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FRIDAY, august 21, 2015 • VOL. 18, NO. 20 • FREE

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• A PUBLICATION OF ACE III COMMUNICATIONS •

Officials volley
over soccer
facility

Sheriff holds
annual health and
wellness fair

Commissioner to
be reprimanded for
ethics violations

local, 12A

local, 10A

local, 13A

Shop frames
‘anything that
doesn’t breathe’
business, 17A

Eugene Thompson remembered for role in integration
by Justin Beaudrot
Eugene Thompson died
July 12 at his home in Southfield, Mich. Born May 9, 1931,
in Clarksburg, W.V., Thompson lived a full and inspira-

tional life.
During DeKalb County’s
integration of schools during the late 1960s, Thompson
worked to ensure teachers
had the resources and support
they needed to succeed in that

difficult time.
Thompson began his path
to become DeKalb County’s
first Black assistant superintendent at Fort Valley State.
There, he earned his bachelor’s degree in education. He

pursued a master’s degree at
Georgia State University, but
Georgia was not integrated
and, he was not allowed to
attend. He moved on to earn
a master’s in education at Co-

See Thompson on page 15A

Interim CEO promises to ‘root out any bad apples’
by Andrew Cauthen
andrew@dekalbchamp.com
Interim DeKalb County CEO Lee
May said he is ready to address corruption in the county.
“We’re going to be very aggressive…to root out any exposure that
we have for waste, fraud and abuse,
to root out any bad apples,” May told
reporters during an Aug. 12 news
conference. “We’re going to go after
that aggressively.”
May said he is “anxious” to receive
a detailed report from the special investigator who described the county
government as “rotten to the core.”
“We want recommendations on
our risk exposure for waste, fraud
and abuse,” May said.
May said he will vigorously address the issues raised in the final
report.
“And we’ll have some reorganization. We’ll have some people moves.
We’ll have some moved out, as well,”
May said. “Where there [are] illegal
activities, criminal activities going
on, [the investigators] need to deliver
them to the appropriate agencies so
that they can address it.”
In March, May hired former
state attorney general Mike Bowers,
who investigated the Atlanta Public
Schools cheating scandal, along with
Richard Hyde, a former police officer, to investigate the employees and
departments under the authority of
the CEO.
“I brought them in as special investigators to tell us what they see,
what they find and then, at the end
of the 120 days, give us their findings
in terms of their investigation as well
as their recommendations to move
us forward,” May told reporters, adding that the 120 days are up.
“They’ll be looking at our finan-

“We’ll have some reorganization. We’ll have some people moves. We’ll have some moved out, as
well,” said interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May. Photo by Travis Hudgons

cial controls, where we are vulnerable, so we can close those things,
and in those instances where we have
bad apples, tell us so we can get rid of
them,” May said.
In an Aug. 5 “brief update of our
investigative findings thus far,” investigators told May that the county
government is “rotten to the core,”
and gave examples of “widespread
government corruption” and “misconduct [that] starts at the top and
has infected nearly every department
we have looked at.”
At the news conference, May said
the investigators “have been very aggressive which I asked for and I applaud them because we want to make
sure we know what is going on in
DeKalb County.”

championnewspaper

championnews

May added, “My memo to them
was get us a detailed report. The
most important thing now, according
to my executive order, is for us to be
delivered a 120-day detailed report.
Before we make any decisions moving forward, we want to see what is
in that report.”
The final report is “what’s going
to give us the final clarification as to
what our next steps are,” May said.
“We don’t know what the FBI or
the GBI or the DA is doing,” May
said. “Their work is done in confidence. My concern was if they are
investigating people that are up to
no good, that are bad apples, [those
people] are still working for DeKalb
County. We want those people out—
not to prohibit any future investiga-

championnewspaper

tions.
“As the DeKalb County interim
CEO, I’m concerned about who
works for us and the quality and integrity of the work that they do,” he
said.
Commissioner Jeff Rader said he
has legal concerns about the investigations.
“The truth is this kind of investigation is normally undertaken by an
outside authority: the governor, GBI,
FBI,” Rader said.
These agencies have the authority
to subpoena records, file charges and
conduct a more thorough investigation than a county-funded special
investigator, he added.
“At one level, this was working up
hill to begin with,” Rader said. “And
it’s cost us a substantial amount of
money in a way that an outside investigation would be assumed into
the budget of the investigative agencies.”
DeKalb Strong, a group of residents with the goal of informing the
public about the effects of current
proposals for new cities and annexations, released an open letter to May
saying the county’s administration
needs not “take the focus off the
ultimate goal of making our county
stronger, more transparent and ethical from top to bottom.”
“Those who are guilty of wrongdoing will be exposed when the final
report is submitted,” the organization
wrote. “They’re unlikely to escape
prosecution. There is no doubt that
there will be further bumps along the
road that will shake confidence in
our government once again.”
“Citizens are watching. Media is
watching. The board and the supporters of DeKalb Strong are watching. County government will be held
accountable.”

champnews

local

Page 2A The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, August 21, 2015

Butterfly
festival returns
to Dunwoody
by Ashley Oglesby
ashley@dekalbchamp.com
For 22 years the Dunwoody Nature Center has
drawn crowds of more than
3,000 people to its annual
Butterfly Festival.
This year the event took
place Aug. 15 in Dunwoody
Park and was packed with
family activities, crafts, music, live animal encounters,
food and a birds of prey
show. The highlights were the
huge tents filled with more
than 12 different species of
butterflies.
Alan Mothner, executive
director of the nature center,
said this year’s event was one
of the best.
“We had perfect weather,
we had a record crowd in
terms of attendance and all
the feedback that we’re getting from our guests and our
different exhibitors has been
nothing short of perfect,” he
said.
Mothner said the butterfly festival is the center’s
signature event.
“It’s the single largest program that we put on throughout the year. Hopefully some
of that interest will carry over
into our other initiatives like
our Milkweed Project that we
undertook at the beginning
of this year as well as some of
the other things that we do,
not only for the community
but throughout the year with
our field trip program and
the classes that we offer for
kids and adults,” he said.
Festival organizers
booked Ashley Jones and
her father, owners of a live
butterflies traveling exhibit
that was once a part of the
Greathouse Butterfly Farm
in Earletown, Fla., to set up
camp for the festival.
In addition to Monarch
butterflies, which the nature
center’s butterfly festival focuses on as part of its Milkweed Project, Jones and her
family brought Zebra Longwing, Common Buckeye,
Sleepy Orange, Giant Swallowtail, American Black and
Tiger Swallowtail to showcase
to festival goers.
Jones said every year she
and her father trek seven
hours from Florida to Atlanta, packing 400 butterflies

in envelopes and ventilated
boxes surrounded by ice
packs to keep the butterflies
cool for travel.
She said the goal of the
exhibit is to teach people
about “butterfly gardening
and also that butterflies are
important because they are
pollinators just like bees.”
The father/daugther team
set up two tents in Dunwoody Park, each containing
200 butterflies.
Groups of 20 people were
allowed to walk through the
tents for seven to 10 minutes.
Participants dipped foam
brushes in Gatorade to catch
a butterfly.
“We absolutely love
working with Dunwoody,”
Jones said.
“It’s very enjoyable to
come here and let people
experience this. Not a lot of
people think that you can
have these close encounters
with butterflies without killing them so a lot of people
are misinformed actually
about butterflies,” said Jones.
Jones said her favorite
part of the event is “seeing
the kid’s faces light up when
they get to actually have oneon-one interaction with live
animals. It’s just really amazing.”
The Dunwoody Nature
Center was incorporated in
1992.
Mothner said since the
beginning the center has had
full support from the community.
“Last year the center
had more than 13,000 participants in our program and
over 25,000 visitors to the
park itself. We have more
than 1,100 volunteers that
last year donated 13,000
hours of their time to make
the nature center a better
place,” he said.
Mothner added, “Our
plans are to continue to keep
on doing what we do well
and try to be a hub of activity
for those in the community
and beyond.”
The Dunwoody Nature
Center is now registering for
its fall classes. To enroll in a
class or learn more about the
center’s initiatives visit www.
dunwoodynature.org.

A butterfly landing on a flower inside
of the greenhouse tent.

Fourth grader Grace Wolf shows off her butterfly catching abilities by
capturing two butterflies in the greenhouse tent.

Twins Mary and Adam Siedlecki pose
with their butterfly creations that
were made at the arts and crafts
table.

A father escorts his daughter to the
arts and crafts table to create a butterfly.

Festival volunteer uses two strings and bucket of soap to entertain
dozens of youngsters by creating giant bubbles.

local

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, August 21, 2015Page 3A

Brookhaven City Council defers tree ordinance amendment
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
Brookhaven City Council
voted Aug. 11 to wait two
weeks to adopt a proposed
amendment to the city’s tree
ordinance.
Brookhaven arborist Kay
Evanovich presented the
proposed changes in a second read during the council’s
regular meeting. The modifications include changing the
density from 100 inches per
acre preserved to 120 inches
per acre or 45 percent canopy cover on lot preserved.
Although several tree
protection advocates are
happy that improvements are
being made to the ordinance,
they said more changes need
to be made before approval.
“Just in terms of looking
at the document as written
now, there [are] a lot of contradictions in ways in which
the actual text and language
contradicts the goal of the
ordinance, which seems to
be to preserve at this particular 45 percent canopy,” said
Kathryn Kolb, a consultant
for Brookhaven tree advocates. “There are a number of
loopholes in several sections
that actually reduces the 120
inches diameter at breast

height to 60 inches DBH, so
it’s inconsistent throughout
the ordinance.”
James Touchton of the
Council for Quality Growth
said his organization has
“several items of note” that
its members would like to be
considered and discussed.
“We ask for a delay in
approval of this ordinance in
order to allow our members
to invest in the Brookhaven
community, the chance to
work with staff and the community to further bring an
ordinance that reflects the
quality and plain growth for
all citizens who invest in the
community,” Touchton said.
In August 2014, the city
council adopted a revised
tree ordinance designed
to preserve the city’s tree
canopy, protect the wooded
character that older trees
create in the city and respect
the rights of private property
owners to manage their trees.
Brookhaven staff and
city council began working
on a proposed ordinance
after determining that the
existing ordinance, inherited
from DeKalb County, was
“inadequate” for the needs of
the city and its residents. Under the county’s ordinance,
homeowners were allowed to

remove up to five trees per
year for any reason, with no
requirement for replacement,
management of increased
runoff or other factors.
The city’s ordinance
protects specimen trees, creates standards for preserving
trees as development occurs,
discourages clear-cutting and
mass grading of land during
construction that results in
the loss of mature trees. If
tree loss cannot be prevented, the tree ordinance creates
standards for replanting or
financial payment.
However, there were
also concerns about the ordinance, such as boundary
trees, and the clear-out of
trees in front of new developments. The city has held
Brookhaven 101 workshops
for residents and other public input meetings.
Several tree advocates
thanked the city and staff for
working with residents on
the tree ordinance.
“Thank you so much
for every year that we’ve
had of listening to our concerns,” said Sally Eppstein of
Brookhaven. “I really appreciate that. Thank you to the
staff for all the time you’ve
worked on this.”

