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WWW.CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER.COM • FRIDAY, AUGUST 16 , 2013 • VOL. 16, NO. 21 • FREE
• A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS •
Out of the mouths of babes come new opportunities in Africa
by Kathy Mitchell email@example.com he biblical quote “a little child shall lead them” resonates in the history of the African Children’s Choir (ACC). A humanitarian volunteer driving a small child from his wartorn home in Uganda more than 30 years ago was moved to hear the child break into song. From what the volunteer called “a simple song of dignity and hope” a project that is improving the lives of many Africans was born. Inspired by that event, a choir made up of children from seven African countries—Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa—was formed. Starting in 1984, new groups are organized continually for 12- to 18-month tours of North American and Europe. They have performed at the White House, the United Nations, the Pentagon, and before Queen Elizabeth of England during her Diamond Jubilee celebration. They have been joined on stage by such widely known performers as Paul McCartney, Annie Len-
nox, Keith Urban, Mariah Carry and Michael W. Smith. ACC voices can be heard on the soundtrack of the movie Blood Diamonds and the group has been nominated for a Grammy. The current ACC will be at Oak Grove United Methodist Church in Atlanta’s Northlake area later this month to perform a program of children’s songs, traditional spirituals and gospel favorites. Like all ACC concerts, the one at Oak Grove UMC will be free and open to the public. Freewill offerings are taken at the performances to support ACC’s programs. Joining the choir is a tremendous opportunity for an African child from an underprivileged area, explained United States-based leader Catherine Wake, who entered the volunteer program after hearing about it from her college roommate. Along with other volunteer chaperones, Wake, a recent graduate with a degree in education, teaches the children while they’re on the road. “In addition to classroom lessons, they get to visit places all over the world. They get to build their English
See Choir on page 15A
Chaperone and teacher Catherine Wake is surrounded by African Children’s Choir members.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 16, 2013
Residents hold anti-crime events around county
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org Residents joined together at dozens of events around the county Aug. 6 for National Night Out. National Night Out, described by organizers as “America’s night out against crime,” is an effort to promote community involvement in crime prevention activities and police-community partnerships. “The intention of National Night Out is to help promote awareness about things that communities can do to keep their neighborhoods safe and secure, to be a watchful eye, in the creation of neighborhood watches,” said interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May, who planned to visit 10 community events during National Night Out. “In doing that, we know that we can help lower the incidences of crime and even to help catch those perpetrators of crimes.” At the Target store on LaVista Road, youth had the opportunity to practice crawling low under smoke in the DeKalb County Fire Rescue mobile fire safety house. The county police department showcased “the beast,” a mobile SWAT response unit outfitted with the latest crime-stopping technology. Representatives from Target, the national sponsor for National Night Out, supplied hotdogs and other refreshments and gave out various prizes. According to organizers, National Night Out is designed to send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. “We are promoting the need for communities to get involved and help us keep DeKalb secure,” May said. “We can’t do it as DeKalb County government by ourselves. It takes a collective effort by communities and by individuals in partnership with DeKalb County to keep it safe.” May said participants at one location he visited were viewing a PowerPoint presentation “showing the statistics of crime before they created a neighborhood watch and afterwards.” “It was a dynamic difference in terms of the amount of crime,” May said. “Neighborhood watches do work and communities getting involved does work in making our county a safer place.”
DeKalb County fire trucks in a Target parking lot were available for children, such as 10-year-old Danielle Retzer, to explore during National Night Out.
Lithonia Mayor Deborah Jackson selects a raffle ticket as DJ Rob Lyons announces a winner in the event where hotdogs were grilled.
Youth received various goodies and had the opportunity to learn about county services from employees including (right photo) Toni Scott and Shirley Stevenson of the county roads and drainage division.
From left Kayla Harper, Zian Benton and Heiriss Adams pose during the event. Right, Interim DeKalb CEO Lee May talks to a county employee. Photos by Andrew Cauthen
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 16, 2013
American Honda Motor Company has donated 12 motorcycles to Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) to be used exclusively for training motorcycle mechanics students in the college’s motorcycle service technology department. “This contribution from American Honda Motor Company is a tremendous gift that affords our students in the motorcycle service technology program an exceptional development of skills and knowledge that’s crucial to their success in the motorcycle repair industry,” stated Dr. Jabari Simama, GPTC’s president during an Aug. 6 announcement of the donation. “These kinds of donations are critical to our ability to endow our students with the caliber of training and skills necessary to sustain a productive workforce now and in the future,” Simama said. “We cannot thank American Honda enough for selecting Georgia Piedmont as the benefactor of their generosity.” Recognizing the value and necessity of developing a technically skilled workforce to maintain its products, American Honda has been a longtime supporter of Georgia Piedmont, according to a news release from the GPTC. “American Honda is pleased to have Honda based products become part of the training curriculum at Georgia Piedmont,” said William Hanson, manager of Honda’s
Honda donates a dozen bikes to Georgia Piedmont Technical
Top and bottom left, Dr. Jabari Simama, president of Georgia Piedmont Technical College, greet students who are ready to begin training on the Honda motorcycles. The Honda company donated a dozen bikes to the school’s motorcycle service division. Photos provided.
MEMORIAL DRIVE ROUTES
MARTA introduced an express service BRT along Memorial Drive in 2010 that operated during morning and afternoon peak commute hours, and supplemented the current Route 121 bus service. Based on customer feedback, effective August 24th, MARTA is discontinuing the 521 Q Express and adding more frequency to Local Route 121-Stone Mountain/Memorial. The service frequency for Route 121 will improve from 15-minutes to 12-minutes during peak periods. Off-peak hours will remain at 20-minutes.
At podium, Simama said Honda’s gift will help students to productive in the workforce.
motorcycle communications and training office. “We are encouraged to see students who are interested in motorcycle repair techniques and hope the [motorcycles] will assist in providing the students the experience necessary to be successful in the mechanical repair of Honda motorcycles.” Although Honda and other motorcycle manufacturers have given bikes and curriculum materials to GPTC in the past, officials said this is the first time that the college has received a large number of the same kind of bike at one time. The motorcycles are collectively valued at more than $6,000. “This is great” said Mike Sachs, head of the college’s program. “Being able to write some lessons around
these bikes, with all the students doing the same thing at the same time is going to be a treat, especially for my beginning students.” Sachs said his students will first perform maintenance and repairs on the bikes and then completely disassemble them and use the bike’s components for overhaul training. Georgia Piedmont’s motorcycle service technology program is a one year sequence of classes that prepares students for positions in the motorcycle repair industry. The program emphasizes mechanical theory and practical experience and includes classes in basic skills, maintenance, engines, chassis systems, electrical systems, fuel systems, as well as an internship experience.
The 520 Q Limited will continue operating weekdays during peak AM and PM every 10 minutes but will be renamed Route 121L–Stone Mountain/ Memorial Drive “Limited”. Additionally, the new 121 “Limited” will now serve the Goldsmith Park & Ride lot, WalMart, and one additional bus stop along Central Drive, but it will no longer travel north of Central Drive. Please refer to map for details. MEMORIAL DRIVE ROUTE RECONFIGURATION Effective August 24th
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 16, 2013
Let the sun shine in!
est property taxpayer. The company is without peer for its work in economic and community development statewide. All of this largesse gives Georgia Power considerable clout, as well as political heft, and as the original 800-watt gorilla, it is are used to winning most every battle or market it enters. But Southern Company and Georgia Power may have finally stumbled on something bigger and possibly more magnetic than they are—the sun. Fast dropping costs of solar panels, and increased successes of solar energy capture and utilization are fueling a boom in demand on the consumer side, as well as the attention of regulators with a populist streak. Weekly reminders from consumer advisor Clark Howard, referring to the purring “sweet sound of money” from the solar panels on the roof of his Florida vacation home, running his meter in reverse, and even well regarded former Southern Company CEO David Ratcliffe entering the solar energy business with environmental champion and innovator Ted Turner are all adding fuel to this solar flare. But kilowatt for kilowatt, even with prices dropping, solar is significantly more expensive than natural gas, coal, nuclear (once plants are operational), and some renewables. Reliability is mixed, as our cloudy summer and record rainfall recently demonstrated. Georgia Power has smartly designed and built out its generation capacity over time to allow for significant peak demand generation. Once the new nuclear generators are online at Plant Vogtle, the utility will have generation assets capable of 25 percent beyond typical capacity demand. With that kind of excess capacity “bought and paid for” the utility is resistant to requirements to purchase solar and other renewables, at higher rates than their own generation, as those higher costs will simply be passed on to their customers. Georgia Power, and its parent Southern Company, are also answerable to their shareholders and Wall Street, so perhaps this energy sources mix debate should also include Georgia’s many electric coops, such as Cobb or Walton EMC, or the even the many municipal electric authorities responsible only to their customer/owners and local citizenry. These same folks supply electricity to hundreds of thousands of Georgians, and can just as easily sell their excess generation into the grid, as Southern Power and the other operating utility entities of the Southern Company have done for years, swapping load and generation across state lines to meet needs during periods of peak demand. However we have no further to look than the heavily overregulated energy markets of California, New York State and Illinois or corporate carcasses of Enron, Solyndra or the ethanol fuel spike bubble, to note the downsides of the government picking winners, over-regulating and mandating how utilities purchase renewable energy sources at two to three times market rates, and in what quantities. Time and again, and most recently demonstrated by the cheap, exploding, domestic supply of natural gas from new mining and fracking technologies, the marketplace has proven its ability to sort out these needs of demand and supply. So let’s hope as you are reading this column that the brain trusts of the power players involved at the PSC, General Assembly, Georgia Power and other co-ops and outstate electric utilities are all wrapping their brains around the concept that things have changed a bit. And if I’m not already into fantasy land at this point, cross your fingers that there are a few light bulbs coming on with a new bright idea or two— and soon.
One Man’s Opinion
“Sunshine is free, solar power is not.”—Georgia Public Service Commissioner Stan Wise, July 2013. That’s Georgia Public Service Commissioner Stan Wise, after voting against a proposal last month mandating that Georgia Power double its planned use of solar energy over the next 20 years. Wise was joined by one other commissioner, in a hotly contested debate, losing the vote and the issue, 3-2. When one considers the strength and modern reach of the Southern Company, it is hard to believe it all began in 1883 with a $3,500 investment by handful of Atlanta civic leaders and citizens wanting better street lighting, and forming the Georgia Electric Light Company of Atlanta. And now the Georgia Power Company is almost halfway to completion of the South’s largest construction project, the more than $16 billion expansion of nuclear power Plant Vogtle, Phases III and IV, expected to be completed and online by late 2017. In the bulk of the state’s 159 counties, Georgia Power is the larg-
Bill Crane also serves as a political analyst and commentator for Channel 2’s Action News, WSBAM News/Talk 750 and now 95.5 FM, as well as a columnist for The Champion, Champion Free Press and Georgia Trend. Crane is a DeKalb native and business owner, living in Scottdale. You can reach him or comment on a column at email@example.com.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 16, 2013
Forward ever, backward never
What is supremely ironic is that immediately following the Supreme Court decision, almost by some cruel design, President Johnson’s home state of Texas launched the first volley in an all-out attack on VRA. Southern states, such as Texas—and sadly Georgia—where the most egregious voting discrimination has occurred, have been under the federal pre-approval process which is to say those states had to get Justice Department approval before making any voting changes that might have the net effect of diminishing minority voting ability or strength. But Texas has taken steps to implement its photo voter ID law similar to the one we have in place here in Georgia. North Carolina pushed through an ominous voter suppression package that would not only impose photo voter ID, but also restrict early voting, cut pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds and eliminate same day registration. President Johnson made it clear in his address nearly half a century ago, that the right to vote is a nearly sacred aspect of our freedom. “Today what is perhaps the last of the legal barriers is tumbling. There will be many actions and many difficulties before the rights woven into law are also woven into the fabric of our nation. But the struggle for equality must now move toward a different battlefield. “It is nothing less than granting every American Negro his freedom to enter the mainstream of American life: not the conformity that blurs enriching differences of culture and tradition, but rather the opportunity that gives each a chance to choose. “For centuries of oppression and hatred have already taken their painful toll. It can be seen throughout our land in men without skills, in children without fathers, in families that are imprisoned in slums and in poverty. For it is not enough just to give men rights. They must be able to use those rights in their personal pursuit of happiness…” And in some advice to the “Negro,” President Johnson said, “So, let me now say to every Negro in this country: You must register. You must vote. You must learn, so your choice advances your interest and the interest of our beloved nation. Your future, and your children’s future, depend upon it, and I don’t believe that you are going to let them down.” Before the August recess, conversations were being held in Congress on both sides of the aisle to correct the Supreme Court’s blunder. The conversation is one thing. Action to protect the fundamentals of democracy is another. It is hypocritical of us to push for free and open elections in other countries when we can’t guarantee the same here at home. There are forces at work that would turn back the hands of time and return us to a darker place in our history. People of conscience must say to our 113th Congressional representatives that they fully restore the VRA to ensure that our elections are free, open and accessible to everyone. Forward ever, backward, never.
