FreePress

FRIDAY, june 26, 2015 • VOL. 18, NO. 12 • FREE

thechampionnewspaper.com

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

Quick Finder
Business.........................21A
Education......................19A
Sports....................... 22-23A
Opinion............................ 5A
Classified........................20A

Brookhaven city manager
alleged ex-mayor
retaliated against her
local, 10A

Sales popping
at Tiffany’s
Popcorn Café

Former NFL players
work with high school
students

business, 21A

sports, 23A

• A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS •

Pajama party launches
summer reading program
Blaine Allen, a recent graduate of DeKalb Early College
Academy, is enrolled in DeKalb Workforce Development
youth program which has given him a summer job.

Ashton Stephens, 20, landed a full-time job at DeKalb
Workforce, after working in the summer youth program
since he was a high school sophomore. Photos by Andrew
Cauthen

County division
has 80 youth
jobs available
by Andrew Cauthen
andrew@dekalbchamp.com
DeKalb Workforce Development wants
to give jobs to 80 youth, ages 14 to 24.
“We work to put people back to work,”
said Cheryl Stone, director of DeKalb
Workforce Development. “We work to
connect businesses with a skilled workforce, whether it’s through customized
training for jobseekers, on-the-job training
or if…someone just needs to dust off their
resume and package themselves a little bit
differently.”
Currently approximately 175 DeKalb
youth are enrolled in the federally funded
year-round program. In addition to summer jobs, the program provides academic
remediation and leadership and entrepreneurship training.
“We put young people in a position that

See Jobs on page 15A

championnewspaper

Youngsters gathered around DeKalb County Administrative Assistant Carol Underwood after a story time reading of Amari’s Bike
Adventure.

by Ashley Oglesby
ashley@dekalbchamp

W

ith the focus on fostering a love of
reading, DeKalb County Director
of Recreation, Parks and Cultural
Affairs Roy Wilson and administrative assistant Carol Underwood kicked off the
first event for the county’s summer reading
program.
On June 18, Wilson and Underwood
read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Amari’s Bike Adventure to a group of 35 children
dressed in pajamas at the Hamilton Recreation Center summer camp.
Center Director Kiesha Howell-el said
they decided on a pajama party theme to
encourage youngsters to read at bedtime.
She said the summer program “piggybacks off of our after-school program and
assists the students with reading and writing homework and. We promote reading
all year long with storytelling and puppet
shows, anything to get the children excited.”
Through collaboration between The
Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready
Students and a grant from United Way of
Greater Atlanta, DeKalb County received
3,500 free books to give to children.
Wilson said, “Our summer reading
program is important because we consider

See Reading on page 15A

championnews

Director of recreation parks and cultural affairs for DeKalb County
Roy Wilson interacts with children enrolled in Hamilton Recreation
Center’s summer camp.

Camp Counselor Shaveta Foreman feeds the caterpillar while Wilson
reads The Very Hungry Catepillar.

championnewspaper

champnews

local

Page 2A The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 26, 2015

“We are rolling
forward together
as one” -Interim
CEO Lee May

One-day-a-week sanitation collection service begins the
week of July 6th

The DeKalb County Sanitation Division is Rolling Forward to
One-day-a-week sanitation collection service for garbage, recyclable
materials and yard trimmings. Please see below for garbage and
recycling options for your household.

Garbage Roll Cart Options
Trade in the standard 65-gallon roll cart for a 35- or 45-gallon roll cart free of charge; *trade in a
65-gallon for a 95-gallon roll cart for a one-time $15 fee.
*Subscribing to the Sanitation Division’s recycling program is required.

35-gallon
roll cart

45-gallon
roll cart

65-gallon
roll cart

95-gallon
roll cart

Recycling Options
Upgrade from an 18-gallon bin to a 65-gallon roll cart for a one-time $15 fee.

18-gallon
bin

65-gallon
roll cart

40-gallon
bags

For more information, please call or visit: (404) 294-2900 • www.rollingforwardtoone.com
Ask questions about the program via @ItsInDeKalb on Twitter

local

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 26, 2015

Page 3A

Lewis opens satellite office in Decatur
by Kathy Mitchell

office before,” Ward said.
“Congressman Lewis wants
to make services available
Following each 10-year
to Georgia residents whom
federal census for at least
he may not have served bethe past four decades, the
fore. He wants them to get
boundaries of Georgia’s 5th
to know him and to know
Congressional District have
that they don’t have to leave
changed. As a result, John
their home county to have
Lewis, who has represented
their needs met.” He said that
the district since 1987, has
some of the areas added to
several times seen his conthe 5th District are populastituency change markedly.
tion-dense communities in
Lewis rose to prominence in the 1960s, when he and around Decatur.
“We chose to put it in
headed the Student Nonviolence Coordinating Commit- the same building with local
tee—often referred to as one government offices for the
convenience of constituents,”
of “the big six” civil rights
organizations—and shared a Ward explained. “It’s not alpodium with Martin Luther ways immediately obvious at
which level of government
King Jr. during the 1963
specific matters are handled.
March on Washington.
A person may come to a city
After serving on the Ator county office seeking a
lanta City Council, he made
an unsuccessful bid for Con- particular service and be told
that the service is handled
gress in 1977. He ran again
at the federal level. For that
in 1986. This time he won
person, it will be an easy
and has represented the dismatter to visit another office
trict since.
in the same building.”
Until 2007, the district
The DeKalb office and
was nearly all in Fulton
a new satellite in Clayton
County, with small sections
in Clayton and DeKalb coun- County are being opened on
a provisional basis, he said,
ties. With the 2010 census,
to see whether they are usethe boundaries changed
again, this time moving por- ful to constituents in those
areas. The new office, which
tions of southwest DeKalb
opened this month, is in the
that had been part of the
heart of the Decatur business
13th congressional district
into the 5th district. The new district in the Clark Harrison
Building at 330 West Ponce
map was first used in the
de Leon Ave. The office is
2012 elections.
scheduled to be open twice
The 5th district now
a month: the first and last
includes more of DeKalb
Monday each month from 10
County than ever before,
a.m. until 4 p.m.
prompting Lewis to estabThe Decatur office will
lish a DeKalb satellite office,
perhaps for the first time, ac- have one regular staff person
and an intern. Appointments
cording to District Director
Aaron Ward. Lewis’ primary may be made, but walk-ins
Georgia office remains at 100 will be served as well, Ward
said. Services normally availPeachtree Street in downable from congressional
town Atlanta.
offices such as help with
“I don’t know of there
passports and veterans’ serhaving ever been a DeKalb

vices will be available at the
satellite offices. An array of
printed information on federal services will be available
as well.
“In order to be closer to
the people in DeKalb and
Clayton counties, I thought it
was fitting and appropriate to
open up offices there. At the

end of the year, we will take
stock and see whether people
feel this is a meaningful service” Lewis said. “If people
use the offices, we will continue. If not, we will explore
other forms of outreach. In
the days to come, I plan to
spend more face time with
the people of both counties

so I can come to know them
better so I can share their
concerns with my colleagues
in the Congress.”
Ward said there is no
specific plan for Lewis to
visit the Decatur office, but it
is likely that at least one such
visit will be scheduled before
the end of the year.

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
The Mayor and City Council of the City of Chamblee, Georgia will hold a public hearing on
Thursday, July 16, 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:
1. 2015Z-05: The Embry Group, LLC requests approval of an amendment of the Official
Zoning Map of the City of Chamblee to change the zoning classification of the following
parcels from Neighborhood Residential-1 (NR-1) to Village Residential (VR) for the
purpose of developing 37 single-family attached dwelling units on the following 3.42
acres of land pursuant to 2015PUD-07:
 DeKalb County Parcel ID: 18-203-06-061, also known as 3175 Clairmont Road,
Chamblee, GA
 DeKalb County Parcel ID: 18-203-06-062, also known as 1808 McJenkin Drive,
Chamblee, GA
 DeKalb County Parcel ID: 18-203-06-063, also known as 1816 McJenkin Drive,
Chamblee, GA
 DeKalb County Parcel ID: 18-203-06-005, also known as 1826 McJenkin Drive,
Chamblee, GA
 DeKalb County Parcel ID: 18-203-06-067, also known as 1834 McJenkin Drive,
Chamblee, GA
 DeKalb County Parcel ID: 18-203-06-006, also known as 1840 McJenkin Drive,
Chamblee, GA.
2. 2015PUD-07: The Embry Group, LLC requests approval of a Planned Unit Development
on 3.42 acres located at 3175 Clairmont Road, 1808 McJenkin Drive, 1816 McJenkin
Drive, 1826 McJenkin Drive, 1834 McJenkin Drive, and 1840 McJenkin Drive 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 37
single-family attached dwelling units on private streets on property being DeKalb County
tax parcel 18-299-11-008 in Chamblee, GA. The property is currently zoned
Neighborhood Residential -1 (NR-1) but is subject to rezoning application 2015Z-05.
3. 2015PUD-08: Mr. Neville Allison, of Acadia Homes and Neighborhoods, requests
approval of a Planned Unit Development on 4.835 acres zoned Low-density
Neighborhood Commercial (NC-1) located at 3739 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, 3747
Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, 3757 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, and 3767 ChambleeDunwoody Road pursuant to Section 280-6(c) of the City of Chamblee Code of
Ordinances, Appendix A, Unified Development Ordinance in order to construct 43
single-family attached dwelling units on DeKalb County tax parcels 18-308-10-003 18308-10-004, 18-308-10-025 and 18-308-10-006 in Chamblee, GA.

 

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 26, 2015

opinion

Page 4A

Justice can be long and painful
It was my first big story
for The Champion. On Nov.
22, 2010, just 12 days after I
joined the county’s legal organ, I was assigned to cover
a news conference at the
Dunwoody Police Department.
Four days before the
news conference, Russell Sneiderman, 36, was
gunned down at point-blank
range after dropping his
child at Dunwoody Prep, a
private preschool on Chamblee-Dunwoody Road.
At the media event, the
Sneiderman family announced that it was offering
a $10,000 reward for information that would lead to
the arrest and conviction of

Andrew Cauthen
andrew@dekalbchamp.com

Managing Editor
@AndrewChampNews

the gunman. Crimestoppers
had already offered a $2,000
reward.
“The whole family has
lost its brightest light and we
don’t know why,” said Steve
Sneiderman, the victim’s

brother.
In the trials that followed,
prosecutors tried to answer
the “why” question. They
alleged that Russell Sneiderman’s wife Andrea was having an affair with her boss
Hemy Neuman. Prosecutors
presented evidence of the
affair: a love letter, travel
records, and people who
witnessed public dancing,
kissing and groping between
the two.
In the end justice was
served with Neuman sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
He had pleaded not guilty by
reason of insanity.
Andrea Sneiderman was
convicted of lying under

oath. She was sentenced
to five years, and paroled
June 2014 after serving 10
months.
In January 2015 Andrea
Sneiderman’s attorneys filed
a motion for a new trial.
That request was denied a
month later.
On June 15 Neuman
received word from the
Georgia Supreme Court
that his conviction had been
overturned on a technicality.
Now, DeKalb District Attorney Robert James is planning to retry Neuman.
The family of Russell
Sneiderman has had some
setbacks in its pursuit of justice for Russell Sneiderman’s
murder.

“Every night we go to
sleep hoping it was all a bad
dream. Every morning we
wake to the same nightmare,” said Steve Sneiderman.
After Neuman’s trial,
James said the process of
healing finally would begin
after a year and a half.
I don’t know if the nightmares can ever go away in a
case like this, but I know the
back-and-forth justice can’t
help.
It was my first big story
at The Champion, and five
years later, it still isn’t over.
And justice is still not satisfied.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 26, 2015

opinion

Page 5A

One Man’s Opinion

Smile...You’re on Candid Camera
“We’re all going to end up
with cameras. It’s going to
be just as common in years
to come as having your sidearm,” DeKalb County Public
Safety Director Cedric Alexander, as first reported by
The Atlanta Journal & Constitution, May 27.
Though most of you may
not admit it, I’m sure that
you have caught, at least
once, a few moments of the
reality TV show, “Cops.” If
you are like me, you have
perhaps also wondered,
where they find these people? The guest-dysfunction,
screening lobby of the old
Jerry Springer Show? But
“Cops” has been on the air
now since 1988, and just
like folks rubber-neck an
accident on the interstates,
people are going to watch.
In response to the national discussion about increasing the accountability
and transparency of police
work, following a growing
number of instances where
the sometimes lethal use of
force is in question or under
legal review, police body
cameras are expected to become as universal a policing
tool as the side arm, night
stick, or Taser in the nottoo-distant future. Several
recent surveys on the subject
put public support of the use
and implementation of body
cameras in beat policing at
more than 90 percent.
A few years back, red
light cameras were all the

Bill Crane
bill.csicrane@gmail.com

Columnist

rage to improve traffic violation policing, while freeing
up officers for other duties
until too many municipalities turned those cameras into primary revenue
streams, and drivers began
to realize that a rear-tag
aimed camera doesn’t always
also capture a light going
from amber to red while
a vehicle is mid-intersection. Strong public pushback caused many of those
cameras to be surplused or
removed though they remain in active use in many
cities across the state.
Several municipal police departments, including
Chattahoochee Hills (south
Fulton County), Powder
Springs (Cobb County), Valdosta, Decatur and Athens,
already have body cameras
in use, and several larger
countywide police departments including Clayton,
Cobb, DeKalb and Gwinnett, have already committed to their use.

