p.m. For those unable to attend the open houses, webinars will also be scheduled for interested families. The GLOBE Academy was approved as a charter by the Georgia Department of Education recently and will open in August 2013 at the former Heritage Center in Atlanta. The school will initially serve students in kindergarten to third grade, with a grade being added each year through eighth
grade. Children at the academy will encounter core academic content in both English and a second world language (French, Mandarin or Spanish). Applications to enroll for the 2013-14 academic year will be accepted beginning Feb. 1 and any family residing in DeKalb County School District attendance zones will be eligible to enroll their children.
Class size will be limited to 22 students. However, because students will be supported by two teachers in every classroom— including a native speaker of the targeted second language—the student/ teacher ratio will be 11:1. The GLOBE Academy expects to open with approximately 350 to 400 students in its first year and to grow to approximately
1,100 students in six years. To learn more visit www. theglobeacademy.org.
The Board of the Georgia Commission for Service and Volunteerism will meet for its regularly scheduled Quarterly Board Meeting on Tuesday, February 5, 2013, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Board Room at the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation, 5582 Peachtree Road, Chamblee, Georgia. For more information and directions, please call 404‐327‐6860.
CITY OF CHAMBLEE, GA. PUBLIC NOTICE
The City of Chamblee is scheduled to meet on February 14, 2013 at 6:00 PM to, among other purposes, discuss (increasing) salaries for Mayor and City Council Members for the terms of office beginning January 2014.
CITY OF AVONDALE ESTATES 2013 MUNICIPAL ELECTION QUALIFYING FEES Pursuant to O.C.G.A. 21-2-131(1)(A) of the Georgia Election Code, The City of Avondale Estates on January 28, 2013, set the qualifying fees at $3.00 for all offices in the upcoming November 2013 Municipal Election. Qualifying will take place August 26th to August 30th from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Juliette Sims-Owens, City Clerk City of Avondale Estates
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013
Emory Point retailers open for business
Retailers at the first phase of Emory Point, the more than $100 million mixed-use project developed by Cousins Properties Incorporated with Gables Residential in Atlanta’s Clifton Corridor, are now open for business. The project is also in the predevelopment stages for Phase II, which will include an additional 40,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. The development is the first ground-up retail development in the Emory market in 20 years, and was one of the first construction projects started in Atlanta within the past three years, according to the developers. The Clifton Corridor is one of DeKalb County’s busiest areas and includes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory University and Emory Healthcare. Emory University, including Emory Healthcare, is the largest employer in DeKalb County and the third largest employer in metro Atlanta. “The proximity of Emory Point to our campus will enhance the social and intellectual vibrancy at Emory by providing housing, dining and retail venues for faculty, staff and students,” said Mike Mandl, Emory University executive vice president for finance and administration, in a statement released at the initial announcement of the development. “This type of mixed-use development was envisioned during the creation of the Clifton Community Partnership five years ago, and it is gratifying to see it coming to fruition.” The 80,000-square-foot retail component of Phase I is nearly 90 percent committed, with three spaces remaining available for lease. Emory Point showcases diverse national and local brands, including retailers Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, LOFT by Ann Taylor, Lizard Thicket, Francesca’s Collections, American Threads, Strippaggio and fab’rik; restaurants Tin Lizzy’s, Marlow’s Tavern, La Tagliatella, Burgerfi, Bonefish Grill, Which Wich, The General Muir, F2O, Sweet Monkey and Paradise Biryani Point as well as Jazmin Spa and CVS Pharmacy. “Our commitment to bringing a diverse mix of retailers, restaurants and professional services to the area has resonated well with the surrounding neighborhoods and communities,” said Mike Cohn, Cousins’ executive vice president. “Emory Point has had a very successful opening and we look forward to seeing the development grow as merchants continue to open and Phase II planning progresses.” Leasing momentum continues to increase for the 443 apartment units built in Phase I, which will continue to open in stages, the developers say. Construction of Phase II is slated to begin in early summer. A third phase will be scheduled based on market demand, according to the developers. David Fitch, Gables Residential president and CEO, described Emory Point as “the new standard for the Emory community because it blends pedestrian-friendly retail with luxury apartment living, all while being an environmentally conscious development. “There is tremendous pent-up housing demand in this neighborhood, making Emory Point a bright spot in an otherwise challenging market.” Under the DeKalb County zoning plan for Emory Point, 25 acres of densely wooded land behind the development, approximately half of the site, will be protected as undevelopable under Emory’s land classification plan. Prior to the rezoning, those woodlands were not protected. The development site is also registered for EarthCraft Communities certification, while the apartment component is registered for EarthCraft Multifamily certification. In addition, retail portions of the development have been designed to meet EarthCraft standards.
