FRIDAY, May 1, 2015 • VOL. 18, NO. 5 • FREE

Serving East Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Pine Lake, Tucker and Stone Mountain.

Quick Finder
Sports....................... 21-23A
Opinion............................ 5A

Stone Mountain
Depot’s new

Local teams go to
world robotics

local, 8A

local, 16A


Southwest DeKalb
athletes sign
sports, 18A

Tucker High celebrates 100 years
by Ashley Oglesby


t has been 100 years
since Tucker High School
opened its doors. To commemorate the anniversary,
Tucker High School foundation and the Tucker community sponsored a parade and a
variety of events for students,
alumni and school supporters
on April 18 at the school.
“Tucker is about family.
We have a great community
here. We have great kids and
great leadership. Athletics
is always great at Tucker, we
have a good football program, and I’ve been fortunate
enough with the basketball
team to have seven final
fours, three finalist and one
state championship in my 15
years of coaching,” said James
Hartry, boys varsity basketball coach.
In addition to athletics, in

See Tucker on page 15A

A crowd of Tucker High School supporters snap photographs and cheer during the parade.

Current Tucker High School football
players march in the parade to celebrate
the schools 100th anniversary.

Former German teacher Bob McCormick poses in front of the Tucker centennial float.

Tucker High’s swim team marches down Main St. Photos by Travis Hudgons and by Ashley Oglesby

Students, faculty, administrators and
Tucker residents parade down Main

Cedric Alexander:

Public safety director tackles
local and national issues
by Andrew Cauthen
The DeKalb County Police
Department was suffering
from a negative public image
when Dr. Cedric Alexander
took over the helm as DeKalb
County’s police chief in February 2013.
Alexander said, “The department was riveted with
issues around corruption and
police abuse or police brutalilty…[and] here we had just
had a couple of officers caught
up in a federal drug scheme.”
In addition to a negative
image, Alexander’s administration has dealt with some high
profile incidents. He men-

tioned the June 2013 shooting
outside a Kroger on Memorial
Drive where a man “took out
his gun and started shooting
inside a vehicle where a baby
was hit.
“That was a very sad day
in this county,” Alexander
said. “We vowed on that day
that any persons or person
who were responsible for that
shooting, who knew about
that shooting and did nothing
about it, who were part of the
planning,…we were going to
find you and bring you to justice.”
Another major event that
challenged the county public
safety department was the
snowstorm that hit metro At-

lanta in 2014.
“The snows storm was a
unique challenge for our emergency management team,” said
Alexander, who was promoted
to the county’s deputy chief operating officer of public safety
in 2013. “The men and women
of emergency management and
other parts of the county came
together and everyone just
did a tremendous job in this
When Alexander learned
that some students were
trapped in a Dunwoody school
he personally responded.
“Me and my driver took a
slow drive up there, up I-285.
It was horrible, but we got to

See Alexander on page 15A



Dr. Cedric Alexander has garnered national attention in his role
as DeKalb’s deputy chief operating officer for public safety.
Photo by Andrew Cauthen




Page 2A The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 1, 2015

The 22nd annual Harris Jacobs Dream Run will be held Sunday, May 3. Photo provided

Decades-old race honors Jewish community leader
by Andrew Cauthen
In the 22-year span of the
Harris Jacobs Dream Run,
Don Jaslow has only missed
one race. And that was because of surgery.
Jaslow, a Dunwoody resident, runs the race to pay his
respects to the race’s namesake, Harris Jacobs, a past
president of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (MJCCA) and children’s
“Harris is one of the first
people I met in 1968 when I
moved to Atlanta,” Jaslow said.
“I met him through the softball league at the community
“He took several of us
under his wings,” Jaslow said.
“I really attribute getting involved in the center from the
ground up [to] Harris.
“He would just encourage
you, ‘You need to get involved.
You ought to do this or that,’”
Jaslow said. “He was a mentor.” Jaslow said.
Jacobs’ encouragement
“was a stepping block to my
involvement at the center,
which led up to and included
being president in 2003 and
“So I really run the race
out of respect and tribute to
the Jacobs family and just a
way of remembering Harris—
his influence not only on the
Jewish community, but also
on the community center,”
said Jaslow, who was the first
recipient of the first Harris
Jacobs Leadership Award that
was given at the center.
“It’s a way of paying my

respect to him—just trying
to keep him in my thoughts,”
said Jaslow, who carried the
torch during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
The MJCCA will present
the 22nd annual Harris Jacobs
Dream Run on Sunday, May
3, at 8 a.m., at MJCCA’s Zaban
Park campus located at 5342
Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody.
The 5K road race, which
is a 2016 Peachtree Road Race
qualifier, begins and ends at
Zaban Park, followed by a certified, family-friendly course
through Dunwoody neighborhoods. A 1-mile special needs
community walk around the
MJCCA’s lake will begin at
8:15 a.m.
Proceeds from the event
will support the Blonder Family Department for Special
Registration forms are
available online at, or www. (keyword: Harris
Jacobs), or in person at MJCCA’s Zaban Park.
The cost for the 5K road
race is $30 after April 20 and
$35 on race day. A $5-perrunner discount is available
for teams of five or more runners. The cost for the 1-mile
Special Needs Community
Walk is $15 per walker and
$12 for teams of five or more
After the race there will
be a party with food, music,
raffles and local vendors.
“It keeps getting bigger
each year,” Jaslow said about
the event. “I think it’s an event
that a lot of people look for.”

Don Jaslow carried the Olympic torch during the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996. Jaslow has participated
in Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta’s annual Harris Jacobs Dream Run for two decades. Photo

Kitty Jacobs, the widow of the namesake of the Harris Jacobs Dream Run, leads the 2014 race. Photo

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 1, 2015


Page 3A

“I’m trying to serve my community the best I can,” said Glenda Zachary, a children’s librarian at Stonecrest Library. Zachary has run the Homeschool Hangout program for two years.
Photos by Andrew Cauthen

Stonecrest librarian has a heart for homeschooled students
by Andrew Cauthen
Although she has no children of her own and
was not homeschooled, Glenda Zachary, a children’s librarian at Stonecrest Library, has a heart
for the homeschool community.
“Everybody needs to know that Miss Glenda
is awesome,” said Shante Harvey, a homeschooling mother of two sons, ages 5 and 7.
“We appreciate that she’s doing something for
the homeschool community. Most people aren’t.
Most libraries aren’t.
“I don’t actually live in this county, but I
drive here because she’s doing something for the
homeschool group,” the Rockdale County resident said.
Zachary runs a Homeschool Hangout program
at Stonecrest Library on Wednesdays from 1 to
2 p.m. As a part of the program, Zachary leads
students in arts and crafts, nature walks, scavenger and treasure hunts, “crazy game days” and
“crazy math.” The program is for students in kindergarten to sixth grade.
She also has partnered with 4-H, which provides lessons on topics such as public speaking
and civics.
“It’s [for] the kids in the community [who]
are homeschooled and I’m trying to serve my
community the best I can,” said Zachary, who
started Homeschool Hangout in 2014. “They are
a part of the community. I serve the kids who go
to brick-and-mortar [schools]; I’ve got to serve
[homeschoolers], too.”
“They keep you young,” Zachary said about
the children in the once-a-week program sponsored in part by the Friends of the Stonecrest
Library. “They keep you vibrant and excited

because they’re always excited. They keep me
“I do it because I enjoy it,” Zachary said. “I
enjoy working with the kids. The parents are always wonderful. Anytime I need help, they are
right there to help me.”
Zachary, who attended a Catholic school, said
before she started the program she didn’t know
much about homeschooling.
“I didn’t realize it was as many kids as it actually is,” she said. The Homeschool Hangout attracts 40 children who attend regularly.
Zachary said she started the program to give
homeschooled children more interaction with
other children.
The program also is “a forum for parents to
exchange information—some parents are experts
and some are just novices. It’s a great opportunity for the kids to get together and for the parents
to get together and exchange information and to
help us work as a community,” Zachary said.
Erin and Rahsaan Jahi have five children,
four of whom are school-aged.
“We actually met [Zachary] while she was
buying school supplies for local DeKalb County
school students during back-to school time. I
thought she was a teacher,” Erin Jahi said.
The program is “a good enrichment opportunity for [students] in the middle of the week,
[and] an opportunity for them to mingle with
other homeschool kids in the community and
also Miss Glenda does a program where they get
a variety of different exposure opportunities that
they wouldn’t normally get,” Erin Jahi said.
“I highly appreciate all of the work that she
does for us, especially in regards to making
sure we have a space available to us here in the
community,” Erin Jahi said. “It makes us as

homeschoolers feel we are part of the greater
community of students. We don’t just feel like
everything is for the public or private sectors.
She makes us feel a part of the greater community because a lot of things she does outside of
the Homeschool Hangout integrates all of the
students from all of the schooling options.
“Miss Glenda has been a shining light in this
community and I really feel blessed to have her
be a part of our lives,” Erin Jahi said.
Rahsaan Jahi said, “Miss Glenda puts out a
lot of effort, a lot of work into getting the rooms
together for us and facilitating the side projects
that we want to do. She comes up with quite a bit
of very interesting cool things for the kids—last
summer she showed the kids how to make ice
“That makes us also want to do even more to
support her because it’s something that she loves
to do,” Rahsaan Jahi said. “It’s like a give and
take. She puts in a lot of effort and as parents
we put in a lot of effort. We want to keep things
going because we understand that if the people
don’t come, you don’t get the support for the
program. So we try to make sure we come, no
matter what is going on so we can keep the program going.”
“Lately Miss Glenda has added so much to
the week you never know what’s going to happen,” Harvey said.
“I think she’s wonderful,” Harvey said about
Zachary, who started working for the DeKalb
library system in 2008 at the Clarkston Library.
“I appreciate her taking the time. She does more
than the average librarian. It’s not just story time,
but she’s thinking about all of the age groups.
“I think she’s awesome and such a blessing to
have in this community,” Harvey said.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 1, 2015


Welcome tears of joy

We’ve become accustomed to seeing the tearful
politician, usually the result
of some involvement in a
scandal or admission in
wrongdoing. So it was refreshing to see a tearful governor last week announcing
good news.
Gov. Nathan Deal on
April 16 signed into law
legislation making it legal to
possess cannabis oil to treat
eight medical conditions. It
is now legal for individuals
to use the oil in seeking relief from conditions such as
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease; cancer; Crohn’s
disease; mitochondrial
disease; multiple sclerosis;

