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

and Stone Mountain.

Advocates for DeKalb Animals, said he was glad officials have finally narrowed the locations. “Not speaking for Advocates for DeKalb Animals, I’m personally happy with either of the sites,” Castle said. Claudette Leak, a member of the site selection committee, said each location was chosen from



Animal shelter search narrowed down to three proposed sites
Commissioners committee meeting June 4 comes after months of deferrals. The top three sites being considered to house the new animal services shelter are located at 3071 and 2915 Lawrenceville Highway and at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport (PDK). Wardell Castle, a member of

by Daniel Beauregard DeKalb County officials have narrowed the search for a new animal shelter to three proposed sites, two of them located off Lawrenceville Highway. The announcement, made during a DeKalb County Board of

among 84 initial sites recommended by the DeKalb Animal Services and Enforcement Advisory Board, a task force created in 2011. “We reviewed the initial list presented by the advisory board and also looked at additional green

See Shelter on Page 13A

by Carla Parker

Local artists show off their work at the Stone Mountain ART Stroll

hirty-five years ago, Michael Labbe-Webb joined a club called the Society for Creative Anachronism. The club studies the Middle Ages, also known as the Medieval period, and participates in anachronistic activities, which include fullcontact sword fighting. To compete in sword fighting participants must have full body armor. At that time, Labbe-Webb could not afford to pay someone to make armor for him so he came up with a better idea. “I had to learn how to make it myself,” he said. “I had so much fun doing it that I just continue doing blacksmithing.” Labbe-Webb is the owner of Ironhawk Forge, located in the Center Town Gallery II on Main Street in Stone Mountain. The master blacksmith and glass blower, along with other local artists, showed off their skills and work at the ART Stroll on June 1. Hosted by ART Station and Stone Mountain Arts Incubator (SMart Inc.), the Stone Mountain Village Quarterly ART Stroll features artwork in ART Station Galleries and the four SMart Inc. galleries. The Clothesline, an independently owned gallery, was also highlighted. The galleries are located on Main Street, Manor Drive and East Mountain Streets, all within about a two block walking distance.





Tracie Lee Hawkins (right) explains the meaning of her handmade quilts during the Stone Mountain Village quarterly ART Stroll. Photos by Carla Parker

Because she gets her news updates online from the The Champi

Because she gets her news updates online from the TheAnd Champion. you can too! Follow us. Because she gets her news updates online from the The Champion.
Michael Labbe-Webb demonstrates how to make a wine bottle holder during the Stone Mountain Village quarterly ART Stroll.

See ART Stroll on Page 13A

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 7, 2013

President of the DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce Leonardo McClarty said it is unfortunate that the legal language used to designate opportunity zones is outdated. However, he said their implementation will allow the county to compete with surrounding areas. Currently, McClarty said there are opportunity zones in cities such as Roswell, Marietta, East Point, College Park, Union City, Douglasville and others. “This is one of the few programs where the actual business owner who is creating the jobs is able to take advantage of that $3,500 tax credit that would be extended over that five-year period,” McClarty said. Chris Morris, director of the DeKalb County Community Development Department, said the tax incentive is a valuable tool to combat blight and build stronger communities. “Having the opportunity to have additional dollars that will go to those businesses to help create jobs is very important,” Morris said. “Sometimes we identify areas as a ‘spot’ slum and blight, not the whole area—you’ll see areas all over that are thriving and doing well but they still

Page 2A

Commissioners in favor of more ‘opportunity zones’ in DeKalb County
by Daniel Beauregard DeKalb County commissioners hope by amending the county’s urban redevelopment plan some communities may soon see a boom in business. During its May 28 meeting, the board of commissioners voted to amend the 2010 urban redevelopment plan to develop opportunity zones and receive state tax credits for job creation. “The opportunity zone is another tool to help us as we try to stimulate investment and growth,” Commissioner Larry Johnson said. Currently, there are opportunity zones in Doraville, Dunwoody and Avondale Estates. To qualify for the state incentive, which allows up to $3,500 per job created, the proposed area has to be part of an urban redevelopment plan and within or adjacent to a census tract with a 15 percent or greater poverty level. Kathryn Rice, a resident of the Hidden Hills area in DeKalb County, said she supports the creation of opportunity zones but is concerned about the language used to designate them. Words such as “slum” and “blight” are used in property descriptions. “It labels all of south DeKalb and portions of midDeKalb as a slum area,” Rice said. “There are other communities that have also been able to conduct economic development without labeling themselves as a slum.” need this very important tool to help with economic development to create a stronger community.” Currently, there are 15 commercial and industrial areas throughout DeKalb County that have applied for opportunity zone designations, including those along Bouldercrest, Panthersville and Wesley Chapel roads. Stonecrest, Stone Mountain, Lithonia and portions of the I-85 corridor are also included.

Notice is hereby given that the Atlanta City Council will meet on Monday, June 17, 2013 to consider and adopt the City of Atlanta’s fiscal year 2014 budget (13-O-0619). The meeting will be held at the Atlanta City Hall Complex, 55 Trinity Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia in the City Council Chambers located on the second floor beginning at 1:00 p.m. All concerned citizens are invited to attend. A copy of the proposed budget legislation (13-O-0619) is on file in the office of the Municipal Clerk, City Hall, 55 Trinity Ave., Suite 2700, Atlanta, Ga. 30303 for public inspection.

DeKalb school board votes to save millions in legal fees
The DeKalb County school district will not have to pay any more legal fees for a lawsuit against Heery International alleging fraud, waste and mismanagement by the former construction firm. On June 3 the DeKalb County Board of Education voted to amend a legal agreement that allows a lawsuit to move forward at no further expense to DeKalb taxpayers. The amended agreement with King & Spalding also eliminates a provision that would have required the school district to pay up to $30 million in legal fees if the district elected to settle the case against the law firm’s recommendation. “With that provision removed and King & Spalding shouldering all future costs, the case against Heery can proceed on its merits without the specter of taxpayers paying tens of millions in legal fees,” according to a media release from the school district. “This new agreement allows the parents and taxpayers of DeKalb County to seek justice in the Heery matter without the massive risks and inherent costs associated with the previous agreement,” said Board of Education Chairman Melvin Johnson. “We are appreciative of King & Spalding for acknowledging and removing these financial pressures on the district, and for moving forward with us in partnering in the Heery case.” Heery managed the school SPLOST system from 20022006. In 2006 the school system terminated the company citing overbilling and questionable work. Heery then sued DeKalb County School District for $400,000 that it said the system still owed the company. The school system then countersued for $100 million alleging fraud and claiming that the company mismanaged projects. Under a previous contingency agreement with King & Spalding, the school district would have been saddled with $30 million in legal expenses if the school district settled against the advice of its legal counsel. The new agreement eliminates that provision and removes from taxpayers all future legal fees and expenses associated with the case. “The agreement the board
See Millions on Page 10A
City of Decatur Georgia Ad Valorem Tax Digest History Decatur - Digest Assessment Ratio Real Property Personal Property Public Utilities Motor Vehicle Total Digest City Operations General Fund Exemptions Net City Operations Digest City Operations Millage City Operations Levy Percent Change Dollar Amount Change $ 157,384,000 $ 118,900,000 $1,130,068,600 13.035 $14,730,444 7.54 $1,032,306 2008 50% 2009 50%

2010 50%

2011 50%

2012 50%

2013 50%

$ 1,124,007,000 $ 1,162,026,500 $ $ 18,342,500 $ 20,387,500 $ $ 16,893,389 16,473,600 $ $ 49,014,800 $ 50,081,000 $ $1,208,257,689 $1,248,968,600

1,157,883,900 $ 1,149,844,600 $ 1,168,366,733 $ 1,167,795,980 20,069,600 $ 21,146,700 $ 22,174,136 $ 22,014,242 11,673,700 $ 18,933,750 $ 14,297,200 $ 14,639,953 46,119,000 $ 46,119,000 $ 49,311,000 $ 52,979,900 $1,235,746,200 $1,236,044,050 $1,254,149,069 $1,257,430,075

$122,579,000 $1,113,167,200 13.035 $14,510,134 -1.50 ($220,310)







$1,050,873,689 13.035 $13,698,139 3.57 $472,077

$1,110,969,050 13.000 $14,442,598 -0.47 ($67,537)

$1,127,235,069 13.000 $14,654,056 1.46 $211,458

$1,131,098,075 13.000 $14,704,275 0.34 $50,219

The Decatur City Commission announces that the 2013 tentative millage rate was adopted at their meeting on Monday, May 20, 2013. Hearings on the budget and millage rate will be held on: Monday, June 3, 2013 at 7:30 pm Monday, June 17, 2013 at 7:30 pm The hearings will be held at Decatur City Hall, 509 N. McDonough Street, Decatur, GA. Final adoption of the 2013 millage rate and fiscal year 2013-2014 budget is scheduled for consideration at the Decatur City Commission meeting on Monday, June 17, 2013. The above table is presented pursuant to O.C.G.A. 48-5-32 showing the estimated current year's digest and proposed millage rates along with a five-year history of the tax digest and millage rates.

Page 3A 

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 7, 2013

Top left, Solicitor General Sherry Boston is taking her “Safety in Numbers” bingo event to county senior centers to raise awareness about elder abuse. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

by Andrew Cauthen

Seniors urged to report elder abuse
on the rise. “You hear about people in these personal care homes that are either unlicensed or not operating properly,” Boston said. “You hear about caretakers taking advantage of people, whether that is financially, by taking your Social Security or your disability check; or by neglect, meaning not giving you the appropriate accommodations to what you are expected to have; or abuse, which sometimes can be physical with someone treating you wrongly in many ways. “We need to look out for each other and the best way you can do it is for each and every one of you to help keep an eye on your friends,” she said. Boston said more than 500,000 reports of abuse against elderly Americans reach authorities every year across the country. “It is a rampant problem,” she said. “Millions go unreported. It is one of the most underreported crimes, in part, because we’re dealing with a population that may be unable to even speak up for themselves because of their own physical or mental incapacity.” In DeKalb County, there were 55 cases of elder abuse reported last year. “We know that’s just a drop in the bucket,” Boston said. “The vast majority of these cases are just going unreported, whether [seniors] feel too scared to report or don’t know who to talk to or don’t even realize they’re being taken advantage of.” Boston said warnings signs for elder abuse include frequent unexplained injuries, fear of a caregiver or family member and social isolation. Elder abuse is “a crime that we want to spread awareness about so that others can help their friends and family that might be in this situation,” Boston said. “One of the keys to [addressing] elder abuse is educating the seniors and the community around them on what to look for and how to report it,” she said. “If you believe someone is in immediate danger call 911.” If there is not an immediate threat of danger, call the police, adult protective services, the solicitor general’s

Paul Gresham, 75, of unincorporated Decatur, said elder abuse is a reality; it’s occurring right now to a friend who is living with her son. “She tells me constantly that [her son] cuts the phone off so she can’t talk to a friend,” Gresham said. “That’s abuse. “He’s the only caretaker,” Gresham said. “You want to help but you don’t want to hurt. These things exist when you don’t know how to report it. “If you send somebody into the home where he is, she’s going to end up in a nursing home somewhere where she will get the proper care, but she doesn’t want that. Seniors like to stay in their home,” Gresham said. Gresham was one of a group of seniors that attended a “Safety in Numbers” bingo event at the Scottsdale Senior Center sponsored by the office of Solicitor General Sherry Boston. The events, held in conjunction with Older Americans Month in May and Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, are designed to educate seniors about the signs of elder abuse and neglect and what they can do to get help or assist a friend who may be in danger. Boston said elder abuse is

office or a doctor, Boston said. “Report it to someone,” she said. That’s what Gresham said he will be doing soon. “I’m going to be talking to some of these people, because a lot of times we can get something done by somebody just listening,” Gresham said. “After talking to the senior involved, she might want to go to a nursing home.”

