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FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2014 • VOL. 16, NO. 49 • FREE
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FORMER DEKALB CEO RUNNING FOR SHERIFF
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Three DeKalb cities among 50 safest in Georgia
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org The cities of Clarkston, Decatur and Doraville have bragging rights over the other DeKalb cities when it comes to safety. Safewise.com, the online home for security and safety experts, named the three cities as among the 50 safest cities in Georgia with populations of 5,000 or more as of 2012. Decatur led the trio at No. 38, with Doraville right behind them at No. 39. Clarkston was ranked No. 44. According to SafeWise security analyst Carolyn Heneghan, analysts from the website accumulated the list by combining their research with most recent FBI Crime in the U.S. Report. The city of Decatur has continuously been in the news the past year with the number of robberies and burglaries that have been occurring in the city. It may seem as though Decatur has had a large increase in crime, but according to the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Part 1 report–which calculates the most dangerous crimes– Decatur only had three more robberies in 2013 (28) than in 2012. There were 127 burglaries in 2013 compared to the 92 that occurred in 2012. Decatur Police Chief Mike Booker said he is proud that the city was named one of the 50 safest cities in Georgia. The City of Clarkston is one of three cities in DeKalb that made SafeWise.com’s list of the 50 saf“Our officers and staff work
See Cities on page 13A
est cities in Georgia. SafeWise stated that Clarkston promotes outdoor activities, including its new renovation of Milam Park. Photo by Carla Parker
Bits and pieces from the past tell Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church’s story
by Kathy Mitchell email@example.com Patchwork quilts often tell a story. Typically, they were made of leftover scraps of cloth with each scrap evoking memories of the garment or item made from the larger piece of cloth— and person who wore or used it. The committee appointed to plan Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church’s 100th anniversary recognition decided a patchwork quilt would make a perfect emblem for the yearlong celebration. Miranda Mack McKenzie, who chairs the committee, explained that squares tell parts of the Greater Piney Grove story. “We invited members to bring pieces of cloth that have special meaning to them. Many brought pieces as memorials for family members who had been members here,” she said, pointing out a square from a robe a deceased choir member used to wear. There is a square made from a towel the pastor used to wipe his brow as he preached and one the pastor’s wife added to remember her mother, who was also a pastor’s wife. The center pieces depict the five men who have been the church’s pastors. McKenzie never fails to show visitors the piece she contributed—a pale yellow swatch that was part of a favorite suit that had belonged to her mother, who died more than 25 years ago. She, like many in the church, comes from a family that has been associated with the
See Church on page 13A
Miranda McKenzie shows the quilt that’s at the heart of the church’s anniversary celebration. Photo by Kathy Mitchell
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28 , 2014
Dunwoody residents question mayor, city manager at town hall meeting
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org More than 100 Dunwoody residents questioned the mayor and city manager about a number of issues at a Feb. 20 town hall meeting. During the meeting, held in the Dunwoody High School auditorium. Residents questioned Mayor Mike Davis and City Manager Warren Hutmacher about issues ranging from problems with the ChatComm 911 service to whether the city should build a roundabout at the intersection of Vermack and Womack roads. ChatComm was the most discussed issue at the meeting with residents voicing their displeasure with the system. In 2011, Dunwoody joined the cities of Sandy Springs and Johns Creek in their joint 911 center known as Chattahoochee River 911 Authority, or ChatComm. ChatComm is an accredited E911 center that provides service to Sandy Springs, Johns Creek, and Dunwoody. Davis said the city joined ChatComm because they were not satisfied with DeKalb’s 911 system. According to city officials, ChatComm has proven performance standards and answer all 911 calls within 10 seconds and 90 percent of all calls will be processed for dispatch within 60 seconds. However, the city has had issues with fire and recuse calls being transferred from ChatComm to DeKalb fire services in a timely manner. “The problem that we have was by switching over to ChatComm we put in an inherit delay into the process of those fire emergency service calls,” Hutmacher said. The city is working to have a new system for fire and rescue calls in place by March. The other hot topic at the meeting was the roundabout at Vermack and Womack roads near Dunwoody High School. The intersection was identified as one of the worst in the city by residents. When the city council decided to look at options that would make the intersection safe, Davis said the roundabout was an option that planners and consultants brought to them. However, work on the intersection had been put on hold. “As of right now, we’re not moving forward with that intersection at all,” Davis said. “I don’t know when we’re going to come back to it. It’s still the worst intersection in the city I believe, but I don’t think the city council has any real feelings about doing that. “We have 11 intersections that are major problems in Dunwoody and we’ll move on to those,” Davis added. The State Farm expansion was also discussed at the meeting. On Feb. 14, State Farm’s developer KDC announced plans for a 17-
More than 100 Dunwoody residents filled the Dunwoody High School auditorium to question the mayor and city manager about issues around the city. Photo by Carla Parker
See Dunwoody on page 12A
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28 , 2014
Mom, boyfriend face manslaughter charges for deaths of two infants A DeKalb County grand jury on Feb. 20 indicted a mother for leaving three of her four children unsupervised in a barricaded room with a space heater. Angel Johnson left her 2-, 3- and 4-year-old children unsupervised in a Stone Mountain apartment complex in December 2010, according to the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office. The space heater caused a fire which led to the death of two of the three children who were barricaded in the apartment, according to law enforcement officials. “Any time there is a loss of young life, it is a tragic situation. We will do our best to see that justice is done in this case,” said District Attorney Robert James. The pair are facing charges of involuntary manslaughter, cruelty to children in the second degree and making false statements. James, who spent several years as a prosecutor in the Crimes Against Children Unit, will serve as lead prosecutor for this case. Joint investigation launched into sexual assaults near Emory The DeKalb County Police Department and Emory University Police are conducting a joint investigation into sexual assault incidents in the vicinity of the Emory campus. The departments have determined three open attempted sexual assault cases that occurred off campus in DeKalb County are possibly connected to a rape that occurred on Emory University’s campus on Feb. 11. The DeKalb County Police incidents occurred between December 2013 and January 2014. According to DeKalb County detectives, the victims were young females, walking alone in the Emory vicinity off campus when the suspect approached and attempted to overpower them. The victims, who were not physically injured, were able to fight off the suspect and alert police. The suspect is described as a White man, 5 feet, 10 inches tall, medium build and approximately 50 years old. This description is consistent with the composite sketch the rape victim was able to provide Emory Police. Anyone with information about the suspect or possible victims are asked to contact the DeKalb County Police Department’s Special Victims Unit at (770) 724-6111 or Emory Police at (404) 727-6111. DeKalb County Ethics Board meets March 7 The DeKalb County Ethics Board meets Friday, March 7,
Doraville paper plant closing
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com A Georgia-Pacific (GP) plant located in unincorporated DeKalb County will be closing its doors soon, leaving 90 employees will unemployment. The plant is in an unincorporated area of the county the city of Doraville is trying to annex this legislative session, an area which Doraville spokesman Luke Howe said has been “hemorrhaging industrial users.” “Somebody sends me a condolence every time the area loses a business, but it’s not us,” Howe said. A map provided to The Champion of the current Doraville city limits and the areas the city is interested in annexing, shows the GP plant sitting just outside the current city limits on an access road. According to the GP website, the plant is responsible for making corrugated paper products. The Atlantabased paper company has 19 locations throughout Georgia and employs more than 6,500 people. Karen Cole, a spokeswoman for GP, said the plant will cease operations in April. “Despite our best efforts, we are not able to make this a competitive plant and production can be absorbed at our other facilities in the region,” Cole said. Over the next month, Cole said the plant will work with its customers to transition business to its other plants in the state and wind down operations. Employees will have the opportunity to transfer to another plant in the state.
See Briefs on page 12A
Decatur commissioner receives bicycle achievement award
by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org City of Decatur Commissioner Fred Boykin received the inaugural Fred Boykin Lifetime Achievement Award from the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition. The awards ceremony called the “Blinkies” was held Feb. 14 and honored community members who have played a significant role in advocating for bicycle awareness in 2013. Boykin has been instrumental in developing Decatur’s Safe Routes to School program, which encourages students and parents to walk or ride their bikes to school every day rather than drive. According to a news release, the Safe Routes to School program was started in 2005 and currently includes all of Decatur’s elementary schools, Renfroe Middle School and St. Thomas More Catholic School. Each year, Boykin helps organize the Georgia Ride to the Capitol from Decatur’s East Lake MARTA station, where a large number of residents and elected officials gather and ride to create cycling awareness. Boykin also owns Bicycle South, a shop located in downtown Decatur he started more than 40 years ago.
