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WWW.CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER.COM • FRIDAY, APRIL 12 , 2013 • VOL. 16, NO. 3 • FREE
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Academic program helps high school athletes improve grades, test scores
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org
or some high school athletes it can be a struggle to balance academics and sports, which may lead to below average grades. Many junior and senior athletes expect to receive multiple athletic scholarship offers from some of the top football programs in the country. However, that scholarship from the school of their choice may not come because of bad grades and low test scores. That is where the Student Athletic Program (SAP) National comes in to play. SAP National, which was created by former educator LaTashae Walker in 2010, is a non-profit organization that focuses on bridging the gap between academics and athletics. Walker, who was an educator for 10 years, said the idea of the program came to her while she was teaching in DeKalb County. “As a teacher I worked closely with mostly athletes,” she said. “I was responsible for study tables and making sure that the students were doing well in class. And while working with those students I noticed that there was a great need for athletes.” Walker said it was hard for the athletes to manage homework and athletics at the same time with pressure coming from their coaches, teachers and parents. “I felt like in order for them to be successful there should be some type of additional support system in place just for athletes,” she said. She then created SAP National. The program was designed to supports the needs of the students and parents through mentorship, psychological and sociological development, college preparation, and sports education. As a teacher, Walker said, she also noticed that a lot of parents waited until the last minute to prepare their child for college. “Because they have been playing Little League, then transition to middle school then high school, time is going by, but academically they are also behind and now they are trying to play catch up as ju-
Students at the Action Sports Academy in Stone Mountain receive SAT and ACT tutorial through the Student Athletic Program (SAP) National. Photo provided
Arrest made in shooting of Columbia High senior
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com
See Academics on Page 15A
Lt. Mark Lavigne, a detective on the case, said the SUV was stolen the morning of the shooting from DeKalb County Police Chief a location in DeKalb County and Cedric Alexander said the 18-year- recovered the next day in a different old Columbia High School student county. Lavigne said multiple shots gunned down March 28 was an were fired during the incident. unintended victim of gang-related “We had an outreach from the violence. community and through multiple inPolice arrested and charged a terviews we were able to determine 16-year-old male with murder April the suspect,” Lavigne said. “Some1 for allegedly participating in the one he was with in that group was drive-by shooting that killed Domithe intended target.” nique Boyer. Detectives believe there may be The suspect’s name has not been several more people who may be released due to the ongoing investiable to provide information about the gation. shooting. According to police, Boyer was The apartment complex, alDeKalb County Police Chief Cedric with a group of friends at the Austin though it now bears a different Alexander discusses the details related Oaks Apartments, located at 4371 name, is the same location where to the death of Dominique Boyer at a Glenwood Road. At approximately DeKalb County Police officers Eric recent news conference. 4:45 p.m., officers were called to the Barker, 34, and Ricky Bryant Jr., apartment complex and found Boyer 26, were shot to death while working involved in [illegal activity], not just suffering from a gunshot wound; he as off-duty security officers in 2008. in that complex, but in and around other areas too.” was transported to a local hospital William Woodard was later found Although the suspect is a juwhere he later died. guilty of murdering the officers and “He was just totally an unintend- sentenced to spend the rest of his life venile, detectives said he will be charged as an adult and his name ed victim in all of this who just hap- in prison. pened to be subject to this violence,” Alexander said he couldn’t com- will be released as soon as police are able to identify the others involved Alexander said. “At this time, detec- ment on what the police department in the incident. tives are actively following up leads had done since Barker and Bryant’s “Sometimes you can get in front and we’re asking the public to assist deaths to make the apartment comof these types of events but then us in identifying additional suspects plex and the surrounding area safer. there are times when, more often who may be connected to this case.” However, he stated that there have than not, you can’t because they’re Alexander said police have renot been any other major incidents so unpredictable and they’re so covered a tan Mercury Mountaineer, since the officers’ deaths. much in the moment…but we’re which witnesses identified as the “We’ve given a great deal of Because she gets her news updates online from the The Champi working this,” Alexander said. vehicle used in the shooting. Police attention to that complex and that Police are asking anyone with spokesman Mekka Parish said wit- herwhole area. This is just a very, Because she gets news updates online from thevery The Champion. information regarding the incident to nesses saw a passenger in the SUV sad incident that occurred,” AlexBecause she gets her news updates online from the The Champion. call Crime Stoppers Atlanta at (404) firing from the car in the direction of ander said. “We are doing some 577-8477 or contact the DeKalb the group. Boyer was the only pervery progressive things as we speak www.facebook.com/championnewspaper County Police Department. son struck. right now to go after those that are
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 12, 2013
City’s ﬁrst police chief:
Ready to build a police department from ground up
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org Brookhaven Police Chief Gary Yandura has never built a police department from the ground up. But that didn’t stop him from applying to be the city’s first police chief. “To me it was a challenge and an area that I was familiar with,” he said. “I just enjoy the opportunity of building a police department from the ground up.” Yandura, 58, was named the city’s first police chief on April 2. City Manager Marie L. Garrett selected Yandura after reviewing 98 applications from around the nation and interviewing 10 finalists. The Chicago native has been in law enforcement for 38 years, which included years as chief of police in Hiram and College Park. He started his law enforcement career in Lake Forest, Ill., where he spent 24 years. “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 [of making Brookhaven safer],” Mayor J. Max Davis said. Although Yandura has never started a police department, he has been involved in revamping and restructuring one. He is credited with reducing crime during his first tenure as College Park’s chief. “You’re starting from basically ground zero,” he said about building a police department. “You’ve got to hire officers, you’ve got to get equipment, you’ve got to get all of the legalities taken care of as far as the ordinances that are in place, street certification for the use of speed detection devices, you’ve got to make sure officers are properly trained, purchase equipment, and all those types of things.” In addition, Yandura 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. He said the first thing he plans to do as chief is put together a solid command staff. City officials previously conducted a study of how many officers the city
See Chief on Page 8A Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis announced Gary Yandura as the city’s first police chief on April 1.
One of the keys to beating breast cancer, is knowing where you stand. The other is knowing where to go.
The newly expanded Comprehensive Breast Care Center at DeKalb Medical at Hillandale is proud to offer state-of-the-art technology for early detection, including digital mammography. And behind all of our technology and equipment, are equally phenomenal people, like our compassionate Nurse Navigators and nationally-acclaimed breast surgeons. From individualized treatment plans to even seemingly small acts – down to providing stylish patient robes and calming music during screenings – our attention to detail continues to set us apart from other hospitals. Because we believe in caring about people, not just for them. For a comprehensive virtual tour of our Breast Care Center, please visit dekalbmedicalhillandale.org, then call 404-501-2660, to schedule your annual mammogram, today.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 12, 2013
Dunwoody passes new ethics regulations
by Carla Parker email@example.com The Dunwoody City Council unanimously approved a new set of regulations during its meeting on April 1. The decision comes after months of ethics arguments among the city council members. The new ordinance “improves the city’s method of filing an ethic complaint,” said Dunwoody spokesman Bob Mullen. According to city officials, the new process begins with the city clerk receiving and logging the complaint. The clerk then sends the complaint to the city attorney within seven days. In the previous process, the city attorney would return the complaint to the complainant with instructions to correct the submission without prejudice and the complainant could appeal to the hearing officers. Now, the city attorney reviews the complaint for compliance with technical requirements. The complaint then goes to the hearing officer, who reviews the complaint to determine whether it is justified within 15 days of receiving it. Previously, the hearing officer would conduct an investigation and hearing and, if appropriate, make a recommendation for discipline to the ethics board. If the hearing officer determines the complaint to be unjustified it will be dismissed with prejudice. The complainant can appeal to the state superior court if he or she is not satisfied with the decision. If the hearing officer believes the complaint is justified, the complaint then goes to the ethics board. The ethics board now serves as a jury during the hearing, determines whether the complaint has been proven after receiving the hearing officer’s findings, conclusions and recommendations, within 10 days. The ethics board will then make a recommendation for the city council for discipline within five days. The city council will accept, amend or reject the ethics board’s recommendation for discipline within 30 days. On June 21, 2012, Dunwoody City Councilwoman Adrian Bonser filed an ethics complaint against Mayor Mike Davis and the rest of the city council, alleging that several meetings held the past six months were held illegally. Bonser, who was facing an ethics investigation, alleged the city council held an illegal meeting Feb. 3, 2012, to discuss a real estate deal, then again in May 2012 when it met to discuss the ethics charges pending against her. An investigation report, released May 21, 2012, stated that Dunwoody City Attorney Brian Anderson and Bonser were responsible for alleged leaks from an executive session about a complex land transaction involving the sale of portions of a 16acre farm known as the PVC Farm to purchase a 19-acre parcel of property in an area known as Georgetown. Bonser denied leaking the information, but later admitted in November 2012 to leaking the information. As a result of the investigation Anderson settled with the city and was awarded a severance package of two months’ salary and benefits totaling approximately $29,000. As part of a settlement with Bonser, Davis and the rest of the city council, she has agreed to drop her complaint against the mayor. The city conducted a review of its ethics policies as part of the dismissal terms signed by Bonser, Davis and the five other council members and Davis and all members of the city council agreed to undergo training on the Georgia Open Meetings Act. The investigation cost tax payers nearly $50,000.