It’s been 143 years since the 15th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, giving “the Negro” the right to vote. Forty-eight years ago on Aug. 6, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the historic Voting Rights Act (VRA). President Johnson told members of the 89th Congress and others gathered in the Capitol rotunda that day, “The heart of the act is plain. Wherever, by clear and objective standards, states and counties are using regulations or laws or tests to deny the right to vote, then they will be struck down.” Sadly, this summer, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down, literally eviscerated or gutted, key provisions of VRA that have been the cornerstone of protections against racial discrimination in voting particularly here in the South.
Steen Miles, The Newslady, is a retired journalist and former Georgia state senator. Contact Steen Miles at Steen@dekalbchamp.com.
Letter to the Editor
A Profile in Courage
By order of Gov. Deal, DeKalb County Commissioner Lee May was elevated to the DeKalb County CEO role. What would you do first if you were put in charge of a major metropolitan county? Thirty-seven-year-old Lee May arrived in the CEO’s office and had to face that question. Lee was elected to the county commission in 2006 at the age of 30. Seven years later, the youngest commissioner found himself sitting in the CEO’s office facing reporters and television cameras. You might think that an elected official would use that moment to promote himself or his personal agenda. But Lee May is not that kind of man. Lee May has been engaged in DeKalb County government for the last seven years and he has observed the structural problems that continue to frustrate citizens and business owners alike. DeKalb’s government structure is highly unusual in the state of Georgia. The CEO title sounds businesslike but the allocation of power between the CEO’s office and the Board of Commissioners has created constant tension and gridlock for many years. Regardless of who occupied the CEO office, this pattern persisted. Our governor recognized the need to install a new DeKalb County CEO. Lee May recognizes that this particular form of government is part of the problem. The people in DeKalb County are suffering because of the constraints imposed by a dysfunctional form of government So Lee May used his first day in the CEO office to call for the elimination of the CEO’s office. That is a bold move by a bold man. How many of you would rise to a powerful position and then step up and recommend that your job should be eliminated? Most of the other counties in Georgia have an elected county commission that hires a professional county administrator to run daily operations. Lee May thinks that the people of our county would be better served by this form of government. DeKalb is the only county in Georgia with an elected CEO who is charged with running daily operations. Lee May now sits in that office and he has recommended that the state Legislature amend the DeKalb County charter and eliminate the CEO form of government. On behalf of the people in DeKalb County, Lee May has just pointed the direction toward a better DeKalb future. His first step was in the right direction. Look at Lee May today and you will see a profile in courage. Lawrence P. Callahan, CEO Pattillo Industrial Real Estate, Former Chairman of the Regional Business Coalition
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 16, 2013
LifeLine officials ‘shocked’ over dog beating at DeKalb animal shelter
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org A LifeLine Animal Project spokesperson said members of the nonprofit organization were “shocked” when they saw a video on the news of a DeKalb County Animal Shelter employee beating a dog. Calvin Battle, 26, was arrested Battle by the DeKalb County Police Department’s Animal Cruelty Unit Aug. 7 and charged with one count of misdemeanor cruelty to animals. The charges were filed after a sergeant in the Animal Cruelty Unit observed Battle, on video, inside the DeKalb County shelter on the morning of Aug. 7, repeatedly beat a dog with a metal bowl. “We were shocked when we found out about this and he will be terminated,” said LifeLine public relations representative Karen Hirsch. Battle was also caught kicking a dog inside the kennel. A criminal investigation was launched immediately after the activity was observed. The dog involved in the incident and two other animals housed in the kennel were taken to a veterinarian for evaluation. LifeLine is the vendor contracted to manage DeKalb County’s Animal Services. Hirsch said Battle is a DeKalb animal shelter employee, not a LifeLine employee, and he was hired just a month ago. She said Battle was a kennel worker and did some graphic design work for the shelter. “He had passed a background check and he had 10 years’ experience working with nonprofits and animal organizations,” she said. Hirsch also said that LifeLine was not notified when the incident occurred. “[The Animal Cruelty Unit] didn’t tell our director or anyone about it,” she said. “They wouldn’t show us the video. When we saw it on the news we were just shocked.” She said LifeLine has a zero-tolerance policy for any type of animal abuse from employees, volunteers or anyone associated with LifeLine. The investigation continues to determine if Battle was involved in any additional incidents.
Champion of the Week
Mary Ann Hill
Fifteen years ago while living in Miami, Fla., Mary Ann Hill heard a radio broadcaster reading The Miami Herald on a radio station that caters to the vision impaired. “They read it a couple of hours a day and I use to think I can do that,” Hill said. “I would love to do it.” When Hill moved to Stone Mountain, she became interested in doing voice overs as a career and began taking voice over classes in 2007 at a studio in DeKalb County. While attending an event at Georgia Public Broadcasting studios, Hill said she saw a sign on a door advertising the Georgia Radio Reading Service. Hill asked about the program and was asked to audition on the spot. “I just read the news and a script and that was the audition,” she said. “I passed the audition and I’ve been reading at the Georgia Radio Reading Service since.” Hill is a volunteer broadcaster for the Georgia Radio Reading Walker and his team of researchers to develop a year-long list of show subject matter. She interviewed the researchers about the various projects they were developing. During her two years as host of the show she traveled to Kenya, Africa to cover the school’s Sonification Lab researchers’ demonstration of sound technologies developed at the Thika School for the Blind. Hill also covers community events voluntarily as a reporter for Georgia Radio Reading Service. Being able to provide this service made Hill realize the affect it has on the listeners. “You know they can’t pick up a book to read unless they know how to read braille and there’s only a certain population that actually reads braille,” she said. “We paint that verbal picture for them, we paint an audio picture for them and we also provide information for them.”
REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE
Service, Georgia’s only radio station for the blind. She has done several one-hour weekly reading programs, including the reading Tech News, O Magazine, Christian Science Monitor, Forbes & Fortune, Blind View Point and local newspaper readings. In 2010, the station created a new program called Assistive TECH. Hill took on the assignment to host the program ‒ creating and producing shows about sound technologies being developed by Georgia Tech for people who are blind. Hill met with Professor Bruce
if you would like to nominate someone to be considered as a future Champion of the Week, please contact Kathy Mitchell at email@example.com or at (404) 373-7779, ext. 104.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 16, 2013
Walk around to teach health value of plants Charis Circle is sponsoring a medicinal weed walk around Little 5 Points every Sunday, 3-4:15 p.m. During the walking class, led by Wye Marley, participants will be taught how to use wild plant foods and medicines for personal, communal and ecological health. The group will be introduced to weeds that grow commonly in public spaces, parks and backyards—among them violet, dandelion and yellow dock. This class involves walking at a slow to moderate pace in the heat for about an hour and 15 minutes. There are bathrooms and free water at both ends of the trip. Those who would like to learn the information, but do not walk, or need additional information to make the walk accessible can email Elizabeth@chariscircle.org. She will work with the instructor to help non-walkers access the accommodations. This is a Charis Circle Urban Sustainability and Wellness Program. The suggested donation is $10. Charis Circle and Charis Books & More are located at 1189 Euclid Ave., NE. Atlanta.
Grand opening of City Hall Annex announced The city of Clarkston will host a grand opening reception and ribbon cutting ceremony for its new Clarkston City Hall Annex on Aug. 16. The annex will open at 4 p.m. and the ribbon cutting will begin at 6 p.m. The event will include tours of the annex–which is the historic Morris family house. The event will also include an art exhibit titled “Flight: The Refugee Artist’s Experience,” a collection of pieces by 20th century artists. There will be musical performances by the Jazz Trio, Alwynn and Company featuring Antoine Knight. Catered food and beverages will be served. Clarkston City Hall Annex is located at 1055 Rowland Street. For more information, visit www.clarkstonga.gov.
Center to offer line dancing class Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (MJCCA) will hold a line dancing class Sunday, Aug. 18, 10:30 a.m. –noon. In this 1.5-hour dance class, participants will be taught the most popular line dances for mature adults and get a great work out, according to an announcement from the center. “Wear comfortable clothing, bring your water bottle and get ready to have a blast. We’ll begin with a short warm up and get right into the dancing,” the announcement states. MJCCA at Zaban Park is located at 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. The class is $5 for members and $10 for non-members. For more information, contact Lilly Mahana at lilly.mahana@ atlantajcc.org or (678) 812-4064.
Consumer debt clinic offered The Decatur Library is hosting a free consumer debt clinic Tuesday, Aug. 20, 5:30-7 p.m. The event is suitable for those struggling with debt, who have been sued for a debt or need information about debt. Representatives of the DeKalb Volunteer Lawyers Foundation will be on hand to answer questions. Local attorneys will discuss information regarding debt cases in DeKalb County and facilitate one-on-one consultations. Participants should bring all documents related to their cases. The Decatur Library is located at 215 Sycamore Street, Decatur. For more information, call (404) 370-3070. Expert to offer information on gardening Stephanie Van Parys, executive director of the Oakhurst Community Garden Project, will be at the Decatur Library Monday, Aug. 19, 1011:30 a.m. to give a talk on fall vegetables and herbs that can be enjoyed all season. The talk, Snapshot: Plant Your First Fall Vegetable Garden, will include tips for success. For first-time gardeners or those transitioning to organic methods of vegetable gardening, the program is part of the Living the Green Life program sponsored by the Wylde Center, City of Decatur and the DeKalb County Public Library. Decatur Library is located at 215 Sycamore Street, Decatur. For more information, call (404) 370-3070.
Police distribute school supplies Brookhaven Police officers distributed school supplies to dozens of children in the Buford Highway area on Aug. 7. Officers drove through neighborhoods along Buford Highway and distributed backpacks, notebooks, boxes of crayons, pencils, glue sticks and other school supplies to children in need. Administrators at Woodward Elementary School in Brookhaven identified the students and neighborhoods in need. The items included backpacks donated by I Care Atlanta and Dunwoody Police, and additional school supplies donated by Brookhaven city staff. “We quickly ran out of school supplies because once children saw us in the neighborhood, they lined up at our patrol cars,” said Lt. Juan Grullon, who organized the school supplies drive. “It was great to see the reactions of these kids and build positive relationships with them at such an early age.”
DeKalb clerk of Superior Court hosts Community Appreciation Day
DeKalb County Superior Court Clerk Debra DeBerry hosted her first Community Appreciation Day Aug. 3, at Browns Mill Aquatic Facility. The event included complimentary entry into the facility, food, music and door prizes. Al Sheppard, recreation, parks and cultural Library to host game day affairs program manager, reported “1,362 people attended the event and it was one of the largest Scott Candler Library has announced that it will hold Game Day for Adults Wednesday, Aug. crowds we have had for a private event since we 21, 2-4 p.m. “Come relax, make new friends, and opened in 2008.” Supporters in attendance included Interim CEO play a game with us. An assortment of board and Lee May, District 3 Commissioner Larry Johncard games will be available,” an announcement son , Sheriff Thomas Brown and several commufrom the library states. Scott Candler Library is nity organizations. Johnson donated door prizes located at 1917 Candler Road, Decatur. For more for the event and the DeKalb Police Department information, call (404) 286-6986. provided child identification kits and safety information. DeBerry commented, “I just wanted to express my appreciation to the community I serve and I am happy many were able to attend the family friendly event. I look forward to celebrating the community at this event annually.”
