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FRIDAY, OCT. 24, 2014 • VOL. 17, NO. 31 • 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 Pigeons on page 15A
Racing for home
Pigeon racing alive and well
Education .............. 18-19A
Business ........................20A
Sports ...................... 22-24A
Opinion ........................... 5A
Classifed .......................21A
by Gale Horton Gay
oaring over a neighborhood in south-
west DeKalb County, a flock of birds
majestically circle one way, then
change direction and make loops
around a home heading in the opposite di-
These are no ordinary birds. They are
pigeons—specifically homing pigeons, and
on this Wednesday afternoon they are on an
exercise run.
On the ground is 37-year-old Mohom-
mod Shabjahan, who by day is a gas station
owner but whose true passion is racing pi-
geons. These are his birds.
Mohommod Shabjahan has a passion for racing pigeons.
See Ellis on page 15A
Superior Court Judge Courtney Johnson declared a mistrial in the case of suspended DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis after 11 days of jury
deliberations ended without a verdict.
by Andrew Cauthen
fter eleven days of
deliberations, the jury
in the corruption trial of
suspended DeKalb County CEO
Burrell Ellis could not reach a
On Oct. 21, Superior Court
Judge Courtney Johnson agreed
and declared a mistrial
The jury told the judge on
four different occasions during
the six-week trial that it could
not agree on all of the charges
against Ellis. After the first three
times, the judge sent the jury
back for more deliberation.
After the last time Johnson
said, “I think it is time to release
the jury and I’ll be declaring a
Ellis faced four counts of
criminal attempt to commit
Jury is hung in Ellis trial
Page 2A The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

Discover your passion.
Attend a GPC Open House.
GPC Open Houses, October 11–28
ChampionAd 9-25.indd 1 9/23/14 2:30 PM
by Andrew Cauthen
t’s more than 300 acres of greenspace, with
two multi-acre lakes, a river, lush vegetation,
deer, historic ruins and a cemetery that’s
at least a decade older that the well-known
Oakland Cemetery.
And it’s in southwest DeKalb County.
“It’s beautiful. There are places that are abso-
lutely gorgeous,” said Joe Peery, an illustrator and
activist working to protect and enhance the site.
“It’s huge. It’s this huge greenspace.
“When I would go walking out there, I would
take pictures and post them on Facebook, and
people would [say], ‘Where is this place?’” Peery
said. “And I’d say, ‘It’s three miles south of east
Atlanta and it’s inside I-285.’ And they’re like,
‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’”
It’s called the Old Atlanta Prison Farm, and a
growing group of activists want to save it.
The site, owned by the city of Atlanta, but
not in the city’s boundaries or jurisdiction, was
“originally set up back in the beginning of the last
century…as one of the four or five federal prison
farms,” said Scott Petersen, a longtime commu-
nity activist.
According to, a web-
site set up as an information hub for the move-
ment to save the site, the 700-bed minimum se-
curity “honor” prison opened in 1920. The prison
farm allowed handpicked, trustworthy inmates to
tend crops and livestock to feed themselves and
fellow inmates at the main prison.”
“Before the corrective facility was closed
in 1983, inmates had built a sawmill, quarry,
barracks, dairy barns, retaining walls, wells and
other structures still (barely) standing today,” the
website states.
It was “set up originally as an experiment in
rehabilitation of a lot of low-level offenders for
federal crimes like being off the reservation at
dusk, or being a drunk Indian in town,” Petersen
“It didn’t really work that well,” he said. “By
the [1920s], they tried to put bootleggers in there,
because there were so many people making illegal
stills and selling whiskey, but those people were
too good at wandering off the farm, so to speak.”
Before it was closed in 1983, the institution
extended all the way to Panthersville Road to the
east and totaled 1,248 acres.
The remaining 40 percent of the acreage ex-
tends from its “highlands parts off of Key Road
down to the Entrenchment Creek flood plains in
Entrenchment Creek Valley,” Petersen said.
Dozens of large, carved marble stones of the
old Carnegie Library in Atlanta are strewn uncer-
emoniously around the property. Reminiscent of
ancient ruins, some marble sections are inscribed
with the names of famous writers such as Poe and
Some of the historic library remnants are be-
ing used by the city of Atlanta as barricades to
keep out the vehicles of trespassers.
Illegal dumping of trash is a problem at the
site, which contains large piles of used tires, bro-
ken concrete and construction debris. Addition-
ally, some of the old building remnants on the
Save the Old Atlanta Prison Farm
See Prison farm on page 8A
Local activists want to preserve the Old Atlanta Prison Farm site for greenspace. Located entirely in southwest DeKalb County, the property contains two large lakes. Photos
by Andrew Cauthen
Scott Peterson sits on a large marble block from
Atlanta’s old Carnegie Library. After the pieces were
dissembled to make way for the current library, they
were stored at the farm site.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 Page 3A
by Carla Parker
he cityhood movement
in DeKalb County has
gained more support and
momentum in the past
few months since three cityhood
bills failed to pass during the 2014
legislative session.
On Sept. 24, a statement was
posted on the Tucker cityhood
initiative’s Facebook page by the
Smoke Rise Civic Association
(SRCA) announcing the association’s
board of directors’ unanimous
endorsement of Tucker’s initiative.
In the post, Smoke Rise
Community Association president
Mike Huerkamp wrote, “by this
time next year, the Smoke Rise
area may very well be on its way
toward incorporation into a city of
Tucker, progressing to finalize an
annexation into the city of Stone
Mountain, or find itself isolated as
an area of unincorporated DeKalb
fully hemmed-in and excluded by
an expansion of the city of Stone
“Seemingly, there is no perfect
solution,” Huerkamp continued.
“However for those of you looking
to the SRCA Board of Directors
for guidance, after considering all
information and data known to us
and in consideration of the best
preservation and promotion of
our residential property values, the
members of the SRCA Board by
unanimous vote recommend that
residents back the Tucker cityhood
While the board has joined the
cityhood movement, there is at least
one Smoke Rise resident and a few
Tucker residents who are not on
board with the cityhood movement.
Robert Stamper, who lives in
the Smoke Rise community, does
not believe SRCA made the right
decision in endorsing the city of
Tucker initiative.
“That was enormously
disappointing because by engaging
in the political campaign for
Tucker cityhood explicitly, they
were eliminating any opportunity
of becoming a 501c3 nonprofit,”
Stamper said. “The board is doing
long-term harm to what could
have been and what once was an
enormously positive force for my
community by making it impossible
to gain the advantages of becoming a
501c3 nonprofit.”
Stamper is one of many residents
who believe cityhood will do more
harm than good to those in central
DeKalb. He said the proponents of
cityhood are breaking the golden
“They are behaving toward me
and my neighbors in a way in which
my neighbors and I would never
behave toward them,” he said. “We
found out that Tucker was going
to become a city after two parts of
unincorporated Stone Mountain had
already been placed in the proposed
map for the city of Tucker. There
had not been any type of invitation
to the broad community to consult,
to become informed or to provide
any type of consent about whether
we wanted to be in Tucker before
our homes were put in the proposed
map. And that’s absolutely not OK.”
In an article printed in his
community’s paper, Smoke Signal
News, Stamper wrote that cityhood
“separates the last majority-White
areas of the county from a huge
swath of territory populated largely
by African Americans.”
“As a former M-to-M student
of both Tucker and Towers high
schools, and as the father of a
fourth-generation resident of
Smoke Rise, let me make clear that
the obvious, and pathetic, racial
element of the cityhood push is an
embarrassment,” Stamper wrote.
“It is in no way consistent with the
family and community values with
which I and my classmates were
raised. Even if for no other reason,
the ethnic separatism aspect of the
incorporation efforts demands they
be stopped.”
Tucker resident Cheryl Miller,
a member the “Save Tucker!” group,
said there are residents who are
concerned about what the “further
fracturing” of DeKalb will do to
“everyone’s quality of life.”
“We feel like we are being forced
to ‘pick a side’ in a north/south battle
that is going to end up with our
community torn to shreds,” Miller
said. “We either support the city
effort or get annexed somewhere
else. Either way will cost us more
than what we are currently paying in
property tax and every development
plan so far has brought huge
numbers of residents into higher
density housing that makes our
commute time on [I-285] unbearable
as it is.”
Miller said residents are not
being given a choice about whether
they want to be part a city.
“It isn’t a matter of cities being
generically okay or not okay,” Miller
said. “It is about being forced into
forming a city simply as a defensive
means against your own neighbors,
not because you think your current
services are not being delivered as
well as they could be.
“Most people here are happy
with DeKalb in terms of the services
we receive,” Miller added. “No one
is happy about the corruption, but
adding more government to the mix
is certainly no way to fix that.”
In December, Tucker city
supporters found out that the area
is financially feasible based on
the study conducted by Andrew
Young School of Policy Studies at
Georgia State University. According
to the feasibility study, the city of
Tucker will start with a surplus
of approximately $3.3 million.
Based on the mix of residential,
commercial, industrial, institutional
and public properties taxes, Tucker
expects to have annual revenue of
approximately $16.6 million and
annual expenses of approximately
$13.3 million.
Stamper said the feasibility
study shows that expenses related
to the city’s mayor, city council and
administration could exceed “$5
million per annum.”
“And that’s not even counting
costs for the only three services the
city will provide—code enforcement,
zoning and parks,” Stamper said.
“Police service does not change.
Schools do not change. Regardless
of marketing to the contrary, Tucker
cityhood gives this area a new layer
of government administration in
addition to those we already have,
with millions of dollars in new fees,
and with a new corps of elected
officials and bureaucrats, at a total
cost to taxpayers of $16.6 million per
year—all while doing little or nothing
to solve current issues with DeKalb
Stamper said the county could
fix its problems without forming new
“We can work together, across
DeKalb, as a community, to fix our
problems,” he said. “Black and White,
majority and minority, north and
south, affluent and struggling, we
can choose—guided by the values
we work to instill in our children—
to unite rather than divide, and to
rebuild rather than repel.”
Tucker, Smoke Rise residents speak out against cityhood movement
Proposed map city of Tucker map.
The Champion Free Press, Friday Oct. 24, 2014 Page 4A
Rational, pragmatic thoughts on the
U.S. Senate race
by Andrew Harris
It appears that we are in the
midst of another typical political
campaign in Georgia with all the
negative PAC ads and untruths.
It is a very sad state of affairs but
not surprising given the polarized
political landscape these days. With
so many commercials and so much
rhetoric, how does one know who
truly is the best person to represent
us in the U.S. Senate? Well, here are
my self-proclaimed non-partisan
First of all, I know both of the
candidates, David Perdue better
than Michelle Nunn. I have known
David and Bonnie Perdue for
several years through Georgia Tech
and down at Sea Island. David and
Bonnie are good people. David
is a hard-charging CEO type and
has made a lot of money. I do not
think, however, he is well suited to
serve in the U.S. Senate. Here’s why.
David, as I said, is a hard-
charging CEO and is accustomed
to “being in charge” and “running
things” basically. The U.S. Senate,
of course, is not run by any one
person, not even the president of
the Senate or the majority leader.
The U.S. Senate is a deliberative
body where each member has to
compromise and work patiently
toward a consensus with others,
even with those he or she does not
share the same values or views. It
is my belief that David will become
frustrated and grow tired of the
process quickly. Once he does, I
fear he will become just another
rank-and-file member who takes
the money, adopts his party’s
marching orders and rails against
the other side which does nothing
for the people of Georgia.
Ms. Nunn, on the other hand,
has made a career out of reaching
out to others, building coalitions
around issues and getting things
done by consensus—precisely
what is needed these days in the
U.S. Senate. Her father, Sen. Sam
Nunn, was a master at this as
well, working with his Republican
colleagues to build a strong
national defense as chairman
of the Senate Armed Services
Committee as well as keeping
several of Georgia’s military bases
intact during the base realignment
process in the 1990s.
We currently have a lot of
needs in our state that require
a partnership with Washington
whether we like it or not. We have
a port that needs dredging that will
require several hundred million
dollars in federal funds. We have
a long list of transportation needs
that are funded with 80 to 90
percent federal funds.
We need a person in our Senate
delegation that can work with
both sides— someone who can
bring projects and appropriations
to our state, not someone who
will continue to alienate the
White House and their Democrat
colleagues in the Senate. This is
particularly important since there
is a reasonable chance another
Democrat could be elected
president and that the Senate will
likely remain Democrat controlled.
Bottom line—we need to elect
the person that is most likely to
get something done for our state,
regardless of whether they are man,
woman, Democrat or Republican.
Andrew Harris is a 30-year veteran
of politics and public service in Georgia,
having worked for the Georgia General
Assembly and for Gov. Joe Frank
Harris. He also served on the Decatur
City Commission and as mayor pro
tem for 12 years. He recently retired
from Georgia Tech where he spent 17
years as special assistant to President
Wayne Clough and an adjunct
professor of political science.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 24, 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
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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.
An Ebola czar? Are you kidding me?
“It may make sense for us to
have one person in part just so that
after this initial surge of activity we
can have a more regular process to
make sure we’re crossing all the t’s
and dotting all the i’s. If I appoint
somebody, I’ll let you know.”
– President Barack Obama, in his
latest version of how best to handle
the global Ebola crisis, Oct. 16,
2014, at the White House.
It now appears that for the ever
evolving series of declarations
of “all is well,” coming from the
Obama White House, there is but
one solution. Just add another layer
of government.
The fast growing Ebola crisis on
the continent of Africa—hmmm—
atop the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC),
National Institutes of Health and
my Homeland Security Advisor and
the Department of Defense, let’s
hire someone else from Chicago
completely out of their element,
and give him a swanky office in
the West Wing and call then “Ebola
Czar”—yeah, that’s the ticket.
Is this starting to sound/look
like a Saturday Night Live sketch
spoofing the White House? The
scary part is that this is what passes
for President Obama’s global public
health strategy these days.
Mr. President, though the U.S.
“outbreak” of Ebola is thus far
apparently limited to one dead
Liberian national and two or
possibly more exposed and ailing
nurses and health care workers,
your own CDC director has
already admitted that the CDC’s
initial hospital care protocol was
insufficient to prevent possible
exposure and infection. The list
of serious hanging questions is
growing and the clock is ticking.
We don’t need more bureaucrats
with on-the-job training, we need
those already in place to do their
jobs and stop issuing blanket
assurances that “we can stop
Ebola dead in its tracks.” We are
clear, under the most controlled of
circumstances in the limited bed
space of only four Level 4 bio-
containment treatment centers Ebola
can be successfully treated, using
basic health care and supportive
therapies if we can protect those
brave health care workers from
contamination or exposure to
droplets containing the virus in
the blood, sweat, mucous, waste
or excretions of the most ill Ebola
patients, at their most contagious
moments. No small order.
But when encountering those
patients or someone at an earlier
stage, low-grade fever and not
yet hemorrhaging from every
pore, what do we do? Burn their
clothes and everything they have
touched? Quarantine friends,
family or anyone in contact with
an infected patient? Are the water
and sewerage treatment regimens
of most municipalities sufficient
to kill the virus once it enters our
water supply via untreated or treated
sewerage? If the virus can live up
to three months in the semen of men
who have survived the virus, will
these men be celibate for 90 days?
I’m not an alarmist, but the non-
answer to several of these questions
and more similar ones is why the
disease is mushrooming in Africa.
The Liberian people now believe
the only thing they can count on
from their government is to come
and pick up the dead. We are a long
way from that point, Mr. President,
but what we need now are answers.
If you encounter someone
demonstrating the flu-like
symptoms of Ebola, what can/
should you do? If you are mid-
flight and an adjoining passenger
accidentally coughs or sneezes
on you, are there any steps you
can take to prevent infection? Is
swapping out that hand sanitizer
for a little bottle of watered down
bleach a part of the answer?
During the SARS outbreak,
many major hotel chains quickly
adopted more stringent cleaning
protocols, including wiping down
most all public contact surfaces with
bleach—countertops, plumbing
fixtures, phones, etc. Should that
become the temporary protocol
for most all public spaces such as
schools, hospitals, restaurants and
hotels for the short term?
Stop reassuring us that
everything is going to be OK and
tell the folks in charge that we will
give them the resources to protect
us, consider that a temporary
travel ban may allow travelers on
both ends to catch their breath,
while we also secure our very
porous borders to the north and
south and we develop protocols
at our nation’s ports to prepare
for the rising number of human
stowaways in cargo containers,
fleeing nations where an Ebola
diagnosis will soon become a
death sentence. Think about it, Mr.
President, and quit being so damn
flippant when a global health crisis
is underway. Your office is better
than that.
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 bill.
Bill Crane
Page 6A The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 24, 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.
Eddie Hamilton