THE CHAmPIoN FREE PRESS, fRIdAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2014
Doing all we can to prevent personal bad outcomes
Gale Horton Gay
The recent metro Atlanta snowstorm debacle will have tongues wagging for quite some time. Who’s to blame? Who knew what when? What should have been done? What will happen next time? I’m not going to venture into any of that. However, the situation should serve as a wake-up call for many of us about heeding warnings. And not just about winter snowstorms. Think about how often we are warned or advised and how often we fail to heed those warnings. Whether it’s about our health, safety, nutrition, exercise, economics, relationships, etc.,
we’re certainly exposed to advice from a wealth of experts who warn us of risks we face every day. Most of us are equally expert in our ability to ignore credible advice from reliable sources. We go merrily on our way–that is until something negative happens–we get arrested, find ourselves in toxic relationships, get a diagnosis with an unfavorable prognosis, realize that we have no savings, are injured or have injured others in an accident and on and on. And many of us will even go so far as to blame others despite our blatant disregard to the suggestions, recommendations and tips that we have constantly received. We often won’t visit the doctor or schedule a screening. We refuse to limit our spending and set up regular savings vehicles. We ignore the repeated cautions about cutting down on fast food and getting away from the couch and television for some physical activity. We turn a blind eye to public service announcements about everything from wearing seat belts, driving under the influence and texting while
driving. When the unthinkable but highly predictable bad outcome does happen, it’s not uncommon for so many of us to turn to lawyers to sue those we feel are really at fault. Somehow we never seem to remember that we took few, if any, measures to prevent ourselves from getting into any number of life’s fixes. Time for us to wake up, people. Now that we’re in a let’s-be-proactive-aboutpreventing-bad-things-from-happening mode concerning our local leaders, let’s apply that same thinking to our personal lives. What small (and large) steps can we take to prevent bad outcomes related to our health, economic future, home life, careers and overall happiness? One doesn’t have to look far to find them. Don’t wait until the next personal storm hits to wonder why and how it could have been prevented. Remember, you’ve been warned!
The flawed logic of maximizing the minimum
one out of roughly 10 jobs during those years that I would not do over again. According to the U.S. Labor Department, there are 16 million American workers making an income of $7.25 an hour or less (the current federal minimum wage). And though the percentage of American workers laboring at this rate is in a small minority, there are clearly industries in which this pay scale dominates—food services, hospitality, retail, construction and a variety of contracted services. We can and will debate the merits of a mandated pay hike. The simple fact for the employer however is that employee compensation, in almost every industry, is the largest cost of doing business. Increasing the minimum wage from the current $7.25 to $10.10 by 2015 is an effective cost increase exceeding 33 percent, on a business’ largest budget item. Without dropping into complex economic theory, given that most restaurants, retailers and lower wage industries now operate with annual profit margins in single digits, how is the business owner/ corporation to meet this mandate? The Congressional Budget Office predicts the wage hike will generate job losses exceeding 500,000 fulltime positions. This comes on top of that other recent full-time job killer, the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Interestingly, the loudest advocates for increasingly the minimum wage often rarely offer such compensation themselves. Big city daily newspapers, such as the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Boston Herald, contract their newspaper deliverers and route carriers at weekly rates significantly below minimum wage, and increasingly do not even offer compensation for vehicle maintenance or mileage. Internships in the majority of leading newsrooms in the nation are now completely unpaid. These interns are increasingly back-filling workloads of what were once entry level employees, still not being hired back after the Great Recession. The news outlets in effect receive free slave labor for at least an academic semester. Urban myths are replete with tales of starving families headed by single income parents struggling at minimum wage. Without a doubt these families exist, but the employees who work hard and distinguish themselves typically do not stay at minimum wage—and in the food service arena, the higher performers are typically wellrewarded with tip income. Metro Atlanta has more restaurant franchise headquarters than any other city in the nation, ranging from Arby’s to Zaxby’s and Moe’s to Waffle House. Increasingly, these chains, well before the law required, offered health care insurance and other benefits to their full-time employees. Mandating a wage hike will likely mean a diminished number of full-time positions, as well as reduced spending on benefits and more of the “working poor” being pushed back into emergency rooms or the subsidized health care exchanges for their health care. Fewer employed, fewer covered by employer sponsored/supported benefits, fewer full time jobs and higher prices. If you don’t believe me, take a trip to Europe, pick your country in western Europe, see what the costs of six weeks of paid sabbatical and cradle to grave health care have done to their costs of a meal, or why so many Europeans now primarily shop online, often ordering the most basic retail commodities from overseas. I’m not a big fan of most of the burger joints, and have seldom purchased from the dollar menu, but if you are looking across a counter at someone managing the drivethrough, and another two running the counter, and you are already at $30.30 per hour, to the owner/ operator, that dollar-menu price is about to get super-sized as well. Manga, manga. 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 email@example.com.
ONE MAN’S OPINIoN
“This report confirms what we’ve long known. While helping some, mandating higher wages has real costs, including fewer people working.”— from office of U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), commenting on a Congressional Budget Office report that increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 could cause the loss of another 500,000 jobs (0.03 percent of current employment). I began my first job at age 13, and many of the jobs I held up through college paid less than the minimum wage. I had a paper route, worked weekends in a bicycle and lawnmower repair shop and later at Steak n’ Shake. As I gained a driver’s license and my possibilities for seeking employment broadened, I worked in restaurants and grocery stores while completing my collegiate studies. Several white tablecloth fine dining establishments and catering companies paid me less than $2 an hour, at a time when the minimum wage was well more than double that amount. There is only
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2014
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
The Artisan and Artist: Community College and Empowerment of the African American Community
by Jabari Simama, Ph.D. many educators today still approach middle and high school education Black History Month should be as if they are ground zero for traina time when we do more than reing students for liberal arts colleges call famous African Americans and or research oriented universities recount obscure facts about who only. The truth is only 46 percent invented what. It should be a time of Black students graduate from when we reflect upon how much high school on time in Georgia and progress has been made by the Afonly 21 percent are deemed to be rican American community toward college-ready. Nationally, only 18.7 full participation in the American percent of African Americans 25 dream and chart a course for a years of age and older hold a bachbrighter future. elor’s degree or higher. Of the 44 I contend that greater achievemillion Blacks who live in America, ment in education at all levels will only 3.7 percent are enrolled in colbe the key to achieving the aforelege. These numbers are unacceptmentioned brighter future. ably low. There has been a century-old Michael Thurmond, superdebate around what models best intendent of the DeKalb County address the educational needs of School District, commented that his the African American community. school system has its educational It began with the establishment of model inverted. “We focus 90 perHistorical Black Colleges and Unicent of our effort and budget on versities (HBCUs) prior to and in just 10 percent of our students,” he the 1860s and 1890s. It reignited in exhorted. “What about the other 90 1895 after Booker T. Washington percent?” suggested that Blacks should “cast We need a new educational pardown their buckets” in a sea of voadigm to address the educational cational and industrial education in needs of the Black community. his address before the Atlanta Expo- Some would argue there is a moral sition in Piedmont Park. imperative to challenge the educaIn 1903, W.E.B. Du Bois in his tional status quo in hopes of identiarticle “The Talented Tenth” from fying a new pathway toward illumiThe Negro Problem, countered, nation and inspiration. Community suggesting a liberal arts educated and technical colleges, at their best, “talented 10th” of African American provide this. men would lead the way to Black As president of a fast growing salvation. He wrote, “If we make public technical college in mettechnical skill the object of educaropolitan Atlanta, I continue to tion, we may possess artisans but encounter prejudice and lukewarm not, in nature, men.” Du Bois was reception from high school princioften thought to be prophetic, if not pals and college counselors when I a seer, based on his prediction that present them with data that demrace or what he referred to as the onstrate the benefits of technical “color line” would plague America and community college education. throughout the twentieth century. Consider this: All students at my Yet, even Du Bois could not have college are guaranteed entrance if known that the education of Black they graduate from high school or men would prove to be a major earn a GED. Ninety-eight percent problem for the 21st century, but it of our graduates obtain jobs in their has come to be. fields of study upon receiving a cerAfrican American educators tificate, diploma, or degree. Sixty today have not moved the debate percent graduate on time. There much beyond the dichotomy of are as many students at my college technical and liberal arts educaolder than 50 years of age as there tion. And this phenomenon is unare younger than 25; thus, we are fortunate, some would say tragic, truly intergenerational. Students considering the chronic and widewho complete two years of study at spread high school dropout and my college have the option of transunemployment rates among African ferring to a four-year college or uniAmericans. Despite these problems, versity or they can go directly into the workforce. In 2015, the state of Georgia will change from allocating funds to colleges and universities based on headcount to funding based on measurable results such as retention, graduation rates and job placement. This has its advantages and disadvantages, but it forces us to think not just in terms of recruitment and getting students to show up at our doors. It encourages us to manage our enrollment in a way that improves the student experience, which will hopefully result in students persisting and completing. In doing so, students reap the ultimate award—98 percent of them who complete their studies get jobs. Community and technical education addresses more than the educational needs of just African American students, it addresses the needs of the entire community. Many technical colleges provide adult education, that is, education that focuses on helping adults who have dropped out of high school get their GEDs, a prerequisite for getting into any form of higher education or securing livable wage jobs. In Georgia alone, there are more than 1.3 million adults without a high school diploma. Many of them are African Americans. It does take a village and technical and community college educators understand that in order for first-generation college students to achieve, it will require creating a culture of learning for the entire community. No longer can the dope pusher and street hustler become the models for young Black boys and girls who look to get ahead. The publicly funded community and technical colleges must make community learning affordable, attractive, and accessible to all. Moreover, community colleges must be about economic, workforce and community development. In essence, they must empower the community. The time has come to resolve the debate in the community once and for all over whether a liberal arts or technical education is needed to complete the long struggle for authentic liberation. The answer is the Black community needs both—and in a way, community colleges offer both. The African American community needs an education that will provide essential skills that lead to high demand jobs, but they also need creative and critical thinkers. The community does not benefit when college graduates join the long line of the unemployed. We urge our students to be innovative problem-solvers and powers of positive change within their respective communities, the nation, and the world. We challenge them to be entrepreneurs in deed and in spirit. Community and technical colleges today do not have to choose between the artisan and artist—we produce both.
