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DADS, DAUGHTERS DANCE AT STONE MILL ELEMENTARY GROUP FILES COUNTY ETHICS COMPLAINT
FRIDAY, MARCH 28, 2014 • VOL. 17, NO. 1 • FREE
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KEEPING YOUTH SAFE ON THE INTERNET LOCAL
The Art Station in Stone Mountain Village is one of the most popular destinations in Stone Mountain. ART Station is home to its own professional Equity Theatre Company, ﬁve art galleries, a children’s gallery, a gift shop, classrooms, production and administrative space. Photos by Carla Parker
American Red Cross Chairman of the 30-member Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter board of directors Kevin J. Keough (on the far right) participated with his wife Diana and his son Tommy in the kick-off event “Run for the Red” as part of the Publix Georgia Marathon, Half-Marathon and 5K in Centennial Olympic Park on March 23.
Stone Mountain celebrates 175th anniversary
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org As visitors walk or drive down Main Street in Stone Mountain Village, they will notice the number of art galleries that line the street in the historic town. Since 1986, the city of Stone Mountain has embraced the arts culture and has used it to attract visitors and art lovers to the city. The city has also used events, such as the annual Blue Grassroots festival to attract visitors. This year, the fifth annual Blue Grassroots Music and Arts Festival will kick off the city’s 175th anniversary. The two-day event, which will take place March 29-30, will display works by professional and self-taught artists representing many different mediums. Musicians will perform and compete as they present some of the best bluegrass and old time music talent in the region. There will also be glassblowers, a blacksmith, artists’ booths, food, train rides and inflatables for the children. The festival runs Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Parking, admission and musical performances are free. The event is produced by the Stone Mountain Downtown Development Authority and hosted by Stone Mountain Village. As the city celebrates its 175th anniversary, it is hard to ignore the role the Stone Mountain Village has played in forming what the city is today. The name “Stone Mountain Village” was established in the early 1980s, according to Stone Mountain resident David Thomas. Thomas, who is the founder and president of ART Station, said when he moved to Stone Mountain in 1983 there was a “very active merchant association.” “They wanted to dis-
Celebrating 100 years helping the Atlanta community
by Marta Garcia email@example.com Who doesn’t want to be 100 years old and feeling young? In 2014 Red Cross celebrates a century of service to the community in metro Atlanta and central Georgia with the same passion and commitment of its volunteer founders. As a nonprofit organization, Red Cross is made possible through supporters, including volunteers, donors, emergency partners and community friends. “As we look back on the vital role the Red American Red Cross Volunteer John Mannion is part Cross has played in our community for the of the disaster action team in the DeKalb subdivision. past 100 years and begin our second century of service, we’re deeply grateful to all who to life’s emergencies,” she added. have helped make our mission possible here It is through the time and care of ordinary and around the world,” said Terri Badourpeople that Red Cross can do extraordinary Duckett, CEO of the American Red Cross things. Thanks to volunteers like Stone of Georgia and the Metropolitan Atlanta Mountain resident John Mannion who is Chapter. part of the disaster action team in the DeKalb “We especially want to thank our generous subdivision. community for their many gifts of time, Mannion has been serving the Red Cross talent, blood and financial support; without for more than two years. The retired 66- yearthem, we wouldn’t be here today helping old joined the organization after losing his neighbors prevent, prepare for and respond wife because he wanted to give back to his
See Red Cross on page 15A
See Art on page 15A
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, MARCH 28, 2014
Commissioner says he’s ‘doing double duty’
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org DeKalb County Super District 7 Commissioner Stan Watson said he doesn’t mind “doing double duty.” That’s how he described representing his super district and District 5, whose commissioner, Lee May, is currently the county’s interim CEO. May has been serving as interim DeKalb CEO since July 2013 after the governor appointed him to the position following the indictment and suspension of DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis. Ellis is suspended until the outcome of his trial or until his term ends in 2016. Since May’s appointment, “there have been a few complaints from the constituents, articles in the paper, Watson and just rumbling in the community that there’s no one representing District 5,” Watson said. “I say that I am representing District 5 as the super district commissioner,” Watson said. Watson said he is addressing District 5’s constituent concerns, special land use permit requests, zoning text amendments, community cleanups, pothole repairs and problems with vacant homes. “If [residents] need help in certain areas of the community as it relates to code enforcement, public safety, sanitation, permits and licenses—or any other department or county delivery of service needs—they can call District 7,” Watson said. The temporary filling of vacancies created when the governor fills another vacancy was the subject of proposed legislation in the Georgia General Assembly. A bill sponsored by Rep. Mike Jacobs states that “in the event the Governor appoints a member of a governing authority as a temporary replacement for a suspended public official,…the member of the governing authority so appointed shall nominate three qualified persons from whom the governing authority, by majority vote of its remaining members, shall select a temporary replacement to fill such member’s seat on the governing authority until such time as the suspension of the public official is terminated or the end of such member’s current term on the governing authority, whichever is earlier.” The bill, which was tabled by the House on March 13, would cause problems if passed, Watson said. “There’s a lot of comments and sentiment from people that says that there’s nowhere in America…that a person should be able to appoint their successor,” Watson said. “President Obama can’t appoint a success. Gov. Deal can’t appoint a successor, Thurbert Baker, when he became attorney general, couldn’t his successor. “As a former legislator, there’s no way that I can see a bill…of that magnitude passing because it would set the tone for elections across the state of Georgia,” Watson said. “Anytime there is a vacancy or suspension that means that the elected official could appoint their successor.” Rep. Howard Mosby said, “If the governor appoints an elected official to fill the [position] of another elected official [and] that leaves a vacancy, the governor needs to fill that second appointment, too. “If that’s not going to be the case, then that elected body needs to pick their person,” Mosby said.
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THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, MARcH 28, 2014
Seventy-five Cub Scouts from Pack 175 participated in their annual Pinewood Derby at First United Methodist Church of Decatur on March 15. Each car—made by the Cub Scouts of wood and weighing 5 ounces or less—was raced six times in the Pinewood Derby. Awards were given to the fastest three cars in the pack as well as each den. Overall design award winners were voted on by the scouts and their parents. Pack 175 overall awards: first place, Burrell Ellis III; second place, Javier Bou; and third place, Davis Becker. Den 1: Pinyon Sam, first place; Cole Young, second place; Gibson Sparks, third place. Den 2: Burrell Ellis III, first place; Will Kochel, second place; Tommy Morris, third place. Den 3: Andrew Harrison, first place; Eric Hanson, second place; Jacob Leavey, third place. Den 4: Javier Bou, first place; Myles McArthur, second place; Daniel Hinton, third place,. Den 5: Davis Becker, first place; Ethan Austin-Cruse, second place; Liam Mallon, third place. Den 6: Jackson AustinCruse, first place; Miles Samford, second place; Robert Harvey, third place. Design awards: most creative design, Rowan Kunz-Peek; fastest looking car, Burrell Ellis III and Thomas Butterfield (tie); most original car, Tommy Morris; coolest looking car, Liam Mallon; most scout spirit, Ethan Bridwell; most unusual car, Evan Gundersen and Charlie Morris (tie); judge’s favorite, Dodge Hill.
Cub Scouts race in annual Pinewood Derby
Left, Cub Scouts from Pack 175 display the cars they raced in a recent Pinewood Derby. Right, Burrell Ellis III wins first place in the Den 2 race.
Fathers and sons line their cars up to be judged. Photos provided.
THE CHAmPIoN FrEE PrESS, frIDAY, mArcH 28, 2014
ONE MAN’S OPINIoN
Rocky Mountain high?
again amended there constitution allowing for the “personal use” of marijuana for adults, establishing a framework to regulate marijuana in a manner very similar to that of Columnist tobacco and alcohol products. On the plus side, actual tax revenue proceeds resulting from this change “It’s Colorado Rocky Mountain exceeded even the most optimistic high...I’ve seen it rainin’ fire in the sky. Friends around the campfire and forecasts. Meanwhile, not back at the everybody’s high...Rocky Mountain ranch , nearly 20 other states are high, Colorado...”—lyrics from folk considering statues allowing for singer/ songwriter John Denver’s first the use of medicinal marijuana and Top 10 single in 1972. more specifically cannabis oil for We have for decades known of the treatment of severe seizures and the abilities for medicinal marijuana a sub-set of the medical conditions to ease the pain and discomfort listed above. This oil, in liquid form, of those suffering from glaucoma is typically injected or mixed with or the often difficult side effects the food of patients suffering from of chemotherapy and more severe frequent seizures, and is generally radiation treatments for cancer. considered non-hallucinogenic. During the November 2000 State Rep. Allen Peake General Election, Colorado (R-Macon), a longtime, conservative voters passed Amendment 20 to member of the Georgia House the Colorado State constitution, leadership team, is far from being allowing the medical use of the most likely sponsor of medicinal cannibis. Patients may possess up to marijuana legislation in Georgia two ounces of “usable cannabis” and (HB 885). But as Peake repeatedly no more than six cannabis plants, but are not allowed to partake of this stated during the 2014 session, the health and welfare of suffering medication in public. Georgia children and their families, Subsequent Colorado law lists including several of his own eight accepted medical conditions constituents, out-weighed any and for use of cannabis treatment – every concern for his own political cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, seizures, severe pain, severe nausea, future. As the session progressed, a sever muscle spasms and cachexia strong band of brothers joined (dramatic weight loss and muscle Peake supporting this effort atrophy). including the Medical Association In 2012, Colorado voters
of Georgia, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and surprisingly, the Prosecuting Attorney’s Council of Georgia. As the clock ticked down during a session already compressed by a new election date and political calendar, the Haleigh’s Hope Act daily fought for a slot on the senate rules calendar and legislative docket. Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford), chaired the committee for relevant consideration of the bill, as she was simultaneously championing her own children’s health issue and bill, in the form of a SB 397, mandating that insurers and employers provide coverage for autism spectrum related treatments and therapies for children up to age six. A worthy intent, but Unterman was seeking a health care mandate from the same legislative body passing multiple statutes to minimize and even reverse the impact of federal mandates brought on by the Affordable Care Act. Unterman said repeatedly that the cannabis oil bill would go nowhere in the Senate without her Autism coverage mandate as an attached rider. The Senate reacted by passing a bill wedding the two on the last day of the session. That insurance rider made the amended bill a stated ‘non-starter’ back in the House. Peake then attached his bill to yet another unrelated Senate act (SB 291), which created a new agency for aging adult services...
