Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.
PROSECUTING HUMAN TRAFFICKERS POSES PROBLEMS
FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2014 • VOL. 16, NO. 43 • FREE
• A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS •
Business ........................18A Classified.......................20A Education .............. 16-17A Sports...................... 21-23A
NEW FIRE CHIEF IS FROM FULTON
JAIL VISITS GET TECH UPDATE
Ellis seeks end of DA’s ‘witch hunt’; DA responds
by Andrew Cauthen email@example.com
DeKalb County natives Robert and Jennifer Mason opened City Gate Dance Training School, a classical ballet training school in Avondale Estates. The school trains students ages 10 to 18 to become professional dancers.
Couple opens dance school in Avondale Estates
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org Metro Atlanta is filled with talented dancers and many of them move to New York City to join a dance company to expand their careers. Robert and Jennifer Mason wanted to change that. The Masons, who are experienced dancers and DeKalb County natives, founded City Gate Dance Theater Company in January 2011. The Masons were living in New York City in 2010 when they decided to start their own dance company. “When we moved to New York we wanted to start the company there but there were so many companies in New York,” Robert said. “So, we [decided] that we were going to come back to Atlanta and start it there. “We love Atlanta, we love the South and we wanted to bring a higher caliber of training and dancing here just like New York has,” said Jennifer, who is a 2002 graduate of the DeKalb School of the Arts. The two dancers have trained at some of the top programs in the country, including the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Atlanta Ballet. Jennifer, 29, started dancing at age 9 while she was a student at Hooper Alexander Elementary School, which is now DeKalb Elementary
Robert (pictured) and his wife Jennifer have trained at some of the top dance programs in the country, including the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Atlanta Ballet. They teach the same techniques they have learned to young ballet dancers. Photos by Carla Parker
uspended DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis wants the witch hunt against him to end. Attorneys for Ellis, who was indicted last year on corruption charges, filed motions Jan. 9 “to disqualify the District Attorney’s Office” and to dismiss the case they say is “based upon selective prosecution.” DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James is on “an unrestrained witch hunt” in the case against Ellis, according to the motion. “It is clear that DeKalb County is being dominated by a prosecutor on an unrestrained witch hunt, the goal of which has been Mr. Ellis’ permanent removal from office, and who, in his zeal to destroy CEO Ellis, has committed criminal acts,” the motion states. Ellis was suspended June 2013 by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal after a 15-count indictment, including 14 felonies, was handed down by a grand jury. The indictment includes four counts of criminal attempt to commit theft by extortion; three counts of theft by taking; two counts of criminal attempt to commit false statements and writings; three counts of coercion of other employees to give anything of value for political purposes; two counts of conspiracy in restraint of free and open competition; and conspiracy to defraud a political subdivision. The indictment came nearly six months after Ellis’ home and office were searched by investigators from the DA’s Office as part of a special grand jury investigation into possible corruption at the county’s watershed department. If the case is not dismissed, Ellis’ attorneys want the case referred to the Georgia Attorney General’s Office for appointment of a special prosecutor. The motion also requests the suppression of “any and all evidence obtained by the DA’s Office and the referral of the allegations to
See Dance on page 15A
See Witch Hunt on page 15A
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2014
Seven arrested in Breeze Card scheme, make court appearance
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com MARTA Police arrested seven suspects in connection with an alleged illegal Breeze card hacking scheme Dec. 27. The suspects appeared in DeKalb County magistrate court Jan. 10. According to MARTA officials, “computer hackers” bypassed the Breeze card security features to make counterfeit cards. Officials said the personal information of legitimate Breeze card holders was not compromised. MARTA Police Chief Wanda Dunham said the suspects have been charged with theft, fraud and violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The suspects were arrested and later held in DeKalb County Jail. “We take these crimes very seriously and will continue to investigate each and every case thoroughly,” Dunham said. “We are working closely with the DeKalb District Attorney’s office and will seek to ensure that those involved are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” MARTA says the thieves spent $1 to buy the Breeze card and then reprogrammed the data on it to turn it into a 30-day pass. The suspects then allegedly sold the cards to riders for $40 rather than the $96 the cards usually cost. Since Dec. 10, police have arrested Pierre Metteaux, 22; Jedadia Byrd, 34; Melvin Summers, 45; Christina Carney, 44; Stephanie Finger, 26; Brenda Small, 42 and 33-year-old Michael Dallas. Investigators said as they learn more about the group’s distribution circle more arrests may follow.
Seven alleged computer hackers appeared in court Jan. 10 to face allegations they ran a fraudulent MARTA Breeze card scheme. Photo by Travis Hudgons
“I HAVE A __________”
How you fill in the blank is up to you. Because Dr. King had a dream, our options are infinite. There’s no greater testament to his life and work, than using this holiday to pursue them. Please visit our Facebook page to view pictures of community service projects posted by Georgia Power, or to upload your own.
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THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2014
Accountant sentenced for money laundering
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org An accountant with an office in south DeKalb was sentenced to six years in federal prison for his connection to a national drug trafficking and money laundering organization. Matthew Ware, 57, of Tucker was convicted after a jury trial in January 2013 on one count of money laundering conspiracy. On Oct. 29, U.S. District Judge Richard W. Story sentenced him to six years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Ware, owner of Padgett’s Business Services in Lithonia, was the accountant of Jiles and Shannon Johnson, who owned KC Pit BBQ Restaurant in Sandy Springs. The Johnsons used their barbecue restaurant to cover up their illegal activity. Ware was convicted of accepting bags of cash in excess of $10,000 from Jiles Johnson, according to the U.S. District Attorney’s office. Ware provided the cash to some of his accounting firm’s clients and they repaid him with checks made payable to Johnson and his businesses. Ware and the Johnsons were among 14 people from metro Atlanta, Pennsylvania and California who were connected to the drug trafficking and money laundering organization and were sentenced to federal prison rant income, according to the U.S. District Attorney’s office. Walker was a Philadelphia cocaine distributor with access to street-level dealers, including his brother and others. Johnson also supplied cocaine to Kansas City and Washington D. C., according to the U. S. Attorney’s Office As Johnson and Walker generated cash from cocaine sales, they purchased real estate in Georgia through Linda Tong, a local real estate broker. Tong made “structured” deposits of more than $500,000 into bank accounts. According to the U.S. District Attorney’s office, “structuring” occurs when a person breaks down more than $10,000 in cash into smaller deposits under $10,000 to avoid the filing of a Currency Transaction Report (CTR) by a financial institution. The Johnsons invested more than $3 million in real estate holdings, including an 80-acre motorcycle racetrack in Twiggs County, according to the U. S. District Attorney’s office. Ware accepted the bags of cash from Johnson and then provided the cash to some of his clients. When the cash volume increased, Ware connected Johnson to another client, financial planner Jacques Degaule, to assist with the laundering. Degaule traveled to banks in Georgia, Missouri, Pennsylvania and New Jersey where he deposited more than $7 million. No Internal Revenue Service 8300 Forms were filed, which are required when a trade or business receives cash more than $10,000, according to the U. S. District Attorney’s office. The Johnsons used the funds to underwrite their investments and their restaurant’s operations. Evan Francis, a local car broker, coordinated the delivery of loads of cocaine, solicited customers and structurally deposited cash, according to the U. S. District Attorney’s office. Schawn Lemon Wortham laundered Walker’s funds while he remained incarcerated. The cocaine originated from Mexico and was supplied from California by Jose Gastelum and Lorenzo Vargas, according to the U. S. District Attorney’s office. When Johnson experienced financial losses, Gastelum and Vargas collateralized his drug debt on behalf of the source of supply by taking ownership interests in his restaurant and racetrack. Ware assisted them in the process. The organization broke down in 2010 when Johnson and two associates attempted to deliver 35 kilograms of cocaine to Philadelphia. The cocaine was intercepted by law enforcement, which ultimately led to the organization’s dismantlement. Harry S. Sommers, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division, said all of the defendants in the case were deserving of the sentences handed down. “Several of these individuals masked themselves as legitimate businessmen, while everyone lined their pockets with excessive profits gained from drug trafficking,” Sommers said. “These sentences should serve as a clear reminder to those business operators who facilitate fraud and money laundering schemes that while you think you may be flying under the radar, you are not. It’s just a matter of time before you get caught and brought to justice. I express gratitude to the law enforcement partners who helped make this case a success.” Ware was an active community leader in south DeKalb. He was president of the 100 Black Men of DeKalb County, a mentoring organization for youth that he headed for two years. He was also the organization’s treasurer. According to his accountant firm’s website, he was the vice chairman and chairman of the board of directors of the Georgia Lottery from 2000 to 2005. He is married to E. Noreen Banks-Ware, an attorney and special assistant administrative law judge and they have two children, according to the website.
terms ranging from two to 15 years. All the defendants entered guilty pleas except for Ware. “Businesses and professionals who use legitimate organizations to filter laundered drug proceeds denigrate legitimate earnings while destroying the jobs of those who work in those businesses,” said U. S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “Illegal drugs lure many into that lifestyle with offers of big money, easily made. In the end, what really happens is lives are destroyed, businesses close, and the dealers go to jail. We will continue working to remove harmful drugs from our streets.” In 2003, Jiles Johnson, who was also a commercial truck driver, began driving kilograms of cocaine from California to Philadelphia on behalf of Mark Walker to supplement his restau-
THE CHAmPIoN FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2014
ONE MAN’S OPINIoN
An American tale
their religious beliefs and practices, however unlike some of their more extremist brethren, the Ismaili Muslims are primarily pacifists who believe strongly in building and supporting the communities in which they live. The global leader of the Ismaili faith is the Aga Khan, the 49th Imam of the Ismailis, and one of the world’s most benevolent and wealthiest philanthropists. Many of these Ismailis arrived in our nation penniless decades ago. Some even arrived here with debts to repay. Much like their Irish predecessors, they were not at all afraid of hard work, and followed that well trod path to establishing their own families, businesses and the American dream. And here in Atlanta, nearly a century after my great-grandfather’s arrival stateside, another set of modest grocers have set up shop. Nearly 1,000 of these small family-owned and operated convenience stores formed the Atlanta Retailers’ Association (ARA) in 1995. The ARA was created as a nonprofit trade association of Ismaili grocers, convenience store owners and small businesses to expand their negotiating and buying power as well as more effectively grow their individual enterprises. These entrepreneurs employ several thousand, pay millions in sales, income and property taxes and are contributing members to our community and society. Chances are increasingly high, if you enter an independent gas station or convenience store not owned by QuikTrip or RaceTrac, that store is managed, owned or operated by a member of the ARA. These immigrants are smoothly assimilating into American life and society, with their children in public schools and increasingly our colleges and universities, as the fastest growing percentage of their population are in late adolescence. Though deeply tied to their Muslim faith, these Ismailis are also very charitably active and volunteerism runs deep to their core. As a people they are focused on building a community of tolerance and pluralism as well as building bridges to others as our world becomes an increasingly smaller place. Many of us who are much less recently “American” could learn a thing or two. Last year, while I was seated near the front row of the ARA annual meeting at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, an enthralled audience of 1,700 listened and watched the impassioned performance of our national anthem by young Nida Moledina, whose parents are also ARA members. Ms. Moledina’s stirring a cappella rendition of our anthem brought tears to a few eyes, and beaming smiles to the sea of faces across the banquet hall, from table to table now filled with naturalized and native born Americans and I’m almost certain, well above me, I could feel Grandpa Kenney smiling down too. 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@ earthlink.net.
