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We’re Social
FRIDAY, AUGUST 8, 2014 • VOL. 17, NO. 20 • 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 GED on page 13A
See May on page 13A
Dr. W. B. Mitchell Sr. Education Project marketing director Torrey Cloud speaks to a
student in the computer lab. Photo by Carla Parker
Self sufciency program excels
by Carla Parker
Education was always an impor-
tant element to the late Dr. W. B.
Mitchell, Sr.
When he died in 2009, his
daughter, Sandra Cloud, knew the
best way to honor his life was to
create a program in his name that
provides educational resources to at-
risk students. The Dr. W. B. Mitchell
Sr. Education Project was created
in 2010 to assist in the transition of
at-risk individuals from negative
dependency to independence and
self-sufficiency through educational
training and efficacy.
Cloud said her father, who had
nine children, made sure that get-
ting an education was his children’s
number one priority.
“He went to business school, he
was also a barber at one time but he
retired as a truck driver,” Cloud said.
“He drove for many years when he
raised his kids. He encouraged all
of his children to go to school and
pretty much each child made their
way into the community to get good
Mitchell, who pastored Greater
Christ Temple Holiness Church in
Atlanta for 45 years, also stressed
education in his church.
“When his parishioners got ready
to go off to college or start a busi-
ness, he encouraged them to do so
Lee May: ‘Hang in there’
by Andrew Cauthen
Two hours. That’s how long
interim DeKalb County CEO Lee
May had to prepare when he took
over his current position in June
“Most people when they enter
into an executive role or any elected
office have a transition period of
two to five months before they ac-
tually take office,” said May, who
was appointed to the interim posi-
tion after county CEO Burrell El-
lis was suspended by the governor
after being indicted on multiple
felony charges, including extortion.
“I received the call at 4 p.m.
from the governor’s office,” May
said. “I was told the announcement
would be made at 5 p.m. and I was
sworn in at 6 p.m. I had a two-hour
“That was an interesting mo-
ment, not just for me, but for the
county as a whole because we were
in a position that, as a county, we’d
never been in before—the uncer-
tainty, the anxiety about the future
of the leadership of DeKalb,” said
May, recounting when he got the
call from Gov. Nathan Deal to step
into the interim county CEO posi-
On July 30, May reviewed his
first year in office and his outlook
for 2014 during a lunch sponsored
by the DeKalb Chamber of Com-
“I knew what it was like being a
commissioner—one of seven,” May
said. But it was different “operating
a government with 700,000 resi-
dents, approximately 6,500 people
that work for the county [and] a
billion-dollar budget.”
When asked about the effect of
the suspended CEO’s corruption
trial and various ethics complaints
filed against May and county com-
missioners, May said his goal is to
restore trust in the government.
“We’ve had to take some tangible
steps to move us in the right direc-
Jovita Moore of WSB-TV questions interim DeKalb County CEO Lee
May about his frst year in offce.
May describes the ethics and corruption allegations facing
county leaders as “a rough patch in our marriage.”
The interim CEO greets constituents before his
candid discussion. Photos by Andrew Cauthen
Business ........................16A
Classifed .......................17A
Education .....................15A
Sports ...................... 18-19A
LOcAL, 3A LOcAL, 14A LOcAL, 2A

Stop bullying now
stand up • speak out
Teacher’s mystery pain pointed to lung cancer
by Andrew Cauthen
It was a little pain in her side in 2012 that first
sent Shermaine Lee to her doctor. She would
later discover she had Stage IV lung cancer.
“I was going along with my life. I was a doc-
toral student. I was taking care of my family,
working, doing everything that every woman
does—the career woman,” said Lee, a member of
the organizing committee for the Fifth Annual
Atlanta Free to Breathe 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile
Walk on Aug. 16. The organization has a goal to
raise funds to support the mission of working to
double lung cancer survival by 2022.
Lee is an 18-year veteran educator who is a
lead teacher in special education for the DeKalb
County School District, working at four charter
schools: Leadership Prep, DeKalb Prep, The Mu-
seum School and DeKalb PATH Academy.
When the pain first came, she “didn’t think
anything of it,” said Lee, a resident of Ellenwood
who has been married for 15 years to husband
Larico. The couple has two sons, Larico Jr., 13,
and Corbin, 6.
“I went anyway after so long and the doc-
tor and I [determined] that it might be a little
stress—I had a lot going on,” said Lee, who was
prescribed pain medication. The pain would “go
and come, go and come.”
After about four or five months, I decided that
I probably needed to do something else,” Lee said.
She went back to the doctor for more testing “just
to make sure everything was OK.”
“Still, everything was just fine,” she was told.
Two months later Lee was rear-ended in a
car accident. She took that opportunity to get
checked again.
“It was fine. I still didn’t think anything was
wrong,” Lee said.
Another month passed and the pain reap-
peared, Lee said.
“It appeared as it had never appeared before,”
Lee said. “It was very, very sharp, and I really
thought that I was not going to make it,” she said.
After another round of testing, she was diagnosed
with lung cancer on Dec. 14, 2012.
“I was very, very, very surprised,” said Lee,
who has never smoked. She was 37 at the time.
During the 2012 Christmas season, “my family
and I were sitting on pins and needles wondering
what was going on with my body.”
In January 2013, Lee received the final diagno-
sis that she had Stage IV lung cancer.
“I had gone through so many tests that I had
begun to become a little numb to the word ‘can-
cer,’” Lee said.
At first, she “really couldn’t focus on anything
else,” Lee said. “And I said, ‘OK.’ I felt like I could
move forward. I was very, very shocked, but I felt
like I could do something.”
Lee and her doctors are “baffled” about how
she got lung cancer.
“That’s why we at Free to Breathe are working
hard trying to do research to get the answers that
we need to double the survival rate by 2022,” Lee
said. “We want to make sure that research is be-
ing conducted so that we will know the different
After her diagnosis, Lee said she “took an
interest in lung cancer and research and surviv-
ing and things that I could do to be a part of the
community. I decided to walk and after walking
with them and seeing what a great establishment
it was, I decided to…work with them this year.”
Lee is helping to raise money for Free to
Breathe with her 10-person team, She’s In His
Hand. The team has a goal of raising $500 for the
fight against lung cancer, which more than 2,000
people are diagnosed with each year.
Lee said she wants to “be an example of a
survivor.” And she has a message for others with
lung cancer: “No one deserves to have lung can-
“Be strong because we are all working togeth-
er,” Lee said. “We’re going to do this. This number
[of victims] will be decreased by 2022.”
Lee has undergone three rounds of chemo-
therapy and is currently on medication. She has
tumors in the brain, lung, lymph node and liver
and may have to undergo more chemotherapy.
“I’m working hard to get free from that,” Lee
For more information about the Atlanta Free
to Breathe walk, go to
Lung cancer victim Shermaine Lee, center, poses atop Stone Mountain with sons Larico Lee II, left, and Corbin, right. Photos provided
Shermaine Lee, right, with her husband, Larico.
Ebola patients
treated at Emory
by Kathy Mitchell
A driver hurrying through morning
or afternoon traffic dashes right past a
school bus loading or unloading children
even though the bus has its safety arm ex-
tended and its lights flashing. If no police
officer is around, the driver has gotten
away with a violation of state and local
law—or has he?
If that driver passed a City Schools of
Decatur school bus, the violation may
have been caught on camera and the
driver may be made to pay a fine. When
school opened in Decatur Aug. 4, buses
for the first time were equipped with
CrossingGuard®, a completely automated
system that records on video cars moving
past the bus after it stops.
City Schools of Decatur this month
became the 12th school district in Geor-
gia to use the technology, which was au-
thorized in 2011 by the Georgia General
Assembly. The system is also in use in
10 Georgia county systems and the city
of Marietta. Through a partnership with
Arizona-based American Traffic Solu-
tions (ATS), providers of the camera
system, the districts use technology to
help address what Decatur officials call
“the growing problem of illegal passing of
school buses that are stopped and board-
ing or disembarking children.”
In 2011, Georgia led the nation in fa-
talities resulting from school bus safety
arm violations, according to the city of
ATS Senior Vice President of Com-
munications, Marketing and Public Af-
fairs Charles Territo said the system is
highly effective, noting that nationwide
more than 99 percent of the drivers who
have been charged with a school bus stop
arm violation based on use of a Crossing-
Guard® camera, have not been guilty of a
second violation.
Small external high-resolution cam-
eras automatically capture an image of
a vehicle’s license plate and a brief video
clip of the possible violation. In addition
to capturing video, the system embeds a
data bar that includes GPS coordinates,
date and time and other relevant violation
information, creating what ATS officials
call “a comprehensive evidence package.”
Police review the videotape to determine
whether a violation has occurred.
Territo said the relatively new tech-
nology has been in use in Georgia since
2012 and has captured more than 20,000
school bus stop arm running events in
the state. “Videotaping from a vehicle is
not new technology,” he added, “What’s
new is that it’s all completely automated.
The bus driver does not get involved. He
or she is free to focus on what’s most im-
portant—taking care of the children.”
In a video explaining the new system,
City Schools of Decatur Superintendent
Phyllis Edwards said, “We want to be
sure everyone understands that this is
about safety first. Our priority is keeping
students as safe as possible going to and
from school.”
This is the first year City Schools of
Decatur has operated its own fleet of bus-
es. “This is very exciting for us,” Edwards
said. “We want to be sure children are
safe and comfortable as they are trans-
ported to and from school.”
“We transport more than 1,000 chil-
dren on 19 buses each day,” City Schools
of Decatur Transportation Director Sim-
one Elder said in the public service video.
“Even one driver illegally passing a school
bus is a problem. A child could be hurt; a
child could be killed.”
In Georgia, stop-arm violations are
civil, not criminal, infractions and are not
reported to insurance companies and do
not result in points on drivers’ licenses.
The penalty for such a violation is a $300
fine for the first violation, $750 for the
second, and a third violation in a five-
year period will result in a $1,000 fine.
Decatur Police Chief Mike Booker
said in an announcement of the program
he hopes it will foster greater awareness
in the community about safe and legal
driving practices “to better protect our
most valued treasure, Decatur’s children.”