F REE P RESS
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THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28 , 2014
Champion of the Week
Franklin Horton Sparrow
Three candidates qualify for Lithonia special election in March
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org with a concentration in human resources from Troy University and a bachelor’s degree in business economics from Florida A&M. Three residents have qualified for the “It will enable me to effectively legislate March 18, 2014 Special Election for a seat policy that will improve the city’s strategic on the Lithonia City Council. goals at a faster pace. The biggest challenge The special election was called by the city of the city is revenue generation. I think the after Vanneriah Hawk, who was elected in city will have to routinely lay all initiatives the November 2013 election, filed a notice on the table to come up with an actionable in December that she would not be able to resolution.” serve. Franklin said the city’s most important Former Lithonia City Council member Al issue is the redevelopment of the downtown T. Franklin, a 30-year-old career counselor; corridor. Timalyne Horton, 46, a human resource “It’s really going to revolve around develmanagement graduate student; and Nakkeya oping some long-term strategies to develop King Sparrow, a 39-year-old accountant, are some capital to be able to accomplish that,” vying for the council seat. he said. Franklin, vice chairman of the Lithonia Franklin said he is seeking to serve on Downtown Development Authority, served the council again to “to improve some of the on the Lithonia City Council from 2009existing infrastructure to serve the commu2011. During that time he was chairman of nity. When I talk to people in the community the council’s cultural arts, zoning and person- that’s one of the most pressing issues: getting nel committees. additional neighbor-friendly businesses in “One of the distinct advantages that I will the area that they can use and enjoy. That’s a have if re-elected to the council is underreason developing a long-term strategy is gostanding the political dynamics of the city, ing to be key.” having respect of current serving council Horton said as a city council member she members and community, and I know how to would focus on “business retention and dequickly access the strengths and weaknesses velopment so that we have jobs in our comof the council and mayor,” said Franklin, munity to support our residents; keeping our who has a master’s degree in management community safe; [and] promoting policies
See Lithonia on page 12A
Teens indicted for alleged gang-related murder
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com Three DeKalb County teens have been indicted for their alleged roles in the murder of a 19-year-old classmate March 8, 2012. According to the indictment, Marcus Estes, Antarious Johnson and Malcolm Wilson are responsible for shooting Derrick Linkhorn, 19, and stuffing his body in a storage shed at an apartment complex. Prosecutors said Johnson and Linkhorn were acquaintances from their time at Elizabeth Andrews High School in Stone Mountain. The three defendants are allegedly members of the national Bloods gang and prosecutors believe the murder stemmed from a disagreement between Linkhorn and the three others. Estes, Johnson and Wilson were indicted on various felony counts including malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during commission of a felony and seven counts of violation of the Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act. “Gangs and gang violence have become an increasing issue not only in DeKalb but across the nation,” District Attorney Robert James said. “This was a senseless and cowardly act that claimed the life of this young man. My office will continue to dedicate our resources to combating gangs in DeKalb County.” Linkhorn’s body was discovered on March 15, 2012, at the Southern Pines apartments in Decatur. According to the indictment, the three defendants murdered Linkhorn to maintain their status in the Bloods.
Growing up, Donna Priest-Brown saw how involved her parents were in her educational upbringing. Their passion for parental involvement passed on to her and led to the creation of the South DeKalb Parent Council (SDPC). Priest-Brown, who lives in Lithonia, is one of the co-founders and co-presidents of the SDPC. The organization was established in June 2010 in her family room with a group of concerned parents and stakeholders. The SDPC consists of parents, volunteers, advocates and community leaders. According to its website, the purpose of the SDPC is to bring parents, students, teachers, administrators and community leaders in south DeKalb together to discuss issues and challenges related to the DeKalb County School District. “I am considered a ‘demand parent’ who is very involved in not only the schools, but community as well,” the 51-year-old said. “My parents, especially my mother, were very instrumental in my educational, spiritual and social upbringing. Strong parental engagement and involvement produces high student achievement.” Priest-Brown is also cofounder of Parent Councils United. The organization was formed in 2013 during SDPC’s first Refresh and Regroup Executive Committee session in March. SDPC’s collaboration with other parent councils in DeKalb was a topic on the agenda and from that dis-
cussion the Parent Council United was formed. “On April 29, 2013, we held our first parent summit at the Mary Gay House in downtown Decatur,” she said. “Parent leaders planned the parent summit in hopes of building bridges and increasing communication among parents from different parts of DeKalb.” Priest-Brown believes that all children should receive a good education, no matter what area of the county they live in. “All children are innocent and deserve exceptional educational exposure and experience regardless of their ZIP code,” she said. “Since others built pathways for my achievements, I feel it is important to reach back and encourage all that education is our access to the global society.” She added that it is important for all adults to get involved in the education system, even if they do not have children. “It is essential that all residents in the community, regardless if there is a family member in the school district, get involved in some capacity,” she said. “An equitable school district promotes viable social and economic development for all citizens.”
If you would like to nominate someone to be considered as a future Champion of the Week, please contact Kathy Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (404) 373-7779, ext. 104.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28 , 2014
Tucker Library to host Ancestry.com class The Tucker-Reid H. Cofer Library will host a class, “Getting Started With Genealogy: Ancestry. com,” March 1, from 10:15 a.m. to 12 p.m. Vicki Watkins, Secretary of the Tucker Historical Society and president of the Gwinnett Historical Society, will help attendees begin the quest for their history. In this class, participants will learn the basics of how to navigate and make use of Ancestry.com. Time will be allotted for individual questions and library computers with access to Ancestry.com will be available to the first 12 patrons to register. Eight additional spaces will be allotted for patrons who either wish to observe or bring their own laptop computers. Registration is required. The library is located at 5234 LaVista Road. For more information, call (770) 2708234. Brookhaven Library to host story time for children Children ages 3‒5 can listen to bedtime stories at the PJ Storytime event March 4 at the Brookhaven Library. Children can wear their PJs and bring their favorite stuffed animal or toy. The 6:30-7 p.m. event is open to the first 20 participants. Brookhaven Library is located at 1242 North Druid Hills Road, NE. For more information, call (404) 848-7140. Columbia Presbyterian to hold Fat/Shrove Tuesday pancake supper Rev. Tom Hagood of Columbia Presbyterian Church in Decatur invites the community to its Fat/ Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper. As the last day before Lent, Shrove Tuesday is a day of celebration as well as penitence. It is the last chance to indulge and use up the foods that aren’t allowed during Lent. This event will be celebrated Tuesday, March 4, at 5:30 p.m. Ash Wednesday Service will be held the next day and marks the beginning of Lent, a season of penitence, discipline and renewal. The service will be held on Wednesday, March 5, at 6:30 p.m. Columbia Presbyterian is located at 711 Columbia Drive in Decatur. For more information, visit the church’s website at www.cpcdecatur.org, or contact the church via phone, (404) 284-2441, or email, email@example.com. Clarkston hosts monthly movie night On the first Friday of each month, Clarkston’s K.D. Moore Community Development Center, located at 4007 Church Street, will host a movie night. All movies will be family-friendly and popcorn and drinks will be sold. The schedule is as follows; March 7, Yogi Bear; April 4, The Blind Side; May 2, The Smurfs; and June 6, Monsters University. For more information contact Christin Taylor at (404) 292-5686 ext.248 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Dunwoody United Methodist Church hosts Burt Bacharach concerts The performing arts group of the Dunwoody United Methodist Church, located at 1548 Mt. Vernon Road, will perform the music of Burt Bacharach March 21-22 at 7 p.m. and March 23 at 3 p.m. Bacharach penned such songs as “What the World Needs Now is Love,” “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” and “Close to You.” For more information visit www.dunwoodyumc. org or call (770) 394-0675. Village to host annual bluegrass festival Stone Mountain Village is hosting its annual bluegrass and arts and crafts festival, located on Main Street in Stone Mountain. The fifth annual Bluegrass Roots Music and Arts Festival will also commemorate the 175th anniversary of the founding of Stone Mountain. Entertainment includes bluegrass music, arts and crafts, folk dancing and other genres of regional music. The festival will also feature glassblowing, a blacksmith, food, train rides and inflatables for children. Parking, admission and all musical performances are free and open to the public. The festival will be Saturday, March 29, 10 a.m.6 p.m., and Sunday, March 30, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information contact Chris Strawbridge at (770) 413-0607. Callanwolde Mansion open for tours Area residents can experience Callanwolde’s 27,000-square-foot Gothic-Tudor mansion located on 12.5 acres in the Druid Hills neighborhood of Atlanta. Those on the tour see how the Candler family of Coca-Cola fame lived as they stroll through the formal and native gardens, view artists at work and learn more about Atlanta history. Callanwolde, located at 960 Briarcliff Road NE in Atlanta, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Tours are available from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Tickets are $8-$12. For more information, go to www. callanwolde.org. Jewish community center to offer activities for homeschool families The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (MJCCA) recently introduced Homeschool Extras. Metro Atlanta homeschool families are welcome to MJCCA’s’s 52-acre, state-of-the-art Dunwoody campus to participate in hands-on group activities. Participants in Homeschool Extras can get active with sports such as tennis, gymnastics, and swimming; or explore their artistic side with drama and dance. Registration is open now. Classes start in January. Programs are offered between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Monday-Friday. For more information, contact Ashley Cohen at (678) 812-3867 or via email@example.com; or visit www.atlantajcc.org/ homeschool. Offered on a semester basis, Homeschool Extras is designed for age groups: 4-6, 7-9 and 10-13. MJCCA membership is not required, and Homeschool Extras is open to the community. Registration open for second annual Race for the Arts Registration is open for this 5K run/walk starting at the Porter Sanford Performing Arts and Community Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur. Cost for an individual is $20 and $25 for teams with five or more participants. The race takes place March 29. To register go to www.active.com/decatur-ga/running/ distance-running-races/second-annual-porter-sanford-race-for-the-arts-5k-walk-run-2014. Free tax assistance and preparation available This service, available for low- and moderate-income taxpayers, is available from AARP Foundation Tax-Aide from through April 15. You do not need to be a member of AARP or a retiree to use this service. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers, trained in cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service, will offer help with personal income tax returns at various locations around Georgia. Last year, AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers in the United States helped more than 2 million people file their federal, state and local tax returns. The program is offered at many sites in Georgia, including senior centers, libraries and other convenient location. Call the tollfree number, 1-888-AARPNOW (1-888-227-7669) or visit the website at www.aarp.org/taxaide during this tax season, to locate an AARP Foundation TaxAide site.
