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and Stone Mountain.
of making false statements and one count each of hindering the apprehension of a criminal, and concealing material facts. Sneiderman was originally charged with murder and aggravated assault but prosecutors dropped those charges several days before her trial began. Adams is allowing the year Sneiderman spent on house
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SHOOTING AT RONALD E. MCNAIR DISCOVERY LEARNING ACADEMY See story on page 3A
Sneiderman sentenced to five years
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com Andrea Sneiderman maintained her innocence Aug. 20, as a DeKalb County judge sentenced her to five years in prison for lying to police and hindering the investigation into her husband’s shooting death. Her former boss Hemy Neuman pleaded guilty to killing Rusty Sneiderman and is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole. Sneiderman was also convicted of lying under oath while testifying during Neuman’s trial. DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Gregory Adams ordered Sneiderman to serve concurrent five year sentences after being convicted of four counts of perjury, three counts
See Sneiderman on page 15A
Andrea Sneiderman leaves court Aug. 20 after her sentence was handed down by a Superior Court judge who gave her ﬁve years with credit for time served during her house arrest. Photo by Kent D. Johnson/AJC
Fallen DeKalb Police officer laid to rest
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org A DeKalb County Police officer who died in the line of duty was remembered during his funeral. Officer Ivorie Gerhard Klusmann died in a single-car accident while responding to a call. According to police, Klusmann pulled over Gregory Lee Harvey, 27, at approximately 2 a.m. for a routine traffic stop near Snapfinger Woods Drive. Klusmann took down Harvey’s Klusmann information and went back to his patrol car and Harvey then fled the scene. After a short pursuit was called off, another officer spotted the suspect’s vehicle. While Klusmann was responding to the call, his vehicle ran off the roadway and struck a tree. DeKalb County Police spokeswoman Mekka Parish said
See Fallen Ofﬁcer on page 15A
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 23, 2013
Brookhaven and DeKalb approve park takeover, police fees
The Brookhaven City Council voted unanimously Aug. 13 to pay DeKalb County $3.2 million for police and parks services. The city will assume control of the parks on Sept. 3. The council’s vote came several hours after the DeKalb County Commission voted in support of an intergovernmental agreement between the city and county for the $3.2 million lump sum. “We feel that the city and the county have agreed on a fair and reasonable price for the services provided,” Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis said. “We appreciate DeKalb assisting us in servicing our community while we got our city up and running.” Under the agreement, Brookhaven will take over all parks in the city from the county on Sept. 3 – earlier than initially discussed. The city is now conducting a national search for a parks and recreation director. The agreement also reimburses DeKalb County Police for patrols from the city’s inception in December 2012 until July 31, when the Brookhaven Police Department launched. The agreement also states that the county will provide use of the DeKalb County Police helicopter, SWAT team, K-9s and other specialized police service. The agreement comes after months of negotiations between the city and county. “This agreement allows DeKalb County and Brookhaven to look to the future concerning our respective public safety plans. We look forward to a continued partnership as we serve all of our residents in DeKalb County,” DeKalb County Interim CEO Lee May said. The Brookhaven City Council also approved an intergovernmental agreement with Doraville for Georgia Crime Information Center services, which allows officers to check criminal histories, stolen property lists, wanted suspects, missing persons and other important law enforcement data on the state computer system.
DeKalb Police officers promoted, honored
by Andrew Cauthen email@example.com alism, so much hard work and who have done an incredible job Assistant Chief W. Conroy Lt. M. F. Lavigne under very extreme kinds of cirMajor T. S. Dedrick Sgt. S. J. ean Between February and cumstances. It’s always been one Major T. S. Voss Sgt. C. D. Wallin June, DeKalb, along with event right behind the other. Capt. N. A. Rutland Det. M A. Syed Atlanta, Lilburn, Gwinnett “They were able to respond to Capt. F. P. Braun Det. A. E. Hardaway and Henry counties, was investigative calls of all types and Lt. E. Smith Det. R. S. Harris plagued by the so-called did an incredible job whether it Lt. W. Ford Det. C. A. Tappan “dollar store robber” who was homicide or it was a robbery Lt. P. E. Williams Det. J. D. Paden stole from 24 stores and a or it was a sexual assault or whatLt. J. A. Medina Det. R. S. Davis Tucker bank. ever it may have been, they just Lt. L. D. Robertson Det. E. Neal Before 23-year-old Artado incredible work,” Alexander Sgt. E. T. Heimer Det. A. Quigley vius Marcellus Brown was said. Sgt. J. L. White Det. M. S. McLendon identified and later arrested, Officer D. J. Perry received a Sgt. L. J. Coleman Det. D. D. Evans DeKalb Police Chief Cedmeritorious service award during Sgt. J. A. Obester Det. W. J. Muller ric Alexander called him the ceremony. Sgt. M. Wallen Det. D. Dennerline “extremely dangerous.” “I feel honored that they took Sgt. N. J. Herndon Det. P. A. Wright “No one has been hurt the time to even recognize me,” Sgt. H. H. Stiles Det. R. P. VanLeuven at this point but with the said Perry, who has been on the Sgt. G. E. Smith Det. M. Zeric frequency that we’ve been force for approximately three Sgt. L. T. Shover Ofc. D. J. Perry seeing this we have to make years. “A lot of times we do Ofc. Z. J. Valentin sure that everyone remains things and they kind of go unOfc. D. L. Richie Ofc. N. Graham safe and we’ve got to get noticed. It makes us feel good to Ofc. M. Connors this guy off the street as know that somebody appreciates Ofc. G. T. Vanderpool soon as we can,” Alexander the things we’re doing.” Ofc. C. L. Hunter said during a June 12 news Perry, who just moved from conference. the north precinct to the south Brown was arrested precinct, said he doesn’t consider DeKalb County Police Department nearly six weeks later and Alexander himself a hero. promotions and accommodations cercredits the work of DeKalb Police in“I’m just somebody that’s out there emony. vestigators in the suspect’s capture. trying to do my job,” he said. The detectives were among 25 law “The work that these detectives “My motivation is when I get out enforcement officers who were recogpursued, the work they went out to do nized for their work. on the streets and I see the people that and how they conducted themselves actually need us, the people that reAdditionally, 19 individuals were in the investigations and how eventupromoted to the ranks of sergeant, ma- spect us, and the people that just want ally we were able to bring into custody jor, captain and assistant chief. somebody to help them out—somethe person involved in” these crimes, body to pull them out of their bad Alexander said the detectives Alexander said Aug. 14 during the situation, somebody to just come medi“demonstrated so much professionPromotions Commendations
See Promotions on Page 3A
Twenty-five DeKalb County Police personnel received accommodations for their work during a ceremony Aug. 14. Nineteen individuals were promoted. Photos by Andrew Cauthen
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 23, 2013
No students or teachers were injured when a 19-year-old gunman entered Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy with an AK-47. After exchanging gunfire with police, the suspect surrendered peacefully. Photos by Carla Parker
Students and teachers unharmed in school shooting
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org
A police officer helps a child off a school bus as buses arrive with students after an incident at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy Aug. 20. Interim Superintendent Michael Thurmond said all students at the school in Decatur were accounted for and safe. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
in the car. DeKalb Schools interim superintendent Michael Thurmond thanked law enforceA suspect is in custody after allegedly fir- ment and school administrators for their ing a gun inside Ronald E. McNair Discovquick response to keep students safe. ery Learning Academy on Aug. 20. “It’s a blessed day,” Thurmond said. “All Police said after the gunman exchanged of our children are safe. It’s a tragic situation fire with law enforcement he surrendered but we’re blessed and pleased that the chilpeacefully. There were no injuries to studren and staff are safe.” dents, teachers or the suspect, according to Students were bused to the Gresham police. Road Walmart to be picked up by their parDeKalb County Police Chief Cedric ents. Many parents at the scene–down the Alexander said the 19-year-old suspect enstreet from the school on Second Avenue– tered the building behind someone who had were upset that they did not receive proper proper access to the building. notification from school officials about the “He had an AK-47 and other weapons shooting. on him,” he said. “He had one to two staff One parent, Jonessia White, said she members held captive inside the front office. received a call from her 5-year-old son’s He did not get past the front office.” teacher about what happened. Alexander said when police arrived to the “She just said that they were still inside school the suspect began shooting at officers the school waiting,” White said. from inside the school. He said the suspect Delnert Samuel, who has two grandsons fired as many as half a dozen shots at the of- at the school, said he heard the gunshots ficer. from his house. Once police arrested the suspect, the “I then heard the police sirens but I didn’t DeKalb SWAT team came to clear the leave the house,” Samuel said. “When I saw school and have students safely removed the news report about the shooting, that’s from the building. Alexander said that is when I came running down to the school but when they noticed the suspect’s car was police officers stopped me from going near blocking the entrance and the police dog the school.” sniffed out explosive devices. Samuel was upset that the gunman had “We had the kids exit from the side of easy access to the school building. the building because we had to get the kids “He should not have been able to walk away from the explosives,” Alexander said. in the school like that,” he said. “After what Alexander said the car is still under inhappened in [Newtown, Conn.] the school vestigation to find out what explosives were doors should be locked at all times.”
ate—those are the people I wake up and do this every day for,” Perry said. Being a policeman is “the most exciting job” a person can have, Perry said. “Your job changes from day to day. One day you could be doing traffic, one day you could be chasing down the most
Promotions Continued From Page 2A
dangerous individual you’ve ever known. The job always changes.” Interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May told the officers that they are “cherished, honored and loved.” “When you do good you deserve to be acknowledged publicly, because, you know
when you do bad you will be blasted loudly,” he said. “The work that you do in public service is not just service in terms of a name, but it’s service in terms of action,” May said. “Each day you go forward, you lay down your life as a sacrifice that others may be protected.
