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

and Stone Mountain.

by Andrew Cauthen DeKalb County school board members said they are concerned about a legal bill that has jumped from $150,000 to $750,000. The concern surfaced during an Oct. 7 work session when DeKalb County school Superintendent Mike Thurmond requested an extension of a contract with McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP (MLA) for the installation of governance evaluation and accountability systems. Some school board members expressed concerns about the cost and scope of the services of MLA, where former state attorney general Thurb-

WWW.CHAMPIONNEWSPAPER.COM • FRIDAY, October 18 , 2013 • VOL. 16, NO. 30 • FREE


DeKalb school board extends law firm’s contract
ert Baker works. But Thurmond said he was insulted by what he called the school board’s attempt to micromanage him. “If I’m going on mission impossible, I get to pick who goes with me,” Thurmond said. “I’m not going on Mission Impossible and you choose who my people will be.” After a heated debate, the school board approved the extension of MLA contract for 12 months at a cost of $50,000 per month. The firm had originally been hired on a three-month contract through May 2013. The board also agreed to pay MLA for services provided through September. “I was a supporter of the original engagement of MLA because I saw the

Former state attorney general Thurbert Baker’s law firm is being paid $50,000 per month for the next year. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

See Schools on Page 15A

DeKalb County native follows dreams to lead Count Basie Orchestra
by Daniel Beauregard The first time Scotty Barnhart saw the legendary Count Basie Band he was 15 but he knew then that one day he would be onstage playing with some of those same musicians. What Barnhart said he didn’t know then was how much that moment would come to impact his life moving forward and that after playing in the band for more than 20 years he would eventually be asked to lead it. “They were at Druid Hills High School and that was around 1979 or 1980,” Barnhart said. Barnhart, who is also a professor of jazz trumpet at Florida State University, said he began playing the trumpet at age 9, mostly by chance. He attended Terry Mill Elementary School; when he entered fifth grade, he said each student was asked if they wanted to join the school band. Barnhart wanted to play violin. “I asked for a violin and my mom went over to Emile Baran Instruments in Decatur. It just so happened that all the other kids’ parents were there getting them violins too and the line was too long,” Barnhart said. Rather than wait in line, Barnhart’s mother went next door and got her son a trumpet. “She came home with that and when she opened the case, I was expecting a violin,” Barnhart said. “But when she opened it there was a shiny silver trumpet. It was a pretty September day and I never looked back.” As a child, Barnhart attended Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King Jr. was once pastor. He said there was a choir that performed and instead of using the regular church organ, they used a Hammond B3. When he heard the Basie Band for the first time, he said it reminded him of the soul/gospel music he heard in church. “Every facet of it was great, felt good, made you happy and made you want to move. That’s really what the Basie Orchestra

See Orchestra on Page 15A

Trumpet player Scotty Barnhart, a DeKalb County native, recently became the director of the Count Basie Orchestra.





The Champion Free Press, Friday, October 18 , 2013

local news

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Motorists warned to be cautious during deer mating season
by Carla Parker Fall is here, which means mating season for deer and Georgia Wildlife officials are warning motorists to be on the lookout. According to Georgia Wildlife, an estimated 50,000 deer-car collisions happen annually in Georgia. Deer mating season occurs between October and early December. During this time male deer go into rut and begin actively searching for mates, which contributes to the increased movement, bringing them across roadways, according to Georgia Wildlife. Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Mark Williams said in a news release that deer are also on the move in suburban and urban areas. “While motorists in rural areas may expect to see deer, Georgia’s suburban and urban areas can be prime spots as well,” Williams said. More than 300 people were injured when vehicles collided with deer in 2011, according to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, in DeKalb County there were 1,587 auto accidents from 2000 to 2006 that were caused by deer venturing onto roadways. A total of 1,000 people across the country died in deer-car collision accidents between 2006 and 2010, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Harris Blackwood, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, said deer can be unpredictable hazards for motorists on Georgia’s roads, especially during their fall mating season. “These hazards just underline the need for motorists to observe posted speed limits and wear their seatbelts,” he said. The increased human population and rural development also are a factors in the increase of deer sightings. According to Georgia Wildlife, deer lose their natural food source and consequently move into new areas in search of food and water as the human population continues to grow and expand into traditionally rural areas. Days become shorter and nights longer rush hour for most commuters falls during the same hours in which white-tailed deer are most active–dawn and dusk. Below are a few tips and information from Georgia Wildlife to help motorists avoid potential collisions: • Unpredictable: Always remember deer are wild, and therefore, can be unpredictable. A deer calmly standing on the side of a road may bolt into or across the road rather than away from it when startled by a vehicle. • One deer usually means more: Take caution and slow down when a deer crosses. Deer generally travel in groups, so if one crosses, be prepared that others may follow. • Time of day: As deer are most active at dawn and dusk, they typically are seen roadside during the early morning and late evening–the same times most people are commuting to and from work. • Time of year: While deercar collisions can occur any time of year, the fall breeding season is a peak time for such accidents. Road shoulders generally provide green food during dry times of the year and following a long, hard winter. •M  inimize damage: If it is too late to avoid a collision, drivers are advised to slow down as much as possible to minimize damage - resist the urge to swerve to avoid the deer, this may cause further damage, sending drivers off the road or causing a collision with another vehicle. If an accident occurs, alert the police as soon as possible, public safety officials advise.

DeKalb announces annual surplus auction
DeKalb County’s annual surplus auction will be held Saturday, Oct. 26, at 10 a.m., at Adesa-Atlanta, 5055 Oakley Industrial Blvd., Fairburn. The public can inspect items on Friday, Oct. 25, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Items for sale include police cars, fire trucks, sanitation vehicles, construction equipment, office furniture and equipment, and other miscellaneous items. Buyers may participate in person or online. DeKalb has held an auction every year since 1976, and funds raised through this process are used to purchase new vehicles and replenish the general fund. This year, 110 vehicles will go to the highest bidders, along with hundreds of other items. For more information, call (770) 357-2277 or visit

The Champion Free Press, Friday, October 18 , 2013

Trial looms for former superintendent, school employees
by Daniel Beauregard The trial involving a former DeKalb County School District superintendent accused of leading a criminal enterprise within the school system is scheduled to begin Oct. 28. Crawford Lewis, along with former schools construction chief Pat Reid and her ex-husband Tony Pope, are accused of conspiring to defraud the school district of approximately $2.4 million through illegal construction contracts. All three are charged with violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and three counts of theft by taking by a government employee. Reid, formerly known with. Both Heery International and the district have attempted to come to a settlement out of court. Lewis recently filed a motion in Superior Court Judge Cynthia Becker’s courtroom requesting that his case be severed from co-defendants Reid and Pope. Becker has yet to rule on that motion but has issued an order preventing attorneys, witnesses and the defendants involved in the case from speaking to the media. In a recent court hearing, attorneys of the three defendants acknowledged they had been offered a plea deal by the District Attorney’s Office but would not go into further detail.

local news

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as Pat Pope, allegedly used her role as the district’s construction chief to award contracts to then husband Tony Pope. According to officials and court documents, Lewis signed off on contracts and knowingly participated in the conspiracy. Reid also fired Heery/ Mitchell in 2006, which had

overseen construction contracts for the district, citing overbilling and questionable work. Heery managed the school district’s SPLOST account from 2002-06. Heery has since sued DeKalb County School District for $400,000, which it said the district still owes for work it had done. The

school district consequently countersued for $100 million, alleging fraud and claiming that the company mismanaged projects. Heery denies those claims and contends the real reason the company was fired was that Reid wanted to award the contracts to people she knew and had connections

DeKalb County ethics board continues to go unfunded
by Daniel Beauregard A DeKalb County grand jury released a report recently that alleges corruption spanning several administrations and departments, and accused suspended DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis of being one of the top offenders. The report called for greater transparency, including ethics reform and establishing an internal auditor’s office. However, commissioners have yet to approve funding for the board of ethics or appoint an internal auditor. “To be honest with you, the fiscal year 2013 budget will be a moot point if this thing continues to get deferred. You may as well just vote against it,” said Isaac Blythers, chairman of the ethics board. Blythers told commissioners Oct. 8 that the deferrals have prevented the ethics board from being reorganized to “do the work that we volunteered to do.” The budget proposed by the ethics board is two-part. It requests funding through the end of fiscal year 2013 and funding for fiscal year 2014. For the rest of the year, the board has requested $57,750, which will be transferred from the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners’ general fund. The budget outlines $35,000 for operating expenses such as hiring a court reporter and performing investigations, $12,000 for board legal counsel services and $15,000 for ethics board training. The rest of the $57,750 will be spent on administrative support fees. Commissioner Jeff Rader said the ethics board is a creation of the Georgia legislature and has six main responsibilities, the first being to establish the rules, procedures and regulations of the board. Additionally, the board of ethics is responsible for rendering advisory opinions with respect to the interpretation of the county’s ethics ordinance; hear complaints of ethics violations and perform investigations to determine whether any person has violated parts of the ethics ordinance; hold hearing and inquiries into ethics issues; and to prescribe forms for disclosure. Blythers said the ethics board plays a role in building public trust but that isn’t its sole purpose. He said the ethics board, commissioners, department heads and county employees all play a role in “the overall solution for the county to build public trust.” “Unless all of those entities are working together public trust goes out the window. We are a group of volunteers that obviously the board of commissioners and the CEO thought competent enough to do this. All we’re asking you to do is to give us an opportunity to do what you thought we could do when you [appointed us],” Blythers told commissioners at a recent meeting. Rader said he took the budget request the board made and presented it during the meeting to have a public discussion of the matter. He wouldn’t comment on why it has been deferred so many times. “I think it’s a pretty straightforward decision for us to make, to provide the ethics board the resources they need in order to do their [job],” Rader said. Blythers said he began petitioning Ellis and then chief presiding officer Commissioner Larry Johnson in 2012 for revenue and new appointments. Rader said the board of ethics also had a list of qualified candidates for appointment. “It was only when the board said they were going to stop meeting because they didn’t have the membership or resources that something was done about it,” Rader said. The ethics board and internal auditor don’t have the power to prosecute but Rader said if they had been in place several years ago, the county may have caught some mistakes that have recently come to light. Rader referred to a recent scandal with Desmear Systems, a Tucker-based construction firm hired to work on the county’s first major water/sewer project. The county terminated the $7.7 million contract with Desmear after reports of on-site accidents and shoddy work. According to officials, the company also provided a fraudulent performance bond for the work. Desmear was also named in the grand jury investigation as one of the firms Ellis allegedly succeeded in strong-arming into donating $2,500 to his campaign. “An internal auditor would have been able to find that because it’s all basically in the paperwork,” Rader said. As it relates to the ethics board, Rader said he isn’t confident that it has the tools to effectively investigate complaints that come before it. He said ethics complaints are often “ambiguous,” and without proper training, the ethics board is unable to come to a “defensible conclusion” about them. “As a consequence, complaints can hang out there for months unresolved,” Rader said. “I think that the ethics board is more to be able to be respondent and an arbitrator of complaints that may or may not be valid.”

