Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker

and Stone Mountain.




Garden at North DeKalb Mall continues to grow
by Daniel Beauregard he North DeKalb Mall Community Garden began in the summer of 2012 as a trial run for an urban community garden on mall property. The trial run at the property, called the Peachtree Creek-Orion Drive Field, was to evaluate any potential problems with the soil, water supply, drainage and other problems an urban community garden might face. After a year, the garden has proved to be a success and is in full bloom with fruits and vegetables such as eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, okra, beans, watermelon and more. The garden is a partnership effort among North DeKalb Mall, Keep DeKalb Beautiful, Atlanta Community Food Bank and the Global Grower’s Network. Keep DeKalb Beautiful provided the compost and mulch for the garden and the Atlanta Community Food Bank provided many of the seeds. The Global Grower’s Network, which started in 2009 as a project of the local nonprofit Refugee Family Services to connect international farmers who now live in Georgia to agriculture, brings much of the produce from the garden to market. This year, the 100-foot by 60-foot plot has been expanded to include 30 plots, both for those interested in community farming on a small scale or farming to sell produce in markets. According to North DeKalb Mall Marketing Director Mary J. Burdge, the majority of the garden plots are maintained by refugees. “The garden has been very helpful to the refugee gardeners,” Burdge said. “The mission of providing a venue for empowerment and productivity for our refugee community goes handin-hand with the goal of turning an idle field into productive land.” Both the International Rescue Committee, a nonprofit that helps relocate refugees from





Refugee and community members volunteer at the North DeKalb Mall Community Garden, located off Orion Drive next to the mall. Photos provided

conflict zones, and the Global Growers Network wanted to come here because they liked the ideas have played an integral role in identifying and of freedom and opportunity.” communicating with qualified refugee farmers to Both Timsina and her husband work in the participate in the garden. garden, sell their produce and weave baskets to make Man Kumari Timsina and her family are ends meet but they still struggle on a daily basis. from Bhutan and began working in the garden in “Many people have helped us and we are 2012. Timsina is from a small farming village and grateful for that, but we have a lot of anxiety about moved in the 1990s because of political unrest in the future,” Timsina said. the region. Currently, all of the garden plots are assigned Timsina and her family traveled back to Nepal but more Because will become available this online summer. she gets her news updates from the The Champi in 1992 and began living in a refugee camp. Produce from the garden will be sold from a stand “We immigrated to the in March 2009. the mall parking lot this summer. Because she gets herU.S. news updates online fromin the The Champion. We didn’t have much of an idea what to expect For more information on the garden and how Because she gets her news updates online from the The Champion. here but we really had no choice but to accept to volunteer, visit or resettlement,” Timsina said. “We had a lot of contact the mall management office at (404) anxiety about coming to the U.S. but our children 7960.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 3, 2013

Northlake area and north to Chamblee-Tucker Road. “We [formed the committee] with the intention of getting accurate information into the hands of the public so that they a better informed if this decision ever came to fruition,” Van de Kreke added. The steering committee members will be responsible for setting community meeting times, locations and speakers, according to the website. The first public meeting was held April 30 at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church. Representatives from the Carl Vinson Institute and public safety spoke at the meeting. In 2006 and 2007, the TCA discussed whether Tucker should incorporate as a city and conducted preliminary studies to gather resident input. However, there was no initiative put forward to proceed to the next step in creating a city. Van de Kreke said she was unaware on initiatives to form a city before the Lakeside group was formed. “I’ve been pretty active in community affairs for a long time and I don’t think anybody has ever addressed as

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Tucker community associations form a city exploratory group
by Carla Parker The Tucker Civic Association (TCA) and the Smoke Rise Community Association (SRCA) have formed a steering committee to explore issues related to forming a city of Tucker. Last month, a “placeholder” bill was filed on behalf of Tucker by State Representatives Billy Mitchell, Michele Henson and Earnest “Coach” Williams. However, the bill was dropped. House Bill 677 would have provided time for discussions on the potential of turning Tucker into an incorporated city. According to TCA’s website, the steering committee will include representatives from Tucker Business Association, Tucker Historical Society, Tucker Parent Council, Tucker Police Precinct, MainStreet Tucker Alliance, and representatives from the Faith Community. TCA member Honey Van de Kreke said the committee was formed because of the Lakeside community’s initiative to form a city that pulled in certain areas that are considered to be in the Tucker area. “It was a 30-40 percent of the Tucker boundaries and [TCA] and the Tucker community felt that we didn’t have any say so in that,” she to whether or not we need to form a city.” On Feb. 27, Tucker business owners signed the papers to begin the process of establishing a Community Improvement District (CID). A CID is a district in which commercial property owners vote to tax themselves to raise funds for various community improvement projects. The proposed Tucker CID, which is considering a three-mill tax, is planning to use the funds for increased lighting, beautification and road improvements. The CID would also allow the community to seek grants and it would help attract more businesses. Van de Kreke, vice president of Elrep Sales in Tucker and one of the first business owners to sign the consent forms, said she doesn’t think the city exploratory process will affect the CID. “We’re going with the CID regardless because people have signed up and we’re so close to getting that finalized, which will be done sometime in May,” she said. “The CID is so important right now and we need to go ahead and do that.”

...there was a fair amount of confusion and some fear as to what will happen or not happen.”
–Honey Van de Kreke

said. “We also felt, after talking to the community, that there was a fair amount of confusion and some fear as to what will happen or not happen.” Lakeside’s map includes the

Church members spruce up grounds, interior of senior center
Though it was a rainy day, World Mission Society Church of God (WMSCOG) members came to DeKalb County’s Bruce Street/East DeKalb Senior Center in Lithonia April 28 to give the center’s grounds a spring spruce up. WMSCOG brought more than 100 volunteers from its Norcross location to help improve the look and feel of the senior center, which has been a part of the community for almost half of a century. The center is operated by the DeKalb County Office of Senior Affairs and managed by Senior Connections. Seniors are offered classes, activities, a hot lunch and wellness programs Monday through Friday. Improvements around the front of the building included sanding and painting the center’s sign, landscaping with flowers and bushes, painting benches, and general clean up. Work was also done in the center’s interior. Mayor Deborah Jackson came out to greet the volunteers and thank them on behalf of the people of Lithonia. Debra Furtado, chief executive officer of Senior Connections said the WMSCOG volunteers created “a wonderful outdoor space for the Lithonia seniors to enjoy all year. We are very grateful for their caring efforts.” “In today’s society, we often find that the seasoned members of our community are overlooked and sometimes forgotten,” said Hector Flores, church overseer for the WMSCOG. “In every effort to keep the greatest commandment given by Christ, to ‘love thy neighbor,’ The World Mission Society Church of God would like to show love and appreciation to those who have gone before us and made great strides in our communities.”

Lithonia Mayor Deborah Jackson, front row center, joins more than 100 volunteers who came to the Bruce Street/ East DeKalb Senior Center spruce-up event. Volunteers repaired a pond, planted flowers and vegetables and performed general landscaping. Photos provided

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 3, 2013

Georgia Supreme Court upholds Yancey convictions
The Supreme Court of Georgia has unanimously upheld the convictions of a former deputy sheriff for the murders of his wife and a young man he had hired to do yard work. Former DeKalb County Deputy Derrick Yancey was convicted in 2010 of shooting to death his wife, Lynda Yancey, and a day laborer Marcial Puluc. Yancey claimed Puluc shot his wife while stealing money from her and that he had been forced to shoot Puluc in selfdefense. According to the April 29 opinion, written by Justice Keith Blackwell, on June 8, 2008, Yancey, who at the time was a deputy sheriff assigned to security at the DeKalb County courthouse, called work and said he would not be in the next day because “he had something to do.” The couple’s daughter said he and his wife were having marital problems and were talking about divorce. On June 9, 2008, according to court records, Yancey went to a local gas station, where men seeking day labor jobs gathered. Yancey, who frequently hired day laborers to work around the house and yard, hired 19-year-old Puluc, a native of Guatemala who spoke no English and had been in this country about a month. Yancey brought Puluc to his home where Puluc worked in the yard most of the morning. At approximately 12:30 p.m. that day, Lynda Yancey arrived at the house, and her husband instructed Puluc to mow the lawn. A little while later, Derrick Yancey called 911 and reported that Puluc had robbed and shot his wife, and that he in turn had shot the day laborer. Although certified in CPR, Yancey allowed the 911 operator to instruct him in how to perform CPR on his wife. The operator later testified that while Yancey was supposedly trying to resuscitate his wife, he walked away to see if paramedics had arrived, which the operator said was unusual for someone to do while “in the middle” of CPR. Police arrived to find Yancey in the driveway, holding his service weapon, a Heckler & Koch semiautomatic handgun, according to court documents. In the basement they found Lynda Yancey and Puluc shot to death. She had been shot three times with a .357 Smith & Wesson, a revolver owned by her husband. Approximately $2,000 in cash lay on the floor near her feet. Puluc’s body lay 10 feet from hers, and he had been shot three times with Yancey’s service revolver. Yancey told police that Puluc had probably taken his Smith & Wesson from the top of the refrigerator where Yancey said he usually kept it. That gun was found on the floor on the left side of Puluc’s body. Yancey told paramedics he had hired Puluc to move furniture, although Puluc was only 5 foot 3 inches tall and weighed less than 120 pounds. Yancey told police Puluc was in the basement when he gave his wife a large amount of cash and Puluc pulled out the revolver and told Lynda to “give me all your money,” although Puluc spoke no English, according to court documents. Yancey said Puluc then shot his wife and he shot Puluc in response. Later in the day, Yancey went to the police station and gave a written statement, saying Puluc and his wife had struggled over the money and Puluc shot her during the struggle. As he was signing the statement, a detective noticed “very small dots” on his right hand, which were consistent with blood spatter from a contact wound. Officers collected swabs of blood from his hand, shin and clothing which later turned out to be his wife’s. Meanwhile, according to briefs filed in the case, fellow officers took money out of their coffee fund and bought Yancey, who was still being treated as a victim, a shirt and some shorts at Target to replace the bloody clothes removed for evidence. As law enforcement analyzed the crime scene and the forensic evidence, they began to realize that Yancey’s story was inconsistent with the physical and forensic evidence collected at the scene. If Puluc had shot his wife at close range, her blood spatter should have been on him, but none was found on Puluc, only on Yancey, according to court records. If Puluc had taken the money from Yancey’s wife, as Yancey had said, it should have been found next to Puluc’s body; instead it was found next to hers. Finally, Puluc was right-handed and would not have shot the woman with his left hand, as the crime scene indicated. At the police department, a detective asked Yancey “to help us by mapping out or drawing a diagram” of the scene. At that point, Yancey requested an attorney and left the department without drawing a diagram of the scene. Following the autopsies, which showed no signs that CPR had been performed on Lynda Yancey, Yancey was arrested for her murder and Puluc’s. He was released on bond and placed on home confinement with an ankle monitor. In April 2010, he removed the ankle monitor and disappeared. He was found several months later in Belize and brought back to Atlanta to stand trial. In November 2010, the jury convicted him of both murders and Yancey was sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison. In his appeal to the state Supreme Court, Yancey claimed several errors were made at his trial, including during closing arguments when the prosecutor improperly referenced Yancey’s refusal to draw a diagram of the crime scene. In the April 29 opinion, the high court finds that it was not improper to present testimony at trial about his failure to draw a diagram because he was not in custody when he refused to draw the diagram. The evidence, the court says, was properly admitted because Yancey voluntarily came into the police station, provided a statement and never invoked his right to remain silent. And “because evidence about the failure to draw a diagram properly was admitted, it was not improper for the prosecuting attorney to reference that evidence in closing,” the opinion states. The Supreme Court also rejected Yancey’s remaining arguments.