“It’s a major step forward. There’s a lot of second-guessing of law enforcement and public accusations
of excessive use of force
and improprieties. This will
help put back the public
confidence,” said Frank Rotondo, executive director of
the Georgia Association of
Chiefs of Police.
Under current Georgia
law, body camera footage
will be open for public review, though the lines are a
little blurry, and although
dashboard cameras have
long been in use, police
agencies often withhold
footage under the guise and
label of “ongoing investigation.”
However, police and
sheriff deputies often encounter the public at their
worst, responding to domestic disputes, horrific auto
accidents and even instances
intended for celebration,
gone awry.
“Body cameras for law
enforcement personnel are
a solid tool. But just as with
SWAT team equipment, we
don’t send that out on every
call. Georgia sheriffs like
the ability of cameras to accurately reflect arrests and
crime scenes, and their officers at work, but they also
have significant concerns
about privacy and unrestricted public access to the
digital footage,” adds Terry
Norris, executive director
of the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association.

The city of Atlanta estimates arming its sworn
officers with cameras will
run nearly $2 million for
the equipment, with data
storage costs running nearly
$1 million per year. And as
with most new technology,
the law is playing catchup, literally. Senate Bill 94,
which went into effect on
July 1, allows law enforcement body cameras into private dwellings, without first
requesting permission. 
So given the proliferation
of Mug Shot websites like
Bustedlocals.com, you may
soon expect police body
camera videos on YouTube
and elsewhere, exposing
both the more mundane
and routine nature of police
work, as well as some of the
most unguarded and unattractive life moments of the
public.
The most effective cameras are worn at eye level,
often attached to glasses,
mimicking the officer’s field
of view, but with a variety of
camera mounting options
available, as well as the realities of physics, the police
cameras don’t have peripheral vision, cannot turn,
zoom or change their viewpoint and do not see behind
the officer.
Unfortunately, noting the
many pros and cons, these
cameras are coming and
fast. The challenge may be
for our state, as well as local
prosecutors, district attorneys, sheriffs and police de-

partments to move quickly
enough to develop new laws
and protocols which further
enhance protection of the
public without giving away
the down-blouse footage of
every highway cop stop. 
But either way it goes, be
prepared to smile as if you
are getting a new driver’s
license, as sooner than later,
you’ll be on Candid Camera.
Bill Crane also serves as a
political analyst and commentator for Channel 2’s Action
News, WSB-AM News/Talk
750 and now 95.5 FM, as well
as a columnist for The Champion, Champion Free Press
and Georgia Trend. Crane is
a DeKalb native and business
owner, living in Scottdale. You
can reach him or comment
on a column at bill.csicrane@
gmail.com. 

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

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

www.championnewspaper.com
DISPLAY ADVERTISING
(404) 373-7779 x 110

Statement from the
publisher
We sincerely appreciate the
discussion surrounding this and any
issue of interest to DeKalb County.
The Champion was founded in 1991
expressly to provide a forum for
discourse for all community residents
on all sides of an issue. We have no
desire to make the news only to
report news and opinions to effect
a more educated citizenry that will
ultimately move our community
forward. We are happy to present
ideas for discussion; however,
we make every effort to avoid
printing information submitted to
us that is known to be false and/or
assumptions penned as fact.

local

Page 6A The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 26, 2015

Eamon Williams
Decatur High School senior
Eamon Williams has been volunteering since he was years
old. From the Atlanta Community Food Bank to the Pensacola
Homeless Food Shelter, Williams
and his father would work together as a bonding activity.
Starting last school year however, Williams began working at a
local ice cream parlor, and his job
has taken a considerable amount
of his free time, which means less
time to volunteer with his father.
“We still do volunteer it’s just
not as often. I miss getting to
spend time with him but volun-

teering really brought us together,”
recalled Williams.
Williams, originally from Pensacola, began volunteering at the
Pensacola Homeless Shelter, where
he set up the tables for people to
eat.
“Their faces would light up
from excitement just being able
to eat. It would leave me with this
feeling in my stomach for the rest
of the night and it was indescribable,” he said?
The Atlanta Community Food
Bank collects food and groceries
and distributes them groceries to
more than 600 agencies that serve

families across Atlanta. In the past,
ACFB has worked with more than
1,700 volunteers, with Williams
and his father being two of them.
“Me and my dad would go
down to Atlanta just to volunteer
at least once a month. It was just
our thing,” Williams said “There’s
nothing that I would enjoy more.”
Although volunteering is his
hobby, Williams plans on going to
Tulane University in New Orleans.
“I really want to be able to help
people everywhere. Even if it’s just
a little,” he said.
-Chenoa Tyehimba

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

Brothers targeting elderly
victims sentenced to 20 years
Two brothers who
scammed seniors out of tens
of thousands of dollars have
been sentenced to 20 years
to serve 10 behind bars and
repay $100,000 in restitution.
Keith and Jeffrey Ogles
solicited roofing work from
four elderly homeowners
and grossly overcharged
them for the work, while
damaging their roofs in the
process, according to a news
release from the DeKalb
County District Attorney’s
Office. One of the victims
was threatened when he
refused to make any more
payments. Another victim
suffers from short-term
memory loss, and the defendants took advantage
of that disability to repeatedly charge her for the same
work.
“This pair deliberately
preyed on elderly victims,
who were all in their 80s,
and demanded payments
that reached over $130,000,”
said DeKalb County District
Attorney Robert James.
“This was a calculated
scheme that targeted and
exploited elderly homeowners. The Ogleses lined their
pockets with the money
many of our victims worked
a lifetime to accumulate.”
In November 2014,

Keith

Jeffrey

Wells Fargo alerted authorities to possible exploitation
of an 89-year-old customer,
according to a news release.
The elderly woman, who
suffers from memory loss,
had attempted to withdraw
$16,000 in cash to pay her
roofer, Keith Ogles, who was
in the parking lot because
he had driven her to the
bank. The Atlanta Police
Department fraud unit responded and discovered that
the customer had paid the
Ogles brothers more than
$40,000 for roofing work
valued at less than $1,500.
Further, the defendants
damaged her roof and did
the repair work incorrectly.
Further investigations
led officers to another victim, an 85-year-old man
who lives near Emory Uni-

versity, according to the
news release.
“Jeffrey Ogles approached the victim and
convinced him that he
needed repairs, despite the
fact that he had recently
had a new roof installed.
Over a four-month period,
this victim paid $72,000 to
Jeffrey and Keith Ogles for
work that did not need to be
done and which was worth
approximately $1,500,” said
Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Jeanne Canavan who oversees the elder
exploitation unit in DeKalb
County. “When the victim
tried to refuse further payments, the Ogles told him
that if he didn’t pay, their

See Brothers on page 18A

NOTICE OF
PROPERTY TAX INCREASE
The City of Brookhaven has tentatively
adopted a millage rate for the General Fund
which will require an increase in property
taxes by 15.78 percent over the Rollback
Millage rate. This increase is due solely to the
revaluation of real property tax assessments.
All concerned citizens are invited to the
public hearings on this tax increase to be held
at Brookhaven City Hall at 4362 Peachtree
Road, Brookhaven, GA 30319. The first public
hearing will be held at 7:00 p.m. on June 9,
2015.
The second public hearing will be at special
called meeting on June 16, 2015 at 6:00 p.m.
A final public hearing will be held July 7, 2015
at 7:00 p.m. After the final public hearing, the
millage rate will be formally adopted.
The tentative increase will result in a millage
rate of 2.795 mills, a millage rate equivalent
increase of .381 mills. Without this tentative
tax increase, the millage rate will be no
more than 2.414 mills. The proposed tax
increase for a home with a fair market value
of $300,000 is approximately $43 and the
proposed tax increase for non-homestead
property with a fair market value of $200,000
is approximately $31.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 26, 2015

local

AroundDeKalb

Brookhaven

City to host Touch-A-Truck
Brookhaven will hold its first Touch-A-Truck
event June 27, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Blackburn
Park. Children will get a chance to hop into a fire
truck, meet a police K-9 and turn the lights on in a
Brookhaven police car.
Krispy Kreme will provide breakfast treats and
coffee, as well as a fun dipping station for the kids.
Blackburn Park is located at 3493 Ashford Dunwoody Road. For more information, visit www.
brookhavenga.gov.

Decatur

CASA to hold volunteer informational
meeting
The public is invited to attend a volunteer informational meeting for DeKalb County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), July 9 from 6:30
to 7:30 p.m.
The meeting will be held at Gregory A. Adams
Juvenile Justice Center, 4309 Memorial Drive in Decatur.
This session will provide an overview of the program for those interested in becoming CASA volunteers. Training classes will be held 4 to 7 p.m., Thursdays, from July 30 to Sept.3. DeKalb County CASA
is a nonprofit organization that recruits, screens and
trains community volunteers who are appointed by
a juvenile court judge to advocate for the best interest of an abused or neglected child placed in foster
care. The program is designed to give abused and
neglected children in foster care a powerful voice and
uses dedicated, concerned, well-trained community
volunteers to protect the child’s best interests.
For more information or to RSVP, contact Justine Kingsley Ferreira at (404) 378-0038 or justine.
ferreira@dekalbcasa.org.

Nonprofit to hold annual Trailblazer Awards
Suite 20 Day Spa, through its nonprofit foundation JABY Inc., will host its 2015 International Trailblazer Awards on July 19 at the Porter Sanford Performance Arts Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur.
The awards program, in its sixth year, recognizes
outstanding community leadership and this year will
honor: Senegal Ambassador Jane Gardner, DeKalb
Superior Court Judge Tangela Barrie, former WSBTV anchor Monica Pearson, actor Ro Brooks of Tyler Perry’s The Haves and Have Nots, Greater Piney
Grove Baptist Church Pastor Dr. William E. Flippen,
Atlanta Rotary District 6900 Gov. Alicia Michaels,
community activist Darlene Lewis, international
makeup artist Rubby Polanco, Florida State University Law student and Miss Tallahassee Northwest
Florida 2015 Lauryn Collier.
The red carpet event, which will be hosted by
WSB-TV’s Veronica Waters, will start at 5:30 p.m.,
followed by a buffet dinner.
Tickets, which are now on sale and must be
purchased in advance, are $25 per person, $40 per
couple, and $50 for VIP admission. There will be no
ticket sales at the door. For more information, go to
www.jabyinc.com, Eventbrite.com, or call (404) 2869664.

Page 7A

Oakhurst Elementary named Safe Routes to
School Resource Center Partner of the Year

Lou Walker Senior Center Performing Arts
Group to celebrate ‘A Festival of Flowers’

Oakhurst Elementary School was selected as the
2015 Georgia Safe Routes to School Resource Center’s Partner of the Year for the metro Atlanta area.
Winners of this award are chosen based on the progress of their Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs
during the past year in getting more students to walk
and bike to school and increasing the awareness of
SRTS within their communities. The Georgia Safe
Routes to School Resource Center has recognized
outstanding partners with the Partner of the Year
Award since 2011. Clairemont Elementary won the
award in 2013 and Renfroe Middle School won in
2014.
Under the leadership of parent champion Heather Tell, more than 60 percent of students regularly
walk and bike to school—the highest percentage of
any City of Decatur school. The school sponsors a
monthly Walk and Roll to School Day celebration,
with themes and prizes to encourage participation,
donations from local businesses, and bicycle bells for
kids. Safety tips are included in the school’s weekly
newsletter, and all 450 students learned basic bike
safety at the annual fall health and wellness festival.
For more information on the City of Decatur
Safe Routes to School program visit www.decaturga.
com/srts.

On Tuesday, June 30, at 2:30 p.m., the Lou Walker Senior Center (LWSC) Performing Arts Group
will present a musical drama titled “A Festival of
Flowers.”
The narratives and musical arrangements are by
Gwendolyn F. Thomas and the production is composed of three acts, “The Creation,” “The Elements,”
and “The Flowers.”
Artistic stage décor will be by LWSC instructors Lileith Jones, providing the floral design, and
Samuel O. Williams, providing drawing/painting
and sculpture.
Local youth to be featured in the performance
include Alexandria Cannon, a 17-year-old classical
pianist, and Cheyanne Crawford, a 16-year-old female vocalist.
The event will feature a cast of senior citizens of
LWSC performing music, drama, dance, poetry and
fashion. The highlights of the performance will include performances by the LWSC Praise Dancers and
The Smooth Sophisticated Gents. Choreography is
by Thomas, Taliah Hasan and Sharon Patterson.
The Lou Walker Senior Center is located at 2538
Panola Road, Lithonia. Admission and parking is
free.