West African dance classes. Classes are taught by master West African dance instructor Assane Kouyate. Open to participants of all ages and levels who are ready for a fun-filled, energy packed class. Traditional and modern dances are taught. In addition, participants can develop an awareness of how song traditions work hand in hand with dance movement as a means of expression and communication of daily life in West African cultures. Thursdays; Beacon Hill Centre Theatre (corner Electric and W. Trinity Place– inside Ebster Rec Center at the back), 404 West Trinity Place, Decatur, 7-8:15 p.m., Cost: $12. For more information, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.sekhousenegal.com/westafricandance.
Veterans Recognition Campaign. Crossroads Hospice seeks compassionate volunteers, ROTC cadets, members of the armed forces, and their loved ones to participate in a special project honoring veterans in the Greater Atlanta region this fall. Crossroads Hospice has developed the “Honor Our Veterans” recognition campaign to acknowledge veteran patients and veterans in the community. There are many ways to volunteer, including visiting with patients in their homes, nursing homes or assisted living facilities, assisting with group ceremonies of recognition, and collecting personal memories from veterans and their loved ones. For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, contact William English at william.english@ crossroadshospice.com or (770) 270-9898. Applications can be found online at www.crossroadshospice. com/volunteering.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28 , 2014
Restaurant Health Inspections
Establishment Name: China Buffet Address: 2887 North Decatur Road, Suite A&B Current Score/Grade: 73/C Inspection Date: 02/19/2014 Observations and Corrective Actions Observed pooled eggs stored over wong tongs and raw fish stored over sauce in 3 door prep top cooler, raw chicken stored over raw pork in one door prep top cooler, and raw shelled eggs over vegetables in walk-incooler. PIC advised to separate different types of raw animal foods from each other. COS- Foods rearranged; Just Store It Sign given. Corrected On-Site. Observed no time documentation for sushi, sweet and sour chicken, dumplings, chicken wings, peanut chicken, and black pepper chicken. Establishment Name: Bruster’s Ice Cream / Nathans Address: 4790 Flat Shoals Parkway Current Score/Grade: 93/A Inspection Date: 02/19/2014
Chamblee Mayor R. Eric Clarkson gives his state of the city address at the Chamblee Business Association’s business breakfast. Photo by Carla Parker
Establishment Name: Church’s Chicken Address: 2700 Candler Road Current Score/Grade: 73/C Inspection Date: 02/19/2014 Establishment Name: Galley Gourmet Address: 3749 Clairmont Road Current Score/Grade: 71/C Inspection Date: 02/19/2014 Establishment Name: Pizza Hut # 4807 Address: 4421 Hugh Howell Road Current Score/Grade: 97/A Inspection Date: 02/18/2014 Establishment Name: Subway Address: 4065 Memorial Drive, Suite G Current Score/Grade: 91/A Inspection Date: 02/18/2014 Establishment Name: Taco Bell #27992 Address: 5385 Fairington Road Current Score/Grade: 02/18/2014 Inspection Date: 94/A Establishment Name: Fletcher’s Place Address: 2801 Candler Road, Suite 38 Current Score/Grade: 90/A Inspection Date: 02/18/2014 Establishment Name: Lan Zhou Restaurant Address: 5385 New Peachtree Road, Suite C Current Score/Grade: 59/U Inspection Date: 02/18/2014 Observations and Corrective Actions Failure to complete, and provide proof of completion for, an approved food safety training. .03(3) PIC advised that the food service establishment operator has 90 days from initial permit issued to employ a new CFSM. Person-in-charge (PIC) unable to demonstrate knowledge of foodborne illness prevention .03(1) 26-27 PIC advised to designate one person as the PIC whom is knowledgeable of foodborne illness prevention practices. PIC advised one employee must be a Certified Food Safety Manager and have taken and passed a food safety exam. PIC advised to designate one person as soon as possible. PIC informed that within 90 days initial permit issue to employ a CFSM; one individual must enroll in approved food safety training course, pass exam, obtain new certificate and provide DeKalb County Board of Health with copy. Correct By: 03/19/2014 PIC advised the permit holder must be able to report symptoms, diagnosis, and history of exposure to food-borne illness. COS-PIC given employee health policy information. .03(4)(h) Corrected On-Site. Food not protected from contamination by separating raw animal foods during storage, prep, holding, and display from cooked or raw ready-toeat foods. Raw beef and raw shrimp stored above ready to eat foods in walk in cooler. Raw shell eggs stored in box with celery in walk in cooler. Advised PIC that raw animal foods should be stored below or completely separate from cooked and ready-to-eat foods. COS-PIC rearranged foods. Raw shrimp stored uncovered in walk in cooler. Raw beef tenders stored uncovered in walk in cooler. Noodles in bottom of prep to cooler stored uncovered. Frozen shrimp in walk in freezer stored uncovered. PIC advised food must be stored in packages, covered containers, or wrappings. COS-PIC covered foods. Cold-held potentially hazardous foods not maintained below 41F; no time controls/documentation in place. Beef tripe and raw shrimp in prep top cooler not maintained at 41F or below. Garlic in oil in prep top cooler in rear of kitchen not maintained at 41F or below.
‘It’s time to focus our efforts on growing jobs’
by Carla Parker email@example.com Chamblee Mayor R. Eric Clarkson told the Chamblee Business Association that his focus for this year and the coming years is to create more jobs in the city. During the Chamblee Business Association’s business breakfast Feb. 20, Clarkson gave his annual State of the City address, which centered on bringing in more jobs into the city. Clarkson said he wants to bring the “work” park from the phrase “live, work and play” back to the city. “As we look ahead to what Chamblee will be in the coming years it’s time to focus our efforts on growing jobs,” he said. Clarkson told business owners that 8,000 people worked in Chamblee in 2011, which was the latest estimate available. Of those 8,000 workers, only 1,311 worked and lived in Chamblee. Six percent of those workers were in manufacture while eight percent were in professional, scientific or technical services. “It’s time for Chamblee to once again build something more than a sandwich that’s delivered out of a drive-thru window and taken back,” Clarkson said. “It’s time for Chamblee to not just be known as a bedroom community but as a city of boardrooms. I want to see people come into city hall with building plans for headquarters and not just another road of departments.” Clarkson said the city needs to attract jobs from the information technologies companies as well as life science and biotechnology companies. He also said the city needs to connect with “high education.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently added more than 1,000 jobs to its Chamblee campus, according to Clarkson, and plans to add “thousands more” in the coming year. Clarkson mentioned three goals that he would like the city council and residents to help him with in the next 24 months. One of those goals includes documenting the current condition of the economic and employment climate. “Let’s not just deal with subjective impressions but let’s look for the truth of who is working on our city,” Clarkson said. “We need to develop an economic development plan. I’ve asked the city council to make this a priority in 2014.” Clarkson’s other two goals are to create jobs in downtown Chamblee and grow the number of jobs in Chamblee by 1,000 before December 2016. Clarkson also mentioned the $20.7 million 2014 fiscal year budget that was approved by the city council earlier this month. According to the budget outline, all funds total $20,679,326, with a general fund of approximately $15,700,000, using 2013’s millage rate of 6.4 mils. Clarkson praised the city council for getting the millage rate down to 6.4. In 2011, the millage rate had reached as high as 7.15,” he said. “Through very diligent efforts the millage rate is down to 6.4. I believe with great planning we can lower that millage to 5 or lower.” With the recent annexation, the city added funding for more services to accommodate all residents. The population grew by roughly 75 percent from 15,600 to 27,300; the size grew by 63 percent from 4.81 to 7.85 square miles and the total number of residential parcels grew by 80 percent from 2,560 to 4,610. The city added 37 new full-time equivalent positions including 27 at the police department, a new economic development manager and a communications manager/ executive assistant to the city manager. Marc Johnson, who served as police chief and city manager, is now the full-time city manager. Clarkson said the city plans to hire a new police chief in March.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28 , 2014
Former county CEO Vernon Jones wants sheriff’s job
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org ormer DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones is back in the political spotlight after announcing his bid for the county sheriff ’s position. “This sheriff ’s office is not going to be your father’s Oldsmobile,” Jones said during a news conference Feb. 20 in Decatur. “We’re going to be more efficient, we’re going to be more effective and we’re going to be tougher on crime. “We’re not here to replace the police department but we are here to support and augment and help them in the war on crime,” Jones said. “That’s from the Doraville Police Department, Chamblee Police Department, Brookhaven and DeKalb—all of the police departments. I’m sending a notice to each and every police chief and every one of those officers who put their lives on the line each and every day that DeKalb County Sheriff ’s Office will not sit around idly by and see this county go to hell in a hand basket.” Jones served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1993-2001, and was elected to the county CEO position in 2000 and re-elected in 2004. “DeKalb County needs some serious leadership, not just someone that says, ‘I’ve been a police officer;’ not just someone that says, ‘I can do the job;’ but someone who has the capability and ability to get in, roll their sleeves up and run this operation the way it needs to be run,” Jones said. As sheriff, Jones said, he would “do a thorough analysis to see how many deputies are doing civilian jobs that could be…in law enforcement positions.” He would move more deputies to the streets to aid in various law enforcement functions, including code enforcement and neighborhood patrols, he said. “There’s room—a lot of room—where the Sheriff ’s Office has been underutilized,” Jones said. “As a matter of fact, before the current sheriff came in there was a narcotics unit. It was disbanded, as I understand, under his administration. So there’s a lot of room for improvement. There’s a lot of room to do more law enforcement.”
