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FRIDAY, AUGUST 29, 2014 • VOL. 17, NO. 23 • 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.
of the projects.
Tat “dollar value is strictly just the money that was
approved by the county to get the engineering done,”
Brown said. “Tat’s not the construction dollar value.”
Construction on pipe work along Allgood Road
from Rockbridge Road to Redan Road is expected to
be completed in two weeks, Brown said.
Te $2.78 million project includes repaving the
road and replacing fre hydrants, as well as increasing
the number of them. Hydrants will be on both sides of
the streets and will be between 600 to 1,000 feet apart.
Currently, hydrants are 2,500 to 3,000 feet apart in
some areas, Brown said.
When asked about the state of the CIP, Brown said,
“I think it’s in good hands. Te program team…is a
good team.”
Education .............. 18-19A
Business ........................17A
Sports ...................... 21-23A
Opinion ........................... 5A
Classifed .......................20A
Commissioner resigns, federal charges filed
by Andrew Cauthen
DeKalb County Commissioner Elaine
Boyer is out.
Te 22-year veteran commissioner
resigned her position Aug. 25, a day before
federal charges of mail fraud conspiracy
and wire fraud were brought against her.
Bond was set at $25,000.
Te charges fled in U.S. District Court
“I want to express my heartfelt
gratitude for the opportunity to
have served in this capacity for
the last 22 years.”
– Elaine Boyer
See Watershed on page 15A
by Andrew Cauthen
eKalb County will hold a cer-
emonial ribbon cutting for two
booster pump stations con-
structed as part of the county’s
$1.35 billion watershed capital improve-
ment project (CIP).
Booster pump stations at North Shal-
lowford and Tilly Mill in Dunwoody will
be on display during the ceremony.
Te $3.9 million North Shallowford
booster pump station was moved from an
underground location in a street island
into a newly constructed nearby building.
Te project, which contains four
pumps, was completed in late July and
took eight months to construct, according
to Wendell Brown, the county’s CIP con-
struction manager.
At a cost of $1.5 million, the two-
pump Tilly Mill booster station serves
Dunwoody High School, Georgia Perim-
eter College’s Dunwoody campus and sur-
rounding areas.
Currently there are more than 48
watershed projects underway including
construction, planning and design, Brown
On Aug. 12, the DeKalb County Board
of Commissioners approved approximate-
ly $10 million in contracts to restart many
Two completed
watershed projects
to be unveiled
Water, water [projects] everywhere
County workers replace pipes on Allgood Road as part of the county’s billion-dollar watershed capital improvement proj-
ect. Photo by Andrew Cauthen
See Boyer on page 15A
Photo by Andrew Cauthen

See Signs on page 3A
Political signs outlast campaigns
by Lauren Ramsdell
oth the primary and runoff elections are
done in DeKalb County but that doesn’t
mean all the signs advocating for certain
candidates have disappeared.
Though most have been taken down or
stashed for use closer to the Nov. 4 elections,
some political signs still abound around the
James Adams, interim special operations
supervisor of code compliance, said there’s not
much he or his officers can do for out-of date
signs. There is currently no county ordinance
requiring signs for defeated candidates to be
taken down.
“As long as [the property owner] has given the
person permission, as the ordinance is written
that is what we have to go by,” Adams said. “With
political signs and signage in general it is a
touchy subject. We have to make sure we abide by
the letter of the law.”
The law can be found in appendix B, article
XIII, section 702 of the DeKalb County Code. In
regards to political signs, the code only specifies
where signs can and cannot be placed. In code
chapter 21, article II, section 21-3, the code
stipulates that each sign erected, even on private
property, must have a permit issued through
the county. In section 21-11, the code says signs
may not be “dilapidated” or “constructed of non-
durable material including, but not limited to,
paper, cardboard or flexible plastic that has been
displayed for more than sixty (60) days.” Though,
No county law requires removing signs afer election
At an apartment complex off Columbia Drive, a large sign encourages voters to elect Atticus LeBlanc to the county
school board. LeBlanc lost in the July 22 runoff to Michael Erwin. Photo by Lauren Ramsdell
393 police offcers
You may not see us, but we’re nearby.
Maybe just a few seats away. To make
sure you have a pleasant, uneventful
ride. We could use your eyes, too. If
you see something that’s not right,
call us. We’ll take it from there.
Chief Wanda Dunham
If you
Use MARTA’s See & Say App.
Txt MPD: (404) 334-5355
Call (404) 848-4911 if you see something out of the ordinary.
$4.6M grant to help
homeless veterans
Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-
04) recently announced that four Atlan-
ta-based groups will receive more than
$4.6 million from the Department of
Veterans Affairs (VA) to fight veterans’
United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta,
Action Ministries Inc., Travelers Aid of
Metropolitan Atlanta Inc. and Decatur
Cooperative Ministry Inc. will receive a share of funds
to provide services to low-income veteran families living
in, or transitioning to, permanent housing in the Fourth
District and throughout metro Atlanta.
Every day I’m inspired to work on behalf of our men
and women–and their families–in uniform,” said John-
son, who sent letters of support to the VA for the grants.
I’m committed to doing what I can to help our veter-
ans get their lives back on track.”
The grants are part of a more than $300 million na-
tionwide effort in homeless prevention that is going to
301 non-profit community agencies in 50 states, Puerto
Rico and the District of Columbia that will help more
than 115,000 homeless and at-risk veterans and their
The program, Supportive Services for Veterans Fami-
lies, is part of President Barack Obama’s pledge to “be
relentless” in his pursuit of ending veterans’ homeless-
ness within the decade.
the code states state the sign can
be replaced with no penalty.
“Those are the rules, and you
notice that section 21-11 gives a
dramatic breakdown in regards
to signs in general,” Adams
said. “What we tend to do is we
enforce the sign ordinances every
two weeks. We do biweekly sign
sweeps and pull signs.”
Adams and the code
compliance officers can write
court summons, and do, for sign
violations. The infraction counts
as a misdemeanor and comes with
a $250 to $1,000 fine.
“Right-of-way issues are the
prime issues,” Adams said. “If they
are in the public right-of-way,
those are immediately pulled. We
do run into it where we would
have to issue a court summons
and make sure it’s brought into
Adams said most complaints
and violations come from these
right-of-way issues. He said that
signs in the public right-of-way,
frequently the strip of grass
between the sidewalk and the
street, can distract drivers. They
also can’t be attached to telephone
poles, trees in the right-of-way or
street signs.
So that yard sale sign tied to
the stop sign at the end of the
cul-de-sac? “That is absolutely a
violation,” he said, “We would take
that down immediately.”
Altogether, signs are a hot
topic, not just after elections.
Adams said he does get
complaints from neighbors about
disruptive signs.
“Signs are a nationwide
problem, not only here in DeKalb
County or the metropolitan area,”
Adams said. “We do have to stay
on top of signs because they can
be an eyesore.”
Continued From Page 2A
Authorities search for masked armed robbers
J. Britt Johnson, special agent in
charge of the FBI Atlanta Field Office,
along with Dekalb Police Chief James
Conroy and Brookhaven Police Chief
Gary Yandura, request the public’s
assistance with identifying and ap-
prehending those responsible for an
armed robbery in DeKalb County.
On Tuesday, Aug. 12, at ap-
proximately 9:30 a.m., three armed
individuals entered the Navy Federal
Credit Union located at 2470 Briar-
cliff Road, NE, Suite #43, Atlanta,
and announced a robbery. During
the robbery the suspects brandished
handguns and ordered the customers
and employees to the ground while
demanding money.
“One of the robbers vaulted the
teller counter prior to all three de-
parting the bank with an undisclosed
amount of money,” according to an
FBI statement.
One suspect is described as a
Black male, approximately 6 feet tall,
medium build, 20 to 30 years old, car-
rying a handgun and wearing a mask
and dark clothing.
A second suspect is described as
having a light complexion (race un-
known), approximately 6 feet tall, 20
to 30 years old of age, and wearing a
mask, sunglasses, blue jeans, white
sneakers, and carrying a handgun.
The suspect who jumped the
counter is described as a heavyset
Black male, wearing gloves and a
mask, and carrying a handgun and a
bag with a white strap.
The robbers fled the bank in a sil-
ver Nissan Altima.
The FBI is offering a reward for
information leading to the arrest and
conviction of those involved.
Anyone with information re-
garding this robbery should contact
Crime Stoppers Atlanta at (404) 577-
Former Decatur mayor
directs local cities group
The Georgia Municipal Association (GMA)
has named former Decatur mayor Bill Floyd as
the managing director of the DeKalb Municipal
Association. Floyd is also a consultant with the
Pendleton Group.
“I look forward to working on issues related
to the complex and evolving local government
situation in DeKalb County,” Floyd said. “I know
city leaders are prepared to collaborate and
find solutions that will best serve the needs and
aspirations of residents.”
Floyd served as mayor of Decatur from 1998 to
2012 and began a one-year term as GMA president
in 2009. He became DeKalb Municipal Association
managing director on Aug. 1.
“Bill has extensive knowledge of city operations
and is a relationship builder,” said GMA Executive
Director Lamar Norton. “He knows the political
history and players in DeKalb County, and we
believe he will do an excellent job for the 10 cities in
the county.”
The DeKalb Municipal Association was
established in 2011 to foster better understanding
between government authorities of all levels
of government. It also seeks to ensure DeKalb
municipal residents are provided effective
and efficient services from DeKalb County
Celebrating the real Labor Day
“All labor that uplifts humanity
has dignity and importance
and should be undertaken with
painstaking excellence,” Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-
I have always admired the
American worker, the laborer who
puts in an honest day’s work for
a hard day’s pay. This Labor Day
weekend, I hope to join several
million Americans in honoring
our workers and the men and
women who helped build and make
America the greatest nation on the
That said, I also want to make
a strong distinction between
honoring our laborers and workers,
versus honoring our labor unions,
which have grown over the decades
to become a twisted version of
what they once were, and to
point out that the first Labor Day,
reportedly celebrated on Sept. 5,
1882, was created following a pro
labor demonstration and picnic
in New York, led by Matthew
Maguire, a machinist and then
secretary of the Central Labor
Union. Another version of the
founding story credits Peter
McGuire, a cofounder of the
American Federation of Labor.
Either way, a day celebrating
the achievements of American
workers can be credited to early
pioneers in the organized labor
union movement. In those days,
sweatshop practices were common,
women and children were worked
excessively long hours and the
worker was generally not valued.
