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FRIDAY, Feb. 13, 2015 • VOL. 17, NO. 42 • FREE

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Deputies ‘endeavor’
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• A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS •

More than 90
sign on National
Signing Day
Sports, 18A

Activists demand
#Justice4KevinDavis
by Andrew Cauthen
andrew@dekalbchamp.com

K

evin Davis, a cook at
Sawicki’s in downtown
Decatur, would have been 45
on Feb. 4.
Outside of the DeKalb County
Courthouse, a group sang a slow,
somber rendition of “Happy Birthday” to the man who was shot in the
chest by a DeKalb County Police officer on Dec. 29.
The shooting occurred after Kevin Davis called 911 when his live-in
girlfriend was stabbed by a friend
during an argument in their home
on Pine Tree Circle. Kevin Davis
died at Grady Hospital on Dec. 31 as
a result of the shooting.
“We’re praying for justice,” said
Rev. Brady Radford of Oakhurst
Presbyterian Church, during the
all-night protest during which activists spent the night in tents in front
of the courthouse. “We’re praying
for integrity. We’re praying for the
system…to finally work. It’s OK if a
system works and finds somebody
not guilty, but the system has to at
least be put in process.”
The protestors were calling for
an independent investigation by
the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Four days later, on Feb. 8, the
DeKalb County Police Department
announced that it has made an official request to the GBI to investigate
the officer-involved shooting.
Attorney Mawuli Davis (no relation to the family) of the Davis
Bozeman Law Firm, who represents
the family of Kevin Davis, said that
after interviewing the witnesses,
including the girlfriend, the person

who stabbed her, and the next-door
neighbor, his firm “came to the conclusion that there was something
that was awry and should be further
investigated.”
Mawuli Davis said although it’s
premature to characterize what happened during the incident, “it does
appear to be a grave injustice that
occurred. It was not Kevin Davis’
intent when he provided aid to his
girlfriend to be a threat to police at
all.”
“Why would he call 911 and then
try to prevent the police from assisting his girlfriend by standing in the
way with a handgun?” Mawuli Davis
said. “It makes no sense. It’s illogical,
but that’s what the police narrative is
right now and that’s what has to be
challenged.”
Witnesses said the officer did not
announce himself when he entered
the house, Mawuli Davis said.
“That’s why the series of events
plays out the way that it does because there is no announcement,”
Mawuli Davis said. “All [Kevin Davis] had to know was that the police,
the help that they had called for, was
finally there. Had they known that,
he would have responded differently.
“But instead, the first thing he
gets is the gunfire and his bleeding
dog coming back to him,” Mawuli
Davis said. “Who would not be
afraid that his life is now in danger?
That’s what precipitated this.”
Nelini Stamp of Rise Up Georgia
said the protestors at the all-night
rally wanted “to celebrate the life
of Kevin Davis but also to demand
justice.”
The support of the protestors is
much needed, said Delisa Davis, a

See Justice on page 12A

championnewspaper

championnews

Protestors have successfully fought for an investigation by the Georgia Bureau
of Investigations into the December 2014 shooting death of a Decatur man by a
DeKalb County police officer. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

championnewspaper

champnews

local

Page 2A The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015

Doraville hires Sears for pool services
by Ashley Oglesby
ashley@dekalbchamp.com
The city of Doraville
hired a new vendor to operate the city’s pool for the
2015 season at its Feb. 2
council meeting.
Parks and Recreation
Director Rip Robertson
suggested the city approve
Sears Pool Management
Consultants to provide pool
services for an estimated
$28,300.
“Their proposal is very
similar to all the rest, but
they’re middle of the pack
when it comes to pricing,”
said Robertson.
Sears has provided pool
management services to
community pools, country
clubs, municipal pools and
condo associations since
1997.
Robertson said, “Their
references are very good and
not just with their customers.
“I’ve talked to some suppliers and trainers and they all
speak highly of Sears Pool
Management Consultants.”
In addition to regular
pool maintenance, pool
equipment repair and replacement, resurfacing, tiling, coping and deck work,
pool cover installation, pool
furniture sales and repair,
Sears has agreed to provide
up to four lifeguards to supervise public swimming,
swim lessons and other organized pool activities such
as water aerobics.
Councilwoman Maria
Alexander said, “This is
exciting that we are giving someone else a chance.
We’ve heard some concerns
about lifeguard staffing–
safety needs to be concern
number one.”
The lifeguards provided
by Sears also will be responsible for the upkeep and
cleanliness of the pool, deck
and bathhouse. Sears will
provide a supervisor as well
as a pool manager that will
meet with Doraville officials
twice a month to report on
the facilities.
According to the company’s reports Sears certifies
their lifeguards through the
American Red Cross Lifeguard Training program.
The training includes
courses on preventing disease transmission and meets
Occupational Safety and
Health Administration requirements.

The Doraville pool will
open on Memorial Day
weekend through Labor Day
weekend.
Water aerobics start the
first week of June and continue until school returns to
session in DeKalb County.
The pool will be only
open on weekends in the
months of August and September while the DeKalb
County schools are in session.
Sears Pool Management Consultants team up to provide services for Doraville.

THE CELEBRATION LASTS 28 DAYS;
THE CONTRIBUTION, A LIFETIME.
No amount of time would be sufficient to recognize all of the
trailblazers who saw what no one else could, did what no one
else dared and gave us all what we needed most. Georgia Power
is proud to honor the achievements of African-Americans
throughout Black History Month and more importantly beyond.

Connect With Us

georgiapower.com

The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015

local

Page 3A

Business association sees expanded
role for scholarship breakfast
by Kathy Mitchell
The South DeKalb Business Association (SDBA) has for seven years annually provided scholarships to aspiring
students at Georgia Piedmont Technical
College. Starting last year, the scholarships have been presented as part of a
breakfast event that organizers say involves more than eggs and toast.
“We decided the best way to continue moving south DeKalb in the right
direction and undergird the work we do
at the association is to help those who
are likely to be its future business leaders,” explained SDBA President Milton
Kirby. “We want the event to be more
than a presentation program. We want
it to be a source of information and inspiration. That was the thinking behind
making the event a business forum as
well as a scholarship breakfast.”
“We asked ourselves how we can
best support small businesses—especially female- and minority-owned
businesses,” added board member
Anna Henderson. “We asked what we
can do to help our young people be
the business leaders of tomorrow. We
decided to put them in the room with
people who have valuable information
for them.”
This year’s keynote speaker is Cassius Butts, regional administrator of
the U.S. Small Business Administration, an independent agency of the
federal government created in 1953 to
assist those who want to start or build
independent businesses. Kirby noted
that the Small Business Administration
works with the types of businesses that
are prevalent in south DeKalb.
“Fourth District Congressman
Hank Johnson will be there as well,
and we’re expecting him to bring several members of his staff, who will be
on hand to advise on specific concerns
business owners may have,” Kirby
added.
There will be representatives of the
business community, including Willie A. Watkins, president and CEO
of Willie A. Watkins Funeral Home,

and Mitchell A. Martin, manager partner of Martin, Harps, & Syphoe Inc.
and cofounder of Global Concessions.
“We want future business leaders as
well as those now operating businesses
to hear some of the success stories right
here in our community,” Kirby said.
This year the program also includes
seniors at Redan High School, with
scholarships being awarded to students
who have chosen a curriculum in business or entrepreneurship. The number
and amount of the scholarships will
be determined by the amount raised,
according to Kirby. “We have several
corporate sponsors who have helped us
in the past, but the final numbers aren’t
in for this year. We’re committed to give
two to three scholarships at a minimum. Last year we gave four. We hope
to do more,” he said.
“In deciding to present the scholarships as part of an event we also saw
the opportunity to raise the profile of
the organization. We have been around
more than 36 years, and we have a full
calendar of activities throughout the
year, yet many in south DeKalb don’t
know who we are or what we do,”
explained LoyLene Jefferson-Shaw,
SDBA immediate past president. “Holding an event with prominent speakers
and guests is a way of increasing awareness of us.” Planners anticipate approximately 200 attendees at this year’s event.
As part of the application process
each scholarship seeker is required to
write an essay. “This not only helps us
determine which applicants are most
likely to make good use of the opportunity we’re helping to provide, it encourages young people who want to go into
business to think through in a detailed
way what they want to accomplish and
where they see themselves headed in
the future,” said board member Linda
Mayhand.
This year’s event will be on Friday,
Feb. 20, 8:30 – 10 a.m. at St. Philip
AME Church, 240 Candler Road, SE,
Atlanta. For more information, visit
www.sdba-inc.org.

Cedric Alexander, DeKalb’s top law enforcement official, said he supports an
independent investigation of a police-involved shooting death. See related story
on page 12A. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

Police department describes
police-involved shooting
Cedric Alexander, DeKalb
County’s deputy chief operations officer of public safety,
called a Feb. 6 news conference
“to clarify some incorrect information…that has been reported” about the police-involved
shooting death of a Decatur
man.
According to Alexander,
on Dec. 29, 2014, Officer Joseph Pitts was dispatched to
an apartment on 100 Pine Tree
Circle, at approximately 9 p.m.
“Upon Officer Pitts arriving to the scene, and as he
approached that apartment,
he could hear screaming and
yelling coming from inside” the
apartment, Alexander said.
“Let’s keep in mind: he
was responding to a 911 call of
someone being stabbed,” Alexander said.
Hearing the screaming,
Pitts, “according to witness
statements, banged on the door
of that apartment…and announced himself ‘DeKalb Po-

lice, DeKalb Police,’” Alexander
said.
When there was no response, only “continual yelling
and screaming from inside
that apartment,” Pitts, felt that
someone inside that apartment
may be in danger, according
to Alexander. When he slowly
pushed the unlocked door
open, “a large pit bull…charged
at officer Pitts,” Alexander said.
Pitts retreated back into the
hallway, followed by the “growling and aggressive,” dog.
Pitts “fired multiple shots,
striking the dog…[which]
retreated back into the apartment,” Alexander said.
Pitts still heard “yelling and
screaming coming from the
inside,” Alexander said. As he
walked back to that apartment,
Pitts was approached by Kevin
Davis and April Edwards, the
stabbing victim.
Pitts ordered Davis, who
was carrying a firearm, to drop
his weapon, Alexander said.

