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FRIDAY, SEPT. 26, 2014 • VOL. 17, NO. 27 • FREE
• A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS • Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.
See Beer on page 13A
See Ellis on page 13A
What’s Brewing in Decatur?
by Andrew Cauthen
rosecutors in the corruption
trial against DeKalb’s
suspended CEO have produced
several witnesses who said Burrell
Ellis threatened to cut the contracts
of those who did not return his
phone calls about campaign
Ellis is facing four counts
of criminal attempt to commit
theft by extortion; three counts
of theft by taking; two counts
of criminal attempt to commit
false statements and writings;
three counts of coercion of other
employees to give anything of value
for political purposes; a count of
conspiracy in restraint of free and
open competition; and a count of
conspiracy to defraud a political
While on the witness stand on
Sept. 22, Chris Morris, director of
the county’s community development
department described a phone call
from Ellis in October 2012.
According to Morris, Ellis asked
her to schedule a meeting with the
real estate firm National Property
Institute (NPI) because the company
had been “nonresponisive” to
phone calls he had made requesting
campaign contributions.
Morris testified that Ellis said
that although his initial calls were
about campaign donations “that
was not what the meeting was
about. It was about the vendor being
“That was a call—it was one that
I had never had before,” Morris said
about the call she received from the
CEO. “To get a call about a campaign
contributions…was still different.
I had not received that type of call
Morris said she felt I needed to
schedule the meeting “because he
was the CEO. I did what I needed to
as an employee of the county.
“No employee should go through
that,” Morris said. An “employee
should never be brought into [that]
Allen Mitchell, assistant director
of the community development
department, testified that when
Morris told her about Ellis’s
instruction that she schedule the
meeting with NPI he was concerned.
“My red fags went up,” Mitchell
said. “I advised her not to schedule
a meeting. I told her if she had to
schedule the meeting, I told her
CEO Ellis: ‘Cut the contract’
Suspend DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis listens
as vendors and former employees testify
against him. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

by Gale Horton Gay
ecatur is becoming
something of a mecca
for beer lovers.
In recent years, brew-
eries and home brew
stores are popping up and expanding
all over the city. Interestingly, many
of these facilities are located in a
small enclave along College Avenue.
According to the Brewers Asso-
ciation (BA), there are 28 craf brew-
eries (small, independent operations)
in Georgia, which has experienced a
steady increase in operations in the
past two years. And more breweries
are in the works. BA reports that the
German restaurant Te Village Cor-
ner in Stone Mountain and Southern
Sky Brewing Company in Decatur
are in the planning stage to develop
breweries as well.
Decatur is even the site of a fall
beer festival. Sampling is the focus
of the Decatur Craf Beer Festival,
which takes place from noon to 5
p.m. on Oct. 18 on the square in
downtown Decatur. Tickets, which
are $40 and include a special tasting
glass, go on sale Sept. 15. Interested
parties are advised to “Be ready.
Tickets sell out fast.” Go to www. for more in-
For those interested in fnding
out more about the local beer scene,
we compiled a list of some of what
Decatur has to ofer.:

Twain’s Brewpub and Billiards
Twain’s has been a staple in down-
town Decatur since 1996 and in 2006
launched a new efort—brewing its
own craf beers. Nine draught beers
are currently on the menu including
Ginger in the Rye, which is a rye ale
infused with ginger root; Beggar’s
Barleywine, which combines the
favors of nuts, tofee and dark fruit;
and the six malts/six hops Criminal
Sin IPA, which took frst place in the
Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting this year.
Te beer is brewed on site in larg-
er stainless steel vats.
Asked how Twain’s craf beers
have been received, owner Ethan
Wurtzel said, “Business has been
A trio of Twain’s craft beers: Statement Stout, Summer Saison and Blushing Ape
Oatmeal India Red.
Education .....................15A
Business ........................16A
Sports ...................... 18-20A
Opinion ........................... 5A
Classifed .......................17A
Chris Morris, DeKalb’s community de-
velopment director, took the stand in her
suspended boss’ trial Sept. 22.
Page 2A The Champion FreePress, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014

See Stream on page 6A
Doraville stream clean-up tackles pollution
A “standard” drink is any drink that contains about 0.6 fuid ounces or 14
grams of “pure” alcohol.
Many heavy drinkers do not have alcohol-related problems yet and can reduce
their risk of harm by cutting back.
Alcohol abuse can damage organs, weaken the immune system, and contribute to cancers.
Three in 10 adults drink at levels that put them at risk for alcoholism, liver disease, and other
Long-term heavy drinking weakens the heart muscle, causing a condition called alcoholic cardio-
myopathy. As a result the heart cannot pump enough blood to suffciently nourish the organs.
Chronic alcohol use as well as binge drinking can cause high blood pressure or hypertension.
Heavy alcohol consumption triggers the release of certain stress hormones that in turn constrict
blood vessels which elevates blood pressure.
Heavy and binge drinking even for just a few days at a time can cause
fat to build up in the liver. This condition called steatosis, or fatty liver,
is the earliest stage of alcoholic liver disease and the most common
alcohol-induced liver disorder.
For more information- Call (770) 285-6037 or

Did you know?
Not a
by Lauren Ramsdell
ll streams lead to the sea.
Along the way, some of
them take stops in the
Chattahoochee River,
source of Atlanta and DeKalb’s
drinking water.
Nancy Creek is one of those
waterways and needs periodic
cleaning, according to Steven
Strickland, storm water inspector
for Doraville.
“There will be, from my
experience, a majority of plastic
bottles, tennis balls, anything
that is Styrofoam, plastic cups,
and then all of your sports balls,
soccer balls, basketballs, footballs,”
he said. “Those seem to be small
enough to get into the pipes and
stuff like that.”
Strickland led a clean-up
of Nancy Creek at Doraville’s
Homeland Drive Greenspace, a
small community park bordered
on one side by the waterway, on
Sept. 20. Volunteers combed the
stream for debris washed in from
storm drains.
“They are typical suburban
urban streams and they are
improving,” said Michael
O’Shield, DeKalb County
environmental education
specialist. “There is no good or
bad. Each watershed is different,
every stream is individual. They
do have litter in them; there is
runoff from storm water. Trash
gets washed into our streams, and
that’s a natural process of rain and
Strickland took a group of 12
volunteers into the creek. With
gloved hands, they pulled bottles,
trash bags, food wrappers and
even truck tires out of the stream.
“We usually have about 15
people that actually get in the
creek and get stuff out,” Strickland
said. “There will be other people
that show up and don’t do as
much. That’s about what you can
ask for. It’s kind of tedious getting
every little bottle, and you have
to go back and forth across the
creek. It adds up to bags of trash.
You don’t want everyone going out
there and getting one little thing
and coming back. There are only
so many people that can walk it
and not be on top of each other.”
However, those 12 people that
did make it out will hopefully
serve as ambassadors to the rest
of the community. Strickland
said the state environmental
protection division requires local
Volunteers picked through tons of trash in Nancy Creek in Doraville on Sept. 20 for the city’s annual stream cleanup. Photo provided
The Champion FreePress, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014 Page 3A
See Sickle Cell on page 6A
Lithonia man hopes more
awareness is raised for sickle cell
by Carla Parker
September is sickle cell awareness month.
In the United States 90,000 to 100,000 peo-
ple–mainly Blacks–have sickle cell, according to
the CDC. The disease occurs among approxi-
mately one of every 500 Black births and one of
every 36,000 Hispanic-American births. Others
affected include those of Mediterranean, Middle
Eastern and Asian origin.
In addition, more than 2 million people carry
the sickle cell gene that allows them potentially
to pass the disease on to their children. One of
those people living with sickle cell is 27-year-old
Lithonia native Kevin Pearson.
Sickle cell anemia is a group of inherited
red blood cell disorders, according to the CDC.
Healthy red blood cells are round and move
through small blood vessels to carry oxygen to all
parts of the body.
In someone who has sickle cell, the red blood
cells become hard and sticky and look similar to
a C-shaped farm tool called a “sickle”. The sickle
cells die early, which causes a constant shortage
of red blood cells, according to the CDC. When
they travel through small blood vessels, they get
stuck and clog the blood flow. This can cause
pain and other serious problems such as infec-
tion, acute chest syndrome and stroke.
Pearson was 9 months old when his parents
were told that he had sickle cell anemia. He has
Hemoglobin SS disease, the most common type
of sickle cell disease. It occurs when a person in-
herits copies of the hemoglobin S gene from both
parents. This forms hemoglobin known as Hb SS.
Both of his parents had the hemoglobin S
gene. He said he was 4 years old when he realized
that he had sickle cell.
“I was going back and forth to the hospital
a lot, and they explained to me what I had and
what I can and can’t do — my limitations,” he
Because of sickle cell, Pearson cannot be in
extremely cold or hot weather. As a child, he
could not keep up with other children while play-
ing sports because he had to monitor his hydra-
tion and make sure he took the right amount of
breaks to rest.
“Otherwise I would get sick and go into a
pain crisis,” he said.
Pearson said he mostly feels pain in his bones
when he is going through a pain crisis, but since
the disease affects the blood, he can feel pain
anywhere blood flows.
“I could hurt all over or in one location,” he
said. “My pain is mainly in my back, but when
I was little I had pain in my shoulders and hips
a lot because the sickle cell anemia went in my
bones. So I had AVN [avascular necrosis] which
made my shoulders and hips hurt a lot.”
Avascular necrosis is the death of bone tissue
due to a lack of blood supply. It also can lead to
tiny breaks in the bone and the bone’s eventual
collapse. The hip is the joint most commonly af-
fected by avascular necrosis.
The worst crisis Pearson experienced was
when he had acute chest syndrome. It can be as-
sociated with one or more symptoms including
fever, cough, excruciating pain, sputum produc-
tion, dyspnea or hypoxia.
He said he had acute chest syndrome when
he was 9 and 13, and had to stay in the hospital
for 30 days one time.
Pearson said it was hard trying to do normal
childhood activities while dealing with sickle cell.
“My parents let me do the majority of what
I wanted to do, but they let me know the conse-
quences that might happen,” he said. “But, they
Kevin Pearson, 27, was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia at 9 months old. He has Hemoglobin SS disease, the
most common type of sickle cell disease. Pearson (at age 5) said he was 4 years old when he realized that he had
sickle cell, when he was “going back and forth to the hospital.”
The Champion FreePress, Friday Sept. 26, 2014 Page 4A
Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor
This week
I made a very
decision to
open up greater
accessibility to
the voting polls.
This decision was
not a unilateral
one, and has
been approved
by the Elections Board. However,
the decision was made based on
the premise that during general
elections, voter turnout hovers
around 70 percent, however, during
off year elections such as this year it
stays near the 40 percent mark.
My early days of politics were
spent registering people to vote and
encouraging them to get out and
vote, as it has been a passion of mine
since my college days. Because
of this passion I felt we could and
should take action to increase voter
accessibility and participation. Were
these actions so egregious as Senator
Millar laments? Absolutely not.
We have added one additional
voting day, Sunday, Oct. 26, at three
early polling locations. We also
changed one of the early voting
locations to a mall, The Gallery at
South DeKalb Mall, which is free
of charge to the county. Because
of the geographical location of this
mall some partisans will say that
this is a partisan move. However, I
must say that we made the request
to all the major malls in DeKalb,
two in the South and two in the
North, including Perimeter Mall,
at the heart of Senator Millar’s
constituency base. In all cases
except for The Gallery at South
DeKalb Mall, there were issues or
restrictions that prevented them
from approving our request.
Let me reiterate: I absolutely
stand by this decision, which is not
a Democratic or Republican-leaning
strategy. It is simply an attempt to
engage and embrace more citizens
in the electoral process, which is the
foundation of our democracy.
Senator Millar has been very
vocal about this issue, making
characterizations from a hyper-
political viewpoint. Accessibility
to the polls is not and should
never be a partisan tactic. Senator
Millar’s promise to change the law
to prevent greater access to the polls
is troubling, sad and downright
disappointing. I would hope that
if you can vote to allow liquor sales
on Sunday, then certainly you can
support our God given right to vote
on that same Sunday.
Senator Millar proclaims, the
“honeymoon is over,” but I say that’s
when the real marriage begins. I
consider the senator to be a friend
and I would hope that even in
anger he will keep the lines of
communication open for the future
of DeKalb. I certainly will!
– Lee May
Interim CEO DeKalb County
DeKalb deserves access
Commissioner counters interim CEO
In response
to Interim
CEO Lee May’s
letter to the
editor, I believe
a counterpoint
is necessary to
provide a wider
It has been over a year now that
DeKalb has been tarnished by a
litany of problems. In light of these
revelations, interim CEO May has
taken some small steps forward to
give the county administration a bit
more accountability. I can certainly
appreciate his desire to let the public
know about the changes that he has
made as interim CEO. However,
I have to take exception to him
rewriting the history of overseeing
Board of Commissioners (BOC)
While he was the District
5 commissioner, Lee May was
chairman of the Finance, Audit
and Budget (FAB) committee. The
previous chair was Elaine Boyer.
Both then Commissioners May and
Boyer held hostage, in committee,
proposals made by two members
of the BOC to hire an independent
auditor who could investigate how
taxpayer funds were spent.
The Board of Commissioners
is a separate branch of government
and as the legislative body we are
in charge of creating the policy
and ordinances for the executive
branch/CEO to follow (except for
purchasing, which is solely under
the CEO). It is a structure that
provides for checks and balances
if those in public office do their
part. For Mr. May to lay blame
at the foot of previous CEOs and
the government structure is less
than candid. Blaming the form of
government is an effort to convince
citizens that the structure of
government is causing our problems
rather then the people holding the
power. From my perspective, checks
and balances are a positive feature of
our government. Changing the form
of government and placing power
solely in the BOC will not solve our
As chairman of the Audit
Committee, Commissioner
May had the perfect platform to
request independent audits and
investigations. As CEO he has an
even broader platform, to give
support to the needed reforms that
are already being advocated in our
communities. For example:
• An independent auditor who
reports to a citizens’ board
should be a priority for DeKalb
County government. The
City of Atlanta and many
other governments have such
positions and they quickly pay
for themselves from savings in
waste and fraud.
• The Board of Ethics should
be free from the control of the
CEO and the BOC as to its
appointments and the hiring
and delegating the duties to its
• Encouraging the establishment
of a real public anti-corruption
unit in collaboration with
the GBI and FBI and police
department, to investigate
known concerns.
• Support for an Ordinance
of Procurement to allow the
BOC to work with the CEO
on transparent procedures that
then become law to mandate
People want meaningful reform.
It will take our citizens to demand
accountability and participate in
reform activities. Join with those
in the four or more citizens groups
that are currently working on these
efforts. The interim CEO has a task
force of elected officials and others
looking for solutions; scrutinize
their recommendations. We who are
elected must continue to support
efforts to clean house such as my
resolution requiring an audit of
our own past spending. We also
need to enact policies for our future
spending. And it will take engaged
DeKalb voters in November to
replace the District 1 BOC position,
and again in 2016 as we vote for
several district positions and the
CEO. Stay tuned. Step up. Please be
a part of the solution.
– Kathie Gannon
Commissioner, Super District 6
The Champion FreePress, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014 Page 5A