CALL NOW! 404-220-8610

The Mayor and City Council of the City of Chamblee, Georgia will hold a public hearing on  Thursday, May 16, 2013, at the Chamblee Civic Center, 3540 Broad Street, Chamblee, GA  30341 at 6:00 p.m. to receive public comments regarding the following matters: 
1) Appendix A, “Zoning Ordinance,” Section 207, “Planned unit development procedure”.  The  subject property is City Farmers Market (fka Buford Highway Flea Market), located at 5000  Buford Highway.  The applicant is requesting to develop the property as a planned unit  development.  2) Appendix A, “Zoning Ordinance,” Section 908, “Site design” and Section 1402, “Landscape  strips”.  The subject property is located at 5000 Peachtree Boulevard.  The applicant is  requesting a variance to allow vehicular services such as a car wash between the building and  street, and a variance for relief from the required 10’ landscape strip.  3) Appendix A, “Zoning Ordinance,” Section 1004, “Space dimensions”.  The subject property is  located at 1888 Dyer Circle.  The applicant is requesting a variance to the minimum lot size  requirements for NR‐1 zoning district.  4) The subject property located at 3223 Clairwood Terrace is requesting the following variances:  Section 903, “Street type dimensions” to vary the front yard setback; Section 512, “Single‐ family residential detached height measurement”, to vary the threshold of units; Section 1004,  “Space dimensions”, to vary the minimum lot size requirements; and Section 1004, “Space  dimensions”, to vary the minimum lot width requirements.  5) Discuss the adoption of an Urban Redevelopment Plan.  An Urban Redevelopment Plan is a  general blueprint for redevelopment and targeting of public investments in the redevelopment  area.    

Name: Kermit • Young Adult • Vaccinated • Neutered

of the

Kermit is a super sweet young, adult male, mixed breed. He may be a Lab/Terrier mix. He is friendly, outgoing and playful. He is very affectionate and wants to be with people. He will play with toys in the play yard, but if you walk away from him he’ll be right behind you; usually with his toy still in his mouth. Kermit is just learning his basic commands. He knows how to sit on command; especially if you have a treat in your hand. Kermit weigh about 45 pounds. He’s neutered and up to date on vaccines; unfortunately, he’s heartworm positive. His adopter or rescue will need to put him through treatment. His adoption fee will be waived. Come visit Kermit and play ball with him. He is very loving and playful and just wants a home he can call his own.

If interested in adopting Kermit, send an email to both addresses below for a prompt reply

Jamie Martinez Christine Kaczynski

Dekalb County Animal Shelter




Page 4A

Amanda Davis farewell: Class personified
and a professed faith that will see her through this difficult time. The farewell included videotaped words from the Goodwill Ambassador himself, Andrew Young , who said he and wife Carolyn think of Amanda and her daughter as family and vowed to continue being there for them. Amanda’s daughter, in case you didn’t know, is Melora Rivera, a budding Hollywood actress who had a role in the 2012 remake of the movie Sparkle. Power D.J. Ryan Cameron chimed in with words of encouragement along with the media maven herself, Monica Pearson. Thousands of viewers have offered words of encouragement to Amanda, a respected media darling who was a fixture at the annual Martin Luther King Service aired each year by Fox 5. Amanda has covered everything in the metro Atlanta area from Buckhead to Bankhead and scored a coveted one-on-one interview with President Obama. She was as good a reporter on the streets without a prompter as she was at the anchor desk with one. A testament to her reporting skills, Amanda won a prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award for her continuous reporting of the Centennial Olympic Park bombing during the 1996 Olympics. She will long be remembered for her Wednesday’s Child segments and the impact that project made on the lives of hundreds of foster children who needed loving homes. As most of us know, Amanda was arrested for her second DUI in November of 2012. She caused an injury accident going the wrong way on Piedmont Road in Midtown Atlanta. I was saddened at the cruelty with which some people spewed their venom about this human error. So many people reading this article perhaps have been driving while intoxicated; they just weren’t caught. Fortunately, no one was killed in the accident, including Amanda. Not to excuse breaking the law, but no one, unless you have worked in the highly competitive pressure cooker called television news, can understand the daily stress one endures with deadlines, dead bodies and deadbeats, not to mention the fishbowl existence where one’s private life is intruded upon and scrutinized on every turn, trying to raise normal children notwithstanding. It absolutely requires a healthy relationship with the Creator. During her farewell message, Amanda smiled brightly as she talked about the highs and the lows she’s experienced for 26 years at Fox 5 and she quoted from the Bible’s 23rd Psalm, “Yea, though I walk through the valley...” Valley experiences are a part of life just as our mountaintops. It is not how we fall, but how we get up and get back into the game. Amanda was on her “A” game Thursday, April 25. One could sense her genuine hope for a brighter day. It’s worth mentioning that Amanda Davis retires after a DUI. Martha Stewart goes to federal prison for insider trading and gets a high profile television show as soon as her time is served. Let’s pray Amanda is able to bounce back as well. In the meantime, her media sisters and her fans are proud of her. She could have merely faded to black but instead gave us a tease for the next chapter. We’ll stay tuned. Steen Miles, The Newslady, is a retired journalist and former Georgia state senator. Contact Steen Miles at

The Newslady


The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 3, 2013

Nearly 30 years in Atlanta television came to an end Thursday, April 25, 2013, for Fox 5’s Amanda Davis who announced her retirement on the 10 o’clock news. The station handled the announcement with style and sensitivity. Amanda was as usual beautiful, gracious and humble. But there was nothing understated about the lovely, power red dress Amanda wore for the announcement, which had been heavily promoted by the station on the air and in print. There was no word on her future plans, just the announcement of her retirement after 26 years at Fox 5. I was never more proud of a television station and how it handled the misstep of one of its key people. I was never more proud of one of my former sister colleagues who has handled her valley experience with dignity, class

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 3, 2013

A lifeline and a new model
changes at the existing shelter, where thousands of animals were being temporarily sheltered and then euthanized each year. The report and committee, helmed by Susan Neugent, president of the Fernbank Museum of Natural Science, found a poorly managed and filthy facility without working air conditioning, and nearly two out of every three animals entering the building, never leaving alive. Despite a challenging budget climate, DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis and the county commission responded, providing immediate funding to air condition the facility, hiring additional personnel and amping up a site search to build a new facility. That search is now focused on a county-owned parcel adjoining DeKalb-Peachtree Airport, and identified by DeKalb Commissioner Jeff Rader (District 2). There is a model here to be considered, and if successful, potentially followed with other county services. Instead of hiring seven more animal control officers, and building a new facility off of Memorial Drive (the original inclination of the CEO’s office), this public/private partnership will substantially reduce costs for county taxpayers, while increasing service levels and potentially saving the lives of thousands of healthy animals. This new model isn’t free, however; in exchange for managing the existing shelter, and significantly expanding adoption and spay/neuter programs countywide, LifeLine’s two-year contract with the county will slightly exceed $2 million. This is, however, substantially less expensive than additional full-time county employee hires with the old service model, including health care and retirement benefits as well as the old mindset, more aimed at putting down animals without a home—and an animal population that exploded in many ways during the deep and lingering recession. LifeLine offerings include spay and neuter clinics (more than 50,000 surgeries already performed), and Catlanta, the only organized feral and stray cat assistance program in the region (which has provided vaccinations and sterilizations to a stray cat population exceeding 15,000). Annually, the Lifeline Dog House and Kitty Motel provides medical and behavioral rehabilitation services to nearly 500 abandoned and abused pets. LifeLine works closely with local animal rescue groups and has a nationally recognized shelter evacuation team providing consultation and assessments for animal control shelters across the country to improve operations, reduce diseases and save more animal lives. LifeLine also offers one of the region’s largest online pet adoption networks, offering animals from more than 50 shelters and rescue groups with a searchable database featuring more than 1,500 animals available for immediate adoption every day: LifeLine website - Pet Adoption database - http://www. Or, to volunteer - Volunteer Opportunities: LifeLine Animal Project P.O. Box 15466 Atlanta, Georgia 30333 (404) 292-8800 And this model of matching private volunteer passions with needed county services bears further exploration. Imagine county parks, recreation and senior centers and even libraries eventually staffed with a smaller number of full-time managers and a larger cadre of part-time volunteers, or even teens, seniors and the under-employed working for a modest monthly stipend. Some of these tasks could also be supported and assisted by community service hours, required by the courts for both juvenile offenders and the newer accountability courts as a condition of sentencing for non violent and misdemeanor adult offenders. In an era where the demand and desire for local government services seems almost never-ending, a greater contribution (nonmonetary) should be expected from the same communities demanding these services. At least in one case, there is already a lifeline in place. Bill Crane also serves as a political analyst and commentator for Channel 2’s Action News, WSB-AM News/Talk 750 and now 95.5 FM, as well as a columnist for The Champion, Champion Free Press and Georgia Trend. Crane is a DeKalb native and business owner, living in Scottdale. You can reach him or comment on a column at billcrane@

One Man’s Opinion


Page 5A

“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.”—author and humorist Mark Twain (1835 – 1910). A “new deal” and new model of doing the public’s business under the heading of Animal Control is heading your way soon. Following a scathing report by an appointed public/private review commission regarding the operations of the existing DeKalb County Animal Shelter off of Kensington Road, DeKalb County is contracting the “shelter” portion of its animal control responsibilities to a private nonprofit organization, the LifeLine Animal Project. LifeLine operates two no-kill animal shelter and service centers (in Avondale Estates and College Park), offering low- and no-cost spay/neuter surgeries as well as an array of other low-cost veterinary vaccinations and services. The nonprofit is manned almost entirely by volunteers. Fulton County government is finalizing a similar contract with LifeLine as well. DeKalb County Commissioner Kathie Gannon (Super District 6) was an early advocate for making

Let Us Know What You Think!
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS encourages opinions from its readers. Please write to us and express your views. Letters should be brief, typewritten and contain the writer’s name, address and telephone number for verification. All letters will be considered for publication.
Send Letters To Editor, The Champion Free Press, P. O. Box 1347, Decatur, GA 30031-1347; Send E-Mail to FAX To: (404) 370-3903 Phone: (404) 373-7779 Deadline for news releases and advertising: Thursday, one week prior to publication date. EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions written by columnists and contributing editors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editor or publishers. The Publisher reserves the right to reject or cancel any advertisement at any time. The Publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts.

