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Judge rules against DeKalb school board
by Andrew Cauthen email@example.com A federal judge has decided the fate of six DeKalb school board members who sued to keep their jobs. Federal Judge Richard Story decided March 4 to lift a temporary restraining order and deny an injunction against Gov. Nathan Deal. The decision allows the governor to
remove the board members. Jester, Pamela A. Speaks and The probation triggered enforce“The harm from the loss of acEugene P. Walker—were removed ment of a state law that allows the creditation to the school district and Feb. 25 by Deal on the unanimous governor to remove school boards the resulting harm to the students recommendation of the Georgia threatened with loss of accreditation in the district are profound,” Story Board of Education (GBOE). due to “school board governance stated in a court document. “To perIn December, the DeKalb related reasons.” mit the board members to continue County Board of Education was “The interest of the public in a to serve…risks substantial conseplaced on accreditation probation by healthy system outweighs the interquences for the school district and herSouthern Association from the The Champion. ests of board members in serving in Because she gets news updates online of Colleges its students.” Because she gets her and Schools (SACS),fromagency Champion. news updates online the the The their positions,” Story stated. The board members—Sarah that accredits the school district The judge acknowledged the Copelin-Wood, Jesse “Jay” Cunthrough its parent company, AdSee Judge on Page 13A ningham, Donna Elder, Nancy vancED.
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Latino students visit Frida and Diego exhibit at High Museum
by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org A group of 85 Sequoyah Middle School students enrolled in the Latin American Association’s (LAA) afterschool program visited the High Museum’s bilingual Frida and Diego exhibit March 1. Isabel Perez, the managing director of academic achievement for LAA, said it is important students are exposed to work such as that of Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera because it embraces Latin American culture. “It’s the first bilingual art exhibit for our students and it embraces our culture—this is fabulous and we can identify so it’s really important for us,” Perez said. The exhibit, which runs through May 12, features more than 120 paintings and drawings by Kahlo and Rivera, two of Mexico’s most famous painters. Sequoyah Middle is located in an area of DeKalb County with a large Latin American population. Perez said approximately 70 percent of Sequoyah’s students are Latin American; neighboring Cross Keys High School has 80 percent. Perez said the LAA decided to begin the afterschool program to close the
Approximately 90 student from the Latin American Association’s after-school program at Sequoyah Middle School attended the exhibit at the High featuring the work of Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Photos by Daniel Beauregard
achievement gap and help children struggling in school. The program now meets three times a week and students receive tutoring, mentoring and cultural enrichment. There is also a summer program. Recently, LAA hired a high school program manager who will help the students in the eight grade at Sequoyah transition to Cross Keys. Teacher Oscar Gonzalez said he has been preparing his students for their visit to the High by discussing with them the cultural and historic context that both artists were working in at the time. The exhibit, titled “Frida and Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting” focuses on a range of periods in the revolutionary artists’ lives.
“I told them what they could expect and what was going on historically, such as the Mexican Revolution,” Gonzalez said. Gonzalez said he also discussed the meaning identity with his students and asked them to think about what it means to be Latin American. Kahlo’s father was a German who traveled to Mexico in the late 1800s, and her mother was of American Indian descent. Rivera’s mother was a “converso,” a Jew whose ancestors had been forced to convert to Catholicism. Although both artists were born in Mexico, they came from diverse backgrounds and Gonzalez said he discussed with his students why their background is important, and why it is
Students from Sequoyah Middle School stand in front of Atlanta’s High Museum of Art.
important to not focus too much on race but more on identity. Sequoyah student Ashley Garcia said she had been looking forward to seeing the exhibit because she thought it would help her become
more immersed in the arts. “It’s about politics and passion and it’s important because of how we express ourselves and we’re proud of who we are. I want to show how I think and how I see the world,” Garcia said.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 8, 2013
Legislator proposes foreclosure study committee
by Andrew Cauthen email@example.com one of last resorts.” Steve Bridges, a lobbyist for community Rep. Dar’shun banks and a former banking Kendrick (D-93), a selfcommissioner, agreed. proclaimed champion of “We usually foreclosure reform, wants wait quite some the state government to time before we ‘Foreclosures are high in this study the problem. would go through “Foreclosures are high that process state. DeKalb County, which in this state,” Kendrick because we are I represent is second highest said Feb. 28 during a trying to work with hearing in front of the the borrower,” in the state.’ Banks and Banking Sub Bridges said. “We Committee of the state’s - Dar’shun Kendrick don’t want that House of Representatives. property. We don’t “We keep teetering want it back.” between first and sixth Mortgage [place]. DeKalb County, judge. the family in the home,” banking industry lobbyist which I represent is second “The reason…we go to Culbertson said. “The Mo Thrash said the highest in the state. For a nonjudicial foreclosure foreclosure process itself is foreclosure problem has us to not recognize it as a is that the home has been problem is a big issue for abandoned,” said Mike Georgia.” Culbertson, a lobbyist Kendrick has introduced representing credit unions. a resolution calling “The longer that [home] for the creation of a stays abandoned, the more study committee on the property damage and the foreclosure crisis “to study less the value is. That’s the state foreclosure laws one of the reasons why and processes so that we can we really defend the right provide recommendations to go through nonjudicial to the Georgia General foreclosures because most Assembly about of the time when we get into legislatively [preventing] that position, the house has foreclosures.” been abandoned.” The state representative Banks and credit unions said she hopes the proposed need to be able to get in the committee would, “whether house, repair and sell it, little or big, [make] Culbertson said. recommendations about The normal foreclosure how we improve the process in Georgia takes process. There is no harm in approximately 21 months, improving our process for he said. foreclosure. In a judicial foreclosure, “I don’t think there is any it could take 37 months harm in making sure people “because the dockets and get due process when you’re the courts themselves are so taking their biggest asset,” full,” Culberton said. Kendrick said. “We need to “The last thing the credit streamline the process…to union wants to do is to be make sure the homeowner in possession of the house is very clear about the itself,” Culbertson said. process.” “That’s not the business Some attendees at the we’re in. hearing were concerned “We’ll try to work along that the committee would recommend required judicial foreclosures, in which all foreclosures would be brought before a with the consumer to figure out a way, if in fact they have the capacity to bring the account into some kind of a current status and keep been “traumatic.” “We have had a terrible, terrible time in real estate in this state, probably since 2007,” Thrash said. “Every lending institution, every bank, community bank, credit union—everybody’s been affected by this.” Kendrick said her resolution does not advocate for judicial foreclosures. “Doing nothing is not an option,” she said. “At the end of the day, it’s up to the committee to provide recommendations or not provide recommendations. There might be something we’re missing.”
The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 8, 2013
Georgia Piedmont Tech president inaugurated
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org college’s history. Simama worked for Ellis from 2009-12, serving There was much pomp as chief policy adviser and and circumstance as a Dr. deputy chief operating offiJabari Simama officially cer of development. took the helm of Georgia Additionally, Simama Piedmont Technical College was the vice president for (GPTC) Feb. 27. community development and external relations at Benedict College in Columbia, S.C., from 2005-2009. Before that, he was the executive direcWe’re not just tor of community technology for the educating students city of Atlanta, Jabari Simama gives his inaugural speech as president of Georgia Piedmont Technical College as his 2000-2005, and former boss, DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis, looks on. Photo by Kerry King and preparing a served as Atlanta’s chief of the office of always look back and help of the 21st century are like “All fellow Georgians highly qualiﬁed marketing and combring those behind us with family members being left who don’t have the skills to munications from us as we move forward.” behind,” he said. “We must meet the workforce needs workforce, we’re 1998 to 2000. His career in redeeming the souls of higher education includes teaching positions at the our students. Georgia Institute of –Jabari Simama Technology, Clark Atlanta University, Morgan State University, University of Cincinnati, and Atlanta Junior ColPUBLIC NOTICE lege (now Atlanta NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY In introducing his “good Metropolitan College). friend,” DeKalb CEO Simama held elected DeKalb County Human and Community Development Department Burrell Ellis said, “It’s a office as a member of the beautiful day to celebrate Atlanta City Council from 2012 Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) the dawning of a new era at 1987-93. He also served as Georgia Piedmont Technical an appointed member of the The DeKalb County Human and Community Development Department is preparing to submit its College. Metropolitan Atlanta OlymConsolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) to the United States “The vision, passion pic Games Authority, which Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The report covers the status of activities and leadership of Dr. Jabari provided financial oversight and programs carried out through the use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Simama, which I have perfor the Atlanta Olympic sonally benefited from and Games Committee’s $2 bilHOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), and Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) funds witnessed on countless oclion budget. during the most recently completed program year that ended December 31, 2012. casions, reaffirm my belief “I’m ready to move this that the future of this school college to the next level,” The Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report is available for citizens’ review and the overall region is Simama said during his adand comments from March 7, 2013 through March 21, 2012 at the following address: in good hands,” Ellis said. dress. Simama was Ellis’ chief of “Were it not for this colDeKalb County Community Development Department staff before leaving county lege and others like it in 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330 government to run GPTC. our system and elsewhere, Decatur, GA 30030 “Georgia Piedmont Tech- many of our children, our Telephone: 404-286-3308 Hearing Impaired (TDD) (404) 286-3336 nical College, or as I like parents, our sisters and The office hours are 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. to remember it—DeKalb brothers would not be able Tech, has always served… to attend college,” Simama students who are not afraid said. “We’re not just educatThe document may also be reviewed at the DeKalb County libraries listed below. Please contact the libraries for hours of operation. to live their dreams,” Ellis ing students and preparing a said. “At this unique mohighly qualified workforce, Chamblee Branch Decatur Branch ment in time, I can think of we’re redeeming the souls 4115 Clairmont Road, Chamblee 215 Sycamore Street, Decatur no person better to lead this of our students. We’re pro(770-936-1380) (404-370-3070) prestigious institution than viding a bridge for many Dr. Jabari Simama.” of them to cross over to the Redan-Trotti Branch Wesley Chapel-William C. Brown Branch Simama was named middle class.” 1569 Wellborn Road, Lithonia 2861 Wesley Chapel Road, Decatur president of GPTC after the Simama encouraged at(770-482-3821) (404-286-6980) retirement of former presitendees to join him in “helpdent Robin Hoffman left ing this college and other (Written comments should be submitted to the 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue address.) the position vacant. Simama colleges bring the blessing All locations are accessible to persons with disabilities. is the third president and of higher education to those first Black president in the who need it.”