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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.
Bill Crane
“The minimum wage has caused
more misery and unemployment than
anything since the Great Depression.”
– Presidential candidate Gov. Ronald
Reagan of California in 1980.
There is an illogic causing some
to think money from someone else’s
pocket is free. 
Substantially raising the
minimum wage costs politicians
virtually nothing to propose, and
is almost guaranteed to most harm
those it is intended to help. And
such a wage hike will fall primarily
on private sector employers,
particularly in the agriculture,
construction, hospitality and retail
So for just a moment, let’s
focus on labor costs at a fictional
McDonald’s in a world with the
minimum wage doubled to $15 an
hour as being proposed. Assume a
typical suburban location, two staff
on the counter (one running the
drive-through) and two employees
in the kitchen preparing food. For
the sake of this example, the
manager is the owner and his/her
compensation is not included in
this calculation. The average fast
food restaurant, serving breakfast,
lunch and dinner, will be open for 16
hours, from 6 a.m. to midnight. So
we’ll again assume two shifts of four
people, and at the new minimum
wage and at a 40-hour work week.
That comes to labor costs alone
of $960 per day, and $28,800 per
month, for 8 employees.
4 employees, x 2 shifts of eight
hours=64 hours x $15 an
hour=$960 per day labor
7 day restaurant operations, for
one month - $960 x 30 days =
$28,800 per month labor
This estimate does not include
any overtime, paid vacation,
federal holidays or cost of health
care benefits, unemployment
insurance, workers’ comp or any
other employment or training
expense. The cost of labor is by
far the largest cost for most any
restaurant owner, followed by the
facility/location operating costs,
actual food costs and utilities. 
Industry average profit on a fast
food meal today, in a very mature
industry segment with a national
growth rate of 1 percent for the
sector last year, is less than $1 to
$2 per meal. Think how many
hamburgers and Happy Meals you
have to move to net nearly 1,000
meals per day, just to cover your
labor costs?
With labor costs exceeding 10
times the cost of any dollar meal
item, these menu choices become
the most vulnerable and least likely
to continue to exist. As McDonald’s
admits, it isn’t its salads, grilled and
healthy menu items driving up per
store sales. The dollar menu is closer
to 15 percent of its net these days,
and a decreasing percentage of sales
and profits of the major chains are
coming out of the Americas. The
most likely purchasers of the dollar
menu are those with lower income
levels, and those most likely to
be not hired when the floor for
minimum wage becomes too high.
Doubling the minimum wage
will costs hundreds of thousands of
jobs immediately. And employment
among most recent college
graduates remains at a snail’s pace,
with 83 percent of current college
graduates not leaving their college or
university campus with a job waiting
on them. If a college graduate is
not worth $10, $12 or $15 an hour,
how can we realistically make the
argument of increasing the wages of
unskilled or untrained labor, solely
based on an argument of “fairness”
or need?
The minimum wage was never
created or intended to provide a
living wage for an entire family. 
Thousands of restaurant franchisees
across the country operate on an
increasingly tight margin and a 25
to 100 percent hike in their largest
cost line item will simply cause
many of these operations to fail or to
close. The bulk of new jobs created
in this nascent recovery have been
on the lower end of the salary and
wages scale and in industries such
as hospitality.  These “last hired”
are also very likely to become “first
fired” with a massive, mandated
wage hike.
Before you sign that online
petition to take money from that
“rich” neighborhood franchisee
who sponsors the local little league,
or offers discounts to your school
PTA, ask yourself how many folks
you know who employ a number
double or triple the head count of
their own family. And when you are
considering driving that restaurateur
out of business, ask yourself how
much more you are willing to spend,
and how much further you are
willing to drive, to get in a drive-
through that takes an hour, or to pay
almost double for the costs of your
last meal. I thought so.
Bill Crane also serves as a political
analyst and commentator for Channel
2’s Action News, WSB-AM News/
Talk 750 and now 95.5 FM, as well
as a columnist for The Champion,
Champion Free Press and Georgia
Trend. Crane is a DeKalb native and
business owner, living in Scottdale.
You can reach him or comment on a
column at 
A dozen reasons $15/hour minimum wage is a bad idea
Page 6A The Champion FreePress, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014

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.
Tekeshia Shields
of Decatur works full
time as a case manager
with the Center of Black
Women’s Wellness, but
she still finds time to stay
involved in her sons’ lives
by volunteering at their
“I make the time
because I don’t want my
kids to go astray,” she said.
“I have four sons, and I
feel it’s very important that
they have some sense of parental involvement
because it’s easy for young men to go astray.”
Three of Shields’ sons are in grade school
and the 38-year-old mother is heavily involved
at each of her sons’ schools. She is the president
of the football booster club at Cedar Grove High
School, she serves as secretary of the PTSA at
the high school and Cedar Grove Middle School,
and she volunteers in her fifth grader’s classroom
at Oak View Elementary School.
Shields has been the football booster
club president for two years and has been
volunteering with the football team for three
years. As a single mother, Shields said it is
important for her to be there for all of her
“When you’re a single parent you want your
children, especially young men, to have that
support,” she said. “So I just want to show them
As the football booster club president and
PTSA secretary, Shields said she does what she
can to get the football parents involved with the
“I try to implement the parents from the
[football team] and promote participating more
with the academic portion,” she said. “It’s not just
athletics, its academics as well.”
Shields has been the PTSA secretary for three
years and during that time, the PTSA was voted
No. 2 in DeKalb County with a 150 percent
increase in membership. She said parental
involvement is important because it motivates
the child.
“It allows you to have open communication
with the administrators, and you’ll have a better
relationship with the school as well as with your
child,” she said. “We’ve had parents who haven’t
been around, and I’ve asked them to come to
the school, and when the child sees them walk
through that door that child is so excited just to
see that their parent is involved, even if it’s that
one time. It gives the child and the school a sense
of excitement.”
let me have free rein. Sometimes they had to call
me back in to tell me to get some water or some
rest. But I grew up knowing how far I can push
myself and what I can and can’t do.”
While at Lithonia High School, Pearson was
able to participate in the marching band, know-
ing when to take breaks for rest and to drink
“It made me sick when I first started, but
after a while I kind of got used to it,” he said. “I
got sick less and less. [Doctors] say marching
band actually helps the AVN in my shoulders
and hips….it’s like another form of physical
Pearson takes a number of medications to
help with the pain and other effects of sickle
cell, such as oxycodone, folic acid, penicillin,
hydroxyurea and more. With September be-
ing sickle cell awareness month, he hopes more
awareness is raised for the disease, just like
much awareness was made for ALS in August.
“It’s something that people need to be more
aware about because a lot of people don’t know
anybody with sickle cell, they don’t know what
it is, and kids that have sickle cell don’t know
other people that [have] it,” He said. “They think
that they are alone.”
Pearson said he often felt lonely while he
was a child living with sickle cell.
“I felt like no one understood me, but as I
got older and I met more people with sickle cell
I could talk to them about it because they can
relate to me more than my parents or sisters
could,” he said.”
Pearson gives back to children and teenag-
ers dealing with sickle cell by visiting Grady
Hospital three to four times a year to help in the
transitioning clinic. The clinic provides services
to children with sickle cell who are transitioning
from children care to adult care.
“I go down there and talk to them about
the differences between adult care and children
hospitals,” he said. “I tell them how to take care
of themselves in college and how to navigate
through college with sickle cell.
“I feel bad that they’re going through it, but
it makes me feel good that they have someone
that they can talk to or come to to talk about it
so they won’t feel as alone.”
Sickle Cell Continued from page 3A Stream Continued from page 2A
jurisdictions to do education and outreach
programs, and a stream clean-up is a good
way to do that.
“Anyone who goes out and sees how much
trash there is in the creek, they understand
that if they throw their water bottle out the
window it ends up in the storm drain and
ends up in the stream; that makes sure they
understand that you don’t throw anything
down a storm drain,” he said. “They grow up
knowing that, then they teach their kids and
they teach their kids, so on and so on.
“Everybody wants clean water, they
just don’t always realize it,” Strickland said.
“Everyone wants clean water to come out of
the tap, and it all gets recycled. The cleaner it
is going into the treatment center the cleaner
it is coming out of the tap.”
The litter pulled from Nancy Creek flled up half of a dump truck, according to Steven Strickland, storm water
inspector for Doraville. Photo provided
The Champion FreePress, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014 Page 7A

