FRIDAY, May 22, 2015 • VOL. 18, NO. 8• FREE

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


Happy memorial day

Decatur dedicates Beacon Municipal Center

Decatur dedicated the $38 million Beacon Municipal Center May 16.

by Carla Parker


he Beacon Hill community was once a proud Black
neighborhood in Decatur
with its own high and elementary
schools in the 1960s.
The historic community faced
changes over the years with many

of the buildings and homes demolished, but the spirit of the community remained and that spirit is felt
throughout the new Beacon Municipal Center.
Decatur city officials, residents
and many who grew up in the historic Black Beacon community,
gathered May 16 to celebrate the
dedication of the new Beacon Mu-

See Center on page 15A

A Southern Airways taxies to depart PDK.

Decatur Mayor Emerita Elizabeth Wilson, who spearheaded the project, was “happy”
to see the complex opened. Photos by Travis Hudgons

Chairman and CEO of Southern Airways
Stan Little

Flying first class out of PDK

by John Hewitt
There’s a new way for the public
to fly and its available now at
DeKalb Peachtree Airport (PDK). It
also has put PDK on popular travel
sites such as Travelocity, Expedia,

Hotwire and Kayak.
Memphis-based Southern
Airways now offers commercial
service out of PDK that allows the
public to avoid parking and security
delays, requires only a 20-minute
arrival prior to departure and
is price-competitive with major



carriers flying into and out of
Hartsfield Jackson International
The brainchild of Chairman and
CEO Stan Little, Southern Airways
began in a rather nontraditional
way. Little, a prominent defense
attorney in Memphis, said in an


interview at PDK that he used
to own a private plane and had a
vacation home in Destin, Fla.; he
hired private pilots to fly him and
guests to and from Memphis and

See PDK on page 15A



Page 2A The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 22, 2015

Governor appoints new DeKalb judges
by Carla Parker
Rep. Mike Jacobs (RBrookhaven) is leaving the
state legislature to become a
State Court judge of DeKalb
Gov. Nathan Deal announced May 12 the appointment of Jacobs as State
Court judge of DeKalb,
replacing Eleanor Ross,
who is now a federal judge
for the Northern District of
Deal also appointed
Jean-Paul “JP” Boulee as




Superior Court judge of the
Stone Mountain Judicial
Circuit. Boulee replaces for-

mer DeKalb Superior Court
Judge Cynthia Becker, who
resigned in March.

Boulee is a partner with
Jones Day in Atlanta. Boulee said he is honored to be

nominated by the Judicial
Nominating Commission
and humbled to be selected.
“The judges in DeKalb
County are exceptional,” he
said. “I am excited to join
them and learn from them.
I will, though, very much
miss my colleagues at Jones
Day. I owe them, especially
Richard H. Deane Jr., the
head of the office, and Lizanne Thomas, the head of
the Southern Region.”
Boulee previously served
as a captain in the U.S.
Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Boulee earned

See Judge on page 3A

K-9 memorial

by Andrew Cauthen

“Hero. Partner. Friend.”
That’s the inscription on a
monument unveiled May 15 to
recognize the importance of police dogs.
“This K-9 memorial allows us to recognize, remember
and honor public safety K-9s
that have served the citizens of
DeKalb County,” said interim
DeKalb County Police Chief
James Conroy about the only
permanent statue in Georgia
dedicated to K-9s.
“K-9s have become an integral part of the public safety
operations, are deployed on a
daily basis for various tasks such
as explosives and narcotics detection, criminal apprehension,
[and] locating missing children
and elderly persons,” Conroy
The monument, a statue of
a dog named Hero mounted
on a marble block, is located at
DeKalb County Police Headquarters, 1960 West Exchange
Place, Tucker, on the hill where
the current police headquarters
signage overlooks the proposed
police and firefighter monuments location. Leading to the
monument is a walkway of pavers with the name of each K-9
and its handler and the years of
the dog’s service.
“We are honoring truly an
important aspect of our law
enforcement agency here in
DeKalb County,” said interim
DeKalb County CEO Lee May.
“It’s something that I don’t
think has been acknowledged by
the general public the way that
it should have been,” May said.

“Our K-9 unit, these K-9 dogs
that have been trained from a
very young age to protect and
preserve life of our citizens here
in DeKalb County, but also to
protect and preserve life with
our officers.
“You don’t think about
things like this until things go
bad,” May said.
DeKalb County Police Officer Mark Taylor, whose K-9
partner passed away last year,
said the “memorial is about
the K-9s. It’s about every dog
that’s ever been working in and
around DeKalb County.
“It’s all for them just so that
we can remember them and say
thanks for what they did. They
spent their whole lives working
for us, and now we have this to
say thanks,” Taylor said.
DeKalb County Police Officer J. D. Huckabey was the
handler for Rysa, who retired in
2010 after working as a K-9 for
five years.
“I think that it is a good recognition for dogs,” said Huckabey, who has been a K-9 handler
for almost 10 years and with the
department for 28 years.
“They do a lot of work,”
Huckabey said. “[Rysa] put in a
lot of years and all the dogs do.
It’s a great memorial for them.
They need to be recognized.
“They give 110 percent every day,” said Huckabey, who
works with another dog, Luca.
“When I don’t want to go to
work, she does.
“Being a police officer is
awesome, but being a K-9 handler is incredible,” Huckabey
said. “It’s the best job in the
department. I have definitely
found my calling for that.”

DeKalb County Police officers and their K-9 partners participated in the official unveiling of the
county’s K-9 memorial. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

DeKalb Police Officer J. D. Huckabey with Rysa.

Plans for the memorial began the death of
DeKalb Police Officer Mark Taylor’s K-9 partner.

DeKalb Police Officer K. R. Brown poses at
the K-9 statue.

Interim county CEO Lee May said K-9s are an
important part of the police force.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 22, 2015


Page 3A

Local author releases first book for preteens
by Kathy Mitchell
After six successful
young adult novels, Decatur
author Terra Elan McVoy
has released Drive Me Crazy,
for readers 8 to 12 years
old. She said having a book
come out is “a blessing every
single time. This one was
particularly exciting, since
it’s my debut in the middle
grade arena, but it’s always a
special occasion.
“I’ve wanted to write for Terra Elan McVoy says she always
wanted to write for middle grade
middle grade readers for a
long time, in part because
books were especially vital
among adults and children
to me during that phase of
these days, so the key is
my life,” she said. “I also
to make the prose agework closely with kids this
age in my job as a bookseller appropriate, without dumbat Little Shop of Stories, and ing things down. Listening
closely to the kids around
have deeply enjoyed the
smart, thoughtful conversa- me definitely helped.”
Some content, McVoy
tions I have with them. I
may be too
thought switching over to a
readslightly younger perspective
would help me continue to
grow as a writer, and also
young adults,” she said with
have fun at the same time.” 
a smile, “but I will say that
Like McVoy’s other
many kids today are still
books, Drive Me Crazy is
going through difficult and
written in the first person.
She said of mentally shifting challenging things, so not
to another person’s perspec- everything has to be sweetness and roses when you
tive, “There’s a lot of character work that goes behind write for younger readers,
each [narrator] to get the
McVoy, who was born
voice exactly right. In writin
said she recalls her
ing middle grade, the biggest
vividly but
difference is there’s definitereminds
that much
ly far less self-analysis going
on. When Lana is scared,
she’s just sacred—she doesn’t
have a big monologue with
herself about why. If Cassie’s
would still be in touch with
angry, she’s angry, and she
their parents or friends on a
doesn’t try to rationalize or
regular basis, instead of off
justify it.”
on their own without cell
Keeping the language
phones. In some ways that
appropriate for a pre-teen
felt constricting, but in other
girl means “not being vulways it really aided my plot.”
gar but also keeping the
She said that as a teen
language sophisticated and
liked the kinds of books
savvy enough that modern
now writes: books about
tweens could relate to it,” she
girls going through
said. “There’s much more
situations. “I loved
popular culture crossover
Ramona Quimby, Starring

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Sally J. Friedman as Herself by Judy Blume, and the
Little House Books. Beverly
Cleary also wrote some
young adult books; Jean and
Johnny was my favorite in
middle school. Of course
there was also was my love
affair with Sweet Valley
McVoy said her writing
is for entertainment though
readers may find life lessons
in her books. “I’m never
interested in pounding any
messages into my pages, but
because of the kind of reader I was at that age—and still
am—I’m always interested
in writing about the deeper
challenges of discovering
who you are. Friendship,
family and being someone
of character are issues close
to my heart, so I can’t help
but make those the center
point of my work, too. 
“I’ve loved writing since
I was very young. Parts of
it are thrilling, and parts of
it are frustrating. There’s a
deep pleasure I still derive
from it that’s hard to describe,” she said. “Writing
does, however, take a lot of
time and a lot of energy; I
don’t simply sit down and
pour out pages. Sometimes
you work for several hours
to only get 500 good words
out—or not even that much.
Other times you have to rework your entire plot, even
after agonizing over the
outline for months. It isn’t
straightforward work, but it
is intensely gratifying, and I
feel privileged every day that
I get to do this for my job.”
While Drive Me Crazy
is McVoy’s first novel for
preteens, it won’t be her
last. “Currently I’m work-

McVoy’s latest novel tells of two preteen girls on a road trip.

ing on the companion book
to Drive Me Crazy, which
will come out in 2016,”
she said. “This is All Your
Fault, Cassie Parker is about
Cassie’s ex-best friend,
Fiona, and what happens to
her over the course of the
summer in which Drive Me
Crazy takes place. I’m really
enjoying writing for this age
group, and hope there are
many more to come.
“One thing I enjoyed a
lot about Drive Me Crazy

was involving the grandparents in the adventure. While
Tess and Howie aren’t the
main characters, they both
play very large roles, and
writing about the special
relationships you have with
your grandparents was a big
pleasure. This is also about a
fun, summer cross-country
road trip, with both real and
made-up locations along the
way,” McVoy said.