See Police on page 10A

The Champion Free Press, Friday Feb. 13, 2015

opinion

Page 4A

A better name than ‘Greenhaven’ needed
This letter is in response to
the Feb. 6 article about the
“Proposed South DeKalb city
named Greenhaven”, p14A.
by Ed Williams
Please select another
name for the city of South
DeKalb. I know that there
has to be a better name than
Greenhaven.
The process of picking
the name was not inclusive
and not very democratic.
The name does not represent the creativity, inspiration or productivity that
the Concerned Citizens
Cityhood of South DeKalb
(CCCSD) claims that this
new city would foster.
The name Greenhaven
for a new city is not a good
logo for any future sports
teams or marketing name. If
we are going to be the mecca
of the South, then the name
has to be on point.
The name Greenhaven
sounds like a church or rest
home or funeral home. It
sounds like a country town.
The CCCSD might have
selected the name Green
Acres, just like the TV show
from the ’60s and early ’70s.
There are a few cities with
the word “green” in their
name: West Green, Ga.;
Greenwood, S.C.; Greenwood, Miss.; and Greensboro, N.C. I do not want to
live in any of these cities.
This was an opportunity for the organization to

Ed Williams, Decatur

show and demonstrate some
creativity and talent and
leadership, and it failed. The
CCCSD should have had a
naming competition to select the name.
The proposed new city
would have a lot of houses of
worship so let’s call it “Heaven Gate.” This cityhood
effort is like a story, and it
goes like this,
“Once upon a time, there
was a city called Greenhaven. It was created from
a lot of little communities in
South DeKalb. There [were
a] few financial institutions,
a lot of fast food restaurants,
places of worship, and hair
and nail shops. The people
in the community did not
create or grow anything. It
was to be a vibrant suburb
city that competed with
the city of Atlanta. It would
have its own mayor, and
city council. The citizens
would not have to pay any
additional taxes for the key
to the new city. The found-

ers promised its citizens that
there would be economic
development, and better
municipal services. The jobs
would come from the fact
that the new city would have
to create a downtown, airport, stadium, courthouse,
jail, and police department,
etc. The city would have its
own downtown and be a haven for businesses and people to move, and we would
live happily ever after.”
I have been searching
all over the country for
evidence of the existence
of such a city, with similar
demographics and I cannot
find it.
It made me think of the
quote “A rose by any other
name would smell as sweet”
from William Shakespeare’s
play Romeo and Juliet.
The reference is often
used to imply that the names
of things do not affect what
they really are. I do not like
the name Greenhaven.
CCCSD does not represent the citizens and it
did not represent the citizens in picking the name.
This group is pushing an
idea without any study or
consensus from the citizens. The effort led by the
CCCSD does not seem to be
supported by the business
community.
This group thinks that
it is making a gumbo soup.
They are proposing to just
take a lot of neighborhoods
and lump them together and

call it a city.
The citizens should say
“No thanks.”
South DeKalb does not
have the tax base and the industries to support a city.
Our leaders should work
on improving community
police, schools and bringing
businesses into the community.
I think the citizens of
DeKalb would be better
served if the CCCSD would
file a court case against the
county and the other cities
in regards to the tax liabilities and pension obligations
that are not being shared by
all the property owners of
the county.
How a new city such
as the city of Dunwoody
or Brookhaven can not be
equally responsible for pension and bonds that were
already obligated prior to
their cityhood makes no
sense.
I do not believe that
the name Greenhaven will
transform the community
and provide sustainability
and abundance. The name
has no history and no link to
a vision of the future.
It seems to me that since
the leadership of DeKalb
county became AfricanAmerican, some of the
citizens in the county have
sought to gain local autonomy from the county. Much
of the county had been
structured the same way
since 1822. After the DeKalb

County citizens elected the
first Black CEO, many local
communities have sought
to become more locally
controlled by creating cities
that would control more of
its services from the county.
The local control movement
is a legacy of the changing
demographics of DeKalb
County and similar stories
throughout the metro area
region of Atlanta.
It seems that shotgun
cities are appearing all over
DeKalb County. Who will
pay the county bills once all
the local communities become cities? Will the county
file bankruptcy and then
north DeKalb merge with
Milton. What is the master
plan? I would suggest that
the state Legislature stop this
cityhood movement in the
county. The county needs
leadership on this issue. The
citizens should not remain
silent on this issue. The
cityhood efforts I believe
are a Trojan horse. There is
a hidden agenda, and the
citizens in the DeKalb, north
and south will be grabbled
up by the political realignment that is really going on.
We need leadership from the
state legislature. Where are
the community organizations on this issue?
I would like to be overjoyed by this cityhood effort,
but I cannot at this time and
moment.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015

opinion

Page 5A

One Man’s Opinion

Exercise the excise tax
“Before the income tax
was imposed on us just 80
years ago, government had
no claim to our income.
Only sales, excise and tariff
taxes were allowed,” perennial candidate and conservative Alan Keyes (1993), who
would later run for President
three times and lose his race
for U.S. Senator of Illinois to
then State Senator Barack
Obama in 2004.
A regular weekday rush
hour commute across metro
Atlanta can be pretty challenging, but when you have
three horrific pedestrian
fatalities on I-285, and an art
project mistaken for a potential bomb threat shutting
down the downtown connector as well as a series of
multi-vehicle pile-ups over
a period of three weeks, the
real frailties of our existing
transportation network are
beginning to show.
Most parties knowledgeable of Georgia’s transportation woes put the price tag
of replacing existing and
deteriorating infrastructure
and making the improvements and expansions to
improve congestion and
traffic flow at roughly $1
billion per year in new
spending. Though we are
all enjoying these lower gas

Bill Crane
bill.csicrane@gmail.com

Columnist

prices, our motor fuel tax
is a conglomeration of sales
and excise taxes. Sales taxes
are tied to each dollar within
the gallon price, meaning
lower gas prices mean lower
tax revenues. And in Georgia, currently only three of
every four cents collected
in gas sales taxes are being
budgeted back toward transportation expenses.
The Georgia Constitution obligates all state excise
taxes collected on motor
fuels to be spent solely on
transportation and related
expenses. Excise taxes are
fixed fees or duties charged
on the sale of specific merchandise, such as a gallon of
gasoline, diesel fuel or cigarettes and alcohol (the latter
often being referred to as sin
taxes). Yet finding or creat-

ing an unspent billion is no
easy task.
So, though it may in
some respects seem like
a shell game to some, the
GOP House leadership has
proposed a healthy bump in
the gasoline excise tax, closer to the amounts charged
in our neighboring states of
Florida and North Carolina,
while eliminating the state
sales tax on gas. Existing
SPLOSTs will be allowed
to continue through their
respective sunsets, and the
MARTA penny collected
in DeKalb, Fulton and now
Clayton counties will remain
untouched.
Before the ink dried on
this House proposal, many
cities and counties were crying foul on what they perceive as a tax shift. Though
both local government entities would be allowed to replace lost sales tax proceeds
with local excise taxes on
fuel, they are arguing both
the requirements to make
those hikes and the distribution mechanisms for divvying up the dollars collected
from the excise fees.
Governor Nathan Deal
is weighing in, favoring a
greater exercise of the excise tax, but also holding
up a yellow caution light on
House calls for $100 million

in additional bond funds for
mass transit expense and
another bond package for
bridges and major one-time
infrastructure needs. Deal
does not want to leave Georgia strapped with massive
new bonded debt as well as
the reserve cupboards bare,
as he found things upon
his arrival in the governor’s
mansion.
And though Lieutenant
Governor Casey Cagle and
the State Senate have yet to
weigh in on their version
of a transportation funding plan, they have already
made clear that doing nothing is not an option and that
Georgia now has a responsibility to begin partial funding and a series of longer
conversations on its proper
role in mass transit planning
and construction.
So, not unlike heading into rush hour traffic
knowing that some teeth
grinding, horn blaring and
general frustration are heading your way...we can expect
several weeks of similar
back and forth under our
Gold Dome, while we also
have great hope that before
things end in “sine die,” this
General Assembly will bite
the bullet, take the lead and
lay out a plan to fund and
build for Georgia’s future

transportation needs, not
just the BandAid-type solutions driven by the challenged financial resources
of our Great Recession.
And expanding an already
dedicated revenue source is
a practical and achievable
common sense solution,
without the long odds of a
constitutional amendment.
Exercise and expand the
gasoline excise tax. If we can
give $3.50 a gallon to BP
after that massive oil spill,
I don’t mind handing $2.50
again to the state of Georgia,
if it can help improve traffic flow and get me home in
time for prime time.
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.csicrane@
gmail.com. 

F ree P ress

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Chief Financial Officer: Dr. Earl D. Glenn
Managing Editor: Andrew Cauthen
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Photographer: Travis Hudgons
Staff Reporters: Carla Parker, Ashley Oglesby
The Champion Free Press is published each Friday by ACE III
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Statement from the publisher
We sincerely appreciate the discussion surrounding this and
any issue of interest to DeKalb County. The Champion was
founded in 1991 expressly to provide a forum for discourse
for all community residents on all sides of an issue. We have
no desire to make the news only to report news and opinions
to effect a more educated citizenry that will ultimately move
our community forward. We are happy to present ideas for
discussion; however, we make every effort to avoid printing
information submitted to us that is known to be false and/or
assumptions penned as fact.

local

Page 6A The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015

Storm Harvey

Storm Harvey is a
freshman at Agnes Scott
College and one of three
students in North America
selected to receive up to
$8,000 toward her education from the Cochlear
Americas Anders Tjellström
scholarship award.
Harvey was born three
months prematurely, weighing less than two and half
pounds, and without a left
ear canal which caused her

to be deaf in her left ear.
“This scholarship means
a lot to me, because honestly, there are very few perks
to being hearing-impaired
and it was awesome to be
able to turn something that
has been a hindrance to me
into something to help me
achieve my future goals,”
Harvey said.
When Harvey turned
6 years old, a tumor was
discovered in her right ear.
she had to undergo surgery
to replace one and a half
of the three middle bones
with prosthesis. Harvey said
she was left with moderate
hearing loss in her right ear.
“When I was 9 years
old, I received a Baha hearing implant behind my left
ear. For the first time, I
heard the sound of my own
footsteps, birds singing, rain
on the roof and understood
why people complain when
a baby cries a lot in a restaurant,” said Harvey.

