by Kathy Mitchell
ith more than 150 singers in seven
choirs, Blackburn Cathedral in
Blackburn, Lancashire, England takes
its music programs seriously.
Tat’s one reason Joseph
O’Berry is so thrilled to
have been selected to be the
cathedral’s organ scholar for
“Not many Americans
are chosen for this honor,”
O’Berry said, adding that
according to his colleagues,
fewer than 20 Americans
in history have ever served
as organ scholars at English
“I’m really excited,”
said O’Berry, the organist-
choirmaster at Decatur’s Holy
Trinity Parish (Episcopal),
who will leave in August for
the year-long appointment.
As organ scholar, the
26-year-old O’Berry, in
addition to being back-up
to the cathedral’s organist
and assistant organist, will
be the principal accompanist
and occasional conductor
of the Young People’s Choir
and Schola Cantorum. He
will share responsibilities for
training the cathedral choir’s boy probationers,
accompanying the parish and cathedral choirs,
playing daily choral evensong, performing
in cathedral recitals, and assisting in the
administration of the music department.
O’Berry, who also sings in the schola at
Atlanta’s Cathedral of St. Philip, learned about
the organ scholar program while participating
in a cathedral choir pilgrimage. Te St. Philip
choir served as choir-in-residence at St. Paul’s
Cathedral, London, and Canterbury Cathedral.
He applied for positions at 12 cathedrals
and was short-listed for two. In the fall of 2013
when Blackburn Cathedral invited O’Berry to
audition, he asked whether he could send a tape
of an organ performance. Te answer was no;
he had to go to England and audition in person.
“And, they said, ‘We need you to come over
before Christmas,’” he recalled.
“Tey apparently were pleased. Tey made
an ofer within an hour afer my audition. I
accepted before I lef England,” added O’Berry,
who said he has no reservations about living
in a foreign country. “Tey [church of cials]
take good care of you there. I think of life as
an adventure, and I’m really excited about this
O’Berry, who has served at Holy Trinity
since 2012, said it is not unusual for organ
scholars to be young adults, many between 18
and 20 years. “I wish I had known about the
championnewspaper championnewspaper champnewspaper championnews
We’re Social
FRIDAY, JUNE 13, 2014 • VOL. 17, NO. 12 • FREE
• A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS • Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.
See Musician on page 15A
‘Opportunity of lifetime’ takes local church musician to British cathedral
Joseph O’Berry was offered the position of organ scholar at England’s Blackburn Cathedral less than an hour
after his audition. Photos by Kathy Mitchell
Local artist goes back to the drawing board
Because money does
not grow on trees.
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some great cash rewards. For more information on tips and other rebates, vi si t
Georgia Power customers may be eligible to receive a rebate of 50% of the installed cost up to $100 for upgrading from a standard to a programmable thermostat. Certain preconditions
and requirements must be met in order to qualify for this rebate. Rebate available through December 2014. Application and receipt/invoice must be submitted within 60 days of purchase
or installation. ©2014. Georgia Power Company. All rights reserved.
That’s why I installed a programmable thermostat
and got a $100 rebate.
by Lauren Ramsdell
Swish, flick, scrape, drag.
Paint pulls from the brush to the canvas.
Ashley Hizer is working in her Decatur
sunroom, the tile speckled with drops of
acrylic paint. What’s taking shape isn’t a
form or figure; rather, it’s an abstract panel
with complementary and contrasting col-
ors pulling texture to create the work.
“I just like the freedom that comes with
abstracts,” Hizer said. “When I picked up
painting again I was immediately drawn to-
wards abstract, that’s just what I gravitated
to, and it just stuck.”
Hizer started her career as a journalist,
then a teacher and now does art full time.
She describes herself as having always been
interested in art but pushed it to the side to
focus on other things. It took a fortuitous
break in her professional life to make the
“My husband and I actually thought that
we were going to move, so that’s why I left
[teaching],” she said. “I had time over the
summer – this is kind of in the meantime,
as we thought we were going to be moving
– and I started painting and it turned out
that we didn’t move.”
In between working odd jobs the sum-
See Artist on page 18A
Decatur artist Ashley Hizer prefers color and motion to form and fgure. After quitting her teaching job, she now paints full-time in
the sunroom of her house. Photos by Lauren Ramsdell
Crime Briefs
Programs help at-risk students fnish high school
See Students on page 18A
by Carla Parker
Completing high school can be a
hard task for teens living in an eco-
nomically challenged environment.
According to the U.S. Depart-
ment of Education, only 59 percent
of economically disadvantaged
students graduate high school. To
help at-risk students who struggle
through school and those who
dropped out, the DeKalb County Ju-
venile Court created two programs
to address these students’ needs.
Eleven years ago, the juvenile
court launched the Youth Achieve-
ment Program (YAP) to provide
educational support to at-risk youth
ages 16-18 who dropped out of
school and have gone through the
juvenile court system. The program,
which is paid for through federal
grants, provides GED classes and
participants are taught skills to help
them compete in today’s job market.
While the program has been suc-
cessful helping teens who were out
of school, Keisha Jones said she and
the program director Angelo Hub-
bard began to see that there were
some students enrolled in school
struggling as well.
“We wanted to bring in some-
thing that would address those kids
that were in school that still needed
services, who still needed to be
prepped for the workplace and to
help them navigate their next step
after they finish [school],” Jones, the
grants administrator, said. “What
we knew from working with YAP
was a lot of these kids were in
school, but they would drop out.
They didn’t have the ability or re-
sources to finish.”
In 2010, the Tutoring, Interven-
tion, Mentoring and Employment
(T.I.M.E.) program was launched.
The program involves students ages
14-18 who have experienced chal-
lenges in life and the program pro-
vides a “comprehensive approach to
academic, personal and professional
growth” that will help the students
finish high school and progress into
college or the work force.
“T.I.M.E. is really about making
sure that these kids stay in school,
finish school and have all the tools
that they need to move to the next
level,” Jones said.
The program is also funded
through a grant; it receives $132,000
per year. The program has been at
Stone Mountain High School for
four years and was recently brought
to Towers High School. Ten Stone
Mountain students who went
through the program graduated last
month and one was the salutatorian.
Students in the T.I.M.E. program
attend workshops to prepare for
academic, personal and professional
growth. The students meet with
case managers Dadrieal Robinson
and Jasmine Smith after school and
go through academic tutorials, job
readiness training, life skills, money
management and budgeting, career
development, and character mentor-
“This initiative offers a unique
opportunity for youth to develop
Students from the DeKalb County Juvenile Court’s Tutoring, Intervention, Mentoring and Employment (T.I.M.E.) program visit Tuskegee University during the program’s college tour. Photo
Back on the right PATH
“Life is like a ten speed bicy-
cle. Most of us have gears we never
use,” cartoonist Charles M. Schulz
(1922-2000), the creator of Peanuts.
 During the 90’s we spent many
a Thanksgiving enjoying the warm
hospitality of sister Tanya, and her
family, then living in a Tampa sub-
urb, Ozona. 
A highlight of those holiday
weeks were daily walks and bike
rides along the Pinellas Trail. This
abandoned rail trail stretches 38
miles, north to south across Pinellas
County, Fla., from St. Petersburg to
Tarpon Springs. I was so charmed
by those daily rides that when the
PATH Foundation began similar
work here in Atlanta 20 years ago,
I couldn’t wait to ride its first
PATH Trail. Its original effort, the
Stone Mountain Trail runs 19 miles
from Stone Mountain Park through
DeKalb County (east/west) into
Atlanta and downtown to the King
Center. In 2007, I bought a home
along the trail in Scottdale, and the
PATH runs through my backyard.
My office is less than two miles
further west along the PATH trail
in Decatur. And a day doesn’t go
by, unless I’m traveling, that I’m not
walking/biking to work or looking
out the window at dozens of smil-
ing folks enjoying that trail. But
our home also fronts along a busy
thoroughfare, and state highway,
and of late, I’m seeing more bikes on
that road, with no shoulders and no
I love to bike, and the solitude
and chance for mental clarity it can
bring. It is not quite meditation, as
your senses have to remain alert
to your surroundings, particularly
in an area as heavily trafficked as
metro Atlanta. Yet, I increasingly
witness bikers, alone and in packs,
riding parallel on active and busy
thoroughfares including Ponce de
Leon Avenue, North Decatur Road,
College Avenue, Church Street,
DeKalb Avenue and Piedmont Av-
enue. After several years of riding, I
have also witnessed several serious
biking injuries, and so far, two fatali-
Thankfully, I’ve escaped seri-
ous injury and only had to assist a
handful of friends, most injured due
to riding too tightly during group
rides. A valley spot along North
Decatur Road close to Emory, well
known to area bikers, is marked by a
phantom white-painted bike mark-
ing the last ride of a well-known and
experienced biker with more than
20 years of safe riding in the area.
Though we all fund the roads
which crisscross the metro region,
via sales and motor fuel taxes, these
thoroughfares, in the main, were not
built for biking. With the exception
of communities forward-thinking
enough to install bike lanes, skilled
bikers may coexist here, but often at
risk of life and limb.
But increasingly as I ride the trail,
I witness bikers at all hours ignoring
the bike path and trails entirely, and
preferring the nearby road-bed, in
some cases only 20-30 feet parallel
and adjacent.  True, their ride may
be smoother and at higher speeds,
without need to slow at curb cuts,
intersections or navigate uneven
pavement, and perhaps that higher
gear allows more oxygen to reach
their brains and increase the speed
of their reflexes, but I don’t think so.
Few cyclists survive a direct col-
lision with an automobile or truck.
Those who do are often paralyzed,
brain injured or face severe chal-
lenges for the rest of their days. A
sad and tragic outcome for a life
often spent including exercise and
planning for future years of fitness
and good health.
I’m not suggesting that no bike
tire rubber hit the roads of metro
Atlanta or DeKalb County. I am
suggesting and requesting that get-
ting back on the right PATH trail,
wherever it exists, is smarter, and
perhaps arguably even safer than
MARTA. Further, the scenery along
the trail is almost always better,
even on the crowded weekend days.
Most PATH trails have yet to reach
the peak use you might experience
along the four finished miles of the
Atlanta Beltline, where trail eti-
quette is now almost as important as
trail fashion.
And yes, I know some of the rac-
ers don’t want to lower their speed
or compromise their training times
or expensive aluminum wheel
frames, but replacing a popped tube
or even a bent wheel frame from a
bad curb jump on the trail is still
much easier than replacing a leg.
Hope to see you back out on the
right PATH again sometime soon.
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, Cham-
pion 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 
Bill Crane
Father’s Day was made an official
national holiday in 1972. It had been
celebrated in various communities
since the mid-1800s to commemo-
rate fatherhood, parenting by males,
fathers and forefathers.
This is an odd holiday for me
because I did not know my father.
There are so many people who
know both of their parents and can
identify with each in some way.
It can be comforting to know
that a particular personal character-
istic may not be unique to an indi-
vidual, but rather comes from one
of the person’s parents. Those of us
who have never known our fathers
do not have that luxury. This is why
I have very little tolerance for a man
who fails to take responsibility for
his children. I am encouraged in
knowing that the father figures in
our lives saw something in us and
invested the love we were missing.
It is against this backdrop that I
wish to commemorate and celebrate
some of the men in my life, who are
not blood-related, but who exhib-
ited father-like characteristics to me.
The first man I want to com-
memorate, Rev. Atwater, taught
me fear and respect for authority
at a young age. I never attended
his church, but he was the “pastor”
of the community. His role in the
neighborhood was that of discipli-
narian. His expectations were very
clear and rigid: no foul language, no
drinking, no smoking and no gen-
eral disrespect to yourself or anyone
Another hero in my life was my
high school coach, L. S. Conn. He
recruited me to play in each sport
he coached—basketball, football
and baseball. He always encouraged
me, even if I didn’t feel that I was
good enough. I wasn’t allowed to
get down on myself about perfor-
mances, because no matter what,
he always stressed and demanded
my best. This is what I mean about
those who had father figures instead
of being raised by their biological
fathers and were chosen by excep-
tional people who had this type of
love and support to give. Coach
Conn molded my potential in such
a way that made me feel both com-
petent and confident with any task I
There are two other men who
influenced the direction of my life.
One invited me to college on a full
scholarship, and the other was the
reason I stayed and finished col-
lege. Coach Leonadias Epps found
me working at a service station in
Thomaston and with strong support
from Grandma Emma, convinced
me to attend Clark College. There-
after, he nurtured and encouraged
me as an athlete in basketball and
football. Then one of my professors
and academic advisor, Dr. Edward
F. Sweat, was responsible for never
allowing me to doubt that I was a
capable, deserving student.
Finally, there are some who know
you better than you know yourself.
For most, that person may be a par-
ent or sibling. In my case, that per-
son was my high school principal,
Andrew Sol Johnson, who later
hired me as a teacher when I gradu-
ated from college. He always saw me
as a leader and treated me as such.
The school board had a policy that
required me to have experience be-
fore teaching on the high school lev-
el, but he challenged this policy on
my behalf and insisted that I be al-
lowed to teach and coach at the very
high school from which I graduated.
His petition was successful; thus my
career began.
Collectively, these men provided
what my biological father neglected
to provide: love, respect, encour-
agement and a strong sense of self.
Although these men were pivotal in
my life, the same type of men exist
in every community. They invest
time and energy into the children
and community, while expecting
nothing in return.
This is the gift I hope to have
passed along life’s highway as I en-
countered children of all races and
faith. Whether I will ever know for
sure is not my concern. Ultimately,
any man in this free world can and
will influence a child and may never
know the depth of the impact he’s
had—be it positive or negative.
The question for men every-
where is: Are you aware that a child
is looking at you to see how to be
a man? Young girls are looking for
what a man should be as well. Let’s
make sure we are prepared at all
times to leave a positive legacy, just
as these men have left for me.
Gene Walkerk

