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WWW.CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER.COM • FRIDAY, APRIL 19 , 2013 • VOL. 16, NO. 4 • FREE
• A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS •
‘We are all safe.’
Medical workers wheel the injured across the finish line during the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Two bombs end Boston Marathon; 360 Georgians in race
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org
From left, Josh Witt, 21, and his father Michael raised more than $8,000 for the Doug Floutie Jr. Autism Foundation. It was the first Boston Marathon for Josh, who has autism.
In a quick email to The Champion, Decatur’s Michael Witt said, “We are all safe.” Witt and his son Josh were two of the more than 360 Georgians who participated in the Boston 117th Marathon April 15 that ended abruptly when two bombs exploded near the finish line. It was Josh’s first Boston Marathon. Three people were killed and more than 150 people injured, “some gravely,” said Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick during a media conference April 16. In a phone call when the Witt family returned to Decatur, Michael Witt said he and Josh finished the marathon approximately 20 minutes before the explosions. They were two blocks away when the bombs went off. “We thought, ‘What is that? Could it be a bomb?” Witt said. The explosions “took this beautiful day and tarnished it,” Witt said. “It went from sheer joy and delight because of how everybody did… then it turned bad and horrible…in a moment when we should have been celebrating. It was just not what we expected.” Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said, “This is a very difficult time in our city’s history.
See Bombing on Page 15A
in sixth grade. When he attended Lakeside High School, he ran cross country. fter years of running half “It was a great sport because it marathons, half ironmans, was a no-cut sport,” Michael said. triathlons—beginning “Everybody gets trained and everywith a 5K when he was 8 or 9— body gets to race.” Decatur resident Josh Witt, 21, ran Josh said his first half ironman his first Boston Marathon April 15. “was definitely long.” Josh ran the Boston with his “It was definitely a challenge father, 54-year-old Michael, who and once I completed it I just felt started running marathons in 1983 great,” Josh said. “I just wanted to when he was in medical school. keep doing it over and over again.” What makes this father-son Josh said he wanted to run in duo so special is that Joshua was the Boston Marathon because it’s a “To get into a Boston [Maradiagnosed with autism at the age of thon] officially, you have to qualify family affair. 4. The Witts ran the 117th Boston “It all started with my parin a previous marathon,” Michael Marathon as part of the its team of said. “Josh’s age group is pretty ents—watching and hearing my runners raising money for Doug competitive. I knew it was going to dad, seeing all the pictures,” Josh Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism. be pretty hard for him to qualify, but said. “He’s been doing the Boston The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundasince 1998 and we’ve had a bunch because of Josh’s autism, I started tion for Autism supports families looking at various charity organiza- of other friends who’ve done the affected by Autism Spectrum DisBoston as well.” tions that sponsors runners in the order and is committed to increasJosh said it was a “big honor Boston and one of them was the ing awareness of the challenges to not just to do the Boston, but to Doug Floutie Jr. autism foundation. of living with autism and helping run for a foundation that support “When they found out that Josh families find resources to help adautism awareness.” wanted to run and that Josh has audress those challenges. In Novem- tism and that he was the same age As a child, Josh said he did not ber 2012, the foundation launched see himself as autistic. as [former NFL quarterback] Doug its “21 Campaign” in an effort to “In my past and in my life… Floutie’s son, who the foundation raise awareness of the many adults is named after, then they gave Josh autism never really occurred to living with autism, the unique chal- a [race] number and provided me me,” Josh said. “I just [sought] to Because she her news updates online the The Champi lenges that they face, and what the a number as well, if we could raise be a gets normal person and dofrom these Flutie Foundation is doing to supraces without having people know $8,000.” Because she gets her news updates online from the The Champion. port these individuals. Doug Flutie or feel sorry for me. I just wanted The Wittsonline said they raised Because she gets her news updates from the The Champion. Jr., who was diagnosed with auto be normal.” a little more than the minimum tism at the age of 3, recently turned amount. www.facebook.com/championnewspaper 21 years old. See Marathon on Page 15A Josh began serious running
Father-son duo run Boston Marathon, raise funds for autism IS SHE SHE IS SO SO
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 19, 2013
LifeLine Animal Project, a nonprofit animal rescue organization based in Avondale Estates, plans to convert the DeKalb County animal shelter into a “no-kill” operation.
LifeLine Animal Project to turn DeKalb Shelter into a ‘no-kill’ operation
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org LifeLine Animal Project, a nonprofit program whose purpose is to end animal euthauasia, plans to convert the DeKalb County animal shelter into a “no-kill” operation. LifeLine, which also has a contract to operate the Fulton County animal shelter, was awarded a contract to operate the DeKalb County animal shelter in February. Both county shelters have been criticized for high euthanasia rates and poor living conditions and LifeLine wants to find a way to convert them to nokill operations. LifeLine public relations representative Karen Hirsch said the organization’s goal is to end the euthanization of any healthy, adoptable animals. “But it’s going to take some time,” she said. “We are relying on the help of the community, volunteers and rescue groups to help us save animals. We are in need of foster homes because every time we have a foster home, not only do they take one dog out that could be euthanized, but it will make room for another dog so they won’t be euthanized.” Hirsch added that LifeLine is also looking at other initiated programs. “We’ve got many projects under way that will help save the dogs’ lives as well,” she said. “Our goal is to make Atlanta a lifesaving community.” Animal shelters euthanize animals to reduce the overcrowding at the shelter. Hirsch said LifeLine is following the plan of cities that have handled overcrowding without killing animals. “There are a lot of ways we can keep dogs from coming into the shelter in the first place,” she said. “Sometimes it’s just that the dogs have a medical problem that the owners can’t afford to fix and we can help them with that. Sometimes it’s a behavioral issue and we have trainers that are willing to help with that.” Hirsch added that LifeLine will also have adoption specials and make the shelter friendlier. “It’s going to look nicer,” she said. “Right now it kind of looks scary, so we’re going to make it a nicer place to come in to get the dogs and have a staff that’s very welcoming and helpful to people as well.” The contract to run the shelter is still under negotiation. LifeLine founder Rebecca Guinn started the program 10 years ago after seeing so many pets being euthanized at animal shelters. At that time, nearly 60,000 pets were being killed in the metro Atlanta area every year. She decided the answer to that problem is to spay and neuter. LifeLine, which has two locations in Decatur and College Park, promotes homeless pet adoption, provides affordable spay and neuter services, promotes public awareness and advocate lifesaving public policy. The group goes to animal shelters to get animals that wouldn’t be adopted and bring them back to the facility to rehabilitate them. See related story on page 8A.
Residents upset over proposed sewer tax allocation district
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com Members of one Scottdale community urged DeKalb County commissioners to vote “no” on amending an ordinance that will cost them upward of $7,500 per-household to fix their sewer lines. “The county should be responsible for the entire infrastructure, countywide as it always has been,” Chris Kohler told commissioners at an April 9 meeting. “I ask you please do not support this ordinance—it is going to insert more conflict and more inequality across neighborhoods.” Commissioners want to amend a portion of the county’s ordinances to allow for the creation of special tax allocation districts (TADs) to fund certain water and sewer projects. The vote has been deferred until the commission’s April 23 meeting, but Commissioner Lee May said it is an issue that has been around since June 2012. “There are a few limited areas in the county that have private water or sewer systems that have approached the county about assistance and upgrading to the public system,” May said. Amending the ordinance will allow residents in those areas to enter into a costsharing partnership with the county to fix their private systems, some of which are more than 50-years-old, to eventually become part of the county’s sewer system. Marie Presley, who lives in the Scottdale Mill Village neighborhood, said she was “shocked” to learn she would be required to pay for something that the county should fix. “It’s like a thief in the night…we’re paying for something that everybody is using,” Presley said. Ted Rhinehart, deputy chief operating officer who oversees all of the county’s departments, said no residents will be forced to pay to have their systems fixed if the ordinance is amended. Residents will vote on whether to designate their area a TAD and if passed, the commission will then have to adopt a separate resolution for each specific project. Rhinehart also said that some residents could choose to pay the $7,500 up front or pay it back over a 10-year period. “If they want to pay over time it, in essence, goes as a lien on their property, and only if they were delinquent would they have a fine in [addition to] what they annually have due to the tax commission,” Rhinehart said. Some residents, such as Presley, said they are already paying water and sewer fees and it isn’t fair to have to pay any additional fees. However, Rhinehart said the fees paid to the county by residents on private sewer systems are for transporting waste. “All the waste is discharged through our system, whether it comes from a publicly maintained or privately maintained system, and it goes to either of our two treatment plants for processing or one in Clayton [County],” Rhinehart said. Burke Brennan, a spokesman for DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis, said the issue is a troubling one that doesn’t have an easy solution. “You might have a number of houses served by a private line that was never deeded over to the county. The thing is, a sewer line doesn’t really need maintenance for years at a time, and then when it does that’s when people find out [it’s a private line],” Brennan said. Brennan said the DeKalb County Watershed Department is supported by its users and not based on property taxes, so payments for water and sewer usage are determined by a proportionate fee based on a rate. “On publicly maintained stretches everyone shoulders the expense proportionately and for private lines it is shouldered 100 percent by the people using those lines,” Brennan said. “The [TAD] provides a solution where no one homeowner has to shoulder the totality of a major upgrade and neither do the rate payers.”
