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WWW.CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER.COM • FRIDAY, APRIL 5 , 2013 • VOL. 16, NO. 2 • FREE
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Nonprofit music program holds first concert with Ivy Prep students
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com The halls of Ivy Preparatory Academy for Boys and Girls at Kirkwood were quiet March 28. Class had ended and there was hardly anyone in the hallway save a janitor or the occasional teacher—the cafeteria was a different story. Parents, students, teachers, friends and family of Ivy Prep packed the auditorium for the school’s first choral concert since it began partnering with the Atlanta Music Project (AMP) more than six weeks ago. “We’re so excited that we’re able to provide this opportunity for our scholars,” Ivy Prep for Girls Principal Kendra Shipman said. “The students have been working so hard toward this.” AMP began by offering orchestra programs and this year it also started its vocal program AMPlify. Each week, more than 150 students attend three to five two-hour classes after school to for voice training, or to learn how to play donated classical instruments. Now in its third year, AMP has been providing music education to youth in underserved schools throughout metro Atlanta to enact social change. AMP director Aisha Bowden said that what the students learn in the program goes far beyond a rigorous musical education. “In the pursuit of musical excellence they will develop skills that they can use later on in life. We’ve found a wonderful home for the program,” Bowden said. Bowden said AMP is currently evaluating its program and each student has been provided a questionnaire to give to their parents. Since many of the students at Ivy Prep started the AMP program, Bowden said their grades and behavior at school have both improved. “That’s what the parents are telling us, since they started AMP they’re more responsible and they’re better with their time,” Bowden said. The first group to sing, the Marian Anderson Primary Choir, consists of elementary school students and was conducted by James Dekle. The students sang several short songs, including Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds,” which featured student-soloist Nyanza Paulk. Bowden conducted the middle school choir, named the R. Nathaniel Dett Concert Choir. Before beginning, Bowden said that each of the choir’s selections represented music written by an inspiring Black composer. The students also sang a Ghanaian folk song. The only thing required for the classes is that the students show up; there is a strict attendance policy and students are expected to attend every class. During their time at AMP, Bowden said students learn a range of things such as how to read and write music, improvise, perform onstage in a choral ensemble or orchestra, and compose and arrange music.
Ivy Prep Academy at Kirkwood held its first choral performance in conjunction with the Atlanta Music Project, which has been teaching the students to sing for the past six weeks. Photos by Daniel Beauregard
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 5, 2013
City approves operating budget
The Brookhaven mayor and City Council voted unanimously March 26 in support of a $16.465 million budget for fiscal year 2013. The budget includes operating expenses for the city, including administration, police, community development, parks and recreation, public works, legal and other city services. This includes money to establish a police department. The budget does not include a final tax rate. The council set a temporary 3.35 millage rate, but anticipates setting a lower millage rate during the mid-year budget adjustments in the summer. “We are committed to maintaining a lean and fiscally responsible budget,” Mayor J. Max Davis said. “We are waiting to receive the tax digest and [Homestead Option Sales Tax (HOST)] figures from DeKalb, but will continue to work diligently to obtain the lowest millage rate possible now and in successive years.” Brookhaven’s city charter prohibits the council from raising the millage rate above 3.35 mills. The budget is contingent on DeKalb County setting the HOST sales tax credit, the tax digest and property assessments, as well as the city receiving franchise fees. The city’s revenue for this first year budget will be less than future years because the city is not drawing from a full year of revenue. Brookhaven anticipates receiving $5 million in real estate tax, $3.5 million in HOST sales tax, $400,000 in personal property tax and $350,000 in motor vehicle tax, along with $1.8 million in business and occupation tax and $1.3 million in franchise fees. This budgeted revenue does not include the full amount that Brookhaven anticipated receiving from DeKalb for police services. Several days before the city referendum, DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis reduced the level of revenue that goes to city residents, effectively raising taxes on all city residents. DeKalb removed money intended only for police services and placed it into the county’s general fund, which ultimately impacted the amount of revenue coming to all cities in DeKalb. Ga. Rep. Mike Jacobs (R-Brookhaven) has sent a letter to Attorney General Sam Olens, requesting a legal opinion on DeKalb County’s ability to raise the millage rate beyond the rollback rate without holding public hearings as required by state law. “This budget is a work in progress and contingent on revenue from DeKalb County,” Davis said. “Our goal remains the same: for Brookhaven taxpayers to pay equal or less than their previous tax rate while receiving better quality city services.” To view the full budget, visit www.brookhavenga.gov.
City announces first police chief
Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis on April 1 announced Gary Yandura as the city’s first police chief. Yandura, a 38-year veteran law enforcement officer, will be tasked with building Brookhaven’s new police department. “Today is a historic day because it is the start of Brookhaven becoming a safer community,” Davis said. “Chief Yandura’s record of reducing crime, building community partnerships and leading with integrity is exactly what Brookhaven needs for us to meet this goal.” Yandura previously served as chief of police in Hiram and College Park. During his tenure in College Park, he managed 160 employees and a $12 million annual budget. He is credited with reducing crime drastically during his first tenure as College Park’s chief. Yandura started his law enforcement career in Lake Forest, Ill., where he spent 24 years. Yandura is a graduate of the FBI Academy and certified by the Georgia Police Officers Standards and Training Council. He has a master’s in public administration from Roosevelt University in Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Illinois. City Manager Marie L. Garrett selected Yandura after reviewing 98 applications from around the nation and interviewing 10 finalists. The Brookhaven charter specifies that the city manager has sole discretion on the chief appointment. “I am excited to have Chief Yandura join our team,” Garrett said. “We received a lot of interest from experienced candidates, but Yandura was the right person to help build a new police department from the ground up.” In addition to staffing, the new chief will be tasked with establishing an organizational structure, developing policies and procedures, helping set up a police station, creating an annual budget and managing daily operations. “I am honored to help build a new police department that the Brookhaven residents and businesses can be proud of,” Yandura said. “My first task will be to assess the community’s needs and determine the number of officers needed to protect and serve the city. I will work closely with city staff to hire the best officers to patrol Brookhaven.” Yandura’s first day is April 15. Brookhaven currently has an intergovernmental agreement with DeKalb County to provide police services. The goal is to have Brookhaven officers on the road by the end of the summer.
Name: Blitz • Adult • Vaccinated & heartworm negative • Neutered Hi my name is Blitz and I would like to meet you. I'm friendly, energetic and I love to play. I think I'm a labrador/shepherd mix, but I'm not sure. I am sure that people say I'm very handsome. I go to Charm School so I can learn to be a good boy. I'm learning how to touch on command and how to walk nicely on a leash. I would like to go for a walk with you. I'm not too big; I only weigh 48 lbs. I've been neutered and I've received my vaccinations.....ouch. I'm also free of heartworms; so I'm all ready to go home with you. I'm looking for a forever home; I'd like it to be yours.
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 5, 2013
Former school board chairman:
This is the second installment of a two-part series in which The Champion Newspaper’s Andrew Cauthen talked with former DeKalb school board chairman Gene Walker, who was suspended along with five other board members by Gov. Nathan Deal after the school district was placed on accreditation probation. Do you think that there was another way you could have gone about paying for the school district lawsuit against the governor? Maybe seeking nonschool district funds? No, no, no. Remember, we even paid SACS. We had money paying SACS for 10 years to work with us and monitor us. Everything is geared toward money. Sense of value seems to have no place. I’m amazed, Andrew. You keep focusing on money instead of the empirical values of a constitution and the values of decent living for people. What price do you pay on liberty? You’re supposed to sacrifice fighting for what’s constitutionally right or what’s a challenge to that Constitution? My sense of what’s constitutional is being challenged and you have a responsibility to fight it and you don’t put a price on the cost. It’s amazing it always comes back to money. To me that’s one of the key purposes of taxpayers’ money; to fight to preserve the constitutionality of the system you’re working in. That’s why we go to court. That’s why we handle personnel cases. Now you asked a question about SACS and that law. What is so amazing to me is that you people have not questioned one thing SACS has said or done. If you’ve seen that report, you’ve got to know that they don’t corroborate a thing in there. But worse, there’s misleading and misinformation in there. Take me, for example, one case in particular. They quote a letter that I wrote to the superintendent referencing a young man who wanted to teach in special education. And the way they quote that letter, they say the chair of the board sent this letter to the superintendent telling her to hire “the brother of a board….” What does that suggest to you?
This isn’t about academics
ago one mill would bring in $21 million. Today, one mill brings in $14 million. We’ve lost significant revenue. But in spite of that, we were balancing the budget every year except this one. We not only balanced the budget, we had a fund balance every year except the one we just now ended with [former superintendent Cheryl Atkinson]. Remember, nobody on our board has been arrested. Our board members have not been in a fight with each other. We’ve had serious disagreements because our philosophies and our politics differ, but we still managed to take care of school business. Do you think all of this stuff that has happened in the past few months is all because of SACS? What has happened in the past two months couldn’t have happened without the law. It’s because of the law. SACS placing us on probation triggered this unconstitutional law. So we have two dynamics that need to be closely monitored and assessed as to their value and their contribution–that’s that law and, to me, the shaky way in which SACS made its review. You have the ability to reapply for reinstatement. I’m going to do that because I don’t see why I should have been off in the first place. So naturally, I’m going to apply. The real sinister part about this whole process is that it criminalizes board members. When you’re taken out of public office you’re supposed to be done committed a crime. It criminalizes board members to suspend and take them off the board when they have not broken the law. That is unconstitutional. You don’t put people off the board for these ambivalent elusive terms such as dysfunction and micromanaging. Will you run again? I ain’t thinking about running for no office. I’m thinking about preserving our constitutional rights and the rights of our people to select a candidate of their choice. Do you have any regrets for the past few months?
a job in special education teaching, which was an area where we had a severe need for qualified people. Out of the 18 months the superintendent had been there, this was the first time I ever brought somebody to her attention for her to consider. Notice, I didn’t send it to [the] personnel [department]. Who did I send it to? I sent it to the superintendent—a letter referencing the brother of a board secretary, who was no relation to me. [SACS] used that letter as an example of the chair promoting nepotism and favoritism. What went wrong in DeKalb schools?
Oh, my God! What’s going right in DeKalb schools? I am so disappointed that y’all don’t talk about what’s right. Ain’t none of this dealing with academics. We’ve made more progress in the school system academically this year than we’ve made in the past five. SACS said we didn’t. We’ve got CRCT scores improving all across the board. Our young people did better than a 9 percent jump in SAT scores. Our AP classes are just outstanding. Even though we have larger classes, our dedicated and dutiful teachers are doing a magnificent job. This is so painful to me. People are dealing with the politics of all of this stuff and they’re not looking at the performance of our children and the working of our school system. The thing that has gone wrong is that the public has bought the hype and the rumors and the fears that the DeKalb school system is broken. But the facts and the record don’t A board member? bear them out. So when you ask me what’s gone To me it’s clear; that’s exactly wrong, the state, through austerity, what it says. That wasn’t what it has taken better than $6 million was. This was a secretary…who [had a] brother with great credentials from us. The property value has declined in DeKalb where four years who wanted to see if he could get
Are you kidding me? I regret and resent the predicament I’m in through no fault of my own, but because of some political What would you do today if you moves. This had nothing to do were on the board? What would with performance. Our board has be your top priority? performed, and, in my opinion, performed well. What standard did Meeting the 11 requirements we violate? What rule did we break of SACS. People tend to forget that’s measurable? What did we we were on advisement. They had do? What is a dysfunctional board? given us eight directives. As I recall, When you figure that out, you tell we had completed six and were me….tell the whole community. working on the other two, which All the community hears is this would take some time. Some dealing undefinable term “dysfunction.” with computers and some coming And, from where I sit, we function up with a system of better financial as well, if not better than the accountability, which are all good General Assembly, the county things we should do. That’s why I’m commissioners or any governing so eager and committed to do the body. What did this board do, or fail things SACS had requested because to do, that made it dysfunctional? they can’t help but make us a better Because we fuss among ourselves? board. We’re not a perfect board Because we disagree? Are you and they’ve identified some things telling me that a political body that that could certainly strengthen and has differences of opinions—that’s make the board better in the area dysfunctional? Why are you going of communication, in the area of to hold the notion that school board relationships with the superintendent members can’t disagree? and the larger community. Those We elected a superintendent. We are some good directives and we terminated a superintendent. The must finish them to make us a better board did this. How are you going board. And that’s what we want to to call this board dysfunctional? We be. may have made some bad choices, That would be the first thing but no one makes perfect choices I would do if I were still on— in everything. Now you could fault remember I’m still on the board—if us for making what turned out to be I were still active on the board. So some bad choices in things, but we I’m not off the board. I’m not active did it as a board. on the board. I have no influence on the board.