Brookhaven city officials are working with tree protection advocates to
establish a working tree ordinance. Photo by Carla Parker

#ItsInTheChampion
www.thechampionnewspaper.com

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, August 21, 2015

OPINION

Page 4A

Wait a minute, buddy

Don’t hate us ‘cause we’re cooler

In last week’s paper my
colleague and good friend
John Hewitt went on a
tirade about the discrimination men face in their
clothing options during the
summer.
Mr. Hewitt went on and
on, paragraph after lengthy
paragraph about how men
are regulated to wearing collared shirts, pants, shoes and
socks during the sweltering
summer months while women have a myriad of options,
including sleeveless tops,
skorts, sandals and more. He
wrote about the inhumane
suffering of the male race
layered unnecessarily in
their shirts, jackets, ties and
unventilated footwear. He

Gale Horton Gay
gale@dekalbchamp.com

Lifestyle Editor

called it discrimination. He
said it was unfair. He whined
and whined and whined.
First of all, this is nothing
new. Women have always
had more options for the

To Lee May
Dear Mr. May:
I think you missed the point of Mr.
Bauer letter.
Our county is in deep **** and rather
than focusing on the fact that there are
department heads who are violating our
ORR laws by withholding documents,
you have chosen to attack Mr. Bowers.
Are you stupid or are you just getting
really bad advice? Again, our county is in
deep **** trouble.
While I am not a huge Michael Bowers fan, I think he was an excellent choice
for this investigation and I have nothing
but respect for Mr. Hyde’s work.
Free advice, try this: “I was shocked
and discouraged to hear that some members of DeKalb County leadership are not
cooperating with the investigation that I
called for. Anyone thwarting the effort of
Mr. Bowers and Mr. Hyde will be terminated immediately.”
(Here’s the part where you kiss a little
***) “While I believe the majority of
DeKalb County employees to be hard
working and dedicated individuals, waste
and fraud will not be tolerated in any
aspect of DeKalb County government.
I look forward to receiving the detailed
report in 3 weeks so that I can begin
working immediately to reduce the abuse
that has shaken the confidence of citizens
county wide.”
It is time for some big changes in
DeKalb. It may need to start with Mr.
May and the other members of the Commission who voted to give Arthur Blank
a tax break to build a professional soccer
practice facility at taxpayers’ expense.
Attorney Christine Ann Koehler
Koehler & Riddick, LLC
47-year resident of DeKalb County.

heat of summer as well as
the cool and cold of winter,
partly because women embrace fashion and are generally easily bored with the
same old thing. We also are
the smarter sex, and over the
ages we have continuously
modified our garbs and accessories to be more comfortable and look good too.
Men, on the other hand,
tend to be far less concerned
about their appearance. They
seem to have accepted their
boring, streamlined clothing
choices for the expediency in
both shopping and dressing.
Most of our brothers simply don’t want to put in the
time and attention to detail
required to be savvy dress-

ers. One man, whose name
I won’t disclose to keep my
marriage intact, considers
clothes shopping a form of
torture. “Just pick up something for me,” is what he
throws my way when I say
it’s time to refresh his wardrobe.
With this type of attitude
it’s understandable why you
guys have such limited options. What designer wants
to come up with new menswear that challenges the
status quo when it’s apparent
that you care so little about
how you look?
Secondly, we women pay
a price (yes, at the store,
but also at home) for the
privilege of wearing such

a variety of garb. Every
member of the sisterhood
knows that before we can
throw on that sexy sleeveless
dress, those carefree capris
or those wonderful wedges,
we have some serious work
to do. The preparation is
time-consuming, sometimes
costly and frequently painful.
Legs and underarms must be
shaved or waxed, skin must
be exfoliated and feet must
be pedicured. It’s not a walk
in the park.
So John and all you other
males sweating it out in your
office uniforms, turn down
the AC if you must, but don’t
hate us just because we’re
cooler. We simply wouldn’t
have it any other way.

Back to school begins
with bathrooms
DeKalb County parents of over
70, 000 middle and high school
students will watch their offsprings
return to school next week. These
11-17 year old pupils do not have
the elementary school list of needed
supplies, nor mid-August smiles;
tax-free shopping, summer camps,
and summer loves are behind these
youngsters.
So, my plea for these adolescents is for a different back to
school routine this 2015-16 school
year.
My request is “back to school
begins with bathrooms.”
This slogan comes out of two
decades of education and experience improving public school
restrooms, especially in DeKalb
County.
Let’s start with an unknown, yet
readily understood fact, based on a
1993 survey of sixth-12th graders
by USA Weekend. Four out of 10
of the 65, 193 students surveyed
avoided school restrooms.
My professional experience in
all of DeKalb’s middle and high
schools, plus first-hand work in two
dozen states’ secondary schools and
with institutions in Berlin, Dublin,
Italy, India, and other countries
confirm that approximately four out
of ten adolescents in middle and
high school hold it in all day.
What is the health cost of that
one statistic?
So what’s a parent to do? Here is
what not to do. Don’t confront your

son or daughter with the question:”
How are the school restrooms?”

Instead wait for the second week
of school in mid-August and ask:
“When you used the school restroom today, did you have tissue,
soap, and towels?”
Chances are the youngster will
fluff the question. Ask again the
next day. Often your young adult
will blurt out, “Mom, I’ don’t even
use the restroom at school.”
Now you are ready. Now you
can begin a school year seeking wellness through restroom
improvement. Now you can visit
restrooms of both genders as you
and you spouse or partner see for
yourself.
Are the toilet paper dispensers
broken or even on the wall outside
the water closet? Is graffiti left over
night, for days, and even weeks?
Do students feel that towels tossed
on the floor are the custodian’s task
to pick up?
DeKalb County School District
(DCSD) has a wellness policy
(EEE) which regulates a healthy
school environment using a
checklist to score whether school
restrooms are safe, clean, and hygienic. Ask the school wellness
committee about toilets, sinks, accessories.
And of equal importance,
DeKalb County’s general government has a 2014 restroom ordinance, now under review, which

affects students, since middle and
high school citizens, leave our
schools and go to DeKalb libraries,
parks, recreation centers, swimming
pool complexes, and MARTA stations.
Public restrooms in these and
other business establishments may
not be in “bad repair” (Ordinance
Section 16-212).
Though talking about toiletry
is often a taboo, as school starts
there is a great need to improve
restrooms in schools and Countywide.
Student government groups,
teams, organizations, community
service projects, and health/physical education classes can start in
middle and high schools to improve
existing restrooms and to assess
any major improvements for future
school renovations or buildings.
The County School district and
general-purpose government stand
aligned to assist. Talk with school
leaders, code enforcement, and
health officials.
Start with a question at the dinner table: “When you used the
school restroom today, did you have
tissue, soap, and towels?”
Dr. Tom Keating, coordinator
and founder of Project CLEAN
[Citizens, learners, and Educators Against Neglect], is assisting
DCSD and DeKalb County with
restroom initiatives (www.projectclean.us).

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, August 21, 2015

OPINION

Page 5A

One Man’s Opinion

Being stoned, Part 3
In 1958, the state assembled
2,500 acres around the park
and mountain, including 400
acres donated by DeKalb
County and nearly 1,600 acres
owned by the Venable family,
and the entirety purchased for
less than $2 million. When the
state acquired the mountain
and surrounding parkland in
1958, it ended the Klan excursions to the mountain top.
In 1962, input was sought
from the general public on
nine-designs for a new carving and memorial to replace
Borglum’s uncompleted
work. The winner, with more
than 90 percent of the vote,
was Julian Harris’s model of
Davis, Lee and Jackson, on
horseback, with hands and
hats across their chests riding
to the east. The carving would
take nearly another decade to
complete, and its completion
became a cause and passion of
longtime Georgia Secretary of
State Ben Fortson. 
The carving, much as it
is today, was unveiled May
9, 1970, with the Reverend

Bill Crane
bill.csicrane@gmail.com

Columnist
William Holmes Borders of
Wheat Street Baptist Church
giving the invocation.  Gov.
Lester Maddox and other state
dignitaries were joined by
Vice-President Spiro Agnew. 
The theme for the event was
“Unity through sacrifice.” 
Additions over the decades
since would add a reflecting
pond at the base of the carving,
and smaller Valor and Sacrifice
Parks at the base of the Memorial Hall and lawn facing the
carving and monument.

 The carving occupies three
acres, among 3,300 acres of
parkland. 
The entire heritage area of
the park, including Memorial
Hall, Confederate Hall and the
two smaller parks and greenspaces in front of the monument comprise a small fraction
of the park’s many offerings. 
Though enshrined in Georgia law as a Confederate Memorial, thousands of visitors
each year never even encounter
these aspects of the park. 
 I can still remember my
first trips and climbs up to
Stone Mountain in the early
1960s, or numerous camping
trips on Indian Island, or the
many hikes made each summer
with both of my daughters,
with the decades speckled with
visits to Santa Claus, FODAC
fundraising breakfasts, golf
tournaments, and even a proposal to my now ex-wife during with the lyrics of Alabama’s
“Christmas in Dixie” lilting off
the mountain and the holiday
laser show. The memorial is a
major legacy of the park, but

the park is that and so much
more for young and old, rich
and poor, Black and White.
 So, at least for me, the
South’s largest rock group will
continue to charge into the
clouds, in honor and recognition of hundreds of thousands
of Confederate dead on the
battlefield, in P.O.W. camps or
as a result of the many diseases
that killed thousands more
than the musket balls. 
Soldiers do not choose the
cause, nor do they define the
issues at hand. If they are doing their jobs, they take orders
from their commanders, and
they protect and defend their
homeland.  That is an honorable mission, even if the battle
is lost and even if the rationale
for secession and the war were
intrinsically flawed. 
Rock on, but in fairness,
now is also the time to add,
and expand those being honored at Stone Mountain Park,
to be more representative of
Georgia, as well as our modern
American South–and fortunately with 3,300 acres of park,

a small island, miles of road
and trails as well as three lakes,
a pond and a dam surrounding the park, there are lots of
places and options to become
more inclusive. 

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
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Send Letters To Editor, The Champion Free Press, P.
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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.

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

local

Page 6A The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, August 21, 2015

Sarah Miller
Sarah Miller left her
job as a high school English
teacher in 2002 to stay home
and volunteer. She said she intended to go back to work the
next year but got “too busy
volunteering.”
Thirteen years later, Miller has become the unofficial
gardener for Paws Atlanta, a
no-kill animal shelter in Decatur. Miller goes to the shelter twice a week; one day to
garden and the other day with
a friend to walk dogs.
Miller has recruited many
of her neighbors to volunteer
with her.
She said, “Whatever your
skill, specialty, or interest,
PAWS Atlanta has a volunteer
job waiting for you. You’ll be
hard-pressed to find a happier
place to serve the people and
pets of DeKalb County.”