Let Us Know What You Think!
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS encourages opinions
from its readers. Please write to us and express your
views. Letters should be brief, typewritten and contain
the writer’s name, address and telephone number for
verifcation. All letters will be considered for publica-
Send Letters To Editor, The Champion Free Press, P. O. Box 1347,
Decatur, GA 30031-1347; Send email to
FAX To: (404) 370-3903 Phone: (404) 373-7779
Deadline for news releases and advertising: Thursday, one week
prior to publication date.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions written by columnists and contribut-
ing editors do not necessarily refect the opinions of the editor or
publishers. The Publisher reserves the right to reject or cancel any
advertisement at any time. The Publisher is not responsible for
unsolicited manuscripts.
Publisher: John Hewitt
Chief Financial Of cer: Dr. Earl D. Glenn
Managing Editor: Andrew Cauthen
Production Manager: Kemesha Hunt
Photographer: Travis Hudgons
Staf Reporters: Daniel Beauregard
Carla Parker
Lauren Ramsdell
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Friday by ACE III Communications, Inc.,
114 New Street, Suite E, Decatur, GA. 30030
Phone (404) 373-7779.
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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.
A salute to fathers

When Yvonne Free-
man-Mathis of Lithonia
retired from her job at the
Georgia World Congress
Center, she knew she
could not sit at home all
day and do nothing.
“It was really bor-
ing,” the 69-year-old said.
“When you’re used to
working, it’s boring sitting
at home. There is only so
much cleaning you can
When a church mem-
ber informed her that
the newly opened Porter
Sanford Performing Arts
Center needed volunteers,
Freeman-Mathis jumped
on the opportunity and
began volunteering there
in February 2010.
Because the center did
not have a full-time staff at
the time, Freeman-Mathis
did many things around
the center to keep it clean
and running smoothly.
“I cleaned the bath-
rooms, mopped floors,
did scheduling, collected
money, did front house
duties, recruited ambassa-
dors [ushers] to volunteer
at the shows and answered
phones,” she said.
“I’ve done everything
but David’s job,” she said,
referring to David Manu-
el, the center director.
Freeman-Mathis, who
said she loved the arts in
her younger years, said her
favorite thing to do was
to assist the clients that
rented the center.
“I really liked that be-
cause I was working with
the clients as far as the
shows were concern,” she
said. “I just enjoy volun-
teering there.”
Freeman-Mathis said
people would ask her why
she was doing all this work
for free, but she said her
work at the center was not
about money.
“I was just glad to have
the opportunity to work
up there,” she said.
Now that the center has
a full-time staff, Freeman-
Mathis pitches in when-
ever she can. She ushers
at shows during the win-
ter months and answers
phones at the front desk.
“A lot of the times if the
volunteers are not up there
[the center] does not have
anyone at that front desk,”
she said. “So I come a
couple of days a week just
to sit at the front desk.”
Along with her vol-
unteer work, Freeman-
Mathis works with Isage-
nix, a marketing company
that sells products that
deal with weight loss,
energy and performance,
healthy aging and wealth
Freeman-Mathis said
she enjoys volunteering
because she likes to give
back to the community.
“I was just so elated
that we have a community
performing arts center,”
she said. “I was glad to be
able to give back by volun-
teering there.”
If you would like to nominate someone
to be considered as a future Champion
of the Week, please contact Andrew
Cauthen at
or at (404) 373-7779, ext. 117.
Stone Mountain Park provides educational
classes for students and teachers
by Carla Parker
In 2004, former Stone
Mountain Memorial Asso-
ciation CEO Curtis Brans-
comb wanted to add an
educational program to the
park for local students and
park guests.
Confederate Hall, located
at the base of the walk-up
trail, was transformed into
a historical and environ-
mental education center to
teach students and visitors
the geology and ecology of
Stone Mountain. The reno-
vated Confederate Hall has
more than 5,400 square feet
of exhibit space, classrooms,
a theater and offices for the
Stone Mountain Memorial
Association staff.
The association offers
free field trips and educa-
tional classes for DeKalb
and Gwinnett students
in grades kindergarten
through 12. Naomi Thomp-
son, supervisor of the
education program, said
the association wanted to
be a resource for students
and teachers in DeKalb and
Gwinnett counties.
“We have this facility and
there is a certain amount we
can do,” she said. “Teachers
still want a lot of this infor-
mation, and we realized a
long time ago that it could
be a really good resource for
Students and visitors can
explore the gallery, which
features science exhibits
and a life-size cave with a
video about the origin of
the mountain. The theater
features an educational
documentary, “The Battle
for Georgia‒a History of
the Civil War in Georgia,”
which has been updated to
a large‒screen video format
in the new Confederate Hall
The 25-minute film is
narrated by Hal Holbrook
and features hundreds of ar-
chival photographic images
and reenactment footage
from the Civil War. In addi-
tion, guests can learn how
the Confederate Memorial
carving came to be by view-
ing the 11-minute feature
film ‘The Men Who Carved
the Mountain.”
Onsite school field
trips include classes for all
grades. Students have one
hour to an hour and a half
to learn about the mountain
and its geology and ecology
in a classroom setting and
outdoors. Classes for kin-
dergarten students feature
lessons on Stone Mountain’s
plants and geology.
First‒graders learn about
the reptiles and amphib-
ians living on the mountain
as well as plants, while the
second‒graders take classes
on the animal life cycles and
American Indian culture.
Third‒graders also study
the mountain’s geology by
See Stone Mountain on page 18A
Naomi Thompson, supervisor of the Stone Mountain Park education program, talks about the science kits for
teachers, exhibits in the life-size cave and other activities that are offered to DeKalb County students and
teachers and park visitors year-round. Photos by Carla Parker

Library to host charity book sale
The Friends of East Atlanta Library are host-
ing a used book sale June 28 at noon, to raise
money for the East Atlanta Library, located at 400
Flat Shoals Ave. SE.
According to a news release, there will be
thousands of books for sale; paperbacks will be
$1 and hardbacks will be $2.
The Friends of East Atlanta Library is an all-
volunteer, nonprofit volunteer organization to
help promote and support the library. The orga-
nization is dedicated to providing more resources
to the East Atlanta Library and works closely with
library staff.
Avondale Estates
Volunteers and sponsors needed for city’s 4th
of July celebration
Volunteers are needed for the Avondale Es-
tates annual 4th of July Parade which attracts
hundreds of families and friends.
On the morning of July 4, volunteers are need-
ed to blow up helium balloons, hand out items,
coordinate traffic and line-up the participants.
Float judges are also needed. Morning volunteers
still have plenty of time to participate in the pa-
rade or watch it. Breakfast will be provided.
 Residents can also donate to the event by
writing a check payable to the City of Avondale
Estates, with the notation “4th of July Parade” in
the memo section of the check. 
All businesses, residents, streets and neighbor-
hood organizations are invited to enter a float
into the parade.
For more information and to volunteer or do-
nate, contact Karen Holmes at (404) 294-5400 or
History center to hold gourd-making
The DeKalb History Center is hosting a
gourd-making demonstration June 20, from 11
a.m.- noon at the historic Swanton House, locat-
ed at 720 West Trinity Place in Decatur.
Actress and storyteller Cathy Kaemmer-
len will demonstrate and tell stories about how
gourds have been used throughout history, espe-
cially during the early pioneer days of Georgia.
Attendees will make a craft using gourds and
then will be able to help do some “old-timey”
chores such as sweeping, doing laundry and haul-
ing water.
For more information visit www.dekalbhisto-
Juvenile court seeking volunteers
The DeKalb County Juvenile Court Judicial
Citizen Panel Review is seeking volunteers.
“Participation in the panel program benefits
not only children and families, but volunteers
also gain useful experience and take pride in
knowing that they have helped improve the life of
a child,” states an announcement about the panel.
Potential volunteers must complete an ap-
plication, and undergo a background and refer-
ence check. There will be an orientation for new
volunteers July 24-25 at DeKalb County Juvenile
Court, 4309 Memorial Drive, Decatur.
Contact Teinika Lewis at (404) 294-2738 for
more information.
Church concert to fund scholarships
The Mt. Welcome Missionary Baptist Church
of Decatur will present “Love in Any Language,” a
benefit concert.
The concert will feature soprano Sherry
Dukes and classical, spirituals and inspirational
selections by Jean Derricotte-Murphy, Ruth
Randall and Zipporah Taylor with accompanist
Ella Lewis.
The event is a fundraiser for the church’s
Myrtice Bell Memorial Scholarship Fund to help
youth attend college or other certified programs.
The benefit concert will be held at the church,
located at 581 Parker Ave. in Decatur, on Satur-
day, June 28, at 6 p.m.
 The admission is free and donations will be
collected. For more information, contact Rose
Porter at (770) 279-2999.
Group invites public to hear about housing
and lending practices
The South DeKalb Improvement Association
Inc. (SDIA) invites the public to attend its quar-
terly meeting on Saturday, June 14, from 9:30 to
11:30 a.m. at Berean Community Center, 2440
Young Road, Stone Mountain.
The meeting is open to all who are interested
in creating a sustainable south DeKalb.
SDIA’s code compliance, economic develop-
ment, education, housing and safety committees
will provide updates on the organization’s 2014
slate of projects.
Guest speaker Wayne G. Early, president
of Early Economics Inc., will “discuss how the
foreclosure crisis disproportionately affects com-
munities of color, explain housing and lending
practices, present disturbing statistics, educate at-
tendees on their rights, and talk about options to
address the situation,” according to an announce-
For more information, contact the organiza-
tion via email at or call
(770) 322-3842.
City to hold millage rate public hearings
Doraville residents are invited to attend a pub-
lic hearing on the proposed millage rate.
The public hearings will be June 16 at 6:30
p.m. at the Doraville City Hall, located at 3725
Park Ave., Doraville.
“The preliminary millage rate is 9 percent,
the same as the previous year,” according to an
announcement. “Due to an increase in property
values in the tax digest, the 9 percent millage rate
will generate more revenue.
“The proposed tax increase for a home with
a fair market value of $82,000 is approximately
$13 and the tax increase for a non-homestead
property with a fair market value of $427,000 is
approximately $67,” the announcement stated.
Chamber of Commerce to host fnancial forum
The Greater Lithonia Chamber of Commerce
will host its 5th annual financial forum June 18.
The 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. forum will be held
at This is It! restaurant’s banquet hall, 2853 Pa-
nola Road. The forum is for those starting a new
business or in need of capital to grow an existing
business. The cost for guest is $20 prior to the
day of the event and $25 at the door. Registration
is preferred. To register, visit www.greaterlitho-
Stone Mountain
Teens against violence seminar to be held at
Tupac Shakur Foundation Center
Teen preacher Jared Sawyer, Jr. is presenting
the Teens Against Violence seminar June 13. The
event, produced with the Tupac Amaru Shakur
Foundation, will be a one-day, 10-hour seminar
with workshops, games, scholarship opportuni-
ties and a college and career fair.
The seminar will be promoting a nonviolent
message. Guest speakers have not been con-
firmed but are expected to include artists, spoken
word poets and community leaders.
Interested attendees should call (678) 909-
4401 ext. 7 or 8, to preregister.
DeKalb Adopt-a-Stream to host water quality
The DeKalb County Adopt-a-Stream program
is hosting a workshop June 21 from 10 a.m.-1
p.m. to train residents on how to collect water
samples from county streams and how to inter-
pret water quality data.
The workshop will be held at Stone Mountain’s
Confederate Hall Historical and Environmental
Education Center, located at 2003 Robert E. Lee
Boulevard. At the conclusion of the workshop,
attendees will be able to earn a certificate allow-
ing them to enter information into a statewide
There is no fee for the class, but pre-registra-
tion is required and limited to the first 20 people.
For more information or to register con-
tact Michael O’Shield at (770) 724-1456 or at
Man indicted for murdering baby
by Carla Parker
A man charged for alleg-
edly killing his girlfriend’s
baby has been indicted for
the murder.
Nicholas Wade, 22, was
indicted June 3 by a DeKalb
County grand jury for alleg-
edly murdering 18-month-
old Keon Belk Feb. 3. Wade
was indicted on malice mur-
der, felony murder, cruelty to
children, aggravated assault
and aggravated battery.
“The indictment outlines
a senseless and brutal attack
on an innocent and defense-
less child,” said DeKalb
County District Attorney
Robert James. “It is truly a
tragedy any time a child loses
their life in this manner.”
Assistant District Attor-
ney Lee Williams will serve
as lead prosecutor. Wade’s
arraignment date has not
been set.
Wade was taken into
custody Feb. 5 after DeKalb
sheriff ’s deputies shot him
during a standoff in the
parking lot of New Birth
Missionary Baptist Church
in Lithonia.
According to the police
report, Wade’s girlfriend, Jil-
lian Belk, told police she left
her son with Wade around
5:20 a.m. Belk said she re-
ceived a phone call from
Wade informing her that he
was at Children’s Healthcare
of Atlanta at Egleston with
the toddler, according to the
police report.
Police said Wade told
Belk the child was having
difficulty breathing, so he
called 911. The boy was in
cardiac arrest when emer-
gency responders arrived at
the scene, the police report
stated. The toddler had an
injured liver and fractured
skull, according to the police
report. The child later died.
Wade was located two
days later in an apartment
complex in the area of Pa-
nola and Fairington roads
in Lithonia. When deputies
responded to the location
they observed Wade getting
into a black BMW with two
females and followed the car
into the parking lot of New
Deputies pulled alongside
Wade and he exited the ve-
hicle armed with a sawed-off
shotgun, pointed the gun at
himself then at the deputy,
prompting another deputy to
shoot him.
Wade was taken into
custody and transported to
Grady Memorial Hospital
where he was treated for his
injuries. He was later taken
to the DeKalb County jail,
where he has been since his
arrest, according to sheriff ’s
office inmate information
Wade was granted a
$5,000 bond, but the bond
status is still open, according
to the website.
Restaurant Health Inspections
Establishment Name: Nectar
Address: 1365 Clairmont Road
Current Score/Grade: 91/A
Inspecton Date: 06/05/2014
Establishment Name: New Orleans Snoball Cafe
Address: 340 West Ponce De Leon Avenue, Suite 100
Current Score/Grade: 97/A
Inspecton Date: 06/05/2014

