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WWW.CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER.COM • FRIDAY, MARCH 15, 2013 • VOL. 15, NO. 51 • FREE
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Miller Grove makes history winning fifth consecutive state title
by Carla Parker email@example.com “Nobody gave them a chance.” Those were the words that Miller Grove High School boys’ basketball head coach Sharman White said as he celebrated his team’s fifth consecutive state title, a first in state history. Many people didn’t expect the Miller Grove Wolverines to make it back to the winners’ circle after losing some of its top players from previous championship teams that included Tony Parker, Brandon Morris, Justin Colvin, Donte Williams, Mfon Udofia and others. But the 2012-2013 squad proved they are as good as the school’s other championship teams after they rallied back to beat the Gainesville Red Elephants 61-57 in the Class AAAAA state championship on March 8. The Wolverines won the state title in its first season in Class AAAAA. They won the previous four championships in Class AAAA. White said he couldn’t be more proud of his team. “The way they stuck in there all year and hung 30 wins up on the season and to top it off with this game right here and the way they won it, I’m just so proud of them,” he said. “They did a great job.” Miller Grove had to rally back from a seven-point deficit at half time to beat Gainesville. Gainesville kept the Wolverines on their toes
Miller Grove High School boys’ basketball head coach Sharman White, center, raises the Class AAAAA championship trophy and five fingers indicating the team’s fifth championship title. Photos by Travis Hugdons
with fastbreaks, three-point shootnine times in the fourth quarter beHayman missed both free throws ing and dunks. However, the Red fore Bryant took a long pass down and Hamer rebounded and found Elephants’ fast paced play didn’t court from senior shooting guard Gilbert streaking down the court for catch the Wolverines off guard. Kyre’ Hamer for a fast break basan easy basket to clinch the 61-57 “We play like that,” White said. ket that put Miller Grove up 50-49 victory. “We’ve been able to play like that with 4:54 to play. Bryant’s basket Gilbert led the team in scoring all year long and that kind of played was part of an 8-2 run by the Wolwith 19 points. Pinckney scored 14 into our hands—that fast game. We verines, which also included six points and Bryant scored 13 points. were kind of able to take advantage points from Gilbert to give Miller Bryant said it felt good to win and of that with their little spurts, tryGrove a 56-51 lead with two minprove all of the doubters wrong. ing to go up and down with us, and utes to play. “It was long, hard work durit allowed us to play defense and Gainesville’s Chase England ing and before the season,” he said. make some stops.” scored four points off two offensive “People doubted us but we knew Junior point guard Keith Pinck- rebounds to pull Gainesville back were going to win.” ney got the ball rolling in the third within 56-55 with 1:12 remaining. Miller Grove’s fifth consecutive quarter eight points while senior After Miller Grove forced a few state title set a Georgia boys’ high shooting guard Earl Bryant scored turnovers, Bryant hit two of four school record, pushing the Wolversix points, four off of offensive refree throws and Gilbert hit one of ines past Lanier (16 state titles) and bound put backs. Freshman point two to make it a 59-55 lead with 33 Westover (six state titles), both of guard Alterique Gilbert added sev- seconds to play. Bryant said he had which had won four consecutive tien points to help Miller Grove gain no doubt in his mind that his free tles. The victory also moved Miller a 41-39 lead into the fourth quarter. throws were going in. Grove into a 10th place tie for allMiller Grove played aggressive“I’m a senior and it’s on my time state championships in Georgia ly both offensively and defensively shoulders,” he said. “I had to make and into a tie with Columbia for the in the fourth. They scored 36 points sure going through my mind that DeKalb County lead. in the paint in the second half after [the ball was] going in.” “[This news updates online from Because she gets herchampionship] goesthe The Champi scoring only 12 points in the first Gainesville was able to pull down as one of the top ones out Because she gets news updates online from the with of all the half. They also forced 11 turnovers herback within two points, 59-57, The Champion. other groups because news updates online from the The this group in the second half Because she gets her a couple of free throws. After a Champion. wasn’t given a chance,” after forcing five turnovers in the first half. Miller Grove turnover, Gainesville’s White said. “I’m just so proud of www.facebook.com/championnewspaper However, Gainesville continued Caleb Hayman had a chance to them.” to battle back. The lead changed tie the game with two free throws.
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Black leaders oppose governor’s move to replace school board members
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org Black leaders spent an hour March 11 giving Gov. Nathan Deal their thoughts on his decision to remove and replace six DeKalb County Board of Education members. “Our message to the governor was clear: we believe that the right of the people to choose their elected officials should never be tampered with,” said Edward Dubose, president of the Georgia NAACP, after the meeting at the Capitol. Dubose said Black leaders were not “speaking on whether the school board members deserve to be in place or not.” “That’s not the issue,” Dubose said. “The issue is whether a governor should act like a dictator, whether a governor should have the single power to remove someone that was elected by the people. “We believe the governor is going to move forward in his direction, but we made it clear that we would continue to fight on to stop what we believe is an attack on our very sacred right,” Dubose said. In a Feb. 25 news conference, Deal announced that he had accepted the unanimous recommendation of the Georgia Board of Education (GBOE) to remove six members of the DeKalb school board. The DeKalb County Board of Education has been under scrutiny since the school district was placed on accreditation probation by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the agency that accredits the school district through its parent company, AdvancED. GBOE unanimously recommended to Deal to remove DeKalb school board members Sarah Copelin-Wood, Jesse “Jay” Cunningham, Donna Elder, Nancy Jester, Pamela A. Speaks and Eugene P. Walker. Only the newly elected board members, chairman Melvin Johnson, vice chairman Jim McMahan and Marshall Orson, remain in their positions. Deal formed a nominating committee to recommend replacement board members. That committee considered 403 applicants to the positions and interviewed approximately 60 people. The governor was expected to announce the replacement board members during a March 13 press conference. Rep. Dee DawkinsHaigler (D-93) said lawmakers are “very disappointed” that Deal removed the school board members. “We believe that everybody has one vote,” Haigler
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More trees to be saved by Brook Run Park trail construction modifications
by Carla Parker email@example.com The city of Dunwoody plans to save 80 trees for the Brook Run Park multi-use trail. In a press release posted on the city’s website, a city official said the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) approved a plan that allows for the removal of all 337 trees within the trail construction limits. However, the city made modifications that will allow for the preservation of approximately 25 percent, or 80 of the 337 trees identified for removal. “The city will continue to make efforts to preserve these identified trees, however, the city acknowledges some may need to be removed at a future point in time if the construction equipment activity damages tree and root structures,” the press release read. City crews have begun clearing trees to make room for the 12-foot-wide concrete and 3.3-mile long trail after a DeKalb County Superior Court judge lifted an injunction that was placed on the project on Dec. 13, 2012. The trail is designed as a recreational facility to promote connectivity between city parks, neighborhoods, and area business. The city has also begun installing silt fencing around the construction site. After the clearing work, the city will install “tree save” fencing for trees outside of the construction limits. The “tree save” fencing will ensure that equipment operates can identify trees that are not to be touched. “The city The Voice will continue to of Business manage all trail construction activities occurring onsite,” city officials said in the statement. “City staff are monitoring site activity, with plans in hand, to ensure only those trees previously identified and tagged for removal are removed.” On March 1, the EPD visited the site to inspect the erosion and sedimentation control measures installed by the city crews. The EPD inspector concluded that the city was going “above and beyond” state requirements to manage the construction site successfully, according to city officials. The city said recent concerns raised by citizens observing the construction regarding the alleged improper removal of an American Beech Tree were shown to be false. “The city removed a 24inch American Beech tree that was clearly identified in the plans to be removed,” officials said. “Only trees approved to be removed in the construction plans have been cleared.” The city has also fielded questions regarding the trail’s encroachment into the state’s 25-foot stream buffer. Based on the EPD recommendations, the city will provide additional mulch and slightly adjust the position of the silt fence to an area of about 20 yards to accommodate proper buffer distance. Brook Run Park remains the largest park in Dunwoody with a total of 102 acres and an estimated 60 acres of wooded park space, including an estimated 12,000 trees. The pre-construction trail assessment determined phase one of the multiuse trail would only affect approximately percent of in DeKalb2County the trees in the park.
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PUBLIC NOTICE Notice is hereby given that the City of Brookhaven has tentatively scheduled the 2013 budget adoption at 6pm on March 26, 2013 during the scheduled Council meeting that evening at PATH Academy, Cafeteria, 3007 Hermance Drive NE, GA 30319.
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 15, 2013
Instead of city, businesses form CID
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Casanova scammer’ indicted for identity theft, fraud
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com A DeKalb County grand jury has indicted an Alabama man known as the “Casanova scammer” on charges of forgery and identity fraud for allegedly scamming women he met online. Brian Wedgeworth, 37, of Birmingham, is charged with two counts of forgery, identity fraud and driving with a suspended license. DeKalb District Attorney Robert James said his office sees a lot of cases involving fraud and romance but has never seen one quite like Wedgeworth’s. “It’s unique because it appears to be sort of a shell game,” James said. “He would borrow money from one woman to pay off another woman’s debts.” Wedgeworth was previously arrested in DeKalb County in 2005 for larceny, theft and being a fugitive from justice. According to the indictment, Wedgeworth fraudulently used the bank account of Melissa Stephens, and possessed a $1,500 check from Stephens with the “intent to defraud.” “He would borrow from one woman to pay another’s debts,” James said. “The game just continues and at the end of the day everybody ends up losing.” At the time of his arrest, James said Wedgeworth was also carrying a fraudulent driver’s license used for an alias. James said Wedgeworth was able to defraud women all across the country by meeting them through online dating sites and gaining their trust. Wedgeworth reportedly posed as a wealthy doctor and use stolen money to pays of his victim’s student loans, credit card bills and car loans.