She added, “The way that
I look at it is the shelter is a
very stressful environment for
both people and the animals.”
Miller said, “You have
people who have failing
health or have really fallen on
hard times having to give up
their beloved pet. You’ve got
staff members dealing with
unknown dogs trying to get
them acclimated into a loving
environment and the pets are
all upset because it’s hard to

be in a shelter.” Miller said her
goal is to keep the grounds
nice.
“When people visit the
shelter and walk around the
campus I want them to feel
like it’s safe and clean,” she
said.
Miller and her husband
currently reside in Avondale
Estates.
She said it’s become her
Tuesday job to bring plants
and flowers from her home
garden and plant them at
Paws Atlanta.
“I’m so happy that I’m
able to bring things right
from my yard because it
doesn’t cost me anything, it
doesn’t cost PAWS anything
and I hate to see a plant go to
waste,” Miller said.
She added, “We try to be
really economical about it and

ask people to give us plants
because we want all of the
money to go toward the pets.
It’s kind of fun when you look
at what we’ve done. It’s sort of
a low-cost gardening project
but it really looks good.”
Miller also assisted PAWS
staff with the installment of
two dry creek beds, walking
trails, birdhouses and other
projects.
She said from the first day
she visited PAWS Atlanta she
noticed it “doesn’t just rescue
pets but rescues people.”
She said there are two experiences from her tenure that
stand out. One was the day
that she found one of dogs
that she adopted, June.
“He had his eyeballs removed and I actually didn’t
know that.” Miller said she
was looking through June’s fur

to find his eyeballs. “I thought
he just needed a haircut...”
Miller fell in love with the
Chihuahua, poodle, border
collie mix. She said, “He’s such
a sweet dog. I told my husband about him and the next
day we adopted him. That was
truly a great moment for me.”
The second experience
Miller recalled was one morning when she was working in
the garden and saw a “MARTA bus drop a tiny older lady
off.”
She said, “She came walking down our driveway and
she had come to get food for
her dog from our emergency
food bank.”
Miller said it reminded
her of why the staff and volunteers do what they do.
“We’re here for people like
her.”

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.

Man charged with conspiring to help
former county commissioner steal money
An alleged aide of former DeKalb
County Commissioner Elaine Boyer
has been arraigned after being indicted
by a federal grand jury for conspiring to
steal more than $85,000 from DeKalb
County, according to a news release by
the U.S. Attorney’s office.
On Aug. 11, the grand jury indicted
Marion Rooks Boynton, 73, of Saint
Simons Island, on charges of conspiracy
and substantive federal program theft.
“Boynton allegedly conspired with
Elaine and John Boyer to steal taxpayer
money from DeKalb County,” said U.S.
Attorney John Horn. “The trio diverted
thousands of dollars in county funds
to their own personal bank accounts
by exploiting former DeKalb County
Commissioner Boyer’s position.”
“Elected officials who violate the
public trust remain a priority investigative matter for the FBI but those who
entice or assist those public officials as
they engage in their corrupt criminal
conduct are equally subject to federal
investigation and prosecution,” said J.
Britt Johnson, special agent in charge,
FBI Atlanta Field Office.
According to Horn, the charges, and
other information presented in court,
the Boyers began experiencing financial
difficulties in 2009. As a result, they
became involved in an unlawful kickback scheme to obtain money from the
DeKalb County government. In particular, in September 2009, Elaine Boyer
hired long-time, family friend Boynton
as a purported political advisor, allegedly to assist her with government consulting.
As part of the scheme, false invoices
were submitted to Elaine Boyer’s office

for services supposedly rendered by
Boynton. In fact, Boynton performed
no services for DeKalb County government, Elaine Boyer’s office, or the residents of DeKalb County.
Elaine Boyer used the false invoices as a basis to authorize payments
to Boynton. From September 2009 to
November 2011, based on requisition
requests from Elaine Boyer’s office,
DeKalb County issued approximately
35 checks to Boynton for consulting
services that were never performed.
In total, DeKalb County paid Boynton
more than $85,000.
 Boynton then deposited a portion
of the money that he received from
DeKalb County into a bank account
used by the Boyers. Specifically, after
being paid by DeKalb County, Boynton funneled approximately $60,000
of funds from DeKalb County into a
personal bank account used by the Boyers. Boynton kept and spent the rest
of the approximately $25,000 that he
received from DeKalb County – despite
not performing any services for DeKalb
County.
In August 2014, Elaine Boyer, 59,
of Stone Mountain, resigned mid-term
as the commissioner of District 1. The
day after resigning, Boyer was charged
with conspiring to commit wire and
mail fraud. On March 20, Boyer was
sentenced to 14 months in prison and
ordered to pay approximately $87,000
in restitution after pleading guilty.
On Feb. 24, John Boyer, 63, of Stone
Mountain, pleaded guilty to conspiring
to commit mail fraud. He is scheduled
to be sentenced on Aug. 19.

Decatur resident speaks
on scam incident
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
Decatur police are warning
residents of a scam occurring in
DeKalb County.
On Aug. 10, a Decatur resident
in the Oakhurst neighborhood
received a call from a person identifying himself as a deputy with the
DeKalb County Sheriff ’s Office.
The victim, who did not want to be
identified, said the person—who
identified himself as Deputy Mark
Bowen—told him that he was in
the “citation department.”
“He told me that I had been
mailed a grand jury summons by
DeKalb County, [and] gave me the
date it was mailed, gave me the
date I was supposed to appear,” the
victim said. “He said that a warrant
had been issued for two Class D
misdemeanors—for failure to appear and contempt of court.”
According to the police report, the “deputy” gave a citation
number for each misdemeanor
along with the fine amount—one
was $987 and the other $832. The
man on the phone also gave an address—4425 Memorial Drive, room
101.
“He said I have two choices—
I could come to the office and
I would be finger printed and
booked. I would not be arrested but
they would begin a record against

me for these misdemeanors, or I
could pay a fine right now for the
two offenses, not using cash or
credit but suing what he called a
‘PayPal My Cash voucher,’” the victim said. “He said I would bring it
to the office and his assistant would
process it and process the paperwork ...”
The victim told the caller that
he had never heard of a ‘PayPal My
Cash voucher,’ and the caller said
he could get them at any drug store
or Dollar General. The victim then
asked to have a copy of the warrant
emailed or faxed, but the caller said
‘no’ and told him to stay on the
phone and not to contact anyone
else.
That is when the victim said he
became suspicious.
“I couldn’t get off the phone or
they would process the warrants,”
he said. “They had all of the lingo
of the misdemeanors, they had
numbers for the offenses. This was
so out of left field, but it sounded
legit that I was beginning to follow
their instructions.”
The victim said he began texting his wife while on the phone,
and she called the sheriff ’s office
and was informed that it was a
scam. He also called the DeKalb
County Court Jury Division, and
they confirmed that it was a scam.
The victim said the incident was
terrible.

See Scam on page 13A

local

AroundDeKalb

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, August 21, 2015Page 7A

Avondale Estates

Photo by Travis Hudgons

Towne Cinema reopening

Avondale Estates city officials and business
owner Tony Longval will host a ribbon-cutting
ceremony for Towne Cinema Aug. 28. Towne
Cinema is located at 106 N. Avondale Road. On
Aug. 29, Towne Cinema will host its first event,
Noche Cubana. Visitors can expect salsa-dancing
lessons, food from chefs Rusty Bowers and Savannah Haseler, and music from the 11-piece
Cuban orchestra Orquesta MaCuba. Tickets can
be purchased online at nochecubana.brownpapertickets.com or at the Avondale Towne Cinema
box office Tuesday through Thursday noon to 5
p.m. For more information, call (404) 228-3125.

Brookhaven
Registration open for parks and rec fall
classes
Brookhaven Parks and Recreation department will host active classes for adults and youth
this fall. Classes include yoga for adults and children, youth gymnastics, fitness boot camp and
more. To register, visit www.brookhavenga.gov.
For more information, call (404) 637-0512.

Decatur
Academe of the Oaks High School to host
harvest festival 
Academe of the Oaks High School will host
a harvest festival and pop-up farmers market
fundraiser on Sept. 26, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to
celebrate the autumn harvest and showcase the
school’s new pollinator garden.
Proceeds from the harvest festival will benefit
Academe of the Oaks’ garden program. The festival is free and open to the public.
Attendees will have a variety of opportunities
to gain a better understanding of where their food
comes from, including a chance to speak with local farmers and market vendors. Attendees can
also meet the animals at Academe of the Oaks,
including goats, chickens, butterflies and bees.
Attendees also will be able to learn about
pollinator gardens; purchase food from local
farmers, community businesses, and vendors,
including honey, eggs and produce harvested by
Academe of the Oaks students; visit educational
exhibits and demonstration farms and gardens, to
learn about nutrition and health, chicken keeping, beekeeping, composting, goat milking and
more. Local music and art will also be featured. 
The school is located at 146 New Street, Decatur.
For information on becoming a sponsor or
vendor at the harvest festival, contact Edna Lora
at ekinghtlora@academeatlanta.org.

Slide the City is bringing the party back
Slide the City Decatur, a 1,000-foot slipand-slide event, was cut short in June due to a
water main break in the area. Organizers have
announced that the waterslide will return to the
streets of Decatur on Sept. 12. 
“Participants just got a small glimpse of the
event when Slide the City came to Decatur in
June. The slide was only open for three hours
before we had to shut down,” said Slide the City
spokeswoman Amy Gessel. “We cannot wait to
come back and give Georgians the slide of their
lives.”
Slide the City has toured the country with its
Guinness World Record-breaking slide. On Aug.
17, additional single and triple slider passes were
released for the once sold-out Decatur slide.
Sliding starts at 10 a.m. Participants can purchase a Single or Triple Slider Pass online at www.
slidethecity.com/events/decatur-ga. Pricing starts
at $20.
Those older than 5 years of age and at least 46
inches tall can participate in the event. For more
information, visit www.slidethecity.com/events/
decatur-ga.

Lithonia
Parent group to host informational forum
The South DeKalb Parent Council and McGee Law LLC will host a forum, “Know Your
Rights” – How to Navigate the School Disciplinary Process, Aug. 29, 10:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The
event will be held at Salem Panola Public Library,
5137 Salem Road in Lithonia. Registration is
required and must be sent by email to dpriestbrown@bellsouth.net. For more information, call
(404) 386-8454.