Simama: Right man at the right time
to readings of Dr. Simama’s writings by students Patricia Dunsha, Alix Garcia and Kai Rouillier. Dr. Simama’s best friend from kindergarten, Rev. Dr. G. A. Miller from Oberlin, Ohio, brought the invocation. One of the more touching moments in the two-and-a-half-hour program was the tribute from Dr. Simama’s eldest daughter. Ndelea It was the usual pomp and Simama, like her father an educator circumstance at the recent inauguand poet, traveled from Brooklyn, ration of Dr. Jabari Simama, the N. Y., to share a poem she penned in first Black and third president of honor of her father with whom she Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC), but there was so much has an obvious special bond. Ndelea’s words were blended with one more. There was a genuine air of of her father’s poems in a verbal anticipation for great things shepherded by a decent, ethical man who duet reminiscent of Natalie Cole’s technologically edited video duet of knows who he is and where he is the song “Unforgettable” with her going. late father Nat King Cole. Dr. Simama’s former boss, Ndelea’s moving performance President David Swinton of South Carolina’s Benedict College, during drew a standing ovation. Reisha Lauren drew another standing ovahis remarks counseled Dr. Simama to stay true to his faith and his fam- tion with her hauntingly beautiful soprano voice-instrument that took ily and that he would continue to one’s breath away. And, in a lovely excel. What sage advice. Several gesture, the faculty presented Dr. hundred people were on hand for Simama’s wife Nisha with a huge the event, which included scores of other college presidents, elected of- bouquet of yellow roses. Included among the tributes ficials, and other civic and business to Dr. Simama was a video from leaders. Congressman John Lewis whose There were commendations and late wife Lillian gave Dr. Simama accolades by everyone, from GPTC his first job at Clark College. VidBoard Chairwoman Dr. Susan Eckeotaped remarks were also played ert of Emory University to Alumni from Congressman Hank Johnson. Association representatives Janette Impressive was the eight-point Miles-Kendall and John Frechette vision Dr. Simama flawlessly laid out in his remarks. His number one priority is to elevate the college in the community; 2) increase student enrollment; 3) support student success; 4) attract visionary leaders 5) open communications; 6) make data driven changes; 7) develop new, innovative industry-needed programs and after accomplishing all the other goals; 8) become a Best-In-Class institution of higher learning. Dr. Simama ended his remarks with an original poem written for the occasion and delivered with the kind of passion summoned only from a firm belief in the power of personal conviction. GPTC serves more than 8,000 students in DeKalb, Morgan, Newton and Rockdale counties. It is the 11th largest institution among the 25 schools in the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG). The main campus is in Clarkston. The college recently changed its name from DeKalb Technical College to better reflect the wide area that it serves. Dr. Simama has been at the helm of GPTC since last fall after serving as chief of staff for DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis. The respect CEO Ellis holds for Dr. Simama was evident during the CEO’s remarks, which were upbeat and laced with humor about his scholarly former chief of staff. Dr. Simama has also held elective office himself. He was an Atlanta city councilman from 1987 to 1993. He helped start People’s Cable Access Station in Atlanta and served as an appointed member of the Metropolitan Atlanta Olympic Games Authority, which provided financial oversight for the Atlanta Olympic Games. Dr. Simama has impeccable credentials with a Ph.D. from Emory, a master’s from Clark Atlanta University and bachelor’s from the University of Bridgeport. TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson says he is impressed with Dr. Simama’s vast experience, knowledge of the community, and vision for the college. You could hear his pride at the inauguration ceremony as he introduced his choice to head GPTC. “Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Dr. Jabari Simama, president of Georgia Piedmont Technical College.” It was a welcomed respite to witness a gathering of what makes DeKalb County great. The diversity of the good people in that GPTC conference room, the smiling faces, the laughter, the hope in a county that needed some good news. Yes, the right man for the right job at the right time. Steen Miles, The Newslady, is a retired journalist and former Georgia state senator. Contact Steen Miles at Steen@dekalbchamp.com.
Opinion The Newslady
The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 8, 2013
Constitutional and civil rights at stake
I am dismayed but not deterred, following our setback in federal court Monday. I respectfully but wholeheartedly disagree with the judge’s decision, and I plan to continue to seek justice through the court system until this matter with the governor is resolved. This is why: I was born in Thomaston, a small town in Upson County, Ga. The indignity of segregaWalker tion and racism was the backdrop of my youth. I swore at that time that I would stand up for my rights no matter the cost. I have not swayed from the selfcommitment, and virtually all my adult life has been dedicated to service to my fellow man, with a special dedication to education. I preface this to explain, again, why I am obligated to engage the governor in the court system. It is morally abhorrent to sit idly by and allow the usurping of the one man one vote rights that has been bought and paid with the blood, sweat and tears of my generation. It is imperative that public servants preserve and protect the constitution and adhere to all laws, including the precept of a citizens’ right to choose their representative government. With the current assault of Section V of the voting rights act and the perpetual gerrymandering to disenfranchise races of people, I am compelled to employ every means available to me to protect citizens’ rights. The governor is using SACS and the State Board of Education as a hammer and chisel to chip away at the progress we have made. No one on the DeKalb County Board of Education, myself included, has committed a crime or misappropriated, misused or misspent funds entrusted to us. Quite the opposite: We have served with honesty and integrity. In fact, this board under the severe stress by the downturn of the economy has worked tirelessly to provide a quality education to our children with a minimum amount of adverse impact on the homeowners of this county. It has not been easy, and there has not always been a consensus. There is no crime in that, rather it is an inherent ingredient in the democratic process. I don’t feel the governor is personally attacking me. This is not about Eugene Walker. When I step aside through my own actions or through the wisdom of the electorate, I believe I will ultimately be judged on my legacy as an educator, coach, administrator, state senator, state commissioner, pardon and parole board member, in addition to my role now as a school board member. I believe the greatest gift I can bequeath to the children of this school system at this time is a contemporary lesson on civics, civil liberties and standing up for what is right. If this unconstitutional act is to stand, then what is next? It will only be a matter of time before another constitutional right will be taken away by another wayward and self-perpetuating politico under the guise of the greater good. Minorities should not feel secure if contrived allegations from anonymous sources with hidden agendas can go to private agencies and to have their civil rights stolen away. This cannot and shall not be allowed to stand. Leadership calls for tough and sometimes unpopular decisions. Such it is with standing up to the power brokers who seek to systematically erode, divide and conquer the voting strength of partisan and racial minorities. If I lose, so be it. But I cannot and will not go down without a fight on the principles at stake here. Dr. Eugene Walker DeKalb Board of Education District 9
Letter to the Editor
The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 8, 2013
Opinion One Man’s Opinion
The wrong way to go
point of pride, major or minor accomplishment by a student or educator and daily demonstrations of excellence emanating from several of our nearly 150 schools and centers in the DCSD. DeKalb County governance is troubled on many levels, admittedly some businesses and individual families will begin the process of bailing out. Clayton County experienced an outward bound flood of this nature after its school system lost accreditation. But whether you are reading these thoughts in Ellenwood, Dunwoody, Stone Mountain, Chamblee or downtown Decatur, don’t kid yourself. Further subdividing our county or its school system into a series of fiefdoms is no guaranteed path to success. And creating new schools systems in Georgia will require an amendment to the Georgia Constitution. Creating a new Dunwoody school district or city of Lakeside will not improve student outcomes in those clusters; it will only add costs, in exchange for less fear and a perception of greater “local control.” Four of Georgia’s perpetually highest performing school systems are Forsyth County, Fayette County, Trion City and City Schools of Decatur. Smallness is not their similarity, or path to greatness. Participation and community leadership are their keys. Look at the school boards of those systems, as well as their senior administration staff. Read the resumes. You see achievement, academics and educators with proven track records, civic, community and business leaders of standing (the bank or hospital president, head of the Chamber of Commerce), business and education professionals and occasionally a parent activist. What you don’t see are superintendents on a downward professional spiral having left their prior system under a cloud, board members who are extremely parochial or who often have no other source of income or employment or who began their service as a community activist or retired educator. Splitting our DCSD into three or four smaller systems is guaranteed only to increase costs, with no guarantee of improved results—and only the potential possibility of greater “local control.” In communities where the leadership, families, churches and schools are fully vested, those schools are already successful. If you look at the historic divide and complaints of disproportionate resources being spent on DeKalb’s schools on the north side, what you will actually find are parents, teachers, coaches, students and siblings invested in those schools. PTAs, booster clubs and community businesses routinely sponsor school teams and events in Dunwoody, Lakeside, Druid Hills, Chamblee and elsewhere. The same dollars per student are appropriated by the county and the state to schools on the south side, but that other support is not identical—and over time the gap widens. Dunwoody school parents already have some pretty good tools at their disposal in the new charter schools amendment that voters passed last year. There are also methods in place, as well as opportunities for school accreditation without school system accreditation. However, if the folks pushing the city of Lakeside and for a new Dunwoody school district want to move full speed ahead, they might want to take note that those school buildings now, as well as their surrounding grounds still belong to the people of DeKalb County and the DCSD. The Lakeside campus just completed in excess of $20 million in improvements last year. Perhaps the way out of DCSD’s deficit hole and toward creating a nice tidy surplus would be to sell the Dunwoody and Lakeside clusters to these two new systems for, say, $200 million. That’s a whole lot of band candy folks. 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 billcrane@ earthlink.net.
“Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.”— Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), British aristocrat, philosopher, historian and social critics. I was born in DeKalb County, educated in our public schools, and graduated from Lakeside High School. I’m among thousands who graduated from the DeKalb County School District during its glory days. So it is hard not to look at the current quagmire enveloping the leadership of the system with a mix of pity, despair and disgust. How does a school system, with annual revenues approaching $1 billion, with nearly 100,000 students and so many things going for it get so screwed up? The DeKalb County School District is facing multiple challenges, many of them are real, some are reversible, and some are trends outside of the system’s control. Still having a daughter currently enrolled in the system, I can say that I regularly witness or hear about a
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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, March 8, 2013
New manager already saved $1.5 million
Veteran government leader Marie Lewis Garrett will become Brookhaven’s first city manager. The Brookhaven City Council voted unanimously Feb. 26 to appoint Garrett as permanent city manager for the city’s first year of operation. Garrett has served as interim city manager since December 2012. The city conducted a national search and received 79 applications from 23 states. The mayor and council interviewed 10 candidates and selected Garrett because of her experience and knowledge Garrret of Georgia municipalities. “The job she has done and her expertise have been invaluable to the city, and we want that to continue,” Mayor J. Max Davis said. “For Brookhaven right now, there was no other choice. She gives us the best chance to succeed and excel. We are extremely excited she will continue to be our partner in building this city.” The mayor credits Garrett with already saving the new city more than $1.5 million through strategic contract negotiations for city services. Garrett has spent the past 30 years working with governments in Georgia, including working as a top-level administrator or consultant in the cities of Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Canton and Milton. Since 1996 she has run a business providing consulting services in planning, development, public administration and budgeting for a wide range of governments and organizations. In addition, she has taught government courses at Georgia State University and served on numerous boards and committees. “This is an opportunity to build the framework and structure for the city and enable it to serve the community at large,” Garrett said. “You only get one chance to create a first impression. Brookhaven has the opportunity to come out of the gate and get it right, and I want to be part of this.” Garrett, who comes from Alpharetta, has a master’s degree in public and urban affairs from Georgia State University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia.