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 16, 2013
Police precinct changes expected in October
and that it’s scientifically based, based on something where everyone can point Due to the recent incortheir finger at,” May said. porations of the cities of May said that the county Dunwoody and Brookhaven, will be proactive in informAssistant DeKalb County ing residents as to how the Police Chief James Conroy precinct changes will affect said it was necessary to look them. at the police department’s “We need to be proactive alignment of resources. in indicating those changes At a special Aug. 6 meet- and the rationale behind ing of the DeKalb County those changes so that they Board of Commissioners, Conroy and his colleagues announced the decision to redraw police precinct boundaries. “In doing so we examined several options,” Conroy said. “We thought four precincts was the best concept to move forward.” Currently, the DeKalb County Police Department’s resources are allocated to five precincts throughout the county but that will change Oct. 1, when officials slated the boundary changes to be in place. Conroy said all of the officers in the Brookhaven area will be moved to the north central precinct. “In the meantime before we do the official boundary realignment we’ve got some opportunity to use them for some proactive efforts. We’ve got school starting this week; we’re going to be able to roll them out into those school zones and have kind of a neighborhood enforcement team,” Conroy said. Although officers report to their respective precincts each morning for roll call, Conroy said the majority of their time is spent out in the field. “So they’re assigned geographically to their territories and that provides for better response time and better knowledge of the territory where they work,” Conroy said. Interim CEO Lee May said that for the past few years, police officers have been doing more with less, and the realignment will help increase police services. Officials said the change of boundaries was based heavily on calls for service and crime statistics. “We want to make sure that our officers are responding where they need to be in a quick response time by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org can be on one page with what we are doing. They understand now who will be servicing them and they can all be on one page,” May said. Although the county will technically be losing one precinct, May said the realignment will allow for quicker response times and result in safer communities. He said police and commissioners will be working “day and night” to ensure that the Oct. 1 deadline will be met. “We want them to be out in the field and I think that’s what you’ve seen presented and so regardless of where the precincts are physically located, you’ll see the officers out in the communities patrolling, being present and visible for the community and residents to see,” May said. “I’m just proud of our police department, our officers are hard-working and they’ve been doing more with less and I think as a result of their ingenuity and their allocation of resources, you’ll begin to see a difference in your community in terms of police services,” May said.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 16, 2013
Senator hosts hearing on deaths at Atlanta VA Medical Center
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson told officials Aug. 7 that in the case of at least three veterans, the Atlanta VA Medical Center’s conduct was “deplorable.” Isakson chaired a Senate field hearing at Georgia State University to address two recent reports released in April by the Office of the Inspector General. The reports allege that systemic problems at the Atlanta VA Medical Center contributed to the deaths of at least three veterans. “Through unfortunate circumstances and mismanagement, we had some totally unacceptable and inappropriate occurrences take place, which contributed to the loss of three American veterans,” Isakson said. The report focuses on issues related to the medical center’s mental health department and its management of patients receiving outside care with mental health contractors. Officials said two anonymous complaints led to the investigation. “The confidential complaint alleged that this inpatient’s death was due to failure of [mental health services] leaders to establish effective unit policies, ensure monitoring of unit inpatients, staff the unit appropriately and care about patients,” the report states. Investigators from John Daigh’s office, assistant inspector general for health care inspections, found the facility was staffed adequately. However, the report lists a host of problems that may have led to the death of a male patient in his 20s with a diagnosed history of alcohol and drug abuse. Another report relates to patient referrals to community service boards (CSBs) after mental health patients are released from the hospital. In this case, the report found inadequate staffing levels, stating there were 10 employees to manage and provide oversight for more than 4,000 patients referred to CSB programs. “We found that 21 percent of our random sample of CSB referred patients were never provided care by the CSBs, with no follow-up provided by the facility,” the report states. Three examples are outlined in the report that describe how better communication with patients may have prevented an accidental overdose, a patient’s incarceration and in one case, a suicide. Isakson said he convened the field hearing because he wanted officials to address the findings in the two reports and to assure citizens that the VA is learning from its mistakes. “When you have a failure or a breakdown in the system that contributes to the loss of life of an American veteran or citizen it’s time to have a call to action,” IsakSee Atlanta VA on Page 18A
Sen. Johnny Isakson presided over a Aug. 7 hearing related to deaths that have occurred at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. Photo by Daniel Beauregard
PUBLIC NOTICE NOTICE OF ELECTION DECATUR CITY COMMISSION AND DECATUR BOARD OF EDUCATION The Decatur City Commission officially announces the Call for the City's General Election to be held in the City of Decatur, Georgia, on November 5, 2013 for three Decatur Board of Education members for four year terms of office, and two City of Decatur Commissioners for four year terms, such terms to begin at the organizational meeting in January 2014. One City Commissioner from Election District 1, Post A One City Commissioner from Election District 2, Post A One Decatur Board of Education member from Election District 1, Post A One Decatur Board of Education member from Election District 2, Post A One Decatur Board of Education member At-Large DeKalb County will conduct this election at the following precincts: Election District Clairemont East Clairemont West Glenwood Precinct Oakhurst Ponce De Leon Renfroe Winnona Park District: 1 1 1&2 2 1&2 2 2 Polling Place for Election : First Baptist Church of Decatur, 308 Clairemont Ave : The Church at Decatur Heights, 735 Sycamore Drive : Holy Trinity Parish, 515 E. Ponce de Leon Ave. : Oakhurst Baptist Church, 222 E. Lake Dr. : First Christain Church of Decatur, 601 W. Ponce de Leon Ave : Renfroe Middle School, 220 W. College Ave. : Winnona Park Elementary School, 510 Avery St.
Each candidate will file notice of his or her candidacy and the appropriate affidavit in the office of the Election Superintendent at City Hall, 509 North McDonough Street, Decatur, Georgia. The opening dates for qualifying will start Monday, August 26, 2013 beginning at 8:30 A.M., continuing during regular business hours until Wednesday August 28, 2013 at 4:30 P.M. The qualifying fee for City Commission office is $144.00 and the qualifying fee for Board of Education members is $35.00 Registration for voting in the November 5, 2013 election will close Monday, October 7, 2013. Early/Advance Absentee Voting in person begins October 14, 2013 at the DeKalb County Voter Registration Office, 4380 Memorial Dr., Ste. 300, Decatur, Georgia continuing, Monday through Friday between 8:30 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. through Friday, November 4. Questions concerning absentee voting, early voting or voter registration should be directed to DeKalb County Elections Division at 404-298-4020.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 16, 2013
Serial rapist pleads guilty to multiple counts
by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org Serial rapist Trever Blue pleaded guilty Aug. 8 to multiple counts of rape, sexual battery, aggravated assault and burglary. Blue was accused of raping and assaulting several women who lived in the Hambrick Road area of DeKalb County in 20092010. He was sentenced to serve three consecutive life sentences plus 484 years behind bars. “Hopefully this sentence will help the victims and their families continue on the road to healing from these terrible and senseless acts,” District Attorney Robert James said. “A monster has forever been removed from the streets of DeKalb County. [Blue] will never be able to harm women and terrorize neighborhoods again.” Blue was arrested February 2010—then 19 years old—for a string of sexual assaults. According to police spokeswoman Mekka Parish, Blue was arrested after one of his victims escaped and led police to him. The 19-year-old victim told police Blue forced her to drive to several locations along Memorial Drive. She was sexually assaulted during that time and later managed to escape while Blue drove off in her car. He was arrested after being chased by police in a car and on foot. “Based off statements he gave and evidence, he was connected to 11 incidents,” Parish said at the time of Blue’s arrest. “Nine of the 11 incidents were sexual in nature.” According to police, most of the incidents happened at Ashgrove and Liberty Landing apartment complexes on Hambrick Road. The indictment against Blue detailed several scenarios where he robbed his victims, then later sexually assaulted and raped them at gunpoint.
The Collector Distributor (CD) lane project was built to eliminate the weave between traffic entering I-20 from I-285 and exiting I-20 at Wesley Chapel Road. Photos by Carla Parker
New I-20 lanes to eliminate significant weaving from I-285
by Carla Parker email@example.com Motorists exiting from I-285 have had less trouble merging onto I-20 eastbound in south DeKalb County since the Collector Distributor (CD) lane project completed July 31. In January 2012, the Georgia Department of Transportation began constructing the 4.73-mile project, which stretches from the I-20/I-285 interchange east to Panola Road. The constructed barrier-separated CD lanes were built to eliminate the weave between traffic entering I-20 from I-285 and exiting I-20 at Wesley Chapel Road. Mark McKinnon, Atlanta Regional media coordinator, said one of the major advantages of the CD lane project was to improve the traffic flow on the mainline of I-20 and the traffic to Wesley Chapel from I-285 and I-20 eastbound. “Originally, there were only two lanes of traffic from I-285 to I-20 eastbound heading to Wesley Chapel [combined] with the traffic wanting to proceed to I-20 merging – creating a scissor or weaving effect in several locations,” McKinnon said. “Because of the amount of traffic during rush hours, there was not storage for drivers to proceed to I-20 and Wesley Chapel exit.” Drivers were almost forced on the ramp of Wesley Chapel until they found a hole to merge on to I-20,” he said. “For those already on I-20 eastbound wanting to go to Wesley Chapel, this created a backup on I-20 as well due to the merging traffic from I-285.” The project now allows three lanes of traffic with one lane that can be used for I-20, the middle lane with the option for Wesley Chapel or I-20 and the third lane of Wesley Chapel, according to McKinnon. After passing the Wesley Chapel ramp, motorists now have two lanes to merge on to I-20. “By observation these last couple of weeks, it appears the CD project has improved the traffic flow on I-20 eastbound mainline, reducing the past bottlenecking around the Wesley Chapel ramp,” McKinnon said. “Because of the amount of traffic from I-285 during rush hour, there will still be some delay, but the traffic flow is expected to improve.”
Challenge gift to benefit DeKalb Medical expansion
An anonymous benefactor has made a $1 million challenge gift to the DeKalb Medical Foundation for the expansion of DeKalb Medical. The hospital foundation has until December 2014 to raise an additional $1 million to receive the challenge grant. “This pace-setting gift by this generous benefactor will launch the fundraising for much-needed renovations,” said Bob McMahan, co-chairman of the DeKalb Medical Foundation’s board of trustees. “We are determined to meet this challenge over the next year and a half.” Once fulfilled, the gift will support the renovation and expansion of the Radiation Oncology Center at the hospital system’s north Decatur campus. Through this project, the radiation oncology suite will gain an additional 14,000 square feet of space including a new reception area, eight additional exam rooms, gender-specific waiting rooms, a medical library and conference area. “This is an exceptional opportunity to maximize your contribution and we hope you will join us on our journey to provide excellent care to our patients,” said Judy McMahan, who co-chairs the foundation board with her husband. “DeKalb Medical Foundation is extremely grateful for the donors’ trust in our vision and talented caring team. We hope the tremendous generosity of this challenge grant inspires the community to a deeper commitment to keep DeKalb Medical on the leading edge of technology and to leave our community with a lasting legacy of hope and healing.” According to the Georgia Department of Community Health, cancer is the third leading cause of death in DeKalb County, a statistic the community can’t afford to ignore, said John Shelton, DeKalb Medical’s president and chief executive officer. “We created the DeKalb Medical Foundation 22 years ago to energize our ability to improve the standard of health in our community,” DeKalb Medical Foundation Executive Director Leigh Minter said. “With a 100 percent success rate in meeting our capital campaign goals to date, I am confident that our community can meet this new challenge and keep DeKalb Medical on the leading edge of technology and quality care.”