pleAse recycle this pAper

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, October 18 , 2013

Ebbing red tide?
longtime legislators switched parties, and the once safe label of “Blue Dog” conservative Democrat, attached to the likes of U.S. Senators Sam Nunn, Herman Talmadge and Richard Russell also soon appeared gone with the wind. But much the way a hurricane or tropical storm can significantly alter a landscape or shoreline, that change is not always permanent. For accreted shoreline to remain, owners and developers often build extensive and expensive sea walls, or even look to the ocean floor offshore for beach re-nourishment. And such is the way of politics. The base must be broadened and deepened or the structure becomes top heavy and may collapse under its own weight. On paper, and ballots, Georgia’s GOP appears bullet proof. Led by a well-considered incumbent governor, likely to face only token Democratic opposition, and feints from the right of his own party, and even practically endorsed by the Democratic mayor of the state’s capital city. Two Republican senators lead a congressional delegation where the GOP enjoys a healthy majority, atop district maps all but designed to guarantee re-election. In the General Assembly, near super majorities exist in both chambers, with the expectation of a few more seats to come in the 2014 elections. And yet all is not well in elephant country. There is unease within the GOP activist community, which leans well right of the political center on a wide range of issues, from conspiracy theories regarding the genesis of the new common core standards for public education, to a growing divide over how best to approach the thorny issue of immigration beyond the typical sound-bite of “secure the borders.” The GOP has been here before. Business folks who help fund the party tend to be more centrist, as their customers come from all political stripes, races, cultures and customs. Fiscal conservatives and social conservatives share appreciation for much of our Constitution, but part company when government begins to enter the privacy of family and personal lifestyle choices. Libertarians seek a much reduced government footprint on all fronts, save infrastructure and national security—and the growing voice of the Tea Party can often be heard shouting down its own members. Oh the joys of being ring master and running the circus under this Big Tent. As with the Roman Empire, the Democratic Party’s long reign of Georgia and formerly Capitol Hill, all power parties eventually come to an end—and usually it’s not pretty. Those who sustain and last the test of time typically find ways to build and bind larger constituencies, while smoothing the occasional rougher waters. Gov. Nathan Deal’s tendency to quietly and inclusively solve problems before they erupt is an encouraging trend. The state’s Medicaid hospital bed fee and DeKalb County school board suspension/appointments are but two recent examples.  But leading requires vision, as well as building coalitions and even on occasion, compromising. This has not been a typically demonstrated skill set during the Georgia GOP’s reign of nearing a dozen years. More than a few political observers believe that the high red tide perhaps arrived during the 2010 mid-term elections. And as with any normal non-storm surge high tide, when the ebb tide begins, heading back toward the low, it can take more than the casual observer to note the daily erosion and loss of territory. And when you are fighting among yourselves with gusto, those tiny losses at the edges and margins may even seem trifling. Georgia’s current GOP leadership and activists would do well to pay heed to Honest Abe’s words of warning of 155 years ago. He was right then, and it still applies today. Bill Crane also serves as a political analyst and commentator for Channel 2’s Action News, WSB-AM News/Talk 750 and now 95.5 FM, as well as a columnist for The Champion, Champion Free Press and Georgia Trend. Crane is a DeKalb native and business owner, living in Scottdale. You can reach him or comment on a column at billcrane@

One Man’s Opinion

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”—Then U.S. Senate candidate Abraham Lincoln, quoting a verse from the Bible during the 1858 campaign. Barely less than a century after the Civil War, enough Georgians were willing to select a GOP ballot for Georgia Republicans to hold their first general primary in 1964. Then in 1966, Congressman Howard “Bo” Callaway (R-District 3) received the most votes for governor, though only a plurality, tossing the election into the Georgia House of Representatives, a practical one-party chamber of Democrats, which then elected the second place finisher, Lester Maddox as governor. It took another 36 years for Georgia voters to elect their first GOP governor since Reconstruction, in the person of former State Senator Sonny Perdue (R-Bonaire). During that 2002 election and since, a slow building red tide began sweeping the state, slowly recasting Georgia’s political landscape from top to bottom. Sheriffs, county commissioners and even

The Champion Free Press, Friday, October 18, 2013


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Attack of the zombie lawmakers
The tea-partying faction’s influence wouldn’t be so out of proportion to its numbers without the cowardice of more moderate Republicans.
Donald Kaul
Guest Columnist
and millions of Germans believed him. World War II followed. Well, I’m sorry to be the one to break the news to you Fox News lovers out there, but President Obama didn’t shut down the government. It was the Republican majority of the U.S. House of Representatives, egged on by its tea-partying faction, that shut down the government. The tea partiers, you see, form a small but resolute band of absolutists who view Obama as the antiChrist and will go to any length — up to and including destroying the economy — to kill off his signal achievement, a national program that will expand health insurance coverage to millions of Americans who need it. There are a number of reasons why they have influence so out of proportion to their numbers, but foremost among them is the cowardice of their more moderate Republican colleagues. Those people — some of them reasonable, some even smart — live in fear that they’ll cast a vote that offends the crazy wing of their party. That could mean facing a tea party opponent in their next primary. We’re not talking profiles in courage. It’s tough to get a profile of someone who’s in a fetal position most of the time. None of this has stopped Republicans from claiming black is white, up is down, and that the shutdown is Obama’s fault. They have been joined in this fiction by the Right Wing claque that works for Rupert Murdoch at Fox News. Remember when maverick politicians like George Wallace used to tell us that there wasn’t a “dime’s worth of difference between the Republicans and Democrats?” Boy, those were the good old days. Even if we manage to squeeze through this shutdown by cobbling together some sort of unpalatable compromise, like passing a budget that will expire in six weeks, we’ll still find ourselves up against the debt-ceiling limit by mid-October. If you like the shutdown, you’ll love the failure to raise the debt ceiling, when not only the government but the world’s economy could come crashing down on our heads. This prospect bothers the tea party faithful not at all. Rand Paul, the Kentucky senator, says that all Obama would have to do if the ceiling isn’t raised and the government runs out of money is to promise our creditors that our debts will be paid eventually and everything would be all right. And Rep. Steve King, Iowa’s answer to Michele Bachmann, claims that a default on our debt wouldn’t be a big problem because “we have plenty of money coming in.” So I’m asking why any rational, reasonable voter, whether conservative or not, should ever vote for a Republican candidate for the House. No matter what your candidate says, when push comes to shove he or she will follow the likes of Paul and King to the letter, not to mention the zany gentleman from Texas, Ted Cruz. We’re experiencing The Attack of the Zombie Lawmakers. There are two ways out of this mess. The short-term way is for Republican legislators who retain some sense of reality to assert their independence from tea party militants. If that means taking on nutty primary opponents, so be it. I don’t expect this to happen. In the long term, we as a nation simply have to begin to vote the rascals out of office until there aren’t enough of them left to make a circle, let alone a fist. They’re asking for it.

Barack Obama’s shutting down of the government is the most selfdestructive thing to happen since Poland attacked Nazi Germany in 1939. Oh wait! It was Germany that attacked Poland, wasn’t it? Yes, but Adolf Hitler, the chancellor of Germany, said that Poland was the one that did the attacking

OtherWords columnist Donald Kaul lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, October 18 , 2013


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Brookhaven approves Century Center annexation
by Carla Parker tion with Brookhaven for Century Center to be annexed into the newly creBrookhaven City Council ated city. The city council voted Oct. 8 to annex the was scheduled to vote on it Century Center office comin July but DeKalb County plex into the city. Superior Court Judge CourtThe 3-1 vote came a week ney L. Johnson issued a after the Georgia Supreme temporary restraining order Court ruled that the city was against Brookhaven. able to vote on the annexaCentury Center is bound tion. by Clairmont Road, Century “Welcome to BrookhavBoulevard, Century Parkway and Interstate 85 South. Highwoods Properties’ application requests to annex about 120 acres into Brookhaven. With Brookhaven annexing Century Center into the new J. Max Davis city, Chamblee officials said the city will be unable to en,” Mayor J. Max Davis provide some services to said following the council’s more than 11,000 residents. vote. Chamblee also argued that Brookhaven and Highannexing Century Center wood Properties filed an ap- into Brookhaven will impact peal Sept. 17 to the Georgia the election and the referSupreme Court to overturn endum. Chamblee residents DeKalb Superior Court near the Century Center area Judge Tangela Barrie’s orare scheduled to vote on the der that granted Chamblee annexation into Chamblee an interlocutory injunction Nov. 5. that stopped Brookhaven Marc Johnson said mofrom moving forward with tions for some re-judgments annexing Century Center. have been filed by both The two cities have been Chamblee and Brookhaven at odds over which has the in DeKalb Superior Court. rights to annex the property. “We’ll wait and see if Chamblee’s acting city man- the judge rules on either of ager and Police Chief Marc those,” he said. “If not, there Johnson said he was not sur- will be a hearing Oct. 24. I prised by the ruling. feel certain that whether the “It’s basically a technijudge rules in favor of us or cality,” he said about the Brookhaven, whichever side Supreme Court’s decision. loses will continue to appeal “What I read was that they in the Supreme Court.” said it was incorrect to stop The Supreme Court has Brookhaven from voting.” scheduled a hearing in JanuOn June 21, Highwoods ary 2014. Properties filed an applica-

Champion of the Week
Arlene Bayus
A nurse by trade, Arlene Bayus of the Oakhurst community spent Oct. 4 volunteering at Oakhurst Elementary School’s Health and Wellness Fall Festival. Bayus manned a station where she taught students about proper hand-washing techniques. “We are talking to them about why it is important to wash your hands, how to do it right and about all of the [germs] you’re exposed to throughout the day at home or in school,” Bayus said. A stay-at-home mom, Bayus said she enjoys volunteering. “It’s rewarding to me because I’m not working,” said Bayus, 41, who has worked at a children’s hospital. “I’m able to fill that void by being able to help others.” Bayus, who has a kindergartner and second-grader at Oakhurst Elementary, has a history of volunteerism. “I’ve been involved in this school for the past year in different roles, being a room parent, helping out on the wellness committee, helping out planning auctions, helping out with the PTA— wherever there’s a need, I help out and volunteer where I can,” she said. Bayus is also a board member of the Solarium Community Center of South Decatur and a Girl Scouts treasurer. When her children attended a cooperative preschool, Bayus volunteered there also. Volunteering is a way to give “payback to the community, payback to the school that my children are a part of—not just my children, but all the children in the community,” Bayus said. She said there is no reason to be reluctant about volunteering. “There are so many ways to volunteer,” she said. “You can be behind the scenes. You can be out here. Just for this event we had people that couldn’t be here because of work or for whatever reason, so they were able to volunteer by bringing in some items that we needed. There are always things you can do behind the scenes as well as to be a part of the event.” Bayus said there are many benefits of volunteerism. “You get to meet people,” Bayus said. “You get to build up community because you’re meeting people who are within your community that you may not have known otherwise.” Volunteering is also a good example for children, she said. “My children have always known that I volunteer and they have always been around,” Bayus said. “If we can volunteer as a family we will volunteer as a family. It’s just a big part of who we are in our house. Volunteering has “a little something for everybody,” she said. “You don’t have to have a lot of time to be able to volunteer. It can be as little or as big as you want it to be. It’s all up to you.”