again passing the House, but greeted by inaction when returning to the Senate floor during the waning hours of the session. House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge), slammed senators for their choice. “They have had that opportunity,” Ralston said. “I understand they would rather make speeches than take care of Georgia’s children.” That sound you hear may be moving trucks filled with Georgia families and their supporters moving to Colorado to find peace, help and treatment for their ailing children...or it may be the more dangerous and quieter sound of Georgia mothers and women voters, who command a majority of ballots in every election, re-evaluating which party and which set of leaders are more committed to the safety, health and welfare of their children. Neither of these is exactly the Sound of Music ringing across the mountain tops for Georgia’s GOP. 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.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, MARCH 28, 2014
Hold Georgia elected officials accountable
by Gene Walker the same time he was accused by his contemporaries of being an The 2014 session of the Georgia atheist. So one has to wonder, what General Assembly is over. The May is Rep. Spencer’s point? 20 primary elections afford citizens Indeed, Georgia citizens deserve the opportunity to critique the representation and leadership that crucial role of the efficiency and is more sensitive, responsible and management exhibited by the gov- accountable than we currently ernor and members of that body in have. Thus, it is incumbent upon addressing important issues of the the voters to ensure we elect vistate. Here is a critical opinion of sionary, informed and courageous how the pressing issue of Medicaid individuals to represent us and help expansion was considered. move this state forward. Six out of 10 Georgians favor By any measure, both in GeorMedicaid expansion, and Sen. gia and the nation, one of the great Chuck Huffstetler was the lone challenges of the day is to provide Republican senator who listened quality healthcare at an affordand voted against HB 990. Gov. able cost. During the past 25 years, Nathan Deal and all of the other throughout Georgia and the naRepublican members of the Gention, the demand for healthcare has eral Assembly responded in the increased and the cost is spiraling most insensitive, mean-spirited upward. President Obama and the and irresponsible way possible to U.S. Congress have responded to a diverse group of citizens’ peacethis challenge by passing the Afful protest and appeal to the state fordable Care Act, called by many to expand Medicaid. This diverse “Obamacare.” group of protestors, many of which Key provisions of the 2010 were arrested, was led by Rev. Affordable Care Act would creDr. Raphael Warnock of Ebeneate new marketplaces for people zer Baptist Church and Rev. Dr. who purchase insurance directly, Francys Johnson, president of the and provide new tax credits to Georgia NAACP. help people with low or moderate The Tea Party Republican mem- income afford that coverage. bers of the Georgia General AssemIn the state of Georgia, some bly not only ignored their appeal, 654,000 low-income individuals but responded by passing two of would benefit if Medicaid expanthe meanest possible bills against sion had been approved by the govthe Affordable Care Act. One repernor and the legislature. Sadly and resentative, Jason Spencer, bragged very unfortunately, the legislature about the bill he proposed for paspassed two anti-Affordable Health sage which he felt would challenge Care bills that virtually guaran“a federal leviathan.” I doubt if he teed Georgia would not expand its realized his incendiary rhetoric—of Medicaid program, and that would disrespecting and condemning the prevent state agencies from helping federal government and behavior of consumers sign up for new insurcontinuing to fight a civil war that ance coverage offered under the was lost—is far more representative act. of the leviathan than anything the The governor and legislature are federal government has done. This responding as if healthcare insur“conservative Christian” should re- ance has no value. One may ask, member too that Thomas Hobbes’ “Why would the state have laws releviathan defended the beheading quiring automobile and other types of Charles I of England, while at of insurance and not vigorously support healthcare insurance?” Human beings are no less deserving of protection and security than businesses and personal property. We need to remind ourselves that insurance is viewed as a means of risk management, exchanging small losses in the form of premium payments. The payments would cover the possibility of greater losses including provisions, if such occur, to make one whole again. Those who are impoverished and individuals with certain diseases or infirmities requiring costly medical care are entitled to have access to quality healthcare. Georgia has one of the highest rates of uninsured in the nation. It is estimated that one in five Georgians does not have coverage. In addition, rural hospitals throughout the state are permanently closing their doors because of dwindling revenues and rising costs of healthcare. At the same time, 60 percent of Georgians favor Medicaid expansion for which the federal government would pay 100 percent of its cost for the first three years, and 90 percent thereafter. Incredulously, how did the governor and the legislature respond to this healthcare crisis? They rejected Medicaid expansion, which would have returned millions of dollars Georgians have sent to the federal government back to Georgia. Georgians are entitled to and need to have in place Medicaid expansion, which is the responsible thing to do for our citizens. It is very harmful and unfortunate for the state that the governor and Republican legislators would favor more their conservative politics and hatred of the president of the United States, rather than securing Medicaid expansion for Georgia’s neediest citizens. This type of immoral and reprehensive behavior should not be tolerated. The voters must call out, hold accountable and replace those elected individuals who place party and mean-spirited politics above that which is good for the citizens. For those who want to help right this wrong, encourage everyone you know who has not done so to sign up for healthcare insurance before March 31, 2014. Additionally, encourage everyone to vote in the May primary to replace those irresponsible elected officials who opposed Medicaid expansion and keep in office those who supported Medicaid expansion. The types of politicians needed to replace the ones who chose to disregard the will of the majority of Georgians should be sophisticated enough to engage in coalition politics, insightful enough to project a positive vision and opinions that cross race and gender lines. In other words, we need elected officials who will work to bring us together rather than divide us.
F REE P RESS
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THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, MARCH 28, 2014
Champion of the Week
A man walks through Carl’s Corner, Avondale Estate’s historic gateway, named after Carl Houseworth, a Black man who did odd jobs around the city decades ago. Photo by Travis Hudgons.
Avondale Estates receives grant to repair historic gateway
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org Carl’s Corner, Avondale Estate’s historic gateway, is slated to get a facelift. The city has received a $9,270 grant from the Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to rehabilitate the structure. Keri Stevens, Avondale Estate’s city planner and community development officer, said some residents were concerned about the archway’s condition. The residents, along with local boards, commissions and the DeKalb History Center, wrote letters of support to help secure the grant funds for this project. A Jan. 30 letter signed by a group of five longtime
When Danielle Goselin of Atlanta decided to be a stay‒at‒home mom, she knew she wanted to be involved in her children’s schools. When her two children enrolled at Oak Grove Elementary School, she joined the Parent Teacher Association (PTA). Since then, the 43-year-old has been very active in her children’s schools and education. “My degree is in elementary education,” Goselin said. “I am a strong believer in public school, which, in turn, has led to my being so involved in the PTA.” Goselin was on the Oak Grove PTA board for five years and served as president for two years. She is currently the PTSA co-president at Henderson Middle School, where her daughter is a seventh grader and son a sixth grader. She has served on the PTSA board for two years. Along with her work with the PTSA, Goselin is a team parent with her daughter’s volleyball club. “I volunteer on children’s teams at school as much as possible as well as getting the kids involved in community service projects through the church and our community,” she said.
Goselin said volunteering is important to her because it is her way of giving back and staying involved. “My parents were very involved in our school and sports activities and as an adult, I am thankful,” she said. “I hope I am setting a good example and instilling that in my children.” Goselin believes the only way to make change in the community is for everyone to get involved in their community and contribute. “I think that there are people who have a lot of good ideas about what should be going on in our schools and our community and the way to express those ideas is to jump in and get involved,” she said. “Whether that be behind the scenes or in the face of the public.”
This photo shows Carl’s Corner early in Avondale Estate’s existence, with the accompanying post on the north side of U.S. 278. Photo provided
Avondale Estates residents states, Carl’s Corner “was meant to be a ‘welcome mat’ for pedestrians visiting our town….This has been an inspiration for many local artists.” The structure was constructed “as an entryway and
gateway into the city in the 1920s, along with the Tudorstyle houses and commercial district when the city was founded,” Stevens said. Originally, there was also an accompanying gate post on the north side of U.S. 278, directly across from
If you would like to nominate someone to be considered as a future Champion of the Week, please contact Andew Cauthen at email@example.com or at (404) 373-7779, ext. 117.
See Corner on page 6A
Group provide free tax help
School district to hold men’s conference cast.net. The DeKalb County School District is holding a conference for males titled “Motivated Achievers, Leading and Empowering Successfully.” The M.A.L.E.S Conference will bring together males of all ages to address the unique experiences that males face. The conference will promote positive dialogue about creating a blueprint for motivating boys and men in the 21st century. Topics will include co-parenting, self-defense, mental health, personal branding, obstacles in life, single fatherhood, dealing with anger, leadership and sexual health. Lunch will be provided at the free event which is open to males of all ages. To register, go to tinyurl.com/ m7k9d6f. The event will be held from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. March 29 at Martin Luther King Jr. High School, 3991 Snapfinger Road, Lithonia. Marriage enrichment class scheduled Family Dynamics Institute, a national marriage education organization, will offer its eight-week United Marriage Enrichment Class in Clarkston beginning March 31. The class will be facilitated by Andrew and Malaika Wells, organizers of Coupled in Christ, a marriage ministry that meets with metro Atlanta couples every two weeks at Atlanta’s Best Coffee in Scottdale. The event will be held at Clarkston United Methodist Church, 3919 Church St., Clarkston. Starting on March 31, the class will run each Monday 7-9 p.m. The $145 fee per couple covers the cost of the class and all class materials. Participants will take a pre- and a postassessment of their relationship. Class topics include respect, trust, commitment, love and intimacy. Class size is limited to 12 couples. Registration is done online at www. realgodlylove.com. Burger joint holds benefit for The Community School Farm Burger, located at 410B W. Ponce De Leon Ave. in Decatur, will be hosting a spirit night fundraiser April 1 from 4-10 p.m. Ten percent of all sales will go to benefit The Community School, a DeKalb County charter school that provides education and support to children with autism spectrum disorder and other challenges. For more information, contact Sarah Hersh at (404) 573-2012. Details also can be found on The Community School Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TheCommunitySchoolTCS. Story time at Doraville On April 1, the Doraville Library will host story time, introducing children 5 - 9 years old to books, fun stories, games, crafts and other activities. The event will take place at the library located on 3748 Central Ave., Doraville, from 6:30 7:30 p.m. For more information call (770) 936-3852. Chamblee to begin 2040 strategic planning initiative The city of Chamblee is inviting all community members to participate in a planning process that is designed to ensure that Chamblee is well-positioned for the future through an update of its planning policies and regulations. The public kick-off meeting will
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, MARCH 28, 2014
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) volunteers will provide income tax preparation on Mondays, noon to 4 p.m., and Fridays, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., at the Chamblee Library 4115 Clairmont Road, Chamblee. AARP tax assistance, available until April 11, is for lower and middle-income taxpayers, with special attention to those age 60 and older. For more information, call (770) 936-1380. VITA will provide assistance at the Clarkston Community Center, 3701 College Avenue, Clarkston, on April 5 and 12 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Library to host grief workshop
take place on April 2, 6-7:30 p.m. at the Chamblee Civic Center, 3540 Broad St. For more information contact Jim Summerbell, Chamblee’s deputy development director, at (770) 986-5010, ext. 223. Library to host book discussion The Book Thief by Markus Zusak will be discussed April 7 at the Tucker‒Reid H. Cofer Library from 10 a.m. to noon. Copies of the book will be available at the library’s front desk on a first-come, first-served basis. The book is about a foster girl living outside of Munich, Germany in 1939. She steal books, learn to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement. The library is located at 5234 LaVista Road. For more information, call (770) 2708234. Candidate forum in Clarkston The Asian American Legal Advocacy Center (AALAC) of Georgia will be hosting a candidate forum April 6, from 3-6 p.m. at the Clarkston Community Center, located at 3701 College Avenue. The event, moderated by Champion Newspaper reporter Daniel Beauregard, will feature candidates running in the upcoming primary elections in May including those running for DeKalb County Sheriff, DeKalb County Board of Education (Dist. 7) and Senate (Dist. 42). Refreshments and light snacks will be available for attendees afterward. The candidates attending are as follows: Senate District 42 Race: • Elena Parent • Kyle Williams • Gregory E. Williams Board of Education Dist. 7 • Lee V. Dukes • Joyce Morley • Kim Ault DeKalb Sheriff • Ted Golden • R. “Tony” Hughes • Melody Maddox • Melvin Mitchell • LaSalle Smith • (Invited but not confirmed): Jeffrey Mann, Dale Collins • (Invited and declined): Vernon Jones For more information contact aalegal.org.
