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

and Stone Mountain.

FREEPRESS
MARTA CEO Keith Parker and former NBA basketball player and clothing designer Kevin Willis talk about the importance of making MARTA an enjoyable ride for everyone. Photo by Daniel Beauregard

WWW.CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER.COM • FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 13 , 2013 • VOL. 16, NO. 25 • FREE

• A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS •

MARTA implements code of conduct for riders, announces new services
by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com Over the years, MARTA officials said that the transit system has received numerous complaints about the overall riding experience. In an effort to address those concerns, MARTA has implemented a new code of conduct for riders. MARTA CEO Keith Parker said the new “Ride With Respect” policy will make MARTA more attractive and help riders feel more comfortable. The new policy goes into effect Nov. 9. “You should have the freedom to sit quietly and enjoy a peaceful ride on MARTA,” Parker said. The MARTA Board of Directors approved the new policy Sept. 9. Under the new code of conduct, prohibited activities include solicitation, selling goods or services, loud music, spitting, littering, eating on transit vehicles, drinking on transit vehicles without resealable drink containers, fighting and disruptive behavior—many of which are also violations of state law and could result in arrest. Frederick Daniels, chair of MARTA’s board of directors, said over the years the transit system’s biggest complaint has been the negative riding experience. “Moving forward, MARTA will not tolerate bad behavior on our system any longer. We are asking the community, elected officials, customers and non-riders to join with us in this effort to promote the idea and notion that everyone deserves an enjoyable ride on MARTA,” Daniels said. Parker said MARTA’s goal with the new policy isn’t to “create a police state” and make arrests. However, he cautioned would be rule-breakers and said that they will be held accountable. “If a person is playing music while they’re riding on a bus or train and it’s loud enough for our officer to hear it, he or she will simply say, ‘Could you please turn that down?’ When the citation will come into effect is when that person just simply says, ‘No.’” Parker said he hopes the new policy will encourage people to behave themselves. He said if someone is given a citation for breaking the policies and are suspended from using MARTA for several days but somehow manage to sneak back onto a bus or train, so be it. “If they completely behave and we don’t see them, mission

See MARTA on page 15A

Decatur church celebrates its first century
100 year-old Oakhurst Baptist church says of its years of turmoil and controversy, ‘By God we’re still here’
by Kathy Mitchell kathy@dekalbchamp.com America’s social landscape has changed markedly during the past 100 years. Oakhurst Baptist Church, which celebrates its centennial this year, has in many ways been a microcosm of that change. The unassuming brick building at Third Avenue and East Lake Drive offers few clues to the controversies that have raged within its walls over the years. Started as a Southern Baptist Church, Oakhurst Baptist held its first services in a tent. By the 1920s, parishioners had begun meeting in a wood frame building they called “the shed” or “the shack.” By the 1930s, there were plans for a grand building with a high steeple and smaller buildings to accom-

Pastor Melanie Vaughn-West, center, and church members ride the Oakhurst Baptist Church Float in Atlanta’s Gay Pride parade. VaughnWest says people are often surprised to see a church supporting gay pride. Photo by Lynn Farmer

See Church on Page 15A

The unassuming brick building at East Lake Drive and Third Avenue has been the site of numerous controversies since the 1960s. Photo by Kathy Mitchell

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, September 13, 2013

local news

Page 2A

Neighbors call vacant house an ‘eyesore’
by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com “It needs to be torn down, or sold or fixed up,” said Prather, adding that he Marva Wright said her has called code enforcement Milan Estates neighborhood four times in the past month in unincorporated Decatur about the property. “You’ve is a nice, well-kept commu- got rats out there. You’ve nity. got snakes in there.” “We are a decent neighPrather said he cut the borhood except for this,” yard once and saw three she said Sept. 4, pointing to snakes. the property at 4008 Apple“The investment firm in ton Court near Wesley Cha- Las Vegas that owns this pel Road. property…bought it sight The 1,751-square-foot unseen and I think he spent split-level brick house, too much money on it and he’s asking a lot for it,” he said. “They need to bring it down to where somebody can afford it. It could be a nice piece of property for somebody.” A DeKalb County civil hearing notice is attached to the home, but the writing has completely faded away. DeKalb County spokesman Burke Brennan said the county has issued several citations to “the owners of record for failing to secure the property and high weeds and grass.” Marva Wright During a Sept. 3 court date a judge ordered default judgwhich residents said has ments of $500 on two citabeen vacant for approxitions, Brennan said. A new mately 14 years, is usually court date is scheduled for completely surrounded with Oct. 8 “for a last attempt to overgrown weeds. On Sept. allow the owners time to ap4, someone had mowed a pear prior to the court issu10-foot strip near the street, ing final judgments on this leaving thick tall weeds in property.” the yard. According the DeKalb Wright said that recently, County tax commissioner’s someone has stolen copper website, the property is pipes from the house. owned by Jacob Miller “It’s been like this for Holdings LLC of Hendertoo long,” Wright said. son, Nev. A search on the “This property has been website of the Nevada secvacant too long and it is an retary of state revealed that eyesore. The neighbors are the company’s business statired of it looking like this. tus is listed as “permanently We are forced to live in this revoked.” environment. And we’re Mohammed, who lives sick of it. No one is doing beside the property, said a anything about it. relative of his was interested “The longer it stays in purchasing the property [empty], the worse it gets,” but was unable to reach an Wright said. “We want [the agreement on the cost. owner] to sell it or come and He said he regularly clean it up and make it look hears animals in the brush. like us in here. Be a part of It “scares my family and the neighborhood.” myself,” Mohammed said. Henry Prather, who Wright said the county has lived in the community needs to impose stiffer pensince 1975, said, “This used alties for code violators. to be a real nice house. The “We’ve got to stick it to people move out of it…and the people who are slack,” the house went down. Wright said.

‘This property has been vacant too long and it is an eyesore.’

Residents in the Milan Estates neighborhood say they are tired of looking at a vacant home with overgrown weeds. “It needs to be torn down, or sold or fixed up,” said resident Henry Prather. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

The Champion Free Press, Friday, September 13, 2013

Page 3A

IMPORTANT NOTICE
THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT

If you or your loved one is or was a resident at one of these facilities, they have been cited for multiple deficiencies including:
GOLDEN LIVING CENTER DECATUR
FAILURE to give proper treatment to residents with feeding tubes to prevent problems (such as aspiration pneumonia, diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, metabolic abnormalities, nasal-pharyngeal ulcers) and help restore eating skills, if possible.[11/08/2012, 1/21/2010] FAILURE to develop a complete care plan that meets all of a resident's needs, with timetables and actions that can be measured.[11/08/2012, 6/03/2011] FAILURE to maintain drug records and properly mark/label drugs and other similar products according to accepted professional standards.[11/08/2012] FAILURE to give or get quality lab services/tests in a timely manner to meet the needs of residents.[11/08/2012] FAILURE to make sure medically necessary lab services/tests are ordered by the attending physician.[11/08/2012] FAILURE to provide necessary care and services to maintain the highest well being of each resident.[6/03/2011] FAILURE to allow the resident the right to participate in the planning or revision of the resident's care plan.[6/03/2011] FAILURE to have a program that investigates, controls and keeps infection from spreading.[6/03/2011] FAILURE to make sure that each resident who enters the nursing home without a catheter is not given a catheter, and receive proper services to prevent urinary tract infections and restore normal bladder function.[1/21/2010] FAILURE to review the work of each nurse aide every year; and give regular in-service training based upon these reviews.[1/21/2010] FAILURE to make sure that nurse aides show they have the skills and techniques to be able to care for residents' needs.[1/21/2010]

GOLDEN LIVING CENTER GLENWOOD
FAILURE to make sure that the nursing home area is free from accident hazards and risks and provides supervision to prevent avoidable accidents.[3/25/2009] FAILURE to make sure each resident receives an accurate assessment by a qualified health professional.[5/28/2010] FAILURE to provide care by qualified persons according to each resident's written plan of care.[3/25/2009] FAILURE to provide necessary care and services to maintain the highest well being of each resident.[3/25/2009] FAILURE to hire only people with no legal history of abusing, neglecting or mistreating residents; or report and investigate any acts or reports of abuse, neglect or mistreatment of residents.[5/07/2012, 5/28/2010] FAILURE to make sure that each resident who enters the nursing home without a catheter is not given a catheter, and receive proper services to prevent urinary tract infections and restore normal bladder function.[3/25/2009] FAILURE to make sure that residents with reduced range of motion get proper treatment and services to increase range of motion.[3/25/2009] FAILURE to develop a complete care plan that meets all of a resident's needs, with timetables and actions that can be measured.[3/25/2009] FAILURE to immediately tell the resident, the resident's doctor and a family member of the resident of situations (injury/decline/room, etc.) that affect the resident.[3/25/2009] FAILURE to follow policies and procedures to convey the resident's personal funds to the appropriate party responsible after the resident's death.[3/25/2009] FAILURE to have a program that investigates, controls and keeps infection from spreading.[5/03/2011] FAILURE to give residents proper treatment to prevent new bed (pressure) sores or heal existing bed sores.[5/03/2011]

*Deficiencies were obtained from past federal inspection results available on Medicare.gov.

BEDSORES, BROKEN BONES...EVEN DEATH.
If you or someone you love is or has been in the past a resident of Golden Living Center - Decatur or Golden Living Center - Glenwood, call the law firm of Wilkes & McHugh, P .A. for a free consultation.

POOR CARE CAN LEAD TO

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Gary L. Wimbish is responsible for the content of this advertisement.

Page 4A

OPINION

The Champion Free Press, Friday, September 13, 2013

Potty woes to go
south/east and west terminus points on the system. Nine may sound like a lot but MARTA operates 38 rail stations. And there are actually more than 76 restrooms available for use; the challenge is finding budget for staffing, cleaning and providing security. SitOrSquat began as a blog by a young New York City resident and has turned into the world’s leading public restroom database and locating service with applications spanning nearly every mobile and online platform. If you have an infant or toddler, IBS, Crohn’s or any other situation occasionally requiring immediate restroom access then this is the app for you. Those in the choir already know this, and I will make every attempt to avoid potty humor, but try to originate a day-long junket from the suburbs in any direction on MARTA, to a Braves game, the Georgia Aquarium or Hartsfield Airport, and include any transfer of bus to rail or rail line to rail line—given the additional budget cuts reducing bus and train frequency—and you are often looking at a two- to three-hour gap between access to indoor plumbing. For many seniors, the disabled and young children, “holding it” is simply not a realistic option. Fortunately most every MARTA station still has a restroom of sorts, it’s called the elevator. However from a hygiene perspective this option is unsafe, unsanitary and particularly offensive for wheelchair bound patrons who must regularly use the elevators for train access. Those elevators as a result also require much more frequent cleaning. Help is however on the way, and though voices sharing these potty woes have recently gotten much louder, MARTA’s new GM Keith Parker is also actually a regular MARTA system rider. And whether or not he has experienced these challenges himself, or he simply is a better listener, Mr. Parker is doing something about it. After his arrival and a 90-day top to bottom/inside/ out operational review, Parker announced that the existing restroom capacity and utilization was not rider friendly and that by 2015, all the original restrooms, open to the public and riders since 1979 would re-open. The MARTA budget for 2015 allocates $1.32 million toward restroom operations. Mr. Parker and his team are able public servants and civil engineers—but with all due respect, I believe a plan can easily be put in place to re-open those restrooms in half the time at well less than half that price. I won’t bore you readers with the details, but please trust that the plan is being transmitted up the pipeline. There is a way, not today, but soon, to form a public/private partnership that quickly addresses a pressing public need, and does so in a way that is as sensitive to the taxpayer and MARTA rider’s pocketbooks as the aforementioned Charmin. So this time next year, when you take the grandkids downtown for a day on the monster Ferris Wheel, or a visit to Georgia Aquarium or World of Coke, you needn’t worry about denying them that extra “free serving” of Fanta Kiwi or some other exotic concoction in the Tasting Room because though there is still no deposit, there now will then be a place for “return.’  OK, I’m pushing it. A little humor on certain subjects can go a long way, but as someone who has literally sprinted those escalators at Five Points and Harstfield more than a few times, I am expressing an advanced sigh of relief, and true gratitude. And at least for now, I won’t need to download that useful app from the friendly folks at Charmin.