Judge Continued From Page 2A
a bachelor’s degree in politics from Washington and Lee University and a law degree
from the University of Georgia School of
Boulee said he brings a “diversity of experience” to the bench.
“I plan to work hard to become known
as a judge that does his homework and tries
his best to get to the right answer and to be
respectful and fair to everyone who walks
into the courtroom,” he said. “I like to think
that one of the reasons I was selected was
because my candidacy was supported by
many of DeKalb’s different communities. I
hope to earn the trust and support of all of
the citizens of DeKalb County as I transition
to this new role.”
Jacobs has been representing the 80th
district for 10 years. He operates a law practice in Sandy Springs.
On the day Deal announced the ap-

pointments, Brookhaven resident Catherine
Bernard announced her candidacy for Jacob’s vacant sent.
“I am asking for the privilege to serve
you as your next state representative,” Bernard said in a released statement. “House
District 80 is one of the most vibrant parts
of metro Atlanta, and needs representation
focused on building strong communities
through free enterprise and accountable,
transparent government. I am committed to
reading every bill, providing a public reason
for every vote, and always listening to the
people of our district–not outside interests
attempting to drive the legislative process.
Bernard served as chair of the Brookhaven
Redevelopment Referendum Committee,
which defeated the November 2014 Redevelopment Powers Law referendum in

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 22, 2015


Page 4A

Our complaints help
I hear a lot of complaints
about DeKalb County. People complain about potholes
and roads that need repaving. They complain about
corruption in the government. They say the county
needs to do a better job attracting jobs. Others say the
police don’t respond to calls
in a timely fashion. Some
believe the county needs to
be cleaner.
Sometimes we need to
put things in perspective.
Recently I spent several days
in the greater St. Louis area–
my daughter is on a robotics
team that competed in the
world championships there.
Whenever my family
travels to another city, we
enjoy seeing how the natives
live; we don’t just stick to the
touristy areas. In St. Louis
this was easily accomplished
since our hotel was 14 miles
from the Edward Jones
Dome at America’s Center

Andrew Cauthen

Managing Editor

where the robotics competition was held.
We traveled through
several cities in the St. Louis
region, some with populations less than 1,000. I later
learned that St. Louis County has 90 municipalities and
the city of St. Louis is not in
the county; it is an independent city, completely separate from the county. Although we are dealing with
a frenzy of incorporation

efforts, DeKalb probably will
never have 90 cities–15 to 20
maybe, but not 90.
In St. Louis–the county
and the city–the roads
are terrible. In areas, cars
bounce along pothole-ridden roads. Our worst roads
are pleasant compared to
many of the roads there.
The most significant different between St. Louis
County and DeKalb County
that I noticed was the urban
blight. Sure, most of DeKalb
County was officially labeled
a slum by our Board of
Commissioners in a urban
redevelopment plan. But
my trip to St. Louis opened
my eyes to real slums. I
can’t count the abandoned
business, industrial and
residential buildings I saw.
In one village, nearly the
whole Main Street area was
abandoned. In another city,
an abandoned apartment
building with missing win-

dows had signs of homeless
people staying there.
And we went to Ferguson. It’s just a small, unassuming town where all
hell broke loose in August
2014 after a Ferguson Police officer fatally shot an
unarmed Black man. Rioting and vandalism ensued
and nine months later, the
signs of chaos are still there.
A makeshift memorial to
Michael Brown, the man
killed by the officer, remains
outside his apartment complex. A partially burned
Advance Auto Parts store
remains abandoned and
surrounded by a temporary
chain link fence. A nearby
TitleMax store was burned
to the ground and has relocated.
Another boarded-up,
burned store bears this graffiti epitaph: “Real people destroyed what is not theirs to
destroy, causing real people

to lose business and jobs.”
In DeKalb there have
been a couple of police-involved shootings scrutinized
by the public. But residents
protested peacefully and legally, not with rocks, matches and guns.
Yes, we complain in
DeKalb County, not because
things are as bad as they are
in St. Louis and some other
communities around the nation, but because things are
not as we want them to be.
We have higher standards
and bigger dreams than
some communities, and our
proactive complaints and
healthy dissatisfaction help
us to continue to improve
our lot in life.
Complaints and all, I was
glad to be back in DeKalb
County after my St. Louis

Guest Editorial:

DeKalb County’s story needs to change
by Steve Bradshaw
And the hits just keep on
I don’t know if the recently
reported probes into DeKalb
County will amount to anything.
In fact I will not even speculate one
way or the other.
However, I will say that this is
just one more story that underscores
the negative narrative that has
evolved about DeKalb County in
recent times. In essence it is just
another log on the fire. Make no
mistake about it, DeKalb is burning.
At this point recounting all of
the negative stories about DeKalb
County would only serve to distress
me further. We know the story, and
the story is shameful. The story
needs to change.
In case there are those who
regard the current situation as
merely an embarrassment with no
tangible consequences I ask you to
consider the following:
In my business development
roles I have called on executive level
business people all over this country
so I have a pretty good sense of their
thought process. When presented
with the opportunity to open or

relocate a plant, or distribution
center or regional office company
CEO’s have an array of choices
globally, nationally and locally. Each
time I read about some new facility
going up in Fulton or Gwinnett or
Cobb or anywhere else in the metro
Atlanta area it not only makes me
sad. It makes me mad.
So, why don’t company CEO’s
choose DeKalb County? Because
they do their research and they read.
Honestly, if you were a company
CEO would you seriously consider
locating your business here in this
hotbed of controversy when you
can literally go anywhere else in the
This continuing negative
narrative translates into the lack of
a significantly growing commercial
tax base in DeKalb. Over time for
you and me this will mean stagnant
or decreasing property values and
higher taxes. With a few exceptions,
if you live south of Highway 78
consider what has occurred with
the value of your property in recent
Of course there are those who
will continue to make excuses no
matter what happens. However,
until we come to terms with the fact

that the majority of these problems
lie at our doorstep things will not
significantly improve. We have
to own these issues and work to
resolve them. This means holding
our elected leadership accountable.
No one in power has put themselves
into elective office. Somebody voted
for them.
The good people of DeKalb
County work every day, pay taxes
and obey the laws. We don’t just
have to accept controversy and
corruption. We don’t just have to
accept the lack of new business
development and jobs in our
county. We should expect better. We
demand more.
In the business world results
matter: make your goals, receive the
rewards and look forward to new
goals. If you consistently fail to meet
your goals you are asked to move
on so that you can be replaced with
someone who will get the job done.
Holding people accountable works.
With so much at stake we need to
wise up. We need to stop bestowing
vast political power upon people
who are just nice, good-hearted,
well-meaning and put on a good
show for us. This is not enough.
They have had their chance and they

have failed. We need to start taking
a serious look at people who are
intelligent, competent, and ethical
and motivated to serve in public
office for the right reasons. Let’s get
some new blood into these positions
and see if they perform as promised.
My biggest fear, in light of all that
has occurred is that the good people
of DeKalb County–the great “silent
majority” of people “who work hard
and play by the rules” will simply
retreat into their own personal
worlds and just hope for things to
get better. That would be the worst
of all possible outcomes, because
hope is not a strategy.
Please don’t retreat. ENGAGE!
ENGAGE! ENGAGE! Take a serious
look at those who seek political
power. Take ownership of what’s
yours. This government belongs to
DeKalb’s story is bad right now.
But, it does not have to stay this
way. We have the ultimate power to
change that story.
However, the story will not
change until there is a leadership
change. The only people who can
make that change are you the voters.


The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 22, 2015


Page 5A

One Man’s Opinion

One size does not fit all
“The tragedy of life doesn’t
lie in not reaching your goal. 
The tragedy lies in having
no goal to reach,” educator
and minister Dr. Benjamin
E. Mays (1894-1984) and
president of Morehouse College from 1940-1967 as well
as longtime mentor of Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Offering some free counsel for the next superintendent of our DeKalb County
School District, as our graduation rate hangs among
the state’s lower tier, and the
long recession continues to
cause many young men and
women to believe they have
no place in the modern job
Since the dawn of the
U.S. Industrial Revolution,
and the little red schoolhouse gave way to the
“unified school district,”
America has been standardizing, assembly lining and
‘one size fits most’ top-down
structuring, and periodically
re-structuring public education. 
Despite massive public
expenditure (6 of every 10
state tax dollars in Georgia)
for funding primary education (K-12), our results remain mixed. Though there
are systems, schools, principals, teachers and PTAs
which constantly strive for
and achieve academic excellence, more often the outcomes of a majority of our
schools range from mediocre to average. 
And as is often the case

Bill Crane


in the real world, inquisitive
students, industrious parents
and gifted educators often
find a new and successful
path long before the masses
get with the program. 
One of the latest innovations in pilot phases being
offered in several Georgia
schools and schools systems
is called YouScience. The
initially web-based tutorial
and counseling program focuses on helping high school
sophomores and juniors
determine at a an earlier age
how their own special skills,
interests, hobbies and passions potentially match and
track best with a wide array
of career paths. 
We all know that children, as well as adults, learn
better when they are engaged and genuinely care
about the material being
This pilot initiative is also
intended to deal with a significant Georgia economic
and education challenge,

Work Force Readiness, while
also hopefully reducing
student debt, improving job
prospects and better preparing thousands of Georgia
high school graduates with
skills which employers
are seeking, but not finding. Early adopters and pilot
schools include the Bremen
City Schools and Marietta
and Decatur high schools in
metro Atlanta.
Created by a DeKalb
County public schools and
UGA grad, Philip Hardin,
the YouScience program
focus has a very simple
proposition: sooner or later,
we all figure it out—who we
are, how we think, what we
want to do with our lives. 
But what if you could do it
Randall Redding, founder and CEO of R.K. Redding
Construction and Georgia
president of the Associated General Contractors
of America is already a fan,
and program cosponsor, in
his local school district and
spreading elsewhere a bit
like Johnny Appleseed. 
As the economy has
started to more rapidly thaw,
and heat has returned to the
construction space, Redding noted in his company
as well as the industry, the
surprisingly high number of
managers and supervisors in
their 50s, nearer the sunsets
of their careers, versus the
sunrise. And yet with his industry clamoring for skilled
craftsman, general contrac-

tors, HVAC and electrical
workers, open positions often remain unfilled.
“Instead of just talkin’
about it, I decided we had to
do something about it. Our
industry has a stake in this do dozens of communities like mine where
employment opportunities
are there, but perhaps in areas, trades and professions
not as well known to most
students,” explained Redding during a recent Georgia State Senate hearing on
work force readiness. 
“We have three simple
objectives—give students
real-time information about
what they do well, broaden
their vision and understanding of existing employment
opportunities and career
paths and begin an informed
dialogue with parents, at an
earlier juncture, about the
avenues and options potentially best suited to their
child,” offers Hardin.
Our eldest daughter had
a childhood dream of becoming a marine biologist,
and later a small animals’
vet...but that all changed
much later during her first
high school animal dissection. She recently graduated
magna cum laude from Auburn and is already happily
employed as a kindergarten
teacher. She came to this
chosen path during her high
school senior year, after no
small amount of anxiety and
internal debate. The result
may have been the same,

Guest Editorial:

DeKalb County: A broken government in disarray
A broken government in disarray.
That is not just the perception, it is
our reality. It is time for both elected
and appointed officials in DeKalb
County to accept this, admit this,
and demonstrate we have the will to
change this.
Those who say the perception is
worse than the reality are part of the
problem—not the positive solution.
In just the past few days DeKalb
County taxpayers have witnessed media reports highlighting the following:
• Federal prosecutors issuing a subpoena to DeKalb County seeking records
on Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman Darryl Jennings Sr. and a pool
hall at the center of a bribery scandal.
• A former DeKalb County police officer indicted on charges that he violated
his oath of office by taking bribes.
• Media reports that of the 11 officials
and vendors mentioned in the block-

buster special purpose grand jury
report, in addition to Burrell Ellis,
none has come to criminal prosecution and there is a possibility the statute of limitations will expire.
• And, the issue of the now infamous
$4,000 payment from a DeKalb
County vendor, which could have
been graft, theft—or a setup to embarrass a high-ranking official.
J. Tom Morgan, a former DeKalb
County district attorney has stated,
“This is just the tip of an iceberg, is
my best guess.”
I fear Mr. Morgan may be correct.
The true victims of our broken government in disarray are the taxpayers–the
working men and women of DeKalb
County who love our county, love their
families, and try to do the right thing
by going to work, obeying the law,
and paying the very taxes that fund
DeKalb County government.