DeKalb Alliance on Youth to hold
first meeting
The DeKalb Alliance on Youth (DAY) will
begin regular meetings on Sept. 30 to discuss
Adopt-A-School and other youth initiatives. DAY
was recently launched during a partnership lun-
cheon at the Historic DeKalb County Courthouse.
DAY includes the community, educational, busi-
ness, faith-based, and non-profit entities focusing
on advancing youth. The alliance supports young
people and organizations that serve youth and
are committed to changing their communities.
Interested individuals or organizations are invited
to attend, but an RSVP is required. For more in-
formation, contact KaCey Venning at kvenning@ or (404) 687-7192.
Nancy Creek Primitive Baptist to
hold cemetery cleanup day
The Chamblee Chamber of Commerce is
sponsoring a work day at the historic Nancy
Creek Primitive Baptist Church cemetery on
Sept. 27. Volunteers will gather at the cemetery,
located at 1685 8th St., Chamblee, at 8 a.m. for
free coffee and doughnuts before the cleanup
begins. Southbound Restaurant will be donating
shirts and Lowes Home Improvement will donate
some tools, but volunteers are also encouraged
to bring their own supplies. Contact the
chamber at for more
City to host fundraiser for
service project
Decatur will host its third annual Restaurants
for Repairs: Raise a fork, fix a home event Sept.
30. A portion of the proceeds will go to the
Decatur MLK Jr. Service Project. Attendees
can dine out throughout the day at one of the
participating restaurants in downtown Decatur.
This volunteer initiative helps low-income
Decatur seniors live safely, comfortably and
affordably in their homes. Every year more
than 1,300 volunteers donate their time to fix
up an average of 25 homes and do yard repair
at an additional 35. For more information visit or contact Lena Stevens
at or (678) 553-
Real Youth now has home for
drop-in hours
Real Youth, an Atlanta-based nonprofit
serving teens and young adults who identify as
lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender now has a
space for groups to meet in the upstairs space at
Kirkwood United Church of Christ. Individuals
ages 13-25 can drop-in hours on Wednesdays
and Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m. Facilitated group
discussions also will be offered.
Youth can bring homework, hobbies, books or
other materials. More information can be found
Wine stroll takes oenophiles
around the world
The Kirkwood Business Association’s annual
Kirkwood Wine Stroll is back for 2014. Featuring
dozens of wines from around the world, those
ages 21 and older are invited to meander around
Kirkwood’s historic streets sipping wine and
enjoying music from Athens-based Beatles
tribute band Abbey Road LIVE. Calo Gitano
Flamenco Dance Company will also provide
entertainment. Tickets cost $35 until Sept. 26, the
day of the event. Registration begins at 6:30 p.m.
day-of, when tickets will increase to $40. Each
participant gets a souvenir wine glass and wine
“passport” to get stamped from the represented
countries of origin.
For more information and to buy tickets, go
to and click on Events &
DeKalb animal services offers free pet adoptions
During September, LifeLine Animal Project will offer a free pet adoption promotion called “Fall in Love.” LifeLine invites the public to celebrate the onset
of fall by adopting any dog, puppy, cat or kitten for free at the DeKalb County Animal Services. Adoption counselors will be on hand to ensure the animals are
being placed in good homes. Adopters will receive a dog or cat that has been spayed or neutered, has had all vaccines and is microchipped — a $200 value —
for free. To view animals available for adoption, or for the shelter’s address and phone number, visit
The Champion FreePress, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014 Page 8A
See Bruce Street on page 9A
DeKalb County Continuum of Care for Homeless
The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Continuum of Care 2014 NOFA FUNDS
On September 23, 2014 the DeKalb County Continuum of Care (CoC) will begin
accepting applications from faith-based organizations, community organizations, non-
profit agencies and other entities interested in applying for 2014 Continuum of Care
funds. CoC applications and general information may be obtained beginning September 22,
2014 at the DeKalb County Community Development Department by calling (404) 286-3308
or by email All CoC applications for funding will be due
by 4:00pm October 2, 2014 to the DeKalb County Human & Community Development
Department, 150 East Ponce de Leon Avenue Suite 330, Decatur, 30030.
Application/Information/ Meeting
Date/Time Location
September 25, 2014
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Decatur Library
215 Sycamore Street
Decatur, GA 30030
This meeting is very important given the funding reductions and new requirements for the
HUD homeless programs!
by Andrew Cauthen
School officials say a
Lithonia High School book-
keeper stole $31,000 more
than originally believed.
“We have documented
that approximately $46,000
in student activity school
funds have not been ac-
counted for,” according to
a statement by the DeKalb
County School District.
“The internal investigation
will continue to examine
school and financial records
until all missing funds are
On Aug. 27, Stephine
Barkley, 38, of McDonough,
was arrested and charged
with theft by taking. A
$2,500 bond for her release
was posted on Aug. 28. In
a written confession to a
school district investigator,
Barkley stated that she took
the money because she was
having “some financial dif-
ficulties at home.”
“The theft of student
activity funds by a former
bookkeeper at Lithonia
High School was discov-
ered by an audit conducted
by the district’s audit and
compliance unit,” accord-
ing to the statement. “The
employee was immediately
terminated and arrested by
the DeKalb Police Depart-
ment. Our investigative files
have been turned over to the
DeKalb district attorney for
The theft was discovered
after school club sponsors
complained to the principal
that their account balances
were incorrect.
Additionally, a vendor
for cheerleader uniforms,
emailed school officials
about a $9,700 past due
balance from the 2013-14
school year, according to
documents obtained by The
Champion. Because of the
outstanding balance, the
vendor would not allow
cheerleaders to order new
uniforms for the current
school year.
“The district will take
whatever steps necessary to
ensure that Lithonia High
School students participat-
ing in extracurricular and
co-curricular activities will
not be negatively impacted,”
the school district stated.
“Superintendent Mi-
chael Thurmond has di-
rected the district’s audit
and compliance unit to
undertake financial reviews
of all schools with signifi-
cant cash flows. Mandatory
district wide training will
be provided for all school
bookkeepers. In addition, all
administrative processes and
procedures will be reviewed
to ensure that this type of
incident will not re-occur.”
Lithonia High bookkeeper’s theft estimate increases to $46,000
by Carla Parker
rowing up in the Bruce Street commu-
nity in Lithonia in the 1960s was a fun
time for Fred Reynolds.
Despite the segregation of Blacks
and Whites during this period, Reynolds, 59, re-
members good times while living on the “other
side of the tracks” in Lithonia.
“Just a sleepy little town, just growing up on
that side of the tracks having a great time running
through the woods and doing all types of crazy
things,” Reynolds said. “But I love Lithonia, al-
ways have.”
Reynolds was born and reared in Lithonia and
attended the historic Bruce Street School from
1960 to 1968. Bruce Street School was established
as the first school for the African-American com-
munity in DeKalb County after the Lithonia Pub-
lic School system was incorporated in 1938.
When the school system desegregated in 1968,
Reynolds and his classmates moved from Bruce
Street School to Lithonia High School. Even after
integration, Reynolds said he enjoyed his time at
Lithonia High School.
“I had a great time at Lithonia High School,”
he said. “Getting to know the White community…
we always had a very cordial relationship.”
With schools integrated in the city, Bruce
Street School closed years later.
“We thought that that was a closing of some-
thing that was a transition to something even bet-
ter,” Reynolds said. “That’s the way I felt. We didn’t
know that this was a part of a federal legislation.
We didn’t understand all of that stuff. We just
knew that this would be a change and it was. But
from an all-Black school to an integrated school
was a transition into the area.”
Over the years, the original Bruce Street
school building began to deteriorate. Today, all
that is left of the building is the exterior walls as
vegetation has taken over the structure.
Reynolds moved to Florida in 1992 and when
he returned to Lithonia in 2010, he was disap-
pointed to see the state of the building. He was
also disappointed to see that no changes were
made in the city as far as new development.
“It was tough. I realize that a lot of the things
in the community had not changed,” he said. “And
it was like a sword going through my heart. I said
‘I can’t believe this. It’s some of the exact same
things that I saw when I left in 1992.’ And I said
‘we can’t have this. We must do better.’
“Of course there are some political things as
to why things haven’t been done and why devel-
opment hasn’t occurred in east DeKalb and the
whole Bruce Street area,” Reynolds added. “But
from a community sense, it hurts.”
Reynolds and his former classmate Michael
Turner decided to lead the charge in changing the
community and created Eagle Rock, an educa-
tion and community development cooperation.
Their first project is to revitalize the old Bruce
Street School building and to turn it into a 7,500-
square-foot, state-of-the art facility dedicated
to the advancement of all through education,
training, and creating a sense of unity among all
Eagle Rock incorporated this year and the
name comes from the Bruce Street School mas-
cot, which an Eagle, and Lithonia — lithos means
stone in Greek. Eagle Rock, along with the Litho-
nia Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is
working with the city to transfer ownership of the
old building from the city to the DDA.
“The plan is to bring people in from the com-
munity to revitalize the building to get people
involved,” he said. “We want to partner with the
Lucious Sanders Recreation Center to get the chil-
dren involved with the project as well.”
Locals hope to revive Bruce Street community
From left, Michael Turner and Fred Reynolds
created Eagle Rock, an education and community
development cooperation. Eagle Rock plans to
use the old Bruce Street School to offer training in
trade jobs such as construction, carpentry, facility
maintenance and more.
The Champion FreePress, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014 Page 9A
The Mayor and City Council of the City of Chamblee, Georgia will hold a public hearing on Thursday, October 16, 
2014, at the Chamblee Civic Center, 3540 Broad Street, Chamblee, GA 30341 at 6:00 p.m. to receive public 
comments regarding the following matters: 
SSP Peachtree, LLC requests approval of a Planned Unit Development (PUD) and Development of Community Impact 
(DCI) for the purpose of constructing a mixed‐use development consisting of 600 multi‐family units and 
approximately 57,000 sq. ft. of non‐residential development pursuant to Sections 207 and 207.1 of the Zoning 
Ordinance, Appendix A of the Chamblee Code of Ordinances. The application concerns two tracts of land consisting 
of 11.364 acres located at 5070 and 5126 Peachtree Boulevard, Chamblee, GA, being Tax Parcels 18‐300‐10‐017 and 
SSP Peachtree, LLC requests approval of a change to the approved conditions of zoning concerning property zoned 
Village Commercial (VC‐conditional) pursuant to Section 212 of the Zoning Ordinance, Appendix A of the Chamblee 
Code of Ordinances for the purpose of constructing a proposed mixed‐use development consisting of 600 multi‐
family units and approximately 57,000 sq. ft. of non‐residential development. The request concerns two tracts of 
land consisting of 11.364 acres located at 5070 and 5126 Peachtree Boulevard, Chamblee, GA, being Tax Parcels 18‐
300‐10‐017 and 18‐300‐10‐016. 
Cocke Finkelstein, Inc. requests a waiver of the following provisions of the City of Chamblee Code of Ordinances, 
Development Regulations in order to build 283 multi‐family dwellings and 35,800 sq. ft. of non‐residential 
development on a parcel zoned Village Commercial (VC) consisting of 5.95 acre(s) located at 5193 Peachtree 
Boulevard, Chamblee, GA  being Tax Parcel  300‐04‐001: 
Section 34‐905(2) “Stream channel protection. Protection of stream channels from bank and bed erosion 
and degradation shall be provided by using all of the following three approaches:  
a) Preservation, restoration and/or reforestation (with native vegetation) of the applicable stream 
b) Twenty‐four‐hour extended detention storage of the one‐year, 24‐hour return frequency storm 
event; these flows will not have an impact on upstream or downstream streambank or channel 
c) Erosion prevention measures such as energy dissipation and velocity control. 
  Section 34‐905(3) ”Overbank flooding protection.  Downstream overbank flood and property protection 
shall be provided by controlling (attenuating) the post‐development peak discharge rate to at least 90 
percent of the pre‐development rate for the 25‐year, 24‐hour return frequency storm event”. 
Regional commission survey to influence plan development
by Lauren Ramsdell
s part of updating
its regional plan, the
Atlanta Regional
Commission, or ARC, has
a survey for residents of the
10-county metro Atlanta
area. The survey will be on-
line until Sept. 30.
“What we are is a non-
profit agency that works
serving a variety of planning
functions for the region,”
said Melissa Roberts, com-
munity engagement coordi-
nator transport access and
mobility division of the ARC.
“There are federal, state and
local jurisdictions we work
in, such as transportation
planning, land use planning,
area agency on aging, work-
force development, and other
planning areas.”
The most recent plan,
Plan 2040, was just updated
earlier this year. However,
since 2010 census results
were released, the Atlanta
metro area has increased
in size. The ARC is now
required to update its plan
again, with a finishing date
of March 2016. The ARC is
now calling the plan simply
the Regional Plan, to save
“The survey is basically
a public input survey related
to our regional plan, a long-
range comprehensive plan,”
Roberts said. “Long-range
means we are planning out
to 2040 and comprehensive
relates to all of the issues I
mentioned previously (trans-
portation, land use, water
management and so on). The
survey is an opportunity to
ask people what priorities
they think our region needs
to focus on in order to be the
most successful.”
The survey, available at
theregionalplan, features four
steps: an introductory page,
a page asking users to rank
the most important areas to
focus on, a page asking users
to provide solutions for the
problem areas, and a submis-
sion page.
The priorities users will
rank are secure water supply;
walkable, vibrant neighbor-
hoods; arts, recreation and
healthy quality of life; com-
prehensive transportation
system; highly developed and
well-educated workforce; and
innovation hub.
“We expect to add nearly
3 million more people by the
year 2040, and we are asking
people to think about what
that means to them and their
communities,” Roberts said.
“What are our biggest chal-
lenges that we need to ad-
dress? This helps us identify
priorities to focus on and
then ways to achieve that
Roberts said the ARC is
always tinkering with the re-
gional plans, even as they are
adopted. The commission is
federally required to update
the plan every four years, so
as soon as it is complete they
start thinking about the next
“Of those six areas listed
in the survey, those are all
related to what we do and
what we will continue to
do,” Roberts said. “When we
know what people prioritize,
that will help us to strategize
what we do. What we will be
doing continues to look at
how all of our other planning
areas support that. It can tell
us not only what is important
to people, but with the open-
ended comments, what kind
of perspective they have on
different aspects of their life
in ways that resonate with
them and may impact a way
we approach the comprehen-
sive plan update.”
Roberts said that re-
sponse from DeKalb County
residents has been great,
with a lot of good feedback.
Results from the survey will
be available in mid-October
both as a regional overview
and also as a county-by-
county breakdown.
The plans, when pub-
lished, are used by local
county and city governments
to guide their own policy-
making and development
plans. The plans are dis-
cussed and vetted by mem-
bers of the ARC board, many
of whom are elected officials.
But only some areas of the
plan, such as those involving
transportation, are required
to be followed as prescribed.
The other parts are mainly
guidelines that can be codi-
fied or not by local govern-
“The results at large help
impact our regional plan, so
[DeKalb residents] will expe-
rience the same impacts that
everyone in the region will,”
Roberts said. “The informa-
tion that we will share with
… the county government
and locally elected officials
will be able to look at it. It
will be able to inform discus-
sions and policy directly in
your county.”
‘The survey is basically a public input
survey related to our regional plan, a
long-range comprehensive plan.’
– Melissa Roberts
Locals hope to revive Bruce Street community
Eagle Rock plans to use the building to offer training in
trade jobs such as construction, carpentry, facility mainte-