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 16, 2013
Sneiderman perjury trial movies into second week
by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org As witness testimony continues in the perjury trial of Andrea Sneiderman, defense attorneys claim she shouldn’t be punished because detectives didn’t do their job. Sneiderman is accused of lying under oath and hindering the investigation into her husband Rusty Sneiderman’s shooting death. Her former boss Hemy Neuman was later convicted of committing the crime and is serving life in prison. Sneiderman was originally charged with two counts of murder and aggravated assault. Prosecutors dropped those charges against her days before the trial began. She is charged with four perjury counts, seven counts of making false statements and one count each of hindering the apprehension of a criminal and concealment of material facts in connection with the death of her husband. During opening statements Aug. 5, Chief Assistant District Attorney Kellie Hill accused Sneiderman of intentionally withholding information from police that could have helped authorities catch her husband’s killer much. “Other than the shooter, there was one other person who knew why Hemy Neuman wanted Rusty Sneiderman dead,” Hill said. “The evidence will show…that she lied throughout the investigation and throughout the trial [about] her husband’s murderer.” Throughout the trial a quiet and, at times, teary-eyed Andrea Sneiderman sat and watched as prosecutors and defense attorneys asked witnesses to relay their experiences the day her husband was shot. Defense attorney Thomas Clegg said Sneiderman offered her full cooperation with police and it was their fault for not following up on leads. Dunwoody Deputy Police Chief David Sides admitted to mistakes; the Sneiderman case was his first homicide investigation. “Did you at any point contact Mr. Neuman after [Andrea Sneiderman] gave you his name?” Clegg asked. “No, I did not because she downplayed their relationship…I made a mistake,” Sides said. Prosecutors allege Sneiderman and Neuman had a romantic relationship that lasted several months and included trips together in which Neuman expressed his love for her. She has denied that such a relationship existed. However, bartender Christina Olivera who worked at a nightclub in Greenville, S.C., testified she saw Neuman and Sneiderman dancing and kissing on the empty dance floor of the club one night in October 2010. “He led her by her hand to the dance floor and they both started dancing,” Olivera said. “He had cupped her butt and they were really close…they appeared to be grinding at that moment and she kissed him.” Additionally, members of Rusty Sneiderman’s family, Andrea Sneiderman’s mother and several friends gave compelling testimony. For more extensive coverage visit www.thechampionnewspaper.com.
Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas (right) participated in a Q&A session with young gymnasts and fans at the 2013 Youth Empowerment Breakfast. Photos by Donna Turner
Olympic gymnast Gabrielle Douglas encourages youth at Youth Empowerment Breakfast
by Carla Parker email@example.com Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas was back in DeKalb County on Aug. 10 as guest speaker of the 2013 Youth Empowerment Breakfast at the Marriott Evergreen Resort in Stone Mountain. Douglas, who won gold medals in both the team and individual all-around competitions 2012 London Summer Olympics, gave encouraging words to the 20 Youth Leadership Academy students and participated in a Q&A session with young gymnasts and fans. Douglas said she was honored to speak at the Youth Empowerment Breakfast. “I love doing speaking engagements like this,” she said. “Just to share my message and tell everyone to go out there and fight for your dreams and don’t be afraid to be great.” Douglas is the first woman of color and any nationality and the first African-American gymnast in Olympic history to become the Individual all-around champion. She is also the first American gymnast to win gold in both the gymnastic individual all-around and team competitions at the same Olympic Games. The breakfast benefited the Youth Leadership Academy, which was established service and leadership development opportunities, family interactions and expectations are increased.” The Youth Leadership Academy has had 169 students go through the program in four years. June 2012 began the second three-year cycle for students that will graduate from the program in 2015. The summer program is a full day of academics and enrichment. Students participate in workshops, classes, and field trips. Students are monitored throughout the year and participate in enrichment programs quarterly. Nia Laing, a junior at Stephenson High School, said she has learned a lot during the summer at the academy, including selfdiscipline. “We had this system where if you come to class late or if you miss days then you might get kicked out,” she said. “So [the program] taught me self-discipline, responsibility and leadership.”
Judge delays ruling in Suburban Walmart motions
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org A DeKalb County Superior Court Judge delayed her decision on whether to dismiss Good Growth DeKalb’s lawsuit against the county. On March 15, attorneys for Good Growth DeKalb filed suit in DeKalb County Superior Court, contending that the county granted a building permit for construction of a Walmart Supercenter at Suburban Plaza in violation of its own ordinances. At an Aug. 9 motions hearing, DeKalb Superior Court Judge Tangela Barrie did not rule on DeKalb County’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit or Good Growth DeKalb’s motion for judgment on the pleadings. Barrie heard arguments from lawyers of both DeKalb and Good Growth DeKalb but
See Walmart on Page 18A
by DeKalb County Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton in 2008. The academy was created to meet the needs of youth through education, enrichment, and community service and leadership development, according its website. The academy is a two-year program for 10th graders that promotes conflict management, communication, academic achievement and leadership. “Through continued support of the Youth Leadership Academy from the DeKalb County School System and the Metro YMCA, we have been successful in working to improve and prepare our students for success,” Sutton said. “Involving families and their children in community
Estate Sales Specialist LIVING ESTATE of Connie King, 5300 Fieldgreen Dr., Stone Mountain, Georgia 30088. Thurs‐ Fri‐Sat, August 15, 16, 17; 9am‐ 5pm. Go to estatesales.net to see pictures. Contact email: email@example.com cell 770 846 8173.
Estate Sale by Treasure Chest
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 16, 2013
Justin Colussy-Estes went to the DeKalb Farmers Market with his family for fresh local fruits and produce—especially the peaches from Pearson Farm. Photos by Travis Hudgons
Peach pizza from S & J’s Woodfired Pizza cooked in Sweet treats from The Little Tart Bakeshop. a mobile brick oven.
Decatur Farmers Market is a year-round market with two locations: Wednesdays, 4-7 p.m., behind Bank of America at the corner of Church St. and Commerce Dr.; and Saturdays, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., corner of E. Trinity Place and N. McDonough St. www.decaturfarmersmarket.com
al u n UR n A T h 13t ECA D
SaturdaY, August 17
Oakhurst HarmonY ParK in Village
4:00pm Until 10:00pm
DeKalb County Small Business Summit
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Innovative Strategies for Growth
Interim CEO Lee May DeKalb County Board of Commissioners DeKalb County Office of Economic Development Development Authority of DeKalb County
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
no charge for kids 10 & under
Closing Reception with Interim CEO Lee May 4:00 – 5:00 PM
Georgia Piedmont Technical College Conference Center 495 North Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, Georgia 30021
Cost: $25.00 Register Today
at www.dekalbsummit2013.eventbrite.com Contact: Michelle J. Menifee (404) 687-2730 or firstname.lastname@example.org
DeKalb County Interim CEO
Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs • Atlanta Microfund • DeKalb Chamber of Commerce • DeKalb County Government DeKalb Enterprise Business Corporation • DeKalb Microenterprise Institute • Georgia Department of Economic Development Georgia Piedmont Technical College • Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute (EII) – Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center • Green Chamber of the South - Greenhouse Accelerator • Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce • Invest Atlanta • Kendrick Law Practice, LLC • Passkey Strategies • UGA Small Business Development Center DeKalb County • Urban League of Greater Atlanta • US Small Business Administration
Other Organizations Participating:
for musical Line-up &more information:
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 16, 2013
From left, Gabriella Maltese, 5; Serenity McCray, 10; and Jack Ryan Maltese, 2, look as Pastor Rick Neale blesses Icy.
The Church of the New Covenant and the Doraville Kiwanis Club hosted its fourth annual Dog Dayz Aug. 10. The family-friendly event featured a bouncy house for kids, dog contests, a local artists market, bake sale, hot dog picnic and a blessing of the dogs.
Dog Dayz of Summer
Pastor Rick Neale (right) blesses Ginger as the owner of the dog, Lisa Moultrie, prays during the "blessing of the dogs" at the Dog Dayz of Summer at Church of the New Covenant in Doraville. Photos by Travis Hudgons
Searching for Our Sons and Daughters:
Stories of our missing residents offer profound insights and hope for a positive reunion.
For a programming guide, visit www.yourdekalb.com/dctv
This photo essay brought to you by DCTV
Finding DeKalb County’s Missing
Now showing on DCTV!
DCTV – Your Emmy® Award-winning news source of DeKalb County news. Available on Comcast Cable Channel 23.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 16, 2013
Left, DeKalb County Sheriff Thomas Brown held a news conference after disciplining four employees for their behavior during a July 26 arrest. Right, the family of the woman arrested prays after holding its own news conference. Photos by Andrew Cauthen
Sheriff’s deputies disciplined after Internet video goes viral
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com and Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org A DeKalb County Sheriff’s sergeant has been demoted and three deputies suspended for their conduct while serving a civil arrest warrant. But despite allegations from the woman who was arrested, and her family, Sheriff Thomas Brown said no excessive use of force was involved. A video of the incident has gone viral on the Internet and although Brown doesn’t condone the behavior of the deputies he said he understands why they were frustrated. “The reasonable thing to do, once it was clear that the people outside were who they said they were, is to open the door,” Brown said. “After the speaking to the 911 operator…[the occupants] should have opened the door immediately.” Brown held a news conference Aug. 13 about the July 26 incident. “If the police come to your house and need to come in, whether you agree or not that they need to come into that home, you need to open the door,” said Brown, who listened to recordings of the deputies’ radio traffic, the 911 call by occupants of the house and viewed the “edited video.” Brown said that the way the family involved in the incident responded led deputies to believe they had something to hide. “We don’t know what was going on in the house for the 30-plus minutes they kept us outside,” Brown said. The deputies were at the home of Natania Griffin to serve a civil warrant for contempt of court for a child support debt of $1,000. The family claims that deputies used excessive force, although none is depicted in the video, shot by Griffin’s son Donovan Hall. Sheriff’s office spokesman Kyle Jones said once the officers identified themselves, all of the lights in the house were turned off and the family refused to let deputies enter the home. The family then told deputies they were at the wrong address. “In addition to the address being on the warrant they ran the tag of one of the cars, which belonged to the female listed on the warrant,” Jones said. For the next 40 minutes or so, Jones said, one of the family members remained on the phone with 911 operators, who he said told the family member that deputies were indeed at the right address and pleaded with them to open the door. “It was very clear it was an attempt to try and stall. The 911 operator told them specifically they had an arrest warrant for a female at that location,” Jones said. When the family opened the door, Jones said, the deputies rushed in frantically because they didn’t know what to expect. Brown said he was “very appalled” by what he heard when viewing the family’s video. “It is not what I expect from my deputies when they’re serving civil, nonviolent warrants,” Brown said. “There is time and place for language when you’re dealing with certain elements. I don’t think this was one of them.” Brown said he had a problem with the “lack of leadership” by incident commander Deputy Sheriff Sgt. Dan McGhee. “He needed to be in charge of the situation,” Brown said. “He needed to understand what he was dealing with when he got to the scene. Had he been armed with what he was dealing with, then it would have been his responsibility to take a deep breath and encourage his troops to take a deep breath and possibly approach this thing another way.” McGhee was demoted unless he retires as previously planned. “He was the sergeant in charge of the scene,” Brown said. “Once he responded to the scene he had a responsibility to at least read the warrant [and] know what he was getting into. He didn’t do that.” For their unprofessional comments and language during the incident, Deputy Sheriff Ray Hunt was suspended for two days; and deputies Charles Dix and A. Jackson for one day, Brown said. In addition, Brown has implemented new policies and procedures concerning the serving of civil warrants. These warrants will be served on designated days each week and always before 11 p.m. Deputies will also routinely perform criminal history checks on suspects before serving the warrants. In a separate news conference Aug. 13, Griffin said, “While we are happy that there was an initial disciplinary process started, we are not satisfied as a family. We will not be satisfied until all the officers involved in this matter are fired and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” Griffin said no deputy verified her identify before arresting her. “I could have been the babysitter,” she said. “They dragged me out of my house, attacked my children and trampled on our constitutional rights.” Griffin’s son said he was kicked and punched by deputies while handcuffed. “One officer even stood on top of my head with both feet,” Hall said, adding that he went to the hospital the next morning. “They want to minimize it and say no excessive force was used,” Hall said. “The force was unbelievably excessive. It was over the top. The minimal discipline that the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office has issued proves that …we can’t trust the police to police themselves. It’s a slap on the wrist compared to what needs to be done.” Responding to the allegation that a deputy stood on Hall’s head, Brown said he has seen no evidence to prove that. “Just seeing [Hall] on television, I didn’t see any bruises. I didn’t see any knots. I suspect if a big enough man was to stand on somebody’s head with both feet and his full weight, there would be some type of concussion or possibly injury to the cranium. “In the absence of hearing some more credible evidence from him, I find, in my investigation, I’m having a hard time with that,” Brown said. Brown said he has not received a formal complaint from the family about the incident. The family said it plans to pursue legal action against the sheriff’s office.