Others are breaking what they are
building—and it must stop.
I told WSB TV and the Atlanta
Journal: “We can’t just keep depending on reform by scandal and reform
by indictment.”
I mean it.
In the immediate future, I will offer
positive proposals to restructure and
reform the very structure and foundation of DeKalb County government.
It is time for transformational
reform. It is time to hold people accountable. It is time to create a transparent atmosphere and demonstrate to
DeKalb County taxpayers their elected
and appointed officials are serious
about respecting them and their tax
For DeKalb County,
Nancy Jester

but with some guidance and
tutorials guiding her earlier
along the way, I know she
would have gotten there
sooner, and fortunately now,
in at least a few hundred
Georgia classrooms and
schools, there’s an app for
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
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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 22, 2015

Renee Bazemore
When Renee Bazemore
joined Junior League of
DeKalb County in 2011 she
had just turned 40.
“My kids were heading
to college and I felt it was
just time for me to do something for myself and [find] a
way to get involved and give
back to the community,” said
Bazemore, who is the vice
president of community for
the Junior League’s board of
Junior League “has been
a great experience,” Bazemore said. “It has helped
me to further develop my
professional skills, my leadership skills as well as being able to bond with other

women who have like goals.
We all want to better serve
our community.
“I am a firm believer in

being involved in the community and giving back,
especially in the community
where I live,” said Bazemore,
who is the alumni association director at Georgia
State University.
The Stone Mountain
resident said, “Volunteerism
is important…because…you
have an opportunity to get
involved and do something
that you like outside of your
day-to-day work. When
you’re a volunteer, you have
the opportunity to expand
your knowledge and skills.
“We have an opportunity
to bring ideas and a different
perspective,” she said.
Bazemore said organiza-

tions need more help than
can be provided by paid
“One of the quotes from
Martin Luther King Jr. says
we all can be great because
we all can serve. Being a
servant leader is very important,” Bazemore said.
In addition to volunteering with Junior League, Bazemore is active at Greater
Travelers Rest House of
Hope. She is the chairwoman of the steering committee
for Advancement of Women
at Georgia State University
and is a volunteer instructor
for the first-year learning
experience classes at the college. Additionally she works

with the Teacup Girls mentoring organization.
“Being a volunteer is
very fulfilling as an individual, and I believe organizations definitely are in need
of volunteers and people
who care,” Bazemore said.
According to Bazemore,
volunteers save companies
and organizations approximately $22 per hour. “If you
think of the money that as
volunteers we are saving an
organization, …it’s invaluable to the organization we
are serving.”

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.

Ellenwood girl addresses commissioners about parks
by Andrew Cauthen
Six-year-old year
Gabrielle Manning of
Ellenwood has some
concerns about her
community and she told the
DeKalb County Board of
Commissioners about them
May 12.
“I am here to request
funds for the things that I
care about,” Gabrielle said.
“I would like for you to do a
few things for me.”
Gabrielle asked
commissioners to renovate
County Line Park.
“It is really old and the
tennis and basketball courts
are in a state of disrepair,”
Gabrielle said. “I would like
for the park to be fixed up.”
Gabrielle also asked for
a new park on River Road.
“It would be great to have
a recreation center and
awesome playgrounds and
a place to have my birthday
parties,” she said.
The homeschooled girl
told commissioners she
wants their help with tennis.
“I would like you to
bring the lights on the Dottie
Bridges tennis courts up
to code so that I can play
tennis at night time,” she
said. “I also would like
for you to pay for junior

Foreground, from left, 6-year-old Gabrielle Manning meets Roy Wilson, DeKalb’s parks and recreation department director, after asking commissioners to fix the parks she uses. Background, from left, Gabrielle’s mother
and sister, Tricia and Nadia Manning, accompanied Gabrielle at the commissioner’s meeting. Photo by Andrew

tennis courts and balls at the
Sugar Creek tennis courts.

My mom takes me there to
practice, but the nets are too

big for me. Please buy the
children’s size nets so I can

practice with the same nets
and balls that I will use at
my tennis matches.
“I know some of these
things will take time but I
think you can fix my tennis
issues now,” Gabrielle said.
When asked why
she addressed the
commissioners, Gabrielle
said, “because my mom told
me to.”
“She wants me to learn
how to speak in front of
people so one day I can be
president or something,”
said Gabrielle, who added
that she was “kind of
Tricia Manning,
Gabrielle’s mother, said she
encouraged her daughter to
address the commissioners
because “the children are
the ones who primarily use
the parks and they’re the
ones who when we go to the
parks, they notice that the
playground is old or they
have complaints and issues.
“I wanted her to know
where to go to field those
issues and who should be
listening to her,” Manning
“I think this is something
we’ll do once a month to
see what’s going on in our
community and let her have
a voice,” Manning added.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 22, 2015





Improv summer camp begins in June

 DeKalb County Superior Court Clerk Debra DeBerry invites the community to a “day of
changing the way we look at mental healthcare
in DeKalb” on Sat., May 23 from 10 a.m. until 2
The event will be held in the Manuel Maloof
Auditorium at 1300 Commerce Drive in Decatur. Presentations will be made by behavioral
health care providers, information sessions, access to new and innovative therapy methods,
numerous resources and representatives from
DeKalb CSB, Behavioral Health Link, NAMI
DeKalb, DeKalb County Jail, Veterans Affairs
and local community behavioral health agencies
and providers.
The event is free and open to the public. For
more information, contact Dana Patterson in
the Clerk of Superior Court’s office, at (404) 6874076.

The Brink Improv will host a week-long improvisational comedy camp June 1-5, 10 a.m. to
3 p.m. at DeKalb School of the Art. The camp is
for children ages 8-12 and teenagers ages 13-17.
The week will consist of improvisational exercises and games crafted to focus on confidence,
listening, acceptance, communication and finding the fun. For more information, visit www.

Residents can take part in budget project
The city of Clarkston has budgeted $10,000
to be used for community budgeting initiatives.
On May 18 and June 15, residents have been
invited to share how they want their tax dollars spent, and assist and vote on proposals. The
participatory budget project begins at 9 p.m.
and will take place at the Clarkston Community
Center, 3701 College Ave.
Mayor Ted Terry said he is hopeful for residents to join in “this exciting exercise in citizen

Center for Pan Asian Community Service
receives grant
Komen Atlanta recently announced that it
will grant approximately $1.5 million to 16 local
healthcare organizations to provide breast health
services to Metro Atlantans who otherwise
might not have been able to afford them. Komen
Atlanta’s fundraising efforts through Race for the
Cure and other initiatives support the women
and men in our community and Komen Atlanta’s
mission, enabling thousands of Metro Atlantans
to detect and survive breast cancer. 
Komen Atlanta’s 2015 grant scope includes
programs that address critical needs in our community, funding innovative breast health and/
or breast cancer services.  The grant of approximately $135,000 awarded to the Center for Pan
Asian Community Service Inc. will support the
CPACS Asian Breast Care (ABC) Program. 
This program is a linguistically and culturally competent screening and diagnostic program
geared toward educating Asian women about the
importance of mammograms and clinical breast
exams (CBE), providing low/no cost clinical
breast exam and mammography services, and
linking women to linguistically and culturally
competent providers if follow-up treatment is

Mental Health and Wellness Fair scheduled

DeKalb recruiting for poll officials
DeKalb County Voter Registration and Elections invite residents of DeKalb County to take
part in its meet-and-greet to learn more about
what it takes to become a poll official and additional ways to service the community.
Two meet-and-greets will be held for the
recruiting initiative: June 20, from 10 a.m. to
noon, and July 18, from 10 a.m. to noon.
The events will take place at the voter registration and elections office, 4380 Memorial
Drive, Suite 300.
To confirm your attendance call (404) 2984045 or email:

Commission candidates to appear in forum
Restore DeKalb is sponsoring a questionand-answer forum on May 26 for the candidates
for the vacant District 5 seat on the DeKalb
County Board of Commissioners.
The forum will be held at the Stonecrest Library, 3123 Klondike Rd., Lithonia, at 6:30 p.m.

Stone Mountain
Library to hold book sale
The Friends of the Stone Mountain-Sue Kellogg Public Library will host its annual book sale
June 19 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All hard covers
will be $1and paperbacks will be $.50, unless
otherwise marked. All proceeds go to fund programs and materials at the Stone Mountain- Sue
Kellogg Library. The library is located at 952
Leon Street in Stone Mountain. For more information, call (770) 413-2020.

Page 7A

County recreation centers to hold summer
day camp parent orientation
DeKalb County Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs will be hosting Parent Orientation
Night on Thursday, May 28 at 7 p.m. at all recreation centers.
The orientation informs parents on the activities and programs to be provided during the
Summer Day Camp programs for youth, ages 5
through 15. Parents will have an opportunity to
meet staff and are welcomed to tour the facility.

DeKalb county swim season begins May 23
The 2015 swim season is scheduled to run
Saturday, May 23, through Friday, July 31. Select
pools will remain open on weekends until Labor
Day weekend, Sept. 7.
Pool patrons have the opportunity to participate in water aerobics, swim lessons and swim
leagues throughout the summer. A grand opening ceremony and ribbon cutting is scheduled
for Saturday, June 6, at the new Exchange Spray
Pool hours of operation are:
• Browns Mill Aquatic Facility, 4929 Browns Mill
Rd., Lithonia—Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8
p.m.; Sundays, 1 to 7 p.m.
• Gresham, 3113 Gresham Road, Atlanta–Mondays, closed; Tuesday through Saturday, noon
to 6 p.m.
• Kittredge - 2535 N. Druid Hills Road, Atlanta–
Mondays, closed; Tuesday through Saturday,
noon to 6 p.m.; Sundays, 1 to 6 p.m.
• Lithonia - 2501 Park Drive, Lithonia-- Mondays, closed; Tuesday through Saturday, noon
to 6 p.m.; Sundays, 1 to 6 p.m.
• Tobie Grant - 644 Parkdale Road, Scottdale–
Mondays, closed; Tuesday through Saturday,
noon to 6 p.m.
• Kelly Cofer, 4259 N. Park Dr. Tucker—Monday, Wednesday-Saturday, noon to 6 p.m.; and
Tuesday, closed.
• Midway, 3181 Midway Road, Decatur, Monday,
Wednesday-Saturday, noon to 6 p.m.; Sunday,
1 to 6 p.m.; Tuesday, closed.
• Medlock, 874 Gaylemont Circle, Decatur,
Monday, Wednesday-Saturday, noon to 6 p.m.;
Sunday, 1 to 6 p.m.; Tuesday, closed.
The N.H. Scott pool will be closed for the
season. For more information, contact Al Sheppard, athletics and aquatics recreation program
manager, at (404) 371-6270.


