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

and Stone Mountain.

FREEPRESS
DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis

WWW.CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER.COM FRIDAY, JUNE 28 , 2013 VOL. 16, NO. 14 FREE

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Ive done nothing wrong.


According to the indictment:
 Conuty contract assistants were instructed to create county vendor lists used to solicit campaign contributions.  A county employee was ordered by CEO Burrell Ellis to arrange a meeting between Ellis and National Property Institute when the companys vice president did not respond to his campaign contribution solicitations.  A county employee was instructed by Ellis to use county information to create county vendor lists to be used to solicit contributions and to personally deliver the lists to the offices of R. L. Brown Associates Inc. where Ellis made campaign phone calls.

DeKalb CEO indicted on 15 counts


by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com Ive done nothing wrong. Thats what DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis said June 18, hours after a special grand jury handed down a 15-count indictment, including 14 felonies, against Ellis. The indictment was announced earlier that day during a 5:15 p.m. news conference inside the DeKalb County Courthouse. DeKalb District Attorney Robert James read the indictment without taking media questions. The indictment includes four counts of criminal attempt to commit theft by extortion; three counts of theft by taking; two counts of criminal attempt to commit false statements and writings; three counts of coercion of other employees to give anything of value for political purposes; two counts of conspiracy in restraint of free and open competition; and conspiracy to defraud a political subdivision.

DeKalb County DA Robert James reads the 15-count indictment against DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

My lawyers have asked me to tell you to direct all questions to them now that these charges have been filed but I do want to make one statement emphatically to the good people of DeKalb County that Ive done nothing wrong, Ellis stated to reporters outside his home

IS SHE SHE WHY IS SO SO HAPPYWHY ?


late that evening. As Ive said from the very beginning, [Ive] done nothing wrong and I would never, ever, ever do anything to violate the public trust, said Ellis, after he turned himself in at the DeKalb County Jail, posted a $25,000 bond, was

booked and released. The charges come nearly six months after Ellis home and office were searched by investigators from the DAs Office as part of a special grand jury investigation into

SO

HAPPY ?

IS SHE

See Indictment on page 15A

DeKalb County goes red, white and blue


by Kathy Mitchell kathy@dekalbcham.com

he row of American flags waves freely Avondale Estates in the breeze along Avondale Road, Continuing a longtime tradition, children decorate their bicycles and Avondale Estates this year is celebrating the wagons with red, white and blue streamers Fourth of July with a parade and fireworks for Decaturs annual Pied Piper Parade and at the lake.Residents and friends are invited the skies above Stone Mountain Park light up to be part of this years celebration. Heres with colorful fireworksits Independence the schedule: Because she gets her news updates online from the The Champi Day in DeKalb County. Independence of four federal 9:15 a.m. - Parade line-up at Avondale Because she gets herDay, newsone updates online from the The Champion. holidays that are always observed on the High School Because she gets her news updates online from the The Champion. same date, comes on a Thursday this year, 10 a.m. - Parade begins up Clarendon but that hasnt slowed the fun as cities Avenue www.facebook.com/championnewspaper

throughout the county are finding their own ways to celebrate Americas 237th birthday.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 28, 2013

LOCAL NEWS

Page 2A

Ellis denies any wrongdoing, tells county to remain focused


by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis addressed a standing-room-only crowd June 24, stating emphatically that he has done nothing wrong. I know the events of the last week caught everybody by surprise, Ellis said, but I want to say to youwhat Ive been saying all along, first and foremost, I have done nothing wrong. Ellis was recently indicted on 15 counts, including extortion, committing false statements and theft by taking, all of which he has categorically denied. Anybody who knows me or has objectively examined my record knows my character. I stand on that character and I want you to know that and remain focused and be encouraged, Ellis said. The indictment comes after six of the nine members of the DeKalb County school board were replaced by Gov. Nathan Deal and former Superintendent Crawford Lewis will soon stand trial for allegedly running a criminal enterprise in the school system. Ellis now faces charges that he instructed county staff to create contact lists of vendors with the county and then used that list to solicit campaign contributions. If the vendor refused, Ellis allegedly threatened to end their contract with the county. Deal is required to appoint an impartial committee to investigate whether the charges pending against Ellis make him unable to remain in office. I am fully committed to this job, I am fully committed to you and I am fully committed to the residents of DeKalb County, Ellis said. I want you to know that we have been making Since he began his second term, the county has seen a shuffling of top-level officials and many new hires; Ellis lauded this as something that will bring a positive change to the county. So far this year, DeKalb County has hired new Chief Operating Officer (COO) Zachary Williams, Deputy COO Luz Borrero, Chief of Staff Hakim Hilliard, county Attorney O.V. Brantley, Police Chief Cedric Alexander, Public Affairs Officer Jill Strickland Luse, Chief Information Officer John Matelski and Planning Director Andrew Baker. Ellis outlined the positive things that have been done for the county since he began his second term such as improving public safety, finalizing a strategic plan, implementing a livingwage increase and improving the countys animal services and permitting departments. Additionally, Ellis said his administration is working to implement a cost-of-living increase for all county employees in the 2014 budget. Ellis also said he isnt opposed to union membership for county employees such as sanitation workers. I believe in unionsI believe in labor and I have supported you in that quest and Im working with you and our union groups to ensure that happens, Ellis said. Ellis encouraged those present during his address to remain focused and not to let the controversies the county is embroiled in distract from the positive things the county is doing. You have chosen a very difficult journey, you have chosen public service, Ellis said. We do it because its what we are called to doto serve other people.

DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis addressed county employees and residents June 24 and encouraged them to continue to keep their eyes on the ball and not lose focus. Ellis has denied any wrongdoing in regards to a 15-count indictment against him. Photo by Daniel Beauregard

great progress during the first six months of the administration.

School district and Heery International back at negotiating table


by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com sions, Heery has proposed a settlement of all claims and we are counting on After several years, and constructive settlement millions of dollars in legal discussions to continue, fees, the DeKalb County Heery spokesman David School District (DCSD) Rubinger said. We look and construction firm Heery forward to the DeKalb International are again County school board joinworking to settle a longing us in putting an end to standing legal dispute. this regrettable episode. The case between the Although the district DCSD and Heery, which rejected the offer, interim managed the districts Superintendent Michael construction projects 1997- Thurmond reportedly said 2006, has cost approxithat the fact Heery made mately $18 million thus far. an offer is a positive step. Recently, in an effort Thurmond was hired afto begin mediation, Heery ter former Superintendent proposed a settlement and Cheryl Atkinson abruptly said it would donate $1 left the district. million to the district for The DeKalb County educational purposes. Board of Education recentOn two separate occaly voted to amend a legal
See School on Page 3A

DeKalbCountySchoolBoardissellingtwoofitspropertiesasisthroughacompetitive sealedbidprocess.Thetwopropertiesarelocatedat: FreemanAdmin.BuildingA/B(office) 3770NorthDecaturRd Decatur,Georgia30032 81,000squarefeetofofficespace 9.3acres HooperAlexander(school) 3414MemorialDrive Decatur,Georgia30032 68,900squarefeetofschoolfacility 8.1acres

AdvertisementforSchoolPropertySales

SealedBids,fromBidders,willbereceivedbytheDeKalbCountyBoardofEducation(theOwner) attheSamA.MossServiceCenter,1780MontrealRoad,Tucker,Georgia30084,until12:00Noon localtimeonThursday,August1,2013foralllabor,materialsandservicesnecessaryforboth projects. BiddingDocumentsmaybeobtainedbyBiddersat: http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/solicitations/ AllquestionsaboutthisAdvertisementforBidsmustbedirectedinwritingtoStephenWilkins, ChiefOperationsOfficernotlaterthanTuesday,July23th,2013at12:00Noon.ContactMr. StephenM.Wilkins,ChiefOperationsOfficer,SamMossCenter,1780MontrealRoad,Tucker, Georgia30084.;email:dcsdopsbidquestions@fc.dekalb.k12.ga.us;Fax678.676.1350. Exceptasexpresslyprovidedin,orpermittedby,theBiddingDocuments,fromthedateof issuanceoftheAdvertisementforBidsuntilfinalOwneractionofapprovalofcontractaward,the BiddershallnotinitiateanycommunicationordiscussionconcerningtheProjectortheBidders Bidoranypartthereofwithanyemployee,agent,orrepresentativeoftheOwner.Anyviolation ofthisrestrictionmayresultintherejectionoftheBiddersBid. TheOwnerreservestherighttorejectanyorallBids,andtowaivetechnicalitiesandinformalities. SitevisitsHooperAlexanderSchoolarescheduledforJuly11th,2013andJuly18th,2013at9:00 am.SitevisitsforFreemanAdministrativeBuildingsA&BarescheduledforJuly10th,2013andJuly 17th,2013at9:00am

Page 3A 

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 28, 2013

We look forward to the DeKalb County school board joining us in putting an end to this regrettable episode.
Chamber Amos Howland

David Rubinger

Lithonias city administrator search narrowed to four


in civil engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. The former city manager He was Stone Mountains of Stone Mountain and the city manager from 2008former city administrator 2012 and was the town for Pine Lake are two of the manager/engineer of Tyfour finalists for Lithonias rone, Ga., from 1996-2008. city administrator position. From 1994-1996, Amos Sixteen candidates apworked as a project manager plied in the search, which for Southeastern Engineers, began mid-March, accordInc.; and from 1982-1994 ing to Tom Berry of Under- he was the city engineer of wood and Co., a consulting Peachtree City. firm based in Thomasville, Lithonia has more Ga. potential than any city in The candidates include DeKalb County, Amos Barry Amos, former Stone said. Mountain city manager; The current elected ofPhil Howland, former Pine ficials are going to capitalize Lake city administrator; on Lithonias potential and Brad Chambers, a retired I would like to be a part of chief of joint operations that, Amos said. for the U.S. Navy; and Lee Howland worked for Chastain, the former city Pine Lake from 2003-2012 planner for Thomasville. where he served as the city Lithonia Mayor Deborah administrator, public works Jackson said she plans to director and acting court have a city administrator clerk. named by the end of the The Pine Lake resident month. was the chief financial ofIve needed somebody ficer of Homewright Inc. in since January, Jackson Pine Lake from 1991-2001. said. Howland attended GeorCurrently, the city is gia Perimeter College. performing background and I see Lithonia as another reference checks on the four opportunity to help a comfinalists. munity grow, Howland Jackson said the finalists said. Lithonia has been a are excellent candidates who place that has needed some will be helpful in moving help for a long time. the city forward in a posiHe said Jackson is a tive and creative manner. very dynamic mayor who Many people recognize has helped to advance the Lithonia as a diamond in the city. rough, she said. We need Chambers worked as to find the right person to chief of joint operations polish it. for the U.S. Navy, 2010Amos, who lives in 2012; and operations manPeachtree City, earned a ager for CH2M Hill OMI, bachelor of science degree 2006-2009; parks and by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com

School Continued From Page 2A


million, alleging fraud and mismanagement during the period Heery managed its construction projects. The district has been embroiled in legal battles ever since its former Superintendent Crawford Lewis, former operations manager Patricia Reid and her then husband Tony Pope were indicted in 2010. According to prosecutors, Lewis, Reid and Pope conspired to defraud the school district of approximately $2.4 million through illegal construction contracts. Some contend one of the reasons the civil case involving the district and Heery has been drawn out so long is because officials are waiting for the outcome of the criminal trial involving Lewis, Reid and Pope. All three have been charged with running a criminal enterprise within the school system. Lewis has been charged with violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), theft by taking by a government employee and bribery. Pope and Reid face similar charges. They are currently awaiting trial, which will begin this summer in Judge Clarence Seeligers courtroom.

agreement with law firm King & Spalding, which could have cost the district more than $30 million if the district elected to settle with recreation department diHeery against the law firms rector for Grandview, Mo., recommendation. 2004-2006; and director of This new agreement leisure services and public allows the parents and taxfacilities, Cookeville, Tenn., payers of DeKalb County 1987-2000. to seek justice in the Heery Chambers, who lives in matter without the massive Chesterfield, Mich., has a risks and inherent costs asmasters degree in public sociated with the previous administration from Central agreement, board ChairMichigan University and a man Melvin Johnson said. bachelor of science degree The DeKalb County in recreation administration Board of Education alfrom University of Tennesleges in a Superior Court see. lawsuit that Heery, in its I know a lot about Atrole as manager of school lanta, said Chambers who construction projects, dehas lived in the metro region frauded the school system in the past. My very first and mismanaged tens of place I lived after college millions in taxpayer dollars. was Lithonia. Before renegotiating Chambers, who said he its contract with King & has always wanted to be Spalding, DCSD was bea city administrator, said, ing sued by two residents The Lithonia City Council who claimed that the fee really want to turn [the city] agreement with the law firm around. Thats an environviolated the constitution ment that any city adminisand put DeKalb County trator would want to work residents at risk. in. The case between DCSD Chastain of Marietta was and Heery stems from the city planner for Thomas- 2007, when the district terville, Ga., from 2008-2013. minated its contract with He worked as a project man- the construction firm. Heery ager for Professional Group first filed suit against the Associates from 2007-2008 district, alleging DCSD and as a special projects owed the company outmanager for Powder Springs standing invoices. The disfrom 2004-2007. trict countersued for $100 Chastain has a bachelors degree in sociology from Fort Hays State University. Chastain said he welcomes the opportunity to help Lithonia increase the economic vitality of its downtown area. Lithonia is a great community that presents some interesting challenges and opportunities, he said.