DeKalb County School Board is selling two of its properties as‐is through a competitive  sealed bid process.  The two properties are located at:  Freeman Admin. Building A/B (office)  3770 North Decatur Rd      Decatur, Georgia  30032      81,000 square feet of office space    9.3 acres          Hooper Alexander (school)  3414 Memorial Drive  Decatur, Georgia 30032  68,900 square feet of school facility  8.1 acres 

Advertisement for School Property Sales 

   Sealed Bids, from Bidders, will be received by the DeKalb County Board of Education (the “Owner”)  at the Sam A. Moss Service Center, 1780 Montreal Road, Tucker, Georgia 30084, until 12:00 Noon  local time on Thursday, August 1, 2013 for all labor, materials and services necessary for both  projects.  Bidding Documents may be obtained by Bidders at:     All questions about this Advertisement for Bids must be directed in writing to Stephen Wilkins,  Chief Operations Officer not later than Tuesday, July 23th, 2013 at 12:00 Noon.  Contact Mr.  Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Sam Moss Center, 1780 Montreal Road, Tucker,  Georgia 30084.;  email:   dcsd‐ops‐bid‐;  Fax 678.676.1350.     Except as expressly provided in, or permitted by, the Bidding Documents, from the date of  issuance of the Advertisement for Bids until final Owner action of approval of contract award, the  Bidder shall not initiate any communication or discussion concerning the Project or the Bidder’s  Bid or any part thereof with any employee, agent, or representative of the Owner.  Any violation  of this restriction may result in the rejection of the Bidder’s Bid.     The Owner reserves the right to reject any or all Bids, and to waive technicalities and informalities.       Site visits Hooper Alexander School are scheduled for July 11th, 2013 and July 18th, 2013 at 9:00  am.  Site visits for Freeman Administrative Buildings A& B are scheduled for July 10th, 2013 and July  17th, 2013 at 9:00 am     

Page 4A

Prima facie evidence
Court heard the case on June 3. This was a very significant boost to the efforts of 1person-1vote, the legal defense fund formed to wage a court challenge on Dr. Walker’s behalf. GSBA is an advocacy organization representing all 180 school boards in the state of Georgia. It says its mission is to ensure excellence in the governance of local school systems by representing the “collective resolve of elected boards of education.” The organization is throwing its considerable weight behind Dr. Walker’s case, which will decide the constitutionality of state law OCGA 20-2-73, giving the governor the power to remove from office an elected local board of education. In its 20-page filing, attorneys for GSBA detail the history of the accreditation process in Georgia and the shifting standards of SACS. It outlines the fact that since OCGA 20-2-73 was passed in 2010, it has been applied to six school boards in the state. The brief also questions the governor’s action removing only six DeKalb board members and allowing three members to retain their posts. The filing also details the history of elected boards of education in the state reiterating that in 1992, Georgians amended the Constitution to require that all members of local boards be elected. The brief points out in great detail that accreditation historically was a voluntary, peer review process. It is not a defined system nor is there a standardized set of rules; merely a private, volunteer entity doing the “accrediting.” And, there is no legal requirement that school systems be a member of any accrediting organization. For public schools in Georgia, there are currently two accrediting organizations: the Georgia Accrediting Commission and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation (SACS). Both can have dramatically different criteria and processes. The GSBA says while it supports the development and implementation of good governing practices and it has worked closely with the Georgia Board of Education, OCGA 20-2-73 lacks objectivity, has no definable standard of conduct and violates the people’s right to select the board members who control and manage education at the local level. Additionally, their brief points out that in the recent case of charter schools, voters made a change to give the state certain authority. So it stands to reason that if such dramatic change is to be made in the governance of public education, the people ought to be the ones to choose to amend the Constitution, not the legislature. Seems pretty clear—on the face of it.

The Newslady


The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 7, 2013

In legal circles there is a term called “prima facie,” which means essentially at first look or very clear, like the nose on your face. It applies here. The law giving the governor authority to remove duly elected officials is prima facie violation of the state constitution. The good news is that an 11th hour rally was staged to support Dr. Eugene Walker and his court challenge to OCGA 20-2-73, which gave the governor power to remove him from his elected post as a DeKalb County school board member. The Georgia School Board Association (GSBA) filed an amicus curiae or friend of the court brief (all these Latin terms, right?) on Friday, May 31, three days before the Georgia Supreme

Steen Miles, The Newslady, is a retired journalist and former Georgia state senator. Contact Steen Miles at

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 7, 2013

Ferris viewer is WAY off
tory Museum and Atlanta Folly...I mean Trolley. I’m extremely proud of my hometown, and our status as an international city, global logistics hub and capital of the modern South. So get ready—the newest tourism magnet for downtown will be the SkyView Atlanta Ferris Wheel. The 180-foot wheel will be rolling in town soon, and locating, at least initially, on the edge of Centennial Olympic Park Boulevard at Luckie Street, in a parking lot owned by The Tabernacle. Straight from Paris, France, by way of its current home in Pensacola, Fla., comes the Atlanta SkyView. The nearly 20-story wheel will feature 42 fully enclosed and air-conditioned gondolas, each seating six. The pods move sleekly along with the wheel, on a ride expected to last 12-15 minutes, and offering spectacular views of the Atlanta skyline and Centennial Park. Ride operators are shooting initially for 1,000 riders per week day and 3,000 around special events and weekends. In Pensacola, the wheel is currently averaging 600-800 riders per day on a good week. Admission there is $15 per adult, and ride owners have been discussing $13.50 for adults and $8.50 for children in Atlanta. However unlike the view of the Chicago skyline or Lake Michigan from a similarly sized gondola ride at Chicago’s Navy Pier, the location of the Atlanta SkyView is not at a high point in the city scape. Peachtree Street is literally a ridge, with the spine running south from downtown, through midtown and then northward with a bit of scoliosis toward Buckhead. Either side of the Peachtree peak is in effect a valley. Stand in the COP and look in most any direction. You are in a bowl, surrounded by the downtown skyline to your east, and the Dome, Omni Hotels and Russell Federal Building to your west. The SkyView may clear some of those sight-lines, but will predominantly offer an aerial view of the COP and its walkable perimeter. On the plus side, the SkyView and its infrastructure, operations, et al., will be entirely privately operated and funded. Pacific Development operates similar attractions in South Carolina and Florida, including another in Myrtle Beach. The London Eye, at more than double this height, offers unmatched views of the River Thames and many parts of historic London. Though one of the Britain’s most popular tourism attractions, the Eye has long struggled financially as a stand-alone, and is now owned by Madame Tussaud’s of London, with tickets often sold in combination. Interestingly, London also renamed and repurposed the Millenium Dome (first opened in late 1999), as the 02, instead of tearing down the world’s largest dome-roofed facility, after its original purpose came to an end. The Georgia Dome is world’s second largest. Depending on the event, there are few cheap seats in Philips Arena and the Georgia Dome, and nondiscounted admissions to the nearby World of Coca-Cola ($16 adult, $12 child), CNN Tour ($15 adult, $12 child) or Georgia Aquarium ($31.95 adult, $25.95 child) are all slightly higher, while the surrounding Centennial Olympic Park, ring fountains and play areas remain free. I suspect the SkyView Atlanta will work out more like the ice skating rinks in Centennial Park, which have become a popular, seasonal holiday attraction. Better weather brings more walkers and gawkers downtown, and those lines can get pretty long on weekends to get into the aquarium or World of Coke. At least with the SkyView you can pretend for a moment that you’re above all that—Bueller? Bueller? Anyone, anyone? 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

One Man’s Opinion


Page 5A

“Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”— actor Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986). Slightly more than a quarter century ago, Ferris Bueller played hooky, faking sick to spend a day experiencing the sights and sounds of his hometown of Chicago. At an earlier stage in my career, while with the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, I was involved in the development of Centennial Olympic Park (COP). The public/private park, managed by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, remains one of the most vibrant and visited parts of downtown Atlanta. Today within two MARTA stations and a few hundred yards of the park, visitors and locals alike may enjoy CNN Center, the Georgia Dome, Philips Arena, Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, Imagine Children’s Museum and coming soon the NCAA Football Hall of Fame, Civil Rights His-

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, June 7, 2013


Page 6A

Lil’ Scrappy enters rehab
by Carla Parker tion after a 2008 first-offender plea to felony marijuana and gun possession charges. Darryl Richardson, betDuring Richardson’s ter known as Lil’ Scrappy, hearing, DeKalb County Suentered a 30perior Court day in-patient Judge Danrehabilitation iel Coursey program on agreed with May 29. Davis that At a probaRichardson tion revocation does need to hearing on May enter a treat22, Richardment facilson’s lawyer, ity. Davis will Mawuli Mel report back Davis, said the to the judge rapper and realJune 12 with ity star went to an update on see a drug and Richardson’s alcohol evaluaprogress. tion counselor Davis after testing would not dispositive for close which marijuana a rehab facility week before Richardson enthe hearing. In tered but told an interview Cameron that with V103 FM it is a 30-day morning perfacility with sonality Ryan 24-hour moniCameron, toring. Richardson “He is not said he is ento leave,” Datering rehab to - Darryl Richardson vis said. help get rid of Richardson his marijuana said in the raaddiction. dio interview “I had to that he began get checked out [by doctors] smoking marijuana at 12 and they said indeed I’m ad- years old. dicted,” he said. “I’m turning “I knew I was addicted myself in because the judge when I couldn’t stop,” he said I had to do something to said. make him feel better.” He added that his rehab Richardson, 29, was orstint is not a publicity stunt dered May 15 to provide a and said he is looking forurine sample to test for ilward to the challenge of getlegal drugs. Prosecutors alting through the program. leged that he switched his “I’m trying to get my life urine during a routine drug right,” he said. “My mental, screening that is required as a my physical, my spiritual… condition of his probation. all of that. I’m just trying to Richardson is on probaget right.”