Touting his 20 years of service “in and out of office,” Jones said, “As I look at the office of sheriff, which is an administrator’s job that runs the courts and runs the jail, as an administrator, I know how to manage resources. I know how to run an operation. My background and my experience is second to none.” Jones said that none of the other candidates have the administrative experience to run the Sheriff ’s Office. “None of them have any management experience of running a large organization or even a large police department,” Jones said. You don’t have to be a law enforcement officer to be the sheriff. This is an administrator’s job. This is about managing resources. This is about directing traffic. This is about efficiency and effectiveness in government. This is about being able to have a relationship with the board of commissioners to get your budget through. “This is one time that experience does count,” Jones said. Special election set for county sheriff The DeKalb County Board of Registration and Elections has called for a special election to fill the vacancy in sheriff’s position resulting from the resignation of Sheriff Thomas Brown effective Feb. 28. The election will be held in conjunction with the May 20 general primary and nonpartisan elections. Special elections are considered nonpartisan. Qualifying for the general primary, nonpartisan and special sheriff elections will begin at 9 a.m. on Monday, March 3, and end at noon on Friday, March 7. County partisan candidates (commissioners) will qualify with their respective county party. The DeKalb Democratic Party will qualify candidates at 3203 Glenwood Road, Decatur, and the DeKalb Republican Party will qualify candidates at its headquarters, 1532 Dunwoody Village Parkway, Suite 100, Dunwoody. Nonpartisan county candidates (state court judges, school board members and sheriff) will qualify with the Voter Registration and Elections Department at 4380 Memorial Drive, Suite 300, Decatur.
“DeKalb County needs some serious leadership, not just someone that says, ‘I’ve been a police officer,’” said former DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones when he announced his bid for the county sheriff’s position. Photos by Travis Hudgons
Jones kisses 5-month-old Harper Gonzales, son of Mario and Jacqueline Gonzales, during his campaign announcement Feb. 20 at the old Decatur courthouse.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28 , 2014
he Decatur Arts Alliance held a free night out event at Decatur Glassblowing. Owner Nathan Nardi, along with fellow glassblowers John Cleage and Lee Ritchie demonstrated glassblowing techniques at the packed house event Feb. 21. “We thought this would be a great way to showcase his work,” Angie Macon, Decatur Arts Alliance executive director, said. The Decatur Arts Alliance held the event to thank its current members and to recruit new members. In addition to the live artistic display, there was food, drink and giveaways. Although the Decatur Arts Festival is its biggest event, the Decatur Arts Alliance is working on many other events to promote the arts and art education in Decatur. Decatur Glassblowing is a workshop, gallery and a teaching facility, where students of all able ages can learn to create their own glass art. Private and group classes are available. For more information, call (404) 849-0301 or visit www.natenardi.com. Photos by Travis Hudgons
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28 , 2014
DeKalb County Fire Rescue personnel extinguish a vehicle fire on I-285 on Feb. 19. Photo by Andrew Cauthen
Carolyn Glenn, publisher of The Champion Newspaper, is interviewed by The History Makers, a nonprofit research and educational institution that preserves the untold personal stories of Blacks. Photo by John Hewitt
Dog groomer Anaïs Hayden’s dog Swinger catches many attendees’ attention at the Feb. 22 Bronner Bros. Hair Show. For more pictures see page 16B. Photo by Travis Hudgons
The nonprofit Circle of Joy, a philanthropic organization that promotes collective giving, donates $25,000 to the Positive Growth Boys Home of Decatur on Feb. 22. Photo provided
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THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28 , 2014
Commissioner discusses new blueprint for DeKalb County
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com DeKalb County Commissioner Kathie Gannon said the county reached a “tipping point” in 2013 and now DeKalb County’s government is in dire need of reforms. “Nearly everyone now agrees that fundamental reforms are due,” Gannon said. At a Feb. 20 meeting, Gannon discussed the details of her Blueprint for DeKalb, which addresses recent grand jury recommendations, ethics, government operations and cityhood. Gannon said that beyond agreeing the county needs drastic change, it is difficult for its leaders to reach a consensus on certain issues. “Even listing a top 10 of the issues, crises and challenges that brought us to this tipping point invariably raises disagreement on one point or another from one quarter or another,” Gannon said. “We all seem to be going our separate ways.” Gannon said she hopes the blueprint serves as a foundation for community discussion. The blueprint, Gannon said, has also been endorsed by more than 60 community leaders including Commissioner Jeff Rader, former Leadership DeKalb Executive Director Sara Fountain and DeKalb County Ethics Board Chairman Isaac Blythers. The blueprint outlines what the reforms in the county should look like and ways to address operations, governmental structure, infrastructure funding and more. Gannon said the county needs comprehensive solutions with many government agencies involved. The Board of Commissioners, Gannon said, along with the DeKalb County Board of Education and state legislators need to work in concert to address key issues. The blueprint lists five improvement areas, the first being the county’s operations, specifically with its purchasing and processing departments. Gannon proposes developing a standard operating procedure for each department. Additionally, the plan calls for establishing an independent auditor office, an external appointment process for the county’s ethics board and a limit on contributions from county vendors to candidates running for office. Another issue the blueprint addresses is the loss of Homestead Optional Sales Tax (HOST) revenue for capital improvement projects. “The sales tax no longer funds needed infrastructure improvements and misallocates proceeds. In addition, everyone thinks that those at the other end of the County get a better deal. This highlights the need to revisit the HOST legislation,” Gannon said. The blueprint aims to accomplish these goals by revamping the county’s administrative procedures, revisit local election rules, put new cities on hold and create a charter commission to address the effects of cityhood on DeKalb County. “We understand that not every stakeholder will agree with every recommendation we have made. We hope to hear from a diverse range of voices,” Gannon said. “Our goal here is to begin a conversation.”
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at 1 p.m. at the Clark Harrison Building, 330 W. Ponce de Leon Avenue, 1st Floor, Decatur. According to the agenda, board members are expected to conduct ethics board training; vote to end suspension status; discuss and approve revised ethics board rules; and set quarterly meeting dates for 2014. Delta Community Credit Union announces annual scholarship program Delta Community Credit Union, Georgia’s largest credit union, is accepting applications for its annual scholarship program. This year’s program will award five applicants with a total of $20,000 in scholarships based on academic achievement, community involvement and submission of an essay on a topic selected by the credit union. The Delta Community Scholarship, now in its ninth year, assists eligible members by awarding three $5,000 and
two $2,500 scholarships to students seeking their undergraduate degree. It is designed to provide supplemental funds to cover expenses, including tuition, books, housing or meal costs. Delta Community’s focus on young adults, via its Quarterlife program, inspired the 2014 essay selection. Applicants are asked what role financial institutions should play in the financial literacy of young adults. All scholarship applications must be received by the close of business on March 31; winners will be notified and announced on or before May 12. All applicants must be enrolled at an accredited college or university in the United States during the fall of the 2014-2015 academic year as a full-time student. For more information on the Delta Community scholarship and specific application details, including how to apply, visit www.deltacommunitycu. com/scholarships.
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acre site in the Perimeter Center area of Dunwoody. State Farm is leasing 585,000 square feet of office space and plans to add additional buildings over the next decade. The first office building will be constructed on a nearly 4-acre site at Hammond Drive and Perimeter Center Parkway and will connect to the Dunwoody MARTA station. KDC plans to begin construction on the first building in summer 2014. Davis said developers paid $8 million an acre for the 4-acre site. “That’s the kind of money they pay in Midtown for land,” he said. “We’ve never seen anything like that before in Dunwoody.” More meetings are scheduled to be held in May, August and November. The exact dates and locations will be announced later.
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and programs that keep our youth, adults, and seniors engaged in community life.” Horton is affiliated with the Society Human Resource Management, Strayer University Alumni Association, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Georgia PTA, The Carter Foundation, Greater Harvest Community Center, Alpha Sigma Lambda and Project Open Hands of Atlanta. Horton served on the Stoneview Elementary School school board council for 2012-2013 and she also volunteers for for Lithonia city functions and is a member of Beulah Missionary Baptist Church in Decatur. “I want to continue to be involved in my community,” Horton said. “I believe that my background in business and current community involvement gives me a perspective that will contribute to the strength of our
city council. We need people from diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise to provide input on the decisions affecting our community.” Horton said voters should elect her because she will “serve the people of Lithonia by being a diligent steward of the office and by being proactive in helping find solutions to problems.” “I stand on the principles of honesty, integrity and character,” she said. “If elected I will do my very best to help enhance the city of Lithonia so that it will continue to be a great place to live, work and play.” She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in human resource management at Strayer University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Sparrow has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Jacksonville Col-
lege and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in accounting. “I am seeking this office because I really love the city of Lithonia and I want to help it reach its potential. [There are] a lot of great natural resources that I think a lot of people in the city don’t know about and don’t take advantage of.” Since moving to the city, Sparrow has compiled a newsletter for the city, facilitated the block captain program, and worked with holiday projects including a children’s Christmas wreath-decorating program, the lighting of city Christmas light and a toy giveaway. She is a member of First African Presbyterian Church, the National Association of Tax Preparers and a former member of the DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce. Sparrow has also served as a foster mother for 16 years.