Annual DeKalb Family Fun Day postponed
The sixth annual DeKalb Family Fun Day has been postponed to Sunday, Aug. 25, 2-7 p.m., due to potential inclement weather. The event will be held at Bransby Outdoor YMCA at Rock Chapel, 1185 Rock Chapel Road. This event is free and open to the public. Interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May is partnering with Bransby Outdoor YMCA and several nonprofit organizations, including Project A.R.M., Beverly Cunningham Outreach Program, and Saving Our Children and Families. During the family event school supplies will be collected for local students. “This is a golden opportunity for families to have some summer fun, and get the kids excited and ready for back-toschool at the same time,” May said. The Fun Day, which is expected to attract more than 4,000 attendees, will feature face painting, horseback riding, rock climbing, swimming, paddle boating on the lake, health and wellness screenings, vendors and much more. All are invited to participate by donating school supplies onsite and volunteering for community programs. For information, visit www.projectarm.org.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 9, 2013
In addition to receiving education, health care and other beneﬁts, African Children’s Choir members form lasting friendships.
Choir Continued From Page 1A
skills every day. At the end of a tour they have a completely different outlook than they had seeing only what’s around them in their village.” In less than 30 years, the choirs, through the parent organization Music for Life (MFL), have built schools and medical centers, fed and clothed children, provided scholarships and started many self-sustaining projects in Africa. In 1995, for example, the Fields of Life farm was established in Uganda. It provides food for children’s homes and schools and is a source of income. The farm grows vegetables, coffee beans and fruit and raises livestock. To date, MFL has educated more than 52,000 children and impacted the lives of more than 100,000 people through its relief and development programs. MFL officials say that their purpose is to help create new leadership for tomorrow’s Africa by focusing on education. Individual success stories are numerous. Doctors, pilots, teachers, lawyers, nurses, accountants and other professionals have received their education through MFL. “They young people still have to put the work in to achieve their dreams, but thanks to this program, the opportunities are there,” Wake said. Robert Kalyesubula, a member of the second choir to go on tour, tells his story online: “Before I joined the African Children’s Choir I was actually out of school. I didn’t have food to eat and I didn’t even have clothes to wear. I didn’t know where to sleep because we were 10 children sharing one house. When I joined the ACC, everything changed. They provided for me food, they provided for me shelter, and I was able to play with the others without fearing and wondering what I was going to eat the next day.” With help from MFL, Kalyesubula went to college, then on the medical school. He is now practicing medicine in the Ugandan village he grew up in. He has a brother who’s a doctor and another who’s an engineer. “It’s such an exciting program,” Wake commented. “Not only are the children able to see the world in a different way, but people who see the children smiling, laughing and singing start to see Africa in a different way.” The performance at Oak Grove United Methodist Church is Wednesday, Aug. 28, at 7 p.m. The church is located at 1722 Oak Grove Road, Atlanta.
discrimination complaints. PUBLIC NOTICE HUD Submission for 2014 Funding – Annual Action Plan Preliminary Budget and Plan Public Comments Invited PROPOSED UPDATE TO DEKALB COUNTY’S 2014-2018 CONSOLIDATED PLAN, INCLUDING THE YEAR 2013 ANNUAL ACTION PLAN FOR THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT, HOME INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP AND EMERGENCY SOLUTIONS GRANTSPROGRAMS The DeKalb County Human and Community Development Department is preparing its update of the 2014-2018 Consolidated Plan, which has been extended to include the Year 2014 Annual Action Plan for the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG), the Home Investment Partnership Act (HOME), and the Emergency Solutions Grants Program (ESGP). Written public comments will be received from August 15, 2013, through September 13, 2013, and should be submitted to the DeKalb County Human & Community Development Department, 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330, Decatur, Georgia 30030. Anticipated Year 2014 Grant Awards and Program Income: 2014 Community Development Block $ 4,477,546 Grant Allocation (CDBG) Projected CDBG Program Income 2014 HOME Program Allocation Projected HOME Program Income 2014 Emergency Shelter Grant Program Allocation (ESGP) TOTAL $ 246,586
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 16, 2013
15. Nicholas House, Inc. ($47,102) Provides legal advice and referrals for housing discrimination complainants. 16. Our House, Inc. ($27,669) Daycare services for children of homeless families. 17. Refugee Family Services, Inc. ($21,916) Financial literacy counseling and education for refugees 18. Scottdale Child Development and Family Resource Center, Inc. of Central DeKalb ($21,916) Affordable childcare and family resource center. 19. The Sheltering Arms, Inc. ($21,916) Affordable childcare and family resource center. 20. Homeless Access Point ($24,938,000) Provides case management services for homeless individuals. 21. DeKalb Office of Senior Affairs ($33,481) The DeKalb County Office of Senior Affairs will provide support for the Golden Shuttle which serves as an alternate transportation option for seniors. 22. Youth Voucher Set-aside Program ($100,000) Assistance for youth participating in recreational activities. 23. Implementation of PHLOTES Initiatives ($20,000) 24. Implementation of DSNI (Individual Clusters) ($20,000) HOUSING SERVICES 25. Housing Implementation Services ($100,000) Ongoing implementation services for housing related activities. 26. Demolition ($75,000) The removal of dilapidated structures within the community. 27. Emergency Repairs of Homeowner waterlines ($50,000) - The County will implement an initiative to assist low income homeowners who have excessive water bills due to a water leak. CDBG funds will be used to pay for the water leak repair. 28. Emergency Housing Repairs ($155,235) The CDBG funds will be used to cover the rehabilitation cost of approximately (8) homes 29. Tuscany Village Housing Services ($30,000) CDBG funds not to exceed $30,000 per year (totaling $300,000 for years 2009-2018 toward housing services). PLANNING AND PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION (20% CAP) 30. Community Development Administration ($895,509) General oversight, planning management, monitoring and Implementation services. YEAR 2014 PROPOSED HOME ACTIVITIES HOME Investment Partnerships Program ($1,589,478) 31. HOME Program Administration (10%) Set-aside ($158,947) Funds to be used for direct administration and project implementation costs associated with the HOME program. 32. HOME/CHDO Projects (15%) Set-Aside ($238,422) Funds will be provided to eligible organizations for cost associated with the development, sponsorship, or ownership of affordable housing. 33. HOME CHDO Operating (5%) Set-Aside ($132,046) Funds will be used to provide general operating assistance to CHDO’s that are receiving set-aside funds for an activity or activities. 32. HOME Eligible Projects ($1,112,636) These are undesignated funds. The proposed activities being considered are: Single-family owner-occupied rehab, Single-family homeownership new construction, Single–family rehab (Rental), Multi-family (Rental), Single-family Homeownership (Down payment Assistance) Acquisition (including assistance to homebuyers), Tenant-based Rental Assistance, and any housing development activities considered eligible under HOME Program regulations. Housing Initiative to leverage Neighborhood Stabilization Program Fund. YEAR 2014 ESGP PROPOSED CATEGORIES OF FUNDING ($349,366) 28. Emergency Shelter + Street Outreach - 60% Cap ($145,099) 29. Administrative Costs – 7.5% Cap ($24,455) 30. Rapid Re-Housing, Homeless Prevention, and HMIS Administration ($179,812) NOTES SECTION ADDITIONAL CDBG RECOMMENDATIONS A. If we receive less than $4,477,546 from HUD, 20% of the reduction in funds will come from the planning and administration account and 15% of the reduction in funds will come from Public Services Youth Voucher Set-Aside Program and other Public Service activities, if necessary; unless otherwise approved by the Chief Executive Officer. B. If more than $4,477,546 is received, 20% of the additional funds will go into the Planning and Administration account and 15% of the additional funds will go into Public Services Home Buyers Education and Training, Youth Voucher set-aside and/or other Public Service Activities. C. These projects are a part of the 2014-2018 Consolidated Plan. If funds are available, these projects listed below will move forward in accordance with the County’s priorities. •DeKalb County Parks and Recreation/Tobie Grant Intergenerational Center- Development of a new Intergeneration Center. - $3,000,000. The funding strategy for the Tobie Grant Intergeneration Center may be an additional HUD Section 108 Loan Guarantee and available CDBG resources, including prior years funding. Total estimated costs are between $5,300,000 and $6,800,000. The County will work with the Scottdale Community, the DeKalb Housing Authority and other stakeholders to develop the scope of services, the structure, cost estimates, and funding sources required. •Elaine Clark Center – $850,000 to serve as a match for $2,000,000 from other sources to improve and expand the center. This initiative is a top priority if funds become available. •South DeKalb Y.M.C.A. – Assist with furniture, fixtures, and equipment for a new center - $540,000. Consideration of funding for the South DeKalb Y.M.C.A. facility renovation, expansion, and acquisition project is contingent upon the agency’s ability to leverage approximately $6 million from other sources. We anticipate funds will be needed by late 2014 or 2015. •Recreation Center for Buford Highway Area – Feasibility Analysis and conceptual plans on the development of a new recreation/community center - $100,000. •The Art Station Facility – Replacement of the existing roof on a County owned facility - $273,000 •Clarkston Community Center, Inc – Assist in the completion of the renovation of the existing facility, leveraging other funds – $628,060. Consideration of funding for the Clarkston Community Center facility expansion is contingent upon the agency’s leveraging of $628,060 through private foundation contributions and/or fundraising efforts. Based on the current funding level, we do not anticipate any HUD funding for this project in the immediate future. •City of Doraville – Sidewalks on Shallowford Road and other eligible streetscape/transportation initiatives - $200,000. Prior to moving forward with the project, we will conduct an assessment of the project scope and methods of delivery. We will work with the City to assess the needs and prioritize them based on the budget. •City of Chamblee – Micro-enterprise Program in downtown Chamblee - $100,000. We will work with the City and the Business Association to develop a micro-enterprise business program. Funding is contingent upon development of an effective program and the availability of funds. •City of Lithonia – $100,000. Plaza Improvements, Streetscape Improvements and other eligible projects. We will work with the City to finalize the specific projects that will be considered for this contract; contingent upon funding availability. •Renovation of DeKalb Atlanta Human Services Center – renovation of building to replace the elevator and create a conference and learning center with a state-of-the-art look and utility $50,000 contingent upon funding availability. •DeKalb Atlanta Senior Center – Parking expansion; contingent upon funding availability. •City of Decatur – Walking Paths in McKoy Park - $40,000. •The Salvation Army Improvements to an existing facility located on Sherrydale Lane, Decatur, GA - $87,000.