While there are rumors of possible new cities popping up on the heels of the incorporation of Brookhaven, one DeKalb County community is content to stay unincorporated. Instead, a coalition of Tucker business and property owners have decided to form a community improvement district. The official kick off for the Tucker Community Improvement District (CID) was Feb. 27 at The Bank of North Georgia in Tucker as several business owners signed the necessary papers to begin the process of establishing a CID. Bill Rosenfeld, president of the Tucker Business Association and owner of Rosenfeld International Jewelry on LaVista Road, said the CID would help improve Tucker by “giving us a place of identity.” A CID is a district in which commercial property owners vote to tax
themselves to raise funds for various community improvement projects. The Tucker CID, which is considering a three-mill tax, is planning to use the funds for increased lighting, beautification and road improvements, Rosenfeld said. The CID would also allow the community to seek grants and it would help attract more businesses. “Even though we’re self-imposing a little bit of tax, it’s a better way” than cityhood, Rosenfeld said. “It’s the next best thing we can do for ourselves.” Proponents of the proposed city of Lakeside originally had parts of Tucker in its boundaries. Rosenfeld said the Stone Mountain CID and city of Stone Mountain would both like to have Tucker in their borders. “Doing this for ourselves is a right move for us,” Rosenfeld said. “We have a fire station. We have a library. We have a police station. We have plenty of parks. What other benefits would a city give us? We have all the
things we need in Tucker.” A CID is “absolutely” better than cityhood for Tucker, he said. “A city is not really an alternative for us. Cityhood is taxes for everyone. This is taxes just for businesses.” Honey Van de Kreke, vice president of Elrep Sales in Tucker and one of the first business owners to sign the consent forms, said, “Since it costs the taxpayers nothing, it is the best alternative to forming a city.” “We have had three previous meetings with some of our largest commercial property owners and so far the response has been overwhelming to launch a CID in Tucker,” Van de Kreke said.“This will give us the funding source needed to change our area into a thriving activity center that provides positive economic development and supports the lifelong community that is Tucker.” For more information on the Tucker CID and how to become a member, visit www.TuckerCID.com.
Fake DeKalb cop sentenced on drug, robbery charges
Torrez Seymore, 25, of Baltimore, Md., pleaded guilty and was sentenced March 7 by U. S. District Judge Timothy C. Batten Sr. for possessing marijuana obtained by robbery with the intent to distribute and discharging a firearm in connection with that robbery. “The violence associated with drug crimes is especially disturbing to our community,” said U. S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “We work hard to maintain public confidence that people are safe. Homes being raided by criminals dressed in law enforcement gear, carrying guns and yelling ‘police’ is extremely unsettling. This case effectively dismantled this robbery crew,” she said. Seymore was sentenced to 13 years, 10 months in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release. On Jan. 14, 2010, Seymore and four others dressed as police officers and carrying guns assaulted a suburban house on Hyland Drive, according to Yates, the charges and other information presented in court. He and his fellow robbers used a vehicle tracking device on the victim’s cars to find the location of the house. The crew thought that the residents were marijuana suppliers. The robbers carried handcuffs and firearms and wore fake police badges and vests with the word “Police” printed on them, according to a media release. As they pulled into the victim’s driveway, he came out of the house. The robbers yelled, “DeKalb County Police get down, cuff him!” “Their goal was to force the victim to take them to a ‘stash’ house where they believed additional drugs were stored,” according to the media release. While the robbers were attempting to kidnap the victim, a friend of the victim arrived and the robbers traded gunfire with him on the lawn. The robbers then beat and kidnapped the victim, who led the crew to his girlfriend’s home, under the pretense that it was the “stash” house. The victim’s girlfriend fled the home through the back door and called police, who came and rescued the victim. “Gun violence perpetrated by anyone tears at the very fabric of our communities; but when this violence is committed by impersonating law enforcement, an alarming message of intolerance needs to be sent to those who dare to engage in such offenses,” said Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) Assistant Special Agent in Charge Aladino Ortiz. “As the violent crime bureau, ATF will see to it that individuals who illegally arm themselves are removed from our streets so that our communities can remain a safe place to live and prosper.”
The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 15, 2013
Gun control is not the answer; we need mindset control
by Orrin “Checkmate” Hudson According to the United States government, there are an estimated 300 million guns in the United States. So is gun control the real answer to the violence taking place today? Of course not! The answer lies not in the weapon, but in the mind- Hudson set of the person. As humans interact, we hope they see each other as equals and wish no harm on anyone. This is the mindset that would lead to peace. Unfortunately, that is not being properly taught to our children. Firearms are not killing people; it is the people who want to do bad things that are killing. We have a strong survival instinct and we will act as needed to save our lives. If individuals are put in a situation where they are threatened and cornered, feeling they must do harm or be harmed, there will be violence. Gun control cannot and will not change anything until the mindset has been changed for the better. Let us strive to teach and promote peace and love. Let’s instill these traits into our children now before we destroy ourselves. This is no easy task but we must get to work before there is more needless loss of life from the violence that surrounds us. The daily headlines remind us of the violence that is threatening to destroy our communities. Removal of weapons does not deter this, for time and again we have seen the mind create another weapon as an alternative. Restrictions on any weapon only allow alternative weapons to be developed into more efficient killing means, thus the harm does not end, it only changes. If I am a violent person, I will use whatever means are available to me to satisfy my violent nature. If a gun is available, yes, I will use it. I also can use a baseball bat, a knife, a hammer or a vehicle. If no other weapon is available, I will use my hands. Thus, we must understand putting stress on any system will increase the chances of violence. How do we change that? There is only one way and that comes with an early life mindset change. If a person is taught violence or is associated with violence and killing at an early age, chances are that person will grow up to be violent. On the other hand, if a person is taught love, peace and mutual respect from the beginning, that person will likewise follow his early childhood teachings and grow into a kind, peace-loving, respectful, nonviolent adult. A child’s mind is like a computer. What goes in their mind stays there. Some learn to work around the violence they experience and become productive members of society. The chances are great that many more won’t and may become burdens on society. Be mindful of what your child is being taught, especially in school and in their various environments. The only way to reduce violence is to reach every individual with the knowledge that violence is not the answer. We must change the culture of violence before it destroys us and steals our children’s futures. It’s time to get to work. Orrin Hudson is the founder of Be Someone Inc., a program that uses the game of chess to teach that for every choice we have in life there is a relating consequence. To learn more about Hudson, who was once an at-risk young person, visit www.besomeone.org.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 15, 2013
The name is Dave, Uncle Dave
having already heard many colorful stories about him. Dave adored his sister Mary, and loved to make her laugh. Among many other family traditions he would lead a large chorus, multi-age and after the benefit of a few holiday libations, in calling his sister each Christmas Eve to sing her Christmas carols. I heard my first one of those calls nearing a quarter century ago, and I can still remember chuckling as Dave led his family chorus through a broken warbling of “Mary” an old George M. Cohan ditty in honor of his baby sister. Herb and Mary Lowery met and courted in Philadelphia, but later chose Lexington, Va., in the Shenandoah Valley to raise their family. The Lowerys annually hosted Dave, his wife Hannah and their massive and growing family each Fourth of July. With state Troopers in at least three states on alert, the caravan came straight down from Philly, a string of motor homes, late model cars and the occasional chopper—all with Pennsylvania plates. This multigenerational crew brought laughter, good cheer—and usually not quite enough sun block. When I actually first met Dave, after marrying Nancy, one of his favorite nieces, he looked me over, head to toe, smiled, reached out his palm and said, “Hey Pallie, just call me Uncle Dave.” The following fall we visited Dave and his always growing crew back home in Philly. Uncle Dave was to be our tour guide. “C’mon Pallie, let me show you what’s what,” and away we went. Our first stop was to be a local bowling alley. Inside, we found two lanes, light bowling activity, a bar and a long line of coolers. This did not quite sync up with the nearly 200 cars just outside. I asked Uncle Dave where everybody else was. He smiled, laughed loudly and with a knowing wink said, “Bill, d’ere’s a gamblin’ joint in the back.” From there we visited a string of pubs and neighborhood joints in Manyunk, a working class neighborhood of Philly, first established along the Schuylkill River around 1686. Everywhere we went, Dave had friends, every bartender was setting up rounds or shots as we entered the door, and at each place, Dave almost always got the dance floor started and at each another friend was offering to buy Dave and his charges a “welcome round.” We were so welcomed I barely remember pouring ourselves into bed early the next morning. Manyunk is now a bit gentrified, and its nightlife draws traffic from across the Delaware Valley, but I have a feeling that the hot spots aren’t quite so hot these days without Uncle Dave to jam occasionally on a set on the drums, get the party started or croon a Sinatra tune for the local crowd. For years after those visits, business brought me back to Philly two to three times a year. I went back to South Street, to Manyunk and to many of the wonderful places that Uncle Dave had introduced me to, but try as I might I could not find that slightly illicit Bowling Casino that Dave had let me in on—Dammit, I tried though. Without Uncle Dave as my tour guide that return trip just wasn’t in the cards. At graveside, following Dave’s memorial service, the Sinatra favorite “My Way” welled up and could be heard across the cemetery—you certainly did that Uncle Dave. Here’s too wishing the world can find a few more even remotely like you. Here’s to you, Uncle Dave! Bill Crane also serves as a political analyst and commentator for Channel 2’s Action News, WSBAM News/Talk 750 and now 95.5 FM, as well as a columnist for The Champion, Champion Free Press and Georgia Trend. Crane is a DeKalb native and business owner, living in Scottdale. You can reach him or comment on a column at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One Man’s Opinion
“If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.” — George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), Irish playwright and founder of the London School of Economics, and the sole recipient of both a Nobel Prize and an Oscar. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I tip my hat to the spirit and memory of Charles David Clothier, a family—and Renaissance man, Sinatra fan and perhaps most importantly—seemingly always a happy man. Dave Clothier, born in Philadelphia, grew up in modest circumstances, in a clearly loving family. He married early, and he and his bride Hannah shared nearly 60 years together before he passed earlier this year. Dave and Hannah had eight children, and as of this writing, that union produced 69 offspring, and the way the Clothiers have babies, that count could change before I finish this column. I first met Uncle Dave by phone and Christmas carol, after
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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 15, 2013
Johnson reintroduces bill to end American dependence on Chinese rare earth elements
by Nigel Roberts The United States is too dependent on China for socalled rare earth elements, a U.S. Department of Energy report warned in 2010. China mines approximately 95 percent of the important metals used in the manufacture of a wide range of hightechnology products. U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-4) reintroduced a bill March 6 to address American’s vulnerability to China’s control of rare earth elements. Johnson’s Resource Assessment of Rare Earths (RARE) Act of 2013 [H.R. 981] would direct the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to conduct a threeyear, comprehensive global mineral assessment of these elements. He originally introduced the RARE Act in 2011. “Like President Barack Obama, I am committed to a future powered by clean energy,” Johnson said in a statement. “Without secure access to rare earth elements, we will be unable to lead the world in clean technology. The RARE Act will dramatically advance our ability to access rare earths worldwide.” Rare earth metals include 17 elements, most of them in the lanthanoids group that includes lanthanum and cerium, plus two more elements commonly found in ore with them: scandium and yttrium. These exotic sounding elements are essential to high technology applications, from smart phones to smart bombs. They are also key components in the clean energy sector, such as the manufacture of electric car motors and wind turbines “Because China dominates production, it aims to build a strategic stockpile that will not only fuel their green technology revolution but also give it greater control over international prices,” Johnson stated in a blog. Johnson’s bill directs the USGS to take a number of actions: identify and quantify individual rare earth elements in known deposits, improve understanding of the distribution and formation of rare earth element deposits, assess likely undiscovered deposits worldwide, analyze the state of the complete rare earth supply chain from mining to manufacturing, and recommend further research and steps to improve understanding and ensure access. The agency would do some of this work with global partners. Johnson stated, “The only solution to end China’s rare earth dominance is renewed commitment to domestic production with government help.”