One Man’s Opinion

“Charmin understands how difficult it can be for families to find clean public restrooms when they’re out and about and this partnership allows us to continue to help consumers.”— Proctor and Gamble executive and Charmin Brand Manager Jacques Hagopian, announcing the launch of the SitOrSquat project, and online website and phone application that helps consumers locate more than 50,000 clean, safe and accessible public restroom facilities across the globe. When you gotta go, you gotta go. Anyone who has spent an entire day traveling with a small child or elderly adult is well aware of the sometimes short-fused, acute need to locate a public restroom. Nowhere is that need perhaps being met less during the past several years than on MARTA. Severe austerity budget cuts three years ago caused the closure of the vast majority of public restrooms across the system, leaving only nine restrooms open and available, and at locations generally dispersed at the north/

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 billcrane@earthlink.net.

OPINION

Page 5A

There we go again
Any U.S. war with Syria will turn out badly.
Donald Kaul
Guest Columnist
go. One lesson leads to another, and before you know it, we’re bombing cities to save them, sending in troops, and rebuilding the society we helped knock down. After that formula worked so well in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, it’s no wonder President Barack Obama wants to try it in Syria. The desire for a Syrian raid, according to occasionally reliable sources, arises from a box of red crayons that Obama keeps in his desk drawer in the Oval Office. Every once in a while he takes one out and draws a line in front of some action that an enemy power must not cross. With Iran, it’s the production of a nuclear bomb. With Syria, it’s the use of poison gas. Well, to make a long story short, Assad seems to have used poison gas on his own people and thus must be punished. You see, it’s OK to bomb people with conventional weapons or to incinerate them with napalm (as we ourselves did many times in Vietnam) or to put them in jail and torture them (remember Abu Ghraib?). It’s OK to mine farm fields so that long after a war is over peasants will be blowing off limbs on a consistent basis. It’s even OK to obliterate entire cities with a single bomb that vaporizes all in its path. (Maybe not OK exactly but perfectly understandable under the proper circumstances.) But if you use poison gas, you are a monster and a lowlife. Who can argue with logic like that? Some do, of course. Not only do Russia and China (always the spoilsports) object to the proposed U.S. action, but the British parliament has refused to go along with it. It seems that many Brits remember being fooled into helping out with the Iraq War only to find that the dreaded “weapons of mass destruction” were a figment of Dick Cheney’s imagination. They’ve seen that movie and they don’t like the ending. The nice thing about being an American is that you don’t have to worry about history because you have no memory of it. Our national motto should be: “A mistake worth making is worth repeating.” The other question surrounding this issue is: Will a raid do any good…that is, teach Assad a lesson? Probably not. Assad won’t strike himself on the forehead and say “What a fool I’ve been. I’m going to resign and spend the rest of my life reading the Federalist Papers.” Assad is a nasty piece of work. I doubt that a limited strike such as this one looks to be will have much effect. So why do it? There’s that red-line thing, I suppose, but somehow “You cross that line and I’m going to tell Congress” lacks something as a threat. Not that I’m against consulting Congress, if its members can be located. In any case, the last time bombing worked out for us was Kosovo, but that was a two-month campaign of intensive bombing, supported by our allies. Our allies are hiding behind sand dunes this time. I predict it will all turn out badly. I’ve been predicting that on the front end of every single development in the Middle East for the past 20 years and I have yet to be wrong. OtherWords columnist Donald Kaul lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. OtherWords.org

So we’re going to war in Syria. Maybe. We won’t know for sure until Congress gets back from the vacation it’s taking from its other vacations. One can live in hope, however. What would autumn be without a fresh war in the Middle East to occupy us? I know, the Obama-Bush administration is saying that it’s not going to be a real war, that we’re simply going to conduct a punitive raid to teach Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad a lesson. But you know how those things

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

Publisher: John Hewitt Chief Financial Officer Dr. Earl D. Glenn Managing Editor: Kathy Mitchell News Editor: Andrew Cauthen Production Manager: Kemesha Hunt Graphic Designer: Travis Hudgons The Champion Free Press is published each Friday by ACE III Communications, Inc., 114 New Street, Suite E, Decatur, GA. 30030 Phone (404) 373-7779.

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We sincerely appreciate the discussion surrounding this and any issue of interest to DeKalb County. The Champion was founded in 1991 expressly to provide a forum for discourse forall community residents onall sides of an issue. We have no desire to make the news only to report news and opinions to effect a more educated citizenry that will ultimately move our community forward. We are happy to present ideas for discussion; however, wemake every effort toavoid printing information submitted to usthat is known to be false and/orassumptions penned as fact.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, September 13, 2013

CoMMuniTY

Page 6A

Proposed county zoning ordinance concerns Druid Hills Civic Association
by Carla Parker carla@dekalbchamp.com the current zoning ordinance retains residential districts that comprise the majority Proposed changes to of the county. DeKalb has DeKalb County zoning or21 residential districts in the dinance “has serious implizoning ordinance; however, cations for the Druid Hills the proposed ordinance will neighborhood,” according to consolidate into eight zoning districts to “achieve a more user-friendly code,” according to the proposal. Some of the proposed changes that the association has concerns about include “reducing the size of buffers between zoning classifications to make it easier to redevelop commercial corridors; eliminate the 35 feet height limitaDruid Hills Civic Association tion in zones classified for office buildings, a Druid Hills Civic Associathereby permitting five-story tion blog post. buildings to go up adjacent to The association said the single family homes; and exzoning ordinance would faempting pervious pavement vor commercial interests and from paving restrictions, enstrip rights from homeownabling homeowners to pave ers, which concerns the asall or larger portions of their sociation. properties, affects the water“Under the new ordished,” the association said. nance, all properties in the The association is also county will receive a new concerned that the zoning zoning classification,” the ordinance “severely limits association’s blog read. “The the ability of homeowners DeKalb County administraand public officials to appeal tion appears eager to push land use decisions; allows through the new ordinance.” administrative reductions of According to the county required setbacks and miniplanning and sustainability mum lot sizes; allows the website, the updated DeKalb construction of cellphone County ordinance will imple- towers anywhere without ment the policies of the coun- adequate recourse for homety’s 2025 Comprehensive owners and businesses; allow Plan with fewer zoning disfor rezoning with embedded tricts, balanced with greater variances and provide for design standards. According generous density bonuses in to the county’s zoning code, many zones countywide.”

Champion of the Week
Charles McAleer
Since 1991, Charles McAleer of Atlanta has participated in the annual Bike MS race, which benefits the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. On Sept. 14-15, McAleer and employees from his law firm, McAleer Law, will participate as a team in the 2013 Bike MS Cox Atlanta Ride. The McAleer Law Bike MS team was created by McAleer in 2011. The team has since raised several thousands dollars for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. The team has raised $2,500 for the race so far and hopes to raise $5,000. This is the second year the Decatur law firm will participate in the race. McAleer said he got his employees involved in the race to raise more money and bring more awareness to multiple sclerosis. “It’s only so much I can do alone and getting them involved and them reaching out to their families creates more exposure to the disease,” he said. “And it’s kind of a team building event for us as well. I’ve gotten all of our employees active in the event either volunteering or riding.” McAleer began fighting against multiple sclerosis when one of his close college friends was diagnosed with the disease in the late 1990s. Since then, he has represented several clients with the disease. “Fortunately for [my college friend], she was able to handle the symptoms pretty well with medication and good medical care,” he said. “But I’ve seen clients of ours with more severe and disabling types of symptoms.” Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory disease in which the insulating covers of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord are damaged. This damage disrupts the ability of parts of the nervous system to communicate, resulting in a wide range of signs and symptoms, including physical, mental and sometimes psychiatric problems. “It’s a disease that affects more people than the public might know,” he said. “It’s very common and it seems like every year [researchers] get closer and closer to a cure. A lot of the money that’s needed to find a cure or create better ways to treat the disease comes from charity work.”

‘under the new ordinance, all properties in the county will receive a new zoning classification.’

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

The Champion Free Press, Friday, September 13, 2013

AROUNDDEKALB
BROOKHAVEN
author of three novels and a work of nonfiction, The Follow, which was shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award and the Pearson Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize. She received the Harbourfront Festival Prize for her contributions to the Canadian literary community. The Decatur Library is located at 215 Sycamore Street, Decatur. For more information, call (404) 370-3070.
 

CoMMuniTY

Page 7A

atlantajcc.org, or (678) 812-4161.

City to host Art on the Town Brookhaven will host the “Fall into Art” event, at an outdoor Artists Market presented by the Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces featuring 30 local artists and artisans on the greenspace entry to Town Brookhaven. The event, which began Sept. 7, will be held for three consecutive weekends through Sept. 21, and include acoustic music by local performers. The event, which begins at 11 a.m., is free to attend. Town Brookhaven is located at 4330 Peachtree Road NE.

KIRKWOOD

Seventh annual Wine Stroll to have Roaring ‘20s theme The seventh annual Kirkwood Wine Stroll will be on Friday, Sept. 27, with 28 pouring stations and wines from around the world, all located in the downtown business district of Kirkwood. “This year’s festival promises to be our best year yet. We will be closing the streets and featuring Blair Crimmins and the Hookers Band. With a Roaring ‘20s Great Gatsby themed soiree, your festive attire is encouraged,” states an announcement from the Kirkwood Business Association, which recommends getting tickets in advance, as the event often sells out. The event is 6:30-10 p.m. and check in is at 2033 Hosea L. Williams Dr., Atlanta. More information and tickets are available at www.KirkwoodBiz.com.

blood drive on Thursday, Sept. 19, noon - 6 p.m., and receive free parking and lunch. The drive will be held in the community room on DeKalb Medical Hillandale’s campus. Pre-registration is not required. For additional information call (404) 501-WELL for more information. Collard greens cultural festival to come to city park

Lithonia City Park & Amphitheater will be the site of the fourth anSix candidates qualify for city nual Metro Atlanta Collard Greens council seats Cultural Festival on Saturday, Sept. 28, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. The event will Doraville, which recently hired a feature a variety of foods—includcity manager and changed its form ing collard green ice cream—live of government last year, recently music by local talent, arts and crafts, held candidate qualifications for the an African Marketplace, children’s  upcoming 2013 municipal general Sproutland and edutainment during election. this day-long celebration. AdmisFall crafts subject of library’s sion is free; however, donations are senior program Of those who qualified for the three welcomed. seats, three are incumbents. The There will be a variety of venOn the third Monday of every candidates are: dors and artists, a health and wellmonth, the Chamblee Library holds ness pavilion, a sustainability paan event it calls “Senior Moment.” Council District One vilion, a farmer’s market and the The September program, which Julie Newman traditional collard greens cook-off. will be Monday, Sept. 16, 1:30 Robert Patrick (I) This community-based festival 3 p.m., will be on fall-themed has previously been held in the decorative crafts. It is open to the Talk to a Doc events scheduled at Historic West End Community and Council District Two first 10 participants. Call or visit DeKalb Medical Hillandale Brian Bates (I) the Historic English Avenue Comthe branch to register. Funding for Dawn O’Connor munity. The Metro Atlanta Collard the program is provided by the Upcoming topics include CelGreens Cultural Festival has a sister Friends of the Chamblee Library. ebrating Women’s Health to be held festival held in East Palo Alto, CaCouncil District Three The Chamblee Library is located at Karen Pachuta (I) Sept. 19, 6-8 p.m. lif., annually. 4115 Clairmont Road, Chamblee. Emphasis will be on changing mediSharon Spangler Lithonia City Park & AmphitheTo register or for more information, cal issues and complexities of wom- ater is located at 2515 Park Drive, call (770) 936-1380. en in all stages of life, from materLithonia. For more information, nity to menopause. Join a panel of  visit www.collardgreensculturalfesphysicians in the community room tival.com, or call (678) 828-4008.  of the DeKalb Medical Hillandale Information meeting to offer campus in a celebration of women’s details on trip to Israel Library to host ‘CAREing Paws’ health. reading event for children  A second Talk to a Doc event is Marcus Jewish Community “Puberty Rocks! For Boys.” This Center of Atlanta (MJCCA) will Children ages 5-8 can share their hold a Community Mission to Island independence celebration discussion will address a young new reading skills by reading aloud Israel information meeting Sunday, announced man’s journey into adolescence on to a therapy dog at the CAREing Friday, Sept. 20, 6-8 p.m. in the Sept. 22, 7 - 8 p.m. The public is Paws event at Clarkston Library. In 1983, St. Kitts and Nevis becommunity room of the DeKalb invited to an information meeting The 2-3 p.m. event will be held came independent of Great Britain, Medical Hillandale campus. Tips to learn more about the upcoming Saturday, Sept. 14. The event is making it the smallest and newest will be provided to help young men Community Mission to Israel, open to the first eight participants. sovereign state in the Americas. navigate the “tween and teen years which will take place June 15 - 23, The library is located at North On Saturday, Sept. 21, the St. Kitts with the assistance of DeKalb Medi2014. Indian Creek Drive. To register for and Nevis Association of Atlanta cal physician, Dr. Ken Harper,” “Get ready for an amazing the event, call (404) 508-7175. Inc. will hold a 30th Anniversary of according to a release. Topics adventure by joining Rabbi Independence celebration at Redan will include body changes, mood Glusman and fellow Atlantans on Cultural Center in Stone Mountain. swings, peer pressure and more. the MJCCA bus. This adventure of  The event will include dinner, dancThis program is for boys and their a lifetime is perfect for first-timers ing and a show as well as a voice parents only. and those who have been to Israel Author to discuss book about 19th before. Highlights of the trip include Visit www.dekalbmedical.org or competition in which the audience century Quakers call (404) 501-WELL to register for will choose the winner. Tickets a special welcome ceremony, Yad are $30. Redan Cultural Center Vashem, Masada, The Old City, and these or any upcoming Talk with a is located at 4964 Redan Road, Linda Spalding will be at the Doc events. more,” the announcement states. Stone Mountain. For tickets and Decatur Library Wednesday, Sept. Travel subsidies are available. additional information, call (404) 18, at 7:15 p.m. to talk about her Hospital to hold blood drive MJCCA at Zaban Park is located at 376-4214 or (770) 883-8166 or visit new book, The Purchase, the story 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. of a Quaker family who moves from For more information, contact Area residents can help others by skanaa2008@gmail.com. Pennsylvania to the Virginia frontier Rabbi Glusman at rabbi.glusman@ giving blood at DeKalb Medical’s in the early 1800s. Spalding is the