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2014 AT 7:00 P.M.

ADDRESS: 4362 Peachtree Road, Brookhaven, Georgia 30319

The following Traffic Calming Petition involving streets located within the City of Brookhaven is
scheduled for Public Hearings as stated above.


The DeKalb
County Board of
recently proclaimed
Oct. 14 as Eddie
Hamilton and
DeKalb County Fire
Rescue Appreciation
The county
commended “the
heroic actions of Mr.
Eddie Hamilton for
the rescue of three
young people from a burning house,” according
to a proclamation by the board of commissioners.
“The house fire on Bluebird Lane was like
most others,” the proclamation stated. “But a
civilian played a heroic role in this fire.”
The fire occurred on Labor Day before 8
a.m.; Hamilton’s wife Mary heard her neighbor’s
screams that her son, niece and nephew were
trapped in a fire.”
Hamilton “immediately jumped to action,”
the proclamation stated. “At risk of his own life,
Eddie ran into the burning home to save the
young people trapped inside.”
“They were at the window screaming when I
knocked it out,” Hamilton told reporters after the
fire. “I just told them to back up. I knocked it out
and got them out,” he said.
Hamilton rescued two of the children and
assisted DeKalb County fire personnel in the
rescue of the third.
“Thanks to the heroic actions of Mr.
Hamilton, as well as fire personnel, there was no
loss of life,” the resolution stated. “The county is
extremely proud and thankful to have people like
Eddie Hamilton as a resident.”
DeKalb County fire chief Darnell Fullum
said, “I’d be remiss as the fire chief if I didn’t say
we do not want citizens re-entering buildings
[that are on fire], but I believe Mr. Hamilton was
the right man at the right time and at the right
place to do the job he did.”
Cedric Alexander, the county’s deputy chief
operating officer for public safety, said Hamilton
is “truly an example of the fine citizens I believe
we have in this county.”
“To Mr. Hamilton, thank you very much, sir,
for your service,” Alexander said. “Oftentimes we
don’t know who the hero is going to be in our life.
But for some reason on a particular date and time
unknown to us, [there is] someone God put in
place to be that person to come and take us out of
a very dangerous situation.
“On this particular day that was Mr.
Hamilton,” Alexander said.
Avondale Estates
DeKalb Choral Guild to present
concert on life and death
The DeKalb Choral Guild welcomes back
music director and conductor Mary Evelyn
Root of Decatur for its 2014-15 season, the 37th
for this veteran community chorus.
On Nov. 8 in Avondale Estates, the guild will
present Dialogues: Life and Death, a multimedia
presentation combining choral music, spoken
word and visual arts, all examining the intimate
relationship between life and death.
Local artists have been solicited and are
submitting digital images to be projected
while the chorus sings. The program includes
selections from William Schuman’s Carols
of Death, Eleanor Daley’s In Remembrance,
and Norman Dello Joio’s A Jubilant Song.
A reception will follow the concert with an
opportunity to meet the artists.
The website for tickets and more
information is
Tickets are $5, available online and at the door.
Halloween decoration contest
An Avondale Estates team of judges will select
the scariest looking house or business for this
year’s Halloween Spirit Awards. Homeowners
and business owners must leave their lights on
for judging Oct. 27. One business and a group of
homes with the best decorations will be presented
with Halloween Spirit Awards Oct. 28. Halloween
night trick-or-treating hours will be from 6 to 8:30
p.m. Oct. 31. For more information, visit www.
City to host tree walk
The second annual Tree Walk will be held
Oct. 25 from 10 a.m. to noon. Six local arbor-
ists will lead groups of approximately 15 people
who will view the trees’ lines and features while
arborists point out defining and unusual charac-
teristics. A new feature of this year’s walk will be
the opportunity for homeowners to ask a panel of
experts questions about trees in their own land-
scapes. The event is free. The walk will convene
in the Avondale Community Club parking lot,
59 Lakeshore Drive. For more information, call
(404) 373-8165.
Church to hold fall festival
Harvest Tabernacle Church, located at 1450
South Deshon Road, Lithonia, will host its Fall
Festival: Fall Into the Fun on Saturday, Oct. 25
from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The event will feature food, rides, games and
other Christian-based entertainment. There will
be health representatives on site for various health
screenings and representatives for car loan and
mortgage approvals.
For more information about this free event,
contact the office at (770) 484-7400 or visit www.
Stone Mountain
City to host Trunk or Treat
Stone Mountain Village will have its annual
trunk or treat Oct. 28 from 6-8 p.m. The event will
include decorated trunks filled with candy and
treats for children. There will also be prizes for
best trunk and a costume contest. Trunk entries
are $5 and must be received no later than Oct. 27
at 5 p.m. For more information, visit City of Stone
Mountain Downtown Development Authority’s
Facebook page.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 Page 7A

