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Business ........................17A Classified.......................21A Education .............. 18-19A Sports...................... 21-23A
STEPHENSON WINS RIVALRY
FRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014 • VOL. 17, NO. 2 • FREE
• A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS •
SUSPENDED CEO IN COURT AGAIN
SCIENCE TEACHER NAMED LIFECHANGER
Crossing guard Yvonne Brown provides children with safe passage across the roadway and models appropriate street skills and behavior to young children. Photo by Marta Garcia
Children get to school safe thanks to crossing guards
by Marta Garcia email@example.com Every school day–rain or shine, winter or summer– DeKalb County’s crossing guards arrive early and stay late to protect students on their way to school. They provide children with a safe crossing of the roadway and model appropriate street skills and behavior to young children. Yvonne Brown has been doing this job for more than two and half years. Now at Drew Charter School,
See Safety on page 15A
Children don’t have the same ability to judge distances, speed, and noise direction of trafﬁc and vehicles as adults can. Therefore, it’s really important to ensure that children have a good understanding of basic street safety when they go out without an adult accompanying them. Here are some tips: • Explain to children why paying attention when walking is important. • Teach children the basic rules about being a pedestrian while you’re still walking with them • Instill the need in children to always stop before stepping onto the road. • Have children learn to make eye contact with drivers before they cross the road. This way they can be assured that the driver has noted their presence. Teach children to be careful when walking past driveways, especially hidden and obstructed driveways Teach children to always cross at pedestrian crossings and intersections, even where this means a longer walk Source: DeKalb County School District
‘Seeing is Believing’ tour takes business leaders to several county schools
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org Approximately 50 business, civic, community, political and higher education leaders participated in the DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce “Seeing is Believing” tour of six schools in the DeKalb County School District on March 26. Toni Branyon of Chick-fil-A, said the school tour was “phenomenal.” “It gave a lot of information about things that I did not know about that is going on in the county—what’s going on and how we can help,” Branyon said. “The awareness will give us an opportunity as business leaders to see what we can do…to help the schools.” The participants road school buses, sat in classrooms, mingled with students and teachers, and ate food prepared by culinary students. The goals of the program were to “elevate the profile” of the school district; “deepen
See Chamber on page 15A
Business and community leaders visited Towers High School as part of the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce’s “Seeing is Believing” tour of several schools March 26. Photo by Andrew Cauthen
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014
Corporate supporters and those in the community who are involved with the American Red Cross got together at the DeKalb business meeting, held on March 27 at the metropolitan headquarters located in Monroe Drive. Photo by Marta Garcia
DeKalb businesses want to give back to the community through the Red Cross
by Marta Garcia email@example.com The business meeting of the DeKalb branch of the American Red Cross held March 27 at the metropolitan headquarters in Atlanta, was an opportunity for corporate supporters and those in the community who are involve with the Red Cross mission to touch base, share their experience and being recognized for their commitment. Terri Badour-Duckett, CEO of the American Red Cross of Georgia and the metropolitan Atlanta chapter, thanked sponsors and volunteers that make the organization possible. “Thanks to the generosity of our donors, the American Red Cross is empowering people to perform extraordinary acts in the face of emergencies. Thanks to the folks that literally roll up their sleeves to get blood and open up their hearts to give their time and talent and their financial resources.” In 2014 the Red Cross celebrates a century of service to the community in metro Atlanta and central Georgia. In DeKalb, companies like Kroger Food Stores, Cox Enterprises, Nationwide Insurance, Graphic Packaging and Oldcastle, among others, are highly involved with the Red Cross mission. According to Glynn Jenkins, director, communications and public relations at Kroger, the food company doesn’t lose an opportunity to become involved by supporting vital local programs. “Businesses want to focus more in the community that they serve and employees like to work for an organization that cares. They are
See Red Cross on Page 10A
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THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014
Chamblee 101 classes starting soon
by Marta Garcia firstname.lastname@example.org Anyone who wants to learn about Chamblee is invited to participate in a seven-week course that includes discussions and interactive activities on topics such as Chamblee’s history, form of government, city services, finance and development. The free Chamblee 101 classes are held on Wednesdays from 7-9 p.m., and will run weekly from April 2-May 20. They are designed to give participants a closer look at local government and how the city operates, who is responsible for what and how residents can take to make a difference. The last class ends with graduation certificates presented at the city council meeting. According to the organizers, the purpose of the classes is to educate the community about the north DeKalb County city and offer insights into departments including planning and zoning and the police force. These annual classes give people awareness and knowledge of the resources they have available if they need something from the city For more information or to register residents and business owner can email City Clerk Emmie Niethammer at email@example.com or call (770) 986-5018.
An allegation of molestation at Redan High School is the subject of an investigation by the county school district.
DeKalb schools police investigating alleged child molestation at Redan High
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org DeKalb County School District police are investigating child molestation allegations after a group sex incident at Redan High School March 17. A 15-year-old girl was “allegedly involved in a sex act with several boys at Redan High School,” according to an incident report obtained by The Champion under the Georgia Open Records Act. The suspects were ages 15, 17, 18 and 19, according to the incident report. According to the incident report, the girl’s aunt reported the alleged incident to police on March 19. The incident report’s supplemental narrative is dated March 21, the same day The Champion learned that police were at Redan High School. The aunt told police that the incident occurred between 2-3:45 p.m. in the school’s baseball dugout, according to the incident report. The woman also said “the sex act was video-recorded by cellphone…and had been posted on Instagram,” according to the report. The video was also “sent around by way of text messaging to other students at the school.” The girl’s aunt found out about the incident after asking the girl, listed on the report as a victim, “where did she go when she cut class.” The woman told police the names of three of the four suspects “seen in the video performing a sex act with” the girl. School district spokesman Quinn Hudson said the incident is “a matter of police investigation.”
THE CHAmPIoN FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014
ONE MAN’S OPINIoN
Taking one more hill
“Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the word. But, the Marines don’t have that problem,” President Ronald Reagan in 1985. During the Vietnam War, Bill Huff did two tours of duty with the U.S. Marine Corps, with the Third and Fifth Marine Divisions. Volunteering as a second lieutenant, Captain Huff was returning stateside in 1967 via Okinawa, Japan, and Alaska, and then El Toro Air Force Base in Orange County, Calif. A bus ride followed to LAX and then finally a commercial flight home to Florida. As was custom at the time, the young Marine officer left Vietnam with his duffel bag and the uniform on his back. By the time of that LAX flight, with more than 24 hours of preceding airtime, transfers and waiting, he admits that uniform might have slightly indicated the need for a shower. Captain Huff had the window seat, in a couple of rows comprised primarily of a young family. The young mother
was seated closest to him. Shortly after belting in and stowing his bag, the captain greeted his adjacent passenger. The young mother blankly stared back, offered no greetings or any words of reply, and then turned her back on him for the remaining four plus hour flight. This hero’s welcome continued in Tampa, as Captain Huff attended a cocktail party being given in honor of returning military personnel. As he walked through the crowd, he heard mutterings, aimed at his fellow men in uniform of “Baby Killer.” The recent My Lai massacre of March 1968 was unfairly being used to tar most every Vietnam veteran. It was a painful time for the nation, and for Bill Huff these memories still burn. “You might not like the war, but there is no reason to treat the warrior with disrespect,” says the semi-retired Huff, a successful entrepreneur, with nearly 40 years in business in Columbus, Ga., following his military service. Huff, an avid Bulldog and UGA alumni, received a call from Brad Bell, the director of private gifts for the university. Bell said that UGA was trying to build out and develop both a program and a place to make today’s student veterans feel more at home. “After World War II, there were hundreds of returning veterans on
campus, thanks to the G.I. Bill. Our student/veterans today are generally older, rarer and often feel a bit out of place, somewhat like a fish out of water,” said Huff about his immediate and positive response to Bell’s call. The initial Student/Veterans Resource Center (SVRC) is housed in the Tate Student Center on the UGA campus. The university is providing the facilities rent free, and Huff is raising $100,000 towards build out and operations to serve an estimated student veteran population of 200, with an age range of 21-64. “We want to design, build and operate a place where veterans can connect with other veterans, as well as their family members and others with similar experiences. Our facility over time will also support armed service recruitment efforts, retention, veteran graduation rates and job placement as well as veteran student performance while they are enrolled at UGA,” says Huff. Huff has already begun outreach to the U.S. Veterans Administration, as well as the UGA Student Health Center, with plans and requests over time to offer a “more integrated, responsive approach to student/veteran health care.” Huff knows the emotional scarring of a bumpy return home, and he has long experienced the physical and mental strain of Post-Traumatic
Stress Disorder (PTSD). He was diagnosed with PTSD in 1983. “I couldn’t sleep, I was having regular nightmares reliving the worst days of battle. The anguish, illness and related effects on your psyche and your life are all very real,” says Huff quietly. Huff is simultaneously raising another $5 million toward scholarships for these student veterans who don’t always have the G.I. Bill waiting anymore to fund their higher education. UGA is among the first campuses in the University System of Georgia to offer an SVRC, but if Huff has anything to say, many more are yet to come. Retired Air Force Colonel Ted Barco is on board as the center’s first director. Thanks in part to Huff ’s leadership and almost limitless energy, several major gifts have already been made. If you’d like to help this fine Marine take this hill, you can help as well by visiting giving.uga.edu or contacting Brad Bell at email@example.com. Semper Fi. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014
One year for leadership to get it right
virtue. Rather there was simply too much competition among predominately White north DeKalb enclaves to segregate themselves that even Republican Sen. Fran Millar could Columnist not figure out how to untangle in time, and therefore other lawmakers could not capitalize on it during an election year. The Georgia General Assembly So while the north DeKalb battle has mercifully come to an end this over the last vestiges of prime comyear. We may not know all of the mercial property raged onward, a laws’ unintended consequences for handful of opportunistic African some time yet, but there is one thing Americans led by Jason Lary in they got right: they put the brakes south DeKalb, seized the opportuon the runaway cityhood movenity to incorporate everything that ment. was left south of Memorial Drive. Now is not the time for celebraThat effort never got off the ground, tion, because what lies ahead is as there is not enough commercial much more ominous. According to activity on the south side to support interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May, we all have a year to determine a city, according to the Carl Vinson Institute. This nuance, however, is an equitable solution to the DeKalb County cityhood movement, thanks only a formality to the process. A city does not have to be viable or to a new study committee on the even practical to exist. The only topic. Ostensibly, this should be a good thing necessary is the will, and the will is there. thing, but the problem is that the So the stage is set for a recomoutcome is predetermined, shortmendation next year for the Gensighted and reverses the progress eral Assembly to carve up DeKalb we’ve made over the last 60 years in into little bite-sized fiefdoms. It’s civil rights. something that everyone can agree Frankly, the Tucker/Lakeside/Brion. Those that want homogenous arcliff circus did not advance by any communities will get it. Dozens of
new local offices will be up for those who want to be elected. Proponents of “local control” will be able to bask in the hallucination that more small governments are the key to efficiency and lower taxation. After all, it has worked so well in Fulton County. But mark my words: In five years, we’ll all be in our little cities—some Black cities, some White—wondering what the heck happened. Some have their own little school systems. Some don’t. Our taxes went up, our little police departments aren’t what we’d hoped they would be and all of the inefficiencies and nuances that make government an ugly thing to watch are much closer to home. Affluent areas will enjoy more affluence and areas that are not will see their struggles continue in spite of the city panacea. We will wonder how all of this happened after so many years of the progress that was made with Brown vs. the Board of Education, the turning point 60 years ago which declared that separate is not equal. We will not want to remember that our current social and economic landscape is a partnership between the political racism of some White leaders and political opportunism of
some Black leaders. Notice I said “some.” Certainly not all. I am mindful that the vocal leaders in power at the moment are a minority onto themselves. But shame on all of the rest of the quiet, passive sheep who are not speaking up about this. Now more than ever, it is incumbent upon the elder leaders of the community, to reengage and properly mentor the younger leadership. It’s not just the political leaders; it’s also the educators, the clergy and the community leaders. We must reward and support those who are addressing the issues and promoting meaningful social change in pursuit of liberty, justice and equality for all. Those that are simply angling for the short victory need to be called out and replaced. We have only one year, starting now, to get this right.