DORAVILLE

CHAMBLEE

LITHONIA

CLARKSTON

DUNWOODY

STONE MOUNTAIN

DECATUR

The Champion Free Press, Friday, September 13, 2013

local news

Page 8A

DeKalb man gets life for killing boy
by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com A DeKalb County man has been sentenced to life in prison plus 80 years, for killing a 7-year-old boy and shooting his sister in an attempt to stop them from testifying for a burglary trial. Willie Kelsey, appeared in a DeKalb County courtroom Sept. 5 and pleaded guilty for murdering Timothy Johnson Jr. and shooting Alexus Sheppard, 15, several times Sept. 16, 2007. Kelsey accepted a negotiated plea agreement rather than face the death penalty. Originally, Kelsey was charged with murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, aggravated battery, criminal attempt to commit murder, three counts attempting to murder of a witness, burglary and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. According to prosecutors, Johnson and his sister were shot in what appears to be a gangland-style incident. The home that the two children and their parents LaMonica Johnson and Timothy Johnson Sr., were living in a year earlier had been robbed by four men. Prosecutors said the night before the two parents were to testify, Kelsey broke into the home where they were staying with relatives and began firing. According to the indictment he “seriously disfigured” Sheppard when he shot her in the face. According to court documents, Timothy Jr. was shot 11 times and Sheppard was shot five times or more. The family was supposed to testify in the trial of Johnny Travitt, who allegedly ran a crime syndicate that Kelsey belonged to. Travitt has since been found guilty and sentenced to life in prison for his role in the violent 2006 robbery of the Johnson’s home.

Decatur residents can discuss health topics during a weekly Walk With A Doc program sponsored by the city. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

Decatur residents join doctors for weekly walks
by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com Some Decatur residents and city employees joined a doctor Sept. 4 for a walk around the city. The walk was sponsored by Decatur Active Living, a city of Decatur division with a mission to provide leisure and support services that contribute to the quality of life of Decatur residents. It was the first of the city’s Walk With a Doc weekly program during which walkers will have the opportunity to discuss various topics with healthcare professionals. “The idea here today is two-fold: it’s walking and then the incentive here is that there’s a doctor with us and you’re free to chat about anything that you would like to chat to [him] about,” said Tracie Sanchez, Decatur Active Living’s adult program leader, during the inaugural walk. The first walk featured Dr. Thomas C. Brillante, an optometrist with Decatur Eye Care in the Oakhurst community. Walk With a Doc is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to encourage healthy physical activity in people of all ages, and reverse the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle in order to improve the health and well-being of the country. Walk with a Doc has more than 90 active programs and is in four countries. Collaborations with Children’s Healthcare and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Emory University have helped recruit medical and community professionals, including orthopedists, firefighters, EMTs, veterinarians, optometrists, registered dieticians, psychiatrists, dentists and master gardeners. “By incorporating Walk with a Doc, Decatur Active Living and the city of Decatur are demonstrating an exceptional level of caring and commitment to their community”, said Dr. David Sabgir, founder of Walk with a Doc. “This program has had tremendous participation and tremendous success in many other cities around the country,” said Tracie Sanchez, adult program leader at Decatur Active Living. “I’m very pleased to be a part of this exciting and simple program that shows such improved health results for so many people.” The program is free and preregistration is not required. Weekly walks will be on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. and posted at www. beactivedecatur.com, the Decatur Active Living Facebook page and via the Walk with a Doc website, www. walkwithadoc.org. The walks begin at the Decatur Recreation Center, 231 Sycamore Street, and will follow the City of Decatur and Friends of Decatur Cemetery walking tours routes with options ranging from one to four miles. In inclement weather the walkers will use the indoor elevated walking track at the Decatur Recreation Center.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, September 13, 2013
SPECIAL ADVERTISING FEATURE

local news

Page 9A
©2013 UNIVERSAL COMMERCE 8000 FREEDOM AVE., N. CANTON OH 44720

Public gets Free TV with no monthly bills
Federal law makes TV network giants broadcast Free TV signals regionally in crystal clear digital picture in all 50 states allowing U.S. households to pull in Free TV with a sleek $49 micro antenna device engineered to pull in nothing but Free TV channels with no cable, satellite or internet connection and no monthly bills

Who Gets Free TV: Listed below are the Decatur area zip codes that can get Free over the air TV channels. If you live in one of these areas immediately call: 1-888-874-3480
GEORGIA - Today’s announcement by CompTek has the Free TV Hotlines ringing off the hook. That’s because Decatur area residents who find their zip code listed in today’s publication are getting Free TV channels thanks to an amazing razor-thin invention called Clear-Cast®. Decatur area residents who call the Toll Free Hotlines before the 48-hour order deadline to get Clear-Cast can pull in Free TV channels with crystal clear digital picture and no monthly bills. This announcement is being so widely advertised because a U.S. Federal law makes TV broadcasters transmit their signals in digital format, which allows everyone to receive these over-the-air digital signals for free with no monthly bills. Here’s how it works. Clear-Cast, the sleek micro antenna device with advanced technology links up directly to pull in the Free TV signals being broadcast in your area with crystal clear digital picture and no monthly bills. Clear-Cast was invented by a renowned NASA Space Technology Hall of Fame scientist who currently holds 23 U.S. Gov’t issued patents. For the past 20 years, he has specialized in developing antenna systems for NASA, Motorola, XM Satellite Radio and companies around the world. His latest patent-pending invention, ClearCast, is a sleek micro antenna device engineered to pull in the Free TV signals through advanced technology with no cable, satellite or internet connection and no monthly bills. “Clear-Cast is being released to the general public because we just don’t think people should keep paying for TV when they can get it for free,” said Conrad Miller, Manager of Operations at CompTek. “There’s never a monthly bill to pay and all the channels you get with Clear-Cast are absolutely free. So you see, Clear-Cast is not like cable or satellite. It was engineered to access solely the over-the-air signals that include all the top rated national and regional networks, like ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS, CW and about 90% of the most watched TV shows like America’s Got Talent, NCIS, 60 Minutes, American Idol, The Big Bang Theory, The Bachelorette, Person of Interest, CSI, The Mentalist, Two and a Half Men, Sunday Night Football plus news, weather and more all for free with no monthly bills,” Miller said. “That’s why Clear-Cast is such a great alternative for everyone who is sick and tired of paying expensive cable and satellite bills every month,” he said. “People who get Clear-Cast will say it feels like getting an extra paycheck every month. You see, with Clear-Cast you’ll receive free over-the-air broadcast channels with crystal clear digital picture, not the cable or satellite only channels. So being able to eliminate those channels puts all the money you were spending back in your pocket every month,” Miller said. And here’s the best part. The sleek micro antenna device called Clear-Cast is so technically advanced it pulls in even more of the channels being broadcast in your area for Free with no monthly bills. That way you can channel surf through the favorite TV shows. The number of shows and channels you’ll get depends on where you live. People living in large metropolitan areas may get up to 53 static-free channels, while people in outlying areas will get less. That means even if you’re in a rural area that just pulls in NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX and PBS broadcasts there’s hundreds of shows each year to watch for free. Consumers report that the crystal clear picture quality with Clear-Cast is the best they’ve ever seen. That’s because you get virtually all pure uncompressed signals direct from the broadcasters for free. Clear-Cast was engineered to link up directly like a huge outdoor directional antenna but in a lightweight, slim-line package. Its sturdy copper alloy and polymer construction will most likely far outlast your TV. It just couldn’t be any easier to get Free over-the-air digital TV shows with ClearCast. Simply plug it into your TV, place ClearCast on a window pane and run autoscan. It works on virtually any model TV and is easily hidden out of sight behind a curtain or window treatment. Thousands of Decatur area residents are expected to call to get Clear-Cast because it just doesn’t make any sense to keep paying for TV when you can get hundreds of shows absolutely free. So, Decatur area residents lucky enough to find their zip code listed in today’s publication need to immediately call the Free TV Hotline before the 48-hour deadline to get Clear-Cast that pulls in Free TV with crystal clear digital picture. If lines are busy keep trying, all calls will be answered. ■

■ NEVER PAY A BILL AGAIN: Georgians will be on the lookout for their postal carrier because thousands of Clear-Casts will soon be delivered to lucky Decatur area residents who beat the 48-hour order deadline and live in any of the zip code areas listed below. Everyone is getting Clear-Cast because it pulls in nothing but Free TV channels with no cable, satellite or internet connection and no monthly bills.