Page 8A The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 22, 2015

Pedestrians walk along an area of Glenwood Road that has no sidewalk. DeKalb commissioners just approved $600,000 for sidewalks in the area. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

Millions approved for parks, libraries and sidewalks
by Andrew Cauthen

is it that all of these years
Tobie Grant has been fighting and working to receive
After weeks of politics,
money for that recreation
a heated debate among
county commissioners and
“They have been denied
a tie vote cast by the interim for years and years,” she said.
CEO, on May 12 county
“This money was available.
leaders approved $39.4 mil- This money could have been
lion in reallocated bond
appropriated back in 2006.
funding for sidewalks, liWe can’t continue to play
brary, greenspace and parks politics with these people’s
At its May 12 meeting,
Commissioner Jeff
the Board of Commissioners Rader said the projects need
was considering allocating
more consideration.
$6.5 million in 2006 county
Sutton “is frequently
parks bonds funding to a
outraged by all manner of
new Tobie Grant Recreation things,” Rader said. “One of
Center. The board had been the things she is frequently
considering the project
outraged about is the cirsince March 24, but Comcumvention of her commitmissioner Sharon Barnes
tee in issues under its jurisSutton has been holding up diction.
approval of it in favor of re“The proposal that she
leasing funds for a library in advances is basically to
her district.
empty the District 4 parks
In a substitute measure,
acquisition fund in favor of
Sutton proposed an alternate transferring that money to
expenditure of the remainan account that would suping 2001 and 2006 bond
port the library,” Rader said.
“The committee of jurisdic“The 2006 bond money
tion, the [employee relations
allows for all [of] us to move and community services
forward with projects in
committee], is working at
[our] districts,” Sutton told
all deliberate speed to accommissioners. “All of these complish that and there’s
are really important to our
no reason to act as though
people are being cheated by
“Pulling the projects
that process.”
out one at a time signals to
In the end, commissionme that there is an intent to
ers were tied on the vote
try to get certain projects
for release all of the fundfunded that commissioners
ing. Commissioners Larry
support and leave the rest
Johnson, Sutton and Stan
behind and leaving those
Watson voted in favor of it,
citizens without the proper
while Commissioners Karesources and attention that thie Gannon, Nancy Jester
they deserve,” she said.
and Rader were against it.
“It is unconscionable
Interim DeKalb CEO Lee
that the people of District 4
May broke the tie in favor of
did not receive funding for
the measure.
a new public library,” Sutton
“With this vote we can
said. “How is it that every
utilize the dedicated funding
other district received a lithat is already in place and
brary and they did not? How get these important projects

completed for the people of
DeKalb County,” May said
in a statement.
In addition to funding
for a new Tobie Grant recreation center, the funding
• $3.5 million for deferred
maintenance of existing
recreation and parks buildings
• $2.8 million toward the
$10 million total acquisition cost of the property
near Briar Lake Park
• $800,000 for development
of Ellenwood Park
• $4.3 million for the
Brookhaven Community

• $ 4.2 million for the Ellenwood Community Library
• $ 3.3 million for a new
Stone Mountain Library
• $ 850,000 to complete the
central annex library facility
• $ 4 million for road resurfacing throughout DeKalb
• $ 600,000 for a sidewalk
on Glenwood Road from
Candler Road to Columbia
• $ 150,000 for a sidewalk
on Rockbridge Road from
Ridge Road to Wade Walker Park
•$150,000 for a traffic signal

and sidewalk on Shell Bark
•$ 100,000 for a sidewalk
on Idlewood Road from
Tucker Middle School to
Lawrenceville Highway
• $100,000 

for a sidewalk on
Briarcliff Road from Clifton Road to LaVista Road
“With this action we are
serving the needs of citizens
all over DeKalb County, but
I am especially proud of the
new Tobie Grant Recreation
Center in Scottdale and the
brand new public library
in Stone Mountain, which
has been a need for a long
while,” Sutton said.


The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 22, 2015

Page 9A

CheckMate Chess
Academy members
compete in tournament
by Ashley Oglesby
Move a piece, capture a piece,
drop a piece, promote a pawn,
castle, take a move back–the game
of chess is demanding.
United States Chess Federation certified tournament director and chess instructor Beau
Hardeman, in collaboration with
Unconditional Love for Children
(UCL) held his 20th annual invitational chess tournament on
May 2 at Gresham Park recreation
UCL, a nonprofit organization aimed to provide opportunities for disadvantaged children
and promote critical thinking,
launched CheckMate Chess Academy in 2012 and recruited Hardeman to assist in coaching the
Hardeman first began teaching chess in 1992 and held his
first tournament in 1995. He said
his goal is to “teach kids to compete early.”
He added, “Students need to
know how to compete in a positive and constructive way early
and the very nature of what’s going on, on the chessboard teaches
management. You’re managing

time, materials and your goals.”
He added, “My approach
has been to engage the student. I
try to show them what their bad
moves are and how to improve
because while the child is playing they don’t get any coaching,
they are completely on their own,”
Hardeman said.
Director of CheckMate Chess
Academy Barry Gray said the
most rewarding aspect of working
with coach Hardeman and UCL
has been the commitment and
support for the children.
“This is another pathway of
learning. It’s amazing to see young
kids, who are adults now, in college, out of college, doctors, lawyers, and in many other professions who have gone through our
chess program, received private
lessons and to see how successful
they’ve become,” Gray said.
He added, “When you get a
kid interested in chess, especially
younger kids, after a while their
self-esteem is out of this world.
They feel confident about themselves and that’s something rewarding to see.”
For additional information on
ULC and CheckMate Chess Academy, visit

Students strategize and formulate tactics to use in the game in order to beat their opponents.

The DeKalb County Board of Education does hereby announce that the millage rate will be set at a meeting to be held at the
DeKalb County School District Administrative & Instructional Complex, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain, Georgia
on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 at 7:00 p.m., and pursuant to the requirements of O.C.G.A. 48-5-32, does hereby publish
the following presentation of the current year's tax digest and levy, along with the history of the tax digest and levy
for the past five years.

Real & Personal













Motor Vehicles







Mobile Homes







Timber - 100%






















Net M & O Digest
State Forest Land Assistance
Grant Value













Adjusted Net M&O Digest







Heavy Duty Equipment
Gross Digest
Less M& O Exemptions

Gross M&O Millage
Less Rollbacks
Net M&O Millage




















Total School Taxes Levied




Net Taxes $ Increase







Net Taxes % Increase














Page 10A The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 22, 2015

Mortgage financier Fannie Mae has been accused of neglecting properties in minority neighborhoods. Photos provided

Mortgage giant Fannie Mae accused
of racial discrimination in DeKalb
by Andrew Cauthen
Fannie Mae, one of the
largest owners of foreclosed
homes in the country, has
been accused of housing
discrimination in DeKalb
County and metro Atlanta
in addition to 33 other metro areas around the nation.
“What we’re alleging
in this complaint against
Fannie Mae is that they
have neglected properties
in neighborhoods of color,
failing to properly maintain
and market in the same way
that they have marketed in
White neighborhoods,” said
Joyce Catrett, director of
enforcement for Metro Fair
Housing Services Inc., during a news conference in
Decatur May 13.
At various news conferences around the nation, the
National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) and 19 local
fair housing organizations
announced the filing with
HUD of a housing discrimination complaint against
Fannie Mae.
The groups allege that
“Fannie Mae maintains and
markets its foreclosures
(also known as real estate
owned or “REO” properties)
in White neighborhoods
consistently better than in
middle- and working-class
African-American and Latino neighborhoods, a practice that violates the federal
Fair Housing Act,” according
to a news release.
“Fannie Mae properties

in communities of color had
broken doors and windows,
unlocked doors and windows allowing access to the
home, excessive litter, dead
or overgrown lawns, dead
animals or live animals on
the property, and other major deficiencies. Conversely,
most Fannie Mae properties
in predominantly White
communities did not. These
problems are simple to fix
and are the responsibility of
Fannie Mae and its contractors,” stated a news release.
The problem is “pervasive,” Catrett said. “One,
our vacancy rates are still
high, lingering from the
housing bust. Secondly, it’s
pervasive because REOs
being received by banks in
their portfolios are being left
without appropriate marketing.”
The complaint is the
result of a five-year investigation. In the metro Atlanta
area, a study by the National
Fair Housing Alliance shows
that in “communities of color,” 38 percent of the REO
properties had overgrown or
dead shrubbery, compared
to 12 percent in White communities. Approximately 30
percent of the REO properties in communities of
color had broken or boarded
windows, versus 16 percent
in White communities.
Thirty-two percent of the
REO properties in minority
communities had a damaged
fence, compared to 4 percent
in White communities.
In minority communi-

ties, 50.7 percent of the REO
properties in communities of color had peeling or
chipped paint. The number
was 28 percent in White
communities. Twenty-three
percent of the REO properties in minority communities had no professional “for
sale” sign marketing the
home, compared to 4 percent in White communities.

Catrett said that “any
real estate related transaction that is administered or
delivered or serviced in a
discriminatory manner violates the Fair Housing Act.”
The complaint against
Fannie Mae was made to
urge “HUD to bring Fannie
Mae to the table to answer
why [does] this discriminatory practice [exist] and to

seek a remedy,” Catrett said.
“With a previous bank
that did step up early we set
up a remedy that includes
some more emphasis on
homebuyer priority and also
monies that are funneled
back into these neighborhoods for rehabilitation of
this type of housing,” Catrett

The Mayor and the Atlanta City Council will adopt a millage rate which will require no
tax increase.
All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearing to be held at the Atlanta City
Hall Complex, 55 Trinity Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia in the City Council Chamber located
on the Second Floor on Thursday, May 28, 2015 at 11:00 a.m.
Fiscal Year 2016 Budget
Notice is hereby given that the proposed budget for the City of Doraville shall be available for
public inspection beginning May 22, 2015, in the City Clerk’s office from 8:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Monday through Friday at City Hall, 3725 Park Avenue, Doraville, GA.
A Public Hearing shall be held on the 1st day of June at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 3725 Park
Avenue, Doraville, GA before the Mayor and Council of the City of Doraville at which time public
comment pertaining to the Fiscal Year 2016 (July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016) budget shall be
sounded. All citizens of Doraville are invited to attend.
A Public Hearing shall be held on the 8th day of June at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 3725 Park
Avenue, Doraville, GA before the Mayor and Council of the City of Doraville at which time public
comment pertaining to the Fiscal Year 2016 (July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016) budget shall be
sounded. All citizens of Doraville are invited to attend.
A Regular Meeting shall be held on the 15th day of June at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 3725 Park
Avenue, Doraville, GA before the Mayor and Council of the City of Doraville at which time the
Fiscal Year 2016 (July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016) budget shall be approved and the budget
ordinance adopted in accordance with O.C.G.A. 36-81-5. All citizens of Doraville are invited to

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 22, 2015


Page 11A

Decatur Lantern Parade

On May 15 just after dusk, hundreds gathered at Color Wheel Studio on E. Howard Avenue in Decatur for the annual Decatur Lantern Parade. Parade artist Chantelle Rytter,
center image, taught lantern-making workshops at Color Wheel. The handcrafted, illuminated lanterns and other whimsical creations floated, hovered and danced through
Decatur streets to the square, led by music from the Black Sheep Ensemble. Photos by Travis Hudgons


Page 12A The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 22, 2015

Ethics board will investigate complaint
by Andrew Cauthen
DeKalb County’s ethics
board will look into an allegation that Commissioner
Stan Watson violated the
ethics code when he voted
for Panola Slope Resort
while he was a consultant
for the developer, APD Solutions.
From 2012 to 2014, Watson was a paid consultant
for APD Solutions, earning approximately $500 a
month, said Robert Browning, an investigator for the
ethics board. In 2012, Watson received $6,800. In 2013
and 2014, he received $6,500
each year. He ended his employment with the company
early in 2014.
“On April 10, 2012, …
there was a vote to award
$1M to APD solutions and
National Property Institute,”
Browning said. The motion
passed with Watson voting
in favor of the award.
On Jan. 8, 2013, the
Board of Commissioners
“took up an agenda item
to award an additional
$500,000 to APD Solutions
to continue with the same
project,” Browning said.
“Commissioner Watson
was there at the meeting,”
Browning said. “Commissioner [Sharon] Barnes
Sutton makes the motion to
give the money to the company and Commissioner
Watson seconded the motion.”
The motion passed
Browning said when he
interviewed Watson about
the vote, Watson said “he
missed it. He had been busy.
He said he’s been trying to
cover District 5, along with
his district and he’s been a
little overwhelmed. And he
just missed it.” Watson also
told the investigator that
Watson said he did not ask
for the item to be put on the
“Watson wanted me to
stress that he owns no stock

DeKalb County Commissioner Stan Watson will have to answer to an
ethics complaint. Photo by Travis Hudgons

in APD Solutions and that
he did not receive a bonus
or anything for his vote on
this agenda item,” Browning
“This would probably…
be a violation of ethics being
that he was a paid consultant and he did vote on the
contract,” Browning said.
Ethics board member
Clara Black-Delay did not
think there was a need for
an ethics investigation.
“Whether or not he
should have voted is a question,” she said. “Whether or
not the vote gave ADP an
unfair advantage over any
other company is to me a
different issue. Based on the
fact that the vote, though
probably improper and
should have not occurred, I
don’t think it rises to the level of…an ethics violation.”
Ethics board member
Edwinett Perkins-Murphy
said, “There needs to be
more investigation concerning this. There’s a need for
“If…he abstained from
voting…this wouldn’t be on
the table concerning him,”

Perkins-Murphy said. “If he
had refrained from voting
altogether, then he would
not be involved in the ethics
violation. He voted twice…
knowing that he had some
connection to the company.”
The ethics board dismissed two other parts
of the complaint against
Watson made by DeKalb
resident and government
watchdog Rhea Johnson,
who asked that Watson be
removed from office.