nance and more. An agreement with DDA will allow Eagle
Rock to have a long-term lease on the property. The project
is a part of Eagle Rock’s 2014 Public/Private Partnership
plan, which is in accordance with Lithonia’s comprehensive
plan for 2010-2026.
Other projects Eagle Rock plans to work on include a
river walk — a nature trail that will start at the Bruce Street
Park, travel adjacent to Pine Mountain and end at the old
African-American cemetery.
The group also plans to renovate Lucious Sanders Com-
munity Center and the gymnasium to use it as a robotics
training facility and sports center. The group wants to reno-
vate the existing baseball field at the Bruce Street Cemetery
area and create a community garden.
“I’m really excited about getting the community garden
started,” Reynolds said. “All of that is in the works now. The
problem is we have to seek approval from different agencies
and programs before we can move forward, but that’s just a
part of the process.”
Bruce Street Continued from page 8A
The Champion FreePress, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014 Page 10A
Transportation and Infrastructure
Jobs right now
Open and Honest Government
Preserving the Environment
Raising the minimum wage
Lt. Governor
November 4, 2014
Former State Senator
Toll and Fleming Fellow
Former DeKalb County
Japanese Exchange Program
Foreign Policy Institute
BBA - Mar ke t i ng
Georgia State University
California State University
MPA - Public Management
Leadershi p Col l ege
UNC Chapel Hill
Contribute at or
Connie Stokes for Lt. Governor
P.O. BOX 360382 Decatur, Ga 30036
Paid for by Connie Stokes for Lt. Governor, Inc
Medicaid Expansion
“She will Make A Difference”
County holds ground-breaking for new park
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, October 11, 2014
Comfort Inn Conference Center
2001 Clearview Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30340
Family Reunion Capital of the South
Call 770-492-5018
Pre-registration is required
FREE Family Reunion Planning
Workshop & Showcase
by Carla Parker
What was once a space of land filled
with overgrown weeds and grass will soon
be a new park in the Druid Hills community.
The Friends of Rutledge Park along with
DeKalb County officials broke ground for
the new Rutledge Park Sept. 17. The 1.5-acre
park will soon include entry landscaping,
walkway into the park, playground and
walking trail.
The Friends of Rutledge Park put a
visual plan together and raised $13,000
for the project. The group also received
a $50,000 grant from Park Pride and
DeKalb County Commissioner Jeff Rader
contributed another $45,000 towards the
project through a park bond. The group
raised $108,000 to kick off the project.
Rader said the land was “choked with
invasive species.”
“It had to be cleared by both the efforts
of contractors involved with the county
and the ongoing efforts of the people in the
community to make this place be able to
reclaim its natural character,” he said. “And
to be able to reintroduce the natural plants
that will now flourish here as we go forward
under the vision for this green space,” he
“This is a challenged park,” Rader added.
“This park would not have happened unless
first, the community challenged us as a
county to provide more green space and
identify some locations in the district. In
addition, it would not have happened unless
we challenged the community back to form
a Friends of Park organization to participate
in a visioning that would be inclusive to all
of the stakeholders here.”
Interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May
said he was excited about what the park
“Which is collaboration between
DeKalb County government, Park Pride,
the community, the commissioners, county
staff and others to be able to do something
nice in terms of developing our green space,
whether it’s large or small projects,” May
said. “It adds to the value of our quality of
life here in DeKalb County.”
The park will include entry landscaping, a walkway, a playground
and a walking trail.
The Friends of Rutledge Park along with DeKalb County offcials broke ground for the new 1.5-acre
Rutledge Park Sept. 17.
The Champion FreePress, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014 Page 11A
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
A horse-drawn carriage leads a funeral procession Sept. 19 in Decatur. Photo by Donna Turner
Nyanna Johnson, center, celebrates her birthday at Rowland Elementary
with her parents, Christi Love and Terrell Johnson. Photo by Andrew
Genevieve Evans hugs Donna Evans during grandparents’ day at
Rowland Elementary. Photo by Andrew Cauthen
Members of the percussion group Conundrums perform at the old courthouse in Decatur while
a crowd watches and dances. Photos by Andrew Cauthen
Curtisey Akinson and her grandmother Karon Stone at Rowland
Elementary’s grandparents’ day. Photo by Andrew Cauthe
The Champion FreePress, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014 Page 12A
virtue of the power of sale contained with that
certain Security Deed dated March 11, 2002,
from Brantley Lee Harris to Financial Freedom
Senior Funding Corporation, A Subsidiary Of
Lehman Brothers Bank, FSB, recorded on March
25, 2002 in Deed Book 13089 at Page 639,
DeKalb County, Georgia Records, having been
last sold, assigned, transferred and conveyed to
OneWest Bank, N.A. (formerly known as
OneWest Bank, FSB) by Assignment and said
Security Deed having been given to secure a
note dated March 11, 2002, in the amount of
$226,500.00, said note being in default, the
undersigned will sell at public outcry during the
legal hours of sale before the door of the
courthouse of DeKalb County, Georgia, on
November 4, 2014, the following described real
property (hereinafter referred to as the
THE POINT OF BEGINNING. The debt secured
by the Security Deed and evidenced by the Note
and has been, and is hereby, declared due and
payable because of, among other possible
events of default, failure to make the payments
as required by the terms of the Note. The debt
remaining is in default and this sale will be made
for the purposes of paying the Security Deed,
accrued interest, and all expenses of the sale,
including attorneys' fees. Notice of intention to
collect attorneys' fees has been given as
provided by law. To the best of the undersigned's
knowledge, the person(s) in possession of the
property is/are Brantley Lee Harris (Deceased)
and Annie G. Harris. The property, being
commonly known as 5 E. Lake Dr., NE, Atlanta,
GA 30317 in DeKalb County, will be sold as the
property of Brantley Lee Harris (Deceased) and
Annie G. Harris, subject to any outstanding ad
valorem taxes (including taxes which are a lien
and not yet due and payable), any matters
affecting title to the property which would be
disclosed by accurate survey and inspection
thereof, and all assessments, liens,
encumbrances, restrictions, covenants, and
matters of record to the Security Deed. Pursuant
to O.C.G.A.Section 44-14-162.2, the name,
address and telephone number of the individual
or entity who shall have the full authority to
negotiate, amend or modify all terms of the
above described mortgage is as follows:
Financial Freedom, 2900 Esperanza Crossing,
Austin, TX 78758, 866-727-4303. The foregoing
notwithstanding, nothing in O.C.G.A. Section 44-
14-162.2 shall require the secured creditor to
negotiate, amend or modify the terms of the
mortgage instrument. The sale will be conducted
subject (1) to confirmation that the sale is not
prohibited under U.S. Bankruptcy code and (2) to
final confirmation and audit of the status of the
loan with the holder of the Security Deed.
Albertelli Law Attorney for OneWest Bank, N.A.
(formerly known as OneWest Bank, FSB) as
Attorney in Fact for Brantley Lee Harris 100
Galleria Parkway, Suite 960 Atlanta, GA 30339
Phone: (866) 690-0418 By: James E. Albertelli,
PURPOSE. JEA - 14-156774 A-4486689
09/25/2014, 10/02/2014, 10/09/2014,
10/16/2014, 10/23/2014, 10/30/2014
by Lauren Ramsdell
The Doraville General Motors
plant site finally has a new owner.
IMS, a joint venture between The
Integral Group, Macauley+Schmit,
and its Houston-based capital partner,
Consolidated Asset Management Ser-
vices, aquired the 165-acre manufac-
turing site formerly owned by General
Motors on Sept. 19.
“From the creation of a tax al-
location district to coordination
with county and state entities, our
long range goal is to create a livable,
mixed-use, transit-oriented devel-
opment that will be beneficial to
Doraville residents and businesses,”
said Doraville Mayor Donna Pittman
in a statement. “It is a great achieve-
ment for our community and the sur-
rounding area that will impact genera-
tions to come.”
The city completed an LCI, or liv-
able centers initiative, study in 2010
with help from the Atlanta Regional
Commission (ARC). The study fo-
cused on downtown Doraville and the
GM site, recommending its develop-
ment into a mixed-use urban center.
The site will be about 20 city
blocks of shops, parks, restaurants and
perhaps even government buildings. It
also will offer MARTA accessibility.
According to Bob Kelley, public
information officer for the city of
Doraville, the closing of the GM plant
in 2008 cost the city 36 percent of its
total employment and 10 percent of
its tax revenue. With the redevelop-
ment, the site will draw in businesses
to rebuild that employment and tax
A master planner will soon be
announced for the project, Kel-
ley said. For the first few months,
though, most construction will be
de-construction of the existing ware-
houses and factory buildings, as well
as recycling of metals and hazardous
“This project isn’t only about the
recovery of Doraville,” said Pittman.
“It’s also about the whole region and
surrounding communities such as
Dunwoody, Brookhaven, Chamblee
and Norcross. This is a great accom-
plishment for all of us.”
GM plant sold to Atlanta-
based property group
Former DeKalb manager indicted
on public corruption charges
Loganville resident Patrick Jack-
son, 55, a former janitorial services
manager for DeKalb County and
the Georgia World Congress Center
(GWCC), has been indicted and ar-
raigned on charges of mail fraud and
“Jackson is charged with abus-
ing his official positions with DeKalb
County and the Georgia World Con-
gress Center,” said U.S. Attorney Sally
Quillian Yates. “According to the
indictment, over a six-year period he
accepted bribes in exchange for his
helping a company attain and main-
tain exclusive government contracts.”
J. Britt Johnson, special agent in
charge of the FBI Atlanta Field Office,
stated, “The FBI Atlanta office’s public
corruption program remains very ac-
tive and determined in exposing the
criminal conduct of public officials.
The investigation and indictment of
Mr. Jackson serves as further example
of the FBI’s commitment toward ac-
countability for those serving the pub-
lic and holding positions of trust.”
According to Yates, the charges,
and other information presented in
court, Jackson was simultaneously
employed by DeKalb County and the
GWCC from approximately 2006-
2012. In both positions, he served as
the manager of janitorial services.
The indictment alleges that Jack-
son used his position as a public offi-
cial to obtain favors from an uniden-
tified company that provided janito-
rial services to both DeKalb County
and GWCC. Jackson was employed
by the unidentified company prior to
his employment with the county and
While employed by the county
and GWCC Jackson lived in a luxury
apartment in Atlanta that was being
paid for and furnished by the com-
pany. In exchange, Jackson agreed to
use his position as a public official to
benefit the interests of the company in
its business dealings with the county
and GWCC.
Jackson did not disclose to either
employer that the company was pro-
viding him with an apartment. The
indictment alleges that, by accepting
these bribes, Jackson deprived his
employers of their right to his honest
Jackson was arraigned before U.S.
Magistrate Judge Linda T. Walker
and indicted by a federal grand jury
on Sept. 9.
The sale of the former General Motors plant was fnalized on Sept. 19.
The Champion FreePress, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014 Page 13A LOCAL NEWS
Beer Continued From Page 1A Ellis Continued From Page 1A
not to go to the meeting. Tat’s not
something we could be involved with.”
Morris said that during the
meeting, which was attended by Greg
and Trina Shealey of NPI, Ellis and
Morris, Ellis said he was concerned
about the lack of responsiveness afer
talking to Trina Shealey about a
campaign contribution.
“I was surprised,” Morris said.
“I had thought…that they had not
responded to him at all.”
Had she known that Ellis had
spoken with Trina Shealey, Morris
said, “I don’t think I would have
arranged that meeting. To have talked
with the Shealeys, that means there
was a response.”
During the meeting Ellis was
“frm, clear and direct” and asked the
Shealeys, “How can we trust you if
you don’t return phone calls?” said
Morris, adding that there had been
no performance issues or complaints
about NPI.
In another meeting with Morris
and other county ofcials, Ellis
inquired about cancelling the NPI
contract and asked “how could we
keep doing business with a company
like this,” Morris said.
Morris said she just stated the
“NPI had not done anything
wrong,” Morris said. “Tere is no
reason to end a contract because a call
is not returned to the CEO.”
Morris said to end the contract
would have been “giving the
impression” that it was the result of
phone calls not being returned to Ellis.
Under cross-examination, Morris
admitted that Ellis never instructed
her to cancel the contract. She said she
later learned that company contributed
to Ellis’ campaign fund.
Joanne Wise, a client partner
working out of Raleigh, N.C., for
CIBER Inc., a technology consulting
frm, said she received four or fve
phones calls from Ellis.
In a voicemail, Ellis identifed
himself as the CEO of DeKalb County
and asked for a return call, Wise said.
She returned the phone call because
she thought it was in reference to
“some issue that we needed to resolve,”
she said.
Ellis told Wise that since CIBER
had received a beneft from the
county, the company should give to his
campaign. Wise responded by telling
him that her company has a policy of
not donating to political campaigns.
Wise said Ellis then solicited a
donation from her personally. She
told him that she was in no position
to make a donation, being a mother of
four, including one special needs child.
“Tat was still not enough” for
Ellis, Wise said. She fnally agreed to
check her company’s policy again “to
see if anything had changed.”
Afer that, she did not return
Ellis’ continued phone calls, which
made Ellis “progressively…irritated
and annoyed that I wasn’t calling him
back,” Wise said.
In a phone call that she did take,
Ellis told Wise, “You will not get any
more business from DeKalb County, I
can tell you that,” she said.
In March 2012 Wise told Ellis
that CIBER would no longer be doing
business with the county because they
could not agree with the terms of the
new contract.
“He said that’s a good thing,
because you weren’t going to get more
business anyway,” Wise testifed.
On Sept. 17 a secretly
recorded conversation between
Ellis and a contractor was played
in court. In the September 2012
conversation, Ellis could be heard
asking Brandon Cummings, co-
owner of Power and Energy Services,
for a campaign contribution of up to
$2,500 to help eliminate the debt from
his reelection bid.
“It takes about a million dollars to
run a race like this,” Ellis said in the
recorded phone call. “And we’ve raised
about three quarters of that but we do
have some lingering campaign debt.”
Ellis told Cummings that afer
making several unsuccessful attempts
to reach him, a Power and Energy 
Services ofce assistant told Ellis “that
they weren’t interested in my services,”
Ellis said in the phone conversation.
“I’ve got to tell you, at the time, I
got taken aback by that…,” Ellis said in
the recording. “
Ellis stated that he then
told former purchasing
director Kelvin Walton that Power
and Energy Services is “a company
and we’re the customer. For somebody
to tell me, not knowing why I was
calling, to tell me that they weren’t
interested in our services, then we’re
not interested in theirs, and just go
ahead and cut the contract,” Ellis said
in the recording.
Ellis also said he was concerned
that he had not received return phone
calls from Power and Energy.
“If I can’t get a follow-up call,
why is my company doing business—
why are we doing business with this
company?” Ellis told Cummings in the
phone call.
In the recording Cummings
told Ellis that as a Cobb County
business, he did not see the beneft of
donating to a DeKalb County political
“I could ask the question why is
DeKalb County doing business with a
Cobb County business,” Ellis said.
Te recording of the Ellis
conversation was arranged by
investigators in the DeKalb DA’s ofce.
In the recorded conversation,
Cummings said he was uncomfortable
with the call.
Te conversation turned difcult
for me,” Cummings testifed. “When
I realized what was going on…it got
extremely difcult… I it reafrmed
the threat and the actions that were
already there. I’ve never had a phone
call like that before.”
Cummings said that afer
the Ellis call, contractor said all
outstanding work with the county was
put on hold by the county.
great, that speaks to the quality
of the beer and food and what we
Once a month, Twain’s ofers
free tours of its brewery. Starting
at 12:30 p.m. on the frst Saturday
of the month, the ins and outs of
its operation are revealed. Space is
limited, and they suggest signing
up at the bar for the next available
Twain’s, which just completed
a renovation with new seating and
bar features, has a loyal following
who come for the food, billiards,
foosball, shufeboard, darts and
Twains,, is
located at 211 E. Trinity Place,