She said the biggest effect the hearing aid has had
is in her social life.
Throughout middle
school Harvey said kids bullied her.
“The other kids started
to notice that if they came
up behind me and poked
me I would jump in surprise, as I could not hear
them. It was one thing the
doctors did not expect
when they were done doing
the best they could to fix my
hearing,” Harvey said.
“When one kid calls
your name in front and distracts you while another kid
creeps up behind you, only
to grab your shoulders a few
seconds later, it rattles you
to the core.
“It is the equivalent of
someone coming up behind
you in a dark alley in the
middle of the night and
grabbing you from behind;
it makes you really paranoid.”

Harvey said it was at
the South Carolina Governor’s school for science
and mathematics that she
learned her hearing impairment did not define who
she is.
“I believed that if I lived
around my classmates almost 24/7 they would, in
essence, be forced to accept
me,” she said.
Harvey said that she
made 10 friends during the
first week of school.
Now a freshman at Agnes Scott College, Harvey
said she has learned to accept her hearing impairment and live her life without shame.
“Yes, it is a part of me
and a part I am more than
willing to share with anyone. But my hearing impairment is not equal to who I
am. I am Storm, a first-year
student at Agnes Scott College, a horse and Disney
movie lover, a fanatic about

the color orange and, of
course, purple and I just so
happen to also be hearing
impaired,” Harvey said.
Harvey makes jewelry
when she has free time,
loves thrift shopping with
her best friend on the weekends and is involved with
several clubs on campus.
She’s received numerous academic recognitions.
Harvey won first place for
a written and oral presentation at the South Carolina
Junior Academy of Science
based on an eight-week
study at Dr. Mark Eckert’s
lab at the Medical University of South Carolina.
She also won the advanced placement (AP)
scholars with distinction
award for the number of
AP classes she enrolled in
as well as her scores on AP
exams.

If you would like to nominate someone to be considered as a future Champion of the Week, please contact Andrew Cauthen
at andrew@dekalbchamp.com or at (404) 373-7779, ext. 117.

Chamblee official recognized
by Ashley Oglesby
ashley@dekalbchamp.com
Chamblee Mayor Pro
Tem Dan Zanger was
recently re-elected and on
Jan. 25 awarded a certificate
of achievement by the
Georgia Municipal Training
Institute at the Georgia
Municipal Association
(GMA) annual mayors’ day
conference.
“I am honored to be reelected by my peers on the
council to serve as mayorpro-tem, honored to receive
this recognition from the
University of Georgia
Carl Vinsion Instituite and
the Georgia Municipal
Association, and humbled
to represent the citizens of
Chamblee and serve on the
city council,” Zanger said.
He added, “I’m very
proud of this achievement

Chamblee Mayor Pro Tem Dan Zanger recently received a certificate of
achievement by the Georgia Municipal Training Institute.

and proud to serve the city
of Chamblee. I am fortunate
to be part of a council that
recognizes and respects the
value of municipal training

and continuing education.”
The Georgia Municipal
Training Institute was
established as an effort of
GMA and the University

of Georgia’s Carl Vinson
Institute of Government
to provide a nationally
recognized series of training
programs for elected city
officials.
The Georgia General
Assembly passed legislation
in 1990 that requires city
officials elected after July
1991 to complete training
on administration and
operations of municipal
government.
Because state law
mandates that city officials
attend and complete
training courses pertaining
to their duties, each official
must register and fulfill
their required courses.
Additional courses are
also offered pertaining to
local government finance,
economic development,
ethics and other areas of
personal and professional

development.
Once a newly elected
official takes office, he or
she must enroll in their
required courses within the
first 12 months.
According to the GMA
courses are typically offered
in February or March of
each year, depending on the
number of newly elected
officials. If an elected
official has served before
and has been re-elected
he or she is still required
to take the newly elected
officials institute again.
To receive a certificate of
achievement, a city official
must complete a minimum
of 72 hours of training,
including at least 36 hours
from the required list. The
training program consists
of a series of more than 50
courses.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015

local

AroundDeKalb

Atlanta

Musuem invites witches and
wizards to new exhibit
The Public is invited for a variety
of fairy tale and mythology themed
activities that explore how poisons
have shaped stories throughout
history.  In conjunction with Fernbank Museum of Natural History’s
The Power of Poison exhibit, the
museum will host a witches and
wizards day. The event will take
place on Feb. 21, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
All activities planned will be included with the museum’s admission and are free for members.

calling (404) 727-6118.

Clarkston

Black History Month assembles
youth
Women Watch Afrika Inc,
Clarkston Interfaith Group and
the Community Building Group
will present its Black History
Month youth assembly on Feb. 14.
The event will take place at the
Clarkston Community Center at
3701 College Avenue, 1 - 4 p.m.
This event is free, open to the
public and wheelchair accessible.
Individuals needing additional
accommodations should contact
Glory Kilanko at (404) 759-6419
or gloryk_99@yahoo.com.

Decatur
Sons of the Union Veterans of
the Civil War forming new camp

Suhr-Sytsma

Carlos Museum arranges book
club
African creation stories are as
rich and diverse as the continent
itself. Some have themes that will
be familiar to those steeped in
Genesis, such as the Wapangwa
concept that the Word was the
motivating force behind creation,
or the Malozi story reminiscent of
the Tower of Babel. Others will be
new and startling, like the Kono
story in which Death is the original
force in the world, existing before
God. Nathan Suhr-Sytsma, assistant professor of English at Emory,
discusses The Origin of Life and
Death: African Creation Myths, focusing on a selection of memorable
West African stories, the book’s
singular editor, Ulli Beier, and a
reworking of one of the stories by
Irish poet Seamus Heaney.
The event will take place at
the Michael C. Carlos Museum on
Feb. 16, 7:30 – 9 p.m. $20 for Carlos Museum members; $25 nonmembers and includes the cost of
the text.  Registration is required by

The Sons of Union Veterans
of the Civil War (SUVCW) is a
fraternal organization dedicated to
preserving the history and legacy
of veteran heroes who fought and
worked to save the Union in the
American Civil War. Organized in
1881 and chartered by Congress in
1954, the group is the legal heir and
successor to the Grand Army of the
Republic.
The SUVCW is forming a new
camp, the General George Thomas
Camp #5, in Decatur.
Hereditary membership is
available to male descendants, 14
years of age (6 to 14 for juniors),
who meets requirements.
Associate membership is available to men who do not have the
ancestry to qualify for hereditary
membership, but who demonstrate
a genuine interest in the Civil War
and can subscribe to the purpose
and objects of the SUVCW. All associate members have the same
voting privileges as hereditary
members and can hold all offices
except national offices.
For further information about
the Gen. George Thomas Camp in
Decatur or to join, call Bill Browning at (404) 953-2525, or send an
email to SUVCWGeorgeThomas@
gmail.com.

Page 7A

p.m. at the Marriott Courtyard
Hotel and Decatur Conference
Center. Attendees can shake and
sip with local spirits in handson classes and exclusive tastings
during the event, which showcases
specialty spirits and handcrafted
cocktails. The event offers the latest
trends and tips for mixing drinks,
digging deeper into distilled
beverages, bitters, and more.
Marriott Courtyard Hotel is located
at 130 Clairemont Ave. Tickets can
be purchased at www.Freshtix.com.

pact of forming new cities in South
DeKalb Feb. 18 at This Is It. Elected
officials, community leaders and
experts in business development
have been invited to discuss job
creation, sustainability and business growth. Members are free with
annual membership and guests are
$20 in advance and $25 at the door.
This Is It is located at 2853 Panola
Road in Lithonia. To register, visit
www.events.r20.constantcontact.
com/register.

Homeless ministry to hold
fundraiser

UGA students to seek input from
Lithonia renters

Lady T’s Homeless Ministry
will hold its gala affair fundraiser
Saturday, Feb. 21, 5 to 9 p.m. The
event will be at Clairmont Presbyterian Church, Milligan Hall, 1994
Clairmont Road, Decatur. It will
include dinner, a DJ and a 50/50
raffle. Tickets are $35 per person or
$60 per couple. After 5 p.m. attire
is requested. For more information
and tickets, contact Sylvia at (404)
374-1035 or Lady T at (404) 3160774.

Lithonia is partnering with students from the University of Georgia to seek input from renters about
homeownership in Lithonia.
The students–who are enrolled
in a housing and community development course in the Department
of Financial Planning, Housing and
Consumer Economics at UGA’s
College of Family and Consumer
Sciences and the Georgia Initiative
for Community Housing–will conduct four focus group sessions with
renters about community needs
and barriers to homeownership in
Lithonia.
The input provided at these
sessions will help to identify needs
and how best to strengthen the
community. The first 50 renters
from Lithonia who reserve a spot
and attend a focus group session
will receive a $50 Walmart gift
card.
The sessions will be held Feb.
16 and March 2 from 6-7 p.m.
at Lithonia City Hall, 6920 Main
Street, and March 2, 2-3 p.m. at
city hall. Another session will be
held March 19, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at
the Terraces at Parkview, 6800 Park
Drive.
“We are excited about this opportunity to gather input from
renters to better understand how to
strengthen and build our community,” said Lithonia Mayor Deborah
A. Jackson. “We encourage Lithonia renters to actively engage in
this process as we seek to improve
our community by gaining their
input on these critical issues.”
Participants in the community
input session must have a reservation to receive a gift card. To
reserve a spot at one of the community input sessions, call or email
UGA faculty member Kim Skobba
at (706) 542-4951 or kskobba@uga.
edu.

Dunwoody
Dunwoody provides series of
workshops
The city of Dunwoody invites
residents, property owners, business owners and all other members
of the Dunwoody community to
share their hopes, dreams and concerns for the future of Dunwoody
at the Setting Our Vision community goals workshop.
The event will take place at 6
p.m. on Feb. 26 at the Kingswood
United Methodist Church.
Community members are encouraged to attend and come ready
to share their ideas. The workshop
will be hands-on, focused on collecting input about the city’s future,
specifically the overarching longterm vision and community goals
for land use and other service areas
provided by the city.

Lithonia

City to hold cocktail event

Chamber of Commerce to host
panel discussion

The inaugural “Decatur Stirs” will
be held Feb. 28, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.,
and March 1, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30

The Greater Lithonia Chamber
of Commerce will have a panel
discussion on the economic im-

local

Page 8A The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015

Construction project
causing delays on I-285
Construction work on I-285 has
been causing headaches for commuters.
The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is doing sign structure work on I-285, mostly on weekends.
GDOT officials said workers are updating the overhead exit signs and replacing
concrete slabs along the median wall.
The 19-mile project stretches from
the Ashford-Dunwoody exit to the Glen-

wood Road exit. The project is expected
to be completed at the end of the year.
If weather permits, work usually causes
one lane to be closed from 9 p.m. on Fridays, until 5 a.m. on Mondays.
GDOT encourages commuters to call
511 or visit511ga.org before departing
for real-time information on work status
and traffic conditions.