Gale Horton Gay

Lifestyle Editor

Parkinson’s disease; seizure
disorders; and sickle cell
“Today we are going to
make a difference and it’s
going to be a good differ-

ence,” said Deal with tears
in his eyes at the signing of
the bill at the state Capitol.
Surrounded by other political leaders and families who
sought approval of the legislation, Deal said it was the
families’ personal trials and
challenges that convinced
him that the new law was
the right thing.
It’s been a long-fought
battle, which has caused
some families to take extreme measures to get and
use the oil for their ailments.
Some families have moved
to other states with more
lenient laws, and others
travel from Georgia to other
states to get treatment. The
result has been both a finan-

cial burden and enormous
While the new law is
certainly good news, there’s
still work to be done to
make cannabis oil a readily
available and easy-to-access
treatment options.
The problem for these
families is it remains illegal
to cultivate or sell cannibis
oil in Georgia, meaning that
those who want to use it still
must jump through hoops to
get it.
We applaud the governor
and legislature for the first
step in helping Georgia families ease the suffering and
improve the lives of those
with serious medical conditions. Now we ask that they

Page 4A

continue the good work and
craft a bill that will legalize
the cultivation and sale of
cannabis oil statewide.
Families should be able
to get the oil in Georgia just
like any other treatment and
not have to go out of state
to get it and possibly break
federal laws by transporting
to Georgia.
We’ve taken the first step,
now let’s finish the race.
Let’s show these families and
the country that Georgia is
compassionate and progressive in taking care of our

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 1, 2015


Page 5A

One Man’s Opinion

And another shoe drops
“When I assumed the
position as interim CEO for
DeKalb County in July 2013,
my number one priority was
to restore the people’s trust
in their government. My
commitment to reform our
government and root out
any corruption is firm and
unwavering,” interim DeKalb
CEO Lee May, April 24,
Strong words and sentiment.
I’m giving our interim
CEO the benefit of the
doubt that he remains committed to this worthy goal.
As a DeKalb resident and
taxpayer, as well as regular
and daily consumer of news
media content and product,
I feel continually pummeled
at the end of a shoe factory’s
assembly line of ‘other shoes
I celebrated, here and
elsewhere, when ICEO May
called in the cavalry, in the
form of former Attorney
General Michael J. Bowers and veteran investigator
Richard L. Hyde to investigate and lock up the bad
guys. And I’ll continue to
hope that he has no later
reason to regret blowing that
trumpet and sounding the
While serving only as
commissioner for District
5, May’s home, and apparently many others in south
DeKalb, was flooded by the

Bill Crane


actions of the Water Department, replacing and repairing older water and sewer
pipes. May’s Lithonia home
was flooded by raw sewerage, twice.
In the first instance, wellknown water removal and
repair company Serv-Pro
was called in to repair the
damage. And then again,
came the floods in 2010,
turning May’s ground floor
into a quagmire...but this
time, despite calls to numerous departments, starting
with the DeKalb Watershed,
May was initially treated like
most DeKalb residents, slow
or no response and different
answers depending upon
whom he spoke to.
Then, almost overnight,
May’s home was drained,
dried, cleaned and repaired...and he never got a
bill. As these floods were
far from rare in District 5,
one may think May would
note that most of his neigh-

bors and constituents first
paid for their repairs, and
were later reimbursed by
the county. The second job
came with a larger bill, from
a vendor, Water Removal
Services, which for months
went unpaid. Until the bill
made its way via email from
the vendor to DeKalb Purchasing Director Kelvin
Walton, the man with the
magical recording pen. That
invoice for nearly $6,500
was paid the next day. And
a $4,000 check was written
to May.
May said he now knows
that he received “special
treatment,” though he claims
he asked for none, and that
he received no funds back
from the vendor. The former owner of the company
claims that he did not sign
the check made out to May,
which he indicated might
have been a refund, above
the company’s costs of the
repair work. But a real refund would have gone to
the county, not the commissioner, and the courier for
the check, an associate of the
company owner and former
DeKalb real estate developer
claims he was simply trying
to aid a friend in financial
duress (May), at the behest
of another close friend and
business associate (Morris
Granted, we the taxpayers
and residents living with this
daily chain of embarrass-

ment and duress want this
nonsense to end, but clearly
we also cannot understand
how much self-dealing,
graft, corruption, malfeasance and ineptitude can go
on for so long with apparently no one ever taking any
substantive action.
And though our shoe
factory continues to drop
new product on the floor
almost daily, we have to
ask when our district attorney and his team think
they may actually convict
anyone of wrongdoing? A
judge attempted to overturn
the aforementioned school
construction bid-rigging, yet
that judgment is being held
in abeyance while the judge,
who also resigned, is herself
being investigated.
As DeKalb’s District 5 has
been without a commissioner since May accepted the
interim appointment from
Governor Nathan Deal in
July 2013, we have one more
ICEO May has repeatedly
declined requests to resign
that seat and allow for a
special election. Is DeKalb
County also still paying
ICEO May the salary for
a District Commissioner,
separate and apart from
the salary he is receiving as
CEO? Due to the still pending retrial of suspended
CEO Burrell Ellis, DeKalb
taxpayers already enjoy the
pleasure of paying for the

salary, benefits and retirement funds for two CEOs.
Are we also paying two
salaries to one of our Commissioners? Anyone wanting
to restore our trust and confidence in DeKalb government only has one short and
clear answer for that one.
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@ 

F ree P ress
Let Us Know What You Think!
THE CHAMPION FREE PRESS encourages opinions from its readers. Please
write to us and express your views. Letters
should be brief, typewritten and contain
the writer’s name, address and telephone
number for verification. All letters will be
considered for publication.
Send Letters To Editor, The Champion Free Press, P.
O. Box 1347, Decatur, GA 30031-1347; Send email
to • FAX To: (404)
370-3903 Phone: (404) 373-7779 . Deadline for news
releases and advertising: Thursday, one week prior
to publication date.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions written by columnists and contributing editors do not necessarily
reflect the opinions of the editor or publishers. The
Publisher reserves the right to reject or cancel any
advertisement at any time. The Publisher is not
responsible for unsolicited manuscripts.

John Hewitt
Chief Financial Officer:
Dr. Earl D. Glenn
Managing Editor:
Andrew Cauthen
Production Manager:
Kemesha Hunt
Travis Hudgons
Staff Reporters:
Carla Parker, Ashley Oglesby
The Champion Free Press is published
each Friday by ACE III Communications,
Inc., • 114 New Street, Suite E, Decatur,
GA. 30030 • Phone (404) 373-7779.
(404) 373-7779 x 110

Statement from the
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.


Page 6A The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 1, 2015

George Ann Hoffman
For 42 years, George
Ann Hoffman has been a
member of the Stone Mountain Woman’s Club chapter
of the Georgia Federation of
Women’s Clubs (GFWC).
“When we moved to
Stone Mountain from Jacksonville, we started our
family and I was appalled to
hear that there was no public kindergarten and it really
bothered me,” Hoffman said.
So she went to the state
legislature and talked to a
state representative about
the need for kindergarten.
When she returned home,

she received a phone call
from a member of the Stone
Mountain Woman’s Club
who said, “We need you,”
Hoffman said. “And I’ve

been a part of it ever since.”
She has served as president of the local club and of
the district, and served as
corresponding secretary for
six years at the state level.
The Stone Mountain
Woman’s Club has nominated Hoffman as a candidate for the GFWC Jennie
Award, the organization’s
only national honor that
recognizes an individual
member for personal excellence. The highest honor
bestowed by the GFWC, it
honors one club member
from each GFWC region for

outstanding commitment to
club, community and family.
Hoffman’s many years
of service have included responsibilities in the departments and in fundraising
for the club. She is married
to Stone Mountain Judge
Warren Hoffman and is the
mother of three children
and grandmother to three
Hoffman has served on
many boards, including the
board of Goodwill Industries and on the Carter Center board of counselors.
The 72-year-old has

won the governor’s volunteer award and her family
was recognized as the General Federation of Women’s
Clubs family of the year.
She also chaired the Stone
Mountain task force for the
1996 Olympics.
“I think that people who
volunteer are healthier, happier and have a better life,”
she said. “Give the most important thing that you have
to give, and that’s your time.
And there’s so much to do in
our county.”

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

How to honor mom? Answers vary
by Kathy Mitchell
As Mother’s Day approaches,
sons, daughters, husbands and others may find themselves puzzling
with the question of the best way to
honor some special woman.
While nations across the globe
set aside days throughout the year
to honor and celebrate mothers,
America’s Mother’s Day tradition
began early in the 20th century
when Anna Jarvis of West Virginia
started a letter writing campaign to
newspapers and politicians urging
the creation of a commemorative
day for mothers, according to Success came in 1914, when
President Woodrow Wilson signed
a measure proclaiming the second
Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
Ironically, Jarvis became the
holiday’s most vigorous opponent as
she saw increasing commercialization of what she envisioned as a personal celebration between mother
and child that should entail a letter,
a visit or perhaps attending church
“While Jarvis had initially
worked with the floral industry to
help raise Mother’s Day’s profile, by
1920 she had become disgusted with
how the holiday had been commercialized. She outwardly denounced
the transformation and urged
people to stop buying Mother’s Day
flowers, cards and candies,” history.
com reports. “By the time of her
death in 1948 Jarvis had disowned
the holiday altogether, and even
actively lobbied the government to
see it removed from the American
Her efforts over the years have
been soundly defeated not just by
merchants but by consumers who

apparently see nothing wrong with
spending money on gifts, flowers,
candy, restaurant meals, spa treatments and other indulgences as a
way of demonstrating affection for
their mothers, wives and other special women in their lives. In recent
years, according to the National Retail Federation, the average person
celebrating Mother’s Day spends approximately $170, making it one of
the nation’s major spending events.
A survey reported by inquisitr.
com indicated that what more than
half of mothers “really want” is time

with the family. The survey also indicated that approximately a third of
mothers would like to be honored
with something more unusual and
creative than the typical flowers and
candy. A pre-Mother’s Day event at
Northlake Mall will offer an opportunity for both, according to Bianca
Gibson, the mall’s director of marketing and business development.
“For a number of years, the mall
held what was called Mom’s Night
Out, but we didn’t feel the name
quite conveyed the image of what
we’re doing,” Gibson explained.