$ 1,589,478 $ $ 235,184 349,366
Projected program income will be used in the manner listed below with the exceptions identified in the NOTES SECTION – ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS 1. Twenty percent of CDBG Program Income will be used for Planning and Administration. Up to 15% may be used for Public Services activities as outlined in the budget. The remaining balance will be used for other eligible activities. 2. CDBG regulations require program income to be used before Treasury funds are expended; flexibility is needed in order to comply with the regulations. Program income will be used for any approved eligible activity as outlined in the 2014-2018 Consolidated Plan. 3. If more program income revenue is received than anticipated for any activity, the additional funds will be appropriated to activities indicated in this policy. 4.Program income generated from the DeKalb Enterprise Business Corporation (DEBCO) Revolving Loan Fund will be returned to the revolving loan fund and be used for additional loans to eligible borrowers and implementation services of DEBCO. Program income funds may also be withdrawn and returned to the County for other approved eligible activities. 5.Program income funds generated from the Housing Rehab Revolving Loan Fund will be returned to the revolving loan fund to be used for additional loans to eligible borrowers or other eligible programs and activities as approved by the Human and Community Development Director. Program income funds may also be withdrawn and returned to the County for any other eligible activities. 6.If we receive any recaptured HOME funds, they will be deposited into the Local HOME Trust Account and used for additional HOME eligible activities. 7.Program income receipts may vary widely from amounts projected due to any number of unanticipated factors. Regardless of the amount received, the Consolidated Plan will not need to be amended unless the funds are used for activities not outlined in the 2014-2018 Consolidated Plan. YEAR 2014 CDBG PROPOSED ACTIVITIES Below are preliminary recommendations. Please review the complete proposed recommendations to the 2014-2018 Consolidated Plan, which has been extended to include the Year 2014 Annual Action Plan for details about the activities. 1. PUBLIC FACILITIES IMPROVEMENTS ($1,560,199) A. Construction of a new Fire Station #3 in the City of Avondale - ($1,260,199) B. Tobie Grant Intergenerational Center preliminary engineering and soft costs for phase I of the project – ($260,000) LOAN/BOND REPAYMENT ($800,000) A. Section 108 Loan Repayment – (See additional CDBG recommendation H.) Estimated annual repayment amount – ($800,000) ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ($196,459) A. DeKalb Enterprise Business Corporation (DEBCO) Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund - ( $196,459)
PUBLIC SERVICES $655,144 (15% Cap) 4. Africa’s Children’s Fund, Inc. ($21,916) Provides case management, (including assessment and referral) to assist homeless and underserved households in DeKalb County, as well as housing and supportive services that enable those households to become self sufficient and avoid incidents of homelessness. 5. Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Inc. ($58,716) Prevention of predatory lending, consumer education, fraudulent mortgages and mortgage scams public awareness. 6. Atlanta Urban League, Inc. ($21,916) Provide housing counseling and foreclosure prevention counselor. 7. Center for Pan Asian Community Services. ($21,916) Home Education and Loss Prevention (HELP) program that will help homeowners by providing foreclosure prevention counseling to them. 8. Community Achievement Center ($12,000) Provide job training and financial literacy training to low and moderate income families and youth ages 18 to 24. 9. Drug Court Transitional Housing ($54,116) Provides housing assistance to participants in a judicially supervised drug treatment and alternative sentencing program. 10. First Step Staffing, Inc. ($20,000) The agency offers homeless persons assistance in getting access to SSI benefits and securing employment, along with supportive services such as uniforms, tools, transportation, and counseling. 11. Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta, Inc. ($15,416) Provides free household furniture to people in need within DeKalb County. The majority of clients impacted will be moving out of homelessness, are living with HIV/AIDS, or fleeing domestic violence. 12. Jerusalem House, Inc. ($27,669) Transitional housing and services for persons with HIV/AIDS. 13. Latin American Association, Inc. ($21,916) Employment counseling and support services primarily for Hispanic persons who are homeless or at risk. 14. Metro Fair Housing Services Inc. ($40,605) Provides legal advice and referrals for housing
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 16, 2013
•Bruce Street Senior Center – Assess needs for new center. •Oakhurst Medical Center, Inc. - $250,000 for medical equipment and FF&E for the Memorial Drive Health Center. This location is critical to helping meet the needs of the Community. D. The Human and Community Development Department Director may approve interchanging the use of HOME and CDBG funds, and ESG and CDBG funds, for projects as long as all program eligibility standards are met. E. CDBG funds will be used for any approved eligible activity as outlined in the 2014-2018 Consolidated Plan. Because CDBG regulations require program income to be used before Treasury funds are expended, flexibility is needed in order to comply with the regulations. F. The DeKalb County Human and Community Development Department is authorized to reallocate funding of prior year projects that are no longer feasible or needed. Reallocating previously funded projects will allow for other approved projects to utilize prior year or current year funds. Through the reallocation process, the Human and Community Development Department is allowed to utilize/ reallocate funds immediately to ensure compliance with HUD guidelines and regulations. G. The DeKalb Performing Arts and Community Center was financed with bonds issued by The DeKalb Development Authority and other approved sources, including CDBG funds. The primary resource for the repayment is the designated rental car tax revenue. CDBG and other County resources will be utilized as backup resources if the rental car tax revenue is not sufficient to pay the debt. There is no funding gap anticipated for the 2014 payment. If there is a need, the CDBG funds will be used to pay for a portion of the remaining balance of the bond repayment up to the allowed maximum. The 2014 CDBG funding gap is estimated to be approximately $200,000 pending the total generated by rental car tax revenues, subject to the total rental car taxes received. Funds needed may also come from the Public Facilities Improvements/Economic Development/Housing set-asides. The Human and Community Development Director will identify sources from eligible categories and transfer funds to the Finance Department to make the payments. G. The funding for the construction of the North DeKalb Community Center, the South DeKalb Community Center, and the Central DeKalb Senior Center is an approved HUD Section 108 Loan Guarantee and available CDBG resources, including prior years funding. The remaining Section 108 principle loan amount is $13 Million with an amortization period of 20 years at an estimated interest rate of 2%. The annual loan repayment amount will be approximately $800,000. H. The funding for the construction of the North DeKalb Senior/Community Center, the South DeKalb Senior/Community Center/ Candler Road Mixed Use Revitalization Project, and the Central DeKalb Senior Center is an approved HUD Section 108 Loan Guarantee and available CDBG resources, including prior years funding. The approved section 108 loan amount is $14 Million with a maximum amortization period of 20 years at an estimated interest rate which is less than 3%. The annual loan repayment amount will be approximately $900,000. I. We will work with the Infrastructure Group to complete Fire Station #3. If additional funds are needed for the project, we will identify other resources to fill the gap and/or make necessary adjustments to the project. J. If funds are available in the Public Services Category, they may be used to assist with providing services to fill the services gap in the DeKalb Continuum of Care for the Homeless. The DeKalb County Community Development Department will collaborate with DeKalb County Continuum of Care representatives and other service providers to identify and prioritize service gaps. K. While adhering to the approved process for committing HOME funds to multi-family projects in 2007, we committed $310,000 to the Tuscany Village Apartments project as part of the project’s tax credit application. We later determined that a better funding approach was to use CDBG funding for the housing services portion of the project and HOME funds for the development of units. The County amended its commitment agreement and authorized the use of CDBG funds not to exceed $30,000 per year (totaling $300,000 for years 2009 – 2018 toward housing services) and HOME funds (with a one-time commitment of $10,000) for unit development. These funds leveraged the affordable housing tax credits used to rehabilitate the 144 unit development. The total cost of the project was $14,790,000. HOME INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIPS PROGRAM ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS i. If more than $1,589,478 in HOME funding is received from HUD, we recommend that the amount proposed for the HOME line items be increased by the same percentage of the HUD increase. If we receive a decrease in funds, we recommend that the amounts proposed for the HOME line items are decreased by the same percentage as the decrease in HOME funding. ii. Currently, there are nine (9) DeKalb County Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDO’s): ANDP, Inc., Initiative for Affordable Housing, Inc., DeKalb Habitat Community Housing Development, LLC, Antioch AME Community Development Corporation, a faith-based nonprofit affiliate of Antioch A.M.E Church, Partnership for Community Action, Inc., Neighborhood Works, Inc., The Alliance of DeKalb, Inc., Piney Grove CDC, and the City of Hope Ministries, Inc., a faith-based nonprofit associated with Ray of Hope Christian Church. The 2014 CHDO operating funds in the amount not to exceed $79,473 is available to assist funded CHDOs with their general administrative costs. If additional CHDO’s are approved by the County, we will consider providing funds on a case by case basis. Any funds not allocated will be reprogrammed and used for other HOME-eligible costs. We will accept applications from CHDO’s during the regular application process, but move forward to fund the recommended agencies throughout the year. iii. In order to provide maximum flexibility in allocating HOME funds, the County only includes eligible categories of funding in the 2014-2018 Consolidated Plan rather than specific projects. The figures above do not include prior year funds that may be available for these projects or program income that will be received later in 2014 or in 2015. If there is an increase in the HOME allocation and more CHDO funds are available, the funds will be designated for eligible uses as determined by the Human and Community Development Department Director and the approval of the Chief Executive Officer. iv. The County works closely with the DeKalb Housing Authority in the administration of its HOME Program activities related to the development and implementation of affordable housing assistance programs and projects. The Housing Authority acts as an agent and sub-recipient on a number of these HOME activities. Many of them are undertaken through the County’s ongoing contract with the Authority and are developed and implemented in accordance with the program descriptions executed by the Housing Authority Executive Director and the Human and Community Development Department Director. The County may work with the DeKalb Housing Authority or other approved entities. The following is a listing of potential activities that may be undertaken by the County with HOME funds in the upcoming program year and details outlining how they may be administered. a. Implementation services for single-family, owner occupied housing rehabilitation projects may be provided by the Human & Community County), or another for profit or non-profit organization (through a contract process). Development Department, the Housing Authority (through its contract with the County or another for profit or non-profit organization (through the contract process). b. Unless otherwise approved, all multi-family projects will be implemented under the Housing Authority’s contract with the County following a competitive application process and thorough review of the project for compliance with the County’s underwriting guidelines as outlined in the HOME application package. The Human and Community Development Director is authorized to commit funding amounts and determine loan terms to these projects. c. Any projects involving the use of CHDO funds, with the exception of those involving existing multi-family developments, are submitted for approval by the Board of Commissioners. Multi-family projects involving the use of CHDO funds are handled as outlined above. d. Tenant-based Rental Assistance programs may be administered by the Housing Authority under its contract with the County or other approved entities through separate agreements. e. Upon additional pursuit of affordable housing initiatives in Scottdale and other communities, the County will also partner with other entities on development activities. v.The Human and Community Development Department Director may approve interchanging the use of HOME and CDBG funds for projects as long as all program eligibility standards are met. vi. The County will consider Tenant-based Rental Assistance on special initiatives consistent with the DeKalb Continuum of Care. vii. The Human and Community Development Department Director to provide comments and letters of support to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs regarding Tax Credit applications or to other entities regarding potential funding for applicants. viii. The Human and Community Development Department will work with the County
and community to identify and prioritize distressed multi-family properties in the County and develop collaborative strategies to improve them. ix. In an effort to stabilize neighborhoods, prevent and/or reduce blight, and increase the availability of standard, affordable housing, the County may acquire, demolish, and/or redevelop substandard apartment complexes or single family residences using HOME, CDBG, or other funds. x. If funds are available in the Public Services category, they may be used to assist in providing services to fill the services gap in the DeKalb Continuum of Care for the Homeless. We will collaborate with DeKalb CoC representatives and other providers to determine areas of need. xi. While adhering to the approved process for committing HOME funds to multi-family projects in 2007, we committed $310,000 to the Tuscany Village Apartments project as part of the project’s tax credit application. We later determined that a better funding approach was to use CDBG funding for the housing services portion of the project and HOME funds for the development of units. The County amended its commitment agreement and authorized the use of CDBG funds not to exceed $30,000 per year (totaling $300,000 for years 2009 – 2018 toward housing services) and HOME funds (with a one-time commitment of $10,000) for unit development. These funds leveraged the affordable housing tax credits used to rehabilitate the 144 unit development. The total cost of the project was $14,790,000. EMERGENCY SOLUTIONS GRANTS PROGRAM ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS A. HUD requires a 7.5% cap on the funds for Administration, and a 60% cap on Emer gency Shelter + Outreach. There is no cap on any other component. B. The planning figure is $349,366 for year 2014. C. Representatives from the newly formed DeKalb County Continuum of Care (CoC) are assessing services to determine gaps and establish new DeKalb County priorities for serving the homeless population. The Human and Community Development Department Director is authorized to make the required funding changes to fill service gaps, align ESG funding with newly formed priorities, and satisfy HUD’s guidelines and regulations. Changes may include funding agencies that are not shown in the 2014 allocation but have been recommended by the DeKalb Continuum of Care. D. If more than $349,366 in ESGP funding is received from HUD, we recommend that increases be provided to any of the approved ESGP agencies identified in the 2014 Annual Action Plan or other providers that are approved by the Director of the Human and Community Development Department, making adjustments to be in compliance with the established HUD guidelines for the various categories. Further, if the increase is of a sufficient amount, we may consider transferring a public service CDBG funded agency to ESGP. The converse also applies. If we receive a decrease in funds, we recommend that the amounts proposed for each agency be decreased by the same amount of the HUD decrease, to the extent possible, making adjustments to be in compliance with the established HUD guidelines for the various categories. E. If for any reason and for any year Emergency Solutions Grants funds have been received and service providers cannot utilize the funds allocated, the funds will be considered for reprogramming to any of the approved ESGP service providers or providers who are fill a service