Columbia Theological Seminary’s
president dies after battle with cancer
by Nigel Roberts
Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur
is mourning the death of
President Emeritus Stephen A. Hayner. The Rev.
Dr. Hayner, 66, died Jan.
31, less than a year after
being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
He was widely known
nationally as a leader in
campus ministry. In 1988,
Hayner accepted the call
to serve as president of
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (U.S.A.), a nonde- Hayner
nominational ministry to
president. “When he left
students on college camin 2001, the fellowship
puses nationwide. He led
was healthy, and the board
the organization during
fully engaged. He is one
a turbulent period of its
of the kindest and most
long history.
authentic people I’ve ever
“Steve brought pastoknown.”
ral care, healing and hope
In 2009, Hayner beto an InterVarsity comcame Columbia’s ninth
munity that had underpresident. He went on
gone much trauma in the
medical leave this past
1980s,” recalled Alec Hill, summer while undergoing
the current InterVarsity

cancer treatment, and died
surrounded by family and
close friends.
Dean of Faculty and
Executive Vice President
Deborah Flemister Mullen said, “Steve was not
only my closest colleague
on the administrative staff,
he was a beloved brother
in Christ and my friend.”
She added that his “gifts
of life” and God-inspired
commitment to inclusiveness have made the seminary a different place.
“That work is ongoing,” Mullen said. “We will
carry on as Steve would
want us to, gratefully and
joyfully.”
Hayner is survived by
his wife Sharol Hayner,
three children and five
grandchildren. A service to celebrate his life
is scheduled for 2 p.m.
on Feb. 23 at Peachtree
Presbyterian Church in
Atlanta.

Barrett

Adkins

Cheek

Krieg

Tedesco

Lenahan

Patrick

Dove

Dunwoody Police
Department receives awards
by Ashley Oglesby
ashley@dekalbchamp.com
The Dunwoody Police Department presented its 2014
achievement awards to eight officers and employees who have
made an impact throughout the
year.
They were recognized for
Officer of the Year, Employee
of the Year, Marksman of the
Year, Rising Star Award, Top
Cop, Officer of the Quarter and
Chief ’s Award.
Patrick Krieg, detective
sergeant of the criminal investigation division for the Dunwoody police department, was
named Top Cop from the department for the second year in
a row. He said he doesn’t think
he will be lucky enough to get
it again.
“It’s an honor to receive an
award like this from my agency.
We worked very hard to hire
extremely well rounded police
officers during our inception
and this makes yearly events
and awards like this very competitive and challenging to obtain,” said Krieg.
Krieg has worked in law enforcement since 2006, working
for the Atlanta Police Department and the Dunwoody Police

Department, where Krieg has
found himself a home.
“I enjoy the challenge of
criminal investigations and
would like to continue to run
the criminal investigation division for some time. Much further in the future I would like
to continue to ascend through
the ranks and help develop our
department,” he said.
He added, “The Dunwoody
Police Department is still a very
new agency, I hope to see it
continue to grow and maintain
the high standards that have
been set over the past six years.”
Krieg said he’s always wanted to be a police.”
“This job is extremely unpredictable; you can go from
0 to 100 back to 0 numerous
times a day. This keeps us on
our toes and looking forward to
the next shift, 911 call or investigation.”
He added, “No matter the
amount of controversy that surrounds this profession I truly
believe our work has purpose
and honor. These two things inspired me to pursue this career
and continue to inspire me to
do it every day. In its simplest
form there is nothing more
rewarding in this line of work
than catching the bad guy.”

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A BETTER WAY FORWARD
The Champion Ad.indd 1

1/5/15 12:56 PM

The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015

local

Page 9A

DeKalb County Sheriff’s deputies and officers from several local law enforcement agencies served hundreds of warrants during Operation Safe DeKalb in January. Pictured (bottom center photo) are DeKalb Sheriff’s Investigator Kerry Wilson, Deputy Travis Mitchell, Brookhaven Police Officer John Ritch and Grizz, his K-9 partner. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

Deputies ‘endeavor’ to serve warrants
by Andrew Cauthen
andrew@dekalbchamp.com
When deputies went to a house
on Safari Circle in Stone Mountain
on Jan. 29 looking for a suspect
wanted for first degree burglary, it
wasn’t the first time.
The resident said deputies had
been by before and got the same answer: The suspect doesn’t live there.
“She said she’s been here since
2008,” DeKalb County Sheriff ’s
Deputy Travis Mitchell said at the
house. “They have never got any
mail … for this guy. She said this
person has never lived here.”
“Unfortunately we get a lot of
bad addresses,” Wilson told the
woman. “People move around a lot.
It happens.”
The woman, frustrated, said,
“He’s never been here to move [from
here].”
The visit to the woman’s house
was part of Operation Safe DeKalb,
during which deputies “endeavored”
hundreds of warrants. “Endeavor” is
a term deputies use to describe the
process of trying to serve warrants.
During Operation Safe DeKalb,
the DeKalb County Sheriff ’s Office coordinated with 20 other law
enforcement agencies to serve warrants across DeKalb for individuals
wanted on felony and misdemeanor
charges. More than 225 arrests, including several murder suspects,
were made during the effort.
Many more endeavors were
unsuccessful. Some warrants led
deputies to vacant houses and oth-

ers to homes where residents said
the suspect did not live there. Some
suspects were already incarcerated
outside of DeKalb County.
One problem, said Major L. J.
Roscoe, the DeKalb County Sheriff ’s Department’s field division
commander, is that while warrants
are put on a state system “to show
there’s a warrant, there’s no database
that has a logging system…that
tracks the warrant as it relates to endeavors.”
In other words, when deputies
go out to serve a warrant, they usually have no way of knowing whether the suspect actually lives at the
address on the warrant, Roscoe said.
“Generally speaking, there are a
couple of ways warrants are issued,”
Roscoe said. “One, the victim can
[request a] warrant. In that case the
problem ends up being the victim
uses the last-known address.
“Let’s say it’s a domestic case and
they were living together,” Roscoe
said. “Say the female is taking out
the warrant on the male. She doesn’t
really know where he went. She’s going to use her address because you
have to have an address to obtain a
warrant.”
The person requesting the warrant will use whatever address they
have “versus not having anything
and then not being able to obtain
a warrant. So they’re either going
to give their address—they know
he doesn’t live there anymore—or
they’re going to give his mother’s
address, which is a potshot as to
whether he’s going to go back there.

“That presents a problem,” Roscoe said, “because we don’t know
that when we’re given a warrant.
We’re given a warrant with an address. Obviously if it’s a domestic
case and we see that the victim’s address matches the alleged offender’s
address, chances are they’re not going to be there.”
Roscoe said that on probation
warrants, the probation agencies
have the offenders fill out a personal
data form.
“If the person is on probation
for an extended amount of time…
and the probation office doesn’t ever
update that sheet, and [the suspect]
doesn’t violate until their third year
in, we’re using a three-year old address,” Roscoe said. “We then have
to do the research to try to find a
more current address.”
When deputies went to Maxey
Hill Court looking for an 11-yearold wanted for second degree burglary at a school in July 2014, the
house was vacant.
Warrants from police departments have the last known address
of the suspect.
“They don’t do any research in
advance,” Roscoe said. “Most of the
time detectives are working with the
victim, and they’re going to ask the
victim what the last known address
is.”
During Operation Safe DeKalb,
the resident of one house had a form
that had proof of incarceration of
her son.
After the form was presented,
Brookhaven Police Officer John

Ritch told the resident, “We’re going
to do everything in our power not to
have to come back out here again.”
Roscoe said, “Unfortunately
the state of Georgia doesn’t have a
database that communicates with
all the local jails. We can go on the
Department of Corrections website
to see if somebody’s incarcerated
in the prison system, but unless we
have a reason to believe they are in
the prison system, we don’t generally screen every single warrant under the assumption they could be in
prison.”
When a person is scheduled to
be released from jail or prison, that
institute generally runs “a systems
check to see if [the suspect has] any
outstanding warrants anywhere else
in the state,” Roscoe said.
But if a suspect wanted in
DeKalb is incarcerated in another
county, “there’s a high probability we
haven’t been notified,” Roscoe said.
Multiple endeavors by deputies
at a wrong address can occur “if our
deputies go out to a house and they
don’t really believe that the person is
telling the truth [about the suspect
not living there], of course, we’re going to re-endeavor at that same location,” Roscoe said.
“If there are any signs at the
house that the person may live there
or be temporarily staying there,
we’re going to come back out until
we definitely eliminate the possibility of them being there,” she said.