Champion of the Week
room facility. Mountain View Personal Care Home was opened in 1882 by DeKalb County. The county still handles some maintenance on the building, but much of the home’s support comes from other sources. Beyond giving the facility a “facelift,” Collins said she wants to make sure the personal care home is first-rate in every way. “I want staff to receive the training they need to give residents the best of service. I want them to understand that they are not just coming to work; they are coming into these people’s home. I want them to do everything possible to make the residents feel comfortable and respected. I want everyone associated with Mountain View, from staff to board members to volunteers to take pride in making it the place they would want their loved ones to live or where they would live themselves. I want everyone associated with Mountain View to have some
Barbara Collins became interested in conditions at Mountain View Personal Care Home after a relative of a fellow member of Greenforest Community Baptist Church went to live there. She had111 been such an enthusiastic volunteer that she soon became chairman of Mountain View’s board of directors. “The first day I walked in I decided that I wanted to turn this place into a model for the personal care industry. I want people to be so impressed that there is a long waiting list to come live here,” Collins said of the 35-resident-
skin in the game.” Collins, along with other board members and volunteers, has embarked on a refurbishing undertaking with 20 improvement projects, including painting, upgrading bathrooms, replacing flooring, light fixtures and furniture and enhancing landscaping. They are to get donated materials and expertise from Home Depot and other sources, but much of the work will be done by the volunteers themselves. Collins, who retired from a corporate executive job, also has expertise as an interior decorator. “I thought I might start my own interior decorating business, but right now I believe God wants me to use those skills here,” she said. Saying she can hardly wait to see the place when the refurbishing is completed, Collins added, “But I’m always trying to get to things done in my time. I need to learn to be patient and let God get things done in His time.”
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 15, 2013
more information or to register, call (404) 508-7175.
Poet Thomas Lynch to give lectures at Emory Critically acclaimed American poet, essayist and undertaker Thomas Lynch joins Emory University’s Candler School of Theology this semester as the McDonald Family Chair on the Life and Teachings of Jesus and their Impact on Culture. In this role, Lynch will offer two public lectures. On March 19, he will give a lecture titled “The Good Funeral and the Empty Tomb” at 5 p.m. in Candler School of Theology’s room 252. On April 17, he will present “The Feast of Language” at 7 p.m. at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in Atlanta. The lectures are free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register, visit http://eventactions.com/ ea.aspx?ea=Rsvp. Lynch’s work has been the subject of two award-winning film documentaries—PBS Frontline’s The Undertaking (2007) and the BBC’s Learning Gravity (2008)—and provided creative inspiration for the popular HBO series Six Feet Under.
Author to discuss Oprah Book Club novel Author Ayana Mathis will be at the Decatur Library, Thursday, March 21, 7:15-9 p.m., to discuss her new novel, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, an Oprah Book Club selection. “Beginning in the 1920s in Georgia, it tells the story of the Great Migration of African Americans through the trials and triumphs of one very remarkable, unforgettable family. Hattie Shepherd is 15 when she flees Georgia for a new life in Philadelphia. What she finds is a disappointing marriage and children she raises with grit and mettle and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave. Captured in 12 luminous threads, their onrushing lives tell the story of a mother’s monumental courage and the journey of a nation. It is a powerful, beautiful story you will treasure,” states an announcement from the library. Decatur Library is located at 215 Sycamore Street, Decatur. For more information, call (404) 370-3070. Brain health expert to give seminar With the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease in Georgia expected to increase by 45 percent by 2025 compared to 2000, a nationally known brain health expert and author will hold a public seminar on how to increase cognitive fitness and delay the potential onset of memory loss. Dr. Paul Nussbaum, the featured speaker, is national director of brain health for Emeritus Senior Living as well as clinical neuropsychologist and adjunct professor of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He is the author of Save Your Brain and Brain Health Lifestyle. The seminar takes place at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, at Emeritus at Decatur. Admission is free; those planning to attend are asked to make reservations by calling (404) 299-6600 Topics to be covered include: • Changes individuals can make in their lifestyles to promote brain health and slow the possible onset of memory loss • The five fundamentals of the brain health lifestyle • Foods that promote cognitive fitness • The latest scientific research on brain health • Signs and symptoms of memory loss and memory-impairing diseases
“While researchers continue to search for a cure or preventive measure for Alzheimer’s, the good news is that there are specific steps each of us can take right now to increase the health of our brain and slow the potential onset of memory loss,” Nussbaum said. “I invite everyone concerned about this issue to attend the seminar on March 19.” Emeritus at Decatur provides care for those with Alzheimer’s and other memory-impairing diseases through its Join Their Journey program. It is operated by Emeritus Senior Living. Emeritus at Decatur is located at 475 Irvin Court, Decatur. Church to hold prayer breakfast
nology and getting our workforce read for technology in order for DeKalb to remain a viable player in the economic arena,” stated Johnson in a release about the event. For more information regarding the DeKalb Democratic Party and the breakfast, go to www.dekalbdems.com.
Forum set for potential homeschoolers Parents considering homeschooling their children can get information during a free home education forum Saturday, March 23, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Veteran homeschoolers will be featured in the forum, titled “So You’re Thinking About Homeschooling?” Topics will include: how to get started; deciding on a homeschooling style; choosing a curriculum for your child; and adding extracurricular activities to your program. The forum will be held at Grace Presbyterian Church, 650 Rowland Road, Stone Mountain. For more information and free registration, call the church at (404) 2925514.
Gresham Park Christian Church will hold a prayer breakfast on Saturday, March 23, at 9 a.m. The theme for the occasion is “Spiritual Food for Body and Soul” with words of inspiration presented by guest speaker Larry “Bo” Harris Jr., pastor of New Life Christian Church. Gresham Park Christian Church is located at 2819 Flat Shoals Road, Decatur. Attendees are asked to give a minimum donation of $10. For more information, call (404) 241-4511 and leave a message and a call-back number. Weight of the Nation to be shown at library The Scott Candler Library invites the community to view a portion of the HBO documentary Weight of the Nation: Confronting the Nation’s Obesity Epidemic on Monday, March 18, 3-5 p.m. A discussion will immediately follow, led by registered dietician and nutrition expert Barbara Stahnke. Registered with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics since 1991, Stahnke holds degrees in nutrition and dietetics, as well as community counseling, and has served as the Cobb and Douglas Public Health Nutrition Services director since 2009. No registration is required. Scott Candler Library is located at 1917 Candler Road, Decatur. For more information, call (404) 286-6986. Commissioner to speak at DeKalb Democratic breakfast “Forward…Challenges and Opportunities” is the theme for the DeKalb Democratic Party’s monthly breakfast meeting Saturday, March 16, 9 a.m. at Piccadilly Cafeteria, 2000 Crescent Centre Boulevard, Tucker. DeKalb County District 3 Commissioner Larry Johnson, who recently celebrated 10 years in ofﬁce, will be the event’s keynote speaker. Johnson, who is currently serving as the chairman of the Board of Commissioners’ planning and economic development committee, is working toward a comprehensive approach to economic development for DeKalb. “We are in an economic climate that is the ‘new normal’ and we must adapt to this ‘new normal’ and focus on tech-
Oglethorpe University to host photography exhibit The Beta Israel: Ethiopian Jews and the Promised Land exhibit can be viewed weekly Tuesdays through Sundays, noon to 5 p.m. The photography exhibition from South African photojournalist Ilan Ossendryver features more than 100 photographs exploring the mass migration and integration of Ethiopian Jews into modern Israeli society. The exhibit is $5 for adults and free for children 12 and under. Oglethorpe University is located at 4484 Peachtree Rd NE in Atlanta. For more information, call (404) 364-8555 or visit www.museum.oglethorpe.edu/exhib.htm.
Congressman Price to speak at TBA luncheon Representative Tom Price (R-GA) will speak on the current sequestration situation; economic development of small business, including the impact of the Affordable Care Act; and other concerns affecting the local community at the Tucker Business Association’s (TBA) spring Lunch ‘N Learn Thursday, March 28. The event will be at The Greater Good BBQ, 4431 Hugh Howell Road, and begins at 11.30 a.m. Price represents the 6th Congressional District which has gained parts of DeKalb County including areas in Tucker. While in Congress, he has addressed many challenges including the economy, spending, taxes and health care. Price currently serves as vice chairman of the House Committee on the Budget. He also sits on the House Committee on Ways and Means, as well as the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Before entering Congress, for 20 years Price practiced orthopaedic surgery in Atlanta and was medical director of the orthopaedic clinic at Grady Memorial Hospital, teaching resident doctors-in-training. The program, including lunch, is $5 for TBA members and $10 for nonmembers. Pre-registration by Friday, March 22, is requested. To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org; include the name, title, company, email and phone of those attending. Also note if a vegetarian meal is being requested.
Library to host the Global Village Chorus Students from the Global Village Project will perform two 30-minute choral sessions on Saturday, March 16, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Global Village Project is a school dedicated to helping young girls and teens from war-torn countries make a successful transition into American schools. Students from Afghanistan, Burma, Congo, Ethiopia, Iraq and Sudan will perform songs in English as well as some in their native languages. The chorus director is Artist-inResidence Elise Witt. The event is open to the first 25 participants. Clarkston Library is at 951 N. Indian Creek Drive. For
The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 15, 2013
Photos by Carla Parker
Thousands of children explored trucks at Touch-a-Truck event
by Carla Parker email@example.com Approximately 1,500 children got to touch, explore and see their favorite trucks or equipment on wheels at Decatur’s annual Touch-a-Truck event. The event, held in the Callaway Building parking lot located on West Trinity Place, included city of Decatur and DeKalb County dump trucks, fire trucks, tractors, police cars and motorcycles and other vehicles. Children sat behind the wheels of the vehicles, honked the horns, and in some cases climbed in the back of fire trucks. Michelle Cavalier of Decatur brought her 2-year-old son, Ian, for the second year in a row. “He loves trucks and cars,” she said. The event started in 2000 to showcase the city of Decatur and its government. “We do this to market what we do as a city,” said Gregory White, director of Decatur Active Living. “It’s also an economic development opportunity because people come to the event, then they go eat and probably shop after that. It’s a way for us to also reach potential new customers.”