Publisher: Dr. Earl D. Glenn Managing Editor: Kathy Mitchell News Editor: Andrew Cauthen Production Manager: Kemesha Hunt Graphic Designer: Travis Hudgons The Champion Free Press is published each Friday by ACE III Communications, Inc., 114 New Street, Suite E, Decatur, GA. 30030 Phone (404) 373-7779.
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We sincerely appreciate the discussion surrounding this and any issue of interest to DeKalb County. The Champion was founded in 1991 expressly to provide a forum for discourse for all community residents on all sides of an issue. We have no desire to make the news only to report news and opinions to effect a more educated citizenry that will ultimately move our community forward. We are happy to present ideas for discussion; however, we make every effort to avoid printing information submitted to us that is known to be false and/or assumptions penned as fact.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 3, 2013


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Federal officials release scathing report on VA hospital in Decatur
by Daniel Beauregard An in-depth report by the Department of Veterans Affairs has determined that poor oversight at the Atlanta VA Medical Center in Decatur may have caused the death of several mental health patients. The report, released April 17, cites issues with the hospital’s inpatient mental health services and follow-up procedures. According to VA officials, an inspection was conducted at the medical center located off Clairmont Road after a confidential complaint alleged negligence by mental health staff at the hospital contributed to a patient’s death. “The confidential complaint alleged that this inpatient’s death was due to failure of [mental health services] leaders to establish effective unit policies, ensure monitoring of unit inpatients, staff the unit appropriately and care about patients,” the report states. Investigators from John Daigh’s office, assistant inspector general for health care inspections, found the facility was staffed adequately. However, the report lists a host of problems that may have led to the death of a male patient in his 20s with a diagnosed history of alcohol and drug abuse. According to the report, the patient died after abusing drugs he obtained with another inpatient. At one point, a staff member reported he appeared drowsy and the patient was required to undergo a drug screening, which was not monitored by staff. “The day after the subject patient’s death, another inpatient confessed to staff that he provided the patient with a ‘clean’ urine sample,” the report states. Additionally, the report said the mental health facilities had no updated policies relating to contraband and patient observation, and found lapses in the leadership’s actions to follow up in response to patient incidents and staff concerns. Another report issued simultaneously addresses concerns related to mental health care patient issues and program mismanagement. It also describes several scenarios where poor oversight caused patients to “fall through the cracks.” Much of the second report relates to patient referrals to community service boards (CSBs) after mental health patients are released from the hospital. In this case, the report found inadequate staffing levels, stating there were only 10 employees to manage and provide oversight for more than 4,000 patients referred to CSB programs. “We found that 21 percent of our random sample of CSB referred patients were never provided care by the CSBs, with no followup provided by the facility,” the report states. Three examples are outlined in the report that describe how better communication with patients may have prevented an accidental overdose, a paSee VA on Page 12A

Champion of the Week

Raj Mehta

Raj Mehta said he developed his passion for helping others from his mother. Mehta grew up in Gujarat, an area in northwest India. “It comes down from my mother’s side,” Mehta said. “She didn’t have much education and she always helped people, even when they were afraid of receiving help.” When he was younger, Mehta said, his mother woke up early in the morning and delivered food to an elderly woman in his village. The elderly woman had no relatives to take care of her. Mehta said his mother delivered

the food early in the morning because the elderly woman was very prideful and didn’t want anyone to see her being helped. Mehta, who is blind, is the leader of the Tactile Growers Group at the Clarkston International Garden, located at the Forty Oaks Nature Preserve. The growers in Mehta’s group are also visually impaired or totally blind. Currently, Mehta works for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Prior to his job with the CDC he was a social worker. Mehta recently submitted a grant proposal to DeKalb Opportunity Zone to translate garden signs and training materials into Braille to make them more accessible to visually impaired community gardeners. Mehta began partnering with the Global Growers Network after attending a conference the group hosted in Atlanta on organic gardening. Global Growers connects international farmers who now live in

Georgia to agriculture by growing food, training farmers and creating economic opportunities. It started in 2009 as a project of the local nonprofit Refugee Family Services (RFS). In addition to his work with Global Growers and the Clarkston International Garden, Mehta volunteers for the National Federation of the Blind, the largest organization for the blind in the United States with chapters throughout the state. “One of the major causes we’ve championed in the past was students not getting their books on time, when the school year started,” Mehta said. “Sometimes it would take three to four months to get their braille textbooks.” Mehta also said once a year, members of the National Federation of the Blind travel to Washington, D.C. and speak to members of Congress about various issues, such as the danger of hybrid cars.

If you would like to nominate someone to be considered as a future Champion of the Week, please contact Kathy Mitchell at or at (404) 373-7779, ext. 104.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 3, 2013

language development, it also builds motivation, curiosity and memory cognition. Events like this offer a fun way to introduce parents and caregivers to the importance of reading aloud to children. We want to nurture a nation of readers. “By supporting our program, we get closer to Dressed in robes to simulate our goal of giving every ancient times, more than 50 child between the ages of 6 children from Shallowford Presbyterian Church’s children’s months and 5 years that we choirs sing and perform familiar see in our primary care clinstories from the Bible. ic a new, developmentally appropriate children’s book Church to present to take home and keep.” children’s musical The event will be hosted at Barnes & Noble Edge“Once Upon a Parable,” wood at 1217 Caroline St., a musical program presented NE, Atlanta. by the Children’s Choirs of Shallowford Presbyterian Fernbank to hold Birds Church will be Sunday, and Bees Day May 5, at 3:30 p.m. The program is free and open The morning of to the community. It will Saturday, May 4, will be include familiar stories from The Birds and the Bees the Bible told and sung to Day at Fernbank Science upbeat new tunes. Children Center (FSC). This free ages 6 to 12 will perform event should be of special and sing. Shallowford interest to those interested Presbyterian Church is in ornithology or apiculture. located at 2375 Shallowford Fernbank staff, as well Road, Atlanta. For more as representatives of the information, call (404) Atlanta Audubon Society, 321-1844 or visit www. The Chattahoochee Nature Center, and Wild Birds Unlimited, will be on hand Book fair to support to explain, show, and answer childhood literacy questions on birds and bees. A bird photography contest Emory University School will be judged, and winners of Medicine Department announced, during the of Pediatrics Urban Health morning. The program ends Program promises “an at noon. Fernbank Science action packed day of arts Center is located at 156 and crafts, story time, music Heaton Park Drive, Atlanta. and dancing” for parents The schedule of events is and children at a community as follows: book fair. They also will • 8-8:45 a.m. - Bird Walk on have the opportunity to the FSC grounds hobnob with “Tiana” from • 9-11:45 a.m. - Kids Birds The Princess and the Frog. and Bees activities in the On Saturday, May 4, FSC exhibit hall (including pediatricians and thirda live broad-winged hawk) year medical students from • 10-10:30 - Birding by Ear Emory are teaming up at the (bird lab) Barnes & Noble Edgewood • 11–11:30 - Gardening for to support Reach Out and Birds (bird lab) Read, a nationwide early • 11:45 - Photo contest literacy program. winners announced. “With so many electronic For more information, distractions, fewer than half see http://www.fernbank. of parents in the United edu/birdday/fsc.html. States read to their young Bird Photography Contest children daily,” said Veda rules, and entry form, are Johnson, M.D., executive available at http://www. director of Emory’s Urban Health Program. “Reading htm. aloud not only stimulates

Signing event to feature children’s butterfly book


Page 7A

Author Vicki M. Fisher will hold a book signing event Saturday, May 4, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Fisher, a resident of Douglasville, will sign copies of her children’s book Cambio: The Best Blue Butterfly, the story of a butterfly who learns that being yourself is the best thing you can be. Fisher’s daughter, Charissa Cruz, a face painting artist, will be there as well to paint her one-of-a-kind butterfly creations on the faces of both children and adults. The event is in conjunction with a Fernbank Museum program to teach the public about the migration of butterflies. Fernbank Museum is located at 767 Clifton Road Northeast, Atlanta.

2013 Movies on the Square series on Friday, May 3, in Decatur Square, Downtown Clarkston Library to host Decatur. She’s Having a computer coaching class Baby, starring Kevin Bacon, will play on a image inThe Clarkston Library flatable screen at sundown. staff will answer basic The evening will have a computer questions on ‘80s theme. May 8. Staff will answer “DeKalb Medical physiquestions regarding email, cians and staff are thrilled Microsoft Office and how to to connect with our neighfind something on the web. bors through fun events like The one-hour session begins these. We want couples conat 1 p.m. and is limited to sidering starting or adding four participants. The library to their families to rememis located at 951 N. Indian ber that they can deliver Creek Drive. To register, their baby close to home in call (404) 508-7175. our world-class maternity center which provides an upscale, safe and quality en vironment,” said Dr. Stuart Pancer, a DeKalb Medical Movie night to have ‘80s obstetrician. theme



DeKalb Medical’s Maternity Services will screen the second movie in its


Academy Theater to host STEAMFest The Academy Theater will host the fifth annual Cinco-De-STEAMFest on May 4 and 5. This year’s event includes a Latin flair with new theater pieces, new workshops and new music. The Academy Theater is located at 119 Center Street in Avondale Estates. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www. Fishing Derby to be held at Avondale Lake Avondale Estates will host a fishing derby on Saturday, May 4, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Prizes will be awarded for the largest fish caught; the most fish caught; the youngest and oldest fisherman to catch a fish; and first, second and third place prizes for age groups 4 and younger, 5-7, 8-10, 11-17 and 18 and older. Lake Avondale is located at 59 Lakeshore Drive. For more information, visit events.html.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 3, 2013


Page 8A

Murder trial begins for accused ‘Starlight Six’ shooter
by Daniel Beauregard The trial for a man accused of gunning down a 28-yearold martial arts expert when he asked for help with his vehicle started April 29. Quentric Williams, is charged with malice murder, two counts of felony murder, Williams aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated assault against a police officer and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Williams has pleaded not guilty to all charges. According to DeKalb County Police, Williams shot moviegoer Mitt Lenix May 15, 2012, at the Starlight Six Drive-in off Moreland Avenue. It was later reported that Lenix interrupted Williams while he was having sex with his girlfriend and that is why he was shot. After the shooting, Williams left the drive-in; police said Lenix died later at a local hospital. Police spokeswoman Mekka Parish said a witness called 911 and followed Williams’ car until police were able to get behind the vehicle. Police then chased Williams on I-285 into Gwinnett County, where he wrecked his car and managed to run away from police officers. While police were chasing him, Williams allegedly threw nearly $10,000 in cash out of his truck. Williams also tried to steer his truck into several of the police cars chasing him, which is why he is charged with aggravated assault of a police officer. He was arrested May 16, 2012, at Sun Suites on Club Drive, where police found a gun and a large amount of cash and drugs. According to officials, Williams had previously served two state prison terms for drug convictions. Another man, Clinton Hightower, 27, was also killed the night Lenix died as he walked across Memorial Drive and was struck by DeKalb Police Officer Jason Cooper. Cooper, who was rushing to join the chase after Williams, was later fired after an internal investigation by the DeKalb County Police Department and the Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council. “Officer Cooper was terminated following an internal affairs investigation that found him in violation of the departmental policies [regarding] property loss/ damage and negligence/inattention,” Parish said. The parents of Lenix, known as a martial arts expert nationally and worldwide, began a fund in his honor to continue his legacy. Both of Lenix’s parents are also martial arts experts and own the Universal Martial Arts studio in Stockbridge, where their son taught. The fund, which was originally set up to help Lenix’s family with the expenses associated with their son’s death, has now been expanded into a fund to offer scholarships to those who are less fortunate or affected by similar circumstances. The elder Lenix said throughout the 21 years that he, his wife and his son have been teaching martial arts in Georgia they have been helping people, even at times teaching martial arts to those couldn’t afford the lessons. “Our son was wellknown all over the U.S. as a martial arts champion but especially in Georgia and Florida,” Bill Lenix said. “He was also a combat medic in the National Guard and he had spent his life— even thought it was cut so short—helping others.”

