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WWW.CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER.COM • FRIDAY, JAN. 18, 2013 • VOL. 15, NO. 43 • FREE
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Martin Luther King Jr. Service Project volunteers repair homes and do yard work for low-income Decatur senior citizen homeowners. Photos provided
IS SHE Volunteers repair senior citizens’ homes IS SHE SO for Martin Luther King Jr. Day SO
be at least 65 years old and meet certain income criteria. Paul Mitchell, this nstead of using the year’s chairman of the MarMartin Luther King, tin Luther King Jr. Service Jr. holiday as a day Project, has volunteered off, volunteers from since its founding. He asDecatur recognize the sesses the work to be done day as serving the commuat all of the homes and denity. velops reports for the operaFor the 11th year in a tions committee to review row, thousands of volunbefore in-depth assessments teers will participate in the on between 25 and 40 annual Martin Luther King homes. Jr. Service Project, which Mitchell said this project provides home maintenance is a great thing to do for the and repair free of charge to senior citizens. low-income Decatur senior “The homeowners get a citizen homeowners. tremendous amount of ben“We do this to honor efit from it,” he said. “These the senior citizens and the are [repairs] that they can’t legacy of Dr. Martin Ludo. They don’t have the ther King Jr.” said Lee knowledge of how to do Ann Harvey of Volunteer! home repairs in general, and For the 11th year in a row, thousands of volunteers will participate in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Service Project, which provides home maintenance and repair free of charge. Decatur. so we’re able to step in and Sponsored by the put our knowledge in.” Decatur Preservation AlliHarvey said the project homes of Decatur’s older live safely, comfortably and gets herThe homesonlinethenthe The Champ Because she news updates are from seance (DPA) in partnership lected based on the number was started after a board citizens. she reason news updates affordably in their homes,” of major and minor repairs online from the The Champion. with the city of Decatur, the member of, DPA, a non- Because“Thegets herwhy we said. Because she gets her newsto try Harveyfrom the The Champion. updates online be eligible for the project is scheduled for Jan. profit organization which needed to be done and yard started doing this was To 19, 20 and 21. The three-day preserves Decatur’s historic to help our senior citizens to service, homeowners must work. Repairs may include www.facebook.com/championnewspaper weekend project started in structures and green spaces, be able to continue to live reside in their homes within 2003. See MLK on Page 15A suggested to save the in Decatur and to be able to the city limits of Decatur,
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
Rajesh Kumar, who grew up in a small village in northern India, is now hoping to build a nonprofit school in his hometown. Photos provided
Man raises money in DeKalb to build school in home village in northern India
by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org Rajesh Kumar grew up in a rural village in northern India where he worked on his parents’ farm each day. When he was old enough to attend high school, Kumar said the principal of a private school unexpectedly allowed him to attend free of charge. Kumar is now an engineer for Verizon Wireless in DeKalb County, where he has been living since 2001. He said if it were not for the education he received, he would still be working in northern India as a farmer. When he was younger, Kumar said children at the high school used to make fun of him for having no shoes. Since it was a private school, many of the students came from higher classes or more educated families. Although the caste system was formally abolished in India decades ago, Kumar said it still exists. In the rural village of Abidpura, where Kumar was raised, many farmers have been living the same way for centuries. “I grew up in an illiterate family,” Kumar said. “Many of the residents in rural Indian villages are farmers— they keep working because there’s no opportunity to break through our social system. Kumar said there is a government school in his village but not many students go there because most of the time there are no teachers. He was grateful for the opportunity to attend a school free of charge but said the school he attended was very difficult to reach. “I had to walk five kilometers then take a bus; it was not expensive but it was still very far away. But that’s how I was able to follow my dream and finish my engineering degree,” Kumar said. After graduating high school, Kumar studied engineering and began working for Lucent Technologies in 1980. In 2001 he came to Georgia and worked for Sprint for several years before taking his current job at Verizon. “Every day I think about reaching out to those people to give them a chance,” Kumar said of the people in his village. DeKalb County has several areas with large Indian and Pakistani populations. It is these areas that Kumar is trying to reach to tell his story and create awareness of the importance of educating those back home. A group of engineers from Verizon is helping Kumar raise funds to build the school, which he said is in its first phase of development. Kumar said he has the land, which was donated by the villagers, now he just needs to raise enough money to begin building classrooms. Kumar said that once built, the Takshila Institute will serve as a model and he hopes to expand it into other villages. “There will also be a community center where lower caste people can get together and have a marriage ceremony so they can get together and break their barriers,” Kumar said. Takshila will be a nonprofit; Kumar said to have the school be self-sufficient once it is built, 60 percent of the students will receive
See India on Page 3A
CLAUDIA G. LAWSON
DeKalb County Tax Commissioner
MOTOR VEHICLE OWNERS
Effective March 1, 2013, House Bill 386 removes the sales and annual ad valorem tax on newly-purchased vehicles. A one-time title tax of 6.5% (2013), 6.75% (2014) and 7% (2015) replaces the annual tax. Here’s what you need to know: • New one-time title ad valorem tax fee applies to all title transactions (new and used vehicle purchases, transfers, all transfers among family members, or vehicles new to the state) and eliminates payment of sales tax and annual ad valorem tax. • If you purchase a vehicle in Georgia after January 1, 2012 but before March 1, 2013, you may have the option of paying annual ad valorem tax or a one-time title ad valorem tax fee. Vehicles purchased out of state are not eligible to opt in. • Whether paying the one-time title ad valorem tax fee OR annual ad valorem tax, requirements for insurance, emissions, driver’s license and the renewal of your tag by your expiration date remain the same. • If you purchased a vehicle before 2012, you will remain on the current annual ad valorem tax system.
NORTH OFFICE 1358 Dresden Drive, NE Atlanta, GA 30319
MAIN OFFICE 4380 Memorial Drive Suite 100 Decatur, GA 30034
SOUTH OFFICE 2801 Candler Rd. #66 South DeKalb Mall Decatur, GA 30032
(404) 298-4000 www.dekalbcountyga.gov/taxcommissioner
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
DeKalb nursing homes settle allegations of substandard wound care
The U. S. Attorney’s Office announced Jan. 2 a settlement with GGNSC Holdings LLC of Plano, Texas, to resolve allegations that the company provided “inadequate and worthless wound care services” to residents at two of its nursing homes, according to a media statement. GGNSC is the operator of skilled nursing facilities located in metro Atlanta under the “Golden Living” name, including three in DeKalb County. GGNSC has agreed to pay $613,300 to resolve these allegations. Sally Quillian Yates, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, said, “Our office is committed to protecting our most vulnerable citizens and improving the lives of nursing home residents. By failing to provide adequate wound care services to its nursing home residents, Golden Living placed at risk the life and health of individuals who were entrusted to its care. This type of threat to the health and well-being of the elderly in our communities will not be tolerated.” “Golden Living fraudulently billed Medicaid for nursing services which were substandard and, tragically, resulted in harm to patients,” said Attorney General Sam Olens. “The nursing home patients depended on Golden Living to provide them with quality wound care services to help them heal, but, instead, were mistreated. We will not stand for such egregious misconduct by a Medicaid provider.” The government alleges that GGNSC submitted false claims to Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans Affairs department because it provided residents at Golden LivingCenter–Glenwood and Golden LivingCenter– Dunwoody with “inadequate and worthless monitoring, documentation, and prevention and treatment of wounds” from January 2006 through May 2011, according to a media statement. The claims settled in the civil settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability, according to a media statement. GGNSC has entered into a corporate integrity agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that will require six GGNSC facilities in the Atlanta area to continue to implement certain policies and procedures to ensure compliance with applicable statutes and regulations governing patient care. In addition, an independent monitor was appointed to oversee operations at the facilities for up to five years to verify that the policies and procedures are working effectively and that patients receive appropriate care. Additional affected centers include Golden LivingCenter–Briarwood, Golden LivingCenter–Decatur, Golden LivingCenter–Kennestone, and Golden LivingCenter–Medical Arts.
Kanu Biah, a Liberian refugee, works at Finders Keepers, located in Avondale Estates. Since 2009, Biah has been working at the consignment store to save money to pursue his dream of becoming a pilot. Photo by Daniel Beauregard
Refugee overcomes obstacles to pursue dream of attending flight school
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com In 1993, Kanu Biah and his family left war-torn Liberia and escaped to the Ivory Coast in western Africa, where they lived in a United Nations refugee camp until 2002, when another war broke out and they were forced to move again. This time, Biah and his family moved to Guinea to escape civil war—they traveled three days on foot before reaching another refugee camp. Soon after, Biah’s uncle was granted asylum in the United States and moved to Clarkston, which was designated as a refugee resettlement area in the 1980s. “That’s how I came in here,” said Biah, who moved in with his uncle in 2005. “Growing up with my uncle, he was like a single dad and while I was staying with him he had to work two jobs to support me during high school.” Biah graduated from Clarkston High School in 2009 and began working at Finders Keepers consignment store in Avondale Estates to save money for college. “It’s hard to believe that someone so positive has seen some of the worst places in our world and the worst sides of humanity,” said Bonnie Kallenberg, owner of Finders Keepers. After Biah graduated from high school his uncle became a U.S. citizen and moved back to Liberia temporarily. “He really supports himself—there’s no one here that supports him—and somehow he’s managed to keep afloat and put aside money for school but not a lot, so it’s a giant leap of faith for him to even go,” Kallenberg said. In December, Finders Keepers held a fundraising event to help Biah pay his tuition to pursue a dual fouryear degree in commercial piloting and business administration at Middle Georgia College of Aviation. More than 60 people attended the event, where Biah shared his life story. Enough money was raised to pay for his first semester of school. “He has added so much to our lives, and we want to help him succeed,” Kallenberg said. Biah said his favorite classes while in high school were in the computer lab, where he learned about video and audio editing software. However, one thing that Biah said he couldn’t get the hang of was flight simulation computer games. “I got to the aviation simulation and I couldn’t fly the plane. I didn’t have time to master it because the semester was coming to an end so I said, ‘I’m going to go get a career in aviation and figure out how to fly these planes,’” Biah said. Biah hasn’t seen his mother since he was 2; they were separated during the civil war in Liberia. His father lives in Minnesota. They talk occasionally but he said his uncle is more of a father figure to him. “In 2009, he went back home and got married and he sent his wife and daughter here—they’ve been living with me since 2012,” Biah said. Once he graduates from Middle Georgia, Biah said, he plans to join the U.S. Coast Guard, where he can use his piloting skills to help people in situations that were so familiar to him as a child. “Their job is to go out and save people. Back home, people used the plane to destroy cities and villages—I know how it was as a kid to be displaced and separated from my family—so I don’t want to put someone in that situation,” Biah said. Although he raised enough money to pay for his first semester of school, Biah said that financial aid doesn’t pay for the flight training hours he needs to complete his degree, so he plans to take out student loans. Kallenberg, who is helping Biah find an apartment, said there are also several scholarship opportunities they are looking into. “We’re going to be very sad to see him go but we’re happy for him. He’s been trying to go now for two years but because of obligations that have been put upon him he has had to wait,” Kallenberg said. “It’s his turn now.”
India Continued From Page 2A
a free education while the rest will be required to pay a small enrollment fee. One of the difficulties Kumar faces is convincing parents in rural areas of the importance of education. Many children from a young age work on their parents’ farms and Kumar said it’s difficult to make parents understand why their children shouldn’t work, as they and many generations before them did. Although there isn’t a classroom yet, Kumar said volunteer teachers have been holding classes during evenings and weekends. “We’re trying to make them aware that education is totally different and can change their lives because I was like them, working like that when I was 12 to raise money to go to school,” Kumar said.