That first Labor Day rally was
actually a protest against 12-hour
workdays and seven-day work
weeks. By 1884, New York City
officially named the first Monday
in September as Labor Day, the
idea spread and by 1885 the
holiday was being celebrated in
Chicago and many industrialized
regions of the country. In
1887, Oregon became the first
state to declare a state holiday,
followed by Colorado, New York,
Massachusetts and New Jersey in
short order.
During 1893 in New York City,
labor workers took an unpaid day
off and marched around Union
Square in support of creating a
national Labor Day holiday. The
following year, President Grover
Cleveland sent 12,000 federal
troops into Pullman, Ill., to end
a huge labor strike against the
Pullman Railway company. U.S.
Marshals killed two workers during
the dispute and strike-related
In an election year attempt
to regain support among union
workers shortly after the Pullman
strike ended, on June 28, 1894,
President Cleveland signed
legislation naming the first
Monday in September as a national
Labor Day holiday. The tactic
failed politically, as workers did
not support Cleveland, and he lost
the election which followed.
In the more than century
since, workplace reforms led by
unions as well as both the public
and private sectors have brought
the 40-hour work week, paid
vacation and sick time, healthcare
and related employee benefits,
pensions and retirement planning
options. A long list of local, state
and federal agencies which exist to
protect the rights of the employed
including OSHA, the EEOC, state
and federal departments of labor
and the Clean Air and Water Acts
which made significant regulatory
improvements to restrictions on the
handling of industrial waste have
also come into being.
As the need for labor unions
to secure these protections has
waned, unions have become more
about their own hierarchy, self-
aggrandizement and leadership
extravagances. And with only
the exception of public sector
government unions, union
membership is down in the teens,
in terms of the total percentage
of the American work force,
following a more than 50-year
period of decline.
However, the true purpose
of this end-of-summer/back-to-
school holiday weekend remains
essentially unchanged—to pause
and for a moment reflect on the
sacrifices, hard work and often
uncounted contributions of millions
of hard working Americans.
Between picnics, parades
and sporting events this holiday
weekend, let’s all try and take a
moment to remember that. Happy
Labor Day!
Bill Crane also serves as a political
analyst and commentator for Chan-
nel 2’s Action News, WSB-AM News/
Talk 750 and now 95.5 FM, as well
as a columnist for The Champion,
Champion Free Press and Georgia
Trend. Crane is a DeKalb native and
business owner, living in Scottdale.
You can reach him or comment on a
column at 
Bill Crane

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, type-
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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 contributing 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
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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.
Thoughts on Ferguson, MO.
As a former resident of the metro
Saint Louis, East Saint Louis area, my
heart has been heavy watching the
police dogs and tear gas being used to
disperse peaceful protesters standing
up for their right to be treated with
dignity and respect. Te photos re-
minded me of a throwback to the ‘60s
and the Civil Rights Movement. We
have made progress as a people but we
have so far to go.
I have been silent on the St. Louis
riots but no more!
Hopelessness is a formula for di-
saster. Te Bible says where there is no
vision the people parish.
While I in no shape or form en-
dorse the destruction of our own
neighborhoods by violent acts car-
ried out by frustrated and desperate
people, I do think it’s important to
realize how we’ve gotten here and the
attitudes that drive such behavior.
When a person lacks hope or faith
in tomorrow’s possibilities, by default
they will seek to abort or destroy
their present reality. Teir tolerance
for risky behavior increases because
in their minds, they have nothing
to live for anyway. Te question has
been asked over and over, why are
these young Black men and women
destroying their own communities?
My frst response is do they really own
them? Te fact that there is very little
pride of ownership in many of our
communities is a part of the problem.
Ten we have to deal with the
mental state of a people that would
destroy everything and anything that
is around them (people included).
Te same hopelessness that can cause
63-year-old comedian Robin Wil-
liams to use a belt to hang himself, is
the same spirit of depression and defeat
that justifes torching a community.
Not logical or reasonable think-
ing, but a fact! As for why the citizens
of Ferguson, Mo., are torching their
community, while there is no logical
reason to justify it, the problem for
many is a lack of pride, respect and a
sense of ownership.
Absent these basic and funda-
mental human traits, society helps to
create a subculture of people who see
themselves as worthless. Te unfor-
tunate reality is that many of us rise
or fall to level of expectations of those
around us.
Every day young Black men are
killing each other over turf and street
corners they don’t own. Why? What
they are seeking is respect! Feeling de-
nied the odds of achieving the respect
they desire through the boardrooms
of corporate America and mainstream
legitimate channels they compromise
their goals by seeking the pride and
respect they desire through street
Tis is a diferent world they seek
to rule that operates by a diferent and
defant set of rules. Denied access to
mainstream success, they resort to
creating their own world run by their
own rules of engagement. Today it’s
Mike Brown, yesterday it was Tray-
von Martin.
What mainstream society needs
to understand is every time the scab is
ripped of this national crisis among
people of color and the disadvantaged
of this nation, it oozes the same infec-
tious pus and blood.
Today, more than ever a time in
this nation’s history, we need to be
about the business of giving people
People of DeKalb, we have work
to do!
Cornelius Staford is president of
100 Black Men of DeKalb County Inc.
and author of recently released book
Pathway to Purpose.

If you would like to nominate someone to be
considered as a future Champion of the Week,
please contact Andrew Cauthen at andrew@ or at (404) 373-7779, ext. 117.
Mary Davis lives in
Philips Tower in downtown
Decatur, but it took a while
for community managers to
take her up on her offers to
After a long career with
American Express, Davis
moved to Decatur about
three years ago. At first, she
approached managers at Phil-
ips Tower and asked if they needed any help or volun-
teers. They said no, initially.
“They didn’t utilize me until they realized I had
gone outside the building,” she said. “The people that
run the building here approached me then. I don’t let
things interfere with the things I have promised to give
to the visitor’s center. When I say I’m going to be there,
I’m there.”
Davis volunteers about three days per week at the
Decatur visitor’s center on Clairemont Avenue. She has
since becoming a de facto ambassador for the city.
“I always enjoy the visitor’s center because you get
to meet so many people: people who are visiting our
little city, people who live in the city and say they don’t
know this is here. I took Decatur 101. I really became
just totally aware of the great activities that take place
in our little four-square mile city.”
Davis said that growing up, her mother always told
her and her siblings to give back whenever they could.
“I have always had to give some of my time to the
community,” she said. “That’s what I do.”
Davis said she originally volunteered at the visitor’s
center so often that people thought she was homeless.
Before the center had a permanent space, she sat in
Decatur Square handing out pamphlets touting Deca-
tur to residents and visitors alike.
She finally did get to volunteer at Philips Tower.
She also tries to volunteer at Decatur events such as
the beach party and book festival. She said her work
with American Express took her around the country,
as well as her earlier career in the travel industry, as
well as a stint in the air force, left her with a need for
variety in her life.
“I believe that if you have any type of talent at all,
even if it’s just smiling and saying hello to people, it
makes your life more interesting,” Davis said. “Particu-
larly seniors. Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean
you just sit and do nothing.”
Davis said while she was younger, she volunteered
because it was the right thing to do and she had gifts
to share. While she still enjoys giving back and offer-
ing a smile, it has become more important as she gets
older to maintain connections and give back.
“I have lived for 77 years,” she said. “And I love
my life. I think it’s important that seniors remember
that you have something to give. You’ve lived this life.
You’re fortunate.”
“I have lived for 77 years,”
she said. “And I love my life. I
think it’s important that seniors
remember that you have
something to give. You’ve lived
this life. You’re fortunate.”
New ethics complaints fled against commissioner
by Andrew Cauthen
ess than a week after DeKalb
County’s ethics board dis-
missed a complaint against
county Commissioner Jeff
Rader, a new one has been filed
against him.
The complaint was filed Aug. 18
by Warren Mosby, a DeKalb resi-
dent and senior consultant with HSI
Systems & Consultants.
In his complaint, Mosby alleges
that Rader failed “to acknowledge
his inherent conflict of interest
at each and every meeting of the
Board of Commissioners wherein
a decision was made regarding
DeKalb County’s Contractual rela-
tionship with Commissioner Rader’s
then employer, Jacobs Engineering
and its subsidiaries.”
“There’s not much new there in
the accusation,” Rader said Aug. 20.
“This I think is a politically moti-
vated distraction.”
In response to a similar com-
plaint dismissed Aug. 14 by the
ethics board, Rader said that when
he was first elected, he sought and
received from the ethics board an
advisory opinion on how to avoid
conflict of interest regarding his em-
Mosby’s complaint states the
ethics board in “in 2007 should have
specified the need for full disclosure
by Commissioner Rader along with
other actions (such as not voting,
abstaining or otherwise being ab-
sent from a vote) for each and every
individual item coming before the
DeKalb County Commission that
presents a conflict of interest to in-
sure compliance.”
The complaint also states that
the ethics board’s “decision to not
act” on a complaint “on the grounds
of lack of investigatory authority
does not preclude the Ethics Board’s
responsibility to address this sepa-
rate complaint.”
Both ethics complaints “try to
work around the fact there is an
advisory opinion that informed my
conduct,” Rader said. “They all say,
‘well he might have done what the
advisory opinion said, but it’s still an
ethical violation.’
“I think that’s a tough case to
make,” Rader said. “How else are we
supposed to conduct ourselves?”
Additionally, Rader is accused
of using county purchasing card
(P-card) to pay more than $3,400 in
bills for his personal cell phone.
Mosby also states that Rader has
used his P-Card to pay $500 annual
membership dues to Professional
Planning Organizations that “he
then uses in his line of work (not
commission only)” and “to purchase
travel and hotel accommodations to
conventions for Planners instead of
paying for the employment-related
expense out of his own pocket.”
Rader said that “each expendi-
ture has been vetted when reviewed
by the county’s internal audit func-
tion [and] by the district attorney.
The complaint is without merit.”
The first ethics complaint
against Rader “was not dismissed
on the merits but the lack of speci-
ficity,” Rader said. “This one has
more specific accusations so I don’t
know that it would be dismissed on
a first review. In any event, I’m very
confident that the accusations…
are invalid and I ultimately will be
In June, Mosby was mentioned
in an ethics complaint against Com-
missioner Sharon Barnes Sutton.