One dismissed complaint alleged that the cellphone Watson was using
was a personal cell phone
that he had prior to being
elected as commissioner,
Browning said.
Because he had number
already out there he continued to use that one,” Browning said. “While I think
there were some personal
phone calls on that, and he
admits there were, a large
majority of his…cellphone
use …was for county business.”
“It was his personal cellphone, but I don’t believe it
was any violation,” Browning said. “He has, as a sign of
good faith, repaid those cell
phone bills.”
Other commissioners,
Browning said, have used
their personal cellphones
just as Watson did.
Another dismissed ethics complaint alleges that
he violated the use of his
county-issued purchasing
card to pay for his website,
Browning said.
“Other commissioners
do the same thing when
they pay out of their county
budget an independent webmaster to handle their own
website,” Browning said.
“They contend that the IT
[information technology department] within the county
is not capable of keeping
up in a timely manner the

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amount of information that
comes in.”
Browning said the county’s IT department agrees
that “due to the level of
information from each independent commissioner that
they cannot keep up and put
things out in a timely manner on the DeKalb County
The problem cited in the
allegation against Watson is
that on his website he had
two portals—one for donations to community events
and projects, and one for
campaign contributions.
The portal for campaign
donations “would probably
be in violation, however,
after speaking to [Watson’s
webmaster], there was never
any information given to
him to set up a PayPal portal
for anybody to donate money,” Browning said.
Watson’s webmaster
asked for the information
but never received it; thus,
the donations portal was
never live, Browning said.
“The portals themselves
being there would technically be a violation,…but
no money ever exchanged
hands through those portals,” Browning said.
The portals were only on
Watson’s website for approximately three days, Browning said.

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will teach you the importance of providing
outstanding service and help you enhance
your service skills in this motivating and
invigorating free class.

Saturday, June 20, 2015
Discover DeKalb Conference Room
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Tucker, GA 30084

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The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 22, 2015



Page 13A


Members of the Chinese Qipoa Society wore the colorful, traditional Chinese dress as part of a worldwide event to set a Guiness world record. More than 150,000 participated in the event
organized by the China Qipoa Association. Photos provided

LaTasha Lewis (right), founder of Tadda’s Fitness Center, unveiled
the center’s DeKalb Adopt-a-Road sign May 16 on DeKalb Medical Parkway in Lithonia. The Adopt-a-Road area is approximately
a mile from Snapfinger Woods Drive from Panola Road to DeKalb
Medical Parkway.


Ariane Preston and LaTasha Smith helped pick up trash along DeKalb Medical Parkway. Photos by Carla Parker

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 22, 2015

Dunwoody Municipal Court Judge Sharon Dixon, Mayor Mike Davis,
Judge September Guy and City Attorney Bill Riley pose in front of the
official seal of the city.

Dunwoody solicitor to
become court judge
by Ashley Oglesby

Attendees shop food trucks provided by the Atlanta Street Food Coalition on Park Avenue.

Food trucks rally in Doraville
by Ashley Oglesby
A great way to spend a
summer day is enjoying music with family and friends
and binging on food truck
On May 13 from 5 to
9 p.m., the Doraville Food
Truck Rally took place on
Park Avenue in Doraville.
Mayor Donna Pittman
said, “We were extremely
pleased with the turnout
for this first-time event and
feedback from our citizens
has been very positive.
“We are proud of our
diverse community and we
will continue to try to bring
in trucks that appeal to a
wide audience.”
She added, “I felt the
choice of trucks and the
variety of menus provided
a terrific selection… everything from New Orleans
fare, to island conch fritters
and shrimp tacos to Indian
specialties. Mixed in was
solid American fare such as
burgers and cheesecake, to
name a few.”
The event was held in

partnership with the Atlanta
Street Food Coalition and
featured music from the
local band, the Chamblee
The event will continue
to be held on the second
Wednesday of each month.
Pittman said, “We will
pass suggestions from
residents along to the food
truck coalition and rely on
them to continue to provide
a wide variety of menu options.” 
She said, “They do
plan to rotate the different
trucks each month so there
is always something new to
Pittman said, “The
wonderful thing that I
noticed last night was the
sense of community that
resonated throughout the
evening. Any time we can
provide the opportunity
for our citizens to gather
and socialize, I believe, offers everyone the chance
to get to know neighbors
they may have never met or
make new friends. It also
gives the leadership of the
city the opportunity to get to

know people and hear their
thoughts and input in a relaxed atmosphere.”
The food trucks committed to the event included:
C’est Bon Tout (New Orleans fare including po’boys,
Bayou Burgers, and Garden
Dogs); On Tapa the World
(Spanish tapas empanadas,
carne asada and sliders);
Linkz Express (American
fare including salads, cheesesteaks and burgers); Five
Finger Philly (cheesesteaks
and desserts); Tracy’s Tasties
(mini cheesecakes and push
pops); Loaded Burger (loaded burgers, unique sides and
desserts); and Bollywood
Zing (authentic Indian
Other participants included Incrediball Falafel
(serving Israeli favorites:
falafel, humus, pita, beef kabobs, shawarma, and crispy
fries); Refuge Coffee (coffee, tea, and espresso); and
Island Chef Mobile (island
conch fritters, lobster tacos
with mango salsa, grilled
Snapper and more).

On May 7, Dunwoody
officials announced September Guy, the city’s municipal court senior solicitor
has been appointed as a
DeKalb County magistrate
court judge.
Mayor Mike Davis said,
“Dunwoody’s municipal
court system has attracted
phenomenal talent over the
last six years, and while
we hate to lose exemplary
personnel, we are proud to
provide an environment that
fosters and produces judiciary leaders.”
Guy attended the University of Georgia for her
undergraduate studies and
graduated in 2001 from
Georgia State University
law school.
“I worked in a small
private practice my first
year out of law school
in Rossville, Georgia,
then moved back to Atlanta where I worked at the
DeKalb County Public De-

fender’s Office from 2002
until 2012. At that point, I
went to work at the DeKalb
County Solicitor General’s
Office in the Diversion Unit
handling the G.O.A.L.S program for youthful offenders
and the Phoenix Diversion
Program. I left that office in
2013 and became a solicitor
in the city of Dunwoody.”
Guy added, “I am excited to continue to serve the
people of DeKalb County as
a magistrate court judge.”
Other solicitors elevated
from their positions in
Dunwoody include Judge
Candice Howard, Sandy
Springs Municipal Court;
Judge Leigh Dupree, Atlanta Municipal Court; Judge
Warren Atkinson, Fulton
County Magistrate Court;
Judge Sharon Dixon, Sandy Springs and Dunwoody
Municipal Courts.
Dunwoody’s current
assistant solicitors include
Ladonya Horton, Josie
Stevens, Chuck Rooks and
Victoria Aronow.

Words HURT
Stop the Bullying

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 22, 2015

PDK Continued From Page 1A
In September 2012, on a return flight to
Memphis, Little’s pilot posed the question “why
don’t you start selling seats on this plane and make
some money?”
That one simple question put Little’s mind in
motion thinking of the possibilities of offering
the experience of flying in a private plane to the
public. He began to research flight patterns in the
South to determine the most popular routes and
literally how to get an airline off the ground and
Nine months later, in June of 2013, the airline
received Department of Transportation approval.
On June 4, they began taking reservations and
were sold out by the end of the day. Two days later
Southern Airways first flight left Olive Branch
Airport in suburban Memphis bound for Destin.
Little said the choice of PDK was an easy
decision. PDK’s central location makes it easily
accessible to the entire metro area and with
Hartsfield Jackson being the world’s busiest airport
and PDK being the second busiest airport in
Georgia; Little said DeKalb was their first choice
when selecting an Atlanta airport. He expects
PDK to be the company’s greatest area of growth
over the next two years and is eyeing an additional
23 potential cities to include in their routes.
“DeKalb’s large demographics and diverse
population are the ideal combination for
Southern’s expansion. Atlanta’s traffic patterns
make it inconvenient for business and leisure
travelers to use Hartsfield for short flights
Destinations from PDK currently include
Destin, New Orleans, Chattanooga, Knoxville
and Memphis in addition to Jackson, and Oxford,
Miss. Fares begin at $88 with a maximum of $298.
Southern’s fleet includes customized Cessna 208
Caravans and 208-B Grand Caravans, all of which
feature nine passenger seats and space in the cabin
for one carry-on item such as a briefcase or purse.
Southern Airways’ flat fares include
complimentary valet parking, no TSA
checkpoints, no baggage fees, plenty of legroom,
leather upholstered seating and every seat has
a window view and aisle access. The corporate
slogan is “Everybody flies first class”.
Little said his company wants to “bring back
the old days of flying”. While Little was being
interview at PDK, passengers were waiting in the
uncrowded, luxurious Signature Flight lounge in
the North Terminal and leisurely boarding the
Memphis-bound flight.
For a full list of destinations and additional
information on Southern Airways, visit www.