Opinion The Newslady
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Jan. 18 , 2013
We can’t wait
not be more apparent. We simply can’t wait any longer. This is about protecting citizens and saving lives, which is the primary role of government. Making gun laws more restrictive in this country will not come without a fight. Already on the second anniversary of the 2011 killing of six people and the serious wounding of then Congresswoman Gabby Gifford in Tucson, Ariz., the powerful and well funded National Rifle Association has called a news conference to announce its Gun Appreciation Day. Guess when this Gun Appreciation Day is scheduled? On the day we remember the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a man whose name is synonymous with nonviolence. Ironically, Dr. King’s life was snuffed out in the most violent way—an assassin’s bullet fired from a rifle. This call for a national Gun Appreciation Day is the height of insensitivity at the very least, not to mention disrespecting the memory of a man who sought justice and equality for all humankind. Why can’t we wait for tougher gun control laws? Consider this: With two days left in December 2012, the Chicago Police Department’s official homicide records listed exactly 500 homicides. City officials in the Second City have blamed their killing field on the availability of illegal guns. While Chicago struggles with a proliferation of homicides, in 2012 New York had one of its least violent years in recent history. The reason? New York has implemented bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, something that Illinois does not consider. While we in DeKalb County have mercifully been spared any mass murders, gun violence is still a menace. We have had shootings at houses of worship, on the streets, in the parking lots of malls and other places where large numbers of people gather. We made national news last year with a fatal shooting at a funeral! Tougher gun laws are not a panacea or magic bullet, so to speak. But, just as other civilized nations have demonstrated, stricter gun control goes a long way toward lowering homicide rates from gun violence. Meanwhile, the United States leads the world in violent gun deaths. Georgia lawmakers will be soon back under the gold dome for the 2013 legislative session. Sensible, tougher gun laws should top their agenda. Law abiding citizens going about our daily lives must be protected from criminals and others deemed mentally unfit to have guns. Our leaders are coming together around the country from Washington to Wilmington to arrive at solutions for this crisis of gun violence. It is high time the NRA offered some real solutions and stopped targeting concerned, well intentioned lawmakers in their crosshairs. Prayerfully, the political climate has changed in the wake of the Newtown tragedy to offset the NRA and other naysayers. It must be recognized that not every gun regulation bill is a threat to our right to bear arms. Reasonable people must come up with reasonable regulations. We can no longer wait. Steen Miles, The Newslady, is a retired journalist and former Georgia state senator. Contact Steen Miles at Steen@dekalbchamp.com.
The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., was a painful wakeup call on the gun violence that occurs daily in this country. A crazed gunman mowed down 20 young children and six women in that lethal rampage. New legislation is urgently needed to stem this horrific, bloody tide. President Obama has launched an assault on gun violence that is no threat to law-abiding citizens and their Second Amendment right to bear arms. The president has commissioned a task force headed by Vice President Joe Biden to take action on stricter gun control laws, and he has made it crystal clear that inaction is not an option. When one considers that since the Newtown massacre another 500 lives have been lost to gun violence, the need to take swift and certain action could
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
Opinion One Man’s Opinion
Advice for the DeKalb School Board
board by law and charter has three primary responsibilities and functions: 1. Set system policy. 2. Hire/ fire and manage the superintendent, and 3. Review, approve and set an annual system budget. This list may sound short and simple, but with a school system of more than 100,000 school children, 15,000 employees and an annual budget approaching $1billion, these tasks are far from simple. Our county is in many ways divided. Our school board reflects that. Reaching consensus and compromise is often a challenge for this group, as political and racial divides complicate their existing management and oversight challenges. Board membership is a part-time job, carrying full-time responsibility and with a salary less than half of an entry level teacher’s pay. Though a school board may hire/ fire a superintendent, it has no management authority over individual system employees, and though it may ask questions and probe regarding votes and awarding contracts, they are overly reliant on information supplied by the superintendent, department heads and senior staff. Just because a voter or a board member makes an information request, does not mean that the information is provided. Federal government agencies regularly employ independent ombudsman offices to operate as watchdogs, protecting against illegality and the waste of taxpayer funded resources. The United States Ombudsman Association (USOA) is a non profit organization working to assist local governments in creating their own ombudsman programs at all levels of government. Typical ombudsman programs operate with subpoena and investigative powers as well as a small staff, not unlike the internal affairs division of a large metropolitan police department.
“It is an equal failing to trust everybody, and to trust nobody.”— Thomas Fuller (1654-1734), British author and historian in Adages and Proverbs, 1732. As you read this, our DeKalb County school board will have just experienced quite a challenging week. Under a new state law, the board is required to explain itself to the Georgia State Board of Education, after having system accreditation placed on probation. The law gives authority for this review to the state board, which then makes a recommendation to suspend or remove the board to the governor, who retains the final authority. If removal is the recommended option, the entire board goes, as the governor has no discretion to pick and choose. Since passage of this new standard of review, Gov. Nathan Deal earlier removed the entire school board in Miller County. DeKalb’s nine-member board is independently elected, seven from districts and two countywide. The board then caucuses and elects its own chair and vice-chair. A school
able to respond to public requests for information as well as the deeper data dives requested by a board member. DCSD should make this a priority, as part of their efforts to rebuild public trust. When a chief executive holds this responsibility too close to his or her vest, and presides over the day to day operations of this function, it is usually not a good sign.
Ombudsman-independent auditor Our school board should ask the state school board to adopt guidelines or a template for establishing system ombudsman for larger metropolitan school systems. The board should take responsibility for its own occasional micro-management, but also explain that parents and their constituents with nowhere to turn after months of unreturned phone calls or worse from a non-performing school often look to their local school board member for help in navigating an increasingly complex and often seemingly unresponsive system. I can personally vouch for the difficulty of receiving simple answers to routine questions or even getting a human voice to answer the phone when a call is placed to the DeKalb County School District (DCSD) administrative offices. Well-staffed and trained public information office The most robust and well-trusted local government entities offer wellstaffed and easily accessible public information departments, willing and
Unfortunately, there are no Lean Cuisine microwaveable solutions available to repair our troubled school system. It has taken nearly two decades to reach this current state of disrepair and poor performance. Climbing back will require deeper participation and commitment from all of our community leadership, as well as time and resources from our entire community, and perhaps giving authority instead of simply responsibility to our school board. And families and civic leaders who may have long ago moved their own children into area private schools also need to understand that a public system circling the drain will impact them as well. Just ask folks in Clayton County.
Bill Crane also serves as a political analyst and commentator for Channel 2’s Action News, WSB-AM News/Talk 750 and now 95.5 FM, as well as a columnist for The Champion, Champion Free Press and Georgia Trend. Crane is a DeKalb native and business owner, living in Scottdale. You can reach him or comment on a column at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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, Jan. 18, 2013
Sanitation Department hosting meetings over potential cut in services
by Carla Parker email@example.com DeKalb County residents will have the opportunity to have a say in the future of garbage pickup. The DeKalb County Sanitation Department is holding public meetings, “Let’s Talk Trash,” across the county to discuss the future of garbage pickup. Burke Brennan, the county’s chief communications officer, said the discussion is about whether to reduce garbage pickup from two days a week to one day a week. “This is coming at the behest of a need to raise rates,” he said. “What we’re trying to attain is the opinion of our customers because we haven’t had a rate increase for sanitation in a long time.” According to a presentation at Scottdale Senior Center on Jan. 10, potential solutions include keeping the trash pickup at two days and increasing the fee by $40 per year. The number of trucks picking up trash will remain the same and large item collection will remain the same. The other solution is decreasing trash pickup to one day a week with the fee remaining the same. Large item collection would also stay the same, and fewer trucks would be on the road, which would reduce wear and tear on the streets. “We need to find out from the community which way to go,” Brennan said. Brennan added the cost of doing business has exceeded the revenue that comes into the county. “Everything has gone up—the cost of materials, the cost of trucks, the cost of operating the facilities,” he said. “However, the rates for sanitation have remained the same for several years.” DeKalb County is one of the few counties that has
Paul Mitchell said he’s enjoyed construction and home repair since he was a youth. In fact, he recalls being part of a maintenance crew as a 14-year-old summer camper. “I loved it,” he said. With his interest and skill in the area of home repair, Mitchell decided that he was an ideal match for Decatur’s Martin Luther King Jr. Service Project, conducted annually on Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend. Volunteers work in teams making repairs and improvements at the homes of low-income senior residents in Decatur. “I just contacted them and said I’d like to help,” he recalled. “I’ve been involved in community projects before and give to a number of charities, but I’ve never been involved at this level before. It’s a great benefit to the homeowners we work with. Most of them don’t have the knowledge to make these repairs themselves and they can’t afford to hire a professional. They’re really grateful for the work we do. “It’s nice to give to charity, but there’s something really special about having a one-on-one relationship with the people you’re helping. You’re able to see firsthand the difference you’re making in their lives,” he said, adding that this year’s plan includes building four ramps to make homes wheelchair accessible. Mitchell’s work with the MLK Service Project led to his being selected as one of city’s Hometown Heroes for 2012. The Hometown Heroes program honors Decatur residents who work hard, often behind the scenes, to make the community a better place to live and work. Lee Ann Harvey of Volunteer! Decatur said that Mitchell has been an invaluable asset because in addition to being dedicated and hardworking, he has professional skills in all aspects of home repair and renovation. Moreover, she said, he has people skills needed to organize volunteers and work with homeowners. “He helps the seniors feel comfortable with what the project will do for them and with the volunteers who will work on their homes,” she said. In 2010, Mitchell joined the leadership committee and has served as project chairman for two years, according to Harvey. In that role, he assesses the work to be done at all of the homes and develops reports for the committee to review doing in-depth assessments on between 25 and 40 homes, depending on the number of applicants. Harvey said that Mitchell has served on the board for several years and has taken on a number of administrative duties, as well as grant writing and other fundraising duties for the MLK Project. “He works with the operations committee to assign the appropriately skilled house captains to each of the selected homes. Paul oversees material purchases, tool rentals and oversees all aspects of the project. I can’t think of anyone who does more work as a volunteer than he does,” she said.
Former DeKalb County commissioner Connie Stokes gives a presentation about the future of garbage pickup in DeKalb to senior citizens at Scottdale Senior Center. Photos by Carla Parker
two-day-a-week pick up. “If you ask people about our sanitation division they love the two a week,” Brennan said. “We are trying to provide a means to a method that we have our priorities aligned with our customers.” The public meetings will be taking place up to Feb. 2. Meetings will take place at the following locations: Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. at St. Timothy United Methodist Church, 5365 Memorial Drive, Stone Mountain • Jan. 22 at 6:30 p.m. at Eastlake Family YMCA, 275 E Lake Boulevard SE, Atlanta • Jan. 23 at 12:15 p.m. at North DeKalb Senior Center, 5238 Peachtree Road, Atlanta • Jan. 23 at 6:30 p.m. at Torah Day School of Atlanta, 1985 LaVista Road NE, Atlanta • Jan. 26 at 9:30 a.m. at the Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur • Jan. 28 at 6:30 p.m. at Cedar Grove High School, 2360 River Road, Ellenwood • Feb. 2 at 9 a.m. at Chapel Hill Middle School in Decatur For more information, call (404) 371-3689. •
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
Real estate veteran elected to Central Perimeter CID board John V. Barton II, senior vice president and managing director of Parkway Properties Inc., has been elected to the board of the Central (DeKalb) Perimeter Community Improvement District. The Perimeter Community Improvement Districts (PCIDs), composed of both the Central (DeKalb) and Fulton Perimeter CIDs, are special areas established by the state legislature where commercial property owners voluntarily pay additional property taxes to help make transportation and other infrastructure improvements. DeKalb PCID board chairman John Heagy noted, “John Barton will certainly bring a unique perspective to our board given his experience with other high quality mixed use markets around the country.” “John represents one of Atlanta’s premier Class A office owners and brings a wealth of experience to the board,” said Bob Voyles, immediate past chair of the DeKalb PCID Board and one of the organization’s founders. “We are honored to have John on the DeKalb PCID Board,” said PCIDs President and CEO Yvonne Williams. “He will be an asset on the leadership team as we undertake major initiatives next year.” Barton serves as managing director for Parkway’s portfolios in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nashville, Memphis and Jackson, Miss., which comprise approximately 8.3 million rentable square feet of wholly owned, joint venture and third-party office buildings. In the DeKalb perimeter market, Parkway owns and manages the 17-story Ravinia Two office building off Ashford Dunwoody Road containing 437,846 rental square feet of space. Barton, who has 17 years of commercial real estate experience, also has served as senior asset manager for Parkway’s Atlanta and Richmond and Hampton Roads, Va., portfolios as well as asset manager for the company’s Nashville and Knoxville, Tenn., portfolios. He and his leasing teams have consummated several million rentable square feet of leases, including AutoTrader and Cox Communications in the Perimeter market.