“Your role is of utmost importance for a great DeKalb County,” May said. “In this new role that I’m in, I understand more clearly than ever that we have to truly support you men and women who…serve and protect our county.” Alexander said, “I am so
proud of all them. I am very proud to be a member of this police department. The men and women of this police department love this police department. They love the work that they do. They love the challenges that they go out and face every day.”
pleAse recycle this pAper
One Man’s Opinion
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 23, 2013
Wise word to a windy restaurant
quested medium. The cashier hands me back the coupon, which required the purchase of two side items for the free cheeseburger. The exact wording read “with a small or larger fries, premium side or drink.” I explained, the coupon says “small or larger,” not “small or large.” This concept was still a bit too much to grasp, so I then explained—big, bigger, biggest; small, smaller, smallest; large, larger, largest. The befuddled cashier continues to dispute that large and larger are the same word. At this point a manager consult is required, from the quietude of his office in the back. The manager displaces the two cashiers on the counter, and correctly rings in the order. At this point, nearly 10 minutes in, a cheeseburger arrives on my tray. A third employee drops by with an order of large fries, and I again mention that I ordered a medium fry. The employee tosses the large in the trash, and then goes for a medium. A fourth employee approaches the counter with a large Coca-Cola. I smile again and offer, “I ordered a medium iced tea, unsweetened.” A few moments later, I receive a sweet tea, no ice. I then explained iced tea, and requested unsweetened again, and a pack or two of Sweet and Low, or their artificial sweetener of choice as there were none at the condiment station. My request for sweetener causes a manhunt with three employees behind the counter shaking all boxes, empty or full on premises in search of artificial sweetener. Shortly, I was brought a couple very stiff packs of the pink, perhaps on property since the mid-‘80s. I only had a $20 bill. The cash till had no $5 and no $10s. My change was given in singles, which I now have 17 of—perhaps I should have gone to the Cheetah for dinner. Got to my table, and started to enjoy my “free hamburger” with the fries, which were not bad. I opened the burger, which was slathered in mayo, and topped with a huge completely melted slab of fake American cheese. Hmmm, just as I ordered. Bon appetite. I ate it anyway. I have been going to this particular restaurant, though rarely in the last decade, since the late ‘70s. It happens to be the first location of this chain in the Atlanta area. I like the company, have met the founder, yada, yada, yada. Any fast food place, despite the steroid laced beef, and over-salted food, is still generally more nutritious than what third world children eat every day for a week. They are supposedly fast, inexpensive and convenient—and as a bachelor, I don’t have to cook. My $5 order tied up five employees for nearly 25 minutes, and except for the fries, with a threeitem order they got everything wrong, and the cashier, who was an American, had a less than basic grasp of the English language. I know the fast food industry can be tough work—long hours and standing on your feet most of the day. One of my first jobs was at a Steak n’ Shake in 1977, but I can still remember the training video, “Founded in Joliet, Ill. by Gus and Edith Belt in 1934,” and the condiments order—as you had to write condiments on the ticket for the kitchen to prepare fresh—OPRMMLT. And surprisingly, even then, I knew the difference between large and larger, long before the movie Dumb and Dumber arrived in theaters. Couponing and discounting are proven strategies to drive sampling and bring back customers, but the team needs to be ready to accept them. Customers are not always right, but arguing with them or underperforming is the wrong strategy to increase market share.
“The menu at McDonald’s has grown by 70 percent to roughly 145 items since 2007. As the chain adds on new item after item, franchise owners are complaining that running a restaurant has become an operational nightmare, rife with slow service.”—Bloomberg News, May 2013. On a blustery day with coupon in hand, I recently visited at the dinner hour a once favored fast food chain, now challenged to hold its market share. At this location, the dining room was empty, with a queue of roughly seven cars in the drive-through line. I approached the counter, smiled and said, “Good evening,” handing the coupon to the cashier and placing my order, “Cheeseburger–no cheese, no mayo–medium fries and a medium unsweetened tea.” After staring at the coupon for a good two minutes, the cashier enters one cheeseburger, large fries, large Coke. I softly, and still with a smile, making eye contact repeat my order, and mention that she is ringing in “large” when I had re-
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 23, 2013
Do the right thing!
filed and the offspring of an enslaved people still do not enjoy the promises of our Constitution. Ironically, those who wage the fiercest battles for our “constitutional rights” to bear arms for instance, would fight just as hard to deny others their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness guarantees under the that same Constitution. The same people who fight the hardest against a woman’s right to choose, are the same ones who would fight just as hard to deny that woman food to feed that child. When did a group of middle-aged men get license to sit and decide what a woman should do with her body? Isn’t that something rightly left between a woman, her God, doctor and family? Could we just do the right thing and stop meddling in personal affairs where the government does not belong? The Obama administration got it right last week when Attorney General Eric Holder announced moves to bring about some semblance of parity in drug sentencing guidelines. Minor drug dealers have been getting 20 years, while major dealers get two years and probation if any jail time at all. Could we just do the right thing? We can’t get an immigration law passed on the federal level, because too many lawmakers are stuck between their constituents’ need for profits and the need for workers who would make those profits for them. We simply can’t have it both ways. Georgia’s immigration law resulted in acres upon acres of onions and other crops rotting in unpicked fields. People who want to do that back-breaking work in order to feed their families ought to be able to do so. Just do the right thing. Over in neighboring North Carolina, the governor has signed a voter ID bill into law. It cuts back on early voting, requires stricter photo ID and significantly restricts voter registration. Even Hillary Clinton, who has not yet declared her candidacy for president, weighed in blaming the Supreme Court decision that gutted the voting rights act and slamming the North Carolina bill. “In the weeks since the ruling, we’ve seen an unseemly rush by previously covered jurisdictions to enact or enforce laws that will make it harder for millions of our fellow Americans to vote.” Taking direct aim on the North Carolina bill, Mrs. Clinton said it “reads like the greatest hits of voter suppression” and places a greater burden on citizens facing discrimination. Sadly, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of that march on Washington and that oft-repeated I Have A Dream speech that instead of progressing it seems we are regressing when it comes to equality of opportunity. At what point do we ever really level the playing field? When does this country live up to its noble creed that all men are created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights like life liberty and the pursuit of happiness? The dream remains a nightmare for many and we are fitfully tossing about trying to escape the demons of inequality that loom larger and larger in hot pursuit. Wake up. Shake it off. Be bold enough individually and collectively to say “enough.” We must be bold and courageous enough to admit we still have a long way to go in this country when we are still stuck in the Jim Crow ‘60s curtail voting rights and putting up barriers to deter people from exercising that basic right to vote. If one gets tired of people harping on race and inequality in education, housing, sentencing, jobs, and food products, then just do the right thing. Steen Miles, The Newslady, is a retired journalist and former Georgia state senator. Contact Steen Miles at Steen@dekalbchamp.com.
Movie producer Spike Lee, who has ties to the Atlanta area through his attendance at Morehouse College, had a very popular movie out back in 1989. It was called Do the Right Thing and it was all about the racial tension existing at the time in the Bedford-Stuyvesant district of New York. The rallying cry toward the end of the movie was for Pizza Parlor owner Sal to “do the right thing.” When my girls were young I would tell them if you don’t want to hear me fuss, then just do what you are supposed to do. Do the right thing. Here we are 150 years after emancipation ending slavery in this country and 50 years since Dr. Martin Luther King’s I Have A Dream speech and there are still major forces in this country that simply will not do the right thing. So the marches, rallies and protests continue. Lawsuits keep getting
Letter to the Editor
Why not quit?
standards is in power. They don’t even have to comply with the Open Records or Open Meetings acts. Yet they sit in judgment of school boards, and in a single, unilateral and until now–unimpeachable decision; set the legislative wheels in motion to nullify the will of 40,000 DeKalb County voters. As it has been proven, they don’t have to meet a burden of proof; only render an opinion cloaked in secrecy and lies. This is in direct violation of Article VIII Section V, paragraph 2 of the Georgia Constitution, which requires all local school board members to be elected as provided by law. It specifically says that after Dec. 31, 1993, there shall be no more appointed local school board members. What does DeKalb County have now? Back to the question. I am 77 years old. Why not just quit? Later on this month, Aug. 28 to be exact, is the 50-year anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech at the Lincoln Memorial. I am old enough to remember what that was all about. You see, at that time it was exactly 100 years after the abolition of slavery, and at that time African Americans–we called ourselves Negroes back then–still did not have equal rights, certainly not equal voting rights. Jim Crow laws had
recently been overturned, but there was still plenty of activity on the state and local level to keep Blacks away from the ballot box. There is one thing upon which Whites and Blacks can always agree: the vote is a very powerful right. Now it’s 50 years later, and the whole civil rights struggle is becoming a distant memory. On the surface, it would seem we have made so much progress. So much progress that the U.S. Supreme Court has decided the Justice Department no longer needs to be the watchdog for fairness in the South, where the powers in charge have had the most prolific history of abuse. In spite of this, somehow, a clandestine organization empowers a governor to discard the will of a electorate greater than that of three states. The men and women upon whose shoulders I stand paved the way in blood, sweat, and tears; but mostly blood. MLK, Medgar Evers, Viola Liuzzo, John Lewis, Jimmie Lee Jackson, and many, many more. They bore the brunt of the struggle; a Georgia Supreme Court case is a pittance in comparison. I owe it to them, the cause they stood for, and to future generations to see this through. That’s why I will never quit. Gene Walker
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The recent decision by administrative law judge Maxwell Wood to sustain Gov. Nathan Deal’s suspension of the DeKalb County School Board [members] came as no surprise to anyone, certainly not me. Disappointing, yes. I always hold out hope that the best of human nature will persevere. But it came as no surprise. What is surprising at this time is other conversations I have had with people. These are people who I have had the greatest respect for in the past. There are two in particular: One was White, one Black. “Why don’t you just quit, Gene?” they asked. “Give it up and go on about your business. Let it go.” They are old, like I am, but their complacency is showing. I would have thought those closest to me would understand what I am doing and why I am doing it. The administrative appeal was simply an obstacle that had to be dispensed with. You can’t bother the Georgia Supreme Court if there are untried remedies; it is the court of last resort. The Georgia General Assembly created this constitutional crisis and the administrative hearing was just another hurdle to be cleared. To place it in a nutshell, again: A privately run organization with no accountability or investigative
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 23, 2013
Champion of the Week
The Walmart Neighborhood Market is currently being constructed in the Covington Square shopping plaza off of Covington Highway in Lithonia.