the realm of those in control. Right is universal and will stand the test of time. At the close of the day, unfortunately they were dumb educators (oxymoron) helping to demonstrate that public schools led by Blacks cannot function properly. Therefore the hue and cry becomes “give our tax dollars to public and charter schools in “communities of interest,” That way we can be assured that there will be no cheating, no lack of performance and everyone will sing Kumbayah, even those from whom the power was stripped. DeKalb County school board members removed without due process or proof of malfeasance and crimes is another example of NeoRedemption Era. The Voting Rights Act clearly states that no practices or procedures can be put into place to take away one’s right to vote. Voters put the DeKalb School Board members in office. Voters should take them out. What has occurred is that the “master” has decided he didn’t like the people the voters elected so he will replace them with those of his choosing. After all, “It’s for the good of the children.” No one has ever said DeKalb school children weren’t learning or that their education was in jeopardy. Their education is only threatened if the “wrong” people are at the helm. Neo-Redemption Era. Citihood and secession — Another classic example of the NeoRedemption Era. “Communities of interest” in control of their own tax dollars and how those dollars are spent. The legislature is being used to create laws to allow White people to secede from mostly African-American counties. They would rather pay double taxes to have their own kind in control. In most of these cityhood issues, county services, i.e. trash pickup, police and public safety services are rarely the problem. If they are honest, they will say they simply don’t like being under the leadership of “those people.” Axiomatic quotes learned from White friends: “We are not comfortable when the ratio of Blacks to Whites gets up around 6040. “I am somewhat fearful when I go downtown Atlanta. I guess I am not accustomed to being in the minority.” Truth talk. MARTA — When leadership that wasn’t kissed by the sun ran the trains and buses, the general manager and his staff could take trips all over the world and buy $200 bottles of Dom Perignon. The news media and the legislature raised nary an eyebrow and certainly never a pen. Today it’s watch every dime. Better yet, outsource the major contracts and control of the money to those sanctioned by the state. We must be good stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars, as if people of color don’t pay taxes. It could be argued that perhaps people of color don’t pay as much in taxes. True, because they don’t have the jobs and property and businesses. Housing Authority and tax commissioners’ salaries – I wish someone could help me understand why Atlanta Housing Authority (AHA) Director Renee Glover’s salary is worthy of a front page article in the major daily. Why is her salary and that of her staff of such interest? She entered into a contract drawn up and approved by the powers that be. Now that she has done their bidding and sent most of the AHA residents to DeKalb and Clayton counties somehow the major Atlanta paper has decided her salary is an issue. Certainly it was a tip to the paper and I am willing to lay odds that Renee Glover didn’t call the newspaper to discuss her salary. The same is true for the tax commissioners. The AJC made a big deal out of the Fulton and DeKalb tax commissioners’ salaries. Translation: “Those uppity people (very polite) are making too much money.” Voting Rights Act – Attention to one of the most important pieces of legislation of our time is being obscured by a wedge issue called gay marriage. The 1965 Voting Rights Act is being challenged and it is a discussion that ought to be had in every government and social studies class in America. Who cares about who enters into a civil contract with whom? It is a legal contract; one that in the history of African Americans in the United States could not be entered into. Shelby County, Ala., uses the argument that because we have an African-American president there is no longer a need for the Voting Rights Act. Nothing could be further from the truth. The playing field is not equal. It wasn’t in my grandfather and grandmother’s lifetimes, it wasn’t in my parents’, it hasn’t been in mine, it isn’t in my children’s and I still see it happening with my grandchildren. We must have the dialogue. We must speak truth and we must stop being politically correct. Race relations in this country are regressing and deteriorating. Here it is 2013 and we still have segregated proms here in Georgia for Pete’s sake, and our governor, is refusing to “take sides” and his spokesperson calling the young people’s move to hold an integrated prom a “leftist publicity stunt!” We had better wake up. Working and middle class Blacks, Browns, Whites, Reds and Yellows have a common enemy – corporate greed that uses race to divide us. It was true during the Trail of Tears when Indians were forced off their lands and marched out west; it was true during slavery, after slavery, during the Civil Rights Movement, after the Civil Rights Movement and is true today in this Neo-Redemption Era. It is about the money.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 19, 2013
What is the Neo-Redemption Era? It’s a term coined by the writer. We are in it, the new Redemption Era. Following the post-Civil War Reconstruction Era the South entered a period dubbed the Redemption Era. Federal troops had left the South as a result of the 1877 Compromise Act. Whites began taking back what the Confederacy felt it had lost during Reconstruction when African Americans voted, were elected to office, owned businesses and lived out the American dream. During Redemption, the gains of African Americans were systematically stripped through a concerted effort by the Klan, the legislature, courts and media. African Americans were disenfranchised and relegated to second-class citizenship. Tactics included fear, economic strangulation (loss of jobs, intimidation), loss of voting privileges, jail and lynching. Post-Civil Rights era, we are now deeply ensconced in the NeoRedemption Era. Gains of the ‘60s are being reclaimed. If we do not understand history, we are doomed to repeat it. Some recent examples: Atlanta Public School Cheating Scandal — The tears welled up in my eyes as I watched the “perp parade” of Atlanta educators walking into the Fulton County jail to be fingerprinted and have mug shots taken in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal. They are fallen educational stars who got out of their lanes. As a youngster, one was instructed don’t do what’s always been done, do what is right. Cheating is wrong. Situational ethics is
Steen Miles, The Newslady, is a retired journalist and former Georgia state senator. Contact Steen Miles at Steen@dekalbchamp.com.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 19, 2013
A grand old dame
the conservative Tory Party won a plurality on the back of a rightward swing at the polls, and elected Thatcher prime minister. Then nearing a century after its days of global dominance and the Great Empire, Great Britain was a bloated, wobbly shell of its former self—rocked by inflation, costs of a sky-rocketing public health care system and unsustainable public labor contracts on a trajectory toward bankrupting the nation. With interest rates approaching 22 percent, a record 10,000 corporations filing bankruptcy in the same year and the strong pound devastating British exports overseas, in the summer of 1981, as the Prince of Wales wed the lovely Lady Diana Spencer, Thatcher warned a chastened United Kingdom, “Things will get worse before they get better.” And they did. Thankfully, the downward spiral did not continue long. In the spring of 1982, Argentina invaded the remote British colony of the Falkland Islands. While the United States and other allies pushed for negotiations for restoring British sovereignty, Prime Minister Thatcher dispatched the Royal Navy fleet to the south Atlantic. A 10-week war ensued, with the British government retaking the islands, costing the lives of 250 British servicemen and more than 1,000 Argentine military. Mrs. Thatcher’s place was set on the world stage. Thatcher was first to meet with a then rising star in Russia Mikhail Gorbachev, whom she later introduced to President Reagan, ushering in the era of Glasnost, which eventually led to an end to the Cold War. In 1984, Thatcher began talks with the People’s Republic of China, which would eventually result in the hand-off of the island/ state of Hong Kong. Meanwhile, Thatcher remained a controversial figure at home, reviled by many of Britain’s Labour and Liberal Party leaders, as well as government unions for her attempts to privatize the National Health Service. She was also rebuffed from making significant cuts to the U.K.’s pension and social security programs. And while many of the attacks were on Thatcher’s policies, she was often ridiculed for her voice, appearance and fashion choices, as well as the masculinity of her husband Dennis Thatcher. But Thatcher refused to take the bait—she just governed on. Following another recession at home, and some policy missteps, Thatcher’s third term as prime minister was a rocky one she eventually lost the office to one of her own protégés, John Major. Thatcher survived that stinging defeat. When asked in 1990 about the pain of what many viewed as a bitter betrayal, Thatcher smiled and replied, “We’re in politics, dear.” The strength of Mrs. Thatcher’s legacy is defined in part by the still shrill voices of her opponents. In Northern Ireland where Thatcher is viewed with among the most vehement antipathy, graffiti followed her death.—“The Iron Lady, Rust in Peace.” The Soviets had placed the label of “Iron Lady” on Thatcher in 1976, intended as an insult, following a hawkish speech on defense policy. Thatcher embraced the nickname instead. Following her death, Thatcher critics rallied to make “Ding Dong, the Witch Is Dead,” top the weekly British pop charts, in an obvious allusion to Thatcher’s passing. They were successful, nearing a quarter century after Thatcher left office. I can’t quite shake the mental image of Lady Thatcher looking down from on high, smiling and tapping her toes to that one—sans the ruby slippers. They wouldn’t have been her style anyway.
One Man’s Opinion
“I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding, because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.”—British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (19252013) and the United Kingdom’s longest serving PM of the 20th Century (1979-1990). Born in a modest upstairs flat, the daughter of a small grocer and granddaughter of a shoemaker, Margaret Thatcher would hardly have been expected to one day become one of the most prominent Brits of modern times. Though often paired in history with her U.S. counterpart of the same era, President Ronald Reagan, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher preceded Reagan in office by a year, and survived him by another two years. While a young mother of twins, Thatcher made her first run for Parliament in 1951. It would be several races and nearing the end of that decade before Thatcher won her seat, and 28 years before
Bill Crane also serves as a political analyst and commentator for Channel 2’s Action News, WSBAM News/Talk 750 and now 95.5 FM, as well as a columnist for The Champion, Champion Free Press and Georgia Trend. Crane is a DeKalb native and business owner, living in Scottdale. You can reach him or comment on a column at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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 19 2013
Former DeKalb teachers indicted for cheating
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com Jennings stem from a period of eight days in April 2010. She is accused of altering Three former DeKalb the attendance records of County school administra12 students to falsely reflect tors were indicted April 16 they had withdrawn from for allegedly engaging in Rock Chapel Elementary erasures on the Criterionand re-enrolled a short time Referenced Competency later. Tests (CRCT). According to prosecuThe former administrators, a witness has verified tors are Agnes Flanagan, that several days before former principal of Cedar the records were changed, Grove Middle School; they taught Jennings how to Angela Jennings, former change students’ attendance principal of Rock Chapel El- records in the school’s comementary School; and Derek puterized student informaWooten, former principal tion system. of Stoneview Elementary The continuous enrollSchool. ment of a child at a school According to the indictfor a full academic year ment, the fraud occurred on impacts the school’s necesseveral separate occasions sity of having that child’s where the CRCT was admin- CRCT test scores reflected istered by the DeKalb Coun- in the school’s overall perty School District (DCSD). formance. In April or early May Jennings reportedly re2009, Flanagan allegedly signed from DCSD in May altered students’ CRCT test 2010. She is charged with score sheets and ordered two eight counts of public record teachers to do the same. fraud and eight counts of “Ms. Flanagan ordered computer forgery for every the two subordinate teachers date she accessed the student into a room where already information system to alter complete CRCT test score records. sheets were on a table, proWooten, whose charges vided both with score sheet include computer forgery transparencies that easily and two counts of making indicated the correct answers false statements, was profor the test and then ordered moted to assistant principal both to start making changes at Stoneview Elementary in to test sheets,” a spokesman 2010. from DeKalb District AtStudent attendance and torney Robert James’ office CRCT results were two said. components for a school’s An investigation by status of Adequate Yearly Gov. Nathan Deal’s office, Progress (AYP), which was released in 2011, flagged tied to federal funding under Cedar Grove Middle as a the No Child Left Behind “severe” school with regards Act. Wooten was worried to its “wrong-to-right” erathat Stoneview would not sure analysis. A spokesman pass AYP because of its testsaid the two teachers that ing results, so he allegedly Flanagan ordered to change ordered teachers to change the answers are “cooperatthe numbers of students ing witnesses and corrobowith excessive unexcused rate each other’s version of absences, according to the events.” DA’s Office. Flanagan is charged with According to the DA’s three counts of making a Office, this case was origifalse statement, three counts nally indicted in March 2011 of forgery in the first degree but the most recent indictand three counts of public ment reflects new evidence record fraud. She has since and information from witretired from DCSD. nesses. The allegations against
Champion of the Week
different cultures and different countries to connect on a personal level,” Schaefer said. After spending two years in Tanzania with the Peace Corps, she returned home and began volunteering with the Refugee Resettlement and Immigrations Services of Atlanta (RRISA), where she has volunteered for the past two years. Since living abroad in Tanzania, Schaefer said she felt drawn to help refugees who likely feel the same way she felt in a strange new country. “I know how overwhelming it can be, being in a strange culture where you don’t know the language,” Schaefer said. “I wanted to give back and help people who were coming from far more dire situations.” At RRISA, Schaefer helps manage the
DeKalb County resident Karen Schaefer has always wanted to join the United States Peace Corps, so she did, after retiring from her teaching career. “I had always wanted to join the Peace Corps,” Schaefer said. “It started up at the same time I started having children.” “I’m a firm believer that this is one world that we all share and I think the Peace Corps especially, makes it possible for people from
clothing closet and organize the donations the nonprofit receives. The closing closet is a room where, for free, newly-arrived refugees can pick out any clothes they need. “Sometimes they arrive with only a trash bag,” Schaefer said. “Or, they come from very warm climates so they’re wearing sandals and it’s the dead of winter here.” Schaefer said her volunteer work with RRISA and abroad is important because it not only helps those in need; it also helps to break down cultural barriers and misconceptions. “It dissipates this misunderstanding and people begin to realize we share so much in common—we have many more things in common than things we don’t,” Schaefer 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.