DeKalb County Police officer arrested for allegedly beating teen
by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org A former DeKalb County Police officer was arrested in Walton County for allegedly beating and choking his girlfriend’s teenage son. Matthew R. Davy was arrested March 28 and charged with aggravated assault and cruelty to children in the first degree. According to an indictment, Davy beat the 13-year-old boy in the head and chest and also choked him until he passed out. The indictment also states that Davy caused the child “cruel and excessive physical and mental pain by knocking said child to the ground with his hands and feet” and striking and choking the child. Although the two are not related, prosecutors have labeled it a family violence incident because Davy and the child were living in the same household at the time of the incident. According to police, Davis was reprimanding the boy for reportedly pulling a knife on another child. On Oct. 8, 2012, Walton County sheriff’s deputies were called to a home in the 5000 block of Forest Ridge Drive in Loganville where a dispute between the boy and a friend and two young girls was under way. Upon being told to leave the property by the girls’ mother, witnesses said the young man pulled out the weapon. Davy was then called over to the home, where he argued with the mother before beating the boy in the front yard. DeKalb County Police Department spokeswoman Mekka Parish said Davy had been on administrative leave since the incident and resigned March 28, shortly after being arrested.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 12, 2013
Accreditation means a quality, standardized education
by Mark Elgart School accreditation is an honor, a mark of distinction as well as an acknowledgement that the education offerings of a school, school system, college or university meet standards, benchmarks and performance criteria in the advancement of student achievement. In the United States, for K-12 schools, accreditation is also completely voluntary, and all accrediting agencies are selected and invited to review and accredit by the school or school system seeking or maintaining that accreditation. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) was founded in 1895 at the Georgia Institute of Technology. SACS is one of six regional accrediting agencies recognized by the federal government. Following a merger in 2006, the K-12 division of SACS (SACS CASI) is now part of AdvancED, which accredits more than 32,000 institutions in 71 countries, serving in excess of 20 million students worldwide, including 30 of the 50 largest school systems in the United States. The accreditation process was designed as a collegial peer review and continuous improvement process, intended to maintain as well as to enhance student outcomes. Our organization has 41 field offices across the United States and internationally, and in a typical year, our professional staff work with nearly 18,000 trained professional volunteers to conduct accreditation reviews and field visits. Accreditation reviews examine the institution’s teaching and assessing practices, the purpose and direction of an institution, whether its governance and leadership are functioning effectively in accordance with established policies, whether data is used to support improvement, and resources and support systems for students. During the fall semester of 2012, AdvancED performed 1,200 of these reviews, with many of these schools or schools systems experiencing challenges, being placed under review or on accredited probation. Only one of these systems was placed on accredited probation primarily over governance concerns, and that was the DeKalb County School District. Our review structure allows for a period of appeal when a school system differs with our findings of fact or our recommendations for improvement. In the case of our December 2012 review of the DeKalb County School District, the system had the opportunity to appeal our findings, but chose not to do so. As a result, the system accepted our findings and committed to making the necessary improvements. The most significant areas in need of improvement are student achievement, fiscal responsibility and governance. AdvancED/SACS CASI works closely with the leadership and stakeholders of any educational institution toward improving student performance. We believe that it remains possible for the DeKalb County School District to effectively address its current challenges and achieve success in meeting the needs of its urban population of growing diversity. AdvancED/SACS CASI accreditation is accepted globally, though we are not the only accrediting agency in Georgia, nor do we accredit every school or school system. In the Atlanta Public Schools, we accredit the high schools but do not accredit the elementary and middle schools. Therefore, during the CRCT cheating scandal in 2009-2010, we had no jurisdiction. Much like the college diploma or possibly higher degree that may adorn your den or office wall, that diploma is only valued as highly as the curriculum, criteria for graduation and accreditation of the awarding institution. Without accreditation, students may have difficulty transferring state to state and may not meet admission, financial aid or scholarship requirements. The needs of students are changing as they prepare to be successful in our diverse world. In Georgia and across our nation, we are on the edge of a major shift in the current education system, which is largely institutionally focused, to a system focused on the learner. This will require significant changes in the utilization of resources and perhaps a reconfiguration of thousands of schools and school systems. When accreditation began, ours was largely an agrarian economy. In the South, most children were never even expected to reach high school graduation. Today there is an almost universal expectation of post-secondary education, and yet, we are still using a system designed for those earlier outcomes. This must change. As a former teacher and school principal, I also realize that real and lasting change in large organizations or a bureaucracy is typically incremental and can take considerable time. As we watch the children of Asia and parts of Europe pull away from our children in terms of performance, aptitude and ability, do we really want to wait that long? As a parent with two children in public schools, I don’t. Dr. Mark Elgart is the founding president and CEO of AdvancED, the parent organization for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement as well as the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement and the Northwest Accreditation Commission headquartered in Alpharetta.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 12, 2013
They are unfortunately dead wrong. Price matters, and you certainly have to be competitive with the market in any industry, but time and again there are examples that demonstrate consumers will pay more—day in and day out—if they are satisfied with the company as well as the product or service they receive. The average Chick-fil-A meal is $1 to $3 higher than a competitive entree from many others in their fast food category. You can’t find a parking space in most any Chick-fil-A at meal time, and they are routinely the most highly ranked in customer satisfaction. Starbucks gets nearly three to five times the cost of a typical large coffee served by a convenience store, and more than 10 times your cost of brewing at home. How often do you see an empty Starbucks? Cadillac, BMW and Lexus are three luxury auto brands that held their own during this record recession. Delta and many of its peers and competitors in the travel and hospitality industries completely get the importance of rewarding and incentivizing their most loyal customers. And yet there are entire industries that seem stuck in the groove, year in and year out, that the only great customer is their newest customer. If you receive mobile phone, cable, high speed internet or satellite television in your home or office—or even if you simply open your mailbox—you will be inundated with offers to switch, offers to change providers or add services, and yet these incredible packages and bundle deals are not offered to existing customers. These mobile phone, natural gas, cable and internet providers as a result have extremely high rates of customer churn. This means on average that these companies will spend hundreds, sometimes thousands in rebates, price breaks and other incentives to woo a new customer to sign on the dotted line—and yet, what is offered to their existing customer? Nuttin’, honey. I was involved in Georgia in the de-regulation of the natural gas industry. On paper, competition was to drive natural gas prices down, and levels of customer service up. In reality, that dream is about as fictional as The Gas Guy. Fracking and new domestic natural gas supplies have driven prices dramatically down. Gas marketers, including Georgia’s largest, Georgia Natural Gas, simply raised their monthly customer service fees, and employed an almost nonsensical methodology of posting and advertising their monthly per therm gas prices. And while the commodity price is dropping consistently across the globe, here in Georgia prices from marketers rise, drop and spike with little relation to the price of the commodity. New and “switching customers” are offered rebates and temporary waivers for moving their accounts. Existing customers? A free hot poker. I will mention that Georgia Natural Gas has had great success borrowing a customer loyalty award from another great Atlanta-based company, rewarding Delta SkyMiles to their monthly gas customers. So to any big business marketing VP or CFO trying to figure out the next cost corner to cut, here is a big idea, at no cost, almost guaranteed to lower your churn and increase your per customer profitability. At the end of each year, send existing customers of one-year or more an electronic thank you note. Perhaps consider a reduction of 5 percent in their fees or a “one month free” in gratitude for their loyalty. Don’t ask anything in return; simply make sure you are clear that you value their business. Sit back and watch your stock warrants and options move out from under water. You’re welcome. Bill Crane also serves as a political analyst and commentator for Channel 2’s Action News, WSB-AM News/Talk 750 and now 95.5 FM, as well as a columnist for The Champion, Champion Free Press and Georgia Trend. Crane is a DeKalb native and business owner, living in Scottdale. You can reach him or comment on a column at billcrane@ earthlink.net.
One Man’s Opinion
“It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.”—automagnate Henry Ford (1863-1947) Virtually every small business person I know understands the obvious lesson that I am about to share with you. The best and easiest customer for your next sale is an existing and established customer. Having been an entrepreneur myself for nearing five years now, I can also add that virtually all of my referrals come from existing and prior customers. Building and maintaining those relationships, as well as the credibility and viability of your core business, are critical to the success of most any enterprise. That said, on the big business end of our economy, it appears that the majority of folks making the decisions believe that consumers care only about price. Toward that end, these manufacturing and service concerns will make significant effort to strip away any and all costs before they ultimately deliver their product.
Let Us Know What You Think!
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS encourages opinions from its readers. Please write to us and express your views. Letters should be brief, typewritten and contain the writer’s name, address and telephone number for veriﬁcation. All letters will be considered for publication.
Send Letters To Editor, The Champion Free Press, P. O. Box 1347, Decatur, GA 30031-1347; Send E-Mail to Kathy@dekalbchamp.com FAX To: (404) 370-3903 Phone: (404) 373-7779 Deadline for news releases and advertising: Thursday, one week prior to publication date. EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions written by columnists and contributing editors do not necessarily reﬂect the opinions of the editor or publishers. The Publisher reserves the right to reject or cancel any advertisement at any time. The Publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts.
Publisher: Dr. Earl D. Glenn Managing Editor: Kathy Mitchell News Editor: Andrew Cauthen Production Manager: Kemesha Hunt Graphic Designer: Travis Hudgons The Champion Free Press is published each Friday by ACE III Communications, Inc., 114 New Street, Suite E, Decatur, GA. 30030 Phone (404) 373-7779.