Hanging thermometer in refrigeraton units not located to mea-
sure the air temperature at the warmest part of the unit.
No thermometers present in freezers or refrigerator. PIC advised to
have hanging thermometers available in refrigerators and freezers
to measure the ambient temperature of refrigeraton units. New
Establishment Name: Monterrey Mexican Restaurant
Address: 3865 Lavista Road
Current Score/Grade: 95/A
Inspecton Date: 05/19/2014
Observatons and Correctve Actons
Observed plumbing leak at the 3 compartment sink. New Viola-
Observed live ants crawling on glasses and on the counter the
glasses were on. New Violaton
Establishment Name: Carrabba’s Italian Grill
Address: 1210 Ashford Crossing
Current Score/Grade: 80/B
Inspecton Date: 05/19/2014
Establishment Name: Food To Go
Address: 1353 Brocket Road, Suite G
Current Score/Grade: 89/B
Inspecton Date: 05/19/2014
Establishment Name: Gemi Wings Restaurant
Address: 2896 Chamblee Tucker Road, Suite 2
Current Score/Grade: 83/B
Inspecton Date: 05/19/2014
Observatons and Correctve Actons
Upon arrival there was no soap at the hand sink. COS-soap was
provided. Corrected On-Site. Repeat Violaton.
Observed containers of spices and bulk container of seasoning
with no label. COS-advised to label. Corrected On-Site. New Vio-
Observed employee not wearing a hair restraint.
Employee hand washing sign was not posted in the restroom. COS-
hand washing sign was provided. Corrected On-Site. New Viola-
Shelves above meat and vegetable sink had excessive dirt build up
and inside of cooler used for dry food storage had excessive food
debris. New Violaton.
Observed major leak at the meat sink.
Walls in main kitchen had excessive build up of dirt/grease.
Establishment Name: Chick-Fil-A
Address: 3905 North Druid Hills Road
Current Score/Grade: 86/B
Inspecton Date: 05/19/2014
Observatons and Correctve Actons
Observed one employee pouring sanitzing soluton and another
employee pouring tea inside of hand washing sinks. PIC advised
that hand washing facility may not be used for purposes other
than hand washing.
Observed individual sauces stored in hand washing sink. Employee
noted that sink was used to wash spilled sauce of other sauces. PIC
advised that hand washing sinks must be accessible at all tmes.
COS-Sauces removed.
Observed interior of ice machine ceiling and back walls with black
mold. PIC advised to clean interior of ice machine immediately and
more frequently. COS- Facility has untl close of business today to
clean interior of ice machine.
Observed chicken noodle soup thawing in stagnant water. In-
formed PIC that thawing must be done by, (2) Completely sub-
merged under running water at 70F or below with enough velocity
to agitate and foat of loose partcles and (3) as a part of a cooking
process if the food that is frozen is thawed in a microwave oven
and immediately transferred to conventonal cooking equipment,
with no interrupton in the process. COS- Water ran over soup.
No permit posted main window. PIC advised that inspecton re-
port should be posted in public view within 15 feet of the primary
entrance, 5-7 feet above the foor, and/or not readable from one
foot. COS- PIC posted inspecton score.


The Governing Authority of the City of Avondale Estates has tentatively adopted a millage rate which will require an increase in the property
taxes by 9.80 percent. All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearings on this tax increase to be held at City Hall, 21 North
Avondale Plaza, Avondale Estates, GA 30002 on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. and Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. This
tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 11.20 mills, an increase of 1.0 mill. Without this tentative tax increase, the millage rate will
be no more than 10.20 mills. The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $200,000.00 is approximately $80. The
proposed increase on non-homestead property with a fair market value of $200,000 is approximately $80. The proposed tax increase for a
property with the county basic homestead exemption is $80.
CITY 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Real & Personal 157,621,535 157,295,925 158,471,976 133,021,745 141,146,248 149,130,779
Motor Vehicles 9,411,170 7,917,420 7,854,350 8,014,980 8,451,460 7,456,190
Mobile Homes
Timber - 100%
Heavy Duty
Gross Digest 167,032,705 165,213,345 166,326,326 141,036,725 149,597,708 156,586,969
Less M& O
Exemptions 168,873 119,131 102,456 231,089 138,061 260,276
Net M & O Digest 166,863,832 165,094,214 166,223,870 140,805,636 149,459,647 156,326,693
State Forest Land
Assistance Grant
Adjusted Net M&O
Digest 165,863,832 166,094,214 166,223,870 140,805,636 149,459,647 156,326,693
Gross M&O Millage 11.000 11.000 10.957 10.957 10.957 11.20
Less Rollbacks
Net M&O Millage 11.000 11.000 10.957 10.957 10.957 11.20
Net Taxes Levied $1,835,502 $1,816,036 $1,821,315 $1,542,807 $1,637,629 $1,750,859
Net Taxes $ Increase $123,755 -$19,466 $5,279 -$278,508 $94,822 $113,230
Net Taxes % Increase 7.29% -1.06% 0.29% -15.29% 6.15% 6.91%

C-SPAN will move from Local Plus Channel 18 to Local Plus Channel 78
Univision will move from Family TV Channel 78* to Family TV Channel 56*
*Requires a digital-ready TV, a Mediacom converter or a Mediacom digital adapter.
Customers using a digital-ready TV may need to reprogram their TV.
Man convicted of killing 5-year-old
son wants to withdraw confession


The City of Chamblee has tentatively adopted a new millage rate of 6.40 mills for the portion of the City annexed on December
30, 2013.

All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearings on this tax increase to be held at the Chamblee Civic Center located at
3540 Broad St, Chamblee Georgia on June 12, 2014. There will be one hearing at 11:30 AM and another at 6:00 PM.

An additional public hearing on this tax increase will be held at the Chamblee Civic Center on June 30, 2014 at 6:00 PM.

This tentative new millage rate of 6.40 mills for the newly annexed properties will result in an increase of 6.40 mills. Without this
tentative tax increase, the millage rate will be 0 mills. The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $125,000 is
approximately $320.00 and the proposed tax increase for non-homestead property with a fair market value of $450,000 is
approximately $1,152.00.

State of Georgia statues do not specifically address the setting of the initial millage rate for a newly annexed area by a municipality but the City of Chamblee is
advertising a Notice of Property Tax Increase, with associated public hearing notification, in order to ensure full disclosure of its intent to levy property taxes in the
area annexed on December 30, 2013. The millage rate of 6.40 proposed for the annexed area is the same as that proposed for the rest of the City and is below the
rollback millage rate and therefore would not constitute a tax increase for the rest of the City.

The City of Chamblee City Council does hereby announce that the millage rate will be set at a meeting to be held at the Chamblee Civic 
Center located at 3540 Broad Street, Chamblee, Georgia on June 30, 2014 at 6:00 PM and pursuant to the requirements of Ga. Code 
48‐5‐32 does herby publish the following presentation of the current year's tax digest and levy, along with the history of the tax digest
and levy for the past five years.
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Real & Personal 575,089,705 533,197,959 797,623,949 729,978,100 723,574,965 996,371,051
Motor Vehicles & Heavy Equipment 16,118,770 14,546,770 14,131,410 22,076,110 27,471,830 23,809,872
Public Utilities 10,769,822 9,563,181 11,087,937 9,128,386 9,726,659 10,289,198
Gross Digest 601,978,297 557,307,910 822,843,296 761,182,596 760,773,454 1,030,470,121
Less Exemptions 44,074,131 44,896,783 88,432,680 83,119,557 86,685,769 135,524,124
Adjusted Net Digest 557,904,166 512,411,127 734,410,616 678,063,039 674,087,685 894,945,997
Gross Millage Rage 6.31 7.95 7.4 7.4 6.4 6.4
Net Taxes Levied 3,520,375 4,073,668 5,434,639 5,017,666 4,314,161 5,727,654
Net Taxes $ Increase 762,814 553,293 1,360,970 (416,972) (703,505) 1,413,493
Net Taxes % increase 27.66% 15.72% 33.41% ‐7.67% ‐14.02% 32.76%
by Daniel Beauregard
A DeKalb County resi-
dent convicted of suffocat-
ing his 5-year-old son and
attempting to murder his
other son is now asking the
Georgia Supreme Court to
allow him to withdraw his
plea agreement.
Gary DeToma admitted
to killing his son Gary Jr.,
and said in a confession that
he planned to also kill his
younger son and then him-
DeToma’s appellate attor-
ney said the evidence in the
case is clear but his defense
attorneys repeatedly ignored
DeToma’s request to take
the case to trial. Although
DeToma would likely have
faced the death penalty, his
lawyer Gerard Kleinrock
said he may have preferred
that option to life in prison
without parole.
“When you look at some-
one like Mr. DeToma, does
he want to live in the general
prison population where
every day he has to fear
rape or assault?” Kleinrock
asked Supreme Court jus-
tices. “Does he want to live
on death row where he’d be
segregated from his fellow
inmates? For some people
that would be horrible, for
some people that would be a
Kleinrock said up until
the moment DeToma took
the stand to plead guilty he
sounded “like a broken re-
cord,” stating over and over
again that he wanted his
trial. At one point, Kleinrock
said a mitigation specialist
told him she wasn’t going
to let DeToma make a bad
“She said, ‘It’s like taking
the keys away from a drunk
driver. We’re not going to
let you make a bad decision.
We’re going to make the de-
cision for you,’” Kleinrock
said of the plea deal.
Supreme Court Justice
David Nahmias stated
that the trial court should
have determined whether
the defendant was coerced
into pleading guilty. Nah-
mias told Kleinrock that
DeToma’s case is similar to a
lot of other trial cases where
defendants have “buyer’s
remorse” after accepting a
“Their family puts pres-
sure on them and their
friends put pressure on
them and they go to court
and sometimes extremely
reluctantly enter the plea of
guilty…and they sometimes
they feel buyer’s remorse
very shortly afterward but
we leave it up to the trial
court to decide,” Nahmias
DeKalb County Deputy
Chief Assistant District At-
torney Anna Cross argued
that DeToma isn’t spending
the rest of his life in prison
because he was coerced into
accepting a plea deal—he is
there because he murdered
his son.
“Gary DeToma is spend-
ing the rest of his life in pris-
on because he put a pillow
over the face of his 5-year-
old and smothered him. He
is spending the rest of his life
in prison because he then
duct taped a plastic bag over
See Confession on page 11A