Stone Mountain

Battle of the Bands to be held in Greater
Hidden Hills
On Aug. 22, local high school bands will display
their creativity during a fundraiser for the Greater
Hidden Hills community.
 The event will be held from noon to 3 p.m. at
Redan Village, on the northeast corner of South
Hairston and Redan roads, in front of Jay’s Place.
 Event attendees will be able to compete for
top honors in the Little Caesar’s Shaker Board

contest; vote on the best haircut by the skilled
barbers from Nick’s; watch local deejays battle it
out for best in class; enjoy hot dogs and hamburgers; win prizes; and see what local businesses have
to offer.
 Event organizers will raffle various prizes.
Tickets are free, but tax-deductible donations to
the community development corporation are encouraged.
 Contributing sponsors include Jay’s Place,
Zaxby’s, Kroger and Bruster’s.
Local businesses and entrepreneurs may reserve tables for $25: contact GHHCDC@gmail.
com or call (508) 591-3526.
 All proceeds benefit The Greater Hidden
Hills Community Development Corporation, a
501(c)(3) non-profit committed to helping the
community prosper and thrive. This volunteer
organization represents the area on zoning matters and advocates for attractive business development that meets our residents’ needs.

Countywide
County implements special purpose home
repair program
The DeKalb County Human and Community
Development Department has created the Special Purpose Home Repair Program to assist low
income elderly and legally disabled homeowners
in DeKalb County with the costs of critical home
repairs.
“The program will help eligible homeowners
with preventing imminent threats to health or
safety due to dangerous, hazardous and/or unsanitary conditions in their homes,” according to
a news release. “The program is available to assist
low income homeowners that cannot afford to
make the repairs in a timely manner.”
All repairs will be limited to the basic systems
of the home: electrical, plumbing, heating and
cooling and roofing systems.
The Special Purpose Home Repair Program
will be open for new applicants on Aug. 10. Applications will be available on the DeKalb County
website at www.dekalbcountyga.gov.
Applications will also be available for pick-up
at the following DeKalb County locations: Clark
Harrison Building, 330 W Ponce De Leon Avenue, first floor, Decatur; Manual Maloof Building, 1300 Commerce Drive, first floor, Decatur;
Central DeKalb Senior Center, 1346 McConnell
Drive, Decatur; DeKalb/Atlanta Senior Center, 25
Warren Street, Atlanta; Lithonia Senior Center,
2484 Bruce Street, Lithonia; Lou Walker Senior
Center, 2538 Panola Road, Lithonia; and Scottdale Senior Center, 3262 Chapel Street, Scottdale.
Interested applicants may also call (404) 3712144 for additional automated information or
instructions.

local

Page 8A The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, August 21, 2015

Ethics complaints against DA, clerk of court dropped
by Andrew Cauthen
andrew@dekalbchamp.com

The county’s ethics board
decided Aug. 13 that it did
not have the jurisdiction to
hear ethics complaints filed
against DeKalb County’s
district attorney and clerk of
Superior Court.
DeKalb County District
Attorney Robert James was
accused of failing to file several years of personal financial disclosure statements,
as required by state law. The
complaint, filed July 29 by
Beatrice W. Williams of Lithonia, stated that James has
possibly “sought to intentionally withhold from DeKalb
County voters key information that may influence their
voting decisions, namely the
source(s) of his financial support and management of his
personal finances.”
Williams stated, “Mr.
James has been focusing intently on prosecuting DeKalb
CEO Burrell Ellis for alleged
corruption and perjury, but
Mr. James has neglected his
own ethical obligations and
failed to provide transparency
into his campaign funds.”
According to the complaint, “James allegedly has
had personal financial trouble
previously, yet he purports to
have had the financial wherewithal to loan his campaign
for [district attorney] more
than $23,000,” $19,500 of
which the campaign has not
paid back.
The complaint stated that
James has not filed personal
financial disclosure statements for 2011-2014, and
affidavits of public officer for
2011-2014.
Williams’ complaint stated that James “underreported
his campaign committee’s
indebtedness on his Sept. 30,

words
hurt
stop
the
bullying

2012 disclosure report.
“Mr.
James made a total of
$23,874.02 in personal loans
to his campaign committee in
2010 and 2012,” the complaint
state. “Mr. James stated in
his Sept. 30, 2012 disclosure
report that his total debt was
$23,000…. Mr. James did
not disclose any repayment
towards any of these four
loans…thus Mr. James underreported the debt.
“Mr. James does not want
DeKalb citizens to know
about his finances (or lack
thereof) or to provide a paper
trail for how he could loan his
campaign more than $23,000,”
Williams stated in her complaint.

Williams told The Champion she was upset about the
two years that DeKalb County’s District 5 did not have
representation on the Board
of Commissioners, and about
the corruption trials of convicted county CEO Burrell
Ellis.
“I don’t think it’s fair to
have one law for Burrell Ellis
and one for Robert James,”
said Williams, adding that she
wants James to be held to the
same standard as Ellis.
James’ spokesman, Erik
Burton released a statement
saying, “Mr. James was aware
of this oversight prior to the
complaint being filed. He has
already filed the most recent
financial disclosure form and

is in the process of submitting
all other required documents.”
An ethics complaint about
the disclosures also was filed
with the State Ethics Commission.
The complaint against
clerk of Superior Court Debra
DeBerry alleged she refused
to provide a copy of the oath
of office for Charles Reed,
who works in the real estate
records division of the clerk of
court’s office.
The complainant, Stephen Cox of Decatur, said he
asked for the copy of the oath
of office after getting a certified copy of his home’s deed
from Reed.
“I wanted to make sure
that he was authorized to cer-

tify the deed,” said Cox, adding that his request was not
malicious.
“The oath of office for any
public servant is public as far
as I know,” Cox said. “I simply
requested the oath of office
for Charles Reed. [DeBerry]
denied providing it to me
saying it was private. I don’t
know for what reason she
would say that because there
is no private oath of office.”
Cox also has filed a lawsuit against DeBerry in relation to the incident.
DeBerry, in an email to
The Champion, acknowledged
that the incident is in litigation and would not comment
on it.

PUBLIC NOTICE
NOTICE OF ELECTION
DECATUR CITY COMMISSION AND
DECATUR BOARD OF EDUCATION
The Decatur City Commission officially announces the Call for the City's General Election to be held in the
City of Decatur, Georgia, on November 3, 2015 for two Decatur Board of Education members for four year
terms of office, and three City of Decatur Commissioners for four year terms, such terms to begin at the
organizational meeting in January 2016.
One City Commissioner from Election District 1, Post B
One City Commissioner from Election District 2, Post B
One City Commissioner District At-Large
One Decatur Board of Education member from Election District 1, Post B
One Decatur Board of Education member from Election District 2, Post B
DeKalb County will conduct this election at the following proposed precincts:
Election District
Clairemont East
Clairemont West
Glenwood Precinct
Oakhurst
Ponce De Leon
Renfroe
Winnona Park

District :
1
1
1&2
2
1&2
2
2

Polling Place for Election
: First Baptist Church of Decatur, 308 Clairemont Ave
: The Church at Decatur Heights, 735 Sycamore Drive
: Holy Trinity Parish, 515 E. Ponce de Leon Ave.
: Oakhurst Baptist Church, 222 E. Lake Dr.
: First Christain Church of Decatur, 601 W. Ponce de Leon Ave
: Renfroe Middle School, 220 W. College Ave.
: Winnona Park Elementary School, 510 Avery St.

Each candidate will file notice of his or her candidacy and the appropriate affidavit in the office of the Election
Superintendent at City Hall, 509 North McDonough Street, Decatur, Georgia. The opening dates for qualifying
will start Monday, August 31, 2015 beginning at 8:30 A. M., and continuing until Wednesday September 2,
2015 at 4:30 P.M. The qualifying fee for City Commission office is $144.00 and the qualifying fee for Board of
Education members is $35.00
Registration for voting in the November 3, 2015 election will cut off on Monday, October 5, 2015.
For the November 3 General Municipal Election, the Absentee Poll will open 21 days prior to the Election (October 12).
All Advance Voting (Absentee in person) will be held at 4380 Memorial Drive, Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM
to 4:00 PM, October 12 through October 30.

Questions concerning absentee voting, early voting or voter registration should be directed to DeKalb County
Elections Division at 404-298-4020.
The Decatur City Commission gives notice this 20th of July, 2015

local

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, August 21, 2015Page 9A

Last year, Magnolia Run had a record 90 teams participating. This year’s race could exceed
that total.

Perimeter Mall is an ideal location because it’s easy to reach, has lots of parking and is in a
relatively flat area, according to race coordinator Aly Clift.

Epilepsy Foundation runners seek to raise funds, awareness
by Kathy Mitchell
Before Perimeter Mall
opens to shoppers on Saturday, Aug. 22, the parking
lot is likely to be crowded as
participants and spectators
gather for the 32nd annual
Magnolia Run and Walk for
Epilepsy. The Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia (EFGA)’s
oldest event, the Magnolia
Run this year may be its biggest ever.
“Last year, we had a record 90 teams participating
with more than 1,500 individual participants. We’re
pretty sure we will match
that this year and we’re likely
to exceed it,” said Aly Clift,
EFGA program director who
is coordinating this year’s
run. The 2014 Magnolia Run
raised more than $144,000,
exceeding the 2013 total by
approximately $20,000.
“We are pleased with the
way people are responding
and donating money, but, of
course, we always want to see
the total higher,” Clift said.
The Magnolia is both a
5K run and a one-mile walk.
This year for the first time
the events start at the same
time so participants must
choose one. Those participating in the 5K will be given
a timing chip to assure accurate completion results.
Awards will be given in the
categories male/female overall and male/female masters
overall and to the male and
female first- place finishers
within age groups. Awards
also will be given to the top
five fundraising teams. 
“We encourage team
participation. There’s a lot
of good-natured competition to see which teams can

Magnolia Run is held to raise money, increase awareness and give support and encouragement to those affected by epilepsy.

be the top fundraisers—and
a few always stand out. But
individuals, including those
not participating in fundraising are welcome,” Clift said.
Many of the teams, she explained, are in honor—or in
memory—of an individual.
For example, Team Silas,
which more than a week before the race had exceeded
its $5,000 goal by more than
$1,600, honors 5-year-old Silas. “We enjoy the Magnolia
Run as it is a way that we can
raise money to fight epilepsy,” the Team Silas webpage
states. “We run each year in
honor of Silas and in memory of his great-grandfather
Alvie Wright, who battled
epilepsy his entire life. We
run because that is what we
can do to fight back.”
Team KatieCakes was
formed five years ago to
honor Kaitlyn, who is now
8 years old. Although a week
before the race it had not
reached its $7,500 goal, Team
KatieCakes emphasizes on its
webpage that it is an awareness team that advocates for

epilepsy and children with
special needs. “The inspiration behind the team is our
darling Kaitlyn,” the webpage
states. “The central message
of Team KatieCakes is ‘I can
do anything!’ We never want
Kaitlyn to feel ashamed of
being different. Our goal is
to spread awareness and for
Kaitlyn to feel acceptance.” 
Some teams, such as