Lithonia
Firelight folktales scheduled
Professional storyteller and hike leader Jonah
McDonald, adventure guide and author of Hiking
Atlanta’s Hidden Forests: Intown and Out, will lead a
hiking, campfire and storytelling event on June 27 at
the Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve.
There are two options in this free, rain or shine
event.
From 3 to 5 p.m., participants will gather at the
nature center and then go on a one-mile beginner
hike, stopping in a few shady spots for story breaks.
The folktales will be suited to the age of the children
who attend. Participants also will be treated to insider information about the plants and animals that
call Arabia Mountain home.
From 7 to 9 p.m., participants will gather around
the fire pit next to the nature center for a primitive
fire starting demonstration. Then they will sit around
the fire and listen to folktales before ending the day
with s’mores.
The Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve is located
at 3787 Klondike Road, Lithonia.
Email kimberly@arabiaalliance.org to RSVP.

Roam Arabia Mountain with Ranger Robby
“Never the same hike twice. See where the spring
breezes take you and discover new favorite areas,”
states an announcement about hikes at the Arabia
Mountain Nature Preserve, 3787 Klondike Road, Lithonia.
The preserve will offer free, guided hikes on June
26, 8-10:30 a.m. The hikes are moderately difficult
and there will be several stops to take in the surroundings.
“Take time for yourself and get away from it all
in this peaceful natural setting,” the announcement
states. Closed-toe shoes and plenty of water are recommended.

Countywide

Photo contest kicks off National Parks and
Recreation Month
DeKalb County Department of Recreation, Parks
and Cultural Affairs, The Champion Newspaper,
Discover DeKalb Convention & Visitors Bureau and
Southern Airways Express will present a photography contest focused on increasing awareness of the
county’s parks and recreational facilities.
Open to amateur and professional photographers, the contest runs July 2 until July 31. A list of
subjects will be provided to all participants by the
DeKalb County Department of Recreation, Parks
and Cultural Affairs; and photos must have been
taken between January 1, 2014, and July 31, 2015.
In conjunction with the photography contest, a
free photography workshop led by professional photographer John Glenn will be held July 9, 6:30 to 8:30
p.m. at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center’s Sam Goldman Retreat, 980 Briarcliff Road in Atlanta.
Winning photographs will be selected by a
panel of judges. Winning photographers and their
work will be recognized at an event in September at
Callanwolde Fine Arts Center and featured in The
Champion Newspaper and in Discover DeKalb’s tourism publications. Prizes will be awarded to first-, second- and third-place winners and will include such
premiums as flights on Southern Airways Express
and a weekend hotel stay in DeKalb County.
All photographs submitted must be taken in
parks owned, managed and listed by DeKalb County
Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs.
The Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs’ mission is to provide safe parks and
facilities, enhance the quality of life as a provider of
recreation and cultural experiences and ensure a customer- focused parks system.
To participate in the contest or to register for the
photography class visit www.dekalbcountyga.gov/
parks. For additional information call (404)-3713695.

local

Page 8A The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 26, 2015

Coffee and jobs

Nonprofit offers jobs and training to resettled refugees

by Justin Beaudrot
Refuge Coffee Company
is a newly established 501c3
nonprofit organization that
offers jobs and job training
for resettled refugees living
in Clarkston.
Founder Kitti Murray
came up with the idea for a
coffee shop after speaking
with neighbors, and realized it could fill the need
for a central place where the
community could relax and
enjoy coffee.
Murray formed a team
and worked to develop a
plan to meet this goal with
the knowledge of Clarkston’s
large resettled refugee community and unemployment
rate in mind, Refuge Coffee
was developed.
Currently, the nonprofit

is operating as a coffee truck
with two refugees hired and
working. The decision to
begin Refuge Coffee as a
truck came from the idea
to start small. This also enables them to attend various
events around the county
and in Atlanta.
Jessica Darnell, director of relations and training,
is in charge of carrying out
refugee job training using a
job-training curriculum supplied by Raleigh-based nonprofit Jobs for Life. This includes a weekly class that assists resettled refugees with
cultural adjustments geared
toward good interview practices, financial planning and
more.
Eleni Tsegu, a resettled
refugee from Ethiopia, said
she enjoys working with Ref-

uge Coffee and meeting new
people.
“I went to the interview.
… The board of Refuge Coffee Co. said I passed the interview, and then I was very
happy,” Leon Shombana, a
resettled refugee from the
Democratic Republic of the
Congo, said. “I feel at home
[here].”
Both Tsegu and Shombana are participating in
the Jobs for Life job training. Refuge Coffee plans to
expand its hours and operations in the coming months.
Murray also mentioned
plans to be open 8 a.m. to
2 p.m. Saturday, June 20,
at the corner of East Ponce
de Leon Avenue and Market Street in Clarkston for
World Refugee Day.

From left, Jessica Darnell, Kitti Murray, Leon Shombana, Eleni Tsegu and
Caleb Goodrum are part of Refuge Coffee in Clarkston.

Refuge Coffee is currently operating as a coffee truck to start small.
Photos by Justin Beaudrot

Brookhaven appoints interim city attorney
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
Chris Balch of Balch
Law Group in Atlanta was
named Brookhaven’s interim
city attorney June 19 after a
3-2 vote by the city council.
Mayor Rebecca ChaseWilliams said Balch was
recommended to her by
Susan Moore, chief council
of the Georgia Municipal
Association and by other attorneys.
“I think it is an advantage that Mr. Balch has no
affiliation to me or any
council members,” ChaseWilliams said. “He was unknown to all of us, except
maybe in passing through
legal circles with [Councilwoman] Linley [Jones].
He’s not a friend, he’s not a
buddy.
“I think he [has] the
sturdy, moral compass to
help us restore the trust in
the city,” she added. “He has
a tremendous knowledge
of the law and his experience as a city and a county
attorney provides the solid
background that I think we
need.”
Jones also said Balch is
what the city needs.
“He is a rare find and we
were lucky to find him on
short notice, but with the
help of the Georgia Municipal Association,” Jones said.
“I believe, most importantly,

that Mr. Balch has a strong
foundation in ethics that
has been revealed time and
time again throughout his
lengthy legal career.”
Councilmembers Bates
Mattison and John Park
voted against the nomination. Mattison said the
council had not had a
chance to talk with Balch

nor view his resume.
“I only got your resume
yesterday afternoon,” Mattison said to Balch. “We
created this crisis. I do not
believe it’s in the best interest of the city of Brookhaven
to move so quickly on something so important.”
Mattison proposed that
the council should approve

Balch’s contract for 30 days
so they could have time to
review other candidates for
the position. However, Mattison’s motion was denied.
Balch said he hopes he
can earn the confidence of
those “who wanted to take
longer to decide whether I’m
the right choice or not.
“I certainly understand

the desire to have more
time, but I will always give
my best advice and my best
analysis,” Balch said.
Balch is replacing Tom
Kurrie, who resigned June
16 in the wake of reports
of his involvement in an
alleged cover-up of a city
employee’s claim of sexual
harassment against former

See Brookhaven on page 18A
THE DEKALB COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, DOES HEREBY ANNOUNCE THAT THE MILLAGE RATE WILL BE SET AT A MEETING
TO BE HELD AT THE MANUEL J. MALOOF CENTER AUDITORIUM, 1300 COMMERCE DRIVE, DECATUR, GEORGIA 30030 ON JULY 14, 2015
10:00 A.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 PROPOSED MILLAGE RATES ALONG WITH THE HISTORY OF THE TAX DIGEST AND LEVY OF
THE PAST FIVE YEARS.
CURRENT 2015 TAX DIGEST AND FIVE YEAR HISTORY OF LEVY
2010
Real & Personal

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

24,410,744,814

21,399,133,588

19,286,135,214

19,237,343,834

20,940,598,158

23,478,083,009

Motor Vehicle

1,346,683,110

1,317,170,660

1,362,176,640

1,468,928,740

1,231,387,800

851,329,130

Mobile Homes

656,584

510,171

440,056

396,572

355,333

358,733

Timber - 100%
Heavy Duty Equipment
Gross Digest
Less M&O Exemptions
Net M&O Digest
Gross M&O Millage (1)
Net Tax Levy (2)
Net Tax Increase ($)
Net Tax Increase (%)

0

0

0

0

0

0

65,347

82,712

77,829

34,308

57,864

2,208

25,758,149,855

22,716,897,131

21,017,441,547

21,086,933,073

22,545,529,410

24,727,109,931

2,030,793,744

1,919,082,084

2,090,546,483

2,061,365,888

2,345,016,850

2,851,144,144

23,727,356,111

20,797,815,047

18,926,895,064

19,025,567,185

20,200,512,560

21,875,965,787

8.96

10.31

11.37

11.51

9.02

11.28

212,597,111

214,425,473

215,198,797

218,984,278

182,208,623

246,760,894

1,828,362

773,324

3,785,481

(36,775,655)

64,552,271

(6,834,053)
-3.11%

0.86%

0.36%

1.76%

-16.79%

(1) Countywide taxes only; no Special Services, Fire and Police Services or bonds in accordance with OCGA 48-5-32/32.1.
(2) Net tax levies for 2010-2015 are prior to the Homestead Option Sales Tax Exemption and the GA Homeowners Tax Relief Grant.

35.43%

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 26, 2015

local

Page 9A

Proposed county pension plan
could save taxpayers millions
by Andrew Cauthen
andrew@dekalbchamp.com

Suspended DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis was on the stand for two
days in his retrial. Photo by Andrew Cauthen

Suspended county CEO
testifies in mistrial
by Andrew Cauthen
andrew@dekalbchamp.com
Burrell Ellis, DeKalb
County’s suspended CEO,
took the stand in his defense
June 18.
The prosecution rested

June 17 in Ellis’ retrial on
charges that he strongarmed vendors to donate to
his re-election campaign in
2012. Ellis’ attorneys asked
Superior Court Courtney
Johnson for a directed verdict and to acquit Ellis for

See Ellis on page 12A

Interim DeKalb CEO
Lee May said the county’s
pension plan, with its unfunded liability of $650 million, is unsustainable.
That’s why he wants the
DeKalb County Board of
Commissioners to pass a
proposed hybrid pension
plan that has been in the
works for three years. The
plan is expected to save the
county millions of dollars.
Larry Jacobs, the county’s deputy finance director
over the division of risk
management and employee
services, said 14 years ago
employees’ contribution
to the pension plans were
0.5 percent and the county
was contributing the same
amount.
“Over time those contributions have increased
dramatically to where employees are paying 8.63 percent of pay and the county is
paying close to 18 percent of
payroll in order to fund the
county’s pension obligation,”
he said.
Jacobs said the county’s
unfunded liability can be reduced in only three ways.
“You can earn your way
out, by exceeding the 7.5
percent projected rate of
return,” he said. “You can
contribute your way out
by county employees and
the employer putting more
money into the plan. Or you
can reduce the benefit.”
Currently the county has

two benefit plans. Employees hired before September
2005 “tend to be in a richer
plan,” Jacobs said. Under
that pension plan, employees who retire after 30 years
will receive 80 percent of
their pay.
Employees hired after
September 2005 who retire
after 30 years will receive
approximately 67 percent of
their pay, he said.
Despite the two plans,
the contributions have been
identical for all employees,
Jacobs said.
Jacobs said the county’s
proposed hybrid pension
plan makes the employee
contributions “more in line
with what the benefit is.”
Under this plan, those
hired before September
2005 would contribute 10.48
percent of their pay to their
pension instead of the current 8.63 percent. Those
hired after September 2005
would see a drop in their
pension contributions from
8.63 percent to 8.57 percent.
Under the plan, effective January 2016, new hires
would pay 6.42 and have
a 20 percent to 25 percent
lower benefit than those
hired between 2005 and
2016.
“This is the case because
the only way to improve
our unfunded liability, we
have…to reduce the benefit,”
Jacobs said.
The proposed pension plan also is expected
increase the retirement age
from 62 to 67.