That complaint alleges that Sut-
ton had a conflict of interest when
she hired Mosby for at least three
contract jobs totaling more than
$35,000. The alleged projects in-
clude the design of a program for
the Youth Leadership Academy
kick-off ($1,336); District 4 commis-
sioner newsletter ($4,212); Board of
Commissioners’’ transition advisory
capacity ($10,000); and professional
services for District 4 ($20,000).
“There’s not much new there
in the accusation. This I think
is a politically motivated
distraction.” – Commissioner Jeff Rader

New toy donation policy announced
The city of Brookhaven announced recently that
it will begin reviewing toys donated at city parks
to ensure the safety of all Brookhaven’s park users,
especially children.
A neighborhood tradition of leaving old or
outgrown toys at Ashford Park presented a serious
challenge to Brookhaven’s Parks and Recreation
Department, according to a statement from the
 “We appreciate the spirit of community and
generosity that the parents of Ashford Park have
been demonstrating by leaving toys on the play-
ground at Ashford Park,” said Gary Schussler,
assistant parks director. “It’s our responsibility to
keep all city parks neat and make sure that toys
and equipment are safe to use and in good working
Rather than just discarding toys their children
have outgrown, parents or others who wish to do-
nate toys should bring them to Brookhaven’s Parks
Department for a safety check. To keep the city
parks safe and visually attractive for all visitors,
toys that are unsafe, worn out or broken will not be
distributed in city parks.   
Brookhaven residents who wish to donate toys
or other items to Brookhaven Parks can access a
donation request form on the Parks and Recreation
Department webpage and drop the form and the
items off at the Lynwood Park Recreation Center,
located at 3360 Osborne Road in Brookhaven. 
 To review the donation policy and donation
request form, see the Toy Donation Policy on the
city’s website at
NASCAR driver to meet fans
Dylan Kwasniewski, driver of Camaro’s No.
31 and No. 42 for Turner Scott Motorsports, will
attend a meet-and-greet for fans at the Doraville
Fraternal Order of Eagles. The international F.O.E.
sponsors Kwasniewski’s No. 31 car.
Kwasniewski will be at the chapter building, lo-
cated at 3118 Chestnut Drive, from 7 to 8 p.m. Ac-
cording to the chapter’s Facebook page, there will
be raffles, races and a dinner. Register by finding
the event on the Fraternal Order of Eagles Atlanta
714 Facebook page.
District 1 Citizen Connection
meeting announced
Dunwoody’s district 1 city council representa-
tives, Terry Nall and Dennis Shortall, will host a
citizen connection meeting at the Dunwoody Na-
ture Center Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. The event will be a fo-
rum where participants can write and send in ques-
tions on paper or electronically. Representatives will
answer questions and take feedback from residents.
Residents can send in their ideas ahead of time at
Library to host movie screening
Stonecrest Library will host a special screening
of The Abolitionists, a film that brings to life the
intertwined stories of Frederick Douglass, Wil-
liam Lloyd Garrison, Angelina Grimke, Harriet
Beecher Stowe and John Brown.
The Abolitionists takes place during some of the
most violent decades in American history and re-
veals how the movement shaped history by expos-
ing the fatal flaw of a republic founded on liberty
for some and bondage for others. The screening is
a part of the Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights
Struggle series. The series is made possible through
a grant from the National Endowment for the Hu-
manities, as part of its Bridging Cultures initiative,
in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute
of American History. For more information, call
(770) 482-3828.
Stone Mountain
Art Station hosting exhibit
exhibit of renowned “plein air” painters will be held
at the ART Station Contemporary art center in
Stone Mountain until Sept. 28. A “Paint Out” will
also take place Sept. 13, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. to
celebrate the artistic tradition of “plein air” painting.
For more information about the exhibit or the Paint
Out, call ART Station at (770)-469-1105.
Commissioner to hold monthly
community breakfast
DeKalb County Commissioner Stan Watson is
taking his monthly community cabinet breakfast
on the road. He will partner with Stephenson High
School PTSA which will facilitate the community
breakfast Saturday, Sept. 6, from 9 to 11 a.m. 
Stephenson High School is located at 701 Ste-
phenson Road, Stone Mountain.
During the breakfast, Watson launch the count-
down to his annual Stephenson Road community
clean up, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 13.
Representatives from Comcast Cable, Discover
DeKalb/DeKalb Convention and Visitors Bureau
and Georgia Department of Transportation will
update attendees on services, initiatives and pro-
The breakfast is free and open to the public.
There is no registration required. For additional
information, call (404) 371-3681.
Charter district public hearings
The DeKalb County School District is consider-
ing a bid to become an all-charter school district,
which would be the largest in Georgia if accepted.
The district is seeking community input to go to-
wards a petition to be submitted to the state board
of education.
Five meetings, one for each district, have been
scheduled around the county. All meetings will
take place at 6 p.m.
Region 1 – Dunwoody High School – Aug. 28,
Region 2 – Lakeside High School – Aug. 27
Region 3 – Stephenson High School – Sept. 3
Region 4 – Lithonia High School – Aug. 26
Region 5 – Towers High School – September 2
Avondale Estates
City to host Labor Day race
Avondale Estates will host its 36th An-
nual Labor Day 5K Race and 1 Mile Race
Sept. 1. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., the
1 mile race will start at 8:30 a.m. and the 5K
race will begin at 8 a.m. To register the day
before the race, visit For more
information, contact Karen Holmes at (404)
294-5400 or
   The Mayor and City Council of the City of Chamblee, Georgia will hold a public hearing on 
Thursday, September 11, 2014, at the Chamblee Civic Center, 3540 Broad Street, Chamblee, 
GA 30341 at 6:00 p.m. to receive public comments regarding the following matter: 
1. Text amendment to Article X, Section 1002. “Permitted Uses” of Appendix A, “Zoning 
Ordinance” as follows: 
 to indicate that the use “Automobile wash service” is permitted only in the 
Industrial Transitional (IT) and Light Industrial (I) zoning districts and therefore 
is prohibited in the Corridor Commercial (CC) zoning district; and 
 to replace the use “Automobile and truck repair as a primary use” with the use 
“Automobile and truck repair, body work, and modification as a principal use”. 
 to replace the use, “Automobile and truck sales and service with repair and 
body work as an accessory use” with the use, “Automobile and truck sales and 
service with repair, body work, and modification as an accessory use”. 
Amusement machines cause nuisance in Clarkston
by Lauren Ramsdell
larkston has a bit of a
According to city
manager Keith Barker,
coin-operated amusement
machines — you may know
them as video poker or video
slots — have proliferated in
Clarkston. Most restaurants
in the town have at least one
machine, and they can be
found at local convenience
stores, too.
Under Georgia law and
according to trade groups,
coin-operated amusement
machines include claw ma-
chines, foosball machines
and target or shooting gallery
machines in addition to sim-
ulated gambling types. How-
ever, these are not the kinds
of machines in Clarkston
“Sometimes they’re dif-
ferent types of games,” Barker
said. “Tey’re more of the
poker type. It’s not pinball
and it’s not Frogger. Tey’re
primarily gambling themed.”
Coin-operated amuse-
ment machines are regulated
by the Georgia Lottery Cor-
poration. According to law,
they aren’t allowed to dis-
pense more than fve dollars’
worth of tokens, tickets or
novelty items and are not al-
lowed to dispense cash at all.
Barker said he has heard, an-
ecdotally, that the machines
in Clarkston are not follow-
ing those rules.
“It has been told to me
that there are people who
have won big jackpots, six,
seven and eight thousand
dollars,” Barker said. “I don’t
know the details of how they
manage that. When you have
[52 machines], when you
have a town that is 1.1 square
mile, and you see these
machines, six and seven in
restaurants at lunchtime, and
there’s nobody eating lunch
and there are people playing
the machines and you hear
families say ‘He worked all
week at the factory, and be-
fore he came home he went
to the restaurant and lost all
the rent,’ or ‘he’s in signifcant
debt to the owner,’ you put
two and two and two togeth-
er and get six.”
Clarkston also had two
suicides in the last year, and
Barker said interviews with
family members indicated
that problem gambling may
have been a stress factor lead-
ing to the suicides. Te ma-
chines are also primarily used
by members of Clarkston’s
refugee communities.
“We haven’t had any
problems with it as far as
law enforcement goes,” said
Clarkston police chief Chris-
tine Hudson. “Tese poor
families — people go in there
and gamble their money
away. Tey’ve lost their mon-
ey; they can’t pay their bills
and unfortunately they take
their life.”
Hudson said the ma-
chines are more of a public
nuisance right now, because
any alleged crimes or illegal
payouts have not been sub-
“It’s very hard to get into
these places, especially here
in Clarkston,” Hudson said.
“I can’t send one of my of-
fcers in there because they
know us. Trying to infltrate
that is kind of hard even with
an undercover ofcer. You
have to be the right national-
ity; you have to look the right
Barker said city ordi-
nance stipulates that to be
considered a restaurant a
business must receive 51 per-
cent or more of its revenue
from food sales. But, he said,
the city may not have done a
thorough job verifying those
“Tat’s something we
are struggling to do now,
with limited resources,”
Barker said. “It’s difcult for
us to pay auditors, but we
are working on that and we
are going to fgure that out
To study the issue of
coin-operated amusement
machines, Clarkston created
an ad-hoc committee, led by
city Councilman Robert Ho-
gan. According to Barker, the
committee is looking at the
problem and propose solu-
tions; solutions that can’t in-
volve banning the machines,
because they are legal in the
“We know that we cannot
prohibit the coin-operated
machines outright,” Barker
said. “However we have
greater latitude with our abil-
ity to grant who and what
establishments can sell beer
and wine and package stores.”
One such example is
an ordinance passed by the
city last year that forced
convenience store owners to
choose—keep selling beer
and wine and ditch the video
machines, or lose the beer
and wine license and keep
the machines. Most opted to
continue selling alcohol.
“Tis tells you some-
thing: you know convenience
stores — beer and wine sales
are a signifcant part of their
revenue stream,” Barker said.
“One of our convenience
stores opted to give up the
license to sell beer and wine,
so the amusement machines
must be a signifcant revenue
source. It’s hard for me to
fathom, if indeed the payout
is something nominal, why
would I sit there and feed
that machine for hours.”
Barker said his goal is not
to legislate away the problem,
but rather to spur economic
development in Clarkston to
such a degree that the games
are no longer proftable.