local

Page 10A The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015

County plans to pick
up trash once a week
by Andrew Cauthen
andrew@dekalbchamp.com
Twice-a-week trash
pick-up may soon be a thing
of the past.
Interim DeKalb County
CEO Lee May wants the
DeKalb County Board of
Commissioners to approve
a plan of the county’s sanitation division to switch to
one-day-a-week solid waste
and recycling collection.
The plan also includes uniform, county-provided trash
containers for residents.
“If the new initiative
is adopted by the board,
it will ensure efficiency of
our operations and keep
our neighborhoods cleaner
and more attractive,” May
said in a statement. “Our
residential sanitation rates
have remained constant for
the last eight years, and with
the launch of this initiative,
we will continue that trend.
We wish to remain fiscally
responsible in the face of
rising operating costs and at
the same time provide excellent customer service to
county residents.”
May’s recommendation follows an analysis of
customer feedback from a
three-month pilot program
that concluded in July 2014.
More than 28,000 residents
participated in the pilot
program. According to the
data, more than 75 percent
of customers in unincorporated DeKalb and the four
cities support the initiative.
In the new initiative,
residents will receive a standardized, 65-gallon green
county-provided trash container and all waste (solid
waste, recycling, and yard
trimmings) will be collected

on the same day. Residential
customers will not experience a rate increase.
Ruby Bozeman Davis,
of the Unhappy Taxpayer
and Voter watchdog group,
said she is “totally against”
once-a-week pick-up.
“I think that if you’re
going to have our sanitation picked up once a week,
you’re getting ready to fire
some people who need a
job,” she said during a recent
commission meeting.
“Those people work
hard for us,” Davis said.
“Dr. Martin Luther King
Jr. fought for the sanitation
workers. And I think trying
to get rid of the sanitation
workers is like spitting on
his grave. I think that’s the
most horrible thing you
can do. What’s wrong with
having our trash picked up
twice a week?”
DeKalb County sanitation director Billy Malone describes proposed changes to the county’s sanitation service.
In response, CommisPhoto by Andrew Cauthen
sioner Kathie Gannon said,
“It is my understanding, and
we want the community to
OBITUARY
understand, that we are not
USA Brigadier General (Retired) Clarence Blackwelder
firing sanitation workers.
Irwin, Jr., age 95, of Clarkesville, GA passed away on February
None of us would support
8, 2015, after a long and well lived life.
that.
He was born May 8, 1919 in Durham, North Carolina, the
only child of Clarence Blackwelder Irwin, Sr and Georgia Ai“We’re going to move to
leen Taylor Irwin. His father worked for the railroads and they
a different cycle of pickup,”
moved often, living in Gastonia, NC, Augusta, GA, Greenville,
Gannon said. “We now have
SC and finally Atlanta, GA. During his high school years he was
an age of technology. We
proud to achieve the Boy Scout Eagle rank. He graduated high
have more logistics. We can
school at Richmond Academy in Augusta, GA and from The
get these automated trucks
Citadel in the famous and most decorated Class of 1941. After
that require less people.
receiving his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the US
And those kinds of things
Army, he was called to Active Duty and was aboard ship in the
will be transitioned into. It’s
San Francisco Bay headed for the South Pacific when Pearl
going to take a while to do
Harbor was attacked and his ship was redirected to Hawaii
this. And during that time,
where he served in the 27th Infantry, 25th Division. During his 3 ½ years overseas he saw action on Guadalcanal and participated in campaigns in the Northern Solomons, New Georgia
people will be leaving the
Island, and Luzon, Phillipines. He was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart Medals
force.
for outstanding service.
“And perhaps we won’t
After being released from Active Duty he settled in Atlanta, and joined the Druid Hills Presbe replacing them. Some
byterian
Church, where he was a Scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts. He remained a member
of them will have different
there for over 60 years and served several terms as deacon and elder in the church, and was
jobs, but we are not firing
honored to be chosen as an Elder Emeritus. He spent most of his civilian career with the J.M
sanitation workers,” Gannon
Tull Metals Company starting as a salesman, then purchasing agent, and was later Inside Sales
said.
Manager and Manager of Employee Relations. He retired from J.M. Tull in 1981 after 30 years

Police Continued From Page 3A
“Mr. Davis did not adhere to [the] command and
at some point during that
interaction is when Officer
Pitts felt that his life was in
danger and he felt threatened,” Alexander said. “He
fired his service weapon
striking Mr. Davis, who
went down.”
Davis was transported
to Grady Hospital, where
DeKalb County Sheriff ’s
deputies eventually took
custody of Davis, who was
charged with aggravated assault on a police officer.
“Our hearts and our
prayers go out to the Davis

family,” Alexander said.
The police department
has finished its investigation into the shooting and
turned the case over to the
DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office.
The police department
also has asked the Georgia
Bureau of Investigation to
look into the shooting.
“If there is any question regarding the integrity
of our investigation…that
some people feel is unfair, I
wholeheartedly support…
an outside independent investigation,” Alexander said.

of service.
Clarence proudly served over 30 years in the Georgia Army National Guard and retired as a
Brigadier General. He served as President of the National Guard Association of GA, and President of the Purchasing Agents Association of GA.
He was a member of the Military Order of World Wars, the World War II Roundtable, the
Citadel Club of Atlanta, The Palestine Lodge#486 and the Kiwanis Club of Atlanta. He was an
active member of the Druid Hills Golf Club for many years and was a Life Member with 70
years of membership at the Atlanta Athletic Club.
In addition to his parents, Clarence was preceded in death by his beloved wife, after 60 years
of marriage, Florrie Yarbrough Bryan Irwin.
He is survived by their four daughters, Susan Irwin Grills (Dennis), Laura Irwin Rogers (Terry), Dr. Nancy Irwin Weiss (Don) and Mary Irwin Spearman (Brad); grandchildren, Melissa
James (Derek), Courtney Evans (Joe), Leslie Bacon (Tripp), Nathan Rhodes, Lindsey Rhodes,
and Taylor Spearman; three great grandsons and two great granddaughters; and his very dear
friend, Mary Ann Minyard.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made, in memory of Clarence Irwin, to: The
Boy Scouts of America, Troop 48, 416 Rhododendron Lane, Sautee, GA 30571; The USO, P.O.
Box 20963, Atlanta, GA 30320; Hospice of Northeast Georgia Medical Center, 2250 Limestone
Parkway, Suite 222, Gainesville, GA 30501.
Graveside services were held 11:00 am Wednesday, February 11, 2015, at Floral Hills Memory Gardens 3000 Lawrenceville Hwy, Tucker GA 30084, with Dr. Phil DeMore officiating and full
military honors provided by the Georgia National Guard. A celebration followed at the Atlanta
Athletic Club
An online guest register is available and may be viewed at www.mcgaheegriffinandstewart.
com. McGahee-Griffin & Stewart Funeral Home of Cornelia was in charge

In

The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015

WEEK

local news

Pictures

Dr. Otis Brawley with DeKalb Superior Court Clerk Debra
DeBerry.

Dr. Otis Brawley

Page 11A

DeKalb History Center Executive Director Melissa Forgey and Steen Miles flank
Brawley with his award.

Honoring achievements in medicine
DeKalb History Center’s eight
annual Black History Month Celebration held Feb. 10 honored
Otis W. Brawley, M.D., F.A.C.P.,
chief medical officer for the
American Cancer Society for his
achievements in cancer preven-

tion, research and education. Dr.
Roderick Badger and Dr. Charles
R. Drew were also honored posthumously.
The event was emceed by
former Senator and journalist
Steen Miles. Sponsors included

DeKalb Sheriff Jeff Mann congratulates Brawley.

23

The Champion Newspaper, DeKalb
Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, M.
Cary & Daughters, city of Decatur,
Decatur Downtown Development
Authority, DeKalb Medical, Jackson Spalding and Zest Atlanta.

Steen Miles emceed the event.

Dr. Otis Brawley with Champion co-publisher Dr. Earl D. Glenn. Photos by Travis Hudgons

Photos brought to you by DCTV
DCTV Channel 23
@DCTVChannel23

Get your front row seat to all things DeKalb County
through your EMMY Award-winning station

DeKalb County Gov
Ustream.tv/channle/DCTV-Channel-23
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015

local news

Page 12A

Club allows adults to discuss
children’s literature
by Kathy Mitchell
“Adults talk about children’s literature when only
adults are present differently
from the way they talk about
it when children are present,”
observed Laurel Snyder, one
of the founders of Kidliterate.
That thought was behind the
creation of the book club for
adults interested in discussing children’s literature.
“Some of us have children.
Some of us work with children and all of us were children, so we’re interested in
what’s available for children
to read,” Snyder said.
Member Corey Jones, a
mental health professional,
said she finds that many
adults with mental disabilities prefer reading books
written for children.
The first meeting of what
members describe as “a new
kind of book club” was held
in September 2014. The
group, which meets at Charis Books and More in the
Candler Park area, reads one
book each month, alternating between one written for
children and one classified as
young adult fiction.
“We look for books that
push the boundaries of what
kidlit is ‘supposed to do,’ and
give preference to stories that
some might call ‘edgy’ or
‘controversial.’ We seek books
that offer exposure to the
world our kids are growing
up in, as well as imaginary
landscapes,” Snyder said,
adding that the group also
tries for a mix of books by
male and female authors as
well as authors of various
ethnic backgrounds.
“There’s nothing wrong
with children’s books that
are sold in the national
chain bookstores,” Jones
commented. “We just want
people to look at a wider
range of books. It’s OK if
your child is reading a book
about unicorns, but if the
last two books she read were
also about unicorns, maybe
it’s time to look at some of
the non-unicorn books out
there.”
“The national book sellers have a huge influence on
what children are reading.
There’s no getting around
that. We just want to broaden
the range of what they’re telling us to read. When books
that explore topics that aren’t
usually in children’s books
are available, people will buy
them,” Snyder said, recalling

Kidliterate members, standing from right, Sarah Trowbridge and
Laurel Snyder, and, seated from left, Corey Jones and Jennifer
Burrell, gather at Charis Books and More for their January meeting.

a book fair at which a book
about a child who used a
hearing aid sold out quickly.
“People tend to shy away
from controversial topics when they’re writing or
choosing books for children,
but children can handle a lot
more than you think they
can,” said Jennifer Burrell,
another member of the club.
The book the group discussed at its Jan. 27 meeting
was Inside Out & Back Again
by Thanhha Lai, a novel in
verse about Vietnam refugees. 
“It gave me some interesting insights into the Vietnam
war,” Snyder said. “I was a
child when the war going
on and I only knew it as
something my parents were
against. I really didn’t know
anything about the war.”
Children’s books that go
beyond colorful fantasies and
stories of fairs and birthday
parties also provide a basis
for discussion of serious topics between parent and child,
Snyder said. “If a child asks
about death or gay relationships or some other matter
that’s bound to surface in
their everyday experience,
the parent can say, ‘Do you
remember that book we read
about that?’ and the book
provides a starting point for
the child to express his or her

feelings and for the parent
to explain things that might
otherwise not be easy to explain.”
“I’ve never stopped reading children’s literature,”
Burrell said. “I read other
books too, of course, but I
love reading books I can discuss with children who read
them as well.”
The club’s structure is
informal. There are no officers, dues or strictly enforced
rules. “You’re expected to
read the book,” explained
Sarah Trowbridge, another
founding member, who’s
a librarian. “But we aren’t
hardnosed if someone didn’t
get to finish it; we know they
intended to.”
Meeting in person, Snyder
said, is important to members. “There are lots of blogs
and online book clubs, but
what’s said online is available
to everybody, including the
authors and publishers. We
wanted a space where people
could discuss books freely
and not be concerned about
what those who have a stake
in those books think about
what we say,” she explained
Members chuckle recalling an online request for
minutes from their last meeting. “Like we take minutes,”
Trowbridge said.