Walmart Neighborhood Market coming to Covington Highway
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org Construction is underway for a Walmart Neighborhood Market in the Covington Square shopping plaza in Lithonia. The 42,000-square-foot market is being built where Big Lots was previously located. Introduced in 1998, Walmart Neighborhood Markets average 40,000 square feet, which is a quarter of the size of a Walmart Supercenter. Bill Wertz, Wal-Mart’s divisional director of public affairs and government relations, said the neighborhood markets are intended to be primarily grocery stores. “[The store] would include a full range of grocery items including fresh produce and meats, deli items and a bakery,” he said. “It’ll also have a pharmacy and a small selection of general merchandise, including health and beauty products.” Although there is a Walmart Supercenter on Fairington Road–two miles from the neighborhood market– Wertz said Wal-Mart is always looking for opportunities to make shopping more convenient for customers. “A lot of our customers like the convenience of being able to shop in a smaller store that is quicker to get in and out of,” he said. “The neighborhood markets are a nice combination with our supercenters where people can really do all of their shopping in one spot, in a bigger store. Neighborhood markets really fit with customer needs.” Wal-Mart plans to hire 90 associates for the neighborhood market and job seekers may apply for jobs on WalMart’s website. “We expect to open a hiring center soon because we have a supercenter planned for the same area and we’ll probably combine the two hiring centers into one location,” Wertz said. “So there will be a specific place for people to go to apply for jobs for the supercenter and the neighborhood market.” Wertz said when the store opens, which is expected to be before the end of the year, customers should expect a “fantastic” experience. “The neighborhood markets are very popular,” he said. “They are just wonderful grocery stores. A great place for food and pharmacy items.”
When Gresham Park Community Association President Darryl Jennings needed community and business leaders to donate funds for a backto-school backpack giveaway, one of the people he called was Ramon Ward. The 41-year-old Ward was one of several who donated money for school supplies that were given to students at Meadowview Elementary on Aug. 7. Ward, owner of the soon-to-be-open Atlanta Sports Complex in Gresham Plaza, said he donated “a nice check” of $500 for the school supplies. “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.” Ward, a Lithonia resident, said volunteering is not new to him. For several years he served as a community coach at Columbia High School and later coached
sports at Exchange Park Recreation Center in Decatur. “I wanted to do something for my neighborhood,” he said about volunteerism. “I grew up here.” In his volunteer work, Ward said he likes to focus on fitness and exercise. Ward said he volunteers to “do something for the kids and give the kids an opportunity to reach that next level in athletics and academics. It’s about giving back to the kids.” Ward said he volunteers because “there’s not
enough people who give enough to this area.” “With me growing up in this area and doing business around here, I just wanted to help because I saw the change in the community from how it was when I grew up around here and where it is now and where it’s trying to go,” Ward said. “I just want to do my part, starting with the kids and teaching them about volunteering, giving back and not just taking all the time.” When he’s not working or volunteering, Ward said he likes to visit his sons in Virginia and Oklahoma. “Traveling is my passion,” he said. “I just took an overseas trip in May. I was gone for 15 days on a European tour.” Ward said volunteering is “one of the most rewarding things you will ever do—to give someone something and not expect anything in return.”
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 23, 2013
Quilting class offered at Library
Road, Chamblee. For more information, call (770) 936-1380.
located at 215 Sycamore Street, Decatur. For more information, call (404) 370-3070.
Annual Labor Day Race scheduled Runners and walkers will strap up their sneakers for the 35th Annual Labor Day 5K Race and 1 Mile Race on Sept. 2 in Avondale Estates. Walkers and runners of all ages and athletic levels can participate. Registration for the two races will begin at 7:30 a.m. The one mile race will start at 8:30 a.m. and the 5K race will follow at 9 a.m. For more information on donating, being a sponsor or volunteering, contact Karen Holmes at (404) 2945400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lighting to be added along Buford Highway The Brookhaven City Council voted unanimously Aug. 13 to approve an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the Georgia Department of Transportation that will add more than 200 streetlights along Buford Highway. The streetlights are part of the Buford Highway Sidewalk Project, which focuses on improving pedestrian safety. According to the IGA, the Georgia Department of Transportation agrees to install 2.5 miles of lighting spanning both sides of Buford Highway between the Atlanta city limits and Afton Drive. The city of Brookhaven will assume costs related to power and maintenance when the project is completed. “The addition of streetlights on Buford Highway will greatly increase visibility and safety for pedestrians and motorists traveling on one of the busiest roads in Brookhaven,” Mayor J. Max Davis said. Installation will begin in early 2014 and the project is expected to be complete by April 2015.
Make a Quilt, Make a Friend Workshop is the theme of an event at the Embry Hills Library Monday, Aug. 26, 6-8 p.m. Participants will be taught to cut, piece and assemble a quilt. These are skills needed to complete a project. Participants must bring straight pins, neutral color thread, small scissors and a seam ripper. If possible, they also should bring a sewing machine with needles and bobbins, a rotary cutter and mat and a rotary cutting ruler, as only a limited number are available to share in the class. Participants must register in person. Funding provided by the Friends of the Embry Hills Library. The Embry Hills Library is located at 3733 Chamblee-Tucker Road, Chamblee. For more information, call (770) 270-8230.
Teens invited to ‘bake a difference’ The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (MJCCA) has announced its upcoming Teen Community Service event, Bake a Difference, Tuesday, Aug. 27, 7-8:30 p.m. “Come together with other teens to ‘Bake a Difference’ in our community for those in need. Teens will serve the community, prepare with a dash of patience and add a pinch of creativity when preparing these exciting recipes and exploring issues of hunger and tzedakah,” the announcement states. The event is $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers. Participating teens will earn 1.5 community service hours. Pre-registration is required. MJCCA at Zaban Park is located at 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. For more information, contact Amy Helman-Darley at email@example.com, or at (678) 812-3978. Summit to help parents of K-12 pupils The Stewart Foundation will hold its annual Parent Information Summit Saturday, Aug. 24, 9 a.m.-noon, at the Porter Sanford Performing Arts and Community Center. The summit will offer parents of children in grades K-12 information on how to help their students succeed. The keynote speakers will be Renita Shepard and metro Atlanta superintendents. Presenters will include Donna McBride, Keisha Pooler and Mychal Wynn. Workshops will include: Parenting 101—Getting involved & Staying Informed: What to Say & How to Say It; Preparing Your Child for College from K-12; and Understanding the Curriculum: What Your Child Needs to Know. Registration is free at Parentalinvolvement. evenbrite.com. Light refreshments will be provided. The Porter Sanford Performing Arts and Community Center is located at 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur.
Emory poet wins PEN Award Emory University award winning poet Kevin Young has won the 2013 PEN Open Book Award for his book The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness. The award is given by the PEN American Center, the largest branch of the world’s leading literary and human rights organization. The award is given “for an exceptional booklength work of literature by an author of color published in 2012.” Young is Atticus Haygood Professor of Creative Writing and English and curator of literary collections and the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at Emory. Judges called The Grey Album, published by Greywolf Press, “an ambitious, exhilarating, impassioned work of Black literary and cultural criticism, unlike any other—an inspired, sweeping book that deserves to be savored and celebrated.” Extension expert to speak on lawn care Lynwood Blackmon of the DeKalb Cooperative Extension office will be at Scott Candler Library Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2-3 p.m., to share tips for giving a lawn the best care during the coming months. Call or visit the branch to register. Scott Candler Library is located at 1917 Candler Road, Decatur. For more information, call (404) 286-6986. Writer to speak on entertainment industry After participating in the Bill Cosby Screenwriting Fellowship Program, Kevin Lance Collins went on to write for the Showtime series Soul Food and the popular television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He will be at the Decatur Library Wednesday, Aug. 28, 7-9 p.m. His presentation, the Entertainment Industry: Writing and Producing Stories that Sell, will cover how Hollywood works, the difference between film and television, how to write a feature film versus a one-hour television show and his experiences with writing novels. He also will read from his current novel, The Unveiling 1.0. Collins is a professor at The Savannah College of Art and Design (Atlanta) and The Creative Circus. The Decatur Library is
Experts to give advice on fatty foods Area residents who would like to learn more about the role fat plays in diet are invited to attend a workshop titled Fat: The Real Story Wednesday, Aug. 28, at North DeKalb Senior Center. The event, which will be noon-1:30 p.m., is sponsored by DeKalb County Public Library. “Fat has been demonized for many years. We’ve all heard that eating fat leads to heart disease and that eating a lot of high calorie foods will make you fat. As obesity rates increase, it’s time to take a real look at our love-hate relationship with consuming fat. Is eating a lot of fatty foods harming us? Or is eating too little fat harming us? Come out to this workshop and find out,” states an announcement from the library. North DeKalb Senior Center is located at 5238 Peachtree Road, Chamblee. Call (404) 370-8450, ext. 2257, for more information. Presentation on Chinese dialects announced There will be a presentation on Chinese culture and dialects at the Chamblee Library Saturday, Aug. 24, 2:30-4 p.m. Tehwan Tso will discuss the history of China’s different dialects, which are referred to as fāngyán, literally “regional speech.” Chamblee Library is located at 4115 Clairmont
Church to hold men’s day celebration The United Methodist Men of Ousley UMC will host Men’s Day 2013 on Sunday, Aug. 25. The theme is “Christian Men, Stepping Out on Faith.” According to the church, the event “is relevant and timely for one and all: male and female, young and old.” The speaker will be Bishop James E. Swanson, an ordained an elder in the South Georgia Conference and former pastor of St. Mary’s Road United Methodist Church in Columbus. The Men’s Day events will begin at 10 a.m. in the Sanctuary of the Ousley United Methodist Church, located at 3261 Panola Road, Lithonia. Immediately following the service, the church will host a reception in the Tom Curtis Christian Life Center. For more information, visit www.ousleyumc. org, or call the church office at (770) 981-0180.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 23, 2013
Clarkston Mayor Emanuel Ransom and Mary Morris’ niece Nancy Kay cut the ribbon on the Clarkston City Hall Annex. Photos by Travis Hudgons
Clarkston turns residential home into its city hall annex
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org Before long-time Clarkston resident Mary Morris died in 2011, Clarkston Mayor Emanuel Ransom asked her if she would allow her white two-story home to be donated to the city when she died. After she died, city officials talked to the Morris’ family about purchasing the house. After negotiations, the family sold the house to the city. The house on the corner of Rowland Street and Market Street is now the Clarkston City Hall Annex. City officials, along with the Morris family, hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the City Hall Annex on Aug. 16. The annex will house administrative operations for the city as well as additional office and meeting space. Ransom said he knew that someone was going to turn the house, the second oldest house in Clarkston, into an office building and he wanted the city to do that. “[The city council and I] thought to ourselves that this is a heritage building, a part of Clarkston,” Ransom said. “It’s been here since I’ve been here and I’ve been here 52 years. We’re preserving a heritage of Clarkston.” The city bought the house for an estimated $159,000 according to Ransom. Nancy Kay, Morris’ niece, said at the ceremony that she knows her aunt is pleased that the house will be the center of the Clarkston community. “Her hope was the same as the hope of the city council–that this house will be the nucleus for the further prosperity and development of Clarkston,” she said. Ransom said if the city decides to build a new city hall he would like to turn the house into a city museum. “Clarkston’s history and records will be here in this building,” he said. “We’re basically honoring Ms. Morris’ wishes.”