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 19 2013
Clarkston Library will show the film Prince Among Slaves, Saturday, April 27, 2-3:30 p.m. The screening will be followed by a discussion led by Ehab Jaleel and Zaynab Ansari of the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta. These programs offer an opportunity to learn about and discuss the complex history, culture and beliefs of Muslims in the United States and around the world. This is a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities, conducted in cooperation with the American Library Association. The Clarkston Library is located at 951 N. Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston. For more information, call (404) 508-7175.
City repairs school sidewalks Brookhaven students returned to school from spring break with repaired sidewalks. Brookhaven repaired its first sidewalk April 8-12 at Woodward Elementary School on Curtis Drive. Brookhaven’s Public Works Department has been gathering data on sidewalk conditions throughout the city since Brookhaven’s inception in December. The department reviewed the sidewalks around the five schools in the city and prioritized those in greatest need of repairs. Public Works Director Richard Meehan said, “Because the safety of our children is our first priority, we chose to focus on schools first. Our work is contingent on not interrupting the school day, so we had to wait until spring break.” After Woodward Elementary, the city will begin work on the sidewalks near Montgomery Elementary on Ashford Dunwoody Road. Brookhaven does not anticipate closing any roads, but drivers should anticipate lane closures on Ashford Dunwoody if the repairs extend to Montgomery Elementary. Lane closures on Ashford Dunwoody would be between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Brookhaven plans to repair the sidewalks around the other city schools – Kittredge, Ashford Park and Montclair – while school is out for the summer. Other sidewalks throughout the city that are not near schools will also be repaired starting later this month. For more information, visit www. brookhavenga.gov/publicworks.html. City appoints development authority The Brookhaven City Council appointed seven residents to the city’s first development authority on April 9. The development authority is tasked with promoting economic development opportunities in accordance with city economic development initiatives. The city will launch a comprehensive plan in late summer or early fall that will include a citywide development plan. “This is one of our most important boards and we are honored to have such accomplished members from our community,” City Manager Marie L. Garrett said. The seven members will serve fouryear staggered terms. The appointees include president and CEO of Waffle House Walt Ehmer, who was named chairman; attorney Luke Anderson; former vice president and treasurer of Cox Enterprises Inc. Susan Coker; CEO of Capital City Nissan Pat Hoban; attorney Tim Peaden; chairman and CEO of SunTrust Investment Services John Rhett; and attorney Bruce L. Whitmer. For more information, visit www. brookhavenga.gov.
that “buying DeKalb” helps support HOST and HOST in turn supports property tax relief for homeowners and provides funding for infrastructure improvements. “I want to thank GDOT Commissioner R.L. Brown and [DeKalb Public Works Director] Ted Rhinehart for this effort in securing the funding. This is a great project and with it we are working toward improving the appearance of the Candler Road corridor—the gateway to South DeKalb,” Johnson added. Construction on Candler Road Project began in January. Kemi Construction was awarded the bid for the project. Commissioner to host community cleanup in south DeKalb Commissioner Stan Watson will partner with south DeKalb residents and county agencies for his annual Super District 7 Community Cleanup. The community cleanup will be April 20 along Wesley Chapel Road, Rainbow Drive, Columbia Drive, Covington Highway and Flat Shoals Road. The starting point for the cleanup, which begins at 9 a.m., is in the lot at the intersection of Wesley Chapel and Boring/ Kelley Chapel Roads. Concert will benefit emergency assistance ministry The Decatur Civic Chorus will present “A Disney Spectacular,” a benefit concert for the Decatur-area Emergency Assistance Ministry (DEAM). The concert will also feature the Avondale Children’s Choir and DeKalb School of the Arts. DEAM, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, provides emergency help for local residents to prevent homelessness and hunger. Supported by more than 20 Decatur and Avondale area churches of many denominations, DEAM provides emergency food, financial aid for utilities and prescriptions, clothing and volunteer support to qualifying residents in the Decatur and Avondale area. In its 65th year, the Decatur Civic Chorus has performed all over the United States, Europe, and Mexico. A nonprofit group, the chorus raises funds to support various community projects. The concert will be Sunday, April 28, at 3 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Decatur, 308 Clairemont Drive, Decatur. Donations are $10 for adults and two nonperishable food items for children. For more information, go to www.decaturcivicchorus.org or call (770) 388-9536.
Seniors invited to learn about county library advisory board Those interested in becoming members of the DeKalb County Public Library Senior Advisory Board can learn more at the Decatur Library Wednesday, April 24, 1:30-3:30 p.m. Advisory board members assist library personnel in planning programs for and about seniors. For more information, call (404) 3708450, ext. 2257. The Decatur Library is located at 215 Sycamore Street, Decatur. South River group to hold river cleanups The South River Watershed Alliance (SRWA) is sponsoring four South River cleanup and exploration opportunities during Earth Day weekend. The events are scheduled for Saturday, April 20, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. The locations include South River at Panola Shoals, at the intersection of Panola Road and Snapfinger Road; South River at Panthersville Road, just below Georgia Perimeter College; and South River at Waldrop Road, south of the intersection of Flat Shoals Road and Waldrop Road. The fourth location is South River at Constitution Lakes. Participants will gather at the Fleetwood Drive SE entrance to Constitution Lakes. Going south on Moreland Avenue (from I-20) turn left onto Bailey Street SE and follow the road to Fleetwood Drive SE. This cleanup is sponsored by SRWA and Friends of Constitution Lakes. To participate, send an email to email@example.com to let organizers know which site you have chosen. For more information, call (404) 285-3756. All clean up tools and materials will be provided. Commissioners accept funding for Candler Road improvements At the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners meeting April 9, commissioners voted to accept and appropriate up to $1.75 million from the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) for landscape improvements and resurfacing along Candler Road. DeKalb was able to access these GDOT funds by providing the required 20 percent match; the match funds were secured from Homestead Option Sales Tax (HOST) proceeds. Commissioner Larry Johnson said
The videos will be posted to www.dunwoodyga.gov and on the city’s YouTube channel. As additional videos are produced, the city will conduct “man on the street” interviews to directly answer citizens’ questions and concerns. Residents are encouraged to submit questions to the city and a video response from the corresponding department head will be created and posted on the city’s YouTube channel www.youtube.com\dunwoody. Questions and inquiries can be submitted via video and sent directly to the city through a link or by submitting the question in an email to news@dunwoodyga. gov.
City to celebrate Georgia Cities Week Lithonia will be celebrating “Georgia Cities Week,” April 20-27, with events for all ages, including a three-on-three basketball tournament, youth talent show, bingo, community volunteers’ recognition, and a wine stroll with jazz. The theme of this year’s Georgia Cities Week is “Where the Action Is,” and reflects the growing presence of cities in television and movie productions. Mayor Deborah A. Jackson, said, “We are very proud of our city and are working to make it more attractive for the residents and visitors. Georgia Cities Week provides an opportunity to showcase the city and celebrate our community.” City Council members Darold Honore and Ric Dodd co-chaired the planning committee and worked with volunteers to identify a variety of activities that will provide something for all interest levels. Events planned for the week include: • Three-on-three basketball tournament, Saturday, April 20, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., in front of 6920 Main Street; • Youth Talent Show, April 20, 3-5 p.m., in front of 6981 Main Street; • Rock In Lithonia, April 20, 7 p.m.-midnight on Main Street; • Tea Time with Seniors, Tuesday, April 23, 10-11 a.m., at the Bruce Street Senior Center, 2484 Bruce Street; • Elected officials “Meet & Greet” and Community Service Recognitions, Wednesday, April 24, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Lithonia Woman’s Club, 2564 Wiggins Street; • Bingo Night, Thursday, April 25, 6-9 p.m., Stone Manor Events Facility, 3113 Church Street; • Family Movie Night, Friday, April 26, 7:30-9:30 p.m., 6967 Main Street Alley; • Community clean-up and furniture drive, Saturday, April 27 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Market on Main, from 1-3 p.m. • Wine Stroll and Rock In Lithonia, April 27, featuring local jazz artists on Main Street, from 7 p.m.-midnight. Georgia Cities Week is sponsored by the Georgia Municipal Association, a voluntary, nonprofit organization that provides legislative advocacy, educational, employee benefit and consulting services to its 510 member cities.
City unveils informational video series The city of Dunwoody recently launched a cycle of informational videos showcasing city departments and the services each provide. Titled the “Spotlight Series,” the videos offer a behind-the-scenes look into the city’s operations and services, showcasing a different city department each week. Each segment introduces a department head who discusses his or her role, responsibilities and the projects being accomplished and how people can get in touch with them.
Film to prompt discussion on Muslim culture As part of its Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys series, the
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 19, 2013
Avondale Estates hopes to reduce speed on Kensington Road
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org The Avondale Estates City Commission is looking at options that will reduce speed on Kensington Road after residents complained that drivers use Kensington as a cut-through from Covington Highway. The city completed two Speed Sentry Data Analysises on Kensington Road. The first study was done May 6 through June 4, 2012 and the second study was done Jan. 29 through Feb. 20, 2013. City Manager Clai Brown said the city had Speed Sentry devices mounted on a pole to detect drivers’ speed on Kensington Road. “Since the road is 30 mph the acceptable speed limit is within 10 mph or less,” he said. “Anything over than that is over the speed limit. Based off of that study the majority of the traffic flow was within the acceptable speed limit.” Brown said options the city is looking at include speed humps, speed bumps, speed tables and installing sidewalks. “Everything is still being researched,” Brown said. Another option the city is looking at is redesigning the intersection at Kensington Road and Covington Highway down to two lanes. “One of the options is to take that [turn] lane and put a landscape island in the middle so it’s not as wide open,” he said. “Another option is to have traffic go one way, which would be going northbound onto Kensington Road. So that would eliminate any left hand turns off of Covington Highway.” The city is also looking at possibly closing the road to make it a cul-de-sac. Brown said the city hasn’t decided which option they are going to go with. “We’re doing our due diligence on all of the options,” he said. “We’re trying to get the cost on what the sidewalks would be, the speed tables and the island. “We’re also working
Avondale Estates city officials are looking at options that will reduce speed on Kensington Road.
on getting a meeting with [the Georgia Department of Transportation] regarding
if we close the road what would be the traffic.” For more information
or to view the options, visit www.avondaleestates.org.