Dozens of protestors rallied at the DeKalb County Courthouse
seeking an independent investigation into a police-involved shooting death. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

Justice Continued From Page 1A
sister of Kevin Davis.
“I’m devastated,” Delisa
Davis said.
“My brother called for
help because his girlfriend
had been stabbed,” she said.
“The officer let himself into
the house. My brother didn’t
know it was an officer. All
he hears is gunshots because
the dog—he has a pitbull
dog—came to the door.”
Police said they knocked,
but had they knocked, her
brother’s dog would have
barked, Delisa Davis said.
“The officer let himself
in and he subsequently shot
and killed the dog,” said
Delisa Davis, who has had
to rely on witness accounts.
“My brother, hearing the
gunshots in the room, just
comes out of the [bedroom]
with his firearm and he’s
gunned down.”
Delisa Davis said that after the shooting, the family
was not allowed to see her
brother until after he died.
She said they were not al-

lowed to visit him because
he was in police custody; he
was charged with aggravated
assault on a police officer.
In a statement, DeKalb
County Sheriff Jeff Mann
said, “It is also our practice
not to allow inmate visitation except in the most grave
situations, and then with the
confirmation of that condition by the medical professionals at the facility. 
“Tragically, Mr. Davis
succumbed to his wounds
while being treated at Grady
Hospital.  In the interest of
transparency, however, we
will review the circumstances regarding his condition
and any visitation requests,”
Mann stated.
In addition to a GBI investigation, Delisa Davis
said the family wants to see
the officer held accountable,
to see Kevin Davis’ name
cleared, and DeKalb County
Police to be more transparent in their findings.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015

local

Page 13A

Commissioners end stalemate over District 5 seat
by Andrew Cauthen
andrew@dekalbchamp.com
The DeKalb County
Board of Commissioners
took a step toward ending
the stalemate over District 5
representation.
The seat has been vacant
since July 2013, when Lee
May, the elected District 5
commissioner, was appointed interim DeKalb County
CEO by Gov. Nathan Deal,
following the indictment
and suspension of DeKalb
County CEO Burrell Ellis.
Last year, May appointed
a three-member panel to
select two recommendations from 20 applicants for The District 5 seat may be filled in a few weeks. File photo.
a temporary commissioner.
In August, May nominated
to ensure the residents of
ment. You promise in your
Lithonia resident George
District 5 have voting repre- mission statement that all
Turner Jr., president of
sentation.
stakeholders will have reprethe District 5 Community
Before the commission- sentation.
Council and former legisla- ers’ Feb. 10 vote to reject
“Until District 5’s seat is
tive aide in District 43 of the Turner’s nomination, Lifilled, we demand and exGeorgia State Senate, for the thonia resident Dr. Barbara pect [that]…no budget is to
seat.
Lee said that a group of
be passed without our vote
After a stalemate among voters were at the meeting
and our voice being a part
commissioners kept the seat to “make sure our voice and of the budgetary process
open, May asked Deal to ap- our votes are counted. We
[and that] no presiding ofpoint a temporary commis- have been without repreficer should be elected,” Lee
sioner. Deal refused, saying
sentation for more than 18
said. “We will continue to
he only has the legal author- months. This is a violation
monitor your actions until a
ity to do so when an official of your own mission stateseat at the table…is there for
has been indicted or if there
is no quorum.
On Feb. 5 May released
a statement asking commissioners to do what Commissioner Jeff Rader had been
pushing for.
Rev. Dr. George
Over his ministry,
“I am asking the Board
Moore, former senior
Moore mentored more
of Commissioners to deny
pastor of Saint Philip Afthan 30 men and women
my nomination of George
rican Methodist Episcopal into the ministry.
Turner,” May stated. “Per the
Church, Atlanta, died Feb.
The celebration of
Organizational Act, Section
8, at 4:22 a.m.
life will be Saturday, Feb.
13-A, this paves the way for
Moore, who pastored 14, at 10:45 a.m. at Saint
my second and final nomiSaint Philip African
Philip African Methodnation, which the Board
Methodist Episcopal
ist Episcopal Church, 240
of Commissioners should
Church for 42 years,
Candler Road SE, Atlanta.
immediately deny.  At that
“was one of the largest
Senior Pastor Rev. Wilpoint, the Board of Comcontributors to the Afriliam D. Watley will offimissioners can appoint their
can Methodist Episcopal
ciate. Interment will be at
choice for District 5 autonoChurch worldwide,” acSouthview Cemetery. 
mously.”
cording to his obituary.”
Viewing will be FriMay stated, “In light of
Moore retired from
day, Feb. 13, from 10 a.m.
the governor’s decision, we
Saint Philip African
to 5 p.m. at Gregory B.
must take decisive action
Methodist EpiscoLevett and Sons Funeral
pal Church in April
Homes & Crematory Inc.,
2011. Under his leader4347 Flat Shoals Parkway
ship, the church member- Decatur. A wake service
ship grew from just over
will be held on Friday,
100 to more than 7,000
Feb. 13, from 6 to 8 p.m.,
members.
at Saint Philip African
Methodist Episcopal
​ ​In 1998, the church
Church 240 Candler Road
built an $8 million,
SE, Atlanta.
47,000-square-foot
In lieu of flowers,
sanctuary with a seating
make
a contribution
capacity of more than
in
memory
of Rev. Dr.
2,500. Eight years later
Moore
to
Saint
Philip
in 2006, a $12 million
AME
Church.
70,000-square-foot FamFor more service inily Life Center was added
formation,
text RevG to
to the campus.​ ​
72727.

District 5.”
After nearly three min-

utes of silence at the podium
during the commissioners’
meeting, DeKalb NAACP
president John Evans said,
“This is just one of the ways
that you can do nothing.
I hope the commissioners
will….do something.”
May’s second nominee
for the District 5 seat is
Kathryn Rice, president
of Building Quality Communities and chairwoman
of Concerned Citizens for
Cityhood of South DeKalb
Inc., the group pushing for
the proposed south DeKalb
city of Greenhaven. If she is
rejected by commissioners,
that will make it possible for
the board to make its own
choice of an interim District
5 commissioner.

IT DOESN’T
TAKE
A
GENIUS
TO KNOW THAT WHEN YOU PLAY,

GEORGIA’S KIDS WIN.

Longtime pastor of Saint
Philip A.M.E. Church dies

It’s elementary, actually. See, every time you play the Lottery,
you’re helping our kids get one step closer to their dreams.
For over 20 years the Georgia Lottery has contributed more
than $16 billion to education. On top of that, more than 1.7
million HOPE scholars have gone to college and more than
1.3 million four-year-olds have attended a Lottery-funded
Pre-K Program. Add those numbers up and, well, let’s just say
that’s a hair-raising number of happy kids.

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Education

The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015

Page 14A

Accrediting consultants
approve DeKalb schools
by Ashley Oglesby
ashley@dekalbchamp.com
To qualify for HOPE scholarships, students must attend
schools accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and
Schools or the Georgia Accrediting Commission (GAC).
On Jan. 24-26 Georgia Accrediting Commission Consultant Robert Boyd and his team
visited all 23 DeKalb County
high schools and gave an exit report at the Feb. 2 Board of Education meeting.
“We found them to be very
well organized when we got
down to checking the standards
and documentation. The documentation was outstanding,”
Boyd said.
Boyd added, “We even
checked restrooms last week.
We did not find a single dirty,
filthy, restroom.”
Boyd and his team of consultants will send their reports to

the Georgia Accrediting Commission board meeting, scheduled for the first weekend in
March. Boyd said he anticipates
every high school in DCSD will
be approved for full accreditation.
The GAC is an independent agency that is governed
by a board of elected educators
who have an interest in education in Georgia. Membership of
the governing board represents
teachers, instructional supervisors, school administrators,
regional educational service
agency personnel, Georgia Department of Education personnel and college personnel who
are responsible for the preparation of teachers and other professional educators.
The agency aims to establish standards for instruction
of children in Georgia and to
encourage schools to meet the
established standards.

Georgia Accrediting Commission Consultant Robert Boyd reports on the quality of DeKalb County
Schools that he visited.

DeKalb County Board of Education members receive praise from and accrediting agency about the
conditions of schools.

Consolidation team’s work will focus on opportunities
by Rebecca Rakoczy
The Georgia Perimeter
College (GPC) and Georgia
State University Consolidation Implementation Committee met for the first time
Jan. 30 at the University
System of Georgia’s (USG)
Board of Regents office in
Atlanta.
During the next 18
months, the 42-member
committee will craft the
mission statement, goals and
direction of the new institution. The team—which
includes GPC President Rob
Watts, Georgia State President Dr. Mark Becker and
20 representatives from each
institution—will be guided
by Shelley Nickel, USG vice
chancellor for strategic planning and implementation,
and led by Becker, who will
preside over the consolidated institution.
Becker spoke about the
close relationship that already exists between the two
institutions.
“Twenty percent of
Georgia State’s undergradu-

GPC President Rob Watts, at left in this photo of a consolidation town
hall meeting, serves on the Consolidation Implementation Committee,
which is being led by Georgia State President Dr. Mark Becker, right.
Shelley Nickel, center, USG vice chancellor for strategic planning and
implementation, will help guide the team. (photo by Bill Roa)

ates come from GPC,” he
said. “Our two institutions
have had a close academic
relationship going back decades.”
USG Chancellor Hank
Huckaby encouraged the
group to take advantage of
the opportunity to make history in public higher education. He also asked them to
look at “what is best for students—not necessarily what

is best for the institution.”
Nickel shared experiences
from prior consolidations
and stressed the importance
of leadership, communications, stakeholder engagement and transparency.
Watts noted that it is
rare in higher education to
be able to create something
entirely new.
“This is a legacy moment,” he said.