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Page 4A

Back to the basics


until proven guilty? We need to go back to the basics. Case in point: A reporter from the Atlanta Journal Constitution phoned to talk about DeKalb politics in the wake of the Ellis indictment. His questions were leading and more opinion aimed at eliciting the desired response. The queries to this writer were the result of my having been among the field of candidates with Ellis for CEO in 2008. I responded that I would not weigh in on the merits of the case, but suffice it to say I was praying for the Ellis family, specifically the CEOs mother, wife and children and that truth would prevail. I did offer an opinion about the pressures of raising campaign dollars and that one is not considered a viable candidate unless one has deep campaign coffers. Not surprisingly, none of our conversation was printed. In fact, I joked with a family member that my comments probably would not be used because I had nothing negative to say about the situation. Whether CEO Ellis is found to be guilty or innocent of the 15-count indictment against him, 14 of which are felonies, the charges speak to a larger, more sinister overall issue. Time and time again potentially viable candidates are written off by the media and political pundits because they have not amassed the cash of their opponents. The litmus test of front runner status is the amount of money he or she has in their campaign war chest. Ive been guilty in the past of reporting on who has the most money and visibility (signs, media ads, etc.) as opposed to who communicated the most cogent platform and had a better grasp on the issues. The media bares its fangs and bays like a pack of hungry hounds waiting on campaign disclosures to see how much money candidates have raised. It becomes a domino effect. The media scrutiny places those seeking elective office under intense pressure to make certain that they raise significant dollars to best their opponents by the next reporting period. The new normal for political contests today seems not the quality of the candidate, but the quantity of the cash. For several years there have been calls for campaign reform to try to mitigate the pressures attendant to campaign funding. But campaign reform alone will not correct personal ethics and neither can laws legislate morality. Ethical behavior comes from that space where our core values reside and no law can change that. If laws drove our ethics, our jails would be empty for the most part except for those unjustly accused and convicted. That too is the province of ethics and values. We have to have a change of heart, all of us. Money is the root of so many evils and somewhere along the way we forgot the basicstell the truth, dont lie, cheat, steal or bully each other. Treat others like we want to be treated. We learned those basic values at home or in kindergarten, didnt we? Back to the basics. Steen Miles, The Newslady, is a retired journalist and former Georgia state senator. Contact Steen Miles at Steen@dekalbchamp.com.

The Newslady

OPINION

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 28, 2013

The headlines blared the sad news, DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis indicted, Burrell Ellis Accused of Strong Arm Tactics and on and onon television, on the radio and in the newspaper. The merits of the caseor lack thereofare yet to be proven. In the meantime, people are choosing sides on Ellis guilt or innocence. One is expected to comment on the CEOs guilt or innocence based on the accusations and not being privy to all the facts. The only comment worthy of airing or printing at this juncture is perhaps a reaction to the charges. What happened to that basic tenet of journalism called balance? Also, what happened to the cornerstone of our system of justice, innocent

Failing a test of the emergency broadcast system


Our emergency communications system needs an upgrade.
by Stephanie Worden In the early morning hours of April 19, some residents of Watertown, Mass., received an automated phone call telling them to shelter in place while the suspected Boston marathon bomber roamed the neighborhood. The system worked to a degree. One homeowner Worden ultimately realized a bleeding man, who turned out to be Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, had holed up in the boat on his property. The Watertown man alerted the authorities, and the suspect went into custody. But why didnt everyone in Watertown get the call? Because our emergency communications system is flawed. The federal government began building official emergency notification systems in the 1950s. The most recognizable of these notifications is the Emergency Broadcast System, with its familiar bands of color spanning the television screen and the recognizable drone of repeated beeps on the radio announcing: This is a test. This is a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. Clearly, we can no longer rely on TV and radio as the primary means of mass emergency communication. In Boston, danger arose at night while people were sleeping, their radios and TVs turned off. And in the information age, a growing number of people dont access TV through traditional cable news or local broadcasting stations. Many of us get the news through other media. The next logical step would be to meet people where they are. That means using our nations telecommunications infrastructure as a platform for emergency alerts. Nearly every American has a landline phone or a mobile wireless device, such as a smartphone. These gizmos are becoming the preferred medium for how we connect with each other and the world at large. We already have the technology to deliver mass phone calls to large populations. Some reverse-911 systems are quite sophisticated, and can send calls to all landlines in very specific locations. But Americans are migrating away from landlines in favor of wireless. If you dont have a landline, youre out of range and possibly out of luck. Furthermore, many reverse-911 systems dont work via Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP. VoIP routes call traffic over Internet Protocol networks rather than traditional telephone networks. These technological limitations are a huge concern, since the most recent data indicate that less than half of American households have a traditional landline phone. One in three relies on wireless phones, while another quarter have VoIP landlines. When promoting these reverse-911 systems, providers tout subscribers ability to self-register their phone numbers. While this is certainly a step in the right direction, the opt-in model is confusing for consumers. And to complicate matters, some of our countrys most powerful communications companies are pushing to completely eliminate state and federal oversight of their services. If policymakers go along with this grand plan, fewer people will have access to critical services like reverse 911, and no regulatory agency will have the authority to do anything about it. So whats the best way to reach people during an emergency? Our leaders must encourage innovation and get the government to adapt to new and emerging technologies. There are laws on the books about wireless emergency communications. The Warning, Alert, and Response Network (WARN) Act established Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs), which are text-like warning messages that are 90 characters long and are sent in intervals. But the only devices that are technologically equipped to receive these messages are highpriced smartphones. Those who cant afford them wont be able to receive emergency notifications. And commercial wireless service providers arent even required to distribute Wireless Emergency Alerts: Participation in the program is completely voluntary. Low-income and senior populations tend to subscribe to phone plans from smaller wireless carriers that are less likely to offer WEAs. This all adds up to a communications industry that relies on the public airwaves but isnt required to alert the public in times of crisis. As people cut their landlines and transition away from traditional TV and radio, we need effective emergency notification systems that will work on all mobile devices. The FCC should speed up the transition to mobile notification systems and pressure the industry to ensure that these systems work on all cellphones and landlines. These changes can help save lives. Stephanie Worden is a former project assistant at Free Press. FreePress.net.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 28, 2013

A changing of the guard


Bill Clinton was in the White House.Since then, Sam has taken point as the primary voice of the regions business community through three presidents (five administrations), four governors and three Atlanta mayors. Much is being said of the chambers role in the failure of the T-SPLOST ballot referendum in 2012, thoughthe T-SPLOST was in trouble with a capital T from the day it passed the Georgia General Assembly.The Metro Chamber was fresh off a spate of wins supporting E-SPLOSTs to support multiple local school systems that March, and had successive wins since the mid-90s on multiple infrastructure bond referendums. As a result, the chamber was asked to take point on the ill-defined ballot question, while several of the elected and legislative leaders who assembled this Trojan Horse switched to the opposition side, along with the Tea Party, or acted as if they never supported this mess in the first place.To no ones surprise, other than the size of the margin, the T-SPLOST went down in flames.But that said, and even acknowledging a less than stellar role in peeling back the onion on the real story of rapidly rising test scores in Atlanta Public Schools lets look at the other side of the ledger. Stabilizing and saving Grady Hospital - The Metro Chamber Retiring a divisive state flag The Metro Chamber Reforming and rebuilding the APS Board of Education, setting the stage for improved performance and new system leadership - The Metro Chamber and EduPAC. The rapid adoption, expansion and implementation of model charter schools such as Drew Elementaryand soon, the new Drew High School - The Metro Chamber. The NCAA Final Four, SEC Championship, Centennial Olympic Games and the Chickfil-A Peach Bowl, now part of the BCS Championship series - The Metro Chamber, Atlanta Sports Council and ACVB. Yes, some of these accomplishments in part preceeded Sam Williams watch, but that is part of the story of the Atlanta Chamber and its legion of spin-off and successor nonprofits, ranging from the Metro Atlanta Community Arts Fund to EduPac to the Chickfil-A Peach Bowl.When you are Sam Williams and the Metro Chambers board of directors, you are in this for the long game, typically planning two decades out.The Metro Chamber has been talking about the Georgia multimodal and expanded transit options like the Beltline since the early 90s.Now, 20 years later, those projects are coming together. Williams and the Metro Chamber do not win every battle, but neither does any sporting coach or athlete, mayor, president, governor or senator who comes to my mind.And in addition to the astounding length of his tenure, I will point out that Mr. Williams has had as his bosses some of the brightest, talented and most demanding CEOs our nation can produce, with an ever-evolving set of egos, experiences and management perspectives. And as the economy retracted, and the regions multi-thousand new jobs and residents started heading in the opposite direction, Williams smartly retooled, rightsized the chamber and in several cases streamlined its priorities and areas of focus. There are more than a few lessons here to be learned by our Uncle Sam from this Sam, who has seldom been afraid of saying, I am and taking a position and then the lead.A tip of the hat, and a nod of appreciation to Sam Williams, as well as the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. Well done. Bill Crane also serves as a political analyst and commentator for Channel 2s Action News, WSB-AM News/Talk 750 and now 95.5 FM, as well as a columnist for The Champion, Champion Free Press and Georgia Trend. Crane is a DeKalb native and business owner, living in Scottdale. You can reach him or comment on a column at billcrane@ earthlink.net.

One Mans Opinion

OPINION

Page 5A

We mean to have less of government in business, as well as more business in government. President Warren G. Harding (1865-1923, 29th U.S. president), address to before the U.S. Congress, April 1921. Chambers of commerce, large and small, are viewed by some as an anachronismsimilar to the way some of the under-30 set view newspapers.Perhaps no chamber in the country has had a longer track record of success and achievement than the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.Our Georgia Chamber of Commerce is no slouch either, and in recent years has piled up an astonishing track record of legislative victories, but that story will be told on another day. After 17 years at the helm of arguably one of the nations most influential and multi-faceted chambers of commerce, Sam Williams, president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, will retire at the end of 2013, at a very young 68.When he arrived in the immediate aftermath of the Centennial Olympic Games,

FREEPRESS
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 writers name, address and telephone number for verification. All letters will be considered for publication.
Send Letters To Editor, The Champion Free Press, P. O. Box 1347, Decatur, GA 30031-1347; Send E-Mail to Kathy@dekalbchamp.com FAX To: (404) 370-3903 Phone: (404) 373-7779 Deadline for news releases and advertising: Thursday, one week prior to publication date. EDITORS 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: John Hewitt Chief Financial Officer 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 forall community residents onall 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, wemake every effort toavoid printing information submitted to usthat is known to be false and/orassumptions penned as fact.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 28, 2013

COMMUNITY

Page 6A

Medlock neighborhood supports city of Briarcliff study


by Carla Parker carla@dekalbchamp.com The Medlock Area Neighborhood Association has announced its support for the city of Briarcliff and has donated $1,000 to the City of Briarcliff Initiative Inc. According to its website, City of Briarcliff Initiative Inc. is a nonprofit corporation chartered in May. Its purpose is to form a new city government that would serve residents of central DeKalb County. The proposed city of Briarcliff would include most of unincorporated DeKalb County inside I-285, I-85, and to the city limits of Decatur and Atlanta. The city overlaps much of the proposed Lakeside City Alliance map but adds neighborhoods and sections excluded in the proposal, which includes the Medlock neighborhood. In a blog post on the associations website, Lynn Ganim wrote that many residents in the Medlock neighborhood were originally against the creation of a new city. However, momentum and political power seem to be on the side of a creation of a Lakeside City. This proposed city does not include the Medlock or Clairmont Heights areas and would isolate us politically from much of the rest of the northern and central section of the county, Ganim wrote. We do not know how that would affect our property values, levels of service, or taxes. We, of course, can choose to do nothing. Or we can support the study for the proposed new city of Briarcliff, which pays tribute to the interests of our area, Ganim added. Under Georgia law there must be a study of the possibility of any new city to provide the services it requires and pay for them. This study costs $30,000 and must be conducted by a recognized organization like the Carl Vinson Institute at the University of Georgia. The study must begin by July 1 so it can be completed in time for the next legislative session. The Medlock Area Neighborhood Association board contributed $1,000 to the cost of the study and is also offering up to $500 in matching funds for contributions from the neighborhood. So far, City of Briarcliff Initiative, Inc. has raised more than $17,000. Cityhood has become a trend in the county for years beginning with Dunwoody. Since the creation of the city of Brookhaven in January, six cityhood bills have been filed for various areas throughout DeKalb County, including Lakeside (SB 270), Tucker (HB 677), Briarcliff/North Druid Hills (HB 665), LaVista Hills (SB 275), the city of DeKalb (HB 687) and Stonecrest (SB 278). For more information about City of Briarcliff Initiative Inc., visit www.briarcliffga.org.