Musical performance by the Jazz Trio, Alwynn & Company features Antoine Knight.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 23, 2013
New micro-distillery opening soon in Decatur
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com Decatur has long since been a home for many craft beer companies and soon it will also be home to Independent Distillery Company, one of the few micro-distilleries in Georgia. “It was my idea. Usually the crazier ideas are,” Michael Anderson, one of the owners. Anderson and his business partner Tommy Williams have known each other since college. Three years ago, Anderson approached Williams with the idea of starting a micro-distillery. Anderson said he first became interested in starting a distillery after reading an article about how they were popping up all over the country. “You don’t see them too much here in the South, especially in Georgia, because there are a lot of restrictive laws,” Anderson said. Much of Anderson’s and Williams’ time has been spent working with city or county officials trying to nail down a location that is properly zoned for the distillery and working out the requirements needed. Originally, the two had planned to locate their business in Atlanta but Anderson said that the permitting process was too much of a hassle. Anderson said they eventually found a location in East Decatur Station that met with their needs and the city of Decatur welcomed them with open arms, even changing the zoning code to allow for distilled spirits. “When we first started looking around and doing this, we were talking to different people and asking how to get buddy of ours who runs the family farm in south Georgia—we’re going to be doing all the mashing, the fermenting, the bottling, the distilling and we’re going to box everything right here and it will go out the door to the retailer.” Additionally, Independent Distillery Co. is located next door to another recent startup, Blue Tarp Brewery. Anderson said he and Blue Tarp cofounder Thomas Stahl have been talking about collaborating. Anderson said he plans to use some of Stahl’s beer to make a Scotch-style malt whiskey and Stahl wants to use some of his casks to age beer. Anderson said the process of making whiskey is similar to that of making beer, and everything up until the point of actually distilling the alcohol can be done safely at home. During the process of distillation, alcohol boils at a lower point than water and that allows it to be separated out. “The art of it is, where to separate it out and make those cuts—beginning, middle or end,” Anderson said. He said each place the alcohol can be separated offers unique flavors. Since making alcohol can pose some safety risks, Anderson and Williams have installed vents to allow for proper air circulation, fire alarms and ethanol detectors. They said it will most likely be another six months before they actually begin making anything. “We have to get a federal permit approved, then we have to go to the state and then we have to get the permit through the city. There’s a lot going on but we like to think that before the end of the year we’ll be putting a product out,” Anderson said.
The type of still Independent Distillery Company is using hasn’t changed much throughout history. It is similar to many of the copper stills developed during the prohibition era. Photo provided
a permit and a lot of the local permitting agents [said], ‘We don’t have a permit for this.’ It didn’t even exist. That was one of the things that excited me about it,” Anderson said. “Decatur was easy to deal with because they wanted us here—Atlanta didn’t care, they didn’t want to deal with us.” Both Anderson and Williams have jobs outside of the distillery. Anderson has been a fundraising coordinator at Zoo Atlanta for nine years and Williams is a partner in another beverage company. Since prohibition ended in 1933, Anderson said, there have only been a few major distilleries in the United State, but over the past 10 years more small distilleries have begun opening.
Williams said since he and Anderson decided to open the distillery, it has become a passion for both of them. They have been learning about the rich—albeit sometimes illicit—history distilleries have in Georgia. They said the company won’t be trying to compete with other distilleries that have been open for 200 years such as Jack Daniel’s or Maker’s Mark—they’re going to offer unique rums and whiskies crafted using “oldschool” methods. Anderson said they will also be using Georgia-grown grains as much as possible. “We want it to be a product that’s as much representative of the state and the south as possible,” Anderson said. “We’re buying corn from a
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. 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
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ever find. He walks up to everyone with a wagging tail and lick for their hand. While little Chase has had no formal training he sits nicely while waiting for you. He is calm and well behaved. He walks along nicely on a leash; sniffing at everything and full of curiosity. Chase only wants to be cuddled and loved. Every pup wants to romp and play and to feel safe; Chase also wants all those things. Please don’t let Chase’s bright spirit fade in this shelter. You cannot meet Chase without loving him. If you have the space in your home and heart please come to see Chase and give him the opportunity for the life every puppy deserves.
Effective August 24th
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Chase is a 6 month old American Pit Bull Terrier mix. Little Chase came in to the shelter as a stray. It’s very sad when a young pup has no home and no one to show him the love he wants and deserves. You would think this type of beginning in life would negatively affect a puppy, but not little Chase. He is as full of love and sweetness as you will
PARK & RIDE
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Kensington/ Route 119- Hairston Rd. Stone Mountain/ Route 121- Memorial Dr. Mountain/ Route 121L-Stone Memorial Dr. Limited (Former 520-Ltd.)
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For adoption inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org For rescue inquiries: email@example.com For volunteer and foster inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 23, 2013
Commissioners recommend bonus for public safety personnel as numbers dwindle
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners voted recently to recommend a one-time bonus for all sworn public safety personnel. According to county officials, the bonus will amount to approximately 3 percent of the employees’ annual salary and will be divided evenly from a $980,000 surplus the county identified during the budgeting process. Approval of the recommendation has been deferred since June. Commissioner Larry Johnson said part of the reason why the item was deferred since June was because there was confusion as to whether then CEO Burrell Ellis would be suspended by the governor. Ellis was later suspended and replaced with District 5 DeKalb County Commissioner Lee May, who now serves as interim CEO. Although the commission has approved the recommendation, it still must be put into action by the interim CEO and Johnson said it was a good opportunity to get it done while May is CEO. “Using that 3 percent as a one-time bonus for our sworn public safety personnel will send some encouragement but also let the public know we’re working toward something bigger and better, not just for our public safety personnel but all our county employees,” Johnson said. Commissioner Elaine Boyer, chairwoman of the county operations and public safety (COPS) committee, said she is worried about the amount of vacant positions for police officers. Boyer said that since last year, the number of officers has dropped from 1,076 to 964. Currently, the county is budgeted to have approximately 1,100 officers but the DeKalb County Police Department is having trouble keeping officers from leaving. “We’re losing rather than gaining,” Boyer said in a recent committee meeting. “We’ve got to figure out collectively how we’re going to fix this.” Chief Operating Officer Zachary Williams said that in 2014, the department will be using more police academies to bring new recruits to the county. However, Williams said that won’t solve the problem of officers leaving the county. Police Chief Cedric Alexander said two more classes will soon graduate and there is an ongoing hiring process. Before Alexander began, there was a hiring freeze for several years, which meant there weren’t classes of recruits going through the academy. “We’re trying to put people back in the pipeline to get where we need to go,” Alexander said. “We have severe shortages but I can’t talk about that without talking about attrition.” Alexander said the county is losing officers to attrition, either through retirement or taking jobs elsewhere, and he likened it to “bleeding profusely.” “We’re bleeding not just in terms of the normal attrition you’re going to have but we’re being challenged by…the rise in insurance, pensions going up, no take-home vehicles. We’re competing with all the other agencies that are around here,” Alexander said. Recently, 10 officers left the county to take jobs at the Brookhaven Police Department. Alexander said not having a pension to pay into, or chunks taken out of their paycheck for health insurance, are appealing to younger officers. Additionally, so is having a new take home vehicle, Alexander said. “It’s getting to a point where we need to absolutely get more people out on the street but we also have to get consistent raises, do something with this health care, and we have to do something with these pension costs because that’s what’s causing us to lose folks,” Alexander said. This year, Alexander said the police department lost approximately 76 officers to attrition. “We have advantages here that a lot of municipalities don’t have—you have the opportunity here to go to the detectives bureau, to go to the SWAT team, to do all these various things and we talk about that but at the end of the day it comes down to dollars and cents,” Alexander said.
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 23, 2013
Stonecrest may become DeKalb County’s next new city
by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org The Stonecrest City Alliance announced Aug. 20 that it has raised enough money to pay for a study to see whether the area of Stonecrest, which includes a large chunk of Lithonia, will make a viable city. Each area interested in incorporation must first pay $30,000 to undergo a study performed by the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government. Sen. Ron Ramsey (D-DeKalb) introduced legislation during the 2013 legislative session to allow the potential city of Stonecrest to incorporate based on the outcome of the study and a vote of area residents next year. If the study indicates that the city of Stonecrest is feasible, it will be up to the General Assembly to put the proposal on the ballot in 2014 for local voters. Jason Lary, chairman of the Stonecrest City Alliance, said donations for the study came from many neighborhoods and residents who live in the Stonecrest area. “We have enormous momentum in support of our efforts, and we received an overwhelmingly positive response from residents and businesses (commercial and industrial) throughout this area of Southeast DeKalb County,” Lary said. Volunteers formed the Stonecrest City Alliance earlier this year to explore the pros and cons of incorporation. The nonprofit is comprised of residents seeking to improve their community and study cityhood as a potential method of providing local control and a more efficient delivery of government services. The proposed city is approximately 61 square miles and includes 77,000 residents. If voters approve the city, Stonecrest will become the 10th largest city in Georgia and the largest in DeKalb County.
Jason Lary, president of the Stonecrest City Alliance, receives congratulations from Gov. Nathan Deal upon raising enough money for a cityhood study. Photo provided
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 23, 2013
Top left, a police officer leads a handcuffed Mark Harris from the Avondale Estates home he lost to foreclosure. Harris’ attempt to keep his house was supported by members of Occupy Our Homes Atlanta. Photos by David DiCristina
Veteran loses battle to save home from foreclosure
by Andrew Cauthen email@example.com A U. S. Army veteran was evicted from his Avondale Estates home and arrested after he would not leave the property. Mark Harris, who fought in Operation Desert Storm, has apparently lost a fight to save his home at 1164 Dunwick Drive from foreclosure. DeKalb County marshals evicted Harris from his home Aug. 9. “It was a total surprise because we thought we were still negotiating with Fannie Mae,” said Rob Call, of Occupy Our Homes Atlanta. “By the time I got there…they already had a private moving company.” Most of Harris’ belongings were out on his lawn, Call said. “We immediately started working to make sure that Mark’s valuables were secured,” Call said. “The way evictions work here, they throw your stuff out on the curb and a lot of times people lose a lot of their stuff.” Harris secured a U-Haul “and we also decided not to just leave the house. So, over the course of that night, as we started packing things up, we camped out on his lawn and decided that Fannie Mae would have to make us leave.” At 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 10, Avondale Estates Police and DeKalb County officers went to the house.