New technology to catch
school bus trafc violations
by Andrew Cauthen
Two American Ebola vic-
tims have been transported
from Africa for treatment at
DeKalb County’s Emory Uni-
versity Hospital.
The patients were taken by
ambulance from Dobbins Air
Force Base in Marietta to a
special isolation facility at the
Dr. Kent Brantly arrived at
Emory University Hospital on
Saturday, Aug. 2, at approxi-
mately 12:30 p.m.
“Our family is rejoicing
over Kent’s safe arrival, and we
are confident that he is receiv-
ing the very best care,” his wife
Amber said Aug. 3 in a state-
ment. “We are very grateful to
the staff at Emory University
Hospital, who have been so
nice and welcoming to us. I
was able to see Kent today. He
is in good spirits.”
Nancy Writebol, a mis-
sionary with the SIM Chris-
tian mission organization,
arrived Tuesday, Aug. 5.
“We are so grateful and en-
couraged to hear that Nancy’s
condition remains stable and
that she will be with us soon,”
said Bruce Johnson, president
of SIM USA, in a statement
Aug. 4. “Her husband, David,
told me Sunday her appetite
has improved and she request-
ed one of her favorite dishes
–Liberian potato soup–and
The two Americans were
infected during an outbreak
of the virus, which is “trans-
mitted through direct contact
with the blood or bodily flu-
ids of an infected person or
through exposure to objects,
such as needles, that have
been contaminated with in-
fected fluids,” according to a
statement by Emory Univer-
sity Hospital.
According to the Cen-
ters for Disease Control and
See Ebola on Page 20A
Ebola, Emory, the CDC and You
“We know how to stop Ebola,” Dr.
Thomas Frieden, director for the
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC), on NBC News,
Sunday morning, Aug. 3.
I believe you, Dr. Frieden, but
until last month I also believed that
our CDC knew how to handle and
secure anthrax and small pox. I
am not a conspiracy theorist. The
CDC, as well as the Emory
University medical complex, are
both rightfully great sources of pride
for Atlantans. The Clifton corridor
is among the largest employment
centers in the region. I have faith
that the medical professionals,
virologists and infectious disease
specialists nearby know what they
are doing in treating two American
patients fighting the Ebola virus for
their lives.
And yet, when there is no
vaccination or documented cure/
treatment regimen with over-
whelming results, it seems the more
logical and less expensive path to
the same result would have been
to take an experienced medical
team, as well as CDC and U.S.
health care hygiene protocols, and
a secure medical lab or treatment
facility to the patients and larger
African population base still facing
a pandemic.
When Dr. William Foege, a
noted epidemiologist and former
head of the CDC and later the
Carter Center, led global efforts
to eradicate smallpox, he did so
in the field, among the infected
population, and not from a sterile
lab at the CDC HQ in Atlanta.
Given that the speed of panic can
spread even faster than a pandemic,
world health authorities should
easily comprehend the greater
and compelling need for regularly
disseminating fact when fear is in
the air. In the villages and African
nations where the Ebola virus has
already taken hundreds of lives,
villagers now believe that western
health care workers are the carriers
of the disease. Health workers there
attempting to give care as well as
distribute soap and bleach are being
treated as lepers and pariahs by the
very population they are trying to
If, as Dr. Frieden has promised,
we do know how to stop Ebola,
would it not make more sense to
demonstrate those potentially life-
saving, basic preventative health
care measures near or among those
populations being most impacted? 
Even if Dr. Kent Brantly (U.S. Ebola
patient No. 1) and his colleague
are successfully treated here, will
their recovery echo sufficiently to
be heard in West Africa where the
threat is real and growing?
The Ebola virus was first
identified in 1976 during an
outbreak near the Ebola River
in the Democratic Republic of
Congo. Fruit bats are considered
among the likely hosts of the virus,
and involved in the spread of the
virus via the food chain. Fruit bats
drop partially eaten fruit, ingested
by other animals, which along with
the bats themselves are often later
food for area villagers. 
Fortunately, Ebola and other
types of viral hemorrhagic fevers
are reportedly not airborne viruses
and cannot be spread simply by
breathing, close proximity or casual
contact. Infection occurs following
direct contact with the blood, urine,
fecal matter or other bodily fluid
secretions of an infected animal or
human, which would also include
digestion of a cooked carcass. 
Though I trust that our global
health care experts would not take
inordinate risks to infect themselves
or their colleagues, I am also
mindful of the possibility of human
error, and in a time of crisis or
significant risk, the common sense
approach of weighing potential risk
versus reward. 
Some of the best information
distributed to the public during
this rapidly evolving effort of
humanitarian assistance has been
distributed by another Atlanta-
based health expert, WebMD,
( as well as
multiple local news media outlets,
explaining the realities of disease
transmission, as well as minimizing
the blood and gore depictions of
the Ebola virus and/or the spread
of a pandemic as presented by
That said, and with all due
respect and admiration to our
neighbors and friends at Emory
University and the CDC, we expect
and require a bit more information
flow than a curt, “We’ve got this.”
 Daily briefings and a much
more organized public education
effort are the very least of what the
many non-medical staff bureaucrats
within both health care empires
should be delivering each day. 
Without improved information
flow you can expect a lot more from
the panic and paranoia side, and
even occasionally humorous mock
news, such as the appointment
of a security director for this
special public health initiative...
renowned area law enforcement
professional, Sheriff Deputy Rick
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
Two undecillion dollars.
Tat’s how much money a Man-
hattan man is reportedly suing the
city of New York, the Au Bon Pain
cofee chain, Hoboken University,
LaGuardia Airport, among others, for
an alleged dog bite.
Two undecillion dollars, in case
your bank account hasn’t gotten that
high recently, is two times 10 to the
36th power dollars or $2,000,000,000
Te man fled the two-undecillion-
dollar lawsuit in June afer allegedly
sufering a bite on his middle fnger
by a rabies-infected mutt on a city
According to the Centers for Dis-
ease Control and Prevention, rabies
is a viral disease transmitted through
the bite of a rabid mammal. Rabies
can infect the central nervous system
and ultimately cause disease in the
brain and death.
Te man’s best evidence for his
claim of being bitten by a rabid dog is
the fact that he has fled a frivolous,
two-undecillion-dollar lawsuit.
In fact, if you look up “frivolous
lawsuit” in a dictionary it will say
“the type of punitive legal action fled
when one asks for two undecillion
dollars afer being infected with brain
altering rabies.”
Incidentally, with two undecillion
dollars, experts say, you can buy pret-
ty much everything. I mean, literally,
Te rabies infected man is not the
only one who has fled a frivolous
lawsuit recently.
The puck stops her
A lawsuit—perhaps less frivolous,
but certainly interesting—fled by
two grandparents, claims the L.A.
Kings hockey team destroyed their
sex lives.
Te couple, Trina and Dino
Adam, said they attended their
granddaughter’s birthday party in Jan-
uary at the L.A. Kings Icetown sports
center in Riverside, Calif.
According to reports, the grand-
parents said they were in a room away
from the rink when a hockey puck
shot into the room, hitting Trina in
the head.
Trina was knocked unconscious
by the puck and her hubby caught her
before she fell to the ground. Trina,
according to reports on the lawsuit,
sufered nausea, headaches, mood
swings and memory loss from the
wayward puck.
Less than a week afer the incident,
she lost her balance, fell down some
stairs and fractured her wrist—all due
to the hockey injury.
Dino, who joined the lawsuit as an
injured party, said that he no longer
has the “enjoyment of sexual rela-
tions” with his wife. 
Te couple wants the L.A. Kings
to pay for medical expenses and other
‘Most frivolous’ lawsuit dismissed
In a lawsuit that a judge called “the
most frivolous complaint I have ever
seen,” a New Jersey man sued Wal-
Mart and Ticketmaster because he
didn’t get the Beach Boys tickets he
Edward J. Mierzwa reportedly
used a self-service Ticketmaster kiosk
to purchase Beach Boys tickets that
went on sale at 10 a.m. Feb. 25, 2012.
Mierzwa said that at 10 a.m. he tried
to purchase “reserved seats” for $153
per ticket, but was unable to because
a Walmart employee was not im-
mediately available to complete the
“Te opportunity was squan-
dered,” according to the lawsuit. Mier-
zwa was only able to get “outer perim-
eter” tickets for $91.50 at 10:04 a.m.,
and thus the reason for the lawsuit.
Mierzwa alleged that because no
employee was available to help him—
remember, it was a self-serve kiosk—
he did not get the seats he wanted and
that was a violation of the New Jersey
Consumer Fraud Act.
Te lawsuit was tossed out. Mier-
zwa appealed. Earlier this month, the
lawsuit was tossed out again.
Where did it go?
On July 24, the Associated
Press reported that an Alabama man
is suing the Princeton Baptist Medical
Center in Birmingham for medical
According to the report, Johnny
Lee Banks Jr. of Birmingham went to
the hospital in June for a routine cir-
Banks claims doctors mistakenly
neutered him.
Te lawsuit says Banks went to
Princeton Baptist Medical Center in
Birmingham last month for a circum-
cision. Te suit alleges the man’s penis
was gone when he awoke.
Te accidental penile amputation
has caused Johnny extreme pain and
his wife Zelda, who also joined the
lawsuit as an injured party, is also suf-
A hospital spokeswoman said the
claims lack merit. A hospital spokes-
man was too distraught to comment.
Johnny Lee’s lawsuit doesn’t spec-
ify a dollar amount, but 11 out of 10
males agree that if there is anything in
the world worth two undecillion dol-
lars, it’s a penis.

Let Us Know What You Think!
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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 Ofcer: Dr. Earl D. Glenn
Managing Editor: Andrew cauthen
Production Manager: Kemesha Hunt
Photographer: Travis Hudgons
Staf Reporters: carla Parker
Lauren Ramsdell
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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.
Andrew cauthen
News Editor
The two-undecillion-dollar lawsuit

Terry Bassner grew
up with a love of reading.