“We have a $5.7 million
streetscape project, and it’s
our hope that when we make
these public improvements
to the infrastructure— tree-
lined streets, improved
pedestrian pathways, new
sidewalks — that these res-
taurants and other businesses
will leverage that and will
make improvements to their
facades and their buildings,”
Barker said. “I think, big pic-
ture, I want these restaurants
to be successful to the point
where every square foot of
their available space will be
designated table space for
diners. Tey will be mak-
ing signifcant and sufcient
revenue from food sales so
that the space that is now for
machines will be turned into
dining space.”
Coin-operated amusement machines, like these that simulate slots, are becoming a public nuisance in Clarkston. Photo by Lauren Ramsdell
more of
the poker
type. It’s
not pinball
and it’s not
– Clarkston city
manager Keith Barker
Four to seek vacant Brookhaven council seat
Tucker CID welcomes Northlake
businesses, changes name
by Carla Parker
Four people have qualifed to
run for the Brookhaven District
2 Council seat in a Nov. 4 special
Brookhaven residents Charles P.
Barry III, Bill Brown, Tim Nama
and John Park will appear on city
ballots in the November election.
Te District 2 seat became open
afer former city council member
Jim Eyre resigned in April. His
resignation came afer he criticized
reports that city taxpayers paid city
manager Marie Garrett’s salary and
consultant fees for more than a year.
In June, the city council passed
a resolution authorizing a special
election for the vacated council seat.
Early voting will begin on Oct. 6
and continue through election day.
If no candidate obtains a majority, a
runof election will be held Dec. 2.
Barry is an associate at Cruser
& Mitchell, LLP, who specializes in
civil tort litigation. He also worked
with the DeKalb County District
Attorney’s Ofce, according to his
Facebook page.
Brown is the owner of Tere
Brookhaven, a restaurant located
in Town Brookhaven. Nama is
a business owner and served as
chairman of the city’s zoning board
of appeals before he resigned from
his position to run for the council
Park works as a sofware
engineer at Revegy.
Barry Nama Brown Park
by Carla Parker
Te Tucker CID is now the Tucker-
Northlake CID.
Tis week the Tucker Community
Improvement District voted to change
its name to the Tucker-Northlake
CID. According to CID ofcials, the
new name refects the CID’s focus on
economic development and infrastructure
improvements for the communities to the
east and west of the I-285/LaVista Road
interchange. Along with downtown Tucker,
the CID boundaries extend down Lavista,
Henderson Mill, and Northlake Parkway
through the Northlake shopping district and
the Montreal industrial corridor.
“We certainly believe there is strength
in numbers, which is why a CID is so
appealing to community business leaders,”
said Ann Rosenthal, president of the
Tucker-Northlake CID. “Commercial
property owners within the CID pay a
self-imposed tax, and the funds are used
within the CID area for transportation and
infrastructure improvements, public safety,
economic development and quality of life
“Even though the Tucker-Northlake
CID is only a year old, we have already
improved the I-285/LaVista Road
intersection and are preparing to kick of a
major master planning process for the area,”
Rosenthal added.
In May, the DeKalb County Board of
Commissioners approved the Tucker CID’s
request to annex the Northlake commercial
properties. Te expansion adds over $110
million in property value.
Te Tucker-Northlake CID now
includes more than 166 commercial
property owners, representing
approximately $157 million in property
More than 67 Northlake commercial
properties into the organization Aug. 7.
were welcomed.
In addition to renaming the CID,
the organization elected two new board
members to serve with the existing board
for 2014-2015. Te new board members are
Frank Goulding of Newell Recycling and
Peggy Berg of the Hampton Inn. Existing
board members returning for 2014-2015 are
CID chairman Bill Rosenfeld of Rosenfeld
Jewelry, vice chairman John Martin of John
Martin State Farm, treasurer Annie Gibson-
Ervin of Kaiser Permanente, secretary
See Tucker CID on page 16A
Photo by Carla Parker
Ebola patients released from Emory Hospital
Dr. Kent Brantly
by Carla Parker
wo Ebola patients who were being treated
at Emory University Hospital have tested
clear of the deadly virus and were dis-
charged from the hospital.
Doctors announced Aug. 21 that Nancy
Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly were not a threat
to public health.
“Afer a rigorous course of treatment and test-
ing, the Emory Healthcare team has determined
that both patients have recovered from the Ebola
virus and can return to their families and com-
munity without concern for spreading this infec-
tion to others,” said Dr. Bruce Ribner, director of
Emory’s Infectious Disease Unit.
Writebol was discharged from the hospital
Aug. 19 and she and her husband, David, have
gone to an undisclosed location to rest, according
to a representative of the missionary organization
SIM. Brantly was released from Emory Aug. 21,
and called the day “miraculous” at a press confer-
ence at the hospital.
“I am thrilled to be alive, to be well and to be
reunited with my family,” Brantly said. “Above all,
I am forever thankful to God for sparing my life
and am glad for any attention my sickness has at-
tracted for the plight of West Africa in the midst
of this epidemic.”
Te patients’ discharges were based on blood
and urine diagnostic tests and standard infectious
disease protocols. Tey received a dose of an ex-
perimental serum while still in Liberia. Brantly
also received a unit of blood from a 14-year-old
boy who had survived Ebola under his care. Em-
ory said its medical team maintained its extensive
safety procedures throughout the treatment pro-
cess and is confdent the discharge of the patients
poses no public health threat.
“Te Emory Healthcare team is extremely
pleased with Dr. Brantly’s and Mrs. Writebol’s
recovery, and was inspired by their spirit and
strength, as well as by the steadfast support of
their families,” Ribner said.
Writebol was serving with her husband at
SIM’s Eternal Love Inning Africa (ELWA) mis-
sion campus in Monrovia, Liberia, when she and
Brantly contracted Ebola. Brantly was serving at
the ELWA Hospital as part of a cooperative work
between SIM and Samaritan’s Purse. Brantly said
he began to feel ill July 23.
“As I lay in my bed in Liberia for the follow-
ing nine days, getting sicker and weaker each day,
I prayed that God would help me to be faithful
even in my illness, and I prayed that in my life or
in my death, he would be glorifed,” he said.
Afer treatment in Liberia, Brantly and Write-
bol were fown to Atlanta earlier this month and
was admitted to Emory University Hospital,
where they were treated in isolation from other
hospital patients at a special unit set up in collab-
oration with the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention to care for patients exposed to certain
serious infectious diseases.
“I am incredibly thankful to all of those who
were involved in my care, from the frst day of my
illness all the way up to today—the day of my re-
lease from Emory,” he said.
Afer giving his statement, Brantly hugged
the fve doctors and 21 nurses who treated him.
Brantly said he and his family were “going away
for a period of time to reconnect, to decompress
and to continue to recover physically and emo-
Before he lef, he shared a message from
“My dear friend Nancy Writebol, upon her
release from the hospital, wanted me to share her
gratitude for all the prayers on her behalf,” Brantly
said. “As she walked out of her isolation room, all
she could say was, ‘To God be the glory.’”
In a released statement, Writebol’s husband
also thanked the staf at Emory.
“Nancy joined the ranks of a small, but hope-
fully growing number of survivors of the Ebola
virus disease when she walked out of the Emory
University Hospital Isolation Unit on Aug. 19,”
David Writebol said. “She had been in isolation
fghting the disease since July 26. Nancy is free
of the virus, but the lingering efects of the battle
have lef her in a signifcantly weakened condi-
tion. Tus, we decided it would be best to leave
the hospital privately to be able to give her the rest
and recuperation she needs at this time.”
“I am thrilled to be alive. ”
Dr. Kent Brantly reads a statement after he was released from Emory University Hospital where he was treated for Ebola. Photos provided
Dr. Kent Brantly ran out of the isolation area giving high
fives to his treatment team who had lined the halls.
Nancy Writebol and her husband David went to
an undisclosed location to rest after she was dis-
charged from Emory University Hospital and tested
clear of Ebola.
Ebola patients released from Emory Hospital
Funds, fun raised at annual Labor Day race
Discover DeKalb’s Reunion Specialist will teach you everything you
need to know to plan the perfect Family Reunion in DeKalb County!
Workshop - 10 a.m. to Noon Showcase - Noon to 2 p.m.
Saturday, September 20th, 2014
DoubleTree Hotel Atlanta NE/Northlake
4156 Lavista Road, Tucker, GA 30084
Family Reunion Capital of the South
Call 770-492-5018
Pre-registration is required
FREE Family Reunion Planning
Workshop & Showcase
Pet of the Week
Peppa is a super
sweet, happy,
affectionate 2 year
old pointer mix who
loves people and
is excited about
exploring the world
around her. She
would love to get out
of the shelter and into
a home where she
can have many long
years of adventures
with you. Throughout
the month of August
all dogs and puppies may be adopted for only $20.
All cats and kittens may be adopted for only $10.
Adoption fee includes spay/neuter, vaccinations,
microchip and more!
Please call (404) 294-2165 or email
for additional information.
by Kathy Mitchell
Te Fourth of July for many
runners means gathering for the
popular Peachtree Road Race in
downtown Atlanta. For a smaller but
dedicated group Labor Day means
putting on running shoes early in
the morning and dashing through
the streets of Avondale Estates.
Between 200 and 300 runners
and walkers from those just beyond
the toddling stage to folks well past
their 70th birthdays are expected to
be on hand Sept. 1 when the 36th
edition of this holiday tradition
takes place. Te event, which starts
at Willis Park, is for racers of all
ages and athletic levels, according to
Avondale Estates’ website.
Te race started simply as a
community event, but several
years ago became a fundraiser to
beneft research for Amyotrophic
Lateral Sclerosis Association,
according to Karen Holmes, who
has been one of the race organizers
for 15 years. Amyotrophic lateral
sclerosis, more commonly known
as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a
rapidly progressive, invariably fatal
neurological disease.
“A prominent Avondale Estates
resident died of ALS. Afer that,
the city turned the event into an
ALS beneft,” Holmes explained,
adding that it continues to be “a
festive annual event that brings the
community together.”
She noted that there are
actually two races. Tere’s a one-
mile race geared toward children
and a fve-kilometer race for more
serious runners. With each race,
trophies are awarded to male and
female frst, second and third place
winners in groupings by age—a
total of 14 groups. In addition to
that breakdown, there are male
and female winners for the overall
and master categories. Te two
overall winners are the frst male
and female to cross the fnish line.