Champion of the Week Tom Rawls


migrants during evenings 2003-2006 with his three children. Recently he was elected to the board of directors of Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services of Atlanta (RRISA), a nonprofit agency whose mission is to welcome, serve and empower refugees in Georgia. RRISA helps refugees, asylees and victims of human trafficking along the path of self-sufficiency with short and long-term services in resettlement, employment, education and youth, immigration and savings match. RRISA is a new challenge for me, said Rawls, 61. Ive always had a special interest for immigration issues. Its the American dream and Ive always been interested in that. That interest increased from being married to his wife Olga, a Cuban immigrant, he said. In his volunteer work, Rawls said he has spent a lot of time helping the victims of human trafficking. They need volunteer lawyers to fill [out] those applicationsand follow the process, Rawls said. That work and being a part of an immigrant family led to his interest in RRISA, he said. Paedia Mixon, RRISAs executive director, said, With his dedication to pro bono work for displaced people and his extensive skill set in entertainment and media, we at RRISA are thrilled to welcome Tom Rawls to our board. As vice president and general counsel of BellSouth Entertainment LLC, BellSouths video services subsidiary, Rawls supervised the legal department and advised company officers on legal requirements and risks associated with all aspects of the video business. Rawls also has extensive government relations and public policy experience touching on a variety of digital data, video entertainment and Internet legal issues. Rawls said his volunteerism is just a basic value. I find it to be very rewarding, he said. Theres something about volunteer work that is satisfying and fulfilling. Helping others is a privilege.

Tom Rawls is no stranger to public service. Rawls, an entertainment counsel for AT&T, served on the board of directors of the Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta, 2005-2013. He also served as co-chairman of the AT&T Southeast Region Pro Bono Committee, a position he held from 2008-13. Rawls chaired the BellSouth Legal Departments Pro Bono Program in 20052006, when the program was recognized by Corporate Counsel Magazine in May 2006 as a key factor in naming BellSouths Legal Department that year as one of the four best corporate legal departments in the United States. He also served as a volunteer English as a Second Language instructor, teaching English to Hispanic im-

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

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 28, 2013

AROUNDDEKALB
ATLANTA
the criminal investigations division. Redding worked as an investigator for the College Park Police and previously served in the U.S. Marine Corps. Vanaman served as the law enforcement academy class coordinator at Georgia Northwestern Technical College, where he also taught courses. He is working on a masters degree at Columbus State University. Im excited to bring such experienced officers to Brookhaven, Chief Gary Yandura said. These sergeants will be the frontline supervisors over the patrol officers and directly responsible for helping to serve and protect neighborhoods. The chief and his command staff are still conducting interviews for patrol officers. Brookhaven officers are scheduled to begin patrols later this summer.
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COMMUNITY

Page 7A

Church to open bookstore The Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church has announced that it will soon open a church bookstore. The bookstore, Kingdom Konnection, will be operated by volunteers on Sundays, Tuesday evenings and during special service times. Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church is located at 1879 Glenwood Avenue, SE, Atlanta. For more information, call the church office Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. 5 p.m. at (404) 377-0561.

CHAMBLEE

Events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. The events include: Friday, July 5, 5 - 7 p.m.: Hawaiian Luau The public is invited to Regency Houses annual Hawaiian paradise experience. Saturday, July 6, 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.: Outward Bound Event This Outward Bound celebration will also be a fundraiser for the international nonprofit, which fosters personal growth and social skills through challenging outdoor expeditions. Sunday, July 7, 12:30 - 2 p.m.: As part of its Lets Talk Seniors series, Regency House presents a program at which professionals will speak on secrets to get a house sold. The Regency House is located at 341 Winn Way, Decatur. For more information, call (404) 418-6831 or visit www.theregencyhouse.net. Boxer to hold barbecue, book signing Boxer Xavier Fastpads Biggs, who recently appeared on NBCs The Voice, is also the author of Sweet Sucker Punch. He is celebrating the books re-release by hosting a boxing demo, barbecue and book signing on Saturday, June 29, at 10:30 a.m. The event will be at the Decatur Boxing Club, 137 New St., Decatur.
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Library to host beginners yoga class Yoga for Beginners will be offered at the Chamblee Library June 29, noon-1:30 p.m. Bonnie G. Gibert and Art Gibert, certified yoga instructors, will teach participants to safely learn yoga to strengthen, stretch and feel great, according to an announcement from the library. The class is for beginners and participants are to bring a pillow, a bath towel and, if possible, a yoga mat. The class is open to the first 10 participants. To register, call or visit the branch. Chamblee Library is located at 4115 Clairmont Road, Chamblee. The phone number is (770) 936-1380.
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Chinese judges visit Emory As part of a new partnership between Emory Law School and the City University of Hong Kong, 29 Chinese judges visited Emory to learn more about the American justice system during June. During their stay, the judges are studying U.S. constitutional and criminal law, the rules of evidence and the role of courts and judges in shaping the rule of law. Their studies at Emory are part of their work toward a master of laws degree. Members of this first class of judges include presiding and assistant judges from Intermediate Peoples Courts across the country. More than half are women.

LITHONIA

CLARKSTON

Library to host Ramadan story time The Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta will host informational story time about the Ramadan holiday season on June 29. The event is limited to the first 20 participants and registration is required. Clarkston Library is located at 951 N. Indian Creek Drive. For more information or to register, call (404) 508-7175.
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BROOKHAVEN

DECATUR
Commissioner takes office to DeKalb seniors In an effort to connect with senior residents in Super District 7, DeKalb County Commissioner Stan Watson packed up some essentials and set up a temporary office for a few hours at the Lou Walker Senior Center on June 19. Approximately 200 seniors responded to Watsons meet-and-greet invitation. During the lunch meeting, which had no agenda, attendees had the opportunity to ask questions and voice concerns. This was really a great opportunity for me to be able to get insight and hear firsthand from our senior community about the past, present and perceived future DeKalb, Watson said. Watson said he plans to set up other temporary office events at various venues around the county to meet, connect and feel the pulse of the community firsthand.

Police department fills supervisory positions The Brookhaven Police Department has completed filling all of its supervisory ranks. Three additional sergeants and a lieutenant have recently joined the force. Lt. Linda Burke and Sgts. Tyrone Oliver, Antoine Redding and Jeffrey Vanaman will be sworn in at the next city council meeting. The new officers have more than 60 years of combined experience in law enforcement. Burke will oversee criminal investigations in Brookhaven. She served as a major for College Park Police, where she managed criminal investigations, support operations and professional standards. She has a masters degree from Columbus State University. Oliver worked for the Newton County Sheriffs Office, where he served as a lieutenant in

Fraternity to sponsor mentoring program The Nu Mu Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha is now accepting applications for its Junior Beaux mentoring program. This program is for young men who will be rising juniors in high school for fall of 2013. During the program, called College Ready, the participants will receive a year of college preparatory training. To apply, go to www. dekalbalphas.org. The application deadline is July 19. Retirement home to hold independencethemed events The Regency House retirement community will be hosting a number of independencethemed events during the weekend of July 5-7.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 28, 2013

LOCAL NEWS

Page 8A

Medicaid fraud case against Decatur OBGYN moving forward


by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com A DeKalb County physician indicted on grounds that he fraudulently used Medicaid payments to illegally fund abortions will appear in DeKalb County Superior Court after losing an appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court. Dr. Tyrone Malloy, and office assistant Cathy Ann Warner, were indicted by a DeKalb County grand jury Dec. 8, 2011, on two counts of Medicaid fraud. Malloy owns and operates Old National Gynecology, a medical practice located in College Park and Metropolitan Atlanta OBGYN in Decatur. In a unanimous opinion released June 17, the Supreme Court denied Malloys appeal to dismiss the criminal case against him. Malloy previously filed for dismissal three times in DeKalb County Superior Court, claiming that the state law under which he was being charged was unconstitutional and that the indictments language was prejudicial. A DeKalb Superior Court judge denied all three motions, Malloy then requested a certificate from the trial court allowing him to file an appeal with the state Supreme Court, which was also denied. Malloy then appealed directly to the Supreme Court Feb. 4. The indictment against Malloy alleges that between Dec. 9, 2007, and Aug. 9, 2010, he and Warner knowingly and willfully received approximately $131,615 they were not entitled to for billing services associated with performing elective abortions. The two are also charged with billing Georgia Medicaid approximately $255,024 for detailed ultrasounds that were allegedly never performed. The Georgia Medicaid program is funded by the state of Georgia and by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, acting through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Since 1976, a federal law known as the Hyde Amendment has prohibited the use of federal funds to pay for elective abortions and services associated with them. Abortions are only covered by Medicaid in cases where the pregnancy is the result of rape, incest, or circumstances where continuing the pregnancy will endanger the life of the mother.
See OBGYN on Page 10A

From top left, Karen Johnson and David Wilsdon assemble bags of food for the Decatur Emergency Assistance Ministry. From left below, Joel Harris and Joe Renshaw also volunteer at the ministry. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

Decatur churches collaborate to help needy


by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com Since 1973, a group of churchesnow 22have been helping needy Decatur residents stay afloat. Some clients of the Decatur Emergency Assistance Ministry (DEAM) have serious health problems. Some are on disability and have been going to DEAM for help for many years. Others need help with emergency prescription medicines. Some people need food assistance. A good many of our clients have chronic needs, said Ed Sheehey, a volunteer for DEAM. DEAM currently serves more than 260 local families per month, providing assistance to ease hunger, prevent eviction and loss of utilities, and provide life-sustaining prescriptions. DEAMs service area includes the area bounded by Lavista Road on the north, I-285 on the east, Glenwood Road on the south, and Moreland Avenue and Briarcliff Road on the west. The boundary was set by the churches so that it would include the area around Decatur where their membership was, said Ruth Fruit, chairwoman of DEAMs board. DEAM helps the churches centralize the services instead of every church having the same thing, Fruit said. Its one place that serves the community, she said. DEAMs main office and a food pantry are housed at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 515 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Decatur. The organization also has a food pantry and clothing closet at Avondale First Baptist Church, and another clothing closet at Decatur First Baptist Church. We can serve people who live in our service area once a month with food and once a year with utility help, Fruit said. Food is given to the needy by the pound, depending on the number of people in the family. Because it has approximately 140 volunteers and two part-time employees, DEAM is able to be open each weekday. Were one of the only agencies that do this service that is open every dayMonday through Friday, that is. Most of them are open maybe two days a week or three days a week. People needing assistance with paying utilities can make appointments. A DEAM worker will meet with the client, verify the bill with the utility and, if approved, the organization writes a check directly to the utility company. Food can be picked up on any day, Fruit said, as long as the recipient has a Social Security Card and proof of residency. In 2012, DEAM served 4,231 familiesa total of 7,493 people. We have served a lot of folks in the last year, Fruit said. Youd be surprised at the amount of need in that area. Its surprising. Karen Johnson, one of two office managers for DEAM, said, Summer is a busier time for us, I think, because kids arent getting the meals from schools. The need is very great. We stay busy, Johnson said. Just by the volume of folks, we know that we are needed. Joel Harris, a DEAM volunteer for approximately 16 years, said he learned of the organization from a friend who invited him to join the group. So Ive just been here having a good time, said Harris, who helps to sack up groceries when people need some food. Harris said DEAM exists because God controls everything. And I guess that God just brought us here. People are hungry and somebody needs to do it and we enjoy doing it, Harris said. And the pays real good too.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 28, 2013