Shops now open in Phase I of Emory Point include clothing stores, restaurants, a spa, a pharmacy and more. Photos by Kathy Mitchell
PUBLIC NOTICE NOTICE OF MUNICIPAL OFFICE QUALIFYING FEES DECATUR CITY COMMISSION AND DECATUR BOARD OF EDUCATION NOVEMBER 5, 2013 ELECTION Pursuant to O.C.G.A. §21-2-131(a)(1) the City of Decatur City Commission has fixed the qualifying fee for City Commission at $ 144.00 and fixed the qualifying fee for Board of Education member at $ 35.00. Additional information may be obtained by calling the City Clerk’s Office at 404-370-4100 ext. 6503 between 9:00 A.M. until 4:30 P.M. Monday through Friday.
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013
Flu season ‘bad one for the elderly,’ CDC says
by Marilynn Marchione progresses,” so prompt treatment with antivirals is key to (AP) Flu hospitalizapreventing deaths, he said. tions among the elderly Two drugs—Tamiflu and rose sharply in mid-January, Relenza—can cut the severprompting federal officials to ity and risk of death from the take unusual steps to make flu but must be started within more flu medicines avail48 hours of first symptoms to able and to urge wider use of do much good. To increase them as soon as symptoms supplies of Tamiflu, said Dr. appear. Margaret Hamburg, head The United States is apof the Food and Drug Adproximately halfway through ministration, the agency had the flu season, which is allowed Genentech to distribshaping up to be worse than ute additional doses that have average and a bad one for old packaging information. the elderly, said Dr. Thomas This year’s season is Frieden, director of the Cenearlier than normal and the ters for Disease Control and dominant flu strain is one that Prevention (CDC). tends to make people sicker. New figures from the Health officials say it’s CDC show the flu epidemic not too late to get a flu shot is continuing, with wideto help protect against the spread activity in all states flu. Vaccinations are recombut Tennessee and Hawaii. mended for anyone 6 months Carlos Maisonet, 73, reacts as Dr. Eva Berrios-Colon, a professor at Touro College of Pharmacy, injects him with flu vaccine during a visit to the faculty practice center at Brooklyn Hospital in New Nine more children or or older. York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File) teens have died of the flu, The CDC said the flu bringing the nation’s total again surpassed an “epidemthis flu season to 29, health officials reported Jan. people 65 and older. Lab-confirmed flu hospitalic” threshold, based on monitoring of deaths from 18. That’s close to the 34 pediatric deaths report- izations totaled 19 for every 100,000 in the popu- flu and a frequent complication, pneumonia. The lation, but 82 per 100,000 among those 65 and ed during all of the last flu season, although that flu epidemic happens every year and officials say older, “which is really quite a high rate,” Frieden this year’s vaccine is a good match for strains that one was unusually light. In a typical season, apsaid. proximately 100 children die of the flu and offiare going around. “We expect to see both the number and the cials said there is no way to know whether deaths The government doesn’t keep a running tally rates of both hospitalizations and deaths rise furthis season will be higher or lower than usual. of adult deaths from the flu, but estimates that it ther in the next week or so as the flu epidemic So far, half of confirmed flu cases are in kills about 24,000 people most years.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013
Marist rallies to pass Southwest DeKalb for DeKalb County wrestling title
by Mark Brock The Marist War Eagles swept the final three championship matches to get past Southwest DeKalb 223-210 to win the 2013 William S. Venable DeKalb County Wrestling Championship at Tucker High School on Jan. 26. Wins by Kenneth Brinson in the 195-pound division, Jack Trainor in the 220-pound division and Steven Wallace in the 285 division gave the War Eagles the title. Marist also had gold medal winners in the 138-pound division by Mel Bethune and the 152-pound division by Matt Andres for a total haul of five in the championships. Brinson won by default over Miller Grove’s Wesley Williams 4:32 into the match to take the title in the 195-pound division. Trainor followed with a 10-2 decision over Lithonia’s Devon Wallace and Steven Wallace rounded out the final three-sweep with a 13-9 decision over Miller Grove’s Thadius Nelson. Southwest DeKalb’s second place finish was fueled by gold medal performances from AbdurRahman Yasir at 145-pound and Justin Hussein at 182-pound. Yasir scored a pin fall over Lithonia’s Chris Nelson at the 3:38 mark of the 145-pound division final. Hussein battled Lakeside’s Alex Larotta in the 182-pound division and took a close 16-13 decision. Defending champion McNair had a pair of gold medal performers in Khalil Williams (120) and Zeontaye McCoy (132) to finish third overall with 190 points. Williams defended his 120-pound division title with a 7-1 decision over St. Pius’ Quinn Peragine. McCoy scored a major decision 9-1 victory over Chamblee’s Tyrone Carter at 132. Lithonia finished just behind McNair with 188 points led by the 106-pound division champion Kirkglen Hudson and three silver medalists in Shamel Findley (113), Chris Nelson (145) and Devon Wallace (220). Hudson won the smallest weight class with a 17-14 victory over Muadh As-Siddiq of Southwest DeKalb.