to redo the meal. I insisted that I would be OK. Five minutes later without my asking to see her, the manager on duty, Samantha, came over and again offered to replace the meal. Again I declined the offer. But she insisted on having another one made for me to take home and have at another time. Not only did she give me a fresh order to take Big ups and kudos in the cusout, she gave me a gift certificate tomer service department for for my next visit. My general expewaitress Morgan at the Stonecrest Olive Garden and evening manager rience is that this brand of customer service is a rare commodity in my Samantha. What could have been south DeKalb community. I tipped a horrible dining experience turned Morgan almost half my tab. She deinto a very pleasant demonstration served it. of excellent customer service I feel On two other recent occasions compelled to share. It is the antiththe customer service was quite esis of what one usually encounthe opposite of the Olive Garden ters— excuses and dismissals as experience. At one popular Stoneif somehow a botched order is the crest restaurant, I was dismissed customer’s fault. One evening last week my meal with excuses and a look as if to say, “What do you want me to do was not prepared to Olive Garden about it?” Offering no apology, the standards and was quite unacceptwaitress, a really pleasant young able. Because I was hungry and didn’t want to cause a fuss, I plowed woman, merely said it was a “mixup in communications” that left me in and endured. I did indicate to without an item in my order. In the Morgan in a joking way that the other instance, the jolly gentleman cook must have been really off that left off my “delicious tilapia” and night. She apologized and offered insisted that it was in the box when there was clearly nothing in the box except rice. To add insult to injury, when shown the rice without fish, he offered no apology, saying, “Oh, we’ll get that out as soon as possible.” Oye! Is there a fear among some of us of being wrong? Is there an increased lack of accountability or responsibility for our actions? Is customer service training passé in these difficult economic times? Establishments would do well to learn to treat the customer as if they were the most important person on the planet when they choose to spend their money with them. Some marketing guru once said for every 10 people who do complain, 20 do not but will tell their friends. Word of mouth advertising can be of great benefit to a company or can help to shutter it especially when it comes to the quality of the product and service. Marketing experts say there are some eight simple rules to providing good customer service; included among them doing the very things Morgan and Samantha did. They addressed the situation/complaint by offering to redo the meal. They took the extra step by preparing a new meal for me to take with me and they threw in something extra which was the gift card for my next visit. It is very gratifying to know that there are still people out there serving this public like Morgan and Samantha who understand and embrace this concept that old General Electric slogan, “People are our most important product.” And we the people might do well to remember that waiters and waitresses are not our personal slaves to order about, but should be treated with dignity. They are people trying to earn a minimum wage living. We don’t have to lower our standards, but sometimes in a diplomatic, tactful way perhaps help to raise theirs. Thank you, Morgan and Samantha. Steen Miles, The Newslady, is a retired journalist and former Georgia state senator. Contact Steen Miles at Steen@dekalbchamp.com.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 5, 2013
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 5, 2013
Not the marryin’ kind
marriages to children and even bigamy and polygamy (look them up). All, at one time or another, with the full support of their respective governments. Here in the United States, our local, state and federal governments do have an appropriate role in the establishment and maintenance of the rule of law. This includes civil and contract law and many of the issues impacting a household or a marriage, including rights of survivorship, parenting and child rearing, property transfer and tax treatment, etc. As I said at the outset, though that covenant of faith was originally defined as being between a man and a woman, they also just happened to be the first and only two people on the planet. That covenant and pledge is both personal and binding, but it is not granted by the government, it is granted by the individuals to each other, most often in the witness of friends and family, and with the support of same. There are few relationships more inspiring to witness than a strong, long and lasting marriage. My parents will celebrate their 53rd anniversary in June, another pair of close friends their 56th this summer, and a gay couple of long friendship will also cross their 25-year Golden Anniversary together as a committed couple in a few months. I celebrate and recognize each and all of those unions. That said, the institution and its well-documented ups and downs are hardly a panacea for life’s ills. And all those making such passionate arguments in favor of access to marriage, please remember that you take on this institution “in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer and forsaking all others as long as you both shall live.” Yep, it’s still a pretty tall order. And for all the passion you have now to enter the union of marriage, an additional word of warning is that for many, passion appears to be among the first casualties of the institution. One other carryover from our Puritan founding appears to be an inordinate amount of interest about what goes on and with whom in everyone else’s bedroom. I have been married once for nearly seven years. At least in our house I can tell you that once we were married, the amount of bedroom activity went into a rather steep decline. We have proof that it happened, but counting those occasions became a much shorter exercise once we entered into “wedded bliss.” The social safety net, dual income households, fewer multi-generational households, texting, email and the Internet as well as our long ago shift away from being an agrarian and hand labor intensive society, have all helped to provide substitutes and other options for companionship once almost entirely rooted in marriage and family. I’m not certain or even remotely convinced all of that is for the better—but it is what it is. Our U.S. Supreme Court may again choose to dodge or pass this hot potato, and let the lower appellate court ruling stand. This cultural divide and battle is far from over either way. But if I did have a vote, we would let anyone willing to sign on the dotted line and commit their asses and assets to joint ownership, parenting and communal property do just that, with the full backing of their government, and let them decide which church, synagogue or temple they wish (or don’t) to give more complete and spiritual recognition of their vows and covenant. Godspeed, everyone.
One Man’s Opinion
“It’s always been my plan...to stay single any way I can. I’m just a happy man, I’m not the marrying kind...not the marrying kind.”— as recorded by Dean Martin on his album That’s Amore. In the beginning, if you trust in the accuracy of The Bible, God created Adam and Eve, and then he married them, and Eve bore Cain and Abel, as well as later Seth and other sons and daughters. Centuries and millenniums have since passed, and the institution of marriage has become much more deeply embedded in the bedrock and foundation of our society. To many, marriage represents the family and the thread weaving together the tapestry of our social fabric. Don’t kid yourself though, there have been and are many different types of marriages that have also evolved—some driven by quests for power, others by lust and still others by differences of faith. There have been arranged marriages to consolidate kingdoms and thrones, or maintain a caste system;
Bill Crane also serves as a political analyst and commentator for Channel 2’s Action News, WSB-AM News/Talk 750 and now 95.5 FM, as well as a columnist for The Champion, Champion Free Press and Georgia Trend. Crane is a DeKalb native and business owner, living in Scottdale. You can reach him or comment on a column at email@example.com.
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We sincerely appreciate the discussion surrounding this and any issue of interest to DeKalb County. The Champion was founded in 1991 expressly to provide a forum for discourse for all community residents on all sides of an issue. We have no desire to make the news only to report news and opinions to effect a more educated citizenry that will ultimately move our community forward. We are happy to present ideas for discussion; however, we make every effort to avoid printing information submitted to us that is known to be false and/or assumptions penned as fact.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 5, 2013
Community invited to celebrate Israel’s anniversary with series of discussions
by Nigel Roberts This year marks Israel’s 65th anniversary as a nation. It has been an arduous journey for the Jewish state, born in controversy and surrounded by enemies. The Marcus Jewish Community Center in Dunwoody invites the public to observe this milestone by attending a four-part series of discussions throughout April. The series, titled “Celebrating Israel at 65,” will be held at the Marcus Hillel Center at Emory University. Professor Kenneth Stein, director of Emory’s Institute for the Study of Modern Israel (ISMI), will lead the first discussion on April 4, in which he will explore the “finished and unfinished business” of the 65-year-old nation. Next, on April 11, Rabbi Russ Shulkes will speak about Israel’s new parliament and the implications for the Jewish Diaspora. Shulkes is the executive director of Hillels of Georgia, an organization that promotes Jewish life and culture at college campuses throughout the state. ISMI’s Associate Director Richard Walter will discuss the relationship between American Jews and Israel on April 18. Dr. Shelley Buxbaum follows on April 25 with an investigation of changes in Israeli society. Buxbaum is the director of the Lisa Brill Institute of Jewish Learning. Some of the discussions will center on the unresolved issues regarding the Palestinians. When Israel came into existence in 1948, the United Nations voted to partition Palestine to create a Jewish and Arab state. However, years of conflict has prevented the so-called two-state solution from coming to fruition. Last year, more than 130 countries voted at a U.N. meeting to upgrade Palestine to a nonmember observer state of the United Nations, despite Israeli and American objections. Another issue that will be explored is the relationship between American Jews and the Israeli government. Bradley Burston, a columnist and senior editor of Haaretz, Israel’s oldest daily newspaper, asked in an opinion piece: Will 2013 be the year American Jews secede from Israel? He points out that American Jews are, by and large, liberal and committed to tolerance, human rights and peace. Those values, Burston suggested, are at odds with Israel’s policies that are seemingly “dismissive of the rights of Palestinians and other non-Jews.” For further information or to register, contact Laurie Finkelstein at (678) 812-3723 or laurie.finkelstein@ atlantajcc.org.
Champion of the Week
time volunteering at the Lou Walker Senior Center. He is one of the many seniors who wear the signature burgundy volunteers’ blazer. The Lou Walker Senior Center is the county’s first multipurpose facility for seniors. Home of a nonresidential program for active independent adults ages 55 and older, the 40,000-square-foot facility has amenities such as a heated therapeutic pool, fitness center, computer lab, art studios, lounges, library, conference meeting rooms, classrooms, billiard and game room, mirrored aerobics/dance room, beauty/barber shop, gift shop, cafeteria and formal multipurpose hall. Volunteers run many of the programs at the center. Bryan has been volunteering for two of the three years he and his wife have been members at the center. As a volunteer, Bryan assists with various events and member services. He helps out “wherever
It was a company transfer in 1973 that brought James Bryan and his family to DeKalb County. At the time, Bryan, who lives in Decatur, was working with the Louisville Slugger baseball bat company. The company transferred him from Louisville, Ky., to open a warehouse in DeKalb County. When the warehouse closed in 1998, Bryan was offered a transfer to Los Angeles. He refused. West Virginia boys have no business living west of the Mississippi, he said. Now 73 and retired, Bryan spends some of his
and whenever,” Bryan said. His wife, Linda, also is a volunteer, teaching a jewelry-making class. The couple volunteers three to four days a week, “depending on what’s going on.” The Bryans have a daughter who lives in Loganville and a son who lives in Seattle, Wash. Bryan said he volunteers “to keep active.” “I also love to go out and socialize with people,” he said. Volunteering helps the participant, Bryan said. “The more they get out and move around instead of going in, turning on the TV and watching every ball game that’s on, [the better] They’re better off if they use these legs and hands…to do things with,” Bryan said. It can also help one forget about bad things, he added. Bryan’s advice to new volunteers is to “clear your mind. Come over and meet somebody, talk to them. I think that helps a whole lot.”
if you would like to nominate someone to be considered as a future champion of the week, please contact Kathy Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (404) 373-7779, ext. 104.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 5, 2013
DeKalb Cooperative Extension, is open to first 15 participants. Brookhaven library is located at 1242 N. Druid Hills Road, NE in Atlanta. For more information, (404) 8487140.
Emory to host Health and Humanitarian Summit Emory University will be the site of this year’s Global Health and Humanitarian Summit, a two-day forum for those dedicated to improving the lives of others and for those who aspire to lend their time, energy and talents to making a difference in the world. The format includes keynote speakers, talks, movie screenings, interactive exhibits and volunteer education and recruiting. Topics will include care for the elderly, community development, economic development, education, global health, violence, volunteerism and more. From across the United States, the Middle East, Africa, South America and Asia, experts and extraordinary human beings have come together to share their humanitarian experience and expertise. The interactions and humanitarian values of people gathered to collectively address the current and seemingly expanding challenges of the current day are inspiring and offer new ideas and thinking to the evolving inquiry into a better way of life for all,” according to an announcement from summit organizers. The summit, scheduled for April 12, 13 and 14, is free and open to all people. For more information, visit ghhs2013.org. Fernbank to host Sid the Science Kid Fernbank Science Center will host Celebrate Science with Sid the Science Kid on Saturday, April 6, from 10 a.m. until noon. This fun, interactive family event includes screenings of a Sid the Science Kid episode, experiments, giveaways, a Sid the Science Kid look-alike contest, and more. Guests will also be able to purchase the newly released Sid the Science Kid: The Movie for $10 with the purchase of a ticket to the noon full-dome planetarium show, Earth’s Wild Ride. NCircle Entertainment and The Jim Henson Company are cooperating with Fernbank Science Center on this event, to help promote the release of Sid the Science Kid: The Movie. This fast-paced, science-filled adventure is Sid’s first feature length movie. Sid and his friend win a contest that allows them to tour a brand new museum before its grand opening. When one of the robots goes haywire, it’s up to Sid and his friends to find the rogue robot and fix him. The film features the voice of actor Christopher Lloyd. “Sid the Science Kid is the perfect tool to help get kids excited about science, because Sid shows that science is all around us and encourages children to think like scientists,” said Debbie Ries, senior vice president and general manager of NCircle Entertainment. “We are thrilled to partner with Fernbank Science Center to bring the first Celebrate Science with Sid the Science Kid events to families in Atlanta.” For more information, contact Joyce Gamble at (678) 874-7112 or email@example.com.
Library to host book discussion The book, My Antonia will be discussed Monday, April 8, 10 a.m. - noon. The book tells the story of Antonia Shimerda, who arrives on the Nebraska frontier as part of a family of Bohemian immigrants. The story commemorates the spirit and courage of the immigrant pioneers whose persistence and strength helped to build America. Chamblee library is located at 4115 Clairmont Road. For more information, call (770) 936-1380.
Over the past year, Square Care Ministries has developed relationships with food banks, churches and other established human service agencies across the Metropolitan Atlanta area. According to Rob Johnson, vice president of community services at the Atlanta Community Food Bank, “Square Care is more efficiently filling the need for non-food household necessities that are in short supply to front-line agencies serving people in need.” For more information, visit www.squarecare.org .
DeKalb Medical to host Puberty Rocks DeKalb Medical will host Puberty Rocks, a session for parents trying to guide their daughters into adolescence Friday, April 12, 6-8 p.m. at DeKalb Medical at Hillandale in Lithonia. “Learn how to navigate the turbulent tween and teen years with the help of DeKalb Medical physicians. This fun night out for you and your youngster will cover body changes, mood swings, peer pressure and more,” the announcement from DeKalb Medical states. This session of Puberty Rocks is for girls only. It will be led by Dr. Caryn Johnson. DeKalb Medical’s North Decatur campus is located at 2801 DeKalb Medical Parkway, Lithonia. Light refreshments will be served. These programs are free, but require registration. To register, call 404-501-WELL. For more information, visit www.dekalbmedical.org.