The proposed city of south DeKalb would have a population of nearly 300,000.
by Andrew Cauthen
could become Georgia’s
second-largest city.
A group of residents are
crisscrossing south DeKalb
promoting the formation of a new
city with an estimated initial popu-
lation of nearly 300,000.
“What we’re offering is a vision,”
said Dr. Kathryn Rice, chairwoman
of Concerned Citizens for Cityhood
of South DeKalb. “Change comes
about with vision. That is what we
are proposing here. I want people to
start believing we can do it.”
The proposed, yet-to-be-named
city also would surround Clarkston,
Pine Lake and Stone Mountain. Its
borders would touch Lithonia and
the proposed city of Stonecrest.
“When we constructed our map,
we wanted to not have any bound-
ary conflicts,” Rice said. “We really
thought the cities wanted to be
small. Over the last 13 years, they’ve
averaged about 9 to 10 percent
growth. We constructed boundaries
so as to not conflict with them.”
Rice said there are some cities
that are discussing annexation but
“have not really figured out the de-
“Right now I don’t know of a
map that conflicts with us…except
for maybe Clarkston, and I’m not
sure if Clarkston’s map conflicts
with us or not,” Rice said.
An incorporated south DeKalb
is necessary, supporters said, be-
cause as other cities are forming in
north DeKalb, more tax revenue’s
taken from the county government,
leaving unincorporated areas of the
county more vulnerable to higher
A new city also would have a
mayor who would look out for the
interests of his constituents, Rice
Rice, a community and econom-
ic development consultant, said she
came up with the idea of an incor-
porated south DeKalb after writing
about municipal incorporation for
several years.
“I have been following the events
in both Fulton County and DeKalb
County,” Rice said. “When I saw
the annexation plans begin to hit
the borders of south DeKalb, that’s
when…I began to do more research
on the impact of…cityhood of south
DeKalb, where I live.”
Sandy Johnson, a member of
the south DeKalb cityhood move-
ment, said one of the criticisms she
has heard from residents about the
proposed city is that “we will have to
pay twice the taxes.”
In reality, Johnson said, “you’re
only paying for the services that
the city is providing and you’re
only paying for the services that the
county is providing.”
From elected officials, Johnson
said, there has been a question about
whether the proposed city can sup-
port itself.
“We’ll answer that with the feasi-
bility study,” Johnson said.
Rice said it is possible that taxes
will increase for south DeKalb resi-
dents, regardless of whether the area
“If we do nothing…your taxes
are going to rise because we’re going
to be paying for the [county’s] pen-
sion fund by ourselves,” she said.
“What that feasibility study does
is it [asks], given our tax rate, which
we’re paying right now, will you gen-
erate enough revenue to cover the
cost of your services? If the feasibil-
ity study says no…it doesn’t mean
you stop; what it means is you prob-
ably have to raise taxes.
“Do I like the idea of raising
taxes? Heck, no,” Rice said. “But
guess what? Your taxes are going to
rise anyway.”
Rice said she doesn’t know what
south DeKalb’s chances are of be-
coming a city.
“There are two bodies we have
to gain approval from,” Rice said.
“First of all, the state legislature, and
I don’t know how they’re going to
feel towards a city that is predomi-
nantly Black since one has not been
approved yet.
“Our own legislators haven’t yet
committed to supporting [the pro-
posed city],” Rice said. “That’s an
issue. How will other legislators feel,
particularly if our own are not sup-
porting us?
“The other body we have to get
approval from is the people,” Rice
said. “Right now we’re still on the
beginning side of reaching out to the
people. There are still a lot of people
that don’t know about this yet.”
Proponents promote large south DeKalb city
From left, Ken Blakely and Tom Walton hold a map of the proposed south DeKalb city. Photos by Andrew
Dr. Kathryn Rice discusses the benefts of incorporating
much of south DeKalb.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 Page 8A
DeKalb Board of Health holds Ebola information session
by Carla Parker
The Ebola virus has become a concern and
fear for DeKalb County residents and others
across the world.
However, there are other infectious diseases
that DeKalb residents should be more concern
and about contracting than Ebola, according to
Dr. Elizabeth Ford, the district health director
for DeKalb County.
“There are a lot more infections here in
DeKalb that people really need to be worried
about that are much more easily contracted than
Ebola,” Ford said.
Ford and the DeKalb County Board of Health
held a community information session on Ebola
Oct. 14 to provide information about Ebola, its
mode of transmission, who is most at risk and
ways to dispel misinformation and stigma. Ford
and other public officials addressed concerns and
fears about Ebola.
Ford talked about how Ebola is spread and
how a person infected with Ebola cannot spread
the disease until symptoms appear.
“There is an incubation period where folks do
not have symptoms and therefore are not conta-
gious,” Ford said. “It seems when they start to get
a fever, weakness and other symptoms is when
they become contagious.”
Ebola is spread through direct contact—
through broken skin or through eyes, nose, or
mouth—with blood and body fluids, such as
urine, feces, saliva, vomit, sweat and semen of a
person who is sick with Ebola, according to the
Ebola can also be spread through objects,
such as needles, that have been contaminated
with the blood or body fluids of a person sick
with the disease. Ebola is not spread through the
air, water, or food, according to the CDC.
Ford said the only time Ebola can travel
through the air is when someone sneezes.
“If you sneeze droplets do travel, and that’s
still contact,” she said. “When I say direct, that’s
still direct contact with the fluids. It can still trav-
el. If you’re on a plane and someone sneezes but
doesn’t protect their sneeze, then yes, you are at
risk because there are fluids in the sneeze.”
Despite this information, there still is fear
that Ebola can be contagious without direct con-
tact. Ford said she understands the concern, but
stressed that DeKalb residents should be con-
cerned about other infectious diseases. Tubercu-
losis (TB), HIV and the flu are more contagious
and widespread in DeKalb. DeKalb is No. 1 in
Georgia for TB.
“The flu can be deadly, and it’s important to
get the flu shot,” Ford said.
There also have been concerns and fears
about the refugee population in the county.
DeKalb is home to one of the largest refugee
populations in the Southeast and many are from
West Africa.
Ford said the mayor of Clarkston, which has
a large refugee population, called her concerned
about fear in his community. There also has
been fear about refugees who comes through the
Board of Health office.
“It’s a lot of mumblings,” she said. “Someone
comes into the health department, and they have
a cough, all of a sudden they need to be isolated,
or someone will come up to our staff and say,
‘you need to check this guy out he may have
something.’ We have refugees that come through
that department every single day, and this has
never been the case that people have been so
fearful. I feel like the more information we share
about how you can contract the disease the less
fear we will have in our community.”
During the question and answer session of
the forum, someone asked if all West Africans
can be removed from the country.
“It’s troubling and that’s why we had this fo-
rum tonight, to calm fear and shut down some of
that reaction,” Ford said.
Dr. Elizabeth Ford, the district health director for DeKalb County, explains the facts of Ebola.
site—an old boiler, for ex-
ample—appear to contain
“You will see piles of
garbage; you will see them
all over the place,” Peterson
said. “And buildings that
are so highly dilapidated
that…if we walked in there,
it could fall down and hurt
“If Clorox or GE or
Ford owned these build-
ings, you know we would
have had them long cleaned
up,” Peterson said. “Why
does the city of Atlanta
get a pass on being a slum
landlord? Why does the city
of Atlanta essentially put
the dump—the hot mess—
in DeKalb County when we
could have such a beautiful
multi-acre ecopark.”
Peterson dreams of a
park with soccer and crick-
et fields, open green areas,
community gardens, hiking
and biking trails, an amphi-
theater, and the like.
The activists said saving
the old prison farm could
lead to revitalization of
the southwest DeKalb area
similar to what’s been hap-
pening around the Atlanta
Beltline project, a redevel-
opment project that is pro-
viding a network of public
parks, trails and transit
along a historic 22-mile
railroad corridor circling
“There is tremendous
potential…to rehabilitate
an area that’s known for
landfills, to rehabilitate an
area that has sort of been
the low end of DeKalb
County—the ghetto end
of DeKalb County—and
turn this into a wonderful,
vibrant neighborhood,” Pe-
terson said.
Prison farm Continued From Page 2A
The old Atlanta Prison Farm contains several terrains. Photos by Andrew Cauthen
Vines cover some of the building remnants of the old Atlanta Prison Farm.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 Page 9A
See Liberia on page 10A
Local nonprofits aiding Liberia’s Ebola fight
ATLANTA 5580414.1
YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED that on the 4th day of November 2014, an
election will be held in all of the precincts of the City of Brookhaven. At the election there
will be submitted to the qualified voters of the City of Brookhaven for their determination
the question of whether a local law enacted by the General Assembly of the State of
Georgia, authorizing the City of Brookhaven to exercise all redevelopment and other
powers under Chapter 44 of Title 36 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, known as
the “Redevelopment Powers Law,” as such law may be amended from time to time, should
be approved or rejected.
Voters desiring to vote for the approval of such local law shall do so by voting
“YES” and voters desiring to vote for the rejection of such local law shall do so by voting
“NO,” as to the question propounded, to-wit:
“Shall the Act be approved which authorizes the City of Brookhaven to exercise all
redevelopment powers allowed under the ‘Redevelopment Powers Law,’ as it may
be amended from time to time?”
The several places for holding the election shall be in the regular and established
precincts of the City of Brookhaven, and the polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
on the date fixed for the election. Those qualified to vote at the election shall be determined
in all respects in accordance and in conformity with the Constitution and statutes of the
United States of America and of the State of Georgia.
The last day to register to vote in this special election is October 6, 2014, through
5:00 p.m.
By: /s/ Susan D. Hiott
Municipal Election Superintendent
by Andrew Cauthen
Steve Skinner, a member
of Avondale First Baptist
Church, said it was a God-
appointed meeting with a
Liberian that was the start
of his faith-based nonprofit
“My wife and I are both
Christians, and we were
at Avondale First Baptist
Church [in 2006] and this
guy walks up the stairs of
the church, and I was the
first one to meet him,”
said Skinner, president of
West Africa Crossroads
Corporation (WACC),
a Georgia nonprofit
organization created to
strengthen the economic,
educational, physical and
spiritual welfare of the people
of West Africa.
“He had literally gotten
off the plane the day before…
as a refugee… from the
fighting there,” Skinner said.
“He had just been resettled in
Atlanta, and he walked from
his apartment complex to the
closest Baptist church, and
he met me. I had never met a
Liberian before.”
Eventually the man
“made us aware…of the need
in Liberia,” Skinner said.
Years later, WACC and
Friends of Disabled Adults
and Children (FODAC) are
working together to collect
and ship badly-needed
medical equipment to Liberia
to aid in the fight against
In 2007, Skinner, his wife
and pastor went to Liberia,
toured part of the country,
and dedicated a new church
and school in the area. A year
later when Skinner retired
from AT&T, he felt that is
was “no coincidence that guy
walked up to the [church]
“I felt like God had
sent him, and I had found
something that maybe
I could put some of my
training to use for,” Skinner
In 2010, Skinner spent
three months on a missionary
trip to Liberia. The next year
WACC returned to set up
schools, train approximately
200 teachers and bring
several truckloads of medical
WACC “is very much
a holistic ministry. It pretty
much says in the Bible that
if all you do is pray for
somebody, that’s tough,”
Skinner said.
Over the past few years,
WACC has worked with
Rotary International to dig
wells and construct sanitary
The organization
operates two small computer
training and Internet café
facilities, equipped with
generators, “way out in the
boonies—absolutely no
paved roads, no power grid,
no running water, sewer
systems,” Skinner said.
WACC, along with
FODAC, is working with a
Liberian native to furnish
a hospital with medical
The partnership has
provided hospital beds,
bedside commodes, IV
stands, mattresses, catheters,
blood pressure monitors,
oxygen concentrators,
cleaning and sanitation
supplies and bandages to
Liberia medical clinics.
“These are the things
that we feel are going to be
very helpful with the Ebola
epidemic over there—just
to have other facilities
where people can go and
get reasonable treatment,”
Skinner said.
Chris Brand, president
of FODAC and Skinner’s
cousin, said, “We had
always been looking for
other churches, other places
to push the international
medical supplies and
equipment that we can’t issue
or people don’t want local
because of its age or the way
the technology is.”
FODAC provided excess
medical equipment that
WACC took to Liberia.
“A warehouse is only
so big,” Brand said. “When
[we] get these shipments of
30 and 40 beds, and some of
them we can’t reissue locally
because they’re manual and
people want semi-electric or
full electric, we try to find
some partner that will take
it overseas. We’ll give it to
FODAC helps people
with injuries and disabilities
regain their mobility,
independence and quality
of life. The nonprofit
organization provides more
than $10 million annually in
refurbished home medical
equipment and home
modifications across the
United States, all at little or
no cost to the recipients.
“We’re really proud
to be a part of something
Steve Skinner helps unload hospital beds and other medical supplies donated by FODAC at the
Saclepea Comprehensive Medical Center in Liberia. Photo provided
Page 10A The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