Champions of the Week Don and Valerie King
Decatur residents Don and Valerie King are busy professionals with full-time work commitments, but they have found a way to combine family time and community service. When Valerie King first acquired her Maltipoo, Daisy, a rescue dog, friends starting telling her that the friendly, fluffy animal would make a perfect therapy dog. The two have now completed more than 200 pet therapy visits through such organizations as Peachford Hospital, Shepherd Pathways, Special Olympics, Lekotek, VA Medical Center and Emory Rehab. Valerie and Daisy even visited Georgia Tech to help students reduce stress during finals. “Daisy is 8 years old now and has been doing therapy for more than half her life,” Valerie said. “She looks like a stuffed animal; people just love her.” Since the Kings live in Decatur, they decided to find a place near home to do volunteer work. DeKalb Community Service Board’s residential substance abuse program for veterans turned out to be an ideal place. After Don adopted Bingo, a silky terrier who’s also a rescue dog, the pet therapy visits became a family affair. “It’s the greatest thing we do,” Valerie said. “The men in the veterans program are sometimes tough old gentlemen who have had a lot of hardships. To see them playing with these fluffy little dogs is so heartwarming.” The dogs, she explained, help those having a tough time to cope with sadness, depression and loneliness. They reduce stress, calm anxiety and actually lower blood pressure in some patients. Valerie said she first imagined that she and her husband would just be around to supervise as Daisy and Bingo helped the men in treatment to relax. “Actually, we found it was a wonderful opportunity for us to connect with others as well. Don was in the Navy, so the men relate well to him,” she said. The Kings and their dogs have undergone training to prepare them for their special volunteer roles. Now, in addition to volunteering at DeKalb CSB, at least four to six times a month they spend evenings and weekends visiting through CAREing Paws at medical facilities, mental health and substance abuse programs and other facilities with their pets. They also make the dogs available to programs for children struggling to build their reading skills. “These children often are too shy to read to a person, but they will read to the dogs,” Valerie said. Valerie said she is pleased to learn that their volunteer work has prompted organizations to request more animal therapy visits. “Because we both work, we aren’t available on weekdays, but they’ve found other volunteers who can visit at those times,” she said.

‘I had to get checked out [by doctors] and they said indeed I’m addicted.’

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, June 7, 2013

Jazz on the Lawn opens at Callanwolde

Mayor J. Max Davis serving as the president and Mayor Pro-Tem Rebecca Chase Williams serving as the vice president. Any leases or purchases made by the corporation will be conveyed or subleased to the city. Under the resolution, the corporation will not profit from any of the projects. The Georgia Constitution limits the terms that municipalities can enter into bonding and lease agreements. The corporation allows the city to enter into multi-year leases, which often have more favorable interest terms. State law requires the corporation to register with the Secretary of State. For more information, visit www.brookhavenga. gov or City launches online video streaming for meetings Brookhaven is now streaming all city council meetings live online. Community members are able to view meetings virtually through the city website. The new cloudbased software, allows viewers to watch live from a computer later from smart devices. All videos will be archived on the city website and tagged to links within the meeting agenda, enabling viewers to search and skip to specific portions of video footage. The new software also allows the public to view how each council member votes on city issues in real time, as well as track each council member’s sponsoring legislation. To participate in virtual meetings and view meeting agendas and minutes, visit the Meetings & Agendas tab on the city web site
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Page 7A

Callanwolde Fine Arts Center opens this year’s summer outdoor concert series Jazz on the Lawn Friday, June 14, at 7:30 p.m. with Ike Stubblefield and Friends – Soulful R&B Jazz. “B3 organ virtuoso Ike Stubblefield is a music industry legend with almost 50 years in the business. Stubblefield’s craft and ingenuity on the keys helped create the classic B3 sound that others would imitate for generations to come,” states an announcement from Callanwolde. Jazz on the Lawn features a lineup of Atlanta jazz musicians performing a mix of classic and contemporary jazz, swing, fusion, Latin and blues. Guests are invited to bring a blanket and a picnic for these concerts under the stars. Tickets are $15 when purchased in advance online at; $20 at the door. In case of rain, the concert will be moved to Callanwolde’s indoor courtyard. Parking is free and on site. Callanwolde Fine Arts Center is located at 980 Briarcliff Road, NE, Atlanta. For more information, call (404) 872-5338 or visit Church to hold scholarship breakfast Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church will hold its annual Frank Jones Memorial Scholarship Breakfast Saturday, June 8, at 9 a.m. in the W.E. Flippin Family Life Center. The emcee will be Donna Lowry from WXIA-11 Alive and the keynote speaker will be Commissioner Lee May. The breakfast will include a salute the church’s 2013 graduates and announcement of the FJMS and the William E. Flippin Awardees. Tickets for this event are available in Pioneer Hall. The Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church is located at 1879 Glenwood Avenue, SE, Atlanta. For more information, call (404) 377-0561 or visit

spades, checkers and dominos. There also will be a game area for children and a live DJ. Donations of cases of water or packages of men’s white socks are appreciated. For more information, call Teresa at (770) 323-6203. Presidential diarist, author to discuss book on civil rights leader Presidential diarist and author Janis F. Kearney will discuss her newest book, Daisy: Between a Rock and a Hard Place, June 8, 2-4 p.m., at Stonecrest Library. This biographical memoir chronicles the life and times of Daisy Gatson Bates, one of the American South’s most renowned female civil rights leaders. Kearney chronicles the life of the remarkable Bates, from a tragic childhood to her death in 1999. Stonecrest Library is located at 3123 Klondike Road, Lithonia. For more information, call (770) 482-3828 or visit This program is sponsored by Friends of the Stonecrest Library.


Free summer Bible camp registration open Registration is underway for summer Bible camp at Grace Presbyterian Church in Stone Mountain. The camp, scheduled for Monday-Friday, June 10-14, is titled “His Works: A Look at the Miracles of Jesus.” The free camp, open to students in grades K-8, will feature energetic music, drama and a fun, practical Bible presentation. The camp will run from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and lunch will be served each day. There will be an end-of-the-week program for family and friends Saturday, June 15, at 6 p.m. To register, download a registration form at www. and email it to or mail it to Grace Presbyterian Church, 650 Rowland Road, Stone Mountain, GA 30083. One application must be returned for each child. For more information, call the church at (404) 2925514.


Seniors invited to free events honoring fathers The Regency House, an independent retirement community, will be celebrating fathers during the month of June with several events, activities and seminars “perfect for getting out of the house, meeting new friends, and, most importantly, honoring these special men in our lives,” according to an announcement from the group. The events include: Let’s Talk Seniors® - Prostate Cancer Awareness, 2 p.m. June 7; Father’s Day BBQ with live entertainment, noon on June 9; and Game Night, featuring father and son games, 4 p.m. June 9. Each event is free and open to the public. The Regency House,, is located at 341 Winn Way, Decatur. To RSVP, or to learn more, please call The Regency House at (404) 296-1152.


American Legion Post to host bingo night

American Legion Post 66 will host bingo night every Sunday and Thursday, 7-9 p.m. The cost to play is $8 per person. American Legion Post 66 is a local chapter of the national organization. The nonprofit runs programs that benefit veterans, young people and the community at large, and rents its ballroom for events such as birthdays, class reunions, religious ceremonies and wedding receptions. American Legion Post 66 is located at 30 Covington Road in Avondale Estates. For more information, call (404) 292-2352, or  visit Fish fry to support homeless ministry


Republican women to meet The North DeKalb Republican Women (NDRW) will meet at the DeKalb Republican Party Headquarters, 3583-G Chamblee Tucker Road (Embry Hills Shopping Village), on Saturday, June 8, 10 a.m. The speaker will be Kay Van Sant, national trainer for the National Federation of Republican Women. The topic of the presentation will be “Teamwork through Communication with Leadership and Membership Building.” The public is invited. The NDRW is a nonprofit organization involved in public service, working with the USO, Ronald McDonald House, the V.A Hospital and local schools. The NDRW is collecting diapers for the families of American military personnel. Those who would like to contribute can bring the diapers to the DeKalb GOP Headquarters on any meeting date. For more information, contact Natalie Olmi at (770) 396-4101.


Lady T’s Homeless Ministry Is holding a fish fry fundraiser Saturday, June 15, 2-6 p.m. at Lady T’s City creates finance corporation House, 3572 Bramblevine Circle, Lithonia. The menu features fried tilapia or whiting fillets, coleslaw, baked The Brookhaven City Council voted unanimously beans or corn on the cobb, grits, baked spaghetti, May 28 to create a nonprofit corporation to allow the bread, pound cake, lemonade or water. Plates are $8 city to enter into longterm leases. or $4 for those 8 years old and younger. All-you-canThe Brookhaven Governmental Finance Corpora- eat plates are $13, on site only. tion will be composed of the council members, with The event includes such games as bid whist,


The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 7, 2013


Page 8A

VH1 reality star accused of running a drug business
by Carla Parker Ryan Garrett, who appeared on VH1’s Making Mr. Right, was arrested May 24 for running a drug business from his Doraville home, according to police. Garrett, 29, is being held without bond, according to jail records. He has been charged with manufacturing marijuana, possession of various drugs, tampering with Garrett evidence, distribution of marijuana and possession of a firearm during a crime. According to the police report, on May 23 a Doraville police officer was traveling on Pontiac Circle when the officer noticed a Ford Explorer parked in front of a “No Parking Any Time” sign. When the officer approached the vehicle he asked the driver why he was parked in front of the sign. The driver said he was waiting for his brother, who was “inside of the 2790 Pontiac Circle address picking up $150 from a friend,” the police report said. The friend, who was later identified as Garrett, owed the driver’s mother $150. When the driver and his brother appeared to get nervous about the officer’s questions, the officer approached the home and knocked on the

A Stone Mountain nonprofit group will benefit from a $50,000 grant. File photo

Brain injury clubhouse receives grant from Wounded Warrior Project
Side by Side Brain Injury Clubhouse in Stone Mountain has been awarded a $50,000 grant from Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to honor and empower injured military personnel. Side by Side will offer free specialized brain injury support services to eight servicemen and women injured since 9/11 and their families. “It’s such an honor to serve these heroes who sustained traumatic brain injuries while serving our country,” said Cindi Johnson, executive director of Side By Side. “After years of advocacy efforts to offer support after medical therapies end, we are proud that Wounded Warrior Project chose Side by Side to welcome veterans and their families back into their metro Atlanta communities. “Here at Side by Side, everyone understands what it’s like to forget a name or feel exhausted by noon,” Johnson said. “Here, clubhouse members are valued for who they are now, not as a patient or injury survivor, but as a contributing community member.” Side by Side is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting people with brain injuries throughout their lifelong rehabilitative journey. Since its inception in 1999, Side by Side has served nearly 400 individuals and their families. It operates a day program in which its 50 current members and staff work side-by-side to keep their clubhouse running and to support members as they relearn skills, rebuild relationships, and restore meaning and purpose to their lives. “It is estimated over 50,000 servicemen and women have been physically injured in recent military conflicts, another 320,000 have experienced a traumatic brain injury while on deployment, and as many as 400,000 additional service members live with the invisible wounds of war, including combat-related stress, major depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder,” according to the statement from the Side by Side clinic. With an $800,000 annual budget, the organization receives 75 percent of its funding from program fees from worker’s compensation insurance carriers. The organization receives funding from a Medicaid waiver program, is also a vendor for the Department of Labor Vocational rehabilitation program and solicits grants and donations. For more information about Side by Side and its work with servicemen and women, visit Servicemen and women living with traumatic brain injury sustained in active service since 9/11 are encouraged to contact Side by Side and seek its supportive services.