Lisa Y. Kinnemore
some of the different problems that are going on and more of an in-depth opportunity to see where I can be of help.” Kinnemore and her husband Garry have three sons, Kristopher an electrician; Joshua a student at the Georgia Institute of Technology; and Jonathan a student at Georgia State University and in the Army Reserves. A homeschooling family for 15 years, Kinnemore said that experience will help her role on GBOE because she believes “all kids, regardless of the education”—whether public school, charter school or homeschool—“can advance to do well in life.” Kinnemore said she wants to engage community members “to hear what concerns they have and take those back” to GBOE. “My ears are here and my heart is open,” she said. In addition to GBOE, Kinnemore volunteers for a homeless shelter, the DeKalb GOP and Truth Tabernacle of Praise in Stone Mountain. She was on the board of Northeast Independent Preparatory Academy for five years. She attends Briarlake Baptist Church. A DeKalb County native, Kinnemore was the seventh of nine children of Johnny and Catherine Carr. She graduated from Chamblee High School and attended West Georgia College before transferring to Georgia State University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in political science. Upon graduating, she worked in sales and as an account manager for various companies before deciding to leave the workplace to raise her boys. In 2012, Kinnemore made an unsuccessful bid as a Republican for the state house District 86 seat against incumbent Democrat Michelle Henson. Kinnemore said she pursues community involvement “to help those who are in need of help” and “to become personally familiar with people in the area so that I can help them meet need that I can help with.”
Champion of the Week
When the Georgia Board of Education (GBOE) recently voted unanimously to recommend to Gov. Nathan Deal to remove six members of the DeKalb school board members, Stone Mountain’s own Lisa Y. Kinnemore was there. Kinnemore, who was appointed by Deal in February to the state board, said the position gives her the opportunity “to represent not just the kids that are educated in public schools, but those in the homeschool and charter school arena.” The 14-hour GBOE meeting gave Kinnemore “an opportunity to hear
If you would like to nominate someone to be considered as a future Champion of the Week, please contact Kathy Mitchell at email@example.com or at (404) 373-7779, ext. 104.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 8, 2013
writing coach Wayne Smith. Limit works to 500 words or five minutes of reading time. All readings must be appropriate for family audiences. The 2-3 p.m. event is opened to the first 20 participants. No registration required. Brookhaven library is at 1242 N. Druid Hills Road, NE in Atlanta. For more information, call (404) 848-7140.
Pug Meet and Greet to be held at Second Life Pugs and pugs mixes looking for a home will be available for a “Meet and Greet” Saturday, March 9, at Second Life Upscale Resale in Avondale Estates. Dog lovers can meet the dogs noon4 p.m. All dogs are up for adoption through Southeast Pug Rescue & Adoption. Second Life is an upscale resale store that was created with the mission of giving homeless pets a second chance at life. Second Life Upscale Resale is located at 1 N. Clarendon Avenue. For more information, visit www. secondlifeatlanta.org.
Decatur Active Living to host Touch-a-Truck Children of all ages can to touch, explore and see their favorite trucks or equipment on wheels at the annual Touch-a-Truck event on Saturday, March 9, in Decatur. The 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. event will feature city of Decatur and DeKalb County dump trucks, fire trucks, tractors, police cars and motorcycles and many other types of vehicles will be on display. Touch-a-Truck takes place in the Callaway Building Parking lot located at 120 West Trinity Place. In case of inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled for Saturday, April 20. For more information, contact Cheryl Burnette at (678) 553-6541 or cheryl. firstname.lastname@example.org. Author to give lecture on Churchill Author Michael Shelden will give a lecture at the Decatur Library Wednesday, March 13, 7:15-9 p.m., about his new book, Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill, an exploration of Churchill’s life between 1901 and 1915. Pulitzer Prize-winner Jon Meacham calls it “a memorable portrait” of Churchill’s life and loves in this period. Shelden, who teaches at Indiana State University, is a former writer for the London Daily Telegraph and the author of four honored biographies, including Mark Twain: Man in White and Orwell: The Authorized Biography. Decatur Library is located at 215 Sycamore Street, Decatur. For more information, call (404) 370-3070. Basketball game to raise funds for brain injury clubhouse The GFWC Stone Mountain Woman’s Club and the GFWC Lilburn Woman’s Club are again helping to sponsor a family-oriented fundraising event for Side by Side Brain Injury Clubhouse in Stone Mountain. The lawyers (Jawbones) will challenge last year’s basketball game winning doctors (Sawbones) on Saturday, March 16, at the Decatur High School gym for bragging rights for a full year. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the game starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. Last year’s event raised more than $20,000, all of which went to the programs at Side by Side. A silent auction will be added to the festivities this year.
At Side by Side Clubhouse people living with the lifelong effects of traumatic brain injury go from being medical patients to living full and satisfying life, according to a statement from the sponsoring organizations. To purchase tickets or to learn more about the Side by Side Brain Injury Clubhouse, visit www.sidebysideclubhouse. org or contact Marian Dickson, Side by Side’s resource development director, at email@example.com or at (770) 469-9355. Bluegrass Evening to be fundraiser for the library system
Carlos Museum to honor contributions of Michael Graves The Michael C. Carlos Museum celebrates the 20th anniversary of the 1993 expansion designed by famed architect Michael Graves, paying tribute to his direct and lasting contribution to Emory University. Graves will serve as honorary chairman of the museum’s signature annual fundraiser, Veneralia, to be held on Saturday, March 16. When Graves agreed to come to Emory in the early 1980s to design the renovation of a historic campus building, it was considered an architectural coup, according to a statement from the university. One of the “New York Five,” Graves was a rising superstar in architecture and design. “What followed was a long and fruitful relationship between Graves and the Carlos Museum, leading to a 1993 addition, several gallery renovations, and multiple visits and creative conversations about the museum’s facility and future. Winner of a National AIA Honor Award, Graves’ projects for the Carlos Museum involved historic preservation and adaptive re-use of a landmark law school designed by Henry Hornbostel in 1916.” Graves commented, “I am pleased to return to Emory University and the Carlos Museum. It’s a joy to see firsthand how this institution continues to play an important role within the University and the larger Atlanta community in the same way that the building contributes to the character of Hornbostel’s historic quadrangle.”
An evening of pickin’ and prose awaits those attending Bluegrass Evening at the Decatur Library on Saturday, March 9, 7-10:30 p.m. Proceeds will benefit DeKalb County Public Library. The evening will include Bridge Catering’s “Southern fixin’s” – shrimp and grits, fried chicken, cornbread, collards with smoked turkey, berry tarts and Kentucky buttercake—a silent auction, with items that include four passes to Disney World in Orlando, Fla.; an opportunity to meet and mingle with Southern authors Joshilyn Jackson and Karen White and a concert by Atlanta bluegrass band Dappled Grays. Dappled Grays will perform original music played by vocalist and fiddler Leah Calvert, banjoist Greg Earnest, bassist Keith Morris, mandolinist Michael Smith and guitarist Casey Cook. Named best bluegrass band in Atlanta by Creative Loafing magazine, this American bluegrass band has released two albums, In the Gait and Doin’ My Job. Most recently, the band scored several songs for the Clint Eastwood movie Trouble with the Curve. Jackson will sign copies of her books, including her recent book A Grown Up Kind of Pretty, and White also will sign copies of her books, including her latest work of Southern women’s fiction, Sea Change. Tickets are $65 online at dekalblibrary.org/foundation or $75 at the door or send a check to the DeKalb Library Foundation. For more information, contact (404) 370-8450, ext. 2238 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Ken Ford Foundation to host Unity Concert Award-winning musician Ken Ford and the board of directors of The Ken Ford Foundation are joining forces with drummer Jorel “JFly” Flynn and How Big Is Your Dream? Foundation to host the second annual Unity Concert and fundraiser on Saturday, March 23, at The Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center. This concert will provide a platform where talented newcomers and professionals share the stage as they learn and practice major aspects of music diversity through live entertainment. Also, a teen gala called U-N-I-TY will be hosted by teens as a leadership project to design and implement all the aspects of concert
and event programming. The VIP reception and the teen gala start at 6 p.m.; the concert starts at 8 p.m. General admission tickets are $35 in advance, $45 at the door; the VIP reception is $75 advance only; and the teen gala is $10. Proceeds from the concert will benefit programs and services offered by both foundations, including donation of musical instruments, mentorships, music advocacy and scholarships. The Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center is located at 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur. For more information, visit www.howbigisyourdream.org and www.thekenfordfoundation.org.
Cafeteria to donate proceeds to help neighbor The Peach Cafeteria at 4437 Cowan Road in Tucker, just across from the burned out Handy Hardware, will have a fundraiser for Handy’s more than 30 displaced employees. On Friday, March 8, 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Peach owners will donate 50 percent of the proceeds from all the food sales. To ask about the benefit details or the food, call the ladies at (770) 558-2166. Chili cook-off to benefit Rape Crisis Center The second annual Tucker Chili Cook-off to benefit the DeKalb Rape Crisis Center will be held Saturday, March 16. Sponsored by the Old Town Tucker Merchants Association, this year’s event is expected to be bigger than last year’s, which drew more than 3,000 guests. Guests can sample 75 different recipes of chili and listen to live music 1-5 p.m. on Main Street in downtown Tucker. The chili cook-off will be held rain or shine. Admission will be $5 per person at the gates. Official entrance gates will be located at Main and Railroad outside Local 7, and at Lynburn and Main outside Tucker Pet Supply. Volunteers are also needed to assist with the event. Those interested in volunteering at the event should email info@dekalbrapecrisiscenter. org. Those interested in participating as chili cook-off contestants should visit www.tuckerchilicookoff.com. For more information on the DeKalb Rape Crisis Center, visit www.dekalbrapecrisiscenter.org.