‘Welcome to Brookhaven.’

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

The Champion Free Press, Friday, October 18 , 2013


out of the substation in several weeks. The substation will not be staffed around-theclock, but will be more of a drop-in location for officers to hold meetings, write reports and conduct other operations as needed, according to city officials. The Brookhaven Police Department, which launched July 31, currently operates out of the city’s municipal court in Brookhaven’s Corporate Square and the temporary city hall in Dunwoody. The city is in the process of finding a permanent location for city hall and police headquarters.


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City names new interim city attorney The Brookhaven City Council voted unanimously Oct. 8 to appoint 37-year veteran lawyer Thompson Kurrie Jr. as its interim city attorney. Kurrie replaces Bill Riley, who resigned to focus on other clients. Riley will remain as the Brookhaven solicitor, which prosecutes city ordinance violations for the municipal court. Kurrie, a partner with Coleman Talley, is a certified public accountant. Kurrie will oversee approximately six attorneys from his firm who will work on city business, as well as oversee other specialized firms that will assist the city in other areas. Kurrie received his law degree from Emory University. He previously taught at Valdosta State University and served as the former chairman of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce. City to open police substation The Brookhaven Police Department will open a substation in a Buford Highway apartment complex as part of its community policing efforts. Police are now outfitting their office at the Marquis Terrace Apartments at 3547 Buford Highway. They will begin working

the past five Take-Back events, law enforcement agencies across the United States removed more than 2.8 million pounds (1,409 tons) of prescription medications from circulation. Unwanted, unused or expired prescription drugs, can be brought to the Decatur Police Department, located at 250 East Ponce De Leon Avenue, Suite T-130. The collection site will be in front of the main entrance to the building off East Ponce De Leon Avenue. For more information, contact Capt. Richards at (404) 373-6551. Writers offer tips on writing books that sell


Larry Johnson and Bishop Stephen B. Hall invite residents of DeKalb to attend a community town hall meeting Oct. 22, 6:30 p.m., at Rhema Christian Fellowship Church, 2649 McAfee Road, Decatur.  Representatives from the police, district attorney, solicitor-general and code enforcement departments will be in attendance. Also, representatives from Enroll America and a representative from Bank of America will be present.  Topics of discussion will include public safety, code enforcement, personal finance and more.  For more information, contact the office of Commissioner Larry Johnson at (404) 371-2988. Carnival to raise funds for youth group homes

with DeKalb County Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton and lasts until 3 p.m. Peace Lutheran Church is located at 1679 Columbia Drive, Decatur. For more information, visit


Visitors bureau to host family reunion workshop The Convention & Visitors Bureau of Dunwoody is hosting a free family reunion workshop, Oct. 26, Crowne Plaza at Ravinia, 4355 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Atlanta, 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet with Dunwoody hotels and vendors, as well as attend a program in which they will be informed of the details of family reunion planning. A complimentary lunch will be provided. Those interested in attending can register by emailing AndyW@CVBDunwoody. com or calling (678) 2449804.

Library to hold open knit nights The Chamblee Library will hold Open Knit Nights Saturday, Oct. 19, 2-4 p.m., and Tuesday, Oct. 29, 5-7 p.m. “Come join us for a chance to finish some of those knitting projects you have lying around. Everyone is welcome. Please bring your own materials and supplies,” states the announcement from the library. No registration is required and light refreshments will be provided. Funding for the event is provided by the Friends of the Chamblee Library. Chamblee Library is located at 4115 Clairmont Road, Chamblee. For more information, call (770) 936-1380.


Police to participate in drug take-back day The Decatur Police Department is participating in another Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Drug Take-Back Day Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In

Wesley Chapel-William C. Brown Library will host “Local Authors’ Seminar: The Power of Writing that Causes Books to Sell,” on Saturday, Oct. 26, 1-4 p.m. Local and aspiring authors will discuss how to create, publish and sell books. Keynote speaker Tia McCollors will share her experiences about how she got started and became a published author. Sharon Phillips will discuss “Turning Inspirations into Printed Works” and media specialist/ librarian Vanessa Fortenberry will talk about “The Importance of the Three Rs—Revision, Research, and Writing.” C. Joyce Farrar-Rosemon will discuss “Publishing, Marketing, and Sales (Traditional versus Social Media).”  Funding for the event is provided by the Friends of the Wesley ChapelWilliam C. Brown Library. Wesley Chapel-William C. Brown Library is located at 2861 Wesley Chapel Road, Decatur. For more information, call (404) 286-6980.

Little Debbie’s Second Chance Homes, an organization that operates six group homes throughout DeKalb County, providing shelter, guidance and resources to at-risk youth, is holding Our Family Fun Day on Saturday, Oct. 26, at Peace Lutheran Church. The event is designed to provide the community with more information about the organization’s mission and services and to raise funds for its programs to assist youth in transitioning into stable, productive futures. “This will be a carnivaltype event with food, games, bounce houses, face painting and a silent auction with donated tickets from such local venues as Six Flags, Stone Mountain Park, etc., as well as autographed items from both the Atlanta Falcons and Braves. Admission is free, with food and games sold at a nominal cost,” states an announcement from the organization. Director and founder Lakisha Stiggers will be on hand to talk about Little Debbie’s Second Commissioner to hold Chance Homes. The town hall meeting event begins at 10 a.m. District 3 Commissioner with coffee and Danish


Expert to speak on book collecting Bob Roarty of Atlanta Vintage Books will give a talk at the NorthlakeBarbara Loar Library Saturday, Oct. 26, 11 a.m.noon. His presentation will cover book collecting, including what makes a book valuable, care of books and more. Funding for the event, “Book Collecting 101,” is provided by the Friends of the Northlake-Barbara Loar Library. Northlake-Barbara Loar Library is located at 3772 LaVista Road, Tucker. For more information, call (404) 679-4408.

Page 8A 

The Champion Free Press, Friday, October 18 , 2013

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 find the first two digits of your zip code immediately call: 1-866-342-4768
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 razorthin 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, Clear-Cast, 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 ClearCast 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 ClearCast 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

■ 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.

Free over-the-air digital TV shows with Clear-Cast. Simply plug it into your TV, place Clear-Cast 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. ■

How to get Free TV: Listed below are the Decatur area zip codes that can get Free TV channels with no monthly bills. If you find the first two digits of your zip code immediately call 1-866-342-4768 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 1-866-342-4768 before the deadline ends or online at Trademarks and programs are the property of their respective owners and are not affiliated with or endorsing Clear-Cast.
Alabama 35, 36 Alaska 99 Arizona 85, 86 Arkansas 71, 72 California N/A Colorado 80, 81 Connecticut 06 Delaware 19 Florida 32, 33, 34 Georgia 30, 31, 39 Hawaii 96 Idaho 83 Illinois 60, 61, 62 Indiana 46, 47 Iowa 50, 51, 52 Kansas 66, 67 Kentucky 40, 41, 42 Louisiana 70, 71 Maine 03, 04 Maryland 20, 21 Massachusetts 01, 02, 05 Michigan 48, 49 Minnesota 55, 56 Mississippi 38, 39 Missouri 63, 64, 65 Montana 59 Nebraska 68, 69 Nevada 88, 89 New Hampshire 03 New Jersey 07, 08 New Mexico 87, 88 New York Oregon 00, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 97 North Carolina Pennsylvania 27, 28 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 Rhode Island North Dakota 02 58 South Carolina Ohio 29 41, 43, 44, 45 South Dakota Oklahoma 57 73, 74 Tennessee 37, 38 Texas 75, 76, 77 78, 79, 88 Utah 84 Vermont 05 Virginia 20, 22, 23, 24 Washington 98, 99 West Virginia 24, 25, 26 Wisconsin 53, 54 Wyoming 82, 83 Washington DC 20

and pull in Free TV channels in crystal clear digital picture with no cable, satellite or internet connection and no monthly bills
P6500A OF17544R-1

How It Works: Just plug it in to your TV


The Champion Free Press, Friday, October 18 , 2013

local news

Page 9A

Decatur police received more than 1,500 calls in six months
by Carla Parker The Decatur Police Department received 1,510 calls about suspicious persons, vehicles or activities in six months, according to numbers released by the department Oct. 5. The highest number of calls (416) came in July and the least (200) in May. The department also released the numbers of reported burglaries and entering autos from the last six months. There were 82 reported burglaries and 97 reported auto break-ins. Sgt. Jennifer Ross said the numbers include cases that have been cleared, unfounded and are still under investigation. Ross said some of the arrests officers have made in the past few weeks were due to concerned residents and homeowners reporting suspicious activities in their communities. “Suspects looking to break into a house or car are not going to do so when they see the police,” Ross said. “They are going to wait until an officer passes by or they will simply go to another location to commit their crime. Having the eyes of the 20,000-plus residents of Decatur watching out along with the officers makes a difference.” Police have made eight arrests since Sept. 10. On the afternoon of Sept. 19, Decatur Police responded to the 800 block of West Ponce De Leon Avenue about two suspicious Ross said the department has received many questions about what constitutes a suspicious person. “Suspicious indicates behavior, not what a person looks like,” she said. “What is the person doing that has drawn your attention? Is someone simply walking down the street or are they looking into vehicles, walking up into driveways or loitering/circling the area? Is there a vehicle in your neighbor’s driveway that you do not recognize? Is there a vehicle that you do not recognize circling your neighborhood? Is someone knocking on your door and surprised when you answer or are they trying to solicit something from you? All of these are reasons to call the police and let the officers check out the situation,” she continued. Reports of burglaries usually increase during the holiday season. Ross encourages residents to look out for their neighbors and call police when they see something or someone suspicious. “Practice basic safety habits like making sure doors and windows are secure when you go to bed at night or leave your residence and making sure your vehicle is secured and valuable property is out of sight,” she said. “Also, if you have an alarm system please test it to make certain everything is working and that your monitoring company is calling the correct police department in a timely manner.”

The Decatur police are working with residents to lower the recent spike in home burglaries. The department received 1,510 calls in six months about suspicious persons and activities.

people in the area. Homeowners were arriving home when they saw a male and a female walking up their driveway toward the rear of the residence,” according to police. Police said the homeowners exited the driveway and drove away but kept watching their residence. The homeowners then drove back to their residence and walked back to West Ponce De Leon Avenue. The homeowners called 911 and followed them. When police found the suspects, the man at first claimed to be walking to the woman’s residence on the 400 block of West Trinity Place then stated they were walking from the residence to a gas station on the 600 block of West Howard Avenue but had gotten lost and were trying to

ask people for directions, according to police. When police searched the man’s book bag they found a tool kit that contained screwdriver bits, a screwdriver, hammer and other miscellaneous small tools. They also found a separate larger screwdriver and a pair of black gloves hanging out of the man’s rear shorts pocket, according to police. The man, identified as 21-yearold Patrick Davis of Conley, was arrested and charged with loitering and prowling and possession of tools for the commission of a crime. The woman, identified as 18-year-old Shakira Farmer of Decatur, was arrested and charged with loitering and prowling.