Page 15A

Residents and many who grew up in the historic Black Beacon community gathered May 16 to celebrate the
dedication of the new Beacon Municipal Center. Photos by Travis Hudgons

Center Continued From Page 1A
nicipal Center.
The $38 million project includes buildings
that house City Schools of Decatur’s administrative buildings, Decatur Police Department and
the Ebster Recreation Center. The center is built
on the site of the historic Black Herring Street,
Beacon Elementary and Trinity High Schools.
The center includes a museum that features exhibits on the history of the Beacon community.
Decatur Mayor Emerita Elizabeth Wilson,
who spearheaded the project, said she was happy to see the complex opened.
“It’s been a very long time coming,” she said.
The site, known as Beacon Hill, was home
to several schools, a library and the Ebster Recreation Center in the 1960s. After schools were
integrated, the city took ownership of the school
buildings and recreation center, and operated it
as a recreation center. It also housed the police
Wilson said she began collecting information on the old community to celebrate it during
Black History Month.
“I did a lot of interviews with family members who lived here long ago and I was like,
‘We’ve got to do something with all of this,” she
said. “Even though we don’t have the houses and
we don’t have the buildings and business, we
have the spirit, it’s in our hearts.”
Wilson said she asked city officials about
what the city could do to reserve the history of
the community.
“They [were] willing [and] decided that they
would help,” she said.
The exhibit includes pictures of former students and provides information about their accomplishments. The exhibit also includes facts
about the Trinity High School 1965 football
state championship team. Bobby Pierce, who
graduated from Trinity High School in 1965,
said the people of the old Beacon Hill commu-

nity needed the historic element of the community in the center.
“We truly needed some of it because…I’ve
seen all of it removed, all of it,” he said. “It was
nothing left but the apartments—Gateway,
Allen-Wilson and Swanton Heights. Everything
else was whipped out.”
Decatur Mayor Jim Baskett said the center
has been a dream of the city’s for a long time.
“When we talked about it, and I looked at
plans and so forth, I never imagined it was going to look this wonderful and be this beautiful,”
he said.
Most of the structures of the complex include
portions of the old buildings, according to Andrew Rutledge of Rutledge Alcock Architect.
“It was a modern building for its time, so
we wanted to pull the rest of the building—the
work that we did off of that,” Rutledge said.“We
saved the front of the building on Electric Avenue as well as W. Trinity Place, three quarters of the structure in the new gym is the old
structure. In the school building, every bit of
the structure is existing structure from the old
building. We tried to save as much as we could.”
Baskett said all residents could benefit from
the center.
“We haven’t done any real capital improvement projects in 50 years, and the police department was just in the old school building and
they had really poor digs,” he said. “The school
board [building] is a big improvement, a real access for city schools. We all benefit from it.”
“We’re very proud of the building that we
have and we hope that it’s very warm and inviting to the community,” said Decatur Police
Chief Mike Booker. “We can hold [community]
meetings in here now, it’s very functional. We’ve
been patiently waiting and we’re very excited
that it’s here.”


Page 16A The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 22, 2015


LaVista Hills is feasible
by Carla Parker

bility study. When the House
DeKalb County Cityhood Subcommittee held a hearing in
LaVista Hills will have
December 2014, it decided to
a surplus of more than $1.7
waive the rule and not require
million, according to the proLaVista Hills and the proposed
posed city’s new feasibility
city of Tucker to do a new feastudy.
sibility study, despite changes
The Carl Vinson Institute
in each map.
of the University of Georgia
LaVista Hills was previreleased its study of the proously using the Lakeside feasiposed city of LaVista Hills
bility study.
May 15. According to the reAccording to a press report, LaVista Hills can provide lease from LaVista Hills YES,
public safety, parks, planning,
the new study adopted more
zoning, business development conservative spending projecand road maintenance with no tions.
tax increase and a “substantial”
“It assumes an increased
annual surplus of more than
police force of 104 officers,
$1.7 million.
which will represent a three“The UGA analysis confold increase in the number of
firms what we already knew,
officers on patrol in LaVista
that LaVista Hills will provide Hills,” the statement read.
increased services with no
“The study also assumed
new taxes,” said Allen Venet,
much lower HOST tax credit
co-chair of LaVista Hills YES.
revenues for the city, consis“UGA completed as conserva- tent with new HOST legislative and accurate a study as
tion and the reduction in
possible, and they still project
HOST proceeds allocation.”
a surplus of more than a milThe feasibility study prolion and a half dollars every
jected annual revenues to be
more than $36 million and
The Georgia General Astotal annual expenses of more
sembly passed the LaVista
than $34 million. The city will
Hills cityhood bill April 2, and have an estimated population
Gov. Nathan Deal signed the
of more than 67,000 residents,
bill May 12. The bill was intro- 439 lane miles of roads and
duced before a new feasibility
more than 50 acres of parks.
study was done.
Voters will vote on the
Forming a new city in
LaVista Hills referendum Nov.
Georgia is a two-year process
that includes a financial feasi-

There will be public hearings on the proposed 2015-2016 budget for the City of Decatur
at 7:30 p.m. on June 1, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. on June 8, 2015, and at 7:30 p.m. on June 15,
2015 in the City Commission Meeting Room at City Hall, 509 N. McDonough Street,
Decatur. The proposed budget is summarized below and is available in its entirety for
public inspection at Decatur City Hall and at the Decatur Library on Sycamore Street.
After May 20th, the budget will be available on the City’s website at All citizens are invited to attend the public hearings, to
provide written and oral comments, and ask questions concerning the entire budget.
FY 2015-2016
Licenses, Permits & Inspections
Penalties, Fines & Forfeitures
Charges for Current Services
Intergovernmental Revenues
Miscellaneous Revenue
Sale of Fixed Assets
Operating Transfers
Appropriation From (To) Fund Balance
Governmental Control Department
General Government Department
Community & Economic Development Department
Administrative Services Department
Police Department
Fire & Rescue Department
Public Works Department
Design, Environment & Construction Division
Active Living Division


The DeKalb County School District has tentatively adopted a millage rate which will 
require an increase in property taxes by 10.47 percent.   
All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearing on this tax increase to be held at 
6:15 p.m. June 1, 2015, DeKalb County School District J. David Williamson Board Room, 
1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd., Stone Mountain, Georgia   
Times and places of additional public hearings on this tax increase are at:   
11:30 a.m. June 17, 2015, DeKalb County School District J. David Williamson 
Board Room, 1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd., Stone Mountain, Georgia   
6:15 p.m. June 17, 2015, DeKalb County School District J. David Williamson 
Board Room, 1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd., Stone Mountain, Georgia    
This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 23.98 mills, an increase of 2.272 
mills.  Without this tentative tax increase, the millage rate will be no more than 21.708 
mills.  The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $175,000 is 
approximately $130.64 and the proposed tax increase for non‐homestead property with 
a fair market value of $275,000 is approximately $249.92. 

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 22, 2015


Page 17A

Suspended CEO to face new perjury allegations in retrial
by Andrew Cauthen
When suspended
DeKalb County CEO
Burrell Ellis goes back to
court June 1 for his retrial,
he will be facing new allegations of perjury.
Superior Court Judge
Courtney Johnson ruled
May 11 that prosecutors
could introduce evidence of
Ellis’ alleged perjury related
to his involvement with the
bid process for an ambulance contract.
Ellis is accused of
strong-arming vendors to
donate to his reelection
campaign. His first trial in
October 2014 ended in a
hung jury.
According to the judge’s
order, prosecutors plan to
present evidence that Ellis
“falsely testified to the special purpose grand jury that
an RFP [request for proposal] committee member never disclosed to him details of
an RFP evaluation process
during an active RFP.”
The order states that
prosecutors plan to show
that Ellis conversed with
former DeKalb fire chief
Edward O’Brien about the
RFP while it was active and
while O’Brien was on the
RFP committee. Prosecutors
also plan to present evidence
of Ellis conversations with
Kevin Ross, a representative
of Rural Metro, an ambulance company competing

Suspended DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis will have to defend against new perjury allegations during his retrial. A
judge also ruled that Ellis’ team can mention his “good character and good reputation.”

for the RFP.
Additionally, the District
Attorney’s Office intends
to show that Ellis “testified
falsely that he never had a
conversation with a vendor…about the RFP process
during an active RFP,” court
documents show.
While Ellis’ attorneys
argued in motions that the
“alleged perjury constitutes
a distinct, actual alleged offense which [prosecutors]
failed to charge [Ellis] with,”
the court said a defendant’s

“uncharged bad acts is admissible when it is intrinsic
to the crime charged.”
The court states “there is
sufficient proof that the jury
can find that [Ellis] committed the act” because “the
conversations at issue are
In motions, Ellis’ attorneys asked the court
to reconsider and reverse
itself on 28 rulings that the
“defendant deems were detrimental to his defense and
violative of his constitutional

rights,” according to court
The ruling denying the
motions states there was
nothing new that would
warrant such a reversal. The
judge ordered that Ellis’ legal team cannot:
Argue that the special
purpose grand jury which
investigated Ellis legally
exceeded the scope of its
authority or that the DA’s
Office “did not disclose that
[Ellis] was the subject of an
investigation” when he testi-


City Schools of Decatur
Budget for Fiscal Year 2016
July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016
General Fund

Monday, June 1, 2015

5:45 p.m.


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 2015-2016 school system’s budget.

fied before the grand jury.
• Make “any examination or
argument or [present] any
evidence concerning his
powers or duties as CEO
or his belief of the same
under the DeKalb Organizational Act, as that act is
irrelevant as a defense to
the unauthorized acts of
bribery, extortion, etc., as
detailed in the indictment.”
• Describe “how [the] defendant interacted with
other vendors that are not
the subject of the indictment” because this is irrelevant.
• Argue the Ellis was “urged”
by Kelvin Walton to take
“certain actions.”
Ellis’ team can, the judge
ruled, present “relevant specific instances of conduct
related to [Ellis’] good character and good reputation.”
According to the judge’s
order, Ellis’ legal team is
barred from making any
reference about Ellis “leaving a ‘lucrative’ legal career
for public service.” The defendant’s attorneys are also
barred from making any
reference to the punishment
and possible effects of Ellis’
A motion to reschedule the start of the trial was
denied. Ellis’ attorneys presented “various concerns
and commitments” of attorney Dwight Thomas, but
the court found that Ellis
is represented by multiple

Local Taxes
Local Other
State General
State Other
Transfers from Other Funds
General Fund Balance Obligated
Capital Fund Balance Restricted
Total Revenues
Pupil Services
Improvement of Instructional Services
Educational Media Services
Federal Grant Administration
General Administration
School Administration
Support Services - Business
Maintenance and Operation of Plant Services
Student Transportation Service
Support Services - Central
Other Support Services
School Nutrition Program
Community Services Operations
Facilities Acquisition and Construction Services
Transfers to Other Funds
Debt Service
Total Expenditures


Special Funds


Nutrition Fund

Capital Funds

















$ 19,947,385



$ 16,388,521







The Fiscal Year 2016 Tentative Budget will be considered for final adoption by the Board of Education at
6:30 PM at the regular board meeting scheduled for Tuesday, June 9, 2015. The meeting will be held in the
Board Room of the Central Office at 125 Electric Avenue.