   The City of Doraville has tentatively adopted a millage rate of 
9.00 which will require an increase in property taxes by 4.63 
   All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearing on this 
tax increase to be held at the Doraville City Hall located at 3725 
Park Avenue, Doraville, GA 30340 on June 9, 2014 at 6:30pm.  
Times and places of additional public hearings on this tax increase 
are at the Doraville City Hall on June 10, 2014 at 6:30pm and on 
June 16, 2014 at 6:30pm.  
   This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 9.00 mills, 
an increase of 4.63 percent. Without this tentative tax increase, 
the millage rate will be no more than 8.602 mills. The proposed 
tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $82,000 is 
approximately $13 and the tax increase for a non‐homestead 
property with a fair market value of $427,000 is approximately 
History of Georgia’s motorcycle past
preserved in photography book
by Lauren Ramsdell
It’s impossible to see now,
but the northern edge of
Hartsfield-Jackson Interna-
tional Airport used to be an
oblong racetrack. Racing
enthusiast Asa Candler, en-
riched with wealth from the
burgeoning Coca-Cola empire
he founded, built the track in
1909 for automobile races. The
track never really took off the
way Indianapolis did. Instead,
in 1911, one year before the
stands were torn down, the At-
lanta Motordrome was hosting
motorcycle races.
“I never knew that,” said
Chris Price, a Decatur-based
musician. “I grew up here, I
always had an interest in the
history of Georgia and the his-
tory of Atlanta and I’m into
motorcycles and I didn’t know
we had this very unique track.
They weren’t everywhere in
this country.”
Price said he discovered
this information, and more,
while collecting history and
images of old motorcycles.
“I’m into really old mo-
torcycles, pre-World War II,
and those are very expensive
now because they’re collector
pieces,” Price said. “It wasn’t
something that I could just
buy and dump my energy into.
I also kind of have a back-
ground in history; the bit of
schooling I have gone through
was all history-based. And
so, I get into research and I
get into the past and they just
kind of converged at a certain
Where they converged is
in a book. Georgia Motorcycle
History: The First 60 Years will
be a self-published endeavor
researched and written by
Price and initially financed
through the crowdfunding site
Kickstarter. It features original
photographs from the first half
of motorcycle’s history, from
the first tandem pacer in 1899
to the post-war motorcycles of
1959 that started to resemble
today’s models.
“It’s a photography book
with extended captions, trying
to detail as much history as
possible,” Price said. “It turned
into this thing that if I was go-
ing to do it, I might as well do
it in a way that I would want.
I would go to a Barnes and
Noble or something and see it
on the shelf and say oh that’s
wicked cool, I’ve got to have a
copy of that.
“It initially should have
probably been a blog, it would
have made my life a little bit
Price has spent months
going to archives across the
southeast, interviewing friends
and family members of mo-
torcycle racers and enthusiasts
from this early era. What he
found was that the history of
motorcycles in Georgia paral-
leled the history of motorcy-
cles in the United States.
Orient, a bicycle company,
was the first to take a recently-
invented motor and strap it to
a tandem bicycle, a type used
in racing. Bicycle racing was
a hugely popular sport at the
turn of the 20th century, so
naturally, motorcycle racing
followed. Many motorcycle
brands, including Harley-Da-
vidson, Indian and Excelsior,
got their start first in bicycle
manufacturing and then in
motorcycle racing.
“They introduced that Ori-
ent tandem racing pacer in
1899,” Price said. “That very
same year, a local bicycle rac-
ing champion named Bobby
Walthour–world renowned,
huge guy, kind of the Lance
Armstrong of the day–he
contracted a friend of his, Gus
Castle, who dealt in Orient
See Motorcycle on page 11A
Chris Price
Harry Glenn Sr., his wife Edna and son Harry Jr. Glenn was a
major part of the motorcycling history of the south.
The daredevil board track racers inside the Atlanta Motordrome in 1914. From left, Billy Shields, Henry Lewis, Harry Swartz, Wilmer “Tex” Richards, Harry Glenn (Atlanta’s star), George
Renal (from Paris), “Millionaire” Morty Graves and Freddie Luther. Two men on the right are unidentifed. George Lochner is seated. Photos and captions provided.
Augusta born and Atlanta resident Hammond Springs, once the
youngest professional racer in the country, pictured atop his
Indian factory racing motorcycle. He was 19 in this picture and
died racing before his 20th birthday.
bicycles, to buy … one of these
brand-new Pacers.”
Georgia’s first motorcycle
zoomed around a bicycle racing
track at Piedmont Park, just ahead
of the bicycle racers, creating a
slipstream for them to ride in.
Soon, motorcycle racing all but
replaced bicycle racing as a spec-
tator sport, and it happened here.
“There’s not a lot of centers for
motorcycling history, but Atlanta
was one of them, Georgia was one
of them,” Price said. “But it’s kind
of been lost to time.”
Harry Glenn, an Atlanta resi-
dent and professional Indian mo-
torcycle racer in the early 1900s,
did much for Atlanta’s status as a
motorcycle hub. Over time, Glenn
became an Indian dealer, with a
shop on Peachtree Street. Glenn
did more than just sell motor-
cycles, he rode all across Georgia
and the southeast demonstrating
the new technology and pushing
for improved road infrastructure,
all before mass-produced cars
were available.
“It came along at a time when
there weren’t really automobiles.
And so, for a moment in history,
the motorcycle was the optimum
form of transportation. It was
used for utility, rather than recre-
Atlanta became a distribu-
tion hub for Indian motorcycles,
thanks to the efforts of Glenn
and others. That, and a history of
racetracks in the area, made for
plenty of material for Price’s book.
Price said he is still working
on verifying some of the details in
the photographs, a daunting task
because many are more than 100
years old. The book will be print-
ed and bound in Georgia with
funds raised through Kickstarter.
The $5,500 project was successful,
and the book can be purchased
through Price’s website: www.
“Back then, a picture was a
special occasion and a rarity,”
Price said. “So to be able to see
some of these that survived and
see the look in the people’s faces
and kind of get a little bit of un-
derstanding about what was going
on, it doesn’t matter to me if it’s a
motorcycle in the picture, or if it’s
a dude at a turnip stand or some-
thing. It’s just interesting to see
how things used to be.”
Continued From Page 10A
Confession Continued From Page 9A
the child’s face until he turned blue,
he stopped breathing and he died,”
Cross said.
According to prosecutors, DeToma
committed the murder out of spite
because his wife at the time was di-
vorcing him.
“The child who witnessed him kill
his older brother…spent
hours in an apartment with his dead
brother and his passed out father be-
fore finally a co-worker came to the
house and [he] was able to partially
open the door,” Cross said.
A decision in the appeal is expect-
ed over the next several months.
Explore GPC this
summer and fall.
Learn more at
Did you know there is still time to apply and/or register for
second-half summer and fall classes? Maybe you’re already
taking a summer class at GPC and want to continue. Perhaps
you’ve been accepted recently and haven’t yet enrolled, or
you’re thinking about applying. Visit our website to see how
you can jump-start your educational journey.
TheChampionAd.indd 1 6/9/14 12:52 PM
DeKalb County has announced
the June 2014 schedule for DeKalb
Workforce Development’s (DWD)
work readiness workshops. The
workshops are held at the DWD
building located at 774 Jordan Lane,
Building #4, Decatur, and are offered
free of charge.
The work readiness workshops
are designed to empower job seekers
with essential work readiness skills
needed to secure employment. This
month’s workshop training topics
include resume writing, interviewing
techniques and networking. Since the
program’s inception, more than 2,000
customers have attended DWD’s
work readiness workshops.
Below are scheduled times and
days for the work readiness work-
shops for June 2014:
Resume writing: Monday, June 2,
9, 16 and 23, 10 a.m.-noon.
Networking: Mondays, 10 a.m.-
noon; Tuesday, June 3 and 17, 1-3
p.m.; June 10, 10 a.m.-noon; and
Wednesday, June 4 and 11, 1-3 p.m.
Interviewing techniques: Monday,
June 2, 9 and 16, 1-3 p.m.; Wednes-
day, June 18, 10 a.m.-noon; Thursday,
June 5 and 19, 1-3 p.m.; and Friday,
June 20, 10 a.m.-noon.
DeKalb Workforce Development
ofers work readiness workshops
DeKalb launches vacant property registry
Suspects charged in
death of 9-month-old

Be There!
art Crafts Jewelry MUSIC
Local Brews Great Food fun
More information at / PopUpDecatur

Local Brews Great Food fun Local Brews Great Food fun
by Lauren Ramsdell
Two men have been
arrested for the May 10
shooting death of 9-month
old KenDarious Ed-
wards Jr.
Deputy Chief
Operating Officer of
Public Safety Cedric
Alexander said that
Marco Watson, 36,
and Devin Thomas,
18, were both previ-
ously arrested on
charges related to the
killing, and have now
also been charged
with murder.
Watson was ar-
rested on May 28 for
aggravated assault
and felony kidnap-
ping. He was arrest-
ed with Eunice Eng-
lish, 24, for the same
charges. Thomas was
arrested May 12 for
making false state-
ments or writings.
Thomas is now
charged with murder and
three counts of aggravated
assault with a deadly weap-
on, according to the warrant
read at his first court hear-
ing June 5. Watson is expect-
ed to be charged similarly.
According to police
reports, two to three men
broke through the back door
of a home on To Lani Farm
Road in Stone Mountain
around 11 p.m. Saturday,
May 10. Three women in
the home fled to an upstairs
bathroom with the baby,
where they tried to lock
themselves in. The men
allegedly kicked through
the door and fired several
shots. The three women sus-
tained serious wounds while
KenDarious died.
This killing may have
been in retaliation for the
death of Alexis Malone, a
potential witness to the May
3 shooting of Michael Phil-
lips, 29, at a party, according
to police. Kemontae Cul-
lins, 18, Oslushla Smith,
19, Cutrez Johnson, 16, and
Kayla Dixon, 20, have all
been arrested in relation to
Malone’s death. Smith and
Johnson were KenDarious’
by Carla Parker
Homeowners who leave a
home vacant will now face a
fine if they do not register the
property under the county’s
new vacant home registry.
Standing in front of a un-
kempt vacant home in south
DeKalb County, county of-
ficials announced at a June
4 press conference that the
county launched its vacant
property registry to address
the issue of unkempt houses
that hurt DeKalb neighbor-
hoods. The vacant property
registry ordinance requires
owners of vacant properties
to provide the county with
official contact information
for those responsible for
bringing the vacant property
into compliance.
“Rundown and unchecked
vacant properties are an
eyesore, a nuisance and a
breeding ground for criminal
activity,” Interim DeKalb
County CEO Lee May said.
“This gives us another tool
to stabilize and restore our
Owners are required to
register their vacant proper-
ties or face fines up to $1,000.
A property is considered
vacant if it is unoccupied for
more than 30 days.
“This program helps us
identify vacant property
owners and helps us to hold
them accountable for ensur-
ing that these properties
are maintained,” said code
compliance administrator
Marcus Kellum. “It also gives
us the leverage we need to
launch any enforcement ef-
forts if [homeowners] fail to
comply with that.”
There are approximately
10,000 vacant properties
in DeKalb. DeKalb County
Commissioner Larry John-
son said he wants homebuy-
ers to purchase a home in
DeKalb and wants to make
sure the home is not “littered
or trashed.”
“Yes, the economy is
coming back. Yes, the neigh-
borhoods are going back,
but when you see blight in
[a] community we’ve got to
make sure we eradicate that,”
Johnson said.
County officials, along
with code enforcement, have
partnered with the police and
fire departments on this imi-
tative. Interim Police Chief
James Conroy said vacant
properties present a “unique”
challenge to the police de-
“[When homes are] left
unmanaged they do attract
crime,” Conroy said. “We
have a very difficult time
locating the owner or a local
representative that can come
and help us with that. We can
stop that in the early stages
and prevent it from becom-
ing worse and hopefully pre-
vent many crimes.”
The registry went into ef-
fect June 1 and the county
will begin issuing citations
next month. To register a
property, visit www.dekalb-
Alexander said the inves-
tigation remains ongoing.
“We are not going to tol-
erate this Western mental-
ity of when you go out and
shoot somebody because
you feel bad that
day,” he said.
mother, grand-
mother and a
friend that were
all shot in the
altercation at-
tended Thomas’
hearing June 5.
“[Police Chief
James Conroy]
did all he could,”
said Taniqua
Clark, a friend
of the family
who was pres-
ent during the
home invasion.
“He told [, KenD-
arious’ mother]
while she was in
the hospital that
he was not going
to sleep until he
found out who
did it, and he did. She really
appreciated it.”
Tracy Smith, KenDari-
ous’ grandmother, was also
at the hearing.
“Looking at Devin
Thomas, looking at his re-
actions, it showed no signs
of remorse to me,” she said.
“That’s the act of a real cow-
ard. I hope he rots.”
DeKalb County offcials, employees and residents stand in front of a
vacant home in south DeKalb as the county announces the launching of
its vacant property registry. Photos by Carla Parker
Searching for Our Sons and Daughters:

For a programming guide, visit
Now showing on DCTV!
Finding DeKalb County’s Missing
Stories of our missing residents offer profound
insights and hope for a positive reunion.
DCTV – Your Emmy® Award-winning news source of DeKalb County news. Available on Comcast Cable Channel 23.
Photos brought to you by DCTV
Mama Bath+Body owner Emilie Sennebogen Bryant held the
offcial grand opening of her new retail location in Avondale
Estates. Photo by Travis Hudgons
Children are entertained by an oversized bubble at Stone Mountain Park. Photo by Travis Hudgons
Thousands of comic books where on sale at the 2nd Annual Comic Book Yardsale Extravaganza June 7. Proceeds
went to fund the eventual opening of a brick-and-motor location of My Parents’ Basement which will be a craft beer-
comic book store. Photo by Travis Hudgons
Agnes Scott College celebrates 125 years
by Kathy Mitchell
Agnes Scott College President
Elizabeth Kiss said the decision to
open an institution of higher learn-
ing for women in 1889 was a bold
move, especially in Georgia, a state
still suffering economic devastation
in the wake of the Civil War. This
year the college celebrates its 125th
Decatur Female Seminary, as
Agnes Scott College was originally
known, opened its doors less than
50 years after the first college de-
grees were awarded to women in
the United States. It was the year
the Wall Street Journal published its
first issue, the iconic Eiffel Tower
opened in Paris and the Coca-Cola
Company first incorporated.
Founded in the Presbyterian
educational movement that started
with the opening of Princeton Uni-
versity, Agnes Scott College had as
its founding president Frank Henry
Gaines, minister of Decatur Pres-
byterian Church. It would be more
than 80 years before the all-female
school had its first woman presi-
dent, Ruth A. Schmidt, in 1980.
“Educating women was not a
high priority in the 1880s,” Kiss
said, “and finding funding for such
a mission wasn’t easy.” Only a year
after its founding, the school was
in danger of having to close for
lack of money. One of the founders,
wealthy businessman and plantation
owner George Washington Scott
rescued the struggling institution
with a gift of more than $112,000—
what Kiss called “a noble sum at the
time.” For his generosity he asked
only that the institution be renamed
for his mother, Agnes Irvine Scott,
who, according to the college’s
website, was “a Scots-Irish immi-
grant who upheld a strong sense of
integrity and intellectual curiosity.”
From the beginning, Kiss said,
the college aimed to give women
the type of quality education usually
reserved for men, empowering them
to reach their full potential. Its origi-
nal mission was “to educate women
for the betterment of their families
and the elevation of their region.”
Agnes Scott in 1907 became the
first institution of higher learning in
Georgia to be granted regional ac-
Maintaining its identity as a
women’s college has remained im-
portant to the institution over the
years, Kiss explained, because such
a setting provides young women a
unique opportunity to develop sur-
rounded by leaders who reinforce
the idea that “the most important
thing about them is what’s between
their ears.” Women who attend all-
female undergraduate colleges are
25 percent more likely to go on to
graduate school, she noted.
Despite its identity as an all-
female institution, Kiss said, Agnes
Scott has encouraged its students to
have a social life that includes inter-
action with men. “Our relationship
with Georgia Tech is legendary,”
she said.
Agnes Scott, Kiss said, has been
on the cutting edge of many social
trends. The college, which prides
itself in a tradition of diversity,
graduated its first Asian student,
Korean-born Pilley Kim Choi, in
1926. The school’s first Latina stu-
dent, Trina Perez, enrolled in 1940
and its first Black student, Gay
Johnson, enrolled in 1964. The first
Black Agnes Scott graduate is Edna
Lowe of the class of 1971, whose
granddaughter is scheduled to en-
roll in the incoming class this fall.
More than 40 percent of the student
population is international.
Agnes Scott (Main) Hall, built in
1891, once housed the entire school.
The campus now spreads across 90
acres and has been ranked No. 4 by
Princeton Review in the category
“Most Beautiful College Campuses
in America.” It is on the National
Register of Historic Places and has
been designated by the city of De-
catur as a historic district. Princeton
Review also has ranked Agnes Scott
among its top 10 in such categories
as “Easiest to Get Around,” “Town
and Gown Relations,” and “Qual-
ity of Life.” Agnes Scott’s campus
has appeared in 32 motion pictures,
including the film version of A Man
Called Peter.
Environmental sustainability is
another Agnes Scott theme Kiss said
students, faculty and staff are proud
of. “We’re very green,” she noted.
In 2010, the Anna I. Young
Alumnae House became the first
building in Decatur to be designed
to Leadership in Energy and En-
vironmental Design standards. In
2011, Agnes Scott ranked No. 1 in
the state and No. 29 nationally in
the Recyclemania Grand Champi-
onship Division. That year, Agnes
Scott achieved 73 percent waste
diversion. Working in partnership
with the Clean Air Campaign, the
college has set a goal of becoming a
carbon-neutral institute by its 150th
anniversary in 2039.
Kiss, who is the founding direc-
tor of Duke University’s Kenan
Institute for Ethics, said she is
especially proud of the college’s
108-year-old student-run honor
code tradition. Each enrolling
“Scottie,” as students and alumnae
like to call themselves, signs an
honor code and takes a pledge: “As
a member of the student body of
Agnes Scott College, I consider my-
self bound by honor to develop and
uphold high standards of honesty
and behavior; to strive for full intel-
lectual and moral stature; to realize
my social and academic responsibil-
ity in the community. To attain these
ideals, I do therefore accept this
Honor System as my way of life.”
The honor code is one element
in a program designed to build lead-
ership and character, according to
Kiss. The result, she said, speaks
for itself. Agnes Scott has produced
See 125 years on page 19A
A) B) C) D)
Elizabeth Kiss (pronounced “quiche”) is Agnes Scott
College’s eighth president.
A timeline exhibit celebrating the college’s 125th
anniversary shows students in the 1960s, above, and
in the 1940s, below.
Agnes Scott (Main) Hall, built in 1891, once housed the entire school.
Continued From Page 1A
Church to provide haven for
child sex traf cking survivors
program before I took the
position at Holy Trinity.
Many organ scholars are
right out of college. Tat
would have been ideal. I’m
leaving a place I really love,”
he said. “But this is a once-
in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Holy Trinity’s rector,
the Rev. Greg Tallant,
said while the Decatur
church regrets losing
O’Berry, he, the staf and
congregation understand
the desire to accept the
prestigious appointment
at one of Great Britain’s 42
cathedrals. At Holy Trinity,
O’Berry oversees a full-
time, comprehensive music
program for adults, youth,
and children.
Blackburn Cathedral,
built as a parish church in
1831, became a cathedral—
the seat of a bishop—in
1926, making it one of
Great Britain’s newest
cathedrals. O’Berry called
it one of the country’s most
beautiful cathedrals.
O’Berry said that he has
studied music since he was
a child in south Georgia
and started studying the
organ at approximately age
11. “I was fabbergasted
by the power of the organ.
My parents couldn’t aford
regular organ lessons, so
I’m largely self-taught,” he
His plan when he
entered Mercer University
was to study business and
psychology, but in time he
decided that music was his
true calling. He studied
organ performance at Te
Townsend School of Music
at Mercer. “Organ music
is absolutely wonderful
when it’s done well,” he
commented, adding that
because the organ is such
a bold instrument, “when
it’s played poorly, it’s really
O’Berry said that when
his year ends, he might
apply for a one-year renewal
or he might apply for a year
at another British cathedral.
He noted that there are
a few large beautiful
cathedrals in the United
States, but those in England
are truly special. His dream,
he said, is to perform at
Canterbury Cathedral. “It’s
the seat of the Anglican
Communion—the mother
church. Tere’s all that
wonderful history and all
that goes with it.”
by Carla Parker
hree years ago, a 13-year-old
softball player noticed that a
strange man was constantly
watching her during games.
Whenever she played first base, the
stranger would stand behind the first
base fence and watch her. When she was
at third base, the stranger would go to
the third base fence. One day, when she
came out of the bathroom the man was
in her face when she opened the door.
The girl told her mother, Margie Gill,
the man scared her. Since then, Gill and
her husband began going to every prac-
tice and game to protect her. When Gill
saw the man and began observing his
behavior, Gill came to one conclusion.
“This guy was stalking my daughter,”
she said. “We don’t know where he came
from. We just noticed that he would ap-
pear at her softball games.”
Gill said it was obvious that the man
was stalking her daughter because her
daughter was the only Black girl on the
team and the stranger was also Black.
“The other parents assumed he was
with us and I told them, ‘no, he’s not with
us,’” Gill said.
Gill got the police involved, but was
told that they could not do anything be-
cause the stranger was not breaking any
laws. The situation became more fright-
ening when the same man got a job at
a clothing store two minutes from Gill’s
“When we went into the store and
saw him and he saw us, he jetted out the
door,” she said. “My husband [followed]
him, and he jumped in his car and drove
off. We knew it was something up with
this guy, and we listened to our instincts.”
Gill and her family never saw the
man again. A year later, Gill’s daughter
received a message on Facebook from a
person claiming that he was from Nige-
ria. The man was telling Gill’s daughter
that he loved her and was coming to get
her and take her to Nigeria.
Gill believes the two incidents were
attempts to recruit her daughter into
child sex trafficking.
Child sex trafficking has become a
major issue in metro Atlanta, including
DeKalb County. According to the FBI,
Atlanta is a hub for human traffick-
ing–the No. 1 city in the sex industry.
According to a 2014 report by the Urban
Institute, pimps can take in $33,000 a
week in Atlanta, where the sex business
brings in an estimated $290 million per
According to a 2010 research study by
the Schapiro Group, 12,400 men pay for
sex with young females in a given month
in Georgia; and more than 27,000 men
pay for sex young females in Georgia
multiple times per year.
Not only are 65 percent of men with
young females doing so in and around
suburban metro Atlanta, but 9 percent of
men who pay for sex with young females
in metro Atlanta gave their location as
near the airport, according to the Schap-
iro Group’s study.
Young girls who are bought are often
forced to perform sexual acts on men a
minimum of three times a night, accord-
ing to reports. If there is a major event in
town, a child can be forced to give sexual
favors up to eight times a night.
In an effort to save girls from this
environment, Gill’s church’s, Greater
Travelers Rest Baptist Church in Decatur,
started the Tabitha’s House initiative. The
initiative was a vision of the church pas-
tor, Dr. E. Dewey Smith, who wanted the
church to provide a place of “rest, safety
and comfort that empowers supports and
protects young females who have been
victimized through sex trafficking,” ac-
cording to the church’s website.
“Our main goal is to make a differ-
ence,” said Gill, who is the executive
director for Tabitha’s House, a 501c3
nonprofit organization. “We have to stop
this atrocity that’s happening in our own
According to GeorgiaCares, there are
only two locations in Georgia that house
sex trafficking survivors. Since launching
in June 2013, Gill and her staff have put
policies and procedures in place to get
the program running. Although they do
not have a facility yet to house the vic-
tims, they are still taking rescue calls for
adults and children.
“We never leave anyone out there,”
Gill said. “We provide services to every-
Tabitha’s House has also partnered
with the governor’s office, DeKalb Coun-
ty, local doctors and therapists, and the
department of human services in DeKalb
to provide services to those that have
been identified as child sex trafficking
“We want to provide things that can
keep that child occupied in a positive
way and to show them other productive
ways of living that are available,” Gill
said. “We want to match them up with
mentors so they can see a different side
of living.”
Gill said she and 137 volunteers are
communicating with schools, churches
and the community to spread the word
about child sex trafficking.
“We have to have more attentive eyes
on our children,” she said.
Tabitha’s House is accepting dona-
tions to have funds in place to take care
of the girls once the facility opens. Gill
said the average cost to care for a sex
trafficking survivor is $3,000 to $6,000 a
month per girl. The organization is also
accepting more volunteers.
“We need more people who can ad-
vocate,” Gill said. “We need more people
who cannot just lend their thoughts and
prayers, but we need some foot soldiers
who can get out there and help us spread
the word that children deserve to be able
to live freely and safely and not be ex-
City Tax 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Real & Personal 91,445,833 87,540,369 72,710,992 64,816,123 58,592,799 64,881,851
Motor Vehicles 6,178,880 5,223,890 5,088,980 5,462,080 6,244,650 5,266,300
Mobile Homes 0 0 0 0 0 0
Timber - 100% 0 0 0 0 0 0
Heavy Duty Equipment 0 0 0 0 0 0
Gross Digest 97,624,713 92,764,259 77,799,972 70,278,203 64,837,449 70,148,151
Less M & O Exemptions 1,424,977 1,629,182 1,595,543 1,618,667 1,683,228 1,798,483
Net M & O Digest 96,199,736 91,135,077 76,204,429 68,659,536 63,154,221 68,349,668
Gross M & O Millage 11.000 11.313 11.313 14.000 17.950 17.950
Less Rollbacks 0.000 0.000 2.687 3.950 0.000 3.200
Net M & O Millage 11.000 11.313 14.000 17.950 17.950 21.150
Total County Taxes Levied $1,058,197 $1,031,011 $1,066,862 $1,232,439 $1,133,618 $1,445,595
Net Taxes $ Increase -$18,101 -$27,186 $35,851 $165,577 -$98,820 $311,977
Net Taxes % Increase -1.68% -2.57% 3.48% 15.52% -8.02% 27.52%
by Daniel Beauregard
Interim DeKalb County
CEO Lee May and the
Board of Commissioners
are seeking a qualifed can-
didate to fll the District 5
commission seat left vacant
when May was appointed to
serve as interim CEO.
Gov. Nathan Deal re-