F REE P RESS
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We sincerely appreciate the discussion surrounding this and any issue of interest to DeKalb County. The Champion was founded in 1991 expressly to provide a forum for discourse for all community residents on all sides of an issue. We have no desire to make the news only to report news and opinions to effect a more educated citizenry that will ultimately move our community forward. We are happy to present ideas for discussion; however, we make every effort to avoid printing information submitted to us that is known to be false and/or assumptions penned as fact.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014
Champion of the Week
Over the next several years, a parking lot adjacent to the Avondale Estates MARTA station will be redeveloped into a transit-oriented, mixed-use space with apartments, local businesses and more. Photo by Daniel Beauregard
Avondale MARTA station to be epicenter of new development
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com An area just south of the Avondale MARTA Station, located off East Ponce De Leon Avenue in Decatur, will be redeveloped within the next two years into a mixed-use development consisting of residential and retail spaces. Recently, MARTA’s board of directors voted to begin negotiating the details of the new development with the Decatur Development Authority. According to MARTA officials, the 6.6-acre parking lot adjacent to the station will be developed into a transit-oriented, mixed-use development consisting of 604 apartment units, 74 condos and 25,000 square feet of retail. The first phase of planning and development is expected to begin this summer. MARTA has reportedly signed a 99-year ground lease with the Decatur Development Authority. Assistant City Manager Lyn Menne, who also heads the city’s community and economic development department, said the project will be completed in three phases; construction isn’t expected to begin until a year from now, Menne said. The construction will be handled by Columbia Ventures, which has stated that 20 percent of the units will be used for affordable housing. “They brought some very creative ideas to the table,” Menne said, “a focus on senior housing and creative use of space.” She said the city has wanted to redevelop and beautify the area surrounding the Avondale MARTA Station for years. However, the redevelopment only became a reality recently. “We wanted to control what that development was and thought a transitoriented development in one of our major gateways was much more positive than another strip of fast food restaurants,” Menne said. In recent years, MARTA has become more proactive in developing the areas surrounding its stations, Menne said. The partnership between the transit agency and Decatur will allow the city to control most of the tenants and let the project develop with public input and oversight from the city. “Right now it’s tax exempt property, but as the project comes online, it will contribute to our tax base but it’s also the appearance that is important too—it’s not a very attractive gateway right now,” Menne said. Menne said that in the coming months the city will finalize its agreement with MARTA and begin holding public input sessions to help design the site.
Man fatally shot in Lithonia
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org A 19-year-old man was shot and killed in a Lithonia neighborhood March 27. Relatives identified the victim as LeRobbian Lowe. DeKalb Police spokesperson Mekka Parish said detectives were called to the 5300 block of Strathmoor Manor Circle around 12:25 p.m. in reference to shots fired. “When officers arrived on scene they discovered the victim in the roadway suffering from multiple gunshot injuries,” Parish said. “He was pronounced dead on the scene.” Police have not made an arrest for the shooting. Witnesses saw a Black male in dark clothing running from the location. Parish said Lowe did not live in the neighborhood but a relative lived in the location. According to reports, that relative is Lowe’s mother.
For 36-year-old Joy Webb, volunteerism is part of her DNA. “My parents always volunteered,” Webb said. “They were educators; they were always showing me how to much is given much is required.” Webb is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority and is on the board of directors for Community Investment Network, a conglomerate of Black giving circles around the nation. She has also started her own giving circle called Circle of Joy. As a child she was a Girl Scout and in college, Webb was a Girl Scout leader. “When I began working, I mentored with Atlanta Public Schools for the Atlanta Adopt-AStudent program,” Webb said. “After that, I figured out that I liked helping kids. I like mentoring kids because I could and I knew they are our future.” As a graphic designer, Webb said she wanted students to know that there are career choices available other than doctors, lawyers and teachers. “It was a nice way to expose them and just be connected to the youth,” said Webb, who volunteers with Delta Sigma Theta’s Spring into Reading Campaign. Six years ago, Webb met someone who was a part of a giving circle in North Carolina. “They told me about it and I said, ‘I have some
friends and I give to people and organizations all the time. It would be nice to collectively give time, talent and treasure,’” she said. Webb started a giving circle that gives grants every other year. To date, Circle of Joy has given approximately $50,000 in the past five years. The Decatur resident has a graphic design company, Creatology Lab, with two of her Florida A&M University alumnae. Through the company, Webb and her partners sponsor the Better Friends campaign in which they annually choose three breast cancer victims and donate to them a photo shoot and day of pampering. “You get so much out of volunteering,” Webb said. “A lot of times you feel like you’re helping somebody, but in the end, they’re helping you because they’re exposing you to a different avenue of life. “When you help people you get things tenfold back,” Webb said.
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.
East Atlanta Farmer’s Market opening day
Organization to host river cleanup
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014
Candidate forum in Clarkston
The Asian American Legal Advocacy Center (AALAC) of GeorTo celebrate Earth Day, the South The East Atlanta Farmer’s Margia will be hosting a candidate River Watershed Alliance will host a ket, located at 561 Flat Shoals Ave., forum April 6, from 3-6 p.m. at the cleanup at the South River April 26 will be open April 10 from 4-8 p.m. Clarkston Community Center, lofrom 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cleanup Additionally, there will be a tree cated at 3701 College Avenue. planting ceremony, fire poi dancers, will take place at Constitution Lakes, The event, moderated by Chama children’s story time with the East S. River Industrial Boulevard SE pion Newspaper reporter Daniel in Atlanta; and Panola Shoals on Atlanta Library, neighborhood chef Beauregard, will feature candidates demonstrations and more, including Snapfinger Road in Lithonia. For running in the upcoming primary more information, call (404) 285an after-party at the Midway pub. elections in May including those 3756. The market has more than 30 running for DeKalb County Sheriff, vendors and accepts cash, credit, DeKalb County Board of Education debit and EBT. Church to hold First Lady’s Tea as (Dist. 7) and Senate (Dist. 42). For more information visit www. part of centennial celebration Refreshments and light snacks farmeav.com. will be available for attendees afterWith a history that includes the ward. Town Brookhaven to host Civil Rights Movement and the Great Depression, the Greater Piney The candidates attending are as fol‘Easter on the Town’ Grove Baptist Church’s is celebrating lows: it 100th anniversary. Children can meet the Easter Senate District 42 Race: As part of that celebration, the Bunny April 12 at Town Brookhav• Elena Parent church’s 100th Anniversary Comen’s Easter on the Town event from • Kyle Williams mittee will host a tea honoring First • Gregory E. Williams 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will Lady Sylvia Flippin on Saturday, include face painting, balloon art, a Board of Education Dist. 7 April 5, at 11 a.m. in the Letitia Pate • Lee V. Dukes bounce house, music and games. Evans Hall of Agnes Scott College, Town Brookhaven is located at • Joyce Morley 4330 Peachtree Road, NE in Atlanta. 141 E. College Avenue, Decatur. • Kim Ault Flippin is a wife, mother, member DeKalb Sheriff For more information, visit www. of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorortownbrookhaven.net. • Ted Golden ity and retired educator with the • R. “Tony” Hughes DeKalb County School District. She • Melody Maddox Free car seat safety check in is a graduate of Vanderbilt Univer• Melvin Mitchell Dunwoody sity in Nashville and holds a master’s • LaSalle Smith degree from Georgia State Univer• (Invited but not confirmed): On April 18 Dunwoody Police sity. In addition to her community Jeffrey Mann, Dale Collins Department’s certified child safety service contributions, Flippin also • (Invited and declined): Vernon seat technicians will check or help serves on the executive board of The Jones install child safety seats for free. Flippin Legacy Ministries and Pearls For more information contact The event will take place at of Great Price Ministries Inc. aalegal.org. the Kingswood United Methodist The program for the tea will inChurch located on 5015 Tilly Mill clude speeches from Kendall and Road, Dunwoody, from 10 a.m. - 2 Kedra Flippin, music provided by Golf tournament to benefit city p.m. Agnes Scott College orchestral stupolice department Participants can also register at dents and a variety of other multithe event to win a Safety 1st Boostsensory presentations. A golf tournament to benefit the Apak car seat. For more information, contact Brookhaven Police Department will Kimberly Redd at (310) 210-2291. be held April 7 at the Capital City Club of Brookhaven course. OrgaDecatur’s Wylde Center hosts Library to host book discussion nized by the Capital City Club and Earth Day celebration Brookhaven Historic Neighborhood The Book Thief by Markus ZuAssociation, the tournament is insak will be discussed April 7 at the The city of Decatur, in partnertended to honor and support the poTucker‒Reid H. Cofer Library from ship with the Wylde Center, will lice department by providing finan10 a.m. to noon. Copies of the book cial assistance for officers and their hold its annual Decatur Earth Day will be available at the library’s front family members. All who play in Festival April 19, from 1-4 p.m. at the Oakhurst Garden, located at 435 desk on a first-come, first-served the upcoming tournament will gain basis. The book is about a foster girl membership into the Brookhaven Oakview Road. living outside of Munich, Germany This year’s celebration, the 45th Police Scholarship Fund, receive a in 1939. She steal books, learn to anniversary of Decatur’s Earth Day, yard sign supporting the tournaread and shares her stolen books will be pirate themed. ment, and a commemorative winThe event will start with a parade with her neighbors during bombing dow decal for their car. raids as well as with the Jewish man beginning at 12:30 p.m. that will go The tournament will begin with from Harmony Park to the Oakhurst hidden in her basement. The library registration at 10 a.m. The player is located at 5234 LaVista Road. For fee is $325 per person and $1,200 Garden. more information, call (770) 270Additionally, the event will feaper foursome and, includes green ture free arts and crafts for children, 8234. fees, carts, lunch, and awards receplive music, a special Earth Day Ttion. For more information, email shirt contest, a pirate-themed cake firstname.lastname@example.org. contest and more than 40 vendors.