“We haven’t had the event here at
Northlake since 2012, but this year
it’s back as Indulge.”
For two and half hours on May
7—the Thursday before Mother’s
Day—the mall’s center court will
become a market place for products and services selected to please
the ladies. There will be music,
food, spa-like treatments and other
woman-oriented treats, Gibson explained. “For example, a perfume
store here in the mall will have an
expert who will talk about scent layering,” she said.
Not all of the Indulge vendors
will be mall stores. Many will be
businesses from outside and may
not have regular retail stores, Gibson
said. While vendors are still signing up for event, she is expecting at
least 20 or 30 the night of the event.
“Each vendor will do what he wants.
Some will sell products or services
and others will give away sample
products or treatments or give demonstrations. The idea is for families
to have fun pampering mom as
she gets a mini-facial, a massage, a
manicure or pedicure and samples
of beauty products.”
The evening out can be part of
a long weekend focused on mom
or can be an opportunity for her to
discover something she’d like as a
gift such as a spa treatment, a book,
artwork, cosmetics or a fashion accessory, Gibson said.
“We’re really stepping outside
the range of gifts people might
normally think of for Mother’s Day
and offering experiences that are
fun and different,” she said “It’s an
opportunity to come out with your
mother—or some other special lady
in your life—and just have a great

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 1, 2015



Avondale Estates Dunwoody
Community club to host fundraiser
The Avondale Community Club will host the
annual Silent and Live Auction Fundraiser May
16 to benefit the historic Lakehouse building and
grounds. The event will include a selection of auction items, food and entertainment. Details will be
announced as they are finalized. The event will be
held at 59 Lakeshore Drive. Email Connie Bryans
at to volunteer or donate.


City to host art festival
The Dunwoody Art Festival will hold its family-friendly event at Dunwoody Village Parkway,
May 9, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., and May 10, 11 a.m. – 5
The Dunwoody Village area transforms into
a whimsical artist market with fun for the entire
family, and Dunwoody Village Parkway will become a “shoppers’ paradise.”
A Kidz Zone with rides, sand art, imaginative
crafts and games will be available. A stage with
live music will be located in the new food court
offering fare from neighborhood restaurants. This
is rain or shine event. For more information, visit

City seeks volunteers for stream cleanup

Dunwoody Community Cycle scheduled

Brookhaven is seeking volunteer assistance for
its Inaugural Stream Cleanup May 2 from 10 a.m.
to noon at the tributary of West Nancy Creek on
the south part of Murphey Candler Lake. Volunteers should wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and long
pants, and sunscreen is recommended. Volunteers
can also bring any tools that would help collect
trash. The city will provide everything else needed
for the cleanup, including bags, light gardening
gloves and bottled water as well as waiver forms.
Volunteers should arrive between 9:45 and 10 a.m.
at the gravel parking lot just east of the Murphey
Candler football Fields. For more information and
to RSVP, e-mail

The public is invited to a community bike ride
May 3, 2:30 p.m. starting at Village Burger, 1426
Dunwoody Village Parkway, Dunwoody. There will
be a brief pre-ride safety speech with departure by
3 p.m. Helmets are required and the group recommends a bicycle with gears to handle the hills. The
route is a 4.5 mile loop around Dunwoody–mostly
right turns. The event will not take place if inclement weather or hazardous road conditions exist.
Everyone is welcome. For more information, visit

City to offer summer programming
Summer programming at Brookhaven Parks
and Recreation will begin soon and registration
is open. Summer fitness, dance, art, cheer and senior programming will begin in May and continue
throughout the summer. To register online, visit, or call (404) 637-0512.

Let your light shine at Decatur Lantern Parade
Everyone is invited to walk in the Decatur Lantern Parade on May 15. Participation is what makes
a lantern parade magical. Make lanterns at home
or come to a lantern-making workshop where supplies and guidance are provided.
Line-up begins at Color Wheel Studio, 508 E.
Howard Avenue after 8 p.m. The parade starts at 9
p.m. led by The Black Sheep Marching Ensemble
and parade guru Chantelle Rytter and marches to
the Decatur Square.
Workshops to include, lantern hats and master
classes in addition to bamboo forms and globe lantern workshops.
Visit for more

Program to address child sexual abuse
The Beverly Cunningham Outreach Program and Department of Juvenile Justice will
host Stewards of Children, a prevention training program that teaches adults how to prevent,
recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual
The program is designed for organizations
that serve youth and for individuals concerned
about the safety of children. It is a national,
evidence-based program designed to increase
knowledge, improve attitudes, and change child
protective behaviors.
The event, for ages 18 and up, will be May 8
from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Lithonia Middle
School, 2451 Randall Avenue, Lithonia.
For more information, contact Latera M.
Davis, facilitator, at,
or (404) 508-6532.

Stone Mountain
Nonprofit to hold 15th annual Run Walk ‘n Roll
Friends of Disabled Adults and Children
(FODAC) will hold its 15th Annual Run Walk ‘n
Roll event on Saturday, May 2, beginning at Stone
Mountain Park’s Confederate Hall, 1000 Robert E.
Lee Boulevard, Stone Mountain.
FODAC’s Run Walk ‘n Roll is a five-mile race

Page 7A

and two-mile walk through Stone Mountain Park.
During the event participants can run, walk or
roll through the course. Wheelchairs, strollers and
walkers are all welcome.
All proceeds benefit FODAC’s Home Medical
Equipment Program that distributes more than
5,000 items each year to Georgia and other states.
In addition to raising funds, participants are
encouraged to bring used durable medical equipment to the event. FODAC will clean and refurbish
donated equipment at its Stone Mountain facility
and distribute at little or no cost to qualified recipients.
Registration for the race is at 7.30 a.m. The
race starts at 8 a.m. and the walk and roll starts at 9
a.m. Registration and other details for Run Walk ‘n
Roll can be found at
Corporate sponsorships are still available.

City to host cemetery cleanup
The Stone Mountain Downtown Development Authority will hold the Historic Cemetery
Cleanup at the city’s historic cemetery May 2,
from 9-11 a.m. Volunteers are asked to bring
gloves, small tools and water. The city will provide garbage bags. For more information, visit
the Stone Mountain Downtown Development
Authority’s Facebook page.

Board of Health offers breast and cervical
cancer screenings
DeKalb County women between the ages of 40
to 64 with no health insurance or making a limited
income may be eligible to receive a breast and cervical cancer screening at no cost or at reduced cost.
The breast and cervical cancer program seeks
to serve 200 women by June 30.
Services offered include breast cancer screening and follow-up at no or low cost for low income,
uninsured women ages 40-64; and cervical cancer
screening and diagnostic evaluation at no or low
cost to low-income, uninsured women ages 21- 64.
The program is part of the National Breast and
Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, funded
by both the state of Georgia and the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention.
Services will be provided at four county
health department locations: Clifton Springs, East
DeKalb, North DeKalb and T.O. Vinson.
A clinic staff member can determine if women
meet eligibility guidelines and provide clinical
breast examinations, Pap tests and pelvic examinations. Clinic staff will schedule appointments
for mammograms at local radiology facilities and
make appropriate referrals for diagnostic work-ups
when needed as well as provide additional case
For more information, call the DeKalb County
Board of Health at (404) 294-3700.


Page 8A The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 1, 2015

Stone Mountain
depot’s new role
by Carla Parker

What was once a Georgia Railroad depot and has
served as city hall and city jail will soon be Stone Mountain’s Visitors Center and event space.
Stone Mountain Mayor Patricia Wheeler along with
city council members and other city officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony April 23 to celebrate the completion of exterior renovations on the historic train depot.
The city also hosted a talk at the Sue B. Kellogg Library,
led by architect David Steele from the firm of Lord Aeck
and Sargent for the Stone Mountain Historical Society.
The talk was followed by a tour of the exterior of the
Wheeler said getting the renovations done was a long
time coming.
“To watch the renovations where the holes were in the
granite, where birds had nested in it—it is so wonderful
to see the finished project and to see it like it originally
was, it has been really great,” Wheeler said. “I can’t wait to
be able to do the inside, but the outside looks wonderful.
We still have to get some plants and things in the front to
make it a little prettier, but we are really grateful to have it
finished. It was a long, hard process getting it finished.”
Councilman Steve Wells called the renovations “fantastic.”
“This is such a centerpiece for the city. It’s such a central gathering spot and so much history is involved in this
depot,” Wells said. “We’re super proud that we were able
to get the funding needed to make it beautiful as it deserves to be.”
The $352,150 renovation project began Oct. 13, 2014.
The city received a Transportation Enhancement Grant
from the Georgia Department of Transportation to repair
the exterior of the old police station section of the train
The south side of the train depot was built in 1857
after the Georgia Railroad Company completed the line
from Madison to Atlanta. The north side was built in
1914 as a passenger office and waiting room. In the early
1960s, the train depot served as city hall and city jail. It remained in use until 2012 when the new municipal building was completed.
The city council voted to have Stone Mountain Downtown Development Authority as lead on the further redevelopment of the building into a visitors center and event
Mountain city officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the exterior renovations to the train
space. According to Mechel McKinley, executive director Stone
Depot. Photos by Carla Parker
of the DDA, the DDA is looking at plans for the building
and will begin work this summer to secure grants and private donations for interior renovations.
“Hopefully it will become a regional visitor center for
the state by having a bigger home,” Wheeler said. “We
hope to use the old police department part as a gathering
place for the community and possibly a senior center.”
Wheeler also said the city hopes to put a museum in
the old courtroom section of the depot.
“Stone Mountain Park has given us a lot of memorabilia that relates to the city, not just the park,” she said.
“We look forward to putting that in the old courtroom
part. That will be a tourism piece, especially for [history]
“We have talked about putting a platform there for
train buffs who like to come out and watch the trains go
by,” Wheeler added. “We can give them the exact times
when the train is coming through and people can be here
to watch the trains.”