gap in a manner that is identified by the Human and Community Development Department Director. F. All approved ESGP funding will be contingent upon the agency being in compliance with all DeKalb County statutory regulations. G. The Human and Community Development Department Director will be authorized to act on behalf of the County to approve the acceptance of funds from Georgia Department of Community Affairs by non-profit agencies or other providers in the County of DeKalb. H. Any funds remaining from the previous year will be reprogrammed to agencies approved to receive FY 2014 ESGP funding. OTHER Re-Entry Program: The State provides short term financial assistance ($700 per offender per month for three months) to help stabilize the re-entry process of newly released convicted felons and enhance their ability to remain crime free. Following an agency housing/services assessment process, the Human and Community Development Department will recommend approval or disapproval for agencies wishing to provide housing for this program. The final determination will be made by the Chief Executive Officer. DeKalb County Continuum of Care (COC): Upon learning of the impact of the new HEARTH regulations on the operational aspects of the Tri-jurisdictional Collaborative on Homelessness (Tri-J) and in light of the differences in the characteristics of the homeless populations in the three jurisdictions that comprise the Tri-J (DeKalb County, City of Atlanta, and Fulton County), the jurisdictions agreed to form separate Homeless Continuums of Care. In DeKalb County, CoC representatives (including members of the local homeless community and service providers) have formed committees to develop an organizational structure, establish priorities, assess service gaps, and formalize a service delivery system. When completed, the delivery system description will include requirements for the establishment of new homeless facilities in DeKalb County. The delivery system will move away from the homeless shelter concept to a variation of the housing first model for housing homeless individuals and households. THE PRELIMINARY 2014-2018 CONSOLIDATED PLAN INCLUDING THE 2014 ANNUAL ACTION PLAN MAY BE REVIEWED AT THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS: Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The DeKalb County Housing Authority, 750 Commerce Drive, Suite 201, Decatur DeKalb Workforce Development Department, 320 Church Street, Decatur DeKalb County Human and Community Development Department, 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330, Decatur Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. South DeKalb Senior Citizens Center, 1931 Candler Road, Decatur DeKalb/Atlanta Senior Citizens Center, 25 Warren Street, S.E., Atlanta Bruce Street/East DeKalb Senior Center, 2484 Bruce Street, Lithonia Lou Walker Senior Center, 2538 Panola Rd., Lithonia The Housing Authority of the City of Lithonia, 6878 Max Cleland Blvd, Lithonia Please contact the DeKalb County area public libraries listed below for the hours of operation. Chamblee Branch 4115 Clairmont Road, Chamblee (770-936-1380) Decatur Branch 215 Sycamore Street, Decatur (404-370-3070) Redan-Trotti Branch 1569 Wellborn Road, Redan (770-482-3821) Wesley Chapel-William C. Brown Branch 2861 Wesley Chapel Road, Decatur (404-286-6980)
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 16, 2013
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Affordable Care Act allows uninsured more health insurance options
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com Uninsured residents in DeKalb County will soon have more options to enroll in affordable health care programs, said Pamela Roshell, regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. From Oct. 1-Dec. 31, uninsured residents of DeKalb County will be eligible for open enrollment in the new health insurance marketplace, which was created by the passing of the Affordable Care Act. “What the marketplace will do is provide coverage through issuers who are already licensed here in Georgia to provide health insurance,” Roshell said. Roshell said the health insurance marketplace will provide coverage in 10 basic categories, ranging from prescription drug coverage and maternity care, to substance abuse care and recovery services. Individuals enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid and VAsponsored health coverage will not have to enroll in the marketplace, Roshell said, only those without health insurance. For those individuals who
son said. Robert Petzel, the undersecretary for health at the Veterans Health Administration who oversees all VA hospitals in the country, said the Atlanta VA Medical Center leadership has taken the deaths that occurred “very seriously.” He also acknowledged that the system in place at the Atlanta VA allowed patients to fall through the cracks. Petzel said that since May, the medical center in Atlanta has hired an additional 66 mental health employees. He also said that to enhance the facility’s ability to track and monitor patients receiving contract care, the medical center has reduced the number of contract medical organizations it refers mental health patients to from 26 to five. Recently, the Atlanta VA Medical Center hired Leslie Wiggins to replace former Director James A. Clark, who retired last year. Wiggins testified during the hearing that the center has already taken steps to address many of the problems found in the reports. Wiggins said that wait times have been significantly reduced to an average of 14 days between patient visits and referrals. She also said each of the five outpatient mental health locations where the center refers veterans, as well as the inpatient center Peachford Hospital where it refers veterans in need of extended care, now has a licensed case manager. “Now they are legally attached with a clinical social worker to guide them and they’re attached to that veteran,” Wiggins said.
An official from President Barack Obama’s administration spoke with the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners recently about how the new Affordable Care Act will affect uninsured residents. Photo by Daniel Beauregard
are uninsured because they can’t afford health insurance, Roshell said there are “affordability” programs available in the way of tax credits and cost-sharing provisions. The tax credit program is available for residents between 100-400 percent of the federal poverty level. The cost-sharing program, which makes it easier for residents to cover things such as co-pays during doctor visits, will be available for those whose income is 250 percent or less of the federal poverty level. DeKalb County Commising to Selig representatives. In early January, Good Growth DeKalb filed an internal administrative appeal contending that truck, tree and hydrology ordinances were not followed in granting the building permit to Selig Enterprises. The appeal was denied, but Good Growth DeKalb spokesperson Louise Runyon said they were not given an opportunity to present their appeal. “County law says, if you are appealing a building permit, which we did in January, you must direct that appeal to the technical board of appeals,” she said in March. “We were not given that opportunity. The trouble is the technical board of appeals doesn’t exist. Why doesn’t DeKalb County follow its own ordinances requiring that a technical board of appeals be set up?” The group has been protesting the future Walmart for over a year. Angela Singletary, who lives off Ponce de Leon Avenue, said she is against Walmart coming to
sioner Jeff Rader said many small businesses in DeKalb County are interested in how the new plan will affect them. “One of the things that is very obvious is the interest we’re likely to see from the small business community in what their specific responsibilities are and how the Affordable Care Act will make health care available to their employees, either through the company-sponsored plan or through the marketplace,” Rader said. Roshell said there is a voluntary small business
the Suburban Plaza because it would cause an increase in traffic. “We already have a tough traffic situation now and it’s hard for cars to get in and out of their neighborhoods right
health option as part of the new insurance marketplace. The federal government defines small businesses as those with fewer than 50 employees. Additionally, Roshell said enrolling in the insurance marketplace will also help residents assess whether they’re eligible for the current Medicaid program or the children’s health insurance program. Residents can enroll by calling the 24-hour call center at 1 (800) 318-2596 or visiting www.healthcare.gov.
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REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE
said she would take time to study the zoning code before making a ruling on both motions. Barrie said she would schedule another hearing on the motions in September. A few days before the hearing, Barrie denied a motion by Selig Enterprises, owner of Suburban Plaza, who asked the court to allow it to intervene and become part of the lawsuit. Good Growth DeKalb, an organization that promotes the sustainable development of their community, has been opposed Selig Enterprises’ plans to bring in a 150,000-square-foot Walmart store that would have groceries, a deli, pharmacy and optical center. The Walmart would be part of an improved shopping center, which would increase by 30,000 square feet, would add 600-800 jobs to the community and spur redevelopment in the corridor, accord-
behind the plaza,” she said. “Those trucks going in and out of there will make it even harder. I think it’s a bad location to put a Walmart Supercenter.”
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 16, 2013
Students registering for school at Meadowview Elementary School Aug. 7 had the opportunity to receive book bags and school supplies donated by Gresham Park community and business leaders. Photos by Andrew Cauthen
Gresham Park leaders donate school supplies to Meadowview Elementary
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org Seventy students at Meadowview Elementary were able to fill new book bags with school supplies Aug. 7 thanks to business and community leaders from the Gresham community. “I think it’s excellent,” said Jennifer Maddox, the mother of Meadowview kindergartner Roland Thompson. “It’s going to help out a lot of parents that have more than one kid.” Maddox said her 4-year-old son performed well in pre-K last year at the school. “He had an excellent teacher last year,” said Maddox, who was at the school for its open house and registration. While there, she discovered the free school supplies that were being distributed. “This is about giving back to the kids,” said Robert King, of R. L. King Properties. “We’re trying to revitalize Gresham Road and what we’re doing now is we’re trying to give back.” At an event organized by Gresham Park Community Association President Darryl Jennings, several local businesses contributed to the back-to-school giveaway, including R. L. King Properties, Mincey Eye Care Center of Atlanta, B&B Movers, Universal Construction, Atlanta Sports Complex, Pierce Lawn Services, Big Lots Store #4192 and Gresham Walmart Supercenter. Barbara Billingsley, president and CEO of B&B Movers, said, “It is important that we give back. It’s something that we’ve always done. The kids need it and the parents need a reprieve from having to come up with all those expenses. They already have to buy clothes and everything. “Just giving back is what we do,” Billingsley said. Dr. Gideon Mincey, an optometrist who owns Mincey Eye Care Center on Gresham Road, said he gives back to the community out of a sense of obligation. “ It’s an honor and it’s a privilege to be able to help these kids,” Mincey said. “Giving them tools necessary for them to be in class and do the things that they need to do to educate themselves and really get the job done. “Just going to school is not good enough,” Mincey said. “They have to have the supplies in order to take notes and be able to practice their skills and their lessons. “I just feel it’s a strong obligation of ours in the community to do our share because it does take a village,” he said. “Some people are better off than others and it’s our obligation. It’s something that we must do—not that we should do or could do.” Ramon Ward, owner of the soon-to-be-open Atlanta Sports Complex in Gresham Plaza, said he donated “a nice check” of $500. “I’ve been giving to the kids in this area for probably the last 15 years,” Ward said. “I’ve always found a way to just give back.” DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson told parents the event was “a remarkable day because you have people who care about you who don’t even know you. That’s love. That’s neighbor. That’s a community.”
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 16, 2013
May encourages participation in small business summit
by Kathy Mitchell email@example.com “Small business success equals DeKalb County success,” said DeKalb County Interim CEO Lee May, urging owners and representatives of small businesses across the county to participate in this year’s county-sponsored small business summit. “Small business is crucial to the future of DeKalb County,” said May, adding that approximately 90 percent of the businesses registered in the county would be classified as small businesses. May added, “We want to do everything we can to support small businesses, providing them with resources they need to grow and succeed. The annual Small Business Summit is one way of doing that. Those attending the summit will find a wealth of ideas and resources.” The keynote speaker at the fourth annual DeKalb County Small Business Summit will be Cassius Butts, regional director of the U.S. Small Business Administration Region IV Southeast. Butts was appointed to the position in 2011 by President Barack Obama. The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a federal agency that helps develop small businesses by providing access to start-up and expansion capital, counseling, training, surety bonding, business and home disaster mitigation loans and governand how to access startup capital, according to an announcement from the county. In addition to the U.S. Small Business Administration, participants in the summit are: Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, Atlanta Microfund, DeKalb Chamber of Commerce, DeKalb County Government, DeKalb Enterprise Business Corporation, DeKalb Microenterprise Institute, Georgia Department of Economic Development, Georgia Piedmont Technical College, Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute– Minority Business Development Agency Business Center, Green Chamber of the South - Greenhouse Accelerator, Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Invest Atlanta, Kendrick Law Practice LLC, Passkey Strategies, UGA Small Business Development Center, DeKalb County and Urban League of Greater Atlanta. The event will be will be Aug. 22, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at Georgia Piedmont Technical College, 495 North Indian Creek Dr., Clarkston. The summit is open to the public and registration is required. The registration fee for the summit is $25. For more information and to register, visit dekalbsummit2013.eventbrite.com or call (404) 687-2730. The event is being held in partnership with the Development Authority of DeKalb County and the DeKalb Office of Economic Development.
Small businesses such as those at Candler Point business plaza in south DeKalb County account for approximately 90 percent of the businesses registered in the county.
ment contracting opportunities. Region IV, which includes Georgia and seven other Southeastern states, is consistently among the top three most active regions in the nation for SBA guaranteed lending programs. “I’ve met with Director Butts several times and he definitely understands and supports what we’re trying to do here in DeKalb County. I believe business executives here will benefit from hearing what he has to say,” May said. This year’s theme is Innovative Strategies for Growth, an important area to explore, according to May. “Like the rest of the country, DeKalb County is experiencing economic
recovery, but it’s a slow recovery. We need creative, innovative approaches to boost that recovery.” The 2013 DeKalb County Small Business Summit is a part of the county’s ongoing effort to promote the growth and development of small businesses in DeKalb County by providing information to help businesses gain access to capital, identify public and private resources and network with other companies. Small business owners attending the summit will hear from professionals on a variety of topics, including visual strategy tools for business growth, marketing and branding strategies, exporting in global markets,
Hotel Equities names Carlos Melgar VP of finance
DeKalbbased Hotel Equities (HE) recently promoted Carlos Melgar to the position of vice president of finance. Melgar has been with the comMeglar pany since 2008, when he was hired as corporate controller to oversee the firm’s accounting and financial functions. In his new position, he reports directly to HE President & CEO Fred Cerrone and serves as a key member of the Hotel Equities’ leadership team. Melgar’s focus at Hotel Equities is strategic business growth and development. His responsibilities
include interaction with the capital markets and functional leadership of treasury, legal, accounting, risk management and information technology, according to a statement from the hotel development and management company.
labs is on a first-come, first-served basis; space is limited. Wesley Chapel-William C. Brown Library is located at 2861 Wesley Chapel Road, Decatur. For more information, call (404) 286-6980.