Chamblee to hold spring break camp
Chamblee Parks and Recreation offers a one week spring camp during the DeKalb County school spring break April 7-11, for children ages six to 12. Campers can participate in arts, crafts, games and special programs. Camp hours are 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. each camp day with scheduled camp activities from 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Space is limited and reservations must be made in advance. Camp takes place at the Keswick Park Community Building at 3496 Keswick Drive. Cost is $75 for residents; $100 for non-residents. Registration can be completed at ww.chambleega.com, by phone at (770) 986-5016, or in person at 3540 Broad Street, Chamblee.
Free tax assistance and preparation available
This service, available for lowand moderate-income taxpayers, is available from AARP Foundation Tax-Aide from through April 15. You do not need to be a member of AARP or a retiree to use this service. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers, trained in cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service, will offer help with personal income tax returns at various locations around Georgia. Last year, AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers in the United States helped more than 2 million people file their federal, state and local tax returns. The program is offered at many sites in Georgia, including senior centers, libraries and other convenient location. Call the toll-free number, 1-888-AARPNOW (1-888-227-7669) or visit www.aarp. org/taxaide during this tax season, to locate an AARP Foundation TaxAide site.
Clarkston holds annual festival and 5K
The annual Clarkston Community Festival and 5K Run/Walk will be held April 26 at the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf, located at 890 North Indian Creek Drive. The event will last from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will offer food and arts and crafts for attendees. According to a press release, the festival’s theme this year is “Educate, Appreciate and Celebrate.” For more information about the festival contact the Clarkston Festival Committee at (678) 753-5188.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014
Latinos’ future on Buford Highway questioned
by Marta Garcia email@example.com As part of its comprehensive plan, Brookhaven city officials have set up several steering committees to handle various tasks including parks and recreation, land use and future redevelopment projects. On March 21 members of the Buford Highway improvement plan and economic development strategy steering committee met to the city.” According to that source, at the end of the process “there will be hundreds of homeless families.” Fagundo, chairwoman of the Georgia Hispanic Bar Association, responded to the accusations with “It’s a political lie that is been around since the city was created [15 months ago]. They are trying to scare the Latino community and honestly I think it’s disgusting to see how some politicians are trying to manipulate the considering while planning the future of that area. “I can tell the Latino community it is a priority for the city,” she said. “If somebody has something to say they should prove what they are saying. I know that because I am highly involve with the city and the community as well.” For Pat Hoban, another member of the Buford Highway Improvement Plan and Economic Development Strategy Steering Committee member, knowing the Latino community is important for the development plan of the area. “I would like to see a concerted effort with the Hispanic community for us to understand what their desires are and what their aspirations would be. Without that we are going to fail,” Hoban said. Fagundo mentioned several ideas that could help transform the area, including turning the Peachtree Creek area into a park, pedestrian crossings and street lighting along the corridor. This is Brookhaven’s latest effort to improve the -Gilanny Fagundo Buford Highway corridor. Earlier this year, the city launched a multifamily inspection program that Latino community.” includes inspecting the exAccording to Fagundo, terior of all apartment comthe two companies that are plexes to ensure compliance in charge of transforming with international property the corridor are excited maintenance codes. about the diversity of the The city is also workpopulation in that area. ing with the state to expand “The heavily Latino com- sidewalks, According to a munity market should be study published by Journal incorporated as a market of Cultural Geography, Uniniche in part of the overall versity of North Carolina plan, as well as the various at Greensboro, the Buford levels of commercial proper- Highway community is ties along the corridor,” said home to one to the highest Jim Hartling, partner with concentration of foreignUrban Partners. born residents in the “The focus is primarily country, notably Mexican, on employment, living, reCentral American, Chinese, tail and dining with creating Korean and Vietnamese. sustainable redevelopment The area attracted many opportunities and diverse Latino workers during the workforce initiatives,” Dale construction boom that Jaeger from the Jaeger com- preceded the 1996 Olympany said. pic Games. Asian business Fagundo said that the owners were attracted to the Hispanic Community is the stretch of highway by affordlargest minority group in the able leases and reliable trafarea and that is something fic flow. that the city government is
Restaurant Health Inspections
Establishment Name: Dairy Queen Address: 2781 Chamblee Tucker Road Current Score/Grade: 94/A Inspection Date: 03/27/2014 Observed Glade air freshener and lotion stored with single use items and also with condiments. COS- items were relocated. Corrected On-Site. New Violation. Correct By: 04/07/2014 Personal items such as employee purses and jackets were stored with single service items. COS-items were relocated. Corrected On-Site. Repeat Violation. Establishment Name: Suburban Lanes Address: 2619 North Decatur Road Current Score/Grade: 91/A Inspection Date: 03/27/2014 Observed interior of ice machine top metal panel not clean to sight. PIC advised to drain ice machine and remove yellow substance from metal panel; PIC also advised to clean ice machine more frequently. COS- Facility has until close of business today to clean ice machine. Corrected On-Site. New Violation. Observed floors under three compartment sink and soda syrup boxes with heavy black build up. PIC advised to clean floors immediately and more frequently. New Violation. Establishment Name: Las Colinas Address: 6120 Covington Highway, Suite A Current Score/Grade: 87/B Inspection Date: 03/27/2014 Reach in cooler at server’s station had ambient temperature of 48F. Salsa in cooler not maintained at or below 41F. COS- PIC turned temperature of cooler down. PIC advised to ensure cooler maintains food at or below 41F. Corrected On-Site. New Violation. Bulk containers of food stored on the floor of the walk in cooler. Margarita mix stored on the floor behind the bar. PIC advised that all food must be stored at least 6 inches off of the floor. Repeat Violation. Wiping cloth solution at bar exceeding 200ppm Cl-. PIC advised to maintain wiping cloth solution between 50 and 100ppm Cl-. COSsolution diluted. Corrected On-Site. Repeat Violation. Establishment Name: Shane’s Rib Shack Address: 1221 Caroline Street, Suite G-100 Current Score/Grade: 91/A Inspection Date: 03/27/2014 Time for reheating for hot-holding exceeded 2 hours. Observed pork riblets in oven at 105F. CFSM said the ribs were placed in the oven at 10 AM. Advised the product has to reheat to 165F within 2 hrs. for hot-holding. Advised to discard riblets. CFSM discarded 24 1/2 riblets. Corrected On-Site. New Violation. Establishment Name: Noodle Address: 205 East Ponce De Leon Avenue Current Score/Grade: 85/B Inspection Date: 03/27/2014 Raw chicken stored next to raw beef, raw fish, and raw calamari. PIC advised that raw animal foods must be separated from ready to eat foods and that raw animal foods must further be separated based on final minimum internal cooking temperature. New Violation. Raw frozen beef observed thawing on a shelf. PIC advised that potentially hazardous food must be thawed submerged under running water which does not exceed 70F, under refrigeration that does not exceed 41F, or as a part of the cooking process. COS- PIC relocated beef. Corrected On-Site. New Violation. Observed employee preparing food while wearing a watch. PIC advised that no jewelry other than a plain wedding band (no stones) may be worn on the hands or wrists when working with food. COS- employee removed watch. Corrected On-Site. New Violation. Wet wiping cloth stored on prep top counter upon arrival. PIC advised that wet wiping cloths must be stored in sanitizer solution when not in use. COS- cloth relocated. Corrected OnSite. New Violation.
‘For years DeKalb County has ignored that corridor and now the city of Brookhaven is ready to improve it, embracing the diversity of the population in that area.’