Boston University students volunteer with FODAC during spring break
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org Instead of lounging on a beach in Florida, students from Boston University traveled to Stone Mountain to volunteer at Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC) March 11-16. The group of 10 students is part of Boston University’s Alternative Spring Breaks, a 25-year-old program that encourages and supports students who donate their spring break time to volunteer programs around the country. The students helped with a variety of projects, from basic cleaning and inventory organization in FODAC’s 40,000-square-foot warehouse to filling medical supply orders for local free clinics. This is the eighth team from Boston University’s Alternative Spring Breaks program that FODAC has hosted. “I came down here to volunteer because I thought it was a good way to meet new people and do some community service,” said 20-year-old Ali Pappas. Erin Connors, 21, said she got the idea from her brother, who participated the program in the past. “He suggested that I try it and I’m glad I did,” she said. The trip coordinator Kara Czeczotka, 19, said the trip was a great opportunity to do something different and learn more about the
See FODAC on Page 9A Ten students from Boston University spent their spring break week volunteering at Friends of Disabled Adults and Children. Photo by Carla Parker
The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 15, 2013
participated in the hazing ritual held on the bus. Hollis said the hazing incident occurred after the Florida Classic Game, a yearly game between FAMU and BethuneCookman University held in Orlando. Both Hollis and Champion participated in a hazing ritual known among band members as “Crossing Bus C.” In his statement, Hollis describes the hazing ritual: both he and Champion were “prepped,” which is when “someone repeatedly slaps you across your body with both hands using full force.” Then initiates were forced to walk down the darkened aisle of the bus while band members “punched and kicked” them multiple times, in some cases even hitting them with “drum
Former FAMU students face new charges in Champion’s death
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com Florida State Attorney Jeff Ashton has upgraded the charges of 10 former Florida A&M University (FAMU) students involved in the death of Southwest DeKalb High School graduate Robert Champion from felony hazing to manslaughter. Prosecutors also charged two new defendants with manslaughter March 4. The manslaughter charges announced during a status hearing carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison. Champion, a member of the FAMU’s famous “Marching 100” band, was found unresponsive on the band’s bus after a football game in November 2011. Officials termed his death a homicide resulting from “blunt force trauma sustained during a hazing incident.” Several days after Champion’s death, FAMU band director Julian White was fired. In a press release, FAMU President James Ammons, who later resigned, said White was dismissed for “alleged misconduct and incompetence involving confirmed reports and allegations of hazing.” Christopher Chestnut, an attorney for Champion’s parents, said Pam and Robert Champion Sr. are pleased with Ashton’s decision to upgrade the charges. “These charges are commensurate with the acts committed,” Chestnut said. “It sends the right message regarding zero-tolerance of hazing in the FAMU band.” Last summer, FAMU denied any responsibility for Champion’s death, claiming he was a “26-year-old mallets and sticks.” Hollis said after the incident he began walking back to the hotel but stopped when he noticed Champion wasn’t behind him. Hollis’ friend went back onto the bus to check on Champion; as Hollis waited outside he began to vomit and went back to his room to rest. While in his room Hollis was told by a fellow band member Champion wasn’t breathing and had been taken to the hospital by an ambulance. “Then we just stayed in the room until we got the call about the hospital giving Robert his time of death,” Hollis’ statement concluded. A status hearing for the case has been set for August.
Florida A&M University (FAMU) drum major Robert Champion, a graduate of Southwest DeKalb High School, died in November 2011 as a result of a hazing incident. Florida officials have charged 12 former FAMU students with his death.
grown adult” at the time of his death and willingly participated in the hazing. Champion’s parents said that by blaming their son for his own death, the university has made it “nearly impossible” to eradicate the culture of hazing that pervades the university. Several months after the incident, FAMU was put on probation for a year and the Marching 100 band was temporarily suspended. According to court documents, one of those charged in the death of Champion was previously arrested in connection with another hazing incident. Aaron Golson was arrested several weeks before Champion’s death for similarly assaulting band member Bria Shante Hunter, also a graduate of Southwest DeKalb. According to police reports, band members beat Hunter so badly that she suffered a cracked thighbone and had to be taken to the hospital. According to reports, Golson and two others were arrested and charged with
assaulting Hunter. The Champion Newspaper was provided with a sworn statement from Lanauze Keon Hollis, one of Champion’s friends who
CLAUDIA G. LAWSON
DeKalb County Tax Commissioner
MOTOR VEHICLE OWNERS
Effective March 1, 2013, House Bill 386 removes the sales and annual ad valorem tax on newly-purchased vehicles. A one-time title tax of 6.5% (2013), 6.75% (2014) and 7% (2015) replaces the annual tax. Here’s what you need to know: • New one-time title ad valorem tax fee applies to all title transactions (new and used vehicle purchases, transfers, all transfers among family members, or vehicles new to the state) and eliminates payment of sales tax and annual ad valorem tax. • If you purchase a vehicle in Georgia after January 1, 2012 but before March 1, 2013, you may have the option of paying annual ad valorem tax or a one-time title ad valorem tax fee. Vehicles purchased out of state are not eligible to opt in. • Whether paying the one-time title ad valorem tax fee OR annual ad valorem tax, requirements for insurance, emissions, driver’s license and the renewal of your tag by your expiration date remain the same. • If you purchased a vehicle before 2012, you will remain on the current annual ad valorem tax system.
FODAC Continued From Page 8A
organization. “I’m learning a lot about FODAC and how they help the community,” she said. FODAC helps the disabled of all ages regain their mobility, independence and quality of life. The nonprofit organization provides more than $10 million annually in refurbished home medical equipment (HME) and home modifications in Georgia and across the United States, all at little or no cost to the recipients. FODAC president Chris Brand said the students have been a big help to the organization. “They’re helping us get a lot of things done around the office and we appreciate their help,” he said.
NORTH OFFICE 1358 Dresden Drive, NE Atlanta, GA 30319
MAIN OFFICE 4380 Memorial Drive Suite 100 Decatur, GA 30034
SOUTH OFFICE 2801 Candler Rd. #66 South DeKalb Mall Decatur, GA 30032
(404) 298-4000 www.dekalbcountyga.gov/taxcommissioner
The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 15, 2013
Anchorman 2 being filmed around metro Atlanta
by Kerry King There is a flock of all-star celebrities in the Atlanta area as news anchorman Ron Burgundy returns with his entire crew in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. But apparently, the original cast members, including Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, Christina Applegate, and Steve Carell, are not enough for director Adam McKay. Both Kristen Wiig, of SNL fame, and Harrison Ford, from Star Wars and Indiana Jones, will be joining the cast for the sequel of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. There have already been sightings of these actors around Atlanta, and several streets have been temporarily closed to allow for filming time. Known filming areas include Northside Tavern, off Howell Mill Road; Midtown; parts of 13th, 14th and Juniper streets; Irwin and Krog streets around Inman Park; and Philips Road in DeKalb County between South Deshon Road and South Stone Mountain-Lithonia Road through March 15. Filming will continue into the spring. The movie didn’t get off to the best of starts when $250,000$300,000 in equipment was stolen from a Defoors Ferry Road warehouse in Northwest Atlanta in December. Despite the setback, McKay has high hopes and said he can relate Ron Burgundy (who is from the ‘70s) to modern-day news anchors quite easily. “The character has gotten more and more relevant as the news has gotten to be nothing more than a ratings-driven profit machine,” said McKay, in an interview with Salon. Although details of the plot have not been released, McKay has given a couple of intriguing snippets. The film takes place “right when all the news started changing with the 24-hour news cycle in ‘78 or ‘79,” in an interview with Empire. “All of a sudden, local news stations diversified and had Latino anchors and African-American anchors, and any time you’re talking about diversity and the Action News team, that’s always fun to deal with,” McKay said. The film is scheduled to be released in December 2013.
Phillips Road near Lithonia will be closed until March 15 as crews film Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Photos by Kerry King
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 15, 2013
Leaders Continued From Page 2A
said. “The people of DeKalb have spoken. They have chosen their elected officials. If they want them to be removed then they should either do a recall or vote them out in 2014.” “We don’t need the governor coming to tell DeKalb who needs to represent us on the school board,” said Rev. Samuel Mosteller, state president for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. “We are here [to] guard and stand guard over the right to vote…and the right to have the officials that we voted in…serve until we tell them ‘no,’” Mosteller said. Black leaders are concerned about the number Black elected officials in DeKalb, Clayton, Warren, Brookes and Sumter counties affected by the law giving the governor the authority to remove school board members. “The sum total of the people being removed [is] predominantly African-American,” Dubose said. “The question is, ‘is it an attack against African Americans?’ Only about three Whites have been caught up in this move to unseat people.” Dubose said the governor has a choice. “This is a fight that the governor does not have to fight,” Dubose said. “He has so many other duties. He can be dealing with the death penalty. He can be out there dealing with school education in a different way. He can be out there dealing with Medicaid or taking a stand on those who want to…have weapons in the churches and in the bars and everywhere. He’s got so many other things to do than walking around removing people who were elected by the people.” Dubose said Black leaders will explore “what right we have legally to protect the people’s right to choose their persons for office.” If Deal goes ahead with his plan to replace the school board members, some Black leaders want the governor to “put a Black in for a Black” board member,” Dubose said. But that’s a “dangerous thing,” Dubose said, because, “you might get somebody in like [U.S. Supreme Court Justice] Clarence Thomas.’ All Blacks don’t represent Blacks.” John Evans, president of the DeKalb NAACP, said the governor’s move diminishes voting rights, especially for Blacks. “Reconstruction and all of that is in place now and if we’re not careful we’re going to back where we came from,” Evans said. Evans added that since the AdvancED concerns were about governance, then the accrediting agency should immediately restore full accreditation now that the six board members have been removed. For more coverage about DeKalb County school board, including a complete list of the 403 applicants, go to www.thechampionnewspaper. com.