Team Nan’s Fans honor the
memory of a person who
lost his or her life to epilepsy.
“We are blessed to be a part
of this wonderful fundraiser
and we do it all for Nancy
Arnold! We lost a wonderful
mom, friend, daughter, sister
and aunt to epilepsy in July
2011. She was the most caring person and would help
anyone in need,” the Nan’s
Fans webpage states.
The races start at 8 a.m.
before the mid-August heat
is at its worst and the first
finishers are expected about
an hour later, according to
the EFGA website.
“I’m not sure when we
started holding the event at
Perimeter Mall,” said Clift,
who has coordinated the
Magnolia Run for three
years. “It’s a great location.
It’s easy to reach for people
from all over the metropolitan area and for those
coming from out of town.
There’s plenty of parking and
the area is relatively flat so
it’s not too hard for inexpe-

rienced runners. Also, there
are a number of hotels and
motels in the area for out-oftown participants.”
EFGA, which is described on its website as “the
only health agency in Georgia which specifically works
to improve the quality of life
for those living with epilepsy
and seizure disorders, as well
as their families,” provides
educational programs, support groups, camps, emergency medical funds, advocacy and other services. All
money raised at the Magnolia Run goes directly to these
programs, according to Clift.
Although the Magnolia
Run’s main purpose is fundraising, it also is an opportunity to educate the public
about epilepsy and creating
greater awareness of the disorder, according to Clift. “It’s
also a time for those affected
by epilepsy to come together
and support one another and
to have fun as they do,” she
said.

CITY OF CLARKSTON
NOTICE OF GENERAL ELECTION,
QUALIFYING REQUIREMENTS AND REGISTRATION
Notice is hereby given that a General Election for the City of Clarkston will be held on Tuesday,
November 3, 2015 to elect three (3) Council Members to the Clarkston City Council. The term of office is
four (4) years and the elected officials will be sworn in at the January 2016 meeting of the City Council.
Pursuant to O.C.G.A. 21-2-131(a)(1), notice is hereby given that the qualifying fee for the City of
Clarkston General Election will be $105 for each candidate for the office of Council member.
Persons wishing to qualify for this election may file a notice of candidacy with the Municipal Election
Superintendent at Clarkston City Hall, 1055 Rowland Street, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. beginning
Monday, August 31, 2015 through Friday, September 4, 2015.
Voting will take place at Clarkston International Bible Church, 3895 Church Street, Clarkston, GA
from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Any person who is a resident of the City of Clarkston and who is registered at
least thirty (30) days prior to this election with the DeKalb County Board of Registrations and Elections as
an elector within the City of Clarkston shall be eligible to vote in this election. Deadline for voter
registration is October 5, 2015.
Application for absentee ballots may be made by mail or in person to the Absentee Ballot Clerk, DeKalb
County Elections Division, 4380 Memorial Drive, Suite 300, Decatur, GA 30032, 404-298-4020.
This notice is given pursuant to Chapter 21 of the Official Code of Georgia, as amended, pertaining to
municipal elections, this 29th day of July, 2015.
Tracy Ashby, City Clerk and Municipal Elections Superintendent.

local

Page 10A The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, August 21, 2015

Sgt. Nakeshia Daley offers health fair participants fruits
and vegetables for juicing.

Major Robert Sims demonstrates a bike in the
updated fitness center.

Caroline Woodard, of Correct Care Solutions, takes the blood pressure of
Officer R. G. Edwards.

Sheriff holds annual
health and wellness fair
by Andrew Cauthen
andrew@dekalbchamp.com

DeKalb County Sheriff
Jeff Mann said he is concerned about the health and
wellness of his command
staff and nearly 900 other
employees.
“A fit…workforce is best
for the employees, from a
health standpoint, as well as
it saves the sheriff ’s office
money in workers’ compensation [and] sick leave,” he
said.
“Back in 2011 we initiated a health and wellness
program—an eight-hour
block of instruction teaching
employees how to deal with
stress in the workplace [and]
how to take care of themselves,” Mann said.
On Aug. 12, the sheriff ’s
office’s third annual health
and wellness fair featured a
farmers market and health
food kiosks by more than
25 vendors; a chef ’s corner
featuring chef James Paige
and the sheriff ’s office’s chefs
classes; exercise dance exhibitions, including Zumba,
line dancing, Chicago stepping; health and wellness
services by chiropractors
and acupuncturists; and a
“gratitude is a form of wellness” tent for creating notes
of thanks.
“It is critical that my
team is capable of consistently meeting the demands
of this physically challenging
24-hour work environment,”
Mann said. “I am committed
to supporting initiatives that
help our employees understand how fitness and proper
nutrition help to ensure peak
performance. An investment
in good health and wellness
improves lives and saves
money; this ensures positive

DeKalb Sheriff Jeff Mann wants
his employees to be fit.

returns for both the agency
and the individuals.”
During the event, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was
held for a renovated fitness
center.
“The fitness center is
something that the sheriff
wanted to put together for
our staff so everyone could
live a healthy life,” said Major Robert Sims, a training
background and recruitment
manager at the sheriff ’s office. “His main concern is
people coming to work, not
calling out sick.”
The 24-hour center has
weight training equipment,
spin bikes, ellipticals and
treadmills.
“We have all different
types of equipment to target
different parts of your body,”
Sims said. “It’s a concentration on total body workout.”
At her table, Doris
Lewallen, a meals specialist with Publix supermarket,
provided Sheriff ’s Office
employees with “a variety of
recipes that are very healthy.”
“We try to do really
healthy meals for our families, rather than stopping by
and picking up a quick takeout meal. Most of these can
be done in 15 to 30 minutes,”
Lewallen said.
“We’re trying to get the

Markeya Staley gives a Sheriff’s Office employee a massage during the health fair. Photos by Andrew Cauthen

family back to the table to eat
together because it promotes
a much healthier family rela-

tionship,” she said.
“We think it’s important
that we have a strong, fit and

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local

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, August 21, 2015Page 11A

WEEK

Pictures

Lockdown Blues Band keeps the crowd entertained. Photo by Travis Hudgons

Sweet Auburn Barbecue general manager Joseph Stallings says they served more than 70 slabs of
ribs at the Decatur BBQ, Blues & Bluegrass Festival. Photo by Travis Hudgons

Tucker senior Rahsaan Crawford has his game face on and is ready to begin the 201516 football season. Photo by Travis Hudgons

Decatur BBQ, Blues & Bluegrass Festival volunteer Ella McIlvain. Photo by Travis
Hudgons

From left, Lesley Thomas, an investigator aide in the Sheriff’s Office’s warrants division,
receives a raffle prize from DeKalb Sheriff Jeff Mann during a health fair. See story on page
10A. Photo by Andrew Cauthen.

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 12A The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, August 21, 2015

Jester

Omar Shekhey, president of the
Somali American Community Center,
said the international community
welcomes the facility.

Interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May defends putting “money on the table” for billionaire Arthur Blank’s proposed soccer facility on Memorial Drive.
Rader
“What we…have is a great deal for DeKalb County,” May said. Photos by Travis Hudgons

Officials volley over soccer facility
by Andrew Cauthen
andrew@dekalbchamop.com
Since the Aug. 4 announcement
that the county had landed headquarters of a major league soccer
franchise, DeKalb officials have been
engaged in a political soccer match.
Some commissioners have pointed out that there was no public comment about the deal with The Home
Depot cofounder Arthur Blank.
Critics have said too much money
was given to attract the Atlanta
United Football Club to the county.
Detractors also have questioned the
economic impact on the county.
Supporters of the deal say the
Memorial Drive corridor where the
soccer facility is to be located is in
need of revitalization, and the soccer
team is just the catalyst needed.
State Rep. Michele Henson,
whose district includes part of Memorial Drive, told commissioners on
Aug. 11, “We need to start something
on Memorial Drive. We need to start
something in that area.
“Regarding the sports complex,
this is the first money that has been
put into this area for over 20 years,
and I’m very optimistic about it and
I look forward to working with Mr.
Blank and the soccer complex to
revitalize Memorial Drive, to help
bring restaurants there, to help make
it a place that people go to again,”
Henson said.
The facility Blank plans to build

will be the only soccer complex in
the region.
Blank’s Atlanta United FC plans
to build a $30 million soccer complex at the intersection of Kensington Road and Memorial Drive near
Interstate 285 in Decatur. The soccer
campus will include a 3,500-seat stadium, three outdoor practice fields
and a two-story corporate headquarters on land behind the DeKalb
County Jail. The proposal states four
additional fields and an indoor training facility could be built later.
Atlanta United is expected to
employ approximately 83 people in
its corporate headquarters in 2017.
That number is predicted to grow to
123 people in 2018 with salaries that
average $150,000 per year, according
to the memorandum of understanding proposal. Approximately 123
construction-related jobs will be created with 10 percent of the jobs going
to DeKalb residents.
The team’s soccer season starts in
January 2017.
In an open letter, DeKalb Commissioners Kathie Gannon, Nancy
Jester and Jeff Rader, all of whom
voted against the deal, called it “a
giveaway.”
“Building a soccer practice field
in DeKalb is a good location for
AUFC,” the commissioners’ letter
stated. “It could have been an equally
good project for DeKalb, if the bargain negotiated weren’t so lopsided
in favor of Mr. Blank.

“So now that the commitment
has been made, there needs to be a
way to protect against the downside,
and turn this into a win–win for our
DeKalb families. It has to be done
right, in the open and without an
open checkbook.”   
The three commissioners called
for “accountability and transparency.”
“We demand for all of our
constituents and stakeholders, a
complete program timeline and an
accounting, on a monthly basis, of
the expenditures for that month on
all aspects of this project, from site
preparation, facilities relocations, environmental mitigation, permitting,
development, employment data, revenue, and contracts,” the letter stated.
“We hope that [the project] is
successful as has been promised,”
Gannon said during an Aug. 11 news
conference. “We see a lot of gaps in
it. There are a lot of problems if costs
keep going up each month and the
results keep going down.”
In the same news conference,
Rader said the project would be
“successful if it came in with a lower
cost than expected and if there were
genuine and widespread positive economic impacts from the project.
“We need to make sure we are
able to reduce both the hard costs
and the opportunity costs to DeKalb
County residents, and to amplify and
increase the purported economic impact this facility might have,” Rader
said.