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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 12, 2013
Champion of the Week
Feed the Homeless and Hungry along with other organizations throughout metro Atlanta, which all have led to my work with the DeKalb Community Service Board.” Explaining how she decides where she’ll direct her volunteering energy, HodgePenn said, “My primary consideration is passion about the services the organization provides. I often consider the needs of the organization and how my skills and abilities can be utilized to fulfill those needs and time commitment required.” Hodge-Penn is active in several civic, community and professional organizations and said she was inspired to volunteer with DeKalb CSB because through it, “residents of DeKalb County are able to get the assistance needed to end addiction, live productive lives and be immersed into the community in ways that otherwise would not be attainable.” Since 2006, she has been employed by the Technical College System of Georgia’s Office of Adult Education. She holds a master’s degree in counseling/human relations from Liberty University and is a doctoral candidate
Man who hired hit man found guilty on all counts
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com A DeKalb County man was convicted April 9 of hiring a hit man who killed the wrong person in 2011. Antiwan Dontabiya Lane was found guilty of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and criminal solicitation. He was sentenced to life plus 10 years in prison. Lane paid hit man Kevin Stallworth $10,000 to kill Hector Gonzalez, a man he thought was having an affair with his wife. Instead, Stallworth shot Gonzalez’s cousin Ivan Perez, believing him to be Gonzalez, at the Point at Perimeter Apartments located at 100 Ashford Gables Drive. Police said Perez was shot several times at approximately 3:43 p.m. Dec. 26, 2011, outside of Building 8 of the apartment complex after being confronted by Stallworth. He was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead. A spokesman from the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office said Stallworth, who was listed as a co-defendant on the indictment, has pleaded guilty. During the trial, defense attorneys argued that detectives influenced Stallworth to identify Lane, also known as “Punkin D,” during a jailhouse interrogation. “He suggests that’s [Punkin] D in the video my client never even mentions the name [Punkin] D,” defense attorney Max Richardson said. Richardson also claimed that Stallworth was nothing more than a drug addict out to rob Perez. Much of the case centered on extensive cellular phone evidence that identified conversations between Lane and Stallworth prior to, and after the murder. “Just after the murder he received a phone call from ‘D’ and we were trying to identify who ‘D’ was. We suspected somebody hired him and they used different names,” said Dunwoody Detective Ronny DeLima. One witness was placed under arrest after refusing to testify April 4. Witness Joseph Harris said he was afraid of Lane, whom he said had threatened to kill him. DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Clarence Seeliger later barred the public from the courtroom to allow Harris to testify. DeKalb County Assistant District Attorney Robert Statham III said Lane was responsible for everything that happened. “He hired a dumb guy who was stupid enough to shoot the wrong guy and drop his phone at the scene,” Statham said during closing arguments.
Melissa Hodge-Penn, a longtime resident of DeKalb County, was sworn in a few weeks ago as the newest member of DeKalb County’s Community Service Board (CSB), which provides mental health services within the county, but volunteering is far from a new venture for her. “My experiences volunteering began as a child at my church,” she recalled. “My parents were very active in missionary work, and providing services to others was a natural part of my environment. As I grew older, I was able to participate in organized work through the Girl Scouts, Hosea Williams
for public administration. Despite her busy schedule she makes time for volunteer work. “I build my volunteer work into my daily life, whether it is my networking, researching information or providing financial support,” she explained, noting that her “networking abilities, broad knowledge of service oriented agencies and an ability to generate ideas fostering real solutions to sustain and increase services offered by organizations” make her especially valuable as a volunteer. Hodge-Penn said she volunteers because she believes she has a responsibility to the community at large to make a positive impact. “What is most rewarding for me is having a sense of purpose and knowing that I have made an effort to improve someone’s life,” she said. She encourages others to do what they can for their communities. “My advice to any individual who is considering volunteering in the community is to seek out an organization that provides services they are passionate about and commit to doing something,” she said.
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 12, 2013
‘Kidz Karnival’ in Brookhaven Alpha Phi Omega, a national service fraternity, will be hosting a Kidz Karnival for children ages 12 and younger on Oglethorpe University’s campus on Saturday, April 13. The Kidz Karnival will be held 1-5 p.m. and will offer activities for children, including to a bouncy house, food, sack races, bean bag toss, water guns, and a temporary tattoo booth. Entrance for each child will be $5 and food will be sold separately. Sixty percent of the proceeds will be donated to a local charity. Oglethorpe University is located at 4484 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta. For more information, email email@example.com.
Expert to give couponing advice
Stone Mountain CID partners with businesses to upgrade landscaping Shovels are turning dirt and crews are working to increase the curb appeal of commercial properties in the Stone Mountain Community Improvement District (CID). The CID is working directly with owners of convenience stores and gas stations to install new landscaping and complete other repairs in highly visible public right-of-way areas. These property owners and the CID are jointly funding the improvement costs. Tizaz Woldu, who owns a Texaco located in the CID, was the first to join the landscaping effort. He said he hopes other owners will see the value in making similar improvements. “I think this is great,” Woldu said. “It’s great for us, and it would be great for other businesses in our community.” Currently, the CID is focused on spaces at the following intersections: Hugh Howell Road at Mountain Industrial Boulevard; Hugh Howell Road at Tucker Industrial Boulevard; Mountain Industrial Boulevard at East Ponce de Leon Avenue (Woldu’s Texaco); and Mountain Industrial Boulevard at Hirsch Drive. Jack Kaiser of Pattillo Grounds Management, who is planning the landscaping projects, said the partnering businesses have expressed excitement to join in the community beautification plans. “These are key corner properties located at some of our high-profile intersections,” Kaiser said. “We are sharing the work and accomplishing much with plantings and clean up. These are great upgrades benefiting the area’s overall attractiveness.” The CID is already in communication with other owners who have expressed an interest in pursuing similar projects. These efforts are in addition to the CID-funded landscape maintenance and roadway cleaning that occurs regularly throughout the district.
Church sponsors Food Truck Night The food truck Good-N-Stuffed will be in the Shallowford Presbyterian Church parking lot Wednesday night, April 17, at 6 p.m., for Food Truck Wednesday Night at Shallowford. Meals are $5 per child younger than 12 and $8 per adult with a $25 maximum per family. There will be outdoor games for all ages. The community is invited. Daniel Morrison, the food truck’s owner and the father of one of Shallowford’s families, is currently recovering from extensive surgeries after a traffic accident. This event will help support the family in their time of need. Shallowford Presbyterian Church is located at 2375 Shallowford Road, Atlanta. For more information, call (404) 321-1844 or visit www. shallowford.org. Symposium to focus on local issues Neighborhood Nexus, along with the Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE), will participate in Emory University’s first Atlanta Studies Symposium on April 26 in Emory’s Robert W. Woodruff Library. The symposium seeks to convene an interdisciplinary meeting of scholars and community activists concerned with issues related to Atlanta. The symposium will highlight the wealth of resources available in the community as they relate to population, education and metropolitan ecologies, to name a few. Neighborhood Nexus and PSE will discuss the tools at their disposal, including Neighborhood Nexus’ interactive mapping and data visualization platform and PSE’s Metro Atlanta Equity Atlas, which is still in development. The event is free and open to the public. Register by visiting http://disc. library.emory.edu/atlantasymposium/. North DeKalb Republican Women to host candidate forum The North DeKalb Republican Women will meet at the DeKalb Republican Party Headquarters, 3583-G Chamblee Tucker Road (Embry Hills Shopping Village) on Saturday, April 13, at 10 a.m. The group will host a candidate forum, featuring candidates for the Georgia GOP chair, Alex Johnson, John Padgett and B.J. Van Gundy. The public is invited. The NDRW is a non-profit organization heavily involved in public service working with the USO, Ronald McDonald House, the V.A Hospital and local schools. The NDRW is collecting diapers for the families of American military. Those who would like to contribute should bring the diapers to the DeKalb GOP Headquarters on any meeting date. For more information, contact Natalie Olmi at (770) 396-4101.
Rebecca Hardeman from DeKalb County Cooperative Extension will present the second session in her three-part couponing series at Scott Candler Library on April 18, 1-2 p.m. Titled Beyond the Grocery Store, This session is an advanced class focusing on using coupons at locations other than grocery stores. Scott Candler Library is located at 1917 Candler Road, Decatur. For more information, call (404) 286-6986. Author to discuss baseball book With the opening of a new major league baseball season comes a new book about baseball written by Decatur’s Robert Weintraub, author of the 2011 bestseller The House That Ruth Built. His new book is The Victory Season: The End of World War II and the Birth of Baseball’s Golden Age. It begins in 1946 when stars such as Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio and Stan Musial returned from the war to set off one of the sport’s greatest seasons that culminated in an epic seven-game World Series. Soon after that, the legendary Jackie Robinson would make his debut; and baseball would never be the same. Weintraub, whose work appears on ESPN and in major newspapers around the country, will be at the Decatur Library Monday, April 15, 7:15-9 p.m. “It’s a fascinating story whether you’re old enough to remember or are hearing about it for the first time,” states an announcement from the library. The Decatur Library is located at 215 Sycamore Street, Decatur. For more information, call (404) 370-3070. DeKalb Medical to host Puberty Rocks DeKalb Medical will host Puberty Rocks, a session for parents trying to guide their sons into adolescence Friday, April 26, 6-8 p.m. at DeKalb Medical Theater-North Decatur campus. “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 for DeKalb Medical states. This session of Puberty Rocks is for boys only. It will be led by Dr. Stuart Pancer. DeKalb Medical’s North Decatur campus is located at 2701 North Decatur Road, Decatur. 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.
Quilting class offered at library “Make a Quilt, Make a Friend,” a beginning quilting class, will be offered at the Embry Hills Library, Monday, April 15, 6-7:30 p.m. “Make a simple table runner. Learn to cut, piece, assemble and bind the table runner. These are the skills you need to make a larger quilt. Check at the branch about the supplies you must bring to class,” states an announcement from the library. Registration is open to the first 10 people to sign up; participants must register in person. Embry Hills Library is located at 3733 Chamblee-Tucker Road, Chamblee. For more information, call (770) 270-8230.
Clarkston library to play Islamic movie The documentary film, Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World, will be shown Saturday, April 13, 2-3 p.m. The film covers a journey across nine countries and 1,400 years of history. It explores the great beauty and diversity of Islamic art and presents the stories behind many great masterworks of Islamic art and architecture. Following the film, Kennesaw State University professor Dr. Sandra Bird will lead a discussion. The Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys 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 Carnegie Corporation of New York. Additional support for the arts and media components was provided by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. Clarkston library is at 951 N. Indian Creek Drive. For more information, call (404) 5087175. Library to hold investment seminar The retiring director of economic education for the Federal Reserve Bank, Gary W. Tapp, will conduct a seminar April 20, 11 a.m.-noon, on the basics of investing in the financial market. Tapp will explain key investment principles, including how stocks are valued, investing versus trading and diversification. The seminar is open to the first 25 participants who can register by visiting the Clarkston Library located at 951, N. Indian Creek Drive or by calling (404) 508-7175.