Commissioners still unsure about animal services site
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com Residents may have to wait several more months before officials approve a site for the new DeKalb Animal Services facility, in the meantime, some say services at the current facility are in jeopardy. Officials from Stopping Pet Overpopulation Together (SPOT) Georgia, an advocacy organization that offers low cost spay and neutering services, said there are 10 vacancies at the current DeKalb County Animal Services facility. At a recent DeKalb County commission meeting, members of SPOT said the animal services facility is operating far below national staffing standards and animal care and field response functions are being compromised. DeKalb County Commissioner Lee May said the county needs to increase the number of pet adoptions and volunteers, and one way to do that is to have a new facility. A task force was developed in 2011 to begin surveying locations to build the new facility and recommend a site to the board of commissioners. The task force completed its study in February 2012 and recommended a site at Peachtree DeKalb Airport (PDK) in Chamblee. The airport is owned and operated by the county under federal guidance and is funded through the revenue it brings in. Hakim Hilliard, chief of staff for DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis, said the PDK location was narrowed down from a list of more than 80 potential sites. However, some commissioners want a more central location for the new facility to provide greater access to residents. “The facility location is critical and I understand that a number of the current users would be in that area but I would also suggest that accessibility for a larger share of the county is needed,” May said. “I think the geographical location being more centrally located is something that we need to do.” Hilliard said one of the county’s goals is to reduce the euthanasia rates at the shelters and one of the ways to do that is to have the new facility in a convenient location. “Our current facility is in a location where it’s not very convenient for people to go or want to go to identify pets for adoption,” Hilliard said. “We all agree that the PDK site was the most appropriate that we considered.” In addition to the PDK site, an office park in Tucker and a vacant auto dealership in Decatur were also considered. Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton said she was concerned about choosing the best location for the site and also exploring options to lessen the burden on taxpayers. The proposed facility will cost approximately $2.75 million, which will be paid from the county’s general fund. Since PDK is owned by the county, Hilliard said it would be paid for by placing the $2.75 million into the “enterprise” fund that the airport operates from. “It’s taking it from one pot and putting it into another,” Hilliard said. However, Barnes Sutton wanted the task force to go back and look at land that the county already owned and wouldn’t have to pay any additional money to obtain. “You’re taking money out of our hands that could be used for our constituents and putting it into the airport. If we already own the land we won’t have to pay any additional money and we could just build,” Barnes Sutton said. “That’s what concerns me
See Commissioners on Page 10A
PUBLIC NOTICE The Downtown Development Authority for the City of Chamblee will meet the fourth Tuesday of each month at 6:00 pm. The first meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 in the conference room at City Hall, 5468 Peachtree Road, Chamblee, GA. The agenda will include the election of officers, adoption of by‐laws, and guest speakers.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 19, 2013
From left, DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis recognizes students in the Summer Mentoring Initiative Legal Education program: Deja White, Hannah Senegal, Bria Cooper, Deja White, and Brytany Echols, and program director, State Court Judge Stacy Hydrick. Photos by Andrew Cauthen
DeKalb girls get exposure to justice system
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org State Court Judge Stacey Hydrick’s summer program for girls “is really an inside look into a system that most people would never, ever get to experience,” she said. This summer, the eightweek Summer Mentoring Initiative in Legal Education (SMILE), will be in its second year. The program, for girls 14-18, gives participants a look at the judicial system. Once a week on Fridays 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., the girls go to Hydrick’s courtroom. During the morning session, “they all sit right here in the jury box,” she said during a special lunch April 10 for SMILE participants and those interested in learning about the program. “Every Friday I have my jail cases,” Hydrick said. “They observe the probation revocation hearings, the sentencing and the pleas and various other sundry matters.” After lunch, the girls visit the offices of, or hear from, various representatives in the judicial system, such as Solicitor General Sherry Boston, officials from the GBI and thecounty medical examiner’s office, county social workers, public defenders, probation officers and representatives from, magistrate’s court, juvenile court and the Women’s Resource Center. “My favorite part was when we went to the jail because I have a deep interest in—I don’t want to say incarcerating people—but, you know, if they’re bad, they deserve it,” said Bryttany Echols, a senior at Columbia High School, who wants to study criminal justice. Bria Cooper, a senior at Southwest DeKalb, said, “Visiting the GBI lab was one of my favorite activities in the program. It gave me the opportunity to understand that you don’t have to work in the court to be a part of the legal system. Working in a lab is just as important. “SMILE is a great opportunity for young girls to be introduced to the court system,” said Cooper, who plans to study biology and possibly pursue a career in forensic science. “It enhances their knowledge of the different careers.” Hydrick said, “For me, one of the most rewarding aspects of the program is the personal relationships that I get to develop with these girls. These are my girls. “We spend eight weeks together,” she said. “I keep up with them via email, I’ve seen their prom dresses— what they look like and I know about their upcoming graduations and things they’re going to be doing in their lives.” The girls also have required reading: Cupcake Brown’s memoir A Piece of Cake, which details the author’s struggle with her mother’s early death. “I highly recommend it,” Hydrick said. “Essentially it’s about how a young woman overcame horrific obstacles in her life: drugs, alcohol, sexual abuse, rape, being homeless. It’s a true story and she ended up becoming a very successful attorney in San Francisco.” DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis called the program innovative and empowering. “Public service is a beautiful thing and we do it because we want to make a difference. We all have a job description,” Ellis said. “But the best public servants
See SMILES on Page 16A Photo by Burke Brennan
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 19, 2013
Hundreds of bikers ride in support of domestic violence awareness
by Carla Parker email@example.com The Atlanta Zulus Motorcycle Club along with other bikers and classic car enthusiasts spent the morning of April 13 riding their bikes and driving their cars in the second annual charity ride to bring awareness to domestic violence. Hosted by the Beverly Cunningham Outreach Program (BCOP), the event included bikers and drivers who drove from the Wal-Mart on Old National Highway in Atlanta to The Mall at Stonecrest. Roderick Cunningham, founder and CEO of BCOP, said the ride is a part of his outreach program’s continuing effort to raise awareness of domestic violence. “We want to be a part of the solution and not the problem,” he said. The Beverly Cunningham Outreach program is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 2010 in honor of Cunningham’s mother, Beverly Cunningham Brown, who after enduring years of mental and verbal abuse, was murdered by her husband on Oct. 27, 2009. Thw incident was witnessed by Cunningham. The mission of BCOP is to provide individual and group counseling, advocacy and rehabilitation services to survivors of domestic violence. The foundation seeks to be an outlet for community youth who are at risk of becoming victims of violence, substance abuse or who are impacted by health issues. BCOP’s goal is to break the cycle of violence with training and education by providing assistance, educational and prevention programs to not only the victims of violence but to children exposed to violence. The Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Georgia Latinos Against Domestic Violence were in partnership with BCOP for the charity event. The event also included comedian Rion Evans as the master of ceremonies, Nan’s National Youth Director Mary-Pat Hector, a live DJ, vendors, a motorcycle show and face painting for children. Also in attendance were recording artists Mimi Johnson, Lolita Coby, and LaTonya Scott, the Elevated Places Dance Company, Commissioner Stan Watson, State Representative Dar’shun Kendrick, Clerk of Superior Court Debra
Bikers and the DeKalb County community raised awareness of domestic violence at the Beverly Cunningham Outreach Program’s 2nd Annual Charity Ride on April 13.
Deberry and DeKalb County Sheriff Thomas Brown. The event also included
survivor stories from Amber Lyons, Prosper Miller and Chyna McGarity. For more
information about BCOP and upcoming events, visit www. bcop.org.
Commissioners Continued From Page 8A
and that’s what I want—we could very well end up at the same place—but we need to know that we’re representing all 700,000 people that will be paying for this and all their needs are met.” Several months ago, commissioners also approved a $2.4 million contract with the Avondale Estates-based company LifeLine Animal Project to run the county’s animal services facility. However, the company has yet to take over operations. “People are anxious about it,” Commissioner Elaine Boyer said at a recent committee meeting. Williams said the county is working “in earnest” with LifeLine to resolve any outstanding issues as quickly as possible. Approving the site for a new animal services facility is on the agenda for the April 23 board of commissioners meeting. See related story on page 3A.
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 19, 2013
Judge Berryl Anderson–Vanguard Award
Cynthia Houston–Environmental Change Award
The Beulah Boys All Male Soul Line Dancers–Neighborhood Empowerment Award
Robby Astrove–Environmental Change Award
Doug Harms–Vanguard Award
DeKalb honors its extraordinary volunteers
Spring rains the afternoon of April 14 didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of friends, family members, co-workers and community members at the fourth annual CEO’s Community Hero Awards ceremony. Held at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, the event honored nine winners in five categories. “By publicly acknowledging these individuals, we celebrate volunteerism in our community and encourage and inspire other DeKalb County citizens to find ways to create positive change in their respective communities,” states DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis in his greeting printed in the program. Representing The Champion Newspaper, which partnered with the county for the event, was columnist Steen Miles, who with Ellis presented the awards. Entertainment was provided by 17-year-old violinist DuMarkus Davis, who is slated to attend Kennesaw State University College of the Arts in the fall. He is a member of the DeKalb Youth Symphony, where he has been concert master for two years. The award winners are: Community Champion Awards This award acknowledges an individual and nonprofit whose work has had a positive impact in strengthening communities and improving the lives of others in DeKalb County. Kim Gökçe and the Cross Keys Foundation Kim Gökçe is the founder of the Cross Keys Foundation. The foundation started formally as a volunteer subcommittee of the DeKalb County Public Schools Foundation Inc. (DCPSF) in December 2009. Operating under the sponsorship of DCPSF, the foundation served as a fundraising source for a Cross Keys High School Scholarship Program and as a general advocate for the attendance area schools. The foundation incorporated on May 25, 2012, as Cross Keys Foundation Inc. to continue support efforts for the seven schools of the Cross Keys High School attendance area, including Cross Keys High School, Sequoyah Middle, Oakcliff Elementary, Cary Reynolds Elementary, Dresden Elementary, Montclair Elementary and Woodward Elementary. India Pullin India Pullin is the president and CEO of Step Up In Georgia Inc., a program in Lithonia whose mission is to bridge the gap between the community and its resources by providing training, community and economic development opportunities. Pullin is a past president of DeKalb Neighborhood Leadership Alumni Association. In 2011 she implemented the Summer Food Service Program, which has served more than 7,800 breakfasts and lunches for children. She also started the Step Up to Independence program that helps meet the needs of homeless women and veterans by providing quality housing through structure programs and services toward education, health and financial management. Environmental Change Awards This award honors a community member and/or organization that works to preserve, protect and raise awareness about our environment.