Police officers arrest a protester.
“A few people committed civil disobedience, refusing to leave when asked by the police,” Call said, adding that there were five arrests, including Harris. According to Harris, he worked at UPS in Doraville, where he was a member of the Teamsters union for 21 years and retired in 2005. He then started a trucking company which eventually failed. After being laid off twice, Harris applied for assistance from HomeSafe Georgia, a program that provides temporary mortgage assistance for homeowners who are unemployed or underemployed through no fault of their own. For several months he went “back and forth with the mortgage company trying to get a modification,” he said. Then in October 2012, after he thought he had a verbal deal with the mortgage
company, he found a foreclosure notice on his door, he said. After three years of paperwork, Harris, who was injured in the military, began receiving disability benefits in October. His Teamsters’ retirement benefits began in September, after he returned 50. In November 2012, representatives of Occupy Our Homes Atlanta, Teamsters Local 728, AFL/ CIO and Atlanta Jobs with Justice converged outside Harris’ home of 16 years to offer their support. Three months later, with the assistance of Occupy Our Homes Atlanta, Harris and other homeowners from around the nation had a meeting in Washington, D.C., with upper level Fannie Mae representatives, Call said. After that meeting, there were weekly negotiation phone calls between Harris and Fannie Mae, until July, Call said. A month later Harris was evicted and arrested. “As a veteran, I thought the toughest battles were behind me,” said the retired staff sergeant in an interview last year. “I never thought I’d be struggling to keep a roof over my head.” Guards are posted at the house around the clock to prevent Harris from returning. A video by Occupy Our Homes Atlanta of the eviction can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com watch?v=qkbxgi1YS3w.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 23, 2013
DeKalb Police officer’s funeral. Page 1A. Photo by Andrew Cauthen
Clarkson Farmer’s Market. Photo by Travis Hudgons
Farm Burger’s 3.5-year birthday celebration. Photo by Donna Turner
Farm Burger Birthday. Photo by Donna Turner
Oakhurst Elementary School. Page 19A. Photo by Andrew Cauthen
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Clarkston City Hall ribbon cutting. Page 8A. Photo by Carla Parker
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 23, 2013
Neighbors on Alverado Way in unincorporated Decatur say they are tired of the yard filled with weeds at a foreclosed house on the street. Below, notices of a civil hearing are posted on the property. Photos by Andrew Cauthen
House with six-feet high weeds plagues neigbhorhood
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org A neighbor who did not want to be identified said he’s been praying that someone would do something about the house at 1381 Alverado Way in unincorporated Decatur. The 0.4-acre yard of the abandoned house is overrun with thick weeds, some more than six feet high. “I was just praying that something would happen concerning that,” the man said, adding that the property has been a problem for approximately six years. Rats from the property regularly venture into his yard, he said. Most of the windows and doors are boarded up, although a side door remains open and the boards from a front window have been removed and the window opened. “I don’t know what’s going on with that house, why they can’t do anything about it,” the neighbor said. “I’ve reported it the best I could.” The Decatur man said the house is a nuisance to the community, attracting burglars to the neighbor2011 for the property. Because there was no bid on it, the county now holds the tax deed. “When there is a tax deed the county doesn’t have the right to go onto the property until it’s foreclosed on,” Goodman said. “The county does not have full ownership.” Eventually, the county could decide to foreclose the right of redemption. Technically, the owner of the property is Stella Reid, owner of Lifestyles of the Rich and Kinky, a hair salon in Atlanta. Three notices of civil hearing are posted on the front of the property. The notices, dated July 31, summon Reid to appear in the county’s recorder’s court for code violations. Contacted by The Champion, Reid said she had not received the notices and was no longer the owner of the house. She said she received a notice that it had been sold at a tax sale. The man who lives beside the house just wants something done. “It needs to be cleaned out. It really needs to be pushed over. It needs to be gotten rid of,” he said.
hood. “It affects the whole area. I had to put up burglar bars. People don’t want to buy [houses] when they see a whole lot of that,” he said. He added that his home has been broken into more than once. “The alarm was the only thing that ran them out of here, because
they broke into my basement, too,” he said. According to county tax commissioner’s website, DeKalb County is listed as the owner of the property. Robert Goodman, assistant tax commissioner for DeKalb County, said there was a tax sale in August
Commissioners discuss creating juvenile curfew ordinance
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com In an effort to be proactive in youth development and crime prevention, DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson said, he is working with county officials to create a juvenile curfew ordinance. “I found out that DeKalb County did not have a curfew; we were using the state curfew like a lot of people are doing,” Johnson said. Johnson said tailoring a curfew specifically for DeKalb County will help reduce crime; DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric Alexander agreed. However, Alexander emphasized that the ordinance will only focus on unsupervised youths out alone between midnight and 5 a.m. “I think there has got to be a common-sense approach to this,” Alexander said. Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton said she wants to make sure the curfew won’t single teens out and create a situation where it will make it harder for them to eventually get jobs. She said she is afraid the curfew will make it easier for neglected teens to wind up in the criminal justice system. “I still want to look at those social issues; perhaps we need to address it in another way,” Barnes Sutton said. “I think we have to be sensitive to the fact that everybody is not like us.” Johnson said he wants to make it clear that his intent is not “to lock anybody up.” “I just think that part of the tools that DeKalb needs to have is to make sure the parents know because a lot of parents don’t have a benchmark,” Johnson said. County legal officials said the ordinance, which is fashioned after Fulton County’s juvenile curfew, will provide penalties both the teens and the parents, depending on the circumstances. “It imposes an obligation on the child as well as the parents and guardians who are aware the child is out after curfew,” Johnson said.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 23, 2013
Sneiderman Continued From Page 1A
arrest while charged with murder to go toward time served on her prison sentence. During the sentencing hearing, District Attorney Robert James said Sneiderman had many chances to tell the truth but continued to lie before the jury. James recommended Sneiderman serve 20 years. “She lied knowingly about Hemy Neuman’s motives in the murder of her husband,” Andrea Sneiderman becomes emotional during witness statements in court Aug. 20. A DeKalb County jury found defendant Sneiderman guilty on several counts of perjury and obstruction in Superior Court Judge Gregory A. Adams courtroom Aug. 19. Photo by Kent D. Johnson/AJC James said. Prosecutors have alleged an entire history that has been lasted several months and inSteve Sneiderman, his name?” Clegg asked. that Sneiderman and Neuerased by Mr. Neuman.” cluded trips together in which Rusty’s brother, described “No, I did not because man were having an affair Sneiderman was the last Neuman expressed his love Andrea as a “master manipu- she downplayed their relaat the time her husband was person to speak during her for her. She has denied that lator” and a “common crimitionship…I made a mistake,” shot. Sneiderman denied that sentencing hearing and she such a relationship existed. nal” while addressing the Sides said. a relationship existed and maintained her innocence. Prosecutors produced a court during her sentencing. Friends and family memsaid she should have told her “Despite my state of mind host of witnesses to substanti“Rusty was a wonderful bers of Andrea Sneiderman husband about Neuman’s following the murder, I did ate those claims of infidelity, and devoted father,” Steve testified on her behalf during unwanted advances and quit nothing to obstruct justice in including cellphone experts Sneiderman said. “How cruel her sentencing, including her her job. any way,” Sneiderman said. and a bartender who said she that those he tried to help be- father Herb Greenberg. He “At first I thought my boss James, who was elected saw Neuman and Sneidertrayed him so greatly.” pleaded for the judge to give Mr. Neuman was a nice guy,” district attorney three days man dancing and kissing at a Steve also said Andrea’s her a sentence that didn’t inSneiderman said. “I wanted before the Nov. 18, 2010, Greeneville, South Carolina “pathetic narcissism would be clude incarceration. to do well and I thought being shooting death of Rusty Snei- nightclub. almost comical if it weren’t “Yes, my daughter might nice to him was my answer. derman, said it has been a “He led her by her hand to tied to the death of such a not have said the right thing One of my greatest regrets is case he has “lived with” his the dance floor and they both good person.” at the right time to the right allowing this predator into my entire term. started dancing,” bartender Defense attorney Thomas people,” Greenberg said. life.” “Now, Mrs. Sneiderman Christina Olivera said. “He Clegg said Sneiderman ofThroughout the trial, de“There was no physical ro- is on her way to jail as I behad cupped her butt and they fered her full cooperation fense attorneys argued that mance between Mr. Neuman lieve should have happened were really close…they apwith police and it was their Sneiderman was vilified by and me,” Sneiderman said. in the first place. This is not peared to be grinding at that fault for not following up on the media and accused prosAt times, Sneiderman a moment for celebration… moment and she kissed him.” leads. ecutors during the Neuman seemed overcome with emotwo families have been torn Rusty Sneiderman’s father Dunwoody Deputy Police trial of deliberately embartion as she pleaded for Adams apart,” James said. Don testified that Andrea Chief David Sides admitted rassing and humiliating her to be lenient with her for the Sneiderman was offered knew about the shooting to mistakes while on the stand on while she testified. sake of her children Ian and a pre-trial plea deal that did earlier than she claimed to. during Clegg’s questioning; Sneiderman’s attorneys Sophia. include jail time, James said, James said Rusty Sneiderthe Sneiderman case was his and family members stated “Rusty is no longer here but she turned it down. man’s family was disappoint- first homicide investigation. that they will appeal the to play baseball with Ian or Prosecutors allege Sneied in the sentencing and they “Did you at any point con- state’s decision. carry Sophia on his shoulder,” derman and Neuman had a wanted Andrea to get more tact Mr. Neuman after [AnSneiderman said. “There is romantic relationship that time. drea Sneiderman] gave you
A funeral Aug. 16 honored a fallen DeKalb Police ofﬁcer. Ivorie Klusmann “enjoyed getting up and putting on that uniform each and every day,” said Pastor Ral Waltower. Photos by Andrew Cauthen
Fallen Ofﬁcer Continued From Page 1A
Klusmann was pronounced dead at the scene. DeKalb County officers and law enforcement officials from around the state gathered at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia for the funeral service for the 31-year-old officer who had been employed by the DeKalb County Police Department since October 2012, and was assigned to the uniform division at the department’s east precinct. Later that day, police arrested Harvey at his home in Stone Mountain after he turned himself in to investigators. Harvey was charged with felony murder, reckless driving and theft by receiving a stolen vehicle. “On that night, at the end of his watch, [Klusmann] was going to do what he was trained to do, what he wanted to do more than anything
else in the world and that’s to serve and help others,” said DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric Alexander. “On that night he was en route to help others,” Alexander said. “And that’s who he was and that’s who he will always be. What he wants for us is to continue the tradition that he signed up for: to honor, to serve with integrity and to serve with courage.” Pastor Ral Waltower said Klusmann always had “such a smile on his face.” “The brother just had such an infectious smile,” Waltower said. “He had such a way about him. He could bring you to tears in laughter with just his comical ways.” Waltower said Klusmann enjoyed being a policeman.