Te two master winners are the frst
male and female over age 40 to cross
the fnish line, according to race
organizers. As with the Peachtree,
fnishers receive a T-shirt designed
for each year’s event.
Racers pay a fee—$10 to $12 for
the one-mile and $20 to $25 for the
full 5K, with early registrants paying
the lower fee.
“Tat’s where some of the money
comes from, but we depend on our
community sponsors for most of it,”
said Holmes noted, noting that this
year more than 20 local businesses
signed on as sponsors and a number
of local residents donated as “friends
of the race.”
“Last year we were able to give
$5,900 to ALS research,” she said.
First Baptist Church of Avondale
Estates comes through each year
not only as a fnancial sponsor,
but a supporter of the race with
volunteers and tables of fruit and
beverages to nourish the runners.
Te Bishop restaurant, which
opened in downtown Avondale
Estates earlier this year, is providing
free brunch for winning runners in
all categories.
New for this year, the 5K will
use chip timing for more accurate
race results. In races with hundreds
of participants, the frst runners to
cross the fnish line may have had
the advantage of being in front of
other runners at the starting line.
Chip timing—using a chip attached
to the runner—measures the actual
time it takes for the runner to reach
the fnish line from the starting line.
Although late summer weather
can be unpredictable, the event
goes on rain or shine, according
to Holmes. Pictures from the 2013
race, for example, show youngsters
frolicking in rain as they wait to start
the one-mile event. “Te weather
has afected the race some years, but
there’s never been a cancellation,”
she said.
Te event starts early and ends
early, leaving participants lots of
time for holiday cookouts and
picnics. Onsite registration begins
at 7:30 a.m. and the one-mile race is
under way at 8:30 a.m. Te 5K race
begins at 9 a.m.
Volunteers from First Baptist Church of Avondale Estates wait with fruit, sports
drinks and water for the runners.
Hundreds of runners wait to start the 5K race.
DeKalb family faces ALS together
by Lauren Ramsdell
little more than a year ago, Ernest
and Synetha Gilchrist got news that
any parent would dread to hear.
Teir son, Darius Gilchrist,
had just been diagnosed with
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS
or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
“I knew exactly what it was,” Synetha, who
works as a physical therapist, said. “My child
didn’t know what [the doctor] was saying. When
he got the information, he was pretty brave, but
I myself had to try to keep it together. One thing
they have is counselors on the spot. I just broke
down and cried.”
ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that
progresses quickly, with weakness and profound
loss of muscle tone that eventually afects
breathing and swallowing. According to the
ALS Association, more than 5,600 new cases of
ALS are diagnosed every year. Te average ALS
patient will survive two to fve years afer initial
In Darius’ case, the diagnosis came afer a
year of medical interventions trying to pinpoint
the cause of his puzzling weakness. An athletic
child, the most serious medical issue he had
faced to that point was asthma.
“It was a bittersweet moment that we fnally
got a diagnosis,” Synetha said. “He had bilateral
elbow surgeries, a spinal tap, brain imaging; he
went through this for a whole year. It was good
to have a diagnosis, but it was not good to have
this particular one.”
ALS is one of the more common
neurodegenerative diseases but remains
relatively unknown because it afects a small
population. Ernest said he had not made the
connection between ALS and Lou Gehrig’s
disease until Darius was diagnosed.
Darius is a talented musician and a huge
sports fan, cheering on Atlanta’s Braves and
Falcons every season. Ernest said that, at frst,
Darius had a hard time fnding motivation to
continue school. ALS usually advances rapidly,
but, one year into his diagnosis, Ernest said
Darius has come out more determined than ever.
He did end up graduating, cum laude
at Georgia State University with a degree in
exercise science. He works in an occupational
therapy assistant program full-time, has a part-
time job at Lifetime Fitness three days a week
and interns at radio station 680 AM two days per
“He’s determined to live life to the fullest,”
Ernest said. “He has parents that are basically
saying what his medical team says: you have to
keep going. We’re not going to know the day that
you lose the ability to use your hands, or walk, so
keep living now. We are hopeful for a cure.”
Te ALS Association is also hopeful for a
cure. According to its website, a former Boston
College baseball player, Pete Frates, started the
“Ice Bucket Challenge,” where participants are
challenged to flm themselves dumping a bucket
of ice water over their heads and donate $10 to
the ALS Association. If the person challenged
does not douse themselves in water, they are
asked to donate $100.
Frates has lived with ALS since 2012, a year
before Darius got his diagnosis. Te challenge
spread quickly over social media, increasing
donations to ALS-related charities by more
than 3000 percent. As of August 25, donations
to the ALS Association reached $79.7 million,
compared to $2.5 million received in the same
time period last year.
“I am glad to see that people are hearing the
word about ALS because it’s a disease that I don’t
think people know about,” Synetha said. “We are
defnitely looking for a cure, and you can’t do
that without money. And even though people are
having fun with it, giving the foundation money
will give us hope.”
Te ALS Association provides research
grants to scientists and pharmaceutical
companies to better treat ALS. According to the
Gilchrists, there is only one drug on the market
to treat ALS, and it can only slow the disease’s
progression, not stop it. Since the disease is very
rare, it may not be proftable for companies to
research it without grants. Te association also
provides services such as mobility equipment
and caretakers for ALS patients as the disease
In a tearful video posted to his Facebook
page, Darius shows how ALS has afected him:
he is kept up by twitching extremities that
prevent him sleeping.
“I just want to thank all the people that have
helped already and all of the people that are
going to,” Darius said in the video. “And just
know that the people that you are doing this for
really care and are really thankful for what you
all are doing for this population of people who
have been forgotten about. I just want to say,
personally, thank you.”
Te Gilchrists are a very spiritual family.
Synetha said that she, Ernest, Darius and his
sister Tamara frequently cry and pray together.
But they have faith that there will be progress
made in Darius’ lifetime.
“We were talking about this morning, the
miracle of giving,” Ernest said. “Sometimes it’s
not Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. It’s not
the parting of the Red Sea. It’s something unique,
such as the ice bucket challenge, that really gets
to that part of people, tugs at their heart and they
are led to give.”
The Gilchrist family, from left to right Synetha, Darius, Tamara and Ernest, at last year’s Georgia Walk to Defeat
ALS in Atlanta. Darius led a team of walkers, Young and Moving Forward, that donate to the ALS Association’s
fght against the disease. Photo provided
ALS is one of the more
common neurodegenerative
diseases but remains
relatively unknown because it
afects a small population.
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
Canadian geese scour the grass for a meal near a water sewer facility. Photo by
Andrew Cauthen
Interim CEO Lee May and wife Robin May take the ALS ice bucket challenge. Photo provided A county worker takes a morning break from working on a road
project. Photo by Andrew Cauthen
Assistant Principal Tarristine Simmons gets ice water poured on her head as part of
the ice bucket challenge. One of the teachers at the school, Winona Maloud, sponsors
an annual ALS walk and helped raise $700 from the school to go towards ALS
research in honor of her mother, who died from ALS. Photo by Lauren Ramsdell
by Andrew Cauthen
hen it comes to DeKalb’s cityhood trend,
unincorporated Druid Hills has a choice
to make: ask to be annexed into the city
of Atlanta or maintain the status quo.
A third option is to become a township, but
that would require a change in the state’s constitu-
It all began nearly two years ago when cityhood
was first discussed at a Druid Hills Civic Associa-
tion (DHCA) meeting, according to DHCA presi-
dent Justin Critz.
“All these discussions really started when we got
the first air of Lakeside two to two and a half years
ago,” he said. “We kind of saw it coming when
Brookhaven formed. [We saw] the general trend of
municipalization to the north of us.
“When we heard about Lakeside and realized
that …this is reaching down and touching our
borders, basically, we got to really thinking,” Critz
At the time the residents identified three op-
tions: incorporate into Lakeside or Briarcliff, be
annexed into Atlanta or stay in unincorporated
DeKalb, Critz said.
In August 2013 a town hall meeting was held
in Druid Hills about municipalization. At the time
there were three proposed cities with overlapping
borders: Briarcliff, Lakeside and Tucker. All three
proposals stalled in committees in the General
Assembly; they were told to compromise their bor-
When the legislature “didn’t do anything every-
body let their breath out,” Critz said about Druid
Hills residents. But the sigh was shortlived as talks
between proponents of Lakeside and Briarcliff be-
gan, excluding the Druid Hills community.
“It’s my understanding with Emory [University]
opting out of any new city, or at least expressing
a desire not to be included in one, that any map
[including Druid Hills] that was drawn would not
quite work,” Critz said.
“That’s effectively narrowed our options to two:
remain in unincorporated [DeKalb] or talk to At-
lanta about annexation,” he said.
The Druid Hills Civic Association is “currently
not taking a definite position on what option we
should take,” Critz said.
One reason some residents would like to be
in the city of Atlanta “could be the unification of
Druid Hills within a single jurisdiction,” Critz said.
A portion of Druid Hills is already in the city of
“It would be nice to be united under a single ju-
risdiction, and it would clear up a lot of confusion
that some of our residents feel about whom to call
for various things,” Critz said. “Do you call DeKalb
Police or city of Atlanta Police?
“And then there’s the variabilities between
the Atlanta Urban Design Commission and the
DeKalb Historic Preservation Commission,” Critz
said. “Those cause a lot of confusion for people.”
There’s also the “general problems with DeKalb
County government. “It’s disheartening,” Critz
said. “Contrast that with a perception that Atlanta
government has cleaned up its act.”
Even if Druid Hills annexed into Atlanta, Critz
added, it would remain in DeKalb County and
would still have to deal with DeKalb County gov-
ernmental issues.
There are a significant number of people in the
neighborhood who are not happy with the way the
historic preservation ordinance has been enforced,
and applied.
On the other side of the incorporation fence are
those who want to remain outside of a city.
“Generally what I’ve heard from my unincor-
porated neighbors is that they are pretty happy
with the service delivery, particularly sanitation,”
Critz said. “People are pretty satisfied with DeKalb
County’s level of taxation compared with the city
of Atlanta.”
Critz said a next step in the municipalization
conversation is conducting a survey or vote “to
gauge the tenor of the neighborhood.”
Commissioner Jeff Rader, whose district in-
cludes Druid Hills, said the community’s work in
educating residents and gathering a consensus “is
a valid process for being able to better inform the
various legislative decisions that will have to be
made in order to enable any course of action.”