Park to host electronics recycling event For the third year, Stone Mountain Park and the Rotary Club of Stone Mountain, in cooperation with the Tommy Nobis Center, Recycling Division, assisted by DeKalb Boy Scouts will be accepting old electronics and small appliances for recycling. Representatives of the groups will be waiting just inside the East Gate, 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., on Saturday, April 13, to help unload computers, printers, cell phones and telephones, CPUs, stereos, laptops, copiers, CD and MP3 players, camcorders, faxes, mikes, speakers, toasters, can openers and similar small appliances. These items will be recycled for free; there is a $5 charge for televisions and video display tubes. Those bringing materials for recycling may enter the park without the normal charge by telling gate attendants they are bringing electronic recycling items and may stay at the park the remainder of the day. Large appliances such as refrigerators, washers, dryers, freezers, humidiﬁers, tires or other household trash, power equipment or other similar items or things that weigh more than 40 pounds each cannot be accepted.
Women’s wellness sessions offered Women and Wellness, a healthy living series facilitated by Dr. Roxanne Padmore, will be at Stonecrest Library Tuesday, April 16, and Saturdays, April 13 and 27. The sessions will focus on health issues and concerns for women of all ages. Padmore will explore the causes and effects of an unhealthy lifestyle and offer natural solutions for healthier living. The Tuesday session is 6:30-7:30 p.m. and the Saturday sessions are 2-3:30 p.m. Stonecrest Library is located at 3123 Klondike Road, Lithonia. For more information, call (770) 482-3828.
Safe Schools Coalition to host 5K run The Georgia Safe Schools Coalition (GSSC) will have a 5K/1K fun run to prevent bullying and violence in Georgia schools on Saturday, April 20, 7 a.m. - noon, in Avondale Estates. The race will take place in and around the Central Business District. GSSC was created to eliminate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) oppression in Georgia schools. For more information, visit www.avondaleestates. org/events.html.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 12, 2013
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org The DeKalb County school district should not expect to be off probation by the end of the year. That’s what Dr. Mark Elgart, president of AdvancED, told the DeKalb County Board of Education April 3. In December 2012, Elgart announced that AdvancED, the agency that accredits the school district, had placed the district on accreditation probation until December 2013, during which the district must comply with a list of 11 required actions or lose accreditation. “We do not expect the 11 required actions to be completed by December,” Elgart said last week. “You’ve lost at least three months in this process that was designed to take a year. We will not penalize this board for that. We will understand and expect that there should be progress. “By December…it will not result in you being fully accredited,” Elgart said. “You will probably either remain on probation or possibly warned. Expect that
DeKalb schools’ probation won’t end in December
you will have continued expectations of improvement. They will be there for at least three years.” Elgart said AdvancED has three areas of primary concern about the DeKalb school district. “The first and foremost is student achievement,” Elgart said. “Can this district demonstrate the capacity… to improve student achievement? “Second, can you get your fiscal house in order?” Elgart said. “You are going to face an extraordinarily tough budget preparation for next year. You’re going to need to make some significant decisions. You’re going to really need to disengage yourself from the subjectiveness that you’re going to receive from individuals who are going to lobby for their needs. You have to establish a budget that’s in the best interest of all students in DeKalb County. “The third is demonstrate effective governance,” Elgart said. “By December, we don’t expect that you are going to be able to demonstrate improvements in student achievement,” Elgart said. “We will expect a balanced budget for 2013-14. We will expect a plan that has been enacted and followed—I know you have a budget deficit plan. We’re going to expect …that it’s actually followed. We will expect that you’re actually demonstrating the ability to align your resources with the needs of this district.” The school district should also have a “nearly complete or complete” community-based strategic plan, Elgart said. Mike Thurmond, DeKalb’s interim school superintendent, said Elgart’s information is important, sobering and enlightening. “I think it defined the challenges that we face and it also opened up opportunities for us to do great things in the district,” he said. Elgart said the school district has been hurt by the revolving door of school superintendents, but Thurmond said he is only committed to working with the district for a year. “I have a one-year contract and I can’t really speak beyond that,” Thurmond said. “I’m just focused on working every day that I am here to do everything I can to get this district back on track. “I’m hired by the board. I’m here at their discretion,” he said. “My focus is clear. My agenda is clear—to right now address as many of the problems as quickly as I can as soon as I can to get the district back on the road. I’m focused right now on the 2014 budget.” Thurmond said he was not surprised that Elgart predicted that the district would not achieve full accreditation in December. “That was a very positive statement that he made,” Thurmond said. “If you really listen closely, I think he supports my belief. That’s not just a belief, I’m committed and I know that we will not lose accreditation because we’re going to take the steps necessary to ensure that does not happen. “This is a longterm process,” Thurmond said. “What he was really focusing on was the student achievement component. That’s a longterm commitment. I think it’s not realistic to think that we can turn that around in just six months or nine months.”
Chief Continued From Page 2A
would need, which was 54 to 58 officers. But the city is allowing Yandura to review the area and collect data. “It’s up to me and specifically the command staff, once we get it going, to figure out what is needed,” he said. “But it’s pretty close to that number to start off with.” Brookhaven currently has an intergovernmental agreement with DeKalb County to provide police services. Yandura said he hopes to have an operational police department some time later this summer. Yandura said his ultimate goal is to make Brookhaven the safest city in Georgia, but also have the police department intertwined with the entire community. “I would like to see mutual respect from the community to the police and the police to the community,” he said.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 12, 2013
Andrea Sneiderman was present at a recent hearing where her attorneys asked DeKalb Court Superior Court Judge Gregory Adams to quash several counts in the indictment against her. Photo provided by Kent Johnson, AJC
Sneiderman’s attorneys tell judge indictment ‘fails miserably’
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com Attorneys spent several hours April 4 arguing over the wording in the indictment of Andrea Sneiderman, who is accused of conspiring to murder her husband. Defense attorney John Petrey asked DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Gregory Adams to quash several counts in the indictment, stating that it did not allow Sneiderman to prepare a proper defense for trial. “The question for you at this time your honor is, ‘Is the indictment perfect?’ and clearly it is not,” Petrey said during the motions hearing. “It fails miserably, your honor.” Sneiderman, whose husband Rusty Sneiderman was murdered outside a Dunwoody day care center in 2010, faces charges that include seven counts of perjury, malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault. Prosecutors allege Sneiderman and her former boss Hemy Neuman plotted to kill her husband. According to prosecutors, she was having an affair with Neuman, who later confessed to the murder and is now serving life in prison without parole. One of the counts, in which prosecutors allege Sneiderman gave false statements to the Dunwoody Police Department, has language Petrey called “nonsensical.” Count 6 of the indictment reads, “[Andrea Sniederman] did knowingly and willfully make a false statement in a matter within the jurisdiction of the Dunwoody Police Department; to wit: accused told police never suspected that Hemy Neuman was involved in the murder of Russell Sneiderman prior to Dec. 28, 2010.” “The false statement they say she made is nonsensical because something has either been added or left out—there’s no way that we can prepare a defense for Ms. Sneiderman if we don’t know what it is,” Petrey said. Several of the perjury counts stem from statements made by Sneiderman when she was called as a witness during the trial of Neuman. Prosecutors allege Sneiderman lied under oath but the indictment does not go into detail regarding the statements she made. “We don’t know what issues in that trial—from this indictment—they’re claiming those statements were material to,” Petrey said. Additionally, defense attorneys argued that the indictment fails to list specific dates that are relevant to several counts and prosecutors need to allege when those events took place if they are capable of doing so. Deputy Chief District Attorney Anna Cross argued that the defense was asking for a theory of the case in many of the complaints they argued before the court during the hearing. “It is not required that the indictment give every detail of the crime,” Cross said. “It identifies everything for her to be sufficiently put on notice. “It’s like asking for more specificity as to how the state is going to prove malice aforethought,” Cross said. Judge Adams has set a tentative date of July 29 to begin jury selection for Sneiderman’s trial. Another hearing for all the remaining motions in the case was scheduled for April 10, at 1:30 p.m. in Adams’ courtroom.
New Indian Creek lodge under construction for Georgia State University
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org Georgia State University, which has owned the Indian Creek Lodge in Stone Mountain for more than 70 years, is building a new lodge for university staff, students and degree holding graduates. The lodge, located at 900 Indian Creek Dr., was demolished Feb. 11 in preparation for construction of the new $1 million lodge. The new lodge, which will not be open to the general public, could be completed sometime this fall, according to Scott Levin, Georgia State’s director of recreational services. Levin said the university purchased the property in 1938. “It was originally purchased as a retreat for the to demolish it and build a one story, energy efficient, modern lodge which will have ADA capabilities for meetings and business type functions,” Levin said. The new building will have a large meeting room, two breakout rooms, an open pre-function reception area with a fireplace, a catering kitchen and rear outside decks with seating. The lodge will still have the pool, which is open to the university community from Memorial Day to Labor Day. There is also a team building challenge rope course, which is open to the public. The new building will also be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified. “We hope it will be LEED silver certified,” Levin said.