Library hosts writer’s forum with Wayne Smith Writers of every skill level can share their original creative writings at the Brookhaven library on Wednesday, March 13. Readings will be followed by audience feedback and discussion led by
Local News The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 8, 2013
North DeKalb cities consider forming own fire department
by Carla Parker email@example.com The cities of Brookhaven, Chamblee, Doraville and Dunwoody could have their own “North DeKalb” fire department. Dunwoody’s Public Relations Director Bob Mullen said the discussion of a Dunwoody fire department was brought up among Dunwoody city officials during a retreat. “The topic of the fire department and the feasibility of that were discussed among council members, as well as the potential for a partnership between the four North DeKalb cities of Dunwoody, Brookhaven, Doraville and Chamblee,” he said, “possibly working together to form sort of a North DeKalb fire service.”
Mullen said they have initiated discussion with the other cities about a fire department, but they have not received an official response from the cities. “The next step will probably be to find a way over the next several months to perhaps set up times for meetings and start discussions,” he said. Mullen added that the idea of a new fire department has nothing to do with the current services they are receiving from DeKalb County. There are three stations in Chamblee, and one each in Dunwoody and Brookhaven. “I think it is about an opportunity for additional or enhanced service that led to the possibility of exploring a fire department,” he said. DeKalb County Fire Chief Eddie O’Brien said
he has heard about the discussion of a new fire department but is not aware of details. “I don’t know what their plan is or what they’re talking about,” he said. He added that the county department works well with those cities and they haven’t received any complaints from them. “We really provide a lot [of services] across the county,” he said. “I’m anxious to hear what they may have and what their thoughts are.” O’Brien said if a new fire department is created he could lose some employees. “If I had some that applied and they took them I would lose them, but they wouldn’t just assume all of our people,” he said. “They’re our employees.”
Officials say city will not raise taxes or cut service
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org Brookhaven city officials are united in denying a statement made by a council member that the city could raise taxes or cut services because of a budget shortfall. In an email sent Feb. 25, District 2 city councilman Jim Eyre said Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis’s proposed budget will result in a revenue shortfall for 2013. “The dilemma we have is that the [city of Brookhaven] revenue for 2013 is substantially lower than it will be in later years as the timing of the city start up as detailed in our city charter does not allow us to collect $7 million to $9 million in taxes and fees until 2014,” he said. “Therefore, we are facing a one year budget shortfall that can only be made up in one of two ways – a property tax increase as noted above or cuts in services to be provided by the [city of Brookhaven] during our first year of operations. When asked for a response to Eyre’s statement, Davis and the city council, including Eyre, decided to answer in a unified voice. “Council and even staff firmly believe that over the long term, the incorporation of Brookhaven will lead to higher service levels without it costing the citizens more than unincorporated residents pay,” Davis said. “The residents would be best served through adherence to a long-term vision and plan.” In January, Davis proposed a $15,715,000 budget for the 2013 fiscal year. In a memorandum sent to the city council on Jan. 25, Davis said the budget anticipates enough revenue to support a “responsive and transparent” organization and provides economic stability to create a well-maintained, safe and financially sound city. The proposed budget includes funds that will be used for such service enhancements as parks and recreation, community development, public works and the start of the police force in 2013, which is expected to be budgeted at $2.25 million. The budget also recommends remaining within the 3.35 millage rate cap.
The Mayor and City Council of the City of Chamblee, Georgia will hold a public hearing on Thursday, March 14, 2013, at the Chamblee Civic Center, 3540 Broad Street, Chamblee, GA 30341 at 6:00 p.m. to receive public comments regarding the following zoning matters: 1) Appendix A, “Zoning Ordinance,” Section 207, “Planned unit development procedure”. The subject property is Turnbury Gates subdivision, located at 2401 Johnson Ferry Road. The applicant is requesting an amendment to the Planned Unit Development to reduce the total number of units and make minor site modifications. 2) The subject property located at 5647 Peachtree Boulevard (former Piccadilly site) is requesting the following variances: Section 905, to allow metal building materials; Section 1203, to allowing additional parking spaces above the maximum permitted; Section 1201, to allow parking between the building and the street; Sections 1205 and 1208, to construct a parking deck without required landscaping; and Sections 1101 and 1102, to allow construction of a smaller buffer. 3) The subject property located at 5805 Peachtree Boulevard (existing auto dealer) is requesting the following variances and waiver: Section 905, to allow metal building materials; Section 1004, to allow existing parking deck to encroach within the rear 20’ setback; Section 1203, to allow appropriate parking for a new automobile dealership; Section 1201, to allow parking and access between the buildings and the street; Sections 1205 and 1208, to construct a parking deck without required landscaping; and a Waiver to Section 93, to allow the facility to be designed using LEED standards without going through the LEED application and certification process with USGBC.
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 8, 2013
DeKalb school board gets ‘Rotten Apple’ award
The DeKalb County Board of Education has been awarded the Rotten Apple Award by Americans for Prosperity-Georgia (AFP). The award, bestowed during a news conference Feb. 28 in the state Capitol, was given after Gov. Nathan Deal “was forced to remove six of 10 board members after a report revealed rampant political gamesmanship and fiscal irresponsibility that has contributed to the decline of what used to be a well-functioning district,” according a statement from AFP. “I am frustrated and disheartened by the reprehensible conduct of our DeKalb County Board of Education, which forced Gov. Deal to act in the best interests of students and remove six of them from their posts,” said AFP-Georgia State Director Virginia Galloway. “Our students are the ones that suffer the most when adults put their own desires ahead of a child’s education,” Galloway said. “As if it weren’t enough that their embarrassing behavior was brought to light, these so-called
public servants are mounting legal action to preserve their jobs,” she said. “These shameful actions have led us to ‘award’ them the Rotten Apple.” County recreation department accepting summer camp registration The DeKalb County Camp Superstars summer camp registration is now open at 12 recreation centers. Camp Superstars is a summer day camp for ages 5-15 and runs June 3 to Aug. 2, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, at a charge of $55 per week. Breakfast and lunch are provided. Children who participate in the Camp Superstars summer day camp will experience a variety of activities, including field trips, swim lessons, arts and crafts, nature, sports, health and wellness clinics, team games and more. Registration is under way at all centers. The camp will not be held at N.H. Scott Recreation Center because of renovations. Early registration is encouraged due to the limited number of slots
available. Applications are available online at www.dekalbcountyga.gov/parks. Applications can be printed and submitted to a recreation center along with the first week’s fee. For more information, call the Department of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Affairs at (404) 371-2711. Community garden named for fallen ofﬁcers A park in unincorporated Decatur will be named for two DeKalb County officers killed in line of duty. The DeKalb Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Feb. 19 to name the property located at 2309 Hillside Ave. the Barker Bryant Memorial Community Garden at Buena Vista Lake. The naming resolution was introduced by Commissioner Larry Johnson, who used district greenspace funds to purchase the property. Officer Ricky Bryant Jr. was a Marines veteran and had served with the police department for two years and Officer Eric Barker was an Army veteran who had
served with the department for four years before they were killed at an apartment complex on Glenwood Road in January 2008. “It is a pleasure to continue to honor the memory of the two officers whose lives were taken in 2008,” Johnson said about the park, which has been adopted by the East Lake Terrace Community as a community garden. “The officers Barker and Bryant were well-known in the community and I am glad to have sponsored this resolution.” “Officers Barker and Bryant gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives in serving the community. It is our privilege to name this garden in their honor as it will serve as a lasting tribute for their valiant service to the community,” Johnson said. “We are working steadily to make the garden a success and I am happy that Commissioner Johnson was able to name the garden in honor of the two officers who patrolled our area,” said Veronica Gilyard, an East Lake Terrace resident.
A new nightclub may be coming to city
by Carla Parker email@example.com Nightlife entertainment could be expanding in Brookhaven. The Suntan Shopping Center at 2847 Buford Highway is seeking to rezone to accommodate a 4,835-square foot nightclub. The shopping center, represented by Tung Lin Wang, came before the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners on Feb. 12 with its rezoning request. The county’s planning commission had recommended approval of the rezoning with conditions after the district’s community council voted 11-0-1 to deny the request, claiming that there are too many nightclubs in the area and because of the shopping center’s close proximity to residential properties. However, the center withdrew its rezoning request after the county’s planning commission was informed that the shopping center is located in Brookhaven city limits. Brookhaven City Manager Marie Garrett said the shopping center’s rezoning and special land use permit request were transferred from the county and they are in the process of reviewing them. In the appropriate zoning district, a business must have a special land use permit to open a nightclub, according to Garrett. “Before this can be done for the specific parcel in question, they must get the rezoning request approved,” she said. “This will go through the planning commission and ultimately be voted on by the mayor and city council.” There are currently three nightclubs in Brookhaven. Nightclubs are controlled by zoning maps and the ordinances controlling zoning.
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 8, 2013
dent of the Georgia Federation of Teachers, said in an open letter to the House and Senate education committees that the bill is creating a rift among parents, teachers and the community. Turner said that a “collaborative and sustainable” plan should be in order to improve schools and called for an alternative to HB 123. She said that throughout the country, the trigger bill has allowed some improvement to lower-income communities, but also opened the door to “private and for-profit companies.” A similar bill, SB 162, is
Bill would allow conversion of failing schools into charter schools
by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org Rep. Edward Lindsey (R-Atlanta) proposed a bill recently that would allow parents to petition to convert existing schools into charter schools or imposed models to help failing schools. House Bill 123 calls for the implementation of the Parent and Teacher Empowerment Act, which allows parents or teachers to petition a local school board to convert a failing school into a charter school. The act also provides for several turnaround processes for a school’s administration if the school is low-achieving and the parents or teachers feel such steps are necessary. “As I have said in the past, charter schools are not the magic silver bullet to fix Georgia’s education problems— there is no silver bullet,” said Lindsey. Lindsey, who represents parts of north Atlanta, said the bill reflects his approach to serve beyond his district and represent the best interests of all Georgia’s residents. “This bill will further the viability of options for parents and teachers across the state,” Lindsey said. According to the bill, if any petition, conversion or turnaround, is supported by more than 60 percent of parents or teachers, the board must have a 2/3 vote to reject the petition within 60 days of receiving it. “This bill simply offers the opportunity to place the power of our children’s education in the hands of those closest to the children, their teachers and parents,” added Lindsey. Rae Harkness, whose daughter attends Ivy Preparatory Academy in Kirkwood, said she likes the legislation because it allows both parents and teachers to initiate changes in public schools. Harkness said it might be easier to implement the teacher turnaround method rather than converting a school into a charter school. “It is not a simple task to get signatures from half of the parents in an enrollment area,” Harkness said. Teachers at failing schools with poor parental involvement, Harkness said, would have the ability to implement changes including replacing ineffective teachers, bringing in a management or monitoring team, implementing an intensive student achievement improvement plan and require restructuring of the school’s internal organization. “This act will give parents and teachers the fundamental tools they need to exercise true local control of their school,” Harkness said. Verdaillia Turner, presiworking its way through the Senate for approval. “We have nationally followed the success or lack of thereof of these companies,” Turner said. “We must be careful to avoid any ‘forprofit’ motives as it relates to our children and our futures.”