“I’ve been taking care of disadvantaged youth for 16 years,” she said. “That’s really been my contribution to society.” Sparrow said important issue for Lithonia include “revitalization of the city as far as getting business back into the city and up to par; having more community events where people can get to know each other and take advantage of living in a small city; and restructuring the downtown area.” Because Lithonia is being considered for the National Register of Historic Places, the city needs to get “ready to live up to that standard of being a historic city,” Sparrow said. “I come with a new perspective, a fresher perspective on things,” Sparrow said. “If you want different results, you have to move in a different direction.”
THE CHAmPIoN FREE PRESS, fRIdAY, FEBRUARY 28 , 2014
Commissioners vote to form new economic development entity
by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners approved an intergovernmental agreement Feb. 25 that will partner the county with the Development Authority of DeKalb County and create a new department to spur economic development. “This will maintain, preserve and ultimately expand our tax digest and I think this is something that we need to move forward with,” Commissioner Jeff Rader said. According to the agreement, both the county and development Interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May said the county will allocate $750,000 for a authority will provide financial new economic development agreement with the Development Authority of DeKalb contributions to create a single County. Photo by Daniel Beauregard economic development entity jobs and attract and retain the already has in place. “that facilitates business attraction, top talent, the DeKalb economic “The county is fully prepared business development and the development program must be a and committed to the creation of implementation of any economic an economic development vehicle balanced, holistic model of local development work program.” growth,” the agreement states. which supports the growth and Interim DeKalb County CEO Rader said the agreement, development of new and existLee May said the county will pro- ing businesses by improving the which has been in development vide a maximum of $750,000 to for several months, will help the depth and breadth of economic develop the new department. The development services; identifying, county project an economic develdevelopment authority is comopment presence “comparable to packaging and marketing stratemitting a maximum of $500,000. that of other local jurisdictions.” gic opportunities; and growing a May said the final funding amount strong and capable workforce,” the The new department will confrom the county will be contingent agreement states. sist of approximately 12 people on the percentage the developthat will have the option, May Additionally, the agreement ment authority puts forward. said, of either working in the delists priorities and incentives The agreement outlines a partment temporarily or transferthat will be the focus of the new framework for the department’s ring to it permanently. development department. These responsibilities that includes The agreement was passed with include business recruitment and several economic objectives foretention, economic development five commissioners voting in favor cused on diversifying the county’s partnerships, access to capital and of it and Commissioner Elaine economy and building on the education and talent development. Boyer voting in opposition. economic framework the county “In order to capture the best
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incredibly hard to prevent crime and to address the crime that does occur,” Booker said. “This success is the result of a collaborative effort that includes our officers, employees from other city departments and community members, all working together.” Heneghan said Decatur can be a great place to call home “no matter what stage your family or life might be in.” “Decatur keeps its events calendar packed with activities for residents of all ages, including such programming as aerobic seniors, aerobic dance, ageless grace, yoga, and needlework, to name a few,” Heneghan said. “For more ways to keep busy, the city offers numerous volunteering opportunities to support the local community, including neighborhood cleanup campaigns, advocacy for the elderly and disabled, and more.” According to Heneghan, Doraville had low crime statistics in 2012 with 19 reported robberies and 12 reported aggravated assaults. They described Doraville as a vibrant city that “perfect for the active family.” “Doraville continues to thrive and supports a growing and diverse population of the Atlanta metropolitan area while maintaining a small-town charm that does wonders for its residents,” Heneghan said. “This close-knit community offers a wide range of activities that build teamwork and camaraderie among its participants, particularly the youth.” Doraville’s Shawn Gillen said the city is excited to be named one of the 50 safest cities in Georgia. “We will continue to work to improve public safety in our city,” Gillen said. “I am very proud of our police department and the hard work they have done.” Heneghan also acknowledged that Doraville sponsors safety and crime prevention programs such as auto theft prevention, con and fraud prevention, a crime prevention checklist for businesses, and home safety. According to Heneghan, Clarkston provides the “peace and quiet that people love about small towns just outside of major cities,” which led to its No. 44 ranking. “The city also promotes outdoor activities, including its renovation of Milam Park, which is now equipped with all new playground equipment, bike paths, a dog park, a new swimming pool complex, an ADA walking trail, and a Wildlife Nature Preserve and Twin Lakes with fishing that is open to the public,” Heneghan said. “Clarkston has everything you could ever love about a tight-knit, communitydriven small town all wrapped up in one rich, entertaining package.” Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry said this acknowledgment by SafeWise reflects that the city’s policing and safety initiatives are working. “I am inspired by the level of commitment and dedication our Chief and police officers show in serving our diverse community,” Terry said. “This agency is committed to being an integral part of this community and we will provide each and every person who resides in or visits our city with the highest standard of professional and competent law enforcement services,” Clarkston Police Chief Christine Hudson said.
Church Continued From Page 1A
church for generations. “Volunteers made the quilt and we brought in experts to help us through the process,” McKenzie said. The quilt was completed in January and is on display along with pictures and documents from the church’s century-long history—including a letter signed by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Robes once worn by choir members or pastors, along with ushers’ uniforms, hang beside the quilt as part of the historical display. McKenzie said the quilt is one of several anniversary projects being completed by the committee appointed by the church’s current pastor, William E. Flippin Sr. The display surrounding the quilt includes a board with photos of approximately 70 members who have belonged at least 50 years. The church’s oldest member, Estella Lester, like the church, is 100 years old. A new church sanctuary is under construction and McKenzie said a prominent place will be found for the quilt when the building, scheduled for completion in late summer, is ready to be occupied. The church, which members affectionately refer to as a “The Grove,” started in 1914 in a three-room house on Bell Street in Atlanta’s “old Fourth Ward.” The church was originally known as Piney Grove. The name, McKenzie explained, was changed later to distinguish the church from several others with Piney Grove as part of the name. “I think there were only six or seven members when Rev. N. J. Jenkins organized the church back in 1914,” McKenzie said, referring to the church’s first pastor. Within three years of its founding, the church faced a major crisis. An event referred to as “the great fire of 1915” destroyed a large number of homes in the Fourth Ward, including property owned by Piney Grove members. Still, the congregation continued to grow and in 1939 under the leadership of its second pastor, J.D. Sims, the church moved to a location on Boulevard, where it remained until 1971. Having outgrown the Boulevard structure, the church purchased its current property on Glenwood Avenue, which also is the site of the new sanctuary. Membership now numbers more than 5,000. McKenzie said one of a series of events marking the church’s 100th anniversary celebration will be a worship service at the old Boulevard location. She said there also will be an old-fashioned camp meeting and a tea at Agnes Scott College.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28 , 2014
Haegan Altizer is organizing the Decatur College Alternatives Fair to share information about options other than college for high school graduates. Photo by Andrew Cauthen
Decatur student organizing College Alternatives Fair
by Andrew Cauthen email@example.com A Decatur High School senior wants students to know that college isn’t the only choice immediately after high school. That’s why 17-year-old Haegan Altizer is organizing the free Decatur College Alternatives Fair, Monday, March 3, 6-8 p.m., at Decatur High School Performing Arts Center, 310 N. McDonough St., Decatur. “Basically it came from the fact that I personally was not planning to go to college straight after high school,” Haegan said. “I wanted to do a gap year—take some time off and travel. It got me thinking that high schools do a really great job of providing lots of info about college and about pursuing that path, but they don’t do such an awesome job at providing [information] about the other opportunities. “There are a huge number of really awesome other opportunities for high school graduates like apprenticeships and vocational schools and routes other than your traditional fouryear degree,” Haegan said. “I just thought it was a need in the community to get that info out there.” The fair will feature presenters from more than 15 organizations including Americorps, technical schools such as Brown College of Court Reporting, Aviation Institute of Maintenance, and gap year programs such as American Field Service. Haegan said he is not trying to discourage students to from pursuing college degrees. “It’s just to let people know that there are other options and that if you’re not particularly excited about going straight into a fouryear college, there are other really productive, really useful things you can do.” The Decatur resident received assistance organizing the fair from his mother, Gail Rothman, who works for the Decatur Education Foundation, and from Cheryl Burnette, the assistant director for Decatur Active Living. Burnette is Haegan’s senior project mentor. “I’m hoping that now that the idea is out there and that I’ve brought it to the attention of some of the counselors that there might be the possibility of it continuing in future years. I really do think it’s a very often neglected part of what should be provided by the schools. It’s a little frustrating to see colleges pushed so heavily but it’s kind of understandable from an educator’s perspective. “Decatur does a pretty good job of [offering] other sorts of programs too. Career academy has partnerships with DeVry University graduate with a two-year degree.” Haegan, who works at Bicycle South, said he is unsure what career he will pursue. He said he first wants to “see the country; get that wanderlust out of the way before figuring out what I really want to do.” College is “definitely a possibility at some point,” Haegan said. “College is an option that I can always go back to. “For me as well as a lot of students, it makes more sense financially to go to college a little later when you’re more prepared to get the most out of it,” he said. “Since it’s the next step after high school, a lot of people will go to straight to college…and spend five or six years trying to decide exactly what they want to do. “So many people will go and get a degree and you ask them what they’re doing 10 years later—sure the degree helped them land that first job, but it’s not really specific to what they’re doing,” he said. Haegan said the fair is open to all students regardless of whether they are planning to attend college immediately. “Even if you don’t see yourself as someone who would take one of these alternative routes you never really know until you’ve check them out and seen what your options are,” Haegan said. “Even if you’re planning on going straight to college after high school, more power to you, but come check it out anyway and see what else might be out there that could be interesting to you.” For more information about the Decatur College Alternatives Fair, contact Haegan at haeganaltizer@ gmail.com.