“The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free, is the amount of security enjoyed by its minorities.”—Sir John Dalberg Acton (1834-1902), an English Catholic historian, politician and writer. As we start a New Year, a new Congress and new session of our Georgia General Assembly, it’s important to remember that not all of our friends, nor all of our enemies look exactly like we do. I offer this story in hopes of strengthening those bonds that make us all uniquely American. I never met my paternal greatgrandfather Tom Kenney, I only know his story. Young Tom Kenney left his family in the challenged Ireland of the early 1900s, stowed away on a ship, and made his way to Ellis Island, making his home in upstate New York. Eventually, Grandpa Kenney opened a small grocery store, later becoming a pillar of his adopted community. The first identifiable wave of Irish migration to the United States predates the birth of our nation in 1729. By the Civil War, the Irish had become one of the country’s largest and most recognizable minority groups. American Irish were most often initially laborers building the infrastructure, transportation and skyscrapers of our great cities, including Boston, Chicago and New York. Irish Americans later became miners, railroad men and farmers—though more of the latter in the South, where our first wave of Irish immigrants were dairymen. However as late as the Industrial Revolution, America’s Irish were treated as an uneducated underclass, often condemned to lives of poverty. Over time, other waves of immigration followed from all over the globe, seeking America’s land of hope and opportunity. Among those more recent are throngs of Muslims and Hindus fleeing the war-torn Middle East, as well as neighboring India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and parts of Africa. In DeKalb County, and north Georgia, one of those larger resettled populations is Ismaili Muslims, a sub-sect of the Shia Muslim faith. The Ismaili are a close knit community, deeply tied to
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2014
From nurses and students, a new assault on inequality
Pay ratios may soon become a staple of the debate over our growing income gap.
by Sam Pizzigati From the White House to the Vatican, everyone these days seems to be talking about income inequality. But our politics hasn’t kept up. Concrete proposals that could actually narrow the gap between the rich and the rest of us haven’t yet moved onto our public policy center stage. That could change in 2014. We saw the first rumblings of that change this past fall in Switzerland, where young activists ran a spirited referendum campaign to cap Swiss CEO pay at 12 times worker wages. This 1:12 pay cap was running even in the polls until a corporate ad blitz sent the measure down to defeat late in November. That setback hasn’t doused interest in pay ratios. In Germany, France and Spain, activists are now working on their own versions of pay-ratio caps, and the ratio spirit has even spread to the United States, home to the world’s most generous CEO paychecks. Major U.S. execs now average more than 350 times the pay of America’s rank-and-file workers. How high does that CEO-worker pay gap go at individual corporations? We’ll soon know. The federal Securities and Exchange Commission will probably release new regulations soon that require America’s top corporations to annually reveal the ratio between their CEO and median worker compensation. Activists aren’t waiting for these new pay ratio numbers to start emerging. They’re already mobilizing to build compensation ratios into the fabric of America’s economic life. In Massachusetts, nurses have collected more than 100,000 signatures for an initiative that would levy fines against any hospital in the state, profit or nonprofit, that compensates its CEO more than 100 times the hospital’s lowest-paid worker. State lawmakers now have until May to advance the nurses’ plan. If they don’t, nurses say they’ll collect the additional 11,000 signatures necessary to get their ratio plan on this November’s statewide ballot. Similar ratio organizing has also hit another bastion of America’s growing inequality: college campuses. Compensation for academe’s top executives has been riding up a steep escalator over recent years, at the same time pay for faculty and staff has struggled just to keep pace with inflation. Students on these campuses, meanwhile, are graduating into ever greater debt, and all these dynamics combined may help make the nation’s colleges the coming year’s most heated pay ratio battleground. At St. Mary’s College, a prestigefforts.” ious liberal arts campus in southern And those activists appear to be Maryland, the pay-ratio battle has succeeding on that score. Students already begun. on other campuses have already Students at the public college have made contact with them. been organizing for pay justice for Those contacts will probably more than a decade now. Between multiply in the year ahead. The 2002 and 2006, their campaign for Chronicle for Higher Education a campus-wide living wage boosted recently reported that 42 private colthe lowest annual pay for school em- lege presidents took home more than ployees from $15,700 to $24,500. $1 million in 2011, the last year with But inflation has eroded that data. minimum wage. Pay for top college Two of these execs made more administrators, by contrast, has inthan $3 million, a take-home almost creased. Their pay even rose during 200 times the pay of a minimumwhat was supposed to be a statewide wage worker. wage freeze. This past September, students OtherWords columnist Sam Pizand allied faculty and staff formally zigati, an Institute for Policy Studies unveiled a response to this newly associate fellow, edits the inequality widening gap: a proposal that would weekly Too Much. His latest book is set their college’s lowest pay at 130 The Rich Don’t Always Win: The Forpercent the official poverty level for gotten Triumph over Plutocracy that a family of four and limit the college Created the American Middle Class. president’s pay to 10 times that lowOtherWords.org est pay. This 1:10 ratio proposal will soon be going before the St. Mary’s student government and faculty and staff senates. The next goal after that: approval from the college’s board of trustees. St. Mary’s activists have a broader goal as well. They’re hoping, as St. Mary’s emerita professor of psychology Laraine Glidden explained, to “not only address the wage inequity on our campus, Let Us Know What You Think! THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS encourages opinions but also inspire others to similar
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THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2014
Champion of the Week
Older people in DeKalb County who have trouble getting to their medical appointments don’t need to worry; Paul McKee will get them there. McKee is a volunteer with I Care, a volunteer program designed to provide transportation and companionship for senior citizens in DeKalb County. Although it was founded at the initiation of church workers, I Care is for clients of all faiths. A notice in a church bulletin is how McKee, who says he volunteers for a number of organizations in his community, became involved. He has volunteered with I Care since it was founded in 1997, prompted by studies that show transportation as a top need for senior citizens. “It does me a world of good,” commented McKee, a 76-year-old retiree. “I get to meet wonderful people.” The program is designed to enhance and promote the quality of life, independence and dignity of those served. Services are available to senior citizens who need more assistance than public transportation can provide. Although the organization serves DeKalb residents, drivers will take clients to appointments in neighboring counties. “We get a lot of clients who need to go to Grady,” McKee said. McKee drives at least once a week and tells his clients not to worry how long their appointments will take because he’s single and has no family to rush home to. “I had a lady tell me she thought her doctor visit would be quick—
From left, DeKalb County Interim CEO Lee May welcomed new fire chief Darnell Fullum, as Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton looks on. Fullum will start within the next 30 days. Photo by Daniel Beauregard
Fullum is new fire chief
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com DeKalb County Interim CEO Lee May said Darnell Fullum’s 26 years with Fulton County Fire and Rescue Department was a deciding factor in his decision to appoint Fullum as the new chief Jan. 13. “He came through the ranks, literally holding just about every leadership position possible. His resume speaks for itself,” May said of Fullum. The county has been searching for a new fire and rescue chief since Eddie O’Brien retired in August 2013. May said there were 110 applicants that were then narrowed down to two finalists. Although the Board of Commissioners doesn’t have a say in who he hires, May said he wanted to be transparent throughout the process and include commissioners. “I thought it was important to include them in part of that process because they do approve the fire department’s budget. I wanted to make sure they had confidence in the leadership of that department as they are deliberating over the millions of dollars that we invest in our fire department,” May said. Fullum, who will begin within the next 30 days, said he looks forward to working with May and commissioners to serve the county. “To the firefighters, the men and women of the DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department, I’m honored to join your ranks,” Fullum said. “I know that you have a great fire and rescue department. I’ve admired it from afar and I know that you’re one of the premier fire departments in the region, if not the nation, and I look forward to meeting each and every one of you. We’re going to do great things together.” May said it is rare to find someone as loyal to one department as Fullum has been to Fulton County. “It is a rare thing to see someone who remains with one organization for 20 plus years,” May said. “Chief Fullum’s resume for me really spoke volumes. He is a good example of really coming up through the ranks in a department, taking on leadership opportunities at every opportunity that he could.” Sharon Barnes Sutton, presiding officer of the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners, said she is confident in the selection of Fullum. “I can assure him that he will get all the cooperation and support that he needs to help make our fire department even better. We already know we’ve got the best but we’re going to do better than we’ve done before and that’s because we’re all working together for DeKalb County,” Barnes Sutton said.
Man in custody for grabbing women’s buttocks at Target
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org A man has been arrested for grabbing women’s buttocks at a Dunwoody Target store. According to police, on Jan. 2, between noon and 3 p.m., Target security workers were alerted to a man following women around the store, located at 100 Perimeter Center Place. Police said the suspect used his open palm to make contact with the victims’ buttocks. The man was described as a tall, Black man with a slim build who was wearing blue jeans and a darkcolored, hooded sweatshirt, according to police. One victim reported the incident and police later identified and arrested the suspect. The police department has not released the suspect’s name because investigators believe there could be additional victims, according to Dunwoody public information officer Tim Fecht. “We have a subject in custody but we’re not releasing any photos, information or video in order to preserve the integrity of our victim pool,” Fecht said. “We will release more information as the investigation continues.” Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Detective W. Blake Yeargin with the Dunwoody Police Department at (678) 382-6916 or via email at william.yeargin@dunwoodyga. gov.
about 30 minutes. It turned out we were there from 8 a.m. until about 7 p.m.,” he recalled. Every client’s story is a lesson, McKee said. “That client thought her doctor’s visit would be routine, but it turned out to be more complicated. You never know when you’ll wake up thinking everything is fine and before the sun sets everything has changed.” Recalling another client whom he said has now “gone on to glory,” McKee said, “Her name was Norma, and I’ll never forget Norma. She had all sorts of health problems, but she was always cheerful and always had a good attitude. It was a joy to be around her. She never knew how much she helped me. When I’m tempted to complain, I think about Norma. “What I like about I Care is that it makes it very easy for our clients. No one has to prove their income. If they need to get to a health care appointment, all they have to do is call us,” McKee said.