Dunwoody receives Georgia Planning Association award
Dunwoody received the Georgia Planning Association 2013 Award for Outstanding Plan Implementation for efforts and execution of the city’s Project Renaissance initiative. The award recognizes the city’s proactive transformation of 35 acres of vacant land by implementing a community-based master plan. Each year, the Georgia Planning Association (GPA) rewards local communities and regional commissions for their work to make Georgia a better place to live. The 2013 Chapter Awards, delivered Oct. 11 at the GPA Fall Conference held at Jekyll Island, honor plans and projects which demonstrate innovation, transferability, quality, effectiveness of implementation, comprehensiveness, public participation, technology, equity, sustainability and collaboration. The Project Renaissance redevelopment initiative stemmed from the community-developed Georgetown/ North Shallowford Master Plan created shortly after the city’s incorporation. Project Renaissance has since activated 35 acres of land and upon completion will include new city parks, a multi-use trail, an owner occupied low-density residential development, a small neighborhood commercial development and potential civic facilities. “The awards committee was highly impressed with the city of Dunwoody’s aggressive steps to transform a fallow, foreclosed property into a community centerpiece and catalyst,” said Eric Bosman, President of the Georgia Chapter of the American Planning Association. “Project Renaissance is an excellent example of a community effecting change through active resident involvement, proactive planning and strong leadership.” The city broke ground on the first two park areas and multi-use trail section this spring and is planning a grand opening of these first facilities in December. The city’s private sector partner, John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods, has begun site and utility work in the private development and anticipates vertical construction in the near future. “We are extremely honored and pleased to be recognized by the GPA as the sole Outstanding Plan Implementation category award recipient for Dunwoody’s Project Renaissance initiative,” Dunwoody Mayor Mike Davis said. “Project Renaissance is a community-driven effort born from the desire to enhance the city’s southern gateway and create a truly catalytic development for the Georgetown area.”


The Champion Free Press, Friday, October 18 , 2013

local news

Page 10A

Police want more flexibility to inspect adult entertainment establishments
by Daniel Beauregard DeKalb County police told commissioners Oct. 8 that they need to be allowed to inspect adult entertainment establishments during all hours the establishments are open, not just between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. DeKalb County Police Captain Ken Banks told commissioners that much of the illicit activity in adult entertainment establishments occurs later in the evening. Banks said the current ordinance only allows officers to enter the establishment to conduct license and permit checks between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Police have proposed changing the ordinance, which is Chapter 15 in the DeKalb County Code, to allow them to enter 30 minutes before an establishment opens, any time the establishment is are open to the public and 30 minutes after and establishment closes. Commissioner Kathie Gannon said in addition to extending the hours of inspections for adult entertainment establishments, county staff should look into the hours allowed for inspection of late-night establishments as well. “We’re getting a lot of complaints about those now because they’re staying open so late,” Gannon said. The agenda item involving the ordinance was deferred during the Oct. 8 board of commissioners meeting but is expected to be brought up again in the following weeks.

School furlough days reduced by one
by Andrew Cauthen ers and teachers to inspire, teach, and train,” according to the website. The DeKalb County “This is a very innovaBoard of Education voted tive creative approach,” unanimously Oct. 8 to elimThurmond said. “This is one inate one furlough day for more brick as we continue school personnel. to build the bridge…to exSchool Superintendent cellence.” Mike Thurmond “This will be said board meman additional work bers directed him just for staff,” ‘This is evidence to our employees day to “do everything said Morcease J. I could to continue that we are committed to Beasley, executo try to reduce furtive director of the lough” days. division eliminating the furlough days and district’s The plan was to of curriculum and “provide at least in rerestoring a salary structure that instruction, some relief” for sponse to a quesschool employees by Kalonjee fairly compensates our employees.’ tion who have “suffered Gallimore, an from furlough days eighth-grader –Mike Thurmond at Druid Hills and lack of salary increases for sevMiddle School eral years,” Thurand student school mond said. board member “This is evidence to our ment for our students.” for the day. “You won’t be employees that we are comThe work day will be required to come to school mitted to eliminating the used to provide district-wide that day.” furlough days and restoring professional learning in This is the second work a salary structure that fairly support of the Bridge Initia- day that has been restored to compensates our employtive, a “highly integrated, school personnel this year. ees,” Thurmond said cross-functional strategy de“This is great,” said Under the plan, eight signed to bridge the cultural, school board member Marfurlough days remain for socioeconomic and historishall Orson about the re12-month employees makcal divides that undermine stored day. “This certainly ing more than $80,000 student performance and sends the right message to per year; seven days for achievement,” according to the staff.” 12-month employees; four district’s website. “This is a major acdays for 10- and 11-month One of the goals of the complishment,” said school employees; and two days for initiative is to “enhance the board member Joyce Morparaprofessionals. effectiveness of districtley. All work days have been level and school level leadrestored for bus drivers, bus aides, food service assistant managers and food service assistants. Thurmond said the restored work day was made possible by a redeployment of federal funds “to further improve academic achieve-

DeKalb hosts household hazardous waste event
DeKalb County will hold its fifth annual Household Hazardous Waste Event 8 a.m. – noon, Saturday, Oct. 19, at the DeKalb County Central Transfer Station, 3720 Leroy Scott Drive, Decatur. The event, sponsored by Keep DeKalb Beautiful and the DeKalb County Sanitation Division, in partnership with Clean Harbors Environmental Services Inc., offers county residents an opportunity to dispose of their household hazardous wastes properly free of charge. Household hazardous waste is classified as products that contain potentially dangerous chemicals and are no longer used.  These products should not be mixed with regular trash and can be potentially harmful to the environment if not disposed of properly.  The following are lists of items that will and will not be accepted at the event.  Please make sure to bring only items on the items accepted list or they will be turned away. Items accepted include aerosols, mercury, batteries, adhesives, flammables, lawn care products, automotive products, fluorescent bulbs, photo chemicals, hobby and artists supplies. Items not accepted include agricultural waste, ammunition, biohazardous/ biomedical waste, explosives, non-hazardous waste, pharmaceuticals and radioactive material.   The event is free for DeKalb residents; IDs are required and early arrival is recommended. No commercial vehicles will be allowed. For more information or to volunteer, please contact Keep DeKalb Beautiful at (404) 371-2654 or kdb@

CITY OF BROOKHAVEN FY 2014 PROPOSED BUDGET     The proposed FY 2014 budget for the City of Brookhaven is available for  review online ( and at City Hall, 200 Ashford  Center North, Dunwoody, during normal business hours.  The City will hold  Public Hearings on the budget on Tuesday, November 12 and Tuesday,  November 26, 2013, both at 7:00 p.m., at which time any persons wishing  to be heard on the budget may appear.       The City of Brookhaven is scheduled to adopt the FY 2014 budget at their  regularly scheduled City Council meeting on December 10, 2013.  The  meeting will begin at 7:00 at Brookhaven Municipal Court located at 2  Corporate Blvd., Ste. 125, Brookhaven, Georgia. 

The Champion Free Press, Friday, October 18 , 2013

local news

Page 11A

The proposed Decatur Crossing mixed-use retail center project, at the intersection of Scott Boulevard and North Decatur Road, covers seven acres. Fuqua Development, a mixed-use and retail developer, continues to make revisions in the designs for Decatur Crossing. File photos

Developer makes more changes to proposed Decatur Crossing plans
by Carla Parker It might be a while before plans for the Decatur Crossing mixed-use project come to fruition. Fuqua Development, a mixed-use and retail developer, continues to make revisions in the designs for Decatur Crossing, a mixeduse retail center at the site of Scott Boulevard Baptist Church in Decatur. The proposed project at the intersection of Scott Boulevard and North Decatur Road covers 7 acres. In addition to retail, the project would include 200 apartment units housed in a building which will be five stories high and feature a natural foods store, thatwill serve as the anchor. Decatur Crossing would sit across from a redeveloped Suburban Plaza, which would include a new Walmart Supercenter that has been criticized by some nearby residents. Because of the continued criticism and concerns from residents, Fuqua Development owner Jeff Fuqua has made changes to the original plan. “They want a lowered density plan,” he said. “And we’re accommodating that.” On Sept. 24, the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners deferred its vote on Fuqua’s application to rezone the property for 60 days. The 60-day deferment will give the firm time to put together a plan that will include community input. Fuqua said he will meet with residents and community groups to discuss the new plans during the 60-day deferment. Good Growth DeKalb co-chair Louise Runyon said the previous community meetings with Fuqua were small group meetings with representatives from various neighborhood organizations, including Good Growth DeKalb. “We’re calling to have a large community meeting,” Runyon said. “He likes to meet in small groups and we feel these plans need to go before a large body of people.” Fuqua said he and representatives of his firm have met with larger groups of people to discuss the project. Runyon said Fuqua has made “numerous changes” to its plans for Decatur Crossing but could not share what changes were made. “I can say that we’re studying his new ideas and considering them,” she said. “I certainly think he has made steps in the right direction. However, on the other hand he has also pressured the community organizations to sign on basically to endorse the new plans and there remain multiple questions.” Runyon added that Fuqua is in a hurry to move forward with the project but the community is not. “We just need to take our time and really look at [the plans] and consult with the people,” she said. Fuqua said there is no rushing to get the construction started on the project. “That’s ridiculous,” he said referring to Runyon’s comments. “We’ve been working on this for over a year going through this process.” The major feature in the Decatur Crossing project is the historic Scott Boulevard Baptist Church. Runyon said neighbors have expressed concern about Fuqua’s proposed demolition of the church, a key part of the skyline for the communities around the six-way intersection. They want to save the church and re-purpose it, possibly as an arts center. “Ten local arts organizations and leaders, including Core Performance Company, Beacon Dance and Decatur Civic Chorus, have presented Fuqua with a proposal to save the sanctuary and convert it to a performing arts center,” Runyon said. “There is much precedent for the re-purposing of churches, which are ideally suited to be turned into theaters due to high ceilings, good acoustics and unique atmosphere. Additionally, there is a strong need in DeKalb County for a theater space, especially with the recent loss of Beacon Hill Performing Arts Center in downtown Decatur.” Representatives from those organizations met with Fuqua in late September to discuss the proposal, but Fuqua said the proposal is unreasonable. “[Runyon’s] proposal was to give the church to her arts organization and [have us] spend millions of dollars renovating it so they can use it and rent it out to people,” Fuqua said. “Basically that’s our entire development. It’s outrageous, unreasonable and probably illegal.” Fuqua said he hopes to start construction on the project in March.