DEKALB COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION PUBLIC BUDGET INPUT MEETING FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 2015
Monday, March 3, 2014
J. David Williamson Board Room Administrative & Instructional Complex 1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd. Stone Mountain, GA 30083
The DeKalb County Board of Education will hold the public budget input meeting to solicit feedback from the public regarding the 2014-2015 school system’s budget.
FOR INFORMATION, CALL THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER AT 678-676-0069.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28 , 2014
Georgia Perimeter received $1 million grant
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org Georgia Perimeter College announced Feb. 19 that it had received a $1 million private grant. The Betty and Davis Fitzgerald Foundation awarded the grant as part of a plan to increase college access and boost retention, transfer and graduation rates among students. The four-year funding agreement will enable the college to address its goals for Complete College Georgia (CCG), an initiative spearheaded by Gov. Nathan Deal, the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia to improve the state’s higher education outcomes and address workforce demands. “It’s not very often in a job that you get to say that you participated in a legacy moment,” said interim GPC President Rob Watts. “This is a legacy moment for GPC, the day we entered into a partnership with the Fitzgerald Foundation that will last over the next four years. “This is a quadruple win for us,” he said. “It’s a win for the state because it’s consistent with the governor’s values in putting more students through school. It’s consistent with the chancellor’s goal…to get more students through and be more successful in college. It’s certainly consistent with our mission here at Georgia Perimeter College. And mostly it’s a win for students whose lives will be transformed. “In six months from now, the college will welcome its 50th entering class,” Watts said. “There will be people in that …class who would not be here…absent the gift from the Fitzgerald Foundation.” Kysa Daniels, a publications specialist at GPC, said the million-dollar grant “will help us address our Complete College Georgia goals which are heavily focused on getting workers into the pipeline for jobs in Georgia by graduating them from college. “CCG estimates that by 2020, six years from now, 60 percent of the jobs will require that people have a certificate or a college degree,” Daniels said. “Right now, I think we’re tracking at 40 percent. This will help us attract students and not only get them into college, but once they’re here, retain them.” Among programs the Fitzgerald gift will fund immediately are a remedial math instruction initiative and expansion of services at the Learning and Tutoring Center on GPC’s Clarkston Campus. Additional goals of the grant include increasing partnerships with K-12 schools to improve college readiness and access for underserved students; transforming remediation and instructional delivery at the college to help improve student retention and graduation rates; and providing scholarships to address the financial barrier often experienced by disadvantaged students. Georgia Perimeter will receive $250,000 each year over the next four years to address grant objectives. The programs will directly impact 8,000 students, while also benefitting GPC’s total enrollment of 21,000 students. “The purpose is to help retain and graduate students at Georgia Perimeter,” said Jackie Stradley, executive director of the Fitzgerald Foundation. “We gave it because Georgia Perimeter is ready to make a jump in how they reach, retain and the graduate students and we want to support that. “We like what we see at Georgia Perimeter,” Stradley said. “We hear good things about Georgia Perimeter.”
Georgia Perimeter College President Rob Watts and Jackie Stradley, executive director of the Betty and Davis Fitzgerald Foundation, announce a $1 million private grant to the college.
Jackie Stradley, executive director of the Betty and Davis Fitzgerald Foundation, listens as Georgia Perimeter students thank the foundation for the grant. Photos by Andrew Cauthen
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28 , 2014
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THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28 , 2014
From left, Danielle Walker joined her parents Teresa and Earl Walker soon after graduation from Georgia State University.
Art on the office walls reminds customers of the company’s capabilities.
Family members Teresa, Earl and Danielle Walker complement each other’s strengths.
Visual communications company helps retailers see new possibilities
ness. When their daughter Danielle graduated from Georgia State University, she too joined the family Earl Walker jokes that he bebusiness. Today, Earl is creative dilieves he was drawing in his mothrector, while Teresa handles execuer’s womb. “Seriously,” he added, “I tive functions. Danielle is vice presican’t remember when I wasn’t inter- dent of operations. ested in art.” The original business was called He had worked at a newspaper Indigo Arts, a name that evoked and in a corporate graphics departEarl and Teresa’s places of birth—Inment when his father-in-law condiana and Chicago. “Besides,” Earl fronted him with a direct question: added, “we both really like blue.” “How much longer are you going to “The name created some probwork to make someone else rich?” lems because people didn’t really Taking up his father-in-law’s understand what we do,” Teresa challenge to start his own company, said. “They heard the word ‘arts’ and he approached traditional loan thought we were in the fine arts. We sources. “They laughed,” he recalled. changed the name to Indigo Signs, “The amount I needed was too small but that really didn’t describe us for them to bother with.” His father- either. We’re more than a sign comin-law, however, was willing to offer pany.” more than advice. He borrowed the Last year, the company became money to help Walker start a busipart of a franchise, though it reness in his basement. mains locally owned and operated. In time, Walker’s wife Teresa “It made us part of a network,” Thegave up her work as a mortgage resa explained. “In this industry it’s banker to join her husband’s busihard to find people who will help by Kathy Mitchell email@example.com you find solutions when you come up against a problem. As part of a network, we can call corporate for help. We can even call other franchisees, who say, ‘Oh, yes, we had that problem. Here’s what we did.’” As Image360, the Walker family business produces interior and exterior signs; wall, floor and ceiling graphics, exterior signs; custom banners; displays and more. “That name really says it. What we do covers 360 degrees—the full circle. Most of it is for retailers who want to get their customers’ attention or communicate to them, but some is for special events,” Teresa noted, explaining that they were in the process of creating graphics for a large hair products convention. “Also, we can create graphics that are purely decorative or for setting a mood,” she added, pointing out covers for the ceiling lights that make them appear to be skylights through which one sees clouds floating against a blue sky.
In an onsite workroom, Image360 produces signs, displays and other visuals. Photos by Kathy Mitchell
The company’s current location on Hugh Howell Road is its second Tucker location. “The Tucker business community has been wonderfully supportive,” Teresa noted. She said Image360 is currently partnering with other area businesses for a Make It Possible contest, inviting businesses and organizations to explain how new interior graphics would support their business goals. The winner receives $5,000 worth of interior graphics but, according to the Walkers, the contest has another aim. From contest submissions, every month a new “Make It Possible” case study will be distributed to customers by email showing the results Image360 has delivered to real-world clients. “We hope that the case studies inspire businesses to think beyond traditional signage and graphics by showing them the latest technologies and ideas to keep them top of mind with current and potential customers,” Earl explained.
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
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28 , 2014
GPC women’s basketball clinches fifth seed in tournament
A 15-0 first-half run and hot hands from all hands clinched a fifth seed for the Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) Jaguars as they rolled by Atlanta Metropolitan State College 80-69 Feb. 21. The win put GPC as the fifth seed in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA) basketball tournament. Terita Brown scored 24 points and dished off nine assists, Taylor Boyd poured in 19 points, Briona Haywood sank two key free throws and Yvonna Dunkley produced a doubledouble with 14 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists. It all added up to the Jaguars’ third-straight victory–sixth in the past eight games. Georgia Perimeter (11and layup by Brown tied it at 26-26. Mary Nguyen assisted Haywood on a fast break and the up-tempo Jaguars were off on a 15-0 run, spurred by 10 points by Boyd. Atlanta Metro (7-12, 7-17 GCAA) trailed by 18 in the second half but made a 16-3 comeback to narrow the score to 63-58. Haywood then reversed the momentum with two free throws; Brown followed with a foul shot and two fast break buckets assisted by Abrelyn Rackley and dunkHead coach James Waldon and assistant Frank Jones, right, huddle with ley; and GPC rolled up a the Jaguars. Photo by Gerald Moulder 13-5 run to ice the game. Davone Anduze led At15, 7-10 GCAA) traveled reigning champion. lanta Metro with 25 points, to Albany to play at fourthGeorgia Perimeter shot and Lawna Kennedy scored place Darton State College 51 percent from the floor 19 and had 10 rebounds. in the first round of the at Atlanta Metro, rolling to Ny’asia Anderson added 15 eight-team tournament. a 46-33 halftime lead after points. Darton (22-8, 14-6) is the a behind-the-back dribble 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 firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday at noon. MALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Abdul Rahman-Yasin, Southwest DeKalb (wrestling): The senior wrestler became a two-time Class AAAAA state champion Feb. 22 after defeating Allotoona’s Jacob Robinson in the 152-weight class. Rahman-Yasin won by pin fall in 1:23.