door. “I could smell the heavy odor of marijuana coming from inside of the residence,” the officer said in the report. When the officer didn’t receive a response after knocking on the door he called for backup; officers then searched outside the home, according to the report. The officers found covered windows and after uncovering the windows they saw “several white PVC pipes on the ground and what looked like several green leafy materials scattered throughout the floor,” according to the report. The officers said the basement had a room with what appeared to be a marijuana operation. Police officers obtained a search warrant for Garrett’s home. SWAT officers returned to search the home and arrested Garrett the following day. Earlier this year, Garrett was one of 15 bachelors on Making Mr. Right, according to his social media accounts. The men selected for the reality show believed it was called Match Me If You Can, but instead the men were part of an “experiment” for three women to mold them into “perfect” matches, according to the network’s website.

The Mayor and Council of the City of Pine Lake hereby announces that the millage rate will set at a meeting to be held at the Pine Lake Clubhouse located at 300 Clubhouse Drive, Pine Lake, GA 30072 on June 25, 2013 beginning at 7:30 PM Pursuant to O.C.G.A. Section 48-5-32 the City hereby publishes the following presentation of the current year's tax digest and levy, along with the history of the tax digest and levy for the past five years.

Real & Personal Motor Vehicles Mobile Homes Timber - 100% Heavy Duty Equipment Gross Digest Less M& O Exemptions

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
24,593,428 1,155,430 23,763,315 1,246,900 23,212,367 1,182,020 19,484,475 1,119,240 15,898,594 1,141,400

12,792,852 1,177,580

25,748,858 1,087,370 $24,661,488

25,010,215 1,063,817 $23,946,398 0

24,394,387 1,069,933 $23,324,454

20,603,715 1,059,679 $19,544,036

17,039,994 1,003,602 $16,036,392

13,970,412 968,437 $13,001,975

Net M & O Digest State Forest Land Assistance Grant Value Adjusted Net M&O Digest Gross M&O Millage Less Rollbacks Net M&O Millage Net Taxes Levied
Net Taxes $ Increase/Decrease Net Taxes % Increase/Decrease

24,661,488 14.300 14.300 $352,659 $12,732 1.03%

23,946,398 14.300 14.300 $342,433 -$10,226 -2.90%

23,324,454 17.100 17.100 $398,849 $56,416 14.00%

19,544,036 20.604 19.600 $383,063 $15,786 -3.90%

16,036,392 24.190 24.190 $387,210 $3,489 -0.79%

13,001,975 29.894 29.894 $388,681 $1,014 0.02%

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 7, 2013


Page 9A

DeKalb confirms county attorney, planning director

News Briefs

Nonprofit to provide medical items for disaster relief

DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis announced May 29 the appointment of Overtis (O.V.) Hicks Brantley as county attorney and chief legal officer and Andrew Baker as director of planning and sustainability. The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners confirmed the appointments at the May 28 Commission meeting. Since March 18, Brantley has served as interim county attorney. Prior to this appointment, she served as chief legal counsel for Fulton County for eight years, managing a 39-member staff and outside counsel, and as acting city attorney for the city of Atlanta. Brantley earned her law degree from Vanderbilt University School of Law. Her professional affiliations include the State Bar of Georgia and the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers. Baker, a DeKalb County resident, had served as the county’s associate director of planning and sustainability since August 2010. A Leadership DeKalb graduate, he is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners and has a management essentials certification from Emory University. “I’m excited to have these individuals on board. Andrew and O.V. have extraordinary backgrounds and experiences that round out an outstanding senior management team that we have built here in DeKalb,” Ellis said.

untary Organizations Active incorporated into existing committed to striving for huin Disaster, and began deshelter plans and resources man rights globally and to veloping programs specific without incurring excessive keeping America’s defenses to the needs of the disabled additional costs. Along with strong. during disaster relief. FOthe equipment delivered, “Johnson believes in a DAC developed a “disability FODAC will send trained more humane immigration Friends of Disabled shelter kit,” in partnership delivery technicians who can policy and is committed to Adults and Children (FOwith the Georgia Chapter assist the local emergency helping create a pathway to DAC) announced May 30 of the American Red Cross, managers by matching the citizenship for outstanding that Georgia Emergency young people, law-abiding Management Agency/Home- consisting of common HME items correctly.” items that are usually left immigrants and the next land Security (GEMA) has behind during an emergeneration of innovators and contracted with the organiCongressman joins gency evacuation, such as job creators,” according to zation to serve as the statewheelchairs, portable ramps, Humpty Dumpty the statement. wide distributor of home hospital beds, bathroom aids advisory board HDI ( medical equipment (HME) and patient lifts. is a nonprofit organizaand assistive technology in In the event of an emertion serving people in the the event of a catastrophic Congressman Hank gency, FODAC will work disaster. Johnson (D-GA) has joined developing world through with local emergency manthe implementation of largeIn this role, FODAC the congressional advisory agement to deliver and diswill warehouse the HME board of the Humpty Dump- scale humanitarian projects tribute the disability shelter and through its work with and other equipment, then, ty Institute (HDI). kits, along with other donatthe United Nations. working with GEMA, the As one of 29 members ed medical equipment and Department of Human Serof HDI’s congressional vices (DHS) and the Ameri- supplies, to support those advisory board, Johnson is with physical disabilities af- making a commitment “to can Red Cross (ARC) of Georgia, will coordinate the fected by the event. human rights issues [that] “We applaud the efforts delivery and distribution to and national security issues of GEMA to make sure this emergency shelters around will enhance HDI’s program the state. GEMA, in collabo- project is integrated stateplanning in these important wide,” said Chris Brand, ration with DHS, ARC and areas,” according to a stateFODAC, will conduct train- president of FODAC. “Most ment from the institute. ing workshops at FODAC’s individuals with access and “Congressman Hank functional needs can be Stone Mountain facility to Johnson has distinguished provide practical knowledge accommodated in a genhimself as a substantive, eral population shelter with of HME use and how to hard-working legislator who minimal support. FODAC’s delivers results,” according manage and meet the needs pre-packaged disability CALL NOW! 404-220-8610 of the disabled residents of to the statement. “He is also shelter kits can be easily emergency shelters. “FODAC has a long, successful history of providing disaster assistance for people with disabilities,” said Charley English, director of GEMA/Homeland Monday, June 24  Security. “With FODAC’s 6‐7 PM: Open House  Thank  you  for  your  continued  involvement  in  the  continued partnership for 7‐8 PM: Presentation & Q/A  storage and maintenance of MARTA  I‐20  East  Transit  Initiative!  With  significant  the HME, Georgia is much City of Atlanta, Old Council Chambers  input  from  the  public,  the  study  has  identified  a  better prepared to accommoAtlanta City Hall  Locally   Preferred   Alternative   (LPA)   for   transit  date the needs of those with physical limitations in the 55 Trinity Avenue  improvements  in  the  I‐20  East  Corridor.  The  LPA  event of an emergency.” Atlanta, GA 30303  includes  an  extension  of  the  existing  MARTA  rail  line  Since providing HME for   disaster relief in the afterfrom   the   Indian   Creek   Station   to   the   Mall   at  math of Hurricane Katrina, Tuesday, June 25  Stonecrest, and new Bus Rapid Transit service along I‐ FODAC joined Georgia Vol-



6:00 p.m.


J. David Williamson Board Room Administrative & Instructional Complex 1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd. Stone Mountain, GA 30083


20  between  downtown  Atlanta  and  Wesley  Chapel  Road.   MARTA   is   now   conducting   environmental  studies  to  evaluate  the  impacts  and  benefits  of  these  transit solutions.      The  public  is  invited  to  attend  any  of  the  upcoming  open   houses   to   learn   more   about   the   proposed  projects   and   the   preliminary   findings   from   the  ongoing environmental studies.   For more information please visit:‐east‐corr.aspx 

Citizens interested in reviewing a detailed copy of the program based budget may do so by visiting the DeKalb County School District website at


6‐7 PM: Open House       7‐8 PM: Presentation & Q/A  Porter Sanford III Performing Arts &  Community Center  3181 Rainbow Drive  Decatur, GA 30034    Thursday, June 27  6‐7 PM: Open House      7‐8 PM: Presentation & Q/A  Lou Walker Senior Center  2538 Panola Road  Lithonia, GA 30058 




The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 7, 2013


Page 10A

East Atlanta residents come together to mourn, rally against crime
by Daniel Beauregard vigil, has lived in East Atlanta Village for nearly eight years. He asked those present durResidents of East Atlanta ing the vigil to take a stand Village gathered May 31 to against crime and to bring celebrate the life and memory about positive changes in the of Patrick Cotrona, who community. was shot and killed while “We are all Patrick Cowalking with some friends to trona, we are all members of a bar a week earlier. the East Atlanta community Atlanta Police officials and we are all united,” Misaid Cotrona, 33, was shot in nor said. “We come together the abdomen as he and two today to mourn, of course, friends walked along May but we also come together to Avenue at approximately 11 stand against crime.” p.m. May 25. One of CoAtlanta Police Sgt. Greg trona’s friends was also shot Lyon, said there has been no in the leg. new information released on According to police, the Cotrona’s death but homicide gunman then jumped into the detectives are following leads passenger side of a waiting and the investigation is ongocar and sped away. Cotrona ing. later died of his injuries. Grant Park resident SaResidents of the communi- man Balkhanian, 22, was ty, which has seen a spike in also shot recently as he crime in recent months, gath- walked home from an Atlanta ered along May Avenue and Braves game. Police think the lit luminaries placed along a two violent crimes may be dark corner of the street. connected. “We will be providing Balkhanian, who was luminaries and ask that you walking on Grant Street, said take one and write a message he noticed two people folof hope, a message about lowing him while he walked Patrick or a message against and didn’t think anything was crime. We will place these lu- unusual. Then one of them minaries along May [Avenue] pulled out a gun and shot him as we depart today hoping to in the face. shine light on what has been “They just looked like a dark street for quite some some kids,” Balkhanian said. time,” resident Nate Minor Kevin Spigener, president said. of the East Atlanta ComMinor, who spoke at the munity Association, said in

A sign commemorating East Atlanta Village resident Patrick Cotrona (above) sits on the corner of May Avenue, where Cotrona was shot while walking to a bar. Photos provided

addition to the East Atlanta Security Patrol, another initiative has been added to increase security throughout East Atlanta.
“The reason this legal battle has taken so long and costs so much is because Heery has followed a calculated strategy of maximum delay and legal maneuvering,” Khayat said. “This can only have been to make the case too difficult and costly for the school district to pursue. With King & Spalding shouldering all future costs. The case can be decided strictly on its merits.”