Georgia State University, which has owned the Indian Creek Lodge in Stone Mountain for more than 70 years, is building a new lodge for university staff, students and graduates.
school president and campus community to have meetings and retreats,” he said. “The recreation [department] took it over in 1996.” Levin said the university
never considered building a new facility until officials started doing research and realized that the cost of renovating the old building – which was two stories, and
making it ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant, would be more. “The cost of all of that was just going to be so prohibitive that it was cheaper
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 12, 2013
Special Olympics’ track and field event attracts hundreds
by Andrew Cauthen email@example.com Timothy Collier of Stone Mountain said he is proud of his son, a participant in the Special Olympics’ track and field events April 3. “It makes me proud to come out here and see him participate with his peers,” Collier said. “My son is autistic and him following directions is sometimes…a task, but for him to be able to come out here and do the events is huge.” Jalen Collier, 9, a student at E. L. Miller Elementary School, has been participating in Special Olympics since he was 3, said his father. “It gives him a sense of normalcy to be able to come out because right now he doesn’t participate in team sports,” Collier said. “He gets that physical activity that he needs. “Some people think it’s simple, but for him to be able to run 50 meters or throw a softball, that’s a great feat for him, Collier said Before Jalen left his school that morning to attend the event, the school had a big send-off for him, Collier said. “All the kids lined the halls and they did a torch walk at school,” Collier said. “To come out here to see the high school kids volunteering and working with the special education students is also very big.” One volunteer, Kenneth Stodghill, a 16-year-old junior at Cedar Grove High School, helped some of the participants run the various races. “I’m just volunteering, trying to make sure they act good, are having fun and having a great time,” Stodghill said. “It’s great. You get to interact with the kids. It brings back memories of when you were a kid and used to run around. You’re kind of bonding with them.” Stodghill said that although the participants may have various disabilities, the event gave them an encouraging message: “You can go beyond where you are now.” Nina G., a student at Arabia Mountain High School, said she volunteered at the event to give back and see the happy children. “Even though it’s something so little they enjoy it so much,” she said about the soap bubbles she was blowing into the wind for the children to play with. “Even something so small as bubbles, they seem so happy about it.” Sabirah Rashad of Stone Mountain brought her 8-year-old daughter, Surayyah Elliot, to the Special Olympics for the first time. “I know I’m going to continue to put her in [the event] in the years to come,” Rashad said. “This is very exciting and it’s good for exercise. “I like seeing the kids come out and compete against each other and seeing the enjoyment on their faces,” Rashad said. Rashad said Special Olympics has benefits for parents, too. “It helps a lot to have our kids
Parents and volunteers said the Special Olympics track and field events in DeKalb County April 3 gave participants a chance to exercise, have fun and socialize. Photos by Andrew Cauthen
involved in an activity like this,” Rashad said. “We can meet other parents and have play dates and work together and put our kids in all different types of activities. We can bond together and support each other. The more support, the better.” Andrea Smith of Stone Mountain said this was the fifth year her son, 10-year-old Brandon Glass, has participated in Special Olympics. “I like everything about it,” she said. “I just like coming to see my son participate. I like the encouragement they offer to the students to achieve.” Smith said her son, who was participating in the 25-yard dash, benefits socially. “He gets a chance to interact with the other children from the other schools. “This is a chance for the children with disabilities to participate in fun, interactive activities like the rest of the children,” Smith said.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 12, 2013
Convicted rapist receives maximum sentence
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org “If there is evil in this world, I believe it’s been in this courtroom,” said Superior Court Judge Gail Flake, before sentencing a convicted rapist to eight consecutive life prison terms plus an additional 135 years behind bars. “If any case deserves the maximum sentence, it’s this case,” said Flake, during the April 9 sentencing. After a five-day trial, Gary Mincey was found guilty March 22 of 17 felony counts, including aggravated assault, armed robbery, burglary, false imprisonment, aggravated sexual battery and rape. During a six-week span in 2011, Mincey assaulted, robbed and raped various women. Prosecutors said he used a gun, Taser or knife to force the victims to comply with his verbal and physical demands. Mincey also robbed his victims of electronics, money and jewelry. During the trial, prosecutors described how he followed women from a Publix grocery store, Echelon Bar and Bistro, and Tanqueray Lounge before his attacks. One of Mincey’s victims faced him one last time in court before the sentencing. “You almost took my life, not once but twice,” she said. “During those days after you attacked me, I thought about taking my own life.” Instead she “stayed prayed up,” the victim said. “And I focused once again on the car seat in the back of my car.” She told Mincey that three of her four grandchildren are boys and she wanted to make sure they are reared to be productive adults and “not a rapist like you.” “Thank you for showing me just how strong I could be as a woman [and] for giving me war scars that I didn’t get in the military and finally for making me take the stand…against a coward like you,” the victim said. “Justice has prevailed and justice will begin to help us all in our healing process.” During the sentencing hearing, Mincey said he felt sympathy for the women and “wouldn’t wish no acts like that on anybody.” “I know today is supposed to be a day of closure, but it won’t be a day of closure because I’m innocent,” Mincey said. Mincey, who has two prior felony convictions, told the judge that the trial was unfair and “full of lies, deceit, contradicting stories.” “My life don’t lie in your hands,” Mincey said to the judge. “My life lies in the hands of God. I’m going to be all right whatever the outcome is. I don’t care what you sentence me to.” Chief Assistant District Attorney Nicole Marchand Golden, who served as lead prosecutor on the case, said Mincey received “the right sentence, the just sentence which was the maximum.” “To target, stalk, rape and then rob five women that he did not know, who didn’t know each other…it’s a nightmare,” Golden said. “It’s every woman’s nightmare. It’s the worst thing you can experience. “We are going to do everything we can to ensure the safety of the women of DeKalb County,” Golden said. “We’re going to seek the maximum sentence in each one of these cases. That’s what we did in this case.” Golden said the sentence
R i “I don’t care what you sentence me to,” convicted rapist Gary Mincey told a judge April 9. Photo by Andrew Cauthen
tells the victims that they were was sympathetic…and wanted to ensure that they felt safe believed. in their homes at night,” she “The judge understood said. what they went through and
Attend the 2013 CEO’s Community Hero Awards Ceremony
Sun., April 14, 4 p.m., Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, 980 Briarcliff Rd. NE
Honorees include: India Pullin, Kim Gokce & the Cross Keys Foundation, Robby Astrove, Cynthia Houston, Ashley Wrushen, The Beulah Boys Dancers, Samuel Belete & the Ethiopian Community Association, The Honorable Berryl A. Anderson, and Doug Harms.
For a programming guide, visit www.yourdekalb.com/dctv
The Champion Weather
Seven Day Forecast
T-storms Likely High: 75 Low: 54 Isolated T-storms High: 68 Low: 46 Sunny High: 69 Low: 47 Mostly Sunny High: 74 Low: 55 Partly Cloudy High: 74 Low: 59 Mostly Sunny High: 72 Low: 54
DCTV – Your Emmy® Award-winning news source of DeKalb County news. Available on Comcast Cable Channel 23.
Detailed Local Forecast
Today we will see cloudy skies with a 70% chance of showers and thunderstorms, high temperature of 75º, humidity of 64%. Southeast wind 5 to 15 mph. The record high temperature for today is 86º set in 1994. Expect cloudy skies tonight with a 70% chance of showers and thunderstorms.
April 11, 2013
Today’s Regional Map
Dunwoody 73/53 Smyrna 74/54 Doraville 74/54 Atlanta 75/54 College Park 76/54 Union City 76/54
Last Week's Local Almanac
Date Hi Lo Normals Precip Tuesday 66 47 70/47 0.00" Wednesday 61 42 70/47 0.12" Thursday 51 40 70/48 0.31" Friday 66 39 70/48 0.11" Saturday 70 38 71/48 0.00" Sunday 74 46 71/48 0.00" Monday 78 52 71/48 0.00" Rainfall. . . . . . . . 0.54" Average temp . . 55.0 Normal rainfall. . 0.94" Average normal 59.1 Departure . . . . . .-0.40" Departure . . . . . -4.1 Day Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Sunrise 7:09 a.m. 7:08 a.m. 7:07 a.m. 7:06 a.m. 7:05 a.m. 7:03 a.m. 7:02 a.m.
Decatur Snellville 75/54 75/54 Lithonia 76/54 Morrow 76/54
April 11, 1965 - Severe thunderstorms in the Upper Midwest spawned 51 tornadoes, killing 256 people and causing more than 200 million dollars in damage. Indiana, Ohio and Michigan were hardest hit in the outbreak. April 12, 1989 - Twenty-two cities in the south central and eastern United States reported record low temperatures for the date, including Elkins, W.Va. with a low of 15 degrees and Baton Rouge, La. with a reading of 37 degrees.
Local Sun/Moon Chart This Week
Sunset 8:05 p.m. 8:06 p.m. 8:07 p.m. 8:08 p.m. 8:08 p.m. 8:09 p.m. 8:10 p.m. Moonrise 7:46 a.m. 8:25 a.m. 9:07 a.m. 9:52 a.m. 10:39 a.m. 11:30 a.m. 12:22 p.m.
First 4/18 Full 4/25
Partly Cloudy High: 71 Low: 52
Moonset 9:34 p.m. 10:29 p.m. 11:22 p.m. Next Day 12:12 a.m. 12:59 a.m. 1:42 a.m.
Last 5/2 New 5/9 Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Rise Set 6:15 a.m. 6:02 p.m. 7:26 a.m. 8:21 p.m. 7:18 a.m. 8:10 p.m. 10:01 a.m. 12:14 a.m. 9:17 p.m. 8:19 a.m. 6:42 a.m. 7:02 p.m.
Local UV Index
0 - 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11+
National Weather Summary This Week
The Northeast will see partly cloudy to cloudy skies with scattered showers and thunderstorms today and Friday, mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with isolated rain and snow Saturday, with the highest temperature of 81º in Baltimore, Md. The Southeast will experience partly cloudy skies with isolated thunderstorms today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 87º in Naples, Fla. In the Northwest, there will be mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with a few showers today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 68º in Pasco, Wash. The Southwest will see mostly clear skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 92º in Imperial, Calif.