If you would like to nominate someone to be considered as a future Champion of the Week, please contact Kathy Mitchell at email@example.com or at (404) 373-7779, ext. 104.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2014
Library offers free financial advice The Decatur Library, located at 215 Sycamore Street in Decatur, will host a consumer education clinic Jan. 21, from 5:30-7 p.m. The event is hosted by the DeKalb Volunteer Lawyers Foundation and aims to help those struggling with debt or involved in legal disputes. Members of the foundation will discuss information regarding debt cases in DeKalb County and facilitate one-on-one consultations. Attendees are encouraged to bring all documents related to their cases. For more information visit www.dekalblibrary. org or call (404) 370-3070. DeKalb employees to honor King legacy DeKalb County will present its annual MLK Celebration program, “Celebrating Life, Freedom and Diversity,” Friday, Jan. 17, at 11:30 a.m. in the Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur. This year Isaac N. Farris Jr. will deliver the keynote address. In 1996, Farris, the nephew of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was appointed chief operating officer of The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center), and in 2005 he was appointed president and CEO of The King Center and served in that capacity until March 2010. Farris currently serves as senior fellow of The King Center where he continues to write, research and lecture on the life, philosophy and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. The 2014 tribute marks the 30th consecutive year DeKalb will host the employee-planned event honoring the life and legacy of Dr. King. The event is free and open to the public. Class on journaling offered Simone Walker will present “Introduction to Journaling” at the Decatur Library Jan. 18, noon-1 p.m. The class is for adults 18 and older. “If you have ever wanted to try journaling, this program will ease you into the process. “Introduction to Journaling” will explore how writing about your thoughts and life experiences can provide emotional and spiritual benefits,” according to the library. The class is limited to 15 participants. The Decatur Library is located at 215 Sycamore Street, Decatur. For more information, call (404) 370-3070.
Emory free film series explores French cinema Emory Cinematheque, a free weekly series of 35mm film screenings, returns Wednesday, Jan. 22, at 7:30 p.m. with the 1937 war film Le Grande Illusion, directed by Jean Renoir. The series’ theme for the spring 2014 semester is “Global French Cinema.” Curated by Charlie Michael, an assistant professor in Emory’s Department of French and Italian, “Global French Cinema” explores the global current that permeates the history of French film and is composed of a mix of canonical examples of French cinema and contemporary titles with specifically “global” themes and influences. “The idea I had for the series [and accompanying Emory College class] is to discuss the ways in which French cinema–so often conceived as a ‘national’ history of directors and art movements –has actually had global elements for its entire history,” Michael said. The series includes: • Jan. 22—La Grande Illusion / Grand Illusion (Jean Renoir, 1937) • Jan. 29—Les enfants du paradis / Children of Paradise (Marcel Carné, 1945) • Feb. 5—Pierrot le fou (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965) • Feb. 12—La noire de… / Black Girl (Ousmane Sembene, 1966), with Borom Sarret (Sembene, 1964) • Feb. 19—Day for Night / La nuit américaine (François Truffaut, 1973) • Feb. 26—Mauvais Sang (Leos Carax, 1986) • Mar. 19—Irma Vep (Olivier Assayas, 1996) • Mar. 26—La graine et le mulet / The Secret of the Grain (Abdellatif Kechiche, 2007) • April 9—Les glaneurs et la glaneuse (Agnès Varda, 2001) • April 16—Incendies (Denis Villeneuve, 2010) • April 23—OSS 117: Caire, le nid d’espions / OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (Michel Hazanavicius, 2006) The screenings take place on Emory’s campus in White Hall 205 and are free and open to the public.
tance is available. A licensed health care navigator from Oakhurst Medical Center will help people find appropriate coverage. Navigators can determine if people qualify for private insurance, Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or Medicare. Persons who are eligible for health insurance from their employers must bring specific information to the navigators and should call Oakhurst Medical Center at (404) 298-8998, ext. 379 for details. This Affordable Care Act event is sponsored by DeKalb County Commissioner Kathie Gannon and state Rep. Karla Drenner.
Exhibits opening at ART Station ART Station center for the arts in the village of Stone Mountain, opens two exhibits Jan. 25: a juried members’ show in the upstairs gallery continuing through March 2. There will be an opening reception for the artists Jan. 25, 7-9:30 p.m. Other galleries in town will also be open that evening for an “Art Stroll.” Guests are invited to visit all of them free of charge. The event features light refreshments, music and door prizes. The upstairs gallery showcases the “Winter members” exhibit, juried by artist and scholar Fahamu Pecou. Almost 50 artists participated in this exhibit, which includes painting, photography and sculpture. ART Station is located at 5384 Manor Drive in Stone Mountain. Library to offer meal-planning class The Stone Mountain-Sue Kellogg Library will host Tawanaca Davenport Jan. 25, noon-1 p.m., as she presents “Creating Something Out of Nothing.” “Learn to prepare quick, efficient meals that stretch what you already have in your kitchen,” states the library in its description of the program. The Stone Mountain-Sue Kellogg Library is located at 952 Leon Street, Stone Mountain. For more information, call (770) 413-2020. Homeownership event scheduled Housing counselors will be on hand at an event designed to connect current and future homeowners with experts. “Homeownership is critical in improving lives, creating jobs and strengthening communities,” states an announcement about the event. “We need to become a community of voices where we can make a difference to preserve, protect and defend the value of our communities.” Topics to be discussed during the breakout sessions include establishing and repairing credit; bankruptcy; the cost of home ownership; loan refinancing and modification; down payment assistance; and foreclosure prevention. The moderator will be Sherry Jackson Gill of Century 21 Intown. The free event will be Tuesday, Jan. 21, 6:308:30 p.m., at the Mainstreet Community Clubhouse, 5001 Mainstreet Park Drive, Stone Mountain. Check-in will begin at 6 p.m. To register send an email to classeswithcathy@ gmail.com or by phone at (404) 550-0775.
MLK Jr. Parade scheduled DeKalb NAACP Branch will sponsor its 12th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade and Rally on Monday, Jan. 20. The parade and rally grand marshals will be Dr. William E. Flippin Sr., senior pastor at Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church, and DeKalb County School Superintendent Mike Thurmond. The parade will start at 12:30 p.m. in the parking lot of Green Pastures Christian Ministries Inc., located at 5455 Flat Shoals Parkway, Decatur. The rally will begin immediately after the parade, which ends at approximately 2:30 p.m. in the MLK Jr. High School’s auditorium, located at 3991 Snapfinger Road, Lithonia. Those wishing to participate in the parade can register by Saturday, Jan. 18, by contacting Sarah Copelin-Wood via email at naacpdek@comcast. net.
Health care navigators to provide enrollment assistance during event Residents of Scottdale and others can meet with health care navigators for assistance with enrolling in insurance under the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). Navigators will be available Tuesday, Jan. 21, 6-8:30 p.m. at the Robert Shaw Theme School, 385 Glendale Road. The ACA, also called Obamacare, requires that most people have health insurance in 2014. New programs are available to help uninsured people find health coverage and financial assis-
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2014
Residents: Lee May can’t be commissioner and interim CEO
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org Some south DeKalb residents want their county commissioner replaced. Jason Lary, president of the Stonecrest City Alliance, hand delivered a letter Jan. 9 to Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal calling for a special election to replace Lee May on the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners. May has been serving as interim DeKalb CEO since July 2013 after the governor appointed him to the position following the indictment and suspension of DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis. Ellis is suspended until the outcome of his trial or until his term ends in 2016. “We can’t wait for that. It can’t be incumbent upon the people to wait and see what happens with the elected officials,” Lary said. “My first duty is to the folks in this corridor and we’re not represented.” Lary said that since May has been serving as interim county CEO, District 5 has not been represented “at all.’ “That was Lee May’s District 5,” Lary said. “He’s now interim [county] CEO. There’s
Interim CEO Lee May attends a Jan. 14 Board of Commissioners meeting, but does not sit in his commissioner’s seat. Photos by Daniel Beauregard
no way he’s covering them both. There’s no way.” In a statement, Edmond Richardson, May’s senior advisor, said, “Commissioner Lee May continues his representation and advocacy for his neighbors in District 5 as he faithfully fulfills the governor’s temporary appointment as interim CEO. “During this interim period, the District 5 office remains open for business and staffed during normal business hours to handle constituent issues, as always,” Richardson stated. “Commissioner May remains humbled and honored that the governor of Georgia selected him to manage the operations of Georgia’s third largest county until the court case concludes.” Lary’s letter, written on be-
half of the Stonecrest City Alliance, was delivered the same day that Lary presented the case for a city of Stonecrest to state legislators. A study by the Carl Vinson Institute determined that the proposed city, with a $15 million annual shortfall, would not be feasible. Lary said District 5’s lack of representation is problematic. “There’s nobody focusing on economic development,” Lary said. “There’s no one focusing on helping people get jobs. There’s nobody focusing on code enforcement. That’s why our home values are the way they are, thus driving a cityhood possibility into oblivion.” Lary said he is not blaming the area’s plight on May.
“Any area has to have proper representation to grow and thrive,” Lary said. “You can’t do that with interim [leaders who say], ‘Let me cover this while I cover the CEO’s seat.’” Lary said the residents of District 5 need a special election to “pick somebody who’s going to concentrate and focus on getting us out of this rut.” Lithonia Mayor Deborah Jackson said her city has continued to have a working relationship with the county, despite the temporary appointment of May. “It has been a little interesting trying to figure out, “do I make an appointment with him as the CEO or as the commissioner?” she said. “Keeping the county in
a state of limbo hasn’t been particularly helpful, but I can’t say that I feel that we have not been serviced by the county,” said Jackson, adding that she is not aware of calls for a special election. A special election to replace May is “a little premature because…if Mr. Ellis is actually acquitted he would then be reinstated as the CEO and Mr. May would go back as commissioner,” Jackson said. “The existing CEO is still the CEO until there has been a trial and no one knows what that final result will be. People are presumed innocent until proven guilty. “A special election would further complicate the situation,” she said.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2014
METROPOLITAN ATLANTA RAPID TRANSIT AUTHORITY
Notice of Public Hearings – Jan. 21 & 23, 2014
Notice is hereby given that the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) will hold public hearings for the purpose of considering
Proposed Bus Service Modiﬁcations for May 17, 2014
Proposed routing and/or adjustments for the following bus routes:
Route 67 – West End/Dixie Hills: proposed routing to extend route north on Anderson Ave. NW from Tiger Flowers Dr. NW to Joseph E. Boone Blvd. NW, left on Joseph E. Boone Blvd. NW, left on Aurora Ave. NW, left on Morehouse Dr. NW, right on Morris Brown Ave. NW, then right on Tiger Flowers Dr. NW and continuing the regular route. The route segment on Tiger Flowers Dr. NW, between Anderson Ave. NW and Morris Brown Ave. NW, will be discontinued. Route 148 – Medical Center/Riveredge Parkway: will no longer operate on I-285 between Medical Center Station and Riveredge Parkway. Propose routing will be via Peachtree Dunwoody; Johnson Ferry; Roswell Road; Lake Placid; (service will then operate nonstop) via Kingsport; Northwood; Lake Forrest; Hammond Drive; Mt. Vernon; Powers Ferry; New Northside Drive (where regular stops will resume); Interstate North Parkway; Riveredge Parkway to Northside Drive.
Route 2 – Ponce de Leon Ave/Decatur Improve midday service to every 45 min from every 65 minutes. Route 21 – Memorial Drive Improve midday service to every 25 min from every 35 minutes. Route 39 – Buford Highway Improve midday service to every 12 min from every 15 minutes. Route 50 – Donald L. Hollowell Pkwy Improve midday service to every 30 min from every 60 minutes. Route 89 – Flat Shoals Rd./Scoﬁeld Rd. Reduce service frequency from every 18 min to every 20 minutes. Route 102 – Ponce de Leon Ave/Candler Park Improve midday service to every 45 min from every 65 minutes.
Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Jeff Mann accompanies Sheriff Thomas Brown at a November 2013 event. Mann has announced his candidacy for the sheriff’s job. Photo by Travis Hudgons
Sheriff ’s right-hand Mann seeks office
by Andrew Cauthen email@example.com Jeff Mann, Sheriff Thomas Brown’s chief deputy, announced his candidacy for Brown’s unexpired term in a Jan. 8 letter to his fellow Leadership DeKalb graduates. Mann said he will be sworn in as DeKalb’s 49th sheriff when Brown qualifies in March to run for Georgia’s Fourth Congressional District. “Sometime shortly thereafter a special election will be held to complete Sheriff Brown’s unexpired term,” Mann wrote. “With Sheriff Brown’s support and endorsement, I will be running to complete his term.” Mann has worked under Brown for the past 12 years, first as Brown’s director of labor relations and legal affairs, and for the last nine years as his chief of staff and chief deputy. During that time, Mann has helped to restore the credibility and respect of the sheriff ’s office, he said. “We have done an excellent job in that regard and I want to continue that,” Mann said. “I want to continue to make sure that we have one of the most respected sheriff ’s offices in the United States. We have brought the sheriff ’s office around to professionalism, respect and credibility and I want to make sure that continues. “[Brown] and I have worked hand in hand and I believe I am the most qualified to continue this legacy,” Mann said. “I believe I’m the best suited for the job because I’ve been doing the job.” Mann said he is the only candidate that has run a large urban sheriff ’s office. “I don’t think you will find one who has directly managed an over $80 million budget,” he said. “ I don’t think you find one that…knows what it takes to run a sheriff ’s office. “It’s not just about the law enforcement component,” Mann said. “It’s about management of a small city. It’s about knowing what the kitchen requires, what the laundry requires, what the facility infrastructure requires. You have to understand how to appropriately manage large contracts. I don’t you’re going to find many, if any, that have been doing the job for 10 years like I have.” Mann said the voters will have to decide “whether or not they like the way this sheriff ’s office has been run the last 12 years. “If they like the way we’ve been doing things the last 12 years, then I think that will vote for me,” Mann said. Mann said he is grateful that Brown is supporting his candidacy. “The sheriff is endorsing me 100 percent and he’s going to be a huge, vocal supporter. I am very fortunate to have worked with him,” Mann said. “I am grateful to him that he has laid his confidence [in me].”
Route 9 – Toney Valley/Peachcrest Rd. Improve morning and afternoon peak service to every 20 min in peak direction and reduce service to every 30 min in non-peak direction. Route 12 – Howell Mill/Cumberland Improve morning and afternoon peak service to every 15 min from West Paces Ferry to Midtown in the AM and from Midtown to West Paces Ferry in the PM. Peak service to and from Cumberland Transit Center in Cobb County will be reduced to operate every 30 minutes. Route 53 – Skipper Dr./West Lake Ave Improve service all day from every 40 min To every 35 min until 8:00 p.m. Route 107 – Glenwood Rd. Reduce service frequency to every 20 minutes. Route 165 – Fairburn Rd./Barge Rd. P&R Improve morning and afternoon peak service to every 15 min in peak direction and reduce service to every 30 min in non-peak direction. Route 180 – Fairburn/Palmetto Improve morning and afternoon peak service to every 12 min and midday service to every 25 minutes. Route 186 – Rainbow Dr./South DeKalb Improve morning and afternoon peak service to every 15 min in peak direction and reduce service to every 30 min in non-peak direction.
Route 5 – Piedmont Rd./Sandy Springs Improve midday service to every 25 min from every 35 minutes. Route 21 – Memorial Drive Improve midday service to every 25 min from every 35 minutes. Route 33 – Briarcliff Rd./Lenox Reduce frequency of service from every 50 min to every 55 minutes. Route 39 – Buford Highway Improve midday service to every 12 min from every 15 minutes. Route 83 – Campbellton Rd/Greenbriar Improve midday service to every 18 min from every 20 minutes. Route 89 – Flat Shoals Rd./Scoﬁeld Rd. Reduce frequency of service from every 18 min to every 20 minutes.
Atlanta Streetcar Detours End May 17, 2014
Route 1 – Centennial Olympic Park / Coronet Way Returning to Centennial Olympic Park Dr. between Ivan Allen Blvd. & Marietta St. Route 3 – MLK Jr. Dr. / Auburn Ave Returning to Peachtree St; Auburn Ave and Jackson Street. Route 16 – Noble Returning to Auburn Ave. and Peachtree St. Route 110 – Peachtree Street / The Peach Returning to Peachtree St. between Ellis St. and Five Points. Route 155 – Windsor St. / Lakewood Ave. Returning to Gilmer St., Piedmont Avenue and Edgewood Ave.
In an effort to address fare evasion throughout the MARTA system, effective May 17, 2014, MARTA will be implementing a new policy requiring the closing of bus doors while buses are in station bus bays and during layovers.
Rail Service Frequency Modiﬁcations
Improve PEAK frequency of service on all rail lines:
RED line: Airport – North Springs GOLD line: Airport – Doraville BLUE line: H.E. Holmes – Indian Creek GREEN line: Edgewood/Candler Park – Bankhead There are no proposed changes to evening or weekend rail service frequency.
MARTA customers will not be allowed to board unmanned buses.
Your patience and understanding is greatly appreciated.
Tuesday, Jan. 21
68 Mitchell Street, Suite 3100
Old Council Chambers (Tower side of building)
Thursday, Jan. 23
1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur, 30030
7:00 P.M. (Community Q&A Session: 6-7 P.M.)
Riding MARTA: Bus routes 32, 49, 55, 74 from Five Points Station.
Atlanta City Hall
7:00 P.M. (Community Q&A Session: 6-7 P.M.)
Riding MARTA: Walk one block west of Decatur Station.
3717 College Street, College Park, 30337
7741 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs, GA 30350
College Park Public Safety Complex
7:00 P.M. (Community Q&A Session: 6-7 P.M.)
Riding MARTA: Bus route 172 from College Park Rail Station.
Copies of the proposed bus service modiﬁcations will also be available at MARTA’s Ofﬁce of External Affairs, 2424 Piedmont Road, N.E. Atlanta, Georgia 30324 during regular business hours, Mon-Fri 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. For formats (FREE of charge) in accordance with the ADA and Limited English Proﬁciency regulations contact (404) 848-4037. For those patrons requiring further accommodations, information can be obtained by calling the Telephone Device for the Deaf (TDD) at 404 848-5665. In addition, a sign language interpreter will be available at all hearings. If you cannot attend the hearings and want to provide comments you may: (1) leave a message at (404) 848-5299; (2) write to MARTA’s Ofﬁce of
6:00 P.M. (Community Q&A Session: 5-6 P.M.)
Riding MARTA: Route 87 from either the Dunwoody or North Springs Rail Stations.
External Affairs, 2424 Piedmont Road, N.E. Atlanta, GA 30324-3330; (3) complete an online Comment Card at www.itsmarta.com; (4) or fax your comments no later than January 31, 2014 to (404) 848-4179. All citizens of the City of Atlanta and the counties of Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton and Gwinnett whose interests are affected by the subjects to be considered at these hearings are hereby notiﬁed and invited to appear at said times and places and present such evidence, comment or objection as their interests require.
North Fulton Service Center
Keith T. Parker, AICP General Manager/CEO
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2014
Three proposed DeKalb cities have mall in boundaries
by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org Representatives from the proposed cities of Briarcliff, Tucker and Lakeside presented the results of their cityhood studies to local legislators Jan. 9. Each of the cities’ proposed boundaries includes Northlake Mall. “You have that island around Northlake Mall that is essential to all three maps,” Rep. Scott Holcomb said. During the three-and-a-half hour meeting, legislators grilled cityhood representatives on topics including public safety, economic development and zoning. Allen Venet, president of the City of Briarcliff Initiative, said there are serious flaws
Establishment Name: Mrs. Winners Address: 4499 Glenwood Road Current Score/Grade: 84/B Inspection Date: 01/09/2014 Observations and Corrective Actions Establishment Name: McDonald’s Address: 2077 North Decatur Road Current Score/Grade: 93/A Inspection Date: 01/08/2014 Establishment Name: Subway Address: 2827 East College Avenue Current Score/Grade: 96/A Inspection Date: 01/08/2014 Observations and Corrective Actions
Restaurant Health Inspections
‘I believe cities should be part of the solution.’
with DeKalb County’s operations. “The DeKalb County bureaucracy is inefficient, ineffective, and that really should change,” Venet said. “I believe cities should be part of the solution and cities that already exist in DeKalb County have been very successful.” Venet touted the recent incorporation of Brookhaven and the success of Dunwoody, which incorporated in 2008. Each proposed city must undergo a cityhood study performed by either the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia or the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. “We can indeed operate in our part of the county, better and more effectively and we can use those tax dollars better than the county has been using them,” Venet said. The results of the Briarcliff Initiative’s Vinson study state that it would be able to operate at an annual surplus of $8 million. Additionally, Venet said roughly 5 percent of tax revenue going to the county from residents would instead go to the city. “Those are estimates but from what we have read and seen their estimates have been fairly accurate,” Venet said. Rep. Mike Jacobs, who was instrumental in the creation of Brookhaven, warned cityhood groups to be cautious of estimates. “For anybody who is bringing one of these forward, you need to be mindful that generally in these studies the surplus results from the full millage cap, meaning you’re charging the full amount of millage that you can possibly charge,” Jacobs said. The problem with those estimates, Jacobs said, is that many cities don’t want to operate at their highest millage rate because they don’t want to raise taxes. When an area incorporates, residents lose the benefit of the Homestead Optional Sales Tax, which is used to reduce property taxes. “You need to be very mindful of how that really shakes out,” Jacobs said.
Representatives for the Lakeside City Alliance said their cityhood results stated that it would operate with an estimated $5 million surplus. Mary Kay Woodworth, president of the Lakeside City Alliance, said the residents in her community are interested in incorporation for a number of reasons, including local control, public safety and zoning issues. “No offense to the DeKalb County Police Department—they’re a great police force— but there’s not enough of them,” Woodworth said. “We understand that there are more major crimes in other areas of the county where police should obviously be deployed but that doesn’t minimize the fact that we have crime in our community and a lack of police presence.” Woodworth said establishing a police department would cost approximately $8 million and consist of approximately 83 police officers. Lakeside is also looking at providing other services such parks and recreation, zoning, land use and roads and drainage. Legislators asked about Lakeside’s boundaries, which encompass much of the proposed cities of Tucker and Briarcliff. However, Kevin Levitas, a former legislator who is on the Lakeside Alliance board, said that the map for Lakeside was introduced before Tucker’s and Briarcliff ’s. “I think the easiest solution would be that there’s plenty of room outside of the boundaries of Tucker and Briarcliff,” Levitas said. Tucker 2014 member Frank Auman told legislators that the proposed city of Tucker would also be able to incorporate without raising taxes, according to a feasibility study. “We are not here because we somehow feel oppressed or put upon or even adv ersarial with our county,” Auman said, “We are here today representing a group of about 56,000 people who are concerned about their future; they’re concerned about the future of their county.” According to Auman, Tucker’s surplus would be the greatest of any of the cityhood proposals as it relates to its budget. “What that means is: if the numbers are off; if it’s rocky in the beginning; Tucker has the greatest margin for error to withstand that while it gets on its feet and gets its house in order,” Auman said. Stonecrest City Alliance President Jason Lary said his area in southeast DeKalb County wants to become “an economic player and control our own destiny.” Lary’s group was the only proposed city that the Vinson Institute said wouldn’t be feasible. “Either we would have to significantly raise taxes in this specific corridor or our ability to have revenue in this area would have to dramatically increase…neither is going to happen immediately,” Lary said. Lary said the study was a learning experience and the group is going to adjust the proposed boundaries of the city and undergo another study by the Vinson Institute. “We went back to the [Vinson Institute] and asked them to recalculate a different area and a different boundary. Hopefully next session we’ll be able to come back and make something happen that’s viable,” Lary said.