Continued From Page 2A

approved today allows us to seek justice for every parent, student and taxpayer in DeKalb County without the odious concern for whether we can afford justice,” said DeKalb Interim Superintendent Michael Thurmond. “It

also ensures that $6 million already paid to King & Spalding will be returned to taxpayers in the event of a judgment or settlement in the case.” “The school board should not have to walk away from a meritorious case because of financial pressures,” said Robert Khayat, a King & Spalding partner and one of the chief litigators in the Heery lawsuit.

The City of Doraville has tentatively adopted a millage rate of 9.00 for the City of Doraville. All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearing on this tax increase to be held at the Doraville City Hall located at 3725 Park Avenue, Doraville, GA 30340 on June 17, 2013 at 6:30pm. An additional public hearing on this tax increase are at the Doraville City Hall on June 20, 2013 at 6:30pm. This tentative millage rate of 9.00 mills will result in an increase of .957 mills. Without this tentative tax increase, the millage rate will be no more than 8.043 mills. The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $75,000 is approximately $29 and the tax increase for a non-homestead property with a fair market value of $500,000 is approximately $191. State of Georgia statutes do not specifically address the setting of the initial millage rate for a newly annexed area by a municipality but the City of Doraville is advertising a Notice of Property Tax Increase, with associated public hearing notification, in order to ensure full disclosure of its intent to levy property taxes in the area annexed December 31, 2012. The millage rate of 9.00 proposed for the annexed area is the same as that proposed for the rest of the City and is below the rollback millage rate and therefore would not constitute a tax increase for the rest of the City.
Dinner1_Ladies_7x10_ADV.indd 1 4/23/13 3:27 PM


Page 11A LOCAL NEWS Miller Grove band director named quarterfinalist for Grammy Music Educator Award The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 7, 2013 by Carla Parker Miller Grove High School head band director Keven Shepherd was named a quarterfinalist for the Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation’s first Music Educator Award. Shepherd, who has been the head band director at Miller Grove since the Lithonia school opened in 2005, is the only teacher from DeKalb County on the list of 12 Georgia quarterfinalists. A total of 217 music teachers from 195 cities across 45 states have been announced as quarterfinalists for the award. Shepherd said he was honored, yet surprised, to be named a quarterfinalist. “We teach every day for the love of it, not to get any acknowledgements or awards,” he said. “So I didn’t even think twice about it at first. But when I sat and actually thought about it I was honored.” More than 30,000 nominations were submitted from all 50 states. The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators, kindergarten to college in both public and private schools, who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in schools. A joint partnership and presentation of The Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation, this award will have its inaugural presentation at the Special Merit Awards Ceremony and Nominees Reception honoring recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustee Award, and Technical Grammy Award during Grammy Week 2014 in January. Ten finalists will be selected and one recipient The winner will be flown to Los Angeles, Calif., to accept the award, attend the Grammy Awards ceremony and receive a $10,000 honorarium. The nine finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the schools of all 10 finalists will receive matching grants. Shepherd said it would mean a lot to him if he wins the award. “It would be a good experience to fly out there,” he said. “It would be really cool to say that I did it. If I don’t win, it would be fine also. I would still do exactly what I do on a daily basis the same way.” Shepherd, a Southwest DeKalb High School and Florida A&M University graduate, has been teaching music in DeKalb County since 2001. He said music has had a major impact on his life and opened a lot of doors for him and his students. “Music has taken me places that I probably would have never gone,” he said. “It has also afforded the students that I’ve been teaching over the years an opportunity to go to college and get an education.” The semifinalists for the award will be announced in August.

Miller Grove High School head band director Keven Shepherd is a quarterfinalist for the Grammy Foundation’s Music Educator Award.

will be selected from the 10 finalists each year, and

will be recognized for their impact on students’ lives.

Searching for Our Sons and Daughters:
Stories of our missing residents offer profound insights and hope for a positive reunion.

Finding DeKalb County’s Missing
For a programming guide, visit

Now showing on DCTV!

The Champion Weather DCTV – Your Emmy® Award-winning news source of DeKalb County news.
Seven Day Forecast
Mostly Sunny High: 86 Low: 68 Mostly Sunny High: 86 Low: 67 Mostly Sunny High: 87 Low: 68 Isolated T-storms High: 86 Low: 68 Isolated T-storms High: 85 Low: 65 Isolated T-storms High: 88 Low: 67

May 30, 2013 Available on Comcast Cable Channel 23.
Weather History
May 30, 1879 - A major outbreak of severe weather occurred in Kansas and western Missouri. In Kansas, tornadoes killed 18 people at Delpho and 30 people at Irving. Two tornadoes struck the town of Irving within a few minutes time, virtually wiping it off the map. May 31, 1990 - Afternoon and evening thunderstorms developing along a warm front produced severe weather from northwest Texas to southeastern Louisiana. The thunderstorms spawned 16 tornadoes, including 13 in northwest Texas.

Detailed Local Forecast
Today we will see mostly sunny skies with a high temperature of 86º, humidity of 54%. Light winds. The record high temperature for today is 93º set in 1937. Expect partly cloudy skies tonight with an overnight low of 68º. The record low for tonight is 44º set in 1984. Date Hi Lo Normals Precip Tuesday 88 64 81/61 0.00" Wednesday 87 65 81/61 0.00" Thursday 84 67 82/62 0.05" Friday 79 57 82/62 0.00" Saturday 79 47 82/62 0.00" Sunday 84 51 82/62 0.00" Monday 87 57 83/63 0.00" Rainfall. . . . . . . . 0.05" Average temp . . 71.1 Normal rainfall. . 0.91" Average normal 71.9 Departure . . . . . .-0.86" Departure . . . . . -0.8 Day Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Sunrise 6:27 a.m. 6:27 a.m. 6:27 a.m. 6:26 a.m. 6:26 a.m. 6:26 a.m. 6:26 a.m.

Today’s Regional Map
Dunwoody 84/67 Smyrna 85/68 Doraville 85/68 Atlanta 86/68 College Park 87/68 Union City 87/68



Lilburn 85/68

Last Week's Local Almanac

Decatur Snellville 86/68 86/68 Lithonia 87/68 Morrow 87/68




Hampton 88/69

Local Sun/Moon Chart This Week
Sunset 8:42 p.m. 8:42 p.m. 8:43 p.m. 8:43 p.m. 8:44 p.m. 8:44 p.m. 8:45 p.m.


Last 5/31 New 6/8

Mostly Cloudy High: 86 Low: 68

Moonrise Moonset 12:51 a.m. 12:25 p.m. 1:29 a.m. 1:28 p.m. 2:05 a.m. 2:28 p.m. 2:39 a.m. 3:27 p.m. 3:12 a.m. 4:24 p.m. 3:47 a.m. 5:21 p.m. 4:23 a.m. 6:16 p.m.

Tonight’s Planets
First 6/16 Full 6/23 Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Rise Set 7:41 a.m. 10:19 p.m. 7:32 a.m. 9:59 p.m. 5:54 a.m. 7:52 p.m. 7:29 a.m. 9:46 p.m. 5:48 p.m. 4:56 a.m. 3:36 a.m. 4:00 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 with a few thunderstorms today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 93º in Nashua, N.H. The Southeast will experience mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with scattered thunderstorms today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 94º in Shannon, Va. In the Northwest, there will be mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with isolated showers today and Friday, mostly clear skies Saturday, with the highest temperature of 79º in Hanford, Wash. The Southwest will see mostly clear skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 100º in Imperial, Calif.

Weather Trivia

Printed on 100% postconsumer recycled paper

StarWatch By Gary Becker - Polaris: The Guiding Light
One of the two coordinates that allows you to find your position on the Earth’s surface is latitude, the angular measure north or south of the equator. Polaris, the North Star, can easily allow you to observe your change in latitude if your summer travel plans take you in a northerly or southerly direction, like the Caribbean or northern Europe. This is because Polaris lies in the same line of sight as the extension of the Earth’s axis into space. At the North Pole, 90o north latitude, the North Star is essentially overhead, while at the equator, 0o latitude, Polaris lies along the horizon. Its altitude or angular height above the horizon gives an observer a good approximation of his or her latitude position. Follow the Pointer Stars of the Big Dipper downward to Polaris. Presently, they are farthest to the left in the cup and are cresting in the north after darkness. For a good swath of the US, the North Star’s elevation is approximately 40o. That’s equivalent to four clenched fists held at arm’s length (thumb on top), stacked one on top of the other. Let’s say that you’re traveling to Disney World this summer. You’re out by the pool after dark, and the kids are swimming before bed. Polaris will be about three fists high, 28o above the horizon. Traveling to southern Europe? The change will be negligible. Rome (42o N) and Athens (38o N) are too close to our latitude to note any differences by using your fist. However, London is about 52o N, five fists high for Polaris, and southern Alaska is about 60o N. That’s six fists. In Alaska measurements are impossible to make until later in the summer because you are too far north, and the sun never makes it far enough below the horizon for complete darkness to occur. Finally, if Hawaii or a Caribbean cruise is in the offing, Polaris will hug the horizon at two fists or less. To see the change, make sure that you first take a measurement from where you live.

Answer: On average, more than 20 times per year.

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

How many times is the Empire State Building struck by lightning?