StarWatch By Gary Becker - Smiley Moon, Smile Down on Me
There is a curious observation of the moon that is best seen in the spring nearest to the vernal equinox. I call it the “smiley moon.” It originated several years ago from a quip made to me by a woman from church who had said that she had seen one several nights previously. My conversations with friends are often laced with comments about odd things that they have seen in the sky at some point in their lives. Actually, before my readers become too judgmental, I need to say that I actually enjoy these types of chats because many times, I get the opportunity to explain the observations, and sometimes buried within what was seen is a real “diamond in the rough.” Such was the case with the smiley moon. Later that evening, my wife and I were catching a program on the tube. Our picture window faces west and through the gauzed curtains, I could see a horned moon that had a wide grin just like a Halloween pumpkin. I made two imaginary dots above it, and voila; there it was, the smiley moon about which I had just heard. I remember getting up and simply going outside, my hands on my hips, thinking something like, “You’ve been watching the moon all of your life, Gary, and you never put that together?” And the explanation was so simple. In the spring, the plane of the Earth’s orbit, which represents the sun’s path and very nearly the moon’s path in the sky, is tilted at a steep angle to the horizon. As the moon pulls up and away from the sun after its new phase, the crescent which forms from the sun’s light reflecting from the moon is nearly parallel to the horizon, creating the smile. On Saturday, April 13, about 45 minutes after sundown, look for a smiley moon between the “V” of Taurus the Bull’s head and the Seven Sisters. Binoculars will make the view more enjoyable. The next day, the moon with an even bigger grin appears to the left of brilliant Jupiter. Have some smiley fun with the smiley moon! www.astronomy.org
Answer: In 1977, lightning hit a New York City power line, causing a 24-hour black-out.
UV Index 0-2: Low, 3-5: Moderate, 6-7: High, 8-10: Very High, 11+: Extreme Exposure
What was known as the billion dollar lightning strike?
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 12, 2013
Community holds vigil for teen shooting victim
by Andrew Cauthen email@example.com It was a somber occasion April 4 as approximately 300 people held a candlelight vigil for a teenager shot to death two months before he was to have graduated from Columbia High School. Dominique Boyer, 18, was shot March 28 while visiting friends at the Austin Oaks apartments on Glenwood Avenue. DeKalb County Police have charged a 16-year-old male with murder in the drive-by shooting. Police believe Boyer was an unintended victim of the shooting they believe was gang-related. “This stuff needs to stop for real,” said Dekeesha Mathis, a family friend, during the vigil. “This ain’t the first time a killing has happened down here. This ain’t the second. “This should teach a lesson,” Mathis said. “One innocent bystander got killed by some… cowards, wusses. It just needs to stop.” Dominique’s aunt, Lawanda Boyer, said the family organized the vigil “because we want to keep his spirit moving and his dreams. He will never be forgotten.” Dominique, who had three younger brothers and one younger sister, was an outgoing young man, Lawanda Boyer said. “No chaos—just peace. He wanted to make a smile on everybody’s face.” “Teen violence has got to end,” she added. Tykerria, a schoolmate of Dominique’s, said, “He was just a loving, caring person. He always put a smile on my face when he came around.” “It wasn’t right,” she said about the shooting. “He didn’t deserve it. But there’s no more suffering for him. He’s in a better place and he’s going to watch over us.” A cousin, 22-year-old Jasmine Jackson, said, “He was content with being himself. He was a big kid. And he loved his grandmother and his mother dearly.” Dominique, who had plans to go to Georgia Perimeter College and become an accountant, was “very good with money and numbers,” Jackson said. “He was ready to graduate in May, ready to go to school and ready to be as independent as possible to help his family.” Jackson said it was difficult to describe the family’s loss. “I was devastated,” she said. “It hurts because he was innocent and he was just sitting there minding his business and they took his life. Words can’t explain how I feel. “He was an all-around good person,” Jackson said. “Anything that you can think of good, then you can just put Dominique’s name next to it.” Marvelyn Jones, another cousin, described Dominique as a “very loyal son, a noble cousin, [who] never disrespected anyone. Dominique was a very good guy.” Dominique’s mother, Monique Boyer, said her son was “a sweet person, very respectful, loving, caring and athletic. He was just peaceful.” Monique Boyer had a message for his friends and family at the vigil: “We’ve got to show a lot of love, lean on each other and love one another. “Put the guns down,” she said. “If you’ve got guns, you’re a coward. We do not need that. We’ve got to love one another.” See related story on page 1A.
Hundreds gathered at Austin Oaks Apartments on Glenwood Avenue for a candlelight vigil for 18-year-old Dominique Boyer, shot to death March 28, allegedly by a 16-year-old male. Photos by Andrew Cauthen
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 12, 2013
Commissioner hosts annual Green Expo
Commission, the Dunwoody Sustainability Commission and the Decatur Environmental Sustainability Board. For more information about the expo, contact Davis Fox at (404) 371-6353 or dfox@dekalbcountyga. gov. cations must be returned or mailed to one of these locations by Friday, April 19.
There will be dozens of experts and green businesses and organizations on hand at the sixth annual DeKalb County Green Expo hosted by DeKalb County Super District 6 Commissioner Kathie Gannon. The expo is April 20, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the conference center at Georgia Piedmont Technical College, 495 North Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston. The expo will feature products and services that use recycled materials, promote energy conservation, water conservation, solar energy, environmental education, alternative fuels and other eco-friendly products. Electronic recycling and document shredding stations also will be on site. Gannon hosts the annual event to support local green businesses and to raise awareness about options to support a healthier DeKalb. “Each time we host the expo, I become more excited about the opportunities it presents to build green businesses and increase the public’s awareness of the simple ways to sustain a cleaner environment,” Gannon said. In addition to the vendors, workshops will be held on organic gardening, backyard composting, tree selection and planting, assembling rain barrels ($40 charge to build a rain barrel), energy conservation and aqua-ponic gardening. The expo will also feature several county and nonprofit organizations such as Gardens in the Parks and others that will offer advice and education on recycling, reducing FOG (fats, oils, grease) in the sewer system, and more. There will be activities for the children, food trucks and live music. The expo is sponsored by DeKalb County Green
Survivor of rare bacterial infection to serve as host for fun run and walk
Snellville native Aimee Copeland has accepted an invitation as special guest and host for the Friends of Adults and Children (FODAC) annual Run Walk ‘n Roll event, scheduled for May 4 at Stone Mountain Park. FODAC is a nonprofit organization providing more than $10 million annually in durable medical equipment (DME) and supplies to the community. Copeland battled a flesheating bacterial infection in 2012, which resulted in the loss of a leg, foot and a hand. “FODAC’s mission is one that is obviously close to my heart,” Copeland said. “They provided me a special sport chair while I was waiting for a new one. I am honored to accept this invitation and hope that my participation will help others learn how they can help those in need regain mobility and a sense of independence and dignity.” FODAC’s Run Walk’n Roll, a five-mile race or two-mile walk through Stone Mountain Park, is one of FODAC’s main fundraisers. Participants can run, walk or roll through the course; wheelchairs, strollers and walkers are all welcome. Last year, the event raised $30,000, which went toward the DME program that distributes more than 5,000 items each year to Georgia and other states. “Aimee was fortunate to have the resources to help her and her family through her illness and recovery,” said Chris Brand, presi-
County parks department to host Food Service Program
The DeKalb County Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs Department will host the Food Service Program, June 3-July 26, as part of an ongoing effort to ensure school children have nutritious meals during the summer. Funding for the Food Service Program is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and targets children up to age 18. Agencies with summer camps that are interested in becoming a site for this program should call Rose Myrick at (678) 6981114. To qualify as a site, 50 percent of the children served must meet the income guidelines for free and reduced price meals in the National School Lunch Program. Children who are members of households that receive food stamps or Aid for Dependent Children (AFDC) assistance automatically qualify. The deadline to apply for the Food Program is Friday, April 19; applications for the program are available online at www.dekalbcountyga.gov/parks or can be picked up Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., at the following locations: Tucker Recreation Center, 4898 LaVista Road, Room 12, Tucker; and Recreation, Parks & Cultural Affairs Department, Manuel J. Maloof Center, 1300 Commerce Drive, third floor, Decatur. Completed appli-
dent of FODAC. “So many folks find themselves facing either short- or long-term disabilities with little or no insurance, unable to secure even basic equipment like a wheelchair or walker to help them regain their mobility. Through spokespeople like Aimee, whose strength and courage has inspired so many, we hope to educate people on what they can do to support FODAC’s mission.” Registration and other details on Run Walk ‘n Roll can be found at www.fodac. org/events/.
have changed their phone number or address within the past year, and those who use a cellular phone or VoIP phone as their primary number.
County to hold popup parks, parklets competition
“Pop-up Parks” and “parklets” are relatively new terms that describe outdoor temporary installations at community/business locations. These small recreational spots create a sense of place within a community or business. Sometimes called “tactical urbanism,” the use of imaginative small-scale, inexpensive outside additions has become a catalyst for positive change in the built environment. The DeKalb County District 2 competition is intended to provide the county as well as metro Atlanta with new ideas for how communities and retail shopping areas can begin to consider creative approaches for the installation of small, relaxing low cost parks. The first 15 applications from businesses and neighborhoods will be considered in the competition. Judging will occur at sites of the projects May 3-4. Winners will be announced at the inaugural Oak Groove Festival scheduled for Sunday, May 5, at the intersection of Oak Grove and LaVista roads, 1-6 p.m. The prizes will be $250 to a community and $250 to a business to create a sustainable installation for the winning projects. For a copy of the application, criteria for project consideration and examples of parklets, visit www.commissionerrader.com. Applications must be emailed to dkschneider@dekalbcountyga. gov by Monday, April 22.