Workshop provides money-saving tips through couponing Valerie Hoff, 11 Alive anchor, money saving expert and a Savings.com DealPro, will teach a two-hour grocery coupon workshop. Attendees will be taught how to shop with coupons using strategic couponing and menu planning techniques and achieve savings of 50 percent or more. The workshop will be Jan. 24, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Topics to be discussed in the workshop include: Strategic grocery shopping: Learn how to avoid common marketing traps at the grocery store and shop smarter. Realistic couponing: See exactly how coupons work, how you can use them to save at least 50 percent on your groceries, understand your stores’ policies, and keep coupons organized. Meal planning made simple: Get practical help with how to plan your menu to save the most money while providing healthy meals for your family. Participants will receive a workbook for note-taking during the workshop which will be at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta at Zaban Park (MJCCA), 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. The cost of the event is $15 for MJCCA members and $20 for nonmembers. For more information, contact Ilana Schlam at (678) 812-3727 or ilana. email@example.com.
Businesses benefit from increased holiday patrols
Officials from the Stone Mountain Community Improvement District (CID) believe new data shows the positive influence of public safety patrols during the holiday season. Plaza Security, a contracted security company, increased safety patrols in December, under the direction of the CID. Vulcan Safety Shoes benefited from the CID’s security presence. The company sought assistance after a showroom break-in and the detection of suspicious activities in a locked parking area. “The CID immediately stepped up the security patrols in our area,” said Vulcan representative Wayne Brooks. “Early one morning, a suspicious person was observed parked in our employee parking lot. The officer confronted this person, registered his tag number and advised him to move on. I firmly believe this was a deterrent to the threat we encountered.” Plaza Security CEO Jim Estlund said it is probable that incidents against commercial properties, employees and patrons were prevented when suspicious persons were diverted from CID businesses. “Possibly as many as a quarter of those unexpected visitors were seeking opportunities to engage in some form of criminal behavior,” Estlund said. “The holiday season is a time when some become desperate, and unfortunately unsuspecting businesses and individuals become their targets. Our objective is to provide a solid presence that deters all forms of crime.” During the week before Christmas, officers recorded the following incidents: 143 business checks, two suspicious persons, two suspicious vehicles, two open doors at businesses and one motorist assist. During the week of Christmas, there were 188 business checks, 77 illegally placed signs removed, nine suspicious persons, four suspicious vehicles, two motorist assists, one false alarm and one stolen vehicle. CID-funded security and off-duty DeKalb County police officers provide continual, daily public safety patrols. For more information about all CID efforts, please contact CID President Emory Morsberger at (770) 409-8100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Slide presentation class offered Those interested in learning how to create a simple slide show can attend the Flat Shoals Library’s presentation Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 Basics Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2-3:30 p.m. Mouse, typing skills and some experience with Windows are required. Registration is now open and is available to the first six applicants. The Flat Shoals Library is located at 4022 Flat Shoals Pkwy., Decatur. For more information, call (404) 244-4370. Weight-loss program announced A weight-loss challenge support group meets at Rainbow Park Baptist Church every Thursday at 7 p.m. beginning Jan. 17. Rainbow Park Baptist Church is located at 2941 Columbia Drive, Decatur. For more information, call Phyllis at (404) 692-3454.
Financial education series to start this month The Doraville Library on Saturday, Jan. 19, starts a financial education series that will continue through April. The series is designed to teach participants how to improve their financial profiles. Conducted by Alexander Sanabria of Primerica, the four-part series begins with a presentation on insurance, 2-3 p.m. Later presentations will cover investments, avoiding credit traps and taxes. The Doraville Library is located at 3748 Central Ave., Doraville. For more information, call (770) 936-3852.
Event to combine needlework, movie watching
Knitters, crocheters, quilters and embroiderers are invited to watch an episode of Roots as they work on their latest pieces Monday, Jan. 28, at the Salem-Panola Library’s Threading Your Roots program. The event is 6-8 p.m. The Salem-Panola Library is located at 5137 Salem Road, Lithonia. For more information, call (770) 987-6900. Stonecrest Library hosts spoken word event The Stonecrest Library in Lithonia, located at 3123 Klondike Road, is hosting an event centered on music and poetry Jan. 19, 2-3:30 p.m. The event, titled “The Power of Music and Poetry,” will feature spoken word and musical performances by local performance group H.Y.P.E. Activities will also include a youth discussion panel, centered on “honoring your legacy, loving yourself and finding you voice,” a press release stateds. For more information call (770) 4823828 or visit the library branch.
Paving, resurfacing planned for Mt. Vernon Road The city of Dunwoody will conduct additional paving and resurfacing of Mt. Vernon Road between Ashford Dunwoody Road and the city’s border with Sandy Springs. The road work is tentatively scheduled to begin in the spring of 2013. City officials anticipate the road work will take place over a one to two-day period when temperatures are warmer. The repaving work will be performed by the contractor at no cost to the city. Dunwoody officials will alert nearby residents and neighborhoods on the dates and times for the road work repairs once they are scheduled with the contractor. For more information regarding the city of Dunwoody, contact Bob Mullen, marketing and public relations director, at (678) 382-6700 or email@example.com.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
Emory’s Carlos Museum offers affordable glimpse at ancient art
by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org Some of the collections in Emory University’s Michael C. Carlos Museum were acquired more than 135 years ago in 1876, when a general museum was created on the university’s original campus in Oxford, Ga. Over the years the museum collected artifacts from such places as ancient Egypt, Nubia, Near East, Greece, Rome, ancient Americas, Asia, Latin America and Africa. It is considered one of the Southeast’s premier ancient art museums. In addition to presenting exhibitions throughout the year, the museum operates a teaching library and conservation center and periodically publishes scholarly catalogues. The museum also places great importance on promoting interdisciplinary teaching and research. It also develops educational programs for the university and community. Priyanka Sinha, Carlos Museum director of communications and marketing at the museum, said the museum’s website includes a database of more than 1,200 images and text captions for the public to access. Sinha said the museum works across disciplines to develop its exhibitions. The museum recently held an exhibit titled “For I am the Black Jaguar: Shamanic Visionary Experience in Ancient American Art,” which ran from Sept. 8, 2012 – Jan. 6, 2013. Sinha said the exhibit was the result of Emory Professor and Faculty Curator of the Art of Americas Dr. Rebecca Stone collaborating with experts from many different fields. Stone worked with anthropologists, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and marine biologists to contextualize the meanings of objects presented in the exhibit. Many shamans used mind-altering plants to enhance their experiences; this is why Stone worked with the CDC. Additionally, many were believed to have had mystical connections or experiences with animals, so Stone worked with animal experts. The museum’s extensive collection of ancient and classic art, Sinha said, also enables students to experience the things they’re studying firsthand. “People are looking into material cultures of civilizations and different societies so students from all across the board from Emory–art history, politics medicine anthropology–are able to use these primary sources,” Sinha said. Over the years, Sinha said a student’s perspective may change as he or she is doing research but the museum gives them the opportunity to “always go back to the source.” In February, the museum will be reopening its “Art of the Americas” collection, which will also now include art of the early North American. Recently, the museum acquired new Egyptian, African and Asian objects. In spring 2013 it will not have a special exhibition but instead will switch out some of the older objects on display with some of the museum’s more recently acquired objects. For more information visit www.carlos.emory.edu.
Emory University’s Michael C. Carlos Museum is considered one of the Southeast’s premier ancient art museums. Some items in its collection were acquired more than a century ago. Photos by John Hewitt
DEKALB COUNTY HUMAN & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT MULTI‐FAMILY APPLICATION WORKSHOP
Beginning February 11, 2013, the DeKalb County Human & Community Development Department will accept applications for gap financing for multi‐family housing projects. An application workshop is scheduled to provide information regarding the application process.
Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 11:00 AM Decatur Library Auditorium 215 Sycamore Street Decatur, GA Information Contact: Mary Colbert at 404‐286‐3308 or email@example.com
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
METROPOLITAN ATLANTA RAPID TRANSIT AUTHORITY
Key witness in school corruption trial dies
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org
A key witness in the racketeering trial against former DeKalb County School Superintendent Crawford Lewis has died. The funeral of Cointa A. Moody, of Decatur, was held Jan. 8, at New Mercies Christian Church in Lilburn, where she was a minister. Moody was 50. Moody was a witness in the trial in which Lewis, his former construction chief Patricia Reid and Reid’s exhusband Tony Pope are being charged with conspiring to defraud the DeKalb County School District (DCSD) of approximately $2.4 million through illegal contracts from several district projects, including Columbia and McNair high schools and the district’s central office complex on Mountain Industrial Road in Stone Mountain. Reid allegedly used her role as the district’s construction chief to award contracts to then husband Pope, an architect who worked for the school system. According to officials and court documents, Lewis signed off on contracts and knowingly participated in the conspiracy. Lewis, who was terminated in 2010 after a 33-year career with the school district, and Reid also are charged with taking tickets from contractors to professional and college sporting events, shows and balls. Moody, Reid’s secretary, was originally charged with four counts of racketeering and theft by a government employee. Those charges were dropped last year when the case was re-indicted and Moody agreed to become a witness against her Lewis, Reid and Pope. The trial is scheduled to begin April 15 and could take three weeks.
County wins technology innovation showcase award
The DeKalb County Information Technology Depart-
ment received the Technology Innovation Showcase Award from Governing Technology (GT) at the 2012 Georgia Digital Summit that was held in December. “This technology innovation award exemplifies the progress that we are making in DeKalb County as we continue to implement innovative information technology solutions to improve the County’s services to its citizens,” DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis said. GT’s Technology Innovation Showcase is a forum designed to share ideas, experiences and lessons learned, and recognize outstanding efforts in both state and local governments. DeKalb County was recognized for the implementation of upgrades to the iasWorld Tax Billing and Collection Systems, which is a product of Tyler Technologies. The DeKalb County Tax Billing and Collection System had resided on the county’s mainframe platform for many years, but the mainframe hardware and software were no longer supported. In addition, the old system was lacking functionality and the ability to integrate with other systems according to a release. The project was estimated to be a 24 to 30-month effort, but Tyler Technologies and the DeKalb Tax Commissioner’s Office and Information Technology Department -implemented the tax billing and collection module ahead of schedule, completing a key component of Tyler Technologies’ appraisal and property tax solution. The implementation of the Tyler Technologies application will enhance DeKalb County’s ability to accurately assess property values. The project paves the way for additional enhancements that will improve efficiency and functionality, according to John Matelski, chief information officer and director of the county’s information technology department. “During the first quarter of 2013, we should have the appraisal and property tax system integrated with DeKalb’s GIS system, which will enable citizens to access accurate property data, maps and images at their convenience,” Matelski said.