Establishment Name: Las Colinas Mexican Grill Address: 2327 Main Street, Suite A Current Score/Grade: 76/C Inspection Date: 01/08/2014 Establishment Name: J.R.Crickets Address: 2617 Panola Road,Suite101 Current Score/Grade: 87/B Inspection Date: 01/08/2014 Establishment Name: Mandarin Express Address: 2801 Candler Road Current Score/Grade: 73/C Inspection Date: 01/08/2014 Establishment Name: Waffle House #917 Address: 766 DeKalb Industrial Way Current Score/Grade: 81/B Inspection Date: 01/08/2014 Establishment Name: Kochi Sushi & Hibachi Address: 4306 Lawrenceville Highway, Suite 110 Current Score/Grade: 72/C Inspection Date: 01/08/2014 Bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods. Upon arrival, observed food handling employee cutting green onions (that are used for various dishes including sushi garnish) with bare hands. PIC advised that EXCEPT when washing fruits and vegetables there shall be no bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods; utensils such as deli tissue, spatulas, tongs, single-use gloves, or dispensing equipment may be used. Corrected OnSite. New Violation. Cold-held potentially hazardous foods not maintained below 41F; no time controls/documentation in place (see * at temp log). PIC advised that proper cold hold temperature shall not exceed 41F. Cream cheese discarded and all other items placed on ice. Corrected On-Site. Repeat Violation. Hot-held potentially hazardous foods not maintained above 135F; no time controls/documentation in place (see * at temp log). PIC informed that proper hot holding temperature is a minimum of 135F. Hibachi chicken reheated, all other items were discarded. Corrected OnSite. Repeat Violation. Refrigerated, ready-to-eat, potentially hazardous food prepared and held in the establishment for more than 24 hours not clearly marked to indicate the date by which the food must be consumed, sold, or discarded. Observed cooked brown rice, fried chicken wings, cooked ground beef, steamed shrimp stored with no prep date of 7 day discard date. Corrected PIC to date mark items. Informed PIC that if out of compliance upon next inspection, repeat points will be taken and items will be discarded. Corrected On-Site. New Violation. Employee wearing jewelry other than a plain ring while preparing food. PIC informed all jewelry must be removed while preparing food, food employees may not wear jewelry including medical information jewelry on their arms and hands, except for a plain wedding band. New Violation. Observed cardboard and white cloths used to line food contact surfaces. Advised PIC that only easily cleanable and non-absorbant materials are allowed to be used on food contact surfaces. New Violation. Establishment Name: The Big Tuna Seafood Address: 1207 Columbia Drive Current Score/Grade: 70/C Inspection Date: 01/08/2014 Establishment Name: Nacho Mama’s Street Taqueria Address: 2179 Lawrenceville Highway, Suite H Current Score/Grade: 95/A Inspection Date: 01/08/2014 Observations and Corrective Actions Interior shelving of prep top cooler observed with food debris (spills & splatter) present. Instructed to clean interior of prep top cooler. Corrected On-Site. New Violation. Nonfood-contact surfaces of equipment not cleaned at a frequency necessary to preclude accumulation of soil residues. Observed grease build-up on front panel of fryers. Advised to clean & remove grease build-up from fryers. New Violation.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2014
From left, Ted Terry stands with Andrea Cervone while being sworn in as mayor of Clarkston. Visit www.facebook.com/championnewspaper for additional pictures. Photos by Travis Hudgons
Clarkston swears Doc Talks in new mayor
Upcoming Seminars at DeKalb Medical Healthy Life Tips for the Whole Family
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com Residents and officials celebrated the swearing in of new Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry Jan. 7, who replaces outgoing Mayor Emmanuel Ransom. “It doesn’t matter if you have lived here for 45 years or newly arrived from a far off land 45 days ago—all are welcome in our city,” Terry said. “During my campaign for mayor I knocked on over a thousand doors. As I sought to better understand the issues and concerns of residents, I was inspired and motivated by the folks I met every day.” “As a former private citizen I was part of the chorus of residents who wanted to be more involved...and now as an elected public servant this interest is music to my ears,” Terry said. “You see, government can only create the possibilities but it is ultimately up to the people to make those possibilities a reality.” This year, Terry said, a host of plans will be implemented, including the city’s $5 million streetscape project. The city will also form a stakeholder committee consisting of residents, business owners and contractors to help rewrite Clarkston’s sign ordinance. Additionally, Terry said the city currently has openings on the planning and zoning Committee and encouraged residents to apply. Terry also spoke about several initiatives he plans to implement that are designed to help residents become more connected with their city, including a refugee resettlement and welcoming committee, an education task force and a public arts commission. Clarkston has one of the highest numbers of refugees per square-mile in the country. In 1990, the city became a popular place for refugees to resettle. Terry said the resettlement and welcoming committee will focus on better communication and collaboration between the city, residents and the coalition of refugee resettlement agencies. The education task force will focus on how residents, nonprofits, early learning and after school centers, higher education and the DeKalb County Board of Education can work collaboratively to provide more learning possibilities in Clarkston. “These are just a few initiatives that we are working on this year...but that doesn’t mean they have to be the only initiatives— in fact I know that there are many other ideas that you all have brought up over the past year I look forward to exploring the possibilities for more resident engagement on many other issues,” Terry said. Each month, Terry said, he will also make himself available for a “town-hall style” meeting for residents and business owners. “One final issue that will affect all of Clarkston is the possibility of annexation this year,” Terry said. “So for those of you who live in Clarkston already, we will be asking for your help in promoting to our neighbors just outside the town limits to vote to join Clarkston in the May primary election.” Terry said the city has an opportunity to better control its gateways and a chance to balance out its tax base with more commercial and industrial property. Additionally, he said the city will also have the opportunity to hire more police officers.
Thursday, January 23, 2014 6:00–8:00 p.m. Community Room at Dekalb Medical – Hillandale campus
Join our panel of DeKalb Medical primary care physicians to learn how you can keep your New Year’s resolutions for managing weight, improving health and living healthy! Advice will apply to all family members because it’s much easier to live healthy when everyone has the same goal.
Wednesday, January 29 Wednesday, February 5 4:00 - 6:30 p.m. Surgical Weight Loss Center North Decatur campus Call 404.596.4772 or visit www.dekalbmedical.org.
For a referral to a DeKalb Medical physician or to reserve your space for these free seminars, please call 404.596.4772. Light refreshments will be served. Parking is free.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2014
Face-to-face DeKalb jail visits are a thing of the past
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org Face-to-face visits with inmates through a window are now a thing of the past for the DeKalb County Jail. Jan. 14 was “the very last night that someone can choose to go on the floor and look at a person through a glass wall holding a telephone receiver,” said DeKalb County Sheriff Thomas Brown. Now anyone who wants to visit an inmate will do so using a video phone system in the jail or via computer offsite. “You can come here and do it for free,” Brown said. “Or you can stay at home—whether you’re in Decatur, Birmingham, Ala., Seattle, Wash., or Tokyo, Japan—you can log into the system and for a fee, you can talk to an inmate here in 30-minute increments at $20. “Anywhere in the world, you can talk to inmate here at the DeKalb County Jail,” he said. Attorneys and clergy will still have the option of going on the floors and into the attorney booths, Brown said. The system includes 30 public cal revenues, a little over $1.1 [million] or $1.2 million a year from the telephone service.” The revenue will go into the county’s general fund. Brown said the new system will “help us from a security standpoint.” “When we give someone permission to go up on the floors to visit someone there’s no security up there,” Brown said. “They know which way to go. They catch an elevator. They ride the elevator to the top. They’re on their own. “Now, everything is going to take place here in this room or at home on somebody’s computer,” Brown said. The system also increases efficiency at the jail, he said. Inmates can also use the kiosks to file grievances, order commissary items, make requests to see a nurse and check their jail financial accounts. “It’s a huge workload that has been removed from the detention officers whose main job is to consistently monitor all [inmates],” Brown said. “There are a lot of efficiencies in this.”
A Sheriff’s Office employee uses the new system to talk with an inmate via a video phone. Photo by Andrew Cauthen
kiosks and an inmate kiosk in each pod of the jail. The system is from Securus Technologies, which specializes in inmate telephone systems. Securus bore the cost of the installation of the devices, which cost ap-
proximately $5,500 each. There was no cost to taxpayers, Brown said. “It is an income-generating system,” Brown said. “We will give the county on average, based on histori-
1ST ROUND GOES TO THE MAYOR & CITY COUNCIL OF BROOKHAVEN.
DeKalb County Court Dismissed Pony Lawsuit.
Civil Action No:13CV5593
SO HERE’S WHERE WE STAND AFTER 1 YEAR OF LITIGATION!
• No new strip clubs in Brookhaven after 1 year with DeKalb ordinance. No new strip clubs in Dekalb after 20 years with ordinance in place. • The Pink Pony is going to appeal and drag this out for as many years as possible which is going to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. • The attorney for Brookhaven, Scott Bergthold, is going to BILL THE TAX PAYERS hundreds of thousands of dollars like he has in Sandy Springs, which has been going on for 5 years now! • The Pink Pony has donated to charities throughout its 22 years of business. We recently donated $5000 to Friends of Brookhaven to buy life saving deﬁbrillators (AED’s) to install in Brookhaven’s Police cars.
MAYOR J MAX DAVIS
• To the Mayor and city council, you are elected by the people and they have spoken! Your personal beliefs and opinions are not what should be keeping this case from settling! • There are no decreased property values around the Pink Pony. Businesses built-up around the Pink Pony! • You’re killing a 22 year old business, that brings in 300,000 visitors a year. • You will put 300 hard working people with families out of work! • You’re costing the tax payers of Brookhaven $450,000 in annual revenue. • The only people that win in this case are the Attorneys!
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THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2014
WEEK IN PICTURES
Five- and 6-year-olds have fun exercising and learning the game of basketball Jan. 11 at the Decatur Recreational Center. Photo by Travis Hudgons
Cathy Harvile, left, watches as Pike Nursery’s Hilary Alexander pots Harvile’s new plant assortment at the Toco Hills location. Look for more pictures in the B section of The Champion. Photo by Travis Hudgons
ity of Pine Lake had a changing of the guard Jan. 13 at its first city council meeting of 2014. Three recently elected city council members—Erika Brown, George Chidi and Lynn Alexander Ehrlicher—were sworn in by Municipal Court Judge Phillip Hancock. Also, the newly seated council elected Megan Pulsts as new mayor pro tem. Pine Lake’s Mayor Kathie deNobriga gave a brief state of the city address in which she said Pine Lake is in recovery. She stated that the city’s budget is doing well and Pine Lake will soon break ground on a new commercial business—Family Dollar—a first in many years. Photos by Travis Hudgons
Lynn Alexander Ehrlicher
From left, Mayor Kathie deNobriga, Lynn Alexander Ehrlicher and George Chidi.