Notice of Public Hearing 
The  Mayor  and  City  Council  of  the  City  of  Chamblee,  Georgia  will  hold  a  public  hearing  on 
Thursday, November 13, 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: 
1. Roger Brockwell requests a  variance from the following provision of the City of Chamblee 
Code  of  Ordinances,  Appendix  A,  Zoning  Ordinance  in  order  to  construct  an  attached 
garage  on  a  parcel  zoned  Neighborhood  Residential  (NR‐1)  consisting  of  0.238  acre(s) 
located at 3836 Admiral Drive, Chamblee, GA  being Tax Parcel 18‐324‐13‐005: 
• Section  1004  –  Space  Dimensions:    NR‐1  zoned  property  shall  have  a  minimum  side 
yard setback of 10ft.  
2. Text  amendments  to  Appendix  A,  “Zoning  Ordinance”  to  add  a  new  zoning  district, 
“Commercial Village Corridor – (CVC)” as follows: 
 Add  a  description  of  the  purpose  of  the  new  district  to  Article  IV.,  Section  404., 
“Establishment of Zoning Districts.” 
 Add  “Commercial  Village  Corridor  (CVC)”  to  the  list  of  zoning  districts  in  Article  X., 
“District Regulations”, Section 1002. “Permitted Uses.” 
 Add a list of appropriate uses for “Commercial Village Corridor (CVC)” in the “Permitted 
Use Table”; 
 Amend  various  provisions  of  Appendix  A.,  Articles  II.,  III.,  IV.,  VI.,  VIII.,  IX.,  XI.,  XII.,  and 
XIII. to establish standards applicable to the “CVC” zoning district similar to those of the 
“Corridor Commercial (CC)” zoning district; 
 Amend Chapter 6, Article IV., “Retail Package Sales of Distilled Spirits.” to apply to the 
“CVC” zoning district. 
3. Text amendment to Appendix A, “Zoning Ordinance”, Article VI., Section 617. “Institutional 
uses  and  places  of  worship.”  to  add  a  new  sub‐section  B.  that  is  intended  to  permit 
institutional uses and places of worship to be located on certain streets in accordance with 
their designation on the adopted “Streetscape Guidelines Map”, regardless of the number 
of lanes on such streets. 
much bigger than ourselves through our
collaborations and partnerships,” Brand
said. “Something that can stretch around the
world to help with Ebola is fantastic.”
Skinner said WACC is a small
organization and will not make a “huge
difference medically” in Liberia.
“But I know we are very much an
encouragement,” he said.
“When we sent over the first bunch of
equipment, my wife and I were there when
we unloaded it,” Skinner recounted. “As we
were unloading it, we saw an ambulance
come in. An ambulance over there is two
guys with a stretcher in between them. They
brought in a young man. Before we finished
unloading [the truck], the young man had
died of malaria.
“That will never happen again where a
young man has to die lying on a floor because
in that clinic there were no beds,” he said.
Skinner said that despite the presence of
Ebola in the United States, Americans should
concentrate on eliminating Ebola in Africa.
“In spite of the little slip-ups and more
than slip-ups, the problems that CDC and
Texas Presbyterian Hospital have had, I’m
confident we’re not going to see a huge Ebola
outbreak in this country,” Skinner said. “I do
hope that people of this country will keep
their focus on the fact that millions of people
in West Africa and throughout Africa are at
risk. Let’s focus on stopping this epidemic in
Africa by investing…a reasonable amount
of our funds. We can make a huge difference
and save a lot of lives over there.”
Liberia Continued From Page 9A
Steve Skinner outside the Saclepea Community Computer Center in Liberia, funded by the West
Africa Crossroads Corporation, a local nonproft. Photo provided
By Ashley Oglesby
ight out of 10
prisoners are high
school drop outs.
What’s the difference
between having a roommate
or a cell-mate? Graduating. 
On Oct. 14-17,
students of DeKalb County
experienced first-hand how
the choices they make can
affect their future. 
As an effort to
encourage students to
stay in school and avoid
the likely consequences of
dropping out, The Mattie C.
Stewart Foundation (MCSF)
allowed students from
Tucker High, Towers High,
Columbia and Cedar Grove
middle schools aboard The
Choice Bus. 
The Choice Bus is
a half-prison cell, half-
classroom converted school
bus intended to teach
kids the importance of an
The front half of the bus
is used as a classroom, with
space for a projector to play
the four minute classroom
interactive DVD, The
Choice Is Yours. The entire
second half of the bus is
an exact replica of a prison
cell, an approximate 6 by 8
feet room with a bunk bed,
a toilet and a sink. 
Executive Director of
MCSF, Sherri Stewart said,
“There is no better learning
tool than experience itself.”
She added, “When
students board The Choice
Bus, they get to experience
what life is actually like
from two different points
of view. It helps students
dig deep into thinking
about their futures based
on the decisions they will
make. Connecting education
to future lifetime earning
potential and career
goals is what we strive to
Through a grant
provided by State Farm,
The Choice Bus has
visited more than 2
million students in 21
Choice Bus visits
DeKalb schools
See Choices on page 11A
Choice Bus at Tucker High School.
Page 11A The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

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, November 15, 2014
Hilton Garden Inn - Stonecrest
7890 Mall Ring Road, Lithonia, GA 30038
Family Reunion Capital of the South
Call 770-492-5018
Pre-registration is required
FREE Family Reunion Planning
Workshop & Showcase
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”
Choices Continued From Page 10A
states including Alabama,
Delaware, Georgia,
Indiana, Mississippi, New
York, South Carolina,
and Texas. The bus also
provided teachers with
the Learn2Earn booklet
and the InsideOut toolkit to
help students understand
budgeting, taxes, credit
cards, loans and hear true
life stories from prison
“I think it was important
because it teaches teenagers
to open up their mind and
see what the world really is
and what it’s about and if
you don’t live how you want
to live and do what you’re
supposed to do then the
outcome could be bad, “said
Janee Blake, sophomore at
Tucker High.
Blake plays soccer
with aspirations to be a
neurologist. She said that
she could not imagine her
like in prison
For Bria Bass, another
Tucker High sophomore, the
experience was nothing liked
the prison show Orange Is the
New Black. She said, “They
make [prison] seem like it’s
fun on TV…”
Bass said she couldn’t
imagine not having her
cellphones, TV, or being able
to wear the shoes and clothes
that she prefers.
“I don’t even think I
would have a sense of mind
anymore, I think I would go
insane,” said Bass.
Although the alternative
of dropping out and getting
involved in crimes that lead
to long-sentences in prison
are frightening, Dr. Stewart
said the goal is not to scare
students to stay in school,
but to simply let them hear
from people who learned the
consequences of dropping
out of school the hard way.
Dr. Stewart’s
commitment to reducing
school dropout rates has
captured national acclaim by
making a difference in the
lives of thousands of youth in
49 states.
The bus is one of six tools
created by The Mattie C.
Stewart Foundation to help
reduce the dropout rate in
the United States. 
The Choice Bus, unveiled
in September 2008, has
already impacted the lives of
more than 2 million students
in 20 states and has been
featured on Shepard Smith’s
Fox News Report.
To learn more about
The Mattie C. Stewart
Foundation and The Choice
Bus, visit
A presenter for The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation, Codi Feltman, shares statistics with students
on what it could mean to be a high school drop-out. Photos by Ashley Oglesby