$ 19,947,385

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 22, 2015


Page 18A

Asian bakery a hit in Atlanta and beyond
by Kathy Mitchell
Three years ago when the
Ewe family opened a bakery
on Buford Highway, they
weren’t sure whether Atlanta area diners would like the
Asian baked goods the shop
offers. “Most of them are
lighter than the baked goods
you usually find in America.
The sweet items are less
sweet and there’s less fat,”
explained Howie Ewe, one
of the owners.
“We already owned this
property and we all had
experience in the restaurant
business, so we decided to
take a chance,” he said.
The family needn’t have
been concerned; Sweet Hut
was an immediate success.
The owners report dine-in
customers often are unable
to find a seat and at times
there are long lines, especially on weekends. As a
result, they have opened a
second location in midtown
and have plans to expand
the Buford Highway shop
and open additional Sweet
Huts in Cobb and Gwinett
“Asian people love being
able to find authentic baked
goods like the ones their
mothers used to make,”
Howie Ewe said. “That’s
our specialty—home-style
treats more like what is
baked at home than what
you usually find in a bakery
or restaurant.”
The items are a hit outside the Asian community as
well, he added. “We have a
very international clientele.
Americans and people from
non-Asian countries like
them as well. People are
very health conscious these
days, but they still enjoy
sweets. The lighter baked
goods are especially appealing to young people.”
Customers come not only
from all across the metropolitan Atlanta area, but also
from other Georgia cities
and from neighboring states.
“There’s nothing like this
in most of the Southeast,”
Howie Ewe said. “People
drive from Alabama, Tennessee and other states to
shop here.”
His niece Rachel Ewe,
who manages the midtown
store, said young people like

having places to hang out
and have snacks while visiting with friends or working on personal computers.
“This is an alternative to
the coffee shops,” she said,
noting that Sweet Hut offers
more than 50 tea, milk and
fruit drinks in addition to a
wide variety of coffee options.”
She said young customers also like the atmosphere.
“The chairs are comfortable
and the tables are perfect
for a computer. The décor
and colors are relaxing and
The dozens of baked
goods at the Buford Highway store are sold in a selfserve cafeteria format. Customers take a tray covered
with a sheet of waxed paper
then use tongs to place their
selections on the tray. At the
end of the line, a cashier totals the order which is boxed
for the customers.
The most popular items
are buns stuffed with sweets
such as coconut or fruit
or with such savories as
barbecued pork or curried
chicken. “The Portuguese
egg tart is very popular, too.
We sell about 800 of those a
day,” Howie Ewe said of the
cupcake-sized custard baked
in a pastry shell.
After expansion of the
Buford Highway store is
complete, it—like the midtown store—will offer sandwiches, salads and burgers.
Many items familiar to
Americans are prepared
with an Asian influence
such as the Bulgogi burger,
which is a ground beef patty
topped with Bulgogi sauce
and vegetables not usually
found on American burgers,
including cucumbers, baby
spinach and pickled carrots.
“We are Malaysian,”
Howie Ewe said, “but we
offer foods influenced by
China, Japan and other
Asian countries.” Some,
he added, have an American twist, such as the bun
laced with hot dog bits and
The products are baked
fresh daily at a central location, using locally sourced
ingredients, when they
are available, according to
Howie Ewe. “We choose
our bakers carefully. Even

Seated from left are Rachel Ewe, Amy Ewe, Howie Ewe and Patrick Ewe, who all have a role in the family business. Standing behind them is another family member who also works at Sweet Hut. Photo by Kathy Mitchell

those from outside the family must know Asian baking
Family members say
they have been approached
by several national and in-

ternational companies that
are interested in creating a
Sweet Hut franchise. “We’re
not ready to do that right
now,” Rachel Ewe said. “We
may do it at some time in

the future, but it’s very important to us to control the
quality of our products and
we can’t consider franchising until we’re sure that we
can do that.”

Millage Rate Public Hearing
The City of Doraville has tentatively adopted a millage rate of 8.5 mills.
All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearing on this tax increase to
be held at the Doraville City Hall located at 3725 Park Avenue, Doraville, GA
30340 on June 1, 2015 at 6:30pm.
Times and places of additional public hearings on this tax increase are at the
Doraville City Hall on June 8, 2015 at 6:30pm and on June 15, 2015 at 6:30pm.


The DeKalb County School District has tentatively adopted a millage rate which will 
require an increase in property taxes by 10.47 percent.   
All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearing on this tax increase to be held at 
6:15 p.m. June 1, 2015, DeKalb County School District J. David Williamson Board Room, 
1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd., Stone Mountain, Georgia   
Times and places of additional public hearings on this tax increase are at:   
11:30 a.m. June 17, 2015, DeKalb County School District J. David Williamson 
Board Room, 1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd., Stone Mountain, Georgia   
6:15 p.m. June 17, 2015, DeKalb County School District J. David Williamson 
Board Room, 1701 Mountain Industrial Blvd., Stone Mountain, Georgia    
This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 23.98 mills, an increase of 2.272 
mills.  Without this tentative tax increase, the millage rate will be no more than 21.708 
mills.  The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $175,000 is 
approximately $130.64 and the proposed tax increase for non‐homestead property with 
a fair market value of $275,000 is approximately $249.92. 


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

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 22, 2015


Page 19A

New county schools superintendent named
by Ashley Oglesby
The five-month search
for a successor to Superintendent Michael Thurmond is coming to an end.
DeKalb Board of Education chairman Melvin
Johnson announced on
May 13 that the board had
selected Kansas City, Mo.,
school superintendent Dr.
R. Stephen Green as the
finalist to lead the DeKalb
County School District.
Green is currently in
a five-year contract with
Kansas City Public Schools
(KCPS). He started with the
district in August 2011 as
interim superintendent. He
took the job permanently in
2012. A formal contract is
expected to be offered on
May 27.
Thurmond is scheduled
to step down in June but has
agreed to be a consultant for
the new superintendent to
assist in a “smooth transition.”
Johnson said Green is
expected to join the DeKalb
County School district on
July 1.
“After a comprehensive
nearly six-month search,
the board has selected an
experienced, well-suited
educational leader to move
the district forward under
his successful innovative
approaches to teaching and
learning,” said Johnson.
“Dr. Green brings an impressive record to DeKalb
not only from Kansas City,
but also from New York,
New Jersey and Indiana.
He was a stabilizing force
in Kansas City and will do
the same here in DeKalb
“Dr. Green is excited
to come here,” Johnson
said. “He has children and
grandchildren here so for his
family it is sort of a homecoming.”
Green is credited with
leading KCPS back to provisional accreditation within
two years of being named


superintendent in 2012. He
had previously served as
KCPS interim superintendent for several months.
Johnson said, “We feel in
terms of his leadership style,

his ability to work with
board members and superintendents in a collaborative
way and certainly his expertise in finance resulting in
the last three years having
an audit with no recommendations – that’s impressive.”
Under Green’s leadership, KCPS earned 92.5
points toward Missouri’s
school achievement standards in 2014. That was 8.5
points more than the school
district earned in 2013, and
a 54.5-point increase from
the 2012 results.
In August 2014, Missouri’s board of education
recognized the district’s
gains by granting KCPS

provisional accreditation.
Earlier this year, he was
recognized for his achievements by being named Missouri’s 2015 Pearce Award
winner–“Best Superintendent of the Year”–by his
peers in the Missouri Association of School Administrators.
Green said in a press
conference, he had a great
experience serving the
stakeholders of KCPS,
which makes the decision to
leave for DeKalb difficult.
“I have had a unique
and wonderful opportunity
to make a difference for a
deserving community and
work with a great team at

KCPS,” Green said. “I wish
them all the best as they rise
to success. I know they have
the talent, focus and grit to
make it happen.”
KCPS Board of Directors Chair Jon Hile thanked
Green for his service and
wished Green well moving
Green said, “I am looking forward to helping lead
DeKalb schools to new
elevations and to being able
to spend a lot of quality time
with my children and grandchildren,” Dr. Green said.
“These opportunities don’t
come around very often, and
I simply could not pass it

The Mayor and City Council of the City of Chamblee, Georgia will hold a public hearing on Thursday, June 11, 2015, at the Chamblee Civic Center, 3540 
Broad Street, Chamblee, GA 30341 at 6:00 p.m. to receive public comments regarding the following matters: 

The Chamblee Mayor and Council will consider adopting policies and procedures for calling and conducting public zoning hearings consistent with O.C.G.A. 
Sect. 36‐66‐5 (Georgia Zoning Procedures Law). 
2. The Chamblee Mayor and Council will consider adopting standards governing the exercise of zoning power consistent with O.C.G.A. Sect. 36‐66‐5 (Georgia 
Zoning Procedures Law). 
3. The Chamblee Mayor and Council will consider approval of an ordinance adopting a new “Unified Development Ordinance” (UDO) for the City of Chamblee, 
dated March 17, 2015, along with three Addenda that shall be known as “UDO Addendum 1 ‐ Design Guidelines For Multi‐Family Districts, Infill Development 
and Adaptive Reuse”, “UDO Addendum 2 ‐ Buffer, Landscaping, And Tree Preservation Administrative Guidelines“, and “UDO Addendum 3 ‐ Streetscape 
Guidelines.” The ordinance adopting these documents will repeal conflicting ordinances including Chapter 34 – Environment; Chapter 93 – Development 
Regulations; Appendix A ‐ Zoning Ordinance; Appendix B – Subdivision Regulations; Appendix C: Airport Related Provisions; Tree Preservation Ordinance 
Administrative Guidelines; Streetscape Guidelines and Street Designations Map, as well as other conflicting provisions of the City of Chamblee Code of 
4. 2015V‐09: Darron Kusman, on behalf of Roma Ventures, LLC requests a stream buffer variance pursuant to Sect. 310‐3(c) of the City of Chamblee Code of 
Ordinances,  Appendix  A,  Unified  Development  Ordinance  in  order  to  develop  a  subdivision  consisting  of  4  single‐family  residential  lots  on  1.4  acres  of 
property zoned Neighborhood Residential ‐1 (NR‐1) located at 3062 Park Lane and 3114 Skyland Drive being DeKalb County tax parcels 18‐278‐03‐127 and 
18‐278‐03‐125 in Chamblee, GA. 
5. 2015V‐09: Darron Kusman, on behalf of Roma Ventures, LLC requests a floodplain variance pursuant to Section 330‐4(c) in accordance with Section 330‐6 in 
order to develop a subdivision consisting of 4 single‐family residential lots on 1.4 acres of property zoned Neighborhood Residential ‐1 (NR‐1) located at 3062 
Park Lane and 3114 Skyland Drive being DeKalb County tax parcels 18‐278‐03‐127 and 18‐278‐03‐125 in Chamblee, GA. 
6. 2015V‐09: Darron Kusman, on behalf of Roma Ventures, LLC requests a floodplain variance pursuant to Section 330‐5(f) in accordance with Section 330‐6 in 
order to develop a subdivision consisting of 4 single‐family residential lots on 1.4 acres of property zoned Neighborhood Residential ‐1 (NR‐1) located at 3062 
Park Lane and 3114 Skyland Drive being DeKalb County tax parcels 18‐278‐03‐127 and 18‐278‐03‐125 in Chamblee, GA. 
7. 2015V‐09: Darron Kusman, on behalf of Roma Ventures, LLC requests a floodplain variance pursuant to Section 330‐4(c) in order to develop a subdivision 
consisting of 4 single‐family residential lots on 1.4 acres of property zoned Neighborhood Residential ‐1 (NR‐1) located at 3062 Park Lane and 3114 Skyland 
Drive being DeKalb County tax parcels 18‐278‐03‐127 and 18‐278‐03‐125 in Chamblee, GA. 
8. 2015PUD‐04: Mr. James Jacobi, on behalf of JEH Homes and property owner Atlanta Animal Alliance, Inc. requests approval of a modification of an existing 
Planned Unit Development on 5.03‐acres located at 3550 Chamblee‐Dunwoody Road pursuant to Section 280‐6(c) of the City of Chamblee Code of 
Ordinances, Appendix A, Unified Development Ordinance in order to construct a residential subdivision consisting of 41 townhomes on private streets on 
property being DeKalb County tax parcel 18‐249‐11‐008 in Chamblee, GA. 
9. 2015PUD‐06: Mr. Neville Allison, of Acadia Homes and Neighborhoods, requests approval of a major modification of an existing Planned Unit Development 
on a 19.84‐acres zoned Corridor Commercial (CC) located at 4251 North Peachtree Road, 2215 Perimeter Park Drive, and 4250 Perimeter Park South 
pursuant to Section 280‐6(c) of the City of Chamblee Code of Ordinances, Appendix A, Unified Development Ordinance in order to construct a mixed use 
development consisting of 123 townhomes, 33 single‐family detached residences, and a 2.1 acre commercial tract on DeKalb County tax parcels 18‐334‐05‐
001, 18‐334‐01‐169, and 18‐334‐01‐001 in Chamblee, GA. 
10. 2015V‐10: Mr. Harry Patel, on behalf of Global Hotel Group, requests approval of variances from the following provisions of the City of Chamblee Code of 
Ordinances, Appendix A, Unified Development Ordinance in order to construct a principal freestanding sign with a height of 25 ft. and area of 64 sq. ft. on 
property  consisting  of  1.838  acres  zoned  Corridor  Commercial  (CC)  at  5280  Peachtree  Boulevard,  being  DeKalb  County  tax  parcel    18‐291‐01‐003  in 
Chamblee, GA: 

Section 260‐7(b)(3) that limits height of a principal freestanding signs to 8 ft. 