Stop bullying now

stand up • speak out

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 1, 2015

Jobs bus visits
by Ashley Oglesby
The mobile career center
and resource jobs bus, sponsored by DeKalb Workforce
Development was at the
Doraville library on April 23
to assist residents with job
search assistance, resume
writing and provide interviewing tips.
“It’s a mobile outlet for
DeKalb County residents.
We have an on-site resource
center that is pretty popular
in our community but not
everyone has access to our
resource center. This is our
way of reaching out to the
community,” workforce assistant Donnie Cantley said.
The jobs bus is a mobile
lab that includes 13 computer stations with Internet access, a scanner, color
printer and a fax machine
that are available for use free
of charge.
Cantley said DeKalb

Workforce conducts work
readiness workshops on-site
but routinely visits various
communities to connect
with individuals who do not
have access to computers, fax
machines–anything that job
seekers need to secure employment.
“We help people with
their resume, interviewing
techniques, teach them how
to brand and market themselves and have basic and intermediate computer classes.”
DeKalb Workforce is in
the third year of its five-year
plan to increase local employment and occupational
skills attainment, reduce
welfare dependency and enhance the productivity and
competitiveness of residents.
“We’re just trying to service the people in DeKalb.
The county is pretty large, we
find ourselves in quite a few
different places trying to find
those individuals that face
these barriers,” he said.


Page 9A

DeKalb Workforce Development assistant Donnie Cantley and the mobile center coordinator stand in front
of the jobs bus. Photos by Ashley Oglesby

The mobile lab is equipped with fax machines, printers and computers for job seekers.


Page 10A The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 1, 2015

East Metro CID
to expand
by Carla Parker
The DeKalb County
Board of Commissioners
approved expanding parcels
into the East Metro DeKalb
Community Improvement
District (CID) April 28.
The board voted 4-0
to approve the expansion.
Commissioner Kathie
Gannon was not present
for the vote, and Commissioner Stan Watson was absent from the commission
The vote allows five
property owners to be
added to the district. The
businesses that were added
along Candler Road, Covington Highway, Glenwood
Road, Panola Road and
Snapfinger Parkway. The
additional businesses will
bring in a total property
value of $6,448,697.
The East Metro CID,
located in the southeastern
area of DeKalb, formed in
May 2014 after the DeKalb
commission passed a resolution to create the CID. It
covers the Gresham Park
area on the west of the
county, Candler Road, parts
of Memorial Drive, and
peaks north at Covington
Highway, goes south to Flat
Shoals Parkway and east to
Turner Hill.
According to its website, the CID will serve as
an economic development
tool to implement major
improvements, including
infrastructure, public safety
and beautification enhancements in an effort to increase property values, revive business and enhance
the overall quality of life of
the area.
Funding of approximately $176,000 came in
October 2014 from property taxes of business owners

in the CID to help upstart
projects to improve the district.
This year, the CID is
focused on public safety
and beautification. Nicole
Hall, CID administrator,
said the CID began hosting listening sessions in
December 2014 to “hear
what the stakeholders in the
community are interested
in having, and making sure
those thoughts align with
the [CID] board.”
“Now that we have all of
that feedback, we’re in the
process of determining how
we are going to lay out the
plate,” she said.
The CID has partnered
with a few organizations on
ongoing projects related to
public safety and beautification. They partnered with
Keep DeKalb Beautiful on a
beautification project at the
Turner Hill interchange.
The CID has also been
working with the county
police department and the
Southeast Task Force to
help deal with crime within
the south and east precinct
areas. Hall said the CID will
be working with the South
DeKalb Improvement Association because “they have
some projects under way
that we can step in and help
them with.”
“People were concerned
about public safety, landscaping or beautification—
making the area looks better,” she said.
The CID board has
been meeting to develop
its own projects to help improve the district, according
to Hall.
“We’re still in the planning stages a little bit, but
the goal is to have everything laid out by early May,”
she said.

words hurt
stop the

Decatur Assistant City Manager Lyn Menne (right) explains the plans for the East Decatur Station District to a
resident. Photos by Carla Parker

Decatur Downtown Development Authority partnered with MARTA to redevelop the 7-acre Avondale MARTA
station parking lot.

City discusses East
Decatur Station District
by Carla Parker

Residents in the East Decatur Station
District saw potential development plans for
the area and the Avondale Estates MARTA
Station parking lot site during an input session April 23.
Decatur Downtown Development Authority (DDA) partnered with MARTA to
redevelop the Avondale MARTA Station
parking lot site. The DDA presented development plans for the 7-acre Avondale
MARTA parking lot site and zoning plans
for the East Decatur Station area to make
residents aware of what is going on in this
area, and what could potentially happen in
the future.
Amanda Thompson, Decatur planning
director, said there are development plans
for the parking lot sit, which includes building retail over the next three to five years.
“It includes a mixture of market-rate
apartments, affordable apartments, senior
housing, retail, and an educational facility,”
Thompson said.
Decatur received a planning grant
through the Livable Centers Initiative program at the Atlanta Regional Commission
to develop a redevelopment master plan for
the 60-acre industrial district adjacent to the
MARTA parking lot site, according to the
city. The LCI Plan, known as the Avondale
Decatur LCI Master Plan, was adopted by
the Decatur City Commission in December
The Decatur Housing Authority originally pursued a two-phase, mixed-use
development with MARTA and the DDA
worked on their behalf to secure a $3 million LCI grant to help fund the construction
of a parking deck to help meet MARTA
requirements for parking, according to the
city. The project never occurred and the
grant was returned to ARC.

The city said interest in the MARTA
site stalled as a result of the economic
downturn, although a private-sector condominium project was built at Sams Street
and Talley Street, one block southwest of the
MARTA site and adjacent warehouse.
The DDA approached MARTA in 2012
to request to take the lead on the redevelopment of the site. MARTA’s board agreed to
enter into a new intergovernmental agreement with the DDA in the place of the Decatur Housing Authority.
The DDA did a request for qualifications (RFQs) to select developers for the
project. Columbia Ventures LLC was selected to redo the Avondale Estate MARTA
station parking lot.
The parking lot site is also included in
the East Decatur Station Master Plan for
the East Decatur Station area. The area goes
south of College Avenue and the railroad
tracks, and boarded by Avondale Estate
and Commerce Drive/South Columbia.
Thompson said the area is zoned Z-3, which
is heavy commercial zoning, and in the past
the area was industrial.
“What we’ve seen is an increase in residential units [in the area],” Thompson said.
“The East Decatur Station Corporation,
which owns a lot of the property in the area,
they are looking at a longer term zoning
plans. They might be coming to ask in the
next couple of months for a rezoning to a
mixed-used zoning district in the future.
They’re also showing a preliminary rezoning plan of what that would look like if we
rezone the area from C3 heavy commercial
to mixed-use.”
Thompson said in May, the Avondale
MARTA site will go before the planning
commission and city commission to update
its regulating plan. The DDA will also have
more public meetings for the East Decatur
Station and will present a rezoning proposal
to the commission later this fall.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 1, 2015


Page 11A

Blood pressure the focus of Lithonia health fair
by Carla Parker
One out of every three American
adults has high blood pressure, and
52 percent of people with high blood
pressure have the condition under
control, according to the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention.
Obesity is another health-related
issue that affects 34.9 percent of
American adults Kaiser Permanente
is working with communities to address these issues and collaborated
with Lithonia to host a health fair
April 25 at Lithonia City Hall.
The event was a part of the city’s
celebration of Georgia Cities Week.
Nurses from Kaiser checked the
blood pressure of Lithonia residents
and gave out information that included how to live healthier lives.
Tanya Brinson, an account manager for Kaiser, said they wanted to
focus on blood pressure and obesity
at the health fair.
“We’re handing out healthy living magazines to help with health
as far as blood pressure and eating
right,” she said. “We have different
yoga classes and workout classes [at
Kaiser]. And we even have cooking
classes as well. We’re here trying to
get the community to walk more, to
drink more water and just be healthier.”

Registered nurse Linda Faye Strong checks the blood pressure
of 3-year-old Rylee Sallins.

Licensed practical nurse Xavia Bohanan (far right) checks Jaz Bronner’s blood pressure, while Nurse Strong checks 24-year-old Jabari
Moran’s blood pressure. Photos by Carla Parker

From left, Linda Faye Strong, Kaiser Permanente account manager Tanya Brinson and Xavia Bohanan partnered with Lithonia to spread
awareness about high blood pressure.

Flat Rock
Flat Rock Archive received
an award from the Georgia
Trust, the premier preservation
organization in the state, for excellence in preservation service.
At the historic Seney-Stovall
Chapel in Athens April 17, Flat
Rock Archive President Johnny
Waits and board members Patricia Hughes-Bryant and Jean
Spencer accepted the award for
their efforts in preserving the
rural African American community of Flat Rock. In addition to
the 1917 farmstead, the archive
also oversees the Flat Rock Slave
Cemetery, archives related to
the community of Flat Rock and
is an integral part of the Arabia
Mountain National Heritage

Reduce • Reuse • Recycle • Reduce • Reuse


Page 12A The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 1, 2015

Integral CEO details plans for “Assembly”
by Ashley Oglesby
Commissioners, state,
county and other representatives crowded the
Northlake DoubleTree Hotel for Discover DeKalb’s
monthly meeting on April
20 to hear featured guest
speaker Integral CEO Egbert Perry, the face behind
the demolition and development of the former General Motors (GM) plant in
Doraville — to be known as
the “Assembly.”
The 165-acre site has
2,300 feet of frontage on
I-285, a daily car count of
270,000 vehicles, and is located inside the perimeter
between three major highways with direct MARTA
“It truly is right smack in
the middle of a lot of things,”
said Perry.
Perry said Doraville officials took a “visionary step
to pursue an opportunity
zone for the site, which presents another opportunity for
business relocating here to
benefit from incentives.”
As a result of the opportunity zone each new
job will receive a $3,500 tax
credit during the first five
The Integral Group
bought the site on Sept. 24
of last year and soon after
began developing plans for
how to use the land.
“It was a gamble. We
started talking to GM about
three and half years ago. It
took us 16 months to negotiate a contract. Then it took
us 17 months of due diligence to figure out what was
on the site–the level of pollution, what the challenges
were, etc. So 33 months into
it we were then in a position
to close on the site,” Perry
The GM assembly site
has been vacant since 2008
when the plant moved vehicle production to Canada.
Developers’ efforts to buy
the property had faltered. At
one point, the site had been
pitched as one of several
potential sites for a new Atlanta Falcons stadium. Integral Group confirmed it had
the property under contract
last May.
“This is truly a public/
private partnership opportunity. It does need the private
sector but it needs the public
sector as well,” Perry said.
He added, “This is big.
It requires you to look past

your term in office, your
term in your specific position that you happen to be
in, and think about the generation that follows because
it is a generational project.”
Doraville city council
officials’ new vision for
the land is to expand on
their connectivity projects
and create a walkable and
transit-connected residential
and business hub, almost 30
acres larger than Atlantic
Station, which could bring
new parks, restaurants and
other amenities.
City officials have said
the Integral team has embraced the city’s master plan

See Assembly page 18A

Egbert Perry, chairman and chief executive officer of The Integral Group, discusses plans for the former General Motors Plant. Photo by Ashley Oglesby

Board Chairman Milton Jones, Jr. &
President & CEO Leona Barr-Davenport


Cordially Invite You to the...