Stonecrest Library will host a workshop, “Understanding the Impact of Grief: Learning How to Take Time to Give a Care,” March 29, from 12:30‒4 p.m. The workshop will teach attendees how to help others heal, grow through healthy grief Community poker tournament to and find hope again. The library is benefit needy neighbors located at 3123 Klondike Road. For more information, call (770) 482The East Atlanta Community 3828. Association (EACA) will host its annual poker tournament March 29, Fourth annual Shaken, Not Stirred from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Midway Gala set Pub, 552 Flat Shoals Ave. SE., At lanta. The Georgia Ovarian Cancer The tournament benefits the Alliance will hold its fourth annual EACA’s Neighbor in Need program, Shaken, Not Stirred Gala March 29 which raises funds for struggling at Atlantic Aviation at Peachtree homeowners and performs emerDeKalb Airport, 2040 Airport Road, gency maintenance on homes in Atlanta. East Atlanta. The hangar space will be transAttendees will have the chance to formed for a James Bond-inspired win prizes from local businesses and evening of cocktails, dinner, danca top prize of $500. ing, casino games, tributes and aucFor more information or to registions, all presented by Northside ter, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Hospital. Christine Pullara, host of NAACP DeKalb County Branch to WXIA-TV’s “Atlanta & Company,” hold annual membership breakfast will serve as emcee for the event, and the Joe Gransden The NAACP DeKalb County Big Band will provide musical Branch will host its annual memberentertainment. Festivities kick off ship breakfast on Saturday, March at 7 p.m. and attire is black tie29, at 8:30 a.m., at Greater Traveloptional. Partners gala, produced by ers Rest Baptist Church, 4650 Flat Sean O’Keefe Events, include The Shoals Parkway, Decatur. Atlantan, Jezebel, North American The keynote speaker will be Rev. Breweries, DeKalb Medical, Kroger Jared Sawyer Jr., is the 16-year-old and Capital Grille-Dunwoody. All associate minister of Center Hill proceeds from the gala will support Baptist Church. He received his education and awareness efforts ministerial license in 2005 and docand community outreach programs trinal ordination certificate in 2014, of the Georgia Ovarian Cancer through the Baptist denomination Alliance. of the Christian Church. Sawyer is Tickets cost $150 per person and the recipient of the 2013 Trailblazer include valet parking; sponsorships Leadership Award from Beulah and tables are available as well. For Heights University. more information or to place orders Mistress of ceremonies will be Soonline, visit www.GAOvarianCanphia Choi, news anchor at WSB-TV, cer.org/Gala. Channel 2 Action News. For more information, call (404) 241-8006 or visit naacpdek@com-
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, MARCH 28, 2014
Trial begins for man accused of molesting child in library
The trial of a man accused of molesting a child in a DeKalb County library began March 24. Johnta Mackenzie Baker was indicted April 4, Baker 2013, for allegedly approaching a minor in a bathroom at Decatur Library. He then fled the scene and was arrested by the Decatur Police Department at a local MARTA station. Baker is being charged with child molestation, public transit fraud, obstruction of an officer and enticing a child for indecent purposes. The trial is expected to last several weeks.
Establishment Name: The Original Tin Roof Cantina Address: 2591 Briarcliﬀ Road Current Score/Grade: 96/A Inspection Date: 03/20/2014
Former Emory University employee sentenced to 20 years
An Ellenwood man pleaded guilty to multiple felony computer theft charges and was sentenced to 20 years March 18. Kent Spicer, Spicer 48, will serve four years behind bars and is also required to pay $150,000 in restitution to Emory University for his role in an elaborate purchasing scheme. According to defense attorney J. Lansing Kimme, Spicer worked for Emory University for approximately 20 years as a senior business manager for the Division of General Medicine. Prosecutors said while employed for the university, Spicer would purchase various electronic items through the accounts payable system, sell the items on eBay and then transfer the proceeds to his bank account. Spicer was sentenced under the First Offenders Act.
Restaurant Health Inspections
Wiping cloth bucket containing chlorine sanitizer exceeding 200 ppm in toxic amount. Advised PIC to remake sanitizing solution to achieve only 100 ppm chlorine available.PIC remade sanitizing solution. Corrected On-Site. New Violation. Correct By: 03/31/2014bservations and Corrective Actions Establishment Name: The Fish Spot Address: 5053-B Memorial Drive Current Score/Grade: 91/A Inspection Date: 03/20/2014 Establishment Name: Chili’s Grill & Bar Address: 2133 Lavista Road Current Score/Grade: 81/B Inspection Date: 03/20/2014 Observed employee reach underneath apron with gloved hand, retrieve some keys, then continue with food prep. PIC advised to train employees to discard gloves and wash hands once gloves become contaminated. Employee removed gloves and washed hands. Corrected On-Site. New Violation. Observed employee place avocados on soft taco with bare hands. PIC advised that EXCEPT when washing fruits and vegetables there shall be no bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods; utensils such as deli tissue, spatulas, tongs, single-use gloves, or dispensing equipment may be used. COS- Avocados discarded. Corrected On-Site. New Violation. Observed non operational paper towel dispenser at bar hand sink. PIC advised that all hand wash sinks must be accessible at all times and supplied with hot and cold running water, soap, paper towel, and hand washing sign. COS-PIC changed batteries and added paper towels. Corrected On-Site. Repeat Violation. Observed interior of ice machine with brown debris. Debris appeared to enter machine from top panel. PIC advised to investigate origin of debris. COS- Interior of ice machine should be clean and sanitized no later than close of business today. Corrected On-Site. New Violation. Establishment Name: Chick-Fil-A #804 Address: 5450 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard Current Score/Grade: 84/B Inspection Date: 03/20/2014 Establishment Name: McDonald’s Address: 2210 North Druid Hills Road Current Score/Grade: 94/A Inspection Date: 03/20/2014
Mother accused of suffocating 3-year-old requests bond
A mother accused of suffocating her 3-year-old daughter appeared in a DeKalb County courtroom March 21 for a bond hearing. Bemis Meriel Kathleen Bemis, 21, is accused of reportedly suffocating her daughter after an argument with her boyfriend at her Stone Mountain apartment complex. Bemis is currently being held in DeKalb County Jail without bond. A decision on the bond hearing is expected in the next several weeks.
Corner Continued From Page 6A
Carl’s Corner, which was part of the same design feature, Stevens said. “That was removed in the 1950s, from my understanding, when they widened the road,” she said. The structure was dubbed “Carl’s Corner” after Carl Houseworth, a local resident who used to maintain the property around the historic western gateway monument, constructed of red brick and stucco is located at the corner of South Avondale and North Avondale Roads. Longtime Avondale Estates Rutledge Gross knew the man the gateway is named after. “Avondale Estates was very, very different then,” Gross said. “Avondale Estates was on the outskirts of civilization. We moved back here so I could put my old horse in the back yard. It was all country. I remember riding my horse up and down Memorial Drive when it was all dirt.” Houseworth helped to care for Gross’ horse. Houseworth, a tall, slender, Black man, worked for the city and “for a good many folks around the neighborhood” doing various odd jobs such as putting coal in furnaces and maintaining lawns, with his ever-present mule. “He was just as cute and nice and wonderful as could be,” Gross said. “Everybody loved Carl. He was a very special kind of guy. Carl was an institution.” The monument bearing Carl’s name will be stabilized and restored, Stevens said. “It has some pretty significant challenges at the moment. The bricks have started the separation from the foundation. It needs to be completely repointed and it’s lost a few of its bricks.” Additionally, the cracked stucco needs to be repaired, Stevens said. “It’s a great brick and mortar project for us and it has been something that a number of longtime citizens have been very interested in preserving,” Stevens said. “Without… this project, we might lose that important feature.” The Historic Preservation Division’s grant covers 60 percent of the project cost, up to $9,270, and the city is responsible for the remaining cost. Avondale Estates is one of seven Georgia communities this year to receive federal subgrants to conduct historic preservation projects, all of which will begin in April 2014 and be completed by September 2015. Stevens said the monument is a significant structure in the city. “It’s part of the history of the city,” she said. “We were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986? And this was noted as one of the contributing features of the city. “We’re very excited about getting to [rehabilitate] it and getting to celebrate our history once again,” she said.