LOCAL NEWS

Page 9A

Decatur police investigating home burglaries


by Carla Parker carla@dekalbchamp.com The Decatur Police Department is investigating a series of daytime burglaries in the Winnona Park, south Candler Street and Oakhurst areas that appear to be related. The burglaries occurred between May 30 and June 19. According to police, all of the homes were unoccupied at the time of the burglary and entry was made by forcing doors and windows. The majority of the homes targeted have notable vegetation, driveways with inclines or driveways that continue behind the home or rear alleys, which all provide concealment for suspect vehicles, according to police. Sgt. Jennifer Ross said the suspects are taking electronics such as large flat screen televisions, laptops and jewelry. Many of the televisions would require the use of a vehicle to transport. Three of the nine homes targeted had alarm systems, she said in a press release. One alarm was bypassed by cutting the power to the home, one alarm was activated and nothing was taken from the home and one alarm was activated and only items in the room that was initially entered were taken and the rest of the home was undisturbed. In one case, a witness reported seeing a Black male flee the scene in a white van, according to police. In another case, a witness reported seeing four or five young Black males flee the scene in what was later determined to be a vehicle stolen in DeKalb County. In one case, a neighbor reported seeing an unfamiliar vehicle at the victims home, but police were not called until later. We are working with the DeKalb County Police Department on related cases and thus far, have recovered stolen property from one case, Ross said. DeKalb County Police made multiple arrests on June 18 and are still working to identify additional suspects. We have evidence in many of the Decatur cases and are conducting targeted patrols in the area. Ross said homeowners are encouraged to trim excess vegetation that would limit visibility of their homes and driveways and to park unused vehicles visible in their driveways. Homeowners can also use alarm systems that are in place and have battery back-ups on the system so it will activate if power is disconnected. Residents should call police immediately if they see persons or vehicles that they do not recognize on their neighbors property or circling their neighborhood. Pay particular attention to unknown vans, minivans and SUVs as they are the most commonly used, Ross said. It is believed suspects are utilizing stolen, older model minivans and Jeep Cherokees in many of the recent cases. Ross added that it is common practice for daytime burglary suspects to knock on a door before making entry to make certain the home is unoccupied. Police recommend to verbally acknowledge your presence but do not open the door for unknown persons if you receive an unexpected knock on your door. To report a crime, dial 911 or call the nonemergency number at (404) 373-6551.

NOTICEOFPROPERTYTAXINCREASE
TheCityofBrookhavenhastentativelyadoptedamillageratewhichwill requireanincreaseinpropertytaxes.Theproposedrateis3.35mills.This tentativemillagerateisinlieuoftheSpecialServiceDistrictmillage previouslyimposedbyDeKalbCounty. The4thandfinalpublichearingonthisproposedtaxincreasewillbeheld atthecitysMunicipalCourtat2CorporateBlvd,Suite125,Brookhaven, Ga.onMonday,July8,2013at12:30p.m.Concernedresidentsare invitedtoattendthisfinalopportunityforpubliccommentregardingthe settingofthemillagerate.TheCityCouncilplanstovoteonthismatter immediatelyfollowingthepublichearingataspecialcalledmeetingon Monday,July8,2013at1:30p.m. Thistentativeincreasewillresultinanincreaseof3.35millsovertheprior yearsrateofzero.Theproposedtaxincreaseforahomewithafair marketvalueof$325,000isapproximately$435andtheproposedtax increasefornonhomesteadpropertywithafairmarketvalueof$625,000 willbe$837.Theproposedtaxincreaseforapropertywiththecitybasic homesteadexemptionis$368.

Name: Kimchi Male puppy  Neutered

Pet of the Week


Kimchi is an American Staffordshire Terrier. He is approximately 6 months old and is medium size. Kimchi is a super sweet pup and he is very smart. He attends Charm School and has learned to sit on command, to walk nicely on a leash, how to shake and how to touch your hand with his nose when asked. That's a lot for a pup to learn in a short time. Kimchi is working on the down command; which is a hard for most dogs, but I'm sure he'll learn it very soon! Kimchi loves belly rubs. Like most puppies he is playful and loving. Kimchi is hoping to find a forever home soon. The shelter is a scary place for a pup and no puppy should have to grow up there. Please visit Kimchi and give him a belly rub; it'll make him very happy and it just may put a smile on your face.

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

Jamie Martinez Jsmartinez@dekalbcountyga.gov Christine Kaczynski Ckaczynski@dekalbcountyga.gov

DeKalb County Animal Shelter


404.294.2165

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 28, 2013

LOCAL NEWS

Page 10A

DeKalb County proposing storm water utility increase


by Carla Parker carla@dekalbchamp.com The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners will soon vote on whether to increase the storm water utility rate to improve and maintain the current storm water utility system in unincorporated DeKalb. Residents in unincorporated DeKalb County are currently paying $48 per year for storm water system services. The proposed increase is $12 per year, $1 per month. County officials said the increase will provide an additional $4.1 million of revenue to address resident requests regarding the storm sewer system. The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners was scheduled to vote on the proposal at its June 25 meeting, but the item was deferred two weeks. The purpose of the storm water utility is to reduce flooding and damage to properties and to reduce water contaminates before they reaches streams or other water sources. At a June 20 community meeting at Tucker-Reid H. Cofer Library, District 7 Commission Stan Watson told residents that the county is looking at a storm water fee increase because there is a backlog of 1,830 orders to be worked on. There are projects we have to fix and problems in DeKalb County that relates to our storm water use, he said. There are a lot of things that we have to take care of. Were still taking care of our retention ponds. If the fee is increased, the Roads and Drainage Department would begin working to build or repair 649 drainage structures, install or replace 291 pipes and maintain 225 ponds in the backlog. Watson also said the county lost storm water utility revenue because of the newly formed cities in the county. When cities form one of the first things the cities take from the county that they reside in is fees, he said. So anytime a new city forms the county no longer gets that revenue. Any fees that we have as it relates to storm water go to that respective city. The city council of Brookhaven, the most recently formed city in the county, voted May 14 to pass an ordinance that would allow the city to run its own storm water utility. DeKalb County has lost an estimated $2.5 million in storm water utility revenue over the last four years. The additional funding will also give the county an opportunity to look for grants from the Corps of Engineers, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It will also allow the county to expand use of contractors to increase productivity.

OBGYN
Continued From Page 8A

A PowerPoint presentation about the propose storm water utility rate increase was presented to DeKalb County residents. Photos by Carla Parker

Tucker residents view the presentation at the Tucker-Reid H. Cofer Library.

Roads and Drainage Department interim Assistant Director Michael Anderson (right) said the proposed $1 per month increase will provide an additional $4.1 million of revenue to address requests regarding the storm sewer system.

In 2010, the Georgia Department of Community Healths Program Integrity Unit conducted a review of Malloys Old National Gynecology clinic looking for violations of the Hyde Amendment. After its review, the department suspended Medicaid reimbursements to Malloy. However, Malloy later requested an administrative review of the departments findings and an administrative law judge concluded that Malloy had not done anything wrong; the Medicaid funds withheld from him were released. The Georgia attorney general then filed criminal charges against Malloy for the money he had allegedly billed the Medicaid program and the additional funds that he collected after they were released to him. During Malloys appeal to the Supreme Court, his attorneys argued that the state was using its influence to further a political agenda. His attorneys also said that the trial court failed to protect Malloy from double jeopardy because the state was allowed to appeal the administrative law judges ruling, which it chose not to. Three witnesses testified before the administrative law judge that his procedures were proper, attorney Katherine Durant testified. The state also indicted Malloy for accepting the funds that were released to him. Durant also said the statute Malloy was being charged with violating was deliberately vague. The state contends that Malloy illegally applied for payment for procedures that were associated with elective abortions and are therefore not eligible for Medicaid reimbursement. Nowhere in the statute or policy manual is there a distinction made between reimbursement for these diagnostic services for patients who elect to terminate pregnancy and those who do not, state attorneys argued. Supreme Court Justice David Nahmias said that a heavy majority of courts nationwide hold that an administrative ruling is not double jeopardy. Malloy has practiced medicine in Georgia since 1981. He received his medical degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and is medical director of the Atlanta SurgiCenter, where he has provided abortion services for 20 years. Additionally, Malloy is on the faculty of Emory Universitys School of Medicine. His primary practice, Metropolitan Atlanta OBGYN, is located in Decatur. If convicted, Malloy could be sentenced to a $10,000 fine or up to 10 years in prison.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 28, 2013

LOCAL NEWS

Page 11A

From left, Hodan Kahin of Somali American Community Center accepts a Community Impact Award on behalf of Omar Shekhey during the World Refugee Day celebration in Clarkston where some refugees took the oath of citizenship. Photos by Joseph McBrayer

World Refugee Day recognizes contributions of newcomers to Georgia


More than 300 people from across the state celebrated World Refugee Day at the Clarkston Community Center on June 22. The event included Community Impact Awards, recognizing the contributions made by formerly resettled refugees in Georgia. The awardees have started businesses and nonprofit organizations to support their ethnic communities and share their culture with broader audiences, while also contributing to local economies with direct investment and tax revenue. The recipients were Omar Shekhey of Somali American Community Center, a social services agency with after-school and parent-engagement activities; Pashupati Timsina of Druk Media Hub, an arts and media group for youth that produces The Broadway, a monthly local newspaper; and Nafisa Ali, owner of Daallo Restaurant, which features East African cuisine. We take tremendous pride in the Community Impact Award recipients, said Amber Mull, who chaired the World Refugee Day 2013 committee. Refugees and other immigrants have had such positive impacts on communities throughout DeKalb County and Georgia, and we wanted to take a moment to recognize their contributions as business and community leaders. Thirteen community members became American citizens at a naturalization ceremony, taking the final step on a journey that, for refugees, began with fleeing violence in their home countries and being welcomed by the people of Georgia to start new lives. These new citizens immigrated from Bangladesh, India, Eritrea and Sierra Leone. The oath of citizenship was administered by Paul Onyango, Atlanta field office director for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and an immigrant from Kenya himself. The event also featured family activities, informational booths from community groups and nonprofit organizations, and a cultural presentation by a Bhutanese arts and performance group.
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World Refugee Day, observed June 20 each year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the millions of refugees worldwide who are forced to flee their homes. For around 70,000 refugees each year, the United States offers a safe haven. Approximately 2,500 of these are resettled in Georgia, where state and local governments, nonprofit agencies, faithbased organizations, and residents embrace these new Americans and help them become productive members of Georgias communities. Georgia has the nations highest early self-sufficiency rate for refugees, said Frances McBrayer, who chairs the Georgia Coalition of Refugee Stakeholders,

which organized the event. The resettlement program in Georgia is a national success. World Refugee Day is not only an opportunity to celebrate that success but also to remember those who still face fear and persecution around the world.