Notice of Public Hearings – Jan. 22 & 24, 2013
Notice is hereby given that the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) will hold public hearings for the purpose of considering
Proposed Bus Service Modifications for April 20, 2013
Proposed routing and/or adjustments for the following bus routes:
Route 6 – Emory: Realign services to operate a short turn alignment from Lindbergh Station to the North Decatur and Oxford Roads traffic circle (roundabout) and continue operation from Lindbergh Station to Inman Park/ Reynoldstown Station via alternating trips on weekdays only. Saturday and Sunday services remain unchanged and will continue to operate between Lindbergh Station and Inman Park/Reynoldstown Station all trips. Route 15 – South DeKalb/Candler Road: Realign services with an extension along River Road and Linecrest Road segments and discontinue the Ridgetop Drive, Lincolndale Drive and Clevemont Court segments in the East Glen subdivision. Route 21 – Memorial Drive: Realign services to discontinue direct service to King Memorial Station inbound to Georgia State Station. Route 21 would continue to provide direct service to King Memorial Station outbound from Georgia State Station only. Route 51 – Joseph E. Boone Blvd. /Dixie Hills: Realign services to maintain current routing to New Jersey Avenue and Joseph E. Boone Blvd., which will be the new terminus for Route 51 with the exception of the selected trips that operate via Collier Heights Apartments. The segments along Aurora Avenue, Morehouse Drive, Morris Brown Avenue and Wadley Street will be discontinued. The segments along Anderson Avenue, Tiger Flowers Drive, Carver Drive, Hyacinth Avenue, Verbena Street and Penelope Street will be assumed by modifications to Route 67-West End. Route 67 – West End: Realign services to operate a one way loop from West Lake Station that assumes segments from Route 51-Joseph E. Boone Blvd. /Dixie Hills and restructure of current services provided by Route 67. The new realignment would operate as follows from West Lake Station: Right-Anderson Avenue, Left-Waterbury Drive, Right-Anderson Avenue, Left-Tiger Flowers Drive, Left-Carver Drive, Right-Hyacinth Avenue, Left-Verbena Street, Right-Penelope Street, Left-Aaron Street, RightPenelope Road, and Right-Anderson Avenue returning to West Lake Station. The segment along Verbena Street between Waterbury Drive and Chenault Place and along Chenault Place will be discontinued. Route 86 – Fairington Road/McAfee Road: Realign services to operate a short turn alignment from GRTA Panola Road Park and Ride Lot to the I-20 Access Road and Old Hillandale Drive on all service days during the hours that the Mall at Stonecrest is closed. Route 95 – Metropolitan Parkway/Hapeville: Discontinue operation along the S. Central Avenue and Tradeport Blvd. segments. All trips will terminate at King Arnold Street and Sunset Avenue with the exception of the trips that provide direct service to Atlanta Technical and Atlanta Metropolitan Colleges. Route 110 – Peachtree Street “The Peach”: Realign services to provide alternating trips between Five Points and Lenox Stations and Arts Center and Lenox Stations during the hours of 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM on all service days. Service between Arts Center and Five Points Stations will be discontinued before 9:00 AM and after 8:00PM. Route 172 – Sylvan Road/Virginia Avenue: Realign services to assume the S. Central Avenue and Tradeport Blvd. segments discontinued by Route 95 – Metropolitan Parkway/Hapeville on selected trips on weekdays and Saturdays only. Service along this segment will not be provided on Sundays. Route 186 – Rainbow Drive/South DeKalb: Realign services with an extension along Wesley Chapel Road, Snapfinger Woods Drive, E. Wesley Chapel Road returning to Snapfinger Woods Drive, which will be the new terminus for Route 186. Service along the Pleasant Wood Drive and Eastside Drive segments will be provided inbound from the Snapfinger Woods Drive terminus in the AM and outbound before terminating at Snapfinger Woods Drive in the pm until 9:00 pm on all service days.
Tuesday, Jan. 22
3201 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr, SW
Thursday, Jan. 24
1300 Commerce Dr, Decatur, 30030 2424 Piedmont Rd NE, Atlanta, 30324
Adamsville Rec Cntr
Community Exchange: 6-7 p.m.
Riding MARTA: Route 73 from H.E. Holmes Station.
Community Exchange: 6-7 p.m.
Riding MARTA: Walk one block west of Decatur Rail Station.
Community Exchange: 6-7 p.m.
Riding MARTA: Across the street from Lindbergh Center Station.
Copies of the proposed bus service modifications will also be available at MARTA’s Office of External Affairs, 2424 Piedmont Road, N.E. Atlanta, Georgia 30324 during regular business hours, Mon-Fri 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For formats (FREE of charge) in accordance with the ADA and Limited English Proficiency regulations contact (404) 848-4037. For those patrons requiring further accommodations, information can be obtained by calling the Telephone Device for the Deaf (TDD) at 404 848-5665. In addition, a sign language interpreter will be available at all hearings. If you cannot attend the hearings and want to provide comments you may: (1) leave a message at (404) 848-5299; (2) write to MARTA’s Office of External Af-
fairs, 2424 Piedmont Road, N.E. Atlanta, GA 30324-3330; (3) complete an online Comment Card at www.itsmarta.com; (4) or fax your comments no later than January 27, 2013 to (404) 848-4179. All citizens of the City of Atlanta and the counties of Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton and Gwinnett whose interests are affected by the subjects to be considered at these hearings are hereby notified and invited to appear at said times and places and present such evidence, comment or objection as their interests require. Keith T. Parker, AICP General Manager/CEO
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
After receiving county permission to begin work on a controversial project, a developer was ordered to stop his work in the North Druid Hills neighborhood. The order has now been lifted. Photos by Andrew Cauthen.
Stop work order lifted for Druid Hills subdivision
by Andrew Cauthen email@example.com It boils down to a cul-desac. Gravel has been delivered and orange construction fencing installed at the site of a proposed subdivision in North Druid Hills as residents prepare for the next battle in a decade-old fight against a development. Approximately 150 residents of the community attended what was called an “emergency neighborhood meeting” Jan. 10 to get updates on what they called “improper permits” granted for the proposed, four-acre development in the historic district. In 2004, Robert H. Buckler and Anthony McCullar bought three lots on Clifton Road directly adjacent to Burbanck Park with plans to sell them after subdividing into seven lots, ranging from two-thirds to four-tenths of an acre. The development would require a cul-de-sac in a historic neighborhood with none. The property is located in the historic Druid Hills which was designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed Central Park in New York and the grounds of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C. The community is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The subdivision was the only one designed by Olmsted in the South and “it was the last subdivision he designed anywhere,” said Bruce MacGregor, president of the Druid Hills Civic Association, which represents 4,000 households. “It does not have any culde-sacs in it,” MacGregor said. “The planning and street layout is the reason its of national importance, not the houses, although the houses are important secondarily. If every house in the neighborhood burned it would still be historically significant.” In November 2012, the Board of Commissioners voted to approve the appeal of Buckler and McCullar and reverse the decision of the county’s Historic Preservation Commission which denied the two property owners a certificate of appropriateness for a proposed façade of a retention pond wall and fence required by the county. A certificate of appropriateness is a document stating that the proposed work is appropriate for the historic district. “It’s so bizarre,” MacGregor said. “The man got a certificate of appropriateness which is required in order to get a land disturbance permit for two very minor, innocuous items—granite facing on a retention pond and a chainlink fence. Somehow that morphed into a full development permit for an entire subdivision.” County officials issued a land disturbance permit in December, which gave Buckler permission to construct a road into the subdivision. In July 2012, Buckler and partner Anthony McCullar sued Ellis and two planning department members over the land displacement permit. At the time, Buckler said the lawsuit was filed “because they won’t let us put a cul-desac on our property. The lawsuit was dropped Dec. 19, according to court records. On Dec. 28, commissioners Jeff Rader and Kathie Gannon filed an appeal of the land disturbance permit with the DeKalb County Board of Zoning Appeals. Three days later, the Historic Preservation Commission sent a letter to the DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis and the Board of Commissioners, voicing its concern about the development of the property. The Druid Hills Civic Association, along with some concerned residents, filed a similar appeal on Jan. 2 while other residents began collecting signatures on a petition asking that the county rescind the land use permit. On Jan. 5, a stop work order was posted at the Clifton Road site. On Jan. 15, DeKalb County spokesman Burke Brennan said the stop work order was lifted “in the past couple of days.” “This project has been the source of some lengthy debate,” Brennan said. “There was an appeal made to the Board of Commissioners of a portion of work to be done that not being litigated. The county found no basis to deny the appeal.” After an outcry by residents, “the county pledged to go back and review its work,” Brennan said. During that review a stop work order was issued. The county never intended for the work to be halted for a long time, Brennan said. MacGregor said Druid Hills representatives met with Ellis’ staff Jan. 7 and presented “copies of [legal] cases that were on point as to why the permit should not be issued, and we gave them code citations about why it should not be issued, and we explained the process that should have happened.” “We believe the code and the law and the court rulings support our position,” MacGregor said. A petition signed by approximately 100 people “asks the CEO to revoke the permit,
which we believe was issued improperly and to investigate the circumstances under which the permit was issued in the first place,” MacGregor said. “The administration has made an administrative error and it can easily be fixed administratively and we’ve asked them to do that,” he said. During the past decade, there have been 10 lawsuits against the development. “The owner has lost all 10 lawsuits,” MacGregor said. “This has been a long difficult road and it’s been expensive for us,” MacGregor said. “People are very upset that we’re having to exhaust our treasury and spend this incredible amount of energy to get the county to do things it should have done in the first place. Neighborhoods should not have to fix the county’s mistakes on their own nickel and on their own time.” Buckler could not be reached for this story.