Samuel Belete & the Ethiopian Community Assoc.–Neighborhood Empowerment Award
Robby Astrove Robby Astrove has been credited with “transforming DeKalb’s landscape into a more livable, beautiful and sustainable county.” Described by those nominating him as “a man
See Awards on Page 12A
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 19, 2013
Kim Gökçe–Community Champion Award
India Pullin–Community Champion Award
Ashley Wrushen–Youth Volunteer Award
Continued From Page 11A
of action and results,” Astrove serves on the advisory board of the Atlanta Local Food Initiative (ALFI), which develops policy and long-range planning for a sustainable food system. He worked with the DeKalb Board of Health and DeKalb farmers to revise zoning codes and developed programming for ALFI’s annual summit. He co-chairs the fruit tree sale and led a fundraising campaign for school and community fruit orchards, many of which are in DeKalb County. Astrove is the chief forging
officer for Concrete Jungle, an all-volunteer group that has donated more than 10,000 pounds of forged fruit to homeless shelters, food banks and people in need of healthful food. The group has started to plant public orchards to meet this need as well. As a member of the advisory board for the East Atlanta Farmers Market in DeKalb County, he teaches workshops to increase consumption of local foods and volunteers at the market. A board member of Environmental Education Alliance of Georgia, he conducts training and programs for educators and has leveraged organizational resourc-
es to hold events to serve south DeKalb communities, including the environmentally focused Arabia Mountain High School. He has trained county staff and helped with DeKalb’s first fruit orchard in DeKalb Memorial Park. He attracted the Fruit Planting Foundation to DeKalb and interacts with many county departments on stewardship, forestry and education projects. Cynthia Houston Cynthia Houston is involved with two outdoor beatification programs, Adopt-A-Road and Adopt-A-MARTA bus stop. Houston said her involvement with these organizations stems
for her belief that “a person should take pride in where they live because it is a reflection on the type of individual they are. When a person’s home or environment is shabby, it not only gives guests and visitors a negative impression of you but also brings the property value down.” Adopt-A-Road is a nationwide volunteer state road management program for litter prevention and control. Through Keep DeKalb Beautiful, Houston picks up trash along a designated 1.5-mile stretch that she describes as a high-traffic area with several fast-food restaurants, gas stations and convenience stores. Sometimes she also cleans up
a section of Rockbridge Road that’s not part of her official area. A similar local effort, AdoptA-MARTA bus stop, is a litter reduction and prevention program sponsored by the DeKalb County office of Keep DeKalb Beautiful. The purpose of the program is to involve organizations to maintain a litter-free DeKalb at MARTA bus stops. “I strongly believe that a clean environment encourages healthy behavior and promotes a peace of mind. A person’s primary residence should be serene and a place of solace after having a hard day at work or dealing with everyday challenges or personal issues,” said Houston, who estiSee Awards on Page 13A
Teacher Career Fair
April 20, 2013
9am-12pm Lithonia High School 2440 Phillips Road Lithonia, GA 30058
District-wide pre-screening interviews will be offered This certified teacher fair is open to individuals who are certified in the following content areas: Early Childhood, Math, Science, Tech Ed, Art, Music, Spanish, ESOL and Special Education Please bring copies of your resume, official transcripts, GACE scores, and/or a copy of your professional certificate. YOU MUST HAVE A COPY OF YOUR DOCUMENTS TO INTERVIEW. APPLY ONLINE www.pats.dekalb.k12.ga.us
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 19, 2013
sonal growth, financial stability, positive family and community relations, and community empowerment. Vanguard Award This award recognizes an individual and organization whose contributions most exemplify the National County Government Month theme as established by NACo each year. This year’s theme is Smart Justice: Creating Safer Communities. The Honorable Berryl A. Anderson Chief Magistrate Judge Berryl A. Anderson has established a specialized court service for military veterans suffering from diagnosed mental disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder. On Aug. 19, 2012, a “veteran’s calendar” was established with representation from the Veteran Administration’s Justice Outreach Program and Mental Health Intensive Case Management. On May 27, 2010, Anderson became the first African-American female to serve as chief magistrate judge in DeKalb County. Prior to serving in DeKalb County, Anderson served as an attorney for the Atlanta Legal Aid Society. She is also a member of the training facility for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges in Georgia. Doug Harms DeKalb County firefighter Doug Harms was instrumental in designing and building the 9/11 Memorial located at the DeKalb County Police and Fire Rescue Headquarters. The project was a joint effort by public safety personnel to remember those who lost their lives in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. The memorial, built on a 2,200-square-foot roundabout in front of the headquarters, was completed in six months using $35,000 in donations raised by public safety employees. The center of the memorial is a large, 22,000-pound piece of granite in the shape of a pentagon. Flight markers on pedestals surround the pentagon with seven flags representing the United States, Georgia, DeKalb County, firemen, policemen, POW/MIAs and 9/11. The granite is topped by a phoenix-winged sculpture, designed by former U.S. Marine and sculptor Curtis James Miller, and includes a piece of steel from the World Trade Center.
Continued From Page 12A
schools and community events. The Beulah Boys’ motto is “if you move it, you won’t lose it.” Samuel Belete and the Ethiopian Community Association For the past four years, Samuel Belete has served as the executive director and board secretary of the Ethiopian Community Association of Clarkston. An aeronautical engineer by trade, Belete has labored to unify the functions of various organizations under the umbrella of the association, which promotes the successful integration of Ethiopians into the wider American society while preserving their cultural heritage. Belete works to help the organization bring together Ethiopians and Ethio-Americans residing in the Atlanta area and assists in the promotion of per-
mates that she spends three to six hours each week clearing away litter. “I also empty three sometimes four MARTA trash cans that are attached to the single bus stops,” she added. Houston also recruits other volunteers to help with the effort. “Occasionally people will approach me while I’m cleaning my route and I give my spiel of the KDB program,” she said. Youth Volunteer Award This award recognizes a DeKalb County youth 18 years old or younger who exemplifies volunteerism and community involvement. Ashley Wrushen Ashley Wrushen’s community volunteer activities range from walking or running for a variety of health organizations to singing Christmas carols at a senior citizens’ facility, all a part of her “vision and commitment to making change in her community,” according to those who nominated her as a Community Hero. She has participated in an AIDS walk/run, and Alzheimer’s walk/run, a cancer walk/run, a walk/run for St. Jude’s Hospital and a diabetes walk in addition to volunteering with Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless, the Atlanta Food Bank and other organizations. She regularly volunteers to help homeless people, older people and military personnel. A member of the DeKalb County Youth Commission, she also has a special interest in helping young people. Her goal is to start a nonprofit organization to support girls in south DeKalb who are interested in careers in science and engineering. Wrushen regularly speaks to students at elementary and middle schools on robotics and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in the hope of piquing student interest in these fields. The students’ enthusiasm motivated her to create a plan to start robotics teams in south DeKalb schools. Acting as an ambassador for the National Society of High School Scholars she visits schools to recruit members for the society. Neighborhood Empowerment Awards The Beulah Boys All-Male Soul Line Dancers The exceptionality of these smooth-moving, energetic, well-dressed seniors is their phenomenal triumph over adverse health conditions such as hip and double-knee replacements, high blood pressure, obesity and high cholesterol. Since October 2010, The Beulah Boys have been inspiring other senior citizens of DeKalb County to become healthy after similar health conditions or retirement. They are consistently booked at senior centers, nursing homes, churches,
DeKalb County Wants to Hear From You Regarding the Proposed Franchise Agreement Renewal with Comcast Cable Communications
Send your comments and/or concerns regarding Comcast’s current performance under the current franchise agreement and/or the future cable-related needs and interests of your community to www.dekalbcountyga.gov.
The Champion Weather
Seven Day Forecast
Mostly Cloudy High: 79 Low: 60 T-storms Likely High: 69 Low: 44 Sunny High: 63 Low: 43 Mostly Sunny High: 66 Low: 46 Mostly Sunny High: 68 Low: 46 Mostly Sunny High: 72 Low: 48
April 18, 2013
Today’s Regional Map
Dunwoody 77/59 Smyrna 78/60 Doraville 78/60 Atlanta 79/60 College Park 80/60 Union City 80/60
Detailed Local Forecast
Today we will see mostly cloudy skies with a high temperature of 79º, humidity of 57%. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph. The record high temperature for today is 87º set in 1937. Expect mostly cloudy skies tonight with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms, overnight low of 60º. Date Hi Lo Normals Precip Tuesday 81 53 71/49 0.00" Wednesday 83 54 72/49 0.00" Thursday 80 59 72/49 1.03" Friday 73 55 72/49 0.01" Saturday 75 44 72/50 0.00" Sunday 69 47 73/50 0.16" Monday 75 56 73/50 0.00" Rainfall. . . . . . . . 1.20" Average temp . . 64.6 Normal rainfall. . 0.84" Average normal 60.8 Departure . . . . . +0.36" Departure . . . . . +3.8 Day Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Sunrise 7:01 a.m. 7:00 a.m. 6:59 a.m. 6:57 a.m. 6:56 a.m. 6:55 a.m. 6:54 a.m.
April 18, 1953 - A dust devil near Dracut, Mass. lifted a small child three feet into the air, and rolled two other children on the ground. Fortunately none of the three were hurt. The dust devil was accompanied by a loud whistling sound as it moved westward. April 19, 1988 - Severe thunderstorms over the southeastern United States spawned a strong tornado which destroyed 17 homes and severely damaged 30 houses near Madison, Fla., killing four people and injuring 18 others.
Last Week's Local Almanac
Decatur Snellville 79/60 79/60 Lithonia 80/60 Morrow 80/60
Local Sun/Moon Chart This Week
Sunset 8:11 p.m. 8:11 p.m. 8:12 p.m. 8:13 p.m. 8:14 p.m. 8:15 p.m. 8:15 p.m. Moonrise 1:17 p.m. 2:12 p.m. 3:10 p.m. 4:08 p.m. 5:09 p.m. 6:13 p.m. 7:18 p.m.
First 4/18 Full 4/25
Partly Cloudy High: 71 Low: 51
Moonset 2:22 a.m. 2:59 a.m. 3:34 a.m. 4:09 a.m. 4:43 a.m. 5:18 a.m. 5:56 a.m.
Last 5/2 New 5/9 Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Rise Set 6:15 a.m. 6:24 p.m. 7:23 a.m. 8:35 p.m. 7:05 a.m. 8:08 p.m. 9:38 a.m. 11:50 p.m. 8:47 p.m. 7:50 a.m. 6:16 a.m. 6:36 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 scattered showers and thunderstorms today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 84º in Lancaster, Ohio. The Southeast will experience mostly clear to partly cloudy skies today, scattered showers and thunderstorms Friday and Saturday, with the highest temperature of 89º in Ft. Myers, 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 72º in Medford, Ore. The Southwest will see mostly clear skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 88º in Fullerton, Calif.
What do meteorologists consider to be a trace of precipitation?
StarWatch By Gary Becker - More Than Meets the Eye
I’m just going to say it, “Spring is in the air,” regardless of the cooler than normal weather that many of us have been experiencing. It is obvious that the higher sun angles are at least warming the ground and the causing the buds and bulbs to stir. Despite the chilly conditions, the summer forecast from June through August calls for above average temperatures with normal precipitation. One aspect of spring, the sky, is always consistent. It is right on cue with the vernal patterns beginning to dominate in the east. An hour after sundown, look northeast, mid-sky, and you’ll notice the Big Dipper, cup up and handle down, beginning its slow tilt into its late spring upside-down position. The Big Dipper is not an official constellation, but it is certainly American friendly. It was never recognized by the International Astronomical Union, when in 1928, the IAU partitioned the sky into the 88 modern star patterns that we use today. When you view the Dipper, you are actually looking at part of a much larger grouping of stars called the Ursa Major Moving Cluster. Only the two end stars of the Big Dipper are not included. Astronomers know that the inner five were born from the same nebular cloud because they all have a common motion in space. Look at the middle star in the Dipper’s handle. That’s Mizar. If your vision is 20/20 and you are viewing from a suburban locale, a fainter star, Alcor, should be visible just below and to its left. Mizar and Alcor are thought to be a true gravitationally bound double, separated by a distance of 1.1 light years or 6.5 trillion miles. Alcor has an invisible red dwarf companion orbiting it, but Mizar, through the eyepiece of a small telescope, splits into two stars of almost equal brightness, making it one of the easiest doubles to observe. Each of those luminaries in turn is a double, bringing the Mizar-Alcor system to six stars in all. www.astronomy.org
Answer: A trace of precipitation is less than .01 inches.