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TheCityofChambleeCityCouncildoesherebyannouncethatthemillageratewillbesetatameetingtobeheldatChambleeCityHall locatedat5468PeachtreeRoad,Chamblee,GeorgiaonJuly2,2013at6:30PMandpursuanttotherequirementsofGa.Code48532 doesherbypublishthefollowingpresentationofthecurrentyear'staxdigestandlevy,alongwiththehistoryofthetaxdigestandlevyfor thepastfiveyears. CURRENT 2013 TAX DIGEST AND FIVE YEAR HISTORY OF LEVY 2008 563,992,269 15,601,332 10,783,636 590,377,237 43,657,482 546,719,755 5.00 2,733,599 (23,962) 0.87% 2009 575,089,705 16,118,770 10,769,822 601,978,297 44,074,131 557,904,166 6.31 3,520,375 786,777 28.78% 2010 533,197,959 14,546,770 9,563,181 557,307,910 44,896,783 512,411,127 7.95 4,073,668 553,293 15.72% 2011 797,623,949 14,135,654 11,087,937 822,847,540 88,432,680 734,414,860 7.4 5,434,670 1,361,002 33.41% 2012 737,007,810 22,076,110 9,128,386 768,212,306 83,130,749 685,081,557 7.4 5,069,604 (365,066) 6.72% 2013 726,762,167 27,471,830 9,726,659 763,960,656 85,949,126 678,011,530 7.379 5,003,047 (66,556) 1.31%

Real&Personal MotorVehicles&HeavyEquipment PublicUtilities GrossDigest LessExemptions AdjustedNetDigest GrossMillageRage NetTaxesLevied NetTaxes$Increase NetTaxes%increase

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 28, 2013

LOCAL NEWS

Page 12A

Timothy Jones suffers from a rare genetic disorder that has made him blind, but that hasnt stopped him from earning many awards and accolades for his virtuosic piano playing. Photos by Daniel Beauregard

Young pianists faith and music go hand-in-hand


by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com As Doraville Mayor Donna Pittman reads aloud a commendation and poses for pictures, Norcross resident Timothy Jones is grinning ear-to-ear. Jones is being commended for recently volunteering to play piano at the Doraville Policemans Ball. Jones said he volunteers a lot at senior centers, nursing homes and schools. He also plays professionally but when he does, he lets those hiring him choose their price. Timothy has also performed at local benefits for the Center for the Visually Impaired in Atlanta and a concert which raised almost $1,500 for the victims of northeast Georgia tornadoes in 2011. Music and his strong faith have played a large role in Jones life since before he can remember. When he was 3-and-a-half years old, Jones mother Nancy Jones learned her son was blind. It wasnt until January of the following year that we got a diagnosis, Nancy said. All we knew at that time was that it was genetic and recessive. Several years later, Nancy learned that the disease Timothy suffers from is actually a genetic deformity created by three recessive genes, which causes the cells of the retinas to be unable to take in Vitamin A and metabolize food. The pity is that the babies are born with perfectly functioning eyes and the cells just starve to death from the moment theyre born, Nancy said. Once Nancy learned Timothy was blind, she began learning Braille through a course offered by the Library of Congress. She said she also learned how to do therapy with Timothy through various exercises with light. I thought, even if his vision fades maybe I can plant the concept of color and certain shapes and things while he could still see them, Nancy said. Nancy played a lot of music in the home when Timothy was young, everything from contemporary Christian music to sing-a-long tapes teaching the ABCs. One day, while Nancy was in the kitchen she heard music coming from the living room. I went into the living room and I snapped a picture, Nancy said. He could barely reach and wasnt even 2 years old yet. He had to pull himself up to the piano and was picking out the melody to Twila Paris Little Lamb of God. Although he was too young to

have a teacher then, Nancy said she enrolled him in Kindermusik; when he turned 5 she found him a teacher at a local church. Now, Timothy also plays organ and has won numerous awards and accolades for his music. Timothy also possesses perfect pitch and he is further developing his skills by learning to read music in Braille. Although Timothy focuses much on classical and sacred music, he also appreciates jazz and some modern music. He is a member of several professional music organizations, including the American Guild of Organists, the Pro-Mozart Society and the Chopin Society. We walk by faith, not by sight, is Timothys motto and he believes its important to share the gift he believes God gave him.

Century Center petitions to join Brookhaven


Highwoods Properties filed an application June 21 with the city of Brookhaven for Century Center to be annexed into the newly created city. Century Center, a commercial office complex, comprises approximately 120 acres and is owned by Highwoods and Emily Fisher Crum, a Brookhaven resident and long-time philanthropist. The property is located in unincorporated DeKalb County and is bound by Clairmont Road, Century Boulevard, Century Parkway and Interstate 85 South. The property has five points of ingress and egress along the access road to I-85 South, plus three points of ingress and egress from Clairmont Road. The property also houses a half-mile of Peachtree Creek. The property owners decided to petition Brookhaven for annexation based on the quality of the services available, according to Jim Bacchetta vice president of Highwoods Atlanta Division. The application will be reviewed by Brookhaven and must be approved by the Brookhaven City Council. Century Center is home to the Atlanta Marriott Century Center and several General Services Administration agencies, including the FBI, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as other commercial tenants. Highwoods Properties, headquartered in Raleigh, is a publicly traded real estate investment trust and a member of the S&P MidCap 400 Index.

State releases CRCT results


The 2013 results of the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) were released June 25. In DeKalb County, 85.6 percent of third-graders met or exceeded standards for reading. In English/ language arts the percent was 79.8; math, 65.1; and social studies, 73.1. For fourth-graders, 94.7 percent met or exceeded standards for reading. The percent was 82.3 percent for English/language arts; math, 70; science, 82.6; and social studies, 68.1. Approximately 87 percent of fifth-graders met or exceeded standards for reading. In English/ language arts the percent was 88.3; math, 79.2; science, 63.2; and social studies, 66.2. In the sixth grade, 91.6 percent of the students met or exceeded standards for reading. Approximately 87 percent met or exceeded standards for English/language arts. The score was 70.8 percent for math; science, 55.9; and social studies, 63.1. For seventh-graders, 87.4 percent met or exceeded standards for reading. The percent was 84.6 percent for English/language arts; math, 78.2; science, 70.7; and social studies, 68.7. Approximately 92 percent of eighth-graders met or exceeded standards for reading. In English/ language arts the percent was 87.5; math, 87.5; science, 68.9; and social studies, 62.5.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 28, 2013

LOCAL NEWS
Gibbs said Boyers idea for the JH was nothing more than a dream. She said the PDK site is the one that is supported by thousands of DeKalbs residents. There are huge legal issues with parks bonds that could be tied up in court for many years, Gibbs said. Being there will probably end up with a lawsuit. Wardell Castles, a member of Advocates for DeKalb Animals, said the group is happy with the board of commissioners vote. We look forward to seeing the timeline for a new

Page 13A

Commissioners approve new animal shelter at airport


by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com Applause rang out as the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners approved a site at DeKalb Peachtree Airport June 25 as the location to build the countys new animal shelter. The seats were filled and walls lined with attendees wearing red and green Tshirts; mostly members of Advocates for DeKalb Animals (red) and the Friends of Johns Homestead Park (green). Well, its not over until a new shelter is built but at least well be able to sleep tonight, said Sonali Saindane, chair of the DeKalb Animal Services Advisory Board. The $2.75 million facility will be built using bond proceeds. DeKalb Peachtree Airport (PDK), located in Chamblee, is owned and operated by the county under federal guidance and is funded through the revenue it brings in. The county would have to pay the Federal Department of Aviation for the site over a period of several years. Saindane was a member of the 2011 committee appointed by CEO Burrell Ellis to survey locations for the new facility and recommend a site to commissioners. It proposed a list of 12 locations, selected from more than 80 potential sites. In February 2012, the committee completed its study and recommended the PDK site as its first choice. However, commissioners were concerned with its location and created a task force to review the sites selected. After reviewing the sites, the task force presented three final locations to commissioners. One of those sites was the PDK site and the other two, a used car lot and the Johns Homestead (JH) Park property, are located off Lawrenceville Highway. In 2004, commissioners purchased the JH location with park bonds money. Although the site at JH would have been approximately $1 million cheaper, only Commissioner Elaine Boyer favored it. It would be a destination park that we dont have in this area and I think its a win-win for all the constituents, Boyer said. Boyer also suggested building walking trails and a dog park at the site. However, many residents and advocates disagreed and stated that the 46-acre parcel of land is one of DeKalb Countys remaining historic green spaces. Built in the early 1800s, the Johns Homestead area was a working farm until the 1980s. Resident Gretchen

Members of Advocates for DeKalb Animals and Friends of John Homestead Park show their support for the proposed PDK animal shelter site June 25. Photo by Daniel Beauregard

shelter at PDK and working with the county to track the

progress against the timeline, Castles said.

Searching for Our Sons and Daughters:


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For a programming guide, visit www.yourdekalb.com/dctv

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Now showing on DCTV!

The Champion Weather


Seven Day Forecast
Isolated T-storms High: 88 Low: 72 Isolated T-storms High: 88 Low: 71 Scat'd T-storms High: 87 Low: 69 Isolated T-storms High: 86 Low: 68 Isolated T-storms High: 86 Low: 70 Mostly Cloudy High: 84 Low: 68

DCTV Your Emmy Award-winning news source of DeKalb County news. Available on Comcast Cable Channel 23.

June 27, 2013


Weather History

Detailed Local Forecast


Today we will see mostly sunny skies with a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms, high of 88, humidity of 58%. West wind 5 to 10 mph. The record high for today is 100 set in 1952. Expect partly cloudy skies tonight with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms.

Todays Regional Map


Dunwoody 86/71 Smyrna 87/72 Doraville 87/72 Atlanta 88/72 College Park 89/72 Union City 89/72

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

Lilburn 87/72

Last Week's Local Almanac


Date Hi Lo Normals Precip Tuesday 85 67 87/68 0.12" Wednesday 83 68 87/68 0.00" Thursday 84 67 87/68 0.00" Friday 84 67 88/68 0.00" Saturday 86 65 88/68 0.00" Sunday 85 67 88/69 0.00" Monday 86 69 88/69 0.00" Rainfall. . . . . . . . 0.12" Average temp . . 75.9 Normal rainfall. . 0.87" Average normal 77.9 Departure . . . . . .-0.75" Departure . . . . . -2.0 Day Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Sunrise 6:29 a.m. 6:29 a.m. 6:29 a.m. 6:30 a.m. 6:30 a.m. 6:31 a.m. 6:31 a.m.

Decatur Snellville 88/72 88/72 Lithonia 89/72 Morrow 89/72

SATURDAY

June 27, 1957 - Hurricane Audrey smashed ashore at Cameron, La., drowning 390 people and causing 150 million dollars in damage to Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. Audrey left only a brick courthouse and a cement-block icehouse standing at Cameron. June 28, 1778 - The Battle of Monmouth in central New Jersey was fought in sweltering heat. The temperature was 96 degrees in the shade and there were more casualties from the heat than from bullets.

SUNDAY

MONDAY

Hampton 90/73

Local Sun/Moon Chart This Week


Sunset 8:51 p.m. 8:51 p.m. 8:51 p.m. 8:51 p.m. 8:51 p.m. 8:51 p.m. 8:51 p.m.

TUESDAY

Last 6/29 New 7/8

WEDNESDAY
Isolated T-storms High: 87 Low: 69

Moonrise Moonset No Rise 11:15 a.m. 12:04 a.m. 12:18 p.m. 12:40 a.m. 1:19 p.m. 1:14 a.m. 2:18 p.m. 1:49 a.m. 3:15 p.m. 2:25 a.m. 4:11 p.m. 3:03 a.m. 5:06 p.m.

Tonights Planets
First 7/15 Full 7/22 Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Rise Set 7:55 a.m. 9:46 p.m. 8:18 a.m. 10:28 p.m. 5:16 a.m. 7:36 p.m. 6:06 a.m. 8:24 p.m. 3:53 p.m. 3:02 a.m. 1:48 a.m. 2:14 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 widespread showers and thunderstorms today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 95 in East St. Louis, Ill. The Southeast will experience mostly clear to partly cloudy skies with scattered thunderstorms today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 97 in Memphis, Tenn. In the Northwest, there will be isolated showers today, mostly clear to partly cloudy skies Friday and Saturday, with the highest temperature of 98 in Boise, Idaho. The Southwest will see mostly clear to partly cloudy skies today through Saturday, with the highest temperature of 116 in Bullhead City, Ariz.

Weather Trivia
What was the deadliest tornado outbreak in the United States?