Library series to focus on Muslim culture The series, Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys, starts at the Clarkston Library Saturday, April 6, and continues on subsequent Saturdays in April. These programs offer an opportunity to learn about and discuss the complex history, culture and beliefs of Muslims in the United States and around the world. The opening program, which will be 2-3 p.m., will be an audience participation discussion led by Zaynab Ansari and Mansour Ansari of The Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta on American Muslims and their faith. This is a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities, conducted in cooperation with the American Library Association. Support was provided by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Additional support for the arts and media components was provided by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. The Clarkston Library is located at 951 N. Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston. For more information, call (404) 508-7175.
PTA needs clean-up day volunteers The Stephenson High School PTA is seeking volunteers for its Outdoor Classroom and Community Garden Cleanup Day Saturday, April 20, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Volunteer sign in and schedule assignment will be 8-8:30 a.m. The morning session will be 9 a.m. until noon, after a 30-minute break, the afternoon session will start at 12:30 and continue until 3 p.m. Volunteers are needed for: general cleaning, weeding and lawn maintenance, trash removal (for items replaced/ repaired), painting, planting and ground prep, light building (tables and benches, refreshment hosting and assistance with the volunteer sign up and registration table. Contributions of gardening tools, gardening gloves, seeds, paint brushes, sunscreen and other maintenance items are welcome. Volunteers are encouraged to bring any tools they might need. Stephenson High School is located at 701 Stephenson Road, Stone Mountain. For more information the pre-register, call S. Harper at (678) 471-6819.
Class for nonprofits to be at library Starting a Nonprofit Organization: Seven Things You Should Know comes to the Wesley Chapel-William C. Brown Library Saturday, April 6, noon-1 p.m. This class will tell participants about essentials nonprofit business owners must know to ensure the success of their organization. This is a basic class for anyone interested in starting a nonprofit business as well as those who can use additional insight into growing their organization. Wesley ChapelWilliam C. Brown Library is located at 2861 Wesley Chapel Road, Decatur. For more information, call. (404) 286-6980. Church celebrates 14th anniversary New Life International Family Church and Bishop Dr. Jeronn C. Williams are celebrating the church’s 14th anniversary this week with the theme “Go After It” (Josh 3:3). Remaining events include an artistic production, Thursday, April 4, at 7:30 p.m., Homecoming Service, Friday, April 5, at 7:30 p.m., Worship Service, Sunday, April 7, 11:15 a.m., followed by dinner and a concert Sunday, April 7, at 5 p.m. The church is located at 5349 Snapfinger Woods Drive, Decatur. For more information, visit NLIFC.ORG or call (678) 325-3326.
Georgia State University ensemble to perform at church Lawrenceville Road United Methodist Church’s Music for Missions program will present Georgia State University School of Music’s men’s vocal ensemble Ring Spot on Sunday, April 14, at 7 p.m. The quartet will present a mixed musical fare. “I was very impressed with their musical qualities and stage presence, even at their youthful age, in a musical sampler at a recent function at Georgia State,” said Jack Sartain, producer of Music for Missions. These college men are all students of Richard ‘Rick’ Clement, a graduate of Tucker High School and now a professor at GSU School of Music. Rick is an internationally renowned tenor soloist and much sought after voice teacher by emerging vocally talented men and women. Ring Spot is composed of James Moonsuk Kang, tenor; Matt Talley, lead; Nick Yaquinto, baritone; and Stephen McCluskey, tenor. All these men carry strong experience in many musical genres including barbershop, opera, classical solo performances and staged popular musicals.” The event is part of a 14-season project of United Methodist Men at Lawrenceville Road United Methodist Church in Tucker. The church is located at 3142 Lawrenceville Highway, Tucker. For further information call (770) 939-5717.
Nonprofit foundation hosts free mediation seminar A free, one-hour guided meditation will be held April 9 at the Brookhaven Library, located at 1242 N. Druid Hills Rd. NE in Atlanta. The event takes place from 6:30-7:30 p.m. and is hosted by the nonprofit Isha Foundation, which teaches a 20-minute process of meditation to improve health, energy, vitality, enhanced mental focus and reduce stress. The session will be open to the first 25 participants and facilitated by a trained Isha Kriya instructor. No previous meditation experience is necessary. For more information call (404) 848-7140. Library to host Earth Day celebration Children, ages 5-12, will be taught about recycling at the Earth Day celebration on Wednesday, April 10, 3-3:45 p.m. The event will also include discussion about other things people can do to make the planet better and turning trash into treasure with a recycling craft. The event, which is presented by Sarah Brodd from
Nonprofit gets 501(C)3 designation Co-founder Scott Parrish said he’s thrilled. What started as an idea by two childhood friends is now Square Care Ministries, a 501(C)3 non profit organization providing its signature brown boxes to those in need. Square Care Ministries assembles boxes with a one month’s supply of hygiene or cleaning products for women, men and families. Trial size hygiene products are also available in smaller customizable kits for the homeless.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 5, 2013
[about the Lakeside bill], especially those in the Tucker area,” she said. “In order for Tucker to be at the table during the discussions if they want to do anything, because of the rules in the House something had to be dropped to enable them to do it.” The debate on whether Tucker should be incorporated as a city has been ongoing. On Feb. 27, Tucker city business owners signed the papers to begin the process of establishing a Community Improvement District (CID). A CID is 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. The CID would also allow the community to seek grants and help attract more businesses. “Even though we’re self-imposing
City to places moratorium on overlay district
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org The city of Brookhaven has placed a moratorium on the Brookhaven-Peachtree Overlay District that will last until midnight on June 25. The overlay district includes the Peachtree Road corridor from East Club Drive to Redding Road. The Brookhaven City Council voted unanimously on March 27 to place a moratorium on the city’s acceptance, review and processing of any new applications for amendments to the text of the Brookhaven-Peachtree Overlay District, including official zoning map amendments, comprehensive land use plan amendments, variances, administrative variances, special exceptions, special land use permits, land disturbance permits, new building permits, new land development permits, new clearing or grading permits, and any and all new permits or licenses related to the development of land for property located within the district. Brookhaven Community Development Director Susan Canon said the moratorium was put in place to ensure responsible governance over zoning, land use, variances, and other statutory controls on the use of property within the boundaries of the Brookhaven Peachtree Overlay District. “It also allows staff time to evaluate the overlay district in relation to underlying zoning and to determine whether any revisions are necessary for appropriate implementation,” she said. Any applications submitted prior to March 27 will be processed. Canon said the moratorium applies only to the properties located within the Brookhaven Peachtree Overlay District, not the entire city. The goal of the district is to promote a more dynamic mixed-use district of appropriate scale and magnitude surrounding the Brookhaven MARTA station and along Peachtree Road. It also promotes a community that is inviting and walkable, as well as connectivity of streets and communities to reduce the dependence on automobiles by increasing opportunities for alternative modes of travel.
DeKalb legislators file ‘placeholder’ bill for Tucker
by Carla Parker email@example.com A “placeholder” bill was filed on behalf of Tucker on March 26 by State Representatives Billy Mitchell, Michele Henson and Earnest “Coach” Williams. House Bill 677 provides time for discussions on the potential of turning Tucker into a incorporated city. On March 25, State Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver filled a “placeholder” bill on behalf of Druid Hills and other communities to give the opportunity to decide whether they wish to be consider a new DeKalb County City in the 2014 Session. State Sen. Fran Millar also filed a bill on behalf of the Lakeside community. Henson said the bill will give Tucker an opportunity to be part of discussions that will be going on this summer on cityhood. “Folks in the area were concerned a little bit of tax, it’s a better way” than cityhood, Bill Rosenfeld, president of the Tucker Business Association and owner of Rosenfeld International Jewelry on LaVista Road, said. “It’s the next best thing we can do for ourselves.” Honey Van de Kreke, vice president of Elrep Sales in Tucker and one of the first business owners to sign the consent forms, said the CID costs the taxpayers nothing and 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. The “placeholder” bills could be debated, changed or withdrawn over the next year before any of them move forward for a vote before the General Assembly. See related story on page 13A
Commissioner to host community breakfast forum DeKalb County Commissioner Stan Watson will host his monthly DeKalb Legislative Community Cabinet Breakfast Saturday, April 6, at Chapel Hill Middle School, located at 3535 Dogwood Farms Road, Decatur, from 9-11 a.m. Guest speakers this month include DeKalb State Court Judge Johnny Panos speaking about the positive impact that his Project Achieve is making for individuals in his court; representatives of DeKalb County Public Works department, who will provide the community another opportunity to weigh in on a proposed storm utility rate increase; and Atlanta Gas Light Company representatives, who will share information about various energy assistance programs available to residents. Watson, along with several of DeKalb’s hometown heroes, will recognize Southwest DeKalb football Coach Buck Godfrey and Cedar Grove football Coach Ray Bonner for their contributions to the student-athletes, respective high school athletic programs, and the future of the game itself. There is no charge for the community breakfast and RSVP is not required. For additional information, call Nichole Simms (404) 371-7031 or Kelly LaJoie (404) 371-3681. DeKalb County hosts household hazardous waste event DeKalb County will hold its 2013 Household Hazardous Waste Event Saturday, April 6, 8 a.m.–noon at the DeKalb County Central Transfer Station, 3720 Leroy Scott Drive, Decatur. The event, sponsored by Keep DeKalb Beautiful (KDB) and the DeKalb County Sanitation Division, in partnership with Clean Harbors Environmental Services, Inc., gives county residents an opportunity to dispose of their
household hazardous wastes properly and free of charge. Household hazardous waste is classified as products that contain potentially dangerous chemicals and are no longer used. These products should not be mixed with regular trash and can be potentially harmful to the environment if not disposed of properly. DeKalb County encourages residents to take advantage of this opportunity to clear their homes of unneeded or unused household hazardous waste and to help keep county landfills and the environment safe for everyone. Items accepted include aerosols, mercury, batteries, adhesives, flammables, lawn-care products, automotive products, fluorescent bulbs, hobby and artists’ supplies, paints and paint-related products, cleaners and swimming pool chemicals, and photo chemicals. Items not accepted include biohazardous/biomedical waste, agricultural waste, ammunition, explosives, pharmaceuticals, radioactive materials and nonhazardous waste. The event is free for DeKalb residents; IDs are required and early arrival is recommended. Residents are limited to 10 gallons of paint per vehicle. No commercial vehicles will be allowed. If you have questions about the event or would like to volunteer, please contact Keep DeKalb Beautiful at (404) 3712654 or firstname.lastname@example.org. New officers, member named to health system board DeKalb Regional Health System Inc. (DRHS) has named new officers and a new member to its 12-person board of directors, the group that oversees and directs the vision and mission of DeKalb Medical, DeKalb Medical at Hillandale, DeKalb Medical Long Term Acute Care, the DeKalb Medical Physicians Group and the DeKalb Medical Foundation. David L. Jollay was elected chairman, replacing Oliver Lee, who passed
away in February. Robert E. Wilson was named vice chairman; Daniel J. Thompson, as secretary; and Charles Clifton, M.D., treasurer. Cathy Bonk, M.D., joined the board, replacing Gulshan Harjee, M.D., who resigned in January after serving since 1997. Jollay was appointed to the DRHS board in 2003 and most recently served as treasurer. He serves on the DeKalb Medical Center board and the Decatur Health Resources board. In addition, he serves on the finance committee and chairs the executive compensation committee of the DRHS board. He is president of Jollay Masonry Contractors in Avondale Estates. Wilson joined the DRHS Board in 2005 and previously served as secretary. He chairs the strategic planning/committee of the DRHS board, and was a founder and is past chairman of the DeKalb Medical Foundation. Wilson is a practicing attorney with the firm of Wilson, Morton & Downs, and has previously served as chief public defender and also for DeKalb County. Thompson has been a member of the DRHS board since 2003 and chairs its human resources committee. He is a retired corporate attorney, formerly vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of the BellSouth Advertising and Publishing Group in Atlanta. Clifton is a board certified anesthesiologist, who has been a member of the DeKalb Medical medical staff since 1990. He was elected to the DRHS board in 2008. A practicing physician at Atlanta Gynecology & Obstetrics since 1993, Bonk is a certified fellow at the American College of Obstetricians and is a Certified Physician Executive. She currently serves as a board member for the DeKalb Physician Hospital Organization and is treasurer of the Georgia OB/GYN Society. Her DeKalb Medical leadership positions included chief of obstetrics and gynecology and member of the medical executive committee.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 5, 2013
Retired Army Staff Sgt. Clarence Bostwick finally gets his Vietnam Purple Heart after a clerical error was cleared up four decades later. Congressman Hank Johnson pins the award on Bostwick during a special ceremony. Photos by Andrew Cauthen
Vietnam vet receives Purple Heart 44 years late
by Andrew Cauthen email@example.com Retired Army Staff Sgt. Clarence Bostwick, 65, said the Purple Heart Medal he earned in the Vietnam was “way late.” Bostwick, a DeKalb resident for 45 years, was officially presented with the Purple Heart Medal by Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04) during a March 28 ceremony at the Lou Walker Senior Center for wounds he received in action in Vietnam in 1968. “We were in a firefight one night, Feb. 10, 1968,” Bostwick said. While on guard duty his unit, the 39th engineer battalion, came under attack. He received shrapnel wounds from a Chinese grenade on the right side of his head, right arm and right leg. Bostwick spent “a week or so” in a hospital before returning to duty. After two years of active duty, Bostwick joined the Army Reserves, from which he retired in 1994. But because of a clerical oversight, Bostwick did not receive a Purple Heart. “Nobody put me in for it,” Bostwick said. “The people over me just didn’t do their jobs. “I had to do all the paperwork myself, had to prove everything myself,” Bostwick said. “The Army said they don’t have to prove anything to you, you’ve got to prove it to them. That’s what I did. “I’ve been trying to get my records changed ever since back in the ‘90s,” Bostwick said. “They kept telling me that they didn’t have no record on me, wasn’t no hospital records. Finally, I got my hospital record in 2012 and that’s how I got my Purple Heart.” Bostwick’s records were corrected in 2012, and he was awarded the Purple Heart, the Good Conduct Medal, the Meritorious Unit Commendation and the Vietnam Service Medal. “All I can say is, ‘it’s about time after 44 years,’” he said. Johnson called Bostwick a “living hero” and “a man of courage.” “Staff Sgt. Bostwick is the very epitome of a hero and a patriot, and I am proud to present him with the Purple Heart Medal,” said Johnson, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. “I cannot think of a more deserving veteran for this honorable award. “Across the country children and their parents are free to go to school and go to work, to live their lives and pursue their ideas of happiness because people like Staff Sgt. Bostwick served their country with distinction,” Johnson said. When Bostwick retired from the military, “there were some wounds that had not been addressed on his service record,” Johnson said. “For people to give of themselves like Staff Sgt. Bostwick, and many others have done, they deserve better than for their records to get lost or burned somewhere,” Johnson said. “There’s no excuse. We must look at how government treats our veterans.” John Wilder, state commander of the Department of Georgia Military Order of the Purple Heart, said it was a common occurrence for the medal to be omitted because of a clerical error.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 5, 2013
Community Heroes to be honored
A ceremony to honor the 2013 CEO’s Community Heroes will be held Sunday, April 14, at 4 p.m. at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, 980 Briarcliff Road NE, Atlanta. The public is invited to attend. Hosted in partnership with The Champion Newspaper, the fourth annual CEO’s Community Hero Awards celebration honors individuals and organizations making a significant impact in DeKalb County. 11Alive news anchorman DeMarco Morgan will serve as the master of ceremonies. Those to be honored include: Community Champion Award (individual)–India Pullin; Community Champion Award (organization)–Kim Gokce and the Cross Keys Foundation; Environmental Change Award (individual)– Robby Astrove, Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve; Environmental Change Award (individual)–Cynthia Houston, Adopt-a-Road and Adopt a MARTA Bus Stop; Youth Volunteer Award (individual)–Ashley Wrushmen; Neighborhood Empowerment Award (organization)–The Beulah Boys All Male Soul Line Dancers; Neighborhood Empowerment Award (organization)–Samuel Belet and the Ethiopian Community Association; The Vanguard Award (individual)–The Honorable Berryl A. Anderson, DeKalb County chief magistrate judge; and The Vanguard Award (individual)–Doug Harms, DeKalb County Fire Rescue.