“He enjoyed what he was doing. He enjoyed his work. He enjoyed getting up and putting on that uniform each and every day,” Waltower said. “The brother was extremely respectful,” Waltower said. “Even at the age of 31, he still respected his parents. His personality was even keeled. Sometimes if something was bothering him you might not even know it because he always had that smile on his face.” Surviving Klusmann are two young sons, Iverson Klusmann, of Stockbridge, and Julian Klusmann, of Phoenix, Ariz.; father, Uwe Klusmann, of Upper Marlboro, Md.; mother Diane Blue, of Stockbridge; his grandmother, two sisters and four brothers. One brother, Elisha Blue, is a DeKalb County Police officer.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 23, 2013
Clarkston Community Trust to focus on education
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org Clarkston residents have partnered with A Collective Action Initiative (CDF) to bring more resources into the community. An estimated 100 Clarkston residents gathered Aug. 15 to determine a priority for the community to fund. The meeting was the first in the process of the Clarkston Community Trust, which is in its inaugural year. The Clarkston Community Trust was founded by CDF, a 501(c)3 organization that works to connect and engage the community in Clarkston and surrounding areas. CDF was founded in 2010 with the vision of encouraging a vital and engaged community in Clarkston and supporting the talents and assets of the city’s unique and multicultural population, according to its website. At the meeting, residents split into small groups to discuss what should be the top priority for the community this year. They discussed 10 themes, which were gathered from previous community conversations. The ten themes are connectedness, economic development, education, food security and sustainability, health, housing, play and fitness, safety and transportation. Residents selected education as the priority for funding this year, followed by safety. “One hundred percent of the decisions made here tonight were made by residents,” CDF’s Director Jeremy Lewis said. “We accomplished what we set out to do which was to be involved in a process where residents would decide what happens in their community. We did that tonight. Residents identified a theme and selected trustees who they trust to make it happen. It was amazing to see people have genuine conversations about what matters most to them and knowing they would make the final decision.” Attendees selected 18 trustees from residents and people who work or have businesses in the community. These trustees will host meetings on Sept. 22, Oct. 13, and Nov. 10 to brainstorm project ideas that fall under the priority of education and can be completed with the amount in the fund. The current fund is just more than $50,000. CDF communications director Bobbi Kay said the funding is not government money. “CDF helped secure the funding from private donors,” she said. The fund may be increased between now and Sept. 21 through individual donations. Kay said 85 percent of donations made during this timeframe will go toward the 2013 priority, giving residents an opportunity to increase the impact of the project that is selected, and the remaining 15 percent will be applied to the trust fund for next year. For more information about CDF, visit www.cdfaction.org.
Congressman announces $1.2M grant to address recidivism
Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-04) announced Aug. 8 that Standing to Achieve New Directions Inc. (STAND) is receiving a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide behavioral health services for men returning from periods of incarceration. Charles Sperling, STAND’s founder and executive director, said the grant will go toward expanding the group’s work to reintegrate former prisoners into society. “Over a long period of time, Congressman Johnson and his office have been instrumental in the work we do and we look forward to continuing to work together in service to our community,” Sperling said. STAND, based on Covington Highway, is one of the metro Atlanta’s leading
Rep. Hank Johnson informs nonprofit’s leaders about its $1.2 million grant.
community-based organizations focused on HIV, domestic violence, substance abuse intervention and comprehensive re-entry services for men. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration award is part of a national recidivism effort titled Project Synergy. STAND will receive an an-
nual grant of $430,000 for three years. “This grant allows us to continue our now more than 14-year mission of helping former inmates in south DeKalb and throughout metro Atlanta become healthy, productive members of our communities,” Sperling said.
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
The Mayor and City Council of the City of Chamblee, Georgia will hold a public hearing on Thursday, September 12, 2013, at the Chamblee Civic Center, 3540 Broad Street, Chamblee, GA 30341 at 6:00 p.m. to receive public comments regarding the following matters: 1) Text amendment to the following portions of Appendix A, “Zoning Ordinance” : Section 203, “Additional application requirements”; Section 204, “Staff review and report”; Section 205, “Architectural design review”; and Section 207, “Planned unit development procedure”. The purposes of these amendments are to revise the definition of planned unit developments to include properties of 2 acres developed with 2 or more existing and/or new principal structures, to provide for the expiration of approved Planned Unit Developments, to clarify the procedures that apply to Developments of Community Impact; to revise standards for minor modifications of previously approved Planned Unit Developments, and to make other editorial revisions. 2) Text amendment to Appendix A, “Zoning Ordinance,” Section 902 D. to provide that understory trees may be used for street trees where the proposed streetscape design conflicts with Georgia Department of Transportation regulations. 3) Text amendment to Appendix A, “Zoning Ordinance,” Sections 1002.A.1 to authorize the Development Director to make written interpretations of uses permitted within zoning districts. 4) Macauley and Schmit and Jelco Beta Investment Corporation propose to develop a parcel ID# 18‐ 300‐04‐001 consisting of 5.95 acres located at 5193 Peachtree Boulevard. The parcel is zoned Village Commercial (VC) and the proposal is for a mixed‐use development consisting of 365 apartments and approximately 15,000 sq. ft. of retail commercial. Applicant is requesting a waiver to Development Regulations Section 93.1(b) that requires concrete and steel framing for multifamily residential buildings of 3 stories or more. Applicant also requests variances to the following sections of the City of Chamblee Zoning Ordinance: Section 407(a) requiring mixed use buildings to have 20% of their floor area in commercial uses; Section 905.E. that regulates design of residential uses at the sidewalk level; Section 907.A that limits the ground floor to retail or office uses for buildings facing Peachtree Boulevard, requires a minimum floor‐to‐ceiling height of 18 feet on the ground floor, and requires fenestration for a minimum of 65% of the ground floor facade; Section 908.A that requires a maximum block length of 600 ft. and inter‐parcel vehicular access to adjacent parcels; Section 909.A. that requires upper portion of a building façade to step‐back ten feet for buildings taller than 50 ft.; Sec. 1006.A. that requires a minimum floor area of 800 sq. ft. for one‐bedroom apartments; Section 1007.D. that requires non‐residential uses on the ground floor in the VC Zoning District; and Section 1208.D. that requires landscaping on the upper level of certain parking decks.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 23, 2013
Superior Court judge releases findings of watershed investigation to chief judge for review
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com After a contentious legal battle involving attorneys for suspended DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis and the DeKalb District Attorney’s Office, a DeKalb County Superior Court judge released the findings of a special grand jury report to a panel of judges for review. Superior Court Judge Mark Anthony Scott released the findings of a special grand jury report Aug. 15. The grand jury was impaneled more than a year ago to investigate allegations of corruption in the county’s watershed department. The report, which was handed over to Scott in February, has remained under seal. Soon after the grand jury filed it, attorneys for Ellis and his former campaign manager Kevin Ross filed motions requesting the report be made available for their review before being released to the public. Scott initially granted that motion, but reversed his decision after District Attorney Robert James filed an emergency motion to appeal the judge’s decision. Ellis’ and Ross’ attorneys argue that their clients have a right to review the report and redact anything that might be used against them in a criminal indictment. James disagreed and urged Scott to send the report to a panel of judges and dissolve the special grand jury. “I never thought in my wildest dreams that we would be here beyond 60 or 90 days trying to vet these issues out,” Scott said at a recent status hearing. At the hearing, Scott asked lawyers representing Ellis and Ross if their position involving the sealed report had changed since Ellis had been indicted. In June, Ellis was indicted on charges of theft, conspiracy and extortion. Prosecutors believe he used his position as CEO to try to strong-arm county vendors into donating to his campaign. Shortly after the indictment, Gov. Nathan Deal suspended Ellis and appointed DeKalb County District 5 Commissioner Lee May to serve as an interim pending the outcome of Ellis’ trial. “It has been a painful complicated process for all but our motion has merit, we believe, and should be heard,” Ellis’ attorney Craig Gillen said. “To say to anybody, with a straight face that Mr. Ellis was not a target of their investigation is in my mind completely disingenuous.” Ellis’ and Ross’ lawyers believe that the District Attorney’s Office abused its power regarding the special purpose grand jury. “We, the Ellis team, need to see that special purpose grand jury report because it might well be an additional factual basis, for not only our allegations before this court about improper use of the grand jury, but for the criminal case,” Gillen said. Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Leonora Grant said Scott still had the authority to release the report under seal to Chief Superior Court Judge Gregory Adams, who will then disseminate it to the nine other circuit judges to review. Upon their review, if the judges decide the matter is closed, Adams has the authority to dissolve the special purpose grand jury. “It has been quite a journey, there has been a lot said, a lot of pleadings filed, none of which changes the matter that the special purpose grand jurors have been in service…they have the right and they should have been extended the courtesy of being dismissed,” Grant said. Scott’s order indicated that the report will remain unpublished and will be transferred to Adams. Additionally, Scott said he will recommend that the special purpose grand jurors be dismissed from duty and that the stay he ordered on all other pending motions related to the matter remain in place.