StarWatch By Gary Becker - Spica: Alpha Star of Lizard Lady


The moon is full at weeks start, so expect to see only the brightest stars and planets. Venus has now become the sole guardian of evening twilight. View it about 30 minutes after sundown in the same direction where the sun goes down low in the WNW. If you look just a little bit west of south at 10 p.m., youll notice two very bright luminaries; the one to the left is Saturn. To Saturns right will be Spica, the alpha star of Virgo the Virgin. Although Virgo is one of the zodiacal constellations through which the sun passes, its star pattern is only discernable under the clearest of skies because of the faintness of the other stars which form the constellation. She looks more like a lizard lady in a sleeping bag, and I can understand fully why suitors have been reluctant to call. Blue-white Spica, however, is a whole different story. It is truly one of the more luminous stars in the heavens, but because of its 250 light year distance, it appears as only the 16th brightest star of the night. However, if Spica were moved to 10 parsecs or 32.6 light years from our sun, the standard distance to which the brilliance of all stars are compared, Spica would rival the planet Venus in luster. In contrast, Sol would be an inconspicuous star, even from rural locations, similar to the other faint stars which form Virgo, the Lizard Ladys body. Spica is, at the very least, a double star system with two hot, blue-white luminaries orbiting each other in just over four days. Their separation is a mere 11 million miles, about 1/8th the Earth-sun distance. The brighter component of the pair has a surface temperature of 40,800 degrees F, while its fainter companion is just 7000 degrees cooler. The temperature of our sun, in comparison, is only 10,500 degrees F. Catch Spica now; for in the weeks ahead, it will continue to slide towards the western horizon, exiting the deep twilight sky by late August. www.astronomy.org

Answer: The outbreak that hit Missouri, Illinois and Indiana in 1925 claimed 747 lives.

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

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 28, 2013

LOCAL NEWS

Page 14A

Ellis attorney: We are going to fight


by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis maintained his innocence nearly a week after he was indicted on 14 felonies involving campaign fraud. I have done nothing wrong as I have clearly stated to anybody and everybody, Ellis said during a June 24 media conference. I will continue to serve in the manner in which I have served, said Ellis, who was flanked by his wife and his legal team. I am committed to serving the citizens of this county. I was called and elected to do this job and I have every intention of continuing to work hard each and every day on behalf of the good citizens of DeKalb County. The indictment against Ellis includes four counts of criminal attempt to commit theft by extortion; three counts of theft by taking; two counts of criminal attempt to commit false statements and writings; three counts of coercion of other employees to give anything of value for political purposes; two counts of conspiracy in restraint of free and open competition; and conspiracy to defraud a political subdivision. Lead attorney Craig Gillen told reporters that there are no allegations whatsoever that Mr. Ellis took a single dollar or a single dime personally that was in any way wrong or even alleged to be wrong. Gillen said this case will show that there were vendors who were solicited for campaign contributions and did not give but received county business. And then youre going to see situations where vendors were called and they chose not to give and they got county business, Gillen said. Some gave and didnt get business, some didnt give and got business. There is nothing wrong with an elected officialseeking and accepting campaign contributions from individuals who do business with the county, Gillen said. Nothing wrong. Elected officials at every level seek and obtain campaign contributions from people who conduct business with the entities the officials represent, Gillen said. Presidents of the United States request and obtain campaign contributions [from] folks who do business with the U. S. government. Governors seek and obtain campaign contributions [from] folks who do business with the state, Gillen said. It wont surprise you at allwill it?to know that district attorneys seek and obtain campaign contributions [from] folks who do business with the district attorneys office who actually might give campaign

DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis talks to reporters and is joined by his wife Philippa. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

contributions and then the very next day go into the district attorneys office and negotiate a deal, Gillen said. Im sure it would surprise you, if you look at Robert James campaign contributions to find that most of the people who give to him are lawyers, and many of those lawyers are lawyers who do business with him in his office, Gillen said. Were saying that there is nothing wrong with that, Gillen said.

Were not saying that Mr. James has done anything wrong because we dont think that he has. But just like Mr. James hasnt done anything wrong in seeking and accepting campaign contributions from folks who do business with his office, neither has Mr. Ellis, Gillen said. We are going to fight this case every step of the way in the courtroom, he said. J. Tom Morgan, another of Ellis
See Ellis on Page 16A

Key dates in the Ellis investigation


1/11/2012
Special Purpose Grand Jury impaneled to investigate corruption in the DeKalb County Department of Watershed Management

1/7/2013
The home and offices of DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis and office of his former campaign manager Kevin Ross are searched by DAs Office while Ellis testifies before grand jury

1/14/2013
Judge Mark Anthony Scott rules in favor of a motion to quash a subpoena to compel Ross testimony before the grand jury

1/17/2013
Ellis hires outside counsel Gillen Withers & Lake to represent him Grand jury releases findings related to its investigation of the watershed departments actions between Jan. 1, 2002 and Dec. 31, 2010

1/28/2013
Attorneys for Ellis and Ross file a motion to have grand jury findings sealed until they can be reviewed and any information beyond the jurys scope can be redacted

2/5/2013
Attorneys for Ellis and Ross file a motion to prevent the use of the grand jurys findings in any criminal case, accusing the DAs Office of overstepping its boundaries in the watershed investigation

2/5/2013
Attorneys for Ellis and Ross file a subsequent motion to have grand jurys findings released to them for review, to allow redactions of anything beyond scope of grand jurys duties

2/6/2013
Judge Scott issues order to seal the grand jury report, allowing the attorneys of Ellis and Ross 10 days to review the report

2/6/2013
DeKalb DAs Office files instant motion to stay Judge Scotts order to release the grand jury findings to Ellis and Ross attorneys and asks Scott to dissolve the grand jury

2/7/2013
DAs Office files notice of appeal in response to Scotts ruling to release the grand jurys report to Ellis and Ross attorneys

2/20/2013
DAs Office files a motion of contempt against Ellis and Ross attorneys, alleging they intentionally misrepresented factual information to obtain access to the grand jurys findings

5/17/2013
DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Daniel Coursey dismisses the lawsuit on behalf of the special grand jury against Judge Scott, then shortly thereafter reverses his decision and recuses himself stating that Judicial Qualifications Commission rules require the case be referred to a judge outside of DeKalb County.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 28, 2013

LOCAL NEWS
co-conspirator. Ellis and Walton allegedly conspired in unreasonable restraint of trade in a transaction between the county and Powers and Energy Services, according to the indictment. Ellis allegedly instructed Walton to prevent Power and Energy from receiving additional work from the county, the indictment stated. The company provided diesel engines, generators and accessory services to the county. This conspiracy was the result of companys lack of response to Ellis campaign contribution solicitations, the indictment stated. The indictment alleges that Ellis did attempt to commit the crime of false statements and writings when he instructed Walton to place

Page 15A

Indictment Continued From Page 1A


possible corruption at the countys watershed department. According to the indictment, Ellis is accused of attempting to unlawfully obtain U. S. currency in the form of a campaign contribution from CIBER Inc. by threatening to prevent CIBER Inc. from receiving business from the county. The action allegedly occurred sometime between February 2012 and March 2012 after a CIBER Inc. employee did not respond to [Ellis] campaign contribution solicitations and after she indicated that she and CIBER Inc. would not contribute to his campaign. Ellis allegedly threatened to report the employee to her CEO, stating that her poor customer service is the reason that CIBER Inc. would not be receiving any additional work from the county, according to the indictment. The indictment makes a similar allegation involving another company, Power and Energy Services Inc. Ellis allegedly threatened to severe the business relationship of Power and Energy Services Inc. with the county after an employee said the company would not contribute to his campaign, according to the indictment. This happened twicein June 2012 and September 2012, according to the indictment. The indictment names Kelvin Walton, the countys purchasing director, as an unindicted a false and fictitious note in the county purchasing departments file for Power and Energy stating the company does not return phone calls. The note was fraudulent because the phone calls concerned Ellis solicitation of campaign contributions when the note would make it appear that the telephone calls concerned Power and Energys work for DeKalb County, according to the indictment. The theft by taking charges refer to allegations that Ellis ordered Walton, county community development director Chris Morris, and three contract assistants to perform work that would benefit his campaign while on county time.

Fourth Continued From Page 1A


7:30 p.m. - Atlanta Blue Notes perform at the lake Dusk - Fireworks begin at Lake Avondale For more information, visit www. avondaleestates.org to view traffic plan for Fireworks at Lake. Chamblee Chamblee Parks & Recreation will hold its annual Fourth of July event Thursday, July 4, at Keswick Park, 5 - 10 p.m. With free admission, live music from local performers, contests, food and activities for the entire family. Participants are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to settle in for an evening of fun and relaxation. The evenings events kick off with the annual Patriotic Bike Parade and close with a fireworks show. The schedule is as follows:  p.m. Concessions and activity booths 5 open; bike parade starts at Chamblee Middle School 5-8 p.m. Train rides 6 p.m.- Corn Hole Tournaments, register  online 6-9 p.m. Live musical performance by  Mike Veal Band 9:15 p.m. (approximately) Fireworks start.  For more information, visit www. chambleega.com. Decatur Brightly decorated vehicles, bicycles, skateboards and wagons along with colorfully dressed walkers will again wind their way through downtown Decatur in the traditional July 4 Pied Piper Parade. Starting at 6 p.m., the parade will follow a route from First Baptist Church through downtown Decatur to the Decatur Square, where a concert featuring the Callanwolde Concert Band begins at 7 p.m., followed by fireworks at dark. The events, sponsored bythe Decatur Business Association, are free. Dunwoody Long before it was incorporated as a city, Dunwoody held its first Fourth of July Parade in
Stone Mountain Parks Independence Day celebration is a must-see fireworks show, according to USA Today.

1976 as a celebration of the nations bicentennial. The Dunwoody Homeowners Association and the Dunwoody Crier Newspaper are hosting this years annual Fourth of July Parade featuring marching bands, floats, clowns, animal units and local celebrities. Last year the parade attracted more than 2,500 participants and 32,000 spectators. The parade starts at All Saints Catholic Church and marches down Mt. Vernon Road to Dunwoody Village. The founding mothers of the Dunwoody Nature Center will be this years grand marshals. More information at: http://www. dunwoodyga.org/Dunwoody-4th-of-July-Parade. Stone Mountain USA Today declared Stone Mountain Parks Fantastic Fourth Celebration a must-see fireworks show. It was among Readers Digests picks for Americas Most Spectacular Fourth of July Fireworks and readers of the Atlanta Journal Constitution voted Stone Mountain Park the best place to see Fourth of July fireworks. The popular patriotically themed laser show returns this year for the 46th annual

Independence Day Celebration. The show ends with several minutes of fireworks lighting up the sky above Stone Mountains Confederate heroes carving. Before the sun goes down, theres lots to do in the park. Visitors can bring a picnic or sample the offerings at a wide variety of restaurants and stands. They also may want to check out some of the parks newest attractions, including Journey 2: The Mysterious Island The 4-D Experience. Geyser Towers is a two-story tall climbing attraction with periodic water eruptions. With a mixture of geysers, misters and sprayers, kids and parents never know what waits around the corner as they are challenged to play in the spray or stay high and dry. Multiple levels of suspended rope bridges and net tunnels connect a trio of towering platforms that overlook a 40-foot gushing geyser. The million-dollar attraction is the first of its kind in North America. To learn about special family deals, visit www. Stonemountainpark.com. Stone Mountain Park typically experiences large crowds on the Fourth of July so visitors are urged to come early. Gates may close early if parking capacity is reached.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 28, 2013

LOCAL NEWS

Page 16A

County jobs fair attracts 700

NEWS Briefs

DeKalb Workforce Development held a June 12 ribbon cutting for its new facility at 774 Jordan Lane in Decatur, followed by a jobs fair that attracted more than 700 job seekers. The jobs fair gave job seekers the opportunity to meet with representatives from county departments and companies including CVS Caremark, Georgia Public Broadcasting and MARTA. Available positions were in the areas of customer service, construction, engineering and sales. This is a great day for all of DeKalbs residents, and this celebration only reinforces our commitment to helping those who want to work, CEO Burrell Ellis said. We are a resource-rich county that is open for business, and we are ready to help our citizens get jobs. Participants also were able to meet with industry professionals and gain advice about rsum writing and interviewing. In addition, participants could attend work readiness workshops in personal branding, networking and basic computer.

opportunity to work together to improve the quality of life of residents across DeKalb, CEO Burrell Ellis said. GAC continues to provide an opportunity for volunteers to work alongside friends and fellow county residents to enhance the appearance of DeKalbs public places. Event sponsors included Glad Bags, Home Depot, Keep America Beautiful, Keep Georgia Beautiful, and Nestle Pure Life. Citizens are encouraged to contact KDB at (404) 371-2654 or kdb@dekalbcountyga.gov throughout the year to request resources to help them complete community projects.