UV Index 0-2: Low, 3-5: Moderate, 6-7: High, 8-10: Very High, 11+: Extreme Exposure
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 19, 2013
Lynn-Margaret Pace demonstrates several steps in the glass-blowing process. Photos are by Steve Brooks, except the photo at bottom right, which is by Kathy Mitchell.
A fragile undertaking:
by Kathy Mitchell
Glass blowing finds a home in Decatur
cost would be approximately $65,000, according to Pace. Atlanta Hot Glass owner Susan Chin is not a glass blower; in fact, she’s an environmental engineer, but she decided to establish a place where glass blowers could learn and work. “Artists like to focus on art, so someone else has to focus on the logistics,” she said. “We work well together. They do what they do best and I do what I do best.” Chin, who said her studio is state-of-the-art and has “the best instructors in town,” added that the 5,000-square-foot facility has space to grow, teach and show the artists’ creations. “We’re largely an education facility,” she said. “We have classes here in addition to the artists who come here to work. We love having school groups come here. We’re expecting a group from Agnes Scott next week.”
Kathy@dekalbchamp.com The art of glass blowing in the United States all but died out about 40 years ago, then it started to make a comeback, according to glass blower Lynn-Margaret Pace. Although it has grown in popularity, she said, not every city has a glass blowing facility. “We’re really fortunate to have one in Decatur,” Pace said, referring to Atlanta Hot Glass on Laredo Drive in what is coming to be known as the city’s Rail Arts District. The equipment in a glass blowing facility, including a furnace that reaches more than 2,000 degrees, a reheating chamber called a “glory hole,” and numerous other pieces of specialized gear, not only take up lots of space, but can be quite costly. If an artist bought his or her own equipment, the
Saturday - May 4, 2013
Planning Workshop & Showcase
DeKalb Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Reunion Specialist will teach you everything you need to know to plan the perfect Family Reunion in DeKalb County!
Workshop - 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Showcase - 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Host your Family Reunion in DeKalb County!
FREE Family Reunion
Hilton Garden Inn - Stonecrest
7890 Mall Ring Road, Lithonia, GA 30038
Call 770-492-5050 ext. 1181
Pre-registration is required
See Glass on Page 17A
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 19, 2013
Bombing Continued From Page 1A
“This is a bad day for Boston. This is a tragedy, but Boston is a strong city,” Menino said. The FBI has taken the lead in the investigation of the crime. Rick Deslauiers, FBI special agent in charge, said, “Our mission is clear: to bring to justice those responsible.” Covering 15 blocks, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said his department is securing the “most complex crime scene in the history of our department.” Hours after the explosions, President Barack Obama said, “The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight, and Michelle and I send our deepest thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims in the wake of this senseless loss. “Boston is a tough and resilient town—so are its people,” Obama said. “I am supremely confident that Bostonians will pull together, take care of each other and move forward as one proud city. And as they do, the American people will be with them every single step of the way. “We still do not know who did this or why, and people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts,” Obama said. “But make no mistake: we will get to the bottom of this. And we will find out who did this. We will find out why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice.” Dan Conley, Suffolk County district attorney, described the bombings as an “act of cowardice” that “cannot be justified or explained.” DeKalb County Commissioner Lee May tweeted, “My prayers go out to the families of all affected by the tragedy in Boston.”
Marathon Continued From Page 1A
To run for the autism foundation as an austic person, Josh said, is “a really big deal.” “I tried hard to try to step away from that group, to be more with the normal group and less with the autism group,” he said. “And now I’m with the autism group. It’s definitely a huge stage in my life and probably our family’s life.” Michael said the race was “an opportunity for Josh to show a lot of these families with [autistic] kids…that are getting older that kids with autism have unique gifts and abilities. “Not every kid, obviously, can run, but every kid definitely has a contribution and a special expression that they can use to show their value, their significance, their place in society,” Michael said. The race was “an opportunity for Josh to sense that and to identify with the autism that he has and recognize what it is and what it represents and to, at the same, know some of his limitations [and] his uniqueness and gifts, and to celebrate that,” Michael said. Parents of autistic children should be “very open, being willing to explore what those abilities are and encourage them in those specific areas.” According to statistics from the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation, 60 percent of adults with autism will need care throughout their lives. One in three young adults with autism has no paid job experience, college or technical schooling nearly seven years after high school graduation. Higher functioning autistic adults get very few services and are often taken care of by their aging parents. “One of the unique things about autism is that it’s such a broad spectrum and has so many different expressions,” Michael said. “I think people are starting to recognize that more and more. It doesn’t necessarily mean that a child doesn’t have a role or story that can’t impact other people. “If it weren’t for Josh’s journey, I probably wouldn’t have been able to go places in my heart that I need to go to as a person,” Michael said. “Josh has taken me places I couldn’t have gone.”
The aftermath of a bomb blast near the finish line on Boylston Street, the scene after the bomb blasts at the 117th running of the Boston Marathon.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 19, 2013
DeKalb County reverend waives arraignment in fraud case GBI takes down child porn ring in 37 counties by Daniel Beauregard Bishop Jackson is the
by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) issued arrest warrants for 98 people, five in DeKalb County, involved in trading child pornography on the Internet. The operation, dubbed “Operation Guarding Innocence,” was the largest of its kind in Georgia, involving 37 counties, and state and federal agencies such as the U.S. Postal Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Marshall Service. Lithonia resident David Walker is one of the five DeKalb County residents targeted in the investigation. He was arrested April 10 at his home, located at 6155 Silver Sour Drive, and charged with sexual exploitation of children. DeKalb County Police Sgt. David Brown said another arrest has been made but the remaining four suspects’ names could not be released because of an ongoing investigation. The operation, which ran from January through March, was coordinated by the GBI and the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. According to GBI officials, the operation centered on GBI agents and local affiliates that are members of the Georgia ICAC Task Force detecting specific child porn images being shared on the Internet. Brown, head of the DeKalb County Police Department’s cybercrime unit, said detectives worked undercover to conduct online investigations. He said the unit’s work can occasionally bring to mind the television show To Catch a Predator but it encompasses much more. “Our detectives are specially trained to do these investigations as well as use the computer forensics to gather this type of digital evidence,” Brown said. Currently, detectives are gathering forensic evidence from computers and digital storage devices seized during the arrests. “Sometimes, the analysis could lead to other suspects, which has happened on many of our cases,” Brown said. The ICAC Task Force was created by the U. S. Department of Justice to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in developing an effective response to cyber enticement and child pornography cases. It was developed in response to the increasing number of children and teenagers using the Internet, the proliferation of child pornography, and the heightened online activity by predators searching for unsupervised contact with underage victims. There have been 974 arrests in Georgia by the ICAC Task Force since it was established in 2002. GBI spokesman John Bankhead said since the beginning of Operation Guarding Innocence there have been 73 search warrants executed and 46 arrests made. Brown said residents with any questions or concerns regarding cybercrime or online child exploitation should call the DeKalb Internet Crimes Against Children Unit at (770) 724-7710. email@example.com Rev. Wiley Jackson, bishop of DeKalb County mega-church Gospel Tabernacle Cathedral, and his brother Rodney Jackson, waived their April 14 arraignment. Both are charged with allegedly selling fake security bonds to parishioners. Each has been charged with five counts of violating the Georgia Uniform Securities Act in 2002, by selling more than $12,000 in bonds registered to the company Genesis LLC. According to an indictment, the two men sold securities
to three church members but weren’t authorized by the state to do so; neither did they register the security bonds they sold the alleged victims with the state. The victims and the state weren’t aware of the alleged fraud until after Jan. 2009, the indictment states.
founder of the Gospel Tabernacle Church, which has locations in Atlanta, Stone Mountain and Griffin. DeKalb District Attorney Robert James said his office has been looking into the allegations against the Jackson and his brother for more than a year. “His members trusted him,” James said. “Our indictment shows that he didn’t have the legal ability to sell securities in the state of Georgia to his members or anyone else. Defense attorneys said Bishop Jackson plans to plead not guilty.
From left, Deja White describes a summer program that gives girls a glimpse of the legal system. DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis called public service “a beautiful thing.” Photos by Andrew Cauthen
Smiles Continued From Page 9A
are the ones that can see that job description and go even beyond it. That’s what we have here in Judge Hydrick. “The criminal justice system is a major part of a civil society,” Ellis said. “It protects the rights of all people, ensuring that we live safely in our communities. I believe that it is vitally important for our criminal justice system to have a diverse representation of ideas, beliefs, skills and backgrounds. We need men and women who possess compassion for humanity and a strong desire to make the world a better place. “When thinking about your future, do not aspire to just get
a job or even have a career, but work toward making a difference for someone else,” he told the participants. Deja White, a senior at Southwest DeKalb who plans to major in journalism, said, “Overall this was a good program and I’m glad I was a part of it. You’ll learn a lot.” Jerry White, Deja’s father, said, “It’s so important that the young people have an opportunity to experience life at an early age. I was a chaperone; it was rewarding to me.” “This is a program that you need to tell other people about,” said another parent, Freda
Hammonds. “I am so glad that this program exists. “We need to do more to empower our young ladies. I love it when community programs step up and do what we need to do to encourage young ladies,” Hammonds said. Hydrick said, “The whole message of the program is there’s nothing that these girls can’t do once they set their minds to it. They are smart, they are driven and they are committed and dedicated and hopefully now they are a little bit more enlightened about this process.”
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 19, 2013
County breaks ground on $8.2 million airport hangars
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org A small plane piloted by a member of the DeKalb-Peachtree Airport (PDK) chapter of the Civil Air Patrol made a ceremonial final landing April 12 on a runway that will soon be the site of new hangars. “This is an extremely important— for the airport anyway—event,” said Michael Van Wie, the airport’s director. “We believe that this project is important for the airport [to] properly serve our existing and future customers.” DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis, Commissioner Kathie Gannon and various government officials were on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony of a “270-day environmentally compliant project that will add 53 hangars and create two ready-to-build corporate parcels on the airport,” Van Wie said. “It’s been a long time coming,” he said. “The total cost of the project is $8.2 million. It’s taken me about four years to scrimp and save to create that budget surplus for us. “There’s not a penny of federal, state or local tax dollars being invested in this,” Van Wie said. “It’s airport enterprise money.” Van Wie said the project will have a 16-year payback and a 3.2 percent internal rate of return over 20 years. To make way for the new hangars, a seldom used runway that needs resurfacing has been closed. According to Van Wie, repaving the runway, which gets less than one-half percent of all plane traffic, would cost $3.5 million. Airport officials say there is a 10year waiting list for hangar occupancy. More than 100 plane owners have paid $200 each to be on that waiting list which would be cut in half by the project. The new hangars will bring the total hangars to 143. With a rental rate for $450 per month, the airport is expecting to bring in $205,000 from its 39 small hangers, in the first 12 months after the new hangars are completed. The 10 large hangars rent for $700 per month and should bring in approximately $81,900. The airport’s four small box hangars, which hold two planes, rent for $750 and are expected add $21,600 to the airport’s income. “It’s such a shining example of what can be done,” Ellis said. “In 2010, right in the midst of a global economic recession, DeKalb County, like other governments was not immune to the fiscal fallout of shrinking revenues, increasing unemployment and a collapsing housing market,” Ellis said. “We had to take swift action to prevent any service disruption or decline in our overall quality of life.” The county formed a revenue enhancement committee. “Among the commission’s first priorities was the construction of additional private hangars,” Ellis said. “Today we’re witnessing the byproduct of their hard work.” The hangars will generate an additional $500,000 per year for the county, Ellis said. rentals. Chin noted that her studio is different from a regular commercial glass blowing facility. “Those guys turn out identical pieces day-in and day-out. The people you see here are artists who never produce two pieces exactly alike.” Some users of the facility are professional artists, some are casual hobbyists and some—like Pace—earn their primary living in other ways, but are serious about glass blowing. “People have one of three reactions to glass blowing,” Pace observed. “Either they’re afraid of it, they’re indifferent to it or they’re enthralled. I’m enthralled.” She explained that she took an exploratory class at an art school in North Carolina and decided she had found her passion. “I knew I had to keep going after I got back in the Atlanta area. I went on the Internet and I was so luck to find this place. Just about every city has a place to do pottery, but that’s just not true of glass blowing.”