brainstorm ideas on how to improve the Buford Highway corridor. The nine-member steering committee and consultants will work to develop over the next six months a plan for the redevelopment of the three miles of Buford Highway that runs through Brookhaven. “For years DeKalb County has ignored that corridor and now the city of Brookhaven is ready to improve it, embracing the diversity of the population in that area,” said Gilanny Fagundo, Buford Highway improvement plan and economic development strategy steering committee member. According to a Chamblee official who want to be anonymous, the city of Brookhaven is trying to push the Latino population out of that area to “clean
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014
Suspended CEO Burrell Ellis in court for pretrial motions
by Andrew Cauthen and Daniel Beauregard With supporters in attendance wearing “I support Burrell Ellis” buttons, suspended DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis was in court March 31 and April 1 as his attorneys tried to convince a judge to dismiss the case. Ellis must answer to charges of bribery, perjury and theft by extortion in a 14-count re-indictment handed down Jan. 16. He was originally indicted by a special grand jury in June 2013. The indictment containing 14 felonies came six months after Ellis’ home and office were searched by investigators from the DA’s Office as part of a special grand jury investigation into possible corruption at the Obituary: Martin O. Burrell county’s watershed department. After the indictment, he was suspended from office by Gov. Nathan Deal Martin O. Burrell, age 88 of Hiawassee, GA Suspended DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis prays with supporters before died on March 13, 2014. He was born in Atlanta in and replaced by interim a hearing earlier this year. Photo by Travis Hudgons 1925, the son of the late Henry Grady Burrell and CEO Lee May. Sarah Ethel Woodring of Towns County, GA. Mr. Attorneys for Ellis, who Burrell is survived by his wife of sixty-seven years, tected classification. It is a “Mr. James could volunJennie Tallman Burrell, three children: Alvin, Eric is asserting his innocence, job. It is not a classification.” tarily give up that taxpayer and Alice (James) and three grandchildren. are trying to convince SupeEllis’ attorneys are also provided computer…and Raised in Atlanta’s West End, Burrell graduated rior Court Judge Courtney in 1943 from Boys High. He served as a combat seeking to disqualify the say ‘there’s nothing to hide,’” engineer in Europe during World War II. While in Johnson to dismiss the case. district attorney, alleging Thomas said. “Why not let combat, he sustained injuries resulting in partial One of the motions Ellis’ that the James’ office has not neutral body …get the comamputations of both legs. Burrell rose to the team argued was one assert- turned over all of the videos puter…and take a look at forefront of an unofficial movement to show other double amputees that work, marriage and children ing that DeKalb DA Robert recorded of Ellis. the images. If there are other were still possible despite devastating injuries. James’ office is engaging in Prosecutors told the devideos we are entitled to After rehabilitation, Burrell returned to Georgia with his wife in 1946, selective prosecution. attending Young Harris College, then earning his bachelor and master’s fense team that there is only them whether [prosecutors] (1951) degrees in mathematics at Emory University. However Lee Grant, dep- one video and it was not want to use them or not. We His first position was teaching mathematics with the Air Force in Warner uty chief of the DeKalb DA’s physically recorded by the have to know for sure.” Robins. He was featured in the local paper for climbing three flights of Office, said that “to claim… district attorney. stairs daily to reach his classroom. This attitude carried Burrell through Hill said the defense fifty-five years of putting on his artificial legs, as others put on shoes, then selective prosecution…is ac“There is one video reteam’s request is just an atgoing to work and about his community responsibilities and personal intually a travesty.” cording of Burrell Ellis,” said tempt to delay the trial. terests. In 1957, he accepted a position at Lockheed in Marietta where the Ellis “is claiming he is primary focus of his research became radiation shielding. Cynthia Hill of the DA’s On April 1, Ellis’ defense In 1961, Burrell sought a role in America’s space program at NASA in being prosecuted because Office. “There is no other team argued a motion to Huntsville, AL. He advanced to Chief for the Radiation Analysis Branch of of who he is—because he is videotape to provide. There suppress items in search the Particle and Applied Physics Division of the Space Sciences Laboratory. Burrell Ellis,” Grant said. His research addressed questions of radiation shielding for astronauts are no other audiotapes to warrant. Ellis’ attorneys and equipment during early manned missions and studies in solar electric “This is not a protected provider. There is nothing maintained that discrepanpropulsion were used in later space exploration. Burrell received numerous classification,” Grant said. else to provide. cies in former assistant DA awards and honors and gave presentations at scientific conventions in both Ellis’ defense attorneys are America and Europe. “There is one video and Don Geary’s testimony ilHis personal story was published in the pamphlet, “Reward for Courage” “not showing…that he is they have it,” Hill said. “They lustrate that there has been issued by the Civil Service Commission in 1970. Burrell was honored by the being prosecuted because have had it for almost a half an omission of evidence obstate of Alabama in 1973, for providing “example and encouragement for of membership in a select all persons.” a year.” tained from the search warLeaving NASA in 1975, Burrell moved to his family’s home in Towns class. They cannot tender Thomas asked the judge rant. However, prosecutors County, GA taking a position at Tri-County Community College in Murphy, evidence. You can’t just put to allow a neutral, third countered, saying that there NC, becoming the head of the Mathematics Department. He was also inpeople on the stand, throw volved in the local community. In 1984, he was elected Treasurer of Towns party to retrieve James’ “tax- is no proof there was an County. He also served as a county Tax Equalizer and terms as a member of mud and claim selective payer funded computer in a omission on search affidavit. the Hospital Authority and the Planning Board. A member of the Union Hill prosecution.” taxpayer funded building,” They argued the validity of United Methodist Church, Burrell was the church treasurer. Dwight Thomas, one of Funeral services for Mr. Burrell were held on Sunday, March 16, 2014, at deliver it to the Georgia Bu- the search warrant that althe chapel of Banister Funeral Home in Hiawassee, GA. Ellis’ attorneys, said the clas- reau of Investigation for a lowed them to search Ellis’ sification Ellis is in is “public forensic evaluation to see if Stone Mountain home. officials.” there are other videos of ElThomas said other public lis on it. officials are “doing the same “We’re about trying to get Invitation for Bids ‐ Resurfacing thing and not being prosto the bottom of the truth,” The City of Doraville will be accepting sealed bids for its 2014 LMIG resurfacing program. The ecuted,” referring to alleged said Thomas, adding that scope consists of pot hole repairs throughout the City and approximately 3.35 miles of misuse of county credit previous testimony by Don pavement resurfacing along various streets (Drury Court, North Carver Drive, Stewart Road, cards by county officials. Geary, a former assistant Autumn Drive, Clearview Place, Peachtree Square, Glenda Way, Green Oak Drive, Doral Drive, Grant countered, saying DA, points to the existence Clay Drive and Chicopee Drive). Bids will be received by the City at City Hall (3725 Park Avenue, “’public official’ is not a pro- of more videos. Doraville, GA 30340) until 2:00 P.M. local time, May 1, 2014. At that time, the bids will be
opened and read aloud. For details, please visit the City’s website at www.doravillega.us.
The court also heard the state’s motion to strike the affidavit of Geary. Grant said the affidavit contains attempts by Geary to change his sworn testimony to be more in line with what defense team needs. Grant said the affidavit contains more than 30 hearsay statements. “All this hearsay of course is not admissible,” said Grant, asserting that the affidavit was allowed into evidence without an admissibility hearing. “All these are instances of hearsay.” The witness list for the hearing included interim CEO May; Kelvin Walton, director and chief procurement officer of the depart-
ment of purchasing and contracting, who is an unindicted co-conspirator and witness for the prosecution; and Nina Hall, a project manager with the watershed department and a former Ellis assistant; and former Ellis chief operating officer Richard Stogner. During his testimony, Clay Nix, a former DA investigator and witness for the defense, was asked by Ellis attorney Craig Gillen, “Did there come a time when you believed that Kelvin Walton committed perjury before the grand jury?” “Yes,” Nix said. Ellis’ trial is scheduled to begin June 2.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014
Commissioners discuss changes to employee health plans
by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners tabled a vote March 25 that would change the start date of employee health benefits this year, and make changes to the county’s health plan. Currently, the county offers employees a choice between insurance coverage by Kaiser Permanente and Cigna health insurance. If commissioners approve the changes to the new health plan, enrollment would begin over the next few months and the benefit start date would change to July 1. Additionally, the plan will still offer two choices, however Cigna will be replaced by Blue Cross Blue Shield, county officials said. Aside from this, there will be no drastic changes to employee benefits. Robert Wolff, a spokesperson from Buck consultants, and HR firm that performed a study for the county weighing its different health plan options, said the changes, if implemented, will save the county money. “The employees will not be impacted dramatically,” Wolff said at a recent committee meeting. “There are no plan design changes from what’s in place now and it’s a structural savings for the county.” Although Wolff said the county received responses from various health care vendors, however none of them wanted to shoulder the entire liability for the county. “What we would recommend to the board is that you stay with a two-vendor environment,” Wolff said. Commissioner Jeff Rader said he understood commissioners had questions but it was important for them to make a decision if they wanted to adhere to the timeline, and have a plan in place July 1. “You’ll see that the committee has done a good job trying to vet this and we’ve worked hard trying to understand the merits of the proposals,” Rader said. “We’re not rubber-stamping; instead, we’re really helping [the] commission [and] county government as a whole optimize service delivery [and] the benefits available to our employees.” Commissioner Larry Johnson said he knew the importance of adhering to the timetable. However, he said he wanted to further investigate whether employees covered under the plan are receiving enough access to health care. “Are we helping those people decrease chronic diseases and give them access to health care if they don’t have transportation,” Johnson said. “A deferral for two weeks can really give us the chance to look at the drivers of our economy, which is medical and IT.”
Dunwoody city manager accepts position in Johns Creek
by Marta Garcia email@example.com Dunwoody City Manager Warren Hutmacher submitted his resignation at the end of the Dunwoody City Council meeting held on March 24. After serving more than five years as the first city manager for Dunwoody–he has been the only person to hold the job–Hutmacher moves on to become the new city manager in Johns Creek; his last day on the job will be April 25. “Dunwoody is a wonderful place to work and live. You don’t have to be unhappy in a job to move on to another opportunity. Johns Creek is a larger community with different challenges. Those types of jobs don’t come open very often and you have to jump on it when they do,” he said. Hutmacher said he plans to move his family from Dunwoody to Johns Creek. He said he would start work in Johns Creek April 28 and would use the next 30 days “to tie up loose ends” in Dunwoody. “Johns Creek presented a great career advancement from 1998 to 1999. He began his career in municipal government as the deputy city clerk in Marietta from 1997 to 1998. “I am looking forward to working with the city council on traffic, quality of life and economic development issues,” he added. Dunwoody Mayor Mike Davis said he has a great collaborative relationship with Hutmacher and has seen his stabilizing and innovative impact on the Dunwoody community. “His steady leadership Hutmacher and willingness to take on out-of-the-box ideas has opportunity and I didn’t have to move my family out- paid dividends for the longside the metro Atlanta area,” term best interest of the city. We thank him for his Hutmacher said. service and wish him nothA native of New Jersey, ing but success in his new job in Johns Creek.” About the future city manager for Dunwoody, Davis said city officials are meeting to find a replacement for Hutmacher –Warren Hutmacher and it may take three to four months. “Communities evolve over time and the next Hutmacher, 40, served as city manager may bring very the city manager of Norcross different traits to the job from 2006-2008, and Avonthan I did. At a base level, dale Estates from 2003 to I think Dunwoody citizens 2006. He also served from will expect high touch cus1999 to 2003 as assistant to tomer service and for their the city manager of Marietta following a one-year stint in city to be mindful of managing tax dollars wisely,” Hutthe Georgia Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget macher concluded.
‘Dunwoody is a wonderful place to work and live. You don’t have to be unhappy in a job to move on to another opportunity.’