Marist won first place at the 2013 William S. Venable DeKalb County Wrestling Championship.
Stephenson’s Darian Perry, who won the 170 pound division, was awarded the William S. Venable MVP Award.
Southwest DeKalb won second place at the 2013 William S. Venable DeKalb County Wrestling Championship. Photos by Mark Brock
Stephenson’s Darian Perry won the 170-pound division and then tacked on the William S. Venable MVP Award in leading the Jaguars to a fifth place finish overall with 122 points. Perry won a 15-0 technical fall decision over Damian Schofield of Stone Mountain to take the 170 class.
Deunte Mosley led Stone Mountain to an eighth place finish with 82 points by winning the 160 division gold and Alema Favors helped Arabia Mountain finish in the Top 10 by taking the 126-pound class title. Mosley knocked off Marist’s Nick McGrath 8-5 for the 160-poundtitle while Favors took a
13-2 major decision over Southwest DeKalb’s Devin Childs. Dunwoody’s Sunny Sharma rounded out the gold medal winners as he took the 113-pounddivision title. Sharma took a 12-1 major decision over Lithonia’s Shamel Findley for the 113 title.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013
St. Pius X
DeKalb County baseball programs are geared up for the start of baseball season, which starts Feb. 16. Photos by Carla Parker
DeKalb baseball teams hoping to make a run in the playoffs this season
by Carla Parker email@example.com
Paulding 2-1 in a three game series in the first round of playoffs. Pruitt said he expects his team to play better this pening day for the 2013 DeKalb County year with all the experienced players coming back, including baseball season is senior pitcher/infielder Wesley Feb. 16 and some of DeKalb’s top baseball programs Jones. Jones finished fifth in the county last season in batting have high expectations average at .516, second in RBI of having success in the with 29 and in the top 5 in postseason. doubles with eight. He was 3-1 Last season, four teams on the mound in 34 2/3 innings from DeKalb — Arabia with a 1.41 earned run average, Mountain, Chamblee, 42 strikeouts and 19 walks. Dunwoody and Redan — “We have all of the pitching reached the playoffs and all coming back, so I think we’re lost in the first round. The last going to be in good shape,” DeKalb team to win a baseball Pruitt said. state championship was Columbia also has all of its Dunwoody in 2007. Dunwoody players returning for the 2013 ended a 33-year drought of season. The 2012 team, which baseball state championships was predominantly freshmen for DeKalb. and sophomores, finished the At the annual DeKalb County baseball media day held season 15-10-1. Now that Jan. 24 at Tucker High School, the team is a year older, head a few coaches, including Redan coach Steve Dennis said the head coach Marvin Pruitt, said expectations are much higher. “They’re a year older and they believe their teams can go pretty far this season because of a year smarter and hopefully the number of players returning they’ll play better,” Dennis said. “We have a very from last season. promising year coming up and “We have practically we’re excited about it.” everybody coming back from Dunwoody will have a last year’s team,” Pruitt said. young team this year after Redan, which finished losing nine seniors last year. 21-8 last season, lost to East
Despite the youth, head coach Chan English still expects his team to compete. “We’re going to try to be one of the top four teams in the [6-AAAAA] region,” he said. “This year’s team has a lot more pitching.” St. Pius X also lost in the first round of playoffs last season, but head coach J.T. Gilbert hopes his team can make it further this year. “Every year we set the goal to make the playoffs,” he said. “The state of Georgia has some great baseball teams and our region [6-AAA] is going to be tough. We want to make the playoffs and hopefully make some noise when we get there.” It has been three years since Lakeside’s last playoff appearance, but head coach Bill Newsome believes this year’s team has a chance to get back to the postseason. “Our first goal is to get back to the state tournament and we think realistically we have a chance to compete for the [6-AAAAA] region title,” he said. “We have a strong senior class, a lot of depth, a lot of good arms, and we hope to [make the playoffs].”