COMBINED NOTICE NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT AND NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC OF REQUEST FOR RELEASE OF FUNDS August 22, 2013 DeKalb County Human and Community Development Department 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330 Decatur, Georgia 30030 Telephone (404) 286-3308 TO ALL INTERESTED AGENCIES, GROUPS AND PERSONS: e DeKalb County Human and Community Development Department gives notice that it will submit a request for release of grant funds and an environmental certi cation pertaining to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 15 days following this publication. e request and certi cation relate to the following projects. Project: Location: Park City Place Flat Shoals Road and Castle Keep Way, Atlanta, GA 30316
Purpose: e Park City Place project is an endeavor that brings together unique development resources in the form of Columbia Residential, Mothers Rebuilding Atlanta, and DeKalb County Human and Community Development for the acquisition and development of approximately 10 acres of land in DeKalb County. Columbia Residential and Mothers Rebuilding Atlanta, jointly comprise the development entity (Columbia-MRA Park City Place, LLC) that plans on utilizing HOME funds for the rst phase of development. e initial phase will include the rehabilitation of 9 existing townhome units and necessary site work to improve living conditions and make the land tenable for future build out of the site. Park City Place will be a mixed income community comprised of townhomes that may host a mix of both rental and fee-simple for sale units that provide opportunities for home ownership. FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT (FONSI) It has been determined that such request for release of funds will not constitute an action signi cantly affecting the quality of the human environment and, accordingly, DeKalb County has decided not to prepare Environmental Impact Statements under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (P.L. 91-190). e reasons for such decision not to prepare such Statements are as follows: An Environmental Assessment has been made for the project which concludes that all adverse e ects will be minor, short-term impacts will be mitigated by either the requirements of the construction contract documents or by the requirements of applicable local, state or federal permits and environmental ordinances. e positive e ects of eliminating public health hazards and improving environmental conditions for low and moderate-income families outweigh any potential negative impacts. is project is consistent with the goals and objectives of DeKalb County Government and the Community Development Department. e Environmental Review Record, respecting the proposed project, has been made by DeKalb County which documents the environmental review of the project and fully sets forth the reasons why such Environmental Impact Statements are not required. e Environmental Review Record is on le at the DeKalb County Community Development Department, 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330, Decatur, Georgia 30030 and is available for public examination and copying upon request between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. No further environmental reviews of the subject project are proposed to be conducted prior to the request for release of Federal funds. Public Comments on FONSI All interested agencies, groups, and persons disagreeing with this decision are invited to submit written comments for consideration by DeKalb County to the Human and Community Development Director. Written comments will be received at 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330, Decatur, Georgia on or before September 6, 2013. All comments received will be considered and DeKalb County will not request the release of Federal funds or take any administrative action on the proposed projects prior to the date speci ed in the preceding sentence. NOTICE OF INTENT TO REQUEST RELEASE OF FUNDS (NOI/RROF) At least one day a er the termination of the public comment period for the FONSI, but not before comments on the FONSI have been considered and resolved, DeKalb County will submit a Request for Release of Funds (RROF) and certi cation to HUD. By so doing DeKalb County will ask HUD to allow it to commit funds to this project, certifying that (1) it has performed the environmental reviews prescribed by HUD regulations (“Environmental Review Procedures for Title I Community Development Block Grant Program” - 24 CFR part 58), and (2) the Certifying O cer, Chris Morris, Director, DeKalb County Community Development Department, consents to accept and enforce responsibilities in relation to the environmental reviews or resulting decision-making and action. e legal e ect of the certi cation is that by approving it, HUD will have satis ed its responsibilities under the National Environmental Act, thus allowing DeKalb County to commit CDBG funds to this project. Objection to Release of Funds HUD will accept objections to its approval of the release of funds and the certi cation only if it is on one of the following basis: (a) that the certi cation was not in fact executed by the Certifying O cer; or (b) that the applicant’s Environmental Review Record for the project indicated omission of a required decision, funding, or step applicable to the project in the environmental review process. Objections must be prepared and submitted in accordance to HUD at the Regional Environmental Branch, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 40 Marietta Street N.W., 15th oor, Atlanta, Georgia 30303-9812. Objections to the release of funds on basis other than those stated above will not be considered by HUD. No objection received a er September 23, 2013 will be considered by HUD. Chris H. Morris, Director DeKalb County Community Development Department 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 330, Decatur, Georgia 30030
The article titled “LifeLine officials ‘shocked’ over dog beating at DeKalb animal shelter” in the Aug.15, 2013, issue of The Champion Newspaper and the Aug. 16, 2013, issue of The Champion Free Press incorrectly identified Calvin Battle, who was arrested and charged with one count of misdemeanor cruelty to animals, as a DeKalb County employee. Battle worked for LifeLine Animal Project.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 23, 2013
Georgia’s First Lady Sandra Deal promoted Alcohol Awareness Month at Cross Keys High School Aug. 15. From left, pictured are Director Harris Blackwood of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, DeKalb school district Region 1 Supt. Cynthia Brictson, interim Superintendent Mike Thurmond, Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal, DeKalb School Board member Marshall Orson and Executive Director Katie Jo Ballard of the Governor’s Office for Children and Families. Photos by Andrew Cauthen
First lady promotes alcohol awareness at Cross Keys
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal stopped by Cross Keys High School Aug. 15 with a proclamation from the governor designating August as Alcohol Awareness Month. “I do care about young people and there is nothing more heartbreaking than to lose one in a car accident or to lose one from overdose or just accidents that happen,” said Deal to school and district officials. “It’s just so heartbreaking. Alcohol plays a large part in a lot of accidents.” Deal said students should not seek “solutions to problems in alcohol.” “Let’s find solutions to problems in communication and in counseling and in other outlets rather than alcohol,” she said. Teachers and parents should “encourage our young people to realize that [alcohol] is not the answer to the serious issues that they are dealing with emotionally as they grow up, that they need to talk it out, find other sources, not sneak around and drink when they know it’s against the law,” Deal said. Alcohol “changes their futures and we don’t want that to happen,” Deal said. “We want every child to be successful.” Harris Blackwood, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, said “alcohol continues to be a problem because it’s so easily accessible.” “We are telling our students… [that] if you are 16 and you are caught above 0.02 [blood alcohol court costs and increased insurance. “It may cost you your job. It may cost you your family. In some cases it might cost you your life,” he said. Blackwood said there is good news in the DeKalb County School District that “won’t make it on the six o’clock news, but I want you to hear it anyway.” “We’re so very proud to partner with every one of your high schools in this county,” Blackwood said. “We have a Students Against Destructive Decisions chapter in every school in this county. That’s good news.” Students Against Destructive Decisions is a national “peer-to-peer education, prevention, and activism organization dedicated to preventing destructive decisions, particularly underage drinking, other drug use, risky and impaired driving, teen violence, and teen suicide,” according to the group’s website. “The real majority of our high school kids in Georgia are not drinking,” said Katie Jo Ballard, executive director of the Governor’s Office for Children and Families, which in October will launch a video contest in which youth will have 30 seconds to tell why they don’t drink alcohol. “This is a call to action to tell others why you choose not to drink,” Ballard said. Winners of the contest, open to middle and high school students, will be showcased on TV and in local movie theaters. More information will be available in schools and at www.reelchangega.com once the contest starts.
First Lady Sandra Deal reads a proclamation from Gov. Nathan Deal designating August as Alcohol Awareness Month.
content] you’re considered DUI and you will go to a juvenile facility,” Blackwood said. “If you are 17 years old…you will be charged with DUI as an adult,” he said. “It does not go away. It remains on your record for 55 years. It may go away in terms of what your insurance company might look at. “But if you want to be a public school teacher…and you have a DUI, there’s a good chance you’re not going to get there. If you want to be a law enforcement officer, if you want to be an attorney, if you want
to go into a number of professions, the doors are going to close on you because of your DUI,” Blackwood said. Blackwood said parents need to have a conversation with their children about underage drinking. “That conversation is, ‘Hey, whatever happens, you can call mom and dad, or a friend, or …your pastor, without fear. You don’t have to worry that night and somebody’s going to come and get you,’” he said. Blackwood said the average cost of an adult DUI is approximately $10,000, including attorney fees,
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 23, 2013
City Schools of Decatur wins publications awards
City Schools of Decatur (CSD) earned four awards in the 2013 Publications and Electronic Media Contest from the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA). NSPRA reported it received 894 entries from around the country this year. The CSD publications that were honored by NSPRA are: CSD annual report, Connecting the Pieces, honorable mention; CSD 2012-2013 academic calendar, award of merit; CSD eNewsletter, CSD Connections, award of merit; CSD Facebook Page, award of excellence. NSPRA is a professional organization dedicated to building support and trust for education through responsible public relations that leads to success for all students. Its annual award programs offer school districts the opportunity to earn national recognition for its communication achievements.
The Art Institute of Atlanta–Decatur welcomes new director
The Art Institute of Atlanta—Decatur has hired Sharon Bolling Clay as its new campus director. “I am excited to be at The Art Institute of Atlanta—Decatur, with its strong commitment to educational excellence and community involvement,” Clay said. “I look forward to working with our faculty and staff to serve our students in achieving their educational goals.” Clay comes to The Art Institute of Atlanta—Decatur after having served as the regional career services specialist for The Art Institutes system of schools for the past two years. She began her career with The Art Institutes in 2001 as a career services adviser at The Art Institute of Atlanta, where she later became director of career services for almost six years. In her most recent role as regional career services specialist, Clay provided campus guidance and support for career services teams for more than 20 locations. She also provided training to local campus career services staff on effective marketing and outreach strategies. Clay received her bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of New Orleans and her master’s degree in educational leadership from Argosy University in Atlanta.