Tree Taverns Craf Beer
Te one-year-old brewery,
whose slogan is “surpass the or-
dinary,” launched last July 19 and
opened its tasting room last Sep-
Brian Purcell is Tree Taverns’
brewmaster and chief executive
ofcer, who turned a home brew-
ing hobby into a business nine
years ago.
Tey brew Single Intent, a Bel-
gian-style single; A Night in Brus-
sels IPA with malts from Belgium,
a blend of American hops, cane
sugar and Belgian yeast strain;
Quasimodo, a Belgium-style qua-
Te focal point of the brewery
is Te Parlour, a tasting room
where guests are accommodated
and surrounded by weathered
planks, aged timbers and intricate
brickwork. Named one of the
“23 Hottest Craf Beer spots in
America Right Now” by Eater Na-
tional in December 2013, The Par-
lor ofers a souvenir tasting glass,
brewery tour and six 5.5-ounce
pours of Tree Taverns beers for
$12 per person. (A $2 discount
is ofered to those who ride their
bikes to the brewery.)
Tree Taverns, www.threetav-, is located at 121
New St. in Decatur.

Blue Tarp Brewing Co.
Tis brewery, which started in
December 2012, bills itself as De-
catur’s frst full-scale production.
It brews six beers including Ban-
tam Weight, a session ale; Hop-
sided, an IPA noted for its spicy
foral and citrus favor; and Fünk
Weisse, described as having a lem-
ony tartness and light sourdough
Tours and tastings at the brew-
ery, located at 731 E. College Ave.,
are held on Fridays from 6:30 to
8:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 3:30
to 7 p.m. Guided tours are held at
4:30 p.m., 6:15 p.m. and 7:20 p.m.
A souvenir pint glass and fve
samples are available for $10.
Visitors are advised that the
brewery is not air-conditioned.
for more information or visit their
website at www.bluetarpebrew.