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013
Chamblee ends Lakeside’s nine year reign Former Marist
by Mark Brock he Chamblee Bulldogs won the 2013 DeKalb County Boys’ Swimming and Diving Championships 263-212 over the Lakeside Vikings, bringing an end to the nineyear championship reign by the Vikings at Dynamo Swim Club in Chamblee on Jan. 26. Caleb Wikle got the Bulldogs off to a great start by winning the one meter diving title on Jan. 24 at the Chamblee High School pool as Chamblee went on to win six of the 12 events on the way to the championship. Nicholas Oh won two of the Chamblee gold medals by taking the 200-yard individual medley (2:02.41) and the 100-yard freestyle (48.94). Alex Kemenenov also took gold for Chamblee with the 50yard freestyle (22.18) to go with Chamblee’s gold medals in the 200-medley relay (1:44.65), 200 freestyle relay (1:32.78) and the 400 freestyle relay (3:25.45) Dunwoody’s Justin Wulff won gold medals in the 200 (1:50.68) and 500 (4:56.17) freestyle events in leading the Wildcats to a third place finish overall with 156 points. Tucker sophomore Cash DeLoache thrilled the fans and other swimmers with DeKalb County record-setting performances in the 100 butterfly and the 100 backstroke. DeLoache’s first recordsetting performance came in the butterfly as he swam a time of 50.90 to break the record of 51.39 set by former Lakeside and current Stanford University swimmer Jack Lane in 2009. His second record came late in the day as he broke former Lakeside Chris Read’s 16-yearold record of 53.96 set in 1997 with a time of 52.52. Jackson Ford of Druid Hills picked up gold in the 100 breast stroke with a time of 1:01.02. The boys’ meet featured 42 state qualifying times as the swimmers prepare for the state meet coming up on Feb. 8-9 at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center in Atlanta.
soccer player drafted by pro soccer team
Former Marist and Wake Forest soccer player Kristen Meier was selected in the inaugural National Women’s Soccer League draft. Meier, a playmaking midfielder, was selected in the third round by the Seattle Reign. Meier, a 2009 Marist graduate, is the first female Marist soccer player to be drafted by a pro team. She will join a Seattle franchise that already has U.S. national team players Hope Solo, Megan Rapinoe and Amy Rodriguez on its roster. A native of Alpharetta, Meier played in 88 games and made 77 starts in her four years at Wake Forest. She ranks fifth in school history with 18 career assists and led the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in assists the past two seasons. “It’s a great acknowledgment of a fantastic career, and a kid who has worked hard and shown improvement throughout her time at Wake Forest,” said head coach Tony da Luz. “I’m happy for Kristen to have the opportunity to join a great situation in Seattle.” At Marist, Meier played softball, basketball and soccer and was a member of the 2008 AAAA State Softball Champions along with winning the AAAA state soccer championships her junior and senior seasons.
Chamblee Bulldogs won the 2013 DeKalb County Boys’ Swimming and Diving Championships.
Lakeside Lady Vikings won their second consecutive DeKalb County Girls’ Swimming and Diving Championship.