Section 260‐7(b)(5) that limits the area of a principal freestanding sign on properties with less than 200 ft. of street frontage to 40 sq. ft. 
11. 2015Z‐03: The Chamblee Mayor and Council will consider approval of an ordinance amending the Official Zoning Map of the City of Chamblee to change the 
zoning classification of the following parcels from Village Commercial (VC) to Corridor Village Commercial (CVC): 

DeKalb County Parcel ID: 18‐277‐02‐006, also known as 4761 Peachtree Road, Chamblee, GA 

DeKalb County Parcel ID: 18‐277‐02‐005, also known as 4775 Peachtree Road, Chamblee, GA 

DeKalb County Parcel ID: 18‐277‐02‐004, also known as 4783 Peachtree Road, Chamblee, GA 

DeKalb County Parcel ID: 18‐277‐02‐003, also known as 4805 Peachtree Road, Chamblee, GA 

DeKalb County Parcel ID: 18‐277‐02‐002, also known as 4829 Peachtree Road, Chamblee, GA 

DeKalb County Parcel ID: 18‐277‐02‐001, also known as 4839 Peachtree Road, Chamblee, GA 

DeKalb County Parcel ID: 18‐278‐02‐012, also known as 4847 Peachtree Road, Chamblee, GA 

DeKalb County Parcel ID: 18‐278‐02‐011, also known as 4849 Peachtree Road, Chamblee, GA 

DeKalb County Parcel ID: 18‐278‐02‐010, also known as 4865 Peachtree Road, Chamblee, GA. 


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The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 22, 2015


The Cedar Grove Saints boys’ track and field team won its first state title in program history,
winning the Class AAA title with 67 points.

Page 21A

Southwest DeKalb boys’ track team won the Class AAAAA state title, the program’s ninth
overall title.

SWD champions again, Cedar
Grove wins first state title
by Carla Parker
It was a historic day for
the boys track teams of Cedar Grove and Southwest
DeKalb high schools at the
2015 Georgia High School
Association Boys Track and
Field State Championships.
For the Cedar Grove
Saints, the team won its first
state track and field title in
program history. The Saints
won the Class AAA state
title, outscoring Decatur 6745. The Saints were led by
the relay teams, with both
relay teams winning gold.
The 4x100-meter relay
team of Andre Burrell, Darius Freeman, Adrian Green
and Isreal Spivey won gold
with a time of 41.77 seconds.
The 4x400 relay team of
Burrell, Freeman, Green and
Jessie Reverio finished first
in a time of 3:18.98.
Freeman also won gold
in the 400-meter dash with a
time of 48.21, and won silver
in the 200-meter dash with a
time of 21.80.
Decatur was led by
Sam Ellis, who won the
800-meter (1:55.91) and the

1,600-meter (4:21.03).
Southwest DeKalb ended the “farewell” season for
coach Napoleon Cobb winning the Class AAAAA state
championship trophy. Cobb
is retiring after 50 years of
The Panthers won their
ninth state title, outscoring
Banneker 58-44. It was the
11th state title for Cobb,
who won three titles with
The 4x100-meter relay
team of Travis Bacon, Terry
Conwell, Terryon Conwell
and Justin Tomlin brought
home Southwest DeKalb’s
only gold medal with a time
of 41.26. The 4x400-meter
relay team of Terry Conwell,
Terryon Conwell, Tomlin
and Raymond White came
in second with a time of
Terryon Conwell picked
up two more medals in the
100-meter dash (silver) and
200-meter dash (bronze).
His twin brother Terry won
silver in the 400-meter.
Montavious Coleman picked up a silver
medal in the discus throw

Stop Cyber
bullying now

Stephenson finished
fourth in Class AAAAA
with Denzel Harper leading the way with two gold
medals. He won the long
jump (23-03.50) for the
second consecutive season,
and the 300 meter hurdles
(37.81). Stephenson also got
a bronze medal in the 4x100
meter relay with a time of
Abbas Abkar led
Clarkston to a 13th place

finish with a gold medal in
the 800-meter run (1:54.43).
In Class AAAAAA,
Lakeside’s Davis Stockwell
took silver medal in the
1,600-meter run (4:15.91).
In Class AAAA, Marist
tied for second with 40.
Kenneth Brinson won his
third consecutive state title
in the discus throw (18506). He also won silver in
the shot put (52-06.50).
Frank Pittman won the

1,600-meter (4:16.38) and
the 3,200-meter (9:23.27).
St. Pius finished fifth
with 32 points behind Cooper Metzler, who bronze in
the 800-meter (1:55.50), and
helped the 4x400-relay team
won bronze (3:19.79).
Chris McBride led Redan to a ninth place finish
with his second consecutive
state title in the long jump
with a leap of 23-11.00.

Monday, June 1, 2015

6:15 p.m.


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

Citizens interested in reviewing a detailed copy of the program based budget
may do so by visiting the DeKalb County School District website at

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 22, 2015


Page 22A

St. Pius girls and boys soccer teams each won the state title for the third consecutive year.

St. Pius’ Allen Morgan (No. 24)
jumps up to head-butt the ball.

St. Pius’ Nick Jones kicks the ball up
field. Photos by Travis Hudgons

Cross Keys goalie Eduardo Cabrera (right) goes up to block a
goal attempt.

St. Pius celebrates after receiving the Class AAAA championship trophy.

Perfect season
St. Pius boys win state soccer title, go undefeated

by Carla Parker


ross Keys was in the
way of a perfect season
for St. Pius boys soccer
Behind the leg of
Louie Aponte and good defense,
the Golden Lions ended a perfect
season with a 1-0 win over Cross
Keys May 14 at Mercer University’s
Five Star Stadium.
St. Pius coach David O’Shea
was pleased with how his young
team came together for this perfect
“We lost a good group of seniors
last year, so we got a pretty young
team with a few sophomores,”
O’Shea said. “All season we had
Fedo Ceccagnoli, who is a freshman
who started as the center midfielder
all the way through the game. So,
we had a different balance of players
in there. We came together and that
was a perfect season. We’ve won
every game that we’ve played this
season. You can’t ask for more than

St. Pius coach Davis O’Shea congratulates his team after the win.

Aponte scored the only goal in
the first half from nearly 30 feet out
of left field. He said his goal was due
to the right spacing.
“I knew they were going to have
me tight the whole time…so I was
trying to get as much space as I

could, and I got a little space, I got
my head up and I saw some guys in
the box and I just tried to loft it in
there,” he said. “Luckily it went in.”
Cross Keys goalkeeper Alexis
Briceno tipped the ball, but it hit
the cross bar and fell into the net,

giving St. Pius a 1-0 lead.
“We knew if we put pressure
on the goalkeeper that we’d have a
chance it could go in and, [Aponte]
is a guy that can create anything,”
O’Shea said. “He got that goal there
and it ended up winning us the state
St. Pius had other opportunities
to score, but Briceno and Cross
Key’s defense stalled those
“We knew they were going to
be a strong team and they were,”
O’Shea said. “They put a lot of
pressure on us. We had some
chances where we could’ve put it
away there in the second half, but
they were a good opponent and they
gave us a great game today. It was
good game.”
The boys completed the Class
AAAA sweep, joining the girls’ team
in winning the state title. It was the
boys’ 10th title in program history.
As with the girls team, this is
Golden Lion third consecutive title.
“It’s a great thing for the
program,” O’Shea said.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 22, 2015

St. Pius girls win
state soccer title
on penalty kicks


Page 23A

St. Pius goalie Emory Wegener blocks a penalty kick attempt.

St. Pius goalie Emory Wegener celebrates after Marist
misses its final penalty kick attempt.

by Carla Parker
Before St. Pius freshman goalkeeper Emory Wegener took her
position in front of the net for penalty
kicks, she did one thing.
“I was just asking God to look
over me,” she said.
Wegener went on to block three
kicks to help the Lady Golden Lions
win the Class AAAA 2-1 in penalty
kick over their rival Marist May 14 at
Mercer University’s Five Star Stadium.
It was the Golden Lions third consecutive state title, eighth in program
The two teams battled through 80
minutes of regulation and two fiveminute overtime periods, yet neither
team could get the ball in the next.
“I think we were able to hang with
them and slowly build [momentum],”
St. Pius coach Sara Geiger said after
the game. “I don’t think either team
got into the momentum…I thought it
was a well-fought battle.”
Both teams had their first penalty kick attempts blocked. Wegener
blocked Katie MacGinnitie’s kick on
Marist’s second attempt. St. Pius took
a 1-0 lead when Nicole Rodriguez
made her penalty kick.
Kelsey Carrier tied the score, but
St. Pius regained the lead after Rachel
Heard’s made kick.
Marist and St. Pius missed on
their fourth attempts, with Wegener
blocking Caroline Chipman’s attempt. Marist goalkeeper Carlin Zaprowski was Marist’s last chance, but
her kick went wide right, sealing the
win for St. Pius.
Heard, who ended kicking the
winning penalty kick, felt no pressure
walking up to the net.
“I just had to be confident and just
place it where I picked the side and go
there,” Heard said. “That’s what I did.”
Heard also played a big role defensively, keeping Marist out of scoring
position for the majority of the game.
“Rachel has been a steady point in
our center backfield,” Geiger said. “I
don’t think you’ll find a girl that’s faster than her. She catches people from
10 yards [out], and it’s a nice comfort
for the rest of the team. Sometimes it
gets us in trouble because we watch
her instead of closing the gaps. But

St. Pius celebrates with the Class AAAA championship trophy. Photos by Travis Hudgons

St. Pius’ Rachel Heard (left) defends a Marist player.

for the most part you’re not getting by
Geiger also praised Wegener for
her performance stepped.
“She was a huge addition to the
team,” Geiger said. “She step up during the game, but she had great saves
in the PK and as a freshman. We have
a lot of potential there, and I can’t wait

St. Pius won its third consecutive state title.

to keep having her in the net for three
more years.”
St. Pius players came into the game
with revenge on their minds. St. Pius
lost to Marist 2-1 March 30.
“We lost to them in the season,
and it never really left us,” Geiger said.
“We knew that if we could get to the
final game that would probably be our

match-up, and it was time to get right
back at them.”
“I was excited,” Wegener said.
“They beat us the first time we played
them, and we all came in here so
pumped to play the game. We were
just so excited, but we had to play our
game, control the game and play our


Page 24A The Champion Free Press, Friday, May 22, 2015