“We don’t need the governor coming to tell DeKalb who needs to represent us on the school board,” said Edward Dubose, president of the Georgia NAACP. Photo by Andrew Cauthen
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
For a programming guide, visit www.yourdekalb.com/dctv
The Champion Weather
Seven Day Forecast
Sunny High: 56 Low: 38 Mostly Sunny High: 65 Low: 47 Mostly Sunny High: 69 Low: 50 Partly Cloudy High: 72 Low: 49 Isolated T-storms High: 68 Low: 51 Mostly Sunny High: 73 Low: 51
DCTV – Your Emmy® Award-winning news source of DeKalb County news. Available on Comcast Cable Channel 23.
Detailed Local Forecast
Today we will see sunny skies with a high temperature of 56º, humidity of 26%. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph. The record high temperature for today is 82º set in 1989. Expect partly cloudy skies tonight with an overnight low of 38º. The record low for tonight is 18º set in 1993. Date Hi Lo Normals Precip Tuesday 66 39 62/41 0.22" Wednesday 43 31 62/41 0.00" Thursday 58 31 62/42 0.00" Friday 64 29 63/42 0.00" Saturday 61 35 63/42 0.00" Sunday 70 48 63/42 0.00" Monday 66 49 64/43 1.20" Rainfall. . . . . . . . 1.42" Average temp. . 49.3 Normal rainfall. . 1.26" Average normal 52.3 Departure . . . . . +0.16" Departure . . . . . -3.0 Day Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Sunrise 7:48 a.m. 7:47 a.m. 7:46 a.m. 7:44 a.m. 7:43 a.m. 7:42 a.m. 7:40 a.m.
March 14, 2013
March 14, 1987 - A powerful storm in the western U.S. produced 15 inches of snow in the Lake Tahoe Basin of Nevada, and wind gusts to 50 mph at Las Vegas, Nev. Thunderstorms in the Sacramento Valley of California spawned a tornado which hit a turkey farm near Corning. March 15, 1988 - More than one hundred hours of continuous snow finally came to an end at Marquette, Mich., during which time the city was buried under 43 inches of snow. Unseasonably cold weather prevailed in the southeastern U.S., with forty-one cities reporting record lows for the date.
Today’s Regional Map
Dunwoody 54/37 Lilburn Smyrna Doraville 55/38 55/38 55/38 Decatur Snellville 56/38 56/38 Atlanta 56/38 Lithonia College Park 57/38 57/38 Morrow 57/38 Union City 57/38 Hampton 58/39
Last Week's Local Almanac
Local Sun/Moon Chart This Week
Sunset 7:45 p.m. 7:45 p.m. 7:46 p.m. 7:47 p.m. 7:48 p.m. 7:49 p.m. 7:49 p.m.
First 3/19 Full 3/27
Sunny High: 71 Low: 48
Moonrise Moonset 9:12 a.m. 10:49 p.m. 9:50 a.m. 11:45 p.m. 10:29 a.m. Next Day 11:12 a.m. 12:40 a.m. 11:58 a.m. 1:31 a.m. 12:47 p.m. 2:20 a.m. 1:38 p.m. 3:05 a.m.
Last 4/2 New 4/10 Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Rise Set 6:55 a.m. 6:17 p.m. 7:46 a.m. 7:25 p.m. 8:13 a.m. 8:18 p.m. 11:34 a.m. 1:43 a.m. 11:15 p.m. 10:14 a.m. 8:28 a.m. 8:44 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 today and Friday, scattered rain and snow Saturday, with the highest temperature of 54º in Baltimore, Md. The Southeast will experience mostly clear skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 75º in Ft. Myers, Fla. In the Northwest, there will be partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 73º in Rome, Ore. The Southwest will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 95º in Yuma, Ariz.
StarWatch By Gary Becker - Comet in the West
I have been waiting several months for this week to arrive because currently there is a comet on the western horizon after sundown. As this article is being written, it has become an easy target to view with the unaided eye from the Southern Hemisphere. It even has a short tail. Now it’s headed north for us to see. The interloper’s name, PanSTARRS (C2011 L4) comes from the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System, its goal to discover Earth-crossing objects like the meteorite that fell in Russia on February 5. Oops! Actually, no doomsday detection system will be able to discover something that small. PanSTARRS reaches its closest distance from the sun on March 10, just inside the orbit of Mercury, where hopefully solar radiation will sublimate vast quantities of its ices and release copious amounts of dust into space. These are the ingredients that make for a bright comet. The gases glow through a process called fluorescence, while the dust scatters sunlight back in our direction. If there is enough dross, the comet could shine as brightly as the brightest luminary of the night, Sirius, the Dog Star of Canis Major. It should also have a noticeable tail, especially through binoculars. PanSTARRS was becoming brighter as predicated up through December 2012, but since the New Year, the brightening has slowed. Now with its easy views from Down Under, its final brightness may again be up for grabs. Comet PanSTARRS will be low to the western horizon, about eight degrees in altitude, 45 minutes after sundown during the next two weeks. It will be a deep twilight apparition. Very clear skies and a flawless western horizon will be necessary ingredients for a successful observation. If the comet is bright, you’ll hear more about PanSTARRS next week. Keep in mind that comets are like cats. They have tails, and they do precisely as they please. www.astronomy.org
UV Index 0-2: Low, 3-5: Moderate, 6-7: High, 8-10: Very High, 11+: Extreme Exposure
Which continent receives the least amount of precipitation?
The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 15, 2013
County converts environmentally hazardous property into greenspace The DeKalb County Natural Resources Management Office recently aqcuired 4.7 acres of property at Briarcliff Road and Chrysler Drive for conversion into park space. In January, the county purchased the property for $275,000, negotiating with the former property owner to reduce the purchase price to cover the cost of cleanup and restoration. Prior to the purchase, the Natural Resouces Management Office sumitted an application to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) to receive a limitation of liability under the Georgia Brownfields Program. The limitation of liability provides prospective property purchasers an opportunity to identify and mitigate environrmental issues on a property and redevelop unusable parcels of land. An environmental contractor retained by the county identified three 55-gallon drums in a drainage ditch behind the home. A second assessment revealed potential impacts from the drums, including cadmium and aresenic found in the soil at amounts slightly exceeding Georgia regulatory standards. Following the assessments, the county immediately implemented cleanup and restoration. “I commend our Natural Resources Management Office for its unwavering dedication to transform an environmental hazard into a safe neighborhood greenspace,” said DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis. Cleanup and restoration efforts are projected to be completed in one year, based on permits required by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Georgia EPD and other regulatory agencies. Following completion of the restoration and final approval from Georgia EPD, the county will host public meetings for community input on the future development of the greenspace. Gas line could cause traffic interruptions A gas main construction project may cause lane closures and traffic delays through April 20, on Katie Kerr Drive, Arcadia and North Arcadia Avenue, and DeKalb Industrial Way between North Decatur Road, Lawrenceville Highway. The scope of the project is to install a
24-inch high pressure gas main that is a portion of the 28-mile section that runs from DeKalb County to Riverdale. This includes milling and asphalt, road boring and landscaping. Lane closures will be in effect at various times and locations around the clock as needed to complete the project as rapidly as possible. Road closure signs will be posted advising of construction work and traffic detours as necessary. Brighter Tomorrows Foundation announces new leadership The Brighter Tomorrows Foundation announces the election of five new board members, who will lead the charge to increase philanthropy for behavioral healthcare and developmental disability services in DeKalb County. Chairman Kevin McKinnon, president and senior consultant of KJ McKinnon International; vice chairwoman Sue Steel, managing director of Bora Bora Consulting, LLC; Rand Knight, executive vice president, RMSI Inc., and chief development officer for Jane Goodall Institute, Global; Peter Williams, managing director for Fairview Capital Advisors; and Melissa Hodge-Penn, transition resource specialist with the Technical College System of Georgia/ Office of Adult Education. During the past 10 years, public providers of behavioral healthcare and developmental disabilities services in Georgia have been under tremendous pressure to meet the growing demand for these services while facing millions of dollars in state and local funding cuts. Spurred by this lost funding, the Brighter Tomorrows Foundation Inc. has increased its efforts to raise awareness and funding for these services in community. The Brighter Tomorrows Foundation Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit created in 2006 to provide support for the behavioral health and developmental disability services provided by the DeKalb Community Service Board (CSB), one of 26 community service boards in Georgia. The DeKalb CSB is a public, nonprofit, community-based provider of a full range of mental health, substance abuse and developmental disability services that annually serves more than 10,000 uninsured and underinsured children, youth and adults.
A judge has ruled that Andrea Sneiderman, accused of conspiring to murder her husband, is allowed to have contact with a witness who prosecutors allege to be her boyfriend. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Vino Wong, Pool)
Sneiderman allowed contact with alleged boyfriend
by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org A DeKalb County judge is allowing Andrea Sneiderman to have contact with a witness whom prosecutors allege was, at one point, her “live-in boyfriend.” Judge Gregory Adams ruled March 5 that Sneiderman is allowed to have contact with Joseph Dell, who was added to the prosecution’s witness list in November 2012. Prosecutors allege Sneiderman and her former boss Hemy Neuman plotted to kill her husband, Rusty Sneiderman. According to prosecutors, she was having an affair with Neuman. At the hearing in which Dell’s name was added to the witness list, former Chief Assistant District Attorney Don Geary added another theory as to why Sneiderman may have conspired to kill her husband: so that she and Dell could be together. “We believe it credible that Mr. Dell left his wife six months pregnant about six and a half months after the murder of Rusty and at that time, openly took up a relationship with the defendant,” Geary said. Neuman later admitted to shooting Rusty Sneiderman in front of a Dunwoody day care center and was convicted of his murder; he is now serving life in prison without parole. Sneiderman’s defense attorney Thomas Clegg said that his client’s relationship with Dell was nothing more than a strong friendship and accused Geary of trying to assassinate Sneiderman’s character and “smoke out” Neuman to testify against her. “There is nothing that Joseph Dell can testify to and nothing concerning any relationship he has with Mrs. Sneiderman that would have anything to do with this indictment,” Clegg said. Clegg also stated that prosecutors have yet to contact Dell even though it has been six months since his name was added to the witness list; DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James confirmed that fact. James said Dell’s name was added to the list after prosecutors learned of several hours of conversations that occurred between Dell and Sneiderman while she was in jail. In a 16-count indictment filed Feb. 19, Sneiderman is charged with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, hindering the apprehension of a criminal, concealment of material facts, four counts of making false statements and seven counts of perjury. Judge Adams has set a tentative date of July 29 to begin jury selection for Sneiderman’s trial, which is expected to last more than a month.