Walmart offers information at community meeting on soon-to-open store
by Kathy Mitchell

In anticipation of the Walmart Supercenter that is to open in mid-June at Memorial Drive and Hairston Road, DeKalb County Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton hosted an information meeting April 23 at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church in Stone Mountain. The store being built on property once occupied by an automobile dealership “will help to continue revitalizing the once-thriving Memorial Drive corridor,” according to material provided at the meeting by Walmart, which also states that the building will incorporate design and architecture that reflect the neighborhood’s and the county’s site redevelopment and building standards. The building is to be approximately 149,000 square feet with 592 parking spaces. “Walmart has met with local neighbors and business to ensure that the additional traffic is managed for the safety and

convenience of shoppers and deliveries,” the written material states. It notes that a new traffic signal will be installed at the North Hairston Road entrance and a right-turn lane will be added on Memorial Drive. The existing right turn lane from Lauren Parkway onto Memorial Drive will be extended. Most of the approximately 12 community members attending the meeting were looking for jobs. Dan Fagan, manager of the new store, explained that a temporary employment and training center has been set up at Georgia Piedmont College on North Indian Hills Drive so that on opening day the store will be fully staffed. “We will be open daytime and evenings, weekends and holidays, so it’s best to be flexible with the hours you’re willing to accept—it improves your chances of being hired,” said Fagan, who added that new store will hire 250 full-time and part-time employees in a wide variety of positions.

Fagan also recommended flexibility in the positions applicants seek. “It might be your dream to work in electronics, but there might not be anything open there, while there may be openings in another department,” he said. Fagan said he took his first Walmart job when he was a college student. “I started out collecting carts in the parking lot; then they moved me up to cashier. I never dreamed I would end up coming back here to work. If you want a job, Walmart has jobs, but if you want a career—something that will last 10, 20, 30 years, you can find that at Walmart, too,” he said. The Walmart at Memorial Drive and Hairston Road is scheduled to open June 12, Fagan said, but he added that other Walmart stores will be opening in the area as well. “That means not only job openings at those stores, but also some people may be transferring from existing stores, creating vacancies there.”

Store manager Dan Fagan offers tips for finding employment at Walmart.

DeKalb County Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton welcomes community members to an information meeting on the soon-toopen retail store. Photos by Kathy Mitchell

MEETING NOTICE  The Chamblee Downtown Development Authority has called a special meeting for Tuesday,  May 7, 2013 to begin at 6:00 pm.  The Board will discuss finding an Executive Director, Legal  Council, and Funding.  The meeting will take place in the conference room at Chamblee Civic  Center located at 3540 Broad Street, Chamblee, GA  30341.   

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 3, 2013


Page 9A

Notice of Public Hearings

May 14 & 16, 2013

Notice is hereby given that the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority will hold public hearings for the purpose of considering the

Proposed Fiscal Year 2014 Operating & Capital Budgets

Decatur police working to solve string of robberies
by Carla Parker The city of Decatur experienced an “unusual” string of robberies in February and March, which the police department is still trying to solve. Since Feb. 6, there have been seven robberies in the city, including five armed robberies, a robbery by snatch and a restaurant robbery. The latest robbery happened on March 30 at the Wahoo! Grill on West College Avenue. According to reports, three masked men with pistols robbed the Wahoo! Grill after closing time, knocking one male employee unconscious and forcing other workers to lie on the floor while they stole tip money and four bottles of alcohol. The four other robbery victims were female pedestrians walking in the city and the other was a woman at a Wells Fargo drive-through ATM. Decatur Police Deputy Chief Keith Lee said no one has been arrested in the crimes except for the robbery by snatch on the Decatur square. “That was our very last incident where several young men came by and snatched a lady’s phone off of a table,” he said. “We caught those individuals but we have not made an arrest yet on any of the armed robberies.” Lee added that the majority of the victims would not be able to recognize the suspects if they see them again but they did have a forensic artist come in on the case on the chance that they discover something later. “We do have some leads on some of the robberies and they’re being actively pursued right now,” he said. “The investigators got some new information so we hope and are keeping our fingers crossed that we’ll be able to develop these leads and identify the persons responsible.” Police don’t believe that the same person is committing these crimes, but believe that the suspects may know each other. “I don’t think it has been the same people because the descriptions from our victims have differed,” Lee said. The one thing the suspects are stealing is cellphones. Lee believes it’s a part of a new technology that allows people to recycle cellphones into a machine in exchange for cash. “It’s important to find out what your serial number is and keep it because that will help us if its ever stolen and they do use one of those machines,” he said. “That will help us recover it.” Lee could not say whether this is the first time Decatur has experienced this many robberies in a short span of time, but he did say this spike in these types of crime is unusual. “Decatur’s crime rate has been dropping and stayed low for many years,” he said. “I don’t know what caused the spike. I do know we’ve have been in constant contact with other metro agencies and there seems to be an uptick in this type of crime all around metro Atlanta.” The Decatur Police Department has increased evening patrols around the city for all officers. “We put in over 200 hours of overtime– mandatory for officers from the rank of deputy chief on down,” he said. “That was in addition to our regular patrol officers.” The police department has also put out notices on Crime Stoppers and offering rewards for information that leads to the arrest of the suspects.

Tuesday, May 14
7741 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs, 30350

Community Exchange: 6-7 p.m.

HEARING: 7:00 p.m.
Riding MARTA: Bus route 87 from either the Dunwoody or North Springs rail stations.
also on Tuesday

1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur, 30030

Community Exchange: 6-7 p.m.

HEARING: 7:00 p.m.
Riding MARTA: Walk one block west of Decatur Station.

Thursday, May 16
2424 Piedmont Road NE, Atlanta 30324

Community Exchange: 6-7 p.m.

HEARING: 7:00 p.m.
Riding MARTA: Across the street from the Lindbergh Center Station.
also on Thursday

3201 Martin Luther King Jr., Drive SW, Atlanta 30311

Community Exchange: 6-7 p.m.

HEARING: 7:00 p.m.
Riding MARTA: Bus route 73 from H.E. Holmes Station. Copies of the proposed budget will also be available at MARTA’s Office of External Affairs, 2424 Piedmont Road, N.E. Atlanta, Georgia 30324 during regular business hours, Mon-Fri 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For formats (FREE of charge) in accordance with the ADA and Limited English Proficiency regulations contact (404) 8484037. For those patrons requiring further accommodations, information can be obtained by calling the Telephone Device for the Deaf (TDD) at 404 848-5665. In addition, a sign language interpreter will be available at all hearings. If you cannot attend the hearings and want to provide comments you may: (1) leave a message at (404) 848-5299; (2) write to MARTA’s Office of External Affairs, 2424 Piedmont Road, N.E. Atlanta, GA 30324-3330; (3) complete an online Comment Card at www.itsmarta. com; (4) or fax your comments no later than May 28, 2013 to (404) 848-4179. All citizens of the City of Atlanta and the counties of Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton and Gwinnett whose interests are affected by the subjects to be considered at these hearings are hereby notified and invited to appear at said times and places and present such evidence, comment or objection as their interests require.

The Architectural Review Design Board of the City of Chamblee, Georgia will hear and review the  ground mounted sign submitted as part of the overall Planned Unit Development (PUD) for 5000  Buford Highway, “City Farmers Market”, on Tuesday, May 7, 2013, at City Hall, 5468 Peachtree  Road, Chamblee, GA 30341 at 7:00 p.m.    


Keith T. Parker, AICP, General Manager/CEO

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 3, 2013


Page 10A

Police department adds new officers
The DeKalb County Police Department swore in 26 new officers April 25 during the graduation ceremony of the 96th police academy. The new officers were presented their badges following 26 weeks of intensive training at the police academy.

Alcohol consumption by adolescents may result in possible brain damage and impaired intellectual development.

The class is the first to graduate since Police Chief Cedric Alexander took the helm of the DeKalb County Police Department. The new officers were assigned among the five police precincts and will complete an additional 12 weeks of instruction with Field Training Officers.

 School problems, such as truancy and poor or failing grades.  Social problems, such as fighting and lack of participation in youth activities.  Legal problems, such as arrest for drinking and driving or physically hurting someone while drunk.  Physical problems, such as hangovers or alcohol poison.  Unwanted, unplanned, and unprotected sexual activity.  Disruption of normal growth and sexual development.  Physical and sexual assault.  Higher risk for suicide and homicide.  Alcohol-related car crashes and other unintentional injuries, such as burns, falls, and drowning.  Memory problems. Alcohol and  Use or abuse of other drugs. the Liver  Changes in brain development that may have life-long effects.  Death from alcohol poisoning. In general, the risk of youth experiencing these problems is greater for those who drink than for those who do not drink. Alcohol is a drug that kills more kids than all illegal drugs combined. Prevention Can Change This!