Listed below are the Decatur area zip codes that can get Free TV channels with no monthly bills. If you live in one of these areas immediately call 1-888-874-3480 beginning at precisely 8:30am this morning. Today’s announcement photo above shows just a handful of the major over-the-air broadcast networks you can receive with Clear-Cast for free. It saves a ton of money by not picking up expensive cable only channels like ESPN so there’s never a monthly bill. This is all possible because a U.S. Federal Law makes TV broadcasters transmit their signals in digital format, which allows everyone to use Clear-Cast to pull in Free TV channels with no monthly bills. CompTek is giving every U.S. household a 50% off discount to help cover the cost of Clear-Cast. Clear-Cast, the sleek micro antenna device is a one-time purchase that plugs in to your TV to pull in Free TV channels in crystal clear digital picture with no monthly bills. Each Clear-Cast normally costs $98, but U.S. households who beat the 48-hour deadline are authorized to get a 50% off discount for each Clear-Cast and cover just $ 49 and shipping as long as they call the Free TV Hotline at 1-888-874-3480 before the deadline ends or online at www.clear-cast.com. Trademarks and programs are the property of their respective owners and are not affiliated with or endorsing Clear-Cast. SLG1086

How to get Free TV:

30002 30021 30030 30032

30033 30034 30035 30036

30038 30047 30058 30072

30074 30079 30083 30084

30087 30088 30294 30316

30317 30319 30329 30338

30340 30341 30345 30360

How It Works:

Just plug it in to your TV and pull in Free TV channels in cr ystal clear digital picture with no cable, satellite or internet connection and no monthly bills
SLG1086

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, September 13, 2013

local news

Page 10A

DeKalb police officer charged with conspiracy to commit a crime
by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com A DeKalb County Police officer was arrested Sept. 6 and accused of conspiracy to sell methamphetamines, according to Chief Cedric Alexander. “Unfortunately we have to report Precious Me Inc. Director Bianca Singleton (right) and Sistas Circle Inc. Director Fay Josephs (center) welcomes that we arrested Miguel 14-year-old Dayzia Abair into the Young Strong Sistas Program. Photo provided one of our own police officers today,” Alexander said during a press conference at the DeKalb Police headquarters. “We’re all somewhat saddened by it [and] embarrassed by it but by Carla Parker topics ranging from etiquette said. “I think a lot of young we’re going to move past this carla@dekalbchamp.com to empowerment for various women between sixth and because we still have work to organizations. 12th grade are kind of stuck do in this community to make Self-esteem, peer presPrecious Me Inc. is facili- in between ‘do I really want sure we keep this community sure, bullying, pregnancy tated at New Mercies Chris- to grow up?’ and ‘who do I safe.” and substance abuse are just tian Church in Lilburn. The really want to be?’” William Miguel, an 11a few of the obstacles and program also partners with The program’s structure is year veteran of the police challenges that teenage girls Sistas Circle Inc., a nonprofit based on four core facets that department, was taken into face on a daily basis. based in Lawrenceville. The complement a teenage girl’s custody by officers from the Bianca Singleton knows organization hosts a weekly growth in today’s society. U.S. Drug Enforcement Adthat mentorship is one of enrichment support group Those core facets are selfministration and Gwinnett the factors that help girls for girls ages 11-17 called identity reconstruction, apCounty DA’s Office, by Alexface and deal with these “Young Strong Sistas.” The pearance molding, life-skill social issues. That is why support group uses the same development and community ander, who said he could not release specific details about she founded Precious Me curriculum that is used in advocacy. the crime. Inc., a program designed to Precious Me Inc. Singleton said the pro“This is clearly an ongo“nurture love for oneself, Singleton said what gram is designed with the ing investigation and we have love and appreciation for separates Precious Me Inc. modern girl in mind. The some other leads that we need others and recognition of the from other mentoring and program, along with Sistas love from others inside and enrichment programs is the Circle Inc., hosts workshops outside of immediate ties experiential learning method and the topics explored withthrough experiential learning it uses. in each workshop are pertiexperiences.” “A lot of the other mennent to needs such as social Brookhaven food trucks The program, which toring programs are more media etiquette and identity caters to girls ages 11-18 discussion-based with supdevelopment. across metro Atlanta, was port groups,” she said. “In a world where sexThe Brookhaven Food founded in April 2012 and “Everything is hands on [at ting and cyber-bullying are Truck Roundup served more launched this past June. Precious Me Inc.]. If we’re emerging troubles of today’s than 2,000 people Sept. 4 at However, Singleton said the doing a workshop on career society, young ladies need to its first event, which marked vision for the program began building, instead of having be equipped with the skills the city’s takeover of its when she was in high school. them looking at different and knowledge to overcome parks. “The vision in itself was types of resumes we’ll have 21st century girl problems,” Brookhaven is adding kind of created over time,” the girls actually write a reshe said. more food trucks for next she said. “When I was a pag- sume. Along with the workweek’s event. eant queen [in the Alpha Phi “Precious Me Inc. enshops, the program conducts The Brookhaven Food Alpha Fraternity Inc. Miss forces communication but weekly meetings for the girls Truck Roundup will be held Black and Gold pageant] in a way that young women to interact with each other from 5-9 p.m. every Wednesawareness, self-esteem and of current times can underand the mentors and it proday until the end of October body image in young women stand,” she said. “Although vides opportunities for girls at Blackburn Park, 3501 Ashwas my platform.” most programs utilize the to do community service ford Dunwoody Road. She used that same platadult-to-child model, this activities and go on college “We were excited to see so form to be the focal point of is not the primary means of tours. many residents come out and the program. their interaction.” The program is free but a enjoy not only the good food Singleton had a mentor LaToria Jones of Lithofew activities will be subject and music, but our beautiful while she was in high school nia, who is a Precious Me to a marginal fee. parks,” Brookhaven Mayor J. who helped her get through mentor, said the program is a “As a participant in our difficult times and she want- great foundation for helping program, a girl is expected to Max Davis said. “This event series is designed to generate ed to be a positive example girls evolve into what they be able and willing to grow, excitement around our parks in a girl’s life as well. She want to be at their greatest to be receptive and positive and build community among has mentored girls in the potential. to those around them and Boys and Girls Club and the “Precious Me really is above all have fun,” she said. residents.” Residents dined at picnic YMCA. She was a youth a foundation for growth of For more information tables and on blankets while dance coordinator at a cenyoung women, especially at about the program, visit listening to the sounds of tral Georgia church for five the age where they’re startwww.facebook.com/prelocal band, the Chamblee years and she has coordinat- ing sixth grade and trying to ciousmeinc. Tuckers, who donated their ed and hosted workshops on find out who they are,” Jones to follow as well to make sure that we’re covering all the necessary bases,” he said. “[For] anyone that may be potentially involved, we have to make sure that we come to some real conclusion around any leads that we have.” Alexander said police believes Miguel’s involvement in the case spans the metro Atlanta area. “It certainly is a very unfortunate one that has occurred here, but as I indicated when I came to work here back in very early April, when we find these types of behaviors taking place inside this police department we will take immediate action and have those removed,” Alexander said. “And that was the case here. This saddens us but we certainly will continue to … work hard for the respect and trust of this community because the majority of the men and women of this department, with the exception of the one we saw here today, work very hard every day to serve this community and put their lives on the line,” Alexander said.

New mentoring program uses hands on activities to empower girls

serve more than 2,000
talents to the city. Children had the opportunity to explore Brookhaven Police’s new patrol cars while residents chatted with the mayor and city council members. The city is hosting the food truck celebration in conjunction with Fork in the Road, a joint venture between food truck provider Happy Belly and the Atlanta Street Food Coalition. “The event far exceeded our expectations, especially when compared to neighboring events,” Terry Hall, president of Happy Belly Truck/Fork in the Road Event Management. “We are excited to have a good mix of savory and dessert trucks coming back to Brookhaven, something to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.” For the weekly food truck lineup and more information, visit www.facebook.com/ Brookhaven.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, September 13, 2013

local news

Page 11A

Decatur High student arrested for robbery
by Carla Parker carla@dekalbchamp.com Decatur City Police charged a 15-year-old Decatur High School student with robbery and simple battery for stealing an iPhone from a Renfroe Middle School student. According to Sgt. Jennifer Ross, police responded to a robbery in the 200 block of Greenwood Circle. The victim said he was walking home from the middle school and noticed the suspect walking behind him near the upper lot of Decatur High School on West Howard Avenue. “The high school aged male called out to another juvenile male walking across the railroad tracks near Commerce Drive and the two met up and continued following behind the victim to Greenwood Circle,” Ross said. “The high school aged male then suddenly ran up behind the victim, wrapped his arms around the victim’s chest and stated, ‘Give it to me! Give it to me!’ The second juvenile male hung back in the roadway.” Ross said the victim wiggled out of the hold and tried to keep the suspect from taking his iPhone out his pocket but let the suspect grab the phone. “The suspect and the second juvenile male fled back the way they came on Greenwood Circle toward Patillo Way,” Ross said. “The victim was not injured and no weapon was displayed or mentioned.” Police are also investigating the robbery of three Decatur High School students who had their iPhones stolen as they left an Aug. 30 football game. Ross said identifying and locating the suspects is a top priority and the department is being assisted by a sketch artist from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation as well as the City Schools of Decatur, MARTA Police, DeKalb Police, Atlanta Police and area school resource officers. In two of the three robberies, police said the students were approached and asked for the time before the robbery. Police also received a report from another student who said when he left the game he was approached by two males who asked for the time and then followed and questioned him about his phone. “The student left the area without further incident,” Ross said. “The students who encountered the robbery suspects reported they did not recognize them as fellow Decatur students.” Chief Mike Booker said 15 officers were on duty in the area during the time of the robberies after the game, including the standard six officers at the high school. “In addition, according to our operating procedure, as the game was ending, the on-duty shift was notified and they had responded to the area around the school, as well as the bicycle patrol officer from the Square,” Booker said. “There was additional law enforcement staff in the area that was part of security for the Decatur Book Festival. The Decatur Police Department and City Schools of Decatur will continue to work together to put even more safety precautions into effect for future games.” Decatur Mayor Jim Baskett said city officials say they are deeply concerned about the incidents. “No one wants these incidents stopped more than the City Commission and the City of Decatur Police Department,” he said. “This type of activity is not welcome in our community.” Ross said cellphone robberies are a nationwide problem because high-end cellphones can be turned into cash and cellphones are not automatically traceable. “Intelligence in the law enforcement community suggests these phones are often sold to fencing operations and sent out of the country based on the international demand for iPhones and similar high-end electronics,” she said. “Thieves are simply looking for opportunities where they can find someone with an iPhone and take it with little resistance. These crimes are not predictable and are usually completed in less than 30 seconds.” Police suggest that residents not talk or text on cellphones while walking because it can distract them from being aware of their surroundings and it shows thieves that the potential victims have a phone. Police said a common scam is to approach and ask for the time to get victims to pull out their phone. “If you are approached, followed or questioned about your phone, leave the area and get to a safe location or go to the closest, trusted adult and call police immediately,” Ross said.

Notice of Public Hearing: Sept. 19, 2013
Notice is hereby given that the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority will hold a public hearing for the purpose of considering:

Proposed Rail & Bus Modifications for December 14, 2013
To improve weekday rail service frequency based upon available resources, and on-time performance for select bus routes: Rail Red Line (North Springs) will continue north to North Springs and south to the Airport all days until 9:00 pm. then begin turn backs at Lindbergh Station until end of revenue service. Service currently turns back at Lindbergh at 7:00 pm. Rail Green Line (Bankhead) will continue to Candler Park Station all days until 9:00 pm. then begin turn backs at Vine City until end of revenue service. Currently Green Line turns back at King Memorial at midday and Vine City Station at 7:00 pm. Bus Route 32 – Bouldercrest/Georgia Aquarium: Propose terminating service at Five Points Station during all service hours on all service days. Service between Five Points Station and Civic Center Station will be discontinued. Bus Route 74 – Flat Shoals: Eliminate routing on Doris Drive, Clanton Terrace, Sherlock Drive; continuing route on Flat Shoals between Doris Drive and Sherlock Drive. Bus Route 124 – Pleasantdale Road: Weekday peak only deviation to/from Doraville Station via Dawson Blvd., connector bridge (I-285 overpass) to Button Gwinnett Drive, Button Gwinnett Drive to Pleasantdale Road continue regular routing. Bus Route 153 – H.E. Holmes/Browntown: Maintain current routing to/from Hamilton E. Holmes Station to H.E. Holmes Drive and James Jackson Parkway, then continue James Jackson Parkway to regular routing. Service along Hightower Road, 6th Street, Etheridge Drive, 7th Street, St. James Avenue and Northwest Drive will be discontinued by Route 153. Route 60 – Hightower/Moores Mill will continue to provide service along the Hightower Road segment discontinued by Route 153. Route 58 – Atlanta Industrial/Hollywood Road will continue to provide service along the Northwest Drive segment discontinued by Route 153.

Thursday, September 19, 2013
MARTA HEADQUARTERS BUILDING:
2424 Piedmont Rd., NE, Atlanta 30324

Community Exchange: 6:00 - 7:00 pm

PUBLIC HEARING: 7:00 pm
Riding MARTA: Across the street from Lindbergh Center Station.
Copies of the proposed service modifications will also be available at MARTA’s Office of External Affairs, 2424 Piedmont Road, N.E. Atlanta, Georgia 30324 during regular business hours, Mon-Fri 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Sat 9:00 a.m.– 12 Noon and on the website www.itsmarta.com. For formats (FREE of charge) in accordance with the ADA and Limited English Proficiency regulations contact 404-848-4037. For those patrons requiring further accommodations, information can be obtained by calling the Telephone Device for the Deaf (TDD) at 404848-5665. In addition, a sign language interpreter will be available at the hearing. If you cannot attend the hearing and want to provide comments you may: (1) leave a message at 404-848-5299; (2) write to MARTA’s Office of External Affairs, 2424 Piedmont Road, N.E, Atlanta, Georgia 30324-3330; (3) complete an online Comment Card at www.itsmarta.com; (4) or fax your comments no later than September 26, 2013 to 404-848-4179. All citizens of the City of Atlanta and the Counties of Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton and Gwinnett whose interests are affected by the subjects to be considered at this hearing are hereby notified and invited to appear at said time and place and present such evidence, comment or objection as their interests require. The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority complies with all federal regulations and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color or national origin, in its programs, benefits, services or activities. Complaints or inquiries regarding Title VI compliance may be directed in writing to the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity at 2424 Piedmont Road, N.E., Atlanta, Georgia 30324 or 404-848-5240.