“Being able to speak authoritatively to the pub-
lic preferences is…important,” Rader said. “To be
able to document your expectations and assump-
tions [makes a]...more compelling case with the
General Assembly,” Rader said.
Rader said county leaders “would hope that we
are providing good services to the area and we are
representing the constituency satisfactorily.
“We know that one of the reasons that Druid
Hills is feeling like they need to address this is [be-
cause] annexation or incorporation is being thrust
upon them,” Rader said. “They feel as though they
need to do something; they can’t just ignore the
process because either they’re going to be incor-
porated into a new city or they’re not going to be
incorporated and will be…in a balkanized out-
of-service delivery [area] within DeKalb County
or they’re afraid the attractive tax base will be
annexed by other municipalities that will make
service delivery even less economically feasible.
“It is my responsibility to do what the pub-
lic wants to do within that context, and I stand
ready to respond to whatever they want to do,”
Rader said.
Druid Hills community has municipal decision
Crime decreased in DeKalb during the summer
by Carla Parker
DeKalb County Police increased
its directed patrol and say it has led
to a decrease in crime during the
The change in patrolling was a
part of the department’s Summer
Crime Initiative. The initiative was
developed to focus on three specific
crime types; residential burglaries,
pedestrian robberies and entering
autos. Historically the department
has experienced a spike in these
areas during the summer months.
Interim DeKalb County Police Chief
James Conroy said officers focused
on areas that had high numbers in
those crimes.
“Our basic philosophy is an
intelligence-led policing,” Conroy
said. “Every day we review the crime
trends and patterns and then adjust
our plans based on the days activi-
ties. During the day time is promi-
nently day time burglaries, so we
target those areas that have a high
number of day time burglaries.”
An analysis of the results follow-
ing the three-month period begin-
ning in May indicated a continued
downward trend in the numbers of
crimes committed in the targeted
categories. Residential burglaries are
down 17 percent, pedestrian rob-
beries are down 10 percent and the
number of entering autos reported
is down 9 percent.
“The reduction in crime statistics
proves that the investments we are
making in police and fire personnel
pay dividends. Before the end of the
year, we will have 160 more sworn
officers and 100 more patrol cars on
the street, as public safety remains
a top priority,” said interim DeKalb
County CEO Lee May.
Conroy said the department
hired 123 officers so far this year,
which is an increase compared to
last year.
“Officer visibility, just the ability
to respond to calls and do proac-
tive patrols is extremely important,”
Conroy said. That’s the bread and
butter of what we do.”
The department credits a num-
ber of strategies to achieving this
reduction. Those strategies include
24-hour specialized operations, bike
patrols, increased directed patrols
and curfew ordinance enforcement.
The curfew ordinance says minors
under 17 must be off the streets
from midnight to 5 a.m.
“These numbers are certainly
promising and continue to trend in
a positive direction especially with
our limited resources; however;
we will not relent on our focus to
identify and reduce criminal activity
within this community,” said Cedric
Alexander, deputy chief operating
officer of public safety.
A review of departmental crime
numbers indicates year to date, an
overall seven percent reduction in
violent crime and an overall 17 per-
cent reduction in property crimes.
Residential burglaries are also down
18 percent, pedestrian robberies
have reduced by 19 percent and the
number of reported entering autos
has decreased by more than 20 per-
cent year to date compared to 2013.
Photo by Andrew Cauthen
Photo by Travis Hudgons
Watershed Continued From Page 1A
Boyer Continued From Page 1A
At the beginning of 2015 when all the team members will
be in place, “we will have a better fx on the budget, how much
money [will be] each year….,” Brown said. “We will see what we
need to play catch up on [for] projects we didn’t make our dead-
line on.”
Te county has hired CH2M Hill to be its management frm
for projects in the consent decree the county entered with the
federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for excessive
sewage spills.
“Tey are looking at all of the areas that are mandated by the
courts that we have to do to fx all of these spills, leaks and sew-
age problems,” Brown said.
A CIP program management frm will manage the various
engineering frms and consultants needed for the CIP.
“In the past, the county was trying to put these jobs out, do
the inspections, handle it, manage it, and all the risk was on us,”
Brown said. “We’re taking all of the risk out of the county and
giving it to consultants. Te consultants will write the contracts
out, put it out for bid, select the low bid, award the jobs, do
the kick-of meeting, do the management and do the progress
A request for proposal will be advertised in September and
the frm selected by January, Brown said.
Wendell Brown, DeKalb’s watershed capital improvement project construction manager, demonstrates a
console in the North Shallowford Road pump station.

The North Shallowford Road pump station serves parts of Dunwoody. Photos by Andrew Cauthen
A pipe replacement project on Allgood Road is expected to be
completed in two weeks.
accuse Boyer of conspiring between
September 2009 and November
2011 to “defraud DeKalb County”
by authorizing 35 payments for false
invoices “for consulting services that
were never performed.”
In total, DeKalb County paid
more than $78,000 to an unidenti-
fed fnancial advisor, according to
the charges. Te advisor then “fun-
neled approximately 75 percent of
the money…into Boyer’s personal
bank account.
“Boyer used the money…to pay
personal expenses, including pur-
chases at hotels and high-end de-
partment stores,” the charges state.
Te charges also allege that
between October 2010 and February
2014 Boyer used her county-issued
purchasing card (P-card) to make
more than 50 personal purchases,
including airline tickets and hotel
rooms for her family.
Tese personal charges total
more than $15,000.
Afer allegations about misuse
of her P-card surfaced, Boyer in a
March 25 statement said, “Over the
past several years I have on occasion
purchased airfare and related travel
expenses using my County P-card
which is a debit card. Over that
same period I reimbursed over 90
percent of these charges. Tere was
no expense to the county taxpayers.”
She also said that a reporter
“brought to my attention that I had
not reimbursed some of these ex-
penses for 2012 and 2013. Tat was
an oversight for which I accept re-
sponsibility and for that I apologize.”
Boyer added that she
“immediately reimbursed the
expenses from that two-year time
Boyer subsequently suspended
her use of the card and said she was
unaware that she was in violation of
any county policy.
In an Aug. 25 letter to Gov.
Nathan Deal, Boyer resigned
efective 5 p.m. that day, saying,
“I want to express my heartfelt
gratitude for the opportunity to have
served in this capacity for the last 22
Te letter made no mention of
the investigations against her.
Interim DeKalb County CEO
Lee May said Boyer’s resignation
will allow DeKalb “to move
“We’ve gone through a lot over
the last year and a half, and we need
to begin to move forward,” May
said. “I believe the decision that
she made allows DeKalb County to
move in the right direction, to heal
and to begin to make progressive
steps forward.
“Every commissioner has to
make their own decision about
their future and future of DeKalb
County,” May said. “Elaine Boyer
has made…a tough decision for her,
probably embarrassing as well, but I
think it was the right decision.”
May said her seat will be vacant
until a special election is held to
replace her. Te special election has
been set for Nov. 4. qualifying for
the seat begins Sept. 8. Boyer’s term
expires in 2016.
Boyer and her aide Bob
Lundsten are also facing ethics
complaints which alleged misuse
of their county P-card for personal
At the Aug. 26 board of
commissioners’ meeting, Stone
Mountain resident Joe Arrington
addressed commissioners to
“recognize and give appreciation for
the 22 years of service” by Boyer.
“You don’t get reelected six times
if you aren’t doing something right,”
he said. “I also want to commend
her for stepping forward to do what
she thought was the right thing to
do. I interpret that as being a major
step in the reform that’s overdue in
DeKalb County.”
In public comments during their
Aug. 26 regular meeting, DeKalb
County commissioners also recalled
Boyer’s service.
“Regardless of the other things
that are coming to light, it is impor-
tant that we recognize that commit-
ment that she had for the county
and the work that she did and the
positive part of her service here,”
said Commissioner Sharon Barnes
“I don’t feel that it is my place to
criticize her during this time… Te
powers that be are taking care of that
part,” she added.
Commissioner Kathie Gannon
said, “I appreciate that Commis-
sioner Boyer stepped up and stepped
down. It was the right thing to do,
and I think there’s probably more
problems to come and we have to
try to continue to maintain keeping
our focus on what’s best for DeKalb
Residents express opinions to state BOE reps
by Lauren Ramsdell
ommon Core curriculum standards
were the main topic of discussion at
an Aug. 20 town hall meeting of the
state sixth congressional district. Te
meeting, held at Dunwoody High School was
hosted by state board of education member Barb
Hampton and time kept by state department of
education associate superintendent for policy and
charters Louis Erste.
“Currently, the board is in the “listening”
stage of its review of the Common Core Georgia
Performance Standards,” Hampton said in an
email. “Each state board member is holding a
public hearing in their congressional district so
that people in every part of Georgia have the
opportunity to speak. We have also conducted
extensive surveys of educators. Any action we
take will be based on the feedback provided by
parents, educators, and other stakeholders.”
An informal tally counted slightly more
speakers in favor of Common Core than against.
Educators and parents spoke on both sides of the
Common Core — full name Common Core
State Standards Initiative — is a set of curriculum
standards, but not curricula, outlining what each
grade should learn and master by the end of
the school year. Te standards were sponsored
and written by representatives of the National
Governor’s Association in 2009. By 2012, the
standards were available for states to implement.
Today, 43 states, including Georgia, have
voluntarily adopted the standards as part of their
state education standards.
Residents from all over the sixth district,
which includes parts of Cobb and Fulton
counties, as well as northern DeKalb, turned out
for the one-hour listening session.
While other issues were raised at the listening
session, including the impact of Common Core
on special education and issues relating to the
DeKalb County School Board, Common Core
was in the fore.
Steve Dolinger, president of Georgia
Partnership for Excellence in Education, said his
group approved of the standards in Georgia for
“Our message would be to stay the course,”
he said. “Stay the course not only in terms of
the standards but also with the other good
education reforms we have fnally put in place
in Georgia. Why is Georgia underperforming
states with similar demographics? Part of that
reason is that [other states] are putting four, fve
pieces [of reform] in place and then cranking
student improvement for a number of years. We
fnally now have in place high standards, a clear
curriculum; we have accountability system with
the new College and Career Ready Performance
Index, a statewide system and strong leadership
development program. It’s not those individual
pieces, it’s the connectivity and how they all come
Georgia adopted the standards in 2012. Te
standards leave states free to pick curriculum
Norm Lahey, a Dunwoody resident who had
six children go through DeKalb County schools,
spoke against the standards.