Consequences of Underage Drinking

Funded by the Georgia Dept. of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Div. of Addictive Diseases Office of Prevention Services and Programs

Prepared for you by Be Smart! Don’t Start! Be Smart! Quit! (678-755-1033)

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 3, 2013

cityhood activities and learn about other governance options. The following bills have been introduced and may be reviewed on the General Assembly website by bill number: • HB 22, primary sponsor— Mary Margaret Oliver, sets out additional procedures and enhanced financial requirements for creation of new cities. • HB 619, primary sponsor—Oliver, passed in 2013 and allows an area in unincorporated DeKalb that adjoins Chamblee to vote to be annexed into Chamblee. • HB 665, primary sponsor—Oliver, is a placeholder bill to create city of Briarcliff/Druid Hills. • HB 677, primary sponsor—Billy Mitchell, would create a city of Tucker. • HB 687, primary sponsor—Pam Stephenson, limits the

Page 11A

Possible new cities subject of DeKalb County town hall meeting
Members of the DeKalb House and Senate delegations, including those who have introduced legislation to create new cities or annex new areas to existing cities, will hold a town hall meeting May 6, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Clairmont Hills Baptist Church, 1995 Clairmont Drive, Decatur. DeKalb residents will have the opportunity to learn about the options available to them for local governance and how they may participate in the efforts that will be ongoing this summer. The Georgia General Assembly rules require that a new city must be created over a two-year period, not in one year. Several proposed legislations, listed below, were filed in the 2013 session that ended March 28, to give an opportunity procedurally to create possible new DeKalb cities of Druid Hills, LaVista Hills, Lakeside, Stonecrest, City of DeKalb and Tucker. Also, annexation bills are pending for Chamblee and being discussed for Decatur, and legislative limitations on annexations options have also been filed. Representatives of neighborhood associations or groups that are reviewing current legislation, or working for or against possible new cities will be asked to report on their efforts. The meeting will provide information on the costs of planning for new cities and the resulting possible tax implications. Officials will also discuss procedures for legislative enactment, give a summary of ongoing ability to annex new areas to existing cities by geography. • SB 270, primary sponsor—Fran Millar, would create city of Lakeside. • SB 275, primary sponsor—Jason Carter, would create city of LaVista Hills. • SB 278, primary sponsor—Ron Ramsey, would create city of Stonecrest.

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

The Champion Weather
Seven Day Forecast
Mostly Cloudy High: 70 Low: 55 Few Showers High: 70 Low: 53 Few Showers High: 67 Low: 52 Isolated T-storms High: 70 Low: 53 Partly Cloudy High: 71 Low: 55 Mostly Sunny High: 73 Low: 51

May 2, 2013
Today’s Regional Map
Dunwoody 68/54 Smyrna 69/55 Doraville 69/55 Atlanta 70/55 College Park 71/55 Union City 71/55

Detailed Local Forecast
Today we will see mostly cloudy skies with a slight chance of showers, high temperature of 70º, humidity of 60%. East wind 10 to 15 mph. The record high temperature for today is 90º set in 1942. Expect mostly cloudy skies tonight with a slight chance of showers, overnight low of 55º.

Weather History
May 2, 1929 - Virginia’s worst tornado disaster occurred. Six tornadoes, two of which were west of the Blue Mountains, killed 22 people. Twelve children and a teacher perished near Rye Cove, in Scott County. Four schools were destroyed. May 3, 1988 - Thunderstorms brought much needed rains to the drought-stricken central United States. Evening thunderstorms produced large hail in North Carolina. Hail the size of baseballs was reported just west of Mooresville, N.C.



Lilburn 69/55

Last Week's Local Almanac
Date Hi Lo Normals Precip Tuesday 73 47 75/52 0.00" Wednesday 76 53 75/53 0.06" Thursday 71 45 75/53 0.00" Friday 75 39 75/53 0.00" Saturday 71 57 76/54 0.00" Sunday 64 56 76/54 1.55" Monday 74 56 76/54 0.00" Rainfall. . . . . . . . 1.61" Average temp. . 61.2 Normal rainfall. . 0.80" Average normal 64.4 Departure . . . . . +0.81" Departure . . . . . -3.2 Day Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Sunrise 6:46 a.m. 6:45 a.m. 6:44 a.m. 6:43 a.m. 6:42 a.m. 6:41 a.m. 6:40 a.m.

Decatur Snellville 70/55 70/55 Lithonia 71/55 Morrow 71/55




Hampton 72/56

Local Sun/Moon Chart This Week
Sunset 8:21 p.m. 8:22 p.m. 8:23 p.m. 8:24 p.m. 8:25 p.m. 8:25 p.m. 8:26 p.m. Moonrise 2:13 a.m. 2:52 a.m. 3:28 a.m. 4:02 a.m. 4:36 a.m. 5:10 a.m. 5:45 a.m.


Last 5/2 New 5/9

Mostly Sunny High: 76 Low: 54

Moonset 1:30 p.m. 2:33 p.m. 3:34 p.m. 4:33 p.m. 5:32 p.m. 6:29 p.m. 7:26 p.m.

Tonight’s Planets
First 5/17 Full 5/24 Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Rise Set 6:23 a.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:18 a.m. 9:04 p.m. 6:40 a.m. 8:03 p.m. 8:54 a.m. 11:08 p.m. 7:47 p.m. 6:52 a.m. 5:22 a.m. 5:45 p.m.

Local UV Index
0 - 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11+

National Weather Summary This Week
The Northeast will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 75º in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Southeast will experience mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with scattered showers and thunderstorms today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 87º in Marathon Key, Fla. In the Northwest, there will be mostly clear to partly cloudy skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 88º in Medford, Ore. The Southwest will see mostly clear skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 100º in Palm Springs, Calif.

Weather Trivia
What were Benjamin Franklin’s contributions to meteorology?

StarWatch By Gary Becker - Beastie Dragon Draco
One of my favorite constellations of the northern sky is Draco the Dragon. In early May, its tail begins just under the bowl of the Big Dipper. The BD’s scoop and handle are nearly at their culminating (highest) positions in the north at 10 p.m. Then Draco’s tail curves downward over the cup of the Little Dipper and falls to the right of Polaris, the North Star. Following the sinuous tail of the Dragon is like trekking along on the winding Yellow Brick Road in the Wizard of Oz. The eye just seems to hop, skip, and tumble naturally from one star to another, but then there is a breakdown that occurs where the tail meets a small cadre of five faint stars that outline the tiny body of this fearsome sentinel. Where do you go from here? The secret during late April and early May is to look to the right and slightly above the five body stars to find an additional four stars that create a trapezoidal figure. That’s the head of Draco. By connecting the star of the head that is closest to the star of the body, the picture of Draco—tail, body, neck, and head—is completed. Some people see Draco as a turtle, camel, alligator or a snake. Whatever works for you is fine; however, for more than two decades, Draco has been my mystery constellation when I instruct classes under the real or electronic sky. I simply outline Draco’s stars without any comment and let my audiences guess at the pattern. Whether the group is composed of kindergarten kids or senior citizens, someone always, and I mean always, comes up with the Dragon. There has never been a miss. It gives credence to the concept that people separated by continents could have envisioned the same star patterns without any communications. You can download a sky map showing Draco’s current position by going to and clicking on “this week’s StarWatch.” Scroll to the top and click on the “North” sky chart for 10 p.m.

Answer: He showed that lightning is electricity.

UV Index 0-2: Low, 3-5: Moderate, 6-7: High, 8-10: Very High, 11+: Extreme Exposure


The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 3, 2013

Brookhaven to hire more than 50 officers Brookhaven is now recruiting to hire more than 50 sworn police officers. Brookhaven Police Chief Gary Yandura said he is looking to hire qualified police officers who match the makeup of the city, including bilingual officers. “Our goal is to have the best officers to serve and protect Brookhaven,” Yandura said. “Our focus will be on hiring officers who understand community policing, have excellent records of service, education and attitude.” The city has $3.15 million in reserved funds for the startup of the police department, according to the city’s budget. Yandura has already hired one officer – Deputy Chief Ron Freeman, who is assisting Yandura with recruiting, interviews and background checks. The city is currently recruiting patrol officers, sergeants and lieutenants, as well as detectives. The city is seeking candidates who are certified by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council. Yandura determined the manpower needs after conducting an assessment that involved reviewing neighborhood boundaries, response times, business licenses and the University of Georgia Carl Vinson Institute of Government feasibility study. The city is offering a comprehensive benefits and recruiting package, including a monthly housing stipend for sworn police officers who choose to live in Brookhaven. The package also includes benefits for education assistance and take-home patrol cars. “This will not only cut down on fuel costs for officers, but help with the safety and security of our neighborhoods,” Mayor J. Max Davis said. “A patrol car parked in a driveway is a strong crime deterrent.” Brookhaven reviewed dozens of other city and county benefits and recruiting plans across Georgia, and assembled a competitive plan designed to attract the best police officers. Brookhaven’s plan also rewards tobaccofree employees. Under the plan, the city will pay 90 percent of health insurance costs for tobacco-free employees and their dependents. If an employee or his or her

Page 12A dependents uses tobacco, the city will cover 80 percent of health insurance costs. DeKalb County Police officers currently patrol Brookhaven. The city hopes to have its own police officers on city streets this summer. Brookhaven hires independent auditor An independent firm will provide audit services to Brookhaven. The Brookhaven City Council voted unanimously on April 23 to engage firm Mauldin & Jenkins to audit the financial activities of the city beginning with the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2013. “They will look at the city’s finances and internal controls sufficiently to render an opinion on the accuracy of the financial reports,” City Manager Marie L. Garrett said. “We want to be transparent and have an outside party ensure that we are operating in compliance with sound fiscal policies.” In addition, the city will establish an audit committee composed of residents and city council representatives. The committee will serve as an independent and objective party to monitor the city’s financial reporting process and facilitate an open avenue of communication with the auditors. This will allow the auditor to report and discuss findings with the committee before presenting them to government leaders and city management. The firm will begin work in the early fall. The auditing firm will work closely with city Finance Director Bonnie Kline, who oversees the city’s budget, revenue and daily expenditures. The city council approved Brookhaven’s first budget last month and is scheduled to set the city’s initial millage rate in July. Mauldin & Jenkins was selected following a competitive bid process. They were also the lowest bidder. The five-year contract runs from 2013-2017 and is subject to annual review. The firm audits more governments in Georgia than any other firm and has audited all of the new cities, including Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Chattahoochee Hills, Milton and Johns Creek.