Soccer player charged with rape in Brookhaven
Brookhaven Police arrested a professional soccer player on charges he raped a woman while in town for a North American Soccer League game. On Sept. 4, a DeKalb judge granted Bryan Joshua Arguez, 24, a $75,000 bond. He has been in the DeKalb County jail on one count of rape since last month. Arguez was in town with the Carolina RailHawks for a game against the Atlanta Silverbacks. According to police, he and several teammates were staying at a friend’s home in Brookhaven Aug. 11
See Soccer on Page 16A

PUBLIC NOTICE Notice is hereby given that, in accordance with O.C.G.A. §21-2-540, a special election shall be held in the City of Stone Mountain on November 5, 2013 for the purpose of filling the unexpired term of Council Member Cyril Mungal, Post #2. The term expires December 31, 2015. All persons desiring to run for this office shall qualify at City Hall located at 875 Main Street, Stone Mountain, GA, 30083. The qualifying period shall begin at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, September 16, 2013 and end at 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 18, 2013. The qualifying fee will be $108.00 and must be paid during the qualifying period. All persons who are not registered to vote in the Special Election may register with the DeKalb County Board of Elections and Voter Registration, 4380 Memorial Drive, Suite 300, Decatur, GA 30032 through the close of business on Monday, October 7, 2013. Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.

Keith T. Parker, AICP, General Manager/CEO

The Champion Free Press, Friday, September 13, 2013

loCAl newS

Page 12A

45th
More than 400 artists and crafters from 38 states and two countries displayed their works at the 45th annual Yellow Daisy Festival in Stone Mountain Park. The four-day festival provided guest with live entertainment, Children’s Corner activities and crafter demonstrations throughout the event as well as a variety festival foods. Recently voted one of the top three arts & crafts shows in the nation by Sunshine Artist Magazine, a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 event and winner of multiple awards by the Southeast Festival and Events Association. Photos by Travis Hudgons For more photos, visit and “like” our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ championnewspaper

The Champion Free Press, Friday, September 13, 2013

Week in pictures

Page 13A

Sept. 9. Center, Sharon Riley Ordu, principal of DeKalb Early College Academy, is recognized during a DeKalb County Board of Education meeting. DECA was named a Georgia School of Excellence. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

Sept. 9. The City of Avondale remembers the victims of the 9-11 tragedy. Photo by Travis Hudgons

Sept. 4. K urt Scobie plays keyboard during a Decatur Wednesday lunch concert series. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

Sept. 9. Interim DeKalb County School District Superintendent Mike Thurmond displays a t-shirt in honor of Gregory Davis who passed away earlier this year. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

Sept. 7. A duck from the pond in the Decatur Cemetery waddles around during a fundraising dinner. Photo By Daniel Beauregard

Searching for Our Sons and Daughters:
Stories of our missing residents offer profound insights and hope for a positive reunion.
For a programming guide, visit www.yourdekalb.com/dctv

This week in photos brought to you by DCTV
Finding DeKalb County’s Missing
Now showing on DCTV!

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

The Champion Free Press, Friday, September 13, 2013

local news

Page 14A

In 1950 Macon architect Bernard Webb, a Georgia Tech graduate, designed this shed-roofed contemporarystyle ranch house for himself. Photo by Guy Hayes and provided by the DeKalb History Center

A typical mid-century living room. Photo by John Hewitt

The Mid-century ranch house: It’s Hip. It’s Historic!
by John Hewitt Johnh@dekalbchamp.com Photos by John Hewitt
And it’s on display at the DeKalb History Center. Believed to be the first ranch house exhibit in the United States, The MidCentury Ranch House: Hip and Historic will continue until summer of 2014 and is free to the public during regular business hours of the DeKalb History Center in downtown Decatur. DeKalb History Center Executive Director Melissa Forgey said the conceptualization of this project started about four years ago. “We received a small grant from Commissioner Jeff Radar’s office to look at the ranch house in DeKalb County. The State Historic Preservation Office was also beginning to look at this house type statewide for planning purposes. That small project has grown and so has our appreciation of just why there are so many ranch houses here in DeKalb and how this house type fits into local history.”   “Following the initial discussions and grant receipt, a Georgia State University class devoted a semester to developing a historic context for the ranch house, “Forgey said. Led by professor Richard Laub, the class produced Single-Family Residential Development in DeKalb County, 1945-1970. Then in 2010, the firm New South Associates was commissioned by the Georgia Transmission Corporation to produce Guidelines for Evaluation, The Ranch House in Georgia. This colorful publication gives the full history of the house and tips on how to identify them. All of these documents are available online. Planning for The MidCentury Ranch House: Hip and Historic took about a year, Forgey said. Once the concept was finalized and had support of History Center board members, History Center Exhibits Coordinator, Karen Chance was able to get many of the fixtures and furnishings donated Forgey said. “But at the end, we needed a few more key pieces which were loaned by City Issue, a store specializing in mid-century décor. David Ramsey, a designer with Lord, Aeck and Sargent, loaned a number of pieces as well. We would not have been able to accomplish all of this without some wonderful board members and volunteers, including Beth Shorthouse, John Mullins and Howard Stacey.    According to Dr. Richard Cloues, former deputy state historic preservation officer for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, ranch houses first appeared in Georgia in 1935. But they boomed after World War II with an estimated 175,000 ranch homes constructed in Georgia between 1940 and 1960. DeKalb County is the epicenter for ranch homes in the state. During the mid-20th century, DeKalb was booming with new industries such as General Motors. With the new jobs, came the need for new home construction in close proximity to places of employment. Numerous subdivisions began to spring up in Doraville, Chamblee, Stone Mountain and other areas of the county. Many of these new developments almost exclusively featured the ranch home. Ranch houses are typically single-story with a long footprint and often featured angular rooflines accentuated by more windows. The ranch home introduced the use of more geometric designs than typically seen in more traditional southern or bungalow homes of the period. Doraville’s Northwoods subdivision, which began construction in the early 1950s is one of the first planned unit developments, according to the city’s website. Most of the original construction homes in Northwoods were ranch style featuring three bedrooms, a family room, hardwood floors, exposed beam ceilings and fireplaces. Better Homes and Gardens featured a Northwoods home in a 1953 edition touting it as having a starting price of $10,000. Northwoods and the surrounding areas have applied and are awaiting approval to be designated as historic district and included on the National Register of Historic Places. The charm, functionality and appeal of the ranch home continue to be appreciated by many. As with many things that are reminiscent of days gone by, there is a renewed interest in the preservation of our collective history. “The exhibit developed as a natural evolution from all this focus and effort on the ranch house.  But it also tied in well with the two other exhibits in the large gallery.  We invite everyone to come see why,” Forgey said.  For additional information on DeKalb History Center, visit www. DeKalbHistory.org.

DeKalb County Department of Watershed Management Public Advisory Interstate 85 & Oakcliff Industrial Court Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation
September 5, 2013 October 5, 2013 Advisory Issue Date Advisory Close Date This advisory is issued to inform the public of a receipt of an application for a variance submitted pursuant to a State Environmental Law. The Public is invited to comment during a 30 day period on the proposed activity. Since the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) has no authority to zone property or determine land use, only those comments addressing environmental issues related to air, water and land protection will be considered in the application review process. Written comments should be submitted to: Program Manager, Non Point Source Program, Erosion and Sedimentation Control, 4220 International Parkway, Suite 101, Atlanta, Georgia 30354. Type of Permit Application: Variance to encroach within the 25-foot Sate Waters Buffer. Applicable Law: Georgia Erosion and Sedimentation Act O.C.G.A. 12-7-1 ET seq. Applicable Rules: Erosion and Sedimentation Control Chapter 391-3-7. Basis under which variance shall be considered {391-3-7.05(2) (A-K)}: D Project Description & Reason for Initiating: The proposed project involves buffer encroachments necessary to rehabilitate an existing gravity sewer line. Three sections within the buffer will involve direct line replacement and will impact 676 linear feet of buffer along an unnamed tributary to North Fork Creek. The project is located near Oakcliff Industrial Court and south to Interstate 85 in DeKalb County. Project Location: This project is located in land lot 314 and 318 of the 18th district of DeKalb County, beginning at terminus of Oak Cliff Industrial Court and running south to Interstate 85 and continuing south to the confluence of the North Fork of Peachtree Creek for a total distance of approximately one mile. The Public can review site plans at 1580 Roadhaven Drive Stone Mountain, Georgia 30083. Phone 770621-7272.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, September 13, 2013

LOCAL NEWS
eliminated due to cost-cutting measures several years ago will open back up, along with some of the restrooms that were also closed. “MARTA is one of the few large transit systems in the country that offer restrooms at all—most don’t—but it has been historically a

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MARTA Continued From Page 1A
accomplished,” Parker said. In addition to the new policies, the transit system is also developing an app and call line for customers to deliver real-time train and bus tracking information. “One of the big complaints that we hear are, if someone is waiting for a bus or about to go off to the bus stop, they don’t know when that next one’s arriving—they may have just missed one by a minute or be waiting for 20-30 minutes for the next one to arrive,” Parker said. Additionally, Parker said some of the services/routes that were part of the service that we provide to offer restrooms. We’re going to look at some of the restrooms we eliminated a few years ago that are most needed,” Parker said. “It will be, in some respects, resource driven. We’ve set aside $1.3 million in the budget.”

Church historian Lynn Farmer shows a copy of a book on the church’s colorful history. Photo by Kathy Mitchell

Pastor Melanie Vaughn-West and Farmer examine a board of photos of the church’s Cuban ministry. Photo by Kathy Mitchell

Oakhurst member and minister Jim Brooks has had the special role of blessing babies for more than 30 years. Photo by Lynn Farmer

Church
Continued From Page 1A

modate various church programs. Only the main building—without the steeple— was built and only it remains of the original building. “We’ve always been a church to care more about our missions than about our physical facility,” explained church historian Lynn Farmer, who was baptized there at age 7, left for a while as an adult, then returned. Farmer noted that members are proud that the sign outside reads, “Oakhurst Baptist Church meets here.” The building, she explained, is only a meeting place. The church is its members. The church grew peacefully until the 1960s when the neighborhood that surrounded it started to change. The pastor at the time sensed that change within the church was imminent and decided to move on. The new pastor was from Canada and was unconcerned that Black children were showing up for the church’s youth programs. But some members were alarmed. They started to ask what the church would do if the parents of these children came to

worship services. Many were urging the pastor to call for a vote as to whether the church would allow Black worshipers. “He said ‘absolutely not,’” Farmer recalled. “To vote on whether we allow people to worship here is to vote on whether we are the body of Christ.” The church’s records report the events this way: “The Oakhurst congregation took a controversial stand in 1967 to welcome AfricanAmerican members during a period of White flight. Afterwards, the 1,300-member congregation dropped to 500, and the church gave up plans for a new sanctuary, moving all of its activities from several new buildings back to its East Lake Drive location near today’s MARTA station. This decision allowed more resources to be used for missions than for construction.” The decision to welcome integration rather than resist it helped define the direction of the church for decades to come. “In 1972, Oakhurst ordained its first two women deacons, and in 1974, the church ordained a female longtime educational director to the ministry, adding her to the pastoral staff. Several years later, Oakhurst again

tists, but it didn’t work out that way.” Today the church proudly displays is covenant in the sanctuary for all to see. “We don’t want it hidden away in a hymnbook or in some seldom-seen document. We want everyone who enters to know who we are. We want everyone to know that we believe that the scripture that says, ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Oakhurst youth paint a mural featuring a quote from the book of Jesus’(Galatians 3:28) means Micah for Race Relations Sunday. Photo by Floyd Craig that Christ’s church is open to caught national attention ship. Through these years, the all,” Vaughn-West said. when it offered the church church resettled refugees, tuThe church continues to property as bond for an ill, tored children, gave refuge to choose difficult, often conescaped Indiana inmate who the homeless, and advocated troversial ministries such as had been living peacefully in for peace, justice, literacy, mission trips to Cuba. The Atlanta the prior 10 years,” and other causes.” tag line the church as chosen the church records state. But it was the decision for its centennial sums up Troubled times had just to change its covenant to the church’s spirit: “By God started; the once fashionable include anyone, regardless we’re still here.” Oakhurst-East Lake area of sexual orientation, that The church is now planwent into serious decline. moved the Georgia Baptist ning a centennial celebration East Lake was home to what Convention to oust Oakhurst for the weekend of Sept. 21many called the worst pubBaptist in 1999. “We were 22. Events will include an art lic housing development in disfellowshiped,” said Mela- and church history display, America. East Lake Meadnie Vaughn-West, who now a mission project, storytellows was notorious for drugs, co-pastors the church with ing and memory sharing, an crime and poverty. Lanny Peters. evening of performing arts a By 1980, according to the “We did not leave them; Centennial Worship Service church, “houses surrounding they left us,” Vaughn-West and more. For more informathe church were sold for $1 explained. “We had hoped tion, visit www.oakhurstbapby the federal government to bring a more enlightened tist.org/centennial. to encourage home ownerview to the Southern Bap-