Students walk through the 6-by-8 feet prison cell replica.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 Page 12A
by Ashley Oglesby
E.L Bouie Tradition Theme
School in Decatur hosted its second
Science Saturday of the school year on
Oct. 18 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
As a kickoff to National
Chemistry Week students in second
through fifth grades learned about
acids, bases and how it’s a part of their
daily lives.
Science Saturday started with
Dexter Johnson, chemist at Georgia-
Pacific, who participated in his son’s
career day at Bouie elementary last
Johnson has worked for Georgia-
Pacific (GP) for 18 years in the paper
chemicals division and thought it
would be interesting to conduct a
paper-making demonstration.
Johnson’s career-day
demonstration was such a huge hit,
teachers asked him to come back to
present to the entire school over the
course of three days.
Johnson shared the idea with his
facility and was introduced to the GP
The GP Foundation is designed to
support community-based programs,
volunteer service projects, disaster
relief and other initiatives.
The Foundation evaluates
proposals and determines an amount
to donate per program.
Johnson and his colleague
volunteers decided to dedicate one
Saturday a month and were awarded
$5,000 to buy supplies, as well as
provide lunch for the kids. 
Robyn Thomson, science lab,
said, “They’re helping me when I
teach Monday through Friday.”
She added, “Our children don’t
see enough people in the areas of
STEM, of science, of math, and in
order to get them to realize that
they can do that too they need to
see examples, we don’t have enough
Thomson said the program
allows parents the opportunity to get
their kids involved in more than just
Haifa Khan, GP chemist
volunteer said she was surprised to
see students actually come out on
their day off.
Khan is a parent of a first grader;
she said she always tries to find
exciting ways to teach him about
science without “too much hard
details in the beginning.”
She added, “You have to make it
fun and even though we do science
for a living sometimes you kind of
forget what makes it so fun like these
kinds of small experiments that drew
us to the career.”
The first Science Saturday
brought out 65 kids.
Johnson recruited for volunteers
and students to come out during
registration. He had a poster board
and gave out flyers to parents.
115 students signed up. This week
56 students showed.
“We’re really just trying to
promote literacy in science and get
them excited about science. I think
the earliest you can reach them the
better it’s going to be for them. I try
to find fun things for the kids to do
but I’m also trying to teach them
something. I’m kind of sneaky in
the teaching part. I’m getting them
excited about the fun part but their
also learning. I’m impressed with
them every time I come out,” Johnson
Students experimented with
making toothpaste and slime, creating
the chemical reactions in glow sticks,
learned the concept of pH with purple
cabbage and watched numerous bottle
rockets explode.
“We didn’t have this kind of
stuff when I was growing up. I can’t
even think of what we actually did in
chemistry class. I think we did more
theory stuff as oppose to hands on,”
Johnson said.
He added, “A lot of times in a
classroom setting there’s only one
teacher and 20 kids and everybody
might not get a chance to be hands-on.”
Aside from volunteers Science
Saturday would like other businesses
to partner with the program ideally,
companies that work with robotics
and engineering.
The program has already
partnered with engineer instructors
at Georgia Institute of Technology
and made plans to conduct an entire
Saturday on engineering.
Georgia Pacific Foundation funds local science program
Students watch Diet Coke and Mentos bottle rocket erupt.

Students learn about gas and chemical reactions by discovering how to infate a balloon using baking soda and vinegar. Photos by Ashley Oglesby
A volunteer teaches students the concept of pH with purple cabbage.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 Page 13A
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
Recently the Friends of Madison Square, a Dunwoody
neighborhood association, sponsored a food drive in collaboration
with RC Fitnez studio of North Dekalb Mall. The groups collected
food for the Atlanta Food Bank while exercising for better health.
Photo provided
The Friends of Chapel Hill Park, a neighborhood association, sponsored a work day, Oct. 18, in
collaboration with Hands On Atlanta. They were joined by county employees, volunteers and friends
who rolled up their sleeves to work on various improvement projects including installing new park
entrance sign, pruning and removing underbrush, refreshing the landscape with new straw, reinstalling
an exercise station and painting the bathrooms with anti graffti paint. Photo provided
More than 1,000 participants walked a 60-mile route to raise more than $3.2 million for breast cancer research and community outreach programs as part of the Susan G.
Komen Atlanta 3-Day walk. Photos by Andrew Cauthen
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 Page 14A
Amazed by her success, author releases her sixth novel
County announces watershed billing improvements
by Kathy Mitchell
lthough she recently released
her sixth novel, Clarkston
resident Terra Elan McVoy
said she’s still amazed at her success
as an author.
“I always loved writing and
reading, but I also learned fairly
quickly that making a living as a
writer is extremely difcult. So the
fact that I have six books out that
people all over the country whom I
have never met are reading them—
and I’m getting a chance to make a
living at it—is all a huge excitement.
Every single person who reads or
buys one of my books is a treasure to
McVoy describes her new book,
In Deep, as “the story of competitive
swimmer, Brynn Polonowski,
who is so single-mindedly focused
on winning, that her personal
relationships become afected,
especially when a hot college
swimmer starts training with her
club, and her best friend catches his
eye. It’s technically a young adult
novel—written from a teenager’s
perspective,” she explained, “but
my fnding is that teens and adults
are enjoying it equally.” Te main
character, she said, is arrogant and
someone readers aren’t likely to
like or agree with, “but hopefully
they’ll enjoy watching her grow and
begin to change,” McVoy said. “She’s
actually a secondary character in my
third novel, Te Summer of Firsts
and Lasts. In that book, Brynn is
the hellion of summer camp, and
it’s clear she’s struggling with things
emotionally. I wrote In Deep as a
kind of prequel, to explain how she
got to that place.”
Discussing her writing process,
McVoy said she generally knows
where a novel is going from the frst
page. “In general I’m a planner,” she
said. “It helps me to know where
things will end up, and what some of
the key moments are along the way.
But I do fnd that sometimes—once
I’m in the thick of writing—that
plans can change. I like to compare
it to a cross-country road trip where
you know you’ll hit a few specifc
cities but may take some other
unforeseen stops before you get to
your destination.”
Good books, she said, have
always inspired her writing.
“Whenever I’m deeply moved by a
scene, wildly excited by a plot, or
astonished by a miraculous sentence,
I think, ‘I want to be able to do that.’
When I was 16, I was in the library
at school, reading the opening of
[the Pat Conroy novel] Te Prince of
Tides, and suddenly understood deep
in my core that I wanted to learn how
to write that way.”
McVoy said she fnds time to
work with aspiring young writers,
recalling “the beneft of being
exposed to smart, caring adults other
than your family. So this is my small
way of trying to pay that forward.
Also, I just think kids and teenagers
are so interesting to talk to.”
She added, “My advice for young
people interested in writing is to
not worry right now about being
published. Writing well takes a lot
of practice, and that’s all you should
be focused on right now. Explore,
try, start a story and then quit if it’s
not interesting to you. Mainly, keep
doing it. Also, if you want to be a
writer, you must read, read, read.”
McVoy said her own writing
eforts go back to her early youth.
“Starting in middle school all the way
through college I was a poet. Ten
I moved to short fction while I was
at Florida State University, but I still
wrote poems and do to this day,”
she said. “I started keeping a journal
when I was 8 and am still doing that
Te author moved to the
Atlanta area in 2004, when she “was
transitioning out of both a job and
relationship up in New York.” She
called ending up in the Decatur/
Clarkston area “a lucky accident.”
“Decatur is a good place for
creative people, because it’s clear
both the city government and the
citizens care about the arts,” she said,
citing the AJC Decatur Book Festival,
for which she has been volunteer
children’s coordinator and program
director, as an example. “A whole city
shutting down over a weekend for
the sake of books? Awesome!”
Terra McVoy says good books inspire her writing. Her newest novel, In Deep, is the
story of a swimmer who’s “struggling with things emotionally.”
DeKalb County has updated and
improved its water billing process as well
as investigated solutions for the higher-
than-average water bills experienced by
some county customers.
“Since DeKalb County instituted a
hold on water shut-offs two weeks ago–
in order to look into this issue–we have
identified 5,640 affected customers and
are preparing to conduct a thorough
review of these accounts,” said DeKalb
County Chief Operating Officer Zachary
“It is our top priority to ensure the
accuracy of all bills and that citizens have
the resources available to understand
their bills and make payments on
time,” Williams said. “We’re happy to
announce some necessary and important
actions taken by the county to alleviate
concerns and improve the overall
process for water billing and its customer
Improvements to the DeKalb County
water billing process consist of the
• Resolution of affected accounts: A
letter, which includes notice of a
targeted bill audit between Oct. 15 -
Dec. 15, has been distributed to the
5,640 county residents identified with
recent bills totaling twice their normal
averages or greater.
• Additional staffing and phone lines:
The addition of 35 customer service
representatives to answer questions and
resolve customer concerns regarding
their bills will begin fielding phone
calls by Friday, Oct. 31. The automated
payment phone line is currently open
to all customers at (404) 371-6294.
• Sixty satellite payment locations:
Satellite sites at local Kroger, Citgo,
Walmart, and other retail locations
have been set up around the county
to provide easy bill payment options
for customers. A map and list of
these locations can be found at
For questions or additional
information, email dekalbwaterbillingfn@, call (404) 378-4475
or visit
DeKalb residents also are invited to
visit the Department of Finance’s water
and sewer billing table at the fifth annual
DeKalb Neighborhood Summit on Nov.
1 at Tucker High School, 5036 LaVista
Road, Tucker.
Ellis Continued From Page 1A
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 Page 15A LOCAL NEWS
Pigeons Continued From Page 1A
In the backyard of Shabjahan’s or-
dinary neighborhood are two coops
known in the sport as lofts where he
keeps 100 pigeons. The older birds
that he purchased and used to breed
his younger racers are caged and not
allowed to take flight. He explained
that homing pigeons return to the
place where they were born. If these
older birds are set free, they won’t
However his younger racers are
set free every couple of days. Some-
times they fly around the neighbor-
hood for hours; other times they go
for 30 minutes or so.
It was an Animal Planet program
about former fighter Mike Tyson’s
racing pigeons that got Shabjahan in-
terested in the sport three years ago.
He did some Internet research, found
out about the Atlanta racing club and
attended a meeting. Members of the
club welcomed him into the group.
One member even gave him a bird.
After purchasing a few pigeons on-
line, Shabjahan was hooked.
Pigeon racing dates back to the
19th century. Homing pigeons were
imported from Europe in 1860 and
the first racing club was founded in
1872, according to the American
Racing Pigeon Union. The union
boasts a membership of 10,000 in
some 700 clubs nationwide. The
Greater Atlanta Racing Pigeon Club
(GARPC), founded in 1984, has ap-
proximately 30 members who com-
pete in races throughout the north-
Jeff Biddle, president of GARPC,
said interest in the sport has been
dwindling, in part, due to economic
factors. Costs involved in the sport
include feed, grit and transport-
ing the birds to race sites. GARPC
members competing in a nine-week
series of nine races pay $200 each for
a driver to take all the birds to the
starting point.
The birds have a band on their
legs, and a microchip in that band
determines the bird’s arrival at their
home base. Calculations are made
to determine the fastest flyers since
the birds return to different finishing
Young birds—for this year those
born in January 2014—compete in
races up to 300 miles. Older birds
take part in races up to 600 miles.
Biddle said gambling is not in-
volved at his club but the top 10 per-
cent are awarded diplomas and the
firs- place bird and its owner gets a
Biddle, who lives in Suwanee and
has 30 birds, said the allure of the
sport is the pigeons.
“You fall in love with the bird,”
said Biddle. “You spend a lot of time
with them in training them. You hate
to lose any of them.”
Biddle estimated that pigeon
owners lose about 30 percent of their
birds to predators, birds becoming
disoriented or mistakenly following
another flock. In July Biddle took 30
birds five miles from his house on a
training exercise and eight did not
return home.
“It’s just thrilling to see them
come around the corner, head
straight for the loft and come in,” said
Biddle. “It’s nature at its best.”
Racing pigeons sometimes fy around their owners’ neighborhood for several hours before returning to their lofts.
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; and a count
each of conspiracy in restraint of
free and open competition, and of
conspiracy to defraud a political
He was accused of strong-
arming vendors to donate to his
reelection campaign.
On Oct. 20, the tenth day of the
jurors’ deliberations, they sent the
judge a note saying, “We have all
taken our duty very seriously and
it’s that duty that has prevented us
from coming together as one.”
When Johnson asked if they
had agreed on any of the charges,
they said, “No.”
After lunch that day, the judge
gave the jury an Allen Charge, a
strongly worded “dynamite charge”
urging jurors to continue working
for a verdict.
In the charge, Johnson stated,
“The case has been exhaustively
and carefully tried by both sides
and has been submitted to you for
decision and verdict if possible, and
not for disagreement.”
Johnson reminded jurors that
they “should not be advocates for
either side.”
“Keep in mind the truth as
it appears from the evidence,
examined in the light of the
instructions of the court,” she
“Try to arrive at a verdict,”
Johnson stated.
The jury deliberated one
more day before the mistrial was
At approximately 3:50 p.m. on
Oct. 21, after the jury said for the
last time that it could not reach
a verdict, Ellis defense attorney
Craig Gillen said, “We gave closing
arguments 15 days ago. They’ve
have done their best.”
Now it is up the DeKalb County
District Attorney Robert James
to decide whether he will retry
the case or dismiss it. Until that
decision, Ellis cannot return to
Neither James nor Ellis and
his defense team could speak to
reporters after the trial because a
gag order remains in effect.
Page 16A The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014