WWII flier looks back on life at high altitude
by Mark Davis TUCKER, Ga. (AP) Robert Beton is a restless man. Even at 89, he cannot stay still long, and small wonder: This is a guy who, seven decades ago, did most of his work at night—when the troops tried to rest, when the big guns fell silent. That’s when he and his buddies headed into the sky, twin engines droning. The fellows on the ground heard them, and knew the night fighters had their backs. Night fighter. Even now, a lifetime removed from World War II, the old man embraces the term with all the swagger of a youngster just issued his first flight jacket. “There were times,” said Beton, “that I figured I’d never get home.” Home was Atlanta, and he made it back after spending years on the West Coast as a tax attorney who hobnobbed with starlets. On April 7, the Tucker resident is throwing himself a 90th birthday party at the Ritz Carlton to celebrate a life that could easily have ended in the dark, over a hostile landscape. He was born just south of downtown Atlanta and grew up near the intersection of Pryor Street and Central Avenue. Beton attended Commercial High School, class of 1941. He graduated in spring, a few months shy of an attack that would draw the United States into a global conflict. He was riding in a car with a couple of other guys that Dec. 7. The radio playing music when the announcer broke in: Attack at Pearl Harbor. “I didn’t even know where Pearl Harbor was.” The nation called for volunteers, and he answered. Beton, who’d once taken a flight from Candler Field in a single-engine airplane, signed up for the U.S. Army Air Forces, precursor to today’s U.S. Air Force. The Army sent him to Atlantic City, where it had a training airfield. The trip was Beton’s introduction to travel: He strolled the boardwalk, admired the big hotels facing the Atlantic, and vowed he’d see more of this big world— provided he got through the war. In May 1943, he shipped off to England, where he trained with the Royal Air Force, learning to fly the Bristol Beaufighter. A twinengine aircraft, it featured cutting-edge technology not found on U.S. planes—radar. It could detect objects in the night that pilots could not see. That made it capable of repelling enemy aircraft making nighttime assaults on troops or installations. But there was a catch, said Steve McFarland, a North Carolina university administrator who wrote a history of night fighters for the U.S. Air Force. Early radar machinery was heavy, said McFarland, a former Air Force officer. “It (Beaufighter) was not designed to carry all that weight,” he said. “It was not the safest aircraft.” They also were loud, cold and not built for comfort, Beton said. “They were warplanes,” he said, shrugging. The Army assigned Beton to the 417th Night Fighter Squadron, a contingent of 100 Beaufighters and about 250 pilots and radar operators. Their squadron patch depicted two characters, a magician and a swami holding a crystal ball, astride a broom zipping through a starlit sky. The squadron was stationed near Oran, on the northwestern coast of Morocco. Daily, nightly, they flew sorties to support troops locked in a struggle against tanks corps commanded by German Gen. Erwin Rommel. The work was hot, dangerous and constant. They had an occasional NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING dogfight over the desert, “but we chased them away, primarily,” Beton said. “When I went out, I figured I’d never come back.” The night fighters pressed north, following the fighting as Allied forces pushed back at the Axis powers. In Corsica, the flyers and guys on the ground learned to listen for “Bed Check Charlie,” a moniker they gave whatever German craft flew over their installations at night. Sometimes “Charlie” merely passed over; other times he strafed the troops, fleeing when Allied night fighters zeroed in on his location. In 1944, Beton found himself in Paris. On Nov. 11—Armistice Day, which we now call Veterans Day— he sat on a wall and watched French leader Charles de Gaulle and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill pass by in a motorcade. Atlanta had never seemed so far away. The Army discharged Beton in 1945. He returned to Atlanta, but, giving in to wanderlust, enrolled at the University of Southern California. He got a degree in accounting and landed a job with the Internal Revenue Service. A few years later, Beton returned to school, got his law degree and sold his services as a tax lawyer. In time, his business put him in touch with the stars of the day—Marilyn Monroe, Jane Wyman, Frank Sinatra. Beton has a stack of snapshots to prove it. And, in one particularly telling photo, framed and hanging on his den wall, is an image of Beton standing beside Jayne Mansfield, filling the frame with her smile and other star qualities. Beton likes that photo. It’s a metaphor for his life—the restless Atlanta boy, sampling life’s adventures. “It’s been a good life,” he said. “I am not complaining.”
Columbia High senior shot to death March 28
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org
A Columbia High School student was shot and killed in south DeKalb March 28. According to DeKalb County Police spokeswoman Mekka Parish, officers were called to the Austin Oak Apartments at 4371 Glenwood Road, at approximately 4:45 p.m. “When officers arrived they found one male victim suffering from a gunshot wound,” Parish said. The victim, identified as 18-year-old Dominique Boyer, was transported to a local hospital where he later died. According to detectives, the victim, along with a group of people, was standing outside an apartment building when a tan SUV entered the complex, Parish said. Witnesses said a passenger in the SUV began firing from the car in the direction of the group, Parrish said. Wilson was the only person struck. “Detectives have not confirmed a clear motive, but the Gang Unit is assisting in the investigation to determine if this shooting is gang related,” Parish said.
From grades 9-11, Toni Terry, a program coordinator at Communities in Schools of Atlanta, monitored Boyer’s grades and classes and provided mentors for him as part of the dropout prevention organization. Terry said she was devastated when she heard about his death. “He was such a sweet, soft-spoken guy,” Terry said. “He was actually kind of shy, very laid back.” The teenager, who lived with his grandmother at the time, faced various family, social and academic challenges. “The fact that he was on track to graduate was a very huge feat for him,” Terry said. Boyer, who was “really searching to belong” in ninth grade, found a group of friends and “really began to blossom in high school,” Terry said. “He really developed and grew.” A friend of Boyer’s since middle school, Kristin M., said he had a lot of friends. “He was funny. He was always trying to make people laugh,” she said. “I just hate it,” she said about the death. “I just keep crying every five minutes.”
The City of Chamblee will hold a public hearing to discuss the adoption of an Urban Redevelopment Plan. An Urban Redevelopment Plan is a general blueprint for redevelopment and targeting of public investments in the redevelopment area. The public hearing will be held on Thursday, April 11, 2013, at the Chamblee Civic Center, 3540 Broad Street, Chamblee, GA 30341 at 6:00 p.m.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 5, 2013
Sneiderman’s attorneys ask to have charges dismissed
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com Attorneys for a DeKalb County widow accused of conspiring to murder her husband filed a motion March 26 Redan graduate Chris Nelson is now the starting third baseman for the Colorado Rockies, after finishto dismiss ing last season with a .300 batting average. Photo by Phil Dorian 13 of the 16 charges against Sneiderman her. Andrea Sneiderman, whose husband Rusty Sneiderman was murdered outside a Dunwoody day care center in 2010, faces vacation in the Baby Phil Dorian charges that include seven hamas last fall. He counts of perjury, malice surprised Freeman Following his .301 murder, felony murder and with the proposal, but aggravated assault. batting average finhe had informed his ish with the Colorado Sneiderman’s attorneys and Brittany’s mother are now reportedly askRockies in 2012, Redan in advance, pledgHigh School graduing that the seven perjury ing them to secrecy. ate Chris Nelson had counts and several others “I couldn’t even tell a busy off-season, be dropped from her inmy sisters,” Nelson’s working on his hitting dictment because they are mom said. “Thank technique with a bat“vague and don’t follow goodness he also told ting instructor, setting due process.” Brittany’s mom so I nutritional goals with Prosecutors allege Sneihad someone to talk the help of a registered derman and her former boss with about it.” (The dietitian and, oh yes, Hemy Neuman plotted to two women have bebecoming engaged to kill her husband. According come close; Brittany’s to prosecutors, she was havhis girlfriend of several mother visited in Deyears. ing an affair with Neuman, catur last November.) who later confessed to the Having been drafted Nelson and FreeNo.1 by the Rockies out murder and is now serving man, both 27, met in of Redan in 2004, Nellife in prison without pa2010 when she came son, a Decatur native, role. from her home in Mamade his way through DeKalb County Superior Rookie, Low-A, High- Nelson and his fiancée Brittany Freeman, seat- con to a birthday par- Court Judge Gregory Aded, join Nelson’s parents, Decatur residents A, Double-A and ams set a tentative date of Daryl and Linda Nelson, for dinner at a Scotts- ty in Stone Mountain for her roommate at Triple-A leagues to find dale, Ariz., restaurant during spring training. July 29 to begin jury selecSavannah State College. tion for Sneiderman’s trial. himself now the starting Since then, Freeman has bethird-baseman on the Major By 2012 he was settled At a recent hearing, at third, appearing in 111 come not just a cheerleader League club. prosecutors said Sneidergames at the position and for her future husband, but a man may have set up NeuThe third-base job is a finishing with a .301 batknowledgeable baseball fan sign not only of Nelson’s man to kill her husband so ting average. During spring as well. The couple is planskills at the position, but she could be with Joseph training this year he was ning a December wedding in Dell, whom they said was at also of his versatility. After named the Rockies opening- Atlanta. all, his selection as Louisone point “her live-in boyday starting third baseman. ville Slugger’s 2004 High Nelson credits his batting School Player of the Year in instructor with schooling of Georgia was as a shorthim in making contact with I’m proud to protect homes in our community. stop. That position on the a wider variety of pitches, Rockies is all-star Troy When it comes to protecting your home, it’s nice Tulowitzki’s, but team man- coaching that has paid off in his ability to hit to all fields. to have an agent who knows the area. I can help agement was confident that He also cites his nutritionist customize a policy just for you, so you pay only for Nelson, a productive baseconsultant with tailoring a the protection you need. Call me today! runner as well as accomdiet that maximizes his enplished hitter and fielder, Cecil S. Moore could master another infield durance and overall physical condition. (404) 692-5632 position. He accomplished As comfortable as Nel7185 Rockbridge Rd., Suite C the first-ever “straight steal” son has become on the baseStone Mountain of home in Rockies history. ball diamond, he says the Cecilmoore@allstate.com The team’s confidence paid off when, in 2011, Nel- diamond ring he presented to his fiancée is an equally son split his playing time satisfying accomplishment. evenly between second and He and Brittany Freeman third base, with a couple of Subject to terms, conditions and availability. Northbrook, IL. © 2012 Allstate Insurance Company became engaged while on games at shortstop as well. friend.” Dell was later added to the prosecution’s witness list. Sneiderman is currently out on bond under house arrest awaiting trial. She is staying at her parents’ house in John’s Creek. One of Sneiderman’s bond conditions is that she is not allowed to have contact with any witnesses. Adams has allowed Sneiderman to have contact with Dell, whose relationship with Sneiderman defense attorneys have described as “nothing more than a strong friendship.” Sneiderman defense attorney Thomas Clegg accused prosecutors of describing a false relationship between Sneiderman and Dell in open court to “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. A hearing for all pending motions pertaining to Sneiderman’s case has been set for April 4 at 1:30 p.m. in Judge Adams’ courtroom.