Establishment Name: Lalibela Cafe Address: 3096 North Decatur Road, Suite G Current Score/Grade: 65/U Inspection Date: 03/20/2014 Failure to employ a Certiﬁed Food Safety Manager. Advised to enroll in CFSM course tomorrow. Repeat Violation. Bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods. Observed cook handeling sliced tomatoes and peppers with bare hands. Advised to discard food and to use gloves. Owner discarded food. New Violation. Owner unable to locate employee health policy (illness tree). Advised to print at www.georgiaeh.us. Repeat Violation. Cooked potentially hazardous foods not cooled from 135F to 70F within 2 hours. Advised to discard and explained the cooling process. Owner discarded the food. Corrected On-Site. New Violation. Food thermometer not provided and readily accessible for use in ensuring attainment and maintenance of food temperatures. Owner unable to locate food thermometers. Advised to purchase food thermometers today. New Violation. Physical facilities not maintained in good repair. Observed hole in wall in pool room. Advised to repair. Repeat Violation. Physical facilities not cleaned as often as necessary to keep them clean and by methods that prevent contamination of food products. Observed soiled walls, ﬂoors & chairs in kitchen, pool room and private room. Advised to clean and to increase cleaning frequency. Repeat Violation. Lights not shielded or shatterproof in areas where there is exposed food, clean equipment, utensils, linens, or unwrapped single-service articles. Advised to provide light shields for lights above stove top. Repeat Violation.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, MARcH 28, 2014
Commissioner comments on alleged funds misuse
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com ity and for that I apologize. I immediately reimbursed the expenses from that two year DeKalb County Commis- time frame.” sioner Elaine Boyer apoloCurrently, there is no gized and said oversight in place she didn’t think to ensure commisshe was doing sioners adhere to anything wrong the county’s perwhen she used her sonal card policies. county credit card Each commissioner to pay for personal is required to sign a expenses. statement agreeing Boyer issued a to adhere to them statement March but each commis25, which said she sioner is ultimately Boyer has always folresponsible for seelowed the established county ing that is carried out. procedures regarding perCommissioners are resonal expenses and she has quired to save their receipts “paid back every questionfor every purchase with the able item.” county “P-Card.” Boyer, According to a report however, said she only saved released by the Atlanta Jour- one out of 50 receipts, statnal-Constitution, those items ing she simply forgot. include plane tickets for she Boyer has been outspoand her family, thousands of ken about both hiring an indollars in meals for her and ternal auditor for the county aide Bob Lundsten, and a and the power of the ethics host of other items. board. At a recent meeting, “There was no expense to Boyer stated it was importhe county taxpayers,” Boyer tant to ensure the county’s said. “The AJC brought to ethics board did not have my attention that I had not too much power so that it reimbursed some of these wouldn’t be able to carry out expenses for 2012 and 2013. political vendettas against That was an oversight for commissioners. which I accept responsibil-
The Dunwoody Police Department is now equipped with the UbiDuo face-to-face communicator, that provides additional services to residents who are deaf, hard of hearing and others with communication barriers.
Dunwoody police try to break communication barriers with a new device
by Marta Garcia firstname.lastname@example.org The Dunwoody Police Department is now equipped with the UbiDuo face-to-face communicator. This device provides additional services to residents who are deaf, hard of hearing and others with communication barriers or other challenges which make conversation difficult. “The machine is accurate and allows the person to type exactly what they want to say,” said Dunwoody police officer Tim Fecht. “This is a safety feature especially in cases of emergency to have instant communication,” the officer added. The communicator allows users to converse with each other face-to-face anywhere at any time and exchange text in real time on a split-screen display. As a key is pressed on either keyboard, the corresponding character appears simultaneously on both screens, which enables the conversation to proceed in real time. Dunwoody is the first police department to utilize this device in Georgia. “We continually strive to provide the highest level of service to our residents,” Fecht said. The UbiDuo system costs approximately $2,000, is portable, wireless and, according to Fecht, assists when an interpreter is not available and allows for immediate conversations for the users. “Interpreters could still be used for more in-depth cases. This device is an additional tool for immediate communication,” the officer said. Residents who are deaf, hard of hearing or have communication barriers can walk into the police department for any reason and communicate with the officers without having to wait for an interpreter to arrive before full communication can begin, the officer concluded.
DeKalb cities will have to wait for school independence
by Marta Garcia email@example.com The Chamblee Business Association hosted its last monthly breakfast meeting as an association on March 20 at the Chamblee Civic Center. On April 2 Chamblee will have its own chamber of commerce that, according to its CEO Art Freeman, will be “the voice of business in Chamblee.” During this meeting State Representative Tom Taylor talked about the resolution HR 486 that proposes an amendment to the state constitution to authorize any municipality created on or after Jan. 1, 2005, to establish individually or collectively by local law an independent school system. “DeKalb is spending a billion dollars a year on education and the graduation rate is less than 6 in 10 kids. It’s terrible”, said Taylor. “It’s a killer for property values and economic development. We cannot attract business in here with these numbers. We just can’t,” he added. According to Taylor, the bill is intended to allow some of the largest systems in urban areas to broken into smaller independent school systems. “Small school systems work better. There is a lot more transparency and they have superior graduation rates,” Taylor said. DeKalb county has almost 100,000 children in its school system, the third largest in the state, and according to the state representative, it is projected to grow significantly. Gwinnet county, with 180,000 children in its school system, is the largest in the state followed by Cobb with more than 107,000 students. “We [DeKalb] bring a lot of jobs and money to the state so it’s vitally important to really increase education outcome because it’s our future,” he added. The push-back to the bill, according to Taylor, is coming from the rural areas that already have small groups of children in their school system. State constitution amendment requires 121 votes and a state referendum. So far Taylor said it has 108 votes. “HR 486 will return to the House next year. Over the next 10 months there is an important opportunity to work and make sure this amendment is written as strong as it can be, so that it doesn’t only meet our great state’s need today, but it meets the changing and growing needs of tomorrow, ” he added. Chamblee Mayor Eric Clarkson, who assisted the meeting among other members of the business association, agreed with Taylor that the DeKalb school system’s graduation rate (59 percent) is affecting local businesses. “It’s obvious that the school situation in DeKalb county needs to be fixed,” said Clarkson. “It’s been demonstrated with other school systems throughout metro Atlanta area that the smaller school systems have higher success rates with the graduation and other programs.”
Heyward Wescott and Erika Harris from Georgians for Local Area School Systems (GLASS) said that school systems of a manageable size are able to more effectively spend their financial resources and develop programs to meet the needs of their schools and students. “Schoolhouses that need specific and individualized programs are more likely to receive them, as they are not lost among the other schools’ needs within overly large districts,” said Wescott. “It’s extremely important that the school graduation rates are higher. The higher the graduation rates the more likely is that large companies like Kia or State Farm don’t have to import jobs.” Harris took the city of Decatur school system (which is independent and has 4,200 students) as an example of success with a graduation rate of 94 percent, the highest in the county. “School systems of a manageable size are more responsible and proactive. The small school systems have more direct, continuous and in-depth relationships with students, teacher, parents and the community,” said Harris, co-chair at GLASS. “When you have, for instance, one or two high schools in the school district, like Decatur has, they receive the full focus,” she said. If we want to increase our own workforce, those children need GED so they can be competitive and make more money and a better job opportunity,” she concluded.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, MARcH 28, 2014
New Chamblee Chamber of Commerce is ready for business
by Marta Garcia firstname.lastname@example.org Chamblee business owners will have a stronger voice in the community, the county and the state trough the new Chamber of Commerce that will start operating in April 2. According to its CEO Art Freeman, the Chamblee Chamber expects to have more than 250 members and will represent the interests of many businesses and trade associations as an independent business advocacy organization. “What the Chamblee Chamber of Commerce can do that business association cannot is get involved at the political level not just within the city politics but to the national level because the chamber represents the entire spectrum of governmental affairs,” Freeman said. For Deputy Executive Director Barbara Barber it means a great deal to the city and is an exciting moment. “It’s going to be just wonderful because it’s going to help pull all the communities together. It’s going to offer businesses the support and advocacy they need and also help Freeman, founder of the organization, said in Chamblee there is the right combination of investment incentives to attract new businesses; access support services and capital to help businesses grow; and information on procurement opportunities to enable businesses to sustain their growth. “We will be, as much as we can, partnering with the city in this growth, but at the same time we are going to be the watch committee to make that the business community is protected in this growth and our general community is protected too,” he said. Freeman is also planning to found a junior chamber of commerce for young professionals between the ages of 21 and 35, a Hispanic and pan Asian divisions staffed with bilingual people and offering multilingual programs. “We are bringing a whole other strategic partnership level to the governing forces of the city and of the area with a much more robust private public partnership. It will be the voice of businesses in Chamblee,” he concluded.
support and promote business to business,” she said. Barber said the chamber will offer more benefits to its members by
Founder of the Chamblee Chamber of Commerce Art Freeman and deputy executive director Barbara Barber during the last Business Association meeting hosted on March 20 at the Chamblee Civic Center.
helping them with local politics and will also stet members support each other and get more publicity and visibility.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, MARCH 28, 2014
A committee is working to improve and bring economic development to Buford Highway in Brookhaven.
Brookhaven holds first meeting on the Buford Highway improvement plan
by Carla Parker email@example.com to improve the corridor and suggested the plan should include the areas between Members of the Buford Buford Highway and I-85. Highway Improvement Plan “We’ve got some great opand Economic Development portunities here,” he said. Strategy Steering Committee Gebbia’s ideas included met March 21 to brainstorm creating sidewalk space and ideas on how to improve the bike lanes. He would also Buford Highway corridor. like to turn Peachtree Creek It was the kick-off meetin a “statement park” for ing for the committee, which Brookhaven. Currently, there is comprised of people from are no parks along Buford across metro Atlanta with Highway in the city limits. experience in community “It has such potential,” development. Jaeger Co., a Gebbia said. Gainesville-based design and He also suggested creatplanning firm, is the consul- ing a transit system that tant on the project and met would travel from the with committee members Brookhaven/Oglethorpe and city officials. MARTA station to CorpoThe project allows comrate Square and around to mittee members to look at Century Center. the current development “We can create here ecoin the area, redevelopment nomic viability that can be opportunities, safe housing brought into this area when initiatives and diverse work- it gets heighten,” Gebbia force programs. The plansaid. “Look at what can be ning process will also focus done to make Corporate on pedestrian accessibility Square a more valuable asset and streetscape initiatives. to the city of Brookhaven.” The final product will inGarrett said the city is clude an action plan intend- focusing on Buford Highway ed to stimulate the area as because the area offers opthe gateway to Brookhaven, portunities for redevelopaccording to city officials. ment and refinement. City Manager Marie L. Gar“We have residential, rett said the first meeting we have office and employwas “fantastic.” ment, we have institutional “It exceeded my expecta- uses out there and we have tions,” Garrett said. “We have a school in the immediate a lot of energy and great area,” she said. “It has all the commitment by the steerright ingredients to be reing committee members. fined.” I’m really looking forward to This is Brookhaven’s latest working through this proeffort to improve the Buford cess and the end result.” Highway corridor. Last year, City council member the city launched a multiJoe Gebbia was energetic in family inspection program sharing his ideas on ways to that includes inspecting the improve the Buford Highway exterior of all apartment corridor. Gebbia said he has complexes to ensure comhad ideas for years on how pliance with international
Journey to Excellence
Thursday, April 10, 2014 3:30 p.m.