County officials hold a groundbreaking ceremony for a project that will add 53 hangars to the DeKalb-Peachtree Airport. The hangars are expected to generate $500,000 for the county. Photos by Andrew Cauthen
Continued From Page 14A
The studio opened in February and Chin is hosting free open studio evenings every Thursday in April to introduce the new facility to the community. Visitors can watch artists at work and see finished work in the studio’s gallery.
Atlanta Hot Glass offers glass blowing instruction for beginners and experienced artists, according to Chin. “From simple single session paperweights to in-depth course series, there’s something for every interest and ability,” she said. Atlanta Hot Glass also offers tours and demonstrations for groups of all ages, as well as event
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 19, 2013
(CGIU), held April 5-7 at Washington University in St. Louis. Edeh, a graduate student at University of Washington, joined more than 1,000 college students, representing approximately 300 schools and 75 countries, as well as key innovators, thought leaders and civically engaged celebrities to discuss and develop innovative solutions to pressing global challenges. Each attending student made a Commitment to Action—a new, specific and measurable initiative that addresses some of the most pressing challenges on campus, in the community or around the world. Edeh’s Commitment to Action is titled Nigerians for Social Action & Change (NSAC) Inaugural Conference: The Nigeria We Seek: Finding Common Ground in a Land of Opportunities. Dunwoody student places in writing contest Abigail Watts, a fourth grader at Dunwoody Elementary School placed third in the Georgia Young Authors Competition for her story, Life of a Pure Bred Mutt. “The purpose of the Young Georgia Authors writing competition is to encourage students to develop enthusiasm for and expertise in their writing, to provide a context to celebrate their writing successes, and to recognize student achievement in arts and academics,” according the competition’s description. The competition, which is more than 20 years old, is open to any student currently enrolled in Georgia public schools, grades K-12. It is sponsored by the Georgia Department of Education and the Georgia Council of Teachers of English.
Students qualify for Governor’s Honor Program
Forty-six students in DeKalb County have been selected as finalists for the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program (GHP). The Governor’s Honors Program is a residential summer program for gifted and talented high school juniors and seniors. A function of the Georgia Department of Education, it takes place on the campus of Valdosta State University (VSU). The 2013 program will be the 50th summer, making it the longest continually running program of its kind in the nation. Nearly 3,000 students from across the state were interviewed and auditioned over three weekends in January and February, and from those nominees 690 finalists were chosen to participate in the 2013 program. Since the program is fully funded by the Georgia General Assembly, there is no charge for students to attend. Students will arrive on the VSU campus June 23 and for four weeks, they will spend the morning in their major area of nomination, exploring topics not usually found in the regular high school classroom. During the afternoons, students choose one of the other areas in which to study. Evenings are filled with seminars, activities, concerts and performances. “GHP is such a competitive program that even being nominated is an accomplishment,” said Dale Lyles, the program’s director. DeKalb finalists for the 2013 Georgia GHP include Amera Dixon, from Arabia Mountain High School, studying chemistry. From Chamblee Charter High School are Swapnil Agrawal, mathematics; Sounak Das, Kunal Goel and Solina Jean-Louis, German; Lizaremi LunaSousa, biology; and Kavi Pandian, social studies. Cristian Padilla will represent Cross Keys High School and study social studies. There are six students from DeKalb School of the Arts in GHP: Rachelle Clark, Michelle Dennis and Colbie Zeno, dance; Lorne Feeser and Darya Mack, communicative arts; and Emma Rary, social studies. Druid Hills High School will be represented by seven students: Arthur Foley and Linh Phan, mathematics; Ian Hinze, Adriano Iqbal, Connor Spruell and Meera White, communicative arts; and Jacob Pierce, social studies. Five mathematics students from Dunwoody High School will participate in the program: Zachary Bloomberg, Thomas Dellaert, Mary Elizabeth Lee, Jacky Zhu and Mallory Harris. In the music/brass category are Josh Galerstein, tuba, and Joshua Klein, trumpet. Other Dunwoody High participants include Elizabeth Cleary, German; Jeanne Davis, communicative arts; and Robin Spratling, Spanish. Lakeside High School will be represented by Emma Heneine, French; Grace McKenna, biology; Zack Shepherd, social studies; Alisha Stupp, mathematics; and Allyn Waller, Latin. Adam Garlow, Lyndsay Morrow and Allen Smith will represent Decatur High School in GHP. St. Pius X Catholic High will send Josh Chatfield, Ana Haynes, Grace Obiofuma and Lydia Pedersen to the program, while Marist School will be represented by Zachary Denton. Paideia School’s Adam Ehrenberg, Maria Lozano and Cole Stone-Frisina will also attend. More information about GHP can be found on the Department of Education website (www.gadoe. org) under the Division of School Improvement.
Immaculate Heart of Mary School students win youth multimedia contest Kathleen Pyrce, the middle school religion teacher at Immaculate Heart of Mary School (IHM), instructed her students to create a project that would best illustrate the Catholic Campaign for Human Development’s 2013 campaign, “Be a Disciple! Put Two Feet of Love in Action.” The project could be in the form of a poem, video, Power Point presentation, or artwork. Several projects were selected to go to Atlanta’s Catholic Campaign for Human Development youth multimedia contest. IHM seventh graders swept the awards ceremony. Award winners were Megan Mittelhammer (third place), Max Fernandes (second place) and Rachel Chin (first place). Annie Martin won the grand prize with her video titled Poverty. Martin’s video will represent IHM and the entire Atlanta Archdiocese in the national competition, which will be held in Washington, D.C., in June. Local student participates in Clinton Global Initiative University meeting Onyinye Edeh, of Stone Mountain, participated in the sixth annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative University
Dunwoody students’ Flat Stanleys travel the country
Second grade students at Dunwoody Elementary School display their original Flat Stanley projects. The projects provide an opportunity for students to make connections with students of other member schools who have signed up for the program. Students begin by reading the book Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown and becoming acquainted with the story. They then create paper Flat Stanleys, representative drawings of the Stanley Lambchop character, and keep a journal for a few days, documenting the places and activities in which Flat Stanley is involved. Each student’s Flat Stanley and its journal are mailed to other people around the country who are asked to treat the figure as a visiting guest and add to his journal, then return them both after a period of time. The Flat Stanley Project was started in 1995 by Dale Hubert, a third grade teach-
Elizabeth Bass with second grade students displaying their Flat Stanley projects
er in Canada, to encourage letter-writing by students as they document where Flat Stanley has accompanied them. Students often plot Flat Stanley’s travels on maps and share the contents of the journal. Often, a Flat Stanley returns with a photo or postcard from his visit. In 2005, more than 6,500
classes from 48 countries took part in the Flat Stanley Project. Sponsoring teachers at Dunwoody include Elaine Mach, Avis Holbrook, Mary Margaret Warshaw, Bonnie Birrell, Elizabeth Bass, Charlotte Davis, and Tami Slaton. Parent volunteers also assisted with the project.
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 19, 2013
Virtual academy offers school choice
by Andrew Cauthen email@example.com After attending public schools all her life, Molly Herman-Gallow decided in September 2012 that she needed a change. “I was getting really tired of the way I was learning in public schools,” said 16-year-old Molly, who at the time was a student at Decatur High School. The typical school day was also cutting into her passion: horseback riding. “I love to horseback ride,” Molly said. “The school day at the high school was seven hours and we were let out at 3:30 p.m. and the drive to my barn was around 40 minutes. “It was just really time consuming to go to school and then go out and ride and then have to worry about and doing homework,” she said. “It didn’t give me as much flexibility as [Georgia Connections Academy Charter School (GACA)].” So her parents enrolled her in GACA. “I wanted to try something new and this was the route we took.” GACA is a statewide, tuition-free, K-12, public cyber school that students attend from home. The school is authorized under state law by the Georgia State Board of Education and is operated by Georgia Connections Academy, a nonprofit corporation, through a contract with Connections Academy of Georgia, LLC, to provide its educational program and other services. The school is governed by an independent school board. Molly learned of the virtual school from a friend who was enrolled in it. “Molly came to us after the beginning of the year at Decatur High and she just felt like she wasn’t going to be happy this year there,” said Ellen Gallow, Molly’s mother. “She made a very sane request, I felt, when she said, ‘Let me just try it for a year and see if it’s a better match for me, and if it’s not, I can always go back to Decatur High.’” Each school day, GACA’s 2,000 students log into the school’s proprietary education management system, Connexus. “The complete curriculum for all of their classes is right there at their fingertips and they can engage in that curriculum as much or as little as or as often as they want to,” said Heather Robinson, GACA’s principal. “That’s one of the biggest advantages,” Robinson said about the school, which is in its second year. “Students have access to the material 24-7 and it’s not being carried around in a book bag or stored in a locker. It’s right there at their fingertips all of the time.” Not only is the curriculum readily available, so are the school’s 68 teachers, Robinson said. “Our teachers, of course, are there to answer questions,” she said. “They are available by phone; they’re available through webmail. They are available at in-person sessions. We have several different types of school events and field trips that we do throughout the state that are instructionally based.” Students also have at least one live lesson with their teachers each week. “It is our online classroom,” Robinson said. “It functions the very same way that a brick-and-mortar classroom functions. Teachers can write on the whiteboard. They can speak to their students [and] their students can speak to them. They can see their students if they utilize the webcam feature. They can present a PowerPoint presentation. They can go on web tours.” Robinson said each classroom session is recorded, Robinson said. “Not only do students have fulltime access to their curriculum and their school materials, they also have fulltime access to the lessons that their teachers have provided,” Robinson said. “They can rewind them, pause them, listen to them as many times as they want to in order to gain understanding.” For some students, there can be some disadvantages of virtual schools. “The main disadvantage that I would see is the social interaction that some students might miss,” Robinson said. “They may not have that day-to-day, walking down the hallway, highfiving their friends experience.” But GACA offers many social experiences, including at least seven optional field trips per month, the opportunity for students to make friends via email and at the school’s various events throughout the year. Robinson said the school’s biggest advantage is the teachers. “Our teachers are really our bread and butter at our school,” she said. “We really pride ourselves on having professional educators who are well-versed in online learning and have a particular interest in this modality and are always working to support our students. “Our school has highly qualified and certified teachers who are available in our school office from 8-4 every day; but of course being a teacher, you’re available all the time via webmail or via phone.” Next year, GACA plans to add 1,000 students to its roll and Robinson said that growth is attributed to the flexibility of virtual schools. Students can learn “anytime and anywhere,” Robinson said. “We’re beginning to realize that every student is unique and that students learn at their own pace and that it’s important for students to be able to take things that interest them as well as the state-provided curriculum,” Robinson said. “Online learning is becoming more of how our students learn,” she said. “Virtual schooling provides that constant access to technology and that real-time engagement, but it also builds those students’ technology skills and it prepares them for the generation that is going to be driven by the digital age.” Parents like virtual schools because sometimes they “don’t feel engaged in the brick-and-mortar setting,” Robinson said. “In this environment they are absolutely engaged and with
Sixteen-year-old Molly Herman-Gallow of Decatur said she needed a change from inflexible, brick-and-mortar schools. Molly learns better in virtual school, said her mother, Ellen Gallow. Photos by Andrew Cauthen
their student every step of the way. “For the right family, for the right fit, it is a fantastic way to be involved in the day-to-day instruction for your students,” she said. Gallow said that since middle school “Molly had pretty much figured out she was a hands-on learner. She really liked doing projects. Sitting in a class and listening all day didn’t really work for her. “It just seemed like the way that they were teaching was not matching her learning style particularly,” Gallow said. “It wasn’t horrible; she was still getting good grades, but I just felt like she wasn’t happy.” Molly said she would “sit in class with kids who wouldn’t want to learn and that wasn’t fair to the kids who already knew the material or who wanted to go ahead.” “We were just sitting there [thinking], ‘What do we do now?’” she said. “This school allows you to work at your own pace and focus on things that are more challenging for a longer period of time.” Gallow said, “The idea that kids need to be in school all day and sit in class after class after class” doesn’t work for all students, Gallow said. “What I think we have realized…is that she learns better if she works and then takes a break and then she works and she takes a break.” Molly agreed: “So whenever you’re like, ‘Oh my goodness, my brain is about to explode,’ you can go sit in front of a TV.”