A prospectus, which will
include the mission statement, organizational structure and operations plan for
the consolidated institution,
must be presented by Sept.
15 to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
(SACS) for review at its December 2015 meeting.
During the meeting,
Nickel introduced Dr. Ed
Rugg, the Board of Regents’
SACS consultant who has
guided four other USG consolidation efforts, the most
recent of which was that of
Southern Polytechnic State
University and Kennesaw
State University. Rugg will
work with the implementation committee as it moves
forward.
If SACS approves the
union, the Board of Regents
has 30 days to validate the
action and is expected to
review and approve the consolidation plan during its
January 2016 meeting. The
aim is for the two institutions to function as one entity by July 1, 2016, and for
students to officially begin

attending the consolidated
institution in fall 2016.
GPC members of the
team reflected on the opportunities the consolidation
presents.
“It is striking how much
GPC and Georgia State have
for years had in common
with students and faculty,”
said Dr. Paul Hudson, who
teaches history at Georgia
Perimeter. “As a Georgia
State alumnus and a GPC
professor, I look forward to
our exciting goal of consolidating two distinguished institutions of higher learning
that I love deeply.”
Debra Denzer, GPC
Faculty Senate chair, was
reassured by the tone of the
committee’s first meeting.
“I think an important
takeaway was that the consolidation team’s recommendations will be driven
by what is best for students
and that the timeline does
not preclude inclusive, deep
and thoughtful conversation
during decision-making.”

The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015

TheChampion

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business

The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015

Page 16A

Decatur Business Association marks 30th anniversary
by Kathy Mitchell

strengthen Decatur’s commercial district.
In the mid-1980s a
In addition to being
group of business ownopen to retail merchants, the
ers and service managers
DBA invited into its memdiscussed how to revitalize
bership attorneys, accounDecatur’s downtown, taptants, real estate agencies,
ping into its potential as an
insurance companies and
attractive place to live, work others who had been previand play.
ously excluded.
“There was a merchants’
“There also was an assoassociation but its member- ciate membership category
ship was small and it had no established for residents
active programs. It also was
who weren’t business owners
open only to retail business
but wanted to be involved
owners. Many of the busiin the city’s development,”
nesses in downtown Decatur Menne said. “The founders
then, as now, were service
of Decatur Business Associand professional firms,” reation thought they would be
called Lyn Menne, now De- lucky to build the membercatur assistant city manager, ship to 100. Now there are
heading community and
hundreds of members.
economic development.
“City government, the
There also was the Deca- Decatur Downtown Detur Downtown Development velopment Authority and
Authority, created by the city the Decatur Business Asgovernment in 1982, but the sociation are three legs of
business community decidthe same stool, working to
ed another organization was support and promote downneeded. The Decatur Busitown Decatur,” she observed.
ness Association (DBA) was
DBA’s major accomplishincorporated in 1985 as the
ments during its 30-year
nonprofit membership part- existence include providing
ner of the authority, forming street name signs with the
a public-private alliance to
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district, raising $25,000 toward the community bandstand—the gazebo in the
square where concerts are
held—and raising an additional $25,000 to help fund
the 2006 MARTA Plaza redevelopment.
Among the DBA’s first
projects was creating a
special event, designed to
develop excitement about
the downtown area and
bring residents together.
“There wasn’t much money
to promote Decatur and the
thinking was that we should
start by promoting the city
to its own residents. We
want those who live here
to feel a sense of ownership
and pride—a strong sense
of community. If we aren’t
able to convince the people
who live in Decatur the city
is terrific, we wouldn’t have
much chance of convincing the rest of the world,”
Menne said.
“We set out to create an
event that would be safe, fun
and unlike anything already
in the Atlanta area,” she
noted.
The result was the De-

catur Beach Party, which
Menne describes as Decatur’s “signature event.” Now
an annual festival in which
the city brings in loads of
sand for a family evening
that includes dancing, live
music, food and drink vendors, games and opportunities to play in the sand, the
Beach Party continues to
grow each year.
“The beach party is a
fundraiser that provides revenue for other events such
as concerts that are free to
the public, but primarily
it’s a friend raiser. We want
people to come to Decatur,
have fun and want to come
back,” Menne said.
In addition to supporting the Concerts on
the Square and Blue Sky
Concerts, sponsored each
May through September by
DBA, funds from the beach
party also support the annual Easter egg hunt, the
Pied Piper Fourth of July
Parade, Breakfast with Santa
and the Holiday Bonfire and
Marshmallow Roast. The
bonfire and marshmallow
roast is held in conjunction

with Terrific Thursdays, a
November and December
promotion designed to encourage holiday shoppers to
spend their dollars in downtown Decatur.
DBA is a volunteer-driven organization that Menne
said is perfect for those who
are new to Decatur and want
to get involved in the community. “We have a large,
highly active volunteer network that’s a real source of
pride here in Decatur,” she
added. “Through it, residents and business owners
get to work together and really get to know one another.
Few communities have anything like it.”
Like other business associations, DBA works to
strengthen the business
community, but its focus
is on also on bolstering the
community as a whole,”
Menne said. “I feel we’re
unique among business associations. We’re not into
lobbying, we’re into relationship building.”

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING 
   Notice is hereby given by the City of Doraville City Council that a Public Hearing on the following item will be held 
by the Doraville City Council in the Council Chamber located at 3725 Park Avenue, Doraville, Georgia on the 
following date: 
City Council Meeting 
Monday, March 2, 2015 
6:30 p.m. 
   Application for the Special Area Plan under Article XX Livable Community Form Based Code for the site formerly 
known as the General Motors Doraville Assembly Plant as shown on the City of Doraville Zoning Map as Special 
District 1 (SD1) and so identified on the Regulating Plan of the Livable Community Form Based Code (LCC) Article XX.  
Said property being commonly referred to as 3900 Motors Industrial Way, City of Doraville, Georgia. 
 

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING 
   Notice is hereby given by the City of Doraville City Council that a Public Hearing on the 
following item will be held by the Doraville City Council in the Council Chamber located at 3725 
Park Avenue, Doraville, Georgia on the following date: 
City Council Meeting 
Monday, March 2, 2015 
6:30 p.m. 
   Text Amendment to City of Doraville Code Section 23‐911 M‐1 Light Manufacturing to delete 
the restriction on the manufacture, bottling, and canning of alcoholic beverages. 

 

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING 
   Notice is hereby given by the City of Doraville City Council that a Public Hearing on the following item 
will be held by the Doraville City Council in the Council Chamber located at 3725 Park Avenue, Doraville, 
Georgia on the following date: 
City Council Meeting 
Monday, March 2, 2015 
6:30 p.m. 
   Application for a conditional use permit to conduct tax preparation and filing services at 5187 Buford 
Highway, Suite 68.  
 

The Voice of Business in DeKalb County

DeKalb Chamber of Commerce

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www.DeKalbChamber.org

The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015

Sports

Page 17A

Miller Grove basketball player Gamaun Boykin reads to a kindergarten
class.

Druid Hills wrestling coach Shannon Miller reached a milestone Jan. 20 when he got his 500th win. Photo
provided

Druid Hills’ wrestling
coach gets 500th win
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
Druid Hills High School
wrestling Coach Shannon
Miller put his name in the
DeKalb County athletics
record books with his 500th
win Jan. 20.
The milestone win came
during a regular season
meet against M.L. King and
Charles Drew at Druid Hills.
Miller said he felt a strong
sense of accomplishment after getting the win.
“It made me think about
the many athletes I have
come in contact with over
the years,” Miller said.
Miller, a South Carolina native, wrestled in high
school and college at South
Carolina State University. It
was his brothers, who were
also wrestlers, who encouraged him to try wrestling
and judo.
“They saw the benefits and encouraged me to
participate,” he said. “The
challenges that I had to
overcome to be a successful
wrestler and the feelings that
come with being successful
are what made me love the
sport.”
During his last years at
South Carolina State, Miller
had the opportunity to work
with high school wrestlers.
That experience led him to

become a wrestling coach.
“Being able to train
young athletes and to watch
them grow in the sport and
as young men made me realize how much coaching is
a part of who I am and what
I love to do,” he said.
He has been coaching
since 1991. After moving to
Georgia, he started coaching at Redan High School.
He also coached at McNair
High before he began his
11-year tenure at Columbia
High.
At Columbia he coached
his first state champion in
1995. He left Columbia in
2005 to establish an inaugural wrestling team at Miller
Grove High. Miller has been
the coach at Druid Hills
since 2014.
Outside of coaching
state champions and winning county titles (five), he
has had other high moments
during his coaching career.
“It was also great to
watch the young teams
grow as a family and many
remain close today,” Miller
said. “The ability to have my
daughters Arielle, Anjellica
and Alexandria as managers on the teams that I have
coached and to have the
opportunity to coach my
son Shannon Jr., who is a
senior and on track to possibly place in state this year

are some of my greatest moments.”
There also have been
difficult moments in his
career as well—mostly seeing his wrestlers not reach
their goals of being a state
champion and seeing some
students quit.
With the state tournament (Feb. 12-14) coming
up, Druid Hills—which has
not had a state champion
since 1967— has contenders who could win a state
title. Junior Hakeem Enis,
senior Shannon Miller Jr.,
sophomore DeMarco Mosley and junior Jordan Page
were gold medal winners in
the Area Tournament Jan.
30-31.
“I believe each of these
young men has the ability
of winning a state title this
year, but the road will be
hard,” Miller said. “I believe
we will be able to have a
state champion if not this
season definitely by next
year.
“As far as a team, the
program is constantly growing each year to see us becoming state contenders
over the next three to five
years,” Miller added. “The
biggest challenge for me is
keeping the team together
and having them willing to
work hard in the off-season.”

Arabia Mountain football player Michael Miller reads to a fourth grade
class.