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 15, 2013
Dance a jig, wave a shillelagh, pin a shamrock—St. Patrick’s Day is back
by Kathy Mitchell email@example.com ith St. Patrick’s Day—March 17— coming on Sunday this year, there will be opportunities to celebrate all weekend and even earlier. As always, the enjoyment of Irish heritage and culture is for everyone—no matter their ethnic heritage. Downtown Atlanta again will be hosting a parade and celebration second in the state only to the grand event held—for the 188th time— in Savannah. Atlanta’s celebration, however, isn’t small potatoes. The city’s first Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade was held 155 years ago, in 1858. Organizers say on their website that they anticipate the 2013 edition will be the biggest St. Patrick’s Parade & Festival ever. The downtown Atlanta celebration, which starts with the parade at noon, will be on Saturday, March 16. More than 200 groups will be participating, including several from DeKalb County such as representatives from the Stone Mountain Highland Games. Those who gather along the 1.1-mile parade route down Peachtree Street from Ralph McGill Boulevard to Underground Atlanta can look forward to seeing clowns, floats, bands of every kind, military units, bagpipe and drum corps, thousands of children, Irish dancers, high-tech firefighting equipment, police units, drill teams, dogs, horses, antique cars, dignitaries from Ireland and local elected officials, according to the website. In nearby Buckhead, there will be more celebrating. The Andrews Entertainment District will hold a St. Patrick’s Day Weekend Blow Out Party Saturday, March 16, and Sunday, March 17, throughout the entire complex. The event begins on Saturday with Kegs and Eggs at Stout Irish Sports Pub at 6 a.m. and continues through close at 2:30 a.m. and on Sunday runs from 12:30 p.m. until midnight. Eight venues in one central Buckhead location will participate. Andrews Entertainment District is located at 56 East Andrews Drive. Advance ticket passes are priced at $8 for one day or $10 for both days and are on sale at www.andrewsdistrict.com. Those who choose not to venture downtown or to Buckhead can find lots of St. Patrick’s Day activity in DeKalb County. Among the biggest is in Historic Stone Mountain Village, site of the 17th annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration and Fundraiser, “Raising of the Green.” Held on March 17, it’s ART Station’s big fundraiser, but it’s also a “fun-raiser” with silent and live auctions, “A Taste of Stone Mountain” food sampling, music and that St. Patty’s Day favorite—complimentary green beer. The event will be held from 6-10 p.m. Tickets are $25 at the door or $20 in advance. ART Station is located at 5384 Manor Drive, Stone Mountain. For more information or to purchases tickets call (770) 469-1105 or visit www.artstation.org.
Even when the calendar shows that it’s nowhere near St. Patrick’s Day, there are restaurants and pubs in DeKalb County that feature a taste of Ireland. It’s a good bet these will be especially lively this month. Here are a few to try: The Brick Store Pub Known for its wide selection of beers and ales from around the world, this popular spot at 125 E. Court Square, Decatur, offers Guinness and Highland Gaelic Ale on tap and such Old World with a New World twist menu offerings as the shepherd’s daughter’s pie. For more information, call (404) 687-0990 or visit www. brickstorepub.com. Ye Olde Dunwoody Tavern and O’Brien’s Pub Both part of the Dunwoody Restaurant Group, Ye Olde Dunwoody Tavern on Chamblee Dunwoody Road and O’Brien’s Pub on Mt. Vernon Road in Dunwoody plan to celebrate the Irish holiday in a big way. The restaurant group’s website states: “We pride ourselves on our St. Patrick’s Day celebration. The group has become a central destination for this great day and has been for 16 years. We have an authentic Irish menu for the day with traditional dishes such as corned beef and cabbage, Boxty’s and Colcannon potatoes with gaelic sausage. Irish pipers come to each pub during the evening to share in the celebration and toe tapping and dancing has been known to break out.” For more information, visit www.dunwoodyrestaurantgroup.com. The Marlay House Formerly called the Grange Public House, the restaurant at 426 West Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur, continues to carry its original tag line: “a bit of Dublin in Decatur.” An authentic Irishowner operated Dublin-style pub, The Marlay House offers such Emerald Isle specialties as Harp and Guinness along with such food items as Irish stew and Guinness braised brisket. The Marlay House has announced a kickoff St. Patrick’s Day celebration featuring live traditional Irish music on March 12, starting at 2 p.m. For more information, call (404) 270-9950 or visit www.themarlayhouse.com. Pub 71 This Irish-themed Brookhaven pub not only offers such menu items as shepherd’s pie, fish and chips and a burger called the Dubliner, it has an Ireland-influenced drink selection that includes Guinness, Harp and a specialty cocktail called the nutty Irishman (whisky, hazelnut liquor and Irish cream.) It’s located at 4058 Peachtree Road, Atlanta. For more information, call (404) 467-8271 or visit www.pub71.com.
‘The Buddies’ return to Eddie’s Attic The group Eddie’s Attic’s management has called “Atlanta’s own Irish music super-group,” the Buddy O’Reilly Band, will return to Eddie’s Attic in Decatur for two performances on March 17—one at 7:30 p.m. and another at 9:30 p.m. “The Buddies,” as fans of the Celtic band call them, “shake the rafters with a rollicking good time,” according to The Celtic Quarterly. Advance general admission is $15 or $20 at the door. To purchase tickets, call (877) 725-8849. Eddie’s Attic is located at 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur. Retirement community offers special events The Regency House, an independent retirement community, is inviting older members of the community to welcome spring with a St. Patrick’s Day themed weekend of recreational activities. “We’ll be hosting a number of events, activities, and seminars perfect for getting out of the house, meeting new friends, and enjoying the upcoming warm weather and sunny days. You don’t need luck to have fun here,” an announcement from Regency House states. On Friday, March 8, at 3:30 p.m. there will be Pot of Gold Bingo with light snacks served until 5 p.m. On Saturday, March 9, at 12:30 p.m. there will be an Irish feast featuring authentic Irish food and on Sunday, March 10, at 3 p.m. there will be a fraud prevention seminar with light refreshments served. All events are free and open to the public. The Regency House is located at 341 Winn Way. To RSVP, or to learn more, call (404) 296-1152. For more information, visit www.theregencyhouse.net.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 15, 2013
Bond denied for man suspected of killing girlfriend, unborn baby
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org friend, Queen said. “This is not murder. This is not domestic violence. Family members on both This is basically someone sides of the shooting death making a poor decision,” of a DeKalb County woman Queen said before asking were emotional during a the judge to set the bond at hearing where a judge denied $25,000. bond for the alleged shooter Patricia Jackson, deputy March 7. chief district attorney over Carlos Simpson, 23, is the DeKalb District Attorcharged with murdering his ney’s domestic violence unit, girlfriend, Shikhira Dunson, said, “Mr. Queen makes it 20, in the driveway of his sound like a complete and family’s home on Feb. 18. total accident of the gun goThe two had a 10-month-old ing off.” child. The “intentional” killing The shooting occurred in occurred when the victim the driveway of Simpson’s tried to leave Simpson, Jackhome on Eagles Nest Circle. son said. When police arrived at “Simpson told her that if the scene, the victim was she ever tried to leave him, “on the ground in a face-up he would kill her and that’s position,” said Daryl Queen, exactly what he did,” JackSimpson’s attorney. The son said. victim’s sister was trying to Jackson said the couple administer CPR. was arguing about Dunson “It was a pretty chaotic “leaving and going back to scene. There were a lot of her mother.” people outside,” Queen said. “On this particular day, Initially the story to poshe had had enough and… lice was that some men in she was attempting to leave,” a vehicle “pulled out guns Jackson said. and somebody fired a shot,” When Simpson pulled Queen said. Police at the a gun on Dunson during scene determined that the an argument, Dunson said, account “was probably not “What are you going to do? accurate.” If you’re going to shoot me, “On the night in question, then shoot me, but I’m leavMr. Simpson, his sister and ing,” Jackson said. friend were outside in the car Jackson said the suspect listening to music,” Queen pointed the gun directly at told the judge. Dunson’s face and pulled the The victim came out of trigger. the house and “gets on to “She had an off-and-on [him] for being out. He’s relationship,” Jackson said. supposed to be in the house “She stayed with him for a with her. Some playful banter couple of months. When he goes on,” Queen said. got violent, she would come Then, “Mr. Simpson back to her parents’ home. makes a poor decision of When everything was good reaching under the seat of and he was loving her, she the car and retrieving a hand- went back. She participated gun,” Queen said. “Tragical- in that domestic violence cyly he fires the gun one time. cle that we’re all aware of.” She was struck one time in Because the county’s the face.” medical examiner discovered Simpson, a former sanita- that the victim was pregnant, tion worker for the city of a feticide charge is pending, Decatur, admits to recklessly Jackson said. causing the death of his girl-
Atlanta lawyer appointed as city’s first solicitor
by Carla Parker email@example.com Atlanta attorney William “Bill” Riley has been appointed as Brookhaven’s first solicitor. The Sandy Springs native, who has experience as a municipal solicitor, has helped with the creation of the courts for seven new cities in metro Atlanta area. His law firm, Riley and McClendon, is the only law firm that has participated in the startup of all seven cities–Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Johns Creek, Milton and Peachtree Corners and Chattahoochee Hills. “When I retired as a judge from the city of Atlanta I moved backed to Sandy Springs and I got involved in the movement to start the city,” he said. “We were volunteer lawyers that started the city of Sandy Springs and we just kept volunteering in starting these cities.” Riley has been a lawyer for almost 32 years and a judge for the city of Atlanta for 10 years. He has served as a judge and chief judge in Atlanta’s Municipal Court, developed the nationally recognized Atlanta Community Court to prosecute drug and mental health concerns and developed the Atlanta Olympic Court during the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. The Atlanta Olympic Court was created to help 3,000 law enforcement officers from across the southeast easily learn the Atlanta court system. “I built a simplified system for them behind the Olympic venue so if they can get to the courthouse with the defendant we can take care of the rest,” he said. “It was a very interesting experience to build a court system for only 17 days, but it worked very well.” Prior to his work with the city of Atlanta, Riley served as assistant district attorney for the South Georgia Circuit, the Cherokee Circuit, and the Atlanta District. He also served as the solicitor general for Fulton County’s State Court and helped revamp Doraville’s court system. The role of a city solicitor includes serving as the city prosecutor, advising police on legal matters, and prosecuting in the environmental court for matters such as zoning and development issues, code violations and property maintenance violations. In addition, Riley will serve as Brookhaven’s city attorney and provides representation for the city in all legal proceedings. “Bill has played a vital role in the initial set up of our city and understands the court process better than anyone else we considered,” said Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis. “He is the ideal candidate to help build the Brookhaven Municipal Court into a model for fairness and efficiency.” Riley said his goal as city solicitor is to protect the people and property of Brookhaven and that includes improving the city’s code enforcement. “We have some areas of the city that are in desperate need of code enforcement and some properties have to come up to the minimum code standards of the state of Georgia,” he said. “We’ll be looking at protecting the property values of the citizens and protecting the life and health and safety of those living in a number of those places.”