Red Cross Continued From Page 2A
more loyal to companies that to their best to serve the community”. During national disasters such as hurricane Katrina-- the deadliest and most destructive of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season-- or international catastrophes like the earthquake that struck Haiti on 2010, local businesses took immediate action and supported the Red Cross. “We do things like the round up. Making a financial donation is as easy as scanning a pre-marked tag or asking the cashier to ‘round up’ a grocery order,” said Jenkins who added that in the last year Kroger donated more than $1.8 million during disasters. Brian Philbin, a Red Cross board member for more than six years and senior strategic claims consultant at Nationwide Insurance, said Red Cross is so much more than blood. “It’s about helping the community affected in apartment fires that happen every day, is taking care of military heroes , families in need. Being a member of the board and just been able to help the community is such an honor.” During the meeting, WSBTV’s director of editorials and public affairs Jocelyn Dorsey, talked about the “Family to Family” a weekly half-hour public affairs program that chronicles events and newsmakers in metro Atlanta. WSBTV is owned by Cox Enterprises, company that has been working with Red Cross for decades supporting its mission like during Superstorm Sandy in 2012 when Cox donated more than $100,000 to the organization to help recovery efforts in communities that were affected by. “Cox was funded on the principal of service to the community so it is in our corporate DNA to get back to the community. We understand that without corporation supporting, nonprofit organizations many of those simply would not exist,” she concluded.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014
and I were in a position to help so we did. I certainly understand there are many officers out there that may not have done the same thing. If you don’t have children, you may not have that instinct,” Stevens said. The officers said changing a diaper came naturally to them. Stevens has a 2 year old daughter and Stallings has two daughters ages 5 and 2. “My wife said that she’s been changing diapers for five years, and she never got on the news about it. I changed one and I end up on the news around the globe,” Stallings said. “I’ve
Dunwoody officers receive special award after ‘diaper duty’
by Marta Garcia firstname.lastname@example.org The Dunwoody city council honored two police officers who recently gained national attention for coming to the “diaper rescue” of two infants. Officer Anthony Stallings and officer Mark Stevens were responding to a shoplifting call at the Walmart on Ashford Dunwoody Road in February when they were met with more than shady suspects. The suspects (the mother of the children and her boyfriend) were captured, but they left behind two babies. “I am very surprised with all the attention we received. We quickly took care of the two children who desperately needed a diaper change. We didn’t think twice about it,” Stevens said. “They were wet, crying and unhappy, so Officer Stevens located the diaper bag and proceeded to change one child while I changed the other,” Stallings said. During the award ceremony, held on March 24, both officers received Dunwoody diaper bags equipped with everything they need in case of another diaper emergency–baby wipes, cloths, lotion and, of course, diapers. With humor, the officers accepted the special award that was given by Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan who said–jokes aside–this is what being an officer is about. “It’s about showing conchanged many outside of work, but in 15 years, I’ve never had to change a diaper at work.” For Stallings this story is about humanity and about showing people that a big part of their job as police officers is giving care to people. “It goes beyond being a police officer. You see a child in need, you take care of the child. Being in metro Atlanta we see countless stories of police officers involved in very negative stories, so to have something positive in the spotlight is refreshing for everyone, including us,” the officer concluded.
When Dunwoody Police officers Anthony Stallings and Mark Stevens rolled out on a call March 24 they found two children desperate for a diaper change. The officers, both fathers, said their paternal instincts kicked in. Both officers received Dunwoody diaper bags equipped with everything they need in case of another diaper emergency. Photo by Marta Garcia
A Summer Camp of Historic Importance
Frontier House 1850 June 16-20 & June 23-27, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Cost: $250 per week, ages 8-13.($220 for members at household level and above). After care from 2-4 p.m. for $10 per day, must register in advance Play, work and have fun at the Swanton House and pioneer log cabins this summer as you become an early settler in DeKalb County. Explore the way people lived by performing chores, playing games, making crafts and more. Learn about music and pastimes, food and shopping,early industries, and transportation. Some things you will do at camp: make candles, cook, do laundry, sing and dance, garden and sew
cern and compassion for those little ones that were so vulnerable... For a police officer this is a call for duty.” Stevens said that the bag–that they now call “tactical diaper bag”–is going on duty. “I will carry that proudly,” he said. “I will show up with my gear bag and my diaper bag on calls. And if I need to change a diaper
out on a call, I have changed many before, and I can do another one.” The story was on local news, CNN, NBC, among other national TV channels, and even gained international attention in London and Denmark. “I had a child in my arms, it didn’t matter whose child it was. The child needed help and Officer Stalling
Legislators, activists discuss immigration reform
by Daniel Beauregard email@example.com Advocates of immigration reform, local clergy, legislators and community members rallied March 26 at DeKalb County’s Plaza Fiesta shopping center on Buford Highway. The Fast for Families Across America tour is traveling across county to urge labor leaders and Congress to take action and develop a comprehensive immigration reform plan. The tour started in Los Angeles Feb 24. Last year, Eliseo Medina and Cristian Avila, both of whom are leaders of Fast for Families, abstained from all food and liquids except for water for 22 days of the National Mall. They were joined by thousands of other advocates who fasted in solidarity. Sen. Nan Orrock (D), who represents parts on DeKalb County in Atlanta, was one of the legislators who joined Medina in his fast on the steps of the National Mall last year. “It was a privilege for me to stand with Eliseo Medina and Fast for Families today, just as it was for me when I joined them on the Washington Mall,” Orrock said. Orrock said it was time to put people ahead of partisan politics and she applauded all of those working together to send the message to legislators that “the time for reform is now.” “It is unconscionable, that 50 years after marching for civil rights that we must continue to fight for the dream,” Orrock said. In addition to the event at Plaza Fiesta, Orrock, fellow legislator Rep. Pedro Marin, and members of Fast for Families also held a dinner and discussion at Yen Jing restaurant.
Join us for an adventure in the year 1850! Call 404-373-1088 ext 20 for information or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014
Second Life owners Tanya Mahrous and Toby Tobias say the store combines their passion for helping homeless animals with their love of finding bargains into a retail concept. Running out of space, the couple opened a second store in November 2013 for furniture and décor. Photos by Marta Garcia
Spring cleaning for a great cause
by Marta Garcia email@example.com It seems that spring is finally here. The cold days are over, the flowers are blooming and the sun is shining. This is the perfect time to open the windows, let some fresh air in and make our homes clean, happy and efficient spaces. This also could be the perfect opportunity to donate unwanted clothes or furniture and benefit a good cause while doing it. The Second Life consignment store in Avondale Estates provides cash donations to animal rescue organizations with the purpose of reducing pet overpopulation through adoption, spay, neuter and awareness programs. Owners Tanya Mahrous and Toby Tobias --husband and wife--opened for business in 2011 and expanded their store last November to include another building, just next door, for furniture and décor. “We got to the point that we ran out of space. The generous community was donating fabulous furniture and patio stuff. The building just across the parking lot was available and we decided to open a second store. Now people can park once and shop twice. It’s very convenient,” said Mahrous. According to the owners, the resale store has provided more than $220,000 in cash grants to more than 30 animal charities since they opened their doors. “We are really proud,” said Tobias. “Our growth is phenomenal thanks to the community that from the beginning trusted us and opened up to us right away.” “We are very community-involved, and we wanted to show that the money was coming back to the community. That is a really big part of our success because people can see their donations are really making a difference for the community,” Mahrous said. According to the pet lovers, spring is a great time for anybody interested in making donations. The store accepts clothing, furniture, kitchen wares, books, décor and more. Tobias said even items people may think are trash could be valuable in the effort to help them help animals. “We’ve done close to $4,000 in metal recycling and most people don’t think that an old, aluminum pan that’s scratched would be useful, but it’s quite valuable for recycling. We’re always looking at ways to give items and homeless pets a second chance at life,” he said. Mahrous said they take everything; from antique to vintage, to gently used to brand new. “Just because you no longer love something doesn’t mean someone else won’t love it like you did,” she added. Second Life combines this couple’s passion for helping homeless animals with their love of finding bargains into a retail concept. “We’ve had a lot of people tell us they like donating to other organizations, but their hearts lie with animals, so they keep coming here,” she said. “I’ve always been an animal lover, since I was a child. I wanted to do more than volunteer, and I realized I wanted to help animals be a part of my life.”
Get to know the candidates for DeKalb County Sheriﬀ
Mon. April 28 DeKalb History Center 6:30-8:30 p.m.
All candidates for the oﬃce of sheriﬀ will be invited to par�cipate. Audience members will be allowed to suggest ques�ons to candidates. Be an informed voter, know the candidates!
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014
Students from the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf volunteered in the Clarkston Community Center (CCC) garden. They watered sprouting crops and harvested greens for the food pantry. Through a partnership with the Clarkston United Methodist Church, Oak Grove United Methodist Church, Hands On Atlanta, Atlanta Community Food Bank and Clarkston Community Center, Caring 4 Clarkston Food Pantry provides low-income families with food twice a month. The CCC is also preparing for the opening of its farmers market. Open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays from April 27 to Nov. 2, the market celebrates Clarkston’s diverse cultural traditions with produce from local growers, international-inspired prepared foods and handmade crafts. The market includes live music performances, activities for kids and occasional cooking demonstrations. Photos by Travis Hudgons
Photos brought to you by DCTV
Searching for Our Sons and Daughters:
Stories of our missing residents offer profound insights and hope for a positive reunion.
For a programming guide, visit www.yourdekalb.com/dctv
Finding DeKalb County’s Missing
Now showing on DCTV!
DCTV – Your Emmy® Award-winning news source of DeKalb County news. Available on Comcast Cable Channel 23.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014
Decatur 101 puts face on government
Celebrating its 15th year, the Decatur 101 class is a great way to create a more informed resident. “We put a face on government. We develop informed and involved citizens,” said Linda Harris, Decatur’s assistant director of community and economic development. Harris also noted that previous graduates have gone on to become active in their neighborhood associations, been appointed to various boards and commissions, and become elected officials. Decatur 101 is designed to educate the community about city government. The class runs for seven weeks and includes information about how the city of Decatur works, who is responsible for what, and what steps one can take to make a difference. The class ended April 3 with a session devoted to City Schools of Decatur. Each class consists of five, two-hour morning or evening sessions, focusing on specific areas of government. The sessions are conducted in various city buildings, including the police station, public works building, city hall and the recreation center. Classes are limited to 40 participants and are filled on a first-come, firstserved basis. –Travis Hudgons
Photos by Travis Hudgons
THE CHAmPIoN FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014
Towers High School Principal Ralph Simpson speaks to business and community leaders visiting his school as part of the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce’s “Seeing is Believing” school tour March 26. Photo by Andrew Cauthen
Chamber Continued From Page 1A
the personal experience and understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities” in the district; and “increase ownership and a sense of shared responsibility in DeKalb County school system by forging relationships and building partnership that are focused on needs,” according to a statement by the chamber of commerce. The tour visited Midvale Elementary, Tucker Middle, Tucker High, Wadsworth Elementary, Columbia High and Towers High schools. “We have an interest in reaching out to our community,” Branyon said. “This is giving us a chance to be a good neighbor and know our community.” Towers High School Principal Ralph Simpson told visitors to his school about the challenged Towers has faced. “Over the last 10 years, there have been 300 teachers in and out of this building—and 10 principals,” Simpson said. “Most of those teachers were in math. That’s the area that affects us the most. Our scores are the lowest in math.” In addition to the high faculty attrition, Simpson told the business and community leaders that it is difficult to build a sense of community when students are transported from 21 apartment complexes transport and “we register and
DeKalb school board Chairman Melvin Johnson listens to students at DeKalb Early College Academy
withdraw a child every day.” “We have to give [students] a reason to be proud of why they walk up and down these halls every day,” said Simpson, adding that he has been working to create “an environment that is conducive to learning.” “Will we have growth this year?” Simpson asked. “Absolutely. Will we increase our graduation rate? Definitely. Will we close the achievement gap? We will. But there’s still a lot of work to do and we can’t do it by ourselves. We need every extension; we need every hand that can reach out and touch Towers High School to be on deck and on board. We need you. Please help us out.” Patrick Lewis of the Boy Scouts of America said the tour brought to light “a lot of good things that are happening in our schools that just never seem to get publicity. “We got to meet students, we got to meet teachers and administrators that were proud of their schools and could tell you a lot about the unique opportunities that they were making available to students,” Lewis said. The tour was beneficial, Lewis said, because “businesses want to make sure that the next generation is employable. They have an interest in being able to invest in their community schools.”