DeKalb Police awarded Intoxilyzer 9000
The DeKalb County Police Department has been awarded the Intoxilyzer 9000 valued at $8,000 from the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in Atlanta.  The Intoxilyzer 9000 will assist in meeting goals of Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic, including the reduction of impaired driving crashes and excessive speeding; increased safety belt usage rate; and education of the public about traffic safety. The Intoxilyzer 9000 will replace the current Intoxilyzer 5000 which will become obsolete by 2015.  In addition to the accuracy and analytical reliability of the Intoxilyzer 5000, the new device has the added advantages of quality control, information retention, software update flexibility, color touch screen user interface, test information display, customized report formats, less projected maintenance frequency, portability and remote access when connected to a data line.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, October 18 , 2013

local news

Page 12A

Thousands of people visited Stone Mountain Village for its fifth annual Oktoberfest Beer & Arts Festival, Oct. 12-13. Authentic German food, beer, music and dancing were featured along with the works of approximately 50 professional and self-taught artists. The event was sponsored by Main Street Stone Mountain Inc. in partnership with the Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces and the city of Stone Mountain. Photos by Travis Hudgons


日 本 も C み じ 祭

Gibbs Gardens presents The Japanese Maples Festival
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” ~ Albert Camus

elebrate autumn at Gibbs Gardens’ Japanese Maples Festival from October 1 through November 15. More than 2,000 Japanese maples in 100 varieties paint a gold, yellow, orange and flame red panorama on every vista. Hundreds of bright red Burning Bush and thousands of vibrant yellow Sweetshrub blend with the remarkable reds of Sourwood, Sassafras and Dogwood trees to color the hills with sweeping splashes of color. Our blossom-filled eight-acre Wildflower Meadow carpets the fields in shades of yellow, gold, purple and red. Jim Gibbs invites you to experience the serene beauty of Japanese culture set against the singular splendor of the largest Japanese Gardens in the nation on Saturday and Sunday, October 26 & 27 and November 2 & 3. Learn about the Japanese arts of ikebana, origami, kimono dressing, the Japanese green tea ceremony, bonsai, Japanese calligraphy . . . and so much more.


1987 Gibbs Drive Ball Ground, GA 30107 770-893-1880

The Champion Free Press, Friday, October 18 , 2013

Week in pictures

Page 13A

Brookhaven Councilman Joe Gebbia greets students from Woodward Elementary during International Walk to School Day Oct. 9. Photo by Carla Parker Students from the Air Force Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps present the colors while the national anthem is played before the Stephenson and Tucker football game Oct. 11. Photo by Carla Parker

Ghosts and spider webs dominate the yard decorations of this Decatur home. Photo by John Hewitt

McGruff The Crime Dog was present at a DeKalb County Board of Commissioners meeting Oct. 8.

Ghoulish décor is featured in this front yard converted to a graveyard. Photo by John Hewitt

It’s beginning to look a lot like Halloween at retail stores across the county, including the new Walmart store in Lithonia. Photo by Kathy Mitchell

Newly-named DeKalb County school Superintendent Mike Thurmond was an honorary captain for the Tucker/ Stephenson football game Oct. 11, Hallford Stadium. Photo by Travis Hudgons

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

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, October 18 , 2013


Page 14A

The Buford Highway Farmer’s Market has a wide variety of international food items as well as domestic products ranging from fresh fish to decorative gourds and corn.

Buford Highway Farmer’s Market owner credits its success to business acumen and constantly meeting customer needs
by Bob Kelley In what started in the mid-1970s as a small grocery specializing in Korean and Asian foods, the Buford Highway Farmer’s Market (BHFM) in Doraville has managed to be successful despite today’s influx of competitors and corporateowned grocery behemoths. The market has been owned by the Shinn family for nearly 40 years and current manager Harold Shinn acknowledges that extensive ethnic food/produce offerings and customer service are the primary ingredients for the 100,000-squarefoot market’s success. Experience in the family business and a business degree from Georgia State University have brought him to the helm of the BHFM’s second generation of grocers. Since his parents went into semi-retirement, Shinn is assisted in running the market by his two brothers, Edward and Richard. Vital to the BHFM’s success has been the steady stream of people from many cultures to the area who over the past 30 years have turned Doraville into a virtual “international village.” Boasting a large global contingency of residents from Mexico, Central and South America, Vietnam, Thailand, China, Japan, the Philippines, Eastern Europe, the Caribbean and West Africa, the BHFM stocks its shelves to accommodate their grocery needs as well as the needs of other residents with an appetite for exotic fare. “I couldn’t have this kind of business without the changing demographic in Doraville over the years,” Shinn said. “We are more of an ethnic specialty store than an actual farmer’s market although with the large selection of meat, fish and produce we still tend to fall into that category.” Shinn is quick to point out that the term “farmer’s market” has been watered down over the years. Early on, a farmer’s market was an openair location with booths where farmers came every weekend to sell their home-grown goods. Over the years, it has morphed into an enclosed building, covering thousands of square feet with shelves packed with unusual or hard-to-find exotic culinary specialties. “We didn’t create what would become the modern model for today’s farmer’s market,” Shinn added. “But we were among the first to make, and maintain, the current version. I tend to think of us as a David in a field of corporate, multi-million-dollar grocery Goliaths like Kroger and Publix. Yes, they offer ethnic fare as well, but not the variety that stores like ours or the DeKalb Farmer’s Market tend to offer.” The BHFM features one of the largest fresh produce departments in Atlanta plus a wide variety of beef products and seafood specialties. Boasting a “head-to-tail” approach to meat products, everything from tongue to oxtail can be found there. “Good prices and helpful employees plus a wide variety of merchandise in a clean environment…these qualities keeps me shopping weekly at BHFM,” Northwood’s resident Betzi Whiteside said. “A great side benefit is fabulous people watching. Going to the market is always a fun experience.” In a marketing concept that encourages customers to use the market as their “tool kit,” Shinn offers cooking classes, taught by popular area chefs. The monthly classes are small, often 10-15 people, offered at a nominal fee. “I have learned to make global specialties ranging from Indian farmer’s cheese and authentic Indian curry dishes to creative California cooking,” said Susan Fraysee, who lives in the nearby Doraville neighborhood of Oakcliff. “Each class has been a wonderful experience. We are free to interact with the instructors and ask questions and the best part is we get to try each of the dishes prepared for the menu from appetizers to desserts.” Like the rest of America’s business community, Shinn has had to be creative to survive the country’s recent economic woes. “Like the larger stores, we have had to offer what the public needs in an atmosphere that creates a pleasant shopping experience,” he said. “We are always trying to tweak our recipe for that just like everybody else. I have to constantly figure out ways to get people to drive past other grocery stores to shop at our store. With just one location, I may not be located the closest to some shoppers where they can shop for convenience, so I have to offer a shopping experience they will go out of their way to visit. “Customer needs are always changing,” Shinn said. “We are not the same store we were 20 years ago and we will likely be different 20 years from now. Everybody shopping grocery stores today is looking for the latest trend, fad or shopping experience and we have to pay attention to that. But for now, I want to be profitable, I want to be a good corporate citizen, I want to invest in and be a part of the Doraville community and the surrounding area.”

Modern-day David thrives among DeKalb’s grocery Goliaths

DeKalb Chamber of Commerce

The Voice of Business in DeKalb County

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

The Champion Free Press, Friday, October 18, 2013

Continued From Page 1A

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Scotty Barnhart takes a solo onstage with the Count Basie Orchestra. Photos provided

Continued From Page 1A

sounds like; it’s just a lot more sophisticated,” Barnhart said. Another experience that stands out in Barnhart’s mind as a big influence is when he saw trumpet player Wynton Marsalis performing on television for the first time. “When I saw him, it was then that I knew exactly what I was supposed to be doing,” Barnhart said. “Both of these two things really set the direction for what I’ve been doing.” Shortly after seeing Marsalis play on television, Barnhart met him and they have been friends for nearly 30 years. They have even recorded several albums together. In addition to his solo career and working with the Basie Band, Barnhart is also an educator and has published a book about the trumpet. In The World of Jazz Trumpet: A Comprehensive History and Practical Philosophy, Barnhart examines the political, social and musical conditions that led to the creation of jazz as a premier art form. The book traces the history of jazz music and contains entries on 800 trumpet players. Although Barnhart doesn’t make it back to Atlanta as much as he said he’d like to, he still visits approximately four times a year. When he’s on tour he stops through to visit friends and family. Barnhart said his job at FSU

need for kind of a broad scope review to the level you described of what was taking place in the system,” said board member Marshall Orson. Orson said he is concerned about the “mission creep without the authorization of the board.” “We authorized an engagement of $150,000 over a period of time for a specific set of actions and that has somehow, before we get to the extension, doubled in its amount,” he said. “I don’t have any comfort with the further engagement at a level of what would be 600,000 additional dollars, for a total of $750,000….without really understanding the scope.” Orson said the relationship with MLA is “one of these tricky areas” because, while MLA was engaged to provide governance advice, it is a law firm. “When it comes to the control of law firms…it’s a very murky area under the law in Georgia whether that belongs to the board or to the administration,” Orson said. Thurmond said MLA is not providing legal services. “They were advising me as to how I could solve a problem that no one had seemed to be able to solve, that had bedeviled the district for years and that ultimately saved the district potentially $30 million,” Thurmond said. Thurmond credited MLA advice and the administration’s research with preventing massive layoffs and budget cuts. “As a result we didn’t lay off 300 people,” he said. “We didn’t cut the $25 million out of the budget and we were able to find $27 million that had been overlooked.” School board member Joyce Morley said Thurmond had earned the support of the school board. “Have we not exceeded expectations?” she asked her fellow board members. “We’ve got to look at what’s effective, what’s efficient and what’s in the best interest of our children. “We’ve been in the sewer for 10 years and everybody has sat back here and watched this system just suck the blood out of our children, out of our families,” Morley said. “We need to be able to ask the superintendent, ‘What do you need?’ and if it is feasible, if it is appropriate and if it’s not against the law, if it’s not draining everybody, then what do we need to do to come alongside him and support him in his efforts to get this place where it needs to be?”

In addition to leading the Count Basie Orchestra, Barnhart also teaches jazz studies and trumpet at Florida State University.

allows him to keep up his busy tour schedule and also teach students some of the things he learns while playing music.

“I tell my students all the time everything that I’m teaching you comes straight from the road,” Barnhart said.