The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 7, 2013


Page 12A

Hearing set for Sneiderman case
Dunwoody widow Andrea Sneiderman, accused of conspiring to murder her husband, will appear in court June 18 at 1:30 p.m. for a pre-trial hearing. Prosecutors allege Sneiderman and her boss Hemy Neuman were having an affair and conspired to kill her Brookhaven City Council will decide Aug. 20 whether to change the closing time for bars and clubs in the city. husband Rusty Sneiderman in front of a Dunwoody day care in 2010. Neuman later confessed to the murder and is now serving life in prison withby Carla Parker opened and we found that said. “If they cut our revers and employees hours out the possibility of parole. the DeKalb County law says enue, they cut the tax dollars before the city council was Recently, Sneiderman 3:55 a.m. is when bars have that go to Brookhaven. And scheduled to vote on the orwas re-indicted for the third The Brookhaven City to close,” she said. “But we with less tax dollars they’re dinance. After hearing their time by DeKalb County Council voted May 28 to found out that some places going to have to decide if argument, the city council District Attorney Robert defer consideration of an were staying open anywhere they want to cut services or voted to defer action until James ’ office. Her charges ordinance that could force towards 6 a.m. So there is raise taxes.” Aug. 20. include perjury, malice stricter alcohol pouring and really no concrete time to Villines said the Pink The city council also murder, felony murder and sales times for liquor license when bars are closing.” Pony currently pays an esasked Brookhaven Police aggravated assault. She holders in the city. Matteucci said the city is timated $450,000 annually Chief Gary Yandura to do The ordinance stems proposing a 1:55 a.m. closto DeKalb County in taxes an analysis of other cities to has previously pleaded not from noise complaints that ing time for bars and clubs. and licenses fees. The club see what their closing times guilty and denies having an the city council has received However, club and bar own- is currently suing the city are. The city will also have a affair with Neuman. DeKalb County Supefrom residents. ers say the early closing on property rights and a public hearing for residents rior Court Judge Gregory Brookhaven spokeswom- time will have an impact on breach of contract. Villines at a later date. Adams has set a tentative an Megan Matteucci did their business. said once that situation is “We’re going to get more date of July 29 to begin jury not say which bars residents Attorney Aubrey Vilhandled that money from input from residents about selection for Sneiderman’s complained about but did lines, who represents the taxes and licenses fees will bar closing times to see if trial. say that some of the bars are Pink Pony adult entertaingo to the city. there is really a problem or located on Buford Highway ment club off Buford High“That’s a lot of money,” if it’s just in certain places and in Town Brookhaven in way, said cutting club and he said. “You can put a lot that need to be cited,” Matthe Dresden Drive area. bars’ hours will have an im- of police officers to work.” teucci said. “In response, the city pact on the city revenue. Brookhaven Mayor J. did an analysis of how “If they cut our hours, Max Davis met with club late the bars were staying they cut our revenue,” he and bar owners, manag-

Brookhaven considering changing closing time for bars

NOTICE OF PROPERTY TAX INCREASE The Governing Authority of the City of Avondale Estates has tentatively adopted a millage rate which will require an increase in the property taxes by 16.84 percent. All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearings on this tax increase to be held at City Hall, 21 North Avondale Plaza, Avondale Estates, GA 30002 on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 9:00 a.m., Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. and Monday, June 24, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 12.165 mills, an increase of 1.75 mills. Without this tentative tax increase, the millage rate will be no more than 10.412 mills. The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $200,000.00 is approximately $97.00. The proposed increase on non-homestead property with a fair market value of $200,000 is approximately $97.00. The proposed tax increase for a property with the county basic homestead exemption is $97.00. CURRENT 2013 TAX DIGEST AND 5 YEAR HISTORY OF LEVY CITY Real & Personal Motor Vehicles Mobile Homes Timber - 100% Heavy Duty Equipment Gross Digest Less M& O Exemptions Net M & O Digest State Forest Land Assistance Grant Value Adjusted Net M&O Digest Gross M&O Millage Less Rollbacks Net M&O Millage Net Taxes Levied Net Taxes $ Increase Net Taxes % Increase 11.000 $1,820,775 $123,755 7.29% 11.000 $1,835,502 $14,727 0.81% 11.000 $1,816,036 -$19,466 -1.06% 10.957 $1,821,315 $5,279 0.29% 10.957 $1,542,807 -$278,508 -15.29% 12.165 $1,818,586 $275,779 17.88% 165,729,484 204,451 165,525,033 167,032,705 168,873 166,863,832 165,213,345 119,131 165,094,214 166,326,326 102,456 166,223,870 141,036,725 231,089 140,805,636 149,631,362 138,061 149,493,301 2008 156,800,494 8,928,990 2009 157,621,535 9,411,170 2010 157,295,925 7,917,420 2011 158,471,976 7,854,350 2012 133,021,745 8,014,980 2013 141,179,902 8,451,460

Name: Missy Piggy • Adult • Vaccinated, spayed

Pet Week
of the

165,525,033 11.000

166,863,832 11.000

165,094,214 11.000

166,223,870 10.957

140,805,636 10.957

149,493,301 12.165

Miss Piggy is an American Staffordshire Terrier. She is named Miss Piggy because she is a little chunky and can snort like a piggy. If she could get out of her kennel more often for outside play and exercise; she would probably be less chunky although she would probably still snort like a piggy. She really loves to play!! she particularly loves to play with balls; and sometimes can catch them if you bounce them to her. She is a very sweet girl. She knows how to sit on command, but she hasn't had Charm School training so she would really like it if you would help with her training so she will learn the things that will make her the best doggy she can be. Miss Piggy is heartworm positive so she needs a kind person with a big heart to adopt her and treat her heartworms. If you are willing to do that; the shelter will waive her adoption fee. I hope you’ll come to visit her and spend some time playing with her in the play yard; she loves company. Miss Piggy hopes to see you soon!

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

Jamie Martinez Christine Kaczynski

Dekalb County Animal Shelter

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 7, 2013

Williams said the committee made sure to be as transparent as possible. “We recognize that if we’re going to be spending upward of $8 million of tax money we have the responsibility to make sure that we’re getting everything as right as possible,” Williams said. The site located at 3071 Lawrenceville Highway was purchased with green space bonds and Commissioner Elaine Boyer said there is an abundance of green space at the location. Boyer said that at the time it was purchased in 2001 the county had spoken of the possibility of developing the space into a park. “It’s a massive property and it’s got that watering hole back there. It

Page 13A

Shelter Continued From Page 1A
spaces,” Leak said. Leak said the top locations were chosen based on the county’s geographic and population center and criteria including cost, property restrictions, minimum acreage and proximity to residential areas and access from major and minor roads. Several weeks ago commissioners expressed concerns with some of the proposed sites and asked Leak and her committee to re-evaluate those selected by the advisory board. Leak then led a May 24 information meeting with the committee that was open to the public and said it evaluated its scoring process based on the input received during the meeting. “The majority of feedback that we got was that we placed too much weight on the centralization and calls for service, so we modified all of those categories,” Leak said. Although members of the advisory board were included in several of the discussions, chairwoman Sonali Saindane said it was not included in the final recommendations. “No members of the advisory board were given an opportunity to participate in the final deliberation for the site selection despite over a year of efforts they devoted to this process,” a letter addressed to CEO Burrell Ellis and commissioners from members of the advisory board stated. Chief Operating Officer Zach would be a good opportunity to look at a dog park next to the shelter,” Boyer said. Castle agreed with Boyer, although it might take longer to approve the site, which is next to Rehoboth Baptist Church, because it’s green space. “Supposedly there’s room next to it for a dog park, which is good. I personally would rather wait a year or two to have something wonderful,” Castle said. Although a final vote for the site is on the commission’s June 11 agenda, Commissioner Lee May said it would be likely deferred until a final recommendation can be made.

ART Stroll attendees view some on the artwork that were displayed in six galleries. The ART Station hosted the event. Photos by Carla Parker

ARTStroll Continued From Page 1A
The event also included a performance by the ConunDrums Women’s Drumming Group, which plays West African rhythms. The group is a community of diverse women drawn together through a combination of fate, chance, intention and the call of the drum. Labbe-Webb’s gallery featured both his blacksmithing and glass blowing work. He has been a glass blower for four years and he also makes jewelry and does mixed media sculptors. “With blacksmithing I make things like wine bottle holders, fire tool sets, plant hooks and custom wrought iron gates,” he said. “With glass blowing I do mugs, wine glasses, perfume bottles, paperweights and all kind of things.” Labbe-Webb also did a demonstration during which he showed viewers how to make a wine bottle holder. A few studios down, Tracie Lee Hawkins showed off her paintings, handmade quilts and handbags. Hawkins said she has been an artist all of her life. After 30 years of working in the corporate world, she decided to “take on a new career of what would inspire me.” “Art and creativity have always inspired me,” she said. “So I decided to take it seriously and three years later the opportunity for the art incubator came up. I joined that because I wanted be a full time artist.” The Stone Mountain Arts Incubator is a micro-enterprise program in the Stone Mountain Village. The program is a joint venture with the city of Stone Mountain and the Downtown Development Authority and is managed by ART Station. The program is designed to bring working artists in the downtown area to work and open small businesses and galleries. Hawkins was the first artist to join the program. She said her artwork is inspired by nature and historical events and she hoped the ART Stroll attendees saw that as they were viewing her pieces. “My quilts have historical meanings,” she said. “And for my paintings—I love landscape and I like to be inspired by nature and I just like to share that.” Labbe-Webb hopes that people come to appreciate actual hand crafted art. “In some ways we have lost a lot of handcraft in America but it is being revitalized,” he said. “Since the 1960s it has been coming back up but people are really beginning to appreciate something that is hand made.” “The stuff that you can buy in Home Depot, Lowe’s or Walmart is made in China by someone who is making 50 cents a day and they’re stamping it out on a machine,” he said. “Here, people can come and actually see it made, they can meet the artists and they know that it is a quality handmade piece.”

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 7, 2013


Page 14A

The Georgia Supreme Court is considering the constitutionality of a state law granting the governor the authority to remove school board members. Suspended DeKalb school board member Gene Walker said his lawsuit is about “law and justice.” Photos by Andrew Cauthen