The Champion Free Press, Friday, September 13, 2013

local news
Wedgeworth reportedly posed as a wealthy doctor and used stolen money A man accused of swinto pay off his dling women out victim’s student of thousands of loans, credit card dollars online bills and car pleaded not guilty loans. He reportin a DeKalb edly turned down County courtroom a plea deal that Sept. 5. would have put Brian Wedgehim behind bars worth, 37, of for seven years. Birmingham, is DeKalb District charged with two Attorney Robert counts of forgery, Wedgeworth James said he has identity fraud and never seen a case driving with a susquite like Wedgeworth’s. pended license. “It’s unique because it Also known as the “Caappears to be sort of a shell sanova scammer,” Wedgegame,” James said. worth defrauded women Wedgeworth was previacross the country by meeting them through online dat- ously arrested in DeKalb County in 2005 for larceny, ing sites and gaining their daniel@dekalbchamp.com

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Brookhaven, Century Center ‘Casanova’ scammer pleads not guilty files appeal to Supreme Court by Daniel Beauregard theft and being a fugitive trust,” police said
by Carla Parker carla@dekalbchamp.com Brookhaven and Highwood Properties have filed an appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court to overturn an injunction that stopped Brookhaven from moving forward with annexing Century Center. DeKalb Superior Court Judge Tangela Barrie entered an order Aug. 16 granting Chamblee’s request for an injunction to prevent Brookhaven from annexing Century Center into its city limits. She also set a trial date for Oct. 24 in the suit between Chamblee and Brookhaven and Highwood Properties. The city filed the appeal Aug. 26 and will be represented by former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes. “The city has hired Roy Barnes to represent it because of his expertise in annexation and land use,” Brookhaven communications director Megan Matteucci said. “Brookhaven filed the appeal to ensure that the city would have the opportunity to move forward with voting on the application filed by Highwoods Properties.” On June 21, Highwoods Properties filed an application with Brookhaven for Century Center to be annexed into the newly created city. The city council was scheduled to vote on it in July but DeKalb County Superior Judge Courtney L. Johnson issued a temporary restraining order against Brookhaven. The city will be unable to provide some services to more than 11,000 Chamblee residents if Century Center is annexed into Brookhaven. At an Aug. 14 hearing, Chamblee’s lawyer also argued that if Brookhaven is allowed to annex Century Center it will impact the election and the referendum. “[Brookhaven] will create confusion and a lack of clarity,” Chamblee attorney Bob Wilson said. “Both the city of Chamblee and the residents have a right to know when they vote what they get and the General Assembly told them [what they will get]. Brookhaven and Highwoods Properties do not have a right to overturn that.” Cecil McLendon, attorney for Brookhaven, argued that blocking the annexation violates the rights of the property owners of Century Center. “It’s the property owners who initiated this action, not Brookhaven,” McLendon said. “This infringes on the rights of [the property owners].” The property is bounded by Clairmont Road, Century Boulevard, Century Parkway and Interstate 85 South. Highwoods Properties’ application requests to annex about 120 acres into Brookhaven. Chamblee residents around the Century Center area are scheduled to vote on the annexation into Chamblee Nov. 5.

from justice. According to the indictment, Wedgeworth fraudulently used the bank account of Melissa Stephens, and possessed a $1,500 check from Stephens with the “intent to defraud.” “He would borrow from one woman to pay another’s debts,” James said. “The game just continues and at the end of the day everybody ends up losing.” At the time of his arrest, James said Wedgeworth was also carrying a fraudulent driver’s license used for an alias.

Soccer Continued From Page 11A
when the attack occurred. The investigation determined that Arguez had gone out to a Brookhaven club with a teammate, the teammate’s girlfriend and a friend of the girlfriend. They then returned to a residence in Brookhaven for the evening. Arguez was supposed to be sleeping on a couch downstairs when he entered the second floor room of another woman and raped her, according to police. The victim told Brookhaven investigators that she was asleep and awoke in the early morning hours of Aug. 11 to find Arguez on top of her. The victim called 911 and Brookhaven Police arrested Arguez at the scene of the attack without incident and transported him to the DeKalb County jail. Arguez, of Miami, most recently played for the North American Soccer League’s Carolina RailHawks.

Tree of Life Montessori School, Inc.  admits students of any race, color,  national and ethnic origin to all the  rights, privileges, programs, and  activities generally accorded or made  available to students at the school.    It does not discriminate on the basis of  race, color, national and ethnic origin  in administration of its educational  policies, admissions policies,  scholarship and loan programs, and  athletic and other school‐administered  programs 
Tree of Life Montessori School, Inc  2802 Fairlane Dr., Atlanta, GA 30340 

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DeKalb County Department of Watershed Management Public Advisory SNAPFINGER WOODS SANITARY SEWER ACCESS ROADS
September 5, 2013 October 5, 2013 Advisory Issue Date Advisory Close Date This advisory is issued to inform the public of a receipt of an application for a variance submitted pursuant to a State Environmental Law. The Public is invited to comment during a 30 day period on the proposed activity. Since the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) has no authority to zone property or determine land use, only those comments addressing environmental issues related to air, water and land protection will be considered in the application review process. Written comments should be submitted to: Program Manager, Non Point Source Program, Erosion and Sedimentation Control, 4220 International Parkway, Suite 101, Atlanta, Georgia 30354. Type of Permit Application: Variance to encroach within the 25-foot Sate Waters Buffer. Applicable Law: Georgia Erosion and Sedimentation Act O.C.G.A. 12-7-1 ET seq. Applicable Rules: Erosion and Sedimentation Control Chapter 391-3-7. Basis under which variance shall be considered {391-3-7.05(2) (A-K)}: A Project Location: The proposed project involves buffer encroachments necessary to improve existing sanitary sewer maintenance access roads and associated stream crossings. Articulated concrete block mats will be installed to improve five existing dirt road stream crossings. The project is located near Snapfinger Woods Drive in DeKalb County and will impact 184 linear feet of buffer along Snapfinger Creek and unnamed tributaries to Snapfinger Creek. Project Description: The proposed site conditions will include the installation of 16ft heavy duty gravel road inside of a 20’ proposed access easement. The surrounding site conditions will not be altered from the existing. All disturbed non-roadway areas and landscaping will be replaced in kind.  Abandoned drives will be planted with approved materials and converted to wetland mitigation areas.  County and state buffer encroachments will be required for sanitary sewer maintenance road access in order to gain access to different parts of the property that contain the overall sewer main. The Public can review site plans at 1580 Roadhaven Drive Stone Mountain, Georgia 30083. Phone 770-621-7272.

Court dates set for high-profile cases
DeKalb County Judge Gregory Adams has granted a motion for a Nov. 6, 1:30 p.m. bond hearing filed by attorneys of Andrea Sneiderman. Sneiderman was recently sentenced to spend five years in prison for lying under oath and hindering the investigation into her husband’s 2010 shooting death. Her former boss Hemy Neuman was found guilty of killing Rusty Sneiderman and is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole. Attorneys for Neuman reportedly said they plan to file an appeal within the next few weeks as well, citing that his conviction was based, in part, on perjured testimony. Suspended CEO Burrell Ellis will appear in court Oct. 17 at 9 a.m. in Judge Courney Johnson’s courtroom for a hearing on all pending motions related to the 15-count criminal indictment against him. Ellis is accused of strong-arming county vendors into donating to his political campaign. There will be a Sept. 5 preliminary hearing for Michael Brandon Hill, the alleged gunman in the shooting at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy. However, court officials said Hill will likely waive the hearing.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, September 13, 2013

BuSineSS
Georgia.” “These awards recognize the fact that, with 95 percent of Georgia’s businesses employing fewer than 50 people, small business is clearly big business in Georgia,” GDEcD commissioner Chris Cummiskey said in a statement announcing the award. “Georgia ranks as one of the best states in which to start a business thanks to its diversity, abundance of resources, and entrepreneurfriendly policies.” In addition to its effective business model, Atlanta Light Bulbs was recognized for its community involvement and upbeat work environment. “It’s important to honor companies whose best practices help set the state apart as a nurturing environment for small business,” said Mike Pennington, president of GEDA. “This is the first time our two groups have collaborated specifically on small business awareness, and we are very pleased with the response by Georgia’s small business community.” Atlanta Light Bulbs has one showroom on Mountain Industrial Boulevard and approximately 32 employees. Still, through internet sales, it ships 200 to 300 boxes of lighting fixtures outside Georgia each day. “Last year,” Root said,

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Tucker lighting company named a Georgia ‘Rock Star’
by Kathy Mitchell kathy@dekalbchamp.com A Tucker company has taken the humble light bulb and parlayed it into an $11 million business. But, as Atlanta Light Bulbs CEO Doug Root explained, it’s not that simple. “There’s a lot more to light bulbs than the 100watt bulb you might screw into your lamp at home,” Root explained. He added that even though customers see what they may think of as a wide array of bulbs in a big box home improvement store “that represents only 1 to 5 percent of the types of bulbs being manufactured.” He said there are light bulbs that the average person could go his whole life without seeing. “Some are used in machinery and other industrial uses,” Root said. “We have them all.” Doug Root’s father, Gary Root in 1978 started a company that sold electronic devices. He found that his industrial customers also required light bulbs. In time, he started a sideline selling the specialty bulbs required for equipment and machines as well as lights for buildings. In 1981, he launched Atlanta Light Bulbs. “He’s still active in the business although I run the day-to-day operation,” Doug Root explained. Atlanta Light Bulbs does more than supply even the most esoteric lighting fixtures. “A lot of our business is consulting,” Root said. “We’re experts in this area. We try to educate people on the options. We’re not just trying to sell customers light bulbs; we’re working with customers to find the “we shipped to 46 different countries.” In the “Rock Star” competition, companies with up to 50 employees were considered for uniqueness and innovation, as well as for their involvement with their local economic developers and state resource providers, according to the sponsoring organizations. Nominated companies represent fields ranging from information technology and healthcare to racing and restaurants. Of the approximately 50 nominations, six companies were named winners and four others received honorable mentions. Mary Ellen McClanahan, director of entrepreneur and small business with GDEcD, said the number of nominations was more than her organization had expected “for this first-time effort.” She added, “GEDA members and Georgia’s communities took this opportunity to heart and we are proud that so many responded with such interest.” While “rock star” may sound a bit glamorous for a light bulb company, Atlanta Light Bulbs has its glitzy moments, Root noted, as some of its high profile customers have included the Atlanta Braves, magician David Copperfield and entertainer Oprah Winfrey.