Teen indicted for Recent DeKalb County indictments stabbing younger sister to death
A 14-year-old girl was indicted April 23 in the stabbing death of her 2-year-old half-sister. She is being charged with malice murder, two counts of felony murder, aggravated assault, cruelty to children in the first degree and making false statements. The teen has been charged and indicted as an adult. However, a spokesman from District Attorney Robert James’ office said it is up to prosecutors whether to try the teen as an adult. The teenager was babysitting her siblings Nov. 19, 2012, at her family’s home on Waldrop Trail in Decatur. DeKalb County Police said the teen called her Johnta Mackenzie Bak- parents, saying 2-year-old er was indicted April 4 for Sasha Ray was missing. child molestation, relating to When the parents returned an incident home they began searching that occurred for the 2-year-old with the at a DeKalb teen’s help. County LiSasha was found by her brary. father, Shelton Ray, behind Accordthe home. ing to the According to police indictment, spokeswoman Mekka ParBaker Baker apish, emergency dispatchers proached a minor in a bath- received a call from Ray room at Decatur City Lishortly before 1 p.m. Nov. brary. He then fled the scene 19. Ray then put the phone and was arrested by the De- down and was taking the catur Police Department at a child to the hospital himself local MARTA station. when an emergency vehicle Baker is being charged met him along the way. with child molestation, pubSasha was later prolic transit fraud, obstruction nounced dead. of an officer and enticing a “The cause of death is child for indecent purposes. multiple stab wounds to the chest,” Parish said. “We Carlos Jerome Simpson think the child was assaultis accused of shooting and ed inside the home then the killing his girl moved her body outside pregnant behind the house.” girlfriend The teen is being and mother charged with making false of his statements for allegedly 10-monthlying to detectives about old child. “knowledge as to who Simpson killed [her sister] and by reportedly what means.” Simpson shot his girlAfter the teen was taken friend Shikhira Dunson in to the police station for furthe driveway of his family’s ther question, she called and home after an argument. confessed to her stepfather Simpson was indicted that she was Sasha’s killer, April 16 and charged with according to reports. malice murder, felony murParish said she thinks the der, feticide, aggravated teen was upset about someassault and possession of a thing. firearm during the commis“What she was upset sion of a felony. about has not been determined,” she said. Claudia FlowersVassell was indicted April 18 for allegedly waving a handgun at parents and children in the parking lot of Arabia Mountain High School. Prosecutors said FlowersVassell Vassell was in an altercation Sept. 27 with another parent in the drop-off area at the high school. She then allegedly took out a handgun and began waving it at the victim and children present in the area. Flowers-Vassell is charged with three counts of aggravated assault and one count of carrying a weapon on school grounds. by Daniel Beauregard

VA Continued From Page 6A
tient’s incarceration and in one case, a suicide. The report concludes that the “lack of effective patient care management and program oversight by the facility contributed to problems with access to [mental health] care and may have contributed to patients falling through the cracks.” Atlanta VA Medical Center Chief of Staff Dr. David Bower said the hospital is committed to providing the best care possible for veterans. “The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) concurs with all of the Office of Inspector General Office of Healthcare Inspections recommendations,” Bower said in a statement. “VA will monitor the quality mental health care and contract management and will ensure that veterans receive the highest quality medical care from either the VA or its partners. “VA recognizes the importance of providing national policy to all VA medical centers addressing hazardous items, visitation, urine drug screens and escort services for inpatient mental health programs.” To report suspected wrongdoing in VA programs and operation call (800) 488-8244 or email

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 3, 2013


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The DeKalb County school board must weigh budget realities and stakeholders’ expectations as it decides where to cut $15 million from the 2014 budget. Photos by Andrew Cauthen.

School district looking for $15 million in budget cuts
by Andrew Cauthen Although the DeKalb County School District’s 2014 revenue projections are nearly the same as this year’s, the district has nearly $15 million in increased expenses. At just $400,000 more than 2013 revenue, 2014 revenue projections are “roughly flat or almost exactly the same as the current year,” said Michael Perrone, the district’s chief financial officer. Those projections were discussed April 29 when the county’s school board held the first of three public hearings on the 2014 budget. In 2014, Perrone said the school district’s revenue is projected to be $732.4 million, with $317.6 million coming from state revenue sources and $360.8 million from local revenue. The state’s portion is expected to be a $10.3 million increase above the current fiscal year, while there is a 3 percent reduction, or $9.9 million, in local taxes, Perrone said. The final numbers for local taxes are subject to change after the county government finalizes its revenue projections at the end of May. Perrone said the district is facing $14.7 million in increased “budget realities,” which include $7.4 million in healthcare costs; a $3.8 million increase in contributions to the Georgia Teacher Retirement System; $2.2 million for a new charter school; and $1.3 million in and the teachers’ fair living wage,” Davis said. However, school bus mechanic Greg Davis said district employees “want to do our part.” “If it means saving someone’s job, please furlough us,” Davis said. “We’ll take another furlough day. If it means that everybody can take care of their families and come to work and have a job, do that,” Davis said. Interim Superintendent Mike Thurmond said the input from parents, faculty and stakeholders would “help us see the broad priorities that should drive our thinking as we develop” the budget. Thurmond said he wants stakeholders to offer suggestions about “what should we be looking at …and what should we cut and how do we use the dollars that we do have to enhance student achievement.” “It’s very important at this point to hear from those parents…and others who have ideas, suggestions, input as how we can…prioritize revenue [expenditures] to enhance education service to our primary customers, our students,” Thurmond said. The next budget hearing meeting is set for 6 p.m. May 8 at the J. David Williamson Board Room, Robert R. Freeman Administrative & Instructional Complex, 1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd., Stone Mountain. “We look forward to continuing this conversation,” Thurmond said.

state salary step increases. “In good fiscal times, we usually don’t even mention these because the revenue from the state and the local tax base are usually going up in good times and usually cover these types of losses,” Perrone said. “We are going to have to deal with these with revenues that are projected to be flat.” Lisa Morgan, a teacher who spoke on behalf of the Organization of DeKalb Educators (ODE), said board members should not consider increasing class size to cut costs. “It’s really tempting to think, ‘We can add two more children in the class,’” Morgan said. “That’s happened in the past 10 years.” Morgan said that all over the district there are kindergarten teachers with 28 or 29 students, and teachers in grades one-three with 30 or more students. The school board last year committed to limiting kindergarten

class size to 24 per teacher and 26 with a paraprofessional, Morgan said. “I dream of that day happening again,” she said. Excessive teacher-student ratios hamper learning, Morgan said. “My students did not learn as much this year as they have in the past. We are stretched to the limit. For our children, reject any increase in class size,” she said. David Schutten, president of ODE, told the school board that reducing furlough days would be “a great morale boost.” “I never thought I would see the day that a teacher could leave DeKalb and go to Decatur and make more money,” Schutten said. “That is happening in some cases.” Timothy Davis, also speaking for teachers, asked the board to look at the number of furlough days. “Keep it to a minimum so that it doesn’t impact the instruction…

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 3, 2013


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Middle-agers win full scholarships to Alabama State
It could be the theme of a reality show that Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) middle-age students Oliver Peterson and Tyrone Matthews plan to share a dormitory room at Alabama State University (ASU) in the fall. Josette Ivory might rent a room nearby. But all three are about to make history as the oldest students to ever receive full academic scholarships from the institution. “We’re probably going to be the oldest students ever to live on campus,” said Peterson, 58. “But that’s OK,” added Matthews, 45. “The kids will just have to get used to us.” Peterson, Matthews and Ivory, 42, students at Georgia Perimeter College Decatur Campus, have earned full scholarships to attend Alabama State in the fall. Matthews will graduate from Georgia Perimeter in May; Peterson and Ivory will finish this summer. All three students are members of Phi Theta Kappa, the national community college honor society. Ivory, Matthews and Peterson deserve top honors, said chapter advisor Terry Bozeman. “When the call came in from Alabama State University asking about meeting with a group of our best students, I immediately thought of these three. They are each very hard workers who have shown the dedication it takes to make substantial changes to their individual life circumstances,” Bozeman said. “No matter a student’s age or background, Georgia Perimeter College is a transformative place. I am confident that the foundation they have gotten here at GPC will serve them well as they move on in their life’s journey.” And all three were shocked to learn that Alabama State was willing to pay tuition, fees, room and board to get them to attend the institution. “We are very excited about these future Hornets joining the Alabama State University family,” said Freddie Williams Jr., director of admissions and recruitment. “We set out to recruit the best of the best, regardless of race or age. We know that these students will add value and diversity to ASU, and we are confident that they will fit right in.” academic counselor for atrisk youth. Though two of Matthews’ children also attend GPC, it’s his 13-year-old son who has been most impacted by dad’s success. “My son now says things like, ‘Man, I’m going to get me a scholarship and earn a college degree,’” Matthews said. “Coming back to school and being offered a full scholarship to a four-year institution has allowed us to be pioneers and trailblazers for our own children and especially for non-traditional students. We prove that it’s never too late to put in the hard work and reap the reward.”

Oliver Peterson

Surrounded by his daughter, son and grandson at a recent ceremony, Oliver Peterson displays the full scholarship award he received to attend Alabama State University. Along with Josette Ivory and Tyrone Matthews, Oliver is one of three Georgia Perimeter College students that received full scholarships. Photo provided

Josette Ivory

Ivory had been a stay-athome mom to seven children for years, putting everyone else’s needs before her own. As her children got older, Ivory ran a successful home repair business, but it still didn’t feel like enough. “I was feeling incomplete, like my life lacked direction,” she said. “I realized that the one goal I always wanted to accomplish was to earn a college degree. I decided to go for it.” The full ride to Alabama State came as a shock. “I felt unworthy of the rewards that I was being given, but at the end of day I realized that I earned it like any other student,” Ivory said. She lives two hours away from the Montgomery, Ala.,

campus, but Ivory plans to rent a room and commute home on weekends. She will major in education and business administration with hopes of becoming a school administrator. Though excited about the opportunity, Ivory admits to some nervousness. “It makes me feel better to know Tyrone and Oliver will be there,” she said. “And I would love to see more of my fellow classmates take advantage of these opportunities. This challenges me to spread the word to tell other GPC students that this is possible for them as well.”

Tyrone Matthews

Matthews found out just how costly not having a college degree can be. His company, which contracted with

the state of Georgia, lost a bid and was forced to lay off workers. Matthews saw an opportunity to transfer to another position, but he didn’t have the required education. “A light bulb went off, and I became determined to never hear that again,” he said. “I was deprived of a position that I could do, but didn’t have the degree for. But the job loss has allowed me to see possibilities that I never imagined for myself. So, in the long run it was a blessing.” Nervous that he would repeat a less than stellar high school career, Matthews threw himself into his classes at Georgia Perimeter. The psychology and criminal justice major plans to earn a master’s and doctorate so he can eventually become an

Peterson worked in collections for 15 years when he received a call from a woman desperate to settle a six-figure bill. “There was no way she could pay the full amount and I knew that it would ruin her life if she tried,” Peterson said. In an act of kindness that he still can’t explain, Peterson allowed the woman to settle the bill for a fraction of the original debt. “I was fired and blackballed from the industry,” Peterson said. “I couldn’t get a job anywhere and I couldn’t collect unemployment benefits. So, I decided to go to college.” Peterson, a sports management major, jumped into college life with both feet. He is serving a second term as president of the Decatur Campus Student Government Association, is an honors student and was the physical trainer for the GPC cheerleaders. He is the oldest person to attend Alabama State on a full scholarship. Peterson’s son, a paralegal, and daughter, who graduates from the University of Georgia School of Law in May, are supportive of their father’s impending departure. “I am so happy, but my children are even more excited for me. My son and daughter plan to ride with me to Alabama State and help me get settled into my dorm room,” he said. “I knew I had the grades and the ability, but I never thought a college would give me a free education. A whole new world of opportunities has opened for me.”