DeKalb Medical rebrands two practices


The DeKalb Medical Occupational Medicine Group has changed the names of its practices formerly known as FamilyCare Decaturand Hillandale Occupational Medicine. The practices are now known as WorksWell Clinic at North Decatur and WorksWell Clinic at Hillandale. DeKalb Medical Occupational Medicine Groups physicians and staff remain the same, as well as its clients, who were informed this week of the name change. The change was made to create a more cohesive identity and emphasis on its specialty of preventing and treating work-related injuries and illnesses, according to a media release. Employers are looking to us as a health care partner with the expertise, focus on quality, and continuity of services to support them in achieving the highest level of business performance through healthier, safer, more productive employees, said Dr. Shealynn Buck, executive director of employee health solutions, DeKalb Medicals umbrella service line that includes the Occupational Medicine Group. This rebranding reflects DeKalb Medicals commitment to providing the highest level of service and programs to employers and employees in our community. Since 1992, DeKalb Medical has provided occupational medicine services to employers in DeKalb County and surrounding communities. The two walk-in WorksWell Clinics are near its North Decatur and Hillandale hospital emergency

rooms, providing 24-hour-a-day support for injury care. The clinics have built a reputation for occupational health and safety expertise, rapid outcomes and well-coordinated injury case management, according to the media release. Physicians and practice managers are Medical Provider Workers Compensation Professional certified by Georgia State Board of Workers Compensation. Building on a strong occupational medicine foundation, our interdisciplinary team of specialists is dedicated to delivering to employers a cohesive, comprehensive portfolio of services to meet their ever-changing employee health needs, Buck said.

Stone mountain thrift store celebrates anniversary


The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) Georgia will celebrate the one-year anniversary of its Stone Mountain thrift stores newest location at 4871 Memorial Drive. The celebration will occur June 29 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and will include a variety of family activities and food. During the day, thrift store patrons will enjoy a 20 percent discount on designated merchandise until closing. Last year more than $64,000 generated from the Stone Mountain thrift store helped local residents with the basic needs of food, clothing, shelter and utilities. In 2012, the store relocated to a larger facility at the Rockbridge Shopping Center to accommodate the growth. A family support center and food pantry were added as a full-service, one-stop shop for individuals in need. This new facility has been extremely active in providing much needed social services to the community, said Keith Lauer, president of Corpus Christi Conference. With the expansion of the Family Support Center and a greater demand for financial assistance, St. Vincent de Paul has increased the opportunity to provide those services to our community and we are able to assist our refugee population residing in the area with their specific needs.

Great American Cleanup saves DeKalb $4,300 in county labor


Keep DeKalb Beautiful volunteers hit the ground running this spring with the Great American Cleanup (GAC), providing residents and volunteer groups with resources to spruce up their neighborhoods and engage in environmental stewardship activities. With more than 70 volunteer groups participating this year, the groups cleaned and beautified 417 miles of neighborhoods and thoroughfares in DeKalb. Volunteers logged 197 hours of service, which equates to a savings of $4,361 in county labor. Equipped with orange bags, brown yard waste bags, safety vests, litter grabbers, bottled water and T-shirts, participants removed more than 28,980 pounds of litter such as tires, furniture, trash and other debris. In DeKalb County, we are committed to protecting and preserving the environment, and creating a more sustainable future. The Great American Cleanup offers citizens an extraordinary

Ellis Continued From Page 14A


attorneys, said as a former district attorney, he has been on the receiving end of campaign contributions from criminal defense attorneys. Theres absolutely nothing wrong with that, he said. Now I have been on the giving end as a criminal defense attorney to district attorneys offices around the metro area. Again, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Addressing the theft by taking allegations in the indictment, Morgan, who reminded reporters that he prosecuted convicted former sheriff Sidney Dorsey on the same charge. In Ellis case, he is accused of ordering Kevin Walton, the county purchasing director, to use Board of Commissioners meeting agendas and purchasing department information to create lists of vendors that were awarded contracts from DeKalb County, according to the indictment. The lists were created by three county contract assistants, according to the indictment. Theres no allegation that vendor list was created by an employee, Morgan said. Each one of you can go online to get the vendor list. The allegation is that, at the request of his boss, he walked that vendor list over. A salaried employee is alleged to have carried a vendor list from one building in the county three blocks over to another building in the county, Morgan said. I liken that to a district attorney who calls his chief assistant and says I forgot the state bar list would you mind bringing it over so I can make some phone calls, Morgan said. Theres absolutely nothing wrong with that. Theres been no theft of services. There is no law preventing county employees from participating in county campaigns, Morgan said. John Petrie, also on Ellis legal team, described Ellis as an honest person. He is a steadfastly and staunchly a supporter of fairness and honesty in government and I absolutely feel privileged tostand before you and tell you I believe in Burrell Ellis and he is absolutely not guilty, Petrie said.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 28, 2013

LOCAL NEWS

Page 17A

A map is on display at a news conference where Mary Kay Woodworth and Kevin Levitas announced the progress of the Lakeside cityhood movement. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

Lakeside city proponents raise $30,000 for study


by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com Standing outside the June 25 county Board of Commissioners meeting, members of the Lakeside City Alliance announced that it has raised the $30,000 necessary for a cityhood study. Mary Kay Woodworth, chairwoman of the Lakeside City Alliance, said, We are now proceeding with the next step: an economic feasibility study. The study will examine whether the city can sustain itself financially with the revenue it generateswith no tax increase, Woodworth said during a news conference. Woodworth said the alliance has signed a contract with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia to begin the study. Woodworth said the study will be completed in time for the next General Assembly session. Cityhood proponents are interested in local control over their affairs, Woodworth said. We have been told time and time again by residents of this areathat the county is big and seems too distracted. Woodworth said a city could potentially help us withthe image of DeKalb County. The events of the past few weeks in the county have contributed to a heightened desire by many to study the feasibility of becoming a city, Woodworth said, referring to the recent indictment of DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis. The cityhoods study and efforts of the past few years were [in progress] long before there were allegations against Burrell Ellis, Woodworth said. It does put some questions and concerns in residents minds and it will certainly take valuable resources and affect all of us in the county. Woodworth said proponents hope the outcome of the study will be that the area in our map here is economically feasible and that as we go out into the community and talk to the residents that they can learn more about the positives. Cities in Georgia must provide a minimum of three services and Lakeside advocates are proposing public safety, parks and recreation, and zoning for the new city, Woodworth said. And we have heard from, and we agree with, our neighbors that a new city should not entertain a tax hike, said Woodworth, who described the Lakeside City Alliance as stillnot an advocacy group. The proposed city boundaries for Lakeside include North Druid Hills to the south, Interstate 85 to the west and the Embry Hills community to the northeast. The city would be approximately 20 square miles and include 63,000 residents. It also includes part of Tuckers 30084 ZIP code. Some of the proposed Lakeside city is included in the proposed city of Briarcliff, another area considering cityhood. When asked if Lakeside overlapped with other proposed cities, Woodworth said, Our map does not but other maps do overlap with ours. We have been very strategic and organized about our process and have been working this since the beginning of the year. We feel that we have very stronglegislative support and at the end of the day there will only be one bill that will make it through the legislature, she said. We believe it is ours. We applaud the other groups that have come together to explore cityhood, Woodworth said. More people in the county probably should be doing this and we hope they do.

DeKalb community organization opposes proposed zoning plan


by Carla Parker carla@dekalbchamp.com Good Growth DeKalb, a community organization, says the countys proposed zoning plan will make communities worse, not better. In a statement posted on its website, the group said it does not see any evidence that the plan will make communities better and asks how the new zoning plan would protect the interests of neighborhood residents. The new zoning plan allows cell phone towers anywhere including residential areas where they are currently banned, the statement reads. The new zoning plan makes permitting an administrative process rather than a public process with our elected commissioners involved; this allows far too little accountability to residents. There are numerous other areas of concern in this 500-page plan, which has not begun to be thoroughly assessed by communities. According to DeKalb County officials, the county adopted a comprehensive plan in 2007 that outlines the future vision for expansion. However, the county is using a 1999 zoning code to implement a 2007 plan. In order to fully implement the comprehensive plan vision, the county needs a more updated zoning code that is consistent with current trends of development, officials say in a press release. The code should make it easier for initiatives such as Living Long Living, Ageing in Place, mixed-use development, intergenerational activity centers, and neighborhood protection. The new code is user friendly and includes graphic illustrations, useful tables and more concise regulatory standards. The DeKalb Planning and Economic Development Committee hosted a public information meeting and forum on June 18 for residents to give comments on the recommended changes to the zoning code. Good Growth DeKalb held a press conference and protest before the forum. Good Growth DeKalb spokeswoman Louise Ranyon said the forum did not give people an opportunity to speak directly to officials. We felt that was a problem, she said. We felt that it would be important for many different voices to be heard and for everyone to hear them. According to Ranyon, the forum only allowed people to talk to a staff member, who wrote down their concerns, which were then read aloud. Good Growth DeKalb, which fought against the proposed Walmart at Suburban Plaza in Decatur, has requested involvement in the development of the new zoning plan repeatedly in the past year and a half, but has only been invited to one meeting, according to the statement. The county staff is definitely hearing a lot of complaints on different issues and theyre being responsive in a sense but Im just not sure how that is going to translate into real changes and thats what we need demonstrated to us, Ranyon said. They want very much to rush this through on a vote and weve called for a 90-day moratorium. Ranyon said that DeKalb County commissioners Kathie Gannon and Jeff Rader also asked for 90-day moratorium, expressing concerns about the plan and the administrative enforcement. She added that there has not been a comparison between the old and new zoning code. We need things spelled out in black and white and we need safer communities, she said. The Board of Commissioners is scheduled to vote on the new zoning code on Aug. 20.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 28, 2013

HEALTH

Page 18A

HPV vaccine cut infection by half in teen girls


by Mike Stobbe ATLANTA (AP) A vaccine against a cervical cancer virus cut infections in teen girls by half in the first study to measure the shots impact since it came on the market. The results impressed health experts and a top government top health official called them striking. The research released June 19 echoes studies done before the HPV vaccine became available in 2006. But the new study is the first evidence of just how well it works now that it is in general use. Only about half of teen girls in the United States have gotten at least one dose of the expensive vaccine, and just a third of teen girls have had all three shots, according to the latest government figures. These are striking results and I think they should be a wake-up call that we need to increase vaccination rates, said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cervical cancer is caused by certain types of the common sexually transmitted virus called HPV, for human papillomavirus. The vaccine, which costs about $130 per dose, protects against a few of those strains, including two blamed for 70 percent of cervical cancers. The shots work best if given before someone is sexually active so the emphasis has been on giving the shots to 11- and 12-year olds. The CDC study compared infection rates in girls ages 14 to 19 before and after the vaccine became available. The proportion infected with the targeted HPV strains dropped 56 percent, from about 12 percent before the vaccine was sold to 5 percent. That result was for all teens after it was on the market, whether or not they were vaccinated. Among girls who had gotten the vaccine, the drop in HPV infections was higher88 percent. There are two vaccines against HPV, but the study mainly reflects the impact of Gardasil, the Merck & Co. vaccine that came on the market in 2006. A second vaccine approved in 2009GlaxoSmithKlines Cervarixprobably had relatively little bearing on the results, said the even though only 34 percent of the CDCs Dr. Lauri Markowitz, the teens in the second group had restudys lead author. ceived any vaccine. That could be Both vaccines are approved for due to herd immunitywhen a use in males and femalesin ages population is protected from an in9 to 26 for females, and 9 to 21 in fection because a large or important males. The vaccine was only recom- smaller group is immune. mended for boys in late 2011, and Only about 20 percent of those the CDC has not yet reported data vaccinated got all three doses. That on how many boys have gotten the result will likely feed an ongoing shot since then. HPV vaccination re- discussion about whether all three quires three shots over six months. doses are necessary, Markowitz An estimated 75 to 80 percent of said. men and women are infected with Overall, the study found no sigHPV during their lifetime. Most nificant change over time in the prodont develop symptoms and clear portion of teens whod ever had sex it on their own. But some infections and in those who had multiple sex lead to genital warts, cervical cancer partners. However, it did find that and other cancers. The study didnt a higher percentage of vaccinated look at cervical cancer rates. It can teens said theyd had three or more take many years for such cancers to sex partners. develop, and not enough time has That could have driven down passed to know the vaccines impact infection rates, Markowitz noted, if on cancer rates, CDC officials said. the teens who got vaccinated were The study involved interviews the ones at highest risk of getting an and physical examinations of nearly infection and spreading it. 1,400 teen girls in 2003 through The research was released online 2006 and of 740 girls in 2007 by the Journal of Infectious Disthrough 2010. eases. The vaccines impact was seen