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 19, 2013
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 19, 2013
SWD’s Kristin Peagler leads county in scoring
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org
ince her sophomore year, Southwest DeKalb High School forward and midfielder Kristin Peagler has led both DeKalb County boys and girls soccer in scoring. She scored 40 goals in 2011 and had a career and county high of 50 goals in 2012. The senior has scored 43 goals in 12 games this season; with three games left in the season she could possibly break her record. Peagler is ahead of Redan’s
Chanel Veasley, who is second in scoring, by 17 goals. She also has four assists on the season. Lakeside sophomore Brittanie Evans is leading girls’ soccer in assists with 23. Her teammate, Shannon Hagopian, is second with 14 assists. The Lakeside Lady Vikings soccer team is undefeated and leading in the county and 6-AAAAA region standings with a 12-0-1 record. They average 4.62 points per game and allow an average of 0.15 points per game. On the boys side, Tucker
defender and midfielder Josiah Saydee is leading in scoring with 15 goals and in assists with 13. M. L. King’s Yanick Herman-Kra has 14 goals followed by Nahome Aberra of Stone Mountain with 12 goals. Aberra also is third in assists with 10, which is one less than Stone Mountain’s Idwar Dikori’s total. The Stone Mountain Pirates team is leading in county standings with a 10-3 record. They are averaging 4.77 points per game and allowing an average of 1.23 points per game.
Maccaglia named SAA Men’s golfer of the week
Oglethorpe sophomore Anthony Maccaglia was named Southern Athletic Association Men’s Golfer of the Week on April 10 for his work the week of April 1. Maccaglia earned medalist honors in the 2013 Emory Spring Invitational April 1-2 at Druid Hills Golf Club in Atlanta. He posted rounds of 71 and 67 for a twoday total of six-under 138 to lead his Oglethorpe squad to a seven-shot victory over second-place Methodist. The men’s tennis team will be in action starting on April 26 when they travel to Limestone Springs in Oneonta, Ala., for the SAA Conference Championship.
Lacrosse players garner USA South allconference honorable mention
The USA South recognized April 11 an All-Sportsmanship Team. Agnes Scott senior Alicia Logan was awarded honorable mention for the attack position. Logan was the Scotties’ leading scorer this year with 26 goals and also led the team in draw controls with 40. Junior Caroline Recio was given honorable mention in the midfield position. Recio was the team’s second leading scorer with 20 goals and had the second most draw controls with 25. A total of 46 studentathletes have been named to the 2013 USA South AllConference teams. Agnes Scott finished the season with a conference record of 2-6 after defeating Methodist and N.C. Wesleyan, which put the team in seventh place. The top six teams advance to the conference championship.
Each week The Champion spotlights former high school players from the county who are succeeding in athletics on the college level.
Alex Elmore, Berry College (golf): The junior from Dunwoody shot a 90, 82 and 78 at the Skyhawk Desert Shootout in Palm Desert, Calif., on April 8-9. Elmore has finished in the top five and top 10 once. His lowest round score this season is a 72. Andrew Mabini, Maryville (baseball): The junior infielder from St. Pius X had two hits, two runs scored, and one RBI in the 8-4 win over LaGrange College on April 5. Mabini has a .268 batting average, 15 RBIs and 23 runs scored on the season. Demetria Dickens, North Carolina A&T (track and field): The freshman shot put thrower from Southwest DeKalb finished 15 in the shot put with a final throw of 12.39-meters (40-07.75) at the Duke Invitational on April 5-6.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 19, 2013
Freshman catcher Maegan Coddington (right) had a home run in the second game against Georgia Military College. The Georgia Perimeter College Lady Jaguars softball team took first place in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association conference standings after sweeping Georgia Military College on April 9.
GPC softball back at No. 1 in conference standings
he Georgia Perimeter College Lady Jaguars softball team took first place in the conference standings after sweeping Georgia Military College (GMC) Bulldogs on April 9. GPC improved its overall record to 14-12 after beating GMC 2-1 and 3-2. With a 12-1 record in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, GPC leads the league, breaking a first-place tie with East Georgia State College. The sweep marks the Jaguars’ fifth consecutive victory; and they have won nine of their last 10 games. Trailing 1-0 in the second game against GMC, freshman catcher Maegan Coddington led off the fourth inning with a home run over the left field fence. Sophomore infielder Savannah Cook followed that home run with one to the same spot. It was Coddington’s fifth
homer of the season and Cook’s second. “We have several players that are swinging the bat good right now,” said head coach Ken Deyton. The Lady Jaguars left too many on base in the first game and suffered a couple of base-running mental lapses. “We have got to get better at driving in runs when runners are on base,” Deyton added. “This is frustrating.” After GMC tied it 2-2 in the sixth with an RBI double by Jasmine Thompson, pitcher Lyndsey Parden (8-4) drove in the game-winning RBI in the bottom of the seventh inning. Sophomore Stephanie Satterfield opened the last at-bat with a sharp infield single and advanced to third on a throwing error. After sophomore infielder Jessie Romines drew a walk,
Parden lofted a fly to shallow left field, and pinch runner Jenna Carr slid into home with the winning run. Satterfield led all hitters with a two-for-three day, and Parden added a double as GPC collected six hits against Bulldog starter Marlee Bryan (7-4). Getting a double and single, Bryan scored Georgia Military’s two runs. Parden limited the Bulldogs to four hits while striking out seven, but she walked five. In the opener, which went into an extra inning, Carr (5-5) continued her hot hand, striking out 10, walking one and also allowing only four hits. “Her control today was as good as I’ve seen. That was an all-region performance,” Deyton said. It was a scoreless pitchers’ duel with Summer Sloan (3-6) until the sixth inning, when the Bulldogs’ Kaley Payne tagged Carr for a
triple and Sloan drove her home with an infield hit. GPC tied it in the bottom half of the inning as Barbara Rego got a leadoff hit and Samantha Maycock plated her with a single. The same duo teamed up again for the eighth inning heroics. Deyton planted Rego on second for the automatic runner rule; Maddie Case singled her to third, and Maycock drove in the winning run with a base hit. Maycock went three-for-four, and Coddington stroked a double, the only extra base hit. Maycock went three-for-four, and Coddington stroked a double, the only extra base hit for the Jags. GPC compiled 10 hits, but Sloan worked out of jams, stranding six base runners. GPC (17-13) will face Darton College at home on April 20 before playing on the GCAA Tournament April 25-27.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 19, 2013
Druid Hills High School freshman pitcher Kason Rheney is 4-2 on the season with 17 strikeouts and a 1.88 earned run average. Photos by Travis Hudgons
Freshman pitcher hopes to lead Druid Hills to playoffs
by Carla Parker email@example.com
or Kason Rheney, being a freshman pitcher for the Druid Hills High School baseball team comes with a lot of pressure. The pressure to win and to earn his teammates’ respect can a be challenge for a young athlete, but Rheney has taken that challenge head on and has succeeded. The 15-year-old lefty is 4-2 on the season with 17 strikeouts and a 1.88 earned run average. Rheney has also pitched two no-hitters this season against Lovejoy High School on March 5 and on March 8 against Morrow High School. “Coming in as a freshman I really wanted to prove myself to my team and my coach,” he said. “I come out here every day in practice and do my best.” Druid Hills head coach Pete Bartlewski said Rheney is a phenomenal player. “Kason is like a pit bull,” he said. “If we have a tough game he’s the guy I want [to have] the ball in his hand. He’s not afraid to throw the ball to [the opponent’s] best players.” Rheney is the top pitcher out of the four pitchers on the roster, which includes two other fresh-
‘ Coming in as a freshman I really wanted to prove myself to my team and my coach.’
man pitchers. Bartlewski said Rheney and the two other freshman, Nick Ewing and Austin Ledet, “carry the load of everything that we do.” They’re that good and they have that much confidence,” he said. “They’re very talented and they like to compete. They know how to win games and that’s why they’re out there.” Rheney began playing at the age of 3. He learned to play base-
ball from his dad, Joel, who was an umpire for about approximately 20 years. His dad taught him to throw a cut fastball, which is his favorite pitch. “It’s pretty tough to learn,” he said about the cut fast pitch. “It took me about two to three years to get it down.” Rheney, who is also a member of the metro Atlanta baseball Jack City Dodgers’ travel team, is a good hitter as well. He has a .308
batting average with 12 hits, 12 runs scored, eight RBIs and three doubles. “He’s the ultimate competitor and he’s only a freshman,” Bartlewski said. Rheney said he doesn’t feel much pressure being the starting pitcher as a freshman, but he admits that it can get a little frustrating when teammates do not respect him because of his classification. “It happens sometimes but it motivates me,” he said. Despite his age, Rheney said he considers himself a leader. “I try to lead by example and don’t try to do too much,” he said. “Just do my job.” As a young player, Rheney still has a lot of room for growth. His goals as an individual include improving his speed, hitting and pitch speed. Bartlewski also said he would like to see Rheney improve in those areas, which he believes will come with experience. “Having more opportunities and learning how to spot the ball a little bit better [and] having more plate discipline when he’s swinging at the plate.” The Druid Hills Red Devils currently have an 8-10-1 record, but Rheney said his goal is to continue to help his team “win and hopefully make it to the state playoffs.”
The Champion Free Press, Friday, April 19, 2013