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 3, 2013

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DeKalb schools announce Regional Teachers of the Year
Tanya Arrington became interested in teaching after working with the National Council of Negro Women. She oversaw a partnership with NASA and introduced science, engineering and mathematics to students from disenfranchised areas. “I saw how excited and engaged they were in being exposed to new concepts and ideas,” she said. “Their excitement was palpable and endearing.” That experience led Arrington to earn a graduate degree in elementary education and into the classroom at Murphey Candler Elementary. Arrington is one of five DeKalb County School District (DCSD) Regional Teachers of the Year. She is joined by Mario Miner of Stephenson High, Alyssa Montooth of Druid Hills High, Keandria ForemanEdwards of Clifton Elementary and Bryan Boucher of Dunwoody High. The overall DCSD Teacher of the Year will be announced May 20 at the Academy of Educational Excellence Awards, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at Lakeside High. Miner joined DCSD in 2006 after pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Michigan. In his application, Miner named his third-grade teacher as the person who recognized his potential and consistently encouraged him. “I was fortunate to have teachers who believed in me when others did not,” he said. “I wanted to encourage students the same way that Mrs. Flowers inspired me.” Montooth, currently pursuing her Ph.D. in English Renaissance literature, joined DCSD in 1997. “Language facility is power,” Montooth wrote in her application, “and it should be available to all people, not just the privileged. That is why I teach English at a public school. I am devoted to showing my students that, in this country, success is available to anyone with a consistent work ethic and positive attitude.” Foreman-Edwards, a special education teacher, got her start by watching her mother, who also was a special education teacher: “She served children, especially those with disabilities, for years as a special education teacher in the DeKalb County School District. Seeing how much joy she experienced working in this capacity really motivated me to seek a job in the same profession.” It was also a family connection that also led Boucher to education. His father taught high school for more than 30 years, and his brother is an English professor. It was the challenge, however, that kept him engaged. “A new teacher soon realizes that there is nowhere to hide in front of a class of eager, or less-than-eager, students, and it is up to that educator to have prepared enough to get the best out of their students. This is the constant challenge of teaching, and one I look forward to on a daily basis with a variety of students.” Each DCSD school selected a school-level Teacher of the Year. Those honorees interested in applying for the regional honor submitted applications. Three finalists from each of the district’s five regions were selected from the pool of applicants to be interviewed by the Teacher of the Year Selection Committee, a group of educational professionals and community members. The selection committee was composed of: Marcia Coward, president, DeKalb County Council of PTAs; Joe Louis Floyd, 2012 DCSD Teacher of the Year; Phillip Parker, Stephenson High employee and DCSD parents; Dr. Sue Sehgal, president and co-founder of Campus Community Partnership Foundation; Dr. Annette Waller, former DCSD principal and regional superintendent; and Rebecca Williams, Brookhaven City Council member.

DSA, Chamblee ranked among 10 best high schools in Georgia
by Carla Parker Two DeKalb County high schools were ranked in the top 10 of the Best High Schools in Georgia. U.S. News and World Report ranked DeKalb School of the Arts (DSA) at No. 2 and Chamblee Charter High School was ranked No. 5. Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology was ranked No. 1. U.S. News based its rankings on student performance on state proficiency tests and preparedness for college. DSA was also ranked no. 25 in the magnet rankings and No. 75 nationally. The school received a College Readiness rating of 81.5 based on the number of students who took advance placement and international baccalaureate exams and those that passed those exams. Chamblee was ranked No. 75 in the magnet rankings, No. 55 in the charter rankings, and No. 317 nationally. The school received a College Readiness rating of 53.3. Arabia Mountain High School was ranked No. 14 and No. 719 nationally.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 3, 2013

Jane Watts shows the wide range of batteries available at her retail store.

Page 16A

A color guide helps customers choose which LED light bulbs are right for them

Her name is even Watts
by Kathy Mitchell Jane Watts first became intimately acquainted with batteries as an electrician’s mate third class in the United States Coast Guard. As she helped to watch for unauthorized boats approaching America’s shores, batteries were important. Watts decided to end her military career after hitting what she describes as a “glass wall” with her work in the Coast Guard. She worked for several manufacturing firms before striking out on her own. Now she along with her mother Jean, and sister duo June Riner and Darla Carter own the only allfemale-owned Batteries Plus franchise. “I had always wanted to own my own business,” Watts said. “I found this and it’s been perfect for me. At first, my friends didn’t know whether to laugh or feel sorry for me. They’d say, ‘You think you can make a living selling batteries?’” As Atlanta was hosting the 1996 Olympic Games, Watts came through the city on her way to Savannah in a bicycle race in which she set a world’s record that she said still stands. “After that, I knew I could do anything if I set my mind to it.” Almost two decades later, the four women have grown their business into a threestore franchise, providing a specialty store environment for locals as well as supplying major corporations and local government offices. “We’re an authorized

Franchise owner says she’s surprised many by making a success of a business that sells batteries and light bulbs
service supplier for these,” she said, lifting one of the professional flashlights that police and fire departments use. “They all come in here, police officers, firefighters, sheriff’s deputies. They all use this type of flashlight.” The store sells essentially any type of batteries from tiny ones used to power electronics to those used to power vehicles, including motorcycles. “You’d be surprised how many things use batteries,” Watts said. “The average household has about 28 items that use batteries.” After 15 years at Lawrenceville Highway and Montreal Road, in September of 2012 the owners moved their flagship store to Shamrock Plaza, less than two miles away. “I wanted to stay in this area and everyone knows Shamrock Plaza; it’s been here since the 1960s.” The move took them from a 900-square-foot facility to a 2,400-square-foot store as they were expanding into a new product line—light bulbs. “It used to be that you used basic incandescent light bulbs for everything. They’re not even making them anymore. Thomas Edison’s bulb is gone. We’ve gone to CFLs, but don’t spend money on them—they’re on the way out, too,” she said. The coming thing, according to the aptly named Watts, is LEDS. “Touch that,” she said, pointing to an LED bulb that had been burning all afternoon. The bulb was giving off no heat. “You’d be surprised at how much heat incandescent bulbs add to a room,” she said, recalling a child’s toy oven that baked small cakes using a 100-watt bulb. “It’s gotten more complicated, too,” she said. “The customer doesn’t just choose what wattage he wants; these come in a range from cool to warm. For some uses you want a warm [more yellow] light and for others a cool [more blue] light is what you want. This is a new concept for many consumers, but we can help you with that.” She added that people at big box stores are unlikely to be familiar with the more complex lighting applications. “They may not even carry all these,” she said, pointing to a wide range of light bulbs.

Women’s empowerment summit announced
People You Need to Know Magazine, an Atlanta-based publication to support women business owners, will host its third annual “Helping Women Succeed in Atlanta” Spring Empowerment Summit at the Porter Sanford III, Performing Arts Center in Decatur on Saturday, May 4, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. “The summit will feature some of Atlanta’s most powerful and insightful speakers who will passionately share inspiring, thought-provoking and lifechanging information with the

expected 500 women business owners and professionals in attendance,” states an announcement from the organizers. It will focus on information to help women get ahead in business as well as make new business connections that can lead to success. For more information, visit www.upliftwomen2013.eventbee. com or call (770) 460-5995.

Derby named VP of hotel operations
Hotel Equities, a Dunwoodybased hotel management, development and consulting

firm, recently named Elizabeth Derby vice president of hotel operations. Her responsibilities include creating and administrating models for operational excellence. She has oversight of all operations of the hotels including the development of the criteria and guidelines for the company’s hiring practices for all associates as well as the selection, training and mentoring of managers. She also is responsible for the sales and marketing strategies for the hotels including revenue management and ecommerce. Hotel Equities President and CEO Fred Cerrone called Derby “a proven and respected leader. She sets the bar high for our associates,”

he said. Derby, who has spent more than 30 years in the hospitality industry, joined Hotel Equities 16 years ago as its first director of sales and marketing and helped grow the portfolio from four hotels in Atlanta to more than 40 properties in seven states. The firm also presented its Team Member of the Year award to Aretha Pompey for her performance during 2012. The front desk supervisor at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel in McDonough, Pompey was selected from among more than 950 associates. “Aretha sets the standard for great hospitality at our hotel,” General Manager Chris Martin said.

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

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 3, 2013


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The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 3, 2013


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DeKalb has 12 teams in soccer state playoffs
The 2013 Georgia High School Association Soccer State Playoffs kicked off on April 30 with 12 DeKalb County teams competing for a state title. Girls’ teams from Druid Hills, Lakeside, Dunwoody, Arabia Mountain and Chamblee open on the first day along with the Lakeside boys’ team. Six DeKalb County boys’ teams played on May 1, including Druid Hills, Dunwoody, Chamblee, Clarkston, Stone Mountain and Tucker. The Druid Hills Lady Red Devils (10-5-1) hosted Westlake (7-4) in the first round of the Class AAAAAA playoffs at Adams Stadium. It was Druid Hills’ first state playoff appearance since a first round loss to Cartersville in the 2009 season. The Lady Red Devils are 2-6 overall in the state playoffs. DeKalb hosted a pair of Class AAAAA girls’ state playoff games on April 30 as Dunwoody (12-3-1) faced Northview (13-2-0) at North DeKalb and Lakeside (17-0-1) met Cambridge (9-7) at Hallford Stadium. Lakeside is the No. 1 seed from Region 6-AAAAA and at 17-0-1 is undefeated for the first time since a 12-0-0 mark in 1984. Lakeside, which is 16-18 in the state playoffs, is making its 13th consecutive playoff appearance and is looking for its first playoff win since the 2011 season. Dunwoody is making its fourth consecutive state playoff appearance, but is 0-8 in its previous eight playoff attempts. In other Class AAAAA girls’ play, the Arabia Mountain Lady Rams (114-0) made history with the program’s first ever state playoff appearance at Riverwood (14-4-0). Chamblee is the only Class AAAA entry from DeKalb as the Lady Bulldogs (11-6-0) played at River Ridge (11-6-0) in their firstround matchup. Chamblee made its third consecutive state playoff appearance and is 0-4 overall in the state playoffs. The Lady Bulldogs playoffs 2-1 over Whitewater in the first round of the Class AAAA state playoffs. The Tucker Tigers took on Osborne (12-3-0) in a Class AAAAA battle. The Tigers (11-5-1) are 3-8 overall in the state playoffs with all three wins coming in last year’s run to the third round. This is the Tigers’ sixth playoff appearance in the past seven seasons. The Class AAAAAA matchup at Hallford featured No. 1 seed Druid Hills Red Devils (8-9-0) against TriCities (8-5-1). Druid Hills boasts a 32-22 state playoff record dating back to 1969. This is the 10th playoff appearance in the past 11 years for Druid Hills which includes an eight year string (2003-2010) with the only non-playoff year coming in 2011. Two Class AAAAA DeKalb teams went on the road as Clarkston (11-6-0) traveled to Riverwood (125-1) and Dunwoody (11-3-0) went to Pope (11-5-1). Clarkston made its first playoff appearance since the 2006 season, which also marked the team’s last win, a first round 6-0 victory over Central of Carrollton. The Angoras are 20-14-1 overall in the state playoffs dating back to the 1973 season. Dunwoody (11-3-0) is 2-7 in six playoff appearances with the last win coming in 1996 1-0 over McEachern and is making its third appearance in the past five seasons. The Stone Mountain Pirates (116-0) are the No. 4 seed out of Region 6-AAAA and traveled to take on No. 1 ranked and undefeated Dalton (170-0). Stone Mountain is 4-8 overall in eight playoff appearances with the last win coming in 1993 with a 3-0 victory against Evans during a five year run (1991-1995) in the state playoffs. This is the Pirates’ first playoff appearance since the 2003 season. For updates on these matches visit

Arabia Mountain girls’ soccer team played in its first ever playoff game on April 30.