Tucker sophomore Cash DeLoache set new records in the 100 butterfly and the 100 backstroke. Photos by Mark Brock
in the points standing behind a one-two finish in the one meter diving by Abby Yates and Becca Briggs on Jan. 24 at Chamblee. Lakeside bounced back on Jan. 26 at Dynamo winning the Girls’ Championships 200 medley relay (1:56.83) and The Lakeside Lady Vikings then a two-three finish by Julia won five events including all three Acosta and Julianna Cartwright relays on the way to their second in the 200 freestyle to take the consecutive DeKalb County points lead at 90-77. Dunwoody Girls’ Swimming and Diving could get no closer than 11 points Championship. the rest of the meet. Lakeside totaled 271 points to Rachel Hu aided the Lakeside Dunwoody’s 222 to win the 2013 cause with wins in the 200 championship with Chamblee in individual medley (2:16.91) and third with 145 points. the 100 breast stroke (1:12.51). Dunwoody took the early lead The Lady Vikings also
won the 200 (1:44.35) and 400 (3:51.54) freestyle relays. Dunwoody’s second place finish was keyed by wins from Shawn Pyne in the 50 (25.48) and 100 (54.61) freestyle events. Suzanne Lechner won the 100 backstroke (1:03.66) and Rachel Solomon won the 500 freestyle (5:28.78) to lead Chamblee to the third place finish. Druid Hills picked up gold medals from Maddie Riggs in the 200 freestyle (2:03.37) and Caroline Olson in the 100 butterfly (1:03.67). The girls’ put together 32 state qualifying times in the meet.
The Champion chooses a male and female high school Athlete of the Week each week throughout the school year. The choices are based on performance and nominations by coaches. Please e-mail nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday at noon.
MALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Montez Sweat, Stephenson (basketball): The junior forward scored 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the 51-49 win over Tucker on Jan. 22. He shot 10-of-11 in the victory. FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Candace Rhodes, Chamblee (basketball): The junior guard scored 14 points and had five rebounds in the 49-31 win over Therrell on Jan. 25. She is averaging 15.5 points per game.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013
by Andrew Cauthen email@example.com Success and struggle go hand in hand, said DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis Jan. 29 during his 2013 State of the County address delivered to hundreds of quiche-eating business and community leaders at a Chamber of Commerce sponsored breakfast. “I am excited about what tomorrow holds for DeKalb County,” Ellis said. “Our past successes, although good, will not be the sole determinate of our legacy. We still have more work to do. Working together, we can survive any struggle.” Ellis said the county has accomplished “some remarkable things” through various partnerships, including the opening of the Renewable Energy Facility and Compressed Natural Gas Station at the Seminole Landfill, the launching of the “jobs bus,” and streetscape improvements on major thoroughfares. “While, as your CEO, I like to highlight our success-
‘We can survive any struggle’
enue” to support its strategic plan priorities in critical areas, including the realignment of police precincts and hiring of an additional 25 police officers; and the improving of customer service by training front-line employees and upgrading technology. Ellis said his budget has funding to begin the design and construction of a new animal services facility this year and to give a 3 percent costof-living adjustment “for our lowest paid workers—those making less than a “living wage” as defined by national standards. In his proposed budget, taxpayers would have a 1.69mill increase, which equates to approximately $48.50 annually on a $200,000 home. “Without that modest increase, it will be virtually impossible for us to address all of our critical needs,” Ellis said. Another challenge the county has faced, Ellis said, are various annexations and incorporations. “Efforts to incorporate or annex prime real estate have severely hurt our bottom line,” Ellis said. “A fractured county will not lift us out of the economic recession. In actuality, it might place us deeper in it. “We have now reached a “tipping point” where continued annexation will hamper the ability of the county to adequately fund essential services—from courts and criminal justice, to libraries and elections,” Ellis said. The county will push for legislation requiring prior approval by the county for annexation of areas that currently receive county services, Ellis said.
DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis used his 2013 State of the County address as a call to set a course towards a future that reflects the best of DeKalb. Photo by Andrew Cauthen
es, success alone does not tell our full story,” Ellis said. “To ignore the struggle that always accompanies success is to discount the truth of what many are now feeling…[and] leave the elephant in the room when we depart.” DeKalb County’s “dramatic drop in property values over the last five years” is one of those struggles, Ellis said. “In DeKalb, we have seen a 25 percent countywide decline in property values.”
For unincorporated DeKalb, the decline was 50 percent, he said. The county has taken a “strategic approach” to balancing the budget instead of simply cutting “our spending in half” and deeply impacting “the quality of life of our citizens and stalling our local economy,” Ellis said. Ellis said the county is identifying “innovative ways to be more efficient and increase non-tax sources of rev-
For the full text of CEO Burrell Ellis’ State of the County address, go to www.thechampion. com or scan the QR code.