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Decatur Active Living hosted a New Class Expo to inform the community of new classes for adults at the Decatur Recreation Center. Photos by Travis Hudgons
Active living a hit with adults
by Carla Parker email@example.com More than 100 adults attended the New Class Expo Jan. 11 to learn about and sign up for new classes that Decatur Recreation Center offers. Decatur Active Living has added 10 new active and enrichment classes for adults to the list of activities at the recreation center. There are now 30 classes available for adults. The New Class Expo featured a meet-and-greet with class instructors, demonstrations of the classes and a tour of the newly renovated recreation center. The event also included basketball for children. Tracie Sanchez, the adult program leader for Decatur Active Living, said the expo was a marketing tool to let the community know about new classes the recreation center has for adults. “The recreation center has traditionally served youth in the past and we wanted the community to know that we have a lot of programing now for adults and even seniors,”
yoga, Internet for seniors, needlework and jewelry making. Vivian Lowery, 67, said she used to work out at the Decatur Recreation Center and came to the expo to see what is new. “I came to the expo main-
We wanted the community to know that we have a lot of programing now for adults and even seniors.
Sanchez said. “We want the community to see the classes, try them and meet the instructors and ask their own questions about what they want to know about the new classes.” Some of the new classes include ballet, hula-hoop,
ly because I was interested in maintaining my good health and I like exercising,” she said. “I wanted to stretch myself a little.” Lowery said she signed up for tai chi and hip-hop classes. “I like to move,” she said.
Jewelry maker Gillan Gussack.
Health coach Rosie Milan
Watercolor and Tea instructor Sylvia Cross
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2014
Witch Hunt Continued From Page 1A
the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the State Bar of Georgia.” Ellis’ legal team has “learned of profoundly disturbing, willful, unjust and illegal acts” by James and his office “with the complicity of ” interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May, the motion states. The motion alleges that James “wanted to increase his reputation and political prospects by bringing down CEO Ellis” and wanted to assist May in the process. James “had it in for CEO Ellis even before” James took office, the motion states. The district attorney also used May, his “inside man” on the Board of Commissioners, to acquire county funds to purchase $150,000 in “wiretap and bugging equipment to further his investigation of CEO Ellis,” the motion states. Edmond Richardson, May’s senior advisor, said, “The allegations against Interim CEO Lee May are outlandish and wrong. Lee May has faithfully served the people of District 5 as a Commissioner and the people of DeKalb County as Interim CEO.” May “is in no way connected to this ongoing criminal case and it is shameful his good character is being unfairly and inaccurately represented in this court motion,” Richardson said. Ellis’ attorneys also claim that James told DeKalb County Department of Purchasing and Contracting Director Kelvin Walton that he could “work his way out” of possible criminal charges by serving as a confidential informant against Ellis. According to the motion, James, with funds obtained with the assistance of May, purchased a “super spy video watch recorder” and a pen with a recorder to allow Walton to clandestinely record Ellis. “James directed that Walton wear his super spy video watch recorder to meetings with CEO Ellis in nonpublic areas and unlawfully captured video images of CEO Ellis without CEO Ellis’ knowledge or consent and without a court order,” the motion states. The motion states that James and his office engaged in “abuses of power and violations of the law,” including James’ “hijacking of the Special Purpose Grand Jury’s investigation in violation of its lawfully authorized scope by the Court,” his “willful false representations to CEO
Dance Continued From Page 1A
School of the Arts. “I kind of fell into [dance] and I really enjoy and love it,” she said. “I’ve always loved ballet. I thought it was beautiful.” Robert’s career in dance started somewhat late. He began dancing when he was a student at Bowie State University in Bowie, Md. Robert, 36, who was studying veterinary science at the time, danced with a small troupe for three years. “After those three years I started getting a little serious about my dancing,” he said. “I moved back to Atlanta and I got a full scholarship to the Atlanta Ballet.” The two met in 2009 at a dance school where Robert was teaching. Jennifer was interviewing for a teaching position and when she entered the room, it was love at first sight for the two, they said. They married in 2011 and later formed the Gate Dance Theater Company, a nonprofit, professional contemporary ballet company. The company was formed to create an innovative platform for dance by combining performing and visual arts, dance theater and cinema into one “stimulating and timeless event,” according to its website. For the past three years, the husband and wife team have trained young dancers in ballet and other dance styles. On Jan. 3, the Masons opened a classical ballet training school in Avondale Estates. The school trains students ages 10 to 18 to become professional dancers. The school will also have a children’s division for children ages 5 to 10 beginning in February and adult ballet and Zumba fitness classes. Classes are held Monday through Friday in the evening and all day on Saturdays. The Masons said they chose to open their school in Avondale Estates because of the location. “We were looking for spaces and one of the cities on our list was Avondale Estates,” Robert said. “We were riding around and saw this building.” “We really liked the location and it was easier for our students to get here,” Jennifer said. “It’s a great area.” The building was a dance studio before the Masons purchased it. They found it after partnering with The Academy Theater, which was located in a nearby building. “There are only a few places in Atlanta where you can go and get serious ballet training and it’s spaced out,” Jennifer added. “So we wanted to be one of those establishments that could provide that serious training where students can be really nurtured into professionalism and get everything they need to be a professional dancer.” The couple plans to open another school later this year in Stockbridge, where The Academy Theater moved. The Masons have big plans for the school, which includes being known as one of the best training schools in Atlanta. “We also want to get certified,” he said. “As for the company, we would like to have a full running company with about 15 dancers under full contract and being able to perform in ballets.”
Ellis’ legal counsel regarding whether CEO Ellis was the target of the special purpose grand jury’s investigation, and the District Attorney’s Office’s luring of CEO Ellis away from his home and office in order to execute search warrants at those locations. “The result has been a crusade against Mr. Ellis on absurd charges of a few allegedly pressuring telephone calls and alleged theft of county time and services,” the motion states. “The District Attorney’s and his office’s personally and politically motivated inquisition and violations of the law and individual rights, which has oppressed numerous county employees and witnesses in its abuse and misuse of a special purpose grand jury, must finally be brought to heel,” the motion states. James and May “have schemed and acted for their own political aggrandizement at the expense of the defendant’s career, reputation and liberty and at the expense of the democratic process and democratic choice of DeKalb County citizens,” the motion states. The District Attorney’s Office did not comment on litigation, as per its policy. On Jan. 14 responses to several of Ellis’ motions, the DA’s Office asked for the dismissal of various motions, including motions to dismiss the indictment based on selective prosecution; disqualify the district attorney and his office; quash the indictment; suppress the search of Ellis’ residence and office and seizure of evidence; and exclude grand jury testimony. “Ellis does not state that his conduct as alleged in the indictment is legal,” one response stated. “Instead, he claims that he is being ‘singled out’ for prosecution of his illegal conduct because of his ‘political position.’” The DA’s Office’s response states that “Ellis believes his former status as CEO of DeKalb County ‘protects’ him from criminal laws and gives him special privileges.” “Under the indictment Ellis is charged like every other felony defendant indicted for theft and extortion offenses. There is no difference,” the DA’s Office stated. “He is being prosecuted because he committed crimes.” Ellis attorney Dwight Thomas said he expects the motions to be heard in court on Jan. 23-24.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2014
Eighth-grade math teacher Octavia Freeman helps 13-year-old Casey Arrington with a math problem on his iPad. Photo by Andrew Cauthen
Schools benefit from wireless technology
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org Alexis Arrington, an eighthgrader at Redan Middle School, used an iPad in class for the first time on Jan. 9. “It’s fun,” she said of the experience. “You can experience different things with technology instead of just multiple choice [with] pen and paper. If you have an iPad you can have different games to learn different concepts and skills. “Visual learning makes you learn better,” Alexis said. Every school in the DeKalb County School District is now 100 percent wireless. “What we’re saying is that the campus is outfitted with wireless signal throughout the entire campus,” said Gary Brantley, the district’s chief information officer. Before, there were “all these mobile devices sitting in these buildings that were actually not able to be used to their full capacity,” Brantley said. “We would have a hotspot here and there. “In the old days, if you wanted to make a room a lab, you had to get the power put in; you had to have the electrical run and the cables run,” he said. “Now, as long as you have the actual space for the equipment to sit on a desk,…you can pretty much have a lab anywhere. “So now instead of teachers actually trying to compete for lab time within a school,…they can have those labs inside of a classroom,” Brantley said. “You can bring a mobile cart inside a classroom that has 30 laptops and actually bring the lab to the students.” Brantley said the wireless technology “gives kids opportunities for more distance learning. “In some of the neighborhoods, the students don’t really get out,” he said. “When you can provide [wireless] access to them, that’s their only means of getting out of, in some cases, DeKalb County.” Redan Middle School Principal Donald Mason uses the school’s Wi-Fi for weekly classroom observations. “Having the wireless in our building helps out tremendously as we are able to continuously conduct the walkthrough, load all of the data on our iPad and upload it to our server and also send the teacher feedback with an email,” he said. For more extensive observations, laptops are used, Mason said. “Before I had this, the walkthroughs were with pen and paper,” said Mason, in his seventh year as a principal. Then, he used Palm Treo handheld devices and later iPods. Technology “makes it easier for me,” Mason said. “That’s one of my missions as a leader—to be one that is on the cutting edge of technology.” Before the school became 100 percent wireless last spring, the school had a few Wi-Fi hotspots. “So I had to take my computer by the reading center’ to hook up,” he said. “It was interesting.” Mason said students “really, really enjoy using the technology. Redan Middle has two carts filled with iPads and two laptop carts. Additionally, some teachers allow students to use their own devices “as long as they don’t get carried away with it,” Mason said. “Personally, I’m a big fan of that because, to be totally honest, our students know a whole lot more about technology than we actually do. I think encouraging them to use their own technology is a plus. “We as educators have got to get out of the mindset that they are going to use it for a negative thing,” he said. “If a student wanted to use a phone for something negative, they’re going to do it anyway. We’ve got to make a paradigm shift and be at ease with allowing kids to use their own technology. “If they can use their own technology, I think it’s more rewarding for the teacher because…it’s going to encourage [students] to be more participative in the classroom,” Mason said.