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
Stonecrest Mall in DeKalb faces debt trouble
LITHONIA, Ga. (AP) The Mall at Stonecrest has become the latest shopping venue in metro Atlanta to face debt issues that may leave it vulnerable to foreclosure. Fitch Ratings reports that a loan backed by part of the Lithonia mall is now held by a company that helps firms work out of debt trouble. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the move will not affect mall operations. The shopping facility opened in 2001 and was seen as a boost to the economy in south DeKalb County. In its report, Fitch Ratings said the loan transferred to a special servicer had a balance of nearly $99 million and faced imminent default. Stonecrest is owned by a joint venture that includes Forest City Enterprises in Cleveland, Ohio. Stonecrest’s general manager, Patricia Elmore Edge, did not return calls seeking comment. On Jan. 7, Forest City released the following statement about the Stonecrest Mall: “Like other retail centers across the country, the Mall at Stonecrest has been impacted by the sluggish economy and housing foreclosure.” “Despite this, the property is very well positioned with a quality tenant mix, and strong, signature national department stores and in-line retailers,” according to the statement. “The mall currently has a securitized mortgage and we are working through a normal process to restructure the loan. We and our partner fully expect to reach an amicable solution with the lender. This process will have no impact on shoppers or tenants and it is business-asusual at the mall.” Lithonia Mayor Deborah Jackson called the mall’s problems “disturbing news.” My concern is that it’s one of the economic engines in the area, so we wouldn’t want to see it closed or drastically reduced,” Jackson said. “Malls around the country of that nature have had some economic challenges,” Jackson said. “It’s not unique to Stonecrest apparently.” The mall is the latest in Georgia to face financial trouble since the Great Recession. Since 2008, there have been more than 70 mall foreclosures nation-
ally. In Georgia, the Gwinnett Place Mall went into foreclosure last year after its loan went to a workout firm. The loan on Southlake Mall in Morrow last year went to the same workout firm that is holding the Stonecrest loan. Fulton County’s Union Station Mall was foreclosed
See Stonecrest on Page 14A
“I HAVE A __________”
How you fill in the blank is up to you. Because Dr. King had a dream, our options are infinite. There’s no greater testament to his life and work, than using this holiday to pursue them. Please visit our Facebook page to view pictures of community service projects posted by Georgia Power, or to upload your own.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org
Community helps man cope with paralysis after accident
Eli,” to help raise money for Tabb’s medical expenses and day-to-day living costs. At www.friendsforeli.com, those wishing to help Tabb can donate via credit card or PayPal. “Tucker residents remember Eli’s smiling face from the drive-in window at Starbucks, or from the sandwich counter at Roly Poly,” said Nancy Qarmout, owner of Roly Poly of Tucker, who started the website. “He has given so much to the people around him. Now it’s our turn to give to him.” “I have lots and lots of bills,” Tabb said. “I’ve never gotten so many bills. They come from everywhere. Oh my God, it’s overwhelming.” Stone Mountain-based Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC) has also supported Tabb’s recovery by supplying home medical supplies to help with his transition from hospital and rehabilitation to home. “FODAC has been super helpful,” Tabb said. The organization donated a shower bench and a cushioned toilet seat—new necessities for Tabb. “We got involved because we’re very plugged in locally to the community,” said Chris Brand, FODAC’s president. Brand said he learned of Tabb’s plight from Qarmout. “We wanted to go up and above because this is a local need,” he said. “Eli has been an inspiration to us all as he strives to recover from this life-changing event. “His story is like those of so many of our clients, who find themselves with little or no insurance and dealing with a devastating illness or injury that happens suddenly and without warning,” Brand said. Tabb plans to major in sign language, a skill that helped him while he was hospitalized. “When I was in the hospital, I had a tracheotomy,” said Tabb, who has been signing for five years. “I couldn’t speak because I had the tube down my throat. I communicated with one of the nurses through sign language and she was able to interpret for my family. “It meant so much more when I could ask for water instead of pointing and writing things down,” he said. Tabb got interested in
Twenty-year-old Stone Mountain resident Eli Tabb doesn’t remember much about being hit by a car while attempting to cross Lawrenceville Highway in October 2012. The incident left him paralyzed from the waist down. “There’s not much I can tell you myself because I was in a coma after it happened,” Tabb said. The Mississippi native remembers pushing a crosswalk button and being hit by the car. “When I woke up, it was weeks later,” Tabb said. The accident injured his spine and spinal cord. “I had lost 50 pounds and I couldn’t move my legs and my right side was pretty damaged. That’s pretty traumatic: waking up and seeing this skinny body all of sudden.” Tabb said he was not immediately bothered by his paralysis: “I was just like, ‘What’s for dinner?’” The emotional effects of the accident manifested when he realized that “a moving vehicle smashed” him, he said. “I was in tears—I did that in secret. I didn’t want anybody to see me crying, but I was pretty distraught.” Tabb moved to Stone Mountain two years ago after graduating high school in Mississippi. He relocated to Georgia to attend Oxford College of Emory University, but never started because of a problem with a grant he was expecting. “I just stuck around,” Tabb said. He applied to Georgia State University but had financial aid issues there and later applied and was accepted to Georgia Perimeter College. “I was super excited,” Tabb said about registering for classes. “Then I had my accident.” Tabb spent two months in the hospital and one month of five-days-a-week outpatient physical therapy. “Everything in life, I had to relearn,” he said. “It took it settling in and getting used to and [realizing], ‘OK, this is my body. This is what I can do. This is what I can’t do.” Recently, a website was established, “Friends for
signing while working for a fast food restaurant in Mississippi. “We had a few deaf customers,” Tabb said. “I just felt like I wasn’t doing customer service justice to not speak their language.” Tabb began learning sign language through online lessons. “Eventually I was able to take their orders with no problem,” he said. “I then went from taking orders to conversations and from conversations to teaching kids,” tutoring them in English and environmental science at Atlanta Area School for the Deaf (AASD) in Clarkston. At the time of his accident, Tabb was working at Starbucks and Roly Poly while volunteering two days a week at AASD. “Before that, I was working three jobs like a psycho,” he said. “I just like to stay busy. I’ve never been one to not do anything.” Being sedentary since October is “probably the most difficult part of having had the accident,” Tabb said. “Now I can’t be at work,” he said. “Now I can’t drive. I can’t go out and do anything, so that’s probably the most challenging thing for me personally—to find things to do at home and to be content
Eli Tabb, paralyzed in an October 2012 accident, is hoping for a full recovery. Photo by Andrew Cauthen
with not running all over the place.” Tabb said he has been reading and watching TV “quite a bit” since the accident. He also spends a lot of time conducting Internet searches for local wheelchairfriendly restaurants and businesses. “When I start going back out, I don’t want to go to a restaurant with all my friends there and there’s no ramp,” Tabb said. “That’s definitely a worry.” Tabb said much of his time is consumed with regular
daily activities that take more time because of his disability. “All the things I used to be able to do, or that able-bodied people can do so quickly, it takes me so much more time to do,” Tabb said. “Just making the bed usually takes a long time. If I have to change the sheets and put them in the laundry, and put new sheets on, it usually takes about an hour.” Tabb is hopeful for a full recovery; he has regained mobility in his right leg since leaving the hospital.
Saturday - February 9, 2013
Planning Workshop & Showcase
DeKalb Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Reunion Specialist will teach you everything you need to know to plan the perfect Family Reunion in DeKalb County!
Workshop - 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Showcase - 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Host your Family Reunion in DeKalb County! Holiday Inn Select Perimeter Center
4386 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd, Atlanta, GA 30341
FREE Family Reunion
Call 770-492-5050 ext. 1181
Pre-registration is required
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan led his department in raising $12,000 to benefit Special Olympics Georgia last year.
Dunwoody Police to plunge for Special Olympics
The Dunwoody Police Department will be participating in the upcoming 2013 Polar Plunge benefiting Special Olympics Georgia. This will be the department’s fourth consecutive year participating in the event, which raises funds and awareness for the 23,000 athletes of Special Olympics Georgia. Several officers have each pledged to raise $50 for the opportunity to plunge at Lanier World. Last year, the department raised more than $12,000. The fourth annual Polar Plunge benefiting Special Olympics Georgia will be held Feb. 16 at Lake Lanier’s new Lanier World at Sunset Cove. Registration and activities begin at 11 a.m. and the plunge will take place at 2 p.m. All participants who raise at least $50 can plunge into Lake Lanier and all proceeds go to Special Olympics Georgia. The department has created a Dunwoody Police Department team fundraising page on the Special Olympics website and all plungers have joined the team with their personal fundraising page. The goal for the Dunwoody Police Department team is to lead all police departments in total funds raised. For the past three years, the department was recognized as the largest law enforcement fundraising team for the polar plunge. As of Jan. 11, the department had raised $2,950. To make a tax deductible donation to the Dunwoody Police team, go to www.firstgiving.com and type “Dunwoody Police Department” in the search box. All donations are tax-deductible. Residents interested in taking the plunge, can join the Dunwoody Police team or form their own teams. Visit the 2013 Polar Plunge website at http://www. specialolympicsga.org/torchrun/events/polar-plunge/ for complete details on the event. The “Plunger Tool Kit” link explains how to start a team. To join the Dunwoody Police team, select “Dunwoody Police Department 2013” from the drop down list. To start another team, type in “Dunwoody Police Department” as the referring group.
Dunwoody Police personnel take the Polar Plunge in last year’s event. This year, the department hopes to be the top fundraising police department. Photos provided.
Preceding the Polar Plunge, a golf tournament at Lake Lanier is scheduled for
Feb. 15. To register for the golf tournament, go to http:// dunwoodyga.gov/Libraries/
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
Rain Likely High: 46 Low: 34 Sunny High: 52 Low: 33 Mostly Sunny High: 54 Low: 36 Sunny High: 55 Low: 33 Sunny High: 52 Low: 34 Mostly Sunny High: 54 Low: 32
Jan. 17, 2013
Today’s Regional Map
Dunwoody 44/33 Smyrna 45/34 Doraville 45/34 Atlanta 46/34 College Park 47/34 Union City 47/34
Detailed Local Forecast
Today we will see cloudy skies with a 90% chance of rain, high temperature of 46º, humidity of 81%. North wind 5 to 15 mph. The record high temperature for today is 75º set in 1943. Expect cloudy skies tonight with a 30% chance of rain, overnight low of 34º. Date Hi Lo Normals Precip Tuesday 52 39 51/33 0.00" Wednesday 65 50 51/33 0.00" Thursday 68 58 51/33 0.06" Friday 69 60 51/33 0.30" Saturday 74 58 51/33 0.01" Sunday 72 60 51/33 0.01" Monday 65 48 51/33 0.56" Rainfall. . . . . . . . 0.94" Average temp . . 59.9 Normal rainfall. . 1.12" Average normal 42.0 Departure . . . . . .-0.18" Departure . . . . +17.9 Day Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Sunrise 7:41 a.m. 7:41 a.m. 7:40 a.m. 7:40 a.m. 7:40 a.m. 7:39 a.m. 7:39 a.m.
Jan. 17, 1990 - Twenty cities across the southeastern United States reported record high temperatures for the date. Record highs included 61 degrees at Williamstown, Pa. and 85 degrees at Brownsville, Texas. Jan. 18, 1987 - A storm in the south central United States blanketed Oklahoma City with eight inches of snow, their highest total since 1948. Snowfall totals in Oklahoma reached up to 13 inches at Gage, with drifts five feet high.
Last Week's Local Almanac
Decatur Snellville 46/34 46/34 Lithonia 47/34 Morrow 47/34
Local Sun/Moon Chart This Week
Sunset 5:54 p.m. 5:55 p.m. 5:56 p.m. 5:57 p.m. 5:58 p.m. 5:59 p.m. 6:00 p.m. Moonrise 11:08 a.m. 11:42 a.m. 12:18 p.m. 12:56 p.m. 1:37 p.m. 2:23 p.m. 3:11 p.m.
First 1/18 Full 1/26
Partly Cloudy High: 51 Low: 35
Moonset Next Day 12:22 a.m. 1:18 a.m. 2:13 a.m. 3:07 a.m. 3:59 a.m. 4:48 a.m.
Last 2/3 New 2/10 Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Rise Set 7:49 a.m. 5:46 p.m. 6:37 a.m. 4:32 p.m. 8:54 a.m. 7:28 p.m. 2:05 p.m. 4:11 a.m. 1:58 a.m. 12:52 p.m. 11:02 a.m. 11:13 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 mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with isolated snow today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 74º in Germantown, Md. The Southeast will experience mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with a few showers today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 83º in Ft. Myers, Fla. In the Northwest, there will be mostly clear to partly cloudy skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 52º in Colville, Wash. The Southwest will see mostly clear skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 77º in Fullerton, Calif.
Which type of cloud produces lightning?