The crossing guards help children safely cross the street and remind drivers of the presence of pedestrians. A guard also helps children develop the skills to cross streets safely at all times. Photos by Marta Garcia
Safety Continued From Page 1A
her crossing is in a busy intersection where more than 20 children walk by themselves every day. The morning commute to school puts a large number of cars trying to get through school crossings when children are trying to cross streets. With distracted drivers texting, using cell phones, eating, and any number of other activities, crossing guards work hard to keep the children safe. “It can be very dangerous if you don’t pay careful attention to everything that is going on around you. That’s why I am here; to make sure they get safely across the street.” By use of a handheld “STOP” sign and hand signals Brown assists students across the street while remaining alert to traffic hazards. “I love my job, I love the kids. I watch over them like they are my babies,” Brown said. According to Brown the incident that happened on March 25 at the intersection of Hambrick Road and Central Drive near Stone Mountain where a 6-year-old was hit by a car could have been prevented if the child had come to the crossing guard. “Sometimes children don’t pay attention and they want to cross the street before they get to the crossing guard. That’s why I nicely ask parents to walk them to the crossing guard. We take care of them. It’s all about the children’s safety.”
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014
Tucker named one of best areas for homeownership in Georgia
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org Although not a city, the Tucker community was ranked No. 19 on NerdWallet’s list of best cities for homeownership in Georgia. NerdWallet is a financial website that offers advice on how to save money and make smart financial decisions. According to the blog,
Brookhaven to switch to ChatComm 911 dispatch service
by Carla Parker email@example.com cussed aspects of the service switch. ChatComm President Joe Estey and former Brookhaven has become Dunwoody councilmember the latest DeKalb city to Danny Ross attended to switch to the Chattahoochee provide additional insights River 911 Authority (Chatand answer questions, acComm) dispatch service. cording to city officials. Brookhaven City Council The intergovernmental voted March 25 to enter into agreement was presented an intergovernmental agree- to council at its March 11 ment with ChatComm. meeting, but was deferred All 911 calls made from a to allow additional time for cellphone or landline phone contract negotiations before in Brookhaven will be anit was approved March 25. swered by a ChatComm “Brookhaven’s partneremergency operator instead ship with ChatComm will of a DeKalb County disallow the city to provide patcher beginning this fall. better and faster emergency ChatComm emergency response services to our operators will determine residents,” Davis said. the nature and location Per the agreement, at of the caller’s emergency. least 90 percent of all 911 The operator will dispatch calls will be answered by Brookhaven Police or, since ChatComm within 10 secDeKalb County still proonds and processed for vides fire and emergency dispatch within 60 seconds. medical services (EMS) to ChatComm dispatchers the city, the operator will also will remain on the line forward the call to DeKalb when connecting callers to County Fire Rescue disDeKalb County dispatchers patch using a one-button to ensure that emergency transfer system. needs are being handled and Brookhaven police dictate emergency pre-arwill also be dispatched on rival instructions, according DeKalb County Fire Rescue to city officials. calls automatically, dependChatComm expects that ing on the nature of the approximately 90 percent of emergency. all Brookhaven emergency ChatComm is the same calls will be for police ser911 system that is used in vices. Brookhaven Police Dunwoody. Dunwoody Department’s goal is for switched to the new system three minute response times in 2011 but the city has had from the moment that a disissues with fire and rescue patch call is received. calls being transferred from “This is where we will ChatComm to DeKalb fire see the biggest impact of services in a timely manner. the switch to ChatComm,” At a Feb. 20 town hall Brookhaven Police Chief meeting, Dunwoody city Gary Yandura said. “Their manager Warren Hutmpromised deliverable of a acher said that when the quick dispatch will help city switched to ChatComm Brookhaven officers consisthey “put in an inherit delay tently respond to incidents into the process of those fire as fast as possible, with emergency service calls.” respect to both officer and At a Feb. 24 council resident safety.” work session, Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis, city council and city staff dis-
Home prices also increased, according to the Georgia Association of Realtors. The median sales price increased 25.4 percent to $141,100; days on market were down 8.9 percent to 82 days and absorption rates improved as “months supply of inventory” was down 5.6 percent to 5.1 months. “Given how far the market has come, it’s a good
‘Given how far the market has come, it’s a good time for folks to reassess their situation.’
–Georgia Association of Realtors written by Deana Mitchell, home values went up 10 percent nationwide between 2013 and 2014, and Georgia real estate agents believe that trend will encourage potential home buyers to take a second look at buying a home. According to the Georgia Association of Realtors, potential trends to watch for in 2014 include increased seller activity, more new construction and fewer foreclosures on the market. New listings decreased 5.7 percent to 10,303; pending sales were up 13.2 percent to 7,433; and inventory levels decreased 3.8 percent to 37,070 units. time for folks to reassess their situation,” the Georgia Association of Realtors stated in a February press release. “Many who were hesitant to sell in recent years may find themselves in a completely different position. Getting a fresh comparative market analysis might be a good idea.” NerdWallet analyzed the 68 cities in Georgia with more than 15,000 residents to determine which have characteristics most favorable to homebuyers. The website looked at the area’s homeownership rate to determine the availability of homes. They also looked at
median household income, monthly homeowner costs and median home value to assess affordability and determine whether residents could live comfortably in the area. NerdWallet then measured population growth to ensure that the area is attracting new residents and showing signs of solid growth. Tucker, which was the only city/area that made the list, has a 70.7 percent homeownership rate and the median selected monthly homeowner cost is $1,653. Tucker has a median monthly household income of $5,366 and a 30.8 percent homeowner cost as a percentage of household income. The area’s median home value is $223,700 and Tucker had a 3.4 percent population growth between 2010 and 2012. NerdWallet gave Tucker a 62.1 overall score for homeowners. The overall score was derived from homeownership rate, selected monthly owner costs as a percentage of median household income, median home value and the population change from 2010 to 2012. Pooler, a community near Savannah, was the No. 1 ranked area on the list. Pooler had an overall score of 83.9. Evans, Sugar Hill, Woodstock, Mableton, Jones Creek, Snellville, Milton, Suwanee and Fayetteville rounded out the top 10.
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THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014
Roshonda and Tony Smith, owners of Family First Catering, say they both have enjoyed cooking for others for as long as they can remember. Photo by Kathy Mitchell
by Kathy Mitchell email@example.com Neither Roshonda Smith nor her husband Tony can remember when they didn’t enjoy preparing food for others. “I got in trouble as a boy when I decided once to make sandwiches for the whole neighborhood,” Tony recalled. “After that, my mom was careful to protect her groceries.” Although for years Roshonda earned her living as special education elementary school teacher, she always took special pride in hosting family dinners. “These Sunday dinners kept growing. Sometimes we had 30 or more people,” she said. In the fall of 2013, she “stepped out on faith” and gave up teaching to devote her career time entirely to
Catering business is a family affair
Family First Catering, the business she and her husband started in 2011. Tony grew up in Tallahassee, Fla., where he worked in restaurants but felt frustrated by limitations of working in chain restaurants. “The menu was set at the corporate level and you weren’t allowed to vary the recipes or introduce new menu items. I wanted to be able to be more creative in the kitchen,” he said. He found the opportunity he was looking for at a restaurant in the resort town of Fort Lauderdale. “I studied under a chef there and learned not only about cooking but about managing a kitchen,” Tony said. After he moved to Georgia, Tony enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu School of Culinary Arts in Tucker. “That was just to touch up my skills. Basically, everything they taught, I already knew. The courses were a breeze for me.” When the Smiths, who now live in Lithonia, decided to start a catering business, the name “Family First,” seemed to fit in many ways, said the couple, who have two children together and six others from previous relationships. “We both learned our love of food around the family table,” Roshonda said. “That’s a value we want to pass on. We want people to enjoy each other as they enjoy the food.” The Smiths say while Tony is a trained chef who cooks “by the numbers,” her style is more “the way Grandma used to do it.” Roshonda said, for example, she is more likely to make gravy from meat scrapings, while he is more likely to start with a roux. The two styles, they note, complement each other. Sometimes the Smiths cook together and at other times one or the other caters. “When I’m working by myself, I usually call Tony and get his opinion on how to do a particular dish. Sometimes I actually need his advice, but sometimes I call just to butter him up,” Roshonda said with a giggle. The Smiths specialize in what they call Southern comfort food, but they also are able to prepare a wide range of other food types, including Caribbean, Italian, Greek and Asian. Their next move, the Smiths say, will be to open a restaurant. “We don’t have an exact time frame for this, but I’m hoping it can happen within the next three years,” Roshanda sad.
“Right now, we’re busy learning the business end of operating a restaurant. We want to be sure we go into this knowing everything we need to know. We don’t want to make costly mistakes after we open.” The Smiths say they know exactly the type of restaurant they want to own. “We want people to have a wide variety of dishes the way they have at a buffet, but we want it all on the table so people don’t have to get up and get food. We want them to be able to spend their time socializing with each other,” Roshonda said. “Also,” she added, “Usually, when people are waiting for a table, they’re just standing and waiting. Why not let them wait in a game lounge where they can play board games until their table is ready?”
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, APRIL 4, 2014
Leah Robinson, a former broadcast assistant, is the 2014 Teacher of the Year at DeKalb High School of Technology South.