“I am an employer so I will speak as an
employer,” he said. “I oppose Common Core. It’s
another federal bribe to dumb down the school
system. Children are sovereign. … Tey don’t
belong to us. Tey don’t belong to the state. We
are here to shepherd their education. Te goal
of that is to give them the basic skills that they
needs so that they can discover and fnd what it
is that they love to do. Successful people do what
they love.”
Lahey said he prefers “classical” background
and “efcient” math. Te Common Core
standards emphasize nonfction reading and
analysis alongside literature, and puts emphasis
on critical thinking and problem solving skills in
science and math, not only on memorization or
Some people are against the standards
because in 2009 the federal government linked
an increased chance for Race to the Top funds
for states implementing new standards. Te
Common Core was favored by awarding
additional points in each states’ Race to the Top
application for early adoption of the core.
“I would add that keeping the standards as
they are, or abandoning the standards entirely,
are not the only options,” Hampton said. “Te
Board is also open to tweaking the standards and
making changes in areas pointed out by those
providing feedback.”
Hampton said residents can provide that
feedback by attending a listening session in their
area or contacting the state board of education
representative from their area.
“I oppose Common Core. It’s
another federal bribe to dumb
down the school system.”
– Norm Lahey, Dunwoody resident
District six state board of education representative Barb Hampton and state department of education associate
superintendent for policy and charters Louis Erste hosted a listening session for members of the state’s sixth
congressional district. Photo by Lauren Ramsdell
The Tucker-Northlake CID now includes more than 166 commercial property owners,
representing approximately $157 million in property value. Photo by Carla Parker
Michelle Weston of Bank of North Georgia, Louis Brown of Trust
Associates and Barry Schrenk of Taggart’s Driving School.
Currently, there are 18 Community Improvement Districts in
metropolitan Atlanta, including Dunwoody and Stone Mountain. CIDs
are public-private partnerships that allow commercial districts to self-
fund major infrastructure, security, transportation, and quality-of-life
improvements through a special tax paid only by the non-residential,
commercial property owners within the district.
Tese funds are further leverage for multi-million dollar state and
federal grants applied to massive re-engineering projects. Funds raised by
CIDs remain in the districts and use of those funds are determined by the
CID board of directors elected from the consenting commercial property
owners. Representatives of the cities and counties where CIDs are formed
also sit on CID boards.
Tucker CID Continued From Page 9A
The Voice of Business in DeKalb County
DeKalb Chamber of Commerce
Two Decatur Town Center, 125 Clairemont Ave., Suite 235, Decatur, GA 30030
DeKalb Chamber presents Apex
Awards to small businesses
by Kathy Mitchell
“We have more than 15,000
businesses in DeKalb County that
have 50 or fewer employees. We
want to work with the chamber to
support them and help them grow,”
said DeKalb County interim CEO
Lee May, in remarks at the DeKalb
Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 Apex
Awards Program. “We’re doing
substantive things to make DeKalb
County competitive as a place to do
business. We’re putting our money
where our mouth is.”
Te Apex Awards were created
by the chamber to recognize and
encourage small businesses in
the county. At the presentation
luncheon, held Aug. 20 at the Talia
Carlos Hellenic Center, the chamber
gave eight awards in seven categories.
Te keynote speaker, Mark
Wilson, who is now president and
CEO of Atlanta-based eVerifle Inc.,
told of his personal journey as an
entrepreneur. “I worked at Dunn
and Bradstreet for 15 years and at
the time I wasn’t sure whether I
wanted to own my own business.”
Fate intervened when Wilson’s
company decided to outsource his
department’s function. He was told
that if he wanted to start his own
company Dunn and Bradstreet
would ofer him a small contract.
“I was working out of my
basement at frst,” he recalled, noting
that from there he built a company
that when he sold it was worth more
than $200 million. “So if you’re
working out of your basement right
now, take heart.
“By the way,” he said, “If you
are the owner of a small business,
you should never be too busy to
go to events like this. Tis is where
you meet people. Tis is where you
network and build relationships, and
relationships are the key to building
Wilson said business owners
make an important diference in
their communities “For every job you
create, the impact is tremendous—
not just on the economy, but also on
education, housing and more other
areas than you can imagine.”
Te Emerging Business of the
Year Award went to Tadda’s Fitness
Center. LaTasha “Tadda” Lewis is
a registered nurse who started her
Decatur-based ftness business afer
seeing many patients whose health
could be improved with lifestyle
changes. Like the other award
recipients, she was recognized not
only for developing a successful
business but for making positive
contributions to the community.
Angela Graham accepted the
award in the $1 million - $5 million
annual revenues category. Her
construction company, Graham &
Associates, focuses on infrastructure
construction, energy efciency and
renewable energy projects. Te
presenter, Commissioner Kathie
Gannon, noted that the award
recognizes not only the “expediential
growth” of her company, but
also level of company-sponsored
Stone Mountain-based Pierre
Construction Group, headed by
Founder and President David
Pierre Westcott, was cited in
the $5 million - $10 million
annual revenues category for its
commitment to service, safety and
open communication. Te company
builds metal roofs, canopies, awnings
and other building features.
Te award winner in the $10
million - $20 million annual
revenues category was 93-year-
old Citizens Trust Bank. Started
at a time when Black business
owners and individuals rarely
were granted loans by mainstream
banks, Citizens Trust sought to
build communities with such loans.
Te fnancial institution was cited
for its continuing commitment
to economically empowering
the people and communities it
serves. Te award was accepted by
President and CEO Cynthia Day.
Arnie Silverman, owner of
Silverman Construction Program,
was presented the Small Business
Advocacy Award for the help he and
his company have extended in the
community, particularly in helping
nonproft companies structure their
Te Youth Entrepreneur
Award went to Donte Watkins
for his Second Chance
Tutoring. Combining his
passions for math, tutoring and
entrepreneurship, Watkins set out to
fnd a solution to the achievement
gap afecting millions of American
students who initially failed to meet
their academic goals. 
Te Community Workforce
Award, which recognizes companies
that provide employment for
unemployed and underemployed
workers with a goal of placing
them in positions that pay above
the minimum wage, was given to
two companies, Inland Seafood
and MARTA. Established in 1977,
Inland Seafood supplies seafood
shipped directly from coastal area
to approximately 3, 500 restaurants
and 900 retail establishments.
MARTA has provided bus and
rail transportation in Fulton and
DeKalb counties since 1972.
In their closing remarks, Earl
Walker, president and CEO of
Image 360, and Ted Cummings,
president and CEO of Onyx MS
Group—chair and vice chair,
respectively, of the chamber’s small
business committee—surprised
the audience with an award not
listed on the program. It went to the
chamber staf. “We know how hard
they work to support the chamber
members,” Walker said. “We call on
them all the time, and they always
come through.”
Construction company owner Angela
Graham accepts the Apex Award in the $1
million - $5 million annual revenues category.
Emerging Business of the Year Award
went to LaTasha “Tadda” Lewis, owner of
Tadda’s Fitness Center.
Jerry Stains, second from left, and Robert Pidgeon, second from right,
accept a Community Workforce Award on behalf of Inland Seafood.
McNair HS may become career academy
by Lauren Ramsdell
A proposal for converting
McNair High School into a college
and career charter academy was
presented to parents Aug. 21 in the
school’s auditorium.
“We’ve got one of the fnest
structures in DeKalb County; we’re
in it right now,” said DeKalb County
School District superintendent
Michael Turmond. “But about
half of it goes unused. And so what
we’re trying to do is add some
opportunities here that will not only
serve the young people that are in
this attendance pattern, but it will
give students from across DeKalb
the chance to come and enroll here.”
Many school systems in Georgia
already have college and career
academies. Trough partnerships
with local technical colleges, the
academies ofer technical education
alongside traditional school
subjects. DeKalb already has one,
but it’s a part of City Schools of
Decatur’s Decatur High School.
DeKalb County School District does
not have a career academy.
“If you want to be an auto
technician and make more money
than you would teaching, that’s just
as well,” Turmond said. “What
we want to recognize is we have
students and parents who see
multiple ways to be successful.”
Te proposed charter — ofcials
said they are pursuing a charter
system in order to qualify for a $3
million grant — will be open to
students already zoned to attend
McNair High School. Additional
students would have to apply and, if
necessary, participate in a lottery for
enrollment. But frst priority goes
to local students. Teachers currently
employed at the school also will be
able to stay at the campus.
Ofcials say that even if the
grant is denied, they have plans
to move forward with the career
academy anyway.
Te school also will be a part of
the DeKalb County School System,
meaning there will be no additional
cost to attend outside of existing
property taxes. Turmond said that
an estimated 80 percent of DeKalb
graduates do not go on to a four-
year college and instead need career
instruction before high school ends.
New instruction pathways at
McNair will ft into the 17 Georgia
Career Clusters, which includes
areas like agriculture, food and
natural resources; education and
teaching; hospitality and tourism;
and manufacturing. Some of the
instruction pathways may be
aviation fight operations, fre and
emergency services, health support
professionals and robotics.
Delmas Watkins, director of
career technology instructional
programs for DeKalb County
schools, said that McNair will ofer
only those tracks not currently
ofered at other DeKalb County high
schools, like DeKalb Early College
Academy, so as not to compete for
Te curriculum still will be
college prep, but the theme will be
career readiness for those students
wishing to go straight into a career.
Industry certifcations, college
credit and project- and work-based
learning all will be a part of the
career academy.
“Tere are going to be some
students that can accelerate and
they can graduate with associate’s
degrees, and there’s going to be
some students that graduate with
just their high school diploma,”
Watkins said. “Tat’s fne too.”
Te academy also proposes
an extended-year calendar with
lengthened school days to maximize
instruction time. Tere will also be
an increased introduction to STEM
(science, engineering, technology
and math) in the elementary
and middle school years. One of
McNair’s feeder elementary schools,
Ronald E. McNair Discovery
Learning Academy, already has a
STEM theme.
“It’s a college AND career
academy,” Turmond said,
emphasizing the programs’ unity.
“We’re already trying to get as
many kids as possible to college
and technical school. So we are
focusing on the AND and getting
as many people as possible. Tere
are students that are perfectly
happy with the education they are
receiving here, and they will not be
prohibited from receiving that.”
“We’re already trying to get
as many kids as possible to
college and technical school.”