The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 8, 2013
According to the District Attorney’s Office, Rothenberg received more than $1.3 million in funds from a Colorado-based investment group named Winterhawk Energy and Development Corporation for an investment deal. “Michael Rothenberg unlawfully transferred $440,000 into accounts that he controlled and then illegally used those funds for his own personal use,” District Attorney Robert James said. “He would frequent local DeKalb County spots such as Farm Burger, J. Christopher’s and Walmart on other people’s dimes.” Rothenberg, a Decatur attorney, was running to unseat Superior Court Judge Gail Flake. Some of those funds were redirected into various accounts controlled by Rothenberg, including a campaign account and a per-
Judge candidate arraigned for theft charges
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com A former candidate for DeKalb Superior Court charged with felony theft waived arraignment March 4. Michael Rothenberg, was indicted in July 2012, on six felony counts of theft by taking. Prosecutors allege that Rothenberg stole $440,000 from a campaign investor. sonal banking account, according to the indictment. Between March and November 2010, Rothenberg allegedly used the funds at various businesses including the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, Massage Associates of Atlanta, Walmart, Enterprise Rent-ACar, three local newspapers and various restaurants.
Man accused of murdering, disfiguring girlfriend sentenced to life
by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org A DeKalb County man who was found guilty of murdering and sexually assaulting his girlfriend in February 2007 has been sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison. Delroy Booth, 31, was found guilty March 1 of torturing and beating to death his mentally handicapped girlfriend. Booth will serve two consecutive life sentences and 20 years in prison. Booth was charged with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated battery, aggravated sexual battery and aggravated sodomy. According to prosecutors, Booth beat Shantle Vison to death and sodomized her with a candlestick. One of the aggravated battery charges is for “seriously disfiguring” Vison’s face. According to the indictment, Booth killed Vison by “striking her about the head and body” and “maliciously causing bodily harm to Shantle Vason by rendering her brain useless. “This was an immensely troubling case,” District Attorney Robert James said. James did not seek the death penalty in the case. However, when Booth was re-indicted in 2011, James said the level of violence in Booth’s case was “gratuitous.” “It’s a scenario we see far too often in DeKalb. Domestic violence situations have various [results]. In this case, Shantle lost her life and Delroy will spend the remainder of his life behind bars for these heinous acts. We hope that this victim will be another step in the healing process for Shantle’s loved ones,” James said.
Nominate a 2013 CEO’s Community Hero
Nomination forms, criteria and additional information are available by visiting www.dekalbcountyga.gov or http://thechampionnewspaper.com/nominate A hard copy of the nomination form is also available in the current issue of The Champion Newspaper and The Champion Free Press.
For a programming guide, visit www.yourdekalb.com/dctv
The Champion Weather
Seven Day Forecast
Sunny High: 57 Low: 34 Sunny High: 62 Low: 37
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Detailed Local Forecast
Today we will see sunny skies with a high temperature of 57º, humidity of 40%. Northwest wind 10 mph. The record high temperature for today is 80º set in 1974. Expect clear skies tonight with an overnight low of 34º. The record low for tonight is 21º set in 1966.
March 7, 2013
Today’s Regional Map
Dunwoody 55/33 Lilburn Smyrna Doraville 56/34 56/34 56/34 Decatur Snellville 57/34 57/34 Atlanta 57/34 Lithonia College Park 58/34 58/34 Morrow 58/34 Union City 58/34 Hampton 59/35
Last Week's Local Almanac
Date Hi Lo Normals Precip Tuesday 51 36 60/39 1.11" Sunny Wednesday 58 41 60/39 0.00" High: 65 Low: 42 Thursday 47 36 60/40 0.00" Friday 42 34 61/40 0.00" SUNDAY Saturday 40 34 61/40 0.00" Partly Cloudy Sunday 41 29 61/40 0.00" High: 67 Low: 47 Monday 58 27 62/41 0.00" Rainfall. . . . . . . . 1.11" Average temp. . 41.0 MONDAY Normal rainfall. . 1.24" Average normal 50.3 Few Showers Departure . . . . . .-0.13" Departure . . . . . -9.3 High: 66 Low: 45
March 7, 1990 - A major ice storm left much of Iowa under a thick coat of ice. It was the worst ice storm in at least 25 years for Iowa. Up to two inches of ice coated much of western and central Iowa, with three inches reported in Crawford County and Carroll County. March 8, 1717 - On Fishers Island in Long Island Sound, 1,200 sheep were discovered to have been buried under a snow drift for four weeks. When finally uncovered, 100 sheep were still alive.
Few Showers High: 68 Low: 49
New 3/11 First 3/19
Mostly Cloudy High: 64 Low: 46
Day Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday
Local Sun/Moon Chart This Week
Sunrise 6:57 a.m. 6:56 a.m. 6:55 a.m. 7:54 a.m. 7:52 a.m. 7:51 a.m. 7:50 a.m. Sunset 6:39 p.m. 6:40 p.m. 6:41 p.m. 7:42 p.m. 7:42 p.m. 7:43 p.m. 7:44 p.m. Moonrise 3:47 a.m. 4:32 a.m. 5:14 a.m. 6:52 a.m. 7:27 a.m. 8:02 a.m. 8:37 a.m.
Moonset 2:35 p.m. 3:41 p.m. 4:46 p.m. 6:49 p.m. 7:51 p.m. 8:52 p.m. 9:51 p.m.
Full 3/27 Last 4/2 Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Rise 6:30 a.m. 6:51 a.m. 7:26 a.m. 10:59 a.m. 10:44 p.m. 7:55 a.m. Set 6:08 p.m. 6:11 p.m. 7:20 p.m. 1:07 a.m. 9:42 a.m. 8:10 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 scattered rain and snow today and Friday, mostly clear skies Saturday, with the highest temperature of 52º in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Southeast will experience mostly clear skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 71º in Ft. Myers, Fla. In the Northwest, there will be scattered rain and snow today, mostly clear to partly cloudy skies Friday and Saturday, with the highest temperature of 58º in Medford, Ore. The Southwest will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies today, scattered showers Friday and Saturday, with the highest temperature of 81º in Artesia, N.M.
StarWatch By Gary Becker -Drinking Gourd on the Rise
If you go outside about 8 p.m. and look towards the NE, you’ll notice the familiar pattern of the Big Dipper, beginning its springtime ascent, handle down—cup up, rising above the tree line of your local neighborhood. The bright moon may hamper seeing its seven stars at the beginning of the week, but by week’s end, Luna will be gone from the early evening sky. The Dipper is purely American, not even a constellation, possibly originating from the Drinking Gourd song taught to slaves by itinerant carpenter and abolitionist, Peg Leg Joe. Its lyrics gave slaves in Mississippi and Alabama, where Joe worked, a coded message to follow the Tombigbee and Tennessee rivers to the Ohio River, and across it to Illinois and their freedom. The song began with, “When the sun comes back, and the first quail calls” which signified mating season and starting the journey during the spring. It told slaves, “The riverbank will make a mighty good road, /the dead trees show you the way” with markings of Joe’s “left foot, peg foot,” indicating that they were on the correct route. Every verse ended with “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” which always kept people in a general northbound direction. At the headwaters of the Tombigbee, “between two hills, /There’s another river on the other side,” the Tennessee. So “Follow the Drinking Gourd.” And “When the great big river (Ohio) meets the little river (Tennessee), /Follow the Drinking Gourd.” The dangerous trip along the hundreds of miles of snaking riverbanks, took escapees about a year to traverse, bringing them to the Ohio, hopefully, when it was frozen and easier to cross. Newer interpretations of the Drinking Gourd song say that it is all folklore, but even in a tale there is usually an element of truth. For “the old man is awaiting for to carry you to freedom, /If you follow the Drinking Gourd.” That was written 80 years after the Civil War’s end. www.astronomy.org
Answer: Eureka, Calif., with a record high of only 87 degrees.
UV Index 0-2: Low, 3-5: Moderate, 6-7: High, 8-10: Very High, 11+: Extreme Exposure
What U.S. city holds the record for the lowest high temperature?
The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 8, 2013
Human trafficking case set to begin
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com A DeKalb County man accused of forcing minors into prostitution will be asked to answer to those charges March 12. Darryl Curry was indicted in 2011 for allegedly transporting two girls under the age of 18 for sexual servitude and running a place of prostitution. Curry will appear in DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Gail Flake’s courtroom. He faces 18 charges, which include trafficking of persons for sexual servitude, pimping, false imprisonment, cruelty to children and keeping a place of prostitution for persons under 18. John Anderson, a codefendant charged with keeping a place of prostitution and providing a false name to police, pleaded guilty. The indictment states that sometime between September and October 2011, Curry transported two girls younger than 18 for “the purpose of sexual servitude.” According to court documents, a 17-year-old girl escaped a home in Decatur where she was being held against her will and being forced into prostitution. The girl also told police another 16-year-old girl was being held there. The 17-year-old girl reportedly called 911 and told police she was being held against her will at 2113 Miriam Lane. Curry is also charged with sexual exploitation of a minor for possessing “sexually explicit” photographs and material depicting a minor engaged in touching another female while naked in the shower. Curry is also accused of unlawfully confining both girls and causing them undue mental anguish. Additionally, Curry is charged with two counts of aggravated assault for allegedly beating both girls, once with a belt and once with a coat hanger. Curry is also charged with two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor for forcing both girls to purchase the drug MDMA (ecstasy) for him. At the time of their arrest, Curry was held on a $510,000 cash-only bond and Anderson on a $120,000 cash-only bond.
Group revises boundaries of proposed Lakeside city
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org The tentative map of the proposed city of Lakeside has changed. “That doesn’t mean it won’t change again,” said Mary Kay Woodworth, chairwoman of the Lakeside City Alliance (LCA), a nonprofit citizens group studying the possibility of establishing a new city in north DeKalb County. The revised boundaries include the areas between Interstate 85 on the west, North Druid Hills Road to the south, and Chamblee-Tucker Road on the north and east. Drawn into the proposed boundaries are Sagamore and Leafmore neighborhoods and parts of Toco Hills, “based on conversations and feedback of people in that area,” Woodworth said. “It is still a draft map,” Woodworth said. The new boundaries, which would encompass a city of approximately 60,000 residents, removed areas west of I-85, including Century Center, Clairmont Terrace and areas in the Dresden East Civic Association. Residents in these areas “are actively pursuing annexation into Chamblee, so we’re listening to them,” Woodworth said. “We have been listening to our fellow residents since our first meeting and exchanged ideas through emails, telephone calls and various social media outlets,” Woodworth said. “We have made some significant changes from our first draft based on the feedback that we have been getting and look forward to continuing to finetune the map in the weeks and months
Lakeside cityhood proponents “look forward to continuing to fine-tune the map,” said Mary Kay Woodworth, a leader of the movement.
ahead.” Several hundred people attended the alliance’s second public meeting in February. Woodworth said it was an older crowd with “good questions and very good points.” “It’s exciting to see so much interest and support in this community for this proposal, and I look forward to keeping the conversation going as we move ahead with our study,” Woodworth said. LCA is in the process of forming a board of directors and soliciting donations to fund a cityhood study. “The goal is to get as much information to as many people as we can,” Woodworth said. More information about Lakeside City Alliance can be found at www. lakesidealliance.org.