Diamonds are Chris Nelson’s best friends
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 5, 2013
Needlework enthusiasts in spring of 2012 celebrate Gov. Nathan Deal’s signing of a proclamation declaring “Knit and Crochet Day in Georgia” by knitting and crocheting on the steps of the Capitol.
On Feb. 6, 1985, the first official meeting of the Atlanta Knitting Guild took place with 52 attendees. In 1998 the AKG found its home in DeKalb County’s St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, where it has remained since. Today there is an average of 100 members at every meeting. Approximately 36 percent of the membership is from DeKalb County.
DeKalb group knits itself a reputation
by Deborah Held They’ve been meeting in parts of Atlanta since 1985— an ever-evolving group of knitting enthusiasts from all throughout the city, with far more than yarn-buying in common. It’s often said that all knitters share this one common trait: an innate kindness toward others. The nonprofit Atlanta Knitting Guild (AKG) has grown over time from its original roster of five to today’s membership of more than 270 women (and yes, even some men) of all ages and demographics. They have proven year after year that they are a most sought-after group of dogooders. They are more than OK with that reputation.
Finding a purpose
A group gets together to knit at a Northlake restaurant. In the photo at left are Delia Jaquette, left, and Ranusia Howe; in the photo at right are Sue Holley, left, and Jeanne Knox.
From the outset, the AKG found itself ripe with unusual talent and energy, and a non-profit organization was formed. This group serves to gather together those devoted to the craft of knitting, and to help those devotees stretch their knowledge via workshops, lectures and through DeKalb County roots one another’s skills. That sense of sharing has It all started when an area been passed on to countless yarn shop offered space for others in the Atlanta commua spot of knitting and social nity, as the guild is dedicated time. Five women showed to “knitting it forward.” The up for that first knitting list of community projects group and decided to meet through the years is extenweekly thereafter. sive, and it includes: knitting When the group’s orheadbands for American ganizer had to back out, troops in Bosnia, collecting Oak Grove resident Whit toiletries and clothing for Robbins stepped up to take the Atlanta Day Shelter for charge. Robbins was certain Women and Children, knitthere were more knitters in ting lap robes for hospice the area. She blanketed every patients, teaching teens to metro newspaper that she knit, knitting stoma covers could think of with ads, seek- for patients with tracheing like-minded enthusiasts. otomies, knitting scarves for Soon Robbins’ phone rang U.S. armed forces stationed off the hook with callers eaoverseas, knitting (and asger for more information. sembling) afghan squares
See Do-gooder on Page 14A
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 5, 2013
DeKalb County may see more new cities in coming years
by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org Several DeKalb County legislators filed “placeholder” bills before the end of this year’s congressional session to enable different areas throughout the county to explore cityhood. Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver said she thinks people are unsure of what to do and the recent creation of the city of Brookhaven has been a destabilizing event. “We need to have a discussion,” Oliver said. Since the creation of Brookhaven last year, neighborhoods such as North Druid Hills, Lakeside, Stone Crest and Tucker have been vocal about exploring cityhood as an option. Oliver filed a House Bill, 665 to “incorporate a new municipality in DeKalb County.” She described it as a “place holder” bill to allow residents of Druid Hills and other neighborhoods to decide whether they wish to be considered a new DeKalb County city in 2014. A bill that creates a new city cannot be passed in less than two years, so Oliver said filing HB 665 was procedurally necessary. Although the bill proposed the creation of a new city, it does not go into detail. “It’s the notice of the intent to create a new city,” Oliver said. “It also reflects that the discussion has begun on north DeKalb and it was our intent to file a package of bills.” Representatives Michele Henson and Pam Stephenson have filed similar “place holder” bills (HB 667 and HB 687). Oliver said the intent is to offer the maximum amount of notice possible to constituents and to “give the best possible opportunities for discussion and negotiation over the next years.” Sen. Fran Millar filed a more extensive bill proposing the creation of the city of Lakeside (SB 270). Millar’s bill includes guidelines regarding animal regulations, appropriations and expenditures of revenue, business regulation and taxation, general fees and more. Additionally, the bill proposes having a millage rate no higher than 3.04 mills and calls for the establishment of a six-member city council and mayor who represent six districts. The bill also establishes an annual salary of $16,000 for the mayor and $12,000 for each council member. Burke Brennan, a spokesman for DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis, said although the county has fared well economically over the past several years, the incorporation of cities does present challenges for the county’s “bottom line. Brennan said Ellis believes the law allowing municipal incorporations has allowed revenue to shift from the county to city governments. “This harms the entire county, whether we live in incorporated or unincorporated portions of the county. As a result, the CEO believes we have now reached a ‘tipping point’ where continued incorporations may hamper the ability of the county to adequately fund essential services—from courts and criminal justice, to libraries and elections— that all of our citizens depend upon,” Brennan said. However, Brennan said Ellis is committed to promoting a dialogue between county and city leaders to find collaborative solutions to “the issues and concerns that support the current movement toward incorporation.” See related story on page 8A.
Attend the 2013 CEO’s Community Hero Awards Ceremony
Honorees include: India Pullin, Kim Gokce & the Cross Keys Foundation, For India Pullin Kim Gokce and the Cross Keys Foundation Robby Astrove, Cynthia Houston, Ashley Wrushmen, The Beulah Boys Dancers, India Pullin Samuel Belet & the Ethiopian Community Association, Kim Gokce and the Cross Keys Foundation The Honorable Berryl A. Anderson, and Doug Harms. Robby Astrove, Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve For a programming guide, visit www.yourdekalb.com/dctv Environmental Change Award (individual) – Cynthia Houston, Adopt-a-Road and Adopt a MARTA Bus Stop Ashley Wrushmen DCTV – Your Emmy® Award-winning news source of DeKalb County news. Available on Comcast Cable Channel 23. The Beulah Boys All Male Soul Line Dancers
Sunday, April 14 at 4 p.m., Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, 980 Briarcliff Rd. NE
The Champion Weather
Seven Day Forecast THURSDAY
April 4, 2013
Detailed Local Forecast
Today’s Regional Map
Dunwoody 48/42 Smyrna 49/43 Doraville 49/43 Atlanta 50/43 College Park 51/43 Union City 51/43
Today we will see cloudy skies with a 90% chance of rain, high temperature of 50º, humidity of 71%. Rain Likely East wind 20 mph. The record high temperature High: 50 Low: 43 for today is 85º set in 1969. Expect mostly cloudy skies tonight with a 90% chance of showers, FRIDAY overnight low of 43º. Few Showers High: 60 Low: 42 Last Week's Local Almanac Date Hi Lo Normals Precip SATURDAY Tuesday 42 32 68/46 0.00" Sunny Wednesday 54 29 68/46 0.00" High: 67 Low: 47 Thursday 61 30 68/46 0.00" Friday 67 33 69/46 0.00" Saturday 73 49 69/47 0.32" SUNDAY Sunday 69 55 69/47 0.01" Mostly Sunny 72 54 69/47 0.01" High: 70 Low: 51 Monday Rainfall. . . . . . . . 0.34" Average temp. . 51.4 Normal rainfall. . 1.08" Average normal 57.5 MONDAY Departure . . . . . .-0.74" Departure . . . . . -6.1 Partly Cloudy High: 74 Low: 52 Partly Cloudy High: 75 Low: 54
Decatur Snellville 50/43 50/43 Lithonia 51/43 Morrow 51/43
April 4, 1989 - Thunderstorms produced severe weather from the Lower Mississippi Valley to the southern Appalachians. The thunderstorms spawned 17 tornadoes, including one that caused two million dollars in damage at Baldwin, Ala. April 5, 1955 - The Northern Rockies and the Northern High Plains were in the midst of a four day storm which produced 52 inches of snow at Lead, located in the Black Hills of western South Dakota.
New 4/10 First 4/18
Partly Cloudy High: 71 Low: 51
Day Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday
Local Sun/Moon Chart This Week
Sunrise 7:19 a.m. 7:17 a.m. 7:16 a.m. 7:15 a.m. 7:13 a.m. 7:12 a.m. 7:11 a.m. Sunset 8:00 p.m. 8:01 p.m. 8:02 p.m. 8:02 p.m. 8:03 p.m. 8:04 p.m. 8:05 p.m. Moonrise 3:31 a.m. 4:13 a.m. 4:51 a.m. 5:26 a.m. 6:01 a.m. 6:35 a.m. 7:10 a.m.
Moonset 2:33 p.m. 3:37 p.m. 4:39 p.m. 5:40 p.m. 6:40 p.m. 7:39 p.m. 8:37 p.m.
Full 4/25 Last 5/2 Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Rise Set 6:18 a.m. 5:47 p.m. 7:31 a.m. 8:07 p.m. 7:32 a.m. 8:12 p.m. 10:24 a.m. 12:36 a.m. 9:47 p.m. 8:48 a.m. 7:09 a.m. 7:28 p.m.
Local UV Index
0 - 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11+
National Weather Summary This Week
StarWatch By Gary Becker - Comet ISON: No April Fools' Joke
While much deserved attention has been focused on Comet PanSTARRS during the last three weeks, another hairy interloper is sun bound for an autumn rendezvous with Sol. ISON (C/2012 S1) could be one of the great comets of all times, and this is not an April Fools’ joke. First imaged by two Russian amateur astronomers, Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok, on September 21, 2012, ISON was named for the telescope of the International Scientific Optical Network that took the discovery photograph. There are several criteria which make Comet ISON noteworthy. It is classified as a “sungrazer.” When it makes its closest approach to the sun on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, 2013, it will be a scant 1.1 million miles from Sol’s light-emitting surface, and well within its multimillion degree corona. The physical processes which create the tail structures of comets will literally be “on steroids” during the pre- and post perihelion days and could produce a spectacle visible from the largest cities in the Northern Hemisphere. On the other hand, the heat and gravitational disruptions which ISON will experience during its close solar encounter could simply make it go puff, creating unprecedented space photos, but literally nothing of importance to see for Earth’s inhabitants. The other interesting consideration is that ISON is following an orbit which is very similar to the Great Comet of 1680. This comet, visible during daylight as it rounded the sun, produced a bright tail of some 70 degrees in length as witnessed by Dutch settlers living on Manhattan Island in New Amsterdam during the late autumn of 1680. ISON will probably not shine that brightly, but should it survive its close passage around the sun, it will become one of the great popular astronomical events of the 21st century. Photos representative of the appearance of Comet ISON may be found at www.astronomy.org/StarWatch/March/index-3-13.html#3-31-13
Answer: In 1955, a hurricane formed on Jan. 2.
UV Index 0-2: Low, 3-5: Moderate, 6-7: High, 8-10: Very High, 11+: Extreme Exposure
The Northeast will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with a few showers today, scattered What is the earliest an rain Friday, mostly clear to partly cloudy skies Saturday, with the highest temperature of 65º in Atlantic hurricane has Cincinnati, Ohio. The Southeast will experience scattered showers and thunderstorms today formed? and Friday, mostly clear skies Saturday, with the highest temperature of 86º in Naples, Fla. In the Northwest, there will be partly cloudy to cloudy skies with scattered showers today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 74º in Lewiston, Idaho. The Southwest will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 95º in Gila Bend, Ariz.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 5, 2013
Ellis moves money around to pay for staff
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis has been using money from different county departments to pay members of his staff. In March, Ellis hired former broadcast journalist Jill Strickland Luse to head the county’s communications department, which also includes the 24-hour government access station DeKalb County Television (DCTV). Strickland Luse’s salary was paid for using $125,000 from the DeKalb County Parks and Recreation Office. “It’s actually a practice that has been a longstanding—cross-funding of these positions has been going on prior to this administration,” Ellis spokesman Burke Brennan said. Ellis has used approximately $237,000 from departments such as watershed, economic development and planning, to pay the salaries of several staff positions. Brennan said since being hired, Strickland Luse is now under the umbrella of the CEO and Ellis Chief of Staff Hakim Hilliard and new chief operating officer Zachary Williams are working to correct the other discrepancies. “We are moving forward in creating an administration chart and coming up with a working model that is more reflective of what we’re doing,” Brennan said. “It’s a long-standing practice that we’re trying to rectify.” Although funding from other departments is being used to pay members of Ellis’ staff, Brennan said the loss of money isn’t negatively affecting programs from the departments. He said the funds being used are personnel funding from vacant positions within the departments. Gordon Burkette, is one of Ellis’ staff currently being paid out of public works budget for his work with the DeKalb County animal services department. Burkette has also served as legislative liaison for the county. “It’s really more complicated than it seems,” Brennan said. “Gordon Burkette is being funded out of the public works department but he’s not really a CEO employee.” Brennan said if the CEO’s office needs to hire someone temporarily, finding funding for that position within the office is sometimes difficult. He said he used Burkette as an example because he’s currently helping the office with the construction of a new animal services building. “There are sometimes things that mandate a reallocation of resources temporarily and our structure isn’t very accommodating at this time for something like that,” Brennan said.