Wild Heaven Craf Beer
Located in Decatur on the
edge of Avondale Estates, Wild
Heaven Craf Beer has set out to
create something diferent. “Our
beers are designed in the great
tradition of European brewing but
with a distinctly American creative
fair,” states the brewery’s website.
“Our all-grain, no adjunct-sugar
philosophy creates bigger favor
without excess alcohol.”
Founded by Georgians Nick
Purdy and Eric Johnson, Wild
Heaven produces six beers includ-
ing Invocation, a Belgian-style
golden ale; Ode to Mercy, an im-
perial brown ale; and Civilization,
an English-style barleywine.
Wild Heaven’s public tasting
room is open Fridays 5:30 to 8
p.m., Saturdays 2-5 p.m. and Sun-
days 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tours are
free. For $12 visitors can purchase
a goblet and receive six tokens for
Wild Heaven Craf Beer is
located at 135-B Maple St. in
Decatur. Call (404) 997-8589 or go
for more information.

Wine Workshop & Brew Center
Tose interested in brewing
beer at home as a hobby might
want to check out the Wine
Workshop & Brew Center, 627-F
E. College Ave. It ofers brewing
supplies and equipment as well as
classes. Two beer brewing classes
are scheduled for Sept. 20 and 27
from 1:30 to 5 p.m. In the dem-
onstration classes, attendees will
be shown the steps to make home
brew using an ingredients kit sold
at the center. Te class costs $30
for two people and usually in-
cludes a $20 coupon for supplies
purchased. To register or for more
information, call (404) 228-5211
or go to

Ale Yeah! Craf Beer Market
“Our mission is to provide to
the residents of Metro Atlanta ac-
cess to the wonders of American
and International craf beer,” is
how Ale Yeah! Craf Beer Mar-
ket describes its operation on its
Te market ofers standard
six-packs, build-your-own six-
packs as well as larger format and
a growler station where customers
get draf beer to go. Te store also
sells beer accoutrements—cheese,
cured meats, pretzels and choco-
late. It’s located at 906 W. College
Ave., Decatur. Call (404) 371-4331
or go to for
more information.
Page 14A The Champion FreePress, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014