Annual CEO
Appreciation Luncheon

Tuesday | May 12, 2015 | 11:30 AM

Hyatt Regency Atlanta | 265 Peachtree Street | Atlanta, GA 30303
Networking Begins at 11:00 AM | Luncheon Begins at 11:30 AM

37th Annual CEO Awards Luncheon Honorees


John Somerhalder, II
President & CEO
AGL Resources Inc.


Ingrid Saunders Jones
National Council
of Negro Women

Willie Burks
Resurgens Risk
Management, Inc

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Lonnie Saboor
Senior Manager
Small Business Finance
Invest Atlanta



Edward Hartley
Hartley & Company, LLC


Erica Qualls
General Manager
Atlanta Marriott Marquis

Classes start
May 18th.
Enroll Today!

Each year the Atlanta Business League (ABL) recognizes local chief executive
officers (CEO) for outstanding participation in minority vendor development
and community activities. The honors we confer are based in part on the
willingness of extremely busy executives to take on work vital to carrying
forward the agenda of the ABL and the business community, which is
establishing and building economic equality for minority enterprises. In addition
to CEOs, the ABL recognizes a number of individuals and organizations that
have made significant contributions in the development of minority business
in the metro Atlanta area.


Do you need your GED or a
college degree to get ahead?
With the help of Georgia Piedmont Technical College
and the Georgia Piedmont Advantage, you can begin
an exciting high-demand, high-paying career in as
little as 6-24 months.
Careers include:
• Welding
• Information Technologies
• Healthcare Technologies
• Practical Nursing
• Early Childhood Care & Education
• Diesel Mechanic
• Commercial Truck Driving
The Georgia Piedmont Advantage, through a unique
combination of grants and scholarships, helps many
students return to and attend college at virtually no cost.

For information or tickets,
or call (404) 584-8126 | RSVP by Friday, May 8th
Scan code for additional
information and registration

Campuses and learning
centers located in DeKalb,
Newton, Morgan &
Rockdale Counties.

Call 404-297-9522, ext. 1602 |


The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 1, 2015



Page 13A


Work continues on the Trinity Triangle development in Decatur.

Kenneth Smith, president and CEO of Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), a dropout prevention and school-tocareer transition program for at-risk students, visited Cross Keys High School on April 23. Smith was escorted to
the media center by Cross Keys’ principal Jason Heard, greeted students and shared information about on how
they could benefit from JAG.


A 250-square-foot micro house for artists constructed with discarded shipping pallets will be displayed at the May 2 danceDanceDANCE event in Decatur. The houses are designed with a fold down
wall to provide more studio or performance space for the artist.
Photos by John Hewitt

Photos brought to you by DCTV
DCTV Channel 23

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

DeKalb County Gov

E-mail us at


Page 14A The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 1, 2015







DeKalb commissioners and interim CEO Lee May cut the ribbon for county’s fourth charging station. Photos by Ashley Oglesby

Fourth charging facility opens for electric vehicles
by Ashley Oglesby
The DeKalb County
Sanitation Division, in partnership with DeKalb County
Fleet Maintenance, hosted
a ribbon-cutting ceremony
on April 23 at the DeKalb
County Sanitation Division’s
central transfer station for
its fourth charging station.
DeKalb County Interim
CEO Lee May along with
business leaders and commissioners Kathie Gannon,
Larry Johnson and Sharon
Barnes Sutton paraded
the parking lot in four zero
emissions Nissan Leaf cars
and a $70,000 Tesla S electric sedan.
During the ribbon-cutting event, Charles Mason,
assistant director for Public
Works, Finance, and Administration, a Nissan Leaf
owner demonstrated how he
charges his car.
Commissioners said
the charging program may

Tesla S electric sedan

influence more drivers to
switch to zero emissions
May said the county is
trying to keep up with the
growing demand for charging stations.
“Atlanta ranks second in
the United States for electric
car ownership,” May said.

“We’re proud that DeKalb
helps play a leading role to
encourage sustainability and
reduced emissions with the
installation of our four new
public electric car-charging
stations throughout the
All four charging stations are located on county

properties – the Manuel
Maloof County Administration Building in Decatur,
the DeKalb Fleet Maintenance Department in Stone
Mountain, and at DeKalbPeachtree Airport near
May said a fifth station
is expected to be installed

at DeKalb’s Seminole Road
Landfill within the next 60
The county received
a $17,000 grant from the
Georgia Environmental Finance Authority’s Charge
Georgia program for the
stations, which are compatible with all battery electric,
plug-in hybrid, and extended-range vehicles.
The “Charge Georgia”
program allows a 50 percent
reimbursement of costs for
the installation of electric
car charging stations.
The new charging stations, which are open to the
public, are free to use.
Amber Weaver, the
county’s environmental sustainability project manager,
said the new facilities make
it more convenient to own
alternative-fuel vehicles.
“We want to create a better infrastructure that makes
it practical for the public to
operate zero emissions vehicles,” she said.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 1, 2015



Continued From Page 1A

2004, Tucker became an international baccalaureate diploma
offering school. Tucker High
School also offers visually impaired classes, regular education
and advanced placement.
“Tucker is well known for
football, but Tucker’s got a lot
going for it. It’s not only one of
the prime academic programs
in the entire country, the IB
program, but they’ve also kept
a very strong advanced placement,” said Bob McCormick,
a former German teacher at
Tucker High.
McCormick taught at Tucker
for 36 years. He was the world
languages department chair and
started the international baccalaureate program.
“This school has been very
fortunate to have had wonderful administrators through the
years, including the current
principal. They all have worked
to maintain the tradition and yet
be innovative,” said McCormick.
“What makes Tucker Tucker
is not only the merchants but the
McCormick recalled a student in his first year of teaching
whose daughter he later taught.
“Tradition is important. The
kids are proud that their parents
or grandparents actually attended the school and of course the
teachers really build on that too,”
he said.
“You become attached to
the school. I’ve never seen a kid
who did not become accepted at
Tucker High School and that’s
what makes us a family. You
fight with your family some,
but you always grow close after
you’ve been together for so long.
It makes a world of difference
when the kids take pride in their
school. They become more engaged in school, not just class
but they join clubs and other extracurricular activities.”
Ron Broadway, a former
English teacher at Tucker High
School, said the public school
began as a two-story, six-room,
antebellum structure with no
restrooms or running water. The
school started with ninth graders and graduated its first senior
class in 1918.
The new building, which
was constructed in 2008 to
replace the 1963 facility, is a
228,500-square-foot structure
with 81 classrooms, a media center, speech and computer science
labs as well as rooms for vocational, art and music instruction,
a gymnasium, kitchen and cafeteria, auditorium, guidance and
administrative offices.

Grand Marshal Charles Turner from the class of 1939.

Band members march and play traditional songs down
Main Street.

Coach James Hartry with Georgia State University associate head coach, Tucker alumni and all-time lead scorer
Darryl LaBarrie. Photos by Travis Hudgons and Ashley

Page 15A

Alexander Continued From Page 1A
those kids, met with the principal, got some of those kids, put
them in the SUV [and took] several of them home that night,”
he said.
“I walked them to the front
door of their residences and
knocked on the doors,” Alexander said. “Just to see those kids
reunited with their parents was
probably one of the most rewarding things.”
A major goal of Alexander
has been to “transform ourselves
into a 21st century police department,” he said.
That means “we move from
the old way of doing business to
a new way of doing business,”
Alexander said. It asks, “how do
we advance the profession? How
do we move to a more transparent, more open, more building
of police and community relationship?
“How do we incorporate
technology into policing today
for safer communities? How do
we…make sure that our police
officers are well taken care of?
How do we look at training in
the 21st century?
“We’re a police department
that’s rebranding ourselves and
we’re rebranding ourselves as a
21st century police department,”
Alexander said. “We’re challenging ourselves to be more
accountable. We‘re challenging
ourselves to take responsibility
and not provide excuses.
“As long as I’m here that’s
what we’re going to do,” Alexander said.
“We’re going to move toward
21st century policing. We’re going to employ every aspect of
the community in helping us
fight crime,” he said. “We can’t
do it alone. We ‘re just going to
stay focused on the mission of
trying to be the very best public safety division in the world,
providing the police service, fire
service, emergency management
service –just to be excellent at
all that we do, and understanding that some days we’re going
to be better at somethings than
we are on others. The days that
we make mistakes are going to
be the days that we learn how to
get better.”
As far as the state of public
safety in DeKalb County, Alexander said, “we do a good job.”
“We have a pretty good relationship with our communities
across the county,” he said. “Of
course we have a lot of work to
“People have access to us and
I think people trust their public
safety,” Alexander said. “Are we
perfect? No, we’re not. Do we
still have work to do? Yes, we do.
“Hopefully going forward as
we continue to evolve as public
safety …we will eventually be
able to get more resources and

more personnel to do what we
can,” Alexander said.
Alexander said public safety
in DeKalb has gotten “much
“I think we hold ourselves
more accountable,” he said. “I
think we’re more responsible. I
think we deliver a good service.
We’re able to meet our goal of
keeping crime down.”
During his tenure in DeKalb,
Alexander has been thrust into
the national spotlight.
“One of the first big national
incidents that occurred for us
was the school shooting out at
McNair,” Alexander said. “Fortunately no one was hurt or
injured. We were able to navigate ourselves through that long
tedious day where 900 schoolchildren were held at bay by a
gunman in the front office.
“It ended up being a good
day. We got those children
home safely, which had not,
quite frankly, occurred in many
schools…across the country. We
were just very blessed,” Alexander said.
In 2012, Alexander was elected as the second vice president
of the National Organization of
Black Law Enforcement Executive. A year later he became first
vice president of the organization and in 2014, he was elected
president of the 100-year-old
It was in his role as NOBLE
president that he went, in December 2014, to Ferguson, Mo.,
to meet with the police chief
during the civil unrest there after the much-publicized policeinvolved killing of Michael
“I went to Ferguson and met
with the police leadership there
as the NOBLE president, open
and willing to work and engage
with them enhancing relationships in that community…[to]
make sure that something like
this doesn’t happen again,” Alexander said.
“I found myself working very
closely with the former chief
Tom Jackson, meeting with the
media … at the local, national
and international level–[having]
conversations with the media in
regards with how do we advance
policing to the 21st century.”
Alexander was soon recommended by the U.S. Department of Justice to be on President Barack Obama’s Task Force
on 21st Century Policing, created in December 2014.
“Once you have been identified as a national leader as it
relates to public safety, which I
have been—not by my liking but
by national media—it should
humble you, which is does me,
but it also makes me have to
work that much harder,” Alexander said.