Reception Following R.S.V.P. | 404-297-9522 ext. 1165 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Conference Center, DeKalb Campus | 495 North Indian Creek Drive Clarkston, Georgia 30021
See Highway on Page 16A
Reduce • Reuse • Recycle Reduce • Reuse • Recycle
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, MARCH 28, 2014
For confused adults:
It can be frustrating for parents who try to monitor their children’s online activity to see all the abbreviations and acronyms they use when chatting online or via their cell phones. Some it may be obvious and popular (like “LOL” for laugh out loud), but others are hard to decode. The website www.teenchatdecoder. com helps parents understand what their children are “really” saying online. Some of the most popular text abbreviations: WTPA: Where the party at? WYCM: Will you call me? 143: I love you WTH: What the heck? TY or TU: Thank you TIME: Tears in my eyes TMB: Tweet me back SWAK: Sealed with a kiss SWYP: So, what’s your problem? ROFL: Rolling on the floor laughing IDK: I don’t know HAK: Hugs and kisses GLHF: Good luck, have fun GNOC: Get naked on camera TDTM: Talk dirty to me CU46: See you for sex
Keeping youth safe on the Internet
by Marta Garcia email@example.com The Internet is loaded with content and activities that are entertaining and educational for children. Children have access to resources through smart phones, tablets and computers vastly beyond what their parents had, and what some grandparents can even understand. Unfortunately advances in computer and telecommunication technology may also leave them vulnerable to Internet safety issues such as inappropriate online conversations and cyberbullying (the use of information technology to harm or harass other people). To answer questions about the safe use of the Internet, DeKalb county superior clerk Debra DeBerry hosted the first annual cyber safety forum held on March 20 at the South DeKalb Police Precinct in Decatur. “There are over 27,000 predators out there. That’s scary especially if young people are open and giving too much personal information on social media that is used all the time. Parents need to know there are tools to monitor their children’s activity and to help them prevent these situations,” DeBerry said. The superior court clerk said these issues impact the youth in DeKalb, and they have to be addressed because children are the future of the county. “They are going to be future leaders, homeowners, tax payers, employers and employees in 10 years. They have to know that what they do today will follow them in the future. As kids we all may have made dumb mistakes but with the advance of social media it follows you in pictures, in living color. It’s important for children to understand what is appropriate to share on the web and what is not.” More than 60 DeKalb adults attended the meeting, some of them with their middle and high school children. “It’s great to get this much information,” said Decatur resident Tameca Cameron who attended the meeting with her 13 year old son. “The kids need to know the risks and, as with the real world, they have to know the internet has its seamy side, and sometimes it’s too easy for kids to stray into it.” Instructional technology specialist Angela Johnson talked about the risks children and teenagers are facing when surfing the web including cyberbullying, sexting (the act of sending sexually explicit messages and/or photographs, primarily between mobile phones) and online predators. “Porn, questionable characters, hate groups and misinformation flourish online. To preserve the best of what’s online for your kids, parents have to get involved. Just as they know every detail of the playground around the corner, they need to know their kids’ online playground as well,” said Johnson. The media specialist emphasized that one of the biggest issues, especially when young people use social media is; sharing too much information including their emotional state, inappropriate texting and sexting. “Social networking is so much fun. Kids love to share their thoughts and impressions with friends. When they share their home address with the whole world, that’s a problem. And do you really want everyone to know that your house will be empty next week during your family trip?” Johnson asked. The specialist encouraged parents to get involved and teach their children to protect their privacy; never to give their name, phone number, email address, password, postal address, school, or picture without their permission and never get together with anyone they “meet” online. “Set house rules. Decide how much time you’re comfortable with your children being online and which sites they may go to. As a parent, you model proper behavior for your kids and instruct them in how they should behave. This nurturing education should extend to their behavior online. DeKalb police Sgt. Kennedy said children can be insulted and bullied online, sometimes to the point of feeling suicidal. And unlike physical bullying, parents can’t see cyber-bullying when it happens. “Parental control apps that install on smartphones and mobile devices are becoming more and more common. As with PC-based parental control, these apps can give parents a higher level of control and monitoring than obtained by filtering at the router level,” explained Kennedy. The officer recommended parents delete the app called KIK (a free smartphone messenger widely used by teenagers) because it is a foreign company that has been linked to sex predators. “We don’t want you to close your child’s computer and put it inside your closet. We want you to teach your children how to use technology safely, monitoring them, and know what they are doing with their computers, smart phones and tablets,” concluded the officer.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, MARCH 28, 2014
Daddy Daughter Dance
More than 100 fathers and daughters, and a couple of mothers, attended the Father/Daughter Ball at Stone Mill Elementary in Stone Mountain, March 21. Photos by Travis Hudgons
Photos brought to you by DCTV
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THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, MARcH 28, 2014
History Center board member Charlene Fang (bottom right) and guests.
DeKalb History Center’s Annual Meeting and Silent Auction event was held March 21 in the historic old courthouse in downtown Decatur. Hundreds attended the event and were treated to food from some of Decatur’s best caterers including Badda Bing, Endive Fine Catering, Fox Brothers BBQ, LowCountry Barbecue, Sawicki’s, Soiree Catering, Sun in My Belly and Zest Atlanta. Photos by Christopher Brown and John Hewitt
DeKalb History Center Gala
Former Executive Director of Leadership DeKalb Sara Fountain chats with Junior League of DeKalb president-elect Angela Turk.
History Center program manager Jenny Goldemund (bottom left) and board member Meg Samuelson (bottom right) sell raffle tickets.
History Center member Bonnie Flynt and president-elect John Hewitt tended bar along with Stacey Roudebush.
THE CHAmPIoN FrEE PrESS, frIDAY, mArcH 28, 2014
Red Cross Continued From Page 1A
fellow citizens. “It’s a great feeling to help people. They are so grateful for what you do”, said Mannion, who has been deployed three times; twice to New York for hurricane Sandy and one to Mississippi for hurricane Isaac. The DeKalb volunteer provides help in Georgia for those who have been impacted by a catastrophe. “When people lose everything we give them food, money to go to a hotel and we let them know somebody cares and we are going to be there to help them get back on their feet,” he said. Besides providing aid during disasters, the Red Cross provides support for members of the military and veterans and launches programs to teach water safety, CPR, first aid, disaster preparedness and other lifesaving skills. “When I address new volunteers I congratulate them for joining an exceptional organization. I think to celebrate a hundred years of doing service for other people for our fellow citizens is just a terrific idea,” he added. In honor of this history of service, the Red Cross in Georgia will be celebrating all year with a variety of events and activities. The kick-off event “Run for the Red” as part of the Publix Georgia Marathon, Half-Marathon and 5K in Centennial Olympic Park on March 23 was a big success, according to Kevin J. Keough chairman of the 30-member Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter board of directors. He participated in the 5K with his wife Diana and his son Tommy, 21, ran the half marathon. “It was a fun event to raise money for the organization. My team rose over $2,000 and my motivation was to set an example by being an active participant in the run.” More than 160 people ran in Team Red Cross at the event, and according to the organization, so far they have raised more than $20,000. Keoug has been volunteering for the organization for almost five years. As a former army officer (he is a West Point graduate) he saw how the Red Cross supports military members and veterans and that was reason enough to get involved with the organization. “Working for the Red Cross is an honor. I am very proud and supportive of its mission. It’s essential in our community,” he said. Besides the running team, the chapter provided 40 first aid-trained volunteers at stations along the race course to help spot and treat participants in need of help. Other planned events include the “Ride for the Red,” a 60-mile motorcycle ride that will be hold on June 1, the Atlanta Braves All-American Blood Drive at Turner Field’s 755 Club on June 28 and the Red Cross Day at Atlanta Braves Stadium on July 5.
Art Continued From Page 1A
The city of Stone Mountain has a rich history when it comes to art and culture. Photos by Carla Parker
tinguish themselves from the city of Stone Mountain because the downtown area has a village appeal,” Thomas said. “Our people in this latest generation really use the term Stone Mountain Village. They like the quaintness of it and it sounds inviting, as opposed to the city of Stone Mountain, which people confuse as [Stone Mountain] park.” The area that now makes up the city of Stone Mountain was incorporated into the newly formed DeKalb County in 1822. A post office was created in 1834, a hotel was built in 1836 and an observation tower was built at the summit of the mountain. By 1839, a general store was added and the village was established under the name New Gibraltar. The name was officially changed to Stone Mountain by the Georgia Legislature in 1847. According to its website, the village celebrates the city’s history and preserves “the long lasting impact of a community that was built for workers and artisans.” The old Trolley Car Barn and Power Station in Stone Mountain Village were both preserved for artisans. In 1986, DeKalb County was looking to add an art center on the East side of the county. Thomas, was working as director of grants for the Georgia Council for the Arts, the state of Georgia’s arts agency and a division of the governor’s office. His division was moved to Tucker and that is when he discovered the Trolley Car Barn. “When I saw the building I just knew that I had to be involved in something here,” he said. The old Trolley Car Barn and Power Station were was purchased by ART Station in 1987 and a 3.5 million campaign was completed to renovate the space into a contemporary arts center housing a small theatre, five art galleries, a gift shop, re-
hearsal, dance and music studios, ceramics studio, box-office, production and administrative space. The ART in the ART Station name comes from a 1913 photograph of a trolley car in front of the building with the wording of “Atlanta Rapid Transit” written on the side of the car. ART Station has programs serving more than 50,000 patrons and students each year. “The ART Station is our community center,” Thomas said. [The ART Station] and Stone Mountain is about accessibility and diversity. We want people to come into Stone Mountain Village and feel that they can be a part of it.” The Stone Mountain Downtown Development Authority is currently working on plans to retain the people that visit the village. A part of the plan is to bring in new businesses. Thomas said the village is doing a number of things through the Downtown Development Authority to encourage businesses to move in the city. “One of our biggest issues right now is getting more restaurants,” he said. “There are a couple of places that are closed along Main Street.” The city brought in Mechel McKinley from Macon to be the director of the Downtown Development Authority. McKinley said she will work with anyone who wants to start a business in the village. “I feel like we’re in a good place and I’m excited about the opportunities in Stone Mountain,” McKinley said. “Stone Mountain is your arts and cultural destination,” Thomas said. “The culture includes our food, how we celebrate, how we love, how we play and have a good time, and how we accept each other. It’s a very close knit community in a good way. People really care about each other and care about making this a destination place.”