DeKalb County asks residents to sign up for CodeRED
Throughout the month of April, DeKalb County residents are encouraged to sign up for CodeRED, the county’s high-speed notification system that delivers time-sensitive messages via voice, email, and text to targeted areas or the entire county during emergency situations or disasters. To sign up for CodeRED, individuals and businesses should log onto DeKalb County’s website at www. DeKalbCountyGA.gov and follow the link to the CodeRED Community Notification Enrollment page. Required information includes first and last name; physical street address (no P.O. boxes); and primary phone number. Additional phone numbers can be entered as well. Residents without Internet access may call DeKalb County Emergency Management at (770) 270-0413, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., to supply their information over the phone. Businesses are encouraged to register for CodeRED, as well as all individuals who have unlisted phone numbers, who
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 12, 2013
SAP National founder and owner LaTashae Walker (left) started the program to help athletes, who are struggling with academics, improve their grades and test scores. Photos provided
Continued From Page 1A
niors and seniors,” she said. “So my goal is to avoid that.” The program tries to identify students who are academically at risk going into ninth grade so they can help the students maintain good grade point averages (GPA) and make good scores on the SAT and ACT. “We want to be a more proactive program but now the approach is still under that reactive approach because parents begin to look for additional support when they see that the opportunity is there for their child to go to college,” she said. The program includes a mentoring program for students, in which SAP invites college and professional athletes to talk to the high school students and share their experiences with them. SAP also has workshops for parents to help them understand what it’s like to transition from high school athletics to the collegiate level. Currently, SAP representatives are working with students from various schools individually to help them with their academic work. They are also working with McNair High School but their goal is to partner with more schools. “We want to actually have the program housed in schools so we can be more accessible and be more convenient for both students and parents,” Walker said. The program has a 90 percent success rate with students improving their test scores and GPAs. Shaquille Calhoun, a 2012 graduate of Model High School in Rome, Ga., said the program has been really helpful for him. “[The program] got me what I needed for the ACT,” he said. “My ACT score went up from a 16 to 19.” Calhoun, 19, is currently enrolled at Action Sports Academy in Stone Mountain. He said he was never a fan of school and wasn’t serious about his work and focused more on basketball. “I knew I had to do [my school work] so I did what I had to do,” he said. “But it was more about sports
Cedar Grove High School senior and football player Shane Ward receives academic help from SAP National.
than school for me.” Calhoun has a basketball scholarship to Tennessee Tech University but he is working on earning the credits he needs to enroll there. “[SAP] is helping me now with the work I’m doing for my credit recovery,” he said. He added that he would recommend the program to other athletes who are struggling with maintaining their academics and encourage younger athletes to keep their minds on their school work. “Sports are going to be there so you’ve got to get the school work done first,” he said. On May 4, SAP National will host an awards banquet to honor high school athletes in DeKalb County for their outstanding academic and athletic abilities. They will recognize an athlete from each school with the highest GPA. “I just think it is important to highlight those who are doing well in school so that the students who may be struggling, or don’t think that it is possible, will have someone to look up to as a peer,” Walker said. “They can actually see individuals who are taking care of their grades while being active in school.”
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 12, 2013
Pizza, proclamation provide appreciation
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org When teachers and faculty at Freedom Middle School were called to an unscheduled, afterschool meeting April 3, they didn’t know what to expect. “Today there’s no agenda. Today there’s no signature log,” Corey Davidson, the school’s principal told them. Instead, the faculty had been assembled for a special recognition sponsored by DeKalb County Commissioner Stan Watson and David Holt of Davido’s $3.75 Pizza. “This is just something to say ‘thank you,’” said Watson, who is planning to recognize the teachers in all 11 of the middle schools in his district as part of his Teacher Appreciation Month. In a proclamation, Watson states that Teacher Appreciation Month “celebrates the unique role and service that teachers play in guiding families, strengthening communities and building the nation as our country’s future depends upon providing quality education to all students.” The month recognizes “the immense contribution and countless hours that our teachers spend preparing lessons, evaluating progress, counseling and coaching students and performing community service,” the proclamation states. With all of the “challenges going on in our school system,…we’re going to take a little bit of time to say ‘thank you,’” Watson said. “What I have done is thought about what made me go this far,” he said. “And guess what I thought about? It was a teacher. Guess who helped me do all the things that I have today? A teacher. “So I wanted to come by and say to daily basis that definitely helps.” Davidson said when teachers feel supported by the parents and the community, they are more likely to provide better instruction and have pride in their jobs. “Having a happy teacher definitely relates to positive instruction,” Davidson said. Angel Martin, an academic coach for English language learners, said, “It’s very, very good to have someone outside school in the community to recognize a school…trying to do well for our children. I feel very honored. “I’ve been here since 2010 and that’s the first time I’ve seen someone out in the community recognize us in this fashion—just purely recognition for what we do,” Martin said. “That’s very, very much appreciated.” “It is a very good motivational tactic to have us to be recognized [and] to make sure that we are making the impact outside the school as well,” she said. Angelika Strong, a teacher in the intense English program for immigrants, agreed that teachers are underappreciated. “It makes me feel appreciated for someone—I know he must be a busy man—to come and say ‘good job’ and have the proclamation, but also to provide us with food and just a time to relax instead of a meeting, which is what I thought we were having,” Strong said. “It really helps when the people that are higher up come down with the people down lower,” said Strong, in her first year at Freedom Middle. “It makes you feel special and appreciated. It’s a wonderful way to end a long day.”
DeKalb County Commissioner Stan Watson held a surprise teacher appreciation dinner at Freedom Middle School April 3. Watson plans to hold similar events in all middle schools in his district. Photos by Andrew Cauthen
From left, Freedom Middle School Principal Carey Davidson, David Holt of Davido’s $3.75 Pizza, and Commissioner Stan Watson teamed up to recognize Freedom Middle’s faculty.
all of our teachers in the middle schools thank you so very, very much for what you do every day,” said Watson, whose wife is a former Tucker Middle School English teacher. “Your job is not forgotten. I know how much you make because [my wife and I] have a joint bank account. I know exactly how much goes into the bank. I understand all of the challenges you have every day.” Watson said his visit had nothing to do with politics. “I’m not running for anything. I’m good,” he told the teachers. “I just came by to do it. I didn’t have to do it. I thought it would be great for us to do something for the teachers, the coaches in our middle schools where our teachers are being challenged. If we don’t get it right in middle school then we don’t get it right at all.”
Davidson said teachers “never hear ‘good job’ enough.” “It’s very important that you recognize that there are people on the outside of this building that appreciate what you do,” he told the teachers. “Please understand and recognize that what you do on a daily basis is very powerful. Do not minimize what you do when you come to this school at 7:30 in the morning. Some of you don’t leave until 8 at night. The sacrifices that you make are very valuable and they are very important.” Davidson said the event would help to build teacher moral. “It helps to encourage and promote unity, not just inside the building, but outside the building,” Davidson said. “Any time a community servant can come in and show his appreciation and gratitude for what the teachers do on a
DeKalb CEO, Chamber, school district partner to award scholarships this spring
DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis, the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce and the DeKalb County School District (DCSD) have established the DeKalb County Educational Scholarship Fund for high school students. The fund will award several scholarships in amounts up to $5,000 to DCSD high school seniors who have been accepted into a two- or four- year college or vocational training program in Georgia. Scholarships will be awarded to students based on their financial need and merit. Students can apply for the scholarship now through April 19. The application is available at http://www. dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/ dekalb-county-education-scholarshipapplication-(2013).pdf. Ellis was inspired to create a scholarship fund after receiving an award in 2012 from the National Association of Counties (NACo) which included a $5,000 scholarship donated by the Siemens Corporation. “I saw the NACo award as an ideal opportunity to help young people fulfill their dream of achieving the education and training required to be successful in life,” Ellis said. “Partnering with the school district, chamber and generous sponsors demonstrates our collective commitment toward investing in our greatest resource—the young men and women of DeKalb County.” Interim Superintendent Michael Thurmond said, “We are fortunate in DeKalb County to have a community that recognizes how the strength of our students directly impacts the success of our economy. We are grateful to Mr. Ellis and the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce for extending this opportunity to our students. Thanks to their generosity, pursuing post-secondary education just became a little easier for some of our students.” A selection committee formed by the DeKalb Chamber will review the applications and the CEO, school superintendent and Chamber and will announce the awards at a May 14 ceremony for students, parents and sponsors. “The DeKalb Chamber has long been a supporter of public and private education, our technical colleges, and traditional four-year institutions. We strongly endorse the need for an educated and prepared workforce in order for DeKalb County to succeed in economic development and overall community prosperity,” stated DeKalb Chamber Chairman Arnie Silverman.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 12, 2013
Home cook becomes successful entrepreneur
by Kathy Mitchell Kathy@dekalbchamp.com bringing the total to 10. Flavors such as Bourbon salted pecan, banana pudding For Erica Barrett, week- and sweet potato reflect her Southern roots. There’s also ends often mean a big, flavanilla, strawberry shortcake vorful family breakfast. On and oatmeal raisin and others. one visit to the grocery store “We are on a mission to she questioned why she had save people from drab, borto buy so many ingredients ing breakfasts and instead to make flavored pancakes. give them life with carefully She asked herself, “Doesn’t hand-crafted batches of goodsomeone offer a mix that’s ness,” Barrett said. “We are creative and nutritious?” dedicated to using the best With years of experience ingredients available and in the kitchen that started our vendors are hand-picked with preparing meals for her to ensure we get only top large family in Mobile, Ala., she started to wonder wheth- quality products. We want customers to experience true er she could be the “somefarm-to-table cooking when one” offering such a mix. they open our products and Barrett, who said she has cook with them.” no formal culinary training, Right now, she has her recalled that she mastered products manufactured by a fundamentals of cooking by the time she was 9 and by age separate company, but ulti13 was preparing Sunday din- mately she wants to own her ner for the family. Validation own manufacturing facility. of her ability as a cook came “It’s hard to control costs unwhen she won a 2010 contest less you do your own manufacturing,” she said, adding sponsored by the Food Network and Lea & Perrins. She that she plans to remain near the DeKalb Famers Market, began experimenting with recipes, using her husband as where she can find the fresh, local ingredients she uses. the taster. Out of that grew Barrett said her products her company, Southern Cul“contain only the purest inture Artisan Foods, specialgredients—no chemicals and izing in all-natural breakfast no powdered dairy as most products. do”—so, using alternative “Pancakes have been package directions, vegans around since the 1800s,” and lactose intolerant pershe said. “It’s surprising sons can also consume them. that more varieties aren’t on “Southern culture to me the shelves in the grocery means something that’s made stores.” Barrett set out to from scratch, something change that. that’s pure, something that’s “I had no idea how the made with a lot of love and food industry works,” she made with your heart.” recalled. “Someone sugShe’s planning soon to gested that I get a booth at a cook a pancake breakfast trade show and I decided to try that. When I called, there for some special folks—the people at her home church in were only two spots left, so Mobile. I grabbed one. My husband “They helped me go to told me ‘this better work’ college and get my start in with all the time and money life,” explained Barrett, who we were putting into it.” It did work; that one effort gen- holds a bachelor’s degree in business finance from Clark erated more than $80,000 in Atlanta University. “I want to orders. cook a big thank-you breakHer line of pancakes, fast for them.” After six years waffles and syrup are now in corporate America, she available online and in more than 1,000 stores nationwide decided to go back to what she says “really makes me as well as in three foreign happy.” countries. Locally, Barrett’s She added, “This is just outlets include Whole Foods Markets and Le Petit Marche the beginning; I won’t be happy until everyone around in Brookhaven. the world can experience This month, she’s introbreakfast at its best.” ducing four new varieties,
Erica Barrett shows her banana pudding pancakes topped with powdered sugar, whipped cream, fresh banana slices, maple syrup and crushed vanilla wafers. Her products include 10 pancake flavors as well as syrup and other items. Below, she demonstrates how to turn out perfect pancakes. Photos by Kathy Mitchell
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 12, 2013
Miller Grove center Klarissa Weaver goes up for a layup while Lithonia guard Raghe Brown defends in the 2013 DeKalb County girls All-Star game.