StarWatch By Gary Becker - Skinny Moon Debuts in Evening Sky
Have you noticed the sun setting just a tad bit later? December 7 was the earliest sunset, 4:35 p.m., for souls living at 40 degrees north latitude. We still haven’t gained that much daylight since the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, but we are at least making the most progress at the correct time of the day—evening. Sunsets are now about 25 minutes later. Sunrises, on the other hand, are only three minutes earlier in comparison to the latest sunrise which occurred on January 4. The bottom line is that we still have a long way to go before spring, even though I remain optimistic. At the beginning of the week, you’ll notice a scimitar-shaped waxing crescent moon hugging the SW horizon about 45 minutes after sundown. The horseshoe shape of the moon always points to the location of the sun below the horizon, while the tilt of the horseshoe gives a good approximation of the tilt of the moon’s orbital plane to the horizon. Bring binoculars along to help accent one of the most beautiful aspects of a young moon, earthshine. When the moon is near its new phase, the Earth as viewed from the moon is nearly full. The Earth consumes 16 times the sky area of a full moon and reflects light about five times more efficiently than the moon, making Earth appear about 80 times brighter (5 x 16 = 80) in the moon’s sky than a full moon appears in our sky. Light reflected from a nearly full Earth is reflected back to us by the moon, producing sufficient illumination on the dark face of the moon to allow the entire disk to be seen. This ashen light, earthshine, is also referred to as “the old moon in the new moon’s arms.” Although Sunday through Tuesday will be the best time to catch the ashen light with the unaided eye, binoculars will still reveal its presence right through First Quarter (Friday) if conditions are clear enough. More fun lunar observations next week or read ahead at www.astronomy.org...
UV Index 0-2: Low, 3-5: Moderate, 6-7: High, 8-10: Very High, 11+: Extreme Exposure
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
After their daughter Olivia was killed in a 2008 accident, Norman and Nikki Hayes formed Livvy’s Love, a nonprofit that gives underprivileged children some of the opportunities the Hayeses would have given Olivia. Since 2008, the organization has raised more than $12,000 through a fun/run and other activities. Photos by Travis Hudgons
Tucker parents honor daughter’s memory with nonprofit
by Andrew Cauthen email@example.com Norman Hayes of Tucker said his daughter was a very “giving child.” He said it was “in the spirit of that kindness and that kind heart” that Livvy’s Love, a nonprofit organization that supports underprivileged youth, was formed in September 2008 to honor the memory of Olivia Nicole Hayes, affectionately known to family and friends as “Livvy.” In August 2008, a school bus carrying 10-year-old Olivia was hit by an armored truck. Olivia died from her injuries four days later. “Olivia, even though she was 10 when she passed away, got to participate in a lot of activities,” said Nikki Hayes, Olivia’s mother. Olivia was a cheerleader for an all-star travel squad and the month before her death she attended the National Youth Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C. “All of these activities are activities that cost money,” said Nikki Hayes. “We want to give other children the opportunity to do some of the things she was able to enjoy.” After the accident, the Tucker community was “overwhelmingly supportive,” Nikki Hayes said, and “enlightened us just how much our daughter had touched so many people.” Livvy’s Love is “a way for us to continue to honor Olivia and to keep her memory viable,” Nikki Hayes said. “It’s also therapeutic and gives us a chance to do things for other kids that we would have done for her.” For the Hayeses, Livvy’s Love is a family affair with son Norman II, a sophomore at Harvard University, and daughter Kelsey, a seventhgrader at Tucker Middle School, also helping out. “Both are very active about promoting the organization to their peers,” Nikki Hayes said. “It’s a really neat thing to watch unfold.” Since 2008, Livvy’s Love, Inc. has raised approximately $12,000 to provide scholarships and various educational, extracurricular, and community involvement opportunities. The organization has sponsored tutorial programs, helped students prepare for standardized tests, sponsored a trip for cheerleaders to a national convention and made contributions to various other charities. Funds raised last year from donations and the Livvy’s Love Fun Run/Walk supported two Olivia Hayes Memorial Scholarships, a needsbased scholarship sponsored by the organization. This scholarship is awarded annually to a graduating senior from Tucker High School who excels academically, is intrinsically motivated, has a passion for serving others, and has demonstrated an exemplary ability to rise above unusual challenges and obstacles while remaining focused on pursuing educational opportunities suitable for a career dedicated to community service,” according to the organization’s website. Proceeds also funded two other scholarships and an Atlanta Hawks outing. On Jan. 19, Livvy’s Love Inc. will host its second annual Livvy’s Love Fun Run/ Walk at Stone Mountain Park to raise funds to benefit various youth development grants and scholarships. The run/walk will begin at 8 a.m. Participant checkin and on-site registration, which is $40 for individuals and $20 for children in grades K-5, will begin at 7 a.m. Prizes will be raffled during the event, including a new iPad. There will be signs to direct participants to the event site upon entry into Stone Mountain Park. Participants can register online at www.livvyslovefunrunwalk. eventbrite .com. All registrations include a Livvy’s Love Run/Walk T-shirt and one free general raffle ticket. Last year more than 500 participants registered for the run/walk. “It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Nikki Hayes said. “It’s a great way to start the new year.” For more information about the organization, visit www.livvysloveinc.org.
Stonecrest Continued From Page 11A
in 2010 and is now empty. At least three other malls in Macon, Gainesville and Rome were foreclosed on in recent years but still operate. The spaces in Stonecrest owned by major tenants such as Dillard’s, Sears and JCPenney, are owned by the retail companies and are not part of the troubled loan. While experts said financial distress rarely forces the closure of large malls, a turnaround may require changes in stores, new marketing or cost cutting. Analysts said the collapse in the local housing market cut growth in DeKalb and Rockdale counties, hurting the mall. “It was built with the best intentions with the idea that it would do well,” said Jim Bieri, a retail real estate expert with Stokas Bieri in Detroit. “But the economy didn’t continue that way.” The Lithonia mall is a project that was developed in the early 1980s when the economy could support it, but Jackson said now may be “a chance to rethink the mall concept.” “Do we keep doing the same thing or is there a new opportunity?” Jackson asked. Champion writer Andrew Cauthen contirbuted to this story.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
MLK Continued From Page 1A
electrical, plumbing, floor and roof repairs, and more. “We had a home the second year of the project that had a fire and it had knocked out the electrical system in the home,” Harvey said. “So we had to have an electrician come in the home and rewire the entire house.” Harvey said they also do a lot of weatherization to the homes to help the homeowners reduce utility bills. “We also build a lot of handicap ramps because some of the seniors use walkers or wheel-
chairs and can’t get in their homes because they aren’t able to,” Harvey said. The project has grown from 100 volunteers in 2003 to 1,300 volunteers participating in last year’s project. There is a minimum age of 12 years old to volunteer. “It’s 12 unless they are coming with a Boy Scout or Girl Scout troop,” Harvey said. “They need to make advance arrangements with us for that because we need the parents’ consent.” Harvey said it is important to help senior citizens because they are the foundation of the
Decatur community. “They’ve lived here 30, 40 years and they’ve made Decatur what it is today,” she said. “They started neighborhood associations and they volunteered in the schools. Part of it is giving back to them for all that they’ve given to the community.” “It allows them to live in their house, as long as they want to,” Mitchell added. For more information about the project, visit www.mlkserviceproject.com.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
New Decatur mayor:
‘We can’t continue to prosper if DeKalb County doesn’t prosper’
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org City of Decatur commissioner Jim Baskett is now the mayor of Decatur. Baskett was elected mayor after former mayor Bill Floyd resigned Jan. 7. Baskett was elected to the Decatur Board of Commission in 1995 and served as mayor pro tem from 2002-2012. Baskett, who praised Floyd for his 13 years of service as mayor, said he had felt prepared to take over as mayor for some time. “I supported Bill,” Baskett said. “Bill was a great leader, a strong leader and just what the city of Decatur needed. But I feel I can do the job.” The Stone Mountain native, who studied social ethics and political thought at Emory University, said he ran for a commission seat because he felt like he had a lot to offer to the city. “I thought I could provide a lot of energy and experience,” he said. “And I especially had experience with budgeting.” A founder of the DeKalb Library Foundation, he served as chair of the DeKalb County Library System board of trustees where he gained his experience with budgeting. “The [Decatur] budget at that time was not much greater than the budget I had been working with the DeKalb County Library,” he said. “So I felt that I came with some knowledge of responsibility.” Baskett is also a graduate of Leadership DeKalb and the Regional Leadership Institute. He served on the board of directors of Our House Inc., Leadership DeKalb, and the Heart Association. He is a past president of the South Candler Street Neighborhood Association and was active in the Winnona Park Neighbors Association. “My political career was an extension of a lot of the work I was doing as a volun-
From left, seen here with DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis, Gary Cornell has resigned as the county’s interim planning director. File photo
County’s interim planning director quits after a year
by Andrew Cauthen email@example.com The man touted by DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis as “the best planning director that DeKalb County has ever had” has resigned after a year on the job. Gary A. Cornell was appointed by Ellis in January 2011 to serve as the interim director of the department of planning and sustainability. County spokesman Burke Brennan said Cornell tendered two letters of resignation. In the first letter, received by Ellis in December, Cornell said, “I believe the time has come for me to take a new direction in 2013.” Cornell wrote that it was his intent to return to private practice “upon the confirmation of a successor to this position.” A second letter, dated Jan. 4, made the resignation effective immediately. Cornell has 33 years of professional experience in city and regional planning, including seven years as the director of Gwinnett County’s Department of Planning and Development, seven years as a principal transportation planner at the Atlanta Regional Commission, three years as planner in residence at Florida State University, and 11 years as a senior community planning consultant for Jacobs Engineering. Cornell’s appointment met with resistance on the Board of Commissioners; some board members expressed concern that Ellis had hired an interim planning director when interim positions are usually filled by an existing employee. “I believe this action is illegal,” said Commissioner Lee May, said at the time. In July 2012, Cornell, along with Ellis and an associate planning director, were named in a lawsuit over a land displacement permit for a proposed North Druid Hills subdivision. Bobby Buckler and Anthony McCullar filed the lawsuit “because they won’t let us put a cul-de-sac on our property,” Buckler said at the time. The county recently gave Buckler permission to go proceed with part of the subdivision. The lawsuit was dropped Dec. 19, according to court records. On Jan. 7, Ellis named Luz Borrero, the county’s deputy chief operating officer of development, as the interim planning director. Ellis also said Borrero “has initiated a national search for a permanent planning director and anticipated that a qualified candidate should be presented to my office for consideration and presentation to the Board of Commissioners within the next 60 days.”
teer,” he said. As commissioner he has served on the task forces for greenspace, infill housing, and Scottish Rite redevelopment, zoning update, preservation corridor and the Woodlands Committee. The Avondale High School graduate also has a master of divinity from The Candler School of Theology. Baskett and his wife, Mickey, live in the historic South Candler district. As mayor, Baskett said he wants the city of Decatur to work with DeKalb County to fix the challenges both the city of Decatur and the county are facing. “We can’t continue to prosper if DeKalb County doesn’t prosper,” he said. “I want us to work with DeKalb County, especially DeKalb County schools. We
have to make sure we don’t see a decline in people’s perception of what’s happening in DeKalb County.” Baskett said the biggest challenge is the DeKalb County school district. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools placed the DeKalb school district on “accreditation probation” until Dec. 31. “As problems continue to unfold with DeKalb County schools we get more and more pressure on the population of our schools,” he said. “So we have to start working with the school board. I see the next couple of years as us working very closely with our school board to work through the challenges they face, and us working very closely with DeKalb County with the challenges we face together.”