The American Red Cross in numbers every year
• responds to nearly 70,000 disasters in communities across the United States • supplies about 43 percent of the nation’s blood • provides blood for patients in approximately 2,700 hospitals across the U.S. • 3.3 million people voluntarily donate blood • one donation can save help save the lives of up to three people. • teaches lifesaving skills to about 10 million people
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, MARcH 28, 2014
DeKalb County doctor sent to prison for Medicaid fraud
by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org A medical doctor with a practice in DeKalb County has been sentenced to serve four years in prison and six years on probation on two counts of Medicaid fraud. Tyrone Cecil Malloy, 63, was found guilty and sentenced by DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Becker after a twoweek trial. Malloy is the owner of two medical practices devoted to the performance of first-trimester elective abortions. Since 1976, a federal law known as the Hyde Amendment has prohibited the use of federal funds to pay for elective abortions and services associated with them. Abortions are only covered by Medicaid in cases where the pregnancy is the result of rape, incest, or circumstances where continuing the pregnancy will endanger the life of the mother. For several years, prosecutors said, Malloy defrauded the Georgia Medicaid program by billing for office visits associated with abortions and for ultrasound procedures that were never performed. “In total, he fraudulently billed Georgia Medicaid for over $386,000,” a news release from Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens’ office stated. Becker will hold a restitution hearing within the next several weeks to determine the exact amount of restitution Malloy will be ordered to pay the Georgia Department of Community Health. In 2010, the Georgia Department of Community Health’s Program Integrity Unit conducted a review of Malloy’s Old National Gynecology clinic looking for violations of the Hyde Amendment. After its review, the department suspended Medicaid reimbursements to Malloy. However, Malloy later requested an administrative review of the department’s findings and an administrative law judge concluded that Malloy had not done anything wrong; the Medicaid funds withheld from him were released. The Georgia attorney general then filed criminal charges against Malloy for the money he had allegedly billed the Medicaid program and the additional funds that he collected after they were released to him. Malloy was later indicted in 2011 and claimed the case against him was merely a political ploy. After losing an appeal from both the DeKalb County Superior Court and the Georgia Supreme Court, Malloy went to trial facing two felony counts of Medicaid fraud. Malloy has practiced medicine in Georgia since 1981. He received his medical degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and is medical director of the Atlanta SurgiCenter, where he has been providing abortion services for 20 years. Additionally, Malloy is on the faculty of Emory University’s School of Medicine. His primary practice, Metropolitan Atlanta ObGyn, is located in Decatur. He has another clinic, Old National Gynecology, in College Park.
Watchdog group files ethics complaint in Ellis case
by Andrew Cauthen email@example.com A local government watchdog group has filed an ethics complaint against two DeKalb County employees involved in the corruption case that has resulted in the indictment and suspension of DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis. Kelvin Walton, director and chief procurement officer of the department of purchasing and contracting, and Nina Hall, a project manager with the watershed department and a former Ellis assistant, are the subjects of the complaint filed by Viola Davis with Unhappy Taxpayer & Voter. Davis said she filed the complaint after her group received “a number of complaints and calls from people saying something had to be done.” The watchdog group is demanding that Walton and Hall be reassigned to other departments until a full criminal investigation and forensic audit of the county’s watershed department is completed. The watershed department, according to the complaint, has “a long history of complaints of terim CEO Lee May; District Attorney Robert James’ charges under the RICO statute; [and] Interim CEO Lee May’s statement of a need for additional evidence before removing Kelvin Walton from the Purchasing and Contract Compliance Department.” The group is also calling for a “federal investigation into DeKalb County’s Purchasing and Contracting and Contract Compliance departments and prosecution of people who are found to violate the local, -Viola Davis state, and federal laws.” “Everybody is innocent until and a vendor, according to proven guilty,” Davis said, the indictment. but there is a perception that In addition to the reasneeds to be addressed. signment of Walton and “It’s going to damage Hall, the group is demandDeKalb County…with that ing “a forensic audit of the type of cloud over us,” parWatershed Department.” ticularly in the area of ecoThe watchdog group nomic development, Davis is also requesting that the said. “I hope we can all get Georgia Bureau of Investo the bottom of what’s retigations “lead the [Ellis] ally going on here.” investigation as an external Because she knows some neutral third party due to of the parties involved in the the fact that two to three case, Davis said it was “difindependent constitutional ficult to file the complaint, officers have made seribut you can’t ignore what’s ous accusations against one slapping you in the face.” another to include: CEO Burrell Ellis charges against DA Robert James and Incriminal activity and systematic charges of thievery.” Walton is named in the Ellis indictment as an “unindicted” alleged co-conspirator who conspired with Ellis in the “unreasonable restraint of trade in a transaction” between the county
‘It’s going to damage DeKalb County…with that type of cloud over us. I hope we can all get to the bottom of what’s really going on here.’
Continued from page 11A property maintenance codes. The city is also working with the state to expand sidewalks, pedestrian crossings and street lighting along Buford Highway. Garrett said the city has been in communication with the international community along Buford Highway along with conducting the inspection program. “We’re looking at doing more to make sure all properties are in close compliance,” Garrett said. “We want to create a safe area and one where property values are improved.”
Happy (ID# 22233917) Happy is a precious 5 mo old pup looking for a home. She is an American Pit Bull Terrier mix. Happy came into the shelter very thin, but is filling out nicely. Happy’s name really fits her personality. She is one very happy pup who loves everyone she meets. Happy would make a great addition to any home. The shelter is no place for a puppy to grow up. They need love and a home in which to grow and develop. Happy is no exception to this. She needs a home and someone who will love and care for her. She is loving and playful and would make a great addition to any home.
The adoptions number: (404) 294-2165 • For adoption inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org For rescue inquiries: email@example.com For volunteer and foster inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
et P of the
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, MARcH 28, 2014
Brian McBroom says Anago’s use of chemical-free cleaning solutions makes it a good fit for DeKalb County, which aspires to be “the greenest urban county in America.”
McBroom makes a clean start in local franchise territory
by Kathy Mitchell email@example.com Job seekers typically contact businesses they believe might be interested in their talents, setting up interviews and distributing resumes. Brian McBroom encourages those in search of gainful employment to consider an alternative— business ownership. McBroom was recently named Anago Cleaning Systems’ master franchisee for a territory that encompasses several metropolitan Atlanta counties, including DeKalb. He said he had been excited to learn the area was available not only because he sees many possibilities in and around Atlanta but because, having earned his master’s degree in business administration at Clark Atlanta University, he was familiar with—and likes—the area. Decatur and other areas of DeKalb County were already targeted by Anago for their growth potential, McBroom said. “We already have a number of clients in the Decatur area—medical offices, schools, business offices—and we like to establish franchises where we already have a presence.” Started in Detroit, Mich., by four brothers in 1974, Anago targets small commercial cleaning contracts and now claims to be among the fastest-growing franchise organizations in America. According to McBroom, Anago was named by Entrepreneur Magazine as the 10th fastest-growing franchise in the nation for 2013 and is among the fastest growing among veterans and minorities. He said those factors make the area in and around DeKalb County especially attractive since it has a large minority population and is home to a regional Veterans’ Administration complex. Anago, which markets itself as a “green-cleaning” company, states on its website: “Our environmentally responsible approach focuses on the proper training and use of chemical-free cleaning solutions as well as proper disposal of any harsh detergents/cleaning compounds.” McBroom said that also makes the company a good fit for DeKalb County, which has its own Green Commission and on its website states that “the county is earning a reputation for being the Greenest Urban County in America.” Advantages of a cleaning business, McBroom explained, are relatively low start-up costs and flexibility on business size. “A franchise owner can be as small or as large as he or she wants. Some are just one person, who may work at another job during the day and clean buildings in the evenings. Others hire a staff and have a large number of clients.” As a master franchisee, McBroom recruits unit franchisees and arranges for such facets as training and marketing. His office also handles certain aspects of customer service, including surveying customers to be sure they are satisfied and working with unit franchise owners to resolve any issues customers may have with the service they’re receiving. “I like that this position uses all my business skills—marketing, finance, personnel and the rest,” said McBroom, adding that he believes franchise ownership is suitable to those who share what he calls his “entrepreneurial spirit.” “I worked in corporate America for more than 20 years,” he said, “but this is what I’ve always wanted to do—run my own business. When I look for unit franchisees, I look for people like me, who are focused and attentive to detail. That’s what it takes to be successful in this type of business.”
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, MARcH 28, 2014
Clarkston students learn to kick butts
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org Students at Indian Creek Elementary School—and their parents—learned how to kick butts March 19. The Georgia Asian Pacific Islander Team Empowerment (GATE) Coalition teamed up with the Community Action for Teens to host Kick Butts Day at the Clarkston school. Organized by the Campaign for TobaccoFree Kids, Kick Butts Day is an annual celebration of youth leadership and activism in the fight against tobacco. On Kick Butts Day, youth are encouraged to resist the temptation to begin using tobacco products. In Georgia alone, tobacco use claims 10,300 lives and costs $3.2 billion in health care bills each year, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Currently, 17 percent of the state’s high school students smoke. “The purpose of the event is to raise awareness within the Burmese community here in Clarkston,” said Karuna Ramachandran, GATE Coalition coordinator. “Often times they don’t get the message about the dangers of tobacco use, and there’s also a lot of myths about local forms of tobacco, cultural forms of tobacco.” Students created anti-smoking posters and participated in various awareness-raising workshops and games on the dangers of tobacco and the different forms of tobacco including nicotine, vapor products such as e-cigarettes, cultural forms of tobacco such as “gutkha” or “paan masala” and “bidi” cigarettes. “Paan masala” is “sort of like chewing tobacco but it’s wrapped up in…the leaf of a betel nut,” Ramachandran said. “It’s a very cultural, almost historical tradition to chew this. There are these myths out there that it’s healthy, it’s good for you and it’s a good safe way to freshen your breath, when actually it has carcinogens in it and when it’s added with tobacco—it’s often chewed with tobacco powder—then it’s even more dangerous and harmful.” “Bidis” or “beedies” are “small, flavored, filterless Indian cigarettes that have been gaining popularity among America’s teenagers,” according to a flyer by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “They consist of shredded tobacco rolled in dried tendu leaves (a broad-leafed plant native to India) and secured with string. They are produced in a variety of flavors, including chocolate, vanilla, cherry, licorice, menthol and mango. “According to the CDC, an unfiltered bidi releases three to five times more tar and nicotine than a regular cigarette, despite containing less tobacco,” according to the document. “Bidi smoke also contains more deadly chemicals such as ammonia and carbon monoxide than regular cigarette smoke.” Approximately 480,000 Americans—1,200 a day—die of tobacco-related deaths each a year, Ramachandran said. DeKalb County students from Cross Keys, Chamblee Charter and Tucker high schools volunteered at the event, which was the first time GATE hosted it.