Stone Mountain Woman’s Club
celebrating 85 years
by Carla Parker
When the freight train traveled through Stone
Mountain in the early 1900s, it would leave be-
hind debris such as cotton and soot.
After tiring of seeing all the mess left behind,
11 women decided to come together to clean
up the town. They went from cleaning the train
debris to cleaning up the cemetery, the city park
and the entire town. In 1929, those same women
formed the Stone Mountain Woman’s Club.
Eighty-five years and 88 members later,
the now General Federation of Woman’s Clubs
(GFWC) Stone Mountain Woman’s Club is still
at work doing its part to make Stone Mountain a
better city. The club joined the general federation
in 1930.
Through the federation, one of the club
members, two years ago, was president of all the
women’s clubs in Georgia.
“Stone Mountain is quite prominent in the
state,” said club President Barbara Luton.
Over the years, the women’s club has con-
tributed considerable to the city and has become
a major aspect of Stone Mountain’s history. The
club had a horse show at Stone Mountain Park
for years and that was their big fundraiser. One
of its members, Sue Kellogg, started the city’s li-
brary, which is named after her: Stone Mountain-
Sue Kellogg Library.
The club also started the health department,
which was in the building where the Georgia Mil-
itary College is now housed, and they numbered
all of the houses in the city.
The clubhouse started in 1956 and the club
held its first meeting there in 1958.
“I believe at the time it was paid for,” said Lu-
ton, who has been with the club since 1991.
“I joined the club because I wanted to get to
know a new group of people and they had a lot
of activities,” she said. “At the time that I joined I
was teaching preschool but I was still able to go
to the meetings, which were on Thursdays.”
Luton started her two-year term in March.
Previously, she was first-vice president for two
years and was in charge of membership. She
also was the club’s secretary for two years, co-
chairman of the club’s Public Issues program and
chairman of the club’s Home Life program.
Today, the club is still very much involved
in the city and DeKalb County. They work with
ART Station, providing hostesses and food for art
receptions; they cosponsor the DeKalb County
Art Teachers and Students art show in the spring;
they are currently working on the Tour of South-
ern Ghost, and the club works with the Stone
Mountain Community Garden — donating food
and money.
Many of the club’s members are also members
of the Friends of Stone Mountain-Sue Kellogg
Library, where they run the book sale every June.
They also give a $750 Women of Empowerment
scholarship to a women returning to school, and
a $150 Hue O’Brian Youth (HOBY) scholarship
for high school students every year.
The club also contributed $100 to the city’s
back-to-school bash that was held in August and
they filled book bags and handed them out to
The club, along with the Lilburn Women’s
Club, sponsors the “Jawbones vs Sawbones” bas-
ketball charity event every spring that benefits
the Side By Side Brain Injury Clubhouse in Stone
Mountain. Last year, the club raised $50,000.
They also have two fundraisers, the Holiday
Home tour, and they sell cakes at the annual
Stone Mountain Daisy Festival.
The club has a daytime club that meets the
second Thursday of each month and an evening
club, which meets on the second Tuesday night of
each month.
While the club participates in many projects,
the club is always looking for new projects that
give back to the community.
“Every two years we get a new ‘plan of work.’
It’s things that the federation wants to concentrate
on,” Luton said. “We’re always doing things that
are appropriate to the times. Domestic violence is
one of the big pushes for the federation, so we’re
trying to do a lot in that.”
“And in the future I think elder abuse is going
to be big,” Luton added. “And we hope to con-
tinue the big basketball game with Side-by-Side.
We’re hoping to grow that.”
The Stone Mountain Woman’s Club has been serving the community since 1929. The club started with 11 women and now has 88 members.
The Champion FreePress, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014 PAGE 15A
HistoryMakers participate in day of service
Georgia Perimeter College turns 50
by Lauren Ramsdell
The HistoryMakers, an oral history collecting group
that preserves interviews and stories of Black Americans,
is sponsoring its fifth annual “Back to School with the
HistoryMakers” on Sept. 26.
Hundreds of HistoryMakers, in 61 cities in 30 states,
will be attending local schools to reflect on their own
experiences and encourage students to COMMIT — the
theme of this year’s day — to staying in school.
According to the organization’s website, the goals of
the event are:
• Encourage commitment to student achievement,
parental involvement, increased test scores, high
school graduation, and successful college entry and
• Respond to the Obama Administration’s call for ser-
vice in a real and meaningful way.
• Bring African American leaders into schools to see
things firsthand and speak to and hopefully motivate
students directly.
• Bring additional resources into the public school
systems such as The HistoryMakers digital ar-
chive ( of oral his-
tory interviews.
• Raise awareness of the achievements of accomplished
African Americans in their local communities.
“By bringing these living leaders into today’s edu-
cational system, we are raising awareness about the
achievements of the accomplished African Americans
in local communities and bringing these leaders into
schools to see things firsthand, while providing im-
portant role models for today’s youth,” said Julieanna
Richardson, The HistoryMakers founder and executive
director in a statement.
Schools participating in the day will also receive free
one-year membership to The HistoryMakers online ar-
chive of video recordings.
“It is important that the community talks; intergen-
erational dialogue is important, because something has
been lost,” Richardson said. “Students should see role
models and understand their stories, or else there will be
more [Fergusons].”
Music director Dwight Andrews will visit Arabia
Mountain High School and mathematician Sylvia Trim-
ble Bozeman will go to Lithonia High School.
Bozeman received her B.S. in mathematics from
Alabama A&M University, master’s in mathematics from
Vanderbilt, and mathematics Ph.D from Emory. She real-
ized that many women, especially women of color, may
have wanted to delve deep into mathematics but were
pressured to leave over time. As a professor at Spellman
College, Bozeman worked to help keep women interested
in math.
“The dropout rate is large, especially for African
American women,” Bozeman said. “Working with a
woman at Bryn Mawr, another women’s college, we
decided to collaborate and get more women into math-
ematics. We decided to redirect our attention to the Ph.D
level. The foundation is called Enhancing Diversity in
Graduate Education. The last 13 years of my active teach-
ing career at Spellman we worked with that program.”
Bozeman recently retired after 39 years teaching at
Spellman. She was approached by the HistoryMakers for
a three-plus hour interview, which is now archived on
their website. Since she has recently retired, she agreed to
take part in the Back to School initiative.
“I am excited to stay involved in education, especially
at this level where I have not had a chance to do very
much,” she said. “I have done small things like tutoring
and judging science fairs, but I am not doing much to
keep in touch with high school and younger students. I
am excited to go – I hope I have the energy.”
Bozeman will be presenting to three classes about
herself and her involvement with HistoryMakers. At the
end of the presentation, she will invite students to make a
pledge for academic excellence.
“The whole goal is to help the students understand
what people have done before, them, not people that they
find in the history books, and have those people inspire
them to excellence,” she said. It provides the access to
African American history that is not readily available to
students these days.”
Overcoming financial
hurdles, the college is
now on the right track
by Lauren Ramsdell
ifty years ago, Ron Shaw stepped onto cam-
pus at then DeKalb College for the first time.
He is a native of DeKalb County and had just
graduated from Clarkston High School. He
was looking for an affordable place to begin his sec-
ondary education.
“I looked at what was then DeKalb Tech and a
couple other schools, but DeKalb College was the
least expensive and the newest,” he said. “It was sup-
posed to be a premiere school, and I lived in DeKalb
County, so that meant that my education would be
really inexpensive.”
He was one of 763 initial students who enrolled
that year. What is now called Georgia Perimeter
College, or GPC, opened its doors on the Clarkston
campus — then, the only campus — in 1964.
“I was in the first class, so we didn’t have any-
thing to read about to see what past students had
to say about the college,” Shaw said. “We were the
guinea pigs.”
GPC is celebrating its 50th anniversary over the
next two years, culminating in May 2016 with the
50th anniversary of the first class graduating.
The college has expanded significantly. Now fea-
turing five campuses and 22,000 students, Georgia
Perimeter helps students get basic classes out of the
way before going to a four-year school, complete an
associate’s degree or earn college credit while still in
high school
“The term I usually use is that we have become
the Hartsfield-Jackson of the University System of
Georgia,” said GPC Interim President Rob Watts.
“We are the biggest transfer hub, and we are where
they start and where they finish. We are a very large
endeavor, and it has been an amazing 50 -year jour-
ney to get here.”
Watts took over as president during a financial
crisis for the college in 2012. A huge budget deficit
was uncovered, leaving Watts to oversee the firing of
9 percent of staff and cutting $25 million from the
budget to cover the unexpected shortfall. They have
since been accredited for the next 10 years by their
accrediting body.
Jennifer Jenkins, fine arts production manager
at GPC, has been involved with the college since she
skipped her senior year of high school in 1972 and
took advanced classes there. She said the college goes
through phases but has ultimately come out on top.
“There have been dips and dives, ebbs and
flows,” she said, “But, I’m happy to work in a place
that those of us who have been here long enough
know that it’s going to be OK. Anytime I get bogged
down in all of the financial concerns or new rules or,
frankly, learning how to use a computer — because
I had to do that — I get to meet the freshman class,
and I get so excited to meet them, to welcome them,
to help them find their way, to feed off their enthusi-
Enthusiastic students come to GPC every year,
but the Board of Regents recently decided to base its
funding on completion or graduation rates, not just
the amount of students that enroll. Watts said that
he expects many more nontraditional or returning
education students, as well as military students. He
also sees online education, which is offered for many
introductory classes at the college, increasing as well.
“The mission of the college is going to remain
the same,” he said. “We are going to continue to have
the mission we had 50 years ago, and we will have
that in the future: to have a place for students that
wouldn’t or couldn’t be in college. Georgia needs s
institutions like GPC for students who aren’t neces-
sarily academically struggling, but are financially
Jenkins said she admires the GPC students who
take classes while simultaneously juggling career and
“I lived at home, I didn’t have to get financial
aid, I didn’t have to have a job,” she said of her GPC
experience. “Our students now have families, if not
multiple jobs, and they are absolutely driven to get
here and do what they have to do. Sometimes it takes
them an hour and a half to get here because they take
two busses and a train. I admire them.”
Shaw also returned to GPC after he graduated,
after finishing his degree in journalism at the Uni-
versity of Georgia. During a career outside the col-
lege in juvenile justice, he took on a part-time job in
1979 and has worked part-time at the school since in
the counseling office.
“I am hoping that the next 50 years brings about
positive change for the college, where we continue
to take students who need that extra help to succeed
as students and help them to move forward either
in our degree programs or help them to master the
programs that they choose to move on to at a four-
year college,” he said. “I think that we are financially
on good ground now, back to where we should have
been before we had the big financial crisis. I am hop-
ing we can move on positively to the future.”
Georgia Perimeter College interim president Rob
Watts addresses the crowd, aided by a sign language
interpreter, at GPC’s 50th convocation. Photo by
Lauren Ramsdell
The Champion FreePress, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014 Page 16A
The Voice of Business in DeKalb County
DeKalb Chamber of Commerce
Two Decatur Town Center, 125 Clairemont Ave., Suite 235, Decatur, GA 30030
by Kathy Mitchell
restaurant chain whose
corporate office calls
it “a household name
in Michigan,” recently
opened its first Georgia restaurant
on Candler Road, making Georgia
the ninth state in which Happy’s
Pizza is sold.
The story, as Sherrie Handri-
nos who does marketing for
Happy’s Pizza explained, started
18 years ago on a busy corner
in northeast Detroit. “Happy
Asker was working in a video
rental store when he noticed that
customers kept asking where
they could buy pizza in the area.
He saw that there was a suitable
empty building across the street
and decided to open a pizzeria.
Happy comes from a family that
was in the grocery business so he
knew about food and about retail.
Happy’s Pizza was so popular he
quickly opened another store a few
miles away until soon they were
sprinkled around the city.” There
now are more than 125 locations
The name notwithstanding,
the Happy’s Pizza menu is not lim-
ited to pizza. There are more than
220 menu items, including salads,
hamburgers, chicken, ribs and
seafood.  “In fact,” Handrinos said,
“The chicken wings and rib tips
are among the most popular items.
We keep expanding the menu—of-
ten in response to customers’ re-
quest and in part by creating new
food items with ingredients we al-
ready have. We’ll say, ‘Hey, we have
pepperoni anyway, let’s offer it on a
sandwich in addition to pizza.’”
Happy’s signature item, of
course, is pizza. “It’s impossible to
say how many varieties we offer,”
Handrinos said. “In addition to the
varieties we list, we will custom
make pizzas with whatever combi-
nation of ingredients you want. We
also have a special every day.”
Charles Benson and Sylves-
ter Jones, owners of the Candler
Road store, said they plan to open
additional locations in the At-
lanta area soon. As a second loca-
tion they have their sights on the
South Hairston Road area in Stone
Mountain, where they expect to
open within the next year. The
partners said that as they were
shopping for a franchise, Happy’s
Pizza stood out as exactly what
they were looking for.
“I loved the concept of the one
stop shop,” Jones said. “You can
come into the store and find any-
thing you may be looking for with
the extensive menu.”
Benson and Jones, who are
brothers-in-law, say they shared
the vision of owning a busi-
ness and decided to embark on
it together.  “With my economic
development and engineering
background and his background