placed suspended CEO
Burrell Ellis after he was
indicted for allegedly
strong-arming county ven-
dors into giving him cam-
paign contributions.
According to county
offcials, District 5 cur-
rently serves approximately
145,000. An advertisement
was placed in several pa-
pers, including The Cham-
pion, describing the ideal
Candidates that apply
must be 21, “a citizen of this
state, qualifed and eligible
to vote and a resident of
the geographic area encom-
passed by District 5 at the
time of application for ap-
Additionally, all eligible
candidates must have been a
resident of DeKalb County
for at least a year prior to
appointment and must re-
main a resident of District 5
while serving.
Other criteria include
“knowledge of the DeKalb
County Government, fed-
eral, state and local law,
including but not limited to
the DeKalb County Code
and Code of Ethics is pre-
ferred. Strong communica-
tion skills, oral and written
and experience in public
Since being appointed
interim CEO, May said he
has served in both capaci-
ties, serving as a commis-
sioner and CEO. However,
May is unable to be a sitting
member of the Board of
Commissioners and is un-
able to vote.
A bill passed in the last
days of the 2013-14 legisla-
tive session made it possible
for an appointment in Dis-
trict 5.
“I think it’s appropriate
to have someone in that seat
that can vote on zoning mat-
ters or any other matter that
comes before the board,”
May said.
May said the county at-
torney has advised him to
make a nomination, which
will then have to be ap-
proved by the commission-
ers. He said he hoped the
process of reviewing ap-
plicants for the position will
happen quickly.
“It can happen quickly
and I would hope it would
happen quickly because
I think that the people in
District 5 deserve to have a
vote,” May said.
After receiving the ap-
plications, May will appoint
a three-member panel to
review all the applicants
and narrow down the feld
to two qualifed candidates.
One of the candidates will
then be submitted to com-
missioners for consider-
County offcials said
the meeting schedules and
updates will be provided to
commissioners as the pro-
cess gets underway.
County seeks commissioner to fll vacant seat
New traffic signals de-
signed to improve safety
and increase traffic flow, es-
pecially for left-turn move-
ments, have been installed
along Peachtree Industrial
Traffic signals at 11
Peachtree Industrial Bou-
levard intersections be-
tween North Peachtree and
Ashford Dunwoody roads
have been revamped by
the Georgia Department
of Transportation (GDOT)
with what are known as
four-section flashing yellow
arrow traffic lights.
The signals, designed to
provide extended time for
motorists to turn left after
yielding to any oncoming
traffic, were installed at
intersections with historic
heavy left-turning traffic
The new “flashing yellow
arrow” component of the
signals applies exclusively
to drivers making left turns.
The signal configuration
will be a vertical display of
four left turn arrows func-
tioning as follows:
When the solid red ar-
row is illuminated, no left
turn is allowed;
When solid yellow arrow
is displayed, drivers should
prepare to stop as the light
will soon turn red;
When the flashing yel-
low arrow is illuminated,
drivers may turn left but
must yield to pedestrians
and oncoming vehicles; and
When the solid green
arrow is displayed, drivers
may turn left.
New Georgia DOT trafc signals to improve
Peachtree Industrial Boulevard
The Mayor and the Atlanta City
Council will adopt a millage rate
which will require no tax increase.
All concerned citzens are invited
to the public hearings to be held at
the Atlanta City Hall Complex, 55
Trinity Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia
in the City Council Chambers
located on the Second Floor on
Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 6:00
The Governing Authority of the City of Clarkston has tentatively adopted a 
millage rate which will require an increase in property taxes by 27.23 
All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearing on this tax increase 
to be held at City Hall on June 24, 2014 at 7:00pm.  
Additional Public Hearings will be held at City Hall on July 1, 2014 at 10:30 
am and on July 1, 2014 at 7:00pm.   
This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 21.15 mills, an 
increase of 3.2 mills.  Without this tentative tax increase, the millage rate 
will be no more than 16.623 mills.   
The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $65,000 
is approximately $117.70.  The proposed increase on a non‐homestead 
property with a fair market value of $185,000 is approximately $334.60.
by Andrew Cauthen
Eighteen-year-old Givo-
nti Youngblood just gradu-
ated from Towers High
In the time before his
May 2014 graduation, he
spent two years in the care
of the Georgia Department
of Family and Children
Services (DFCS) and lived
in a group home; was once
locked up for eight days in
juvenile detention; had a
substance abuse problem;
and got into fights and crim-
inal activity.
But his life changed
with the help of the DeKalb
County Juvenile Court Ju-
dicial Citizen Panel Review
program, a group of volun-
teers who review the cases of
children in DFCS care.
“It’s a review about things
that are going on in the past,
what’s going on now, what’s
going on in the future,”
Youngblood said. “They
ask me what my needs and
wants are.”
Youngblood said the vol-
unteers helped him plan the
process of leaving the group
home and getting place-
ment in a transitional adult
group home. They also have
helped him in the process of
getting a job and consider-
ing his college options.
Without the panel,
Youngblood said he
“wouldn’t be successful
because I wouldn’t get the
services that I need to do
what I’m doing like…getting
The second-largest pro-
gram in the state behind
Fulton County, the DeKalb
County Juvenile Court Ju-
dicial Citizen Panel Review
program has 150 volunteers
who review the cases of the
approximately 570 children
in in foster care in DeKalb
County. Started in 1991, the
DeKalb program is one of 60
in the state.
The work of the panels
“is just a wonderful, won-
derful volunteer effort here
at the court—just a wonder-
ful resource that we have,”
said DeKalb County Juvenile
Court Chief Judge Desiree
Sutton Peagler.
“The panel is…the only
volunteer group that has
the authority by law to con-
duct hearings instead of a
judge,” Peagler said. “When
they hear the reviews, they
submit a written report and
then the judges review the
written report and based on
their findings and recom-
mendations we can take
action on what they recom-
Panel volunteers “are very
special people,” the judge
said. “We have had some
volunteers to work with us
for years—decades. They
are special people who have
a special heart and passion
for helping. They are unpaid
and even if they were paid,
there’s not enough money
that we could give them to
pay for the work that they
do here.”
Peagler said the judges’
jobs would be more difficult
without the panels.
“I’m not sure if we would
have enough hours in the
day…to conduct all of the
hearings that we would have
to conduct if the panels were
not authorized to hear some
of those cases for us,” Pea-
gler said. “Also, the insight
that they have is invaluable.
They are able to sit down
with the parties…in an
informal setting and have
a more conversational ap-
proach and get information
in a more relaxed setting—
information that we may
not been able to get in court,
based on the formality of
the proceedings we have in
Peagler said, “We go out
and speak to groups all of
the time about the work that
we do and they often ask,
‘What can we do to help?’
This is something you can
do to help where you have a
hands-on, direct impact on
finding a safe, permanent
for a child in foster care.”
Panel volunteer Pat De-
Bolt said she began volun-
teering on the panel after
being a juror in the trial of
man who was accused of
molesting his girlfriend’s
12-year-old daughter.
“To watch [the girl] tes-
tify just about broke my
heart,” DeBolt said.
DeBolt said she called
the prosecutor to find out
what had happened to the
girl—she was put into foster
Volunteer panel
aids DFCS children
See Volunteer on page 24A
Towers High School Principal Ralph Simpson congratulates Givonti Youngblood at his May graduation.
Youngblood said he benefted from the citizens panel review. Photos by Andrew Cauthen
From top left, legal secretary Panya Dixon; Vicki James, feld representative for the Council of Juvenile Court
Judges; program administrator Teinika Lewis; and volunteers, Njeri Griffn and Pat DeBolt.
mer of 2013, Hizer started
putting canvases up on the
craft-selling site Etsy. Before
long, she had enough buyers
to consider going full-time.
First friends and family,
then people she had never
heard of before became her
customers. In late October,
she got a call from the Jeffrey
Meier Gallery in New Jersey.
She now has pieces there, in
another gallery in Maryland
and in homes around the
world. She is currently ap-
proaching galleries in metro
“One thing just turned
into another and I’m do-
ing it full time now,” Hizer
said. “It’s great, I love it, it’s
so much fun. I don’t know
if I’ll go back to teaching, I
don’t think I will. I love it so
Hizer is in the process of
moving her inventory off of
Etsy and onto her website, She
has begun working with
interior designers and blog-
gers to highlight some of her
Though she does receive
direction for commissions,
most of her process is free-
flowing. Hizer starts with
a base color or colors, then
gradually adds more and
more layers until her signa-
ture swatches of color start
to take shape.
“I’m still trying to find
my voice in painting, and I
think that I have recently,
but I have tried different
techniques. I think the com-
mon theme throughout
is that they’re all colorful,
there’s a lot of movement
and different elements, and
they’re all very layered and
textured,” she said. “I love
playing with color and al-
lowing architecture and
landscape and style and just
kind of the world around me
influence those colors and
textures and shapes.”
Hizer remains self-taught,
with the exception of a few
art classes in high school and
college. She describes her
process as a mixture of re-
lease and refining over time.
“I’m no Picasso, I don’t
claim to be, I’m not for-
mally trained in it, and I’m
not moving to New York to
become the No. 1 artist in
America,” she said. “I just
want to spruce up people’s
homes, I want to do what I
love, and if I’m able to sell
something along the way,
then that’s great.”
Continued From Page 2A
Students Continued From Page 3A
Stone Mountain Continued From Page 6A
the skills needed to be suc-
cessful in school and in
the workplace,” said Judge
Desiree Sutton Peagler of
the DeKalb Juvenile Court.
“The holistic approach to
the T.I.M.E. program en-
sures that the youth who
successfully complete the
program are poised to suc-
ceed academically, profes-
sionally and socially. The
court is appreciative of the
support provided by the
families, government agen-
cies and business partners
who enthusiastically support
the students.”
The program is not just
for academically challenged
students. Hubbard said the
program also takes in good
students who might have
other issues.
“They either have prob-
lems with studying or pass-
ing the high school gradu-
ation test,” he said. “They
come in and interview with
us, and during that inter-
view process we find out
what their needs are and put
them in our program.”
Both the YAP and
T.I.M.E. programs have a 95
percent success rate with 61
students graduating from
the T.I.M.E. program and
more than 300 students
completing the YAP pro-
The T.I.M.E. program
also helps prepare the stu-
dents for college by taking
them on college tours, help-
ing them fill out financial
aid applications, providing
them with recommendation
letters and more.
Each program has a one-
year follow‒up program
where the program director
and case managers keep in
contact with students after
they graduate high school
and provide them with assis-
tance, if necessary.
“After a year they can
still call us, and we actually
employee them for summer
programs, summer jobs and
internships,” Hubbard said.
Hubbard said they
planned to renew the grants
to expand the program to
more schools and commu-
nity outreach centers.
“We want to meet more
of the public,” he said.
completing a short hike up
the mountain and are taught
about the history of its land-
Fourth‒graders explore
the wetlands on the moun-
tain and are instructed
about the American In-
dian culture. Fifth‒ and
sixth‒graders complete the
two‒mile hike to the top of
Stone Mountain and back
while learning about the
geology and weathering of
Stone Mountain. Fifth‒grad-
ers also identify and classify
animals along the way.
Seventh‒graders explore
the wetlands and investigate
plant diversity on Stone
Mountain, collect samples
and create a dichotomous
High school students go
through the service learn-
ing program where they are
taught about the importance
of biodiversity. Educators
hope they develop a feel-
ing of ownership of Stone
Mountain Park by work-
ing to restore a native plant
garden. The program is
designed to improve the en-
vironment and educate stu-
dents and the public about
invasive plants.
The association offers
outreach programs in De-
cember, January and Feb-
ruary, where the staff visit
to DeKalb and Gwinnett
schools and hold classes
about Stone Mountain.
During the summer
months, educational classes
are held for children and
adults. Some of the classes
feature bird walks, a wild-
flower walk, a photography
class and more.
“We encourage students
to come back with their
parents to look at some of
the things that they were
taught,” Thompson said.
The association also of-
fers science kits for teach-
ers. The six kits include
standard-correlated, hands-
on material for indoor and
outdoor classroom activities.
With a $50 deposit, teachers
can check out the kits and
reserve it for three weeks.
“They’re huge kits and
have been a great resource
for teachers,” Thompson
For more information
and programs at the Histori-
cal and Environmental Edu-
cation Center, visit www.
Students Jayla Dumas (left), Kenteri Foster and Alexis Cason pose with
former DeKalb District Attorney J. Tom Morgan during an event.
From left, students Errin Oppong-Agyare, Emandi Oppong-Agyare,
Adjani Donald and Ennis Oppong-Agyare pose after Stone Mountain
High School’s graduation.
Confederate Hall, located at the base of Stone Mountain Park’s walk-up
trail, was transformed into a historical and environmental education
center to teach students and visitors the geology and ecology of Stone
The Voice of Business in DeKalb County
DeKalb Chamber of Commerce
Two Decatur Town Center, 125 Clairemont Ave., Suite 235, Decatur, GA 30030