Jester emphasized the need for
accountability.
“Transparency and accountability are wins in their own rights, and
we need to fight for that regarding
this deal,” Jester said.
Interim DeKalb County CEO
Lee May said he regrets that there
was not a public hearing about the
land deal.
“We can’t go back and redo that,
but we have heard…what people believe is good and bad regarding this
issue,” May said. “What we do have
is a great deal for DeKalb County. I
stand by that. We put money on the
table. I don’t run from that fact.”
May said the county’s $20 million
investment will result in a $51 million facility “constructed right there
on our piece of property, in a corridor that has not seen one dollar of
investment along that corridor.”
“There has not been any tangible
look for any development along
that corridor in two decades,” May
said. “Yes, we put cash on the table
in order to get a major development
for that area. I don’t run from that; I
don’t shy from that.
“And for those who would say
this is a bad investment, I would
say if you’re really in support of seeing good development in central
and south DeKalb County, put your
money where your mouth is,” May
said.

local

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, August 21, 2015Page 13A

County commissioner to be
reprimanded for ethics violations
by Andrew Cauthen
andrew@dekalbchamp.com

DeKalb County Commissioner Stan Watson was
found guilty of violating the
county code of ethics but
avoided removal from office
or a suspension.
On Aug. 13, the DeKalb
County Board of Ethics
found Watson guilty of violating the ethics code when
he voted for Panola Slope
Resort while he was a consultant for the developer, APD
Solutions, which is headed by
Vaughn Irons, also the county’s development authority
chairman.
From 2012 to 2014, Watson was a paid consultant
for APD Solutions, earning
approximately $500 a month,
said Robert Browning, an
investigator for the ethics
board. In 2012, Watson received $6,800. In 2013 and
2014, he received $6,500 each
year. He ended his employment with the company early
in 2014.
“During this time there
were several attempts by Mr.
Irons to get his company on
board with the county to
become a vendor…to receive
money from the county to
start revitalizing houses in
certain areas of the county,”
Browning said.
In April 2012, commissioners considered awarding
a $1 million contract to APD
Solutions and National Property Institute. The motion
passed with Watson voting in
favor of the award.
In January 2013, the
Board of Commissioners
considered an agenda item to
award an additional $500,000
to APD Solutions to continue with the same project.
After Commissioner Sharon
Barnes Sutton made the motion to give the money to the
company, Watson seconded
the motion, which passed
unanimously.
“When I interviewed
Mr. Watson about the issue
of him voting on contracts
for a company he was on the
payroll with, he admitted
it to me that it was wrong,
but then he dismissed it. He
did not realize…that APD
Solutions was on the agenda
at that moment,” Browning
said.
“These are serious charges,” said ethics board member Susan Neugent about the

ethics allegations. “These are
tough things to do, but that’s
why we’re here.”
Ethics board member
Nikki Forman, said, “I would
have liked to have heard from
Mr. Watson.”
Watson did not attend the
hearing.
Ethics board chairman
John Ernst unsuccessfully
urged for Watson’s suspension from office.
“I believe that these are
serious charges,” Ernst said.
“He was taking employment
from a company that the
commission subsequently
voted on. It goes to the heart
of what he does as a commissioner. While I disagree with
removing him from office, I
believe that a suspension is
warranted in this matter.
Suspension “would be…
the proper punishment” to

make officials “extra aware
of what they are doing when
they are making these votes,”
Ernst said.
In the end, the board
decided to give Watson a reprimand.
During an Aug. 14 phone
conversation with The Champion, Watson admitted to his
mistakes and apologized to
his colleagues and to the residents of DeKalb County.
Two residents who have
filed pending ethics complaints voiced their disapproval of the ethics board’s
vote.
Viola Davis, of the Unhappy Taxpayer and Voter,
said, “What I just saw today
is that you can be three times
guilty…[and] in DeKalb
County you can break every
law because you are above it.
“We want corruption

cleaned up,” she said. “Right
now this board has spit in
the face of the taxpayers and
voters. We’ve been waiting on
[the] law to kick in for over a
year. Only God himself can
deliver us from what we’re
dealing with right now.”
Another resident, Joel
Edwards, told ethics board
members, “I do not think that
you all are a representation
of the people in this county.
You all are a representation of
elected officials.
“I am disappointed in this
board, and I’m hoping that
the state can take over this
board because you are not
representing the taxpayers in
this county.”

Scam

Continued From Page 6A

“It was upsetting. I was
somewhat fearful,” he said.
“They knew my address, I gave
them my middle name and my
mobile number.”
The victim was informed
by someone in the jury’s office that the scam was going
around in Dunwoody, and he
was the first Decatur resident
to report a similar call.
Calls to the Dunwoody
Police Department from The
Champion about the scam
went unanswered and calls
were not returned.
Lt. Jennifer Ross of the
Decatur Police Department
said the investigation is ongoing and further information
cannot be released. Ross said if
someone receives this type of
phone call to notify the local
police department.

METROPOLITAN ATLANTA RAPID TRANSIT AUTHORITY

Notice of Public Hearings
Notice is hereby given that the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit
Authority will hold public hearings for the purpose of considering the

Proposed Bus Service Modifications for December 12, 2015
Proposed routing and/or adjustments and new service for the following bus routes:

Route 4: Thomasville/Moreland Avenue; Route 32:
Bouldercrest; Route 143: Windward Park & Ride;
Route 155: Windsor Street/Lakewood Avenue;
Route 192: Tara Boulevard (new service);
Route 194: Mt. Zion / GA-42 / East Point (new service)
Mobility: Implementation of complementary ADA service for the
above new and extended routes to comply with the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990.
All route information, a video presentation and comment
forms are available at www.itsmarta.com

Mon, Aug. 24
Fulton County
Government Center
141 Pryor St., SW
Atlanta 30303

Community Exchange:
6-7 p.m.

HEARING: 7 p.m.

Riding MARTA: Bus Routes 32,
49, 55, 75, and 186.

Tues, Aug. 25
Maloof
Auditorium

1300 Commerce Dr.,
Decatur 30030

Community Exchange:
6-7 p.m.

HEARING: 7 p.m.

Riding MARTA: Walk one block
west of Decatur Rail Station.

Thurs, Aug. 27

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Community Exchange:
6-7 p.m.

HEARING: 7 p.m.
Riding MARTA: Route 191.

Copies of the proposed Bus Service Modifications will also be available for public viewing at MARTA’s Headquarters Office
of External Affairs, 2424 Piedmont Road, N.E. Atlanta, Georgia 30324 during regular business hours, Mon-Fri 8:30 am
to 5 pm.
For formats (FREE of charge) in accordance with the ADA and Limited English Proficiency regulations contact, (404)
848-4037. For those patrons requiring further accommodations, information can be obtained by calling the Telephone
Device for the Deaf (TDD) at 404 848-5665.
In addition, a sign language interpreter will be available at all hearings. If you cannot attend the hearings and want to
provide comments you may: (1) leave a message at (404) 848-5299; (2) write to MARTA’s Office of External Affairs, 2424
Piedmont Road, N.E. Atlanta, GA 30324-3330; (3) complete an online Comment Card at www.itsmarta.com; (4) or fax
your comments no later than Sept. 3, 2015 to (404) 848-4179.
All citizens of the City of Atlanta and the counties of Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton and Gwinnett whose interests are affected
by the subjects to be considered at these hearings are hereby notified and invited to appear at said times and places and
present such evidence, comment or objection as their interests require.

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EDUCATION

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, August 21, 2015Page 14A

Ivy Prep names new
executive director
by Ashley Oglesby
ashley@dekalbchamp.com
Former Georgia lawmaker
Alisha Morgan is asking Ivy
Preparatory academies to “dream
with me.”
Morgan was recently appointed as the new executive director
by the Board of Directors of Ivy
Preparatory single-gender charter
schools network.
She said, “There’s no way
that you can take an organization
forward if you’re not genuinely
exposing yourself to the best
practices, new ideas, seeing what
is working around the country,
and seeing what cool things people are doing that you can bring
back.”
The Ivy Preparatory Academy
has campuses in DeKalb, Gwinnett and Fulton counties; one
boys school and two girls school.
According to media relations
coordinator Aileen Dodd the
academy serves more than 1,300
students.
Morgan said after advocating
for Ivy Prep as a state legislator
for many years, it feels like coming home to now serve as the
schools’ leader.
Morgan said she was first
introduced to the school when
Nina Gilbert, founder of the
academy, came to the education
committee to express her challenges with trying to open the
first school.
“Once [Ivy Prep] opened and
I started looking at their student
achievement gains, they became
my example for what was possible
in public education,” Morgan
said.
Morgan visited new and returning students during the first
day of school on Aug. 10 at Ivy
Prep Gwinnett, Ivy Prep Kirkwood and Ivy Prep Young Men’s
Leadership. She said the timing of
this opportunity is good.
Morgan recently graduated
from Broad Superintendent’s
Academy, an 18-month program
that aims to prepare executives to
lead and transform urban school
districts.
“The incredible training that I
got, along with my legislative, political and leadership experiences
just made this a perfect fit for me,
and I think a perfect fit for the
organization,” she said.
Morgan added, “We’re at a
place now where we can stabilize
both operations and academics. We can begin to talk about
growth, and my vision is that, as
a network of charter schools, we
become leaders of innovation

across the country and that we
help to reimagine what public
education should look like for
students.”
According to Dodd, Morgan
was the first Black to represent
Cobb County in the state House
of Representatives. Morgan also
was in the running for Georgia
schools superintendent during
the Democratic primary last year
but conceded her bid to her opponent.
Gilbert said in a statement,
“I am extremely excited that the
board selected Ms. Morgan as Ivy
Prep’s new executive director.”
She said, “Locally, many only
know Ms. Morgan as a politician. However, I also know her
as passionate and bold leader
who understands what it takes to
improve student achievement. In
addition to her work as a legislator who fought tirelessly for the
children she now serves, she is
also a broad fellow and is among
an elite group of individuals who
lead some of the nation’s largest
urban districts and charter school
networks. She has great plans for
Ivy, and I have complete confidence in her ability to advance
the mission and vision of our
schools. I look forward to working hand-in-hand with Ms. Morgan and the thousands of parents,
teachers, and supporters we are
engaging with on this journey to
make educational excellence and
college completion a reality for
more metro Atlanta children.”
One of Ivy Prep’s three campuses, a boy’s school in DeKalb,
has been failing under the state’s
report card for schools, and its
charter is up for renewal next
year.
“We’re looking to doing a national search to identify the best
leader for that school available.
someone who is familiar with
turn around, who has a sense of
urgency and can coach and support our educators,” Morgan said.
She added, “It’s about being
data driven. We’re digging deep
into data right now and getting
an understanding of where our
challenges are and we’re going to
be laser focus on the mediating,
providing support both for our
teachers and our scholars.”
Morgan said she wants to
create a strong culture in terms
of the school’s scholars and their
educational experience.
“There is also the culture in
terms of the organization and
making sure that we’re running
efficiently, we’re spending as
much of our dollars as we can in
the classrooms,” she said.

Newly appointed Executive Director Alisha Morgan stands in the halls of Ivy Preparatory Academy.