“This would add an additional $300,000 in savings
for the county,” Jacobs said.
“In order to take the
sting…out of moving that
retirement age up a little
bit, the retirement penalty
would be reduced from 5
percent to 3.25 percent,” he
added.
The proposed pension
plan would save the county
approximately $50 million
over the next decade, Jacobs
said.
The proposed plan
would affect new employees.
The only change for current
employees is their contribution amount, Jacobs said.
There are 1,700 employees in the pre-2005 plan.
They would see an approximate 2 percent increase in
their pension contributions.
Because this is a pre-tax
contribution, it would have
a 1 percent effect on their
take-home pay, Jacobs said.
In the post-2005 plan
there are approximately
4,000 employees, Jacobs
said.
Commissioner Jeff
Rader said, “Our current
pension system is not sustainable. The cost of it will
continue to escalate. Over
time we’re really going to
be in a tight [position] if we
maintain the status quo.”
The hybrid plan is a
“new leaner pension plan,”
he said.
May hopes to have the
hybrid plan approved in
time for the 2016 budget.

Complete the mission.
Earn your degree online.
visit gpc.edu/militaryoutreach

Shatryce Hill
GPC Student
Marine Corps Veteran

A BETTER WAY FORWARD

local

Page 10A The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 26, 2015

County to spread word about human trafficking hotline
by Andrew Cauthen
andrew@dekalbchamp.com
“Are you or someone
you know being sold for sex
or made/forced to work for
little or no pay and cannot
leave?”
That’s what patrons of
adult entertainment establishments, bars and hospitals
will see posted in the public
restrooms.
The signs will urge the
reader to call the National
Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-(888)
373-7888 for help.
“All victims of slavery
and human trafficking have
rights and are protected by
international, federal, and
state law,” the sign will state.
“The hotline is: (1) Anonymous and confidential; (2)
Available 24 hours a day,
seven days a week; (3) Able
to provide help, referral to
services, training, and general information; (4) Accessible in 170 languages; (5)
Operated by a nonprofit,
nongovernmental organization; and (6) Toll free.”
The signs will be posted
throughout DeKalb County
by volunteers on June 27 as
part of campaign to increase
awareness of human trafficking.
Human trafficking is a
“crime [that] occurs when a
trafficker uses force, fraud
or coercion to control an-

other person for the purpose
of engaging in commercial
sex acts or soliciting labor
or services against his/her
will,” according to the National Human Trafficking
Resource Center.
Just this year, the center’s
hotline has received more
than 5,200 calls. Nationally
more than 1,300 human
trafficking cases have been
reported. In Georgia there
have been 39 cases reported.
The National Human
Trafficking Resource Center
reports that “Sex trafficking has been found in…
residential brothels, escort
services, fake massage businesses, strip clubs, and street
prostitution.

Brookhaven city manager
alleges former mayor
retaliated against her
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com

she told Davis in a phone call
that she would not lie about
the employee and that Davis
Brookhaven City Manager did hire the employee.
Marie Garrett said former
“He continued to coach
Mayor J. Max Davis created
me to say that he did not hire
a “hostile work environment” her, which I told him was
for her, according to docunot true,” Garrett said in the
ments obtained by The Cham- email. “At the time he hired
pion.
[said employee], he told me
According to an email
he had the full support of the
sent March 18 to Human Re- council, of which I learned
sources Director Rick Stone,
later not one council member
Garrett said she began seeing knew about the mayor’s hir“retaliatory behavior” by Daing, which is a direct violation
vis toward her after comments of the city’s charter.
she made to another news
“He has demeaned me in
publication regarding Davis
public regarding tourism dolhiring an employee. While in lars in an open council meetWashington, D.C. for a maying on my report as to how
ors’ conference, Garrett said
they [touring dollars]should

See Mayor on page 17A

“Labor trafficking has
been found in diverse labor
settings, including, domestic work, small businesses,
large farms, and factories,”
according to the center’s
website.
“Every year, human
traffickers generate billions of dollars in profits
by victimizing millions of
people in the United States
and around the world,” according the center’s website.
“Traffickers are estimated
to exploit 20.9 million victims, with an estimated 1.5
million victims in North
America alone.”
“DeKalb County representatives have been going
out into our community…

educating citizens on the
modern-day slave trade
called human trafficking,”
said Erica Williams, special projects coordinator in
DeKalb County’s human
development department.
“A lot of people don’t really
know about it and primarily didn’t know that it’s right
here in our backyard.
“What we’ve decided
to do in addition to police
efforts is to come up with
a grassroots, critical mass,
visible campaign that people
can actually see,” Williams
said.
Georgia House Bill 141,
passed in September 2013,
requires certain businesses
to post a sign about the

rights of victims of human
trafficking.
Businesses required by
state law to post the signs
include adult entertainment
establishments, bars, primary airports, truck stops,
passenger rail or light rail
stations, bus stops, emergency rooms within general
acute care hospitals, urgent
care centers, farm labor
contractors and day haulers,
privately operated job recruitment centers, rest areas
along interstate highways,
hotels and establishments
that offer massage or bodywork services by a person
who is not a massage therapist.
The signs must be
posted in “each public restroom for the business
establishment and either in
a conspicuous place near
the public entrance of the
business or establishment
or in another conspicuous
location in clear view of the
public and employees where
similar notices are customarily posted,” the law states.
The law includes penalties from $500 to $5,000 for
noncompliance.
In DeKalb County, the
signs also will be posted in
parks and recreation centers.
After June 27, county
representatives will develop
a plan for keeping the mandated businesses in compliance, Williams said.

Notice of Property Tax Increase
The City of Stone Mountain has tentatively adopted a millage
rate which will require an increase in property taxes by
9.09% percent. All concerned citizens are invited to a public
hearing on this tax increase to be held at City Hall, 875 Main
Street, Stone Mountain, GA 30083 on Monday, July 7, 2015
at 7:00 p.m.
The tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 20.9
mils, an increase of 1.742 mils. Without this tentative tax
increase, the millage rate will be no more than 19.158 mils.
The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market
value of $50,000 is approximately $31.84 and the proposed
tax increase for non-homestead property with a fair market
value of $75,000 is approximately $52.26.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 26, 2015

local

Page 11A

Decatur resident reaches century mark
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
While most families
gathered June 21 to celebrate
Father’s Day, Sadie Sims’
family gathered to celebrate
her 100th birthday.
Sims, who lives in Decatur, was celebrated by her
seven remaining children,
23 grandchildren, 43 greatgrandchildren, five greatgreat grandchildren and
others whose lives she has
influenced throughout her
100 years.
“It feels good,” Sims said
of turning 100.
Sims and her family said
she is blessed to reach 100
after dealing with a couple of
health scares in her 80s and
90s. She has survived two
heart attacks and two strokes.
She had a pacemaker put in
when she was 94.
“After I got that pacemaker I wasn’t sick anymore,” she
said. “Other people [have]
died and gone on, and I’m
still [taking care of] babies.”
“Everybody has gone on,
and she’s hanging on in here,”
Sims’ daughter Doris Johnson said.
Sims was born June 21,
1915 in Walnut Grove, Ga.
Her mother died when she
was young, and she went to
live with her mother’s family.
Sims was an only child, but
her mother had 13 siblings.
When her grandparents took
her in, her aunts and uncles

Decatur resident Sadie Sims turned 100 years old on June 21. Her family celebrated the century mark at
Omega World Center in Decatur. Photo by Carla Parker

became her siblings.
Sims said her aunts and
uncles loved her like a sister
because of her grandparents’
love for her.
“They loved me because
my granddaddy was crazy
about me. I was his favorite,”
Sims said. “Anything he was
doing, and my grandmother
too, I was right there helping
them. The rest of the children
wanted to play or go somewhere.”
Sims’ family lived on a
100-plus-acre farm. She loved
to cook alongside her grandmother and milk cows with
her grandfather.

FREE Family Reunion Planning
Wo r k s h o p & S h o w c a s e
Discover DeKalb’s Reunion Specialist
will teach you everything you need to
know to plan the perfect
Family Reunion in DeKalb County!

“I was the tomboy,” she
added. “I was always on the
farm.”
Sims has fond memories
of spending time with her
grandfather on the farm.
“He was a good farmer,”
she said. “We didn’t want for
nothing.”
“Everything her grandfather taught her she did the
same,” Johnson said. “Her
grandfather would give you
anything and feed everybody,
and that’s exactly what she
did. That’s why so many people know her and love her.”
Sims went to school up
until the eighth grade. One

FREE Customer Service
Tr a i n i n g C l a s s

Workshop - 10 a.m. to Noon
Showcase - Noon to 2 p.m.

Professional trainer, Donna Satchell
of STARR Consulting & Training,
will teach you the importance of providing
outstanding service and help you enhance
your service skills in this motivating and
invigorating free class.

Saturday, August 15, 2015
Atlanta Marriott Century Center
2000 Century Boulevard NE
Atlanta, GA 30345

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Discover DeKalb Conference Room
1957 Lakeside Parkway, Suite 510
Tucker, GA 30084

Family Reunion Capital of the South

Pre-registration is required

Pre-registration is required

Register online at AtlantasDeKalb.com

Register online at AtlantasDeKalb.com

Call 770-492-5018

Call 770-492-5014

could say she was home
schooled after the eighth because one of her aunts would
bring home her schoolbooks
and teach Sims what they
learned that day.
“My grandmother had an
education too,” she said. “She
worked for a senator, and
she got to go to school. My

grandmother would teach
us too. She taught us how to
read all the big words.”
Although Sims does not
have a high school diploma,
Johnson said her mother is
just as smart as anyone is.
“She and my daddy
stressed [that] we had to get
an education; they knew the
value of an education,” Johnson said. “But, she read all
of our school books. She’s a
smart cookie.”
Sims lived on her family’s
farm until she married her
first husband, Robert Lowe,
in her late teens.
They moved to Decatur
and she had one son with
Lowe. They were married for
two years before Lowe died.
She later married Jessie Sims
and had seven children with
him, including Johnson. She
also raised a nephew, who
she considered a son.
One of her sons passed
away nearly 15 years ago and
she has lost a grandson.
Sims was a stay at-home
mom, but when her children got older, she worked
for City Schools of Decatur
as a cafeteria worker. She

See Birthday on page 18A

Pet of the Week

Pueblo - ID#
27691708 (right) is a
very sweet boy! This
2 year old cutie is a
happy boy that would
really flourish in a
home. He is a little
bashful here at the
shelter, but that doesn’t
stop him from curiously
approaching you and
wagging his tail. He just
needs a little time to
feel comfortable before
his sweetness and
wiggles come out. Pueblo gets along great with
other dogs and probably wouldn’t mind having
a canine companion in his new home. Come
meet sweet Pueblo at the DeKalb shelter today!
Throughout June all pets over six months and
dogs weighing at least 25 lbs. may be adopted for
FREE! They will be spayed/neutered, vaccinated
and microchipped at no additional charge. If you
would like more information about Pueblo please
email adoption@dekalbanimalservices.com or
call (404) 294-2165. All potential adopters will be
screened to ensure Pueblo goes to a good home.

local

Page 12A The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 26, 2015

Executive Director of Partners in Action for Healthy Living Maria Rossoto, Emory student Julianna
Joss, Director of Community Building and Social Change Kate Grace, Towers resident Joe Ferris
and Emory student Sarah Perlin stand in the plaza off of Glenwood Road to support the Towers
Emory fellows interview and record a resident about her issues with the lack of sideAction Group’s sidewalk campaign.
walks on Glenwood Road.

Emory students design signs for the campaign.

Towers Action Group Beverly Hall (third from left) poses with Emory fellows and residents.

Emory students support local sidewalk mission
by Ashley Oglesby
ashley@dekalbchamp.com
Many in the Towers High School
community are concerned about an
increase in pedestrian deaths. Residents want sidewalks, and Emory
University students are supporting
their mission.
On June 16, from 10 a.m. to
noon, Towers Action Group (TAG)
along with Emory students enrolled
in a community building and social
change fellows program, hosted an
event in the parking lot of the Prestigious Early Learning Academy on
Glenwood Road.

Towers residents and students
used the event to gather signatures
and testimonials, as well as take
photographs of pedestrians to advocate for the construction of sidewalks in the surrounding neighborhoods.
TAG member Beverly Hall said,
“People have to walk so close to
the street in tall grass. Mothers are
pushing strollers with babies into
the street. Some people are in wheelchairs and actually have to get into
the streets. Cars are not stopping or
slowing down; it’s dangerous.”
She added, “It’s imperative to
have sidewalks in this community.”