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
Flexible workplace solutions come to Decatur
by Kathy Mitchell
fect. It’s right by the courthouse, the MARTA station, firstname.lastname@example.org and both DeKalb County and city of Decatur governA small- to mediumment offices.” sized company opening its The way people work first office in an area might, today requires the type of in addition finding a space flexibility that Regus ofto rent, be faced with such fers, company officials say. startup tasks as buying furniture, arranging for utilities Clients can choose not only the length of their contracts and cleaning services, setbut the level of service they ting up a telecommunications system and hiring such need. “Businesses are recogsupport staff as a receptionnizing the vast potential of ist and an office manager. flexible working and are There is, however, an alterlooking for options that will native—and it recently beshorten their commute and came available in Decatur. enable them to be more effiRegus, an international cient,” according to a stateprovider of flexible workplaces, the day after Christ- ment from Donna Scott, Regus’ regional vice presimas opened a full-service dent. “Approximately 65 location in the heart of percent of Decatur residents Decatur’s business discommute to Atlanta or other trict. There, businesses— nearby suburbs and our new whether one person or 20 centrally located facility or more—can find on day gives them the freedom to one furniture in place, such work closer to home in an office machines as copiers and scanners, working tele- environment equipped to phones, Internet connections support their needs.” A wide range of clients and even refreshments in the use Regus, according to break room. “This has been a missing Fleming. In addition to companies that want to focus on market for us,” said Regus’ their core business without Atlanta Market Director being concerned about esRhonda Fleming. “We’ve had a lot of requests for De- tablishing and maintaining a physical facility, there are catur. This location is peremployees of companies based in one city that need a presence in another city where they have a small number of employees. “There are people who work from home or who have mobile businesses but need a virtual office occasionally—a place to hold meetings, receive clients, etc.” Fleming explained, adding that terms are flexible allowing clients to choose the amount of space they use and the length of time they stay. She said Regus also can provide a solution to keep a business going following a disaster at the workplace. Regus clients can change as fast as their business does, explained Fleming. “If a client suddenly needs a larger space or a smaller space, we can make arrange that with no problem.” Even when a person needs to transfer to another city, if that city has Regus facilities, it’s a simple matter of transferring to the other city—even if that city is on another continent, she said. Regus has more than 1,500 offices in 88 countries. A bullet point in its brochure boasts, “The project has moved to Paris? Be on the Champs Elysees at a moment’s notice.” “Technology has transformed how people work,” Scott said. “Work happens anywhere and everywhere. Our goal is to ensure customers have access to space that will allow them to be innovative, collaborative and successful.” Fleming said that today’s workers value short commutes and flexible work schedules. “The quality of life goes up when people can live, work and play in the same area.” “Having this center close to home will help alleviate
With private offices, conference rooms, internet facilities, business lounges and more, the recently opened Decatur Regus facility, according to General Manager Donna Duncan, left, and Market Manager Rhonda Fleming, is ready for ready for business clients to start work immediately. The offices, which have views of the Atlanta skyline, the Decatur Square and other scenic panoramas, are among the most desirable in the city, Fleming says.
the stress of many professionals who are caught in Atlanta’s heavy traffic jams during peak hours,” Scott said. Regus officials say that Atlanta’s sprawling suburban communities are part of its growth plans. Recently, Regus opened facilities in Duluth and Cumming and now has more than 25 locations within Georgia’s central business districts and suburbs. They say the trend of flexible working and the demand from businesses of all sizes across all industries is getting stronger. Despite being focused on instant readiness, Regus doesn’t primarily attract short-term clients, according to Fleming. “Many of our clients have been with us for years,” she said. “Really, the only reason to leave us is that you get too big—and that’s not a bad thing.”
PUBLIC NOTICE Pursuant to O.C.G.A. §21-2-131 (a)(1)(A), qualification fees for elected officials were set at the January 8, 2013 City Council meeting by the Mayor and Council of the City of Stone Mountain, Georgia. The qualifying fee for the office of Council Member will be $108.00 and $360.00 for the office of Mayor. Such fees shall be three percent (3%) of the total gross salary of the office paid in the preceding calendar year.
The Voice of Business in DeKalb County
Two Decatur Town Center, 125 Clairemont Ave., Suite 235, Decatur, GA 30030
DeKalb Chamber of Commerce
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
DeKalb elementary school hosts fundraiser The DeKalb Elementary School of the Arts (DESA) will host its first auction fundraiser Feb. 9, at 5:30 p.m., at the Lou Walker Center, located at 2538 Panola Road in Lithonia. “Mardi Gras Auction Magic” will begin with cocktails and a silent auction, followed by hors d’oeuvres, a live auction and dancing. The evening’s entertainment will feature vocalist Greta Prince, winner of the 2011 Essence Music Festival and Pebbles R&B Star competition. Tickets are $10 per person and proceeds from the event will go to support student achievement at DESA. The public is invited to attend. Seating is limited to 200. For tickets, contact the DESA Parent Teacher Association at www. email@example.com. Museum School recruiting students for 2013-14 The Museum School, a free, public charter school located just outside Avondale Estates, is recruiting students in grades K-six for the 2013-14 school year. First priority for enrollment is given to children living in “Focus Area 1,” which follows the attendance lines for Avondale, Knollwood and Midway elementary schools. If space allows, enrollment is then opened to children living in “Focus Area 2,” which is the remainder of the DeKalb County School District (DCSD). Kindergarten and sixth grade will have the most slots but families with students in other grades are encouraged to apply. Pending approval from DCSD, The Museum School will add classrooms for sixth grade during the 2013-14 school year, which will open up 24 additional seats. The school will accept applications Feb. 1-15. If it receives more applications than spots available, a public lottery will be held Feb. 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the school, and admission offers will go out immediately. Families will have 15 days to notify the school of their intent to enroll. Tours of The Museum School are available every Thursday at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Open houses will be held at The Museum School, located at 923 Forrest Blvd. in Decatur, Jan. 17 at 10 a.m. and Jan. 23 at 9 a.m. For more details about the curriculum and admissions policy at The Museum School, visit the school’s website at www. themuseumschool.org. Emory anthropologist receives National Career Awards Emory University anthropology professor Peter Brown has received two major 2012 career awards for teaching and mentoring: The American Anthropological Association (AAA)/ Oxford University Press Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in Anthropology, and the Society for Medical Anthropology Graduate Student Mentoring Award. Both awards were presented at the recent AAA annual meeting in San Francisco. Emory announces new provost Emory University officials announced Claire Sterk as the university’s new senior vice provost for academic affairs. Sterk has been an Emory faculty member since 1995 and is also a former associate dean for research in the university’s school of public health. An accomplished health researcher and educator, Sterk was named to the position after Earl Lewis left it in November to serve as president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Civil rights leader Joseph Lowery to speak at Agnes Scott
by Kathy Mitchell firstname.lastname@example.org The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, a Presidential Medal of Freedom winner and civil rights leader, is this year’s speaker at Agnes Scott College’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation. A retired minister in the United Methodist Church and the third president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Lowery participated in many major activities of the American Civil Rights Movement. Honored in 2004 at the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta, he also delivered the benediction at the inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009. In a 2003 interview for Atlanta goodlife magazine, Lowery said that for him the Civil Rights Movement didn’t begin in the 1960s. It started much earlier when he was walking out of his father’s sweet shop and brushed against a White police officer who was walking in. The officer bellowed a racial epithet at 12-year-old Lowery, hit him in the stomach with a billy club and demanded, “Don’t you see a White man coming in the door?” Lowery said his father talked to the mayor, who was sympathetic, but said there was nothing he could do. “We can’t pay policemen much, so all we get are rednecks, and they’re all like that,” the mayor said. In another incident from his youth, Lowery, who’s now in his 90s, remembered his father being pulled over by the police even though he had done nothing wrong. “The police back then thought if a Black man was driving a nice car, it must be stolen. The policeman asked, ‘Boy, whose car is this?’ and my father replied, ‘This is Mr. Lee Lowery’s car. I’m driving it for him.’ Of course, my father was Lee Lowery, but the officer assumed the car belonged to a White man that my father worked for. That was my father’s way of handling the situation, but I knew it couldn’t be mine,” Lowery said.
The speaker at Agnes Scott College’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. convocation Jan. 18 will be the Rev. Joseph Lowery.
Lowery’s initial career plan was to be a lawyer. “That was my plan,” he recalled. “God had a different one. I serve a meddlesome God.” Instead, Lowery became a minister. When he was pastor of a church in Mobile, Black preachers across the South were meeting in small and large groups to formulate strategies to combat injustice, according to Lowery, and those meetings formed the roots of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the organization he co-founded with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “We thought back in the 1950s that if Blacks could just get into the mainstream, everything would be all right, but we didn’t know the stream was polluted,” he said. “We had a bigger job than we thought; we had to purify the stream.” Lowery recalled how in the late 1990s, former Alabama Gov. George Wallace, after building a career on his anti-integration views, was
aging, ill and approaching the end of his life. He had already apologized for many things he had done, including ordering the beating of marchers in the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights march. He called Lowery and asked him to join him in prayer. Many were surprised that he accepted the invitation. Lowery explained the decision simply: “Although he stood in the door to prevent integration [of the University of Alabama], I refused to stand in the door of his repentance.” The Civil Rights Movement, he explained, never sought to destroy racist Whites, but to enlighten them. “Black people have been the moral conscience of America. We have to teach White people that they can stand tall without standing on the necks of Black people.” The Agnes Scott College Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation is Friday, Jan. 18, at 2 p.m. in Gaines Chapel, Presser Hall.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
Parents may want to plan now for summer camps
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com There is a wealth of summer camps to choose from in DeKalb and greater metro Atlanta. Each year, theme camps for young chefs, musicians or aspiring writers have been popping up alongside traditional day camps. There are camps for rock climbers, actors, science geeks, young musicians and more. Many of them begin enrolling campers at the beginning of the year, some as early as January. Leslie Quigless is the founder of the Atlanta Young Writers Institute (AYWI), a nonprofit housed on the campus of Agnes Scott College in Decatur. Unlike with most summer programs, campers must apply for admittance. Quigless said each student must apply, providing writing samples and teacher recommendations to be accepted to the program. Each summer AYWI hosts weeklong writing workshops for seventh and eighth graders and an intensive writing course for high school students that lasts two weeks. “In both programs we want them to emerge with a product, so we do creative writing projects that they complete,” Quigless said. Throughout the day, Quigless said, students do lessons with the institute’s primary instructors and go on writingrelated field trips to such places as Atlanta’s Center for Puppetry Arts or local magazine and newspaper offices. “We also have professional writers visit the classes and do team building because we want to build a sense of real community among students,” Quigless said. Although there are a lot of camps to choose from, Quigless said it’s important to pay attention to what child does in his or her free time because that is an indicator of a camp that might be a good fit for them. “If your daughter doodles a lot, maybe art class is the way to go. If your son loves music, have him try out a music camp,” Quigless said. “Summer camp should be about what your child actually enjoys–not necessarily what you think he or she should enjoy.” Quigless said both overnight and day camps have advantages but it’s important to talk it over with the child to see which one they are more comfortable with. Another option is trying an overnight camp close to home so the child has the experience of being away from home, but not too far away, Quigless said. Jason Raines, co-founder of Big Thinkers Science Exploration Camps, said if parents are interested in enrolling their children in a theme camp they should start looking at camps during the winter, as early as January. Big Thinkers is for children in kindergarten through sixth grade and has been in business since 2006. Raines’ wife, Noreen Raines, a chemist, started Big Thinkers after entertaining at school clubs and birthday parties for several years. “She’s melding her chemistry background and being an entrepreneur,” Raines said. “I have a science background and a background with middle school education.” Raines said many camp owners attend expos each year to market their camps. Parents attend the expos to see camps the metro area has to offer and talk to camp staff. “I think as a whole, parents are starting to prepare for camp earlier and earlier,” Raines said. Big Thinkers starts in June and runs through July. It has eight locations and each session usually has approximately 100 campers each week. Raines said without the big camp expos it would be difficult to fill the slots. This summer, Big Thinkers will offer four camp themes: Gadgets and Gizmos, Discovery and Exploration, Rockets and Sprockets and Chemistry Lab Extreme. Raines said campers, will be participating in everything from the science behind making Diet Coke and Mentos explosions to owl pellet dissections. Raines said sessions are not grouped by age. However, the camps curriculum focuses on hands-on activities and there are enough staff members to tailor the difficulty of those activities to students of different ages. Theme camps tend to focus on one thing, rather than the more traditional day camps, which include swimming, canoeing, nature
‘Summer should about camp be what child your actually enjoys– notnecessarilywhatyouthink he or she should enjoy.’