The Champion Free Press, Friday, October 18 , 2013

local news

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Druid Hills Charter Cluster debate continues as vote nears
by Andrew Cauthen The proposed Druid Hills Charter Cluster (DHCC) was a hot topic during the Oct. 7 community input meeting of the DeKalb County Board of Education. Margaret Paynich, a new Georgia resident, said she sees in DeKalb County School District (DCSD) “an underperforming school district, at risk of losing accreditation, and a situation so severe that Gov. [Nathan] Deal removed two-thirds of the DeKalb County school board.” The proposed Druid Hills Charter Cluster “is an innovative way to provide a different education,” she said. “I live in the Avondale Elementary feeder pattern and would be in the DHCC. I would be excited and can [nearly] promise you that I will choose to stay in DeKalb County with this school option for my future children. “The residents who skip DeKalb or move away for better schools are looking for educational opportunities like the DHCC,” Paynich said. In November, the DeKalb County Board of Education is expected to decide whether to approve the state’s first charter school cluster. The DHCC would include the 5,000 students and 400 faculty members of Avondale, Briar Vista, Fernbank, Laurel Ridge and McLendon elementary schools as well as Druid Hills Middle and Druid Hills High schools. Proponents say student achievement would increase because the charter cluster would offer individualized learning pathways and flexibility for principals and teachers to address curriculum and school operations that are more responsive to students’ needs. The learning pathways, which begin at the elementary school level and continue through high school, include International Baccalaureate (IB); a science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) program; Advanced Placement (AP); and Montessori. “What really encourages me about the DHCC is that this is a collection of local residents, parents, teachers, administrators and community members. Occasionally I am concerned when a charter school company just starts a school in our community. This isn’t a charter company. This is a group of engaged, caring, educated, informed, committed and brave individuals–some of whom no longer have children in the system and could simply have stayed home.” Carrie Staines, social studies department chairwoman and teacher at Druid Hills High School, also spoke in support of the cluster. “When I first became aware of the charter petition I was in the midst of the lowest point of my teaching career,” said Staines, a member of the DHCC organizing committee. “I was feeling overwhelmed, underpaid, and easily replaceable. I saw, and continue to see, the charter cluster as an answer to so many of the concerns I, along with other teachers, have voiced in the last few years. “As teachers, we have been given one of the greatest responsibilities in our society,” she told the school board. “You have trusted us with one of the most important jobs in our society. And because of this, you can trust us to run this charter cluster.” Thomas Benefield, a Fernbank Elementary School teacher and father of two DCSD students, said “the creation of the charter cluster will allow for more success to be had within the schools that make up the cluster.” “The charter cluster model allows for targeting specific educational strategies and practices easier than exists for DeKalb County schools as a whole—strategies and practices that can successfully reach all of the demographics of the area,” he said. “One size fits all does not work,” Benefield said. “I believe that by being able to tailor the instructional methods and practices specific to a school population will result in increases of student success.” There were several speakers who opposed the proposal, including David Runyon of Clarkston. “I have read the petition and in it find nothing new, innovative or of educational advantage,” Runyon said. Runyon said the DHCC plan would not provide the school district any “flexibility that it does not already enjoy.” “The IB and AP programs, already in place in the Druid Hills cluster, are all about flexibility,” Runyon said. The Montessori track is either offered by the county or can be resurrected, he added. “The proposed flexibility in curriculum brings no advantage not already afforded by programs currently available,” Runyon said. Runyon said the real reason for the DHCC proposal could be “the flexibility to exclude those who do not travel in the same social and professional circles as the DHCC” supporters. Runyon added that DHCC supporters “have the means and right to establish a truly private school without syphoning the county’s funds to do so.” David Schutten, president of the Organization of DeKalb Educators, said there are too many unanswered questions about the DHCC proposal. “First and foremost, how does it affect the students in the rest of the county?” he asked. “The petitioners only care about their seven schools.” Debra Greenwood, a resident of Stone Mountain, said, “Throughout the country charter schools are emerging and yet the efficacy of those schools is largely unknown. “We are concerned about the impact of syphoning funds for a charter school away from other students in the district,” Greenwood said. “The DeKalb County school board has a responsibility to all the schools in the district.” Greenwood said the school board, which “is only now emerging from an awful period of dysfunction and questionable decisions,” should “either vote this proposal down or postpone [the] vote until a much later date.” Greenwood said DHCC’s “goals and aspirations are admirable. Our only issue is that we want this for every student.”

Congressman holding Affordable Care Act info event
Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04) will hold a free information event on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at Georgia Piedmont Technical College, 495 North Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston on Friday, Oct. 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Small business owners and individuals can receive help applying for health insurance through the marketplace exchanges created under the ACA. Certified community health centers and navigators will assist qualified applicants. “It is essential that we take advantage of the opportunity to be in touch with our constituents about the ACA, to explain and help implement the law so people without health insurance can get the coverage they and their family need,” Johnson said. “The Affordable Care Act is not only about securing affordable, quality and accessible health care for every American, but wellness and prevention, economic security and entrepreneurship, the well-being of working families and the strength of the middle class.”

The Champion Free Press, Friday, October 18 , 2013

local news

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Early tax projections show increase in some areas, possible decline in others
by Daniel Beauregard Preliminary tax digest projections in DeKalb County show a slight increase in tax revenue countywide, with growth in incorporated areas and the possibility of a slight decline in unincorporated DeKalb. Jay Vinicki, county policy research director, said the possible decline of tax revenue in unincorporated areas is due to the fact that this year Brookhaven’s vehicle taxes will not be included. DeKalb County officials have until December to finalize their tax projections but Vinicki said this is the first year that the county has begun the process so early. “The fine tuning will happen and it probably won’t change a lot,” Vinicki said. However, he did warn that the projections are early numbers. According to a presentation on the digest presented during a DeKalb County Board of Commissioners’ budget retreat this is the first time since 2008 that property values have increased. Currently, officials estimate the county will have approximately $38 billion worth of taxable property, slightly higher than the approximately $37 billion it had last year. Although that represents a slight growth for the county, it’s still significantly less than the approximately $49.6 billion in taxable property DeKalb County had in 2008. “The cars in Brookhaven are going to take effect this year so the unincorporated digest this year will still go down even though the county may go up,” Vinicki said. Vinicki said the county’s general fund may stay flat but the police fund and fund for unincorporated areas of the county may take a slight hit due to the additional taxes collected in Brookhaven. The digest does not need to be finalized until July 2014, but Vinicki said the county will present its final projections in December.

As trial looms, prosecutors seek secret recordings of Ellis
by Daniel Beauregard With a trial expected to begin in the following weeks, prosecutors have requested hundreds of audio recordings to be used as evidence in the corruption case against suspended CEO Ellis Burrell Ellis. the county’s watershed deEllis is accused of uspartment. ing his position as CEO to The results of the special strong-arm county vendors purpose grand jury’s report into contributing to his powere only recently released litical campaign. His chargafter a drawn-out legal es stem from a 14-count battle involving prosecutors, indictment including theft, the attorneys of Ellis and his conspiracy and extortion. former campaign manager Earlier this year, Ellis was suspended by Gov. Na- Kevin Ross and Superior Court Judge Mark Anthony than Deal, who appointed Scott. Scott impaneled the District 5 DeKalb County special investigative grand Commissioner Lee May to jury in 2012. serve as interim CEO. After a year, the grand Several county vendors jury presented the report and have spoken out against requested to be dissolved. Ellis or admitted to donatHowever, attorneys for Eling to his campaign howlis and Ross argued that ever, Ellis has repeatedly stated he has “done nothing releasing the report without allowing them to review it wrong.” would be a violation of their The indictment against clients’ rights. The report Ellis is reportedly based on was eventually made public information investigators without the attorneys having found while searching his a chance to redact any inforhome in January. While his mation. home was being searched, The 80-page report deEllis testified before a spetails allegation of corruption cial purpose grand jury spanning multiple adminisimpaneled to investigate trations and departments. allegations of corruption in “We have seen decisions involving millions of dollars made with little or no information for the most venal reasons,” the report states. “In light of the huge amount of testimony heard and our review of voluminous documents and records, this special purpose grand jury is certain that numerous witnesses lied under oath as to matters related to procurement and contract manipulation, kickbacks and abuse.” Additionally, the special grand jury specifically accuses Ellis and former CEO Vernon Jones of lying under oath and providing “false testimony” while testifying about county projects and vendor procurement processes. According to court documents, District Attorney Robert James’ office has requested 28 DVDs and CDs and a flash drive, making the request total approximately more than 1,400 files. Additionally, the prosecution team has issued its 37-person witness list, which includes former Watershed Department Director Joe Basista, former county attorney Lisa Chang, former Ellis Chief of Staff Hakim Hilliard, and others named in the indictment.

DeKalb Youth Commission partners with Atlanta Food Bank
The DeKalb Youth Commission along with the Atlanta Food Bank announce a food pantry drive for DeKalb County high schools. The DeKalb Youth Commission is a leadership program designed to allow youth, from varied socioeconomic backgrounds and multicultural neighborhoods, to have a voice in their communities. This year’s goal for the group is to donate 18,000 food items collectively. Can goods can be donated to a DeKalb County high school on the attached list before Nov. 1. The high school with the most donated items will be announced on Nov. 8 with a pep rally to celebrate its efforts. Donations can be made at the following schools Mondays-Fridays, 8 a.m.3:30 p.m.: Southwest DeKalb High School, 2863 Kelley Chapel Road, Decatur; Chamblee Charter High School, 3688 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Chamblee; Cross Keys High School, 1626 N. Druid Hills Road NE, Atlanta; DeKalb Early College Academy, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain; DeKalb School of the Arts, 1192 Clarendon Avenue Arts, Avondale Estates; Miller Grove High School, 2645 DeKalb Medical Parkway, Lithonia; Martin Luther King Jr. High School, 3991 Snapfinger Road, Lithonia; Ronald E. McNair High School, 1804 Bouldercrest Road SE, Atlanta; Stephenson High School, 701 Stephenson Road, Stone Mountain; Towers High School, 3919 Brookcrest Circle, Decatur; and Tucker High School, 5036 Lavista Rd, Tucker.

Two refugee services groups merge
Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services of Atlanta (RRISA) and Refugee Family Services (RFS) have announced plans to merge the two organizations into one. The merger exploration process began in December 2012 and was made possible by a grant from the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. A legal merger agreement was signed by both boards of directors on Sept. 30. “Every day, we are inspired by the amazing individuals we serve–inspired by their determination, courage, resilience, strength, resourcefulness and, ultimately, their transformation to American citizens,” said Paedia Mixon, executive director of RRISA. “Their efforts have inspired us to examine how we can have an even greater impact.” The shared vision of RRISA and RFS is to build an organization that provides the highest quality services to clients. Leaders of both believe that “as one organization, an unequaled continuum of support and service can be offered that extends from refugees’ first arrival in the country, through their education, training, and community integration,” according to a news release. “This continuum would culminate in their becoming American citizens, strong families, and community contributors who give back to others.” “We are energized by the possibilities that lie before us, and we believe taking this bold step will exponentially increase our strength, our sustainability, and our effectiveness as we serve the needs of our clients and the Georgia community,” said Emily Pelton, executive director of RFS. RRISA is a non-profit agency whose mission is to welcome, serve and empower refugees in Georgia. RRISA helps refugees, asylees and victims of human trafficking along the path of self-sufficiency with short- and long-term services in resettlement, employment, education and youth, and immigration. RFS is a, communitybased nonprofit organization that has grown and adapted to meet the changing needs of the metro Atlanta refugee community for more than 20 years. The mission of RFS is to support the efforts of refugee women and children to achieve economic selfsufficiency in the United States by providing education and economic opportunity.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, October 18 , 2013


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Champion student:
by Andrew Cauthen “I just like to be busy,” said Kalonjee Gallimore. “I don’t like it when I don’t have anything to do.” That’s why he is in so many extracurricular activities, said Kalonjee, who was the student school board member Oct. 7 when the DeKalb County Board of Education met for its business meeting. “It will be a good experience…to see the DeKalb County board in action,” Kalonjee said before joining the school board members. “I think I have a good under-

Kalonjee Gallimore
standing of what the students Dunwoody Elementary students pose with Buzz, the Georgia Tech mascot. Photo provided think…and I think I can reflect the students well.” Kalonjee, an eighth-grader at Druid Hills Middle School, is president of school’s Student Government Association. Additionally, he is a member of the Beta Club, chess club, Future Business Leaders of America, debate team and Dunwoody Elementary Principal Jennifer Students at Dunwoody Elementary Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl Sanders read a STEM related story. had a special guest during their monthly team. During the school’s monthly STEM day, science, technology, engineering and math And he wants to swim students are engineers for a day, engaging (STEM) event. and play basketball when he in problem solving using a design process On Oct. 3, Buzz, the Georgia Tech moves to Druid Hills High that allows students to hypothesize, test mascot, was at the school early to greet School. and retest prototypes. the students as they arrived. Buzz also Kalonjee plans to be an Dunwoody Elementary parent Kevin participated in the school-wide WDES electrical or computer engiWatts helped bring Buzz to the school and broadcast during which he assisted in neer and also wants to minor organized the event. delivering the weather report and helped in business.