Her mother, a librarian,
instilled a love of reading
in her when she was very
“She got her masters
from Columbia University
in library science, which
was rare in those days,”
Bassner said. “I think of
her when I go to the li-
Bassner volunteers one
day per week at the Avis
G. Williams-Toco Hills
branch of the DeKalb
Public Library system.
When she retired from
working in insurance,
Bassner said she knew
she wanted to keep busy
and give back. She also
works as a “baby buddy”
at Children’s Healthcare of
“I love children,” she
said. “My children are
grown and my grandchil-
dren are grown and I like
doing what I can.”
Bassner said at the
library she usually does
whatever is required of
her, from shelving, to sen-
sitizing, to filing books.
At Children’s, she feeds,
soothes and rocks infants
in the neonatal intensive
care unit. She said she can
usually get them to sleep,
which seems to be healing
for the babies.
Over her seven years
volunteering, Bassner said
she has seen some chang-
es at the library, mostly a
reduction in foot traffic.
“There [are] a lot of
people that download
eBooks,” she said. “At
times it seems to be less
traffic because people are
using their computers and
their e-readers. People
do come there to use the
computers an awful lot.”
Bassner also attends
many events at the library
that keep her social and
active. She said she is not
one to sit around and do
“I was a psychology
major in college,” she said.
“I have always felt that it is
important to interact with
people and at this stage in
my life I felt like I wanted
to give back to the com-
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.
Family gets new home
by Carla Parker
A family of four is enjoying a once-va-
cant home that has been was renovated and
donated to them.
On July 26, the Dukuly-Sasay family,
along with Habitat for Humanity—DeKalb,
house sponsors and volunteers celebrated
the completion of the home. The house was
donated by Bank of America to Habitat for
Humanity—DeKalb, which renovated the
home for the family with help from other
sponsors and volunteers.
“During our 26-year history, we have
helped over 70 families achieve the dream of
homeownership,” said Bob Boyd, executive
director of Habitat for Humanity—DeKalb.
“We are so grateful to all of the construction
leaders, volunteers, and house sponsors that
made the dream of homeownership possible
for the wonderful Dukuly-Sasay family.”
Habitat for Humanity-DeKalb support-
ers and volunteers worked with the family
to renovate the vacant home for Samuka
Dukuly-Sasay, his wife, Mariama, and their
two children.
“When you have a home, you are free,”
she said. “Freedom from the constraints of
apartment living. You can invite family and
friends over, have music playing and plant
flowers in your own yard.”
Construction leaders for the project were
volunteer Ron Abercrombie, and Habitat
for Humanity board member—Thomas
Billups, with the help of more than 150 vol-
After receiving the keys to their new
home, the family member were VIP guests
of the band O.A.R and singer Phillip Phil-
lips at Chastain Park Amphitheatre. This
summer, O.A.R. and Phillips are touring
the country and partnering with Habitat for
Humanity to raise funds to help provide af-
fordable, housing for low-income families.
During their 2014 tour, the musicians are
inviting one Habitat for Humanity partner
in each tour city to join the campaign.
Eric Zeier of Bank of America in Atlanta presents a commemorative plaque to the Dukuly-Sasay family, which received its
Habitat for Humanity DeKalb home in Stone Mountain.
Habitat for Humanity renovated and donated a home to the
Stone Mountain family.

Stress reduction classes ofered
Shallowford Presbyterian Church
is planning an eight-week, evidenced-
based program of classes using mind-
fulness meditation and gentle yoga to
cultivate awareness and reduce stress.
Sponsored by the Shallowford
Family Counseling Center and led by
Kay Stewart, founder of Stillwaters
Mindfulness Training, the series will
give participants the opportunity to
learn “to cultivate the innate human
capacity for wholehearted awareness
through self-observation and heal-
ing of stress-causing emotional and
behavioral patterns, in order to live
in full joy, stability and compassion,”
according to an announcement from
the church.
The class includes group dialogue,
home practices and mindful yoga.
Supporting materials are provided.
The classes will be held Tuesdays,
Aug. 19 to Oct. 7, from 7 to 9 p.m. A
required orientation is scheduled for
Aug. 10, 5 to 6 p.m. or Aug. 12, 7 to
8 p.m.
The church is located at 2375 Shal-
lowford Road, Atlanta.
The cost is $260 per person for
the series. Register online at www. or call
contact Robby Carroll of Shallowford
Presbyterian Church at (404) 321-
Church to open expanded food
Two years ago, Saint Philip AME
Church under the guidance of the
Nettie Lewis Moore Missionary
Society established the food pan-
try for emergency food assistance.
Since then, there has been a steady
increase in the number of applicants
the pantry has served.
With funding from a capacity
building grant from the Atlanta
Community Food Bank, the Nettie
Lewis Moore Missionary Society has
expanded into a larger facility and
acquired sufficient commercial
equipment to increase food distribu-
tion to the community.
The public is invited to join Pas-
tor William D. Watley and the mis-
sionary society to celebrate the food
pantry dedication and grand open-
ing on Saturday, Aug. 9, from 1 to 2
The pantry will be open to serve
eligible families after the dedication
and will be hosting a food drive.
Saint Philip AME Church is lo-
cated at 240 Candler Road, Atlanta.
For more information, contact
Anna Sutton at (770) 713-4719.
Avondale Estates
City to host Labor Day race
Avondale Estates will host its 36th
annual Labor Day 5K Race and 1 Mile
Race. Walkers and runners of all ages
and athletic levels are invited to par-
ticipate. To register, visit
com. For more information, contact
Karen Holmes at (404) 294-5400 or
Yoga ofered at Keswick Park
Yoga instructor Marlene Bogo-
slawsky will begin a six-week yoga
class at the Keswick Park Community
Building on Aug. 13. Introductory
classes run from 5:15-6:15 p.m. and
intermediate classes (level 1-2) begin
at 6:30 p.m.
The beginner classes will intro-
duce future yogis to proper pose
technique and posture, alignment and
breathing techniques. The intermedi-
ate classes are appropriate for all lev-
els and consist of a moderate vinyasa
yoga practice.
Classes cost $49 for the six-week
series, or $10 walk-ins, and are
BYOM (bring your own mat). Regis-
tration and more information can be
found online at
and clicking on Departments > Parks
and Recreation > Classes & Programs
> Yoga.
Second annual Back to School Boot
Camp set
The DeKalb NAACP, DeKalb
chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity
Inc. and Georgia Piedmont College
will hold the second annual Back to
School Boot Camp and Parent Rally
on Aug. 9.
The event will run from 9:45 a.m.
to 2 p.m. at Georgia Piedmont Tech-
nical College, 495 N. Indian Creek,
For advance online registration, go
Parents who register and attend work-
shops are eligible for free school sup-
plies while they last.
The purpose of the camp is to em-
power parents to take control of their
children’s education and give students
information that will help them have
a successful school year.
For more information, contact
Lance Hammonds, DeKalb County
NAACP, at (404) 241-8006, (678) 485-
3118 or
Visualize Clarkston community
meeting set for Aug. 5
Visualize Clarkston, the city’s
streetscape improvement project, is
hosting a community information
meeting Aug. 5. Interested residents
are encouraged to attend and learn
more about the project, which aims
to boost the character of Clarkston by
improving the look of city streets.
The project is being funded
through a combination of grants
and loans with the help of AMEC,
a design consultancy and engineer-
ing firm. Streets impacted will be E.
Ponce De Leon Avenue from I-285
to Market Street, Market Street be-
tween North Indian Creek Drive and
Church Street, Church Street between
Market Street and Norman Road,
and Norman Road between Church
Street and Milam Park. More infor-
mation can be found at www.visual-
Commissioner to host free health
and job fair
DeKalb County Commissioner
Stan Watson is seeking companies
with current job openings and orga-
nizations that provide health-related
screenings, referrals and information
to participate in his fourth annual
Community Check-Up Wellness,
Health and Job Fair on Saturday, Aug.
16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
This event is cosponsored by the
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Tau
Pi Omega (Stone Mountain-Lithonia)
Chapter, Council for Community
Enrichment Inc. and DeKalb County
Workforce Development.
It will be held at the House of
Hope/Greater Traveler’s Rest Baptist
Church located at 4650 Flat Shoals
Parkway, Decatur. Approximately
500-800 attendees are expected.
Call (404) 371-3681 for additional
information. This event is free and
open to the public.  
Doraville street paving to begin
Portions of Autumn Drive, Clay
Drive, Chicopee Drive, Clearview
Place, Doral Drive, Drury Court,
Glenda Way, Green Oak Drive, North
Carver Drive, Peachtree Square and
Steward Road will be repaved in the
following weeks starting Aug. 4.
The total project involves 3.2 miles
of roadways and is intended to extend
the life of the streets, according to a
release from the city. The project is
due to be completed Aug. 18.
Doraville Dog Dayz of Summer
ofers fun for Fido and friends
In its seventh year, the annual Dog
Dayz of Summer event will take place
Saturday, Aug. 9, at New Covenant
Presbyterian Church in Doraville. The
event features a bounce house, face
painting and a free hot dog lunch.
People are invited to bring their
dogs to compete in various events in
a fenced-off run. There will be prizes
for all dogs, presenters said.
At the end of the day, there will be
a “Blessing of the Dogs” in New Cov-
enant’s sanctuary.
“Dog Dayz is the church’s way to
celebrate the unconditional love of
our dogs and their importance as
members of the families in our neigh-
borhood,” said Stephe Koontz, event
spokesperson, in a statement.
For more information, visit www. or contact the church
office at (770) 455-8117.
Stone Mountain
Library to host movie screening
The action movie Lone Survivor
will be shown Aug. 9 at Stone Moun-
tain-Sue Kellogg library from 2-4 p.m.
The movie stars Mark Wahlberg, Ben
Foster and Emile Hirsch. The film is
rated R. The library is located at 952
Leon St. For more information, call
(770) 413-2020.