Page 16A The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 1, 2015

Team Reboot, top left, and LINKS Robotics, right, participated in a world robotics championship competition
April 22-25 in St. Louis. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

Local teams go to world
robotics championship

by Andrew Cauthen

Team Reboot prepares for a match.

LINKS Robotics poses with its robot after the championship.

Lonnie Johnson, center, the inventor of the Super Soaker, is a sponsor of
Team Reboot.

Two robotics teams from DeKalb County joined more than 700 teams from around
the world for an international competition
in St. Louis, Mo., April 22-25.
“It was really big,” said Andrew Morris,
17, a junior at The Paideia School and chief
technical officer for Fernbank Science Center’s LINKS Robotics team. “It was pretty
awesome. It was really fun.
“It was really cool and awesome to see
all these great teams here...and the ability
of high schoolers in this competition and
all the crazy ideas that have been achieved,”
Morris said.
LINKS earned a spot in the FIRST (For
the Inspiration and Recognition of Science
and Technology) world robotics championship after being a second-place finalist in
the Peachtree Regional robotics competition
in March in Atlanta.
Team Reboot, made up mostly of
DeKalb County homeschoolers, received
a wild-card invitation to participate in the
world competition.
For this year’s competition, robots were
designed to pick up and stack recycling bins
during the allotted time.
Neither DeKalb team made it into the
finals. LINKS and Reboot placed 66th and
76th, respectively, out of 76 teams in their
division. Technical glitches with Team Reboot’s robot kept it from working during
much of the competition.
LINKS coach Debi Huffman, who was
a judge for the FIRST Lego League competition in St. Louis, said she “could not be
more proud” of the team.
“This was a very strange year in that we
had no adult technical mentors,” Huffman
said. “So what these kids did, they did it on

their own. The students did all of the design
and all of the work.”
Huffman said that for eight weeks, because of a family illness, she was “not totally
absent, but… was not managing things.”
The students managed themselves, she said.
“These kids are truly learning everything that we want them to learn—not just
things involved with the competition but
the leadership and the independence and
management. I’m just very proud of them,”
Huffman said.
Michael Foley, a judge in the competition and a mentor to the LINKS team, said,
“The team did wonderfully this year.
“I’m proud of them,” Foley said. “They
got here by winning the engineering inspiration award, which was really a showcase
achievement for them. It really demonstrates their hard work on and off the field
trying to bring in new people in the STEM
The LINKS team also won second place
in the regional competition.
The world championship “demonstrates
that there are further improvements that
they can make,” Foley said. “They can get a
lot of great ideas from what other successful
teams are doing.”
Nicholas Weddington, 16, a junior at
Druid Hills High School, said the competition was exciting.
“It’s really huge and because everything
is going on all over the center, it’s really
great,” Weddington said. “It’s really cool to
interact with a lot of international teams…
because other than things like this, it’s hard
to meet other people interested from other
The competition was “amazing,” Weddington said, because “at our regional [competition], we didn’t see robots that were as
advanced…as the ones that were here.”


The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 1, 2015

Brookhaven News
seeking help
to identify
rape suspect recreation
by Carla Parker
Brookhaven police are
seeking the public’s help to
identify a suspect involved
in a rape.
The alleged rape occurred April 24 between 9
and 10 p.m. near Buford
Highway and North Cliff
Valley Way. The victim, a
Hispanic female, received
injuries and was treated at a
local hospital, according to
Police said the victim
was walking along Buford
Highway when the suspect
approached her. When the
victim allegedly ignored
his advances, the suspect
grabbed her arm and pulled
her into a wooded area near
North Cliff Valley Way. The
suspect hit the victim in the
face several times and raped
her, according to police.
Police said the victim
fought back and may have
caused scratches and bite
marks to the suspect’s arms
or face. The suspect ran
away when two other males
approached to help the victim.
The suspect is described
as a Hispanic male, 5-foot8 or 5-foot-9, with black
hair, brown eyes and bushy
eyebrows. The suspect’s hair
was close cut on the sides
and had an “overgrown
mohawk.” Police also said
he has a large forehead, a
“darker complexion” and
large lips. The suspect was
wearing a black shirt and
blue jeans.
Police said they are
working with detectives to
compose a sketch of the suspect. Police said they want to
speak with anyone with information about the suspect
or the rape, and to speak
with the men who aided the
Anyone with information can contact Crime Stoppers Atlanta at (404) 577TIPS (8477) or visit www.
Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for
a reward.


department to
host summer
food program
The DeKalb County
Recreation, Parks & Cultural
Affairs Department will host
the summer food service
program, June 1 to July 31,
as part of an ongoing effort
to ensure school children
have nutritious meals during
the summer. 
Funding for the Summer
Food Service Program is
provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and targets children up to age 18. 
Agencies with summer camps that are interested in becoming a site
for this program should
call Rose Myrick at (678)
698-1114. To qualify as a
site, 50 percent of the children served must meet the
income guidelines for free
and reduced price meals in
the National School Lunch
Program. Children who are
members of households that
receive food stamps or Aid
for Dependent Children
assistance automatically

The deadline to apply for
the summer food program is
Friday, May 1. Applications
for the program are available online at or
can be picked up Monday
through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5
p.m. at the following locations: Tucker Recreation
Center, Attn: Rose Myrick,
4898 LaVista Road, Room
12, Tucker; and Recreation,
Parks & Cultural Affairs Department; Manuel J. Maloof
Center, 1300 Commerce
Drive, 3rd Floor, Decatur.

Fun Mud Run
The Chamblee Fun Mud
Run is a 5K (3.15 mile) run
with obstacles and mud,
benefitting the Chamblee
Middle School Education
Foundation (CMSEF).
Presented by Ed Voyles
Automotive, the Chamblee
Fun Mud Run will be held
on Saturday, May 2, at 8 a.m.
at Chamblee Middle School.
The event is sponsored
by the CMSEF, the city of
Chamblee and the DeKalb
County Fire Rescue Department.

Monday, May 4, 2015
5:45 p.m.

Page 17A

J. David Williamson Board Room
Administrative & Instructional Complex
1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd.
Stone Mountain, GA 30083

The DeKalb County Board of Education will hold a public budget
hearing to solicit feedback from the public regarding the 20152016 school system’s budget.

Words HURT

Stop the Bullying

teacher killed
in car crash
The Chamblee Fun Mud
Run is open to the community, and is appropriate for children ages 8 and
older as well as adults of all
abilities. There is a 3K (1.9
mile) Muddy Buddy race
immediately following the
Chamblee Fun Mud run, appropriate for children ages
5 and older, and anyone else
who wants to complete the
mud obstacles, but prefers to
run a shorter course.
Day of event registration
is offered on a limited basis
at $35 for either race.
After-event activities will
include a stage with a DJ and
music, refreshments, hoseoff stations, kids’ bouncy
house, awards ceremony,
sponsor booths and more.
All participants will receive
a T-shirt.
Race bib and bag pick
up will be at The Big Peach
Running Company’s store
in Town Brookhaven, 705
Town Boulevard, Suite 340,
Atlanta, on Friday, May 1,
from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Chamblee Middle
School is located at 3601
Sexton Woods Drive, Chamblee.
For more information,

by Carla Parker
Decatur police have
identified the person killed
in an April 25 car accident as
33-year-old Leah O’Brien.
O’Brien was a family and
consumer science teacher at
Lakeside High School. Her
8-year-old daughter was a
passenger in her vehicle and
is in critical but stable condition at an area hospital, according Lt. Jennifer S. Ross.
The occupants of the second
car involved in the crash
were a 19-year-old male and
18-year-old female who were
on their way to the Lakeside
High School prom.
The two were treated for
non-life threatening injuries.
Ross said officers responded to the vehicle accident on Scott Boulevard at
Ridley Circle around 6 p.m.
“Preliminary investigation revealed one driver
was attempting to turn off
of Ridley Circle, eastbound
onto Scott Boulevard,” Ross
said. “One driver was traveling westbound on Scott
Ross said the investigation is ongoing.

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He would also be a
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If you would like more information about Chester
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screened to ensure Chester goes to a good home.