Southwest DeKalb’s Yasin wins second consecutive state wrestling title
Southwest DeKalb junior Abdul Rahman-Yasin became a two-time state wrestling champion after winning the Class AAAAA gold medal in the 152-weight class at Loganville Feb. 22. Yasin won the Class AAAAA gold in the 145-weight class last year with a 42-1 record, including 4-0 in the state tournament with two pins and a technical fall (19-4). The 2014 season put Yasin up a weight class in 152, but it did not slow him down as he finished the season with a perfect 38-0 record includ- Southwest DeKalb junior Abdul Rahman-Yasin became a two-time state ing DeKalb County, Area and wrestling champion after defeating Allatoona’s Jacob Robinson in the Class AAAAA 152-weight class. Sectional championships. He opened the Class AAAAA State Tournament with a 23 second-pin on Greg Gilbert of Washington County to move into the quarterfinals. It only took one minute and seven seconds for Yasin to pin Hunter Hargis of Loganville to move into the semifinals. Yasin defeated Flowery Branch’s Zach Winter in a 12-6 decision in the semifinals to set up a meeting with Allatoona’s Jacob Robinson. Yasin pinned Robinson in one minute and 23 seconds to From left, Senior Chris Nelson, coach Patrick Ryan and Kirkglen Hudson. claim his second consecutive Nelson won the silver medal in the 160-weight class in Class AAAA and gold medal and state title. Ya- Hudson finished fifth in the 106-weight class. sin became the third DeKalb (2006-07) and Clarkston’s DeKalb County had 13 County wrestler to win back- Terrance Gaddy (2008-09). out of 37 wrestlers to place in to-back state medals in the This marks the ninth con- state competition over four past nine years, including classifications. Two of the 13 secutive season for at least former Southwest DeKalb one DeKalb County wrestler to place brought home silver wrestler Dequan Warner medals. to bring home a gold medal.
FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Tynice Martin, Southwest DeKalb (baskeball): Lithonia senior Chris Nel- The junior forward scored son dropped his champion19 points and had nine reship title match to finish 51-3 bounds in the 60-44 win on the year. Nelson also won one Loganville Feb. 22 in DeKalb County, Area and the first round of the Class Sectional titles. Nelson’s run AAAAA state playoffs. to the title along with junior Kirkglen Hudson’s (43-4) fifth place finish helped Lithonia to a 10th place finish overall in the Class AAAA team standings, up from 41st a year ago. Lithonia had an historic Each week The Champion season finishing fifth in the spotlights former high school State Duals, while winning players from the county who the Last Man Standing, are succeeding in athletics on DeKalb County Championthe college level. ships and Area 6 title and qualifying 11 for the TradiManny Atkins, Georgia tional State Championship State (basketball): The senior Tournament. forward from Tucker scored Lithonia coach Patrick 12 points and had seven Ryan said jumping from 41st rebounds in the 80-77 overto 10th in the state rankings time win over Louisiana– is impressive. Lafayette Feb. 22. Atkins is “I owe my gratitude to averaging 13.8 points and 6.0 Chris Nelson for leading rebounds per game. our team to greatness with his amazing work ethic and Fred Miller, USC Upchampionship mindset all state (basketball): The junior season long,” Ryan said. “My guard from Chamblee scored goal every season is to get 14 points in the 81-70 win better and work harder to over North Florida Feb. 20. show improvement. I’m exMiller is averaging 7.4 points tremely proud of this team per game. from improving from one state qualifier last year to Cynia Clark, Shorter having 11 state qualifiers, a University (track and field): 15th place finisher and a state The junior thrower from finalist this season.” Redan finished sixth in the Other Class AAAAA shot put (39-7) and helped medalists included Dunher team to a first place finwoody’s Sunny Sharma, who ish in the Christian College wrestled his way back from Athletic Association Woma semifinal loss to capture en’s Indoor Track and Field National Championship Feb. See Wrestling on page 19A 22.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28 , 2014
Sixteen DeKalb teams win first-round playoff games
by Carla Parker email@example.com Sixteen of DeKalb’s public and private school basketball teams moved on to the Sweet 16 of the state playoffs after winning first-round matchups Feb. 21-22. It was a sweep for Region 6-AAAAA as all seven DeKalb teams swept their Region 8-AAAA opponents to advance to the Class AAAAA State Tournament Sweet 16. The No. 1 ranked Southwest DeKalb Lady Panthers was the first squad to punch its ticket to the Sweet 16 with a 60-44 home win over Loganville Feb. 21. It was the program’s 40th state playoff victory. Junior Tynice Martin led the team with 19 points and nine rebounds and junior Davion Wingate followed with 17 points. Southwest DeKalb defeated Sequoyah 80-66 in the Sweet 16 Feb. 24. The No. 3 ranked Tucker Lady Tigers defeated Gainesville 55-49 Feb. 21 to advance to the Sweet 16. Senior Erykah Davenport led the team with 24 points and seven rebounds. The Stephenson Lady Jaguars rounded out the girls’ sweep with a 62-45 win over No. 5 ranked Clarke Central in Athens Feb. 22. They faced Creekview in the Sweet 16 Feb. 24 and pulled out a close 40-39 victory. The Lady Jaguars and Lady Panthers faced each other in the third round Feb. 26. The score was not available at press time. On the boys’ side, the Stephenson Jaguars stormed out of the gate to take a 21-2 lead in the first quarter against Salem and never looked back. The Jaguars beat Salem 80-46 Feb. 22. Junior Tyrell Johnson scored 19 points and junior Daniel Kinchen, who had 10 points in the first half, finished with 12. The rematch of the 2013 Class AAAAA state championship game between the No. 2 ranked Miller Grove Wolverines and Gainesville ended in a blowout as the Wolverines defeated Gainesville 66-23 Feb. 22. The Wolverines were hot behind the arc, hitting six three-pointers in the first half. They out-rebounded Gainesville 39-19 and forced 12 first-half turnovers on the way to a 39-10 lead at the half. Senior Devin Dorsett scored 14 points in the second quarter to help secure the win. Senior Keith Pinckney finished with 14 points and sophomore Alterique Gilbert added 10 points and eight assists. The Martin Luther King Lions (209) got a70-64 road victory Feb. 22 over Apalachee (23-6), the No. 2 seed from Region 8. The Lions trailed 47-44 at the half, but went on an 18-10 run to start the second half to take a 62-57 lead. The sweep was completed after the No. 7 ranked Tucker Tigers defeated No. 4 ranked Clarke Central 72-53. Class AAAA The Columbia Eagles moved into the Sweet 16 by handling Lumpkin County 63-20 at Columbia Feb. 22. The No. 3 ranked Columbia Lady Eagles moved into the second round with a 63-47 victory over Stephens County and defeated River Ridge 41-33 in the Sweet 16. Columbia faced Columbus Feb. 26 in the third round. The score was not available at press time. The No. 1 ranked Redan Lady Raiders defeated Walnut Grove 97-38 Feb. Tucker’s Erykah Davenport 21. It was Redan’s 29th consecutive win of the season. Redan went on to beat Northwest Whitfield 67-35 Feb. 24 in the Sweet 16. They faced Fayette County in the third round Feb. 26. The score was not available at press time. Both Marist boys’ and girls’ pick up first round wins. The girls’ defeated Eastside 56-51 Feb. 21 and the boys’ ran past Walnut Grove 80-34 Feb. 22. Marist fell to Columbus 50-38 in the Sweet 16 Feb. 24. After leading 34-31 at halftime, the Stone Mountain Pirates saw their season come to an end in an 83-71 loss to No. 5 ranked Johnson-Gainesville. Class AAA St. Pius boys and girls had close wins in the first round of the Class AAA state playoffs Feb. 21. The boys defeated Elbert County 56-54 and the girls beat North Oconee 52-49. Junior Asia Durr led the girls with 30 points and seven rebounds. St. Pius girls went on to defeat East Hall in the Sweet 16 Feb. 24. They faced Morgan County in the third round Feb. 26. The score was not available at press time. The Decatur Lady Bulldogs moved on to the Sweet 16 with a 41-23 win over Elbert County Feb. 21. They fell to Buford 41-28 in the Sweet 16 Feb. 24. The Cedar Grove Saints won its first playoff game since 2009 with a 61-37 home win against Oconee County Feb. 21. Cedar Grove is making their fifth state tournament appearance since its 1997 Class AA state title season.
Stephenson’s Montez Sweat shoots a layup as Miller Grove’s Keith Pinckney looks on.
Southwest DeKalb’s Tynice Martin. Photo by Travis Hudgons
Cedar Grove’s Christopher Fredrick goes up for a layup. Photo by Annette D. Ford
The Cedar Grove boys’ basketball team huddle around head coach James Martin near the bench. Photo by Annette D. Ford
Continued from page 18A the bronze medal. Sharma won two matches after the semifinal loss and won a 9-5 decision over Grant Slater of Creekside for the bronze. Lakeside’s Josh Powell (60-7) and Imani Heslop (56-13) both finished fourth by wrestling their way back to the bronze medal matches in the 145
and 220 weight classes, respectively. The pair helped Lakeside to a Top 15 finish in the team standings. In the Class AAA State Tournament at Buford, Towers and McNair finished tied for 19th. Junior Stevenson Derival of Towers pinned Kentavious Johnson of East Hall and won a 6-2 decision over North Hall’s Darrien Ingram
to reach the finals of the 195-weight class. Derival came up short against Buford’s Chip Ness in the finals and received the silver medal. It was Derival’s first loss of the season. He finished 42-1 on the year, including individual titles at the DeKalb County Championships, Area and Sectional meets. McNair junior Jamaal Deng lost
his first match of the tournament, but wrestled his way back into the bronze medal match in the 152-weight class. He defeated Zack Evans and a 15-5 major decision over Tristan Guthrie of Bacon County to reach the bronze round. However, he fell to East Hall’s Edward Vergara for the second time in the tournament to end up fourth.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28 , 2014
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