– DeKalb County School District superintendent Michael Thurmond
Science teacher finalist for national award
by Lauren Ramsdell
ixth-grade earth science
teacher Susan Oltman found
out she was a state finalist
for a national teaching award
after a summer spent preparing for
school and learning about sustain-
able fishing at the coast.
Oltman is a Georgia finalist for
the Presidential Awards for Excel-
lence in Mathematics and Science
Teaching (PAEMST). She and two
other teachers from Georgia were
nominated and submitted an appli-
cation to the state department of ed-
ucation. They were selected as state
finalists and will move on to the na-
tional level. Oltman was nominated
by a colleague at, Kittredge Magnet
“There is a lengthy application:
a video recording of a lesson up to
45 minutes, you make notes of your
instructional and assessment strate-
gies, what makes you stand out and
how you meet all those different
objectives,” Oltman said. “You also
need formal letters of recommenda-
tion, one from your principal and
two more from professionals in the
science field, former students’ par-
ents, and things like that.”
Sixth grade in Georgia means
exploring all of the “ologies” in the
natural world. Oltman teaches geol-
ogy, oceanography, astronomy and
meteorology, though she said she is
fascinated by oceanography.
“I am a certified SCUBA diver,”
she said. “I have done a lot of extra
professional development and a lot
of teaching development. The ocean
is 71 percent of our planet and it’s
largely unexplored, which I find
very exciting.”
Kittredge is a magnet elemen-
tary for gifted students grades four
through six, meaning Oltman’s class-
es are the senior classes on campus.
“These children have all met
a certain high bar to even qualify
for the lottery so we go beyond
and do a lot of enrichment here,”
Oltman said. “A lot of the things
that are in the textbook at the sixth-
grade level are things they have
already mastered. So, we are able
to do extension activities. We are
a quarter of a mile from Murphy-
Candler Park where we can do
water quality testing. We have
the time to do that because our
children have mastered the water
cycle already.”
The PAEMST award alternates
every other year–in odd years
it is awarded to math or science
teachers in grades 7-12, while in
even years it’s awarded to teachers
in grades K-6.
Though Oltman won’t know if
she’s won for several months, she
will attend a banquet for all state
finalists sometime in May 2015. She
said she received official recognition
on Aug. 14 and will receive a plaque
of recognition.
But, if she is selected as one of
the national winners—there is usu-
ally one per state—she’ll be eligible
to win $10,000.
“That would be wonderful to re-
ceive,” she said, but hasn’t had time
to think of how she might use the
“Over the summer it kind of got
pushed to the back of my mind,”
she said. “I just yesterday received
the formal certificate in the mail. I
feel like Kittredge is the jewel of the
DeKalb County School System and
the prize would bring some well-
deserved recognition.”
Kittredge Middle School science teacher Susan Oltman (center) is a fnalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. She leads her students in
experience-based science projects, like these lunar landers students built.
Recent data collected by Beyond The Bell in unincorporated Decatur and the
City of Stone Mountain shows there is no awareness of the issues of heavy and
binge drinking in their community and further there was only vague awareness
in Unincorporated Lithonia.
Fact: The reality is the level of binge and heavy drinking in DeKalb County is a particular
concern; with more than 19% of adults’ or nearly one-ffth of adults report this behavior. This
prevalence is higher than both the state and national averages.
The younger an individual is when they begin drinking, the greater the likelihood they will
develop serious alcohol problems later in life including alcoholism.
Long term heavy alcohol use is the leading cause of illness and death from liver disease in the
Change occurs at the community level so we are asking people to
get involved in our efforts to help reduce heavy and binge drinking in
DeKalb County.
For more information- Call (770) 285-6037 or
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by Carla Parker
What was predicted to be a competitive
game turned into a blowout as the
Stephenson Jaguars defeated the Arabia
Mountain Rams 41-6 at Hallford Stadium
Aug. 22.
Stephenson is historically known for its
running game and defense, and it was the
rushing attack and stout defense that led
the Jaguars to the win. All of Stephenson’s
touchdowns were scored on the ground
by running backs Ivonte Patterson (3)
Kyseem Tillman (2) and quarterback
Dewann Ford (1).
Te Jaguars defensive line dominated
the Rams inexperienced ofensive line
by putting continuous pressure on
quarterback Jakobi Meyers and making it
difcult for the Rams’ ofense to produce
positive plays and forcing turnovers.
Stephenson coach Ron Gartrell said he was
“pleased” with his team’s performance.
“I’m pretty pleased with the ofensive
line, our running backs ran the ball hard,
we had a lot of big plays on ofense and
our defense played well too,” Gartrell said.
“[Te defense] gave up a few plays here and
there but overall they played really good.”
In the frst quarter, Tillman scored two
touchdowns from 2 yards and 18 yards out
and ran in for a 2-point conversion to give
the Jaguars a 14-0 lead. Before halfime,
Ford scrabbled for 15 yards to the end
zone, and Tillman scored on the 2-point
conversion attempt to give Stephenson a
22-0 lead at the half.
Patterson scored his three touchdowns
in the third quarter to extend the lead to
41-0. He opened the quarter with a 48-yard
touchdown run, and then scored from 1
yard and 46 yards out. Patterson credited
the ofensive line for his three scores.
“Tey helped block, so without them I
couldn’t do [anything],” Patterson said.
Stephenson missed three extra point
attempts, and Gartrell acknowledged that
the team needs to work on its kicking
“We [have] some things up our sleeves,”
Gartrell said about the kicking game.
“Tat’s going to work itself out.”
Te Rams got on the scoreboard in the
fourth quarter, with an 11-yard touchdown
pass from Meyers to receiver Marcus Gay.
A blocked extra point brought the fnal
score to 41-6.
Stephenson’s next opponent will be
Central of Miami, Fla., in the second
annual Georgia-Florida Battle of the
Borders Aug. 30. Arabia Mountain will
travel to East Coweta Aug. 29.
Other Week 1 Results
Friday, Aug. 22
Lakeside 40, Redan 19
SW DeKalb 13, Columbia 12
Miller Grove 50, Towers 26
Dunwoody 48, Clarkston 7
Stephenson rushing attack, defense
dominates Arabia Mountain
Running back Ivonte Patterson tries to get away from Arabia Mountain defenders as he fights for extra yardage. Pho-
tos by Travis Hudgons
Arabia Mountain receiver Malick Mbodj (1) is tackled by
Stephenson defensive back Khalil Ladler.
Arabia Mountain quarterback Jakobi Meyers (11) slows up
as Stephenson defenders gain on him for a sack.
by Carla Parker
Te Tucker Tigers had three
fumbles heading into overtime with
Norcross, and it was a fumble that
halted a potential comeback for the
Tucker fell to Norcross 32-29
in the Corky Kell Classic Aug. 23 at
McEachern High School in Powder
Springs. Before the game went into
overtime, Norcross kicker Blake
Bingham had two opportunities to
win the game for his team.
With the game clock winding
down, Norcross rushed the snap
of, and Bingham missed the feld
goal. However, Tucker coach
Bryan Lamar called a last-second
timeout, giving Bingham another
opportunity. But he missed again,
sending the game into overtime.
In overtime, Bingham redeemed
himself and kicked a 28-yard feld
goal to give Norcross a 32-29
lead. On Tucker’s second play of
possession in overtime, quarterback
Garrett Rigby—who had one
fumble earlier in the game—
fumbled, and Norcross’ J.B. Kouassi
recovered it to seal the win.
Lamar said his team kept
fghting to stay in the game, but
ultimately “inexperience and youth
showed all game.”
“It’s one of those things where
we’re going to learn from it,” Lamar
said. “We’re going to learn from it,
we’re going to get back, we’re going
to watch the flm and we’re going to
get better.”
Along with the turnovers,
penalties also hurt Tucker. Te
Tigers had 15 penalties for 158
yards. Te defense was fagged on
the frst two plays of the game for
a personal foul and encroachment.
Te turnovers, penalties and
inability to get a consistent
ofensive drive going had the Tigers
down 22-7 late in the third quarter.
However, Tucker’s running
game, led by Elijah Sullivan, came
alive in the second half and tied the
game early in the fourth quarter.
Sullivan scored two touchdowns
from 3 yards and 5 yards, and
scored on a 2-point conversion to
tie the game at 22 all.
Norcross responded with
a 14-yard touchdown run by
quarterback Grifn Barker and
gave Norcross a 29-22 lead.
With under two minutes to
play, running back Delvin Weems,
who led the team in rushing with
157 yards, scored on a 3-yard run
to tie the game and send it into
Te Tigers will have to put this
loss behind them and prepare for
a tough matchup in the Georgia-
Florida Battle of the Borders with
Booker T. Washington of Miami,
Fla. Washington is coming of a big
57-21 win over another top-tier
program in Oscar Smith of Virginia,
and riding a 27-game win streak.
“We just [have] to come back
and fght,” Lamar said. “We [have]
to watch the flm and come back
and get afer it.”
Tucker falls to Norcross in overtime
Quarterback Garriet Rigby (16) and the Tucker Tigers lost to Norcross 32-29 in overtime in the Corky Kell
Classic. The Tigers had four turnovers in the game. Photos by John Silas

Defensive end Tabarius Peterson (15) and another Tucker player tackle running back Jamir Billings. Photo by John Silas
Photo by Ty Freeman
Decatur Bulldogs
by Carla Parker
eKalb County School
District (DCSD)
middle school
football teams got
an opportunity to play in live
competition before the season
begins during the frst Middle
School Jamboree Aug. 23 at
Hallford Stadium.
Eighteen of the 19 middle
schools participated in the six-
hour jamboree. Sequoyah was
the only DCSD school that did
not participate. Each team played
four eight-minute quarters
against a non-region opponent.
Horace Dunson, executive
director of athletics, said the
athletic department held the
jamboree to promote middle
school football.
“We want to give an
opportunity for the fans to come
out and see the teams, give the
young men an opportunity to
play under the ofcial rules of
the game with real [referees]
and give them a full game
experience,” Dunson said.
“Ofentimes when they step on
a middle school feld for a game
during the season they don’t
ofen have a full organized game
“So this is an opportunity
to give all of the kids a chance
to experience what football
competition is like on the middle
school level,” he added. “It’s
also a great opportunity for the
ofcials’ association to receive
their annual updates in training
as well as they begin the season.”
Te middle school season
will begin Aug. 30.
Jamboree prepares middle school
players for football season
Photos by Travis Hudgons
Weekly ad in hand. Coupons in pocket.
BOGO-vision on. It’s time to save.