Atlanta Light Bulbs CEO Doug Root shows off a display of antique light bulbs that decorates office space at the award-winning business. Photo by Kathy Mitchell

best ones for their applications. We take into consideration the environment the bulbs will be used in. We want customers three or four years from now to still be happy with what they bought.” The approach has not only created a successful business, it also recently got Atlanta Light Bulbs proclaimed a winner of Georgia’s first “Small Business Rock Stars” competition, a new program representing a collaboration of the Georgia Economic Developers

Association (GEDA) and the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD). The program, according to its sponsors, recognizes “outstanding, unique and impactful small businesses in the state of

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, September 13, 2013

education

Page 18A

Alexis Langston makes a tower from dry spaghetti noodles and a marshmallow as part of STEM Day challenge at Dunwoody Elementary School.

Noah Arnold, Regina Choi and McKenzie Williams work together on their project.

From left, Brian Whitener, Octavio Vergara and Ben Shin practice teamwork during their project.

DeKalb elementary holds monthly STEM days
by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com At Dunwoody Elementary School, marshmallows and uncooked spaghetti noodles were part of an engineering design challenge Aug. 30. Students were divided into groups of four and given 20 uncooked spaghetti noodles and a large marshmallow, 20 inches of tape and a yard of string. The goal was “to build the tallest freestanding tower that will support their marshmallow,” said Jennifer Mattison, STEM coordinator and gifted teacher at the school. And they had just 18 minutes to complete the project, part of the school’s science, technology, education and mathematics (STEM) education. “Our plan is to do a STEM day every month,” Mattison said. “This is our first year working toward our STEM certification, so we thought doing one a month would help to [allow us] time to educate the teachers and to allow the students to learn about STEM.” On STEM days, teachers demonstrate a design challenge during an assembly then students do design challenges in their classrooms, Mattison said. “They are also going to be doing STEM activities throughout the week. Georgia schools can receive a STEM certification from the Georgia Department of Education which “recognizes and supports the critical contributions made by our [STEM] programs and schools throughout the state,” according to the STEM Georgia website. The state gives the recognition “to bestow recognition upon those exemplary schools and programs.” A STEM school “is one dedicated to the STEM education and curriculum of every student within the school,” according to the website. “State certification involves an application with appropriate documentation, an exploratory visit by state officials, and a final alignment consultation analyzing the documentation and the results of the visit by Department of Education officials.” Statewide, eight schools have received STEM certification since the program began two years ago, including two in DeKalb County, Henderson Mill and Hightower elementary schools.

Dunwoody Elementary Principal Jennifer Sanders talks to fifth-graders about STEM.

Fifth-grade teachers James Smith, Nicole Hinton and Jillian Soucy demonstrate a STEM challenge during an assembly. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

The Champion Free Press, Friday, September 13, 2013

education

Page 19A

Congressman visits charter school, talks economics
by Andrew Cauthen andrew@dekalbchamp.com DeKalb Academy of Technology and Environment (DATE) was on display Sept. 5 when Congressman Hank Johnson visited the school along with representatives from the Georgia Charter Schools Association. “It’s forward thinking,” Johnson said after touring the school. “This is where the country is headed. This is where students need to be.” “What you all have been doing is what public schools should be doing,” Johnson told the school’s faculty. “Every child should have the luxury of being in this kind of an educational environment and I see no reason why what’s happening in the charter school movement and the way the schools are run cannot be duplicated in the public school sector.” DATE is a public K-8 charter school with approximately 715 students. Open eight years, the school exceeds state and district academic performance scores, said Dr. Maury Wills, headmaster and CEO of DATE. The school, which has waiting list of 400 students, has achieved Annual Yearly Progress status for seven consecutive years and students have exceeded more than 90 percent of state and local district standards in subject areas of the administration of Georgia Criterion Referenced Tests. It has been named one of the best charter schools in Georgia by the Atlanta Business Chronicle (2009). Know Magazine recognized the school for having one of the best eight grades in DeKalb (2013). “That’s just a testimony as to what we do and how we do here at our school,” Wills said. “We meet the demands of parents and our students by knowing our students, giving them that rigor, giving them that relationship and giving them that relevance that they need to make sure that they are properly prepared for the global world.” Wills said the school’s focus is technology and the environment. “Technology is incorporated into all curriculum subject areas,” he said. “We have broadcasting, we have robotics and we have technology engineering as well as an environmental piece,” including agriculture and organic farming and bioponic studies. Rashaun Holliman, ‎director of outreach for Georgia Charter Schools Association, said the congressman’s visit was set up “to allow our representative officials to see what takes place in our charter schools.” “It gives everyone a different perspective when you are able to see what takes place and the phenomenal things that some of these schools and school leaders are doing,” Holliman said. “This school is doing some phenomenal work, seeing all of the hands-on work that is taking place, learning about the environment…and I think it’s doing a great job at keeping kids engaged.” Wills said much of the school’s success is due to its “heavy parental involveHank Johnson pays a visit to the DeKalb Academy of Technology and Environment Sept. ment”—parents are required to Congressman 5. “What you all have been doing is what public schools should be doing,” Johnson told the school’s work 20 hours per month at the leaders. Photos by Andrew Cauthen school. “All of the parents are very engaged,” said DATE board member and parent Mike Spradling. “You can see the results. This place is a foundation for productive citizens.” During a meeting with the school’s administration and board members, Johnson expressed his concerns about the charter school movement. “I believe in public education,” Johnson said. “I believe that we should have a robust public school system and I believe that system has been allowed to decline wither and die. And it stinks at this point—the carcass.” Some parents, looking for an alternative to traditional public schools, have joined “a charter school movement where we find all kinds of artful mechanisms for shifting public dollars,” Johnson said. “We give people an alternative with the charter schools after we find artful ways of taking the money out of that big pot for the public schools, shifting some of that [funding] to each charter school which detracts from the big pot,” Johnson said. “Everybody else is left on their own.” In addition to public funding, charter schools are able to solicit private funds and “create a first-class education for the students,” he said. “I as a policy maker worry about each and every student regardless of whether or not they attend a charter school,” Johnson said. “I’m not against charter schools. I’m against anything that keeps every child from being able to have the same experience through the public education process.”

The Champion Free Press, Friday, September 13, 2013

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employee, agent, or representative of the Owner. Any violation of this restriction Advertisement for School may result in the rejection Property Sales of the Bidder’s Bid. The DeKalb County School Board is selling the Hooper Owner reserves the right to reject any or all Bids, Alexander property asand to waive technicalities is through a competitive and informalities. Site visits sealed bid process. The property is located at 3414 are scheduled for Tuesday October 29th, 2013 at 9:00 Memorial Drive, Decatur, Georgia 30032 and contains am and Tuesday November a 68,900 square feet school 5th, 2013 at 9:00 am. facility on approximately 8.1 acres Sealed Bids, from Mobile Homes with acreBidders, will be received by age. Ready to move in. Seller financing with approved the DeKalb County Board of Education (the “Owner”) credit. Lots of room for the price, 3Br 2Ba. No renters. at the Sam A. Moss Ser706-459-3030. LandHomevice Center, 1780 Montreal Road, Tucker, Georgia sExpresss.com 30084, until 12:00 Noon local time on Monday, Noaservices vember 25, 2013 for all labor, materials and services AIRLINES ARE HIRING begin necessary for both projects. here – Get FAA approved Bidding Documents may Aviation Maintenance Techbe obtained by Bidders nichan training. Financial at: http://www.dekalb. aid for qualified students k12.ga.us/solicitations/ All – Housing available.Job questions about this Adplacement assistance. CALL vertisement for Bids must Aviation Institute of Mainbe directed in writing to tenance (866)564-9634 Stephen Wilkins, Chief Op- www.fixjets.com erations Officer not later than Friday, November aVACATION RENTALS 8th, 2013 at 12:00 Noon. Contact Mr. Stephen M. ADVERTISE YOUR VACATION Wilkins, Chief Operations PROPERTY, to more than 1 milOfficer, Sam Moss Center, lion Georgia newspaper read1780 Montreal Road, Tuck- ers. Your 25-word classified ad will appear in over 100 Georer, Georgia 30084.; email: gia newspapers for only $350. dcsd-ops-bid-questions@ Call Jennifer Labon at the fc.dekalb.k12.ga.us; Fax Georgia Newspaper Service at 678.676.1350. Except as 770-454-6776 or online at expressly provided in, or Www.gapress.org/georpermitted by, the Bidding gianewspaperservice.html Documents, from the date of issuance of the Advertisement for Bids until final Owner action of approval of contract award, the BidCUSTOMIZERSVANS.COM der shall not initiate any Car Pooling, Tailgating, Vacationing communication or discus7 Adults, DVD, Games, Luggage Space 43% Bigger inside than Big SUVs sion concerning the ProjOurs: $187 per cu ft; Suburban: $423 per cu ft ect or the Bidder’s Bid or Call: Mary Green, Superior Chevy 404-284-7630 Starting $44,995 any part thereof with any
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DISCLAIMER: We do not knowingly accept advertisements that discriminate, or intend to discriminate, on any illegal basis. Nor do we knowingly accept employment advertisements that are not bona-fide job offers. All real estate advertisements are subject to the fair housing act and we do not accept advertising that is in violation of the law. The law prohibits discrimination based on color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap or familial status.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, September 13, 2013

SPorTS

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Southwest DeKalb softball looking to finish season strong
by Carla Parker carla@dekalbchamp.com The Southwest DeKalb Lady Panthers softball team started off the 2012 season strong with a 7-0-1 record in eight games. However, they could not keep their momentum going, losing seven of their final 13 games. The 2013 Lady Panthers are hoping to avoid a repeat of last season and are on a mission to finish this season strong with a region and state championship. Head coach Bernice Foreman said her players have to understand that once they start off strong they have to keep it going. “You can’t think just because [you’re] winning now that it’s going to keep going because you never know what might happen,” she said. “Somebody could get hurt or anything [could happen]. You just have to be prepared as if it were the championship game and you’ve got to play all the games like that.” So far, Southwest DeKalb has been playing every game like it is a championship game. The team is off to a hot start with a 10-0 record through Sept. 5. The Lady Panthers have outscored their opponents 115 to 36, including outscoring regional opponents 41 to 13. With seven returning starters, Foreman credited the team’s cohesiveness with its early success. “They have been playing with each other for quite a while so they know each other really well,” she said. “Everyone knows each other’s weaknesses and their strengths and they compensate with each other for that.” The players on the team–which consist of one freshman, six sophomores, five juniors and one senior– also play year-round softball, which gives them more experience, according to Foreman. “The fact that they play year round exposes them to different types of teams and different types of players,” she said. “And that gives them the upper hand.” Foreman said she expects her players to continue to bring their A game the rest of the season. “I don’t want them to ever relax and think that we got this because it’s not like that,” she said. “Last year we started out strong but we got in there and made a few errors. We made a lot of errors and they know if you make a lot of errors you can’t win.”

Sophomore Taylor Roberts throws a pitch to a Lithonia batter on Sept. 4.