Georgia Tech mascot visits school’s STEM event

Decatur teacher named a Star Discovery Educator
Alison Eber, a teacher of 4/5 Academy at Fifth Avenue in City Schools of Decatur, has been named a STAR Discovery Educator by Discovery Education for her commitment to harnessing digital learning to inspire students’ curiosity and prepare them for future careers. STAR Discovery Educators are active members of the Discovery Educator Network (DEN), a global community of educators who are passionate about teaching with digital media and technology and sharing ideas and resources. As a STAR Discovery Educator, Eber has proven herself as a leader in transforming and enhancing learning in 4/5 Academy at Fifth Avenue classrooms, according to a news release by DEN. “Discovery Education and the DEN are proud to honor the hard work and dedication of Alison,” said Lance Rougeux, vice president of learning communities and instructional implementation for Discovery Education. “It is the work of passionate and committed educators like her who are engaging students through the use of digital media and technology that is making a difference across the country.” As a STAR Discovery Educator, Eber will share resources and teaching methods with fellow educators across the district, state and world to improve student engagement and achievement. STAR Discovery Educators have exclusive access to a wide range of free professional development activities provided by the DEN, which offers best practices for use of digital media and technology in the classroom and provides educators a forum for collaborating and networking online and in-person. Discovery Education is the leading provider of high quality curriculum-based digital content, professional development and assessment resources and a division of Discovery Communications whose networks include Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and SCIENCE.

Notice is hereby given in compliance with Georgia Code 22-2-109 and 32-3-5 that the Georgia Department of Transportation has approved the Location and Design of this project. The date of location approval is December 2, 2011. The purpose of this project, which is located in the City of Chamblee, DeKalb County, Georgia, is to construct approximately 1750 linear feet of new sidewalk and streetscape on the southeast side of Peachtree Road from the intersection of Pierce Drive to 5449 Peachtree Road which is across the street from Chamblee City Hall. The proposed sidewalk and streetscape will run adjacent to the Norfolk Southern Railroad line and connect to existing sidewalks at both project termini. The project will also involve narrowing the traffic lanes on Peachtree Road to 11 feet and shifting some of the traffic lanes further away from the train tracks to provide additional room for the new sidewalk and streetscape. The project is located within Land District 18, Land Lots 298 & 299 of DeKalb County. Drawings or maps or plats of the proposed project, as approved, are on file and are available for public inspection at the City of Chamblee: City of Chamblee, Georgia Gary Cornell, Development Director 5468 Peachtree Rd, Chamblee, GA, 30341 770-986-5010 Or from: Georgia Department of Transportation Office of Program Delivery Any written request or communication in reference to this project or notice should include the P. I. Number as noted at the top of this notice.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, October 18 , 2013


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Hightower Elementary Principal Oliver Lewis demonstrates an interactive table and points out the STEM work students have completed.

Sondra Owens, a technology teacher at Hightower Elementary, helps students in the school’s STEM lab. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

Hightower Elementary named state’s best STEM school
by Andrew Cauthen Every day is a STEM day at Hightower Elementary School in Doraville. “The kids love it,” said Principal Oliver Lewis about the school’s emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. “If we ever took it away, I think half of our school would leave. “They love tinkering,” Lewis said. “They love designing and they love critically thinking about things.” Hightower was named the STEM School of the Year by the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and the TAG Education Collaborative during an awards ceremony held in Savannah on Sept. 27. The school was one of four STEMcertified elementary schools nominated out of 170 applicants in eight different categories to compete in the second annual Georgia STEM Education Awards. Lewis said the recognition was “a major accomplishment” for the Title 1 school, which is in the top 5 percent of highest poverty schools in Georgia and where 98 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch. Lewis said teaching engineering to elementary students is very effective. “I think that’s the best place to start because kids have an imagination—they can take limited items and create and build things,” Lewis said. “That’s the perfect age because their curiosity sometimes leads them to great solutions that maybe have never been thought of before.” Hightower focuses on engineering by allowing students to use “their cognitive abilities, their teamwork abilities to reflect on things that will become solutions” similar to what engineers develop, Lewis said. “They take materials…to solve or create or build a solution to one of the problems they are presented with,” he said. “Last year, we as a school had at school-wide STEM effort to create water purification systems for undeveloped countries. Each one of our grade levels took an appropriate age-based assignment. They created a solution by building water purification systems to be models of what could actually be done to help these nations.” Each day at Hightower, students receive 2.5 hours of math education, including one hour of concepts and one hour of problem solving. Once a month the school has an event called Engineers for a Day. “That’s a day in which the entire school works on one concept…relative to STEM,” Lewis said. Students are also in a school that is “very well outfitted with technology,” Lewis said. The school has a STEM lab, three iPad carts, a Mac cart, webcams and two interactive tables. Lewis credits the school’s partners—including the U. S. Navy, Georgia State University, Georgia Tech, Georgia Power, National Preserve, city of Doraville, Home Depot, Good Van Slyke Architecture—with helping the school maintain a robust STEM program. Lewis said many of the students’ parents are in STEM-related jobs such as construction and landscaping. Hightower’s STEM program is a “natural next step for our students,” Lewis said. “Of course we want our students to be able to take what we provide for them …and obviously go to college.”

The Champion Free Press, Friday, October 18 , 2013

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Page 20A

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DeKalb County School Board is selling the Hooper Alexander property as-is through a competitive sealed bid process. The property is located at 3414 Memorial Drive, Decatur, Georgia 30032 and contains a 68,900 square feet school facility on approximately 8.1 acres. Sealed Bids, from Bidders, will be received by the DeKalb County Board of Education (the “Owner”) at the Sam A. Moss Service Center, 1780 Montreal Road, Tucker, Georgia 30084, until 12:00 Noon local time on Monday, November 25, 2013 for all labor, materials and services necessary for both projects. Bidding Documents may be obtained by Bidders at: All questions about this Advertisement for Bids must be directed in writing to Stephen Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer not later than Friday, November 8th, 2013 at 12:00 Noon. Contact Mr. Stephen M. Wilkins, Chief Operations Officer, Sam Moss Center, 1780 Montreal Road, Tucker, Georgia 30084.; email:; Fax 678.676.1350. Except as expressly provided in, or permitted by, the Bidding Documents, from the date of issuance of the Advertisement for Bids until final Owner action of approval of contract award, the Bidder shall not initiate any communication or discussion concerning the Project or the Bidder’s Bid or any part thereof with any employee, agent, or representative of the Owner. Any violation of this restriction may result in the rejection of the Bidder’s Bid. The Owner reserves the right to reject any or all Bids, and to waive technicalities and informalities. Site visits are scheduled for Tuesday October 29th, 2013 at 9:00 am and Tuesday November 5th, 2013 at 9:00 am. 
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.

School Property Sales

The Champion Free Press, Friday, October 18 , 2013


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The Dunwoody Lady Wildcats captured their second consecutive DeKalb County Girls’ Cross Country Championship title and fourth in the past five seasons.

Clarkston won the DeKalb County Boys’ Cross Country Championship title, ending Lakeside’s 18-year streak of DeKalb County titles.

Lakeside’s Davis Stockwell

Clarkston ends Lakeside’s 18-year reign as county cross country champs
by Marl Brock Six Clarkston Angoras runners placed in the Top 10 of the DeKalb County Varsity Cross Country Championships to end the Lakeside Vikings’ 18-year streak of DeKalb County titles with a 25-56 victory at the Druid Hills Middle School course Oct. 8. Five Angoras placed third through seventh in the race handing Clarkston its first ever DeKalb County Cross County Championship title. Lakeside sophomore Davis

Stockwell was the individual winner with a time of 16:41.19 to break Stone Mountain’s two-year streak on the medalist honors while Southwest DeKalb senior Kameron Scott was runner-up at 17:00.46. Stockwell’s time was the fastest of the season at the Druid Hills Middle course. Clarkston was led by senior Muhozi Aimable (17:13.21), junior Sahlu Gidey (17:30.97), sophomore Abbas Abbkr (17:31.44), senior Leiso Tumbo (17:32.69) and senior Hussen Sadik (17:39.85) to nab the championship. Freshman Suheib Mohamed was 10th overall for Clarkston with a time of 17:55.86 to give the Angoras six of the Top 10 finishers. Druid Hills junior Max Atkinson (17:41.38) was eighth and Redan junior Keith Terry (17:52.58) was ninth to round out the Top 10. Dunwoody senior Quinton Johnson (17:56.86), Lakeside senior Cooper Gray (17:57.41) and Lakeside juniors Dan Nelson (17:58.48) and Tyler Breeden (17:59.25) were 11th through 14th, respectively, and all broke the 18-minute time. Dunwoody was third in the team standings with 134 points followed by Cross Keys (137), Druid Hills (144), Chamblee (152), Southwest DeKalb (196), Stone Mountain (222), Redan (230), Stephenson (281), Tucker (293), Arabia Mountain (356) and Towers (389).

Dunwoody’s Alex Cameron

Dunwoody captures fourth girls’ title in five seasons
Dunwoody senior Alex Cameron set a DeKalb County record in leading the Lady Wildcats to their second consecutive DeKalb County Girls’ Cross Country Championship title and fourth in the past five years. Cameron, the 2012 Class AAAAA individual state champion, pulled away from Lakeside freshman Morgan Mihalis down the stretch of the race to become the first girl to win four consecutive DeKalb County titles. She finished in a time of 19:35.74, the fastest on the course this season on her way into the hiostory of DeKalb County cross

country. The only other runner to win four consecutive cross country titles was Lakeside’s Joe Thorne (1998-2001) in the boys’ championships. The Lady Wildcats place four other runners in the Top 10 to take the 27-34 victory over the Lakeside Lady Vikings. Sophomore Ansley Heavern (20:29.56) was third, junior Ellie Conoley (21:24.14) was fifth, freshman Callie Dill (21:46.55) was eighth and senior Jennifer Hardister (21:53.61) was 10th to help the Lady Wildcats secure their second consecutive title. Lakeside was led by Mihalis (19:38.27) in second and three others in the Top 10 to make the final tally a close one. Senior Shannon Hagopain (21:17.28) was fourth followed by freshman Hannah Price (21:36.60) in sixth and sophomore Sarah Breeden (21:38.51) in seventh. The only non-Dunwoody or Lakeside runner in the Top 10 was Tucker senior Nuba Jackson (21:50.64), whose team finished fifth overall with 152 points. Third place Druid Hills (90) was led by junior Paulette Juieng (22:01.46) while fourth place Southwest DeKalb (110) was led by a 13th place finish by sophomore Ashley Middlebrooks (22:01.81). Sixth place Redan (166) had sophomore Tanzanie Brown just miss the top 10 with a time of 21:57.67.