Robinson teaches broadcast students the full cycle of production. Photos by Andrew Cauthen
Former broadcast assistant is tech school’s top teacher
by Andrew Cauthen firstname.lastname@example.org Leah Robinson was working in the industry for which she went to school. She was a production assistant at WSB-TV. She had also worked at 11Alive. But wasn’t quite content. “I felt like I wasn’t really touching lives,” Robinson said. “A few times I had to go out as one of the field producers and hold a mike into the mouth of someone who had just lost a family member. I didn’t feel I was helping.” While working in the television industry, Robinson also earned extra income as a substitute teacher in DeKalb County on her days off. As a substitute teacher, Robinson said, she saw a lot of students who could not read on their grade level and needed much help in various areas. “I wanted to help the students because I felt most of them needed somebody to care for them,” Robinson said. Then, a broadcast/video production teacher position came available at DeKalb High School of Technology South. “I always thought about teaching and when I saw the position, I said, ‘I can do both,’” said Robinson, who after working in television for five years, decided to take the teaching position. Robinson, 30, has been named the 2014 Teacher of the Year for DeKalb High School of Technology South. “I was surprised but very honored,” said the DeKalb native and graduate of Southwest DeKalb, who has been working for the school for 3.5 years. When asked why she believes she was chosen for the honor, Robinson said, “I just try to be helpful in whatever way I can. “We all have our times when it may be difficult for us to get up and go, but I try to be pleasant regardless of how I’m feeling because I’m showing the students [that] you’ve got to work with one another regardless of what’s going on,” Robinson said. In the broadcast/video production program at the school, Robinson teaches the 35 students in the program various aspects of the industry including pre- and postproduction. Students get to produce radio and television ads, public service announcements, school promotions and music videos. “Usually when students come in, they just like to grab a camera, thinking they can just begin shooting something,” said Robinson, who has a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from University of West Georgia and master’s degree in library and information science from Valdosta State University. DeKalb High School of Technology South provides “a good opportunity for [students] to get out of their home school building, come somewhere new, and be around other students who are interested in the same things they are,” Robinson said. Robinson said she likes the longer class times at the technology school. “You get to know the students more because you spend so much time with them,” Robinson said. “People can put on a front for a few minutes, but then their true colors usually shine through. And [students] get to know me as well and they know that I care.”
Science teacher wins national LifeChanger award
by Andrew Cauthen email@example.com
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014
Sureka Taylor, a seventh-grade science teacher at The Champion School in Stone Mountain, didn’t know what was going on when she was led into the school gym filled with cheering students March 28. She thought she was being honored for being the school’s recently named Teacher of the Year. But she was wrong. Instead, Taylor, in her tenth year as a teacher and third year at The Champion School, was being recognized by the National Life Group as a LifeChanger of the Year. Taylor learned of the award when a large banner announcing the recognition was unfurled from the balcony of the gym. Rodney Keyes of the National Life Group, a Vermontbased financial services group, said Taylor was selected Sureka Taylor, a seventh-grade teacher at The Champion School, is surprised March 28 by an assembly in her as one of ten 2013-14 national LifeChangers out of more than 435 teachers, administrators and school district em- honor. ployees nominated for the award from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In the nominations, students, faculty members and parents were “all just singing your praises of how effective and how caring you are in the classroom and how you are making such an amazing difference in the lives of young people,” Keys said. “This is an educator who is committed to her profession doing an amazing and effective job to prepare our next generation of educators, doctors, lawyers, scientists, military leaders, electricians—all types of professions,” he said. Taylor received a personal cash award of $1,500. Additionally, $1,500 was donated in her name to The Champion School. Taylor “received several nominations from parents, students and colleagues because of her ability to help struggling students find joy and enthusiasm in learning about science through hands-on lessons,” Keys said. “She challenges them while providing the right amount of support they need to tackle difficult, detailed assignments. “In addition to being a model teacher, Taylor devotes her time mentoring students as the Science Club sponsor and serves on the school’s leadership team as the Race to The Top teacher facilitator,” Keys said. “Her Science Club made a garden behind the school that is cared for by the students. The club also interacts with nearby community members and involves them in club meetings and activities.” The teacher “goes the extra mile volunteering her time and services to make the Champion School a top school Taylor, The Champion School’s teacher of the year, is presented a Life in the district,” Keys said. Changer of the Year award. Photos by Andrew Cauthen Taylor joined nine other national 2013-14 LifeChanger winners. “This is such a surprise and I feel so blessed,” said TayADULT EDUCATION GRANT NOTICE lor, after receiving the award. FOR ENGLISH LITERACY/CIVICS Taylor said she thinks she was nominated because she Adult Education providers are invited to apply for federal is “really passionate about kids and life sciences. I think funding to deliver English Literacy and Civics education services some down the road in the classroom, that passion gets transferred.” in these counties: Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and “That’s what I think happens in in my room,” Taylor Gwinnett. Interested agencies may obtain the Request for said. “And science is secondary, because if you show love Application (RFA) after April 7, 2014 from the Technical College and compassion, everything else will fall you line. System of Georgia (TCSG), Office of Adult Education (OAE) Yolanda Turner, the school’s principal, said Taylor is website at: www.tcsg.edu – click on Adult Education and then “very, very special to The Champion family.” click Request for Application (RFA) or call (404)‐679‐1635. “You are a life changer,” Turner said during the assem Additional information is available regarding available funds to bly. “You touch the lives of so many children and adults be awarded for this project can be found at the noted on a daily basis. It is a natural for you. We appreciate all that you do and we know that you will continue.” website. In addition, counties are encouraged to work with
local non‐governmental agencies to secure additional funding, if desired.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014
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Stephenson High boys’ track and field team won its seventh high school county title in program history March 31.
Tucker baseball Coach Vince Byams talk to his players after a game. Byams is the latest DeKalb baseball coach to win 100 games. Photo by Travis Hudgons
Tucker’s Vince Byams wins 100th game
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org For the second time this season, a DeKalb baseball coach has reached the 100th career win milestone. Tucker High School baseball coach Vince Byams got his 100th as a head coach March 8 when the Tucker Tigers defeated Monroe Area 10-8 at home. He joins Redan’s Marvin Pruitt, Columbia’s Steve Dennis, Lakeside’s Bill Newsome, Dunwoody’s Chan English, Chamblee’s Brian Ely and Southwest DeKalb’s Tyrus Taylor as DeKalb County head coaches with 100 career victories. Byams said it feels good to have that 100th win under his belt. “It’s definitely an accomplishment,” Byams he said. “It’s something I didn’t really necessarily look for when I got into coaching, but it is an accomplishment.” Byams, who is in his first year at Tucker, has been coaching for 13 years. The 1995 Clarkston High School graduate started his coaching career as an assistant coach at Martin Luther King Jr. High School in 2000; he held that position until 2004. He began his head-coaching career at Miller Grove High School in 2006 where he posted a 74-81 record in six seasons. He spent the last two seasons at Newton County High School where he went 21-33 and made an appearance in the Class AAAAAA state playoffs in 2013. Byams said he took the head coaching job at Tucker because “it is a great opportunity.” “It’s a historic program in DeKalb,” he said. “I’m a product of DeKalb out of Clarkston High School and I live in DeKalb County. It’s closer to home and my family.” Tucker has an 8-6 record through March 31 and sits sixth in Region 6-AAAAA with a 2-2 record. Byams said pitching has given the Tigers an opportunity to win games, but stressed that the defense and offense has to get better. “Our team is very young and the core of our team is playing varsity for the first time,” he said. “We can definitely improve offensively and defensively.” Tucker will have to battle competitive teams in the region such as Stephenson, Mays, M.L. King, Arabia Mountain and Lakeside to get a playoff berth. Byams said his team has to continue to work hard and play together as a team if they want to make the playoffs. “As long as we have the effort to compete every game, I think we have a good chance to make it to the state playoffs with the talent we do have,” he said.
The Miller Grove girls’ track and field team won its first high school county title March 31.
Photos by Carla Parker
Miller Grove girls, Stephenson boys win county high school track championships
by Carla Parker email@example.com After five hours of competition, the Miller Grove girls and Stephenson boys were the last teams standing at the 2014 DeKalb County High School Track and Field Championships March 31 at Panthersville Stadium. It was the first county track and field title for the Miller Grove Lady Wolverines and the seventh for the Stephenson Jaguars. Miller Grove blew the competition away with 119 points. Redan finished second with 71 points and Arabia Mountain placed third with 56 points. Miller Grove coach Eric Keddo called the program’s first county title a blessing and credited every member of the team. “Everybody did a good job,” Keddo said. “They contributed in the jumps and sprints, the distances as well as the relays.” Defending state champion Tiffany Flynn and the relay teams led Miller Grove to the first-place finish. Flynn won individual medals in the long jump (19‒01.25), the triple jump (39‒11.00) and the 100‒meter hurdles (14.29). Senior Tatiyana Caffey also won an individual gold medal in the 800‒meter with a time of 2:20.98. Junior Pauline Arndt finished second in the long jump with
a 35‒09.00 jump and junior Sarai Blissett won bronze in the high jump with a jump of 4‒11.00. Miller Grove also picked up gold and silver medal in the 4x100‒meter relay and gold in the 4x400‒meter relay. Keddo said this win gives his team an extra push as it heads into regionals April 15. “We’re going to try and take this momentum and build on that all the way to state,” he said. “Our whole goal as a team is to win state.” The Redan Lady Raiders were led by Miyah Golden and Shequilla McClain, who won gold and silver respectively in the 300‒meter
See Track on page 23A
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014
DeKalb Tip-Off Club announces awards selections
by Carla Parker firstname.lastname@example.org state titles. Tucker (29-4) won its first state championship after defeating region foe Southwest DeKalb in the Miller Grove and Columbia boys title game. as well as Redan and Tucker girls’ The Tip-Off Club also announced basketball team were named teams of the top 20 boys and girls players. the year of their respective classifica- The top 20 boys include: Arabia tions by the DeKalb Tip-Off Club. Mountain’s Curtis Wilson; ChamThe DeKalb Tip-Off Club anblee’ Ryan Burgess; Columbia’ Bryce nounced its end-of-the-year awards Brown; Druid Hills’ Desham DurMarch 24 and the four schools swept ing; Dunwoody’s Shun Jones; Lakein the categories of player of the year, side’s Austin Sanders; Lithonia’s Elicoach of the year and team of the jah Johnson; M.L. King’s Greg King year. and Paul Jackson; Miller Grove’s In boys’ Class AAAA, Columbia Keith Pickney and James Walker; senior forward Maurice Rivers was Redan’s John Adeyemi; Southwest named player of the year and his DeKalb’s Keith Gilmore; Stephencoach, Kerry Sandifer, was named son’s Juwan Henderson, Montez coach of the year. Columbia finished Sweat and Delmont Walton; Stone the season with a 28-5 record and Mountain’s Marquez Hinton and lost to Jonesboro in the Class AAAA Damani Walker; and Shembari state championship game. Phillips and Jon Donmyer from For the Class AAAA girls state Tucker. champions Redan Lady Raiders, seThe girls list includes: Arabia nior guard Brea Elmore was named Mountain’s Carissa Primrose; player of the year and coach Jerry Chamblee’s Candace Rhodes; CoJackson was named coach of the lumbia’s Yaktavia Hickson and year. The Lady Raiders finished its Shamiyah Smith; Druid Hills’ historic season with a 33-0 record. Miracle Davies; Dunwoody’s Amber For the Class 5A/6A awards, Lockette; Lakeside’s Alysa Burks; Miller Grove sophomore guard Alte- Miller Grove’s Chrystal Ezechukwu rique Gilbert and Tucker senior for- and Catika Brown; Redan’s Destini ward Erykah Davenport were name McClary, Taylor Tucker and Jada players of year and their respective Byrd; Southwest DeKalb’s Tynice coaches, Sharman White and Robin Martin, Davion Wingate, Dasia Potter were named coaches of the Alexander; Stephenson’s Chloe Culyear. pepper and Terrianna Cave; and Miller Grove (28-5) made state Tucker’s Tori Robinson, Nuba Jackhistory becoming the first boys’ bas- son and Naima Jackson. ketball team to win six consecutive
Redan defeated Columbia 9-8 March 26
Photos by Travis Hudgons
NFL takes the fun out of football
The No Fun League has struck again. According to the NFL’s vice president of officiating, players will no longer be allowed to do one of the most popular touchdown celebrations: dunking the ball over the goalpost. According to reports, dunking the ball over the crossbar will now be considered a foul along with other touchdown celebrations that involve props. Many players have done this touchdown celebration over the
past several NFL seasons, most notably former Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez and New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham. Graham may be the reasoning behind this new rule. Graham has knocked the uprights off balance twice during his career, with the most recent incident coming last season in Atlanta, when the Thursday night game was delayed while workers re-leveled the crossbar. Although it was not smart of Graham to dunk the ball that hard, I still do not think the dunk celebration should be taken away because of one person. If Graham, or another player, knocks the uprights off balance just fine him, but do not take the celebration away from the game.