The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 15, 2013
Henderson Middle selects Teacher of the Year
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org Henderson Middle School’s 2013 Teacher of the Year is just a nice person. “She is just very warm and very easy to talk with,” said Terese Allen, principal of Henderson Middle. “She always has a smile on her face.” Lady M. Yonker, a sixth-grade language arts teacher, was nominated and selected by peers for the accolade. Allen said Yonker is also a great listener: “You know that she’s listening to you intently.” Yonker began working for the school district in 1997 as a paraprofessional. After going back to school to get a teaching certificate, she began teaching in 1997. She has a bachelor’s degree of fine arts in interior design at University of Georgia. Yonker is “very willing to share with colleagues and seeks input from [them],” said Allen, who has worked with Yonker for 11 years. Yonker also helps new and veteran teachers to get acclimated to life at Henderson Middle. “We have a lot of good teachers at Henderson Middle School,” Yonker said. “Henderson Middle School is the best middle school in the county. Across the board, we have high standards. “There are many teachers that have the qualifications for teacher of the year,” Yonker said. Allen said, “She’s very dedicated to the profession. She has a very warm, inviting classroom. Her kids feel very safe in her classroom to express themselves or to be wrong. She makes it fun.”
Select DeKalb County students discussed the district’s accreditation and school board problems with Gov. Nathan Deal during a videoconference March 7. Photos by Andrew Cauthen
Students grill governor about accreditation
by Andrew Cauthen email@example.com The school district’s possible loss of accreditation was the main topic students had for Gov. Nathan Deal during a videoconference March 7. The students was participated in the event were part of the 21-member DeKalb County School District (DCSD) Student Advisory Council. Richard Peay, a student at DeKalb School of the Arts, asked the governor about the state’s contingency plan if DCSD loses accreditation. “In the case that we do lose accreditation, is there a backup plan?” Peay asked. “Is there a way students can attend schools in other districts or is the class of 2014 grandfathered in? Is there any plan of that sort?” Deal said the goal of the state and school district is to try to avoid loss of accreditation “at all costs.” “When that occurred in the past there were special dispensations made to make sure the students were not punished as a result of the system itself losing its accreditation,” Deal said. “It is a serious matter.” Deal acknowledged that when Clayton County lost its accreditation five years ago, lots of students were transferred from the school system. “It was a rather large exodus as I recall,” Deal said. “It’s important for us to try to make sure we don’t get to that loss of accreditation because those are the kinds of inconveniences and disturbances in families and in students’ lives that we don’t want to have happen. “If it does happen, I will give you my assurance that I will do everything that I can…to try to mitigate any adverse consequences to you,” Deal said. Deal was joined in Atlanta by Kenneth Mason, chairman of the DeKalb school board nominating committee, and Robert Brown and Brad Bryant, liaisons between the school board and governor. In DeKalb with the students were interim school Superintendent Mike Thurmond and school board members Melvin Johnson, Jim McMahan and Marshall Orson. Bryant said, “When Clayton lost its accreditation five years ago that was the first system in 40 years that had lost accreditation. So this is really serious.” “The last thing that we want to happen is for you all to lose focus on what you’ve been doing,” Mason said. “Stay focused and continue. We don’t want you to get distracted at all.” Alex, a Clarkston High School student asked, “If accreditation is lost, will I be able to get into college?” Deal said, “That is probably the most important question that could be asked in the midst of this discussion because the loss of accreditation of a system means that the diploma that you will receive will not be from an accredited high school. “You can almost say without exception you will not be able to be admitted to any college or university outside the state of Georgia because they generally, as a rule, will not accept diplomas from high schools that aren’t accredited,” he said. Deal said the state government had to make exceptions when another school system lost its accreditation. “It is a very real concern and it is, from my point of view, one of the real motivations for making sure that loss of accreditation does not occur,” Deal said. When a Tucker High School student athlete asked whether his scholarship offers would be taken away if district loses accreditation, Deal said some colleges may take special circumstances into consideration. Generally, a loss of accreditation is a “red flag that would have to be overcome and we don’t want you to have to go through that,” Deal said.
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 15, 2013
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 15, 2013
Clarkston embarks on business district revitalization project
After conducting interviews with six stakeholders selected to represent a cross section of those with an interest in Clarkston’s future, members of the Urban Land Institute of Atlanta (ULI Atlanta) Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) made a series of recommendations at a summary meeting March 8. At the meeting, which was open to the public, TAP members emphasized that their recommendations identify areas of focus but do not outline specific plans for action. That would be up to city officials, they said. Clarkston was selected by the ULI Atlanta to receive help in developing a plan to revitalize the city’s business district. The interviews and the resulting report are early steps in what the city anticipates will be a six-month process. City Manager Keith Barker called members of the ULI “some of the top community development professionals.” Among the areas the group identified as strengths are location, diversity, colleges and local schools, history, transportation and a sound basic structure for a downtown area. Clarkston has “the bones of a good downtown,” noted TAP member Peter Dray, founding partner of a firm that seeks low-impact design solutions for complex urban settings. He said the city should renew, not build, adding, “Existing structures can be turned into something that has real economic viability.” Funding already is in place for a streetscape project. In February, the city received approval from the State Road and Tollway Authority for a $2 million loan to match $4 million in funding from the Federal Highway Administration to provide streetscape and pedestrian enhancements on several “gateway” streets, including portions of East Ponce de Leon Avenue, Church and Market streets and Norman Road. City officials say they anticipate advertising for engineering design services in the spring with a firm on board this summer to begin plan preparation and environmental studies. According to Barker, “This streetscape and pedestrian enhancement project will transform these streets into a positive and attractive amenity for the community. These improvements are part of a larger effort to fully realize the community’s vision for the city, which is to strengthen the economic vitality of the town center district.” Among the recommendation the TAP members offered are re-evaluation of zoning codes as well as building code enforcement, a focus on transportation and a proactive annexation strategy. They suggested establishing gateways to Clarkston, noting that “people drive right through and don’t know they’re there.” The group also suggested a catalyst project such as a city market to show private investors that those already in Clarkston are willing to invest in the city. They noted that Clarkston’s position as a small town in a major metropolitan area is a strong asset. A final version of the TAP report will be made available to Clarkston’s city government. “The formation of the TAP for Clarkston will position the city to address its need for improved business development and land use policy development in a deliberate but ‘out of the box’ manner. We want to take a realistic look at how we can achieve our goal of revitalizing our central business district. We feel that by including real-estate development professionals in the discussion, along with other local stakeholders, the city will receive ‘real world’ recommendations around how best to proceed,” Barker said. The plan will also focus on how the city can become a destination for non resident patrons of businesses and an attractive place for private investment and relocation. Approximately 80 percent of Clarkston’s business owners are refugees or immigrants and several people attending the meeting expressed concern that an effort to revitalize the downtown might inadvertently drive away minority-owned and immigrant businesses. Offering the revitalization of Stone Mountain Village as an example, DeKalb County Community Development Director Chris Morris, who is a TAP member, said that in a properly executed revitalization plan “no one is pushed out. The process is very positive for entrepreneurs.”
Chamblee High graduate named diversity fellow
Fleishman-Hillard, a St. Louis-based public relations firm, recently named Carolyn Smith as the Atlanta office’s first Alfred Fleishman Diversity Fellow. Smith and six other fellows from around the world will participate in a year-long program designed to immerse recent college graduates in the field of integrated communications. “We are thrilled to have Carolyn join our team,” said Karen Kaplan, general manager and senior partner of Fleishman-Hillard Atlanta. “Our company has always made it a priority to invest in a diverse cross-section of communication professionals and this program allows us to propel that mission with new college graduates.” Smith joins Fleishman-Hillard after serving as an event coordinator at Octagon Sports Marketing in Atlanta. Smith applied for the fellowship program to help expand her public relations experience across all disciplines of the industry. She supports the corporate team with writing and editing of materials, media relations, new business outreach and monitoring and analyzing client media coverage. Smith holds a journalism degree with a focus in public relations from Howard University in Washington, D.C. She is also a graduate of Chamblee High School’s class of 2008.
as the firm’s regional director with responsibility for the Southeastern United States as well as Latin and Central America. His previous positions include managing partner at Performance Hospitality Group and as regional director at TRAVELCLICK.
Small-business marketing seminar to be held at library
The Doraville Library will host a small-business marketing seminar Tuesday, March 26, 6-7 p.m. Attendees will be offered tips for getting the word out about a new business and learning to market a small business in the 21st century. The Doraville Library is located at 3748 Central Ave., Doraville. For more information, call (770) 9363852.
Advance Auto Parts opens sixth store in Decatur
Advance Auto Parts Inc., an automotive aftermarket retailer of parts, batteries, accessories and maintenance items, opens its sixth store in Decatur on March 15. The new store will be on Lawrenceville Highway next to Home Depot. Company officials said they chose this location because it’s convenient to where their customers live and shop as well as the garages where they take their vehicles for repair. Bruce Mackenzie, the new general manager, works with 11 other team members at the new Decatur location. A 15-year veteran of the automotive and retail sales industries, Mackenzie has been with Advance Auto Parts for three years. The new store offers a wide range of parts and national brands as well as several free services. Store team members will install windshield wipers for free and also install batteries following a complimentary check of the vehicle’s electrical system and old battery. The store offers fast parts delivery to local commercial customers such as professional mechanics and garages. Customers also can drop off used motor oil and batteries for recycling – ensuring that these materials don’t end up in landfills where they could harm the environment. Mackenzie said Advance Auto Parts is committed to the communities where its customers and employees live. “As part of this commitment, we are pleased to announce a $1,000 check has been donated to United Way,” he said.