Morgan visited all three of Ivy Preparatory academies on the first day of school. Students form a
single file to be escorted to class.

Alisha Morgan speaks with a classroom of Ivy Preparatory student.

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, August 21, 2015

Thompson
Continued From Page 1A

lumbia University.
He returned to Georgia and began teaching and coaching in Monroe, in the Walton County Schools for 10 years
at Carver high and elementary schools. Carolyn Glenn,
Champion Newspaper owner and publisher and former
assistant principal in DeKalb, remembers Thompson first
as her health and physical education teacher in elementary and high school in Monroe. “He was an outstanding
teacher, a role model and a gentleman. His caring and
compassion for his students and the community was evident as a young man, and those traits coupled with his
affable personality inspired, parents, students and other
faculty to seek his wise counsel and friendship. I specifically remember him on many occasions seizing a ‘teachable moment’ and suspending a class session to counsel us
and offer guidance and wisdom. As a teacher and athletic
coach, he was always at the school and was accessible to
students and parents. It was not uncommon for him to
visit parents in their homes to discuss accomplishments
or challenges regarding their children. Most outstanding about Mr. Thompson, was that his caring for former
students did not stop once he left Monroe. He regularly
visited and was a featured speaker for subsequent class
reunions, and he is responsible for many of us securing
employment and becoming promoted to administrative
positions in DeKalb County Schools.”
“In a time where racial injustices are being perpetrated
more and more, it is important for all of us as a society to
recognize the lives and works of individuals like Thompson. He lived and worked for equality. We should endeavor to do the same,” Glenn continued.
Thompson later sought employment in the DeKalb
School System as a teacher at Bruce Street School in
Lithonia. After teaching there for several years, he was
promoted to physical education coordinator for DeKalb
County. From there, he was unanimously voted into the
office of assistant superintendent for south DeKalb. His
responsibilities included preparing and supporting Black
teachers and professionals for the hardships they would
undoubtedly encounter during integration.
Catherine Turk, a retired educational administrator
for the DeKalb County School System, was mentored by
Thompson.
“He promoted collaboration among educators and
support for employees, and he took personal interest in
improving human and public relations in DeKalb County
School System. Each employee was unique and special to
him, and he took great pride in strengthening and promoting strong leaders whose focus was on students, their
achievement, classroom teachers, professional learning,
and parent and school partnerships. He was a very generous and accessible trailblazer who led with compassion,”
Turk said.
Melvin Johnson, DeKalb School Board chairman, was
also mentored by Thompson. “He played a vital role in human and race relations and was a mentor to other Blacks
coming up in administration,” Johnson said.
In a statement included in the program funeral,
Thompson was noted as “one of the first Black leaders in
the school who fought for equality and put his reputation
on the line for others. He was a champion of racial issues,
a proud member of the NAACP and assisted many African-American teachers with jobs in Georgia. He received
numerous awards and recognition for his contribution to
the school and community.”
DeKalb County School System, in a special recognition
statement said, “Mr. Thompson played a critical role in the
racial and educational transition, stability and development of the DeKalb County School District … Thompson
is hereby recognized by the DeKalb County Board of Education for being an advocator for promoting diversity and
harmony during the years of racial transition, and proclaim Thursday, July 23, 2015 as Eugene ‘Gene’ Thompson
Day in DeKalb County School District.”

local

Page 15A

NEWS BRIEFS
County selected as pilot site for
governor’s reentry initiative

DeKalb County has been selected by the
Governor’s Office of Transition, Support and
Reentry (GOTSR) as the pilot site for Phase
II of its Georgia Prisoner Reentry Initiative
(GA-PRI).
Nearly a year ago, interim DeKalb County
CEO Lee May launched DeKalb County’s
Reentry and Recidivism Task Force to
integrate strategies of local stakeholders
to reduce recidivism and those barriers
that impede successful reentry of DeKalb’s
returning citizens.
The GA-PRI is a component of the
governor’s recent efforts to streamline state
agency operations to better provide tools and
support and to improve public safety. This
state-level initiative focuses on a segment of
prisoners who have served their terms and
are assimilating back into society.
The DeKalb Reentry and Recidivism Task
working in collaboration with GOTSR, is
building a network of wrap-a-round services
to eliminate gaps in service for juveniles, as
well as those going in and out of local jails,
state and federal prisons.
“The governor’s reforms will fit well
within the framework of our reentry and
recidivism strategies here in DeKalb,” May
said. “We are honored to have attracted this
partnership with the GA-PRI, and together,
we will be working diligently to produce the
kind of measured success our citizens deserve
to expect.”
For more information, please contact
Kathleen Smith at kathleen.smith@dcs.
ga.gov, or call DeKalb County Human
Development at (404) 270-1178.

DeKalb Chamber of Commerce
announces new staff
DeKalb Chamber of Commerce has
announced the hiring of three key staff
members.
Chamber President Katerina Taylor said
the new team brings “new energy, enthusiasm
and fresh ideas that will help propel our
goals to support and strengthen the business
community.”
The new staff members include:
• Kim Childs, vice president of operations,
who has more than 20 years of experience
working in corporate retail and commercial
banking. She is responsible for streamlining
all operational areas of the chamber.
• Emily Yang, communications and
experiential marketing manager. She is
responsible for managing internal and
external communications and overseeing
the chamber’s signature events and
programs.
• Rick Young, director of membership
development, a retail and commercial
banker with more than 16 years of
experience working in the Atlanta and

DeKalb markets. He is responsible for
managing member acquisitions, retention
and engagement and overseeing all member
relation events.
For details about the chamber’s upcoming
events, visit www.dekalbchamber.org.

Lithonia man charged with accepting
bribes at GDOT
A former employee of the Georgia
Department of Transportation (GDOT)
from Lithonia has been arraigned on federal
charges of conspiracy and accepting bribes,
according to a news release from the U.S.
Attorney’s office.  
George H. Bell, 49, of Lithonia, was
indicted by a federal grand jury on Aug. 11,
and arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge
Alan J. Baverman. 
“This defendant is charged with using
his position with the Georgia Department
of Transportation to benefit himself at the
expense of the environment,” said U.S.
Attorney John Horn. “His alleged conduct
resulted in enormous clean-up costs to the
Georgia Department of Transportation as
well as environmental damage.”
“The FBI places a high priority on public
corruption based investigations because
they often ignore due process put in place to
protect others.  This case involves allegations
of a State of Georgia official accepting bribes
as he ignored environment laws put in place
to protect so many,” said J. Britt Johnson,
special agent in charge, FBI Atlanta Field
Office. 
“Corruption in state government will not
be tolerated. This case is an excellent example
of state and federal law enforcement working
together to ensure government employees
who are corrupt are held accountable,” said
Vernon Keenan, director of Georgia Bureau
of Investigation.
“We are appalled by the corrupt actions of
these lone individuals that in no way reflect
the hard work and commitment displayed
by more than 4,100 GDOT employees,” said
GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurry.
“We will exercise all legal actions to recover
the costs associated with cleaning up these
sites and ensure that every effort is made to
correct the damage to the impacted sites once
the investigation is closed.”
 Bell was a GDOT supervisor who in 2014
began soliciting and accepting cash payments
in exchange for allowing various individuals
to dump unsuitable dirt in several GDOT
locations, according to the news release.
“Unsuitable dirt is dirt that is removed
during construction or landscaping projects,
and cannot be used for other projects, usually
because it contains organic material that
would decompose and create problems for
building on top of it,” the release stated. “Bell
is alleged to have allowed the unauthorized
dumping to occur on at least four different
GDOT sites.”

CLASSIFIED

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, August 21, 2015Page 16A

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BUSINESS

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, August 21, 2015Page 17A

Owner Carolyn Shalosky shows the variety of possibilities in frames and mats. Photos by Kathy Mitchell

Shop frames ‘anything that doesn’t breathe’
by Kathy Mitchell
Carolyn Shalosky calls
her business partnership
with her husband “a match
made in heaven.” The Shaloskys, who opened a framing shop called The Great
Frame Up in Atlanta’s Morningside area in 2011, recently
opened a second store in
downtown Decatur.
Andy Shalosky, a graphic artist, is in charge of the
production end of the business. “He’s been doing framing for more than 20 years,”
his wife explained. “He
started in high school and
his first job was at a framing
shop. After we got married,
we decided we wanted to
open our own business. This
is what he loves and he’s very
good at it so we decided to
open a framing shop. My
background is in business
and marketing, so businesswise we complement each
other perfectly.”
She said that after making a success of the Morningside shop, they decided it was
time to expand.
“We live in Oakhurst and
thought it would be great
to have a second store near
where we live,” Carolyn said.
“We’ve been scouting the
area for a while and early
this year we learned that this
space was available,” she said
of the shop on West Ponce de
Leon. “We decided it would

be a perfect location for us. It
took some time and work to
redo the space, which used to
be a yogurt shop.”
She said Decatur is an
ideal location for several reasons. “There are a lot of local
artists and many art lovers in
the community. Downtown
Decatur has a number of galleries. In fact, we get a lot of
business referrals from the
shop next door to us, which
sells jewelry and art. People
buy art there and bring it
here to be framed.”
The shop features more
than 300 frames and 300
mats that range from simple
to ornate. The Great Frame
up specializes in customized
framing jobs, which take an
average of 10 days to complete, according to Carolyn.
“If the customer has an urgent situation we try to work
with them,” she said, adding
the store also has a selection
of readymade frames.
She said she is especially
proud that the shop uses
conservation materials and
methods, which the shop’s
website explains are “the
same processes used by museums worldwide to preserve
and protect works of great
value.”
Not every piece brought
in for framing is art in the
traditional sense, Carolyn
said. “People bring all sorts
of treasured items, including
pieces of cloth they bought

while traveling and other
souvenirs. They bring items
that belonged to their grandparents or other things that
have special meaning for
them. We do a lot of diplomas.”
She said items that aren’t
flat and don’t fit in a conventional frame can be put in
a shadowbox—an enclosed
glass-front case that may
contain a single item or a
grouping of related items.
Carolyn recalled that
items The Great Frame Up
has framed include a full-size
automobile bumper and a
braid that was cut from the
owner’s hair when she was

a child. She said essentially
nothing is too large or too
small and jokes that the informal motto at the shop is
“if it doesn’t breathe, we can
frame it.”
“That’s what I love about
this job—meeting people and
hearing the stories behind
the objects they want framed.
One thing that makes us different from other places a
person might go to for framing is that we take a personal
interest in each project. We
want customers to be able to
display their treasures exactly
the way they envision them,”
she said, noting that 70 to 90
percent of those who come

in are repeat customers.
Although the shop
opened after this year’s Decatur Arts Festival, Shalosky
said she put an ad in the
festival program announcing that The Great Frame
Up would be coming soon
to Decatur. “We plan to be
heavily involved in next
year’s festival,” she added.
Shalosky called the Decatur community “warm and
welcoming,” noting that in
the few weeks the shop has
been open “many people
have dropped by just to say
‘hi.’”