Notice of Public Hearing for
Clarkston Millage Rate

Notice is hereby given that prior to setting the tax millage
rate for 2014, the Clarkston Mayor and Council will hold a
Public Hearing at City Hall, 3921 Church Street, Clarkston
Georgia, on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at 7:00pm on the
proposed millage rate. The City Council is proposing to
adopt a millage rate for 2014 that exceed the rollback rate
by 27.23 percent. All concerned citizens are invited to

125 years Continued From Page 14A
The Board of Education of the City of Decatur has tentatively adopted a 
millage rate of 20.90 mills which will require an increase in property taxes 
by 6.31% for fiscal year 2014‐2015.  This is the same millage rate adopted 
for the current fiscal year 2013‐2014.  The millage rate is not increasing. 
 All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearing on this tax increase 
to be held at the Board Room of the Central Office, 125 Electric Avenue, 
Decatur, Georgia on Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 9:00 a.m.   
Times and places of additional public hearings on this tax increase are at 
the Board Room of the Central Office, 125 Electric Avenue, Decatur, 
Georgia on Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. and Tuesday, July 8, 2014 
at 6:00 p.m.  This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 20.90 
mills, an increase of 1.241 mills over the rollback millage.  Without this 
tentative tax increase, the millage rate will be no more than 19.659 mills.  
The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $300,000 
is approximately $186. 
Three charged in shooting death of area
One man is dead and two of his alleged
assailants are injured after a meeting near
Cedar Park Drive in Stone Mountain went
Police spokeswoman Mekka Parish con-
firmed that Anthony Edwards, 22; Jamie
Fajardo, 37; and Kaila Lofton, 18; have been
arrested in the shooting death of Quanter-
rian Dunn, 23; on May 30. The three alleged
attackers were arrested May 31.
“In a very generic sense, we believe those
parties met and that meeting escalated to a
gunfire exchange over a robbery,” Parish said.
Parish said one of the women was with
Dunn while Edwards and the other woman
waited in a car. Edwards, Fajardo and Lof-
ton are believed to have exchanged fire with
Dunn and killed him. Edwards and Fajardo
were also shot in the altercation. Officers
respond to calls from near the 2700 block
of North Decatur Road and the 1300 block
of Stone Mill Court found Fajardo and Ed-
wards, respectively, at those locations.
Edwards, Fajardo and Lofton were booked
on murder charges. Edwards and Lofton also
was charged with robbery, while Fajardo was
arrested for possession of cocaine with intent
to distribute and a violation of the Georgia
Controlled Substances Act.
“There is a possibility that the altercation
was in relation to drugs,” Parish said.
Man arrested in mid-May shooting deaths
of two Decatur women
An arrest has been made in the May 19
shooting that left two women dead.
Demetre Mason, 20, was arrested May
30 for the killing of Shaniqua Camacho, 20,
and Sonia Williams, 21. The women were
found dead of apparent gunshot wounds near
the Walden Pond apartments on Shellbark
Road in Decatur.
Police spokesperson Mekka Parish said
the incident is not related to any previous
shootings in DeKalb, and that Mason had an
“ongoing dispute” with one of the victims.
Teen arrested in Brookhaven shooting
A 14-year-old boy was arrested in connec-
tion to a June 4 shooting on Buford Highway.
Brookhaven police arrested the teen June
6 and found a firearm and other evidence
inside the teen’s apartment, according to
Brookhaven police spokesman Major Bran-
don Gurley.
Police responded to the 3200 block of Bu-
ford Highway just after midnight in reference
to shots fired. Gurley said officers were not
able to locate the shooter in the area. Officers
were later called to Grady Hospital in refer-
ence to a male with a non-life threatening
gunshot wound to the leg, according to Gur-
Police was able to identifying the 14-year-
old as the shooting suspect and he was lo-
cated and arrested at the Regency Woods
The teen was charged with aggravated as-
sault, possession of a handgun by minor, and
carrying a handgun without a license. He is
currently being held at the DeKalb Regional
Youth Detention Center.
outstanding achievers in
a wide range of fields. Its
graduates include Rhodes
Scholars, Oscar and Pulitzer
Prize winners.
Among them are Rach-
elle Henderlite of the class
of 1928, who was the first
woman to be ordained a
minister in the Presbyterian
Church, and Ila Burdette
of the class of 1981, who
is Georgia’s first female
Rhodes Scholar. Jean Toal
of the class of 1965 is chief
justice of the South Carolina
Supreme Court, the first
and only woman to hold
that position. Decatur’s first
female mayor, Ann Crich-
ton, graduated in Agnes
Scott’s class of 1961. Kay
Krill of the class of 1977 is
president and CEO of ANN
INC., the parent company of
Ann Taylor and LOFT.
Agnes Scott graduates
have particularly distin-
guished themselves in the
arts. Marsha Norman of
the class of 1969 won the
Pulitzer Prize for her play,
’night, Mother. She has
adapted other works for
Broadway plays, includ-
ing musical versions of The
Color Purple and The Secret
Garden. Grammy Award
winner Jennifer Nettles,
lead singer for the band
Sugarland, was in Agnes
Scott’s class of 1997. Cath-
erine Marshall, was a pop-
ular author in the 1950s. Her
biographical book, A Man
Called Peter, tells the story
of her husband Minister Pe-
ter Marshall—whom she
met when she was a student
at Agnes Scott—and his rise
to become chaplain of the
U.S. Senate.
The Agnes Scott story
is still being written, Kiss
said, noting that through the
college’s signature program
Agnes Advantage, a plan is
in place to assure each in-
coming student is supported
by a leadership development
team and that each has the
opportunity to study abroad.
She said the college is con-
tinually developing pro-
grams that position it to
continue producing what
its website describes as
“women unafraid to speak
their minds, who challenge
and support each other, who
assume leadership posi-
tions out of habit. These are
women ready to take on the
Agnes Scott College’s anniversary exhibit ends with a photo showing the
school today.
A group of Atlanta teen-
agers who have dealt with
extremely difficult circum-
stances in their lives recently
gathered for the Simon
Scholars Annual Awards
Banquet, celebrating the be-
ginning of a journey toward
realizing their American
Dream of higher education.
The Simon Scholars Pro-
gram, which provides schol-
arship assistance to capable
and qualified students faced
with challenging life situa-
tions, honored 15 graduat-
ing seniors from the DeKalb
County School District. The
ceremony and banquet took
place at the Emory Hotel
and Conference Center on
May 28.
“We are proud to honor
the high school class of 2014
Simon Scholars, who under
the care and guidance of our
organization, will continue
to take steps in overcoming
adversity, pursuing a college
education and ultimately
achieving the greatness
they were destined for,” said
Catherine Turk, Simon
Scholars Atlanta Chapter
program coordinator.
“Simon Scholars from
Chamblee Charter School
and Southwest DeKalb High
School came from a variety
of backgrounds and chal-
lenges—which included
being homeless for a period
of time, coming from finan-
cially struggling households,
leaving impoverished third-
world countries, taking care
of ailing parents, and suffer-
ing from debilitating illness-
es,” Turk said. “Despite their
challenges, these students
have gone above and beyond
their life situations to exhibit
a drive for success, and they
truly embody what a Simon
Scholar should be.”
Class of 2014 Simon
Scholars from Chamblee
Charter High School in-
clude Navila Akther, Mohd
Hasan, Demba Kah, Liza-
remi Luna-Sousa, Noor-E-
Alam Marshall, Oluwatun-
mise Olowojoba, Gabrielle
Pointer and Jennifer Tran.
Southwest DeKalb High
School Simon Scholars in-
clude Nekhena Campbell,
Lenora Ealy, Stephen Fitch,
Aria Gabriel, Chelsea Jack-
son, Zoe Macfoy and Ter-
ence Navalta.
The banquet’s theme,
“Coming of Age as a Simon
Scholar: Embracing the
Past, Enjoying the Present,
Envisioning the Future,” was
emphasized in each speech
as students remembered
the challenges that brought
them to the program; shared
their academic and personal
growth as a result of being
in the program; and focused
on the college and career op-
portunities that were ahead
of them.
Chamblee Charter High
School student Oluwa-
tunmise Olowojoba was
presented with the Simon
Scholar of the Year award
for her continual support of
her peers and active involve-
ment in various program
events and achievements,
including becoming a pub-
lished poet last summer.
Demba Kah of Chamblee
Charter High delivered a
moving speech about being
homeless, having to leave his
mother in another country,
and taking public trans-
portation to school each
morning at 4:30 a.m. and
returning home late in the
night—all while taking 11
Advanced Placement classes.
In addition, Luna-Sousa,
valedictorian of Chamblee
Charter High School, was
honored for taking 12 Ad-
vanced Placement classes
and graduating with a 4.1
GPA. Luna-Sousa and her
fellow Simon Scholars will
attend top-ranked universi-
ties, ranging from Cornell
University to Georgia In-
stitute Technology, Emory
University and Vanderbilt
The Simon Scholars were
recognized for earning GPAs
of 3.8 and above while tak-
ing an average of five to 12
Advanced Placement classes,
participating in multiple ex-
tracurricular activities, and
holding top leadership posi-
tions in their schools and
Scholarship recipients are
selected during their sopho-
more year in high school
and begin the Simon Schol-
ars Program during the
summer before their junior
year, and it extends through
their college education. Each
recipient receives $30,000 in
financial support, programs
and services. Eight students
are selected each year in
each high school.
Local high school students honored for overcoming adversity
Graduates from the DeKalb County School District were recently honored for their pursuit of higher education at the Simon Scholars annual awards banquet. These students have
received $30,000 in fnancial support, programs and services and will now attend universities across the nation. Photo provided
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DeKalb alum and former NFL player graduates college, works in DA ofce
by Carla Parker
For most football players, when they suffer a
season-ending injury they focus solely on rehab-
bing their injury to get back to the field as soon
as possible.
When Dunwoody High School alum Dexter
Jackson tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
last year during practice in the Canadian Football
League (CFL), he decided to do more while re-
habbing his knee. Jackson, who was one semester
shy of graduating college before entering the NFL
draft, decided to return to school to earn his de-
Jackson, 27, graduated from Appalachian
State University May 11 with a degree in criminal
justice and is currently working in the DeKalb
County District Attorney Office’s Records Divi-
“It felt good,” Jackson said of walking across
the stage to receive his degree. “It was more self-
fulfilling to finish and close that chapter.”
The 2004 graduate played wide receiver for the
Dunwoody Wildcats. In his senior year, he had
20 catches for 258 yards and scored three touch-
downs, according to the DeKalb County football
Jackson earned a football scholarship to Appa-
lachian State in 2004. In 55 games at Appalachian
State, Jackson recorded 110 receptions for 1,846
yards and 17 touchdowns. He garnered national
attention his senior season in 2007 when he was
featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated follow-
ing the Appalachian State’s 34-32 upset over No.
5-ranked Michigan.
Jackson caught three passes for 92 yards, in-
cluding touchdowns of 68 and 20 yards in the
“It really put Appalachian State on the map.
Scouts, agents and professional teams really took
notice and the phones started to ring,” Jackson
Jackson left school a semester early to pursue
his dream of becoming an NFL player. He was
impressive at the 2008 NFL Combine, wowing
scouts with his speed when he ran the 40-yard-
dash in 4.27 seconds, the fastest of all wide re-
ceivers at the Combine.
Two months later, he was drafted in the sec-
ond round (58th overall pick) by the Tampa
Bay Buccaneers. He signed a four-year contract
with the Buccaneers, but because of a coaching
change, Jackson only spent one season in Tampa
before he was waived.
The Carolina Panthers signed Jackson to their
practice squad during the 2009 season, and then
released him in 2010 after a coaching change.
The same situation happened in New York when
he was signed by the Jets in 2011 and then re-
leased a year later.
Unable to sign with another NFL team Jack-
son moved on to the CFL. Jackson said his short
time and lack of playing time in the NFL was due
to bad timing and lack of preparedness for the
business aspect of the league.
“I was prepared physically [for the NFL],” he
said. “It was the mental aspect of the exposure
that I wasn’t ready for.”
Jackson went to the CFL, signing with the
Hamilton Tigercats, in August 2013 to establish
more film for NFL coaches and scouts. However,
he tore his ACL in September and was ruled out
for the season. Jackson returned to Atlanta and
after talking with family, friends and his college
student advisor he decided to go back to school.
He was able to pay for school through the
NCAA Degree Completion Award. While com-
pleting classes online, Jackson had surgery to re-
pair the damage to his ACL, MCL and meniscus,
and then went through rehab.
Jackson said it was difficult to adjust to school
while rehabbing.
“It was a big task ,but it kept me focused be-
cause I had so much structure,” he said. “I knew I
had to juggle a lot and stay focused.”
Before he graduated in May, Jackson was in-
terning with the homicide unit at the DeKalb
courthouse. He was hired in March as a full-time
employee in the district attorney’s record divi-
sion. District Attorney Robert James said Jack-
son is a “tremendous asset” to the office.
“Life has a way of presenting challenges that
often deviate from our personal plans,” James
said. “I applaud Dexter for obtaining his college
degree and accomplishing another incredible
milestone in his life.”
Jackson said having a backup plan to football
makes life easier.
“When you have a degree and you have so
many things that you are good at, no one can
stop that vision you have,” he said. “Your dreams
can come true, and you can really accomplish the
things you set forth for yourself to achieve.”
Jackson plans to return to football. He has
two more months of rehab left and expects to be
ready to play, hopefully for a NFL for the upcom-
ing season.
Fiscal Year 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Assessment Ratio 50% 50% 50% 50% 50% 50%
REAL PROPERTY 1,162,026,500 1,157,883,900 1,149,844,600 1,168,366,733 1,168,516,565 1,326,596,268
PERSONAL PROPERTY 20,387,500 20,069,600 21,146,700 22,174,136 23,211,680 22,248,395
PUBLIC UTILITIES 16,473,600 11,673,700 18,933,750 14,297,200 14,639,953 15,152,714
MOTOR VEHICLE 50,081,000 46,119,000 46,119,000 49,311,000 52,979,900 47,331,663
GROSS DIGEST 1,248,968,600 1,235,746,200 1,236,044,050 1,254,149,069 1,259,348,098 1,411,329,040
LESS M&O EXEMPTIONS 66,710,729 63,620,529 65,428,635 65,244,138 66,558,918 66,486,118
NET M&O DIGEST 1,182,257,871 1,172,125,671 1,170,615,415 1,188,904,931 1,192,789,180 1,344,842,922
GROSS M&O MILLAGE 19.90 19.90 20.90 20.90 20.90 20.90
LESS ROLLBACKS 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
NET M&O MILLAGE 19.90 19.90 20.90 20.90 20.90 20.90
NET TAXES LEVIED $23,526,932 $23,325,301 $24,465,862 $24,848,113 $24,929,294 $28,107,217
NET TAXES $ INCREASE $760,397 ($201,631) $1,140,561 $382,251 $81,181 $3,177,923
NET TAXES % INCREASE 3.34% -0.86% 4.89% 1.56% 0.33% 12.75%
The Board of Education of the City of Decatur does hereby announce that the millage rate will be set at a meeting to be held at the
Board Room of the Central Office at 125 Electric Avenue, Decatur, Georgia on Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 6:30 PM
and pursuant to the requirements of O.C.G.A. 48-5-32, does hereby publish the following presentation of the current year's tax digest
and levy, along with the history of the tax digest and levy for the past five years.
Dunwoody alum Dexter Jackson stands in front of the
DeKalb County Courthouse where he currently works in the
DeKalb County District Attorney Offce’s records division.
Jackson recently earned his college degree and hopes
to return to the NFL after he recovers from an ACL injury.
Photo by Carla Parker
Oglethorpe junior Antho-
ny Maccaglia added a third
2014 All-America honor
to his belt June 3 as he was
named to the Capital One
Academic All-America Divi-
sion III men’s at-large second
The College Sports Infor-
mation Directors of America
(CoSIDA) voted for Mac-
Maccaglia becomes the
fourth Oglethorpe player
to be named to a CoSIDA
Academic All-America team,
joining John Boyle and Tim
Crowley of the 1997 baseball
team and Russ Churchwell
of the 2005 men’s basketball
team. He joins 14 other Divi-
sion III student-athletes on
the 2013-14 men’s at-large
second team and 44 others
over all three at-large aca-
demic all-America teams.
The junior psychology
major from Tampa, Fla.,
has maintained a 3.55 GPA
at Oglethorpe while also
minoring in Spanish. To be
eligible for the Capital One
Academic All-America team,
student-athletes must have
a cumulative GPA of at least
3.30 and be significant con-
tributors to their teams. They
also must have acquired
sophomore academic stand-
ing and have been enrolled at
their institution for at least a
calendar year.
Maccaglia joins athletes
participating in tennis,
swimming, ice hockey, vol-
leyball and wrestling, and
golf on the Division III men’s
at-large second team.
The at-large ballot con-
tains participants in sports
that do not have a specific
academic All-America team
assigned to them. CoSIDA
awards sport-specific aca-
demic All-America honors
for men’s and women’s soc-
cer, football, women’s volley-
ball, men’s and women’s bas-
ketball, baseball and softball,
and men’s and women’s track
and field/cross country. Par-
ticipants in all other sports
go through the at-large bal-
Maccaglia was named
a Division III Ping first
team All-American for the
third straight year by the
Golf Coaches Association
of America (GCAA) last
This marks the second
national academic award
Maccaglia has received, as
he was named a Division
III Cleveland Golf/Srixon
All-America scholar by the
GCAA. He also garnered
Capital One academic All-
District honors for District 5
last month, leading up to the
naming of the academic All-
America teams.
Maccaglia was named the
SAA men’s golfer of the year
and to the All-SAA first team
in April after earning three
individual medals over the
course of the 2013-14 season.
He will become the first
Division III golfer to com-
pete in a Palmer Cup later
this month when he travels
to Surrey, England, to take
part in the three-day Ryder
Cup-style event pitting the
best collegiate golfers from
the United States against
those from Europe. That
event takes place June 26-28
at the historic Walton Heath
Golf Club.
Decatur Bulldogs
Emory University se-
nior Gabrielle Clark has
been named the 2014 D-III
woman of the year nominee
for tennis.
Executive Director Chris
Voelz of The Collegiate
Women Sports Awards
(CWSA) made the an-
nouncement June 5.
Clark is one of 11 final-
ists for the DIII woman ath-
lete of the year honor. This
will be voted on at the end
of the academic year by na-
tional balloting among 1,000
NCAA member schools.
Clark recently finished
her Emory career with her
second NCAA Division
III singles championship,
becoming the fifth player
in Division III women’s ten-
nis history and the second
in the program’s history to
win multiple singles titles.
She was named the Intercol-
legiate Tennis Association
(ITA) Division III senior
player of the year and picked
up her third University
Athletic Association (UAA)
most valuable player honor.
She helped the Emory
Eagles to the program’s sixth
national title and finished
the year with a singles re-
cord of 24-4 that saw her go
undefeated in Division III
The senior from Chicago,
Ill., closed out her career
with a singles record of
108-21 with her wins total
ranking second all-time at
Emory. She finished her
career at doubles as the pro-
gram’s all-time leader with
111 victories.
“Being a collegiate athlete
has truly been an unbeliev-
able experience,” stated
Clark. “I’ve grown so much
as a player and individual on
and off the court. Without
the collegiate experience, in
particular the Division III
experience, I would not be
the person I am today.”
“Gabbie has been a great
leader, competitor and
teammate during her time
at Emory,” said head coach
Amy Bryant. “In addition
to the substantial time com-
mitment to her sport, she
has been steadfast in giv-
ing back to community in
a variety of ways. She is an
outstanding ambassador for
both Emory and the sport of
women’s tennis, and certain-
ly an inspiration to female
The Collegiate Women
Sports Awards has honored
the nation’s top NCAA
women athletes for 37 years,
recognizing superior athletic
skills, leadership, academic
excellence and eagerness to
participate in community
Oglethorpe’s Anthony Maccaglia earns
academic All-America honors
Emory’s Gabrielle Clark
named D-III Woman of
the Year nominee
See Wrestling on page 19A
of the
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with other dogs. She is so super sweet and absolutely loves to play in water. Pittas has been patiently waiting to meet a
family to take her home, but keeps getting passed by because it’s hard to see her beauty with the dark foors and bad
lighting in the kennel. Please don’t let this be the reason Pittas doesn’t fnd the home she deserves. Come to the shelter
and ask to meet her; you will not regret it. You’ll be glad you took the time to meet this precious girl.