Clarkston High Band receives 13 instruments
The DeKalb County Board of Education recognized the Clarkston High School band for receiving a donation of musical instruments. The instruments were provided through funding from the Abraham J. and Phyllis Katz Foundation in conjunction with the Mr. Holland Opus Foundation. The Mr. Holland Opus Foundation’s mission is to keep music alive in schools and communities by donating musical instruments to underfunded music programs. The Clarkston band, under the direction of Arthur Hunt, “was the only high school selected by the Mr. Holland Opus Foundation in the DeKalb County School District to receive this spectacular and rewarding grant,” according to a resolution by the school board. The school board wanted to “acknowledge the great accomplishment of the Clarkston High School Angorus Band, having achieved one of the most significant awards in America,” said school board member Joyce Morley. Clarkston High School received three mellophones, three euphoniums, a marching snare drum, four marching bass drums, a marching tom and a marching tenor.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2014
The Clarkston High School was honored at a recent school board meeting. Photo by Travis Hudgons
DeKalb school district launches new app
by Andrew Cauthen email@example.com There’s a new app for the DeKalb County School district. This month, the school district launched a new app for iPhone and Android devices. The app includes district and school news and information, access to the district tip line, district notifications, a district directory and access to information based on personal interests. The district’s Twitter and Facebook posts, calendar, parent links, sports scores and transportation updates can be accessed through the app. “We were looking for a way through technology to really try to engage our parent base a little bit more,” said Gary Brantley, the district’s chief information officer. “The advantages of the app was that …we could actually push the information to [parents] in a way that they utilize going into the 21st century that would be a lot easier for them to obtain,” Brantley said. “We were looking for one place to house all of our apps. It takes every single app now and in the future that we decide to install and puts it inside of one DeKalb district application. It ends up being a one-stop shop.” The app took approximately one year and $70,000 to develop and test, Brantley said. “We’re all about getting parents fully engaged so that they always have the latest information and they always know what is going on in their school and in the district,” said Superintendent Mike Thurmond. “This app is a major step in that direction. We’re proud to have it up and running, and look forward to adding more features and usability in the months to come.” There are plans to incorporate students’ academic data so parents can receive instant push notifications if their student’s grades fall below a certain level. School district officials also plan to upload school calendar events—such as drama plays and dance recitals, vacations and school closings—directly into a user’s mobile device calendar. “The app is a living, breathing tool,” Thurmond said. “It will improve and evolve as our communications needs change. But most importantly, it will provide a closer link between parent and school. It arms parents with the information to get involved and to stay engaged. And with parents as actively engaged partners, we know that academic excellence is at hand for every child.”
With this many seniors going to college, a high-five just wouldn’t cut it.
Thanks to you, over 1.6 million Georgia high school seniors have had something more to celebrate on graduation day— the chance to go to college. Every time you play the Georgia Lottery, you help fund the HOPE Scholarship Program that provides Georgia students with financial assistance at any of Georgia’s colleges, universities or technical colleges. That’s awesome! And on top of that, you’ve helped send over 1.3 million 4-year-olds to a Lottery-funded Pre-K Program and raised more than $15 billion for education. That’s an A+ in our book.
Notice of Public Hearing A copy of the proposed 2014 Operating Budget for the City of Chamblee will be available for review at City Hall on Thursday, January 16, 2014. A public hearing on the proposed budget will be held on Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at the Civic Center, 3540 Broad Street. Any persons wishing to be heard on the budget may appear and be heard. The City Council will adopt the budget on Thursday, January 30, 2013. The meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. and will be held at City Hall, 5468 Peachtree Road.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2014
those being exploited are a transient population—some reside in DeKalb County and others are just passing through. “Atlanta is a hub for this because we have major highways, the world’s busiest airport and major events that come through the city. We usually see a spike in activity cine said the first time a girl is arrested might not be the experience that gets them off the streets. “Studies show that the girls will run four to five times until they’re ready to get out of the life,” Racine said. Programs such as Georgia Care Connection and
Prosecuting human trafficking poses unique problems
by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org Assistant District Attorney Dalia Racine said it’s difficult to work with victims who are still in love with those who have exploited them—as is common with many human trafficking cases. “You have the victim who does not see [herself] as a victim; sometimes they’re still supportive of the exploiter,” Racine said. “A lot of the times the girls don’t think they’ve been victimized—we see a lot of the Stockholm syndrome going on.” Racine, who specializes in prosecuting domestic violence and sexual abuse cases, said that in recent years her human trafficking caseload has grown exponentially. She attributes this to new law enforcement training. “I think a majority of officers that we have talked to have said, ‘I’ve seen it, I just didn’t know what it was before.’ So that portion we are making great strides in,” Racine said. Working with law enforcement, Racine said, has enabled police to better identify instances of human trafficking and underage prostitution. Racine said it can be something as simple as an officer asking a few more questions during a traffic stop. “If you see a guy and he’s got several girls in [the car], separate them and ask a couple more questions. If you’re serving a warrant and you go into a house and there’s a bunch of condoms and cell phones and prepaid cards, things like that—ask more questions,” Racine said. Racine said there are many facets to identifying human trafficking cases and it takes a nuanced approach by law enforcement officers to identify victims, who may not always act like victims. “Even if she doesn’t act like a victim—she might be cussing you out and she might call you everything but your name—she has been victimized and you need to deal with it accordingly,” Racine said. “Most times when we find a girl who’s 16 or 17, she’s saying she’s been out on the streets three or four years already.” Last year, Racine tried a case involving Darryl Curry, a self-described “finesse pimp” who said he cared for the women who worked for him. Racine said the case was typical of many of the human trafficking and underage prostitution cases she has tried. According to prosecutors, a 17-year-old girl escaped a home in Decatur Oct. 8, find their way back through their contact with the specialist. Many of the peer support specialists are former sex workers, Racine said, so they’re able to make a connection and demonstrate that there is a life outside of prostitution. Racine said once victims have decided to change they still struggle to adapt to their new life. Some make it through school and return to their families but Racine said others aren’t so lucky. “The average life span within the life is about seven years because these girls are being killed either with violence or drug overdoses or whatever the situation may be. So it varies once you’re out of the life whether you’re able to get out for good,” Racine said. If the girl come from a good home, Racine said they oftentimes return to school, which poses more difficulties if her peers find out about her past. However, Racine said victims can succeed as long as there’s a strong support system in place for them. “I have one former victim who’s a pre-med student right now,” Racine said.
‘The pimp comes and scoops them up and starts saying, ‘“I love you. If you love me, you’ll do this for me.”’ Dalia Racine
2011, where she was being held against her will and being forced into prostitution. The girl told police another 16-year-old girl was also being held there. Upon obtaining a search warrant, the other victim was identified and various pimping and human trafficking paraphernalia were uncovered, including videos of Curry instructing individuals on how to become a pimp and obtain wealth from exploiting women. “In actuality, he was extremely violent and physically abusive to our two victims. He mentally manipulated his victims and forced them to recruit other young women into the ‘life,’” Racine said. Curry was convicted of 13 felony counts, including false imprisonment, cruelty to children in the first degree, simple battery and others. Many young girls, like the two victims Curry exploited, begin as teenage runaways, Racine said, and within 72 hours of running away they are typically approached by a pimp. “The pimp comes and scoops them up and starts saying, ‘I love you. If you love me, you’ll do this for me,’ and it kind of goes from there,” Racine said. Additionally, Racine said pimps often use the girls working for them to recruit others. She also said when there’s a major sporting event or any other type of event that brings a lot of people into the city,” Racine said. Once police have taken victims of human trafficking into custody, the goal is to get them off the streets, Racine said. However, RaWellspring Living help victims of child sexual abuse adapt to life once they’ve made a decision to get help. Racine said the programs have peer support specialists who serve as liaisons once they’ve entered the program. In many cases, the girls who run away from the programs
Notice of Public Hearing
The Board of Mayor and Commissioners for the City of Avondale Estates will hold a Public Hearing on January 27, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. to receive public comment regarding the proposed text amendment to Appendix “A” of the Code to permit Craft Distilleries and Artisanal Food Production in certain zones of the City and for other purposes. This hearing will be held at City Hall, 21 North Avondale Plaza, Avondale Estates, Georgia 30002. Juliette Sims-Owens City Clerk City of Avondale Estates
have. Tanya is between two and three years old. This is a perfect age; she still has plenty of energy for fun and play, but mature enough to not chew everything in sight. Tanya is such a sweet girl and would be a great addition to any home. Please give her a chance to become a member of your household.
Tanya (A21592799)Tanya is a fairly small Terrier mix; probably Boston Terrier / American Staffordshire Terrier mix. She is super cute. Tanya is not only cute; she is a friendly little girl who gets along well with her kennel mates. This means she would be a great companion for a pet you may already
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THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2014
Michele Runge still sometimes teaches classes at her Decatur studio. Such equipment as balls, handheld weights and resistance bands complete the one-hour workout. Photos by Kathy Mitchell
The dancing Michele Runge once did for fun has become her ‘real job’
by Kathy Mitchell firstname.lastname@example.org Fresh out of college, Michele Runge decided she needed to reduce expenses and increase her income. She first thought of dropping her Jazzercise membership and getting a second job. She really didn’t want to give up Jazzercise, so she opted instead to apply for a franchise. “I went through the training process, and became a certified Jazzercise instructor. That was more than 22 years ago,” she recalled. Runge is now one of more than 7,000 instructor franchisees in the international Jazzercise network. Built around the concept that fitness can be fun, the 45-year-old workout program is described on its website as the “original aerobic exercise class.” According to its website, “Jazzercise, combines dance, strength training, yoga, Pilates and kickboxing movements into one fun and effective total body workout. The mix of Latin, hip hop and jazz dance movements make Jazzercise feel more like a girl’s night out than a workout.” Despite the “girl’s night out” description, Jazzercise is not strictly for women. Occasionally, men join in especially during special promotions such as couples Valentine’s Day events. “One of the great things about being an instructor is you can do as much or as little as you’d like; your franchise ebbs and flows with your life. There were times when I was traveling for business up to 40 weeks a year and not dancing or teaching much. Now I’m all in, owning and operating centers plus being a quality coordinator for the Jazzercise corporate offices,” said Runge, who operates a busy Jazzercise studio in Decatur. Runge’s love of dancing goes back to her childhood. “Who knew when my mother spent all that money on dance lessons and all those hours sewing cute little recital outfits that I would put those dance skills to use by having a successful Jazzercise career,” she said. “And wouldn’t you know it—it was my mom who took me to my first Jazzercise class. She introduced me to the program when I was in college and the school I was attending did not have any kind of dance or cheer program. Jazzercise has been a part of my life ever since.” Though the location has changed, Runge’s Jazzercise classes have been in Decatur for more than two decades, “For a long time classes were in the Decatur Recreation Center. We had retail space for a while in Shamrock Plaza, then moved into a church fellowship hall,” she recalled. “In 2009 my ‘real’ career took a stumble and I found myself once again needing to either reduce my expenses or increase my income. After a 10-month search for a location that would fit our needs and budget, I opened the Jazzercise Decatur Fitness Center in the East Decatur Station complex.” Then, she said, “Jazzercise became my ‘real’ job.” Decatur, she said, turned out to be a great place to operate a business. “The Decatur Business Association and the entire team who operates the Decatur Downtown Development Authority is a priceless commodity. I am always grateful for ease and availability of effective marketing tools the DBA offers through their sponsorship opportunities.” Runge said what she likes best is that Jazzercise is a true business. “I feel privileged to have been able to transform my passion of dance and fitness into a fully functional business that operates in the black every month. The reward of giving back to people on a daily basis is the most important part of it for me. We help our customers transform their bodies, keep their mind in check, and offer a place of where there is no judging–only fitness, friendship and fun.”