The U.S. Postal Service officially recognized Brookhaven as a deliverable ad-
Brookhaven incorporated as a city on Dec. 17, 2012, but the U.S. Postal Service
still has listed all addresses in the city limits as Atlanta on mail.
After many meetings and the aid of U.S. Rep. Tom Price, the postal service will
now recognize Brookhaven as a valid address for zip codes 30319 and 30329. This
will list Brookhaven as the postmark on delivered mail and on addresses searched
for on
“It may be a little step, but it’s an important victory in our efforts for cityhood.
This is something that many of our constituents have asked about,” Mayor Pro
Tem Rebecca Chase Williams said. “This shows we are official now!”
The city is still working with the postal service to get the name on the front of
the post office on Dresden Drive changed to Brookhaven.

The Brookhaven City Council
unanimously voted Oct. 16 to adopt
a five-year redevelopment plan for
the Buford Highway area.
The council approved the Buford
Highway Improvement Plan and
Economic Development Strategy to
govern redevelopment of a three-
mile corridor from the intersection
of Buford Highway and Clairmont
Road to the city of Atlanta border.
“There are prime opportunities
to turn Buford Highway into a true
destination for residential, business
and tourism in our city,” Mayor
J. Max Davis said. “This plan is
the blueprint for us to begin that
The plan was compiled by
Jaegar Co., Urban Partners and
Cranston Engineering, but led by a
committee of residents. Its focus is
to promote economic viability and
physical improvements, such as the
addition of bicycle and pedestrian
trails, gateway enhancements and
streetscape beautification. In addition
to physical improvements, the plan
includes proposals to enhance the
image of the area with a possible
name change and other incentives.
The council is also looking to
increase employment opportunities
in the Buford Highway area. The city
is seeking to create a state recognized
Opportunity Zone in the area.
Under the state program, any
new or existing business that adds
two or more jobs becomes eligible for
$3,500 in tax credits per year for five
years. The program is designed for
revitalization of aging commercial
and industrial areas.
This is Brookhaven’s latest effort
to improve the Buford Highway
corridor. Last year, Brookhaven
began inspecting all multifamily
housing to ensure compliance with
safety regulations and international
property maintenance codes.
Currently, 58 complexes are in
full compliance and nine are in the
final round of inspections to meet
Brookhaven is also working
with the state to improve pedestrian
safety in the area with the expansion
of sidewalks, pedestrian crossing and
street lighting along Buford Highway.
Brookhaven adopts Buford Highway plan and opportunity zone
Brookhaven officially a city in the
eyes of the U.S. Postal Service
Buford Highway Improvement Plan Study Area Map
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 Page 17A
The DeKalb County School District
notified all principals and administrators
that no new students from Ebola-affected
countries will be automatically allowed to
enroll or attend classes. 
The announcement was released on
Thursday, Oct. 16, and applies to any
students from countries including Liberia,
Sierra Leone, Guinea and other affected
areas in the United States.
Students seeking enrollment must
be able to provide proper medical
documentation and be approved by the
district superintendent.
According to the statement, the school
superintendent Michael Thurmond has
urged all staff to be vigilant and “observant
for anyone exhibiting a fever in the school
and immediately ask if they have traveled to
or come into contact with someone who has
traveled to an Ebola affected region.”
 The district has partnered with the
DeKalb Board of Health, Centers for Disease
Control, DeKalb Emergency Management
Agency, the Georgia Department of
Education and the U.S. Department of
School officials who believe a student
exhibits symptoms are to immediately
separate the individual from contact
with others and report it to the regional

Public Hearing Date Change
The DeKalb County Community Development
has changed the date of the Public Hearing for 2015
HUD Programs
New Date/Time
Thursday, December 4, 2014 at 6:30 PM
Proposed Budget/Annual Action Plan
Maloof Auditorium
1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur, GA
We will present the proposed 2014-2018 Consolidated Plan including the
2015 Annual Action Plan, proposed budget and solicit
public questions and/or comments.