hikes, and arts and crafts. Raines said theme camps allow children the opportunity to explore something more in-depth, and the child comes out of that experience with a better understanding of what they like and what they don’t. “If they’re like-minded it will plant a seed that will turn into something else, and if it’s not that’s still valuable,” Raines said. “I would say a unique aspect of our camp is that we value applied science, We like the kids to learn the science and understand how that works in the world,” he said.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
CDC: Some women get Pap tests without need
Younger women—30 and younger—are getting screened consistent with newer national recommendations, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In a second study, CDC reported that 60 percent of women continue to get Pap tests even after having a total hysterectomy. The two studies are published in a recent issue of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. In 2012, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and American Cancer Society recommended that women, beginning at age 21, should start Pap test screening every three years, and that women should not be screened annually. The same groups agree that screening is unnecessary for most women who have had a total hysterectomy—removal of the uterus and uterine cervix—for non-cancerous reasons, or for women ages 65 years and older with several years of normal test results. “As we monitor Pap test use among U.S. women, we can make sure that women are being screened in accordance with guidelines, to best maximize the benefits of screening and minimize the harms,” said Meg Watson, an epidemiologist with CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control. The researchers for both studies analyzed Pap test survey data from CDC’s Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System during 2000 through 2010. They found that screening has become more consistent with current cervical cancer screening recommendations: • The percentage of women ages 18-21 years who reported never being screened increased from 23.6 percent in 2000 to 47.5 percent in 2010. Screening is not recommended for women younger of 21. • In 2010, recent Pap testing—within three years— dropped among women ages 30 years and older without a hysterectomy, primarily due to declines among women ages 65 years and older—from 73.5 percent in 2000 to 64.5 percent. • For women ages 30 years and older who had a hysterectomy, Pap testing declined from 73.3 percent in 2000 to 58.7 percent in 2010. The survey also found that contrary to recommendations: • The percentage of women ages 22-30 years who had not been screened increased from 6.5 percent in 2000 to 9.0 percent in 2010. • Women ages 30-64 years who did not have health insurance and had not had a hysterectomy were less likely to have received a Pap test within the previous three years—from 74.4 percent in 2000 to 68.7 percent in 2010. “The good news is we are focusing our public health efforts on women at highest risk, while decreasing screening for women under age 21, when cervical cancer is rare and screening is not recommended,” said Keisha Houston, epidemic intelligence service officer with CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention Control. “We need to remain vigilant and increase screening among women who would benefit most from this preventive service.” Because of the Affordable Care Act, many private health plans and Medicare now cover certain preventive services, including cervical cancer screening, with no copays or other out-ofpocket costs. CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program provides low-income, uninsured and underinsured women access to timely cervical and breast cancer screening and diagnostic services in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, five U.S. territories, and 11 American Indian/ Alaska Native tribes or tribal organizations.
2013 City of Atlanta Municipal General Election A Municipal General Election for the City of Atlanta will be held on November 05, 2013 to fill the offices of Mayor, Council President, Council Members and Board of Education Members. Candidates shall qualify to fill the aforementioned offices on Monday August 26, Tuesday August 27, Wednesday August 28, Thursday August 29 and Friday August 30 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, daily at Atlanta City Hall, 55 Trinity Avenue, Second Floor, by one of the following methods: a.) Filing a Notice of Candidacy and paying a set qualifying fee to the Municipal Clerk/Election Superintendent or designated agent for the desired office as follows: Mayor City Council President City Council Member Board of Education Member $4,425.00 $1,230.00 $1,184.19 $ 444.00
b.) Filing a Qualifying Petition and a Pauper’s Affidavit, with the Municipal Clerk/Election Superintendent or designated agent, affirming under oath the candidate’s poverty or inability to pay the qualifying fee as required by O.C.G.A. Sections 21-2-132(g) and 21-2-132(h). CITY OF ATLANTA Rhonda Dauphin Johnson Municipal Clerk/Election Superintendent
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
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 Jon Dunmyer, Tucker (basketball): The junior guard led the Tucker Tigers in scoring with 18 points in the 72-54 win over Arabia Mountain on Jan. 8. He is averaging 15.6 points per game. FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Auriana Broughton, Chamblee (basketball): The senior forward scored 15 points and had 11 rebounds in the 56-40 win over Stone Mountain on Jan. 12. Broughton is averaging 10.3 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.
Junior golfer ﬁnishes 2012 season in top 25
by Carla Parker email@example.com Ayanna Habeel of Lithonia finished the 2012 golf season in the top 25 for her age group after competing in the Doral Publix Junior Classic in Miami, Fla. Dec. 17-19, 2012. Ayanna, 12, shot an 86 and 87 in the three-day event, playing on the legendary Great White Course. She finished the season ranked No. 25 in her age group. The Doral-Publix Junior Golf Classic is the premier tournament for junior golf. Junior golfers from around the world participate in the tournament.
Contestants not only have to be accomplished golfers, but they must demonstrate academic excellence in the classroom. Ayanna said playing in the golf classic was a fun experience. “I was able to play with some kids that I played with last year,” she said. “And, I met new people.” She added that she was happy with how her season ended. “I was able to play on different courses and go to the championship,” she said. In September, Ayanna received the 2012 Player of the Year 9-Hole Open Girls 7-18 award and the All Atlanta Junior
Golf Team award after finishing the season 6-0. She practices at the Druid Hills Golf Course. Ayanna, who played a ninehole course in the 2012 season, will move up to play 18 holes next season. She said she is excited about playing 18 holes. “Just knowing that if I mess up on the front nine I can improve on the back nine with my score,” she said. She said her goal for next season is to focus more on the game. “I’ll work on some things that I might be good at but, need to improve so I can be excellent at it,” she said.
Each week The Champion spotlights former high school players from the county who are succeeding in athletics on the college level.
Manny Atkins, Georgia State (basketball): The junior forward from Tucker High School scored 20 points and had five rebounds in the 86-83 loss to Delaware on Jan. 12. Atkins is averaging 12.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Langston Hall, Mercer (basketball): The junior point guard from Chamblee scored 10 points and had six rebounds in the 6647 win over North Florida on Jan. 10. He is averaging 10.2 points and three rebounds per game. Kierra Paige, Alabama State (basketball): The sophomore guard from Redan led the team in scoring with 17 points in the 69-67 overtime win over Alabama A&M on Dec. 12. She is averaging 8.5 points per game.
DeKalb wrestling teams fall in state dual tournament
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org Four DeKalb County Schools wrestling teams fell in the 2013 Georgia High School State Team Duals in Macon on Jan. 10-12. Southwest DeKalb (Area 6-AAAAA champion), Stephenson (Area 6-AAAAA runner-up) and Lithonia (Area 6-AAAA runner-up) all finished 1-2 and McNair (Area 6-AAA runner-up) finished 0-2 in the tournament. Southwest DeKalb, Stephenson and Lithonia all dropped first round matches on Jan. 10 and had to compete in the wrestle backs of the consolation bracket on Jan. 11. The Southwest DeKalb Panthers dropped a tough 43-23 decision to Whitewater in the opening round, but the Panthers came back strong and outscored Hardaway 58-22 in the first round of the wrestle backs. However, Southwest DeKalb lost a close match to Creekview 35-30 in the following round. The Stephenson Jaguars fell 58-19 to Woodland-Cartersville in the opening round. They regrouped and held on to outscore Jones County 43-42 in the first round of the wrestle backs. But, Whitewater was too much for the Jaguars and Stephenson fell 5319. The Lithonia Bulldogs battled Locust Grove before falling 45-24 in the opening round of the Class AAAA Tournament. They went on to beat South Effingham 34-33 in the first round of the wrestle backs, but lost to Marist 58-18 in the following round. Marist went all the way to the fourth round of the wrestle backs but lost to Carrollton 51-30. McNair lost 46-19 to Sonoraville in its opening round of the Class AAA Tournament. The team then lost a close match to Pierce County 38-35.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
High school football champion becomes college football champion
by Carla Parker email@example.com ery few football players can say that they won a championship at the high school and college level. But Valdosta State wide receiver Seantavious Jones can. The former defensive back for the Tucker High School Tigers was a member of the 2008 Class AAAA state championship team. He became a champion again on Dec. 15 after the Valdosta State Blazers defeated Winston-Salem State 35-7 in the NCAA Division II Championship game. It was the third Division II national title for the Blazers. Jones said he and his teammates felt very accomplished after winning the national title. “We worked very hard over the summer and it was exciting to win,” he said. Jones likened this championship season to his championship season at Tucker. “It was a strong bond [among teammates] just like in high school,” he said. “Everything felt the same. It was my junior year in high school and it was my junior year in college.” Jones, who played cornerback at Tucker, was recruited as an athlete out of high school. He chose to play at Valdosta State because he felt it was the best fit for him. “I like the coaches and everything was good,” he said. Jones said he never thought about playing wide receiver, but the position “chose” him. “I played defensive back in high school and that’s what I really like the most,” he said. “But I guess I’m really good at wide receiver and the coaches like me at wide receiver.”
Valdosta State's Seantavious Jones, right, pulls in a pass ahead of Minnesota State, Mankato's Patrick Schmidt during the first half of their NCAA Division II semifinal game Saturday Dec. 8, at Blakeslee Stadium in Mankato, Minn. (AP Photo/Mankato Free Press, Pat Christman)
Although he only had two catches for six yards in the game, this season was his best statistically at Valdosta State. In his third season as a Blazer, Jones had 51 receptions for 922 yards and 13 touchdowns. The season before, he had 32 receptions for 551 yards and six touchdowns. Jones credited his work ethic
and coaches for improving his game. “I thank the strength and conditioning coaches for getting me prepared and all the other coaches for giving me a chance to keep playing and start.” He plans to keep improving his game and have a better season next year.
“I want to get 60 catches, 1,200 yards and 20 touchdowns,” he said. Jones has some advice for high school players who want to be successful on the college level. “Work hard in school,” he said. “Stay on top of your school work first. That’s the most important thing. Then just keep working hard and stay out of trouble.”
Former Stephenson standout named to SI.com All-Bowl Team
Vanderbilt University safety and former Stephenson Jaguar Kenny Ladler was recognized for his outstanding play in the Music City Bowl as he was named to the SI (Sports Illustrated).com AllBowl Team for the 2012-13 college football season. Ladler recorded a team high 10 tackles and contributed two of the five turnovers caused by the Vanderbilt Commodores defense in the 38-24 Music City Bowl victory over North Carolina State in Nashville. The Commodores starting safety picked off a North Carolina State pass in the first quarter to get Vanderbilt off to a quick start on defense and then added a fumble recovery in the second quarter. His effort played a key role in the Commodores winning nine games in a season for the first time since 1915 as they finished 9-4 on the season. Ladler finished the 2012-13 season as the Commodores’ leading tackler with 90 total stops, 3.5 tackles for a loss, one sack and two interceptions. A 2010 freshman All-Southeastern Conference selection after taking over the starting role at safety, the 6-0, 205, junior has played in all 38 games including the 2011 Liberty Bowl and the 2012 Music City Bowl. Ladler, a 2010 Stephenson graduate, is joined on the Commodore squad by several other DeKalb County products, including freshmen linebackers Darreon Herring (Stephenson 2012) and Jake Sealand (Tucker 2012) and red-shirt junior running back Warren Norman (Chamblee 2009).
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
I just want to
For your endless displays of
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that made the world a
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than I ever thought possible!
Publix Joins You in Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – 2013
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