Do-gooders Continued From Page 12A
and for Warm Up America! and countless more. Charitable partnership with the guild is in high demand. “Every time I’ve had the privilege of working with the Atlanta Knitting Guild, I’m always amazed at how creative and generous they are,” said Benjamin Levisay, CEO of XRX Inc., which publishes knittingrelated books, Knitter’s Magazine and produces STITCHES events. AKG’s also has an ongoing partnership with The Georgia Center for Child Advocacy, a non profit agency dedicated to providing healing care for children who have suffered from abuse in DeKalb or Fulton counties. Each child is allowed to select from a pool of dressed teddy bears boasting handknitted hats, scarves, sweaters, skirts, socks and the like, donated and knitted by the AKG members. The stuffed animals are each child’s for keeps. In the past three years, the guild has donated roughly 1,000 teddy bears to the center, and the members challenge themselves each year to beat the last year’s tally. “It amazes me … a small item that I can knit in just a few hours, whether it’s a bear sweater or a chemo cap, can make such a huge difference in someone’s life,” said AKG member and outgoing guild president Eve Borkenhagen.
DEKALB COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION STATEMENT OF ACTUAL FINANCIAL OPERATIONS FISCAL YEAR ENDED JUNE 30, 2012 GENERAL FUND REVENUES State Funds Federal Funds Taxes Other Funds Total Revenues EXPENDITURES Current Instruction Support Services Pupil Services Improvement of Instructional Services Educational Media Services Federal Grant Administration General Administration School Administration Business Administration Maintenance and Operation of Plant Student Transportation Services Central Support Services Other Support Services Food Services Operation Enterprise Operations Other Operations of Non‐Instructional Services Capital Outlay Debt Service Total Expenditures Excess of Revenues over (under) Expenditures OTHER FINANCING SOURCES (USES) Other Sources Other Uses Total Other Financing Sources (Uses) Excess of Revenues and Other Financing Sources over (under) Expenditures and Other Financing Uses FUND BALANCE JULY 1, 2011 Adjustments to Fund Balance Prior Year Corrections Other FUND BALANCE JUNE 30, 2012 $ $ $ 625,725.76 3,596,977.76 (2,971,252.00) $ $ 100,439,186.44 97,467,934.44 2,971,252.00 $ 359,297,550.74 231,045.00 396,626,390.68 10,301,941.24 766,456,927.66 $ ALL OTHER FUNDS 12,678,530.01 120,505,813.57 108,983,108.88 48,589,951.76 290,757,404.22
XRX’s Levisay is teaming up with the AKG this month to deliver handknitted and hand-crocheted chemotherapy hats to cancer patients, of the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. With an “under the sea” theme, the knitters have been creating and collecting hats, in addition to knitted toys, for months. If history is any indicator, the AKG members will outdo themselves once more, and then celebrate their victory by adding yet another worthy undertaking to their list of causes. Levisay said, “I have never met a more caring bunch of people. They are the model of what a guild should be.”
555,151,138.64 30,410,353.02 10,469,264.35 14,336,001.40 14,876,684.33 59,469,375.57 4,136,873.41 75,499,938.22 48,100,254.91 15,545,729.95 686,430.00
80,611,394.66 5,550,359.33 26,243,122.12 117,888.50 2,074,740.73 1,972,022.81 337,902.71 482,336.86 15,665.75 470,396.24 123,944.48 2,559,753.84 54,598,350.13 2,793,621.79 16,534,545.08 47,710,213.03 95,938,758.76 338,135,016.82 (47,377,612.60)
(3,624,307.53) (14,462,972.05) $
‐ 15,610,619.43 1,197,038,662.26
The salary accruals at June 30, 2012 for QBE funded teachers and the related revenues due from the Georgia Department of Education X have been included in this statement. have not been included in this statement. The Fund Balance at June 30, 2012, represents an operating unassigned fund balance. X deficit.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 5, 2013
Broyde ranked among top American rabbis
by Nigel Roberts Newsweek magazine selected Rabbi Michael J. Broyde as one of America’s top 50 rabbis. Broyde, a leading expert on Jewish law, is a law professor at Emory University and a senior fellow of the university’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion (CSLR). The magazine ranked him 37th on its annual list of notable Jewish clergy. In a statement, CSLR Director John Witte Jr., described Broyde as “a brilliant bridge builder across the disciplines of law, theology, and ethics, and a skillful navigator of the complex and sometimes dangerous interactions among Judaism, Christianity and Islam.” In the article accompanying the list, the magazine asks, “What makes a great 21st century rabbi?” It answers: She comforts a dying man, mentors struggling students or delivers a powerful Rosh Hashanah sermon. In addition to those things, a great rabbi is also an “influencer on a grand scale,” the magazine stated. The selection team noted that Yeshiva University’s chancellor called Broyde “the finest mind of his generation.” In addition to his duties at Emory, Broyde, 48, is a prolific writer and lecturer on Jewish law and ethics. They recognized his role as a Beth Din of America member, the nation’s largest Jewish law court. Many have praised Broyde for his ing life. The awards and status mindset, Gartner said, often leads people to sacrifice their family in pursuit of wealth. Gartner has spent more than half of her decadelong rabbinical career serving as a college campus rabbi. Many other rabbis, she said, serve unheralded and in anonymity to provide spiritual guidance and comfort to those in need. The satisfaction of doing that work is in itself reward enough, she explained. “They (these unnoticed rabbis) have found abundant blessings off the list, in lives lived in pursuit of what they care about most deeply, and, more importantly, so can you,” she advises her students. Rabbi Peter Berg, senior rabbi of The Temple in Atlanta, also earned a spot on the list. Newsweek placed him in the 43rd position. The magazine recognized Berg, 41, for his leadership in Atlanta’s Reform Jewish community. He reaches out to unaffiliated young adult Jews through his Open Jewish Project. Berg serves a congregation of more than 1,500 families. At the number one position, Newsweek selected Rabbi Sharon Brous. Brous, 39, serves a Los Angeles congregation and has garnered accolades for her success in attracting “young, unaffiliated” Jewish worshippers to her congregation. The selection team noted: “Brous shows that reaching this coveted cohort doesn’t mean skimping on substance.”
part in revitalizing the court and for his leadership of the institution since the mid-1990s. Broyde was also a frontrunner this year to become the chief rabbi of Great Britain, which ultimately went to another nominee. The chief rabbi is recognized unofficially as the religious leader of Britain’s Jewish community. The individuals selected as leading rabbis represent the full range of Jewish denominations: Orthodox, Conservative and Reform. Some were recognized for their influence from the pulpit, while others are educators, organization leaders or activists. The list features men and women, though women represent a relatively small
percentage of rabbis in America. This is the seventh year that Newsweek has compiled and published its list of top rabbis. But many in the community have expressed objections to the list. Rabbi Rachel Gartner, director of Jewish chaplaincy at Georgetown University, for example, writes in the Huffington Post that “the negative consequences outweigh the list’s worthy ones.” She adds that rabbis “have an obligation to resist” giving legitimacy to the idea of a list of leading rabbis. She laments that the list reinforces the popular culture value that places greater worth on winning awards and pursuing status over living a wholesome, reward-
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 5, 2013
Hawthorne Elementary breaks ground on interactive garden
On March 2, Hawthorne Elementary started work on the Hornets’ Harvest, an interactive ADA-compliant school garden. The garden design and implementation is being completed by Jack San Fratello and the Hawthorne PTA. San Fratello is a Hawthorne alumnus who is earning his Eagle Scout Merit badge for Troop #15. Many parents from the Hawthorne community and helpers from San Fratello’s Boy Scout troop braved cold weather and snow flurries to rake, dig and prepare the ground for landscaping and construction. The Hornet’s Harvest is a welcome addition to Hawthorne, a full inclusion school serving students with both typical and special needs. It will be planted and harvested by students and integrated into the curriculum for years to come. Danielle Griffin and Garon Thelen of Bennett Design and Landscape provided expertise, labor, and equipment for the day and Atlanta Landscape Materials provided a discounted rate on materials.
Decatur High School’s robotics team, Global Dynamics, was the leader of the winning alliance at the FRC Georgia Peachtree Regional robotics competition. The team will travel to St. Louis for the World Championship April 24-27. Photo provided
A group of Decatur students will be going to St. Louis this month after an alliance of robots led by the Decatur High School (DHS) robotics team won first place in a regional competition in March. Global Dynamics, Decatur High’s team, won the Peachtree Regional FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), held March 14-16, and will compete in the international competition April 24-27. More than 300 FRC teams from around the world are expected to compete. In the March competition, which drew 60 teams from Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Texas, and South Carolina to the Gwinnett Civic Center, Global Dynamics won a best-of-three rounds in an alliance with team Reboot, a homeschool team from Atlanta, and Category 5, a team from North Charleston, S.C. The teams spent six weeks designing, prototyping and building their robots to complete this year’s challenge, Ultimate Ascent, starting with the FIRST Robotics Competition kick-off on Jan. 5. Robots used a combination of custom-fabricated materials, industrial controllers/actuators, sensors and motors to create a 120-pound machine designed to shoot discs up to 50 feet into 10-foot tall goals and to climb a 10-foot tall pyramid structure. Teams competed in alliances of three, with six robots on the field at a time.
Decatur High robotics team advances to world championship
DHS Robotics team captain Adam Garlow said the team’s robot was “designed for speed, maneuverability and accurate disc shooting.” “We have a hook for climbing the pyramid for 10 points; however, the focus is on highpercentage shooting in the 2- and 3-point zones,” Garlow said. “We purposefully designed our robot to be shorter than 28 inches so that it could drive underneath the pyramid and take the most direct path to the dispensers and goals. The robot is equipped with a potentiometer sensor that enables it to line up shots at known angles from known distances.” The Global Dynamics robot design won the tournament’s Delphi Engineering award, which recognizes engineering elegance that reinforces the principles of FIRST. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs programs to build selfconfidence, knowledge and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology and engineering, according to its website. The Decatur team’s sponsors include Johnson Research and Development, GE Energy, Teradata Corporation, Kimberly Clark Corporation, DeVry University, JCPenney, Lockheed Martin, Stability Engineering, and Georgia STEM Education Alliance. The team’s mentors and ad-
visors include head coach Jeremy Roberts of Qcept Technologies joined by coaches David Schaar, a Decatur High School teacher; and Sarah Roberts, a teacher with Youth Engaged in Science (YES!). Engineering mentors include Mike Yarnold, of GE Energy; DHS parent Lew Lefton, a Georgia Tech faculty member; parent Ken Craig of Turner Broadcasting; and Tahri Turner, a mechatronics student at Southern Polytechnic State University. Parent mentors include Robert Herndon, Kris Lewis, and Denise Garlow. Students on the team include Adam Garlow, J.T. Herndon, Daniel Easley, Billy Jacobsen, Akash Gudiseva, Darien Craig, Evan O’Brien, Nandi Salahuddin, Tony Loggins, Natalia Valenzuela, Max Brandwine, Danielle Major, Ruby Lewis, Simon Bell, Devon Holloway, Brandon Byars, James Weigle, Chloe Zhao, Conor Lacey, David Rigdon and Jonathan Saenger. To attend the championship event in April, the team will need to raise an additional $15,000 for travel, lodging, and registration costs. Businesses, organizations or individuals interested in helping to sponsor Global Dynamics’ trip to the 2013 FIRST World Championship should contact Jeremy Roberts at jeremybob@gmail. com, or Kris Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lakeside High students place at county PTA Reflections Contest
Twenty-one Lakeside High students placed at the county level of the PTA Reflections Contest. Of these 21, four students will be acknowledged as state finalists at the Georgia PTA State Reflections Awards Ceremony for their outstanding artistic merit. The finalists include Emma Heneine, 11th grade, literature; Sri Bhat, ninth grade, musical composition; Jacob Rogers, 10th grade, musical composition; and Kalie Chebib, 11th grade student, film/video production.