Above, Indian Creek Elementary School students learn that tobacco use is dangerous to their health. Below, Students’ posters display anti-tobacco use messages.
DeKalb County high school student volunteers prepare to lead games to reinforce the anti-tobacco message. Photos by Andrew Cauthen
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, MARCH 28, 2014
DeKalb school district EDUCATION BRIEFS reaching out to males
by Andrew Cauthen email@example.com in abundance. I feel this is a reflection of a societal characteristic as much as it is for The DeKalb County a community.” School District is holding a “Here at MLK High conference for males titled School, in an effort to sup“Motivated Achievers, Lead- port [DeKalb School Supering and Empowering Sucintendent Michael Thurcessfully.” mond’s initiative to bridge The M.A.L.E.S Conferthe gap between the school ence will bring together and the community, the conmales of all ages to address nection to men is just one the unique experiences that additional variable in that big males face. The conference picture,” he said. will promote positive diaCoward said the conferlogue about creating a blueence is “another opportunity print for motivating boys and for us to educate [fathers] men in the 21st century. and empower them to be Topics will include cothat parent that they are. Faparenting, self-defense, men- thers are parents, too.” tal health, personal branding, The conference will obstacles in life, single faengage participants in “a therhood, dealing with anger, number of things that affect leadership and sexual health. their lives in and outside “One of the things the of schools,” Lavoulle said. district is trying to focus “Some of these issues are on…is about involving more some of the blockers that families into the educational have restricted or limited process of their children,” men’s involvement in their said Marcia Coward, the son’s and daughter’s lives.” district’s family engagement For example in the session liaison in the school leadertitled “The Art of Self-Deship and operational support fense: Maintaining the Zero division. Tolerance Policy,” Orpheus The district recently held Walker and Amin Hameed, a series of parent empowerwill cover the fundamentals ment conferences and durof maintaining composure ing these meetings parents during a conflict; underasked, “What about the men? standing the principles of When are we going to do self-defense; how to address something that’s specifically and handle bullying; and the for the men our fathers?” art of mental awareness and Coward said. using this to avoid conflict. From those questions In that session, pardeveloped the idea for a reticipants will discuss how source for males. “young boys learn how to Crystal Lavoulle, an asassert themselves without besistant principal at Martin ing thought of as aggressive” Luther King Jr. High School, and how not to be “a physical said school officials are “con- doormat,” Lavoulle said. tinuously looking for someOther sessions include thing for our boys to attach “Effective Co-Parenting and to that’s positive to counterSingle Fatherhood Room,” act anything that’s negative “First Impressions: How that may be going on in their to WIN at everything,” lives.” “Spiritual Health,” “Be the Lavoulle said they want Change,” “Juvenile Justice the conference “to be an exSystem,” “Head Games: How perience that is beneficial to former NFL players and their fathers as well as sons, not families struggle with Mental just for boys but for men as Illness,” “Challenges on the well. The idea is to have as Way to Self-Actualization,” many of our boys involved as “Hip-Hop and Masculinity,” possible.” and “Gang Awareness.” The reason males are the Lunch will be provided subject and beneficiaries of at the free event which is the conference, said MLK open to males of all ages. To Principal Kerby D. Bullard, register, go to tinyurl.com/ are because “as a society, cer- m7k9d6f. tainly as a community, from The event will be 8 a.m.a school perspective, we 4 p.m. March 29 at Martin don’t see the participation of Luther King Jr. High School, men in educational process. 3991 Snapfinger Road, LiWe certainly don’t see men thonia. Stephenson High’s restored pipe organ to be featured in show The Atlanta Chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society (ATOS), in conjunction with DeKalb County Schools and Stephenson High School, is hosting the premiere concert of a 1927 vintage Page Theatre pipe organ on Thursday, April 3, at 7:30 p.m. This concert is the culmination of a 12-year effort of volunteers to restore the complex theatre organ that boasts nearly 1700 pipes, plus glockenspiels, xylophones, marimbas, drums, cymbals, castanets and other orchestral percussion instruments that make the theatre organ unique. The artist will be internationally renowned organist Jelani Eddington of Racine, Wisc. Eddington has toured the world in concert, been featured with symphony orchestras and has dozens of recordings to his credit. Eddington will be joined by the Stephenson High School wind ensemble and jazz orchestra under the direction of Quentin Goins, and the Stephenson Chorale Singers under the direction of Dr. Vada Coleman. The concert will feature various types of music, including light classics, movie themes, ballads and jazz. General admission tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. All student tickets are $10. For more information, visit www. atosatlanta.org, or call Ken Double at (404) 790-5400.
Stephenson High School is located at 701 Stephenson Road, Stone Mountain.
nounced that Decatur High School is once again an Advanced Placement Honor School. Decatur High was named an honor school in DeKalb County School three categories: AP Merit, District seeks parent input AP Stem and AP STEM on code of conduct Achievement. AP Merit Schools are The DeKalb County those with at least 20 perSchool District is seeking cent of the student populainput from parents on the tion taking AP exams and 2014-2015 Code of Student at least 50 percent of all Conduct. AP exams earning scores The Code of Student of three or higher. The reConduct Handbook outceive the AP Stem School lines the policies, rules and designation, schools must regulations that govern have students testing in at student discipline in the dis- least two AP math courses trict including dress code, and two AP science courses behavior, bus information, (calculus, statistics, biology, electronic communication chemistry, environmental devices, violence against science, physics or comstudents, school personnel puter science). AP STEM and other student responsi- Achievement Schools are bilities. those with students testThe handbook is intend- ing in at least two AP math ed to inform students in courses and two AP science grades K-12 of the types of courses and at least 40 perbehaviors that are unaccept- cent of the exam scores on able. Students are taught AP math and AP science and tested on the contents exams earning scores of of the handbook. three or higher. A copy of the current 2013-2014 handbook is Hundreds of DeKalb stuavailable in all DeKalb dents are ‘work ready’ schools and at www.dekalb. k12.ga.us/student-relations The DeKalb County in English, Burmese, Nepali School District announced and Spanish. recently that 244 students Comments and recomat DeKalb High School of mendations may be sent to Technology South are “work firstname.lastname@example.org. ready” after being certified k12.ga.us; or by mail to the by the Georgia Work Ready Department of Safe Schools program. and Student Relations, 5823 Georgia Work Ready is Memorial Drive, Stone a certification program that Mountain, GA 30083. ensures that Georgia’s workers have real world skills Decatur High named an and can prove their work Advanced Placement hon- readiness to potential emor school ployers. The Georgia Department of Education recently an-
Adult Education providers are invited to apply for federal funding to deliver English Literacy and Civics education services in these counties: Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett. Interested agencies may obtain the Request for Application (RFA) after April 7, 2014 from the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), Office of Adult Education (OAE) website at: www.tcsg.edu – click on Adult Education and then click Request for Application (RFA) or call (404)‐679‐1635. Additional information is available regarding available funds to be awarded for this project can be found at the noted website. In addition, counties are encouraged to work with local non‐governmental agencies to secure additional funding, if desired.
ADULT EDUCATION GRANT NOTICE FOR ENGLISH LITERACY/CIVICS
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, MARcH 28, 2014
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THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, MARCH 28, 2014
News and events of the
DEKALB CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Two Decatur Town Center, 125 Clairemont Ave. Suite 235, Decatur, GA, 30030 • 404.378.8000• www.DeKalbchamberofcommerce.org
Rehabbing this old house called DeKalb
The subject of economic development is a hot subject in DeKalb County. The worst recession in modern history has decimated communities and neighborhoods. As such, many constantly question and inquire as to what is being done to recruit, retain, and grow industry. While things may appear to be moving slow, rest assured there is a group of dedicated men and women working tirelessly to make DeKalb a place where business grows and thrives. Before any residential or commercial building can be built, a solid foundation has to be laid. DeKalb has had a strong foundation but with age and weathering comes at some structural problems. When the foundation cracks, the structure experiences some damage. For a county a mature as DeKalb, that has been the case. Homes built in 1920’s have appeal, charm, and often make the historic register once they have an owner committed to investing some “TLC.” The same is happening here. DeKalb County is like that delightful home being renovated that once work is complete, is stronger and better than some of the more contemporary housing structures. Some of the ways DeKalb’s structure is being revamped is through the recent signing of an intergovernmental agreement between the Development Authority and DeKalb County Government which creates a new structure for economic development. This new agreement will modify how the county tackles business recruitment, retention, expansion, small business development, and redevelopment. This new entity will implement the Brownsfield Remediation Loan Fund program, Small Business and Entrepreneurs Loan Program, New Markets Tax Credits, Tax Allocation Districts, issuance of bonds, and a moderate income housing program. Organization aside, a new strategic plan is being developed which will guide future economic development activities. The market assessment is nearing completion and the next phase will commence shortly with a final document expected late third quarter of this year. Although structure and planning is important, perhaps the most important action to take place is the improvement of permitting processes. Through an introspective look at itself guided by Matrix Consulting, DeKalb County is taking measures to improve consistency and customer service in both the permitting and business license operations. In that same vein, an expedited commercial plan review process has been established whereby plans are guaranteed a 10 day turnaround. Processes aside, investments are also being made improve technology, foster more training thereby creating more accountability. For some, new is glamorous and old is tired and dated. For organizations like the DeKalb Chamber and its community partners in business development, we are convinced that age and challenge produces character and longevity. Perhaps the owners of the old house called DeKalb County went too long without proper investment but with renewed fervor and commitment, the future is brighter than the past. It is simply a matter of time before we will be the neighborhood everyone wants to move to.