Emory students assisted the residents in promoting the campaign
by creating signs, interviewing residents and writing press releases to
get the support of local newspapers.
Emory’s Director of community
building social change fellows Kate
Grace said many of the students in
the yearlong program are getting a
minor in community building and
social change.
She said, “This opportunity
provides real-world experience for
our students while at the same time
helping to improve the community.”
Grace said each student has
completed nine course credits and

been assigned to a project that will
be completed in teams but directed
by the community.
“We have been working with
the DeKalb Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative for four years and
the Towers Action Group is one of
our partners. It’s important because
we can bring an infusion of energy
and skills around particular issues to
help move, in this instance, the Towers community agenda forward,”
Grace said.

office of the CEO, you don’t respect
the county.”
Ellis’ testimony about conversations with Joann Wise, of CIBER
Inc., a technology consulting firm,
differed from hers. Ellis had asked
the company for a contribution to
his campaign.
“[Wise] was calling me, she was
returning my call [to say] that they
had had an open procurement and
she was waiting to see whether they
were going to get a contract before
she decided whether she was going
to give to my campaign,” Ellis testified.
Wise said “that they were not
being selected so… they had made a

decision at CIBER [that they] were
not going to give to my campaign,”
Ellis said.
In early testimony, Wise said Ellis was irritated and annoyed with
her, threatened her job and characterized her as a bad mother after she
ignored several of his phone calls.
Before the prosecution rested,
it tried to prove that Ellis perjured
himself when he testified before
a grand jury that he never got involved with the contract selection
process.
James’ team played a recording
of Ellis questioning former county
fire chief Edward O’Brien about a
contract awarded to an ambulance

company. In the conversation, Ellis asked O’Brien to “delve into that
with each of these vendors.”
O’Brien testified that “there was
some direction given to make sure
we look into certain things in the
next step of the process.”
The prosecution also played a
recording of Ellis before a special
purpose grand jury.
“I don’t make the call to give
people work,” Ellis said in the recording. “I don’t make the call to
not give people work. I just rely on
my department heads to make those
decisions.”
Ellis’ trial had not concluded at
press time June 23.

Ellis Continued From Page 9A
insufficient evidence to convict him.
Johnson refused.
On June 19 Ellis’ defense team
called character witnesses, including
his wife Philippa, and Congressman
Hank Johnson before putting Ellis
on the stand.
Ellis testified that he did not
pressure contractor Power and Energy to contribute to his political
campaign. He was, however, concerned that a representative hung up
on him.
“When I saw how much business they were doing with the county, that, even more so, made me mad
that she would hang up the phone,”
Ellis said. “If you don’t respect the

In

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 26, 2015

WEEK

local

Page 13A

Pictures

Fernbank staff take pictures for Jurassic June, which celebrates the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods of dinosaur history.

A picturesque day on the Decatur Square. Photo by Travis Hudgons

The Old Decatur Courthouse looks ominous at night. Photo by Travis Hudgons

Photos brought to you by DCTV
DeKalb County begins one-day-a-week sanitation collection service July 6, 2015
Residential customers will have same-day garbage, recyclable materials and yard trimmings collection
For more info, call or visit:

(404) 294-2900
www.rollingforwardtoone.com

local

Page 14A The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 26, 2015

Decatur residents win
Pedals 4 Professionals
video contest
by Justin Beaudrot
Decatur residents, Paul FicklinAlred and Nathan Scronce, teamed
up for Canada-based Reliance
Foundry’s annual, multi-national
Pedals 4 Professionals video contest.
In recognition of Bike to Work
Week, Pedals 4 Professionals receives video submissions of participants’ stories of how and why they
bike to work, and reward the winning contestants with $5,000 toward
new bike equipment. Scronce owns
video production company, Outfit,
and wanted to tell Ficklin-Alred’s
story.
Fifty-four-year-old FicklinAlred mentions in the video that he
has been biking to work at Emory
University for nearly 10 years. He
began biking as a way to get into
better shape and in response to
Emory’s doubling its parking fees.
He said his health has improved significantly, and he is a better person
to work with.
“Biking to work is one of the
ways I like to contribute to sustainability as a citizen of DeKalb County,” Ficklin-Alred said. “I started by
biking the two miles from my house
to the closest Emory shuttle stop,
but very soon I was enjoying it so
much I started biking the six miles
from home to work and back every
day.”
The Emory and Decatur com-

Words

HURT
Stop
the
Bullying

munities have been working toward
promoting bicycling as an alternative mode of transportation.
Emory increased its parking fees
and offers students a long-term bike
share opportunity as encouragement towards this effort.
Decatur’s Active Living division organizes a number of events
for its annual bike month held each
May. Last October, Decatur’s Active
Living installed a public bike repair
station in front of the Decatur Recreation Center.
With communities working
to encourage biking as an alternative mode of transportation and
the PATH Foundation’s system of
bike trails throughout DeKalb, the
county may begin to see an increase
in bicyclists over the next few years.
Ficklin-Alred commented, “If biking doesn’t work for you, try other
options, such as using public transportation to work one or two days a
week if it works for you. Recycle, of
course. DeKalb makes it easy.”
Jeremy Bradley, contest organizer for Reliance Foundry, said,
“We wanted to find a way to engage
communities across North America
… The contest is a way for us to
participate while also helping to
bring folks in the cycling community together.” Reliance Foundry is
a producer of architectural site furnishings such as bike parking stands
and racks.

From left, Paul Ficklin-Alred, an Emory University staff member, and Nathan Scronce, a video production company owner, won a video contest about cycling to work. Photo provided

NOTICE
The City of Brookhaven City Council does hereby announce that the millage rate will be set at a meeting to be
held at the Brookhaven City Hall on on July 7, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. and pursuant to the requirements of O.C.G.A. Section
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.

CURRENT 2015 TAX DIGEST AND 5 YEAR HISTORY OF LEVY
Brookhaven City

2010

2011

2012

2013

Real & Personal

2014

2,261,071,691

2015

2,691,060,034

3,160,338,872

82,633,320

67,891,300

2,261,071,691

2,773,693,354

3,228,230,172

254,997,596

437,879,638

655,645,230

2,006,074,095

2,335,813,716

2,572,584,942

Motor Vehicles
Mobile Homes
Timber - 100%
Heavy Duty Equipment
Gross Digest

0

0

0

Less M& O Exemptions
Net M & O Digest
State Forest Land
Assistance Grant Value

0

Adjusted Net M&O Digest

0

0

0

0
0

0

2,006,074,095

2,335,813,716

2,572,584,942

2.850

2.850

2.795

Gross M&O Millage
Less Rollbacks
Net M&O Millage
Net Taxes Levied
Net Taxes $ Increase
Net Taxes % Increase

0.055
0.000

0.000

0.000

2.850

2.795

2.795

$0

$0

$0

$5,717,311

$6,528,599

$7,190,375

$811,288.00

$661,776.00

14.19%

10.14%

#REF!

#REF!
#REF!

#REF!

 

#REF!
#REF!

 

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 26, 2015

local

Page 15A

Reading Continued From Page 1A
our recreation centers an extension of
the classrooms and learning doesn’t
stop just because school is out for the
summer. As an opportunity for them
to continue their reading and learning
throughout the summer, we decided to
implement this summer reading program.”
“This is the first year so naturally
there are some kinks to work out and
we will get them worked out, but every
child received a book,” he added.
DeKalb County has 11 recreation
centers.
Wilson said, “ It’s great to go around
to the centers and read to the children
and see their enjoyment. They consider
people that they don’t know as a special
guest and when a special guest comes in
to read to them, they’re excited.
May’s summer reading program aims
to promote literacy skills and vocabulary enrichment in children ages 5 to 12
during the Camp Superstars summer
camp, June 1 through July 31 at all recreation centers.
Interim DeKalb County CEO, Lee
May, Clerk of Superior Court Debra
DeBerry, Solicitor General Sherry Boston, DeKalb County department heads
and others are scheduled to read to
campers throughout the summer.

Children follow hand gestures led by parks Director Roy Wilson in repeat-after-me story about a bunny.

Jobs Continued From Page 1A
they will be productive citizens,” Stone said.
Seventy-five percent of
the approximately $1.8 million in annual funding is allocated for the out-of-school
youth participants—unemployed high school graduates, school dropouts, or
those with juvenile or criminal records. Twenty-percent
of the funds are used to give
youth jobs in the private or
public sectors.
Stone said the goal is to
put 250 youth in jobs, and
DeKalb Workforce is “actively recruiting.”
To be eligible for the program, youth must be from
low-income families and
have another “barrier” such
as homelessness, basic skill
deficiency, pregnant or parenting, a runaway, in foster
care, or a school dropout.
Ashton Stephens, 20, of
Decatur began participating in the program when he
was a sophomore at Destiny
Academy of Excellence.
Now he has a full-time job
as a receptionist at DeKalb
Workforce Development
“I’m the first line of contact,” said Stephens, who has
been working full-time since
February. “I just hold that
friendly atmosphere and try
to keep it as comfortable as

possible as you come in.
“I pretty much know…
about all the job opportunities and services that we
provide,” he added. “I [let]
all of our customers and
clients know about what’s
going on.”

“I didn’t really know what
I wanted to do while I was
in high school, so DeKalb
Workforce is here to get me
on the right path, just to
help me out,” Stephens said.
In the program, Stephens
started working as a janitor

When I was younger,…I was
hanging with the wrong crowd. I
didn’t picture my life being what it
has become today
-Ashton Stephens
When Stephens was a
sophomore in high school,
a DeKalb Workforce caseworker had a recruitment
session at Destiny Academy
of Excellence.
“I wasn’t supposed to be
in the meeting,” Stephens
said. “They called for all the
seniors to stay in the cafeteria…and I just decided to
stay in the cafeteria.”
After the meeting, Stephens talked with the caseworker and signed up for
the program.

at Destiny Academy, then at
Miller Grove High School.
During the summer after
his junior year, he worked
in the county’s property appraisal office as an office assistant, doing “a lot of filing
and data entry,” Stephens
said. The next summer, he
worked in DeKalb County’s
purchasing and contracts
office and the county’s mail
room
Last summer, Stephens
worked in landscaping on
the East Lake Golf Course.

“I enjoyed that as well,”
he said. “I got a chance to
meet Steve Harvey when I
was out there.”
Stephens said DeKalb
Workforce has helped him
“tremendously.”
“It has helped me grow
into the young man that
you see before you today,”
said Stephens, who plans to
study computer technology.
“When I was younger,…I
was hanging with the wrong
crowd. I didn’t picture my
life being what it has become today.”
Stone Mountain resident
Blaine Allen, a recent graduate of DeKalb Early College
Academy, has been in the
youth program for a year
and working in the DeKalb
Workforce office for three
weeks.
“It’s kind of difficult to
get your foot in the door,”
Allen said about his job
search prior to enrolling the
DeKalb Workforce program.
“Usually you find that people who are working…help
the people that they know
get a job. It’s difficult when
you don’t have those connections with those kinds of
people.
“That’s why I’m grateful
for this program,” said Allen, who is the “point-man”

for all the file requests and
needs related to an upcoming audit.
“I really believe it’s a great
program,” said Allen, who
plans to become a corporate
attorney. “I feel like it helps
kids to give them structure.
If you don’t have structure
when you’re young, it leads
to not having structure later
on life.
“It’s a worthwhile experience,” said Allen, who has
been accepted to Georgia
State University where he
plans to major in criminal
justice with an emphasis
on legal studies. “You get
to meet like-minded young
people who want to work
and who want to succeed.”
Latanya Lowery, employment training supervisor for the youth unit of
DeKalb Workforce Development, said, “We try to give
[youth] different opportunities to explore a variety of
careers. As they are transitioning, some of them know
what they want to do, some
of them don’t know.”
For more information
about the program, contact
DeKalb Workforce Development at (404) 687-2718.

local

Page 16A The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 26, 2015

U.S. Attorney to
review disability
access at courthouses
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern
District of Georgia has initiated a review of local courthouses to determine if they
are in compliance with the
Americans With Disabilities
Act of 1990 (ADA). This initiative is being conducted in
accordance with the federal
government’s congressionally mandated responsibility
to review compliance with
the ADA.
“Access to local courthouses is a fundamental part
of our society that everyone
in our district is entitled to
enjoy,” said John A. Horn,
acting U.S. Attorney for the
Northern District of Georgia. “We are hopeful that our
local courthouses will partner with us on this very important initiative to ensure
that they are in full compliance with the law.”
The nine courthouses
under review are in DeKalb,
Fayette, Floyd, Fulton,
Gwinnett, Hall, Rockdale,
Spalding and Troup counties.
As part of the review,
the courthouses are being
asked to complete and return a survey form. Once

the forms are completed,
investigators may follow up
with onsite inspections to
confirm survey responses
and to evaluate compliance
with the ADA regulations.
The U.S. Attorney’s office
hopes to work cooperatively
with local courthouses that
are found to be noncompliant. The goal is to ensure
that government facilities,
services and programs are
accessible to persons with
disabilities.
Any member of the
public who wishes to file
a complaint alleging that
a courthouse or any other
place of public accommodation with the Northern
District of Georgia is not accessible to people with disabilities may contact the U.S.
Attorney’s Office by phone
at (404) 581-4626 or email
at USAGAN.CivilRights@
usdoj.gov. 
Additional information about the ADA can be
found at www.ada.gov, or by
calling the toll-free information line at the Civil Rights
Division of the Justice
Department at (800)5140301 (voice) and (800)5140383(TTY).   