Proposed law would allow new cities to form school systems
by Carla Parker email@example.com State Reps. Tom Taylor, Mike Jacobs and others have proposed a law that will allow cities created on or after Jan. 1, 2005, to establish an independent school systems. Taylor introduced House Resolution 486 on Feb. 25, the same day Gov. Nathan Deal announced his decision to suspend six DeKalb County school board members. The proposed law would allow new cities such as Dunwoody, Brookhaven, Sandy Springs, Johns Creek, Milton and Peachtree Corners to establish an individual or collective school systems. According to reports, the bill was originally written for the city of Dunwoody, but Taylor expanded the bill for other cities after receiving support from representatives in Fulton and Gwinnett. The bill would allow cities to form a school system across county lines. Brookhaven officials said the city has not formally discussed creation of a city school system but they have been in communication with DeKalb delegation representatives. “Our focus is on our citizens and their families,” Brookhaven spokeswoman Michelle Erste said. “We want to stay close to the issue and be in tune to explore potential options for K-12 education – especially for our residents and their children for the long term.”
The Champion Free Press, Friday, March. 8, 2013
Judge Continued From Page 1A
school district had “refuted some [of] SACS’ allegations which served as part of the basis for the recommendation of [GBOE].” But Story found that there was sufficient evidence that the DeKalb school board was in “violation of applicable standards and policies.” During the hearing on the preliminary injunction, Bob Wilson, an attorney representing the six school board members in their legal battle, argued that “there are some very serious constitutional issues surrounding this statute. I don’t believe for a minute that citizens want elected officials removed by unconstitutional means. That question has to be answered by the courts.” Wilson said his team argued that “for a multiplicity of reasons that it is unconstitutional both as to the Georgia Constitution and the U. S. Constitution and …because of that, the statute is void.” Wilson said there are questions whether due process has been properly followed. “We do not accuse people of things and then deny them the right to face their accusers,” Wilson said. “We do not take property rights from people without them having due process. We do not deny citizens the privilege of citizenship without due process. Those are serious issues.” There are very serious consequences when an elected official is removed from office, Wilson said. “These people sitting on that school board, no matter how you feel about them, were elected,” Wilson said. “They were elected by their communities to serve. Whether they’re doing it well or not, that’s up to the community to decide at the next ballot box unless you have constitutional laws that allow removal. “I have no beef against the state board of education ,” Wilson said. “I have no beef against the prosecutor who handled that case. I have no beef against the governor. They’re trying to follow a law that’s been passed by the General Assembly, but the question is, ‘Is that law constitutional?’” The cnsequences of loss of accreditation could be widespread, said Bonnie Holliday, executive director of Georgia Charter School Commission. Holliday told the judge that students who attend unaccredited schools face “significant impediments when they apply for college” and are “ineligible for certain scholarship funds,” including HOPE. Parents generally don’t want to live in districts that are unaccredited, said Holliday, a former public school teacher and former head of the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement. Stephan Ritter, a senior assistant attorney general representing the GBOE, said the school district would not be in its current accreditation quandary if it had another accreditation. “There are many school boards that have multiple accreditations,” Ritter said. “DeKalb chose not to do that.” Responding to arguments that the six board members should have been suspended individually for specific reasons and not as a group, Ritter said the problem was about the board’s governance as a group. “We are talking about how that board has functioned,” Ritter said. “It is entirely appropriate to treat them as a group for that purpose.” Gov. Deal has formed a nominating committee that will recommend replacement members for the DeKalb school board. That creates even more uncertainty in the school district, said Stephen Quinn, an attorney representing school district. “We simply don’t know what the appointed replacements will do in office,” Quinn said. “It’s the citizens…who have the right choose who is going to represent them on the school board,” he said. In a statement after the judge’s decision, Deal said, “The court’s decision today will allow us to take the next steps toward protecting the futures of DeKalb’s students and maintaining the school system’s accreditation. “Time is of the essence because we cannot have this cloud hang over the county or the state,” Deal said. “The nominating panel appointed last week will continue to collect applications through [March 6], and it will get to work quickly on filling the open seats so the board can become a functioning body.” Deal also announced that Robert Brown, a state transportation board member from DeKalb County, will join Brad Bryant, executive director of the Georgia Foundation for Education for the Georgia Department of Education, as a second liaison to the school board to monitor progress.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 8, 2013
Polly Meriwether Lewis to News Briefs be laid to rest March 7
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org The life of south DeKalb County community activist Polly Meriwether Lewis will be celebrated Thursday, March 7, at Greater Travelers Rest Baptist Church in Decatur. Lewis, 63, was found dead in her Decatur home on March 1. Born in Clarksville, Tenn., Lewis was a graduate of Burt High School and Austin Peay State University in Clarksville. She also graduated from Georgia State University. Lewis served in DeKalb County for more than 30 years. She was a charter member of Alpha Kappa Alpha - Eta Mu Chapter sorority at Georgia State University. She and Leadership DeKalb. Lewis served as a board member of the YMCA Academies from 1993 till the time of her death. YMCA Academies executive director Tamra Shepherd said Lewis was instrumental in opening the two academy locations on Snapfinger Road and Evans Mill Road. “She was a true volunteer,” Shepherd said. “I will miss her presence. She was always there to talk to you. We both have boys and we would always talk about them.” She is survived by two sons, Barry Lewis of New Jersey; and Justin Lewis of Atlanta. Her 11 a.m. service will be held at Greater Travelers Rest Baptist Church, 4650 Flat Shoals Parkway.
Clarkston begins streetscape program The city of Clarkston is preparing to develop a $6 million streetscape improvement project with funding provided by the Georgia Roadway and Tollway and Federal Highway Administration authorities. The funding will provide for streetscape and pedestrian enhancements on several streets including portions of East Ponce de Leon Ave, Church, and Market streets, and Norman Road. City Manager Keith Barker said the project is expected to begin no later than summer and it was a larger part of an effort to strengthen the “vitality of the town-center district.” According to a press release, the project will include a decorative safety
fence between the edge of the road and CSX right of way, decorative pedestrian lighting, mast arms at intersections, new ADA sidewalks, replacement of wooden power poles, new bus shelters and improvements at the CSX track crossovers. Decatur offers free Wi-Fi The city of Decatur began offering free wireless March 1 in several areas throughout the city including downtown Decatur, the Oakhurst business district, Oakhurst Park, Glenlake Park, McKoy Park and Adair Park. To use the service, residents and visitors can connect to the network named Decatur Free Wi-Fi. For more information visit www.decaturga.com.
was also a former liaison and corporate secretary for Grady Healthcare System, and retired from the Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority as an executive liaison. She was active at Greater Travelers Rest Baptist Church, where she was a member for 39 years. She served on local boards including the South DeKalb YMCA Academies, the South DeKalb Business Association, DeKalb EOA Inc,
Retired chimps may cost Emory millions
by Melissa Abbey ATLANTA (AP) Emory University might have to spend tens of millions of dollars to renovate the home of its research chimpanzees–all for aging chimps it doesn’t necessarily need. The National Institutes of Health, Yerkes’ only source of chimp-research funding, is phasing out biomedical chimpanzee research–now deemed “largely unnecessary”–and may soon raise standards for the housing of chimps that do remain in research. Only five of the 78 chimps at Yerkes National Primate Research Center are being used for NIH-funded research right now, but finding another retirement home for many of the others is a problem: The only chimp sanctuary Yerkes is willing to send them to doesn’t have the money to make room for them. Unless Yerkes finds new funds or abandons chimp research altogether, it must meet NIH standards, and that’s what could cost millions. The NIH will decide at the end of March or early in April whether to adopt proposed, costlier standards for chimpanzee housing. Yerkes is one of eight NlH-funded national primate research centers. The center’s two campuses–one at Emory and one in Lawrenceville–are home to nearly 3,400 nonhuman primates. Researchers there study topics that have practical implications for human health, like progressive illnesses, memory, vaccines and immunizations, brain activity and behavior. “We are very concerned about what it will cost our center to adhere to the recommendations for the ethologically appropriate physical and social environments,” Yerkes spokeswoman Lisa Newbern said in an email. She said the new recommendations “would provide larger space per chimpanzee than many humans have in their own homes.” Requests for a phone conversation or a visit to Yerkes were made, but Newbern insisted on email communication only. “Based on recent construction costs, we estimate this will be in the tens of millions of dollars for space that will have limited use given our aging colony and our hope to send additional chimpanzees to Chimp Haven,” Newbern wrote. Chimp Haven, a sanctuary in Louisiana, is the only one meeting a lab-animal accrediting agency’s standards. But it has no vacancies. How did Yerkes come to have so many excess chimps? “In the 1980s, the prevailing thinking was that chimpanzees would be the best animal model for HIV/ AIDS research,” said Newbern. “As such, the NIH asked the research centers with chimpanzees to breed them.” And so they did. But now other primates are preferred for HIV/AIDS research. Yerkes was among the first centers to send retired chimpanzees to Chimp Haven, said Newbern, but requests to send more—many more—have been denied. The sanctuary is full, and there are no federal funds to expand or build a new one. The federal Chimpanzee Health Improvement, Maintenance, and Protection Act, passed in 2000, places a cap of $30 million on sanctuary construction and maintenance. Jim Anderson said that cap will be reached in July when the NIH renews its contract with Chimp Haven. Anderson is the deputy director for program coordination, planning and strategic initiatives at NIH. There are other sanctuaries, but Chimp Haven is the only federal sanctuary, and the one accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care. All federally owned chimps must be retired there. Yerkes, whose chimps are federally funded, wants the same standards for its animals. “We would want our chimpanzees to be guaranteed the same level of care we provide as well as regulatory oversight to which we are subject,” said Newbern. Yerkes has been AAALACaccredited since 1985. But since then Yerkes has been cited by the United States Department of Agriculture for the accidental deaths of multiple animals and unclean or unsafe housing. In 2007 Yerkes was fined $15,000 for “willful” legal violations. A lack of retirement options isn’t a problem only for Yerkes: It’s a major concern for the NIH. If Francis Collins, director of the NIH, approves the proposed new standards, about 300 NIH-owned chimps will be retired. But right now they also have nowhere to go. Federally owned chimps can only be retired to Chimp Haven. Raising the $30 million cap would require congressional action, Anderson said. For the time being, the NIH could continue using taxpayer money to maintain federally owned retired chimpanzees where they are. Chimp Haven is trying to expand without federal dollars. The sanctuary is working with the Foundation for the NIH to raise $5 million, said Cathy Willis Spraetz, enough to expand and cover costs for 110 retired chimps from a research center in Louisiana. Willis Spraetz, a native Atlantan, took over as president of the sanctuary recently. To expand the sanctuary and care for additional chimps–like those from Yerkes—would require a lot more fundraising.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 8, 2013
with the qualities that Mr. Duncan has, there would be no problem in education anywhere in this country.” Rodney Keyes of ValuTeachers, who presented the award, told Duncan that he is “making a great difference in this community and in this school.” “It takes special people to make special individuals to rise up and become leaders in society,” Keyes said. “You have done a tremendous job in doing that. It’s amazing the number of lives you have touched over your career. “Your peers, the students you have mentored and those who have gone on to have professional careers in the arts have have truly complimented and referenced you as deciding factor that led their lives to become what they have become today,” Keyes said. Duncan said he hopes the award will bring “some positive press for our district.” “There are a lot of good things going on here,” Duncan said. “There are a lot of great things at Henderson. I hope it brings more positive energy to our schools here.”