As a football fan, I love seeing touchdown celebrations. I can admit that some of them can be foolish, such as former NFL wide receiver Randy Moss’ fake mooning of Green Bay Packers fans (although I found it very funny when it happened live). There are also some celebrations that can be a bit disrespectful, such as former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens running from the end zone to the 50-yard line in Dallas to pose in the middle of the Dallas Cowboys logo. And you cannot forget the premature celebrations that can cost a team points, such as NFL wide receiver DeSean Jackson prematurely dropping the ball in celebration of a long touchdown catch. Side note: Wide receivers love to
celebrate after they score. However, there are some celebrations that make fans love and enjoy the game more, such as the Lambeau Leap or New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz’s salsa. My personal favorite celebration is the “Dirty Bird,” which was created by former Falcons running back Jamal Anderson in 1998. It was the Dirty Bird, and that Super Bowl run, that made me a Falcons fan. Touchdown celebrations have been a part of football for years and for the NFL to eliminate celebrations one by one is lame. With this rule and other rules (tackling) that are changing the dynamic of the game, sooner or later the NFL will not be fun to watch.
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014
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Stephenson took control of Region 6-AAAAA with a 7-3 win over rival M.L. King March 26. Photos by Carla Parker
Stephenson wins first battle over rival MLK
by Carla Parker email@example.com The friendly rivalry between Martin Luther King Jr. High School and Stephenson High School goes beyond the football field. The two schools try to out-duel each other in every extracurricular activity and sport, including on the diamond. Both baseball teams sit at the top of the Region 6-AAAAA standings with the Stephenson Jaguars in first place and the M.L. King Lions in second. Heading into their March 26 region matchup, both teams had a 3-0 region record. However, the Jaguars took full control of the region with a 7-3 victory over the Lions and improved their region record to 4-0 and overall record to 14-2 as of March 27. The Lions fell to 3-1 in the region and 11-4 overall. The game was tight and intense early, with both teams trading friendly trash talk. The rivals were tied 1-1 midway through the third inning. But the Jaguars bats woke up in the bottom of the third, with the help of some errors in the Lions outfield, and ended the inning with a 7-1 lead. The Lions could not get its offense going enough to close the gap. Stephenson pitcher Tekwaan Whyte, the winning pitcher, said his team got off to a shaky start because of the familiarity with some of M.L. King’s players. “It was a lot of chatter back and forth, but after the first two innings, when we got back to the top of the lineup, we were all good,” Whyte said. “A couple of the guys are on the football team so it picks up when we play baseball too. It’s all out of love.” “A lot of them are good friends off the field,” said Stephenson coach Marco Jackson. “They talk on the field and through social media, but it’s all good.” M.L. King coach Richard Gaines agreed that it is a friendly rivalry between the schools. “Most of these kids played with each other in the park when they were younger, and now they’ve grown up and going to different high school,” Gaines said. “So they know each other.” Whyte was a little jittery in the first inning giving up a couple of hits. M.L. King pitcher Jordan Thomas hit a triple up right field and Bakari Gayle followed with a double to send home Thomas and gave the Lions a 1-0 lead. Stephenson responded in the bottom of the inning with Whyte scoring off a Harrison Moore’s double up center field. An error in the outfield aided the run score. Stephenson was able to rattle Thomas, M.L. King’s starting pitcher, in the third inning. The Jaguars had two men on base when Whyte hit a single that sent both men home to give the Jaguars a 3-1 lead. Later in the inning, Thomas’ pitch bounced off M.L. King catcher Raylen Elzy’s glove, which led to another Stephenson run to give them a 4-1 lead. Stephenson got two more runs scored off Marcus Young’s single. Young would later score off Terrell McCall’s single to extend the score 7-1. M.L. King would get a run each in the fourth and fifth inning to cut the score to 7-3, but Stephenson’s pitching and defense prevented a potential comeback for the Lions. Jackson said pitching and defense has been the nucleus for the Jaguars’ success this season. “Our pitching has been outstanding,” Jackson said. “And we’ve been getting timely hits when we need to and that’s all we’ve been doing all season; nothing extravagant.” Getting the win over their rival was nice, but the Jaguars have deeper goals than winning a regular season game. The Jaguars plan to make school history. “The [program] has never won more than 15 games in a season. We want to do that,” Jackson said. “We never had a pitcher win more than five games in a season. I got two players that have already done that.” Jackson added that he wants the program to make the playoff for a second time in school history and win a state championship for the first time. Jackson coached at Redan, which won its first state baseball title last season, for 11 years before coming to Stephenson five years ago. He said Stephenson has more talent than Redan. “I know that for a fact,” he said. “But it isn’t always about talent. It’s about what’s upstairs mentally.” For the Lions, Gaines said this game was a game where they were able to measure themselves against a “good Stephenson team.” “We’ll move forward from this point on and see what we need to work on,” Gaines said. Despite the loss, M.L. King is having its best season in Gaines threeyear tenure. Gaines said the players are buying into the system. “They’re working hard and that’s the gist of it,” he said. “Right now our approach is taking it one game at a time.”
hurdles. Other girls’ gold medalists included Cedar Grove’s Daimer Gordon (discus throw); Chamblee’s Venida Fagan (400‒meter dash and 200‒meter dash) and Elena BrownSoler (high jump); Dunwoody’s Alex Cameron (1600‒ meter run); Lakeside’s Hayden Ramsy (pole vault) and Morgan Mihalis (3200‒meter run); Southwest DeKalb’s Davion Wingate (100‒meter dash) and Stephenson’s Timberly Molden (shot put). The Stephenson Jaguars suffered an injury early in the competition, but were still able to come out with a first-place finish. Sprinter Jared Tucker suffered what appeared to be an upper leg injury in the 4x100‒meter relay and could not compete in the 100‒meter dash and 200‒meter dash. However, the Jaguars were able to score enough points (102) to pull away from Lakeside, who finished second with 92 points. Cedar Grove finished third with 72.50 points. Stephenson coach Donald Sellers said the team held it together after the injury occurred. “They worked as a team and won as a team,” Sellers said. Stephenson finished strong in the hurdles with sophomore Denzel Harper winning gold in the 110‒meter hurdles (14.91) and silver in the 300‒meter hurdles. Senior Cameron Glenn won gold in the 300‒meter hurdles (38.95) and bronze in the 110‒meter hurdles. Harper also finished second in the long jump and senior Jamal Hawkins finished second in the triple jump. Stephenson also got bronze medals in the high jump (Tyrell Hawkins), discus throw (Treikell Jones), 4x100‒meter and 4x400‒meter. Lakeside’s Davis Stockwell (1600‒meter run and 3200‒ meter run), William Johnson (100‒meter dash and 200‒meter dash) and Jedrek Higgins (800‒meter run) all won gold medals. Other boys’ gold medalists include Redan’s Chris McBride (long jump and triple jump) and Donald Daley (discus throw); Cedar Grove’s Chance Baines (high jump), Andre Burell (400‒meter dash), 4x100‒meter relay team and 4x400‒meter relay team; Chamblee’s West Will (pole vault); and M.L. King’s Jamel Smith (shot put). Decatur Bulldogs
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS, fRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014
Emory-Tibet receives science initiative grant
by Daniel Beauregard firstname.lastname@example.org Emory University’s EmoryTibet partnership recently received a $1 million grant from the Dalai Lama Trust to support the Robert A. Paul Emory-Tibet Science Initiative (ETSI), which helps integrate science into monastic curriculum. The university has been partnering with various Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and His Holiness the Dalai Lama since the late 90s. Only in the past few years has the partnership evolved to include science curriculum into the six years of study at Tibetan monastic institutions. Lobsang Negi, a senior lecturer in the department of religion and the director of the Emory-Tibet partnership, said it’s one of the Dalai Lama’s passions to integrate modern science into the core curriculum of Tibetan monks. “This has not happened, in the past, in the Tibetan monastic education system,” Negi said. For hundreds of years the Ti-
betan monks have studied ancient philosophies developed mainly in India, but Negi said there are a number of reasons why monks will benefit from studying science. “First of all, His Holiness the Dalai Lama firmly believes if you’re living in the 21st century you should have a familiarity with 21st century knowledge,” Negi said. “That means understanding the world through the lens of science.” Since the majority of scientific knowledge is evidence-based it will allow the monks to have a deeper understanding of emotion and the human condition, Negi said. “It will contribute to the development of a more holistic understanding of the human condition and ways to strengthen and enhance those inner tools that can add to our flourishing as human beings,” Negi said. “In that sense this undertaking has some value for contributing to the overall knowledge and well-being of humanity.”
From left, interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May and former DeKalb County CEO Liane Levetan celebrate with Thomas Brown at his retirement party March 27 in Decatur. Brown stepped down as DeKalb County Sheriff to run for Georgia’s Fourth Congressional district seat, currently held by Hank Johnson. Photos by Travis Hudgons
DeKalb County Solicitor-General Sherry Boston and Brown.