Police to host bike rodeo
DeKalb County police will host a
bike rodeo Aug. 23 at South DeKalb
Mall 9-11 a.m. in the Sun Trust
parking lot. Children ages 6-14 can
participate, but the event is limited
to 75 children and a parent or guard-
ian must be present. The event will
include a water station, a riding shop
and riding techniques. For more in-
formation, visit

Restaurant Inspections
Establishment Name: Tis Is Wings
Address: 2860 Candler Road
Current Score/Grade: 87/B
Inspection Date: 07/31/2014
Observations and Corrective Actions
Large container of rice and large container of wings held out of
temperature control were not labeled with time for time as the pub-
lic health control documentation. COS-PIC labeled wings and rice.
Corrected On-Site. New Violation.
Large container of rice and large container of wings held out of
temperature control were not labeled with time for time as the pub-
lic health control documentation. COS-PIC labeled wings and rice.
Corrected On-Site. New Violation.
Two damp wiping cloths were stored on counter top. One wiping
cloth container did not contain proper concentration of sanitizer.
COS-PIC prepared sanitizer correctly and relocated cloths on coun-
ter to sanitizing solution container. Corrected On-Site. Repeat

Establishment Name: Galley Gourmet
Address: 3749 Clairmont Road
Current Score/Grade: 94/A
Inspection Date: 07/31/2014

Observations and Corrective Actions
Wiping cloth solution stored next to plastic to go container. Advised
PIC to place Wiping cloth solution away from food contact surfac-
es. COS- wiping cloth solution was relocated. Corrected On-Site.
New Violation.
Ants observed in the microwave. Advised PIC to monitor ants and
any other insects or pest. New Violation.
Establishment Name: Wings 101
Address: 4135 Lavista Road, Suite 550
Current Score/Grade: 92/A
Inspection Date: 07/31/2014
Observations and Corrective Actions
Food not stored in packages, covered containers, or wrappings.
Observed raw tilapia, raw whiting, raw philly beef stored in walk
in cooler uncovered. Instructed to cover items. Corrected On-Site.
New Violation.
Potentially hazardous foods not properly cooled by efective meth-
ods (shallow pans, ice water bath, adding ice as an ingredient, etc.
Observed cooked chicken (1 hour prior) cooling in prep top cooler
while packed densely without any way for heat to escape cooling
product. Item placed on ice bath. Corrected On-Site. New Viola-
Hazardous foods not thawed under an approved method. Upon ar-
rival, observed raw fsh thawing at room temperature in meat sink.
Corrected employee to thaw under cool running water. Advised to
use proper thawing material given on previous inspection. Cor-
rected On-Site. Repeat Violation.
Establishment Name: Wafe House #898
Address: 4375 Tilly Mill Road
Current Score/Grade: 87/B
Inspection Date: 07/31/2014

Observations and Corrective Actions
Food not protected from contamination by separating raw animal
foods during storage, prep, holding, and display from cooked or raw
ready-to-eat foods.
Cooked country ham stored with raw beef in reach in cooler.
Uncovered raw hamburgers stored with raw chicken in bottom of
reach in cooler.
Advised PIC that raw animal foods should be stored below or com-
pletely separate from cooked and ready-to-eat foods.
COS-PIC rearranged foods appropriately. Corrected On-Site. New
Mechanical hot water sanitization temperature below 165F for a
stationary rack, single temperature machine.
Dish machine reached 157, 142, 157 at utensil surface.
PIC advised to ensure machine is reaching 165F at the utensil sur-
COS-Maintenance repaired machine reading 165 and 174F. Cor-
rected On-Site. New Violation.
Bottom shelves of reach in coolers unclean to sight and touch.
PIC advised to clean and sanitize food-contact surfaces more fre-
quently to prevent an accumulation of dirt, dust, food residue, and
other soil. New Violation.
Last atomic bomber crew member dies
The last surviving member of the crew
that dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshi-
ma, Japan, hastening the end of World War
II and forcing the world into the atomic age,
died July 28 in Stone Mountain where he
lived, according to the Associated Press.
Theodore Van Kirk, also known as
“Dutch,” died of natural causes at the retire-
ment home where he lived. He was 93.
In a 2012 story in The Champion, Van
Virk told how on Aug. 6, 1945, at the age of
24, he joined bombardier Thomas Ferebee,
under the command of Col. Paul Tibbets,
and carried out a secret mission that still
serves an important place in history today.
On the evening of Aug. 5 Van Kirk and
his fellow crew members were given their
final briefing and were told that they would
drop the bomb the next morning at approxi-
mately 8:15 a.m. and then told to “go get
some sleep.”
“Imagine being told you were going to
drop the first atomic bomb and then to go
get some sleep,” Van Kirk said. “None of us
slept, and I know none of us slept because
we were all in the same poker game.”
When the bomb exploded, Van Kirk de-
scribed a scene of “utter chaos” in the plane.
He said the crew couldn’t hear the explosion
above the roar of the Enola Gay’s engine, but
they felt the shock wave and saw a bright
“We knew that the bomb exploded—that
it had probably done some good—and we
got 20 miles away from it,” Van Kirk said.
“Then we turned to see what was happening
and all we saw was that large white cloud—
you’ve all seen pictures of it—that mush-
room cloud.”
Although the bomb killed many people,
reportedly 70,000-80,000, and injured near-
ly as many, Van Kirk said he and other crew
members felt no regret.
“We did not feel bad or stay awake at
night,” Van Kirk said. “We are all comfort-
able with what we did. Yes, we killed a lot
of people, but we also saved a lot of people
‘Sovereign citizen’ sentenced for
unlawful gun possession
Jermaine Eric Gibson has been sen-
tenced to six years in federal prison after be-
ing found guilty by a federal jury for being a
felon in possession of a firearm.
“Gibson, a previously convicted felon
and a self-proclaimed sovereign citizen,
refused to recognize the laws of the United
States and lived lawlessly by taking over an
upscale home that was in foreclosure, and
possessing a firearm,” said U.S. Attorney
Sally Quillian Yates. “A jury held him ac-
countable under the laws of the United
States when it found him guilty in May, and
today a court sentenced him to six years in
federal prison.”
 “At the time he moved in, however, the
home was under contract to be sold, and
the buyer was not Gibson,” according to a
news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Of-
fice. “Gibson declared ownership of the
property after he filed a fraudulent quit
claim deed in DeKalb County, which he
then taped to a window of the home along
with other paperwork declaring that he was
not subject to any laws and that anyone who
came onto the premises would be trespass-
ing. Gibson also changed the locks on the
doors to prevent the lawful owner from en-
tering the residence.”
While Gibson lived at that home, several
people observed long-barreled guns at that
residence. Gibson later told agents that he
had guns in the home to protect the home,
according to the news release. After efforts
to convince Gibson to vacate the property
failed, state arrest warrants were obtained
based on Gibson’s unlawful occupancy of
that residence. During the execution of a
search warrant, officers found a firearm in
the bed of Gibson, a convicted felon who
cannot legally possess a firearm.
Public safety chief honored
Dr. Cedric Alexander, DeKalb County’s
deputy chief operating officer, was pre-
sented with a resolution by the Georgia
Association of Chiefs of Police during its
annual conference. The recognition honors
Alexander’s service and achievements in law
Alexander began his tenure in DeKalb
County in April 2013 as the chief of po-
lice. He has since been appointed the deputy
chief operating officer of public safety and
sworn in as the national president of the Na-
tional Organization of Black Law Enforce-
ment Executives.
“It is an honor and a privilege to receive
this recognition from the Georgia Chiefs
Association. It’s always humbling to get
recognized by your peers,” said Alexander,
whose law enforcement career spans more
than three decades.
Dunwoody restaurateur recognized
Brian Farkas, managing partner of the
Seasons 52 restaurant in Dunwoody, has
attained Darden Restaurants’ Diamond
Club status. Each year, managing partners
throughout North America who demon-
strate outstanding results by showing strong
and inspiring leadership while also achiev-
ing top financial performance in the com-
pany’s previous fiscal year are recognized.
“Brian is a passionate leader who is dedi-
cated to every team member and guest,” said
Brian Foye, president of Seasons 52. “He is
a role model for his team and ensures the
Dunwoody restaurant provides guests with
a restaurant that celebrates change and in-
novation every day, offering a unique dining
experience in a warm and welcoming atmo-
This year, Farkas joins an elite group of
two managing partners selected from the 38
Seasons 52 restaurants in North America,
making this a truly exclusive honor.
The Dunwoody Seasons 52 is located at
90 Perimeter Center West.
by Carla Parker
An 18-year-old man has been
charged with murder in the shooting
death of a Brookhaven man.
According to Brookhaven police,
Juan Carlos Ramirez shot and killed
Justin Acevedo, 23, on July 31. The
shooting occurred just before noon
on North Cliff Valley Way at Coo-
sawattee Drive, according to police.
Investigators learned that
Ramirez and Acevedo were involved
in a verbal confrontation when the
shooting occurred. Both Ramirez
and Acevedo lived at Parke Towne
North Apartments, police said.
When Brookhaven officers respond-
ed to the shooting, witnesses told
officers they saw a group of people,
including the shooter, running from
the scene.
Officers located four people that
they believed were involved. Detec-
tives were able to piece together evi-
dence and witness statements to de-
termine the identity of the suspect.
The shooter was eventually identi-
fied as Ramirez. The other individu-
als involved — Ileanna Martinez,
Petra Pineda Cortez and Francisco
Munoz — were also arrested and
charged in connection with the mur-
der, according to police.
Detectives located the firearm be-
lieved to have been used along with
other items of evidence, including
marijuana. All four are currently in
the DeKalb County Jail.
Along with the murder charge,
Ramirez is also charged with posses-
sion of marijuana with intent to dis-
tribute, and possession of a firearm.
Martinez, 21, has been charged with
tampering with evidence, giving a
false name and date of birth, and
possession of marijuana less than
one ounce.
Both Cortez, 18, and Munoz, 22,
were charged with disorderly con-
duct and obstruction.