Words HURT

Stop the Bullying

Avondale Estates DDA asks for $300,000 in funding
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
The Avondale Estates
Downtown Development
Authority (DDA) is trying
to attract new businesses
and boost tourism, and says
it needs $300,000 to do so.
During the June 16
city council meeting, DDA
chairman Robert James
discussed what the city can
do to attract more developers and people to the city.
city officials have discussed

creating additional parking
in the business district but
James said more than adding more parking spaces
should be done.
“It’s also important that
we create signage throughout the city, not only to benefit things like the temporary parking or permanent
parking long term when we
have a parking deck, but also
to identify businesses that
we can’t see when the people
are driving by,” James said.
James suggested putting

wayfinding signs throughout
the city. To do this however,
James said the city needs
funding.
“Wayfinding signs to
cover the current business
district and the current
businesses would exceed
$100,000,” James said.
“What we’re asking for is to
be funded for the next three
years of $100,000 a year.
“What we’re trying to do
is set the tone for developers
as they come into the city,
and the city can do it in a

See Funding on page 18A

NOTICE OF PROPERTY TAX INCREASE 
 
The Board of Education of the City of Decatur has tentatively adopted a 
millage rate of 19.00 mills which will require an increase in property 
taxes by 4.97% for fiscal year 2015‐2016.  This tentatively approved 
millage rate of 19.00 is a decrease from the current fiscal year adopted 
millage rate of 20.50.   
All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearing on this tax 
increase to be held at the Board Room of the Central Office, 125 
Electric Avenue, Decatur, Georgia on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at 6:00 
p.m.   
This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 19.00 mills, an 
increase of .90 mills over the rollback millage.  Without this tentative 
tax increase, the millage rate will be no more than 18.10 mills.  The 
proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $400,000 
is approximately $180.  
 

NOTICE

The City of Chamblee City Council does hereby announce that the millage rate will be set at a meeting to be held at the Chamblee Civic 
Center located at 3540 Broad Street, Chamblee, Georgia on July 9, 2015 at 6:00 PM and pursuant to the requirements of Ga. Code 
48‐5‐32 does herby 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.
CURRENT 2015 TAX DIGEST AND FIVE YEAR HISTORY OF LEVY

Real & Personal
Motor Vehicles & Heavy Equipment
Public Utilities
Gross Digest
Less Exemptions
Adjusted Net Digest
Gross Millage Rage
Net Taxes Levied
Net Taxes $ Increase
Net Taxes % increase

2010
533,197,959
14,546,770
9,563,181
557,307,910
44,896,783
512,411,127

2011
797,623,949
14,131,410
11,087,937
822,843,296
88,432,680
734,410,616

2012
729,978,100
22,076,110
9,128,386
761,182,596
83,119,557
678,063,039

2013
723,574,965
27,471,830
9,726,659
760,773,454
86,685,769
674,087,685

2014
996,371,051
23,809,872
10,289,198
1,030,470,121
135,524,124
894,945,997

2015
1,128,701,391
20,050,020
15,151,224
1,163,902,635
147,675,593
1,016,227,042

7.95

7.4

7.4

6.4

6.4

6.4

4,073,668

5,434,639

5,017,666

4,314,161

5,727,654

6,503,853

553,293
15.72%

1,360,970
33.41%

(416,972)
‐7.67%

(703,505)
‐14.02%

1,413,493
32.76%

776,199
13.55%

local

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 26, 2015

Mayor Continued From Page 10A
not be spent for local events—
not eligible—which he wanted
to be, to berating me in an
executive session over the resignation of [name retracted],”
Garrett continued.
Garrett also mentioned
other incidents in which Davis allegedly berated her in
meetings, and “pressured”
her to do the “wrong thing”
when he allegedly asked her
to bid out batting cages at a
local park, “Of which the consensus of the council was not
to pay for batting cages until
after the master plan for Murphy Candler Park.”
“When I refuse [Davis]
steps up his anger towards
me,” Garrett stated.
Garrett also said a staff
member and council member
told her that Davis stated that
she “would be gone soon.”
“I received a very positive
performance evaluation and
this was presented to me by
the mayor and council on Feb.
10,” Garret stated. “The mayor
said I was doing an excellent
job and that ‘we want to keep
you.’ Since the evaluation, I
have experienced negative behavior towards me.”
In a response to the email,
Davis wrote to former city
attorney Tom Kurrie that
he was “saddened to find it
necessary” to respond to the
email.
“But, I simply can’t let
these incendiary statements
go without the facts being
presented,” Davis wrote. “Marie’s email to Rick discloses
several executive session
items to which Rick was not
a party. I believe this may be
in violation of the charter and
ethics policy but I leave that
matter to you.”
Davis said when he was
shown the email, more than a
month after it was written, he
approached Garrett and asked
her why she wrote it. Davis
claims she said to him—in
front of Kurrie, he added—
that Councilman John Park
told her that Davis was trying
to “set me up over franchise
fees.”
“She had gone to lunch
with John [Park] a week or
so prior to her writing the
memo,” Davis stated. “She
went on to say that she had
heard of second- and thirdhand conversations that I was
‘going to fire her.’ I do not
have the sole authority to fire
her and do not engage in rumor mongering.
“For Marie to give these
as her first reasons for the
things she says in her email is
evidence as to her motivation
and points to the lack of ve-

racity shown in its contents,”
Davis continued.
Davis detailed the incident where Garrett alleged
that he hired an employee.
Davis said his hiring an employee was not true.
“I do not know how to
conduct a hire for the city, did
not direct anyone [on] staff to
hire [said employee] and did
not sign her checks,” he wrote.
Davis also said in his letter to Kurrie that he did not
berate Garrett, and said Garrett’s statements regarding the
batting cages were not true.
Garrett’s email also included the sexual harassment
complaint that two city employees made against Davis.
The employees told Garrett
that Davis sprayed a can of
Lysol at one of the employee’s
buttocks.
“I have since reported it to
[Park] on March 6 and again
to [Kurrie] on March 17,” she
said. “This is unacceptable behavior and I believe that [Davis] took liberty and crossed
the line doing something that
I consider to be sexual harassment. This has become and
continues to be a hostile work
environment.”
Davis denied spraying the
can at the employee’s buttocks
and said the incident was a
“silly joke that elicited laughter” from the two employees.
“But, obviously I now
realize the laughter was more
of an uncomfortable nature

Page 17A

for which I have obviously
apologized,” Davis wrote. “After they spoke to Marie, Marie
did not bring it up to me to
let me know that this incident
made them uncomfortable.
When I asked Marie why she
gave an opinion in her email
that she considered this ‘sexual harassment’ she said she
thought it could be.”
Davis added that he

asked Garrett if the employee
claimed to have been sexually harassed, and Garrett told
him “no.”
Davis said Garrett’s uses
phrases such as “demeaning
behavior towards me” and
“hostile work environment”
is how she reacts to different
opinions or criticism.
“In the past while referring to other individuals, Ma-

rie has used terminology such
as, [This person is] “beating
on me,” “harassing me,” “berating me,” “demeaning me,”
etc.,” Davis wrote. “It has been
pointed out to Marie that she
risks clouding real issues by
using terms and phrases that
are inappropriate to the facts
at hand.”

NOTICE OF PROPERTY TAX INCREASE
The Mayor and City Council of the City of Lithonia has tentatively
adopted a millage rate which will require an increase in property taxes
by 2.98%.
All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearing on this tax
increase to be held at City Hall, 6920 Main Street on Tuesday, June
23, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. A third public hearing will be
held at City Hall, 6920 Main Street on Monday, July 6, 2015 at 6:30
p.m.
This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 17.000, an
increase of 0.492 mills. Without this tentative tax increase, the millage
rate will be no more than 16.508 mills.
This proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of
$36,000 is approximately $24.00. The proposed increase on nonhomestead property with a fair market value of $70,000 is
approximately $48.00.
NOTICE

The Mayor and Lithonia City Council do hereby
  announce that the millage rate will be set at a meeting to be
held at the Lithonia City Hall, 6920 Main Street, Lithonia 30058 on Monday, July 6, 2015 at 7:00 PM and pursuant to the requirements of O.C.G.A. Section
48-5-32 do 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.

 

CURRENT  2014 TAX DIGEST AND 5 YEAR HISTORY OF LEVY
COUNTY WIDE

2010

2011

2012

Real & Personal

$

26,674,180

$

Motor Vehicles

$

1,582,040

$

20,765,829 $

Mobile Homes

$

176,149

$

176,149 $

1,615,590

$

2013

19,375,805 $
1,690,000

$

2014

17,690,700 $
1,853,380

2015

20,095,784 $

22,214,312

$

1,554,440

$

981,640

117,094 $

117,094 $

93,990

$

93,990

23,289,942

Timber - 100%
Heavy Duty Equipment
Gross Digest

$

28,432,369

$

22,557,568 $

21,182,899 $

19,661,174 $

21,744,214 $

Less M& O Exemptions

$

565,746

$

545,059 $

562,008 $

552,462 $

526,915 $

536,850

Net M & O Digest
State Forest Land Assistance
Grant Value

$

27,866,623 $

22,012,509 $

20,620,891 $

19,108,712 $

21,217,299 $

22,753,092

Adjusted Net M&O Digest

$

27,866,623 $

22,012,509 $

19,108,712 $

21,217,299 $

22,753,092

Gross M&O Millage

$

20,620,891 $

13.178

15.205

16.552

17.869

13.178

15.205

16.552

17.869

$367,226

$334,700

$341,317

Net Taxes $ Increase

-$7,920

-$32,526

$6,617

Net Taxes % Increase

-2.11%

-8.86%

1.98%

17.869

17.000

Less Rollbacks
Net M&O Millage
Total County Taxes Levied

17.869

$341,454 $

379,132

$137 $

37,678

0.04%

9.94%

17.000
$386,803
$

7,671
1.98%

local

Page 18A The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 26, 2015

Birthday Continued From Page 11A

Brookhaven Councilman Bates Mattison (right) speaks with Interim City Attorney Chris Balch.

Brookhaven Continued From Page 8A
Mayor J. Max Davis.
On May 13, spokeswoman Megan Matteucci
told The Champion that a
city employee filed a complaint Feb. 24 accusing
Davis of sexual harassment,
and that Kurrie was investigating the incident.
Later that day, the city
released a statement clearing Davis of wrongdoing
with Kurrie saying a complaint was never filed nor
was there an investigation.
However, a complaint
was filed and an investigation was conducted. According to documents and
emails the city sent to The
Champion, both employees
reported the alleged sexual
harrassment to City Manager Marie Garrett, and
one employee told Garrett
the incident left her “very
uncomfortable,” according
to an email Garrett sent to
Human Resources Director
Rick Stone.
Kurrie conducted an

Balch

investigation and cleared
Davis.
Following the incident,
the city council at its June 16
meeting passed a resolution
to support transparency and
open government. According to the resolution, the city
will abide by four policies
and procedures regarding
access to government recorders, including, “Every
effort will be made to produce all documents responsive to every open records
request.”

At the beginning of the
June 19 special call meeting,
Chase-Williams said, “We
have to learn from our mistakes and work to continue
forward in the best interest
of the city and all that we
do,” Chase-Williams said.
The city council also
voted unanimously to ask
City Solicitor Tim Tanner to
withdraw his resignation.
Tanner, who works at
the same law firm with
Kurrie, resigned following
Kurrie’s resignation. Both
Kurrie and Tanner work for
Coleman Talley LLP, and
Chase-Williams said the
firm initially believed Tanner should resign as well.
However, Tanner changed
his mind.
“I talked to Tim at
length and the agreement
now is that if the council
would ask him to withdraw
his letter of resignation, he is
willing to continue on as our
solicitor,” Chase-Williams
said.

retired in the early 1960s,
and since then has been a
doting grandmother, great
grandmother and great-great
grandmother. She even cared
for children who were not
biologically hers.
“I kept everybody’s children,” Sims said.
Like any 90-plus-yearold person, Sims has seen a
number of historic moments
in her lifetime and has experienced many events. However, there are two events that
she will never forget. One of
those events was a trip to Jerusalem in 1995 with church
members from Greenforest
Community Baptist Church.
One of the highlights of her
trip included a camel ride.
“I rode that camel,” she
said. “The rest of the women

were scared of the camel but
I wasn’t scared.”
She was also baptized
in the Jordan River by the
church’s pastor at the time
the late, Rev. Dr. George McCalep Jr.
Sims also remembers the
times she voted for President
Barack Obama, the first
Black president.
“I never thought I would
see a Black president in my
life,” she said.
“She cried when he was
elected,” Johnson said. “She
has a shrine of him–T-shirts,
tags, everything.”
Sims has birthday letters from Obama from the
last three years. This year,
she will receive a proclamation from him for her 100th
birthday.