Page 18A The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 1, 2015

Kirkwood woman has neat ideas
by Kathy Mitchell
Jodi Doughty has always
liked tidy surroundings, now
she’s turned that character
trait into a business. “When
I was a little girl I would line
my stuffed animals up neatly,
then I’d line up my friends’
toys. They didn’t always appreciate it,” she said with a
Those who do appreciate
an orderly environment but
can’t quite figure out how to
achieve it can hire Doughty,
whose business, Sift Solutions, is about helping people
organize. “It’s not always
about getting rid of things
and it’s not about becoming
a neat freak. It’s about organizing your belongings so
you can find them when you
need them. It’s about creating
an environment that’s clutter
free, a reflection of how you
want to live—it’s all about
simplicity,” she said.
Until approximately two
years ago Doughty operated
a home cleaning business,
but as she came to clients’
homes to clean she saw that
a good many had a need for
someone to help them organize and simplify. “Sometimes a few smart ideas are
all that’s needed to make a
room more functional,” she
Often people recognize

Jodi Doughty says sometimes a few smart ideas are all that’s necessary to make a room more functional.

the need for neater surroundings but don’t have
the time or the organization
skills to do the work themselves, she said. “Someone
might start cleaning a room
and get distracted looking
at old photos, for example. I
help them stay focused and
stay on task. Only after seeing the job completed can

someone appreciate how
much nicer and more usable
the space has become.”
Doughty said projects
can be done with or without
active participation from
the client or can be handled
through consultation with
the client doing the actual
work. “We offer many options based on the client’s

budget and preference.
There’s no formula. We work
with each client’s individual
Typically, she said, a
project is pursued in blocks
of four hours. It may take
several such sessions, to
complete it. “Before we start,
I have a consultation with
the client to discuss goals
and priorities. Every person
has his or her own concept of
tidiness. I want to work with
that—not to create my vision
but to fulfill the client’s vision.”
She invites potential clients to imagine a stress-free
morning in which working
parents have their clothes
and the children’s clothes
ready to put on, lunches are
made and keys and phones
are handy—and there’s time
to spare. It’s all achievable,
Doughty said, for those who
know how to organize their
Doughty said there are
many benefits to having orderly surroundings. “Being
organized saves time and
money in addition to bringing your stress level down,”
she noted, adding that approximately 65 percent of
people say clutter affects
their state of mind. “When
you can’t find something you
need, you spend a lot of time
looking for it or you may end
up buying a duplicate. All of

that wastes time and money.”
Sift Solutions focuses on
residential organization. “I
only get involved with work
environments when people
have home offices,” she explained. Common projects
include kitchens, bedrooms,
laundry areas, craft and
hobby areas and children’s
rooms—or a client may want
the entire house organized.
Often people who are downsizing or upsizing because
the number of people in
their household is changing use Doughty’s services.
In addition to working with
those whose homes have gotten out of control, Doughty
helps others just moving into
a home who want to figure
out the best use of the space
they have.
She said clients shouldn’t
be concerned she will be appalled by the clutter in their
homes. “We’re not there to
judge,” she said, “we’re there
to help.” She said the most
common reaction when she’s
finished is for clients to be
delighted at how much space
they have.
Doughty explained that
her business is not about
helping hoarders. “That’s a
different problem. Hoarding is a mental health issue. I
am happy to refer people to
someone who can help them
with that, but that’s not what
I do.”


Continued From Page 12A

for the plant, including millions
of square feet of office space,
along with research centers,
shops, parks and housing.
Among the first projects will
be Third Rail Studio, a production and television studio that
will the remains of a portion of
the original building as metro
Atlanta’s newest movie and television production studio.
The Integral Group partnered with Capstone South
Properties to develop Third Rail
Studios on a six-acre section of
the 165-acre development.
The completed media
complex is expected to open
in December and will be a
270,000-square-foot facility.

Board of Directors chairman Brian Mock
welcomes guest. Photos by Ashley Oglesby

Discover DeKalb executive director James
Tsismanakis introduces special guest
Egbert Perry.

The Integral Group chairman Egbert Perry acknowledges Doraville’s mayor, city manager and
council members for their support of the Assembly project.

Guests applaud Egbert Perry’s development plans for the former 165-acre General Motors Plant.

Globally aware

DeKalb Chamber of Commerce • Two Decatur Town Center, 125 Clairemont Ave., Suite, Decatur, GA 30030 • 404.378.8000 •

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 1, 2015

Georgia students receive
visit from Choice Bus
minute classroom interactive
DVD The Choice Is Yours. The
rear of the bus is an exact repEach year, dropouts cost the lica of a prison cell, an approxiU.S. economy $329 billion in
mate 6 by 8 feet room with a
lost economic opportunity and bunk bed, toilet and sink.
social services according to The
Lead presenter Chet PenMattie C. Stewart Foundation
nock said the mission of the
foundation is to decrease the
In an effort to encourage
dropout rate.
students to stay in school and
“The Choice Bus is an inavoid the likely consequences
teractive tool that shows stuof dropping out, from April
dents what opportunities are
28 through May 1, students of
there if you get an education.
DeKalb County will experience They see a jail cell and that’s a
firsthand how the choices they
little more dramatic than somemake now can affect their fuone that just tells them ‘if you
don’t graduate and you’re out
MCSF in partnership with
making bad choices that’s what
State Farm will allow students
can happen to you’, they’re gofrom Clarkston, Creekside and ing to see what can happen on
Cedar Grove high schools, as
this bus.”
well as McNair and Paul D.
Pennock has traveled
West middle schools to experi- throughout the eastern half
ence The Choice Bus.
of the country for five years
“The average dropout,
spreading the foundation’s mesdrops out of school in the 10th
sage. He said the most rewardgrade and is making $16,000 a
ing aspect of the job is “talkyear, the average high school
ing to kids that’ve made bad
graduate, two years later is
choices already and have seen
making $27,000 a year, the avthat it doesn’t work and want to
erage person who goes one step achieve better things.”
beyond that in their education
He added, “It’s difficult but
and goes to college makes more when we get kids that have had
than $1 million more in the
problems and their eyes are
course of a lifetime, that averag- opened, the ones that have edues $36,000-$40,000 a year. One cational aspirations but aren’t
step, and that one step looks
as affluent as other kids, I tell
different for different people ... them ‘if you don’t want to go to
but that one extra year of edua four-year school, try technical
cation can very easily change
school, learn a trade,’
the whole projection of your
He added, “When you’re
life,” MCSF presenter Eryka
talking to a student and they’re
Perry said to students during a listening that’s obviously a big
The Choice Bus is a halfThe bus also provides
prison cell, half-classroom con- teachers with the Learn2Earn
verted school bus intended to
booklet and the InsideOut toolteach kids the importance of an kit to help students understand
budgeting, taxes, credit cards,
The front half of the bus is
loans and hear true life stories
used as a classroom, with space from prison inmates.
for a projector to play the four-


Page 19A

by Ashley Oglesby

State Farm and The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation have teamed up for the last four years to bring The
Choice Bus to Alabama, Georgia, Delaware, Indiana, Mississippi, New York, South Carolina, Texas and
other State Farm territories.

A replica of a prison cell shows students a 6-by-9 foot room with a bunk bed, toilet and sink.

Eryka Perry takes questions from the students after watching the foundation’s featured film. Photos
by Ashley Oglesby

USG vice chancellor to speak at commencement
by Rebecca Rakoczy
Shelley Nickel, vice
chancellor for planning and
implementation for the University System of Georgia,
will be the 2015 commencement speaker for Georgia
Perimeter College’s May 8
The ceremony will be
at 10:30 a.m. at the Georgia
World Congress Center in
Since January, Nickel
has been a lead partner in
the consolidation of Georgia

Perimeter College and Georgia State University. She has
been engaged with GPC faculty, staff and students and
participated in town hall
and community meetings at
GPC campuses.
“Georgia Perimeter College is delighted to have
Shelley Nickel as our commencement speaker this
year,” said Rob Watts, GPC’s
interim president. “Shelley has had a distinguished
career in state government,
serving chancellors and
governors in senior-level

positions. Most recently,
she has led the six institutional consolidation projects within the University
System of Georgia. I have
worked closely with Shelley
for many years. She understands the transforming
power of a college education, and she is committed
to improving student success at all University System
Nickel has held leadership roles for the state for
nearly two decades. Her previous experience includes

serving as associate vice
chancellor of the University
System of Georgia, leading
Gordon College as interim
president, and directing the
Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget. She also
served as president of the
Georgia Student Finance
Nickel earned a master’s
degree in public administration and a bachelor of science in community development, both from Penn State
University. She received an
Alumni Fellow award from

her alma mater in 2007 and
is a life member of the Penn
State Alumni Association.
She is also a member of
the College of Liberal Arts
Alumni Society Board.
Georgia Perimeter expects 2,023 students to be
eligible to participate in
GPC’s 2015 spring commencement ceremony, according to Doug Ruch, GPC
associate director of institutional research.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 1, 2015



Page 20A
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DISCLAIMER: We do not knowingly accept advertisements that discriminate, or intend to discriminate, on any illegal basis. Nor do we knowingly accept employment advertisements that are not
bona-fide job offers. All real estate advertisements are subject to the fair housing act and we do not accept advertising that is in violation of the law. The law prohibits discrimination based on color,
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The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 1, 2015


Page 21A

Marist Lacrosse team features five sets of brothers, including assistant
coaches Shaun and Kevin Lux (front row), (back row, from left) Michael and
Charlie Addicks, Kyle and Kevin Coughlin, Jackson and William Mudd, and
Matt and Chris Zowine. Photo by Mary Jo Corsetti

Brotherly love:

Marist lacrosse team has five sets of
brothers, including coaching staff
by Carla Parker
It is not unusual for siblings to
play on the same team.
However, rarely does a team
have a set of brothers on the coaching staff and four sets of brothers on
the player roster. That is the case for
Marist boys’ lacrosse team.
Kevin and Shaun Lux are assistant coaches on the team. On
the team are brothers Michael and
Charlie Addicks, Kyle and Kevin
Coughlin, Jackson and William
Mudd, and Chris and Matt Zowine.
“This is pretty unusual,” sophomore Michael Addicks said about
playing with other sets of brothers.
“Most of the time it’s just us two on
[a] team with no other brothers.”
This is Michael’s and his brother
Charlie’s first time playing lacrosse
together. Charlie was the first to try
out for lacrosse.
“I started playing in seventh
grade when a bunch of my friends
started playing,” Charlie said. “So I

stopped [playing] baseball to play
“I saw how much fun he was
having and then my friend got me
into it too,” Michael said.
Both brothers said it is “fun” and
“weird” to play on the same team,
but in practice it is a different story.
“We go a little harder at each
other,” Charlie said. “We compete
more against each other.”
“It’s kind of fun to be able to get
some shots in whenever you can,”
Michael said.
The Zowine brothers also like to
go at each other in practice.
“Sometimes we go a little extra
[at each other],” said junior Matt
Zowine. “I may throw a hard check
in there I don’t see why not.”
Lacrosse is in the Zowines’
blood. Their father played in college,
and when the brothers “got tired of
baseball,” they picked up lacrosse.
Unlike the Addicks, the Zowines began playing lacrosse at a young age.
“I was on and off for a while
starting in third grade, but I started

playing for real my freshman year,”
Matt said.
“[It] was the same [for me],” said
Chris, who is a freshman.
Playing on the same team is also
a first for the Zowines.
“It’s very fun,” Matt said. “It’s a
different dynamic between me and
him and between the other guys as
well. I know it’s really fun for our
parents to see us on the field at the
same time, on the same defensive
line and stuff.”
“We sort of have a chemistry,”
Chris added. “It’s kind of natural.”
For senior Kevin Coughlin, this
is not his first time playing on the
same team with a brother.
“I’ve been playing since third
grade,” Kevin said. “My oldest
brother, [Danny], who is currently
playing at Georgia Tech, started
playing when he was in fifth grade,
and he got me playing and that’s
how I picked it up.”
This is the first time Kevin and
Kyle, a sophomore, have played on
the same team.