Henderson Middle teacher named a LifeChanger
by Andrew Cauthen email@example.com It wasn’t very quiet in the Henderson Middle School library March 1 as more than 100 students, along with parents and teachers, gathered to surprise the school’s chorus instructor. Dale Duncan was tearyeyed as students cheered when he was named a 2013 LifeChanger of the Year by National Life Group. Selected from more than 400 nominations in 33 states, Duncan is one of 10 K-12 educators from around the country recognized for making a positive difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership. “It means so much,” Duncan said. “I can’t even express it. It’s so surreal. It brings it all in full focus when you get a moment like this. It’s just overwhelming. Doing the work every day is not always easy. No job is. “I drive [the students] to the ends of the earth,” Duncan said. “Sometimes I know they want to kill me. But I appreciate enormously what [they] do in that classroom every day.” As a LifeChanger of the Year, Duncan receives a $3,000 cash prize, which is split between a $1,500 individual award and a matching $1,500 contribution to Henderson Middle School. Duncan received several nominations for the award from students and parents, and more than 300 current and former students, parents and colleagues who posted comments about him on his online nominee profile at http://lifechangeroftheyearnominees.com/2012/11/13/ dale-duncan/. “We’re so thankful and lucky and grateful to have him at Henderson Middle School,” said Allyson Gevertz, a mother who nominated Duncan. “This is an amazing experience also for the children,” Gevertz said. “There are four kids who initially nominated Mr. Duncan…because he had made a huge impact on their lives. They didn’t know that there would be people who had had Mr. Duncan 20 years ago that are still saying the same things about him. “He not only inspires every child to participate, but he also challenges them to reach heights they never though they could achieve,” she said. “I cannot imagine a school with a better chorus program or a more dedicated teacher.” Terese Allen, Henderson Middle’s principal, said, “If I could, as an educator, put a teacher in every classroom
Dale Duncan is surprised when he receives a national award for his work with students. Photo by Andrew Cauthen. Bottom, Duncan accepts the award as Henderson Middle principal Terese Allen looks on. Photo by Kerry King
Fernbank team entering robotics competition The Fernbank LINKS Robotics Team and its robot, Bellatrickz, will be competing in the FIRST Robotics Peachtree Regional Competition at the Gwinnett Civic Center, March 15-16. Thirty team members from 16 school groups have dedicated six weeks’ of evenings and weekends to building Bellatrickz in the engineering lab at Lakeside High School. This year’s competition requires students to design, construct and drive a robot that throws a Frisbee at a 10-foot tall, 4-foot wide target 50 feet away. Students have six weeks to produce the most innovative and successful robot. The build season will culminate in the Peachtree Regional, which features 30 high school teams from around the south. The LINKS team will be competing this year as one of 10 rookie teams. The FIRST mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders by engaging them in mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills; that inspire innovation; and that foster well-rounded life capabilities, including self-confidence, communication and leadership. For more information on FIRST Robotics, visit www.usfirst.org. To learn more about the Fernbank LINKS Robotics Team, visit its website at www.fernbanklinks.com.
Decatur student wins spelling bee Arbitrage. That was the final word in the Georgia Association of Educators’ Dictrict 4 spelling bee Feb. 23. Lua Adwet Samandari, 12, a fifthgrade student at City Schools’ of Decatur 4/5 Academy, was the winner after 12 rounds of competition. Lua Adwet Samandari Photo by Regina Patterson The spelling bee had 132 words divided among 28 contestants, 18 girls and 10 boys. Samandari, whose brother Andalib, was the state runner-up last year, will compete in the state finals March 15 at Georgia State University. GAE’s District 4 includes school systems in DeKalb, Fulton, Paulding and Douglas counties, Decatur and Atlanta. Agnes Scott named Tree Campus USA Agnes Scott College, with a canopy of more than 2,000 trees, has been named a Tree Campus
USA. Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. Agnes Scott achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures toward trees, an Arbor Day observance and student service-learning projects. “Agnes Scott has valued the importance of both care and planting of trees for a long time so it’s wonderful to receive this official recognition for our efforts,” said Susan Kidd, director of sustainability at Agnes Scott. Agnes Scott has an arboretum advisory committee, made up of students, faculty, staff and community members, to oversee and plan care for the campus’ many trees. The college also works frequently with Trees Atlanta on campus and surrounding community projects. Tree Campus USA is a partnership between Toyota and The Arbor Day Foundation, a nonprofit conservation and education organization of one million members with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 8, 2013
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La Tagliatella offers sharable portions of foods inspired by Italy’s rustic culinary traditions in a setting designed to suggest a northern Italian home. At bottom right, U.S. Division President Mike Muldoon, left, and General Manager Daniel Gibson explain the dining concept brought from Europe to Atlanta.
La Tagliatella brings European-based Italian concept to Emory Point
by Kathy Mitchell Kathy@dekalbchamp.com Although La Tagliatella has more than 130 restaurants across Europe and Asia, the one that opened earlier this year at Emory Point is only the second in the United States. The first opened in December 2012 in Atlanta’s Midtown area. The European-based restaurant chain features “traditional Italian recipes served in a relaxed, yet distinctive atmosphere,” according to material provided by the restaurant. The décor, “designed to suggest a northern Italian home,” is eye-catching with heavily wooded walls, ceilings and floors, Old World style mirrors and stained glass. It’s easy to forget that outside the restaurant’s doors is one the busiest sections of Atlanta. For the American debut of the concept, the restaurant owners engaged Atlanta firm ai3 to assist European designers of DecoRetro “to create a special ambiance with a rich tapestry of textures, colors and patterns… transporting guests to a real and true experience of European dining,” a restaurant news release states. “We’re thrilled to introduce this popular Italian concept to the Emory and Decatur community. The thriving neighborhood is an ideal location for our expansion in the Atlanta area,” Mike Muldoon, president of La Tagliatella LLC, said. “Europeans have been enjoying the unique cuisine, warm hospitality and generosity of La Tagliatella for the past two decades; now Americans can enjoy them, too.” According to information released by the company, “La Tagliatella draws inspiration from Italy’s rustic culinary traditions with a menu focused on fresh ingredients and eclectic flavors, all served in large, sharable portions that foster a more communal dining experience.” Key ingredients are imported from the northern region of Italy. La Tagliatella also offers a wide selection of specialty cocktails and more than 50 wine varieties. Although basics such as pasta and pizza that Americans often associate with Italian food are on the menu, many are prepared in ways different from what the typical American pizza parlor or spaghetti house will offer. The restaurant seeks to “infuse the genuine tastes of Italy with artisan homemade flavors,” Daniel Gibson, the general manager, said. Gibson recently hosted a media dinner at the restaurant and offered journalists the opportunity to taste such dishes as spiedino Napoletano with skewered pork tenderloin, Sole di Puglia tomatoes and balsamic onions layered with fresh whole-leaf basil and served with a special Tagliatella sauce and fried gnocchi. The group agreed the pork was tender and tasty and the tomatoes were unusually flavorful. An ultra-thin crust pizza topped with eggplant slices was an unexpected hit. It was one of more than 20 handcrafted Napoletano-style pizzas offered at the restaurant. Other distinctive toppings available include foie gras, duck ham, pesto, Tuscan bacon and sautéed spinach. Diners with more adventurous tastes might want to try the salume pizza with tomato, mozzarella and chorizo dressed with a fresh-cracked egg and oregano. The pizza comes to the table whole with a pizza cutter so that diners can cut their own slices as they would at home. The entire meal, in fact, is served family style so that diners pass dishes around taking as much or as little as they want of each. The only item that one of the diners was less than enthusiastic about was the risotto. While it was tasty, the rice was closer to the type Americans normally find on their tables than the superfino rice most often used in a creamy Italian risotto. The comment drew serious attention from Muldoon, who said he is genuinely seeking feedback from American diners so it can adjust to their expectations. La Tagliatella at Emory Point in the Clifton Corridor is open daily for lunch and dinner.