Throughout June all dogs and cats ages six months or older are only $25! Adoption fee includes spay/neuter, vac-
cinations and microchip and more! Come meet Pittas at the DeKalb shelter or for more information please call (404)
294-2165 or email
The adoptions number: (404) 294-2165 • For adoption inquiries:
For rescue inquiries:
For volunteer and foster inquiries:
Gabrielle Clark was named the 2014 D-III woman of the year nominee for
Anthony Maccaglia was named to the Capital One Academic All-America
Division III men’s at-large second team.
care—and was encouraged
to join the panel review.
“Once you get in it, it
touches your heart,” DeBolt
said. “I could be playing golf,
but this to me seems a better
way to spend my time.
“I had the time, and it
was just something that was
more purposeful than being
in Dunwoody and not do-
ing something for these kids
whom fate had dealt a bad
hand,” DeBolt said.
Vicki James, a field rep-
resentative for the Council
of Juvenile Court Judges,
helps facilitate the panel
review process, ensure that
guidelines are followed and
“keep the judges abreast of
any new issues that come up.
“We’re reviewing the cas-
es of children in foster care,”
she said about the reviews.
“We want them to find a
permanent home as soon as
possible whether that’s going
back to the home that they
were taken from, going back
to a parent or legal guard-
ian, being placed with an
appropriate relative, some-
one else taking guardian-
ship—an important person
in that child’s life …if the
parent can’t resolve the is-
sues that brought [the child]
into care; or even adoption.
We just want to make sure
that these kids find safe and
healthy and nurturing for-
ever homes.”
While the children are in
DFCS care, “we try to en-
sure as best we can that all
of their needs are being met,
the medical, dental, emo-
tional, educational. We get
to ask the tough questions—
what’s going on with this
kid?” said Teinika Lewis,
program administration.
“It’s a system of checks
and balances,” Lewis said.
“We don’t like for them to
linger in care, but while they
are in care then all of their
needs are being met.”
The DeKalb County Ju-
venile Court Judicial Citizen
Panel Review program is
currently seeking new vol-
unteers. Potential volunteers
must complete an applica-
tion and pass a background
and reference check. An ori-
entation for new volunteers
is scheduled for July 24-25
at DeKalb County Juvenile
Court, located at 4309 Me-
morial Dr., Decatur. For
more information, contact
Lewis at (404) 294-2738.
Continued From Page 17A
Gang activity is
focus of new eforts
by Lauren Ramsdell
DeKalb County Sheriff Jeff Mann announced a coali-
tion of area law enforcement efforts to crack down on
gangs and contraband within metro Atlanta jails.
“We have worked with the DeKalb County Police De-
partment and the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Of-
fice for a number of years, and we have expanded that to
include our sister organizations in the metro area,” Mann
said. “Over the next few months we will spread through-
out the metro area … in respect to gathering information
in other jails.”
Mann emphasized the first part of the cooperation is
for fact-finding and intelligence gathering. The sheriff
said there has been an increase in gang-related crime in
the county, though in many cases the suspects are only
“loosely” affiliated with one gang or another. He declined
to provide details on what gangs are active in the county.
The first concentrated effort began June 5, when a
group of 120 metro-area officers conducted a shakedown
at the DeKalb County Jail.
“It takes a lot of resources to do that, but it’s also im-
portant that we work together and understand the tactics
for the various organizations,” Mann said.
Mann said that contraband cell phones are not really a
problem in the DeKalb jail, but inmates still get informa-
tion and instructions using stationary telephones.
Other area jails will be randomly selected in the fol-
lowing months to undergo similar organized searches.
From left, Njeri Griffn and Pat DeBolt are volunteers with the DeKalb
County Juvenile Court Citizen Panel Review program. Photo by Andrew