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, October 18 , 2013

DeKalb teams battling for playoff spots
by Carla Parker With four weeks of play left in the high school football regular season, some teams have secured a spot in the 2013 playoffs while others will have to win the next few games to get in. The lead in Region 6-AAA is on the line Oct. 18 as the Cedar Grove Saints (6-1, 3-0) host St. Pius X (5-1, 2-0) at Panthersville Stadium. St. Pius X is currently in first place in the region with Cedar Grove right behind them. If that standing remains when the season ends, St. Pius X would face the No. 4 seed in region 8-AAA, which is currently Jackson County (24, 2-1), in the first round of the playoffs. Cedar Grove would face Elbert County (4-2, 3-0), which is the No. 2 seed in region 8-AAA, in the first round. Decatur (5-2, 1-2) and Towers (4-3, 0-3) are currently outside the playoff picture as the No. 5 and No. 6 seeds, respectively, in Region 6-AAA. The two schools, which will play each other Oct. 25, would have to win all remaining scheduled games get an opportunity to play in the post season. Two key games are set in sub region A of Region 6-AAAA as four DeKalb teams that are tied for second place behind Marist (4-2, 2-0) meet in games for playoff play-in positioning. Stone Mountain (3-3, 1-1) will host Chamblee (4-2, 1-1) Oct. 18 at Avondale Stadium.
Photos by Travis Hudgons


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Cedar Grove Stone Mountain is coming off a 37-14 win over Redan while Chamblee dropped into the tie with a 14-10 loss to Columbia last weekend. Lithonia (24, 1-1) and Columbia (3-3, 1-1) will face off Oct. 19 at Avondale. Columbia is coming off a big win over Chamblee while Lithonia is coming off a loss to Marist. If Marist stays at the top of the region, it would face the No. 1 seed in subregion B of Region 6-AAAA, which is currently Carver Atlanta, for the overall No. 1 seed in Region 6-AAAA. The No. 1 seed would face the No. 4 seed from Region 8-AAAA, which is currently Madison County (33, 1-2). Three Region 6-AAAAA DeKalb teams will play to stay out in front of the playoff hunt, includ-

Marist ing region leader Tucker (6-0, 5-0) and second place Stephenson (5-1, 4-1) and Martin Luther King Jr. (5-1, 4-1). Mays (4-2, 4-1) is in a threeway tie with Stephenson and M. L. King for second place. Tucker will host Southwest DeKalb (2-4, 2-3) Oct. 18 at Adams Stadium, Stephenson will play Miller Grove (3-3, 2-3) Oct. 18 at Hallford Stadium and M. L. King will face Lakeside (1-5, 1-4) Oct. 19 to stay in the forefront of the playoff picture. Mays will face Dunwoody (1-5, 1-4) Oct. 18. If Tucker remains the No. 1 seed in the region at the end of the season it would face the No. 4 seed from Region 8-AAAAA, which is currently Heritage (4-3, 3-2), in the first round.

Photos by Travis Hudgons

Tucker Middle School

Trail to the Title begins for middle school football squads
by Mark Brock The DeKalb County middle school playoffs begin Oct. 19 with the first round of the Trail to the Title Championship series beginning at 9 a.m. at Hallford Stadium. This is the 10th year of the Trail to the Title, which began in 2004 as a reward for DeKalb County middle schools. Stephenson won the inaugural title in 2004 and has won four of the nine championships along the way. Undefeated Columbia (6-0), the Region 3 champion, is the home team in the 9 a.m. opener against first time playoff entry Champion (4-2), the Region 1 runner-up. The Columbia Eagles, which have two championship game appearances (0-2), is making its sixth consecutive appearance in the playoffs and holds a 5-5 mark in playoff action. The Eagles are one of four schools to allow less than 15 points on the season at 14 (2.3 per game) and hold four shutouts on the season. The 10:30 a.m. first-round game pits undefeated Region 4 champs Chapel Hill (6-0) against Region 2 runner-up Cedar Grove (4-2). Chapel Hill is making its second consecutive playoff appearance and fifth overall as the Panthers look to improve their playoff mark of 3-4 in 7 games. Chapel Hill also has allowed only 14 points on the season with four shutouts while averaging 37.7 (226) points offensively. Cedar Grove is making its eighth playoff appearance overall and fourth consecutive (2010-13) while hoping to improve on a 3-7 mark in playoff action. The undefeated Tucker Tigers (6-0) of Region 1 play host to the Region 3 runners-up Redan Raiders (3-3) in the third game of the day at 12 p.m. The Tigers are making their third consecutive playoff appearance, their first as a region champion, and are also looking for their first playoff victory. The Tigers allowed just 12 points this season; all in a 14-12 win over Stephenson in the season opener, and have strung together five consecutive shutout victories. The Tigers are also averaging a league high 59.3 points per game on offense. Redan reeled off three consecutive Region 3 victories in the middle of the season to secure the program’s first ever playoff berth, allowing just 15 points total in the three victories. Region 2 champion Stephenson (5-1) hosts Region 4 runner-up Miller Grove (5-1) in the final first round game at 1:30 p.m. in a matchup of two teams that hold seven of the nine Trail to the Title championship trophies between them. The four-time champion Jaguars are making their seventh consecutive playoff appearance and ninth overall and hold 12-4 record in 16 playoff games. Stephenson has played in the last two championship games winning in 2011 and losing to Lithonia in 2012. The Jaguars have three shutouts on the season and have won five consecutive games following the season opening 14-12 loss to Tucker. Miller Grove, a three-time champion, is making an eighth consecutive appearance in the playoffs and is 8-4 overall in 12 playoff games. The Wolverines are allowing just 2.3 points per game on defense (14 total allowed) with five shutouts, including the final three games of the regular season and all 14 points allowed coming in a 14-8 loss to Region 4 champ Chapel Hill.

Cedar Grove


The Champion Free Press, Friday, October 18 , 2013


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Photos by Travis Hudgons

Stephenson running back Dallas Rivers receives the handoff from quarterback Giovonni Weekley.

Tucker wide receiver Nekyle Lundie reaches out to catch the ball over Stephenson defensive back Jared Tucker.

Tucker running back Elijah Sullivan is tackled by Stephenson defensive backs Jared Tucker and Ronald Peterkin.

Tucker head coach Bryan Lamar congratulates his players after a play.

Tucker quarterback Joseph Farrar is sacked by defensive linemen Braxton Butler and Daniel Durden.

Tucker defeats Stephenson in final seconds
by Carla Parker With 21 seconds left on the game clock, it looked like the No. 1 ranked Tucker Tigers were going to suffer their first loss of the season after the No. 2 ranked Stephenson Jaguars took a 2824 lead. But a short kick by the Jaguars on the ensuing kickoff gave the Tigers the ball at Stephenson’s 35-yard line and a chance to retake the lead. On the following play, Tucker quarterback Joseph Farrar lobbed a pass toward the end zone that was caught by wide receiver Nekyle Lundie to give the Tigers a 31-28 lead with 13 seconds left and the win. The Tucker score was the fifth lead change in the fourth quarter of an exciting Region 6-AAAAA matchup between Tucker (6-0, 5-0) and Stephenson (5-1, 4-1) at Hallford Stadium Oct. 11. The win, along with a Mays’ loss to Arabia Mountain Oct. 12, leaves the Tigers alone atop the Region 6-AAAAA standings at 5-0. Stephenson, which fell two spots in the polls to No. 4, is in a three-way tie for second with Mays and Martin Luther King Jr. with 4-1 records. When Stephenson quarterback Giovanni Weekley connected with tight end Ari Werts for what was the apparent winning touchdown with 21 seconds left in the game, Tucker head coach Bryan Lamar told his team not to give up. “It’s one of those things where you tell them to keep playing,” Lamar said after the game. Tight end Detrick Dukes “came in the huddle and said ‘guys, keep playing.’” Lundie, who had two touchdowns in the game, said he knew the ball was coming to him on that play. “At first I told the quarterback to throw [the ball] to me,” he said. “It felt good [scoring the touchdown]. I’ve been asking Coach for the ball lately.” The game was a defensive battle for the first two quarters of the game. Tucker’s defense bested the Stephenson defense with six total takeaways. The first turnover came on Stephenson’s opening drive with Tucker defensive back Davanta Reynolds intercepting quarterback Dewann Ford. The biggest and surprising interception came in the second quarter when 6-foot-3, 310-pound defensive lineman Deandre Bailey picked off Ford. The first score of the game came within the final two minutes of the first half when Tucker’s Yaquis Shelley returned a 54-yard punt for a 7-0 lead. Stephenson answered with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Weekly to Werts to tie the game at 7 at halftime. Tucker went up 14-7 in the third quarter on a 34-yard touchdown pass from Farrar to Lundie. Tucker’s defense got its third takeaway of the game following the touchdown when Shelley picked off Weekley. After a three-and-out by the Tucker offense, Stephenson responded with a 45-yard touchdown run by former Tucker running back Dallas Rivers to tie the game at 14. Kicker Eric Webber put the Tigers up again at 17-14 with a 31-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. The Jaguars grabbed their first lead of the game on a 2-yard touchdown run by Rivers
See Tucker on Page 24A

The Champion Free Press, Friday, October 18 , 2013


Page 24A

Tucker Continued From Page 23A
for a 21-17 lead. The Tigers regained the lead on a 12-yard fumble return by Maurice Williams, the Tigers fourth takeaway of the game, to go up 24-21. Tucker defensive back Stephen Reynolds grabbed the last two interceptions of the game, including intercepting Weekley on the final play of the game to seal the victory. Despite the big win, Lamar said the team has some things it needs to work on to win the region. “We have a lot to play for and a lot to focus on,” he said.

Week 8 Results
Tucker wide receiver Nekyle Lundie catches a pass and Tucker’s Yaquis Shelley runs towards the end zone on a punt runs to the end zone in the third quarter. return.

Friday, Oct. 11 Marist (4-2) 35, Lithonia (2-4) 6 Cedar Grove (6-1) 48, McNair (1-5) 21 Columbia (3-3) 14, Chamblee (4-2) 10 Johnson-Gainesville (2-5) 31, Clarkston (1-5-1) 21 Lakeview Academy (1-5) 42, Cross Keys (1-6) 0 Newton Co. (3-3) 25, Druid Hills (2-4) 7 M.L. King (5-1) 43, Dunwoody (1-5) 21 Woodward (4-2) 43, Towers (4-3) 7 Decatur (5-2) 31, Blessed Trinity (3-3) 28 (OT)
Photos by Travis Hudgons

Saturday, Oct. 12 Arabia Mountain (3-3) 32, Mays (4-2) 29 Miller Grove (3-3) 33, Lakeside (1-5) 20 Stone Mountain (3-3) 37, Redan (0-6) 14 SW DeKalb (2-4) 37, North Atlanta (0-6) 13 Open : St. Pius X (5-1)

Stephenson tight end Ari Werts scores a touchdown over Tucker defensive back Davanta Reynolds.

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