“I started in eighth grade,” Kyle
said. “My brothers influenced me
and I switched over from soccer.”
Both brothers play on defense
and enjoy playing together in games
and in practice.
“This is a lot of fun,” Kevin said.
“It’s not many times that you get to
play with one brother and then play
with two brothers.”
“It’s pretty cool,” Kyle said. “I
get to look up to them and it’s very
Marist’s lacrosse team is 9-4 as of
April 27 and ranked No. 10 in Class
A-AAAAA. The team has wins
over No. 4-ranked Cambridge, No.
5-ranked St. Pius and No. 7-ranked
McIntosh. Marist has a chance to
win the region, and the team has
hopes to win state, which would
mean a lot to the brothers.
“It would be cool that we did it
together and with a bunch of brothers,” Charlie Addicks said.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 1, 2015


Page 22A

Southwest DeKalb athletes sign scholarships
by Carla Parker
Five Southwest DeKalb High School
athletes took center stage April 17 to
sign their letters of intent to their respective schools in their respective
Softball player StarKeira Daniel
signed with Benedict College, lacrosse
player Casey Kelly signed with Lincoln Memorial University, basketball
player Diamond Porter signed with the
University of Mobile, Malik Golar and
Miles Hollis signed lacrosse scholarships to Reinhardt, and their teammate
Tyler Stridiron signed with Oglethorpe.
The student athletes celebrated their
signings with family, friends, teammates, classmates and coaches.
Porter, a member of the Lady Panthers 2013 state championship team,
said she chose Mobile because the
school felt like home.
“All of the [players] reached out to
me and even the coach reached out to
me, and he said it was going to be a full
ride [scholarship],” Porter said. “My
[mother] wanted a full ride and I decided to sign with Mobile.”
Porter averaged 7.8 points and 1.8
assists per game in 19 games in her
senior season. She said the coaches at
Mobile expect her to contribute her
shooting skills.
“[The coach] wants me to be a combo guard,” she said. “I’m going to play
one [point guard] and two [shooting
guard], run the point, and then I’ll come
in for the shooting because I can shoot.”
Golar has only played lacrosse for
two years, but put in the work to become a good player, and received multiple scholarships before deciding on
“Reinhardt wasn’t my first choice,”
Golar said. “I [visited] a couple of colleges—Kennesaw State, Oglethorpe,
Young Harris—and I did a visit at Reinhardt and the staff over there was just
cooperative. I felt like I was at home,
almost as if I was in my own home.”
Golar was a member of the band before deciding to try out for lacrosse two
years ago. He said it felt good to know
that all his hard work paid off.
“I started last year, came in two
weeks before the first game and coach
[Nathan] Booker said I had something
special,” Golar said. “I wanted to try to
do something because I really didn’t
want to do the band. I was good in
band, but it’s not what I wanted to do. I
worked hard all summer, did different
showcases, different camps, played with
different club leagues and just worked
Golar, who plays attacker and midfielder, said he has a lot to offer offensively and defensively to Reinhardt.
“I think my strong set is as a defensive [midfielder], but I’m also able to
participate and perform officially on the
field—scoring goals, giving good assists,
just try to help out the team anyway I
can,” he said.

Miles Hollisholds up a Reinhardt University shirt after announcing his decision to sign a lacrosse scholarship to the school.

The parents of Southwest DeKalb lacrosse players Malik Golar (left) Miles Hollis and Tyler Stridiron sign the letters of intent to their
sons’ respective schools.

Diamond Porter (center) signs her letter of intent to play basketball at the University of Mobile.

The father of softball player Starkeira Daniel signs the letter of intent to Benedict College. Photos by Carla Parker


The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 1, 2015

Page 23A

Greenforest guard Justin Ravenel (center) is taking his talents to FAMU next Fall. Celebrating him at his signing day included Greenforest basketball coach Nick Lagroone (left), his parents Ed and Blanche Ravenel, and Greenforest headmaster Dr. M.O. Clarke. Photos by Carla Parker

Greenforest’s Justin Ravenel signs with FAMU
by Carla Parker
Christian Academy senior
guard Justin Ravenel played
a big role in building the
boys’ basketball players into
a winning team.
Ravenel hopes to do
the same for Florida A&M
University men’s basketball
program. He signed his letter of intent to FAMU April
17 in front of his family,
friends, coaches and teammates. Ravenel said it is “a
great feeling” to have the
opportunity to play college
“It’s every high school
athlete’s dream to go and
play at the next level. I’ve
always dreamed of this moment, and it’s a heart-warming moment and I’m just so
blessed to be here.”
Ravenel averaged 18
points, five rebounds and
three assists per game his
senior season, and helped
lead his team to the Class
A Private state championship game, where they lost
to St. Francis 96-81. He had
offers from Mercer, Tennessee Tech, Navy, Citadel, and
more, but picked FAMU because of the potential of the
“I saw a chance to really
do something big that hasn’t

Justin Ravenel signs his letter of intent to FAMU.

been done there in a while,”
he said. “It’s a process,
[FAMU has] been rebuilding. And [I’ve] just [been]
forming relationships with
other players from around
the country, and just trying
to come together and do
something very special.”
FAMU went 2-27 this
past season and has not had
a winning season in eight
years. Ravenel said he has a
lot to offer to FAMU’s program.

“I have the versatility of
scoring, leading and making
plays,” he said. “They’ve always looked at me as scoring
the ball very well and just
looking to be a great leader.
I feel like when I get there
I’ll be able to implement that
into the program.”
Greenforest coach Nick
Lagroone said Ravenel will
have an impact on the team
and the school.
“Justin is a first-class
young man,” Lagroone said.

“FAMU is not just getting a
basketball player, but they’re
getting an individual who
is going to do a lot for that
school and that community.”
Ravenel is Lagroone’s
first college signee as a head
coach. He described Ravenel’s recruiting process and
signing an “unbelievable
“I wouldn’t trade it for
the world,” he said.
Ravenel will also be reuniting with his brotherEd-

ward, who attends FAMU.
His parents said they are
“very proud” of him.
“I thought back to when
Justin first held a basketball
in his hands, I think my
husband put a basketball
in his hands at the age of 2,
and he just had a love for
the game since that time,”
said his mother, Blanche
Ravenel. “He has always
been very passionate about
it, and I’m just blessed that
God has blessed him with
this scholarship because
that’s what it all about. The
[children] have so much opportunities and all you have
to do is trust in God, work
hard and he’ll open these
doors for you. So, I just feel
really blessed.”
“Greenforest is a true
family, and we spend most
of our time here and that’s
where we wanted him to
continue to grow,” Ed Ravenel said. “And this is the
fruit of the labor right here.”
The school’s headmaster
Dr. M.O. Clarke also had
high praises for Ravenel.
“He’s done such a
marvelous job of setting
examples for our younger
students,” Clarke said.
“About six years ago is when
I first noticed Justin had an
outstanding talent, but he
is also an outstanding individual.”


Page 24A The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 1, 2015

District 5 residents may elect new commissioner
by Andrew Cauthen
Now there are no candidates for
the DeKalb County District 5 commission seat.
The Board of Commissioners
voted April 28 to withdraw all five
candidates for the seat: Markus Butts,
George Turner, Kenneth Saunders,
Kathryn Rice and Gina Smith Mangham.
Commissioner Kathie Gannon,
who made the motion to withdraw
the names said, “I think the community has spoken to us loud and clear
for the past two meetings that they
want an election.
“I’ve always said that they deserve
an election,” Gannon said. “That’s
what it should be and I think we are
very close to that.”
 The District 5 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.
Gannon added, “I really wish that
the district attorney and CEO Ellis’
team could get together and come to
a compromise and not make everyone
wait for so long so that we could move
this whole process on.”
Residents of District 5 were “very
on point,” Gannon said, when they

District 5 residents showed their solidarity by wearing green “District 5 matters” shirts.
Photo by Travis Hudgons

stated, “we’ve waited this long; we’ve
got a couple more months.
Ndubueze Alaka, president of the
Alliance of Nigerian Organizations in
Georgia and District 5 resident, said
the commissioners’ vote is “a victory
for the district.”
“At least someone is listening to
our plea,” he said. “I’m very excited
with what the commissioners did today.”
Alaka said District 5 residents
have had their voices seized by the
lengthy process.
“They have no voice anymore,”
Alaka said.
Democracy would not be served

by the commission selecting an interim commissioner because the appointed person would be “responsible
and accountable to whoever appoints
[him or her] to that position,” Alaka
“So the group you are representing, you are not obligated in any form
or shape to them because they did not
ask you to represent them,” he said.
District 5 resident Harold Smith
said the board’s action “was the appropriate thing to do because we want
an election, not a selection.”
“To go through that deliberation,
to go through and deal with each one
of those candidates as [the commis-

sioners did] to try to…see which one
they wanted to choose was not democratic,” Smith said. “The democratic
way to do that was to allow us to have
an election. Had they done this maybe
as [late] as six months ago, a selection
may have been appropriate, because
then the candidate would have time
to get into office get some experience
and do what needs to be done.”
Now that the trial is a month
away, Smith said, an appointed commissioner would only have 30 to 60
days to serve.
“It doesn’t serve the purpose of
the people,” he said. “We need somebody to be elected by the people.
That way it’s a peer vote. There’s no
ambiguity with that. There’s no issues.
There’s no conflict of interest.”
A selection by the board would
allow someone’s special interest to
influence the vote, he said. “We don’t
want that.”
Faye Coffield of District 5 said,
“We’re so close now to the trial of
Burrell Ellis, [the commissioners]
just need to give this a rest. Just wait
until after the trial, because even if
they put somebody in that seat today,
they can’t swear them in until the next
meeting and then you only have two
meetings until the trial starts.
“We’ve waited this long. This
thing has been going on for so long.
Why not wait until after the trial?”
she said.