New students from Ebola-affected areas must get medical release
Pink Pony will continue
fight against Brookhaven
DeKalb County School District superintendent Michael Thurmond.
Photo by Travis Hudgons
by Carla Parker
A lawyer representing
Pink Pony said the adult
entertainment club will
continue to talk with city
officials after its lawsuit
was dismissed by the high
The Supreme
Court ruled in favor
of Brookhaven Oct. 6
and upheld a DeKalb
County court’s dismissal
of Pink Pony’s lawsuit
against Brookhaven. Pink
Pony sued Brookhaven
because of the city’s new
sexually oriented business
ordinance, which prohibits
nudity and forces stricter
alcohol pouring and sales
times in the city. Aubrey
Villines, who represents
the Pink Pony, said the
club will continue to talk to
city officials in an effort to
come to an agreement.
“We hope that they
will ultimately do what the
citizens want them to do
and that’s to leave us alone,”
Villines said.
Villines also said he
filed for a motion for
reconsideration with the
Georgia Supreme Court on
Oct. 16. Brookhaven filed
for an injunction Oct. 10
to stop the Pink Pony from
operating in violation of the
new ordinance.
“We are not asking for
the Pink Pony to be shut
down,” Mayor J. Max Davis
said. “We are requesting
that the trial court now
order the club to comply
with the law.”
The request for
injunction, filed in DeKalb
County Superior Court,
asked Pink Pony to stop
violating the ordinance.
The filing also asked the
court to require the club to
pay Brookhaven’s attorney
fees incurred in the effort
to secure compliance with
the law.
In the Supreme Court
ruling, Justice Harold
Melton wrote for the court
that given “the established
record regarding the
deleterious effects of
alcohol coupled with nude
dancing, the trial court did
not err by finding that, as a
matter of law, Brookhaven’s
sexually oriented business
ordinance does not
unconstitutionally infringe
upon Pink Pony’s free
speech rights.”
Brookhaven previously
sought an injunction to
require Stardust adult
store to comply with the
sexually oriented business
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 PAGE 18A
by Ashley Oglesby
hat began in the basement
of a home in the Grant
Park community is
now the nation’s largest dropout
prevention network.
Communities In Schools of
Atlanta (CIS) is an organization
partnered with DeKalb and
Fulton County public schools. The
organization works to improve the
barriers that hinder students from
succeeding in school.
“Our goal is always to improve
attendance, improve behavior,
support academic performance,
increase parental involvement,
increase community partnerships
and support families that are in
crisis,” Nona Franklin, director of
programs said.
The organization places staff
members called site coordinators in
schools to assist in building strong
relationships with students, educators
and community members.
The coordinators are trained
to identify problems that prevent
students from succeeding and devise
benchmarks to help the students
overcome those issues.
Clarkston High
Principal, Michelle Jones led the
charge to keeping the CIS program
at Clarkston High as the county
changed superintendents.
Jones advocated for the school
and helped the district understand
how critical it was to “keep this
additional arm.”
“I was very vocal about the fact
that I wanted my CIS and whatever
they had to do to make that happen,
that’s what needed to happen,” Jones
She added, “We all have a
part and we just need to keep the
continuity of the program.”
Clarkston High School students
come from more than 54 countries,
speak 47 languages and house
the school system’s only program
for hearing impaired high school
“I try to get kids to embrace this
diversity because the world really
is diverse. Once you step outside
of your environment and go to a
college, go to a school in a college
town where you see people from
different nationalities and different
countries, sometimes it’s hard for
folks to adjust. Coming out of
Clarkston the average student will be
able to adjust to their atmosphere,
“said Calleb Obumba, CIS
coordinator at Clarkston High.
Obumba, a former coach and
teacher, said his goal is to remain
as visible as possible to the students
and provide a community of support
from his previous jobs.
“It’s all about exposure,” he said.
Obumba has brought radio
personalities and former athletes to
speak with the students of Clarkston
High as a source of motivation to
take the kids to “the next level.”
He’s also made it a part of his
mission to provide future mentorship
for students in their areas of interest.
As a part of the CIS effort
to motivate students to stay in
school, Congressman Hank
Johnson was invited to visit Stone
Mountain, Towers, and Clarkston
High School on Oct. 15 and 16. 
CIS Executive Director, Frank
Brown said it’s essential to have
students see role models from all
walks of life including: business
people, college students, elected
officials and others.
As a multiple-term
congressman with a life story full
of accomplishments and important
lessons to share, Brown said Johnson
was definitely someone worth
introducing the students to.
He added, “It’s important that any
elected official who makes decisions
about policies and funding affecting
our youth have the opportunity to
see, speak with and hear from our
Congressman Johnson said he
liked the team approach.
“I like the school and the private
sector, the non-profit coming
together and solving problems in the
most difficult environments....”
To learn more about how to
support the CIS in their efforts to
provide and help students realize
their potential visit
CIS fuels students to stay in school
‘Our goal is always to improve attendance,
improve behavior, support academic performance,
increase parental involvement, increase community
partnerships and support families that are in crisis.’
– Nona Franklin, director of programs
Congressman Hank Johnson chats with students and staff.

Congressman Hank Johnson, CIS Site Coordinator Calleb Obumba, Clarkston High
Principal Michelle Jones, CIS Board Member Jodie Guest and CIS Executive Director Frank
Brown with students.
Clarkston High students share their struggles and progress since the CIS
Clarkston High Principal Michelle Jones
welcomes guests.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 PAGE 19A
Ivy Prep purchases Parkview Station
by Ashley Oglesby
eorgia’s first single-gender public
charter school has become a landowner
and a landlord to a Pizza Hut, a LIV
Fitness center and a Grady health clinic
because of a bond-financing deal that raised $14
million to purchase DeKalb County shopping
plaza Parkview Station.
The bond issue was approved by the DeKalb
Board of Commissioners. State Charter Schools
Commission officials announced on Oct 16 that
the bond deal is the “first of its kind” for a state
charter school.
Ivy Prep partnered with the DeKalb County
Development Authority for a bond issue to
finance the 100,000 -square-foot strip mall at
1807 Memorial Drive.
Gregg Stevens, counsel for the State Charter
Schools Commission, said, “Ivy Prep will be able
to rent out its facilities and use the rent it receives
to pay back the bond. Having your own facility
really sends a message that you are part of a
community, and you deserve to be there.”
The K-12 campus has reached capacity with
more than 800 students and will soon expand.
Funding for new classroom construction was
included in the $14 million raised by the bonds,
which were purchased by Hamlin Capital
Ivy Prep will receive $650,000 from the bonds
to develop more than 15,000-square-feet of space
into classrooms and separate the single-gender
schools at Kirkwood, which currently share an
entrance, cafeteria and playground. Construction
will begin in late January.
Kendra Shipmon, principal of Ivy Prep
Kirkwood’s School for Girls, said tenants
LIV Fitness, Pizza Hut and Kirkwood Family
Medicine will remain in the plaza and forge
partnerships with the school. Administrators
said they would like to see Pizza Hut deliveries
include school enrollment flyers and Ivy Prep
parents sending their children to the clinic for
physicals. Kirkwood also is in need of a school
“This purchase gives permanence to Grady,”
Shipmon said. “The healthcare clinic is a part
of the community as well. We have talked about
having nurses and doctors from Grady come
in and teach lessons involving STEM (science,
technology, engineering and mathematics.) We
have talked about having a fitness program at the
fitness center.”
The Memorial Drive strip mall purchased by
Ivy Prep was facing foreclosure when the bond
sale was approved.
DeKalb parents say they are thankful that a
charter school moved into Kirkwood and stayed.
The portion of the DeKalb County shopping mall
that houses Ivy Prep Kirkwood stood vacant and
in disrepair for nearly 20 years. It was a magnet
for crime and illegal drug activity.  
Ivy Prep leased the school for about $325,000
a year. The school also had to pay property taxes
annually in excess of $30,000.
The strip mall moved from commercial
to nonprofit status in the sale. Its commercial
tenants, however, can still run for-profit
businesses in the mall. Their rent, and part of the
$8,821 per pupil allocation Ivy Prep received for
the education of public school students, will help
Ivy Prep repay the 30-year bond investment.
Barry Herrin, an Atlanta lawyer who
represented Ivy Prep in the building purchase,
said the Ivy Prep bond deal sets an important
precedent that shows that state charter schools
have the same property ownership rights as
Georgia school districts.
“School boards own a lot of property,” he
said. “When they decide to build a school, they
don’t tear down the old school. They keep it up
and find a tenant. What the State Charter School
Commission has been helpful in articulating is
that as far as they are concerned, that when an
urban charter school or other charter school
buys this kind of property and you have tenants
in place, the charter school can own and manage
that property. That is a tremendously important
position for them to take. I see this as the
beginning of the way that charter schools are
going to take control of their financial destiny.”
A groundbreaking ceremony will be held at
the Kirkwood campus at 11 a.m. on Nov. 1.
Ivy Prep Academy becomes landlord and landowner of a DeKalb County shopping plaza.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 Page 20A
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
s Halloween grows in
popularity among young
and old, retailers are fnding
the spooky holiday increasingly
proftable. Even before calendars
were turned to October, retail stores
were featuring Halloween items
from candy to decorations, to party
goods—and of course costumes.
Tis year, according the National
Retail Federation (NRF), Americans
are buying Halloween costumes in
record numbers. Calling Halloween,
“one of the fastest-growing
consumer holidays,” NRF reported
that it expects Americans to spend
$2.8 billion on costumes, based on
its Halloween consumer spending
survey, conducted by Prosper
Insights & Analytics. “Specifcally,
celebrants will shell out $1.1 billion
on children’s costumes, and $1.4
billion on adult costumes. It is
clear Fido and Flufy will not be
forgotten: Americans will spend
$350 million on costumes for their
furry friends,” the survey report
NRF’s survey, indicated that
more than two-thirds (67.4 percent)
of celebrants will buy Halloween
costumes for the holiday, the most
in the survey’s 11-year history. Te
average person will spend $77.52
this Halloween, compared to
$75.03 last year. Total spending on
Halloween nationally this year is
expected to reach $7.4 billion.
“Tere’s no question that the
variety of adult, child and even
pet costumes now available has
driven the demand and popularity
of Halloween among consumers
of all ages. And, with the holiday
falling on a Friday this year, we
fully expect there will be a record
number of consumers taking
to the streets, visiting haunted
houses and throwing unforgettable
celebrations,” NRF President and
CEO Matthew Shay states in a news
Eddie’s Trick & Novelty in
Decatur, which also does business
as All Tat’s Costume, is in the
costume business year-round. While
Halloween sales are brisk, they are
less than they had been years ago,
according to Bob McKinnon, CEO,
who has been in the business 36
years and has operated the Decatur
store since 1996. “Tis time of year,
every drugstore and big box store
goes into the costume business.
Tere are even companies that set
up temporary stores as Halloween
is approaching and fold up and go
away in November,” he said. “We
now have a lot of competition when
it comes to Halloween costumes.”
With its aisles of costumes,
wigs, make-up and accessories,
Eddie’s Trick & Novelty looks no
diferent in October than it does
the rest of the year, according to
McKinnon. He said that customers
coming to his shop are looking for
theater-quality costumes and make-
up. “We’re the largest supplier of
theatrical make-up in the country.
We have more than 900 products,
and it’s all professional quality,
mercury-free make-up, “he said.
Unlike many “30-day” stores,
McKinnon said, Eddie’s doesn’t
promote the latest fad costumes,
but ofers hundreds of period and
character costumes. Tose who
would like to transform themselves
into Christopher Columbus,
Benjamin Franklin or Marie
Antoinette can fnd what they need
in McKinnon’s shop.
In addition to the 45.8 percent
of those celebrating Halloween
in costume this year, some 46.7
percent will decorate their homes
and yards and spend $2 billion
doing so. Te evidence is all around
Decatur and neighboring areas,
where many lawns and entryways
are decorated with life-size ghosts,
lights, pumpkins, scarecrows and
other décor.
Days past Labor Day grocery
stores, drugstores and other
retailers had erected huge candy
displays. Tis not surprising since
the NRF survey indicates that
among consumers who celebrate
Halloween, handing out candy—
which 71.1 percent will do—is the
most popular activity. Nationwide,
consumers are expected to spend
$2.2 billion on candy this year.
Some malls are taking advantage
of the popularity of Halloween to
lure shoppers with special events.
Northlake Mall, for example,
announced that its Simon Kidgits
Club will hold a “Boo Bash” on Oct.
30 from 6 until 8 p.m. in the food
court with children’s activities and
giveaways and mall-wide trick-
or-treating at participating stores.
On Oct. 31, North DeKalb Mall
is continuing its Mall-O-Ween
tradition between 5 and 8 p.m.,
during which children 12 and
younger may trick-or-treat among
participating stores in what the
mall describes as “our safe, warm
Consumers expected to get in the
spirit of Halloween spending
Bob McKinnon shows costume items that are available year-round at Eddie’s Trick & Novelty shop.
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 Page 21A
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 Page 22A
by Carla Parker
No. 2 ranked Dunwoody ad-
vanced to the second round of the
Class AAAAA volleyball state play-
offs, while No. 3 ranked Marist and
No. 4 ranked St. Pius advanced in
Class AAAA.
Dunwoody defeated Creekview
3-0, Marist beat Southeast White-
field 3-0 and St. Pius defeated No.
10 ranked Northwest Whitefield
Dunwoody won its first set 25-
12, took the second set 25-10 and
had a close 25-23 win in the third
set to advance to the second round
of the playoffs. Dunwoody hosted
Stars Mill Oct. 21 in the second
round. Score was not available by
press time.
Marist dominated Southeast
Whitefield 25-11, 25-9 and 25-10
to get the three-set sweep. Marist
hosted Whitewater Oct. 21 in the
second round. Score was not avail-
able by press time.
St. Pius dominated Northwest
Whitefield in its first two sets (25-
11, 25-10) and pulled out a close
win in the third set 25-18. St. Pius
hosted Carrollton Oct. 21 in the
second round. Score was not avail-
able by press time.
In other Class AAAAA action,
three DeKalb teams were knocked
out of the playoffs as Druid Hills
fell to No. 8 ranked Cambridge 3-0,
Miller Grove lost to No. 1 ranked
Sequoyah 3-0 and Southwest
DeKalb fell to No. 7 River Ridge
Lakeside (13-23) lost 3-2 to Ar-
cher, and Brookwood knocked off
Tucker 3-0 in the Class AAAAAA
Redan fell 3-0 to No. 5 ranked
Woodward Academy in the first
round of the Class AAAA playoffs,
Arabia Mountain lost 3-0 to No. 1
ranked Sandy Creek, and Chamblee
fell 3-1 to No. 8 ranked Ridgeland.
The No. 6 ranked Decatur lost
its Class AAA matchup to No. 9
ranked Morgan County 3-2.
M.L. King wins first game in thrilling comeback
Three teams win first-round playoff volleyball games
Dunwoody’s Paige McKnight goes up to spike the ball. Lisa Gardner (right) with a dig.
by Carla Parker
artin Luther King Jr. High School’s
homecoming ended in celebration
Oct. 17 after the football team won
its first game of the season.
The M.L. King Lions came back from a
10-point deficit to beat the Miller Grove Wolver-
ines 28-24 at Hallford Stadium. The Lions were
down 24-14 in the third quarter before scoring
14 unanswered points to take the lead with 2:49
left in the game.
Miller Grove tried to make a comeback,
driving down to the Lions 7-yard line. However,
the Lions defense knocked down a pass in the
end zone on a fourth down play to seal the vic-
tory. After the game, M.L. King coach Nicolas
Kashama said he was happy for his players.
“I know they work hard all season,” he said.
“They didn’t quit, they kept fighting. We kept
telling them that if they keep fighting [the win
is] going to come. It’s beautiful that it came on
The game started out rough for the Lions as
they went three and out on their first drive. A
bad snap on the following punt attempt followed
by a successful 9-yard punt gave the Wolverines
good field position at King’s 46-yard line. Miller
Grove took advantage of the good field position
and drove down the field behind big runs by
Meco Jackson.
The drive ended on a quarterback sneak for
a touchdown by Sedric Jefferson to give Miller
Grove a 7-0 lead. M.L. King responded late in
the first quarter with a quarterback sneak for a
touchdown as well by Ravarius Rivers, which
tied the game.
Miller Grove extended the lead to 17-7 in the
second quarter on a 41-yard field goal by kicker
Agazi Kashai and a 6-yard touchdown run by
Jackson. The Lions closed the gap with seconds
left before halftime on a 3-yard touchdown pass,
which cut the score to 17-14 at halftime.
Jackson got his second touchdown of the
game in the third quarter on a 64-yard run to ex-
tend the Wolverines’ lead to 24-14.
The Lions defense did not falter after the
score and kept battling. On a field goal attempt
by Miller Grove late in the third quarter, the kick
was blocked and defensive end Donovan Good-
win picked up the ball and returned it 71 yards
for a touchdown to cut the Wolverines’ lead to
In the fourth quarter, Miller Grove’s offense
sputtered, giving the Lions an opportunity for a
comeback. The Lions drove down the field, aided
by Miller Grove penalties and found themselves
See Football on page 23A
The M.L. King Lions won its frst game of the season after beating Miller Grove 28-24. Photos by Leonard Garrett