Exercising her options
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 www.DeKalbChamber.org
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THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2014
GPC basketball teams defeat East Georgia State
The Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) men’s and women’s basketball teams each got road wins over East Georgia State College Jan. 11 in Swainsboro. Sean Buffen led the GPC Jaguars team with 24 points in the 6859 win over East Georgia State. Buffen, a freshman guardforward, shot 67 percent from the floor (six of nine) and made 12 of 15 free throws (80 percent). He also had three assists and seven rebounds. Georgia Perimeter, 11-4 and 3-2 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association, advanced into a fourth-place tie with South Georgia State College in the GCAA standings. The Jaguars have won five of their last six games. Sophomore forward Shane Henry followed Buffen with 14 points ‒ making six of 12 shots ‒ and produced his eighth double-double with 13 rebounds. Henry, who is leading the GCAA in blocked shots, had five in the game. Freshman guard Quintavias Virgil knocked down three of four 3-pointers, finishing with 11 points. Freshman guard Ronnie Mays had three assists. The Jaguars shot 50 percent from the field, making 22 of 44 field goal attempts. They were 45 percent from beyond the arc, hitting five of 11 3-pointers, and they made 65 percent of their free throws. East Georgia (6-9, 2-4 GCAA) trailed 37-29 at halftime, but the Bobcats stayed close in the second half to keep the outcome in question until the closing minutes. In the women’s game, the Jaguars beat East Georgia State 63-60 to get their second consecutive win. Freshman guard Laisha Moore led the Jaguars with 16 points on seven-for-13 shooting and six assists. She was two-forfour from beyond the three-point arc. With their second consecutive conference victory, the Jaguars improve to 3-4 in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association and 6-9 on the season. They passed East Georgia (7-9, 3-5 GCAA) into a tie with Albany Tech for sixth place in conference standings. With just above two minutes left in the game, the Jaguars had an 11-point margin however, East College State went on a 10-0 run–including two three-pointers by Chasity Mullins and Tierney Haythe–and drew within a point of the Jaguars. “We have to find a way to consistently score and start and finish games with a sense of defensive intensity,” GPC head coach James Waldon said. In the final seconds–after GPC’s Terita Brown hit the second of two foul shots with 18 seconds on the clock–East Georgia State closed the margin to 61-60. The Bobcats fouled point guard Yvonna Dunkley with 3.3 seconds remaining. Dunkley, who had missed her four previous attempts from the free throw line, made both free throws to extend the lead to 63-60. East Georgia could not get a shot off before the final buzzer. GPC trailed 29-26 at the halftime break, but within six minutes in the second period pulled ahead 35-31. On three straight GPC possessions in the second half, Moore knocked down two three-point shots and hit a pull-up jumper from the left base line. Freshman forward Abelyn Rackley scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds for GPC, and Dunkley chipped in 11 points and seven boards. Taylor Boyd also had seven rebounds. Mullins led East Georgia with 17 points, hitting seven-for-12 from the field and three of seven three-pointers.
Lithonia defeats Marist, finishes sixth in state finals
by Carla Parker email@example.com The Lithonia Bulldogs wrestling team got a little revenge Jan. 11 when it beat Marist 39-31 to finish in the top six at the Class AAAA State Team Dual Wrestling Championship. After falling to No. 2 ranked Alexander 30-48 in the opening round, the Bulldogs bounced back and defeated Upson Lee 47-21 in the consolation round. They went on to beat Glenn Hills 39-27 in the second round of the consolation round and then defeated Marist before falling to Alexander again. Lithonia finished sixth in the state finals, while Marist finished in the top eight. Lithonia head coach Patrick Ryan said he was proud of his wrestlers for bouncing back from a tough loss in the Area Dual Finals and accomplishing one of their goals by defeating Marist. “At our wrestling banquet last May, I preached to the team we are going to beat Marist this season and all the hard work and mental toughness paid off when we eliminated them from the state tournament,” Ryan said. “Lithonia finished [in the] top 12 last season at the state tournament and showed a lot of progress this season by finishing top six. Like Coach [Riddick] Beebe from Marist said, ‘we have a great, positive rivalry,’ which Lithonia came out on top this time.” Ryan said the win against Marist means a lot to the Lithonia wrestling program. “All week long at practice our goal was to beat Marist and send them home from the state tournament,” he said. “I preached to the team this is their legacy.” In the Class AAAAA State Duals Champion, Dunwoody and Lakeside both lost in the first round of the tournament and then fell in the consolation round. Lakeside pushed No. 3 ranked Whitewater to the limit before falling in a tight 32-30 match in the opening round. Lakeside then suffered a tough 58-12 loss to Ware County in the consolation round. Dunwoody fell 41-38 in a close match with No. 4 ranked Ola in the opening round and then fell to Warner Robins 42-31 in the consolation round.
The Lithonia wrestling team finished sixth in the Class AAAA State Team Dual Wrestling Championship after beating Marist 39-31 in the consolation round.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2014
St. Pius junior guard Asia Durr is the No. 1 player in the country in her class and the No. 1 prospect in the espnW HoopGurlz Terrific 25 for the 2015 class. She is averaging 24.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game this season.
Asia Durr: living up to expectations as No. 1 player
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org Not many girls can do a crossover move with a basketball at age 3, but Asia Durr could. “I picked up a basketball with my dad outside in the driveway and I started dribbling the ball and I did a crossover move,” she said. “He said ‘do it again’ and I did it again.” From that moment, Durr and her family knew that she was blessed with a gift and that gift has led her to be the No. 1 player in the country in her class and the No. 1 prospect in the espnW HoopGurlz Terrific 25 for the 2015 class. “It’s great. I’m so thankful for that,” she said about being the No. 1 player. “It’s a great chance to go out there and show people how I play. It’s a great feeling.” Durr, a native of Douglasville, is a junior guard for the St. Pius Golden Lions girls’ basketball team. Durr said her parents decided that St. Pius was the school for her after attending a basketball game at the Catholic school when Durr was in fifth grade. “We came to see St. Pius and Collins Hill play–Kelly Cain (St. Pius) and Maya Moore (Collins Hill),” she said. “We met former head coach Stephanie Dunn and my parents fell in love with St. Pius. They told me [I would be] going to St. Pius. “It’s been good,” she said about playing for St. Pius. “We play tough teams and there are times when teams play me in a box one or they would double or triple team me. So, I’m going out there trying to learn something new every game.” Durr has been a dynamic player on the court since she enrolled at St. Pius. This season, she is averaging 24.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game. Durr played a major part in leading the Golden Lions to its fourth state champion in the program’s history last season. She averaged 18.9 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.5 steals during last season’s championship run. St. Pius head coach Kyle Snipes said Durr is unflappable on the court and plays at a higher level than most players her age. “She does a lot of things for us that helps make us successful,” Snipes said. “She’s really good at making her teammates better and she’s almost unselfish to a fault at times, almost to the point where I have to say ‘you need to shoot the ball more.’” Durr is strong at shooting threepointers and pull-up jumpers. Durr is shooting 56 percent from the field and 42 percent from outside the three-point line. Although she makes it look easy, she said her jump shot was something she had to work hard at to get down pat. “It took me two years to get that down,” she said. “I’m trying to stay in the gym and get better with that.” Although she had some skills at an early age, Durr said she had to work hard to get where she is in her career, which included learning which hand to shoot with. Durr is right handed but shoots with her left hand. Durr was in the fourth grade shooting with both hands at the same time when her coach told her she had to shoot with one hand. “I tried my right hand and that was terrible,” she said. “So I tried my left hand and it was OK so I stuck with that.” Being the No. 1 player in the nation has led to many opportunities for Durr. In May 2013, she was selected to the 2013 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team. She was named the most valuable player at the FIBA Americas Cup Tournament when the United States U16 Women’s Basketball team won the gold medal after defeating Canada in Cancun, Mexico. Durr said playing basketball for her country was a great experience. “That was my first time going out of the country with some new group of girls,” she said. “It was a lot of fun going out there and playing against Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina and other good teams.” During her sophomore year, Durr began receiving basketball scholarship offers from some of the top college programs in the country. She has not committed to a school yet but has narrowed her choices down to 13 schools, which include Connecticut, Florida State, Louisiana State, Notre Dame, South Carolina and Tennessee. “I want to go to a school that’s going to make me feel like I’m at home,” she said, “A team that has a great coaching staff, a team that can win national championships and just a school where I feel comfortable at.” Durr, who has 3.1 GPA, said she will make her decision next year. As for now, she is focused on helping her team finish out the season strong and possibly winning a second consecutive state championship. “We have to continue to work hard in practice and get better by each game,” she said.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2014
Each week The Champion spotlights former high school players from the county who are succeeding in athletics on the college level.
Redan’s record setting season
by Mark Brock The Redan girls basketball team is thought to be a historymaking squad in DeKalb County as three seniors have all surpassed the 1,000 point career mark during the first part of the season. According to records, no other DeKalb girls' team has had three make the mark in the same season. Seniors Brea Elmore, Destini McClary and Jada Byrd all needed fewer than 100 points to pass the 1,000 point level and all did so before Christmas. All three have scored over 300 points each of the past two seasons. Elmore has 1,159 points in 94 games (12.3 average), but is averaging 17.3 per game this season. She also has eclipsed the 300 mark in steals (303) and assists (383) for her career. She scored her 1,000th point in a 65-52 win over Grady on Nov. 26, 2013 McClary surpassed the 1,100-point mark with 1,123 (11.9 average in 94 games) as she scored 32 in an 87-48 win over South Atlanta on December 6, 2013. McClary also has 201 steals in her career. Byrd is just shy of the 1,100-point mark with 1,097 (11.4 average in 96 games) after hitting the 1,000-point club with 15 points in the win over South Atlanta on Dec. 6. Byrd has contributed 683 rebounds (7.1) with 240 steals and 226 assists. A fourth senior, Jamesa Abney, has moved more than 700 points with 750 in her career while contributing 243 steals and 180 assists in 77 games. An injury in the 2012 season kept her out of 18 games.
Fred Miller, USC Upstate (basketball): The junior guard from Chamblee scored 11 points and added three rebounds and two assists in the 84-70 win over Lipscomb Jan. 11. He is averaging 6.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game.
Langston Hall, Mercer (basketball): The senior guard from Chamblee scored 14 points and had six assists in the 83-46 win over Kennesaw State Jan. 10. He is averaging 14.8 points and 5.4 assists per game.
Photos by Travis Hudgons
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The Champion chooses a male and female high school Athlete of the Week each week throughout the school year. The choices are based on performance and nominations by coaches. Please email nominations to email@example.com by Monday at noon. MALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Christopher Fredrick, Cedar Grove (basketball): The junior guard led the team in scoring with 12 points and had seven rebounds in the 44-32 win over Decatur Jan. 10. Fredrick is averaging 11.0 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Chrystal Ezechukwu, Miller Grove (basketball): The sophomore forward led the team in scoring with 23 points and had 13 rebounds in the 63-10 win over Clarkston Jan. 9. Ezechukwu is averaging 9.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.
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THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2014
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