Lithonia High senior wins top prize at Microsoft’s Minority School Day
Lithonia High School senior Stephen Bines won first place in the essay contest for the 22nd Annual Blacks at Microsoft Minority School Day Event held March 1 at the Microsoft Corporation Office Building in Alpharetta. Lithonia seniors Stephen Bines, D’Ceita Daniels, Chardale Green, Malik Luke, Keira Neish and JeWaun Word attended the Blacks at Microsoft School Day event where all participants were required to write an essay in order to attend.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 5, 2013
Several students at DeKalb Early College Academy said they are grateful for the opportunity to two earn up to two years of college credit while in high school. The school, the only of its type in DeKalb, celebrated National Early College Week in March. Photos by Andrew Cauthen
Some DeKalb students graduate high school with associate degree
by Andrew Cauthen email@example.com At first, Jerusalem Mbungu, now 18, did not want to attend the DeKalb Early College Academy (DECA). At the end of her eighth-grade year, Mbungu’s middle school counselor suggested the school to her. Established in 2006, DECA is the only Early College High School in the DeKalb County School System and one of 11 in Georgia. The school has a dual enrollment partnership with Georgia Perimeter College. Upon completion of the four years, students will receive their high school diplomas and up to 60 credit hours of college credit with the possibility of earning an associate’s degree. “She showed me a brochure about DECA and she told me it would be a great opportunity for me to take advantage of,” Mbungu said. “I was supposed to show it to my parents. I initially didn’t want to go to DECA, so I tried to hide it from my parents. “They found it and signed me up and I’ve been here ever since,” she said. In ninth grade she found the school interesting. “I warmed up to it and I realized it was a great opportunity that I was presented with and if I took advantage of it, I would be ahead of everybody else in DeKalb County,” said Mbungu, who is on schedule to receive an associate’s degree in general studies May 3. “Receiving an associate’s degree, getting college hours, as well as my high school diploma at 18, that is fantastic too,” said Mbungu, who wants to major in predentistry at Kennesaw State University. It’s something to brag about.” DECA’s seniors were recognized during a special program March 29 as part of Early College High School Week 2013. “Coming to DECA has opened me up to a lot of opportunities—meeting new people, getting to know myself better as a person,” Mbungu said. She is the president of the National Honor Society and has served as a Student Government Association vice president, literary magazine editor, fashion show coordinator and mock trial lawyer. “I feel like if I had gone to a normal high school, I would not have been able to open up and express myself as I do here,” Mbungu said. Ninth-grader Samuel Nguyen, 14, said DECA allows students to “accomplish something in life.” “You get two years of high school and two years of college,” said Nguyen, whose siblings also attended DECA and encouraged him to attend. “You get a degree early and it’s good for your resume. “You get a lot of work but it’s a great school,” said Nguyen, who attended Stone Mountain Middle School last year. DECA is “one of the premier early colleges in the country,” said Dr. Sharon D. Riley Ordu, DECA’s principal and director. “We have 20 seniors on track to receive associate degrees from Georgia Perimeter College–14 by the end of the school year in May 2013, and six by the end of the summer semester at Georgia Perimeter,” Ordu said. The senior class consists of 40 students.
Students can only enroll at DECA as ninth graders. In the application process, which begins each February, prospective students must submit CRCT or other standardized test scores and an essay and cannot have had any major disciplinary problems during the prior two years, according to the school’s registrar, Nubia Gonney. The school, which usually accepts 100 ninth graders each year, currently has 260 students. Frederick Davis, 17, a senior at DECA, said the early college program is “definitely a wonderful experience.” “A lot of kids don’t have the opportunity to go to college,” Davis said. “[DECA] has really allowed me to get a chance at college.” “I see it as me getting closer to my money,” Davis said. “I have already eliminated my core classes, so I only have to stay in college two more years to get my bachelor’s degree and another two for my master’s. “Doing that is a great accomplishment,” he said. “It’s something to be proud of.” Davis said attending DECA “is an adaptation.” “You are working at a higher level and at a faster pace,” Davis said. “You have to learn a lot quicker than somebody else at a regular high school.” Davis said he has a friend at a traditional high school who never has homework. At DECA, there is always homework, always something for you to do,” Davis said. “We work hard to get what we get. “So, in a way, we’re better,” Davis said, laughing.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 5, 2013
DeKalb schools will keep traditional calendar, for now
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org than 30,000 responses to the online survey. Howe said, according to In its April 1 meeting, survey results, 68 percent the DeKalb County Board of teachers voted in favor of of Education reversed a a balanced calendar and 32 decision made by previous percent voted against it. Out board members last year. of several thousand parents The school board voted who were surveyed, Howe unanimously to keep the said, 59.4 voted in favor of traditional school calendar the traditional calendar and for now. 40.6 percent voted for the Dr. Kathleen Howe, balanced calendar. deputy superintendent over Some parents comcurriculum and instruction, plained that there wasn’t said the board’s decision enough time for the district will give the district time to to propose such drastic further evaluate the possible changes to a calendar that move from a traditional cal- had already been approved. endar to a balanced or yearIn October, the previround calendar. ous school board voted to “I appreciate the delay in move to a balanced school implementing any kind of calendar, which contains the new calendar,” said board same 180 school days as its member James MacMacurrent calendar. The new han. calendar would have been “What I’m going to do implemented for the 2013this summer is look at my 14 academic year, beginning personal family calendar on Aug. 5 and ending May and start to take notes from 29, 2014. Each semester a parent’s standpoint to see would have included an adwhat fits, what doesn’t fit, ditional week of vacation. what works, what would Currently, City Schools not work, and make sure the of Decatur and Rockdale district understands my per- County Public Schools have spective as a parent with the a balanced calendar. kids in camps and the older Board member John they get their looking for Coleman said, “My admitsummer jobs now,” MacMa- tedly rudimentary underhan said. standing in the research “I encourage all stakearound balanced calendars holders within DeKalb to is that year-round is better look at your summer and for student achievement besee what fits, what doesn’t cause long gaps of lack of fit, what could work,” he educational exposure cause said. a loss of retention especially The DeKalb County in lower income students School District (DCSD) was who don’t have access to planning to switch to a balsummer programming.” anced attendance calendar The school district curthis fall even though surveys rently strives “to address show a majority of parents that by having enrichment are against the change. and extended year programs In March 2012 former to fill that gap but the [theSuperintendent Cheryl Atory] behind the balanced or kinson tasked a committee year-round is we wouldn’t of stakeholders with consid- have that gap,” Howe said. ering a balanced calendar. “The common thread DCSD posted three calendar across year-round, summer options and a survey on its programs partnered with website asking stakeholdthe traditional [calendar] is ers to provide input and teacher quality—the quality vote on which calendar they of instruction,” Howe said. favored. When the survey “So we want to strive for closed after a week, the that.” district had received more
Mike Thurmond, DeKalb’s interim school superintendent, said he was surprised to learn that ‘nepotism’ is not currently mentioned in school district policy. Photo by Andrew Cauthen
DeKalb school board considering nepotism policy
als that were known.” Ward-Smith said it is “inappropriate for district employees, administrators, the superintendent, the Board of Education, to unduly influence employment decisions based upon familial or personal relationships.” Employees violating the proposed policy could face disclipinary action, including termination, Ward-Smith said. “Now this policy shall not be interpreted as to prohibit the employment of a qualified applicant due to a familial or personal relationship with a district employee as our goal is to seek the best qualified applicant for the position,” she said. “It’s not nepotism if a relative actually works for the district,” Thurmond said. “That is a point of great confusion. What we’re going to do is help people understand what it really means.” Nepotism occurs only when people who are not qualified are promoted or hired, Thurmond said. “This policy will protect honest, hardworking men and women who might be related to someone because now they are subject to all types of slander and innuendo simply because of that relationship,” Thurmond said.
an ongoing and consistent concern that over the years the culture of this district has been defined by that Interim DeKalb school Superintendent Mike Thur- practice.” Thurmond said he asked mond wants to eliminate the “actual or perceived” nepo- his staff to research which policies address nepotism, tism in the school district. In the many open houses how and if the policies are implemented, and what conand community meetings he has attended since taking sequences are in place for violators. over the position, “one of “The most surprising the issues that continually take-away from the represented itself on numerous search…was that currently occasions was a concern, the word ‘nepotism’ does whether real or imagined, not appear in board policy,” that hiring and promotions for contracts and opportuni- Thurmond said. There is “some allusion ty in the DeKalb school disto ‘conflict of interest’ but trict, was being influenced and determined by personal not a precise, specific proor family relationships, bet- hibition against nepotism,” ter known as the family and Thurmond said. “Sometimes silence is worth 1,000 friends policy,” Thurmond words. said during work a session “Unless we address this April 1. issue it’s going to be very, The school board heard very difficult to build trust, the first reading of an either externally or interamendment to the district’s nally, as it relates to the conflict of interest policy. administration of this school The proposed revision is being made to “provide and district,” Thurmond said. Dr. Tekshia Wardinform stakeholders that administration prohibits any Smith, the district’s chief employee from initiating or human resources officer, said. “The district has had participating in any decisions providing a direct ben- a longstanding reputation, perceived or actual, that efit to a relative or a person with whom they have a per- nepotism and an environsonal relationship,” accord- ment of preferential treating to the district’s website. ment exists, where promotions, transfers and salaries “I heard from staff. I were made, not based upon heard from stakeholders. I the merit of the actual indiheard it from elected officials,” Thurmond said. “It’s vidual, but rather individuby Andrew Cauthen email@example.com
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 5, 2013
Downtown Decatur was selected for Dishcrawl events because of its many locally owned restaurants within walking distance of each other. Chef/owner Chad Crete, pictured right, says he’s looking forward to welcoming diners who come by to sample the fare at The Iberian Pig. Photo by Kathy Mitchell
Dishcrawl celebrates food, family and community
by Kathy Mitchell firstname.lastname@example.org In 2010, Californian Tracy Lee decided she wanted to create a company to celebrate her favorite indulgence—food. The result was Dishcrawl, whose website tells Lee’s story this way: “At a young age, Tracy began realizing that there were two kinds of people, the kind that savored food and the kind that cannot tell the difference between Kobe beef and boiled cabbage. She immediately knew which side of the divide she was going to choose. Now her extensive startup experience, marketing background and technical know-how have culminated in Dishcrawl. She dreams of a world where she can share her passion for good food and equally excellent company around the world.” Dishcrawl (the pub crawl concept, modified to emphasize food rather than drink), offers foodies a chance to sample special offerings from local restaurants, moving from one to another over the course of the evening. “When I was planning to introduce the concept in the Atlanta area, I knew that one of the first places I wanted to go was Decatur with its reputation for great locally owned restaurants,” said Atlanta Dishcrawl Ambassador Ellie Hensley, who described Decatur as “a bustling neighborhood with a small-town feel and big city benefits, especially when it comes to their cuisine.” After a successful event in Marietta, Hensley is planning two in Decatur this month with possibly another in May. The first is scheduled for April 16 and a larger one—a variation on the Dishcrawl concept known as “Neighborfood”—comes to Decatur April 27. “A neighborhood is defined by the community within it, so for one night we will be inviting our neighbors to live it, love it, and eat in it,” Hensley said. Inspired by the Virginia Woolf quote “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well,” Neighborfood, according to Hensley, is a “celebration of food, family and the community we live in.” For events such as the one on April 16, participants buy a ticket for $45 and get to tour four restaurants that are within 10 minutes walking distance of each other, Hensley explained. “They’re a secret until the night of the event to build some suspense. Regular Dishcrawls usually have 25-40 people, and everyone gets to meet the chefs and try some specialties at each restaurant. The first three serve a trio of entrees, apps and/or sides, and the fourth place serves dessert—sometimes a trio, but not always. Dishcrawl’s ‘mission’ is to bring communities together over food, so we try to feature places with local flair, rather than big chains. They’re usually held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays so the restaurants will be less busy and able to accommodate us,” she said. The second Decatur event will be different from the first in several ways. In addition to the fact that it will be on a weekend, it will accommodate 100 or more participants, who will go on a self-guided tour, aided by a “treasure” map with “X”s marking the participating restaurants, each serving unique offerings. Because eight restaurants are included, diners will receive smaller samples—perhaps two to three bites of one specialty. Each ticket includes food at all locations. As with the pub crawl, those in the know advise participants to pace themselves. “You may only get a couple of ounces of one dish, but put it all together and it’s a lot of food. You leave full—Thanksgiving full,” Hensley said. Hensley added that at larger events such as the second one in Decatur, local nonprofits may benefit; 5 percent of the proceeds from the April 27 event will benefit Decatur’s Breakthru House, a long-term residenPUBLIC NOTICE tial recovery program for women. While the participating restaurants are normally kept secret until the night of the event, Hensley “leaked” that The Iberian Pig will be included in the Decatur Neighborfood. Chad Crete, the restaurant’s executive chef and managing partner, said he’s looking forward to presenting some favorite dishes tapas-style to participants. “My partners and I chose the Iberian theme for our restaurant because it reflects so many cuisines coming together in the area that encompasses Spain, Portugal and the southern coast of France. There are influences from other nearby countries as well. There really is no such thing as Spanish food—food in Spain draws on many traditions,” Crete said.
The Mayor and City Council of the City of Chamblee, Georgia will hold a public hearing on Thursday, April 11, 2013, at the Chamblee Civic Center, 3540 Broad Street, Chamblee, GA 30341 at 6:00 p.m. to receive public comments regarding the following zoning matters: 1) Appendix A, “Zoning Ordinance,” Section 512, “Single‐family residential detached height measurement”. The subject property is located at 3454 Hildon Circle. The applicant is requesting a variance to the threshold elevation of a new single‐family residence.
DeKalb Chamber of Commerce
The Voice of Business in DeKalb County
Two Decatur Town Center, 125 Clairemont Ave., Suite 235, Decatur, GA 30030 404.378.8000 www.DeKalbChamber.org
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 5, 2013
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 5, 2013
Redan pitcher Brandon Baker throws a pitch in the March 27 game against Columbia.
Redan second baseman James Nelson waits to run in the first inning.
Redan’s Brandon Baker waits for the pitch.
Redan picks up ninth win after 12-1 rout over Columbia
by Carla Parker email@example.com The Redan High School Raiders moved up in the Region 6-AAAA standings after defeating region rival Columbia High School March 27. The Raiders (10-3) came out swinging, hitting two home runs, in the 12-1 rout over the Columbia Eagles (9-2-2). Assistant coach Chris Hardnett was impressed with how aggressively his team played. “We knew Columbia was going to be a tough opponent,” he said. “We knew we had to come out and be aggressive with the bats. Luckily we came out and swung the bat really well today.”