DeKalb County Sheriff Jeff Mann reads to a fifth grade class. Photos by
Carla Parker

High school athletes read
to elementary students
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com

and express their support for
education.
“A lot of times our kids
Some DeKalb County
need to see different people,
high school athletes took
different role models come
time out of their academic
in and see them embrace
schedules to read to students the aspect of reading,” Dean
at Toney Elementary School. said. “It truly shows them
The athletes took part in that they’re interested.”
the school’s annual AfricanThe athletes selected
American Read-In Feb.
books from the school’s
6. Members of the Miller
media center and spent at
Grove High School boys’
least 15 minutes reading to a
basketball team and the Ara- class. Dean said his students
bia Mountain High School
love seeing high school stufootball team participated in dents volunteering at the
the event.
school.
DeKalb County Sheriff
“[The students] see the
Jeff Mann and John Evans,
basketball players in a difpresident of the DeKalb
ferent light,” Dean said.
County branch of NAACP,
“They think it’s all about
also participated in the
basketball, but this way [the
event. Toney Elementary
players] show that educaPrincipal Oliver Dean said
tion comes first. I like to see
the read-in is an opportuthe different schools come
nity to bring young men and out and support this great
other male role models from event.”
the community to come in

The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015

Sports

Page 18A

DeKalb County Signees

Cedar Grove had 12 football players to sign on National Signing Day. Photo by Carla Parker

More than 90 sign on
National Signing Day
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
DeKalb County had another big
day on National Signing Day with 95
athletes signing to a college or prep
school Feb. 4.
Student athletes from DeKalb,
including some from Marist and Decatur, signed with colleges across the
country from Oregon, to Indiana, to
Kansas State to Miami, Fla. More than
15 players signed to schools in the big
five conferences, with the Southeastern Conference getting seven.
The Pac 12 had one player from
DeKalb with Cedar Grove’s Gus
Cumberlander signing with Oregon.
The three-star defensive end received
offers from more than 10 schools,
including Georgia Tech and Georgia
State. However, he decided to go west
to Oregon.
“I just loved the coaching staff,
the campus, and pretty much the relationship I made with the coaches
and players when I took my official
[visit],” Cumberlander said.
Cumberlander is joining a defense that helped lead Oregon to the
national championship game. He said
Oregon will be getting a good leader.
“[They will get] a player that gets
everyone to rally and get back to the
championship,” he said.
Cumberlander was one of 12
athletes from Cedar Grove to sign
on signing day, one of the program’s
largest signing classes. Other Division I signees include defensive back
Christopher Fredrick (Syracuse),
defensive lineman Quentez Johnson
(North Carolina State), linebacker Ramon Ward (Jackson State), and linebacker Keenan Kelly and defensive
end Devin Thurmond are heading to
Hampton.
Stephenson had the largest class
with 17 signees with seven Division
I signees, including defensive end
Chauncey Rivers (Georgia), and wide
receivers Dexter Neal (South Carolina) and Isaiah Zuber (Kansas State).

Joining Zuber at Kansas State are
Tucker teammates Yaquis Shelley and
Elijah Sullivan. Sullivan, who originally committed to Auburn, flipped
his commitment to Kansas State after
his Signing Day ceremony, where he
originally announced his commitment to Auburn.
According to auburn.247sports.
com, discussions to grayshirt Sullivan
arose three weeks before signing day,
leading Sullivan to switch his decision
late to Kansas State.
A few players are heading south
to Florida, including Dunwoody offensive lineman Nick Buchanan
(Florida) and Southwest DeKalb linebacker Timerik Cook, who is heading
to Miami on an academic scholarship.
Cook plans to walk on the football
team at Miami.
“I’m willing to work hard and do
anything to get on the team,” Cook
said.
Cook’s teammate and two-time
wrestling state champion Abdur-Rahman Yasin is heading to Presbyterian
on a football scholarship. His scholarship came after playing just two years
of football.
“It feels great,” Yasin said of signing his letter-of-intent. “All of my hard
work paid off. I just thank God for
allowing me to be able to have this
opportunity.”
With just two years of football
experience, the defensive back had a
successful senior season with 42 total
tackles (31 solo) and seven interceptions. Yasin said he joined the football
team after winning his first wrestling
state title.
“The football coach asked me to
come out,” he said. “At first I was kind
of skeptical about it because I never
played football before. But I went
out and it worked out fine for me, it
worked out good.”
Yasin is heading to Presbyterian
with high expectations.
“I’m looking forward to coming in
early, playing a big part and try to get
on the field early,” he said.

See more pictures on page 19A

PO NAME
SCHOOL
COLLEGE
QB
Jakobi Meyers
Arabia Mountain North Carolina State
DE
Theodore Eboigbe
Arabia Mountain Kent State
LB
Dante Ferguson
Arabia Mountain Tennessee State
DB
Yaquarri Adams
Arabia Mountain Air Force
WR Camiel Grant
Arabia Mountain Mercer
WR Joseph Comer
Cedar Grove
Reedly College
DE
Gus Cumberlander
Cedar Grove
Oregon
DB
Christopher Fredrick
Cedar Grove
Syracuse
OL
Darius Goodwin
Cedar Grove
Virginia Union
CB
Adrian Green
Cedar Grove
Ferris State
WR Eric Hall
Cedar Grove
Pierce College
DL
Quentez Johnson
Cedar Grove
North Carolina State
LB
Keenan Kelly
Cedar Grove
Hampton
OL
Marquez McNeil
Cedar Grove
Coffeyville CC
DE
Devin Thurmond
Cedar Grove
Hampton
LB
Ramone Ward
Cedar Grove
Jackson State
WR Terrence Williams
Cedar Grove
Jyree Prep
QB
Andre Brown
Columbia Indiana
LB
Shadell Bell
Columbia Clemson
OL
Derrick Simmons
Columbia
Savannah State
DB
D’Vautrey Love
Columbia
Albany State
RB
Brandon Kemp
Columbia
Valtosta State
DB
Antonio Manson
Columbia
Fort Scott CC
WR Armond Davis
Columbia
College of Sequoias
WR Michael Scott
Columbia
Apprentice School
DL
McNeal Marcello
Columbia
Apprentice School
LB
Demetrius Harris
Decatur

Carson Newman College
LB Demetrius Cooley
Decatur

Eastern Arizona JC
QB Devontae Carter
Decatur

Mesabi Range JC
CB Andre Young
Decatur

St. Augustine’s University
RB
Elijah Rachell
Decatur
Maryville College
DB
Trevino Huff
Druid Hills
Atlanta Sports Prep
OL
Riley Gessner
Dunwoody Furman
OL
Nick Buchanan Dunwoody Florida
LB
Matthew Nathan
Dunwoody
Dickinson College
OL Michael Horton Lakeside Auburn
RB Kellyen Walker Lakeside Army
RB
Jozahan Carter
Lithonia
Brevard College
OL
Temitayo Salam
Lithonia
Brevard College
OL
Castavious Felton Lithonia Methodist
DL
Jordan O’Neal
Lithonia
Apprentice School
DL
Natarius Cowan
Lithonia
Arkansas Baptist
DL
Marquavious Latner
Lithonia
Arkansas Baptist
WR Khalil Jackson
Lithonia
Arkansas Baptist
LB
Terez Hall
M.L. King Jr.
Missouri
OL
Kwan Stallworth
M.L. King Jr.
Murray State
WR Ravarius Rivers
M.L. King Jr.
Valdosta State
RB
Robert Pritchett
M.L. King Jr.
Southern
LB
Donovan Goodwin
M.L. King Jr.
LaGrange
DL
Marty Graves
M.L. King Jr.
Missouri Baptist
TE
Blaire Ware
M.L. King Jr.
Savannah State
FB Ian Gipson
Marist
Washington & Lee
OL Sage Hardin
Marist
Georgia
DE Kenneth Brinson
Marist
Army
RB
Meco Jackson
Miller Grove
Grambling State
QB
Jonathan Mitchell
Miller Grove
Missouri Southern
LB
Curtis Woods
Miller Grove
West Georgia
LB
Devante Griffin
Miller Grove
Tusculum
DL
Justin Swift
Miller Grove
Arkansas Baptist
WR Jerrico Carmichael
Miller Grove
Arkansas Baptist
OT
Andrew Brantley
Miller Grove
Arkansas Baptist
DE
Jeremiah Jordan
Redan
Limestone College
OL
Zechariah Bradford
SW DeKalb
St. Augustine
DL
Montavius Coleman
SW DeKalb
Virginia Union
WR Jacoby Riley
SW DeKalb
Grambling State
LB
Brandon Wiggs
SW DeKalb
Grambling State
DB
Abdur-Rahman Yasin
SW DeKalb
Presbyterian
DE
Gabriel Richardson
SW DeKalb
Hutchinson CC
DE
Chauncey Rivers Stephenson Georgia
WR Dexter Neal
Stephenson
South Carolina
WR Isaiah Zuber
Stephenson
Kansas State
DB
Desmond Bowles
Stephenson
Garden City CC
RB
Kassiem Tillman Stephenson Reinhardt
DB
Nekyle Lundie
Stephenson
Garden City CC
QB
Dewann Ford
Stephenson
South Carolina State
DB
Daron Bowles
Stephenson
Garden City CC
LB
Steven Roberts
Stephenson
Antelope Valley CC
DB
Rick Moredock
Stephenson
Antelope Valley CC
RB
Ivonte Patterson
Stephenson
Garden City CC
LB
Dareus Brown
Stephenson
Garden City CC
RB
Cortese Logan
Stephenson Reinhardt
DL
Christian Johnson
Stephenson
Delaware State
OL
Austin Sanders
Stephenson
Mississippi Valley
OL
Javon Barnes
Stephenson
Delaware State
OL
Octwan Roebuck
Stephenson
Antelope Valley CC
OL
Christien Poole
Towers
Fayetteville State
LB
Rayquan Hope-Evans
Towers
Brevard College
DL
Jonathan Ledbetter Tucker
Georgia
LB
Elijah Sullivan
Tucker
Kansas State
DB
Yaquis Shelley
Tucker
Kansas State
RB
Delvin Weems Tucker Marshall
DB
John Brooks
Tucker
Mississippi Valley
DB
Anton Coleman
Tucker
Georgia Military
LB
Courtland Rogers
Tucker
Iowa Western
DE
Maurice Williams
Tucker
Georgia Military

Sports

The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015

Signing Day Continued From Page 18A

Page 19A

Stephenson wide receiver Dexter Neal donned a South Carolina
hat while announcing his decision to sign with the school.

Stephenson Head Football Coach Ron Gartrell addresses the crowd during Stephenson’s National Signing Day ceremony.

Stephenson defensive end Chauncey Rivers signed with
Georgia.

Stephenson had 17 players to sign on National Signing Day.
Photos by Travis Hudgons

Southwest DeKalb players have made their college decisions.

Tucker defensive lineman Jonathan Ledbetter (left), who signed to Georgia, talks
to reporters as his mother looks on.

Tucker Head Football Coach Bryan Lama (center) with all the Tucker signees.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015

Middle school
basketball
semifinals

Sports

Page 20A

Photos by Travis Hudgons

The semifinals of the 15th annual DeKalb County
Middle School Basketball Championships wer held at
Cedar Grove Middle School Feb. 7. In the girls matchups Champion took on Stephenson, and Lithonia
faced Miller Grove. In the boys’ bracket, Renfroe took
on Stephenson, while Champion faced Cedar Grove.