No. 12 Freshman Kayla Hutcherson (left and right) runs to first base after getting a base hit. Photos by Carla Parker

The Champion Free Press, Friday, September 13, 2013

Clarkston shines again with sweep in boys’ second race
by Mark Brock The Clarkston Angoras won for the second consecutive week in DeKalb County cross country action with a sweep of the top six places in the boys’ second race at Arabia Mountain High School Sept. 3. Clarkston junior Amawi Haroun ran the fastest time of the day by clocking a time of 18:24.06 to lead the Angoras to a 15-81 victory over Druid Hills. Chamblee was third with 84 points followed by Lakeside with 94, Redan 177 and Tucker with 208. Senior Muhozi Aimable, who holds the fastest time in county meets this season with a 17:42.23 at Druid Hills Middle last week, finished second with a time of 18:52.83 and was followed by seniors Hassen Sadik (18:57.97) and Leiso Tumbo (19:07.61). Junior Gidey Sahlu (19:25.14) and freshman Bineyam Tumbo (19:53.24) rounded out the top six finishers. Druid Hills junior Max Atkinson led the team with a 10th place in a time of 20:26.21. Druid Hills captured the top spot in the girls’ second race with four runners in the top 10 to cross the finish line for a 39-74 win over Tucker. Junior Paulette Juieng was fourth (25:1261), sophomore Morgan Rossi (25:37.36) was fifth, senior Olivia Pool (26:04.01) took sixth and Naomie Gutekunst (27:55.07) finished 10th. Tucker was again led by twin sisters Naima and Nuba Jackson, who finished first (24:10.37) and second (24:10.81). Naima outdueled her sister for first this week after Nuba finished first a week ago at Druid Hills Middle. The Southwest DeKalb Panthers won the boys’ first race at Arabia Mountain with a 3040 win over Stephenson. Senior Kameron Scott (20:24.60) took the individual honors for Southwest while Stephenson senior Chaz Berry was second in 21:16.49 as each of the two teams had three runners in the top seven finishers. The Panthers finished off with five of the top 11 runners to cross the finish line to pull out the win. Stephenson outpaced Cedar Grove for the victory in the girls’ first race of the day by a score of 64 to 77. Sophomore Jaylynn Williams (31:38.66) was sixth and senior Darien Johnson (32:20.86) was eighth to lead the Lady Jaguars in the win. Senior Shayla Toomer led Cedar Grove with a fourth place finish in 29:45.43. Southwest DeKalb junior Kayla Willis (27:06.21) and sophomore Ashley Middlebrooks (27:23.91) were first and second respectively to lead all runners.

sports

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Kameron Scott

Kayla Willis

Ranked DeKalb teams roll in region openers, move up in polls
DeKalb County had three ranked teams heading into this past weekend and all three not only protected their rankings with convincing victories, but they also moved up in the poll. The Tucker Tigers rolled past North Atlanta 75-0 Sept. 6 as seven different players scored touchdowns to help the Tigers move from No. 3 to No.1 in the Class AAAAA poll as No. 1 Gainesville lost to Buford. Senior all-purpose player Dominick Sanders rushed for two touchdowns and returned his second punt of the season for a touchdown to lead Tucker in the win. Teammate Stephen Reynolds returned a kickoff for a touchdown and scored a rushing touchdown as well. Tucker improved to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in Region 6-AAAAA play with the win. Stephenson (2-0, 1-0) jumped from No. 3 to No. 2 in the Class AAAAA poll with a 46-7 Region 6-AAAAA win Sept. 6 over Arabia Mountain (1-1, 0-1). The Martin Luther King Jr. Lions also went to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in Region 6-AAAAA as quarterback Roland Rivers passed for four touchdowns and ran for a fifth while leading the Lions to a 48-10 over DeKalb rival Southwest DeKalb (0-2, 0-1) Sept. 6. Rivers connected with D’Angelo Holt (22 yards), Pressley Bray (26 yards), Romello Shumake (28 yards) and Raylan Elzy (5 yards) as the Lions pulled away to a 48-3 lead in the second half. The win pushed the Lions from No. 5 to No. 4 in the Class AAAAA rankings. The Lions will travel to Lakewood Stadium Sept. 14 to take on Mays in a key Region 6-AAAAA game. M. L. King will be taking on former coach Corey Jarvis, who had a 49-11 record in five years as head coach at King. Jarvis’ Mays team is coming off a 26-6 win over Miller Grove Sept. 7. Lakeside picked up its first win of the season behind a 244 yard and two touchdown rushing performance from junior Kellyen Walker in a come-from-behind 30-12 win over the Dunwoody Wildcats in a Region 6-AAAAA contest at Adams Stadium Sept. 6. Defensive back Javarus Wesley contributed two interceptions to lead the Viking defense that held Dunwoody scoreless in the second half. Lakeside improved to 1-1 overall and 1-0 in the region while Dunwoody fell to 0-2 and 0-1 in the region. Chamblee improved to 2-0 on the season with a 26-16 victory over Druid Hills (1-1) Sept. 6. The Bulldogs travel to Gwinnett County to face the Greater Atlanta Christian Spartans in a matchup of two undefeated teams Sept. 13. Chamblee won 27-24 last season on the way to an 8-0 start. Towers’ winning streak continues as the team moved to 2-0 under new head coach James Holloway with a 44-0 shutout victory over South Atlanta (0-2) Sept. 7. The Titans went 0-10 a year ago, but are looking to improve to 3-0 on the season as they take on Clarkston (1-2) Sept. 13 at Avondale Stadium. The Titans lost the first three games of the 2012 season by a combined 12110, including a 34-6 loss to Clarkston. Towers has won its openers by a combined 57-0 with shutouts over Maynard Jackson (13-0) and South Atlanta (44-0), two teams it lost to by scores of 31-4 and 56-0 a year ago. Clarkston (1-2) 27, Strong Rock Christian (1-1) 7 Chamblee (2-0) 26, Druid Hills (1-1) 16 Washington (2-0) 22, Lithonia (1-2) 16 M.L. King (2-0) 48, SW DeKalb (0-2) 10 Tucker (2-0) 75, North Atlanta (0-2) 0 Decatur (2-0) 47, Therrell (0-2) 12 Thomas County Central (2-1) 28, No. 5 Marist (1-1) 21 No. 2 St. Pius X (2-0), North Oconee (0-1) 23 Saturday, Sept. 7 Columbia (1-1) 60, McNair (1-1) 0 Mays (1-1) 26, Miller Grove (1-1) 6 Towers (2-0) 44, South Atlanta (0-2) 0 Open: Stone Mountain (1-1) Clarkston (1-2) vs. Towers (2-0), Avondale, 7:30 p.m. Stockbridge (2-0) vs. Columbia (1-1), Panthersville, 7:30 p.m. Cross Keys (0-2) at Hebron Christian (1-0), 7:30 p.m. Dunwoody (0-2) vs. Stephenson (2-0), North DeKalb, 7:30 p.m. Lakeside (1-1) vs. SW DeKalb (0-2), Adams, 7:30 p.m. Miller Grove (1-1) vs. North Atlanta (0-2), Grady, 8 p.m. Stone Mountain (1-1) at Wesleyan (0-2), 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14 Cedar Grove (2-1) vs. Redan (0-2), Hallford, 7:30 p.m. Druid Hills (1-1) vs. Therrell (0-2), Grady, 7:30 p.m. McNair (1-1) vs. Douglass (0-2), Panthersville, 7:30 p.m. M.L. King (2-0) vs. Mays (1-1), Lakewood, 8 p.m.

Week 3 Results
Friday, Sept. 6 Pinecrest Academy (1-1) 10, Cross Keys (0-2) 7 Lakeside (1-1) 30, Dunwoody (0-2) 12 Shiloh (2-0) 56, Redan (0-2) 0 Stephenson (2-0) 46, Arabia Mountain (1-1) 7 Cedar Grove (2-1) 44, Douglass (0-2) 6

Week 4 Schedule
Friday, Sept. 13 Arabia Mountain (1-1) vs. Tucker (2-0), Hallford, 7:30 p.m. Chamblee (2-0) at Greater Atlanta Christian (2-0), 7:30 p.m.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, September 13, 2013

sports

Page 23A

The Stephenson defense observes the Arabia Mountain offense before the ball is snapped. Photos by Carla Parker

Passing game leads Stephenson to victory over Arabia Mountain
by Carla Parker carla@dekalbchamp.com The Stephenson Jaguars have always been known as a team that likes to run the ball. But it was the passing game, specifically junior quarterback Giovonni Weekley, that led the Jaguars to a 46-7 win over the Arabia Mountain Rams (1-1, 0-1) Sept. 6. The quarterback position has been an open competition at Stephenson between Weekley and junior Dewann Ford. Ford started in the previous game but Weekley won the starting job for this game over. Weekley was 5-11 for 93 yards and threw three touchdown passes. He also had 25 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. Head coach Ron Gartrell was impressed with the passing game. “It was outstanding,” he said. “We’re known as a team that runs the ball but hopefully this can kind of help us out down the road. People can see that we can throw the ball a little bit.” Weekley credited the offensive line for protecting him and giving him the opportunity to make plays. “I did it for my line,” he said. “This was a region game, a game we had to win.” The win helped Stephenson (2-0, 1-0) jump from No. 3 to No. 2 in the Class AAAAA poll. The game started off sloppily for Arabia Mountain. The Rams committed penalties in the opening kickoff and on their first play from scrimmage. Stephenson’s defense, which had another impressive performance, forced the Rams’ high-powered offense to a three and out. The Jaguars scored on its first possession of the game with a touchdown pass from Weekley to wide receiver Dexter Neal to give Stephenson a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. The Jaguars, defense forced another Rams three and out and Weekley led the Jaguars down the field on the following possession, which ended in a touchdown pass to wide receiver Isaiah Zuber to extend the score 14-0. Arabia Mountain tried to get back in the game on its next possession, but Rams wide receiver Marcus Gay fumbled after catching a pass and Stephenson linebacker Abdul Mahmoud recovered the fumble and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown to give the Jaguars a 20-0 lead in the first quarter. Weekley extended the score to 27-0 with a rushing touchdown in the second quarter. A touchdown pass to tight end Ari Werts gave Stephenson a 34-0 lead at halftime. The Rams were shut out in the first half, just two weeks after putting up 33 points in the first half against Clarkston on Sept. 30. Stephenson kicker had a big game as well, kicking two field goals in the third quarter (23 and 35 yards) to give the Jaguars a 40-0 lead in the third quarter. Ford came into the game in the third quarter and went 2-4 for 7 yards. He also rushed for 19 yards on two attempts. The Rams were able to get on the scoreboard in the third quarter when wide receiver Jonathan Jones caught a short pass from quarterback Jakobi Meyers and ran 60 yards to the end zone to cut the score to 40-7. Junior running back Cortese Logan closed out the scoring for the Jaguars with a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter to bring the final score to 46-7. Despite Weekley’s performance, Gartrell said the quarterback position is still an open competition. “Those two guys are battling it out every day in practice,” he said. “They’re real intelligent young men and both of them are about the same, so the competition has been good.”

Stephenson wide receiver Dexter Neal catches a touchdown pass in the first quarter.

Page 24A

The Champion Free Press, Friday, September 13, 2013

DeKalb County retooling pension plan
by Daniel Beauregard daniel@dekalbchamp.com DeKalb County commissioners and Interim CEO Lee May are moving closer to finalizing a new pension plan for county employees. At a recent committee meeting, May said that keeping the county’s current pension plan, which is approximately 63 percent funded, wasn’t an option. Originally, county staff proposed a hybrid plan that includes both a defined contribution and a required contribution. However, county officials also presented several other options during an Employee Relations and Community Services Committee meeting. May said that originally county officials presented a plan that would require county personnel hired before 2005 to make a 10.6 percent contribution into their pensions. Those hired after 2005 would only be required to make a 8.5 or 6 percent contribution, depending on the plan commissioners approve. Additionally, May proposed an exception in which all sworn public safety personnel are only required to pay the lesser percentage, regardless of when they were hired. Jay Vinicki, policy research director, said that with the current plan taxpayer contributions would be approximately $44 million in 2014. If an overhaul isn’t done to the plan, that number will increase to $63 million in coming years. Additionally, Vinicki said the employee contribution would jump from $22 million to $28 million, approximately $257 million over 10 years. In total, Vinicki said that would be nearly $1 billion in contributions by both employees and taxpayers over 10 years. “This cost is going to escalate and that’s the situation we’re in,” Vinicki said. County officials are currently reviewing four plans, including the current pension plan. The first plan proposed is a 1 percent defined benefit and a 3 percent defined contribution plan, which would save taxpayers approximately $43 million. The second plan, which only consists of a 4 percent defined contribution, would increase the taxpayers’ cost to $51 million over a period of 10 years. The other option county officials are considering is to give employees the choice between the defined contribution program and the hybrid program. Vinicki said this would cost much less than the other plans and would be approximately $14-15 million. “Every time you include the [defined contribution] option in there, there is no savings to the county,” Vinicki said. The last option is the plan that allows certified public safety personnel to remain in the old plan. Vinicki said each plan has its benefits but the hybrid plan would bring the unfunded liability of the plan from 63 percent to 72 percent funded over the next 30 years if all the savings of the new program is reinvested. “It can actually be structured so you’ll be forced to reinvest. One part is how much are we saving, the second part is, what are we doing with the unfunded liability?” Vinicki said. “If you’re pre-2005 your rate will stay the same but if you’re post-2005 there will be a different rate for each plan.” The county is aiming to retain its goal of offering an employee pension plan that replaces approximately 70 percent of an employee’s income for the current retirement age of 62. County officials are expected to finalize a new pension plan over the next several months.

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