Oakhurst Elementary School, part of the City Schools of Decatur district, was recently named one of 28 Schools of Excellence by the state. Photos by Andrew Cauthen
Oakhurst Elementary named a Georgia School of Excellence
by Andrew Cauthen email@example.com Faculty members at Oakhurst Elementary School have several reasons for the school being recently named as one of the 2012 Georgia Schools of Excellence in Student Achievement by the Georgia Department of Education. Oakhurst Principal Mary Mack said, “We work to do our best to meet the needs of all our learners, not necessarily just those that are probably in the middle or those that may be struggling a little bit. “We do our best to differentiate our instruction to meet the needs of all our learners—those that are at the top, those that are high achievers, those that are gifted, those that are average, those that are a little bit below average,” Mack said. “We do our best to try to meet them where they are.” Mack said education is “a collaboration between home, school and school system. It’s a matter of working closely with all stakeholders.” Oakhurst is special because of its family atmosphere and its “whatever-ittakes attitude,” Mack said. Teachers also have “time to teach in Decatur,” Mack said. “We’re not going to micromanage anyone. Teachers know what the standards are. They know the expectations. We’re assessed enough to know where the students are and we’re going to do our very best to meet the students where they are. Do we get it all right all the time? Not necessarily so, but we do our best in trying to do that.” The state’s Schools of Excellence program recognizes 28 schools that have shown the highest performance or highest progress. “This is a tremendous honor for City Schools of Decatur,” said Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Edwards. “Oakhurst’s faculty, staff and students deserve this recognition for their continued gains in achievement and for their outstanding performance on the College and CareerReady Performance Index (CCRPI).” According to the Georgia Schools of Excellence criteria, qualifying schools are chosen from each congressional district for highest performance— schools that represent the top performing schools on the CCRPI; and highest progress: schools represent the schools making the greatest gains on the CCRPI. DeKalb Early College Academy, in the DeKalb County School District, was recognized in the “highest progress” category. Oakhurst Elementary was recognized in the highest performance category after receiving a CCRPI score of 101.7 making it the fourth highest ranked school in the state. “I am so proud of this honor,” Mack said. “We take our job of providing the best educational experience for our students seriously and I am thrilled that our staff and students are being recognized for their hard work.” All of the schools recognized as Georgia Schools of Excellence will receive a $1,000 check from program sponsor Georgia Natural Gas to use however they wish. Marcia Bryant-Fowler, an instructional coach at Oakhurst, said the school received the high score because of its leaders. “We have a strong leader in Mrs. Mack, but we also have strong leaders in our classes,” Bryant-Fowler said. “Our teachers are really strong.” Bryant-Fowler said teachers get to know the students and find out “what actually will engage them, what makes them excited” and then match that “with instruction that’s going to always get them involved in something they want to do.” Teachers who work with intervention “find out what kids need,” BryantFowler said. “It’s a combination of balancing the needs and the interests and creating things that are really engaging for the students,” Bryant-Fowler said. Oakhurst has a “unique approach to teaching under an umbrella of expeditionary learning,” said Cynthia Aldridge, a third-grade teacher, who has also taught in Maryland and DeKalb County school districts. “We integrate the curriculum; subjects aren’t taught in isolation.” Aldridge said the school focuses on education of the whole child with art, physical education, foreign and music. “A child that has a gift in a different area that is not necessarily academically related has the opportunity to thrive,” Aldridge said.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 23, 2013
Atlanta Winsupply President Benny Durden says his company’s relationship with WinWholesale is “a different business model.” Photo by Kathy Mitchell
Lithonia company helps fire sprinkler system contractors put it all together
by Kathy Mitchell firstname.lastname@example.org Atlanta Winsupply is both a new company and a company that has roots deep in the DeKalb County business community. Company president Benny Durden has more than 38 years’ experience in the industry that includes what is now his primary business, fabricating fire sprinkler systems for contractors. That’s what his company was engaged in when it was bought Aug. 1 by WinWholesale, a national company based in Dayton, Ohio. “We’re operating a lot like we did before,” Durden explained. Affiliation with the national company, he said, puts him on a level playing field with his competitors, most of whom have a national or international presence. It also provides such business necessities as insurance and legal services, freeing local employees to focus on the core business. “They pretty much let us operate our own way as long as we meet their goals, which are quite reasonable,” he said. Durden called the relationship “a different business model from any in the country.” Although the relationship is still new, Durden said the parent company’s representatives have been “very helpful. There are a couple of them here now helping us set up our computers so they link with the ones in Dayton,” he commented a little more than a week after his business became part of the Win Group of Companies. WinWholesale Inc., a supplier of residential and commercial construction and industrial supplies and materials, is a privately held company with more than 550 wholesaling locations in 45 states and “offers entrepreneurs the unique opportunity to own part of the local business,” according to material published by the national company. Its network of businesses engage in a range of specialties, including plumbing and heating supplies; industrial pipe, valves and fittings; air conditioning and refrigeration equipment; electrical equipment and landscaping supplies. Fire prevent equipment is a relatively new area for the company, Durden said, adding that when the national company decided to enter the Atlanta market, they were looking for a solid local business that already had a strong reputation. Durden grew up in a household where his father was a Stone Mountain-based contractor. As an adult he formed his own business, eventually specializing in fire prevention equipment. Today, his company provides contractors with the components for fire sprinkler systems. Working with architects’ and contractors’ plans Winsupply secures or fabricates the pieces needed to make up the system then numbers each piece indicating how it is to be put together. “It’s a bit like putting a puzzle together,” Durden said. “That’s a greatly oversimplified description of what we do—but basically that’s it.” He said his background makes him better equipped to serve his customers than most of his competitors. “I’ve been a contractor. I’ve been the person on the other side of the counter. I know what my customers need. Most other people in this business don’t have the level of understanding I gained from working as a contractor,” said Durden, adding that his businessto-business company serves the entire metro Atlanta area and uses materials from some of the most well-known manufacturers in the industry. Still operating from his Rock Chapel Road location in Lithonia, Durden said his employees often“can serve our customers at the counter and get them on their way with what they need within 20 minutes.”
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 23, 2013
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 23, 2013
2013 CRoss CoUNtRY pREViEW
by Carla Parker email@example.com The 2013 Cross Country season begins Aug. 24 and a few state champions from the DeKalb area will be running to defend their state titles. Last season the Dunwoody Lady Wildcats won the Class AAAAA state title, Marist boys and girls won the Class AAAA state title and St. Pius X also had a sweep in the Class AAA state championship with both boys and girls teams winning state titles. Senior Alex Cameron, who led Dunwoody to the state title with an individual title win, is back to defend her title. Cameron won the individual state title with a time of 19:49.96. Marist has both Michael Thurston and Daniel Navarro, who finished first and second respectively in the 2012 Class AAAA championship, returning for the 2013 season. Thurston finished with a time of 16:12.72 and Navarro behind him at 16:16.83. On the girls’ side, individual champion Morgan Ilse is returning to defend her title as well. Ilse finished with a time of 19:16.48. St. Pius X boys’ 2012 Class AAA individual champion Austin Sprague is returning this year as well as third place finisher Joseph Ferrugia. The girls team will have Margaret Crawford returning, who finished third in the Class AAA championship.
Dunwoody’s Alex Cameron will be defending her Class AAAAA individual state title this season.
2013 VollEYBAll pREViEW
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org The success of the 2012 Lakeside Volleyball team was a bit surprising for head coach Angela Thompson. “Last year we had no clue going into the season that we would be as good as we ended up,” she said. “There were a lot of top teams that were pretty good and we ended up beating some of them.” The Lakeside Lady Vikings finished the 2012 season with 29-7 record and advanced to the Class AAAAA state semifinals before losing to No. 1 ranked Whitewater in three straight matches. Lakeside was one of five DeKalb County teams to reach the state playoffs along with Marist and St. Pius X. Chamblee, Dunwoody and Redan lost in the first round, Tucker and Marist advanced to the second round, St. Pius X advanced to the Class AAA state championship game before losing 3-0 to Blessed Trinity. Lakeside had five starters to return this season, including senior setter Gloria McGoldrick, who finished last season with 418 assists, 162 kills and 99 aces. The Lady Vikings are off to a slow start with a 0-2 record, but Thompson believes her team will soon start winning games and make another run in the playoffs. “We’re confident that if we put the work in, which we do every year, that we’ll be successful this year,” she said. Tucker head coach Robin Potter expects her team to be “down a little bit” this season after their best hitter, Aniya Hamilton, graduated. Hamilton had 222 kills last season and led the Tucker Lady Tigers to a 29-15 record. Potter said she expects senior captain Alyssa Anderson to step up and lead the team. Anderson finished last season with 132 aces and 345 assists. “She’s a premier setter and we’re going to use her to the best of our abilities,” she said. The Chamblee Lady Bulldogs also has a chance to make it back to the playoffs with some of their top players returning. Seniors Ariella Grozbord, Jessica Farrell and Danielle Bennett–who led the team in aces, kills and assists respectively–are returning starters. Dunwoody had one of their top players from last season, junior Paige McKnight, return this season. McKnight finished the season with 371 assists, 206 digs, 180 kills, 98 aces and 36 blocks. Redan, which finished 20-8 last season, has last year’s assist leader, Kayla Frazier, returning.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 23, 2013
Lakeside catcher Ashleigh Dennis, who finished the 2012 season with a .449 batting average, practices her swing.
2013 soFtBAll pREViEW:
Teams look to redeem themselves in state playoffs
by Carla Parker email@example.com The 2012 softball season ended in disappointment for six DeKalb County softball teams. Arabia Mountain, Chamblee, Dunwoody, Lakeside, Miller Grove and Redan advanced to state playoffs but all six teams were knocked out in the first round. Decatur and St. Pius X also had first–round exits while Marist was knocked out of the second round. These teams, as well as DeKalb’s other softball teams, are all working toward having a better outcome this season. The Miller Grove Lady Wolverines are off to a good start as they began their journey to a second consecutive state playoff appearance. The Lady Wolverines are 2-0 with blowout wins over Columbia and region 6-AAAAA rival Mays. “I’m excited about how the season has started but we have more work to do,” said Miller Grove head coach Terrence Canty. Miller Grove had seven starters return this season including junior pitcher Lakaylin Lee, who finished last season with an 8-5 record, a 4.56 ERA and 63 strikeouts. Senior Shelby Eccles, Miller Grove’s leading hitter from last season, also returned. Eccles had a .574 batting average with 44 runs scored and 25 RBIs last season. Miller Grove’s playoff appearance last year was its first in school history. The team was were swept by Kell at home. Canty said the team and coaching staff are looking forward to being able to handle themselves better in “pressure situations” in the playoffs if they make it back. “A lot of our girls didn’t know how to respond [to the pressure] and I think this year they will know how to perform and handle themselves better.” Miller Grove had a big test on Aug. 20 when they faced region foe Lakeside. The Lakeside Lady Vikings, who were also swept in the playoffs, are off to a rocky start to the season with a 1-4 record. However, head coach Tricia Newmyer said the team is not discouraged by the slow start. “We’re still shifting people around trying to find out if a player is an infielder, outfielder, the best hitter and those sorts of things,” she said. Lakeside has a young team this season with only four starters from last year’s team. Even with a young team, Newmyer still expects to make it back to the state playoffs. “My expectations are to finish as high as possible in the region,” she said.
Miller Grove junior pitcher Lakaylin Lee finished last season with an 8-5 record, a 4.56 ERA and 63 strikeouts.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, August 23, 2013
ML King 40, Cedar Grove 6
During a pre-season scrimmage between ML King Lions (6-AAAAA) and Cedar Grove Saints (6-AAA), both teams feature new head coaches. Photos by Travis Hudgons
Alphaeus Newman (8) intercepts a MLK pass.
Jamel Smith breaks through two Cedar Grove defenders for a touchdown.
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