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING 
The Mayor and City Council of the City of Chamblee, Georgia will hold a public hearing on 
Thursday, September 10, 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: 
 
*Carl Burnett, agent for Chamblee Center, LLC, requests approval of a major modification to 
a Planned Unit Development for the Buford Center, 2014PUD‐003 pursuant to Section 280‐
6(c)(7) of the Unified Development Ordinance, Appendix A of the Chamblee Code of 
Ordinances. The application concerns construction of a proposed commercial and retail 
development on 3.41 acres of land zoned Corridor Commercial and located at 4900 Buford 
Highway consisting of the following parcels: 18‐281‐01‐001, 18‐281‐01‐002, 18‐281‐01‐003, 
18‐281‐01‐006, 18‐281‐01‐007, 18‐281‐01‐008, 18‐281‐01‐009, and 18‐281‐01‐010. 
 
*2015TA‐06: The Chamblee Mayor and City Council proposes to amend the City of 
Chamblee Code of Ordinances, Appendix A, Unified Development Ordinance, Chapter 110‐3, 
“Definitions”, Chapter 240., Article I., Section 240‐1., “Table of Permitted and Prohibited 
Uses”, and Article 3., “Supplemental Use Standards” to define the use, “Innovator Space” 
and permit this use in Zoning Districts VC, TOD, CC, CVC, IT, I, and A subject to certain 
Supplemental Use Provisions. 
 

Collaboration

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

SPORTS

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, August 21, 2015Page 18A

Lakeside defeated Stephenson in the first round of the Spikefest Tournament at Tucker High School. Photo
by Travis Hudgons

Chamblee faced Tucker in the first round of the Spikefest Tournament. Photo
by Travis Hudgons

Dunwoody won the Spikefest Tournament after beating Lakeside 2-0. Photo provided

Dunwoody wins Spikefest
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
The Dunwoody volleyball team
got its season started as champions
of the 2015 DeKalb County Spikefest
Volleyball tournament.
The Lady Wildcats defeated
Lakeside 2-0 (25-11, 25-14) to claim
this year’s Spikefest title on Aug.
16. Dunwoody is coming off a 2014
season that saw the team reach the
semifinals of the Class AAAAA playoffs. The win at Spikefest gives the
Lady Wildcats some early momentum this season.

Spikefest kicked off the 2015
season for most of DeKalb volleyball
teams, including Dunwoody and
Lakeside. Lakeside coach Angela
Thompson said the tournament is
a good time to observe the team’s
chemistry.
“We have some players that
started last year, and we have some
younger girls who are coming in,”
Thompson said. “This gives us an
opportunity to see what we need to
work on for next week.”
Lakeside made its sixth consecutive playoff appearance under
Thompson last season, but lost to

Archer in the first round. The Lady
Vikings will need to find new leadership while rebuilding team chemistry
this season.
“We lost about five players and
four of the players actually played
since ninth grade, so we lost the
leadership,” Thompson said. “We lost
four years of experience. We have
now [players with] three years of experience, two years of experience and
no experience at all. We’re just trying
to get that chemistry built, and this
is a good way of playing before we go
into our region play.”
Southwest DeKalb is another

2014 playoff team, its first playoff appearance under coach Kristina Parrish. The Lady Panthers lost in the
first round, but hope to make it back.
Parrish said the team has done much
during the offseason to get better, including attending a camp at Auburn
University.
“We worked on positions, we
worked on some of our front row
hits, our blocks and got some really
good training,” Parrish said. “Our
goal is to be positioned higher than
the fourth ranking team [in the region] and get further than the first
round.”

SPORTS

The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, August 21, 2015Page 19A

Stephenson dominates Tucker in scrimmage

by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
The Stephenson Jaguars’
first team offense and defense put on a domain performance Aug. 14 at the Battle of the Big Cats scrimmage
game at Hallford Stadium.
The Jaguars jumped out
to a 20-0 lead over Tucker

SPORT BRIEFS

Athletic programs win awards
by Mark Brock

Cedar Grove Middle School was
named the winner of the DeKalb
County Middle School All-Sports
Award for the second time in three
seasons as the Saints athletics program picked up the 2014-15 AllSports Trophy.
Topping the standings with 92
points earned the trophy for the
Saints program against second-place
Champion (87) while Tucker was
third (84), Stephenson fourth (78)
and Miller Grove fifth (65). The
Saints also came up just short of
winning the award in 2014, as the
program has become one of the most
consistent overall in the county.
The Saints started the athletic
season by winning their region on
the way to an undefeated season to
capture the middle school football
title. Region wins in girls’ and boys’

basketball combined with good
tournament showings aided a strong
push for the trophy. A third-place
finish in boys’ track also aided the
cause.
Champion finished second for
the second time in the history of the
award, the last time coming in 2011.
The Chargers’ program won region
basketball titles in boys’ and girls’ action and took county runner-up status in boys’ track and third in girls’
track.
Tucker finished third for the
second consecutive season behind a
county championship sweep in boys’
and girls’ track along with a football
region title and county runner-up
finish.
Stephenson, which has two AllSports Awards from 2010 and 2012,
was fourth for the second consecutive season after sweeping the boys’
and girls’ county basketball titles and
taking region titles in football and
girls’ basketball.

Runner-up finishes in boys’ basketball and girls’ track helped Miller
Grove improve from eighth to fifth
in the yearly standings from 2014.

Lakeside, Lithonia earn
Cooperative Spirit
Sportsmanship awards
The Georgia High School Association and Georgia’s Electric Membership Corporations (Georgia EMC)
announced the 48 GHSA-member
high schools that will receive the
2015 Cooperative Spirit Sportsmanship Award. The award honors
schools that demonstrated exemplary
sportsmanship during the 2014-2015
school year.
DeKalb County had a pair of
schools, Lakeside and Lithonia, chosen among the 48 recognized for
their sportsmanship throughout the
2014-15 athletic season.
“Sportsmanship is an essential
element in the mission of education-

in the first half with stout
defense and power running.
Tucker got on the board in
the third quarter but lost 207. The Battle of the Big Cats
was one of 11 scrimmage
games that took place over
the weekend, including M.L.
King defeating Alpharetta
19-10 at Panthersville Stadium Aug. 14.

based athletics,” said Gary Phillips,
GHSA executive director. “Good
sporting behavior involves many
important values that influence the
behavior of productive citizens. The
GHSA appreciates the efforts of
Georgia EMC to recognize schools
that have excelled at good sportsmanship.”
The Lakeside Vikings’ athletic
program was named the honoree
from the Class AAAAAA Region 2
teams and for the second year in row
the Vikings received the Cooperative Spirit Sportsmanship Award.
Lakeside received the award from the
Class AAAAA Region 6 group.
Region 6-AAAA tabbed the Lithonia Bulldog athletics’ program
for the award. Lithonia reached the
state playoffs in football for the first
time since the 2002 season, and the
basketball team had one of its best
seasons in program history, winning
the region basketball and advancing
to the Class AAAA quarterfinals.

local

Page 20A The Champion FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, August 21, 2015

Municipal elections set around county
by Carla Parker
carla@dekalbchamp.com
Most cities in DeKalb
have set qualifying dates for
mayor and council seats for
the Nov. 4 election.
A few seats will have incumbents running while others will not, such as Decatur
Mayor Jim Baskett. Baskett,
who has been a commissioner since 1995, announced
last month that he will not
seek another term as the city’s
at-large commissioner. Mayor
Pro Tem Kecia Cunningham
also will not seek reelection.
She was first elected in 1999.
Decatur’s qualifying period for three of the city commission seats, as well as two
board of education seats, will
be Aug. 31 to Sept. 2.
Former Decatur city commissioner John Ridley has
announced that he will run
for the city’s at-large commission seat. Decatur does not
have an elected mayor, which
allows the five members of
the city commission to appoint a mayor. Ridley said he
plans to change that.
“[I] will work to change

the law and convert the atlarge Commissioner position
to a mayoral seat with the appropriate executive authority,”
Ridley said on his website.
“The Mayor would continue
to be chair of the City Commission with full voting privileges.”
Avondale Estates will
have the mayor and two commission seats up for election.
Although Jonathan Elmore
was elected the city mayor in
March, it was a short-term
position due to the resignation of former mayor Ed
Rieker.
Rieker was three years
into his position as mayor
when he resigned in October 2014. A special election
was held in March to fill the
vacancy. Elmore said he will
run again in the November
election.
The qualifying dates for
the mayor and two commission seats will be Aug. 31 to
Sept. 4.
The Brookhaven mayor
seat is also up for election
after the current mayor’s was
sworn in this year. Rebecca
Chase Williams, the former

District 1 councilwoman and
mayor pro tem, was sworn
in as mayor in June to fill the
position vacated by J. Max
Davis.
The city’s charter allowed
Williams to be appointed by
fellow councilmembers since
the election for that office is
less than 12 months away in
November. Williams’ council seat was filled by Linley
Jones. The District 1 and 3
seats are up for election.

Brookhaven qualifying
dates are Aug. 31 through
Sept. 2.
Doraville Mayor Donna
Pittman will seek another
term as well. Her seat, along
with three council seats are
up for election. Doraville’s
qualifying dates are Aug. 31
through Sept. 4.
In Lithonia, qualifying for
mayor and two council seats
will begin Aug. 31 and conclude Sept. 2.

Words
HURT
Stop the Bullying

CALL FOR AND NOTICE OF ELECTION

CITY OF LITHONIA GENERAL ELECTION FOR CITY COUNCIL POSITIONS
NOVEMBER 3, 2015 GENERAL ELECTION
TO THE QUALIFIED VOTERS OF THE CITY OF LITHONIA,
WITHIN DEKALB COUNTY, GEORGIA:

YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED that on the 3rd day of November, 2015, a general election will be
held in the CITY OF LITHONIA for the position of Mayor and two positions on the City of
Lithonia City Council.
Each candidate will file notice of his or her candidacy and the appropriate affidavit in the office of
the City Clerk, Lithonia City Hall, 6920 Main Street, Lithonia GA 30058.
Qualifying for candidates will begin on Monday, August 31, 2015 and Tuesday, September 1, 2015
between 9:30 AM and 4:00 PM. Qualifying for candidates will continue on Wednesday, September
2, 2015 from 9:00 AM until 12:00 Noon. The qualifying fee is $234.00 for the position of Mayor and
$122.40 for the position of Council Member.
The last day to register to be eligible to vote in this general election is Monday, October 5, 2015.
The general election will be held on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 in the new polling place, Lithonia
Municipal Complex, 6920 Main Street, Lithonia, GA 30058. The polls will open at 7:00 AM and
close at 7:00 PM.