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 8, 2013
Southwest DeKalb girls and Miller Grove boys and girls are among five DeKalb County basketball teams that advanced to the Georgia High School Association state championship games. Photos by Travis Hudgons
Five DeKalb teams, two private schools to play in championship games
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org Five DeKalb County school basketball teams, along with two private school teams have advance to the Georgia High School Association state championship games. Columbia boys and girls, Miller Grove boys and girls, Southwest DeKalb girls, Green Forest boys and St. Pius X girls will play for a state title on March 8 and 9 at the Macon Centreplex. The girls, Class AAAAA title game features the rematch of the 2012 Class AAAA title game between regional rivals Miller Grove Lady Wolverines and the Southwest DeKalb Lady Panthers. Miller Grove advanced to the title game with a 49-23 win over Effingham County in the semifinals and Southwest DeKalb had to come from behind to beat Forest Park 4341. It will be the fifth meeting this year between the two teams with Miller Grove leading the series 3-1. The Lady Wolverines defeated Southwest DeKalb in last year’s championship game 46-39. Southwest DeKalb head coach Kathy Walton said it will be hard to prepare for a team that is familiar with them. “They know us and we know them,” she said. “I think you just toss the ball up and go play.” Walton added that her team does have unfinished business from last year’s championship loss to Miller Grove. “We graduated four starters from last year’s team and I think [the team] wants to finish it for them,” she said. Miller Grove and Southwest DeKalb will face off March 8 at 7 p.m. Columbia boys and girls and Miller Grove boys are the other defending state champions that are making consecutive title game appearances. The Miller Grove Wolverines advanced to their fifth straight title game after defeating Northside-Columbus 72-38 in the Class AAAAA semifinals. The Wolverines won four consecutive Class AAAA state titles and will compete for their first Class AAAAA state title. They are looking to become the first boys’ team in Georgia to win five consecutive state titles. Miller Grove will face Gainesville on March 8 at 8:45 p.m. The Columbia Eagles advanced to their fourth consecutive state championship game with a 69-42 win over Statesboro in the Class AAAA semifinals. The Eagles won the 2010-12 Class AAA state championships and they also won the Class AAAA state title in 2006 and 2008. Columbia will play Eagles’ Landing March 7 at 8:45 p.m. The Lady Eagles will play for their third state title in four seasons on March 7 against Sandy Creek at 7 p.m. Columbia defeated Jonesboro 49-44 in the Class AAAA semifinals. St. Pius X girls’ basketball will be playing for a fourth state title in school history on March 9 against Dawson County at 3 p.m. The Lady Golden Lions defeated Chapel Hill 59-51 in the Class AAA semifinals. St. Pius X won the Class AAAA state title in 2004, 2006 and 2007. Greenforest boys’ basketball advanced to the Class A Private state title game after defeating Athens Christian 60-55 in the semifinals. Greenforest will play St. Francis on March 9 at 12.54 p.m.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 8, 2013
“I saw some things happening but I didn’t want to leave it at the time because I wanted to keep that program vertical,” he said. “The last three years we didn’t have the best talent but we still had some people tugging at us, trying to pull us the wrong way and I didn’t want them doing that.” Godfrey said he lost some players to other schools during that time and a lot of people blamed him for that. But his program continued to be a successful. “We took the kids that we had and coached them up,” he said. “And we still got to the playoffs and some of the ones that left didn’t get to the playoffs.” Although some of his coaching tactics were questioned during his last years, his loyalty to the program and school were never questioned. In 2005, Godfrey had to fight three bouts of cancers, but he continued to coach. He also had surgery on both of his knees so he could continue to walk the sidelines. “I wanted the kids to see my sense of loyalty to them and the program,” he said. “Unfortunately, some didn’t see it. But, I was always loyal to Southwest.” Since he will no longer walk the sidelines, Godfrey plans to finish writing his second book on one of his mentors, legendary college football coach Eddie Robinson. His first book, The Team Nobody Would Play, was released in 2008. He also plans to work with the Southwest DeKalb baseball team, fish and spend a lot of time with his four grandchildren. While he is enjoying his retirement, he hopes his former and current players and the Southwest DeKalb community remembers and maintains the success of the football program. “In 30 years that school averaged nine wins a season and didn’t have a losing season,” he said. “That’s something to build on and improve on. The standard is set. Most kids out there are proud to have been there and in the end I hope I have made a difference. I know I have.”
Buck Godfrey: Loyal to one program for 30 years
by Carla Parker email@example.com t is surprising to hear a man who has coached football for more than 30 successful years say he had never intended to coach football. But, that was the case with retired Southwest DeKalb High School football coach William “Buck” Godfrey. Godfrey, who got his first head football coaching job at Southwest DeKalb in 1983, was a baseball coach first. He coached baseball, his first love, at Gordon High School from 1974-1976. His team won 24 to 26 games playing against allWhite schools and went deep into the playoffs. When schools began integrating, Godfrey was moved to Towers High School. “From that point on I never coached baseball again except for when I did a favor for a friend and coached the B squads at Towers and Southwest DeKalb,” he said. “When they took that program away from me I just fell in line.” Godfrey, 69, said he had to learn how to coach football and swimming. He began coaching swimming and led Towers to a secondplace finish behind Dunwoody at the DeKalb County swimming and diving championships in 1978. “I went from baseball to eight grade football and swimming,” he said. Godfrey was offensive coordinator for the Towers football team before becoming the head football coach at Southwest DeKalb. He became the first Black male teacher and coach at Towers and was the first Black head football coach at Southwest DeKalb. “I had never intended to be a head football coach at all,” he said. “But during those years I studied the game, studied a lot of films and went to coaching clinics. I never anticipated becoming a head coach. I had played the game but coaching is different.” Godfrey, a native of Charleston, S.C., grew up playing baseball and football. He received a football scholarship to Delaware State Uni-
versity where he also played baseball. He played center field and hit .511 in 1965. He served as captain of both teams as a junior and senior and helped lead the baseball team to conference championships three times. He earned a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship to Columbia for graduate school and then went to New York University on another partial scholarship. After trying out for the New York Mets and stepping into the ring to participate in Golden Gloves boxing, he began to use his degree as an English teacher in Manhattan at Spanish Harlem Junior High School 120 in 1967. He moved to DeKalb County in 1974 and became an English teacher and baseball coach at Gordon. During his 30 years at Southwest DeKalb he won 273 games, won the 1995 Class AAAA Georgia High School Association state championship, 13 region titles, and helped hundreds of players earn scholarships to college. Godfrey never had a losing record at Southwest DeKalb and missed the postseason just three times. While coaching football, he established a community swim team in DeKalb County, the Worthington Valley Swim Team. “We became one of the premiere swim programs in the county,” he said. “I just wanted to give back to the community.” Godfrey’s 30-year tenure has been filled with ups and downs, including his last game as a coach that ended in a 19-14 loss to Kell in the first round of the playoffs. But the ups certainly outweigh the downs. “I’ve seen so many guys grow up, grow out and give back,” he said. “I have seven former players that are police officers, seven preachers, chefs, and engineers that are making a lot of money. These are people that made a difference in society.” Three years ago, Godfrey knew his years as a head football coach were coming to an end soon. But, he stayed with the program to make sure it would continue to move in the right direction after he left.
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 Tahj Shamsid-Deen, Columbia (basketball): The senior guard scored 32 points, with 25 in the first half, in Columbia’s 69-42 win over Statesboro in the Class AAAA semifinals playoff game on March 2. He averaged 25.8 points per game this season. FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Tynice Martin, Southwest DeKalb (basketball): The sophomore forward had a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds in the Lady Panthers 43-41 win over Forest Park in the Class AAAAA semifinals playoff game on March 2. Martin averaged 16.8 points and 10.2 rebounds per game this season.
Each week The Champion spotlights former high school players from the county who are succeeding in athletics on the college level.
Langston Hall, Mercer (basketball): The junior guard from Chamblee scored 12 points and had nine assists in the 77-65 win over Stetson on March 2. Hall is averaging 10.7 points and 4.5 assists per game. Nic Wilson, Georgia State (baseball): The junior infielder from Decatur scored one run and had one run batted in (RBI) in Georgia State’s 5-4 win over Boston College on March 1. Wilson has a .281 batting average, eight runs, and four RBIs on the season. Conisha Hicks, Clark Atlanta (basketball): The junior from Miller Grove was named MVP of the 2013 SIAC Women’s Basketball Tournament, as she had game highs of 20 points, seven assists, and five steals to lead Clark Atlanta over Benedict College 75-58 in March 2. She averaged 15.5 points per game this season.
Former Columbia player reaches career milestone at Howard
Howard University senior Saadia Doyle made history Feb. 18 when she became the all-time leading scorer in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and at Howard. The former Columbia High School basketball and volleyball player scored 22 points in the 61-27 win over BethuneCookman to reach 2,197
Saadia Doyle and Howard University Coach Niki Reid Geckeler
career points. Doyle surpassed former Howard standout Alisha “Tuff” Hill (1994-98). Doyle is also third on the all-time list for career rebounds at Howard with 1,125 rebounds. The Health Education and Childcare major was named the 2012-13 MidEastern Athletic Conference Pre-Season Player of the year.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 8, 2013
Chickens, bees, goats part of school’s curriculum
by Kerry King Every day, Avery takes time to feed, play with and take care of several chickens that often rush around the door of their coop when she approaches. Since Avery’s arrival at Academe of the Oaks High School, she has taken it upon herself to watch over the school’s hens, a responsibility she embraces. “They’re just fun to have around,” said Avery, a sophomore who has had an affinity for animals since she was a small child. The chickens have a specific purpose at the school: to produce eggs. The school “collects their eggs and then gives them away,” Avery said. Although rarely a problem, eggs don’t just arrive in an abundant supply. “It really depends on the weather,” Avery said when asked how often they produce. “There’s usually one [egg] a day in the winter. But in the summer, there could be six a day.” Chickens must be in a calm environment to lay eggs, so Avery spends a lot of time tending to the coop. “Cleaning out the wood shavings and the boxes [they lay eggs in] is the difficult part, but giving them food and water is easy.” Academe of the Oaks, a small, private high school located on New Street in Decatur, has a history of being environmentally friendly. In addition to its chicken coop, Academe has lavish flower and vegetable gardens, and is known for the honey that its bees produce. Recently, three new chicks joined the school’s family. In February, Academe received several goats and sheep from Eweniversally Green, a company that eliminates unwelcome plants such as kudzu and poison ivy. The animals have since been returned, but there are plans for two goats to be housed at the school indefinitely. Avery said the goats will just be there “for petting.” Eva Handschin, the school’s administrator, believes that the goats are for the students as much as they are for the school’s grounds. The students “liked them so much,” Handschin said about the goats’ previous visit. Handschin said the goats are just a part of the growing process that will make Academe greener. The process also includes expansive gardens throughout the campus and added work with the school’s bees that have won the school multiple honey-related awards. Avery said she will not likely be taking care of the goats. “They’re used
Avery cares for chicken at Academe of the Oaks, a private school in Decatur. Photo by Kerry King
to living without human help,” she said. Instead, Avery said she has her hands full with three small chicks that are considerably different from the adult chickens. “Chicks are more difficult because they’re really delicate,” Avery said. “You have to watch them a lot and they have to be fed constantly.”
Another interesting difference, Avery said, is that “these chicks lay blue eggs instead of brown.” The eggs of the adults have a light brown or peach color. The chicks, which are of the araucana species, lay blue eggs. When asked if she has a favorite chicken, Avery said, “I don’t choose favorites because I take care of them. That’d be mean and unfair to them.”
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