Executive Speaker Series:
Wednesday, April 16 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Chamblee Civic Center Guest speaker will be
Hon. Sam Zamarripa,
Georgia’s first Hispanic State Senator Presenting “The Essential Economy”
$35 Chamber Members $45 General Public
Brought to you in partnership with: The Champion Newspaper
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, MARcH 28, 2014
Cross Keys hires new football coach
by Carla Parker email@example.com The Cross Keys High School football program has not had a winning season since 1994, but new head coach Kevin Saunders is hoping to change that. The school announced March 12 that it hired Saunders to take over the Indians football program. Saunders previously coached at Gretna High School in Gretna, Va. for five seasons. He went 4915 in those five seasons and won a state championship in 2011. Along with having family in Georgia, Saunders said he took the job at Cross Keys because he has always wanted to coach in Georgia. “Football is big in Georgia and somebody told me that you couldn’t win [at Cross Keys],” he said. “So that challenged me even more.” Saunders, who is used to winning, will have a tough task in turning the football program around. Since 1994, Cross Keys has had six coaches and neither coach has won more than three games in a season. Saunders said it is going take hard work and dedication to win. “It’s going to take players too,” he said. “You have to have good players to win. I think there is some talent there and some kids there that can play. They just have to work at it.” Saunders was introduced to the football players March 12. He said he told the players that things are going to change at Cross Keys. “It’s going to be different than what they’re used to. I’ve been fortunate enough to be really successful where I’ve been, so I think it’s going to be a lot different than what they’re used to.” Saunders has been coaching football 30 years. He said his high school coaches inspired him to become a coach. “I’ve had chances to coach at colleges but I would rather deal with high school kids,” he said. “I think you can have a better impact on their lives when they’re younger than when they’re in college.” Before he began coaching high school football, Saunders was a graduate assistant at Virginia Tech University. Saunders said Cross Keys’ new offensive and defensive schemes will be similar to what Virginia Tech does. “I think what you have to do is make sure you put the players in the right spot to succeed,” he said. “So we’re going to make sure we’re in the right defense and the correct offense. It’ll be very simple.”
Emory women’s swim team wins fifth consecutive NCAA championship
Emory University took home its fifth consecutive NCAA Division III Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship and the seventh overall in the program’s history in Indianapolis, Ind., March 22. Emory won the four-day championship meet with a final score of 595.5 points. Kenyon College placed second with 456.5 points and Johns Hopkins University finished in third with a team score of 387 points. Emory has now claimed seven NCAA Division III Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships (2005, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014) and 16 overall in the history of the Emory Athletics program. Women’s tennis has recorded five team titles, while men’s tennis has won three, and volleyball one. The Eagles were led on the final day by sophomore Elizabeth Aronoff, who won the national championship in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:14.37, breaking the previous school record of 2:14.62, set by former Eagle April Whitley at the 2011 NCAA Championships. It was the 26th individual national championship by an Eagle–to go along with 13 relay national titles–and the first since senior Sadie Nennig won the 200-yard backstroke in 2012. Aronoff joins Whitley (2011) and former Eagle Julie Hogan (1985) as the only Emory women’s swimmers to win the event. Aronoff had company on the podium from her teammates in the 200-yard breaststroke, as the Eagles swept the top three spots in the event. Junior Megan Beach finished second with a time of 2:14.73, followed by freshman Annelise Kowalsky in third with a time of 2:16.12. Adding a sixth-place finish to claim an all-America honor in the event was senior Kylie McKenzie with a time of 2:16.99. Senior Courtney McDermott finished second in the 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 16:43.79, her second individual allAmerica honor and third certificate overall of the meet. Junior McKenna NewsumSchoenberg finished sixth in the event for her third individual all-America honor, while sophomore Carolyn Bonfield claimed an honorable mention, finishing 11th with a time of 17:06.75. Junior Nancy Larson claimed an allAmerica honor in the 100-yard freestyle, her individual certificate of the week, finishing third with a time of 50.33 seconds. Nennig rounded out Emory’s individual swimming all-Americans with a fifth-place finish in the 200-yard backstroke in a time of 1:59.90 in the preliminaries, while sophomore Ellie Thompson won the consolation heat with a time of 2:00.82, earning an honorable mention. Nennig finishes her Emory career with 17 all-America honors, tied with former Eagles Liz Horvat and Hillary Lane for the thirdmost in school history. Nennig has earned all-America honors in the 200-yard backstroke all four years of her career, in addition to claiming the honor four years in the 200-yard individual medley. She joins Tess Pasternak, Ruth Westby, Horvat and Anne Culpepper as the only Eagles to accomplish the feat in multiple events. In the three-meter dive, senior Sarah Greene earned her first all-America honor of her career, finishing eighth in the event after registering a score of 452.8 during the preliminaries. The 400-yard freestyle relay team of junior Dana Holt, freshman Marissa Bergh, Newsum-Schoenberg, and Larson claimed third place with a time of 3:22.84. In total, Emory earned nine individual all-America certificates, one relay allAmerica honor, and two honorable mentions, finishing the meet with 23 individual all-America honors, including the national championship from Aronoff, 17 individual honorable mentions, and all-America certificates in all five relays.
The Emory women’s swim team won its fifth consecutive NCAA Division III Women’s Swimming and Diving championship.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, MARcH 28, 2014
Miller Grove, Tucker win county middle school track titles
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org There are new champions in town as the Miller Grove Middle School girls and Tucker Middle School boys’ track and field teams ran away with 2014 DeKalb County Middle School Track titles March 24. Miller Grove outscored defending champions Henderson 78-69 to win the girls’ title. Champion Middle School finished third with a score of 56. Miller Grove won a total of seven medals–three gold and silver medals each and a bronze medal. Head coach Gaynell Troy said she is proud of her girls. “They put in the hard work,” she said. “They came, we executed and we’re successful today. I’m more than happy.” Eighth grader Tiara Williams led Miller Grove with two individual gold medals and a gold medal with the 4x100-relay team. She won the 100-meter dash with a new county record of 12.31. Williams also tied the county record in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.61. “She is a phenomenal athlete,” Troy said. “I’m expecting great things from her as she progresses on to high school and on to college and potentially a professional career.” Miller Grove’s 4x100-relay team finished first with a time of 50.52. Corta Washington and Kai Ngozi won silver and bronze respectively in the 400-meter dash. The 4x400 meter relay team won silver with a time of 4:19.45 and the 800-sprint medley team finished second with a time of 1:57.07. Tucker knocked off defending champions Cedar Grove, outscoring them 68-54 to claim the boys’ title. Henderson finished third with 45 points. Head coach Shango Rivers said the team had to fight through a lot of adversity to get to this point. “We lost a couple of players, but we fought through the adversity and were able to pull it out in the end,” Rivers said. Tucker had first place finishes in the shot put (Antonio Showers), long jump (Joshua Vann), the 400-meter dash (Justin Long) and the 4x100-meter relay. Long also won silver in the 200-meter dash and the 800-sprint medley team finished second with a time of 1:42:41. “They put in the work, they put in the effort and they did everything we asked them to do,” Rivers said. “It was a really fun season.”
The top eight qualifiers race in the boys 100-meter dash finals. Cedar Grove’s Isarel Spivey (No. 5) won the dash with a time of 11.61.
Middle Grove’s Tiara Williams (front) broke the county record in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.31. She also tied the county record in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.61.
The Tucker boys’ track team won the boy’s county title. Photos by Carla Parker
Asia Durr named Gatorade Georgia Girls Player of the Year
by Carla Parker email@example.com After leading her team to its second consecutive state title, St. Pius’ Asia Durr was named the 2013-14 Gatorade Georgia Girls Basketball Player of the Year. The Gatorade Company and USA TODAY High School Sports made the announcement March 13, a week after St. Pius won the Class AAA girls state title. Durr is the first player from St. Pius to receive this house. The award, recognizes outstanding athletic excellence, high academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, according to Gatorade. The 5-foot-10 junior guard also led the Golden Lions to a 30-3 record this past season. Durr, who was also named the 2014 Miss Basketball by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, averaged 24.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 1.7 assists per game. She had 23 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals in a 48-45 win over Buford in the state title game and was named Most Valuable Player honors for a second straight season. As a member of the 2013 USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team, Durr averaged 18.4 points per game during Team USA’s gold medal run at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship for Women last summer. Durr works hard in the classroom, maintaining a B average. She is also active in her community–writing letters to U.S. troops as part of the Works of Mercy Service Program, and volunteered at a local food pantry as part of the Shoes for Haiti campaign and on behalf of the Destiny World Church’s homeless ministry as well as the Meals on Wheels Association of America. The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls’ volleyball, boys’ and girls’ cross country, boys’ and girls’ basketball, boys’ and girls’ soccer, baseball, softball, and boys’ and girls’ track & field. The program also awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, which work with top sportspecific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport. Durr joins recent Gatorade Georgia Girls Basketball Players of the Year Lexie Brown (2012-13, North Gwinnett High School), Allisha Gray (2011-12, Washington County High School), Diamond DeShields (201011, Norcross High School), Kayla Lewis (2009-10, Southwest DeKalb), Anne Marie Armstrong (2008-09, Wesleyan School), Alicia Manning (2007-08, Etowah), and Maya Moore (2006-07, Collins Hill) among the state’s list of former award winners.
Athlete of the Week
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 Deanthony Baker, Redan (baseball): The junior catcher had three hits in four plate appearances in the 7-4 win over Arabia Mountain March 22. Baker’s three hits included a RBI, a double and a triple. He also had a .750 batting average in the game.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, MARcH 28, 2014
Renovated Decatur public works now open
by Travis Hudgons The city of Decatur held a ribbon cutting ceremony for its recently renovated Public Works Facility on March 24. Located at 2635 Talley St., the state-of-the art building is a onestop shop for construction-related permitting and enforcement. It’s also a joint facility with the City Schools of Decatur’s maintenance department. “We’re really excited to reopen our public works facility. We know this building will last at least 50 to 80 years and it’s a really great home for our public works staff,” said Peggy Merriss, Decatur’s city manager. The building was doubled in size to 30,000 square feet. The expansion included purchase of an adjacent metal building used for shop and storage space and may provide space for a small retail incubator. Building improvements include all new systems, finishes, furniture and equipment. The facility also features low maintenance flooring, offices with natural sky lighting and waterless urinals. The structure is named the Elosie T. Leveritt Building, after the city’s former mayor pro tem and commissioner Elosie T. Leveritt, who served from 1957-72.
Facilities Maintenance Superintendent Felix Floyd leads a group on a tour of the Elosie T. Leveritt Building, the new home of the City of Decatur public works. Photos by Travis Hudgons
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