Arabia Mountain boys’ soccer team did not make the play off.

have suffered tough first-round losses the past two seasons losing on penalty kicks in two consecutive appearances. The lone boys’ game on April 30 featured Region 6-AAAAA No. 1 seed Lakeside Vikings (12-4-2) verses Kell (12-6-0) at Hallford Stadium, which followed the LakesideCambridge girls’ game. The Vikings are 58-6-1 in the state playoffs including seven state titles. The last state title came in 2008 over Southeast Whitfield with a 3-1 penalty kick win following overtime. This is the Vikings’ 15th consecutive

playoff appearance. The other six boys’ games included three matchups at Hallford Stadium on May 1. The Chamblee Bulldogs opened the three-game set at Hallford against Tri-Cities (8-5-1) in a Class AAAA state playoff game. The Bulldogs (6-5-4) entered as the No. 2 seed from Region 6-AAAA and are 18-10 in playoff appearances dating back to 1968, including the 2008 Class AAA state championship 2-1 victory over Westminster. Their last win came in the 2009 state

Five DeKalb high school baseball teams start playoff run on Friday
by Mark Brock The 2013 GHSA High School Baseball State Playoffs begin on May 3 and five DeKalb County teams will play first-round games. Class AAAAA No. 6 ranked Dunwoody (21-3) and Class AAAA No. 5 ranked Redan (20-6) will host first round series. The Wildcats from Dunwoody host the first two games of their best-ofthree series against Riverwood (16-10), the No. 4 seed of Region 7-AAAAA, beginning at 4 p.m. with the second game to follow. The third game, if necessary, is set for 1 p.m. on May 4. Dunwoody enters the 2013 playoffs with a 37-37 playoff record while looking to get to the second round after dropping a tough first-round series to Pope a year ago. The 2012 first-round loss was just the second in seven consecutive playoff seasons for the Wildcats, who won the 2007 Class AAA state title and reached the semifinals in 2006. The Redan Raiders, the No. 2 seed from Region 6-AAAA, host Region 7-AAAA No. 3 seed Heritage-Catoosa (16-10) in a doubleheader on May 3 at 2 p.m. with the third game, if necessary, set for a 1 p.m. start on Saturday. Redan opens its 12th playoff series in the past 13 seasons having missed only the 2009 state playoffs. The Raiders are trying to stop a two-year skid of first-round losses following their run to the Class AAAAA semifinals in 2010. Redan is 38-40 overall in 18 playoff appearances dating back to the 1982 season. Region 6-AAAAA No. 3 seed Lakeside (17-7) goes on the road to face Region 7-AAAAA No. 2 seed Creekview (16-10) in a May 3 doubleheader beginning at 4:30 p.m. A third game, if necessary, is set for 1 p.m. on May 4. The Vikings are in the state playoffs for the 10th time in 13 seasons and the first time since 2010’s first-round defeat to Sprayberry. Lakeside is 10-22 overall in state playoff appearances with its last playoff series win coming over Sandy Creek in 2009. The Region 6-AAAAA No. 4 seed Arabia Mountain (17-5-1) travels to Region 7-AAAAA No. 1 seed Pope (18-8) for the May 3 doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m. The third game, if necessary, is set for 1 p.m. on May 4. Arabia Mountain is making its third consecutive trip to the state playoffs still looking for a victory. The Rams are 0-4 in two consecutive Class AAA appearances. Region 6-AAAA No. 3 seed Columbia (18-4-2) rounds out the DeKalb playoff contingent as the Eagles head north to take on Region 7-AAAA Cass (16-10) in the May 3 doubleheader with first pitch set for 5:30 p.m. The third game, if necessary, is set for 2 p.m. on May 4. This is the Eagles first playoff appearance since a first round loss to Heritage in 2003. Columbia is 8-14 overall in the state playoffs.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 3, 2013


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Four former DeKalb players sign with NFL teams
by Carla Parker


our former DeKalb County School District football players saw their NFL dreams come true this past weekend when they were drafted and signed by NFL teams. Jamoris Slaughter, a former Hawkins Jarboe Rivers Slaughter Tucker High School and Notre Dame free safety, was drafted by the total of 98 tackles, two sacks, Cleveland Browns with the No. 175 King High School and Ole Miss offensive lineman, also signed as two interceptions and one forced pick in the sixth round. an undrafted free agent with the fumble. Cedar Grove High School Kansas City Chiefs. Jarboe has turned a troubled alums Josh Jarboe and Gerald Slaughter’s 2012 season with past into a bright future. The wide Rivers signed as undrafted free Notre Dame was cut short after receiver originally committed agents with NFL teams after the tearing his Achilles tendon last to the University of Oklahoma draft completed. Jarboe, a former September against Michigan State. in 2008, but was kicked off the Arkansas State wide receiver, In 2011, he started in 10 games football team after pleading guilty signed with the Washington and had 45 tackles—including to charges of bringing a gun to Redskins and Rivers, a former Ole four for loss. He also had an Cedar Grove and theft by receiving Miss defensive end, signed with the interception, forced fumble and stolen property. He also filmed a St. Louis Rams. two pass breakups. He has a career profanity-laced video about guns A.J. Hawkins, a former M. L.

on the university’s campus that was posted on YouTube, which aided in his dismissal. He transferred to Troy State, but was kicked off that team after he was cited by police twice for misdemeanor harassment and disorderly conduct. He transferred to Northeast Mississippi Community College and played for a year before transferring to Arkansas State. During his two years at Arkansas State, Jarboe had 104 receptions for 1,300 yards and six touchdowns. Rivers started 10 games during his three-year career at Ole Miss. He had a total of 31 tackles and 4.5 sacks. He was declared academically ineligible during the 2012 season. Hawkins played in 39 games as a center and right guard during his career at Ole Miss.

by Carla Parker

Stephenson JV baseball wins first county title

The Stephenson High School junior varsity baseball team capped off its undefeated season with a championship title on April 26. The Stephenson Jaguars (17-0) defeated Lakeside (11-5-1) 10-3 in the 2013 DeKalb County Junior Varsity Baseball Championship game. This is the first JV championship title for Stephenson and head coach Gene Washington said he couldn’t be prouder of his players. “The hard work, dedication and sacrifice that these young men have put in since December has really paid off to this point right now,” he said. “We’re not a power hitting team. They bought into the system and they gave me everything that they had and I guess this is the result of hard work.” After a scoreless first inning, the Jaguars got it going in the second inning with a RBI by pitcher Corey Forde. Short stop Ron Blackston scored the run to give Stephenson a 1-0 lead. The Jaguars got a 2-0 lead after infielder Marquise Mackeson’s RBI single sent Christian Griffin to home plate. In the third inning, Lakeside’s Jonathan Cooper scored off of Jaret Barr’s RBI to cut Stephenson’s lead down 2-1. After giving up the run and loading up the bases, Forde was taken off the mound and replaced by Marcus Young. Young didn’t fare well at first, giving up two more runs. First baseman Grant Gibbons’ RBI gave Lakeside a 3-2 lead in the top of the third. However, that was the last time Lakeside scored

Stephenson High School JV baseball team won its first DeKalb County championship after defeating Lakeside High School 10-3.

as Stephenson went on a scoring frenzy. Stephenson’s Xavier Horton tied the game at 3 after a couple of Lakeside errors. Jordon Ballou hit a triple, which led to him scoring off of Blackston’s RBI single to give the Jaguars a 4-3 lead. The lead extended to 5-3 after Blackston scored off Brian Strong’s RBI triple. Forde gave Stephenson a 6-3 lead off of a RBI single. Young rebounded in the fourth inning, striking out two of Lakeside batters and giving up no runs. Lakeside took out pitcher Will Cosby and

replaced him with Cole Howard, but Howard struggled as well against Stephenson’s bats. After hitting a triple, Mackeson ran home off of Howard’s wild pitch to extend Stephenson’s lead 7-3. Horton later scored off of Strong’s RBI double to give the Jaguars an 8-3 lead. Stephenson cooled down in the fifth inning but picked it back up in the sixth with Ballou scoring off of a wild pitch to extend the lead to 9-3. Strong had another run scored in the sixth inning off of Forde’s RBI double to give the Jaguars the 10-3 win over the Lakeside Vikings.

Washington said he had to keep his team humble during their undefeated season. “My motto has always been, ‘Never be satisfied; finished the drill,’” he said. “I stayed on them. Every game that we played our record stayed at 0-0 from the beginning of the season to this point.” “Keeping them humble and satisfied and knowing that on any given day that somebody can beat them,” Washington said. “I’m just proud of these guys.”

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 3, 2013


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Police Athletic League Plus sponsors youth event at Sanford Center
Acts ranged from orchestra performances to stepper groups as DeKalb County youth demonstrated their talents at the DeKalb County Police Department’s Police Athletic League, Plus (PAL Plus) third annual Youth Explosion April 27 at the Porter Sanford Performing Arts Center in Decatur. With a theme of “Showcase our Future Stars,” the police department and community partnered to provide a platform for youngsters to demonstrate their artistic abilities. Television anchor Fred Blankenship was master of ceremonies for the event. Performances included Lithonia High School Orchestra playing such selections as “Time After Time” and “Smack Dab in the Middle,” choral selections from the Stephenson Middle School Choir and the Shiloh High School Choir, step demonstrations from MLK High School, Miller Grove Middle School, and Stephenson Middle School. There also were dance numbers from the McNair Middle School Cheer Squad, a female group of four called C.H.A.R.M., and the McClendon Performing Arts Institute. An ensemble called Front & Center performed a series of skits centered on a young man facing the death penalty. The pace of the event changed as Desiree Lee took the stage to warn young people not to make the mistakes she made. “A wise person learns from other people’s mistakes; a fool learns from his own mistakes,” Lee said. “I’m here to give you the opportunity to learn from my mistakes. She said that as she was leaving high school with scholarships that would have taken her through college she got involve with the wrong people. “I thought it was cool. I agreed to drive the get-away car when some friends committed a robbery,” she recalled. “Now I’m a convicted felon. I can’t get a job; I can’t get an apartment. No one wants a convicted felon. It’s not like on television where you get in trouble and some clever lawyer comes and gets you out and you go home. I went to prison. I thought I was cool, but prison isn’t cool at all.” The DeKalb County Police Athletic League Plus Inc. is a chapter of the national Police Athletic League (PAL). Traditional activities for PAL include sports and mentoring. The “Plus” indicates the unit’s expansion into the areas of arts and culture, education, prevention and charity. 

PAL Plus’ Youth Explosion featured among others Miller Grove Middle School (female) Steppers, top, C.H.A.R.M., bottom left, and McNair Middle School Cheer Squad, bottom right. Photos by Kathy Mitchell