in finance and retail, we knew this
would be a perfect partnership,”
said Jones, adding that he and
Benson are delighted with the suc-
cess of the business and love hav-
ing the first Happy’s in Georgia.
The Candler Road location,
which held its grand opening Sept.
17 even though its doors have been
open for six months, has been
what Handrinos describes as “an
awesome success.” Located near
the Gallery at South DeKalb Mall
at the site of a former shoe store,
the restaurant is proving to be one
of Happy’s most successful stores,
according to Handrinos.
“We have a corporate team that
scouts areas looking for what we
believe will be good Happy’s Pizza
locations,” Handrinos said. “They
recommended the Atlanta area
and the DeKalb locations looked
especially promising.”
Handrinos said the Happy’s
Pizza business model is built
around the concept of pricing the
food so that a family of four can
eat for a moderate amount. In the
Atlanta market, that’s about $15.
“Also, with the wide variety of
menu items—including shrimp,
subs, fried chicken—there is some-
thing any member of the family,
even vegetarians, would like. And
the quality is outstanding. The
food is brought fresh to the store
She said all the Happy’s res-
taurants offer delivery within five
miles. “Happy’s was actually the
first fast food restaurant to offer
delivery in Detroit. Customers re-
ally like that, especially busy fami-
lies and groups getting together
to watch a ball game,” Handrinos
commented. Store manager Deondré Phillips says he shares the owners’ delight at the success of the
state’s frst Happy’s Pizza.
Franchise owners open Georgia’s first Happy’s Pizza
Happy to be Happy’s
Owner Charles Benson and store manager Deondré Phillips celebrate the grand opening
of the Candler Road Happy’s Pizza. Photos by Kathy Mitchell
The Champion FreePress, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014 Page 17A
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The Champion FreePress, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014 Page 18A
Kellyen Walker: from little dog to big dog
Dunwoody storms back to beat Lakeside
See Football on page 19A
by Carla Parker
It took a couple of big plays and
a big penalty for the Dunwoody
Wildcats to come from behind and
beat the Lakeside Vikings 21-17 at
North DeKalb Stadium Sept. 19.
Dunwoody had a 14-10 lead
heading into the fourth quarter, but
a 46-yard touchdown run by Lake-
side running back Kellyen Walker
gave the Vikings a 17-14 lead with
4:46 left to play in the game. On the
following possession, Dunwoody
had to go 68 yards to the end zone.
On a third down play at its own
31, Dunwoody quarterback Kaseem
Duke was able to pick up the first
down and more on a 29-yard run. A
personal foul for a late hit on Lake-
side moved the ball to the Lakeside
17, which put Dunwoody in posi-
tion to score.
After a couple of run plays by
Daniel Hinton and Kirven Davis,
the Wildcats found themselves with
a third and goal at the 1-yard line.
Duke finished off the scoring drive
with a sneak in the end zone to give
Dunwoody a 21-17 lead with 1:37
Starting at its own 6-yard line,
Lakeside looked as if it would
march down the field and score after
two big runs by Walker. However,
on a fourth down play, Dunwoody’s
Tylor Scales intercepted a pass by
Lakeside quarterback Will Jernigan
to seal the win for Dunwoody. Dun-
woody coach Jim Showfety said he
was proud of how his team respond-
ed in the second half.
“We were pretty sloppy in the
first half,” he said. “We’ve been chal-
lenging our kids to play a complete
football game and we didn’t do that
tonight. We didn’t play a real good
first half, but I was so proud of the
second half—that last drive that
gave us the lead, that’s where you
build a lot of character and I’m real-
ly proud of our kids and our coach-
ing staff.”
Lakeside coach Heath Hinton
said the penalties and mistakes led
to the loss.
“The penalties at the end on the
big defensive plays that resulted in
touchdowns, when we would’ve had
by Carla Parker
he 2013 football
season was a
disappointing one
for Lakeside senior running
back Kellyen Walker.
He finished eighth
in DeKalb County in the
rushing statistics with
864 yards, 5.7 yards per
rushing attempt and three
touchdowns. Walker wanted
to have a better season
his senior year, so he put
in extra work during the
“During the offseason we
had a tremendous workout,”
he said. “Our coaches got us
prepared and I wanted to be
the big dog in the county.
Last year I was too small to
play running back and this
year I gained some pounds,
I grew a little bit and I just
wanted to lead the county in
rushing yards and that’s what
I’m still trying to do.”
Through four weeks
of play, Walker is leading
the county in rushing
statistics. Before Lakeside’s
Sept. 19 matchup with
Dunwoody, Walker led the
county with 749 yards, 9.1
yards per attempt and nine
touchdowns. He scored a
46-yard touchdown in the
Dunwoody game.
He averages 249.7
rushing yards per games.
He also has eight receptions
for 162 yards and one
touchdown through four
weeks. Walker credited his
coaches and offensive line
for his early success.
“Our coach teaches us
vision drills—how to keep
our heads up,” Walker said.
“We run low, but our heads
stay up, and we find those
cut-back lanes. My offensive
line helps me out a lot
during the game. Sometimes
they allow the running backs
to be running backs and
find cut-back lanes and take
Second-year head coach
Heath Hinton said Walker
has been more than just a
good player on the team.
“He has been a real
leader ever since last year
when we got going, and he
started and played really
well,” Hinton said. “The
whole offseason he has been
here every day working
hard. He’s probably one of
our strongest kids in some of
our weight-lifting events.”
According to the
county’s athletic department,
Walker bench-pressed
225 last season and this
season he bench presses
285. Walker began playing
football in the eighth grade.
Growing up, he played
soccer and basketball, but
a football coach saw how
fast a runner Walker is and
wanted him to try out for the
football team.
“I was skeptical about
playing football, but I was
always a physical kid. I was
always tough mentally and
tough physically, so I wasn’t
scared at all. The main thing
was [transitioning] from
soccer to football, which
was pretty tough, but soccer
got my footwork right for
At Lakeside, he started
on the varsity team as a
“I was inexperienced, but
every year I just got better
and persevered every year,”
he said.
Since Walker burst onto
the scene a little late, some
college football teams have
not heavily recruited him.
He said he has received a
couple of offers and hopes
to get more once Lakeside
begins region play.
“It’s pending right now,”
he said. “It’s a slow process
right now, and I’m not trying
to rush anything. I’m trying
to go where God will take
me. I pray every night, and I
have a good church behind
me, and they’re praying for
me as well. Hopefully I’ll go
to a good school.”
Walker’s focus right
now is on helping his team
go undefeated in its region
schedule and advance to the
playoffs, which Lakeside has
not done since 1997.
“Everyone has to stay
focused and stay on the
same page,” he said. “We
have to go hard every week,
every day and every play.”
Dunwoody’s Tylor Scales (2) had a rushing touchdown and an interception to seal
the 21-17 win over Lakeside.
Lakeside running back Kellyen Walker leads DeKalb County in rushing.
The Champion FreePress, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014 Page 19A
Dunwoody volleyball preparing for postseason run
Dunwoody storms back to beat Lakeside
by Carla Parker
osing in the semifinals
of the Class AAAAA
state volleyball playoff
last season left a bad taste in
the mouths of the Dunwoody
High School volleyball team.
Since then, they have
worked to get better and
make another run in the
playoffs. The team now looks
poised to do that with a
29-3 regular season record.
The Lady Wildcats are cur-
rently ranked No. 2 in Class
AAAAA and have defeated
some of the top teams in the
state, including Marist and
Class AAAAAA powerhous-
es No. 6 Roswell and No. 7
South Forsyth.
First-year head coach
Doug Friedlander said from
what he was told, last year’s
team started off “a lot stron-
“It’s pretty much the
same girls that are back,” he
said. “I think their drive and
having been to the final four
before and now their goal
is a little bit higher to not
only make it to the final four
but also make it to the state
championship and put them
in a position to win state.”
Dunwoody is leading
All DeKalb County School
District teams in aces (296),
kills (729), blocks (83), as-
sists (540), and digs (585).
Friedlander said the team is
“We can hit from wher-
ever, and we still have some
growth in our ball control,
meaning our passing,” he
said. “I think our serving is
one of our great strengths
that we focus a lot on. I think
that if you can be a really
good serving team you can
really dictate matches.”
Friedlander also credited
the team’s leadership, specifi-
cally senior Paige McKnight,
for the team’s run.
“Across the board, just
the level of play and their
willingness to want to learn
has been great,” he said. “It’s
one of the things that you
can only ask for as a coach to
come into a team and have a
really big group of learners.
“Paige is a great leader,”
he added. “I think she has a
level of competiveness that is
just above and beyond and it
elevates the level of everyone
around her. That’s all that
you can ask from a leader. I
think she knows the game
extremely well, and it helps
our other athletes learn it
very quickly.”
McKnight, who signed
with Georgetown, is closing
in on a milestone of 1,000
kills (currently at 945) for
her career. She has already
reached career assists 1,237.
She said it means “a lot to me
because it’s a big accomplish-
ment,” McKnight said.
“It’ll be nice to obtain
that goal because that was
always one of my goals, but I
never really thought I could
do it so it’s nice that it could
actually happen,” she said.
McKnight said she has
tried to be more encouraging
and positive this season to
help the team win. However,
she also said the team has
worked hard to get back to
the playoffs and possibly win
a state championship.
“Last year, no one really
believed in us and actually
thought we could go that
far,” she said. “So now that
we know it’s possible we’re all
working a lot harder.
“It was really hard after
we lost last year in the final
four because it wasn’t even
really close and I think we
were all really disappointed,”
she added. “We were all kind
of riding the high of how
good we were doing in the
state playoffs. Since it was a
bad loss, and we were really
upset everyone has worked
to get every rep perfect, al-
ways giving 100 percent ef-
fort so we can get better and
win the state championship.”
Friedlander said it is go-
ing to take one match at a
time to reach the goal of a
state championship.
“Each opponent is dif-
ferent and it’s all about our
preparation, not only physi-
cally but also our mental
preparation for each match,”
he said. “With the season
being long as it is and with
their life outside of volleyball
it can become very over-
whelming at times, so we
focus a lot on just the mental
toughness of that and how to
compartmentalize it a little
bit and put it aside when vol-
leyball starts and reopen it
when it’s over.”
them stopped twice, was just inexcusable,”
Hinton said. “It’s the kind of things you
lose games for. I told them in the huddle
that’s what you’ve got to fix. The region
starts [Oct. 3] and we’re 0-0 and we can
[win], but we can’t do it that way. We’re
not going to be able to get it with personal
fouls late in the game. That’s not the way to
After a scoreless first quarter that fea-
tured good defensive play, Lakeside took
a 3-0 lead in the second quarter after an
Alex Bramford 23-yard field goal. Dun-
woody responded after a Vikings turnover
with a one-yard run by Scales to give Dun-
woody a 7-3 lead before halftime.
Lakeside regained the lead in the third
quarter on a 31-yard touchdown pass from
Jernigan to Damian Davis to give the Vi-
kings a 10-7 lead. Dunwoody responded
with a 23-yard touchdown run by Duke to
take a 14-10 lead.
Outside of the 46-yard touchdown run,
Dunwoody’s defense was able to contain
Walker, who leads DeKalb County in rush-
“We faced good running backs two
weeks in a row—[Gregory Payton] from
Carver last week and [Walker] from Lake-
side. They’re both unbelievable. Our de-
fense did a great job. We let him loose on
a couple of plays, but I think all-in-all our
defense really rose to the occasion.”
Both teams have bye weeks this week
before they prepare for region play Oct. 3.
Dunwoody (3-1) will face Druid Hills at
North DeKalb Stadium and Lakeside (2-3)
will host Alcovy at Adams Stadium.
More football scores
Friday, Sept. 19
Woodward Academy (3-1) 57, Clarkston (0-4) 0
Columbia (3-1) 48, Redan (0-4) 13
Grady (3-1) 30, Lithonia (2-2) 17
Miller Grove (3-1) 30, Banneker (0-4) 0
Creekside (4-1) 28, Stephenson (2-2) 14
Marist (4-0) 56, Stone Mountain (0-4) 0
Westminster (4-0) 40, Towers (0-4) 14
Arabia Mountain (1-3) 32, Chamblee (0-3) 14
Cedar Grove (3-1) 35, Douglass (2-2) 7
Decatur (3-1) 16, North Clayton (0-4) 7
Saturday, Sept. 20
Carver-Atl (4-1) 34, M.L. King (0-4) 26
Mt. Vernon (2-3) 21, Cross Keys (0-3) 7
Mays (3-1) 27, SW DeKalb (2-2) 8
Washington (1-3) 28, McNair (1-3) 6
Open: Druid Hills (2-1), St. Pius X (1-2), Tucker (2-2)
Football Continued From Page 18A
Junior Lisa Gardner leads the team in digs with 169.
The Champion FreePress, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014 Page 20A
Pet of the Week
Candace (ID#:
22214136) is a
precious 4 year old
Boxer/Lab mix. She
is very sweet and
gets along great with
the other dogs in her
kennel. Candace
is the perfect age
if you want a more
laid back dog.
Her dream home
has a few toys, a
nice comfy bed to
lay on, and most
importantly, a family to love. She can’t wait to finally
find her forever family after these few months at the
shelter. Come in to the DeKalb Shelter and meet this
precious girl today. Under the shelter’s ‘Fall in Love’
special if you adopt Candace during September,
her adoption fee is FREE!! You’ll get this wonderful
dog who is spayed, microchipped and has had all
vaccinations for free, so please come meet her today.
Please call (404) 294-2165 or email
for additional information.
Athlete of
the Week
The Champion chooses a male
and female high school Athlete of
the Week each week throughout
the school year. The choices are
based on performance and nomi-
nations by coaches. Please e-mail
nominations to carla@dekalb- by Monday at noon.

Andre Brown, Columbia
(football): The senior
quarterback threw four
touchdown passes and rushed
for 108 yards to lead Columbia
to a 48-13 win over Redan
Sept. 12.

Kayla Willis, Southwest
DeKalb (cross country): The
senior finished first with a time
of 24:11.99 to lead her team
to a second-place finish in the
DeKalb County girls’ cross
country race Sept. 16.
Next Level
Each week The Champion spotlights former
high school players from the county who are
succeeding in athletics on the college level.
Breshad Perriman, Central Florida
(football): The junior wide receiver from
Arabia Mountain had three receptions for 98
yards and a touchdown in Central Florida’s
41-7 win over Bethune-Cookman Sept. 20.
Dominick Sanders, Georgia (football): The
freshman defensive back from Tucker had
fnished fourth on the team with three solo
tackles and one tackle for a loss in Georgia’s
66-0 win over Troy Sept. 20.
Kierra Lee-Dunson, East Carolina
(volleyball): The junior middle hitter from
Lakeside had 5 kills, 15 total attacks,
3 assisted blocks and two digs in East
Carolina’s 3-1 win over Depaul Sept. 20.
Perriman Sanders Lee-Dunson