Senior shortstop Wesley Jones started the first inning with a homerun with one on base, which gave the Raiders a 2-0 lead. Columbia’s pitcher, sophomore Jalen Atterbury, struggled with throwing the ball over the middle of the plate, giving up three walks in the first inning. Redan’s Trega Williams scored a run off Miles Fore’s RBI to give the Raiders a 3-0 lead. Nick Solomon, Bakari Gayle and Fore also had runs scored off RBIs to give Redan a 6-0 lead in the first inning. Atterbury continued to struggle in the second inning, walking two players and giving up a double to Fore with two on plate, giving the Raiders an 8-0 lead. Redan’s pitcher, senior Bran-
don Baker, had three straight strikeouts in the second inning with. After giving up another walk and an error, Atterbury delivered two straight strikeouts to slow Redan bats. Baker came out hot in the third inning with three more strikeouts. Redan started the fourth inning with another single by Fore and a homerun by Gayle that extended Redan’s lead to 10-0. Columbia head coach Steve Dennis then took out Atterbury and put in sophomore Jamal Devine. Devine didn’t fare well either, giving up a walk before Columbia ended the inning on a double play. Atterbury gave the Eagles their only run of the game off a Redan error.
The Raiders continued to hit well in the fifth inning and had all of the bases loaded. Devine gave up another walk and second baseman James Nelson walked home to extend the lead to 11-1. Fore added a RBI to give the Raiders a 12-1 lead and the win. Hardnett was impressed with Baker’s pitching and his team’s defensive play. “On the defensive end, we tried to play four runs or less and we did that today,” he said. “The last 10 games we haven’t given up more than three runs, and that’s what we try to do on the defensive end.” The Raiders also defeated Chamblee 9-1 on March 29 to take the lead in the region.
by Mark Brock
Dunwoody captures fifth consecutive DeKalb golf title
The Dunwoody Wildcats took home their fifth consecutive DeKalb County Golf Championship title and 11th overall by shooting a boys’ tournament record 301 on April 1 at Mystery Valley Golf Club. Senior Ryan Elmore led five Wildcats, who shot in the 70s, with a one-under-par 71 on the day to capture his fourth consecutive individual title as Dunwoody broke its own team low score of 310 set a year ago. Sophomore Marcus Byrd was second with a 75 followed by sophomores Peter Trask with a 77 in fifth and Corey Sullivan with a 78 in seventh. Junior Raul Oviedo carded a 79 good for a tie for eighth to be the fifth Wildcat to shoot under 80 for the day.
See Golf on Page 23A
Dunwoody boys’ golf team won its fifth consecutive and 11th overall DeKalb County Golf Championship title.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 5, 2013
Football and lacrosse star signs with Claremont McKenna College
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org ace Academy cornerback Jack “Tiger” Brown will move to California in the fall after signing a football scholarship with division III’s Claremont McKenna College. The 18-year-old from Decatur made the decision to commit to Claremont McKenna College after a visit to the school in October. “I fell in love,” he said. Brown first heard about the school from friends who were considering going to the school. His college counselor also suggested he should take a look at Claremont McKenna . “My counselor told me it was small college that was good academically and has a football program where I can possibly play,” he said. Last summer, Brown participated in the New England Elite Football Clinic in Massachusetts where he met one of Claremont McKenna’s coaches, which led to him visiting the school. “I felt so comfortable out there and all of the people there were great,” he said. “It was a family-oriented type community and it’s the type of place where I immediately stepped on campus and met people. It was a feeling I hadn’t gotten anywhere else.” Brown’s mother, Joanne , agreed that the school is a perfect fit for her son. “I know he is going to do great things there so I’m excited,” she said. “It’s great that he gets to play football but he also gets to be challenged academically in college.” Joanne Brown said she is proud of Tiger for fulfilling a goal he set at the beginning
Jack “Tiger” Brown
of his football career. “I’m proud that he put a goal in front of him and stuck with it,” she said. “He has always been a high achiever and he’s been
very consistent with his academics. So we were proud of him for being able to balance being a scholar [and] athlete.” Brown has a 3.7 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society. After years of playing soccer and basketball, Brown switched to football in the fourth grade. He said he fell in love with football after discovering an all football channel on cable television. “I spent a good few months over the summer only watching football, all day, every day,” he said. “Then I asked my parents if I can play football and they said yes.” Brown started playing football at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. He went on to play at Tucker Park. A friend introduced Brown to lacrosse in middle school and he began playing lacrosse at the Decatur Recreation League. Brown said it was an easy to transition to lacrosse because of the physicality that lacrosse and football share, but it was also difficult. “In lacrosse you are playing with a stick that is an extension of your arms and makes it a lot more difficult and it takes a while to get use to that,” he said. “But once I got the hang of that after about a month, it was a breeze.” Claremont McKenna College doesn’t have a collegiate lacrosse team but does have a club team that Brown plans to join. Brown said he is looking forward to the upcoming football season and being on his own. “I’m most excited about being on my own and basically being independent and making my own decisions for me to show my parents that what they have done for me has paid off,” he said.
Each week The Champion spotlights former high school players from the county who are succeeding in athletics on the college level.
Joseph McCrary, Savannah State (baseball): The senior outfielder from Redan had a total of three hits, four RBIs, and a triple in a double-header wins over Bethune-Cookman on March 30. He has a .324 batting average with 20 runs scored, 34 hits and 19 RBIs on the season. Brian Thomas, Morehouse (baseball): The junior pitcher and fielder from Southwest DeKalb had two hits and two RBI in the 9-3 win over Kentucky State on March 30. Thomas has six runs scored, nine hits and six RBIs on the season. Elise Labus, Brevard (tennis): The senior from Dunwoody defeated Lenoir-Rhyne’s Lacey Lapp 3-2 in three sets on March 28. Labus lost the first set 1-6 but came back to win the next two sets, 6-2 and 10-4. She is 4-7 overall.
The Champion chooses a male and female high school Athlete of the Week each week throughout the school year. The choices are based on performance and nominations by coaches. Please e-mail nominations to email@example.com by Monday at noon. MALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Ryan Elmore, Dunwoody (golf): The senior shot a one-under-par 71 in the DeKalb County Golf Championship on April 1 to capture his fourth consecutive individual title and help lead Dunwoody to its fifth consecutive county title. FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Jada Martin, M.L. King (track & field): The senior sprinter placed first in the 100-meter dash (11.78) and 200-meter dash (24.21) at the DeKalb County High School Track and Field Championships on April 1.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 5, 2013
uTRACK & FIELD
Stephenson boys, Dunwoody girls win county high school track titles
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org Stephenson boys and Dunwoody girls track and field teams both ended streaks April 1 by winning the boys’ and girls’ titles at the 2013 DeKalb County High School Track and Field Championships at Panthersville Stadium. The Dunwoody Lady Wildcats ended Southwest DeKalb’s streak of six consecutive county titles, scoring 94 points to win their first county title in approximately 20 years. Miller Grove came in second with 75 points and Redan scored one more point than Cedar Grove to claim third place with 66 points. Southwest DeKalb fell to sixth place with 41 points Dunwoody girls’ head coach Antonio McKay said it felt great to win after being runner ups in the 2012 county championship and will carry this momentum into the region and state tournaments. “This will prepare us for the region and the state,” he said. “We have a very good team, a young team and it’s a team effort. So we feel good about that.” Dunwoody got a victory on the first day of competition, March 30, with senior Erin Berger winning the pole vault event (9-00.00), while junior Victoria Culver placed second (8-00.00). The Lady Wildcats’ 4x100 meter relay got it going early for
Stephenson boys (left) and Dunwoody girls took home track and field titles at the 2013 DeKalb County High School Track and Field Championships.
Dunwoody in the finals, clocking in at first with a time of 48.47. Then junior Alex Cameron followed that win with a first place victory in the 1600-meter run, clocking in at 5:05.70. Cameron also won the 3200-meter run (11:19.33). Freshman Lauren Jackson added to Dunwoody’s score with a win in the 800-meter run (2:15.62). Miller Grove’s second place finish was led by junior Tiffany Flynn’s win in the 100-meter hurdles (14.68) and the long jump (1900.50). Sophomore Sarai Blissett also gave Miller Grove a first place victory in the high jump (4-10.00). Crystal Gray’s win in the 400-meter dash (56.85) led Redan to third place.
Stephenson boys’ wins in the 100-meter dash, the 4x100-meter relay, and the long jump helped the Jaguars outscore Southwest DeKalb 86-71 for first place, ending Dunwoody’s county winning streak at two. Stephenson head coach Donald Sellers Sr. said it felt wonderful to be back in the winner’s circle. Stephenson’s last state title came in 2002 and Sellers hope this win will motivate the team at regionals and state. “It’s a motivation knowing that we can achieve something now and we’ll just continue to add on what we’ve built on for this particular meet,” he said. Freshman Denzel Harper (22-
04.00) and junior Glen Cameron (21-09.25) won first and second respectively in the long jump on the first day of competition. The 4x100meter relay team (42.53) started off the last day of competition with a win, followed by junior Jared Tucker placing first in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.86. Senior Jacques Williams’ wins in the 1600 (4.28.17) and 3200 (10.05.48) meter dash runs helped lead Southwest DeKalb to second place. The team also got a first place finish from senior Brandon Dorsey in the triple jump. Lakeside finished third with 65 points behind senior Jeff Jernigan’s first place finish in the pole vault (14-07.00).
Golf Continued From Page 21A
Lakeside put together a team score of 313, which tied for third best in tournament history to finish runner-up for the fifth consecutive year since winning the title in 2007. Senior Austin Bowman paced the Vikings’ efforts with a team low 76 to take third in the overall standings. Freshman Drew Smith won a card playoff to take sixth with his total of 78 while John Choate was tied for eighth with his round of 79. Senior Peter Pappas shot a round of 80 to finish 10th overall for the Vikings. Arabia Mountain junior Darius Davis put together a score of 77 on the day to finish fourth overall and lead the Rams to a third place finish in the team standings. Chamblee totaled 387 as a team to take fourth with senior Yead Al-Shariff leading the way with an 89 to tie for 16th overall in the individual standings. Stephenson freshman Kenneth Clark scored an 83 which was good for 11th overall to lead Stephenson to a fifth place finish and a team total of 390. Druid Hills was sixth with a team score of 398 as senior Daniel Skelton paced the Red Devils with an 85 to finish 12th overall. Tucker was the final team to qualify, finishing in seventh with a team total of 448. Columbia’s Sarah Kuranga captured her third individual girls’ title in four years and second consecutive by breaking 80 with a score of 79. Kuranga also won the title in 2010 and
Lakeside girls’ golf team won their second consecutive and fifth overall DeKalb County Golf Championship title.
2012. Chamblee junior Kayla McClendon was second with a round of 101 and Martin Luther King Jr.’s Tyler Jackson, a junior, put together a 109 on the day to finish third. The Lakeside Lady Vikings won their fifth title overall and second consecutive with a 236251 victory over Arabia Mountain.
Senior Caroline Malone paced the Lady Vikings with a 113 which was good for fourth overall while junior Dahye Jung was seventh overall with a 123. Arabia Mountain senior Geselle Coleman was fifth with a 120 and Redan junior Sabontu Ahmado rounded out the award winners in sixth place with a 121.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 5, 2013
M.L King High alums speak to students about life after high school
by Carla Parker email@example.com Martin Luther King Jr. High School seniors got a small glimpse into life after high school on March 28. More than 20 M.L. King High alums came back to their old stomping grounds for the third annual Ready For Tomorrow event. The event allows alumni to share with the seniors the experiences that they went through after receiving their diplomas. The alums were set up in groups of four and had four sessions with the students in which they discussed preparing for college, personal responsibility and social responsibility. The event was sponsored by “Together We Accomplish More” (TWAM). TWAM’s founder Marcais Frazier started the organization as a student organization during his junior year at M.L. King. “Back in 2003 we thought it would be a good opportunity for us to come together as a school to give us an opportunity of unity on a student level,” Frazier said. “As we were developing during high school there were a lot of things that we didn’t have: the culture, the legacy and the tradition that traditional high schools have. We didn’t have that yet, so we needed to create it.” Senior Alexis McDonald said the sessions were very motivating and positive. “All of the speakers had great knowledge and wisdom,” she said. “I learned that if you stay focused, follow your passion and your heart then everything would just fall into place the way it should.” Frazier said he has received nothing but positive feedback from students, the alumni, teachers and school administrators. “The students really see it as an opportunity to almost talk to an older brother or an older sister about specific things that they don’t feel comfortable talking about with their teacher, parent or another adult,” he said. “They feel that they can relate to us because we came from MLK, or we’re close to their age, or we’re just relatable to the culture. “From a mentoring perspective the alumni see this as an opportunity to really be a part of something that has given to them,” Frazier added. “And that’s what I try to create. I try to create an opportunity for young adults to actually operate in this space of social change and I thought, ‘what a wonderful model to bring people who has just gone through the experience to come back and talk about their experiences and share with the younger generation.’”
Martin Luther King Jr. High School seniors listen to an alumna during the “Ready For Tomorrow” event. Photo by Carla Parker
M.L. King opened in 2001 and the students at that time had to create a legacy and tradition for the school. Frazier added that he and his classmates wanted to bring students from different neighborhoods, backgrounds and high schools together under the one umbrella of TWAM. “The organization evolved into this kind of a peer-on-peer mentoring organization where we would talk about current events, life events and personal stories and develop some type of conclusion around it.”
In the first three sessions, the female high school seniors got an opportunity to hear from the female alums and the male student heard from the male alums. The fourth session allowed students to hear from the opposite sex to get a different perspective. Senior Tieyra Sweet said the sessions were informative. “I learned a lot about life and the college experience after high school,” she said. “I’ll take the information I received with me to help me grow and become a better person.”