Teen charged in Brookhaven shooting death
by Carla Parker
On the two-year anniversary of
Brookhaven residents voting to incor-
porate the city, Mayor J. Max Davis
delivered the city’s first State of the City
More than 100 Brookhaven resi-
dents, elected officials, and business
owners gathered at the Holiday Inn
Atlanta—Perimeter July 31 to hear what
the city has accomplished since its in-
corporation. Before stating that the city
is “very strong,” Davis mentioned the
promises Brookhaven cityhood propo-
nents made before the city incorporated
and what the city has done to see those
promises through.
Some of things the city accomplished
are setting a lower millage, creating a
financial reserve and efficiently deliver-
ing services. The city’s millage rate is at
“Brookhaven residents pay less taxes
than homeowners in unincorporated
DeKalb,” Davis said, quoting a news ar-
ticle from a local newspaper.
Davis said the city was able to garner
a $1 million surplus in its first year of
“We’re using that as a reserve fund,
and we should be able to more than
double that amount to more than $2
million this year,” he said.
Davis also pointed out how the city
is making capital improvements on its
parks after DeKalb County commis-
sioners approved the conveyance of 10
parks to the city in June. The city has
also improved local zoning, repaved
roads, repaired potholes and street sec-
tions and budgeted half a million dol-
lars to repair or build 1.2 miles of side-
walks, according to Davis.
Davis pointed out how the city
handled the ice storms that hit the
metro Atlanta early this year. The city
cleared 20 miles of main roads during
the storm.
“These were all things that we could
never expect or count on the county
to do,” Davis said. “I’m not blaming
DeKalb County for their past record. I
understand the demand for county ser-
vices is spread out all over DeKalb, and
Brookhaven needs are concentrated to
our relatively small area.
“DeKalb County is big, Brookhaven
is small and that makes us nimble,” Da-
vis added. “We are able to keep our fo-
cus local. Brookhaven incorporated, we
did not secede. We’re still proudly a part
of DeKalb County, and we’ll continue to
partner with the county on initiatives in
the future.”
Davis thanked interim DeKalb
County CEO Lee May and the county
for its partnership and for giving the
cityhood movement a “fair shake.”
Davis also pointed out how the city
is safer, thanks to the Brookhaven police
department. Davis said the city tripled
police coverage in the city.
“Since the launch of the Brookhaven
Police Department in July of last year,
I can’t drive through the city without
seeing a Brookhaven patrol car driving
past me or a Brookhaven police officer
checking on the safety of a business,”
Davis said. “We have the best police
chief in Georgia in Gary Yandura.”
Davis thanked the city council for
working as a “unified team for what we
know will bring that vision to reality.”
“Over the next 18 months I see a
Brookhaven that continues to move
forward for a better future,” Davis said.
“We need to build on our early suc-
Brookhaven ‘very strong’ says mayor
by Lauren Ramsdell
When school starts August 11,
there will be a few more students
at DeKalb County public schools
this year. More than 670 of them,
in fact. Total enrollment is ex-
pected to reach 100,563, up from
99,887 last year. According to dep-
uty superintendent Alice Thomp-
son, that is the biggest increase in
enrollment in the last five years.
The district also hired six new
principals and reassigned five oth-
ers. Three principal positions re-
main unfilled but are staffed with
retired principals for the interim.
“I am proud to announce we
are 98 percent staffed,” Thompson
said at the Aug. 4 school board
meeting. “Regional superinten-
dents are working diligently with
principals to ensure that teachers
are hired, and we are ready by day
The board meeting was the last
before the 2014-2015 school year
begins on Aug. 11.
Thompson said more than
700 new teachers have been hired
across the district, including
100 new positions. However, all
students do not have a complete
class schedule, or enough teach-
ers to staff a full day. According
to Thompson, five percent of
elementary school students, 14
percent of middle school students,
and nine percent of high school
students do not have a complete
schedule. She said they will work
to have all teachers hired by the
first day of school.
Thompson’s report further
touted technological improve-
ments at the district but said there
remains work to be done with
educational standards.
“This is the year of technol-
ogy at DeKalb County Schools,”
Thompson said. “The informa-
tion technology department will
provide 16,000-plus new comput-
ers for teachers and staff. Every
classroom is being outfitted with
whiteboards. The new informa-
tion system, better known as In-
finite Campus, will provide a new
gradebook for teachers and a new
portal for parents and students.”
Thompson said teachers will
be able to enroll in a “technology
academy” to help them learn to
better use and implement their
technology in and out of the class-
The district is also emphasiz-
ing mathematics education this
school year, coming on the heels
of last school years’ testing results,
where gains were modest in math
“The overall proficiency levels
for both coordinate algebra and
analytic geometry need greater
improvement,” said superinten-
dent Michael Thurmond in a
statement. “This indicates a need
for more rigorous intervention in
improving performance in math-
ematics, and we are responding
with actions that will address this
The district has purchased
10,000 new math text books, us-
ing some of the $5.3 million in
this school year’s budget for in-
structional resources. During the
year, instructors will launch a dis-
trictwide mathematics initiative
and prepare for the new Georgia
Milestones tests, instead of the
previous end-of-course and end-
of-year exams.
“I want to wish everyone in
DeKalb a good school year, ev-
eryone is geared up for one of the
best school years in DeKalb’s his-
tory,” said board member Jim Mc-
Mahan. McMahan was re-elected
to the district 4 seat over Karen
Carter during the runoff elec-
tion. “I mean it, there’s been a lot
of work put in from the board all
the way down. I just want to say
thank you to everyone who has
supported this district, and I look
forward to very positive results in
the upcoming year.”
Growth and gains at
DeKalb County schools
Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis (left) gave his frst State of the City address July 31. Councilman
Bates Mattison gave the occasion before the address. Photos by Carla Parker
Revolutionary France on stage at Jewish center
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by Lauren Ramsdell
With the star-studded 2012 movie and the re-
cent Broadway revival of Les Miserables–the musi-
cal based on Victor Hugo’s mammoth novel of the
same name–is having a bit of a moment.
“Initially, I was worried it was going to be just
this crank-out, boring musical because it is so
well-known and it’s done fairly often, following the
movie and the remount on Broadway,” said Levi
Kaplan, director of the upcoming run of Les Mis-
erables at the Marcus Jewish Community Center
of Atlanta (MJCCA) in Dunwoody. “It’s just being
done. I was really worried about it just being this
piece of fluff.”
Les Miserables, known as “Les Miz” to fans, is
an operetta, with even minor dialogue being sung
instead of spoken. The soundtrack is known for its
powerful ballads, including “I Dreamed a Dream,”
sung to great acclaim by Anne Hathaway in the
movie version and by Susan Boyle in the 2009
season of “Britain’s Got Talent.” Kaplan said he
worried it might be difficult for the acting to push
out beyond the impressive singing required.
“But I fell in love with the script after listening
to it, reading it, really looking for what’s human
about these people,” Kaplan said. “That’s really
what draws me in, is looking at the struggles of
these very, very real, very human people. And it’s
heartbreaking. That’s what keeps me going.”
The plot follows a down-on-his-luck ex-convict
named Jean Valjean, doggedly pursued by chief
of police Javert after Valjean breaks parole. The
cat-and-mouse game swirls around a series of
other characters, all trying to survive on the mean
streets of Paris as the June Rebellion of 1832 nears.
The cast is primarily made up of high school
students, with younger students taking the roles
of Young Cosette, Young Eponine and Gavroche.
Some college students, many alumni of former
summer productions at MJCCA, make up the
principal roles.
“They are all so talented,” said Casy Walker, the
choreographer. “When I heard them sing at our
first rehearsal I was just completely blown away.
They are phenomenal; it’s been incredible to work
with them.”
Eric Rich, a rising sophomore at Marymount
Manhattan College in the fine arts acting program
and former student at North Springs Charter
School of Arts and Sciences in Fulton County,
plays the revolutionary Enjolras.
“What drew me to the musical in general was
the source material,” Rich said. “The epicness of
the story, the power of the relationships between
the characters is what I feel is best represented by
the musical. As well as the grandioseness of the
peoples’ plight, whether they’re poor, whether
they’re revolutionary, that was really well done.”
Kaplan said he and Walker have worked to
pull out a mechanical, mechanized element to the
production. They are less focused on historical ac-
curacy with the setting, he said, but rather bring-
ing the hopelessness of the characters’ lives to the
“I’m not a director that wants to put a stamp
on things just to put a stamp on things, but it very
much feels like these people are cogs in this giant
machine that just keeps churning forward regard-
less of what’s happening, so that’s guided our pro-
duction quite a bit,” he said.
The plot wrestles with contrasts: the ex-convict
Valjean looks for redemption while lawman Javert
schemes in the name of justice, put-upon Cosette
has her tough luck reversed by fortune, while cos-
setted Eponine spends her later days begging on
the street.
“Sometimes you just do the best you can,”
Kaplan said. “What we want to convey is, ‘What
would I do if I was in that situation?’ These
choices that these characters make–what would I
do, me, sitting here in the audience watching that?
If the audience gets so caught up in the ‘purdy
sangin’’, then we haven’t done our jobs. It’s the re-
lationships between people that we’ll send people
away with.”
The MJCCA production of Les Miserables runs
Aug. 7-17. Ticket pricing and other information
can be found by visiting and
clicking on “Arts and Culture” followed by “The-
ater Productions.”
During rehearsal, actors at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta practice the barricade scene in
Les Miserables.
Daniel Harper as Marius and Sarah Valleroy as Eponine sing “A Little Fall
of Rain” during Les Miserables rehearsal at the Marcus Jewish Community
Center of Atlanta.
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
Allgood Road United Methodist Church celebrated its 54th Church Anniversary. Photo by Travis Hudgons
From left, local dogs, Echo and Chloe enjoy their playtime together. Photo by Travis Hudgons
Former DeKalb County football Michael Carson assist a student during orientation at Georgia
Prep Sports Academy on Aug. 1. Carson opened the one-year post-high school graduate
program in 2013.