Suspended school board member goes to state Supreme Court
by Andrew Cauthen Suspended DeKalb County school board member Eugene Walker took his case to the highest court in the state June 3. The Georgia Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the high-profile case of Walker v. Georgia Board of Education. Walker is challenging as unconstitutional Gov. Nathan Deal’s suspension of Walker and five others from the DeKalb County Board of Education and the 2010 statute that authorizes the governor to permanently remove them. “It’s more about law and justice than it is about me,” Walker said after the hearing. “We’re trying to get the court to determine if voters have a right. If voters have a right then the law should uphold that.” Walker’s lawsuit, filed in February, challenges a 2011 state law that gives the governor the authority to remove school board members when their school district faces a loss of accreditation. That law was triggered when the DeKalb County School District (DCSD) was placed on accreditation probation by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the agency that accredits the school district through its parent company, AdvancED. Acting on the recommendation of the Georgia Board of Education, Deal suspended six of the nine members of the DeKalb school board in February and later replaced them. In addition to Walker, the governor suspended Sarah Copelin-Wood, Jesse “Jay” Cunningham, Donna Elder, Nancy Jester and Pamela A. Speaks. After their suspension, Walker and DCSD filed in federal court an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order, seeking to stop the governor from suspending the six board mema significant impact on the public education system in Georgia.” Before he makes a final determination in the case, Story has asked the state Supreme Court to decide whether the state law Deal used to remove the board members violates the Georgia Constitution’s doctrine that each school system shall be under the control of a local board of education whose members are elected. Story also asked the court to decide whether the potential removal of school board members – Eugene Walker under the law unconstitutionally exceeds the bers and appointing replaceGeneral Assembly’s authority ments. to enact general laws regardThe U.S. District Court ing local boards of education. for the Northern District of Walker said his challenge Georgia subsequently ruled has nothing to do with getting that while the governor could his job back. suspend the members, they “Don’t make this about would remain in office but Gene Walker,” he said. “I’m not be permitted to take any trying to provide a service. official actions until the I don’t need to be on no district court could conduct board of education, but I was a hearing. Similarly, if the there and I have a right to governor appointed new serve until I do something members, they would not be wrong. And I haven’t done able to take office prior to the anything wrong. Don’t put hearing. me in a group like a herd of On March 1, the federal sheep and push me out of the court considered a motion for room.” a preliminary injunction by Walker said, “Everybody Walker and the school diswho believes in law and justrict. The federal court denied tice should be supporting this the motion and vacated the fight. temporary restraining order. “It’s about who the people In an order issued in elect and who the people March, U.S. District Judge choose to represent them,” he Richard Story wrote that said. “They hire them, they the Georgia Supreme Court ought to be able to fire them. has not yet addressed the isNobody else.” sues raised by Walker and Walker, whose lawsuit is the school district regarding being funded by friends, said the constitutionality of the he is pleased with the case 2010 statute, and a “decimade before the state Susion on these issues will have preme Court justices. “We had a great lawyer and he made my case and I’m satisfied with it,” Walker said. “I am at peace. This is a good thing for the people I represent and I want them to know I’m fighting for them. If I win, good. If I lose, I’m going to keep fighting. I’m fighting for justice and I’ll fight until I get it.” Walker’s attorney, Thomas Cox, told justices that the state law put the suspended school board members “in the incredible position of being permanently removed from office” without ever being charged or being proven to have committed an offense. The state General Assembly overstepped its bounds in passing a law that violates the concept of local control of a school district by a locally elected school board, Cox said. “I’m confident that the issues have been…briefed well before the Supreme Court and that the Supreme Court will give them careful consideration and rule on them. I think they are important constitutional arguments to be addressed,” Cox said after the hearing. The Supreme Court has up to two terms to decide the case.

‘Don’t make this about Gene Walker.’

The Mayor and City Council of the City of Chamblee, Georgia  will hold a public hearing on Thursday, June 13, 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) 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.  The applicant is also asking for a  preliminary plat in order to join 3223 and 3217 Clairwood  Terrace (currently developed with single family homes), lots  12 and 13 of the D.L. Stokes and Company subdivision, and  re‐subdivide the property into 3 new lots oriented on  Bozeman Drive.  2) Interactive Learning Systems, Inc. proposes to develop a site  as an accessory parking lot to the Applicant’s primary  business, the Interactive College of Technology – Chamblee,  GA (ICT). The site is located at 2118 Chamblee Tucker Road,  Parcel 18 299 05 004.  Applicant is requesting variances to:  Section 1201A, which prohibits off‐street parking between a  building and the street without an intervening building; and a  variance to Section 1202D, which prohibits curb cuts on any  street that functions as an arterial street or collector street  when access may be provided from a side street located  immediately adjacent to a contiguous property.    3) Discussion on the designation of an Opportunity Zone.  An  Opportunity Zone targets areas for redevelopment by  providing a Job Tax credit for two or more new jobs created  within the Opportunity Zone.  


The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 7, 2013

Sixteen scholars awarded $16,000 scholarships
by Andrew Cauthen For Brittany Williams, life “started in a very rocky way.” “From the burns to my body as a baby, the false accusation of who was at fault for the burns while I was in the baby sitter’s care, the removal from my home to my grandparents’ home, the other family challenges, my life didn’t seem destined to turn into the wonderful story it has become,” Williams said. Williams, who graduated as the valedictorian of the Southwest DeKalb High School magnet program, was one of 16 students recognized May 28 for their participation in the Simon Scholar Program. The students were recognized during an awards banquet at the Emory University Conference Center. All of the students in the program attend either Chamblee Charter or Southwest DeKalb high schools. Simon Scholars must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA by the end of their junior year of high school. During high school, they receive cash stipends, computers, social skills training, academic support, leadership training and community service activities. Scholars are also provided with college-preparatory assistance through ACT and SAT courses, college tours and assistance in the application process from college coaches. Following the completion of high school, Simon Scholars receive a $16,000 college scholarship. Williams said the Simon Scholar Program afforded her the opportunity “to help my family in a very tangible way and to help myself in a personal way.” “The challenges that my family faced forced me to keep focused and keep striving,” she said. “There was no time for getting sidetracked, no time for mediocrity.” When she graduated Williams was a STAR student, College Board scholar, National Society of High School Scholar and Student Athletic Program Student Athlete of the Year for SWD. Williams, who was offered $500,000 in scholarships, plans to enroll at Duke University to major in neuroscience. Other members of the Simon Scholar Class of 2013 include Nicholas Crosby, Sumiya Culler, Ebenezer Eyasu, Brieana Hollis, Raven Hutchinson, Darius Little, Winta Mehari, Greta Movsisyan, Brandi Nicolls, Melat Hagos, HoaMai Nguyen, Matthew Seals, Arfan Siddique, Jessica Stewart and Noah White. Since 2004, the Atlanta Simon Scholars Program has awarded nearly $5 million in scholarships to 157 students from the DeKalb County School District. Each scholarship awarded by the Simon Foundation for Education and Housing is valued at $30,000. Sumiya Culler thanked her mother and her “Simon family” for getting her through the tough times in her life. “In December 1998, while [he was] driving home from work, my father’s blood pressure shot up abruptly which caused him to lose control of the car,” Culler said with a shaky voice. Her father died at the scene of the accident that followed. “By the age of 14, I lost most of my paternal support system. My paternal grandmother, grandfather and my aunt passed away during those years,” she said. “I learned a valuable lesson,” Culler said. “I learned that life gets better. I learned the acronym of HOPE which means ‘hold on, pain ends.’” Culler plans to attend the University of West Georgia and later transfer to Auburn University. Brandi Nicolls, also a graduate of Southwest DeKalb High School, said she is grateful for the Simon Scholar Program. “How do I say goodbye to those who have been there for me for so long?” Nicolls said. How do I… thank those who have supported me during my happiest times like my recent graduation from Southwest DeKalb High School and throughout the days of my many achievements in high school? How do I walk away from those who… shared group hugs in my darkest hour when my brother was taken away from me during my junior year?” Nicolls said her family was tossed into financial turmoil when her father lost his job when funding was cut at the alternative school where he taught. “My parents’ dream of me having a better life than they had was now in jeopardy,” she recounted. “The Simon Scholar Program provided me with an amazing opportunity. It provided the necessary tools for me to pursue a college education. Nicolls, who was offered more than $400,000 in scholarships, plans to attend Howard University to become a chemical engineer.
Winta Mehari Sumiya Culler


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Raven Hutchinson

Matthew Seals

Nicholas Crosby

Arfan Siddique











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Focus Schools Flat Rock Elementary School McLendon Elementary School Pleasantdale Elementary School Princeton Elementary School Stone Mill Elementary School Columbia Middle School Lithonia Middle School Tucker Middle School Martin Luther King, Jr. High School

 ESEA Flexible Learning Program On February 9, 2012, Georgia’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) Flexibility Waiver was approved by the U.S. Department of Education (US ED). The waiver allows local educational agencies (LEAs) greater flexibility in designing a Flexible Learning Program (FLP). The FLP is an alternative supplemental academic intervention that allows flexibility in designing an extended learning program, tailored to the needs of academically at-risk students in a school in order to provide assistance for students to achieve proficiency in relation to the State Academic content standards.  Parent/Stakeholder Information DeKalb Title I Priority and Focus schools will offer an ESEA Flexible Learning Program beginning the 2012-2013 school year. Parent/stakeholder input is a component of the ESEA Flexible Learning Program. You are invited to attend the planned meetings and provide input.

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Priority Schools Indian Creek Elementary School Toney Elementary School Elizabeth Andrews High School DeKalb Alternative School International Student Center


The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 7, 2013


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Melissa Gillespie has a studio in Stone Mountain, but says the shoot location is the client’s choice. Photos by Kathy Mitchell

A photo of Fido—
by Kathy Mitchell living at photography, working in a professional studio. There she quickly moved up from assistant to For many animal owners, Fluffy, full-fledged photographer. Rex and Muffin aren’t just pets— After moving back to Atlanta, they’re members of the family who Gillespie earned a diploma in should be pictured along with mom, commercial photography from dad and the kids on mantels, walls The Art Institute of Atlanta and and tables throughout the house. continued to freelance while Photographer Melissa Gillespie working in libraries full time. Now understands that and specializes in she turns her full career attention to capturing images of the cats, dogs, photography through her business, birds, guinea pigs, bunnies and even Classic Impressions, where her snakes that have become an intrinsic specialty incorporates her other part of their owners’ lives. passion–animals. Gillespie, who’s been an animal While Classic Impressions is lover as long as she can remember, based in Stone Mountain, Gillespie got her first camera at age 9, and said all sessions are done at the recalls that her favorite photography location of the client’s choice. subject growing up in Ohio was “We come to your home, or go her dog Jingles. “Sometimes I took to a favorite park, wherever you pictures of my little brothers but choose–inside and/or out. It’s only if Jingles was in the picture,” your decision. With animals, it’s she said. especially important for the subject Her love of animals and passion to be relaxed and trusting. So it’s for photography remained into her important to work where the animal adulthood, and when she and her is comfortable,” she said, adding husband were living in Kansas, that a good assistant is essential she had the opportunity to earn a when the photographer can’t tell the

Animal photography calls for a special touch
subject to sit a certain way or turn his head in a particular direction. Animals, she said, instinctively know which humans are animal lovers and work more readily with people who have a special affection for them. Gillespie said she likes to hold preliminary meetings with clients about two weeks prior to the photography session to work out elements from locations to expectations to any details that will help ensure satisfaction with the final photographs. Among the clients who have been delighted with her work is Sam Worley, who said Gillespie was great with his elderly dog. He recalled that she was patient and loving with the dog until he settled down – and she got the photos. “I’m so grateful that I have this wonderful photograph to remember my friend,” he said of the animal companion. “Sometimes the time we have with our beloved animals is relatively short,” Gillespie said. “That’s why it’s so important to preserve the time we spend with these wonderful creatures for years to come through photographs.”   Gillespie said she has a range of photo packages in an effort to work with the client’s budget, and she especially tries to be accommodating when working with those who have adopted rescue animals. So she also does portraits at no charge for rescue organizations for display in a special section of her website, dedicated to finding homeless pets a loving, forever family. Pet photography is her specialty, but she also takes pictures of people. And, as might be expected, many people want pictures with their pets. “Some people want something whimsical with props on or around the animal—from holiday decorations to sports memorabilia,” Gillespie said. “I just want the client to get something to cherish for years to come.”  