Brothers Continued From Page 6A
company would tear up his
roof.”  
There were two more
victims in the case, an elderly couple who paid the Ogles
brothers more than $20,000
for roofing work that was
later valued at only $2,000.
The defendants returned on
numerous occasions without
invitation or appointment,
each time asking for additional payments.
On Nov. 24, 2014, the
Browns returned to their
residence to find the Ogles
brothers on the roof of their
home, again without invitation. They called the police,
who had already obtained
arrest warrants for the de-

fendants, and they were arrested on the scene.  
James urges families to
keep a close watch over their
older loved ones.
“We all have to be vigilant in making sure that our
parents and grandparents
are not being taken advantage of and exploited by
criminals like the Ogles
brothers,” said James, who
hosts annual events for seniors to combat scams and
schemes. “Far too often we
hear of similar crimes that
involve caregivers and even
other family members who
take advantage of vulnerable
adults.”

Funding Continued From Page 16A
variety of ways and one of them is to
have an attractive wayfinding sign,”
he added. “What we currently have
is square posts that have been welded up with new sight signs hanging
from them. My personal opinion—
they’re not very attractive, relative to
other cities with wayfinding signs.”
James said the funding will also
be used to hire a consultant firm to
assist with the parking issue in the
city. James mentioned that creating
a parking deck behind city hall is a
possibility.
“We’re not convinced that that’s
an optimal place to have a deck,”
James said. “Having said that, we
don’t know. Part of the funding that
we will ask for would be to hire a
consultant firm, people who have

expertise in how to determine how
large a deck should be and where it
should be.”
James said hiring a consulting
firm would cost between $20,000
and $25,000.
“It’s a one-time opportunity,” he
said.
James also said the city needs to
“better market” the central business
district. He said business owners in
the central businesses district are
“suffering.”
“One of the reasons they are suffering is because of the lack of development,” he said. “These people
took a chance and they came in and
maintained a business as best as
they could, and we had a lot of turnover with the businesses. If we were

better able to market the businesses
that are currently here as a destination within the three-to five-mile
area with high-income individuals,
we believe we could increase the
number of people coming to Avondale.
“We’re too small of a city to
depend on the people that live in
Avondale to support the businesses
that we currently have and the ones
that we need to draw here,” James
added. “So, marketing is essential
for us.”
James mentioned the arts area in
the city and how it can be used as a
marketing tool.
“We have a vibrant arts area,” he
said. “We’ve talked about this a lot—
what the arts mean to Avondale.

But, we need to be able to publicize
that to people outside of our city. It’s
my personal opinion that we have a
more vibrant arts scene than the city
of Decatur, which is right next door,
but I think [one would] be hard
pressed to find people in Decatur
that recognize that.”
Mayor Jonathan Elmore said he
is in favor of funding the DDA on
“some level” and “seeking out tasks”
to address wayfinding signs and
parking.
“This is one of many discussions
we’ll have about this, but I’m glad
it’s being initiated. It’s long overdue,”
Elmore said.

Education

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 26, 2015

Page 19A

Need for accounting
professionals increasing
by Ashley Oglesby
ashley@dekalbchamp.com
Careers in accounting and auditing are on the
rise according to this year’s
release of the Georgia Department of Labor’s “Hot
Careers to 2022.”
Statistical Program
Operations Chief Corey
Smith said the listing was
determined by three criteria
areas.
“The growth in the career must be faster than the
state average job growth,
wages have to be above state
averages and there must be
100 or more expected job
openings,” Smith said.
Accounting and auditing careers are expected to
have 2,170 annual job openings and, according to 2013
statistics, the annual wage
for these careers is approximately $73,100.
“Accounting is so broad,
there are so many different
areas that students can select
from for their career field,”
said Jennifer Bolden, associate professor of accounting
for Devry University.
Bolden worked in auditing for more than 20 years.
She said students majoring
in accounting can go into
various fields with the degree, “anywhere from bookkeeper, a comptroller, [or a]
chief financial officer for a
company in addition to the
auditing realm of jobs.”
“You can do internal
auditing where you’re working for a specific company
or you can be an external
auditor where you’re going
around to different clients
and auditing their books.

There are also opportunities
to work in taxes or fraud,”
she added.
Bolden, currently working toward a Ph.D. in accounting, said she wrote
her dissertation on certified
public accountants in Georgia. Through her research
she said she noticed “a lot
of older certified public accountants retiring out of the
industry.”
Bolden said, “When I
hear these statistics about
why there are so many job
openings and growth in the
accounting area, it’s because
a lot of our older, seasoned
professionals are retiring out
of the industry.”
She said, “The accounting industry is pretty
stable. When companies are
downsizing there are rarely
any job cuts in accounting
because it is already a lean
department.”
According to Georgia
Department of Labor statistics, students seeking a
career in accounting and
auditing must be skilled in
critical thinking, problem
solving, proficient in reading, listening, writing and
comprehension, have the
ability to work with computers, process and analyze data
and occasionally be able to
schedule, organize, plan and
prioritize.
Devry University’s Keller
Graduate School of Management student Samantha
Larmond has worked in accounting for more than 12
years. She said the biggest
challenges of the industry
is “getting out of college
you may not have adequate
experience. While you have

Notice of Public Hearing for
Clarkston Millage Rate
Notice is hereby given that prior to setting the tax
millage rate for 2015, the Clarkston Mayor and
Council will hold a Public Hearing at City Hall,
3921 Church Street, Clarkston Georgia, on
Wednesday, July 1, 2015 at 7:00pm and Tuesday,
July 7, 2015 at 10:00am on the proposed millage
rate. The City Council is proposing to adopt a
millage rate for 2015 that exceed the rollback rate
by 53.80 percent. All concerned citizens are
invited to attend.

the degree, companies might
be looking for more experience in terms of work and
software experience. Another thing is if you spend too
much of your work years in
a certain area, a lot of times
you can get pigeonholed
into that area.”
Larmond said for the
past nine years she’s been
in the architectural and engineering area. “The best
way for me to get the type of
salary that I want would be
to stay in this type of industry, but I would like move
into the public accounting
arena,” she said.
Moving into a different
arena of accounting could
mean taking a pay cut until
she gathers the type of experience that is specific to
public accounting.
“I would advise undergraduates or any students
pursuing a career in accounting to make sure they
intern during the summer
and holidays and make sure
they get to see what area
within accounting that they
want to get into, that could
be a big help,” she said.

Youngsters assist in packing up their school’s supplies.

Kingfisher Academy relocates
Kingfisher Academy
on LaVista Road in Tucker
is moving to a new space
across the street at the First
Baptist Church of Tucker.
“We are excited at the
chance to be right on Main
Street and to become more
involved in the community,”
said Megan Bolado, a Kingfisher board member. The
move will take  place mid-

 
 

summer in time to begin
school on August 25.
“This year will be a
growing year for our elementary students,” said
Debbie Gathmann, director
of Kingfisher Academy. The
new site will allow us more
possibilities for our placebased curriculum projects.
We can’t wait!”

 
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING 
GEORGIA, DEKALB COUNTY 
   A petition has been filed with the Board of Commissioners of DeKalb County, Georgia, 
for the construction of a sewer infrastructure in Land Lot(s) 375 of the 18th District of 
DeKalb County, Georgia, description of which is as follows: 
Sewer Main shall run along Carnaby Court and Yarmouth Court and impact 
properties located at 1471, 1472, 1475, 1478, 1479, 1487, 1492, 1495, 1502, 
1503, 1511, 1512, 1519, 1520 Carnaby Court, and 5240, 5241 and 5244 
Yarmouth Court.  
   Same to be constructed and the costs assessed against the abutting property. Said 
Petition has been set for hearing before the Board of Commissioners at 9:00 a.m. on 
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 in the Auditorium of the DeKalb County Maloof Center, 1300 
Commerce Drive, Decatur, Georgia.  
   All persons, whose interests are affected by the proposed sewer, desiring to be heard, 
are hereby notified to appear in person or by attorney at said time and place and 
present such objection or evidence therein as their interests require. 
 

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 26, 2015

local

Classifieds
TheChampion

Page 20A

For Prices, Deadlines and Information

Visit www.championclassifieds.com
Rates: $30.00 for up to 40 words, each additional word $0.60.
All ads are prepaid! All Major credit cards accepted!

Ads Due By Friday - Noon
for next publication date.

The Champion is not responsible for any damages resulting from advertisements. All sales final.

AUCTIONS

ADVERTISE YOUR AUCTION in over 100 newspapers
for only $350. Your 25-word classified ad will reach more
than1 million readers. Call Jennifer Labon at the Georgia
Newspaper Service, 770-454-6776.

DRIVERS

CDL-A) for our Entry Level Apprentice Program. Must
have good MVR, Work history and Criminal background
history. Call Chris Blackwell at 843-266-3731 to discuss
pay and benefits. www.bulldoghiway.com EOE
Experienced OTR Flatbed Drivers earn 50 up to 55cpm
loaded. $1000 sign on qualified drivers. Home most
weekends. Call: 843-266-3731 / www.bulldoghiway.
com EOE

ATTN: Drivers – 2K Loyalty Bonus. $55K Your first year.
Stay cool with newer KWs w/APUs. Great Miles. CDL-AReq. (877) 258-8782. www.drive4melton.com

EXPANDING FLEET! OTR Drivers Needed Competitive
Mileage Pay Including Bonuses and Full Beneftis Consistent Miles/Home time 100%. No Touch 12 months
CDL/A Experience. 1-888-545-9351 Ext 13. www.
doublejtransport.com

Drivers: Run FB with WTI. Be home through the week,
weekends. Start up to 26%+ fuel bonus. New Equipment. Experience needed. LP available. Call 877-6931305.

WANT A Career Operating Heavy Equipment? Bulldozers,
Backhoes, Excavators. Hands on Training! Certifications
Offered. National Average 18-22hr. Lifetime Job Placement. VA Benefits Eligible! 1-866-362-6497.

ATTN: Truck Drivers! Covenant Transport is HIRING! 
Team & Solo Drivers Needed. No CDL? We can help!
3wk training avail. Call Career Trucker today! N. GA 866494-7434; S. GA 866-557-9244.

EDUCATIONAL
TRAINING

DRIVER TRAINEES – PAID CDL TRAINING Stevens Transport will cover all cost! NO EXPERIENCE NEEDED! Earn
$800 per week! Local CDL Training! 1-888-749-2303.
Drive4stevens.com
Drivers – We support every driver, every day, every mile!
No experience? Some or LOTS of experience? Let’s talk!
Call Central Refrigerated Home. (855) 973-9344. www.
CentralTruckDrivingJobs.com
Drivers – No experience? Some or LOTS of experience?
Let’s talk! We support every driver, every day, every
mile! Call Central Refrigerated Home. (855) 973-9344.
www,CentralTruckDrivingJobs.com
Are you ready to kick-start your new career? Now Interviewing Accredited Truck Driving School Graduates (With

AVIATION Grads work with JetBlue, Boeing, NASA and
others Ð start here with hands on training for FAA certification. Financial aid if qualified. Call Aviation Institute of
Maintenance (866) 564-9634. www.FixJets.com
MEDICAL BILLING TRAINEES NEEDED! Become a
Medical Office Assistant! No Experience Needed! Online
training can get you job ready! HS Diploma/GED & PC/
Internet needed! 1-888-407-7162.
WELDING CAREERS Ð Hands on training for career
opportunities in aviation, automotive, manufacturing and
more. Financial aid forÊqualifiedÊstudents Ð Job and
Housing assistance available. CALL AIM (877) 205-2968.

HELP WANTED
METRO RYDC Must fill open positions: Juvenile Correctional Lieutenant, Juvenile Correctional Officer 2, Juvenile
Correctional Officer 1, Registered Nurse, Nurse Practitioner. Please visit www.djj.state.ga.us. http://www.djj.state.
ga.us. Applicants subject to fingerprinting, background
check, and pre-employment drug test. METRO RYDC is
an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Calloway Farms Manufacturing in Wilkes County, GA has
two openings: Plant Manager and Maintenance Supervisor. Experience in wood products manufacturing is a
plus. Email resume to info@callowayfarms.us.
SALES - PHONE CALLERS for our Tucker, Ga. office. 
Days: Full-time or Part-time. Seniors welcome. Call Joe at
770-687-2015 or leave message

real estate

Brand New Coastal Marshfront Home. 4 Bedrooms 2 ?
Baths 1831 sf. On estate sized homesite in prime Golden
Isles location. Only$279,900. Easy financing. Call now
1-877-578-1363 Ext. 300N

VACATION RENTALS
ADVERTISE YOUR VACATION PROPERTY, to more than
1 million Georgia newspaper readers. Your 25-word classified ad will appear in over 100 Georgia newspapers for
only $350. Call Jennifer Labon at the Georgia Newspaper Service at 770-454-6776 or online at www.gapress.
org/georgianewspaperservice.html

Full Time RN
Home Health Nursing Experience Preferred

Contact: Allen Hill
P: 706.857.2520 F: 706.857.2510

Summerville, GA 30747

 GUARANTEED WORK!!! 