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 28, 2013

EDUCATION

Page 19A

Kendra Holloway, a student at Hawthorne Elementary School, won first place in a national Braille competition. Photos provided

Tucker girl wins National Braille Challenge


by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalchamp.com Kendra Holloway, a rising fifth-grader at Hawthorne Elementary, won first place in the freshman division of the National Braille Challenge in Los Angeles, Calif., on June 22. Ten-year-old Kendra, who represented Georgia in the only national academic competition for blind students in the country, won $1,000, an iPad and a Freedom Scientific 400, an adaptive computer device with a refreshable Braille display. Kendras victory came just after the death of her grandmother. It showed a lot of maturity that she could come back and focus, said Stephanie KieszakHolloway, her mother. The three-part competition tests participants spelling, reading comprehension and proofreading skills, said Kieszak-Holloway. It demonstrates the importance of Braille, she said. Some people think books said Christine Valdez, a marketing coordinator for the Braille Institute. Kendra has participated in three regional Braille contests at the Georgia Academy for the Blind in Macon. This year she won first place for her division. An avid Braille reader, Kendra started learning to read Braille when she was 3 years old. She was on the principals honor roll at her school, placed first at the Georgia Braille Challenge in 2013 and earned an Accelerated Reader Award. When shes not busy her favorite books in braille, Kendra enjoys reading, writing, music and yoga. Kendra also likes swimming and bicycling, Kieszak-Holloway said. And she loves technology, her mother said. I think she was motivated by the iPad. Kieszak-Holloway said the Braille competition is motivational for the students. Its good for all of these kids to know that the skills they have are valued, she said.

Kendra and her mother Stephanie Keiszak-Holloway traveled to California where Kendra competed against 59 students. Photo provided

on audiotapes are sufficient for the blind, KieszakHolloway said. Braille is still important. Its still necessary. According to the Braille Institute of America, the purpose of the competition is to promote Braille literacy for blind children, because a

blind child that cannot read Braille is just as illiterate as a sighted person who cannot read print. The competition has been likened to a blind version of the National Spelling Bee. In the competition, 60 of the top blind and visually impaired students from the

United States and Canada test their Braille skills using special adaptive devices such as a Perkins Brailler to type, analyze and decode the Braille. Kendra is an inspirational kid who is not letting blindness get in the way of her success,

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 28, 2013

BUSINESS

Page 20A

Pets get natural treatment with additive-free treats


by Kathy Mitchell kathy@dekalbchamp.com launched in May, offering the product exclusively through Corrinas Corners Beth Ann Schroeder retail location through the said her jerky treats for summer. After that it also dogs and cats are fit for will be available online. human consumption, but She said there is nothing humans probably wouldnt else like Pure Bark availlike the way they taste. able in the Atlanta area. But dogs love them, she Both businessesPure added. Bark and Corrinas CorAll you have to do is nerare part of a larger say the word jerky around trend in the pet industry my dog Harper and she moving away from comcome running, Schroeder mercially prepared products said. for dogs and cats because A believer that humans of exponentially increasing and their pets do best on health problems in pets due a natural, unprocessed to poor nutrition, Schrodiet, Schroeder was shopeder said. ping at Corrinas Corner, So many people are a nutrition-focused market living lifestyles where a for pets in Decatur, when limited, unprocessed diet is through a conversation with essential, she said, noting its owner, Jacques Duthat she follows a Paleo plantier, she decided to try diet. My thought was making dog treats. that their dogs should as A lot of the pet treats well. By keeping producsold in this country are tion local, transparent and made in China. We cant be non-commercial, we are sure whats in them and an- ensuring that even the treats imals have been known to we give our pets are the get sick from eating them, healthiest possible. she said. Duplantier, who started The result of Schrohis business offering fresh, eders interest in natural unprocessed pet food afanimal treats is Pure Bark, ter seeing how it restored a pet jerky made from Dehealth to his rescued dog, partment of Agriculture said, The operating preapproved chicken with no sumption is that pet goods artificial colors or flavors have to be finished, proand no hormones or preser- cessed products or on the vatives. Schroeder plans to other end of the spectrum, introduce a version made that making your pets food with salmon later this sum- is inconvenient and expenmer. Cats should like that sive. Neither has to be true. especially, she said, but We will revolutionize the they like the chicken jerky, way people think of pet too. retail by making natural, The treats have to be re- holistic feeding accessible frigerated after the bag has to all. been opened, Schroeder exThe Corrinas Corner plained, noting that they are owner called Pure Bark sold in 3 ounce bags that a perfect fit for our busicontain approximately 35 ness model. Our business treats. They are good for up is premised on selling loto six weeks after the pack- cally produced fresh raw age has been opened. and cooked pet food that Schroeder still works has avoided the toxins and at her full-time job with fillers added in the coma study abroad company mercial process to cut costs while she pursues what and make pet food conveshe describes as a longtime nient for people, he said. dream to be an entrepreHaving a treat that follows neur. She started work on a this same model just makes recipe for pet jerky in Janu- sense in the store. ary and through trial and erSchroeder suggested ror developed a product that that July 12, National Jerky shes satisfied with. She Day, would be the perfect also designed the packagtime to give Pure Bark a ing and logo. The business try.

Beth Ann Schroeder says she and Jacques Duplantier, left, share the belief that the pet food industry is moving away from commercially prepared products from large corporations. Photos by Kathy Mitchell

Pure Bark, handmade by Schroeder, is currently available only at Corrinas Corner.

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The Voice of Business in DeKalb County

Two Decatur Town Center, 125 Clairemont Ave., Suite 235, Decatur, GA 30030 404.378.8000 www.DeKalbChamber.org

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 28, 2013

Page 21A

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 28, 2013

Former Atlanta Hawk hosts basketball camp for deaf students

SPORTS

Page 22A

A Mike Glenn Hearing Impaired Basketball Camp volunteer does the National Anthem in sign language before the camp all-star game on June 21.

I was looking for a deaf camp for the girls where they can improve their [basketball] skills. I felt a responsibility to find something and I found Mike Glenns camp....
Nicole Laszczyaski

The Mike Glenn Hearing Impaired Basketball Camp girls all-star team. Photo by Greg White

by Carla Parker carla@dekalbchamp.com Hearing impaired students from across the nation traveled to Decatur recently for the 34th Annual Mike Glenn Hearing Impaired Basketball Camp. The camp, which was held June 16-21 at Clairmont Presbyterian Church and Decatur Recreation Center, is the nations first basketball camp for deaf and hearing impaired athletes ages 14 to 18 who are attending junior high or high school. During the six-day camp students went through basketball drills to enhance their skills. They also learned about communication, leadership, nutrition and life lessons. The camp concluded with an all-star game at Southwest DeKalb High School gym. Former NBA player Mike Glenn said the idea originated from his father, Charles Glenn, who started the sports program at the Georgia School for the Deaf. Having grown up around deaf kids I learned sign language and how to play basketball and I said in high school that one day I wanted to start a camp for deaf kids because there was no camp they could go to, he said. So I started this one 34 years ago and we get deaf kids from all across the country. A group of girls from the Delaware School for the Deaf traveled in a van from Delaware to Georgia to attend the camp. The groups leader, Nicole Laszczyaski, who spoke in sign language, said she found the camp on the internet.

I was looking for a deaf camp for the girls where they can improve their [basketball] skills, she said. I felt a responsibility to find something and I found Mike Glenns camp and one in Maryland and I decided to come down here to Georgia. Laszczyaski said the camp taught her five students how to communicate better on the court and they improved their shooting skills. The drills helped them a lot, she said. They learned to practice hard and what it takes to be successful. The camp also brings in speakers to talk to the students and give them words of encouragement. This year, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Kevin Cone addressed the campers. They loved him, Glenn said. He gave a good talk to them and it was very inspirational. A lot of smiles and encouragement from him. NCAA basketball referee Tony Green also addressed the students and talked to them about deaf people becoming referees. The camp has become a movie called Spirit of Love the Mike Glenn Story, which was released this past spring. The movie is about a group of misfit teens attending annual basketball camp, which includes girls for the first time, and the life lessons through the game of basketball. The movie was voted best inspirational film at the Texas Christian Film Festival. It will be screened at the Gwinnett Cultural Arts Center International film festival on July 26.

The Mike Glenn Hearing Impaired Basketball Camp boys all-star team. Photos by Carla Parker

The girls all-star team played against the Southwest DeKalb High School girls basketball team.

The boys all-star team warm up before its game.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 28, 2013

SPORTS

Page 23A

The American Association of Kickballers (AAOK) is a new kickball league in metro Atlanta. The regular season concluded June 23 with four games played at Johnson Park in Conyers. One the games included the matchup between Quiet Storm and Rockstars (above). Photos by Carla Parker

Kickball league promotes healthy living and cancer awareness


by Carla Parker carla@dekalbchamp.com Kickball has become more than a playground sport at grade schools. Across the nation there are kickball leagues for adults and metro Atlanta is home to many. One of these leagues is the American Association of Kickballers (AAOK). AAOK is one of the newest kickball leagues. Formed in October 2012, the all-women league was created to promote healthy lifestyles, leadership, competition and fun while raising money for cancer research and providing support to survivors. Our main focal point is to raise awareness and raise money for cancer, said league president Carolyn Glover-Erves. The 10-team league, which plays at Johnson Park in Conyers, consists of women ages 18 and older from throughout metro Atlanta. Each team has 17 members. The first game was played on April 14 and the 10-game regular season ended June 23. Playoffs begin June 30 and the championship game will be played July 7. One team heading to the playoffs is Quiet Storm, which practices at Miller Grove High School. Quiet Storm head coach Tyrone Glover said it is the teams defense that has gotten it to a 6-4 record and second place in the East division rankings. The strength with our team is mostly on the lesterol, physical inactivity, overweight/obesity and family history of heart disease are all prevalent among Blacks and are major risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including stroke, according to the website. Erickia Thompson of Conyers, who plays for the Kickin Divas, said its important for older woman to become active to avoid aliments such as cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and other diseases. Were not as athletic as we should be when we get older because we go to work every day, we deal with our kids and we dont work out like we should, said the 39-year-old. So this is another arena where we can come out and become active and lose weight. Along with raising money for cancer and building team camaraderie, Glover-Erves said the league also focuses on healthy living, which is why Carolyn Glover-Erves women should join the league. [AAOK] gives back to the comfor women, specifically Black women, to get munity as well as promotes healthy living, she healthy. said. We focus on exercise and strengthening. Its important for them to get healthy beAny woman that wants to better her health cause Black women suffer with a lot of diseases should join the kickball league, Thompson said. now, he said. So its important for them to stay AAOK summer league begins July 21 and fit. registration closes July 7. The registration fee for According to Medical University of South new players is $150, which covers a customized Carolina website, cardiovascular disease is the jersey with the players nickname on the back, No. 1 killer of all American women, but Black custom team visor and game day experience women are at greater risk for cardiovascular (field rentals, DJ, emcee, and licensed referees). disease than any other ethnic group. Diabetes, To register, visit www.aaok-kickball.com. smoking, high blood pressure, high blood chodefensive side, he said. We strike on defense and shut people down. Glover, who has been coaching kickball for almost two years, was coaching in the Starline Kickball League before his sister, Glover-Erves, asked him to coach in the AAOK league. Glover said playing kickball is a great activity for women who want to get in shape and be healthy. He also added that it is important

[AAOK] gives back to the community as well as promotes healthy living.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 28, 2013

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