Part I & Part II, networking and basic computer. Since the program’s inception, more than 2,000 customers have attended the workshops. Below is the August schedule: •R esume Writing - Mondays, 10 a.m. - noon; Thursdays, 10 a.m. – noon; Fridays, 10 a.m.-noon and 1- 3 p.m. •P ersonal Branding & Marketing: Part I - Tuesdays, 10 a.m. –noon •Networking - Mondays, 10 a.m. noon and 1- 3 p.m.; Tuesdays, 1 -3 p.m. and Wednesdays, 1-3 p.m. •I nterviewing Techniques - Mondays, 1- 3 p.m.; Thursdays, 1- 3 p.m.; Fridays, 10 a.m. - noon and 1- 3 p.m. •P ersonal Branding and Marketing: Part II - Wednesdays, 10 a.m.noon •B asic Computer - Tuesdays, 10 a.m. –noon; Wednesdays, 10 a.m.noon
Library to hold open lab for job seekers
Wesley Chapel-William C. Brown Library is hosting an open lab for job seekers Monday, Aug. 19, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The library will have its computer lab set up so visitors can have expanded time to conduct job searches, fill out online job applications, update resumes and improve work skills with online tutorials. Library staff will be on hand to answer basic questions about the library’s resources for job seekers. Access to computers during open
Work readiness workshops offered
DeKalb County has announced that it will be holding work readiness workshops throughout August. The workshops are held at the DeKalb Workforce Development building located at 774 Jordan Lane, Building #4, Decatur, and are offered free of charge. The Work Readiness Workshops are designed to expose job seekers to essential work readiness skills needed to secure employment, according to county officials. Workshop training topics include resume writing, interviewing techniques, Personal Branding and marketing:
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 16, 2013
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Atlanta Dream players teach Redan girls
The girls’ basketball teams from Redan middle and high schools had the opportunity to learn from the professionals on Aug. 6 when the Atlanta Dream held an open practice at Redan Middle School. The open practice at the Lithonia school was a part of the Atlanta Dream’s “Take the Show on the Road” program. The events give fans a behind-thescenes look at the team’s practice and includes interactive elements such as a full team autograph session, giveaways and on-court contests with Dream players. The practice at Redan was the third of five open practices at high schools across the region by the Dream this year. Attendees also got a chance to win prizes and received a ticket to any upcoming Dream game. Redan High School girls’ basketball coach Jerry Jackson said having the Atlanta Dream practice at the school was a great opportunity for the Redan community. “We want to bring things like this to the community to inspire and motivate kids to do better,” he said. “I brought my team here to see the organization, how hard they work and to see what it takes to win as a team.” Sydney Brown, a ninth grader at Redan High School, said it was a great opportunity to see a live Dream practice. “I always wanted to experience this,” she said. “I learned how to better my shooting, how to play defense and how to have fun while you’re practicing.” Redan Middle eighth grader Lexis McNary also learned a few things from watching the practice. “I learned how to dribble behind my back, dribble between my legs, defense and other things,” she said. The two-time Eastern Conference Champion Atlanta Dream tipped off its sixth season in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) in May. The Dream qualified for the playoffs in each of the past four seasons, including back-toback conference titles in 2010 and 2011.
The Atlanta Dream stopped at Redan Middle School to have practice as part of its “Take the Show on the Road” event. The Dream players signed autographs for fans and attendees got a chance to participate in on-court contests with players. Photos by Carla Parker
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 16, 2013
Football scrimmages begin Thursday
Decatur golfer finishes in top 20 in junior championship
Golfer Ayanna Habeel of Decatur finished 13th in the Girls 10-12 Division at the Optimist International Junior Championship at Palm Beach Gardens in Florida in July. During the three-day event, Habeel, 12, shot an 83, 77 and 81 for a total of 241. The Optimist International Junior Golf Championships is one of the largest and best-known junior golf tournaments in the world. The field of 38 golfers in Habeel’s age division came from all over the world. “It was fun competing with girls from all over the world that love playing the game of golf and seeing my hard work pay off on the golf course,” Habeel said.
DeKalb County high school football fans can check out their favorite teams before the regular season starts at scrimmage games, which begin Aug. 15. The Dunwoody Wildcats kicks it off at Alcovy at 6 p.m. and Cross Keys closes Football scrimmages begin Thursday out the scrimmage schedule on Aug. 23 at North Springs. See schedule below for DeKalb County high school football fans can check out their favorite teams before the regular starts atgames. scrimmage games, which begin Aug. moreseason scrimmage
15. The Dunwoody Wildcats kicks it off at Alcovy at 6 p.m. and Cross Keys closes out the scrimmage schedule on Aug. 23 at North Springs. See schedule below for more scrimmage games.
Date 15‐Aug 15‐Aug 16‐Aug 16‐Aug 16‐Aug 16‐Aug 16‐Aug 16‐Aug 16‐Aug 16‐Aug 16‐Aug 17‐Aug 17‐Aug 17‐Aug 17‐Aug 23‐Aug
Day Thursday Thursday Friday Friday Friday Friday Friday Friday Friday Friday Friday Saturday Saturday Saturday Saturday Friday
Teams Dunwoody vs. Alcovy ML King vs. Cedar Grove Tucker vs. Marist Stone Mountain vs. Lamar Co. Columbia vs. Tri‐Cities McNair vs. Meadowcreek Stephenson vs. North Gwinnett Miller Grove vs. Westlake Clarkston vs. Maynard Jackson Chamblee vs. Bainbridge Towers vs. Loganville Christian Lithonia vs. Salem Redan vs. Arabia Mtn. Lakeside vs. Druid Hills SW DeKalb vs. Newton Co. Cross Keys vs. North Springs
Home Alcovy ML King Marist Lamar Co. Tri‐Cities Meadowcreek North Gwinnett Westlake Maynard Jackson Bandbridge Loganville Christian Salem Arabia Mtn. Druid Hills Newton Co. North Springs
Time 6 p.m. 7 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 8 p.m. 8 p.m. 7 p.m. 4 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7 p.m.
Location Sharp Stadium Panthersville Marist Lamar Co. Tri‐Cities Meadowcreek North Gwinnett Westlake Grady Stadium Bainbridge Loganville Salem Stadium Salem Stadium Adams Stadium Newton Co. North Springs
Five Emory runners named to all-Academic track and field team
Recent Emory University graduates Kaele Leonard and Theresa Ford, rising senior Morgan Monroe and rising juniors Debora Adjibaba and Electra Korn were named to the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) AllAcademic Track and Field Team for their academic and athletic achievements during the 2013 season. Leonard finished her Emory career with four all-America honors – two for the indoor season and two for the outdoor season. This past year, she claimed indoor all-America honors with a sixth-place finish in the 400-meter dash and a seventh-place finish in the 4x400-meter relay, in addition to a seventh-place finish in the 400-meter dash during the outdoor season. She is the Emory record holder in both the indoor (56.94 seconds) and outdoor (55.85 seconds) 400-meter dash, and is part of the schoolrecord setting 4x400-meter indoor and outdoor relays. Ford’s 2013 season was one of the best careers in Emory history with a second-place finish in the heptathlon at the 2013 NCAA Division III Championships, setting school records with 4,828 points and a height of 1.72 meters in the high jump. She also earned an All-America honor in the individual high jump, finishing fourth in Division III. During the indoor season, she registered all-America honors with a fifth-place finish in the high jump and a sixth-place finish in the long jump. Ford is a three-time UAA Most Valuable Performer honoree, including during both the indoor and outdoor championships in 2013. Monroe participated in three events at NCAA Championship meets during the 2013 season, finishing 14th in the 60-meter hurdles during the indoor season, 10th in the 100-meter hurdles and 16th in the 4x100-meter relay during the outdoor championships. She won UAA championships in both the indoor 55-meter hurdles and as part of Emory’s 4x100meter outdoor relay. Adjibaba is a four-time All-American and three-time UAA Most Valuable Performer for running events. This outdoor season, she was named the UAA MVP for the second straight year and competed in the 60-meter dash, 200-meter dash, 4x100-meter relay and 4x400-meter relay at the NCAA Championships. During the 2013 indoor campaign, she earned allAmerica honors with a fifthplace finish in the 60-meter dash and a seventh-place finish in the 4x400-meter relay. Adjibaba is a 12-time UAA Champion during her twoyear career, and a conference record holder in four events. Korn earned her first all-America honor in 2013, finishing seventh as a part of Emory’s 4x400-meter relay team at the NCAA Indoor Championships, and participated in the outdoor championships, finishing 13th as part of the Eagles’ 4x400-meter relay. She also claimed a pair of UAA championships and five allconference honors during the 2013 season while setting a school record in the indoor 4x400-meter relay. To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Track and Field Team, the studentathlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 and have met either of the following athletic standards: a student-athlete must have competed in an NCAA Indoor or Outdoor Championship or finished the regular season ranked in the national top 35 in an individual event or ranked in the national top 25 (collective listing) in a relay event on the official NCAA POP list provided by TFRRS.org.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 16, 2013
in the county’s watershed department. In their motion to dismiss the case, Ellis’ attorneys accuse James of using a special purpose grand jury to obtain evidence or information to use against Ellis in an indictment. The motion also states that the DA’s office issued subpoenas for Ellis to testify before the grand jury and made false representations that Ellis was not a target of the investigation. In reference to the motion to dismiss Erik Burton, a spokesman for James, said, “We stand ready for trial and we stand by our indictment.” The indictment against Ellis describes a pay-toplay scheme in which he’s accused of strong-arming county vendors by telling them that if they didn’t donate to his campaign, their work from the county would come to a halt.
Trial delayed for suspended CEO
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com A DeKalb County Superior Court judge granted a motion delaying the start of suspended DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis’ trial, which was scheduled to begin Aug. 19. Ellis is accused of theft, conspiracy and extortion in a 15-count indictment filed June 18. Judge Courtney L. Johnson ruled in favor of the motion to allow Ellis and his attorneys more time to prepare for a trial. Earlier this year, Gov. Nathan Deal suspended Ellis and replaced him with District 5 DeKalb County Commissioner Lee May. A panel recommended his suspension after it found that Ellis’ day-to-day responsibilities running the county would be affected by his involvement in the upcoming trial. Ellis will remain sus-
Police officer dies while responding to call
by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org A DeKalb County Police officer died Aug. 10 from injuries sustained from an accident while responding to a traffic stop. According to police, Officer Ivorie Klusmann, 31, pulled over Gregory Lee Harvey, 27, at approximately 2 a.m. for a routine traffic stop near Snapfinger Klusmann Woods Drive. Klusmann took down Harvey’s information and went back to his patrol car; Harvey then fled the scene. Police said that at approximately 2:45 a.m., after a short pursuit, Klusmann’s vehicle ran off the roadway and struck a tree. DeKalb County Police spokeswoman Mekka Parish said Klusmann was pronounced dead at the scene. Later that day, police arrested Harvey at his home in Stone Mountain after he turned himself in to investigators. According to police, Harvey was driving a stolen, red Jeep Cherokee at the time Klusmann pulled him over. Harvey is charged with felony murder, reckless driving and theft by receiving a stolen vehicle. He has previously been arrested for battery, family violence and disorderly conduct. Klusmann was employed by the DeKalb County Police Department since October 2012, and was assigned to the uniform division at the department’s east precinct. Harvey had his first court appearance Aug. 12 from the DeKalb County Jail. Parish said all suspects charged with murder now have their first court appearance via video conference at the jail.
pended until the outcome of the trial or the end of his term of office in 2014. Recently, Ellis’ attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the case on grounds that District Attorney Robert James abused his authority when indicting Ellis; James refutes that claim. A judge has yet to rule on that motion. Ellis’ indictment reportedly stems from information investigators found while searching his home in January. While his home was being searched, Ellis testified before a special purpose grand jury impaneled to investigate allegations of corruption
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