Campers at Little Shop of Stories toss bundles of paper and books from above to a circle
of friends below. Photo by John Hewitt
See Deserts on page 20A
Food deserts exist throughout DeKalb
by Lauren Ramsdell
According to the United States De-
partment of Agriculture (USDA), there
are 18 individual food deserts in DeKalb
County. A food desert, according to the
agency’s definition, is there is little to
no access to a grocery store selling fresh
foods–not prepackaged–in a one to one
and a half mile radius.
“We have a lot of families and com-
munities that are dependent on public
transportation, that can’t or choose not
to maintain a personal vehicle,” said
Brandi Whitney, a program coordi-
nator at the DeKalb County Board of
Health. “If they have to travel outside of
their neighborhood to get a full grocery
basket, that is something we need to ad-
“Some of the health issues we’re see-
ing–we can’t encourage them to eat all
the fruits, vegetables and grains that
they should if they are unable to meet
those needs,” she said.
The USDA definition of food deserts
does not take into account gas stations,
community gardens, farmers’ markets
or convenience stores where some fresh
foods can be purchased. It focuses on
medium-to-large footprint stores with
produce regularly available.
The issues with food deserts arise
because most of the foods available for
purchase in these areas are salt-heavy,
fat-laden prepackaged food instead of
nutritionally dense, low-calorie fresh
In 2007, the department commis-
sioned a study of two south DeKalb
neighborhoods, McNair and Stephen-
son, with the help of funding from
the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. The neighborhoods were
chosen because they had reported a low
instance of consuming produce, and
researchers wanted to know if that was
because a lack of preference, or a lack of
Both communities were predomi-
nantly Black, but diverged in income
level and number of accessible grocery
“The Stephenson neighborhood,
located in the eastern part of DeKalb
County around Stone Mountain Park,
has one of the highest median house-
hold income levels in the county and
one of the lowest percentages of free or
reduced price school lunch program
participants,” the report stated. “In con-
trast, the McNair community, located in
the southwest part of the county, has one
of the lowest median household income
levels and highest percentage of free and
reduced price lunch program partici-
A 2011 map of DeKalb county shows where food deserts, characterized as low
access for pedestrians to fresh food stores, are located around the county. Map
provided by DeKalb County Board of Health
GED Continued From Page 1A
May Continued From Page 1A
on one condition: to bring
the information back to help
the church and the commu-
nity,” Cloud said.
Since Mitchell’s death,
Cloud and her three chil-
dren have worked to build
the 501 c(3) non-profit orga-
nization into a resource for
those in need of educational
services and proper training
to succeed in society. Since
its inception, the project has
raised money through galas
to award scholarships to de-
serving students.
The project also offers a
free GED program for high
school dropouts.
“We want to get that seg-
ment of [students] that did
not get their diplomas, see
how we can help them study
for their GED and build
their confidence,” she said.
“A lot of times is it about
building their confidence
and that’s what we do.”
The program helps stu-
dents prepare for the GED
test. The project’s marketing
director Torrey Cloud said
the first 16 weeks of the pro-
gram is free for students and
after students complete the
classes they are assessed to
see if they are ready to take
the test.
“We just don’t want the
students to come in and not
put forth their best effort
and not go through the pro-
gram the right way,” he said.
The program has a 90
percent success rate and
each student who has gone
through the program has
progressed in his or her edu-
cational learning.
“We have to customize it
for each student,” said Tor-
rey, who is also a teacher at
Miller Grove High School.
“It’s a customized approach
for education. We customize
to each student that comes
in because each student has
their own special needs.
Sometimes the public school
system doesn’t address all of
the needs for each student
and that’s why programs like
this [are] so instrumental for
our community.”
The Dr. W. B. Mitchell,
Sr. Education Project also
has a nutrition program, life
skills, adult literacy initia-
tive and career develop-
ment programs. The project
partnered with Best Boom
Training and Development,
which is owned by Sandra
Cloud’s daughter Tomyka
Chaney. Chaney provides
life skills and career devel-
opment training to the stu-
The project provides
tutoring for students and
has certified teachers who
volunteer to tutor students.
There are also SAT and ACT
sessions and basic adult
education such as math and
The GED program and
other programs will begin in
September. Classes are held
at 4650 Flat Shoals Parkway
in Decatur. For more infor-
mation, call (404) 668-1450.
tion,” he said. “The easy
knee-jerk reaction is to call
it quits—to leave. In mar-
riage, that’s what people
do when it gets tough. Just
yesterday I heard a constitu-
ent say he’s been here for
10 years and he’s had it up
to here. He’s ready to leave
DeKalb County.
“I would recommend to
people to…hang in there,”
May said. “We’re going
through a rough patch in
our marriage, but DeKalb
County will continue. We’ve
been here since 1822. [The
county is] going to be here
long after all of us are gone.
Work with us to move our
county in the right direc-
May said he has ad-
dressed various issues in
the county government by
reorganizing the purchasing
department, addressing eth-
ics by increasing the ethics
board’s budget, updating
the ethics policy and creat-
ing a chief integrity officer
position, and updating the
much-criticized purchasing
card program.
The P-card program was
“kind of the honor system,”
May said.
“The underlying thought
was that people are go-
ing to do the right thing,”
he said. “Again, we’re a $1
billion organization with
thousands and thousands
of employees. You’re going
to have people that steal, lie,
cheat and don’t do the right
May also said he has
made public safety a top
“By year’s end we will
have had four different po-
lice academy [classes] that
will have graduated through
our police department. That
is historic,” May said. “We
will have had by year’s end
100 new firefighters.”
The additional public
safety personnel are part of
May’s goal to hire 480 police
officers and 300 firefighters
in three years.
Additionally, May’s ad-
ministration has created
a tuition reimbursement
program for public safety
personnel and initiated a
take-home vehicle incentive
for police officers.
“We’ve been trying to do
some real tangible things to
keep them home,” May said,
addressing employee reten-
tion in the fire rescue and
police departments. “We
don’t want them to leave.”
Addressing the county’s
billion-dollar watershed
capital improvement pro-
gram announced in 2010,
May said, “We’re behind.
The No. 1 goal is getting us
up to speed.”
Vaughn Irons, chairman
of the Development Au-
thority of DeKalb County,
said May “is a person that
believes in a process of con-
“[May] is interested in
hearing the thoughts and
ideas of all citizens and all
stakeholders,” Irons said.
“He believes in the entirety
of DeKalb County, not just
portions of it and not just
certain people.
“He’s a man that does
everything that he says he’s
going to do,” Irons said.
“What a difference a year
Stop bullying now
stand up • speak out
Sandra Cloud (left) launched the Dr. W. B. Mitchell Sr. Education Project in 2009 in honor of her father to pro-
vide educational resources to at-risk students. Photo by Carla Parker
by Lauren Ramsdell
Doraville city leaders
held a town hall meeting on
July 29 to clear up informa-
tion regarding the impend-
ing sale of the General Mo-
tors plant site.
“We want to straighten
out some of the rumors we
might have heard, and we
want to make sure every-
body here understands this
is a good thing for the city,
and we want to be as trans-
parent as we possibly can,”
said Doraville mayor Donna
The sale of property, used
as a GM assembly site until
2008 and located with of
Doraville’s city limits, is due
to close by the end of sum-
mer with developers Integral
Group and McCauley +
Schmidt (IMS).
“The GM sale of the
property to IMS is a private
transaction, funded com-
pletely by private capital,”
Pittman said. “I know there
has been some talk about
other ways of paying for
this, but this is a completely
private transaction. No pub-
lic funds are involved in the
purchase of this property.”
According to Pittman,
the developers have also
indicated a willingness to
follow the suggestions of
the Doraville LCI, or liv-
able centers initiative. The
plan, adopted in 2011, envi-
sions developing downtown
Doraville, including the
GM facility, into a walkable
urban center “promoting
greater livability, mobility
and development alterna-
tives in existing corridors,
employment centers, and
town centers,” according to
the published report.
The LCI includes render-
ings of potential ways the
GM site could be developed,
but they are not final and
what exactly will be devel-
oped in the site remains
Many questions from
the public at the town hall
involved the TAD, or tax al-
location district. Residents
passed a referendum in 2011
allowing the city to have
redevelopment powers, ac-
cording to Pittman.
City manager Shawn
Gillen presented a slide-
show–“part of this was put
together by a bond attorney
and a financial adviser, so it
gets a little dry,” he quipped–
explaining the process of
creating a TAD.
First, a city must gain
redevelopment powers via
referendum, as Doraville did
in 2011. Then it must create
an Urban Redevelopment
Agency (URA) to oversee
any redevelopment plans.
“The city council could
have named themselves, but
they wisely created a sepa-
rate entity, the URA,” Gillen
Doraville’s URA is still
accepting applications for
the volunteer committee,
which will be announced at
the city’s first August meet-
After the URA is created,
it negotiates a redevelop-
ment plan that is then sub-
mitted for approval to the
city council. The city council
has the ability to decline a
redevelopment plan at any
time, which can then be
amended or scrapped in
favor of a new plan, which
also must be voted on by the
city council.
If approved, the URA
then sets the boundaries for
the TAD, then TAD bonds
issued. Gillen said that at
this time, Doraville is still
several steps away from
completing the process and
is in the preliminary stages.
During this process, the
URA will determine a base
value for the property. It
then estimates the ad va-
lorem tax rate will be, and
how much the property will
increase in value as a result
of the redevelopment.
Furthermore, Gillen said,
the total value of a TAD
cannot be more than 10 per-
cent of the total value of the
jurisdiction, in this case, the
city of Doraville. That is not
the case with this property,
Gillen said.
“The proceeds of TAD
bonds can only be used for
paying redevelopment costs
... which includes things like
capital costs, financial ser-
vices, retaining the bond at-
torney, that sort of thing,”
Those bonds are paid
down by the funds raised
by the taxes on the TAD
areas increased value due
to redevelopment. Since the
TAD bonds are paid down
by taxes as well, Gillen said,
if only tax-exempt entities
such as schools or govern-
ments wanted to move into
the property, it would be im-
possible to create a TAD.
“When you have a site
like a closed auto plant ...
this is what this sort of eco-
nomic development tool was
created to do,” Gillen said.