Hotel Equities names Brad Rahinsky to senior VP position
DeKalb-based Hotel Equities recently promoted Brad Rahinsky to the position of senior vice president. Rahinsky’s responsibilities at the hotel development and management company include oversight of business development, acquisition and the overall strategic growth of the organization through various platforms. “Brad plays an integral role in working with the various teams within Hotel Equities to improve on and develop identified opportunities and attract new business possibilities,” said HE President and CEO Fred Cerrone. “He has proved that he is an outstanding asset to our team.” With 25 years in the hospitality industry, Rahinsky brings a mix of operational expertise and sales and marketing strategy to his new position. He joined Hotel Equities in early 2012 from TIG Global/ Micros, a travel company specializing in website design, development and Internet marketing, where he served
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 15, 2013
Tynice Martin, left, guarded by Aneifiok Udofia.
Davion Wingate celebrates Southwest DeKalb Lady Panthers Class AAAAA girls’ high school basketball state championship victory.
Darshan DeShaizer (22) attempts a shot. Photos by Travis Hudgons
Southwest DeKalb completes business against Miller Grove
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org The Class AAAAA girls’ high school basketball state championship was all about unfinished business for the Southwest DeKalb Lady Panthers. Like any team that falls in a championship game, the Lady Panthers were upset after losing to the Miller Grove Lady Wolverines in the 2012 Class AAAA girls’ title game. They made it their mission this postseason to get back to the championship game and win it all. And that’s what they did. But what makes the win more special was beating the team that beat them last year. Southwest DeKalb defeated Miller Grove 56-52 in the Class girls’ AAAAA championship game on March 8. Lady Panthers head coach Kathy Walton said coming back to the championship game and winning was something the team really wanted to do. “It was so hurtful [last year],” she said. “It’s too bad that a team has to lose, especially a closely fought game. But our kids deserve it. They worked hard all year long and I’m proud of them.” The score was close in the first half due to poor shooting and turnovers by both teams. They shot a combined 15-43 from the field and had a combined 28 turnovers. But the Lady Panthers had the lead throughout the first half and went into halftime with a 24-20 lead. Miller Grove’s struggles with turnovers continued as the team opened the third quarter with a turnover. Southwest DeKalb took advantage of that and went on a 10-0 run, while Miller Grove shot 0-12 from the field in the opening of the third quarter. Miller Grove senior guard Katie Hunt scored the first points for the Lady Wolverines at the 3:17 mark. Hunt’s basket and 10 forced turnovers set off an 11-1 run for Miller Grove, which had them trailing just 34-31 at the end of the quarter. Miller Grove senior guard Tashi Thompson tied the game at 36-all with a three-pointer with 6:48 left to play. But Southwest began to pull away again with a 10-0 run to take a 46-36 lead with 2:57 remaining. Miller Grove cut Southwest’s lead to six with 1:30 to play, but the Lady Panthers were able to stretch the lead back to 10, 55-45, with a basket from senior guard Ariel Walker and free throws from sophomore guard Davion Wingate and junior guard Darshan DeShaizer with 39 seconds left to play. The lead was cut to 55-52 with 14 seconds to play as Miller Grove’s Shaquanda Durden hit a layup. Miller Grove was forced to foul and sophomore forward Tynice Martin hit one of the two free throws to seal the win and Southwest DeKalb’s fourth state title in six seasons. Martin finished with a doubledouble of 15 points and 16 rebounds to lead Southwest DeKalb while Klarissa Weaver led the Lady Wolverines with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Martin said it felt good to come back and beat a team that had their number all year. “Honestly, we didn’t know we could beat them until regionals, when we beat them in the region championship,” she said. “After then, we went on a winning streak and here we are.” Southwest DeKalb now leads Columbia four titles to three to stay atop the DeKalb girls’ standings. The Lady Panthers are 24-1 in their five postseason appearances over the six seasons, including Class AAAA titles in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The lone loss came in last year’s Class AAAA title game against the Lady Wolverine. The state title was DeKalb’s 16th girls’ championship and 12th since 2004 to go with 23 on the boys’ side which includes 14 since 2002 two and nine consecutive seasons with at least one boys’ title.
Lucious Sanders Rec Center 10-Under Boys basketball team wins state championship
The Lucious Sanders Recreation Center 10-Under Boys basketball team are state champions after they defeated College Park 45-36 in the 2013 Mite Boys Class A 10-Under Basketball tournament. The team traveled to Bartow County on March 1 and played four games to go on to win the championship. Alice Bradford, the Lucious Sanders Recreation Center director, said the team has shined both on and off the court all season. “These young guys are the reason I love to go to work every day,” she said. “Teaching lifelong lessons, but boy did it feel good watching them win this year’s state tournament.”
The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 15, 2013
Lady Eagles win state title on last-second basket
by Carla Parker email@example.com
enior power forward Shaundrika Mann scored three points in the final 12 seconds to send the Columbia Lady Eagles to a 38-37 Class AAAA state title victory over Sandy Creek March 7 at the Macon Centreplex. Mann’s offensive rebound and layup off a missed threepointer by teammate Shamiyah Smith went in as the clock ticked off the final four seconds of the game, giving Columbia its second consecutive state title and third in four seasons under the direction of coach Chantay Frost. While her team was trailing 37-35 with 12 seconds remaining The Columbia Lady Eagles hold up two fingers indicating their back-to-back state championship. Photos by Travis Hudgons on the clock, Mann was fouled while driving to the basket. During a timeout before the play, Frost said she drew up a play for guard Miah Spencer to get the basketball, but it was Mann who ended up with the ball before she was fouled. “I told them whoever gets the basketball, [make sure] you get to the free throw line and that’s what [Mann] did,” Frost said. “She had been struggling all season with her free throws. But Miah Spencer, left. I told everybody that, no matter who shoots the basketball, everybody is going to have to crash the board and put it right back in.” And that’s what the team did. Mann hit the first of her two free throws, but the second came off the rim and was knocked toward the right corner where Spencer tracked it down. Spencer passed to Smith just outside the threepoint line and Smith fired the shot bounced off the rim. Starr Nowell Yaktavia Hickson Mann, going toward the basket, had an opening where she Frost said, she knew Sandy Creek second heroics with three points caught the ball and put it up off was going to make a run at some in the final 12 seconds, her only the glass for the game-winning point in the game. points of the game, to send Cobasket. Sandy Creek was unable “They hit the first [threelumbia home with a state chamto get the ball inbounded without pointer] and when you hit that pion once again. any timeouts remaining, and, as Hickson scored 11 points to the clock ticked to zero, the Lady first [three-pointer] you get a conlead Columbia while Kyle Felton Eagles mobbed Mann in celebra- fidence of shooting the basketball,” she said. “Yaktavia Hickhad four points and 10 rebounds. tion. Columbia’s title was the 11th Columbia led most of the way son was in foul trouble the whole game and I had three players with in four seasons for DeKalb Counthrough the first three quarters ty. Frost said all three of the state and took an 11-point lead (22-11) four fouls. That was a part of the titles are different but this one with 1:41 left in the third quarter problem.” Recee Walker pulled Sandy was special. on a three-point play off an ofCreek even at 28-28 with 4:56 “[Former Columbia boys’ fensive rebound by center Starr to play and the momentum had basketball] Coach [Phil] McNowell. shifted Sandy Creek’s way. Crary told me once before that Sandy Creek’s Jasmine Sandy Creek took its first lead all of your state championships Jones took over the game from are different and it is different,” that point as she hit a three-point of the game on a jump shot by shot and completed a three-point Jones to make it 35-33 with 2:06 she said. “It feels pretty good [to to play. win another title] and it’s speplay at the end of the quarter to The two teams traded turncial.” trim the lead to 24-17 heading overs as Columbia scrambled to The Lady Eagles are now into the fourth quarter. Jones tie the game with 25 seconds to 18-1 in the state playoffs since opened the fourth quarter with play. Walker hit one of two free 2010. They had not won a playoff another three-pointer to cut the throws to give Sandy Creek a 37- game in six tries before winning lead toDoyle and Howard University Coach Niki Reid 24-20. With most of CoSaadia Geckeler 35 lead. This set up Mann’s lasttwo in the 2009 season. lumbia’s starters in foul trouble,
Columbia’s DeShawn Cooper
Eagle’s Landing holds off Columbia for Class AAAA boys’ state title
by Mark Brock The Columbia Eagles quest for four consecutive state championships came up short March 7 against No. 1 ranked Eagle’s Landing in a 61-47 loss on the same floor where they had won three consecutive state titles at the Centreplex in Macon. Eagle’s Landing built a 29-19 halftime lead and was up by 13 on a dunk by Chris Davenport with four minutes left in the third quarter when the Eagles began to claw their way back into the game. Power forward Deshon Cooper got Columbia going with a dunk off a long rebound corralled by forward Maurice Rivers, who found Cooper free and heading to the basket. Senior All-Metro Player of the Year Tahj Shamsid-Deen hit a pull-up jumper almost two minutes later and the lead was cut to 40-31. Shooting guard Kyle Wallace, ShamsidDeen and shooting guard Andersley Tuesday combined in a 6-2 run to end the third period by driving to the basket and the lead was less than 10 points at 44-37 for the first time since the second quarter. Wallace opened the fourth quarter with a three-pointer from the left wing at the 6:42 mark and the lead was down to four at 44-40. It was two minutes before either team would score again, but Eagle’s Landing would gain back control as Isaiah Dennis scored on a layup and then on a break-away dunk. A pair of free throws by Davenport pushed the lead back to 10 at 50-40 with 3:47 to play. The lead ballooned to 57-42 as Dennis added a three-point play and two more free throws and Columbia would get no closer than 11 the rest of the way as its season ended in a loss for the first time since 2009 when South Atlanta won a Class AAA semifinal battle in Macon. Shamsid-Deen finished his stellar career with 21 points in the game and, despite falling in this title game, has three state titles in his four seasons at Columbia. Wallace finished with 10 points for the Eagles who finished 27-4 on the season. Dennis had 17 points and Desmond Ringer finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds for Eagle’s Landing.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, March 15, 2013
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES
Asia Durr (25). Photo by Butch Liddell
Miller Grove’s Earl Bryant drives the lane against two Gainesville defenders. Photo by Travis Hudgons
Tahj Shamsid-Deen ducks under a defender. Photo by Travis Hudgons
Tashi Thompson (22). Photo by Travis Hudgons
Fresh whipped topping,
toasted almonds, and a fresh lime slice.
Finished in store one at a time. Finished at home in no time at all.
Publix Bakery Key Lime Pie