Excellent Bene t Package | Flexibility | 401(k)
Opportunity for Advancement
Apply online at our Career Center at LHCgroup.com, or
email: allen.hill@LHCgroup.com

CDL "P" endorsement drivers with a good MVR guaranteed work!
.
Enjoy discovering America by delivering School Buses and Semis. Since we have
a variety of runs and don’t force dispatch, our drivers enjoy the freedom of a
flexible schedule and seemingly endless possible destinations.

10891 Commerce Street, Suite A

It’s All About Helping People.
Proud Member of LHC Group
LHC Group is one of the nation’s largest home care providers
with more than 300 locations in 29 states. | EOE

Begin your journey today with a call to 1-866-764-1601
or a visit to www.QualityDriveAway.com

Celebrating our 28th year of excellence!

DISCLAIMER: We do not knowingly accept advertisements that discriminate, or intend to discriminate, on any illegal basis. Nor do we knowingly accept employment advertisements that are not
bona-fide job offers. All real estate advertisements are subject to the fair housing act and we do not accept advertising that is in violation of the law. The law prohibits discrimination based on color,
religion, sex, national origin, handicap or familial status.

business

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 26, 2015

Page 21A

Sales popping at Tiffany’s Popcorn Café
by Kathy Mitchell
Larenzo Reid, owner of
Tiffany’s Popcorn Café, in
Lithonia envisions snack cafés such as his emerging into
international icons similar
to shops in popular coffee
chains.
“I want this to be a place
people come to hang out
with friends, read, work at
their computers and enjoy
something delicious while
they’re doing it,” said Reid,
noting that the store has a
shelf of free reading material
for customers. There’s one
store now, but Reid said he
pictures a franchise in the
future.
Reid said he chose popcorn as his central snack
because flavored popcorn
is growing in popularity,
and the market “is not fully
maximized.”
A good deal of Tiffany’s
sales is outside the store,
Reid said. “We do a lot of
catering. Weddings are big.
We can make popcorn in
the theme colors, and it goes
over so well there’s often
none left for the bride and
groom. The popcorn is usually a bigger hit than the
wedding cake.”
He said showers, especially baby showers, are also
a large part of his business.
“People like that popcorn
lets them play around with
the idea of the baby popping
out.”
Despite the name, Tiffany’s offers an array of snack
foods in addition to popcorn. There are cookies and

Larenzo Reid stocks approximately 25 flavors of popcorn in addition to
ice cream, Italian ices and other goodies.

candies and the varieties of
ice cream and Italian ices rival the varieties of popcorn.
Customers are invited to
create their own milkshakes
by naming the ice cream and
flavoring combinations that
suit them. To help customers with their choices, there’s
a list of popular milkshakes,
including orange vanilla
twist, salted caramel, lemon
custard and cookies and
cream.
Reid describes his signature offering as “gourmet
popcorn.”
“We make everything
right here,” he said. “There
are usually about 25 flavors
available on any given day.
There are traditional flavors
such as cheese and caramel
that are always available.
Others vary. We’re always
experimenting with flavors.
I sometimes try flavor com-

Notice of Public Hearing for
Clarkston Millage Rate
Notice is hereby given that prior to setting the tax
millage rate for 2015, the Clarkston Mayor and
Council will hold a Public Hearing at City Hall,
3921 Church Street, Clarkston Georgia, on
Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at 7:00pm on the proposed
millage rate. The City Council is proposing to
adopt a millage rate for 2015 that exceed the
rollback rate by 53.80 percent. All concerned
citizens are invited to attend.

binations that I like. For example, I like jalapeno bacon
cheeseburgers so I created a
popcorn that captures those
flavors. I personally don’t
care for salt and vinegar, but
lots of people like it. It’s one
of our biggest sellers.”
There are approximately
an equal number of sweet
and savory flavors as well
as some that are a combination. A flavor called
“uptown,” for example, is a
combination of cheese and

caramel popcorn and is the
store’s No. 1 seller, according
to Reid. Another popular
choice, Sweet Auburn Spice,
he said, is sweet, savory and
spicy. Popcorn is available
is sizes ranging from less
than an ounce to large tins
that are available with sports
team logos.
The store in Covington
Square has been open for
about a year and a half. Reid
said the shopping plaza at
Covington Highway and
Panola Road in Lithonia was
the site he first considered
before opening in 2012.
“The place was pretty run
down at the time. The weeds
were so high you couldn’t
see the stores from the road,
so I opened in the South
Hairston area instead. The
developer now operating
Covington Square is doing a
much better job so I decided
to move here, where there’s
a lot more traffic than at my
former location.”
Reid, who has owned a
gym and other businesses,
said he’s a born entrepreneur. “I can’t imagine doing
anything other than running
a business,” he said. “I’ve had
regular jobs for brief periods, but it really wasn’t for

me. The longest ‘job’ I ever
had was the eight and a half
years I spent in the Marine
Corps.”
As a business owner,
Reid said, he believes in
excellence in every area.
“You have to offer a superior
product, and I refuse to have
anything less than legendary customer service in any
business I operate,” he said.
Reid said he finds it
frustrating that people are
often hesitant to try a locally
owned business. “I’ve had
people say, ‘I’ve wanted to
come here, but I was waiting for see if you would last.’
Don’t they realize a business
won’t last unless customers
come in?”
Businesses and communities should support each
other, Reid said. The blackboard on the café wall not
only lists menu items but
also information about the
store’s community support
efforts. The board notes that
Tiffany’s helped community
groups such as churches
and school groups raise approximately $23,000 in 2014.
“We’re on track to make that
number $41,000 in 2015,” he
said.

NOTICE OF PROPERTY TAX INCREASE 
   The Governing Authority of the City of Clarkston has tentatively 
adopted a millage rate which will require an increase in property 
taxes by 53.80 percent.     
   All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearing on this 
tax increase to be held at City Hall on July 1 at 7:00PM, July 7, 
2015 at 10:30 am and on July 7, 2015 at 7:00pm.   
 
 
 
   This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 21.15 mills, 
an increase of 7.381 mills over the rollback rate.  Without this 
tentative tax increase, the millage rate will be no more than 
13.719 mills.   
   The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value 
of $65,000 is approximately $191.90.   
   The proposed increase on a non‐homestead property with a fair 
market value of $185,000 is approximately $546.19.   
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOCALLY DRIVEN

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

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 26, 2015

Sports

Page 22A

Sharman White wins gold with USA U16 National Team
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
Miller Grove basketball
coach Sharman White can
now add “gold medal winner” to his resume.
White was an assistant
coach on the 2015 USA Basketball Men’s U16 National
Team that won the FIBA
Americas Championship
June 14. USA (5-0) came
back from a 20-point second quarter deficit to defeat
Canada (4-1) 77-60 and win
gold. The championship
game was held in in Bahía
Blanca, Argentina.
White said his time with
the national team and winning a gold medal was an
“incredible experience.”
“The whole process
itself was incredible because of the culture of USA
basketball,” he said. “It ran
like an elite, professional
organization. It was a great
experience all around from
training camp in Colorado
Springs to winning a gold
medal in Argentina. I got
a chance to represent the
country in such a unique
way, in my opinion.”
The gold medal was
the fourth gold for the U16
team, and the USA now has

Miller Grove basketball coach Sharman White celebrates the USA Basketball Men’s U16 National Team’s win in the FIBA Americas Championship.
White was an assistant coach on the team with head coach Don Showalter (center) and assistant coach Miles Simon. Photos provided

a 20-0 record overall in U16
play since the biennial tournament launched in 2009.
The team featured
some of the top high school
coaches and players from
across the county, including
Gary Trent Jr. of Apple Valley, Minn., who won tournament MVP and scored all of

his 19 points in the second
half. Six-time USA Basketball gold medalist coach
Don Showalter of Iowa City
High School was head coach
of the team this year.
White said this experience challenged him as a
coach.
“I learned different

things from a great coaching
staff and being able to articulate those things into what
was needed for us to win the
gold medal,” White said. “To
be able to take that group
of talented young men and
mesh them together for the
betterment of the team, because all of those guys are

great players on their own
team, but all of them had to
sacrifice a little to become a
gold medal winning team.
They did it and just to be
able to see them do that over
the course of three weeks
was amazing.”

Sueño Alianza tour stops in DeKalb County
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
Soccer players from
across the southeast convened at Wade Walker Park
to compete in front of top
scouts from Mexico and the
United States.
The Powerade Sueño
Alianza tour took place in
Stone Mountain Park June
20-21. More than 400 players
participated in the free tryouts on June 20.
Rafa Calderon, the national director of scouting for
Alianza De Futbol, said they
selected the best 40 players
Erick Cortez-Martinez was named best goalie, and Adair Casas and Oscar Lozano were the top players of the
out of the 400 participants
U-19 and U-16 group respectively in the Powerade Sueño Alianza tour.
for an opportunity to receive best goalkeeper, and player
Adair, 18, is a defender from without words. I can’t wait
an invitation to try out for
from U-16 and U-19.”
Orange City, Fla. He attends
for what comes next.”
the Mexico or USA national
The top two players from University High School. ErThe tour goes to 11 citsoccer teams.
Atlanta are Oscar Lozano in ick Cortez-Martinez from
ies,
and
afterwards Calderon
“We found the best 20
the U-16 category, and Adair Winston-Salem, N.C. was
will
announce
the best 25
under 16 and the best 20 un- Casas of the U-19 category.
named best goalie of the At- players in the nation in each
der 19,” he said. “We called
Lozano, 15, lives in Lillanta event.
age group.
them to play against two
burn and plays as a forward
“It feels amazing,” Cor“I will train with them
good teams from the area,
at Parkview High School.
tez-Martinez said. “I’m still
for
one
week in Miami in
and from there we found the

early October in front of the
Mexico and USA national
soccer teams,” he said. “The
players will receive a lot of
invitations from teams, but
they don’t have to wait until
that time. Right now they are
receiving invitations.”
Each player on the U-16
and U-19 teams played with
each other for the first time.
“It’s hard for the players because they have to be
ready immediately,” Calderon said. “They don’t have
time to complain about the
field, the weather conditions
or about whether they don’t
know their other teammates.
It’s hard but this is the way
we’re looking for talent.”
Founded in 2004, Alianza de Futbol Hispano is the
leading national organization
dedicated to support the development of amateur Hispanic soccer in the United
States.

The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 26, 2015

Sports

Former NFL
players
work with
high school
players
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
Towers High School alum and NFL
veteran Julius Williams came back to his
hometown to teach young athletes football
and life skills.
Williams, a seven-year NFL and CFL
veteran, founded “Battle of the Trenches
ATL,” a free 5-on-5 Pass Rush camp for
offensive and defensive linemen and mentoring program designed to help at-risk
youths develop as positive young men
through team sports and coaching.
The camp was first held at Towers June
6, and will take place every Friday at a different local high school. Another camp
was held at McNair High School June 12
where Williams, along with NFL and CFL
veteran and Tucker native Brandon Lang,
worked with linemen from Arabia Mountain, Lithonia, McNair, Redan and other
metro Atlanta high schools.
Camp spokesman Michael Suarez said
he hopes the players learn life skills as well
as football skills at the camp.
“Everybody is not going to make it in
football, everybody is not going to go pro,
everybody is not even going to college, but
what they can take from sports is they can
learn how to have good teamwork,” Suarez
said. “Learn how to have the initiative and
make it happen—through teamwork and
working with others. You have to have discipline and dedication because you have to
be dedicated to something. Just like they
are dedicated to sports right now, they’re
going to have to go into the real world and
be dedicated to other things. We just hope
this life-skills program will give them a
little bit more than football.”
Other players participating in the
camps include two-time Super Bowl
champion Pittsburgh Steeler Anthony
Smith, Seattle Seahawk Mo Fountain,
former UGA and Tennessee Titan Runnie
Curran, and former Falcons quarterback
Andre Ware.
Suarez said Williams understands the
challenges that the community has faced
in recent years.
“We are challenging at-risk youths to
be great,” Suarez said. “Our motto is ‘Our
Community, Our Responsibility.’ We believe that the development of life skills is
essential to becoming a productive member of the community.”
Williams also brought his Jacksonville
Jaguars helmet to the June 12 camp.
“The way the guys’ faces looked when
they were passing it around, it seemed like
it was really inspirational to them, and the
guys are really locked in and are really focused,” Suarez said.

Offensive linemen work on different techniques at a camp featuring former NFL players.

The camp focused on blocking and pass rushing.

NFL veteran Julius Williams (right) demonstrates a pass rush technique.

Page 23A

local

Page 24A The Champion Free Press, Friday, June 26, 2015