He further added that
for every one dollar of TAD
money invested, there is
$5.80 in private investment
put in as well.
Pittman and Gillen stated
multiple times that the final
makeup of the redeveloped
site is still up in the air. After
the closing date there may
be 12 to 18 months before
any buildings are even
knocked down, Gillen said.
The meeting crowd in-
cluded several area mayors
and elected representatives,
including former county
CEO Liane Levetan.
“I really and truly think
that this is a golden oppor-
tunity to move Doraville to
the height that it deserves,”
Levetan said. “I do know
you can’t please everybody.
I think what you have to do
is look at the overall picture
and see what is best for this
community. It makes me feel
really good that this is hap-
pening under the leadership
you have here.”
Doraville leaders explain taxes at GM plant site
See Wrestling on page 19A
of the
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This rendering shows what the redevelopment of the General Motors plant in Doraville could look like.
Potential developers Integral Group and McCauley + Schmidt have said they are willing to work with the
city’s livable centers initative.
‘This is a golden opportunity
to move Doraville to the
height that it deserves.’
–Liane Levetan
by Lauren Ramsdell
For the first time in 10
years, Westchester Elemen-
tary School in Decatur will
be filled with the sounds of
children learning and play-
ing in its halls.
Closed in 2004 because
of low enrollment, the
school has now reopened as
the City Schools of Decatur
population is exploding,
more than doubling in that
Since Westchester was
closed, the school system
moved to the K-3, 4/5, mid-
dle and high school model
it has now. The newly re-
opened school was expected
to have approximately 235
students when the doors
opened on Aug. 4.
Westchester’s new prin-
cipal, Rochelle Lofstrand,
said since many of the stu-
dents are being transferred
from other elementary
schools, the first year’s focus
will be on community.
“We were really purpose-
ful about our classes and
our students from the other
schools,” she said. “We were
really purposeful all sum-
mer to make sure there were
social activities that all fami-
lies were invited to. This was
all organized from the par-
ents, their kids have been so
excited about meeting new
friends this summer.”
At the ribbon-cutting
ceremony, parent Katie
Kennedy and daughters
Maggie and Claire toured
the school. Maggie will be
attending the 4/5 Academy,
and Claire will start first
grade at Westchester. The
sisters previously attended
Oakhurst Elementary.
“Maggie had done all
four years at Oakhurst, but
I knew the caliber of educa-
tion that the City Schools
of Decatur can pride them-
selves on,” Kennedy said. “So
I knew it would be a great
experience wherever we
Lofstrand is making the
transition to lead principal
after serving as an assistant
principal at Decatur High
School. She said the phi-
losophy is the same, but the
goals have changed slightly.
“I have seen in education
you plan with the end in
mind,” she said. “At the high
school level I know what is
expected of kids, what they
need in order to go on to
college. My goal is to make
sure that we are giving our
kids a very solid founda-
tion to make sure they are
successful through all the
grades in City Schools of
At the ribbon cutting,
the first principal of West-
chester from its opening
in 1955 attended. Rebecca
Fleischman was a 38-year
veteran of the City Schools
“It’s been a long time
since we opened this build-
ing,” she said. “When the
school first opened, it wasn’t
ready, so students had to at-
tend now closed Ponce De
Leon elementary and first
returned to the school in
November of that year.
Parent Tiffany Turner
and her son Christian also
toured the school building
during the ribbon cutting.
Christian was redistricted
from Clairemont Elemen-
tary to Westchester.
“We live so close, so we
knew we were coming,”
Turner said. “Everyone has
been really positive, and
we have had a ton of email
communications this sum-
mer so it never really felt
like we had been kicked
The Turners live so near
that they may be able to
walk to school, but as West-
chester is on busy Scott Bou-
levard near the intersection
with Clairemont Avenue, it
remains to be seen.
“We are really concerned
about that, so we actually
walked today to try it out,”
she said. “But hopefully we
will get a crosswalk in front
of the school and that will
make it easier for a lot of
Christian said his favorite
subject is math and is ex-
cited to start learning in first
Tiffany Turner, daughter Adlai and son Christian tour Westchester Elementary’s renovated library.
Claire Kennedy, pictured with her mom Katie, will be attending the newly opened Westchester Elementary
starting this school year. Photos by Lauren Ramsdell
Elementary reopens
after a decade
The Voice of Business in DeKalb County
DeKalb Chamber of Commerce
Two Decatur Town Center, 125 Clairemont Ave., Suite 235, Decatur, GA 30030
Online retailer ofers ‘fashion forward’ clothing
by Kathy Mitchell
Young women who go to nightclubs not only
want to look good, but they want a unique look—
something others won’t be wearing, said Nicole
Rushin, owner of Lithonia-based 2 Urban Chicks
While Rushin’s online store offers a wide va-
riety of clothing items, aimed primarily at the
young adult —ages 21 to 35—female market, she
said “club wear” is her most successful line. “Club
wear has been huge. Ladies like to wear some-
thing that will get them noticed when they go
out,” she commented.
“Most retail stores here in Georgia don’t offer
the types of fashion-forward items I sell,” Rushin
said. “I buy from the major fashion capitals—
New York and Los Angeles—where the hottest
new fashions come from.”
Rushin started the business with a partner—
thus, the name 2 Urban Chicks—but her partner
decided to discontinue the association and at
present she’s going it alone. “Right now, I’m work-
ing full time and operating the boutique online.
I’m just getting started, but I’m on track to build
my business to what I want it to be,” she said.
Although she operates from Lithonia, Rushin
has customers all over the world. “I ship any-
where and let customers return any item that
doesn’t work for them as long as they return it in
the original condition,” she said.
According to the National Retail Federation
(NRF), online retail sales represent a growing
trend in American consumerism, as increasingly
purchases are being made by those who grew up
in the computer age. In a single quarter last year,
online sales in the United States exceeded $50 bil-
Rushin, who has a degree in business, said that
fashion has been her passion for as long as she
can remember. “I like to wear the kinds of things
you normally don’t find at the mall. I know a lot
of other women like these, too, because I worked
in retail stores when I was in school.”
The online business that launched early in
2014 is doing well, Rushin said. “People learn
about us mostly through social media,” she said.
“I want to get a blog going. Through feedback
from my customers I can learn what they like and
offer more of it.”
The store currently sells dresses, blouses,
shirts, pants, casual ware and such accessories
as handbags. “I haven’t gotten into shoes yet, but
I plan to in the near future,” said Rushin, who
added that generally she has done well selecting
items that appeal to her customers. “I did offer
some jogger pants that I thought would do well,
but sales were disappointing.”
Rushin said she currently offers clothing in the
small through extra-large range, but she’s looking
at adding more plus-size fashions. “I think there
will be a big demand for larger garments that are
stylish and exciting to wear,” she predicted.
Featuring items that often are on the sexy side,
Rushin said Valentine’s Day was a peak sales pe-
riod for her. Her business was not alone. Accord-
ing to an NRF survey, approximately 26.1 percent
of American Valentine’s Day consumers this year
did their shopping online.
At other times, online shopping represents
a greater percentage on retail purchases. While
Rushin’s business has yet to experience a winter
holiday shopping season, if trends hold, she can
expect to see a sales spike then as well. The NRA
reports that of holiday shoppers making pur-
chases after the first week in December last year,
almost 50 percent bought online.
Her online sales success notwithstanding,
Rushin said her future plans include opening a
bricks-and-mortar store. “I think getting to meet
customers and talk with them face-to-face will
not only be fun it will help me understand even
more what they like.”

The name and logo were created when Nicole Rushin was working with a partner. Photos by Kathy Mitchell
Nicole Rushin models fashions from her boutique that she
says are unlike what shoppers will fnd in malls.
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Columbia wide receiver
commits to Clemson
Decatur teen wins
junior golf challenge
Former Tucker pitcher signs
with Claflin University
by Carla Parker
Ayanna Habeel of Decatur won the 2014
Georgia State Golf Association (GSGA) Junior
Sectional Challenge in the girls 12-13 division.
The event, which took place July 27-28, was
held at The Landings golf course in Savannah.
Girls from across the state participated in the
two-day event. Habeel, 13, shot a 34 on the first
day and a 43 on the second day to give her a 77
shot finish.
The GSGA began the Junior Sectional Pro-
gram in 1974 with the goal of giving young
golfers the opportunity to compete and enjoy
competitive golf. This program consists of a se-
ries of four or five one-day tournaments during
June and July in each of the seven geographic
sections in the state, which are established for
the Junior Sectional Program. At the conclu-
sion of the series, the top point earners in each
age group from each section qualify to partici-
pate in the two-day Junior Sectional Challenge
Match in late July.
by Carla Parker
Aaron Perry, who helped
pitch the Tucker Tigers
baseball team into the 2014
playoff, signed with Claflin
University in Orangeburg,
The 5-foot-7 pitcher and
outfielder said July 31 that
Claflin was the right fit for
“They gave me the best
baseball opportunity,” Perry
said. “[It’s] a very good col-
lege, academic-wise and
In his senior season, Per-
ry pitched 40 1/3 innings for
Tucker, compiling a 3-5 re-
cord with a 3.99 earned run
average, 46 strikeouts and
23 walks. Perry also con-
tributed on offense, hitting a
.375 with 21 runs scored, 17
RBI and 7 doubles.
Claflin finished the 2014
season with a 23-19 record
and a 14-7 conference re-
cord. Perry said his future
team is talented, but believes
he can help them get better.
“I can add a good bit of
talent,” he said. “I’m [going
there] to help with anything
[the coach] needs me to do.”
Former Tucker pitcher Aaron Perry signed with Clafin University.
Thirteen-year-old Ayanna Habeel won the 2014
Georgia State Golf Association Junior Sectional
Challenge in the girls 12-13 division.
by Carla Parker
Columbia High’s Shadell
Bell will finish high school
early and enroll at Clemson
University in January after
committing to the university
to continue his academic
and athletic career.
The wide receiver and
linebacker will sign his let-
ter of intent during a sign-
ing ceremony Aug. 9 at
Columbia High School. Bell,
who has a 5-star rating by and ESPN, chose
Clemson over Alabama,
Kentucky, Tennessee and 10
other schools.