DeKalb County School District Athletics Coordinator Dr. Philip McCrary presents Columbia guard Miah Spencer with the MVP award.
DeKalb County School District Athletics Coordinator Dr. Philip McCrary presents Druid Hills center Clarence Williams with the MVP award.
DeKalb’s top basketball players put on a show at All-Star game
by Carla Parker email@example.com state champion Southwest DeKalb’s Miaya Crowder. The girls’ game featured a threeSome of DeKalb County’s top point shootout at halftime. Miller boys and girls basketball players Grove’s Tashi Thompson defeated showed off some of their flashy Stephenson’s Kyana Johnson in the moves in the 2013 DeKalb County final ground to claim the three-point Basketball All-Star Games on April shooting title. 4 at Tucker High School. McNair’s Steve Clark and The boys’ game featured dunks Druid Hills’ Jerome Lee coached and alley-oops, while the girls the two boys’ All-Star teams. Lee’s displayed their three-point shootteam defeated Clark’s All-Star team ing and no-look passes. The girls 73-70. Druid Hills center Clarence teams were coached by Druid Hills’ Williams was named MVP after Angela Nash and Towers’ Johnny leading his team with 13 points. Toombs. The Nash All-Stars defeatLee’s roster also included Arabia ed Toombs’ All-Star team 58-45. Mountain guard Bakari Copeland, Columbia guard Miah Spencer Tucker forward Devonte Fitzgerled the Nash All-Star team with 16 ald, and state champion Miller points and was named the Most Grove’s Kyre’ Hamer and Earl Valuable Player (MVP). That team Bryant. also included Miller Grove’s starting Clark’s roster featured Columbia five and Stone Mountain’s Danielle guard and Class AAAA Player of Clark. the Year Tahj Shamsid-Deen and Toombs’ roster included KaJade McClendon of Chamblee. liyah Mitchell of Stephenson, Copeland won the dunk contest Lithonia’s Raghe Brown, Arabia and Druid Hills’ Deshon Burgess Mountain’s Brianna Missouri and won the three-point shooting contest.
Jabria Craig goes up for a dunk in the 2013 DeKalb County boys All-Star game. Photos by Carla Parker
Southwest DeKalb boys, Arabia Mountain girls tennis finish season undefeated
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org The Southwest DeKalb High School boys and Arabia Mountain High School girl tennis teams dominated DeKalb County tennis this season. The Southwest DeKalb Panthers ended the season with a 12-0 record and the Arabia Mountain Lady Rams finished with a 10-0 record. The Panthers ended the season with players in the top two of the singles and doubles standings. Senior Corey Carter and sophomore Kimani Deveaux finished first and second, respectively, in the win/ loss column for singles. Carter has an 11-0 record and Deveaux is right behind him with an 11-2 record. Jabari Scott and Stephen Lamar finished first in the doubles standings with a 6-0 record. Lamar and Darrius Winns came in second with a 5-0 record and the team of Winns and Taron Graham finished fifth with a 4-0 record. Southwest DeKalb’s girls’ team also had a successful season, finishing second in the standings with an 11-2 record. Sophomore Tagan Horton finished second in single standings with a 13-0 record, which is behind Chamblee’s Gabrielle Robinson’s record of 140. Peri Green and Destini Willis of Southwest DeKalb finished first in the double standings with a 13-0 record. But it was the Lady Rams of Arabia Mountain that finished the season at the top of the team standings. Junior Sydney Lockett led the Lady Rams in the singles standings with an 8-1 record, while sophomore Jada Bridgewater record finished undefeated with a 6-0 record. The double team of Daijah Suggs and Jana Gladman also finished with an undefeated record of 3-0.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 12, 2013
Coaches building dynasties through multiple state championships
County coaches continued to build dynasties by winning multiple state titles. DeKalb County School District Athletics Coordinator and former Columbia High School boys basketball coach Dr. Philip McCrary is one of those coaches. McCrary retired from coaching in 2012 after 30-plus years. He won five state championships in seven seasons at Columbia—2006, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012. For McCrary, it wasn’t hard to lead five different teams to state championships. “I’ve always believed in the fact that you don’t try to rebuild, you try to reload,” he said. “The way we went about that is that I’ve always had a philosophy that I don’t lose with seniors. In order for seniors to play they must be successful in the classrooms and…successful on the floor.” “If I was going to lose then I was going to lose with underclassmen knowing that I have underclassmen coming back with the experience,” he added. “But with the seniors that I’ve had, they were great leaders and they’ve always took the younger players under their wings and helped mold them into the type of players that we expected them to be in the program because they have endured it.” For Miller Grove High School boys’ basketball head coach Sharman White, winning state titles is expected, and the players who have been through his program have exceeded that expectation five times. White and his team made history in March when they became the first boys’ basketball team in state history to win five consecutive state titles (2009-2013). “You’ve got to have high character guys that buy into what it is you’re trying to accomplish and every year our guys understand that the guys before them have set something and each year they work that much harder,” he said. Southwest DeKalb girls’ head basketball coach Kathy Walton, who has four state titles under her belt (2008, 2009, 2010, 2013), follows that same agenda. “I remember Coach White’s stance—saying it was about the program and I think that’s what we’ve established at Southwest: a program,” Walton said. “When the kids buy into what the program is about then you can establish some consistency.” McCrary, Walton and White all said that winning their state titles does not define them as coaches. McCrary added that he rarely wears his state championship rings. “Not to say that I don’t cherish [the rings], because I do,” he said. “But what I cherish most is seeing those kids once they finish [school] and seeing how they have grown up into young men and productive citizens in society. That’s the satisfaction I get.” “I’m most proud of the number of kids that have gone on to get college scholarships,” Walton said. “That’s the main reason why I got into [coaching].” “I don’t think, in whole, it [defines me],” White said. “I think it’s a part of the making, but building young men with high character and getting them to that next level and trying to help them secure many opportunities out of playing basketball — such as them being able to continue their education and have a career — I think that’s what the whole defining process is.”
by Carla Parker email@example.com inning a championship in a team sport is not an easy feat. For players, it’s difficult to accomplish that goal because the player needs the help of his or her teammates to reach that goal. For coaches, it is more difficult because it is up to the coach to get his or her players to believe in their program, the system and the coach to lead the team to the ultimate goal of a championship. Some coaches are not able to that and some are, in some cases, more than once. The DeKalb County School District is home to a number of coaches who have won multiple state championships and built dynasties in the process. From past coaches such as Napoleon Cobb, who won 10 track and field state titles with Gordon High School and Southwest DeKalb High School in the ‘70s and ‘90s, to Robert Nowell, who has eight state titles in gymnastics with Druid Hills, Sequoyah and Briarcliff high schools from the late ‘50s to the ‘70s. Over the past 10 years, DeKalb
‘I’ve been real fortunate.’ Cedar Grove honors Ray Bonner
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org edar Grove High School football and track coach Ray Bonner was brought to tears April 5 after the Cedar Grove faculty and student body honored him for his 10 years of coaching at the Ellenwood high school. Bonner is retiring this year after 35 years of coaching. The school honored him with a pep rally that included the marching band, all the sport teams, cheerleaders and Hot 107.9 radio station. Bonner’s family was also in attendance. Bonner said the tears he shed were tears of joy. “I’ve been real fortunate,” he said. “God has really blessed me to teach and coach for 35 years and the lives I’ve been able to touch – it’s sometimes so overwhelming when you look out and see what
they’re doing – it’s amazing and it’s especially amazing when they come back and say, ‘Coach, thanks.’” Bonner began his coaching career in 1978 at Columbia High School, where he spent six years as the head coach of the football and track teams. Bonner moved to Southwest DeKalb High School and was assistant head football coach and the head track coach from 1985-89. He left the high school level to move up to the college ranks to become an assistant head coach at Alabama A&M University in 1989. He was named head coach in 1991. He moved on to Texas Southern in 1994 and spent five years as assistant head football coach and head track coach. He was also an assistant football coach at Tennessee State, 2000-2003, before moving back to DeKalb to take the head football coaching job at Cedar Grove.
Bonner has a 134-97 record, eight region championships, four area championships and a North Georgia Championship as a high school coach. On the college level he has a 69-85-1 record and three SIAC Conference championships. Bonner has helped hundreds of players reach the next level in their careers, whether college level or professional level. He had 11 players who made it to the NFL and three track athletes who have participated in the Olympics. In his final year as coach, he helped 12 athletes earn football scholarships to college. Bonner said he was most appreciative of the parents for entrusting their children to him. “I’m grateful and I’m humble by the whole thing,” he said. “I did what I was supposed to do, and that’s come to work. I’m just happy.”
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 12, 2013
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