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, June 7, 2013


Page 17A

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 7, 2013


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GPC’s Gelawydiyos Haile wins tennis national championship
Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) sophomore Gelawydiyos Haile won the national championship match in Flight 6 singles at the National Junior College Athletic Association championship tennis tournament May 17 in Plano, Texas. Seeded No. 1 in No. 6 singles, Haile won 6-3, 6-3 over the flight’s second seed, George Rivers of Tyler Junior College. “Gelawidyos has a great work ethic,” said GPC head coach Mohamed “Reda” Nait Omar. “It showed in each match, and he was disciplined and showed a lot of maturity. I’m very proud of him. He deserves it.” GPC moved into a tie for sixth place in the final standings when freshman Shem Alexis won the final match of the No. 3 State College. With his national championship, Haile earns All-America status, joining GPC’s other All-Americans for 2012-13—Alexandra Truitt in women’s soccer (first team), Ronita Garrett in women’s basketball (third team) and Fatyha Berjane and Idia Amen in women’s tennis (No. 2 and No. 3 singles). Haile cruised through the No. 6 flight in four matches. He did not lose a set, and only one set was close at 6-4, which came in his 6-4, 6-1 quarterfinal victory over Carlos Rodriguez of Cowley College. Alexis dropped into the consolation bracket in the round of 16 and then face only one troublesome match, a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Garrett Mandrell of Vincennes University.
Marist girls tennis team


singles consolation bracket. Alexis, the third seed in No. 3 singles, overcame top-seeded Kyle Joseph of ASA College with a 3-0 advantage when Joseph quit the consolation final match. The two victories gave GPC 26 team points in the tournament, boosting the Jaguars from seventh place in the standings to a sixthplace tie with Seminole

Marist boys golf team

Middle school running back to play in Georgia/Florida Future Stars game
Chapel Hill Middle School’s Carl White III has been selected to play on the Georgia Team in the annual Future Stars Football game against top incoming high school freshman in Florida June 15 at Bolles School Stadium in Jacksonville. Georgia Future Stars Game is a nonprofit organization started to promote academics, responsibility and ethics to talented youth White football players through football. The all-star game of thousands of people, provides the opportunity to including high school and showcase talents in front college coaches. Prior participants have secured Division 1 scholarship offers. White, a 5-foot-9, 170-pound running back who rushed more than a 1,000 yards and scored 10 touchdowns, led Chapel Hill Middle to the second round of the DeKalb middle school playoffs in 2012. He is the only player selected from DeKalb County to play in the allstar game. White was also chosen as a DeKalb County and team MVP as well as a Junior Rank Academic-All American for his excellence in the class room.

Marist wins golf and tennis state titles
The Marist Boys Golf Team won the Class AAAA State Golf Championship by 18 strokes over Richmond Academy at the Dalton Golf and Country Club on May 20. This is the second consecutive state title for the Marist War Eagles. The team was led by freshman Will Chandler, who shot a 6-under par 66. Four golfers — Jack Larkin, Joe Quirk, Sean Murphy and Will Duma—shot a 71 and Mitchell Yates finished with a 73. In the tournament’s 6-play, 4-score format, one of the 71s did not count in the team standings. “It was just one of those crazy days where everything came together more perfectly than you could have planned,” head coach Jeff Decker said about the results. “Four had the career bests and all six came together like a perfect storm.” The girls’ tennis team also brought home another state title as the Lady War Eagles defeated LaGrange 3-0 in the Class AAAA State Tennis Championship on May 11. Senior Kelsey Williams and junior Marielle Williams won their singles match to give Marist a two point lead and the doubles team of juniors Anna Swensen and Leigh Peters gave Marist its clinching point to win the state title. The tennis team finished the season 20-1.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 7, 2013


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East defeats West 3-1 in the annual Senior All-Star Classic
Arabia Mountain’s Jordan Scott pitched six shutout innings to lead the East Senior AllStars to a 3-1 victory over the West in the 11th annual DeKalb County Senior All-Star Baseball Classic May 28 at Georgia State University Baseball Complex. Scott struck out six West batters, walked two and allowed only three hits over his six shutout innings to pick up the pitching decision. The East jumped to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third as Miller Grove’s Fentress Henderson hit an RBI single to score Wolverine teammate Willie Moody. Redan all-star shortstop Wesley Jones hit a double in the fifth inning to the gap in rightcenter to push across two runs to give the East a 3-0 advantage. Lithonia’s Corwin Latner and Stephenson’s B.J. Barnes followed Scott on the mound and kept the West off the board until the top of the ninth. followed with an RBI double to cut the lead to 3-1. A strikeout, walk, strikeout and walk followed to load the bases with two outs. But Druid Hill’s Deric Boone hit to left field was caught for the final out. The East had six hits in the game, one each of Henderson, Redan’s Joseph Graves , Jones, Arabia Mountain’s Eugene Mabota and Joseph Holmes , and Southwest DeKalb’s Marcus Hodge . Scott won MVP honors for the East with six strikeouts in a winning effort as a pitcher, while Dunwoody’s Ryan Gaines won MVP honors for the West with two shutout innings on the mound that included two strikeout innings. The 2013 Senior All-Star Baseball Classic was the first to feature the East vs. West format as the first 10 All-Star Classics featured the North vs. South format. The East leads the new series 1-0.

MVPs Jordan Scott, left, and Ryan Gaines.

Latner struck out one in the top of the seventh and allowed only one hit and one walk over two scoreless innings before giving way to Barnes in the ninth.

The West nearly pulled off a dramatic rally to victory as Quesean McCoy of Towers drew a walk to start things off, and Columbia’s Xavier Floyd

West defeats East 12-0 in the annual DeKalb Junior Baseball All-Star Classic
The West Junior all-stars pounded out 13 hits in its 12-0 victory over the East all-star team in the fifth annual DeKalb Junior Baseball All-Star Classic at the Georgia State University Baseball Complex on May 28. A three-run first inning got the West off to a quick start as walks to Drew Henry (Chamblee) and Will Hudgins (Dunwoody) set up a three-run homerun by Cedar Grove’s Deion Sellers to give the West a 3-0 lead. The lead expanded to 6-0 in the second inning as Brad Earnest (Lakeside) hit a leadoff double and Chamblee’s Jared McKay was hit by a pitch to set up a sacrifice fly by Jay Scott (Dunwoody). William Belcher (Columbia) followed with a single and Hudgins singled to score McKay and Belcher to round out the second inning scoring. A run scored in the fourth inning consisted of a double by Chamblee’s Malik Jones and an RBI single by Hudgins. Hudgins had three RBIs on the day. Povleson, his second of the game. The West finished with 13 hits, led by Hudgins (3-4, 4 RBI), Sellers (2-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI), Earnest (2-4, 2 doubles) and Povleson (2-2, 2 RBI). Three Chamblee pitchers teamed up for the complete game shutout victory. Drew Henry was the starting and winning pitcher for the West, going three innings and finishing with one strikeout, one walk and one hit allowed. Chamblee’s Jared McKay followed Henry and threw three scoreless innings, striking out seven while allowing only one hit and one walk. Chamblee’s Jones, the West MVP, closed it out with three scoreless innings, tallying four strikeouts and giving up one hit and one walk. Southwest DeKalb’s Kevin Wimbish was selected as the MVP for the East, finishing 3-4 at the plate. He was the lone player to collect a hit for the East in the game.

MVPs Malik Jones, left, and Kevin Wimbish.

Earnest had his second double of the game in the fifth inning to follow a single by T.J. Young (Druid Hills) to get the inning started. Ryan Knox (Columbia) reached on an error to score two runs; Tyler Povleson (Lakeside)

and Hudgins answered with RBI singles to push the lead out to 110. Brian Smith of Towers walked to lead off the seventh inning and came around to score on a single by Lakeside’s

Page 20A 

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 7, 2013

Emory Hospital patient crashes stolen ambulance
Thousands of pounds of food donations collected by the office of Solicitor General Sherry Boston will benefit the hungry. Photo provided

Solicitor General’s Office wins state award collecting food for hungry
After collecting nearly 56,000 pounds of food along with donations for the hungry, the office of DeKalb County Solicitor General Sherry Boston has won a state award. Boston’s office participated in the second annual Georgia Legal Food Frenzy, a competition what netted the equivalent of 842,317 pounds of food for Feeding America food banks in Georgia, a 38 percent increase compared with last year’s competition. The office of the Attorney General, the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Georgia and the Georgia Food Bank Association joined forces last year to create the competition among Georgia law firms, law schools and legal organizations. This year, Boston challenged other DeKalb agencies to compete in a friendly “interDeKalb” Legal Food Frenzy to help increase donations. “We are so pleased that we were able to collect so much to help hungry individuals in our community, especially the children who often suffer during summer months because the free and reduced cost lunches they receive at school are no longer available to them,” Boston said, “We know that this food will make a real difference to many families who are struggling to make ends meet.” Boston’s office, along with

the DeKalb County Clerk of Superior Court and the DeKalb County Public Defender’s Office, was recognized May 28 by the Board of Commissioners. Boston decided to become involved because nearly one in five Georgians is struggling with hunger, including nearly one in four children who will suffer both physically and intellectually if they do not receive enough to eat, according to a statement from her office. Approximately 60 percent of Georgia’s children are enrolled in free or reduced cost lunches, and fewer than 15 percent have access to a lunch program while school is out.

DECATUR (AP) A patient wearing a gown and rubber gloves stole an ambulance with two paramedics in the back from a local hospital June 1 and drove at high speeds for several miles before crashing into a building, authorities said. A suspect, identified as Frank Ponquinette, 36, is being held at the DeKalb County Jail. Both paramedics were being treated for injuries sustained in the crash and were in stable condition, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The ambulance thief managed to jump from the vehicle before it wrecked. The paramedics were parked outside Emory University Medical Center and doing paperwork in back of the ambulance when it suddenly started speeding away, said DeKalb County fire Battalion Chief Christopher Morrison Jr. “A patient came out of

the hospital, dressed in a gown and rubber gloves, jumped in the front seat, locked the doors and took off in the unit,” Morrison said. He said the man who jumped behind the wheel knew the paramedics were in the back. “He looked through the little window in the back and told them, ‘Be quiet and hold on,’” Morrison said. The ambulance thief drove for several miles at high speeds before he ran off the road, Morrison said. The ambulance tore down a utility pole and crashed through the front of a chiropractor’s office. One of the paramedics used the ambulance’s radio to call 911 and give dispatchers the vehicle’s location throughout the ride. Morrison said the ambulance was a total loss after the crash, and the office that it plowed into had substantial damage.