The 6-foot-2, 191-pound
athlete said he committed
to Clemson because the
university felt like a second
“It’s everything I dreamed
of in a school—family,
academics and sports,” Bell
said. “The coaches really
stood out. So, I went with
“When I [visited the
school] everybody showed
me love, from people that
didn’t know me to people
who did know me,” Bell
Bell led the Columbia
Eagles in receiving last
season with 37 receptions
(3.7 per game), 463 yards
(12.5 per reception) and one
touchdown. On defense, he
had 26 total tackles, four
sacks, five tackles for a loss,
two interceptions and one
fumble recovery. He was the
team’s defensive Most Valu-
able Player last season.
Clemson have a history
of dynamic wide receivers
that has helped the team be-
come a championship con-
tender, from DeAndre Hop-
kins to Sammy Watkins.
Bell said he is not sure how
the Clemson coaching staff
will use him, but his ability
to play well in the red zone
is something that he will add
to the Clemson Tigers foot-
ball team.
“[I’m good at] phase
passes and jump balls,” he
said. “That’s what I’m feeling
right now, but as I continue
I’ll be more versatile.”
Columbia head coach
David Edwards said Bell is
already a versatile player.
“[Clemson] is going to
get an exceptional athlete,”
Edwards said. “They’re go-
ing to be able to do some
things with him. If it doesn’t
work out for him at receiver,
they can move him to tight
“They can move him to
outside linebacker,” Edwards
added. “That’s the versatility
that he’s going to give them.”
Clemson also will be
getting a leader in Bell. Ed-
wards said Bell’s leadership,
presence and influence have
impacted the Columbia
football program since Bell
was an eighth-grader.
“When you have a person
that has that type of talent,
[other players] look up to
them,” Edwards said. “He
has challenged them aca-
demically and to have goals.
He’s humble and humorous.”
Bell was recently named
to the US Army-Under Ar-
mour Top 400 list earning
him All-American status.
If he makes the Top 90, he
earns a trip to the US Army-
Under Armour All-Amer-
ican game in San Antonio,
With his college signing
behind him, Bell said his fo-
cus is on the upcoming sea-
son, leading his teammates
and helping his team win
and possibly reach the state
“If we stay as a team, join
together and be as one, I feel
like we’re going to be good
and hopefully have a good
season,” Bell said.
Nonproft promotes healthy lifestyle for children
by Carla Parker
According to the University
of Georgia Obesity Initiative,
Georgia ranks second in the
nation for childhood obesity.
In the state, 21.3 percent
of children are obese and 37.3
percent are overweight or
obese. Georgia ranks third in
the nation for children who are
overweight or obese, and mi-
nority children who are from
low-income households and
from rural areas are more likely
to be obese, according to the
Obesity Initiative.
To help curb childhood obe-
sity in his community, Decatur
resident Jabari King launched
Healthy Lifestyles Healthy Kids
(HLHK) in 2008. HLHK, as
a nonprofit organization that
aims to increase opportunities
for kids to be physically active
in an effort to prevent child-
hood obesity. Located in south
DeKalb County, HLHK pro-
vides instructional and com-
petitive swimming, soccer and
basketball experiences year-
round for youth ages 4-18.
The program also teaches
children and parents how to eat
healthfully. King said he tries
to reach the children and get
them active at an early age.
“It’s a preventive childhood
obesity program, so I try to
get them in before they get big
or obese,” King said. “I go to
the daycares and try to get the
young [children] to start the
swimming program.”
Children as young as 9
months old participant in
HLHK learners swimming pro-
gram that meet twice a week.
“A lot them know how to
swim before they’re 2 years old,
and they can swim the whole
lap of a pool,” King said.
King, a Southwest DeKalb
High School alum, started
swimming competitively in
1983 with the Worthington
Valley swim team under coach
William ‘Buck’ Godfrey. King
was a member of Southwest
DeKalb’s swim team and a col-
legiate at Howard University.
After graduating from
Howard, King got a job as an
engineer at Georgia Power,
but his heart was always with
“I stayed in the coaching
field and decided to go to year-
round programs,” he said.
When he started HLHK, he
only had one child in the pro-
gram. The program now has
about 175 children. He started
the program with basketball,
soccer and swimming because
of his background in these
sports and these sports put less
“wear and tear” on the body.
“You can train and condi-
tion year-round for it without
major injuries,” King said.
He added that he could add
other sports, such as football,
baseball or cheerleading once
he finds more facilities. The
program currently uses the
Grant Park pool and the pool
at Beulah Missionary Baptist
Church Community Life Cen-
ter in Decatur for swimming
practices. The basketball team
uses the gym at First Iconium
Baptist Church in Atlanta and
all the children train and con-
dition at Atlanta Sports Com-
plex off Gresham Road.
The program has been mak-
ing itself known among recre-
ation leagues in the county and
across the state by winning a
few tournaments and champi-
onships. The program had its
first state winners in swimming
as two 8-year-old swimmers
won first place at the Georgia
Recreation and Parks Associa-
tion’s annual statewide swim
Jayla Thompson won first
place in the 8 and younger girls
25 freestyle event, and Zahir
Harrison finished first in the
8 and younger boys 25 breast-
stroke event. HLHK had 14
swimmers qualify for the state
meet. King said the two state
championship wins mean a lot
for the program.
“It puts our name on the
map,” he said. “When you’re
coming in as a new program,
at first you’re the laughing
stock of the sports field. The
[children] get in and they make
mistakes, but when you start
winning state championships
and competing against organi-
zations from all over the state
you’re doing something right.
“[Harrison and Thompson]
worked very hard,” King added.
The program has been gain-
ing attention and King has
been approached by people
inquiring about the program.
King makes sure parents un-
derstand the difference be-
tween his nonprofit and other
recreation leagues.
“We catch them at a young
age and try to teach them the
foundation and the basics,” he
said. “Whereas some of the
other rec leagues participate in
sports seasonally, we train in
basketball, soccer and swim-
ming all year. They’re starting
young and when they grow
older you’ll see the difference
between athletes who have
been doing it year-round ver-
sus the ones who do it season-
Deserts Continued From Page 12A Ebola Continued From Page 3A
The report used the USDA
Thrifty Food Plan, the amount of
food that a family should be able
to buy with their allocated Supple-
mental Nutrition Assistance Pro-
gram, or SNAP, benefits. In both
neighborhoods, more than 50 per-
cent of government-approved basic
staple foods were missing from
food stores. In McNair, the prepon-
derance of stores were convenience
stores or gas stations. In Stephen-
son, there were fewer overall stores,
but the more affluent population
may have had better access to the
grocery stores that were available.
“Food deserts are primarily but
not exclusively clustered near com-
munities of color, low-income com-
munities and geographically near
schools greater than 50 percent free
or reduced lunch,” Whitney said.
As of a 2011 assessment, the 18
food deserts in DeKalb are clus-
tered around Doraville, Avondale
Estates and Stone Mountain, with
large areas in southern and western
unincorporated DeKalb.
When the study was completed,
in 2007, food deserts were just
coming into focus. Whitney said
that in her 10 years of experience
with the DeKalb Board of Health,
there was knowledge that food ac-
cess was unequal in different parts
of the county.
“We know even as we drive
around that we don’t have the same
access to the same types of stores.
Some stores are there, but the pro-
duce is less than desirable,” she said.
“The issues have always been there,
but we now have the language to
talk about them in a concrete way.
Instead of being dependent on big
grocery stores, we can spur de-
velopment through the county or
work individually to provide access
to fresh foods.”
Whitney said the situation is get-
ting better thanks to community
initiatives such as the Garden in
the Park program and local farm-
ers’ markets providing need access
to fresh foods. That way, she said,
neighborhoods that might not be
able to sustain a corporate grocery
chain still have the healthy foods
they need.
“We don’t have a lot of control
about corporate businesses, where
they put their stores,” Whitney said.
“Things we can do in the commu-
nity are to support farmers markets,
community gardens, locally run,
locally operated, not dependent on
external forces. We can’t get our full
grocery basket; we can get a fair
amount of our high quality food
items there.”
Prevention (CDC), there are ap-
proximately 887 suspected Ebola
deaths and 1,663 suspected and
confirmed cases of the virus in
Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and
Nigeria during the current out-
The American patients will be
treated in a “special isolation unit
[that] was previously developed to
treat patients who are exposed to
certain serious infectious disease,”
according to a statement by Emory
Hospital. “It is physically separate
from other patient areas and has
unique equipment and infrastruc-
ture that provide an extraordinari-
ly high level of clinical isolation.”
The unit, one of four in the
country, “was set up in collabora-
tion with the CDC to house CDC
scientists and others who have
traveled abroad and become ex-
posed to infectious diseases. This
unit has unique equipment and
infrastructure that provides an ex-
traordinarily high level of clinical
isolation with very different capa-
bilities than are normally provided
to isolate patients in other hospi-
tals,” according to the statement.
Dr. Bruce Ribner, who will be
treating the patients, told The As-
sociated Press that “nothing comes
out of this unit until it is non-
infectious. The bottom line is: We
have an inordinate amount of safe-
ty associated with the care of this
patient. And we do not believe that
any health care worker, any other
patient or any visitor to our facility
is in any way at risk of acquiring
this infection.”
Additionally, “Emory Univer-
sity Hospital physicians, nurses
and staff are highly trained in the
specific and unique protocols and
procedures necessary to treat and
care for this type of patient,” ac-
cording to the statement. “The
standard, rigorous infection con-
trol procedures used at Emory pro-
tect the patient, Emory health care
workers, and the general public.
As the CDC says, Ebola does not
pose a significant risk to the U.S.
According to Emory University,
“there is no specific medication
that effectively treats Ebola infec-
tion. Typical treatment for Ebola
patients involves: excellent nursing
care, intravenous fluids and blood
products as needed [and] obtain-
ing frequent vital signs, with fre-
quent laboratory monitoring.”
In a statement, the hospital said
there are no plans for additional
Ebola patients to be treated there.