The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 Page 23A
M.L. King wins first game in thrilling comeback
Marist, St. Pius advances in state softball playoffs
Three teams win first-round playoff volleyball games
with a first and goal on the 3-yard line. After a few miscues
and a penalty, the Lions were pushed back to the 10-yard
On a third down play, Rivers was flushed out the pocket,
scrabbled around and was able to find wide receiver Kobe
Ross in the back corner of the end zone for a touchdown to
give the Lions a 28-24 lead and the win.
Ross said he changed his route on the play for his quar-
terback to find him in the end zone.
“On the original route I had a slant, and I saw my quar-
terback rolling out, so I tried to get back to the back pylon.
He threw it and I tried to tap my feet and I got the touch-
down,” Ross said.
“I had to roll out because the play had broken down,”
River said. “I saw my clutch receiver, threw it to him and he
made the play.”
With the win, Kashama said his team now knows it can
“We can do it,” he said. “It got to a point where I think
they [questioned] whether it was going to happen for us.
Were we going 0-10? With that monkey off their backs now,
they know they can win. We know we can win and let’s go
do it again next week.”
M.L. King (1-6) will face its region rival Stephenson
(5-2) Oct. 24 at Hallford, while Miller Grove (3-4) hopes to
rebound after its third consecutive loss against Dunwoody
Oct. 24 at North DeKalb Stadium.
Football Continued From Page 22A
by Carla Parker
t was a sweep for Marist and
St. Pius as the two teams
move on to the second round
of the softball state playoff.
Marist, Region 6-AAAA
champions, swept Troup County
in the best‒of–three series 6-0
and 9-2 to advance to the second
round. Marist hosted Northwest
Whitfield in the second round
Oct. 22. Scores were not available
by press time.
St. Pius swept Woodward
Academy in two games (2-0,
5-1) in first round action. They
traveled to Buford Oct. 22 for
second‒round action. Scores were
not available by press time.
Eight other DeKalb County
teams fell in the first round.
Lakeside fell in two straight games
to Colquitt County by scores of
14-0 and 12-0 in the first round of
Class AAAAAA action at Moultrie
Oct. 15. Lakeside finished the
season 11-15.
In Class AAAAA, Dunwoody
lost in two games (12-3, 15-4)
to Allatoona Oct. 16, Southwest
DeKalb (16-7) fell 13-0 and 12-0
to Alexander and Stephenson (15-
9) lost 14-0 and 12-0 to Chapel
Hill. Miller Grove fell 2-1 in its
series with South Paulding.
South Paulding won the first
game 7-2, but Miller Grove won
the second game 6-3. South
Paulding closed out the series with
an 8-0 win, eliminating Miller
Grove from the playoffs.
In Class AAAA, Arabia
Mountain (13-9) and Chamblee
(6-16) also lost two straight in
the first round. Arabia Mountain
fell 9-0 and 17-1 to No. 9 ranked
Whitewater, while Chamblee lost
18-0 and 8-0 decisions to No. 8
Cedar Grove (9-12) fell to
Westside Augusta by scores of
14-1 and 9-1 in the Class AAA
playoffs. Decatur (28-8-1) lost in
two straight games (9-1 and 1-0)
to Hephzibah.
More scores
Oct. 17:
Cedar Grove (6-1) 42, Towers (1-6) 6
St. Pius (5-2) 45, Chamblee (1-6) 14
Cross Keys (1-3) 30, Clarkston (0-8) 27
Decatur (4-3) 34, Douglass (2-5) 14
Stephenson (5-2) 56, Druid Hills (4-3) 20
SW DeKalb (5-2) 38, Dunwoody (3-4) 21
M.L. King (1-6) 28, Miller Grove (3-4) 24
Marist (7-1) 43, Grady (3-4) 13
McNair (2-5) 13, South Atlanta (1-6) 7
Oct. 18;
Lithonia (4-4) 27, Arabia Mountain (3-4) 20
Redan (2-6) 45, Stone Mountain (0-7) 26
Open: Columbia (5-2), Lakeside (3-4), Tucker (5-2)
A Marist assistant coach talks to
the special team unit before the
kickoff of the second half.
Head coach Nicolas Kashama (center) coach up the defense.
Marist quarterback Sam Phelts (16) looks to the sideline. Photos by Ashley Oglesby
The Champion Free Press, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 Page 24A
Weekly ad in hand. Coupons in pocket.
BOGO-vision on. It’s time to save.
Pet of the Week
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When he looks at you
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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 nominations by
coaches. Please e-mail nominations
to by
Monday at noon.

Jalani Woods, Cedar Grove
(football): The sophomore
quarterback threw for 121 yards
and three touchdowns to help
lead Cedar Grove to a 42-6 win
over Towers Oct. 17.

Chole Anderton, St. Pius
(volleyball): The sophomore
middle blocker and right side
hitter had 6 kills and a 1.000
hitting percentage in the first
round playoff match against
Northwest Whitfield Oct. 15.
Next Level
Each week The Champion spotlights former
high school players from the county who are
succeeding in athletics on the college level.
Dominick Sanders, Georgia (football):
The freshmen defensive back from Tucker
recorded his frst college career touchdown
on a 54-yard fumble recovery in the 45-32
win over Arkansas Oct. 18. He also had four
tackles in the game.
Khari Rosier, Presbyterian (football):
The sophomore defensive lineman from
Chamblee had fve total tackles, including
a 4-yard tackle for loss in the 7-3 win over
Charleston Southern Oct. 18.
Mike Davis, South Carolina (football): The
junior running back from Stephenson rushed
for 111 yards on 18 carries and scored two
touchdowns in the 41-10 win over Furman
Oct. 18.
Sanders Rosier Davis